Joseph Martello, also know as Hammerhead, is one of the most influential leaders of the Maggia, one of the oldest mafia organizations in New York City. During his life as crimelord, he came up against all sorts of opponents, such as the Police, the masked superhero Spider-Man, and even against the media, with John Jonah Jameson during the 1980's. During his youth, he was nearly beaten to death, but a surgeon named Jonas Harrow saved his life by inserting a steel plate in his skull, more precisely on his forehead. This gave him his trademark square-shaped skull, attaining the moniker Hammerhead. The incident also left mental sequelae in Joseph, who became a homicidal maniac afterwards.
The City That Never Sleeps
After the decline of Maggia in the city, Hammerhead decided to become the sole leader of the mafia, formulating a plan to steal all the wealth and assets of other leaders of the organization. For this, he hired Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat to steal data drives containing vital information about the other Mafia families involved with Maggia, wich he would use to eliminate them completely. However, Felicia took advantage of this to try to steal all the wealth of Maggia for herself, and Hammerhead ordered her to be eliminated by bombing her apartment. Unbeknownst to him, Felicia managed to survive the attack, but disappeared soon after.
With the data drives being apparently destroyed when Felicia "died", Hammerhead changed the focus of the plan, now looking to to capture the other five Dons of Maggia to kill them while transmitting this to the whole city. This caused a massive gang war on the city, with all the other gangs fighting against Hammerhead and his goons, and also the police. Hammerhead also managed to steal equipment left by Silver Sable International in the city after the crisis caused by Mister Negative months before, using it to face the other gangs and authorities. The police eventually discovered that one of Hammerhead's gang operations was being held on the abandoned Harlem Sanatorium. Spider-Man along Captain Yuri Watanabe went there to disrupt the operation, but things went awry, with Yuri's police team being completely slaughtered by Hammerhead himself, and Yuri coming out as the sole survivor, thank's to Spider-Man's intervention. Hammerhead, knowing that he would eventually have to face Spider-Man himself, started to try to locate something called "Project Olympus", an advanced armor that was being made by Sable International. After discovering that the armor was being held at one of the city's police precincts, Hammerhead sent a group of his henchmen to distract Spider-Man while another group stole the armor, killing many other police officers on the process. This made Yuri vow revenge on Hammerhead, going alone to the Bar with No Name to try to find information on his wereabouts.
It wasn't too long until Hammerhead managed to finally capture all of the other four leaders, planning to cement them to the ground on a construction site. Fortunately, Spider-Man showed up, and managed to save all of the leaders. Enraged, Hammerhead, now using the Project Olympus armor, clashed against Spider-Man, who managed to defeat him. As he was being arrested by the police, Yuri showed up, shooting Hammerhead, apparently killing him. His body was later removed, being carried away by an expertise van. Unbeknownst to the officers on the van, Hammerhead was actually still alive, being reanimated by one of his henchmen, who has disguised inside the van.
Hammerhead is shown to be a sadistic man, mercilessly killing all who oppose him. He is also shown using psychological terror against his victims.
- 1 Appearances of Joseph Martello (Earth-1048)
- Minor Appearances of Joseph Martello (Earth-1048)
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- 3 Images featuring Joseph Martello (Earth-1048)
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