In a rare “behind the scenes” look at the Agents of Karma we are not-so secretly listening in as Agent Yuki Yoko Yoshimoto [our communications specialist] conducts an interview with THE ROACH.

YOSHIMOTO: State your name and age, please.

ROACH: I’m eighteen. Robbie Reid. If I look kinda weird it's because my skin turned really pale after getting bit by the roaches.

YOSHIMOTO: And the code-name you would like to use?

ROACH: The Roach.

YOSHIMOTO: Just “the Roach,” right, not Cockroach Man or …”

ROACH: No, I left the cock part out.

YOSHIMOTO: And the reason you want to tryout for the Agents of Karma?

ROACH: Well I, I’ve got these roach powers.

YOSHIMOTO: Tell me about that.

ROACH: You want, like, my secret origin?

YOSHIMOTO: If you are willing to tell it, yes, could help in our understanding of your motivations.

ROACH: Okay, um, I was hanging out down by the nuclear power plant in Springfield, you know the one?

YOSHIMOTO: Yes, I know.

ROACH: Well, I got bit by a bunch of radioactive roaches and now I've got these roachy powers.

YOSHIMOTO: So you did not actually smoke a radioactive roach as rumored?

ROACH: Well, okay, yeah, I did that, but I didn't want to.

YOSHIMOTO: What happened?

ROACH: Uh, all right. So, these guys from my school, they're always causing trouble, bullying people, stealing stuff, doing drugs, you know?

YOSHIMOTO: Yes, I understand.

ROACH: They were there by the nuke plant fence, pushing around this girl from my neighborhood. I think she's like fourteen or something, but they were trying to touch her and make her do stuff.

YOSHIMOTO: That's horrible.

THE ROACH: Right? So, I yelled at them to stop, and they just laughed at me. I figured they were going to kick my butt, but maybe then she could just run away.

YOSHIMOTO: That was very brave.

ROACH: Yeah? I didn't really think about it. I was actually pretty scared, but then they told me if I smoked a big fat roach they would let the girl go.

I didn't realize they really meant a roach and not just pot.

YOSHIMOTO: So ... you smoked it?

ROACH: Yeah.

YOSHIMOTO: Then what happened?

ROACH: The world sort of swirled in front of my eyes, like something out of Alice in Wonderland. I felt like I was falling and spinning and then ...


ROACH: I don't remember much after that. It was like living in a nightmare for a few hours until I woke up in the nearby woods.

YOSHIMOTO: And now your whole theme is “the Roach”?

ROACH: Yeah, well, I’m trying to, you know, turn that whole negative sterotype thing around.

YOSHIMOTO: State your powers, please. If any.

ROACH: I can scuttle.

YOSHIMOTO: Did you say “cuddle”?

ROACH: No, scuttle. I can move my feet pretty quick and as you can see here I have extra padded shoes so they don’t wear out. I also have a super pinchy ability so my mom made me these pincher gloves.

YOSHIMOTO: Anything … else?

ROACH: My skin’s really tough. I’m probably almost like bulletproof but I don’t know because I’ve never been shot.

YOSHIMOTO: Is that all?

ROACH: I don’t mind bad smells at all … Oh, but best of all I communicate with cockroaches and make them do stuff.

I’ll show you right now. I’ll just concentrate and the closest roach to your Sanctuary should come a-scuttling.

YOSHIMOTO: It has been several … somewhat uncomfortable … minutes.

ROACH: You must have a really clean office.

YOSHIMOTO: Okay, well, I am just going to go ahead and send you in now.

ROACH: Thank you. You’re … very pretty … to talk to.

YOSHIMOTO: You are very welcome, but rule number one, keep it professional.

ROACH: Okay, oh, hey!


ROACH: Did I tell you I can climb walls? I’m not that very good at it, especially with my pinchy gloves. I sometimes fall down, but I’m working on it.

YOSHIMOTO: Okay. You are all clear now. Go ahead and open that door when the green light comes on.


Agent Yoshimoto introduced Robbie Reid and his code-name.

“I like your antennae,” said Lucy Hell, “I think.”


“Are those … rubber oven-mitts you have on your hands?”

“My mom made them,” he said.

Dr. Atlantis looked over the interview script. “Says here you can communicate with insects of the blattaria order?”

“Does that mean roaches?”


“Then, yeah, I can do that.”

Agent L7, still bandaged in several places from his encounter with Flower Power, placed a small clear plastic box containing four large (live) cockroaches on a table and hurriedly – backed out of the room.

Lucy Hell pushed the button on the dais to raise the see-through protective shield.

“All right,” said Dr. Atlantis, “let’s see what you can do.”

Robbie opened the container. The roaches climbed to the top edge, sort of hesitated, then began crawling out and down the sides of the box.

Robbie’s antennae twitched and the cockroaches suddenly became still. He stared at them until they all lined up in a neat row.

“Hey,” said Eddie Crossbones, “the kid’s doing it.”

The four roaches stood up on their hind legs and started rocking back and forth as they wobbled trying to maintain their awkward positions.

“Oh my god,” said Lucy. “That is so weird.”

Dr. Atlantis: “What are they doing?”

“They’re pretending they’re a rock band,” said the Roach. “It would be cooler if they had like little toothpick guitars or something.”

“So,” Lucy asked, “how would you like fight Frankenstein 9 if he was holding a laser gun on you right now?”

“I don’t know, make the roaches crawl up his clothes and enter his nostrils, I guess.”

“I don’t think I’m going to do this next year,” she said.

“You know,” said Eddie, “we already have one teenager running around here telling us the Mushroom Man’s going to get us. I’m not sure we need a kid that smokes roaches.”

“His condition,” said Dr. Atlantis, “his powers are of scientific interest. I would like to see more.”

“Wanna see me scuttle?”

Dr. Atlantis shook his bubble helmet. “That won’t be necessary.”

“Okay,” said Lucy, “let’s vote. I like that part.

But a little advice before you leave, Ramiro, maybe … you shouldn’t smoke anymore roaches, just saying, especially, you now, radioactive ones.”




Do you love THE ROACH or what? If you want to see Robbie Reid rollin' in his Roachmobile -- don't forget to vote!




Created/written by Bradley Mason Hamlin.

Agents of Karma judges by MORT TODD. Roach art by BMH.

Secret Society: Agents of Karma Episode 012: The Roach. Published September 21, 2010 by Mystery Island.
Copyright © 2010 by Mystery Island Publications. All rights reserved.