Geoffrey Barron (Technocrat)

Apart from confirming itself as the one good superhero show on The CW, Black Lightning keeps introducing characters from the Outsiders comics. This time, in The Book of Resistance: Chapter Three: The Battle of Franklin Terrace, Gambi breaks into an abandoned A.S.A. facility, only to find a kid there, Baron, portrayed by Christopher E’mmanuel. Baron was one of the Pod Kids, and being a technopath, he’s been haunted by the restless “voices” of all the new technologies, finding shelter in the old building with only 1980s tech in it. Baron says he’s been nicknamed by A.S.A. agents Technocrat, thus identifying himself as the live action counterpart to the similarly named Geoffrey Barron, who however is not a metahuman in the comics. Let’s take a look.

Geoffrey Barron made quite a name for himself for being a genius inventor and one of the wealthiest and most successful business magnates around, building his fortune on selling highly advanced weaponry. While his professional life was a success, his private one was quite a mess, and his once loving wife Marissa ended up hating him with all her heart, obtaining a divorce; the only person who always stood by Barron’s side was his bodyguard, Charles Wylde, who also became his best friend. Always absorbed by work, Barron developed a futuristic battle exoskeleton, the Technocrat 2000, and he was ready to sell it to the royal family of Markovia. He traveled to the small European country with the inseparable Wylde for a demonstration of the suit, but during their stay something very unpleasant happened: the Markovian queen, Ilona, got killed, and for her murder some foreigner heroes, the Outsiders, were framed. Prince Roderick, the heir to the throne and the actual culprit, used the mass hysteria to start an all-out war against all foreigners on the Markovian territory, so that also Barron and Wylde were forced to escape along with the Outsiders and to hide in the woods. During their run, unfortunately, Barron and Wylde stumbled upon a huge bear, that attacked them and mortally wounded the bodyguard; a stranger going by the name Sebastian Faust appeared, and used magic to save Wylde’s life by physically merging him with the bear, transforming him into a werebear. Barron was shocked enough already, but then the pair met the Outsiders, and were convinced of their innocence: they agreed to help them clear their name, and in order to be of use, Barron donned the suit of armor he had prepared for the selling, becoming Technocrat himself.

Technocrat and Wylde fought with the Outsiders against Prince Roderick, who had in the meanwhile amassed an army of vampires to counter them. The team managed at least to survive, and Barron offered his mansion in Switzerland as a safe arbor for the Outsiders, a place to rest and find a way to clear their name. Once at home, though, Barron learnt the extent of his ex-wife’s hatred: Marissa had hired a professional assassin to take him down. If this wasn’t enough, the killer, a cybernetic mercenary known as Sanction, was actually Michael Ryer, an old friend of Barron, an ex CIA agent who now hated the inventor as he believed he had abandoned him in Angola to die. Sanction turned out to be a formidable foe, but Katana managed to defeat him by disrupting his systems with her sword. After this, Technocrat chose to accompany the Outsiders at least until they didn’t clear their reputation, and he aided them in a mission in space, on the planet Nekrome, to fight against Eclipso. During the mission, Barron managed to reverse-engineer some of the alien tech to upgrade his armor, making it even more powerful. Back on Earth, the team went to Gotham City, but here Sanction was waiting for them: he attacked Technocrat, but during the fight the ones who got killed were Marissa, on one side, and Halo, on the other. The Aurakle, the being that gave Gabrielle Doe her powers as Halo, jumped into Marissa’s body, bringing it back to life… and putting Barron in an uncomfortable situation, as he still had feelings for his ex wife, whose body was now inhabited by a creature attracted to Sebastian Faust instead. Wanting to clear his mind by taking some distance, Technocrat joined Geo-Force and Katana when they decided to split from the team for a while. When some time later Sebastian’s father, Felix Faust, came for the Outsiders, the team had to come back together if they wanted a chance to survive…

Geoffrey Barron is a man of great intellect with a proportioned ego, who made many mistakes on the way to get where he is today, but who’s trying his best to make amend. As Technocrat, his armor grants him several abilities, such as superhuman strength and durability, flight, energy absorption and emission (usually in force fields and thermal or electric blasts); the alien technology he added to the suit increased a lot his ability to control and redirect energy, while his new giant suit, Technocrat 5.0, vastly increases his strength and durability. A workaholic genius and a reluctant superhero, Technocrat first put on his suit to protect himself, but later found out that doing something good with his abilities rather than aiming at profit only is a better way to spend one’s life: if he only got this before ruining his life and relations, he may be a whole different man now, and a hero nevertheless.

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