Quote1 Tell the slime you work for: Cardiac is here! Quote2
-- Dr. Eli Wirtham as Cardiac Logo src

Dedication To Joshua

When Elias Wirtham's older brother Joshua died of an incurable disease, Elias devoted himself to medicine, intending to save lives in honor of his brother's memory. In medical school, he roomed with Dr. Kevin Trench, and as his career began he befriended biotechnician Gerald Stone and industrialist Tony Stark, among others. Learning of a miracle drug that could have saved Joshua's life, Elias directed his flourishing company to take over the drug manufacturer. After acquiring the business assets, Elias was horrified to learn that the drug had been developed years ago, but the company had withheld releasing it in order to earn more money.[1]

Power From The Heart

Now disgusted by his brother's meaningless death, Elias subjected himself to experiments that replaced his heart with a beta particle reactor, and fused a Vibranium mesh into his skin. Assuming the costumed guise of Cardiac, he set out to avenge the deaths of innocents at the hands of individuals who were untouchable by the law. When he targeted Justin Hammer's company Sapirdyne Chemicals for manufacturing cocaine, he encountered Hammer's enforcers Rhino and Boomerang, as well as the heroic Spider-Man (Peter Parker). Cardiac looked up to Spider-Man as his own hero, and made repeated fruitless attempts to make Spider-Man his ally.[2]

Cardiac next targeted Stane International's Techtoy Company for manufacturing nerve drugs. While pursuing controversial filmmaker William Gant, Cardiac encountered Gerald Stone, who had become a mercenary with his partner Styx. As Wirtham, he learned that the energy-draining Styx was a living cancer which Stone was attempting to cure. Wirtham pretended to offer his help to Stone, but instead tried to slay Styx to prevent him from further killings. Styx and Stone invaded Cardiac when Spider-Man arrived.[3] Cardiac's next target was faulty building manufacturer Steven Polk, but the police's Code: Blue Team saved Polk's life. John Blaze and Vengeance later helped Cardiac expose Child, Inc., a charity that was secretly selling children; the trio successfully freed the children.[4]

Reunion & Loss of Trench

Cardiac repeatedly attacked Morelle Pharmaceuticals, manufacturers of various cybernetic agents and "sharkskin" battlesuits. During his investigations of Morelle, he was reunited with Kevin Trench, now the vigilante Nightwatch. Together they fought Morelle's agents, including the spy Cardiaxe, who had duplicated Cardiac's own abilities.[5] When Cardiac targeted faulty airbag designer James Kapostaz, Kapostaz suffered a heart attack. Cardiac found himself in an unusual position when he was called in to operate on Kapostaz as Wirtham, but was able to stabilize his condition. He contemplated going after Kapostaz again but was denied when Kapostaz died in recovery.[6] When Nightwatch was killed by participants in the Great Game, Cardiac began targeting the Game's participants for revenge, but the Games were ultimately suspended.[7]

Later, Cardiac, the anti-terrorist vigilante Solo and many other New York superheroes fought a rampaging Wolverine, who had been psychically possessed by the extraterrestrial Aria. Wolverine defeated them all.[8] Cardiac and Solo subsequently confronted a Skrull that was impersonating Wolverine to determine if the hero had gone rogue, but Nightcrawler vouched for Wolverine's temporary possession, satisfying Cardiac.[9] When last seen, Cardiac was pursuing Drugco, a pharmaceutical company which had tainted its drug supplies, and he again clashed with Spider-Man.[10]

Superior Spider-Man

After the Civil War, he was listed as a potential recruit for the Initiative.[11]

Under his civilian identity, he opened the new Hospital for Emergency Aid and Recuperative Therapy (H.E.A.R.T.) in the former site of Mister Negative's former homeless shelter. As Cardiac, he had stolen items in an effort to aid patients being treated there. On a trip to "procure" a device to help a girl with severe brain damage from "The Boneyard" (a police impound for confiscated supervillain items). he fights with the Superior Spider-Man. Due to Peter's interference with Doc Ock, he was able to temporarily stun Spider-Man with a strong blast and escape with the Neurolitic Scanner (a device that Doctor Octopus had invented to develop his mind link to his tentacles), but not without being tagged by an old spider-tracer.[12]

Dr. Wirtham prepared the Neurolitic Scanner that he previously stole to scan the brain of his patient Amy Chen to find the damaged area of her brain. It becomes difficult due to the device's complexity and Cardiac replied that the only one who can handle it properly is Otto Octavius. When Dr. Wirtham is preparing for his surgery, the H.E.A.R.T. Clinic's alarm go off. As Dr. Elias Wirtham changes into Cardiac, he notices the Spider-Tracer as Otto arrives. Otto demanded that Cardiac surrender the Neurolitic Scanner which Cardiac refused to do so. This starts off a fight in the hospital. While Otto tries to fend off the attacks, Cardiac tried to delay him but failed. Otto finds the Neurolitic Scanner on Amy's head and even tries to retrieve it but Peter refuses to allow him to do so until Cardiac manages to stop him. Otto demanded an explanation and Cardiac revealed that when Otto tried to kill the planet with his Heat Satellites, he didn't consider about those who were already sick like Amy (whose parents died in an accident caused by his scheme) and she barely survived with severe brain damage. Feeling remorse, Otto decides to help Cardiac with the surgery and offers to perform the surgery himself. Despite Otto experiencing minor afflictions with his hand, the surgery was a success. Cardiac thanks Spider-Man for the help and Otto replies that he was wrong about him and offers his help on anything which makes Cardiac allow Otto to borrowed the Neurolitic Scanner.[13]

Dr. Wirtham oversees the operation of Aunt May's leg and tells her that her leg is now fully healed upon completion of the surgery. When Otto has plans to make artificial legs for Flash Thompson with him being the first subject for this operation, Dr. Wirtham worries about some last minute add-ins to the procedure.[14] When the Superior Spider-Man gets the Venom Symbiote on him and gets it under his control, he knocks Cardiac aside.[15]

When the Goblin Underground is attacking Manhattan, Cardiac is seen fighting the Goblin King's minions. While Cardiac was away fighting the Goblin King's minions, the Goblin King has the H.E.A.R.T. Clinic blown up.[16]


  • Beta Particle Reactor: Cardiac's heart has been replaced by this device, giving him access to powers and abilities incapable of being performed by normal humans. The Beta Particle Reactor even enables him to channel the energy for a variety of purposes. With the reactor acting as his heart it's capable of operating at efficiencies far greater than a real heart.
  • Vibranium Mesh Skin: Cardiac's skin and muscle tissue has been grafted with a mesh composed of Vibranium, which allows him to move without making a sound. It also channels his beta particles.
    • Superhuman Strength: By channeling Beta Particles into his Vibranium mesh, Cardiac is able to grant himself superhuman strength sufficient to lift about 15 tons under optimum conditions.
    • Superhuman Speed: Cardiac is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete, assisted by his Beta Particle Reactor pumping his blood.
    • Superhuman Stamina: As with his strength and speed, Cardiac can channel Beta Particles throughout his body, causing his muscles to produce considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the muscles of an ordinary human. He can exert himself at peak capacity for several hours before fatigue begins to affect him.
    • Superhuman Durability: Due to a combination of the Vibranium mesh grafted to his body and has control of Beta Particles, Cardiac's body is much more resistant to physical injury than that of an ordinary human. He is capable of withstanding great impact forces and even small caliber bullets without sustaining physical injury.
    • Beta Particle Blasts: Cardiac is able to project Beta Particles through either end of a specially designed staff that he caries, creating powerful blasts of energy.


  • Super-Genius Intelligence: Elias Wirtham is considered to be one of the smartest people on the planet.[17]
    • Bio-Technics Expert: From all of his gadgets and experience using biological cybernetics, Elias is one of the foremost experts on bio-technics.
    • Skilled Surgeon: Elias is a skilled surgeon, having taken medical school.

Strength level

Able to lift about 15 tons under optimum conditions.


  • Reactor/Heart Failure: Elias' heart requires regular recharging to sustain his life. Over taxing the reactor, or going for long periods of time without recharging it, can prove fatal.


  • Pseudoskin: In order to avoid people noticing his cybernetic enhancements, Elias wears a layer of artificial "pseudoskin" over his reengineered parts to disguise them.




  • Beta Staff: Cardiac wields an extendable metal staff. It can project electric bolts and be used for acrobatic maneuvers. The staff also connects to a cybernetically controlled, ultra-light, hang-glider that supports his weight during flight for short distances.
  • Stingray Hang-Glider ("Hawk-Glider"): Controlled by Beta particles, the Stingray Hang-Glider links to Cardiac's beta staff to engage in flight.

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