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Fallout Boy
FalloutBoy
Fallout Boy's Skybox Series II trading card.
Character Information
Real Name Rod Runtledge
Powers Superhuman strength, superhuman durability, flight

Fallout Boy is a fictional character, Radioactive Man's sidekick and usually the deuteragonist of the Radioactive Man comics. His appearance spoofs sidekicks such as Robin and his backstory spoofs teen superheroes such as Spider-Man.

NameEdit

Fallout Boy's surname, "Runtledge," obviously contains a pun on his stature as a "runt." His first name, Rod, may have come from the inanimate carbon rod that serves as a running gag on episodes of The Simpsons.

Fictional BiographyEdit

Within The SimpsonsEdit

Fallout Boy

Fallout Boy as he appears on the show.

Fallout Boy appears in the TV series almost as many times as Radioactive Man, often as a role Bart Simpson fantasizes about taking. According to the show, he first appeared in Boffo Comics' Interesting Stories #27 fighting the Communist Block alongside Radioactive Man.[1] Like Radioactive Man, Fallout Boy has a catchphrase of his own: "Jiminy jillickers!" While Radioactive Man tends to spoof Superman or Batman, Fallout Boy tends to spoof Robin and Spider-Man.

Fallout Boy accompanied Radioactive Man in his non-comic appearances from the start. He appeared in the 1950s black-and-white TV series and film serials played by Buddy Hodges.[2] Hodges would also star in the 1980 film "Radioactive Man III: Oh God Not Again" as Fallout Boy's great-grandfather.[3] Fallout Boy also appeared in the campy 70s TV series[4] and as a slightly older sidekick in the 1990s animated series.[5]

Tapped Out Sidekick Milhouse

Milhouse playing Fallout Boy.

In 1995, Hollywood attempted to make another Radioactive Man picture, filmed in Springfield. The film would star Milhouse Van Houten as Fallout Boy. Among numerous other factors, Milhouse's inability to cope with the pressure of the role caused the film to ultimately get shelved (but not before Mickey Rooney attempted the role).[4]

Comics BiographyEdit

Rod Runtledge grew up in Zenith City. At one point in his childhood, his parents and his brother Dodd disappeared while flying in the jungles of South America. Consequently, Rod grew up with his aunt June and gradually slipped into a life of juvenile delinquency, playing hooky, stealing, greasing back his hair, wearing a leather jacket, and reading questionable comics. An encounter with Radioactive Man started him on the path to changing his ways.[6]

In going straight, Rod transformed himself from a juvenile delinquent into a nerd. He attended Zenith High, where his meek façade got him bullied and ostracized. During a radioactivity demonstration attended by rod and Claude Kane III, a piece of equipment called a xeno-ray broke loose from its moorings, knocking over Rod and Claude. It let out a burst of energy, imbuing Rod with a fraction of Radioactive Man's powers. Soon after, Aunt June took ill with a "brain fever" and had to go to the Bide-a-While nursing home. After a bribe to a child welfare caseworker, Rod became Claude Kane III's young ward.[7] By Radioactive Man #9, Rod had taken on the mantle of Fallout Boy.[8][9] He works with the Superior Squad frequently, but the squad doesn't consider him a member or allow him in their base (even for holiday parties) because of his status as a sidekick.[3][10]

Rod eventually did reunite with his long-lost brother Dodd. After attending an Armed Forces Day Barbecue with Radioactive Man, Rod went to pick up his pictures and got Dodd's by mistake. Dodd had resurfaced in Zenith. Rod tracked his brother down and found him under the thrall of his old enemy Hypno Head, who had also captured Radioactive Man, Bleeding Heart, and Black Partridge. Fallout Boy ultimately rescued them all and helped defeat Hypno Head, reuniting with his brother and saving the day.[11] Dodd initially went to military school, but eventually he moved in with Rod in Claude Kane's mansion, where they shared bunk beds.[12]

Fallout Boy, for his part, briefly got depowered shortly after in Radioactive Man #220. He turned to reporting for his school newspaper, writing a column where he went by the name of "Mr. Proactive." His lack of powers made him vulnerable to getting kidnapped. Indeed, some subterranean hippies soon kidnapped him and held him hostage until Radioactive Man rescued him.[13] He eventually regained his powers and by 1980 had become Fallout Boy again.[3]

BangGang

The Bang Gang with Fallout Boy in Radioactive Man #575.

Fallout Boy occasionally leaves Radioactive Man out of irritation with his mentor. In 1984, he hired publicist Libby Biaz, who advised him to go undercover with an outlaw biker gang known as the Bang Gang (based on the GoGangs from American Flagg!). The gang briefly used him as a mascot until he left the group and went back to his old mentor.[14]

Alternate VersionsEdit

Radioactive Man of 1995Edit

In Radioactive Man #22 (August 1955), Gloria Grand accidentally travels to the future through an alien saucer. In 1995, Claude has become too old to act as Radioactive Man (and has somehow found a way to extricate the shrapnel from his head), so Rod Runtledge takes over the position.[15] Using a device obtained from Radioactive Man-Beta, the present Fallout Boy actually has the ability to speak with his future self as Radioactive Man (not knowing he's actually talking to himself). Fallout Boy causes his future self a lot of problems when he accidentally gives Dr. Crab and Dr. Broome the idea to travel to the future to see how their schemes unfold. This sparks a 12-part crossover that takes place in the 1970s.[16]

PowersEdit

Like Radioactive Man, Fallout Boy possesses superhuman strength, superhuman durability, and flight, but all to a lesser extent than Radioactive Man.[9]

In Popular CultureEdit

The band Fall Out Boy took its name from this young hero, after a fan suggested it at a concert.[17]

NotesEdit

  1. Moms I'd Like to Forget
  2. Three Men and a Comic Book
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Radioactive Man #412
  4. 4.0 4.1 Radioactive Man
  5. Radioactive Man: Radioactive Repository, Volume One
  6. Radioactive Man #1
  7. Radioactive Man #88
  8. Three Men and a Comic Book
  9. 9.0 9.1 Skybox Series II trading cards
  10. Simpsons Winter Wingding #7
  11. Radioactive Man #216
  12. Radioactive Man #1000
  13. Radioactive Man #222
  14. Radioactive Man #575
  15. Radioactive Man 80 pg Colossal
  16. Radioactive Man #100
  17. Lamb, Bill (2007). "Fall Out Boy". About.com. Retrieved 2012-10-29.