Justine Hammer is the daughter of the criminal financier Justin Hammer. For years she was forced by her father to prove herself and earn her right to be among the elite. She became the Crimson Cowl and formed the Masters Of Evil to succeed where her father had failed and use the superhuman community to accumulate physical power and influence in the world. Her first team consisted of Klaw, Tiger Shark, Flying Tiger, Man-Killer and a new Cyclone and were first seen fighting Black Widow. When the Thunderbolts, who were all former Masters of Evil themselves, heard someone else was using their name they rushed out to confront these usurpers. Justine hired out her Masters of Evil to a HYDRA who was looking to take charge of the New York underworld. The Masters of Evil were sent to confiscate the contents of a warehouse from a mob boss who wouldn't submit to the new leadership. However when the Thunderbolts showed up she knew that their objective was unattainable so Justine teleported her team away in a flash of light.
The next job for her Masters of Evil was providing security for the purchase of some high tech weapons that would make HYDRA's foot-soldiers more formidable. The Thunderbolts found out about the exchange and attacked but this time the Crimson Cowl didn't run, she and her Masters of Evil fought. The Masters of Evil seemed to have the upper hand until Techno (aka the Fixer) got a hold of the weapons that Crimson Cowl was supposed to ensure were delivered to her employer. Seeing again that the operation was lost Crimson Cowl teleported her team away to safety.
At this point Crimson Cowl established a base within an old Factor 3 facility located in Mount Charteris that had been used by numerous others since it was built. She removed any mention of the facility from all government and SHIELD files ensuring that they could operate from there in complete secrecy. After it was revealed that the Thunderbolts were in fact criminals in disguise Crimson Cowl sent Cyclone to attack them and lure them into a meeting where she offered them a place within her new Masters of Evil. Unlike some previous Masters of Evil with a specific agenda she ran her team like a business offering base salaries, profit-sharing and a pension plan. She also showed them a glimpse of her headquarters with all the amenities including labs, saunas and even their own movie theatre while the Thunderbolts were living in a cabin in the woods. If they refused Crimson Cowl would tell every single one of the Thunderbolts enemies where they could find them. Justine and her team allowed the Thunderbolts to leave in order to think about their offer. In the meantime the Thunderbolts continued trying to be heroes while thinking about her offer but Justine couldn't let them keep playing both sides trying to find another way out of their predicament. Crimson Cowl sent her Masters of Evil to send the Thunderbolts a message that they had to make their decision join the Masters of Evil or go down hard.
The Crimson Cowl's Masters of Evil were at the Western Currency Facility of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving where they were stealing money, printing plates, ink and paper as well as destroying records. The Thunderbolts found them again and Justine was disappointed with the choice they made by attacking her team. Like before she was ready to teleport her team and their stolen goods away but Jolt managed to temporarily overload the teleportation circuits of her cowl so she told her team to kill the Thunderbolts. The Masters of Evil succeeded in subduing the Thunderbolts and Justine had just ordered Klaw to kill them when they were freed by the arrival of Hawkeye in the guise of the Dreadknight. With the arrival of the authorities as well, called by the Thunderbolts, the Crimson Cowl ordered Klaw to get them all out of there since her teleportation circuits were still damaged.
Hawkeye began leading the Thunderbolts and swore that they were going to take down Crimson Cowl's Masters of Evil or die trying giving Justine just a little bit of concern but she was still confident in her plan. In order to draw the Thunderbolts into a trap the Masters of Evil attacked a small town called Robinette Nebraska. Once they arrived Crimson Cowl activated a weather device creating an instant hurricane over the town and teleported her team away. While the Thunderbolts saved the townspeople the new Citizen V (Dallas Riordan) tried to disable the weather device but was instead captured by Crimson Cowl.
Justine had gathered the largest ever team of Masters of Evil at her base within Mount Charteris and enacted a plan to hold the entire world for ransom. She expanded her previous team of Flying Tiger, Klaw, Tiger Shark, Man-Killer, Cyclone with Quicksand, Lodestone, Icemaster, Blackwing, Constrictor, Man-Ape, Shatterfist, Eel, Supercharger, Bison, Shockwave, Cardinal, Joystick, Scorcher, Sunstroke, Aqueduct, Slyde, Dragonfly and Boomerang. It turned out that all of the jobs the Masters of Evil had done was in order to gain the capital, components and super-villains necessary to build weather modulators all around the world. Once in place she caused the weather all over the world to become destructive and told the world governments she'd turn it off if they gave her a trillion dollars. The Thunderbolts infiltrated Mount Charteris and took the place of some of her Masters of Evil while Moonstone tried to infiltrate them by offering to join up. Moonstone was kept close to Cowl after she pointed out that the Thunderbolts had taken the place of some of her Masters but it was all so she could destroy the master control unit of the weather machine at the crucial time. Crimson Cowl's command pod ship crashed but Justine teleported away while leaving Dallas Riordan in an inactive copy of her Crimson Cowl to take the blame in the aftermath. Still angry that the Thunderbolts betrayed her trust and that they believed she was the Crimson Cowl Dallas didn't even speak out in her own defense leaving Justine to continue to plan behind the scenes.
When Dallas revealed herself as having been the new Citizen V the whole time Justine kidnapped her again and kept her prisoner within her complex in Symkaria. It was Cowl's hope that it would cause the V-Battalion and the Thunderbolts would fight and not destroy each other but damage each other enough for her to destroy them both easily. Eventually Dallas escaped from her cell and found her Citizen V equipment allowing her to disable Justine's cowl when she finally found her. The two women fought with whatever weapons they could find and Dallas was surprised at how capable a fighter Justine was without her prehensile cape. While trying to escape to her jet-craft Justine was pursued by Dallas but Justine gained the upper-hand and flung Dallas over the railing. With Dallas hanging over a chasm hanging on to the cowl Justine unclasped it causing Dallas to fall to the river below revealing her face in the process.
After her father died Justine decided to enact a failsafe plan he had created and sent Cyclone to steal a disk containing the information necessary to activate the plan. Crimson Cowl needed a new team to capture Plant-Man who was instrumental to the plan so she assembled Cyclone, Man-Killer, Gypsy Moth, Hydro-Man, Machinesmith and Black Mamba. The final member of the team would be Cardinal who Justine promised the chance for vengeance against Hawkeye whom he blamed for the death of his daughter the Redeemer called Meteorite. Justin Hammer secretly infected every person he came in contact with a biological agent that could be turned into a toxin when activated, Plant-Man was the only one who could activate it. Hawkeye and Songbird told some of Justine's Masters of Evil about this toxin so they joined the heroes in attacking her Symkarian home. Silver Sable confronted Justine at her home which escalated into a fight between the two groups with Hydro-Man, Machinesmith and Black Mamba still following the Crimson Cowl. They captured most of Hawkeye's team but it was a ruse and they managed to distract the Masters of Evil while Plant-Man neutralized the biological toxin. Gypsy Moth returned just in time to use her telekinesis to turn Crimson Cowl's cowl against herself and Machinesmith leaving Justine without her powers and surrounded by heroes, villains she betrayed and SHIELD agents. Justine was taken into custody.
Justine resurfaced in the wake of Norman Osborn's Siege of Asgard alongside her previously unknown daughter Sasha, having discarded her Crimson Cowl persona and re-established Hammer Industries into a new multi-billion dollar weapons supplier backing an armored exoskeleton type known as Detroit Steele.
The mother-daughter combo teamed up with corrupt generals, soldiers and technology-powered super-terrorists such as the Spymaster and one Ezekiel Stane - whom Sasha is dating. It is also revealed that Sasha's father is Iron Man's old nemesis The Mandarin. As a family, The Mandarin, The Hammers and Stane aim to ruin and discredit Tony Stark as he establishes his new company Stark Resilient.
Justine manipulated General Bruce Babbage and managed to make him commit suicide, allowing her to get to his place in the Pentagon, while Mandarin kidnapped and forced Ezekiel Stane to build the gigantic killing machines Titanomechs along, the also kidnapped, Tony Stark. After Stark and Stane joined forces to create a revolution and escape captivity, Ezekiel and Sasha killed Justine in revenge for what the Mandarin did to Ezekiel.
Powers and Abilities
Justine does not possesses any super-human ability.
Justine Hammer is a brilliant criminal strategist and capable fighter even without her cybernetic cowl.
Normal human female with moderate regular exercise.
It seems the circuitry of the cowl can be disabled or overloaded by electrical attacks. An attack from Jolt managed to disable her teleporting circuits though her cape's prehensile capabilities were still active. Citizen V managed to use an EMP device to completely disable her cowl for an estimated twenty minutes.
- Crimson Cloak: The Crimson Cowl's cowl has a number of abilities including being able to stretch, expand to attack and grapple opponents by her mental command it seems even remotely. It also has circuitry within it that allows her to levitate and teleport seemingly anywhere on Earth since she has teleported from Colorado to Symkaria in a single port. When she teleports it creates an incredible burst of light to dazzle and distract her opponents. It seems the brightness of this light can be adjusted from a mild flash to nearly causing permanent damage to unprotected eyes.
- 42 appearance(s) of Justine Hammer (Earth-616)
- 2 minor appearance(s) of Justine Hammer (Earth-616)
- 4 mention(s) of Justine Hammer (Earth-616)
- 14 image(s) of Justine Hammer (Earth-616)