BILLY BOB RACKHAM
Real Name: Albert Rackham (see comments)
Identity/Class: Normal human
Group Membership: Seagate Prison staff
Affiliations: Phil Fox, Quirt, other Seagate Prison guards
Enemies: Luke Cage (Carl Lucas), Shades, Comanche, Dr. Noah Burnstein, Mrs. Jenks, Phil Fox, Warden Stuart
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations:
New York City, USA;
First Appearance: Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1 (June, 1972)
Powers/Abilities: Rackham was well versed in disciplinary tactics. His most commonly seen weapons were a nightstick and a standard issue police sidearm. He may have been certified on police standard shotguns and machine guns as well. He possessed strength and agility normal for a man who engaged in moderate to mild exercise.
(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1 - BTS) – Rackham was the top guard in Seagate Prison for many years, having risen through the ranks until he became the chief commander. He was well known as a bully and a thug, and greatly feared by the prisoners.
(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1) – Spying on an altercation in the yard between prisoner Luke Cage and two others, Rackham called him into his office. He tried to sweet talk Cage into acting as an informant, so as to make himself look better before the new warden arrived. When Cage refused, Rackham sent him into solitary confinement and sent Quirt in after him to beat him. When Quirt’s actions were uncovered, Rackham was demoted to a regular guard. Angered, Rackham bided his time. When Cage was selected to take part in Burnstein’s experiment, Rackham snuck into the lab and sabotaged the machine, hoping to kill the man he blamed for his current predicament. When Cage emerged from the chemical bath with steel hard skin, Rackham panicked and fired his pistol. When Cage was unharmed, Rackham tried to escape, but an enraged Cage caught hold of the man and slapped him. The blow was so hard Rackham hit the wall and passed out, injured.
(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#2 (fb)) – As Luke Cage discovered Dr. Burnstein, he flashed back to the accident that granted him his powers and Rackham’s role in it.
(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#3 (fb)) – Rackham’s actions stayed with Cage as he became entangled with the manipulations of Gideon Mace.
(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#14 (fb)) – Rackham was eventually fired from Seagate.
(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#14) – Dejected and embittered, Rackham eventually made his way to New York City seeking work. Putting out a personal ad, he caught the eye of Daily Bugle reporter Phil Fox. Using the ad as a source, Fox tracked Rackham down at the man’s room and offered him the chance to get revenge on Luke Cage. The pair concocted a plan to kidnap Claire Temple in the hope of forcing Luke Cage to reveal himself as a wanted felon. Due a case of mistaken identity, Rackham ended up kidnapping Mrs. Jenks instead. Angered, Fox threatened to end the partnership. Rackham, equally enraged, began to fight with Fox. In the resulting struggle, Rackham fired his gun, killing Fox. Dropping the weapon, Rackham fled before Claire Temple arrived.
(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#15) – Fleeing with Mrs. Jenks, Rackham headed toward New Jersey, hoping to elude Cage.
(Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#16) – Rackham was confronted by Cage, Shades, and Comanche. During the struggle, the vigilante Stiletto ambushed the foursome. The resulting fight caused the house to collapse. Rackham, dazed and injured from the debris, fired wildly, injuring Mrs. Jenks. Rackham eventually regained his mobility and fled from the fight. In a panic and mistaking the approaching ambulance siren for police cars, he ran into the street and was run over. He died at the scene.
(Power Man and Iron Fist#50/Power Man and Iron Fist #68/Power Man and Iron Fist#100) - During various moments of Cage’s life, he would often find himself flashing back to the experiment that granted him his abilities and Rackham's role in it.
Comments: Created by Archie Goodwin (writer), George Tuska (pencils) and Billy Grahamwriter (inks).
In #14 his first name is given as Albert, yet he is called Billy Bob. Maybe his full name was Albert William Robert Rackham?
The last three appearances were just flashbacks and recaps, and are included for completeness.
Profile by David Lawrence.
Billy Bob Rackham has no known connections to:
Quirt was one of the many guards at Seagate. His brutality was uncovered when Warden Stuart made a surprise arrival. Fired, Quirt was left in the solitary cell with Luke Cage as punishment.
--Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1, p7, pan4 (main image)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#1 (June, 1972) –Archie Goodwin (script), George Tuska (pencils), Billy Graham (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#2 (August, 1972) – Archie Goodwin (script), George Tuska (pencils), Billy Graham (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#3 (October, 1972) – Archie Goodwin (script), George Tuska (pencils), Billy Graham (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#14 (October, 1973) – Steve Englehart (script), Billy Graham (pencils), Billy Graham (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#15 (November, 1973) – Billy Graham, Steve Englehart & Tony Isabella (script), Billy Graham (pencils, inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Luke Cage, Hero for Hire#16 (December, 1973) – Steve Englehart, Billy Graham & Tony Isabella (script), Billy Graham (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Power Man and Iron Fist#50 (April, 1978) – Chris Claremont (script), John Bryne, Dave Cockrum & Dan Green (pencils, art), Dan Green (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Power Man and Iron Fist#68 (April, 1981) – Bob Layton & Mary Jo Duffy (script), Kerry Gammill (pencils), Ricardo Villamonte (inks), Denis O’Neil (editor)
Power Man and Iron Fist#100 (December, 1983) – Kurt Busiek (script), Ernie Chan (pencils), Mike Mignola (inks), Denis O’Neil (editor)
Last updated: 07/13/09
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Back to Characters