Tom Stuart is the son of Tyler Stuart who was the former warden of Seagate Prison that held Luke Cage for a brief time. Tyler Stuart lost his position as the warden when Luke Cage escaped and Tom told his father that Cage will always be a con and vowed revenge. Tom became the costumed mercenary knowned as Stiletto for his use various blades and daggers. Stiletto has been secretly following Cage when he decided to team up with two former Seagate escapees named Shades and Comanche. The trio was going to help save Cage's girlfriend named Claire Temple who was being framed for murder and was held hostage by a former Seagate prison guard named Rackham. The trio came to Rackham's home when Stiletto appeared and caused the house to collapse with his special blades. Shades and Comanche were knocked unconscious by the falling debris and Caged protected them when Stiletto attacked. Stiletto told Cage he was taking him back to Seagate and that his criminal kind was terrorizing the country far too long. Stiletto put up a good fight but managed to escape when he struck Cage with a special cryogenic stiletto.
Stiletto was created by Tony Isabella and Billy Graham in 1973 and first appears in Hero For Hire # 16.
Mayor Story Arcs
Stiletto would reappear with his brother Tim Stuart disguised as the mercenary knowned as Discus and the two of them would come into conflict with Luke Cage. Discus came to help his brother take Cage down and bring him back to Seagate prison. They attacked Cage at his apartment home in New York and took the fight to the streets. Cage defeated the brothers despite a valiant effort but was confronted by their father Tyler Stuart. He threatened to shoot Cage unless he released his two sons. Tyler told Cage that he could not explain why his sons became mercenaries and where they got their fantastic devices. He asked Cage to understand that his sons were too young for prison and he didn't want them to go through that kind of hell. Cage realized that Tyler was the only warden that gave him a fair shake and was the reason he was fired from Seagate. Cage let the Stuart brothers go and told Tyler that his sons are not kids anymore but killers.
Stiletto and Discus would be employed as one of Justin Hammer's reserve operatives on his floating compound. Tony Stark was held captive on Hammer's houseboat but managed to escape and disarm Hammer's armor-control computer. Hammer called out all his super powered villains to take down Iron Man but were unsuccesful. Stiletto was unable to get any of his blades through Iron Man's armor or through the plexiglass shields lowered over his mouth and eye slits. Iron Man then activated a reversed magnetism field around his armor to deflect Discus's flying discs and repelled them back to the Stuart brothers. The Stuart brothers and the rest of Hammer's operatives were defeated and apprehended by the authorities.
The Stuart brothers claimed to have found religion after they were released from prison and tried to put their past as Stiletto and Discus behind them. Their parole officer gave them the address of a Miss Tilda Johnson who would be able to find jobs for them. They were greeted at the door by Man-Mountain Marko and Edward Lavell also known as the Eel. The Stuart brothers told Tilda Johnson that they have gone straight and did not want to get involved in any illegal or dishonest activities. Tilda Johnson told the brothers that she wanted to hire them as bodyguards and escort her to the Manhattan Society's Debutante Cotillion. Tilda managed to persuade the brothers to agree and take the job. Tilda was actually the criminal known as Deadly Nightshade and planned to use the brothers for this caper. The Stuart brothers were back in their old costumes when Nightshade used some special mesmer dust to take control of their minds. The cotillion had some special guest that included Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The two heroes come into conflict with Nightshade and her criminal cohorts as they crash the ball and try to steal the money and jewelry from the people inside. Nightshade orders the Stuart brothers to use their weapons on Iron Fist. Iron Fist diverted Discus's weapon to strike Man-Mountain Marko which allowed Cage to take the upper hand. Nightshade was knocked out by a punch throwned by the debutant and the Stuart brothers were able to regain their senses. Stiletto decided to help Iron Fist and used his cryogenic dagger to cause the Eel's suit to overload.
Stiletto and several super-powered cronies like like the Beetle, Constrictor, Rhino, Blacklash, Bombshell, Speed Demon, Boomerang, Discus and Hydro-Man would work as one of Justin Hammer's operatives where they come into conflict with Spider-Man and the New Warriors when Speedball is kidnapped. The Sphinx worked with Justin Hammer where his operatives kidnapped various heroes including Auric and Silver. They were held captive at the Target Technologies complex in New Jersey where they analyzed the heroes' abilities for their own ends. Stiletto and the rest of Hammer's operatives would lure Spider-Man and the rest of the Warriors into a prearranged location where they are trapped by a special bubble shield. Stiletto appears to have eluded capture when the New Warriors break free and defeat the Sphinx.
Stiletto and Discus would eventually return to villainy and come into conflict with other heroes. Erik Killmonger would return to Wakanda and hire Boss Morgan to eliminate the Black Panther while he was in the United States. Morgan gathers a group of criminals that include Stiletto, Nightshade, Cockroach Hamilton, and Cottonmouth for this assignment. However the Black Panther is backed up by some of his friends, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Falcon and Bill Foster. Stiletto and his fellow assassins fail to kill Black Panther and are defeated.
Brand New Day
Stiletto is hanging out at the Bar With No Name with other villains when a low-life baddie named the Basher calls out Spider-Man on a website. A man called the Bookie begins to take bets on the fight and a number of shady patrons become angry when they realize the Spider-Man that fights the Basher is an imposter. However, the real Spider-Man shows up and discovers that the imposter is the woman known as Screwball. She tells Spider-Man that the Bookie could be found at the villain bar hangout. Spider-Man shows up and a brief scuffle occurs. The bartender stops the fight and Spider-Man leaves when he gets the information he needs on the Bookie.
Gadgets & Abilities
Stiletto is equipped with wrist gauntlets that fire miniature daggers or blades at a rapid rate. The knives are constructed of an explosive metal and will detonate upon impact on any person or structure. His tiny stilettos can also emit gas which can disorient his enemies. He also carries a number of special daggers on his side. One dagger emits an electric shock and the other is a cryogenic dagger that can disable any opponent with a freezing blast. He also has a sonic stiletto that emits powerful vibration waves and his wrist gauntlets also fire grappling hooks to scale buildings.