Marvel Database



The Cartels originated in Latin America. Though other criminal organizations have been for all intents and purposes cartels (e.g. the Triads, the Maggia, the Yakuza, and the Molina, and likewise some terrorist groups like Hydra and the Sons of the Serpent), the criminal organizations which have been given the name "Cartels" by law enforcement, the media, and the underworld have been those of Latin America. Every one of the "Cartels" have been heavily involved in the drug trade, with some cartels having been involved only in drugs and other cartels (e.g. Lobo Cartel and Dos Soles Cartel) having been involved in other criminal enterprises. These syndicates were named after the city they were founded in or based in, the drug kingpin running the syndicate, the family (e.g. Lobos) controlling the syndicate, or some other symbol (e.g Black Knife Cartel).[2][3][4][5]

The oldest and most powerful one, Tarantula's Organization, had ruled Argentina for a thousand years.[6] Which had fanatical operatives, willing to die for their master, including committing ritual suicide for failing.[7][8] Two of the cartels had a theme, where their members dressed and/or acted a specific way, following the example of their cartel bosses. In the cartel that was led by Don of the Dead (an insane drug lord), the men dressed in costumes and masks that corresponded to the Santa Muerte cult (Our Lady of the Holy Death) or to Lucha Libre (Mexican professional wrestling).[9][10][11] In the Man-Dogs, it was led by Pit Bull a brutal humanoid dog and the organization's members wore spiked dog collars, barked, and filed their teeth.[1]

As the Mexican and South American Cartels have been the primary supplier of drugs to the United States of America, among foreign organized crime groups it has been the cartels which have had the most numerous confrontations with American vigilantes and super heroes. Most notoriously the Punisher, but also including Spider-Man, Moon Knight, Venom, Wolverine, Daredevil, the Hulk, and Deadpool.[2][12][13][3][4][14][15][16][17][1][5] Among organized crime groups, only the cartels have received the full paramilitary treatment by S.H.I.E.L.D., with two military-style assaults (complete with S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier) on two different cartels (Black Knife Cartel and Espumar's cartel).[5][18]

The Dos Soles Cartel of Mexico had an alliance with a conspiracy within the highest levels of the American government.[19] In Colombia, the Cuchillo Cartel had a partnership with one of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world, Roxxon Energy.[20] Tarantula's Organization worked with the U.S. Department of Defense and Roxxon Energy.[21] These cartels all possessed extreme influence in their home countries, being nearly untouchable due to the corruption and/or violence used by the cartels, the Black Knife Cartel and the Man-Dogs being the most extreme examples in the violence used.[5][1] The Dos Soles Cartel also had a relationship with A.I.M. which supplied it with superhumans.[22][3] Some of the drug lords (e.g. Calavera de Jade) had relationships with the American C.I.A..[23] Within the United States, the Dos Soles Cartel temporarily united the street gangs under its banner, giving them an army of hundreds of thousands of gang members on American streets.[23][24][4][25] Unlike with the Triads, Molina, Yakuza, or Maggia there have not been any "boss of bosses" or equivalent who leads the cartels of Latin America (neither Western Hemisphere-wide or national-level).

Cartel Groups





Extremis virus,[26] Roxxon power bestowal drugs,[27][20]


chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMDs),[3] anti-tank attack helicopter,[29] fighter jets,[29] man-portable surface-to-air missiles,[29] gatling-style miniguns,[30] torpedoes,[28] and mortars.[31]


At least one cartel had mini-submarines[28]


  • Unlike in the Marvel Universe, where the Maggia (its analog of the American Mafia) dominates the American underworld, in the real world it's the Mexican Cartels who have the most influence in the American underworld, from the U.S.-Mexico border to the U.S.-Canadian border and from the West Coast to the East Coast. They dominate the drug markets throughout the nation and their affiliates dominate the arms trafficking, organized auto theft, and human smuggling in the American Southwest. Mexican Cartels work with Latino and white prison gangs, Latino and black street gangs, and white biker gangs to smuggle and distribute drugs. Especially the Chicano prison gangs of California, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico (who have the most extensive and strongest relations with the cartels). These Chicano prison gangs now dominate or control the mid-level drug trafficking in California, Texas, and the Southwest, are involved in various border smuggling activities (drugs, cars, guns, and people), dominate the prisons of that region, and control most of the Latino street gangs on both the West Coast and the Southwest.[32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39]

See Also

Links and References


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Incredible Hulk Vol 3 #8
  2. 2.0 2.1 Spectacular Spider-Man #143
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Punisher Vol 10 #4-6 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "6-6" defined multiple times with different content
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Punisher Vol 10 #10-12 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "12-12" defined multiple times with different content
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Bullseye #1-4 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "4-4" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "4-4" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "4-4" defined multiple times with different content
  6. Daredevil Blood of the Tarantula #1
  7. Amazing Spider-Man #421
  8. Amazing Spider-Man #423
  9. Taskmaster Vol 2 #2
  10. Deadpool vs. The Punisher #2
  11. Power Man and Iron Fist Vol 2 #1
  12. Web of Spider-Man #54-55
  13. Punisher War Journal #22-24
  14. Wolverine Vol 3 #8-11
  15. Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Anti-Venom - New Ways To Live #1-3
  16. Moon Knight Vol 5 #26-30
  17. Deadpool Team-Up Vol 2 #898
  18. Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 3 #20
  19. Punisher Vol 10 #16
  20. 20.0 20.1 Onslaught Unleashed #2
  21. Spider-Man Unlimited #22
  22. Punisher Vol 10 #2
  23. 23.0 23.1 Deadpool Vol 6 #3.1
  24. Punisher Vol 10 #5
  25. Punisher Vol 10 #14
  26. Iron Man Vol 5 #3
  27. Young Allies Vol 2 #1
  28. 28.0 28.1 New Warriors #65
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Punisher Vol 2 #43
  30. Amazing Spider-Man Presents: Anti-Venom - New Ways To Live #3
  31. Punisher Annual #1
  32. S. Beittel, June (20 December 2019). Mexico: Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking Organizations. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved on 9 June 2020.
  33. Morse, Julie (3 May 2017). Mexican Cartels Have Seized Control of the U.S. Drug Market. Pacific Standard. Retrieved on 9 June 2020.
  34. Cawley, Marguerite (18 April 2014). Mexico Cartel-US Gang Ties Deepening as Criminal Landscape Fragments. Insight Crime. Retrieved on 9 June 2020.
  35. E. Valenzuela, Beatrize (1 September 2017). Cross-border gangs, Mexican drug cartels gaining hold on California, report says. Press-Telegram. Retrieved on 9 June 2020.
  36. Johnson, Scott (19 June 2011). Transnational gangs form alliance with Mexican cartel, becoming more sophisticated in trafficking drugs, guns, people. Mercury News. Retrieved on 9 June 2020.
  37. Gangs Beyond Borders: California and the Fight Against Transnational Crime. California Department of Justice (March 2014). Retrieved on 9 June 2020.
  38. Texas Gang Threat Assessment. Texas Department of Public Safety (April 2014). Retrieved on 9 June 2020.
  39. 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment. Drug Enforcement Administration (October 2017). Retrieved on 9 June 2020.
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