Ruben is not your average alcoholic; he's an unstoppable superhero who derives his powers from imbibing MASSIVE amounts of alcohol.— Dark Horse Comics
Francis Pierce, aka “Absolute,” was first seen in Buzzkill #1 - The Problem. He was created by Donny Cates and Mark Reznicek.
Francis's powers were inherited from his father; however, it is unknown how his father obtained them.
Its hinted in a flashback seen in Buzzkill #4 - The Final Step that Francis's mother was killed during childbirth. It seems that it was potentially Francis's powers (perhaps he absorbed extra strength from the drugs being used to help with his mothers pregnancy) that killed his mother; however, it is never explicitly stated.
Francis's father was a poor father figure and often told Francis that he'd never grow up to be a hero, because you have to be born into it and insisted that Francis didn't have the proper character to do the right thing.
It is from these interactions that Francis's disdain for his father becomes more and more justified, further suggesting that Francis had a rough childhood.
Francis first became aware of his abilities in college when he and several of his friends attended a party hosted by some of the popular upperclassmen. He and his friends had far too much to drink and attempted to drive home unsuccessfully, a head on collision with a semi-truck caused Francis to fly through the windshield while his two friends died on impact. Francis was left unharmed due to the alcohol activating his abilities thus giving him enhanced durability.
It wasn't until college, 5 years later, that Francis drank again. As a pledge for a fraternity he was stuffed into the back of a tractor trailer with several other pledges and forced to drink from a keg. Once again Francis's powers activated, but the alcohol caused him to go on a drunken rampage and he ended up killing all of the other pledges in a brawl.
Francis dropped out of college shortly after this event.
At some point after discovering his powers, Francis turned to fighting crime, becoming the superhero known as “Absolute.” He was eventually found worthy to join the world’s greatest super-team, the Command, led by the mighty High Guard.
During his career as Absolute, Francis drew the undying hatred of many different supervillains, including Shoxxx and Brutal Juice.
Major Story Arcs
Francis is first seen attending a rehab group in Buzzkill #1 - The Problem under the alias of “Ruben.” He is shown to hate the rehab group as he feels he isn't like them; he only uses substances like alcohol and drugs to activate his powers to serve as a hero.
He attempts to walk out of the group but is chased down by the groups leader and is convinced to join the circle once more and tell his story. He explains his early life, when his powers first activated, explaining that it was a fight with his father in which he blacked out is the reason why he's here.
At the end of the meeting he is approached by the leader of the group, Roger, and is thanked for sharing his story.
Francis is then approached by his best friend, Eric, who asks him if he's finally found a group that works for him. Francis states he has and that he has faith that he'll get better.
Unfortunately for Francis he doesn't get better as it's discovered by Francis (after he develops super senses thanks to coffee) that Roger is actually a robot. This discovery causes Roger to enter a violent combat mode and he blasts Francis through a wall with his cannon arm.
Francis lands on the street outside of the rehab building and is surrounded by none other than his rogues gallery. This entire rehab program was one big setup to get revenge on Francis for thwarting them in the past, and get revenge they do as Francis is beaten to a pulp and almost to death if it wasn't for Eric swooping in to save the day.
Eric's distraction allows for Francis to ingest some substances thus giving him a distinct edge over his foes; however, Francis enters a frenzy and almost beats one of his villains, Brutal Juice, to death; however, he is blasted by a strange character who introduces himself as Dr. Blaqk.
Dr. Blaqk informs Francis that he is his sponsor and was sent by Eric to help Francis make it through his recovery program and assures Francis that he has a long and painful road ahead of him.
Francis is teleported to some sort of watchtower base by Dr. Blaqk to apologize for his past actions to his former superhero team mates; however, due to some sour interactions with one of his old allies, High Guard, Dr. Blaqk teleports Francis and himself back to Earth.
Francis decides its time to apologize to his ex girlfriend, Nikki, and see if they can become friends again. Everything is going fine between the two of them until its revealed that Eric has been seeing Nikki since Francis and her had ended their relationship.
A brawl begins between Francis and Eric that would've gone on until one of them had died; however, an explosion at a nearby hospital causes both Francis and Eric to realize that their greatest fear has come true.
Francis's father has been woken; and it's up to Francis, Eric and Dr. Blaqk to stop him.
The Final Step
Francis, Eric and Dr. Blaqk make their way to the hospital where they find a pile of dead bodies surrounding Francis's father, Courtland, who is awake and ready for a brawl.
Courtland nearly kills Francis but is stopped by Dr. Blaqk; however, he catches Dr. Blaqk off guard and shatters his hands with a simple squeeze thus putting Dr. Blaqk out of the fight. This leaves Francis frantically searching for a means to activate his abilities and after a short brawl with Courtland he finds himself at a local bar.
Francis begins powering up on cigarettes and booze while Courtland makes his way to Nikki's house. Francis realizes that he's going to hurt Nikki unless he can stop him in time thus he rushes to Nikki's hoping that he isn't too late to save her.
Thankfully Nikki is safe; however, Eric had been killed by Courtland thus causing Francis to lose control and begin going all out. He blitzes his father and takes the fight into the center of the city, exchanging blows as they fly through the sky. They quickly begin rising higher and higher as they break through the atmosphere, eventually taking the fight into space.
Francis defeats his father, finally becoming a true hero and dies in the vacuum of space… or does he?
Personality & Appearance
In his non-superhero form, Francis has a very dirty appearance; sinking into the stereotype of a drug addict in the midst of a populated city. He wears grimy clothes and doesn't seem to care much about how he looks.
As far as his attitude goes he is rather cynical about everything and has little faith in the rehab program he instills himself in; however, this attitude is understandable after given more and more information about his childhood and the traumatic events he had fought through on his path to become a hero.
Powers & Abilities
Francis is a unique sort of hero who obtains powers only after doing drugs or drinking alcohol. He explains that anything that could be considered a drug such as caffeine or aspirin can activate his abilities.
Depending on what substances he uses he obtains different abilities:
- Super Strength - Francis seems to have obtained superhuman strength after drinking alcohol. The only negative effect this has is that he has no restraint due to blacking out and he often causes far more damage than he originally intends to.
- Superhuman Durability - Francis has a superhuman durability that allows him to take massive amounts of punishment; however, he only obtains this after smoking cigarettes. He always keeps a pack on him for when he knows he's going to take a beating.
- Flight - Francis has displayed the ability to fly at speeds fast enough to break through the atmosphere; however, it is unknown what substance granted him this ability.
- Superhuman Senses - After drinking coffee Francis has superhuman senses. He was able to detect that Roger was a robot off the fact that he couldn't hear any heartbeat or vitals working to keep him alive.
- Environmental Adaptation - During his final battle against Courtland, Francis demonstrated that he was capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of outer space.
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