Marvel Database


Early Life

Joseph Martello, also know as Hammerhead, is one of the most influential leaders of the Maggia, one of the oldest mafia organizations in New York City. During his life as crimelord, he came up against all sorts of opponents, such as the Police, the masked superhero Spider-Man, and even against the media, with John Jonah Jameson during the 1980's. During his youth, he was nearly beaten to death, but a surgeon named Jonas Harrow saved his life by inserting a steel plate in his skull, more precisely on his forehead. This gave him his trademark square-shaped skull, attaining the moniker Hammerhead. The incident also left mental sequelae in Joseph, who became a homicidal maniac afterwards.

The City That Never Sleeps

Joseph Martello (Earth-1048) from Marvel's Spider-Man (video game) 001.jpg

After the decline of Maggia in the city, Hammerhead decided to become the sole leader of the mafia, formulating a plan to steal all the wealth and assets of other leaders of the organization. For this, he hired Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat to steal data drives containing vital information about the other Mafia families involved with Maggia, which he would use to eliminate them completely. However, Felicia took advantage of this to try to steal all the wealth of Maggia for herself, and Hammerhead ordered her to be eliminated by bombing her apartment. Unbeknownst to him, Felicia managed to survive the attack, but disappeared soon after.

With the data drives being apparently destroyed when Felicia "died", Hammerhead changed the focus of the plan, now looking to to capture the other five Dons of Maggia to kill them while transmitting this to the whole city. This caused a massive gang war on the city, with all the other gangs fighting against Hammerhead and his goons, and also the police. Hammerhead also managed to steal equipment left by Silver Sable International in the city after the crisis caused by Mister Negative months before, using it to face the other gangs and authorities. The police eventually discovered that one of Hammerhead's gang operations was being held on the abandoned Harlem Sanatorium. Spider-Man along Captain Yuri Watanabe went there to disrupt the operation, but things went awry, with Yuri's police team being completely slaughtered by Hammerhead himself, and Yuri coming out as the sole survivor, thank's to Spider-Man's intervention. Hammerhead, knowing that he would eventually have to face Spider-Man himself, started to try to locate something called "Project Olympus", an advanced armor that was being made by Sable International. After discovering that the armor was being held at one of the city's police precincts, Hammerhead sent a group of his henchmen to distract Spider-Man while another group stole the armor, killing many other police officers on the process. This made Yuri vow revenge on Hammerhead, going alone to the Bar with No Name to try to find information on his wereabouts.

It wasn't too long until Hammerhead managed to finally capture all of the other four leaders, planning to cement them to the ground on a construction site. Fortunately, Spider-Man showed up, and managed to save all of the leaders. Enraged, Hammerhead, now using the Project Olympus armor, clashed against Spider-Man, who managed to defeat him. As he was being arrested by the police, Yuri showed up, shooting Hammerhead, apparently killing him. His body was later removed, being carried away by an expertise van. Unbeknownst to the officers on the van, Hammerhead was actually still alive, being reanimated by one of his henchmen, who was disguised inside the van.

After being ressurected, Hammerhead went into hiding, planning to enhance even more the exoskeleton from Project Olympus, even going to the point of transfering his own head to a full enhanced cyborg body.

Hammerhead enhanced by the Project Olympus

This culminates with the return of Silver Sable to New York City, who upon discovering that her tech had been stolen by Hammerhead, decides to hunt him down by herself. Hammerhead reveals himself to be alive again, and sets up a trap to Sable at the top of the Colexco Building in Midtown, aiming to use the opportunity to abduct Sable, with the goal to extract information about more of her guns and tech. Eventually Sable falls for the trap, but is soon rescued by Spider-Man. Both and proceed to fight together against his goons, until Hammerhead himself appears. Spider-Man and Sable clash against him on an epic battle over the Park Avenue, but they are no match for Hammerhead, who tries to kill Spider-Man by pushing him him against the hoverjet's engine. Suddenly, Black Cat appears and saves Spider-Man by grabbing him away from the scene, leaving Sable alone to face Hammerhead. During the fight, the hoverjet's engine finally dies, with the aircraft crashing on the ground below. Both Sable and Hammerhead survive the crash, but Sable is left unconscious, with Hammerhead using the opportunity to abduct her.

Clashing against Silver Sable and Spider-Man

Hammerhead then takes Sable to the New York City sewers, where several of his operations were held. There, she is tortured by his goons until Spider-Man manages to locate and save her. After that, Spider-Man reveals to Sable a pen drive that Black Cat gave him earlier, that could contain important information on how to defeat Hammerhead once and for all. Upon browsing through the data on a nearby computer terminal, they discover that to defeat Hammerhead, they would need to melt down his steel forehead with massive heat. Together, they go to Sable's secret New York base on the Hudson River where she claims to have the necessary apparatus to defeat Hammerhead. Arriving there, Spider-Man helps Sable to set a powerful laser on one of her hoverjets, so they can use it to melt Hammerhead's forehead, but are interruptet by the same. A fight ensues, with Spider-Man fighting him on the ground while Sable uses the laser directly on his forehead. After a long fight, Sable manages to defeat Hammerhead by crashing her hoverjet directly on him.

After the events, his condition is unknown, but most likely he survived a jet crashed and was arrested by the police and placed in Raft.


Hammerhead is shown to be a sadistic man, mercilessly killing all who oppose him. He is also shown using psychological terror against his victims.



Project Olympus Cybernetic Enhancements: Similarly to his Earth 616 counterpart, Hammerhead was turned into a cyborg, gaining a variety of new "powers", such as laser beams and enhanced durability.


Seemingly those of the Hammerhead of Earth-616


Heat: The carbon steel plate within Hammerhead's forehead is susceptible to heat, thus rendering him vulnerable to any heat sources.



Formerly Project Olympus Exoskeleton.


Laser beams


Formerly Project Olympus Exoskeleton.


  • His surname "Martello" is the Italian word for "Hammer".

See Also

Links and References


Like this? Let us know!