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Matador (Daredevil enemy) (Marvel Comics) by Wally Wood

Matador

(Manuel Elongato)


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

Context

The Matador was a very early enemy of Daredevil, appearing in 1964. Because Daredevil’s costume has horns, I’d imagine.

He’s widely considered a ridiculous failure at villain design. As a consequence, he didn’t appear much.

But he can still be used for more constructive purposes than pointing and laughing. Because that’s how we roll in $AREANAME.


Background

  • Real Name: Manuel Elongato.
  • Other Aliases: The Masked Matador.
  • Former Aliases: Dr. Arnold Quaid (unbeknownst to him), El Supremo.
  • Note: Manuel is once called “Miguel Elongato”, which I’m ignoring as a continuity fail.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Unidentified mother (deceased), unidentified sister, Miguelito (nephew), two unidentified nephews/nieces.
  • Group Affiliation: Electro’s Emissaries of Evil.
  • Base of Operations: Spain, then New York City area, then Los Angeles area, then back to NYC.
  • Height: 6′ Weight: 219 lbs.
  • Eyes: Black Hair: Black.


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Powers & Abilities

Back in his heydays, el Matador was :

  • A large and strong man.
  • An excellent athlete and fighter. He was capable of threatening an early Daredevil (Matt Murdock)… assuming favourable circumstances.
  • A capable thief and criminal.
  • And of course a corrida bullfighting expert.

He fought with a bullfighting sword and cape. With the cape’s help, he excelled at dodging – bullfighter style. He could use this side-stepping techniques to dupe his opponents into charging into a wall, or the like.


History

During the early 1960s, Spanish bullfighter Manuel Elongato was nicknamed “el Supremo” by his legions of fans. His technique was incredible, and he was practically worshipped by bullfighting aficionados. His popularity was far greater than any of his predecessors’, and he was set for a triumphal tour of Latin American countries.

The glory went to his head. Elongato increasingly went on megalomaniacal rants about how his popularity could be ridden into becoming a Latin American strongman ruler. He had plans to become the leader of the Spanish-speaking world, and play a key role in the Cold War world order.

All of this was based on a sham. Though he was a gifted bullfighter, his virtuosity rested in part on cheating. The bulls he fought were subtly drugged. He used that and his great showmanship to perform what seemed to be feats of incredible courage.


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However, during an early adventure, Dr. Bruce Banner ended up in Spain. He overheard about the drugs. The Hulk reacted in anger, smashing a door open to let another bull in the arena. Elongato was caught flat-footed, nearly gored, and was forced to flee in a humiliating spectacle.

(This story was actually published in Smash!, a British comic strips magazine that also carried Marvel material. Much later, researchers noted the similarities between the el Supremo character and Manuel Elongato. Marvel eventually retconned  this original British story as having been a flashback to the Matador’s early career.)

1963-1964

Though it seemed that his career was over, Elongato soon returned to bullfighting. He proved that he was competent even in normal conditions, but part of his appeal was now as a sort of heel figure. The crowds booed him, and came in the hope that he would be harmed.

The still-unstable Elongato reacted badly, doubling down on acting in a cruel and arrogant manner. But in March of 1964, the jeers from the crowd resulted in an angry tirade at the public. Ranting distracted him enough that he was gored by the bull.

Immediate hospitalisation saved him, but the matador melodramatically swore revenge against all of humanity.

Once recovered he moved to New York City, to become a costumed criminal as the Masked Matador. His crime wave was a successful and lucrative one, but that attracted the attention of Daredevil (Matt Murdock).

Hornhead

DD and the Matador clashed twice. 

  • Once when the Matador robbed an armoured truck. He stood in the street, narrowly dodged the truck, and threw his cape on the windshield to blind the driver. Daredevil came in, but had to disengage to save a falling man.
  • Once when he stole jewels during a costume party. He brazenly attended in his super-villain costume, and discreetly opened a small wall safe.

During the second fight, Daredevil was soundly defeated. The din and chaos of the crowd had prevented the inexperienced Murdock from correctly using his super-senses.

Matador (Daredevil enemy) (Marvel Comics) robbing

This defeat hurt Daredevil’s nascent reputation. It also worked wonders for the Masked Matador’s rep, as he tried to impress the public into thinking of him as a Robin Hood type. But Murdock, claiming in the press that the Matador was really Daredevil, played on Elongato’s ego to draw him into a trap.

The two duelled on the rooftop, with onlookers cheering. Without a crowd to overwhelm his senses, and revealing at a key point that he knew the Matador’s real name, Daredevil soundly won. The Masked Matador was arrested by the NYPD, and Daredevil’s rep was restored.

Emissaries of Evil

The masked Matador eventually escaped. He hid on a yacht in New York City – perhaps owned by an aficionado of Elongato’s glory days.

In 1967, Electro (Maxwell Dillon) formed the Emissaries of Evil, a team intended to take Daredevil down. In Dillon’s mind, these were DD’s greatest foes. But the roster wasn’t too impressive – Gladiator (Melvin Potter), Stilt-Man (Wilbur Day), Frog-Man (Vincent Patilio) and the Masked Matador.

The Emissaries were repeatedly overpowered by Daredevil, then arrested. And Elongato lost the support of the man who had hid him on his yacht, after punching him out of general anger.

¡Olé!

Elongato eventually escaped. He apparently hid on the docks in New York City, making his living as a thief and enforcer. He had a small crew working with him.

Matador (Daredevil enemy) (Marvel Comics) bullfighting flashback

One of his patrons was crooked businessman Derek Bishop. Bishop hired the Matador and his crew to intimidate tenants away so he could redevelop a New York City property. But he thought that Elongato was taking too much time. Thus, Bishop beat one of his men to create pressure.

The Matador’s crew stumbled upon Bishop’s little girl, Kate. Elongato attempted to blackmail Derek Bishop, but everything went wrong. Kate Bishop nearly escaped, and Captain America (Steve Rogers) — who had been surveilling the Matador gang — swept in with the Avengers.

(Placing this flashback in the early-to-mid 1970s is somewhat arbitrary. But it seems to work, unless you go into complicated reasonings about Kate Bishop’s age.)

In 1976, when Man-Bull (William Taurens) sought to escape from New York, the Matador found him and offered an alliance.

The job was to steal a life-sized statue of a bull, made of solid gold. But Daredevil intervened, and convinced Taurens to give up and that he was being exploited. In anger, Man-Bull returned to the docks and attempted to drown the Matador. But Elongato survived.

(No) death in the afternoon

Elongato served his full sentence, and reformed. In 1992, his sister’s husband died and he moved in Los Angeles to be with her. Ms. Elongato was poor and living in run-down housing. But with Manuel to work as a free baby-sitter, she could continue to work. Her brother’s help thus allowed her to keep a roof over her head and feed her three toddlers.

Matador (Daredevil enemy) (Marvel Comics) 1992 baby

In 1993, a Scourge of the Underworld came to murder the former Matador. But Manuel Elongato refused to beg, and defiantly looked Scourge into the eyes. This specific Scourge was Priscilla Lyons, the former Vagabond. She realised that she couldn’t pull the trigger, especially with the babies nearby, and left without a shot.

By 2001, Manuel Elongato had seemingly rebuilt his finances, and was back in New York City. As he looked for a job, he was used as a patsy by the Ringmaster (Maynard Tiboldt). This was an experiment in implanting false memories. Elongato was hypnotised into not remembering anything. Thus, he thought he was being been baselessly harassed by Daredevil.

The Matador identity

In 2002, a man in a Matador costume was seen in a Bar With No Name. He wielded a bullwhip, and did not sound or behave like Manuel Elongato. He almost got into a brawl with Stilt-Man, with whom he did not seem familiar.

(If you want the Kate Bishop flashback to take place later than the 1970s, you can assume that *this* Matador was the man her dad hired. However, the flashback Matador’s diction was much closer to Elongato’s than to the 2002 Matador.)

In 2006, a fighter named Juan claimed the Matador identity. See his character profile.


Description

Say what you will about the plot, but the Matador’s main appearance had beautiful art. Wally Wood  had just become the Daredevil artist.

In 1976, Elongato had a thick pseudo-Spanish accent. In all other appearances, he had no strong accent.

An updated version of the main Matador encounter was retold in Daredevil: Season One. There are no important storyline differences, but it shows a different version of the costume. In the illustrations, this is the one with the skull motifs. Which, confusingly, is the costume that was worn by another Matador (Juan).


Personality

At his peak, the Matador was running on pure ego and arrogance. He was convinced that he was the greatest fighter and criminal ever, than nothing could stop him, and that his daring crimes were teaching the entire human race about his superiority. He was constantly ranting about how competent and graceful he was.

As things fell apart he still maintained a veneer of pride and flamboyance… some times. Eventually he realised that everyone was treating him like a joke, and saw his pride in being an honest man who had paid his debt.

But even at his lowest, he retained a sense of showmanship and wanted to seem masterful.


Quotes

“The money is not as important to me as the glory ! I shall deceive the world into thinking of me as the underdog… the lone adventurer who pits his wits and courage against all of society’s forces ! My crimes shall be the type to make men gasp in awe ! Only the Matador would dare invade a plan which specialises in burglar alarms ! And, only the Matador would steal their own alarm from the wall ! I’ll use it to guard the stolen treasures that shall soon be mine ! What a moment of triumph this is for me !”


DC Universe History

He’d have fought Robin (Dick Grayson) once or twice, before being recruited by Mister Twister as part of a revenge plot against the Titans.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Masked Matador (at his peak)

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Power
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 03 Wealth: 005
Init: 018 HP: 025

Skills:
Accuracy (Duping Manoeuvre): 08, Acrobatics (Athletics): 05, Acrobatics (Dodging): 09, Artist (Bullfighting performer): 08, Martial Artist: 05, Thief (Stealth, Security Systems): 05, Weaponry (Rapier): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Accuracy and Acrobatics (Dodging) both have a Power Loss – they require having a bullfighting cape, and his full confidence. Each missing element lowers these Subskills by 2 APs.

Advantages:
Expertise (Bullfighting lore), Language (Spanish), Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
Street (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIA toward Arrogance, Attack Vulnerability (-1CS OV/RV vs. Character Interaction leveraging his ego).

Equipment:

  • Bullfighting cape [BODY 03, Attack vulnerability (-1CS RV vs. fire and slashing damage), Enhance (EV for Duping, Wrestling and Grappling Manoeuvres): 01 (cap is 06)].
  • Bullfighting sword [BODY 02, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 05), Descriptor: Piercing]. The Masked Matador once used this pliable blade for a sort of pole-vaulting stunt. This was goofy, but requires no special stats (much like you could use a quarterstaff to do the same).

Later stats

For his Emissaries of Evil appearance, cap all Attributes and Skills at 04. He had but 015 HPs, and only used them to LDD. Remove his Lightning Reflexes.

Later on his stats are even lower – 03s, mostly. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he had ket an edge or two to him. And he did lose his Drawbacks, so there’s that.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics.

Writeup completed on the 20th of July, 2018.

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