In his quest to protect New York City, Spider-Man spars with a rogue’s gallery of variably powered and creatively designed villains. One of those villains is Max Dillon, aka Electro, who can control and manipulate electricity, and when he’s charged with electricity, he can also fly, move faster, and gain strength. The zap-happy baddie created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko was introduced 60 years ago in Amazing Spider-Man #9 (February 1964).
Dillon was an electrical engineer and linesman who endured quite a shock one day out on the job. He was repairing a downed power line when he was struck by lightning while touching the power line. Instead of killing him, the two different shocks transformed Dillon, giving him extraordinary abilities.
Once he discovered his ability to generate, store, and project electrical energy, Dillon ditched his regular job to become a criminal. He fashioned himself a colorful costume, complete with a lightning inspired mask. For his first criminal act, he broke into well known journalist J. Jonah Jameson’s safe, stealing the contents right in front of him.
Furious that he was victimized, Jameson chose to blame Spider-Man, suggesting that the thief was actually the Wall-Crawler in disguise. To clear his name and stop the criminal, Spider-Man found Electro, and was almost killed by the villain’s abilities. Realizing that he wouldn’t defeat Electro with physical combat, Spider-Man found a nearby firehose and was able to short circuit and neutralize Electro.
It was Electro’s turn to be angry at being bested. Realizing that he couldn’t defeat Spider-Man on his own, he started looking for partners. Electro joined Vulture, Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter, Sandman, and Doctor Octopus (the team’s leader) as the Sinister Six. For years, Electro has worked with the Sinister Six, other teams, and as a solo act, trying to defeat Spider-Man, and attain wealth and power.