sonic-seekers-iron_manualSONIC

Real Name: Daniel Bannion

Identity/Class: Human; advanced technology/exo-skeleton user

Occupation: Unrevealed;
    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 Lightning/Thomas Bannion, Fireball, Grasp/Herb Bannion, Laserworks; two unidentified)

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)

Known Relatives: Herb Bannion (Grasp, brother), Thomas Bannion (Chain/Chain Lightning, brother);
    Lois Bannion (niece; Herb's ); Theodore Bannion (nephew, deceased);
    possibly others (see comments)

Aliases: None

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

First Appearance: Iron Man I#214 (January, 1987)

Powers/Abilities: Sonic 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 forces). The armor also had limited heat resistance, as the inexperienced young mutant pyrokinetic Rusty Collins could generate sufficient heat to force each of the Seekers to surrender and yield their armor. A blast from Iron Man's chest concussion beam proved incapacitating to Sonic.

     Like his brothers/teammates, Sonic's armor included simple onboard computers with radar and contained jet boots that enabled flight at 150 mph. sonic-seekers-ff342-blast

    Sonic has a sound cannon on the chest of his armor that could generate intense sonic disruptions. He could vary the intensity of the blasts from stunning and knocking down unarmored individuals to severely paining Iron Man through his model 8 (silver centurion) armor.

    In the first demonstrated armor, Sonic could release his back unit as a "mechanical crab," which could walk across the ground and grasp and bind to others, agonizingly draining their energies. The process was virtually incapacitating even for Iron Man. Iron Man was able to destroy the crab with his pulse bolts. sonic-seekers-merc-amzsp355-energy_leecher

    Sonic subsequently used a more compact mobile energy-leecher that he could launch to grasp onto and painfully drain the energy from a subject, much like the mechanical crab.

    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)

Hair: Orange

History:

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

(Iron Man I#214 (fb) - BTS / Iron Manual 3#1) - The Bannions left AIM and went freelance, eventually designing their own armor and adopting the identities of the armored mercenary Seekers: Chain, Grasp, and Sonic.

(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) - At Chain's order, the Seekers commencing inspection of the primary weaponry. Sonic noted his sonic cannon 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 the Seekers to inform them of her whereabouts in exchange for a payment.

(Iron Man I#214) - The Seekers soon confronted Spider-Woman, with Sonic asking if she would give up without a hassle, or if she would make them sweat for it. Spider-Woman told them to "stuff it," but Grasp stunned her with his electrified gauntlet.

    As Chain prepared to bind her, his and Sonic's armors picked up the cloaked Iron Man approaching. After Sonic guided Chain to join him in firing on and hitting Iron Man, he decloaked and engaged them, although they dodged his initial pulse bolts.

sonic-seekers-im215-crab    After Spider-Woman fled into the woods, all three Seekers confronted Iron Man. Firing into the ground, Iron Man drove them back with rock and dirt. After Iron Man hurled Grasp to the ground, Sonic -- noting that this was the second time Grasp had gotten stung -- 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.

    As Sonic taunted Iron Man, noting that killing him could be considered self defense, Iron Man channeled his pulse bolts until they reached disintegration intensity and vaporized the "crab." Iron Man then took out Sonic with his chest concussion beam.

    Spider-Woman and Iron Man finished off Chain and Grasp.

(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 - BTS) - Daniel and Thomas spoke to Herb, noting that they thought he had been drinking too much. Nonetheless, they agreed to help him gain vengeance on the Torch.

(Fantastic Four I#342) - The Seekers confronted the Torch as he was speaking to pyrokinetic mutant Rusty Collins, and Sonic knocked down both Collins and Storm. Collins' flames caused the Seekers to become stuck in tar, and 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 -- after Chain tracked them to Queens  -- nailed both men with fire-retardant foam. Storm and Collins narrowly escaped the taxi as Sonic destroyed it with his sound-cannon.

(Fantastic Four I#342) - After Storm and Collins 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 after their insulation began to fail, the Seekers agreed to remove their armor in exchange for the flame barrage ceasing.

    An arriving NYPD SWAT team arrested the Seekers.

sonic-seekers-merc-amzsp355-2nd-armor(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) - After the Seekers joined the fight, Midnight informed them that he could have taken them without help, but Sonic noted that the Secret Empire paid top dollar, and Chain added that they had to pay for their new armor.

    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 claimed to be bored by the Punisher's low-tech attack and launched his newer, more compact energy leecher at him.

    As Midnight prepared to escape with the captive Nova, Grasp noted they had fulfilled their contract by stalling the heroes sufficiently, and 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, and Thunderball), the Empire again paid the Seekers to engage (and this time take out) the heroes at the Empire's warehouse base.sonic-seekers-merc-amzsp358-unarmored

(Amazing Spider-Man I#358) - Arriving at the battle site, Sonic confronted the Punisher, noting how he had survived his energy leech and that he would have to take care of him up close and personal; however, Spider-Man struck Sonic, trying to drive him away, and 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 literally freeze up. Sonic desperately turned up his thermo-induction coils in an effort to thaw his armor, but the Punisher shattered Sonic's brittle, frozen armor with the handle of his knife. After Sonic nervously noted that this sort of thing probably never happened to Iron Man, the Punisher punched him out.

    After Nova took out Grasp, Moon Knight located Sonic's energy leech from the wreckage of his armor and placed it on the back of Chain's armor, ultimately incapacitating him as well.99

    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.sonic-seekers-darkhawk36

(Iron Manual 3#1) - Grasp left the Seekers under unspecified circumstances.

(Darkhawk I#36 (fb) - BTS) - Fireball and Laserworks joined the Seekers.

(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. Sonic then demanded their surrender.

(Darkhawk I#36) - As Darkhawk and Venom tried to escape assaults of sound, fire, lasers, and lightning, Fireball advised them that they didn't want to hurt them unnecessarily as they were just doing what they had been hired for, and Sonic added that they didn't even want Darkhawk. Sonic further encouraged Darkhawk to join them against Venom, gratis (for free), of course.

    Noting that armored killers weren't much better than Venom and that he should be taken in by the law, Darkhawk refused to cooperate. Darkhawk shielded himself and Venom from the collective assaults and then leapt to the attack, snaring 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. Sonic advised Laserworks that they just leave Darkhawk as they weren't being paid to get him.

    Darkhawk recovered and went after the Seekers, but when he tried to ambush them, their sensors warned them of his approach, and a series of assaults from the Seekers sent Darkhawk falling into the water below.

    While Laserworks contained Venom in a laser cage, Sonic and the other Seekers 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. Meanwhile, Venom extended a tendril through the laser cage.

(Darkhawk I#36 (fb) - BTS) - Venom caused Laserworks to drop him into the water as well.

(Darkhawk I#36 - BTS) - Darkhawk and Venom swam underwater, escaping to nearby shore.sonic-seekers-spdmfe2

(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. As Darkhawk's force field held off blasts from Chain Lightning and Fireball, Laserworks again nailed him in the back. 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 subsequently manipulated Chain Lightning and Laserworks into blasting and incapacitating each other. As the last two Seekers fell into the water, Darkhawk entered the building and helped his father get free.

    The police fished the Seekers out of the bay.sonic-seekers-sdmfe2-takeout

(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, and Sonic noted 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, and the other Metahumes made short work of the remaining Seekers.

Comments: Created by Danny Fingeroth and Tom Morgan.

    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 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 beatdown by Darkhawk and then were easily taken out by the neophyte Metahumes.

    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 did."
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.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Sonic
should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Iron Man I#214, pg. 5,  panel 5 (Seekers, standing, first demonstrated armor);
       pg. 18, panel 4 (Sonic's crab grabbing Iron Man);
Fantastic Four I#342, pg. 12, panel 5 (Seekers in flight);
       pg. 13, panel 1 (Sonic blasting Rusty Collins and Johnny Storm);
Amazing Spider-Man I#355, pg. 10, panel 2 (Seekers; second demonstrated armor);
          panel 5 (Sonic launching energy leecher);
Amazing Spider-Man I#358, pg. 10, panel 2-3 (Sonic, costume shattered, full; and face, profile);
Darkhawk I#36, pg. 2, panel 2 (Seekers; third demonstrated armor)
Spider-Man: Friends and Enemies#2, pg. 17, panel 1 (Seekers; group);
          panel 2 (taken out by Hardnose);
Iron Manual Mark 3: Seekers entry (main)


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: 01/20/2020
Last updated: 02/19/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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