Wraith (Marvel Comics)

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Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceDeWolff:
Marvel Team-Up #48 (August 1976)

The Uncanny X-Men #392 (April 2001)

Annihilation Conquest: Wraith #1 (June 2007)

As herself: The Amazing Spider-Man #600 (July 2009)
As Wraith: The Amazing Spider-Man #663 (June 2011)
Created byDeWolff:
Bill Mantlo
Sal Buscema

Scott Lobdell
Salvador Larroca

Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Kyle Hotz

Dan Slott
John Romita Jr.
In-story information
Alter egoBrian DeWolff
Hector Rendoza
Yuri Watanabe

Human Mutant

Team affiliationsDeWolff, Watanabe:
New York City Police Department

Genoshan Assault X-Men

Kree Underground
Nameless Kree
Phillip DeWolff
Iron Man

Notable aliasesZak-Del:
Pale Rider, Kree with no name, "Paleface"

"Jean 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 The 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. Although Wraith first appears in the prologue as a vision [12], his first physical appearance was in Annihilation Conquest: Wraith #1 in "Annihilation Conquest"[13]

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.[14] The ship drifted into The Exoteric Latitude, the space of the Nameless, an offshoot of the Kree who were once ancient Kree explorers were lost thousands of years ago and their bodies were invaded by the Exolon, parasites that feed on the souls of living creatures. The Nameless made Zak-Del into one of their own and was promptly infected with the Exolon. 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 defeated the leader of the Nameless and he stole their polymorphic weapon and a ship that transported to journeyed back into the galaxy to hunt down the man.[14] Although his time with the Nameless made him rather cold and shows brutal efficiency as a fighter, Wraith retains some pragmatic yet moral standards.

Wraith is first seen when he incapacitated an entire Phalanx battle-cruiser, drawing the attention of both the Phalanx and the Resistance forces led by Ra-Venn 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.[15] 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.[14]

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. Although he has interest in the war with the Phalanx, Wraith accepts the offer to join the Resistance and fight the Phalanx in return for their help in tracking down the people who murdered his family.[16] 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.[17]

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.[18]

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.[19] It is later revealed that the Wraith is really Watanabe, pretending to be the ghost of DeWolff to scare the criminals she targets.[20]

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.[21]

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).[22]

In the "Spiral" storyline, Yuri's faith in the justice system is shattered when Tombstone is released from prison after the crime boss was responsible for killing her mentor during a shootout between his gang and the police. She receives photographic evidence from Mr. Negative that the person who released him, Judge Howell, was one of Tombstone's customers and arrests the judge without contacting the CSI after obtaining more evidence as the Wraith with Spider-Man.[23] With a crime war looming in the local precincts, she continues to receive tips from Mr. Negative on where big crime overlords such as Hammerhead and Goblin King are meeting so she and Spider-Man can take them down.[24]

Spider-Man notices she is becoming more brutal in her approach due to her frustrations with the system and believes Mr. Negative is using her. He is later proven right when Mr. Negative begins to take over the turf due to the two-crime fighters taking out his competition and tries to frame her for murder. When Howell dies in prison from a stab wound, Yuri's chief ends her career for her quick arrest contributing to his death. After a fight with the Circus of Crime, she realizes she has been playing into Mr. Negative's hands and kills one of his men, claiming that Yuriko is dead while the Wraith lives.[25] When she attempts to kill Mr. Negative, Spider-Man tries to stop her and convince her to change her ways. She ultimately prefers no longer being bound to the law and fights her former ally to go after Martin Li, but Spider-Man knocks her out and goes on to defeat Mr. Negative himself. When he returns to the scene, he finds Yuriko has abandoned her costume and taken the mask with her.[26]

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.

The Yuri Watanabe version of Wraith initially used technology such as Chameleon's mask disguise, Mysterio's equipment, and Mr. Fear's Fear Gas. Her primary weapons are yellow elastic straps attached to her costume that wrap up her enemies and allow her to swing around the city similar to Spider-Man.[27]

In other media[edit]


  • The Zak-Del version of Wraith appears in the Guardians of the Galaxy, voiced by Jeff Bennett. In this series, Wraith initially has a more normal Kree appearance, but gradually become more like his comic version in each of his appearance, and there are references to the Exolon parasites in his body. In Season 1 episode "Fox on the Run," 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 the 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 Tactigon 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. In the Season 3 episode "Money Changes Everything," Rocket Raccoon competes with Wraith on apprehending the alien con artist Ichthyo Pike. Throughout the episode, Wraith alludes to the Exolon parasites inhabiting his body and showcases the powers they grant him as he scuffles with Rocket over Pike. While Rocket was able to turn Pike over to the Nova Corps, Irani Rael states that her life sensors did not pick up Wraith and states that Rocket Raccoon will have to work off teleporting Nova Corps HQ back to Xandar. As Rocket Raccoon hijacks a Nova Corps ship to find more bounties to pay off the debt, Wraith plans to claim the bounty on Rocket's head. In the episode "Gotta Get Outta This Place," Wraith makes a cameo as one of the many witnesses called in by Phyla-Vell to testify against the Guardians of the Galaxy after they got framed for a crime at the Kree Monument of Justice.
  • Yuri Watanabe appears in the Spider-Man episode "Bring on the Bad Guys" Pt. 4, voiced by Sumalee Montano.[28] This version is the chief of police. She first appears in a televised discussion with J. Jonah Jameson about Spider-Man robbing the bank. When Spider-Man encounters Yuri in the alley, she is actually the Chameleon in disguise. Upon Spider-Man chasing Chameleon to the Daily Bugle where he is caught on camera by J. Jonah Jameson and Stan the Cameraman, Yuri arrives when Chameleon impersonates J. Jonah Jameson. When Chameleon is exposed and defeated, Yuri thanks Spider-Man who leaves before he is brought to the station to answer some questions. When Jameson is annoyed that Spider-Man is thanked, Yuri states that Chameleon being caught is all that matters.

Video games[edit]

  • The Yuri Watanabe version of Wraith is a playable character in Spider-Man Unlimited.[citation needed]
  • The Zak-Del version of Wraith appears in Marvel: Avengers Alliance 2.[29]
  • The Zak-Del version of Wraith appears in Minecraft as a DLC skin in the Guardians of the Galaxy Skin Pack.[30]
  • Yuri Watanabe appears as a supporting character in Spider-Man,[31] voiced by Tara Platt. She is an NYPD Captain that Spider-Man often assists to contain the situation, and the two work together to bring down crime in New York. In the game's "Turf Wars" DLC, Yuri is pushed to her breaking point when the police's attempts to capture Hammerhead result in the death of many of her officers. Through encrypted files, Spider-Man discovers Mary Jane learns Yuri is a third generation cop whose father was on Hammerhead's payroll and arrested. This caused Yuri to spend the next decade targeting Hammerhead's gang. After Hammerhead is defeated, she shoots the criminal in the head in front of Spider-Man and several officers. Unbeknownst to Spider-Man and the police, one of Hammerhead's minions posing as a police officer on an ambulance manages to resuscitate him.[32]


  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. ^ Annihilation: Conquest Prologue
  13. ^ The Kree With No Name?: Grillo-Marxuach talks "Annihilation: Conquest - Wraith", Comic Book Resources, 16 April 2007.
  14. ^ a b c Wraith #2
  15. ^ Wraith #1
  16. ^ Wraith #3
  17. ^ Wraith #3
  18. ^ Wraith #4
  19. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #663
  20. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #664
  21. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #19
  22. ^ The Superior Spider-Man #31
  23. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #16.1
  24. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #17.1
  25. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #19.1
  26. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #20.1
  27. ^ The Amazing Spider-Man #664
  28. ^ "Bring On the Bad Guys Pt. 4". Spider-Man. Season 2. Episode 36. August 6, 2018. Disney XD.
  29. ^ https://marvelavengersalliance2.com/aa2_characters/wraith/
  30. ^ https://www.cinemablend.com/games/Minecraft-Xbox-360-Receives-Guardians-Galaxy-Skin-Pack-Week-66517.html
  31. ^ http://nerdist.com/spider-man-takes-on-mister-negative-and-introduces-spoiler-in-e3-gameplay-trailer/
  32. ^ Insomniac Games (September 7, 2018). Spider-Man (2018 video game). PlayStation 4. Sony Interactive Entertainment.

External links[edit]