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Marvel Custom Solutions

Ride Again with Marvel and Harley-Davidson

Read about the Road Force contest winners who got to team with Iron Man plus another opportunity for new recruits!

Iron Man: Road Force Rides Again art

By TJ Dietsch

Tony Stark, Marvel's resident gear head, spends all kinds of time tinkering away in his workshop, trying to create groundbreaking, bleeding edge technology that will help him in his mission as Iron Man. As such, he can understand and appreciate all that goes into crafting the kinds of vehicular machinery Harley-Davidson started building back in 1903.

Celebrating these shared values, Harley-Davidson and Marvel Custom Solutions have united to unleash IRON MAN: ROAD FORCE RIDES AGAIN, a free two-issue limited series written by William Harms with art by Agustin Padilla and Wellinton Alves.

Iron Man: Road Force Rides Again art

Iron Man first met up with Road Force in the pages of AVENGERS: HEROES ARISE, a two-issue Marvel Custom Solutions comic written by Jeff Parker with art by Manuel Garcia that can still be downloaded here and also on Marvel Unlimited. These issues introduced fan-created characters Highway Bandit, Widowmaker, Polar Storm, Comet Woman and Netster, each with their own uniquely weaponized Harley motorcycle.

Building upon their last appearance, the mobile security team known as Road Force once again rides into action to help save the world, but this time the action requires a swift “search and destroy” mission to take down the threat. This need creates the opportunity for a new team of lucky Harley fans to enter the action as Road Force’s Recon and Demolition, aka R.A.D.D.!

Just head on over to the “Man and Machine” contest page, enter some basic information and then create your character by coming up with a name, choosing a weapon for your super-bike like a flame thrower or laser cannon, write a 300 character story for your character and finally chose your custom bike. The results will be revealed at this years' San Diego Comic-Con International and will be seen in the second issue presented by Harley-Davidson and Marvel.

Iron Man: Road Force Rides Again art

"They’re both American icons, so it makes sense for them to come together," Harms says of Iron Man and Harley-Davidson. "I know a lot of people think Steve Rogers is the quintessential American, but for me it’s Tony Stark. He’s made some mistakes in his life, but he does what he can to correct those mistakes and make sure they don’t happen again. He’s a great character to write, and when you add Road Force to the mix—who doesn’t want to see some bad-asses on Harleys taking it to the bad guys? That’s as American as it gets!"

"What’s always fun when collaborating with a smart and inspired partner like Harley-Davidson is being given the challenge and opportunity to dream up something bigger and bolder, building upon what we’ve originally created," Marvel Custom Solutions editor Bill Rosemann explains. "Previously we introduced Road Force to the Marvel Universe, so now it’s time to expand the mythology and ask ourselves ‘If Road Force are Star Corp’s elite agents, then who are their elite members?’ Who does Road Force send in to handle the missions that need a laser-quick search and destroy response? The answer is R.A.D.D.—Road Force’s Recon and Demolition Division!”

Iron Man: Road Force Rides Again art

"I can’t wait," Harms says. "New super heroes are usually tailored to fit within the confines of a universe or established team, so it’s going to be a lot of fun to see what happens when the fans just cut loose and push things as far as they can. I’m really excited."

Harms explains that working with characters based on real contest winners as well as their creations fits in well with super hero fandom:

"I think every fan of super hero comics dreams of spending actual time in that world, fighting alongside their favorite heroes. I’m an adult, and I still have dreams sometimes that I’m Spider-Man, swinging around and fighting killer robots. Once it’s in your DNA it stays there, so to be able to place heroes based on real people in a story co-starring Iron Man is pretty awesome. It’s fun for me to write, and I imagine it’s a real thrill for the people that inspired Road Force."

Iron Man: Road Force Rides Again art

As it turns out, Iron Man's previous experience with Road Force in last year's Avengers comic leads to a call for help when forces beyond his control attack.

"Someone is attacking Tony Stark’s research centers around the United States, and when the threat arrives in New York City, it’s simply more than he can handle on his own," Harms says. "Road Force previously teamed up with the Avengers, so he immediately thinks to call them in. I don’t want to say who the primary villain is, but Iron Man and Road Force have to face off against Vikings, cavemen, and giant mechs!"

Iron Man: Road Force Rides Again cover

Harms relishes the opportunity to combine a classic character like Iron Man and brand new ones making up Road Force and R.A.D.D.

"This story was a blast to write, and it’s packed with lots action," he says. "When the fans are given the opportunity to create their own heroes, everyone wants to see those heroes in action, kicking butt and taking names. And that’s exactly what happens."

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