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Dmitri Smerdyakov (Earth-616)

Full Name: Dmitri Anatoly Nikolayevich Smerdyakov
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #1
Created by: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Home Universe: Earth-616
Alignment: Bad
Status: Alive
Place of Birth: Russia
Citizenship: Russian
Base: Mobile; formerly Volgograd (Stalingrad), Russia
Affiliations: Formerly Mojo, MODOK's 11, USSR, Hydra, The Leader, the Kingpin, Sasha Kravinoff, Kraven the Hunter, Hammerhead, Sinister Twelve, Exterminators, Colonel Masab (during the Dark Reign era), Sinister Six, Superior Six, Intelligencia
Powers/Abilities: Master of Disguise, Espionage, Politics, and Business Administration, Explosives Expert, Good Marksmanship with an air-pistol
Height: Variable
Weight: Variable
Hair Color: Variable
Eye Color: Variable; formerly Brown
Unique Features: The Chameleon's head and face are smooth and featureless when he is not actively mimicking someone.

" I am invisible because I am the same thing you look at every dreadful, dull day. I am the day before you realize everything has gone horribly, horribly wrong. I am the Chameleon. "
— Chameleon

Dmitri Smerdyakov (of Earth-616), also known as Chameleon, is a former member of the Sinister Six and the half-brother of Kraven the Hunter. The Chameleon is the first villain Spider-Man ever encountered, based on issue publication date, excluding the burglar who murdered Spider-Man's Uncle Ben (Supercharger was the first Spider-Man villain chronologically).


Early life[]

Meeting Spider-Man[]

The Hunt for Vengence[]

Civil War[]


Grim Hunt[]

Joining the Sinister Six[]

Marvel NOW![]

Following the Dying Wish storyline, Chameleon later fights Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Peter Parker's body) and the Secret Avengers on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. Chameleon ends up knocked unconscious and Spider-Man transports him to his hidden underwater lab where he ends up imprisoned.

Powers & Abilities[]


  • Imitation: The Chameleon possesses the ability to assume the appearance of any one he chooses, including pigmentation, hair, and body shape. Chameleon uses a Computer Belt to control and trigger this power. If he lost the belt, he reverted to his normal, dead-white form.


The Chameleon is a Master of Disguise, Espionage, Politics, and Business Administration. He is also an Explosives expert and a pretty good Marksman with his air-pistol.




  • Memory Material: Chameleon’s clothing is made of a special fabric that can reshape and recolor itself. The change is triggered by his computer belt.
  • Knockout Darts: The Chameleon carries a small air pistol that fires darts up to 40’. These darts contain a potent anesthetic that knocks its victim unconscious for several hours.
  • Knockout Gas: A small aerosol can emits a cloud of potent anesthetic that knocks its victim unconscious for several hours. This cloud is effective up to 10’ away. Victims fall asleep for 1-10 hours.
  • Smoke Bomb: These fill a 40' radius with an opaque mist.
  • Computer Belt: This serves three functions. A video scanner records a person’s overall appearance and feeds that information into a visual synthesizer that interpolates the rest of the person’s appearance. Its memory banks can store hundreds of such images. When an image is called up via a code tapped on the belt’s keypad, subtle electrical signals trigger changes in the Chameleon’s body and pigmentation. A secondary signal alters the appearance of his clothing.


  • Masks: Chameleon originally used masks that could be formed into a life-like copy of a chosen person’s face. When Chameleon sprayed it with a special gas, it dissolved and reverted to another shape, such as a different likeness or his normal white mask.
  • Colorshift clothing: His original clothing was made of a special fabric that changed to another color when sprayed with a special gas.


He used to hijack a helicopter early in his debut. But no definite transportation was mentioned.


  • Dmitri was revealed to have an American friend named Joe Cord.
  • The source of his past abusive was that the father had been drunk and abused Sergei. Then Dmitri was abused by Sergei due to Sergei's anger at the father.


  • His name was created from the Russian novel The Brothers Karamazov. Derived from "Dmitri" and "Smerdyakov"; Smerdyakov derives from the word smerdet meaning "to stink" / "son of the reeking one" in Russian.
  • Originally, the Chameleon had no superhuman powers and simply used makeup and elaborate costuming to impersonate his targets. In order to do this, he implemented a device in a belt buckle that emitted a gas that helped him mold his features. This method of disguising was perhaps a forerunner to that of The Question, who was later created by Steve Ditko after his run on The Amazing Spider-Man.

See Also[]