Althea (Blind Al)

Blind AlBeen pretty busy lately, and there’s one character left from the first trailer(s) for Deadpool: the old woman with shades telling not-so-nice things to the protagonist, the one who criticizes the way he speaks through his mask. She’s Blind Al, and she’ll be portrayed by Leslie Uggams. As for now, nothing is known of the role she’ll have in the movie, apart from the fact that she’ll be an ally of Deadpool (sort of, since she’ll likely to reprise the original relation of love-hate with him), but we can nevertheless see together who she is in the comics.

Blind Al’s past is shrouded in mystery, as different tales from her youth interwine without any possibility of telling reality from fantasy. Her first name was Althea, but her surname’s unknown; as a young woman during World War II, she was involved with secret services, although it’s unclear for which side she fought: some claim she was one of the first women members of the Black Widow Project, working for the Russians, but it’s more likely she worked with the British intelligence from the very beginning, most likely MI7. For a side or the other, Althea met Captain America during the 1940s, and the two even dated for a while before he got frozen and was believed dead by the entire world (the hero even gave her a love gift she would have treasured all her life). What happened to Al from this point remains largely unknown: she somehow lost her eyesight, but she kept working for the British secret services nevertheless. As blindalcomics1(apparently) a key member of the MI, she soon became a target for many governments, and she started moving from State to State with her team. Once, when she was in Zaire, she was tracked down and faced by a Canadian mercenary, Wade Wilson, who hunted her down to her hideout: Wilson was supposed to kill her, but something unclear happened, and eventually the mercenary killed everybody but Althea, allowing her to escape. Wilson found Al again after he had been experimented on by Weapon X and turned into the deranged mutated Deadpool. For apparently no reason, Deadpool captured Al and locked her in his house, even acting pretty cruel towards her: he forced her to clean and cook for him, and forbade any visit; whenever the woman got him angry, then, he locked her into the Box, a closet filled with sharp objects so that she couldn’t possibly move; he even played terrible pranks to her, taking advantage of the fact that she was blind. Not everything, however, was as it seemed, and between the two of them a weird relationship began.

Al understood quite well that, being locked up in Deadpool’s house, she was safe from the many, many people who wanted her dead, and she became weirdly grateful; she didn’t even mind too much cooking and cleaning for her captor. The Box was never locked, and she could come out of it whenever she wanted, and the worst part of being with Deadpool was being forced to endure his awful sense of humor…apart from the times Wilson’s psychosis drove him to pure cruelty. A couple of years after her kidnapping, Al took advantage of a particularly long mission that drove Deadpool away from his house, and she left. She wanted to visit an old friend in Maine, and she trekked half the country to join him…but when she arrived, blindalcomics2she found her friend tortured nearly to death, and Deadpool waiting for her. The mercenary brought her home again, and this time she knew she would have never been able to escape. However, years passed, and Al realised that she was having quite a positive influence over Deadpool: she started to believe that she could actually change Wilson into a better person, and despite finding more than a chance to escape (purposefully left by Deadpool himself), she chose to stay, trying to “save” her captor. She even became some sort of mother figure for him, acting as a confidante, a friend, a housekeeper, sometimes even as a Greek chorus for the mercenary’s adventures. She even became friends with Weasel, the only other person Deadpool allowed in his house, even if this meant to go against the “no visit” rule Wilson had imposed to her. Blind Al also accompanied Deadpool in some of his adventures. When Deadpool found out she was secretly receiving visits from Weasel, however, he started treating her badly again, to the point that this time the old woman returned his cruelty, provoking his sense of guilt. To make amend, Deadpool finally decided to free her, and brought her to Central Park, leaving her there…only, Al didn’t want to go at all, and she would have fought to earn her “imprisonment” back.

Althea is a mysterious woman, one who has seen and done much, and who has buried her secrets (and her enemies…) in the depths of her memory. Extremely smart, sarcastic and sometimes sweetly cruel, Blind Al is Deadpool’s closest friend, the only one who can stand his humor and also the only person in the world able to win against him in an offense duel. With more experience than years of age (and that says a lot…), Al is definitely more than it catches the eye, a blind woman who sees more than most people, the only person in the world able not only to live with, but also to influence and change one of the most deranged and dangerous men on the planet.

Denise Cloyd

Denise CloydNew pics emerged from Season 6 of The Walking Dead, and there’s one new character who will most likely be at the centre of the stage for a while: Denise Cloyd, who’ll be portrayed by Merritt Wever. In the show, she’ll be one of the doctors in Alexandria Safe-Zone (apparently, she was “too busy” with her patients to appear during Season 5), and after Pete Anderson‘s untimely demise she’ll be even more vital to the community. Waiting to see which side Denise will chose in the upcoming civil war inside the Safe-Zone, let’s take a look at her comicbook counterpart.

Not much is known about Denise Cloyd’s life prior to the Outbreak: she lived in the city of Alexandria, and worked as a general practitioner in an unspecified hospital. Of course, when the dead started rising driven by hunger for the living’s flesh, she found herself compelled to complete her studies on her own, practicing on the hundreds of wounded people ending up in her hospital. Denise specialised as a surgeon, making herself indispensable for anyone around her. It has not been revealed when or why she left the hospital, but she eventually arrived to the Alexandria Safe-Zone, a small community led by Douglas Monroe, a former politician who was trying to rebuild some sort of civilization in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. Being a doctor, Denise was more than welcomed to join the survivors’ group, and she became the third doctor in the Safe-Zone (after Pete denisecloydcomics1Anderson and an unknown second one), and the only surgeon. Of course, this meant a lot of work for Denise, who opened a clinic and became the first person contacted for emergencies. When Scott, one of the supply runners, fell from a rooftop and injured his leg, his best friend Heath brought him to Denise, and she fixed the wounded limb the best she could; that same day, quite a big group led by former sheriff Rick Grimes had arrived in the Safe-Zone, and Douglas had organised a party to welcome them. Denise only showed up for some moments, as she wanted to keep Scott in check, and she briefly spoke with Heath only. Unfortunately, despite the intervention had gone well, Scott’s wound became infected, and Denise needed antibiotics to cure him: Heath tried to bring the medicines in time, helped by Glenn, a guy from the new group, but it was too late, and Scott eventually died from the infection. The man was stabbed in the brain to prevent reanimation, and buried (along with Pete Anderson, who had been killed by Rick under Douglas’ orders), but the story had put Denise and Heath in contact, and the two started a romantic relationship.

Denise’s next patient was Eric, one of the recruiters, who had been stabbed by a woman he was trying to bring to the Safe-Zone. She patched him up, this time succesfully saving him, but as violence kept increasing in the Safe-Zone after the arrival of Rick’s group, it was only a matter of time before things got worse. When the increasing number of roamers became a problem, Heath decided he would have left once again in search of supplies, along with other three runners; Denise didn’t like this at all, but she eventually agreed, and let her man go. Soon after, however, the roamers managed to destroy a wall and to enter the Safe-Zone, killing many inhabitants. Denise tried to save Morgan Jones, who had been bitten, but the man eventually died, bringing Rick to the decision of leaving the denisecloydcomics2community; instead of listening to him, however, Denise decided she would have come back to her clinic, trying to save whatever she could, and Michonne accompanied her to protect her. As soon as she made it to her office, Denise was reached by Rick, who brought her another emergency: his son, Carl, had been accidentally shot in the head, and was dying. Denise frantically operated on Carl, while Rick and Michonne did their best to keep the roamers outside of the infirmary. The woman miraculously managed to saved Carl’s life, even if the boy was now permanently disfigured. She listened to Rick’s horrifying tales about the fate of some of the deceased zoners, and she assisted him while he watched over his son; only after days she managed to kick him out of the clinic for his own health, taking upon herself to nurse Carl during his coma. She participated to the funerals of the victims of the zombies’ attack, sad for the many losses, but happy that Heath had made it back home alive and well. Just as she had forseen, increasing violence brought more wounded people, and with an all-out war with a hostile group approaching, Denise would have soon regretted the times in which the roamers were the only threats to the lives of her patients…

Denise Cloyd is a strong and serious woman, able to mantain her cold blood even in desperate situations. A doctor and the only surgeon around, she’s a vital member of Alexandria Safe-Zone, and she gained the trust of every single member of the community with her professionality and disponibility. Denise deeply cares for her community and her patients (especially for Heath…), and she’s also ready to embrace violence to protect them.

Artemis Crock (Tigress)

TigressFirst trailer for the second season of Gotham, and we get a glimpse of a lot of old faces, and a couple of new ones. Among the latter, there’s also one taken from the comics…almost. Just as they did with Dollmaker, Copperhead and others, this villainess will appear with a different secret identity and background, so that she could fit in the show. In the new season, Tigress will make her debut, portrayed by Jessica Lucas. Her real name will be Tabitha Galavan, and she’ll be the sister (and main enforcer) of crime boss Theo Galavan: the siblings will turn Gotham City upside down, giving birth to quite a number of villains in the process. There’s no Tabitha Galavan in the comics, but from what we know of the character this far, we can assume she’ll be based on the third woman taking up the Tigress mantle: let’s see together.

Artemis Crock had her life pretty much pre-destined: she was the daughter of Paula Brooks and Lawrence “Crusher” Crock, better known as the international supervillains Huntress and Sportsmaster. Growing up with such role models, Artemis just couldn’t avoid to embark in the same “career” as her parents, especially considered that both Huntress and Sportsmaster trained her since a very young age, making her a superb athlete and fighter, with quite a specialisation for archery. When her parents got arrested by their nemesis from the Justice Society of America, Artemis kept training, waiting for the moment she would have made her public debut…which arrived soon after, when the Wizard started recruiting the children of his friends from the classic Injustice tigresscomics1Society members, forming a new team he named Injustice Unlimited. Wizard had ambitious plans, and he assigned every teammate a specific task: Artemis had to do the one thing she actually desired to, as she was supposed to free her parents from a maximum security prison, the Empire State Detention Centre. With the help of fellow villains Rising Sun and Nuklon, Artemis easily freed Huntress and Sportsmaster, joining along with them Wizard and the others in a battle with Infinity, Inc. and the Global Guardians (two of the few superhero teams allowed to operate by the government). The battle started in favour of the villains, and they even managed to steal a fortune and come back to their hideout in Calgari, but then things started excalating quickly, as the superhero Hourman offered his teammates the opportunity to launch a massive attack from the outside, while from the inside the recently revived Solomon Grundy proved to be uncontrollable, and attacked his own fellow villains. Artemis tried to stop Grundy on her own, but even if she was a terrific fighter, she was nothing compared to the unstoppable zombie, and the monster threw her towards her parents, knocking out the three of them. They woke up just in time to avoid being arrested, and escaped.

Shortly after, however, Artemis was contacted again by The Harlequin, who wanted to use the Wizard’s team to destroy Infinity, Inc. once and for all. She had already killed Starman, and she gave her teammates a target each, depending on their abilities. Artemis was sent after Jade, and she apparently managed to kill her using her skills with her crossbow and some hunter’s traps. Her teammates did the same…only, it turned out they had all failed, and that the heroes were setting a trap for them in turn: none of the infinitors actually died, and they confronted their enemies just in the same way, calibrating strengths and weaknesses and chosing targets. Artemis this time faced the martial artist Wildcat, and she proved to be little more than a nuisance for him. She got arrested along with all her teammates, but not everything went for the worst: during this last mission, she had fallen in love with one of the other tigresscomics2villains, the second IcicleCameron Mahkent, and the two started a long lasting love story. She also decided that she wouldn’t have used her first name as an alias anymore, and she paid homage to her mother by taking her very first monicker before she became known as “Huntress”, “Tigress”. As the new Tigress, Artemis broke out of prison, and started a criminal career on her own, acting with or without Icicle. Once, she even took a break from crime, and she participated to the Olympic Games representing the State of Zandia, in the archery team along with Merlyn and his disciple Turk. The games didn’t go smoothly, as Tina Thomas, the American championess, was attacked and hurt on the very first day, leading all the suspects upon the villains’ team. Since there was no evidence, however, the torunament continued, but the next day another attack occured, this time against Cissie “Arrowette” King-Jones, the heroine who had replaced Tina. Cissie’s mother, the retired heroine Bonnie “Miss Arrowette” King, discovered that the responsible of the attacks was none other than Huntress, Artemis’ mother, who wasn’t sure of her daughter’s abilities and was trying to boicot the tournament in order to let her win. As soon as she was informed, Tigress turned on her mother, berating her for what she was doing, and demanded to continue the tournament honestly…eventually, she didn’t win any medal, but she surely won her honor back. The games, however, proved to be just a brief vacation for her, and as soon as she came back home, she was recruited in yet another version of the Injustice League…

Artemis Crock is a fierce and proud woman, a relentless warrior with quite a taste for the hunt and who deeply values her honor. As the new Tigress, she’s an athlete with peak-human physical attributes, extremely strong and agile; she’s also a nearly infallible archer, specialised in the use of the crossbow, even if with time she expanded her arsenal with more modern weaponry. She sometimes uses technological devices to increase her senses, such as a visor to improve her eyesight; her sense of smell is permanently enhanced, thus making her a real hound, able to track her enemies wherever they’re hiding. Passionate and cruel, Tigress is the incarnation of the animal she carries the name of, ready to show the world she’s worthy of the legacy she represents.