Morgan le Fay

morganlefayfilmAnd here’s another villain, or rather a villainess, from the Marvel Universe and from casualgamer‘s list: Morgan le Fay, the sorceress from the Arthurian legends. She only appeared in the 1970s Dr. Strange movie, portrayed by Jessica Walter: an ancient and powerful witch, in the movie Morgan serves the Nameless One, and she’s sent to Earth from the obscure dimension she and the demon are trapped in to kill both Thomas Lindmer and his young successor, Stephen Strange. She obviously fails, and is once again exiled…only to resurface immediately after on Earth, with her youthful appearance restored, promising new developments that never happened. In the comics, Morgan is one of the most powerful and evil magic users ever appeared, who represents more than a threat for many heroes: let’s see together.

As legends recount, Morgan le Fay was born in CornwallEngland, in the VI Century. She was the daughter of Duke Gorlois, the ruler of that land, and of his wife Lady Igraine, the amazingly beautiful woman who was one of the last survivors of Avalon, an enchanted island born from the ruins of Atlantis. Morgan’s heritage predisposed her to the use of magic since she was a child, and she proudly promised herself she would have served her beloved father when she would have grown up…but Uther Pendragon, the High King, lusted for Igraine, and eventually declared war to Cornwall to have her. Gorlois valiantly battled the invader, but thanks to Uther’s superior army and to his magician Merlin (another survivor of Avalon), the Duke was killed; Uther took possession of Tintagel Castle and of its lady, and he married Igraine soon after. Morgan hated the king for what he had done to her father, but Igraine soon adapted to the situation, and when she had a son from her new husband, Arthur, she clearly preferred him over her firstborn daughter. Hurt and jealous, Morgan nurtured her wrath, and she was raised by the one woman who understood her pain: Vivianne, Igraine’s sister and Lady of the Lake of Avalon, who morganlefaycomics1introduced the girl to the mysteries of Avalon’s magic. Incredibly talented, Morgan became the high priestess of the Mother Goddess, but she soon surpassed even Vivianne in the knowledge of magic, and she dedicated herself to more powerful rituals. She joined the Darkholders, a group of worshippers of Chthon and the keepers of his sacred book, the Darkhold, and she manipulated them to become Queen of Gorre. She even tried to summon Chthon, but when the Elder God appeared, clearly not bent to her will, she eventually buried him under Wundagor Mountain, barely freeing herself from possession. Morgan battled her half-brother Arthur, now High King, and his Knights of the Round Table, and she faced many times Merlin (even getting help from a time traveling Doctor Doom, who became her lover and who she taught magic to). Her powers diminished the moment her apprentice and lover, Magnus the Sorcerer, stole the Darkhold from her, thus allowing her enemies to defeat her and to trap her in her own castle.

For a sorceress like herself, imprisonment was but a joke, and she used her astral form to travel space and time in order to retrieve the Darkhold: unable to find the book in her time, she projected her consciousness to the future, when the now immortal Magnus lived in New York City. In the future, Morgan possessed Jason “Slappy” Struthers, and imbued him with magical powers transforming him into Excaliber: her servant nearly overpowered Magnus, but the old magician was saved by Spider-Woman, a heroine of great power. Intrigued by the woman who stood in her way, Morgan tried to  recruit Spider-Woman among her minions, but she was rejected. Infuriated, she launched a massive magic attack against her new enemy, and only the combined forces of Spider-Woman, the AvengersWerewolf by Night, Magnus, Doctor Strange and the Shroud managed to repel her and to send her back to her time. Now, however, Morgan was aware of a time when powerful warriors dwelled, and when ancient and lost magics had come back to the world, ready to be taken: from that moment, she started launching attack after attack against the Avengers, both to the team as a whole and to the single members, but each time it proved to be far too easy to disrupt her mystic connection with the body hosting her, and even Iron Man‘s technology proved to be enough to defeat her magic (even if barely). Improving her powers and morganlefaycomics2allying herself with her nephew, Mordred the Evil, Morgan renewed her attempts, and nearly managed to subdue her enemies by kidnapping the Scarlet Witch and summing her magic to her own, creating a new reality in which she was the queen of the world, and the Avengers served her as her loyal minions, the Queen’s Vengeance. Her plan eventually failed the moment Captain America regained his identity and freed Scarlet, thus breaking the spell. If she was able to reshape reality to her own image, however, Morgan le Fay was now able to do pretty much everything, and even the most sturbborn and powerful of her enemies would have soon realised what kind of adversary they were facing.

Morgan le Fay is a woman hardened and made cruel by a life of forced submissions, court intrigues and betrayals. Ambitious, pitiless and vengeful, she often forgets about her greater goals if a personal vendetta is involved. As a half-faerie from Avalon, she has a natural connection with magic, and she possesses vast mystic powers: immortal and naturally able to control the minds of other people, she gained vast knowledge of both Celtic magic and other forbidden arts, becoming the most powerful witch who ever walked the Earth; due to the nature of Faerie magic, she’s able to use other sources of magic, both living and inanimate ones, as power to fuel her own, becoming stronger any time she bonds with different magics, such as Chthon’s ancient one, Scarlet Witch’s chaos magic or Asgard‘s Norse one. With no borders of space or time able to contain her, with death now a meaningless word to someone who can recreate her physical body moments after it’s been destroyed, Morgan is a threat of untold power to anybody brave or foolish enough to challenge her, a woman in a realm of men ready and able to claim all the power that has been denied to her since her birth…and every kingdom shall crumble to ruins facing her wrath.

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Vlad Drakul (Dracula)

draculafilmcasualgamer‘s request brings to us yet another big baddie from Marvel Universe, this time the lord of vampires himself, Dracula. Nicknamed Drake, the immortal vampire appeared in Blade: Trinity as the main antagonist, portrayed by Dominic Purcell in his human form and by Brian Steele in his original, demonic one. The movie version is an ancient demon named Dagon, the progenitor of the vampire race who crossed history feasting upon the blood of humans; he’s awakened in modern times by Danica Talos and her clan, and he obviously comes to blows with the vampire-hunter Blade…but he actually finds himself more similar to his enemy than to his weak and whiny descendants. The modernized version of the character wasn’t really something, actually, and the comics one is closer to Bram Stoker‘s original version, which in turn is based on the historical figure of Vlad Țepeș…but, of course, there are some differences. Let’s see together.

Born in SchassburgTransylvania, in 1430Vlad Drakul was the son of Vlad Țepeș, the Prince of Transylvania and Voivode of Wallachia. At the time, Europe was under the constant assault of the Ottoman Empire, and Transylvania was the last line of defense against the Turks: when his father died in an ambush along with his brother Radu, Vlad was still 18 years old, but that didn’t prevent him from escaping a Turkish prison and claiming his rightful titles, sitting on the throne that was destined to him by birthright. The throne, however, had been taken by the usurper John Hunyadi, who decided to take Vlad under his wing to appease the old king’s supporters. Young Dracula played Hunyadi’s game, and learnt everything he could from him on the art of war; he even married Zofia, a woman he hated, to play the good adoptive son, but when Hunyadi died, he sent Zofia and their daughter Lilith away, assuming the throne and marrying the woman he truly loved, Maria. Vlad had a heir from Maria, Vlad Tepulus, and rebuilt his father’s empire, defeating the Ottoman Empire over and over and becoming infamous for the brutality used to dispatch his enemies, both the Turks and the Hunyadi’s supporters who draculacomics1had betrayed his father: all of them got impaled, and Vlad earned the name Dracula, The Dragon. Then, in 1459, everything ended: the Turkish warlord Turac had allied with a formidable warrior, the mysterious leader of the Dark Riders En Sabah Nur, and Dracula was defeated by their combined power. Barely alive, he was brought to the gypsy Lianda to be healed, but the woman, who remembered far too well Dracula’s persecution of her people, chose to curse him instead: a vampire herself, the woman bit the prince, turning him into a vampire. During the time it took for Dracula to regain senses and to understand his situation, Turac had invaded Transylvania, assaulted Vlad’s castle, and raped and killed Maria. Dracula’s first act as a vampire was to slaughter his hated enemy in revenge of Maria’s death, and to enslave him to his will by turning him into a vampire as well. His thirst for revenge and blood wasn’t over yet, and he resumed the command of his army, turning most soldiers into vampires and attacking the gypsies, slaughtering Lianda’s children in the process. Then, he killed the vampire lord Bordia, claming from him his old family castle. The following years he dedicated to enhance his powers and to increase the number of his servants, lieutenants and wives.

Finally, the incredible rising power of Dracula attracted the attention of the ancient vampire Varnae and of his servant, Nimrod, the lord of Earth‘s vampires. Nimrod ordered Dracula’s submission, but this obviously angered the proud warrior, who challenged the much more powerful and ancient vampire lord, and managed to slew him in battle: as a result, Dracula became the new vampire lord, and was allowed to drink Varnae’s blood, gaining incredible powers (even for a vampire). In the following centuries, his strength, power and cruelty grew as one, and he made an incredible number of sworn enemies: the gypsies sent against him his own children (and Dracula killed Vlad), the European nations declared war to him, a woman named Rache Van Helsing swore that her bloodline would have fought against him until he was destroyed, other vampires such as Elizabeth Bathory wanted to kill him to steal his position from him, and of course priests and holy warriors from the Vatican never ceased to try and destroy him. Dracula managed to kill all his enemies, and even if he got defeated some time, he managed to resurrect himself draculacomics2over and over again thanks to Varnae’s blood and to his ever-increasing powers. His lust for power brought him to sought even forbidden knowledge, such as the one held in the lost book of Darkhold, written by the evil Elder God Chthon and containing incredibly powerful black magic; the quest for the tome brought Dracula to start a war with the powerful magician Cagliostro, a conflict that would have lasted for centuries. Crossing history as a plague, Dracula was finally killed in 1897, after facing once again En Sabah Nur, who had formed an alliance with Abraham Van Helsing, a renowned hunter who was trying to protect an English woman, Mina Harker, from the monster. Dracula’s dismembered body was put into a coffin and hidden. Not much time later, however, a gypsy woman named Marguerita tricked the incredibly strong Frankenstein’s Monster to retrieve the coffin and to open it, leading to the resurrection of the Lord of Vampires. His continuous resurrections ended up enraging Death herself, who started manipulating people and events to restore the natural order and kill the vampire, creating a number of formidable enemies for him: Dracula, however, was not easily defeated, and the new century opening in front of him was ripe for his hunt to resume.

Vlad Drakul is a proud and rock-like warlord, whose cruelty against his enemies is legendary just as the devotion and loyalty he can inspire in his subordinates and allies. Determined and iron-willed, he constantly fights to fortify his power and to extend his dominion, in a neverending conquest that shook the ground of the universe itself. As Dracula, he’s by far the most powerful vampire ever lived: added to his human battle prowess and his remarkable and cunning intellect, beside the “normal” vampiric powers (superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, reflexes and senses, regeneration, immortality, fangs and claws), he possesses vast magic powers, which make him a powerful sorcerer, and he has also the ability to control weather (to the point of being a match for Storm or even Thor), to transform into a bat, a wolf, or even mist, thus becoming intangible and nearly invisible, to hypnotize people and vampires alike and to completely control the minds of the ones he has turned. The mystic energies empowering him actually prevent him from truly dying, and he’s always resurrected even by the simple physical removal of the object that has killed him from his body, usually silver blades or a wooden stake. Unstoppable, ambitious, irreparably evil, Dracula is an immortal plague that ravages the world, a flawless predator who preys on humanity, an abomination which defies the rules on which the universe itself is built…he knows all of this, and he basks in it.

Sebastian Hiram Shaw (Black King)

blackkingfilmOn with casualgamer‘s list, we find another Marvel villain: Sebastian Shaw, the Black King from the infamous Hellfire Club. Shaw first appeared in a very brief cameo in X2: X-Men United, portrayed by Charles Siegel: he’s see debating on television with Hank McCoy the “mutant problem”, with the audience unaware that both the speakers are, in fact, mutants. He then appeared as the big baddie in X-Men: First Class, portrayed by Kevin Bacon (and his fate in the movie makes his cameo in X2 quite a major continuity problem…). In here, he was introduced as a Nazi scientist named Klaus Schmidt, who finds out about young Erik Lensherr‘s mutant powers and experiments on him during his years in Auschwitz; thanks to his powers he can be eternally young, and he resurfaces in the 1960s as Sebastian Shaw, the head of the secret organization Hellfire Club, bent on causing a war between USA and USSR to make humans extinct and letting mutants inherit the planet…an ideal that will inspire Erik into becoming the terrorist Magneto, after settling his score with Shaw. Now, let’s see who this powerful villain is in the comics.

Sebastian Shaw was born in PittsburghPennsylvania, the son of Jacob Shaw. The Shaws were once a noble and wealthy family, but were now impoverished and socially excluded. Sebastian grew up determined to restore his family’s name and fortune, and dedicated all his life to study and to build himself. The same year his father died he was admitted to engineering school, and that was also the year he found out he was a mutant: after receiving a severe beating in a bar, he realised he could convert the energy his body received (in this case the kinetic one of the punches) into physical strength. Totally dedicated to his goal, he didn’t pay much attention to his true nature, and founded Shaw Industries immediately after finishing his studies; by the age of 30 he was a millionaire, and ten years later he was a billionaire: finally, he had accomplished his life mission. Now able to focus on himself, Shaw became engaged to a Spanish mutant, Lourdes Chantel, a teleporter; thanks to his fortune and his growing power, he also attracted the attention of Ned Buckman, the White King, who offered him to join the Hellfire Club, a secret and powerful blackkingcomics1organization aiming to world domination. Shaw was initiated along with Warren Worthington Jr., John Braddock and Howard Stark, but he was the only one to stay (much to Lourdes’ regret, since she didn’t trust Buckman, and feared that the nature of the Hellfire Club would have corrupted Sebastian). Shaw was undoubtedly an ecceptional individual, and he managed to enter the Council of the Chosen and to be appointed the Black Bishop of the Hellfire Club…but he was far too ambitious to be satisfied with that. He started gathering other mutants, such as the telepath Emma Frost, to create a personal inner circle, but the final push was given by Buckman himself: a racist and a human supremacist, the White King supported Stephen Lang and his Sentinels, and when Project: Armageddon, aimed to kill all mutants, started, Lourdes Chantel was among the victims. Enraged, Shaw used Emma’s telepathy to force Buckman to kill Paris Seville, the White Queen, and then himself. After that, he appointed himself as the Black King, and Emma Frost as the new White Queen: the Hellfire Club was now his to command.

In the following years, the new Black King expanded the Hellfire Club’s power and influence even more, and recruited as his Lords Cardinal other powerful superhumans, such as the immortal Selene as the Black Queen, the mass-manipulator Harry Leland as his Black Bishop and the cyborg Donald Pierce as the White Bishop. To the outside world, the Hellfire Club was still run by humans, and Shaw mantained this facade keeping financing the construction of Sentinels, with the double result of having anti-mutant bigots like Robert Kelly or Henry Gyrich trust him as one of them, and of constantly keeping in check and under his direct control the anti-mutant robots. Looking for an all-mutant army to recruit, Sebastian Shaw set sight on the X-Men: he ordered the assassin Warhawk to bug Cerebro, so that everytime Professor X used it to locate a new mutant Shaw knew it; this way, he believed he would have had the chance to recruit said mutant before the X-Men did. This attempt failed twice, since the X-Men were more powerful in battle than the Club’s operatives, and it even revealed to the heroes blackkingcomics2the Club’s existence. The X-Men managed to infiltrate the Hellfire Club and to attack the inner circle, but Shaw defeated them, and led some mind-controlling experiments on them that later brought Jean Grey to lose control and become the Dark Phoenix. The X-Men managed to escape, and the Hellfire Club lost much of his strength: Pearce turned out to be a traitor and an anti-mutant himself, and Selene began plotting against Shaw to take control (having murdered the previous inner circle to gain his position, Shaw was always ready for betrayal, and saw it coming with great advantage). If inner conflicts weren’t enough, a sentinel from the future, Nimrod, threatened to exterminate all mutants, and the Hellfire Club was forced to form an uneasy alliance with the X-Men to stop it: Shaw himself destroyed the Sentinel with Leland’s help, but at the end of the battle both Leland and Friedrich Von Roem, the White Rook. To replace the lost members and to solidify the new alliance, Shaw admitted Storm and Magneto in the Hellfire Club, knowing far too well that their presence would have mined even more his weakening authority over the group. Not that there was much to worry about: he had created himself from nothing, and he would have done it again, if necessity called for it.

Sebastian Shaw is a brilliant and ambitious man, a natural tactician who uses his great intellect and his vast resources to make reality match with his (high) idea of himself. Self-important, arrogant and far too aware of his own power and gifts, he’s a cunning megalomaniac who aims at world domination, no less. As the Black King, he’s a powerful mutant, able to absorb any kind of energy (even if kinetic one works best) and to convert it into physical strength, durability, speed and stamina, using it also to rejuvenate or heal himself: in a battle, the more Shaw is hit, the stronger he gets, thus being a formidable opponent for anybody, managing to easily overpower even a power-house like Colossus after receiving sufficient blows. A proficient combatant and a natural-born leader, Shaw has at his disposal the remarkable resources of both his personal fortune and the Hellfire Club, making him one of the most influent, and dangerous, people on the planet. He’ll never be powerful or rich enough to satisfy his ambitions, and new limits are just made to be exceeded…but taking over the world would be a good start nevertheless.

Rose Giles

rosegilesfilmIn the new episode of Outcast just one new character has been introduced, and another minor one. In A Wrath Unseen we see Chief Giles hosting his friend Ogden and his wife to a dinner at his place, and for the occasion we also meet Giles’ wife, Rose, portrayed by Charmin Lee. She doesn’t do much in the episode: she stays for a while with her guests, then she goes to the kitchen with Kat Ogden to prepare something to drink. The morning after, she kisses goodbye to her husband, who’s going “hunting” (he’s actually investigating on the van he had found in the woods days before, and consequently on his friend Ogden who’s hiding something there). We’ll see if she’ll have a bigger role than in the comics: originally, in fact, she’s not present much in the story. Let’s see together.

Again, not much is known about Rose’s early life, not even her maiden name. She was most probably born in RomeWest Virginia, and she most likely spent all her life there. She mostly lived a tranquil life, until as a young woman she fell in love with Brian Giles, a gentle and handsome young man…who was however a Caucasian one. Mixed couples weren’t so common, and the two lovers had to fight with prejudice and racism to stay together, but eventually they overcame even their own families, and they got married. Brian was a cop, so it was relatively easy for him to become a respected member of the community, thus allowing Rose to be accepted as well as his wife. When Brian became chief of police, things got even easier, and Rose Giles didn’t represent a scandal for anybody anymore, allowing her to live her marriage as she wanted. It’s pretty much unknown what happened in the early years of the couple’s life together, but we can rosegilescomics1assume that no particular event shook their private life, even if she followed each one of the city’s troubles and tragedies through what Brian told her about his work: abused children, episodes of domestic violence, mysterious disappearances, everything wrong happening (and a lot of wrong things happened even in such a small town as Rome) Rose knew, seen through her husband’s eyes.

Of course, dealing with such a difficult reality everyday, Brian had to vent his stress from time to time, and he did it playing poker with his friends (namely chief fireman Ogden, Reverend Anderson and Mayor Arnold); Rose gladly allowed her husband to enjoy his friends’ company, but she didn’t like the fact that everytime he came back home half drunk, and she never missed an occasion to remark on it, when he returned at late night stumbling on his feet. Actually, Brian Giles never drank as much as to completely lose it, but the woman didn’t like it nevertheless. One night, after a particularly tense period during which Brian had to investigate on two different cases of domestic violence (the first involving a child, Joshua Austin, and the second a young woman, Megan Holt) and even to arrest one of his best friends, Reverend Anderson, for physical assault, it was Rose herself who suggested her husband to go out and spend some time with his friends, hoping that he would have found some rest. That night he came back even later than usual, and he woke Rose up by stumbling upon rosegilescomics2something in the kitchen, judging by the sound of it: the woman went downstairs, already scolding Brian for the time and for being drunk, but when she saw him she was so shocked she didn’t know what to say. Brian wasn’t drunk, but he surely wasn’t himself: he was crawling on the floor, growling like a dog, cutting his own hand with the glass of a vase he had broken and staring at her like a wild animal. Rose didn’t know what had happened to her beloved Brian, but she knew that she would have needed help…

Rose Giles is a normal woman her age, fortified by her life experiences and gifted with a particularly strong character. She’s been married with Brian for quite a long time, and she loves him and cares for him…but she doesn’t have problems in reminding the chief of police of who’s truly in charge when he takes his badge off.

Kaecilius (The Disciple)

kaeciliusfilmThe second character whose identity has finally been revealed is Doctor Strange‘s main villain, portrayed by talented Mads Mikkelsen: he’ll be Kaecilius, an evil sorcerer planning to destroy the Ancient One to allow his mysterious masters from other dimensions to invade Earth. This is quite a major surprise for a lot of guys who were trying to wonder who Mikkelsen’s character was (me included, my bet was on Jip), but being a character this minor and obscure he surely gives both actor and director a lot of space for creativity. Now, let’s see together who this evil sorcerer is…and his connections aren’t to the Ancient One in the comics, rather to another magician we’ll see in the movie as well…

Not much is known of Kaecilius’ early life: born at the beginning of the XX Century, he grew up developing quite a talent for magic. A greedy and angry man, he understood the potential of the abilities he was tapping in, and he decided to use them for personal advantage. While he was still understanding his true potential, he was contacted by Baron Mordo, a powerful and ambitious sorcerer who offered to him to become one of his disciples: together with other amateur sorcerers like Adria (The Witch), Demonicus (The Demon) and Sir Baskerville, Kaecilius entered Mordo’s service as The Disciple, and learnt from him how to expand his magic powers and to bind natural energies to his will. Kaecilius swore to help Mordo defeat his enemies, the Ancient One and his disciple Doctor Strange, so that his master Dormammu could invade Earth: the Disciple followed Mordo to Kamar-Taj, where he tried to capture the Ancient One; Strange, however, intervened, and managed to escape with his old master and to seek refuge in Hong Kong. Kaecilius followed him, and hired a gang of smugglers to kaeciliuscomics1locate the magician, but to no avail. Sir Baskerville, on the opposite, was succesful in locating Strange, but he needed help to restrain him. Mordo sent Kaecilius to Baskerville’s house, and he casted a mind-controlling spell so that the Disciple could have access to Dormammu’s powers as well, being able to face the Sorcerer Supreme. Doctor Strange was caught off-guard by Kaecilius’ unexpected power, but he eventually realised that he wasn’t facing a sorcerer alone: avoiding a mystical confrontation, Strange used a much more “classic” approach, and punched his opponent in the face, knocking him down and interrupting his connection with Mordo. Scanning his enemy’s mind, Strange eventually learnt of Mordo’s connection with Dormammu, and exposed the duo’s schemes, thus foiling the demon’s umpteenth conquest attempt. As a result Dormammu, sick and tired of Mordo’s failures, exiled him into a demonic dimension, leaving his disciples without a master to follow. This, of course, wasn’t something Kaecilius could accept.

Wanting to bring Mordo back, Kaecilius joined forces with Adria and Demonicus, planning to dispose of Doctor Strange themselves, and to offer the Sorcerer Supreme to Dormammu in exchange of Baron Mordo. Believing that Strange was unbeatable on a magic ground, they tried to plant a bomb in his Sanctum Sanctorum, sure that the sorcerer would have never found something so “material”; however, they had to cover their tracks while coming out of the Sanctum, and Strange sensed their concealing spell. Suspicious, he scanned the Sanctum, found the bomb and disposed of it…but when it exploded, it was far too near to him nevertheless, and knocked him unconscious. The three evil magicians finally captured him and restrained him, bringing him to Castle Mordo: here, while Demonicus tried to scan Strange’s mind, Kaecilius and Adria studied the sorcerer’s Cloak of Levitation and Eye of Agamotto. Doctor Strange, albeit restricted, managed to access his astral form, and using his connection with his magical artifacts he attacked the three sorcerers, defeating them and erasing their knowledge of black magic from their minds. It took time for Kaecilius and his allies to regain their lost knowledge, and to devise a plan to finally kill kaeciliuscomics2their loathed enemy; they modified their appearance and pretended to be young journalists (Kaecilius posed as the cameraman Joe Crocker), and they asked Doctor Strange for an interview, which he agreed upon. The moment the trio stepped in the Sanctum Sanctorum, however, Doctor Strange told them he had seen through their facade, and knew perfectly who they were; he also told them that the had hoped that their previous encounter had taught them humility, and that he still hoped they changed their hearts. As an answer, Kaecilius and the others attacked him. Hoping to gain an advantage against a magician that was still much more powerful than them, Adria grabbed one of the artifacts and used it against Strange…but that was the Purple Gem, which only served to open a portal to the Purple Dimension: the portal sucked the three sorcerers in, then it closed forever. It would have taken an eternity to Mordo’s disciples to get out of there and resume their quest for revenge…

Kaecilius is a power-hungry and malicious man, who aims to take as much advantage as he can from his abilities and talents, no matter the cost. He’s blindly loyal to Baron Mordo, but only as long as he’s the means to obtain a greater power. As the Disciple, is a mildly talented sorcerer, able to use a variety of spells, but far from Mordo’s or Strange’s level. Kaecilius forges alliances and breaks them depending on where his interest lies, and seeking power is always his priority.

Christine Palmer (Night Nurse)

nightnursefilmIn the last days, some merchandising from the upcoming Doctor Strange confirmed the identity of the last two characters appearing in the first trailer. Let’s start with the female lead, who we now know is Christine Palmer, portrayed by Rachel McAdams. In the movie, Palmer will be a surgeon, and a colleague of Stephen Strange: she’ll operate on him after his car accident, but it’s unknown what kind of a role she’ll have in his “magic career” afterwards. In the comics, Christine surely works in hospitals, but she’s not a doctor, rather a nurse…the nurse, actually, as she is the third Night Nurse, a supporting character popping out pretty much in any Marvel comics series. Let’s see together.

Christine Palmer was born in an exclusive suburb near TucsonArizona: the daughter of a wealthy and influent family, she had pretty much all her life decided from her birth. Growing up, however, she decided that she didn’t like the idea of becoming the debutante her parents wanted her to be, and she secretly applied for nursing school, wanting to start a new life without her dad’s money. When she received a letter of acceptance from Metro-General Hospital, Christine was ready to leave her home…thus enraging her father, who tried to stop her and failed. In New York City, Chris lived with two other nurse students, Linda Carter and Georgia Jenkins; the three girls didn’t like each other much because of their different backgrounds, and they were highly competitive with one another. One night, however, the three nurses received a call from their supervisor, Miss Brundage, who needed them for an emergency involving burnt children: during one of the hardest nights of their lives, the girls found out they had a lot in common, starting with their loneliness and a difficult situation with their families; they became fast friends, and from that night they were inseparable. During the following three years Chris, Linda and Georgia were among the best students of their class, and they were ready for graduation: that was the time Mr. Palmer decided to pay a visit nightnursecomics1to his daughter, offering her everything, money, college, expensive trips and so on, if she quit nursing and came back home with him. Christine considered the offer, but she eventually turned it down: she graduated, and decided to live with her friends even after they became true nurses. During one challenging operation, Chris managed to impress the surgeon, Dr. William Sutton, who offered her a place as his assistant: she agreed, and became his surgical nurse. Unfortunately, Sutton was an alcoholic and a drug addict, but Christine was far too smitten by him to realise this; eventually, Linda managed to expose the doctor and to convince her friend, and after Sutton killed a patient, Chris as well decided to talk, having Sutton kicked out of the hospital. Feeling betrayed, Chris decided to leave New York for a while, heading to Boston to forget about what had happened with Sutton.

Changing city wasn’t enough, as every hospital reminded Chris of her previous life. She eventually accepted a job as a private nurse in the remote Sea-Cliff Manor, where she had to take care of Derek Porter, a paralyzed man bound to a wheelchair. Chris had a good relationship with Edna Porter, Derek’s aunt and owner of the house, while the butler Harold didn’t like her for unknown reasons, and wanted her out. In the following days, Christine worked with Derek, unable to make him take the rehabilitating therapy seriously, while every night she was made suspicious by some irregular lights from the allegedly abandoned light house on the cliff. Everytime she tried to speak to a member of the Porter family of what she saw, everybody dismissed her worries, believing in some sort of dream. Sure that she wasn’t imagining things, Christine started investigating on her own, until she found a secret passage in the manor leading to the light house, and a set of footprints crossing it. Near the light house she was reached by Derek Porter in person, perfectly able to walk: he had been faking his paralysis to exploit his aunt’s tender heart, and was using the old woman’s money to run a drug smuggling business on the northern coast; obviously, he couldn’t allow Chris to ruin everything he had been up to, and he tried to push her down the cliff. Harold arrived in that moment, and used the now abandoned wheelchair to push Derek down the precipice instead, saving Christine. The girl confronted Edna, nightnursecomics2who admitted she knew her nephew was up to something bad, but saying also that she pretended not to see it, since he was the only family she had. With that, Chris decided she had had enough of the seaside, and she came back to New York City, resuming her job in the Metro-General Hospital. Here, a weird case involving the death of thirteen children in the psychiatric ward put her in contact first with the mutant Storm, than with Nightcrawler, who was investigating on what looked like a demonic invasion. Chris started cooperating with Nightcrawler, helping him in finding and restraining the demons…and with time, she realised she had developed feeling for the gentle, blue-skinned and pointy-tailed mutant. Maybe, it was indeed time for her to move on with her life.

Christine Palmer is a determined and strong woman, ready to give up a comfortable and wealthy life to realize her dreams and to make herself the one person responsible for her own destiny. As the Night Nurse, she’s a skilled and proficient healer, more than able to treat even sever wounds when necessity calls for it (and being at disposal of costumed heroes and villains for first aid, it’s often needed). Strong-willed and passionate, Chris Palmer is a self-made woman, always ready to help others, but perfectly able to take care of herself in case the patients are not that defenseless.

Donald

donniefilmHere’s the last character appearing in Outcast‘s last episode (and, again, just in time for the new one). In All Alone Now, we see Megan Holter pretty shocked in spotting a man she obviously knows, and she even follows him to his hotel, sneaking up in his room and checking his pc while he’s not around…just to find out he’s been keeping an eye on her as well. The man is introduced as Donnie Hamel, portrayed by Scott Porter, and as you may have guessed already, he and Megan share quite a history. No doubt that we’ll see him more than the few glimpses we got in the last episode, but that may not be for the best, considering what kind of guy he is. If you don’t want to know what has happened between Megan and Donnie just wait for this night’s episode, otherwise, keep reading.

Not much is known about Donald‘s original family, but it’s quite sure to presume it was quite a disaster.  For a reason or another, Donnie eventually ended up being given in custody to a foster family, a couple with a daughter that took care of many unfortunate children. Donnie was already in his teens, and he had developed quite a violent and arrogant personality: the moment he arrived in his new house, he got a crush on the couple’s daughter, Megan. Being the kind of guy who took what he wanted, he started paying visit to her by night on a regular basis, molesting her and threatening her so that she didn’t say anything to anybody. Six months later, the family took in another boy, Kyle Barnes, who had been physically and psychologically abused by his now comatose mother: naturally kind and caring, the moment he understood what was happening between Donnie and Megan, Kyle started to protect her, and every night the older boy entered the girl’s room, he found Kyle sleeping on the floor, preventing him to reach the object of his desire. Instead of molesting Megan, Donnie started beating up donniecomics1Kyle, night after night. The nightmare ended only the moment Donnie was adopted by yet another family, and he had to move. But he was still in Rome, and his personality didn’t change. He got married, started a life on his own, but his darkest self was always there: one night he got really drunk, he beat his wife, then rushed to Megan’s house, with all the intention of taking “what was his”. He found Kyle there, and beat him again; Megan rushed down trying to fend him off with a broken lamp. That night, Donnie raped Megan, then he disappeared from her life. For a while.

It’s not entirely clear what happened in the following years. Donnie’s drinking problem got really serious, and he ended up losing his family. Alone and scared by what he had become, he eventually tried and looked for help, ending up in a rehabilitation program. The program seemed to work, and slowly and steadily Donnie started to emerge from the spiral of alcohol and violence he had fallen into; one of the steps of his program, however, was pretty difficult: he had to apologize to the people he had hurt. Determined to succeed, Donnie came back to Rome, and started looking for Megan, who was now married and had a daughter. The one he found instead was Kyle, who was understandably surprised to see him again: Donnie tried to speak to him, but the man was already frustrated and broken, and he vented everything on him, punching him and kicking him. A police officer arrived on the scene to interrupt them…but the cop was Mark Holt, Megan’s husband: when he understood who the man with Kyle was, he started beating him as well, until Donnie was left unconscious. When he woke up, Mark told him to leave town, and never come back. Donnie believed in his threats, but he still had something to do, and he ignored them. Eventually, he found Megan, and against all odds he managed to face her alone, with no husband nor brother around: faithful to the program, he asked for her donniecomics2forgiveness, and told her he was a different man. Megan, however, wasn’t ready to forgive him for everything he had done to her, quite the opposite: she rejected his excuses, and told him he didn’t change, as he would have always been the rapist he was. Then, she angrily left, leaving Donnie alone with his guilt and his sins of the past. He left Rome as he was told to, knowing that starting a brand new life would have been quite a difficult task, if possible at all.

Donnie is by nature a violent and abusing man, who answers with his fists to pretty much everything and who believes that everything he wants is his by right. Recently, however, Donnie decided to stop being what he’s always been, and is sincerely trying to make amend for his past, embracing a new attitude and reinveinting himself as the man he’s never managed to be. Washing away the scars he’s inflicted to others, however, is not going to be easy at all.