Real Name: Roberto Velasquez

Identity/Class: Human, mutate

Occupation: Adventurer, boxing trainer, former boxer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Captain America, Manuel Torres, Pro-Registration forces, Trini

Enemies: Armando Aviles, Cruz, Hammerhand, Dr. Karl Malus, Thunderclap

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Battling Bantam

Base of Operations: San Juan, Puerto Rico

First Appearance: Captain America Annual#12 (1993)

Powers/Abilities: Bantam received superhuman strength (class 10), durability and endurance from the Power Broker treatment. His skin is strong enough to repel bullets. In combat, he has a tendency to fly into a berserker fury until calmed down. He was extensively trained in boxing.

Height: 5'5"
Weight: 119 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

History: (Captain America Annual#12) - Roberto Velasquez was a talented boxer, often sparring with his friend Manuel Torres at Trini's gym, but because of his size, his future as a boxer was uncertain. He was approached by Armando Aviles, who promised to make him stronger and faster, without using drugs. Roberto agreed, and was subjected to the Power Broker treatment in Florida by Dr. Karl Malus. In Roberto's next match, he faced a normal boxer, Emilio Garzon. Without meaning to, Roberto killed him in the ring. Roberto was horrified, and ran out on Aviles, refusing to box anymore.

Manuel was subsequently matched against Rico Lazar, a augmented boxer. This brought Roberto out of hiding to try and save his friend, and Aviles used the opportunity to give Roberto another chance with his crime ring. Roberto refused to do so, and was shot by Aviles. Thinking he was dead, Aviles had his men seal him in a coffin, shoot it full of holes, and toss it into a swamp.

Roberto survived all of this, and swam to safety. Deciding that his "death" had granted him anonymity, he broke into a sporting goods store owned by Aviles, and donned boxing gear, taking the alias of "Bantam." He then went after Aviles, but as he fought him, Aviles was accidentally shot dead by one of his own men. Bantam fled the scene of the murder.

(Captain America Annual#12/2) - When Roberto went to check on Manuel, he was horrified to learn that he was dead, thrown out of a window by Lazar. As the Bantam, he set after Lazar, and found him at the site where Malus had augmented him. He defeated several of Lazar's allies, but went into a berzerker rage, attacking Captain America. After he had cooled down, he joined Captain America in chasing after Lazar, and Bantam defeated him battle.

(Captain America Annual#12/3) - Bantam went back to Trini's gym to work out and was found there by Trini, who had guessed that Roberto was the Bantam. He offered Roberto a career with him as a boxer, but Roberto turned him down, knowing his strength made him too dangerous. Trini then asked him to become a trainer, and Bantam responded that he would think about it.

Later, Bantam came upon two gangs about to fight, and convinced both sides to stand down. He convinced some of the gang members to settle their frustrations at Trini's gym, and ultimately accepted Trini's offer to become a trainer.

(Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1) - Bantam split his time between super heroics and training other boxer at Trini's Gymnasium in San Juan. Because he was too powerful he never stepped himself into the ring again.

(Civil War: Front Line#3) - After the Super-Hero Registration Act was passed, Bantam chose to register. He came from L.A. to New York to apprehend the hero Thunderclap, who didn't register. Bantam tried to beat Thunderclap with his fists, but Thunderclap used his sonic boom and accidentally sent Bantam flying into a gas truck, which exploded. Bantam was killed by the explosion.

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald, David Wohl, M.C. Wyman and Charles Barnett III.

Bantam's only other appearance is in a pin-up found in Captain America Annual#13.

Bantam received an profile in the Civil War: Battle Damage Report.

by Prime Eternal

Bantam should not be confused with:

Manuel Torres was Roberto Velasquez's best friend, and would box with him at Trini's gym. After Roberto quit boxing, Manuel was pit against Rico Lazar, just to bring Roberto out into the open. Manuel was badly injured by Lazar, and was sent to the hospital.

Manuel later contacted Captain America via his hotline to inform him of the Power Broker Inc.'s involvement in boxing, but when Captain America arrived, Manuel denied these rumors, as he had been threatened by Lazar. However, Lazar was still angry that Captain America had become involved, and threw Manuel from his hospital window, killing him. The hospital staff believed that Manuel had killed himself.

--Captain America Annual#12, 12/2

Trini owned the gym in San Juan where Manuel Torres and Roberto Velasquez both boxed. After Roberto became the Bantam, he offered him a job at his gym as a trainer, and Roberto finally accepted.

--Captain America Annual#12, 12/3

Armando Aviles was a crime boss in Miami, Florida, who made a deal with Power Broker Inc. to supply them with superhuman boxers. He recruited Roberto Velasquez, but Roberto quit after killing Emilio Garzon in the ring. Aviles then had Rico Lazar face Roberto's friend Manuel to draw him out of hiding, and had his men shoot Roberto and dump him the swamp, but Roberto returned as the Bantam. As the Bantam tried to have his revenge upon Aviles, Aviles was accidentally shot dead by one of his own men.

--Captain America Annual#12

Images taken from:
Captain America Annual#12, page 19, panel 5
Captain America Annual#12, page 55, panel 4
Captain America Annual#12, page 14, panel 6
Captain America Annual#12, page 47, panel 6
Captain America Annual#12, page 6, panel 1

Captain America Annual#12 (1993) - Mark Gruenwald & David Wohl (writers), M.C. Wyman (pencils), Charles Barnett (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Story 3: Barry Dutter (writer), Grant Miehm (artist)

Story 1 & 2: Mark Gruenwald & David Wohl (writers), M.C. Wyman (pencils), Charles Barnett (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Story 3: Barry Dutter (writer), Grant Miehm (artist), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Civil War: Front Line#3 (September, 2006) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Ramon Bachs (pencils), John Lucas (inks), Cory Sedlmeier (editor)
Civil War: Battle Damage Report#1 (2007)

Last updated: 07/24/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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