Sebastian Blood VIII (Brother Blood)

Sebastian Blood VIIIThis week’s Arrow episode Blind Spot showed us another character, albeit in photograph only: Sebastian Sangre, deceased father of Sebastian Blood. Well, in Spanish “sangre” means “blood”, so the two of them have (had) the same name. This fits quite well, since in the comics, Sebastian Blood’s father (and grandfather, and great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, and so on) is Sebastian Blood. And, like, in the comics, Blood was killed by Blood: in the show, young Sebastian killed his father when he was still a kid, and had his mother Maya Resik charged for the crime and locked into a mental asylum. Now, let’s see who this other Sebastian Blood/Sangre is in the comics.

In the Eastern European nation of Zandia, a terrible curse ran through the royal family since the Crusades: when the king refused to give his nation’s help to retrieve Christ’s tomb, and sold his soul to the demon Trigon, he was given incredible power by Hell, but also received a curse: he would have lived forever, bathing in the blood of his people, and would have been established as the absolute and undisputed leader of the Church of Blood, a cult worshiping Trigon and participating to his might, but he would have been killed by his son, who would have become the new ruler of the Church and of Zandia. Every son would have killed his own father, becoming the new Brother Blood and serving his real brotherbloodviiicomics1master Trigon until the demon would have finally conquered Earth. When the seventh Brother Blood kidnapped a Zandian woman named Anna Resik and made her his Mother Mayhem (high priestess and wife), she gave a son to him, destined to kill him. Sebastian Blood VIII lived at his father’s court, and received the traditional education reserved to ay future Brother Blood: he learnt about Trigon, about Zandian history, and about his own destiny. He was also taught politics, diplomacy, military strategy, economy, everything in order to become a worthy ruler of both Zandia and the Church of Blood. He was growing up a cunning and cultured child, but his mother followed him much more than her predecessors did with their sons. She tried to put him against his father before time, and taught him to think with his own head, instead of blindly following a destiny written for him centuries ago. Worried for Mother Mayhem’s influence over the boy, Brother Blood decided to have her killed along with his own son, but Anna found it out and decided to flee.

Sebastian and his mother traveled the world as exiles, but he managed to expand his own culture and knowledge of the world with this somewhat traumatic experience. When they finally arrived in Qurac, Anna married the High Raja Yakeem Sota, granting some protection for herself and Sebastian. Unbeknownst to them, however, Yakeem was just a puppet in Brother Blood’s hands, brotherbloodviiicomics2and the Zandian ruler had his wife killed by her new husband. Sebastian managed to escape death, and continued his mental and physical training, wandering from a state to another and learning everything he could. When he finally became an adult, he had Yakeem Sota killed, and then proceeded to come back to Zandia. In here, he disguised himself as a simple follower, until he finally arrived to face his father, who believed him dead. Fulfilling the prophecy and renewing the curse, Sebastian killed his father in front of his followers, and claimed the title of Brother Blood for himself. He finally sit the throne he had been preparing for all his life, putting into practice everything he had learnt in his years as prince and, especially, from his mother and from his various mentors in the world. He chose a follower, May Bennett, as his Mother Mayhem, and ruled with her at his side for years. Fully understanding the potential of the Church of Blood, Sebastian Blood VIII started converting people occupying key roles everywhere in the world, thus expanding his influence and preparing for a massive invasion, something the Church attempted for the first time in seven centuries of existence.

Sebastian Blood VIII is an intelligent and insidious man, cunning and ruthless, who accumulated knowledge and experience and made them a perfect tool to transform the formerly secluded sect known as the Church of Blood into an international organisation aiming to world domination. As Brother Blood, he possesses many super powers coming from the magic of the Book of Blood. By bathing in the Pool of Blood, a subterranean cave filled with the blood of human sacrifices, Sebastian periodically regains his strength and youth, becoming immortal with the death of his followers. A criminal mastermind like few others and a despotic ruler, the eight Brother Blood is even more dangerous than his father, with the years of exile only making him stronger and smarter.


Jackson F. “Jack” Norriss

Jackson NorrisThe first video from the upcoming Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King (which will be distributed with the blu-ray version of Thor: The Dark World) has been released, and we got some hints at the main story. It will be mainly focused on Trevor Slattery, the fake Mandarin from Iron Man 3, and on a documentary director who’s trying to interview him. This particular director responds to a well known name: he’s Jackson Norriss, and he’ll be portrayed by Scoot McNairy. From what we saw, we can only hope that Marvel will make amend for that dumb and very Disney-like Mandarin twist from the movie. Waiting for the short to be released, let’s see who Jackson is in the comics.

We know little of Jack Norriss‘ early past: he was born in Cobbler’s RoostVermont, and graduated high school with normal grades. During his teens, he met a girl named Barbara Denton, who she fell in love with. The two started a relationship, and soon they got married. Unfortunately for them, Celestia Denton, Barbara’s mother, had made a pact with extradimensional demons jacksonnorrisscomics1known as Undying Ones to regain her youth in exchange of her own daughter’s soul: she manipulated Jack and Barbara and convinced them to join a cult worshiping the Undying Ones, just “for fun”. When the leader of the sect, Van Nyborg, set up a plan to use the Hulk to destroy the Dark Crawler, a guardian spirit, Barbara tried to stop him, with the only result of being locked in the Undying Ones’ dimension (actually, she heroically chose to stay there in order to act as a new guardian, after Hulk and Doctor Strange defeated the Undying Ones). Jack was clearly disrupt, and couldn’t accept his beloved wife had just gone. It was much to his surprise that he met Barbara again, some time after her “death”, walking and talking like always… only, she wasn’t his Barbara anymore. While his wife’s soul remained dormant, in fact, Barbara’s body had been inhabited by Brunnhilde, the Valkyrie, a fact that Jack just couldn’t accept. He kept trying to be close to “Barbara”, something Valkyrie had to come to terms with.

Jack stick to Brunnhilde for quite a lot of time, even during her time serving with the superhero team Defenders. He actually helped the team more than once in their missions, always trying to “protect” his now Asgardian ex-wife. When the Headmen, a quartet of scientist supervillains, took possession of Nighthawk‘s body, Jack volunteered to have his mind transferred into the hero’s body, and acted as a replacement for a while, until Chondu was defeated and Kyle Richmond could come back to his rightful body. After the experience, Kyle jacksonnorrisscomics2himself offered Jack 300.000$ to finally leave the team alone, and unexpectedly Norriss accepted. He had actually come to terms with the fact that Barbara had died, and didn’t have any problem to take the money and leave. He used the 300.000$ to foil a plot set up by Ruby Thursday (another member of the Headmen) to run for Presidency, and stopped her campaign exposing her as a criminal. This little adventure of his allowed him to be noticed by S.H.I.E.L.D., and he entered the counter espionage agency. Starting as an archivist, he was later promoted to agent, and was assigned with the mission of arresting the rogue vigilante known as Nomad. Jack ended up sympathizing with his target, and left S.H.I.E.L.D. as a result. His impressive CV allowed him to be almost immediately hired by America TV as an investigative reporter, a job in which he could finally say what he wanted about the world surrounding him.

Jackson Norriss surely is a stubborn man, faithful to the very end to his ideals and principles, but also to his own delusions. He doesn’t possess any particular ability, apart from the intensive training every S.H.I.E.L.D. agent goes through. Eternally faithful to his lost wife Barbara, Jack is a man without a purpose, always committed to find one and to live for it.

Anna Resik & May Bennett (Mother Mayhem)

Maya ResikTime for the second character introduced in Arrow episode Blast RadiusMaya Resik, portrayed by Ana Mercedes. In the show, the character is the mother of Sebastian Blood, a deranged woman locked in a mental asylum after she apparently killed her abusive husband to protect her son. According to her declarations, it was actually the kid who shot the father, blaming the mother in a second time. Anyway, Maya Resik is based on two different characters from the DC Universe, and her name is a fusion of the two: the first one is Anna Resik, while the second is May Bennett, and both of them happened to be the wives of a Brother Blood and mothers to the following. Let’s see together who these women are in the comics.

Anna Resik was born in Zandia, a small and troubled nation in Eastern Europe, where she lived with her family sometimes at the beginning of the XX century. Around the 1940s, a teenager Anna was kidnapped by a religious cult known as the Church of Blood, a sect devoted to the resurrection of the demon lord Trigon. Brought to the palace, Anna found out she had been selected to become the new Mother Mayhem, the destined spouse to the cult leader, Brother Blood. With no choice, Anna married Sebastian Blood VII, and delivered him a child, Sebastian Blood VIII, future mothermayhemcomics1killer of his father and leader of the Church. When her son was a teenager, Anna realized her husband was growing scared of the influence she had on the future Brother Blood, and was planning to kill her. She took her son and fled from Zandia, travelling the world and using all the money, resources and influence coming from being recognized as the wife of the powerful Brother Blood. She finally arrived in Qurac, an Arabian country ruled by High Raja Yakeem Sota. Seeking protection for herself and her son, Anna married Sota, only to find herself back into an abusive marriage. Anna suffered anything for the sake of her Sebastian, but she didn’t know it was actually her first husband who was manipulating her second one: eventually, Sebastian VII had her killed by the High Raja, and Sebastian VIII fled from his court. His mother’s death brought him to seek revenge on his father, to murder him and to become the new Brother Blood as it was prophesied.

When Sebastian Blood VIII became the new Brother Blood, he personally chose his wife among the cult followers that were already part of the Church of Blood, not wanting to repeat his mother’s destiny. He chose May Bennett, a woman whose loyalty and devotion towards Trigon’s cause was unmatched and undisputed. May became the new Mother Mayhem, and received a power none of her predecessors ever had: she wasn’t just the wife of Brother Blood, the woman destined to give birth to his son and future cult leader, she was her only peer, his right-hand woman, the only human allowed to mothermayhemcomics2know his deepest secrets and to actively help him conceive world-domination plans and different politics for Zandia. She had a strong faith, and firmly believed her husband was an omnipotent being sent on Earth by Trigon himself to lead his people, and she felt honored to serve him in such a special manner. She gave birth to Sebastian Blood IX, the future Brother Blood, thus fortifying her position inside the Church. She became jealous when her husband, first, and her second, later, started focusing on one of the Teen Titans, the daughter of Trigon Raven. She continued serving as Mother Mayhem when her husband was killed and her son rose to power, but the obsession with Raven didn’t cease, it only became stronger, and she feared her position could have been compromised by the girl. However, her fears proved to be of no concern, since the Titans eventually managed to defeat her son and to shatter the Church of Blood. They also saved May and her newborn daughter, Jessica, from the supercriminals known as Wildebeest Society, who wanted to prevent a new Brother Blood to rise and take back his power; the Titans, saving the two, ended a decades-long enmity, and May became the last living Mother Mayhem.

Anna Resik is a simple but strong woman, whose will has never been bent by any abuse suffered from any of her husbands, resisting to both the brainwashing from the Church of Blood and the violence suffered with the High Raja. Her only devotion is to her son, the only human being she truly loves. May Bennett, on the opposite, is a very cunning and and cruel woman, but her submission to the Church is total, and her will completely depends on the one of her husband and of her son. As Mother Mayhem, they both have quite a power inside the Church of Blood, and also outside in the world, and they can employ a great influence on many powerful people related to the cult. Being an incarnation or another, Mother Mayhem’s destiny is always to be at Brother Blood’s side, both as his wife and as his mother.

Mark Scheffer (Shrapnel)

Mark SchefferAfter the mid-season break, Arrow comes back to our screen with a brand new episode… and brand new characters. In Blast Radius we meet two new guys from the comics, and the first one is the episode’s villain, the serial bomber Mark Scheffer portrayed by Sean Maher. In the tv show, Scheffer is the owner of a toy shop who starts a personal war against the corrupt politicians that are ruining his Starling City, and thinks the best way to do it is to blow everything up, innocent people included. Felicity Smoak recognizes him as the former member of a subversive group, where he was nicknamed Shrapnel: this is the only reference so far to his comicbook identity, the metal-made supervillain known, of course, as Shrapnel. While quite a minor character, let’s see together who he is.

Very little is known about Mark Scheffer’s past. He was a regular guy, an American worker and a family man: married with a woman called Suze, he had two daughters, Maddie and Meredith. For some unknown reason, at a certain point Suze left him, shrapnelcomics1leaving with both his daughters, and Scheffer possibly suffered from quite a major breakdown. He lost his job, and everything he cared for in his life… and somehow, at a certain point in this descending curve, Mark was transformed, through unknown means, in a monster made out of metal scraps. His hideous appearance came with incredible powers, and Scheffer soon found out he was able to control any single piece of the metal shell that was now his body. Believing this to be some sort of new opportunity for him, Mark resolved to take more an active role in his life, and became a professional hitman, selling his powers and his rage to the best bidder. He chose an alias, Shrapnel, and put himself on the market, waiting for a call. The first job came quite fast, and it was one he didn’t expect but was happy to take: he was ordered to go to Kansas City and to kill a man he knew from his past (even if we don’t know why or how): Walter J. Williamson, the Executive Vice President of an important company.

Shrapnel arrived in Missouri, and tried his best to hide himself dressing with a large hat and a coat… but it was obviously useless, since many people kept staring at this strange, metal creature he had become. Evidently, his transformation had damaged also his shrapnelcomics2mind, and Scheffer started killing everyone looking at him on the street, starting a real slaughter. Almost by chance, he also got to kill his target, Walter Williamson, among the crowd he was slaying. As the alarm was spread, Doom Patrol intervened to stop him, but the superteam found more than one difficulty in the ensuing battle. The leader, Celsius, tried to freeze the villain solid in ice, but he busted out of his prison, severely wounding the heroine in the process; the magnetic fields-controller Lodestone tried to contain him, being him made of metal, but for some reason she couldn’t magnetize him. It was the weather-manipulator Tempest that found out the organic nature of Shrapnel’s metal, managing to elaborate a plan to take him down. Barely arrested, Shrapnel was later recruited in the Suicide Squad, a team of “reformed” villains he soon left because of his blood lust; it was Alexander Luthor that found a good way to put this maniac at use, and invited him to join his Secret Society of Super Villains.

Mark Scheffer is an unstable and violent man, with quite an aggressive character and often prey of an intense blood lust that brings him to kill whoever crosses his path. As Shrapnel, he’s a creature composed of a myriad of pieces of organic metal, which are living beings by themselves, controlled by the criminal’s consciousness. He can use the razor-sharp scraps to attack his enemies, and he can move them also from a distance; the pieces, away from his body, die, but he can create new ones to replace them. He also possesses superhuman stamina, durability and strength, and his unique organism allows him to survive without eating, drinking or breathing. With a psychotic personality and quite an array of powers, Shrapnel is quite a dangerous foe to face for any hero.

Donald “Donnie” Gill (Blizzard)

Donnie GillNew week, new episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: in Seeds, we met a young genius cadet of the Science branch of S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, the lonely Donnie Gill, portrayed in the show by Dylan Minnette. In the episode, Donnie allies with his only friend Seth Dormer to create a freezing machine and to sell it to the best bidder (actually the villainous Ian Quinn, who’s revealed to be a member of Centipede). The machine works far too well, and from freezing a swimming pool it arrives to create a massive storm. Well, Donnie is an old acquaintance for the comics readers, since he’s a recurring enemy of Iron Man and an unlikely hero within the Thunderbolts: the supervillain Blizzard. His freezing devices (and, at the end of the episode, powers) hint at his villainous incarnation in the comics, but it remains to be seen if the character will be further explored in the show. In the meanwhile, let’s see who he is in the comics.

When Gregor Shapanka, the original Blizzard, was killed by Arno Stark (the alternate Iron Man from 2020), the British industrialist (and secretly criminal leader) Justin Hammer was searching for a replacement. Hammer’s agents soon stumbled upon Donald Gill, an adventurer eager to make some money and earn some fame, and they recruited him. Gill received blizzardcomics1from Hammer Shapanka’s costume and arsenal, an advanced thermal technology that allowed him to create and manipulate ice; he became the second Blizzard, and was paired with two other supervillains, Beetle and Blacklash, in the so-called B-Team. Along with his teammates, Blizzard fought Iron Man several times and, during their many battles, the hero (who was at that time James Rhodes) saw something good in Donnie, and tried to convince him several times to reform, without much a success: despite his own will, Gill was always in a state of necessity that almost obliged him to commit crimes, if he wanted to earn something for a living. When Blacklash got killed by the Sentient Armor, the B-Team disbanded, and Donnie found himself without a cause and, overall, without an employer.

Looking for a job, Donnie ended up being hired by M.O.D.O.K., and battle the Avengers for the first time. During the fight, Blizzard was defeated and humiliated by the superheroes, and the most he managed to do was to flee before being captured. He met in a pub She-Hulk and tried to unload his anger and frustration on her, freezing her while she was drinking a beer, but the heroine easily broke the ice and invited Blizzard to drink with her. When he got blizzardcomics2drunk and fell asleep, she handed him to the police. Out of prison, Donnie came back to Hammer, and started working for him again, but Rhodes’ words had planted something inside him, and he felt out of his element with his old life. Finally Beetle, who had now reformed and become the heroic MACH-1, invited him to join his new team of Thunderbolts (a squad of reformed villains): it was the occasion Blizzard was waiting for, and he joined his friend to fight for justice (or something that was close to it at least). He acted as a hero for a while, until his costume broke and he, unable to repair it, left the Thunderbolts. He was found alone and penniless by the Mandarin, who hired him as a terrorist. The Mandarin gave Blizzard an empowered armor, but also implanted a bomb on him and on other villains to insure their loyalty: no wonder that Blizzard and the others rebelled against the Mandarin and allied with Iron Man and Ezekiel Stane to take him down. Again, Blizzard was given a chance for redemption, but it was up to him to take it or not.

Donald Gill is an unusually meek and good-hearted person, at least for someone who claims to be a supervillain. He naturally worries for others, and is ready to risk everything to protect his peers, something quite unusual for a criminal wannabe; that’s one of the reasons he sees himself better as a hero, and tries his best to find redemption everytime he’s given the chance. As Blizzard, his armor allows him to lower the temperature around his body of several degrees, actually freezing potentially anything using the atmosphere’s moisture. After he was exposed to the Terrigen Mist, he found out he was of Inhuman linage, and gained super powers: he’s now a living battery, able to store, manipulate and emit electrical currents. A new man, Blizzard is eager to show the world what he’s truly capable of… apart from robbing banks, of course.

Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver)

quicksilverfilmFinally, with the latest pics released from X-Men: Days of Future Past, we have a first glimpse of one of the “new” characters (he’s to be considered new, even if he had a small cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as one of William Stryker‘s mutant prisoners: an appearance that is evidently not considered in the new movie): Quicksilver, portrayed by Evan Peters. He’ll appear in the 1970s part of the film, at his father Magneto‘s side in his new Brotherhood of Mutants. The character is also set to appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, a project that put Marvel and Fox on the war footing, since Quicksilver is one of the few characters considered to belong to both the X-Men and the Avengers franchises. Eventually, the studios found a compromise (quite a dumb one), and Aaron Taylor-Johnson will portray Quicksilver, not a mutant and definitely not Magneto’s son, while Evan Peters will be Pietro Maximoff, not an Avenger and not a hero… they just split the identity in two. Great. Anyway, let’s see who Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff is in the comics.

Pietro Maximoff was conceived, along with his sister Wanda, as the son of Erik Lensherr, the future mutant terrorist known as Magneto, and his gypsy wife Magda. When Erik used his powers to get revenge on some KGB agents responsible for his first daughter Anya‘s death, Magda got scared of him, and fled, taking refuge on the Balkan Mountains, in the remote European nation of Transia. In here the woman, pregnant, was welcomed in the technological city of Wundagore by an unexpected friend: Bova, a genetically engineered cow who was one of the High Evolutionary‘s experiments. Bova helped Magda deliver the twins, and later was left alone with them when the woman preferred to commit suicide rather than to let Erik find her again along with the children. Bova thought it wasn’t right to raise two quicksilvercomics1human children among the evolved animals of Wundagore, and tried to give them to two former superheroes, Whizzer and Miss America, who were seeking refuge in Transia as well. Miss America, however, died of childbirth, and Whizzer lost his mind and fled. Bova resolved to bring the children to the High Evolutionary himself, and he agreed to find foster parents for them: he found a couple of gypsies, Django and Marya Maximoff, who had lost their baby twins Mateo and Ana during World War II. The Maximoffs accepted the children, and raised them as they were their own. Wanda and Pietro grew up as normal children until, during adolescence, they started manifesting superhuman powers. When a raging crowd attacked their gypsy camp, fear activated Pietro’s superspeed, and he grabbed his sister and ran miles away from home without even realizing it. With no knowledge of what had happened, Pietro and Wanda started living on the streets of Central Europe, trying to survive with what they found day by day.

When Wanda accidentally burnt a house with her powers, a crowd of scared and violent citizens was about to kill them both, but quicksilvercomics2Magneto intervened to save them, without knowing they were his children: he only saw two mutant peers about to be killed by humans. Grateful for the saving, Pietro and Wanda followed Magneto to the US, and entered his Brotherhood as Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, helping him in his terrorist acts and in his battles against the X-Men. Neither Pietro or Wanda knew Magneto was their natural father, and they obeyed him only out of gratitude, and fear for a possible retaliation if they didn’t. When Magneto was defeated by the Stranger and exiled from Earth, the twins found their perfect opportunity, and left the Brotherhood, coming back to Transia. They soon found themselves as fugitives for their past actions, and sought protection from the best known team of superheroes: the Avengers. It was the time in which most of the founding members had quit with the team, and Captain America was looking for new recruits. Quicksilver and Scarlet entered the team along with another former supervillain, Hawkeye. At first, this new formation (nicknamed Cap’s Kooky Quartet) proved to be much inferior to the previous one, especially because they lacked any idea of what working in a team meant. Especially, Pietro often clashed with Hawkeye, and the two often quarreled on which one of them would have succeeded to Cap’s leadership. Eventually, Captain American made a real team out of them, and also taught the mutant siblings how to use their powers without hurting other people (something that Magneto wasn’t interested in). Quicksilver became a helpful member of the Avengers, and was accepted by the public opinion and the superhero community despite sometimes joining the Brotherhood again. He also married Crystal, the Inhuman princess, thus strengthening not only his personal life, but also his public image.

Pietro Maximoff is a man used to act on his own, often rebellious and restless, sometimes even aggressive and insolent; his only, indubitable loyalty is towards his sister Wanda, the only other person he really cares for, apart from his daughter Luna. As Quicksilver, he is easily one of the fastest beings on the planet: his superspeed not only allows him to run faster than sound, but also to vibrate his molecular structure so that he can destabilize and destroy any other object he touches, and even to travel through time increasing his speed. His body has adapted to his powers, so he possesses superhuman durability and stamina (so that he can resist his own abilities), possesses cardiovascular and respiratory systems more efficient than normal humans, and also possesses some degrees of superhuman strength, at least in his lower body. Despite being quite impulsive and reckless, he’s also able to think super-fast, something that usually protects him against telepaths. A powerful mutant and a loyal brother, Quicksilver’s is an erratic and unpredictable man, whose past far too often influences his choices.

Brock Rumlow (Crossbones)

crossbonesfilmIn last pics from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we get a better look to a character already seen in the first trailer (ok, I missed him): arguably one of the movie’s villains, here’s Crossbones, portrayed by Frank Grillo. In the movie, he’ll be introduced as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Brock Rumlow, a highly trained operative who backups Captain America during his missions. From ally he’ll become foe through unknown means, turning up one of Cap’s most lethal enemies ever (apparently, all S.H.I.E.L.D. will be in crisis, divided between a good faction at Nick Fury‘s orders and a bad one acting under Alexander Pierce… it’s likely Rumlow will work for the latter). Now, let’s see together who one of the most lethal assassins in the Marvel Universe is in the comics.

Little is known about Crossbones’ past. Before becoming an assassin and a mercenary, Brock Rumlow lived in New York City, where he acted as a small time criminal, leader of a gang named Savage Crims. One day, a fifteen years old girl named Rachel Leighton (the future heroine known as Diamondback) went to the Crims’ hideout to become part of the gang, but Rumlow savagely beat and raped her. Her older brothers Willy (on a wheelchair) and Danny attacked Brock to avenge their sister, but Rumlow easily killed the disabled Willy, and defeated the other, who left the city on shame and later became the mercenary CutthroatRicky Leighton, the third brother, tried to avenge crossbonescomics1Willy, but Rumlow killed him too. Now charged with rape and murder, Rumlow had to flee, and went on the run. In the criminal underworld, Rumlow used his natural gift for violence to make himself noticed; he then met the mercenary Taskmaster, and joined his school for criminals. In just two years, the man now called Bingo Brock had become Taskmaster’s best student, and soon one of the teachers. With the fame coming from his new role, Rumlow entered in contact with the legendary Red Skull (actually the impostor Albert Malik) and, fascinated by his personality, entered his service as a mercenary.

With the codename Frag, Rumlow proved to be an extremely skilled agent for the Skull, and his devotion towards him became absolute. Malik decided to make a use of his new agents, and assigned Frag and his team a very delicate mission: to attack and destroy a fortress in Switzerland belonging to Nazi scientist Arnim Zola. Rumlow and the others were surely up to a normal task, but Zola’s defenses were far too thick, and a living blob proved to be the last drop. crossbonescomics2Every mercenary but Rumlow got killed, and Brock himself was brought in front of Zola. Here, he met the real Red Skull, Johann Schmidt, but, without realizing who he was, Rumlow claimed his eternal allegiance the Skull. Intrigued, and eager to test his new cloned body, Schmidt challenged the mercenary. Weakened and exhausted, Rumlow was easily defeated, but the Skull saw the evil in his heart, and decided to keep him alive. He revealed himself as the one and true Red Skull, and offered Rumlow to enter his service, an opportunity the mercenary didn’t let go. Schmidt completed Rumlow’s training, and then gave him the alias Crossbones. The new Skull’s agent successfully completed his first mission (to retrieve the five Bloodstone fragments from Baron Zemo, fighting Captain America, Diamondback and John Jameson in the meantime), and was elected field leader of the Skeleton Crew, an organization led by the Red Skull himself. With Crossbones, Captain America had just met one of his most persistent and dangerous foes of all times.

Brock Rumlow is a ruthless and violent man, used to the worst kinds of deeds since his very adolescence. As Crossbones, his physical conditions are at a peek state, with a remarkable strength, speed, durability and stamina capable of rivaling also Captain America’s ones. Trained by the best mercenary around, Taskmaster, Rumlow is also an extremely proficient hand-to-hand combatant, a nearly-infallible marksman, an excellent pilot, a subtle strategist and tactician, an expert in torture, and a sadistic brainwasher. Lethal with any kind of weapon, unpredictable, cruel and fierce, Crossbones is one of the world’s deadliest and most dangerous men.