Cardiac (Elias Wirtham) is a fictional character comic book vigilante hero appearing in publications from Marvel Comics. Created by writer David Michelinie, penciller Erik Larsen, he first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #342 (December 1990).
Fictional character biography
Elias Wirtham is a doctor driven by his brother's death to researching life-saving medical practices. His brother Joshua's death was the result of corporate greed, who had a cure for his condition ready, but did not distribute the medicine due to it not being a "profitable" time for them, hence his motivation against corporations. As a part of his research, Elias replaces his heart with a beta-particle reactor, which supplies energy throughout his body, in addition to a vibranium
weave mesh under his skin. This energy, channeled through his muscles, increases his speed, agility, and reflexes, and can also be fired through his fists or the power staff he wields. He adopts the moniker "Cardiac" in reference to the source of his power.
Wirtham is a physician and surgeon, and the owner and administrator of a biological research firm.
Cardiac becomes a vigilante, believing himself an instrument of justice. He first encountered Spider-Man
while raiding Sapridyne Chemicals, a company owned by Justin Hammer
which possessed chemicals vital for the production of cocaine. Cardiac next destroys the house and property of Albert Brukner, a corrupt S & L
broker, and then attacked a subsidiary of Stane International
that manufactured dangerous electronic dolls for children. He invaded Stane International itself to destroy designs for a sonic missile that produced the effects of nerve gas.
Cardiac targets a filmmaker whose film is indirectly responsible for a boy murdering his family. However, Cardiac incidentally encounters Styx and Stone, and is inadvertently embroiled in a fight between Styx, Stone and Spider-Man. At different times fighting each of them, Cardiac eventually cooperates with Spider-Man and together they defeat Styx and Stone. Afterward, Spider-Man attempts to restrain him, but he escapes. He next battled Code: Blue.
Shortly thereafter, Rhino was dispatched to kill Cardiac, but was defeated by him. Cardiac returns periodically to perform his version of justice. He will not hesitate to kill criminals, but he is often bothered by his conscience that he has to. Cardiac later targeted a shipment of drugs, and again encounters Spider-Man. After defeating the hero, he destroys the shipment, saying that he wasn't "there to destroy a misguided hero".
Cardiac also confronts Johnny Blaze and Ghost Rider during Blaze's mission to rescue his missing son from an evil corporation.
When Wolverine seemingly goes on a rampage (he had been taken over by an alien) Cardiac is one of the many superheroes who attempts to bring him down. Pairing with Solo does not help, as they are both swiftly defeated. Wolverine turns Cardiac's weapon on a nearby building. Cardiac is stunned and buried under several large chunks of masonry.
Elias is being considered as a "potential recruit" for the Initiative
program, according to Civil War: Battle Damage Report
Powers and abilities
Cardiac's heart has been surgically replaced with a compact beta-particle reactor, which grants Cardiac power. He has the ability to channel beta particles through the neural web of his vibranium-mesh skin into his muscles thereby endowing him with superhuman strength and regeneration, and enhanced speed, agility, reflexes, and endurance, and he can channel these particles through external objects (such as his pulse staff and hang glider). He wields his pulse staff which fires concussive force bolts, and rides a beta-propelled stingray hang-glider, which were both invented by Wirtham and his associates.
Dr. Elias Wirtham's business administrative skills provide him a strong power base with a number of connections to various enterprises. He has also earned an M.D. degree and is an accomplished physician and surgeon.