5686 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Man-Mountain Marko (Spider-Man enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Man-Mountain Marko


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Man-Mountain Marko is a very minor, vintage Spider-Man enemy. He appeared in 1969, hence his vague “evil Fonzie ” look.

Originally he has no real power, but he’s a 6’11”, heavily muscled mob enforcer. Marko is something of an archetype (the giant legbreaker), which is handy.

Marko went on to have a minor career as a Marvel Universe villain. This profile doesn’t cover his appearances in the MC2 continuity – that would be a separate entry


Background

  • Real Name: Michael Marko
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Known Maggia associate, former ATF agent
  • Base Of Operations: New York City area
  • Height: 6’11” Weight: 270 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown (occasionally dyed black)


Powers & Abilities

Marko is a professional body-builder, a veteran streetfighter, and an unusually tall and powerfully-built feller. He works out in an obsessive manner, and before he was recruited by the Maggia he probably was in the “peak human” strength range.

With the Maggia-sponsored genetic enhancements, he grew even stronger and possibly larger. Man-Mountain Marko has to manoeuvre to get through most interior doorways, and probably can deadlift close to 1,000 pounds. He could tear open a small, cheap wall safe with his bare hands — or pick a large, heavy 1960s seat and rip it apart in one motion.

Punching him out requires either enhanced strength or an extraordinary martial artist… though I guess a strong person with a sledgehammer might be successful given enough blows. Even 1980s Luke Cage found it difficult to clobber him unconscious, though it was easier for Iron Fist or Spider-Man.

Man-Mountain Marko is a capable, fast fighter with considerable experience in the trade. He shouldn’t be underestimated.

Steroids

Marko eventually discovered that certain racehorse steroids can have dramatic effects on his physique. These effects would be impossible without his genetic enhancements. Heavy doses of steroids plus constant iron-pumping will make him more muscular but also considerably larger and taller. The additional muscle makes him slower, though.

Man-Mountain Marko vs. Spider-Man

When he goes through this, his height increases by at least one foot and his strength at least doubles. Assuming his height is about 8’1” in this state, his weight should logically reach 430 lbs (though his official weight at 270lbs when he’s 6’11” seems considerably lowballed). However, it’s probably closer to 460 lbs with the additional muscle volume.

As far as is known Marko only ever went through one round of this during the late 1980s. Another round of this would likely be very hazardous for his health.

Chronology of enhancements

When and how Marko was enhanced isn’t clearly stated in the material. No enhancement is even mentioned before Web of Spider-Man #82. This profile makes a number of assumptions, but as it happens it lines up with his official Marvel sourcebook profile – so that’s good enough.

In 1991, it is shown that the Maggia has at least a half-dozen enforcers with the same genetic enhancements as Marko, though they’re presumably not as proficient as the Man-Mountain.


History

Michael Marko apparently grew up poor and in a bad part of New York City. He came to rely primarily on his fists to get what he wanted. During his teens he became a street thug and an extortionist. His strength was everything to him and his sole asset.

Marko once randomly ran into a young Peter Parker — perhaps circa 1965, publication time. Very preoccupied by his aunt’s health, Parker didn’t break stride when Marko accosted him to demand money. The student absent-mindedly brushed him aside with super-human strength, sending him crashing into garbage cans.

The young Marko was shocked and humiliated by this incident, which gave him frequent nightmares. He resolved to work out harder and be the strongest there is so nobody could manhandle him.

Michael Marko became a professional body-builder, competing under the moniker of “Man-Mountain” Marko.

If you’re using publication time, body-building was already growing and popular at that point — for instance the movies starring Steve Reeves  as Hercules are from the early 1960s and would certainly have provided Marko with inspiration.

I want muscle, hoo hoo hoo

By 1969, Michael Marko was working for the Maggia as an enforcer. The Silvermane mob, run by Silvio “Silvermane” Manfredi, paid for genetic enhancements that made Marko even stronger, and presumably even larger. He was apparently Manfredi’s top legbreaker.

Man-Mountain Marko lifting weights

Manfredi learned that a fragment of an ancient mystical tablet was in New York City. Discovered by crooked archaeologist Louis Wilson, it was originally stolen by the Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) – but after it was recovered by Spider-Man, the Shocker (Herman Schultz) stole it from the police.

The aged Manfredi soon learned that the Shocker had stashed the artefact at his girlfriend’s apartment. Believing that the tablet could be used for a spell of rejuvenation, he immediately dispatched Man-Mountain Marko. Despite Spider-Man’s intervention, Marko came back with the tablet.

Silvermane had Dr. Kurt Connors and his family kidnapped. Connors did deduce that the inscriptions on the tablet were symbols about biological compounds. The serum he brewed based on these made Silvermane young and powerful again.

Faced with this impossible development, Marko attacked Silvermane as he thought he was an impostor, but was beaten back and convinced that this man was Silvermane.

At this point Spider-Man came in to rescue the Connorses. Now having a good idea of Marko’s strength, Spidey used his full superhuman strength to slam Man-Mountain Marko against a wall, one-shotting him. Minutes later, Silvermane was de-aged into nothingness.

Strong enough

This new defeat shocked Marko – though he did not suspect that Spider-Man and the “dweeb” who had swatted him aside years before were the same person. He continued to work for Caesar “Big C.” Cicero, who had been Silvermane’s second in command, as his lead enforcer.

In 1980, Marko ran into Power Man (Luke Cage) whilst chasing shady lawyer “Big Ben” Donovan. Marko was outpowered and outfought by Cage, but stunned him using handy electrical cables then pummelled him unconscious — though he broke his right hand in so doing.

Marko also caught Thunderbolt (William Carver) despite his speed, but was then defeated by Iron Fist (Daniel Rand-K’ai).

Man-Mountain Marko bursting through a wall

In 1983, Marko and the Eel (Edward Lavell) were sent by the Maggia to free Hammerhead during a prison transfer. An helicopter dropped them on the correctional transport, where they fought Power Man and Iron Fist – the latter of whom eventually defeated Marko.

Marko and Lavell were incarcerated for a few months. Deadly Nightshade (Tilda Johnson) convinced their parole officer to have the pair work for her, then vamped the Stuart brothers (Stiletto and Discus) into joining. Nightshade had her crew rob a debutante ball full of wealthy people, but they *again* ran into Power Man and Iron Fist and were defeated.

After these defeats, Marko started experimenting with racehorse steroids, which over time considerably increased his strength and stature.

In 1991 a strange boy approached Marko for physical training. On a whim, Man-Mountain took the kid in as a servant. The police thought that a kidnapping had taken place, and Spider-Man came in to free the kid.

Spidey was weakened by a bad cold and Man-Mountain was at the height of his mass and strength. The fight took hours, but Spider-Man eventually won. Marko apparently stopped taking steroids after that, for obvious health reasons.

Harder better faster stronger

Louis Wilson, the archaeologist who had discovered the tablet of youth, had been working on it ever since. He found missing fragments, explaining what had gone wrong in Silvermane’s case. However Caesar Cicero kept an eye on him. He sent Man-Mountain Marko and the Eel – who recovered all fragments despite Spider-Man’s efforts.

At the last moment, though, Boomerang (Fred Myers) stole the fragments from Cicero and brought them to Hammerhead.

In 2001, Man-Mountain Marko was sent after private investigator Jessica Jones as part of a plot to destabilise the President by exposing Captain America’s secret identity. However, Marko hadn’t been told that Jones had superhuman strength and she sucker-punched him unconscious.

Man-Mountain Marko in an ATF suit

During the 2000s, Man-Mountain Marko moved to Europe and broke into a whole new career – singer. He became a successful oddity as a thug singing (badly) about crime and superhuman violence, and returned to the US where the real cash was.

During the return flight he got in a row with has-been mutant singer Dazzler (Alison Blaire), who took him down and stole his promoter. Whether Marko pursued his singing career is unrevealed, but he was soon arrested.

During Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign, Man-Mountain Marko was released from his cell, hired by the ATF and given command of a field unit. After the Atlas secret organisation challenged Osborn, Marko’s team was among those investigating Atlas for payback.

They found a defector and raided an Atlas base, but ran into the Agents of Atlas – and Marko was easily defeated by Namora.

As operations continued, Marko came to realise that something was off and that the defector was probably a double agent. He was correct, but was unexpectedly swallowed by an Atlas advisor — the dragon Mister Lao — and apparently killed.


Description

Marko’s 1950s rocker hairstyle is reminiscent of that of Fonzie in the Happy Days sitcom. Likewise his ATF uniform had “MMM” written in the back in golden studs like a vintage rocker.


Personality

Marko is a callous brute, but does everything he can to act like a reliable professional. Though he’s poorly educated he’s not particularly dumb. Yet, it remains true that his strength is his sole real asset.

Man-Mountain Marko is obsessed with always being dominant and the strongest person in the room. Howbeit that isn’t really workable since his strength is minor by superhuman standards.

He eventually thought to assert his superiority by another mean — fame — but that may not have worked out. He’s haunted by his defeats and works out like a maniac in the hope of never being beaten again.

Still, in almost all cases, he can be safely played as a generic domineering thug.


Quotes

“The Maggia’s top brass got ways of finding things out, see ? And they say the Shocker stashed that hunka stone here with you ! And they don’t pay me to take no for an answer !”

“You’re real cute with the words, masked man… but it’ll take more than them to get you outta this !”

“You can’t do this to me ! I’m Man-Mountain Marko ! Ya hear ?!”

“Stuff it, punk — Man-Mountain Marko ain’t never outclassed.”


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Man-Mountain Marko

Dex: 05 Str: 06 Bod: 05 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Enforcer
Inf: 05 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 015 HP: 025

Powers:
Growth: 01, Skin armour: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Growth is Always On, Form Function and Already Factored In
  • Skin Armour is Form Function, and only applies vs. blunt and unarmed attacks

Skills:
Artist (Singing): 03, Charisma (Intimidation, Interrogation): 04, Martial Artist (AV, RV): 07

Advantages
Credentials (Maggia, Low)

Connections:
Street (Low)

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance (Size and muscle), Traumatic Flashback (Being easily defeated in physical combat)


Steroids

Under the influence of selected racehorse steroids, Marko acquires an additional AP of Growth, raising his STR and his Physical RV by one, and an AP of Skin Armour (only vs. blunt and unarmed damage) on top of that. His OV against Physical Attacks and Perception Checks is lowered by one, though.

He also becomes unable to use his Martial Artist Skill (which incidentally lowers his Initiative by one) and gains a Minor Rage and a MIA toward Violence, plus a MPR (must eat about three times as much as before, including lots of proteins).


Other musclemen with similar enhancements

In 1991, a half-dozen bodybuilders with genetic enhancements similar to Marko’s are seen working as muscle for the Maggia. Assuming they’re not as powerful as Man-Mountain Marko, possible stats are :

Dex: 04 Str: 05 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Enforcer
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 009 HP: 005

Powers:
Growth: 01, Skin Armour: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In
  • Skin Armour only applies vs. blunt and unarmed attacks

Skills:
Charisma (Intimidation, Interrogation): 03

Advantages
Credentials (Maggia, Low)

Connections:
Street (Low)

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance (Size and muscle)

Silvermane as a young man, and Man-Mountain Marko


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Man-Mountain Marko — Averaged PL 6.8

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
03 (05) 03 (04) 01 01 04 (06) 00 01 00 (01)

Powers

Man-mountain ● 10 points (Noticeable) ● Descriptors: Size
– Growth 1 (Permanent)
– Enhanced Strength 1, Enhanced Fighting 2, Enhanced Presence 1
– Protection 4 (Limited 2 to blunt/unarmed attacks)

Combat Advantages

All-Out Attack, Chokehold, Close Attack 2, Defensive Roll 2

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Veteran Maggia associate), Contacts

Skills

Athletics 1 (+6), Close Combat (Unarmed) 1 (+9), Expertise (Singer) 3 (+4), Insight 1 (+2), Intimidation 3 (+4), Perception 3 (+4),

Offense

Initiative +1
Unarmed +9, Close, Damage 5

Defense

Dodge 7 Fortitude 8
Parry 9 Toughness 4/6*/10**
Will 2

* With Defensive Roll
** W/ Defensive Roll and vs. unarmed/blunt damage

Complications

  • Appearance Marko is rather easy to spot
  • Mercenary Marko works for the best-paying don
  • Obsession Man-Mountain Marko is obsessed with being the strongest man there is, and is liable to experience traumatic shock if he’s easily manhandled by a super-strong person

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 7, Dodge/Toughness PL 8, Parry/Toughness PL 9, Fort/Will PL 5
  • Point total 64 Abilities 26, Defences 14, Skills 6, Powers 10, Devices 0, Advantages 8. Equiv. PL 5.


Steroids

Under the influence of selected racehorse steroids, Marko acquires an additional Rank of Growth (which means one more Rank of Strength and Stamina, a +1 bonus to his Intimidation, and a -1 penalty to his Dodge) and two more Rank to his existing Protection (with the same Limited). His Parry Defense is not lowered, but he no longer can use his Close Attack Advantage.

Using these drugs means additional Complications – a ‘roid rage problem and having to eat three times as much as with a high proteins input.


Other musclemen with similar enhancements

In 1991, a half-dozen bodybuilders with genetic enhancements similar to Marko’s are seen working as muscle for the Maggia.

Assuming they’re not as powerful as Man-Mountain Marko, possible stats are — Unarmed attack +5 Close Damage 4, Dodge and Parry 5, Will 3, Fortitude 6, Toughness 4 (2 without Defensive Roll, 6 vs. unarmed/blunt and with defensive roll) and Intimidation +3.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe

Helper(s): Nicolas Lemaçon

Writeup completed on the 4th of June, 2014.

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Lists what's been done on writeups.org during the previous month. That's it. Learn more.