Julio Estaban Richter was born into a family whose business was to smuggle guns and weapons. He was unaware of the nature of family business until a rival criminal leader abducted the young boy. Julio also witnessed his father’s death as a consequence of an arms deal gone wrong which involved the mutant villain Stryfe. More trauma struck the young boy when a militant group The Right abducted him and wired him to a machine in an attempt to level the city of San Francisco. The then current X-Factor team who took him and trained him rescued Julio. The Right attacked a second time during which time X-Force aide Cameron Hodge’s duplicity was revealed. Rictor contemplated killing himself before he and his teammates were rescued.
Rictor’s history partially reflects the expansion of the X-Men franchise, notably in his involvement with various teams, including X-Factor (Investigations and the original incarnation), X-Corporation, X-Force, Weapon: PRIME, and New Mutants. My unfamiliarity with Rictor’s complicated record leads me to suggest to interested readers to check Wikipedia’s entry for detailed accounts.
There are two reasons for the character’s inclusion on this site. The first is his intense personal friendship with Shatterstar, which had many gay readers wondering if their friendship didn’t include a sexual aspect and using their imaginations to fill in the blanks. Most recently in X-Factor #14, a conversation in a bar over beers happens between Rictor and Jamie Madrox. The subject of Jamie’s dupes having sex with both Monet and Theresa (Siryn) in a previous issue has come up when they both agree to change the subject.
Jamie asks about Rictor’s involvement with Quicksilver, whose motives may be questionable. Rictor replies: “Nothin’s ‘up.’ Dude’s got a lot of interesting stuff to say, that’s all. Keeps talking ‘bout giving me my powers back. Not sure if that’s on the level, though. So, I’ve been, y’know…feeling him out. No big deal. It ain’t like I’m sleeping with him…anymore.” Rictorassures Jamie it was a joke, not because of the “guy/guy thing” but because Quicksilver is “semi-evil.” Jamie goes on to bemoan the moral of the X-Factor members. Rictor comments how they’ve put the “fun in dysfunctional” and reminds him that at least Pietro and he aren’t an item. Jamie comments: “I mean, God knows you wouldn’t want to make Shatterstar jealous.” And the spit take is repeated, only this time with Jamie as the recipient.
It has been established that Rictor has had romantic relationships with women, Rahne being one of them. Series writer Peter David commented on the above scene in an interview with LiveWire. The comment below from David is excerpted from this interview.
“I have much more fun tweaking the fans than actually spelling anything out. If I definitely … I certainly don’t think we could say at this point that Rictor is definitively gay. I think we could make the argument that he’s bi, but I don’t see the point at this juncture in spelling it out – not because of any sense of homophobia or anything like that but out of a sense that I think it’s more entertaining and more thought-provoking if we keep it ambiguous.”
Writer Peter David reintroduced Shatterstar into the Cortex subplot with a last page entrance in X-Factor #43. Shatterstar skips #44. The reappearance fueled speculation for some fans that David would resolve long standing speculation that Rictor and Shatterstar had been romantically involved. The kiss between the two men in #45 confirms this.
Please read Shatterstar’s entry.
As a mutant, Rictor had the ability to create and release seismic energy. This power was used to shatter or crumble objects or to induce earthquake like effects in larger objects. Rictor lost his power from events that occurred during Marvel’s HOUSE OF M mini series
Please refer to “The Pairing” for an in depth view on the relationship between Rictor and Shatterstar.
Rictor was created by Louise Simonson and Walter Simonson. Rictor first appeared in X-Factor #17 (vol 1) and is arguably outed in X-Factor #14 (vol 2).
Rictor currently appear in Excaliber (2019).
Art by Marcos To and Erick Arciniega.
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