Jackson W. Brice (Montana)

Another character’s name has been confirmed for the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, and it’s nobody anyone was expecting. We knew already that Logan Marshall-Green would have portrayed a subordinate of the Vulture, but now we learn that his character will be called Jackson Brice, quite a familiar name for the comics’ readers, as this is the real name of Montana, one of the Enforcers, among the very first enemies Spider-Man ever faced. In the show, Brice will be one of the scavangers who reverse-engineer several high-tech components to level up in his criminal activities, but in the comics he’s a renowned mercenary and a master of the lasso. It’s possible that this version of Brice will look to the animated The Spectacular Spider-Man‘s version, where he doesn’t get the Montana identity, but he becomes Shocker instead of Herman Schultz (who’ll be present in the movie)…but waiting for a confirmation, let’s take a look at the original one.

Not much is known about Jackson Brice’s early life: he was born in BozemanMontana, from an unknown family, and since he was very young he practiced with the lariat, until he became a master of it. Under unknown circumstances, he met Daniel Brito, an infallible marksman who went by the name Fancy Dan, and Raymond Bloch, called the Ox for his incredible strenght; the three of them had unique talents to put on the market and, wanting to capitalize them, they decided to enter business together as mercenaries, in a team of three they called the Enforcers. As a codename, Brice chose the name of his birth State, Montana. The trio earned quite a fame as goons for hire, offering their services to some of the most influent crime bosses of their time. At a certain point, they moved to New York City to enter the service of Frederick Foswell, aka Big Man, who wanted to take control of New York’s criminality. It was during this time that the Enforcers met the one hero who would have become their nemesis for a while: Spider-Man. At first, Montana managed to take him by surprise with his lasso, capturing him and restraining his movements, but eventually the hero overpowered them all, forcing them to retreat. Foswell, at the time a reporter for the Daily Bugle, was exposed as the Big Man and arrested, so the Enforcers became unemployed…but not for long, as they were soon hired by another kingpin-wannabe, the Green Goblin, who employed them in a desert battle against Spider-Man. Montana and his teammates nearly obtained a victory against Spider-Man, who was out of his usual environment, but the battle was abruptly interrupted by The Hulk, who was hiding in that same area, forcing the trio to retreat once again. When the Enforcers resurfaced, they had formed an alliance with Sandman to kidnap the Human Torch, and they nearly succeeded if it wasn’t, again, for Spider-Man, who intervened to save his friend. For the umpteenth time the Enforcers tried to defeat Spider-Man, this time working for Lightmaster, but things ended the same way as the previous ones.

Montana and the others didn’t want to start any particular private war with Spider-Man, especially considering how bad for business this was, so they soon tried to change their target, accepting a job from former industrialist Techmaster; this time, however, they were confronted and defeated by the mutant singer/vigilante Dazzler. Things didn’t go any better the moment they crossed paths with She-Hulk, who had them all arrested (luckily enough, in one piece). The trio came soon out of jail, but they suffered a loss as Ox fell victim to Karl Stragg, a scientist who apparently killed him in an effort to swap bodies with him; Montana and Fancy Dan recruited Raymond’s brother, Ronald Bloch, as the new Ox, and they resumed their business, entering Mr. Fear‘s services in his war to conquer Hell’s Kitchen. Obviously, Daredevil confronted the trio almost immediately, but he wasn’t a target, as the Enforcers primarily destroyed the activities of Fear’s rivals…who, however, had mercenaries on their own, as Montana discovered as he was faced by The Wrecker, a goon empowered by an enchanted weapon: as he soon found out, criminals were not so careful about his integrity as heroes were, and Montana barely made it out alive. In hospital he rejoined Fancy Dan, who had met the Wrecker after him, and the two escaped together, only to discover that Mr. Fear had lost the war. This, however, was not such a big problem, as the winner, The Hood, required their services instead. Montana didn’t like to work for the demonic crimeboss the least, and he often complained about how creepy he was, and how he always appeared out of thin air when someone was speaking about him. Plus, serving The Hood exposed them all to unusual supernatural threats, as they found out when Satana mind-controlled them to do her bidding, luckily enough releasing them all alive and well when they did what they had been ordered to. When The Hood lost his empire, the Enforcers came back to New York, just as Spider-Man was on a rampage, looking for the killer of Lily Hollister‘s baby: maybe it wasn’t exactly the best time to be back on business…

Jackson Brice is a man of no principle nor honor, a mercenary who only aims to profit and who sells his skills to the best bidder in order to achieve it. As Montana, he’s a skilled martial artist with total mastership over lariat, and he can use his lasso in a variety of unexpected and effective ways during battle. Usually overpowered when facing some masked hero, Montana is nevertheless one of the first names people like Big Man, Kingpin or The Hood call when they need some old-fashioned street thug, a “job” he still excels at.

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