Piston of the Harriers (X-Men ally) (Marvel Comics)


(Andrei Semyanovitch Rostov)

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game


The Harriers, a group of elite S.H.I.E.L.D. paramilitary operatives, appeared about once in a 1990 X-Men comic book. They may have been an attempt to introduce a G.I. Joe-like team to the Marvel Universe.

As such they could be a good basis for a low-powered “agents” RPG campaign.

The vehicles mentioned in this profile are speculative. We never actually see what Piston drives or flies.



  • Real Name: Andrei Semyanovitch Rostov.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Harriers ; former member of S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • Base Of Operations: Hardcase’s bar.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown

Powers and Abilities

Piston is a highly trained soldier and an adept bodybuilder.

His specialities are vehicles, vehicular weapon systems, and mechanics.



The Harriers were a special squad developed by S.H.I.E.L.D.. The concept was to have elite agents receive special training and equipment allowing them to engage superhumans. They had no augmentations or powers, perhaps to escape the seeming curse dogging S.H.I.E.L.D. when it comes to superhuman agents.

The Harriers were placed under the command of the legendary, tough-as-nails S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Hardcase.

The Harriers eventually left S.H.I.E.L.D. to become mercenaries. From timing it seems that it occurred after S.H.I.E.L.D. was taken over by the Deltites conspiracy. Their career is undocumented, but Wolverine — a friend of Hardcase — indicated that they acquired an excellent reputation for efficiency and high standards.


In 1990, Wolverine approached Hardcase to set up a training expertise for his partners Psylocke and Jubilee. Since Hardcase was concerned that his men were getting too little action and getting soft, the two men agreed to manipulate everybody into a brawl without warning them. Once the skirmish had progressed far enough, they broke up the fight for debriefing.

Over the following years the ageing Harriers largely retired to run his bar. But for the younger Harriers, the bar was chiefly a base of operations. Blindside increasingly worked solo, though.


See illustration.


Piston is less professional, and more relaxed, than the majority of his fellow Harriers. He likes simple pleasures, cool vehicles and Russian stuff. Though he does not drink anything heavier than beer to conserve his keen reflexes.


“I for one prefer the independent life.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 013 HP: 025

Detective (Police procedure): 04, Gadgetry: 04, Military science (Demolition): 04, Thief (Stealth): 03, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 06, Weaponry (Firearms, melee): 04, Weaponry (Heavy): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Gadgetry is limited to vehicular mechanics.

Language (Russian), Lightning Reflexes.

Harriers (High).

None demonstrated.


  • S.H.I.E.L.D. UNIFORM [BODY 08, Flame immunity: 03, Radio communications: 05, Skin armor: 02, Limitation: Skin armor only vs Sharp Impact].
  • Combat knife [BODY 05, Enhance (EV): 01 (Cap is 06), Descriptor: Piercing, Slashing] sheathed in the boot.
  • Colt Anaconda .44 magnum revolver [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 06, R#2].

Piston’s fleet

Piston is the team’s vehicles specialist, but none of his vehicles were ever seen during his scant appearances. Here’s a made-up fleet of vehicles, based on exactly nothing and thus non-canonical.

  • Rostov’s pride and joy is a rare version of the infamous S.H.I.E.L.D. flying car – from a series that was built shortly before the Deltites takeover. S.H.I.E.L.D’s policy toward flying cars being apparently to go for high-signature, high-power cars (such as, say, bright yellow Porsche 911 Carreras), this series was based on the Maybach Exelero supercar. Since the flying capacity requires lots of after-flight maintenance, Piston prefers not to use it. Likewise ammunition for the guns is hard to come by, and the missiles are expensive.
    S.H.I.E.L.D. FLYING SUPERCAR [STR 05 BODY (Hardened defenses) 08, Flight: 10, Radar sense: 16, Radio coms (Scrambled): 12, Running: 07, Swimming: 00, R#02, Note : Swimming models a pair of pop-out outrigger flotation devices, Advantage : Chaff ejector] armed with :

    • 20mm CHAINGUN [BODY 05, Projectile weapons: 09, R#02, Advantage : Autofire].
    • 30mm CANNON [BODY 05, Projectile weapons (area of effect 1 AP): 09, Sharpness (Projectile weapons): 01].
    • AAM (x4) [BODY 02, EV 10 (Area of effect 2 APs), AV 04, Flight: 12, R#02, Drawback : Grenade drawback, Heat-seeking ; Limitation : Flight can only be sustained for five Phases (-2)] .

A Maybach Exceleroon a white background

  • The Exelero is mostly used in chase, pursuit and other high-mobility situations. Most of the time Piston drives a S.H.I.E.L.D.-improved, armoured Mitsubishi D:5 all-terrain van. The van can only take five passengers, as some room is taken by the pop-out, articulated mount for a 20mm chaingun – which emerges from the back and rises roughly a foot above the roof level.
    The van’s front is heavily reinforced, allowing Piston to use ramming tactics.
    ARMOURED VAN [STR 06 BODY (Hardened Defense) 09, Flash: 05, Radio coms (scrambled):12, Running: 06, Insta-change, R#02, Limitations: Flash only for steady illumination, Insta-change only for license plates and windows (half-value)] w/20mm CHAINGUN [BODY 05, Projectile weapons: 09, R#02, Advantage : Autofire].

A Mitsubishi D5 van on a parking lot

  • Piston has procured an AS550 Fennec light helicopter, complete with two GIAT M621 20mm gun pods. Although a helo is not easy to deploy, air mobility and close air support have proven invaluable on several Harrier missions. A Fennec can carry three to four passengers.
    AS550 FENNEC [STR 08 BODY (Hardened Defenses) 08, Projectile weapons: 10, Flight: 07, Radar sense: 16, R#2]

A Fennec helicopter with cannon pods above a mountain

Design Notes

The stats are speculative due to the lack of material.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: X-Men comics.