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The sin-eater is an occupation in certain cultures, particularly in the United Kingdom and the Ozark Mountains in the U.S. As a part of religious magic, whenever a person died, his or her relatives placed fruit and other foods on the chest of the corpse. The food is supposed to absorb the dead person's sins. The sin-eater (usually a beggar) would eat the food and thus cleanse the dead person's soul. This was similar with the scapegoat ceremony of Judaism. The Roman Catholic Church considered it a sin because it provided absolution outside the purview of the priesthood, and resulted in immediate excommunication.
S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Stan Carter was familiar with this occupation. Carter was a volunteer for an experimental drug, developed by S.H.I.E.L.D. R&D basing on Phencyclidine and aimed to increase strength and stamina. The project was interrupted because it was considered too dangerous (in fact, the drugs were driving Guinea pigs crazy), and Carter, who considered this an affront and an authority abuse, violently resigned. There were no traces of drugs in his system, being totally purified, but nevertheless the drugs had already driven him crazy.
Carter then joined the NYPD and become a detective. His partner died in a shoot-out while fighting some young criminals. This unchained in Carter an obsession to destroy people who abused their authority and thus "sinned". He decided to "absorb the sins of the world". He wanted to purge evildoers from a society where nobody else could punish them (For instance, judges and lawyers giving criminals minor sentences, or priest protecting the criminals who confessed their sins). He bought a shotgun and clothes to improvise a costume and became the Sin-Eater.
The Sin-Eater's first victim was his own lover, Police captain Jean DeWolff, whose death attracted attention throughout all New York City — including DeWolff's friend Spider-Man. The Sin-Eater had stolen DeWolff's purse, which made a precedent of taking one personal object from each of the victims. The object should be "associated" with the victim's sins.
Ironically, Carter was assigned the task to find DeWolff's murderer and work with Spider-Man.
The Sin-Eater then murdered Judge Horace Rosenthal, who was a friend of Matt Murdock, lawyer and secretly masked crimefighter Daredevil. While leaving the crime scene, the Sin-Eater met Spider-Man and shot him, accidentally killing an innocent bystander. Spider-Man found his own aunt May Parker in the alarmed crowd, so he had to stop and confirm she was all right. In the confusion, the Sin-Eater escaped.
The Sin-Eater's third victim was Bernard Finn, an African-American priest. This led to a great public protest against the Sin-Eater.
The Sin-Eater then entered the Daily Bugle looking for J. Jonah Jameson. Joe Robertson pretended to be Jameson, to attract the Sin-Eater's attention so he would free his hostage. The Sin-Eater aimed at Robertson but Peter Parker (who was really Spider-Man) knocked him out using surprise. The Sin-Eater was captured and then unmasked to reveal... Emil Gregg, Carter's neighbor. An unbalanced person, Gregg had overheard Carter planning the murders (because the wall was too thin), and he thought he was hearing "inner voices" ordering him to murder Jameson.
Daredevil's improved senses discovered that Gregg was not the Sin-Eater and, by examining Gregg's house, Daredevil and Spider-Man discovered a door to Carter's, and the Sin-Eater's paraphernalia there. Daredevil and Spider-Man discovered that Jameson was the next on the list and went to rescue him.
Daredevil and Spider-Man found the Sin-Eater in Jameson's home and stopped him in time to save Betty Brant-Leeds, Jameson's secretary who was there visiting Jameson's wife Marla (both Jameson and Betty's husband Ned were together in a business trip). Spider-Man felt that Carter had betrayed him personally and beat him, but Daredevil stopped him before he could kill Carter.
Carter was sent to jail and judged, but he was found not guilty due to madness, and sent to a mental hospital. However, a mob believed that the police had been working along with Carter, "one of their own", to protect him. The fact that Carter would not even go to jail was also an offense to them. Daredevil opposed the mob, believing that everybody deserved a fair judgement, while Spider-Man initially refused to join Daredevil because he was too angry with Carter. Eventually, Daredevil convinced Spider-Man to help him, and Carter was safely transported to a high-security hospital.
In the hospital, Carter was partially cured. The Sin-Eater's personality was completely separated from Carter's, so that only one of the personalities could control the body. When freed, Carter needed to fight the Sin-Eater constantly.
The Sin-Eater eventually triumphed and became a threat again. Surrounded by S.W.A.T., he took a boy as a hostage, aiming at him with his weapon. S.W.A.T. shot the Sin-Eater, killing him. However, when they examined the corpse, they discovered that the Sin-Eater's weapon was unloaded — Carter had partially succeeded.
No known powers
Carter was a good fighter, knowledgeable in martial arts and in guns, particularly shotguns. He was also a good detective and law enforcer.
The Sin-Eater possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.
Shotgun (modified to increase damage)
- After being released from the sanatorium, Carter showed multiple personalities, divided between moral and sincere Carter and the Sin-Eater.
- 23 Appearances of Stanley Carter (Earth-616)
- Media Stanley Carter (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- 5 Images featuring Stanley Carter (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Stanley Carter (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Stanley Carter (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Sin-Eater
- Character Profile at Spiderfan.org
- Gamer's Handbook of the Marvel Universe
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