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Damon Dran in Black Widow vol. 5 #6 (7 May 2014)
Art by Phil Noto
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceDaredevil #92 (Oct. 1972)
Created byGene Colan (artist)
Gerry Conway (writer)
In-story information
SpeciesHuman Cyborg
Place of originEarth
Notable aliasesIndestructible Man
AbilitiesCyborg implants

Damon Dran is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. An enemy of Black Widow[1] and Daredevil,[2] this character exists within the Marvel Universe. He was created by writer Gerry Conway and artist Gene Colan, first appearing in Daredevil #92 (Oct. 1972).

Publication history

Dran debuted in a three-part story that took place in Daredevil #92-94 and went on to appear in Marvel Fanfare #11-13[3][4] and Captain America #429-430 before being killed off in Black Widow vol. 5, #4-6.

Fictional character biography

An unscrupulous munitions magnate, Damon Dran became paranoid about his own mortality and secretly commissioned the creation of Project Four, a weapon that would imbue him with the power necessary to survive the "inevitable" World War III. After Project Four was stolen by Black Widow and Danny French,[5][6] Dran spent years trying to locate it. He eventually tracked both French and Black Widow down in San Francisco, where he had them captured and brought to his mansion in Berkeley. Dran was able to discern Project Four's location by subjecting French to a mind probe. While the device was being prepared for him, he sent Blue Talon and a brainwashed Black Widow against Black Widow's partner, Daredevil.[7]

Daredevil survives the attempts on his life and locates Dran's manor, breaking into it just as Dran uses Project Four to become the "Indestructible Man". With his new powers, Dran sets out to massacre and subjugate humanity and easily resists Daredevil, Black Widow and the National Guard's attempts to prevent him from reaching San Francisco. French joins the fray and sacrifices himself to destroy Project Four, weakening Dran enough for him to be taken down by Daredevil and Black Widow.[7]

Dran was left disfigured and was robbed of his abilities by the battle, but his invulnerability and super-strength at some point returned and he began plotting his revenge against Black Widow. Dran lures Black Widow to Russia (where he frames her for murder) and then to Hong Kong by abducting her friend Ivan Petrovich. Black Widow defeats all of the mercenaries that Dran sends to Hong Kong to capture her, but is subdued by and brought to a private island by Dran's personal assassin Snapdragon. There, Dran reveals that he intends to further ruin Black Widow's life by having a duplicate of her destroy the Helicarrier and kill Nick Fury. Black Widow is able to escape with Petrovich and alert Fury to the threat of her doppelganger, who Fury shoots before bombing Dran's island.[8][9][10][11]

Setting up anew in Louisiana, Dran began abducting children, selling some to buyers overseas and the rest to Helmut and Heike Zemo. When Diamondback and Moonhunter began investigating the death of Dran's former minion Snapdragon, the two are captured and brought to Dran's estate by his new agent, Golddigger. Captain America and Americop break into Dran's mansion, the former in search of Diamondback and Moonhunter and the latter in search of the kidnapped children, and are subdued by Dran and his lackeys, but in the confusion, Diamondback escapes and contacts Black Widow, who helps her free Captain America and Moonhunter. Americop, who had escaped on his own, locates Dran, shoots down his getaway helicopter and leaves him to be arrested by Black Widow.[12][6]

Dran escapes from custody and goes into hiding, managing to evade even S.H.I.E.L.D. At some point, Dran began to lose his invincibility, which he tried restore through cybernetic implants. After making the acquaintance of Molot Boga, a deranged and excommunicated monk, Dran molded the man into becoming his personal assassin, the "Hammer of God". From a sealed chamber in the heart of his fortified yacht, Dran instructs Boga to begin eliminating his enemies, starting with a Ukrainian diplomat.[13]

Black Widow becomes involved due to being present at the Ukrainian embassy when it is bombed by Boga. While Black Widow fails to stop Boga from taking out his next target, a Croatian ambassador, she does manage to prevent him from claiming his third victim, a diplomat at the Gatwick Airport. While Dran recovers the mortally wounded Boga and saves his life by giving him bionic implants similar to his own, Black Widow learns that Dran's yacht is situated near the coast of Montenegro.[13]

Black Widow boards Dran's ship, kills his henchmen and Molot, and delivers him to S.H.I.E.L.D. While in custody, Dran rants about an organization called Chaos and dies in his cell when it is flooded with an acidic gas released by a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who had been corrupted by Chaos.[13]

Powers and abilities

The development of the Project Four device resulted in Dran obtaining superhuman strength and invulnerability, as well as the ability to increase his size and project energy beams from his hands. The extent of Dran's indestructibility is uncertain, though it enabled him to survive the destruction of his island by a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Notably, Dran's abilities appeared to eliminate his need for basic human necessities such as air, as he was unaffected by knockout gas.

Following the destruction of Project Four by Danny French, Dran temporarily lost his powers. However, he later regained his strength and invincibility, though these abilities eventually faded. In an attempt to replicate his former powers, Dran utilized cybernetic implants, which required stabilizers in the form of U.V. lights and special pills. Despite these efforts, the implants proved to be far less effective than Dran's previous abilities, as he was unable to withstand a corrosive gas attack.

References

  1. ^ Allen, Elizabeth (27 February 2017). "Seeing Ourselves in Marvel's Femizons in the Post-Trump Era". themarysue.com. The Mary Sue. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  2. ^ Eraq, Matthew (11 January 2018). "This Is What The Black Widow Movie Should Be About". screenrant.com. Screen Rant. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  3. ^ Robert G. Weiner (2008). Marvel Graphic Novels and Related Publications: An Annotated Guide to Comics, Prose Novels, Children's Books, Articles, Criticism and Reference Works. McFarland & Company. p. 24. ISBN 9780786425006.
  4. ^ Ralph Macchio (June 2017). "Black Leather Required: The Black Widow Stings". Back Issue!. No. #96. United States: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 24.
  5. ^ Gerry Conway (w), Gene Colan (p), Tom Palmer (i), Sam Rosen (let), Roy Thomas (ed). "The Sinister Secret of Project Four!" Daredevil, no. 90 (Aug. 1972). United States: Marvel Comics.
  6. ^ a b Stavrakoudi, Lia (1 July 2015). "Top 20 female superheroes and villains of Marvel". moviepilot.com. Moviepilot. Retrieved 11 May 2017.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b Gerry Conway (w), Gene Colan (p), Tom Palmer (i), John Costanza (let), Roy Thomas (ed). Daredevil, no. 92-94 (Oct. 1972 - Dec. 1972). United States: Marvel Comics.
  8. ^ Ralph Macchio and George Perez (w), George Perez, Bob Layton and Luke McDonnell (p), Brett Breeding (i), Petra Scotese (col), Tom Orzechowski (let), Al Milgrom (ed). "Widow" Marvel Fanfare, no. 10 (Sept. 1983). United States: Marvel Comics.
  9. ^ Ralph Macchio and George Perez (w), George Perez (p), Joe Sinnott and Jack Abel (i), Ben Sean (col), Tom Orzechowski (let), Al Milgrom (ed). "Back iᴎ the U.S.S.Я." Marvel Fanfare, no. 11 (November 1983). United States: Marvel Comics.
  10. ^ Ralph Macchio and George Perez (w), George Perez (p), Al Milgrom (i), Bob Sharen (col), Jim Novak (let), Al Milgrom (ed). "The Web Tightens!" Marvel Fanfare, no. 12 (Jan. 1984). United States: Marvel Comics.
  11. ^ Ralph Macchio (w), George Perez (p), John Beatty and Brett Breeding (i), Ben Sean (col), Diana Albers (let), Allen Milgrom (ed). "The Widow... Alone" Marvel Fanfare, no. 13 (March 1984). United States: Marvel Comics.
  12. ^ Mark Gruenwald (w), Dave Hoover (p), Danny Bulanadi (i), George Roussos (col), Joe Rosen (let), Mike Rockwitz and Ralph Macchio (ed). "Fighting Chance" Captain America, no. 428-430 (June 1994-August 1994). United States: Marvel Comics.
  13. ^ a b c Nathan Edmondson (w), Phil Noto (p), Phil Noto (i), Phil Noto (col), VC's Clayton Cowles (let), Ellie Pyle (ed). Black Widow, vol. 5, no. 4-6 (12 March 2014-7 May 2014). United States: Marvel Comics.