Rafferty

RAFFERTY

Real Name: Rafferty (first name unknown)

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Earth-93060/Ultraverse) normal human weapon user

Occupation: Serial killer;

formerly U.S. soldier

Group Membership: None;

formerly Unit T (Tango) (US military)

Affiliations: Edwin Mosely, Pilgrim (loose), armed agents (none named);

formerly Tango Unit members (Falk, Nishimura, Patyk, others unrevealed)

Enemies: Firearm (Alec Swan), police, Reverend August, all ultras, notably Anything, Atom Bob, Auntie, Bates, Dana Bradley, David Caan, Kelly Cantrell, Cayman, Devilish Dr. Z, Electrocute, Ben Garrett, Grenade, Hardcase, Iron CladCharley Kingsley, Lash, Darren Lynch, Mantra, Night Man, Lady Killer, LukasOld Man, Plug, Pressure, Prime (Kevin Green), Ramon, Right Man, Gil Ruiz, Sandra K, Clive Sanders, Sigma, the Silence, Spectral, Penny Slater, Sludge, Ellen Swan, Sweet-Face, Torso, Vinaigrette, Warstrike, Yrial, Zip-Zap, Organism 0.9B

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Mobile across the USA;

temporarily active military service in the Middle East

First Appearance: Firearm#12 (August, 1994)

Powers/Abilities: Rafferty was a master of many different forms of weaponry, including bladed weapons, explosives and poisons, and used excellent fighting skills gained from once being part of a covert military killing team. He had a preference for a long knife and a penchant for black leather. Characteristics included a golden heart-embedded front tooth and an opening greeting of "Hello, hi, howdee". He was obsessed with killing ultras regardless of their age, and was not overly concerned about killing anyone who was in the way. 

 

Hello, hi, howdee!

History:

(Firearm#16 (fb)) - Rafferty was born in Georgia, USA, to a poor family but had early expectations that money should be spent on him. He shot and killed both his parents in cold blood when he was a young teenager, but blamed it on a black neighbor, who was executed after the murder weapon was found after Rafferty had planted it there. He sold his parents' estate and used the money on alcohol and drugs. Rafferty became involved with the daughter of a New York crimelord and murdered the brother who came looking for her. Rafferty then escaped into the US Army. His skills in combat and killing had him rise through several ranks until he was selected for Special Forces and yet more training. His covert military team, Unit T (or Tango), became renown for their bloody success and was dispatched into the Middle East in 1990, but the country they quietly invaded had developed their own ultras. Tango was wiped out except for Rafferty, who was able to kill one ultra, the only fatality on the other side. After six months in hospital, Rafferty's priorities shifted and he felt it his destiny to kill all ultras. He murdered several druglords to secure funds, then actively targeted ultras, his first being a woman called Sigma. Initially intending his attacks to be scattered, he sought instead a system to identify all ultras. He came across the winged ultra Edwin Mosely, who wanted the number of ultras reduced, and gave Rafferty a device that tracked ultra energy.

(Firearm#16 (fb) - BTS) - Undertaking a huge sweep of the USA, over 300 ultras (apparently even those whose powers were dormant) were pinpointed for Mosely and marked for death. Rafferty began formulating plans to kill these ultras, starting with the lesser ones first to hone his ultra-killing skills; however, he longed to kill the biggest ultra scalp of all: Prime.

(Firearm#8) - A psychic ultra, Dan McDonald, warned private investigator Alec Swan (Firearm) that he would soon encounter an evil man called Rafferty.

Murder-mapping

(Firearm#12) - Rafferty continued his stealthy slaughter of ultras across the USA. In St. Paul, he secretly poisoned a cigarette of the pyrotechnic Sandra K so that she would lose control of her bodily functions and incinerated herself. In Philadelphia, Ben Garrett was carefree using his ultra power of flight, but Rafferty pierced his heart with an arrow. In Chicago, Clive Sanders had a heavy knife thrown into his chest just as he contemplated using his ultra powers for good. In Detroit, the externally indestructible but violent Lukas exploded from within after eating food poisoned by Rafferty. Elsewhere, Dana Bradley's skull shattered with an arrow that exploded through a diner window. The endless fight between Right Man and the Devilish Dr. Z was brought to an end with an explosion planted by Rafferty. In North Carolina, Ramon the dance instructor was killed. In Florida Keys, Charley Kingsley, the boy with aquatic powers, was harpooned by Rafferty. In another place, David Caan the war photographer was killed. Rafferty murdered Gil Ruiz atop a mountain, leaving behind his broken body. Another ultra was killed in a gym. Somewhere in the mid-west, Rafferty cut open the throat of Lash after the new hero had stopped a robbery, smiling as the youth dropped.

(Firearm#14 (fb) - BTS) - The ultra Bates was killed by Rafferty when eating breakfast in his kitchen.

(Hardcase#16/Ultraverse Premiere#7/1 (fb) - BTS) - After many heroic deeds, Iron Clad was waiting for a train to join other ultras in a bigger city when Rafferty struck, plunging his signature knife into the lad's chest.

(Strangers#17) - Rafferty attended a fashion show hosted by Lady Killer with the other members of the Strangers present. Rafferty posed as a buyer to lure Lady Killer away and then tried to cut her throat but was stopped by Spectral. Rafferty escaped through the crowd, slashing the ultra called Auntie and killing her in the process. The murderer was suddenly confronted by Pilgrim, who wanted him to join his army. Rafferty refused and escaped in the ensuing fight between Pilgrim and the Strangers.

Halloween time

(Firearm#13) - In Philadelphia, the father of the slain Ben Garrett hired Alec Swan to track down the killer given that the local police had no clues. Rafferty left a mobile phone in Swan's hotel room and introduced himself by calling, announcing to Swan his intention to kill all ultras. Seeing it as almost like a game against who he saw as a younger version of himself, Rafferty announced who his next target would be: Darren Lynch. Swan made his way to Georgia and warned Lynch, and the two had a meal while armed guards protected the house. 

(Warstrike#6) - Having monitored Warstrike's movements, Rafferty staged an elaborate plan to lure and trap the ultra using the murdered bodies of other minor ultras and many non-ultras. Being Halloween, he selected a mask and a cape as a temporary but menacing disguise, then taunted one remaining victim before Warstrike suddenly struck. Rafferty escaped into the sewers and Warstrike followed. The serial killer distracted Warstrike with blades to reach the ultra's high-powered gun. His precognitive powers active, Warstrike saw each and every potential outcome of this confrontation with all of them resulting in him getting shot. Rafferty killed him with the gun and left him in the sewers wearing the Halloween mask. 

(Firearm#13) - Meanwhile, Rafferty had already poisoned Lynch's food, although this had not yet taken effect. The assassin then called Swan and told him that he had just killed Warstrike with Lynch then falling dead to the floor. Rafferty then warned him that the next two targets would be in New York.

(Firearm#14) - Swan went to New York and found the corpse of Mr. Bates whom Rafferty had murdered weeks before, but Swan deduced that he was not one the two ultras Rafferty intended to kill. Meanwhile, news stations had picked up the story of the serial ultra killer. Swan entered the sewers on a tip (that had been planted by Rafferty) to look for Sludge and came across a wild fight between Sludge against Rafferty and his mercenaries. Swan teamed up with Sludge but Rafferty shot him with an arrow. Rafferty then revealed his bomb plot and how to stop it. Swan activated Rafferty's neutralizer device, stopping the bombs from detonating in the sewer; however, the device was a 2-way mechanism that then activated an alternate bomb stashed in the hideout of Vinaigrette, killing her and Organism 0.9B. Rafferty then called Swan and revealed what had happened and that he had only wanted one NY kill in the first place. Swan became enraged: the duel between him and Rafferty was now personal.

Rafferty attacks Firearm

(Firearm#15 (fb)) - Rafferty told Swan that his next hit would be a member of a young ultrahuman team, but stated that it would not be the Strangers, having already tussled with them, but warning that he was planning to kill all of the Strangers at some point in the future. Swan left to try to avert the next killing.

(Firearm#15) - Now in San Fransisco, Rafferty called Swan and told him to meet up at the Sutro Towers. After an hour's wait and now dusk, Rafferty leapt from a tree and savagely beat Swan with a mace, declaring that he would kill a member of the Freex and daring Swan to shoot him afterward as Firearm slid into unconsciousness. Swan later revived and reached his gun only to realize that Rafferty had rigged his specialized gun to explode and was barely able to avoid the blast.

(Freex#15) - Nearby, Freex member Plug searched electronically for Night Man, but came across a report trail of ultra murders by Rafferty and hunted by Firearm. Swan then stumbled across the Freex and warned them of Rafferty, although the serial killer then called to say that his next target was actually Night Man. Elsewhere, Rafferty watched multiple screens monitoring the park where the Freex and Firearm were and his armed agents attacked but were knocked out by the Freex. Plug, using his powers to monitor Rafferty's communication channels, found out that Cayman was really the next target. Meanwhile, Rafferty had arrived hidden, watching the Freex from nearby. Plug, corporeal once more, rushed to warn Cayman of the danger, diving before Cayman to take the explosive-tipped arrow fired by Rafferty, killing him.

(Night Man I#14) - Elsewhere in San Francisco, Night Man was suddenly ambushed by Rafferty, slicing his mid-riff open. Rafferty then used Night Man as bait to distract his hunters, Firearm and the Old Man, so that they would think that the killer was still in San Francisco (instead, he had traveled to Los Angeles to kill Prime). Rafferty's armed agents engaged Night Man in battle with a Rafferty double killing the newly arrived ultra called Torso.

Killing Prime

(Prime I#20/Firearm#16) - Prime stood on the Santa Monica Pier in LA with Kelly Cantrell when Rafferty, riding high overhead in a blimp, fired an explosive arrow that initially stuck through Prime's head before exploding.

(Night Man I#14/Firearm#15/Firearm#16) - Rafferty immediately called Firearm to boast that he had murdered Prime.

(Firearm#15) - Swan declined the offers of help from the surviving Freex members and Night Man to track down Rafferty.

(Firearm#17) - Feeling comfortable with the successful first wave of ultra murders, Rafferty thought it best to lie low for a while and began planning the next wave, which he wanted to include Solitaire, Hardcase, Mantra and three of the Strangers in that cull. Mosely then called and demanded, much to Rafferty's chagrin, that one more ultra be killed before the first wave be considered complete: the baby Penny Slater who had ultra healing powers. Rafferty made his way quickly to San Diego and with his armed agents stormed the cathedral where the baby was, killing Reverend August to get her. However, the police arrived then and Rafferty decided not to kill Penny straightaway, but to use her as a hostage, as well as the surviving cathedral workers, and ordered his men to lace the cathedral with explosives connected to the ultra-sensing device to keep ultras away. The situation deteriorated rapidly into a siege and a stand-off, with Rafferty's snipers keeping the police and reporters back. The ultra called the Silence sought to sneak into one of the cathedral towers but this triggered an explosion that killed the ultra plus three workers. To buy time so that Mosely could send reinforcements, Rafferty declared that the only person he would speak to was Alec Swan, who soon arrived.

(Firearm#18) - Swan charged into the cathedral, firing at Rafferty's agents. Rafferty loosed a crossbow bolt into Swan's shoulder and taunted him to follow as he ran through the cathedral with Penny in his arms. Meanwhile, Swan took out the rest of Rafferty's agents and freed the other hostages before coming across Penny alone. Taking her, he went to leave the cathedral but was stopped by Rafferty, who asserted that he wanted both of them to now die. A vicious fight broke out between them with Swan protecting the baby and shooting Rafferty several times. Bleeding heavily, Rafferty detonated the explosives. Amidst the inferno, Rafferty desperately hurled his knife at Penny, but this was physically blocked by Swan who then fired his gun at the serial killer's head. Rafferty fell back dead into the flames.

Comments: Created by James Robinson (writer) and Howard Chaykin (art).

I think Rafferty made his first appearance in Firearm #11 / Ultraverse Premiere #5/3. Someone was seen standing over Iron Clad on the first page of his story in UP #5. Although he wasn't seen head-on, he did seem to have Rafferty's trademark goatee and the dialogue strongly suggests Iron Clad's "visitor" seen there was Rafferty. Also, Rafferty was mentioned as far back as Firearm#6 and there were "Rafferty is Coming" interludes in Firearm#6, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
--Monolith

An "Ashcan" edition introducing the Rafferty saga was released in November 1994 and featured interviews with the Ultraverse creators involved. 

Profile by Grendel Prime.

CLARIFICATIONS :
Rafferty has no known connections to:


Mr. Bates leaves a splatter

Bates

Mr. Bates was a portly man who had eyes in his fingertips. He was killed by Rafferty in his home in New York.

 

 

--Firearm#14 (Firearm#14 (fb)


Sigma

Sigma

Sigma, whose ultra career was just starting, was Rafferty's first ultra murder in his pan-American killing spree. Her powers were unrevealed.

 

 

--Firearm#16 (Firearm#16 (fb)


The Silence

The Silence

The Silence was a San Diego-based ultra who helped police with their investigations. The Silence was killed in a booby-trapped explosion when the ultra was trying to sneak into the final siege at the cathedral. The extent of the Silence's powers was unrevealed.

 

--Firearm#17 (Firearm#17 (fb) - BTS


Tango - U.S. style

Unit T

Unit T, also dubbed Tango, was a covert military group of the U.S. military. Tango's members included Rafferty, Falk, Nishimura, Patyk and others who excelled in brutal and bloody destruction. On one undercover mission to the Middle East (Rafferty couldn't recall if it was Iraq or Iran, just that they had killed many there), Unit T encountered a group of wetware-enhanced ultras and all Tango members except Rafferty were killed.

 

 

 

 

--Firearm#16 (Firearm#16 (fb)


images: (without ads)
Rafferty Saga advert circa Firearm#11 (main image)
Freex#15, letters page (expanded image from cover) (head shot)
Warstrike#6, p11, pan6 (before map)
Warstrike#6, p3 (in mask and cape)
Firearm#15, p14 (cracking Firearm)
Prime I#20, p24 (smokin' archer)
Firearm#14, p3 (Mr. Bates)
Firearm#16, p16, pan2 (Sigma)
Firearm#17, p15 (The Silence)
Firearm#16, p12-13 (Unit T)


Appearances:
Firearm#12 (August, 1994) - James Robinson (writer), Ben Herrera (pencils), Mike Christian (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Firearm#13 (September, 1994) - James Robinson (writer), Steve Carr (pencils) Mike Christian (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Hardcase#16/Ultraverse Premiere#7/1 (October, 1994) - Mark Paniccia (writer), Keith Conroy (pencils), Mike Christian (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Strangers#17 (October, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Warstrike#6 (October, 1994) - Dan Danko (writer), Hoang Nguyen (pencils), Bob Downs (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Malibu Ashcan: Rafferty (November, 1994) - James Robinson (writer), Ben Herrera, Mike Christian, Steve Carr, Howard Chaykin (artists), Hank Kanalz (editor); (includes interviews with Ultraverse creators involved)
Firearm#14 (November, 1994) - James Robinson (writer), Brian O'Connell (pencils), Mike Christian (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Night Man I#14 (November, 1994) - James Robinson & Steve Englehart (plot), Dean Zachary (pencils), Bruce McKorkindale (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Firearm#15 (December, 1994) - James Robinson (writer), Mike Edsey (pencils), Mike Christian (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Firearm#16 (January, 1995) - James Robinson (writer), Arnie Jorgensen (pencils), Mike Christian (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Freex#15 (January, 1995) - Gerard Jones (writer), Scott Kolins (pencils), Jon Holdredge (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Firearm#17 (February, 1995) - James Robinson (writer), Sneak E. Pete (layouts), Keith Conroy (pencils), Rodney Gates, Ken Branch & Jason Martin (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Prime I#20 (March, 1995) - Gerard Jones & Len Strazewski (writers), Greg Luzniak (pencils), Dennis Jensen (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Firearm#18 (March, 1995) - James Robinson (writer), Arnie Jorgensen & Keith Conroy (pencils), Mike Christian & Larry Welch (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)


Last updated: 06/06/09

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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