Here we are, for the second character introduced in the Arrow episode Identity, who promises to be quite a recurring one for this Second Season: Sebastian Blood, portrayed by Kevin Alejandro. In the show, he’s introduced as an alderman fighting for the poorest citizens of Starling City, entering in quite a conflict with Oliver Queen while trying his climb to the role of mayor. The people from the Glades love him and started somewhat of a cult around his person, and the only attempt Oliver made to make an ally out of him failed because of the bad timing of a criminal action from China White and her new partner Bronze Tiger, that forced him to pass over their appointment. For whoever knows the comics, the premises indicate an interesting, possible evolution for the character… but let’s see together who Sebastian Blood is in the comics.
The story of Sebastian Blood is quite a long one, going back to 1202, when the first Sebastian Blood was the king and high priest of Zandia, a small Baltic country. When the Fourth Crusade started, Blood refused to supply soldiers, and plus, he battled the crusaders. Having gained the Cloak of Christ (the mantle Jesus worn during the Last Supper, corrupted with evil through dark rites), Blood used its power to overwhelm his enemies, and, after winning the battle, he bathed himself into the crusaders’ blood, clinching a dark pact with the demonic entity Trigon. From that moment, the ritual of the Blood Bath granted Sebastian a youthful appearance, and virtual immortality. He closed Zandia to foreigners, and he founded the Church of Blood, a cult in honor of Trigon, which every inhabitant had to join. One hundred years later, Sebastian’s son killed him, starting the Blood Curse: he bathed in the Bloodpit, and became the new high priest of the church. According to the Curse, however, every Sebastian Blood would have been killed and ousted by his son, who would have become the new emissary of Trigon on Earth. Seven hundred years later, Sebastian Blood VIII had a son from May Bennett, a nun of the Church of Blood better known as Mother Mayhem. The child grew up living into the family traditions, full aware of his destiny of greatness… and patricide. When the king tried to conquer Slab Penitentiary and to abduct millions of children, and failed, fourteen years old Sebastian Blood IX decided it was time to take up the mantle of high priest for himself, and stabbed his father to death. He then bathed in the Bloodpit, and claimed for himself the title of Brother Blood, along with the absolute power over the Church of Blood. The funerals of the previous king weren’t too tearful, not at all actually, since Sebastian threw his father’s body into the river.
Among the nine men who took up the mantle of Brother Blood through history, this Sebastian Blood was surely the youngest: this surely gave him a lot more of enthusiasm and megalomania, but also a lot less of experience and training before his coronation. The new high priest was much more ambitious than his predecessors, and wanted to lead the Church to world domination. He conceived a plan that would have allowed the cult to become greater than ever, to the point of converting everyone in the world: he had the cultists kidnap Raven, Trigon’s daughter, and had her imprisoned in his castle. He celebrated an unholy marriage with his “sister-bride”, swallowing her Chakra gemstone after biting it off her forehead: in his plan, the child of Blood’s lineage and Trigon’s one would have been the most powerful Brother Blood ever, able to bring the Church to be the greatest power on Earth. The darkest part of Raven’s soul, the one who urged her to follow her father’s plans and enslave Earth, reacted to Blood, and cast a spell that spread through all San Francisco, were people started chanting “Raven belongs to Brother Blood” everywhere. The Teen Titans located their friend and teammate, and assaulted Blood’s castle, trying to free Raven. Unlike his predecessors, the new Brother Blood took an active role in the battle against the heroes, and refused to just coordinate the fight giving orders to his subordinates: he savagely attacked the Titans, and arrived to the point of biting Superboy and drinking his blood, thus becoming even more powerful. At last, however, Robin defeated Blood with the help of Deathstroke and Ravager, who had momentarily allied themselves with their old enemies. Not giving up, Blood escaped with Raven, and, holding her in his power with her stone, he fused their powers to open a gate to Hell, letting demons come out of it to slaughter everyone who wasn’t a “true believer”. At that point, Beast Boy managed to reach them and, transformed into a roundworm, entered Blood’s mouth, forcing him to regurgitate the Chakra gemstone (and himself, of course). Raven, now in full control of her powers, banished Brother Blood to Hell. The boy grew up among demons and damned souls, but eventually managed to come back using Kid Eternity‘s powers. The world was now ready for a more mature, and even more evil, Brother Blood.
Sebastian Blood IX is a deranged and psychotic megalomaniac, who seeks world domination through his Church. As Brother Blood, the ninth of his name (even if the spirit is always the same, who reincarnates from father to son), he possesses a variety of powers: as some sort of vampire, Blood is immortal and virtually invulnerable, he possesses superhuman strength, stamina, speed, reflexes, senses and durability, he deploys some form of telekinesis, and has quite some skills with magic. He also possesses the family’s Cloak of Christ, that grants him his superhuman abilities, and also a total power over the Church of Blood, an army of extremist cultists ready to die (and kill) for him. One of the most dangerous people on Earth, Brother Blood is able, and willing, to unleash the forces of Hell on the world.