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Rocky X

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Rocky X
Rocky X

Real Name

William "Rocky" Rockwell

First Appearance

Boy Comics #80 (1952)

Original Publisher

Lev Gleason

Created by

Charles Biro and Norman Maurer

Golden Age Origin

William "Rocky" Rockwell was an FBI agent who served as the leader of the Rocketeers - an elite 24-member group of space pilots that were originally assembled for the first American mission to the Moon. Shortly after he became an agent, he and his best friend, Simpson "Simpy" Smith, were assigned to protect Dr Frank Liebert, an American rocket scientist who invented the original rockets for the above-mentioned moon mission. During the course of his assignment, Rocky distinguished himself when he discovered that Senator Jaynes' secretary was a foreign spy who was trying to discredit Dr Liebert and steal a copy his moon rocket blueprints. Although the spy escaped, Dr. Liebert was impressed with the young FBI agent, and Rocky and Simpy were allowed to continue to serve as his bodyguards.

The possibility that the spy was able to smuggle out the rocket plans prompted the American government to accelerate the construction of Dr. Liebert's moon rocket. As the development proceeded at a breakneck pace, the head of "Department of Space Medicine" expressed reservations about sending men into space, feeling that only young men with certain physical and mental attitude would be able to withstand the rigors of space travel. With Dr. Liebert's permission, he tested on Rocky and discovered that the young agent fit those requirements. With Dr. Libert's blessing, Rocky recruited a group of young men (ages 18-24) who were similarly fit. He became the leader of the newly minted Rocketeers, with Simpy serving as his second-in-command.

For security reasons, all members of the Rocketeers were assigned codenames. Rocky became Rocky X, while Simpy became Simpson G.

After the first mission to the moon proved to be a success, Rocketeers continued to explore space and fight Eastern block agents and other threats to the American space program. In Boy Comics #89-93, Rocky X and the Rocketeers fought off an alien invasion led by the Claw.

In Boy Comics #100, Rocky and Simpy were reassigned the Korean peninsula to help the American military maintain the fragile armistice between the two Koreas. Many of their missions required them to go undercover as the members of the military. As time went on, it seemed like the writers were increasingly less likely to acknowledge that they were supposed to be FBI agents. In their last appearance in Boy Comics #118, they were treated as ordinary grunts.

Rocky X Timeline Contradictions

Boy Comics weren't consistent about what time Rocky X stories were supposed to take place. The early stories seemed to have taken place in the near future relative to the time of publication (in other words, sometime in mid-late 1950s). The stories from issue 100 onward take place within a similar timeframe. However, many of the stories contained evidence that suggested that they took place further in the future. Most notably, according to internal chronology, the Claw's invasion arc supposedly took place in 1994. Of course, given all the continuity issues in the Claw's Return arc, this date should probably be taken with a grain of salt.

Historic Note

According to Charles Biro's editorial note in the first Rocky X story, the genre of the feature was chosen thanks to the reader poll that ran in Boy Comics #66.

Golden Age Appearances

  • Boy Comics #80-118

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