Art by Declan Shalvey.
|First appearance||Captain America #359 (October 1989; cameo appearance)|
Captain America #360 (November 1989; full appearance)
|Created by||Mark Gruenwald|
|Alter ego||Brock Rumlow|
|Team affiliations||Skeleton Crew|
|Partnerships||Red Skull (Albert Malik)|
Red Skull (Johann Schmidt)
|Notable aliases||Bingo, Frag, Mr. Bones|
Crossbones (Brock Rumlow) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is usually depicted as an adversary of Captain America, and played a part in the assassination of the superhero.
Crossbones has been substantially adapted from the comics into multiple forms of media, including several animated television series voiced by Fred Tatasciore. Most notably, actor Frank Grillo has portrayed the character in the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Created by writer Mark Gruenwald and artist Kieron Dwyer, Crossbones first made a cameo appearance in Captain America #359 (October 1989) as a shrouded figure watching from the shadows, before officially being introduced during the "Bloodstone Hunt" storyline in the issues of Captain America, where he reveals his name to Diamondback before knocking her unconscious in issue #362.
He has appeared as a regular character in Thunderbolts beginning with issue #144, but was dismissed from the team in issue #151.
Fictional character biography
Brock Rumlow led the Savage Crims gang on New York City's Lower East Side, during which time, he assaulted fifteen-year-old Rachel Leighton and fought Rachel's two brothers, killing the elder brother.[volume & issue needed] Rumlow fled, entering Taskmaster's school for criminals, within three years becoming an instructor under the name Bingo Brock.[volume & issue needed]
As a mercenary, Rumlow enlisted with Albert Malik, the communist Red Skull, in Algeria, serving the Red Skull under the name Frag until he was sent to invade Arnim Zola's Switzerland chateau; Rumlow was ultimately the only team member to survive the assault.[volume & issue needed] There, he also met and impressed, Johann Schmidt, the original Nazi Red Skull, who accepted Brock's services and code-named him as "Crossbones".[volume & issue needed]
The true Red Skull sent Crossbones to observe Baron Helmut Zemo's progress acquiring the Bloodstone fragments and to obtain them. He stowed aboard Captain America's flagship, and entered Zemo's ship to steal the Bloodstone fragments. He overpowered Diamondback, and shot a crossbow bolt that coupled with Captain America's shield. Crossbones was forced to shatter the Bloodstone fragments when the alien entity known as the Hellfire Helix used it to take control of Baron Heinrich Zemo's body; the destruction of the Bloodstone discorporated the Hellfire Helix. Knowing that his master would be infuriated by the Bloodstone's loss, Crossbones kidnapped Diamondback to Madripoor as bait for Captain America. He challenged Captain America to retrieve Diamondback, but the Captain defeated him, although Diamondback escaped, and the Red Skull ordered Crossbones to desist and return to headquarters. The Red Skull then ordered him to retrieve the Controller after the Controller's breakout from the Vault. With the Machinesmith, Crossbones investigated the Red Skull's disappearance.
Crossbones assembled the Skeleton Crew from the Red Skull's henchmen and became their leader, searching for the missing Red Skull with them. They battled the Black Queen and her Hellfire Club mercenaries. Crossbones enlisted the aid of psychic Tristam Micawber to locate the Red Skull. Upon finding his master, Crossbones took the Red Skull to Skullhouse for convalescence. Crossbones always remained loyal to the Red Skull, even tracking down when imprisoned and is left to die by Magneto.[volume & issue needed]
He next attended AIM's weapons exposition. He battled Daredevil during a failed assassination attempt against the Kingpin. He battled Bullseye during Bullseye's failed assassination attempt against the Red Skull. He battled Captain America again and was defeated. He later recounts how he met the Red Skull. The Red Skull assigned him to discover who killed the Red Skull's spare clone bodies. Alongside the Skeleton Crew, he battled the Schutzheilligruppe in an attempt to rescue the Red Skull but was captured. He was rescued from the Schutzheilligruppe's custody by Arnim Zola's fake Avengers. Crossbones was eventually fired for questioning the Red Skull's decision to ally himself with the Viper.
Desperate to regain his position as leader of the Skeleton Crew, Crossbones kidnapped Diamondback, imprisoning in an abandoned subway station and forced into a brutal regime of combat training.[volume & issue needed] Crossbones believed that he had brainwashed Diamondback into betraying Captain America, but Diamondback was actually laying a trap for Crossbones.[volume & issue needed] Diamondback stole samples of Captain America's blood from the Avengers' mansion, then accompanied Crossbones to the Red Skull's mountain fortress.[volume & issue needed] The two were captured and imprisoned, and the Red Skull rehired Crossbones on a temporary basis.[volume & issue needed] He was later attacked by Cutthroat, the Skeleton Crew's new leader, who feared that Crossbones will try to take back his position as the Red Skull's right-hand man.[volume & issue needed] Crossbones killed Cutthroat, never realizing that Cutthroat was actually Diamondback's older brother.[volume & issue needed] Crossbones later stabbed Diamondback during Diamondback's escape attempt, only to later save with a blood transfusion in order to use as bait.[volume & issue needed] He was critically wounded by flying shrapnel during an assault on the fortress by Captain America and the Falcon, and imprisoned.[volume & issue needed]
After he escaped from prison, Crossbones became a mercenary and assassin for a number of organizations, until he was rehired by the Red Skull who was later apparently assassinated by the Winter Soldier.[volume & issue needed] Crossbones and his new lover, Synthia Schmidt (the Red Skull's daughter), began hunting Aleksander Lukin, the Winter Soldier's commander.[volume & issue needed] They plotted to crash a stolen World War II era plane into the new Kronas Headquarters in London, only to have their plane destroyed by the Red Skull's Sleeper robot.[volume & issue needed] While they escape the destruction of the plane, they found Agent 13, and are about to kill Sharon Carter, only to be stopped by the Red Skull's appearance.[volume & issue needed] They begin working with Red Skull/Lukin whose minds both share Lukin's body.[volume & issue needed]
Following the Civil War storyline, Captain America's Anti-Registration heroes surrendered to Iron Man's Pro-Registration heroes.[volume & issue needed] While being led from Federal Courthouse, Captain America was shot in the shoulder by Crossbones taking the Red Skull's orders.[volume & issue needed] Crossbones tries to escape in a helicopter but was tracked by the Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The Winter Soldier then beat Crossbones into unconsciousness, while Crossbones simply laughed. Falcon then turned Crossbones over to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.[volume & issue needed]
In Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America, Wolverine, along with Daredevil and Doctor Strange, broke into S.H.I.E.L.D. to interrogate Crossbones and threatened to kill him. Crossbones revealed no knowledge of his hiring by the Red Skull. Wolverine left him a bloody mess on the floor after being convinced by Daredevil to spare his life.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Tony Stark arranged for Professor X to scan Crossbones' mind for information, but Professor X found that someone had erased several parts of his memory in order to prevent such a scan.[volume & issue needed] Sin and a new incarnation of the Serpent Squad have broken Crossbones free of S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.[volume & issue needed] They then capture the Winter Soldier when confronting Lukin to find out a relationship with the Red Skull.[volume & issue needed]
When Sin and the Serpent Squad attacked the Senate Building, Bucky Barnes arrived as the new Captain America. After battling and injuring many of the Squad, Crossbones attacked Barnes. After a brutal fight in which Crossbones launched Barnes out of the building. Bucky was saved by the Natalia Romanova's intervention, and Bucky shot Crossbones several times in the chest. The gravely wounded Crossbones was then taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody once again.[volume & issue needed]
At the start of the Heroic Age event, Crossbones has become a member of the new Thunderbolts team formed in the aftermath of Siege. Government agents, working with Luke Cage, add Crossbones to the team knowing that he cannot be reformed, hoping that his extreme methods will alienate the other Thunderbolt members and push them towards rehabilitation. During the team's first mission, Crossbones was exposed to corrupted Terrigen Mists; during the events of Shadowland, Crossbones manifested the ability to fire a powerful, piercing beam of energy from his face, theorizing that this ability originates from his exposure to the Terrigen mists. He uses this ability to murder a police officer. Fearing that the Thunderbolts are close to being disbanded following Cage's decision to leave, Crossbones attempted to escape alongside Ghost and Juggernaut. During the attempt, Crossbones used his new ability to fight the unsuspecting Steve Rogers. Crossbones was defeated and discharged from the Thunderbolts, after Ghost revealed his murder of the police officer. Crossbones is shown incarcerated in a padded cell wearing a straitjacket, apparently no longer able to use his energy beam.
During the Fear Itself storyline, Crossbones was constantly harassed while he was behind bars, because he was both a former Thunderbolt member and a neo-nazi. Shortly after when he was being beaten up by more thugs, Juggernaut unintentionally causes a break out in the prison facility called the Raft. Man Mountain Mario (the cousin of Man Mountain Marko) helps defend Crossbones from the thugs. While the two of them were trying to escape, Mario told Crossbones about his grandma who helps criminals leave the border. Crossbones manages to escape and returns the favor by killing Mario to help with his escape. He confronts some of the former Avengers Initiative members in New Jersey after he escapes the Raft. He fights Gravity, Frog-Man, Geiger, Scarlet Spiders, and Firestar. When he's surrounded, he tosses a grenade at Gravity but Geiger catches it and is seriously injured, creating an easy distraction for him to escape.
Crossbones later appears as a member of HYDRA who are planning to spread poisonous blood extracted from an Inhuman boy named Lucas. He fights Sam Wilson as the new Captain America on Bagalia. Just as he was about to kill Wilson, he is defeated by Misty Knight who was undercover at that moment. He is later defeated by Wilson when he attacks a HYDRA base located on Florida.
During the Avengers: Standoff! storyline, Crossbones was an inmate of Pleasant Hill, a gated community established by S.H.I.E.L.D. When Steve Rogers was at the Pleasant Hill Bowling Alley trying to reason with Kobik, Crossbones attacks Rogers. Before Crossbones can kill Rogers, Kobik's powers de-age Rogers back to physical prime, which allows the Captain to defeat Crossbones. In the aftermath of the events at Pleasant Hill, Crossbones founds a new version of HYDRA with the Red Skull and Sin.
During the Secret Empire storyline, Crossbones appears as a member of the Army of Evil and took part in the attack on Manhattan in retaliation for what happened at Pleasant Hill.Crossbones and Sin are shown to be in charge of a super-prison that was established by Hydra. Their super-prison was raided by the Underground in their mission to free their captive friends.
Powers and abilities
An expert combatant trained in warfare, Crossbones is an accomplished military tactician, and is thus able to formulate strategies on the battlefield. He also has extensive training in martial arts, street-fighting, marksmanship, and various forms of hand-to-hand combat. He once served as a student at the Taskmaster's school for criminals, before becoming an instructor there himself.[volume & issue needed] Physically, Crossbones is tall and well built, but moves with an athletic grace uncommon for a man of his bulk. In addition, he is proficient in the use of various weapons, such as guns, bows, and throwing knives. One of Crossbones' primary weapons are spring-loaded stiletto blades housed in his gauntlets. He also has experience with torture and brainwashing, having effectively "reprogrammed" Sin,[volume & issue needed] and nearly so with Diamondback.[volume & issue needed]
As a member of the Thunderbolts, Crossbones was exposed to corrupted Terrigen Mists during a mission, and shortly after manifested the ability to generate a circle of energy in front of his face which could fire energy beams capable of piercing and burning his targets. The ability developed to the point where flames engulfed the entirety of his head while still allowing him to fire focused energy beams, though these flames could seemingly be doused in water. While his power is active, Crossbones does not appear to be entirely impervious to the flames he generates. After the flames died following his first usage, his mask appeared to have been burnt away and his face was heavily scarred.
Crossbones appears in the Heroes Reborn universe as a partner/enforcer for the Red Skull and Master Man's World Party. This version also gets mutated by gamma radiation to combat Falcon and Captain America. He is killed by Rebel O'Reilly.
House of M
In the alternate reality depicted in the 2005 "House of M" storyline, Crossbones appeared as a member of Hood's extensive Masters of Evil. Before the Red Guard attacked Santo Rico, Crossbones left the team alongside, Cobra, Mister Hyde, and Thunderball.
Old Man Logan
In the pages of Old Man Logan, Crossbones was among the villains that worked to take out the superheroes all at once. During the fight in Connecticut, Crossbones killed Wonder Man before being stepped on by Giant-Man.
In other media
- Crossbones appears in the Toei anime series Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers.
- Crossbones appears in several Marvel-related cartoons on Disney XD, voiced by Fred Tatasciore.
- Crossbones appears in the Avengers Assemble animated series. In season one's episode "In Deep", he and the Grim Reaper are captured by the Avengers in order for Captain America and Iron Man to impersonate the two villains to infiltrate the Cabal with Steve Rogers posing as Crossbones. In season two's episode "Nighthawk", his mugshot is briefly seen among Tony Stark's suspects before the Avengers eventually find the title villain. Crossbones also appears in Avengers: Ultron Revolution and Avengers: Secret Wars. In the episode "Panther's Rage", Crossbones is hired by Ulysses Klaue to target T'Challa at the assembly that the latter is speaking at only to end up fighting Captain America. With the Black Panther's unlikely help, Captain America defeats Crossbones. In the episode "Why I Hate Halloween", Crossbones and Crimson Widow are sent to retrieve Whitney Frost from Hawkeye. After fleeing from Dracula's vampire army, Crossbones and Crimson Widow are apprehended by the Avengers. In the episode "The Vibranium Coast", Crossbones acts as the Red Skull's first mate while hunting for Typhoid Mary off the Vibranium Coast before being defeated by Ant-Man and Ms. Marvel.
- Crossbones also appears in Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six. In the episode "Agent Web", he and his HYDRA agents encounter Spider-Man and Triton at the abandoned Inhumans city of Atarog. Crossbones has captured Nick Fury to use as a bargaining chip to obtain Madame Web for HYDRA, but Spider-Man and Triton are able to save Fury and defeat Crossbones's forces after receiving assistance from Madame Web's precognitions. Crossbones reappears in the multi-episode "Symbiote Saga". Now HYDRA's main leader after Arnim Zola's apparent demise, he orders Michael Morbius to capture Doctor Octopus and experiment with a weaponized armor for HYDRA. Crossbones later meets up with the vampire-like HYDRA cohort beneath Midtown High, where they have the Carnage Queen load symbiote-laced missiles to launch everywhere around the world. Unlike Morbius, Crossbones escapes when Spider-Man breaks the Carnage Queen's mind-control device. In the two-part series finale "Graduation Day", Crossbones is an unwilling member of the Superior Sinister Six. He is shown to be imprisoned in a building as part of Doctor Octopus' revenge. As Spider-Man and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Trainees fight the Scorpion, Crossbones was pelted by blue gas thrown into his cell by Scorpion where he turned into a Lizard. Both villains were defeated by Spider-Man's group. The Lizard later broke out of his cell at the Triskelion. During the showdown at Oscorp, Spider-Man used one of Doctor Octopus' antidote darts on Lizard. Restored to normal, Crossbones thanks Spider-Man and takes his leave.
- Crossbones appears in the Spider-Man animated series, voiced again by Fred Tatasciore. In the episode "Spider-Island" [Pt. 2], Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen find Crossbones robbing a armored car containing the key to a Vibranium vault at the time when all of Manhattan was developing spider powers. They subdue Crossbones who is then taken away by the spider-powered police officers. When Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, and Black Widow arrive at the Vibranium vault where the Hydra agents are, Crossbones caught up to them upon escaping the police and developed spider powers. To get close to Crossbones's employer at Hydra, Black Widow leads the surrender. It turns out that Crossbones was hired by Arnim Zola plans to make use of the Vibranium. With help from some spider-powered bystanders, Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, and Black Widow defeat Crossbones and the Hydra agents with him while Zola and the remaining Hydra agents get away.
- Brock Rumlow first appears in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). He is depicted as the commander of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s counter-terrorism S.T.R.I.K.E. team, but is later revealed to be a double-agent for the terrorist organization HYDRA. Rumlow first assists Captain America on a mission to free hostages taken by Georges Batroc's pirates. When the Captain later refuses to disclose S.H.I.E.L.D. information to Secretary Alexander Pierce, Rumlow and his team are tasked with capturing Steve Rogers and Black Widow. Once Captain America discloses that Rumlow's unit and Pierce are secretly members of HYDRA which survived the Red Skull's apparent demise and grew within S.H.I.E.L.D., Rumlow comes into conflict with both Sharon Carter and the Falcon until a Helicarrier crashes onto the Triskelion, causing Rumlow to be severely burned.
- The character returns in the sequel Captain America: Civil War (2016), now operating as the supervillain Crossbones. It is revealed that Captain America and the Avengers have been tracking Crossbones for six months prior to the movie's events. During the film's opening, Crossbones' mercenary unit storms an institute for infectious diseases in Lagos, Nigeria, to steal a biological weapon. As they attempt to escape, they are pursued by Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon and Scarlet Witch. The terrorists then confront the Avengers at a marketplace and Crossbones faces-off against Captain America, hoping to get revenge for his defeat in the previous film. Despite using his strength-enhancing gauntlets against Captain America, Crossbones is defeated and takes off his mask to reveal his scarred face before detonating explosives on his belt in a final attempt to kill the hero. However, Scarlet Witch briefly contains the explosion and levitates his body above the ground only for the bomb to detonate next to a building, presumably killing him as well as dozens of civilians and kicking off the central plot.
- The character will return in Avengers: Endgame (2019), through flashbacks.
- Crossbones appears as a boss in Captain America and the Avengers.
- Crossbones appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers, voiced by Darren O'Hare. The MCU version of Brock Rumlow is also playable in his STRIKE disguise (from Captain America: The Winter Soldier) as well as his Crossbones costume (from Captain America: Civil War) via DLC.
- Since April 28, 2016, Crossbones appears in Marvel Avengers Academy for the Captain America: Civil War event.
- Crossbones appears in Marvel Heroes.
- Crossbones appears in Marvel Contest of Champions.
- Crossbones is a playable character in Marvel Strike Force.
- Captain America #362
- Captain America #359–360
- Captain America #361–362
- Captain America #363–364
- Captain America #365
- Captain America #368
- Captain America #369
- Captain America #370
- Quasar #9
- Captain America #375–376
- Captain America #377
- Captain America #378
- Captain America #383
- Captain America #387
- Captain America #390–392
- Captain America #393
- Captain America #394
- New Avengers vol. 1 #1–2
- Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America
- "Luke Cage Powers into THUNDERBOLTS as Heroic Age Leader". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2011-01-11.
- Thunderbolts #144
- Thunderbolts #147
- Thunderbolts #149
- Thunderbolts #150
- Thunderbolts #151
- Thunderbolts #159
- Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt #2
- Amazing Spider-Man: Ends of the Earth #1
- All-New Captain America #2
- All-New Captain America #4
- Captain America: Sam Wilson #7
- Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Omega #1
- Secret Empire #0. Marvel Comics.
- Secret Empire #8. Marvel Comics.
- Liefeld, Rob; Loeb, Jeph (w), Liefeld, Rob (p), Sibal, Jonathan; Stucker, Lary (i). "Patriotism", Captain America (Vol 2) #3 (January 1997). Marvel Comics.
- James Robinson (w), (Various) (p), (Various) (i). "Crossroads", Captain America (Vol 2) #7 (May 1997). Marvel Comics.
- Heroes Reborn: Rebel #1. Marvel Comics.
- House of M: Masters of Evil #1. Marvel Comics.
- House of M: Masters of Evil #4. Marvel Comics.
- Old Man Logan Vol. 2 #8
- Fiffe, Michel (w), Pinna, Amilcar (a). All-New Ultimates #4 (July 2014). Marvel Comics.
- "Agent Web". Ultimate Spider-Man. Season 4. Episode 12. June 26, 2016. Disney XD.
- "Panther's Rage". Avengers Assemble. Season 3. Episode 17. September 25, 2016. Disney XD.
- "Spider-Island: Part 2". Spider-Man. Season 1. Episode 20. February 4, 2018. Disney XD.
- Graser, Marc (October 29, 2012). "Frank Grillo to play Crossbones in 'Captain America' sequel". Variety. Archived from the original on November 1, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
- Breznican, Anthony (August 10, 2013). "Marvel: D23 debuts new scenes for 'Thor' and 'Captain America' sequels". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on August 10, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
- "Frank Grillo talks Crossbones' return in 'Captain America: Civil War'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2014-11-24.
- McMillan, Graeme (October 25, 2018). "'Avengers 4' Will Feature Flashbacks, Says Actor Frank Grillo". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on October 25, 2018. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
- Haywald, Justin (July 11, 2015). "Check Out Stan Lee, Crossbones, and More New Characters In Lego Marvel Avengers".
- "Marvel Avengers Academy". www.facebook.com.
- Crossbones at Marvel.com