Purple Man (Marvel Comics)

Purple Man


The Purple Man is originally a C-list Daredevil (Matt Murdock) villain, who first appeared in 1964. For decades he only made scattered appearances, getting beaten up by Daredevil or allies every few years.

Our notes are from the late 1990s, but in practice they stop in 1988 since he didn’t appear for 10 years after that. So they represent this take on him.

In late 2003 Alias (Jessica Jones’ original comic book series) reframed just how awful somebody like the Purple Man would be in realistic terms. This was possible since the series was published under the MAX imprint, allowing for more adult stories.

The Alias stories (and the subsequent TV series ) completely changed the take on Purple Man, and gave him a much higher and more villainous profile. But that happened long after these notes were taken.



  • Real Name: Zebediah Killgrave.
  • Marital Status: Allegedly married.
  • Known Relatives: Melanie (alleged wife), Kara (aka Purple Girl, aka Persuasion, alleged daughter).
  • Group Affiliation: Former partner of Electro.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 165 lbs.
  • Eyes: Purple Hair: Purple

Powers and Abilities

The Purple Man is a wimp, with some charisma and some vague skill as a spy.

However, ever since he was doused with a special gas, he secretes large quantities of psychoactive chemicals and pheromones. These create a large zone around him where the mentality of others can be easily bent to his will.

Very strong willed individuals (it takes mental colossi on the scale of Doctor Doom or the Kingpin, however) will resist him. This generally comes as quite a shock to Killgrave.

The most creative way to defeat the Purple Man was devised by Moon Knight – who wore ear plugs. While he couldn’t resist Killgrave’s power, he couldn’t hear Killgrave’s orders, much less obey them.



A Yugoslavian spy residing in the US, Zebediah Killgrave (a typical Yugoslavian name if there ever was one) was sent on a mission to recover a secret, experimental nerve gas. He bungled the mission, and a stray bullet from a guard punctured a container. This doused in the chemical.

The colour purple

From that day on, he was indelibly purple. On the other hand, he could make nearly everyone happily follow even the most bizarre of his suggestions.

A lazy, unambitious slacker, the Purple Man never used his power to achieve much. But one can imagine the vast quantity of petty-yet-frequently-horrific abuses he committed to facilitate his everyday life, acquire creature comforts and indulge in his small-time fantasies.

Killgrave kept a woman in thrall long enough to marry her and have a child. However, she fled when he released her to see if she actually loved him. This lady is apparently the mother of Kara Killgrave, aka the Purple Girl, aka Persuasion. However, there are quite a few holes in that story.

Low profile

Since he didn’t have much ambition, Purple Man seldom fought crime fighters. In his early years, each time he would attempt something noticeable, he was beaten by Daredevil, which taught him a lesson. So he became a playboy, except for that one time when the Kingpin forced Killgrave to work for him.

Killgrave met his demise when Doctor Doom barged in, took him captive and tied him to a “psycho-prism. It amplified Purple Man’s power enough for Doom to take control of the whole planet. The plan was almost a perfect success, but Doom was defeated by the Avengers. Killgrave seemingly died when Namor shattered the prism.


Killgrave will of course dress any henchman he deems necessary in a purple uniform.


Killgrave is a self-serving, undistinguished nobody. A perfect career choice for him would have been small-time, crooked local politico, as his only talent lay in being persuasive. He has an entrancing lilt to his speech that often works.

DC Universe History

He’s a minor villain who went on to become a one-shot plot device. You could certainly insert him as a minor JLA foe.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Purple Man

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Not much
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation : Not much, either
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth} : 12
Init: 011 HP: 020

Hypnotism: 11

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Hypnosis can only broadcast “Obey my verbal suggestions without thinking” (-1).
  • Individual who cannot see Killgrave (blindness, eyes covered by cloth, etc.) receive a +2CS to resist Killgrave’s hypnosis (-1).
  • Life Support(Does Not Breath) and/or being immersed give a +2CS to resist hypnotism (-1).
  • Beings without an organism (say, Wonder Man or the Machine Man) are immune (-1).
  • Active Sealed Systems add to the RV against this Power (-1).

Charisma: 06, Thief: 04, Vehicles (land): 03

Gift of Gab, Language (Serbian).

Electro (Low).

Distinct Appearance.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): Jackson, Ethan Roe.