Mindy Macready (Hit-Girl)

hitgirlfilmAnother pic from Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall has been released, and, this time, it figures fan-favorite character Hit-Girl, the most badass child comics have ever seen. In the movies, she’s portrayed by Chloë Grace Moretz, and she’s the daughter of Damon Macready, a former police officer who, after being framed by mafia boss Frank D’Amico and spending some time in jail, and especially after his wife committed suicide while she was pregnant, decided to take care of his daughter (who survived the mother’s suicide) in quite an original way, training her to become a ruthless killing machine to use against gangsters. In the comics, her origins are extremely different from the movies’, and absolutely not so noble and dramatic.

Mindy Macready was indeed Damon’s daughter (even if in the comics his first name is never revealed), and she grew up believing that her father was a heroic ex police officer who had decided that law was far too a smooth weapon to fight criminality and gave himself to vigilantism. The reality was much different: Damon had never been a cop in his life, and actually kidnapped his daughter when she was little and brought her away from her mother (who later hitgirlcomics1married the detective in charge of Mindy’s recovery). Being a delusional and depressed comicbook fan, he trained his daughter from a very young age to be a skilled assassin and vigilante, and chose to target organized criminality in search of a “bad guy”; he justified his deeds claiming that he wanted his daughter to have an “interesting life”. Anyway, Mindy adored his father, and firmly believed in every word he ever told her. Since Damon told her that mafia had killed her mother, Mindy considered herself to be embarked into a mission of vengeance, and developed a deep hatred and resentment against criminality. Because of their “mission”, which actually involved murders quite often, the Macreadys were forced to be always on the move, traveling from one place to another without the possibility of settling down anywhere; this kind of life, beside strenghtening Mindy’s bond with her father, prevented her from having any kind of friendship or relationship outside her family, and this frustration only gave more strength to her hate and resolution in eradicating criminality from the face of earth.

Mindy Macready was trained since infancy in gymnastics and athletics, in martial arts and in swordsmanship, and she developed a natural attitude in the use of twin katanas, which became her trademark weapons. With the masked identity of Hit-Girl, she helped her father, who went under the name Big Daddy, in his “vengeful crusade”, part of a heroic and brutal masked duo. When the self-made superhero Kick-Ass showed up, Hit-Girl and Big Daddy were in activity since quite a time, but weren’t widely known at all because of the underground nature of their activities. One night, the duo was chasing a street gang, and finally found the thugs’ hideout: Hit-Girl hitgirlcomics2broke into their appartment just in time to save Kick-Ass’ life. Single-handedly, Hit-Girl mutilated and killed everyone in the room but the self-proclaimed superhero, who stared in shock to the small girl in front of him. Believing that Kick-Ass was an actual hero (she would have changed her mind soon after), Hit-Girl formed an alliance with him, and Big Daddy gave the boy the instruments to keep in contact. This proved to be a mistake, considering that Kick-Ass called Hit-Girl and Big Daddy to introduce them to his new “superhero” friend, Red Mist: the latter proved to be the son of John Genovese, Big Daddy’s primary target, and the meeting was just a trap for the heroes. In the following ambush, Big Daddy was killed and Hit-Girl severly injured, not before the latter was told by her father about the lies concerning his own past and her mother. This episode only made Hit-Girl sharper and more brutal in her mission: after recovery, she finally took down, with a little help from Kick-Ass, the Genovese family. She then retired from the scenes, living with her mother as a “normal” girl, letting Hit-Girl become an urban legend. Her retirement wouldn’t have last long, anyway.

Mindy Macready is an incredibly lonely and sociopath little girl, since the nomadic life with her father took away from her anything slightly similar to a childhood. As Hit-Girl, she’s an incredibly skilled martial artist and acrobat, and she’s a master in the usage of any kind of bladed weapon, first of all her katanas, and is quite able with firearms too. Relentless, ruthless, unconsciously sadistic, Hit-Girl is a killing machine, whose life has been programmed since her infancy and who has lost any hope for a normal life.

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David Lizewski (Kick-Ass)

kickassfilmIn the first official movie still from Kick Ass 2: Ball to the Wall we surely got acquainted with Colonel Stars and Stripes, but we also took another look at the movie’s hero, young Kick-Ass portrayed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson. In the first movie, Dave Lizewski is just a teenager loser who puts up a diving gear and starts going around the streets beating snatchers with batons…at least, he tries to, but gets beaten time and again. He anyway manages to become some sort of matinee idol and to get rid of the bad guys, winning his adored Katie Deuxma‘s love. Well, you may not believe it, but in the comics Dave is even more a loser than he is in the movie. And he surely doesn’t hook up with Katie.

David Lizewski, Dave for everyone, was an average teenager in New York City. His mother died of a brain aneurysm when he was very young, and his father, Jimmy, found it difficult to cope with the fact that he had lost his beloved wife. Dave became his only anchor to reality, a situation in which he was forced to act as the adult between the two. The boy developed some ways of escaping reality kickasscomics1in order to live a “normal” life, such as videogames, porn, and, especially, superhero comicbooks. He became a true comicbook nerd, and spent many hours reading the adventures of his beloved heroes. His passion became obsession, and Dave started to think that, if there was a world that really needed superheroes, it was the real one, in which he was living. He decided to become NY’s first superhero, and designed a costume for the career he had chosen as his own. He started working out at the school gym after the lessons, and tried to put up some muscles with high-proteine food. Finally, he felt ready for his official debut as the greatest superhero ever. Actually, his debut wasn’t a remarkable one at all. He found three guys painting a wall, and, after putting his costume and mask on, he offended them and provoked them to fight, attacking for first with a small bat. The thugs were too many and too much for him, and one of them stabbed Dave, who ran away from the scene. While crossing the street, the boy also got hit by a car, and the driver fled away, leaving him with both of his legs broken and his spine crushed. With pure willpower, Dave hid his costume and waited for an ambulance, which luckily arrived and took him to the hospital. He told the doctors and his father that he was robbed and beaten. Parts of his destroyed skeleton were replaced by metal plates, and Dave underwent intense physical rehabilitation to be able to walk again. At the end of his hospital adventure, months later, he promised to himself that he would have never tried heroic actions again. A promise that was meant to be broken.

One night, while walking in the streets, Dave saw a man being attacked by three thugs for robbery. Without thinking about it, he donned his costume and intervened to save the man. This time, he brought two mini-bats, instead of one. And this time his attempt was succesfull. His incident had damaged his nerve endings, thus making Dave almost immune to pain: beaten over and over again, he kept kickasscomics2standing, trying to land a hit on the attackers. Exhausted, the thugs escaped, but the man was saved; plus, a young guy from the crowd that gathered to see the fight filmed the scene with his cellphone, posting the video on YouTube: Dave’s masked identity became a local celebrity in no time, and received his “superhero name”, Kick-Ass. His deeds inspired hundreds of other people, who created their own masked identities to fight crime (actually, most of them just created webpages with pics of themselves in costume). Dave, meanwhile, became more self-confident even in his private life, and managed to get close to Katie Deauxma, the girl he had a crush on, only to discover that she started talking to him just because she tought him to be gay. He agreed to play the part of the “gay best friend”, thus staying close to Katie, in a way or another. As a superhero, Kick-Ass created a MySpace page, in which he invited people to ask him help for any trouble they had. On his first assignment, he met the vigilantes Big Daddy and Hit-Girl, two highly trained, self-proclaimed heroes who killed the criminals Kick-Ass was fighting with. Shocked by his new understanding of how tough crime-fighting could be, Kick-Ass entered a period of self-imposed retirement, but he came back to action to accept the challenge of another new hero, then revealed to be a criminal in disguise and his future nemesis, Red Mist. Time later, he revelaed to Katie that he wasn’t gay, and that he was Kick-Ass: the revelations didn’t have the planned effects, and Katie had her boyfriend beat him; later, she sent the boy a photo of her performing oral sex to her boyfriend, thus ending her “friendship” with Dave. This personal trauma however didn’t stop Kick-Ass’ activity as a crime fighter, and New York could feel safe under his protection. Sort of.

Dave Lizewski is an average guy, sometimes under the average, a teenager who’s not popular, but is not a geek either. He has a real obsessions with superheroes, an obsession that led him to become a real life one, but he doesn’t have any other distinctive feature. As Kick-Ass, he’s much more popular, a true idol; he finds in his masked identity a relief valve to be anything he cannot be as his simple self, and masks his thirst for popularity with a thirst for justice. He is almost invulerable from pain, after his accident, and his metal plated skeleton gives him quite an endurance; he doesn’t have any other skill, and he’s not even able to properly use the batons he always carries along. Hit-Girl trained him a little in combat, but the path to become something similar to a fighter is still a long one.

Sal Bertolinni (Colonel Stars)

Colonel Stars and StripesOk, as someone made me notice, in these days the first official pic from the upcoming Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall was released! It sees our hero Kick-Ass speaking with another masked vigilante…who actually looks like Jim Carrey. The actor is indeed Carrey, and the character he’s portraying is Colonel Stars and Stripes, a true patriot, looking at his baseball bat. In the first movie, he was mentioned by Big Joe, when he said to his boss Frank D’Amico that Sal” was killed by Kick-Ass (it actually was Big Daddy doing all the killings). It seems he survived and changed life. In the comics, his story, and his name, are a little bit different. You’re warned, major spoilers may lay ahead (it depends on how much the movie is faithful to the comicbook).

Little is known about Sal Bertolinni‘s early past. He was born in an Italian-American family, traditionally linked to the organized crime’s world. Along with his inseparable brother, whose real name is unknown, he entered at the service of the Genovese Family as a simple goon, and helped Frank Genovese, the mob boss, to stabilize his power over New York City. Life proceeded all the same, between murders, intimidations, collecting protection money and other pleasantries. Sal became famous because of his enormous guard dog, Sophia, which he used for scaring Genovese’s enemies to death. He also trained her to attack an opponent directly at the testicles, ripping them of and eating them, quite a useful specialty in the mafia’s world. At a certain point, something unexpected happened in Sal’s life: he met Jesus. Both he and his brother became born-again Christians, finally believing in their family’s religion, and decided to repent for their sins and change life. They wanted to make amends for their guilts, but there were not so many ways for a mafia puncher to use his skills for good. Inspiration colonelstarscomics1came with city’s first real superhero, Kick-Ass, who gave both Sal and his brother an idea to change their lives once and for all. Sal created the masked identity of Colonel Stars, while his brother became Lieutenant Stripes. Together, they became a superhero duo ready to clean up the city from the criminals they called friends not so much time before.

In order to get some help in his crusade against evil, the Bertolinni brothers founded the first superhero group in town: Justice Forever. The group gathered some of the weirdest and fiercest vigilantes from New York: the grieving couple Rembering Tommy, the policeman Insect Man, the vengeful Night Bitch, the self-claiming professor Doctor Gravity and the completely useless Battle Guy. It was much to Bertolinni’s satisfaction that, soon after the beginning of Justice Society’s activities, Kick-Ass himself joined the group, helping them with one of their missions. Justice Society colonelstarscomics2attacked Mr. Kim, a pimp that kidnapped girls to turn them into prostitutes. The mission was a complete success, with Sophia performing her signature bite to make sure that Mr. Kim would have never been interested in women from that point on. Despite the great performance of the night, Kick-Ass noticed that Colonel Stars’ health wasn’t at its peak, maybe because of a degenerative disease the vigilante would have never made word of. Back to Justice Society’s hideout, alone, Bertolinni was the target of Red Mist‘s new “super” villains team, the Toxic Mega-Cunts. First of all, the criminals killed Sophia, then proceeded to destroy the hideout: for the last, they engaged Colonel Stars in battle, and subdued him thanks to their number. Bertolinni, whose health surely didn’t help him in the fight, got ultimately killed by Red Mist, becoming a martyr for the cause and a source of inspiration for every hero wannabe.

Sal Bertolinni is essentially a good man, even if he doesn’t despise violence. As a true Christian, he would never anyway kill anyone, and the guns he has with him are constantly empty, just a show-off to scare criminals. He has a good hand-to-hand combat training, and uses a baseball bat in combat as his main weapon. With a generous and gentle heart, Colonel Stars sees brutality as a necessary means to fight criminality, an unpleasant path that only the most wicked redemption-looking sinners like him should follow.

Theodore R. Gaynor

Ted GaynorWell, it seems that Arrow has a policy of “at least one new character per episode”, so, even this week’s Trust but Verify introduced a new one, a villain in this case, Ted Gaynor, portrayed by Ben Browder. In the show, he’s a former military officer, John Diggle‘s superior in Afghanistan. He became a member of Blackhawk Squad Protection Group, but gave himself to robbery soon after. In the comics, Gaynor is in fact an ex soldier, but Blackhawks are not a bodyguard society, and he’s not exactly a common robber. Let’s see together his comicbook history.

Theodore R. Gaynor was born in 1912, in Menomonee FallsWisconsin. He studied in the United States Military Academy at West Point, and, at only 23 years old, he graduated as the top of his class. A received a congressional recomendation and entered the Officer Candidate School, and he proved to be the best of his class even there. He made some friends in high places, and became special attaché in the Marine Corps in no time. While tedgaynorcomics1in the Marines, he started quite a career, until he became top officer, standing out in every mission. Gaynor started to consider himself as the best soldier ever lived, and made no secret of it. His results granted him a rapid access to a special task force, which received orders directly from the President, a squad that operated in secret and was assigned with the most delicate missions, both in a war-ridden Europe and in the States. His European activities attracted the attention of British intelligence, and he was chosen to be part of a international military project, becoming a special operative responding only to Winston Churchill. It was during his service under British Prime Minister that Gaynor gave his best, proving to be a loyal soldier and an incredibly able combatant and strategist; he fought the Nazis and other threats to England and to the States, always a step above his comrades in arms. His marksmanship and especially his skills as a pilot made him quite famous in the intelligence, and Churchill himself recommended him as the new member of the Blackhawk Squadron, short of one man.

The Blackhawks were a team of elite soldiers from all the allied nations, born in Polland when a pilot swore vengeance against the Nazis and gathered some other crack pilots. During the war, the Blackhawks made quite a name for themselves, and gained the attention of the official armies, including the British one: Winston Churchill became their secret sponsor, and they were sent in many dangerous missions battling both Nazi and Japanese forces. Entering the Blackhawks was quite a honor for Gaynor, but he saw it just as something that was owed to him. He was the best, and the Blackhawks were the best of the best: he felt to have earnt the place. This attitude clearly didn’t help him making many friends in the team: despite actually being a superb pilot and a great on-field combatant, tedgaynorcomics2Gaynor always acted as he was the only one among his fellows to deserve his place in the Blackhawks. Chuck Wilson, one of the historical members of the team, noticed Gaynor’s way of thinking, and started keeping an eye on him. During his first missions with the Squadron, Gaynor deployed his abilities as always, but also showed a character far too militaristic, with some ideas that were not too far from the Nazis’ ones. He strongly believed that war was a chance to prove a country’s strength, and he lived his missions not as means to make the greater good prevail, but as an occasion to have every country in the world understand the power of America. Thanks to this ideals, he was sent away from the Blackhawks, something he felt like a personal outrage. He became a mercenary and sold his abilities to the better offerer, until he came up with a vengeance plan. Many years later, Gaynor allied himself with Killer Shark, an historical villain from the war times, and attacked Blackhawk Airways; the superhero Batman tried to stand in his way, but Gaynor managed to kidnap Zinda Blake, aka Lady Blackhawk, the Birds of Prey‘s pilot, and flew. Unexpectedly, it turned out that Janosz Prohaska, the original Blackhawk, believed to be dead for years, was still alive, just in retirement, pulling the strings of his old squadron from the shadows. While Batman convinced Blackhawk to team up with him to save Zinda, Gaynor and Killer Shark brainwashed the girl, and used her to fight the two heroes. Unfortunately, arrogance had always been a major weakness for Gaynor, and he underestimated old Prohaska’s resolve and rage, when he saw what Gaynor had done to his protégé. During a final flight, Gaynor was shot down and killed by his former superior officer, who he had always looked down on.

Ted Gaynor is an extremely skilled pilot and marksman, with a good ability also in hand-to-hand combat and a natural gift for strategy. He is also an incredibly arrogant and boastful man, who thinks of himself as the best soldier ever born. He is, in a personal way, a patriot, but he thinks that what America really needs is war, the only means to prove its superior strength and nature to every other nation; following this idea, he tries to provoke conflict, giving his country more and more (unrequested) opportunities.

Bane

banefilmAnd here we are, the last part (for now) of casualgamer‘s request. With the gigantic Bane we speak of the last character officially revealed for the upcoming Injustice: Gods Among Us. Bane made his first live action appearance in Batman & Robin, portrayed by Jeep Swanson (and by Michael Reid McKay in his skinny version). In the movie, he is Antonio Diego, a serial killer transformed by Dr. Jason Woodrue into a massive brute who can barely speak, a hulking, idiotic minion for the villainous Poison Ivy. He received a better portrayal in the recent The Dark Knight Rises, in which he’s introduced as a mysterious terrorist, a genius mastermind trained by the League of Shadows, who attacks Gotham City and utterly defeats its protector Batman. In the comics, Bane is some sort of amalgamation between the body of the Swanson’s version and the mind of Tom Hardy‘s one.

Bane’s real name is unknown, but we know much about his past to understand his origins. He was born the son of Edmund Dorrance, better known as the mercenary terrorist King Snake. When Dorrance was condemned to a life sentence penalty in Santa Prisca, a Caribbean republic, he escaped, leaving his lover and his newborn son behind him. Santa Prisca’s authority didn’t want to renounce to punish the criminal, and especially refused to be mocked at because of a single escape. The Government, whose popularity was rapidly decreasing because of a widespread corruption, decided that Dorrance’s son would have suffered his father’s life penalty, unless King Snake came back to take his place…something that clearly never happened. Bane, who was merely a child, and his mother, were locked up in Peña Duro, an incredibly tough and violent prison. His mother died when he was still very young, and he was forced to assist to the “funeral”, during which the prison guards threw the woman’s corpse down of Punto De Tiburon, the prison’s cliffs, into the shark-infested waters banecomics1beneath. This event, with the fact of being alone in a prison full of murderers and bandits, hardened the child’s heart, but also sharpened his resolution of surviving. His only friend in the prison was a teddy bear he always kept along, named Osito, but he managed to find some sympathizers between the poltical prisoners of Peña Duro, including a Jesuit priest, who gave him classical education and taught him to read and wright. He started to read every book he could put his hands on, using his photographic memory to memorize every single notion he found; he also started to train his body in the prison’s gym, becoming quite muscular for a boy his age. He committed his first homicide at the age of eight, when another prisoner tried to attack him, and the little boy stabbed him with the knife he kept concealed inside Osito’s body. From that day, the boy started dreaming of a giant bat, who haunted him in his nightmares. Growing up, the boy became a man, and the man became the undisputed king of Peña Duro, feared by all the other prisoners. Young Bane had become and extremely intelligent and strong man, with no regard for human life, a harsh tyrant in a harsh world.

Everything changed in his life when the guards took him away from the prison, forcing him to be a test subject for a new experimental drug, Venom. Every other prisoner used for the experimentation had been killed by the drug, but Bane survived, even if barely. Furthermore, Venom increased his body size, his strength and resistance, giving him a superhuman body which could finally keep pace with his brilliant mind. Venom, however, had a side-effect, causing a total addiction to it: if Bane didn’t inject it directly in his brain through a system of cables every twelve hours, his physique suffered from a great debilitation. In the following days, Bane heard stories about Gotham City and its vigilante, Batman: he saw the city as a banecomics2universe similar to Peña Duro, since fear ruled ther as it was ruling in the prison; Peña Duro feared Bane, while Gotham feared Batman. He started to see Batman as the resemblance of the demonic bat that had been haunting his dreams since childhood, and decided to destroy it. He escaped Peña Duro along with three accomplices, ZombieTrogg and Bird. He arrived in Gotham, and took his time to study Batman, instead of attacking him directly. He destroyed the walls of Arkham Asylum, letting all the prisoners escape. Catching the criminals took Batman three months, a period during which Bane studied him, and arrived to guess his secret identity. When the time arrived to attack, Bane was waiting for his enemy in Wayne Manor: the two of them started fighting, but the hero was just too exhausted from his long hunt to be a match for Bane. The fight ended in the Batcave, where Bane lifted Batman upon his head, and crushed him on his knee, breaking his spine and leaving him a paraplegic. From that day, Bane would have been known as The Man Who Broke the Bat. Bane became the new Gotham’s crimelord, and was stopped months later by Wayne’s successor, Jean-Paul Valley, after a fight in which both the criminal and the new Batman almost got killed. In the following years, Bane became a recurrent threat for Wayne, who took back his Batman mantle, and all the other heroes in Gotham and outside of it, but also proved to be capable of heroic deeds, becoming a member of the reformed villains’ team Suicide Squad. He managed to quit with Venom, and, fighting his addiction, trained his body to the maximum human possibilities, still being a lethal opponent for whoever crossed his path.

Bane is a genius tactician with an incredibly brilliant mind and a photographic memory that allows him to learn anything in no time; he fluently speaks several languages, both active and dead ones, and has a complete mastership over many scientific fields. Bane trained his body to keep up with his mind, and is one of the greatest martial artists on planet, having been trained by masters such as Ra’s Al Ghul, under which he served as a bodyguard for some time. His strength, agility and speed are on peak human levels, but, when fueled with Venom, he easily reaches superhuman levels, becoming even more dangerous. On Venom overdose, anyway, he sacrifices his mind to pure strength, something that has been proved to be a major weakness.

Alexander Joseph Luthor (Lex Luthor)

lexluthorfilmLast two appointments with casualgamer‘s request, at least until something new surfaces. Today, we’re speaking of Lex Luthor, recently confirmed to be in the roster for Injustice: Gods Among Us. Being Superman‘s nemesis, Lex has had quite a number of appearances, from the very first one in Atom Man vs. Superman in which he was portrayed by Lyle TalbotGene Hackman portrayed some sort of comedic version of the character in three of the four movies starring Christopher Reeve, and Kevin Spacey took up the villain’s mantle in the not-exactly-a-sequel Superman Returns. In television, Lex has been an arrogant college student in Superboy (portrayed by Scott James Wells) and a scheming and ambiguous billionaire in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, where John Shea portrayed one of the few non-bald versions of the character. Michael Rosenbaum made a great job with Lex in Smallville, finally giving the dark, brilliant villain from the comics some justice. Let’s see who Lex really is.

Luthor’s story has been rebooted many times: he’s been Alexis Luthor, a simple farmer born and raised near Smallville who turned from being Superboy‘s greatest fan to be his greatest enemy because the hero accidentally destroyed his lab and made him completely bald; he’s been also Alexei Luthor, a criminal mastermind who controlled many Europeans states and brought them to World War II. We’re going to ignore these previous incarnations, and to speak only of Alexander Joseph Luthor, Lex for friends, if he had any. Lex was born a poor boy in Metropolis ill-reputed area called Suicide Slum. He always had looked with disdain at his abusive father and his weak mother, and, since a very young age, he decided he would have made a reason of life to lexluthorcomics1become better than they were. He used to be friends with Perry White, another poor boy from the Slums, and the two helped each other in finding small jobs to raise up some money. When he was just seventeen, Lex took out a large life insurance in his parents’ name, and, not so much time later, he engineered their death, making everyone believe they died in a household accident. With the money taken from the insurance, Lex founded his own company, LexCorp, and in a few years, with his incredible intelligence and his business instinct, he transformed it in a powerful multinational, which came to control the entire Metropolis. LexCorp came to absorb almost every media in Metropolis, using them to raise his own popularity and hide some illegal deeds of his company; only one newspaper was left out of his media empire: Daily Planet, whose young editor in chief, the same Perry White he used to spend his childhood days with, became his main and only critic. In retaliation, Luthor economically attacked the Planet, which almost failed, and also slept with Perry’s wife, Alice, making her believe Perry was dead, and living her consuming herself in guilt when he came back from his travel abroad, almost destroying his former friend’s marriage. In no time, Lex Luthor became the lord of Metropolis, both in the legal world, controlling every industry, distribution chain, media or public service, and the illegal one, being the secret master of the underworld criminality; he managed nevertheless to mantain a public appearance of philantropist, gaining popularity the more he strangled the city. Everything was about to change with the arrival of a certain alien…

Superman suddenly arrived in Metropolis, changing everything. In no time, he demolished Luthor’s underworld criminal empire, saved many of his adversaries from certain death, mined the basis of his very power. Determined to have the alien for himself, like everything else in Metropolis, Lex organized a society gala on his yacht, and hired some terrorists to attack it, in order to personally meet Superman. The hero arrived and stopped the attack, and Lex took the occasion to ask him if he wanted to become his personal lexluthorcomics2bodyguard, with an incredible wage. Superman clearly refused, and more, he proved that Luthor knew about the terrorist attack and didn’t do anything to prevent it in order to meet him; he then proceeded to arrest Lex, under a direct order from Mayor Berkowitz, and, even if Luthor avoided prison thanks to his lawyers, his public image was compromised. From that day, with the humilation burning inside of him, he swore to himself that he would have destroyed Superman. With the years, he developed a personal grudge against the hero: Luthor had worked hard all his life to become the best, while Superman was born with the most incredible powers world had ever seen, something he saw as a plain injustice. He tried with every means possible to kill Superman: using his unlimited capital and a genius level intellect, he used the hero’s DNA to create a clone, which would have proved to be imperfect and uncontrollable; he used Kryptonite, the only known substance able to damage Superman, in many ways, from creating a cyborg, Metallo, powered by a Kryptonite heart and fueled with hate towards Superman, to forging a Kryptonite ring, which made Superman unable to get near him. Lex Luthor also became President of the United States of America, after regaining his lost popularity through acts of philantropism, always managing to hide his obsession from the public eye, and taking back most of his power.

Lex Luthor is a megalomaniac, greedy, arrogant and possessive man, whose reason of life is to make everyone in the world recognize that he is the best specimen of the human genre ever born on the planet. He is possibly the most intelligent and brilliant man on Earth, but always used his genius for personal, and most of the times criminal, achievements, which usually concern his obsession in besting Superman. He has built many technological devices that help him in his personal war against Superman, first of all his Warsuit, built on Apokolips, with which he’s able to directly fight Superman on even ground. Luthor is also a skilled combatant and martial artist, who managed to give a hard time even to fighters such as Batman and Nightwing, but his most formidable and dangerous trait is surely his incredible intellect, which knows no limits but his own hatred.

Harold Jordan (Green Lantern)

greenlanternfilmAlmost at the end of casualgamer‘s request, at least for now: one of the last characters officially confirmed for the upcoming videogame Injustice: Gods Among Us is Earth’s most famous and popular Green Lantern, pilot Hal Jordan. Jordan’s first live action appearance was in the tv special Legends of the Superheroes, in which he was portrayed by Howard Murphy; he put up a party for a retired superhero, but was attacked along with his fellow heroes by the Legion of Doom. The second and last portrayal of the character is Ryan Reynolds‘ not exactly acclaimed one in the recent Green Lantern movie; despite the film’s version of the character had many traits in common with his comicbook counterpart, it was far too comedic to be really something. Now, let’s see who Green Lantern is in the comics.

So, Hal, full name Harold Jordan, was born the son of Martin and Jessica Jordan, second of three children (his older brother is named Jack and the younger one Jim). His father, a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft, was Hal’s hero, and the child suffered a major trauma greenlanterncomics1when the man died in a plan crash right before his eyes. This event caused a real phobia in Hal, but, instead of keeping him away from planes and pilots, it moved him into embracing his father’s role. Going against the opinions of his entire family, Hal decided to become a pilot, and on the morning of his eighteenth birthday he joined the United States Air Force. He immediately showed a natural gift for flying, and in a few years he became one of the greatest pilots ever trained by the Air Force. After getting the licence, he got a job from Ferris Aircraft, the same company for which his father worked, managing to best his old man’s memory with his achievements. Every flight was a challenge to his inner fear, and this made Hal be far too reckless every time he flew, despite being the best one. He often clashed with his boss, Carol Ferris, a strong and authoritative woman in which Hal was interested beyond a professional level. He made some friends in Ferris Aircraft, first of all his mechanic, the Inuit Tom Kalmaku, who Hal mocked calling him Pie Face, but who he considered a real friend nevertheless, an intelligent and competent guy who saved him more than once from his own recklessness. Everything proceeded as normal, with Hal being an incurable and immature big boy, always searching for thrill, beautiful women and fun, trying to overcome the sense of inadequacy in filling his father’s shoes.

One night, something from outer space changed Hal’s life forever: the alien Abin Sur, a space cop from the Green Lantern Corps, was fatally wounded in a battle against the collective being known as Legion. Dying, Abin Sur landed in Californian desert, and his Power Ring selected a suitable successor for his role among the beings on the planet. Needless to say, the being in question was Hal Jordan. Jordan was chosen because of his incredible willpower, that made him overcome every day his fear of flight in a job that required flight only. Hal was explained the duty of a Green Lantern, and was granted Abin Sur’s Power greenlanterncomics2Ring, officially becoming his successor. As Hal would have soon learnt, the Green Lanterns were a corp of galactic police officers, who took an immense power from the cosmic beings known as the Guardians of the Universe and from their own will, which allowed them to materialize everything they could think of through their ring. Hal was assigned with protecting life in Sector 2814, but, before that, he went through an unexpected trial in a battle with Legion, who had followed Abin Sur on Earth. After defeating Legion, Hal was found worthy of being a Green Lantern, and was trained by some of the best members of the Corp, first of all Thaal Sinestro, who became his mentor. The most difficult duty Hal ever faced was to expose his own master, who had enslaved his home planet Korugar with fear: Hal battled Sinestro and won, and, after a trial, he who had been one of the most noble Lanterns was banished from the Corp and exiled in the Antimatter Universe, from which he broke free becoming a sworn enemy of the corps and of Hal Jordan in particular, using the yellow energy of fear for founding a new corp of ring-wielders. Hal became a famous hero on Earth, joining also the Justice League of America, but this attention to Earth almost costed him his place in the Corps, since he wasn’t allowed to prefer his homeplanet to the many other systems he had to protect in his sector. Hal’s life almost vanished, since being a Green Lantern was a duty that took all the time he could give it and more. From the reckless boy with no responsibility in life, being a space cop with billions of lives to protect surely was a big step.

Hal Jordan is, at first sight, an arrogant, reckless and immature guy, a ladies’ man who only thinks of fun and of enjoying life the best he can. In reality, he’s a righteous man, with an incredibly strong willpower and a natural sense of good and evil; even in the Green Lantern Corps, Hal follows most of the times his own conscience, without need of looking at rules and manuals, since he perfectly knows where the better good lies. As a Green Lantern, Hal uses his Power Ring as his main weapon, a mystical artifact that makes him able to fly and survive in open space, and that materializes everything his mind, powered by his willpower, can conceive. When the Ring goes out of charge, Hal uses his Lantern to refuel it, repeating his oath: “In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!