Emerson Bale is a famous lawyer of the Marvel Universe, reportedly "one of the world's finest legal minds". His clients include stars in the fields of business, politics and sports. He was first seen in " Champion
s" #5 (April, 1976). Having served for years as the lawyer of the Worthington family, Emerson met with his client Warren Kenneth Worthington III
(Angel). He assured Warren of his support in case various relatives tried to claim shares of his fortune. That Warren was a mutant had raised some eyebrows but Emerson would not stand to have his client's right to inherit questioned. He then informed Warren concerning the amount of wealth the young mutant had just inherited.
In #7 (August, 1976), Emerson had to convince Rampage/Stuart Clarke
, a novice supervillain, to accept him as a defense attorney. Warren and the Champions had captured Rampage. But Warren did not want such a fine scientific mind as Stuart to be wasted in a prison cell. He convinced Emerson to take Stuart as a client. But Stuart simply rejected the generous offer, convincing Emerson that the man was a fool. He wasn't. Rampage had been contacted by Yuri Bezukhov ( Crimson Dynamo
) with a better offer, help in escaping custody in exchange for Rampage's services. Darkstar
and Griffin soon freed Rampage under orders by Bezukov.
In #8 (October, 1976), Emerson was with the Champions when Rampage delivered photos of the missing Black Widow, reporting her a prisoner of Bezukhov. He then witnessed Rampage's armor exploding, a surprise set up by Crimson Dynamo. Emerson started realizing his contact with the Champions might endanger his own life. He was also particularly unnerved by the flaming skull of Ghost Rider/Johnny Blaze
In " Marvel Team-Up
" #51 (November, 1976), Emerson really had an unusual case. The defense of Brian DeWolff
(Wraith) who was actually in catatonic state. Phillip DeWolff, Brian's father, had been telepathically controlling his sons body to perform crimes. But it was Brian brought to trial, because the law did not mention anything regarding telepathic influence. Emerson brought witnesses Matt Murdock
(Daredevil), Nick Fury
and Professor X
in court, having them testify to the existence of telepathy and other mental powers. (The later two actually being powerful telepaths). Brian was found innocent and Phillip was the one sentenced.
In "Avengers" vol. 1 #190-191 (December, 1979 - January, 1980), Emerson was part of a legal team defending the Avengers
, Captain America
, Iron Man
, Ms. Marvel
, Scarlet Witch
) before the United States Senate. The other lawyers were Murdock and Jeryn Hogarth
. Henry Peter Gyrich
had accused the Avengers of being a threat to national security. However, when the Grey Gargoyle
went on rampage nearby, Gyrich himself had to give permission to the Avengers to go face the villain. Undermining his own case and giving Emerson and his allies an easy victory.
In Spectacular Spider-Man
#25 (June, 1981), Emerson as the legal representative of Virginia Hunter. Her father Robert Hunter
(Nitro) was held prisoner at Project:PEGASUS without ever going to trial or officially charged of any crime. (The Project experimented on superhumans with energy-related powers. Nitro was not the only one held against his will). Wanting to avoid legal trouble, project representatives released Nitro from his two containment tanks. He immediately knocked everybody out with a low-key explosion. He then escaped with his daughter and lawyer at hand.
Emerson regained consciousness to find himself at Virginia's apartment. Nitro wanted information of where to find his archenemy, Captain Marvel
. Emerson reported that the Kree
hero was last seen in Denver. Nitro left for Denver, abducting his own daughter and leaving Emerson behind. The lawyer immediately contacted the police. Spider-Man
was soon on the case and managed to defeat the elderly super-villain.
Emerson had a private conversation with Spidey. He was stepping down as Nitro's defense attorney. Initially, his defense had been based on the understanding that Robert Hunter was a man driven insane by his own powers. Having personally witnessed Nitro's activities, Emerson was firmly convinced that Robert was sane . His former client was simply enjoying the nature of his powers and the life of a super-villain.
In " Marvel Westerns: Outlaw Files
" (2006), Emerson was mentioned as the lawyer of Hamilton Slade
(Phantom Rider) but not depicted on panel.