Nicodemo Darque (Master Darque)

Jumping to the last scene of the last episode of Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe, we find yet another character, the last from the web series. We learn that Roku wasn’t (obviously) working on her own, but she was merely the servant of Master Darque, portrayed by a yet unknown actor. In the finale, Darque claims that he obtained exactly the page he was seeking from the forbidden book Roku failed to give to him, thus promising a meek future for our heroes. Let’s take a look to the original Darque, who’s one of the few characters who didn’t receive massive changes from one continuity to the other in the Valiant Universe.

Nicodemo Darque was born somewhere in Louisiana in 1802, and albeit we have no information about any parent, he had a sister, Sandria, and the two were very close. The Darque siblings arrived in New Orleans around 1840, and here Nicodemo started studying the voodoo religion, spurred by a thirst for knowledge that forced him to learn as much as he could about life and death, their mysteries and secrets. Darque’s studies brought him to inflict atrocious tortures to small animals, believing that he would have grasped the secrets of life and existence through the knowledge of death and void, but there was just so much he could do by himself. His natural skill and potential, however, attracted the attention of Anton Quigley, an expert sorcerer, who was drawn to him like a moth to the fire. Quigley didn’t want any disciple back then, but he deeply desired Sandria for his own dark and perverted pleasures: seeking the opportunity, Nicodemo offered the sorcerer his own sister in exchange for Quigley’s knowledge, and the sorcerer accepted his offer. Darque learnt much from Quigley, and the more he learnt the more his body was modified by the dark energies he was learning to channel and control. During this time, it became clear that the magic energy Nicodemo was absorbing affected Sandria as well, and her body underwent the same metamorphosis her brother’s did, and she also became a living vessel of necromantic energy. This way, the moment Quigley tried to rape her, her simple touch was enough to scorch him; frustrated, the old sorcerer killed the girl, but Darque intervened, performing a spell with his own blood and resurrecting his sister. With this incantation, it became clear that Nicodemo had surpassed even his old master, and had become a threat visible to all mystics in New Orleans, especially to the mysterious Nettie Grampion.

Grampion, the Voodoo Queen and the leader of The Coven, used her magic powers to transform the gambler Maxim St. James into the first Shadowman, an agent that would have been able to keep in check and eventually oppose Darque. Shadowman successfully submitted and killed Anton Quigley, but by doing so he allowed Nicodemo to absorb all his master’s energy, making him even more powerful. Now naming himself Master Darque, Nicodemo had become the most powerful necromancer on Earth, and he used his magic to prolong his and his sister’s life far beyond their natural limit. Albeit making New Orleans his dominion, Master Darque traveled the world, learning even more powerful Black Magic and obtaining a dark but fully deserved fame, as he came to the conclusion that he had to destroy the rules and foundations of reality in order to bring along the primeval chaos that was the true and sole purpose of everything. During his travels he crossed paths with some self-proclaimed heroes such as the Timewalker or the Eternal Warrior, becoming a recurring adversary for them both. It was during his deep meditation that Darque sensed a huge concentration of power in 1991, a sudden burst of energy caused by an unknown source, and decided to increase his power even further to make himself able to wield that energy, that he came to call Darque Power. In the following decades, it became clear that the peek of energy would have been caused by the growing number of superhumans born in the XX Century, and Darque saw in them a great source of necromantic nourishment for himself. He tried to take control of the superhero Solar, but when he failed, he created a super-agent, Doctor Eclipse, who became Solar’s nemesis just to obey the orders of his master and generate more energy for him to absorb. Many heroes added themselves to the ranks, and they always found enemies that seemed to be perfectly matched for their skills…unbeknownst to them, Master Darque was always the one acting from behind the curtains, creating villains for the heroes and siphoning the energy from their battles, preparing himself to become powerful enough to rewrite all reality.

Nicodemo Darque is a creature of unlimited intellect and cruel cunning, truly evil incarnate who operates to destroy the laws ruling existence in order to turn everything into a desolated land of death and decay, over which he can rule supreme. As Master Darque, he possessed since his birth limited magical abilities such as levitation, persuasion and a telepathic link with Earth (Geomancy), but with his studies he obtained incredible powers, such as the ability to resurrect the dead, to make himself or others immortal, to kill a living being with a single word and to absorb its life force, to generate and manipulate fire, to communicate with telepathy, to fly and much more; none of this powers are his own: as a necromancer, he absorbs and uses the death energy of others (the Darque Power), so his strength varies and fluctuates depending on the historical moment. Even when he is “weak”, however, Master Darque has enough knowledge of the rules of existence to be an unprecedented threat, a being whose sole purpose in his immortal life is to bring chaos and death upon a world he just wants to watch burn.

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Shanhara

The third and last character appearing in the first episode of Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe is actually someone we already saw, albeit not on its own. The first time we see Aric answering to the MI6‘s call he’s accompanied by a floating sphere, that when touched becomes his armor. The sphere/armor is actually a sentient alien being, the other half of the superhero X-O Manowar, and goes by the name Shanhara. In the rebooted continuity, we learnt more of the alien suit’s origins, and it turned out she hadn’t always been that shiny and mighty. Let’s see together.

At the beginning, the Shanhara Armor was Shanhara the little girl, and she was born on a distant planet named Gennin. When she was still a child, Shanhara contracted a lethal bone disease that would have killed her in a matter of years. The girl’s father was one of the greatest scientists on Gennin, and he dedicated all his skills and intelligence to solve his daughter’s problem. Eventually, he created an armor that was the perfect synthesis between organic and artificial, a plant-tech hybrid meant to stabilize Shanhara’s conditions and heal her disease. Unfortunately, the armor did much more than that: it bonded with her on a molecular level, and started overruling the girl’s body. Unable to reverse the process, her father put Shanhara on suspended animation, and worked for decades on a possible solution…only, there were none. He woke his daughter up, telling her to let herself go: the armor completely absorbed her body, but her conscience still lived within it. To keep Shanhara safe, perfectly aware that many on Gennin would have tried to exploit the armor’s offensive and defensive abilities, the man sent her to another planet, Loam, inhabited by insectoids known as the Vine. Here, the Shanhara armor became object of legends, and the Vine even started a religion revolving around her. Time passed, and Shanhara stayed quiet and dormant.

According to the Vine’s religion, Shanhara was a gift from the gods sent to them to make their people strong and free: their sacred texts recalled a legendary hero known only as the Sole Wanderer who had received the armor from a sacred tree, the Hara Vine, and donned it to free the Vine from their enemies, the Torment. Millennia had passed since then, and the Vine were still waiting for another worthy warrior who could don the armor: everybody who had tried, in fact, had been mauled by Shanhara, who didn’t want to bond with them. While awaiting for their champion, the Vine became a people of warlords and slavers in turn, and caught many races under their dominion, collecting slaves from primitive worlds. As Shanhara was being transported in a shrine on a battleship to be led to the new warrior claiming the honor of wearing her, a human slave from Earth, a Visigoth named Aric, started a riot on board. Followed by the Vine and cornered, looking for the means to repel his enemies, Aric ended up wearing Shanhara…and the armor allowed it, choosing him as her new host. Shanhara (whom, oblivious to her story and true nature, Aric simply called Good Skin) helped Aric defeat the Vine and escape the warship, and much to their surprise, the Vine started worship him as their new champion and savior. After changing the Vine’s government into a juster one, Aric and Shanhara came back to Earth, where the two of them, known collectively as X-O Manowar, became one of the most powerful heroes on the planet. Aric’s barbarian nature, however, soon led him to do some things that weren’t exactly up to his state of “worthy” of wearing the armor, and Shanhara had to make decisions…

Shanhara is a girl doomed to live with her conscience bonded to a techno-organic suit, but she exerts enough control to be the one who decides who’s worthy of wearing her and who isn’t. As the X-O suit, she’s virtually indestructible, she can fly, she can interface with other electronic devices and with the brain of the user, and she can modify her appearance at will; she also grants several abilities to the user, including flight, superhuman strength and durability, energy projection, invisibility and enhanced visual spectrum; she instantly translates every language she hears to the user’s brain, and she also provides him or her with extensive knowledge over science, history, engineering and everything else is needed; she also heals the user’s wounds. A sentient weapon like the universe has never seen before, Shanhara seeks to change the galaxy for the better with her abilities, but to achieve that, she has to make sure that the one she chooses to be her wearer always uses her for worthy and noble purposes.

Jillian Mary Alcott (Death Angel)

The second character appearing in the first episode of Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe is also Roku‘s second hostage, as well as another character popping up from the old (now rebooted) continuity: Jillian Alcott, portrayed by Carlie Larson. The beloved daughter of Neville Alcott, Jillian appears in the show to be a perfectly normal girl, while in the comics she definitely isn’t: apart from being much older than her live action counterpart, she’s not even that innocent as she may look here, and she even takes a (temporary) super-identity at a certain point in her life. Let’s see together.

Jillian Alcott was born in England, most likely in London, the daughter of Neville and Jessica Alcott. Before she was even born, her mother underwent an experimental process and injected herself with a serum to grant her unborn daughter superhuman abilities; she was, in fact, the last test subject of Project Hope and Glory, aimed to create super-agents for the Crown, but the serum apparently didn’t affect Jillian at all, and she was born a perfectly normal kid. When she was still very young, her mother, who was a spy for the MI6, died during a mission, and Jillian grew up with her father only, who in turn was a high officer from the British Intelligence. With such parents, it was almost inevitable that she joined the Intelligence as well, and she had all the skills to do so. She joined MI5, and there she met Charles Mirren, a skilled agent she fell in love with. The two got married, but it turned out Mirren was a violent and abusive husband, and Jillian was still far too young and naive to take a stand against him. She eventually managed to leave him, but that took quite an emotional strand on her. She moved from MI5 to MI6, and she started working directly for her father, who was now the head of the agency, still working on the superhumans project. Jillian became his liaison officer with agents with super abilities, like Colin King, Angelo Mortalli and Gilad Anni-Padda, managing to create a curious bond with the lot of them…especially with one.

With time, Jillian became particularly close to Angelo, codename Bloodshot, and the two even became lovers. Theoretically this wasn’t allowed between agents, but they just kept it secret, until the cat came out of the bag on its own during a dangerous mission in Colombia. Jillian was accompanying Bloodshot in his hunt for a dangerous terrorist organization connected to drug dealers, but during a massive shootout she was mortally wounded. With no other option at hand, Bloodshot injected some of the nanites that empowered him in his lover, with not much hope in her recovery: the nanites, in fact, usually killed anyone but him. It turned out that Project Hope and Glory had not been a waste of time and resources on Jillian, as she was able to survive the nanites and to actually use them. As she healed completely from her wound, she was however sick, with her body striving to adapt to the nanites, and Bloodshot had to synthesize a cure for her condition. It worked, but it had some curious side effects: Jillian’s muscles and bone structure grew, her skin turned white and her hair turned auburn. She had become a female version of Bloodshot, inheriting all his powers, including the ability to control electronics. After years of supervising super-agents, Jillian finally became one herself, and she christened herself Death Angel, working as one of MI6’s most efficient resources. In this time, her father lost his position as head of MI6, and Charles Mirren took his place; as Bloodshot resigned as a result, Mirren tried to rekindle his relationship with Jillian, but she was stronger this time, and she slapped him back, threatening him if she dared come close to her again. In a matter of months, she also found out another important change in herself: she didn’t actually have the power to control electronics, that was granted to her by her peculiar condition…as she was expecting Bloodshot’s twins.

Born in a world of spies, Jillian Alcott has been trained since her childhood to use her remarkable intelligence and cleverness to read other people, to understand them and to use that knowledge for her own purposes, either good or bad. Strong and resourceful, she always wants to prove herself with challenges many would deem out of her reach. As the Death Angel, she’s incredibly strong, fast and agile, she can heal almost instantly from virtually any wound or damage, and she’s an expert in a variety of combat styles; during her pregnancy, she also possessed the power to remotely control electronic devices. A former desk officer turned field agent, Jillian knows and masters every field and aspect of espionage, becoming the perfect tool to be used against all enemies of the Crown…a true Death Angel.

Jessica Louise Alcott

Finally I managed to watch Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe, and there’re still some characters we didn’t spot in the trailers. As usual, we’ll alternate them with others who’ll appear from now on elsewhere. The first one appears in the premier, and is Susan Alcott, portrayed by Katelyn Statton. She’s Neville Alcott‘s ex-wife, and she’s kidnapped by Roku alongside her daughter to be used as leverage on Ninjak. This is quite a surprise, as Susan, whose original name is actually Jessica, is a character who comes from the original Valiant continuity, rather than from the new one. And no, she’s not as defenseless as she appears in the web series. Let’s see together.

Jessica, maiden name unknown, was born somewhere in Great Britain around the 1920s. As a young woman, she followed with apprehension the start and development of World War II, but like many of her peers, instead of crawling somewhere to hide waiting for the end, she decided to react and do something, joining the war effort by becoming a nurse. She assisted many wounded soldiers, but there was one in particular who conquered her heart and mind: Neville Alcott, a survivor from Dunkirk, who had suffered a severe back wound that would have forced him to move on a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Jessica assisted Neville during his recovery, and the two fell in love in the process. They eventually got married, and when the British Intelligence came to recruit Neville after his stay in the military hospital, he insisted that his wife followed him, and so she did. Also Jessica was trained as a spy, and she actually became an impressive field agent, doing everything her husband couldn’t anymore. She supported even Neville’s most bizarre projects, as she did years later, when he launched Project Hope and Glory, a program aimed to create enhanced human beings to be used as agents. Jessica assisted in injecting a pregnant woman, Catherine King, with an experimental serum, and rejoiced with Neville when her son, Colin, turned out to be born with extraordinary abilities…but then the boy’s father, Jonathan King, refused to subject his son to any other test, and the Crown was forced to interrupt the program as a consequence. Still believing in the program, Neville and Jessica could think of a solution only: they would have continued the experiments on their own, using Jessica herself as a test subject.

Jessica injected herself with the same serum that she had used on Catherine King, but when she finally conceived a daughter, Jillian, the baby girl was absolutely normal. The Alcotts realized that the cause was probably timing, as Catherine had been injected with the serum when she was already several months pregnant, while Jessica had started too early, before conception even. Being it a way or the other, the Cold War needed agents, superhuman or not, so Jessica had to leave shortly after the birth of her daughter for a mission in East Berlin. It was in Germany that she met a sculptor, Aaron Herkovitch, who became her lover. Unbeknownst to Jessica, Aaron was actually a fellow spy, working for the criminal Webnet, but she would have discovered this the hard way. Years later, in 1986, Jessica was investigating on Project Rising Spirit, a program mimicking Neville’s one to create superhumans, and she followed her lead, once again, to East Berlin. In here she met with Aaron as usual, but this time he betrayed her, capturing her and delivering her to his true master, the head of Webnet Augustus “Doctor Silk” Silkowski. Neville Alcott immediately intervened, and he tried to negotiate with Silk for his wife’s liberation. Strong with the knowledge that Silk had promised Herkovitch not to hurt Jessica, Alcott tried to bluff, but the mad scientist didn’t react well to this, and he executed Jessica on the spot. The modalities of Jessica’s death, of course, would have haunted Neville, who felt responsible, for years, especially in his relationship with his daughter…

Jessica Alcott is a highly intelligent and brave woman, one who always reacts in front of adversities and danger. She’s a trained MI6 spy, thus being a multilingual expert in deceit, interrogation, investigation, and even more physical skills like marksmanship and hand-to-hand combat. A woman totally dedicated to her country, Jessica easily adapted to the life of a spy, enjoying some bonus such as the proficiency in lying and deceiving…

Neville Alcott

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

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

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

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

Jack Dominique Boniface (Shadowman)

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

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

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

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

Gilad Anni-Padda (Eternal Warrior)

eternalwarriorfilmFinally, let’s end the series of characters seen in the Ninjak vs the Valiant Universe trailer with another fan-favourite one, none less than the Eternal Warrior, who’ll be portrayed by John Morrison. We don’t know much of his role in the upcoming series, especially considering that we only see him running somewhere with his faithful sword and his usual attire. With him in the brawl, the series surely looks crowded, but we just have to wait for some other promotional pics or videos to see who other is in there, since the poster hints at an all-in from the independent comicbook company. Waiting for that, let’s take a look at the original immortal soldier (like as with all the others, we’ll use the most recent biography, ignoring the meagre first one).

The Eternal Warrior’s story is ancient as human civilization itself. He was born in Ur, the Sumerian city-state, in 3268 BC, as Gilad Anni-Padda. He had two older brothers, Ivar and Aram, and he was an extremely skilled warrior of his clan. The three siblings grew up together, and shared a deep bond: they also shared a number of adventures, always seeking fortune, thrill and glory. Eventually, the Anni-Padda brothers learned of the legends of an enchanted land, simply known as the Faraway, full of treasures and marvels, a place that granted access only on certain times…and the right one was approaching. The three brothers travelled to the Faraway, and they found the marvels they had been looking for. Among all the treasures at disposal, Gilad and the others obviously took also the Boon, an artifact that was allegedly able to grant eternal life to the ones possessing it…with a price. When the Faraway started closing its access to the three men, they rushed away from it, but they found themselves stranded in the desert, and Gilad was also wounded. They embarked in a travel back home, but Gilad had suffered too serious injuries, and the fatigue gave him the finishing blow: Gilad died in the arms eternalwarriorcomics1of his older brothers, just a few miles from Ur. Overcome by grief, Ivar grabbed the Boon, and made one last effort to bring Gilad back to life, managing to activate the artifact (actually an alien machine): the attempt resulted in an explosion, that sucked the life away from any nearby area, murdering the entire population of Ur. However, it did restore Gilad’s life, as well as granting to him and to his brothers immortality. The siblings got separated, each one of them finding a sense and a purpose in their new eternal life…with Gilad finding a neverending mission for himself, one that would have accompanied him throughout the ages.

Back home, Gilad arrived just in time to see his mother Anni being killed by his father, Padda: without even thinking, the man killed Padda, slicing him in half with his axe. Still mourning his loss, Gilad was approached by Cuth, Anni’s friend, and the old woman gave him a book, written by Anni herself: she called it the Book of Life, and it contained everything Anni had learnt in her life. Reading the book, Gilad discovered that the world itself was alive, and that it spoke to certain people, the Geomancers, to mantain its own balance; the Geomancers, gifted with amazing powers, could influence and guide humanity, favouring a peaceful relationship between living beings and the planet they lived upon…and Anni was a Geomancer. Gilad also learned that other forces, like Padda, hunted down and killed the Geomancers, believing they could harness their powers, or simply wanting to destroy them, preventing them from guiding the world to a brighter future. With this knowledge, Gilad knew what he was meant to do with his neverending life: he would have looked for the Geomancers (who only appeared one per time) and protected them against the forces who wanted to destroy them. With millennia in front of him, Gilad honed his battle prowess to perfection, and he started travelling the world (at first with his brother Aram, then alone when the latter decided he wanted a more peaceful and enjoyable life) to identify the Geomancer of the current time and to protect him or her from any harm: he had become the planet’s Fist and Steel, an immortal bodyguard eternalwarriorcomics2who wanted to safeguard the balance between humanity and Earth. It took some centuries for the warrior to listen to the voice of Earth as well, and to follow the planet’s instructions to locate the new Geomancer: the first one we know he found was a man from TibetAnqi Sheng, during the III Century BC: when he found Sheng, Gilad also met the one who would have become his nemesis, the Immortal Enemy, the champion of the rival side who reincarnated from era to era with the only purpose of killing Geomancers. Gilad’s eternal life had just become an eternal war, to be fought through ages for the sake of the planet: he was the Eternal Warrior.

Gilad Anni-Padda is a serious and brave man, committed to his mission and fully aware of its importance, even if thousands of years of infinite battles had tired him, and he’s much more disenchanted about the effectiveness of what he’s doing. As the Eternal Warrior, he’s immortal, unaffected by time; he possesses an ecceptional strength and an inhuman durability, and he can heal from nearly any wound; he has thousands of years of battle and combat experience, he’s a master of any weapon ever crafted and of every martial art ever conceived, a fighter with no match on Earth who can put to good use his infinite experience. Forged by pain, rage and loss, the Eternal Warrior fights a desperate war to save humanity from itself, a constant battle that he’ll keep fighting, no matter how exhausted he might be.