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 Spider-Man Encyclopedia  - Spider-Man Villains - Electro

Electro was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #9 in 1964. Electro's real name is Maxwell Dillon.

Max's father deserted the family when he was just 8 years old. His mother became too protective of him giving him an inferiority complex. She even went as far as to tell him to not go for being an electrical engineer, just in case he might fail. So Max became a lineman for an electric company instead.

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 crime, his first victim being J. Jonah Jameson. Electro broke into the Daily Bugle Building and stole from 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 super villain. Spider-Man eventually used a fire hose to short-circuit Electro.

Electro has fought Spider-Man many times, on his own and as a member of the Sinister Six.

One of Electro's weaknesses is water. This has been used to defeat him many times. Electro has also fought other heroes besides Spider-Man including Daredevil, Fantastic Four and the New Avengers.

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. 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  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 was defeated. Later, separately, he was hired by Brainchild to free Karl Lykos (also known as Sauron) from The Raft, a maximum-security prison for super villains. After causing a riot, Electro tried to run away with his waitress girlfriend, but was captured by the New Avengers.

Electro made an appearance in the 1960s Spider-Man animated series.
In the 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Electro (voiced by Philip Proctor). made an appearance in season five. Here he was Rheinholt Kragov, instead of Max Dillon. During the course of the episode arc in which he appears, it is revealed that this version of Electro is the Red Skull's son. 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 S.H.I.E.L.D. 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 appeared in most of the episode arc in the episodes, Unclaimed Legacy and The Secrets of the Six before he became the villain and as the villain, he only appeared in The Price of Heroism. (Electro appears so late and so different in the show because during the show's creation, a Spider-Man film helmed by James Cameron was in production. Electro was to be one of the film's villains. This is also why Spider-Man's origin story was not told until much later into the show).
A gecko who is Counter-Earth's version of Electro appeared in the Spider-Man Unlimited animated series. He appeared in the eighth episode of the series titled "Ill Met by Moonlight" where he resided in a power plant.

Max Dillon/Electro in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series In MTV's Spider-Man: The New Animated Series in 2003, Max Dillon 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 is struck by lightning. He becomes Electro and plans revenge on the primary bully, Doug Reisman. He kills Doug 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. At this point, Max Dillon was presumed dead. 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 permanently.