Real Name: Roland Rayburn

Identity/Class: Human mutant

Occupation: Account executive

Group Membership: Farley, Smythe, and Wheel

Affiliations: Andrew, Arranger (Oswald P. Silkworth), Kate, Kingpin (Wilson Fisk), Takasura, Tombstone (Lonnie Lincoln)

Enemies: Carlos Lobo, Eduardo Lobo, Punisher (Frank Castle), Shiella, Spider-Man (Peter Parker)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Fisk Tower, Manhattan;
    formerly the Wall Street offices of Farley, Smythe, and Wheel

First Appearance(Rayburn) Web of Spider-Man I#35 (February, 1988);
    (Persuader) Spectacular Spider-Man II#141 (August, 1988)

Powers/Abilities: The Persuader possessed the mutant ability to sway others to his will with his voice.  His costume amplified this ability.

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 170 lbs.

History: (Spectacular Spider-Man II#138 (fb) ) - All Roland Rayburn's life, people did what he told them to - unbeknownst to him, this was due to his mutant powers of persuasion.  This enabled him to become a great success in business, becoming Farley, Smythe, and Wheel's top account executive as he persuaded others to give him inside information.

(Web of Spider-Man I#35) - Roland Rayburn, in a rush to get to a meeting, got in a cab and told the driver to hurry.  Compelled by Rayburn's words, the driver exceeded the speed limit and almost drove into an ambulance until Spider-Man webbed the cab to a streetlight.  Displeased, Rayburn watched Spider-Man leave and told the driver to hurry again...

(Web of Spider-Man I#36) - After closing a deal on Gercocorp stock options with Kate, Roland went on a walk with her at the South Street Seaport, where he pressed her to give him a look at her company's upcoming quarterly report.  She started to weaken even before he offered her a small vial of cocaine; she finally agreed, and he hailed a taxi, unaware he was being watched by the mob enforcer Tombstone.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#138) - In his Wall Street office, Rayburn recommended that his associate Takasura make a margin call, citing inside information that predicted the Tokyo stock exchange was going to plummet.  He was interrupted by Tombstone, who grabbed him by the throat. Rayburn tried to talk Tombstone into putting him down, but the enforcer was prepared for Rayburn's powers.  He informed Rayburn that his boss, the Arranger, knew all about Rayburn, and wanted him in his organization.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#139) - In the Arranger's Fisk Tower office, Rayburn refused to cooperate with the Arranger, who told him that the Kingpin wanted his services; even beatings at the hands of Tombstone wouldn't sway him.  He tried to persuade the Arranger to release him, but Tombstone snapped him out of it and dislocated Rayburn's arm.  Tombstone left to make way for Shiella, a nurse who injected Rayburn with a sedative.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#140) - The Arranger visited a drugged-up Rayburn, who finally agreed to work for him.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#141) - Now clad in a power-enhancing costume and dubbed the Persuader, Rayburn went to the Cloisters with the Arranger, where the latter had lured the Punisher.  Tired after his fight with the Arranger's mercenaries, the Punisher fell before Rayburn, who, now that he knew of his powers, had much greater control over them.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#142) - The Persuader tried, for ten hours, to fully break the Punisher's indomitable will: Castle's resistance brought him to the brink of having a stroke.  As the Arranger voiced his disappointment, the Persuader made one last push, finally making the Punisher his puppet.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#143) - Rayburn flew with Castle and Andrew, one of the Arranger's henchmen, to Dallas; in the airport they were briefly accosted by security guard Mel Zimmerman, who recognized Castle's face, but Rayburn persuaded him that Castle was "no one important". They continued on to the Herdling Refinery Company, a front for the drug-smuggling Lobo Brothers, potential rivals of the Kingpin.  When they were attacked by the Lobos' men, the Punisher destroyed the refinery.  They moved on to the Lobos' mansion at Grapevine Lake, where the Punisher shot the Lobos' guards.  Before he could kill the Lobos themselves, Spider-Man arrived.  The Persuader ordered the Punisher to kill the web-slinger, and he nearly drowned Spider-Man in the Lobos' pool before freeing himself.  Andrew creased Spider-Man's skull with a bullet, knocking him out; the Persuader once more ordered the Punisher to kill him, but while Castle's will could be bent to kill criminals like the Lobos, he was unwilling to murder an innocent.  He killed Andrew instead, and while the Persuader tried futilely to save himself with his powers, the Punisher shot him in the heart, killing him.  His body fell face-down into the pool.

Comments: Roland Rayburn created by Gerry Conway, Alex Saviuk, and Keith Williams.  Persuader created by Gerry Conway and Sal Buscema.

Although he was obviously initially resistant, Rayburn eventually started to enjoy his newfound mastery of his powers, so don't feel too bad for the guy.

While the Persuader obviously didn't live to see it, his actions helped kick off the Lobo Brothers gang war, which would lead to the Arranger's death.

The Arranger mistakenly refers to the Persuader as "Roland Raymond" in Spectacular Spider-Man II#143.

The Persuader has a brief entry in the Spider-Man Encyclopedia.

Profile by Minor Irritant.

Roland Rayburn, alias the Persuader, has no known connections to


(Web of Spider-Man I#36) - After closing a deal on Gercocorp stock options with Roland Rayburn, Kate went on a walk with him at the South Street Seaport, where he pressed her to give him a look at her company's upcoming quarterly report.  Even though she initially refused, she started to weaken even before he offered her a small vial of cocaine.  Swayed by Rayburn's powers and her own cocaine addiction, she finally agreed.


--Web of Spider-Man I#36


(Spectacular Spider-Man II#139) - A nurse employed by the Arranger, Shiella came in to his office to drug Roland Rayburn after Tombstone failed to sway him to the Arranger's side with violence.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#140) - Shiella continued to administer drugs to Rayburn.  After he agreed to work with the Arranger, he ordered Shiella to reduce Rayburn's dosage.


--Spectacular Spider-Man II#139 (139, 140


(Spectacular Spider-Man II#143) - One of the Arranger's henchmen, Andrew accompanied the Persuader and the Punisher to Dallas in case the Punisher broke free of Rayburn's powers, or in case Raybrun lost his nerve.  When the Lobos' goons showed up at the Herdling Refiniery, he ordered the Punisher to leave, but the vigilante instead destroyed the refinery.  Later, at the Lobos' mansion, he tried to shoot Spider-Man while he wrestled the Punisher, but the Persuader assured him that the Punisher could handle it.  Excited at the prospect of impressing the Arranger, he shot the web-slinger when he fought off the Punisher, but the bullet only grazed his skull. Despite the Persuader's urgings, the Punisher hesitated to kill the prone hero; as Andrew prepared to shoot him himself, the Punisher shot and killed Andrew instead.

Andrew carried a handgun, and was presumably somewhat proficient in its use.


--Spectacular Spider-Man II#143

images: (without ads)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#143, cover (main image)
Web of Spider-Man I#36, p5, pan5 (unmasked headshot)

Web of Spider-Man I#36, p5, pan5 (Kate
Spectacular Spider-Man II#139, p7, pan5 (Shiella
Spectacular Spider-Man II#143, p17, pan5 (Andrew)

Other Appearances:
Web of Spider-Man I#35-36 (February-March, 1988) - Gerry Conway (writer), Alex Saviuk (pencils), Keith Williams (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#138-143 (May-October, 1988) - Gerry Conway (writer), Sal Buscema (art), Jim Salicrup (editor)

First Posted: 09/15/2012
Last Updated: 12/23/2012

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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