Real Name: Antonio "Toni" Rey
citizen of Spain
former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent
Group Membership: Euroforce
formerly EuroLab (Danger, Deep Sight, Key, Nuage), EuroMind, S.H.I.E.L.D.
Affiliations: Director François Borillon, Moloid Subterraneans, Task Force (Argento, Blue Condor/Emilie Scholz, Dragonfly/Cornelia van der Valk, Iceboy/Hamish Carlyle, Tiger)
Enemies: A.I.M., Lords of War (Kaneda, Oda, Sakuragi, others), S.H.A.P.E. (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) Commission, "Skrullified" subterranean Inhumans
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Rascal, Rogue (English translations of Picaro)
Base of Operations: Mobile throughout Europe;
formerly EuroMind base, Spain
First Appearance: Europa#0 (April 1996)
Powers/Abilities: Picaro is a mutant able to generate a debilitating energy field, which can have devastating effects on living beings. However, he rarely uses this power, as it rapidly weakens him, leaving him exhausted, breathless, and nauseated. He is extremely agile and in excellent physical shape, perhaps enhanced by his mutant nature. He is an expert in telematics, the scientific field that encompasses telecommunications, vehicular technologies, electrical engineering such as sensors, instrumentation, wireless communications, and the like, and computer science.
Height: 5'11" (by approximation)
Weight: 185 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (Europa #1 back cover text) - Spaniard Antonio "Toni" Rey is a mutant and expert in telematics.
(Europa#0/text (fb) - BTS) - He joined EuroLab, a scientific research division for EuroMind, a European section of S.H.I.E.L.D. that answered to S.H.A.P.E. (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe). They were first responders dedicated to the survey and study of all paranormal phenomena encountered within Europe (and sometimes beyond), and were based out of EuroMind's complex in a secret location near Spain's Mediterranean coast. A show-off with a devil-may-care attitude, he chose the codename Picaro (Rogue or Rascal). Though many of EuroLab possessed talents that could be used for fighting, they were not considered a combat unit, and so the rapid-response S.H.I.E.L.D. combat unit Task Force was sometimes sent along on their missions to lend assistance if required.
(Europa#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - He and fellow EuroLab member Deep Sight grew suspicious of French multinational corporation Nadir, Inc., and began quietly monitoring and investigating its activities.
(Europa#0/2 (fb) - BTS) - Picaro enjoyed flirting at (rather than with) Deep Sight, despite (or perhaps because of) her blatant disinterest.
(Europa#0/2) - EuroLab were sent to an archeological site in Spain to investigate alleged monster sightings, with Task Force present to monitor their mission. Via a natural gorge, EuroLab descended into the cavern system below, but the descent system had not been calibrated for Deep Sight's boosted weight and her line snapped. Picaro released his harness' controls to go into freefall in an attempt to catch her, even flirting as he was about to grab her, but Deep Sight chastized him for his lack of perspicacity, noting that his line wouldn't be able to hold both their weights and that the rapid pressure change as they descended into the cavern would be hazardous to him but not her. She grabbed at his harness controls, reactivating them and bringing him to an abrupt stop, then plummeted the remaining thirty meters to the cavern floor, concentrating the impact on her Adamantium leg to allow her cyborg frame to absorb the impact with minimal damage.
Once the others had reached the bottom safely, Deep Sight did a quick patrol of their vicinity while Danger assembled a thermograph, and Picaro investigated an underwater lake. But then Nuage, telepathically sensed something awakening, and Picaro noticed a grotesque insectoid creature watching them. Initially it seemed non-hostile, but then the creature began transforming into something even more monstrous, and Danger spotted more approaching, seemingly drawn by EuroLab's lights. Hearing this over the radio, Dragonfly told Key to let her bring in Task Force, but Key ignored her. The first monster snared Danger with an elongated tongue, prompting Picaro to quip that it was trying to have breakfast; Danger swiftly dissuaded it with a blast of energy but this seemed to anger the other creatures. Key instructed the team to withdraw into an adjacent cavern where they found humanoid skeletons which Nuage identified as Inhumans, just before she sensed another ground of underground dwellers approaching, this time Moloid Subterraneans. As Key noted that Moloids had been rarely sighted in Europe, the newcomers tackled Picaro en masse. With Danger fighting a rearguard action against the hostile insectoids, Key came to his aid and ordered Deep Sight to assist Picaro; barging through the Moloid mob, Deep Sight literally tossed Picaro to safety. With the numbers clearly against them and the insectoids gradually getting the upper hand, Picaro asked Key if now wasn't a good time to call in Task Force. Key responded that he didn't want them there, fearing the archeological damage they might do. Ignoring Key's preferences, EuroMind's Director François Borillon deployed Task Force, who dropped down into the caverns and into the fray and began gunning down all the assailants, but Nuage shouted to them that the Subterraneans were not hostile, merely frightened and disoriented. Accepting this, and with more monsters than they could handle anyway, Task Force began defending the Subterraneans too, targeting the attacking insectoids. Dragonfly ultimately ended the conflict by blowing up a stone arch, bringing the cave roof down on the insectoids' heads and killing them all.
Afterwards Eurolab and Task Force discovered inscriptions explaining that the "monsters" were descendants of Inhumans who had been captured by the Spanish Inquisition, and thrown into the gorge to die. A few survived the fall, and, unable to escape the caves, scraped a living, eating whatever they could find. The Inquisition later dropped another group of "demons" into the precipice; the remains of a crashed Skrull ship and its crew. Eating the dead Skrulls caused a mutagenic change in the remaining Inhumans, driving them insane, and they had degenerated into a colony of predators.
(Europa#1) - In the skies over Chioggia, Italy, a passenger on a civilian flight unexpectedly transformed into a monstrous creature with claws and fangs. His violent rampage into the cockpit caused a forced splashdown. EuroLab was sent to investigate and to recover any survivors, finding the plane barely afloat, taking on water and with the rear already submerged. While Picaro, Deep Sight and Nuage finished evacuating passengers into a life raft, Danger and Key descended further into the sinking plane seeking the mutate. Key soon returned alone, carrying a young girl he had found, and handed the child over to Nuage; observing that the plane was about to fully submerge, Picaro stopped Key from going back down into the plane, reminding Key that their mission was a scientific one, that he was confidant Danger could make it out on his own, and they could do a properly equipped underwater retrieval later to get a tissue sample from the mutate's remains. Seconds later they had to leap from the plane's forward hatch just before the craft finally sank beneath the waves. As Picaro chastized their absent teammate for being a stubborn Dane, Key radioed Danger to tell him to get out immediately. Danger had found the mutate, but the creature preferred to die rather than risk falling back into the hands of the people who had mutated him and refused to leave with him. Danger escaped the rapidly sinking wreck, barely making it back to the surface. His teammates fished him from the waters to find he was not breathing, and hurriedly attempted to revive him.
(Europa#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - The members of EuroLab successfully revived Danger.
(Europa#2/2 (fb) - BTS) - After Task Force was attacked by armored mercenaries known as the Lords of War while on a mission to Malaysia investigating reports of similar mutates, Tiger and Argento returned to base to report two team members, Dragonfly and Blue Condor, had been slain, Argento had suddenly displayed unpredictable and previously unrevealed superpowers, and that Iceboy was missing. EuroLab also arrived back from their mission, but like Tiger and Argento were ordered to stand down from further investigations.
(Europa#2/2) - Back in EuroMind's Research Center near Spain's Mediterranean coast, Key and Tiger told the rest of EuroLab of and told them of Director François Borillon's orders, that S.H.A.P.E.'s executive commission had closed the case. All of EuroLab responded with incredulity at the instruction, and Tiger pointed out that it didn't take a genius to figure out Nadir were behind the Lords of War and Iceboy's abduction. Picaro and Deep Sight suggested they could carry out an unofficial internet investigation of Nadir, but Key replied that he was not planning to sit idly by with Iceboy held prisoner. Despite knowing they would be acting without official permission, the entire team concurred, unaware their discussion was being observed over hidden cameras. Their unseen watcher deployed a hit team hidden within EuroMind's own agents, Blue 1 (Azzurro 1), to eliminate the rogue agents, and the assassins caught up with EuroLab and Tiger after they entered the base's hanger. They opened fire, but between Danger's energy powers and the surprise arrival and intervention of Argento, who had slain his own would-be assassins, the group managed to make their escape in a stolen nuclear plane.
(Europa#3/2 (fb) - BTS) - En route to Western Malaya, EuroLab and the two survivors of Task Force decided to unite as a new team, choosing the name Euroforce. Meanwhile, back at EuroMind, faked video footage was used to frame the group for murdering fellow agents, making them fugitives. However, EuroMind operative Salomé secretly analyzed the footage for Borillon, confirming his suspicion that it had been altered to discredit his operatives.
(Europa#3/2) - Aware from their investigations that Nadir had an expensive lab on an isolated private island in Western Malaya, the team snuck in, overpowering and hiding the guards. Deep Sight accessed the base's map, and the group split into two teams. Argento, Danger, Deep Sight, Nuage and Picaro formed the larger group, designated Euroforce Red, who headed for the lab's main computer to get into the archives, while Tiger and Key (Euroforce Blue) set out to retrieve Iceboy. Unfortunately, the guards were soon discovered, and seconds before the Red squad reached their target the alert was sounded.
Red squad stormed the computer room, where Deep Sight told Picaro she had detected a terminal compatible with her internal biochip A-14. After subduing the guards, Argento and Danger then stood guard while Picaro and Deep Sight worked to access the database, copy it and then destroy it. However, they were interrupted by the Lords of War, who announced their arrival by blasting Danger from behind.
(Europa#4/2) - The Lords of War swiftly learned they had underestimated their new adversaries. Though most of Euroforce's members were not combat specialists like Task Force, this time the Lords of War did not have the advantage of ambushing and downing half their opponents before the battle began. Additionally, the former EuroLab members possessed a wider range of powers than Task Force, who had mostly been armed with military weapons outmatched by the Lords' superior technology. An energy blast from Picaro sent Oda flying backwards, and a telepathic assault by Nuage instantly knocked out Sakuragi. Complaining that these tactics were dishonorable, Kaneda and Oda switched their armors up to higher power levels and charged back into the fray, only to be ambushed by Argento and Danger, who had hiding behind psychic camouflage provided by Nuage. As Danger and Argento brawled with their opponents, Nuage asked Picaro if he could assist with another of his charges, explaining that she was too dazed to mentally incapacitate another of the mercenaries; Picaro apologized, noting that activating his mutant powers always left him breathless, hence why he rarely used them. However Deep Sight stepped in, having completed downloading the files and destroying the database, and electrocuted the two Lords into unconsciousness. Noting that his nausea was abating, Picaro enquired how Nuage was doing, and the telepath responded that she was fine apart from a record-breaking headache. Checking the corridor outside, Argento confirmed it was all clear, and suggested they leave before he succumbed to the temptation to decapitate the Lords.
Heading out, they radioed the other squad to let them know they had achieved their objective, and Key responded that they should return to their jet, stating that he and Tiger needed no support. Unwilling to leave their friends behind, the Red squad ignored this order, and reached Key's location just in time for Nuage to knock out a guard who was about to shoot a distracted Key in the back. Then Argento saw why Tiger and Key's attentions had been elsewhere; Iceboy's horribly mutated corpse lay on the floor nearby. The group reluctantly accepted it was time to depart before A.I.M. reinforcements or the revived Lords caught up with them. Reaching the exterior of the base, Nuage facilitated sneaking past some guards by telepathically suggesting those sentries look in the other direction as they passed, but other guards she had not noticed spotted them and opened fire; tackling Nuage, Picaro saved her from being shot. Making a dash for it, Euroforce reached their stolen jet, but as they flew away, a trio of armored figures breached the vehicle. The team prepared to fight, but moments later the jet exploded (see comments).
Director Borillon subsequently informed S.H.A.P.E.'s commission that Euroforce had been slain, then contacted the team, alive and well and staying in a large villa, informing them that he had provided them with fake identities. Until they could prove their innocence and help him uncover just how deep the corruption in EuroMind went, they had to stay officially dead.
Comments: Created by Xavier Marturet and Paco Diaz for Marvel Italia.
It's not overtly stated who attacked the jet after Euroforce fled Malaya. The attackers are drawn wearing armor similar to the known Lords of War, but the man behind them, one of S.H.A.P.E.'s commission, was informed the Lords were unconscious at the time the jet blew up, so it seems the whole attack, not just Euroforce's "demise," was a fake. Euroforce were surprised by the armored trio who breached the jet, clearly thinking they were the Lords, but given the subsequent revelation that Borillon was assisting the team, it seems likely he was behind the "attackers." However, who they were remains unrevealed.
It is unclear from Euroforce's more recent appearance in Avengers World whether the old team members have left or not. Given that Key was present to recruit Black Knight for the mission, and mentioned EuroLab, it appears the more scientific team has been re-established, which could explain the absence of all the old EuroLab members from said mission. Meanwhile Euroforce seems to have taken up what were effectively the duties of the old Task Force, investigating more perilous, likely to end in combat, missions. As such, it would make sense why Tiger was the only old Euroforce member to go on the City of the Dead mission; he's one of Task Force's two surviving members, so he wouldn't have transferred to EuroLab. The other Task Force survivor, Argento, might have been depowered on M-Day, or, given they only had four hours to deploy to Velletri, might simply have been elsewhere when the team got scrambled.
Profile by Wolfhead and Loki, with invaluable aid from comic translator Angelo Mammone.
Picaro has no known connections to
images: (without ads)
All images from Europa issues, 2nd (Euroforce) stories:
#0 back cover (main)
#3, p13, pan 5 (headshot)
#4, p1, pan 1 (Picaro's energy attack striking Kaneda; Picaro not in picture)
#4, p5, pan 1 (Picaro manifesting energy)
#0, poster (Picaro best bodyshot, but uncolored)
Europa#0-5 (April-October, 1996) - Xavier Marturet (writer), Paco Diaz (art), Enrico Fornaroli; Marco M. Lupoi; Miguel Carrasco (editors)
Last updated: 01/13/2019
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