Wraith (Marvel Comics)

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Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (DeWolff)
Marvel Team-Up #48 (August 1976)
Uncanny X-Men #392 (April, 2001)
Annihilation Conquest: Wraith #1 (June 2007)
The Amazing Spider-Man #600 (November 2009)
Created by (DeWolff)
Bill Mantlo (writer)
Sal Buscema (artist)
Scott Lobdell (writer)
Salvador Larroca (artist)
Javier Grillo-Marxuach (writer)
Kyle Hotz (artist)
Dan Slott (writer)
John Romita, Jr. (artist)
In-story information
Alter ego - Brian DeWolff
- Hector Rendoza
- Zak-Del
- Yuri Watanabe
Species (DeWolff)
Human Mutant
Team affiliations (DeWolff), (Watanabe)
New York City Police Department
Genoshan Assault X-Men
Kree Underground
Nameless Kree
Partnerships (DeWolff)
Phillip DeWolff
Iron Man
Notable aliases (Zak-Del)
Pale Rider, Kree with no name, "Paleface" (Watanabe)
"Jean DeWolff"
Abilities (DeWolff)
Thought reading
Image projection (makes himself invisible and undetectable)
Induce mental pain
Mind control
Skilled armed/unarmed combatant
Carries a smoke gun
Transparent skin and the ability to temporarily "infect" others with this transparency condition
Polymorphic weapon
Deactivate/disarm other weapons
Enhanced strength, speed, and agility
Travel through the air
Accelerated healing
Unnaturally high tolerance for pain
Darkness manifestation
Longevity via agelessness

Wraith is the codename of four unrelated fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is also the surname of the character John Wraith.

Publication history[edit]

The Brian DeWolff version of Wraith first appeared in Marvel Team-Up #48 and was created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema.

The Hector Rendoza version of Wraith first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #392 and was created by Scott Lobdell and Salvador Larroca.

The Zak-Del version of Wraith first appeared in Annihilation Conquest: Wraith #1 and was created by Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Kyle Hotz.

The Yuri Watanabe version of Wraith first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #600 and was created by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Brian DeWolff[edit]

Brian DeWolff was a former patrolman for the New York Police Department who was shot by criminals and rescued by his father, ex-Commissioner Phillip DeWolff. Determined to see his son, who was rendered catatonic, survive, Phillip resorted to using experimental technologies to restore Brian's health. During the restoration process, both Brian and Phillip were accidentally exposed to the machinery's ray; this process gave Brian psionic abilities, including the ability to read minds, induce illusions in the minds of others, project psionic force bolts and control the mind of another person (but he can only control one mind at a time), but also mind-linked him with his father and left him susceptible to his mental domination. Under Phillip's psionic control, Brian (as the Wraith) operated as a vigilante, killing both several criminals and innocent civilians by his insane father's decree. He fought Spider-Man, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and his sister Jean DeWolff until he was defeated by Spider-Man and Iron Man.[1]

During their trial, Brian fell under the mental possession by Phillip once more, but Phillip was defeated by Doctor Strange and Iron Man. Strange revived the Wraith's own consciousness, and he was reunited with his sister, Jean. Once overpowered and the true circumstances revealed, Brian regained his independent will and was found innocent of the crimes; his father went to prison.[2] The Wraith became a costumed adventurer and joined with Iron Man, Jean, and others in battling Midas.[3] He also aided Spider-Man and Iron Man against Whiplash and the Maggia.[4]

When his sister Jean was killed by the Sin-Eater (who was also a policeman, much like Brian), the Wraith was driven mad with grief and he decided to take vengeance on the whole New York Police Department. When he arrived at a police station, he was shot by the Scourge of the Underworld, who was disguised as a policeman and attempting to murder Flash Thompson.[5] His original form was destroyed, but he later transferred his mind into the body of another. He led the Vampire's Lair Club against police, but he was killed again by Morbius, the Living Vampire.[6]

The Wraith was later among the seventeen criminals murdered by the Scourge who were resurrected by Hood using the power of Dormammu as part of a squad assembled to eliminate the Punisher.[7] While the Wraith was scouting the city, the Punisher shot him in the chest with an arrow.[8]

Hector Rendoza[edit]

Hector Rendoza was living in Boston when his mutant powers manifested at the age of sixteen. A large crowd formed on Boston Common, many who knew Hector when he was not translucent, intending to kill him. Jean Grey froze the crowd with her telepathic powers and recruits Hector.[9] He is one of many she gathers (including Northstar, Omertà, Dazzler and Sunpyre) to help rescue the X-Men from Genosha, where they are being held by Magneto.[10]

He was shown to be depowered.[11]


Cover art for Annihilation Conquest: Wraith #1. Featuring Zak-Del. Art by Clint Langley.

Wraith (Zak-Del) is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics universe. His first appearance was in Annihilation Conquest: Wraith #1 in "Annihilation Conquest".[12]

Wraith is the son of Kree scientist Sim-Del, who created a power source sufficient to "light an entire galaxy." Kree society banished him, but he continued his work, using the power source to turn the barren planetoid he inhabited into a paradise. The Kree then simply destroyed him, his wife, and all trace of his work. However, his son was sent off in an escape ship.

The ship drifted into The Exoteric Latitude, the space of the Nameless, an offshoot of the Kree. Here he was infected with the Exolon, parasites that feed on the souls of living creatures. Because he had become a Nameless, he was subjected to endless self-inflicted torture, as this is the only way a Nameless can remember their life before losing their soul. He was haunted by the image of the signet ring worn by the man who killed his parents, and that is what brings him to Kree space — to hunt down that man.

Wraith is first seen when he incapacitated an entire Phalanx battle-cruiser, drawing the attention of both the Phalanx and the resistance forces opposing them. Because he was able to make the Phalanx feel fear, both sides wished to add him to their ranks. He is tracked by the Phalanx to the resistance's base, and in allowing them to escape, he is captured and brought before Ronan the Accuser, head of the Kree empire since the end of the Annihilation War, now slave and Head Inquisitor of the Phalanx.

Though Ronan subjects Wraith to all manner of horrible torture, inflicting more pain than any Kree would be able to withstand, Wraith refuses to give up his origins, finally prompting an infuriated Ronan to attempt to impale him on a large spike. Wraith simply pulls himself off and immediately heals. Ronan states that due to his seeming immunity to pain, he is not Kree, he is something else, like a wraith. This amuses the son of Sim-Del, and he decides that Wraith is a suitable new name for himself. He then divulges his origins and indicates that he pities Ronan because he is a slave. The Accuser decides the greatest torture he could inflict would be to make Wraith a slave to the Phalanx for all time, and he promptly infects Wraith with Phalanx technology.[13]

Wraith does not succumb, however, and simply puts himself into a coma-like state, which infuriates Ronan personally and annoys the Phalanx. A vision of Sim-Del in Wraith's mind convinces him to continue fighting, as only the punishment of the man with the signet ring could set his and his wife's spirits free. His father also convinces him that he cannot find the man alone, and so Wraith enlists the help of Super-Skrull and Praxagora. The trio escape and meet up with the Resistance, saving them from a Phalanx warship. Again inspired by his need for assistance, he accepts the offer to join the Resistance and fight the Phalanx.[14] With Wraith and crew's assistance, the rebellion manages to capture a Phalanx scientist who has information on the Phalanx's super weapon. After determining the deployment point and the time of the attack, the fleet launches a suicide mission to deliver Wraith, Super-Skrull and Praxagora to the scene, where they infiltrate the Phalanx fleet and find the weapon, a Phalanx-infected Supreme Intelligence.

Here Wraith again sees his father's spirit, speaking through the Intelligence, who instructs him not to stop the weapon, but to let it activate, and then to release the Exolon and absorb the Supremor's soul, not only saving the Kree, but also dealing a massive blow to the Phalanx. Despite interference by Ronan, Wraith manages to accomplish this, and convinces Ronan to overcome his shame and lead the Kree against their captors. He himself remains with the resistance, not revealing what he has truly done, to later use the Supreme Intelligence's soul to become a beacon of hope for the people.[15]

Yuri Watanabe[edit]

Yuri Watanabe is the fourth and most recent character to take on the mantle of Wraith. She first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #600 as herself, a captain in the New York Police Department (NYPD). The character was created by Dan Slott and John Romita Jr.

In The Amazing Spider-Man #663, a new Wraith appears, targeting Mister Negative's criminal syndicate. During one such attack, the Wraith unmasks to reveal the face of Jean DeWolff, later revealed to be a Chameleon mask[16] It is later revealed that the Wraith is really Watanabe, pretending to be the ghost of DeWolff to scare the criminals she targets.[17]

Wraith accompanies Carlie Cooper into going to Grand Tauró where they chase Antoine Morant, a banker of notorious criminals, searching for information about the secret bank account of Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Spider-Man's body). Carlie and the Wraith catch up with Morant, who was shredding some documents out of fear. Carlie catches the document, discovering that is actually all of the equipment and technology for the Arach-nauts and the order for his Spiderlings, all coming from the secret account of Doctor Octopus, putting Carlie one step closer to the evidence she needs to unveil the secret of Superior Spider-Man once and for all.[18]

After Carlie is kidnapped by the Green Goblin, Yuri investigates Otto more hoping to find Carlie's whereabouts. She confronts Otto during the Goblin Nation attack for info on Carlie but is knocked out by the transformed Carlie. She then aids the Avengers and Cardiac against the Goblin Knight, and they are assisted by Spider-Man (who is now Peter Parker again).[19]

A while afterwards, Yuriko and the NYPD surround an abandoned building where Tombstone and his men are prepared to open fire on the cops. While Spider-Man helps her and the police take down Tombstone, her mentor, Teddy Rangel, is shot in the crossfire and taken to the hospital, where he eventually dies from his injuries. To her outrage, Tombstone is released from prison by one of his customers, Judge Howell, and she receives photographic evidence from Mr. Negative of Howell's involvement with Tombstone but the chief denies the evidence. As the Wraith, she and Spider-Man go to a construction site containing Tombstone's men and evidence against Howell. Spider-Man questions her methods (as she used one of the henchmen's anti tank missiles to open a vault), to which she tells Spider-Man that as the Wraith, she is not bound to the rules of a cop that Yuriko is bound to.[20]

She angers her chief by arresting Howell without contacting the CSI using her evidence from her "anonymous source." Howell requests to talk to her at Ryker's and on the way, Spider-Man tells her that Hammerhead and Goblin King are interested in her precinct. During her meetings with Spider-Man and Howell she expressed her anger at how "the system" operates. Mr. Negative informs her that Hammerhead and Goblin King are meeting at the Empire Royale to discuss who will take over Tombstone's turf. Wraith and Spider-Man take down Hammerhead and his men, with Spider-Man continuing to question her morality.[21]

Spider-Man spots Yuriko getting info from Mr. Negative about a breakout that's about to happen at Ryker's Island. He and Wraith go over to stop Black Cat and the Enforcers. She takes down the Enforcers and find that Howell's been stabbed in prison. Spider-Man finds her with a gun after hearing a gunshot and a wounded Tombstone, but she was framed by one of Mr. Negative's men. She confronts Mr. Negative after he fails to make a deal with the Ringmaster, where he reveals that he knows her secret identity, taking the hint from the Wraith and Spider-Man showing up at a crime boss meeting whenever he informed Yuri. The next day, the chief tells her that her career is over as Howell died from the stab wound, which wouldn't have happened if she took it slow like the chief told her to. That night, she and Spider-Man go after the Circus of Crime, but realize that Mr. Negative set her up again, and she fell for it despite Spider-Man's warnings. Out of anger, she kills one of Negative's men and claims that Yuriko is dead while the Wraith lives.[22]

During the gang war in the third precinct, she confronts Mr. Negative, determined to kill him. Negative escapes while Wraith defeats his men. Spider-Man arrives to try and convince her to change her ways, but she prefers no longer being bound to the law and punches him to go after Mr. Negative. Negative corrupts a group of bystanders, but before she can fight them off, Spider-Man grabs her to avoid damage to the brainwashed civilians, knocks out Wraith, webs her, and defeats Mr. Negative. When he goes back, Yuri escaped the webbing and only took her mask, leaving the rest of the costume behind.[23]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The Brian DeWolff version of Wraith possesses a variety of psionic powers as an effect of energy from advanced technology procured by Phillip DeWolff. The Wraith had the psionic ability to control the mind of one other person at a time. He had the ability to cast illusions indiscernible from reality in the minds of one or more people simultaneously, thereby making reality appear to change or making himself seem invisible. He also had the psionic ability to induce mental pain in others equivalent to the physical pain which would be caused by what they were perceiving without causing his victim physical injury, the telepathic ability to read minds, and the psionic ability to affect Spider-Man's mind in such a way as to shield himself from detection by the latter's "spider-sense." He also carried a smoke pistol of unknown origin. Brian De Wolff has received police training in armed and unarmed combat.

The Hector Rendoza version of Wraith can turn either his skin or others' skin translucent.

The Zak-Del version of Wraith possesses an unidentified polymorphic weapon which can take on a variety of forms, including a gun, a whip, and a small blade, as well as apparently possessing the ability to deactivate/disarm other weaponry. He also demonstrated a mysterious ability to travel through the air from rooftop to rooftop of buildings, though what he was doing or how was not revealed. Due to the Exolon parasites that infect and maintain his body, he possesses enhanced speed, strength and agility, as well as an ability to heal himself from even the most egregious of wounds. He also does not age and cannot die, at least not in any way yet shown. By summoning swarms of Exolon, he can manifest what appears to be darkness. Because the Exolon feed on souls, swarms of it appear—at least to the Phalanx—as the exposed soul of a living being. Due to the nature of the Nameless and their rituals of inflicting pain on themselves, he also has an unnaturally high tolerance for pain, not screaming or making any other negative reactions to it.

In other media[edit]


  • The Zak-Del version of Wraith appears in the Guardians of the Galaxy episode "Fox on the Run," voiced by Jeff Bennett. In this series, Wraith has a more normal Kree appearance. He is the first opponent for Gamora in the trials that Ronan the Accuser has Grandmaster broadcast from his space station Conjunction. His backstory is that Gamora brought Wraith's father and his invention to Ronan the Accuser, who had plans to use the invention as a weapon, only for Wraith's father to throw himself and the invention into the nearest black hole. Gamora was able to defeat him and take his polymorphic weapon. Near the end of the episode, Wraith, Jarhead, and an Elemental Beast confronted Ronan the Accuser and Nebula to take their revenge on them as they realized that Gamora was acting under Ronan the Accuser's orders and wasn't the one at fault. In Season 2 episode "It's Tricky", it reveals that Wraith has a reputation as a assassin and bounty hunter that specializes in polymorphic weapons. After getting arrested by Nova Corps, Star-Lord and the rest of the Guardians try to loot his abandoned hideout, only to come across a dangerous weapon (which was actually a dud that Yondu planted to prank Star-Lord) that automatically begins its detonation program. As the Guardians try to place the weapon in a time stasis container on Xandar's Nova base, Wraith has already broken out of his prison cell and came across the team. Angered that they raid his weapon stash, Wraith engages in a fight with them and demands that they tell him what they took from him. During the fight, Wraith reveals that he has no knowledge of the weapon they had before getting frozen by Star-Lord. After the weapon unleashed a simple yet potent sink bomb, Wraith was presumably escort back to his cell or was able to escape during the chaos.

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Marvel Team-Up #48–50
  2. ^ Marvel Team-Up #51
  3. ^ Iron Man #105–108
  4. ^ Marvel Team-Up #72
  5. ^ Amazing Spider-Man #278
  6. ^ Morbius #18–19
  7. ^ Punisher vol. 7 #5
  8. ^ Punisher vol. 7 #7
  9. ^ Uncanny X-Men vol.1 #392
  10. ^ X-Men vol.2 #112
  11. ^ The New Avengers #18
  12. ^ The Kree With No Name?: Grillo-Marxuach talks "Annihilation: Conquest - Wraith", Comic Book Resources, 16 April 2007.
  13. ^ Wraith #2
  14. ^ Wraith #3
  15. ^ Wraith #4
  16. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #663
  17. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #664
  18. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #19
  19. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #31
  20. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man 16.1
  21. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man 17.1
  22. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man 19.1
  23. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man 20.1
  24. ^ https://marvelavengersalliance2.com/aa2_characters/wraith/
  25. ^ http://nerdist.com/spider-man-takes-on-mister-negative-and-introduces-spoiler-in-e3-gameplay-trailer/

External links[edit]