Emmett Vale

emmettvalefilmFinally, time for the last character appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (it took less time that I expected): near the beginning of the movie, a scientific expedition financed by LexCorp collects items from one of the Kryptonian spaceships, sunk in the Indian Ocean, and retrieves also a big chunk of lethal Kryptonite. The scientist overwatching the entire process is Emmett Vale, portrayed by Ralph Lister, who disappears as soon as he gives the Kryptonite to his boss. The evil scientist already appeared in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, albeit he was split in two brothers, Emmett and Rollie Vale, portrayed respectively by John Rubinstein and Christian Clemenson. The Vale brothers were robotic engineers who created the android Metallo, and the latter even enhanced himself with cybernetic prosthetic. Now, time to see who this umpteenth mad scientist from the DC Universe is.

On Earth-1, Professor Vale’s past was pretty much a mystery. He was a renowned physicist and engineer, and somehow got all the resources he needed to perform futuristic experiments using human guinea pigs. He lived in Metropolis, where his cooperators brought him subjects far too wounded to be properly treated in hospital, and who he could experiment on without any friend or relative looking for them. One day, his men brought Vale an infamous, unscrupulous reporter who had had a terrible car accident, John Corben. Corben’s heart had been terribly damaged in the accident, and the man would have surely died in a matter of minutes. Vale, however, had some ace up his sleeve, and he used some experimental cybernetic prosthetic to replace the reporter’s missing limbs, and he even replaced the man’s heart with an artificial one made of Uranium, then covering everything up with artificial human skin. John Corben regained consciousness, and became the android known as Metallo: his emmettvalecomics1Uranium heart had to be replaced from time to time since the energy was quickly consumed, so the former reporter stole it from several power plants, entering into conflict with Superman for that. Vale, in the meanwhile, suffered from a minor stroke, but he managed to recover nevertheless, ready to help his creature in his new life. When it became clear that the Uranium heart was far too unstable, Vale found another possible source for its empowerment in Kryptonite, the alien mineral that was also a lethal poison to Superman. Professor Vale proceeded to replace Metallo’s heart with a Kryptonite rock the cyborg had stolen from an exhibition, and created a more powerful version of him… or, at least, so he thought, as Superman had tricked them both and replaced the Kryptonite with a normal rock painted green in advance. Without a power source, John Corben died of a heart attack, while Professor Vale was arrested for his crimes, thus ending both his scientific and his criminal careers.

After Chrisis on Infinite Earth, a new Professor Vale appeared, this time an astronomer and a physicist. The only aim of his research was monitoring the skies in search of alien activity, a task that with years brought him to paranoia: Emmett Vale was sure that somewhere in space, unspecified “aliens” were plotting to invade Earth, and that sooner or later he would have been the one to see the threat coming and to save the world. A night, he witnessed a space vessel entering the planet’s orbit: it was the Kryptonian Birthing Martix, carrying aboard infant Kal-El, the last son of dying planet Krypton. Sure he had seen the vanguard of the foreseen invasion, Vale dedicated the next twenty-eight years of his life on searching for the alien, but eventually he only found his spaceship, and stole it. Studying the ship, Vale found a recorded message from the alien’s father, Jor-El, that revealed the ultimate fate of Krypton, but he mistranslated it, and believed it contained the instructions for an invasion; he also found the remnants of an unknown mineral, which he called “Kryptonite” after the destroyed emmettvalecomics2planet. His studies on the Birthing Matrix also brought Vale to the conclusion (this time a right one) that the alien Kal-El and the superhero Superman were one and the same, and he dedicated his life to find a way to kill the Man of Steel and save his planet from an invasion it didn’t even know was happening. Vale studied Superman thoroughly, and discovered that Kryptonite was able to damage his otherwise indestructible body. He looked for a way to weaponize the mineral, and he found it in John Corben, a soldier who had been badly injured in a car accident. Vale stole his body, and replaced the missing limbs with cybernetic implants; he then gave the man a heart made of Kryptonite, making him a living anti-Superman weapon. When Corben woke up, Vale instructed him on his mission: to kill Superman, the alien invader, a task that Corben willingly accepted… but not before murdering his creator: he wanted no masters. Superman later found Vale’s body and lab, and he erased all trace of his work: the information the man had gathered on him were far too dangerous if entrusted to the wrong hands.

Emmett Vale is a brilliant man, but not exactly a balanced individual: driven either by his ego or by a crippling paranoia, he uses his remarkable intellect always for the wrong purposes. Convinced without the slightest evidence that Earth is threatened by an alien invasion which Superman is allegedly the vanguard of, he uses his knowledge in physics, chemistry, robotics and engineering to collect data on the alien and to build an arsenal of anti-Kryptonian weapons, the masterpiece of which is the cyborg Metallo, unfortunately just as psychotic as his inventor. One of the most gifted minds on the planet, Emmett Vale is the living proof that sanity doesn’t come with intelligence.


Finn Cooley

finncooleyfilmTime for the last character who made his debut (and said goodbye) in Daredevil‘s episode Penny and Dime. When most of the infamous gang Kitchen Irish is wiped out by The Punisher, a renowned boss comes back directly from Ireland to take the lead, and to take his vengeance for his son’s death… the boss being Finn Cooley, portrayed by Tony Curran. In the comics, Cooley is one of the most recognizable foes of The Punisher (and looking at the pictures below you can guess why), and his end in the tv show is a homage of sort to his original visage. While Curran is probably grateful his character didn’t look anything like his original counterpart, we’ll get to take a look at the hideous villain… again, we’re not speaking of mainstream Earth-616 here, but of R-rated Earth-200111.

Finn Cooley was born in Derry, Ireland, and nothing is known about his family, apart from the fact that he had (at least) a nephew, named Peter. He made quite a name for himself by joining the Irish Republican Army (aka IRA), where it turned out he had quite a natural talent with explosives. Cooley was one of the best in what he did, and earned the trust of his superiors and the fear of his enemies thanks to his ruthlessness and his ability in creating and placing explosive devices in key objectives. Soon, in 1986, young Cooley was entrusted with the lead of an IRA cell in Derry, and he was assigned a number of men who followed his orders and helped him organize the following terrorist attacks. Finn Cooley’s career within the IRA ended in 1993, in Belfast: the man, in fact, was placing a bomb at the local police station, aiming to cause as many casualties he could, but the device wasn’t exactly well-programmed, and it exploded too soon, ripping off the terrorist’s face. Finn Cooley survived, but from that moment he was forced to wear a plastic mask that prevented the flesh of what remained of his face to fall down. Plus, if being disfigured wasn’t enough, Cooley was also arrested for multiple murder by the same policemen he was supposed to take out. Surely Cooley didn’t get rusty in prison, as he kept his contacts more than active, and still led part of the Irish criminality from finncooleycomics1behind the bars. Despite his criminal record, Finn was released after only five years of imprisonment as part of the Good Friday Agreement, or Belfast Agreement, a political maneuver aimed to ensure peace between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland which included also the release of some “patriots” affiliated to the IRA. More interested in bombs than in politics, Finn Cooley left his now relatively peaceful homeland and moved to New York City, in the United States of America, where his experience could have proven useful for other forces at play.

New York City was the playing ground of a number of different criminal associations, among which there were also many Irish gangs: Finn Cooley fit in quite well, and specialized in arms dealing, always with quite a particular taste for bombs and explosives in general. As all the other Irish mob bosses, Finn was forced to obey to the “boss of bosses”, old man Nesbitt, who became one of his main business partners (they usually traded weapons for drugs and vice versa), but who never hid his deep disdain for Cooley… a feeling that was heartily reciprocated. Cooley was smart enough to respect the hierarchy, however, and stayed in line along with MagintyTommy Toner and the two leaders of the River Rats, Polly and Eamon, the other main bosses of the Irish gangs; of course, the moment Nesbitt would have died, it would have been an all-out war to take control of his criminal empire. Eventually the old man passed away, but he left behind quite a puzzling legacy: Finn received a letter from Nesbitt, in which there was part of a code to access his $10 million of inheritance; the other parts of the code were sent to the remaining gang leaders. Apparently, the old man wanted all his possible heirs to cooperate and to share his empire, in order to avoid a bloody gang war… but Finn didn’t exactly saw it the same way, and he set a bomb to get rid of his rivals. Once again, however, the timer went off finncooleycomics2too soon, and the bomb exploded in Hell’s Kitchen, before being close to Maginty, Toner or the others; it managed, however, to obtain the unwanted attention of The Punisher, the most brutal vigilante around, who started hunting down the Irish mobsters. With a foe like The Punisher on their trails, the mobsters were forced to forget their enmity and to form an uncomfortable alliance… at least, just as long as Nesbitt’s fortune was found. Cooley already had planned a way to kill everybody else upon finding the treasure, but Nesbitt beat him on time: where the money was supposed to be, the crime bosses found a bomb instead, a parting gift from the old man, who hated each one of them. Quite an ironic end for an IRA legend.

Finn Cooley is a violent and blood-thirsty man, who uses politics as an excuse to follow his real passion: making things and people blow up. He’s an expert in explosives and firearms, and he’s also a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, a lethal soldier used to see even the most peaceful city as a potential war zone. A man dangerous enough to inspire fear even in his closest allies, Cooley is a survivor in a war with no winners, a warrior who’s just looking for another conflict to ignite in order to put at use his many, lethal talents.

Silas Stone

silasstonefilmSecond character from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, another brief cameo leading to a wider DC Extended Universe. When Wonder Woman explores Lex Luthor‘s data on metahumans, she stumbles upon some security video from S.T.A.R. Labs featuring one of their scientists experimenting on his very son in the effort of bringing him back to life thanks to cybernetic implants (and managing to do that with something that looks a lot like a Mother Box): the scientist in question is Silas Stone, portrayed by Joe Morton. It’s more than likely that Morton will reprise the role in some future installment of the series, even if we don’t have any official source telling us when this will happen; in the meanwhile, let’s take a look at the original Silas.

Silas was the son of two famous Vaudeville performers, singer and dancer Tucker Stone and escape artist Maude, his wife. As a boy, he surely didn’t follow his parents’ footsteps, as he dedicated himself completely to science. Silas showed from the very beginning an incredible intellect, that put him on the same level of most of his professors in college; it was thanks to his studies that he met the girl that would have become his wife, Elinore, another scientist. Silas and Elinore got married, and they both found a job as researchers in the futuristic S.T.A.R. Labs, in the Detroit division. The two specialized in human enhancing technology, a series of projects aimed to bring human beings to perfection by triggering their hidden potential… and when they had a son, Victor, they also had the awful idea to experiment on him. Silas wanted to make a genius out of his son, so he tried on him every sort of new tech to boost his intelligence; the experiments were a success, and Victor became a child genius… but their father-and-son relationship also grew colder, as Vic reacted badly to his father’s attempts to control his life: Silas, in fact, now saw him as the result of his work more silasstonecomics1than a person in his own right, and wanted to direct every part of his life, not wanting him to waste all the potential that he had helped to fulfill. In response to this, Victor rebelled to Silas, and gave himself mostly to sport (football especially), and only frequented people Silas didn’t approve, in a continuous challenge that estranged the two even more. The final straw came when Vic started hanging out with some crooks, and got involved into a gang fight: he came back home hurt, and when Silas found out what had happened, he kicked his son out of his house, stating that he would have never recognized a criminal as his son. This, of course, made the relationship between the two even more stranded: for the following years, Silas and Victor didn’t even talk to each other, and the boy only visited his mother, completely ignoring his father.

Years passed, and Silas and Elinore dedicated themselves to other experiments, the most important of which was a Dimensional Transmitter, able to open portals to other realities, allegedly only to observe them. The day Silas wanted to try his new invention out, Victor passed by the Stones’ lab, wanting to see Elinore. The device worked perfectly, but it opened on a dangerous dimension, inhabited by monstrous and highly hostile aliens: one of them managed to pass through the breach, attacking the Stones. The alien killed Elinore on the spot, and then proceeded to attack Victor, shredding him to pieces: Silas, frantic, managed to sent the monster back where it belonged, but his son was severely injured. Victor fell into an irreversible coma, with barely enough body parts to keep him whole; by his wife’s grave, Silas swore that he would have not lost his son as well. Back to his lab, Silas “stole” Victor’s body, and used on him the unapproved prototype of a cybernetic body that he had devised for injured soldiers. Victor silasstonecomics2was brought back to life, but he was not human anymore: the boy, not exactly grateful, interpreted this “rescue” as the umpteenth attempt from his father to control his life, and after months of physical training and rehabilitation he left angrily, determined never to see Silas again. Much to Silas’ surprise, Victor used the abilities his new body granted him to become a superhero, naming himself Cyborg and joining the new Teen Titans: Silas couldn’t be prouder of his son, and wanted to help him as much as he could, but he obviously couldn’t do it openly, since Victor hated him. Furthermore, the man found out that the attack from the alien creature had left him with a massive radiation poisoning, and he didn’t have much more left to live. Before dying, however, he wanted to do something good for Vic, so he used his money and influence to build the Titans Tower, a safe headquarters for Cyborg and his teammates, and kept financing the heroes anonymously. It was only after a misadventure with the Fearsome Five, and thanks to Raven‘s mediation, that Silas and Victor spoke to each other again: upon knowing that his father was dying, Cyborg agreed to give him a second chance, and to spend some time with him. It was more than Silas hoped for, or even deserved.

Silas Stone is an extremely brilliant man, who unfortunately puts science before anything (and anyone) else, often losing contact with human relations. Despite loving his son, he just can’t avoid to treat him like one of his experiments rather than a true person, and he tries to control him in his life choices out of his desire not to see him waste his potential, but ending up ruining their relation as a result. Ambitious and intelligent, but socially awkward, Silas is more at ease with numbers than with people, and has quite some difficulty in creating true bonds… but anyone can learn, and he’s no exception.

Frank Castle, Jr.

frankcastlejrfilmTime for the third member of the Castle family as seen in Daredevil, always in the family picture found by Karen Page in Penny and Dime: the youngest kid, Frank Castle, Jr., portrayed by a yet unknown actor. Of course, little Frank is dead from before our story begins, so he doesn’t have much of a role in the show. He already appeared in 2004 The Punisher, where he was renamed Will Castle and was portrayed by Marcus Johns; in the movie, Will was the Castles’ only son, and was killed by Bobby Saint along with his mother. He also appeared in Punisher: War Zone, briefly portrayed by Miro Bedard, and he was seen only in photo… and as a corpse, by the way, killed by some mobsters with the rest of his family. Now, time to meet the last member of the Castle family.

Frank Castle, Jr. was the son of Francis and Maria Castiglione. He was born when his father, a much-decorated marine, came back from his second turn in Vietnam, and was allegedly ready to start a civil life at his wife’s side. Francis, however, was willing to join the men he had left in the war, so he legally changed his name into Frank Castle to come back for a third (illegal) turn: the boy was supposed to be called Francis Castiglione, Jr., but with his father changing name and surname he became Frank Castle as well. With his father back to Vietnam for a third (and a fourth…) turn, little Frank grew up with his mother and with his older sister, Lisa, who raised him and took care of him the best they could… but the boy obviously missed his father, and he grew with this ideal image of his heroic soldier dad in mind. Finally, the war in Vietnam ended, and Frank Castle came back home to his family: it was a chance for Frank Jr. to finally hug his long-awaited father… or not. Castle came back scarred from the war, and it took some time before the efforts of Maria and frankcastlejrcomics1Lisa managed to bring Frank truly back home… in the meantime, Frank Jr. waited patiently (or close enough to patiently) that his father found will and time to play with him, and to tell him the stories of heroism he longed for while he was away. Finally, Frank Sr. came back to himself, and Frank Jr. had a dad to play with… but there were no stories from the war: those belonged to the broken soldier only, and to the part of his life he wanted to keep buried in his memory and in his nightmares.

Finally, the Castle family was reunited once again, truly reunited, and Frank’s dad wanted to make amend for all the time he had spent far from his wife and children (both physically and psychologically) by giving them a special day to be remembered, a day all for them and nobody else. Frank and Maria organised a picnic at Central Park, a small thing that however made Lisa and little Frank Jr. extremely happy and excited. The four of them went to Central Park as planned, and moved to Sheep’s Meadow, where the parents prepared everything for the lunch, while Lisa and Frank Jr. walked away a little bit to play. Frank Jr. had a new kite to play with, and ran with it on the nearby meadows… unfortunately, the boy ran just to the spot a local Mafia group had chosen for an execution. The gangsters noticed the boy who, scared, ran back to his family, with the criminals on his trails. In order to avoid witnesses, the mobsters opened fire on the family, killing the woman and the two kids, leaving the man for dead. Being just a kid, Frank Jr.’s soul didn’t have any problems in entering Heaven, and from there he saw his father becoming the brutal vigilante The Punisher driven by his thirst of vengeance. Frankie kept watching over his father, and even prompted frankcastlejrcomics2his family’s guardian angel, Gadriel, heart-broken for being unable to save them, to do the same. Years later, Frank Jr. was almost resurrected along with his mother and sister by the mystical criminal The Hood, who wanted to use them as leverage to control The Punisher: Castle, however, believed the dead should stay dead, and rather than seeing his beloved ones back alive as slaves to The Hood, he burnt their coffins with the reanimating corpses inside. Frank Jr. would have always stayed with his father… only, not in flesh and bones.

Frank Castle Jr. is a normal kid his age: lively, enthusiastic over pretty much everything, he has a true adoration for his absent father, whom he considers a true hero. Eager to spend time with his idolized dad, Frank Jr. represents all the joy of living and the innocence Frank Sr. lost in war, a part of him that will never come back.

Joseph Chilton (Joe Chill)

joechillfilmFinally, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is in theaters… and it’s quite a disappointing, if you ask me. Anyway, there are some more characters adding up to the ones seen already: I counted three, but it’ll take some time before I could get all the pictures. Let’s start with the first one: at the beginning of the movie, we witness Batman‘s origins, and we see his parents killed before his very eyes. The man pulling the trigger is, once again, Joe Chill, portrayed by a still unknown actor. The character already appeared in the 1989 Batman movie, portrayed by Clyde Gatell, but he wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger, as his partner Jack Napier killed the Waynes in his place. He made his full relevant appearance in Batman Begins, portrayed by Richard Brake: a desperate man driven to violence by poverty, Chill kills the Waynes and gets arrested soon after; 14 years later, upon coming out of prison, he parlors his way out in exchange of information about mob boss Carmine Falcone… but the latter has him killed before he could talk. Now, let’s see who the original killer of the Waynes is… and, again, multiple versions coming.

Joseph Chilton was born the son of an unnamed, poor woman living in Gotham CityMrs. Chilton was hired by wealthy Phillip Wayne as a housekeeper, and Joseph grew up with his brother Max in the enormous villa of his mother’s employer. Sometimes, Mrs. Chilton was sent to the house of Thomas, Phillip’s brother, to work for him as well, and little Joseph saw a wealth he would have never been able to obtain on his own, something that made him grudgy against the Waynes. As an adult, he changed his name to Joe Chill (it sounded more “intimidating” on the streets), and he became a gun for hire, looking for a shortcut to the opulence he had seen as a child. After building something similar to a fame, Chill was finally employed by Lew Moxon, one of the local crime bosses. Knowing of his ties to the Wayne family, Moxon hired Chill to kill both Thomas and Martha, making it look like it was a simple robbery. Joe ambushed the Waynes in an alley, a night they went to watch a movie with their little son Bruce: he came out of the shadows, ordered them to give him their money, and then shot them point blank, leaving Bruce as joechilldcomics1the sole survivor. Years later, Chill had become a minor boss in his own right, but Gotham’s criminality was terrified by Batman, a vigilante who had started an all-out war on gangsters. Finally, it came the moment Chill was hunted down by Batman… who happened to know he had killed the Waynes. Believing in a bluff (there was no witness), Joe denied… until Batman removed his mask, revealing himself as Bruce Wayne. Now truly scared, Joe Chill made a run, and came back to his safe-house asking protection to his men. He briefly explained the situation, and his goons answered by shooting him, killing him for being the one responsible of Batman’s birth. Luckily enough, the crooks didn’t realize how precious the information of Batman’s secret identity was, not immediately, and Joe Chill died before he could reveal anything he knew about Bruce Wayne.

After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Joe Chill made a return to existence… actually two, contradicting one another. In the first story, he was a low-life living in Gotham, who robbed rich people in order to get enough for him and his son Joseph Jr. to survive. Of course, he also happened to gun down Thomas and Martha Wayne, making their son Bruce become Batman years later. When a brutal vigilante known as the Reaper started targeting criminals, Joe Chill was hired by several bosses to dispose of him… a task that brought him to an unexpected and uncomfortable alliance with Batman. While Batman swore to himself he would have killed Chill after the case was close, Joe’s contract told him to kill Batman as well after Reaper was dead. Eventually, Reaper apparently died in an explosion along with all the bosses who had hired Chill, so he told Batman there was no reason for him to fulfill the contract anymore… but the vigilante took him to Crime Alley, where he revealed himself as Bruce Wayne. Batman pulled out a gun, apparently eager to kill Chill, but Reaper, who had survived the explosion, appeared and beat him on time, gunning down the killer. In yet another version (oddly still set in New Earth), Joe Chill was arrested immediately after the homicide of the Waynes. Gotham’s prison couldn’t hold anybody for long, however, and Chill was out in no time. He spent the following twenty years to joechilldcomics2build a mildly relevant criminal empire, and when he was about to start playing among the big guys, Batman arrived, ruining every crook’s ambition. Curiously, Batman seemed to have some kind of preference for Chill, as he appeared to him nearly every night, going on for weeks waiting for him in his room, in dark alleys, pretty much everywhere, without saying a word and disappearing soon after. Chill became paranoid and constantly terrified, he hired bodyguards and he never left his office… but eventually Batman came for him nevertheless. The vigilante gave him a gun, the same he had used to kill the Waynes years before, and then removed his mask, revealing himself as Bruce Wayne. Fearing his fellow criminals’ reaction when they learnt that he was the one who had created their greatest enemy, and broken by months of psychological tortures, Joe Chill took the gun and shot himself.

Jonathan Chilton is a greedy and amoral man, who only thinks of profit and values it over human life without a second thought. As Joe Chill, he’s a renowned hired gun in Gotham City, a hit man who’s appreciated for always fulfilling his contracts. With no talent other than pulling a trigger at the right moment, Chill is a far better killer than he is a crime boss… something that he soon learns at his own expenses.

Maria Elizabeth Castle

mariacastlefilmBack to Daredevil, let’s skip to episode four. In Penny and DimeKaren Page discovers an investigative side, and starts digging in Frank Castle‘s past… and we finally see his family, albeit in photograph only. The wife is Maria Castle, portrayed by Lauren Gray Weinerth, and as you can guess she doesn’t appear much in the show. Maria is the only member of the Castle family to have appeared in every single portrayal of the character, starting from 1989 The Punisher, where she was renamed Julie and she was played by May Lloyd; she only appeared in a flashback, where she burnt alive with her two daughters. In the following movie of the same name, Maria was played by Samantha Mathis, and we get to know her a little as a loving wife and mother before she gets run over by John Saint with his truck. In Punisher: War Zone Maria once again appears only in a photo, this time as a corpse. Now, time to see who the wife of Frank Castle really is.

Not much is known about Maria’s early life, not even her maiden name. She was born in New York City, and when she was still pretty young she met a nice guy, Francis Castiglione, whom she fell in love with. Castiglione had another love in his life: the army, and Maria knew it from the very beginning. When the boy enlisted, the two of them got married just before he left for the training camp, and she officially became the wife of a soldier. Her husband rose in ranks rapidly, while Maria waited for him at home… where she found out she was pregnant with their first child. While Francis was becoming a captain, Maria gave birth to Lisa, the first new member of the family… and the baby’s father could only meet her briefly before being sent to Vietnam. Maria and Lisa stayed at home while Francis spent two turns in war, but finally he came back with medals appointed to his chest: this was the chance the Castigliones had to live a happy and peaceful life. Maria got pregnant a second time, and she gave birth to Francis Jr., a boy who mariacastlecomics1was meant to seal the happiness of their family… but her husband never really came back, and it became clear that he was still with his mind in Vietnam, and that he desperately wanted to come back. Despite fearing for him, Maria understood how much important it was for her husband to come back to his men still fighting, and she supported him when he decided to legally change his name in Frank Castle in order to be (illegally) sent to Vietnam for a third time. Finally, the war ended, and Frank came back home for good, with a new job as a trainer that kept him near home. The nightmare of having her husband risking his life every day was finally over, and Maria could start breathing again.

Things, however, weren’t that easy at all: despite being physically home, Frank’s mind was still in the middle of the war, and it took him some time before realizing that he was finally in peace, with people who loved him. Maria did her best to help her husband, being by his side during the bursts of rage and the nights of tears, always letting Frank take his time even to open up with her, sharing his burden (something that he seldom did). Maria had to fight with all herself the thought that her husband just didn’t want to come back to them, that he loved the marines more than he loved his family… but finally Frank made it, and even the war nightmares started to be just a bad memory. Maria’s husband, finally, was back, and he wanted to make amend for all the time he had spent far from home… being it physically or just psychologically. Frank’s way to start a brand new life with his family turned out to be one day in Central Park, just like every other normal family who never knew the problems they did: Maria was more than happy, and the kids as well. They organised a picnic at Sheep’s Meadow green, and while Maria and Frank were preparing, the kids mariacastlecomics2started to play… going too close to the spot a local Mafia gang had chosen for an execution. The gangsters clearly didn’t like the idea of witnesses, so they gunned down the entire family: only Frank emerged barely alive, Maria died on the spot with her children. From beyond the grave, Maria’s soul watched over Frank, seeing her once loving husband becoming a ruthless and brutal vigilante known as The Punisher; in Heaven, she also met the family’s guardian angel, Gadriel, in sorrow for being unable to protect them… but still in time to protect Frank. Maybe.

Maria Castle is a loving and patient woman, with a remarkable inner strength that allows her to run a family of two kids and a broken husband on herself. Despite the many horrible things Frank did in war, Maria still sees in him the good man she married, and she’s the only one able to call him “Angel“… and believe it. In a life of darkness and death like Frank Castle’s one, Maria is one of the few beacons of light.

Richard “Dick” Malverne

dickmalvernefilmThere was still another new character introduced in last episode of Supergirl… some so fundamental that most of the viewers didn’t even notice him. In Manhunter, during a flashback seeing teenage Alex and Kara interacting, the two sisters go to the beach, accepting the invitation of one of Alex’s friends, a nice guy she seems interested to: that guy is Rick Malverne, portrayed by Zayne Emory. Now, in the comics Rick/Dick Malverne is surely linked to Kara, being one of her very first love interests… but if he’ll ever come back to the show, it’s more likely he’ll be Alex’s first boyfriend rather than her sister’s. Anyway, let’s see together who this guy is in the comics… and warning, multiple versions again.

Richard Wilson was born somewhere around Metropolis, and when he was a kid both of his parents died in an accident, leaving him alone. As most orphans of that area, Dick ended up being entrusted to Midvale Orphanage, where he grew up with other kids who suffered his same loss. Among all the boys and girls he met at Midvale, Dick grew specifically attached to one in particular: Linda Lee, a girl he developed a child crush on. When a new heroine in blue suit and red cape, Supergirl, made her public debut and started saving the day in the area, Dick suspected that there was Linda behind the blonde marvel that was fascinating Metropolis, but he wasn’t able to prove it, and kept silent about it. Rather, he tried to get as close as he could to Linda. Some years later Dick was adopted by a family, the Malvernes, and legally took their name; he didn’t part ways with Linda, as they grew up and attended Stenhope College together. He finally let her know his feelings for her, and the two started dating. During their time together, Dick came close more than once to finding out Linda’s secret, and she devised a number of tricks to deceive him, such as having herself and “Supergirl” appearing in the same room at once. Dick, however, didn’t need any other proof: he knew his girl, knew of her true nature despite the sloppy appearance she presented herself to the world with, and knew for sure that if there was a heroine out there, that was Linda Lee. Eventually, dickmalvernecomics1however, the two of them broke up, with Linda coming to consider him more a nuisance than anything else. After college, a whole new life was waiting for Dick Malverne… unfortunately, he wouldn’t have lived it. Still young, he was diagnosed with a malignant cancer, that left him without any hope of surviving. When his end was near, Dick asked to see Linda one last time, and she surprisingly answered his call. Before dying, Dick told her that he had always loved her, and that he had protected her secret all his life… he even apologized for seeking “evidence” during their childhood. The two shared one last, tender kiss, before Dick finally died, leaving the Girl of Steel heartbroken like never before.

After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Dick Malverne’s life was completely rewritten, starting from his past as an orphan. His family or birthplace are unknown, but at a certain point in his life he moved to Virginia, to the suburban town of Leesburg. Wanting to begin his new life, he bought an appliance store, and everything seemed fine for him at last… until he was diagnosed with cancer. Afraid and alone, Dick didn’t know what to do, and he fell for the Church of Supergirl, a group that said was able to help him. Through the Church, Dick entered in contact with a demonic entity who called himself Buzz, and who tricked him into being possessed by another entity, Tempus Fugit, a lethal being that Buzz later sent to kill Sylvia Danvers, as part of a long-planned war against the heroine Supergirl. Tempus didn’t kill Sylvia, but Supergirl came close to kill its host, just as Buzz wanted… but eventually she managed to do the right thing, and she destroyed Buzz shattering his body in pieces. The demon, however, managed to put a fragment of his essence inside Dick, and stayed dormant within the boy’s soul for months. During this time, Dick’s cancer seemed to have disappeared, and he believed in a miracle. Ready to finally start a new life, the boy came back to his shop, and even met a girl he liked, Linda Danvers. The two started dating, with Dick unaware that Linda was actually Supergirl… and most of all, unaware that he had a broken demon living inside him. When, despite the difficulties given by Linda’s double life, it became clear the two of them loved each dickmalvernecomics2other, Buzz finally manifested himself, and threatened to kill Dick if Supergirl didn’t collect the rest of his body from a prison of the Chaos Lord. Wanting to save her man, Supergirl fought the prison’s guardian, the Unholy, and freed Buzz, who kept his word and left Dick Malverne’s body… unfortunately, the demon’s presence was the only thing that kept his cancer from growing. Now, since he never forwent treatment due to his “faith” in the Church of Supergirl, Dick was sentenced to death, with nothing else that could be done but to wait for the end, with the girl he loved by his side.

Richard Malverne is a perfectly normal boy, a good guy who does his best to make a living. On Earth-1, he dedicates his life to protect the secret of the love of his life, Linda “Supergirl” Danvers, while on New Earth he’s just a simple boy who makes a lot of terrible choices out of fear. In both worlds and destinies, however, his fate is romantically linked to Supergirl’s one.