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Crime Master

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Subject: Black Cat (comics), Marvel Team-Up, 1965 in comics, Serpent Society, Toxin (comics), Frederick Foswell, Enforcers (comics), Human Fly (comics), Death Adder (comics), Symbiote (comics)
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Crime Master

The Crime Master is a Marvel Comics super-villain, of the professional-criminal type, and an enemy of Spider-Man. Created by writer Stan Lee and designed by artist Steve Ditko, he first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #26 (July 1965). The character was most notable for having briefly been the partner of the Green Goblin. Both villains aspired to take over the criminal mobs of New York and formed an uneasy partnership. They were both aware of the other's secret identity which kept them from outwardly betraying the other. The Crime-Master only lasted one issue and was killed in The Amazing Spider-Man #27; however, there was a second Crime Master in the 1970s, and new stories were written in the pages of Untold Tales of Spider-Man that featured the original character before his death.

Publication history

The Crime Master debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #26,[1] his identity unknown. He was killed and revealed as Nicholas "Nick" "Lucky" Lewis after his death. His son, Nicholas Lewis Jr. became the second Crime Master in Marvel Team-Up #39 (November 1975) and #40 and teamed up with the second Big Man. This Crime-Master did not know the identity of his partner and betrayed and shot to death the Big Man, who turned out to be his girlfriend Janice Foswell, daughter of Frederick Foswell, the original Big Man, after unmasking. Devastated by the discovery, Lewis Jr. has not appeared as The Crime-Master since.

The original Crime Master was also featured in an untold story from before his death in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #23 (August 1997) and again in Untold Tales of Spider-Man #25. That issue is somewhat controversial as it alters the storyline from The Amazing Spider-Man #26-27. This story shows the Crime Master and Green Goblin reveal their identities to each other. The Goblin, however, is wearing a mask of J. Jonah Jameson under his Goblin mask so as to suggest that The Crime Master really believed that Jameson was the Goblin instead of Norman Osborn. This does not make sense in the continuity of The Amazing Spider-Man #26 as thought bubbles reveal that the Goblin is concerned about The Crime-Master revealing his identity.

A third Crime Master has recently appeared. starting in the revival of the Venom book. This one is a powerful crime lord, with extensive resources, connections, and henchmen, chief among them the new Jack O'Lantern. It was ultimately revealed that the third Crime Master is Bennett Brant, the brother of Betty Brant.

Fictional character biography

Nicholas Lewis Sr. ("Lucky Lewis")

Crime Master I
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Amazing Spider-Man #26 (July 1965)
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko (designer)
In-story information
Alter ego Nicholas "Nick" "Lucky" Lewis

Nick "Lucky" Lewis was a masked criminal who attempted to organize all non-Maggia New York City crime gangs under his control. He was opposed by Spider-Man, and his attempt failed when he was killed.[2]

Nicholas Lewis Jr.

Crime Master II
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Marvel Team-Up #39 (November 1975)
Created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema
In-story information
Alter ego Nicholas "Nick" Lewis Jr.

Nick Lewis Jr. adopted his father's Crime Master guise as a would-be avenger of his father's death. He was also defeated by Spider-Man, but unlike his father, he was not killed by police.[3]

Bennett Brant

Crime-Master
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance as Bennett Brant: The Amazing Spider-Man #11
as Crime Master: Venom #1 (March 2011)
Created by as Bennett Brant: Stan Lee
Steve Ditko (designer)
as Crime-Master: Rick Remender and Tony Moore
In-story information
Alter ego Bennett Brant
Team affiliations Savage Six

In his early life, Bennett Brant is the brother of Betty Brant. He ended up in a gambling debt with a gangster named Blackie Gaxton to pay for his mother's medical bills. With the help of Doctor Octopus, Blackie Gaxton kidnapped Bennett and Betty as insurance against anyone who prevents him from leaving the country. Bennett was double-crossed by Blackie Gaxton who refused to free him of any debts. Blackie was fatally shot during a melee between Blackie Gaxton's gang, Doctor Octopus, and Spider-Man.[4]

Many years later, a new Crime Master has appeared in the Venom series. He is a shrewd planner, with substantial resources and many henchmen. His paths first crossed with Flash Thompson (The current Venom) when Flash was sent to stop a mad scientist who has developed powerful Antarctic Vibranium bullets for Crime Master.[5]

He has since created his own team to destroy Venom called the Savage Six consisting of himself, Jack-O-Lantern, Human Fly, Death Adder, Megatak, and Toxin (which now has Eddie Brock as a host after he lost his Anti-Venom symbiote back in the Spider-Island storyline).[6] When Betty is brought before Crime Master, she is shocked when the Crime Master reveals himself to be Bennett Brant who offers Betty to join him into killing Venom.[7] After Venom arrived at his hideout, Bennett Brant almost killed him with a sonic pistol and a flamethrower, but he was shot and killed by Betty. When Venom began to make a comment on this, Betty stated that her brother "died a long time ago."[8]

Other versions

Marvel Noir

An unnamed Crime-Master exists in the Marvel Noir universe, and serves as one of the primary antagonists in Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without a Face. He is the Crime-Master who has taken over New York since Norman Osborn was put on trial as The Goblin. His personal henchmen include the Enforcers and Sandman. He also helps to sponsor Otto Octavius in his experiments on African-Americans. He is dating Felicia Hardy, but is enraged when he finds out that she sheltered Spider-Man, and slashes her critically. She phones the FBI Agent Jean DeWolff, who then goes to Ellis Island and busts Crime Master.[9]

In other media

Video games

References

External links

  • Crime Master (Nick Lewis Sr.) at Marvel Wiki
  • Crime Master (Nick Lewis Jr.) at Marvel Wiki
  • Crime Master (Bennett Brant) at Marvel Wiki
  • Crime Master I at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  • Crime Master II) at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  • SamRuby.com has a bio of The Crime Master
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