Julio Esteban Richter (Rictor)

The last character appearing in Logan was quite an unexpected surprise, and many read in his presence the seeds for a future X-Force movie. When Logan finally manages to bring Laura to the coordinates she’d given to him, he finds out she’s actually right in believing her friends from the Alkali Labs are waiting for her: the children’s leader is Rictor, portrayed by Jayson Genao, and he’s the one who leads the mutant runaways to a better future. In the movie, we learn that the genetic material used to give birth to Rictor is Dominic Petros, another well-known name in the Marvel Universe…and the evil clone X-24 realizes what this means when the kid uses his seismic powers on him. In the comics, Rictor doesn’t have anything to do with Petros, despite their powers are actually quite similar. Let’s see together.

Julio Richter was born in GuadalajaraMexico, the son of the arms dealer Louis Richter. Despite growing up pretty much unaware of his family activity, Julio was inevitably dragged into that world when he was a teenager: after dropping school, he joined his father in his “job”, and he even spent some time in jail with him. One night, during a deal with a weird white-haired man (actually the time-travelling Stryfe), something went horribly wrong, and the client murdered Louis right in front of Julio’s eyes, thus traumatizing the boy for the rest of his life. He started living on his own, taking care of himself…until his mutant powers manifested themselves in quite a spectacular way: with the ability to generate seismic waves, Julio destroyed three city blocks before he even understood what was happening to him. Such a manifestation of power didn’t go unnoticed, but unfortunately it attracted the attention of some unpleasant people, the anti-mutant organization The Right. The Right agents kidnapped Julio, and explained to him what he was…and why they needed him. Wanting to discredit the mutant terrorist group X-Factor, the Right leader wanted Julio, whom he nicknamed “Rictor”, to cause a massive earthquake in San Francisco, causing an unthinkable destruction that would have been credited to the X-Factor in a second moment. Obviously, Julio didn’t want to help them…but The Right didn’t accept a “no” as an answer, and they tortured the boy to try and force the quake. Right when he was about to lose control again, the X-Factor (under the guise of the mutant hunters X-Terminators) intervened, and saved the young mutant from his captors. Understanding the boy’s potential, and the danger he represented if not trained to use his powers, Cyclops offered Rictor a place in X-Factor, and the boy, who surely needed a guide, and just as surely missed a family, accepted.

Rictor was taken in the X-Factor Complex and joined the other trainees: Boom-Boom, the deformed Leech, SkidsWiz Kid and Rusty Collins, and started to train with them to form a new lineup of the team. When the demon N’astirh kidnapped Leech and his friend Artie Maddicks, the trainees stepped in their first rescure mission, and dubbed themselves the X-Terminators, as the original X-Factor’s alias. The mission was a success, and the group even teamed up with another juvenile team, the New Warriors. Back to the X-Factor Complex, the trainees resumed their duties…but Rictor started thinking that something was amiss with the team’s PR man, Cameron Hodge, as he spotted him in not-so-clear activities. Finally, listen carefully to Hodge, Rictor realised what was amiss: Cameron’s voice matched exactly with the one of the leader of The Right, who had kidnapped him months before. Cameron Hodge was exposed and left, but the consequences would have soon followed: while the adults were busy in a battle against Apocalypse and his Horsemen, the kids were kidnapped by The Right…and Rictor was to be used as a weapon once again. While captive, the boy even considered committing suicide, so that villains such as Hodge would have never used him as a pawn again, but Boom-Boom talked him out of it, and helped him in solving the great emotional chrisis he was facing: from that moment, the two got closer, and Rictor started to look at Boom-Boom as to a sister. The kids were ultimately rescued by X-Factor, and followed the team in the new base…Apocalypse’s living ship, Prosh. Rictor went through many adventures with X-Factor, and later with the X-Terminators only: it was in this occasion that he met the New Mutants, another team of juvenile mutants, and together with them Rictor travelled to Atlantis and even to Asgard, facing impossible foes such as the death goddess Hela. The two teams fused together and lived together on Prosh, and Rictor started having romantic feelings for one of his teammates, Wolfsbane. In this period, he dropped boarding school, tired of being ostracized, and completely dedicated himself to the mutant cause, eventually joining the paramilitary group X-Force: it was time to fight fire with fire.

Julio Richter is a young man forged and hardened by many hardships, who managed to retain a good heart and a strong spirit despite the many tragedies he went through. As Rictor, he possesses impressive powers, as he’s able to emit seismic waves directly from his body; if at first he just generated earthquakes impossible to control, training and time allowed him to hone his skills, and now he can focus the seismic waves concentrating them on a limited area or target; he’s also a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, a proficient investigator and a computer expert. For a man like Rictor, alone i the world, the teams he’s been a part of are the closest thing to a family he knows: he’ll do everything to protect his family, and he’ll follow them wherever necessity brings them.

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