Dreadnought (comics)

Dreadnoughts are a type of fictional robot appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. They are frequently employed by villainous organizations. Different forms of the robots are depicted by organizations such as HYDRA and the Maggia.

Nightstalkers #16 (Feb. 1994): Cover art by Bill Wylie and Frank Turner.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Strange Tales #154 (Mar 1967)
Created by

Roy Thomas

Jim Steranko
In-story information
Species Robot
Team affiliations HYDRA
New Enforcers
Abilities Superhuman strength and durability
Flame-throwing gauntlets
Projectile spikes on knuckles
Electrifying touch
Ability to cause radiation emission from eyes
Freezing breath

Fictional character biography

The Dreadnought is a non-sentient robotic combat instrument originally created by the subversive organization HYDRA for use in various commando operations.[1] It was first used in an attempt to breach the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier and assassinate director Nick Fury.

Later the design and specifications for it were sold to the criminal cartel, The Maggia, who built the Silver Dreadnought.[2]

Some time later, Advanced Idea Mechanics designed a new version, the Dreadnought 2000, stored at Target Technologies in Rutherford, New Jersey.[3]

A rebuilt version was used years later during an attack to destroy London, where the robot had to fight Union Jack.

Zeke Stane later built some new Dreadnought models which were used by Mandarin in a plot to take down Iron Man. The Dreadnoughts attacked the Three Gorges Dam in China.[4]

Powers and abilities

The Dreadnought was designed by HYDRA and the Silver Dreadnought was built by the Maggia. Its robotic materials, design, and construction from a titanium steel alloy afford the Dreadnought superhuman strength, stamina, durability, and reflexes. It has limited artificial intelligence, and no capacity for self-motivated activity. It is programmed for hand-to-hand combat in the style of an American boxer and for combat uses of its built-in weapons sub-systems.

Both major models' gauntlets have flamethrower nozzles, capable of firing a hydrazine-liquid oxygen mix. Its knuckles are studded with spikes which can be shot like rifle bullets. From the modules mounted like ears, the Dreadnought generates a powerful electrical charge which conducts throughout its body's frame and through conducting material. The Dreadnought has no capability for projecting this electricity, but is capable of electrifying by touch. The Dreadnought's optical imaging sensor eyes are gamma ray particle beam projectors which can irradiate a target. The Dreadnought’s mouth is connected to a tank of refrigerated Freon gas which allows the Dreadnought a single-use attack of freezing breath.

The Dreadnought 2000 model, designed by Advanced Idea Mechanics, has gauntlet projectors firing high pressure jets of either water, liquid oxygen, acid, oil, powerful adhesive, anesthetic gas, and/or napalm, and/or beams capable of liquefying steel or solidifying gases in the air. It also has the eight gunpowder-launched knuckle spikes, body-wide electrical field, gamma ray particle beam projectors in its optical imaging sensors, and refrigerated Freon gas dispenser in the "mouth" cavity of the previous models.

In other media


  • The Dreadnoughts appear in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. This version is built around Stark Industries' technology by HYDRA and are basically fully robotic versions of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Mandroids. In the episode "Iron Man is Born", they are unleashed after Iron Man defeated the HYDRA agents. Iron Man manages to defeat the Dreadnoughts.
  • The Dreadnoughts appear in the Avengers Assemble animated series. Two versions are built by Justin Hammer: a giant four legged mechanical robot (voiced by David Kaye[5]) and the original depiction. In the episode "Crack in the System", Ultron takes control of the Dreadnoughts in order to attack the Avengers both at Avengers Tower and at Hammer's facility each of which are destroyed by the Avengers.

Video games

  • Dreadnoughts are enemies in Spider-Man: Web of Fire for the Sega 32X.
  • Dreadnoughts appear in the Iron Man game. Iron Man fights a Dreadnought in Afghanistan. In this game, Dreadnought looks like a big tank with missile-launchers and has the ability to create an explosion of energy that affects Iron Man's suit.
  • Dreadnoughts appear in Marvel Heroes. They are summoned during the battle against Doctor Doom.


  1. ^ Strange Tales Vol. 1 #154
  2. ^ Iron Man #138
  3. ^ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #26
  4. ^ Invincible Iron Man #513
  5. ^ "Crack in the System". Avengers Assemble. Season 2. Episode 14. April 12, 2015. Disney XD.

External links

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