Born in Harlem, New York City. Lonnie Thompson Lincoln didn’t have a normal life growing up as a child because of his albino appearance. Constantly bullied by other children, this eventually led Lonnie to take the wrong path in life, as he grew bigger and used his appearance to bully other small children during high school. Aside from his intimidating appearance, Lonnie was basically a loner and a miscreant who forced protection money from other children in school. However Lonnie would find only one student who displayed any kindness towards him, who was known to be the high school’s editor Joe Robertson. But eventually Robertson would show his loyalty for his position and write an article about Lonnie’s activities within school. Feeling betrayed and angered, Lonnie confronted Robertson and intimidated him into pulling the article.
After high school, Lonnie steered further down the wrong path as he built himself into a life of crime. After filing his nails and teeth to points, damaging his vocal cords, training to peak physical strength, and engaging in several street fights to build his fighting skills, Lonnie finally landed a job with major crime bosses and gang lords as an assassin, nicknaming himself Tombstone. Eight years later, Lonnie would encounter Robertson once more, who was now working for the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper company. Upon receiving a tip of the recent murder of a local crime boss from an informant known as Isadore Kipper, Robertson would accidentally meet Lonnie, who murdered the informant before he could mention anything to Robertson. With Robertson witnessing the scene, Lonnie threatened Robertson if he reported anything that he just saw. Keeping this incident as a secret, both Lonnie and Robertson went separate ways once more. Robertson moved to New York to work as Editor-in-Chief with the Daily Bugle and was forced to hold the secret for over twenty years.
Lonnie’s criminal career proved successful, and he quickly gained a striking reputation as a dangerous figure within the criminal underground. Realizing the organized crime within New York City, Lonnie found employment there within the Kingpin’s (Wilson Fisk) criminal empire, strictly working through Fisk’s employer known as the Arranger. Acting as an enforcer for the Arranger, he would be given various tasks, including kidnapping the mutant known as Roland Rayburn. Ironically both Tombstone and Robertson would meet once more after the Daily Bugle editor learned that Lonnie was now residing within New York City. After harboring guilt of not being able to expose Lonnie’s criminal actions, Robertson foolishly anticipated a citizen’s arrest on Lonnie. Robertson was brutally attacked and nearly paralyzed by Lonnie, who ensured that his former friend wouldn’t do anything else stupid. With Robertson secretly recording his violent encounter with Lonnie, he finally had the evidence to have Lonnie pay for his crimes and handed the recording tape to Peter Parker for safe-keeping.
Realizing Robertson’s secret plan and that Peter Parker now possessed the tape, Lonnie threatened Robertson by endangering his family if the tape ever reached the authorities. Elsewhere, the vigilante known as Punisher would learn of this tape and the situation, which sent him on a hunt against Tombstone, where he ended up battling against and killing Roland, who had taken the costume name Persuader. With Lonnie stalking and injuring Parker’s wife Mary Jane, Spiderman tracked Lonnie down and defeated the criminal before leaving him to the authorities. After learning of what happened with Lonnie, Robertson turned in the tape recording as evidence for Lonnie’s crimes and saw to it that Lonnie fully paid for all his crimes and the murder of the informant twenty years before, Isadore Kipper.
As Robertson fully recovered and believed that he had seen the last of Lonnie, matters would turn for the worst when Lonnie confessed to the murder of Kipper and stated that Robertson was an accomplice to the murder as well. With little evidence supporting Robertson’s defense and the fact that he was at the scene of the crime, Robertson would be found guilty and sentenced to Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary. With Lonnie aware of Robertson’s situation, he managed to be transferred to the same prison with Robertson and share a cell next to Robertson’s. Knowing that his current situation was much worse with Lonnie next to him, Robertson desperately sought out protection from a fellow inmate known as the Bruiser. With Bruiser successfully protecting Robertson from Lonnie and fending off against Lonnie’s hired goons, Tombstone and a handful of henchmen would singly take on Bruiser and murder Robertson’s only means of protection. Forcing Robertson into working for him, Lonnie also secretly had a portion of guards and staff working for him and planned on both escaping and gaining revenge against Spiderman. Knowing that Spiderman and Robertson were good friends, Lonnie forced Robertson into having Spiderman secretly visit him in prison. When the Webslinger did so, he found that he was led into a trap as Tombstone quickly attacked Spiderman and forced Robertson to inject into his friend a virus that weakened the hero. Chaining Spiderman to a wall, Lonnie violently beat Spiderman relentlessly as Robertson painfully watched. With two escape helicopters approaching the prison and the prison alarm sounding, Lonnie used the drugged hero as a hostage and forced Robby into escaping with him. With Spiderman almost learning who Tombstone’s outside employer was, he managed to regain enough strength to fend off Tombstone’s goons, but was unsuccessful in preventing Lonnie’s escape and saving Robertson from his clutches. With Robertson realizing that his lack of courage wasn’t making anything better, he finally threw himself at Lonnie within the helicopter as both men fell to their apparent deaths in a secluded area within the woods.
Both Lonnie and Robertson managed to survive the fall and were taken to an Amish farm to be nursed back to health. With Robertson’s family and Spiderman trying to locate his friend, Robertson’s leg healed and he was back to normal health. Yet so was Lonnie, who was waiting for the right moment to kill Robertson for what he did. Finally attacking Robertson, Lonnie would be surprised as to how well Robby defended himself with a pitchfork, stabbing Lonnie in the chest with it. Leaving Robby, he walked away to treat his wounds. Both men would finally depart, and Robertson would finally return to his family and be pardoned for his crimes upon revealing the nature of the incident. Elsewhere, Lonnie returned to his secret employer, Hammerhead, as the enforcer planned for his next attack against both Robertson and Spiderman.
Hammerhead had Lonnie lay low for a while because of his wanted status, and he placed a contract against Robertson that was given to Hobgoblin (Jason Macendale). Upon learning this, Lonnie was angered that Hammerhead cheated Lonnie from a revenge that was rightfully his, and he secretly went to foil Hobgoblin’s attempts against Robertson. Aside from Lonnie’s efforts, Hobgoblin still proved incapable of killing Robby. Upon learning of a new chemical known as Diox-3 being produced at Oscorp, Hammerhead thought that this chemical could be successfully used in the cocaine trade. He sent Lonnie to pressure and blackmail Molten Man, a former villain and an Oscorp employee, to help Lonnie obtain the chemical. Molten Man would secretly betray Lonnie, telling Spiderman of Lonnie’s attempts and helping him take down Lonnie and his hired goons. When Robertson learned of this, he showed up to Oscorp with the intent of having Lonnie pay for his crimes. As both Molten Man, Spiderman, and unexpectedly Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) arrived and defeated Lonnie’s henchmen, Lonnie was attacked and shot by Robertson. He staggered into a chamber that contained Diox-3. Encased within the chamber, the chemicals were released, and Lonnie suffered from the violent effects as it bonded and merged into his physiology. Believing Lonnie to be dead, Spiderman, Molten Man, Green Goblin, and Robertson would later learn that Lonnie escaped the chamber after creating a massive hole within it.
Still recovering from the incident and wandering aimlessly in the streets, Lonnie was attacked by a handful of street thugs. Yet Lonnie would easily and quickly defeat the thugs as he learned of his newfound abilities: Imperviousness to injury and increased strength. Lonnie realized the potential of his newfound capabilities and took pride with them as he quickly visited his employer and brutally beat him for his incompetence as a crime lord. Leaving Hammerhead barely alive, Lonnie quickly took over Hammerhead’s operation and decided to have one final meeting with Robertson. After being contacted, the unsuspecting editor bravely met Lonnie at Hammerhead’s mansion and found Lonnie thanking him rather than trying kill him out of revenge. Viewing Robby as being responsible for his newly-gained abilities, Lonnie dropped his vendetta against Robby and decided to leave him alone.
But Lonnie would be attacked by Spiderman, who followed Robertson; the hero found himself struggling against Lonnie because of his new abilities. With Lonnie displaying pride for his hardened body and increased strength, Hammerhead managed to break free from his restraints and attack Lonnie with a machinegun. As Lonnie stood taking the storm of bullets from Hammerhead, the gunfire accidentally ruptured a gas tank behind Lonnie, causing a massive explosion. With Lonnie completely engulfed in the flames, everybody believed that was the last time they would see Tombstone, convinced that he died in the explosion.
Believed to be dead, Lonnie managed to survive the blast and later found himself seeking new employment with the ninja cult known as the Hand. Taskmaster would also participate within the Hand’s activities, giving the cult an idea for a competition between Taskmaster and Tombstone for an assassination position. As both criminals went on a murder spree, they eventually would capture the attention of both Daredevil and Punisher. With Daredevil trying to prevent Punisher from killing both criminals and stop their murder spree, Tombstone would find himself going against the Punisher on a speeding bus while Taskmaster and Daredevil were fighting each other in the streets. After luring Taskmaster into being hit by a vehicle, both Tombstone and Punisher managed to escape the scene. Yet Tombstone still pursued the competition and planned on making one last kill, the City Cultural Affairs Commissioner at a circus, with Punisher still in pursuit, intent on taking out Tombstone once and for all. Daredevil managed to foil both Tombstone’s and the Punisher’s plans, and Tombstone would later learn the true values of being with the Hand and left the group to pursue his criminal ways elsewhere.
Upon learning of a new costumed hero known as Darkhawk, Lonnie believed that the amulet on Darkhawk’s chest would grant him powers. Tracking down and viciously attacking Darkhawk, Tombstone ripped the amulet right off of Darkhawk’s chest. Still alive from the encounter, Darkhawk managed to flee from Tombstone and was rescued by an elderly man who was formerly a Darkhawk himself. Not caring less about Darkhawk’s fate, Tombstone went about trying to find help on how to use the amulet’s power. Going to both a fortune teller and a Hand member to assist him with using the amulet’s power proved unsuccessful, but activated a signal to Darkhawk, who was handling problems elsewhere against Venom. Tracking the signal to Tombstone’s position, the hero fought Tombstone once more and reclaimed his amulet after defeating him.
Tombstone next relocated to Chicago and was hired by Hardcore to participate alongside a short-lived group that consisted of Kickback and Nitro. Hired by Hardcore to kidnap North Dakota for reasons of gaining info on Luke Cage, they first used terror tactics against North Dakota by blowing up the Chicago Spectator building. Even though Tombstone didn’t fare well against Cage, he still managed to deliver North to Hardcore. As both Cage and Punisher pursued them, the group forced the unstable Nitro off the team, and Kickback grew sympathetic toward North and delivered her back to Cage after Hardcore got what he wanted from her. After the group dissolved, Tombstone next offered his services to the Maggia and ironically found himself working alongside a former enemy, Hammerhead.
After the downfall of the Kingpin, a summit known as “Dead Man’s Hand” tried to divide his empire among various criminal organizations. The summit took place in Las Vegas, and Tombstone and Hammerhead, both representing Maggia, participated. Not only did the summit lose control as Tombstone became disgusted with the other organizations’ unprofessionalism, but it also attracted the Punisher, Daredevil, and Nomad. With each vigilante attacking the participants with their own agenda, Tombstone would find himself battling against the Hand, and was convinced to spare the life of the cult’s greatest warrior, known as Izanami. After the incident, both Tombstone and Hammerhead left Las Vegas and hid in Lake Tahoe. Hammerhead would later fall victim to another brutal beating by Tombstone for reaching the ranks within Maggia.
Tombstone next made an appearance to the Advance Idea Mechanics (AIM) Weapons Expo on Boca Caliente. It was unclear if Tombstone was still working with Maggia or not, but he still acted as a crimeboss and did manage to gain some attention within the criminal underground. Upon returning to New York, Tombstone began to find several of his gangs under attack by a super-powered psychotic madman known as Deadzone. Even though Moon Knight was already on Deadzone’s trail, the vigilante would use Tombstone as bait to lure Deadzone out while being disguised as Tombstone’s personal limo driver. With Moon Knight managing to knockout the madman, Tombstone personally thanked the vigilante for helping him on ridding the threat against him and his gangs. Attempting to murder Deadzone while he was unconscious, Tombstone was interrupted from killing him by Moon Knight, when the madman came to consciousness and viscously attacked both Tombstone and Moon Knight. As both Moon Knight and Deadzone battled once more, Tombstone escaped the scene with his limo, leaving both men to their own fates.
Re-outfitting himself and much more built, Tombstone next tried to join the ranks of the New York City council of bosses that was run by Nick Kaska. Unimpressed with Tombstone, Kaska denied him membership. Enraged by Kaska’s disapproval, Tombstone assaulted and destroyed a club that was owned by Kaska. Believed to be unconscious from the incident after taking damage from a gas leak explosion, Tombstone hijacked the ambulance that was carrying him off the scene and return to Kaska in hopes that his actions intimidated him into approving Tombstone’s application. Yet Kaska would still deny Tombstone’s application, not caring for threats or any type of intimidating tactics. Seeing that Tombstone was both desperate and enraged, Kaska decided to offer Tombstone a task to earn his membership: Kill Spiderman and prove that he was dead. Accepting the challenge, Tombstone tracked the Web-slinger; both men fought each other in a grueling match that took itself into the river. Still fighting beneath the water, Tombstone nearly drowned Spiderman and also managed to get his battered mask. Believing that the hero drowned and sank to the bottom, Tombstone was unaware that Spiderman survived and had managed to follow him to Kaska. Believing that Tombstone was lying and had cheated his bargain, Kaska ultimately denied Tombstone his chances of membership. Tombstone finally lost control and hurled Kaska out the window of his building, who was only to be saved by Spiderman. Facing Spiderman once more, Tombstone would ultimately be defeated by Spiderman after the hero managed to hit him so hard that he was knocked out. Tombstone was detained and returned to prison, but he was still planning his steps among the criminal underworld, and he managed to rebuild himself as a crimeboss once more after successfully escaping.
Tombstone attempted to regain his criminal organization after escaping prison by simply hijacking an armored truck. Capturing the attention of Scarlet Spider (Ben Reilly), Tombstone’s attempt was foiled by the new hero, who managed to take Tombstone down. Tombstone next made another attempt to climb within the criminal underground by sending his right-hand man, Steve Marlow, to assassinate New York City’s police chief. Marlow managed to not only shoot the police chief, but also managed to make an attempt on Don Geraci as well, one of the most notorious crime lords in New York. This captured the attention of both Spiderman (Ben Reilly) and Punisher (who was currently joined with the Geraci crime family), who managed to track Marlow back to his boss, and both men ended up battling Tombstone once more. With Punisher going after Marlow and Spiderman nearly defeating Tombstone, Marlow managed to cause an explosion in order for him and his boss to make an escape.
Angered by Marlow’s inconsiderate and careless actions, Tombstone held his son hostage to ensure that Marlow would not screw up Tombstone’s next plan, which was to kill the Mayor. With Spiderman forced into an uneasy alliance with Punisher, the web slinger managed to track down Tombstone and make an attempt to save Marlow’s family. Engaging in a brutal fight against Tombstone, the web slinger was proving victorious after shooting a stinger at Tombstone’s throat. As the fight was about to come to an end, Punisher entered the scene with a rocket launcher that was intended to be fired at Tombstone. However, Punisher halted his attack when Tombstone took Marlow’s son hostage. This forced Steve to take action against the Punisher, attacking him from behind in order to both help his boss and save his son. Tombstone shot Steve for his annoyance and failures, but was hit by a rocket after the Punisher recovered. Marlow’s family was safe, but Tombstone mysteriously disappeared from the scene. He began rebuilding his criminal organization elsewhere and strictly kept a low profile after his recent actions.
Tombstone would encounter Punisher once more after attending a meeting with the Geraci family, but this time would ironically join forces with the vigilante when another crime lord known as Rosalie Carbone attacked the Geraci’s. After the incident, Tombstone next allied with Jigsaw against the Geraci’s in order to knock-out competition within the criminal underground. This time Jigsaw leveled the Geraci estate and was convinced that the Punisher had died within the destruction of Geraci’s family home. After seeing this, Tombstone went his own way and continued to pursue his own criminal organization’s rise.
Tombstone later crossed paths with Spiderman and Gambit as both heroes foiled Tombstone’s attempt to traffic a Haitian voodoo dust as a narcotic. Ironically, Tombstone found himself hired by Hammerhead to lead a direct assault against his competitor, known as Don Vincente Fortunato. Tombstone and his army of henchmen invaded Fortunato’s home and encountered Spiderman on the scene. Fotunato managed to trap everybody by stunning them with his electric floor, and planned to make an example out of both Spiderman and Tombstone by publicly executing them both. Daredevil managed to foil Fortunato’s attempt and rescued both Spiderman and Tombstone. The ungrateful Tombstone managed to escape from the scene. He would later find himself against Daredevil and his short-lived team known as the Marvel Knights after being hired into joining a team known as the New Jersey Alliance. Tombstone led the team in attacking the Marvel Knights. Tombstone and his allies managed to get the better of the Marvel Knights, until every member of the New Jersey Alliance was sucked into the Darkforce by Cloak and Dagger. Somehow, Tombstone managed to escape the Darkforce and began to rebuild his reputation once again from the start by robbing banks.
During one bank robbery, Tombstone’s luck would strike against him when he suffered a near-fatal heart attack that resulted in his capture by the authorities. He was sentenced to and detained within the ultra-security island prison known as the Cage, whose surrounding forcefield managed to reduce Tombstone’s powers to normal levels. Even though Tombstone wasn’t a stranger behind prison walls, his luck would turn much worse when the massive Brian Hibbs, also known as the Kangaroo, confronted him. Threatened and provoked by Hibbs’ detailed assaults, Tombstone responded by kicking Hibbs in the groin before suffering another heart attack, which gave Hibbs the chance to violently pulverize Tombstone, while the guards watched on. Knowing that he was outmatched and the odds were against him, Tombstone next formed an alliance with Spot, Hypno-Hustler, Big Ben Donovan, and Rocket Racer to take down Hibbs once and for all.
Tombstone and his gang attacked Hibbs and managed to set him up for the kill with a pair of scissors, but the guards halted Tombstone and threw him in solitary confinement for the murder attempt. During his confinement, Tombstone’s gang would be brutally beaten and hospitalized by Hibbs (besides Spot), which left Tombstone hopeless once again. With the time he had between his confinement and his next surgery, Tombstone formulated his next plan. Tombstone had one of the guards who was secretly working for him inform Hibbs of his location during the surgery. A successful trap for Hibbs was set which caused him to be physically stuck in the air vent and badly injured in an accident. Tombstone then used the paroled Spot to secretly transport him out of the prison. Free and fully regaining his health, Tombstone personally thanked Spot by snapping his neck and continued to seek his criminal employment elsewhere.
A free man once more, Tombstone quickly found employment with Norman Osborn, joining Osborn’s team of Spiderman-related super villains known as the Sinister Twelve. Even though this was the first time that Tombstone participated among a full-fledged super villain group, the team still didn’t fare any better against Spiderman when several other heroes came to his aid. Avoiding custody once again, Tombstone relocated to Europe where Lily Lucca alongside a new Matador hired him. Secretly working for Vanessa Fisk, Lily would instruct both Tombstone and Matador to stage a kidnapping scene to purposefully gain Daredevil’s attention. Even though Daredevil did manage to fend off Tombstone and Matador, he would later suspect that he was set up in a trap. Tombstone and Matador were forced to track down Daredevil once more, and both villains fought the hero once again. Annoyed by Matador, Tombstone attacked the new villain and swiped him off to the side as he attempted to take on Daredevil himself. Daredevil eventually defeated Tombstone by knocking him out with a sledgehammer. With Daredevil tracking down his true employer, Tombstone awoke and later returned to America with nothing left in his name, forcing him to join the ranks of the Hood’s Army as a way to rebuild his criminal organization.