Hello and welcome to another great character spotlight, right here in Marvel Snapshot! This time around, we’ll look at one of the oldest villains in the Marvel U in Count Nefaria! This wild dude has been terrorizing the X-Men and the Avengers since the Silver Age, and he’s still doing it today! He’s now basically a being of energy, but long ago he was a leader of a criminal organization, the Maggia. Created by Stan Lee and Don Heck in 1965 (Avengers #13, vol. 1)!
Luchino Nefaria was born into wealth, but he was also ambitious. He wasted no time in joining the ruthless criminal organization the Maggia. This international organization has ties all over the world, and Nefaria first went up against the mighty Avengers. He actually captured all but Captain America and Iron Man at first, but then Cap freed another group that had been captured, the Teen Brigade. They were eventually recaptured, but then Iron Man busted in, and foiled Nefaria’s plans. He attempted to exact revenge on Iron Man, but was defeated once again.
His biggest claim to fame is probably a fight against the X-Men (#94 & 95). Immediately after the Krakoa situation, the team was faced with another mission. It was to stop Nefaria, who had taken control of NORAD, and was threatening to annihilate the world, unless he received a ransom. The team heads out to stop him, but runs into resistance. Nefaria has recruited the Ani-Men to assist him against any threats. The team first attempts to attack from the front, but he easily destroys their aircraft. They decide to sneak in through the backdoor, and that leads to an all out brawl with the Ani-Men. Nefaria has traps set for them , but they make their way through them, as well. As he realizes his traps and lackeys have been defeated, Nefaria boards a plane and takes off. Before he gets too far, Thunderbird jumps onto his plane. Thunderbird begins to smash the plane to pieces, and then it explodes in mid-air. Thunderbird dies this day, but Nefaria survives.
He comes back to attack the Avengers again after a short while, but is defeated by Thor and the others. He also pops up during the Korvac Saga. In the Avengers volume three (Busiek/Perez), Nefaria takes control of Wonder Man and Atlas, who are beings of Ionic energy. Which, coincidentally, is now the source of Nefaria’s life force. He’s defeated once more, and sent packing.
Nefaria is one of those villains that will probably be around until the end of time like a cockroach. One thing’s for sure, the Avengers and X-Men had better keep an eye out for him until that time! As usual, check out my recommended reading list, and some great pics below! See you next time!
The Avengers #13, 1965
Essential Avengers vol. 8 – Tpb
X-Men #94 & 85 (vol.1)
The Avengers #11, 32, 33, 34 (vol. 3)
Iron Man #114, 115, 116 (vol. 1)