Chameleon (real name: Dimitrio Smerdyakov) is a supervillain from the Spider-Man series. He is a master of disguise.
He is the half-brother of Kraven the Hunter, and the two have often teamed up against their common adversary: Spider-Man.
The Chameleon can make a life-like mask of anyone he meets, and can mimic nearly any voice he hears. He uses these uncanny talents in pursuit of criminal and terrorist activities. Nobody has ever seen his real face, as he always wears a hard plastic white mask under his disguises.
Later, Chameleon gained the power to mentally alter his form and voice, similar to Mystique. In one of those adventures was where he nearly got the police to believe he was Spider-Man himself, in there unforgettable encounter.
After Spider-Man revealed his identity during the events of the Marvel Civil War, Chameleon got together a small gang of supervillains consisting of Electro, Molten Man, Will-O'-The-Wisp, and Scarecrow to take down Spider-Man/Peter Parker in his own house. They were however, thwarted by Spidey and Black Cat.
In Spider-Man The Animated Series, Chameleon first appears in the episode "Day of the chameleon", where he's sent by terrorists to stop a peace agreement. He's defeated by Spider-Man because Chameleon disguised himself as Peter Parker. Since then, he's often shown to work for the Kingpin. Instead of masks, he uses a projection belt until Dr. Landon gave him the power to shift his shape without the belt. In the episode "The price of heroism", he turns out to be the brother of Electro instead of Kraven and the son of the Red Skull. He finally gets caught by Spider-Man after Electro betrayed his two relatives. In this series, he only speaks when he's disguised, but he doesn't speak in his true form.
In Spectacular Spider-Man, Chameleon first appears in the episode "Persona", where he tries to steal the alien-symbiote but is interrupted by Black Cat. Later he disguises himself as Spider-Man to rob banks with the help of Tinkerer and Mysterio. While trying to steal money from a party on a ship, he's caught by Spider-Man. He reappears in "The Final Curtain" when Spider-Man fights the Green Goblin while Harry and Norman Osborn watch them from a helicopter. Suddenly Harry remembers that Norman said sorry to Spider-Man the day before, something Norman never does in this show. He grabs the mask, revealing "Norman" to be Chameleon who says "I did not sign in for this." and escapes with a parachute. As Norman said, Chameleon already appeared before "Persona", in the episode "The Uncertainty Principle" where he was disguised as Norman and tried to steal company's secrets for a competitor. Chameleon was voiced by Steven Blum and, although it remains unknown whether he is related to Kraven in this show, has a Russian accent.
- Dmitri was revealed to have an American friend named Joe Cord.
- The source of his abusive past was that the father had been drunk and abused Sergei. Then Dmitri was terribly influenced with the abuse due Sergei's anger.
- 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.