Gustav Fiers (The Gentleman)

Gustav FiersAnother recurring character from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 today, despite he’s quite a surprise in his own right. At the end of the first The Amazing Spider-Man, doctor Curt Connors is visited in jail by a mysterious figure, known only as “The Man in the Shadows“, who tells him Norman Osborn has got some plans in store for Peter Parker. The character’s identity has been a mystery until now…and he’s not someone anybody was expecting: Michael Massee is finally credited as Gustav Fiers, and he once again appears just for a few minutes, promising further developement for both the character and the general storyline. This time, Fiers visits Harry Osborn in prison, updating him on the state recruitment of his new team: while he visits a secret section of Oscorp, we clearly see some very known equipment: Rhino‘s armor, Doctor Octopus‘s tentacles, and the Vulture‘s wings, so it’s quite positive he’s assembling the Sinister Six…just like he did in the comics. Let’s see together.

Son of August and Elizabeth Fiers, Gustav was raised in a wealthy environment, since his parents had enriched themselves with the slave trade prior to Civil War. Gustav had a younger brother, Karl, and a younger sister, Isadora, and the three of them were taught the “ideals” of racism and lust for money that moved August. The whole family in 1912 took a pleasure vacancy on the Titanic, and when the ship hit the iceberg, they all thegentlemancomics1survived thanks to their money, since they were able to pay for their place on a lifeboat: from that moment, Gustav became truly devoted to his father’s philosophy of life. Isadora died early for encephalitis, and Karl became the only rival in inheritance: the young man, however, became attracted to anarchist ideals, and left his family to become a ruthless mercenary known as the Finisher. When August died, Gustav was the only son left to inherit their fortune, and he managed to make it grow in a very brief time. Fiers wasn’t satisfied with normal ways of making money, and became involved in a number of criminal activities: from smuggling to blackmailing, from political murders (often entrusted to his brother Karl) to drug-dealing, there was no activity Fiers wasn’t involved in. He also became a financial advisor to powerful men of the ‘3os and ’40s (Al Capone included), and financed many wars and uprisings both abroad and in the USA. To protect himself, he started going only by the name The Gentleman, but he ended up being tracked by a treasury agent named George Williams, who almost captured him in Lakehurst, New Jersey, in 1937. To cover his escape, Fiers engineered the LZ 129 Hindenburg tragedy, an expedient that also made him even reacher, since he had already invested a big amount of money on a new flying technology, the airplane.

Fiers escaped to Europe, and during World War II he kept raising up his patrimony by selling weapons to both the Axis and the Allies. However, Williams had followed him in Casablanca, where The Gentleman was operating, and managed to contact the Invaders, the American superhero team led by Captain America. Cap and the others thegentlemancomics2arrived in Morocco to arrest Fiers, but he managed to escape by blowing up a nightclub. He kept working with the Nazis, especially with his friend and ally Johann “Red Skull” Schmidt, and survived the fall of Germany by escaping from the Allies’ forces. Fiers was apparently involved in all the major events of the century: he was aboard the Andrea Doria, he prevented Anna Anderson (maybe Anastasia Romanova) from claiming her lineage, and got involved in the spy game of the Cold War. He also finance AIMHYDRA, the Red Brigade and other terrorist organizations, taking pleasure (and wealth) from the chaos he created. His organization, eventually, was infiltrated by foreign agents led by George Williams: Fiers captured one of them, Canadian mutant Logan, and tortured him for information. Realising his cover had blown up, Fiers escaped, leaving the Canadian to die, but Logan was rescued by two American agents, Richard and Mary Parker. When the Finisher started to work for the new Red Skull, Albert Malik, Fiers recognized the Parkers among his ranks, and informed the Skull that they were American spies, having them killed by his brother. From that moment, Fiers started monitoring the life of Peter Parker, the spies’ infant son, so that he could have exact his revenge when the boy would have been old enough to “apreciate it”. Thanks to his constant spying, Fiers learnt that Peter had become Spider-Man, and enjoyed seeing both the progresses and the misfortunes happened to the young hero. When his brother Karl ended up being killed by Spider-Man himself (an ironic event that resembled Spider-Man’s origin), The Gentleman decided it was time to intervene personally, and contacted his old friend the Chameleon to gather once again the Sinister Six, an alliance of Spidey’s deadliest foes. Blood called for blood, and Fiers was eager to claim what was his by right.

Gustav Fiers is a greedy and unscrupolous man, a hidden preeminence behind some of the bloodiest and worst events happened during the XX Century. As The Gentleman, he has no superpowers, but he uses his genius-level intellect, his nearly limitless wealth and his vast knowledge to control people and organizations. Despite being very old, he has mantained both his mind and body into shape, and he’s able to easily overpower men much younger then himself; his walking cane is just a way to pretend to be weaker than he actualy is, and hides more than a weapon. Extremely powerful, influent and dangerous, with thousands of enemies who both fear and hate him, The Gentleman can be seen as the man who truly shaped the XX Century, an agent of chaos that prospers over death and disorder.


1 Comment

  1. […] portrayal). The Symbiote appears again in a cameo in The Amazing Spider-Man 2: when the Gentleman arrives in the secret lab of Oscorp, we can see a canister besides Vulture‘s wings […]

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