Dennis Dunphy received his superpowers from the Power Broker's strength augmentation process. After receiving the treatment, he pursued a career as a wrestler called "Demolition Dunphy" for the UCWF (Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation) to pay back his debt to the Power Broker. While wrestling, he befriended the Thing and won the ever-loving blue-eyed behemoth's admiration with his integrity in his refusal to throw a fight. The two became good friends until the Thing quit wrestling.
Years later, Dunphy helped Captain America investigate the Power Broker's organization after Captain America had fought another recipient of the process; the Super-Patriot. Dennis was ecstatic to be working with one of his favorite superheroes and aptly designed a costume for himself, similar to Daredevil's and Wolverine's, and adopted the super hero name Demolition Man (D-Man, for short). The two eventually uncovered that the Power Broker had military backing from a corrupt C.O. and after the adventure, Steve remained good friends with Dennis.
Dennis was created by Mike Carlin and Ron Wilson and first appeared in The Thing issue 28. He first appeared as D-Man in Captain America issue 328 by Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary.
Major Story Arcs
Captain America No More
When Steve Rogers was forced to give up his identity as Captain America, Dennis returned as D-Man and gathered The Falcon and Nomad to try and track down and help a missing Steve. Later, when the makeshift group disbanded, D-Man was the only one to remain by Steve's side.
Fighting alongside Steve as the Captain, D-Man often was conflicted with his own feels of inadequacy and these were only made worse when he was beat in a fight with Titania. After this bout, D-Man took to trying to avoid fights, going as far as to hide from villains.
D-Man's attitude towards fighting crime was very similar to Steve's and he didn't condone extreme attitude towards bad guys. This led Nomad, who was becoming disillusioned with Steve's attitude after having found his own independence, to believe D-Man was merely "sucking up" to Steve. Nomad disliked D-Man from the start and things only intensified when Nomad beecame paranoid that D-Man was making moves on his girl.
During a fight with the Serpent Society, D-Man was poisoned by Viper and despite his best efforts couldn't muster the strength to fight against the current Captain America and Battlestar. D-Man, as well as Nomad and Diamondback, were arrested and held prisoner by the Commission on Superhuman Activities.
Diamondback and Nomad later escaped, D-Man opting to stay behind believing that staying behind and being honest would work more in their favor than an escape attempt. D-Man, the lone prisoner, was held for weeks and subjected to inhumane conditions and interrogation. The Commission eventually let him go when they had captured Steve Rogers and saw no more use for him.
When the Avengers temporarily disbanded following the manipulations of Dr. Druid, Captain America picked D-Man as the first recruit of the new group. The two sought to recruit further team members to help against the threat of the Inferno, but not soon after, D-Man was blown up over the Arctic ocean in a battle with ULTIMATUM and was presumed dead by Steve who spent hours searching the Atlantic for him.
Operation Galactic Storm, Infinity War & Fighting Chance
A year later, it was discovered Dennis had actually survived and was living amongst an Inuit community. He returned to civility but wasn't entirely stable after the incident. In a catatonic state for weeks and not speaking a word, Dennis was attacked by his Infinity War doppelgänger and went missing.
However, after the attack, he wound up living in the sewers, amongst a colony of homeless people. called Zerotown. While protecting a child living there, he began to speak again and started to protect the inhabitants of Zerotown. Much later on, Steve, who believed he didn't have longer left to live, wanted to mount a team for a final assault on A.I.M. island. One of his very first choices for the team was Dennis. Dennis turned down Steve's offer, unaware that Steve thought he was dying.
Once an Avenger & Disassembled
D-Man was one of the thirty-nine Avengers called upon during the Morgan Conquest story arc, Namor and Moondragon mocked D-Man for being a "low standard" of Avenger. He was also one of the many heroes called during the Avengers Disassembled story arc.
D-Man resurfaced later and seemingly saved a jewellery store from robbers. Ben Urich investigated the attempted robbery and discovered that, despite stopping the robbers, D-Man took some of the jewellery for himself.
Ben Urich, having never heard of D-Man before, was surprised to find that he was at one time an Avenger and is now living in the sewer. Upon tracking down D-Man, when questioned about the jewellery, D-Man claimed that a "Cosmic Gamesmaster" had ordered him to find the Infinity Gems, but instead he was stealing regular jewellery to help buy supplies for the people of Zerotown.
Urich returned later with Daredevil, one of Dennis' favourite superheroes, and asked Dennis to come with them and get professional help.
Civil War, the Initiative & Dark Reign
The help promised to D-Man seems to have inconsistent success, as the Superhuman Registration Act was enforced across the country, D-Man sided with Captain America in being against registration. D-Man went into hiding and sat out the War to avoid conflict out of fear of having to fight against heroes.
Tony Stark later sought to recruit D-Man for the Initiative, Dennis turned down the offer. When Norman Osborn rose to power following the Secret Invasion, Dennis tried to contact Osborn by phone hoping to join the Initiative, with honest intentions believing the Initiative needed heroes now more than ever, but was refused and his subsequent calls went ignored.
He then gave up the superhero life again and joined the US Army. While fighting in Iraq, he managed to keep his true identity a secret to most his squadmates, except for a few men who have participated with him in a couple of stealth missions to destroy enemy operations.
After a while, D-Man began to relish in his position as a superhero on the front-lines, donning a new costume, and seemed finally content with himself.
The Heroic Age and beyond
Later that year, D-Man returned to New York and seemed to have regressed to a stage of severe depression, citing loneliness and wondering if Captain America ever mentions him. His confidence was re-assured when he later won a pie-eating contest held by the Avengers.
D-Man soon was visited by what he believed was the Cosmic Gamesmaster, once again requesting he obtain the Infinity Gems which are now in the possession of his former teammates the Avengers. The team ignored his attempts at contacting them and he soon allied himself with Wonder Man's Revengers team. He was beat badly and apprehended... manically claiming how its the Avengers fault for not recognising him as a former member and heeding his warning.
Shock to the System
Sometime later, Dennis was brainwashed by HYDRA and Henry Gyrich to become the new Scourge. Dunphy as the new Scourge was executing several criminals in the witness protection program under SHIELD. Some of his victims were Viper from the Serpent Squad and Rattler of the Serpent Society. Captain America eventually tracked down Scourge and engaged him in battle, during which Steve recognized Dennis' voice and strength and pleaded for him to stop. D-Man refused on the ground that Steve had given villains new life instead of punishment and after grabbing Captain America's shield and being on the verge of making the killer blow, he was shot dead by Sharon Carter.
Dennis' strength, endurance and durability have been great enhanced, so much so that he can lift weights of almost 15 tons, survive plane crashes and take punches from enhanced beings like Anaconda and even Titania.
- Born: Detroit, Michigan.
- Height: 6'3"
- Weight: 335 lbs.
- Eyes: Blue
- Hair: None
D-Man of Earth-398 was known as Serf and was a member of the Queen's Vengeance.