The Astro-Naut

From Herocopia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Astro-Naut
© Juke Box Productions


Status: unknown
Real Name: Roy Virgil
Earliest Appearance: 1936
Origin: Astro City No.41
Base of Operations: Orbital Air Strip
Range of Operations: Galactic

Personal Data

Occupation: Advanced Avionics Engineer, Pilot, Businessman, Genius
Height: 6' 4" or so
Weight: 190ish
Eyes: brown
Hair: wavy black


Headlines: 1943: Astro-Naut Captures Ersatz Ed

Unknown: Astro-Naut Exposes Fifth Columnists

Appearances (in Publication Order): Astro City No.41

Event Timeline


The Astro-Naut

"Are you talking about Flash Gordon stuff, Mr. Virgil? Rocket ships and space pilots, rocket jockeys?"

The word you are looking for, friends, is "Astronaut."

Wearing pilot goggles, leather jacket, and a long red scarf, The Astro-Naut made no pretense for a secret identity. He was testing rocket ship engines in flights over the city. Everyone knew him by his name, Roy Virgil. They also knew he was a bit eccentric, very wealthy, a visionary. His passion for traveling to space gave him the nickname, The Astro-Naut. That became his calling card.


During the Great Depression, organized crime families in Romeyn Falls dug themselves in, diversifying their operations. In 1936, the Ingels Street mob tried muscling in on Roy's work, demanding protection money, and he refused. They sent round the Convincer, a one-man wrecking crew, to convince him, but Roy took care of him, dropping him off with the police to tell them about his bosses.

Councilman Joseph Greenwald visited Virgil Air Systems afterwards to see if Roy was interested in taking up crime-fighting, if perhaps the city could support him. Joe helped Roy with his business, permits, and such, and in return Roy helped him campaign. Perhaps it was Joe who got Roy into costume, perhaps not, but he started showing up in a stylized astronaut outfit.

As Roy made good on his arrangement with the city, taking down criminals, his reputation grew - there were newsreels, magazines and toys, and they even started making a movie about him.

His development of the Ethero-Drive, which allowed him to slip through folds of empty space, was a big breakthrough for him, allowing him to venture out into the universe, where he fought villains, had adventures, and encountered alien civilizations. Inspired by the technologies he saw out there, when he came back to Earth he'd work on inventions that would do the same thing, or do entirely new things born of new knowledge.

Along the way, he met Xalzana, the one woman he might have left Earth behind for, but though they met numerous times, and something he thought was love developed, there was a fear in her, not of him, but of something she wouldn't say. On the night he intended to propose to her, there was an attack, separating them, and though he searched more than a dozen worlds for her afterwards, he never saw her again.

Circa 1942, Roy came across a nearby star system under attack from the Mrevani, a ruthless race bent on conquest. He discovered that when the Mrevani had first been visited by interstellar explorers, they'd killed them and taken their technology, turning their warlike ways out towards the universe at large, attacking everyone they met. They'd got the technology before they were ready to handle it, and Roy feared that if he gave humanity that technology, then they'd end up going down a similar route. Shaken, he withdrew from human society, becoming a recluse. Soon agencies with the American government made visits, requesting access to his inventions and know-how to aid in the war effort. He refused.

The refusal shook people's faith in him. Though he still did his own part for the war effort, at one point getting captured by the enemy and escaping, the American public shunned him, favoring heroes who, from their perspective, seemed more patriotic, heroes they inspired more confidence. Thus he soon faded from public view.

In late spring of 1946, the Mrevani came to Earth, their first target, Romeyn Falls. The Astro-Naut, accompanied by a fleet of self-designed drone ships, immediately appeared to defend his home city. Deftly avoiding the Mrevani's attacks, he piloted his ship into their flying base and blew it up, but took serious injuries in the process. Using a teleporter to return to his corporation headquarters, the Gernsback Building. With Joe's assistance, they destroyed his remaining works, keeping them from the control of devious corporations and mischievous criminals.

He then took one more journey through his teleportation device. The assumed destion, the sanctuary of his orbiting asteroid base. Perhaps to use some form of advanced technology to heal himself, or perhaps to die in isolation. What ultimately became of him is a mystery.

The town renamed itself in honor of his bravery, becoming Astro City in 1947. The rocket beacon on AstroBank Tower was reconfigured as a signalling device, alerting heroes of impending dangers.

Virgil Air Systems would eventually rename itself to Virgil Aeronautics, then Virgil Aero, before being absorbed by N. R. Gistics.


  • Astro-naut's Orbital Airstrip harbors spacecrafts, special weapons, advanced technical gear, amazing manufacturing tools, and who knows what other devices for traveling through outer space, visiting distant planets, and who knows, maybe even traveling through time itself.


Roy had one of those minds that comes up once-in-a-generation, developing inventions far in advance of current Earth technologies. As Joe put it, Roy made breakthroughs practically by force of will, simply by knowing they were possible. He doesn't seem to have realized that he was anything exceptional, his basic assumptions were that anyone could do. They just had to put their minds to it.

Speculations, Theories

  • Joe notes he only knew some of Roy's secrets, perhaps less than a half. Roy was probably the only one who knew everything.
  • It's not mentioned why the Mrevani targeted Romeyn Falls - perhaps in retaliation for Roy's earlier fight with them.