Joseph Cray

Senator CrayIn the last episode of Arrow there was still another character, the villain. In Suicidal TendenciesJohn Diggle‘s and Lyla Michaels‘s honey moon is abruptly interrupted (before it even begins…) by the usual A.R.G.U.S., that orders Lyla to leave on a mission to save Senator Joseph Cray, portrayed by Steve Culp, an important politician who’s been taken hostage in Kasnia by some terrorists. Problem is: the terrorists are actually mercenaries, and Cray doesn’t want to be saved, as he has paid the mercs to “kidnap” him so that he could play the hero of the situation and run to be President afterwards. This particular senator is not exactly a nice guy in the comics as well, and he’s tied to the same team of villains he fights against in the show, the Suicide Squad. Let’s see together.

Almost nothing is known about Joseph Cray’s early life. Greedy and hungry for power, Cray entered politics just to obtain personal influence and a remarkable amount of money. He paid enough people to build for himself a path to the top, and he became a US Senator. Thanks to a certain cleverness, Cray was able to make the right friendships in the right places, finding himself with a lot of influent allies who could have become pretty useful if the situation required it. When his mandate was about to end, Cray started a reelection campaign, but his opposition showed from the very senatorcraycomics1beginning that they would have most likely won: Cray would have lost his position due to the fact that he had never cared of anybody but himself while he was supposed to act as a politician. What he didn’t do for the people, however, he did for his precious friends, so when it became clear he wouldn’t have made it through conventional means, he decided it was the time he had some old debts repaid. One of his allies was Derek Tolliver, a member of the National Security Council who also happened to be the liaison to the Task Force X, a secret black ops squad composed of renowned criminals who got a pardon in exchange of the disponibility for taking care of government’s dirty work. Extreme times called for extreme measures, and Cray decided to use his connection with Tolliver, promising him appealing rewards in exchange of his help in his reelection. No sooner said than done: Tolliver used his own connection to talk to President Ronald Reagan in person, convincing him that Cray had to be reelected and getting his authorization to use the Task Force X (aka the Suicide Squad) to eliminate Cray’s opposition.

Of course, the Suicide Squad didn’t react well to pressures of any kind, and this was no ecception. Amanda Waller, the head of the team, directly confronted Tolliver, who threatened to expose the Squad’s existence to the public if they didn’t comply; when she couldn’t convince him to stop working for Cray, she used her connection with the Checkmate (a secret intelligence agency) to collect enough information to blackmail him in turn, so Tolliver gave up and Cray lost his precious ally. Even more, President Reagan summoned Cray, and ordered him to let the Suicide Squad be, and to give up to his ambition to be reelected. This wasn’t over, however: Rick Flag Jr., the field leader of the Suicide Squad, believed that the only way to be sure Cray and his associates couldn’t arm the team was to senatorcraycomics2eradicate the problem at its root. First, he killed Tolliver in his own office, thus alarming Cray. Waller, who had solved the problem already, sent the rest of the Suicide Squad after Flag, ordering the team to prevent him from killing Senator Cray with every mans necessary. Cray, in the meanwhile, had been found by Rick Flag right at the Lincoln Memorial: Flag held him at gunpoint, and revealed to him that Tolliver was dead already, and that he was going to kill him as well to protect his men. Cray tried to beg or to corrupt Flag, but clearly his efforts were in vain: when the man was about to shoot, however, another gunslinger appeared: Deadshot, the team’s sniper. Flag told Dadshot that he would have needed to kill him if he wanted to stop him, since it was too late to come back; in response, Deadshot shot and killed Senator Cray, thus preventing Flag from killing him “with all means necessary”. The Senator’s maneuvres were definitely over.

Joseph Cray is a treacherous and ambitious man, who knows how power works and how it can be achieved, and who’s ready to do everything he can to mantain his own. Cray has a lot of connections, and knows how to pull the right strings to obtain what he wants: unfortunately, he believes he’s the only one able to play this kind of game, and someone like Amanda Waller is more than eager to prove him wrong…

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1 Comment

  1. […] had started a mutually beneficial relationship with a US Senator, Joseph Cray, a corrupt politician who had assured a number of advantages to him in case of reelection. […]


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