Imitation: Chameleon relies on his hi tech equipment to provide him with image-changing abilities. His computer belt is able to record a person's overall appearance, store hundreds of such records, and trigger alterations in the Chameleon's body, pigmentation, and specially treated clothing to mimic these records. In his early career, the Chameleon's face-changing powers were caused by a special mask, which could be formed into a life-like copy of a chosen person's face. When sprayed with a special gas, the mask dissolved and reverted to another shape or to his normal white mask. His specially designed clothing could similarly change when sprayed with the gas.
Weapons: The Chameleon uses potent knock-out darts, gases, and smoke bombs.
Born into an aristocracy that had come to an end, Dmitri Smerdyakov was the half-brother of the Russian Sergei Kravinov (a.k.a. Kraven the Hunter). Kraven became one of the world's greatest hunters to full fill his sense of lost nobility, and Smerdyakov served as a manservant for his brother. Eventually, Smyerdyakov would become the internationally notorious Soviet subversive known only as the Chameleon.
The Chameleon originally used his skills at espionage and disguise to obtain secret plans and government documents, until at one point he was defeated by Spider-Man, early in that hero's career. He has plagued Spider-Man ever since.