Real Name: Dr. Rowden Piper
Identity/Class: Human, technology user
Occupation: Researcher at International Technology
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Mrs. Shaw
Known Relatives: Melissa Piper (daughter)
Aliases: Grip of Death
Base of Operations: International Technology, Breakenridge, Arizona, USA.
First Appearance: Dazzler#39 (September, 1985)
Powers/Abilities: None, Piper is a normal human. He was a brilliant engineer. He used a suit of armor with defensive and offensive abilities focused on neutralize Dazzler's powers: an exoskeleton that amplified his strength, special polarized lenses on the helmet to protect his eyes from strobe/blinding/disorienting light, an energetic grip focused on the mutant's physiology to ignite the brain cells and burn the nervous system, shock waves, and the metallic parts had a refractory coating to deflect laser beams.
(Dazzler#39 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Piper had a daughter, Melissa. He neglected his daughter. She left home and went to Los Angeles. She started to take drugs. She became nearly catatonic after a Dazzler's concert. The doctor said that it was the drug's fault and the Dazzler's light only triggered the shock, but Dr. Piper believed the real guilty party was Dazzler. Piper hospitalized Melissa at the Los Angeles medical center but he took her away before she finished the cure. Instead he performed a personal plan, involving Dazzler, to cure his daughter. He hired Mrs. Shaw to attend Melissa.
(Dazzler#39) - Piper used his knowledge in engineering and chemistry and built a suit of armor using the resources at International Technology. He tested its gripping/burning powers on rats for a while.
One afternoon, after the last test, while he was going back home he was present while Dazzler saved some children from falling from a cliff. Later, at sundown, he arrived at home and gave some free time to Mrs. Shaw, Melissa's maid. When they were alone, Piper wore his Dearhgrip suit and showed it to Melissa thinking she could understand his purposes.
(Dazzler#39 - BTS) - That night, at Sweet Sue's, a night club out of the town, Dazzler sang. Dr. Piper asked Mrs. Shaw to bring Melissa at the club. He wanted Melissa to assist while he slew Dazzler, thinking it could cure his daughter. Piper severed all the building's phone lines and fixed all the cars in the parking to prevent them from leaving and calling for help.
(Dazzler#39) - In his Deathgrip suit, Piper noticed an armed
man in a phone cabin near the Club. Afraid he might call somebody or interrupt his
revenge action, Deathgrip crashed the phone booth with the man inside: O.Z.
Chase, a professional bounty hunter. The strong tremor brought Dazzler out of the
club. Piper didn't listen her try to talk, instead charging his hands with frizzling
energy triggering Dazzler's reaction. His suit protected him from the resulting
flare burst. He grasped Dazzler's arms, but she freed herself with an acrobatic
A man tried to defend Dazzler, but Deathgrip hit him with a shock wave. Dazzler then ran on the building's floor and the two fought under the club's huge glittering sign. Deathgrip tried to follow Dazzler onto the sign's cage support. Dazzler's agility let her avoid him during the struggle and weaken the helmet's lock with her laser beams. The weight of the two had the sign's structure collapse. Deathgrip lost the helmet and was falling down, but Alison gave him her hand. Just then Melissa returned to reason and called her father, but he was too focused on his objective. Piper grabbed the Dazzler's hand, to kill her! So Dazzler was forced to use her full light power on Piper. The light stunned Piper who fell into a nearly catatonic state, as her daughter had before. Melissa, now sane, accompanied him in the ambulance, while he only saw... the light.
Comments: Created by Archie Goodwin, Paul Chadwick and Jackson Guice.
The name "Deathgrip" was only used as the opening title of the first page. The cover said a more general "Grip of Death".
Deathgrip has no known connections to
Mrs. Shaw has no known connections to
Melissa was a normal human.
She lived with his father, but she felt her father never listened her. She left home and went to Los Angeles unconsciously wishing her father's attention. She started drugging herself.
One day she attended to a Dazzler concert after she had taken drugs. The light show triggered something in her mind and she fell in a catatonic state. She was awake but the only words she said were: "the light... so bright..." and so on.
The doctors said to his father that the disturbance was triggered by the Dazzler's light show and that anything other could have done the same and that the main cause were the drugs. Dr. Piper was not convinced. Instead he was sure that the cause was the Dazzler's mutant power.
For a while Melissa was hospitalized at the Los Angeles Medical Center. There she received the psychological treatments.
After a while Melissa was brought back home. Dr. Piper hired a woman, Mrs. Shaw, to attend her while he worked on his project of revenge, continuing to neglect his daughter.
The night Dr. Piper attacked Dazzler, Melissa was brought by Mrs. Shaw to the Club where Dazzler had sang. Melissa was attracted by the light produced by Dazzler during the fight. When Melissa was closer and his father lost the helmet she returned to reason and recognized him. She tried to call and stop his father, but he didn't listen.
Later, she accompanied his father in an ambulance. The father now was catatonic, repeating the same words she had repeated before.
--Dazzler#39 (39(fb) - BTS, 39
Mrs. Shaw was a middle-age woman.
She was hired by Dr. Piper to attend Melissa after she went out from the L.A. Medical Center. Mrs. Shaw was sure that Dr. Piper spent too much time working and too little time with Melissa.
One evening Dr. Piper ordered her to bring Melissa to the Sweet Sue's Club, out of the town. Mrs. Shaw suspected that something was wrong but she was afraid of being fired, so she performed the doctor's orders.
Once at the Sweet Sue's she was so surprised from the battle ongoing that she didn't stop Melissa when she went out the car and run to the light.
Dazzler#39, Cover (Deathgrip, full body)
Dazzler#39, p3, pan2 (Rowlan Piper, head shot)
Dazzler#39, p19, pan1 (Dazzler and Deathgrip)
Dazzler#39, p10, pan7 (Melissa Piper)
Dazzler#39, p17, pan5 (Mrs. Shaw)
Dazzler#39 (September, 1985) - Archie Goodwin (writer), Paul Chadwick (pencils), Jackson Guice (inks), Michael Carlin (editor)
Last updated: 11/21/05
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