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12th April 2018

After achieving sentience, Ultron wanted to strike at his creator Hank Pym in disguise. Cloaking himself as the Crimson Cowl, he created a new incarnation of the Masters of Evil to attack the Avengers and his hated father.

Membership: Crimson Cowl, Klaw, Melter, Radioactive Man, Black Knight, Whirlwind

First appearance: Avengers (1st series) #54


  • Upon facing Iron Man in battle, the Black Knight was dismounted from his flying steed high over the ground. Mortally wounded in the fall, Nathan Garrett repented on his death bed and passed on the identity of the Black Knight to his nephew, scientist Dane Whitman. Unfortunately for Dane, adopting the identity of a known criminal led to him trading blows with the Avengers on his first outing, until he cleared up the misunderstanding. [Tales of Suspense #73, Avengers (1st series) #47-48]
  • After studying the android known as Dragon Man, Hank Pym conceived of an artificial intelligence program of his own. His creation, Ultron-1, rapidly evolved beyond Pym's ability to control it once his program was activated. Consumed by Oedipal rage and a general hatred of humanity, Ultron-1 struck down his "father" with an encephalo-ray that wiped his memory of the Ultron project. Ultron fled Pym's laboratory and spent months improving and refining his own design while preparing to strike at his creator. [following Avengers (1st series) #42]
  • Seeking revenge on his old foes Giant-Man and the Wasp, the Human Top adopted the more menacing identity of Whirlwind. He also began a double identity as Charles, the personal chauffeur of Janet van Dyne in order to spy on the Avengers regularly. [Avengers (1st series) #46]


Avengers (1st series) #54:

The mysterious Crimson Cowl re-assembled the Masters of Evil, with the Melter, Radioactive Man and Black Knight joined by new villains Whirlwind and Klaw. The Cowl arranged to pay off Edwin Jarvis to get the secret plans to Avengers Mansion's defense system, in exchange for the money Jarvis needed for his ailing mother. After gassing the butler into unconsciousness, the Cowl dismissed his operatives for the evening. Dane Whitman had only posed as his criminal uncle after receiving the Cowl's summons in one of the Black Knight's drop boxes. He intended to warn the Avengers of the Masters' attack, but the Crimson Cowl anticipated his treachery and sent the other Masters to intercept him first. Despite the Knight's efforts, the Masters of Evil succeeded in capturing Hawkeye, Goliath, Wasp and the Black Panther. When the Masters opened a communications channel to their leader, they were surprised to find TWO Crimson Cowls waiting for them. The second Crimson Cowl removed the hood of the original Cowl the Masters had dealt with, revealing a "lifeless robot." He then unmasked himself... the Cowl had been Edwin Jarvis all along!


Avengers (1st series) #55:

...Or not. As the Avengers were being placed inside a hydrogen bomb for the Masters to blackmail the city, the Crimson Cowl revealed that framing Jarvis was just a bit of fun on his part. In reality, Jarvis had been hypnotized into posing as the Cowl, and the real Crimson Cowl actually WAS the "lifeless robot" previously unmasked... the malevolent Ultron-5! When Jarvis was freed from his spell, Ultron-5 struck him down and ordered the Melter to dispose of him. The Melter ended up collapsing a building on top of the butler. Battered but alive, Jarvis made his way back to Avengers Mansion and was met by the Black Knight, who he warned about Ultron-5's plans. Thanks to the assistance of the Black Knight, the Avengers were freed and the Masters' scheme was foiled. Ultron-5 and Whirlwind fled before they could be captured, however.

Avengers (1st series) #83:

Months later, Klaw reassembled Melter, Radioactive Man and Whirlwind in Rutford, Vermont to kidnap a dimensional scientist named T.W. Erwin. They found themselves confronted by not one but two super-teams as the Avengers and Lady Liberators fought over who would defeat the villains. Indeed, the subtle influence of the Enchantress kept the Liberators focused on defeating their male counterparts more than the Masters of Evil, who ran off licking their wounds when the tide of battle turned against them.


  • Whirlwind managed to escape capture each time the Masters gathered and retain his position as "Charles the chauffeur" for quite some time. Eventually, however, Hank Pym noticed when Whirlwind demonstrated awareness of Yellowjacket's new molecular disruptor gun in a fight, when the prototype had only been shown to Jan and Charles before that moment. Whirlwind was ultimately unmasked and sent to prison, his double identity exposed for all to see. [Avengers (1st series) #139-140]
  • The Melter never returned for future incarnations of the Masters of Evil. He was eventually executed by the Scourge of the Underworld during the mass killing spree of super-villains. [Avengers (1st series) #263]


 Crimson Cowl I (Ultron-5)

First appearance: Avengers (1st series) #54
First Masters II appearance: Avengers (1st series) #54

All Masters appearances: Avengers (1st series) #54-55

Powers: sentient android with great strength, endurance, and durability, ionic concussive blasters, optical lasers, magnetic tractor beams, energy absorption and storage cells, and an encephalo beam that hypnotizes humans

Radioactive Man (Chen Lu)

First appearance: Journey into Mystery #93
First Masters II appearance: Avengers (1st series) #54

All Masters appearances: Avengers (1st series) #54-55, 83

Powers: exposure to a massive amount of specific-particle radiation turned him into a living nuclear reactor, able to sense sources of radioactivity, augment his physical strength, release ambient radiation to cause nausea, sickness, and cellular decay in others, drain radioactivity from his environment, generate incinerating heat and blinding or hypnotic flashes of light, and channel hard radiation into focused concussive energy, protective force screens, or explosive charges

Melter (Bruno Horgan)

First appearance: Tales of Suspense #47
First Masters II appearance: Avengers (1st series) #54

Last appearance: Avengers (1st series) #263

All Masters appearances: Avengers (1st series) #54-55, 83

Powers: ray projector devices generate microwave frequencies and magnetic induction fields to break down the molecular bindings between the atoms of different substances, allowing him to alternately liquify metal, stone, wood and flesh, wore minor melting rays around his helmet

Klaw (Ulysses Klaw)

First appearance: Fantastic Four (1st series) #53
First Masters II appearance: Avengers (1st series) #54

All Masters appearances: Avengers (1st series) #54-55, 83

Powers: mutated by a Vibranium sound converter into a being of solidified sound waves, giving him superhuman strength and endurance, sonic-imaging perceptions, the power to reconstitute his body from any amount of damage, and absorb external sound waves and vibrations that his sonic-claw converts into concussive blasts, high-decibel shrieks, and tangible energy projections of sonic force

Whirlwind (David Cannon)

First appearance: Tales to Astonish #50
First Masters II appearance: Avengers (1st series) #54

All Masters appearances: Avengers (1st series) #54-55, 83

Powers: mutant with superhuman reflexes and able to rotate himself at phenomenal speeds, allowing him to spin at high velocities to propel himself forward, deflect projectiles, direct jet streams of hurricane force wind, and create small tornados

Black Knight (Dane Whitman)

First appearance: Avengers (1st series) #47
First Masters II appearance: Avengers (1st series) #54

All Masters appearances: Avengers (1st series) #54

Powers: carries the Ebony Blade, a magically indestructible sword forged from a meteorite by Merlin, able to slice through virtually anything, deflect energy or absorb and rechannel it through the blade, and disrupt magical spells and enchantments on contact, infused with a blood curse, formerly rode an atomic steed and two other flying horses, Aragorn and Valinor