Real Name: Rambu
Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (Aakon) cyborg
Group Membership: Formerly the Underground of Deneb IV
Affiliations: Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell), Fawn, Rick Jones;
formerly the General of the Underground of Deneb IV
Enemies: General, Kree, Null-Trons, Supreme Intelligence,
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: "Smilin' Sam" (from Rick Jones)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
perished aboard the Kree starship Star of Vengeance;
formerly active on Deneb IV;
possibly formerly Oorga, second from the sun in the Mira star system, Milky Way galaxy
First Appearance: (Foot only, unidentified) Captain Marvel I#41 (November, 1975);
(fully seen, identified) Captain Marvel I#46 (September, 1976)
Powers/Abilities: Rambu is a cyborg, with significant portions of his body composed of bionic implants to replace those damaged in combat. He had the most organic body parts of the rest of the Underground, but it is unrevealed what and how much of his body was organic vs. bionic.
His bionic nature likely provided him some degree of enhanced strength
and durability, and perhaps speed, etc., but his specific abilities
He did wear a helmet in space, presumably indicated that his organic head, at least, required air to breathe and was unsuited for the cold and vacuum of space.
He wore armor of an unrevealed composition (although that perhaps replaced his missing skin) that presumably provided additional durability to an unrevealed extent.Height: Unrevealed (approximately 6'; he is shown in proximity to the 6'2" Mar-Vell and 5'9" Rick Jones, but not in comparable positions; I would estimate Rambu at somewhere around 6', but that's the best I can figure out; the average Aakon height is 5'8")
(Captain Marvel I#44 (fb) - BTS) - Kree Null-Trons devastated the Kree frontier outpost Deneb IV.
(Captain Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - Rambu and others were dispatched to Deneb IV to fight against the Null-Trons.
(Captain Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - The Underground was formed on Deneb IV to rid their world of the Null-Trons.
Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - While the Underground's members were once
fully human, over time they gradually lost their mortal limbs and
had them replaced with cybernetics.
UEventually they were mostly machine.
Their General, aka the Head, had survived by having his head grafted to the body of a Null-Tron.
Rambu had the most organic parts remaining of all of the Underground.
(Captain Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - Seeking to absorb the Destiny Force (as it was later called) from Rick Jones, the Supreme Intelligence engineered an incredibly complex plot, including arranging for the General to obtain the Mind Gem and pit Captain Mar-Vell against his partner Jones. The Supreme Intelligence also increased the power to the Null-Trons to make their danger to Deneb IV more acute.
(Captain Marvel I#41) - Rambu tripped on loose soil, uncovering the Mind Infinity Gem (see comments).
(Captain Marvel I#45 (fb) - BTS) - Rambu showed the gem to the General, who said its strange power would be their salvation: No more new limbs, no more watching themselves becoming more and more machine.
(Captain Marvel I#44 - BTS) - After Captain Marvel arrived on Deneb IV with his unconscious partner, Rick Jones, he was assaulted and subdued by cyborgs -- presumably including a helmeted Rambu -- who brought him before the Head of the Underground. The General told Marvel that he wanted them both to not only join but to lead the Underground and in exchange, he would cure them of the disease he had discovered in Rick' brain as Rick and Mar-Vell's minds as they were merging into one.
(Captain Marvel I#45) - After Mar-Vell agreed to the General's offer, Rambu and others physically hurled Jones into the Mind Gem, and then Mar-Vell followed the General's instructions to follow him in or forfeit all hope.
(Captain Marvel I#45 - BTS) - Within the Mind Gem, Rick and Mar-Vell battled to preserve their own identities, and -- and, as the General had planned -- the Mind Gem transmitted the energies of their fight to the Underground who then assaulted the Null-Trons.
(Captain Marvel I#45) - Rambu met with the General, who noted that their people were rallying and that the two inside the gem were beginning to formulate battle strategies. When the General noted that they would at last be free of their eternal war, Rambu asked that he meant they would win and noted that he still had some pride. The General told him that his pride and humanity were nuisances, leading Rambu to reply that he had thought that they were fighting their war for humanity against the Kree death-devices, as that was the reason for which they had been dispatched there.
The General countered that they were dispatched there to die: While cyborgs were the elite, they were all expandable, although very slowly so. He further noted that as Mar-Vell and Jones fought, their war would become the Underground's war, indicating that when one of the two in the Mind Gem won, the Underground would win their war against the Null-Trons. Rambu questioned how the General knew which one would win, but the General replied that it did not matter which one won, as whatever the outcome, the war against the Null-Trons would be over. He clarified that whether they greeted the evening as conquerors or the conquered, they would know peace: That is what he promised and what he would deliver.
Rambu was outraged that his General had no concern whether they won or lost, but the General noted that while he was a cyborg and before that had been a organic being, now he was but a hybrid. The Head continued that he saw both sides in all things: Looking at man, he saw the working of his mind; looking at war, he saw one side's cause as clearly as the other's; and now he lacked the ability to choose between the two sides, and so he allowed others, like Mar-Vell and Jones, to make the choices for him. He concluded that while he had once fought by Rambu's side, now he fought not at all.
An enraged Rambu told the General that he had become everything Mar-Vell and Jones were fighting to avoid: "A double-sided, double-dealing, unprincipled mass of..." but the General swatted him away with one of its Null-Tron arms.
(Captain Marvel I#45 - BTS) - Mar-Vell and Jones' fierce battle led the Underground to gain the upper hand against the Null-Trons, until the two realized what they were doing to each other and paused, at which point the Underground and Null-Trons' struggles halted as well.
(Captain Marvel I#45) - As the General stared into Mind Gem, awaiting the next assault, which he knew would soon occur, Rambu struggled to his feet. Neither Rambu nor the General were aware that they were being watched by Fawn, which was some sort of mental construct of a woman created by Rick via his connection to the Nega-Band.
When Rambu began pounding on the Mind Gem, accusing "this soul gem" of being the cause of their misery, the assault was transmitted to both Mar-Vell and Jones inside the gem; and, through them, to the warring Underground and Null-Trons forces, who toppled to the ground.
Cursing the day he found the gem and brought it to the General, Rambu considered that the General could not stop him as he rectified his mistake. However, as he prepared to strike the gem with all of his might, he was interrupted by Fawn...she introduced herself and then noted that while her goal was to save Rick, it would save Rambu's cause as well.
Explaining only that her substance was not of Rambu's universe, Fawn told him that she could not enter the Mind Gem without his aid, and she asked him to take her inside. Her presence giving him understanding of what he needed to do, Rambu took Fawn's hand and dove into the Mind Gem, ignoring as the General cried out in impotent rage.
They arrived as Mar-Vell and Jones desperately fought to oppose their merging, as they were ironically drawing on the same power and progressively becoming one and the same. When Fawn noted that if Rick died, she would die as well, Rick heard her voice, and then Rambu physically pulled Mar-Vell and Rick apart, noting that while he cared nothing for either of them, the female must survive.
Although Rick tried to continue the fight, Fawn insisted that he would listen to her, and -- as she touched Mar-Vell -- she noted that due to the openness of Mar-Vell's mind now, he would listen to her, too. She then explained how they could continue to evolve with the changes they experienced rather than merging, and the two men made peace while Mar-Vell considered that the General had tricked him.
Fawn then led Rick Jones, Mar-Vell, and Rambu with her to escape "this jewel of madness and death."
(Captain Marvel I#46) - Wearing a spacesuit, Rambu accompanied Fawn, Rick, and Mar-Vell in the journey of "countless parsecs" (see comments) from Deneb IV go the Kree imperial homeworld, Hala. As they approached, they were confronted with the Kree imperial dreadnought the Star of Vengeance. They were further greeted by the Supreme Intelligence who told them that their little drama was ending its final act and that they had made their entrance on cue, although why he had brought along that "ox of a cyborg" with them was something of a mystery. The Intelligence then transported Mar-Vell down to Hala and Rick aboard the Star of Vengeance, leaving Rambu and Fawn in space.
(Captain Marvel I#46 - BTS) - The Supremors' powers were such that the Supreme Intelligence, Mar-Vell, and Rick all felt that each hero would have to draw on the full power of the Nega-Bands to defeat his opponent, meaning either one would be left powerless and easily slain, or both would perish if they fought the Supremors without the full power. Further, the Supreme Intelligence wished the battle to occupy the heroes until the Millennia Bloom flower fully bloomed, and its siren song would reach into the core of their being and consume everything that made them unique, leaving behind only a soul-less, pliant form that the Supreme Intelligence could mold into whatever it wanted him to be.
(Captain Marvel I#46) - As the Supreme Intelligence gloated that he was virtually guaranteed of success as long as some random, unseen factor did not screw things up, Rambu and Fawn entered the Star of Vengeance. Rambu wondered how she would find Jones in a vessel the size of a small planetoid, and Fawn explained that she could sense him in her mind. As Kree warriors blasted Rick after the Supremor had smashed him through a wall, Fawn cried out that Rick's pain was destroying her. After Fawn noted that she could help Rick but that she needed time, Rambu, still in his spacesuit, swooped down and assaulted the Kree warriors, promising "little Fawn" that he would buy her that time, though it cost him his life.
(Captain Marvel I#46 - BTS) - Fawn considered that if Rambu -- who was only half of a living being -- could give his life so willingly, then she -- who was no more than a dream -- could do no less. As a result, she blasted back the Supremor as it prepared to assault the stunned Rick; initially unable to see her, the Supremor reasoned that Jones had created Fawn by drawing on the power of the Nega-Band. Thusly sensing her, the Supremor fatally struck her down. Rick's distress distracted Mar-Vell, allowing his Supremor to strike him down, and the Supremor mocked that Fawn's influence had actually facilitated his success.
After the Supreme Intelligence noted its plan to force the Bloom-manipulated Jones to destroy Earth, the enraged Rick then drew on the Nega-Band's full force and savagely attacked his Supremor. Meanwhile, Mar-Vell used only his inherent power to fight off his Supremor long enough to instruct Rick to get to the missile control console and launch the missiles at Hala's sun. The Supreme Intelligence was forced to use its full power to enhance Hala's shields from the resultant sunflare, and he effectively short-circuited himself and every person and machine on Hala. The Supreme Intelligence was off-line for the first time in recorded history and the Kree on Hala were unconscious.
Rick subsequently rescued Mar-Vell, channeling his own accumulated power through the Nega-Bands to re-charge his life force. Noting that the Kree and the Supreme Intelligence would all recover in time, Mar-Vell departed with Rick back to Earth.
Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Al Milgrom, and Terry Austin.
Rambu is last seen assaulting multiple Kree soldiers to facilitate
Fawn's goals, noting "though it costs me my life." Though he is not
seen again, Fawn notes that "if <he> can give his life so
willingly..." The fact that she says, "give" instead of "risk" and that
she subsequently sacrifices her own existence after being inspired by
him strongly implies that Rambu indeed perished during his efforts.
But, as a diehard continuity fan, this is weak evidence that Rambu actually perished. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#3: Aakon entry noted that Rambu APPARENTLY sacrificed his life...
And, even if Rambu did perish, certainly his mind is imprinted on the Mind Gem/Stone, and he could reappear if a writer wished to make it happen.
Personally, as the whole Deneb IV, Null-Trons, and Underground army history is really vague, I would love to see a story that fleshed it out further.
And then there's the whole Deneb IV discussion you can find in the OK Space Station profile's comments. Short version...Deneb IV in this story is presumably NOT Zenn-La.
At the time, the Infinity Gems (which are now "Stones") were all just known as Soul Gems, and this was the second "Soul Gem" we had seen. Additionally, this gem was huge, like 3-4' in diameter.
Captain Marvel I#46 describes Rambu as "last of vanquished cyborg army."
I don't think we saw the Underground army after the last scene with Rambu striking the Mind Gem, but I wonder if this is meant to indicate that when the fight between Rick and Mar-Vell ceased or when they departed the Mind Gem that the cyborg army was caught unaware and wiped out by the Null-Trons.
Parsecs are about 3.26 light years, so I guess Mar-Vell, Rambu, and the others were accessing warp space to travel that distance in a timely fashion.
Rambu is confirmed to be so in the Aakon profile in the Official
Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#3: Aakon entry. We know
that the Rambu and the General at least were sent to Deneb IV.
Plus, take a look at the face of the Aakon main image's face compared to Rambu's face...
So, Rambu, the Millennia Bloom, and Fawn were all major sub-plots
during the Supreme Intelligence's way overly-convoluted plot where --
as far as I can tell -- his goal was to absorb Rick Jone's Destiny
Force power. Ultimately, their influence was minimal, but I guess it
was at least Rambu and Fawn's was enough. Rambu apparently died to give
Fawn time to save Rick, while Fawn's sacrifice drove Rick into a frenzy
that apparently led him to direct the missiles to Hala, which perhaps
he would have otherwise been reluctant to do?
The Bloom, on the otherhand...it's discussed in its own profile, but I'm not sure why Rick's actions prevented the Bloom from affecting Mar-Vell. What makes the most sense is that Rick's actions and/or the Supremor's response somehow closed the casing over the Millennia Bloom and prevented its effects...
Or, perhaps, whatever rendered the Kree on Hala unconscious -- presumably some psychic backlash from the Supreme Intelligence -- incapacitated the Millennia Bloom as well?
Those Fawn touched were driven to follow her instructions, and after Rambu encountered her, his every motivation was to protect her. Helping Rick and Mar-Vell was only a by-product of that.
I zoomed in on the image of Rambu flying in space, but the whole picture was really cool, so I'm including it here...
Profile by Snood.
Rambu should be distinguished from:
Captain Marvel I#41 (November, 1975) - Steve Englehart (plot/script), Al Milgrom (plot/pencils), Bernie Wrightson, Craig Russell, Bob McLeod, Terry Austin & Al Milgrom (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Captain Marvel I#44 (May, 1976) - Steve Englehart (writer), Al Milgrom (artist), Terry Austin (finishes), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Captain Marvel I#45 (July, 1976) - Steve Englehart (writer), Al Milgrom (artist), Terry Austin (finishes), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Captain Marvel I#46 (September, 1976) - Chris Claremont (script), Steve Englehart (co-plot), Al Milgrom (co-plot/breakdowns), Terry Austin (finishes), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update#3: Aakon entry (October, 2010) - Jeff Christiansen (head writer/coordinator), Mike O'Sullivan, Stuart Vandal, Markus Raymond & Mike Fichera (assistant coordinators), Mike O'Sullivan, Stuart Vandal, Sean McQuaid, Michael Hoskin, Madison Carter, Markus Raymond, Rob London, Kevin Garcia, Chris Biggs, Jacob Rougemont & Ronald Byrd (writers), Gus Vasquez & Tom Chu (select character artwork), Theodore W. Kutt (copy editor), Alex Starbuck & Nelson Ribeiro (assistant editors), Jennifer Grunwald & Mark D. Beazley (editors, special projects), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
First posted: 02/21/2023
Last updated: 03/03/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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