TONY ROBB

Real Name: Tony Robb

Identity/Class: Human mutant

Occupation: Baseball player

Group Membership: The Baltimore Eagles baseball team

Affiliations: The Baltimore Eagles, Agent Catherine Gray, Handlesman, Tim Hernandez, Agent Aaron Kearse; formerly Wesley Robb

Enemies: Earl Whitacker; formerly "Killer" Cody (Little League competitor)

Known Relatives: Wesley Robb (father, deceased)

Aliases: No. 11 (his baseball uniform number), "Tony Terrific" (nickname)

Base of Operations: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

First Appearance: X-Factor II#2 (July, 2002)

Powers/Abilities: Tony Robb's skin emitted a shimmering, gray oil that Tony could use to alter the perception of others by manipulating the way light was reflected off of his body.

Height: Unrevealed (see comments)
Weight: Unrevealed (see comments)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Dark brown

History: (X-Factor II#2 (fb)) - His inherited mutant powers manifesting at age five, Tony Robb's body began secreting a shimmering gray oil. Taught by his principled father Wesley to use his power only to manipulate others' perceptions so that they did not see his oily body, Tony Robb was also taught baseball as a way of building enough physical discipline to maintain control of his perception abilities. Quickly taking to the sport, Tony became an extremely skilled baseball player.

(X-Factor II#2 (fb) - BTS) - As a kid, Tony Robb once used his mutant powers during the Little League baseball championships against "Killer" Cody and his team. Using his abilities to make Cody think he was from home plate than he really was, Tony tricked Cody into throwing a pitch that hit Tony, allowing Tony to take the base due to being hit, rather than trying to hit a ball thrown by the skilled pitcher Cody. As the crowd cheered, Tony looked up and saw his father Wesley giving him a disapproving look and vowed never to use his powers to cheat again. His team soon lost the game. Eventually, Tony's skills at baseball continued to legitimately grow, earning him a place on the Baltimore Eagles baseball team, where he reached 500 home runs faster than anyone else in history and became known as the greatest home run hitter of his generation. Very popular, Robb became A.L. MVP five years in a row but every aspect of his career and life was controlled by his father Wesley, who hoped to protect Tony from the mutant-hating populace and even hid Tony's mutant nature from the family lawyer of thirty years. When Wesley Robb died, Tony's career and the secret of his mutant nature was finally shared with the family lawyer Handlesman, who took over managing Tony's career. Unfortunately, a year later, Tony began receiving death threats in the mail from someone who claimed to know his secret. Despite receiving the threats, Tony Robb, who was tired of living a secret life, opted to publicly reveal his mutant nature on the Minority Action Network television station after he broke the home run record. Deciding to retire once he broke the record and revealed his status as a mutant, Tony's career was planned to have him champion mutant rights as a goodwill ambassador.








(X-Factor II#2) - Two months later, while playing a Baltimore baseball game, Tony Robb hit his 32nd home run of the season while thinking how and when the anti-mutant mobs would come after him. Opting to keep striving for the home run record no matter what, Robb contemplated his place in history before thinking about his impending retirement. A short time later, Director Kendall Green visited Agent Aaron Kearse of the Mutants Civil Rights Task Force and had Kearse look over a report on Tony Robb's life as a mutant that had been compiled by Agent Paul Duncan. After looking over the report, Agents Kearse and Gray visited Tony Robb during a practice and spoke with Robb's lawyer, who informed the agents of Robb's impending revelation as a mutant and retirement. While Robb continued hitting practice pitches, the agents requested the names of everyone involved in Tony's upcoming plans to start an investigation into the death threats Tony had been receiving. As Tony continued his home run streak, earning the nickname "Tony Terrific," his lawyer Handlesman secretly negotiated marketing deals with Nike, Coke and McDonald's, who hoped to target the burgeoning mutant population. In his spare time, Tony began taking "media manners" classes to learn how to act in front of the media despite not really caring about his image and only wishing to retire. On one summer night, after Tony hit his 72nd home run of the season, which landed in a convertible in the parking lot, he returned home to find a death threat stating "It will happen when you round third." Unfazed by the threat, Tony Robb prepared for his game the next day. In the dugout, Agent Kearse visited Tony and assured Tony that no one was dying that day before asking Tony if he had ever used his mutant powers to cheat. Tony replied with the story of how he cheated only once as a kid before seeing the disappointment in his father's eyes and vowing never again to use his powers to cheat. Upon hearing Tony's story, Agent Kearse reminded Tony that he didn't have to come out publicly as a mutant but Tony responded with silent anger, keeping his real thoughts to himself but prompting Kearse to leave following a brief, awkward silence. Moments later, Tony began his ball game, hitting the ball into left field and while the audience assumed Tony had hit his 73rd home run, Tony knew better and began running the bases. Before he hit third base, Tony began worrying about the previous night's death threat and, in a moment of panic, Tony used his mutant powers to cheat, altering the audience's view of the strike zone. As the death threat warned, a gunshot rang out as Tony crossed third base but due to Tony's perception altering, the shot aimed at Tony's chest instead hit him in the leg. When a second shot was fired, aimed at what the shooter thought was Tony's head, it instead hit Tony's lower back, severely damaging Tony's spine. As Tony fell to the ground, thinking how he let his deceased father down by cheating, the Mutant Civil Rights Task Force, who had been watching from the security room, set out to find the shooter. Directed into the higher aisle of Levinson Field's stands, Agents Kearse and Gray heard "bamf" sounds and smelled sulphur as they neared the shooter, soon finding paranoid schizophrenic San Francisco Giants fan Earl Whitacker on the ground, the teleporting X-Man Nightcrawler standing over him. Nightcrawler almost immediately teleported away and the Agents took Whitacker into custody, failing to answer how Whitacker could have snuck a high-powered rifle into Levinson Field. Tony Robb spent the following week in a hospital, trying in vain to feel his legs and cursing his father, only to eventually realize that he never wanted to be a "goodwill ambassador to mutantkind," instead wanting a normal life, filled with everything his sheltering father had denied him, free of baseball and celebrity. Upon his release from the hospital, Tony was greeted by significantly increased security and the press, who began swarming Tony with questions about possibly funding anti-mutant groups or using performance-enhancing steroids. Despite having been told by his lawyer Handlesman, whom Tony could not wait to fire, that he could be as open or as closed as he wanted to about the shooting, Tony thanked his fans for the cards and support before seeing the press and mumbling "curveball." Handlesman quickly announced that Tony would not answer any more questions and shortly after, Tony publicly came out as a mutant, leading to allegations that he had cheated in his baseball games. Years later, Tony Robb proved able to walk again.  

Comments: Created by Jeff Jensen and Arthur Ranson.

It might be interesting to note that, due to Marvel's sliding time scale, Tony Robb's shooting would have occurred roughly 3 years ago Marvel time (as of 1/19/2017 real time) so he would have only recently regained the use of his legs (as the story mentioned that it would take years for Tony to regain his ability to walk). Personally, I like the character of Tony Robb and would love to see him as a teacher at the Jean Grey School or something. After all, he wanted a very different life than his father gave him. Teaching at a school for mutants would give him a very different life than baseball, and also, Tony could be open about his mutant nature, something his father had long taught him to hide.

Tony Robb's height & weight were impossible to determine, as he was never seen standing next to any character who had been given an official height & weight.

Profile by Proto-Man.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Tony or Wesley Robb have no KNOWN connections to:

The Baltimore Eagles have no KNOWN connections to:
Handlesman has no KNOWN connections to:
Tim Hernandez has no KNOWN connections to:
Earl Whitacker has no KNOWN connections to:

The Baltimore Eagles

The Baltimore Eagles were a professional baseball team based out of Baltimore, Maryland. Among their team members was secret mutant Tony Robb, who had become famous as a home run hitter. Robb's success brought the Eagles significant positive publicity, leading to an increase in the merchandising of the team. The team played several games in which Tony Robb hit home runs towards a world record and were in the middle of a game when Tony Robb was shot by schizophrenic sniper Earl Whitacker.





--X-Factor II#2


Handlesman

Handlesman was the Robb family lawyer for thirty years and was never trusted with the secret that Tony Robb was a mutant until the death of Tony's father, Wesley. Per Wesley's wishes, Handlesman took over control of Tony Robb's career following Wesley's death and helped come up with a marketing strategy in which Tony could publicly come out as a mutant. Striking a deal with The Minority Action Network for Tony's announcement, Handlesman also worked with various companies such as Nike, Coke and McDonald's, who wished to target the burgeoning mutant market, to continue merchandising and marketing Tony after the announcement as a "mutant goodwill ambassador." Agreeing to aid the Mutant Civil Rights Task Force any way he could when Tony began receiving death threats, Handlesman continued working with Tony Robb after Tony was shot by a sniper. Following Tony's recovery, Handlesman allowed Tony to speak about any part of the shootings to the press, unaware that Tony Robb planned to fire him in an effort to live a normal life, free from the restraints of his father's wishes.





--X-Factor II#2


Tim Hernandez

Tim Hernandez was a baseball player for a rival team, for whom he played left field. During a game against the Baltimore Eagles, Tim witnessed Tony Robb hit a ball out into left field, where Tim struggled to get the ball. By the time Tim collected the ball, Tony Robb had rounded third base.





--X-Factor II#2


Wesley Robb

Wesley Robb was the very disciplined, mutant father to Tony Robb. When Tony's powers manifested at age five and were identical to the powers of Wesley's, Wesley taught Tony to only use his perception altering abilities to disguise his mutant form and also taught Tony the discipline to control his mutant powers via athletics. After Tony quickly took to baseball, Wesley continued controlling Tony's life and was extremely disappointed when Tony once used his powers to cheat during a Little League, prompting Tony to never again use his powers to cheat. Over time, Tony became a professional baseball player and Wesley managed and controlled every aspect of Tony's career and life, eventually dying one year prior to Tony's work towards breaking the home run record. Upon his death, Wesley had Tony's career taken over by the Robb family lawyer, Handlesman. After receiving death threats, Tony once more used his powers to cheat in an effort to save his life, only to find himself shot in the spine and temporarily paralyzed. As he recovered, Tony at first blamed his father, feeling like he had been "punished" for using his powers to cheat.

Wesley Robb had the same mutant powers as his son, allowing him to alter the perceptions of those around him using the shimmering gray oil that covered his body.


--X-Factor II#2 (fb)d


Earl Whitacker

Earl Whitacker was a paranoid schizophrenic fan of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. Due to his mental illness, Earl was quick to believe speculation that Tony Robb was a mutant who cheated to beat Barry Bonds' "untouchable achievement" in home runs. Despite having no proof that Robb was a mutant, Earl began believing Robb was part of a conspiracy to rob Barry Bonds of the home run record and started sending Tony Robb death threats in the mail. Planning to kill Robb, Earl mailed him a letter warning that Tony would be killed in his next game when he rounded third base. True to his threat, Earl snuck a high-powered rifle into aisle 320 of Baltimore's Levinson Field and prepared to shoot Tony Robb from the stands. Worried about the death threat as he rounded third base, Tony Robb used his mutant powers to alter the perceptions of the crowd. Affected by Tony's powers, Earl fired a shot at what he thought was Tony's chest, only to have it actually hit Tony's leg. Earl followed up with a second shot, aimed at what he thought was Tony's head, but the shot hit Tony's lower spine instead. Before any other shots could be fired, Earl was stopped by the X-Man Nightcrawler, who held Earl until Mutant Civil Rights Task Force agents Aaron Kearse and Catherine Gray arrived and took Earl into custody. When the MCRTF proved unable to explain how Earl could have snuck the rifle into the stands, the unstable Earl smiled and exclaimed that he was only a patsy.

--X-Factor II#2


images: (without ads)
X-Factor II#2, p16, pan3 (Tony Robb using powers, main image)
X-Factor II#2, p20, pan1 (Tony Robb in wheelchair)
X-Factor II#2, p8, pan1 (Tony Robb, age 5)
X-Factor II#2, p8, pan3 (younger Tony Robb)
X-Factor II#2, p15, pan2 (Tony Robb at bat)
X-Factor II#2, p1, pan5 (Baltimore Eagles)
X-Factor II#2, p19, pan5 (Handlesman)
X-Factor II#2, p16, pan1 (Tim Hernandez)
X-Factor II#2, p8, pan2 (Wesley Robb)
X-Factor II#2, p18, pan1 (Earl Whitacker)


Appearances:
X-Factor II#2 (July, 2002) - Jeff Jensen (writer), Arthur Ranson (art), Mark Powers, Andrew Lis (editors)


Last updated: 01/19/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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