seekers-mercs-spdmfe2SEEKERS

Membership: Chain Lightning (Thomas Bannion), Fireball, Laserworks, Sonic (Daniel Bannion); two unidentified;
    formerly
Grasp (Herb Bannion),

Purpose: Profit (the Seekers are mercenaries)

Aliases: None

Affiliations: Louis Cale, Leonard Carlson, 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.), Metahumes (Assault/Edward Wong, Blazeye/Barbara DeGioia, Diamond Hammer/Carl Hollister, Hardnose/Alexander Patel, Hyperia/Denise Havens, Makina/Fiona Rivera), Night Thrasher (Dwayne Taylor), Nova (Richard Rider), Punisher (Frank Castle), Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), Stark Enterprises security, Venom (Eddie Brock/Klyntar symbiote)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    at least formerly a hidden lab outside Denver, Colorado

First Appearance: (First (known) generation armors): Iron Man I#214 (January, 1987);
    (second (known) generation armors):
Amazing Spider-Man I#355 (Early December, 1991);
    (third (known) generation armors):
Darkhawk I#35 (January, 1994);
    (fourth (known) generation armors; mostly color and minor changes): Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies
#2 (March, 1995)

 

seekers-mercs-im215-group-ohotmuHistory:
(
Iron Man I#214 (fb) - BTS) - The Bannion brothers were former members of AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) who had encountered Iron Man at least once, earning a grudge against him.

    The Bannions left AIM and went freelance, eventually adopting the identities of the armored mercenary Seekers.

(Iron Man I#214 (fb) - BTS) - The Seekers learned of the 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 inspection of their primary weaponry, after which they 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, and Grasp caught her ankle with his electro-gauntlet. As Chain prepared to bind her, his and Sonic's armors picked up the cloaked Iron Man approaching.

    After Chain and Sonic fired on and hit Iron Man, he decloaked and engaged them, although they dodged his initial pulse bolts. Though Grasp's gauntlet sent electric current running through her, Spider-Woman finally tore it off her ankle, though she was weakened by the effort/assault and fled into the woods.

    Having placed his spare gauntlet, all three 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 Sonic  severely pained Iron Man with his sonic cannon. As Iron Man hit the ground, Sonic acknowledged that he wouldn't stay down for long, but he took advantage of Iron Man's vulnerability to release his back unit as a "mechanical crab" that clamped around Iron Man's chest and agonizingly drained his energy.

    Pursued by Chain, Spider-Woman caught him off guard and smashed him unconscious. Iron Man disintegrated the mechanical crab with his pulse bolts and then took him out with his chest concussion beam.

    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.

(Fantastic Four I#342 (fb) - BTS) - Herb Bannion's son, Ted, committed suicide by self-immolation. He left a note that said that since he knew he could never achieve the greatness of his idol, the Human Torch (Johnny Storm), he saw no point in going on, and he wanted to go out like a real human torch.

(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, and Sonic knocked down both Collins and Storm. Chain then 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 death. As Storm refused to save himself, Rusty melted Grasp's gauntlet, after which Storm slipped free of Chain's shackle and fled with Rusty. As Collins' flames caused them to become stuck in tar, the Seekers mistakenly assumed the Torch to be the source of the flames despite his vow.

    Unclogging their jets, the Seekers took to the air, and Chain -- whose energy shackle recognized and could follow Storm's energies -- tracked Storm as Rusty fled with him to Queens via a stolen taxicab. Chain nailed both men with fire-retardant foam, and they narrowly escaped the taxi as Sonic destroyed it with his sound-cannon. They nailed Storm with another flame-retardant foam grenade as the pair rushed into a furniture store.

(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 their insulation began to fail; ultimately, as the flames continued, all three Seekers agreed to remove their armor in exchange for the flame barrage ceasing.

seekers-merc-amzsp355-ohotmu(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 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.

    As Sonic and Chain both targeted Spider-Man with sonic cannon blasts that shattered concrete and an energy chain, the Punisher peppered Sonic with both of his automatic weapons. Undamaged, Sonic  launched his newer, more compact energy leecher at him. Grasp and Chain teamed up against Spider-Man, who dodged Chain's energy chain and pulled Night Thrasher free of the gauntlet, although he left himself open for a conventional gauntlet to the head launched by Grasp.

    As Midnight prepared to escape with his 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#355 - BTS) - Night Thrasher cut the energy leecher off of the Punisher.

(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, Thunderball), the Empire again paid the Seekers to engage (and this time take out) the heroes at the Empire's warehouse base.

(Amazing Spider-Man I#358) - After Chain's energy chain knocked the heroes off their feet, the Seekers engaged the heroes. When Midnight fired a cryo-blast at Spider-Man, the hero leapt out of the way, and the blast struck Sonic, causing his armor to seize up. The Punisher shattered Sonic's brittle, frozen armor with the handle of his knife and then punched him out.

    Grasp smashed the Punisher in the back with a launching gauntlet and caught Nova in a shock net but was still flattened by Nova smashing into him.

    As Chain strangled Night Thrasher with his energy chain, Moon Knight located Sonic's energy leech from the wreckage of his armor and placed it on the back of Chain's armor, eventually incapacitating him.

    When subsequent damage to the building's structure caused it collapse, Night Thrasher carried out Sonic, while Nova flew Chain and Grasp outside to safety.

(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.

(Iron Man I Annual#13 (fb) - BTS / West Coast Avengers Annual#7) - DeWitt and/or his allies/agents sent the Seekers to assault Stark Enterprises' Silicon Valley facility.

(West Coast Avengers Annual#7) - Alongside the Raiders and Hunters, the Seekers assaulted Stark Enterprises' Silicon Valley facility, confronting the Avengers present, Hawkeye, Living Lightning, and Wonder Man; one of the armored warriors blasted Stark Enterprises Mr. Tedder (incapacitating and possibly slaying him).

(
Iron Man I Annual#13) - The Seekers attacked Hawkeye, Living Lightning, and Wonder Man as well as Stark Enterprises' security forces, causing significant property damage before being defeated.

seekers-iron_manual.jpg(Darkhawk I#35 / Iron Manual Mark 3: Seekers) - The Seekers not only renovated their armors, but also reassessed their membership. Grasp left, with new members Fireball and Laserworks  joining in his stead. Chain changed his alias to Chain Lightning and added projectile electrical blasts to his repertoire.

(Darkhawk I#36 (fb) - BTS) - The Seekers were hired by corrupt ex-policeman Louis Cale to capture Venom (Eddie Brock), in hopes that Cale could synthesize Venom's symbiote.

(
Darkhawk I#35) - In California, the Seekers (Chain Lightning, Fireball, Laserworks, Sonic) ambushed Venom as he fought Darkhawk. Sonic released a blast of concentrated sound that knocked both combatants to the ground before he demanded their surrender.

 
(Darkhawk I#36) - As Darkhawk and Venom tried to escape assaults of sound, fire, lasers, and lightning, Darkhawk refused their offers to join forces with them against Venom, noting that armored killers weren't much better than Venom and that he should be taken in by the law. Shielding himself and Venom from the collective assaults and then leapt to the attack, Darkhawk snared Chain Lightning's wrist with his cable-claw and swung him into his teammates; feedback from the Seekers' combined energies traveled back along the claw to Darkhawk, who flew away. Venom spread his symbiote over Darkhawk, making them both black and camouflaged at night, allowing them to escape the Seekers' detection.

(Darkhawk I#36) - However, once they were free and clear, Darkhawk again attempted to subdue Venom to bring him in.

(Darkhawk I#36 (fb) - BTS) - The Seekers detected the fighting Darkhawk and Venom.

(Darkhawk I#36) - After Venom stunned Darkhawk and took off, the Seekers attacked en masse. Sonic incapacitated the symbiote, and Chain Lightning caught the falling Brock. When Laserworks asked what to do about Darkhawk, Sonic advised that they just leave him as they weren't being paid to get him.seekers-mercs-darkhawk36

    Darkhawk recovered and went after the Seekers, but when he tried to ambush them, their sensors warned them of his approach, and Chain Lightning blasted him. Fireball projected a fiery blast at Darkhawk, and, though Darkhawk got up his force field in time to block this, Laserworks blasted him in his unprotected back, causing the dazed Darkhawk to fall into the water below.

    As Laserworks contained Venom in a laser cage, the other Seekers attempted to finish off Darkhawk. However, while they blasted at the mostly submerged Darkhawk, he unleashed a wide-angle force blast from his amulet, stunning them.

(Darkhawk I#36 (fb) - BTS) - Having extended a tendril through the cage, Venom caused Laserworks to drop him into the water as well.

(Darkhawk I#36 - BTS) - Darkhawk and Venom swam underwater, escaping to nearby shore.

(Darkhawk I#37) - The Seekers ambushed Darkhawk as he approached the Fisherman's Wharf building in which his father was being held by Louis Cale; the distraction allowed Venom to sneak into the building undetected. Enraged with his father's fate and the Seekers' involvement, Darkhawk turned his shield to block blasts from all four Seekers then savagely confronted and took down Sonic and Fireball. Darkhawk then led Lighting and Laserworks into position so that when they blasted at him, he dodged, and their blasts struck and incapacitated each other; they fell into the water.

    The police fished the Seekers out of the bay.

(Iron Manual 3#1) - The Seekers were again arrested, but soon regained their liberty.

(
Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2 (fb) - BTS) - The Seekers recruited two other unidentified members (see comments).

(Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2 (fb) - BTS) - The Seekers were hired by gangster Leonard Carlson (backed by unidentified west coast power brokers) to capture a new team of superhumans known as the Metahumes.

(Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2) - At Carlson's command, the Seekers confronted the Metahumes, with Laserworks noting that this was where they would earn their pay, and Sonic noting that this would be easy compared to fighting Venom ("these punks'll be nothing"), especially with their new members (see comments).

    However, Hardnose swiftly flattened Sonic with a projection of solid crystal, Blazeye dropped Laserworks (based on the shoulder pad patterns) with an eyeblast to the helmet, Diamondhammer punched out Chain Lightning (based on the cables from the wrist), Assault mentally disoriented Fireball (by process of elimination), leaving her (see comments) vulnerable to a telekinetic blast from Hyperia, and Makina paralyzed the armors on the remaining two unidentified members.

Comments: Created by Danny Fingeroth and Tom Morgan.

    In their first appearance, 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 beat down by Darkhawk and then were easily taken out by the neophyte Metahumes.

    In Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2, Sonic noted that they had three new members, but it looks like the same four from the Darkhawk issues, plus two more unidentified. Maybe there was a new person in one of the armors? Fireball doesn't look quite the same...Or maybe there was a seventh Seeker not shown on panel?
    The Iron Manual noted that they had TWO new members at that point.

    In Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2, we clearly see Sonic and Laserworks being taken out by Hardnose and Blazeye, respectively.
    We then see Diamondhammer punch out someone who is barely seen as he notes, "Three down!" There is a cable connected to the gauntlet (which both Laserworks, Chain Lightning, and one of the unidentified characters have), and there are large shoulder pads structures. However, we clearly see Laserworks taken out in the previous panel, and then the unidentified character with cables running from/to the gauntlets is clearly active before being taken out in the following page; the shoulder pads fit with Chain Lightning.
    Again, the fourth person taken out cannot be identified at all, but since we see the two unidentified characters still conscious in the next panel before being taken out, it has to be Fireball by process of elimination.

    We don't know the circumstances under which Grasp left nor why Laserworks and Fireball -- or the two unidentified members joined. We also know nothing of the pasts of any of these latter Seekers. Were they also previous AIM members? Or were they family or friends of the Bannions? Who knows?
    That Shadow kno...I mean, I bet Danny Fingeroth knows.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS: ,
The Seekers have no known connections to:


seekers-mercs-sdmfe2-unidentifiedunidentified Seekers

(
Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2 (fb) - BTS) - The Seekers recruited two other unidentified members (see comments).

(Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2 (fb) - BTS) - The Seekers were hired by gangster Leonard Carlson (backed by unidentified west coast power brokers) to capture a new team of superhumans known as the Metahumes.

(Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2) - At Carlson's command, the Seekers confronted the Metahumes.

    However, Makina paralyzed the armors on the two unidentified members while the other Metahumes took out their teammates.

--Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2

Note: In Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2, Sonic noted that they had three new members, but it looks like the same four from the Darkhawk issues, plus two more unidentified. Maybe there was a new person in one of the armors? Fireball doesn't look quite the same...Or maybe there was a seventh Seeker not shown on panel?
    The Iron Manual noted that they had TWO new members at that point.

    We don't know the circumstances under which the two unidentified members joined. We also know nothing of the pasts of any of these latter Seekers. Were they also previous AIM members? Or were they family or friends of the Bannions? The world may never know...


images: (without ads)
Iron Man I#214, pg. 5, panel 5 (Seekers, standing, first demonstrated armors);
Amazing Spider-Man I#355, pg. 10, panel 2 (Seekers; second demonstrated armors);
Darkhawk I#36, pg. 2, panel 2 (Seekers; third demonstrated armors);
Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2, pg. 17, panel 1 (with two unidentified new members, flying toward foreground);
       pg. 18, panel 2 (Makina with two unidentified Seekers);

Iron Manual Mark 3: Seekers main entry


Appearances:
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)
Darkhawk I#35-37 (January-March, 1994) - Danny Fingeroth (writer), Todd Smith (penciler), Ian Akin (inker), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2 (March, 1995) - Danny Fingeroth (writer), Ron Lim (penciler), Mick Gray & Mark McKenna (inkers),
Nel 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: 02/22/2020
Last updated: 02/22/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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