Phillip Karnowsky (Barrage)

barragefilmAgain with Supergirl, time for the second and last character appearing in The Darkest Place. In his first deeds as the heroic Guardian, things go pretty well for James Olsen, until one of the thieves he arrested is found dead, and he’s framed for the murder. The real culprit turns out to be another vigilante, armed with a heavy machine gun: Phillip Karnowsky, portrayed by Victor Zink Jr., an ex marine who started murdering criminals after his wife got killed. Karnowsky is equipped with an armor similar to Guardian’s, but his weaponry is surely more of the lethal kind; his outfit vaguely resembles his armor in the comics, where he’s not a vigilante, but rather a secondary villain who crossed paths not with Supergirl, but with her more famous cousin. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Phillip Karnowsky’s early life: he lived in Metropolis, and he had some military background. Out of the military, he became a private mercenary, selling his skills to the highest bidder…but, of course, living in Metropolis a “simple” paramilitary expert wasn’t nearly enough, as he had to be on par with a growing number of aliens and metahumans. In order to meet the market’s expectations, Karnowsky devised a suit of armor, an energy cannon, and created the masked identity of Barrage. If nobody wanted a normal human mercenary, there was a line waiting for a superpowered one, and Barrage soon found an employment. His first target was Metropolis Police Department, and Karnowsky attacked the police officers with his brand new equipment, barragecomics1following an unknown employer’s orders. Unprepared to his attack, MPD suffered some casualties, and even one of their most expert officers, Detective Dan Turpin, was severely wounded. During the gunfight Barrage obviously had superior firepower, but he ended up underestimating Metropolis’ policemen: one of them, Detective Maggie Sawyer, managed to shoot him through a weak spot in his armor, and as a result his weapon exploded, taking away his right arm. Bleeding and unconscious, Phillip Karnowsky was incarcerated in Stryker’s Island, where he would have spent a lot of time…well, if he only had wanted to serve the entire time, something that he obviously didn’t want to do.

It didn’t take much for Karnowsky to understand how things worked in prison, and he started bartering favors with his fellow prisoners. He obtained a number of components to build a new suit of armor, replacing his missing arm with a brand new energy cannon. Equipped even better than the first time, with a more durable armor and a more powerful weapon, he broke out of prison and began a quest for vengeance, targeting Maggie Sawyer who, in the meanwhile, had been promoted head of Special Crimes Unit (a task force in MPD that followed cases involving superhumans). His new weaponry was too much for Sawyer to handle, but at the last time she was saved by Superman, who intervened in the fight just in time to arrest Barrage once again. Sent back to prison, the mercenary spent even less time there than in the previous occasion: the media mogul and crime boss Morgan Edge contacted a number of supervillains who had failed to take down Superman on their own, and assembled them in a team to attempt to exact their revenge collectively. The new Superman Revenge Squad included, apart from Barrage, the Parasite, the alien warrior woman Maxima, the rogue clone Anomaly, the duplicating Riot, the mind-controlling Misa, the indestructible Rock and the magnetic Baud. The team displayed barragecomics2quite a formidable force, possibly enough to overpower even the Man of Steel…but there was a little problem: nobody, Barrage included, wanted to cooperate, and soon the common mission became a competition for the privilege of killing Superman. The hero, obviously, turned in his own favour the division within the Revenge Squad, and effortlessly managed to isolate the villains and to restrain them one by one. At the end of the day, Barrage was in prison once again…but he would have soon come out to exact his vengeance once more.

Phillip Karnowsky is a greedy man, who only acts following his personal gain; he’s also a vengeful criminal, ready even to lose an income to obtain revenge against the ones who did him wrong. As Barrage, he’s equipped with a high-tech suit of armor that amplifies his durability and strength, as well as with an extremely powerful energy cannon with enough firepower to damage even Superman. More a walking gun than a man, Barrage lives for money and vengeance: everything else is simply a target.

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