Gideon Mace (Luke Cage enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Gideon Mace


Gideon Mace is an early enemy of Luke Cage, who appeared in 1972. He’s a good approximation of a typical blaxploitation villain, with a super-hero comic book twist.


  • Real Name: Gideon Mace.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed deceased family members.
  • Group Affiliation: Leader of several militias.
  • Base Of Operations: Formerly the Eastside National Guard Armory in Manhattan, New York ; Mace Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois ; Security City (American Midwest) ; a large mansion in New Jersey.
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Grey


Powers and Abilities

Mace is a highly trained and experienced military man, with a large number of tactical skills. He excels at both armed and unarmed combat, and is a ferocious instructor and leader of men. He has demonstrated the ability to fight on the same level as formidable brawler Luke Cage.

Mace’s right hand has been replaced with a large, spiked titanium steel mace head. Through some mystery of the physical sciences, blows from this mace are able to shatter steel and bring down superhumanly tough targets. Mace attributes this to the incredible hardness of the mace.

The mace also holds a large cartridge of potent chemical mace. It can be released as a foot-long spray.

Mace is pretty good at gaining corporate and political backing for his plans. This come from factions sympathetic toward his ideologies, that he knows from his previous occupations, or who just want to gain power through him. Ultimately, though, Mace only ever serves himself, and he’s the only one he actually intend to bring to power.


Gideon Mace was a Colonel in the U.S. Army during the Việt-nam invasion. He had something of a reputation. But it is hard to be more specific since he has lied about his tours of service.

In his stories he’s known as a crack soldier with a reputation for being tough but fair and an extraordinary combatant. Yet the Westmoreland-signed discharge mentions insubordination, mental incompetence, and suspicion of combat activity independent of orders. These may not be incompatible, though.


What seems established is that he took place in the fight during the 1968 Tet offensive. During an assault on a village, he was fighting alongside a young, idealistic soldier named Jaime. Jaime was killed after stepping on a mine. The shrapnel also destroyed Mace’s right hand.

Colonel Mace was discharged from the Army due to his wound and general mental state. Outraged and feeling betrayed by his country, Mace became a domestic terrorist. He organised disgruntled Việt-nam vets as a militia.

Mace’s men trained hard to remain tough and disciplined. This militia became known for being closer to an actual military unit than most reserve units.

Operation: Overpower

Mace’s first known operation was called Operation : Overpower. He had cronies organise rallies for disgruntled Việt-nam vets. The most violent and motivated vets were approached for recruitment. Mace soon had enough men for a military assault on Manhattan. It would trigger utter chaos by taking out bridges, power stations and the like.

Emptying the Mace family coffers, he procured several helicopters, vast quantities of explosives, and assorted gear. Mace kept telling his men that this terrorist operation was intended to force the government and country to change their stance toward veterans.

But his goals were self-serving. He, his topkick  and a few other old-timers would assault Wall Street during the chaos. Then they would fly away with untold riches to assemble a true army and take power.

Gideon Mace (Marvel Comics) hitting Luke Cage

However one of the vets, Owen Ridgely, realized that Mace was a madman. He deserted. Fleeing madly from Mace’s men, Ridgely made it to the office of Luke Cage, Hero for Hire. Yet he was killed by Mace’s henchmen, despite Cage’s best efforts.

Capturing one of the killers, Cage, with a head full of mad due to Ridgely’s death, assaulted Mace’s headquarter like a one-man wrecking crew. Cage was cookin’ with gas like only a brother can, if you can dig that, and… uh… sorry.

Anyway, Mace’s men were taken out by the Hero for Hire. Cage even managed to grab Mace’s chopper as the mad colonel was evacing the area.

Cage smashed the chopper and crashed it into the Hudson. Mace was drawn to the bottom by the weight of his mace, seemingly to his doom. However, he actually managed to unscrew it and swim free, unseen.

Security City

Mace’s next plan to raise an army was the cunning establishment of Security City. It was a walled community with heavy security, including an omnipresent police. Amidst a media blitz, Security City sprang up deep in the wilderness, housing 200 families and the associated services.

Enjoying full safety, and only exposed to “good, solid, American values”, the city prospered. However, Mace’s plan was to slowly condition the carefully-selected inhabitants to become his new militia. Then he would create other Security Cities.

However, Cage and his hippie buddy D.W. stumbled on Security City during a bus trip to Los Angeles. While Mace was arrogantly explaining his plan to Cage, D.W. discreetly rewired sound equipment to the citywide P.A. system. This triggered a riot. Cage and D.W. left as the local police and heavily-armed citizenry were bitterly fighting.

On a train to Chicago, part 1

Cage and Mace next clashed through pure chance. They were on the same train to Chicago, and Mace wrongly assumed Cage was after him. They had a ferocious brawl on the train, and Mace eventually threw Cage overboard. During the fight, the hatred between the two men was exacerbated. As a result, Mace decided to make another attempt on Cage’s life.

One of his agents, Burgundy, picked up Cage incognito. She drove him to Chicago with vague promises of hot sex and a good job, then delivered him to Mace’s HQ. Cage, however, managed to escape. He attempted warn the world of Mace’s plan.

However, Mace had considerable contacts and assets in Chicago. Many of his numerous, disciplined troops had guns that could harm Cage somewhat. They eventually caught Cage again.

Mace revealed that his actual plan was not the bloodless coup for a greater America he had promised to many of his followers. It was to detonate a cobalt bomb in the midst of Chicago, wiping out all life without damaging the infrastructure. Then his radiation-suited army would take control of the city. They would hold the empty city against all invaders until it could be decontaminated.

As the icing on the cake, he strapped the recaptured Cage to the bomb. But Cage escaped again.

On a train to Chicago, part 2

Mace held the entire city of Chicago hostage, with the National Guard moving in and having the population move indoors. Cage decided to single-handedly assault Mace’s base, reasoning that only Mace could reliably disarm the bomb.

The Hero for Hire fought his way through Mace’s men and defenses and engaged Mace in personal combat. Mace dropped down an elevator shaft during the fight, but Cage didn’t hear any impact and strongly suspected Mace was alive.

Frantic searches were then launched by Cage, a rogue Mace agent, the police and the National Guard in Chicago to find the bomb. When Cage and the police found it, though, it was determined that the bomb was a fake. Mace had bluffed his way into an enormous crisis all along !

War on super-heroes

Mace then assembled a new small army of killers in New York City. He decided to take out the super-heroes first, so as to clear the way for his next big coup attempt. With his usual efficiency at funds-raising, he contacted a number of criminal organizations. These were quite willing to funnel large sums into Mace’s latest army.

The result was pretty much a National Guard unit, with the same equipment. M16s, US Army trucks, small field artillery, mines and the like.

Shortly after, Lightmaster revealed the true identity of local hero the White Tiger on TV. After studying his target and determining his weaknesses, Mace had White Tiger’s family murdered. Mad with hatred, as Mace had planned, White Tiger found his HQ. Once there, he fell under the assault of Mace’s numerous men.

The Tiger managed to free himself, but Mace’s men kept hounding him and he eventually fell to Mace himself. Mace had his men drop the gravely wounded Tiger on the steps of the Daily Bugle, with a note pinned to his costume claiming he was but the first.

Spider-Man intervened, and tracked Mace’s men down. Mace taunted Spider-Man and openly gave his location at a National guard armoury. Mace’s troops fought professionally and with tremendous firepower. But Spider-Man was too powerful for them to handle even with considerable preparation.

He fought his way to Mace and easily defeated him. Yet, Mace ordered his men to fire through him to get Spider-Man. Spider-Man survived, and Mace was rushed to the hospital.

In a way, though, Mace won. The White Tiger retired after he got out of the hospital. As to Colonel Mace, he hasn’t been seen since as of this writing.


See illustrations.


Colonel Mace is on an ego trip of gigantic proportions. He’s convinced that he’s the new Patton, and that he’s the center of the universe. How his name will appear in history books is quite important to him. He’s jonesing for power over the U.S., obtained through armed insurrection of an elite army under his orders.

Mace routinely rewrites history. His military career becomes retroactively bigger by the telling, and he always denied that Cage ever beat him. Mace has no problem whatsoever with lying to gain support. He might be some sort of sociopath.

See the extensive quotes for a good insight into how he talks – and think. He calls pretty much everything important he does Operation : Something or the other.


He’s particularly proud of his abilities as a planner. And he does indeed design plans encompassing a large number of variables and accurately predicting indirect effects. One example was letting a rogue agent of his flee to the police to add credibility to his imminent threats.

Another example was adding fake, painted-on windows in badly-lit parts of his HQ. These would lure prisoners into boxing themselves in as they attempted to escape.

Mace studies his targets well, especially their psychological profile, to detect weaknesses. He’s not, however, very good when superhuman powers or peak human skill enters the equation. He always seemed to underestimate Cage’s durability, and he grossly misjudged the speed of the Amazing Spider-Man.


“Fact, gentlemen : no matter how well-planned an operation is — it will always contain one weak element. To be aware of this, is to be on guard against it. And the instant that weakness is suspected… it must be SMASHED ! One recruit to Operation : Overpower… now poses a threat to its success. He must be eliminated, gentlemen…a mission I know you loyal members of my cadre will accomplish at once !”

“Welcome, gentlemen. I am Gideon Mace — Colonel, U.S.Army… retired. You are the first of many recruits I intend to enlist in… Operation : Overpower. An act of protest that will shake the slumbering conscience of America… that will awaken the nation to the shame — the disgrace of its treatment of the very warriors who defended it ! Yes, I read the questions in your eyes… What about me ? Obviously, my situation is not yours — but I share your bitterness, your outrage, for I, who might have been another Patton — have been neglected, abandoned… as have you ! Because of *this*…! I lost a hand in combat and I was retired — against my will !”

“A good soldier knows not to give himself away, Cage. Or else the enemy will move first. Obviously, fool, you never learned the correct methods of warfare.”

“Ever the braggart, Cage ? Ever the arrogant pup ! But Gideon Mace doesn’t need to revel in self-glory. One of the most glorious careers in U.S. history stands behind me… and an unshatterable titanium steel mace affixed to my wrist will speak for me !”

“I can read the questions in your eyes […]…You want to know if my men and I are the ones who killed your family, don’t you ? Well, colonel Gideon Mace can afford to be magnanimous to those he has vanquished… the answer is *yes* ! In a way, I am sorry — I always regret the loss of civilian lives — but it was necessary and it did have the desired effect ! It brought you here…alone… to die !”

“Can you still hear me […] ? I just wanted you to know that you put up a good fight… while you lasted ! You provided a good workout for my men. Now I know their weaknesses… and the drilling which will be needed to hone their skills for my ultimate mission… the total extermination of every so-called super-hero in New York !”

(As Spidey attempts to use him as a human shield) “Precisely ! In a war, the good soldier is always prepared to suffer the occasional sacrifice ! My safety doesn’t matter ! Get Spider-Man… Fire !FIRE !”

DC Universe History

As a blaxploitation villain (he’s a good symbol for The Man), Mace works better against a black or Hispanic hero… but the DCU didn’t have many of those in the 1970s. And Black Lightning can’t fight *everybody*.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Power
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Criminal leader
Inf: 06 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 010
Init: 018 HP: 050

Charisma (persuasion): 07, Martial artist: 06, Military science: 06, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 05, Weaponry (firearms, heavy): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Mace’s Charisma is only effective against people who respect his military career and political stance (-1).

Expertise (company-level tactics), Iron Nerves, Leadership.

Disgruntled Việt nam veterans (Low), Shady businessmen (Low).

None demonstrated.


  • TITANIUM STEEL MACE [BODY 14, EV 10, Chemical attack (No Range): 07, Note : Chemical Attack has Ammo: 01. At one point, he had it modified so he could shoot it from his stump with cannon-like force (Range: 02), but then he has to recover the mace and screw it back on.]
  • Mace seems to pack a sidearm, but rarely uses it – presumably a Colt M1911A1 .45 [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 07, R#02].
  • He also has no problem with grabbing nearby weapons and using them. Still, he prefers his mace.

Mace’s troops

Mace’s troops are well-trained, disciplined and usually ex-military. However, they tend to be on the needlessly brutal and bloodthirsty side of things. He insists on a strict hand-to-hand combat regimen, and usually equips them with excellent hardware.

One of their key assets, though, is that they are among the few goons who will actually Team Attack when in melee. Use the following stats :

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Paramilitary
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 010 HP: 005

Military science (camouflage): 04, Vehicles (land): 03, Weaponry (US infantry weapons): 04


  • They usually have some sort of LIGHT BODY ARMOUR [BODY 05, Skin armour: 01] with heavy boots, gloves and a helmet and goggles.
  • Their main weapon is usually some sort of assault carbine – either an existing weapon or a compact, comic-book one [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 06, Ammo: 07, R#02, Advantage : Autofire]. If Mace were to appear in the modern day this would presumably be a M4.
  • They also usually have a Combat Knife [BODY 05, EV 03 (04 w/STR)].
  • Some may have special weapons – or he might even keep a special squad around, in case of super-heroes. Weapons he used during the Chicago blackmail include Super-Flamethrowers [BODY 04, Flame project: 06, Range: 02, Ammo: 10, limitation : Flame project has No Range, use the listed Range instead] or Gyrojet Carbines with HEAT micro-rockets [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 06, Sharpness (Projectile weapon): 02, Ammo: 06, R#03].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Old Luke Cage stuff.

Helper(s): Roy Cowan.