Neena Thurman (Domino)

Promotional images from Deadpool 2 are surfacing, and of course we get a look at one of the most anticipated new additions to the cast: Domino, the mutant assassin portrayed by Zazie Beetz. We don’t know much of her role in the movie, apart from the fact that she’ll be a mercenary, and that she’ll retain her unique ability from the comics, albeit it’s surely one of the most difficult powers to display on screen so far. Regarding her looks, she’s surely quite different from her comicbook counterpart, since instead of an albino woman with a black eye tattoo she’ll be an African-American woman with a white spot on her eye caused by vitiligo. Her appearance is intriguing nevertheless, and seeing her in the same pose of Deadpool in the promotional material for the first movie, using the anti-hero’s costume as a bear skin, is pretty fun. As always, let’s wait the whole movie before judging…and let’s take a look at the one and true Domino.

Neena wasn’t born in the most natural way: her mother, a woman named Beatrice, was part of government top-secret program called Project: Armageddon, aimed to create, through selected breeding, the perfect human weapon. Neena was the only one among her peers to survive, mostly because of her mutation: her X-Gene, besides giving her skin a chalk pigmentation, allowed her to manipulate probability in order to assure “good luck” to herself. Despite this, however, even Neena was deemed a failure by Armageddon, and fearing she would have been suppressed, her mother fled the base in the EvergladesFlorida, along with the baby. The two escapees reached Chicago, where Beatrice entrusted her daughter to Father Rudolpho Boschelli, of the Church of the Sacred Heart. Boschelli raised the child the best he could, but eventually Neena grew wary of the church, and when she was thirteen years old she ran away. With only her original purpose and her mutant abilities to count on, Neena became a mercenary, and changed her name into “Domino”. Her skills didn’t go unnoticed, and when she was still extremely young she started working as an agent for NSA. She earned the respect of her superiors with her first mission, during which she stopped Project: Jericho, a plan that saw a soldier remotely control a robot: Domino destroyed the warbot and killed the pilot, all without suffering the slightest damage. Apreciated by the high spheres, Domino was entrusted with a delicate mission: to protect Dr. Milo Thurman, a scientist far too brilliant for his own sake. Domino became Thurman’s bodyguard, and the two eventually fell in love. Thurman, a fan of Dante‘s Divine Comedy, started calling Domino “Beatrice“, stating that it came from the Latin word for “lucky”, jocking on her powers: Domino grew fond of the name, and she used it for a while. Domino and Thurman eventually got married, and were inseparable…at least until, during a raid from AIM agents, Milo escaped, believing Domino to have been killed. Without knowing where her husband was, with her mission failed, Domino left NSA and resumed her previous life.

As a mercenary, she joined the mutant group known as the Six Pack, and she first met the time travelling Cable, a man who would have changed her life. The two became close, then intimate, and Cable earned Domino’s trust and loyalty…even when the entire Six Pack was angry at their leader, since he had aborted a mission as soon as he learnt that the Six Pack’s contractor, Mr. Tolliver, was an ally of Stryfe, his personal nemesis. Between clashes with AIM and Hydra, the fight between Cable and Stryfe excalated quickly, until it destroyed the team: with Cable missing after his enemy, Domino left once again, moving on her own. It was around this time that Mr. Tolliver abducted Domino, and had the shape-shifting Copycat replace her. Copycat spied on Cable, who was now leader of the New Mutants, while the real Domino was guarded and abused by Pico Halfghanagan for over a year in a secret location in Italy. Domino was eventually found by Cable, who freed her and killed both Halfghanagan and Tolliver. The two escaped, fighting their way through Tolliver’s bodyguard Deadpool, then she joined X-Force in place of Copycat, in a sort of way taking her rightful place in the team. Domino even acted as the leader of the group during Cable’s many absences, and it was thanks to X-Force that she found Milo Thurman, who had been captured by Donald Pierce and Lady Deathstrike, who were trying to download his impossibly brilliant mind into a computer to weaponize it. Domino managed to stop the villains from doing so, but interrupting the process costed Milo’s life, so that she had to watch her husband die moments after finding him again. Domino also briefly joined X-Corporation, and when her friend Risque was murdered, she asked for the X-Men‘s help to investigate; the team-up exposed a plan from John Sublime who was harvesting mutants’ body parts to create a “third species”, the U-Men. During this investigation, Domino learnt that Project: Armageddon was still active and, wanting to know something about her mother, she travelled to Florida. In the facility she met Lazarus, a boy who looked just like her, and who was the true success of the secret project. Domino tried to save him, but she was faced by a religious cult known as the Armajesuits, who considered Lazarus an abominion and wanted to kill him. Once again, Domino faced a difficult choice, as she realised her long-lost mother was now the head of the Armajesuits…

A strong and tough woman, Neena Thurman is a warrior born, shaped by tragedies and hardened by choices not many people would have taken, and that she’s learnt to bear the weight of. Trustworthy and loyal to a fault, she can prove the best friend (or lover) for her teammates and allies. As Domino, she’s able to subconsciously use “micro-telekinesis” to affect probability in her field of vision, thus giving the illusion of causing “good luck” for herself and “bad luck” to her enemies: her abilities make her able to move in a storm of bullets avoiding each one of them, or to hit an impossible target or even cause unlikely accidents to her enemies (such as being struck by lightning), but they don’t work if she just stands still waiting to avoid incoming threats; she’s also an extremely skilled martial artist, athlete and markswoman, with incredible agility and reflexes and a nearly infallible aim; she possesses a war equipment varying from an extremely resistant body armor and Forge‘s night-vision lenses. Beautiful and lethal, Domino can be a blessing for any ally, but she’ll surely bring a lot of bad luck to whoever’s fool enough to oppose her…

Anne Marie Hoag

Finally, we reached the last character appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming, actually one of the very first seen in the movie. During the prologue, Adrian Toomes and his team are collecting debris and Chitauri relics from the site of the Battle of New York, but they’re interrupted by a woman who claims to be in control of the entire operation: that’s Anne Marie Hoag, portrayed by Tyne Daly, the director of Damage Control (a new department financed by Stark who takes care of removing alien, supernatural or high tech dangerous stuff from superheroes battles’ sites, and to rebuild any damaged property). Considering that it’s been quite a long time a Damage Control tv series has been rumored, it may not be the last time we see Hoag in action, especially now that the character has been entrusted to an actress like Daly. Anyway, as usual, let’s take a look at the original Anne Marie.

Anne Marie Hoag’s story is not an easy one to tell nor to find, as she’s always stated that someone’s personal history shouldn’t be made available for “public consumption”, and kept nearly everything from her early life secret. We know she was born in New HavenConnecticut, but we know nothing of her family; she graduated at Barnard College, but following that we have little or no clues about her works and activities: she worked for a while with Amnesty International, and she even obtained a position at the Smithsonian Museum and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the details are, again, unknown. In some way or another, she managed to become a curiously influential figure in New York City, with power enough to put pressure on the administration to face up to the increasing number of clashes among superhumans occuring in the country, battles that inevitably caused enormous damage to public and private property. Hoag was allowed to found an enterprise specialised in cleaning up the mess left behind by superheroes and supervillains, taking care of dangerous items, of securing the selected areas and of repairing the damaged property…as long as she could find someone willing to finance the entire operation, of course. Hoag amused everyone by finding two of the best possible investors, who found themselves partners into an uneasy alliance: on one side Tony Stark, the Avenger Iron Man, on the other Wilson Fisk, secretly the ultimate mob boss Kingpin. With Stark and Fisk owning half of the company stocks each, Damage Control was born, and Anne Marie Hoag set the enterprise’s headquarters in Flatiron Building. Authoritative and intimidating, Hoag put together a team of professionals she treated with an iron fist, but who she deeply cared for, arriving to the point of risking a bullet for them when Damage Control was threatened by The Punisher. In a matter of a few weeks, Damage Control was already famous all over the nation, as they showed an unprecedented professionality and ability in dealing with superhumans’ leftovers.

Under Hoag’s leadership, Damage Control made quite a name for itself, intervening even in cosmic-level issues (such as when they cleaned up after a battle with Galactus and the Silver Surfer), befriending some heroes (most notably Spider-Man, the X-Men and the New Warriors) and nearly entering in conflict with others (unfortunately, Hulk included). Hoag proved to be the right woman for the right position as she even tried to force a man like Doctor Doom to pay for the damage he had inflicted to New York while battling the Fantastic Four. Due to her experience and her proved professionality, Hoag was offered a job from the government in the Commission of Superhuman Activity, a position she accepted, leaving in charge of Damage Control her protege Robin Chapel. This change in the command chain, however, nearly caused the end of Damage Control: Stark didn’t want to be associated with Fisk anymore, while the other didn’t trust Chapel’s leadership, so they both sold their quotas; as a result, the rival Carlton Company took control of DC, and revolutionized the company’s methods and style to make it more profitable (angering a lot of historial workers in the process). Once again, Anne Marie took the matter in her hands to save her former employees and the company she had created, and she exacted a favour from an old friend of hers, Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., convincing him to invest in the company. As a bonus, Fury found out that the entire selling operation was put up by Fisk, who planned to buy the company for cheap later: along with other infamous supervillains, namely Doctor Doom, MagnetoWizardMandarin and Red Skull, Kingpin also organised an all-out attack on the superhero community. The attack failed, but Damage Control was hired to clean up the mess, and Fisk earned an enormous amount of money as Damage Control was his once again. Seeing what was happening to her company, but unable to resume her role as director, Hoag stepped in as the President of Damage Control, while the position of CEO was taken by some Walter Declun, an unscrupolous man who later financed the terrorist Nitro. As soon as the mutant Wolverine informed her of what Declun was up to, Hoag fired him, regaining full control of Damage Control. It was time the company came back to be what she had meant it to be from the very beginning.

Anne Marie Hoag is a no-nonsense, authoritative and mean woman, who’s able to instill fear in whoever she speaks to, and to command even the most influent people in the country. Beneath the facade of a harsh and uncompromising enterpreneur, however, lies a woman who cares deeply for her employees, and who’s truly dedicated to the mission of bringing order and solace where chaos and destruction hit, a mission she’s created Damage Control to accomplish.

Doris Raxton

We’re almost at the end of the characters appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and now we meet Doris Toomes, portrayed by Garcelle Beauvais. Spoiler alert: in the movie, she’s Adrian Toomes‘ wife and Lizs mother, and she’s first seen as Peter Parker comes to her house to get Liz out for homecoming (and that’s the moment he realizes the girl he loves is the daughter of his worst enemy). Doris didn’t know anything of her husband’s secret activity, and when Adrian is arrested she moves to Oregon with her daughter. In the comics, Doris is indeed Liz’s mother, but she’s got nothing to do with Adrian Toomes, albeit she’s connected by blood to another supervillain. Let’s see together.

Nothing is known about Doris Raxton‘s early life (not even if “Raxton” is her maiden name or if she took it from her first husband). She was most likely born in New York City, where she lived and she met a man who may or may not have been called Raxton. As it usually happens, the two fell in love and got married, and after a while Doris gave birth to her first son, Mark Raxton, a smart and intelligent kid who became the centre of her life. By the time Mark was born, however, her marriage was already at an end, and it was inevitable that, sooner or later, said end was made official by istitutions: Doris divorced her husband, and she left with Mark, looking for a new start in the city. Alone with a kid, Doris did her best to be a single mother, but it surely was a tiring task for her. From time to time, she tried to pull the plug and relax with some friends, and she attended a renowned club in the city, the Avenue Dinner Club…the place in which her life changed forever once again.

The Avenue Dinner Club’s owner was a distinguished, intelligent and polite man named Wilson Allan, and he showed quite some interest in the beautiful blonde woman attending his club. Also Doris was attracted to Wilson, and the two started dating. Wilson became Doris’ second husband, and the woman found stability again: the man was also a tender and caring father for Mark, and the three of them were a real family. Not much time passed before Doris was pregnant again: this time she gave birth to a beautiful girl, Elizabeth, and her family became even happier. Doris was proud as Mark became a skilled scientist, and she was also pleased to see that her Liz being among the most popular girls in Midtown High School. She attended Liz’s graduation ceremony along with her husband, and then was pleased to see that she had found a good man to marry in Harry Osborn. Things with Mark didn’t go as well, however, as a lab accident turned him into the super-strong, incandescent and deranged Molten Man. Things, however, would have soon turned tragic for Liz, Harry and their son Normie, and Doris wouldn’t have been able to do anything but to watch as her family crumbled apart…

Doris Raxton Allan is a good and caring woman, a loving mother for her children who likes to be part of their life and to support them. With a failed marriage in her past, she’s done her best to create a new life for herself and her family, and she managed quite well to do so…but life stored too many surprises for the Allans for Doris to counter.

Brian McKeever (Tiny)

The last student spotted in Spider-Man: Homecoming is Tiny McKeever, portrayed on screen by Ethan Dizon. In the movie, he’s the short Asian guy who’s playing chess while Ned Leeds does his best to sneak around in stealth mode, without much success; he also appears at the end, interrupting an emotional moment between Peter Parker and Happy Hogan walking out of the toilet. In the comics, Tiny is pretty different, a bully who torments Peter in high school, who learns to grow up as a different man. Let’s see together.

Brian McKeever was born in an unspecified part of New York City. Not much is known about his family, apart from the fact that his father was a heavy drinker, who was drunk most of the time. Constantly frustrated and unsatisfied with his life, Brian’s father used to vent all his grudge on his son, beating him up as often as he could. Brian, who felt ashamed because of it, never revealed any of it outside his house, and on the opposite he acted cool, becoming a bully and doing to people weaker than him everything his father did to him, a sort of self-defense that was aimed to protect him from the world. Growing up into a bulky and athletic young man, he was nicknamed “Tiny”, and always hanged out with the coolest guys around. When he arrived to Midtown High School it took little for him to emerge from the crowd; it would have been easy for him to become the “top bully” in the food chain, but there was someone fitter than him for the position: Flash Thompson, a guy more handsome, more athletic and more charismatic than he was. In Flash, Tiny recognised a kindred spirit, and even if the two of them never shared words on the secret they hid at home, they both knew they were living the same situation, so they got along quite well, becoming the best of friends. Tiny McKeever accepted to be in Flash’s group, and he followed him as a “leader”, supporting him in all his pranks and in all his adventures, whether it meant chasing after pretty girls or humiliating poor losers and nerds, especially Peter Parker.

Quite ironically, tormenting Peter Parker became a turning point in Tiny McKeever’s life. The more Tiny, Flash and their gang mocked him and humiliated him, the less Peter minded them at all, doing his best not to let the bullies to get under his skin. His strenght and self-confidence was admirable, and Tiny was the first to realise that the scrawny boy with big spectacles had more guts and self-confidence than he or Flash ever had, and he started to respect him. He was quite amused, actually, when he found himself being helped by Peter himself, as he was about to flunk the year and Parker helped him with his homeworks to raise the grades. Obviously, Midtown High had its rules, and Tiny couldn’t show to the others his feelings for the “loser” were different, but when Jason Ionello, another bully from his gang, stole Parker’s clothes when he was to the gym, it was him who chased him and took the clothes back to Peter. Then, his father’s abuses became even worse, as well as his alchoholism, and Tiny was forced to drop school and to find himself a job, being hired at a diner called Goin’ Fast. His life perspective wasn’t exactly rosy, but then something unexpected happened: Spider-Man came battling the Scorcher right where Tiny worked, and he lent a hand to the hero to defeat the pyromaniac villain. Spidey thanked him, and gave him a couple of advices that seemed aimed directly at Tiny, as if the hero knew his personal history. Inspired by Spider-Man, Tiny came back to school, ignoring his father’s demands, and was warmly welcomed by his friends, Flash especially. He managed to finish high school, and he was later hired as security chief at Empire State University. Maybe not as beautiful or popular as he was as a kid, Tiny was nevertheless happy, since he had finally managed to be his own man away from his father’s shadow.

Brian “Tiny” McKeever is a frail and insecure young man, who tries to hide his secret life of abuses and beatings with an attitude reflecting the one of his violent father. More mature than his peers, he’s ready to see through his and others’ appearance, and to change his life for the better with the proper help. The only thing he needs, is someone able to see the “true” Tiny behind the facade he’s built, and to hold out a helping hand to him.

Cobbwell

The last teacher seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming is one seen very briefly, Mr. Cobbwell, portrayed by Tunde Adebimpe. In the movie, he’s spotted during his own class, a lesson Peter doesn’t exactly follow as he’s busy trying a new formula for his webs. In the comics, Cobbwell is quite different: not only he’s much older than Adebimpe’s version and is Caucasian, opposed to the movie’s African American teacher, but he doesn’t even teach in high school (albeit Peter meets him there). A secondary character nevertheless, he’s however at the centre of several misadventures: let’s see together.

Not much is known about Cobbwell’s life, not even his first name. He was possibly born in New York City, what’s for sure is that he lived and worked there. It’s unknown how famous he was as a young man, but as an elder he was a famed electronics expert, always up-to-date with the new technologies, eager to study, understand and replicate the new inventions that day by day made the scientific landscape wider, and of course to contribute to such progress. He was an affirmed and respected member of New York’s scientific community, and once he received a warm recomendation from one of his friends and colleagues, science teacher Raymond Warren, who sent one of his most brilliant students, Peter Parker, to him for an internship. Warren himself introduced Parker to Cobbwell, and the professor was quite impressed with the kid: he offered him to come to his lab on weekends to help him with his experiments, and Peter enthusiastically accepted. The two worked well together, and Cobbwell started trusting the boy. He even let him work on the experiment on his own while he gave lectures at several institutes, and once he asked him to pick a radio from a ridiculously cheap repair shop he had found some days before, Phineas Mason‘s shop. Obviously without suspecting anything, Cobbwell put in motion a series of events that led Spider-Man to battle the criminal genius Tinkerer, all over a repaired radio.

The cooperation between Cobbwell and Peter continued in the best of ways, even if the professor started noticing that some pieces of technology were missing from his lab. His suspicions unfortunately became true when a student from Midtown High SchoolFlash Thompson, informed Principal Davis and Counselor Flannigan that Peter Parker had been stealing things from Cobbwell’s lab. Parker didn’t deny the fact, losing all the faith the professor had in him, even if he tried to apologize. Unbeknownst to Cobbwell, Peter was Spider-Man, and he had used the tech he had “borrowed” from his lab to build an anti-sonic inverter to defeat the supervillain Clash: all he knew was that a student he liked had exploited his trust to steal from him. He refused Peter’s apologies, and asked him to go away. The boy, however, was determined to make amend for what he had done, and he saved money for months in order to collect enough to repay Cobbwell of all the equipment he had taken from him; he finally made it, and came back to the professor’s workshop. Cobbwell, once again, was impressed by the kid, and accepted the check he was giving to him, but he remarked that he wasn’t taking him back as an intern. Peter immediately answered that he wasn’t repaying him having his position back, but just to make things right. Cobbwell approved, but still closed his door on the boy: as glad he could be Parker was trying to make amend, the boy was still a thief, and he wasn’t allowing him near his machinery ever again.

Professor Cobbwell is a cheerful and gentle man, a brilliant scientist who’s always ready to give a hand to young talents. Still passionate for his job and happy for his position, Cobbwell is one of the greatest experts in mechanics around, and a skilled technical engineer. A good man with a well-earned reputation, Cobbwell is a friendly and willing man, whose trust, however, is hard to win back once lost.

Morgan Edge

The ComicCon provided us also with trailers for the upcoming tv-series, and DC dominated the scene with an ever-expanding tv universe. In Supergirl Season 3 trailer we got a first look at a new antagonist, Morgan Edge, portrayed by Adrian Pasdar, a media mogul from L-Corp who’ll become quite a rival to Lena Luthor. The character already had three live action appearances, albeit two of them were different versions of him: in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace the corrupted David Warfield portrayed by Sam Wanamaker, who takes over Daily Planet transforming it in a second-rate newspaper, is clearly based on Edge, while in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Bruce Campbell‘s Bill Church Jr. is an amalgamation of Edge (he even possesses a tv station with a nearly identical name to Edge’s, Multiworld Communications) and Bruno Mannheim. Edge directly appeared only in Smallville, portrayed by Rutger Hauer and Patrick Bergin, as a crime lord from Metropolis who has a past with Lionel Luthor, and acts as quite a foe for both Lex and Clark during whole Season 3. In the comics, Edge has a much more sinister partner than Lionel: let’s see together.

Morgan Edge was born in Metropolis, the son of the wealthy media mogul Vincent Edge. Vincent wasn’t exactly a nominee to the “father of the year award”, as he constantly abused his son, teaching discipline in the most violent and brutal way. Morgan found tenderness and comfort only in his mother, but even that safe harbor was eventually taken away from him: one day, while the entire family was walking down a street in Metropolis, Vicent got angry at his son as usual, and started disciplining him as he always did: slapping and shouting. Morgan’s mother, not standing her son being publicly humiliated and beaten for the umpteenth time, tried to intervene, with the only effect of Vincent turning on her in front of Morgan’s terrified eyes. During the fight, Vincent pushed his wife with too much strength, and the woman ended in the middle of the traffic, being run over and killed by a bus. When the police arrived, Vincent forced his son to testify that his mother had slipped, and the woman’s death was dismissed as a tragic accident. This marked a turning point in Morgan’s life, as his hatred for his father grew to unbearable levels, but he was so afraid of him that he could do nothing against him. Eventually, one night, he climbed on his house’s roof during a storm, and shouted his anger and hatred to the sky in a mute prayer…a prayer that was listened not by the god he was thinking about, but by a god nevertheless: Darkseid, the cruel tyrant of Apokolips. The New God promised the boy he would have made him strong, fearless, able to stand up to his father and to get his revenge on him, if he only consecrated his entire life to him. Full of hatred for his father, Morgan Edge “sold his soul” to Darkseid, and from that very moment his humanity was lost forever.

Darkseid kept his promise, and he was for Morgan the father figure he never had, molding him into a ruthless man, who could channel his anger and hatred into a sharp intellect. As an adult, the first thing that Morgan did was to exclude his father from the media company he himself had founded, Galaxy Communications, forcing him to an early retirement and making even his public name disappear: for a man like Vincent, who had based all his power on media exposure, anonymity was worse than death. As the new CEO of Galaxy Communications, Edge became one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Metropolis, but he of course had to do the bidding of his master, Darkseid: using his connections, he created a criminal empire in the underworld of Metropolis, and he even provided street criminals with futuristic weapons from Apokolips. The result was the origin of Intergang, one of the most dangerous and vicious criminal groups Metropolis had ever seen, hellbent on creating chaos in the city without an apparent purpose. Edge always maneuvred Intergang from behind the curtains, sure that nobody would have ever connected the gang to him. Eventually, however, Edge discovered he had been deceived from the very beginning: the one he believed to be Darkseid was actually DeSaad, another New God, who had pretended to be his master to create random havoc on Earth, using Edge as a puppet and making him promises he would have never been able to keep. If this wasn’t enough, two journalists from the Daily Planet were on Edge’s trails: Clark Kent and Cat Grant, who were following unexpected leads to connect Galaxy Communications to Intergang (the latter as an insider). Edge was exposed and imprisoned, and even Vincent came back to resume control over GC: Morgan, however, was a master of the power of the media, and a prison wasn’t able to keep him from using what he had learnt to destroy his enemies, even from afar…

Morgan Edge is an unscrupolous and ruthless man, a highly intelligent businessman created by his father’s abuses and DeSaad’s lies. A media mogul who knows how to twist facts in order to manipulate the public opinion, Edge is one of the most dangerous men alive as long as he has access to a computer or a camera, using his intellect and his charisma to shape the world into a distorted version of it, also managing to appear a hero at the eyes of people as he does it…usually making the true heroes appear as criminals, of course.

Seymour O’Reilly

Nearly every student we see in Spider-Man: Homecoming has a history in the comics, and the skinny guy seen in the gym, the one who believes Spider-Man wears a mask because he’s horribly disfigured, makes no exception. That’s Seymour O’Reilly, portrayed by J. J. Totah. He’s seen just a couple of times as a member of Liz Allan‘s group, and in the comics as well he’s nothing more than a background character, who received a name many issues after his first appearance. The only memorable thing about his entire publication life is his end, the appropriate one for an unberable punk like him: let’s see together.

Seymour O’Reilly was born in QueensNew York City, possibly in Forest Hills. When he was a kid he had many friends, among which Peter Parker: he was even one of Peter’s best friends, attending his eleventh birthday party (one of Peter’s best memories of his childhood)…quite ironic, considering that he became one of Peter’s greatest torments in Midtown High School. As a teenager, in fact, Seymour became, as well as many of his old friends, quite obsessed with popularity, and he chose the easiest way to obtain it: to stick to the most popular, funny and energetic guy in school, Flash Thompson, and to become his “yes man”. When Flash chose the “bookworm” Parker as his favourite target, Seymour turned on his former friend, and started tormenting him, hoping to gain Flash’s approval for it. He didn’t lose an occasion for provoking or taunting Peter, and from making fun of his interest for science to teasing him while other kids beat him, he always had something sharp to say to him…always hidden behind someone else’s back, of course. Obviously, when Flash became the greatest fan of Spider-Man, the new hero in town, Seymour followed him in this new passion, and he was (almost) in the first line cheering for the hero as he battled Sandman in Midtown High’s corridors. Ironically, he mocked Peter Parker (who actually was Spider-Man) immediately after because he ran away from a fight with Flash. His highest moments in life were probably when he organised a prank on Peter, helping Flash to dress as Spider-Man to scare him, and when he obtained an official boxing match between Parker and Flash…even if this one didn’t end exactly like he had imagined.

With Seymour repeating over and over to Flash not to end the fight too quickly, O’Reilly was quite shocked in seeing Parker knocking his hero out with a single punch, but he eventually accused Peter of cheating, accusing him of hitting Flash when he wasn’t even looking, distracted by the havoc created by the Living Computer. All Seymour’s life was limited to school, and all his school’s life was connected to Flash Thompson: his only “evasion” were his fishing trips with his grandfather to Empire Lake. Considering this, it was almost inevitable that he turned out to be nearly the only one from his class to never grow up: even after graduation, he remained the stupid, arrogant bully he had always been. He grew old, he became a grown up man, he got himself a tattoo on his right arm, but he remained a childish prick. During the first reunion of Midtown High School he attended to, he even tried to stick a “Kick me” sign onto someone’s back, with the only result of receiving a well-earned punch to the face. Accomplishing pretty much nothing in life, Seymour kept living as if he was still in high school, mantaining the same attitude and the same social rules, something that became blatant during the following Midtown High reunion. This time, Peter Parker attended along with his wife…the beautiful super-model Mary Jane Watson: this was simply wrong for Seymour’s perspective, and he grew extremely jealous of Parker, who dared to break the social rules he had been living all his life following. He gathered two other bullies of the old times, Charlie and Ernie, to punish him, and tried to give Parker a wedgie, but Peter easily fended them off. His pranks were interrupted by Angelo Fortunato, the new Venom, who broke in wanting to kill Spider-Man…and Seymour saw in amusement as Peter Parker revealed himself as the hero. Before he could even think of telling this to someone else, Seymour had his neck broken by Venom, who used him as a projectile against Spider-Man. A pathetic end for a pathetic man.

Seymour O’Reilly is a mean-spirited young man, a coward who lives as a parasite on other people’s popularity and strenght and who imposes himself only over the weak and defenseless ones. Even as an adult, he’s still the dumb and overbearing bully he was as a kid, a man who lives in the past just because he’s unable to get a real life after high school.