Real Name: Willis Stryker

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Criminal

Group Membership: Syndicate;
former member of the Rivals (Commanche, Carl Lucas, Shades), Bloods (street gangs)

Affiliations: Gadget, Reva Connors;
formerly Carl Lucas (Luke Cage/Power Man)

Enemies: Luke Cage; formerly the Diablos and the Syndicate

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Harlem, New York

First Appearance: Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1 (June, 1972)

Powers/Abilities: None. Stryker was highly skilled with the use of knives, in both fighting and throwing. He used both conventional knives and some specially designed by Gadget. The special knives contained other weapons, such as gas, sonic attack, and explosives. Stryker was involved with a criminal Syndicate and was assisted by its agents.

Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History: (Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1 (fb) ) - Willis Stryker grew up on the streets of Harlem, where he was close friends with Carl Lucas. The two were street criminals, robbing, mugging, etc. to get by.

(Cage I#3 (fb) ) - Stryker had to pull Lucas away from a fight with a rival gang, the Diablos, where the two of them were seriously outnumbered.

(Cage I#3 (fb) ) - Lucas saved Stryker from a beating at the hands of the Diablos, but both of them were arrested, while all of the Diablos escaped.

(Cage I#3 (fb) ) - During another fight with the Diablos, Stryker escalated the conflict, stabbing and killing one of the Diablos, after the fight was pretty much over anyway.

(Shadowland: Power Man#2 (fb) ) - At some point Stryker joined the Rivals alongside Lucas, Commanche and Shades.

(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1 (fb) ) - As they grew older, Lucas became less interested in their way of life, while Stryker seemed to thrive on it. Stryker began dating Reva Connors as his actions drew the attention of the criminal Syndicate, who warned him away from their territory. When Stryker refused, they ambushed him and beat him savagely--only the timely arrival of Lucas saved his life. Reva was appalled by the thought of a life of violence with Stryker, and she told him that when he was well enough to hear it. Stryker, however, blamed Lucas, accusing him of going behind his back and turning her from him. After recovering, Stryker framed Lucas by planting heroine in his apartment, and Lucas was sent off to prison. Stryker was trying to make amends with Reva, when the Syndicate attacked again, killing Reva and driving Stryker's car off a cliff. Stryker was relatively uninjured.


BTS - Stryker somehow became affiliated with the Syndicate, hiring out his skills with knives as a hitman and enforcer to them. Stryker also contacted Gadget, who designed a number of specialized knives for him. With his new weapons, Stryker designed a costume and took the name Diamondback due to his striking speed.

(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1-2) - Lucas became super-powered in prison, after which he escaped, and began hiring himself out as a Hero for Hire, to make ends meet while he sought revenge on Stryker. Lucas, now going by the name Luke Cage, attracted the attention of the Syndicate and Stryker. Stryker sent some men after Cage and then confronted Cage himself. Diamondback's specialized knives allowed him to hold his own against Cage initially, but he ended up backing up into a skylight and falling through it. Stryker's explosive knife hit the ground a second after Stryker himself, exploding and apparently killing Stryker.

Comments: Created by Archie Goodwin and George Tuska.

Diamondback has a profile in the All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update#1.

No known connection to:

images: (without ads)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1, p23, pan3 (main image)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1, p23, pan4 (full body)

Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1 (June, 1972) - Roy Thomas, John Romita & Archie Goodwin (writers), George Tuska (pencils), Billy Graham (inks), Stan Lee (edior)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#2 (August, 1972) - Archie Goodwin (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Billy Graham (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Cage I#3 (June, 1992) - Marc McLaurin (writer), Dwayne Turner (pencils), Chris Ivy (inks)
Shadowland: Power Man#2 (November, 2010) - Fred Van Lente (writer), Mahmud Asra (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)

Last updated: 11/30/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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