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Manuel Eloganto, aka The Matador, was a world-famous bullfighter. However, his brutality in the arena made him very unpopular amongst the crowds. In one fight, he was being booed out by the audience which made him become distracted from the fight and he was severely hurt by the attacking bull. Elongato survived the incident, but swore revenge upon the world and turned to crime.
He ran up against Daredevil and various other superheroes over the years. Later, he reformed, paid his debt to society, and resolved never again to disgrace his family name as he had in his youth.
Nevertheless, he later became targeted by the Scourge of the Underworld organization, but the Scourge sent to carry out the hit could not bring herself to kill him, as he was babysitting his sister's children at the time.
By his own accounts, the Matador is a descendant of a 14th Century matador who was given the Crown of Cortez by the queen of Spain. When his ancestor fell in love with a woman he gave her the crown. However, she betrayed him to another man and the ancestor died in a sword fight defending the honour of his home. As he died he cursed the crown, saying that all who held the crown would know nothing but bloodshed.
In the late 1940's the Matador became obsessed with obtaining the Crown of Cortez. By 1948 he had tracked the crown down to New York where it was in the possession of Lolita D'Espana. The Matador also learned that Lolita had pawned off the crowns largest ruby and sold its largest diamond to Spanish curio collector James Ortelli and sought to reclaim them. He first attacked the pawn shop where the ruby was own, shooting down the owner. The shots attracted Captain America and Bucky (who in their alter egos of Jeff Mace and Fred Davis had coincidentally accepted an invitation from Lolita to see the Crown of Cortez). During the fight, the Matador knocked out the heroes with a narcotic gas and fled the scene with the pawned ruby. The Matador and his men next attacked the home of James Ortelli, really a Spanish castle transported to America stone-by-stone. There the Matador forced Ortelli to turn over the diamond. However, when Captain America and Bucky had once more interfered, the Matador held Ortelli's daughter hostage. Captain America managed to disarm the Matador and the villain then dived out a window into the castle moat below and was presumed drowned.
The Matador survived however, and then took Lolita hostage in her own home. Learning that she had entrusted the crown to Jeff Mace, the Matador forced her to write a note to Fred Davis asking him to return the crown. When Fred did he was captured and the two were tied to a chair. The Matador then set off a fire bomb to burn the two alive and stuck around to watch them burn. However, Captain America came to their rescue and easily defeated the Matador's goons. Confronting the Matador, Captain America easily bested him in one-on-one combat. Defeated, the Matador attempted to back away for a surprise attack but ended up foolishly backing into the flames he had started and burned to death. Cap then rescued Lolita and Bucky and recovered the crown from the burning building.
A new character, apparently unrelated to the original Matador, was introduced in "Daredevil" (vol. 2) #89. He was one of finest matadors in Spain, Juan was hired by Vanessa Fisk, in a complicated plot against Daredevil, to carry out various ploys. Matador agreed, and learned he would be teamed up with Lily Lucca, Tombstone, and lawyer Alton Lennox.