Oscar Clemons

Oscar ClemonsThere’s still another comicbook character appearing in Jessica Jones‘ second episode, AKA Crush Syndrome. After Hope murders her parents under Kilgrave‘s suggestion, all witnesses are brought into the police station for declarations, Jessica Jones included: the detective who questions her is Oscar Clemons, portrayed by Clarke Peters, and he appears to be pretty suspicious of the P.I. from the first moment he sees her (and he’s not exactly wrong about it). Clemons appears in a different comics series, and he’s based in both appearance and attitude on Morgan Freeman‘s character from Seven. He’s been created in 2011, so there’s not much to say about him…but let’s see who he is nevertheless.

Not much is known about Oscar Clemons’ early life. Born and raised in New York City, he entered NYPD and became a detective. He survived long enough to grow old in the department, and his experience with extreme cases made him a reference for the younger detectives and agents. He was partnered with Caitlin Leigh, and together with her he met two vigilantes, The Punisher and Daredevil, who were fighting over a criminal, Alfred Coppersmith. Daredevil won, and Coppersmith was arrested. When he managed to escape justice thanks to defect of form in the evidence against him, however, Punisher killed him as soon as he got out of prison. From that moment, Clemons committed himself into stopping the vigilante/serial killer. Near his retirement, he was assigned to a new partner, Walter Bolt, a young and impulsive detective who lacked all Clemons’ experience, but compensated with all the enthusiasm the old cop had lost in years of service. The two detectives received a new assignment when the wedding of Dr. Daniel Anvers and ex-marine Rachel Cole ended up in the midst of what seemed to be a gang war, resulting in 27 dead (including the groom) and 19 wounded (including the bride). While Bolt believed that somebody attending the ceremony was a target, Clemons realised immediately that it was just a case of “wrong place, wrong time”, and followed another lead, wanting to track down the shooters starting from the weapons they used. The main suspect was a renowned weapons dealer, Sway, and Clemons interrogated some prostitutes to learn his last location. As soon as he and Bolt arrived to Sway’s van, however, the weapons dealer had already been killed by an unknown assailant. The next morning, both detectives oscarclemonscomics1were called on another crime scene, this time a bar where a dozens of people belonging to the criminal cartel Exchange had been murdered: as soon as he saw the carnage, Clemons put it all together, and understood that Exchange was responsible for the massacre at the wedding, and that the criminals had in turn entered the target of The Punisher. After sending away Norah Winters, a journalist working for Ben Urich, Clemons came back to the hospital, where the bride, Rachel Cole, had regained consciousness. Clemons tried to interrogate her, but she only remembered two groups of armed men shooting each other, and when she realised her husband and family were all dead, she lost control, and the doctors had to sedate her. Unable to get anything from the woman, Clemons and Bolt came back investigating on the shooting.

Soon, Clemons and Bolt found the headless body of Liam Malloy, the man responsible for the wedding’s massacre, but while the younger detective believed The Punisher did it, Clemons recognised this was not Frank Castle‘s style, guessing Mally had been killed by his superiors for gaining too much attention. Up in the air, in the meanwhile, Punisher was battling the new Vulture: as they saw the two fighters fall, they tried to follow them, but they only found Vulture’s lifeless body on a roof. Examining the scene, Clemons saw that somebody had helped Punisher escape, and all evidence pointed to Norah Winters: he tried to make her tell him where the vigilante was, but the journalist refused. Knowing he didn’t have anything on Norah, Clemons let her go, and he and Bolt continued their investigation on Exchange. The members of Exchange kept dying like flies in the following months, and Clemons knew that his partner was giving Punisher information about their location: he finally confronted Bolt, told him oscarclemonscomics2about the Coppersmith case, and ordered him to stop helping Castle. Upon investigating the umpteenth crime scene, filled with 18 corpses of Exchange members, Clemons finally understood that Punisher wasn’t working alone anymore, and that he had a partner in his war. It didn’t take much for Clemons to understand that the one helping Castle was none other than Rachel Cole, the surviving bride. Confronting her along with Bolt, Clemons got confirmation to his guesses in the woman’s reaction to his questions. When Rachel went missing, Clemons, knowing that Norah Winters was writing an article on her, asked the journalist if she had had any contact with the woman; Norah denied it, but Clemons knew she was lying. As soon as he told Bolt so, the two were called to a building where apparently the Punisher had gone berserk. Clemons understood that it was something different, as the vigilante was taking down the leaders of Exchange, Christian Poulsen and Stephanie Gerard, who made it look like he was shooting on civilians. During the following gunfight, Bolt got killed by Rachel. Captain Rangel didn’t believe in Castle’s innocence, and Clemons realised that the only way he had to prove what had really happened was to arrest Rachel Cole, the one person now close to the most dangerous vigilante in New York.

Oscar Clemons is a seasoned and expert detective, a wise man with too many years of service on his back, a cop who has seen enough death and crime to fill up a couple of lives. Extremely smart and intuitive, Clemons possesses amazing investigative skills, that allow him to see the truth hidden behind even the most convincing appearance. Honest and upright, he believes in law, and doesn’t accept that somebody like Punisher takes in his hands the right to tell who lives and who dies. More brain than brawn, Clemons is an expert when it comes to questioning suspects or studying crime scenes, but he usually prefers not to get involved in shootings and pursuits…not that he’s able to avoid them, in a city like New York, with cases like the ones he’s usually assigned to.

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