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Little is known about the origins of The Mercenary. S.H.I.E.L.D. files on the hitman state that he was an orphan taken in by a guild of assassins at an early age and trained in the art of death since he was a child.
The Mercenary was created by writer Archie Goodwin and artist George Tuska. He first appeared in "The Man Who Killed Tony Stark!" in Invincible Iron Man #23 (Mar. 1970).
Major Story Arc
The Mercenary was hired by the Captain of a smuggling ship to kill Cheryl Porter because she informed Tony Stark / Iron Man that the crew were smuggling in Titanium Man to the US. Cheryl sought the protection of Tony Stark and eventually The Mercenary tracked them down to one of Stark's secluded lodges. Whilst spying on his victims Mercenary foiled an assassination attempt by Vincent Sandhurst so he could gain the kill himself. Mercenary left Sandhurst for dead, burst into the lodge and shot at a chair where Tony Stark was sitting. However the chair swivelled around to reveal Iron Man who attacked the assassin. The two battled but the killer eventually got the upper hand by using a device to draw the electricity out of Iron Man's armour. Knowing that his target Cheryl was hidden underground and that only she could open the door to the shelter, Mercenary disguised himself as Tony Stark to gain entry. At the same time an badly beaten Vincent Sandhurst appeared and shot the man he thought was Tony Stark, actually killing The Mercenary.
The Mercenary employs many gadgets in his arsenal including solar sensors that track movement, radar devices and a magnetic block that can fasten itself to metal and drain electricity.
The Mercenary uses a modified sniper rifle that can gauge depth and density. He also has a ray gun that shoots disorientating beams of light that affect all human senses.
Costume / Armour
The Mercenary's suit contains hidden smoke release devices. His gloves are lined with metal and his helmet also protects him from crushing blows.
The Mercenary is an expert hand to hand combatant and has been trained to fight since he was a child.