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Youth

Jefferson Hercules Archer was the son of Kathleen and Sidney Archer, two truckers, and the elder brother of Ulysses Solomon (US) Archer. Jefferson used to humiliate his brother and beat him over any reason.

When both of their parents died in a wreck, Jefferson, who was merely a passing student, became a truck drive to pay the bills while US went to college, causing Jefferson to grow resentment at giving up his dreams, who eventually turned into hatred.

Seeking supernatural means to recapture his youth, he was rejecting both by the Ancient One and Aged Genghis.[2]

The "Aliens"

The extraterrestrial Aliens came to Earth looking for starship pilots among truckers (feeling their experience with solitude would prepare them for space). They sought US but recruited Jefferson (all humans looking the same to them). They outfitted his truck with advanced technology and trained him in its use for years.[2]

The Highwayman

Worrying the Aliens would eventually realize their mistake, Jefferson tried to distance himself his brother by establishing the Highwayman identity, naming his truck the Blackrig, and circulated rumors that his abilities came from demons,[2] while faking his own death.[1] His story was told with the following elements:

A trucker, he used to go through the country, and passed through the Hainesville Woods of Maine, Texarkana, Kentucky, Milwaukee, and from a coast to the other. As he grew older, he lost more and more jobs to younger truckers, who could sleep less and drive longer. After trying pills and praying, he turned towards a demon with who he made a deal. From then, he could travel the country without ever needing rest and never knowing fear. He even hauled dynamite through the mountains of Peru and diamonds over the ice roads of the Yukon.Milwaukee, and from a coast to the other. The more he drove and the less human he was, and he eventually became the Highwayman.[3]

Sharing a ride with US, Jefferspn tried to kill his brother by running him off the road,[4] and survived as expected, while US was saved by the Aliens who suspected to have made a mistake.

Competing with US

As the Aliens were reluctant to discard their efforts on him, Jefferson convinced them to let him prove he was superior to US. The Aliens replaced US' damaged skull with metal that allowed him to pick up and transmit Citizens' Band radio transmissions, in order to even the competition.[2]

...[5][6][7][8][9][2]

In the race to be the trucker for the Aliens, he tried to ram his brother, but missed and crashed into the Moon.[10] The Aliens then choice US while returning Jefferson back to Earth.[2]

Deal with Satan

Back on Earth, the Highwayman was presumably inspired by his own false origin story, and contacted "Satan", who transformed him and gave him a new, living, Blackrig.[2]

During the administration of Norman Osborn as director of H.A.M.M.E.R., Quasimodo created an index of potential assets, and considered him to be of use, with a low expandability, for his space travelling abilities.[1] Quasimodo seemingly didn't knew of his demonic abilities.

For "Satan", he performed dark deeds, "hauling the Devil's loads", "harvesting souls for his dark master", and it was said he took "the head of any poor fool unlucky enough to cross his path" (whom he fed to the demons in his trailer). The tale of his origin was told among truckers, with various reactions.

Among his victims were Frankie Penwald (allegedly), and all the staff and clients of the Laughin' Armadillo gas station and truck service dinner (including "J.D." and "Big Ed"), and the Alien Abductee Express bus.

Right after having killed them, he was found by Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch) and the two engaged in battle until Danny beheaded the Highwayman and burned his head.[3] Jefferson reconstructed himself with days.[2]

Highwayman Trucking Corporation

The next month, he was running the Highwayman Trucking Corporation. As his brother returned from space and needed a job, Jeff sent him on suicide missions, such as transporting hyperspace combustion manifolds with Deadpool as partner. Jeff had genetically-engineered raccoons with guns to attack the convoy in order to steal the shipment and collect the insurance. After Deadpool destroyed the trucks accidentally, the Highwayman proposed U.S. to ship dead souls out of Hell via a melting ice bridge built by Beelzebub (which U.S. preferred over staying partner with Deadpool).[11] He allegedly had a new rig on credit.[12]

The Highwayman was later hired by the Ozarks Kingpin to transport a damaged Rigellian Recorder sold by Deadpool, with an escort from the Mercs for Money.[13]

The truck was attacked by the Hand, Big Wheel, the Orb, Slayback, whom they all dispatched. At the next truck stop, Antos', the Highwayman thought no attackers would come due to the place being like "holy ground" thanks to the law of the road. There, Taskmaster, the Zapata Brothers and Bruiser attacked them. The Highwayman was saved from the Zapata Brothers by the timely intervention of Slapstick. He ended the brawl by knocking out the last opponent, Bruiser, using his rig. Evil Deadpool used that fight to infiltrate the trailer and make contact with the Rigellian Recorder, his boss.[12]

The convoy eventually reach Ozarks to deliver the Recorder, but while discussing with the Ozarks Kingpin, the Crazy Gang attacked at his turn. Deadpool decided to blow up the recorder, and the Highwayman's rig in the process.[14]

Power Grid [16]
Intelligence
 2
Strength
Speed*
 3
 2
Durability
Energy Projection
 1
Fighting Skills
 2
* Heightened speed in Blackrig

Powers

Due to his status of demonic entity, he lacks the normal human needs and weaknesses.

He has enhanced strength.[2]

If beheaded, the Highwayman can eight fingers from his neck to move [3] and reattach himself to his neck. He can also repair shattered bones and regrow flesh at will.[2]




Equipment

He possessed audiotape of Jerry Reed, Dick Curless, Dave Dudley, Red Sovine and C.W. McCall.[3]

Transportation

"Bertha", the Black Rig,[3] or Bessie, the Blackrig. It can heal from some injuries, ride up or down sheer cliffs, fly, and travel at hundreds of mph, at least.[2] Its trailer was filled with voracious demons.[3]

He previously had another Blackrig who responded to his mental commands, flew (and was briefly adapted for space travel) and formed electro-force fields. It was suited with durable and pucture-resistant tires.[2]

  • Jefferson was a believer, formerly praying (presumably as a Christian), but now hail to Satan.[3]
  • The Highwayman has been confused for a Vampire in recent issues: He was described as a "Vampire Trucker",[13] and the Zapata Brothers stated they had developed vampire-slaying finishing moves while talking about achieving him.[12]

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