TRACER

Real Name: Richard "Rick" Bloom

Identity/Class: Human cyborg/mutate, technology user

Occupation: C. E. O. of Bloom Industries, mercenary

Group Membership: Bloom Industries

Affiliations: Tailor Group (Al, Anne Kerry, Maury, and others) (allies);
Chameleon, Harlan Ryker (former contractors);
Casey (girlfriend, former therapist)

Enemies: Jesus Badalemente, Deathlok (Michael Collins), Spider-Man

Known Relatives: David Joshua Bloom (father, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Bloom Industries, Stamford, Connecticut

First Appearance: Deathlok II Annual#2 (1993)

Powers: Richard Bloom possesses implants that enable him to assume a variety of different powers. He can be "reprogrammed" with new abilities to suit each mission. These abilities are based on extensive research into the abilities, weaknesses, etc. of his targets. Richard Bloom sets his goal at the destruction of super-humans, but has demonstrated that he does not really wish to commit murder. He also practices bad business by not wanting to work with criminals after leanring their motivations for hiring him to take down a super-hero. He's a little conflicted...which is part of the reason he used to see a therapist.
The abilities demonstrated by the Tracer include flight, projection of energy-blasts, super-human strength and durability, radar-vision, computer-targeting, smart-targeting gas-pellets, computer-incapacitating equipment, restrictive nets of great tensile strength, a high voltage grappler, a virtually frictionless visor, and a powerful plasma rifle that could detonate on command.

History: (Deathlok Annual#2(fb))-Richard Bloom's mother died when he was three years old, and he was raised by his father, David. His dad was CEO of Bloom Industries, a weapons technology manufacturer that he had virtually built from the ground up. After Richard got his engineering degree, David gave him a job at Bloom Industries. However, the recession of the late 1980s hit industry hard. While other large corporations began massive lay-offs, David had Bloom Industries swallow large losses to keep this to a minimum. David continued trying his hardest to keep his employees working...right up to his death. David Bloom was killed when apparently caught between "crossfire" of a struggle between two superhumans, although there were no identification of the combatants. Richard saved a piece of a telephone pole which contained the handprint of the individual that had crushed it, in hopes of identifying those responisble for his father's death.

Richard went into therapy after this trauma, but simultaneously learned he had inherited the entire company of Bloom Industries. Richard also found his father had left him the codes to secret files, which contained research into companies such as Stane International, Stark Enterprises, Power Broker, and Roxxon. Richard learned that his father had been dabbling in the super-powers game, and felt that his involvement in this was responsible for his death.
Richard decided to use his father's files and his company's wealth to take vengeance on super-heroes in general, hoping to discover his father's killer(s) along the way. Richard expanded on his father's investigations and began planning a methodical, scientific approach to the elimination of super-humans. He soon learned that there were millions to be made from the capture or exectution of super-humans. He conceived of the Tracer: a man with temporary super-powers and advanced weaponry, both of which would be custom-designed for each mission, depending on the target. He chose a team of scientists to support the project, based on their skills, as well as a similar system of beliefs regarding superhumans.
The Tailor Group (so-called because the Tracer would be tailor-made for each mission) established a top-secret lab two hundred feet below the Bloom Industries Complex. Richard himself underwent operations to gain implants that would enable him to be altered by the Tailor Group's equipment as necessary. As he recovered from this painful process, the Tailor Group developed invisible sensor drones that enabled them to discreetly gain information about their targets. Upon recovery, Richard began work in a simulation chamber that would allow them to test their planned counter-measures.

(Deathlok Annual#2)-After one and a half years, Richard Bloom was anxious to put the Tracer system to work. Despite a failed simulation against Spider-Man, he pushed the company to activate their first functional Tracer system. Having obtained highly detailed information from Harlan Ryker, the Tailor Group decided that Deathlok would be the first target. Bloom mistakenly believed Deathlok to be a rogue robot.
Two and one half weeks later, the Tracer ambushed Deathlok, first destroying his transport helicopter and incapacitating his computer network (injuring Deathlok's friend, Jesus, in the process). Tracer then made short-work of Deathlok, who was used to operating via computer coordinated attacks. Bloom checked Deathlok's hand-print, confirming thathe was not involved in his father's death, and then linked to his system to learn his origin. Upon doing so, Bloom learned that Deathlok had the mind of an innocent man (put their by agents of Ryker, who had hired him). Bloom attempted to make amends by transporting Deathlok to his family, and supplying him with the technology to repair himself.
Back at the Tailor Group, Richard asserted that they would continue the mission as before, and set his sites on Spider-Man.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#211)-The Chameleon, posing as retired Detective Terry Martin, hired the Tracer to take down Spider-Man. Spider-Man exhausted after a series of struggles against other agents of the Chameleon, also fell before the Tracer. However, Spider-Man focused on the thoughts of his wife, Mary Jane, and rallied. Spider-Man desperately attacked and incapacitated the Tracer. Tracer summoned a ship from the Tailor Group to retrieve him, but before he was rescued, he learned that he had been duped by the Chameleon. Tracer gave Spider-Man information to help him track down the Chameleon, and then went back to the Tailor Group to revise the Tracer to allow it to fare better against this more savage and relentless Spider-Man.

(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo researched Tracer for Norman Osborn.

Comments: Created by Evan Skolnick and John Hebert.

The Tailor Foundation had investigated and also had planned protocols for the Wizard and Titania. They saw Namor as a feasible target. They were uncertain regarding the possibility of the Hulk, and had difficulties designing a system for use against Wonder Man, whose powers were in a state of flux at the time. Also pictured on their wall of targets was the Wrecker.

Anyone remember these "collector's item" cards? Worth their weight in Zinc!

Do I even need to say?...late 1980s...topical.

Clarifications: Tracer has no known connection to and should not be confused with:

The Tailor Group should not be confused with:

Deathlok, Michael Collins, should be differentiated from:

  • Deathlok the Demolisher, Luther Manning, the cyborg from an alternate timeline (originally an alternate future: 1990), @ Astonishing Tales I#25
  • Deathlok, John Kelly, better known as Siege, Marvel Comics Presents I#62
  • Deathlok...an alternate timeline version of Manning...or just what happens when writers don't pay any attention to continuity (...just like with Leapfrog...sorry, I'll try to focus!), @ Marvel Fanfare II#1
  • Deathlok, Jack Truman, former SHIELD II agent, now cured, star of the Deathlok III series, @ Uncanny X-Men#371
  • Deathlok, Larry Young, trapped in the cyborg form of Truman, who took Young's form for himself, @ Deathlok III#11
  • Luther Manning of Earth-616, mutated into a duplicate of his alternate future self's original form (it's confusing, go read Deathlok II#25-34), @ Deathlok II#25
  • ...or any other alternate reality versions (Earth X, Mutant X, etc.) or Luther Manning clones..

hmmm....clarifications are actually supposed to make things LESS confusing...oh, well.


 

David Joshua Bloom was CEO of Bloom Industries, a weapons technology manufacturer that he had virtually built from the ground up. After Richard got his engineering degree, David gave him a job at Bloom Industries. However, the recession of the late 1980s hit industry hard. While other large corporations began massive lay-offs, David had Bloom Industries swallow large losses to keep this to a minimum. David continued trying his hardest to keep his employees working...right up to his death. David Bloom was killed when apparently caught between "crossfire" of a struggle between two superhumans, although there were no identification of the combatants.
--Deathlok Annual#2 (2(fb)

 






 

Casey was Richard's therapist after his father's death. At some point, she stopped seeing him as a patoent and started seeing him as a boyfriend. She was disappointed as the Tracer program progressed and he became increasingly obsessed with a desire for misdirected vengeance...leaving him less time to focus on her.
--Deathlok Annual#2

 

 

 




The Tailor Group is the secret division of Bloom Industries, a weapons technology manufacturing firm founded by David Bloom. It is based two hundred feet below the complex and serves as the research and design headquarters for the Tracer's weapon systems. It is named because the Tracer would be tailor-made for each mission. Only, Al, Anne, and Maury are known by name.
--Deathlok Annual#2 (2(fb), 2

 

 

 

 


Al is apparently some sort of surrogate father figure for Richard Bloom. He assisted with the development of the Tracer technology, but tried to persuade Richard to put it to a more productive use. When Richard failed to slay Deathlok, Al tried to convince him that he just didn't have the killer instinct for the role he had sought for himself. Richard ignored him, insisting that the reason for the mission failure was simply bad information.
--Deathlok Annual#2 (2(fb), 2

 










 

Anne was apparently Richard's liason to the rest of the Tailor Group, and she kept him posted on its most recent developments. Her middle or last name may be Kerry, because that's what the Tracer called her in SpecSpdm211...or someone who looked just like her. That woman actually helped him coordinate some of his attacks and gave him combat instructions against Spider-Man.
--Deathlok Annual#2 (2(fb), 2

 








Maury was in charge of developing the Deathlok protocols.
--Deathlok Annual#2





 

unidentified guy number one discussed the potential for development of a Tracer system to take down Namor. He expressed concerns about attempting to try against the Hulk.
--Deathlok Annual#2

 

 





unidentified guy number two discussed the difficulties in developing an appropriate system for Wonder Man, whose powers were in a stat of flux at the time.
--Deathlok Annual#2

 



 

unidentified woman number one discussed the simplicity of fulfilling contracts against either Titania II (Mary MacPherran, the Absorbing Man's squeeze) or the Wizard. Both of these projects were tabled due to minimal potential monetary gain.
--Deathlok Annual#2







Appearances:
Deathlok Annual#2 (1993) - Evan Skolnick (writer), John Hebert (pencils), Mark McKenna & Roy Richardson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#211 (April, 1994) - Mike Lackey (writer), Sal Buscema (artist), Mark Powers (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)


Last updated: 08/01/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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