Wraith (DeWolff)

    Character » Wraith (DeWolff) appears in 41 issues.

    A victim of his own powers, Wraith went through various stages of mental stability using his psionic powers to act as a vigilante.

    Short summary describing this character.

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    Son of police commissioner Phillip DeWolff, both Brian and his sister Jean followed in their father's footsteps and became police officers. However when Brian was shot in the line of duty, he was rendered comatose and paralyzed. His father, reluctant to see his son suffer, stole Brian's body and consorted with two mobsters to obtain an experimental revitalizer to restore his son to health and even endow him with super-powers. Phillip wished to see Brian use these super-powers to exact revenge on criminals like the ones who had injured him, but when Phillip refused to allow the mobsters to control his son, the mobsters attempted to kill Phillip. Leaving the presumed dead Phillip with Brian's still comatose body, unbeknownst to them, Phillip's mind was linked with Brian's body. Now the dominant mind, Phillip controlled Brian and become the vigilante known as Wraith.


    Wraith was created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema and first appeared in Marvel Team-Up #48.

    Character Evolution

    With the help of Doctor Strange, Wraith was eventually able to overcome his father's influence and the two were mentally separated from each other. Following this, Wraith became an ally of Iron Man and Spider-Man but eventually fell into "comic book limbo" where he remained for over a decade. Following Peter David's iconic Death of Jean DeWolff story arc, David brought Wraith back in The Amazing Spider-Man #278 where the character was abruptly killed off as part of the Scourge of the Underworld crossover. Wraith since returned to life briefly during Dark Reign but was killed again. The Wraith identity has since been taken over by a new character called Yuri Watanabe in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man.

    Major Story Arcs

    Trial of the Wraith

    With Phillip in control of Brian's body, he began exacting vengeance on the mobsters who had attempted to kill them both. When Jean was coincidentally tasked with investigating the Wraith, Phillip decided to kill his daughter using Wraith's powers. Fortunately for Jean, Iron Man and Spider-Man intervened and were able to stop Phillip and capture him.

    With the help of Doctor Strange, the heroes were able to separate Phillip's mind from Brian's and Strange also managed to cure Brian's spinal injuries. Brian was found innocent of the crimes committed as Wraith and Phillip was instead sentenced to prison for murder.

    Last Stand at Stark International

    When Mordecai Midas seized control of Stark International, many of Iron Man's friends arrived to help the armored Avenger reclaim his company and battle off the forces of Midas. Among them were Brian and Jean whom were thankful for Iron Man having reunited them. During the adventure, Brian's psychic powers discovered that Iron Man was really Tony Stark but he promised to keep this fact to himself.

    Brian, as well as most of Iron Man's other allies, were turned to solid gold by Midas. After Iron Man and Jack of Hearts defeated Midas, Yellowjacket managed to restore Brian and the rest to normal.

    Scourge of the Underworld

    After the death of his sister, Brain held the NYPD responsible for it's corruption which led to her death. Planning to exact vengeance upon the police force, Brian launched an attack on a New York police station which was abruptly stopped before it even started by the assassin known as Scourge who was fleeing from Spider-Man. Overhearing Brian's intentions, Scourge deduced he was a villain and immediately shot him dead.

    Dark Reign

    Brian was revived alongside several of Scourge's other victims many years later by The Hood who told them that Scourge was in fact the Punisher in order to get them to join his Masters of Evil in a hunt for the vigilante on his behalf. Brian immediately broke apart from the other villains, instead planning to resume his vengeance on the corrupt police department.

    As Brian stalked the night's skies, he again was abruptly interrupted when the Punisher shot him through the heart with an arrow. Impaled, Brian fell from atop the building plummeting to his death. Punisher justified the murder as Brian was nothing but a cop-killer (although it's worth noting, Brian had never actually got around to killing a cop).

    Powers and Abilities

    The Wraith's powers were all psionic based. He could summon illusions within a victim's mind, cause them mental anguish, or hypnotize them into doing his bidding. He could read minds and perform some telekinetic feats. His powers typically only affected one target at a time. He was also able to cloak himself from Spider-Man's spider-sense and appear invisible to others.


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