Brahl

It looks like James Gunn made his homewark, as in the massive amount of characters appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 there’s a lot of them coming from the classic GoG comics. One of them is one of the (many) villains, the last member of the Ravagers we still had to check: Brahl, portrayed by Stephen Blackehart. He’s one of the ugly mugs who follows Taserface in his rebellion against Yondu…and obviously suffers the consequences of it along with the rest of the crew, but that’s no surprise. In the comics, Brahl comes from an alternate reality, Earth-691, the year 3000 of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, and he’s not exactly a good guy there either. Let’s see together.

Brahl was born in the Alpha Unakalhai system, on a planet named Achernon. It’s unknown what he did for a living in his early life, but judging from his combat skills it must have been nothing peaceful; being it a way or the other, he was found by a highly advanced probe on his planet, and invited to join the Minions of Menace, an intergalactic group of powerful warriors acting as lieutenants to Korvac, a god-like cyborg able to travel through time and space. Seeking potential profit from it, Brahl accepted the offer, and joined the Minions alongside the Procyonite humanoid turtle Tork, the Fomalhauti yellow blob Dumog, the Grund warrior dwarf Grott the Manslayer and the feral Reptoid Teju. Together, the Minions of Menace served Korvac and helped him accumulate tech and artifacts to increase his already remarkable power, but they weren’t exactly a cooperative team, as each and every one of them tried to get rid of the other to eliminate competition for Korvac’s attention: Brahl nearly managed to eliminate Grott and Teju in one strike, using his intangibility to have the two of them hit each other, but the brawl was interrupted by Korvac himself, who pacificated them and invited them to his newest plan, to cause Earth‘s sun to go nova and absorb the resulting energy. Of course, to accomplish that plan the Minions of Menace had to dispose of Earth’s defenders, the Guardians of the Galaxy, who had been joined in that time by a time-travelling Thor: in the following battle, Brahl managed to overpower Vance Astro, since his telekinesis didn’t work on an intangible foe, but Yondu, using his Yaka Arrow, managed to force him back to a solid state, knocking him unconscious. When he woke up, the battle was lost, and the Minions were scattered. He would have gathered them back together as the Intimidators years later, but first he had to become stronger, to avoid another failure of these proportions.

He joined another team, Force, led by the matter-manipulator Interface. While in Force, Brahl trained to master his natural powers, and learnt to transmit his intangibility to other things and people. Along with his new teammates, Brahl started a quest to obtain a legendary relic, Captain America‘s shield, whose location was revealed by a numbers of clues scattered through the galaxy. Actually, the quest was manipulated by Mephisto, who wanted his daughter Malevolence to become the Matriarch to the divine Protege, and to eliminate the competition of Aleta from the Guardians of the Galaxy: sending Force in search of the shield, he knew they would have clashed with the Guardians, possibly destroying them and granting Malevolence’s ascension. Brahl proved to be pivotal in the location of the last clue, hidden on planet Entem, and savagely destroyed the local resistance. Both the Guardians and Force arrived on the planet the shield was hidden on, but they were challenged by its guardian, the A.I. Mainframe, to compete in a series of challenges to prove their worth: Brahl was paired with his teammate Broadside to battle Martinex and Charlie-27 in underground tunnels, and Brahl attacked Martinex turning him intangible and thus making him fall through the floor, crashing in the lowest level. Brahl followed him and kept attacking him, shattering Martinex’s crystals and nearly murdering the Guardian, until Mainframe interrupted the fight and declared Brahl the winner. Also the other members of Force won, but at the end of the trial, when Interforce claimed the shield, he realised that his “power to lead” didn’t mean it had the power to mind-control other people, but just to inspire them. Disgusted, he discharged the shield, later claimed by Vance Astro, and left the planet. Brahl insisted on finishing the Guardians now that they had the chance, but the other mercenaries, who had no personal issue against the heroes, dismissed his blood-thirst, wanting to pursue profit only. Some time later, when Malevolence appeared and offered Brahl to grant him any wish if she disposed of the rest of Force and formed an alliance with her, he found in himself no loyalty to his comrades: he would have done anything necessary to obtain his revenge against the Guardians of the Galaxy…

Brahl is a space mercenary whose ferocity, brutality and savvy manage to impress even demons like Mephisto and Malevolence. As an Achernonian, he possesses the ability to turn himself, other people or solid objects intangible at will, and to turn them back to their regular state after; he’s also an excellent hand-to-hand combatant and a decent marksman, and his toes end with sharp talons he uses in battle. Feral and proud, Brahl is hellbent on a revenge quest against the first warriors who ever bested him, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and will kill, betray or use anybody to obtain his goal of avenging his offended honor.

Arkon

The second character from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2…is actually the same character. Well, sort of. Among the many roles we see Nathan Fillion‘s Simon Williams portray, there’s Arkon, the barbarian protagonist of the movie of the same name. Well, Arkon is a Marvel comics’ character as well, an alien barbarian who indeed, after appearing on Earth several times, inspired a series of movies Simon Williams played a part in. If it wasn’t for Fillion, who shared a picture of a deleted scene from the movie (it can be an actual scene from the fictional Arkon movie or simply the actor joking on the set), we’d see nothing more of the barbarian king but a small picture on a poster: this way, instead, we can take a look at Arkon in all his magnificent glory. Well, in the comics he looks slightly better. Let’s see together.

Arkon was born from a noble family on distant planet Polemachus, a warmongering world that valued strength and battle prowess over everything else, and in which the strong ones ruled over the others. Bent over perfecting himself in the art of war, Arkon became one of the greatest warriors of his planet, until nobody could match his strength nor his skills: recognising his valor, his people appointed him Imperion of the country, and from his position of ruler Arkon started a series of campaigns against the other states following the ambition to conquer the entire Polemachus. In the middle of his dreams of glory, however, Arkon was brought back to reality when the entire world suffered an impossible chrisis: the planet’s rings, that provided Polemachus with light and heat, were rapidly fading, and if they were to disappear, the entire planet would have died soon after. Arkon entrusted Grand Vizier Greybeard and the other scientists to find a solution, and they found out that the atomic energy dispersed by the expolosions occuring on a distant planet, Earth, had found a way to influence Polemachus’ rings extradimensionally, rekindling them for a year: they announced that, if Earth was atomically annihilated, the rings would have been restored for good. Polemachus, however, didn’t know atomic weaponry, so Arkon needed to find a way to reach the distant planet: using an ancient Polemachian spell, he manipulated an alien sorceress, Scarlet Witch, to summon him on Earth and, once the portal was open, he crossed it with his army. As a first thing, Arkon kidnapped a number of nuclear scientists, forcing them to build an atomic device he would have used to blow the planet up; then, he also kidnapped the Scarlet Witch, wanting such a powerful woman to become his bride…thus attracting the attention of her teammates, the Avengers. The Avengers and the Polemachians fought hard in New York City, and Arkon single-handedly managed to fight to a stand most of the heroes at the Empire State Building, but he was soon reached by a message from Greybeard: two Avengers, Iron Man and Thor, had crossed the portal to Polemachus and had restored the rings, so destroying Earth wasn’t required anymore. Grateful, Arkon abandoned Earth and his chosen bride, and came back to his world.

The warlord, now known as Arkon the Magnificent, continued his conquest until he actually managed to bend the entire Polemachus under his dominion, but despite this he found himself battling the Avengers again, as he recognised in Black Knight, who was looking for the Well at the Centre of Time, a dangerous enemy to be imprisoned and executed; of course, Earth’s heroes came to the rescue, but Arkon realised he had been manipulated by a powerful sorceress, Amora the Enchantress, who wanted to use him against her enemies. As soon as he realised this, he ceased hostilities. His repeated contacts with Earth had given Greybeard and the other scientists enough knowledge to obtain and use atomic bombs on Polemachus as well, and Arkon was eager to play with his new toys…but he found it extremely boring to wait such a long time to build a nuclear arsenal, so he tried to start an interplanetary war to absorb the resulting energy and speeding up the process; this plan however failed, as the Fantastic Four intervened to stop him (Earth was among the planets involved). As soon as his relationship with Earth heroes was about to become a bad one again, however, Arkon made quite a mess with Iron Man’s machine that preserved Polemachus’ rings; again, the warlord travelled to Earth, trying to make Thor come back with him and recharge the machine once again, but he couldn’t find him. He, however, found a good replacement in another hero who could manipulate lightnings, Storm, and she agreed to help him along with the other X-Men. Once the work was done, Arkon granted them safe passage back to Earth. He even made up with the Fantastic Four when they helped Polemachus repel the invasion of the Badoon, an ancient race of malicious aliens. Now, Arkon considered Earth’s heroes as allies…until Amora, who wanted to manipulate the warlord into killing Doctor Strange and Clea in her place, informed him that on Earth movies had been made about him, movies that portrayed him under quite a bad light. The barbarian king rushed on Earth, ready to challenge the movie’s actor, the hero Wonder Man, and to punish him for denigrating his image: apparently, being allies wasn’t a stable condition for a man devoted to war.

Arkon the Magnificent is a proud and strong-willed monarch, a man who’s been forged by countless battles and who values honor and valor over everything else. As the most powerful Polemachian in life, he’s superhumanly strong, fast, durable, agile and resistant, and he heals much faster than a human; he’s a brilliant tactician and a superb fighter in both armed and unarmed combat; he excells in swordmanship and in the use of spears and daggers, and he’s an expert rider of Polemachian reptilian steeds; his trademark Bolts have different functions depending on their color: the golden ones open portals to other worlds, the red ones are effective throwing weapons which turns to pure energy once they hit their target, and the black ones are explosives powerful enough to level a mountain. An invincible warrior and a respected Imperion, Arkon embodies the power of Polemachus, a planet thriving in war and conflicts, recognizing only the honor of weapons.

Simon Williams (Wonder Man)

Of course, the biggest news these days is the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a movie that’s impressively filled with cameos and surprise appearances (as usual, it will take a while to get a pic for each one of them: stay tuned to learn everything you can about them). Let’s start from an announced photo cameo, the one and only Simon Williams, an actor portrayed in-movie by Nathan Fillion. Williams only appears on some posters, the ones for his many movies, that include a Tony Stark biopic, the fantasy Arkon, the horror Axan 2, the romantic comedy Oh, Rebecca! (pictured) and the superhero-parody Toxic Janitor 2. In the comics, Williams is indeed an actor, but he’s also Wonder Man, an impossibly powerful superhero…who dies roughly as many times as Kenny in South Park. Let’s see together.

Simon Williams was born in PatersonNew Jersey, the son of rich industrialist Sanford Williams and of his wife Martha. Simon, a skinny bookworm, grew up in the shadow of his older brother, Eric, but when he refused to enter Williams Innovation as his father’s successor, the youngest Williams stepped in, eager to earn his place in the family. Sanford taught his son everything he could about management, but he died when Simon was little more than twenty years old, and although young and inexperienced, Simon inherited total control over the company. Despite his best efforts, Simon wasn’t exactly able to run the company in an increasingly competitive market, and started losing ground to emerging companies such as Stark Industries: desperate, he looked for Eric’s advice, since his older brother had managed to get rich on his own. Unfortunately, what Simon didn’t know was that Eric was indeed a succesful man, but only because he had become involved with the Maggia crime families; the advice he gave to his younger brother was one you could expect from a gangster, as he told Simon to embezzle Williams Innovation’s funds to invest them into Maggia activities. Trustful and desperate to protect his father’s legacy, Simon did as he was told…but he was immediately caught into stealing the company’s money, and when the board discovered he was involved with renowned criminals, they had him arrested, put on trial and sent to jail. Distraught, humiliated and embittered, Williams declared to the press that he blamed Tony Stark for what had happened to him…a declaration that attracted the attention of Baron Zemo, who was looking for a way to get revenge on his enemy, Iron Man (who, at the time, he believed to be Stark’s bodyguard). Zemo sent one of his Masters of EvilAmora the Enchantress, to break Simon Williams out of jail, then brought him to his base in South America where he offered the disgraced businessman a way to get his revenge: he would have been subjected to an experimental treatment to gain superpowers. Williams accepted, and gained power enough to effortlessly defeat the mighty Executioner in his first test.

Of course, albeit holding a grudge against Stark, and being naive to a fault in trusting the likes of the Masters of Evil, Simon was no supervillain…but Zemo ensured his total cooperation by informing him that, as a side-effect of the experiment, he would have died if he didn’t receive a special antidote once a week. Obviously not wanting to die, Williams agreed to do what Zemo told him: the Baron renamed him “Wonder Man”, and instructed him to win the Avengers‘ trust and to join them, only to betray them when the time came. Soon after, Zemo staged a battle between the Avengers and the Masters of Evil, with Wonder Man readily intervening to save the heroes; introducing himself, Wonder Man told them he suffered from an incurable disease, that he was about to die and that he wanted to do something good with his life before passing away. The Avengers fell for it, and Giant-Man even worked hard to find a cure for his state, but to no avail. Eventually, the time came that Wonder Man was ordered to lure the Avengers into a trap, but in the meanwhile he had experimented on himself how truly good-hearted and heroic they were: feeling giulty, he chose to rebel to the Masters of Evil, and battled them alongside the heroes, only to “die” immediately after for the lack of his serum, happy to have done something good with the last moments of his life. Obviously, this wasn’t the end for Williams, as his “death” was just a coma caused by the unstable nature of his new ionic body. During his unconsciousness, Wonder Man’s body was collected and used by many, as his consciousness was downloaded by Ultron to create the mind pattern for his creation, The Vision, and later even his brother Eric, who in the meanwhile had become the villainous Grim Reaper, tried to use his remains to defeat the Avengers. He was also used as a puppet by villains like Kang the Conqueror and Black Talon, but every time he was resurrected as a “zombie” he was much weaker than before…basically because he was sleepwalking. Finally, the ionic hero returned to true life, just in time to help his fellow Avengers against heavy-hitters such as Attuma, Doctor Doom and Graviton. He “came back to life” with quite a psychological trauma, after all those years in a coffin, but thanks to his friends, Beast especially, he was ready to face them to become the hero he wanted to.

Simon Williams is a well-meaning but impulsive man, who wishes to do good in his life but ends up embracing an embarassing number of bad choices…always finding the courage and the will to amend, of course. As Wonder Man, he’s a being composed of pure ionic energy, a unique nature that grants him a variety of abilities: he’s impossibly strong, pretty much invulnerable, impervious to fatigue, extremely fast, gifted with enhanced senses and theoretically immortal, since he doesn’t age and he can heal from any kind of wound to any extent (a characteristic that allows him to come back from the dead over and over again); he’s also able to fly, to alter his size and to manipulate ionic energy into powerful blasts, and possibly even more, since the full extent of his powers is still unknown, mostly due to the traumas that prevent him to fully explore them. Hurt but not broken, Wonder Man is a phoenix who constantly rises from his ashes, always trying to be the hero he desperately longs to be, in a constant struggle between his fragile psyche and his inhumanly powerful body.

Melissa Bowen

After a brief hiatus, we come back with the third and last character appearing in the first Cloak and Dagger‘s trailer: Melissa Bowen, portrayed by Andrea Roth. In the show, Melissa will be Tandy‘s mother, and apparently she’s been turned into a much more sympathetic character, an optimist by nature who stands by her daughter’s side despite the many difficulties they face together. This makes her quite different from the selfish and self-centered character we learnt to know in the comics, and it’s quite unsure what this will mean for Tandy’s origin story, since her complicated relationship with her mother was a big part of the reason she ran away from home in the first place. Anyway, waiting to meet a brand new version of Melissa Bowen, let’s take a look at the original, bitchy one.

Not much is known about Melissa Bowen’s early life, but she was born most likely in Ohio, from an unknown but certainly wealthy family. She grew up with her older brother, Michael Bowen, but the two of them couldn’t be more different one from the other: while Melissa was pretty much self-centered and vain, Michael was selfless and altruist. The ridge between the two of them became even more apparent when, after he came back from the Korean War that deeply shocked him, Michael decided to become a priest, while Melissa, who was a renowned socialite even when she was little more than a girl, started a career as a super-model (something that certainly didn’t quell her ego). When Michael moved to New York City, since he wanted to stay closer to poor and needy people, the relationship between him and Melissa certainly grew colder, but they never really broke it, considering that, differences aside, they truly loved each other. Still young and beautiful, Melissa met a rich and fascinating businessman, Nathan Tyler, who became quite smitten by her; albeit she didn’t exactly love him, she agreed to marry him, seeing in his wealth a promising boost to her career. Melissa’s calculations were clearly well-based, as she saw her popularity grow enormously thanks to her husband’s influence, and she became more famous (and richer) than she had ever hoped for.

After some time, Melissa got pregnant, and even if this meant a hiatus in her modelling career, she found out that being a mother was a blessing to her popularity. She gave birth to a daughter, Tandy, and she insisted on giving her her surname rather than Nathan’s, planning on the baby’s career as her successor as a model even before she could say a single word or move a step. In this time, her relationship with her brother Michael grew closer again, as the priest enjoyed to spend some time with his baby niece, soon becoming Tandy’s favourite uncle. In the meanwhile, however, Melissa’s relation with her husband was quickly deteriorating, and she eventually divorced him, ignoring the pleads of her daughter who deeply loved her father; Tandy was heartbroken when Nathan was estranged from her life, and even more when, distrupt, he left the country to look for enlightnment in India…but Melissa didn’t care much about it, as she had obtained in the divorce Nathan’s hestate, quite a substantial profit. Albeit she was now a single mother, Melissa didn’t pay much attention to Tandy, taking care of her own career in need of a reboot; even her love life received a change for the better when Michael introduced her to one of his former comrades, Phillip Carlisles, a good-hearted man who quite unexpectedly managed to win Melissa’s affection. Once again ignoring Tandy, who wanted her father back and not a substitute, the woman married Phillip, who actually turned out to be an excellent stepfather, loving and caring as much as Melissa was distant and disinterested. Years of neglecting her daughter, eventually, paid a price, and when Tandy was fifteen, she ran away from home; while Phillip was heartbroken for this and immediately went after the girl, Melissa was pretty much unbiased: if being a mother brought her popularity, a personal tragedy such as this one could only improve her situation even more…

Melissa Bowen is a selfish and egotistic woman, who’s barely able to realize somebody besides her exists. Beautiful and rich, she always had whatever she wanted in her life, and she’s simply used to have it that way. Incapable of feeling any true love for anybody but herself, Melissa is exactly where she wants to be in her life: at the top.

Tandy Bowen (Dagger)

And here were are, for the second half of the couple who will hit our screens in the upcoming Cloak & Dagger: Dagger, of course. In the show, Tandy Bowen will be portrayed by Olivia Holt, and she’ll apparently suffer quite a change from her comicbook counterpart: she’ll be always a member of a rich Southern family, but she’ll end up on the streets pretty early on in her story, and she’ll become a thief along with her boyfriend Liam. The same accident that gave Tyrone Johnson his ability to emit and control darkness will give her the one to create light daggers (hence the name), and she’ll eventually break up with Liam, we don’t know yet if peacefully or not, to be with Tyrone instead. That’s as much as we know as for now, so now it’s time to take a look at the original Tandy, another well-known and beloved character in the comics.

Tandy Bowen was born in Shaker HeightsOhio, a wealthy suburb of Cleveland. She was the daughter of Nathan Tyler, a rich landlord, and of his wife, Melissa Bowen, a famous model who pretty much thought only of herself (and who insisted to have Tandy inherit her surname, wanting to “open a road” for her when she would have become a model too). When she was still a kid, Nathan and Melissa divorced, with the first leaving the country altogether to seek inner peace and enlightment in India; Tandy was deeply hurt by her father’s departure, but Melissa wasn’t exactly the best person to understand her pain and to do something about it, quite the opposite: soon after, obviously without caring for her daughter’s feelings, she married another man, Phillip Carlisle. Phillip was a nice man and a caring stepfather, but Tandy didn’t accept him nevertheless, always thinking of her real father. Missing the presence of the one person who she perceived had truly loved her, a sixteen-years-old Tandy eventually started a relationship with an older boy, Rob Daltry, searching in him all the love she was missing…but eventually Rob had to leave for college, and this broke Tandy’s heart once again. Not wanting to stay a day more in a house she didn’t feel loved in, Tandy made up her mind and took the first bus to New York City, leaving behind her previous life. Her first encounter with the Big Apple, however, wasn’t exactly the nicest one, as almost immediately a man stole her purse and ran away; luckily enough, another young man stopped the first one and won her purse back, giving it back to her. Grateful, and realizing that her savior was in need as well, Tandy bought him some food: the young man was Tyrone Johnson, and he had run away from home just as she had, albeit for different reasons. The two became fast friends. Immediately after, a group of men arrived and offered the two teens some food and shelter: naive to a fault, Tandy agreed to follow them, and a mistrustful Tyrone followed her just to make sure this wasn’t some kind of trap. The latter, unfortunately, turned out to be right, and they both got kidnapped.

This goons weren’t “regular” kidnappers, however, as they were working for Dr. Simon Marhsall, a criminal scientist who was testing for Maggia a synthetic heroine, D-Lite…unfortunately, all the teen runaways he had used as test subjects had died in the process. Tandy and Tyrone, however, were different from the others, and the drug awakened some latent mutant gene they both possessed: after being experimented on, they escaped, jumping into the Hudson. When they reemerged, they found they had gained superhuman abilities: Tandy was glowing with light in the dark, and she soon found out she could make that very light a solid object; Tyrone, on the opposite, was now a being of pure darkness. By common accord, the two decided to use their newfound powers to protect other street kids from the dangers they had faced, and they named themselves Cloak & Dagger. First things first, they found themselves forced to defend themselves from Marshall’s men, who had come to collect the only surviving guinea pigs: Dagger struck them down with her light projectiles, while Cloak absorbed them into the darkness he was, killing each one of them. Then, they started hunting for the scientist himself: during their quest, they obviously needed food and shelter, and Tandy, born in a devout Catholic family, asked for help to Father Delgado, a priest who welcomed them in his church. While looking for Marshall, Cloak & Dagger met people who started influencing them to pursue another path, rather than the murderous vigilantes’ one: Brigit O’Reilly, a police detective, and Spider-Man, a young superhero Dagger took quite a liking to, and she even began flirting with him, causing Tyrone’s jealousy (unbeknownst to Tandy, in fact, Cloak loved her more than just as a friend). Despite Spider-Man’s teachings, however, Cloak still killed, as it was difficult for him not to due to the nature of his powers, and this brought to Simon Marshall’s death; Dagger, on her part, stayed with him, and eventually found out that her light powers could feed Cloak’s darkness enough for him not to consume living people. As friends or as something more, the two of them had become apparently inseparable…

Tandy Bowen is a good-hearted and cheerful young woman, who instinctively trusts others and who has no true experience on street life, relying for that on her best friend (and later lover) Tyrone. As Dagger, she’s a living generator of Lightforce, a form of “living light” that grants her several abilities: she can summon daggers of solid light that she throws with expertise, and once they hit someone she has visions on how their life can be different if “enlightened” (and the victims usually change their lives, once touched by Lightforce); through the daggers, she can either absorb people’s lifeforce to incapacitate them or even kill them, or she can on the opposite heal them from poisons, drugs and toxins; she can also create light halos and sometimes forcefields. The day to Cloak’s night, Dagger is a girl full of passion and joy, bent on a violent crusade, but in a way that quells her partner’s brutality, while his seriousness helps her remain focused.

Tyrone Johnson (Cloak)

Next trailer for the future tv series is Cloak and Dagger, another piece of the ever-growing Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first trailer briefly showed us the origin of the two protagonists, and let’s start from the one who comes first in the title: Cloak, portrayed by Aubrey Joseph. In the show, Tyrone Johnson is a African-American teenager, a basketball player who risks to die in a dangerous clash with an unknown force; an incident gives him the power to generate and manipulate darkness, an ability that will put him in close contact with Tandy Bowen, a girl with the power to generate and manipulate light, whom he’ll fall in love with. Now, waiting to see what this new series will bring on the table of the MCU, let’s take a look at the original superhero…whose powers end up becoming quite creepy.

Tyrone Johnson was born in South Boston, son of Otis Johnson. Raised from a poor family in the slums, Ty developed quite a stutter since he was a kid, a handicap that made it difficult for him to bond with the other kids; despite this, he proved to be a good student, overcoming his speech difficulty mostly thanks to his best friend, Billy. He and Billy were quite inseparable, but one fateful day he and his friend, while in a store, witnessed an armed robber breaking in, killing the clerk and running away with the money; Billy, afraid that the policemen would have blamed them for the clerk’s death, ran as well, but this proved to be a mistake: the cops arrived, and seeing a black boy running away from the scene of a murder, pointed their gun on him. Ty tried to stop them proclaiming Billy’s innocence, but he started stuttering uncontrollably, and he couldn’t say a single clear word: as a result, the cops shot and killed Billy right in front of the seventeen-years old Tyrone. This resulted in quite a trauma for the teenager, and he ran away from home, trying to distance himself from his guilt and from a police he still feared. He arrived in New York City, in Manhattan, but he finished all his money with the bus ticket. With no other option at hand, he spotted a rich girl walking alone on the street, and considered robbing her…but someone preceeded him. Acting on instinct, Ty stopped the thief, and gave the purse back to the girl: she was Tandy Bowen, and Tyrone learnt that she was running away from home as well. The two became fast friends, and Ty immediately realized that the girl was quite naive, completely inexperienced regarding street life. The proof of this arrived almost immediately, as Tandy accepted the offer of a bunch of weird men who offered her a shelter: worried for his new friend, Ty accompanied her, and his suspicions proved to be well-based, as the men kidnapped them both and sold them to Simon Marshall, a chemist working for the criminal cartel Maggia. Marshall was testing a new synthetic drug, D-Lite, and Tyrone and Tandy had just become his new guinea pigs.

Most of the runaway teens who had been experimented on by Marshall didn’t live to tell the experience, as the synthetic heroine still had lethal side-effects; the modified formula didn’t kill Ty and Tandy, but it affected them in unexpected ways. The teens managed to escape, but soon Ty had to stop, finding himself victim of a strange hunger…then, he realised he was engulfed into pitch-black darkness. The darkness wasn’t engulfing Tyrone, however: the darkness was Tyrone, and his hunger came from a living portal that he now was that was absorbing any light in the nearby; Tandy, on the opposite, was glowing in light, and her presence eased Ty’s craving. Upon realizing they each had superhuman abilities, Tyrone and Tandy decided they had to stop Simon Marshall now that they had a chance to: covering his ghostly appearence with a cloak he found in an alley, Ty came back to the Maggia lab with his friend, and started absorbing in his darkness the goons Tandy struck down with her light daggers, until they managed to do the same with Simon Marshall. Seeing how powerful they were together, the teenagers declared an open war on crime, and named themselves Cloak & Dagger, new superheroes in New York. The duo started as brutal vigilantes, mercilessly killing criminals like Marshall who inflicted to others a pain similar to the one they had to endure; soon however they met Spider-Man, another superhero in town, who recognised them as young, misguided innocents rather than cold-blooded murderers, and decided to guide them. Cloak, however, felt the urge to consume living beings, so Spider-Man’s no-kill way appeared extremely difficult to follow for him. Ignoring the hero’s teachings, Cloak and Dagger tried to kill two of the top mob bosses in New York, Silvermane and Kingpin, but they failed; as a result, Dagger embraced Spider-Man’s values, and tried to make Cloak do the same, although she understood how difficult it was to him. Tyrone, eventually, started developing strong feelings for the girl who was now bonded to him in a way or the other, and he found himself reciprocated: now a couple in life and in crime-fighting, Cloak & Dagger were more formidable than ever.

Tyrone Johnson is a serious and dour young man, sometimes brutal in his crime-fighting and usually melancholy. As Cloak, he’s a living conduit to the Darkforce Dimension, a condition that grants him several abilities: he can create fields of darkness in his vicinity, a darkness that instills fear and cold in the ones affected by it to the point of turning them insane if overexposed; he can teleport by travelling through the Darkforce Dimension, bringing others along, he can fly, and he can become intangible (even if it’s more correct to say the opposite, as he’s usually intangible, and he has to concentrate to become solid again); from the Darkforce Dimension, the Predator compels him to consume living beings, draining them of their life force by absorbing them into a pocket dimension, but as Cloak found out, also Dagger’s light can quell his hunger for some time. Just as gloomy as the darkness he’s made of, but gifted with a heart of gold that puts him always on the frontline to protect the ones he love, Dagger especially, Cloak is a young man who tries to escape a destiny that keeps pulling him in the dark, grateful for the one ray of light he constantly has by his side.

Seyg-El

With most of the series coming to the end of season, we start to see the trailers for the new ones coming next Autumn, and the first among these is Krypton, set on the doomed planet Krypton a couple of centuries before Superman arrives on Earth. The protagonist of the series will be Superman’s grandfather, Seyg-El (in this version mispelled Seg-El), who’s introduced as a young member of the disgraced and ostracized House of El who fights to reconquer the lost honor of his family. The series will be part of the DC Extended Universe, acting as a prequel to Man of Steel, and as we see from the trailer it will all be told in a message Seg-El leaves to his future grandson Kal-El. Now, waiting to meet Superman’s grandpa in flesh and blood, let’s take a look at his paper version…who surely doesn’t start as a disgraced nobelman at all.

Seyg-El was born in Kryptonopolis, one of the richest and most populated cities on planet Krypton, second only to the capital Kandor; he was the son of Ter-El, and he was a member of the renowned House of El, one of the most important noble families on the planet. Since his birth, Seyg-El was genetically destined to the Kryptonian Science Council, and his formation was programmed so that he could excell in it and lead it. He grew up along with his brother Zim-El, but the relationship between the two wasn’t exactly a siblings’ one, as relations were in general pretty cold within the House. As all the nobles on Krypton, Seyg-El didn’t chose his mate, as she was selected by the Master of the Gestation Chambers to preserve the purity of his blood: he was introduced to a girl named Nimda An-Dor, who became his wife. From her, Seyg-El had two children: a son, Jor-El, and a daughter, Kara Seyg-El. Just as sibling relationship, even the father and son one wasn’t exactly a passionate and warm bond on Krypton, and Seyg-El, who took care of Jor-El’s education personally, treated him with cold interest, making sure that he learnt Kryptonian traditions and science, but with the same attention a particularly detached teacher could have for a promising student. Jor-El, however, wasn’t like his father at all: albeit he properly studied Kryptonian etiquette and history, and he proved to be a versatile scientist and a curious researcher, he didn’t like the strictness of Krypton’s traditions, and dreamed of something more in his life than genetic perfection and oppressively organised society. Seyg-El didn’t understand his son’s ambitions, quite the opposite, he came to consider him a public embarassment, an apple that had fallen far distant from its tree. The greatest dishonor that Jor-El ever brought to his father came when the boy was about fifteen years old, and a great opportunity came to him and to the House of El in general, albeit in one of the harshest times ever for planet Krypton, as the Green Plague was claiming thousands of lives.

Among the ones who fell victim to the plague was Zon-Em, a respected nobleman, and his mate-to-be, Lara, was left without her future husband. The Master of the Gestation Chambers selected Jor-El as a replacement for Zon-Em, finding his genetic template worthy of mixing with Lara’s one. Seyg-El, understanding the honor this represented, prompted his son to accept, informing him of the privilege the Lords had granted him (Jor-El had not yet participated to the rite of passage to adulthood, and it was unheard of that a “child” was chosen as a mate for a noblewoman). Much to Seyg-El’s relief, Jor-El accepted the offer…but he managed to put him in great embarassment the moment he demanded to actually meet the woman he was supposed to marry and to conceive children with, a request that nobody, in centuries of genetic perfection-oriented combinations, had ever promoted. Father and son argued harshly about this, with Seyg-El seeing this request just another sign of Jor-El’s disrespect for Kryptonian traditions, a meaningless whim of a maverick; Jor-El, however, was unmovable, and when the Master of the Gestation Chambers actually granted his request and allowed him to meet Lara, Seyg-El rushed away, not wanting to have anything else to do with his rebellious son ever again. Seyg-El completely focused on leading the Kryptonian Science Council, and he did so with total respect of Kryptonian traditions, becoming a renowned conservative judge of any Kryptonian matter. To make things worse, soon Jor-El, who had in the meanwhile fallen in love with Lara and had married her nevertheless, became a scientist himself, subject to the Council as a result. Even more, in the moment when all Krypton’s greatest minds were trying to find a cure to the Green Plague without success, letting it destroy millions of lives, Jor-El started exposing theories about a destabilization of the planet’s nucleus that would have brought to the destruction of Krypton. Seyg-El refused to listen to his own son, and ordered him to keep quite about this not to spread panic among the population: this last act of pride, however, would have costed him much…

Seyg-El is a serious and proud member of the House of El, the heir of a long legacy of rules and traditions who consecrates his entire life to respecting and protecting them. A brilliant scientist and a deep connoisseur of Kryptonian history and customs, he’s the leader of the Science Council, a perfect man shaped by eugenics who doesn’t accept the slightest flaw in himself or in others. Severe and inflexible, Seyg-El represents everything that made Krypton great…and everything that marked its downfall as well.