R’amey Holl (Green Lantern)

Green Lanterns! Green Lanterns everywhere! As we proceed with Lucy W.‘s request, we meet another one of the many aliens having a cameo in the Green Lantern movie, this one particularly fascinating. Among the many faces on Oa, one strikes for beauty and grace: the humanoid butterfly, R’amey Holl. In the movie, of course, she just has this single appearance and does nothing, while in the comics, albeit having being created relatively recently (2007), she earned an increasingly major role. Don’t be fooled by her fragile appearance, though: she’s as tough as they come. Let’s see together.

R’amey Holl was born on the alien planet Papilliox, a world inhabited by insectoid sentient beings who, just like Earth‘s butterfly, had the unborn ability of evolving into superior forms. R’amey Holl was a member of her planet’s law forces, and thus she had contacts from time to time with the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps, sometimes even working with them, mostly during emergencies. One of such emergencies occurred as the Hymenoptists, sentient parasites who laid eggs within the living bodies of other species, consumed all life on the nearby planet Meno, and targeted Papilliox next. Such a threat couldn’t be faced by the local police force alone, so R’amey Holl, defying her superiors’ orders, contacted the Guardians of the Universe, asking for help. Not only the Guardians sent the Lanterns to protect the planet, but they were also impressed by the woman’s willpower, strong enough to allow her to go against direct orders, despite being a recruit, in order to save lives…exactly the kind of willpower a Green Lantern was required to have. As soon as the impending threat was solved, the Guardians offered R’amey Holl a place within the Corps, and she gladly accepted it. As a Green Lantern, R’amey Holl could protect not just her home planet, but the entire Space Sector 700, and she was assigned as a partner to Von Daggle, who would have been her superior officer for the time being. Finally, she was ready to do something great with her life and her training, and when her first mission arrived, she was enthusiast to participate.

R’amey Holl followed Von Daggle in quite a peculiar mission, which involved also another young Lantern, Guy Gardner from Earth (one R’amey had an immediate crush on). The trio had to track down a Dominator, a scientist who had used a highly unstable meteorite (the same that had hyper-evolved Captain Comet) to enhance himself, against the Dominators’ orthodoxy, and also to create a hyper-evolved Khund servant. This wasn’t an official mission of the Corps, so R’amey and the others left both their uniforms and their Power Rings, ingesting in its place a special disc that granted them a Power Ring’s abilities for a limited time. R’amey and Gardner arrived on Corona 7, where they located the scientist…and his hyper-evolved servant, who proved to be too powerful for the two Lanterns. The Khund ripped off R’amey’s stomach (with the disc in it) and left her to die, nearly killing Gardner as well immediately after. The Lantern’s body, however, landed on the meteorite, and she unconsciously created a cocoon, in which she evolved into a superior form. Using her new powers, she resumed the battled and healed a dying Gardner, saving him from death. Just as Von Daggle joined them, R’amey Holl and Guy Gardner had defeated the scientist, but while the latter wanted to arrest him, Von Daggle ordered them to kill him, something definitely against the Corps’ policy. R’amey Holl obeyed the order, and she executed the scientist by slicing him to pieces with her razor-sharp wings. Then, Von Daggle informed her subordinates that the mission was actually a test to enter the Corpse, the secret black-ops division of the Green Lanterns…a test that only Holl had succeeded. Sad for losing a man she had learnt to love, R’amey Holl used her newfound telepathy to erase Gardner’s memory of everything that happened, making him believe she had died during the mission. Then, she left Corona 7 with Von Daggle, ready to be employed once again in a top secret mission.

Despite her cheerful and easy-going attitude, R’amey Holl is a very by-the-book and obedient soldier, an officer used to do whatever her superiors tell her, without hesitation of ethical nature. She naturally possesses remarkable abilities: she can fly, she possesses superhuman speed and enhanced senses, and after her evolution she also possesses telepathic powers, the ability to heal (or even resurrect) herself and others, she can survive in the void of space and she can even teleport; she traded her Power Ring for a Green Lantern Corpse Disc, that allows her to create energy constructs powered by her willpower (green energy with the Ring, purple energy with the Disc). A powerful and indomitable warrior, R’amey Holl devotes herself to the Green Lanterns, ready to do for them even things other Green Lanterns would never approve of…

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Ishmael

Today we close Levi‘s request with the last character appearing in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the only secondary character who’s actually taken from the comics: Ishmael, portrayed by Terry O’Neill. In the movie, Ishmael acts as Captain Nemo‘s first mate aboard the Nautilus, but he’s sadly killed off by Dorian Gray as his treason is exposed. That introduction, “Call me Ishmael”, should leave few doubts on the literary primary source, but yes, he is Herman Melville‘s most famous protagonist, who in the comics had an unexpected promotion. Let’s see together.

The man called Ishmael started wandering the seas when he was very young, feeling an urge to do so in the deepest of his soul. He served aboard several merchant vessels, then he went from Manhattan to New Bedford to board his first whaling ship, the Pequod. The night before, he shared the bed in an overcrowded hostel with a Polynesian man, Queequeg, who would have been hired with him on the Pequod. The voyage changed the young man’s life: at first, Ishmael believed he was serving on a normal whaler, but then he met Captain Ahab, an obsessed man who led his own ship to ruin. During the voyage, Ishmael learnt to know the other officers: the rationalist first mate Starbuck, the good-hearted second mate Stubb, the strong third mate Flask, but none of them was nearly as charismatic as Ahab, a proud and magnetic leader who was rapidly losing his sanity over his one obsession. As Ishmael soon learnt, in fact, the Pequod wasn’t hunting for “any” whale, but for a specific, moon-white sperm whale named Moby Dick, a majestic creature that enchanted Ishmael the first time he saw it, but that Ahab, who had lost a leg because of it, believed to be the incarnation of evil itself. Hellbent on destroying its nemesis, Ahab led his crew in a deranged hunt, losing many men in the process, until the Pequod faced Moby Dick in an epic final stand: driven by a cruel intelligence, the whale destroyed the ship, killing Ahab, Queequeg and all the others. Only Ishmael, of all the sailors aboard the whaler, saved himself, and used as a lifeboat the coffin that Queequeg had built for himself, the only thing saved from the destruction. Ishmael floated on it for an entire day, until he was found by the Rachel, another whaler sent to the rescue.

Ishmael’s thirst for the life at sea hadn’t been quelled by the tragedy only he had survived to, quite the opposite: soon enough, he resumed moving from a ship to the other, learning more of the world than most of of men. Under unknown circumstances he crossed paths with Captain Nemo, a wanted terrorist who was believed to be dead by the entire world. Nemo had consecrated his life to the sea, just like Ishmael did, and he was in need of a crew, as his old one had been killed in a failed attack on the British Empire. With all his experience, and with no loyalty to the British Empire being an American, Ishmael joined Nemo aboard his incredible ship, the Nautilus, one that could teach also a man like him a lot of new things about the sea, as it traveled also under the surface. Ishmael proved to be not only a skilled sailor, but also a good confidante for the seasoned captain, and he became his first mate. Along with the former British pirate Broad Arrow Jack, Ishmael was the longest serving member of Nemo’s crew, and the most trusted one. He accompanied Nemo in a variety of adventures, including the disastrous expedition to the Mountains of Madness, in Antarctica, and was with him when Mina Murray, an agent for MI5, recruited the captain and his Nautilus for a special mission for the British Empire. Quite experienced in both sailing and in reading people, Ishmael didn’t trust at all the man who acted as a liaison officer between the team Mina was leading and the MI5, Campion Bond, and he expressed his doubts to his captain, only to realize that Nemo felt the same about the sneaky spy. They both proved to be right, as Bond turned out to have moved them as pawns on a chessboard in a local war between his boss, James Moriarty, and Fu Manchu, a new crime boss who threatened his monopoly. Once the menace of Moriarty (and Bond) was solved, Ishmael was quite surprised in seeing that Nemo was disposed to work for the MI5 again, that this time was under the leadership of Mycroft Holmes. Whoever his captain would have served, however, Ishmael would have followed to the end of the world.

Ishmael is a wise and seasoned sailor, a man who has seen pretty much everything, and always learnt a lot from it. He is an extremely skilled sailor and a good leader, as well as a loyal and trusted confidante for one of the most dangerous men in the world, the infamous Captain Nemo. Ishmael found in Nemo something he never found anywhere else, a cause to fight for: loyal to a fault to his captain, he’ll follow him, and then his daughter Janni, even to Hell and back…not that he didn’t visit it before.

Hunter (White Wolf)

Black Panther is out in theaters, and there’s one new character…sort of. In the post-credit scene, Bucky Barnes finally wakes up, having been freed by Shuri of Hydra‘s conditioning, and apparently free from his Winter Soldier persona. The kids in the hut call him a name comics reader are quite familiar with: White Wolf, the name of another adopted child of Wakanda, the first and only white man who ever received that privilege. It remains to be seen if in Avengers: Infinity War Bucky will stick to the White Wolf persona or come back to the old one, but in the meanwhile we can take a look at the original guy donning the title, a man known as Hunter (as usual, if I didn’t see someone tell me in the comments!).

The true birthplace and the name of the man called Hunter are lost beyond any possibility of discovery: as a child, he was traveling by plane over Africa, until a sudden storm damaged the aircraft, that crashed. Both the kid’s parents died in the accident, but he miraculously survived. The plane had crash-landed in Wakanda, the most hidden and reclusive country in the world besides Atlantis, and the baby was pretty much the only white human being present on the territory. Moved by pity, King T’Chaka and Queen N’Yami chose to adopt him, being unable to send him back to his world but also needing to protect him from the Wakandan population, strongly xenophobic. Raised in the royal palace as T’Chaka’s son, Hunter grew to love Wakanda, committing himself to its service in any way he possibly could, hoping deep down within himself to inherit the throne despite being an outsider…but then T’Chaka had a natural son, T’Challa, who was clearly the destined heir. Feeling he had been wronged in his succession rights, Hunter developed a deep grudge against his adoptive brother, and the jealousy for him spurred him to prove to the king and to the entire country that he was the most fervent patriot ever, as well as the best Wakandan possible. He harshly trained and studied, becoming expert in all fields of knowledge accessible in the country and also forging himself to be an accomplished warrior and athlete. Doing so, Hunter surely managed to impress King T’Chaka…but the result wasn’t exactly the one he had expected: instead of recognizing his succession rights, T’Chaka appointed his adopted son leader of the Hatut Zeraze.

The Hatut Zeraze, aka the Dogs of War, were the Wakandan secret police, actually a group of spies and assassins that carried out the most delicate and unorthodox missions for Wakanda. Their leader was traditionally known as the White Wolf, and needed to be a patriot whose loyalty was unshakable, and whose determination allowed him to accomplish monstrosities most people would shiver away from…a portrait that pretty much fitted Hunter to perfection. As White Wolf, Hunter led the Hatut Zeraze in killing off the enemies of his country, in quelling rebellions and spying on other states, accomplishing anything his king ordered him to, with all the swiftness, the efficiency and the brutality he was capable of. Things went on pretty much the same way as they had always had, with the White Wolf being the light shadow of the Black Panther, working away from the eyes of a population who would have not understood the necessity of certain questionable actions…until T’Chaka died, and his son T’Challa raised to the throne. Upon learning of all the secrets the Wakandan throne had kept from the public view, T’Challa was made aware of all the atrocities that the White Wolf and his men had committed in the name of Wakanda, and he was ashamed of them. He disbanded the Hatut Zeraze, relieving Hunter from his duties…but his step-brother simply wouldn’t accept it, so he defied his king, along with some fateful subordinates. Forced to take measures, T’Challa exiled the White Wolf and the Hatut Zeraze, and they became mercenaries to make a living, putting their incredible skills to the service of this or that country. Hunter, however, was still loyal to his country, and used the missions he was assigned with to keep protecting it from threats the king would have never even known of. He was the White Wolf, and he would have always been.

Hunter is an intelligent and determined man, a devoted patriot who’d do anything for his country, even serving a king he personally despises like his step-brother. As the White Wolf, he possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, durability, reflexes and senses, enhanced longevity and accelerated healing factor, due to a process similar to the one that creates the Black Panther; his uniform is virtually indestructible, protecting him from bullets and blades, and it also possesses a cloaking device that makes him invisible if he wants to; his boots are equipped with an energy-dampening field that allows him to land on his feet like a cat even after a normally lethal fall, or even to run on water or vertical surfaces given enough momentum. A formidable force for Wakanda, White Wolf believes that ends justify the means, and is ready to commit true atrocities to ensure that no harm comes to his country, annihilating any possible threats before even the royal intelligence knows anything about it.

Nyeun Chun Ti (Persuader)

Next in Lucy W.‘s neverending list is the imposing Persuader, a villain from the future. The axeman appears in Smallville, portrayed by stuntman Fraser Aitcheson. In the show, he’s a member of the Human Supremacist Movement, a xenophobic terrorist group; he comes back to the XXI Century to kill young Clark Kent, so ensuring Brainiac‘s survival and making so that he doesn’t inspire other aliens to come to Earth. Just as he’s about to kill the not-so-invincible Clark, he’s attacked and defeated by the Legion members who followed him, and sent back to his time. Despite his brief screentime, this appearance shows quite well the amount of raw power possessed by the Persuader, and especially by his unique weapon. Let’s see together who he is originally.

Nyeun Chun Ti was born in the XXX Century on an unnamed planet, characterized by a very strong gravity: as a result, all its inhabitants were remarkably strong and durable, a lot more than most of the other races. He received as family inheritance an incredible weapon of unknown origin, the Atomic Axe (even if it resembled more a halberd than a proper axe), and the legacy and name of the Persuader, a masked identity that had been feared for centuries also on other planets, like Earth, the world Nyeun’s ancestors came from. With his Atomic Axe, also the new Persuader became a criminal, an infamous thief who appeared to be pretty much unstoppable for the regular police force: his weapon could “cut” also the anti-gravity energy that allowed cops and their ships to fly, and their weapons couldn’t penetrate his tough skin. There was no law enforcer who had even the slightest chance to restrain him, thus the Persuader had the whole universe at his disposal…until a new law force emerged, the Legion of Super-Heroes. This new intergalactic police force was composed of many extraordinary individuals with astounding abilities, and even the Persuader was eventually defeated and caught by them. Under normal circumstances, he would have spent in prison a lot of time, but those were not peaceful times: the Controllers had developed a cataclysmic weapon, a Sun-Eater, a semi-sentient anomaly that destroyed stars. Unable to stop it alone, the Legion enlisted the aid of some of the galaxy’s worst and most powerful criminals, who would have assisted them in exchange of full pardon for their crimes: the mystic Emerald Empress, the man with the fatal touch Mano, the cyborg Tharok, the monstrous titan Validus…and the Persuader, of course.

The Persuader did his part, and assisted the Legion and his fellow criminals in finding a way to destroy the Sun-Eater; eventually, the threat was annihilated by one of the Legionnaires, Ferro Lad, who sacrificed himself in a kamikaze attack against the living weapon. The five criminals received full pardon as promised…but they had no intention to change life at all: together, they formed the Fatal Five, a small villainous team that became one of the gravest threats ever for the Legion of Super-Heroes. Tharok led the team, being the only one strong and smart enough to control all the others and to use each one’s skills at best. Persuader loyally followed him, and under his command he managed to conquer an entire planet from another dimension, using his Atomic Axe to open a breach between two planes of existences. When Tharok died, the Emerald Empress took the leadership, and the Persuader was the only one among the original Fatal Five who remained by her side. It was possibly during this time that he conceived a daughter with an unknown woman, someone who, one day, would have inherited both the Atomic Axe and the name Persuader after him. Along with the Empress, the Persuader recruited other three members to replace the missing ones: the fire-manipulating Flare, the acid-emitting Caress, and Mentalla, a powerful telepath who had been rejected by the Legion and looked for retribution. Many members succeeded in the group, but the Persuader always remained, proving to be irreplaceable. In one of his most ambitious plans ever, the Persuader used his Atomic Axe to cut through Hypertime, gathering from other dimensions, timelines and realities alternate versions of the Fatal Five, forming the Fatal Five-Hundred. In front of such a force, even the Legion of Super-Heroes paled in comparison, but also they had a backup in the form of the Teen Titans, another team from the past. The clash between the two coalitions would have been a showdown to be remembered for eons.

Nyeun Chun Ti is a brutal and greedy man, a natural predator who takes whatever he wants and stomps on whoever stands in his way. As the Persuader, he possesses superhuman strength and durability, and he wields the Atomic Axe, a unique weapon that follows his mental commands, and that can cut through literally anything, including energy and abstract things such gravity and magnetism. Basically a brute with an unstoppable weapon, the Persuader is nevertheless a force to be reckoned with, much more than a simple goon, not to be underestimated…

James Moriarty (M)

After the heroes, it’s now time for the villain, as Levi‘s request has us meet the big bad in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In the movie, the League is recruited by the one who appears to be Ian Fleming‘s M, but who is actually Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Professor Moriarty, who in turn is pretending to be Gaston Leroux‘s Phantom. Oddly enough, nobody recognizes Moriarty due to fake mustache (!), so he’s free to use the League to start a world war that only he would profit from. Richard Roxburgh does his best to give justice to one (three?) of the most iconic villains in literature, but the character is really poor-written, and the result is forgettable. In the comics, Moriarty does indeed go by the name M, but he never shows himself until the end, and he has no connection with the Phantom, who is referred to but never appears in Black Dossier. Let’s find together what Alan Moore did with Doyle’s infamous arch-villain.

James Moriarty’s life had always been an intricate web of lies and deceits, such that even he lost traces of which one of his many identities was the real one. He was allegedly born in Ireland, and possibly had a brother named Robert. Since his youth he was a prodigy in everything he did, and he excelled particularly in mathematics and logic. While he was in university, it was clear to the whole country that he would have become one of the finest minds in the British Empire, so he was contacted by the MI5 to serve under them. The British Intelligence needed him for a very delicate task: they wanted to keep control of the criminal underworld, but they also needed it to keep running for profits. In order to control criminality without stopping it they asked Moriarty to act as a “manufactured” crime lord, a “boss of bosses” who controlled each and every criminal activity in the Empire. Using his genius, it was easy for Moriarty to accomplish such a mission, and with the aid of his agents Campion Bond and Colonel Sebastian Moran, he soon became known in the underworld as the Napoleon of Crime, a shady crimelord who forced all gang leaders, slavers, pimps, thieves, murderers, poachers and smugglers to submission…everything comfortably sitting in his office as chair of the Mathematics Department in Durham University. Of course, since it was a secret mission, public authorities weren’t aware of the fact that he was actually working for the government, but on the other hand there was nobody smart enough to realize that there was a single man behind a criminal network that spanned over hundreds of different activities. Well, nobody but Sherlock Holmes, a genius private detective who, alone in the world, possessed an intellect able to match Moriarty’s. Holmes investigated on the “Napoleon of Crime” for years, and he eventually started seeing the threads of the net Moriarty had been weaving all his life…then, he began to destroy it.

Moriarty was an old man by the time Holmes discovered his existence and started undermining his criminal empire: finally, after years of solitude, he had found a worthy adversary. He began with Holmes a chess match that used Great Britain as a chessboard, suffering several blows to his empire, but forcing Holmes to flee in Europe. The two met face to face in Switzerland in 1891, where they fought at Reichenbach Falls. The older Moriarty was effortlessly beaten by the younger and stronger Holmes, and he fell, allegedly to his death, on the rocks below. Miraculously survived, albeit severely injured, he was rescued by Bond and Moran. He ordered the latter to kill Holmes, who was climbing his way up the mountain, and was led back to London by the first. Here, years of service were finally awarded by a long expected promotion, and he became the new M, head of the British Intelligence. From Vauxhall Cross, M controlled the entire Empire, leaving to Moran the task of replacing him as the Napoleon of Crime. There was a secret project, however, that Moriarty had been working on for a while: despite being a rationalist at heart, the Professor was aware of supernatural threats looming just outside the veil of reality, and deemed it necessary to counter them before it was too late. Taking inspiration from the secret files he studied, that described a secret team of exceptional individuals serving first under Queen Gloriana, under the leadership of the sorcerer Prospero, and then under King George III, led by Nathaniel Gulliver, Moriarty selected five extraordinary subjects he wanted in his version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Mina Murray, who had more experience with the supernatural than most due to her close encounter with the vampire Dracula; Allan Quatermain, the seasoned explorer; Captain Nemo, the science pirate; Henry Jekyll, as well as his monstrous alter ego Edward Hyde; and Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man. He also had the perfect task to test them: a new drug lord, Fu Manchu, had just stolen the Cavorite, a unique mineral that could power flying machines. The mineral needed to be recovered…and Fu Manchu had to be taught that there was only one Napoleon of Crime in London.

James Moriarty is an absolute genius, a ruthless monster driven by sheer logic and pure, emotionless ambition. An artist who brings everything he does to perfection, he took his role as a criminal mastermind so seriously that he committed himself to it completely, before coming back to be a “simple” MI5 agent. As M, he has at disposal the entire power of the Empire, comprised of an army of secret agents and the last miracles of science and technology. An intelligence without borders, Moriarty is able to conceive a plan and work for years for its completion, with an unnerving patience and absolute determination, always acting from behind the curtains: after all, the Devil’s greatest trick is convincing the world he doesn’t exist…

Penelops (Green Lantern)

Green Lanterns are getting weirder and weirder in appearance the more we dwell with Lucy W.‘s request. This time, always from the Green Lantern movie, we meet Penelops, the curious tentacled alien with a single eye protruding from his main body seen on Oa, among dozens of others. In the film, as most of the others, Penelops doesn’t do anything but to stroll around, but believe it or not, in the comics he is a living legend, one of the most powerful Green Lanterns ever lived, and a source of inspiration for all his peers, including the most seasoned and expert ones among them. Let’s see together why.

Penelops was born on Penelo, an ocean planet inhabited by jellyfish-like creature who lived in the abyss of its seas. The light of the sun was painful to creatures used to live in the deep, so none of the Penelopians ever explored the surface…none but Penelops, who was the first one among his race to win his fear and to reach the top of the sea, becoming renowned among his people for both his courage and his foolishness. This single act of bravery was enough for Penelops to be noticed by the Guardians of the Universe, who were constantly monitoring sentient beings’ willpower, especially the one strong enough to conquer fear. Penelops definitely was worthy of the offer they made to him, to become a Green Lantern and protect Space Sector 1355, a responsibility that Penelops accepted. The alien trained for a time on Oa, but due to his introverted nature he didn’t make any friends, with the sole exception of Tomar Re, his mentor, who saw through him and understood his enormous potential. As he became a Green Lantern, Penelops came back to his home world, and started patrolling the Sector he had been assigned. Rising the surprise and the irony of his colleagues, he showed no fantasy at all in terms of energy constructs, as he only used his Green Power Ring to create tentacles, bigger versions of his own, with no creativity whatsoever. Some Green Lanterns even started believing the Guardians of the Universe had made a mistake in recruiting him, as some worthier candidates may have been present in that area of the universe…then Penelops accomplished something that nobody else did or would have ever done, entering by right in the chronicles of the Book of Oa.

Penelo was facing a cataclysmic climate change, with its oceans literally starting to boil, with obvious consequences on the local population. Penelops investigated the phenomenon, and as he left the atmosphere he discovered an alien ship near the sun, firing an unknown kind of energy beam into the star to raise its temperature. The Green Lantern tried to stop the beam, but was attacked by the ship, and sent directly into the sun…but his enormous willpower was enough to allow him to escape the star’s gravitational field, and he boarded the ship. He found it was occupied by blue-skinned aliens, refugees from a dying world, who had found the perfect new home in Penelo, that was however too cold for them. Believing it to be deserted, they had started to raise its temperature, and were shocked in realizing what they had done to the local population…but the process was irreversible, and they had doomed an entire species to extinction. Penelops, however, wasn’t giving up yet: using one of his mocked energy tentacles, he enveloped the entire planet Penelo, and with his sheer willpower he moved the world to a safer orbit, far enough from the sun to restore the original temperature, but allowing one part of the planet to be more exposed to the light and warmer, to allow also the refugees to call Penelo home. He had accomplished something unthinkable up to that point, and he became a living legend. Back to Oa, he found out he had become a role model for many, and a lot of fellow Lanterns, even ones who had more years of service than him, came to him to be taught how to use their willpower to the fullest. Despite his obvious power, Penelops was no master, and he politely declined every request he was made: he had just raised the standards of the Green Lantern Corps, showing that “impossible” was just a word, when applied to one’s willpower.

Penelops is a shy and introverted man, who hides behind his meek attitude one of the greatest and strongest willpower ever seen in the Corps. As a Penelopian, he can breathe underwater, he has many prehensile tentacles that also contain mouths for feeding and stingers to stun enemies, he possesses superhuman strength and he can blend with the surroundings becoming nearly invisible; as a Green Lantern, his Power Ring allows him to survive in any environment, to fly, to communicate in any known language and to create energy constructs, in his case usually tentacles. Penelops is the living embodiment of the unbreakable will that conquers any fear, as it’s highlighted by his personalized oath: “In brightest light, in darkest sea, All dangers will be seen by me! While others from these dangers flee, I shall always a Green Lantern be!

Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde

Today we arrive at the last member of the core team in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, albeit we should say “last members”: the famous duo Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. In the movie, they are both portrayed by Jason Flemyng, and, just as all the other characters, they too are made more likable for the general audience, actually ending up enjoying and supporting each other, as they communicate through mirror reflections. Also, Jekyll appears a lot more than he does in the original comicbook, as Hyde is not the dominant personality, but a transformation he more or less controls and uses. Needless to say, in the comics Robert Louis Stevenson‘s best known creature is not so nice and funny, and he’s quite a beast, albeit with something similar to a human heart somewhere. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Doctor Henry Jekyll‘s life before the experiment that changed his life forever. Born and raised in London, he was a doctor and a scientist fully devoted to Victorian Age morality, but he found great distress in feeling in himself impulses and urges that weren’t worthy of a man of his standing. Wanting to get rid of that primeval and monstrous part of himself, Jekyll used all his remarkable intellect to create a special formula, that could isolate and destroy all his basic instincts and violent urges…the potion, however, didn’t destroy them, but it created a whole new person who embodied them all: Mister Edward Hyde. Jekyll was indeed pure as an angel, but only if he transformed from time to time in Hyde, a hideous and small man who was completely and utterly evil, lustful and brutal. At first, Jekyll only took his potion as a medicine, but slowly he became addicted to it. The moment he realized that he was starting to turn into Hyde in his sleep, however, he decided to stop assuming his formula…but it was late already: Hyde had become stronger, and he could take Jekyll’s place whenever he wanted. The formula had split the two aspects of the doctor’s personality, but doing so the evil one had no restraint, and the good one had nothing spurring it to be better than what it was: as a result, Jekyll grew smaller and weaker, while Hyde became bigger and stronger, until he was a hulking giant. After the death of some innocents, including Sir Danvers Carew and his good friend Dr. Hastie Lanyon, Jekyll realized that soon he would have turned into Hyde permanently, and he needed to rush his research to find a cure. He feigned his own suicide, and used the news of his “death” to escape to Paris, France, to continue his studies undisturbed…but once there, as he had feared, he became Hyde once again, and didn’t reverse to his original form for a long, long time.

Mr. Hyde quite enjoyed his time in Paris, as this time it was him who controlled Jekyll: he used the scientist’s meek and fragile appearance to approach prostitutes and lure them in his room, and then turned to rape them to death. The man known as Henri l’Anglais couldn’t be suspected of anything, but the local prostitutes started denouncing an ape-like monster who was allegedly responsible for their colleagues’ assassination: this claim alerted C. Auguste Dupin, the inspector who had solved years before the murders that took place in Rue Morgue, in fact committed by an ape. Hyde murdered yet another prostitute, Anna Coupeau, and this finally convinced Dupin to accept help from outside, specifically England, as the MI5, who had always kept track of Hyde, had sent some agents to capture him. Oblivious to anything, Jekyll approached another prostitute, and led her to his apartment, where he transformed into Hyde and tried to kill her. The “prostitute”, however, was Mina Murray, and she was backed up by Dupin and Allan Quatermain, who intervened just in time: Dupin shot off one of the monster’s ears, while Quatermain managed to force him to drink a bottle of laudanum, so that Hyde lost his senses and fell out of a window. The crew of the third agent, Captain Nemo, swiftly arrived and brought the dormant beast in a secure room aboard the Nautilus, where Mina could finally make Hyde her offer: on behest of the British Empire, she promised him full pardon for his past crimes, as well as help in finding a cure for his unique condition…a cure meant for separating the two personas, rather than to erasing one of them, of course. With nothing to lose and intrigued by the game, Hyde accepted, and left Jekyll in his place, confused, naked and short an ear, to make the last dealings. Jekyll gladly accepted to help his own country, and followed his teammates in infiltrating the base of the drug lord Fu Manchu…but much to his distress, it became soon clear that the one the team really needed wasn’t him: they wanted Hyde.

Henry Jekyll is a genius scientist and a virtuous man, a honest and impeccable gentleman; Edward Hyde, on the opposite, is a brute bent on satisfying his lower instincts, a lustful beast who rapes, kills, drinks and eats with no remorse nor pity. If Jekyll has his genius mind to put at use, Hyde possesses vast amounts of superhuman strength and agility, an incredible durability and stamina, and heightened senses so keen that he’s able also to “see” Griffin using his sense of smell and his perception of body heat. Nothing is as it looks like, however: as good as Jekyll may be, he is also a coward and an addict, too weak to get rid of his personal drug despite the consequences, and as evil as Hyde appears to be, he’s also fiercely loyal to his allies, and eventually develops quite an affection for Mina, the first person who never looked at him with horror and hatred, possibly because she has met someone who was even worse than him…