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Maxwell Dillon (Earth-616)

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Maxwell Dillon (Earth-616) from Marvel War of Heroes 002
Information-silkReal NameMaxwell Dillon
Information-silkCurrent AliasElectro
Information-silkRelativesJonathan Dillon (father, deceased),
Anita Dillon (mother, deceased),
Norma Lynn (ex-wife),
unnamed sister
Information-silkAffiliationFormer partner of Black Cat; formerly Emissaries of Evil (leader and founder), Frightful Four, Sinister Six (founding member), Sinister Twelve, Superior Six, Defenders (Villains)
Information-silkBase Of OperationsNew York City, New York
Information-silkIdentityPublic Identity
Information-silkMarital StatusDivorced
Information-silkOccupationProfessional Criminal, Former Linesman
Information-silkEducationHigh School
Information-silkHeight5' 11"
Information-silkWeight165 lbs (75 kg)
Information-silkHairAuburn (often shaved bald)
Information-silkUnusual FeaturesBolt shaped markings over the face (recently).
Information-silkOriginHigh-wire lineman Maxwell Dillon was struck by lightning while in contact with power lines still connected to their spool. The unusually configured magnetic field generated by the wound spool of cable and live, high-tension wires induced a body-wide mutagenic change to his nervous system. Dillon found himself transformed into a living electrical capacitor, powered by the micro-fine rhythmic muscle contractions that normally regulate body temperature.
Information-silkPlace of BirthEndicott, New York
Information-silkCreatorsStan Lee, Steve Ditko
First Appearance
Amazing Spider-Man #9
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Quote1 Jewels! Money! No matter how much I take, I want more--much more! And with my great power, nothing can stop me from getting it! Quote2
-- Electro src 

Early Life

Maxwell Dillon (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 9 005

Starting career as a supervillain

Maxwell Dillon was born in Endicott, New York, the son of Jonathan and Anita Dillon. His father was often fired from jobs making them move a lot. One day his father walked out on them and his mother became overprotective. When he wanted to leave home to go to college, his mother was against the idea and told him if he was interested in learning about electricity that he should work for the local electric company. His mother died when Dillon was twenty-four while he was working at the electric company. There he became one of the best linemen. He also met and married a fellow co-worker Norma Lynn, but she left him when she realized he wasn't ambitious enough to become an engineer and he stayed a lineman.

Becoming Electro

Maxwell Dillon (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 9 002

Struck by lightning

One day another lineman got in trouble and Dillon agreed to save him, for a fee. In the process he gained super powers when he was struck by lightning while in contact with power lines still connected to their spool. The unusually configured magnetic field generated by the wound spool of cable and live, high-tension wires induced a body-wide mutagenic change to his nervous system. Dillon found himself transformed into a living electrical capacitor, powered by the micro-fine rhythmic muscle contractions that normally regulate body temperature[2].

Maxwell Dillon (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 9 001

Gaining powers

Generally, Dillon's criminal actions were governed by his selfish love of money. Adopting the gaudy garb of a so-called super-villain, the deranged Dillon sought to use his newfound power for personal gain. Electro's first and most frequent nemesis was the wisecracking, web-slinging super hero known as Spider-Man. The Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson was convinced that Spider-Man and Electro were the same man, until Spidey defeated Electro by wearing rubber gloves and shoes[2]. He next battled Daredevil when he attempted to break in the Baxter Building, headquarters of the Fantastic Four[3].

The Sinister Six

Sinister Six (Earth-616) 001

As a member of The Sinister Six (far left)

Unable to best the wall-crawler on his own, Electro often sought strength in numbers. Early in his career, he and five other members of Spider-Man's rogues gallery united under the leadership of Doctor Octopus -- brilliant, respected scientist turned tentacled terror. The inaugural incarnation of the Sinister Six also included the shifty Sandman; the illusion-casting Mysterio; the high-flying, lowdown Vulture; and Kraven the Hunter. The villains' master plan: Pummel the wall-crawler one by one until one of them would manage to defeat him. The outcome: Spidey 6, bad guys 0[4].

After the events of The Six, Electro was hired by Doctor Doom amongst others to disrupt the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm[5]. Later he was defeated by Daredevil and sought the help of other super-villains when he created his own Emissaries of Evil.[6]

Hoping to energize his campaign to smear Spider-Man's reputation, J. Jonah Jameson surreptitiously secured Electro's supercharged services to battle the web-slinger on national television. Before an audience of millions, Spider-Man stood triumphant once more. Electro's extended string of ignominious defeats nearly came to an end when the world-weary villain, hungry for respect, attempted to deprive the entire city of power by drawing it into his body. Dillon almost killed himself as a result, again meeting defeat at the hands of Spider-Man.

Other Sinister Six Incarnations

Stinging from their initial failure, the Six stepped up their efforts. With the half-demon Hobgoblin standing in for Kraven, they planned to hold the world for ransom under a cloud of poison gas. Spider-Man was no match for the villains' collective might, but Dr. Octopus deserted Electro and the rest of team when he discovered he could sell the gas as a cure for cocaine addiction. Without Doc Ock's guidance, the Six easily were dispatched by Spider-Man. A subsequent scheme to destroy their treacherous leader ended when the rudderless rogues went their separate ways after failing to achieve their objective.

Electro was also a member of Mysterio's Sinister Seven, created to combat Spider-Man's insane, homicidal clone, Kaine. However, Kaine disappeared and with no further need to keep the group together, it was disbanded and Dillon returned to his self imposed exile.

Electro's Upgrade

Modern Electro

Electro was once again brought out of retirement by the Rose, who offered Dillon the chance at an experimental procedure to greatly enhance his abilities in exchange for his services as an underworld enforcer. Dillon agreed, sensing the opportunity to rise above his past failures. After undergoing the procedure and dispatching several members of the True Believers, an offshoot of the Hand at the request of the Rose, Dillon returned to his original plan of taking over the New York City power supply. Once again defeated by Spider-Man, who had donned an insulated suit, a frustrated Dillon threw himself into the Hudson River, apparently killing himself.

However, Dillon survived as he reappeared as part of the next series of subsequent incarnations of the Sinister Six, each of which were either defeated or disbanded due to internal conflicts. The most recent incarnation, the Sinister Twelve, gathered by the Green Goblin as part of a larger plan to enable his escape from prison and destroy Spider-Man. They were defeated with the help of the combined efforts of Captain America, Iron Man, Daredevil, Yellowjacket and the Fantastic Four.

Electro was hired by Brainchild to free Karl Lykos (Sauron) from the Raft, a maximum-security prison designed to hold supervillians. Electro initiated a prison break the likes of which had never been seen, releasing scores of criminals. However, his actions also brought together a number of the world's most powerful heroes to contain the disaster including: Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Daredevil, the Sentry and Spider-Man, many of whom were trapped in the Raft when the power was shut off. With the exception of Daredevil (and Sentry at first), this impromptu gathering of heroes reunited shortly after the prison break to form a new Avengers team. Dillon tried to escape with his girlfriend, a waitress in Boston, but was captured by the New Avengers, the very team he inadvertently helped create.[7]

As Electro aged, his power became unstable and he began working for the Mad Thinker, who could help him control his powers. Blackmailing Dexter Bennett, he gained money and his powers were upgraded. He attacked the Daily Bugle and destroyed it before being beaten once again by Spider-Man.

Ends of the Earth

Electro joined Doc Ock's new Sinister Six and helped him to rob technology from the Baxter Building as well as robbing the Zero Cannon from the Intelligencia.

Some time later, Doctor Octopus, in his plan to be remembered as the man who saved Earth, offered the chance to stop the Greenhouse Effect, as well as speed it up, using a special device connected with different satellites on the orbit.[8]

Disguised as Al Gore, Chameleon tried to accelerate the decision of world's leaders about the matter, but was uncovered by Spider-Man, who interrupted the scene along with the Avengers. When the Chameleon was freed, he arrived in the Mediterranean on a meeting with the rest of the team. The Avengers followed them and arrived, fighting the Sinister Six, but they where all defeated by the villains, the price of the battle was Electro, who was sent to space by Thor.

The Superior Six

Avenging Spider-Man Vol 1 18 001

Back with a Vengeance

Electro returns to Earth and attempts to avenge himself on Thor by forcing an A.I.M. scientist to convert him to generate protons instead of electrons, but he is defeated when Spider-Man (actually Doctor Octopus' mind in Spider-Man's body at that time) manages to convert him into a stream of protons and traps him. Spider-Man places Electro in containment next to Sandman in his hidden underwater lab.[9]

After Spider-Man collected five supervillains, The Superior Six was born. Electro was part of this brain-controlled team, until Spider-Man's control over them was lost, and Electro rampaged across New York with the other five. Electro was subdued by both Spider-Man and the new Sun Girl however.

Alliance with the Black Cat

Because of Spider-Man having subdued Electro and turned him into his personal puppet, Max lost credibility as a super villain. He decided to perform an act similar to when he caused the massive breakout in the Raft, and stormed the Conway Penitentiary. However, his powers went out of control and destroyed the entire building.[10]

Now more dangerous, but also more uncontrollable, than ever, Electro had nowhere to go, and the Black Cat offered him an alliance to finish Spider-Man once and for all.[11] At the same time, Parker Industries began working on a way to depower Dillon.[12]

The Black Cat used Electro's power to establish some dominance over the underworld. They later kidnapped Parker Industries' Sajani Jaffrey to learn more about the company's projects of a super-prison. The duo of villains later attacked the HQs of the Fact Channel News to demand Spider-Man's appearance, who arrived to fight them, but had to be rescued by his ally Silk from being unmasked by the Black Cat on live TV.[13]

Electro and Black Cat infiltrated to the demonstration of Parker Industries' Anti-Electro technology. Felicia started the machine, further enhancing Electro's power only to be interrupted by Spider-Man and Silk. With the heroes' appearance, Black Cat changed the plan, using the wiring to overload Electro, who caused an explosion which failed to kill Spider-Man as Felicia wanted, but successfully depowered Max, who was later taken into custody.[14]

Powers and AbilitiesEdit


After being depowered by Parker Industries, Max Dillon possessed no extra abilities from a normal human being. His former powers included:

Maxwell Dillon (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 9 004

The living battery, Electro

  • Electrostatic Energy Generation: Electro possesses the ability to bodily generate electrostatic energy which he can release or harness for a number of effects. He is powered by the micro-fine rhythmic muscle contractions that normally regulate body temperature. His body can generate electricity at a rate of about 10,000 volts per minute, up to his maximum storage capacity of 10,000,000 volts. At that point, his body automatically stops producing electricity. As he expends his electrostatic energy, his body automatically begins to recharge the stores. Electro can mentally control the amount of electricity he discharges, anywhere from a single volt to his full 10,000,000 volt charge at once. At ten to thirty feet, his maximum charge is more than enough to kill a man. Electro can also use his body as a transformer, touching an outside power source (such as a generator) and channeling it through his body for use. The amount of electricity he can transform above his body's maximum storage capacity is unknown.

Electro can employ his electrostatic energy in a number of ways:

  • Lighting Bolt Projection: The simplest manifestation is the emission of a lightning-like electric arc from his fingertips, which can propagate through air or other conducting mediums. This discharge, whose total voltage can be regulated within certain limits, travels at the speed of lightning, about 150,000 feet per second. The course of the electrostatic bolt, like lightning, does not always follow a straight line since it may be influenced by conducting substances like metal or other electrical fields. If his target is not grounded, his electrostatic bolt will have little effect. The maximum effective range of his bolts is about 100 feet.
  • Electromagnetic Propulsion via Electrical Lines and Bridges: Electro can propel himself along the accompanying magnetic lines of force in objects that have great electrical potential, such as high-tension electrical lines. He generates light, eddying electrical fields around his legs, which develops an intense, opposing magnetic field that can support him above the electric cable's magnetic field. By creating imbalances in his field, he can ride along on magnetic ripples at speeds of up to 140 miles per hour, the maximum speed at which he can still breathe unaided. He can sometimes create electrostatic bridges to traverse upon, although the expenditure of energy is enormous. To a limited degree, he can also mimic Spider-Man's wall-crawling ability, using his electromagnetic field to become attracted to the fields of iron bars in buildings.
  • Electrical Detection: Electro's electrical powers also grant him certain sensory and manipulative abilities. By "feeling" the course of electricity through the circuitry of any electrically-powered device, Electro can override the system and make the device obey his mental commands. Electro can disconnect alarm systems, control computers in a limited way, or overload any electrically controlled system that is insufficiently shielded.
  • Electrocution: The electric flux of Electro's skin is such that when his electric charge is at a maximum, a person touching him is in danger of being electrocuted.
Maxwell Dillon (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 9 003
  • Recharging: By using an external electrical power source to recharge his body's energy reserves, he could expend electrical energy indefinitely without diminishing his personal reserves.
  • Electrical Conversion into Enhanced Physical Attributions: The electricity coursing through his altered body augments his strength, speed, and recuperative powers. When fully charged, Electro is able to lift (press) about 500 pounds.
  • Metal Ionization: Electro was taught by Doctor Octopus during a stint in prison that he could ionize metals.
  • Disruption of Wall-Crawling Abilities: Electro's powers also can disrupt Spider-Man's electrostatic ability to cling to walls.
  • Localized Electromagnetic Storms: Electro once defeated the Invisible Woman when he created a localized Electromagnetic Storm. This allowed him to carbonize the air around her and it imprisoned her in a sheath of rock hard electro carbon atoms. Effectively making a statue out of her.[15]
Electro defeats Invisible Woman

Electro creates an electromagnetic storm around the Invisible woman from Fantastic Four #218 (May, 1980)

  • Electromagnetic Manipulation (Formerly): An experimental procedure temporarily heightened his powers, allowing Electro to store and absorb a seemingly limitless amount of electricity. He could fly by generating a massive field of electricity which could propel him through the air. He also seemed to gain the power of magnetokinesis to a certain degree, allowing him to manipulate magnetic fields and move objects in a manner similar to that of Magneto, and could overcome his old weakness to water by using the electromagnetic fields around him to vaporize water before it could touch him. He was able to defeat Nate Grey by manipulating the bio-electric currents in the human brain to turn Nate's own psionic powers against him, and do the same to make Spider-Man beg. Presumably, had he further explored the implications of this power, he would have been able to control people's entire bodies this way as well, and might have been able to control machines in a similar way. He was also able to painfully paralyze anyone by overcharging their synapses' bio-electrical transmissions. However, Electro somehow seems to have lost these new abilities after he threw himself into the Hudson River, resulting in an explosion.
  • Immunity to Electricity: Electro's body is immune to the effects of its electricity and that of other sources as well. Hence, Electro cannot be electrocuted no matter how great the voltage.
  • Charging: Electro can charge himself up to reach high maximum voltage. Here he can grow in height to an enormous humanoid looking creature made up of nothing but electricity.
Power Grids
Official Ratings[16]
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills
Fan Ratings
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills

Strength level

Thanks to the electricity circulating through his body, his strength is augmented to the point where he can lift over 450 pounds.


  • When he is fully charged, Electro is extremely sensitive to anything that may "short circuit" him, such as water.
  • Due to the experiments Spider-Man conducted on him, Electro can lose control over his powers, which causes him to burn out and collapse.[10]



Electro is able to 'ride' electricity.


  • May be either bisexual or bi-curious.[17]


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