BOX I: Page 2 of 6

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Last Updated: 
22nd December 2007

Little is known of paraplegic scientist-turned-hero Roger Bochs’ past. At some point in his life, he lost his legs from the lower-thigh down, whether by illness or accident is unknown. Though physically impaired, he possessed a brilliant intelligence and started up his own company, Bochs Enterprises, which dealt in his passion - engineering and robotics. This helped him to make a small fortune. It was during this time that the wheelchair bound Roger created what is known as the Box robot and the cybernetic remote that controlled it. However, he also was a bit mentally imbalanced, suffering from delusions and paranoia as he blamed the whole world for the loss of his legs.

Somehow, perhaps due to his brilliance and the success of Bochs Enterprises, Roger came to the attention of James MacDonald Hudson and Canada’s Department H. Hudson organized for Bochs to undergo psychotherapy in the Clinic for Maladjusted Super-Beings and, after being given a clean bill of health, Roger was enlisted into the three-tier training system supporting Canada's premiere super hero team, Alpha Flight. Being an engineer himself, James Hudson helped Roger turn the Box robot from a mere toy into something that would make Roger a hero. Wearing a cybernetic circuit on his head, Roger could control his creation to act out what he wanted it to and, as he became more experienced in using the Box robot, he was upgraded to the second-tier team Beta Flight. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #16, 46]
[Note: In Alpha Flight (1st series) #46, Madison Jeffries mentions that he and Roger Bochs became friends while they were both in the Clinic for Maladjusted Super-Beings. However, when they introduced themselves to each other in Alpha Flight (1st series) #16, it was quite clear that they had not met before, meaning they must have been at the Clinic at different times. Possibly, they later talked about their experiences there.]
Shortly afterwards and unexpectedly, though, the Canadian parliament shut down Department H, and therefore, the three teams of heroes and heroes-in-training. Whereas Alpha Flight continued to serve Canada even without government funding, the members of Beta Flight and Gamma Flight were all but forgotten – until a woman named Delphine Courtney came into their lives. Working for James MacDonald Hudson’s (a.k.a. Guardian) former employer, Jerry Jaxon, Delphine Courtney assembled nearly all of the old Beta and Gamma Flight members into a new team - Omega Flight. Jaxon was furious with Guardian over a past encounter, and his ultimate plan was the destruction of Alpha Flight and the death of Guardian.

Delphine manipulated the wannabe heroes into thinking that Hudson was to blame for them being out of jobs but, as Roger Bochs had a lot of respect for Guardian, he only intended to go along with Jaxon and Delphine so that he could betray them. During the event which would have major impact on Alpha Flight for years to come, Bochs’ betrayal was discovered by Jaxon, who tied Roger up and used the cybernetic device himself to control the Box robot and fight Guardian. This battle resulted not only in Jaxon’s death, but apparently also in Guardian’s. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #1, 11-12]

While the other members of Omega Flight were turned over to the local authorities, Bochs returned to his home in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. Bochs felt responsible that his Box robot that had a part in Guardian’s death and he wanted to make sure that no one but he could make use of the Box robot. For that purpose, he paid the one member of Gamma Flight who was not involved in Omega Flight, Madison Jeffries, to come and see him. After introducing himself, Bochs informed his guest that Guardian had been recently killed. Unaware that Jaxon had also died, Bochs revealed his plan to have Jeffries, a transmutator, help him rebuild and modify the Box robot, then track down Jaxon and Courtney to avenge Guardian’s death. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #16]

The brilliance of Bochs and the power of Jeffries remade the Box robot into Box armor. Therefore, Roger no longer had to control his creation cybernetically; it was re-designed so that Roger could physically phase into his prized weapon, which was slightly redesigned in shape and was now capable of flight, due to a pair of boot-mounted rockets. When shifting into and out of the Box armor, Roger would experience a slight tingle, but he told Jeffries that it was nothing like the phantom senses he would occasionally get, like the feeling that his missing feet were itching. More importantly, though, Bochs, who had spent his whole life confined to a wheelchair, now had mobility. However, Madison warned his friend not to spend too much time in the Box armor as there was a potential danger of the symbiosis of man and machine becoming permanent. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #22]

When he heard that Alpha Flight were active in Vancouver, Bochs tried to become involved with them again. However, upon making his way there, he suddenly felt compelled to fly north. At the dimensional gateway known as the Eye of the World, Box he discovered Heather Hudson, waiting while Alpha Flight were in the realm of the Great Beasts to recover the soul of Walter Langkowski a.k.a. Sasquatch. Heather reasoned that Talisman’s magical call to members of Alpha Flight must have also reached Box. His presence was a quite fortunate coincidence, for by the time Alpha Flight had saved Walter’s soul, his body had crumbled to dust and needed to be placed in another vessel. Roger then phased out of his armor, so that Walter’s soul could be housed in it. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #24]

Right after Alpha Flight returned to Vancouver, Roger was inducted into the team, even though he no longer had any super-powers with Langkowski remaining with Alpha Flight as ”Box.” That solution, viable as it may have been, could not last long, for all three parties involved - Bochs, Langkowski and Langkowski’s lover, Aurora, did not find it suitable - Bochs because he yearned for the mobility that the armor would provide him, Langkowski because he considered himself a very physical man and Aurora because she

could never love a machine. However, Roger also found a possible solution to their problem. With an interdimensional scanner, Bochs searched the Crossroads of Realities for another body for Walter to inhabit. Soon, Roger lucked out and found a strong-built, humanoid, yet not too intelligent life-form. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #25, 27]

Before long, the two scientists had built the necessary equipment to acquire this new host. An energy line was hooked to the supposed alien life-form, and as Walter’s soul left the Box armor to travel along the energy line to take over the body, Bochs phased back into his armor. As it turned out, the humanoid, near mindless savage, was none other than the Hulk, and as Walter could not bring himself to possess the alter ego of his old college friend, Dr. Bruce Banner, his soul seemed forever lost. When Alpha Flight reeled the energy line back in, they found themselves under attack by the rampaging Hulk. The resulting battle turned out to be Roger’s baptism of fire, as the green goliath tore a big hole into the Box’s chest. The man inside the armor began to panic, fearing that his physical body would receive the same injuries upon phasing out of the armor. Fortunately, Madison Jeffries used his transmutative power to repair the armor before Roger had to phase out of it. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #28-29]

Their governmental funding being restored, Alpha Flight moved into an official headquarters on Tamarind Island. As Bochs’ engineering skills and Madison Jeffries’ power had proved to be a good combination before, they continued to work together, like when it came to improving some of the mansion’s technology or giving the Box armor yet another slight overhaul. Along the way, the two men became good friends. Eventually,

they decided to re-create James Hudson’s Guardian suit. While at first Heather Hudson was not at all impressed by the actions of Alpha Flight’s newest members, she soon came to realize that to back up her otherwise great leadership of the team, she needed to have super-powers as well. She then donned the costume that Bochs and Jeffries had modified to fit her, surprising the rest of Alpha Flight. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #30, 32]