Brainiac 8 (Indigo)

IndigoIn the promo for Supergirl episode from tonight, Solitude, we get our first look at this time’s bad guy, Indigo, portrayed by guest star Laura Vandervoort (yup, the Supergirl from Smallville). In the show, Indigo will be yet another alien escapee with the ability to travel through the internet, and apparently much more, so much that Supergirl will find herself uncapable of defeating her without some help…help that comes in the person of Jimmy Olsen, who brings her to the Fortress of Solitude (Superman‘s hideout) in search for clues on how to defeat this new, powerful enemy. Once again, Supergirl has taken a hero from the comics and turned her into a villain…albeit this time that’s not completely true, as Indigo suffers from a double personality disorder that puts her on one side or the other of justice depending on situation. Let’s see together.

In a distant future, in the Colu Empire, the bio-mechanical being known as Brainiac 6 created a successor, Brainiac 8, that could help the original Brainiac in his conquest of the known universe. Brainiac 8 was given a friendly appearance, and a sub-program named “Indigo” was installed in her memory, a secondary personality that would have allowed her to get close to the superhuman community acting as a trojan horse, before the main personality was activated. When the double programming was finished, Brainiac 8 was sent into the past, in the XXI Century, to start her mission. She arrived in AustinTexas, where she found herself heavily damaged, and amnesiac of her true origins. Instinctively, the bio-mechanical girl looked for other artificial beings that could help her repair herself, and her scans detected the Metal Men nearby; she teleported to their location, but the androids proved to be uncapable of assisting her, and Indigo left, still damaged, and still looking for help. Her scanners detected a more complex form of artificial life in the surroundings, the superhero Cyborg, who was in Texas along indigocomics1with the Teen Titans and Young Justice. Indigo started an interface with Cyborg, but the present heroes mistook her communication attempts for an attack: Impulse reacted, and tried to phase through her in order to fry her circuits, with the only result of causing an explosion that blew up half of Cyborg’s body. Both Nightwing and Robin tried to calm down their respective team to better understand the situation, but after Impulse’s attack Indigo had switched to defensive mode, and battled both teams until she was forced to flee. Desperately in need of repairs, Indigo took shelter in a nearby abandoned S.T.A.R. Labs facility, and before shutting herself down, she activated a dormant Superman Android to fix her and protect her while she was out. The Titans and Young Justice saw in the news someone who looked like Superman “dealing” with the unknown girl, and reached him to “help” him, despite Cyborg trying to convince them the girl meant no arm. Once they reached the androids, however, both teams were attacked by “Superman”, who killed Troia and Lillith. Finally, out of options, Arsenal reactivated Indigo, deciding to trust Cyborg and to ask for her help against the Superman Android.

Albeit a risk, this proved to be a good idea, as Indigo helped the heroes and shut down the android, before shutting down herself due to her highly damaged state. As a result of the battle, the Teen Titans disbanded, but some time later Arsenal managed to convince Nightwing to form and lead a new team, the Outsiders. Secretly even from Nightwing, Arsenal took the body of Indigo and brought it to S.T.A.R. Labs to have her repaired; he even had her memory erased, so that she couldn’t remember the traumatic events linked to her appearance in Austin. Finally, Indigo was reactivated, and she joined Arsenal in his Outsiders…much to Nightwing’s dislike, as he still didn’t trust the android, and was ready to attack her on sight. Before any decision could be made, an attack in New York City forced the team to intervene: this was the first occasion Indigo had to introduce herself to her new teammates, trying to convince Nightwing of her good faith and to prove to him that she only wanted to help people, so that she could make amend for horrible acts she couldn’t even remember. With time, Indigo managed to earn the trust of indigocomics2Nightwing and of the other Outsiders, proving to be a valuable assett for the team, and even a good friend, willing and eager to explore the human sides of her artificial personality. She even found love, as she started a relationship with Shift (some sort of clone of Metamorpho). Despite claming she couldn’t understand feelings, Indigo started developing a true personality, and in battling menaces like The JokerBrother Blood or Gorilla Grodd she proved more than once to be ready to sacrifice herself for the sake of her friends. Her ability to actually feel something became plain the moment she defended Shift first from the original Metamorpho, who wanted to reabsorb him in his own body, and then from the villain Shrapnel, who nearly killed the boy. Seeing Shift in danger, Indigo abandoned all restraints and killed the villain, proving how far she could go to defend the man she loved. When Indigo was totally accepted by the Outsiders, her main programming (killing the heroes, especially Donna Troy), resurfaced, and she started working in secret with the original Brainiac, Lex Luthor and Superboy to ambush the ones she considered friends. From inside Brainiac 8’s mind, Indigo watched in horror as she betrayed the ones she held the dearest, and struggled to regain control of her body…

Indigo was supposed to be just a fake personality to allow Brainiac 8 to infiltrate the 21st Century’s superheroes, but she eventually became a full person on her own, resulting in two different people inhabiting the same body: while Brainiac 8 is a ruthless killing machine, a cold calculator who deeply despises organic life and is blindly loyal to the Colu Empire, Indigo is a cheerful girl with a naive personality, who loves stuffed animals and games, and who’s ready to do anything for the friends she loves. Being an android from the future, she’s extremely powerful, with superhuman strength, durability and speed, an untold intellect, and the ability to fly, to project blasts of energy, to create force fields, and even to manipulate soundwaves; she’s also an extremely efficient tactician, and she’s able to hack any kind of computer system, interfacing with anything cybernetic (even other androids). With two personalities conflicting for the control of her remarkable powers, Brainiac 8/Indigo can be an extremely destructive force, or a formidable force for good.

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Alphonse Luzano

This week’s episode of Supergirl introduced yet another character, and quite an obscure one in the comics. In Truth, Justice and the American Way, the serial killer Master Jailer is targeting the escapees from Fort Rozz, and one of them is the peaceful Professor Alphonse Luzano, portrayed by Todd Sherry. In the episode, Luzano had been arrested for drug smuggling, but it turned out that he only stole drugs for his sick wife, desperately trying to cure her despite the impossible price of the medicals she needed…and he’s also a pretty decent guy, who became an astronomy professor on Earth trying to reinvent himself after incarceration. That’s kind of weird: so far, in Supergirl, they took some hero from the comics and turned him/her into a bad guy, while this time they did exactly the opposite, as Luzano in the comics is quite the supervillain, despite only appearing in a couple of issues. Let’s see together who this deranged scientist is…and no, he’s not an alien.

Almost nothing is known about Alphonse Luzano’s early life, with no informations at all regarding his family or place of birth. He grew up to become a brilliant scientist, specialised in nanotechnology, but his ideas and projects required human experimentation, something that was obviously considered illegal everywhere in the country…unless you didn’t have the right connections. Seeking potential in Luzano’s research, the criminal scientific organization known as The Lab hired the scientist, and founded his study. Luzano didn’t disappoint his new founders, as he developed his nanotechnology until he created something totally new, devices that he named Tektites: the Tektites were microscopic machines able to self-replicate, which could be injected in a living organism to perform a variety of functions, first of all the healing of tissues from virtually any injury. Of course, Tektites had to be tested in order to be perfectioned, and Luzano found the perfect lab rat in Mitch Shelley, a crooked lawyer from ViceroySouth Carolina, who worked for the local mob. Shelley was abducted and forcefully injected with the Tektites, which immediately began to work on the new organism. The effect the machines luzanocomics1had on Shelley surprised Luzano for first: the man apparently didn’t receive any “upgrade”, but in reality, any time he died, the Tektites restored him to life, each time giving him a new ability, a new superpower, that lasted only until the next death. Days of gruesome experiments proved to Luzano that the new power emerging was determined by the way Shelley got killed the previous time, thus hinting at a high adaptability of the Tektites. Shelley also suffered from amnesia, following the experiments, and didn’t remeber anything about his past…a side effect that could be perfectioned with time. His first and only lab rat, however, was later taken into custody by the Justice League of America, and he later became the heroic Resurrection Man; thanks to his efforts, The Lab was exposed and disbanded, and Alphonse Luzano ended up in jail for his illegal experiments, sentenced to life imprisonment in Garrett Federal Penitentiary in PendroyMontana.

Years later, Luzano was broken free by the most unlikely allies: Resurrection Man himself, and Supergirl. The heroine, in fact, was running against time to find a cure for cancer, in order to save a five-years-old boy she had grown attached to, Thomas. Supergirl believed Luzano could use the Tektites to cure the boy’s cancer, and the scientist confirmed it. Resurrection Man had doubts on involving the scientist, and plainly distrusted him. Supergirl, however, decided to try and trust Luzano, believing that he acted badly only because nobody ever gave him the choice of doing the right thing…of course she was wrong. In the following days, in a lab Supergirl covered with lead so that her cousin Superman wouldn’t have been able to find them, Luzano kept working on Tektites, but he didn’t find a way to adapt them to the boy’s DNA, given to him by the heroine who had retrieved some of Thomas’ hair, but to his own. Resurrection Man tried to warn Supergirl, but she kept trusting the scientist…until his work was complete. He revealed to the heroes that he had been using the Tektites on himself, using them to become immortal just as Mitch Shelley was, and gaining a number of new abilities learning from his previous mistakes. He didn’t have any intention of helping an unknown boy just to come back to luzanocomics2prison immediately after, and he made it clear by killing Shelley with a single plasma blast and then attacking Supergirl with his new strength. The battle between Luzano and Supergirl went on for a while, until it destroyed the entire lab. Just when it seemed that the two enemies’ powers equalled each other, Resurrection Man came back to life with a brand new ability: healing. He used it on Luzano, “healing” his body from the nanotech he had injected himself with. Acting before the Tektites could rearrange themselves, Supergirl physically removed them from the scientist’s body, shutting him down. Supergirl later met Superman, pointing him to where the comatose body of Luzano was, and the Man of Steel brought him back to prison. Despite all Supergirl’s efforts, Thomas had died, and not even Resurrection Man’s blood was enough to bring him back. Eventually, Luzano’s betrayal had taught a hard yet necessary lesson to the young and inexperienced superheroine.

Alphonse Luzano is a brilliant yet deranged scientist, a genius whose mind is driven by ego, greed and personal ambition. After the Tektites injection, Luzano gained a number of powers: superhuman strength, speed, durability and stamina nearly equal to a Kryptonian‘s ones, invulnerability and regeneration, plasma generation and heightened senses. Dangerous and lethal as both a normal human and a superhuman, Luzano is a man with no moral, ready to sacrifice everything and everyone to his researches.

Everett Kenneth Ross

Everett RossAfter so much speculation, Martin Freeman‘s mystery role in Captain America: Civil War has been revealed…and it appears that many guessed it right, as he turns out to be portraying Everett K. Ross, the one who in the comics serves as escort to “particular” diplomats in the United States. In the movie his role will apparently be a little bit different, as he’ll be a member of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre, a Government agent deeply connected to the superheroes’ world (his role is supposed to be “dampening” the superhuman community’s power), but ambiguous enough to make his true allegiance uncertain. Waiting to see what the British actor will bring to the character, let’s see together who he is in the comics.

Not much is known about Everett Ross’ early life; as a child, he was close to his grandfather, nicknamed (or named) Sundance, but nothing else is known about his family. As an adult, he dated a girl named Nikki Adams, and he obtained a job as an employee at the U.S. State Department. Everett’s job was to escort foreign diplomats on American soil, a job that proved to be less boring, and definitely much more dangerous, than it seemed. His first “peculiar” task was to escort the representatives of the Savage Land, the lord of the jungle Ka-Zar and his queen Shanna. While Ka-Zar knew the “civilzed” society and how to move in American cities, everything was new for Shanna on the opposite, and she had to get used to the strnage habits of people outside the prehistoric jungle she lived in…if that wasn’t enough, the couple had brought along a friend from the Savage Land, a huge sabre-toothed tiger named Zabu, who made it all the more difficult for Ross to guide the delegation around. As difficult as escorting Ka-Zar and his companions could be, however, that was nothing compared to the assignment that changed forever Kenneth’s life: when King T’Challa from Wakanda arrived in the States to visit New York City, Ross was the one appointed to be his guide, a moment that marked the beginning of one of the man’s most durable and weird friendships ever, and also one of the most difficult and dangerous times in his life. First of all, T’Challa didn’t arrive everettrosscomics1alone, as he was accompanied by his attendants and bodyguards Nakia, Okoye and Zuri: the first impossible mission for Everett Ross was to squeeze them all in his two-seats convertible car, challenging the very laws of physics. T’Challa, moreover, was radically different from all the heads of State Ross had ever known, and had weird requests: instead of the usual luxurious hotel, he preferred to spend his time and his nights in a housing project, and wanted to try street food and takeaway rather than eating in five-star restaurants. All this changes to his usual routine disoriented Ross, who had to reinvent himself and his work in order to meet the king’s desires. The worst had yet to come, as a street punk named Manuel Ramos stole Ross’ identification while he was accompanying the Wakandan delegation. Everett needed to retrieve it…and Black Panther and his entourage offered to accompany him.

Everett Ross and the Wakandans tracked Manuel down to a local strip club…where the cultural differences between the delegation and the locals arose in the worst way possible, as Zuri was involved in a brawl that ended up engulfing the entire place, Ross included. At the end of the night, Black Panther, Everett Ross and the three bodyguards ended up arrested, and for some mysterious reason Everett was missing his pants. Freed due to diplomatic immunity, Ross came back to the housing project with Zuri, who was trying to teach him the history of Wakanda, while Black Panther led investigations on his own (a scandal involving Tomorrow Fund was the only reason he was in the States for). The man T’Challa was investigating on, Achebe, had sold his soul to the demon Mephisto…the same demon that came knocking to the house project’s door, and who was “welcomed” by Everett, who was, much to his discomfort, tasked with entertaining him until the Black Panther returned. When the devil, unexpectedly moved to pity, conjured some pants for Everett to replace the ones he had lost, the man became frightened, believing he had everettrosscomics2sold his soul for the trousers. Mephisto reassured him: he only collected pure souls, and since Ross worked in Washington D.C., he had nothing to worry about. Anyway, Everett was truly relaxed only when Black Panther returned and engaged the demon in battle: Mephisto transported both the king and Everett to Hell, where the battle continued, and T’Challa managed to defeat the demon and to free both himself and Ross from his dimension thanks to the help of Bast, the Panther God he was consecrated to. If surviving a trip to Hell wasn’t enough, Kenneth was later involved also in an all-out battle between Black Panther and Kraven the Hunter, as well as in an unexpected meeting between the Wakandan king and his former teammates, the Avengers. The many adventures they shared, however, strenghtened the strange bond between Everett Ross and T’Challa, and when the latter risked to lose his kingdom due to a coup organised by Achebe and Erik Killmonger, Ross agreed to accompany him back to his country to help him. Everett’s adventures had only begun…

Everett Ross is a perfectly normal man, dragged into totally abnormal situations. A skilled diplomat with a law degree obtained in Oxford, following his time with T’Challa Ross has become America’s greatest expert on Wakanda, knowing its history, costumes and even language, and being proficient in the use of its futuristic technology. His weird relationship with T’Challa evolved in a strong friendship, and the king trusts him so much that he even made him regent of Wakanda during his absence, once. A loyal friend and a trustworthy professional, Everett Ross does his best to survive his friend’s every day life…not an easy task when you’re friends with a king superhero.

Hive

HiveRecent interviews finally revealed the identity of the big bad guy from this season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the creature known just as It introduced in 4,722 Hours: as many had guessed (me too, yeah!!) he’s Hive, a parasitic being that in the comics first appeared in New Warriors…the same team the series is introducing. The show reimagined Hive as a powerful Inhuman, an immortal slug-being who possesses the body of others as hosts, and who’s apparently able to control an entire planet’s weather, having sent against Jemma Simmons a sand-storm and even an earthquake. After abandoning the decaying body of Will Daniels, Hive is now walking around with the face of Grant Ward, recently killed by Phil Coulson…and that will be quite a surprise for the team. Now, let’s see together who this monstrous being is in the comics.

The life of the creature known as The Hive began when the international terrorist Kraken started his experiments to create a living embodiment of Hydra‘s ideals and principles. He collected a number of unknown parasites, and genetically engineered them to bond with a human body to create a never-before-seen hybrid. After bringing his parasites to perfection, Kraken contacted Ravenous, the Hydra Recruitment Centre in Vancouver, and ordered them to send him a specifical candidate who had been rejective for a deficiency in his immune system: the lack of the man’s white blood cells made him the perfect candidate for the second phase of the experiment. Kraken summoned the Hydra leader, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, to witness the birth of a new, powerful agent, as he locked the agent, stripped naked, in the chamber where the parasites’ eggs were kept. In presence of a human living body, the eggs hatched, and the parasites attacked the poor, unaware man, who was soon submerged by them. The parasites merged with him to a genetic level, in an extremely painful process that ultimately gave birth to the hybrid Kraken hivecomics1and von Strucker were waiting for: Hive was born. The monstrous being, at first, didn’t even had a personal identity, nor it had self-consciousness, but it proved to be highly intelligent, and it evolved quickly: the many parasitic minds fused into a group consciousness, and Hive even proved to be pretty cunning. The Baron himself provided to its conditioning, and he educated (more likely “brainwashed”) the creature to be blindly devoted to Hydra, and loyal to Strucker himself. When its training and preparation were completed, Hive was brought to Gehenna, the Hydra hideout in New Zealand, to be introduced to the other high-ranking officers. Baron Strucker was so satisfied by the results of the experiment and by the progresses of the creature that he appointed Hive as a new member of the Hydra High Council, along with himself, Kraken, The GorgonViper, and double/triple agent Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.

In order to test his new top agent, Baron Strucker led Hive and the Hydra forces against S.H.I.E.L.D., raiding and destroying some key objectives, among which Barracuda, a secret weapon storage. When Hydra learnt that Nick Fury, still on the run, was planning to attack The Dock, a shipyard belonging to H.A.M.M.E.R. hosting some of the stolen Helicarriers, Baron Strucker ambushed his historical nemesis, bringing along nearly every member of the High Council, Hive included. The monster proved to be on a whole different level of Fury’s men, and easily overpowered them, but things changed the moment Dum-Dum Dugan arrived on the battlefield along with the Secret Warriors, turning the tides of battle. While Dugan and Fury activated the Helicarriers, the Warriors fought the high-ranking Hydra agents, and Hive faced in battle Hellfire, who tried to use his blazing chain on him. Hive, however, was far too powerful even for him, and he easily knocked him out. Despite being able to outmatch some of the New Warriors, however, Hydra ended up on the losing side of the battle, and eventually Kraken teleported away Hive, Baron Strucker and Gorgon, retreating to Gehenna once more and leaving the Helicarriers to Fury. Back to the hivecomics2base, the High Council found out they had been summoned by Orion, the long-thought-dead leader of Leviathan, a rival organization. The High Council met Orion in Kyoto, in the Hydra base known as The Crown, where Leviathan ordered Hydra’s submission to them. Baron Strucker and the rest of the High Council refused, and a war started between the two terrorist organizations. During the first battle, The Crown ended up being destroyed, but both the leaders of Hydra and Leviathan managed to escape. Back to Gehenna, Baron Strucker and the others found the corpse of Viper, killed by de Fontaine, who was working for Orion: catching the opportunity, Hive merged with the woman’s body, chosing it as its new host. Now, with a newer and stronger body, Hive, as the reanimated Madame Hydra, was ready to battle Leviathan again…and was a step closer to break free from Strucker’s conditioning.

Hive is a creature with no personal identity nor individual consciousness, moved by a highly intelligent collective mind driven by survival instinct. Despite mantaining a humanoid form, Hive is actually a mass of separated worm-like parasites, so it’s highly resistant to damage, and is able to shoot the parasites composing it as projectiles. Hive also possesses a remarkable superhuman strength, is able to survive in virtually any environment and it also displays proficiency in hand-to-hand combat, but its main power remains the ability to possess other organisms’ body, albeit they must be weak enough to allow it to bypass their immune system (a fail-safe that allows Hydra to control it). Despite being engineered to be loyal to Hydra, merging with stronger bodies has allowed Hive to break free from its original mind-conditioning, and it’s now able to decide for itself, without pledging his allegiance to Strucker only: the world is about to know a brand new kind of menace.

Hardhat

HardhatFinally, here’s the last bad guy appearining in Code of Silence, last week’s episode of Arrow. This one’s identification was made more difficult by the fact that, differently from the other two members of the Demolition Team, he doesn’t share any physical or conceptual trait with his comicbook counterpart, and he was originally been credited as Steamroller…only to be later confirmed to be Hardhat, another historical member of the Team. This guy, portrayed by Marc Trottier, is apparently specialised in throwing weapons, and he’s the one who faces Green Arrow in the final showdown at the auditorium. Now, let’s take a look to the last member of the team who brought the house down in Arrow lately…and literally.

Not much is known about the man called Hardhat, not even his real name. He lived in New York City, and he worked there as a boxer. He eventually turned out to be pretty good at what he did, as he became a renowned prizefighter…but that wasn’t enough for him, as he aimed higher. Actually, he just wanted more money. When Rosie, the owner of a bar he used to hang out at while traveling in the South, told him she was recruiting for a mercenary team, he accepted her offer without a second thought, believing he had finally found his way. Rosie gave him a high-tech armor that further increased his strength and made him able to level a building with a headbutt: he was now Hardhat, member of the Demolition Team. Hardhat and his teammates made quite a name for themselves, scoring among the most payed and requested mercenaries around; they even obtained an unexpected power-up by a mysterious financier, who happened to be the cosmic entity Monitor. Rosie managed to reverse-engineer the alien tech she had been given, hardhatcomics1and Hardhat became even more powerful than before. The Demolition Team put their new equipment to the test when corrupted Congressman Jason Bloch hired them to destroy the Los Angeles branch of Ferris Aircraft, a rival in his affairs. Hardhat and the others believed that would have been a simple job, as the security agents proved to be defenseless against their armors and weapons…but then Predator, the ruthless and brutal defender of Carol Ferris, appeared, and single-handedly defeated the entire Demolition Team, proving where true power lied. Hardhat and the others were arrested…but no prison was solid enough to contain them, and they soon escaped, leaving behind just a pile of rubble, and ready for the next assignment.

The Demolition Team was hired for a job in Germany…but Hardhat decided he had had enough of team play for a while, and preferred to go solo. He took the equipment Rosie had given to him, and abandoned the team: while Rosie and the others were in Germany, he went to Opal City, and started wreaking havoc there. Obviously, Opal City was not without protectors, and Hardhat soon was faced the winged superhero Black Condor, who defeated him using his telekinesis, and forced him to retreat, looking for an easier target. In the meanwhile, the Demolition Team had disbanded following Rosie’s disappearance, and Hardhat was the only one among his teammates that continued his criminal activity…even if he only ended up being defeated, usually by Green Lantern. Eventually, however, Rosie came back, and put the old team back together…just when reality was on the verge of total destruction due to the Anti-Monitor‘s machinations. It turned out that the Monitor had given the Demolition Team those powerful weapons so that they could be employed in the upcoming battle to defend the multiverse…and Hardhat and the others answered to the call, being among the heroes and villains who fought to preserve reality. Among the agents the Anti-Monitor used against his enemies there was an army of O.M.A.C.s, unstoppable bio-hardhatcomics2weapons that were sent, among others, also against the Demolition Team…killing them all, with Hardhat being the only survivor. Now wanting to avenge his fallen comrades, Hardhat participated to the Battle of Metropolis, and arrived alive at the end of the cosmic event known as Infinite Chrisis…but when the multiverse was ripped apart and recomposed into a universe, Hardhat found himself among the forgotten ones, heroes and villains who didn’t find a place in the New Earth and were imprisoned in a Limbo. Along with Geist, Gunfire and others, Hardhat was now “living” outside reality, waiting for somebody to remember him and to bring him back…and Superman, looking for allies in his battle against Mandrakk, was just the one he was waiting for.

Hardhat is a violent and selfish man, who only thinks of profit and is ready to turn his back to his very allies if it suits him better. As a member of the Demolition Team, he possesses an armor that enhances his strength, and that makes him a living juggernaut: he can use his head and fists to level buildings, and can run at remarkable speed. Unstoppable and relentless, Hardhat is a force of nature, and nothing can stay intact after he has run over it.

Paul Monroe (Jesus)

JesusThe new episode of The Walking Dead introduced another major character (in substitution of the three killed-off in the previous one, probably), and that’s one we had been waiting for. In The Next WorldRick and Daryl are robbed by a bearded man, who tricks them and steals their food truck (not that he goes far with it): that’s Paul Rovia, portrayed by Tom Payne. Despite his surname has been changed, he’s definitely an adaptation of Paul Monroe, another beloved character from the comics, called Jesus for obvious reasons. In the comics, he starts as a secondary character, but his role grows until he’s rightfully counted among the main cast…and it seems this will be his destiny in the show as well. First of all, however, let’s see who the original one is.

As for most survivors, not much is known about Paul Monroe’s life before the Outbreak. He lived in the Washington D.C. area, and it’s more than likely that he attended to some martial arts classes. Nicknamed “Jesus” because of his appearance, it’s unknown if he had any family prior to the Zombie Apocalypse. What is known is that, after the Outbreak, he wandered for a while until he reached one of the many communities scattered around the country, the Hilltop Colony: the leader of the Colony, Gregory, was pretty impressed by Jesus’ many skills, and allowed him in his community without a second thought. For a while, Jesus worked as a recruiter for Gregory, bringing in people who could be useful to Hilltop…then The Saviors arrived. These were a violent and dangerous group who attacked other colonies, and forced them to pay heavy tributes in exchange of “protection” against walkers; their leader, Negan, was a monster just as fearful as he was charismatic. The Saviors forced Hilltop Colony to enter the tribute system, soon bringing the community to its knees…but that was always better than the total destruction that awaited them if they didn’t pay. Once, Paul decided he would have followed the tribute collectors to their hideout, in order to gain some information about Negan and his followers…but he was spotted, and barely escaped with his life. Hilltop jesuscomics1Colony however wasn’t able to pay for all the tributes The Saviors asked for, so Paul came out with yet another idea, that he proposed to Gregory: he would have scouted the surrounding area, looking for other peaceful colonies they could have started trading with, so that they would have lightened their burden with The Saviors. Gregory agreed, and allowed him to proceed with his plan. It took a while to him, and often his search was frustratred by failure: most of the colonies Jesus found were either not as organised as he needed them to be, or The Saviors had already visited them, so that they were in the same condition as the Hilltop Colony. He only found two eligibile ones, until, finally, Paul found a fortified residential area that met all the characteristics he was looking for, an organised community able to become a trading partner: he had found the Alexandria Safe-Zone.

Alexandrians had just survived the attack of a hostile group, The Ravagers, and the invasion of a massive herd, so they weren’t exactly ready to trust a stranger: Jesus tried to introduce himself to a scouting team, but they reacted badly to his presence, and things excalated quickly. A proficient martial artist, Paul Monroe managed to easily subdue the two Alexandrians he had met…who happened to be two of the Safe-Zone best fighters, Michonne and Abraham Ford. Having obtained “attention” by the Alexandrians, Paul managed to meet their leader, Rick Grimes, and explained to him his offer. Rick apparently trusted him, and offered him his hand in agreement…only to knock him out with a punch: previous experiences had taught him not to trust anybody. During the following days, Rick questioned him repeatedly on his intentions, until his son, Carl, convinced him that Paul plainly wasn’t such a bad guy; eventually, the two men came to a compromise, as Rick accepted to visit Hilltop Colony, but warning Paul that, if he didn’t like what he saw there, he would have killed him on the spot. The first night of travel, the small group composed of Rick, a tied-up Paul, Michonne, Glenn and Andrea was attacked by a herd of walkers: Paul used the occasion to earn the trust of his new jesuscomics2travel companions, and helped them kill the attackers and secure the area for the rest of the night. It was only a day and a half later, however, that Paul revealed to Rick that he had already freed himself of his ties, and that he had never been truly their prisoner: he told him he was testing them on their way to the Colony, and that they had passed the test. Surprised, Rick finally started trusting Jesus. They arrived in the Colony just as Gregory was attacked by one of his own, Ethan, who was acting under Negan’s orders in order to have back a friend of his, Crystal; Rick intervened, saved Gregory and killed Ethan, but at that point Jesus was forced to tell him everything about The Saviors. Surprisingly enough, Rick offered to kill The Saviors in exchange of half of the Hilltop’s supplies if they did it. Paul accepted the proposal on behalf of Gregory, and offered his help and knowledge. Finally, he had found some allies for his people to stand up to Negan and The Saviors.

Paul “Jesus” Monroe is a smart and resourceful man, a quick-thinker who proves to be also a great tactician and a wise advisor. Characterised by a strong morality, Paul is always the first one to speak for what is right, and to condemn wrong doings, and his caustic sense of humor actually hides a serious nature and a reflective mind, able to analyze any situation the best way possible in the shortest time possible. A survivor born, Jesus is also a proficient martial artist and swordsman, and also a remarkable horse-rider and escape artist, able to come out even from the most desperate situation. A man like Paul Monroe, in the post-apocalypse world, is the most precious of allies, and the worst thinkable enemy: among friends or foes, better to be on the right side with him.

Hammersmith (Jackhammer)

JackhammerTime for the second character introduced in Arrow episode Code of Silence, again a member of the Demolition Team. In the trio, there’s a hulkling brute who fights using a massive sledgehammer, and who manages to completely overwhelm Spartan during their first encounter (even if he’s tricked and defeated by him during their second one): that’s Jackhammer, portrayed by Daniel Cudmore. As well as his teammates, Jackhammer appears in a much more grounded look than his comicbook counterpart, lacking his original flashy costume and his futuristic equipment. But let’s see together who this secondary villain is.

Not much is known about Jackhammer’s early life, almost nothing actually. His surname was Hammersmith, and he was born in HoustonTexas. He grew up with a brother, Jackson, but the two of them didn’t have much of a relationship when they became adults. Hammersmith found a job as an oil rig wildcatter, something he turned out to be pretty good at, and that made him travel up and down the country quite a bit. One of his favourite places to stop, while working in the South, was Rosie’s, a bar in New Orleans, run by a woman who knew quite how to handle guys like him. Just like Rosie, Hammersmith was a greedy man, always trying to earn as much money as he could…and not necessarily through the legal way (not that working with oil corporations represented a problem with that); when Rosie offered him to become a part of the team she was gathering, a team of mercenaries not always (almost never) on the side of justice, but who earned in a pay-day more than a regular man in a life of work, jackhammercomics1Hammersmith didn’t have many doubts, and chose to join the Demolition Team. Rosie designed for him a special pneumatic drill, whose power was augmented by the remarkable size and by the sonic waves it employed; from that day on, Hammersmith was known as Jackhammer. With Rosie’s engineering abilities, the Demolition Team soon gained fame and respect in the mercenary world, specialising in both localised destruction…and total mayhem. If Rosie’s weapons weren’t powerful enough, the cosmic entity Monitor provided them soon after their debut with futuristic tech, which Rosie reverse-engineered to adapt to the weapons Jackhammer and the others were already using, making them utterly unstoppable…or close enough.

The baptism of fire for the new equipment arrived when corrupted Congressman Jason Bloch hired the Demolition Team to damage a personal financial adversary of his, Ferris Aircraft. Jackhammer and the rest of the team were sent to Los Angeles, where they were ordered to destry the local branch, possibly with the CEO Carol Ferris still inside the building. The security guards were no match for Jackhammer and his brute strength, and apparently Green Lantern wasn’t on the spot to help Ferris as he usually did, so the Demolition Team was dealing with an easy mission…that, until a new, blood-thirsty protector appeared, Predator, who was actually a manifestation of Carol Ferris’ own subconscious. Despite their new equipment and their combined effort, every member of the Demolition Team was defeated by Predator alone, and they were sent to jail. Of course, demolishing a prison wasn’t such a hard job for the Demolition Team, and they escaped soon after their arrest, coming back to business (every one of them but Hardhat, who preferred to start a solo career). The first mission Jackhammer and the others received after the imprisonment sent them to Germany, where they were ordered to destroy a nuclear power plant. Again, what would have normally been an easy job was made unusefully complicated by the appearance of jackhammercomics2superheroes, this time the newborn team Blood Pack; in the following battle, the Pack proved to be a worthy adversary for Jackhammer and his teammates, and eventually the Demolition Team was forced to withdraw. Back to the United States, Jackhammer found himself without a single job for quite a while, since Rosie had disappeared, and the team had disbanded as a result. Just when he was about to resume his old job, however, Jackhammer was summoned again by Rosie, who had come back and was ready to reunite the old team together…and this time, there was much more at stake than simple profit: the survival of reality itself was in danger, and the Demolition Team had a role to play in the upcoming cosmic battle.

Hammersmith is a greedy and brutal man, whose sole interest is money. As Jackhammer, apart from being gifted with a remarkable strength and durability, he’s armed with a high-tech jackhammer, powerful enough to level a building after a few seconds of use. Loyal to Rosie, and to nobody else, Jackhammer is an intimidating behemoth devoted to destruction and profit only.