No one knows who, or even what, the Cockroach is. He first appeared in Pacific City several years ago threatening to blow up a writer's convention at a local hotel with a bomb he had strapped to his body. Two members of the original Enforcers of Justice, Tarantula and Headlong, intervened and managed to disarm the bomb but the Cockroach threw himself out of a 17th story window at the hotel and plunged to his apparent death. No body was found however and his identity and motives remained unknown.
Cockroach next appeared in New York City and confronted Justice Inc. members Tarantula (who had left the Enforcers some months earlier) and Quiksilver. Cockroach claimed that he now considered the Tarantula to be his hero and proclaimed himself the hero's sidekick. He then proceeded to make a major annoyance of himself and led the two heroes on a chase around the city before apparently losing interest and disappearing. He showed up again a few months later claiming to be running for mayor of New York and assaulting the city with characters from television and movies brought to life. Justice Inc. was able to stop him this time by locating the source of the living fictional characters, a powerful but autistic psychic boy named Timothy Pryce. The hero Mindblade managed to convince young Timmy to make the fictional characters go away and Cockroach disappeared yet again.
A month after the apparent death of Tarantula the Cockroach appeared again. He claimed to have been trying to emulate Tarantula but after a few weeks of trying to be dead he instead chose to choose a new favorite hero, Quiksilver. In honor of his new hero the Cockroach was wearing a costume similar to Quiksilver's and called himself Silverfish. In addition to his new identity, Silverfish also had a team with him, an ersatz version of Justice Inc. he called the Expendables. The two teams battled across Queens and the Bronx before Justice Inc. convinced the Expendables to turn on Silverfish. He was defeated when the powerful psychic Blockhead pulled Silverfish into his complex mind, which would serve as Cockroach's prison.
At some unknown point in time Cockroach escaped from Blockhead's mental prison and discovered that his "hero", Tarantula, was not dead but had faked his death and adopted a new identity, Renegade of the new Enforcers of Justice. Cockroach appeared in Superior City, Renegade's home in the form of a 150-foot armored being calling himself the Millennium Cockroach. His arrival had been preceded by several bizarre and inexplicable computer and electronics failures in the city. A computer expert named Harold Barnes began loud demonstration in downtown Superior City claiming that the failures were signs of the Y2K Bug.
Just before the Millennium Cockroach appeared he transformed Barnes into a super-powered "herald" to proclaim his arrival. During the ensuing confrontation with the Enforcers of Justice, Barnes turned on the Cockroach who then somehow transported himself, Renegade, and ArcAngel to what appeared to be a wild west town with Renegade dressed as a western sheriff, ArcAngel as a school marm and himself as an outlaw. The Cockroach then challenged Renegade to a shootout, which he lost. Renegade and ArcAngel were transported back to Superior City and the Cockroach disappeared again. So the mystery of the Cockroach remains and the only thing known for sure is that he will be seen again.
Powers and Abilities:
Cockroach's true abilities are completely unknown and may theoretically be limitless. When he first appeared he had no discernable powers, other than the fact that he apparently survived a 17 story fall. On his next two appearances he appeared to possess high agility and the ability to withstand or instantly heal large amounts of damage. He also seemed to be able to materialize objects from nowhere, like a flamethrower and eggs which he used to test the "non-stick" properties of Quiksilver's Mercurialite coating. As Silverfish he manifested a completely different set of powers, including an outer coating which had the opposite effect of Quiksilver's Mercurilaite. Instead things deflecting off a nearly frictionless surface as happened with Quiksilver, anything that touched Silverfish would be stuck to him. Silverfish had also somehow managed to create a headquarters in Queens for the Expendables out of thin air.
In Cockroach's most powerful manifestation to date, as the Millennium Cockroach, he was over 150-feet tall and was able to transform Harold Barnes from a normal human into a powerful super-human being. It is unknown whether the wild west town he transported himself and others to was a real place sometime in the past or whether he had actually created it himself solely for that encounter.
From all evidence it is highly likely that the Cockroach is not even human, but possibly an extra-dimensional creature, perhaps similar to Superman's nemesis, Mr. Mxyzptlk. The Cockroach obviously possesses a vast array of powers and abilities, but seems to restrict what he uses to the specific situation at hand. For example as the Millennium Cockroach he apparently had enormous power but in the wild west town he appeared to have no powers.
The Expendables were a group of super-powered beings assembled by the Cockroach (then calling himself Silverfish) as an equivalent team to Justice Inc. During a confrontation with the Expendables, Justice Inc. convinced them that Silverfish was just using them and they sided with the heroes against him. After Silverfish's defeat the members of the Expendables have gone their separate ways. Recently, however, the transformed Harold Barnes, calling himself Number One, has sought out the members of the Expendables and reformed the team to defend the Earth from those threats that the more mainstream heroes like the Justice League are unaware of. Exactly how successful the team will be in their mission remains to be seen.
The members of the Expendables are: