Aram Anni-Padda (Armstrong)

armstrongfilmTime for another character appearing in the Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe trailer, another heavy hitter. We see a man dressed like an old-fashioned tramp peacefully drinking a giant beer at a pub, and suddenly getting angry at somebody we don’t clearly see, getting ready to kick some butt…that surely means trouble, as the man is actually Armstrong, portrayed by Kevin Porter, an immortal brawler with quite a volatile character. As for anybody else, we don’t know much of his role in the series, and from the trailer it’s not even clear whether he’ll fight against Ninjak or if he’ll be an ally of his. Considering his role in the comics, he could very well be both. Waiting to see what he’ll be up to, either alone or with his immortal brothers, let’s take a look at the original guy.

Aram Anni-Padda was born millennia ago, around 3300 BC, in Ur, a city-state set in the ancient Sumer. He was the second of three brothers, the oldest being Ivar and the youngest being Gilad. The three brothers grew up together, sharing a deep bond, and they survived how they could in the streets of the one that used to be the greatest city in the world. Aram and his siblings became skilled thieves, taking what they needed to survive…until they found what looked like a gold mine, a mysterious land they only knew as the Faraway (actually a special dimension outside time itself, accessible only in determined moment in history). Eager to know what treasures the Faraway hid, the Anni-Padda brothers travelled there and found a wonderful artifact, the Boon, which they obviously didn’t understand the operating principle of, but which they liked enough to try and take it…especially considering that it was said by legends that the Boon could grant eternal life to the ones able to use it. They managed to take the Boon, but the adventure was not without perils, and during the voyage back home, a weakened Gilad died for the wounds and of fatigue: Aram and Ivar were left to mourn their younger brother, but the latter hoped for a miracle, and activated the Boon. The device armstrongcomics1caused a giant explosion, and when he woke up, Aram found out he was the only one left, and that the entire world had been engulfed in the blow and had been devastated by it. Alone and ridden by guilt, Aram decided to destroy the Boon, and with a newfound strenght granted by the device itself he shattered it into six pieces, which would have later been known as the Wedge, the Inclined Plane, the Torque, the Sphere, the Fulcrum and the Axle. Aram started a solitary journey to hide the fragments in every corner of the world, making sure that nobody could put his hands on the entire Boon ever again. With the passing years, Aram found out that the artifact had actually worked, since he had become immortal. Known simply as “Armstrong”, Aram kept wandering on the Earth for millennia.

At first known as Aram the Other, the man travelled the world as a gloomy and mourning wanderer…but that didn’t last long, actually, as with his new “Armstrong” persona he changed attitude altogether: history was his to enjoy, time had no limits for him, and all the vices of the world were at his disposal. He became a hedonist, a pleasure-seeking adventurer who purchased women and fun, and who was drunk for most of his immortal life. He crossed history as the loudest party-man ever, being affected by major historical events only marginally, enjoying his immortal life the best he could without caring of anything else but his own pleasure. This kind of attitude obviously earned him quite a fame, and not of the best kind; particularly, a number of religious sects and extremist groups started hunting him down, believing him to be the incarnation of vice and evil. One in particular, The 1% (simply known as The Sect) believed Armstrong to be the Devil himself, and from the Middle Ages sworn to destroy him; they even wanted to obtain from him the location of the Boon’s fragments, to recompose the artifact and to use it to reshape the world. Armstrong didn’t pay much attention to them (they couldn’t possibly damage him), but their ambition to recompose the Boon started to be a worrisome thing to take care of, and they were quite a nuisance. Ironically, in modern times, the Sect provided armstrongcomics2Armstrong with one of his greatest allies and friends ever: the group, in fact, sent to him one of their greatest warriors, a young and idealist martial-arts prodigy called Obadiah Archer, whose task was to free the world from the “He Who Was Not to be Named“. Archer attacked Armstrong (who was more amused than threatened, truth be told), but it took little time to the boy to understand that the “atrocious demon” wasn’t nearly as evil as he had been painted by his parents; Armstrong clarified the positions, and demonstrated to the boy that it was the Sect the evil one. Feeling betrayed, Archer declared war on the Sect…and Armstrong decided to accompany him for the sake of fun (and of the world, of course), forming a formidable duo bent on ridding the world from secret cults and sects.

Aram the Other is, simply put, a reprobate, an immoral party-lover who seeks any kind of pleasure and mantains a marked, blatant irresponsibility concerning pretty much everything. As Armstrong, he’s one of Earth’s immortals, and thus he’s impervious to any disease or aging; he heals quickly from any kind of injuries, even deadly ones, thus being nearly invulnerable; he possesses superhuman strength, and he’s an expert hand-to-hand combatant, forged in millennia of battles (more likely bar brawls, but whatever); he always carries along a satchel containing a number of weird and powerful artifacts collected in every corner of the world in every historical era, even if he’s aware of only a number of them, since he gathered most of them while he was drunk. A ladies’ man, a poet and a heavy drinker, Armstrong hides behind his pathological irresponsibility and his easy-going attitude the pain coming from millennia of loss and tragedy…but he manages to do it pretty well.

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3 Comments

  1. […] and comicbook-faithful the characters’ portrayal is in the upcoming web series). When we see Armstrong losing his patience and marching menacely towards an unseen adversary, there’s a young boy […]

  2. […] the Sumerian city-state, in 3268 BC, as Gilad Anni-Padda. He had two older brothers, Ivar and Aram, and he was an extremely skilled warrior of his clan. The three siblings grew up together, and […]

  3. […] the Sumerian city-state, in 3268 BC, as Gilad Anni-Padda. He had two older brothers, Ivar and Aram, and he was an extremely skilled warrior of his clan. The three siblings grew up together, and […]


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