Martin Rock (born April 1961) is the second Green Knight, sworn protector of Jolt City, and the main character of the series of that name. Formerly the sidekick of the first Green Knight, Ray Cradle, he is (as of 2008) training his own sidekick, the Blue Boxer. Martin has no superhuman powers, and his gear is currently limited to an electric torch and gas pellets.
Early Childhood (1961-1972)Edit
A lifelong resident of Jolt City, Martin was a gifted athlete almost from birth, and trained from an early age to be an Olympic competitor in gymnastics. When his mother died, his father could no longer afford the lessons. It seemed as if he would never escape the slums.
When Martin was twelve, he heard a neighbor being beaten by her spouse. He wanted to intervene but his father prevented him from doing so. Shortly thereafter, Martin was sexually assaulted by a white male in a park. The young man blamed himself, thinking that God was punishing him for not assisting his neighbor. This traumatic event, and his inability to deal with it, would haunt Martin for much of his adult life.
Sometime after that, Martin came across a mugging in process. Determined not to stand by, he used his gymnastics and martial arts training to halt the crime. This brought him to the attention of the first Green Knight.
The Acrobat (1972-1990)Edit
Ray Cradle took Martin on as his sidekick, the Acrobat, giving him a part-time job with Cradle Industries, and educating him in the ways of crimefighting, detective work, and the classics. Martin was a quick if impatient study, and he became fluent in several languages.
Slowly, however, the relationship with his mentor began to deteriorate. Ray became increasingly paranoid, while at the same time demanding strict adherence to a code of honour that Martin was finding more and more irrelevant. This, along with Martin's desire to trade up from kid sidekick, and his undeniable attraction to Ray's wife, Ree, motivated Martin's decision to join the marines.
War and Return (1990-1994)Edit
Martin served during the Gulf War as a sniper. There he crossed paths with Nathan Willis, a psychopathic racist. Martin left Willis for dead after an explosion, and returned to Jolt City, rejoining Ray as his sidekick. During this period, he also carried on an affair with Ree.
The guilt and frustration rankled within him until he finally decided to make a clean break of it, abandoning his partnership with the Green Knight and forging his own identity. Of sorts.
The Mask With No Name (1995-2005)Edit
Martin became a street-level vigilante, fighting drug dealers and pimps and squatting in abandoned supervillain hideouts. He abandoned the accoutrements of a four-colour and Ray's code, including the number one rule: do not kill.
But his break was not as clean as he would like: often he found himself having to feed Ray information through an alias, and though it had stopped being physical, he could not keep himself away from Ree. When she died of cancer, it was Martin and not Ray who was at her bedside.
Bread and Lentils (2005)Edit
Main article: Green Knight (miniseries)
Ray Cradle became terminally ill, and Martin found himself taking care of the old man from whom he had been estranged for so long. They never quite reconciled, but before Ray died, he at long last passed on his mantle. Martin was now the second Green Knight.
Ray had in fact left him more than that, giving almost the entirety of his fortune to Martin and passing over his teenaged son, Anders. Demanding that since Martin had had his father, he should at least have his father's things, Anders threatened to reveal Martin's secret identity if he did not renounce the will. Martin did as Anders asked, taking only Ray's gear.
Homeless and with a rented van full of four-colour accoutrements, Martin took a leap of faith and confessed his secret to the priest Roy Riddle, who helped Martin move his things into a secret sub-basement in his church. Soon thereafter, Cradle Manor was blown up and Anders presumed murdered. Martin was initially accused of the crime, but working as the Green Knight he was able to rescue Anders, still very much alive, from the clutches of the demented therapist Melvin Tightly.
Anders and Martin were less hostile after that, but neither wanted much to do with the other.
The Verdant Vigilante (2006-2007)Edit
Main article: The Verdant Vigilante
Martin attempts to strike a balance between the many facets of himself, and to embrace some of the aspects of four-colouring he had rejected before.
Working with Police Lt. Dani Handler, the new Green Knight devoted himself to apprehending the "untouchable" druglord Samson Snapp. This put him at odds with the Crooked Man and the Trapper, as well as bringing Nathan Willis, long thought dead, kicking and screaming back into his life. Willis kills a number of children with his sniper rifle in a demented revenge scheme; though the Green Knight, working alongside the second Darkhorse, Brian Clipper, is able to put Willis behind bars, many in the city blame Martin Rock for bringing Willis upon them. This puts his civilian identity on the outs with Dani Handler.
Which becomes a problem as the Green Knight and Dani slowly grow attracted to one another. Martin, afraid to reveal his true identity, nonetheless enters into a tentative, child-like relationship with Dani. When the Green Knight is drugged and raped by the Clockwork Contessa, he refuses to press charges; Dani suggests that he's not pressing charges because he liked it. In a rage, Martin takes to the streets, where he runs into a former employer, Pam Bierce. They have what Martin assumes will be a one-night stand, but it becomes something deeper when he confesses to her his secret identity, and tells her about both his recent and childhood sexual assault.
Now involved with two women, Martin tries to warm Dani up to his civilian identity by volunteering for a dangerous mission with the ultimate goal of ferreting out an interdepartmental rat who has been feeding information to Snapp and aiding his organization. Unfortunately, the rat is none-other than ADA Jack Fisk, who was privvy to the investigation's details. He arranges for Snapp's men, wearing Vibra-Jackets, to kill both Dani Handler and Dr. Fatima Tarif, then seeks to charge Martin with their murders. Martin is denied bail and remanded to custody at Earbox Prison.
While remanded, Martin learns that someone else is using his identity as the Green Knight, that Dr. Fay is still alive, and that Dani might be "trapped between worlds". While in prison, Martin both reaffirms the value of his self-reliance/loner behaviour and comes to terms with its limitations. With the aid of supervillains Gallery, Whistler, and Chemist, Martin breaks out of Earbox. The second Darkhorse attempts to apprehend them, but Martin is able to defeat him (putting him in traction for over a year).
Martin joins up with the imposter Green Knight and Dr. Fay; they resurrect Dani just in time to be confronted with an invasion by the undersea simian hordes of Apelantis. Learning that the Apelantians are in cahoots with Snapp and Fisk, they halt the invasion and arrest Snapp for treason. Fisk manages to save his own neck but retires; Martin is cleared of all charges. Dani now knows his secret identity, but he still finds himself between the two women. Eventually the three of them will end up living together in a polymorphous relationship, which does not make things easier but rather much, much harder.
And then there's the imposter Green Knight, who Martin deduces to be Derek Mason, a former Snapp drug dealer whose life had been saved by the Green Knight and who has figured out Martin's own identity. Martin agrees to take him on as his sidekick.
The Sensational Character-Find of 2007! (2007)Edit
Main article: The Sensational Character-Find of 2007!
Martin trains Derek to the best of his ability, but finds himself in over his head when the murder of Derek's father finds the young man embroiled with uncontrollable rage. Derek becomes increasingly violent and volatile, and Martin begins to doubt Derek's worthiness as sidekick material.
Derek has, quite by accident, also become friends with Erika Fumetti, the Clockwork Contessa who had kidnapped and sexually assaulted Martin in his costumed identity-- much to the chagrin of Martin, Dani, and Pam. Derek convinces Erika to seek psychiatric treatment, and Martin forgives her, at long last confronting not only what she had done to him but what had happened to him as a child. Inspired by his mentor's example, Derek forgives the man who killed his father.
While neither Martin nor Derek have put their demons or their anger to rest, both are able to lessen the dominance it has over their lives.
Green Knight and Blue Boxer (2008)Edit
Main article: Green Knight and Blue Boxer
Derek takes on the costumed identity of the Blue Boxer, and our heroes fight the good fight. Little does Derek know that he has not been trained as a sidekick, but as a replacement for the soon-to-retire Martin Rock.