SUNSPOT: Page 5 of 5

Publication Date: 28th Aug 2018
Written By: sixhoursoflucy and Monolith.


Sunspot and his best friend Cannonball decided to “retire” from superheroing after the conflict between the X-Men and the Avengers came to a conclusion. Their permanent vacation was cut short by a surprise call from Wolverine and Captain America, who asked them to join the expanded Avengers roster. Roberto and Sam accepted the offer without hesitation. [Avengers (5th series) #2]

On his first mission with the Avengers, Sunspot traveled to Mars with the rest of Captain America’s reserve roster to liberate the core group of Avengers, who had been taken captive by the cosmic entities Ex Nihilo and Abyss. Sunspot and Cannonball battled Ex Nihilo and Abyss’ creations while their peers subdued the major threats. During the battle, Sunspot took note of his teammate Smasher, a Superguardian of the Imperial Guard who used her formidable abilities to aid Bobby and Sam in battle. Never missing an opportunity to put the moves on a beautiful lady, Sunspot asked her on a date in the middle of the fight. An attacking monster prevented him from getting an answer. [Avengers (5th series) #1-3]

The nature of this new, expanded, and diverse Avengers roster allowed Captain America to dispatch multiple squads on missions best suited to their particular skills. While the team’s powerhouses like Thor, Hyperion and Captain Universe attended to the more cosmic matters, Sunspot found himself serving on smaller, more nuanced missions that required a modicum of precision. One such mission required that he, Cannonball, Shang-Chi, Black Widow, Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman travel to a casino in Macao to determine the nature of a weapon Advanced Ideas Mechanics was purportedly selling. While the women on the team attempted to extract information from the potential buyers, Bobby and Sam distracted the entourage of lower-level A.I.M. agents. Their strategy: drinking and gambling with the men to keep them busy. During their night of hard partying, Bobby enacted a long-term strategy by convincing a pair of A.I.M. operatives to act as double agents for him in their organization, putting them on the DaCosta International payroll as informants. [Avengers (5th series) #11]

When the Avengers learned that the ancient alien race known as the Builders were heading toward Earth in order to destroy it, Captain America decided to take the fight to them instead. Sunspot and Cannonball were excited about the prospect of visiting space once again. Although they were part of the squad taken captive by the Builders, their teammates eventually freed them. During the time they spent in the furthest reaches of space, Roberto’s crush Smasher began developing romantic feelings… for Sam. Roberto caught them making out and expressed his disappointment over losing out to his best friend. Although he played up his bitterness for the audience, Sunspot was in fact quite happy for Sam and Izzy. [Infinity crossover, Avengers (5th series) #22]

After the Avengers neutralized the latest threat to Earth, Sunspot and Cannonball were dispatched on a mission to retrieve genetic material of the Hulk’s that A.I.M. stole and distilled into a “Hulk drug.” Shortly after sneaking onto A.I.M. Island, Bobby rendezvoused with Travis, one of the A.I.M. agents he had put on retainer. Travis supplied them with the A.I.M. gear they needed to sneak inside the facility. The operation quickly went south, however, and Sunspot and Cannonball were backed into a corner by A.I.M.’s high-tech weaponry. With few options left—but perhaps more for the novelty of it—they decided to take two hits of the Hulk drug, which would transform them both into Hulks for an hour or two. With their temporary infusion of super-strength, they made quick work of their A.I.M. tormenters. [All-New Marvel Now! Point One #1]

As the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. began working more closely together, Sunspot and Cannonball started working directly for Maria Hill on occasion. Naturally, Roberto thought Maria had a thing for him. During another conflict with A.I.M., the duo were sent into the future to confront agents of the terrorist organization who were funneling future tech back into the present. The Scientist Supreme Andrew Forson had dramatically increase the size, scale and threat of A.I.M. Island using these resources. They met their future contacts Jocasta and the next generation of Avengers. Roberto also thought that Jocasta probably had a thing for him. [Avengers World #9-10]

Trust among the Avengers shattered when it was revealed that Iron Man and the Illuminati had wiped Captain America's memories while pursuing the multiverse ending threat of the Incursions. Hurt and betrayed, Cap brought the Avengers permanently in line with S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to hunt down the Illuminati as traitors. Roberto and many of the other Avengers, however, refused to pick sides against their friends, and the team disassembled. As Sam and Izzy moved to the Shi'ar homeworld to raise their new baby, Sunspot began working on ways to think outside the box and help save everything.

In its efforts to be seen as a legitimate power, A.I.M. had become a publically traded corporation. Seeing an opportunity to put his business acumen to good use, Roberto contacted former Scientist Supreme Monica Rappaccini in prison for insider information and used the assets of DaCosta International to stage a legal but hostile takeover of A.I.M. and its corporate structure. With the Illuminati on the run and focused on survival, Roberto believed the scientists of A.I.M. were the next best hope for finding a solution to the Incursions problem, and needed to be on the side of the angels. Unfortunately, Rappaccini betrayed him to Forson, who refused to step aside based on Sunspot's economic maneuverings. They left a bomb behind at a DaCosta shareholders meeting to signify their intent. [Avengers World #17-18]

After saving his people, Sunspot approached Hyperion in the Savage Land, where he was teaching the rapidly growing Zebra kids of one of the Origin Bomb sites. With the help of Hyperion and Manifold, Sunspot traveled to A.I.M. Island to stake his claim on the organization and clear out the dead wood such as Andrew Forson. Sunspot engaged in personal combat with Forson in his A.I.M. battle suit, defeating the Scientist Supreme and claiming control of A.I.M. for the good of humanity. [Avengers World #19]

With the future on the line, Sunspot stepped up and began making the tough decisions. He made contact with Hank McCoy of the Illuminati to share ideas and technology to stave off the end of the world. He worked with A.I.M. to recreate their dimensional Auger to launch a team of Avengers across the multiverse to hopefully reach the starting point of the Incursions. Along with the returning Cannonball and Smasher, Sunspot assembled an additional set of Avengers including the representatives of Ex Nihilo's remaining Origin Bomb sites. With all these pieces at play, Sunspot stepped into the game, presenting his new Avengers as a third option between the Illuminati, and the team of Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. Together with A.I.M., he coordinated one aspect of the planetary defense when the Galactic Council targeted Earth, using a thermal vent to power a series of satellites and devastate the incoming alien fleet. [Time Runs Out]

Sunspot remained in control of A.I.M. after the multiverse was rebooted, a fact that was met with considerable suspicion by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the United States government. Despite Roberto's insistence that "Avengers Idea Mechanics" were now a global rescue operation, the authorities still saw him as a foreign national who had assumed control of a terrorist state for an unconfirmed set of goals. To maintain good relations, Roberto had to agree that A.I.M. would not operate on U.S. soil and dealt with repeated inquiries from S.H.I.E.L.D. about his activities. He and his new Avengers chose to operate from Avengers Island, an artificial structure in international waters off the coast of California.

Roberto also had to deal with problems of a more personal nature. The clouds of Terrigen Mist released from the Inhumans' home of Attilan after Thanos's attack had a severely detrimental effect on mutants. Called M-Pox, the negative reaction mutants had to Terrigen was varied, causing death or intense illness in many cases. Roberto's exposure made his mutant powers become unstable. His power levels maxed out, making him stronger than ever, but accessing his powers caused him to age at an accelerated rate. Even when he refrained from using his abilities, Bobby occasionally suffered from intense coughing and attacks from the Terrigen.

As Avengers Idea Mechanics responded to threats around the globe, their S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison "Dum Dum" Dugan came to meet with Sunspot on Avengers Island. He brought Hawkeye to act as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and "spy" on the roster, being upfront with Roberto about the situation as a show of respect. Ironic, since Avengers Idea Mechanics' field leader Songbird was already undercover as a S.H.I.E.L.D. double agent for another division in the agency, unbeknownst to Dugan. Songbird was actually a triple agent for Roberto, however, loyal to the new Avengers while feeding S.H.I.E.L.D. the intelligence she and Sunspot agreed upon in advance. [Avengers #0, New Avengers (4th series) #1,11]

Roberto's team found themselves frequently in conflict with W.H.I.S.P.E.R., the World Headquarters for International Scientific/Philosophical Experimation and Research. With the benevolent reformation of A.I.M., W.H.I.S.P.E.R. rose to fill the gap left for terrorist mad scientists\ in the world. Their new Supreme One was the Maker, an evil version of Reed Richards from the old Ultimate Universe. The Maker intended to infiltrate A.I.M. using nano-cameras seeded on his minions in Paris and Tokyo, but Pod detected the cameras and alerted Roberto. Sunspot worked with Songbird and his science staff to construct nano-surveillance of their own. They succeeded in bugging W.H.I.S.P.E.R. while only allowing select information to be transmitted from their headquarters back to the Maker. Dacosta and A.I.M. were now watching S.H.I.E.L.D. and W.H.I.S.P.E.R. watching them. [New Avengers (4th series) #1-6]

When Rick Jones was on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D., he contacted A.I.M. for help. S.H.I.E.L.D. had been experimenting with the Cosmic Cube in the construction of an illegal prison town called Pleasant Hill, where super-villains were being altered against their will to remove their powers and identities. Helping Jones would mean breaking their deal with S.H.I.E.L.D., and so Roberto held a vote on whether to support Rick or not. When Wiccan, Hulkling and Squirrel Girl voted "No," Sunspot had them removed from Avengers Island so they would not be implicated by the group's next actions. Surprisingly, Hawkeye chose to remain with the new Avengers despite being an active S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.

A.I.M. stormed a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier to rescue Rick Jones, bringing the force of that agency down on Avengers Island. The U.S. military, under General Robert Maverick, also launched their own offensive with the power of the American Kaiju. Roberto coordinated the evacuation of staff and scientists to Avengers Two, a portal leading to their secondary secret headquarters deep in the Savage Land. During S.H.I.E.L.D.'s strike on the island, Commander John Garrett activated Songbird, forcing her to "betray" the team as part of her long-term plans with Roberto to maintain her cover. Hawkeye was also left behind and captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. for abandoning his mission protocols. Low on Avengers for support, Roberto reached out to Shi'ar space and asked Cannonball to return to Earth and lend help to his team. [Standoff crossover]

With multiple pieces in play, Roberto launched an ambitious scheme to bring down both W.H.I.S.P.E.R. and the rogue elements in S.H.I.E.L.D. all at once. Playing to the nano-cameras, he lured the Maker and his team of New Revengers to A.I.M. headquarters. Songbird's triple agent status was also uncovered by John Garrett, allowing her to feed him false intel about the location of A.I.M.'s base. While the Revengers were busy attacking A.I.M., Dacosta had manipulated S.H.I.E.L.D. into destroying their lightly-manned base of operations instead.

Sunspot had a ball anticipating and out-maneuvering someone as brilliant as the Ultimates' Reed Richards. When the evil artificial intelligence O.M.N.I.T.R.O.N.I.C.U.S. infiltrated the security measures of the A.I.M. base, Bobby saw it as little more than a romp in the Danger Room. He overcame O.M.N.I.T.R.O.N.I.C.U.S. and the Maker thanks to the secret assistance of Warlock from the New Mutants, then cut off their secondary objective to attack Air Force One by posing as the POTUS himself. By the end of his scheme, Roberto had (1) crippled W.H.I.S.P.E.R.'s activities and captured the Maker, (2) rescued and depossessed the Revengers' White Tiger, niece of his own team's White Tiger, (3) exposed John Garrett's malicious activities with S.H.I.E.L.D. and turned him over to Dum Dum Dugan and (4) saved the President's life and used it as currency to negotiate a new deal with the United States for A.I.M.'s future. [New Avengers (4th series) #12-17]

Roberto's next act was to show S.H.I.E.L.D. how effective he could be as an ally by orchestrating the destruction of all outstanding rogue A.I.M. terrorist cells in a single day. Using his own "funeral" as a lure, Roberto captured Andrew Forson and Monica Rappaccini, while also coordinating his team with S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to bring down Radically Advanced Ideas in Destruction, Advanced Genocide Mechanics, and other A.I.M. splinter cells. All this led to a new organized relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D. where Dacosta signed up for duty and his rebranded "American Intelligence Mechanics" became an official subdivision of S.H.I.E.L.D. [New Avengers (4th series) #18]

A number of A.I.M. personnel took leave during this shake-up, and Roberto used his public relations acumen to redesign his field team as the U.S. Avengers, taking the callsign "Citizen V" for himself. The ultra-patriotic symbolism helped define the team in the public eye, and they also proved highly effective in combat missions against the Golden Skull, Secret Empire and more. [U.S. Avengers #1-3]

However, all of Roberto's scheming was threatened by another party entering the game. Steve Rogers had recently been named director of S.H.I.E.L.D. over Maria Hill. Unfortunately, this Captain America was actually a fascist sleeper agent for Hydra, surreptitiously planted in this timeline from his. Rogers was concerned about Dacosta's organization, not only because of Bobby's unpredictable scheming but also the psychic defense training from Professor Xavier that Bobby had passed on to his people. Using a botched stealth mission as an excuse, Rogers dressed down Dacosta in an effort to throw him off balance and rein him in for the future, impressing on Roberto the need to follow the chain of command now that he was under S.H.I.E.L.D.'s direction. [U.S. Avengers #4-5]

The Captain's subtle undermining bore fruit when Hydra secretly coordinated three separate attacks at once by the Army of Evil in New York, the invading Chitauri in space and Hydra themselves in Eastern Europe. Captain America held Roberto in reserve with A.I.M. and the U.S.Avengers in Washington D.C., ostensibly in a support role in case a fourth front opened up. Things got personal when Cannonball radioed Sunspot that he had just returned from leave in Shi'ar space and was jumping into the Chitauri firefight. An alien dragon exploded during battle with Quasar and Sam's comm-line went dead, leaving Roberto believing his best friend was dead as well. Hydra's attack reached Roberto's people when the hypnotic Doctor Faustus began broadcasting his entrancing signal over S.H.I.E.L.D.'s communication frequencies. Bobby and his people used their mental training to fight off the spell, but some of his A.I.M. employees didn't need hypnosis to turn on Dacosta. Anti-establishment types to begin with like his assistant Larry saw Bobby as a sell-out for joining up with S.H.I.E.L.D., and gladly turned on him. Sunspot was shot in the head and incapacitated as Hydra assumed control of the nation. [U.S. Avengers #6]

Roberto was left without real medical attention and brought to a Hydra re-education center for imprisonment along with other dissidents. Barely conscious due to his injuries, Bobby was allowed to be treated by his cellmate and chief engineer, Toni Ho. Using the scarce resources available to her over several weeks, Toni tended to Sunspot's wounds and cobbled together a regulator headband that allowed Roberto to access his solar powers safely for extended periods of time. Powered up and restored, Sunspot and Toni led a revolt against the Hydra camp and freed their fellow prisoners. [U.S. Avengers #7-9]

In the aftermath, S.H.I.E.L.D. was disbanded and the Hydra Supreme arrested. Without an oversight organization, the fate of American Intelligence Mechanics was passed to Kevin Krask, the new administration's Advisor on Superhuman Affairs. Upon meeting with Krask, Roberto quickly discovered the senator was a small-minded, bigoted, jingoistic, opportunistic slug intent on hampering their work and exerting power over A.I.M. So, Bobby sold it. By divesting his portfolio of any corporate shares he was instantly no longer the Supreme Leader of A.I.M. And since S.H.I.E.L.D.'s deal had been specifically with Roberto Dacosta for the services of A.I.M., the government had no influence over A.I.M. if Roberto did not. Krask blubbered over how Sunspot just cost himself millions of dollars, but Roberto made it clear that there were more important things than money. [U.S. Avengers #10]

By popular vote, Toni Ho was named the Scientist Supreme of A.I.M., although Sunspot retained leadership of the U.S. Avengers team. They had a fantastic surprise when Smasher arrived from Chandrilar to inform them Cannonball was still alive. The team tracked him down to a Skrull colony in the Kral system where he had been sold into slavery. Bobby and Sam were reunited, and the team's work continued. [U.S. Avengers #10-12]

When the Grandmaster stole the Earth as a staging ground for his game against the Challenger, Sunspot stood up with Rogue and Falcon to lead the combined roster of three teams of Avengers against the threat. With the limitations placed on his powers, Roberto initially coordinated from the Avengers Auxilary Headquarters, but soon took to the field of battle as well against the Elders' champions, the Black Order and the Lethal Legion. After the Grandmaster fell, the Challenger was on the verge of destroying the Earth entirely with his World Engine. By turning off his regulator headband, Sunspot risked his health to reach god-like levels of solar strength. Roberto stood equal with Thor and Hercules as the Avengers exerted the strength necessary to hold up an entire world.

Afterwards, Bobby decided his vision of the Avengers wasn't as effective as he wished any more. As Toni Ho had assumed control of A.I.M. and revamped it into her new R.E.S.C.U.E. organization, Sunspot decided to cut ties with the group and allow it to grow on its own. Feeling the need to revisit his roots with the mutant community, Roberto told Toni he would be casting aside the "Citizen V" identity and becoming Citizen X. What specifically Bobby has planned for his future is unknown, but over the past few years he has more than proven himself to be a major player, and someone worth watching. [Avengers (1st series) #675-690]