Born as Tyler Smithson, the Extremist was a boy whose mother had a rare form of Munchausen syndrome that made her believe her son was a mutant. She therefore attempted to enroll him in Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Despite her repeated applications and insistent claims, Professor Xavier ultimately denied Tyler entrance to his school due to the fact that he could find no indication that he was truly a mutant. Despite what his mother believed to the contrary, Tyler seemed to be a standard homo sapien; although Professor Xavier did feel that he was not entirely normal either.
Major Story Arcs
Web of Spider-Man: The Extremist
It was several years later that Tyler made his public debut as the Extremist, a man bent on eliminating what he himself deemed shades of grey in what was supposed to be a purely black and white world when it came to morality. He started his campaign by killing Mark Branden, a TV personality that had been recently spouting slander against all costumed heroes, including Spider-Man. Spider-Man, as Peter Parker, realized that there may have been a connection between Branden's anti-Spider-Man stance and his death. He therefore sought to draw out the Extremist by starting an anti-Spider-Man blog.
Peter's plan inadvertently brought Flash Thompson to his doorstep, who was enraged at Peter's disrespect towards Spider-Man. It was then that the Extremist also arrived in order to kill Peter for much of the same reason.
Having made himself invisible to his victim, the Extremist almost had a clear shot at Peter, if it hadn't been for his spider-sense warning him of the unseen danger. Peter's roommate, Michele Gonzales, also assisted Peter by blasting the Extremist out a window with a shotgun. It seemed that the Extremist had only made himself invisible to Peter, and Michele was therefore able to see him as clear as day.
During the chaos, Peter quickly changed into his Spider-Man costume and proceeded to fight the Extremist out on the streets below his apartment. Spider-Man had a difficult time trying to land a blow however, as the Extremist could go intangible whenever he pleased.
The Extremist eventually disappeared into thin air after turning Michele and Flash invisible, then letting them fall to the their deaths. Spider-Man managed to save Michele and Flash by relying solely on his spider-sense and using a lot of web-fluid.
It was shortly thereafter that Mayor Jameson publicly blamed Spider-Man for causing constant city-wide damage. While watching Jameson's press conference, the Extremist came to believe that the idea of Spider-Man the hero was far more important than the reality. So in order to preserve that idea, he would have to kill Spider-Man's greatest enemy: Spider-Man himself.
He first however, set his sights on Mayor Jameson for his constant slander of Spider-Man.
As soon as it was discovered that the Extremist was going after the mayor, Jameson was escorted by his security to a secret panic-room, complete with armored walls and fully-automatic machine guns programmed to shoot anyone other than Jameson. These defenses proved child's play to the Extremist and his abilities unfortunately, as he could easily phase into the room and make himself invisible to the guns' sensors.
The Extremist then revealed to Jameson that he was going to use him as bait for Spider-Man, so that Spider-Man would be killed by the machine guns as soon as he came into the room to save Jameson. Spider-Man managed to upset the Extremist's plans however, and was even able to disrupt his intangibility powers with the same device that he'd used to short out the original Vulture's magnetic flight harness during their first encounter.
With the Extremist in solid form, Spider-Man was finally able to hit him, and so was able to defeat him quite easily. Unfortunately, the Extremist ended up falling prey to his own trap and was shot by the panic room's automatic machine guns, which were able to target him now that he was solid. Spider-Man called the paramedics for him, but it's uncertain whether the Extremist survived.
Powers and Abilities
- Intangibility (as well as making other people or objects intangible)
- Making himself visible to selected individual and invisible to others
- Uses a pistol that channels his energies into energy blasts
- Limited telepathy
- Can perceive Kirlian auras
It has been revealed that these abilities are actually derived from the science of Doc Tramma.