Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
He’s a man of two minds: Mister Negative
Appearances in Heroclix: Spider-Man: Beyond Amazing, Earth X
First Appearance: Free Comic Book Day: The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (May 2007)
Team Affiliations: Inner Demons
Powers/Abilities: Superhuman strength and reflexes; Healing touch;
Mind control; Access to advanced technology and secret laboratories; Ability to switch between reversed and regular appearance; Charging melee weapons with his energy
Created by: Dan Slott – Phil Jimenez
The man who would become Mister Negative is a crew member on a slave ship operated by the Snakehead gang. During a storm, the ship nearly crashes onto the shores of Manhattan and the crew member survives, stealing the identity of one of the Fujian slaves. Now calling himself Martin Li, he attempts to survive in New York City until he is captured by Maggia Don Silvermane and experimented on.
Simon Marshall, a Maggia chemist, develops a synthetic drug with the potential to be more potent than heroin and uses it on Martin. Martin is able to escape with the help of other test subjects. The drug has the unfortunate side effect of causing the man’s personality to splinter in two: the kind-hearted Martin Lin who runs the F.E.A.S.T. (Food, Emergency Aid, Shelter and Training) center with humility and compassion and the villainous Mister Negative dedicated to becoming Chinatown’s Kingpin of Crime. Mister Negative is able to generate a black electricity that allows him to heal, take control of others or charge objects with a destructive power.
Mister Negative makes his mark on the New York underworld when he uses a bioweapon called the “Devil’s Breath” to try and eliminate all existing members of the Karnelli and Maggia crime families. Mister Negative tries to use the Devil’s Breath on Spider-Man but the web-slinger is able to hold his breath long enough to escape unscathed. Spidey also recruits Black Cat to steal a vial of his blood back from Mister Negative, replacing it with pig’s blood.
Martin Li endorses Bill Hollister for mayor, a bid that fails when the villain Menace is revealed to be Hollister’s daughter. Li attempts to run himself only to lose to J. Jonah Jameson. Some time after this, Mister Negative recruits Hammerhead with an offer to place the villain’s brain in a robotic adamantium skeleton.
Martin Li eventually comes across the sick Eddie Brock and gives the former hero a job at FEAST. After a chance contact between the two men, Eddie’s cancer completely vanishes and remnants of the Venom symbiote react to form Anti-Venom. Anti-Venom and Venom, hosted by Mac Gargan, fight each other and destroy the FEAST center. Mister Negative and his Inner Demons do battle with Anti-Venom, with Eddie witnessing Negative transforming back into Li afterwards.
Negative refuses to submit to the Hood and even goes so far as corrupting the will of White Dragon, one of Hood’s henchmen, and sending Dragon to attack The Hood. The Hood enlists HAMMER to seal off Chinatown and attempts to attack and kill Negative. When Spider-Man comes to save Li, as his estate is being attacked, Negative corrupts Spider-Man and sends him after the Hood’s crew. When Negative learns that Betty Brant has interviewed the widow of the real Martin Li, he sends Spider-Man to deal with her. Hood and Negative battle each other with Negative trying, and failing, to corrupt Hood. Mister Negative is ultimately able to escape after Osborn is blackmailed into lifting the blockade of Chinatown.
Mister Negative has several run-ins in the following years. He and his Inner Demons encounter Rockslide and Anole in San Francisco. He also corrupts May Parker after she walks on him punishing one of his Inner Demons. May breaks free of the corruption when Peter comes to her for moral support. During Shadowland, Negative attempts to gain a stronghold but is defeated by Spider-Man and Shang-Chi. Mister Negative gives some aid to Doctor Octopus in securing some special items. Negative is later outed by Wraith, Spider-Man and Anti-Venom, his true identity as Martin Li being publicly revealed. Negative and the Inner Demons retreat from the police, with Martin being kept imprisoned by the Inner Demons whenever he isn’t Mister Negative.
Negative encounters and is defeated by Hawkeye and Spider-Woman after an anonymous tip from Madame Hydra. Negative later attempts to align himself with the Goblin King and Black Cat.
At some point, Mister Negative is able to corrupt Cloak and Dagger before he is arrested. The corrupted Cloak and Dagger, using a drug named “Shade” to maintain the corruption, eventually locate the prison ship he is on and breaks him out. Together, they attack the Japanese branch of Parker Industries and are turned back by Spider-Man, who now has an immunity to Negative’s corruption. Negative records a video message that Li watches in Hong Kong, offering a grand bargain. Li accepts but the plan is ultimately a failure that results in Cloak and Dagger being freed from Negative’s corruption. They vow to remain in Hong Kong and protect it from Mister Negative.
A revived Sin-Eater is able to steal Mister Negative’s powers. When Sin-Eater is defeated, everyone he transformed is returned to their previous state. This gives Mister Negative his powers back. After some maneuvering, he approaches and makes a grand bargain with the new mayor, Wilson Fisk.