- 1 History
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Armadillo
- 1.3 Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation
- 1.4 The Vault
- 1.5 Ultimate Fighting League
- 1.6 Hercules
- 1.7 New Warriors
- 1.8 Civil War
- 1.9 The Consultant
- 1.10 The Rangers
- 1.11 MODOK's 11
- 1.12 The Hood's Gang
- 1.13 Incredible Hulks
- 1.14 Attacking Houston
- 1.15 Sinister Sixteen
- 1.16 Hydra
- 1.17 Sons of the Serpent
- 1.18 Running Away
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Trivia
- 4 See Also
- 5 Links and References
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.
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 discreetly.
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 Bonita was cured by Malus (with some coertion on him by the Avengers), she convinced Rodriguez to keep his powers for some more time. 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 (also his first major fight, at the Madison Square Garden) was seen by Captain America himself. (...)
When he discovered Bonita was seeing another man, a person called Ramon, Rodriguez became grief-stricken and enraged, lashing out and attacking even Feitler and Captain America. His rampage was halted only when he jumped from the side of the Empire State Building. Gravely injured, the Armadillo was remanded to police custody.
Rodriguez served time in the super-villain correctional facility known as the Vault. Truly repentant, he awaited his chance at parole. During the Armor Wars, and due to Iron Man's attack on the Vault, the facility suffered a power outage and many prisoners were freed from their cells. Armadillo tried to flee alongside fellow runaways Mister Hyde and Titania. Believing that Armadillo could slow the group, Titania would not permit Rodriguez to accompany them. Armadillo escaped on his own, eventually encountering Captain America's van which was under the protection of Vagabond. Vagabond convinced Armadillo to surrender voluntarily and return to the Vault. She also convinced him to abandon his original scheme to get revenge on his unfaithful wife.
Years later, Loki in disguise appeared in the Vault to help the Wizard escape confinement. To enable this jailbreak, Loki set loose all of the other prisoners. Iron Man tried to stop them, and was attacked by many of the escaping inmates including Armadillo. Eventually, Armadillo managed to escape 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 Isbisa was easily defeated. The villains were returned to the moment they were taken from.
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, the Human Torch and the She-Thing. Armadillo was once again sent back to the Vault.
Returned to his cell on the Vault, Armadillo decided he should remain in prison, resigned to serving out the rest of his sentence. Venom engineered a new breakout from the Vault, but Armadillo did not support it. Alongside 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 that his parole was granted.
Ultimate Fighting League
Finally, Armadillo was contacted by Rey Trueno, owner of the New Jersey branch of the Ultimate Fighting League. Armadillo trained under Coach Cady and became the regional champion in this new version of his former job. As a champion, he defeated a fighter known as Monster. However, he was mocked by the fans due to his own monstrous aspect. Looking for a new champion with more marketing appeal, 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.
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 went into hiding in Fairbury, Illinois. There, Rodriguez was identified by super-hero Speedball (of the New Warriors) posing as a pizza-boy. Not wanting to return to prison, Armadillo attacked Speedball and his teammates. 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.
During the Civil War, Armadillo was spotted at the funeral of Stilt-Man. After poisoning the guests, the Punisher blew up the Bar with No Name, where the wake had been held. They all had to get their stomachs pumped and were treated for third-degree burns.
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.
When the Fifty State Initiative was implemented, Armadillo became a member of Texas' superhero team, the Rangers. Antonio's stint as a superhero didn't last long before he was fired. Around the same time, he fell in love with Texan model Daisy Schilling and they became a couple. However, after being ejected from the Rangers Armadillo became distant, and Daisy left him believing that he didn't love her anymore.
Antonio resorted to doing lucha libre wrestling in Mexico for small cash, and was eventually recruited by M.O.D.O.K.. 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.
The Hood's Gang
The Hood hired Armadillo as part of his criminal organization to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act. Armadillo was incarcerated at The Raft next to Doctor Doom prior to the breakout during the Skrull Invasion.
The Incredible Hulks came upon a militia assaulting Armadillo. While the Hulk went head-to-head with him, She-Hulk went into town to investigate. She learned 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 went out onto the field to diffuse the situation. She told 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 turned to the Vill-Kill Korps, telling them to leave.
After the Avengers vs. X-Men conflict, a riot started in the prison, and the only heroes available to suppress it were Rogue and Mimic, who were quickly outnumbered. Equinox, Man-Bull, and Armadillo himself offered to share their powers with the mutants in order to defeat their fellows inmates.
One day after getting drunk, Armadillo disturbed a rodeo show in Houston which Daisy attended. He made a scene trying to prove his worth to her, and was confronted by Houston's own vigilante, the Scarlet Spider. Despite having recently become engaged to another man, Daisy ran up to Armadillo to admit that she still loved him, and they cleared up the misunderstanding that had led to their break up.
Boomerang recruited a small army of super-villains with the help of Owl's connections and calling it the "Sinister Sixteen." The team eventually broke up after Boomerang had thoroughly screwed everyone over, including himself. Armadillo, working for She-Thing, was next seen attacking the Thing while they were both imprisoned at the Power House.
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.
Sons of the Serpent
Armadillo was later hired by Dr. Karl Malus in exchange for a cure to his condition. He aided the Sons of the Serpent 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 at Sam for not keeping his promise to cure him.
Antonio's rocky relationship with Daisy caused him to run away in order to escape his feelings, and he went on a rampage. He mostly got into fights with superheroes in the New York area, namely Groot, The Thing, Ironheart, Spider-Man, Luke Cage and Miles Morales.
Following this numerous beatings, Armadillo took refuge in the Owl's hideout for wayward criminals. He was found by private eye Jessica Jones, who had been hired by Daisy to find him. She convinced him to stop searching for personal fulfillment in a criminal life since he had somebody that loved him despite his appearance. Despite sucker punching Jessica and fleeing, Armadillo returned to Daisy and even agreed to go to couples therapy with her.
Powers and Abilities
Artificially Enhanced Physiology: Antonio underwent several days of the Power Broker, Inc treatments. Dr. Karlin subjected Antonio to an experimental process that combined genetic material from an armadillo with Antonio's own genes which later mutated him as a monstrous Armadillo and granted him superhuman powers.
- Superhuman Strength: Armadillo is superhumanly strong. He is capable of lifting 25 tons.
- Superhuman Stamina: Armadillo's advanced musculature generates considerably less fatigue toxins than the muscles of an ordinary human. He can exert himself at peak capacity for about 24 hours before fatigue begins to impair him.
- Superhuman Durability: Armadillo's super-durable hide is six inches thick at its thinnest points. He is capable of withstanding temperature extremes, flames, acids, impacts up to anti-tank weaponry. Although his shell was once briefly altered through unexplained means, Armadillo's shell is bonded to Antonio and cannot be removed. His internal musculature and bone structure have been enhanced with an armadillo's genetic material. This protects him from the kinetic forces of large impacts.
- Peak Human Speed: Despite his size, he can move at speeds comparable to the finest human athletes.
- Peak Human Reflexes: Despite his size, his reaction speed is comparable to the finest human athletes.
- Claws: Armadillo's four fingers end with extremely durable and 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. His claws are sharp enough to rend steel and enable him to burrow at about eight feet per minute.
Skilled Combatant: Armadillo has been trained as a professional wrestler. He has moves including the "Roadkill Slammer", wherein he rolls himself into a ball with only his shell exposed and barrels down his opponents.
Multilingual: Antonio speaks fluent English and Spanish.
Armadillo's strength is Class 25, meaning he can lift about 25 tons.
- Throughout 2017, Brian Michael Bendis used Armadillo as a minor villain in many of the books he wrote, appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy (Vol. 4) #16 and #19, Invincible Iron Man (Vol. 4) #6, Spider-Men II #1, Jessica Jones (Vol. 2) #13, and Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #234 and #235. In Invincible Iron Man Vol 3 #6, he even referenced this peculiarity, commenting that he was having a bad year. This running gag had a pay-off in Jessica Jones (Vol. 2) #18, in which the titular character investigated all of these encounters to help Daisy Schilling find Armadillo.
- Captain America has stated that he doesn't believe Armadillo is a truly bad guy, that he's just lost.
- 84 appearance(s) of Antonio Rodriguez (Earth-616)
- 7 minor appearance(s) of Antonio Rodriguez (Earth-616)
- 1 mentions of Antonio Rodriguez (Earth-616)
- 32 image(s) of Antonio Rodriguez (Earth-616)