Leopold Stryke was an aquarium caretaker, an expert in the care of marine life that began a life of crime while working in the museum. After a short time of small thefts, he had built a small fortune, which he used to develop the original Eel costume and a helicopter. The Eel broke into the laboratory of an inventor named Charles Lawson with his hydraulic power-ram from his helicopter. The Eel entered the facility and stole a cased marked Project X. Professor Lawson informed the police that the Eel stole a miniature radioactive pile that could unleash an atomic blast if the lever was pulled down when the device was exposed to air. Johnny Storm heard the catastrophic dilemma on the radio and looked for the Eel as the Human Torch. The Eel dropped the device in the woods when he came into conflict with the Human Torch. The Eel flamed out the Human Torch with his aqua attractor gun but Storm tackled Stryke anyway. During the skirmish, the Eel shocked Storm but all it did was reactivate his molecular flame. The Human Torch melted the aqua gun and the Eel was apprehended by the police.
The Eel was created by Stan Lee and Dick Ayers in 1963 and first appeared in Strange Tales # 112.
Edward Lavell took the mantle of the Eel from the deceased Leopold Stryke, and has upgraded his armor and technology to enhance his criminal lifestyle. Lavel is an expert of technology, but he does not like to utilize it for killing of people. This is his motivation to stay in Maggia. Lavell does hate that Hammerhead obligates himself to kill people, so he sometimes combines with or makes alliances with some heroes to stop Hammerhead.
Major Story Arcs
Fellowship of Fear
Mr. Fear would persuade the Eel and the Ox to be his underlings with the use of his gas pellets from his fear gun to form the Fellowship of Fear.
Count Nefaria hired the Eel, Scarecrow, Unicorn, Plant Man and Porcupine to join the Maggia and serve as his lieutenants. They were ordered to capture the X-Men and were successful with there task. The Eel and Porcupine managed to take down Iceman and Cyclops where they were all shackled and held prisoner. Count Nefaria offered them to join the Maggia but they refused so Nefaria continued with his outrageous plan to steal the capitol of the United States. Count Nefaria wanted special large denomination certificates worth a hundred million placed in a briefcase and forced the X-Men to do his dirty work and deliver it to him at the capitol. The Eel and the rest of the lieutenants decided to no longer follow Count Nefaria and take the briefcase for themselves. The Eel and his partners fought the X-Men for the briefcase where he forced Marvel Girl to drop the briefcase when he blinded her with an electric flash. However, Unicorn betrayed the Eel and shot him with his blaster when he attempted to retrieve the briefcase. The Army arrived and the Eel managed to elude capture and escaped with Porcupine, Plant Man and the Scarecrow.
Acts of Vengeance
Eel would be one of many super-powered criminals that attack the Fantastic Four during the Acts of Vengeance. Eel disguises himself in a trench coat and hat as members of the Fantastic Four testify in front of Congress. Eel, Thunderball, Mad Dog and Vanisher remove their coats and attack the Fantastic Four. Eel is tackled by Johnny Storm but he quickly recovers and begins to shock him. Eel is taken out when Mr. Fantastic sprays him with a fire hose and short circuits his suit. The rest of the villains are easily defeated and Eel is taken into custody by the police.
Mob lawyer Caesar Cicero wanted more power in order to advance in the Maggia so he hired the Eel and Man Mountain Marko to steal the ancient Lifeline Tablet as it was being displayed at a New York museum. Peter Parker was in attendance because he was taking photos for the Daily Bugle when Marko stole the Lifeline Tablet. Parker changed into Spider-Man and gave chase but the Eel managed to elude capture and successfully bring the tablet to his boss, Cicero inside his estate on Long Island. Suddenly the roof collapsed onto Marko when the mercenary known as Boomerang entered the room. Boomerang snatched the tablet away from Cicero so the Eel attacked but he was stuck to the wall when he was struck by the mercenary's glueme-rang. Boomerang brought the tablet to the man who hired him which turned out to be the current boss of the Maggia, Hammerhead. The next morning, Spider-Man was surveying Cicero's estate when he saw the Eel enter his car after he told his boss that he would steal back the Lifeline fragments. Spider-Man placed a tracer on his car which led to Hammerhead's Brooklyn base of operations. The Eel eluded security cameras as he scaled his way to the roof where he took out several henchmen. Spider-Man appeared and webbed the Eel's feet to the rooftop and knocked him out with one punch.
Eel agrees to register under the Superhuman Registration Act and becomes a member of the Thunderbolts instead of facing jail time. The Thunderbolts had to fight off cities filled with civilians who were suddenly empowered when the Grandmaster opened up the Wellspring of Power. The Thunderbolts army were broken up into numerous squads and sent to various locations throughout the world. The Chicago based squad consisted of Eel, Porcupine, Whirlwind, Doctor Octopus, X-Ray, Unicorn, Quicksand and Boomerang which was responsible of maintaining order in the Windy City.
Abilities & Paraphernalia
The Eel suit had an electrified chest prod and was coated in a slippery silicone (or, sometimes asbestos) which allowed him to slip easily from the grip of enemies. He also armed himself with several weapons which he stole from inventor Charles Lawson. These weapons included the Eel Cannon and the Aqua-Attractor gun.