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FRANK RAMBEAU

Real Name: Frank Rambeau

Identity/Class: Human, civilian

Occupation: Captain of the charter fishing boat Jolly Roger;
formerly fire chief (lieutenant) of the New Orleans fire department

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Avengers (Black Knight/Dane Whitman, Doctor Druid/Anthony Ludgate, She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, Thor Odinson), Black Panther (T'Challa), Huey, Jamie & Joey (New Orleans firefighters), Doctor Tobin (his cardialogist), Mr. and Mrs. Kozluskies (friends)

Enemies: None, though he wasn't a fan of his brother-in-law

Known Relatives: Maria Rambeau (wife), Monica Rambeau (daughter), Charmaine Romeau (sister),  Charmaine's unnamed husband (brother-in-law)

Aliases: Daddy (nickname given by Monica Rambeau), smartie (nickname given by his wife Maria)

Base of Operations: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

First Appearance: Avengers I#246 (August, 1984)

Powers/Abilities: Frank Rambeau possesses no superhuman powers. A retired firefighter who takes pride in never having left a man behind, he now operates a charter boat service with his daughter Monica. An avid sportsfan and amateur cook, Frank enjoys smoking a pipe.

Height: 5'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 180 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: White

History:

(Black Panther IV#12 (fb) ) - Frank stopped speaking with his divorced sister Charmaine for twenty years after she got married again to a man Frank did not approve of.

(Avengers I#246, 279 & 294 - BTS) - Frank Rambeau had been both a policeman (see comments) and a fire fighter in New Orleans for over 25 years, eventually being promoted to lieuntenant as one of the youngest in the history of New Orleans. No longer in his prime, he was considering taking an early retirement from the fire department.

(Avengers I#236 - BTS) - Concerned about her father Frank's safety, Monica Rambeau decided to start a small business with him. Before telling him about her plans to launch a charter fishing boat company, she wanted to make sure she had the means to get the venture off the ground. She applied for a small business loan. 

(Avengers I#246) - Enjoying a day off, New Orleans fire chief Frank Rambeau was cooking a pot of his famous gumbo when he received a call from his daughter Monica. Happy to hear from her, he invited Monica over for dinner, unaware she was struggling to tell him she'd recently gained superpowers and became the Avenger known as Captain Marvel. When she revealed her secret, Frank and his wife Maria were initially incredulous, but she managed to convince them by turning into living light. Taking a moment to let it all sink in, Frank realized his daughter was working with legendary heroes like Captain America, the Black Panther and Thor and assured her how proud he was of her.

(Avengers I#247) - Still grappling with the notion of their daugher's new life as a superhero, Frank and Maria grilled Monica while sitting down to have his gumbo. After a while, Monica turned the tables and wanted to know how if her father was still considering an early retirement. Frank revealed that, while he was definitely entertaining the thought, he would have no idea what to do with himself. Expecting this answer, Monica was about to propose starting a business with her father, when an incoming Avengers priority signal forced her to table the subject. Promising Frank she'd be in touch about the offer, she flew off. As he watched his daughter go and possibly risk her life, a worried Frank asked his wife if this is what she felt all these years when he went off to fight fires.

(Avengers I#261 - BTS) - With Captain Marvel and the Avengers on an unexpectedly extended mission in space, Frank and Maria grew increasingly worried when they failed to reach Monica by phone for weeks.  

(Avengers I#261) - Frank was having breakfast with his wife but the fate of his daughter weighed so heavily on him that he could barely eat a thing. When Monica popped in as Captain Marvel, assuring her parents she was all right, Frank's good mood and appetite returned instantly. He immediately got up to make a proper breakfast (coffee, bacon and scrambled eggs) for his family.

(Avengers I#264 - BTS) - When a massive fire broke out in the New Orleans Warehouse District, Frank and his fellow firemen were sent in to contain the blaze. During their operation, Frank's colleague Jamie got trapped underneath a fallen beam. When Captain Marvel caught a report on the blaze on the news, she immediately took off to help out.

(Avengers I#264) - As the fire, described by reporters as the worst in over a decade, raged on, Frank risked his life trying to free Jamie. Claiming he'd never lost a man on the job yet, he tried to move the massive beam but was unable to budge it. Just then, Captain Marvel entered the building in her light form and used a laserbeam to free Jamie. After the fire was under control, Frank formally thanked Captain Marvel for her assistance and watched her take off, quietly beaming with pride.

(Avengers I#279 - (fb) - BTS) - When the Wasp stepped down as Avengers chairperson, the position was offered to a hesitant Monica Rambeau who wasn't sure if she was ready. Captain America tabled the subject of Monica's nomination until the next meeting, which left her seeking advice.

(Avengers I#279) - Frank and Maria were watching a football game on TV between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints. With the score at the end of the fourth quarter 21-3 in favor of the Bears, Frank still believed the Saints could turn it around. Just then, Captain Marvel showed up on their screen during a commercial break. Initially believing their daughter was doing a public service announcement, the Rambeaus were stunned when their daughter was speaking directly at them and emerged from the set.

   Revealing she only pulled that trick to see if they had company over, like the Kozluskies, Monica then informed her parents about her dilemma. Frank was elated, proud that even Captain America had endorsed his little girl and assured her she'd do fine, after all he was one of the youngest firemen in the history of New Orleans to be promoted lieutenant.

   That still didn't resolve all of Monica's concerns: if she did become Avengers chairman, she'd have no time to start that proposed charter boat business with her father. While Frank assured her that she'd still have plenty of time for that in the future, Monica noticed her mother wasn't too enthused about the notion both her daughter and husband would continue in their dangerous line of work.

(Avengers I#294 - BTS) - Monica Rambeau nearly died fighting Avengers associate Marrina who had mutated into a giant sea serpent. After managing to restore herself to human form, the severly weakened, emaciated Monica was rushed to the hospital by the Avengers. Afterwards, the team went to New Orleans to collect Frank and Maria Rambeau.

(Avengers I#294) - Frank and Maria accompanied the Avengers on board their Quinjet to the New York hospital where Monica was being treated. As they arrived, Thor warned them about their daughter's changed appearance but the Rambeaus were still ill prepared to see her, in spite of Frank's claim that after 25 years as a cop (see comments) there was very little he hadn't seen before. The Rambeaus promised their weakened, rail thin child they'd fatten her up on hominy and chicken.

   With Captain Marvel temporarily incapacitated and unable to perform her duties as Avengers chairperson, the ambitious Doctor Druid moved that the team immediately voted on who would replace her. Formally requesting Frank and Maria left their daughter's hospital room during the vote, the newly elected Druid then assured the Rambeaus he'd personally see to it that they would be allowed to take Monica home to Atlanta, post-haste. The next morning, Druid had booked passage on a commercial flight for them and joined the other Avengers in seeing them off. (see comments).

(Captain Marvel II#1) - Frank followed his wife Maria into their daughter's bedroom after she woke up screaming from the recurring nightmares that had been plaguing her since the loss of her powers. Maria tried to comfort her, but Frank simply told her to let Monica get ready for her first day of work. Over breakfast, however, he admitted to being worried about the nightmares and the way she'd been pulling deeper and deeper into herself. Maria told him not to worry and that Monica's new job as a ship's captain would be just the thing she needed to get her groove back.

(Avengers III#16 - BTS) - During his daugher's recuperation, Frank took Monica up on her offer and they started their long proposed charter boat business together.

(Avengers III#16) - While Frank and Monica were out to sea, he picked up radio reports on a group of what he called "super-toughs" (later identified as the Wrecking Crew) who were tearing up New Orleans' Canal Street looking for Captain Marvel. Monica wasted no time to change into her costume, asking Frank to take the wheel. Before seeing her off, Rambeau told his daughter to be careful.

(Avengers III#27 - BTS) - When the Avengers tried to contact Monica Rambeau on her communicard to ask her if she'd be interested in returning to active duty, her mother Maria answered instead. Informing the team that Monica was out to sea with Frank, she then begged the Avengers to stop asking her daughter because they'd just started their business and with Frank not in the best of health, couldn't afford it if Monica wound up stuck on the wrong side of the galaxy again.

(Avengers Infinity#1 - BTS) - Frank and Monica Rambeau were hired to take a group of people on a very succesfull pleasure trip to the Gulf of Mexico.

(Avengers Infinity#1) - Frank caught his daughter in a pensive mood as she captained the Jolly Roger across the Gulf. Monica wondered if he ever missed being a firefighter and Frank admitted that he sometimes missed his colleagues, being able to help people and the thrill of fighting a big blaze. But the memories of those he wasn't able to save over the years, made him glad he started the charter service.

   Monica then revealed how much she missed being an Avenger, so much so that she was tempted to rejoin after helping the team against the Wrecking Crew. Trying to rationalize her decision, she told Frank she couldn't possibly rejoin because forcing him to run the charter business by himself would be too much strain for his heart. With a smile on his face, Frank assured his daughter that according to his doctor he was in shipshape, no matter what her mother Maria might think. 

(Black Panther IV#12) - In the wake of hurricane Katrina devastating New Orleans and flooding much of the Louisiana bayou, Frank and his daughter Monica took their ship to check on Frank's estranged sister Charmaine and her husband. After Monica used her powers to access their flooded house and found them hiding in the attic, the Rambeaus learned that a band or roving vampires had been using the largely lawless city as their newest feeding ground. Frank cynically remarked that considering F.E.M.A. wasn't even able to fix the levees in time, there was no way the disaster relief organization could handle this new crisis.

(Black Panther IV#13 - BTS) - Frank and Monica rescued as many trapped New Orleans residents from their flooded homes as they could fit on their boat.

(Black Panther IV#13) - Frank pleaded with Monica that their boat was about to capsize if they tried to fit any more people. Just then, the Black Panther (T'Challa) arrived on his Sky Cycle to collect Monica. Frank was elated to see the king of Wakanda, considering his presence a sign that something good was finally coming out of this mess. Monica accompanied the Panther to help out in his fight against the vampire menace, while Frank made sure his sister Charmaine and the other flood victims got to safety.

Comments: Created by Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott & crew (inks)

Frank is one of those quiet, unsung supportive characters whose good nature and sense of responsibility really added a unique note to both the Avengers mythos and Captain Marvel's backstory. Especially the long running storyline about Frank and Monica going in to business together (a storyline close to 17 years in the making!) provided a refreshing touch of normalcy.

   In Avengers I#294, Doctor Druid wanted to ship the Rambeaus off to Atlanta while they're cleary from New Orleans. An obvious and innocent oversight by incoming writer Walter Simonson, but it might also be indicative of how dismissive, uncaring and overbearing Doctor Druid had become by that point.

   Incidentally, even though a handful of artists ever drew Frank, he was drawn radically different with almost each new appearance. Starting out with white hair and impressive sideburns, he wore glasses and smoked a pipe the next time he showed up. After that, he'd inexplicably turned bald and fat while sporting a handlebar moustache. In his most recent appearances, all the grey and white had disappeared as the hair on his head grew back. He looked at least two decades younger to boot! Guess the nautical life does wonders for the body...



"The Jolly Roger" is most likely named after writer Roger Stern who created both Monica Rambeau and her parents. But in nautical terms, "jolly roger" is a well known synonym for the infamous skull & bones flags pirates used to sail under. No wonder it took the Rambeaus a decade and a half to get their charter business up and running. With a name like that, who would want to book passage? They might as well have christened their vessel "Titanic".

In Avengers I#294 Frank accidentally called himself a cop even though he had been a fireman for decades. Presumably this was a mistake by Simonson like the Atlanta situation discussed above. --Markus Raymond

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Frank Rambeau has no known connections to


The Jolly Roger

The Jolly Roger was the name of the fishing boat Frank and Monica Rambeau bought and used to start their charter service. Offering their services to people interested in taking (fishing) trips out of New Orleans, the Rambeaus provided accomodations and served as crew. During one documented trip, the Jolly Roger was booked for an excursion to the gulf of Mexico. According to Frank Rambeau, the passengers were most pleased. Later, Frank and Monica used their vessel to rescue as many victims of hurricane Katrina as they could fit on the Jolly Roger, including Frank's sister Charmaine and her husband.

--Avengers III#16 (Avengers III#16, Avengers III#27- BTS, Avengers Infinity#1, Black Panther IV#12, Black Panther IV#13 - BTS, Black Panther IV#13






















images: (without ads)
Avengers Infinity#1, p4, pan1 (main image)
Avengers I#246, p3, pan3 (makes gumbo)
Avengers I#247, p5, pan5 (and Maria Rambeau worry about Monica)
Avengers I#279, p6, pan1 (wants Monica to do it)
Avengers I#294, p13, pan3 (and Maria Rambeau on board the Quinjet)
Black Panther IV#12, p13, pan7 (complains about FEMA)
Avengers III#16, p6, pan4 (The Jolly Roger)


Appearances:

Avengers I#246 (August, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott & crew (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#247 (September, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#261 (November, 1985) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#264 (February, 1986) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#279 (May, 1987) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#294 (August, 1988) - Walter Simonson (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Captain Marvel II#1 (November, 1989) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Doc Bright (pencils), Stan Drake & Frank Bolle (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers III#16 (May, 1999) - Jerry Ordway (writer and penciler), Tom Smith (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers III#27 (April, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers Infinity#1 (September, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), Sean Chen (pencils), Scott Hanna (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Black Panther IV#12 (March, 2006) - Reginald Hudlin (writer), Scott Eaton (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Black Panther IV#13 (April, 2006) - Reginald Hudlin (writer), Scott Eaton (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)


Last updated: 12/08/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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