Real Name: Michael ‘Mike’ José Ruiz
Roughneck is a self-appointed protector of the streets – frequently out of his depth, and more than once he has been all too easily manipulated by villains to act in their interests.
Before becoming Roughneck, Mike Ruiz was a mechanic working the family auto-shop he inherited, just trying to get by. Thinking only of honoring his parents, Mike refused to pay protection money to the local mob when they came calling, sparking a tragic course of events.
One night as he locked up, Mike was attacked by three men. A skilled fighter, he surprised them with his ferocity and put two of the gangsters in the hospital. The next night more criminals came, this time with a low-rent super-crook named Smash. Mike was prepared for the mobsters return and had booby-trapped the auto-shop and yard. As the intruders were injured by his ambush, Smash charged forward and tore into Mike with pulverizing fists. Smash was brutal, his every blow crunching into Mike’s body which was soon like a limp, bloodied rag-doll. Mike was broken that night, the criminals leaving him for dead even as they torched his business.
Mike’s physical recovery surprised the clinicians who worked with him, as determination and sheer stubbornness caused him to train and push himself to his limit and beyond. Where they had thought he may require crutches for the rest of his life, Mike was walking again within two months, and running again six weeks later. Every step and every lift he undertook was painful, but seared through his mind at each pause that he took was a will to recover to bring vengeance on those who preyed on his community.
All through his rehabilitation a plan formed in Mike’s mind, that he would become a heroic protector of the streets against villains like Smash. He fashioned the equipment he needed, making his own crude body armor and arming himself with a reinforced baseball bat. Taking to the streets, Roughneck was born.
“Time for rough justice!”
Roughneck – The Outcasts #4