Alejandro Cortez was an inventor who loved the circus and the taming of the larger specimens of the cat family. Through the New York's Department of Education, Cortez developed a mind transfer device which would give animals the intelligence of human beings. However, when the city's accountant and auditor Clark Seacrest cut funding, Alejandro would become embittered and disappear, abandoning his own wife.

Hiding out at a circus currently at Madison Square Garden, Alejandro took on the identity of Lionfang and took control of the big cats belonging to the circus, and used them to get revenge on the city. After he had his cats kill Seacrest, the mayor hired Luke Cage to solve the case and find out who killed Seacrest.

Lionfang attacked Luke with his giant cats. Later Luke found his hide out in Madison Square Garden. During a battle on the circus grounds, Luke rammed into a trapeze platform, snapping it and causing Lionfang to plummet to his apparent death.[1]

While it was identified that Lionfang died on the scene, months later the Scourge of the Underworld reported to the Red Skull that one of the villains he killed was Lionfang. If this fact is true, it remains unrevealed if the Lionfang whom Scourge killed was the original, or perhaps another individual who had taken up the identity.[2]

Alejandro Cortez resurfaced in Philadelphia working as an enforcer for Woodward Himes, a drug dealer posing as a philanthropist/businessman. He was confined to a wheelchair, revealing that Cage's attack in the circus had broken his back. The jury at his murder trial took pity on him, and only gave him three years. He had a new and improved method of controlling his tigers, using a large Bluetooth-type headset instead of a full helmet. He taunted Cage, saying the hero was powerless to stop him. He knew that Cage wouldn't kill him, and having already broken his back, couldn't torture a cripple. No matter what Cage did, he would eventually have to go home to New York, and Cortez and the drug dealers would remain, because they would always have customers.[3]


Cortez created a mind-transfer helmet, this would allow him to gain the strength, agility and fierceness of any animal or human being. It would also allow him to transfer intelligence into other animals, and command them to do complex tasks. The device also could generate energy blasts. Cortez would usually use the device on big cats such as lions, and tigers, to either gain their abilities or make them smart enough to fulfill his commands. However, the exact limits to the helmets abilities are unknown. Further, it has been implied that the helmet had some sort of link to the animals, as when Luke Cage destroyed the device, the cats it was linked to were apparently killed.

Cortez also had access to a number of giant cats, including lions, tigers and panthers. He would often use them to do his dirty work, and had a poison which he would coat their claws with. This poison was powerful enough to seriously injure Luke Cage.

Lionfang has twice been reported deceased and has still returned. It is unknown if he can escape death through means of a healing factor or other power.

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