Gary London

Gary UnwinTime for the last comics character appeared in Kingsman: The Secret Service. The best for last, so today we’re seeing the protagonist (one of the two) in both the movie and the comics series. Of this character, only the first name remained, as well as his story of street kid turned super spy; all the rest has been pretty much changed. First of all, Taron Egerton will not portray Gary London as in the comics, but Gary Unwin, a street-smart boy nicknamed Eggsy who will become a spy for the Kingsmen, a super-secret service who monitors pretty much the entire globe. He won’t be the unaware nephew of a spy, nor he’ll be as violent as the comic version (well, every work from Mark Millar has been censored more or less on screen). Anyway, before meeting this new Gary, let’s see together who the old one is.

Born and raised in the glorious England, Gary London grew up with his mother only, since his father was nowhere to be seen. The only father figure he knew during his childhood was his father’s brother, Uncle Jack, but he was often out traveling the world for work (he was an employee in the Fraud Office), so the boy was left pretty much to his own devices. Predictably enough, the smart yet undisciplined Gary soon became a street kid, trying to prove his garylondoncomics1worth with petty crimes and stupid capers he tried to impress his friends with. When he became a teenager, unavoidably things got worse for him, until the time he got in serious trouble: he stole a car, and during a race escaping from the cops, he smashed it against a hydrant. Gary London was arrested and imprisoned, but unexpectedly he was released soon after: Uncle Jack, under Gary’s mother request, had used his credentials to bail him out of jail. Gary was invited by Jack to a serious man-to-man talk, and in a pub his uncle revealed to him that he had been lying to his family all this time, pretending to work in the Fraud Officer: he was actually a spy from MI6, working every day for saving the world from behind the curtains. When Gary asked Jack why he was telling him all that after all those years, his uncle told him that he didn’t want to see his nephew, one of the most intelligent persons he had ever met, to waste his life in a future without perspective, and that he was actually offering him a job in the secret service. With nothing to lose, Gary decided to accept Jack’s offer, and also agreed on keeping the thing secret from his mom. He followed Jack to the MI6 training facility, where he was introduced to veteran agent and drill instructor Rupert Greaves, the man who would have taught how to become a professional spy. Gary London spent three years training with some other recruits, and he finally managed to prove his worth by breaking many records during both tactical and physical training. Finally, Sir Giles (the head of the MI6) decided it was time to put the newcomers to the test, and ordered Greaves to examine them.

As a first assignment, Gary was ordered to kill some street thugs, along with a fellow recruit: not only he accomplished the mission without any particular effort, but he even managed to save his teammate’s life in the process. The second test proved to be tougher for Gary: the recruits were sent to a nightclub to prove their abilities in seduction and persuasion, using women as test subjects. Everyone arrived in fancy suits, everyone but Gary, who presented himself dressed in pretty casual clothes. The test went pretty bad for Gary, as he was the only one who didn’t succeed in seducing a woman in the club; even more, he overheard his fellow recruits speaking about him via the transmitting pens they had been given: they were mocking him because of his social background, his criminal garylondoncomics2record, even his accent, and they agreed on the fact that he would have never made it to a field agent. Frustrated and enraged, Gary left the nightclub and stole Uncle Jack’s car (the spy one, with all the gadgets). He drove to his former neighborhood and collected his old friends, and together they started running through the city. Soon police was on their trails, wanting to stop them for violating the trafic laws: Gary wanted to throw some oil at them, but missed the right button and shot a missile to a nearby building. At that point, he finally stopped, only to be contacted by Jack once again. He told him everything, and his uncle told him spies were meant to save the world not for glory nor fame, but because it was the right thing, prompting him to ignore his companions. He offered him a last chance, and Gary came back to training…only to be tranquilized and transported to Colombia, where he would have had to come back to England in twelve hours, after recollecting his passport and flying ticket hidden in a drug lord’s mansion. For Gary, that was an all-in: either he would have succeeded in the last exam and become a spy, or he would have lost it all (possibly, life included). Gary didn’t lose his spirit: he stole clothes and weapons from a local policeman, infiltrated the criminal’s mansion, killed all the guards, abducted the drug lord and used his private jet to come back to England, all in perfect timing. Finally, Gary London had become the spy his uncle had wished him to be.

Gary London is essentially a kid eager to prove to the world (and to himself) that he’s worth something, and he’s ready to do anything, even the most stupid things he can think of, to prove it. Extremely smart and intuitively intelligent, Gary is able to muddle through nearly any kind of situation, compensating with his inventiveness the lack of experience. As a trained MI6 spy, Gary is an expert hand-to-hand combatant, a proficient user of firearms and a brilliant tactician; he has at disposal a nearly unlimited variety of lethal gadgets, and even a bunch of non-lethal ones, plus some fancy car with a ton of hidden weapons. Gary London has finally achieve a dream for many people: he travels the world, seduces beautiful women, meets interesting people…and kills them for the sake of England.

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James Arnold

James ArnoldSecond character from Kingsman: The Secret Service who actually comes from the comics, this time we have the main villain at hand: Professor James Arnold, portrayed by Mark Hamill. Yes, Mark Hamill. Pretty cool. Even more, pretty ironic, considering that in the comics Mark Hamill is one of the first celebrities kidnapped by Professor Arnold (and the only one to meet his demise during his rescue attempt, sadly). In the comics, he’s portrayed like a classic James Bond villain, and it seems that the movie has changed more or less everything about it, since the big baddie will be the original Valentine, while Arnold’s role remains uncertain (he’s seen tied, beaten and interrogated by the protagonist Harry Hart, so he shouldn’t be a good guy anyway). Waiting to see what they’ve done of Professor Arnold, let’s see who he is in the comics.

James Arnold was born with a keen mind, a bright intelligence, and a boundless ambition. Pursuing professional studies he became a skilled scientist and a brilliant inventor, and used his skills to found an enterprise specialised in telecommunications; with the years, he would have converted it into one of the most important (and remunerative) cellphone enterprises in the world, a succesfull business that made Arnold become the 127th richest man in the jamesarnoldcomics1world. Behind the public face of an accomplished enterpreneur and a prominent businessman, however, there was something darker: Arnold’s great intelligence turned into paranoia, since his calculations demonstrated that the world population was increasing far too rapidly for the planet to sustain it. Years passed, and people’s number didn’t decrease, quite the opposite, and James Arnold convinced himself (actually with some believable basis) that humanity as a race would have faced extinction in a couple decades if nothing was done to contain its growing number. Self-entrusted with a sacred mission of saving the human race, Arnold started working to a plan to eradicate the “overpopulation disease”: he decided he would have wiped out most of the world population, saving only the best individuals chosen directly by him (most of them ended up being celebrities he admired). With every cellphone he produced, Arnold set up a piece to his mass-murdering plan: in his phone, in fact, he inserted a hidden program that, when activated, would have messed with people minds so that they all killed each other. Arnold would have just watched as humanity destroyed itself.

In order to better fulfill his plan, and to have a decent place to start from when it would have been the time to create a brand new world, Arnold bought a considerable amount of land on the Swiss Alps: inside the mountain, he built his personal Eden, Olympus, a place in which he would have preserved the worthy from the upcoming destruction. jamesarnoldcomics2He hired some mercenaries to kidnap the celebrities he wanted (he succesfully abducted Patrick StewartPierce BrosnanDavid Beckham and Mark Hamill, but the latter got killed when a spy from MI6 tried to save him, and many unidentified others) and to protect his project from the world’s secret services; he even bribed some spies inside the agencies, so that he could have had an agent from the inside to mislead the operations against him. Being a British citizen, the greatest threat to his plan was the MI6, so he recruited a man he called Gazelle, a rogue agent who became his right-hand man, and paid a veteran agent and training facility officer Rupert Greaves to sabotage the instruction of the new recruits and the missions aimed to stop him. Arnold could now dedicate most of his time to the fulfillment of his plan, a majestic project he shared with some other “enlightened” minds who could see he was actually saving mankind (among these, there was also his considerably younger and unfaithful girlfriend, Ambrosia Chase, whom he spoiled with endless sums of money for her shopping and travels). Finally, time for the enactment was near, and Arnold was ready for the first test: he used the frequence on a group wedding ceremony in Hawaii, and it worked out just perfectly. Grooms and brides started killing each other with their bare hands and with whatever they found at hand, until only a confused and shocked bride remained alive. With the proof that his device worked, James Arnold was ready to save mankind…he had only to collect some more “worthy”. First target: director Ridley Scott, who was at the time in Cannes.

Professor James Arnold is a brilliant yet deranged man, whose great intellect has brought him to a patological narcissism and to an apocalyptic paranoia. Arnold believes humanity is doomed, so he’s collecting “worthy people” (just celebs and stars he likes, actually) to create a new humanity from the ashes of the first one…and of course, he’s the one who’s going to destroy the previous. James Arnold has quite an omnipotence complex, and thinks of himself as a god among men (it’s not by chance that his lair is called Olympus), and his scientific mind has deteriorated to the point he only considers numbers, without regard of individual life at all. The image of the mad scientist, Arnold will not stop in front of anything…after all, he’s the good guy who’s saving the world.

Gazelle

GazelleThere’s been an upcoming movie I’ve been completely ignoring so far, mostly because I didn’t follow its production notes: Kingsman: The Secret Service, based on Marvel – Icon‘s series The Secret Service. Regarding the movie, it seems Matthew Vaughn changed most of the story from the comics, and almost every original character has been cut off…well, almost: three of them are still there, and today we’ll meet the first one. In the movie, the big baddie will have quite a hench(wo)man in Gazelle, portrayed by Sofia Boutella. She’ll be a lethal assassin with bionic legs, and she’ll battle the Kingsman organization on a more physical level. Despite the name is the same, the character appears to be very different from her comics origin: no, it’s not because of the legs, and not even because of the ethnic group (not entirely, at least). The biggest difference is gender. Let’s see together who the male Gazelle is in the comics.

Very little is known about Gazelle’s early life, not even his true name. He studied as a military, and became a top class combatant, an expert in many different kinds of martial arts and in the use of several weapons, both blades and firearms, as well as explosives. His impressive skills didn’t go unnoticed, and soon the man who would have become known as Gazelle was recruited by the MI6 to serve as a proud agent for Her Majesty and the British gazellecomics1Government. The man went through an intensive training that even increased his already remarkable abilities, and he became one of the top secret agents, specialised in assassinations and well-grounded on every technique taught at the agency. It was during one of his missions that an unspecified on-field accident caused the agent to lose both of his legs: needing to cover their tracks, the MI6 abandoned him on the extraction point, leaving him for dead, but he somehow managed to survive, and to escape a certain-death situation. Broken, wounded and without a purpose anymore, the former agent didn’t know what to do with his life until a skilled (yet mad) scientist, Dr. James Arnold, contacted him. Arnold told him that he was about to start an important project, and that he needed men of his ability to accomplish it. In exchange for his services, apart from a remarkable sum of money, Arnold would have built for him a brand new pair of legs, the best of the best in prosthetics. With nothing to lose, and everything to gain, the man accepted Arnold’s offer.

Arnold delivered the legs as promised, and from that moment the man received the nickname “Gazelle” (he often complained to his boss for this habit of him to give nicknames based on someone’s deficiency, such as he did with a gazellecomics2one-eyed agent of his he called Cyclops, but his remarks went mostly unlistened). It took little time to a man like him to gain mastership over his new limbs, and soon Gazelle was ready to come back to active duty. Arnold’s tasks for him were pretty varied: Gazelle, in fact, acted both as his bodyguard and as his henchman, and thanks to his experience with the MI6 he was entrusted with the assignment of exposing possible infiltrated spies, as well as dealing with them. The task that required most of his time and attentions, however, was to control Ambrosia Chase, Arnold’s girlfriend, who had quite a habit of cheating on him: everytime she met another man, Gazelle had to follow her, to wait for her to finish, and to kill the unfortunate guy who was with her. After that, he had to bring Ambrosia back to Arnold. This was probably just a waste of Gazelle’s potentialities, but Arnold paid good money nevertheless, so he did what he was asked, and killed Ambrosia’s paramours one after the other with no remorse nor compassion. The neverending routine turned out to be different at a certain point: when Ambrosia seduced yet another man, Gazelle loyally followed her to her hotel room, than knocked to her door. When the man she was with looked in the spy-hole expecting to see the attendant with the champagne they had ordered, Gazelle shot him in the eye. The man he killed this time, however, wasn’t like everyone else: he was Jack London, MI6’s best spy, and by the way a man on Arnold’s trails. Gazelle had unexpectedly killed a major adversary with no effort at all, but the answer from the rest of MI6 was soon to be heard…

Gazelle is a cold and calculating man, a perfect match of brain and brawn. He’s an expert spy, able to recognize and identify any single trick used by his former colleagues from MI6 or any other secret service, and this makes him nearly unbeatable for an unprepared spy, who’ll see each and every one of his tricks countered even before using them. Despite the loss of his legs, Gazelle is still a formidable athlete and combatant, able to use virtually any weapon and to master several martial arts. Unscrupulous and without morality, Gazelle brings back to the British services the best of the assassination techniques they themselves teach.

Invunche

InvuncheI almost forgot about the mid-season finale of Constantine, another pretty entertaining episode. In The Saint of Last Resorts, we see our truly John Constantine investigate on the disappearance of a newborn baby, called in by his (ex) friend Anne Marie Flynn. It turns out that the child has been kidnapped by one of Eve‘s damned sisters, Lamashtu, who’s working for the ancient (and wrongly believed extinct) group Brujería. Just when John defeated the evil vampiress, an unexpected threat appears: it’s the Invunche, a twisted demon drawn by Zed at the beginning of the episode, believed to have disappeared from the world at Noah‘s times but pretty alive and well. The Invunche is announced by a baby’s cry, and that’s a reference to his comics’ origin; he’s said to be unstoppable and undefeatable, and that’s bad news for our hero, judging from the situation we left him in: in the comics, John’s saved by a friend who doesn’t (yet?) exist in the tv series, so it’ll be funny to see how he gets through this. Anyway, let’s see together who the Invunche is.

Hard to believe, the demonic Invunche was once a human being, a baby of no more than six months old. The baby was kidnapped by the Brujería, an ancient covenant of male witches, brutal and ruthless mages whose aim was to destroy Heaven itself. The brujos (the members of the Brujería) used a secret, dark ritual on the baby: they twisted invunchecomics1his arms, legs, hands and feet, and they broke his neck with a complete turnaround. Then, they casted powerful spells to give the dead baby demonic life, and they transformed him into the devious and lethal Invunche, the Guardian of the Cave, their personal bodyguard as well as their unstoppable killer. The Invunche was a demon acting only on the Brujería’s orders, and his main task was to protect the Council of the Cave, the highest ranking members of the order who lived in Chilóe, in South America. From time to time, the Invunche was also sent to kill the ones who meant to harm the Brujería: thanks to his nearly unlimited powers, the creature could also cross great distances to eliminate his target, thus acting preemptively to protect his masters. When the Council of the Cave started to put into action their ultimate plan to destroy Heaven, they found almost nobody aware of what they were doing and eager to stop them: among these few there was John Constantine, an outcast mage, who had allied himself with the powerful Swamp Thing, avatar of the Green (the embodiment of all plant life), and who had called back in action his old fellow mages from the Newcastle Crew. Eager to stop his countermoves, the Brujería sent the Invunche to kill Constantine’s allies.

First on the list was Emma, Constantine’s ex-girlfriend: following a presentiment, Emma was painting a disfigured man with his right hand inserted into his back and his head looking backwards. The Invunche materialized from the painting, and scared the woman to death: in order to escape to him, Emma threw herself from a window, meeting her end. After that, the Invunche traveled to London, in the subway: here, Sister Anne-Marie got off the train at the wrong station, and was waiting for the next one. The Invunche approached her, ripped her cross from her neck, invunchecomics2and slaughtered the elderly woman. Constantine understood what was happening, and traveled with Swamp Thing and two others from the Crew, Frank North and Judith, to Chile for a direct confrontation. Unfortunately, scared by what had happened to Emma and Anne-Marie, Judith betrayed her friends, killed Frank and joined forces with the Brujería. The Invunche, meanwhile, destroyed every plant inside or near the entrance of the Council’s cave, so that the Swamp Thing had no access to his masters; then, he ambushed Constantine in the swamp, effortlessly overpowering him. Following his orders, the Invunche brought Constantine to the Council, where the elder mages wanted to meet their adversary face to face before killing him. Judith revealed her betrayal, and told her old friend she preferred to become a Voladoras (a bird-woman servant to the Brujos) rather than to oppose the evil mages. During the ritual to transform Judith, however, the Brujos used a magic root, and that was enough Green to allow the Swamp Thing in: in order to protect themselves, the Brujos ordered the Invunche to stop the plant monster, but Swamp Thing proved to be a tough adversary, harder to bring down than his usual victims. The two monsters faught to a stalemate, until the Brujos got killed: in that moment, the Invunche lost his powers and disappeared in thin air, with no masters to serve anymore.

The Invunche is a living blasphemy, pure innocence turned a tool for pure evil, a parody of a human being created to offend God‘s creation. The Invunche is relentless, invulnerable, unstoppable, he’s impervious to any kind of spell or physical arm, he can be slowed down but he can’t be killed; he’s able to travel between dimensions, through space and time, and kills with no remorse nor hesitation. The Invunche is a demon made only for destroying the Brujería’s enemies, and as long as his masters live, he exists to serve them.

Daisy Louise Johnson (Quake)

Daisy JohnsonThis is it, we finally know who Skye is. From the very beinning of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the origins of Chloe Bennet‘s character have been shrouded in mystery, with some hints dropping from time to time. Finally, in What They Become, the authors tell us who Skye is: she’s Daisy Johnson, daughter of Calvin Zabo. In the show, she’s the daughter of an Inhuman woman kidnapped by Daniel Whitehall to be experimented on; the baby was entrusted to some people in a Chinese village when her father set off to track his wife, only to find her murdered, and the baby was taken away by S.H.I.E.L.D. after an unknown force destroyed the village. She grew up in an orphanage, then she became the hacker known as Skye…and this is when Phil Coulson finds her and recruits her. In the last episode, she got exposed to the Terrigen Mist, enveloping herself in a cocoon and resurfacing from it with brand new powers, equal to her comics’ counterpart. Her origins are pretty different, since her parents’ story is pretty different. Anyway, let’s see together.

Back on the days Calvin Zabo, the supervillain known as Mister Hyde, had a regular affair with prostitute Kim Johnson; at a certain point, Kim got pregnant, and when the baby was born, she decided to giver her up for adoption. At seven months old, Daisy Johnson was adopted by Gregory and Janet Sutter, who named her Cory. Cory Sutter grew up without knowing anything about her true parentage, and her adoptive parents didn’t even tell her she quakecomics1had been adopted. She grew up in New Orleans as a perfectly normal girl, although with a higher than average I.Q. and a rebel attitude. At seventeen years old, she felt school had nothing to teach her anymore, and she started slacking around instead of attending classes. One day, she stole a couple of CDs, just for trying, but she got caught: while the record store guard was scolding her, Cory got nervous, and she lost control of her body, manifesting her powers for the first time in her life. The girl unwillingly caused an earthquake, 3.2 on the Richter Scale. Scared first of all by herself, Cory was taken in by a “special police”, actually S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, who brought her to a facility in Portland, Oregon. This was the first time the girl met Nick Fury, the executive director of S.H.I.E.L.D.: he told her about her true parentage, and offered her to become a special agent for S.H.I.E.L.D.; Fury would have taught her how to properly use her powers, training her so that she would have never hurt anyone else (at least not unwillingly…), while she would have repaid him with her loyalty. Alone, confused and emotionally unstable, Cory (whose real name was revealed to be Daisy Louise Johnson) accepted Fury’s offer, and she began her training.

First of all, S.H.I.E.L.D. ran some tests on the girl, and found out her powers weren’t caused by the mutant gene as they first believed, but by Mister Hyde’s modified genome, that had passed on to his daughter. Fury personally supervised her training, and was really impressed when the girl showed quite a natural aptitude for being a field agent and a spy, showing impressive skills especially in the black ops training. In no time, Daisy got top of her class, widely repaying Fury’s trust towards her potentialities. She grew fiercely loyal to Fury, whom she saw as the one who had saved her from herself, and when she ended the academy she got a Level 10 security clearance, the highest
quakecomics2on the planet (only Fury himself and the Black Widow had it), at only eighteen years old. Daisy’s first on-field mission was one Fury was carrying on secretly from the S.H.I.E.L.D. directorate: he had gathered a small team of superheroes to pre-emptively attack Latveria, where Doctor Doom‘s successor Lucia Von Bardas was selling advanced technology to supervillains. During the operation, Fury ordered Daisy to destroy Von Bardas’ castle: she razed it with her powers, apparently killing the Prime Minister Von Bardas in the process. When the rest of the team got uneasy at the idea of Fury using a “kid” to kill, he erased everyone’s memory, with the only ecception of Daisy and Black Widow. Unfortunately Von Bardas survived, and one year later she attacked the United States with an army of super-armored villains. Daisy participated to the battle, during which the bad guys got defeated, but Fury lost his position as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. because of his actions. Interrogated by new director Maria Hill, agent Johnson proved to be still loyal to Fury, so that Hill took her off active duty. Daisy, however, was still in radio contact with Nick Fury, and kept working for him in secret. She resurfaced some time later, helping the Avengers by single-handedly defeating the powerful Magneto: in this occasion, she adopted the moniker Quake, and entered the team…always working in secret for Nick Fury.

Daisy Johnson is still a mysterious figure: sometimes cheerful and easy-going, other times cold-minded and focused on her target only, she is a war machine molded by Nick Fury as his “secret eye”. Extremely skilled in espionage and in physical combat, Daisy also inherited her father’s state of superhuman: as Quake, she’s capable of creating seismic waves, which she can perfectly control thanks to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s training; she can cause huge earthquakes able to destroy entire cities, or to generate extremely localised vibrations of different intensities (she was able to destroy Wolverine‘s heart without rupturing his chest, or to make Magneto lose consciousness inducing a vibration in his brain). One of the best S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives, Quake is fiercely loyal to Nick Fury, and will follow him wherever he goes, being them legal or not-so-legal paths.

Calvin Zabo (Mister Hyde)

Calvin ZaboThis week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been quite a breath-taking mid-season finale. We didn’t meet any new character in What They Become (apart from a mysterious, still unnamed guy at the very end), but two of the old ones finally got a name…and both of them are pretty familiar. Let’s start with the bad guy (not so bad, actually, just a little bit crazy): for the entire season, the mysterious Doctor portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan has been after Phil Coulson‘s team, with the only intention of reuniting with his long-lost daughter, Skye. He’s been portrayed as a little bit bipolar, sometimes cool-minded and reflexive, others driven by pure rage…and in this cases he even showed superhuman strength, enough to kill two Hydra agents with a briefcase or to lift Coulson with a single hand. Well, now everything fits, since his name is revealed to be Calvin Zabo, a pretty well-established character in the comics. Let’s see together.

Born and raised in TrentonNew Jersey, Calvin Zabo became a brilliant and skilled medical researcher, specialized in hormones. He was fascinated by the effect that hormones had on both human mind and body, and wanted to experiment them to their full potentiality; since he was a child, he loved Robert Louis Stevenson‘s masterpiece The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and was intrigued by the idea behind it. Instead of wanting to free himself from the worst part of his soul like Jekyll in the book, however, Zabo wanted to bring out the worst, possibly in a superhuman hormone-powered form, so that he could have become rich easily and fast. mrhydecomics1Employed by many hospitals and companies, Zabo systematically robbed each employer, financing his secret research; smart and deceiving, he never left clues, and nobody was able to link him to the robberies, but he got a bad reputation in the researchers’ community nevertheless (it couldn’t be just by chance that every firm employing him got robbed…). The first one denying him a job in his hospital was Dr. Donald Blake, who Zabo swore revenge to…despite he did want to rob his hospital. Eventually, Zabo managed to complete his research, and to synthesize a compound he named Hyde Formula: upon drinking it, Zabo turned into a huge humanoid, with vast superhuman strength and durability; his skin didn’t follow the sudden growth of bones and muscles, so Zabo’s face was constantly frozen in a grimace, and even his firgerprints got deformed. As a personal homage to Stevenson, Calvin Zabo named this new form of his Mister Hyde, not exactly an embodiment of Zabo’s soul’s worst part, rather a pretext for him to do everything he had always wanted to but lacked the power to do it. As Mister Hyde, there was nothing Calvin Zabo couldn’t accomplish.

First of all, Mister Hyde seeked vengeance on Donald Blake: he reached him in his hospital, and effortlessy threw him out of a window; the doctor, however, transformed into Thor and saved himself (with Thor later declaring he had saved Blake: his identity was still a secret at the time). Enraged, Mister Hyde targeted Thor instead: he framed him by robbing a bank disguised as the hero, using his superhuman strength to mimic Thor’s one. Then, he kidnapped Don Blake and Jane Foster, using them as hostages to defend himself from the God of Thunder and tying them close to a bomb only he could defuse. Hyde was later confronted by the hero when he tried to steal a mrhydecomics2nuclear submarine and to sail at sea as a pirate: during the fight, Thor proved his innocence for the bank robbery and had all the accusations fall on to Zabo, but he wasn’t able to capture him, since Jane had hidden Mjolnir believing that, if Thor had captured Mister Hyde, the latter would have not defused the bomb still threatening Blake’s life (pretty ironic, actually). His grudge against Thor attracted the attention of Loki, who contacted both him and another criminal, Cobra: he doubled their power, and told them where Thor’s girlfriend, Jane Foster, was, in order to get revenge on the God of Thunder. During the following fight, Jane got almost killed in an eplosion, but eventually Thor defeated both Hyde and Cobra. Sick and tired of getting his butt kicked by Thor, Mister Hyde decided to let him be…unfortunately, when he and Cobra managed to escape from prison they got defeated by yet another superhero, Daredevil, and Hyde developed a grudge against him as well. He teamed up with Cobra and Jester to fight Daredevil, and when Hyde got defeated by Captain America and Falcon, he teamed up with Viper to get revenge on them as well. The Hyde Formula had gotten the better of Zabo: his great intelligence got duller and duller, and he had become a creature driven purely by impulses, being greed or thirst for revenge.

Calvin Zabo is an intelligent yet amoral man, a brilliant medical researcher who uses his skills only for his personal interest. Greedy and mean, Zabo wastes his great talent with petty crimes, unable to give thought to someone else but himself. As Mister Hyde, he possesses great superhuman strength, stamina and durability, and with the perfectioning of the Hyde Formula he managed to further increase them; he also possesses a limited healing factor that allows him to heal even from mortal wounds quickly. Zabo has to assume his formula regularly to remain Hyde, so he built a wrist-mounted mechanism that inject the formula directly into his bloodstream, so that he can transform at will. Unfortunately, when he’s Mister Hyde Calvin Zabo loses his intelligence, and reverts to a savage brute who acts following basic instinct, with an obsession with personal property and with revenge. Even at such a price, however, Zabo has no hesitation in turning into his monstrous alter-ego…

Tina McGee

Tina McGeeMid-season finale for The Flash, and quite a tasty one. In The Man in the Yellow Suit we finally meet the series’ big baddie, previously glimpsed only in flashbacks, and we also have a high standing guest star. When Barry Allen and Harrison Wells try to lure the man-in-yellow out, they ask for the help of Tina McGee, a scientist from the rival Mercury Labs portrayed by Amanda Pays. Unfortunately, Tina seems to have quite a grudge against Wells and his S.T.A.R. Labs, as many others do… Anyway, this is a pretty nice appearance, since Amanda Pays was the lead female role in the 1990s The Flash tv series…and she portrayed Tina McGee! In this (younger) version she was always a scientist, but from S.T.A.R. Labs, and she was assigned to help Barry Allen deal with his new powers; she was the one who tailored him the costume for becoming The Flash, and she also became his love interest during the series. In the comics, Tina is the love interest of The Flash, but not of the Barry Allen version. Let’s see together.

First time we meet Tina, she was a brilliant college student, with quite some revolutionary ideas on nutritionism. During her studies she met Jerry McGee, another student who had a crush on her: he pretended to speak French just to impress her, with the only result of annoying her, but eventually Tina started to like him, and the two started a relationship. Young and in love, Tina and Jerry maybe rushed a little bit, and they got married even before finishing tinamcgeecomics1
college. At first, their marriage was happy and sunny, but Jerry’s experimentation with steroids brought him to a total change of personality: he became aggressive and nervous, always yelling out at Tina. Since she couldn’t stand this situation anymore, Tina separated from her husband, giving him time to come back to the one he was before but going on with her life. She graduated and became a famous nutritionist; she started working at Syracuse University, where her researches got her the attention of many important scientific experts. On a grant from Harvard University, she was chosen to be sent to S.T.A.R. Labs in Salt Lake City for a very peculiar research: she had to study The Flash’s metabolism, to understand how it worked and if the collected datas could be used for further researches. She started working with the third Flash, Wally West, and spent most of her time with him. Despite she was twelve years older than him, and obviously despite she was married to Jerry and Wally was dating a girl named Frances Kane, the two fell in love and began an affair. For both Tina and Wally, it seemed that their relation wasn’t meant to be anything serious, just a break from their daily lives, but eventually it grew to become something more for both of them…with all the consequences this brought along.

Tina became more and more an important part in Wally’s life, and even helped him and Cyborg to defeat the supervillain Kilg%re using the Teen Titans‘ satellite. It was after this adventure that Wally decided he wanted his relation with Tina to raise in level, and asked her to go to live with him in New York City…but she was still married to Jerry. She went to her separated husband, and asked him about divorce…and Jerry’s reaction convinced her to accept Wally’s offer: he punched her, demonstrating once and for all that he hadn’t changed a bit from his tinamcgeecomics2aggressiveness and violent attitude. Tina, however, entered in quite a chrisis, since she didn’t want to lose her husband nor Wally; she decided to stay with Wally, but she also kept taking care of Jerry, who had become the villainous Speed Demon and had ended up in a coma (she even went to Siberia with Flash to ask for the help of Pytor Orloff, a bio-geneticist who could have had a cure for her husband’s situation). Eventually, Tina moved to Middle Hampton at Wally’s place, but this only brought to other problems: Wally in fact was living with his mother, Mary, a possessive and nagging woman who Tina couldn’t simply get along with. Tina tried to convince Wally to move away from his mother, or to have her move somewhere else, but he never did, and this continuous tension between the two women deteriorated Tina’s and Wally’s relation. Eventually, Tina started visiting her comatose husband more and more often, and when he started to recover, the two came back together for good: Tina broke up with Wally, and moved with Jerry to California, starting to work for the Pacific Institute. Tina, however, still cooperated with S.T.A.R. Labs from time to time, and this made her cooperation with Wally West far from over…

Tina McGee is a brilliant scientist and a skilled nutritionist, one of the best in her field of expertise. The successes in her professional life don’t mirror her personal life, since she’s an emotionally insecure and indecisive woman, who rarely knows what she wants and seldomly takes decisions, fearing to lose the ones around her by acting a way or the other. A promising researcher with a messy private life, Tina McGee constantly struggles to keep a long lost balance with her feelings.