Robert "Buzz" Baxter was a childhood friend of Patsy Walker who would one day become Patsy's husband and the costumed crime fighter Hellcat. Patsy and Robert already knew each other for many years, and started dating when they where teenagers. At the same time Patsy's mother, Dorothy, began to write fictionalized romantic adventures of her daughter as a teenager. Upon Patsy's request, she asked her mother to base a character on Robert Baxter. In later comic stories it is told that most of the adventures Patsy and Buzz had where fictionalized stories her mother wrote. The two however did actually start dating and had many wacky adventures together. They fit perfectly together, and not soon after they graduated from high school, Patsy and Robert got married.
Baxter would join the US Air Force and serve a number of tours overseas. Disturbed by some certain incidents he experienced in Vietnam, Baxter became tense and irritable as the young couple adjusted to married life. Baxter would be promoted to captain and was sent to the Brand Company where he would supervise the security surrounding certain projects. Baxter was vexed by the presence of the mutant X-man Beast on the premises, unaware that he was the newly-hired genetics researcher Henry McCoy. At one point, Patsy sheltered the wounded Beast from her husband and provided an alibi for him in exchange for the Beast's promise to help her become a costume crime fighter. Soon after the Beast left the Brand Company, Patsy would divorce her husband. Baxter would remain at Brand and eventually be promoted to colonel.
Mad-Dog first appeared as Robert Baxter in Miss America Magazine issue 2 (1944).
Major Story Arcs
Patsy Walker would return to Brand a few months later in the company of the Avengers to investigate the illegal activities of a private army quartered there. It was at Brand that Patsy assumed the identity of Hellcat and travel with the Avengers to the Squadron Supreme's dimension. Upon their return, the Avengers were captured by Brand operatives. Hellcat managed to escape and threatened her ex-husband with her claws if he would not release the Avengers. Hellcat raked Baxter's face to prove that she was serious, so he complied and released the Avengers. Baxter vowed vengeance after he was humiliated by his ex-wife. Baxter resigned from the Air Force and began treatment from Roxxon's Mutagenic Department in order to receive superhuman abilities. The treatment augmented his strength, speed and agility and also gave him canine-like characteristics. Baxter dubbed himself Mad-Dog.
Facing the Defenders
Leaving the employ of Roxxon, Mad-Dog was recruited by the Secret Empire and led the group known as Mutant Force. Mad-Dog and Mutant Force would attack Patsy during her wedding ceremony to Daimon Hellstrom. Mad-Dog and Mutant Force would meet defeat at the hands of the Defenders and be placed under SHIELD custody. Mad-Dog would be freed by the Secret Empire and he would aid Professor Power in his attempt to launch a satellite that would trigger a major nuclear war but the plan was thwarted once again by the Defenders. Mad-Dog would face numerous superheroes during his criminal career. Mad-Dog was one of many criminals and assassins to be hired by Crossfire to get revenge on Hawkeye. After Crossfire was humiliated from a previous defeat by Hawkeye, he would place a bounty on one of his arms and would pay the criminal thousands if they were successful. Mad-Dog even got into a brief scuffle with another bounty hunter named Bobcat over Hawkeye. However Crossfire and his cartel would be defeated by the combine forces of Hawkeye, Mockingbird and Trick Shot.
Mad-Dog unsuccessfully attacked members of the Fantastic Four during the Acts of Vengeance storyline. Mad-Dog even came into conflict with Captain America who was disguised as Crossbones at a secret weapons expo being held by AIM. Mad-Dog had unsuccessful attempts to take down S.H.I.E.L.D. numerous times and even fought Gamma Flight but was teleported away by Manikin's future self.
A much more mutated Mad-Dog was involved in a Secret Empire scheme to take over a High School run by Professor Power; however the new Nomad stopped their scheme and the pair ran from the Empire but Professor Power was captured. Mad-Dog went on the run from them because they want to punish him for his previous failures. Nomad was looking for him however and staking out the home of his second wife in case he returned there. Mad-Dog indeed turned up and called out his wife's Rachel's name as she came home and she was startled. Nomad approached the were-mutt and told Baxter that she just wanted to talk to him. The heroine known as Arana intervenes and kicks Mad-Dog over. Arana told Nomad that it's a Team Up and wanted to help. Aggravated, Mad-Dog tossed Arana into Nomad and headed into the sewers.
Nomad and Arana chase after Baxter, despite their dislike of sewers. Rachel is seen on the phone to someone reporting in Mad-Dog's appearance. Mad-Dog sneaked up on the Heroes from behind and attacked. Nomad tells Baxter that she will do everything in her power to shut down the Secret Empire if he can provide her information on their members, bases and plans, however before Baxter could say anything, he was blasted from a floating, mechanized orb. The Heroes fight the Orbs, but two mechanized orbs carry Mad-Dog away and take him to Professor Power. Mad-Dog was bound to a table with various attachments on his body and undergoes a painful process to accept a new catalyst of some kind designed by a Secret Empire scientist. This is the price he pays for his disobedience to Number One and the Empire.
Powers and Abilities:
Mad-Dog has superhuman strength enabling him to lift 5 tons. He also possesses enhanced speed, agility and stamina due to his cellular augmentation. He has an acute sense of smell and hearing similar to that of a dog. His jaw muscles were bionically strengthened and he was given large, canine-like teeth. The teeth emit a foaming chemical poison that can cause, weakness, paralysis and even death to whoever he bites.