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Maynard Tiboldt (Earth-616)

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Quote1 Please, I prefer Ring-Master. [1] Quote2
-- Maynard Tiboldt

Early life

Maynard Tiboldt is the son of Fritz Tiboldt, the former Ringmaster of the Tiboldt Circus during World War II. After the war, his father and mother decided to cooperate with the Allies by testifying against various war criminals. Fritz and Lola Tiboldt continued to manage the Circus, and brought up Maynard to become its ringmaster someday. Maynard, a born showman, developed a deep and sincere love for the circus, and proved to be a master at staging performances. Eventually Fritz Tiboldt and his wife were murdered by Nazis who had escaped capture at the war's end in reprisal for Fritz's testimony against Nazi leaders. Maynard, who did not share his parents' sympathy for Nazism, thus became leader of the circus, and decided to move it to America, far from the scene of Hitler's rise to power and his parent's deaths. There Maynard planned to begin a new, honest life.

New Circus of Crime

But once in America, Tiboldt learned that a relatively small circus such as his could not hope to compete with enormous troupes like the circus owned by Amos Jardine. Tiboldt had dreamed of making his circus a major success, but instead he could barely cover his expenses. Blaming Americans not only for ignoring his circus, but for his father's humiliating capture in America years before, Tiboldt decided to turn to crime: if Americans would not enrich him and his performers willingly, then they would be forced to do so. The key lay in the plans to the "nullatron," a machine designed by unknown scientists in Nazi-occupied lands whom the Red Skull had murdered. The Skull had then used the nullatron to take hypnotic control of Captain America, Sub-Mariner, and the original Human Torch, all of whom were eventually freed from its control. [2] Fritz Tiboldt had managed to obtain the plans for the nullatron during the war, and they had been inherited by Maynard. Maynard Tiboldt now decided to put the principles behind the nullatron to his own uses. Using his own talent for electronics, Tiboldt adapted the nullatron plans so as to construct a small but powerful device, which he would conceal within his large ringmaster's hat, able to mesmerize an enormous crowd all at once. An entire audience, thus rendered helpless, could then be robbed at will by the circus troupe, and would have no memory of being robbed upon awakening. Tiboldt outlined his plans to the members of his troupe, some of whom had accompanied him to Europe, and others of whom had joined the troupe after it came to America. A good percentage of the troupe quit, refusing to turn to crime (Tiboldt hypnotized them so that they would not betray his plans to the police.) However, a surprising number of the circus members eagerly agreed to join Tiboldt in a life of crime, and they became the nucleus of what was later known as the Circus of Crime.

The Ringmaster and his accomplices were imprisoned by the law several times, but rarely for long, given the difficulties of proving the charges against him since his victims usually had no memory of being robbed. Occasionally the Circus of Crime operated without the Ringmaster, either because he was in prison or because some members had become dissatisfied with his leadership. He always returned as their leader.

He was defeated by the Hulk[3], Daredevil and Spider-Man[4] and others. The Circus of Crime briefly decided to elect the Clown as their new leader, but they were defeated again by Spider-Man[5].

The Ringmaster later gets a surgical-upgrade of his eyes, allowing him to use them to hypnotize people, from surgeons working for Devlin DeAngelo, which he used to hypnotize Bruce Banner.[6] As "Martin Thraller", the Ringmaster used his hypnotic eyes while running for president of the United States (and managed to hypnotize Nick Fury into forgetting his own identity) until stopped by Deathlok.[7]

Later, they encountered Generation X.[8]

The Circus of Crime returned to New York as the "Cirque de Nuit" to inaugurate the Hotel Metropol in a show where Ringmaster used his mind-control abilities to hypnotize the rich spectators of his show and stole from them. The two Hawkeyes, Clint Barton and Katie Bishop, used special glasses in order to be immune to Ringmaster's control and stopped the Circus, leaving most of their members heavily wounded. The Ringmaster was blinded for life when Katie shot two arrows in his eyes. They escaped in the boat where the Circus took the loot, making them appear as they were the thieves.[9]


Skilled with electronics, mostly self-taught. Trained in various acrobatic and athletic skills, but not a master of any discipline. He has rudimentary knowledge of hand-to-hand combat. Tiboldt is also noted for his "hypnotic expertise". [1]


As a result of him being shot in both eyes, he is currently blinded for life.


  • Naturalized citizen of the United States with a criminal record, former Austrian citizen.

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