Real Name: Herb Bannion
Identity/Class: Human; advanced technology/exo-skeleton user
at least formerly a mercenary;
at least formerly a technician;
his membership in A.I.M. would make him, on some level, a terrorist
Group Membership: Formerly A.I.M., the Seekers (Chain/Thomas Bannion, Sonic/Daniel Bannion)
Affiliations: Lynn Church, Kearson DeWitt, Hunters (armored mercenary team), Midnight (Jeffrey Wilde), Professor Power (Anthony Power), Raiders, Scratch, Secret Empire, Thunderball (Eliot Franklin)
Enemies: Avengers (Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Living Lightning/Miguel Santos,
Wonder Man/Simon Williams), Rusty Collins, Darkhawk (Chris
Powell), Human Torch (Johnny Storm), Iron Man (Tony Stark), Moon
Knight (Marc Spector), New York Police Department Special Weapons And
Tactics (S.W.A.T.), Night Thrasher (Dwayne Taylor), Nova (Richard
Rider), Punisher (Frank Castle), Spider-Man (Peter Parker),
Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Stark Enterprises security
Known Relatives: Theodore Bannion (son, deceased), Lois Bannion (daughter);
Daniel Bannion (Sonic, brother), Thomas Bannion (Chain/Chain Lightning, brother);
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
at least formerly had a home on Rose Petal Lane in Floral Ridge, New Jersey;
at least formerly a hidden lab outside Denver, Colorado
First Appearance: Iron Man I#214 (January, 1987)
Powers/Abilities: Grasp wore an armored suit,
which granted him superhuman strength (lifting roughly 10 tons) and
durability due to the armor's metal (presumably steel) composition. The
armor had no advanced resistance to extreme cold, which could both
render it immobile and brittle (easily shattered by blunt force; it was specifically Sonic's armor that was thusly shattered, but I would image they have similar vulnerabilities).
The armor also had limited heat resistance, as the inexperienced young
mutant pyrokinetic Rusty Collins could generate sufficient heat to
force him to surrender and yield his armor.
Like his brothers/teammates,
Grasp's armor included simple onboard computers with radar and
contained jet boots that enabled flight at 150 mph.
Grasp’s armor also included electro-gauntlets which released a 10,000 volt charge on contact; he could also fire the gauntlets at opponents to strike or constrict on them.
Grasp's second known armor could
also release an ionic particle gauntlet, essentially a giant gauntlet
that could grasp and crush an adult male athlete. Spider-Man was able
to force one open from the outside with extreme effort. He could reform
new gauntlets using his armor's particle actualizers.
Grasp could also release a “shock
net” that ensnared targets and subjected them to a powerful electrical
charges, sufficient to incapacitate Nova (Richard Rider).
Presumably to be a technician in
Advanced Idea Mechanics, one had to have a significant training,
experience, and aptitude in technology.
Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'10")
Weight: Unrevealed (approximately 180 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed (there are not images that show his face clearly)
(Iron Man I#214 (fb) - BTS) -
The three Bannion brothers, Daniel, Herb, and Thomas, were former technicians of AIM (Advanced Idea
Mechanics) who had encountered Iron Man at least once, earning a grudge
The Bannions left AIM and went freelance, eventually adopting the identities of the armored mercenary Seekers: Chain, Grasp, and Sonic.
(Iron Man I#214 (fb) - BTS) - The Seekers learned of the federal bounty on Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter).
(Iron Man I#214 (fb) - BTS) -
At a hidden lab somewhere outside Denver, Colorado, the Seekers
completed inspection of their secondary weapons.
(Iron Man I#214) - Chain ordered commencing inspection of the primary weaponry, starting with Grasp, who noted his electro-gauntlets to be at max function. They then prepared to go catch Spider-Woman.
(Iron Man I#214 - BTS) - After
Julia used her powers to save people from falling girders, a man known
as Scratch contacted Chain to inform him of her whereabouts in exchange
for a payment.
(Iron Man I#214) - The Seekers
soon confronted Spider-Woman, who dodged Grasp's shock net, though the
edge nicked her, subjecting her to its devastating current; as it hit
the ground, the net set the underbrush on fire.
Taking advantage of
Grasp's distraction, Spider-Woman kicked him back, but he caught her
ankle with his gauntlet. Although she was able to pull the gauntlet off
his armor and leap away, the gauntlet continued to crush her ankle t electric current
running through her,
causing her intense pain.
As Iron Man arrived and engaged the Seekers, Spider-Woman finally tore Grasp's gauntlet off her ankle, though
she was weakened by the effort/assault and fled into the woods.
Having placed his spare gauntlet,
Grasp and the other Seekers confronted Iron Man. Firing into the
ground, Iron Man
drove them back with rock and dirt, but Grasp tunneled up through the
ground and grabbed him around the chest and arms.
Iron Man punched
Grasp to the ground, but but Sonic -- noting that this was the second time
Grasp had gotten stung -- severely pained Iron Man with his sonic
cannon and then nailed him with his energy-draining "mechanical crab."
After Spider-Woman defeated Chain and Iron Man destroyed Sonic's armor with his pulse bolts, Grasp attempted to flee, but Spider-Woman formed a psi-web, and Iron Man herded him towards it and then knocked him into it. As Iron Man threatened him, Grasp surrendered and voluntarily removed his armor, after which Spider-Woman kicked him in the butt and told him to get out of her sight.
(Fantastic Four I#342 (fb) - BTS) - Herb Bannion's
son, Ted, committed suicide by self-immolation in imitation of his
idol, the Human Torch (Johnny Storm).
(Fantastic Four I#342) - Drinking heavily, Herb convinced his brothers to help him gain vengeance on the Torch.
The Seekers confronted the Torch
as he was speaking to pyrokinetic mutant Rusty Collins. Chain bound Storm to a tree,
and Grasp sent his gauntlet to choke him, ignoring Storm's explanation
that he had vowed not to use his powers again after learn of Ted's
As Storm refused to save himself, Rusty melted Grasp's gauntlet, after which Storm slipped free of Chain's shackle and fled with Rusty, whose flames caused the Seekers to become stuck in tar, Grasp mistakenly assumed the Torch to be the source of the flames despite his vow.
Unclogging their jets, the Seekers took to the air and tracked Storm as Rusty fled with him to Queens via a stolen taxicab and nailed both men with fire-retardant foam. Grasp advised Storm that they only wanted him and wouldn't hurt Rusty if he left him alone. Unwilling to trust the Seekers, Rusty stayed with Storm, and they narrowly evaded Grasp's launched gauntlets, which smashed through a support pillar.
(Fantastic Four I#342 (fb) - BTS) - Grasp recovered his gauntlets.
(Fantastic Four I#342) - After the pair fled
into the basement and destroyed the fusebox, plunging it into darkness,
the Seekers followed via search beams. Storm guided Rusty to douse the
Seekers in flames, and while their insulation began to fail, Grasp
insisted he'd rather die than give up on his mission of vengeance.
Ultimately, however, as the flames continued, all three Seekers agreed
to remove their armor in exchange for the flame barrage ceasing.
As an arriving NYPD SWAT team arrested the Seekers, Johnny expressed his sympathies and told Herb Bannion how much he wished Ted was still alive. Refusing to accept this, Herb told him they would meet again, but next time their wouldn't be any warning or chase, and that Storm would die.
(Iron Manual 3#1) - The Bannion brothers were released from prison.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#355 (fb) - BTS) - The Seekers
received new and improved armor, the expense of which made them eager
to accept jobs.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#355 (fb) - BTS) - The Secret Empire hired the Seekers.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#355 (fb) - BTS) - Empire agents sent the Seekers to aid Midnight and a number of Secret Empire agents (who had captured Nova (Rich Rider)) as they battled Moon Knight, Night Thrasher, Punisher, and Spider-Man atop a Manhattan rooftop.
Midnight was informed that reinforcements were on the way.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#355) - The Seekers joined the fight, with Grasp launching a giant ionic particle gauntlet that slammed into and began crushing Night Thrasher. After Grasp introduced the Seekers to their foes, Midnight informed them that he could have taken them without help.
Spider-Man pulled Night Thrasher
free of the gauntlet, although he left himself open for a conventional
gauntlet to the head launched by Grasp.
However, as Midnight prepared to escape with the captive Nova, Grasp noted they had fulfilled their contract by stalling the heroes sufficiently. After he had reformed his gauntlet via particle actualizers, the Seekers flew off.(Amazing Spider-Man I#358 (fb) - BTS) - After Nova was freed and joined Darkhawk, Moon Knight, Night Thrasher, Punisher, and Spider-Man against the Secret Empire's forces (including Lynn Church, Midnight, and Thunderball), the Empire again paid the Seekers to engage (and this time take out) the heroes at the Empire's warehouse base.
(Iron Man I Annual#13 (fb) - BTS / Iron Manual Mark 3#1) - The Seekers apparently received upgrades via an alliance between Kearson DeWitt and Professor Anthony Power.
Comments: Created by Danny Fingeroth and Tom Morgan.
Fantastic Four I#342 had an
associate of Lois Bannion comment, "She -- and the rest of her
family... they never really understood Teddy the way his real friends
To me, since he referenced Teddy, Lois, and "The rest of her family" rather than just saying "her father," it would seem to indicate that there are more family members...presumably at least a mother still around...but we don't know anything beyond what was said.
The Seekers were a serious
challenge to Iron Man (until he turned his pulse bolts on them) and
Spider-Woman. It was downhill from there, as Rusty Collins pretty much
defeated them with only guidance from the Torch. They briefly
challenged Spider-Man and his allies in the Round Robin arc. Even aided
by the Raiders and Hunters, they were no match for three Avengers.
Grasp was gone when they got a beatdown by Darkhawk and then were
easily taken out by the neophyte Metahumes.
Profile by Snood.
Grasp should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Iron Man I#214, pg. 5, panel 5 (Seekers, standing, first demonstrated armors);
Fantastic Four I#342, pg. 9, panel 6 (unarmored, full, seated, distant);
panel 7 (face, posterior oblique and armor storage);
pg. 12, panel 5 (Seekers in flight);
Amazing Spider-Man I#355, pg. 9, panel 4 (Grasp's gauntlet grabbing Night Thrasher);
panel 6 (Grasp launching gauntlet to punch Spider-Man);
Amazing Spider-Man I#358, pg. 11, panel 1 (Grasp, holding net);
panel 3 (Nova in electrified net);
Iron Man I Annual#13, story pg. 2 (Grasp firing handblasts while flying)
Iron Man I#214 (January, 1987) - Danny Fingeroth (writer), Tom Morgan (artist), Ralph Macchio (managing editor), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Fantastic Four I#342 (July, 1990) - Danny Fingeroth (writer), Rex Valve (penciler), Chris Ivy (inker), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#355 (Early December, 1991) - Al Milgrom (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Randy Emberlin (inker), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
Amazing Spider-Man I#358 (Late January, 1992) - Al Milgrom (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Randy Emberlin (inker), Danny Fingeroth (editor)
West Coast Avengers Annual#7 (1992) - Roy Thomas (writer), M.C. Wyman (penciler), Tim Dzon & John Tartaglione (inker), Richard Ashford (assistant editor), Nelson Yomtov (editor)
Iron Man I Annual#13 (1992) - Len Kaminski (writer), Gene Colan (penciler), Al Williamson (inker), Richard Ashford (assistant editor), Nelson Yomtov (editor)
Iron Manual Mark 3 (June, 2010) - Ronald Hugh Byrd Jr., Anthony Flamini, Kevin Garcia, Michael Hoskin, Rob London, Mark Robert O'English, Mike O'Sullivan, Markus Raymond, Peter Sanderson, Gabriel Shechter (writers), Mario Gully (new art), Alex Starbuck (assistant editor), John Denning (associate editor), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
First posted: 01/11/2020
Last updated: 01/20/2020
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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