Heatmonger

Let’s briefly come back to the ongoing tv series, starting from The Flash, which featured a couple of new characters (well, kind of) this week. In Cause and Effect, an amnesiac Barry is asked to testify in a trial against a professional arsonist, Lucious “Heatmonger” Coolidge, who’s said to be the spiritual heir of Heat Wave. The criminal, portrayed by Richard Zeman, is a relatively lucky guy, as the trial decisively ends in his favor, but he only has time to burn down a skyscraper before coming back to the usual bad luck. There’s no Lucious Coolidge in the comics, but Heatmonger is present…albeit he’s a she. In the animated DC universe, although, Heatmonger had already become a male (with a jetpack), so this is not the first time she’s suffered a gender swap (a female-to-male one, for a change). Anyway, let’s see together the blonde-haired version of this bald guy.

Not much is known about the woman called Heatmonger, not even her real name. She was a convinced white suprematist, to the point that she became close to the ideology that, during World War II, had characterised the Nazi Third Reich. Sick and tired of seeing “inferior people” being considered on par with Aryans, and even members of races other than the human one being welcomed on Earth and considered as heroes, she decided it was time to do something about it, and became an activist…obviously, however, a simple human could do nothing against people who belonged to lesser races, but who got superpowers nevertheless. In order to be able to face this kind of threats, she accepted to be experimented on and became a cyborg: she had her arms replaced with artificial limbs which were also thermal cannons, and took the name Heatmonger, ready to burn down the illusions of a tolerant society with the fire of her certainties. Sadly, she wasn’t the only one devoted to such a cause, and she entered the radar of the Aryan Nation, a group secretly led by Senator Sanders Hotchkins: Aryan Nation had quite a majestic plan in mind, and they needed armed agents to support it with force. Heatmonger was recruited in the Aryan Brigade, the Aryan Nation’s strong arm, and she joined other people with her same ideas: the super-strong Iron Cross, the blind psychic Blind Faith, the elastic Backlash and the flying Golden Eagle. Together, the members of the Aryan Brigade kidnapped a number of chemists, which were later forced to develop a genetic virus programmed to attack all non-white elements in human DNA, and that would have been released in Earth’s atmosphere to cleanse the world from the inferior species. Every great vision, however, finds opposition, and as soon as the FBI realised what was happening, they enlisted the heroes from Justice League Task Force to stop the neo-Nazis.

Entrusted by the feds, the Martian Manhunter assembled an undercover team to infiltrate the Brigade, but only Hourman managed to enter the enemy’s ranks. Heatmonger and the others, however, were no fools, and thanks to Blind Faith’s telepathy they managed to expose the Task Force and to incapacitate them all…all but Hourman, who eventually freed the other imprisoned heroes. While Martian Manhunter stopped the missile that carried the virus in the atmosphere, the remaining members of JLTF battled the Aryan Brigade, resulting in an utter defeat of the Nazi wannabes and in the exposure of the Aryan Nation. Heatmonger and the others managed to avoid capture, differently from their bosses, and put themselves on the market as mercenaries. They didn’t have to wait for long, as the alien Overmaster required new members of his Cadre: quite ironically considering their initial positions, the once Aryan Brigade started working for an alien, and under his leadership they battled the Suicide Squad. Even this time, however, things didn’t go too well, and Heatmonger herself was captured along with Golden Eagle. Both of them were given a chance of redemption by Amanda Waller, and became members of the Suicide Squad as well, embarking in impossible missions in the vain hope of having their sentence reduced. Thing got even worse the moment the government decided to exile Earth’s supervillains on a remote planet, ironically called Planet Salvation, in the effort of reducing the world’s criminality…and despite serving in the Suicide Squad, Heatmonger was among the ones sent to space. Planet Salvation was a living hell of rivalries and civil wars, and Heatmonger witnessed her former teammate Iron Cross being killed by The Joker, but some ray of hope seemed to appear on the horizon as Lex Luthor started gathering the best minds among the supervillains to build a teleportation device that would have brought them back to Earth. Unfortunately, the machine needed a power source to work, and Luthor used some of the lesser villains as living batteries…Heatmonger among them. Apparently, Heatmonger’s destiny was to be abandoned on an alien hostile planet, but that wasn’t the case, as the machine self-destructed, killing all its living batteries. Hard to say what’s better.

Heatmonger is a Nazi activist, a terrorist who firmly believes in the supremacy of the Aryan race over any other. As a cyborg, she possesses mechanic arms that grant her an augmented strength; the artificial limbs are also thermal cannons, super-powerful flamethrowers she can use to incinerate anything and anyone. A devoted believer dedicated to a monstrous ideology, Heatmonger tolerates no imperfection in the genetic template of the “supreme race”, and she’s ready to burn down everyone standing in the way of said perfection.

Beatriz Bonilla da Costa (Green Fury/Green Flame/Fire)

Powerless came back from the hiatus…and I totally missed it, testifying how much I like this show. Anyway, some big news had come in the previous episodes, as in Van v. Emily: Dawn of Justice a new hero came to Charm City, after Crimson Fox decided to move to Metropolis: it’s Green Fury, portrayed by Natalie Morales. If we needed any more confirmation that Powerless was aiming for characters from the Global Guardians, now it’s official, as Green Fury is another member of the team…even if she’s known with her most famous moniker, Fire. With this super-name, she appeared in the tv movie Justice League of America, portrayed by Michelle Hurd, as a member of the title’s team and a quick friend of the newcomer Tora “Ice” Olafsdotter. She also appeared in a cameo in The Flash: if Earth-1‘s Bea da Costa is reportedly deceased, an evil (and male) version of her from Earth-2 can be seen in Zoom‘s army of meathumans. Now, while we enjoy a third live action incarnation of the character, let’s take a look at the original one.

Beatrix Bonilla da Costa was born nearly during Chrisis on Infinite Earth, so as a result her origin story was changed almost immediately after being told. In her first, short-lived incarnation, she was the last born in a mystical Brazilian tribe, the Ge, daughter of Ramon Corvalho, a surveyor in the Amazon River Basin, and Carlota da Costa, the mother she grew up with. A prophet from the Ge foretold she would have received a great power from the Sky Spirit, and indeed when she was fifteen years old the same man contacted her telepathically, unlocking her dormant pyrokinetic abilities. The girl grew up and became a brilliant woman, head of the Brazilian branch of Wayne Enterprises, but she also started using her powers for good under the alias Green Fury. During her career she often helped the Super Friends, but it was meeting Superman that changed her life: although she first battled the Man of Steel since he was mind-controlled by Overlord (managing to hold her own thanks to Superman’s weakness to magic), the two became allies, and when Superman was contacted by Doctor Mist to help him in battling the evil wizard El Dorado, Green Fury was among the heroes gathered to repel the menace, and she proved essential into dealing with the magician. Following this adventure, she joined Doctor Mist in his newly formed international superhero team, the Global Guardians. As said before, however, this version of her early life soon changed, as the entire universe was rewritten. In this new reality, B. B. da Costa was born in Rio de Janeiro, and she grew up to become a beautiful model. Her career led her to become a showgirl, until she was recruited by the SNI, the Serviço Nacional de Informações, the Brazilian secret services. When her boss and recruiter stole an experimental pyroplasmic gun (a special flamethrower) and ran, she was assigned to retrieve the weapon and arrest the man: during the following battle, however, the gun exploded, imbuing her with pyrokinetic powers as an unexpected side effect. Hunted by the other spies for her failure, she became the heroine on the run Green Fury.

Green Fury was recruited by Doctor Mist as a founding member of the Global Guardians, an international superhero team where she could find a shelter from the Brazilian authorities. While she was in the GG, she changed her codename in Green Flame, right before her team was replaced by the Justice League International, that took all the United Nations‘ funds that kept the Guardians alive. With her team disbanding, B. B. and her friend and teammate, Icemaiden, approached the JLI hoping to be allowed in…and they turned out to be pretty lucky, since the team was short several members who had been kidnapped, and Black Canary had quit: they were both accepted as new members. To celebrate their inclusion in the Justice League, the two heroines shortened their battle
names into Fire and Ice, respectively, and they immediately blended in, bonding particularly with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. Fire accompanied the JLI in many adventures, but it was during the Dominators‘ invasion that she went through another major life-changing event: the aliens’ Gene-Bomb affected her as well, making her fall into a coma. When she woke up, her powers had been increased radically, as she was not only able to shoot fire, but to become a fiery creature as well. At first, she couldn’t control these new abilities, as they were triggered mostly by strong emotions such as fear; Big Barda and Mister Miracle helped her regain control by training her the same way on Apokolips they taught discipline to the Female Furies. After such a harsh training, she came back to be a reliable member of the JLI, always proving her worth in the most difficult battles…until she found herself completely outmatched when the team faced a grey monster later known as Doomsday: as hard as she hit him, the monster wouldn’t even slow down, and she arrived to the point of burning herself out to try and damage him, leaving her powerless. It was during this time that her best friend Ice was killed by the Overmaster: she regained her powers too late to help her, but certainly not to avenge her…

B. B. da Costa is a Reinassance woman, with a career just as various and diverse as a flame can be in time; strong and independent but also carefree and self-conscious, Bea makes all the experience she has had in the years before becoming a heroine an asset for her teams. As Fire, she can generate and control green fire; she’s also able to turn herself into a fiery being of pyroplasm, thus gaining intangibility and flight. A committed heroine, fiercely loyal to her friends (particularly to her best friend Ice), Fire is also one of the few members of the JLI who doesn’t shy away from killing, having learnt from her spy days that extreme situations call for extreme measures…

Abhararakadhararbarakh (Abra Kadabra)

No new character from The Flash in this week’s musical episode (the Music Meister comes from the cartoons, not the comics), but the promo for next week’s episode provided us with a look to a brand new villain: Abra Kadabra, the “magician” portrayed by David Dastalmachian. In the omonymous episode, Abra Kadabra is a thief coming from Earth 19, and it turns out he has the key to the mystery of Savitar‘s true identity; being a breacher, Gypsy comes to collect him, but Barry protects him in the effort of learning who his true enemy is. In the comics, Abra Kadabra doesn’t come from another dimension, but from another time, and he’s one of the historical members of the Rogues. Let’s see together.

With the nearly unpronounceable name of Abhararakadhararbarakh, the man later known simply as Citizen Abra was born on Earth, but during an era far away in the future, the 64th Century, a technologically advanced time in which most of modern sci-fi was an everyday reality. Since his childhood, Abra had one great passion: stage magic, a long lost art which he adored, and he became remarkably skilled with…unfortunately, with such technological wonders at everybody’s hand, nobody was interested in illusionism anymore, and Abra was ridiculed and mocked by his contemporaries. The magician longed for a place in which his talent could flourish, but that time seemed to be over centuries before…but that didn’t necessarily mean that it was out of reach: in 6363, some scientists managed to use the unstable M-Metal to build a functioning time machine to study past eras. Unfortunately, the M-Metal’s radiations were rapidly depleting, so the time machine would have been able to perform one single travel…not that this was a problem for Abra, as he didn’t want to ever come back to his own time. Using some of his stage gadgets, he broke into the lab and managed to paralyze the scientists long enough to enter the time machine and activate it, with in mind a destination in which his art was still apreciated: 20th Century. In the past, Abra moved to Central City, and adopted the stage name of Abra Kadabra, presenting himself as the Master of Magic, impressing his audience with his gadgets from the future that had, on such a primitive people, the effect of pure magic. He made a lot of money with his shows, enough to finance a much bigger show…but, as he soon found out, 20th Century people were easily distracted by pretty much everything, and museum, sport games, movies, inaugurations and a lot of other things dragged the public away from his shows. Abra didn’t like competition, so he started thinking of ways to become the main event in Central City. Reading a newspaper, Picture News, Abra found out a simple truth: the most followed and revered “magicians” of that era were the masked criminals, always followed by the media. He had to act like them if he wanted his audience back.

In order to make his first deed a memorable one, Abra Kadabra decided to steal a whole statue that had been dedicated in those days: thanks to his devices, it was a piece of cake to make the entire thing disappear as in thin air, but obviously The Flash appeared, trying to stop him. Facing the hero, Abra used on him the same hypnotic device that he used on difficult audiences back in the 64th Century, forcing him to applaude uncontrollably: while Flash was paralyzed in his cheerings, he had all the time to escape. Contrary to the golden rule, the same trick worked twice, as the magician also stole the first book ever printed, in display in Central City’s library, once again stopping The Flash with the same device. Growing cocky, Abra Kadabra decided it was time to make his name enter history as the man who destroyed The Flash. He pubblicly announced his most spectacular trick ever, setting up a trap for The Flash…and when the hero arrived, he sent him flying into space, leaving only his costume behind. Triumphant, Abra Kadabra was ready to enjoy all the fame and glory he had deserved…but the Scarlet Speedster actually managed to use his speed to escape the gravitational push, and running in circles managed to make Abra hit himself with his hypnotic device. Paralyzed by his own “magic”, Abra was easily arrested and imprisoned, not that a common jail could hold him for long: with his scientific knowledge from the future, he could turn pretty much everything into an extremely complex machine that would have allowed him to escape. Abra Kadabra challenged The Flash many other times after that, until the combined speed of two Flashes (Jay Garrick and Barry Allen) managed to send him back to the 26th Century. Back to his time, Abra found out that during his absence a dictator known as the Chronarch had risen to power and strictly controlled the population with his police, the Central Clockworks; all citizens were connected to a huge computer regulating their activities, and free will was considered a crime. Not wanting to bend to this monstrosity, Abra founded a rebellion and led the resistence…being captured by the Clockworks and exiled to another time, one he knew far too well: the 20th Century…

Abhararakadhararbarakh is an extremely vain and ambitious man, who lives for the applauses and the glory, and who’s ready to accomplish anything to obtain them. As Abra Kadabra, he was at first an illusionist that mimicked magic powers with gadgetry from the future, using advanced science to pretend to be a magician (he was particularly skilled with his Hypno-Ray, usually hid in his lapel); now, after a deal with the demon Neron, he’s actually able to perform true magic, obtaining exactly the same, various effects of before, but with no risk of short-circuits or malfunctionings. Either by being a criminal, by playing the hero or by leading a world resistance against future dictatorships, Abra Kadabra always and only seeks glory and fame, and is willing and able to remove anything or anyone from his path to achieve the worship he believes he deserves…

Daniel Patrick Cassidy (Blue Devil)

Lucy W.‘s request allows me to amend to a past mistake, as I completely missed a juicy easter egg in Arrow Season 2, episode Time of Death: while racing on his motorcycle, The Arrow passes a bus, and on its side we can spot the poster of a movie named Blue Devil. The (fictional) movie has been pretty succesful, apparently, as in The Flash Season 1 we can see (in Things You Can’t Outrun and Power Outage) the poster of its sequel, Blue Devil II: Hell to Pay. Well, this is the first appearance, sort of, of the popular DC superhero Blue Devil, who actually has something to do with movies and cinema even in the comics, and his origins regard the Blue Devil movie we saw in the shows. Let’s see together.

Daniel “Dan” Cassidy was born somewhere in California from an Irish family, and he always loved cinema. When he finished school, he moved to Los Angeles, where he became a stuntman and a special effects wizard, learning from the very best ones in the field. As usual, Dan started from the bottom, working in B-movie productions that included films like Space Ninjas or The Battle of the Las Vegas Showgirls, minor films in which he could gain experience and make some experiments of his own. The chance of his life arrived thanks to a friend, Marla Bloom, a movie director who had been hired by the famos Verner Bros. company to make a monster movie, Blue Devil: wanting to help a friend and knowing Dan’s skills, Marla contacted him and asked him both to realize the costume for the main creature and to play him. Of course, Dan immediately accepted, and put in the suit all of his remarkable expertise: since he had to go through a number of dangerous stunts during the movie, he made the costume extremely resistant, but also flexible to allow him to move naturally, and he also added miniature servo motors to increase his own strenght and film without digital effects. The suit was exactly what Marla was looking for, and it performed perfectly during the shoots. During one of the main scenes, however, something went horribly wrong: the location was Île du Diable (the Devil’s Island), a place that, according to local legends, was cursed; the two main actors, Wayne Tarrant and Sharon Scott (the latter was the girl Dan had a secret crush on) were shooting their scene, when they accidentally opened an ancient tomb…freeing an actual demon from his 6000 years imprisonment. The two escaped, but the demon, Nebiros, followed them: seeing Sharon in danger, Dan intervened, hoping that his exosuit would have been strong enough to protect him. Nebiros mistook him for an actual demon, and tried to drain his “occult energy” to replenish his own…but since Dan was a human, he only knocked him out, at least apparently. When he regained his senses, Dan resumed the battle (that Marla was filming), and managed to exile Nebiros back to his hellish dimension.

It was while resting for the battle, still shocked for meeting an actual demon, that Dan realised what the consequences of Nebiros’ energy blast had been: his suit was now fused to his body, an organic part of him. Dan wasn’t exactly happy with that: a devout Catholic, a devil’s skin wasn’t his taste…and it would have gotten worse, as he soon realised he had become a “weirdness magnet“, as the unlikely accident that had created him called for other absurd occurences. With Nebiros still on his trails, Dan asked for S.T.A.R. Labs‘ help, and in that occasion he found himself caught in a battle with the supervillain Metallo, and soon after even with The Trickster (who, however, ended up becoming his friend). Not even S.T.A.R. could help him, so Dan tried with magic, asking to “field experts” such as Zatanna or Madame Xanadu, but nobody was apparently able to understand what had happened to him, so they weren’t even able to fix it. Despite only wanting to remove the now organic suit, Dan eventually took a habit in fighting all the villains and demons popping around him, starting to be seen as a hero: before he knew it, people started referring to him as the Blue Devil, like the character he was playing in the movie, and he eventually embraced this new weird destiny as a superhero. Aside from Zatanna and Xanadu, Blue Devil met and befriended other heroes, demonic misfits like him such as The Creeper, loners as the Black Orchid or team players as the Omega Men, but even popular and well-accepted heroes as Superman; it was thanks to the latter that Blue Devil received an invitation to join the Justice League of America, thus marking his official entrance in the “big league” of superheroes. He even gained a sidekick, Kid Devil, when Marla’s nephew Edward Bloomberg decided to join him with a suit of his own creation. Little by little, Blue Devil found his place in the world, and was allowed by Cain and Abel (yup, that Cain and Abel) to stay in the House of Weirdness, a multi-dimensional residence set between Earth and the Netherworld, in a room directly connected to Malibu, Dan’s new elected hometown. As uncomfortable as he was in a devil’s role, Dan Cassidy had apparently found his one true calling, after all…

Dan Cassidy is a brave young man, a good-hearted guy who desperately wants to come back to his old life, but who enjoys the possibilities he now has to help other people. As the Blue Devil, at first his powers came from his exo-suit, that granted him enhanced strength, durability, vision and hearing, with a mechanical trident that acted both as a flamethrower and a unique aerial vehicle; after a bad deal with the demon Neron, Dan has become a true devil, and he possesses “true” superhuman physical attributes and senses, as well as accelerated healing, and his former weapon has been replaced with the Trident of Lucifer (forged by Lucifer himself and previously wielded by Nebiros), able to shoot hellfire, to locate demons on Earth and to send them back to Hell; as a stunstman, he is also an expert athlete and a very skilled hand-to-hand combatant, as well as a proficient engineer and inventor. Trapped in a body that is not his own anymore, Blue Devil had to learn to accept a whole new life and status…but he’s now the hero he’d been always destined to be, a fearless demon-hunter who fights hellfire with hellfire.

Accelerated Man

acceleratedmanfilmA bunch of new promotional pics from the next week’s episode of The Flash has been released…and there’s one guy we were waiting for since he was spotted on the set some months ago. In Attack on Central City, the two-parts battle against Grodd and his army comes to an end, as the gorillas use Gypsy to travel to Earth-One and bring the war to Central City…but Gypsy will apparently double-cross the gorilla monarch, as she collects allies from other dimensions and bring them to Earth-1 to join The Flash and the others. One of these allies appears to be the Accelerated Man, portrayed by Sean Poague, a character barely known in the comics (he only appeared in a couple of issues, and without any line of dialogue), but who’ll maybe have some surprise for us in the show, considering that HR Wells comes from Earth-Nineteen…a trait that he has in common with the comics’ Accelerated Man. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about the Accelerated Man’s origin story, we don’t even know what his real name is. He was born in England, but not our England: he was hailing from Earth-19, basically a steampunk version of our Victorian Age. In this world, after the death of Queen Victoria, King George inherited the crown, and started an era of incredible technological progress in his land, introducing the newfound electric energy in everyday life. With England becoming the richest and most advanced country in the world, also other nations started to follow its example, and the new science created true living miracles, humans empowered by the revolutionary technology now at disposal. One of these was the Accelerated Man, a man who, thanks to an unspecified accident involving electricity (possibly something similar to the lightning bolt that on Earth-1 and others hit Barry Allen turning him into The Flash) gained an incredible speed, that granted him a acceleratedmancomics1variety of amazing abilities…that he luckily chose to use for the common good. The Accelerated Man became one of the greatest heroes ever on his Earth, battling the many individuals who had gain powers, skills and abilities thanks to the same technology that had granted him his own, but who made an opposite life choice. He didn’t always fight this battle alone: when the threat what far too great for a single hero to handle, he joined forces with three other crime-fighters: Bat Man, a genius inventor and amazing fighter who was a counterpart to Batman, the Wonder Woman (Diana Trevor, equivalent to Diana Prince) and the Shrinking Man, a genius scientist who could change his size (counterpart to The Atom). When the four of them joined forces and brains, nobody on their Earth could challenge them.

The Accelerated Man learnt truth about the potential and the nature of his powers only years after he had gained them and had started his war against crime, and he learned it from a fellow speedster coming from a different dimension. He understood that, like many others like him spread in parallel realities, he was a living conduit to the Speed Force, a mysterious energy field the electric accident merged him with, and which he took his speed powers from. All this he learned from the Red Racer, the speedster of Earth-36, who was traveling at the speed of light around the entire Multiverse to gather all the speedsters he could find…forming an army like nobody had ever seen. Red Racer, in fact, was involved along with many other heroes from all the corners of the Multiverse in a battle against the corrupted Monitor Nix Uotan, who had joined the forces of The Gentry, a group of cosmic beings bent on transforming the Multiverse into a hellish dimension just fit for them. Along with hundreds of speedsters, the Accelerated Man followed Red Racer to Earth-8, where the resistance had gathered for a final showdown, and they hit the nearly almighty Nix Uotan with hundreds of punches at light speed, defeating him and allowing the other heroes to purify him, making him return a powerful ally. The Accelerated Man acceleratedmancomics2stayed with the thousands of heroes present on Earth-8, and joined them in the fight against The Gentry and their leader, Empty Hand, a hard battle at the end of which The Gentry was succesfully exiled in a single universe…for the time being. The Harbinger A.I. (the sentient computer from Earth Prime counterpart to New Earth‘s Harbinger) celebrated the victorious heroes who, under the guidance of the Superman from Earth-23, formed the inter-dimensional group Justice Incarnate, ready to come back to action as soon as The Gentry showed up again. Until that moment, the Accelerated Man came back to Earth-19 with his teammates, continuing with his everyday battle.

The Accelerated Man is a true hero: brave, selfless and brilliant, he puts his knowledge and his skills at the service of his people, his country, and eventually the entire Multiverse. As a speedster, his connection with the Speed Force grants him superhuman speed, which results in the ability to phase through solid objects, to travel through time and between dimensions, to create air tornados by moving his arms and static electricity through his movement, to run on vertical surfaces or even on water, and much more. Granted with a never-before-seen speed, the Accelerated Man fights for justice, for freedom…and of course, for His Majesty.

Solovar

solovarfilmAfter a one-week hiatus, The Flash is going to return tomorrow with a two-parts event revolving around the return of Gorilla Grodd…and another whole bunch of super-intelligent gorillas. In Attack on Gorilla City, however, there will be (apparently) some sort of a twist, as when Barry and the rest of the team travels to Earth-2 to save Harry Wells from Gorilla City, it turns out Grodd is not the one behind the kidnapping, quite the opposite, he’ll be an ally to them, since he’s trying to stop Solovar, the king of the city voiced by Keith David, from invading Earth-1. Well, judging from the latest promotional material, the huge albino gorilla king will indeed battle The Flash, but we know far too well by now not to trust Grodd and what he says…especially considering who the actual Solovar is in the comics. Just a hint: he’s not a villain (and he’s not albino: that’s an element from the animated series). Let’s see together.

Solovar was an extraterrestrial hyper-intelligent gorilla born in Gorilla City, on planet Calor. Wise and good-hearted, Solovar was also gifted with unique mental powers that made him a powerful telepath, a skill that he used to guide the evolution of his people to a technologically advanced utopia. Eventually, however, he realised that Calor wasn’t a safe environment anymore for his people, as the volcanic activity on the surface was becoming more and more unstable, and he started searching another suitable planet to bring the entire Gorilla City to. When a Green Lantern arrived on Calor to save the planet’s other inhabitants (primitive humanoids) from Dryg, a murderous beast, Solovar used both his powers and the advanced technology he disposed of to follow the hero’s energy trail to his homeplanet: Earth. Finding in the new world a suitable environment for his people, Solovar transported the entire Gorilla City in Africa, in the middle of a forest, chosing to keep it hidden from the planet’s dominant species, solovarcomics1the humans: he found out that gorillas on that planet were a non-sentient and not evolved species, so he preferred not to scare humans with his and his people’s presence. Under Solovar’s guidance, Gorilla City kept prospering, away from other civilizations’ sight. A beloved ruler, King Solovar found no opposition in his country…but for one power-hungry gorilla, Grodd, who publicly and privately challenged him. Albeit potentially dangerous, Grodd didn’t represent any immediate threat to Solovar, as the King’s mental powers made him superior to any adversary…but that was something Grodd wanted to fix soon, as he started to investigate on the ruler to learn the secret of his telepathy. One day, while walking in the forest, Solovar was surrounded by human hunters, who shot him with a tranquillizer and brought him to a zoo in Central City, in the USA. Still following his original policy of not scaring the humans, Solovar pretended to be a regular gorilla, never revealing to be intelligent and capable of speaking…until Grodd arrived in Central City as well, still wanting to learn the secret of his powers and claim the throne for himself.

Finding Solovar in the zoo, Grodd was able to steal the Force of Mind from him, rushing to return to Gorilla City and to take control of the gorillas’ army to start a war against the whole world. Solovar couldn’t allow this, so he decided to stop pretending and broke free of the zoo; he looked for Central City’s hero, The Flash, and explained the situation to him, hoping he could trust him, and asked for his help. Since both wanted to protect their people, Solovar and The Flash joined forces, and came back together to Gorilla City. Here, The Flash defeated Grodd by moving faster than the gorilla could think, and later left him to Solovar for judgment; he also promised not to reveal to the world the secret of Gorilla City, and the superhero and the gorilla king parted ways as allies and friends. Grodd was imprisoned and reeducated, but that didn’t work exactly well: when he ended his term, Grodd came back to Gorilla City, just before the marriage of King Solovar and the beautiful Boka (Solovar was widowed, and had a son solovarcomics2from a previous marriage, Nnamdi). Wanting to ruin the life of his rival, Grodd used what had remained of his stolen powers to make Boka fall in love with him, so the female gorilla left Solovar the day before marrying him, and married his worst enemy instead. Surely heartbroken, Solovar watched Grodd obtaining the throne thanks to his marriage with Boka, but when the evil gorilla left to conquer Central City, never coming back after being defeated once again by The Flash, Solovar reclaimed his title as king, and resumed guiding his people to a new age. Finally, when the cohabitation with humans looked possible, Solovar decided to completely change his former policy, and to stop using the advanced technology of Gorilla City to hide it from the rest of the world. He opened the city’s borders, and revealed to humans the existence of the hyper-intelligent gorillas. He even formed a political delegation, and travelled to New York City to ask to the United Nations for membership. Starting a diplomatic tour, Solovar became the frontman of inter-species dialogue and alliance, calling for peace between humans and gorillas. Maybe, the time truly had come for the two races to build a better, common future together…if the racist groups from both sides allowed it.

King Solovar is a wise and intelligent gorilla, a skilled leader who only wishes for the best for his people. Not only he possesses the superhuman strenght and durability of his race, but he also wields the Force of Mind, that grants him unique telepathic powers (among which the mind-control Grodd seeks). Strong-willed and determined, Solovar is also adaptable, and when the tide changes he’s also ready to modify his life-long policy to embrace a new way of doing things, always hoping for a brighter future for his people: he’s a king who not only wants to make history, but who’s willing to follow its evolution and to accompany Gorilla City in the inevitable transition to a nation linked to the others on the planet.

Clive Yorkin

cliveyorkinfilmTonight in The Flash we’re going to meet a brand new (obviously villainous) metahuman, and we already got a first look of him in the promo. In Untouchable, the apparently doomed Iris is caught in the crossfire between her father Joe and serial killer Clive Yorkin, portrayed by Matthew Kevin Anderson…and that’s not good at all, since Yorkin possesses the power to make everything he touches decay at an incredible speed. Iris is touched very briefly, so the process seems to be slowed on her…but things don’t look too good nevertheless. It’s curious to see Yorkin appear at this point in the story, especially considering what role he has in the comics in a particular storyline, telling the death of Iris herself… Let’s see together.

Clive Yorkin had never been what you’d call a “good man”. Born in Central CityMissouri, Yorkin was a natural psychopath, and became pretty famous in his city for his many deeds, which included arson, murder and some robberies from time to time to make a little money. Finally, CCPD managed to arrest the maniac, and Yorkin was obviously condemned to a life sentence, which threatened to take away from him the thing he enjoyed the most of all: killing people. Luckily (?), in those days in Iron Heights there was a new scientist working with/on the inmates, Doctor Nephron, who had probably watched A Clockwork Orange one time too many, and he had devised a machine which could, theoretically, force a criminal’s brain to associate crime with pain. Not really interested in the process, but catchin the one occasion he had to leave prison, Yorkin volunteered, and Nephron happily accepted him as a subject: if his Nephron Process worked on someone like Yorkin, it could work on anybody. The experiment proceeded as planned, but there was something Nephron didn’t realise: Yorkin’s pain and pleasure centers were reversed in his brain, and that’s why he enjoyed cliveyorkincomics1violence so much; the Nephron Process seriously hurt him, and was slowly driving him insane. Having heard of the experiment, The Flash came to Iron Heights to watch, but as soon as he saw the killer in pain, her told Nephron to interrupt the experiment…something that he didn’t. The process failed horribly, and not only Yorkin didn’t become a law abiding citizen in a moment, he got even madder than before…and he gained the ability to absorb energy from whoever he touched, gaining strength from their emotions and life-force. As a beginning, Yorkin freed himself from the device, and strapped Nephron to it, changing the settings so that the machine fried the scientist’s brain. Then, he escaped from prison, having the entire city as his personal hunting preserve. A whole new level killing spree was about to begin.

Clive Yorkin resumed his favourite activity, and killed many by draining them of their energy, becoming incredibly strong. When he approached a woman dressed as Batgirl (actually Iris West, coming back from a masquerade), he was quite surprised to see the woman drop dead before him before he could even touch her. The Flash, however, found him standing over Iris’ dead body, and he believed he had killed her. Yorkin managed to get away just because The Flash had been previously poisoned. In the following days, Yorkin didn’t exactly keep a low profile, continuing with his murderous spree, but his newfound ability to detect emotions allowed him to escape capture over and over again. He battled The Flash once again, attacking him when he was interrogating Heat Wave, believing him to be the poisoner: after draining some energy from the arsonist, leaving him unconscious, Yorkin did the same with the hero, but when he was about to finish him, The Flash thought of his dead wife Iris, overwhelming Clive with positive emotions…which he found disgusting, to the point that he let him go and fled. The murderer was soon after found in his hideout by a young psychic, Melanie, who had traced him with her powers…but when she tried to tame him with her psychic abilities she found out she couldn’t reach the brute’s mind, being totally at his mercy. Yorkin started to drain Melanie as well, but The Flash cliveyorkincomics2arrived, telepathically called by the girl. Unable to restrain herself, Melanie poured all her fear and panic on the hero, who was overwhelmed by these emotions…and became quite a tasty snack for Yorkin, who left the girl and attacked him instead. The Flash’s fear was as sweet as honey for Yorkin…but Melanie projected a vision of Iris in the hero’s mind, thus filling him with positive emotions that strenghtened him, and weakened the brute. With his power fading away, Clive Yorkin was no match for the Scarlet Speedster, who locked him in a sink hole, ready to be taken back to Iron Heights. The Flash believed he had caught his wife’s killer, not knowing yet that, of that murder at least, Yorkin was innocent…

Clive Yorkin is a deranged maniac, who takes an incredible pleasure from violence and murder. Thanks to a failed experiment, he possesses the power to drain energy from any living being, thus increasing his own strength and durability; he also possesses some kind of empathic telepathy, as he’s able to detect emotions, and to absorb them as well, enjoying particulary fear and anger, while positive ones weaken him. The Nephron Process took away what little sanity Yorkin still had, so now he’s a hulkling brute who lives for the carnage, a being of pure instinct who only hunts and kills.