GLADIATOR

Real Name: Randy Kellog

Identity/Class: Extra-dimensional (Earth-New Universe), human Paranormal

Occupation: Former soldier

Affiliations: Formerly, the U.S. military

Enemies: Starbrand (Kenneth Connell), Soviet military

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Eastern provinces of the Soviet Union; currently, orbiting the New Universe

First Appearance: Starbrand#10 (November, 1987)

 

 

Powers/Abilities: Gladiator has superhuman strength and durability, able to press a truck. He seems composed of a much denser substance than that of an ordinary human, and probably has no blood cells and produces no lactic acid, hence feels no fatigue. He also does not need to relieve himself. His mass causes him to sink into soft earth. He survived two nuclear explosions, and seemed unaffected by radiation, or for the vacuum and cold of space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

History: (Starbrand#10 (fb)) - Randy Kellog, an ex-soldier, noticed one summer that he began getting heavier but not flabbier. At the same time, he became stronger. At some point, he read a book that gave him the idea to "knock out the big Reds in Moscow" using his powers. Before he got too heavy, Kellog hijacked a Japanese ship, and had them take him a few miles off the Soviet coast. Walking ashore, Kellog, now calling himself the Gladiator, began his attack. The Soviets hastily attempted to stop him, deploying soldiers and tanks, even resorting to using nuclear weapons against him twice, and threatening to attack the U.S., but Kellog continued his mission, following a railroad to lead him to Moscow.

 

 

 

(Starbrand#10) - Ken Connell, watching the news, discovered a report of a five kiloton explosion centered in the Eastern Soviet province of Yakusk. The Soviet Union claimed the United States had initiated agression against them.

Ken Connell traveled to the Soviet Union, afraid he would be facing his opponent "the Old Man". He soon discovered the carnage caused by Kellog, as well as Kellog's footprints. Following these tracks, Connell encountered Gladiator. Gladiator explained his goal to Connell. Shocked, Connell told Kellog that his actions could trigger a nuclear conflict between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. Kellog shrugged off Connell's objections, and then attacked him. A star blast by Connell failed to harm him. Connell flew away to rest and mull over his options.

After his respite, Connell told Kellog that, unless he stopped, Connell would have to kill him. Kellog refused to stop, so Connell flew up behind him, pinned his arms, and lifted him up into the sky. He then flew them both into outer space, intending to kill Kellog by throwing him into the sun. Backpedaling, Connell decided instead to throw Kellog into space. Since in space no friction exists, and Kellog appparently did not need air, water, or food, one can assume that he continues to move through space in a straight line.

(Untold Tales of the New Universe: Starbrand#1) - Kellog was found floating in space by Arden, an explorer from an alternate reality who was seeking Connell. She brought Kellog aboard her vessel Tangentia, and learned all about his encounter with Connell. When she had learned all that Kellog knew, she released him back into outer space.

 

 

Comments: Created by George Caragonne and Mark Bagley.

On the whole, this presented an interesting one-shot. George Caragonne, by the way, later worked for Penthouse Comix, and committed suicide.

I wonder what book Kellog read. Judging by the choice of his nom de guerre, he may very well have read the novel Gladiator by Philip Wylie, since in that novel, Hugo Danner considers flying to Berlin to kill the Kaiser during World War I.

Connell mentions having fought the Soviets in Afghanistan at one point in this issue. Does anyone know what issue that story got told in? Starbrand#3. --Prime Ed-ternal I find it interesting as only three movies that came out while the Soviet/Afghanistan war took place made any reference to it (The Beast, Rambo III, and The Living Daylights). However, turns out that quite a few comic books did reference it: G.I. Joe#6, G.I. Joe Special Missions#9, Bizarre Adventures#31 (the Pravda Patrol story), and an issue of the Japanese comic book Golgo 13 did a story about it. (Even more afield, Gerald Seymour, author of Harry's Game, wrote a novel called In Honour Bound about it, and a Mack Bolan novel from 1985 took place during it.)

Kellog's attempt to win the Cold War by himself reminds me of a story about an alternate reality where Prussia lost the Franco-Prussian War. A newspaper headline noted "Super-powers of Spanish Leader as Yet Unexplained".

By the way, Kellog's race seems unclear. His skin had a gray coloring to it, but as to whether that what his original complexion or a result of his being nuked remains unclear. The nuclear explosion also probably burned off his clothing, as he went around naked when Connell saw him, but he seems to have already been bald long before he attacked the Soviet Union, as the flashback showing him lifting a truck shows him as bald. The nuclear attack probably did destroy the hair on the rest of his body.

Kellog remains the only Earthling left in the New Universe since its Earth was taken to the Marvel Universe.
I'd love to see Kellog encounter Skeletron, the only other "living" thing in the New Universe. Maybe Kellog continued to increase in power, and it could be a good struggle--Snood

by Per Degaton and Prime Eternal

Clarifications:
Gladiator should not be confused with:\

 


Appearances:
Starbrand#10 (November, 1987) - George Caragonne (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Untold Tales of the New Universe: Starbrand#1 (May, 2006) - Jeff Parker (writer), Javier Pulido (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)


Last updated: 05/28/06

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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