Jake Simmons (Deathbolt)

DeathboltThis seems to be the week of unknown DC villains: in the next episode of Arrow we’ll in fact meet another bad guy who’s not exactly a notorious one. In Broken Arrow, the titular hero will finally face his first metahuman in the person of Jake Simmons, portrayed by Doug Jones, a criminal able to emit bolts of plasma. From what we’ve seen in the preview, Green Arrow will not be the only one struggling against the supervillain, as The Atom seems to be pretty much beaten-up (poor guy, he’s built a high-tech armor and the best he could so far has been getting his butt kicked by anyone). Waiting to see what Jones will do of the character, let’s take a look at the original one.

Not much is known about Jake Simmons’ life prior to his accident. He lived in New York City, but he wasn’t exactly what you’d call a good and law-abiding citizen. A renowned criminal, Simmons was constantly on the run from the police, and he collected charge over charge. One of his last crimes was a murder, and police decided they wouldn’t have let him go as easily as before: a real manhunt began, and Simmons found it impossible to go hiding for a while and then reappear as he had done before. He decided to leave the city, and while escaping from the police, he made it deathboltcomics1to the airport, where he stole a biplane and took advantage of an empty take-off route. Fate wasn’t on his side that night, and a massive rainstorm started during his escape. Simmons did his best to keep the plane stable, and managed to reach Arizona, but once again fate worked against him: a bolt of lightning hit his plane, making it crash over the Meteor Crater. Simmons barely survived the accident, but he was immediately found by a mad scientist who was hiding there: Gerard Shugel. Shugel had chosen a life of reclusion in order to focus on his experiments, and he had transferred his consciousness into the body of an albino gorilla becoming the monstrous Ultra-Humanite. As it is easily understandable, the fact that the Ultra-Humanite had chosen to save the survivor from the plane’s wreckage wasn’t exactly a sign of good will, and Jake Simmons became the new guinea pig for Gerard Shugel’s gruesome experiments.

In order to keep Simmons alive, the Ultra-Humanite connected the murderer’s body and brain to his machines, mantaining his organism vital with electricity. The mad scientist’s inventions, however, had an unforseen side effect: not only Simmons’ body became able to survive on its own, even disconnected from the machines, but it became deathboltcomics2even able to produce electricity by itself. Simmons had been transformed into some kind of human battery, a test subject that the mad scientist was simply eager to experiment on a little more. With Ultra-Humanite’s “guidance”, Simmons was able to learn how to control his new body, and he eventually mastered his electric powers, becoming a force to be reckoned with. When Ultra-Humanite decided to come back to his old plan of conquering the world, he made Simmons his accomplish and helper. The muderer-turned-lab rat was given a costume and a new identity, Deathbolt, and he became Ultra-Humanite’s right arm on the field, always ready to accomplish his master’s order and to fight his battles. Despite the mad scientist’s first and logest-running foe had been Superman (the one responsible for the destruction of his original body), the ones who now opposed the most Ultra-Humanite’s plans were the members of the All-Star Squadron, a super-team of wartime heroes, that obviously became Deathbolt’s primary target. After years of battles at his master’s side, it seemed Deathbolt got killed during a massive fight against the heroes, but he somehow survived, and he resurfaced years later, when he attacked the retired superhero Ted Knight, previously known as Starman. The old hero was saved by a descendant of his, Farris Knight, a time traveler who was the new Starman in the 83rd Century. Knight survived the encounter, but Deathbolt seemed to have come back to stay…

Jake Simmons is, originally, an amoral and greedy man, a murderous criminal with no regard at all for human life. His will and personality have been annihilated by Ultra-Humanite’s experiments, and he is now a slave to his master’s bidding, ready to follow him wherever he orders to, and to fight his enemies to the death. As Deathbolt, he’s able to store an incredible amount of electric energy, and to release it in powerful blasts of energy. Surely powerful, Deathbolt is however just a tool in Ultra-Humanite’s hands…

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