Real Name: Joseph Rambo

Identity/Class: Human technology user

Occupation: Thief; former insurance investigator

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Tinkerer (weapons provider), Toy, Calvin C. Bryer (former roommate)

Enemies: Machine Man, Kublai Khan, Delmar Insurance Company

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Bug (just like the epithet Binary Bug, this title was given only by the narrator)

Base of Operations: a Park Avenue penthouse in New York City

First Appearance: Machine Man I#11 (October, 1979)

Powers/Abilities: Binary Bug possessed no inherent superhuman abilities, but he was provided with several devices from the Tinkerer to further his criminal career. Most of these devices were for offensive use. One such device was built into the left gauntlet of Binary Bug's costume's electrical blasts. These blasts contained enough voltage to stagger an adult man at nearly point-blank range. Besides this offensive capability, Binary Bug had several others, also. Some of these were hand-held throwing devices, one of which was the techno-breaker -- it could confuse and eventually short out any machine, including androids, via an electrical field. Another thrown weapon that looked exactly the same as the techno-breaker was the sonic blaster -- not only could it disorientate its intended target, but it could cause physical harm, as well. His most deadly weapons were probably his twin tracer missiles that could be launched from his "bug pod." This bulky, removable pod served a number of other functions, as well. Once harnessed upon his back, the pod could be used for flight, leaving a gray exhaust trail in its wake. The pod also contained a computer that could run random numerical combinations in order to bypass locks. The computer may have been able to bypass computer safeguards, too, and more than likely could store information downloaded from other computer systems. Binary Bug's only defensive capability was to exude a thick smoke from his right gauntlet; the only apparent function of the gas was to obscure the vision of others in the area surrounding him.


History: (Machine Man I#11 (fb) - BTS) - While stealing from Delmar Insurance's wealthy clients by using the company's computers, insurance investigator Joseph Rambo was discovered and subsequently fired. Through his illicit gains, Rambo met with the Tinkerer, who designed and created several technological weapons and a computer/flight pack for the former insurance investigator, which Tinkerer's creation Toy delivered. Rambo did this so he could continue his criminal career against Delmar's clients while simultaneously destroying the insurance company.



(Machine Man I#11) - On Binary Bug's first outing, he was stopped from stealing millions in bonds from his former boss's personal safe by Machine Man. After breaking into Delmar's building and stealing information about the company's clients, Binary Bug raided a social event under the protection of Delmar Insurance. He escaped with millions of dollars worth of diamonds and artwork. Binary Bug approached Kublai Khan (another of Delmar's clients) aboard his dirigible headquarters, Xanadu, with the intent of stealing his valuables. However, Khan's wealth was saved by the arrival of Machine Man, who had discovered Binary Bug's true identity and criminal pattern after conducting an investigation. The battle with Machine Man moved outside of the volatile confines of the zeppelin, but soon after this Binary Bug killed himself after accidentally flying into power lines.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman and Steve Ditko.

Yet another character that had a designation in exposition but went without an official codename within the actual story (One of these days I'm going to list as many of these nameless guys as I can --Kyle).

The Tinkerer could have specifications for Binary Bug's devices so another person could take up the identity for the right price, of course. This probably isn't going to happen though.

Maybe it already did -- Binary Bug's appearance/powers are kind of similar to the Neutralizer and the Human Computer; maybe the Tinkerer has been supplying weapons to these two guys as well.
--John Kaminski

Or the other way around: Maybe the Neutralizer technology was sold to the Tinkerer and he used it to build the Binary Bug suit. Read the Neutralizer profile and learn why this is more plausible. Damn flashback stories!
--Markus Raymond

Speaking of devices, let's see... a green costume, electrical glove blasts, smoke screens, thrown gimmick weapons, and exhaust-creating flight all sound similar to Spider-Man's foe, the Green Goblin. Maybe the Tinkerer got his hands on the designs for some of the Goblin's technology. Intentional or not, the parallels are there and could lead to a Goblin/Tinkerer confrontation. The Spider-Man similarities don't stop here though: Spidey's original artist/co-creator, Steve Ditko, was also the artist for this story, and Machine Man had a hate campaign directed toward him like Spider-Man.

Profile by Kyle Sims

No known connection to:

Joseph Rambo, the Binary Bug has no known connection to:

images: (without ads)
Machine Man I#11, p1 (main image)
   p17, pan1 (shooting)
   p13, pan2 (without armor)

Machine Man I#11 (October, 1979) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Steve Ditko (artist), Jim Shooter (editor)

Last updated: 09/12/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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