Electro (Marvel Comics)

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Facts and Stats

Character Summary

Electro (Max Dillon) is a super villain and Spider-Man foe that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Publication history

Electro was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (Feb. 1964).

Character biography

The first appearance of Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (Feb. 1964). Art by Steve Ditko.
The first appearance of Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (Feb. 1964). Art by Steve Ditko.

Maxwell Dillon was born to Jonathan and Anita Dillon in Endicott, New York. Jonathan was an accountant, though he had trouble keeping a job. Because of this, Max and his family moved frequently when Max was young and he found it difficult to make friends. His hot-headed father abandoned his family when Max was eight years old. Anita subsequently became overprotective of Max, leading to his single greatest flaw as a super-villain: his inferiority complex. Years later, Max told his mother he wished to become an electrical engineer. Anita, not wanting him to be angry if he failed, convinced him he was not intelligent enough, and Max reluctantly took a job as a lineman for an electric company.

While he was repairing a power line, a freak lightning accident resulted in a mutagenic change in his nervous system, transforming Dillon into a living electrical capacitor. Taking the name Electro, he turned to a life of a professional criminal, his first victim being J Jonah Jameson. Electro broke into the Daily Bugle Building and stole Jameson's safe right in front of him. Jameson accused Spider-Man of being an alternate identity of Electro, prompting Spider-Man to prove the publisher wrong. During his confrontation with Electro, Spider-Man was nearly killed when he touched the electrically charged supervillain. Spider-Man eventually used a fire hose to short-circuit Electro.The Amazing Spider-Man #9 (Feb. 1964)

Electro next confronted Daredevil for the first time.Daredevil #2 Electro later joined the original Sinister Six.Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 Electro attacked the Fantastic Four at the wedding of Sue Storm and Reed Richards, under the control of Doctor Doom.Fantastic Four Annual #3 He later recruited the second Emissaries of Evil in a plot of revenge against Daredevil for previous defeats. This group consisted of Gladiator, Stilt-Man, Leap-Frog, and the Matador.Daredevil Annual #1

Electro was later hired by J. Jonah Jameson to defeat Spider-Man on national television.The Amazing Spider-Man #82 He encountered Daredevil again in San Francisco, at which time he temporarily donned a modified costume.Daredevil #87 He then took control of a Protarian android seeking the destruction of Omega.Omega the Unknown #3 Electro then teamed with Blizzard against Spider-Man and Daredevil.Marvel Team-Up #56 Electro then attempted to aid a band of criminals escaping the Defenders.Defenders #63

Electro later joined the Frightful Four.Spectacular Spider-Man #39 As part of the Frightful Four, he used Spider-Man as bait to trap the Fantastic Four.Fantastic Four #218 Electro later learned that he can electro-statically disrupt Spider-Man's wall-crawling ability.Spectacular Spider-Man #134 The Chameleon and Hammerhead then sent the Shocker to try to recruit Electro into their organization.Spectacular Spider-Man #157 Instead, he later accepted Doctor Octopus's invitation to rejoin the Sinister Six, and battled Spider-Man.Amazing Spider-Man #334-339

Electro has fought Spider-Man countless times, either on his own or as part of a group such as the Sinister Six. He has also fought such other heroes as Daredevil, Fantastic Four and the New Avengers. Despite his immense power, he has almost always been defeated, usually as a result of his foes outsmarting him or taking advantage of his weakness to water while charged.

As a result of his frequent and often embarrassing defeats, Electro tried to take over New York City's power supply in an attempt at glory and respect. Spider-Man thwarted this plan, however, and convinced Electro to quit his criminal career. When the insane Spider-Man clone Kaine started killing enemies of Spider-Man, Electro began to fear for his life and temporarily joined Mysterio's Sinister Seven, which had been formed to combat Kaine. This group was quickly disbanded, and following Kaine's subsequent disappearance, Electro returned to retirement.

This changed when The Rose agreed to fund an experimental technique that would amplify Electro's abilities, in exchange for Electro's services as an enforcer. Seeing this as a chance to rise above the string of failures that had made up so much of his life, Electro underwent the procedure. After paying off his debt to the Rose by defeating several members of The True Believers (an offshoot of the famous ninja sect The Hand), a group of ninja assassins who had been interfering in the Rose's operations, Electro attempted to demonstrate his newly amplified powers to the world, once again attempting to take control of New York City's power supply. Wearing an insulated suit, Spider-Man stopped him. Electro, in an effort to make a final grand gesture, threw himself into the Hudson River while his body was highly charged, seemingly killing himself in an explosion.

Somehow surviving, Electro resurfaced later as part of the re-formed Sinister Six, formed to kill Senator Stewart Ward and Doctor Octopus (Whom the other members of the Six now hated due to his arrogance). His powers had seemingly reverted to their pre-amplification level, and he wore a new blue-and-white costume. When Venom betrayed his fellow Sinister Six members, attempting to kill them one by one, he attacked Electro and left him for dead. Once again, Electro survived, and when he next appeared had returned to his yellow-and green-costume.

In the mid-2000s, Electro was working with the Vulture Marvel Knights Spider-Man #2 when they were attacked by Spider-Man, who thought they had kidnapped his Aunt May. Electro managed to bring Spider-Man to the edge of defeat, using his powers in more intelligent ways and blowing up a large number of cars, including some with children in them. After a devastating battle, Spider-Man defeated him by fighting him to a gas refinery. The badly wounded Electro recovered fairly quickly, and shortly afterwards joined the Sinister Twelve, assembled by the Green Goblin, though he and the rest of the team was defeated thanks to the intervention of the Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Captain America, Iron Man and Yellowjacket.

Later, separately, he was hired by Elektra (leader of the Hand, who had been replaced by the Skrull Siri) to free Karl Lykos (also known as Sauron) from The Raft, a maximum-security prison for supervillains. After causing a riot, Electro tried to run away with his waitress girlfriend, but was captured by the New Avengers, subsequently fainting when faced with the prospect of being beaten up by Luke Cage, using Spider-Man's webbing to protect himself from Electro. New Avengers #4.

Later, Electro joined the Chameleon's "Exterminators[1]", seeking to take advantage of Peter Parker and his loved ones.

During the Civil War storyline, Electro was among the villains in Hammerhead's unnamed villain army when Iron Man and SHIELD raided the hideout.Civil War: War Crimes #1 (February 2007)

Powers and abilities

An unusually configured magnetic field was created when struck by lightning while Dillon was holding live, high-tension wires and a wound reel of one-inch cable, granting superhuman powers to him. Electro can generate massive quantities of electricity, theoretically up to approximately one million volts. He can employ this electrostatic energy as lightning arcs from his fingertips, and his maximum charge is more than enough to kill a normal human.

When his body is charged to high levels, he becomes superhumanly strong and fast. He can also glide over power lines by using the electricity contained therein for propulsion, and he has on occasion been shown to actually ride on lightning bolts. During a stint in prison, Doctor Octopus gave him the ideas of ionizing metals and sparking the petroleum in the fuel tank of a vehicle as a way to generate explosions. He can charge himself up to make himself more powerful. He can also absorb the energy of electrical equipment such as a power plant to increase his powers further.

In New Avengers, he was shown to fly and manipulate large amounts of electricity and machinery, when he freed all the prisoners at Rikers (although, due to the city-wide blackout preceding the event, he probably absorbed a great deal of energy beforehand).

An experimental procedure heightened his powers, allowing Electro to store and absorb a seemingly limitless amount of electricity. He also seemed to gain the power over magnetism to a certain degree, allowing him to manipulate magnetic fields and move objects in a manner similar to that of Magneto, and could overcome his old weakness to water by using the electromagnetic fields around him to vaporize water before it could touch him. He made Spider-Man beg by stimulating the bioelectric currents in his brain, and was able to defeat Nate Grey by manipulating said currents in Nate's brain to turn his own psionic powers against him.

Electro can override any electrically-powered device and manipulate it according to his mental commands.

By using an external electrical power source to recharge his body's energy reserves, Electro could expend electricity indefinitely without diminishing his personal reserves. When he is fully charged, Electro is extremely sensitive to anything that may "short circuit" him, such as water.

Electro propels himself along magnetic lines of force in objects that have great electrical potential, such as high-tension electrical lines. He can also create electrostatic bridges to traverse upon, at the cost of a great expenditure of energy.

Other versions

Marvel Zombies

Electro appears as one of the undead villains alongside Sandman battling the living Marvel superheroes.


In the MC2 alternate future, Electro has a daughter, Allison Dillon, who is emotionally troubled over never having had a stable father-figure in her life and becomes the supervillain Aftershock.Spider-Girl #51 (Nov. 2002) She had inherited her father's powers, but because Dillon and Allison's electrical auras are different, the slightest touch causes them intense pain. When Dillon discovers his daughter is following in his footsteps, he asks Spider-Man for help. Spider-Man, Spider-Girl and the Avengers help subdue Aftershock, and when Dillon shows up, father and daughter vow to overcome their pain, and Max promises to be a better father.Spider-Girl #81 (Feb. 2005)

Spider-Man: Reign

Electro is one of the villains released by Edward to destroy Spider-Man; he is killed by Spider-Man after being knocked into Hydro-Man (who also dies) causing him to short circuit.

Ultimate Electro

Ultimate Electro.
Ultimate Electro.

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Electro has been reimagined with powers as a product of bioengineering. Unlike his mainstream counterpart, Ultimate Electro is bald, wears a black leather outfit, and has some grotesque burn scars. As a result of experimentation by Justin Hammer, Max Dillon is given the power to control and create electricity. He is sold by Hammer to the Kingpin in exchange for a real-estate development contract.Ultimate Spider-Man #17 (March 2002) Spider-Man defeats him. Electro later escapes from federal custody, murdering several people in the process. The superhero team the Ultimates re-apprehend him and place him SHIELD custody along with the Sandman, Kraven the Hunter, Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin. The five supervillains escape and briefly force Spider-Man to join their criminal team, the Ultimate Six.Miniseries Ultimate Six #1-7 (Nov. 2003 - June 2004) In a battle with the Ultimates on the White House lawn, Thor defeats Electro. He eventually escapes and is hired by Bolivar Trask to gauge Venom's power. Electro leads Venom on a chase throughout Manhattan when Spider-Man appears. Electro knocks Spider-Man out and tries to kill him, but Venom attacks Electro, trying to take Electro's opportunity to kill the fallen hero. Venom defeats Electro by destroying the neon signs that Electro is feeding on. When S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives Venom flees, and Electro is once again brought into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. The Green Goblin later breaks Electro out of the supervillain prison within the Ultimates' headquarters, the Triskelion, in exchange for Electro's alliance when needed.Ultimate Spider-Man #112 (Oct. 2007) Electro goes to Norman Osborn's penthouse to wait for instructions where he is disturbed by Spider-Man. He attempts to flee and gets involved in a fight both with Spider-Man and Shield agents. He is eventually brought down and is assumed to be back in custody.

In other media


The Marvel Superheroes Show

Electro made a cameo appearance on The Marvel Superheroes episode "Dr. Doom's Day", which was a Sub-Mariner segment.

Spider-Man (1967)

Electro made three appearances in the 1960s Spider-Man animated series.

Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends

Electro was the main villain in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode Videoman, and made a cameo appearance in Attack of the Arachnoid. He was voiced by Allan Melvin.

Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Originally, Electro was not to appear in the 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series, because the series did not want to interfere with the continuity of James Cameron's proposed Spider-Man movie, in which the Sandman and Electro were supposed to be the villains. Although Sandman remained unseen in the series when Cameron's film fell through, Electro was belately introduced in the series' fifth season.

Electro appears in the Six Forgotten Warriors storyline of season 5, (voiced by Philip Proctor). Here he is Rheinholt Schmidt, instead of Max Dillon. Schmidt spent much of his life searching for his father, the Red Skull. After becoming the chief of police in his city under the alias Kragov, he impersonated his father in an attempt to gain control of the doomsday weapon, an unknown aid in which his Father believed would help the Nazis win World War II.

A run in with The Kingpin left him without the box containing the secret information on the project, but after The Chameleon, Kragov’s stepbrother turned traitor on Kingpin, he had the box and all the keys to use the Doomsday weapon. After freeing The Red Skull from the vortex, the Red Skull used the Doomsday weapon on Kragov and he became Electro, Living God Of Electricity.

Realising he was now more powerful than The Red Skull, Spider-Man and The Six American Warriors put together, Electro demanded the UN declare him undisputed ruler of the world. After Captain America and Spider-Man fixed the Vortex which kept Cap and The Skull in stasis for 50 years, Electro attempted to bend the vortex, to prove that nothing is more powerful than he is. After overpowering the vortex, Electro damaged the controls and was sucked into the vortex.

Spider-Man and the remaining warriors then destroyed the vortex, so neither Electro nor The Red Skull would ever return again.

During the course of Six Forgotten Warriors arc in which he appears, it is shown that this version of Electro is the Red Skull's son created as a Doomsday weapon to destroy the Six American Warriors. In this portrayal, Electro is much more powerful than his comic book counterpart (or at least capable of using his powers more intelligently), as he is seen taking over the circuitry of vast machines and essentially brings all of SHIELD to its knees. He is only defeated when Spider-Man tricks him into connecting himself to a machine made to generate a void in the space-time continuum, which traps him inside a time loop. Electro appears in most of the episode arc in the episodes, "Unclaimed Legacy" and "The Secrets of the Six" before he becomes the villain and as the villain, he only appears in "The Price of Heroism".

Spider-Man Unlimited

In Spider-Man Unlimited, the Counter-Earth version of Electro appears in the episode "Ill-Met By Moonlight" as a Bestial electric eel possessing electrokinetic powers. In the episode, Electro is a guard in the High Evolutionary's main base, Wundagore Castle, and appears to attack to Spider-Man and his Human Revolutionary allies when they invade the castle, looking for a cure for John Jameson's uncontrollable transformations into the Man-Wolf. Electro apparently dies in an explosion during the climax of this fight, after being brutally attacked by the Man-Wolf. Throughout his fight with the Counter-Earth Electro, Spider-Man also references the Earth Electro.

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series

Max Dillon/Electro in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series.

In MTV's Spider-Man: The New Animated Series in 2003, Max Dillon, voiced by Ethan Embry, was a nerdy college friend of Peter Parker. Bullied by members of a fraternity he was pledging, Dillon, after being humiliated at their party, goes out into the rain and gets into a freak accident, transforming into an electrical-powered being after being smudged by an unknown material and struck by lightning. He becomes Electro and plans revenge on the primary bully, Doug Reisman. He kills Doug after revealing to him that he is Max Dillon by electrocuting him and is later defeated by Spider-Man in battle when the hero used grounded power cables, sucking him into the city's electrical system. It was later revealed that Max was still alive at the end of the episode when his voice is heard screaming as if he is dying in a lamppost in the cemetery near Doug Reisman's grave.

However, he returns several episodes later, attempting to make Sally, a girl with whom he became infatuated at the party, go through a similar transformation. Spider-Man defeats him again, this time by trapping Electro in an electric generator box provided by Harry Osborn's OsCorp and tossing it into the river, effectively destroying Electro.

The Spectacular Spider-Man

Electro as he appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man.
Electro as he appears in The Spectacular Spider-Man.

Electro, voiced by Crispin Freeman, appears in the second episode of The Spectacular Spider-Man, Comics Continuum (Aug. 10, 2007): "The Spectacular Spider-Man's Electro", by Rob Allstetterentitled "Interactions".

Originally an electrician and friend of Dr. Curt Connors, Max Dilion is electrocuted in a freak accident when his power drill falls on a faulty wire, throwing him back against experimental tank of electric eels and exposed to the liquid inside. Though Max survived, his body became an unstable living electrical capacitor. Soon after, Dr. Bromwell has Max wear a jumpsuit to contain the electricity to protect himself and others, with his body, especially his face, turned into an electric field. Maddened by his physical isolation, combined with Spider-Man harassing him, Max takes on the name of "Electro"--after Spider-Man jokingly called him that during their first fight--and lashes out for a cure by taking Dr. Connors hostage until he is defeated by Spider-Man knocking him into a pool, rendering Electro unconscious. Electro is one of the only villains (besides Lizard) who didn't want to become a villain, and is also loyal to Doctor Octopus.

Electro reappears in Episode 11 "Group Therapy", in which Electro has been undergoing therapy at Ravencroft sanitarium, and under the instruction of Doctor Octopus, who offered a cure in return for his cooperation, pretended to respond well to it. Upon his release, Electro freed Doc Ock, Rhino, Shocker, Sandman, Vulture, Fancy Dan and Ox from prison to form the Sinister Six, where his loyalty to Doc Ock keeps the team together and has better control of his powers. Despite this, he is defeated by Spider-Man (possessed by the black suit), when he drops Rhino on top of him, causing him to pass out from his weight and loses control over his powers.

The show's version of Electro gives him an army private green color scheme with wires and tubes connecting his body to his gloves and a mask that opens up to reveals his face, making his costume a mixture of the mainstream version and the Ultimate version. When unmasked, his face takes the shape of the mainstream's mask.


  • Electro is one of the villains on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at the Islands of Adventure theme park at Universal Orlando Resort. He is a member of the Sinister Syndicate, and attacks guests with an electrical power cable to shake their vehicle with electricity. During the climax on the rooftops of New York, he attacks Spider-Man but hits Hydro-Man instead, accidentally knocking himself out due to his exposure to water. He is last seen webbed up with the rest of the Syndicate.

Video games

  • Electro appears as a boss in the video game Ultimate Spider-Man, where he is voiced by James Arnold Taylor. Electro is hired by Bolivar Trask to gauge Venom's power. Electro leads Venom on a chase throughout Manhattan when Spider-Man appears. Electro knocks Spider-Man out and tries to kill him, but Venom attacks Electro, trying to take Electro's opportunity to kill the fallen hero. Venom defeats Electro by destroying the neon signs that Electro is feeding on. When S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives Venom flees, and Electro is once again brought into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.
  • In the Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro video game, Hyper-Electro is the combination of Electro with the Bio-Nexus Device (BND) resulting in a being of pure energy, called Hyper-Electro. Capable of launching electrical bolts and even calling down lightning strikes, Hyper-Electro was only defeated when Spider-Man tricked him into burning out the BND. After Spider-Man defeated him, Thor was given credit for his defeat, even though he probably didn't know what happened. Since they didn't happen in the comic books, these events are not canon.
  • In the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC versions of Spider-Man 3 video game, he is referenced to when Spider-Man sees an electric generator and says "This reminds me of my last fight with Electro, only these are smarter". In the Game Boy Advance version of the game, Electro is one of the main bosses, hired by The Kingpin to kidnap a senator.
  • Electro is also a confirmed boss in the upcoming game "Spider-man: Web of Shadows." However, the voice actor has not been announced.{
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