Today’s Crime Lord is arguably the most colorful Crime Lord of them all!
Born in Yugoslavia, Zebediah Killgrave was an infamous international spy until he was terribly injured in a chemical refinery. Although the accident permanently transformed his skin to a shade of purple, Killgrave soon discovered that it had also granted amazing superhuman powers!
(I know it sounds cool but please don’t try this at home, or in your local chemical refinery.)
Now with the ability to control the minds of others, Zebediah Killgrave took to a life of crime. From now on he would be known only as…
The Purple Man!
Despite his silly appearance, Purple Man is an infinitely darker character than one might expect. Early in his career Purple Man used his powers to force a woman into carrying his child. and has a history of forcing other people into violent actions against their will. One of the most extreme examples of this was his actions against Luke Cage’s wife, Jessica Jones, when he mentally and physically abused her for several months.
In addition to this, Purple Man is a master criminal, often gaining access to vast fortunes through the use of his abilities. This has led to numerous confrontations with Daredevil in the past, and later, groups such as the Avengers and Thunderbolts.
Dr. Doom has seen the enormous potential in Purple Man’s abilities, and once created a device to enhance them. Through the device Purple Man’s abilities were able to extend beyond interpersonal contact so that through Purple Man, Dr. Doom could control the Earth’s population.
Eventually Dr. Doom was defeated and the device destroyed, but this storyline has served as the sole inspiration for Purple Man’s two VS. appearances thus far:
Both cards represent the Purple Man’s ability to control minds, but both do so in very different ways. The first card from Web of Spider-Man is more in line with Doom’s theme of resource control, yet much like Zebediah Killgrave, his physical stature is lacking.
The second card from the Heralds of Galactus set is another interesting representation of Purple Man’s powers. Exhaustion is arguably the best way to convey mind-control abilities, and this card combines that with devastating payment power control. I can think of numerous examples, from Barbara Gordon to Wolverine and beyond, who would definitely shudder when put up against this card.
However, are we ever going to see a card representing Purple Man’s past as Crime Lord and Daredevil foe?