Mitchell Carson

Mitchell CarsonLast one of the characters appearing in Ant-Man, a secondary antagonist this time: Mitchell Carson, portrayed by Martin Donovan. In the movie, Carson appears both in the flashbacks and in the present story: first he’s introduced as the Head of Defense for S.H.I.E.L.D. (and the one responsible for Hank Pym‘s dismissal from the agency), then he’s revealed to be a mole from HYDRA. In the present story, he works for Darren Cross to obtain for him Pym’s tech, and judging from his story line, this is not the last we’ve seen of him. Anyway, let’s see who he is in the comics!

Not much is known about Mitchell Carson’s early life, apart from the fact that he didn’t live exactly a normal and happy childhood. He apparently had some daddy issues, to the point that, at age fifteen, he ended up killing his own father, making it look like an accident. This (allegedly) traumatic event triggered something into Mitch’s personality, and he abandoned himself to a spiral of violence, but a clever one: he committed many homicides, but always managed to get away with it, and never been caught or even suspected for his crimes. His criminal record was so immaculate that he even managed to enter S.H.I.E.L.D., world’s greatest security agency, and managed to climb the ranks up to become a security officer. Carson’s true nature went mostly unnoticed by his superiors, while he enjoyedmitchcarsoncomics1 channeling his violence through “legit” ways, such as brutality towards S.H.I.E.L.D.’s prisoners. The first time Carson felt totally powerless was when Spider-Man, Captain AmericaX-23 and Black Widow captured an alternate-Earth version of Tony Stark, a techno-psychopath who went by the name Iron Maniac. The alternate Stark was placed into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, but he managed to adapt to the sedatives used on him and to reactivate his cellmate, a Life Model Decoy of former criminal Diamondback. The duo broke out of their cells, and vanquished all the resistance they found on their way, overpowering also Mitch Carson and his security team. Again, only the intervention of superheroes (the New Avengers) saved the day, while S.H.I.E.L.D. could do nothing but stand and watch. Mitch Carson was a man used to have control, and the sensation of being powerless was unbearable to him: that’s why he signed up for a dangerous experiment to select the one who would have become the new Ant-Man, the user of Hank Pym’s new suit after Scott Lang‘s demise.

Predictably enough, Carson turned out to be the one best qualified to become the new Ant-Man, and won the title. Just before he was given his new suit, however, a low-ranking officer, Chris McCarthy, decided to try it just to learn how it felt… unfortunately, that happened immediately before an attack from HYDRA. During the battle McCarthy was killed, and his best friend, another of Carson’s subordinates, stole it: it was Eric O’Grady, an agent lacking the basic morality, who wanted to use the suite for personal benefit. Enraged, Carson started a wild hunt to track down the suit and the man who had stole it from him, and his skills and experience paid out: he found the new Ant-Man effortlessly, but during their first battle he lost to his adversary, and he came back home with a face horribly disfigured by burns. This was more than enough to make “the dark Carson” emerge once again, and the mitchcarsoncomics2security agent ended up stealing an older Ant-Man suit and don it to hunt for the new one. Mitch had learnt who was the man behind the helmet, and it was easier now for him to track him down: confronting O’Grady, this time he was ready, and he easily cornered his enemy thanks to his superior skills and training. Carson defeated O’Grady, but instead of arresting him he preferred to have some fun with him, a payback for his burnt face: he brought him to an isolated place and started torturing him, in the meanwhile revealing to his prisoner some details from his past just to scare him even more. Mitch would have certainly killed Eric, but he didn’t know that the suit he had stolen had a position tracker: Iron Man had been sent to retrieve the suit, and he found Carson torturing O’Grady. The hero had no difficulty in arresting Carson, and charged him of attempted murder and theft of highly dangerous tech. Mitch Carson was brought back to S.H.I.E.L.D. and put in custody, but it would have been just a matter of time before he would have come back to claim what was his.

Mitch Carson is a violent and brutal man, who barely contains his darkest nature by channeling his instincts into a job that allows him to vent from time to time. As a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. officer, he’s extremely well trained in both armed and unarmed combat, and he has quite an expertise in the use of explosives and firearms, as well as in espionage and intelligence gathering. During the time he donned the Ant-Man suit, he was able to shrink to minimal size, to control ants, and to augment his physical strength along with density. With all the abilities of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and none of the morality, Carson is an extremely dangerous man, a wolf hiding among shepherd dogs, ready to bare his fangs.


Janet van Dyne (Wasp)

WaspIn the meanwhile, Ant-Man has been released (at least in the United States, I’ll have to wait another month), and another couple of characters have been seen in the movie. The first one is Janet van Dyne, portrayed by Hayley Lovitt (the pic is not best, but nothing else is at disposal right now). In the film, she’s Hank Pym‘s wife and Hope‘s mother: she worked with her husband for S.H.I.E.L.D., and she apparently sacrificed herself to accomplish a mission, an event that caused to Pym a deep depression and made him leave S.H.I.E.L.D. altogether. She only appears in flashbacks, but according to a recent interview with Kevin Feige, she may appear again sooner or later in present times. In the meantime, as usual, let’s see together who she is in the comics.

Janet van Dyne was the daughter of renowned scientist Vernon van Dyne, and she was the only heir of the remarkable fortune of her wealthy family. As a young girl, Janet lived as a flighty socialite, enjoying everything her family’s fortune could afford: she studied fashion design (inspired by Amelia van Dyne, some stylist great-grandmother), and she collected a number of boyfriends, among which there was also the adventurer Paladin. One day, while waiting for her father outside the Committee of Scientific Research and Development, Janet met Hank Pym, a young and brilliant scientist who immediately fascinated her; fast-moving, Janet asked him out for dinner after a couple of words, but the man, still mourning his dead wife, refused. He accepted Janet’s second offer (the girl didn’t know it was just because he didn’t wanted her to see the giant ant he had waspcomics1in the living room), and thanks to Janet Hank he got to know her father Vernon, so that he could share his researches on the Pym Particles with him. When a new superhero, Ant-Man, started appearing on the newspapers, it was easy for Janet to understand that there was Pym under the helmet, but she didn’t tell him about her deduction. Some time later, however, she was forced to ask for the hero’s help: Vernon van Dyne’s latest invention, a gamma ray beam, had opened a portal to another dimension, bringing on Earth a deadly alien, the tyrant Pilai, who killed him with his biological acid. Janet found her father’s dead body in his lab and, overwhelmed by shock and rage, she went to Pym, asking for his help in finding and punishing the killer. Pym revealed to her his secret identity, and offered her a chance to help him catch the alien: she would have acted as a guinea pig for his latest experiment, becoming able to accompany him in his mission. Janet immediately accepted, and she was implanted artificial insect-like antennas and wings, visible only when she was shrunk thanks to the Pym Particles. With a brand new costume and equipment, Janet became the Wasp, and aided Ant-Man in his hunt for Pilai. The two heroes found and destroyed the alien, and during the battle Janet declared her love to Hank.

This first adventure became the beginning of Hank Pym’s and Janet van Dyne’s romance, but also of Ant-Man’s and Wasp’s team. The two of them became a crime fighting duo, and if in their private lives Janet had quite some difficulty in making Hank say it out loud that he reciprocated her feelings for him, as superheroes they soon rose to be among the best, constantly foiling plans of genius crime master Egghead or of the armored robber Porcupine (they even foiled an alien invasion from the conquerors A-Chiltarians). It was during the beginning of their “career” that the evil god Loki tried to use The Hulk to defeat his step-brother Thor. Hulk’s friend, Rick Jones, tried to contact the Fantastic Four for help, but the transmission was intercepted and diverted by Loki… only to be received by Hank Pym and by Tony Stark. As a result, Ant-Man, Wasp and Iron Man teamed-up waspcomics2and started searching for the Hulk; they were soon joined by Thor, looking for his brother. While Thor battled Loki, the other three heroes tried to restrain the Hulk, and as soon as the God of Mischief was defeated, Hulk regained control and joined the other heroes. At the end of the battle, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Thor, Hulk and Wasp decided to form a team the likes the world had never seen, ready to intervene anytime a threat was just too much for a single hero to deal with: the Avengers were born. The team chose as a base of operations one of Stark’s mansions, later dubbed Avengers Mansion, and Wasp was chosen as the chairwoman of the team (even if just because she was the only female: choosing her, none of the male members’ ego was wounded…). Janet’s new identity as Wasp allowed her to unite her two passions, and she used her skills as a fashion designer to redesign her own costume for the first, but certainly not the last time. Janet’s life became even more eventful, busy with fighting with Dr. Doom or Kang the Conqueror as an Avenger, becoming an accomplished fashion designer appreciated in the whole world, or just by convincing her eternal boyfriend Hank to get married…

Janet van Dyne is a dynamic and smart woman, who grew from being a brave and sometimes brash girl into a strong and independent heroine. As Wasp, she’s able to shrink or grow in size, going from insect-like dimensions to gigantic proportions, increasing in strength in both cases; her artificial wings allow her to move and fly at high speeds, while her antennas allow her to control certain species of insects; she’s also a skilled hand-to-hand fighter, and she’s also able to generate powerful bioelectric blasts from her hands thanks to her Wasp’s Sting. The first female Avenger, the on-and-off wife of Earth’s smartest (and possibly most bipolar) man, one of America’s most appreciated fashion designers, a successful business woman and a brave adventurer, Wasp is a self-made heroine, a woman who accomplished much in her life, and who keeps fighting to reach even greater goals.

Jubilation Lee (Jubilee)

JubileeLast character appearing in the pics officially released for X-Men: Apocalypse, another woman: Jubilee, who’ll be portrayed by Lana Condor. In the movie, she’ll be one of Charles Xavier‘s new students, a pyrotechnic mutant with a taste for fashion. She already appeared in the original trilogy, portrayed by Katrina Florence in the first movie, and by Kea Wong in the second and third ones. She only had minor cameos, appearing in the background and usually not even speaking. Her first live action appearance, however, was in tv movie Generation X, where she was portrayed by Heather McComb: she was one of the protagonists, a new student entering Emma Frost‘s and Sean Cassidy‘s school for mutants along with Skin… and doing her best for getting along with the other, more experienced students. This time she’ll be in the middle of the action, and that’s quite intriguing, especially considering she has one of the most useless mutant powers ever. Let’s see together.

Jubilation Lee, Jubilee for friends, was born in Beverly HillsCalifornia, the daughter of two wealthy Chinese immigrants. She grew up having quite a perfect life: she was one of the most popular girls in her exclusive high school, and she was even one of the most proficient gymnasts in California, with her teacher sure she would have attended the Olympic Games with such a skill. She spent most of her time in the malls with her best friend, and the two of them often engaged in petty robberies, just for fun, escaping from the surveillance on roller blades. One day, she was cornered by a couple of guards, and panicked: in that occasion, she manifested for the first times her mutant powers, firing colorful lights from her hands. The surprise for the guards was enough to allow her to escape, jubileecomics1and later that evening she told her parents about it… but they didn’t even flinch: the ability itself was pretty harmless, and they loved their daughter even as a mutant. Her life could continue as always… if not for a dreadful night, during which Jubilation lost everything: her parents got killed by two hitmen, Reno and Molokai, who were hired by Hunter Brawn, a powerful man whose illegal schemes the girl’s father wanted to expose. Brawn also messed with the Lees’ bank accounts, so Jubilee found herself alone, orphan and penniless from a day to another. Waiting to be adopted by another family, she was sent to an orphanage, but she didn’t want to have anything to do with it, and she escaped pretty soon, taking shelter in the closest place to a home she knew: a shopping mall in Hollywood. She survived with petty thefts, frustrating the guards who were always unable to catch her; she also started to use her powers to entertain the mall’s customers and making some money with her “fireworks”, as always escaping from the guards whenever they approached. Eventually, the mall decided to hire the M-Squad, a private police force specialized in hunting mutants. Jubilee soon found out these people were not the usual guards as, despite frying some of their equipment, she ended up caught in no time. But fate had other plans for her.

Luckily for Jubilee, there were four very particular customers that day at the mall: Ororo MunroeAnne Marie, Betsy Braddock and Alison Blaire, better known as StormRoguePsylocke and Dazzler from the X-Men. The four women fought and defeated the M-Squad, saving Jubilee in the process. The girl was now extremely curious of her saviors, and she decided to follow them: when the X-Women jumped through a portal, Jubilee followed them, careful not to be seen. At the other side of the portal, Jubilee found herself in Australia, in the temporary base of the X-Men. She stayed hidden, stealing food and clothes from nearly everyone there, with only the old mutant Gateway (the one who had created the portal) knowing she was there, but remaining silent. Jubilee was still jubileecomics2in hiding when the villainous Reavers conquered the Australian base, and kidnapped and tortured Wolverine. While sneaking around as always, Jubilee found Wolverine nailed to an iron cross, near death. Instinctively, she freed him and nurtured him back to health, and helped him defeat the Reavers. A strange relationship grew between them, as Jubilee was in desperate need of a father figure, while Wolverine enjoyed the joy and peace of mind that a kid could give him: they became inseparable, and when the Canadian mutant started traveling the world on his own, Jubilee followed him as his unofficial “sidekick”, never leaving his side. Together, they faced quite a number of threats, and Wolverine trained her also in fighting. Young Jubilee proved to be skilled enough to hold her ground against The Hand‘s ninjas, and she even provided an escape for her and Wolverine when the duo was captured by the Mandarin, using her powers (much stronger now) to blow up a portion of the Chinese warlord castle. The duo then became a trio, with Psylocke joining Wolverine in his “missions”: together, the three mutants battled foes such as Sabretooth and Omega Red, and of course a remarkable number of Sentinels, until they left the Far East to go to Genosha, where the local mutant population was under a fierce attack. The adventure on Genosha served to Jubilee as a “final test”, and back to the United States she was officially welcomed as a member of the X-Men.

Jubilation Lee is an easy-going and dynamic girl, always cheerful despite her somewhat tragic past. She has a special bond with strong personalities, especially Wolverine and Storm, but with the years she’s developed some leader’s skill of her own. As Jubilee, she’s able to generate “fireworks”, technically lumikinetic explosive light blasts, globules of pure energy that at first manifested themselves just as colorful sparkles able, at maximum, to momentarily blind somebody; with time, Jubilee learnt to control them better, and she’s now able to increase their explosive power, transforming them into real energy bombs. She’s also an extremely proficient gymnast, and a skilled hand-to-hand combatant trained directly by Wolverine and Psylocke. A fashion-lover and a player at heart, Jubilee has been for years some kind of mascot for the X-Men, but she’s now ready to be something more for her teammates and friends.

Elizabeth Braddock (Psylocke)

PsylockeTime for another character appeared in X-Men: Apocalypse first pics: Psylocke, portrayed by Olivia Munn. In the movie, she’ll be a young girl working for mutant underground boss Caliban, later recruited by Apocalypse as one of his Four Horsemen (it’s unclear which one). In the original timeline (the one prior to Days of Future Past), Psylocke had an unfortunate fate: she appeared briefly in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as a prisoner of William Stryker in his Weapon X facility, freed along with the others at the end of the movie, but she ends up joining Callisto and her Omegas in X-Men: The Last Stand; in this last movie, she’s portrayed by Meiling Melançon, and she has the power to teleport through shadows (an ability she possessed only temporarily in the comics). She fights against the X-Men in the final battle, and she’s vaporized by the Dark Phoenix‘s powers before even doing anything, being just a disappointing cameo. Hopefully, the new version will be a better one… let’s wait and see. In the meanwhile, let’s see who she is in the comics.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Braddock was born in MaldonEngland, the daughter of Sir James Braddock, an “alien” from the parallel dimension Otherworld sent on Earth by Merlyn to conceive a champion, and Elizabeth. The Braddocks had three children: the first one, Jamie, was a powerful mutant with reality-bending powers, while the other two were the twins Betsy and Brian; the latter would have grown up to become the champion Merlyn foresaw, Captain Britain, while the first had a pretty impressive “career” of her own. After her parents died, Betsy became a charter pilot, and she helped Captain Britain in some of his missions: it was during one of these that Dr. Synne, one of her twin’s enemies, brainwashed her into attacking her siblings. Betsy was freed by Synne’s mental control, and when it was revealed that the telepathic supervillain was in league with the Red Skull, she allied with psylockecomics1Captain Britain and Captain America to defeat both criminals. Synne’s psychic attack, however, had consequences, as it triggered Betsy’s latent powers: she was in fact a mutant like Jamie, with the gift of telepathy. After quitting her job as a pilot and working for a time as a model, Betsy used her increased abilities to contact a psi-agent from S.T.R.I.K.E. (the English version of S.H.I.E.L.D.), and she was soon recruited in their ranks. Betsy operated in the psi-division, and she kept her modeling career as a cover for her actual profession; when S.T.R.I.K.E. was decimated by the combined attack of crime lord Vixen and deranged mutant Mad Jim Jaspers, Betsy was one of the few survivors of her division, along with her boyfriend Tom Lennox and Alison Double. When the emergency was solved with the intervention of Captain Britain, Betsy was recruited by the agency created to replace S.T.R.I.K.E., R.C.X., but her time with them was pretty short: during a mission, the mercenary Slaymaster brutally beat her and blinded her, and only Brian’s intervention prevented her to lose her life as well. The experience left Betsy deeply scarred, and she retired from R.C.X., seeking rest and time to recuperate in Switzerland, on the Alps. Peace, however, wasn’t an easy thing to be found.

While in her shelter, the blind Betsy was kidnapped by Spiral, the bodyguard of Mojo, an inter-dimensional tv producer who had quite a lacking professional ethics. She was brainwashed by Mojo, renamed Psylocke and used as the “host” of his new tv program, Wildways: her task was to “recruit” (kidnap) super-powered children from all over the world to form Mojo’s new team, the Bratpack, to be used for a reality show. She was also given a pair of artificial eyes by Mojo, so that she regained her eyesight. Under Mojo’s orders, Psylocke kidnapped also Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair and Bob “Sunspot” D’Acosta, two teenagers members of the New Mutants. The other New Mutants went to the rescue, and during the following battle they managed to break Mojo’s control over Betsy. psylockecomics2Finally free from the madman’s influence, Psylocke decided to follow the New Mutants to their house and base of operations, Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, and she chose to stay, believing she could learn much about her powers from the institute’s director, Professor X. Unfortunately, Mojo was still watching her and the other mutants through the cybernetic eyes he had implanted in Betsy, and she was used to transform the X-Men into de-aged versions of themselves, the X-Babies: the villain filmed the babies’ adventures through Psylocke, and made a tv show out of them, until the New Mutants managed to rescue their senior teammates, and joined them in defeating Mojo. After this misadventure, Betsy wasn’t exactly trusted by the X-Men, and she was also suspected to be an accomplish of the Marauders when they massacred the mutant outcasts Morlocks; Psylocke, however, engaged in battle the fiercest of the Marauders, Sabretooth, risking her own life, something that deeply impressed the X-Men. After the battle, Charles Xavier offered her a place with his X-Men, believing she had demonstrated incredible courage and skill: Betsy accepted the offer, and she officially embraced the moniker Mojo had created for her, Psylocke, in order to redeem her name from all the things her former master made her do.

Betsy Braddock is a strong and motivated young woman, the heir of a glorious family who fights for justice and honor… and who has fallen into a spiral of violence that, with time, made her addicted to it. As Psylocke, she was at first just a telepath, but some experiences of death and rebirth and some intervention from other mutants (her brother Jaimie and an alternate-universe Jean Grey especially) improved her powers: she’s now able to use telekinesis to move objects, to levitate, to create force fields and weapons (especially knives and swords, but also crossbows and other arms); she’s able to hide her presence from others with her Psionic Shadow, and she can mind-control other people, project her astral form on other planes, and perform other telepathy-related deeds (she also shares a special psychic bond with her twin, Brian, and they’re able to sense if the other is in danger); she’s also a skilled ninja, extremely proficient with martial arts and with swordsmanship. A fearsome warrior with a just cause to pursue, Psylocke has on her conscience all the crimes she committed while under control of others (something that happened far too many times): now she struggles to be the only one controlling her actions, the mistress of her own destiny, only fighting for her friends and the causes she believes in.

Moira Ann Kinross

moiramctaggertfilmThe first official images for X-Men: Apocalypse have been released, and we have some characters to speak about from there as well. The first one is an old acquaintance: Rose Byrne, who’ll return after First Class as Moira MacTaggert. In the previous movie, she was a CIA agent who became romantically involved with Charles Xavier after monitoring him and his students, in a government-run research on mutants. Moira’s first appearance, however, was “in the future”, in X-Men: The Last Stand, where Olivia Williams portrayed a version closer to the comics’ one, a scientist rather than a spy; this Moira cared after Charles’ brain-dead twin brother, P. Xavier, the body in which the telepath eventually transfers his mind in the post-credit scene. Waiting to see if this time Moira will still be working for CIA, or if she’ll finally become the scientist she’s meant to be, let’s see who she is in the comics.

Born in Scotland, Moira Ann Kinross was of noble family, the daughter of the wealthy Lord Kinross. She grew up to become a brilliant student, and went to Oxford University to study biology, with a specialization in genetics. In her college years she met Charles Xavier, who at the time was in Oxford for a doctorate; they fell in love, and even got engaged, but just before their marriage Xavier was called back to the United States, to fight in the Korean War. Moira promised Charles she would have waited for him, and her fiancé went to war… a few months later, her father called her back to Scotland. Lord Kinross, in fact, had become friends with Joseph MacTaggert, a former Royal Marine Commando who was now aiming for a political career… and who happened to be Moira’s ex-boyfriend. moiramactaggertcomics1Lord Kinross eventually forced his daughter to marry Joseph, and Moira, heartbroken, wrote a letter to Xavier in Korea, telling him the engagement was broken, and that he was not supposed to look for her again. Moira’s marriage with MacTaggert proved to be a disaster, as the man was abusive, violent, often drunk, and used to beat her a lot. Moira followed him in his travels around the world, but it was plain she couldn’t love him; one night, in New York City, Joseph lost any control, and beat her savagely, and eventually he raped her. Moira fell into a coma, and awakened only one week later: from that moment, she started living apart from her husband, and when Joseph refused to grant her divorce, she just pretended to be widowed, Living her life as if Joseph didn’t exist. That night’s rape had its consequences, and Moira got pregnant: she gave birth to Kevin, a boy who turned out to be an extremely powerful mutant, able to bend reality itself to his will. She hid Kevin from Joseph, and from the rest of the world: his powers soon drove him mad, and she was forced to imprison him on a Scottish island, Muir Island. In here, Moira created and directed a Mutant Research Centre, hoping to find a “cure” for her deranged and nearly all-powerful son.

Coming back to her old passion, Moira became a geneticist again, and her work in the research center on Muir Island also brought her a Nobel Prize. During these years, Moira met once again Xavier, who was in England to get his umpteenth degree, this time in psychiatry. Xavier learnt of Moira’s son and her researches, and the two discussed the possibility of building a school in which they could teach young mutants to control their powers, so that they didn’t end up like Kevin. Xavier made this the project of his life, and Moira helped him create the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters; she also helped him build Cerebro, so that the already powerful telepath would have been able to find young mutants in need all around the world. She even helped Xavier treat one of his very first students, Jean Grey, a girl who had suffered a major psychological trauma after the manifestation of her mutant powers. moiramactaggertcomics2From “the shadows”, Moira kept helping Charles in his work, but she also hid much from him: she found out that Xavier had had an illegitimate son from one of his lovers, Gabrielle Haller. The boy, David, was extremely powerful, but also a psychopath with major personality disorders, and his situation resembles closely the one of her Kevin: Moira decided to hide David’s existence from Xavier, and she hid the boy on Muir Island, hoping to find a cure for him as well. Inspired by Xavier, Moira founded a second centre near her former lover’s school, where she welcomed young mutants she had previously saved from difficult situations and adopted: the first one was a wolf-like girl named Rahne Sinclair, saved by an angry mob. Moira taught Rahne and the others how to control their powers, without the “militant” style of Xavier. Her cooperation with Xavier continued, and whenever she needed to be at the school, she pretended to be the new housekeeper (even if the X-Men soon found out her true profession). In the school, Moira fell in love with compatriot Sean “Banshee” Cassidy, and the two started a long lasting on-and-off relationship. Despite all the accomplishments in her life, however, Moira still regarded her secret son as a personal failure, as his powers and his madness kept growing inexorably…

Moira MacTaggert (sometimes misspelled MacTaggart) is a brilliant and determined woman, a skilled scientists who’s possibly the greatest expert of mutants in the world, along with a few others. She’s strong and passionate, and she puts all her energies, abilities and intelligence at the services of the causes she believes into, such as the peaceful cohabitation of humans and mutants. Moira, however, knows how much harm can come from a mutant unable to control his/her gifts, and that’s why she always has contingency plans for her pupils… the same one she used with her son, her greatest regret.

Sarah Barnes

Sarah BarnesLast identifiable character from the Outcast trailer, but also this one is barely glimpsed in the shadows: the woman looming behind the door, pretty creepy herself, is Sarah Barnes, who’ll be portrayed by Julia Crockett. In the show, she’ll be Kyle‘s possessed mother, the first one that introduces the boy and future exorcist to the not-so-pleasurable world of demonic possessions. In the comics she has pretty much the same role, even if she appears mostly in flashbacks (at least as a speaking and walking woman, in the present she’s bedridden and catatonic). Now, let’s see who Sarah is in the comics… yup, another unpleasant antagonist coming.

Not much is known (at least for now) about Sarah Barnes’ life, albeit some facts seem to suggest that she was involved in what Reverend Anderson called the “war between good and evil”, the conflict between Heaven and Hell fought from the beginning of times. We don’t know, however, what kind of role she had in the war, albeit it’s positive she fought against the Devil and his minions in some form. At a certain point, however, she had a relation with an unnamed man, who left soon after he knew she was expecting (the nature of this man, so far, is uncertain). Sarah kept the baby, and nine months later Kyle was born. Sarah deeply loved her child, and she took good care of him for the first years of his life. When Kyle grew up, Sarah was always there for him, and they spent a lot of time together: Kyle especially loved when they drew together, and when they played tag: this one would have been, even sarahbarnescomics1in the following years, the best time of his life. As all beautiful things, however, even these “bright days” were destined to end, and something terrible happened to Sarah and destroyed her and her son’s happiness. Coming from the unknown past of the woman, a demon entered Sarah’s body, possessing her and bending her will to his own. From a moment to another, Sarah’s character and attitude changed radically, and apparently she started hating her son fiercely, beating him often, locking him in a closet, psychologically and physically torturing him. She even stopped taking care of herself, she stopped washing, she kept raving around in mumbles only she could understand. Kyle’s life became a living hell, and inside her own body, Sarah suffered for him, unable to protect him.

Sarah’s situation was believed to be affected by some sort of mental illness, and she was treated consequently, but there was a man who knew it better: Reverend Anderson, the local pastor, recognized in the woman’s symptoms the signs of a demonic possession. Kyle let Anderson in their home, and the woman’s situation was confirmed. The young pastor tried his best to fight the demon possessing Sarah, but it was too strong, and the inexperienced pastor was overpowered. During the struggle, however, Sarah attacked Kyle, and the demon inside her tried to come out her body and enter the boy’s one. At this point, something unexpected happened, sarahbarnescomics2and some force within Kyle managed to exorcise the demon from Sarah, freeing her… but also reducing her to a comatose state. Sarah was brought to the local hospital (albeit not Kyle nor Anderson told anybody the true reason behind her current state), and her son was adopted by another family. Sarah couldn’t move nor speak, and most doctors believed her to be unable to understand what was happening around her as well. The woman, however, felt everything, heard everything, once again prisoner of her body. She spent years bedridden, with Kyle never visiting her since he blamed her for the hellish childhood he had to suffer. Fifteen years passed before Kyle came to her, just after he had used his gift to free young Joshua Austin: he spoke with her, telling her all about his regrets, and still blaming her for “torturing him” even from her hospital bed with guilt. After Kyle, another man visited Sarah: he called himself Sidney, but Sarah knew who he was: the Devil himself, disguised as a human. Sidney mocked her, telling her he was sorry for her condition, especially considering how much she had fought to stop him and his friends, then left her. Unable to say or do anything else, Sarah cried, knowing she wouldn’t have been able to protect her son.

Sarah Barnes is a good and loving woman, with a past shrouded in mystery, but a good heart that is not to be doubted. While she was possessed, her personality changed completely: cruel, sadistic, hysterical, violent, she’s been a living nightmare for her beloved son Kyle, who still blames her for everything the demon she was possessed by did to him through her. Now in a permanent coma, Sarah can do nothing but cry over the ill fate of Kyle.

Joshua Austin

Joshua AustinTime for another character seen in the Outcast trailer, and specifically that creepy boy that whispers to the protagonist “I know you…” the moment he enters his bedroom: that’s Joshua Austin, who’ll be portrayed by Gabriel Bateman. Apparently, his role in the show will be pretty much the same as in the comics: the possessed boy who serves as “training ground” for our amateur exorcist, protagonist of the series. If the character will be further developed in the series, or left behind just like in the comics, it remains to be seen, but in the meantime, let’s see everything there is to know about one of the creepiest antagonists in Outcast so far.

Joshua Austin was a perfectly normal boy in a perfectly normal family: he was the son of Roger and Betsy Austin, and he lived with his parents and his little sister in a pretty house in RomeWest Virginia. Joshua’s life was exactly the one of any other boy his age, until he started to… change, in quite a traumatic way. The boy, in fact, had been possessed by a powerful demon who was now inhabiting his body, setting his own soul aside. At first, Joshua just became moody and aggressive, then his changes became more and more perplexing, worrying his parents, who joshuaaustincomics1thought of some major psychological disorder. Then, the demon got hungry. In the middle of the night, Joshua went to the kitchen, and started eating everything he found… until the food ended, and he was still hungry. When the boy’s mother entered the room, Joshua started chewing his own finger, eating all the flesh to the bone. Understandably in shock, Betsy, a devout church-goer, finally feared that what disturbed her child was something more than psychological or nervous disorders, and resolved to ask for the help of the local pastor, Reverend Anderson, an expert exorcist. Anderson met the boy in his room, where he had been locked by his family: it was plain that the demon possessing him was very powerful, and strongly resisted to the ritual. The pastor told many times Betsy to leave the room, but she refused to abandon her baby… getting kicked in the face from one side to the other of the bedroom when her “little baby” started levitating over his own bed. With Joshua nullifying Anderson’s attempts to exorcise him, the pastor obviously needed help… some help that had just arrived in town.

Reverend Anderson came back with Kyle Barnes, a man who had left Rome fifteen years before and who had come back recently… and who Joshua claimed to know (at least, the demon inside him knew). Joshua told him he knew who he was, and that he was an “outcast”, but before Kyle could answer, the boy suddenly jumped from his bed, attacking him. Joshua was incredibly strong, and easily overpowered the grown-up man: the demon tried to move from Joshua to Kyle, but Anderson intervened, pulling the boy off his friend… and getting punched away in the process. Joshua had overpowered both his exorcists, and the two of them retreated… for the moment. After a few joshuaaustincomics2minutes, they came back in the room, and opened the window, letting sunlight in: Joshua was hurt by the light, and tried to hide behind the bed, but Anderson and Kyle cornered him. Trying to defend himself, Joshua bit Kyle’s arm… only to find out that the man’s blood was poisonous for the demon. Realizing this, Kyle dropped some of his blood on the boy, and the demon, in pain, left his body, finally freeing him. Joshua could apparently come back to his old life. Some time later, however, Reverend Anderson realized that he had failed nearly all the exorcisms he had performed… and there was obviously some doubt about the results of Joshua’s one too. Kyle Barnes visited the Austins, and after being thanked over and over by Betsy and Roger, he had a little chat with Joshua. The boy seemed perfectly normal, and when Kyle touched him (something that apparently hurt demons), he didn’t even flinch. He was indeed free.

Joshua Austin is a normal boy, who loves his parents and sometimes fights with his sister. As a possessed kid, however, he developed an unnatural cruelty, a certain sadism and even masochism; he also gained an unnatural strength, and some sort of allergy for light and for sacred symbols, as well as for the blood of the “outcasts”, people born to fight against demons. In Joshua’s body, a fierce battle is taking place, a fight between a pure soul and the evil demon keeping it hostage.