Dwight McCarthy

dwightmccartyfilmToday I take a break from all the Green Lanterns and Injustice in general, since Robert Rodriguez has posted the first pic from Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, his upcoming movie from Frank Miller‘s graphic novels. The image sees a first rendering of Josh Brolin as Dwight McCarthy, the private detective portrayed by Clive Owen in the first movie. Well, Brolin and Owen don’t look alike at all… but everything makes sense since A Dame to Kill For takes place before The Big Fat Kill (the episode of the first movie), and between the two something happens to Dwight. Read on, but be aware: there are some spoilers.

We know little of Dwight McCarthy’s past, apart that he lived in quite a reckless way, even above the average of Basin City‘s inhabitants, which is quite something. It is possible that he killed his own father during one of his “incidents”, but this has never been confirmed. He was a photographer for an important newspaper, and he had a beautiful girlfriend, Ava, maybe the most beautiful woman in town. Unfortunately for him, Ava was far too ambitious for spending her life with a mere photographer, and left him, marrying billionaire Damien Lord. This led Dwight down a dwightmccarthycomics1dangerous path, and, after a first period of total depression, spent getting drunk at Kadie’s and sleeping with the pub’s waitress Shellie, he embraced his old life of anger and violence, causing many troubles. With a violent temper and quite an issue with alcoholism, Dwight ended up losing his job. Reaching the bottom, he decided to stop drinking and to do something about his aggressive character, becoming an extremely insecure man, who avoided every possible pleasure and who was dominated by the fear of coming back being the violent brute he used to be. His only weakness left from his previous life was his old-fashioned chivalry, a trait that brought him to help any damsel in distress he met on his path: that’s how he met Miho, a young prostitute from Old Town, who he saved from Tong gangsters. Cleaning himself up, Dwight managed to find a new job as a private detective, and his main activity was to take pictures of adulterous husbands on their wives’ order. Happy with his new self, Dwight seemed to enjoy his new life, even if it wasn’t even nearly as exciting as the previous one.

Everything changed when, after four years they broke up, Ava came back to him, asking for his help. They met at a bar, with Dwight still angry with her for the way they parted. Ava confessed him she was afraid for her own life, and in that very moment a giant brute appeared: Manute, the chief of Damien Lord’s private security. The colossus took Ava away, but Dwight followed them to Lord’s estate, just to see if Ava was right. Manute found him first, and brutally beat him. Bruised and angry, Dwight came back to his apartment, just to find Ava in his place: the dwightmccarthycomics2two argued, but ended up sleeping together. Ava told Dwight that her life wasn’t happy at all, that Damien enjoyed to torture her and to see Manute beating and raping her, and again asked for his help. In that moment, Manute broke in, and beat Dwight once again, throwing him out of his apartment’s window. Back on his feet just in time to see his beloved Ava’s terrified face looking at him through a car’s window, Dwight finally came back to his old, violent self. He went to Kadie’s to look for some reinforcement, and found the help of Marv, a former boxer and an ugly giant, who accepted to help him seeing him as a friend. The two of them arrived at Lord’s estate, and while Marv took care of the security (he even clobbered Manute with no difficulty at all), Dwight reached Damien’s room. The two fought, and Dwight managed to kill his rival, the man who hurt the woman he loved. Unfortunately, nothing of Ava’s story was true. The woman showed up, and told Dwight that he had been used by her since the very beginning: now that her husband was dead, she would have inherited his fortune. After mocking Dwight for his credulity, she shot him in the face. Marv, hearing the shot, intervened and took away Dwight’s still alive body; with his last energies, Dwight asked his friend to take him to the Old City, the prostitutes’ quarter, where an old flame of his, Gail, lived. Dwight used the debt of honor that Miho had with him from the time he saved her for getting the women’s help. They provided him with a new face and helped him with his rehabilitation. More aggressive and furious than ever, Dwight McCarthy was finally ready for his vengeance.

Dwight McCarthy is a man with violent and brutal tendencies, who strives to keep his nature at bay, but always ends up surrendering to it. He falls in love very frequently, and he deeply and truly loves every woman he meets; he’s often driven by a sense of chivalry that puts him in danger most of the times. He’s a good fighter, with Olympic level strength, speed and durability; he hates to skin his knuckles, so he prefers to fight using kicks and, above all, guns. Dwight surely isn’t the worst guy in Sin City: at least, he tries to do the right thing, every time his nearly-non existent luck puts him in an odd situation… something that happens frequently.


Salaak (Green Lantern)

salaakfilmThere are quite a lot of cameos in Injustice: Gods Among Us, and Hal Jordan‘s victory pose shows a great number of members of the Green Lantern Corps. The four-armed one on the left part of the screen, in the bottom, is Salaak, another honored hero of the Corps. Salaak appears in a cameo appearance also in Green Lantern movie, as one of the many aliens on Oa, when Jordan first arrives on the planet. Since he has no dialogues at all in the film, he’s a completely CGI rendered character, with no actor portraying or voicing him. Now, let’s see who he is in the comics.

Well, there’s not much to say about Salaak, or Salakk, depending on the spelling. He was born on Slyggia, a planet inhabited by a technologically advanced race of sentient reptilians, characterized by an elongated skull with many “horns” (which granted Salaak the nickname of Pickle-Head) and four arms. Salaak never was the nice guy, and when he entered the Green Lantern Corps he didn’t changed his lonesome and gloomy attitude, thus avoiding to bond with any of his fellow Lanterns. With the years, he showed some remarkable skills as a Lantern, and he protected Space Sector 1418 to the best of his possibilities, and beyond. He served many years in the Corps, and became famous for his deep pessimism, quite a rare attitude among the Green Lanterns, and for his deep knowledge of the Book of Oa, the book which contained all the common knowledge of the Guardians of the Universe and the rules for the Green Lantern Corps; he made everything by the book, and became quite a pain for every Lantern who had the chance to work with him, since he was ready to notice even the slightest irregularity. A veteran Green Lantern, he actively and heroically participated to the battle against the Anti-Monitor, an extremely powerful creature from the Anti-Matter Universe that tried,salaakcomics1 almost successfully, to destroy the Multiverse. The experience made him deeply depressed (even more than usual) and, after the war, he joined some of his teammates moving to Earth, the small, blue planet in Sector 2814. On the planet, he experienced the positive side of real friendship, and for the first time he opened himself to someone, namely Ch’p, the squirrel-like Lantern from planet H’lven. This relationship deeply changed Salaak’s character, at least for a while, and made him softer and more easygoing, at least in whatever form it was possible for him.

Salaak was one of the few Green Lanterns who had a willpower strong enough to make his Power Ring transport him through time, and following the example of his Earth colleague Hal Jordan, he traveled in the future, living under the alias of Pol Manning (an identity used by Jordan in the past) and marrying a human woman, with whom he lived for a while. In the future, however, Salaak saw the end of the Green Lantern Corps, due to the corruption of one of its most celebrated heroes, Thaal Sinestro, who would have brought destruction to Oa. He came back to warn his fellow Lanterns, but arrived too late, and helplessly witnessed to a series of events that brought to the destruction of the Central Power Battery, source of the Power Ring’s force. With his ring useless, Salaak retired on H’lven with his friend Ch’p, and stayed with him as his adviser for a while. Both of them came back to Oa the moment the Lanterns were restored, and regained his place in the Corps… just in time to see them destroyed once again. Hal Jordan, in fact, had been possessed by the fear entity Parallax, and killed the Guardians of the Universe, shattering the Corps. Salaak was sold as a slave, and was freed by Earth Green Lantern Guy Gardner salaakcomics2only much time later. He participated to Jordan’s funeral on Earth, preferring to remember his brave teammate more than the bloody destroyer who almost killed him. When the Green Lanterns reformed for the second time, Salaak was chosen as the new protocol officer, with the honorific title of Keeper of the Book of Oa. With his new assignment, Salaak had his eyes continuously on every Lantern’s doing, and found some good use to his encyclopedic knowledge of the Book. He even spoke against the Guardians of the Universe when they decided to rewrite some parts of the Book of Oa to permit the Lanterns to use lethal force against Sinestro and his Corps, but stayed faithful to his position nevertheless. He complained once again for the creation of the Alpha Lanterns, a small group of Green Lanterns who served as internal affairs officers, but, once again, he remained faithful to his position, and obeyed the Guardians.

Salaak is a pessimist and negative man, always ready to see the downside of every situation; nevertheless, he possesses a willpower second to no one’s, and he’s one of the most powerful Green Lanterns of his generation. The Power Ring allows him to survive in open space, manipulate many forms of energy, translate any known language and materialize anything he can think of, and his mind creations are renowned for never having anything more than the essential. Meticulous and precise, Salaak deeply believes in the Green Lantern’s law, the Book of Oa, and doesn’t permit anyone, not even the Guardians, to go against it, not even for the smallest detail.

Tomar-Re (Green Lantern)

tomarrefilmStill listing the Green Lanterns who make a cameo in Injustice: Gods Among Us. This time it’s the turn of Tomar-Re, the parrot-like one that appears on Hal Jordan‘s left side in his victory pose. Along with all the others, even Tomar-Re appeared in Green Lantern movie, portrayed by Academy-winner Geoffrey Rush. He appears in the film as one of Hal Jordan’s mentors along with Kilowog and Sinestro, and he saves Hal at the end of the movie from falling into a burning star, without taking any more action. In the comics, he’s a little bit more active figure in the life of the Corps

Tomar-Re was a brilliant scientist on his homeplanet, Xudar, who was chosen by the Guardians of the Universe to become the new Green Lantern of Space Sector 2813 because of his strong willpower and his wisdom and knowledge, of which he gave good proof during his work on Xudar. He had an unborn talent in the use of his Power Ring, and his good character made it easy for him to make friends with many of his fellow Lanterns, especially with Abin Sur, who would have become the protector of the Space Sector neighbor to his own. Tomar-Re gave a good evidence of his skills during his probationary period, and entered the active service relatively soon for a Lantern. Unfortunately for him, his first mission would have become one of his rare failures. In his Sector there was a planet, Krypton, inhabited by a race of wise and advanced men and women. The core of the planet was unstable, and Krypton was about to explode; the Guardians, anyway, had foreseen that the child of Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van, two scientists from the planet, would have become a genetically perfect specimen, and a champion of good: the perfect choice for a future leader of the Corps. Tomar-Re was assigned with the mission of stabilizing the planet’s core long enough to allow Kryptonians to fix their problems; a global evacuation was impossible due to the Eradicator, a machine implanted on Krypton against alien invasions that tomarrecomics1prevented Tomar-Re’s direct intervention. The Lantern’s only option was to gather Stellarium, a rare element that would have absorbed much of dying Krypton’s radiations and tectonic pressure, thus saving the Kryptonians without taking them away from the planet. He found a vast amount of Stellarium in the Ariel star system, and, after taking the more he could with him, he came back on his route to Krypton. Unfortunately, a star in the Ariel system went nova and exploded, leaving Tomar-Re blind. The Lantern managed to find his way to Krypton thanks to his Power Ring only, and started to regain his eyesight just in time to see Krypton explode. The Guardians, who had the Manhunters (the droids used as space-cops before the Lanterns were created) escort young Kal-El in his travel to Earth, collected the wounded and exhausted Tomar-Re and took him back on Oa, where he could rest and heal. From that moment, Tomar-Re decided he would have served every living being the best he could, without letting himself be overwhelmed again by his own weakness, even if, according to everyone else, Guardians included, he did everything and more to save Krypton.

In the following years, Tomar-Re’s efforts made him one of the most honored and respected Green Lanterns of all times. Using his scientist skills, he created a special device, the Zathon Ray Communicator, capable of noticing and pointing out any natural disaster in a single Sector, thus preventing tragedies like Krypton’s one to ever repeat. Tomar-Re suffered a great loss when his friend Abin Sur was killed in action, but tried to welcome his replacement, Earthling Hal Jordan, the best he could. Immediately after Jordan’s arrival, Oa was threatened by the collective being known as Legion, the same creature that had killed Abin Sur. Unfortunately, nor Tomar-Re nor the other Lanterns tomarrecomics2managed to stop the monster, and only rookie Hal Jordan, fresh from his training with Kilowog, ultimately defeated him with his last energies. Up to that point, Jordan left Kilowog’s class and was promoted to Thaal Sinestro‘s one: Sinestro was universally recognized as the best Green Lantern the Corps had ever seen… well, almost universally, since Tomar-Re had been controlling him for a while. He had, in fact, some contacts with Korugar, Sinestro’s planet, on which Katma Tui, a female Korugarian, was leading a revolution against what she declared was a tyrannical rule from the acclaimed hero Lantern. Tomar-Re secretly investigated on the issue, and found out that Sinestro had indeed gone far beyond his duties as a Green Lantern, and had become a tyrant. Thanks to Tomar-Re’s accusations, Sienstro was put on trial and found guilty, and then dismissed from the Corps; following the hero’s disgrace, Tomar-Re had Katma Tui promoted to the new Green Lantern of Sector 1417, in place of her former ruler. After many years of service, Tomar-Re ultimately retired from the field, and was made one of the Green Lantern Honor Guards, a title that deeply praised him. He was still active, helping his fellow Lanterns with his precious advises and technical backup and mentoring new Lanterns. He had the chance to apologize for his first, unforgotten failure when he met Superman, who managed to relieve him from a guilt he never forgave to himself.

Tomar-Re is an extremely brilliant scientist, with a good heart and a sharp mind. He possesses an extremely strong willpower, thanks to which he never gives up to a task, even if it’s far beyond his possibilities. As a Green Lantern, he possesses the Power Ring, a tool he managed to master to perfection, that allows him to survive in open space, understand and speak any known language and materialize any object he can think of; it is powered by his will. As a Honor Guard, Tomar-Re has free access to the Book of Oa, which gathers all the knowledge in the universe.

Stel (Green Lantern)

stelfilmToday we go on identifying some of the Green Lanterns that have a cameo in Hal Jordan‘s victory pose in upcoming videogame Injustice: Gods Among Us. The robot-like one on the bottom is Stel, the mechanical Lantern. He appeared in Green Lantern movie, but, as well as many others, he just had a cameo on planet Oa, and didn’t have even a single dialogue in the main story. This is the reason for which he doesn’t even have an actor portraying him, and is just pure CGI. Anyway, in the comics he does have a story, and we’re going to speak about it right now.

Stel is indeed a robot, but an alien robot. He was born on planet Grenda, where evolution turned an unexpected path and brought to life non-organic beings, which we can call robots. People from Grenda, despite being mechanical, were actually self aware and capable of emotions, just like any other sentient organic creature in the universe. Stel was chosen among all his people for entering the Green Lantern Corps, a great honor and an even greater responsibility, thanks to his indomitable will and sense of justice. He accepted the offer, and became one of the first and best pupils of the greatest Lantern of his era, Thaal Sinestro. Even if he was a little bit too reckless for Sinestro’s tastes (he used to compute the outcome of a fight before engaging, only for the fun of beating them), Stel soon became one of the most honored and respected Lanterns in the Corps, and, when he was ready to officially take duty, he was assigned the protection of Sector 3009. Stel managed to maintain peace in his Sector for an unprecedented period; the worst disturbance to the order he created arrived the moment the fanatical aliens named Krydos tried to destroy Grenda, seeing the mechanical planet’s existence as a blasphemy in itself. Stel easily stopped the Krydos, and brought peace back to the Sector and to his home planet. He first met Earth Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, during a conference on planet Yquem, stelcomics1which many famous Lanterns attended to. During the meeting, Jordan was put to trial because of his irresponsible way of using his Power Ring, and because of his apparent refusal to use his powers to protect his homeplanet (some years later, Jordan would have been put on trial because he used them only for Earth, ignoring the rest of his Sector). Stel and the other Lanterns, however, understood that Jordan’s odd behavior wasn’t his doing, and recognized someone else’s influence behind it, and found him innocent. Stel was shocked when he learnt that the one influencing Jordan was Sinestro, his former mentor, who had become a rogue Lantern: their past friendship, anyway, never prevented Stel from chasing the intergalactic criminal, quite the opposite, since he considered him to be a traitor of himself.

Stel participated to many battles in his time as a Green Lantern, managing to maintain peace in his Sector even when he had to be away for some time. He was one of the Lanterns sent to recover the Central Power Battery stolen by Agamemno, a nearly omnipotent being formed by cosmic energy, the first creature born from the Big Bang. Against all odds, the mission succeeded, and he came back to Oa just in time to defend it from the Weaponers of Qward, a race from Anti-Matter Universe at the orders of the villainous Anti-Monitor. In their years of service, Stel developed a close friendship with Hal Jordan, not only because he helped him get rid of the accusations against him, but also because of their common friend Charlie Vicker, another Earthling Lantern. Everything seemed lost for the Lanterns when stelcomics2Krona, a mad scientist banned from the universe, forged an alliance with Nekron, lord of the unliving, and started a war against the Guardians of the Universe and their Corps. Stel was the very first Lantern to face Krona, but the villain’s powers, jacked up by Nekron, were no match for the robot, and he was torn apart. The other Lanterns arrived just in time to hear Stel’s last words, and the robot managed to warn them of Krona’s attack and powers, just before deactivating between his fellow corpsman M’Dahna‘s arms. With Stel gone, the Krydos invaded Grenda once again, and Yron, a Grendian, blinded with arrogance, literally forced the Guardians to make him the new Green Latern of Sector 3009, believing he could have been a much better Lantern than his predecessor; surprisingly, the Guardians complied, and Yron battled the aliens on his homeworld. His attempt was a disaster, and his arrogance and sloppiness made many Grendians die. Yron himself suffered a fatal wound, and, humbled on the verge of death, crawled to Stel’s tomb and transmitted his remaining life-force to the veteran Lantern’s corpse, resurrecting him. A veteran and a hero, Stel defeated the Krydos in no time, and took back his place in the Corps. From that moment, many other heroic deeds would have seen him as protagonist. He also replaced Kilowog for some time as Oa’s drill instructor.

Stel is a powerful and expert Green Lantern, whose willpower is nearly unlimited, and whose courage is renowned in all the Universe. He’s quite reckless for being a robot, and really enjoys action and battles; he also has quite a weakness for gambling. As a Grendian, he possesses an extremely resilient (but not indestructible) body and superhuman strength; he doesn’t need feeding or breathing, and has a natural instinct for any logical and mechanical construct. As a Green Lantern, his Power Ring allows him to survive in open space, translate and speak any known language and to materialize any object he can think of. Stel is one of the most heroic and celebrated Lanterns, a champion of order and peace who not even death managed to stop from doing his duty.

Roy William Harper Jr. (Speedy)

Roy HarperIn Arrow episode Dodger, another very important character from Green Arrow‘s mythology has been introduced: Roy Harper, portrayed by Colton Haynes. Listening to production notes, he’ll become a love interest for Oliver Queen‘s sister, Thea, but, at the moment, he started off as a purse-snatcher from the Glades, who got arrested after stealing Thea’s purse. The tv show version has him as an unwilling thief, who tries to survive on the streets after his mother became catatonic because of a Vertigo overdose. In the comics, his story is completely different, and he’s been close to Oliver Queen since the very beginning of his superhero career.

Just as with his mentor Green Arrow, also Roy Harper’s story has been changed during the years. In the first version, Roy’s parents got killed in a plane accident, and, still a child, he found himself alone in Lost Mesa, an isolated and secret location in Arizona desert. In here, young Roy became friends with Quoag, a local, who taught him how to hunt for survival. When some robbers arrived in the Mesa in search of a hidden treasure, Quoag was killed, and Roy was alone once again. He allied himself with famous archaeologist Oliver Queen, who had followed the robbers from Star City, since they tried to steal from his museum too. The two archers, together, defeated the bandits, and Queen adopted Harper; when Queen became superhero Green Arrow, Roy followed him as his sidekick Speedy. However, his origin story was retold, and changed quite a bit. In the new version, Roy was the son of Roy Harper Sr., a forest ranger. He never knew his mother, who died soon after he was born (he never knew even her name). Roy Sr. tried to raise his son on his own, but after two years he died in a fire, while saving some inhabitants of a Navajo reservation from the burning forest. The tribe, named Tachini, was ruled by wise Chief Thunderhead, who felt that the tribe had a great debt speedycomics1towards Harper. Little Roy was then “adopted” by Brave Bold, the Tachini’s best huntsman, a great warrior and a wise shaman, who took the boy with himself and taught him the way of the bow. Little Roy grew up following the moral code of the Navajos, and learnt from Brave Bold many fighting and hunting skills, along with a great respect for every living creature. The shaman saw in the boy a great unborn talent for archery, and trained him intensively, until Roy became even a better archer than his own mentor. Soon, Brave Bold understood that Roy needed a wider world than the one provided by the reservation, and, because of a failing health, he started searching for someone who could have taken care of Roy after his death. When the superhero Green Arrow made his debut, and Roy started to worship the hero as his role model, the answer was rapidly found.

Brave Bow organized an archery contest in the reservation, and invited Green Arrow as a judge. The hero gladly accepted the offer, and Roy, in presence of his hero, tried his best to impress him, clearly succeeding in doing so. Unfortunately, one of his rivals gave Roy a magnetic arrow for his last shot, and he missed the target, thus losing the contest. In that very moment, anyway, a robbery occurred, and Roy, with an extremely fast movement, drew an arrow and used it to stop the thief. Green Arrow was very impressed and praised the lad for being “speedier” than him. Talking with Brave Bow, he offered to take Roy as his ward, and both the shaman and the boy happily accepted. In public, Roy Harper was just a young boy who received the attentions of the philanthropist and benefactor Oliver Queen; secretly, the hero Green Arrow was training him to become his sidekick and fellow crime-fighter, nicknamed Speedy as an everlasting praise to that first arrow that impressed the hero. Roy received his own costume, red and yellow, and started helping Green Arrow in his “missions” the very moment Queen decided he was ready. When Brave Bow speedycomics2ultimately died, Oliver became the only father figure in Roy’s life, and this strengthened their bond. As Speedy, Roy followed Green Arrow wherever he went, and the two formed an inseparable crime-fighting couple. When Green Arrow became a member of the Justice League of America, Speedy, along with other sidekicks (Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash and Wonder Girl) founded the Teen Titans, a group of teenager superheroes. After many years of adventures, during which Roy also started a semi-serious relation with Wonder Girl, Roy went through a great crisis: his team disbanded, and Oliver, in a crisis of his own, lost almost all his fortune and began an on-the-road life with his friend Hal Jordan aka Green Lantern and his girlfriend Dinah Lance aka Black Canary. Left alone, feeling abandoned, Roy developed a heroine addiction, and his condition worsened when Oliver, who learnt about his problem, instead of helping him, punched him in the face and kicked him out of his house, leaving him homeless and alone. Roy managed to overtake his problems thanks to the help of Black Canary, Hal Jordan and many others, and started a solo career as Speedy, while helping other drug-addicted teenagers as a counselor as Roy Harper. His life became a continuous effort to prove his strength to his estranged “father” Oliver Queen, even if the fracture the latter had caused was seemingly irreparable.

Roy Harper is an enthusiastic and passionate boy, always trying to prove himself and to gain the attention of many father figures, first of all Oliver Queen. He’s deeply insecure, and, since his father died when he was a child, he suffers from an abandon complex: feeling alone is something that brings him to deep depression, with catastrophic results. As Speedy, he’s one of the world’s best archers, with his skills surpassed only by his mentor’s ones. He’s also an extremely proficient martial artist, mastering Moo Gi Gong, a special martial art that allows a warrior to use any object as an effective weapon. He’s also a good detective and a master strategist. Speedy always pushes himself to his limit, in the hope of earning, once again, Green Arrow’s respect.


DodgerNew episode of Arrow, new characters to speak about. This week’s episode was titled Dodger, so we’re dealing today with the eponymous character, Dodger. In the show, the gentleman thief from Europe is portrayed by James Callis. He is a particular thief, who only steals high-end merchandise, and who gained his nickname from his habit of “dodging” action: his modus operandi, in fact, sees him putting explosive collars on unwilling accomplices, who take the booty for him under the threat of having their head blown away. In the comics, he’s quite a different character: sure he’s a thief, but he never blew someone’s head off, quite the opposite. He’s not even a proper villain. Let’s see together.

As usual, we do not know much of Dodger’s past. In this case, we don’t know anything, not even his real name. We just know that he’s from London, and that he operates mainly in Europe. So, Dodger maybe started as a common thief, but in a short time he managed to make quite a name for himself for being a new Lupin, some sort of gentleman thief able to steal anything, from jewels to information to advanced technology: anything that can have some value in the underworld black market. A trained acrobat and athlete, Dodger displayed also an incredible amount of luck, and managed to come in possession of an alien spacecraft, or at least that was what it seemed. The ship dodgercomics1displayed an incredible technology, whose most desirable feature was a stealth capability that made it completely invisible on any radar or sonar. Dodger immediately realized he could have make a fortune out of the ship, and began an illegal auction; instead of selling it to the best bidder as usual, this time Dodger preferred to keep the ship for himself, thus leasing it to any underworld figure rich enough to pay for its usage. Among Dodger’s clients, there was the League of Assassins, the terrorist organization led by immortal Ra’s al Ghul, clearly up to nothing good. Well, Dodger didn’t have problems with them, so he lent them the vessel, after a remarkable payment. That didn’t prove to be quite a good idea, since the League used the ship for an assassination attempt against Connor Hawke, the second Green Arrow, son of the original one. Connor survived, but his parents weren’t happy. Not at all.

This wouldn’t have been a problem, if both of Connor’s parents weren’t superheroes. But they were. Oliver Queen, the original Green Arrow, and Dinah Laurel LanceBlack Canary (and Connor’s stepmother) started investigating on the ship, and tracked it back to London. Along with Mia Dearden, the second Speedy, Green Arrow and Black Canary found Dodger in a pub, serenely drinking. The three of them engaged him in combat and, despite Dodger proved to be a good fighter, he was no match for them, and was subdued. When they told him what they wanted from him, he told them that the real responsible of the attack against Connor was the League of Assassins, but, following a personal moral dodgercomics2code, he refused to give them any other information. He rapidly changed his mind when the three heroes tied him with a bungee cord and dropped him from a cargo plane, leaving him bouncing until he was ready to be more cooperative. Dodger agreed to take them to his secret lair where, using some of the technology he took from the ship, managed to triangulate a possible location of the vessel itself. Their search led them to a castle in Leicestershire, where they found, beyond a lot of deadly traps, the frozen body of Plastic Man, a superhero and former member of the Justice League. Things got serious, and Green Arrow called some of his JLA friends to back him up. Dodger didn’t leave his side until the very end of the adventure, when the group confronted a group of Metahumans who claimed to be part of the League of Assassins and to be behind the attack on Connor. Dodger fought along with the heroes, but he was no match for the superhumans; anyway, he helped Batman take one of them down, earning this way his freedom for the battle’s aftermath. Surprisingly enough, his Cockney charm worked on Mia, and the two started a romantic relationship. After he accompanied the Team Arrow back to the States, Mia chose to follow him back to London, where they began living as a couple.

Dodger isn’t exactly a bad guy: he’s just an opportunist who tries to make a living out of any situation he finds himself involved in. Apart from indubitable thieving skills, Dodger is also a good martial artist (though he’s not even close to Green Arrow’s or Batman’s level), and possesses a wide array of gadgets that help him in battle. He uses mostly a special electric mace, a useful weapon for close quarter combat, but also a throwing weapon, able to return to its wielder (much like Thor‘s Mjolnir). He also has quite a unique device, called Deus Ex Machina, a strange disc that emits a high frequency biofeedback. Without all of his gadgets, anyway, Dodger is more than normal… apart from his charm, of course.

Kilowog (Green Lantern)

kilowogfilmLast gameplay trailer from Injustice: Gods Among Us showed us the cameo of many Green Lanterns alongside Hal Jordan, and one of them is massive Kilowog, one of the most popular ones. He had only one live action appearance so far in Green Lantern, portrayed by late Michael Clarke Duncan. In the movie, he served as a trainer (more like a drill sergeant) for the new recruits in the Corps, and helped Hal Jordan mastering his Power Ring, even if intervening on the field only at the end of games, saving Hal from being sucked in by a star’s gravitational field. Anyway, let’s see who Kilowog is in the comics.

As you may have guessed already, Kilowog is an alien. He was born on Bolovax Vik, an overpopulated planet in Sector 674. On his homeworld, Kilowog was a renowned scientist, one of the most brilliant geneticists of Bolovaxian history. The inhabitants of the planet shared a communal mind, The Mass, that made them think and act like a single being, taking advantage of every single individual’s skills and knowledge to improve the quality of life on the planet; the presence of The Mass also made every single Bolovaxian extremely linked to the planetary community, in some sort of extreme nationalism that looked more like the belonging to a common house. That’s why Kilowog wasn’t exactly pleased when The Mass chose him as the successor of Branwilla, the Sector’s Green Lantern who died on duty: sure it was a great honor and the recognition of his great skills, but it was also an exile sentence for a Bolovaxian, since being a Green Lantern required many missions (most of them, actually) outside the Lantern’s homeplanet. Nevertheless, Kilowog decided to undertake his duties, and entered the Corps with pride. Once arrived on Oa, the planet of the Guardians of the Universe and headquarters to the Green Lanterns, Kilowog met the alien who would have changed his life forever: Ermey, the Corps’ drill instructor. Ermey was mean and harsh, and often called his recruits “poozer“, a word translatable with a colorful version of “useless rookies”. Under Ermey’s oversight, Kilowog grew up to be one of the best Green Lanterns kilowogcomics1of his generation, and learnt to master his Power Ring and to use his willpower to a great extent. During his training, an emergency forced Ermey to take his recruits to battle before time: some Lanterns had been attacked, and they needed to be saved. During the following battle, Ermey himself was fatally wounded, and, before dying, he praised Kilowog’s abilities, and told him that he would have become a great leader. Impressed by his mentor’s death, Kilowog decided to take his place and, after a period of normal patrolling of his sector, he became the new drill instructor on Oa, earning himself a name for training his recruits to perfection by bringing them to their edge, a hard test that would have saved the lives of many young Lanterns. He also started to call the rookies “poozers”, just like Ermey did.

Years passed, and Kilowog trained many good Lanterns (one of them was Hal Jordan, the first Green Lantern from Earth, who Kilowog also helped in defeating Legion, the hive-minded creature who had killed his predecessor, Abin Sur). The hardest moment of Kilowog’s life as a Lantern arrived the moment Bolovax Vix was destroyed: for a Bolovaxian, who shared every single thought with his people, being alone was the worst curse imaginable, and Kilowog made no exception. Thanks to his unique affinity with Bolovaxians, anyway, the Lantern managed to “save” the entire population (sixteen billions of individuals) by “storing” their life kilowogcomics2essence in his own Power Ring, waiting for the moment he could have freed them in a suitable planet (the moment would have soon arrived, but also that planet would have been destroyed, this time by rogue Lantern Thaal Sinestro, one of Kilowog’s former best friends; this event brought Kilowog to be the last living Bolovaxian in the entire universe). Following the great crisis that brought death and destruction everywhere in the universe, even in the ranks of the Guardians, the Green Lantern Corps was reformed, and the single Lanterns, not assigned to a single sector anymore, could deploy themselves as the preferred. Kilowog followed his former pupil, Hal Jordan, to Earth, where he was acclaimed as a hero after defeating the villain Black Hand on live television. He became fascinated with USSR, since communism had some traits in common with his former life on Bolovax Vix, and joined the Union. The Soviets used Kilowog to create their first superhuman squad, Rocket Red Brigade, but the alien ultimately saw through the many flaws the regime had and, disenchanted, came back to open space to found Bolovax Vix II. Many events followed, and the Corps were ultimately destroyed, only to rise again later: when the Lanterns came back as a force of good, Kilowog reprised his roles as a trainer on Oa, ready to make his “poozers” go through Hell once again.

Kilowog is, despite is brutish appearance, an extremely intelligent and brilliant scientist, whose powerful mind surpasses many of his comrades’ ones. As a Bolovaxian, he also possesses natural superhuman strength, durability and stamina, even more formidable in him because of his indomitable will and his unborn leader attitude. As a Green Lantern, he owns a Power Ring which allows him to survive in open space, to understand and speak every known language and, most of all, to materialize any object his mind can think of, strengthened by his willpower. Despite being every recruit’s nightmare, Kilowog is a good “man”, who really cares for his pupils and pushes them to their limit in order to protect them from future threats. He is one of the moral (and military) pillars of the Green Lantern Corps, whose deep solitude, born from the extinction of his own race, makes him even more bounded to the Corps.