"Things are never the same after you meet Rick Rocket. One second everything is the way it's always been and in the blink of an eye you're in a world of heroes, villains, and unending wonder. He's got only so long an attention span so he will disappear and show up in China, Kenya, Argentina, Australia, and then appear again to check on whatever you're doing together. He'll just disappear for a minute or so, go all over the world and change half a dozen lives. And that's just if the conversation hits a lull. It's admittedly frustrating but it's so damn inspiring."
-Darren VanGarrett, Co-Founder of the Vanguard and Husband
Richard Armstrong grew up obsessed with speed and the open spaces in the high Arizona deserts. He was only fifteen when he snuck onto a government base out in the barren desert and accidentally activated an experimental jet engine. It exploded and somehow either unlocked or bestowed powers onto him. He didn't know it yet though. When the MPs rushed in to investigate the explosion Rick ran, and he ran fast! In a few minutes he was in Las Vegas and he was naked.
Soon he learned to keep his speed down so he wouldn't tear his clothes apart. But he kept training. He kept pushing himself. And when he turned seventeen he ran all the way to Union City. He spent two weeks racing all around the city, seeing the sights and taking in the wonders. It was while doing this that he inadvertently ran into a kidnapping. Darren VanGarrett was being abducted by several masked men with guns. Rick disarmed the would-be abductors, tied them up and left them on the steps of the First Precinct Police Station. When he untied Darren the two looked into each others eyes and in the rush of adrenaline they kissed. Rick and Darren started dating immediately. It was not long after that Darren dubbed him "Rick Rocket" and the two started talking earnestly about creating a super-team. Both men grew more and more passionate about the idea and more and more involved with one another. Darren converted his family's sprawling Gilded Age-Mansion into a headquarters and bought a company that made highly durable fabrics ("Because I'd prefer to be the only one who sees you bare-ass naked, so we've got to keep your clothes from shedding quite so easily"). Rick raced around the country recruiting the original Vanguard. He designed their costumes and training regimen along with Darren. Rick has been a pinnacle of the heroic community in Union City ever since. He's never quit the Vanguard but he did join the Union of Costumed Heroes when the Vanguard's ranks swelled in the late 1970's. Super Speed keeps him young and gives him more opportunities than many of his fellow masked heroes to do good. No matter the threat, if someone is in danger, Rick Rocket is racing to the rescue!
Rick is bright, energetic, and ever-enthusiastic. He's fast in every way that counts: Quick-witted, a fast talker, and of course fleet of foot. Rick's reaction time and ability to perceive the world at super speed mean that he is almost always ahead of the curve. He's able to think through all the angles before most people are able to blink, so he is generally confident and decisive. All these things make him an exemplary leader and a top-tier superhero. He is also still very deeply in love with Darren VanGarrett despite the appearance of a dramatic age gap. Rick takes time to be with Darren, to lead the Vanguard, to work with the Union, and to enjoy himself, priding himself on his work-life balance. All over the world people find themselves being saved by a blur of black, red, and blue, getting a friendly smile and a pat on the back and then blinking only to realize that their savior is already gone. Rick lives for moments like those.
Introduction: “HI! *ZOOOM* You're here! *ZOOOM* Rick Rocket, cool to meet you. *ZOOOM* I've been waiting! Well, not waiting-waiting. *ZOOOM* I've already gotten started. *ZOOOM* Actually you should jump in now unless you want me to wrap this up on my own! *ZOOOM*”
Exclamations: "Keep Up!” - “Eat my dust!” - “WATCHOUTCOMINGTHROUGHONYOURRIGHTIGOTIT!”
On his legacy: “We founded the Vanguard. We stopped Replicator SO many times. We led a good life. What's better than that?”
On his outfit: “I designed this! It's kind of a mashup of a racecar driver and a test pilot... A little Evel Knieval mixed in. Basic black because it's slimming, with the red white and blue because it looks a little like a patriotic cop. Plus I do all the running, I should get to show off the bod.”
On using Weapons: “Ha. If I shot a gun going at the speeds I do, I'd run into the bullet. Plus punches at superspeed hit harder than bullets and there's almost no chance of ricochet or missing and hitting someone else. That stuff's just not my style.”