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Joseph Manfredi is a volatile leader in the Maggia crime syndicate and a former lover of Whitney Frost, who helps her further her own agenda. When Frost's exposure to Zero Matter caused her to lose her grip on reality, Manfredi called on the help of the SSR and his childhood friend Howard Stark to stop her.
Early in his life Manfredi grew up in the Lower east side where he came to know and become good friends with future Industrialist Howard Stark. Around 1935, Joseph Manfredi met Whitney Frost. Though he was very attracted to her, she met and married Calvin Chadwick; because of his anger, Manfredi caused the Figueroa massacre where he killed six people at a poker game. Despite the fact that Manfredi kept an animosity towards Chadwick, feeling that Chadwick stole Frost from him, Manfredi, being a gentleman, sent Frost expensive bone china as a wedding gift, but, for over a decade, he and Frost did not talk.
Stealing a Bomb
- "Now we're talking, how many guns do you need?"
"No guns, no guns. Just some of your men who are good with their hands and discreet."
"Sounds like a pretty sweet deal for me."
- ―Joseph Manfredi and Whitney Frost
While eating dinner at a public restaurant, Manfredi was informed that Whitney Frost and Calvin Chadwick had come to speak to him. Manfredi at first threatened Chadwick, reminding him of when he had stolen from him; however, he soon began laughing and assured him that since it had been a decade he was over it and invited them to sit down. They discussed how Chadwick was running for Senate and Manfredi noted that as he was connected to the Council of Nine he would likely get elected without needing Maggia's help.
Frost offered Manfredi a proposed freeway system in exchange for his help. Manfredi offered his men for both the freeway system and the promise that Chadwick would ensure that the newspapers no longer published his or his men's names on their front page. When Chadwick tried to argue, Manfredi pulled one of his men aside and they began discussing Frost's beauty. When Clifford called her beautiful, Manfredi slammed his head on the table before mercilessly beating him while the other guests watched in horror. He then returned to the table and agreed to the deal with Frost.
Protecting Whitney Frost
When Whitney Frost began as the new leader of the Council of Nine, she hired Manfredi and his Maggia men to work as her muscle and protection, keeping guard over her new home at the Chadwick Ranch. During his time working for her, Manfredi was told to collect Vernon Masters to speak to Frost, interrupting his torture of Dottie Underwood. Masters was furious and, at first refused, but Manfredi simply reminded him of the threat Frost held over him and made Masters come upstairs.
As Masters and Frost spoke, Manfredi took the time to make himself a drink and listen in on their conversation. Masters made it clear that he felt Manfredi's men were not needed as his men were better trained, but Frost and Manfredi both pointed out that the Maggia men were more loyal and obeyed orders without question. Once Frost had tasked Masters with obtaining the original Atomic Bomb uranium rods that were stolen during the Infiltration into the Roxxon Warehouse, Manfredi gave her a drink; when Frost revealed her Zero Matter scars to him, Manfredi said that she was still as beautiful as ever before Frost left the group to question Underwood herself.
Manfredi joined Frost in traveling to Howard Stark's Estate in order to kidnap Jason Wilkes. When Manfredi arrived, he commented that he had never seen a black scientist, causing Wilkes to threaten him with the Zero Matter in his skin. Manfredi asked Frost if she had gotten everything she wanted; she informed him that Doctor Wilkes would be coming with them. Wilkes refused, so Manfredi distracted him by threatening that he should watch his tone while talking to them, before Frost knocked him out with a metal bar.
As Manfredi put Wilkes inside his car, they were interrupted when Ana Jarvis demanded that they let him go. Manfredi pulled his gun but Frost ordered him to put it away, claiming that they were not monsters. Frost and Jarvis argued about whether or not Wilkes would die if he was taken away, with Frost arguing that what he needed was answers. When Peggy Carter's car pulled into the drive, Frost took Manfredi's gun and shot Jarvis in the gut in an attempt to distract Carter long enough for her and Manfredi to escape with Wilkes.
Two More for Lunch
Manfredi returned to his Italian restaurant and began cooking with his grandmother while he had a team of Maggia guards protect them. Manfredi made a new kind of gravy for his mother although she berated him that it was not good enough, leading to an argument with Manfredi speaking in English while his mother yelled in Italian. They were interrupted when they saw that Peggy Carter and Daniel Sousa had defeated their guards in a fight. Manfredi remained calm and casually commented that they had two more for lunch.
Manfredi sat down with Carter and Sousa who questioned him regarding his men guarding Whitney Frost during the Infiltration into the Roxxon Warehouse. Carter noted that Manfredi had a relationship with Frost, although Manfredi insisted that she had dumped him for Calvin Chadwick. Sousa told Manfredi that they needed to get a message to Frost, which led to Manfredi demanding that they leave. Sousa mentioned that Tommy Fontana was being freed from prison and threatened to claim that Manfredi had given him up; this caused Manfredi to agree to their request.
- "You're more beautiful today than the day I met you."
"You're a terrible liar, Joe."
"Hey, I'm not lying! That mark on your face is nothing to be ashamed of; it's power, and that's what makes you beautiful."
- ―Joseph Manfredi and Whitney Frost
Having been given the message from Carter and Sousa, Manfredi went to the warehouse where Frost was attempting to teach Jason Wilkes how to control the Zero Matter within him. Manfredi called Frost over, interrupting her work with Wilkes and insisted that she give him a kiss on the cheek before he could talk. He then informed Frost that Carter had been to visit him and had offered to give Frost the uranium rods from the Atomic Bombs in exchange for Wilkes' return unharmed. Frost happily agreed to the deal.
Manfredi and Frost then waited for Carter and Sousa's arrival outside the warehouse, with Manfredi calling Frost gorgeous and promising her that she was even more beautiful than ever; when Frost claimed that she was not Manfredi briefly lost his temper as he insisted he was not lying as her scars represented power and were nothing to be ashamed of. The pair went to kiss just as the van finally arrived; Manfredi ordered his men to bring out Wilkes while he stood beside Frost and offered her protection.
The deal seemingly went down without any trouble, with Manfredi and his men standing guard with her guns raised. Manfredi was given the case containing the rods and confirmed that they were giving off radiation as expected, allowing Frost to willingly hand over Wilkes to the SSR. However, when Manfredi gave the case to one of his men, it was dropped and the rods were revealed to be fake. When Frost saw this, she ordered Manfredi to kill them as Carter and Sousa attempted to escape while firing a shotgun in the air, with the Maggia men shooting at them before giving chase.
Jason Wilkes betrayed Peggy Carter and got the location of the real uranium rods, which Whitney Frost had Vernon Masters steal from the Auerbach Theatrical Agency. Manfredi once again stood by as Frost prepared to cause a nuclear explosion, casually commenting to Masters how he had always enjoyed fireworks. Manfredi watched as the bomb was activated and the rift sucked in Jason Wilkes until it was destroyed by a device.
When Edwin Jarvis ran onto the site and shot Frost twice in the chest, Manfredi and his men rushed down to avenge her; mortified at having seen the love of his life killed, Manfredi vowed to make them pay. However, just as Manfredi gave the order for his men to shoot, Frost awoke and ordered them to stop, claiming that she needed Jarvis and Peggy Carter alive so that they could be used to blackmail Wilkes into giving up his power. Manfredi then ordered his men to knock the pair out and lock them in the van.
Threatening Jason Wilkes
- "Now, I'm hot, I got sand in my shorts and I wanna go home. Get back in the car, shut your mouth!"
- ―Joseph Manfredi to Jason Wilkes
Manfredi and Whitney Frost drove the still unconscious Jason Wilkes out the desert until he finally awoke with his eyes completely black, which Manfredi compared on eightballs. When Wilkes claimed not to be well, Manfredi pulled his car over and insisted that Wilkes vomit outside so he did not damage the car. Manfredi listened as Frost questioned Wilkes about what he had seen inside the rift and why he had been allowed to return; though Wilkes was unable to provide them with answers, his eyes soon returned back to their normal brown color.
Manfredi stated that he still looked unwell so Frost allowed Wilkes to exit the car; with Manfredi dragging him out, they decided to show Peggy Carter and Edwin Jarvis to him to motivate him to obey their orders. However when the truck driver went to the back they found that Carter and Jarvis had broken free and escaped, throwing Frost into a rage. The furious Frost ordered Manfredi to deal with the truck driver as he had failed completely, so Manfredi drew his gun and shot him once between the eyes before ordering Wilkes to do as he was told and sending his men to find Carter and Jarvis.
Appeasing Whitney Frost
Manfredi found and took over a waste management facility for Whitney Frost to continue her experiments on Jason Wilkes and also took her equipment from Isodyne Energy and brought it there. Although Frost was reluctant, Manfredi insisted that the new location would be suitable for her requirements. They then went to Wilkes who continued to get them to be taken into the desert as he felt he was too dangerous, however Manfredi and Frost ignored his pleas and began their experiments.
Despite the experiments being run for hours on end with various tools and equipment, Frost failed to draw any of the Zero Matter from within Wilkes, leading to Manfredi recommending that they pause the experiment before they accidentally kill Wilkes, as he had seen men being tortured before and knew Wilkes was close to death. Frost agreed and furiously began demanding that Wilkes hand over the Zero Matter, despite his continued warnings that it would kill her due to its immense power. They were then informed that one of Vernon Masters men was there to speak to her.
To their surprise, Jack Thompson was waiting to speak to Frost, explaining that he did not have the Gamma Cannon that had been promised. When Thompson explained that he had volunteered to deliver the bad news, Manfredi called him stupid. As Thompson began to flirt openly with Frost, Manfredi became jealous, defending the location when Thompson called it a dump. Finally Manfredi lost his temper and threatened Thompson before being ordered to leave by Frost, annoying him even more as he stormed out the building to get food and go home.
Deal With the Devil
Manfredi was at home when Whitney Frost returned, shaken and battered from an explosion at the facility. Though worried, Manfredi's concern was batted aside by Frost, who shut herself in her room working on a plan to reopen the Zero Matter rift, much to Manfredi's dismay. He tried to interrupt her once again, but Frost ordered him to leave her alone, not even allowing Manfredi to touch her skin.
Manfredi told his troubles to his grandmother, Nonna Manfredi, who asked Manfredi if he loved Frost, to which Manfredi replied that he did although he knew that Frost was not the same woman he had once known. Manfredi listened as his grandmother told him that to help Frost, he needed to make a deal with the devil. Believing that Frost's breakdown was due to the Zero Matter corrupting her mind and wishing to help fix her, Manfredi decided to ask Peggy Carter and Howard Stark for help in the matter.
Manfredi broke into Howard Stark's Estate and drew a gun on Stark's butler, Edwin Jarvis, ordering him to lead him to Stark while Jarvis raised his hands in surrender. Manfredi found Stark and Carter eating with Jason Wilkes; Carter and Wilkes were shocked to see Manfredi and launched to their feet. When Carter attempted to reach for her gun Manfredi ordered her to stop as he pushed the gun into Jarvis' back, Stark, realising that this was a game told Manfredi to allow Jarvis to put the mustard on the table first as they joked about how it was not okay to kidnap a butler or steal underwear.
Manfredi and Stark revealed that they knew each other, and Manfredi released Jarvis and told the group his mission, asking to work together to rid Frost of the Zero Matter which he believed was corrupting her character. Manfredi told the group of Frost's work in her room, with Stark immediately realizing her plan. Carter proposed to infiltrate Frost's room and copy her formulas, with Manfredi drawing Frost out of her room so that Carter could copy the plan. Manfredi agreed to the attempt as all he wanted was to have the woman he loved back and well again.
Tricking Whitney Frost
Manfredi entered Whitney Frost's room to find her sitting in semi-darkness, still frantically working. He claimed that one of his men, Hank was resisting his interrogation technique and he needed Frost to force information from him. Frost reluctantly agreed, and Manfredi left to find one of his men for his plan before Frost arrived. Manfredi forced Hank into a chair where he began yelling at him to reveal that he was a traitor who was working for Tommy Fontana; Hank fiercely denied the charge, leading Frost to become anxious and ask to return to her work.
Knowing Peggy Carter and Daniel Sousa had not completed their part, Manfredi delayed her by asking her to give Hank a little of her power; she agreed. As she drew near, Hank admitted that he was working for the government and had given up information on Maggia; much to Manfredi's shock, as he was just using him to delay Frost with no thought that he actually was a traitor. Frost left to return to her room; Manfredi ran behind her and raised his voice to alert Carter, who was gone from the room as Frost and Manfredi entered. Frost told Manfredi not to interrupt her again, and he left the room.
Later, Frost had been defeated by Carter, Howard Stark, and Jason Wilkes, who removed the Zero Matter from her body, healing her facial scars. Manfredi was shocked to find that the trauma of losing her powers had snapped Frost's mind, leaving her dreaming of her time with Calvin Chadwick. Manfredi visited her with roses, but was told by one of the doctors that he could not give them to her as she would try to scratch her face open with them. Through the door, Manfredi stared at Frost, strapped in a straitjacket and whispering to herself, before entering the room and speaking to her.
- "You're more beautiful today than the day I met you."
- ―Joseph Manfredi to Whitney Frost
Joseph Manfredi has a deep love for Whitney Frost in which she can do no wrong in his eyes. Even when she berates herself for not being beautiful, Manfredi saw past her physical form and simply looks at the woman Frost can be.
This emotional attachment to Frost causes him to make decisions to impress her but have his Maggia members fear him. For example, Manfredi once beat up a man to the point of being unconscious just because he thought he was looking at Frost incorrectly and he also shot and killed a truck driver point-blank for failing Frost in his job. When Frost flirted with Jack Thompson, unlike Calvin Chadwick who restrained Frost, Manfredi had to be restrained from attacking Thompson.
Eventually, Manfredi stood by Frost even when she was put in an asylum.
This section requires expansion
- Multilingual: Manfredi understands Italian, his grandmother's language, though he prefers to speak in English.
- Colt M1911A1: Manfredi carried one of these handguns as his personal sidearm, using it to shoot at the van where Jason Wilkes escaped during a hostage exchange, and to threaten Edwin Jarvis and Peggy Carter, capturing all of them in the desert. Manfredi also used it to kill in cold blood one of the men working for him when Carter and Jarvis managed to escape from a van where they were kept to use as leverage against Jason Wilkes.
- Nonna Manfredi - Grandmother
- Whitney Frost - Former Lover
- Calvin Chadwick † - Situational Ally
- Maggia - Subordinates
- Vernon Masters
- Strategic Scientific Reserve - Enemies turned Allies
- Jason Wilkes - Enemy turned Ally
- Edwin Jarvis - Enemy turned Ally
- Howard Stark - Childhood Friend
In chronological order:
- Agent Carter
- In the comics, Joseph Manfredi is a criminal who controls bats and goes by the alias of Blackwing. He is also the son of Silvermane, and has been a member of HYDRA, the Skeleton Crew, and Crimson Cowl's version of the Masters of Evil.