Wraith (Marvel)(01 - Brian DeWolff)
Real Name: Brian DeWolff
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The Wraith possesses a variety of psionic powers. He could read thoughts, and control the mind of a single victim. He could cast illusions indiscernible from reality into multiple minds; among other uses he employed this to make himself appear invisible, to override Spider-Man's spider-sense, and to induce mental pain in others equivalent to the physical pain which would be caused by what they were perceiving. He also carried a smoke pistol of unknown origin.
Brian DeWolff was the son of Phillip DeWolff, who became police commissioner of New York City, and was raised by Phillip after the latter's divorce from Brian's mother Celia, who got custody of Brian's sister Jean. Brian graduated from the New York City police academy with the highest grades in his class and entered the city's police force.
Brian and his partner Tim were trapped by criminals near Manhattan's South Street Seaport. Two cars driven by criminals knocked over the police car in which Brian and Tim were riding, killing Tim. Brian was then shot, a bullet lodged in his spine. Learning of the attack from a police radio, Phillip DeWolff drove to the scene and found his wounded son. Phillip took Brian to his home without informing anyone; hence, when other policeman arrived, they did not know what had happened to Brian. At his home Phillip discovered that the shooting had severed important regions of Brian's nervous system, paralyzing him and rendering him comatose. Unwilling to see his son live in such a state, Phillip summoned two wealthy men he knew, banker Karl Bonn and landlord Max Vorster, in the hope that they would finance a cure for Brian. Phillip wanted Brian to become a vigilante with superhuman abilities who would battle crime without being restricted by the law himself. DeWolff said, "He will be a wraith, dealing justice from beyond the grave!"
Unknown to DeWolff, Bonn and Vorster were themselves lawbreakers and they had agreed to help Phillip only so that they would have the police commissioner in their debt. (As it turned out, at some point DeWolff was forced out of his job as police commissioner, apparently by his own superiors.) Bonn and Vorster aided DeWolff in obtaining advanced scientific equipment with which Phillip intended to restore Brian's mobility and, presumably, to endow him with psionic powers. When Bonn insisted that Brian use his psionic powers on behalf of himself and Vorster, Phillip finally realized that Bonn and Vorster were themselves criminals. Furious, Phillip attacked them, but they pushed him back into an apparatus called the revitalizer. On thus being struck, the revitalizer bathed both Phillip and the comatose Brian with energy Bonn and Vorster fled, assuming Phillip to be dead. In fact, the revitalizer linked the minds of Phillip and Brian, so that now Phillip could control Brian's body, make it walk and move normally, and control Brian's psionic powers. Phillip gave Brian the costume and identity of the Wraith and used him to take revenge on Bonn and Vorster.
The Wraith, guided by Phillip's consciousness, succeeded in killing both Bonn and Vorster. But the Wraith's activities attracted the attention of Jean DeWolff and the crimefighters Iron Man and Spider-Man, all of whom clashed with the Wraith. When Jean discovered the truth behind the Wraith's identity, Finally, Phillip tried to have the Wraith psychically murder Jean, Iron Man placed an "alpha-jammer" helmet on Phillip, preventing him from transmitting telepathic signals to Brian. Without the link to Phillip's mind, Brian returned to a state of catatonic helplessness.
While he and his still comatose son were on trial, Phillip not only regained control of the Wraith, but even projected his own mind into the Wraith's body. Doctor Strange and Iron Man defeated the Wraith, and Phillip's mind was forced back into his own body. Using magic to enable his hand to pass into Brian's body harmlessly, Strange removed the bullet in Brian's spine and mystically healed his injuries, restoring Brian's own mind to consciousness at last. The court found Brian innocent of the Wraith's crimes but found Phillip guilty of them and sentenced him to prison. Brian and his sister were reunited.
After hearing his sister had been murdered by a fellow police officer (Stanley Carter as Sin-Eater), Brian wanted revenge. As the Wraith, he was planning to take vengeance out on the entire NYPD. But at a police station, he was stopped when he was shot and killed by the vigilante Scourge, who was disguised as a policeman (Scourge was there originally to kill Flash Thompson, who was in jail after being framed as the Hobgoblin).
Brian was resurrected along with other criminal victims of the Scourge by the Hood in order to killed the Punisher. However, he was shot by Castle.
First Appearance: Marvel Team-Up (1972) #48
View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Iron Man (1968)
#105 Marvel Encyclopedia (2014)
- 'Every Hand Against Him!'#106
- 'Then There Came a War!'#108
- 'Growing Pains!'
Marvel Legacy: The 1970's Handbook (2006)
Marvel Team-Up (1972)
#48 Morbius: The Living Vampire (1992)
- 'A Fine Night For Dying!'#49
- 'Madness is All in the Mind!'#50
- 'The Mystery of the Wraith!'#51
- 'The Trial Of The Wraith!'#72
- 'Crack of the Whip!'
#18 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z (2008)
- 'Wraith Revenge'#19
- 'Psychic Consequence'
HC vol. 13 Punisher (2009)
- 'Valkyrior Steeds to Maximillian Zaran'
The Amazing Spider-Man (1963)
#278 The Marvel Encyclopedia (2006)
- 'If This Be Justice--'
HC The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (1985)
- 'The Marvel Encyclopedia'
#19 The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Master Edition (1990)
- 'Book of the Dead (Nuke to Obadiah Stane)'#20
- 'Book of the Dead (Stick to Zuras)'
Web of Spider-Man (1985)
Deadly Dozen (Marvel)(02 - Villains)
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