Guillermo Ballera (Brutale)

Guillermo BalleraArrow never fails to deliver its weekly amount of new characters, and this week’s episode Dead to Rights makes no exception. Apart from bringing back on the scene China White and Deadshot, the episode sees a brief cameo of the short lived Guillermo Ballera, portrayed by George Tchortov. In the tv show, he doesn’t seem quite a threat: hired for killing Malcolm Merlyn, he ends up fighting Green Arrow upon his very arrival in Starling City and gets killed by him after a brief fight. In the comics he has a longer life, and he’s better known with his alias: Brutale. Let’s see together.

Guillermo Barrera was born in Hasaragua, a forgotten independent republic in South America. The country was ruled by a Marxist dictatorship, and life for the population wasn’t easy at all. Well, actually it was easy, and the choice was simple: or to cooperate with the regime, helping it to keep the population at bay, killing under command and committing any kind of crimes, or to fight against it, living a life of danger, hidden in the forest, in the pipe dream of changing something. Guillermo chose the first option. He became quite skilled as an interrogator and a torturer, with a particular mastership over any kind of blade. He could make someone talk in no time, even if it brutalecomics1didn’t mean he would have stopped the torture. Life was easy for Barrera: he did a job he loved, made a lot of money out of it, while everyone respected him…or better, feared him. Then, something unexpected happened: the regime fell, and the rebels took control of the country. Ballera was sentenced to death because of the atrocities committed as the dictatorship’s torturer, and was forced to flee from Hasaragua in order to avoid execution. He arrived in the United States, searching for a new life…until he found out that the old one was more than fitting for American labor market. He arrived in Blüdhaven, the sister city of Gotham City, and he immediately found a job as an assassin for hire. He entered the service of Roland Desmond, the crime boss known as Blockbuster, and became one of his most trusted henchmen. Getting the spirit of the American Way, Ballera created a costume for himself, a suit resembling a gargoyle, designed to hold his many, many, many blades, from machetes to kitchen shivs, and created a super identity for himself: Brutale, Spanish for Brutal.

Business was quite good at first, with minor killings and sweet, old torture never going outmode. Then, Brutale received from Blockbuster the contract of his life: kill Nightwing, the city’s superhero and former protegee of Batman. From their very first fight, Brutale understood that Nightwing wouldn’t have been an easy target as his previous one: the hero, in fact, defeated him without any effort, and the torturer merely managed to escape capture (his death penalty was still waiting for him in Hasaragua, and an arrest in America would have almost certainly meant extradition). Despite the defeat, Brutale enjoyed the fight with the young vigilante, and he kept sharpening his blade waiting for a second chance. He allied himself with Randy Hanrahan, aka Stallion, another mercenary assassin, but even in pair the two were utterly defeated by Nightwing. Every time he tried to kill the hero, he ended up being defeated brutalecomics2and humiliated, something that began to get quite frustrating. Despite his many failures, he was chosen by Alexander Luthor (a “heroic” Lex Luthor from another dimension) to be a part of his Society and to fight the heroes, judged unworthy of their position by Earth-2 survivors. When the war started by Earth-2 inhabitants was over, Amanda Waller, leader of the Checkmate, launched a campaign to deport the most harmful supervillains out of the planet; the planetoid chosen as a galactic jail was a remote world, inhabited by dangerous beasts, and Brutale and many others had to fight for their lives. Unfortunately, DeSaad, the deranged right-hand man of Darkside, decided that the villains would have been a good training for his deadly Parademons, and launched an attack: Brutale tried to stand up against them, but he was stabbed by two Parademons and seemingly died. Against all expectations, he survived and came back on Earth with all the other villains (at least, those who were still alive), just in time to be hired by La Dama, a female crime boss who sent to collect the alien living weapon Khaji Da, known as the Blue Scarab. Work never ran out for an assassin for hire.

Guillermo Ballera is a brutal and sadistic man, who enjoys inflicting pain and hearing the screams of the people he tortures. He has quite a surgical ability with blades, and knows exactly where to stop for causing the maximum pain without making his victim die or lose consciousness. As Brutale, he’s a superb fighter, with complete mastership over any kind of bladed weapon: razors, knives, shivs, machetes, swords and many others. Brutale is a dangerous criminal, driven by his thirst of blood, and made even more deadly by his fear of the death penalty still hanging on him back in Hasaragua.

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