Real Name: Rico Gawren

Identity/Class: Human, mutate

Occupation: Student

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Speedball (Robbie Baldwin)

Enemies: Bliss, Mr. Huggins, Other unknown parties

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Always on the run, but briefly Springdale High

First Appearance: Speedball#5/3 (January, 1989)

Powers/Abilities: Rico's abilities were never clarified, aside from his being a Freak of Science! While at school he was shown to enjoy track and field and and be pretty good at math.

History: (Speedball#5/3 (fb, BTS))- Rico, because of his condition, had apparently been on the run for some time, but was constantly being followed by agents of some unknown organization. Eventually he got himself enrolled into Springdale High, where he thought he was safe.

(Speedball#5/3)- Rico did well on tests and when Robbie Baldwin was having trouble he offered to tutor him asking Mr. Huggins for permission to stay late in the class. What he didn't know was that Huggins actually worked for the people who were chasing him.

Robbie showed up first and overheard Huggins and Bliss talking about capturing a freak of science. Robbie assumed they were talking about himself and he turned to Speedball to escape and ended up on the roof, where he met Rico, now strangely trasformed. Rico asked for his help and even though he didn't know what was going on, he knew what it felt like to be chased and agreed. Speedball distracted Huggins and Bliss, getting them tied to a tree with their own net, while Rico got away.

(Civil War: Battle Damage Report) - Tony Stark considered Freak of Science as a potential Initiative recruit.

Comments: Created by Jo Duffy, Steve Ditko and Bruce Patterson

We never really learned a thing about Rico. I'm sure he could be tied into any number of mysterious evil organization in the Marvel Universe. All that he needs is a writer who actually wanted to. But with names like Bliss and Mr. Huggins, could they really be that bad?

Rico's last name was revealed in the Civil War: Battle Damage Report.

by Patrick D Ryall


The Freak of Science should not be confused with:

Bliss was the muscle brought in to help capture the Freak. He was concerned with the legality of what they were doing, but Huggins assured him it didn't matter. After all, Rico was just... a Freak of Science! We don't see what happened to him after being tied to the tree.


Mr. Huggins posed as a substitute math teacher at Springdale High School for a few weeks as a means to get close to Rico for the people that Rico was running from. When Rico asked if he and Robbie could stay late to study, Huggins saw it as his chance to capture the Freak of Science and brought in Bliss to help. In the end Speedball left them both tied to a tree and Bliss accidentally tranquilized Huggins. We don't know what happened from there, but the real math teacher, Mr. Plant soon returned.


Images taken from:

Speedball#5, page 16, panel 1
Speedball#5, page 19, panel 3
Speedball#5, page 20, panel 3
Speedball#5, page 17, panel 2

Speedball#5 (January, 1989) - Jo Duffy (writer), Steve Ditko (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Civil War: Battle Damage Report (2007)

Last updated: 09/12/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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