December 1, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #173: Rusty Collins

Why cover this guy this week? Er, no reason...

There isn’t a lot on Rusty Collins.  He was, arguably, not much of a superhero.  In fact, he ended up on a lot of bad guy teams.  It happens.  But something came up recently, so here he is.

What came up?  If you know what it is, you don’t have to ask me.  If you don’t, you’ll probably find out later.

Rusty was born in Oklahoma and joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 16.  Then, one day, his mutant powers kicked in in the form pyrokinesis, which is a fancy way of saying he could create and control fire.

A Navy guy with power over fire? There’s a bad joke in there somewhere…

Rusty first appeared in the pages of Marvel’s X-Factor.  In those days, X-Factor was the original X-Men going around, pretending to be mutant hunters, when what they really did was find scared mutants and take them off to a safe place, a sentient spaceship creatively named “Ship,” to learn how to use their powers.  While on Ship, Rusty met a young Morlock named Skids.  For a Morlock, she looked pretty normal.  Check that, for a mutant she looked pretty normal.  She had forcefield powers or something.  Anyway, those two hit it off, and Rusty tried the awful codename of Firefist.

That name ringing any bells?  No?  Never mind.

Rusty with Skids.

As it is, Rusty and the other kids on Ship called themselves the X-Terminators and many of them later joined the New Mutants.  And here’s where things get bad for Rusty and, by extension, Skids.  See, the two are captured and brainwashed into joining the Mutant Liberation Front, one of those nasty mutant terrorist groups that used to mess with the various X-teams.  In this case, that was X-Force, where the rest of the remaining New Mutants ended up.

Now, the good news for Rusty and Skids is that eventually they were cured of their brainwashing and left the MLF.  The bad news is that the cure came from Magneto and they ended up joining his team of Acolytes, various mutants who thought Magneto was just awesome.  And then, after the Age of Apocalypse storyline ended, there were a handful of survivors from that broken timeline that made their way to the main universe and one of them landed on Asteroid M, home of the Acolytes.  That survivor was a character named Holocaust.  In the Age of Apocalypse timeline, he was the son of Apocalypse or something, a nearly indestructible bruiser with a lot of energy-based powers.  How did he charge them?  By sucking the life out of other people.  Who did he suck the life out of first when he woke up on Asteroid M?  Rusty.

So, yeah, that was that.

Like I said, there wasn’t much there.

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