Jessica (Menagerie)

No Supergirl this week, but in the promotional material for the next episode we have a first look at a new recurring villain. In Menagerie, Kara will help J’onn with his new P.I. activity to forget about what happened at the DEO, but the case she’ll follow him to will bring them to Pamela Ferrar, portrayed by Jessica Meraz… who’s also the same criminal Alex is pursuing. We don’t know much of Menagerie’s role in the series, apart from the fact that she’ll end up joining Manchester Black as in the comics soon enough, and that she surely looks different from her original counterpart, who’s definitely more alien-looking (an appearance that’s thought to be some sort of homage to Top Cow‘s Witchblade). Let’s take a look.

Pamela, surname unknown, was born in Puerto Rico, and she grew up with her little sister Sonja. Apparently, the two girls were orphans, and could rely only one on the other, living in the streets. Nobody would have even noticed their disappearance, or so thought a group of rogue agents from the DEO, the Department of Extranormal Operations: they abducted Pamela, and experimented on her as they were doing with a number of “invisible” people (the “dregs of society”, they called them). The goal of the DEO agents was to weaponize those people and sell them on the black market as slaves, but something didn’t go as planned. Pamela was forcefully bonded to a group of Symbeasts, an alien warrior crèche that became part of her body, living in symbiosis with her and making her able to do with them whatever she could imagine… including slaughtering her captors and escaping. It’s unknown what happened after that, and for how much time Pamela wandered before she was found by Manchester Black, an extremely powerful British psychic. Black was putting together a team of gifted superhumans, and he offered Pamela a place in it. Using the name Menagerie, Pamela became a founding member of the Elite, a group formed to “free the Earth of scum”, taking the drastic measures that the so-called superheroes were too coward to take. Together with her teammates, Menagerie made quite a name for the Elite, brutally dispatching of criminals in the most violent and permanent way. The Elite even crossed paths with Superman in Lybia, where they met as they were trying to solve a terrorist situation in Tripoli. Needless to say, Superman didn’t like seeing the Elite slaughtering the terrorists, but as he tried to stop them, he was swiftly defeated. Victorious, the Elite left, leaving the outdated do-gooder behind.

The chapter seemed to be close, but Superman wasn’t done with the Elite, and with Manchester Black in particular: he challenged the entire team to a showdown, one versus four, on Io, one of the moons of Jupiter. The anti-heroes accepted the challenge, and they met Superman in space… where they quickly killed him in an impressive display of their powers. Superman, however, was still alive and kicking, and he attacked each member of the team without restraining himself anymore: as he faced Menagerie, it looked like he ripped her apart, murdering her with no hesitation. In reality, Menagerie was merely unconscious, as the hero had poisoned her and disrupted the bond between her and her Symbeasts. Just like her, all the other members of the Elite were defeated and arrested, and they found themselves in prison… but they didn’t stay there for long, as President Luthor graced them. While Black became a government operative, all the others were set free, Menagerie included, but her former boss had other ideas. Obsessed with Superman, Manchester Black betrayed President Luthor, and used his powers to mind-control dozens of superhumans, including his former teammates, launching an all-out assault on his enemies. Menagerie was forced to participate to an attack on the President’s life, an assassination attempt that was promptly thwarted by Superman. Seeing in the hero a chance to break free, Menagerie revealed to him that all the villains he had been fighting lately, the Elite included, were not acting on their free will… but before she could explain further, Black sensed her betrayal, and he induced a stroke in her. With her brain severely damaged, Pamela was put on permanent vegetative state: her Symbeasts would have found a new host, one unexpectedly close to her…

Pamela is a woman who had nothing from life, and who’s been taken even what she didn’t have: it’s only natural for her to seek retribution for what she suffered, in a form of “justice” that’s just as brutal and cruel as the injustice it seeks to eliminate. As Menagerie, she has total control over the Symbeasts that live on and in her body, manipulating the alien parasites in whatever form she wishes to (armor, wings, claws, spikes…), and even detaching them from her body to make them attack separately, usually to make them eat someone alive. As blood-thirsty and violent as she is, though, Menagerie is different from her teammates, and knows when to stop… if the others let her, of course.


Mysa Nal (White Witch)

This week, Supergirl brought us to the town of Parthas, and even if there’s no character matching the names of the ones introduced, there is somebody who’s clearly based on an established DC superhero (or supervillain, depending on times). In Blood Memory, Nia Nal is accompanied by Kara to her hometown to meet her family for an annual festivity, and we meet Maeve, her older sister, portrayed by Hannah James. Maeve is eager to develop her divination powers, bestowed to one woman per family, and she’s clearly unaware that Nia got them instead. Her story, her relation with Nia, her lack of dreaming powers, even her choice in dressing color give her away as the show’s version of the White Witch: just as the Dreamer‘s name was changed from Nura to Nia, matching just the first letter, Maeve’s original name was Mysa, and her story closely resembles the one we’ve seen… plus a magic turn. Let’s see together.

Mysa Nal was born in the XXX Century on planet Naltor, a distant world inhabited by people who were able since their birth to dream the future. Mysa was the daughter of the High Seer Kiwa Nal, the most powerful clairvoyance on the planet, and her sister, Nura Nal, showed even more potential than her mother… but Mysa was born different: she was “future blind”, and she never developed her people’s ability. This handicap made her an outcast among her own people, and after her mother died only Nura stayed by her side, swearing she would have protected her from all the prejudice of her people. The offer was sincere, but at Mysa’s ears it sounded a lot like charity: she refused her sister’s help, and instead she preferred to leave her home world and travel to Zerox, aka Sorcerer’s World. Mysa Nal wanted to learn magic to compensate for her future-blindness, and it looked like she had had the right idea: she was a prodigy, and she learnt in no time the basics of the magic arts. She was entrusted to four masters, each of them an expert in a particular elemental magic (earth, fire, air, water), and she made them all proud by becoming even more skilled and powerful than them. As she dwelled deeper and deeper into magic, her red hair turned white, and even her completion became extremely pale, to the point that she became famous as the White Witch. While most sorcerers on Zerox looked at her with admiration, though, there was someone with completely different feelings: Mordru, a powerful and malicious warlock, who despite his might envied her natural talent, and decided to harness it for himself, one way or another.

Mordru had his own plans for Myra, and he lured her to him by promising a knowledge that her masters couldn’t teach her. The young and inexpert White Witch trusted him, and she fell prey to the evil sorcerer. Mordru brainwashed her, aged her with magic and made her an agent for evil. Simply known as The Hag, Myra looked like a malicious old crone, but her magic talent was untouched, and she was soon noticed by others eager to make use of it. Mordru let her join the Devil’s Dozen, a group of powerful magic users gathered and led by Prince Evillo, to test her. The Hag blent in marvelously with the other evil sorcerers, and she also was on the front line when the Devil’s Dozen clashed with the Legion of Super-Heroes, the most powerful group of law enforcers from that time. When the two formations battled, though, two new recruits in the Dozen, Miss Terious and Sir Prize, revealed themselves as spies: they were the Legionnaires Dream Girl and Star Boy, and they had been inside agents all that time. Thanks to the spies’ work, the Devil’s Dozen was defeated, but Dream Girl sensed something about The Hag: she had recognized her sister, despite Mordru’s powerful magic. Using a spell of her own, Dream Girl restored the White Witch’s original appearance and personality, finally rejoining with Mysa years after their separation. The White Witch had her chance to repay her debt with the Legion soon after, when she joined the team as they fought against the cosmic tyrant Darkseid: as the heroes were having difficult times against the New God, Mysa intervened with her magic, and she summoned Izaya, the High Father, Darkseid’s ancient enemy, thus turning the tables of the fight. With such a contribution to a fundamental victory, the White Witch was invited to join the Legion of Super-Heroes, and she gladly accepted the offer. Fighting side by side with her sister Dream Girl, she could finally prove to the entire universe that her future-blindness didn’t make her any inferior to her sister, and that she was essential to the team just as she was. In the meanwhile, however, the evil Mordru was still observing her, waiting for the right moment to try and seize her power again…

Mysa Nal is a genius in her own right, a fast learner capable of reaching excellency in no time… but she’s also quite emotional, and before her harsh training in discipline and self-control she used to be quite impulsive in her decisions. As the White Witch, she’s an extremely powerful magic user, who masters an impressive number of spells, ranging from elemental magic to the creation of force fields, from teleportation to absorbing and redirecting magic energy, an infinite potential limited only by her memory (and by the time needed to prepare the single spells). Eager to prove herself to the universe, the White Witch is an incredibly powerful being, who still carries the wounds left on her by loneliness and exclusion: all she’s looking for is the esteem and affection of people accepting her for who she is, and she may have found just what she was looking for her entire life in the Legion…

Thomas “Tom” & Thaddeus “Tad” Trigger (Trigger Twins)

The final part of Elseworlds seen in Arrow and Supergirl brings along another little surprise. As Dr. Deegan rewrites reality once again with the Book of Destiny, Barry and Oliver are stripped of their heroic identities and turned into a couple of renowned and feared criminals, the Trigger Twins… who are actually another couple of renowned criminals from the comics, Tom and Tad Trigger, the second ones to go by the moniker (the first Trigger Twins were Western heroes). As we can guess by the way people react to Barry and Oliver, the Trigger Twins are infamous gangsters even in Deegan’s reality, and their look is somewhat reminiscent of the one they have in the comics, sans the hat. Let’s see together.

Tom and Tad Trigger were twin brothers, but they never met until they were adults. For some unspecified reason, in fact, they got separated at birth, and grew up in different cities. For some weird trick of fate, both of them ended up becoming criminals, specializing in armed robberies, and they constantly moved from city to city after a heist. Finally, with another incredible coincidence, they targeted the same bank, and they first met each other while they were robbing it. Shocked to see a lookalike in the bank, both Tom and Tad didn’t quite realize what was happening, and escaped to try and figure it out. They confronted each other, and soon realized that none of them was a fake: they rejoiced for finding a lost brother, and someone in the same “field of work”, even, and they decided to form a criminal duo, the Trigger Twins. From there on, they moved as one, planning the heists together and robbing a bank after the other. Soon they became more ambitious, and decided to step up on the ladder, wanting to become more than simple robbers. Some rumor in the underworld had it that Bane had finally gotten rid of Batman, so the duo moved to Gotham City, aiming to make a name for themselves among the bloodiest and most powerful criminals in the country. The Trigger Twins made quite a debut, as they robbed a local mob boss, Dirty Dan Doyle… but they got caught immediately after. Much to their surprise, though, the boss was quite impressed by both their skill and their audacity, and he decided to hire them as enforcers. Without much of a choice, and having to start somewhere, the Trigger Twins accepted the offer.

The Trigger Twins kept doing for Doyle what they usually did for themselves, dividing the loot with their new boss. They were even entrusted with some men to lead during their heists, but something went terribly wrong as they attacked a subway train loaded of money. A new Batman, who replaced the old one, was protecting Gotham in his predecessor’s absence, and he was much more brutal than the original. This Batman quickly disposed of Doyle’s men, he badly wounded Tad’s arm with his shurikens, and broke Tom’s nose, leaving them to lick their wounds. By the time they got out of jail, Dirty Dan had been killed by his rival Black Mask, so the Trigger Twins were free-lancers once again. It didn’t pass much time before they were approached by a blonde girl, a robber herself, who introduced herself as Tonya Trigger, their lost sister. Used to unlikely coincidences, Tad and Tom fell for it, and they rejoined with their third sibling, gladly granting her their help in some troubles she was in. In reality, “Tonya” was Paige Willingham, and she wanted to use them to steal a chip from PanchoTech to sell it to some foreign buyers. The Trigger Twins used a bikers gang, the Bandidos, as a distraction, and successfully stole the computer chip, later taking refuge in an abandoned Western-themed attraction, the Gotham Gulch. Here, however, they were reached by Robin, who had been hunting for them, accompanied by Sheriff Shotgun Smith, the Huntress, Deputy Cissy Chambers, and the new Nighthawk and Pow-Wow Smith, descendants of the originals. It would have been quite a hell of a high noon for the gunmen…

Tad and Tom Trigger are two nostalgic gangsters, a couple of Western-themed gunslingers who live for the thrill and the loot, and only care about money and family. As the Trigger Twins, they are quite a formidable couple, nearly infallible marksmen who use as trademark weapons a couple of old Colt pistols. Not exactly bright, but smart enough to follow orders, the Trigger Twins make good henchmen, and they are so easily manipulated that they end up working literally for anyone… the important thing, of course, is that they have a lot of fun while amounting a lot of money; everything else is purely accidental.

Roger Hayden (Psycho-Pirate)

The crossover Elseworlds introduced a character who’s been teased around quite a lot, in the Arrowverse: Roger Hayden, the (second) Psycho-Pirate. Hayden was first mentioned in The Flash, as the article written by future Iris West-Allen about the disappearance of The Flash quotes his cryptic statement about “worlds living and dying” and a crisis that would have changed everything. Then, in Constantine, we spotted his trademark Medusa Mask among the many trophies in Jasper Winter‘s house. Finally, in Arrow, we meet him as one of the patients in Arkham Asylum, one who’s swiftly recaptured by Batwoman, but who promises to have a wider role in next year’s crossover. In the comics, he distinguishes himself for being “cursed with memory”, memory of erased realities that he can’t forget. Let’s see together.

Roger Hayden’s story began on Earth-Two, in Gotham City. He was the son of a renowned psychiatrist, but despite the man’s profession, he was very abusive with his son, constantly manipulating the boy’s emotions to belittle and mistreat him. Finally, when he was nearly twenty years old, Roger snapped and attacked his father, severely beating him. The court wasn’t sympathetic with the damaged Roger, and he was sentenced to one year of prison. His cellmate was an elderly criminal, Charles Halstead, the first Psycho-Pirate. Sensing his death approaching and wanting to leave a legacy, Halstead told Roger about his Medusa Masks, golden mystic relics that allowed their wearer to control, manipulate and absorb other people’s emotions. As soon as he was released from prison, Roger went to the location pointed by Halstead, and found the masks: ambitious and not very cautious, he fused them all into a single, more powerful golden mask, and proceeded to use it to exact his payback on the world for all he had suffered. His debut wasn’t exactly glorious, as the new Psycho-Pirate was stopped by the combined efforts of Dr. Fate and Hourman. He made quite a ruckus when he managed to influence Bruce Wayne and Alan Scott with his powers, with the unforeseen effect of unleashing the frustration of Batman and Green Lantern (and even of The Flash) on Gotham, but he was once again apprehended, this time by the entire Justice Society of America. He was then recruited by Ultra-Humanite in his Secret Society of Super-Villains, and battled the JSA, the Justice League of America, the All-Star Squadron and Infinity Inc., but was eventually arrested. The constant use of the Medusa Mask made Roger addicted to others’ emotions, and eventually his psyche broke under the pressure of all these stimuli: instead of jail, he was this time sent to a criminal asylum.

Roger Hayden stayed in the mental hospital until he was recruited by the Harbinger, who was gathering a team of heroes and villains for The Monitor in his war against his evil twin, the Anti-Monitor. The Psycho-Pirate proved to be fundamental in recruiting the last member of the team, Killer Frost, making her fall in love with Firestorm, but he proved to be too unstable to work in a team, and even if his entire universe’s fate was at stake, he ended up trying to use his powers first on Pariah, then on his teammates Arion and Obsidian. While he was battling Arion, though, he was kidnapped by the Anti-Monitor, who also found his powers useful, and forced him to use them on the captive Barry Allen to make him open a portal to the remaining realities: Earth-X, Earth-4 and Earth-S. The Anti-Monitor also augmented the Psycho-Pirate’s powers so that he could influence anyone on these three universes, but this left him completely drained, unable to use the Medusa Mask. Because of this, he couldn’t stop Harbinger and the remaining heroes when they invaded the Anti-Matter Universe and stopped the Anti-Monitor and his underlings once and for all, and he wandered, lost, looking for someone to save him. All he found was an empty Flash costume, belonging to the now deceased Barry. Looking for the hero, believing he could bring him back home, the Psycho-Pirate was found by Kid Flash instead: even if he was angry for his mentor’s death, Kid Flash did save the Psycho-Pirate, but brought him directly to Arkham Asylum, locking him there… and for a good reason. The reality the Psycho-Pirate found upon returning to Gotham was different from the one he had left, it wasn’t Earth-Two anymore, but a fusion of the surviving realities named New Earth… but he remembered everything of the world before the end of the world, and unlike most living beings in the universe he had memories of what the world was like before the Anti-Monitor’s attack… definitely too much for a single mind to maintain its sanity.

Roger Hayden is completely, totally and irredeemably crazy, although this doesn’t quell his keen intellect at all: his mind may be broken because of memories belonging to different planes of reality coexisting all together, but he’s still calculating, focused and relentless. As the Psycho-Pirate, his Medusa Mask gives him the ability to absorb other people’s emotions and then redistribute them (he even became an “emotion dealer”, selling ecstasy, joy and the likes), to augment and manipulate other people’s feelings, and even to feed on them; after the Crisis, he displayed other powers of unknown origins: he’s able to heal from even lethal attacks, to compress his body in impossible shapes, and most notably to create perfect duplicates of people from other universes erased from existence after the Multiverse was crunched into New Earth. With insanity dictating all his actions, the Psycho-Pirate is an unpredictable, erratic threat, who attacks following his own logic and possibly schemes and plans originating in long-forgotten realities. Being the only one to remember, he’s also the one who knows more than anyone else, and this is something not to be taken lightly…

John Dee (Doctor Destiny)

Series changed places this week, as the crossover Elseworlds is finally here… and it’s far more entertaining that I dared to hope for, at least as for what concerns the first episode. In The Flash, we witness the beginning of everything, with The Monitor appearing to give his reality-shaping book to an unorthodox psychiatrist, Dr. John Deegan. Portrayed by Jeremy Davies, Deegan tries to convince his colleagues to use eugenics to treat their patients, but he’s met with foreseeable contempt. Now, with such a power in his hands, he’s rewriting the world as he sees fit… with a lot of incredible side effects. In the comics, his name is slightly different, John Dee, and he does have immense powers, albeit he starts as a “simple” mad scientist with a lot of gadgets. Let’s see together.

John Dee was never a “good boy”, he even changed his name to match the one of the great alchemist from the XVII Century. He was the son of Ethel Cripps, a professional swindler, and Ruthven Sykes, the second-in-command of the dark mage Roderick Burgess, Ethel’s lover; he was born when his parents decided to betray Burgess and escape with a ton of money and mystic artifacts. Since his childhood, John was encouraged on a dark path, and he followed it willingly, using his incredible intelligence to dedicate himself to something different than magic: science and technology. Following his mother’s example, John used his talent to make money first and foremost, and he built an anti-gravitational device that he used to capture Green Lantern and to replace him for a while, until he was exposed by Green Arrow and defeated by the other members of the Justice League of America. He presented himself as Doctor Destiny, and he became a recurrent foe of the planet’s most powerful heroes, always coming up with more and more complex and futuristic devices, most notably a will-deadening beam that could break the will of even Superman. Like many others before him, though, Dee couldn’t prevail over such powerful foes, not with his tools, and he eventually decided to resort to one of his mother’s “souvenirs” from Burgess’ house, a red gem she called the Dream Ruby. This stone had been stolen by the dark mage from his most prized prisoner, Dream of the Endless, the embodiment of stories and dreams, and Doctor Destiny believed he could use it for his goals. He united his technology to the Ruby, and he transformed it into the Materioptikon, a device that could alter reality through dreams. He experimented on many patients before it was perfectly calibrated on his mind, and his first use of it was magnificent: he bent reality, giving birth to a fascist dystopia where the JLA was his personal death squad, and where he ruled as a king. The world was finally of his liking.

The real Justice League was kept prisoner and tortured by Destiny’s one, and the villain would have gladly kept everything in this state, if he wasn’t stopped by Blue Beetle, who at the time was in a coma, and thus able to access the Dream World and force Dee to return things to normal. Dr. Destiny’s power was so great that the JLA had to be drastic in dealing with him: they locked him in Arkham Asylum and, with the help of the doctors, removed his ability to dream via hypnosis and psychic manipulation; in the meanwhile, Martian Manhunter and Mister Miracle hid the Materioptikon in a place where he would have never been able to find it… theoretically speaking. One of the doctors of Arkham was Garrett Stanford, the current Sandman, and Dee, albeit shriveled to a human husk because of his lack of dreaming and his addiction to the Materioptikon, manipulated him to let him out, and used his equipment to put to sleep most of the Justice League and use their dreams against them. Some of the reserves, led by Zatanna and Elongated Man, intervened, and put an end to Destiny’s schemes locking him back in Arkham. Here, some time later, he was reached by his mother, Ethel, who brought him an amulet to protect him… and to ease his escape. Upon realizing how much her son had been corrupted, Ethel committed suicide, but she had given her contribution to the possible end of the world, though: thanks to her amulet, John managed to escape, and was drawn to the Ruby by the stone itself. With his sanity eroded by his time in the asylum, Dr. Destiny reached a diner, and used the Materioptikon to materialize the customers’ worst fears, to force them to have sex with each other, to worship him like a god, and ultimately to kill themselves… all the while influencing the whole world to go mad. Finally, he was reached by Dream in person, who was unable to reclaim the Ruby due to its corruption, but wanted to end its madness. Believing that, since the stone contained the essence of Dream, the two were bonded, Destiny shattered the Materioptikon… but by doing so he simply gave Dream all of his powers back. The Endless brought him back to Arkham peacefully, and returned him his ability to dream, hoping that this would have quelled his madness. Dr. Destiny, however, had it all planned, and as soon as he could dream again, he dreamt of the Materioptikon, bringing it back to reality…

John Dee is just as mad as he is brilliant, a full-fledged genius whose psyche has been eroded by a long stay in Arkham Asylum, by his meddling with different worlds and realities, and by his own immense ambition. As Doctor Destiny, he’s a genius scientist who invented a number of futuristic tools and weapons, and he’s also a proficient occultist, but his main power derives from the Materioptikon, a device he obtained by uniting his technology to the Dream Ruby, a gem imbued with the essence of Dream of the Endless: with it, Destiny can reshape reality starting from his or other people’s dreams, materializing nightmares, manipulating emotions, giving birth to alternate realities. Obsessed with his power and addicted to it, Dr. Destiny is not even human anymore, he’s now a creature of immense power suspended between two worlds, with all the power and the folly needed to merge them into a third, horrific one.

The Monitor

Supergirl delivered quite a satisfying episode this week, for once, and the final part was even better, an off-world prologue for the upcoming crossover Elseworlds. In the last minutes of Bunker Hill, we’re brought to a burning Earth Ninety, where a dozen superheroes (all of them familiar faces) are laying lifeless on the ground after a massive battle. The Flash from the 1990s tv series appears to be the sole survivor, and he’s immediately confronted by the one who appears to be the responsible of the catastrophe: The Monitor, portrayed by LaMonica Garrett. This particular Monitor is called Nar Novu, and he carries along a book capable of reshaping reality that he entrusts to gifted individuals on the several Earths, apparently testing them in a way that Earth Ninety has spectacularly failed. Garrett’s look is incredibly faithful to the comics’ one, but his nature is definitely different, as The Monitor is more of a benign entity originally. Let’s see together.

The being known as The Monitor was born eons ago, on a lifeless moon named Oa. Here, a scientist from an immortal race, Krona, defied all the laws of his people and conducted a series of dangerous experiments aimed to understand the origin of the universe. Probing the moment of creation literally ripped the fabric of reality, dividing the universe into a Positive Matter Universe, and a mirror Anti-Matter Universe; both this new realities, then, included in themselves a nearly infinite number of parallel universes. This was the moment The Monitor was born, from the very ground of Oa: imbued with an unimaginable amount of power, he spent thousands of years meditating, understanding his own nature and the universe itself. He expanded his infinite mind to the borders of creation, until he sensed that in the Anti-Matter Universe, on Oa’s equivalent Qward, a being with his same power was born, the Anti-Monitor. The Anti-Monitor had already used his powers to conquer the entire Anti-Matter Universe, but as soon as he sensed the existence of The Monitor, he directed his attention to the only one he could perceive as a threat. The two “brothers” fought in a war of cosmic proportions, an exhausting battle that lasted for one million years, but neither of them could prevail, as their powers had been created by the cosmic balance to be perfectly equal. Eventually, the war ended in a draw, with the two cosmic beings damaging each other so much that they rendered each other unconscious, a state they remained in for nine billion years. As both The Monitor and the Anti-Monitor slept, the respective universes grew and expanded, filling themselves with more and more complex life forms. Finally, as one reality reached its scientific apex, a young scientist named Kell Mossa replicated Krona’s experiment… awakening the Anti-Monitor and creating a breach that the Anti-Matter Universe could use to reach and conquer the Positive Matter one.

The catastrophic breach in the space-time continuum awoke The Monitor too, and the threat was so great that he immediately understood that he would have had to resume hostilities with his double, if he wanted to protect the Multiverse. He located Mossa, who had survived the end of his universe and called himself Pariah, and used him as a compass to always locate the Anti-Monitor and follow his campaign. As more and more planets and entire planes of reality fell to the Anti-Monitor, The Monitor became increasingly weaker, but he organized a counter-offensive, knowing that his counterpart had become strong enough to possibly destroy even him, but wanting to set in motion a chain of events that would have deemed his nemesis’ downfall before the Anti-Matter Universe absorbed every aspect of existence. He selected a young girl, Lyla Michaels, to be his agent, and imbued her with cosmic power transforming her into Harbinger. Along with his new assistant, The Monitor focused his attention on Earth, a small planet that had an unusual concentration of beings with superhuman powers, and observing all versions of it he started selecting the ones that would have become his champions in his upcoming battle against the Anti-Monitor. The Monitor and Harbinger selected five realities that would have been the last bastions of the Positive Matter Universe: Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-X, Earth-Four and Earth-S, all presenting a number of extremely powerful beings, both heroes and villains. He selected some of them, namely Cyborg, Killer Frost, Solovar, Blue Beetle, Psycho-Pirate, Firebrand, Geo-Force, Dawnstar, Doctor Polaris, Kal-L, Obsidian, Psimon, Green Lantern, Arion and Firestorm, to guard and protect the Vibrational Forks, devices that could protect his artificial Netherverse from the Anti-Monitor. Then, he sent Harbinger to retrieve Alexander Luthor Jr., a child who was pivotal to the balance of the universe… and let himself be killed by his brainwashed assistant. His death, however, gave power to the Forks, thus balancing the forces at play and giving a chance to the hundreds of champions he had gathered to fight the ultimate battle. If the universe would have survived, The Monitor would have been reformed along with it…

The Monitor is a wise and impossibly intelligent being, nearly as ancient as the universe itself, bonded to it beyond any comprehensible level. As the embodiment of the creative energy of the Positive Matter Universe, The Monitor is amazingly powerful, but the extent and nature of his abilities is never explored in depth: according to Metron, he can create with a mere thought, and he’s capable of imbuing lesser beings with cosmic powers; he’s also connected to the universe to the point that he can immediately sense everything happening in every corner of his domain, and he grows stronger or weaker depending on how much the Positive Universe is extended; he’s immortal and virtually invulnerable, and he can manipulate nearly infinite amounts of energy. A living manifestation of the universe itself, The Monitor watches over his domain and protects it from any impending threat, ready for the ultimate sacrifice to accomplish his mission.

Raymond Maxwell Jensen (Parasite)

Finally, the true identity of the traitorous Agent Jensen, first appeared in Supergirl‘s season premiere The American Alien, has been revealed in the latest episode, Parasite Lost, as he’s full name is reported as Raymond Jensen… and he receives from Agent Liberty abilities we’ve been led to know well by now. This is a nice nod to the Earth-One continuity, as Raymond Jensen is that reality’s version of the Parasite, the original one before Rudy Jones took over the role and became the best known incarnation of the character. Let’s take a look at this monstrous and lethal villain, a jump to the past that takes us to his first appearance in 1966.

Raymond Maxwell Jensen was born in Metropolis, in the suburbs. Not exactly from the high society, he turned to a life of crime since he was very young, and ended up in jail several times for petty thieves and other minor felonies. Between one incarceration and the other, Maxwell got married, and even had children from his (unnamed) wife. It was maybe for them that he resolved to look for a honest job, for a change, and got hired as a plant worker in a research center. Old habits die hard, though, and it didn’t pass much time before Maxwell got tempted to increase his wage by stealing the company payrolls. He observed his employers for some days, until he got convinced that they hid the money in some containers they never allowed anybody around. This idea turned out to be terribly wrong, as the containers were off-limits simply because they were radioactive and dangerous, as in them the center had stored some space matter brought by Superman returning from one of his trips out of the atmosphere. The cosmic radiation rewrote Maxwell’s genetic structure completely, transforming him in a large, purple humanoid being, and giving to him a crippling hunger. Scared by what he had become, Maxwell sought help, but as soon as he touched a security guard, he instantly drained him of all his physical and mental energies, sating his hunger and becoming stronger and smarter. The Parasite was born. Maxwell found out that he could absorb all the energy he wanted from other people, effectively killing them, but that if he touched a superhuman, someone like Superman, he could also obtain part of their power, calming his hunger for a longer time. Needless to say, Superman instantly became his primary target.

Intoxicated by his new abilities, Parasite started wreaking havoc in the city, with the precise intent of luring Superman out… and so he did. The hero, not knowing the new foe, was taken by surprise, and Parasite managed to absorb a huge amount of his strength and durability, becoming nearly unstoppable. Plus, the more they fought, the more he could absorb from his adversary, increasing his strength. Even Parasite, however, didn’t know his powers well yet, and he absorbed also Superman’s weakness to Kryptonite. For once, the space rock became the hero’s ally, and it allowed him to defeat the menace. There was no prison in the world able to hold Parasite, though, and he returned soon after, always addicted to other people’s energy, always craving Superman’s one. Even this time, though, his inexperience with his powers costed him a lot, as he absorbed too much of Superman’s energy, overcharging his organism and subjecting his cells to a terrible pressure, that eventually dispersed his physical body. He managed to reform time later, but he decided for another tactic. He absorbed the energy of people he found around, increasing his intelligence and devising a plan to defeat his adversary. While getting smarter, the Parasite was also able to discover Superman’s secret identity, and using the knowledge that he was actually Clark Kent, he dressed up and pretended to be a reporter himself and obtained a job from Perry White at the Daily Planet, asking to be mentored by Kent… all the while absorbing little by little his energy. Even this plan was eventually foiled, and this time Parasite was locked in a special cell designed for him by the Master Jailer. But he would have returned yet again, alone or allied with other criminals such as Terra-Man and Solomon Grundy: his hunger knew no peace, and he had developed quite a taste for the energy of one man in particular…

Raymond Maxwell Jensen is basically a greedy man, who always wants more of everything, a trait that is reflected perfectly in his new alien powers. As the Parasite, he’s an energy vampire who can absorb life force from other living beings, eventually becoming addicted to it, increasing his strength and smarts in the process; in case of superhumans, he temporarily absorbs their powers, and is also able to distribute them at will. Intoxicated with all this power, Parasite at first didn’t even realize the backlash of it, but now that he’s way more intelligent than before, his absolute solitude, his impossibility to even touch his wife and children, are pretty clear to him… and generate a sadness that only fuels his destructive rage.