- You see... I gain the power of the last fighter who beat me! If I win... I just win! But if I'm beaten... I come back even stronger!
- — Rick Lawrence src
Rick Lawrence was a super-soldier with the power to duplicate the fighting ability of any opponent who defeats him.
Lawrence volunteered to be part of an unethical human-experimentation project run in secret by the amoral scientist Doctor Sunder. As such, Lawrence was subjected to painful radiation treatments and injections of synthetic "hyper-enzymes" to boost his metabolic rate and alter his physiological makeup. When Lawrence failed to defeat former heavyweight boxer Bull Storski in a one-on-one fight, Sunder tried to "dispose" of his "unsuccessful first trial." However, this was because Sunder failed to anticipate how he might have mutated Lawrence; having lost to Storski, Lawrence copied his pugilistic talent and easily overpowered the thugs that Sunder sent to exterminate him. Thirsting for revenge on his callous creator, Lawrence sought to gain ever more power from fighting, and deliberately losing to, the mightiest superhuman beings on Earth. First, Lawrence opened fire on Wonder Woman while she was delivering a speech to the public at the United Nations Building and was struck down without much of a fuss by the Amazon Princess. Little did she know at the time that this was precisely her assailant's intent, and Lawrence escaped to plant explosive charges around gasoline storage tanks on Neville Island, the site of Metropolis's oil refineries. This time, Lawrence's intention was to be clobbered by Superman, and he certainly received what he asked for in spades, fighting Superman with Wonder Woman's strength, speed, and stamina to a nearby junkyard but ultimately getting punched out. Lawrence was booked by the police and put in jail. Lawrence contacted a lawyer who arranged for his bail to be posted in a matter of hours, and now the determined super-soldier's destination was the underworld lab where Doctor Sunder conducted his experiments. Breaking in with strength sufficient to collapse whole buildings and durability enough to shrug off the meager slugs Sunder and his men could shoot at him, Lawrence nearly had his tormenter in his grasp when Superman unexpectedly popped up. Superman had anticipated Lawrence's release and crushed up some flowers to sprinkle on Lawrence upon his first defeat, in order so the trace fragrant particles could lead Superman with his hyper-sensitive olfactory abilities to Lawrence's future location. More than that, Superman was not fighting at full strength before, on account of believing that Morgan Edge was about to terminate Clark Kent's employment. Because his circumstances had significantly improved since their initial confrontation, Superman found the strength to punch Lawrence's lights out a second time. Doctor Sunder was arrested and taken to prison, but Lawrence, who Superman realized would copy the full extent of his strength upon awakening and thus become unbeatable, received special treatment, becoming an unwilling resident of Kandor until such time as the Kryptonian scientists there could work out a way to negate his powers.
Powers and Abilities
- Explosive charges
- 1 Appearances of Richard Lawrence (Earth-One)
- 1 Images featuring Richard Lawrence (Earth-One)
- 1 Quotations by or about Richard Lawrence (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Richard Lawrence (Earth-One)
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