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Mr Ten Per Cent

Howard Quartz
Real name
Howard Quartz
Current alias
Mr Ten Per Cent
Alignment
Affiliation
Relatives
Dick Quartz (brother); Ebenezer Quartz (brother); Lizzie (great-aunt); Dallas Castle (wife)
Universe

Characteristics
Gender
Hair
Unusual features
Only Quartz's brain is human; the rest of him is robotic
Status
Citizenship
Marital status
Occupation
Billionaire industrialist
Origin
Origin
Attacked by robot
First appearance
Last appearance

2000 AD prog 1923

History

The Ro-Busters, ABC Warriors and Savage character Howard Quartz was originally a normal human, the brother of US President Dick Quartz. Howard was the CEO of Quartz Industries, who amongst their many other activities designed robots for the US military through their subsidiary Ro-Busters Inc. He created the original Mark I War Droids (forerunners to the ABC Warriors), which had to be scrapped because they were so incredibly gung-ho that they slaughtered friend, foe and civilian alike.

Quartz's biggest mistake was to anger Bill Savage by letting his robots kill a large number of civilians in London during an anti-US demonstration after the end of the Volgan occupation. Savage pretended to have forgiven Quartz but later messed with the controls of one of Quartz's own Hammerstein robots so that it beat Quartz into a bloody pulp. His body was totally wrecked, meaning that his brain had to be deposited in a robotic form to survive. He was thereafter referred to as 'Mr Ten Per Cent', because only 10% of him was human.

The cyborg Quartz later took a personal interest in the activities of his Ro-Busters Disaster Squad, composed of second-hand robots he'd bought cheap. They included Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein, with whom Quartz had an antagonistic relationship, and the psychotic bulldozer Mek-Quake, as well as the deranged Dr. Feeleygood.

When Ro-Busters became unprofitable, Quartz decided to destroy the robots as part of an insurance scam. A dozen of them, warned by Quartz's secretary and P.A. Miss Marilyn, escaped to the free robot world of Mekka, led by Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein. Quartz apparently survived for centuries, and eventually attempted to reclaim 'his' Warriors on Mars, re-recruiting Mek-Quake, who murdered the adopted son of the ABC Warrior Tubal Caine on his orders.

Powers and abilities

Abilities

Keen business mind.

Strength level

Robot who gets regular exercise.

Paraphernalia

Equipment

(Occasionally) an umbrella.

Transportation

The Preying Mantis, the Ro-Busters' rescue vehicle.

Weapons

Mek-Quake.

Notes

  • Quartz's citizenship is unclear. He was originally depicted as British and habitually carried an umbrella everywhere, but his brother is plainly an American citizen. In his most recent appearance, in Savage, he is definitely an American, suggesting that the British aspect of his character has been retconned.
  • Quartz's personal timeline is similarly problematic, as he has been seen to have been (in his original human form) a contemporary of Bill Savage in 2009, but at least one Ro-Busters story makes reference to Mega-City One from the Judge Dredd series, which did not exist until the mid-21st century. These incidents can probably be reconciled, but an ABC Warriors story from the 1990s describes the Volgan War (for which the Warriors were designed) as occurring in 2083, more than a decade after the Atomic Wars of Dredd's timeline!
  • Also, the Ro-Busters series in Starlord, where Howard Quartz first appeared, should be set after the Volgan War, and it takes place in 2078 AD.

Trivia

  • Pat Mills has said that the human version of Howard Quartz was based on Richard Branson, the famous British industrialist. In the 2000 AD series Savage, set before the events of Ro-Busters, he is depicted by Patrick Goddard as a dead ringer for Branson (see gallery).
  • Howard Quartz used to have the Rolls Royce symbol on his robot body.

Links

Discover and Discuss

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