Mister Fear

Mister Fear

Mister Fear is a fictional character, a supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe. Mister Fear is primarily a villain of Daredevil, the "Man Without Fear." Four different individuals have played the role of Mister Fear.

Mister Fear is often compared to the DC Comics Batman villain Scarecrow. However, the Scarecrow did not use fear gas until after Mister Fear debuted.

Fictional character biography

Zoltan Drago

Zoltan Drago was the proprietor of a financially-ailing wax museum who attempted to use his knowledge of chemistry to create an elixir which would turn his wax statues into living creatures, with which he would create a private army. The chemical failed to create life in wax, but Drago discovered the brew he had created could evoke fear in those who inhaled it. Designing a frightening costume for himself, Drago became Mister Fear.

Fear used his fear-gas to make terrified slaves of the brutish Ox of the Enforcers and the Eel. Naming his triumvirate the Fellowship of Fear, Drago ran afoul of, and was soundly defeated by Daredevil and imprisoned. He was later killed by Starr Saxon in New York City.

Starr Saxon

Criminal engineer Starr Saxon temporarily assumed the guise of Mister Fear. Daredevil had defeated Saxon's robotic assassins, and desiring the means to confront Daredevil directly, Saxon gunned down Drago and stole his gear. As the second Mister Fear, Saxon humiliated Daredevil in televised battles, casting himself as the hero in a series of charity-funding battles against the superhero. In the final battle with Daredevil, Saxon was unmasked, and plunged to his death. Saxon's robots would use his mind as the template for the Machinesmith's central consciousness.

Larry Cranston

Larry Cranston was a law school classmate of Matt Murdock who also became his employer for a while. Cranston happened to overhear Saxon killing Drago, and after learning that Saxon himself had died, he decided to take on the guise of Mister Fear.

Cranston went mad during his first effort against Daredevil in San Francisco, jumping off a building, assuming that he was wearing a rocket pack which he had previously worn in battle with the hero, and seemingly died due to injuries sustained in a fall.

Cranston survived the fall and returned years later. He masterminded a series of campaigns meant to discredit Daredevil with the aid of the current Enforcers, the Eel, and a sleepless woman named Insomnia. Daredevil defeated them and Cranston abandoned the Mister Fear identity.

Cranston later resurfaced, along with the Enforcers at his side, providing the criminals of Hell's Kitchen a drug that causes the user to become psychotic and completely unafraid of death. In an attempt to make Daredevil's life miserable, Cranston also gave the drug to Milla Donovan, the Daredevil's wife. This ultimately lead to a decisive battle between him and an enraged Murdock, where Cranston was quickly overpowered. However, with Milla seemingly in a permanent state of psychosis, his ultimate goal was complete. And, knowing Daredevil would not kill him, he surrendered to the police, confessed all his wrongdoings and was sent to Ryker's Island. Immediately after his imprisonment, however, he became the "King" of the prison, due to his ability to unknowingly instill fear into anyone he met. This made him able to control anyone. His last appearance had him surrounded by bodyguards, saluted by prison guards, and entering a lavish cell with a female officer waiting to greet him. Cranston also came into conflict with The Hood and his crime empire during his attacks on Daredevil and his wife.

Alan Fagan

Alan Fagan was born in Madison, Wisconsin. He was the nephew of the third Mister Fear, Larry Cranston. When Larry seemingly died, Alan came into possession of the fear gas and other equipment. Unlike the other Mister Fears, Fagan's primary adversary was Spider-Man, not Daredevil.

Fagan attempted to use his fear-gas in blackmail schemes which were stymied by Spider-Man, with the aid of Hawkeye. Fagan was brutally attacked in prison, much of the skin carved from his face by men in the employ of his daughter, who used the skin to draw out fear-gas residue she used to turn herself into the villain Shock.

Fagan recovered from these injuries and received improved weaponry from the interim ruler of Latveria, Lucia Von Bardas. The weaponry, including a suit of body armor resembling a metallic version of the traditional Mister Fear costume, was destroyed at the climax of the Secret War miniseries.

Fagan was one of the many criminals to escape from the Raft prison facility, becoming a thrall of the villain Crossfire. During his efforts in service to Crossfire, Fagan was again defeated by Spider-Man.

As opposed to Cranston, Fagan has been hired by the Hood to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act.

Powers and abilities

Mister Fear employs a compound based on the flight scent pheromone—chemicals produced by most animals, used to communicate a variety of simple messages over distances. This flight-scent pheromone stimulates fear reactions in herd animals. The drug is tailored for human beings, whose reactions to pheromones are not completely understood. It induces severe anxiety, fear, and panic, and sometimes nightmarish hallucinations in his victims, rendering them incapable of fighting or resisting his will. The drug is most commonly used in the form of gas pellets shot from a gun. The pellets rupture on contact, releasing the flight scent, which is inhaled by the victim. The dosage contained in one pellet is enough to incapacitate a normal adult male for about 15 minutes, or an exceptionally fit male, such as Daredevil, for about five minutes. The side effects of anxiety, edginess, and mild nausea can persist for several days.

Zoltan Drago had a gifted intellect and was an accomplished sculptor of wax figures. He was also a talented amateur chemist, and invented the fear pellets that he and the others used as Mister Fear.

Larry Cranston had a law degree, and a fair amount of legal expertise. He sometimes employed one-man jet devices, as Mister Fear. When Larry came after Matt Murdock in an attempt to ruin his life, he displayed the ability to influence the minds of other people into doing whatever he wanted them to do. Using a drug he created, he also made himself fearless. He also trained extensively in hand to hand combat for his confrontation with Daredevil.

Alan Fagan discovered that the flight scent can be administered in other ways: Fagan has used a miniature hypodermic needle mounted on his ring to inject a large dose of the liquid directly into his victim's bloodstream. He has also used a hand-held weapon that fires capsules of the fear gas. Small but effective doses of the flight scent can be absorbed through the pores in the skin within an enclosed space, but the length of time it takes limits its usefulness. Working with an unidentified chemist, Fagan has also adapted other pheromones to his use, including one that makes a man sexually irresistible to women.

Alan Fagan is a highly adept businessman. He briefly wore a suit of armor, which presumably at least provided protection from injury. Chronic exposure to his various chemicals has resulted in accumulation of his fear drug within Fagan' skin. Though he has not proven able to utilize this himself, samples of his skin were used by Ariel Tremmore to gain superhuman powers as Shock.


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