|The Amazing Spider-Man #73 (June 1969)
|Stan Lee (writer)
John Buscema (artist)
Silvermane (Silvio Manfredi) is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. A notorious crime boss and prominent figure in the Maggia, a fictional organized crime syndicate, he is usually depicted as an adversary of the superhero Spider-Man and the father of Joseph Manfredi. Silvermane later became a cyborg in an attempt to extend his lifespan.
The character has made appearances in several forms of media outside of comics, including animated series and video games.
He first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #73 and was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema.
The character's original storyline was about a mysterious stone tablet coveted by several Spider-Man villains. The "Tablet Saga" proved popular, although artist John Romita, Sr. said that it was not originally intended as an arc: "We never even thought up Silvermane until the seventh issue [of the story arc], let alone a 'socko' ending."
Silvio Manfredi, nicknamed "Silvermane" for his near-white hair, is a professional criminal originally from Corleone, Sicily that started his criminal career as a racketeer in the Maggia, eventually forming his own crime family and becoming a powerful Maggia Don.
In his first appearance, an elderly Silvermane forced Curt Connors to make a potion from an ancient clay tablet to grant himself immortality. He first crossed paths with Connors' alter-ego, the Lizard, and Spider-Man during this scheme. Drinking the serum made Silvermane younger, but its effects caused him to de-age further and further until he was an infant before completely disappearing. Silvermane eventually reappeared, revealing that he had mystically aged to his forties. He started a new career and again quickly rose through the Maggia's ranks until he regained control of his family, the sought to form an alliance with Hydra, determined to take over the world as their leader, the Supreme Hydra. He was defeated by Daredevil, Nick Fury, and S.H.I.E.L.D. Silvermane reappeared in New York in an attempt to unite all of New York's gangs under his leadership and take over the criminal underworld, but his plans were complicated by the Green Goblin, who opposed him. During a confrontation between the Goblin, Silvermane and Spider-Man, Silvermane fell from a great height but survived.
Silvermane has worked with many super-villains, such as Hammerhead, and he has also been known to be a rival of the Kingpin, even once trying to assassinate the crime lord while he was suffering from amnesia. His former partner, Dominic Tyrone, assumed the identity of the Rapier and sought vengeance against Silvermane for betraying him by attempting to take his life. A flashback one-shot focused heavily on Silvermane's lifetime of corruption and crime, going back to his early career in Italy. The framework was reporter Ben Urich investigating the background of the Maggia. He learned that Silvermane was a legendary criminal figure for decades; mothers would even warn their children to behave or "One-Eye" would get them.
In his old age, Silvermane's injuries caused his youth serum to wear off, rendering him an invalid. Though bedridden, he continued to run his criminal empire until Dagger nearly killed him. Silvermane attempted to prolong his life by transforming himself into a cyborg. Kingpin gained control of his cyborg body until Dagger restored his life energy to him. His cyborg body was badly damaged by the first Jack O'Lantern during a gang war between Hammerhead and the Kingpin. Silvermane used a remote-controlled android doppelganger to battle Spider-Man. This was part of an attempt to boost the power of his remaining organic parts by harvesting new ones from Spider-Man's body. He attempted to drain his nemesis's radioactive blood to power a new, much stronger cyborg body. Silvermane also confronted Deathlok and the Punisher while setting up a major drug operation outside a grammar school. Even though he is no longer technically human, he has continued to remain active in the Maggia.
Silvermane attempted to take part in a meetup of various criminal warlords, during a time when Wilson Fisk had fallen from power. The meeting's goal was to divide up Fisk's territory and assets, but it did not go well. Silvermane was caught in the crossfire between the Secret Empire's forces and the Punisher. This was purely by coincidence as he was simply staying at the same motel as Punisher was. Silvermane used the resources of his personal semi-trailer and the cyborg bodies stored within to battle his way through the attackers and escape.
It was revealed some time later that Silvermane was killed during a shootout with Owl's gang at a New York City scrap yard. He was picked up by a magnet and dropped into a garbage compactor, crushing him to death and leaving his already weakened criminal syndicate without a leader. Months later, he apparently returns along with other deceased members of his gang during the Maggia's losing battle with the forces of Mister Negative. However, this is later revealed to be a ruse orchestrated by a mobster named Carmine: "Silvermane" is actually a lifelike robotic duplicate controlled by a hired Mysterio to give Carmine more influence within the Maggia and position him to take over. The tables are turned on Carmine when Mysterio uses the duplicate to murder him, seemingly as a plot to take over the Maggia himself.
Silvermane's head is shown to still be alive as it was found by a young boy when he traveled into the scrap yard, before then being stolen by the Shocker. The head is used as leverage by The Superior Foes of Spider-Man to take control of the Maggia, but the team members turn on each other when it comes time to decide who will actually be in charge. Shocker protects Silvermane from Punisher. In return, the crime boss nominates him as his successor to head the Maggia.
Silvermane is among the crime lords competing with Mister Negative in obtaining the Tablet of Life and Destiny to win the favor of Mayor Wilson Fisk.
During the "Gang War" storyline, Silverman and Count Nefaria talk about the upcoming gang war. In a turn of events, Silvermane loses control of his robotic body and attacks Count Nefaria. Then Silvermane's body removes his head as Silvermane recognizes the person responsible for this attack. When Hammerhead's men arrive and confront Madame Masque, Silvermane's head and Count Nefaria are shown in the arms of Shotgun as he throws them to the ground. When Madame Masque states that Hammerhead's men have to follow an oath, Silvermane's head states that Madame Masque is now the new leader of the Maggia. Silvermane's head was present when Shotgun told Madame Masque a status report of the gang wars. Though Silvermane's head was annoyed that he was used as a paperweight. When the Maggia confronts Beetle, the Sinister Syndicate, Digger, and the gangs that are on Beetle's side, Silvermane was seen under a mind-control spell which is the same spell used on Count Nefaria and Shotgun.
Silvermane was considered to be one of the Maggia's most legendary bosses. He is an excellent unarmed combatant and marksman, as well as a brilliant planner, organizer, and strategist. The magic potions he uses temporarily grant him a form of immortality, appearing in his early-to-mid 40s.
His preferred weapons are numerous machine guns, especially the Thompson .45 caliber.
Later, Silvermane's brain, vital organs, and head were transplanted into a robotic body, thus increasing his physical attributes to abnormal levels. However, his remaining biological parts needs careful protection because of their extreme vulnerability.
Silvermane appeared in the House of M reality, portrayed as a younger crime boss and one of dozens of mobsters captured by the NYPD's elite Brotherhood unit.
The Ultimate Marvel version of Silvermane had a brief cameo. With Wilson Fisk lying low due to legal problems, Silvermane, his chief rival, decided to work with fellow mobster Hammerhead to remove the Kingpin from power. He told Hammerhead that all he needed was a little "up here" (referring to his intelligence). Hammerhead, however, wasn't interested in sharing power, breaking Silvermane's neck while saying "I think I got enough up here already." Silvermane was also mentioned as a leader of a mob family which included Hammerhead and that he owed a debt to Nathaniel Essex. The Ultimate incarnation's real name is shown in the Daily Bugle as Allan Silvermane, though this is likely an alias as he is also referred to as Silvio Manfredi.
Silvermane appears in the novel Spider-Man: Forever Young, written by Stefan Petrucha. The details of the tablet story are retold, with some elements being updated or changed, such as Silvermane displaying a disdain for personal electronic devices due to their lack of security as well as the Kingpin being left in a coma due to the shock of learning that his son was the masked criminal, the Schemer. The novel picks up two years after the original storyline, with Silvermane now fluctuating between being a child and adult as he attempts to force Curt Connors and Spider-Man to retrieve the tablet and stabilize his condition. Even after Connors's research asserts that the tablet essentially cycles someone through their reincarnations in one lifetime to try to achieve true karma, Silvermane refuses to accept this and attempts to blackmail Spider-Man to help him after deducing his true identity. Spider-Man eventually confronts Silvermane in the latter's church hideout. The ensuing battle ends with an enraged Silvermane burning the church down to try to kill Spider-Man, though his ultimate fate is left unclear.
[Man Mountain Marko] wasn't the biggest threat the web-slinger would face in this issue. That honor went to Silvermane, an elderly crime boss intent on regaining his youth.