Remo Williams

Real Name: Remo Williams

Identity/Class: "Normal" human

Occupation: Assassin
formerly soldier, formerly cop

Affiliations: C.U.R.E.; Chiun (sensei); Harold Smith (boss in CURE); Conn McCleary (fellow agent, recruiter)

Enemies: Nuihc; The Dutchman, Wu Ming Shi (a.k.a. Fu Manchu), Sagwa (a.k.a. Bruce, former student of Chiun turned movie star and servant of Wu Ming Shi), Elizu Roote

Known Relatives: Winston Smith (the Extinguisher, son), Bill Roam (father), Dawn Starr Roam (mother, deceased), Freya (Kali, daughter)

Aliases: The Destroyer, Master Remo the Pale, Remo Cabell, Donald McCann, Remo Pelham, Remo Barry, Shiva, the Bear

Base of Operations: CURE HQ, Folcroft Sanitarium, Rye, New York

Powers/Abilities: As a student of Sinanju, Remo can dodge bullets (by spotting subtle signs telling him when the shooter is about to fire, and then predicting the trajectory); he can perform incredible feats of acrobatics. He is capable of killing or incapacitating people with the slightest touch, and can throw objects with marksman's accuracy and missile like force. He can run on sand without leaving a trace, and even run on semi-liquid surfaces (e.g. wet cement) without sinking in.

First Appearance: Created: The Destroyer (Destroyer #1, 1971)

History: When Remo Williams served in Viet Nam he gained a reputation for being the man you sent in to clean out the enemy single handedly. He was a stone killer, cold and ruthless as he needed to be when the occasion called for it. After finishing his tour of duty, he became a police officer, where he served with distinction...until he apparently murdered a drug dealer. The trial seemed wrong somehow - a good cop kills a known criminal lowlife. Maybe he should have done time, but there was no way he should have got the death sentence, nor had his appeals squashed so swiftly. In mere months, with ridiculous haste in a system where it normally takes years before sentence is carried out, Remo was sent to the chair.

Remo awoke after his execution to find himself the unwilling recruit of the U.S. government's most secretive organisation, CURE. It was their job to deal with the kind of threats posed by people with influence, money and power, the types of enemies of the state who normally could wriggle out of any trouble because of their connections. CURE needed an enforcement arm, and because of his Nam record, Remo was it. Remo Williams was going to be the Eleventh Commandment: thou shall not get away with it. He had been framed, and his death faked, to provide CURE with a man without a past; and if he refused to co-operate, then he would be a man without a future either. Far from happy with this turn of affairs, Remo agreed to work for them.

He was put into the capable hands of the Korean master assassin Chiun, who trained him in the ways of Sinanju, the "sun source" art from which all other fighting skills were derived, and which was far deadlier than any of them. After a while he and Chiun formed an almost familial bond, with Remo referring to his mentor as "Little Father". Chiun for his part came to believe that Remo was the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy (or else he would not have trained him in Sinanju), and that he was the living incarnation of Shiva, the Destroyer God of Hindu mythology.

Comments: Created by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy.

Originally created and written by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy. The Destroyer series is one of the most enduring series of novels, with regular publication of new novels from the series debut in 1971 through to the current day. Sapir and Murphy often co-authored the early Destroyer books with one alternatively beginning the novel with the other one concluding it. However in the late 1970s, the two men had a falling out with Sapir leaving the series. Murphy continued to write the Destroyer series himself up until the early 1980s when he begin hiring ghostwriters to assist him, including Will Murray, Ric Meyers, Robert Randisi, William Joy, Molly Cochran, Ed Hunsburger, and Jim Mullaney. Ultimately, Sapir would return in the mid 1980s and would primarily collaborate and co-write with Will Murray until his untimely death in 1987. Warren Murphy retired from writing and Murray assumed the role of the primary author for a number of the Destroyer novels, eventually being credited with penning approximately 40 of them. In 1997, Murray relinquished his writing duties and the series faltered over the next several novels, passing through the hands of several undistinguished writers until one of the former ghostwriters, Jim Mullaney assumed authorship and eventually handed over his duties to Tim Somheil.

In 2006, the Destroyer series moved publishing houses and Warren Murphy and Jim Mullaney have returned to scribing the new adventures of Remo Williams. As a consequence of this move, the series has been subtly altered as the “New Destroyer” and is now renumbered.

The Destroyer novel series:

  1. Created, The Destroyer

  2. Death Check

  3. Chinese Puzzle

  4. Mafia Fix

  5. Dr. Quake

  6. Death Therapy

  7. Union Bust

  8. Summit Chase

  9. Murder's Shield

  10. Terror Squad

  11. Kill Or CURE

  12. Slave Safari

  13. Acid Rock

  14. Judgment Day

  15. Murder Ward

  16. Oil Slick

  17. Last War Dance

  18. Funny Money

  19. Holy Terror

  20. Assassin's Play-Off

  21. Deadly Seeds

  22. Brain Drain

  23. Child's Play

  24. King's Curse

  25. Sweet Dreams

  26. In Enemy Hands

  27. The Last Temple

  28. Ship Of Death

  29. The Final Death

  30. Mugger Blood

  31. The Head Men

  32. Killer Chromosomes

  33. Voodoo Die

  34. Chained Reaction

  35. Last Call

  36. Power Play

  37. Bottom Line

  38. Bay City Blast

  39. Missing Link

  40. Dangerous Games

  41. Firing Line

  42. Timber Line

  43. Midnight Man

  44. Balance Of Power

  45. Spoils Of War

  46. Next Of Kin

  47. Dying Space

  48. Profit Motive

  49. Skin Deep

  50. Killing Time

  51. Shock Value

  52. Fool's Gold

  53. Time Trial

  54. Last Drop

  55. Master's Challenge

  56. Encounter Group

  57. Date With Death

  58. Total Recall

  59. The Arms Of Kali

  60. The End of the Game

  61. Lords Of The Earth

  62. The Seventh Stone

  63. The Sky Is Falling

  64. The Last Alchemist

  65. Lost Yesterday

  66. Sue Me

  67. Look Into My Eyes

  68. An Old-Fashioned War

  69. Blood Ties

  70. The Eleventh Hour

  71. Return Engagement

  72. Sole Survivor

  73. Line Of Succession

  74. Walking Wounded

  75. Rain of Terror

  76. The Final Crusade

  77. Coin of the Realm

  78. Blue Smoke And Mirrors

  79. Shooting Schedule

  80. Death Sentence

  81. Hostile Takeover

  82. Survival Course

  83. Skull Duggery

  84. Ground Zero

  85. Blood Lust

  86. Arabian Nightmare

  87. Mob Psychology

  88. The Ultimate Death

  89. Dark Horse

  90. Ghost In The Machine

  91. Cold Warrior

  92. The Last Dragon

  93. Terminal Transmission

  94. Feeding Frenzy

  95. High Priestess

  96. Infernal Revenue

  97. Identity Crisis

  98. Target Of Opportunity

  99. The Color Of Fear

  100. Last Rites

  101. Bidding War

  102. Unite And Conquer

  103. Engines Of Destruction

  104. Angry White Mailmen

  105. Scorched Earth

  106. White Water

  107. Feast or Famine

  108. Bamboo Dragon

  109. American Obsession

  110. Never Say Die

  111. Prophet Of Doom

  112. Brain Storm

  113. The Empire Dreams

  114. Failing Marks

  115. Misfortune Teller

  116. The Final Reel

  117. Deadly Genes

  118. Killer Watts

  119. Fade To Black

  120. The Last Monarch

  121. A Pound of Prevention

  122. Syndication Rites

  123. Disloyal Opposition

  124. By Eminent Domain

  125. The Wrong Stuff

  126. Air Raid

  127. Market Force

  128. The End of the Beginning

  129. Father to Son

  130. Waste Not, Want Not

  131. Unnatural Selection

  132. Wolf’s Bane

  133. Troubled Waters

  134. Bloody Tourists

  135. Political Pressure

  136. Unpopular Science

  137. Industrial Evolution

  138. No Contest

  139. Dream Thing

  140. Dark Ages

  141. Frightening Strikes

  142. Mindblower

  143. Bad Dog

  144. Holy Mother

  145. Dragon Bones

(Under TOR Imprint)

Remo in the movie, as played by Fred WardIn addition to the above, there was a guide to the series released, in 1983, under the title The Assassin's Handbook, which included a brand new Remo novella, The Day Remo Died. The book was re-released in 1985 as Inside Sinanju with some new material covering the forthcoming Destroyer movie. There was also a novelisation of the movie released around the same time, written by series creators Sapir and Murphy.

The movie in question featured Fred Ward in the title role, with a slightly amended origin for Remo. Instead of having been framed, his death was faked to make it look like he had been murdered in the line of duty. In the U.S. the movie was released in 1985 under the title Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, while overseas it was known as Remo: Unarmed and Dangerous.

Although the movie wasn't a roaring success by any measure, it did garner a sequel of sorts, in the form of a TV movie / series pilot in 1989. This time Remo was played by Jeffrey Meek, and the movie's plot was roughly based on the aforementioned novella The Day Remo Died.

In the early 1990's Marvel Comics published nine issues of a Destroyer Magazine, a special compiling colourised stories from the first four issues, then a four issue comic mini-series and a one-shot comic special.

Thanks to Michael Higuchi for additional information.

CLARIFICATIONS: Remo Williams, the Destroyer, should not be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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