Textless variant cover art of The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #2 (May 2014).
Art by Humberto Ramos
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Amazing Spider-Man #9 (Feb. 1964)[1][2]
Created byStan Lee
Steve Ditko
In-story information
Alter egoMaxwell "Max" Dillon
SpeciesHuman mutate
Place of originEndicott, New York
Team affiliationsSinister Six
Emissaries of Evil
Frightful Four
Sinister Twelve
Legion Accursed
Notable aliasesMaster of Electricity

Electro (/ɪˈlɛktr/) is the name of two supervillains appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the Maxwell "Max" Dillon version of Electro was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (Feb. 1964) as an adversary to the superhero Spider-Man. Electro has since endured as one of the web-slinger's most prominent foes, though he has also come into conflict with other heroes, most notably Daredevil. He is a founding member of the Sinister Six, and the leader of the original incarnation of the Emissaries of Evil, the first supervillain teams to oppose Spider-Man and Daredevil, respectively. In the original version of the story, Max Dillon was a lineman for an electric company who turned to a life of crime after being struck by lightning while working on a power line and becoming a living electric capacitor. Electro's superpowers revolve around controlling electricity, which he can absorb to "charge" himself and become more powerful, gaining additional abilities such as flight and enhanced physical attributes. Since his conception, the character has undergone several design changes, from his original green and yellow costume, to his modern look with blue skin and a bald head.

During the time that Max Dillon was dead between 2016 and 2021, a second Electro named Francine Frye was introduced.

Outside of comics, both Dillon and Frye have been featured in various media adaptations of Spider-Man, including feature films, television series, and video games. In particular, Jamie Foxx portrayed Dillon in the live-action films The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021).

Publication history

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2015)
Electro's first appearance, The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (Feb. 1964). Art by Steve Ditko.

The Max Dillon incarnation of Electro was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (Feb. 1964).[4][5][6] The character is also known as the member of the Frightful Four battling the Fantastic Four.[7] He is also the first major Marvel villain to be written in publication history as battling Daredevil,[8][9] even being the founder and leader of the supervillain team that oppose him, the Emissaries of Evil.[10]

The second incarnation of Electro, Francine Frye, was created by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, and first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #2 (July 2014), though she did not become Electro until The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 4 #17 (October 2016).

Fictional character biography

Maxwell Dillon

Max Dillon, as he originally appears. Interior artwork from Amazing Spider-Man Annual#1 (October 1964). Art by Steve Ditko.

While Maxwell "Max" Dillon, an electrical engineer and lineman, is repairing a power line, a freak lightning accident causes a mutagenic change that transforms him into a living electrical capacitor.[11] His powers are initially weak, so he spends some time stealing electrical equipment from Stark Industries to charge himself. During this time, he is approached by Magneto, who considers him a potential recruit for his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, claiming that Dillon's power rival his own, but Dillon refuses. The following day, Dillon is confronted by a small-time thug from whom he was borrowing money to pay for the machinery he needed. When the thug draws a gun on him because he did not pay back the money yet, he responds by shooting a blast of lightning through the thug's chest—the first time Dillon ever kills anybody.[12]

Soon taking the name "Electro", he turns to a life of a professional crime, his first victim being J. Jonah Jameson. Electro breaks into the Daily Bugle Building and steals from Jameson's safe right in front of him. Jameson accuses Spider-Man of being an alternate identity of Electro, prompting Spider-Man to prove the publisher wrong. During their first ever confrontation, Spider-Man is nearly killed after touching the electrically charged villain. Spider-Man eventually uses a fire hose to short-circuit Electro while wearing rubber gloves to protect himself.[13]

Electro next confronts Daredevil for the first time when trying to break into the Baxter Building. He is again defeated.[14] Electro later joins the original Sinister Six led by Doctor Octopus, and is the first member of the group to fight Spider-Man, battling him at a Stark plant. Spider-Man enters the fight believing he lost his powers, however after dodging a bolt of electricity from Electro he realizes his powers returned. Electro loses his power when the power is cut off by Spider-Man, who gets a card from him that leads him to fight Kraven the Hunter.[15] Electro attacks the Fantastic Four at the wedding of Sue Storm and Reed Richards, under the influence of Doctor Doom's mind-control machine, but he has no memory of this due to the actions of Mister Fantastic.[16] He later recruits the Emissaries of Evil in a plot of revenge against Daredevil for previous defeats. This group consists of Gladiator, Stilt-Man, Leap-Frog, and the Matador.[17]

Electro is later hired by J. Jonah Jameson to defeat Spider-Man on national television.[18] He encounters Daredevil again in San Francisco, at which time he temporarily dons a modified costume.[19] He then takes control of a Protarian android seeking the destruction of Omega.[20] Electro then teams with Blizzard against Spider-Man and Daredevil.[21] Electro then attempts to aid a band of criminals escaping the Defenders.[22] Electro later joins the Frightful Four.[23] As part of the Frightful Four, he uses Spider-Man as bait to trap the Fantastic Four.[24] Subsequently, he battles the Falcon but is defeated, partly because he does not consider the Falcon to be a serious threat.[25] Electro later learns that he can electro-statically disrupt Spider-Man's wall-crawling ability.[26] Chameleon and Hammerhead then send the Shocker to try to recruit Electro into their organization.[27] Instead, he later accepts Doctor Octopus' invitation to rejoin the Sinister Six, and battles Spider-Man.[28]

Electro fights Spider-Man countless times, either on his own or as part of a group such as the Sinister Six. He also fights such other heroes as Daredevil, the Fantastic Four, and the New Avengers. Despite his immense power, he almost always is defeated, usually as a result of his foes outsmarting him or taking advantage of his weakness to water while charged. As a result of his frequent and often embarrassing defeats, Electro tries to take over New York City's power supply in an attempt at glory and respect. Spider-Man thwarts this plan, however, and convinces Electro to quit his criminal career. When Kaine (Spider-Man's insane clone) starts killing enemies of Spider-Man, Electro begins to fear for his life and temporarily joins Hobgoblin's(Jason Macendale) Sinister Seven, which were formed to combat Kaine. This group is quickly disbanded, and following Kaine's subsequent disappearance, Electro returns to retirement.

This changes when the Rose agrees to fund an experimental technique that can amplify Electro's abilities, in exchange for Electro's services as an enforcer. Seeing this as a chance to rise above the string of failures that made up so much of his life, Electro undergoes the procedure. After paying off his debt to the Rose by defeating several members of The True Believers (an offshoot of the ninja sect called the Hand), a group of ninja assassins who was interfering in the Rose's operations, Electro attempts to demonstrate his newly amplified powers to the world, once again attempting to take control of New York City's power supply. Wearing an insulated suit, Spider-Man stops him. Electro, in an effort to make a final grand gesture, throws himself into the Hudson River while his body is highly charged, seemingly killing himself in an explosion.

Somehow surviving, Electro resurfaces later as part of the re-formed Sinister Six, formed to kill Senator Stewart Ward and Doctor Octopus (whom the other members of the Six hate due to his arrogance). His powers seemingly reverted to their pre-amplification level, and he wears a new blue-and-white costume. When Venom betrays his fellow Sinister Six members, attempting to kill them one by one, he attacks Electro and leaves him for dead. Once again, Electro survives, and returns to his yellow-and green-costume. Electro is working with the Vulture[29] when they are attacked by Spider-Man, who thinks they kidnapped his Aunt May. Electro manages to bring Spider-Man to the edge of defeat, using his powers in more intelligent ways and blowing up a large number of cars, including some with children in them. After a devastating battle, Spider-Man defeats him by fighting him to a gas refinery.[30] The badly wounded Electro recovers and shortly afterwards joins the Sinister Twelve, assembled by the Green Goblin, though he and the rest of the team is defeated thanks to the intervention of the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Man and Yellowjacket.[31]

Electro's new look in The Amazing Spider-Man #612. Art by Paul Azaceta.

Later, separately, he is hired by the Skrull Pagon (posing as Elektra) to free Karl Lykos (also known as Sauron) from The Raft, a maximum-security prison for supervillains.[32] After causing a riot, Electro tries to run away with his waitress girlfriend, but is captured by the New Avengers, subsequently fainting when faced with the prospect of being beaten up by Luke Cage, using Spider-Man's webbing to protect himself from Electro.[33] Later, Electro joins Chameleon's "Exterminators",[3] seeking to take advantage of Peter Parker and his loved ones. During the "Civil War" storyline, Electro is among the villains in Hammerhead's unnamed villain army when Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. raid the hideout.[34] In "Secret Invasion," Electro appears as member of Hood's crime syndicate and attacks a Skrull force. After the Skrull posing as Edwin Jarvis kidnaps the baby of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four begin going after everyone who is associated with the Skrulls. Because of this, Electro is confronted by Wolverine in an alley where, after a battle, he leaves Dillon beaten and unconscious.[35]

Electro returns in issue 612 starting The Gauntlet, with a new look as his face is now scarred with lightning bolts and sporting a trench coat. The revamp was explained by writer Mark Waid, stating that artist Paul Azaceta "tweaked the design a bit, adding some burn scars to reflect Electro's current situation. As Electro gets older, as his body chemistry starts to shift into middle age, his powers are becoming more erratic and less easy for him to control. So he turns to a surprise Marvel villain – someone rarely, if ever, seen in the pages of Amazing – to level up."[36] During his appearance in "The Gauntlet", it is revealed that Electro has lost control over his powers: besides the physical disfigurement, his touch is now 100% lethal. Depressed and angry at the world because of this, Electro begins gathering other outcasts and misfits into a group known as "Power To The People", which targets right-wing newspaper baron Dexter Bennett and the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of the 2008 Financial Crisis. Electro's group manages to gain positive coverage in the media, hampering Spider-Man's ability to convince Electro's followers of his true evil nature.[37]

Electro's duplicitous nature causes him to betray his followers to align with the amoral Bennett in exchange for help finding a way to restore his powers to a controllable level. The Mad Thinker is able to come up with a process to cure Electro, but Spider-Man interferes with the process, turning Electro into an artificial electrical thunderbolt. Furious, Electro double-crosses Bennett and ultimately uses his new powers to destroy The DB building, crippling Bennett in the process. In doing so, Electro uses up so much of his newfound power that Spider-Man is able to neutralize him with his webbing.[38] In the epilogue, Electro runs into Sasha Kravinoff and Chameleon in his new jail cell.[39] In the following issue involving Sandman, it is revealed that Electro has escaped.[40] Under the orders of the Kravinoffs, he breaks the fourth Vulture out of prison.[41]

During the "Heroic Age" storyline, it is suspected by the Young Allies that Electro had a discarded and disavowed daughter named Aftershock (similar to the MC2 Universe version) who is a member of the Bastards of Evil.[42] When Young Allies members Firestar and Gravity fight Electro, he defeats them and lets them live so that they can spread the message that he does not endorse Aftershock and the Bastards of Evil's terrorism. He also says they can look up how and when he got his powers on the internet and there was no way a girl of Aftershock's age could have been conceived after he got his powers: It is impossible for him to be Aftershock's father.[43] Electro is later present at the scene where Mattie Franklin is sacrificed by Sasha Kravinoff as part of a ritual that resurrects Vladimir Kravinoff as a large humanoid lion creature.[44]

During the "Origin of the Species" storyline, Electro is among the supervillains invited by Doctor Octopus to reestablish the Sinister Six, where they are promised that they will receive a reward in exchange for securing some specific items.[45] Electro goes after Spider-Man for Menace's infant. Anticipating Spider-Man's plan to deliver the infant to a hospital, Electro waits at the nearest hospital in Spider-Man's area until Spider-Man shows up. The two begin to battle until Sandman interferes and Spider-Man tricks Electro into electrocuting Sandman, turning him into glass. Flying shards of glass hit Electro, temporarily stunning him and allowing Spider-Man to escape.[46] Spider-Man goes on an angry rampage against all the villains after the Chameleon tricks him into thinking the infant is dead. He defeats Electro in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.[47]

In the Big Time storyline, Electro becomes a member of Doctor Octopus' new Sinister Six and helps Chameleon break into an air force base in New Jersey.[48] Electro was with the Sinister Six when it came to fighting Intelligencia. During a conflict between the Intelligencia and the Sinister Six, Mad Thinker was able to briefly deactivate Electro's powers, but was caught off-guard when Electro physically attacked him instead, the surprise of the attack allowed Electro to defeat Mad Thinker.[49] During the "'Ends of the Earth" storyline despite the Sinister Six being prepared for a fight with the Avengers, Electro was the first of the team to be defeated, being hurled into the upper atmosphere by Thor while distracted by his inability to attack Spider-Man's new hi-tech armor.[50]

Electro returns to Earth and attempts to avenge himself on Thor by forcing an A.I.M. scientist to convert him to generate protons instead of electrons, but he is defeated when Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Spider-Man's body) manages to convert him into a stream of protons and traps him. Superior Spider-Man places Electro in containment next to Sandman in his hidden underwater lab.[51] Electro, Chameleon, Sandman, Mysterion, and the Vulture are later seen as part of a team led by Superior Spider-Man called the "Superior Six". Superior Spider-Man has been temporarily controlling their minds to redeem them for their crimes. He does this by forcing them to do heroic deeds against their will, some of which almost get them killed. Every time he is done controlling them, he puts them back in their containment cells.[52] They eventually break free of Superior Spider-Man's control and attempt to exact revenge on the wall-crawler, nearly destroying New York to do so.[53] With the help of Sun Girl, Superior Spider-Man is barely able to stop the Superior Six.[54] Electro is later seen battling the Punisher in Los Angeles.[55]

Sometime after Spider-Man regains his body, Electro comes into the Bar With No Name and is introduced to the Hobgoblin's servants by his friend and bartender, Deke. The villains start joking about the gloomy Electro. One mentions how Thor launched him into space, another about how "Spider-Man" made him part of the Superior Six, and yet another about how Electro was taken out by the Punisher, despite the latter's lack of powers. Electro gets angry and starts sparking, but the bartender gets the situation under control by commenting on how bad the Punisher is and with compliments like breaking so many villains out of the Raft, which earned him the respect of Crossbones and Count Nefaria. This does not stop the others, however. Determined to get respect, Electro heads back over to the Raft, ready for another breakout despite the Green Goblin having done the same just recently and the fact that it was re-christened as Spider-Island II. Electro sends a blot of electricity around, but it grows excessively big and he cannot turn it off. He finally exhausts all of his power but when this happens, he passes out and many of the villains he tried to break out are now dead. Vowing revenge, Electro soon realizes what caused this to happen to him: experiments conducted by "Spider-Man".[56]

Electro later visits his friend, Francine Frye, and keeps his distance because of his uncontrollable powers. Francine starts to kiss Electro, only to end up dying from electrocution.[57] At Peter Parker's behest, Parker Industries is testing out an anti-Electro netting that can capture Electro.[58] Electro is later seen with Black Cat when they raid Eel's hideout where Electro defeats Eel. Electro and Black Cat later crash the meeting between Mister Negative and Phil Urich (who is leading the remnants of the Goblin Underground as the self-proclaimed Goblin King) where they throw Eel's body into the area where the meeting is. During Peter Parker's interview on the Fact Channel, Electro attacks the security team on the channel and the Black Cat arrives, announcing her demand that if Spider-Man does not show up in 15 minutes, Peter Parker will be dead. Electro complains about the plan but Black Cat stays determined that Spider-Man will show up, but then Silk arrives to confront them both, giving Peter the time to change into Spider-Man and jump into action, aiding Silk. As she battles against Electro and Spider-Man deals with Black Cat, J. Jonah Jameson remains on the channel forcing the cameraman to film the action. Electro fails to stop Silk, but the Black Cat redirects one of Electro's bolts into hitting Spider-Man, knocking him down in the process.[59]

Electro pressures Sajani into telling him how effective the anti-Electro traps will be in removing his powers, but the Black Cat interrupts their talk to ask her how the device works. They both infiltrate the demonstration, suiting Electro into the "Fake Electro" costume while Black Cat disguises herself as one of the operators. Black Cat starts the machine, further enhancing Electro's power, only to be interrupted by Spider-Man and Silk. Electro tries to escape but his insulated webbing protects him by allowing Silk to cover Electro with her webbing. Black Cat changes the plan, using the wiring to overload Electro by putting his powers way out of control, shooting his lightning bolts against the helicopter. Silk saves the helicopter and Spider-Man jumps into the machine, using his webbing to cover Electro to take him out of there. Electro asks to let go, but Spider-Man remains determined to hold him until they are both saved by Silk who pulls them out of the machine and away from the explosion which failed to kill Spider-Man as Black Cat wanted and she escapes. However, Electro was apparently de-powered and taken into custody.[60]

As part of the "All-New, All-Different Marvel", a de-powered Max Dillon is shown as an inmate at Andry Corrections Facility alongside Lizard. Upon being sprung out of the prison by Rhino, he meets a mysterious red-suited man who offers to restore Electro's powers in exchange for his services.[61] Jackal and Lizard work on the procedure that would re-power Maxwell Dillon. When Dillon was reluctant to go through with the procedure, Jackal brings in a woman who Dillon recognizes as Francine Frye minus the piercings and tattoos that are on her body. Dillon agrees to go ahead with the procedure.[62] The Jackal cloned Francine from DNA taken from her charred cheek. Francine observes the Jackal's attempt to restore Dillon's powers, but the experiment fails, charging his suit but not his body. Unexpectedly, the DNA in Dillon's saliva that was mixed in with Francine's own DNA attracts the electrical energy to Francine. Desiring more, Francine leans in to kiss Dillon and kills him in the process while absorbing his powers as the resulting action burns Dillon's body.[63]

Upon building a special machine, Doctor Octopus resurrects Electro with his powers intact as Kindred comments on Electro's abilities while stating that Doctor Octopus is getting closer to his true self.[64] Doctor Octopus and Electro find Kraven the Hunter in the Savage Land hunting a dinosaur. Electro shocks the dinosaur as Doctor Octopus is instructed by Kindred to entice Kraven the Hunter by quoting "The best way to entice your fourth recruit is to offer him your fifth".[65]

Electro was among the villains who were captured by Ultra Living Brain. After Spider-Man defeated the Sinister Six-type Super-Adaptoid, Ultra Living Brain teleported the villains away.[66]

Electro fought Spider-Man again where the fight affected Spider-Man's spider-senses. During the battle, Spider-Man's long-lost sidekick Spider-Boy showed up. To Spider-Man's surprise, Spider-Boy revealed his fangs that he used to subject Electro to his paralyzing venom. Then Spider-Boy advised Spider-Man to web him up for the police and leave a "Courtesy of Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man" notice like he always does.[67]

Francine Frye

The second Electro, Francine Frye, in the cover of The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 4, #17, art by Alex Ross.

Debuting in The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #2 (July 2014) Francine Frye is a woman who is a fan of supervillains. At some point, she befriended Electro. At the time when Electro was losing control of his abilities, she was visited by him. When attempting to kiss Electro, Francine died from electrocution.[57]

Jackal later revived her as a clone, lacking her piercings and tattoos. She was summoned by the new Jackal to help persuade Electro to go through with the procedure that would repower him.[62] It turned out that Electro's saliva was mixed in with Francine's DNA, which led to her kissing Dillon enough to kill him and becoming the second Electro. She later encountered Prowler, at the time when he infiltrated New U Technologies. During the chase, Electro accidentally caused the apparent death of Prowler causing Jackal to make a clone of him.[63]

During the "Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy" storyline, Francine assists Rhino in attacking Spider-Man when he infiltrates New U Technologies. Both of them are defeated.[68] When Prowler has not returned from his mission to Alcatraz, the villains he cloned start fighting again enough for Jackal to send Francine to have Madame Web's clone find Prowler. Francine shocks the answers out of Madame Web's clone as Julia Carpenter feels it on her end. After Julia Carpenter escapes, Francine confronts Prowler as his body starts failing.[69] Prowler tries to escape Francine's wrath in Alcatraz, which proves difficult with her powers and his dying body. Using his weapons, the gift shop, and his strategic thinking, Prowler manages to defeat the simple-minded Francine.[70]

When Jackal's police contact Chief Anderson tells him about where the clone of Gwen Stacy is, Jackal sends Rhino and Electro to Horizon University. When they retrieve the Gwen Stacy clone, she tells them to bring Kaine due to his encounter with the Carrion virus that might help in Jackal's research. Anna Marie Marconi persuades them to bring her along too since she also studied Kaine and the drug. Both villains agree to the terms.[71] Electro later assists Doctor Octopus into fighting Spectro, following his failed attempt to make off with a test subject, where she is able to knock him out.[72]

Alongside Kaine, Electro was being studied by Doctor Octopus to find out how to perfect the "Proto Clone". When Spider-Woman of Earth-65 tries to free Kaine, she is attacked by Electro.[73] When Spider-Woman of Earth-65 leaves Prowler in an alley when he proves too weak to continue, he is found by Electro. Julia Carpenter arrives and fends Electro off as she tells Prowler that Spider-Man has stabilized the human and clone cells. When Electro gets the upper hand on Julia, Prowler sacrifices himself to stop Electro and dies in Julia's arms.[74] Electro is one of the few clones that was able to survive the inverse frequency and got away.[75][76]

Electro later appears as a member of the Sinister Six (consisting of Hobgoblin, Bombshell, Spot and Sandman) led by Aaron Davis in a recolored Iron Spider armor. She accompanied them in their mission to steal a decommissioned S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.[77] During the "Hunted" storyline, Electro was seen as a patron at the Pop-Up with No Name.[78] Mayor Wilson Fisk's operatives later freed Electro and she was recruited to join an all-female incarnation of the Sinister Syndicate.[79] When Francine recaps to Janice how she got her powers, she learns that Janice is Tombstone's daughter. After meeting its members, Electro was reluctant to join with them until she hears from Janice that their first mission given to them by Mayor Wilson Fisk to target Boomerang. This is enough to convince Electro to join as she asks them to put her down for two vegan cheeseburgers. The Sinister Syndicate begins their mission where they attack the F.E.A.S.T. building that Boomerang is volunteering at.[80]

Boomerang tries to reason with Beetle and Electro who are still mad at him for betraying him. After getting Aunt May to safety, Peter Parker changes into Spider-Man and helps Boomerang fight the Syndicate. The Syndicate starts doing their formation until Spider-Man accidentally sets off Boomerang's gaserang which knocks out Spider-Man enough for the Syndicate to make off with Boomerang. As Beetle has Electro write a proposal on how the Syndicate can use Boomerang as an example to the criminal underworld, Beetle leave while calling Wilson Fisk that they caught Boomerang as she is given the information on where the exchange can happen.[81]

When Beetle returns to the headquarters, Electro is present when Mayor Wilson Fisk brings the full force of New York City to their headquarters demanding that they surrender Boomerang to him. When Spider-Man arrives to reason with Mayor Fisk, Electro claims that Spider-Man is buying them some time. The Syndicate then assists Spider-Man against Mayor Fisk's forces. After Spider-Man evacuates Boomerang, the Syndicate fights Mayor Fisk's forces while not killing them. The Syndicate is defeated and arrested by the police. Their transport is then attacked by an unknown assailant who frees them.[82]

During the "Sinister War" storyline, Electro is with the Sinister Syndicate when they discuss adding Ana Kravinoff to their ranks until they are abducted by Kindred's giant centipedes. Kindred offers them and the other villains the opportunity to take down Spider-Man and punish him for his sins. Electro and the rest of the Sinister Syndicate intercept Overdrive who is carrying Spider-Man away from Foreigner's group.[83]

During the "Devil's Reign" storyline, Electro is among the characters that Mayor Wilson Fisk recruited to be part of his Thunderbolts units so that they can help the NYPD crack down on superhuman vigilantism. She assists Agony, Rhino, and U.S. Agent in taking down Moon Knight.[84]

After Fisk is ousted as Mayor and replaced by Luke Cage, Electro joins Agent Gao's Cape Killers in exchange for a lighter sentence as seen during the "Carnage Reigns" storyline.[85]

Electro was with the Sinister Syndicate when they took Janice Lincoln out for a bachelorette party.[86]

During the "Gang War", Electro joins the Syndicate to support Janice instead of rejoining the Cape Killers. They raid one of Diamondback's territories only to find Rose and Digger there having defeated some of Diamondback's men before their arrival.[87] Electro and the rest of the Sinister Syndicate fight Rose and Digger until some armored soldiers showed up with one of them quoting "Light 'em up"![88] The armored soldiers are revealed to be working for Wilson Fisk as they take Rose away leaving Digger behind. When Madame Masque appears in Beetle's lair, Beetle tells the rest of the Sinister Syndicate to give her a minute. Electro leaves to go take care of some business in the Bronx.[89] When in the Bronx, Electro has a fight with Mary Jane Watson in her Jackpot outfit. She manages to escape by damaging a nearby bridge.[90] Electro joined the rest of the Sinister Syndicate, Digger, and some gangs when it comes to face off against Madame Masque and the Maggia in Central Park.[89] During the fight in Central Park, Electro and Lady Octopus face off against Shotgun and Rabble as Spider-Man and his allies arrive.[91] As Tombstone order White Rabbit to have the Sinister Syndicate and those on their side to pull out of Central Park, Electro helps Trapstr immobilize She-Hulk and then zaps Spider-Man on their way out.[92]

Powers and abilities

An unusually configured magnetic field is created when Max Dillon is struck by lightning while holding live, high-tension wires and a wound reel of one-inch cable, granting him superhuman powers. Electro can generate massive quantities of electricity, up to approximately 100,000 volts.[citation needed] He can employ this electrostatic energy as lightning arcs from his fingertips, and his maximum charge is more than enough to kill a normal human. When his body is charged to high levels, he becomes superhumanly strong and fast. He can also glide over power lines by using the electricity contained therein for propulsion, and he has on occasion been shown to actually ride on lightning bolts.

During a stint in prison, Doctor Octopus gave him the ideas of ionizing metals and sparking the petroleum in the fuel tanks of vehicles as a way to generate explosions. He can charge himself up to make himself more powerful. He can also absorb the energy of electrical equipment such as a power plant to increase his powers further. In New Avengers, he was shown to fly and manipulate large amounts of electricity and machinery, when he freed all the prisoners at Ryker's Island.[volume & issue needed]

An experimental procedure heightens his powers, allowing Electro to store and absorb a seemingly limitless amount of electricity. He also seems to gain the power over magnetism to a certain degree, allowing him to manipulate magnetic fields and move objects in a manner similar to that of Magneto, and can overcome his old weakness to water by using the electromagnetic fields around him to vaporize water before it can touch him. He makes Spider-Man beg by stimulating the bioelectric currents in his brain, and is able to defeat Nate Grey by manipulating said currents in Nate's brain to turn his own psionic powers against him.

Electro can override any electrically powered device and manipulate it according to his mental commands. By using an external electrical power source to recharge his body's energy reserves, Electro can expend electricity indefinitely without diminishing his personal reserves. When he is fully charged, Electro is extremely sensitive to anything that may "short circuit" him, such as water. Electro propels himself along magnetic lines of force in objects that have great electrical potential, such as high-tension electrical lines. He can also create electrostatic bridges to traverse upon, at the cost of a great expenditure of energy.

During the events of the storyline "The Gauntlet", Electro becomes a living artificial thunderbolt, allowing him to travel through electrical appliances such as going through a light bulb and exiting through any other electronic device connected to the power source.[volume & issue needed] He is also able to transmit himself over Spider-Man's web line.[volume & issue needed]


During an interview with Newsarama about The Gauntlet and Grim Hunt, Mark Waid claimed that the character of Electro is "one of the smart criminals who was saving what he's been stealing from banks and savings and loans". He also described Electro as the "anti-bailout guy".[93]

A Comics Bulletin review published by Ray Tate of Young Allies #2 described Electro's appearance in that issue as "a punk with a gimmick". He also claimed that the character "never harbored a pathological hatred of Spider-Man", and that he instead "developed a healthy loathing for Spidey because the Wall Crawler frequently interfered with his sole goal of larceny". Ray believes that Electro "isn't a wanton psychopath", but a "bank robber with electrical powers", and that he is "not nuts" but "a felon". These remarks show that Electro's character is received not as being mentally ill, but simply a thieving villain.[94]

In 2009, Electro was ranked as IGN's 87th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[7]

In 2022, Screen Rant ranked Electro 6th in their "10 Most Powerful Silk Villains In Marvel Comics" list.[95]

Other versions

House of M

In the House of M reality, Electro is one of Rhino's friends (along with Vulture and Ox) who helped him attack and detain the Green Goblin for ruining the best chance at a good life Rhino ever had.[96]

Marvel 1602

In Marvel 1602, Electro is a member of the Sinister Sextet, the dimension's Sinister Six. The Web Warriors (alternate versions of Spider-Man) visited the 1602 Universe to deal with the Sinister Sextet. After apprehending the villains, they noticed the dimension's Electro has escaped, unbeknownst to the heroes, followed them back to the Great Web.[97]

Marvel 2099

When Miguel O'Hara finds himself in an alternate version of 2099 after being trapped in the past, he encounters a 2099 version of the Sinister Six, which includes an android that calls itself "Electro" after it gained sentience and electromagnetic powers in a lightning strike.[98] After the battle against the rebels led by Spider-Man, concluded with the death of the former leader of the Sinister Six, Goblin 2099 (who was actually Father Jennifer D'Angelo, an undercover member of the resistance), Electro and the other members of the Sinister Six are recruited by Venture as members of the terrorist organization the Fist in the year 2016.[99]

Electro is later sent to bring defector Sonny Frisco back to the Fist's base. It follows him through Parker Industries and, defeating Captain America along the way, almost kills Sonny before Spider-Man captures Electro using wooden shields to deny its power.[100] It is then taken and imprisoned in Miguel's private laboratory, where Electro is led to believe that Lyla, Miguel's holographic assistant, freed it and joined its crusade to start a robotic revolution. After revealing the date of the Fist's attack in New York, the simulation ends and Lyla disables Electro.[101]

Marvel Noir

The Marvel Noir version of Electro is introduced in the first issue of Spider-Man Noir (2020).[102] Unlike his Earth-616 counterpart, this version of Electro is stocky and muscular with a thick mustache, and his namesake, however, comes from a circular pattern of dense Tesla coils strapped to his back. He also wields a lightning rod like a lightsaber, with blinding bolts of electricity coursing through both it and the aforementioned Tesla coils.[103] Electro is first seen attacking Peter Parker at his aunt's house, but he is clocked out by Mary Jane Watson and forced to retreat.[102] Electro is later shown fighting Spider-Man at the Neues Museum in Berlin (where he had previously killed Dr. Heinrich Hellstrom),[104] but flees to retreat when Byron Ironsides throws a pack of explosives at him. Electro then proceedes to Istanbul, where he drains the power from half of the city.[105]

As he and his employer Huma Bergmann reach the Temple of Inanna in Uruk, Babylon, the proximity to the M'kraan Crystal inside affects Electro, causing him to increase in size and strength while his features become progressively more deformed.[106] Inside the Temple, he confronts Spider-Man and Hu-Ri, throwing her and the Cicada Stone at the door to the Tomb of Heaven. The door opens a gateway to the Underworld, which causes both Electro and Spider-Man to fall into the Underworld itself. There, Electro is restored to his normal self, but is eaten whole by Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld.[107]

Marvel Zombies Return

In Marvel Zombies Return, Electro appears as a member of the Sinister Six that battles the reality-jumping zombie Spider-Man. When the zombified Spider-Man is behind him, he was bitten on the hand. Then Electro becomes headless and infected, later helping his fellow members devour Peter Parker's friends. Angered and devastated, the zombie Spider-Man then obliterates his body for what he and the team has done when his arm is snapped off and Spider-Man uses his powers against him.[108]


In the MC2 alternate future, Electro has a daughter, Allison Dillon, who is emotionally troubled over never having had a stable father-figure in her life and becomes the supervillain Aftershock.[109] She had inherited her father's powers, but because Dillon and Allison's electrical auras are different, the slightest touch causes them intense pain. When Dillon discovers his daughter is following in his footsteps, he asks Spider-Man for help. Spider-Man, Spider-Girl, and the Avengers help subdue Aftershock. When Dillon shows up, father and daughter vow to overcome their pain, and Max promises to be a better father.[110]

Old Man Logan

On Earth-807128, an area of Amerika called Electroville was named after Electro after the villains eliminated the superheroes.[111]

In the pages of Old Man Logan that took place on Earth-21923, Electro was among the villains that came together to eliminate every superhero. He accompanied Enchantress in fighting She-Hulk, Daredevil, and Moon Knight in Manhattan. Electro shocked Moon Knight into unconsciousness before being shot in the head by Punisher. Kraven the Hunter later stabbed Punisher in the back and avenged Electro. The part with an area being called Electroville remains intact.[112]

Spider-Man: Reign

In the Spider-Man: Reign reality, Electro is one of the villains released by Edward to destroy Spider-Man; he is killed by Spider-Man after being knocked into Hydro-Man (who also dies) causing him to short circuit.[113]

Spider-Man: The Manga

In Spider-Man: The Manga, Electro is Shiraishi, a mechanic who falls into massive debt after he accidentally hits a child with his car, leaving the boy permanently disabled. Desperate for money, Shiraishi takes on a number of odd jobs (the last of which he robs) before being contacted by the handicapped boy's father, a professor researching high-voltage emission technology. Shiraishi agrees to be a test subject for the professor's experiments, and is given superhuman abilities through "electrification devices" he is implanted with. The professor convinces Shiraishi, who is dubbed "Electro" by the media, to use his electrokinesis to rob banks, but the professor begins to have second thoughts when Shiraishi's greed proves insatiable, and he begins to murder people who get in his way.

While robbing a department store, due to the banks now being too heavily guarded, Electro is challenged by the new hero Spider-Man. During his battle with Spider-Man, Electro accidentally kills the professor, the only person who knows how to remove his powers, which leave him unable to touch any living thing without shocking them. The distraught and enraged Electro is then fatally punched by Spider-Man, and before dying explains his origin, and has his mask removed to reveal that he is the missing brother of Spider-Man's friend, Rumiko, who Spider-Man was trying to get money for by claiming the reward offered to anyone who could defeat Electro.[114]


In Spider-Verse, a version of Electro is a member of the Six Men of Sinestry of the dimension Earth-803. Set in the year 1895, Dillion caused a blackout to enable the group to execute their move in stealing the mayor's plan and after a battle with Lady Spider, was forced to retreat after they were overwhelmed yet they were able to accomplish their mission.[115]

This Electro went on to start a chain of events that led to an army of Electros attempting to traverse the multiverse in opposition to the Spider-Army, led by a Mike Dillon (The Battery)[116] from a world where he used his command of electricity to become a major world leader. This Electro attempted to control the others by transforming himself into an electricity-based life-form, absorbing the power of one in ten of the other Electros gathered by his army on Earth-1082,[117] while using assorted dimensionally displaced Doctor Octopuses as his "Think Tank".[118] However, the Spider-Army were eventually able to trick the Electros into attacking them in Earth-803 – a 'steampunk' Earth with no available electricity for them to draw on – and containing them in a vast Faraday cage made of specially treated webbing.[119]

Ultimate Marvel

Ultimate Electro. Art by Mark Bagley

The Ultimate Marvel incarnation of Electro has been reimagined with powers gained from experimentation by Justin Hammer. Unlike his mainstream counterpart, this version is bald, wears a black leather outfit, and has some grotesque burn scars. He is sold by Hammer to the Kingpin in exchange for a real estate development contract.[120] When Spider-Man breaks into Kingpin's office, Electro electrocutes him and he, the Enforcers, and Kingpin unmask him, revealing him to be a teenager. They decide to throw him out a window, but Spider-Man returns and defeats him.[121]

Three weeks later, Electro wakes from his coma and escapes from federal custody, murdering several people in the process. He also becomes a being of pure electricity, due to losing his containment suit. The Ultimates members Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Widow arrive and re-apprehend him wanting to ask how he illegally tampered with his genetic structure. Electro is placed in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody along with Sandman, Doctor Octopus and Norman Osborn as Nick Fury states that they have been detained for illegally tampering with their genetic structures. Electro and the other villains meet Kraven the Hunter after he had been apprehended for the same illegal genetic structure tampering he did. The five supervillains escape and become the Ultimate Six. They attack S.H.I.E.L.D. and manage to capture Spider-Man. They tie him to a chair, torture and humiliate him, and force him to join them. In a battle with the Ultimates on the White House lawn, Thor defeats Electro. While incarcerated, Electro claims to the people guarding him that he was biding his time to attack Osborn.[122]

Electro eventually escapes and is hired by Bolivar Trask to gauge Venom's power. Electro leads Venom on a chase throughout Manhattan when Spider-Man appears. Electro knocks Spider-Man out and tries to kill him, but Venom attacks Electro, trying to take Electro's opportunity to kill the fallen hero. Venom defeats Electro by destroying the neon signs that Electro is feeding on. When S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives Venom flees, and Electro is once again brought into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. The Green Goblin later breaks Electro out of the supervillain prison within the Ultimates' headquarters, the Triskelion, in exchange for Electro's alliance when needed.[123] Electro goes to Osborn's penthouse to wait for instructions where he is disturbed by Spider-Man. He attempts to flee and gets involved in a fight both with Spider-Man and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. He is eventually brought down and is assumed to be back in custody.[124]

Alongside the rest of the Ultimate Six who are now joined by Vulture, Electro plays a role in the "Death of Spider-Man" storyline. Norman breaks him and the rest out of the Triskelion and wishes for them to kill Peter Parker.[125] After Doctor Octopus tries to leave the group and is killed by Green Goblin, the remaining five (Electro, Green Goblin, Sandman, Kraven and Vulture) go to Parker's home in Queens. There a fight ensues between the Five and both Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake. The two heroes are defeated, with Electro himself defeating Iceman by sending a jolt of electricity through his ice, but not before Johnny manages to knock Osborn out. Peter then arrives, wearing his Spider-Man costume but no mask, and proceeds to fight the four remaining members. After a pitched battle, Electro is about to deliver the killing shot on the beaten and exhausted Peter. But before he can strike, Electro is shot three times from behind by Aunt May. He 'short circuits' in a massive electrical surge, taking out Kraven, Sandman and Vulture.[126]

Later, Electro is shown to have survived the shooting, and is being held in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Electro is able to power up and attempt an escape after being improperly sedated by a S.H.I.E.L.D. nurse. After taking down the Ultimates, Electro fights Nick Fury and the new Spider-Man (Miles Morales), thinking Miles is the original and angry that he is still alive. Morales stuns Electro by hitting him with a hurled crate, then Fury shoots him to end the threat.[127] Electro later resurfaces, fighting Sabretooth over something relating to Norman Osborn. The two are broken up and defeated by Miles, with help from Cloak and Dagger.[128]

In other media


Electro as he appears in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series
Electro as he appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man


Jamie Foxx as Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Video games



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