RAMROD

Real Name: Unknown, probably inapplicable.

Identity/Class: Mechanical Android (Alien origin).

Occupation: Enforcer for Worldform, Inc.

Group Membership: Worldform, INC.

Affiliations: Other members of Worldform, INC

Enemies: Iron Man, Marianne Rodgers; many New Yorkers, especially police officers; presumably scores of aliens from worlds previously targeted by Worldform, Inc.

Known Relatives: Possibly the Changers

Aliases: None known.

Base of Operations: Mobile at least through the galaxy, perhaps wider.

First Appearance: Iron Man I#36, April 1971

Powers/Abilities: Ramrod was, as expected, very strong (probably class 75 at least) and durable. He seemed a bit more vulnerable on his second fight against Iron Man, for reasons not yet clear. He could fly under his own power and was most likely capable of space travel with no additional support. And he had a great vocabulary, too.
His primary purpose was to flatten a landing spot on a target world and to serve as an advance scout to confirm the planet's suitability.

History: (Iron Man I#37 (fb) - BTS) - Worldform, INC. was contracted by the dominant species of a doomed world. They were offered Earth. There were two catches - Earth was quite inhabited already (the story does not really address this point, however) and its surface were not glass-smooth, so it would not suit the needs of the aliens. Ramrod and its master were (presumably) the workforce sent to Earth to reform it. It was implied that "The Changers" would follow shortly after; Ramrod considered them long-unseen brothers for some reason.

(Iron Man I#36) - Arriving on Earth, Ramrod began to destroy things and terrorize people in the Manhattan area. His apparent goal was to build a large enough, smooth enough surface for the Changers to land. Tony Stark saw the confusion on the streets while on a date with Marianne Rodgers a number of stories above, and after a moment of hesitation, decided to intervene as Iron Man. Ramrod bragged a lot about his obvious superiority, the coming of the Changers, and how Iron Man must be dead after being buried by tons of rock during their joint "earth-diving" maneuver, but was proven wrong when Iron Man fought his way out of the hole immediately after. However, his transplanted heart began to collapse and he fell to the floor, feeling the first signs of a major heart stroke. Ramrod told the people present that Iron Man was now dead for sure, and that he would be remembered as a worthy foe by Ramrod, and by the way, the Changers were coming and everyone better accept that...

(Iron Man I#37) - After Worldform/the Changers arrived, the Ramrod adopted a role of serving the Foreman. He captured Marianne Rodgers under his orders.
After a rather dramatic rescue by Kevin O'Brien, Tony recovered enough to go after Ramrod for a second round. This time, his repulsors were much more effective and actually destroyed (or at least deactivated) Ramrod.

Comments: Created by Allyn Brodsky, Gerry Conway, Don Heck and Mike Esposito.

 

Iron Man I#36 was also the first appearance of Marianne Rodgers, one of the most lasting, interesting and complex of Tony Stark's love interests. Although you would not guess it from these two issues, where she is very much the archetypal male-fantasy devoted beauty/shrinking violet combo. In the course of just a few panels, Tony goes from complaining about Whitney (Madame Masque) suddenly breaking up with him to phoning to a scantily-clad Marianne Rodgers that seems to have been posing and waiting right there for his call for a few months at least. If you think I am exaggerating, check the issues!
Iron Man I#36 is Marianne's first confirmed appearance, but she may be Marion from Tales of Suspense I#40, as indicated by the Marvel Index series.

In the Brazilian Portuguese version of this story, the Changers were referred to as the Transformers, hence Luis' next comment:
After a lot of teasing, we never actually saw the Transformers. When Marvel began to publish the Transformers comics of the mid-1980s, I looked for a Ramrod connection for an embarrassingly long time.

I hope this does not make it sound like I disliked Iron Man I#36-37; quite the opposite, in fact. However, the point remains that it raises a lot of unanswered questions and features some badly-dated characterization. Also, it is very much a blunt "change of pace" issue.

In Iron Man I#36, Ramrod seemed to laugh off almost everything Iron Man threw at him. When Iron Man finally hurt him, Ramrod plunged into the ground from a great height, incapacitating Iron Man, but recovering seemingly without harm himself. In Iron Man#37, Iron Man defeated Ramrod with a blast of his repulsors. Why Ramrod was so easily defeated the second time was not explained. He may have been much more seriously injured by the crash from the previous issue, or else Iron Man found his weak spot (a lot of robots in the older days had a deactivation button that could be found and used), or...something...

The name Changers (or Transformers in the translated version) seemed to refer to both the organization Worldform and to the robot "Doom-Carriers" at different instances. Given that Ramrod considered them his brethren, and that they were the ones who carried out the Changing process, I refer to the robots as the Changers in this entry.

Profile by Luis Dantas and Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:

This Ramrod had only these two appearances, and is not to be confused with:

Worldform, aka the Changers, or in the translation, the Transformers (Ramrod's alleged brothers), have no known connection to


WORLDFORM, INC

 

They are an intergalactic terraforming organization, which re-engineers and/or rebuilds whole worlds to meet the needs of their clients. Once a world is chosen, the Ramrod is sent to scout out the planet and to clear a landing spot for their ship. The Foreman designs the terraforming process, which is given to the Changers. The Changers unleash the Earth-Former, which can than restructure the planet in a relatively short time period.

 

 

Worldform was hired by S'tan'd'ard to supply a planet for his race. Although Earth was both populated and uncharacteristic of their surface requirements, it was chosen nonetheless, as the terraforming process would solve both of those problems. The Ramrod successfully enabled them to land on Earth, and the Changers were sent out to initiate the process. However, Iron Man defeated the Foreman and destroyed the Dominator helmet which controlled the Changers, terminating the process.

It is unclear whether the group sent to Earth was the entire Worldform INC, or just one team. Nonetheless, the team was defeated, and no further efforts were made to complete the contract.

--Iron Man I#36 (mentioned only), 37 (37(fb), [36], 37

 

 

 


CHANGERS

Also known as the DOOM-CARRIERS, these were a group of robots who carried out the terraforming process once a planet was chosen and prepared by Worldform. They did this by splitting up, with the four of them each traveling to different parts of a world, and then activating the Earth-Former. They were controlled by a Dominator helmet, worn by the Foreman. They were considered brethren by Ramrod.

On Earth, the Changers traveled to Mexico (or another Spanish speaking country), China, the North Pole, and Africa. They were prepared to activate the Earth-Former, but the Foreman's Dominator helmet was destroyed by Iron Man, rendering the Changers inert.

 

 

They could fly under their own power and likely possessed some degree of superhuman strength and durability. They appeared to be otherwise intelligent, but were limited by the Dominator helmet, which may have been their power source. There appeared to be some friction between the robot Changers and the humanoid members of Worldform, such as the Foreman. The Earth-Former itself was never actually seen. It was just described as a small device contained within the four Changers, which could then be activated when they were spread across the planet.

One would have to assume that after this issue, the Avengers or some other group located and dismantled the four Changers and the Earth-Former, and didn't just leave them sitting there, waiting for some villain to come along and utilize the technology for his own needs...

--Iron Man I#36 (mentioned only), 37


FOREMAN

Some period of time, centuries ago, the man who would become the Foreman was a hapless street urchin, the last of his people on a dying world. Worldform arrived on his world, and the Foreman at the time saved him, taking him aboard their ship and teaching him their ways. In time, the youth became the Foreman himself.

The Foreman fell in love with a woman at some point--a silver-skinned alien with jet-black, glistening hair. They shared a relationship for a time, but she died half a century ago.

On Earth, while preparing the terraforming process, the Foreman saw an image of Marianne Rodgers, who reminded him of his former lover. He sent the Ramrod to collect Marianne for him, but he didn't understand why she was terrified of him.

After Iron Man defeated the Ramrod, the Foreman attacked Iron Man himself. Iron Man managed to destroy Worldform's ship, which would have left him stranded on Earth. Maddened by the concept, the Foreman attacked anew, planning to slay Iron Man as he activated the Earth-Former. However, Iron Man removed the Foreman's Dominator helmet, which terminated its anti-aging effects. The Foreman's many centuries caught up with him in seconds and he fell to the ground and died.

 

The Foreman did not seem to possess any inherent powers, but he did control the Changers via his Dominator Helmet. The Helmet also kept him eternally young, although once removed, its effects were reversed almost instantly. He most likely engineered the Earth-Former for each world and supervised the process himself. He had access to blaster weapons in the ship, and (presumably) his suit allowed him to fly. He used a hand-held blaster as well.

--Iron Man I#37

 


MISTER KLARK

 

He appeared to be a spokesman, salesman, or other representative of Worldform, INC. He made the contract with S'tan'd'ard to prepare Earth for his race.

--Iron Man I#37 (37(fb)

 

 

 

 

 


S'TAN'D'ARD

 

 

He served as representative to his race, making the contract with Mr. Klark and Worldform to prepare Earth for his race. Why they needed a new home was not revealed, but they did require a completely smooth, glass-like surface across the entire planet, on which their suction cups could function.

 

--Iron Man I#37 (37(fb)

 

 

 

 

 


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Other appearances:
Iron Man I#37 (May, 1971) - Gerry Conway (writer), Don Heck (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Stan Lee (editor)


Last updated: 12/29/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.


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