Jake O’Hare

There’s still one parental figure popping out in Preacher‘s third season premiere, but this time he’s related to another one of the protagonists. In Angelville, we witness Tulip‘s stay in Purgatory, portrayed like some sort of waiting room before being sent to one eternal destination or the other. Tulip watches her early life being represented as in a bad sitcom, and so we (sort of) meet her father, Jake O’Hare, portrayed by Keith Burke. The show’s version of Jake is a good-for-nothing crook who tries with all his soul to turn on a new leaf, but fails miserably and ends up dying in a shooting with the police right in front of his daughter. The comics’ version, albeit a dysfunctional father as well, is a very different man (and not just for the race swapping). Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Jake O’Hare, apart from the fact that he was a convinced Republican, and that he loved hunting, guns, and everything manly. He got married with an unnamed woman, and for the entire time of pregnancy he was more than sure that he would have had a baby boy. He had the name ready: John William Grady O’Hare. His friends mocked him, trying to picture his face if he would have ended up with a baby girl, but Jake remarked that he would have rather turned Democrat than fathered a daughter. History proved him wrong: his wife gave birth to a beautiful blonde girl, who was named Tulip because of the woman’s love for flower names. Jake was utterly terrified, he didn’t even know how to hold his daughter, but the nurse convinced him to try… and he instantly fell in love with baby Tulip. He decided that it didn’t need to be a bad thing that his “son” was born a female instead, and that he could have always raised her the way he had always wanted. The fact that his wife died soon after, leaving him a single parent, if in itself was a tragedy, on the other side left him with total freedom over the way he would have raised his daughter. This, translated in Jake’s perspective, meant that he would have raised Tulip the way he would have the son he actually wanted, teaching her everything he would have taught John William Grady. Surprisingly, this turned out pretty good.

As soon as Tulip was able to walk, Jake told her everything he knew about guns, taught her how to shoot and how to hunt and how to fight. The first tries were pretty bad actually, with the kid unable to stand the recoil of the gun and ending up buried in the snow when trying to shoot, but she eventually became infallible with any fire arm. Jake also taught her his own values, like patriotism, the importance and nobility of service, the love for America and its Constitution, the need of standing up for something you believe in. When Tulip was school age, it was Jake the one who suffered the greatest and most unexpected change, as he became a feminist, reconsidering gender roles and fighting with his girl the battles he had taught her to fight, such as the one to enter the school’s baseball team despite it was a man-only club (a battle easily won the moment the O’Hares proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that Tulip was more skilled than any male player). The relationship between Jake and Tulip was something far beyond anything the man could have ever imagined with any woman, as the two were accomplices, friends, partners, and they saw the world the same way, something Jake had failed to obtain even with his male pals. One day, when Tulip was still very young, Jake went out hunting with his friends; one of them, believing to have seen a deer, shot him in the head, killing him on the spot. Jake O’Hare was leaving behind one of the toughest women ever born and, in her, the memory of a hero-father no man in the world could have possibly been comparable with.

Jake O’Hare is a traditionalist and chauvinist man, who sees his entire world upside down thanks to the immeasurable love he feels for his baby daughter, Tulip. Quite unexpectedly, due to his unique relationship with his daughter, Jake is now open even to progressive positions, especially regarding the problem of gender-imposed roles. Conservative but consistent, good-hearted and strong-willed, Jake still represents the ideal man for his daughter, who only found one other man in her life who reminded her of her beloved father…

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Mortimer George Norris (Mister Fish)

And here’s the third (and last?) new character from Luke Cage Season 3. In episode 3 Wig Out there’s a goon who has the brilliant idea to try and attack Misty Knight while she’s having a drink with Colleen Wing at a bar, in retaliation for sending his brother to Dannemora. Obviously, this doesn’t end well for the thug, whose name is Mortimer Norris, one the comicbook readers are pretty familiar with. Portrayed by Hakim Callender, Norris is just a big bad guy, but in the comics he’s definitely more peculiar and recognizable, and his battle name, as ridiculous as it may be, actually summarizes it all: let’s meet together Mister Fish.

Mortimer Norris was born in Harlem, New York City, and since he was a kid he developed signs of a physical deformation that set him apart from all the kids his age. He mostly hanged out with his little brother Bill, but he obviously sought a different company. In order to be accepted, he tried to compensate looks with skill, and he trained a lot to become the strongest one around, obviously ending up employed in some of the local gangs as thug. When he was still a teenager, he became part of the Fang Gang, a group of criminal wannabes he had been invited in by Dontrell Hamilton. Always looking for company, he gladly joined Hamilton, Ray Jones, Lonnie Lincoln, Cornell Stokes and Mariah Dillard. Following Lonnie’s suggestion, he even had his teeth replaced with triangular blades, an operation that was supposed to be the trademark of the gang. Then, however, Mortimer got smitten by Mariah, and made advances on her; she was, at the time, Dontrell’s girlfriend, and the tensions the triangle created eventually dismantled the group. Mortimer, on his own again, ended up being employed by the local branch of the Maggia, becoming a full-time goon. Years later, he was assigned with two other thugs by his boss to steal a crate of experimental isotopes from a truck. The heist went as planned, but Norris foolishly opened the crate to see inside: the radiation made him dizzy and confused, enough to make him fall into the East River. When he emerged, the radiation had mutated him, and his DNA had been merged with the one of the river’s fish: he was now even more monstrous than before, a human-fish hybrid who started calling himself Mister Fish. As with the monster look he had also gained some useful superhuman ability, the Maggia promptly made him the leader of the Harlem branch, entrusting him to create a solid territory and start remunerative business.

Mr. Fish created his own gang, with the dwarf Shrike as his second in command. The main business running through his would-be territory was Hudson Trucking, so Fish started destroying the company’s trucks, trying to force them to pay him for the privilege of crossing his turf. When Jake, the company’s representative, tried to fight back, Mr. Fish opened his chest with a single swing of his claws, severely wounding him. The one thing he hadn’t foreseen was that, the moment he recovered, Jake hired Luke Cage to protect his trucks. The hero proved to be a handful for Fish’s men, but he managed to knock him down, later bringing him on top of a building in construction to throw him off the roof and kill him for good. Cage, however, survived the fall, and climbed back for round two. This time, the hero easily dispatched all of Mr. Fish’s goons, and was prepared for the main dish: when Mr. Fish tried to ram him with a girder, Power Man didn’t have to do anything but to move a little, so that he dodged the blow and let Fish and his improvised weapon fall from the rooftop, apparently to Mortimer’s death. His new body, however, proved to be more durable than expected, and Mr. Fish actually survived the fall, but decided to lay low for a while, as he had been clearly outmatched by Cage. As more and more heroes rose, and just as many would-be bosses popped up, Fish stayed in the shadows, observing everything. Finally, years later, he decided to resurface to warn his old friend Lonnie Lincoln, now going by the name Tombstone, that a new rival of his, the Black Cat, was about to attack him to claim from him the leadership over Harlem. Tombstone accepted Mr. Fish’s advice, and actually forged an alliance with him. During one of their meetings, though, another new player burst in: Alex Wilder, a new promise in New York’s criminality. With his gadgets, Wilder beat the hell out of Tombstone, and magically sent Fish to the real Hell. Mortimer Norris stayed among torments and tortures for a while, until Tombstone managed to enlist the help of the sorcerer Black Talon to get him out of Hell. Quite a traumatic return, for someone who had been away so long.

Mortimer Norris is not exactly a brilliant man, not even a clever one, but he knows how to move among criminals, and how to earn their respect with the few talents he has. As Mister Fish, his amphibious physiology allows him to survive underwater and gave him sharp claws, in addition to the artificial fangs he already possessed; he also possesses superhuman strength and durability, and always carries along a ray gun of unknown origin, strong enough to knock out even Luke Cage. A would-be Harlem boss who eventually resolved to occupy just a subordinate position, Mr. Fish is smart enough to understand his own limits and know his place… but not much more than that.

 

Christina L’Angelle

Of course, in the meanwhile also the most politically incorrect show from DC/Vertigo has come back with a third season, and this new episode of Preacher promises to match the previous seasons in terms of gore and provocations. In Angelville we also meet a couple of new characters from the comics, starting with Christina L’Angelle, the mother of Jesse Custer. Portrayed by Liz McGeever, we see her as she’s come back to Angelville after giving birth to Jesse, but as her mother Marie finds out she’s hiding a picture, she finds quite a gruesome but effective way to discover what that picture is. Her fate is left uncertain, but she couldn’t have lasted long in those conditions. The comics version actually survived her long stay in Angelville, albeit it costed her dearly: let’s see together.

Christina L’Angelle was born in Angelville, the family plantation of her ancient clan. She was born in a very traditional (and mean) family, with her mother, Marie L’Angelle, always trying to teach her the old ways of the L’Angelles, with boys meant to be preachers or soldiers, and girls to be raised as broodmares, but Christina never accepted this fate for herself, and always stood her ground against her mother… usually ending up in the Coffin, a casket weighted to the bottom of the nearby swamp, for days, as punishment. Finally, as a teenager, she simply couldn’t stand it anymore, and she escaped from Angelville, traveling west, to Texas. Here she met a group of peace activists protesting against the Vietnam War, and she joined them, embracing the cause. When a soldier who just got back home asked her for information on the bus he was supposed to take, she spat him in the face and called him a “baby killer”. Albeit her new friends were clapping their hands for her, she just felt terrible in seeing the big young soldier walking away without a word, and she eventually followed him in a bar. She presented her silent apology to him, and he answered with a silent forgiveness. They started talking about everything, and in a matter of hours they were in love. The soldier was named John Custer. With John, Christina felt safe for the first time in her life, and she decided she would have lived her entire life with him. There was nothing about herself she wouldn’t tell him… apart from everything concerning her family: that, she simply couldn’t think of. The two were together for one year and a half, and had a baby boy together, Jesse. The three of them couldn’t be any happier… until they were found by Jody and T. C., her mother’s top goons. John tried to fight back, but it was useless. As he found out about Jesse, however, Jody decided to bring the three of them, alive, back to Angelville, without killing John. That was a small relief.

Marie had some conditions for the family’s survival: first, Christina and John needed to get married; second, Jesse would have been raised as a preacher. If these conditions weren’t met, or if they tried to run away, they would have died. Christina did marry John, and she even pretended to follow her mother’s wishes on her son’s education, but one year later she prompted John to try and escape with the boy… but he was caught by Jody and executed in front of Jesse. After that, a heartbroken Christina simply complied, and taught Jesse everything he needed to be a man of culture and a man of God, never raising her head again… until Marie decided to put Jesse in the Coffin after hearing him cussing. Christina fought her mother, and told her that Jesse would have gone in the Coffin over her dead body… and Marie took her literally, as she had already given a heir to the L’Angelles, and she was no longer needed. She had Jody shoot her in the head, back in the swamp, but at the last minute Christina tried to fight back, making Jody miss the shot. The bullet grazed her head nevertheless, and she fell into the swamp, where she was attacked by a huge alligator: for Jody and everyone else in Angelville, she was dead. She actually survived, and even if in desperate conditions and missing her left arm due to the alligator, she was found alive by a group of hunters, and brought to a hospital. The woman suffered from amnesia due to her head wound, and didn’t even remember her name; the only thing that she had said before the hunters rescued her, as she was struggling with the alligator, was a name she was shouting, “Jody”. Because of this, at the hospital she was given the name Jodie, and after years spent in rehab, she was released. Alone and without a clue of who she was, Jodie was found by Lorie Bobbs, a young girl who took pity in her and decided to help her. She helped her in the transition from the hospital to the “real world”, and together they moved to Salvation, Texas, where they opened a bar and grill together. Jodie was happy, but sometimes she had some unnerving flashes of a past life: of a coffin, of a huge man shooting her, and of a son…

Christina Custer, née Christina L’Angelle, is a strong-willed and determined woman, a fighter who was raised in a living Hell and found in herself the strength to escape from it, and even more to live within it. Only apparently helpless and meek, she’s actually a force of nature capable of standing even in the way of a fearsome person like her mother Marie, and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for the sake of her husband and son. A rare flower born in a desert of evil and meanness, Christina L’Angelle is one of the kindest, but yet strongest people ever lived in Angelville, a trait that she brings along even in her new life as Jodie.

Raymond “Ray” Jones (Piranha)

The second character appearing in this new season of Luke Cage is also in the first episode, Soul Brother #1, and is not a good guy either. Chaz Lamar Shepherd portrays Raymond “Piranha” Jones, a Wall Street broker who’s also a close ally of Mariah Dillard, and who helps her with inside trading and other shady maneuvers. The funny thing is that he’s also a fan of Luke Cage, something that definitely sets him apart from his comicbook counterpart, who’s also a little bit more menacing in terms of looks. His nickname, Piranha Jones, doesn’t come in fact from fame obtained in Wall Street or his flashing smile, but rather from his very teeth. Let’s see together.

Raymond “Ray” Jones was born in Harlem, New York City, and grew up in a very poor family. When he was young, he suffered from a rare disease that made teeth rot and decay at an incredibly fast rate, to then painfully fall away. Since his parents didn’t have money to pay a dentist, he was completely toothless by the age of fifteen. Around this time, his mother died in a factory accident, and he was alone with a father who spent all the little money he had at the River Edge’s Bar. Left alone, Ray Jones started spending more and more time on the streets, where he became friends with another social outcast, Dontrell Hamilton. Seeing how the Sinister Six had teamed up and nearly outed Spider-Man, Dontrell had the idea to create a gang in Harlem to take over the neighborhood, and Ray was the first one to join him, together with Dontrell’s girlfriend Mariah Dillard. Other three then followed: the albino Lonnie Lincoln, the deformed Mortimer Norris and baldie Cornell Stokes. Because of Ray’s condition, Lincoln had the idea to have the members of the gang to have their teeth replaced by triangular blades, a process without anesthesia that Ray, Lincoln, Mortimer and Cornell happily underwent. They became the Fang Gang… and they disbanded before even attempting to do something, as some tensions within the group led them to take different paths. Ray, however, kept forming a duo with Dontrell, and kept walking the criminal path. Because of his razor sharp new teeth, Ray became known as Piranha Jones, while Dontrell specialized as a hitman, going by the name Cockroach Hamilton. The two of them perfectly compensated each other, and Jones’ brains wonderfully matched Hamilton’s guns. In the time of a decade, Piranha Jones had become a feared and respected mob boss, with Hamilton as his primary assassin, and he had earned a fortune, passing from his falling apart apartment to a penthouse on the East River. Quite a progress.

Learning of a lethal chemical that was about to be shipped by Adonis Chemical Company, Piranha Jones decided to hijack the cargo to climb one step further in New York’s criminality, and sent Cockroach Hamilton to secure his source and then lead the operation to steal the chemical. New York, however, was now crowded with heroes and vigilantes, and his little operation with Adonis attracted the attention of one of them: Power Man. The hero interfered over and over again with the plan, until he came to confront Piranha Jones in his very house. The boss held his own against the indestructible adversary, mostly because of his teeth, that he liked to use on his enemies like the fish he took the name from, but then he tried to throw Power Man in the piranha tank he kept in his house to execute enemies and failing subordinates. As a result, both he and Luke Cage fell into the tank (with Hamilton readily locking the air lock behind them). Power Man freed himself and saved Piranha Jones, but only to leave him to the police. As he escaped from prison along with Cockroach Hamilton, Ray decided to change turf, and moved to Stamford, Connecticut, where he actually tried to turn on a new leaf. Here, however, the community wouldn’t accept him… apart from three women, “Babyface” Ann Repucci, Vita Jane “The Headcutter” Buchetta, and “Cruella” Cortese, who were actually trying to use Piranha to start their own criminal empire. Sick and tired of this, realizing it was too late for him to change life, he elaborated a plan, without informing Cockroach: he had Rat steal data from the princesses of crime, and then he hired Terror, Inc. to kill him, wanting to frame the women for his own murder. This way, he would have actually managed to escape a life he was tired of, and stop three emerging gangsters. Despite an untimely intervention by The Punisher, Terror did what he had been hired to do, and killed Piranha Jones for one dollar, giving the rest of the money in charity, as a sign of respect for the ex mobster’s sacrifice. Years later, however, he resurfaced alive and well in South Bronx, where he was recruited by Black Cat in her new gang. How this was possible, and why he came back to his old ways, is yet to be revealed…

Ray Jones is an intelligent and clever man, who managed to climb from absolute poverty to luxury on his own, albeit sacrificing his humanity in the process and becoming an unscrupulous and brutal criminal. As Piranha Jones, he’s a surprisingly skilled hand-to-hand combatant, and he has his fallen teeth replaced with triangular blades he uses as lethal weapons in close combat; the teeth are hard enough to hurt even Luke Cage, and also to deflect bullets. A man who believed to know what he wanted from life, Piranha Jones is now trapped in a life he chose too hastily and he deeply dislikes, unable to come back from a path that has already gotten him too far away from where he started.

Dontrell Hamilton (Cockroach)

Luke Cage arrived with Season 2, and in the next few days we’re going to see which characters the series borrows from the comics this time. I found three during the first run, if I missed someone, as usual make me know in the comments. In the first episode, Soul Brother #1, we meet Dontrell “Cockroach” Hamilton, a gangster portrayed by Dorian Crossmond Missick. He had been arrested by Misty Knight and Rafael Scarfe, but since the last one turned out to be dirty, he’s free again. In the comics, Cockroach Hamilton is a lethal hitman with quite a history with Luke Cage, and his modified gun (albeit much smaller) he nicknames Josh also pops up in the tv series. Let’s take a look.

Dontrell Hamilton was born in New York City, and grew up in Harlem. His family was missing for a reason or another, and he raised himself on the streets. He slept in an empty building, and every night he was scared by the noises, especially those made by the cockroaches infesting the house. Eventually, however, Dontrell learnt to win his fear by considering himself part of the ones who were terrifying him, and he even chose as his street name “Cockroach”. With no fear anymore, he became a respected thug in the block, and he became friends with another messed up kid, Ray Jones, aka Piranha Jones. The two formed quite a duo, with Piranha being the mind and Cockroach being the muscle. With time, Cockroach Hamilton trained himself to be a hitman, and served as the primary assassin for his friend, who was trying to build a criminal empire. One day, the two obtained information from Harry Wentworth, a crooked man working for Adonis Chemical Company, about a lethal bacteriological agent that was about to be shipped. The two criminals wanted the agent for themselves, so Hamilton was sent to kill Wentworth in order to prevent him to share the information with others. Once there, Cockroach crossed paths with Power Man, who was investigating Adonis: the two fought, but Cockroach won the day by using his modified six-barrel shotgun to kill Wentworth and shoot Luke Cage down the building, dislocating his shoulder. For the next step, Cockroach took some of Piranha’s men and went to the Harlem River docks, where he planned to complete the hijacking, but Power Man appeared once again. This time, Cockroach knocked him out shooting gas at him, then, unable to hurt him, he tied him to the drawbridge, hoping he would have been torn in half. This didn’t exactly turned out the way he had expected, though, as the hero returned once again, this time in Piranha’s penthouse, to confront both him and Cockroach.

This time, Power Man was prepared for Josh, so he destroyed the gun first thing, and then knocked out Cockroach Hamilton. The hitman came back to his senses just as the hero and Piranha Jones were falling in a tank full of piranhas: demonstrating once again that there’s no honor among thieves, he locked them both there, and escaped. Cage, however, was powerful enough to break the tank, save Jones and reach Hamilton, leaving both thugs to the police. Prison didn’t hold the two partners for long, and looking for a new leaf they moved to Stamford, Connecticut, where they tried to start a racket of their own. The population didn’t like them the least, as they immediately tried to make them pay for protection, but Josh was a motivation enough to move at least some of them to cooperate. Things became complicated the moment Terror Inc. was hired to kill Piranha Jones, and Cockroach Hamilton found himself unable to protect his boss as his modified gun kept jamming. If things weren’t bad enough, also The Punisher had just arrived in town. His mission failed miserably, as Punisher killed all his men, and Terror killed Piranha, forcing him to run with his tail between his legs. Without Ray for the first time in his life, Hamilton became an assassin for hire, and hired he was some time later by another prominent member of the Harlem criminality: Nightshade, who was gathering a team to kill Black Panther. Hamilton joined Boss Morgan, Stiletto and Cottonmouth in ambushing the Wakandian king, but was easily overpowered when Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Falcon, Black Goliath, Brother Voodoo and Everett Ross joined him and vanquished Nightshade’s team. Despite the humiliation, Dontrell was freed by Nightshade’s lawyer, Big Ben Donovan, and hired once again in her Flashmob, in which he stayed until he betrayed the team for Alex Wilder‘s New Pride. From team to team, maybe he would have eventually scored a victory. Maybe.

Dontrell Hamilton is a man who lives by the day, trying to earn some money to make a living from, and caring nothing if this money comes at someone else’s expenses. As Cockroach Hamilton, he’s a very skilled hitman, who compensates the lack of superpowers with the use of some inventive weapons: his trademark gun is Josh, a modified six-barreled shotgun that can stun even an invulnerable target like Luke Cage, and that can shoot also special bullets like gas ones; lately, he also started to use high-tech weaponry other than Josh. The living definition of a thug, Cockroach Hamilton feels no fear and always goes down his own road, avoiding bonds with friends and quickly disposing of enemies: this way, he hopes at least to leave longer than the animals he takes his name from.

Rosalie Carbone

The second season for Luke Cage is but one day far, but we already got a look at one of the new recurring characters from the sophomore year: Rosalie Carbone, portrayed by Annabella Sciorra. Rosalie will make her presence felt as an influential criminal who sets her eyes on Harlem, thus entering either in conflict or in business with Mariah Dillard (and possibly Bushmaster). We also know that she’ll pop up again in the third season of Daredevil, even if in a yet undisclosed role. The original character, however, isn’t tied either to Power Man nor to the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, but rather to another anti-hero who already debuted on Netflix with his own series. Let’s see together.

Rosalie Carbone was born in New York City, the daughter of Italian-American mob boss Julius Carbone. She grew up in her luxurious house in Brooklyn, and she lived like a princess, being honored and respected as the heiress of one of the most influential Mafia families. When she became adult, Julius organized for her a marriage with a man named Enrico, from Naples, a union that would have tied the Carbonis to another powerful family in Italy. Things weren’t exactly going as they were supposed to, as Rosalie just started a sexual relationship with the latest addition to the family, Johnny Tower, and she was with him everytime her father attended a meeting. She first met her betrothed in the Isla de Tiburones Durimientes, but she didn’t like him the least. She was soon relieved of the burden of the marriage, however, when her uncle Sal Carbone, now transformed into the vengeful and unstoppable Thorn, showed up, killing Enrico and starting a war when the groom’s father found out his son had been murdered by a Carbone. During the following shootout, Johnny Tower revealed himself to be The Punisher, and he exploited the situation to kill a number of mafioso, but also rescued Rosalie in the process. As Punisher was leaving the island with Rosalie, she watched helplessly as her father was thrown into a shark tank by Thorn: exhausted by anger, fear and grief, she fainted. She woke up alone, and with the thought that she had been deceived and used by The Punisher to get to her father. Enraged, she came back home only to discover that the remaining high-ranking members of the family were having a meeting without inviting her, to decide the destiny of the Carbonis. She presented herself uninvited, and claimed her rightful position as capo. When the senior bosses mocked her for being a woman, she had them killed, and took the lead of the family. Her first order was simple: she wanted The Punisher’s head.

With the resources of her family, Rosalie Carbone put a 5 million dollars bounty on Punisher’s head, and seven international assassins (the Mexican Tequila, the British Cane, the Spanish Roc, the Brazilian Stiletto, the Madripoorian Silence, the Texan Combat and the French Garrote) answered the call. Outnumbered, Punisher kidnapped Rosalie, and used her as leverage to take out all his enemies. By the end of the day, everyone who opposed the vigilante was dead except Rosalie, who had been spared once more. When Vito Vaducci called for a meeting of all the families, Rosalie was among the few who didn’t attend to, as she knew the Punisher would have been there: the choice proved to be wise, as all the bosses present got killed in an explosion. With the power vacuum, Rosalie obtained a lot of strength and influence, and decided to let The Punisher be for a while… but a new nuisance, a self-appointed Lady Punisher, proved to be just as annoying, so she sent one of her best assassins, Mondo Pain, to dispose of her. The new vigilante survived, but at least she was sent away. Now Rosalie had a more pressing matters in her hands: the family merging with Vito Vaducci, who had survived the bombing. The first meeting wasn’t exactly idyllic, as it was obvious Vito was trying to gain power over the Carbone family without giving anything in return, and he even tried (vainly) to seduce Rosalie. Immediately after that, a new Punisher (Carlos Cruz, sent by Microchip) tried to kill Rosalie, who believed him to be the original and let her guard down. She saved herself only because Vaducci, in the meanwhile, had sent his men to kill her, and their presence distracted the Punisher long enough to allow her to escape. Enraged, she played coy with Vaducci, and organized another meeting in Las Vegas, but also hired Bullseye to kill both Vito and The Punisher. The latter came prepared, and accompanied by the armored vigilante Phalanx, so Bullseye had his hands full, and while he did kill all Vaducci’s men, and even Phalanx, Vito managed to escape… until he met Rosalie in the elevator, and was shot down by her in person. As usual, when she wanted something done well, she had to do it herself.

Rosalie Carbone appears as a vain and self-centered woman, but that’s just a play put up to move people to underestimate her: she’s actually a careful planner and a skilled businesswoman, a ruthless and authoritative leader who successfully commands one of the biggest and most powerful Mafia families of the West Coast. With a huge fortune and enough men to form a private army on her side, there’s little Rosalie can’t obtain, and she’s able to pull the strings also of the richest and most influential men in the country. Driven by a keen intellect and by all the fury of a woman scorned, Rosalie Carbone is an extremely dangerous foe for anyone foolish enough to cross her way, not that there are many. Not still breathing, anyway.

H’ronmeer

The season finale for Supergirl was beyond horrible, but it did introduce a couple of concepts from the comics, such as the ending eyeing to the classic Superman: Red Son. There’s also one character to see, and one I didn’t expect to ever see portrayed. In Battles Lost and Won, as M’yrnn prepares to sacrifice himself heroically bonding with the nucleus of Earth (?) and thus stopping the planet’s terraformation (??), he shares one last memory with his son: a Moses-like moment in which the Martian god H’ronmeer gives the sacred scrolls to the first Martian, an unidentified woman. Albeit in the show H’ronmeer is referred to as to the only god of Mars, in the comics he’s actually one god in a numerous pantheon, even if he can indeed be considered the most prominent one. Let’s see together.

As all the other gods, H’ronmeer was created by the Presence (also known as the Unnameable One or, simply, God, the supreme creator) to watch over a specific people on a specific planet, guarding a specific aspect of existence. H’ronmeer’s planet of election was Ma’aleca’andra (Mars for humans), and he considered all the Green Martians born there his own children (the White Martians had other gods they prayed to). H’ronmeer wasn’t honored only by Green Martians on Ma’aleca’andra, though, as he was known also as Hiromeer by the Red Saturnians on Saturn, a race that actually descended from the Green Martians and had many traits in common with them. Albeit he did take care of all his children throughout the galaxy, guiding them during their lives and escorting them to the afterlife when they died, H’ronmeer had quite an ambiguous nature, and while most feared him as the God of Fire and Death, others adored him as the God of Light and Life, and many others revered him as the God of Art. Actually, H’ronmeer embodied all these different aspects, synthesizing them into a simple common trait: change. He was indeed the god of change, being it in essence or just in shape. For millennia, H’ronmeer watched over the Green Martians along with his brothers and sisters in the Martian pantheon, but then the almost entirety of his people was wiped away in a matter of days, and by an evil that had his name: the H’ronmeer’s Curse. This was a psychic plague engineered by a madman, Ma’alefa’ak, that attacked the Martians’ psionic abilities and made them burn alive out of suggestion. Thousands and thousands of Martians died to the Curse, but somehow H’ronmeer found himself unable to collect their souls and guide them to the afterlife: they were all drawn somewhere else, in a different time, on a different planet. For the first time in eons, H’ronmeer left Ma’aleca’andra to look for his lost children.

H’ronmeer found the cause of his inability to reach his children on Earth, in the late XX Century. A human scientist, Dr. Saul Erder, had teleported in Denver, Colorado, a Martian from the past, J’onn J’onnz, who still had a psychic bond with all the Martians who had died on his home planet. The transport in space and time, however, had damaged J’onn’s psyche, so he suffered from amnesia, and his bond to his people was subconscious. H’ronmeer tried to communicate with him to guide him back to Ma’aleca’andra and release the ghosts of Mars, but Erder had provided him with false memories to replace the ones he had lost, so J’onn didn’t recognize nor believed in him anymore. J’onn had become the heroic Martian Manhunter on Earth, and he had friends in the heroes of the Justice League of America, but they as well didn’t trust the visions of this self-appointed “god”. There was, however, one exception: Mister Miracle, the one who, in the JLA, had more experience with godly matters, being a New God himself. Miracle helped H’ronmeer to enter in contact with his lost child, and convinced J’onn to listen to his call. The Martian Manhunter tracked down Saul Erder, who had already been contacted by the Martian god in turn, and he was sent back to Mars, where H’ronmeer was waiting. Finally, with both of them on their home planet, where the god’s powers were at their fullest, H’ronmeer was able to restore J’onn’s original memories, giving him back also his true identity and cultural heritage, making him the gift of his true self. In exchange, the god asked for his help in freeing the ghosts of Mars from their current state, dead yet unable to pass through the veil. Now conscious of the psychic link that tethered him to the souls of his lost ones, J’onn J’onnz released them all, making them free to join their god in their afterlife. H’ronmeer had finally fulfilled his sacred duty, but his mission wasn’t over yet: as long as there was still even just one Green Martian breathing, he had a people to watch over.

H’ronmeer is a god ambiguous in nature, a creature of great wisdom who embodies change, and is thus the guardian of both life and death; on one side or the other of the veil, though, his love for his “children” remains unchanged, though his ways are often mysterious to his people. As a god, he’s immortal and virtually invulnerable; as the god of life and death, he can walk freely between this world and the other, and as the god of change he can modify his own shape and size however he wants; he can move in space and time without restriction, and he shares the gift of telepathy with the Green Martians; as the god of fire, he masters fire in every form, and manipulates it at will. A god fiercely committed to his holy duty to guide his children in this life and in the next one, H’ronmeer is a benevolent deity whose will can also manifest in quite a frightening way: after all, change is not bound to a single form by definition…