offers premium web hosting service at a great price. MarvelDirectory is
proudly hosted by Dewahost!
Name: Jacques Duquesne Occupation: Circus performer, professional
criminal, mercenary, adventurer Identity: Known to legal authorities
throughout the world Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with
a worldwide criminal record, given a special pardon in the United States for his
services to the Avengers Other Aliases: None known Place of
Birth: Unrevealed Place of Death: Kang's headquarters in an unknown
location Marital Status: Unrevealed, presumed single Known Relatives:
None Group Affiliation: Avengers; formerly an ally of the Mandarin,
the Black Widow, Power Man I, the Red Skull, Batroc, and Egghead, Lethal Legion
I,Legion of the Unliving V,Emissaries of Evil II Base of Operations:
Mobile, later Avengers Mansion First Appearance: AVENGERS #19 Final
Appearance: GIANT-SIZE AVENGERS #2
Originally the Swordsman was a star performer at various circuses and carnivals,
where he did an act demonstrating his extraordinary mastery of knives, swords,
and other bladed weapons. At one carnival he met a boy named Clint Barton in whom
he saw great talent in archery. The Swordsman trained the boy, who idolized him,
to be a secondary performer in his act. (The Swordsman trained Barton in the use
of bladed weapons; another performer, Trick Shot, taught Barton archery.) Eventually,
the Swordsman came under pressure to repay a large gambling debt. One day the
carnival paymaster was robbed, and Barton found the Swordsman in possession of
the money. Barton fled in panic onto the high wire, which the Swordsman then slashed
by hurling a sword. Barton fell to the ground and the Swordsman left him for dead.
But Barton was still alive, and grew up to become the costumed adventurer Hawkeye.
the years following his attempted murder of Barton, the Swordsman, in his costumed
identity, led a notorious criminal career in Europe, during which he was deported
from a dozen nations. Returning to the United States, he offered his services
to the Avengers, intending to use his Avengers
status to commit even greater crimes. However, the Avengers turned him down. Subsequently
he entrapped and unsuccessfully tried to kill Captain
America, then the leader of the Avengers. As Captain America and the Avengers
surrounded the Swordsman, the Swordsman was teleported away by the Mandarin
to the latter's castle in China. The Mandarin intended to use the Swordsman as
his double agent inside the Avengers in order to destroy the Mandarin's archenemy,
the original Iron Man, from within the organization.
To this end, the Mandarin used his technology to convince the Avengers that Iron
Man had sent them a message recommending the Swordsman for membership. The Mandarin
then teleported the Swordsman back to New York City where the Avengers, suspecting
a trap but deciding to play along for now, accepted him as a member. The Swordsman
came to admire the Avengers and also to admire the beauty of the Scarlet Witch,
one of their members. One night the Mandarin ordered the Swordsman to set off
a bomb, which the Swordsman had hidden in one of the Avengers' control panels.
The Mandarin wanted the bomb to kill the Avengers so that the absent Iron Man
would arrive to investigate and fall into a trap that the Mandarin would set.
The Swordsman, however, did not want the Scarlet Witch harmed and did not believe
in killing the Avengers without a fair fight. Therefore, he went to disconnect
the bomb, but Captain America and Hawkeye saw him and thought he was planting
the bomb instead. A fight ensued between the Swordsman and the Avengers, ending
with the Swordsman's escape, but not without regrets on his part that his career
with the Avengers had come to an end.
Swordsman got over these regrets, however, and returned to crime. The Black
Widow, who had recently been brainwashed by Communist Chinese intelligence
into doing its will, enlisted the Swordsman in an unsuccessful assault on the
Avengers. She teamed him with his frequent partner in crime, the original Power
Man (now known as Atlas) on this venture and the
Swordsman and Power Man team were later recruited by the Red
Skull to battle Captain America. The Swordsman and Power Man later went to
work for the Mandarin, and then for Batroc, and later the Swordsman performed
an assignment for Egghead. Still later, the Swordsman and Power Man attacked the
Avengers as members of the Grim Reaper's Lethal Legion. Each of these liaisons
ended in the Swordsman's defeat, and he turned back to crimes in areas where he
was unlikely to encounter Captain America or the Avengers. He traveled the world
committing crimes, but part of him longed for the sense of noble purpose he briefly
and partly felt when he was himself a member of the Avengers. Indeed, at one point
this longing was so strong that he accompanied the Avengers in their battle to
free the realm of the Olympian gods from conquest by Ares
and the Enchantress.
the Swordsman returned to crime, but his heart was no longer in it. He was hunted
by legal authorities in most of the countries of the world, he was unable to find
employment with major criminal organizations due to his long record of defeats,
and he was increasingly aware of and pained by the fact that he had no friends.
Worst of all, he had no respect for himself or his life. He ended up in the employ
of Monsieur Khrull, the head of a criminal organization in Indochina, performing
the same work for him that an ordinary hired gunman might do. In despair and self-contempt,
the Swordsman turned to drink and became an alcoholic.
was then that he met Mantis, whom circumstances
had forced into working for Khrull as a bargirl. She sensed the potential for
nobility in the Swordsman, and encouraged him to begin a new life. However, the
Swordsman did not take her advice until he was seriously wounded on a mission
for Khrull. Mantis found him and nursed him back to health, thereby saving his
life. He and Mantis then went to New York City, where he told the Avengers what
had happened to him, told them of his sincere intention to reform, and asked for
a second chance as a member of the Avengers. The Avengers gave him that chance,
and, although they were wary of him at first, they soon realized that he was indeed
both sincere and valuable to the team, and they granted him full membership.
the Swordsman did render important service to the Avengers in their subsequent
missions, he was wracked with self-doubt and insecurity, especially after his
failures, such as when he was captured by Khrull on one mission and gave him information
after being tortured. Moreover, although the Swordsman was deeply in love with
Mantis, she disdained him because of the real or imagined inadequacies she perceived
in him. Finally, Kang the Conqueror battled the Avengers in the course of his
quest to find and mate with the Celestial Madonna, who was to become the mother
of a highly powerful being. Kang, was thwarted in this quest by both the Avengers
and his own self from an alternate future, Pharaoh Rama-Tut, but Kang discovered
that Mantis was the Celestial Madonna. Determined that if he could not have the
Celestial Madonna, then no one would, Kang aimed his ray gun at Mantis. In that
instant the Swordsman rushed forward to protect the woman he loved. Rama-Tut hurled
himself at Kang, but was too late: Kang fired an energy bolt, which because of
Rama-Tut's interference, accidentally hit not Mantis but the Swordsman's sword.
The energy traveled up the sword into the Swordsman's body, and the Swordsman
died, moments later, in the arms of Mantis, who finally had realized that she
loved him deeply.
Avengers buried the Swordsman in the garden of the Priests of Pama, where Mantis
had grown up. Unknown to them, the large tree and many other plants in the garden
were actually Cotati, members of a race
of sentient life with great psionic powers. It was the "tree," which
was actually the eldest and most highly developed Cotati on Earth that was to
mate with the Celestial Madonna. In order to do so, the eldest Cotati resurrected
the body of the Swordsman, from which the consciousness of the Swordsman himself
had departed, and projected at least a portion of its own consciousness into it.
The Swordsman's body was now animate and glowed green. On a subsequent journey
to Indochina, Mantis encountered the eldest Cotati within the Swordsman's body,
who explained what had happened. Mantis and the eldest Cotati were married by
Immortus. She and the Swordsman's body (animated by the eldest Cotati) then transformed
themselves into energy and left Earth.
6 ft. 4 in. Weight: 250 lbs. Eyes: Blue Hair:
Level: The Swordsman possessed the normal human strength of a man of his age,
height, and build who engaged in intensive regular exercise.
Superhuman Powers: None
Abilities: The Swordsman was a superb athlete with great ability in unarmed
combat. He was a master of the uses of bladed weapons, most notably all forms
of swords, and was possibly unequaled in this area of accomplishment during his
The Mandarin equipped the Swordsman's principal swords with special devices adapted
from Makluan technology. By pressing one of the buttons that the Mandarin installed
on the sword's hilt, the Swordsman could project an energy beam with great concussive
force, a disintegrating ray, a large jet of flame, electrical energy in a form
resembling lightning, or a stream of gas that would render an opponent temporarily