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Walk into any store in Europe, gas station in America, or drug store in a Sprawl, and you will find three or four pre-adolescent boys scrutinizing the comic book display. In years past, these racks of cheap ink and cheaper paper where filled with tales of masked brawlers, the heroes of pulp fiction made famous by the radio dramas, or featured war-time tales of Allied Heroes.
These days, they have Superheroes.
Now, men with extraordinary powers have been the subject of cheaply-produced fiction for years, but the economic turmoil of the 30s and 40s in the US, combined with growing political strife in Europe with the advent of leaders like Oswald Mosley, the idea of a “Super-Man” had fallen out of style.
All that changed during the Second World War. The sight of a burning exhaust trail streaking over the European sky, followed by a column of Anvil tanks exploding and a man in a dashing uniform fighting Soviet infantry with fists powered by rockets engraved itself in the memory of many an Allied soldier.
And so in the latter part of 1951, an Allied Soldier named Jerry Spiegel wrote a story about Captain Rocket that was published in DC's Adventure comics #1.
I’m a Marvel…Edit
In the late 50s and early 60s, a company named Atlas Comics tried to revive their long-dead superhero franchises, only to find that ancient tyrants from under the sea and flaming “artificial men” no longer captured the interests of the youth of the free world. The company drifted in and out of debt, until an unlikely alliance was struck: The newly renamed “Marvel” Comics would receive funding to publish a superhero series, and in return, that superhero would be modelled after none other than the Cryo Legionnaire Corps. Cryo-Man was born.
Does Whatever A Cryocopter CanEdit
"The ability to do great things gives you the obligation to do the right thing."
- - Jonathon Jonah
The character of young James Jonah, a high school student, was an anomaly from the start. Not only was he an American (the German Captain Rocket being the paradigm of heroes at the time), but he was teenager, a person with problems and authority issues. Needless to say, the growing unrest among post-WW2 youth caused them to immediately identify.
In the comic book, James was observing a FutureTech demonstration when he was accidentally trapped overnight in a “Cryo-Infuser” machine. The next day, he found himself able to create and control “cold-energy”, survive intense cold, and sense other people’s “cold-essence”.
James initially used his powers for fun, playing pranks and getting revenge on the bullies who had tormented him before. All that changed when James carelessly used his abilities to freeze the engine of a car belonging to one of his rivals at school. James and his friends walked away laughing, not seeing that he had permanently damaged the student's car. The lines to the brakes had frozen solid and cracked, unnoticeable after the engine had thawed out, until that student tried to stop at a light. His car sped right through the intersection, slamming into another car passing through.
Fortunately, the teenager himself was not severely injured, but the driver of the other car was paralyzed from the waist down: James' father Jonathon.
Upon hearing the story, James was distraught, realizing that his childish actions had nearly cost two people their lives and had crippled his own father. From that day on, he swore to use his powers to help others, becoming the Amazing Cryoman.
Despite the laughable science, the series was a hit, and sales continued to climb through the late 60s, even as public interest turned to the exploits of WWIII Heroes.
The Strongest One There IsEdit
In the wake of the Chinese Civil War, rumors abounded about the strange men in green who had seized control. While every bar owner, AURA chatroom member, and crazed survivalist has their own theory of who or what this organization is, one particular rumour caught the interest of Marvel writer Jack Kirby: Green giants, enormous muscle-bound men that could supposedly rip Battlemaster Tanks in half with their bare hands.
Kirby and fellow writer Stan Lee created a character modeled after Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but reversed: Evil Chinese scientist Dr. Fu was exposed to a strange green rock from space, causing him to turn into the gentle giant Behemoth!
Incredibly strong, the Behemoth is sometimes childishly simple, but has a good heart and is often wiser than the super-genius villains he invariably encounters, and despite his frightening appearances, often gives off an aura of trustworthiness and compassion. Fu, on the other hand is evil but brilliant, seeking take over the world with his fantastic scientific inventions. Complicating matters is the fact that Fu randomly turns into Behemoth, and vice versa; they constantly come into conflict, with the evil Dr. Fu wanting to figure out a way to control Behemoth to further his nefarious plans, and the "monster" having to stop the doctor's schemes.
I'm the Cosmonaut, Flakker!Edit
Although Marvel is not effected by the so-called "Red Scare" than more "mainstream" media, they have no lack of Russian communist villains. Although most of these villains are single-issue threats, one of the more popular recurring ones is Yuri Garigan, the Cosmonaut.
Yuri was working outside the Mir station when the green rock that transformed Dr. Fu into the Behemoth passed by the earth. Somehow, he was fused into and with his Gagarin X suit, which was itself transformed. Unable to live a normal life, Yuri went insane and began committing crimes as the Cosmonaut.
While certain parts of the suit such as the liquid-O rockets were removed, it has become near invulnerable, and no longer requires energy. The suit provides energy to Yuri himself, as well as oxygen and medical attention. The Cosmonaut does not need air, food, or sleep.
The suit possesses enormous strength, nigh-invulnerability, and can move at greatly heightened speeds. The magnetic boots have been enhanced to the point where standing still, the Cosmonaut is almost immovable.
However, he is not without his weaknesses. For all its power, his suit of armour is still a piece of technology, and is vulnerable to extreme cold (how convenient). And while he is strong, Behemoth is the strongest one there is.
None of You Will Leave This Place AliveEdit
"You're insane. I'll end your mad ambitions here and now!"
"Foolish dog, I am the Steel Shogun! True Emperor of the Rising Sun! You will bow before me or you will cease to exist!"
- - The Steel Shogun and Raiden face off.
Once a high-ranking officer of the Imperial Army, Katsuro Ishikawa was born into a prestigious noble Samurai clan. Proud and fanatically devoted to the Divine Destiny, Katsuro was an exceptional officer. When the Empire fell Katsuro's unit refused to surrender, eventually being hunted down by a joint Allied-Imperial strikeforce led by the newly crowned Emperor Kamina. Amid the destruction Katsuro's body was never found.
At least, not by the Allies and Imperials.
Katsuro survived, barely. He was pulled from the debris by a mysterious corporate executive and his lackeys, the corrupt businessman wanting Katsuro to help their coporation infiltrate the Japanese culture. He had Katsuro's body rebuilt using advanced cybernetics. However Katsuro's hatred for the usurper Kamina was surpassed only by his hatred for the foreigners who had brought his beloved empire low and he killed his way to freedom with his twin beam katanas. Now reborn as the Steel Shogun, Katsuro now seeks power, support and technology to overthrow Kamina, take the Imperial Throne for himself and bring about a new dawn for the Empire of the Rising Sun.
As the Steel Shogun, Katsuro wears a mechanized suit of armour that also keeps his damaged body alive, being fitted with a special breath filter to aid Steel Shogun's crushed lungs. Metallic grey, the suit is covered in blades, with only Katsuro's glowing red cybernetic eyes showing. The suit increases Katsuro's speed and strength, making him an even deadlier swordsman than before.
Despite being a recent creation, Steel Shogun has already fought several of Marvel's heroes, and is widely seen as their most popular villain.
Evil Has No Choice But YieldEdit
One of Marvel/Atlas' older characters, The Colonel is in many ways not a superhero. He has no special abilities, and doesn't exactly wear a costume. However, the Colonel has become an iconic hero in the United States, and stands alongside Cryoman, the Behemoth and others.
Isaiah Cage was a young African-American man from Queens, New York when the Second World War started. Although enlisting as a regular private, Cage's heroism, skill, and luck saw him rise (some would say unrealistically) through the ranks (multiple attempts to explain The Colonel being, well, a colonel only serve to confuse things further).
During the Second World War, issues of The Colonel portrayed Cage as a one-man army, capable of taking on entire waves of Soviet infantry and tanks with only his trusty Thompson submachine gun and a few grenades. He was often pitted against Soviet super-scientists and their fantastic superweapons, such as the Bloodruiner Tank, the Tesla-Tron, The Lamprey, The Ragnarok tank, and many others.
Interest waned during the Cold War, although a few stories had The Colonel fighting Soviet spies in the United States. With the outbreak of World War III, however, The Colonel came back as a regular, once again fighting the Red Menace.
In the months since World War III ended, The Colonel has traveled back to the United States. Although Isaiah has never on panel announced his support of the Confederate movement, a number of "rogue" Peacekeeper/police supervillians have appeared in the comic lately, and The Colonel's logo and symbols are extremely popular among the Rebels.
Thunder Takes YouEdit
Since the end of the Third World War, the Allied nations have sought to reconcile and grow closer with the Empire of the Rising Sun. The combination of reform-minded Emperor Kanima, the value of Japanese electronics and other goods, and a shared distrust of the Soviet Union have served to slowly bring the two entities together and with that, their cultures.
The recent works of Osamu Tezuka have become greatly popular in Europe, and while Americans and Australians have more reason to distrust Japan than others, many there have also started to dabble in Japanese culture (it works the other way too; Behemoth and the Grey Knight are immensely popular in some parts of Japan).
Marvel, while usually advocating a more pro-American stance, has also been somewhat influenced by the increased interest in Japanese culture, as seen in their creation of the Steel Shogun. Before long, Stan Lee proposed creating a Japanese character who was actually a hero, and the rest is history.
Rokuro Shirou was a simple Japanese engineer when his ship from Hawaii back to the Home Islands was attacked by an enormous sea creature. Rokuro was cast into the ocean, but just as he was about to go under for the last time, a simple straw hat floated by. Desperate, Rokuro grabbed it.
Instantly, enormous bolts of lightning from the heavens struck the sea monster, driving it back beneath the waves. Rokuro succumbed to unconsciousness.
He saw a vision; a great figure who told him that he was in fact the earthly avatar of the god Raiden, master of thunder and lightning. The hat he had grabbed was the Crown of Thunder, and as long as he wore it, he would be transformed into Raiden.
Awakening on an abandoned beach in Japan, Rokuro at first did not believe what had happened, and was too afraid to put the simple straw hat in his hands on. However, as he walked into the nearest village, he found that the Steel Shogun and his men had seized control and were about to kill the villagers. With no other options, Rokuro donned the Crown, and was transformed into Raiden.
Raiden has the ability to shoot lightning from his hands, as well as call it down from the sky. He has some control over weather in general, but is of course strongest with thunderstorms. He can also fly, and is proficient in several martial arts.
Despite the character's loose relationship with actual Japanese mythology, he has become rather popular in both the Allied nations and Japan. Although he is still rather new, it looks like Raiden will eventually become the arch-enemy of the Steel Shogun.
How Do They Work?Edit
"Time to give you capitalists a lesson in REAL science, Soviet style."
- - Polarity about to "educate" a group of Peacekeepers.
Formerly a Soviet Scientist named Katja Romanova, the villianess now known as Polarity gained her powers of magnetic manipulation towards the end of WW3. Katja had been working on a lightweight Tesla armour prototype meant for Spetsnaz paratroopers when the base she was stationed in came under attack by Allied forces. Caught off-guard the Soviet defences were quickly overrun as a spearhead of Allied Guardian Tanks stormed into the base's interior. Realizing the base was lost and with her fellows already fleeing the crumbling Battle Lab Katja quickly grabbed the prototype and fled. However as she ran she became caught in the midst of a battle between the Guardian spearhead and a few remaining Hammer Tanks.
The fight was clearly in the Allies' favour and the Soviet Commander decided to even the odds, calling in a Magnetic Singularity that shut down the Guardians but also sucked in Katja due to the prototype armour she was wearing. Saved from electrocution by the suit but stuck in the centre of the Singularity, Katja's body was mysteriously changed by the intense energies before the Singularity cut out, releasing the altered woman along with the Allied tanks which quickly finished off the outnumbered Hammers. The Guardians then turned as Katja climbed to her feet, finally noticing what appeared to be a Tesla Trooper flanking them.
As the tanks all fired Katja screamed and dropped down, but death did not come, fearfully opening her eyes Katja (not to mention the tank crews) was amazed to find the cannon shells hovering in the air around her before simply dropping to the ground. Confused, all but one tank backed off slightly, the last however decided to just run Katja over only to be stopped by an invisible force. Realising this was her doing Katja decided to test her newfound power by crushing all the tanks simultaneously before going on to rejoin her evacuating comrades.
Katja returned to the frontlines not long afterwards, clad in a red and iron costume integrating the finished Tesla suit (which helped boost her power) and bearing a new name.
Katja Romanova was no more. Now there was only Polarity, Mistress of Magnetism.
I Am The LawEdit
As mentioned before, The Colonel's villains have gotten more and more likely to be authoritarian or law-enforcement based. These supervillains are often thinly-veiled stereotypes of Allied Peacekeepers, DC superheroes, or members of various pro-allied organizations.
One of these opponents would rise to become one of the Colonel's most iconic villains, and in time, his arch nemesis.
The Warden's origins are largely unknown; all that is clear about him is that he takes his orders from the top echelons of a secretive intelligence organization, and that he has been crafted into a nearly-unstoppable killing machine.
A mixture of combat drugs, post hypnotic suggestion, and intense training have pushed the Warden to the absolute peak of human physical and mental potential. Armed with twin submachine guns and clad in black, silver, and grey armour that covers his entire body and face, the Warden brutally executes anyone he sees a threat to stability.
Oddly, the Colonel and the Warden often go after the same foes, criminals and supervillains. But while Cage seeks to turn in these evildoers so that they may face trial, the Warden responds to every crime with lethal force. To him, all crimes are equal; some writers have him gunning down jaywalkers and litters.
The Warden sees any vigilante as a threat to society, and has clashed with Cryoman and even Raiden on some occasions (it should be noted that his encounter with the Behemoth led to his most humiliating defeat, and the two-page spread of the green giant swinging the Warden over his head with one hand has become an immensely popular poster).
Perhaps unfortunately and certainly unintentionally, the Warden himself has gained a number of fans; as DC's Ruin or the Widowmaker shows, people love a good villain, and one that can be construed (some would say twisted) into a noble character even more so. Just as the Colonel's golden star or trademark yellow bandanna are popular symbols amoung the Rebels, the Warden's grey X and distinct helmet have found themselves adorning the sides of pro-Allied American vehicles.
Anything Goes Edit
"Sociopath is such a harsh term; I prefer the term puckish rouge."
- - Razor Raccoon before impaling a nameless thug with his machete.
The idea of an antihero, a character who, while on the side of good, acts with questionable morality, is not a new idea. However, the creation of Razor Raccoon in 64 has catapulted that trope into the mainstream, for better or worse.
Razor was a pet raccoon of a cybernetics surgeon working for the fictional company Zeo-Matrix and had been enhanced by his owner with implants given him the ability to speak and human level intelligence. When Razors owner invented a subdermal implant that could counter the effects of any illegal drug, Zeo-Matrix realized that if such a thing became known the profits from its more questionable activities would quickly become nonexistent, decide to attack the home of Razors owner, killed him and burning the entire place to the ground.
Angered over what happened to his beloved owner Razor fled to the nearby woods were his owner had a secret secondary lab hidden in a cave. There over the course of several months using the labs programmable auto-doc surgical robot transforms himself from a ordinary slightly modified raccoon, into a 4 foot tall humanoid cyborg raccoon. Once completed Razor dressed himself in a black jumpsuit and a blood red trench coat with gold trim, and outfitted himself with a pair of machetes, a submachine gun, and a bandolier of grenades. Now reborn Razor Raccoon embarked on his quest to burn Zeo-Matrix as well as anyone who got in his way to the ground.
However because of all the immense pain he underwent modifying himself, Razor's mind ended up warping and twisted, occasionally referring to himself in the third person, having cravings for whiskey and churros, and finally breaking the fourth wall (in one memorable issue, when surrounded by thugs Razor told the reader to ‘Watch this’ and the book cut to the next page, showing the bloody aftermath. Razor angrily complained "You didn't get to see that…Damn f@&#ing censors!").
Despite the bizarre premise and the over-the-top violence, Razor Raccoon was a hit with readers to everyone's surprise thanks to his over-the-top behavior. A complete pyschopath, Razor often disgusts more conventional superheroes with antics such as stuffing grenades down criminals' throats or lighting his victims on fire and then dousing them to hurt them some more. Only the fact that he turns this violence against anyone who seems to be working for Zeo-Matrix, most of whom are criminals or worse killers, has kept other superheroes from taking him down; they fear diverting his wrath onto innocent people (and many are happy to get out of the way whenever a supervillain sets Razor in their sights).
Since his first appearance Razor has fought with and against just about everyone, and his popularity has only grown larger, much to the dismay of anti-violent comic groups. One thing is sure: Razor Raccoon and his offbeat violent behavior are here to stay. It is also said that Razor Raccoon’s popularity is what caused DC to create its even more controversial "What If?" series.
And I’m a DC.Edit
Founded in 1934 as National Allied Publications, by the 1960s DC Comics became a giant in the entertainment industry. Aside from the million-dollar Captain Rocket franchise, the company has produced numerous other superheroes series, all of which “cross-over” with Captain Rocket at least once a month.
It’s a Bird, It’s a PlaneEdit
Everyone knows who Captain Rocket and the Rocketeers are. Children everywhere have listened with wide eyes as their fathers told tales of a masked thunderbolt streaking over the Soviet lines in WWII, and went on themselves to turn these tales into the comic books, radio dramas, and television cartoons that exist today.
DC also makes thousands each year from Captain Rocket action figures, Captain Rocket posters, Captain Rocket playsets, Captain Rocket lunch boxes, Captain Rocket bedsheets, Captain Rocket costumes, Captain Rocket breakfast cereal… the list goes on.
Needless to say, the Rocketeer Corps use DC’s media and merchandise shamelessly to encourage young men (and occasionally women) to enlist. Surprisingly, many Rocketeers feel that real life in the Corps is just as, or at least almost as, exciting and romantic as the media. Of course, more cynical Peacekeepers often chalk this up to the Rocketeers' huge egos.
And That’s TerribleEdit
In the mid 1960s, Allied press releases admitted to the existence of certain Italian and Greek mercenary groups using high-tech flying infantry. As Allied forces in the Mediterranean forces have always had a somewhat touchy relationship with the numerous PMCs of the region, there was little political backwash for DC to fashion a supervillain from these “Harpies”.
The new character quickly became the most popular of all Captain Rocket’s nemeses, even outshining his arch-enemy Volkov.
The Harpy is a corporate CEO named Ellen Faustino who arranges to have her mercenaries (all of which are dressed as Roman soldiers) steal a prototype “Super Rocket Pack” being developed by Allied Scientists, and kidnap the Prime Minister’s son. When Captain Rocket pursues, he finds that the Harpy has created a Battle-suit, armed with hi-tech weaponry.
Aside from (almost) being a match in a fight for Captain Rocket, the Ellen Faustino is also a genius (or so the comic books claim); A typical issue consists of the Harpy’s plots (often somewhat eccentric) are always stopped at the last minute by Captain Rocket, followed by the Harpy attacking him and Captain Rocket beating her with a ROCKET PUNCH.
Stitch in TimeEdit
One DC's most popular female heroes, as well as one of their few Norwegian ones, Miss Tempus is, like so much of popular culture in Allied countries, based around misconceptions about what Chronotechnology can do. She was introduced in early 1966.
Captain Annalina Jørgensen was a Athena operator during WWIII. While being transported by Chronosphere to a battlefield somewhere in Central Europe, the Chronosphere suffered a one in a million malfunction that slagged her Athena Cannon but strangely left her unharmed, and left her hundreds of miles behind enemy lines. Trying to make her way back to an Allied base on foot, she suddenly found herself under attack by a Soviet home guard division. Fleeing for cover, she found herself under the sights of a Tesla assault gun, which fired a bolt of lighting straight at her...
Which froze inches from her face. To Captain Jørgensen's shock, time itself had come to a stop (or very slow crawl. Different writers etc.). The Chronoshpere malfunction had somehow given her the ability to slow down time and teleport. Using her newfound powers, she was able to quickly return to her base, only to find that she had been listed as KIA. She decided to fight the Soviet menace as a masked heroine, and Miss Tempus was born.
Along with her sidekick, airman Trevor Stevens (who is the only one who knows that Captain Jørgensen is not in fact dead) Miss Tempus used her powers against the Soviet (and later Japanese) DC villains during the rest of WW3. One of the most popular to this day is Commissar Cold, a Soviet soldier who accidentally had his arm fuzed to a "EX-45 Micro Chrono/Cryo Pistol", giving him the ability to freeze things solid. He is also somehow resistant to slowed or stopped time.
Just Want to See the World Burn Edit
"Come on, monster! It's time to show you what I'm made of!"
"You are made of bones that break and blood that spills! A mind that doubts and a heart that falters! Tears that fall and screams that will never end!"
- - Captain Rocket confronts the Widowmaker
Late in 1968, DC began an experiment with the Captain Rocket series aptly entitled "What If?" In this new spinoff from the main series, the storyline for Captain Rocket took a much darker turn during Captain Rocket's latest battle with the Harpy. Instead of simply defeating his corporate nemesis, Rocket's fist created an electrical surge in the Harpy's armor that killed her in a scene so graphic that the issue was banned in Allied Europe. Captain Rocket fell into depression and guilt over his act, and just when things seemed to be at their worst, a new villain entered the stage.
Very little has yet been revealed of this new threat's background, and indeed his real name is unknown. The cybernetic monster known as the Widowmaker made his first appearance by dismembering Captain Rocket's girlfriend and cutting off her face to wear as a mask. Already devastated by his grief and guilt, Captain Rocket's first battle with the Widowmaker ended in the latter's imprisonment... which lasted all of one issue before the Widowmaker revealed an arsenal of weapons built into his body and destroyed the entire prison facility. The Widowmaker's arsenal changes from issue to issue, but has included knives that can cut through any known substance, electrified whips, a solar heat ray, poison gas, and a ray that ages victims by decades in a matter of seconds. Only when a special crossover saw Captain Rocket, Miss Tempus, and a new Harpy (the previous Harpy's daughter) team up was the Widowmaker stopped in the midst of a deadly plot to suffocate Ontario in a poisonous fog and seemingly killed by Captain Rocket throwing him off the tip of the CN Tower. His body was never found, however, and many readers believe that the Widowmaker must still be out there...
Public reception of the Widowmaker arc arc has been deeply divided, with many stores refusing to stock any issues and an entire organization of concerned parents lobbying for such violent comic books to be outlawed for the good of the children. Even so, the Widowmaker comics sold incredibly well, particularly in the Sprawls, to the point that the Widowmaker was eventually introduced into the mainstream DC universe. Readers, they say, are starting to grow tired of squeaky-clean heroes and laughable villains who are always foiled by the end of the issue. There was a plan to bring the question of violence in comic books and other media accessible by children before the Committee for Internal Communications, with rumors of a so-called Comics Code to be mandated for all publishing companies, but the crisis in the United States of America appears to have put the matter on hold.
The Hero Earth Deserves, But Not the One it NeedsEdit
Damien Blake was a wealthy young American businessman, when on a trip to Spain, mysterious masked men hijacked and crashed his plane. Damien's wife was tragically killed on impact, and Damien was critically injured. He would have died if not for an old monk, who pulled him from the wreckage and took him back to his monastery.
The monk, who gave only the name Veritas, nursed Blake back to health. Gradually, he explained to Damien the origin of the men who had tried to kill him, and who had killed his wife.
Veritas explained that Damien had been targeted by the League of Scorpions, an ancient organization that sought to rule the world. For whatever reason, they had decided that killing Damien would further their goals. Veritas explained that he was one of the last survivors of the Legion of Azrael, an order of knights dedicated to combating the Scorpions. Through the centuries, the Legion had dwindled, hunted down as the League used their control of the world's governments and militaries to further their goals.
With his wife dead, Damien had little else to live for. He asked Veritas to train him as a member of the League, so that he could bring those who killed his wife to justice. Reluctantly, the monk accepted.
For over a year, Damien would train under Veritas, learning the skills of combat, both armed and unarmed, deduction, stealth, intimidation, and focus. Veritas equipped him with the ancient and secret weapons of the Legion: Clockwork-driven armour and devices, secret potions that could harmlessly render a man unconscious, and more.
However, Veritas was an old man, and eventually, he succumbed to age. It was up to Damien to carry on the mission of the Legion himself.
Returning to New York, Blake discovered that the world was shocked to see him alive. He also discovered that the company where he worked, The Thesis Prop, had been infiltrated by the League. Donning the ancient armour of the Legion, along with more modern equipment, Damien took to the streets, seeking to bring down the Legion and any who would threaten humanity.
The Grey Knight had been born.
"You think me but another underworld hitman? Another hired gun here to make a name for himself?
No, I am Ruin, and this is your day of reckoning."
- - Ruin's first confrontation with the Grey Knight.
Isaac Newton once said that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, thus it should not be surprising that when Damien Blake donned the mantle of the Grey Knight and began his secret war against the League of Scorpions that another great figure would rise to oppose him. A mysterious assassin raised and trained by the League, the enigmatic figure known only as Ruin quickly became one of the Grey Knight's most dangerous adversaries, capable of matching and even besting Blake in combat both mental and physical. His mastery of numerous martial arts, a veritable arsenal of firearms and melee weapons combined with a utter lack of a conscience and masterful skill at manipulating those around him make Ruin a force to be feared.
Since his first appearance Ruin has become one of DC's most recognisable villains, his distinctive outfit of combat armour, black hooded duster and his trademark featureless full-head mask standing out amongst the bright colours and skintight outfits of other characters. However many DC fans are now divided, ferociously debating who is better, Ruin, or DC's other infamous villain, the psychotic Widowmaker.
Why So Serious?Edit
In the years since he first debuted, the Grey Knight has amassed a rouge's gallery of unique and iconic villains. Above all else, this is what separates him from other DC heroes; characters like Ruin are just as popular as Damien himself.
The character of Bacchus is similar to this. He is, after Ruin, the Grey Knight's most recognizable foe, and ranks amoung the top villains in the DC universe.
Almost nothing is known about Bacchus' origins. What is known is that he is completely and utterly insane; his schemes range from childish pranks to horrifying massacres, all of which he finds hilarious. Bacchus has no inhibitions, and will do anything if he thinks that it will be funny.
Bacchus dresses in a solid teal suit and a Roman theatre mask, and usually has a variety of theatrical and strange weapons hidden somewhere on his person.
After the Grey Knight fought and defeated Ruin for the first time, he thought that he had faced the worst that the League of Scorpions had to throw at him.
However, his actions had finally caught the attention of the very leader of the League itself: The man known only as Deathless.
Deathless claims to be as old as mankind, and indeed, Damien's research of notes Veritas had left behind shows that Deathless has been involved with mankind since the days of ancient Mesopotamia, perhaps before. A unique alchemical formula gives Deathless his immortality, as well as near-invulnerability and immense strength. Over the millenia, he has amassed knowledge of almost every field known to mankind and many that have long been forgotten, and become one of the most skilled martial artists in the world.
In their first confrontation, Damien is almost killed, and only survives because Deathless allows him to escape for his own reasons. What his plan could be is still a mystery to the Grey Knight, but what is clear is that as long as Deathless lives, the League can never be defeated.