The costumed hero known as Rockman was really Daniel Rose who was a miner who lived in Tarleton, West Virginia, and became well known for being the first miner to advocate unionizing. Rose lived there with his wife and daughter (whom he referred to as his "little princess"), until Boss Clete, the corrupt head of the Lufton Fuel Company, hired some thugs to silence the growing trade union. Rose accepted the fight, and brought his trade union down into the mine to confront Clete's men. At the last moment, Boss Clete attempted to flee, while exploding behind himself a hidden explosive charge that was intended to seal off the mine and kill Daniel Rose and his men. However, Boss Clete forgot to take in account the eventual methane chain reactions. As a result, the mine collapsed around the men, killing everyone except for Rose. Exposure to hidden pockets of an unknown gas gave him extended reserves of strength and durability, along with making him impervious to harm. When Rose returned to the surface, after two days of constant digging, he discovered that the resulting sinkhole had swallowed the whole Tarleton, killing everyone he held dear, included his beloved wife and his "little princess".
This made Daniel Rose snap, and in his stupor was left pounding the ground, calling his lost family to him. Exhausted and utterly unbalanced, Rose abandoned his town only to resurface later as "Rockman, King of Abysmia", which may have been a psychological coping mechanism to deal with the shattered figments of his former life.
While his identity as Daniel Rose has been verified, if Abysmia is real or not remains in question, however Rockman's memories of it are likely somewhat delusional.
How much of Rockman's past solo adventures are the product of delusions and how much is reality remains to be explored, below are the only recorded adventures of Rockman as he likely recalls these encounters.
Rockman believed himself to be the leader of an underground race of beings who were descendants of the first white colonists of North America. This kingdom is known as Abysmia, and was located underneath the United States. He first began developing an interest in the surface world when his Vibragraph picked up the plotting of J.C. Gollans and a criminal named Roffler to construct an underground tunnel beneath the site of a munitions plant. Developing his Earth borer, Rockman traveled to the surface and clashed with Roffler. During the fight, Rockman caused the tunnel to cave in and fill with water drowning Roffler and his men.
In the winter of 1941, Rockman came to the private island owned by a hypnotist named Zombo who was sinking ships that passed by his private island. With the aid of his fellow Abysmians, Rockman caused a massive Tsunami to wipe Zombo and his island off the face of the Earth. In early 1942, the neighboring nation of Pixies kidnapped Jugoslavian princess Alecia. Rockman then traveled to the Pixie's realm, overthrew their king, and placed one of his own people as the new Prime Minister of the Pixies and returned Princess Alecia to her home. In his last recorded solo adventure, Rockman traveled to Alaska to stop La Barbe from murdering the owners of gold mines in a blood acquisition of their properties. Coming to the aid of gold mine Zeb Sanders, Rockman ordered his people to cause a massive earthquake that caused La Barbe to fall to his death and unearth a vein of gold ore that made Sanders rich.
World War II
Following the outbreak of World War II, Rockman's domain was invaded by a Nazi general who was working with a rival underground dwelling species. Rockman led his people into battle against them; however, a collapse in the tunnel separated him from Abysmia, and Rockman was forced to retreat to the surface world. There, he remained close to the Earth and pounded the ground hoping that his people would eventually hear him, but try as he might, nobody came.
In 1943, Rockman was among the world's heroes who were slain by the Cosmic Cube wielding Red Skull, and his body was impaled against a massive wall of his victims. However, he was resurrected by Private Paul Anselm and helped beat back the Skull with the aid of the Invaders and the time displaced New Avengers and Mighty Avengers. Rockman's memories of the incident were subsequently erased in order to protect the timeline.
In 1945, Rockman was selected to participate in a mission to invade a Nazi rocket factory where the Red Skull had kept a cache of occult weapons. Using one of Rockman's drill tanks, they infiltrated the base and recovered the Spear of Destiny. When Captain America was trapped under debris following a fight with the Skull, both Rockman and Phantom Reporter assisted in rescuing him and pulling him to safety.
Rockman later joined Captain America, the Invaders, and a cadre of other superheroes in the Battle of Berlin. There, he was ambushed and captured along with Blue Blade, Black Widow, Captain Wonder, Dynamic Man, Fiery Mask, Laughing Mask, Mastermind Excello, Mister E, Phantom Reporter, the Witness, and the telepathically controlled robot Electro.
On April 25, 1945, Rockman and other heroes participated in an attack on Berlin, Germany. He joined Blue Blade, Witness, Fiery Mask, Laughing Mask, Mister E, Captain Wonder, Phantom Reporter, Mastermind Excello, Black Widow, Dynamic Man and the Electro in storming the headquarters of the S.S. to search for snipers. They walked into a trap set by Nazi agents and were gassed and placed into suspended animation to be experimented on later. However, the Soviets soon help beat back the Nazis and all those involved in the heroes captures were killed in action. Captain Wonder and the other heroes were then forgotten for many years....
...Until they were uncovered during a construction project in the 21st Century. Their bodies were recovered by the United States government who decided to revive the heroes in the hopes that they would represent the government, forming a group loosely referred to as the Twelve. When asked if they would work as government super-heroes, the entire group agreed. Upon being given a room in a government owned mansion, Rockman then retreated to the basement where he began pounding on the floor in a vain attempt to contact his people, earning the sympathy of the Phantom Reporter. There, he remained the majority of the time while staying at the mansion. Eventually, the Blue Blade came down to visit him and offered to give him a role in his upcoming television series. Needing to give some background to the William Morris company, Blue Blade listened to Rockman's "origins" and found them too unbelievable and then suggested they tell the network that he was found in a circus, an idea that Rockman did not agree with, and Blue Blade left to find somebody else to exploit. That evening, Rockman briefly attended a going away party for Mastermind Excello before returning to the basement for his nightly routine of pounding the ground. By this time, Daniel's grand-niece Daniele came seeking to reunite with her long lost grand-uncle and informed the military of his true origins. The military denied a connection between Daniel Rose and Rockman and sent her on her way, with the top brass opting not to inform Rockman of his true origins since he lost his entire family in tragedy.
When Mastermind Excello detected that one of the Twelve was destined to die, he began rallying the group together to prepare for this tragedy. He appeared to Rockman in a dream and informed him that his people have finally heard him and that they will come to him soon, filling Rockman with joy for the first time since he was revived. On the night that Blue Blade was murdered by the Electro robot, Rockman was with other members of the Twelve to discuss the impending death. Rockman was among the members of the Twelve when Phantom Reporter revealed that Dynamic Man was responsible for Blue Blade's death and other murders, using his synthetic nature to remotely control Electro to do his bidding. In the resulting battle, Dynamic Man caused the mansion to collapse. The others were saved thanks to Rockman bracing the collapse long enough for them to escape; however, he himself did not avoid the building's total collapse. Later, after Dynamic Man was destroyed, the group went searching for Rockman in the rubble. They did not find his body, but in the basement, they found a hole in the ground that went a mile deep before being sealed off again.
Sometime later, Rockman came across a school field trip that were trapped in a cave after an avalanche. They were rescued by Captain Wonder; however, Rockman asked one of the little girls in the school group to tell Captain Wonder that he found his princess. The girl was dismissed as making up stories. Rockman was last heard still wondering around underground looking for where his Princess had went, leaving in question if the people of Abysmia were merely a figment of Rockman's imagination.
- Superhuman Speed
- Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Durability: Rockman has the powers of super toughness and superior hand-to-hand combat skills.
- Self Sustenance: He does not need air and can withstand the extreme pressures of the bottom of the sea.
His mental state, precarious after the tragic loss of his family, continues to erode as he is brought into modern times. Rockman is in a state of constant mourning, waiting for his dead loved ones to return.
Rockman has access to advanced Abysmian technology, including a "digger car" for transport and advanced monitoring equipment. As Rockman is revealed to be a citizen of the U.S.A. his Abysmian technology is now explained as enhanced digging instruments, as Daniel Rose was a professional digger.
A "Digger Car", 'powerful enough to grind its way through the hardest rock'
- 14 appearance(s) of Daniel Rose (Earth-616)
- 1 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Daniel Rose (Earth-616)
- 1 minor appearance(s) of Daniel Rose (Earth-616)
- 2 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Daniel Rose (Earth-616)
- 11 image(s) of Daniel Rose (Earth-616)
- 1 victim(s) killed by Daniel Rose (Earth-616)