Arcade gave differing accounts of his past life, and as yet there is no evidence to substantiate any of those accounts. Apparently Arcade told falsehoods about his past to mislead and confuse his opponents for his own amusement.
One of Arcade's accounts stated that he was the spoiled son of a millionaire living in Beverley Hills, California, and killed his own father to acquire his vast sums of money on his 21st birthday, possibly also because he had treated him like he was worthless. In killing his father, Arcade discovered that he had a talent and liking for murder. He therefore became an assassin, but was soon bored with killing by ordinary means, and used his great wealth to construct hidden complexes of high-tech death traps designed in the manner of an amusement park.
Arcade killed victims by trapping them within his "Murderworld" for whomever would pay the millions he charged. To Arcade, the game itself was more important than the expense or even the winning. Arcade was also contracted to kill various super heroes, from common foes like Spider-Man and the X-Men, to other targets like Puck and Northstar of Alpha Flight, and Ghost Rider, but these attempts always resulted in failure. Occasionally, Arcade held personal grudges against heroes, trying to kill them for free, such as Captain Britain.
Arcade had a relation with his long-time assistant Miss Locke but preferred to kill her instead of getting too close to her, and mutilated his own face during a plot to frame Wolverine in a complex "Jack the Ripper"-like series of murders. His plot was defeated by Wolverine, Gambit, and his former ally Martinique Jason, the daughter of Mastermind, who left Arcade in a state of delusion.
Throwing a party at his estate for his 29th birthday, Arcade learned that he was being made fun of by the super-villain community. In despair, Arcade let himself be attacked by his new assistant Miss Coriander (having forgotten that he requested she kill him as a "birthday gift"). In the hospital, Arcade admitted to Miss Coriander that he was no longer satisfied with merely playing, as he realized that "winning is everything".
After recovering and giving Miss Coriander his Murder Island to her as severance pay, Arcade fled to his bar, The Hole, in Central Bagalia. As he sat drinking, he was burgled by one of the villains who had made fun of him, Constrictor, but Arcade tricked Constrictor into knocking himself out on one of the bar's hidden traps. From this incident, Arcade gained a renewed interest in his career and rehired Miss Coriander to help him create a new Murderworld in Antarctica. Miss Coriander also provided Arcade a special suit that allowed him to emulate a wide range of superpowers while inside Murderworld's confines.
Inspired by one of his favorite books, Arcade then kidnapped sixteen teenage superheroes (the Avengers Academy's Hazmat, Mettle, X-23, Reptil (Humberto Lopez), and Juston Seyfert; the Runaways' Nico Minoru and Chase Stein; Braddock Academy's Kid Briton, Anachronism, Nara, Apex, Bloodstone; and independents Red Raven, Cammi, Ryker/Death Locket, and Darkhawk) and trapped them in his new Murderworld, telling them that they would be trapped there for a month and would have to kill each other to survive. This, of course, caused the heroes to attack him. However, Arcade used his nanomachine-laced suit to counter their attacks. He then told them to chose the 'weak link' of the group, and that he'd kill that person first. As Hazmat continued attacking him, Arcade chose her for the group until Mettle offered himself in her place. Arcade complied, blowing him to pieces before leaving. Arcade continued to survey his Murderworld contestants until he was attacked in his control center by Christopher Powell, Apex, and Death Locket, forcing him to flee, leaving Apex in control. He later convinced Apex to continue his murder game as part of a deal that he would make her seem like a victim and hero in the end by editing the evidence left behind. However, it was later revealed he uploaded the uncut footage to the Internet on Youtube, ruining the contestants' reputations and exposing the events that transpired to the world.
After the young heroes were liberated, Arcade was killed by Hazmat in Bagalia, while she and other survivors of Murder World were trying to infiltrate the Masters of Evil. However, it was revealed that he was actually alive and was imprisoned in a cell next to Cammi. The one that Hazmat killed was a clone made by the Masters of Evil. In the end the Masters tied him to the front of a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier that they stole to torture him as they flew around.
Kraven's Great Hunt
Having returned to Bagalia, Arcade's services were employed by one of Spider-Man's foes, Kraven the Hunter, to orchestrate his "Great Hunt." Using appropriated blueprints of the Planetary Defense Shield, Arcade sealed off Central Park and turned it into a hunting ground where numerous animal-themed criminals previously abducted by the mercenaries Taskmaster and Black Ant were confined. These criminals were hunted down by an army of Hunterbots of Arcade's creation, which were controlled remotely by a cadre of wealthy would-be hunters assembled and tricked by Kraven, since the Hunterbots' pilots couldn't take off the VR headset used to control the drones, and any damage made to their units recoiled on their bodies to the point of risking death.
Early into the tournament, Arcade was instructed by Kraven to provide the Vulture with a device called the Hunter Killer capable of disabling Hunterbots to help balance the odds in the villains' favor, under the pretense that he was doing it behind Kravens' back. Arcade also cloned the villain Vermin and set him and his duplicates on Spider-Man, who had been wrapped into Kraven's plan. When Spider-Man confronted Kraven, he had Arcade share with the Wall-Crawler that he had been instructed by Kraven to put an end to the Great Hunt if Spider-Man killed him. After Spider-Man managed to reject Kraven's ideals and instead made him embrace his, the hunter ordered Arcade to shut down the operation. Before being able to escape, Arcade was apprehended by Captain Marvel.
Powers and Abilities
Genius Intelligence: Although he has no superhuman powers, Arcade has a genius level I.Q. and a natural aptitude for mechanics, architecture and applied technology. A brilliant and self-taught designer, Arcade applies his talents to the construction of mobile amusement park-like deathtraps, which he calls "Murderworlds".
- Arcade's bow tie is a clip-on.
- 129 appearance(s) of Arcade (Earth-616)
- 22 minor appearance(s) of Arcade (Earth-616)
- 26 mentions of Arcade (Earth-616)
- 103 image(s) of Arcade (Earth-616)
- 18 quotation(s) by or about Arcade (Earth-616)
- 2 victim(s) killed by Arcade (Earth-616)
- 2 item(s) used/owned by Arcade (Earth-616)