Allfather D’Aronique

A new motion poster for the upcoming third season of Preacher has been released, and it features the three remaining new character who’ll be introduced next June (plus one who will be an original one created for the series). The first we’re going to see together is the fat guy dressed like something between a cardinal and a pope on the far right of the pic: that’s Allfather D’Aronique, the obese supreme leader of The Grail, who’ll be portrayed by Jonny Coyne. Don’t be deceived by his looks: if the show’s version of the Allfather has anything to do with the original one, he’ll make even the meanest of his subordinates look like a boy scout in comparison. Let’s meet this huge bastard.

D’Aronique was born in France, the heir of an ancient and wealthy family who had always been connected to power, of the secret and truly effective kind. The D’Aronique family was related to the L’Angelle one, and despite the latter had moved to the United States of America, D’Aronique was still in contact with his aunt, Marie L’Angelle, who kept him informed of everything interesting occurring in the occult parts of the world she and her family knew so well. Of course, the D’Aroniques were also one of the most prominent families within the Grail, a secret society who ruled the world from behind the curtains, and who was hiding the offspring of Jesus Christ in preparation for the Armageddon. When the 111th Allfather died, D’Aronique was chosen as his successor, and he became the most powerful man in the world…at least in theory, as the ones who truly controlled the Grail were seven men who formed the Council, the only ones Allfather D’Aronique had to answer to. All the others were his to command, including the world’s most powerful leaders, who called at the end of every day to thank him for the fact that he allowed them to maintain their power. The only thing bigger than D’Aronique’s power was his bulk: seriously suffering from bulimia, the Allfather ate constantly, reaching an impressive weight and figure, and regularly vomited on himself, even using a two-fingers-shaped stick to help himself sometimes; since everyone around him were too afraid of him to say anything, he found it perfectly normal to soil himself with food and/or vomit. Plus, his alimentary habits costed much to the Grail, as he only flew on private planes, since he couldn’t stand helicopters and the large planes weren’t able to land in the Grail’s headquarters, in Masada; his weight, however, was excessive for the wheels, that always broke during landings. The repairs of the planes only costed to the Grail sixty million dollars per year. Who, however, would have ever said anything to the most powerful man in the world about his phat?

Allfather D’Aronique truly believed in his and the Grail’s sacred mission, and he visited the Messiah regularly, even growing attached to him despite his obvious idiocy. It was his pious faith that led him to see with obvious suspicion the heretic maneuvers of his Sacred Executioner, Her Starr, who wanted to replace the rightful Messiah with Jesse Custer, an American preacher who had come in possession of a divine power. If proposing a Messiah who wasn’t the blood descendant of the original one wasn’t enough of a blasphemy, the Allfather had other, more personal reasons to dislike Custer: he had been knowing of Custer’s powers for quite a while, mainly thanks to the letters from his aunt Marie, who was also Custer’s grandmother and who kept him constantly informed on the young man’s progresses. The moment he had stopped receiving the usual letters from Marie, D’Aronique had sent some of the Grail agents to investigate the reason in Angellville, but they found it burnt to the ground, with all the residents dead. It didn’t take much of an investigation to realize that the ones responsible for the massacre were the Preacher and his crew, all the more reason for the Allfather not to trust Custer with such a divine role. With a heretic among his ranks and a powerful enemy at his doorstep, the Allfather decided to kill two birds with a stone, and tricked Starr and Custer in facing each other in a knife duel, actually planning to kill the victor. Custer was far superior to Herr Starr in terms of physical prowess, and he easily gained the upper hand, but as soon as they realized what was planned for them the two men used the duel to make their escape…not that they could go far. The problem would have been solved in no time, if it wasn’t for an unexpected and uninvited guest: the Saint of Killers, an unstoppable killing machine who had been sent after Custer. The Saint started killing everyone in his way to get to his prey, and D’Aronique sent against him dozens and dozens of men to buy enough time to retrieve both his enemies. Herr Starr, however, had used that same time to rig the base to explode…

Despite his look can be deceiving, D’Aronique is a man with a superior intellect and with a heart cold as ice, an infallible planner who holds the entire world in his fat hands. As the Allfather, he secretly controls every government in the world with the threat of Armageddon, and he commands an army of perfectly trained agents who’d do anything he orders them to; he also has at disposal a nearly infinite fortune he uses to pursue the Grail’s goals, and he has an extensive knowledge on everything occurring in this world and the other. One of the most influential and powerful people in the world, Allfather D’Aronique lets others underestimate him because of his appearance; everyone who made that mistake, however, is long time dead.

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Irene Merryweather

Whoa, you’ve been quick this time. Credits to Maya and Czez for the heads-up. There’s still one character from the comics appearing in Deadpool 2: covering Firefist‘s outburst at the Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation, and the following intervention of the X-Men, there’s a news anchorwoman named Irene Merryweather, portrayed by Andréa Vawda. Although she only appears in this sequence in the movie, she has quite a long run with the movie’s protagonists in the comics; plus, she’s not originally a tv reporter, but rather she works for a newspaper fundamental in the mythology of yet another character, Spider-Man. Let’s see together.

Born and raised in New York City, Irene Merryweather studied journalism following the dream of becoming a great reporter for the Daily Bugle, just like Ben Urich. Dreams clashed with reality, though, and she found herself working for a definitely inferior paper, the tabloid Inquiring Eye. The kind of articles she could write for the Eye were exactly what she expected, and mostly involved conspiracy theories of various kinds, but one happened to be an actual story: her boss asked her to investigate an alleged secret society called the Hellfire Club, and so she did, not knowing that this time the lead was as real as it could get. The White Bishop of this Hellfire Club was so worried that Irene could actually uncover something serious that he sent some of his mercenaries to silence her. As she came back to her office, Irene found all her coworkers dead, killed by the Hellfire soldiers, and she was their next target. She was however saved at the last moment by Cable, a mutant who claimed to come from the future. Wanting someone to tell the story of his life in the eventuality that he got killed, Cable chose Irene as his chronicler, a task she gladly accepted, especially considering that she was now unemployed. Following Cable she had the chance to discover a lot of things about the Hellfire Club, and to witness incredible adventures, that she promptly wrote down. Not everything was sunshine and roses, as once, as Cable deemed the mission up ahead too dangerous, she was left in Switzerland all alone, forced to find a way back to the United States on her own. She met some of Cable’s associates, like G. W. Bridge, Domino, Madeline Pryor and Blaquesmith, and she discovered some hot stories, such as the one revolving around a black ops led by S.H.I.E.L.D. in Hell’s Kitchen. The latter in particular was the one article that won her the prize she always wanted: a place among the investigative reporters of the Daily Bugle.

She knew she was on the right path about the Hellfire Club when the Black King himself, Sebastian Shaw, offered her a position within the Club in exchange of her silence, something that she refused, knowing that she could count on her friend’s protection. Then, Cable started to call himself Soldier X, and disappeared for a while. Not hearing from her friend for a while, Irene got worried, but she eventually received a letter from him, including his diaries, so that she can write them down and continue the chronicles of his life and adventures. Cable eventually returned, but Irene realized that something was amiss with him: he secretly used a virus to turn everybody on Earth pink, only to restore them back to normal and be acclaimed as a hero. Irene interviewed him, and she realized that his powers were probably making him go nuts. She became so worried that she even brought a gun to work in order to protect herself from him, in the chance he went totally crazy, but she was caught by her boss, J. Jonah Jameson, who fired her for bringing a firearm to the office. Without a job, Irene accepted Cable’s offer, especially considering that he owed her, and she moved to Providence, the island Cable had turned into an utopia. She became Cable’s right hand woman, and she basically ruled the place whenever he was out on mission. She even befriended his newest associate, Deadpool, a crazy mercenary who even developed a crush on her (she always rejected him, as she rightfully considered him a total idiot). As Cable learnt of the birth of the true Mutant Messiah, the Marauders attacked the island, and destroyed it with the alien weapon Hecatomb, killing many citizens in the process. Cable apparently sacrificed himself self-destructing the island, and Irene was nearly killed by Sabretooth, but she was saved by Deadpool at the last moment, and brought to safety before the explosion. Without her time traveler to write about, Irene came back to New York, where she got her job at the Bugle back…unfortunately, she just couldn’t get rid of Deadpool.

Irene Merryweather is a determined and clever woman, a brave reporter who is perfectly capable of dealing even with extremely dangerous people. A skilled investigator and a gifted administrator, she doesn’t originally possessed any superhuman power, but after Alecto manipulated her mind while helping her against Blaquesmith, she became immune to any form of telepathy. Able and willing to dig into the dirt of several secret societies, terrorists and criminals, Irene Merryweather joined forces with people just as dangerous and deranged as the ones she’s hunting down, to the point that she’s now forced to be equally careful of her friends as she is of her enemies…

Hope Summers

We knew she would have been there in some capacity after the very first image of Cable, with that teddy bear hanging from his belt, and in fact the last character who appeared in Deadpool 2 is Hope Summers! The daughter of Cable is portrayed by Islie Hirvonen, and she looks like a perfectly normal girl her age. In the comics, on the opposite, she’s a pivotal character and quite a powerful one, and she’s either referred to as the Mutant Messiah or as the Harbinger of Death. Her story is quite complicated, as it involves a lot of time travel, but we’ll try to sort it out. Small tip: no, in the comics she’s not Cable’s daughter…not biological, at least.

After she went mad for grief and traumas, Scarlet Witch originated a cataclysmic event known as Decimation, spelling three words, “No more mutants“, and turning all mutants on the planet into regular humans, with the sole exception of little less than 200 individuals. No mutants were born from that point on, and the entire race seemed to be doomed to extinction…until the baby who would have been named Hope was born. She was the daughter of a fireman, Captain Louise Spalding, and the moment she was born in Cooperstown, Alaska, the mutant detector Cerebro exploded. As a toddler, she became the most hunted girl in the world: from a side, the future Sentinel Nimrod sent after her the Purifiers, who wanted to kill her; on the other, the remaining mutants wanted to protect her. There was one mutant, however, who sided with the Purifiers: Bishop, who believed that Hope would have grown into a mass-murdering abomination that would have created the dystopic reality he was from. As the Purifiers destroyed Cooperstown and killed everyone in it, the baby girl was saved by Cable, who on the opposite believed her to be the messiah who would have saved mutants and humans alike. Cable lost her to the Marauders, who brought the baby to their leader Mr. Sinister…who was actually Mystique in disguise. Her putative daughter Rogue was in a coma because of Strain 88 virus, and Mystique had her touched by the baby. Gambit, horrified since he believed she had killed her, took the infant away from Mystique, but watched in shock as not only the little one was fine, but she had also cured Rogue, who woke up. It was there that the trio was reached by X-Men and Predator X, and a huge battle between them and the Marauders over the girl started. As the battle was escalating, Cyclops called it off, and decided that the girl would have been safer with his son from the future, Cable. Everyone agreed, and Cable took her back to his time, hiding her in the haven of New Liberty…while Bishop secretly tracked and followed them, wanting to kill the girl in the future.

Cable raised the baby along with his new wife, Hope, and she grew up in a safe environment, at least until a group of humanoid insects attacked New Liberty. Cable saved his adoptive daughter, but he failed to save his wife, who died in his arms. It was in this moment that he decided to call the girl Hope Summers, in honor of her late adoptive mother. Bishop in the meanwhile was advancing, and he destroyed entire continents to limit Cable’s movements. Another war erupted when Bishop allied himself with Stryfe, and X-Force intervened to help them. Hope bonded with X-23 and Elixir, and when Cable was forced to travel in time once again, she escaped from him during the jump, becoming stranded in time, with two years separating her from her adoptive father. She survived for two years thanks to Emil Spence, a descendant of Stryfetroopers, a boy she fell in love with. When she rejoined with Cable, he took her away on one of the few remaining space ships, the Ensabahnur I, and Hope had to say goodbye to the one she loved…well, not exactly, as Emil, who believed that Cable had kidnapped Hope, joined forces with Bishop, whom he believed to be Hope’s true father. They reached the ship, but during the battle the Brood, attracted to Hope’s power, attacked both factions. Emil sacrificed his life to save Hope and Cable, and the two managed to escape in cryo-chambers, while the others seemingly died in a nuclear explosion. After this many escapes, Hope decided she was ready to come back home, in the past, and join the X-Men. The only functioning time machine was now Bishop’s one, as Cable’s had been damaged, so Cable tracked down a dying Acanti Bishop had used to survive the explosion. As he activated the time machine, Bishop awoke and shot Hope in the head…but the girl’s mutant powers manifested themselves, and she borrowed Cable’s telekinesis to stop the bullet in mid-air. The travel was pretty jumpy, with Bishop always in close trails, but eventually Cable managed to send him to 6700 AD. Finally, back to the present, Hope and Cable took a car and drove to the X-Mansion, ready to start a new life and bring hope to a dying race. There was still someone eager to hunt for her even in the present, though…

Hope Summers has been on the run since her birth, chased and hunted down for reasons she didn’t understand; molded into a true survivor, she’s however more compassionate and good-hearted than her putative father Cable, and she never lost her humanity despite the trials she had to endure. She’s an Omega Level Mutant, with the ability to mimicry the powers of any mutant close to her, and to use them at their maximum capacity, even more than one per time; she’s also the only one able to stabilize the powers and personalities of the new mutants (six, this far) born after her and Decimation. Troubled and pressured for all the expectations revolving around her, and grown without knowing anything close to peace, Hope is working hard to be the beacon of a new era, and thus to live up to her name…

Thomas Samuel Eamon Cassidy (Black Tom)

Deadpool 2 has been out for some days now, so we can see together the two remaining characters appearing (as usual, if I miss somebody, just let me know). As Deadpool and Russell end up in a prison for mutants named the Icebox, they immediately become the plaything of the toughest bastard around, a tattooed goon going by the name Black Tom Cassidy. Portrayed by Jack Kesy, Tom never has the chance to show his powers, as he’s always wearing a power-dampening collar, and is pretty much of a living spoiler, as his presence alone is enough to reveal who’s the big guy in the maximum security cell. This is the first appearance of Black Tom, despite him being quite a villain in the mutant mythology, and having his named dropped in X2: X-Men United on Stryker‘s computer. Now, let’s meet the original one. Spoilers alert: no dreadlocks and no tattoos.

Thomas Samuel Eamon Cassidy was born in Dublin, Ireland, the pupil of the well-respected and wealthy Cassidy family. In his youth he wasn’t exactly the perfect image of the educated nobleman, cultivating friends with disreputable people like Cain Marko (a friendship that would have proved useful in the future) and soon becoming the black sheep of the family. In particularly he had a fierce rivalry with his cousin, Sean Cassidy, who on the opposite of him was simply the perfect gentleman. Their enmity escalated when, playing a game of dice, Thomas managed to lose both his family mansion Cassidy Keep and his fortune to his cousin, but it intensified even more when they both fell in love with the same woman, Maeve Rourke. The two cousins courted Maeve, with Tom trying to boycott Sean, but eventually it was Sean the one to be chosen, and married, by the woman. This marriage, apparently, did put an end to the two’s rivalry, as Tom was ready to accept Maeve’s decision. With time, Sean trusted Tom enough to entrust his beloved wife to him every time he was away for work, and working for the Interpol that happened quite a lot. One absence in particular proved to be pretty long, as in that time Maeve found out she was pregnant and carried the baby for the whole nine months, without telling anything to Sean who was unreachable at the time: it was Tom the one who took care of her during pregnancy, and who helped her giving birth to Theresa. One tragic day, Maeve got killed during an IRA attack, and Tom, who didn’t know how to contact his cousin, took Theresa with himself, waiting for Sean’s return. His cousin did return, but he wasn’t exactly in the right mood to hear Tom’s news about his own daughter: shocked by his wife’s death, Sean blamed Tom for everything, saying that he should have protected her. As Tom tried to speak to him, Sean attacked him with his sonic scream, revealing to be a mutant: the attack broke one of Tom’s legs, leaving him with a limp for life. As Sean angrily left him and Ireland, Thomas swore that he would have made his cousin pay.

Also Thomas held a secret, exactly the same as his cousin: he was a mutant, and he took his power from plants. He took the moniker Black Tom, and without anything left in the world he became a criminal; he used a shillelagh as a walking cane, and also as a weapon to channel his powers. In the following years, he raised Theresa as his own daughter, passing his hatred for Sean onto her, and when he was sent to jail he found there his childhood friend Cain Marko, who had become the mystic-enhanced Juggernaut: the two resumed their friendship, even stronger than before, and became a formidable criminal couple. Much to Black Tom’s amusement, even Theresa developed mutant powers, something that he would have used against her biological father in future schemes. With the unstoppable Juggernaut by his side, there was nothing Black Tom couldn’t do, so his plan for getting revenge against Sean, now known as the heroic Banshee, could begin. First he murdered Sean’s lawyer, Mr. Flaherty, in the village of Dal’Roon, and used his signed letters to invite Sean with his friends in Cassidy Keep, claiming that he could finally take possession of it. He blackmailed the keeper Eamon O’Donnell into helping him, and set a trap for the X-Men coming: not only Banshee, but also Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus. Eamon made them all accommodate into their rooms, only to lead them to a fake dining hall with a trap floor, that made them fall right in front of Black Tom and the Juggernaut, waiting in the castle dungeon. With the team leader Storm crippled by her claustrophobia, Juggernaut made short work of Wolverine, Colossus and Nightcrawler, leaving to Tom the chance to face his loathed and ungrateful cousin. Due to their family bond, their powers turned out to be ineffective against one another, so the match was decided by fists only…and in that field, Black Tom held quite an advantage on his good-mannered cousin. Tom easily defeated Banshee, and with him down, all the X-Men had been vanquished in a matter of minutes. The victory was at hand, but Black Tom had sworn to his friend to exact revenge on his step-brother too: he would have kept the X-Men alive, but only just as long as they could act as bait for Professor X

Thomas Cassidy is a complicated man, a scoundrel, a thief and a murderer, but also a man of honor, who in name of that same honor is ready to pursue his hated cousin Sean to the end of the world for getting revenge, but also to put his own life on the line to protect his friend Cain. As Black Tom, he’s capable of channeling strong thermal blasts through wood, making a deadly weapon even of a simple shillelagh, and he’s quite an accomplished fighter despite his limp; because of a temporary Secondary Mutation, he had become a plant-like being who could absorb living beings’ life force, communicate with plants, heal instantly from any wound and grow in size. A man of subtle and cruel intelligence, Black Tom Cassidy is a criminal with a grudge and a purpose, and never leaves anything to chance…the perfect match for an impulsive brute like his best pal, the Juggernaut.

Telford Porter (Vanisher)

Well, the role of X-Force in Deadpool 2 has been…surprising, to say the least. Anyway, many people had noticed in the trailer a completely invisible member of the team, whom we can “see” as a floating parachute sitting between Domino and Zeitgeist. Now we know who that is: the Vanisher, who’s unexpectedly portrayed (for the few instants he’s visible, at least) by Brad Pitt. This was hard to foresee, especially considering that the original has a very different set of powers. This is actually the second live action portrayal of the character, since he appeared in a cameo in X-Men: The Last Stand as one of the dozens of mutants attacking Alcatraz. Also here, he’s portrayed as a simple teleporter like Nightcrawler, while he’s much more powerful than that. Also, he’s not a hero, but rather one of the first villains ever faced by the X-Men, albeit he did worked with X-Force recently, but only because he was blackmailed. Let’s see together.

Much of the Vanisher’s life is still shrouded in mystery, especially considering that his real name, Telford Porter, is likely just an alias. Apparently he was born in Massachusetts, either in Boston or in Milton, and nothing is known about his family or profession, but it’s likely he had some notions of engineering. Whatever he was doing before making his public debut, it all changed the moment he found out he was a mutant, and a pretty powerful one: for a time, it was believed he was the most powerful teleporter on Earth, not having any limitations in the distance he could cover with his jumps or in the quantity of matter he could bring along with himself. Wanting to make easy money with his talent, he started committing a series of impossible crimes, appearing inside bank vaults or within closed museums, stealing what he wanted just to disappear in thin air once again. With his fortune increasing, and getting the fame of being uncatchable, the Vanisher attracted a number of low-level thugs who wanted a share of what he had, and they became his small private army, followers ready to eat the scarps that fell from his table. Growing cocky, the Vanisher stole top-secret defense plans from the Pentagon, and blackmailed the US Government by demanding 10 million dollars to have them back, otherwise he would have sold them to the Soviet Union. The X-Men tried to stop him, but they could do very little against him, and he vanquished them. Sure that nobody would have been able to stop him, the thief along with his many (human) followers appeared right before the White House, and demanded his payment. Unfortunately for him, this time waiting for him there was also Professor X, the world’s most powerful telepath and leader of the X-Men, who, while his pupils took care of the gangsters, used his powers to induce amnesia into the Vanisher: Telford Porter forgot everything about who he was, including his own powers, and thus was easily captured by the police.

Apparently this was just a temporary measure, as soon after the Vanisher regained his memories, and his powers along with them. He used them to escape from prison, then he joined Factor Three, a mutant terrorist organization preparing World War III. This adventure, oddly enough, ended with the Vanisher and his new teammates joining the X-Men against the Mutant Master, Factor Three’s leader, who turned out to be an alien who wanted to destroy mankind. After defeating the alien, the Vanisher tried to rebuild his empire, but this time he was captured by the Sentinels, and much to his shame he was rescued by the X-Men once again. This was quite a blow for his reputation, and after this episode he was forced to lay low for a while. In all this time, he successfully reprogrammed some of the Sentinels who had been hunting for him, planning to use them to regain respect. When he he came out of hiding, he joined the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants with the intention of testing himself and his skills against the Champions, unleashing his Sentinels after them. Things didn’t go exactly as planned, as while Angel, Hercules, Iceman, Ghost Rider and Black Widow took care of the giant robots and the Brotherhood, Darkstar used her powers to trap the Vanisher in a suspended state, disrupting his powers in mid-teleportation. As a result, half of the Vanisher materialized on Earth, specifically in a town named Poughkeepsie, while the other half was in the Darkforce Dimension, the space between spaces the Vanisher unconsciously crossed while teleporting. The Vanisher remained in this suspended state for years, until Nightcrawler, who wanted to learn more about his own powers, started investigating on him, and found him in Poughkeepsie. The moment the blue X-Man touched what remained of the Vanisher, the latter’s powers were activated once again, and they both got stranded in the Darkforce Dimension. From there, helping each other, the two teleporters managed to come back to Earth, and parted ways: finally, the Vanisher was back, and he could resume what he was doing before being so rudely interrupted.

Telford Porter is a cunning and highly intelligent individual, an ambitious and greedy man who seeks to obtain as much wealth, power and fame as possible in the shortest time. As the Vanisher, he’s a remarkably powerful teleporter, able to cross intercontinental distances without the slightest effort, teleporting along with himself even other people and objects (once he threatened to “kidnap” an entire city with his powers, but whether he would have been actually able to do that is open to debate); while moving, he unconsciously crosses the Darkforce Dimension, but unlike other teleporters like Nightcrawler or Cloak, he can visit also places he cannot see or has never seen before, as he seems to be always aware of spacial conditions in the point of arrival, and thus he never materializes within a solid object. Clever and charismatic, the Vanisher is also quite lazy, and tends to let others to the dirty work for him. Despite this, he’s still a dangerous criminal, with enough power to do whatever he threats to, and enough resources to always find a way out of the direst of situations.

Jody

The third season of Preacher is on its way, and we got our first bunch of promotional images. Some of those include the first look at one of the season’s new bad guys, namely Jody, the brutal redneck portrayed by Jeremy Childs. We had some glimpse of him during the previous season, mainly his arms, as he was the one torturing young Jesse and putting him in the coffin on the bottom of the swamp. If you know the comics, you’ll know then that Jody’s presence doesn’t mean anything good for our (anti-)heroes, and that despite his looks he’s quite formidable. Let’s see together.

The only thing we know for certain about Jody is that he’s someone better not to have anything to do with. He was raised in the plains, and took care of the cattle for a while, but his real passion were engines and machines, which he learnt everything about. Also, strong as a bull and mean as a hyena, he learnt everything about combat, and about killing. In his youth he fought and killed both for pleasure and for money, and he became pretty famous after besting an angry mountain gorilla bare-handed during an illegal fight. It was probably around this time that his fame reached the hears of Madame L’Angelle, a wealthy and cruel landlady, who was just in need of a strong muscle to enforce her property. Angelville was just like Jody: huge, evil and chaotic. No wonder he found himself pretty at home there. With time, he became the Madame’s favorite enforcer, to the point that he considered her to be the mother he always wanted (also becoming jealous of her actual daughter, Christina). Jody did a number of horrible stuff for the Madame, killing and maiming every time the matriarch deemed it was needed (something that happened quite often), and Jody did that with pleasure, often accompanied by a bunch of equally depraved subordinates, first of all the pervert T. C., the only one Jody actually enjoyed having nearby. Whenever some dirty work had to be done, it was Jody the one Madame L’Angelle called; when Christina ran away from home, it was obviously Jody the one she sent to retrieve her, no matter the cost.

Jody and T. C. found Christina in Texas, but she wasn’t alone: she was with her newly wed husband, John Custer, and with their baby son, Jessie. Quite surprised to see that the two had had a child, Jody was taken off guard by John, who gave him quite a beating until he was stopped at gunpoint by T. C.. Furious at the humiliation, Jody used his gun to kill John Custer right in front of Jessie, then mocking the boy for being a “crybaby”. The goons brought mother and son back to Angelville, where the matriarch was more than happy to welcome them…her own way, obviously. She ordered Jody to make a “true L’Angelle” out of Jessie, so he took it as a personal mission to “man the boy up”, toughening him with a lifelong dose of abuses and violence. Despite the appearances, Jody grew quite fond of Jessie, and genuinely believed he was beating and torturing him for his own good. He personally locked him up in a coffin and left him on the bottom of the swamp for hours or even days, and he even nailed the boy’s beloved dog to the farm’s fences, but he still believed he was helping Jessie. He did teach him everything he knew about engines, he taught him out to fight, how to shoot, how to drive, and out of pure compassion he even fixed all the bones he broke him. When Jessie became friends with another boy, Billy-Bob Bobbs, things ended tragically as T. C. murdered him, but as Jessie tried to exact revenge on the killer, Jody intervened, giving the boy a chance of beating him for the first time. Jessie wasn’t ready yet, and he failed miserably, obtaining a broken arm and jaw, and ending up in the coffin for days…with a bonus: this time, Jody used Billy-Bob’s body to weight down the coffin. Soon enough, Jesse managed to escape from Angelville, but just as inevitably, Jody was sent after him: he would have found him, brought him back home, and trained him to be better than him. That’s what a good big brother does.

Jody is a plain psychopath, a violent and mean brute who uses all his cleverness and instinct to hurt whoever is unlucky enough to cross his path. Angelville’s chief enforcer, he’s a natural born fighter, an unbelievably strong and swift man who’s easily one the most proficient hand-to-hand fighters ever seen; he’s also a remarkable marksman, and he shows an unnatural resistance to injuries and tolerance to pain. An unstoppable killer, loyal to a fault to Madame L’Angelle, in his own twisted way Jody is actually a loving and caring big-brother figure for Jessie, the one person the Preacher hates the most in the world, but also the one who contributed the most to making him the man he is now.

Russell Collins (Firefist)

Deadpool 2 is almost in theaters, and the character many believed to be Firefist…turned out to be Firefist, after all. Julian Dennison is portraying Russell “Rusty” Collins (despite he’d like to be called “Hot Stuff“, judging from the trailers), a young mutant with pyrokinetic abilities who’s being hunted by Cable for some unknown reason. Deadpool will form X-Force with the sole purpose of protecting him, but judging from the prison uniform and the anti-mutant collar something goes bad some point in the line. Waiting to see what the movie will do of Rusty, let’s take a look at the original character.

Russell Collins was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of an allegedly heroic sailor who died in war when he was still a newborn. Also his mother died soon after, wishing that her son became “just like his father”. Orphaned, Russell had still two uncles, Ted and George, and he was entrusted to the first one…who didn’t like him very much, and made no secret about it. With the excuse of granting his sister’s dying wish, Uncle Ted “helped” Russell join the Navy underage, at sixteen years old, thus getting rid of the boy. Even in the Navy, Russell wasn’t exactly the idol of his fellow recruits, and earned the nickname “Rusty” that stick all his life. While docking in San Diego, his superior officer Jack Fisher asked a friend of his, the wealthy prostitute Emma LaPorte, to seduce the inexperienced Rusty. Forced to drink and terrified at the perspective of his first sexual experience, Rusty panicked, and in that moment his latent mutant powers manifested for the first time: he could generate bursts of flame, and he unwillingly burnt Emma, nearly killing her and disfiguring her for life. Panicking even more, Rusty tried to flee, but he was arrested by Naval Police. While in custody, Chief Fisher confronted him, swearing revenge on him personally and on his kind in general, and attempted to shoot him in cold blood…only to ignite the young man’s power once again. Rusty managed to escape imprisonment, but Fisher, who wanted him dead on one side but feared that the young sailor would have reported him if arrested on the other, called for the help of X-Factor, a team of (alleged) mutant exterminators, to take care of the problem.

Rusty faced X-Factor convinced that they would have killed him, but he was surprised to see that they were actually the original X-Men in disguise. X-Factor “defeated” Rusty, actually saving him from the military, and took him away, with the blessing of Chief Fisher. The heroes explained to Russell that they were posing as mutant hunters to find mutants like him who needed help in understanding and controlling their powers, and the young man accepted to be trained by them. During his time with X-Factor, he developed a crush on Marvel Girl like many others, but never acted upon it. Despite some minor scuffles with his teammate Artie Maddicks, Rusty finally found a place to belong, and as a trainee he chose the name “Firefist”. During a mission, Rusty, who was still a wanted criminal for the incident with Emma, was targeted by Mystique and her Freedom Force, who wanted to arrest him. While trying to escape from them, Firefist was saved by a runaway girl now member of the Morlocks, Skids, who tried to bring him to The Alley, the underground home of the Morlocks. Freedom Force, slowed down by an anti-mutant mob, reached them and was ready to apprehend them, but X-Factor intervened just in time. During the battle, Rusty was severely wounded by Blob, and Skids stayed by his side for all the time of the recovery (thus saving herself from the mutant massacre going on underground, with the Marauders slaughtering all Morlocks). Between the two outcasts a sweet and strong romance was born, and they stayed together for all of their life (for all of Rusty’s life, at least). From zero to hero, Firefist became a celebrity along with the other X-Factor kids after the defeat of Apocalypse, but things didn’t last, as he finally decided to turn himself into the Naval Police, not wanting to hide anymore. He was soon broken out by his teammates, as his friends Artie Maddicks and Leech had been kidnapped by demons. Firefist took the lead of the X-Factor kids, who now called themselves X-Terminators, and went to the rescue. Apparently, he would have repaid his debts to society in another way.

Russell “Rusty” Collins is a gentle and likable guy, a sometimes insecure young man who deeply cares for others and who shares a beautiful love with his teammate Skids. As Firefist, he’s a mutant with the ability to ignite air in the immediate vicinity, either originating fire from his own body (usually hands) or igniting them remotely; he can control the shape, the direction and the heat of the fire he creates, and he can also manipulate heat without physical fire being present, such as by creating a heat shield around himself hot enough to melt incoming bullets; he also subconsciously creates a psionic barrier all around himself able as protection from excessive heat and burns. First a scared and insecure boy, now a charismatic and diplomatic leader, Firefist grew up with, thanks and for his teammates and friends, finally becoming a man he can be proud of.