The Ringmaster

Maynard Tiboldt, also known as the Ringmaster, is a criminal mastermind who runs the Circus of Crime and a villain in the Marvel comics.


Maynard inherited his criminal business from his father. This business was, in fact, being a ringmaster for a circus; and not just any circus, The Circus of Crime. The Ringmaster would hypnotize his audiences into handing over all of their money by using his tall hat. When someone looked into the swirl on the hat, they would be mesmerized, and the Ringmaster could control them.

Ringmaster has gone up against a few heroes, most notably the Hulk, Spider-Man, and Daredevil, and has been defeated by them all. At one time he hypnotized Spider-Man into attacking Daredevil, but lost his control over Spidey when his hat was knocked off.

Powers and Abilities

The Ringmaster, also called the Circus Master of Ceremonies and Mr. Thraller, originally had no inherent superhuman powers but his principal weapon is the powerful portable mind-control device which he carried concealed in his unique top hat. This device is a portable version of the nullatron, which was originally designed by scientists in Nazi-occupied lands during World War II and used by the Red Skull against the Invaders in 1942. The version in the Ringmaster's hat has been specially modified by him for his own uses.

The hat has a swirling disk in the front which can send out a hypnotic beam and give him control of the minds of others, amplifying his natural hypnotic talent. Tiboldt eventually had special hypnotic disks surgically grafted into his eyes. These implants allow him to mentally dominate individuals, but he still requires his hat to mesmerize large crowds of people simultaneously. Sufficiently strong-willed individuals are able to resist the Ringmaster's hypnotism if they cannot see the whirling pattern on his hat and the reflective stars on his costume. Others like Doc Samson have access to special glasses designed to neutralize the Ringmaster's technology.

With the Cosmic Ring, Tiboldt gained the ability to alter reality in a 15-foot (4.6 m) radius around him.

Ringmaster Predecessor

1000px-Fritz Tibolt (Earth-616)

Fritz Tiboldt was a German citizen that ran his own circus (Tibolt's Circus) in the 1940's. He would be hired by the Nazi to travel to America. There under the guise of a legitimate circus, he and his circus performers would use their unique abilities to eliminate US military officials. Each night Fritz would select their targets with his "Wheel of Death", sending out his best suited operatives to carry out the job. Among his circus included the midget Tummy Thumb and unwitting accomplice forced into servitude with violence, Omar the snake charmer, Zandow the strong man, the Trapeze Trio and others.

When the circus would set up near Camp Lehigh Fritz would first target Sargent Blaine. When Blaine would attend the circus, Fritz would force Tommy to let loose one of the tigers to attack him. Blaine would be mauled to death by the tiger, which would be slain by Captain America who happened to be on the scene in his civilian guise of Steve Rogers with his side kick Bucky Barnes. Although suspecting foul play, Captain America and Bucky would have no proof and would decide to keep an eye on the circus.

Tiboldt's next target would be Commissioner Newsome, and he would send Omar and the Trapeze Trio to eliminate him. His murder would be witnessed by Betsy Ross, and despite Captain America and Bucky's interference she would be captured by the circus members. Tracing her back to the circus, Captain America and Bucky would beat the Circus into submission, free Betsy and defeat the Ringmaster.

Returned to Germany, Fritz and his wife would be killed for their failure.


Frizt would be survived by his son Maynard who would continue running the circus. In the modern age, when unable to earn a living legitimately due to a fierce competition, Maynard and his circus would turn to crime, earning the infamous title "The Circus of Crime"

Appearances in other media

TV appearance

Ringmaster appeared in the Incredible Hulk segment of The Marvel Super Heroes.

Ringmaster appeared in the 1980s Spider-Man cartoon in "Carnival of Crime".

Ringmaster appeared in the Avengers: United They Stand episode "Comes a Swordsman", where the character was voiced by Normand Bissonnette. He, Swordsman, and the Circus of Crime plotted to steal the Mythrax Bacteria. Hawkeye infiltrates his Circus of Crime to find out their plot with the Mythrax. He used his illusions to throw off the Avengers until Falcon's bird Redwing sees through them. Ringmaster is defeated when the Mythrax Bacteria canisters were empty.

Ringmaster appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "O Captain, My Captain" voiced by Carlos Alazraqui. Doctor Doom sends Abomination and MODOK to recruit him to Doctor Doom's cause. They had a run-in with Reptil and Thor as Ringmaster hypnotizes them. Reptil and Thor were freed from their trance by the other Super Hero Squad members. The Super Hero Squad manages to defeat Ringmaster and lock him up in the lion's cage. In "Mysterious Mayhem at Mutant Academy," he appears to Doctor Doom stating that he uses a magic divining rod to help find the Infinity Fractals. Doctor Doom wasn't impressed and blasted him. Ringmaster uses the divining rod which leads him into the X-Mansion which he infiltrates as a lunch lady. He uses his hypnotism to get the X-Men to help him look for the Infinity Fractal. When Reptil starts to get suspicious up to the point where he finds out that Ringmaster is behind this, Ringmaster ends up taking control of the X-Men and using them to attack Reptil. Ringmaster and the mind-controlled X-Men chase Reptil into the Danger Room where Reptil tricks Ringmaster into hypnotizing himself and releasing the X-Men from his trance. With Ringmaster still hypnotized, he is taken away where Reptil uses him to help with his chores.

Ringmaster appears in the Avengers Assemble episode "Crime and Circuses" voiced by Fred Tatasciore.

Videogame appearance

Ringmaster appeared in a Spider-Man interactive fiction game for various 8-bit computers in the 1980s.