Real Name: Ricky Rubberneck
Identity/Class: Human mutant
Occupation: School Boy
Enemies: Mr Snipe (teacher), Colonel Brimstone, Mr. Albert Thrashbottom (school headmaster)
Known Relatives: Unidentified father
Aliases: Frederick Akeley, the Boy with 100 Faces, the Boy with A Thousand Faces
Base of Operations: Belmonte School for Uncontrollable Young Whelps
First Appearance: Jet #1 (1st May 1971); Buster (1971-86?)
Powers/Abilities: Faceache is "the Boy of a Hundred Faces," able to transform his features by 'scrunging'. His shapeshifting extends beyond his face - other parts of his body can be transformed, . He can even grow additional body parts, from extra arms and legs, through additional eyes, and even heads. He can gain other superhuman abilities depending on how he transforms, such as being able to fly if he grows wings, tunneling at great speed by becoming mole-like, or turning his nose into gun-barrels to fire peas like a machinegun. He can also change size, shrinking down as small as a spider or growing to become a giant; when he does the latter, he gains superhuman strength.
By his own description, he claims he can "re-shuttle me atoms and distort meself," and he was "born with a bendable bonce, an' me skin's like stretch rubber."
History: Ricky Rubberneck was born with a "bendable bonce" and skin "like stretch rubber," allowing him to reshape himself in bizarre ways. Over the years his skill with this increased, until he could transform into increasingly non-human shapes, even gaining shape-appropriate superhuman powers.
Faceache used his powers for mischief, although he tended to be naughty rather than evil. Nevertheless, when his long-suffering father won the pools and decided to use some of the money to go on a world tour, he used the rest to enrol Faceache in a strict boarding school, the Belmonte School for Uncontrollable Young Whelps. After four years Faceache managed to get himself expelled, only to realise he had no home to return to, as he had not seen his father since the man departed overseas.
Comments: Created by Ken Reid. First appearing in Jet, Faceache transferred to Buster when Jet merged with that title. He lasted until the early 1990s, although later stories might have been reprints. Thanks to Billy Hicks for this information.
Faceache's real name was given as Ricky Rubberneck from the second panel of his first strip, but in time and with his move to Buster, his real name stopped being used. In the later Wildstorm (Time Warner-owned) comic Albion, which revived many old IPC / Fleetway characters, one of the prisoners of the superhuman gulag in Scotland is clearly meant to be Faceache, but neither this name nor Ricky Rubberneck is used. Instead, his real name was revealed to be Frederick Akeley; within the story, Albion established that the comic strip adventures of the characters were fictional accounts of their real life exploits with some details reproduced incorrectly or deliberately changed, so presumably Faceache being known as Ricky Rubberneck was one such falsehood. As it subsequently turned out, thanks to how the rights to characters were split when IPC and Fleetway were seperately sold off in the early 1990s, Time Warner didn't actually own Faceache, so not naming him explicitly proved fortunate, but I'm not sure that was why the real name was changed, as he wasn't the only character either of these details were true for. Albion also established the older Faceache as being in love with Martha of Martha's Monster Make-Up.
Having bought the rights to the old IPC back catalogue, Rebellion released a collection of Faceache stories in 2017, hopefully the first of many. It is highly recommended!
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
The Face, Golden Age hero
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
Back to General UK Comic Book Heroes.
Back to UK Superheroes Main Page.
All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.