Flashback Friday: Hammerhead

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Some bad guys are just too dense to give up the life of crime. No one embodies that more than Hammerhead, a gangster originally working for the Maggia who continues to offer trouble for arachnid themed heroes in the pages of SPIDER-MAN.

The mobster still uses his thick skull and underworld connections to make life hard for Miles Morales along with some help from Black Cat. Originally created by Gerry Conway and John Romita, Hammerhead debuted in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #113 back in 1972. 

Dubbed “Mister H,” he first appeared in a darkened boardroom as one of his men called in to tell him he’d offed Doctor Octopus’ informant Bernie. At the time Hammerhead wanted revenge on the multi-armed menace for taking out one of their numbers running operations.

An exhausted Spider-Man had to build an exo-skeleton to take out Doc Ock. Standing victorious over his fallen foe, the Wall-Crawler turned around to find Hammerhead and his goons with guns aimed at him!

In the next issue, the hero fully faced the new villain, going so far as to punch him square in the dome, quickly learning why he called himself Hammerhead. Though the mobster refused to explain his unique ability, we saw a flashback showing the details.

A discredited Doctor Harrow found a nameless man in an alley and decided to perform one of his unconventional experiments that gave him a steel alloy head. While unconscious, the man dreamed of old gangster movies which helped shape his identity after he awoke.

Though Hammerhead tried to bring Spider-Man over to his side, that failed and our hero did his best to squash the bubbling mob war between the two super criminals. Smacked down, Hammerhead fled the country for a while, but eventually returned to New York City to plague the Big Apple.

Flash Forward

After Secret Wars, Miles Morales not only found himself living on Earth-616, but also dealing with some of Peter Parker’s enemies including Black Cat and Hammerhead. The former, not a gangster in her own right, approached the latter about working together to take out the new spider on the block. Though neither fully trusted the other, ‘Head got swayed by the Cat showing him respect for his long career as a crook. They actually succeeded in getting the drop on him in SPIDER-MAN #45, but Miles dug deep, powered up his Venom Blast to unprecedented levels and took out an entire room full of bad guys! Miles even beat Hammerhead down, but couldn’t find Black Cat when she mysteriously disappeared. Clearly, the two criminals hold a grudge though as they continue going after him!