Appearing in "The Last Race"
Races and Species:
- Rocket Skateboard
Synopsis for "The Last Race"
The Spider-Man is on the scene of an armored car robbery being perpetuated by his old foe the Rocket Racer. Hearing the villain gloat about being unstoppable reminds Spider-Man of the last two times he stopped the Racer.[Continuity 1] Spider-Man decides to put off his search for Doctor Octopus in order to deal with the Racer.[Continuity 2] When the Racer spots Spider-Man, he tries to blast the wall-crawler with his wrist rockets, but the hero blocks them with a web shield. Fleeing up the side of a wall, the Rocket Racer tries to make his escape, but Spider-Man snags his stolen loot. Furious, the Racer turns around to fight the masked hero one-on-one. During their struggle over the stolen money causes the bag to rip open, spilling money all over. The Rocket Racer tries to gather up as much cash as possible when suddenly he is shot at by a gun-toting mercenary calling himself the Bounty Hunter. Frightened that the Bounty Hunter has found him again, the Rocket Racer tries to make his escape. The Bounty Hunter follows the Racer, keeping up thanks to his jetpack. Wanting to know what's going on, Spider-Man web-slings after them.
Meanwhile, the Bounty Hunter is tracking the Racer with a device that can track the villain's equipment. He is prepared when the Rocket Racer tries to ambush him and attempts to catch him in a net. However, the Racer manages to dodge the net and flees again. The Bounty Hunter chases him to a construction site where he finally catches the youth in an electrified net. Before the Bounty Hunter can completely incapacitate the Racer, Spider-Man leaps in and strikes him. As the Racer escapes, the Bounty Hunter hands the wall-crawler paperwork giving him legal authorization to capture the Rocket Racer. He explains that the Racer had his bail posted by a bondsman but skipped bail, thus he was hired to bring the Racer in. Still, Spider-Man doesn't like his methods and frees the Racer from the net. He tells his old foe to surrender and that he will accompany him to jail to ensure that the Bounty Hunter won't harm him. However, the Bounty Hunter suddenly blinds Spider-Man with a phosphorescent flare and knocks him off the side of the building under construction. However, by this point, the Rocket Racer has escaped so the Bounty Hunter flies off to find him.
Later, the Rocket Racer has hidden in a pile of trash and narrowly avoids getting spotted again. The Bounty Hunter calls out to him, telling the Racer that he will eventually track him down. The Rocket Racer curses his high-tech skateboard getting into this mess, and not being good enough to get him out. Not far away, Spider-Man recovers from the Bounty Hunters attack and finds that men are gone. Deciding to get involved, Spider-Man heads to the Daily Bugle for more information. There, as Peter Parker, he goes through the Daily Bugle's morgue files to learn everything he can about the Rocket Racer.[Continuity 3] He finds records of his last capture of the Rocket Racer.
Reviewing the issue of NOW! Magazine that featured a story on his arrest he learns that the Racer is really Robert Farrell, a 23-year-old man. Without a father, his mother had to raise Robert and his six siblings on her own. As a teenager, he was adept in the sciences, and after he graduated he joined the Air Force to get a higher education. Unfortunately, when his mother became ill and the family was falling behind on their medical bills, Robert turned to crime, becoming the Rocket Racer. After his arrest, Peter discovered that Robert's family used a bail bondsman service to bail Robert out. Unsure what a bail bondsman is, Peter asks Bugle reporter Ben Urich more information about them. He learns that bondsmen usually pay the bail on a criminal in exchange of a fee or some other kind of security, that way they still get paid should the criminal skip bail. He also learns that if the fee can't be paid, the bondsman can hire a bounty hunter to bring them in. Realizing what is going on, Peter changes back into Spider-Man and tracks down the Rocket Racer's family. There, he asks Robert's mother to tell him what happened so he can try to help. Mrs. Farrell explains that in order to raise the money to pay the bail bond, she got the help of people in the neighborhood.
However, the bondsman kept on raising the interest on the loan, making it nearly impossible to pay. This forced Robert to turn to crime once again so that the bondsman doesn't foreclose on the homes and businesses that were put up to help pay for the bail. Spider-Man feels horrible for the Farrell's situation, as it is akin to blackmail. While the wall-crawler thinks of a way to help the Rocket Racer, one of his younger brothers tells Spider-Man where he can find Robert. Spider-Man soon web-slings to a nearby junkyard where Robert developed his technology as the Rocket Racer. The fact that Robert made his equipment with common junk impresses Spider-Man and thinks that Robert could have made something of himself if he hadn't turned to crime. Spider-Man arrives just as the Bounty Hunter has the Racer at his mercy. He overhears the Hunter gloat that the bail bondsmen that he works for intentionally set him up for a fall as a warning to others that use their services to pay up. Spider-Man leaps in for the attack, but as he dodges Bounty Hunter's various shells he is hit with pellets containing gas that robs the web-slinger of his strength. The Rocket Racer watches Spider-Man go down and contemplates fleeing again. However, he decides not to leave the hero to the mercy of his pursuer and attacks.
Although the Bounty Hunter manages to disable the Rocket Racer's skateboard with corrosive bullets, he is distracted long enough for Spider-Man to get into the junkyard's magnetic crane. He uses it to pick up the Bounty Hunter and drop him on a massive pile of tires, knocking him out. With the battle over, the Rocket Racer decides to turn himself in. Although Spider-Man assures him that the judge might go easy on him after they learn about the crooked bonds bailsmen company, the Rocket Racer doesn't care. As he walks away, he tells the wall-crawler that whatever happens to him next, he'll take it like a man.
- ↑ Spider-Man has battled the Rocket Racer twice before, defeating him in Amazing Spider-Man #172 and 183.
- ↑ Spider-Man has been hunting for Doctor Octopus since Web of Spider-Man #4.
- ↑ Peter commends J. Jonah Jameson for finally digitizing the Daily Bugle's files and how he used to have to search through paper files. The computer he uses is an early commercial computer that has a black and screen terminal screen. All of this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
A flashback in this story affects the chronology of the following characters:
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- ↑ First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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