Angelina Alcott (Roku)

rokufilmTime for another character spotted in the trailer for Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe, and quite a naughty one: near the end of the trailer, we see Ninjak restrained and mocked by a red-haired woman, whose hair apparently move on their own, like snakes. That’s Roku, portrayed by Chantelle Barry. Apparently she’ll be a villain in the series, and judging from the grudgy “I’ll kill you” Ninjak directs at her, she won’t spend quite a pleasurable time with him (well, not as long as she’s not winning the fight, obviously). In the comics, Roku and Ninjak have quite a past together, and their enmity is more than justified. Let’s see together.

Angelina Alcott was born in England, and she never experienced what you’d call a “normal family”. One of her relatives (the exact relation between them is unknown) was Neville Alcott, a high-ranking spy working for the MI6; Alcott was specialised in training and managing extremely gifted individuals, and upon seeing potential in Angelina, he enlisted her in the agency. Angelina became one of Neville’s recruits, and she was trained along with another very skilled young one, Colin King; rivals at first, Angelina and Colin developed a deep attraction one to the other, and they eventually became lovers, keeping their affair secret since it was forbidden by the MI6’s protocol. During their first assignment, Angelina and Colin were sent to take out a renowned hitman, Xaman, but something went terribly wrong with the mission, and some imprecise intel led King to miss the target. As a result, that very night, Xaman hunted the two young spies down, and in the following attack Angelina Alcott was killed…or so it seemed. Abandoned by Colin King, who left her for dead and only thought of saving himself, the dying Angelina was collected by a clan of monks, the followers of the Undead rokucomics1Monk, who brought her to one of their benefactors, the necromancer Master Darque. Darque used Angelina as a test subject for a new black magic he was developing, one that managed to heal the girl, but that also wiped away her memory. After being resurrected, the girl was put on trial…quite harshly: she woke up buried alive, with no idea on who and where she was. Realising that she could now control every single cell of her body, she used her hair to dig a way out of her tomb, and she ended up in a cave…inhabited by demons and monsters. Each creature held a piece of her memory, and the girl slew each and every one of them, losing all of her former self…including her name, that she “murdered” for last. When she arrived at the final cave, she was welcomed by the monks, who trained her to use her new abilities, and indoctrinated her to be a part of their order.

When her training and initiation were complete, Angelina was an infallible assassin, a superhuman killing machine: to embrace her new life, she took the name Rokurokubi (which she soon changed with a shortened version, “Roku”). Being ready for action, Roku was presented to the ones who made use of the monks’ work the most, the Shadow Seven, the powerful leaders of the illegal weapons dealer and manufacturer known as Weaponeer. Among the Seven, one in particular took interest in Roku, the billionaire Kannon who, impressed by the woman’s skills, hired her as a personal bodyguard. The woman started working for him, protecting him from dangers and removing threats to both him, his business and his organization. During one of these missions, Roku let herself be captured by some Russian agents, who locked her up. As soon as she regained senses, it took her no effort to free herself from her prison, to make her way to the control room, and to use her psionic powers (result of the monks’ training) to “suggest” to all her jailers to committ suicide. Following that, she started hacking their computers to obtain the information she was looking for…but another agent arrived on the scene: Ninjak. Before realising it, Roku was battling Ninjak, and the black-and-purple assassin proved to be the most dangerous foe she had ever faced; when he hit her, momentarily stunning her, Roku rokucomics2became overwhelmed by an inexplicable fury, and she started destroying everything in her sight just to land a blow on her enemy (apparently, some part of her had recognised in Ninjak her former lover Colin King, the man who had left her to die). In her rage, Roku didn’t realise she had just triggered a chain reaction that could cause a nuclear explosion: to prevent that, Ninjak kicked her out of the facility, and stopped the detonation just in time. He reached for his enemy, and announced her that her mayhem risked to destroy everything and everyone in miles radius…thus implying he had just saved her. Humiliated and defeated, Roku had two reasons to hunt Ninjak down and kill him…and if she only remembered him from her previous life, that would have made three reasons.

Angelina Alcott is a woman without a past, rebuilt and reshaped to be the perfect killer, loyal to the Weaponeer and without an identity. Ruthless and precise, she suffers from hidden traumas that sometimes resurface from the buried, not lost, memory of her previous life. As Roku, she’s one of the most proficient martial artists in the world, an expert in armed and unarmed combat; black magic gave her the ability to control every cell in his body, so she can move freely even her hair, and she can decouple and reintegrate every single joint in her body, being extremely flexible and nearly impervious to damage; she can also fasten her healing and increase her strength with hormones. Plus, the cancellation of her previous self left her with some psionic power: she can communicate telepathically, read other people’s minds, and “push” others to do something, a form of persuasion that has a great influence on weaker minds. Still struggling to keep at bay the person she once was in the deep of her subconscious, Roku is one of the world’s deadliest assassins, a nearly infallible killer who unites in her the most ancient magics to the most advanced technologies.

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