Brian Philip Calusky, though born in Brooklyn, NY, was raised on a farm and eventually became a farmhand. Life on the farm was too slow for Calusky and he decided to enter a life of crime for excitement. His criminal activities eventually landed him in prison, where he met and became cellmates with Dirk Garthwaite, who was known as The Wrecker.
Garthwaite, together with Calusky and two other inmates at Ryker's Island Prison, Dr. Eliot Franklin and Henry Camp, made a successful jailbreak and managed to locate his crowbar. Willing to share his power with his allies, The Wrecker had the three other convicts join him in holding onto the crowbar outside during an electrical storm. Lightning struck the crowbar, magically distributing the enchanted strength bestowed upon The Wrecker among the four of them. The Wrecker's three allies then adopted costumes and aliases as well: Franklin became Thunderball, Camp became Bulldozer, and Brian Philip Calusky became Piledriver. As a result of his new-found powers, Calusky's hands became over-sized in proportion to his body. Together the four superhumanly strong criminals became known as The Wrecking Crew, who were led by The Wrecker himself. They battled the Defenders while attempting to locate the Gamma Bomb; Piledriver was defeated by Power Man in this encounter.
Piledriver was created by Len Wein and Sal Buscema and first appeared in The Defenders Vol. 1 issue 17(1974).
Major Story Arcs
With the Wrecking Crew
With the Wrecking Crew, Bulldozer next battled Captain America and Iron Fist while trying to lure Thor into battle. The Wrecking Crew then did battle Thor in a revenge attempt. The Wrecking Crew were among the various criminals taken to the Beyonder's Battleworld, including a number of super-powered criminals and superheroes. Bulldozer got the opportunity to face off against the Avengers, Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and other superheroes. Along with the Wrecking Crew, Piledriver next joined the fourth Masters of Evil, which attacked and took over Avengers Mansion. Piledriver helped defeat the god Hercules in combat, but was drained of his superhuman powers by Thor. He was freed from prison by the Wrecker, but without his superhuman powers he was defeated by Spider-Man and Spider-Woman. He regained his powers, and escaped from the Vault. He defeated Captain America and encountered Damage Control personnel. With the Wrecking Crew, Piledriver freed the Wrecker and Ulik from police custody, and battled Hercules and Thor They battled Thor, Excalibur, Code: Blue, and Ghost Rider . His powers were then again drained by Loki, but he escaped.
Piledriver has the demeanor of a "good ol' country boy" (despite being born in the very urban Brooklyn, NY). He has fought many of Marvel's superheroes over the years, including Spider-Man, the Avengers, the Defenders, and most often, Thor. He, as part of the Wrecking Crew threatened the lives of the innocent civilians of Damage Control. Thunderball, who has a soft spot for man in charge, John Porter, actually attacks Piledriver and the others, via trickery, allowing the D.C. employees to escape.
Unlike Thunderball, Piledriver has remained loyal to the Wrecker and has only been separated from the Wrecking Crew through various incarcerations in prison. While Piledriver and the rest of the Wrecking Crew have faced defeat on many occasions, they always come back for more, making them one of the most enduring supervillainteams in Marvel's history.
Piledriver discovers that he has a son named Ricky Calusky. Since Brian was going to retire soon he wanted Ricky to take his pace on the team. So the Wrecking Crew went to find Ricky. The boy lived with his grandparents, but when he discovered who his father was, he ran away and joined the Wrecking Crew (to the pride of his father) under the name Excavator. Ricky even gains a mystically charged shovel. However, he and the rest of the Crew were confronted by the Runaways during a bank robbery. The Runaways didn't want Ricky to become a criminal. They defeated the Wrecking Crew, but later let Ricky go with his father. Ricky then joined his father.
With the Hood
The Hood has hired him as part of his criminal organization to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act. He helps them fight the New Avengers but is taken down by Dr. Strange.
As part of the Hood's gang, he later joins the fight against the Skrull invading force in New York City. He joins with the Hood's gang in an attack on the New Avengers, who were expecting the Dark Avengers instead.
Powers and Abilities
Thanks to Asgardian magic, Piledriver possesses superhuman strength and a high degree of imperviousness to harm. He can withstand high amounts of concussive force, and is virtually bulletproof. Piledriver's power augmented his entire body, strengthening his bone, muscle, and flesh. Because of this, he's capable of withstanding the impact of high caliber bullets. Piledriver is also super-humanly strong, though because of his particular talent, he has over-sized hands which are more powerful than the other members of the Wrecking Crew, with the exception of The Wrecker, himself. His superhuman abilities are currently four times greater than when he originally shared the Wrecker's power, making him somewhat stronger than an average well-trained Asgardian male.
In Other Media
- Piledriver appeared as a boss character in Marvel Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Michael Gough.
- Piledriver appeared as a boss character in Marvel Avengers Alliance.
- Bowen Designs produced a Piledriver bust.
- Piledriver was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Legends line as part of the Arnim Zola Build-a-Figure wave. As he was a running change variant from Thunderball, he came with Thunderball's ball and chain.
- Piledriver was featured in Hasbro's Marvel Universe line as part of a Comics Pack set with Hawkeye. The pack came with a reprint of Secret Wars #3
- Piledriver was featured in the HeroClix figure game.