Arnold Paffenroth began dancing at a very young age and started acting in some films as a young adult. He went by the stage name of Michael Wyatt in Hollywood and formed a relationship with another actress named Julia Walker. The two of them were doing fine in little movies but Arnold wanted more and wasn't interested in just little success. He wanted it all and fast but he kept getting turned down for the top roles. It did not take long to sour him on Hollywood so he went to Vegas where friends were going to set him up with a casino. He left Hollywood to attend his casino business so the Wyatt-Walker team disbanded and he would not see Julia until a few years later. Paffenroth eventually lost everything when a Vegas mob swindled him. Paffenroth fled to Los Angeles where he would become a mentally deranged derelict.
He would be recruited into an army of derelicts as Tatterdemalion by a former sound engineer turned criminal named Sidney Sarnak. Sarnak had been hired by the Committee which was a secret cabal of business men attempting to stimulate the economy by fostering a climate of fear. The Committee created the control flute which was given to Sarnak and it used ultrasonics that tuned into the frequency of any man or animal's brain, thus controlling them. Sarnak ordered Tatterdemalion to track down the Werewolf, Jack Russell in order to take control of him. Tatterdemalion and a small army of derelicts attacked Jack Russell at his home and he was placed under their control by the control flute. The derelicts took the Werewolf into the sewers where he met the hooded Sarnak and the Committee. However the Committee, Sarnak and Tatterdemalion were defeated by the Werewolf, Jack Russell once he was no longer under their control. Tatterdemalion would escape and start his own campaign of terror. He would target the wealthy and sought to destroy money and material possessions.
Tatterdemalion was created by Gerry Conway and Len Wein in 1973 and first appeared in Werewolf by Night # 9.
Sometime later, Tatterdemalion would encounter Jack Russell and Peter Parker at the Cat's Jazz Club in Los Angeles. The two men were watching some musicians at the club when Tatterdemalion started terrifying some wealthy members in the crowd. He started burning their fancy clothes and money with his gloves. Jack Russel called out the derelict and Tatterdemalion thought this was the perfect opportunity to eliminate Russell in his human form since their was no full moon that night. Peter Parker tried to stop Tatterdemalion but was knocked down with a single punch. Tatterdemalion threatened to burn through Peter's clothing which would reveal his Spidey costume underneath but suddenly the lights went out in the club. Russell was able to transform into the Werewolf despite no full moon and Parker changed into Spider Man before the lights came back on. Tatterdemalion managed to disable Spider Man with his chloroform hat and knock out the Werewolf with his weighted scarf. Tatterdemalion took the Werewolf into the sewer systems where he kept him captive. Spider Man entered the sewer systems and managed to free the Werewolf. Both men took down Tatterdemalion and his small army of bums.
Tatterdemalion would again encounter Jack Russell at the Diamond Cowgirl Casino in Las Vegas where Johnny Blaze was also performing his daredevil stunt show. Both men decided to work together to get Tatterdemalion. Tatterdemalion would show up at the Vegas 500 and steal a million dollar race car, the QV-250 from Johnny Blaze. Tatterdemalion took down the Werewolf with his cloak and weighted scarf. He left with the race car where he planned to drive it off a cliff but Johnny Blaze transforms into Ghost Rider and give chase. Ghost Rider catches up to Tatterdemalion and causes them to crash off the mountain road. Ghost Rider leaves the burning wreckage and Tatterdemalion is presumed dead.
Tatterdemalion survived the crash and would appear back in Los Angeles. He was attacking singers from Reilly's Ace of Clubs and warning them that Hollywood would corrupt their soul. He warned them to leave the club, the city and to never return. One of the singers in that club was Alison Blaire and Tatterdemalion would render her unconscious with his chloroform hat. He took her to his sewer domain where he planned to teach her lessons of corruption. Alison managed to escape and reach the club. Tatterdemalion enters the club and starts to attack the crowd. Tatterdemalion recognized the piano player at the club which turned out to be his old flame, Julia Walker. He fled the club in disbelief and Alison gave chase. She managed to knockout Tatterdemalion with a strobe blast. She took her fallen foe to Julia Walker and realized that Tatterdemalion was her former love. Paffenroth broke down in tears and asked Julia for her forgiveness. He couldn't bear the fact that Julia was working for pennies as a piano player and should have been a star. The two embraced and Paffenroth attempted to reform.
The Night Shift
Paffenroth would later emerge as Tatterdemalion and be recruited into the Night Shift by the Shroud. The Night Shift would fight alongside Captain America in Los Angeles and help take down the Power Broker who was dumping his failed augments into the sewer system. He also battled members of the West Coast Avengers on a few occassions. The Night Shift would attack the West Coast Avenger's headquarters when they learned that one of their members named Digger was taken down by Mockingbird and placed into police custody. The Shroud was absent at the time so their deputy leader, Dansen Macabre decided to take on the Avengers and to let everyone know that you don't mess with the Night Shift. However, Tatterdemalion and the rest of the Night Shift were defeated but escaped their custody when the Shroud bailed them out with his darkforce abilities.
A new Hangman would take over as leader of the Night Shift and all the current members were supernaturally augmented by the powerful demon, Satannish in exchange for their souls. Satannish was conjured up during a national televised fight between the West Coast Avengers and the Night Shift. Tatterdemalion and the rest of his teammates were getting stronger after Satannish appeared. The Scarlet Witch and Dr. Strange told the Night Shift members that the Hangman offered your souls to the demon so he can become a movie star. The Night Shift members agreed to give up their demon-given energies to power up the West Coast Avengers. Tatterdemalion and the rest of the Night Shift decided to help the Avengers and they attacked Satannish together. Satannish was forced to leave the earthly plane and all members of the Night Shift lost their augmented abilities.
Tatterdemalion would stray from the Night Shift for an adventure involving an old school gangster named Slick Jimmy. Slick Jimmy surrounded himself with some unsavory bad guys in their civilian guises which included the Wild Boys, Stilt-Man, Taskmaster, Meatball, Hacker, Pete London and Tatterdemalion during a walk in Central Park. Slick Jimmy was dying when he was kicked in the head by a startled horse. Daredevil was able to calm the carriage horse down but Slick Jimmy was on his last breath. Jimmy told everyone that he had a hidden stash of restaurant grease in New York that was worth over five hundred grand because it could be used as farm animal feed and pet food. Each criminal had their own agenda because they wanted the money and Daredevil was caught in the middle. Tatterdemalion believed that money would make them less human and that everyone needed a dose of poverty to get them straight. A free for all melee takes place in a warehouse and Tatterdemalion burns the clothing of Jet and Spit while he speaks of divine poverty. Tatterdemalion is knocked out by Daredevil and taken into police custody. Paffernoth is released by the Civil Liberties Union when they are outraged by the police state's persecution of a homeless person. Paffernoth is given back his costume and thanks the lawyer by burning off his expensive clothes. The rest of the criminals find Jimmy's stash of grease but Tatterdemalion appears and tells them to refuse the temptation of wealth or have insolvency forced upon them. Daredevil appears and all hell breaks loose. Tatterdemalion and the rest of the guys are left with nothing when all the grease is released from their barrels during the fight.
During the Civil War, Tatterdemalion would be captured by members of the Thunderbolts. He agrees to register under the Superhuman Registration Act and join the Thunderbolts Army. 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 were broken up into numerous squads and sent to various locations throughout the world. Tatterdemalion was part of the Epsilon squad which consisted of Whiplash, Batroc, Zaran, Cobra and Bushmaster. This group was responsible of maintaining order in Tokyo.
He later rejoins with the Night Shift in the command of The Hood and are sent to attack the Midnight Sons. He narrowly defeats Jack Russell but he ends up getting set on fire by Hellstorm. Tatterdemalion and other members of the Night Shift would turn into zombies by the newly evolved zombie virus. However he is later transformed back.
Tatterdemalion would reunite with the Night Shift when they are hired by Snapdragon to eliminate Moon Knight and Echo in Los Angeles. Tatterdemalion and the Night Shift fail to kill Moon Knight which would lead to their ultimate demise. Tatterdemalion and the Night Shift would be confronted by the new West Coast Kingpin, Count Nefaria where he incinerates them for being so incompetent and moronically stupid.
Powers & Abilities
Tatterdemalion possesses a degree of superhuman strength since he was augmented by Sattanish. Tatterdemalion was naturally strong prior to his supernatural augmentation and was fair in hand-to-hand combat. He also has the ability to dissolve paper and fabrics with his gloves. His burning touch can sear flesh if he held his opponent long enough.
Paraphernalia & Weapons
Tatterdemalion dresses as a bum in ragtag clothes that emit a nauseating stench. His oil-soaked clothes make him very hard to hold and even Spider Man's webbing would roll off him. He also wears a hat that can disorient enemies with chloroform. He can remove his cloak which he uses to drape his opponents and overwhelmed them with its nauseating stench. He also has a weighted scarf as an offensive weapon to strike his enemies. His clothing provides enough padding to withstand strikes from Spider Man and the Werewolf, Jack Russell.