Purple Man (Marvel)
Real Name: Zebediah Killgrave
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Killgrave emits pheromones from his skin which render exposed people susceptible to his verbal control, an effect similar to hypnosis. He is capable of commanding several people at once, as long as they remain in proximity to him. Once removed from his presence, affected people eventually regain their sense of self. Only people with exceptionally strong willpower or radically different physiologies have been known to resist this effect. Killgrave’s mutated body also has an enhanced ability to heal itself.
Yugoslavian native Zebediah Killgrave was operating as a spy for the Communists when he was assigned a mission to steal an experimental nerve gas from the U.S. Army. Escaping from an Army base with a canister of the gas, Killgrave was fired upon by a soldier. A bullet punctured the canister, engulfing Killgrave with the released nerve gas. His hair and skin reacted to the nerve agent, permanently turning purple. Surrendering to the soldier, he was quickly released after offering a feeble excuse. Through this experience and similar subsequent events, Killgrave discovered that the nerve gas had given him the ability to command and control other people.
Testing his newfound abilities at a bar in Buffalo, New York, Killgrave forced a young girl named Melanie to marry him. Eventually, Killgrave fell in love with the girl. Relinquishing his control over her, he hoped that she would still love him. Instead, when the manipulation was revealed, she left him. Relocating to Toronto, she secretly gave birth to their daughter, Kara.
In subsequent years, Killgrave turned to a life of crime. Allowing himself to be arrested after a bank heist in New York City, he was to have Matt Murdock as his lawyer. Rather than go on trial, however, he manipulated the guard into letting him go. Attracted to Murdock’s legal secretary Karen Page, he kidnapped her, and thus incurred the attention of Murdock’s alter ego, Daredevil. Daredevil possessed significant willpower and was able to resist the Purple Man’s commands. Wrapping Killgrave in a plastic sheet to dampen his powers, Daredevil returned him to prison.
Kept in check by a special gas piped into his cell, the Purple Man again escaped when the apparatus malfunctioned. Killgrave relocated to San Francisco resumed his criminal activities. Here he was again confronted by Daredevil, who had also moved to the city. Killgrave armed his henchmen with a nerve gas similar to his own pheromones, but Daredevil was still able to resist the effect. Trying a new ploy, the Purple Man commanded the local citizenry to attack him. Enlisting the aid of Ivan Petrovich, an ally of the Black Widow, Daredevil managed to escape. Killgrave also sought aid, allying himself with Electro. Ultimately, however, the villainous pair suffered defeat.
Persistently eluding capture, the Purple Man reemerged in the American Midwest, where he established an underground base. His plans were foiled when Hawkeye and the Two-Gun Kid stumbled in on his operation and destroyed the compound.
Killgrave moved back to New York City, where he decided to try his hand at corporate crime. Through the use of his powers, he took over Glenn Industries and its head, Maxwell Glenn. Killgrave forced the executive into committing multiple felonies. This eventually gained the notice of Daredevil who captured Glenn and turned him in. Although Glenn confessed, Daredevil was suspicious, and on a hunch discovered the Purple Man’s involvement in the plot. Still unable to manipulate Daredevil, Killgrave fled. This was too late for Maxwell Glenn, however, who committed suicide.
Unbeknownst to Daredevil, Killgrave had discovered his secret identity. The Purple Man recruited Mister Hyde and Cobra to kidnap the hero and take him to the Ryker’s Island prison. Succeeding, the pair were joined there by the Jester and Gladiator. These odds were evened out when the Paladin came to Daredevil’s defense. Overmatched, Killgrave fell into the ocean and appeared to have drowned.
However, Killgrave survived and recuperated. While using his powers to provoke a riot, he encountered the hero Jewel (Jessica Jones). Controlling her through his pheromones, he forced Jones to be his personal servant, subjecting her to daily humiliation as revenge for his repeated defeats. After several months, an irate Purple Man sent her to the Avengers Mansion to kill Daredevil. She attacked the Scarlet Witch, the first hero she saw, but snapped out of Killgrave’s control. Fleeing, she was ultimately felled by a blow from the Vision. The Avengers discovered that she had been under the control of the Purple Man and Daredevil dispatched him yet again.
Never imprisoned for long, Killgrave again escaped, but decided to retire from crime. This changed, however, when he was involved in a car accident with two of the Kingpin’s goons. Enraged that they had damaged his purple Rolls Royce, Killgrave forced the two men to fight each other. Hearing of this, the Kingpin sent out one of his agents to test the Purple Man’s power. The agent led Killgrave to the Kingpin and he attempted to control the crime boss. However, the Kingpin’s willpower was too strong. Instead, the Kingpin used Killgrave to do his own bidding. He sent Killgrave out on a mission to kill Daredevil. Due to an increase in Killgrave's power over time, Daredevil was no longer able to resist him. But, the hero was assisted by the combination of Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, and Moon Knight. Wearing earplugs so that he could not hear the Purple Man's voice, Moon Knight punched him out and Killgrave was taken into police custody.
Later relocating to French Polynesia, Killgrave determined to use his powers merely for his own hedonistic pleasure, rather than futilely confronting costumed heroes. Once again, though, his powers proved too attractive a lure to power-hungry villains. The Latverian despot Doctor Doom tracked down and captured Killgrave, taking him to Doom Island, a Caribbean island owned by the dictator. Doom amplified the Purple Man’s powers using his Psycho-Prism, planning to subjugate the entire world. But, Doom discovered that the absolute power he wielded proved unsatisfying, and when Wonder Man resisted the Purple Man’s control, Doom decided not to stop the ensuing revolt. Namor the Sub-Mariner destroyed Doom’s Psycho-Prism and the Purple Man was seemingly killed.
In fact, Killgrave was still alive, albeit buried and comatose. His body repaired itself slowly, though his mind, prodded by the demonic Dream Queen, gave way to delusions. Believing himself to be a living corpse, the Dream Queen manipulated him into attacking his ex-wife Melanie and their daughter Kara. The latter had by this time become known as the super-heroine Purple Girl and affiliated with the Canadian team Alpha Flight. Manipulating his family’s minds as well, the Dream Queen made it appear as though the Purple Man perished in an explosion.
The Purple Man recovered fully, however, and decided to attempt world domination for himself. Using his pheromones, Killgrave dominated the powerful mutant Nate Grey (X-Man). This backfired when he bragged to Grey about his powers and the mutant adjusted his psychic shields to block Killgrave’s control.
Defeated by the Defenders, Killgrave was imprisoned at the Raft, a jail designed for super-powered criminals located near Ryker’s Island. There, he again met Jessica Jones, who was now working as a private investigator in the employ of a group people whose family members had met their demise while in the control of the Purple Man. Instead of confessing his guilt, Killgrave ridiculed Jones. Later, when Carnage broke out of the prison, he also escaped and confronted Jones at her house. However, Jean Grey had given Jones a psychic switch to prevent the Purple Man from controlling her again. This time, she was able to resist him and knocked him out.
When Electro created a riot at the prison, the Purple Man was again freed from his cell. When the Avengers responded to the riot, Killgrave turned his attention to Luke Cage, ordering him to attack his teammates, including Jessica Jones and the unborn child she was carrying. But, the Purple Man’s power were not at full potency due to drugs which had been planted into his food during his imprisonment. After finding out the Purple Man's plan, Cage shook off his control and nearly beat Killgrave to death.
Later, the Purple Man attempted to manipulate the Thunderbolts, unaware that he himself was being controlled by Baron Zemo. After turning the team against each other, he was defeated by the Thunderbolts member Genis-Vell. Zemo teleported the Purple Man back to him and tortured him for his failure before sending him back to the Raft.
Father of Purple Girl/Woman of Alpha Flight
First Appearance: Daredevil (1964) #4
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Alpha Flight (1983)
#41 Civil War: Choosing Sides (2006)
- 'It's Not Easy Being Purple'#62
- 'A Real Gone Daddy!'
#4 Daredevil (2014)
- 'Killgrave, The Unbelievable Purple Man!'#88
- 'Call Him Killgrave!'#89
- 'Breaking Point!'#154
#8 Daredevil, l`Homme sans peur! (1979)
- 'The Purple Children'#9
- 'Purple Reign'#10
- 'Devil's Spiral'
#5/6 Daredevil: End of Days (2012)
- 'Killgrave, l`incroyable Homme Violet'
Die Offizielle Marvel-Comic-Sammlung (2013)
Fear Itself: The Home Front (2011)
Heroes For Hire (2011)
#9 Heroic Age: Villains (2011)
- 'Fear Itself'#10
- 'Everything To Lose'#11
- 'SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR'
#1 Marvel Deluxe - Los Nuevos Vengadores (2009)
- 'Heroic Age Villains'
Marvel Deluxe - Tomos Unicos (2009)
Marvel Graphic Novel (1982)
#27 Marvel Limited: Frank Miller's Spider-Man (1994)
- 'Marvel Graphic Novel: Emperor Doom - Starring the Mighty Avengers'
HC Marvel Tales (1964)
- 'The Complete Frank Miller Spider-Man'
#100 Marvel Team-Up (1972)
- '...Just a Man called Cage'
New Avengers (2005)
Annual 02 New Thunderbolts (2005)
- 'The Trust, Conclusion'#1
- 'Breakout!, Part One'#2
- 'Breakout!, Part Two'#3
- 'Breakout!, Part Three'#35
- 'The Trust, Part Four'#42
#1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
- 'One Step Forward...'#2
- 'The Games People Play'#4
- 'Sword And Claw'#6
- 'City Of Heroes?'#7
- 'Modern Marvels'#9#10
- 'Purple Reign, Part One: Of Mice and Maze'#12
- 'Purple Reign, Part Three: Living Lies'#16
- 'Supreme Power!'#17
- 'Bad Blood'
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Daredevil 2004 (2004)
Original Sins (2014)
Secret War: From the Files of Nick Fury (2005)
Spider-Man: Breakout (2005)
Super-Villain Team-Up / MODOK's 11 (2007)
#1 The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
- 'Mistaken for Happiness, or: "The Team"'
HC The New Avengers: Most Wanted Files (2006)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (1983)
#8 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
- 'N-P: From Namorita to Pyro'
#10 The Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection (2011)
- 'Paladin to Rhino'#19
- 'Book of the Dead (Nuke to Obadiah Stane)'
Villains For Hire (2012)
#0.1 X-Man (1995)
- 'Version Two Point One'#1
- 'Knight Takes King'#2#3
- 'No Strings'
- 'Messiah Complex: The Ride'#35
- 'Media Blitz'#36
- 'Falling Star'#56
- 'Behind the Curtain'
Hood's Criminal Syndicate (Marvel)
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