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Early Life

Antonio Rodriguez was born in San Antonio, Texas. Not much is known about his life other than he had a criminal record and a wife named Maria Bonita Rodriguez. His wife critically stricken with an undiagnosed disease, Rodriguez took her to every doctor who would see her, but none was able to help her.[1]

Armadillo

Antonio Rodriguez (Earth-616) from Captain America Vol 1 308 0003

Being turned into the Armadillo.[1]

In desperation, Rodriguez sought the criminal scientist Dr. Karlin Malus, an expert in the generation and bestowal of superhuman powers, whom he heard about while in prison. Malus agreed to try to cure her in exchange for Rodriguez agreeing to become his test subject and employee for an indefinite period of time. Malus subjected Rodriguez to an experimental process that combined genetic material from an armadillo with the man's human genes. Dubbing Rodriguez the Armadillo he assigned him to break into the Avengers' West Coast compound to steal the comatose body of the villain Goliath, a former subject of Malus who was being held there. Malus provided Armadillo with a serum to reduce Goliath's immense body to something he could transport discretely.[1]

Antonio Rodriguez (Earth-616) from Captain America Vol 1 308 0001

Armadillo[1]

Rodriguez agreed but found himself in combat with the visiting Avenger, Captain America. Although physically superior, Rodriguez lost due to Captain America's superior combat skills. Trapped in a net by Captain America, Armadillo decided to explain his situation (after all, he had been talking about a "life or death situation" during all the fight). Taking compassion on the Armadillo's plight, Captain America refused to turn him over to the authorities.Armadillo had to leave because during the fight he had lost the serum. Captain America suggested that Armadillo could ask Malus for more serum; however, Captain America wanted to follow Armadillo to Malus' hide-out. There, Captain America injured Malus. Malus ordered Armadillo to attack Captain America, but Captain America advised Armadillo not to; as they could inadvertently damage some artifact that may be vital for Bonita.

Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation

After Malus cured Bonita, Rodriguez then joined the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation. The Armadillo became a major draw for the UCWF, and remained in his monstrous form to earn money for himself and his wife. Armadillo's manager was Lennie J. Feitler. He became a fan favorite and his victory over Doc Sawbones was seen by Captain America himself.[2][3]

When Rodriguez discovered Bonita was seeing another man, a person called Ramon, he went on a grief-stricken rampage, attacking even Feitler and Captain America, that was halted only when he jumped from the side of the Empire State Building. Gravely injured, he was reprimanded to police custody.[4][5]

Armor Wars

Rodriguez served time in the super-villain correctional facility known as the Vault. Truly repentant, he awaited for parole. During the Armor Wars, and due to Iron Man attack on the Vault, the center suffered a power outage and many prisoners were freed from their cells. Armadillo tried to run away alongside fellow runaways Mister Hyde and Titania. However, she considered that Armadillo could slow the group and knock him away. Armadillo eventually escaped on his own, finding Captain America's van and a person protecting it: Vagabond, one of Captain America's allies. Vagabond convinced Armadillo to surrender willingly and return to the Vault. She also convinced him to abandon his original scheme to get revenge on his unfaithful wife.[6]

Years later, Loki in disguised appeared in the Vault to help the Wizard escape from the Vault. To do so, he set loose all of the prisoners. Iron Man tried to stop them, and he was attacked by many of the prisoners, including Armadillo. Eventually, Armadillo escaped the Vault before Iron Man could seal it off. He was then summoned from his current moment by Isbisa, a super-villain with time-control powers. Isbisa wanted to distract the She-Hulk with some villains, including Caliban, Jack O'Lantern, Juggernaut, Master Mold, Rhino and Sabretooth - but the villains attacked each other instead of She-Hulk, and so Isbisa could be easily defeated. The villains returned to the moment they were taken from.[7][8]

During the Acts of Vengeance, Armadillo fell under the mind control of Doctor Doom and was ordered, alongside many other villains, to attack the Fantastic Four in Washington, D.C. while they were giving a speech to Congress. Armadillo and his pals were defeated by The Thing, Human Torch and the She-Thing. Armadillo was sent back to the Vault.[9][10]

Again at his cell on the Vault, Armadillo decided he should remain in prison, serving his sentence. Venom engineered a new breakout from the Vault, but Armadillo did not support it. Alongside with Rhino and the Scarecrow, Armadillo fought Venom's allies Klaw and the Controller - being soundly defeated. Armadillo tried to escape from the Vault during the following massive-breakout-used-as-diversion, this time engineered by the Thunderbolts as a means to free Moonstone. Later, he claimed to be trying to stop the escapees instead of escaping himself, and was convincing enough. He was released under parole.[11][12]

Ultimate Fighting League

Antonio Rodriguez (Earth-616) from Thunderbolts Vol 1 76 0001

Ultimate Fighter.[13]

Finally, Armadillo was contacted by Rey Trueno, owner of the Jersey branch of the Ultimate Fighting League. Armadillo trained under Coach Cody and became the regional champion in this new version of his former job. As a champion, he defeated a fighter know as Monster. However, he was mocked by the fans due to his monstrous aspect.Looking for a new champion who could be more marketing-appealing, Rey hired Daniel Axum, formerly known as the villain Battler, and began grooming him. Coach Cady did not help Armadillo to prepare his fight with Axum. During the match, Armadillo felt betrayed and tried to kill Axum, but Axum won the fight and became the new champion.Armadillo was left alone and became a beggar outside the building, ignored by his former partners. Axum saw him and bought him fast food. They talked and Axum discovered that Armadillo did not really hate him or any of the people who had defeated him. Armadillo was grateful to be alive and optimistic that the good times would come soon. With this speech, Armadillo unwittingly convinced Axum to stop his own plans for revenge against Spider-Man.[13]

Hercules

However, Armadillo worked again with super-villains Constrictor and Jack O'Lantern to rob an armored vehicle. They were defeated by Hercules and Armadillo was sent to the Raft.[14]

New Warriors

Electro assaulted the Raft to release Sauron, and Armadillo was released from his cell - however, he was still chained to another prisoner, Tiger Shark. Spider-Man and Captain America went to the Raft to investigate the situation, and the prisoners, including Armadillo, battled them. Armadillo and Tiger Shark later escaped from the Raft and hide in Fairbury, Illinois. There, he was identified by super-hero Speedball (of the New Warriors) posing as a pizza-boy. Not wanting to return to prison, Armadillo attacked. Armadillo was knocked down during the fight with the New Warriors, and rolled into a ball shape; Tiger Shark used him as a living mace. However, the New Warriors also defeated Tiger Shark, and the villains were re-imprisoned.[15]

Civil War

During the Civil War, he was spotted at the funeral of Stilt-Man.[16] After poisoning the guests, the Punisher blew up the Bar with No Name in which the wake had been held. They all had to get their stomachs pumped and were treated for third-degree burns.[17]

The Consultant

Around this time, he was seen entering the office of The Consultant, a criminal PR agent of sorts who improves the reputation and occasionally powers of super-villains. Upon Armadillo's entering his office, the Consultant asked his secretary to cancel the rest of his appointments for the afternoon as he anticipated a lot of work improving Armadillo's image. [18]

The Rangers

Rangers (Earth-616) from Avengers The Initiative Vol 1 2 001

As a member of the Rangers.[19]

The Armadillo later took part in the Fifty State Initiative, as a member of Texas's superhero team, the Rangers. However, he quickly decided he was not cut out to be a hero and quit.[19][20]

MODOK's 11

He did lucha libre wrestling in Mexico for small cash, and was eventually recruited by M.O.D.O.K..[21][22] After being one of the few villains who did not betray M.O.D.O.K., Armadillo earned more money than initially promised. He happily departed with Puma and Nightshade, with whom he'd developed a friendship, and showed a desire for them to remain as a team.[23][24][25]

The Hood

The Hood hired him as part of his criminal organization to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act.[26] [27][28]Armadillo was incarcerated at The Raft next to Doctor Doom prior to the breakout during the Skrull Invasion.[29]

Incredible Hulks

The Incredible Hulks came upon a militia assaulting Armadillo. While the Hulk goes head-to-head with him, She-Hulk goes into town to investigate. She learns from one man that he heard of the Vill-Kill Korps, who pay for the location of superhumans and jumped at the offer. She-Hulk goes out onto the field to diffuse the situation. She tells Armadillo that though he's a wanted felon and attempted reformee, he should stay in the village and help out; in return, she may one day represent him in court. She then turns to the Vill-Kill Korps, telling them to leave.[30]

Antonio Rodriguez (Earth-616) from Scarlet Spider Vol 2 16

X-Men

After the Avengers vs. X-Men confict, a riot started into the prison, and the only heroes able to came repress it were Rogue and Mimic. Quickly outnumbered, Equinox, Man-Bull and himself offered to share their powers with them in order to defeat their fellows inmates.[31][32]

Eventually he showed up in Texas drunk and tried to impress the girlfriend he made while he was a member of the Rangers. The Scarlet Spider engaged the drunk villain but his ex-girlfriend came out of the audience and convinced him to stop and that she still had feelings for him.[33]

Sinister Sixteen

Antonio Rodriguez (Earth-616) from Fantastic Four Vol 5 9 0001

Fighting The Thing.[34]

Boomerang recruited a small army of super-villains with the help of Owl's connections and calling it the "Sinister Sixteen."[35] The team eventually broke up after Boomerang had thoroughly screwed everyone over, including himself.[36] Armadillo, working for She-Thing, was next seen attacking the Thing while they were both imprisoned at the Power House.[34][37]

Hydra

Armadillo later joined Hydra after Baron Zemo promised to cure his condition in exchange for his allegiance. He took part in Hydra's plot to sterilize the human race by using Inhuman blood, but betrayed Zemo after Sam Wilson, the new Captain America, told Armadillo that by serving Hydra, he'd be trading his soul and humanity just to be cured.[38]

Sons of the Serpent

Armadillo was later revealed to have been hired by Dr. Karl Malus in exchange for a cure to his condition. He aided the Sons of the Sperent in a trafficking plot to ship illegal immigrants for a genetic experiment conducted by Karl Malus and fought Captain America. During the fight, Armadillo expressed his anger and frustration on Sam for not keeping his promise to cure him.[39]

Powers

Superhuman Strength: Armadillo is superhumanly strong and is capable of lifting about 25 tons.

Superhuman Stamina: Armadillo's advanced musculature generates consideraly bless fatigue toxins than the muscles of an ordinary human. He can exert himself at peak capacity for aobut 24 hours before fatigue begings to impair him.

Superhuman Durability: Armadillo's thickly scaled body possesses a high degree of resistance to injury. His body is capable of resisting high caliber machine gun shells, light anti-tank weaponry, temperature extremes, falls from great heights, and powerful energy blasts without sustaining injury.

Claws: Armadillo's four fingers end with extremely durable, non-retractable, claws. Coupled with his strength, his claws are capable of rending most known materials. They are also highly effective digging tools that he uses to dig tunnels, even though concrete.

Abilities

Armadillo is a formidable hand to hand combatant, relying on a combination of street fighting and wrestling techniques that allow him to make full use of his size and strength.

Strength level

Armadillo is superhumanly strong and is capable of lifting about 25 tons.



Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Captain America #308
  2. Thunderbolts Annual #1997
  3. Deadline #2
  4. Captain America #316
  5. Captain America #340
  6. Venom: Deathtrap: The Vault #1
  7. New Avengers #2
  8. New Avengers #4
  9. Fantastic Four #336
  10. Avengers Spotlight #26
  11. Spider-Man: Breakout #1
  12. Spider-Man: Breakout #3
  13. 13.0 13.1 Thunderbolts #76
  14. She-Hulk #9
  15. New Warriors Vol 3 #1
  16. Civil War #7
  17. Punisher War Journal Vol 2 #4
  18. Underworld #5
  19. 19.0 19.1 Avengers: The Initiative #2
  20. Civil War Battle Damage Report #1
  21. Super-Villain Team-Up MODOK's 11 #1
  22. Super-Villain Team-Up MODOK's 11 #2
  23. Super-Villain Team-Up MODOK's 11 #3
  24. Super-Villain Team-Up MODOK's 11 #4
  25. Super-Villain Team-Up MODOK's 11 #5
  26. New Avengers #35
  27. Dark Reign: The Cabal #1
  28. Dark Reign: The Hood #2
  29. New Avengers #56
  30. Incredible Hulks #616
  31. X-Men: Legacy #275
  32. X-Men: To Serve and Protect #4
  33. Scarlet Spider Vol 2 #16
  34. 34.0 34.1 Fantastic Four Vol 5 #9
  35. The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #12
  36. The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #13
  37. Fantastic Four Vol 5 #12
  38. All-New Captain America #1-4
  39. Captain America: Sam Wilson #2
  40. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #1
  41. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Vol 1



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