Kathleen Neville

Approaching the end of Mav‘s list, we find Kate Neville, a character very few remember in the comics, and even less remember received a live action portrayal. Tracy Waterhouse portrayed her in Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., the awful yet funny tv movie. In the film, she’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative who had neural implants to develop ESP powers, who joins Nick Fury and Alexander Pierce in the final assault against Hydra forces. She’s also the one who reads the Viper‘s mind to learn the code to neutralize a chemical bomb. In the comics, Kate is indeed an agent, but quite different from this particular version, being only mildly gifted with psionic powers, and not so seasoned and self-aware. Let’s see together.

Kathleen “Kate” Neville was born in Long Island, New York, and she joined S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy as a young woman. She majored at the Academy, and became extremely skilled in the art of killing, being trained specifically for being an assassin. Despite her remarkable physical skills, she was stationed to Base Tau/Ce in Philadelphia, a Class C Armory and Communication Center where nothing ever happened. Her cover activity was that of a receptionist for Knopf and Lilicrap Insurance, a firm that was a front of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Everything started to change the moment Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., was accused of treason and became the world’s most wanted man…and appeared just in Neville’s office. Kate did her best to apprehend him, but even her remarkable skills could nothing against the seasoned spy, and he managed to flee. Her attempt, however, attracted the attention of her superior officers, who examined her and found in her a latent ESPer talent. She was immediately relocated to the Delta Program, but here she found out the truth about Fury: he wasn’t a traitor at all, rather it was S.H.I.E.L.D. itself that had been infiltrated by sentient Life Model Decoys who identified themselves as a new species, the Deltites, ready to take over the world by replacing key figures in institutions. Neville witnessed the final preparation along with Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, prisoner of the LMDs as well, and she even saw her copy being made, but the LMD turned out to be defective and never took her place as it was meant to. Along with a bunch of loyal men, Nick Fury managed to stop the Deltites and to free their prisoners, Neville included, and when following the affair S.H.I.E.L.D. disbanded, Kate agreed to follow Fury to Nova Scotia to work with him. During this time together, as Val had cut all bonds with Nick, he fell in love with Kate, reciprocated.

Kate Neville and Nick Fury spent quite some time together as a couple, and never had anything to do with former S.H.I.E.L.D. colleagues, apart from Alexander Pierce, custodian of S.H.I.E.L.D. Central, whom Kate still had contacts with. Then, the Contessa and Al Mackenzie contacted them for help, as they were investigating on the Death’s Head Squadron, a new offshoot of Hydra. The Squadron was composed of LMDs who believed to be real Gnobians (winged aliens), and who were serving the defunct Baron Strucker, whose resurrection they had been promised. During this mission, Fury understood that the world still needed a S.H.I.E.L.D., and decided to reform the organization, this time with Kate Neville at his side, in the position of command she had deserved from the very beginning. She was ranked Director of Ordnance, and became an on-field agent, putting to use her remarkable skills. With the new S.H.I.E.L.D., Kate faced threats like the terrorist organization Leviathan, that had been infiltrating high positions in all the country’s major institutions, the former technician Peter Lohan, who had been mutated into a techno-organic monstrous humanoid, and the Chinese criminal mastermind Yellow Claw, who had founded yet another version of Hydra. The battle with Hydra grew in scale, and finally the Nazi-inspired terrorists attacked the reformed S.H.I.E.L.D. Central, slaughtering 1500 recruits. Following this, Fury distanced himself from anyone, trying to cut all personal bonds to be more efficient, and he even cut off Kate. Despite this, it was Kate the one who got kidnapped by Baron Strucker, resurrected as he had announced: she was used as a bait to lure Fury to a Hydra base in Iceland, and here, as soon as the spy arrived, Strucker cruelly murdered her by locking her in an iron maiden. Quite a gruesome and inglorious end for one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s best agents ever.

Kate Neville is a brave and strong-willed agent, an intuitive and clever operative who graduated at the top of her class. As a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, she’s an expert in many killing techniques, a formidable hand-to-hand combatant and an infallible markswoman, a lethal killing machine quite underused in the organization; she’s also, apparently, a gifted ESPer, but this trait has never been deepened. A spy and an assassin, Kate is the best S.H.I.E.L.D. has to offer, a woman who dedicated all her life to protect the world from threats it’s not even aware of, using any means possible.

Advertisements

Robert Edward Kelly

Mav keeps us in the X-Men world, as the next character in his list is Senator Robert Kelly, one of the early nemesis of the heroes, later turned ally…at least in the comics. Bruce Davison portrays him in the first X-Men movie, an anti-mutant politician who fuels people’s fear of mutants with his hatred campaign. He’s later kidnapped by Magneto and turned into an artificial mutant, specifically an amphibious jelly-man, but he dies shortly after as the mutation is not stable. He however appears again in X2: X-Men United, as Mystique uses his appearance to spy on mutants’ enemies, and made him a mutant supporter in opposition to his original character. In the comics, both the “real Kelly” and the “fake Kelly” are the same Kelly, as he changes in mind with time. Let’s see together.

Robert Kelly was born in Farmingham, Massachusetts, the pupil of a traditional family, raised with traditional values. He studied law and got interested in politics, basing most of his positions on a threat that everyone seemed to ignore: the growing presence of mutants, people gifted with extraordinary abilities since birth, who were clearly a menace to national security. Kelly’s campaign in his home country was a success, and he became a US Senator for Massachusetts. Once he arrived in Washington, his policy and style didn’t change the least, quite the opposite: he became the promoter and supporter of the Mutant Registration Act, a law that would have forced all mutants to register in special governmental lists and denounce their powers. This position and proposal brought to him a lot of opponents, especially from the human rights defense side, but also a number of influential supporters, including the elitist Hellfire Club, that invited Kelly to a number of meetings. During one of these meetings, Kelly witnessed in person one of the so-called mutant heroes, Cyclops from the X-Men, shooting randomly in a crowd, thus strengthening his anti-mutant position; unbeknownst to him, what he saw was actually an illusion cast by Mastermind. The mysterious Black King of the Club offered Kelly a remarkable amount of funds for his campaign, and as a bonus Robert even fell in love with one of the maids, Sharon, who soon became his wife. With the King’s money, Kelly supported and brought to public attention Project: Wideawake, that would have introduced the Sentinels built by the Hellfire Club as public law enforcers specifically designed to hunt down and restrain mutants. This extreme proposition earned the enmity of just as extreme mutant groups, like the second Brotherhood of Evil Mutants led by Mystique.

Not exactly a diplomat, Mystique organized an assassination attempt against Kelly, but her attack was thwarted at the last second by the X-Men, who saved his life (and averted a dystopian future by doing so). Just as he was about to reconsider his positions, Kelly suffered a major trauma: when he and his wife were coming back from a meeting with Shaw, his limo was caught in the middle of a fight between the X-Man Rogue and the robot Master Mold, and in the battle Sharon got killed. This made Kelly’s hatred for mutantkind grow even more, and he ordered the production of even more Sentinels. Years later, he was approached by the mysterious Bastion, who convinced him to support his Operation: Zero Tolerance to solve the “mutant problem” at its roots. He changed his mind about this the moment he realized that Bastion was turning American citizens into Prime Sentinels against their will: as he retreated he became a target, but the X-Men once again saved him. He used his influence to direct S.H.I.E.L.D. against Bastion, had him arrested and his operation dismantled…but this didn’t change his political views, quite the opposite: he announced his candidacy for president, obviously starting from his usual anti-mutant positions. To avoid any other attempt on his life by the Brotherhood, Kelly even accepted the mutant Cable in his security detail, but even this didn’t make him reconsider his positions…until a fateful day in Boston, when he became the target of another mutant extremist, Post. The one who saved him this time wasn’t one of the X-Men as usual, but Pyro, a former member of the Brotherhood who had tried to kill him years before, and who was now dying for the Legacy Virus. With the last of his powers and his life, Pyro saved him, and in front of this selfless act of sacrifice, Senator Kelly couldn’t but reconsider his anti-mutant stance. Maybe it wasn’t too late to change his presidential campaign, after all…

Senator Robert Kelly is a man moved by a sincere, yet misdirected concern for his people and his nation, a politician who believes every mutant to be a potential threat for national security because of their very nature. Intelligent yet stubborn, Kelly accepts without problems the fact that “good mutants” exist, but he remains consistent in his anti-constitutional views of having them all registered and monitored with regards to the few “bad ones”. A man with power and influence, a charismatic speaker who enthralls thousands with his words, Kelly is a tremendous tool for spreading fear and hatred, but he can be just as well a formidable preacher for unity and mutual understanding.

James MacDonald Hudson (Guardian)

Back to Mav‘s request, we meet Travis Hudson, portrayed by Max Cullen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. He’s the husband of Heather, and he takes care of Logan just after the operation that transformed him into Weapon X. Just as his wife, he’s been radically changed from the original comicbook character, who’s actually named James Hudson, and who’s remarkably younger than his live action counterpart. Also, if age and name weren’t enough, the original Hudson is also Canada‘s main superhero, Guardian, founder and leader of Alpha Flight. Let’s see together.

James MacDonald “Mac” Hudson was born in London, Ontario, Canada. He grew up to be a young man very gifted in science, and he decided to become an engineer. He specialized in petrochemical engineering, and was hired by Am-Can Oil Corporation, a multinational that operated on the territory. Hudson worked for them for some years, helping them in perfecting their excavating machines, and there he also met Heather McNeil, a secretary several years younger than him, who he fell in love with. Always trying to help workers excavate quicker and in a safer way, Mac Hudson developed a suit to locate and reach oil deposits underground, and showed the project to his boss, Jerome Jaxon. Thanks to Heather, however, James discovered that Jaxon had all the intention to build and use the suit, but not for its original purpose, as he wanted to sell it to the Americans as a weapon. Hudson resigned, and he left Am-Can taking the helmet along, making the suit useless for anyone, as it was the helmet that controlled it, and only he knew how to make another one. Heather followed him, and they went to the Canadian government to seek refuge and to expose their former employers. It was during this time that James and Heather confessed to each other the deep feelings they felt for each other, and eventually got married, despite the protests of Heather’s family. In the meanwhile, the Canadian Parliament had examined James’ claim, and they had agreed to protect him from Am-Can, on one condition: he would have helped the Minister of Defense with his skills and knowledge. Mac agreed, and he started working for the Department H, the Ministry’s research and development program. He rebuilt his suit, and upon hearing about the Fantastic Four in the US, James asked and obtained to found a Canadian super-team, which he would have called Alpha Flight.

James and Heather traveled the country in search of recruits for Alpha Flight, and the first one was Logan, a man they had befriended during their honeymoon. Logan was supposed to become the leader of the team, but as he started to fall in love with Heather he decided to leave, not wanting to ruin his friendship with James. Replacing Logan as an on-field leader, James redesigned his suit as a battle exoskeleton, and presented himself as Guardian, codename Weapon Alpha. His first mission was to forcibly take Logan back to Canadian soil, as he had joined the X-Men in the US. The mission was a failure, and James accidentally wounded Moira MacTaggert, Logan’s friend, in the process. As Logan made it clear he didn’t want to be a puppet of Department H anymore, James came back empty handed, refusing to ever try to bring his friend back home by force again. Alpha Flight protected the country for a while, until Department H went bankrupt and the team disbanded. Alpha Flight regrouped on Heather’s initiative as the giant Tundra appeared, and after successfully defeating him, they decided to stay together, even without the permission and the funds of the government. Then, James received a job offer he couldn’t refuse from Roxxon Oil, and moved along with Heather to New York. This employment, however, proved to be a trap set by Jerome Jaxon, who wanted the suit back, and planned to take it with the aid of his own, evil version of Alpha Flight, named Omega Flight. As Mac was captured, Heather called in the rest of the team, and Omega and Alpha Flight clashed on American soil. During the battle, Jaxon accidentally killed himself, but he overloaded Guardian’s suit in the process. As the exoskeleton exploded, everyone comprehensibly took James Hudson for dead. Mac, in reality, had fallen in a space rift, and had been teleported to Ganymede, where the peaceful aliens Quwrlln (or Q’wrlln) nurtured him back to health, repaired his suit and even integrated it in his organism. Now, all Guardian had to do was to find a way to come back home to his wife and friends.

James Hudson is a man of science, who had to learn to overcome his insecurities and become a man of action to lead his team against the threats menacing Canada. As Guardian, he has all the powers of his suit integrated into his now cybernetic body: he possesses superhuman strength and durability, he can fly at incredible speed, he can project and manipulate plasma, electromagnetic pulses, ultrasonic beams and a graviton beam he uses to lift objects too heavy for his strength, he can interface with computers directly with his brain, he can create force fields and much more. The greatest hero of his country, Guardian doesn’t quite feel so, and he has to win over his fear and his sense of inadequacy on every mission…thus turning out to be a very human and reliable leader, someone his teammates can relate to and count upon, who’s never too reckless and who knows the true meaning of courage. Despite what he thinks, a superhero born.

Neville Alcott

There’s still one character we could clearly identify from the latest Ninjak vs the Valian Universe trailer, and it’s the one that Ninjak takes hostage as he’s trying to leave a floor full of secret agents aiming at him: Neville Alcott, portrayed by Craig Robert Young. In the show he appears to be using all his remarkable resources to go after Ninjak after he’s become “compromised” somehow, and this puts him on the wrong side of the “vs”…even if technically he’s Ninjak’s boss. Let’s take a look at him: again, we’re making reference to the rebooted continuity rather than to the original one, and thus we’re dealing with an Alcott much younger than the first one, not a World War II veteran who became paraplegic after saving Gilad in Dunkirk, but a modern spy.

To quote Winston Churchill, Neville Alcott is “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”, but in this case there’s no key. He was surely born in the United Kingdom, most likely in England, and he had some military background. Extremely smart and just as ambitious, he joined the British Intelligence, and eventually was recruited in the MI6. From here on there are some theories on how he came to be one of the most powerful and influential people in the world, but they’re and remain theories. What’s for sure is that he acted as a liaison for several talented spies during the Cold War, among which he could count the Kings, a couple, man and wife, who were among his most trusted agents. He sent them on and off on missions in the Soviet Union, and he even encouraged Mrs. King to hire Alain, another spy she had had an affair with, as a personal security agent, undercover as a butler. When Mrs. King gave birth to a son, Colin, born from her relation with Alain, Neville followed closely the boy’s growth, as he developed quite an interesting personality and set of skills: Alain kept him informed just as well as he did with the Kings. In the meanwhile, Neville married a woman, Angelina, another one from the world of spies. It was during this time, the same when Colin King ran away from home and headed to Japan, that Alcott was entrusted with training a new generation of super-spies, special agents that could accomplish impossible missions thanks to extraordinary talents and a futuristic arsenal. The Kings could have been good recruits, but they got killed during a mission, and so did Alain; as soon as he learnt that Colin had been trained by the Undead Monk in the arts of ninjutsu, Neville saw in him a good replacement, and recruited him for the program. Another one of his first recruits was his very wife, Angelina, who became Colin’s rival. At first, at least.

During their training, Angelina and Colin got close, and became lovers, but Neville pretended not to know this for the sake of the program. As soon as he deemed his first super-spies to be ready, Alcott sent them to kill a professional marksman, Xaman, but his intel turned out to be imprecise, and they missed the target. The effect was catastrophic, as Xaman hunted down his attackers in turn, and eventually killed Angelina. Some thought that the intel was purposefully flawed, so that Neville could get rid of his cheating wife and/or her paramour, but this was never proved. It was a fact that Colin King ended up being the only agent passing the test, becoming Ninjak, the first operative super-spy. From there on, Alcott’s career was a collection of successes: he created connections with the American Project Rising Spirit, secretly supervised the creation of the immortal hitman Bloodshot and ensured a strong cooperation between his organization and the killer; he obtained intel on the presence of immortal beings on the planet, and he forged an alliance of sort with one of them, the Eternal Warrior, earning his loyalty. He became the first authority at MI6 in terms of superhumans, and his knowledge on them, their powers and the potential threats and assets they represented was unmatched. He used all his data and skills to monitor up closely Toyo Harada, who put together a super-team, Unity, apparently to defend Romania from the threat of X-O Manowar. Alcott granted Ninjak to Harada, but as one of the team members, Livewire, discovered that Harada aimed to obtain control of the X-O suit for himself, she betrayed him and acted as Alcott’s inside man. Through Livewire and with the help of Colonel Capshaw, Neville Alcott led the heroes against Harada and obtained control of Unity, officially receiving the task of handling the team from his superiors. Now, there was virtually nothing he couldn’t do in the world.

Neville Alcott is an extremely smart, cautious man, a long-time planner who quells his ambition with his patience. With some physical skills on his own, having being an operative time before, Alcott is especially good at making other people do his bidding, manipulating (or simply leading) others with more power than him. Clever enough not to make his ends dirty, Alcott is currently one of the most powerful men alive, with nothing beyond his reach, in charge of the most powerful superhuman ensemble the world has ever seen. It remains to be seen where his ultimate interest lies, and what he’s going to be doing with all this power…

Jack Dominique Boniface (Shadowman)

I don’t know you, but I was starting to lose hope we’d ever get to see Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe. It turns out that the show is finally completed and out for everyone to see, and as soon as I manage to watch it I’ll fill you in with all the missing characters. In the meanwhile, let’s speak of one new face we spot in the last trailer we got from Bat in the Sun: the pitch black guy with the white skull paint on his face, clad in black, is Shadowman, Valiant Comics‘ top necromancer, and one of its most popular (and coolest) heroes, who this time will be portrayed by Damion Poitier. Waiting to watch the web series properly, and also waiting for the long-rumored Shadowman movie, let’s take a good look at him (as with the others, we’ll make reference to the latest continuity, which the show is based on).

Jack Dominique Boniface was born in New Orleans, the son of Josiah Boniface and Helena LeBreton. When he was still in his mother’s womb, his father, who secretly was the Shadowman, the guardian who protected the Liveside from demonic and ghostly invasions from the Deadside, entered in conflict with Master Darque, an evil necromancer. Just before leaving for the final battle, Josiah left an amulet to his wife for protection, and then disappeared along with his nemesis in the following fight. Helena gave birth to Jack and then immediately left New Orleans, hoping to leave the dead and their world behind. When Jack was old enough, she gave him the amulet her father had left to them, but she disappeared immediately after. The kid was put in foster care, and he grew up wondering who his parents truly were and what had happened to them. As a young man, he came back to New Orleans, where he found a job as a curator in La Nouvelle Orleans Museum of Culture. It was while working there that he finally obtained what he wanted: information about his parents. Dave Burke, a private investigator, had finally found intel about both Josiah Boniface and Helena LeBreton, but they were both registered as criminals on the run, charged with homicide (albeit nothing was ever proved in court). Feeling betrayed, believing his mother had lied to him when she told him as a child that his father was a good man, Jack, for the first time in years, took the amulet that was the only token he had from his parents away from his neck, and threw it into a river. By doing this, however, Jack was finally detectable by the evil forces the amulet had been protecting him from: as soon as he took it away, the demon Mr. Twist, a servant of Darque, sent two Bretherens (cops he was possessing) after him. The Bretherens found him, led him into an alley, and shot him dead. This would have been the end for Jack Boniface, but it turned out to be the beginning, as his legacy finally activated, and he was enveloped in a shadow that healed him completely. He had become the new Shadowman.

As he awoke with supernatural powers, Jack was reached by two other people who had sensed his presence: Dox, his father’s long-time friend and ally, and his protege Alyssa Myles. With their help, Shadowman defeated the Bretherens, but he fainted immediately after. He woke up the next morning in his house, obviously believing that everything had been just a weird dream, but then Alyssa came to the museum, and brought him to Dox. The still confused Jack could hardly believe anything of what Dox told him, about magic, about his father, about a world of the dead that he was destined to keep separated from the world of the living. The one who finally convinced Jack was Mr. Twist, who teleported himself in Dox’s house, attacking the trio. As Dox bought time, Alyssa and Jack escaped into the Deadside, the world of the dead the young man had just been told about. Here, they were welcomed by Jaunty, a spirit who appeared to them in the shape of a talking monkey with a top hat. Much to Jack’s shock, Jaunty offered to bring him to his father, who had been trapped in the Deadside years before during his battle with Darque. As the trio reached Josiah, some spirits attacked them, and Alyssa confronted them to allow Jack to meet his father. Josiah trapped the loa (voodoo spirit) who empowered his son into a Sengese blade (more or less a scythe), and gave Jack a choice: he could refuse to be the Shadowman and come back to his usual existence without consequences, but thus leaving Alyssa to her destiny, or he could embrace his legacy, and become the new protector of the barrier between the living and the dead. Compelled by the danger, Jack grabbed the blade, becoming Shadowman once again, and with that he rescued Alyssa. The two came back to the Liveside just in time to save Dox, and Shadowman transported Mr. Twist to the Deadside again, where he had him mauled by the spirits of the dead. The battle, albeit won, had some dread consequences: now Master Darque, trapped in the Deadside as well, knew that there was a new Shadowman to hunt down and to use for his own dark purposes…

Jack Boniface is a man dragged into a world he doesn’t fully comprehend, but that he embraces like a family curse. Brooding and brutal, he executes a swift and violent justice against all evil-doers. As the Shadowman, he’s empowered by Umbra, a powerful loa who inhabits the Shadow Scythe, the mystic blade passed down from generations in his family; Umbra grants him superhuman strength, durability, agility and reflexes, the ability to heal from virtually any wound and to see in pitch dark, and free passage to the Deadside and back; Jack is also able to summon demons, loas and spirits of the dead he can bind to his will, and he can glide thanks to the Scythe. The joint between Deadside and Liveside, Shadowman is filled by a dark rage aimed at every dark soul, living or dead, who threatens the balance, a rage that can only be sated by his enemies’ blood.

Otis Johnson

The last character we got a look at through the promotional material from the upcoming Cloak & Dagger series is Billy Johnson, Tyrone‘s deceased older brother, portrayed by Marqus Clae. The circumstances of Billy’s passing aren’t yet revealed, but it’s something that consumed the relationships within the Johnson family. In the comics, Tyrone does indeed have a brother, but a younger one, who’s never seen but through a couple flashbacks. Also, his name is not Billy, but rather Otis, the name that in the show has been given to his father, Mr. Johnson. There’s not much to say about this young man, but this never stopped us before. Let’s take a look.

Otis Johnson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the third son of the unnamed Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. The Johnsons had never been a wealthy family, and day by day Otis’ parents had to do her best to provide their children with a living. When Mrs. Johnson got pregnant again and gave birth to yet another (anonymous) daughter, things didn’t get any easier. Because of this, Otis didn’t get to spend much time with his parents, but his older siblings, Tyrone and Anna, took care of him in their place. Not sharing much of a relationship with Anna, whom he saw like a second, more annoying mom, Otis on the other hand looked up to Tyrone, who became kind of his landmark in growing up. The two shared quite a bond, at least from Otis’ part, and the boy wanted to become just as smart and resourceful as his older brother was. Then, quite abruptly, things started to change, and not for the better: first, Anna left the house without an explanation or a note, then, everything definitely crumbled down the moment Tyrone’s best friend Billy was wrongfully shot down by cops in an alley.

Tyrone never forgave himself for what had happened to Billy, since he blamed himself and his stuttering for not having been able to tell the cops he and his friend had nothing to do with the smugglers they were purchasing. Not even Otis could get to him in his current situation, and eventually also Tyrone ran away from home, never to be heard of again. With time, more than being saddened for his brother’s departure, Otis found out he was angry: angry he had been left behind by the one person he’d been looking up to. From that moment, also Otis’ life turned upside down, and not in a good way. As a reaction to his perfect and school-smart brother’s “betrayal”, Otis started doing exactly the opposite of what Tyrone had done, so he dropped school and started hanging around with boys from the local gangs. He entered the criminal world as an angry kid, and he embraced all of it, even becoming a drug dealer, the category Tyrone hated the most. As a plus, he also dragged his little sister into it, and made her become his client, turning her into an addict. Once again, things got out of hand when the girl, still very young, overdosed, and died because of her big brother. Scared by what he had done, Otis escaped, becoming the third runaway out of four in his house. Quite ironically, he hadn’t exactly reached his goal of not being like his brother.

Otis Johnson is a smart kid full of anger, who has dedicated his young life into taking a spiritual revenge against his older brother, guilty of abandoning him. A street thug and a drug dealer, Otis has become the crook Tyrone always taught him to avoid, a man with no responsibilities who only seeks what he mistakes for respect. As Tyrone can’t see what has become of him, all this self-destructing spiral seems pretty pointless, seen from the outside…

Francis Xavier Delgado

Another character revealed from the upcoming Cloak & Dagger series is Father Francis Xavier Delgado, portrayed by Jaime Zevallos. A moral support for Tyrone and the school counselor at St. Sebastian High School, Delgado will be portrayed as a tormented priest, a man who’s still not 100% sure of his life choices and who starts to feel oppressed by the collar…something that he’s got in common with the original character, who’s quite comfortable in being a Catholic priest at the beginning, but suffers some changing down the line. This version, however, is definitely younger. Let’s see together.

Francis Xavier Delgado was a man of faith, who became a priest for the Catholic Church when he was still young. He was assigned a parish in New York City, and quite a troublesome one: the Holy Ghost Church, located in the most ill-famed slums of Hell’s Kitchen. Filled with a missionary spirit, Delgado accepted the task and dedicated himself to helping the poor souls in the neighborhood, not only by granting them the solace of the soul, but also by providing them with food and shelter when needed. Then, one day, two unexpected guests came to his door seeking help: the vigilantes Cloak and Dagger. Albeit startled by their looks, Father Delgado listened to their story, and accepted to grant them shelter for all the time they needed it. With his support and friendship, the Holy Ghost Church became the duo’s base. Actually, Delgado didn’t approve at all the methods the two were using to fight evil, believing they were corrupting their souls with the same violence they wished to eradicate; while he believed the Cloak was beyond redemption, possibly a satanist, he still hoped he could save Dagger, who in his eyes was the embodiment of purity and innocence. Of course, to save her he would have had to separate her from her beloved Cloak. Delgado played along for quite some time, even defending them from the police in the person of Detective O’Reilly, who had come looking for them, and offering his assistance also to other heroes the duo teamed up with, such as Spider-Man or the New Mutants, forming a curious bond with Wolfsbane in the last case. He supported Dagger when she went to visit her mother Melissa, and he accompanied her to the appointment, only to witness first person the woman’s cruelty towards her daughter. Everything began to spin out of control when Cloak and Dagger started to be accompanied by an even more violent vigilante, Mayhem, who also was hosted in the church from time to time.

It was clear to Father Delgado that Cloak’s satanic influence was spreading, so he decided to take action against it: he asked for Daimon Hellstrom‘s help to perform an exorcism on the vigilantes, but as the demon hunter refused, he tried to do it himself. Mayhem interrupted the ritual, mocking him and blaming him for his selfishness. Humiliated but not defeated, Delgado offered a poor welcome when his proteges came back, as he “attacked” Cloak with holy water, casting him out of the church…but by doing so, ironically, he awakened the demon living within Cloak, the Predator, and even summoned the spirit of Jack the Ripper (not a serial killer from the Victorian Age, but rather a servant of Dormammu). When Dagger learnt what her “friend” had done, she angrily left him, looking for Cloak. His actions had released the evil he sought to contain, and this was apparently too much for Delgado’s mind to accept: he lost his sanity and his faith, and his congregation led him to a psychiatric hospital. In here, however, he found a new god to direct his prayers to: Mister Jip, a supernatural and malevolent being who had been the first disciple of the Ancient One. Jip tricked the unbalanced priest, and presented himself as God, praising him for his work and giving him more “holy missions” to accomplish. Following Mister Jip’s instructions, Delgado feigned sanity, and when his successor, Father Michael Bowen (Dagger’s uncle), came to visit him, the two even prayed together, but while Bowen prayed to God, Delgado was praying to Jip in secret. Father Delgado’s act was so good that he fooled also the doctors, who let him out of the hospital as completely recovered. Obviously still unable to run the parish as he used to, he was sided to Father Bowen, and started working for him…but in the meanwhile, he also worked for Jip, helping his master’s assistant Night in conspiring against Cloak and Dagger. Now, finally, Delgado was serving a god who understood and approved his battles, and he would have not failed him as well…

Father Francis Xavier Delgado is essentially a good man who faced more than his mind could process in too short a time. He is now an unstable individual, a psychotic and delusional extremist hellbent on eradicating evil from everywhere, but from himself, serving a power much more cruel and malevolent than everything he has ever fought against. A servant of good who found himself on the wrong side of the barricade without even realizing it, Father Delgado has become the thing he has been fighting against all his life, but he’s now too deranged to even understand he should look in the mirror to find the evil he sees everywhere.