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Piledriver (comics)

Piledriver (Brian Calusky) is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is a member of the Wrecker's Wrecking Crew.

Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Defenders #17
(November 1974)
Created byLen Wein
Sal Buscema
In-story information
Alter egoBrian Philip Calusky
Place of originEarth
Team affiliationsWrecking Crew
Masters of Evil
Frightful Four
Lethal Legion
AbilitiesSuperhuman strength, durability and endurance
Oversized hands

Publication historyEdit

Created by Len Wein and Sal Buscema, the character made his first appearance in The Defenders #17 (November 1974).

Fictional character biographyEdit

Brian Philip Calusky, though born in Brooklyn, NY, was raised on a farm and eventually becomes a farmhand. Life on the farm is too slow for Calusky and he decides to enter a life of crime for excitement. His criminal activities eventually land him in prison, where he meets and becomes cellmates with Dirk Garthwaite, who is known as the Wrecker.

Garthwaite, together with Calusky and two other inmates at Ryker's Island Prison, Dr. Eliot Franklin and Henry Camp, make a successful jailbreak and manage to locate his crowbar. Willing to share his power with his allies, The Wrecker has the three other convicts join him in holding onto the crowbar outside during an electrical storm. Lightning strikes the crowbar, magically distributing the enchanted strength bestowed upon The Wrecker among the four of them. The Wrecker's three allies then adopt costumes and aliases as well: Franklin becomes Thunderball, Camp becomes Bulldozer, and Brian Philip Calusky becomes Piledriver. As a result of his new-found powers, Calusky's hands become oversized in proportion to his body. Together the four superhumanly strong criminals become known as The Wrecking Crew, who are led by The Wrecker himself. They battle the Defenders while attempting to locate the Gamma Bomb; Piledriver is defeated by Power Man in this encounter.[1]

With the Wrecking Crew, Piledriver next battled Captain America and Iron Fist while trying to lure Thor into battle.[2] The Wrecking Crew then did battle Thor in a revenge attempt.[3] The Wrecking Crew were among the various criminals taken to the Beyonder's Battleworld, including a number of super-powered criminals and superheroes. Bulldozer got the opportunity to face off against the Avengers, Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and other superheroes.[4] Piledriver stole computer disks from Dextron labs, and the Wrecking Crew next battled Spider-Man and Spider-Woman II.[5] Along with the Wrecking Crew, Piledriver next joined the fourth Masters of Evil, which attacked and took over Avengers Mansion. Piledriver helped defeat the god Hercules in combat, but was drained of his superhuman powers by Thor.[6] He was freed from prison by the Wrecker, but without his superhuman powers he was defeated by Spider-Man and Spider-Woman.[7] He regained his powers, and escaped from the Vault. He defeated Captain America and encountered Damage Control personnel.[8] With the Wrecking Crew, Piledriver freed the Wrecker and Ulik from police custody, and battled Hercules and Thor.[9] They battled Thor, Excalibur, Code: Blue, and Ghost Rider II. His powers were then again drained by Loki, but he escaped.[10]

Piledriver has the demeanor of a "good ol' country boy" (despite being born in the very urban Brooklyn, NY). He has fought many of Marvel's superheroes over the years, including Spider-Man, the Avengers, the Defenders, and most often, Thor. He, as part of the Wrecking Crew threatened the lives of the innocent civilians of Damage Control. Thunderball, who has a soft spot for man in charge, John Porter, actually attacks Piledriver and the others, via trickery, allowing the D.C. employees to escape.

Unlike Thunderball, Piledriver has remained loyal to the Wrecker and has only been separated from the Wrecking Crew through various incarcerations in prison. While Piledriver and the rest of the Wrecking Crew have faced defeat on many occasions, they always come back for more, making them one of the most enduring supervillain teams in Marvel's history.

Piledriver discovers that he has a son named Ricky Calusky.[11] The boy lived with his grandparents, but when he discovered who his father was, he ran away and joined the Wrecking Crew (to the pride of his father) under the name Excavator. Ricky even gains a mystically charged shovel. However, he and the rest of the Crew were defeated by the Runaways during a bank robbery.

The Hood has hired him as part of his criminal organization to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act. He helps them fight the New Avengers but is taken down by Dr. Strange.

As part of the Hood's gang, he later joins the fight against the Skrull invading force in New York City.[12] He joins with the Hood's gang in an attack on the New Avengers, who were expecting the Dark Avengers instead.[13]

During the Avengers: Standoff! storyline, Piledriver was an inmate of Pleasant Hill, a gated community established by S.H.I.E.L.D.[14]

During the "Search for Tony Stark" arc, Piledriver and the Wrecking Crew rejoin Hood's gang as they attack Castle Doom. Piledriver is defeated by Doctor Doom in his Iron Man armor.[15]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Thanks to Asgardian magic, Piledriver possesses superhuman strength and a high degree of imperviousness to harm. He can withstand high amounts of concussive force and is virtually bulletproof. Piledriver's power augmented his entire body, strengthening his bone, muscle and flesh. Because of this, he's capable of withstanding the impact of high caliber bullets. Because of his strength and particular talent, he has oversized hands which are more powerful than the other members of the Wrecking Crew, with the exception of the Wrecker himself. His superhuman abilities are currently four times greater than when he originally shared the Wrecker's power, making him somewhat stronger than an average well-trained Asgardian male.[16]

Other versionsEdit

House of M: Masters of EvilEdit

Piledriver (alongside the other Wrecking Crew members) appears as a member of Hood's Masters of Evil.[17] He ends up absorbed into Scramble's body when the Masters of Evil arrive in the Central American country of Santo Rico.[18]

Ultimate MarvelEdit

In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Piledriver, as a regular civilian, worked for the restoration company called Damage Control. As in regular continuity, he and his friends gained superpowers. They seized control of the Flatiron Building, took hostages and demanded a ransom. Zarda, sometimes known as the Power Princess defeated them in battle.[19]

In other mediaEdit


Video gamesEdit


  1. ^ Defenders #17-19
  2. ^ Iron Fist #11-12
  3. ^ Thor #305
  4. ^ Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #1-12
  5. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man #125
  6. ^ Avengers #273-277
  7. ^ Spectacular Spider-Man #126
  8. ^ Damage Control Vol. 2 #1
  9. ^ Thor #418
  10. ^ Thor #426-428
  11. ^ Runaways
  12. ^ Secret Invasion #6
  13. ^ New Avengers #50
  14. ^ Captain America: Sam Wilson #7
  15. ^ Invincible Iron Man #597. Marvel Comics.
  16. ^ Damage Control v.2, #1 (1989)
  17. ^ House of M: Masters of Evil #1
  18. ^ House of M: Masters of Evil #2
  19. ^ Ultimate Hulk Annual #1 (2009)
  20. ^ Comics Continuum

External linksEdit