The Torpedo[Image stolen from Jeanne Burch's Second-Stringers of Marvel Comics.]
Name: Brock Jones
Former Aliases: None
Identity: Secret, except to his family and some residents of Clairton, WV
Occupation at Death: High school football coach (former professional football player and Delmar Insurance Company vice-president)
Known Relatives: Lorraine "Lorry" (wife), Annie (daughter), Daniel "Danny" (son), Nell (daughter), Maggie Jones (sister), [Susan] "Suzy" (sister-in-law, last name unknown), Philip Jeffries (either first cousin or first cousin's husband), Michael Jeffries, Maggie Jeffries (first cousins once removed)
Legal Status: U.S. citizen (deceased)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations at Death: Clairton, West Virginia (formerly New York City, NY)
Weight: 220 lbs.
History: Brock Jones, a former professional football quarterback, had become disenchanted with his job as an executive at Delmar Insurance. He happened to be nearby when a battle between the previous Torpedo, Michael Stivak, and Daredevil broke out. In the midst of the battle, the Torpedo toppled a large portion of a building, crushing himself. Jones rescued the dying Stivak from the rubble. Stivak made him promise to finish his mission of making sure all plans to the Torpedo suit were destroyed and then died. Jones exchanged his clothes for Stivak's Torpedo armor. It was then that Daredevil caught up to the scene. Daredevil had not been able to hear Stivak's heartbeat over the sound of the Torpedo suit turbines and, since he's blind, could not see that Jones' hair was blond instead of gray, like Stivak's, so the two fought (Daredevil vol. 1, #126).
After retreating, Jones reviewed what he had learned. Michael Stivak's relatives in America had offered to pay his way out of Yugoslavia if he used his genius to create a battle suit. He was told the suits would be used for national defense, and agreed. Upon arriving in the U.S., he felt that his relatives were acting crazy and found out they intended to use the suits to conquer America. [It is possible Stivak's relatives had been replaced by Dire Wraiths.] Stivak created an inferior version of the Torpedo suit, called the Rocketeer suit, in an effort to fool his family, but it didn't work. When Stivak completed the Torpedo suit, he used it to flee. In order to keep his family from duplicating the suit, Stivak had destroyed his own copy of the plans, plus a second copy he knew was kept in a safe deposit box at a bank owned by his family. It was just after destroying the latter that his fight with Daredevil took place. Stivak was unsure if his family possessed a third copy or not.
Jones next flew to the unoccupied home of Michael Stivak's uncle, Senator Eugene Stivak. He began searching the mansion to make sure a third copy of the plans wasn't hidden in it. While Jones searched, Daredevil arrived and the two fought again. Their fight led them to a suburban area where they nearly destroyed an occuppied home. The lady of the house's screams for them to stop brought them to their senses. Jones gave Daredevil some papers that proved his story and flew off (Daredevil vol. 1, #127).
Upon returning, Senator Stivak began efforts to reclaim the Torpedo suit since all plans for it had been destroyed. He sent bands of men out, dubbed Rocketeers, wearing the inferior versions of the Torpedo suit. Eventually Jones faced Senator Stivak himself. Jones accidentally activated a self-destruct mechanism and the senator's mansion was destroyed, along with much of the equipment and information he was going to use in his conquest bid (Marvel Premiere #39-40). Although Senator Stivak survived the encounter, he died shortly thereafter.
Jones had a few other recorded outings as the Torpedo, during which he faced the Chameleon and other foes. One night, however, a group of Rocketeers attacked Jones at his home. While fighting them, Jones accidentally killed one, but the body turned to ash. Not understanding what this meant and concerned about his family, Jones moved them from New York to Clairton, West Virginia. Shortly thereafter, he encountered Rom. Mistaking him for a new kind of Rocketeer, the two fought. The Torpedo eventually learned the Rom was not his enemy and the two teamed up against the Dire Wraith Rocketeers who showed up shortly thereafter (Rom #21-22).
After the Rocketeers were defeated, Rom felt the Torpedo could keep watch of Clairton while he returned to Galador. Upon returning, Rom again left Clairton to the Torpedo's care while he traveled the world in search of Dire Wraiths. Before he left, he modified the Torpedo's visor to allow him to see through Wraith disguises.
Unfortunately, shortly afterwards, the sorcerous, female Wraiths rose up against the technology-oriented, male Wraiths. The female Wraiths came up with a plot against Clairton and used their magic to prevent Jones' mind from accepting what his visor showed him. A Wraith then killed Jones and took the Torpedo suit so it could impersonate him. The Wraith was itself killed by a group of Skrulls and Jones' house was set ablaze. Jones' family managed to escape (Rom #50).
(Brock Jones' spirit, along with other fallen heroes, was later temporarily activated to help Dark Angel find her father's soul in the a realm of the afterlife (Dark Angel #6).)
It is unknown what happened to the remaining Jones family after that. The Torpedo suit was sent in a trunk with some of Brock's other belongings to his cousins, the Jeffries. Young Mike Jeffries later found the suit and, not knowing what it really was, convinced his friend Michiko "Mickey" Musashi to wear it to a costume party. When a group of Rocketeers attacked, Mickey beat them using the suit (New Warriors #73). The two later became part of the New Warriors, sharing the suit and going by the name of Turbo.
Volx, queen mother of the Dire Wraiths, later came to Earth and learned of the suit. She showed up at the Jeffries disguised as Daniel Jones, Brock Jones' son, demanding the suit back. It is unknown if Volx actually tracked down the Jones and killed them or not. Volx did kill Mike, but she was subsequently killed by the New Warriors (New Warriors #73-75). Mickey Musashi continues fighting evil as Turbo, in part to honor Mike Jeffries' memory.
Powers: Jones had no superhuman powers. All powers were derived from the Torpedo suit. As a former professional football player, he was in better shape than the average person.
Paraphernalia: Jones wore the Torpedo suit, constructed by Michael Stivak using Dire Wraith and Earth technologies and designed to go up against Galadorian Spaceknights. The suit contains four nuclear-powered turbines on the wrists and ankles which allows its wearer to fly at super-sonic speeds and throw superhuman punches. It also disperses energy attacks. Thanks to a modification by Rom, the visor allows the wearer to see through Dire Wraith disguises. Unknown to Jones, the suit also has limited shape-shifting abilities that respond to the wearer's thoughts. This power was discovered somewhat recently by Mickey Musashi.
Goals and Motivations: Jones' initial motivation for donning the Torpedo suit was to again experience the fame and adulation that comes with being a hero, as he had when he was a football player. He also enjoyed the break it allowed him to take from the boredom of being an insurance executive. After fighting a group of Rocketeers who had traced him to his home, however, he became primarily concerned with protecting his family, and later his neighbors in Clairton.
This chronology of the Torpedo was taken from Russ Chappell's Marvel Chronology Project.
Daredevil vol. 1, #126
Daredevil vol. 1, #127
Daredevil vol. 1, #134
Marvel Premiere #39
Marvel Premiere #40
Defenders vol. 1, #62
Defenders vol. 1, #63
Defenders vol. 1, #64
Machine Man #19
Marvel Team-Up Annual #3
Machine Man #19
Rom #21 - Flashback
Rom #29 - Flashback
Rom #28 - Flashback
Rom #29 - Flashback
Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #279
Contest of Champions #1
Contest of Champions #2 - Behind the scenes
Contest of Champions #3 - Behind the scenes
Comic Book Errors
- Several issues of Rom:
- The Torpedo's older daughter has been called both Annie and Tammy Jones. I have yet to sit down and research which one is "correct."
- More to be done.