The Badge

Real Name: Roger Ryan

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: Cop;
former gangster

Affiliations: Trooper (sidekick), Bobbie (sidekick), Knights of Justice

Enemies: Dr. Cadaver, the Yellow Peril

Known Relatives: Robert (The Badge, twin brother, deceased), Rick (Trooper, nephew), Roberta (Bobbie, niece), unidentified wife, unidentified children

Aliases: Supreme Allied Commando

Base of Operations: Mobile

First Appearance: Big Bang #1 (Calibre)

Powers/Abilities: Superhuman strength, agility and senses.

History: Earth A, circa 1940. In response to the growing number of "Mystery Men" taking the law into their own hands, F.B.I. chief, J. Edgar Hoover decides to set up the elite Badge Unit.

The plan was to create a special force of costumed "super-cops", drawn from the ranks of the F.B.I.and the police. Aside from intensive training, each member would be given a dose of the "Ubermann" formula (stolen from the Nazis by the O.S.S.), similar to the potion that created the Blitz.

An honest New York cop called Robert Ryan was accepted for the programme, boasting to his twin brother Roger that the $500.00 bonus would allow him to put his children, Rick and Roberta, through college. Roger Ryan, a small time gangster, boasted that his suits cost more than $500.00.

The "Ubermann" formula turns out to be more powerful than anyone realised, as Robert was the only one of 475 volunteers to survive. He emerged "stronger, faster, more agile and with keener senses than any normal man or woman". He was given the protoype blue uniform, with emblem and matching bullet-proof shield in the form of a gold police badge, as well as the distinctive letter "B" on his mask.

His first case involved busting up a gang that turned out to include his brother. During the ensuing fight, Roger was accidentally gunned down by his own pals. The Badge quickly knocked out and tied up the rest of the gang, then rushed his brother to a doctor's office nearby. As only an immediate blood tranfusion could save Roger's life, the Badge volunteered, explaining that they were twins and had the same blood type.

No sooner had the transfusion been completed, when two of the escaped gangsters burst in, having followed the trail of blood. They shot the Badge and the doctor dead on the spot. When they unmasked the Badge, they realised that he saved Roger's life because he was his twin, and wrongly assumed that Roger was a stool pigeon. Defending himself from their attack, Roger accidently killed his former pals with the super strength he had gained from the blood transfusion.

Taking the uniform and shield, Roger vowed to become a force for good as the new Badge. He soon made many enemies in the underworld, such as as the zombie scientist, Dr Cadaver and the Nazi spy, the Yellow Peril. Not only that, the Feds were after him too, as they had no idea who stole the Badge gear. He was soon joined by two sidekicks, Trooper and Bobbie, who were actually his brother's children decked out in contrasting blue/red and red/blue costumes. He refered to them as his "Rookies".

During WWII, the Badge was sent to Europe by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, changing his colour scheme to red, white and blue and adopting the new identity of the Supreme Allied Commando. On the home front, Trooper and Bobbie continue to fight crime with the aid of a street gang called the Shoeshine Squadron. After the war, the Badge resumed his old identity and he and the Rookies spent the next 10 years fighting various Commie foes. In 1955, the Badge was seemingly killed in an explosion that crippled Trooper, confining him to a wheelchair.

In reality the explosion did not kill Roger, but instead projected him into the parallel world of Earth B (where it was 1935). With no criminal past to haunt him, Roger Ryan became a police officer and continued his career as the Badge. He joined the Knights of Justice and even got married and had two kids. Thus, Roger Ryan becomes the only person to be the same Golden Age hero on both Earths A and B.

Meanwhile, back on Earth A, ten years past. A grown up Roberta Ryan was now "Agent of B.A.D.G.E. (Bureau for Advanced Defense and Global Espionage) while her brother Rick was now her boss. Rick was able to use advanced technology to temporarily take control of an android body, decked out in the Badge uniform, becoming the new Badge. The android was later replaced by a healthy clone body, grown from Rick's cells. Eventually, the mental transfer into the clone body becomes permanent and Rick leaves his wheelchair behind for good. He joined the Round Table of America, eventually becoming their leader. On a visit to Earth B, he met that world's Badge, learning the true fate of his "deceased" uncle. Not wishing to leave his new home, Roger happily allowed his nephew to remain the Badge of Earth A.

The Badge and TrooperComments: Thanks to Chris Adams for images and the above profile. Chris notes that:

Although The Badge, Trooper and Bobbie appear in several stories (starting with the original Big Bang #1 published by Calibre) no actual origin story has ever been published. The above account is condensed from a lengthy text feature in Big Bang #24.

The Golden Age Badge is a seamless blend of the two classic Simon and Kirby heroes, Captain America and The Guardian. (Trooper is a dead ringer for Bucky and the Shoeshine Squadron resemble the Newsboy Legion). The Silver Age Badge borrows elements from The Man From U.N.C.L.E, The T.U.N.D.E.R Agents, and of course Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

There are also references (some of which may be co-incidental) to other heroes:

Reformed criminal hiding his true identity as a policeman = Plastic Man; powers gained via a blood transfusion from a close relative = She Hulk; brother killed on first mission = NOW Comics Green Hornet; aided by late brother's children = The Lone Ranger.

(The Golden Age Blitz had a girlfriend called Speed Queen, who got her powers when her gave her an emergency blood transfusion. The WWII Marvel heroine Spitfire got her speed powers after a blood transfusion from the original android Human Torch.)

The Badge's time trip 20 years into the past mirrors Captain America's 20 year hibernation in an iceberg.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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