Robbie snuck in to watch Dr. Benson's experiment that tapped an extra-dimensional energy source, and was accidentally irradiated by it when the energy went out of control. The energy gave him superpowers: Whenever Robbie was hit with an impact above a certain strength, he'd become surrounded by a protective kinetic energy field that manifested in the form of a more muscular body, a spandex costume, and floating 'bubbles' in the air around him. When he was in "Speedball mode," any impact against him caused him to bounce instead of being harmed. He could also harness this energy and direct it more forcefully, or alternately use it as a bubble/shield to protect others, catch others, and even stop moving objects, like bullets, in mid-air.
Dr. Benson, who led the extra-dimensional experiment has a cat, Niels. Niels was similarly augmented by the kinetic energy, bouncing much like Speedball does.
A young scientist from the island of Trepica, Edgar Marlopolis came to Springdale, Connecticut for his internship at Hammond Labs, under Dr. Nicholas Benson. He was mutated into the "Dude in the Really Rad Armor" and battled Speedball.
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