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Grew up with Carl Lucas, now known as Luke Cage, and together helped one another to survive. Between the two, Carl had the hands and Willis had blades, and with these expert skills they ran a life of small time crime. Eventually Carl would grow tired of the dishonest life and get a small job, but Willis was just getting started. Willis eventually attempted to move in on mob territory.

Carl and Willis were still good friends despite their different turns in life, but all that changed over a woman named Reva. She liked both men, but would come to love Carl. Stricken with paranoia and jealousy, Willis contemplated revenge on his old friend for stealing his girl. Willis framed Carl for narcotic charges, and Reva went back to him since her true love was in prison. As it turns out Willis stole the narcotics from the Maggia, a big time mob syndicate. They came after Willis, but ended up only killing Reva in the crossfire.

Years later and Willis was getting closer to the top of organized crime, and now went by the alias of Diamondback. Carl broke out of jail after undergoing a special experiment that left him with steel-hard skin. Now going by Luke Cage, Carl sought revenge on Willis for getting Reva killed and to clear his own name.

In a climactic fight, Diamondback killed himself by accident with his own exploding knife. Willis fell through a skylight window and landed with his knife next him. The blade exploded as it hit the ground, and just as he got a false sense of safety too.

He had a henchman named the Gadget Man who made all his special knives for him.


Willis Stryker, a.k.a. Diamondback, was created by Archie Goodwin and George Tuska in 1972 and first appeared in Hero For Hire #1.

The Rivals

A gang that operates in Spanish Harlem. It was recently revealed that Cage, then known as Carl Lucas, started the gang alongside Willis Stryker, Comanche, and Shades. According to Comanche the gang's activity got them sent to Seagate Prison.

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