Rafferty (comics)

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Publication information
Publisher Malibu Comics
First appearance Firearm #12
Created by James Dale Robinson
In-story information
Alter ego Rafferty
Team affiliations United States Army
Special Forces

Rafferty was a fictional assassin from the Malibu Comics' Ultraverse imprint. He was a foe of Firearm (Alec Swan), first appearing in Firearm #12 (1994), written by James Robinson.

Fictional biography[edit]

Born to a poor family in Georgia, Rafferty murdered his parents while in his late teens and framed a neighbor from the next street, Jasper Washington, for the murders. He took the small amount of money he inherited from his parents savings and from the sale of his parents farm to travel America and find the one thing he truly craved... freedom.

This freedom was relatively short lived, as Rafferty's youthful indiscretions brought him to the attention of a New York Crime family. His affair with the daughter of this family led to his killing her brother, for which the family put a price on his head. To escape, Rafferty joined the army.

To see if he could, he decided he would be the perfect soldier. Rafferty hated every moment of the army, except the combat. His exceptional ability at killing caught the attention of his superiors, who transferred him to Special Forces, and eventually Unit T: Tango. Tango's record was distinguished; no mission was too dirty, too dire. During his time with Tango, Rafferty developed a disdain for guns, feeling that they were too crude for his "killing art".

Tango's final mission was in the Middle East. They were to do a sweep and clean; a simple kill directive. Things did not go as planned as the team was attacked by a team of Arabic Ultras (superhumans), who killed all of Tango, except for Rafferty, who managed to kill one of the Ultras in turn.

Making his way out of the desert, Rafferty made it back and spent the next six months in the hospital recovering. During that time, his priorities shifted; he was going to kill all Ultras.

Rafferty left the army and found himself some quick untraceable money by killing some high-level drug dealers. He then waited for the right moment, which was just a few years later...when Ultras began making headlines.

His first deliberate murder was Sigma, a rookie Ultra-hero. It felt good to him, but he needed more, though he intended the killing to look random, he needed a means to detect Ultras, not just the ones that were public and wore pretty costumes.

This means came to him through Edwin Mosley. Mosley was a member of the Sportsmen, a group of wealthy men with Ultra abilities, who hunted men for sport. They were highly successful... until they encountered Alec Swan a.k.a. Firearm . Afterwards, only three Sportmen, including Mosley were left, with the wealth of all the others distributed between them... and soon only Mosely was left.

Mosley had been affected by the energy produced by Amber Hunt (who was under the influence of the Entity during the Break-Thru event) and had become unhinged, seeing the increase of Ultrahumanity as lessening his specialness. He also sometimes saw himself as an angel of the lord.

Mosley hired Rafferty to assassinate Ultras, and supplied him with devices which were able to detect Ultra energy. Rafferty used the devices and Mosely's money to hire agents to sweep the country. His agents located over three-hundred Ultras, all of which Rafferty marked for death.

Rafferty started on the lesser ones first, to hone his technique. He generally stayed away from the more public Ultras as he didn't want to alert them to his goals, and possibly confront a large number of them. When Alec Swan was hired by Samuel Garrett to find his son's killer, Rafferty couldn't resist challenging Swan to stop him.

Rafferty led Swan on a cross country chase, calling him via a cell phone he left for Swan. He gave Swan just enough information to make it fun for himself, but Rafferty always stacked the odds in his favor. After he tricked Swan into triggering the explosive that killed Vinaigrette, Swan swore to kill him. In San Francisco, after letting him know that he planned on killing the Night Man and a member of the Freex, Rafferty attacked Swan in Golden Gate Park, savagely beating him, and sabotaging Swan's special gun.

Alec Swan and Penny Slater[edit]

Rafferty finally made his first mistake. Planning to take a break after his killing spree, He was ordered by Mosley to kill the ultra-baby Penny Slater, whose healing abilities were being promoted by Reverend August as proof of the divine. Rafferty and his men attacked the Cathedral Penny was being held in, but before they could kill the baby and make their escape, an alarm was sounded, and the police surrounded the building.

Using the Cathedral workers as hostages, Rafferty issued an ultimatum that only Alec Swan was able to enter the building. To stop any ultras from entering, he lined the cathedral with explosives linked to Ultra-detectors. Rafferty hoped to use Swan as a distraction to cover his escape. This did not prove the case, as Swan defeated Rafferty's men and rescued Penny Slatter. As Rafferty's explosives went off, he and Swan faced off in the main chapel, mortally wounding each other. Swan was able to make it outside with Penny Slater before collapsing; Rafferty died inside the burning building. Slater, herself unhurt, heals Swan.