Lonnie Machin (Anarky)

AnarkyAnother major Batman villain is coming to Arrow next week, as in the upcoming episode The Candidate a brand new threat arrive to Star City. Apparently, Damien Darhk will make another move to take control of the city, and he’ll enlist the terrorist Anarky, who’ll be portrayed by Alexander Calvert. We don’t know much else about the tv version of Anarky, but let’s just hope he won’t be some sort of double of Shrapnel…especially considering the intriguing background coming from the comics. Let’s see together.

A showgirl, Greta Mitchell, gave birth to a son in Gotham City, a son conceived with an unknown father (some claim the biological father was none other than The Joker); unable to take care of the baby, Greta abandoned him. The baby was found and given in adoption to Mike and Roxanne Machin, a good-hearted couple who raised him as their own, and named him Lonnie. Lonnie Machin grew up as an incredibly smart kid, and Mike, understanding the limitless potential of his adoptive son, nurtured his mind with any kind of books he demanded, especially philosophical and political essays. Lonnie became an abnormally cultured and rational boy, and he developed a keen critical thinking and sensibility. Information, most of the times, brings to indignation, and that’s the same thing that happened to Lonnie: the more he studied, the more he got angry for all the corruption and the dishonesty of governments and corporations, the “great powers” that mistreated common citizens for their own interest and profit. With all the idealism and the uncompromising sense of anarkycomics1justice of a teenager, twelve-years-old Lonnie Machin designed a costume that made him look taller, and a voice enhancer that made him sound like an adult; donning a mask to conceive his face, he decided to bring his personal battle in the streets of Gotham, fighting corrupted corporations and authorities under the alias of Anarky, the universal protector of the people crushed by the system. Anarky recruited a real army of followers in the city’s seediest blocks, fascinating the many homeless people with his passion and his charisma. One man in particular, a crippled veteran from the Vietnam War nicknamed Legs, became his loyal right-hand man, and organised all the rejects, the tramps and the vagabonds of the city (quite a lot…) to assist Anarky in his crusade. With all the preparation ready, Lonnie was finally ready to strike against power and corruption in Gotham City.

Anarky didn’t have an exactly peaceful manifestation in mind, so he had Legs and the other followers spy on Batman, so that he was sure the hero wouldn’t have gotten in his way during the upcoming war. Using newspapers, Lonnie identified the main centres of corruption and injustice in the city; he didn’t use the articles of the official press, though, since he (rightfully) believed that the journalists were just pawns of the system, unable to write the truth, but he read the letters and complaints of the readers, in which it was easy to find some believable information. Using this method, Anarky identified a company that was polluting Gotham’s waters with his byproduct wastes, and attacked it physically assaulting the owner and destroying the building. He left a circled “A” as a calling card, and moved to the next target. In a few weeks, thanks to the net of information formed by his “invisible” allies (nobody minded nor noticed tramps and vagabonds), Anarky targeted and stopped many corrupted businessmen, politicians and men of power…until he finally found himself face to face with Batman, who had used his detective skills to understand the method Anarky used for selecting the victims of his anarkycomics2bombings and his attacks, and had used it to lure him in a trap. Thanks to the costume, Batman believed he was actually facing an adult terrorist, and engaged him in combat, after defeating Legs and the others; Anarky was prepared for the vigilante, and had designed some personalized weapons to face him. After a few blows, however, Batman was able to guess Anarky’s secret, and exposed him as a twelve-years-old boy. Most of Anarky’s followers abandoned him upon seeing Lonnie Machin under the mask (only Legs remained faithful to him, believing in the boy’s ideas more than in the person himself), and Batman could arrest Lonnie. The boy was locked in the Gotham Juvenile Corrections Hall, where he was supposed to stay until he reached adulthood…but no prison was enough to contain Anarky’s genius, and he soon was out again, followed by his faithful Legs, to continue his neverending battle against all the powers and authorities of the world.

Lonnie Machin is an extremely smart kid, a preteen boy with a deep culture and a marked political sensitivity. His studies brought him to the conclusion that all powers are evil, since no ideology, country or religion is more important than the innocent lives lost in their name. As Anarky, he uses his remarkable intellect to organize attacks and bombings on the targets of his crusade; a master tactician, he even learned hand-to-hand combat in order to fight the many heroes opposing him (Batman, Robin, Green Arrow, Etrigan and many others), and he even became a master in the use of many weapons, especially his Anarky Baton (an electrified club he uses in close-distance fights) and his Anarky Stars (shurikens shaped in the form of his trademark “A”); he is also a proficient inventor, a charismatic leader, and even a hypnotist, all skills he puts at the service of his cause. More than a villain, Anarky is a violent vigilante with a mission, an uncompromising boy who leads with any means possible an all-out-war against a social, political and cultural system that is, to his eyes, the source of all evil.

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