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Real Name: Inapplicable

Identity/Class: Robot

Occupation: Warrior;
             formerly a car

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None (though his former owners would probably disagree)

Enemies: Omega Flight (Delphine Courtney, Diamond Lil/Lilian Crawley, Flashback/Gardner Monroe, Wild Child/Kyle Gibney)

Known Relatives: Madison Jeffries (creator)

Aliases: GNU-556 (license plate number)

Base of Operations: West Edmonton, Canada

First Appearance: Alpha Flight I#28 (November, 1985)

Powers/Abilities: Rover started out as an ordinary red station wagon, until Madison Jeffries' transmutative powers turned the vehicle into a massive, imposing robot warrior durable enough to easily withstand an all out blow from Diamond Lil. He possessed sufficient strength to effortlessly knock out the superhumanly tough Lil and was quick enough to keep up with Wild Child's enhanced reflexes. 

Height: 8'2" (by approximation)
Weight: 4042 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Yellow
Hair: None


(Alpha Flight I#28 - BTS) - The station wagon that would become Rover started out as one of the many hundreds of cars parked on the giant lot outside the West Edmonton Mall. Inside, Alpha Flight was engaged in a fight against Omega Flight that ended with the villains making a run for it across the lot.

(Alpha Flight I#28) - Former Gamma Flight member Madison Jeffries spotted the members of Omega Flight as they momentarily halted their escape to fight among themselves about who was to blame for their most recent defeat. Randomly picking a car near them, Jeffries chose a red station wagon, license plate GNU-556. Omega Flight was startled by the loud, tearing noises of shifting metal as they watched how the car slowly turned into a giant robot. Omega's android leader Delphine Courtney (dressed as Guardian) immediately realized this creation was Jeffries' handiwork. Fearing his powers, she had actively tried to keep the former Gamma Flight member out of the loop as she recruited members of Beta and Gamma in order to form Omega Flight. Jeffries, ticked off at the fact Delphine Courtney was responsible for the death of his friend James MacDonald Hudson, sicced the killer robot he dubbed Rover on them.

main image   Terrified by both Rover and Jeffries, Courtney ordered Omega Flight members Diamond Lil and Flashback to protect her. The cowardly Flashback allowed Lil to take on Rover, but the superstrong, nigh invulnerable woman was no match for the agressive automaton. Rover took her best punch in stride before knocking her unconscious by casually swatting her aside. He then lumbered towards Courtney, while strangling the feral Wild Child. Just as she desperately tried to fire an electromagnetic bolt, Courtney discovered Shaman (Michael Twoyoungmen) had managed to jam her circuits during their recent fight, leaving her defenseless. Rover was about to grab her with his giant metal claws, but in a fit of genuine panic Courtney grabbed one of Flashback's future selves and held him in front of the incoming claw.

   Rover accidentally killed the future Flashback with his claw. This caused all other temporal copies of the villain to instantly disappear, while he himself broke down after realizing he just witnessed his own death. Madison Jeffries held off Rover so he could deal with the android Delphine Courtney himself. He used his powers to turn her inside out, effectively ending her existence. He then told Diamond Lil, Wild Child and Flashback they were accomplices to James Hudson's murder and had to take the fall. As Jeffries headed inside the West Edmonton Mall to check on Alpha Flight, he ordered Rover to guard Omega Flight until the cops got there. (see comments).

Comments: Created by John Byrne

Rover was Byrne's final original Alpha Flight creation before he and Hulk writer Bill Mantlo swapped titles. He seemed a continuation of Byrne's ongoing homage to Transformers and/or Go-Bots, especially when you consider he toyed around with the idea back in #26 when he introduced the Macro System.

But where the Macros were just play-acting, Rover didn't kid around. "Red Rover, Red Rover, can I come over...?" Sure, just so long as it is to mangle and strangle Omega Flight. For a seemingly mindless automaton, Rover had a real nasty temper and one heck of a violent streak. It always surprised me how easily the murder of the future Gardner Monroe was glossed over. It's a tad hypocritical of Madison Jeffries to label the members of Omega Flight accessories to a murder they had no explicit prior knowledge about... Heck, strictly speaking Hudson's death was more like an accident... But Jeffries wants them to do hard time anyway. Makes you wonder how many years he should be put behind bars for creating a killing machine that (accidentally) took a life while he just watched. That's at least enough to get slapped with negligence. And don't get me started on the civil suit raised by the owners of the automobile against Madison for turning their automobile into a lumbering dealer of death.

   It was never explained how Omega Flight escaped after Madison Jeffries left Rover behind to guard over them. Did the police arrive as Jeffries promised and if so, what became of Rover? Though it would be fun to think of Rover still being around, earning his keep as a ferociously strict West Edmonton Mall parking attendant, it's more than likely his existence ended shortly after Jeffries was teleported away along with Alpha Flight.

... Also, am I the only one who thinks Rover looks like a mechanized, cranky Deadpool?  

Profile by Norvo.

Rover has no known connections to

images: (without ads)
Alpha Flight I#28 p4, pan 4 (main image)
Alpha Flight I#28 p8, pan 1 (attacks Delphine Courtney)

Alpha Flight I#28 (November, 1985) - John Byrne (writer and pencils), Keith Williams (inker), Denny O'Neil (editor)  

Last updated: 12/24/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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