Jackson W. Brice (Montana)

Another character’s name has been confirmed for the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, and it’s nobody anyone was expecting. We knew already that Logan Marshall-Green would have portrayed a subordinate of the Vulture, but now we learn that his character will be called Jackson Brice, quite a familiar name for the comics’ readers, as this is the real name of Montana, one of the Enforcers, among the very first enemies Spider-Man ever faced. In the show, Brice will be one of the scavangers who reverse-engineer several high-tech components to level up in his criminal activities, but in the comics he’s a renowned mercenary and a master of the lasso. It’s possible that this version of Brice will look to the animated The Spectacular Spider-Man‘s version, where he doesn’t get the Montana identity, but he becomes Shocker instead of Herman Schultz (who’ll be present in the movie)…but waiting for a confirmation, let’s take a look at the original one.

Not much is known about Jackson Brice’s early life: he was born in BozemanMontana, from an unknown family, and since he was very young he practiced with the lariat, until he became a master of it. Under unknown circumstances, he met Daniel Brito, an infallible marksman who went by the name Fancy Dan, and Raymond Bloch, called the Ox for his incredible strenght; the three of them had unique talents to put on the market and, wanting to capitalize them, they decided to enter business together as mercenaries, in a team of three they called the Enforcers. As a codename, Brice chose the name of his birth State, Montana. The trio earned quite a fame as goons for hire, offering their services to some of the most influent crime bosses of their time. At a certain point, they moved to New York City to enter the service of Frederick Foswell, aka Big Man, who wanted to take control of New York’s criminality. It was during this time that the Enforcers met the one hero who would have become their nemesis for a while: Spider-Man. At first, Montana managed to take him by surprise with his lasso, capturing him and restraining his movements, but eventually the hero overpowered them all, forcing them to retreat. Foswell, at the time a reporter for the Daily Bugle, was exposed as the Big Man and arrested, so the Enforcers became unemployed…but not for long, as they were soon hired by another kingpin-wannabe, the Green Goblin, who employed them in a desert battle against Spider-Man. Montana and his teammates nearly obtained a victory against Spider-Man, who was out of his usual environment, but the battle was abruptly interrupted by The Hulk, who was hiding in that same area, forcing the trio to retreat once again. When the Enforcers resurfaced, they had formed an alliance with Sandman to kidnap the Human Torch, and they nearly succeeded if it wasn’t, again, for Spider-Man, who intervened to save his friend. For the umpteenth time the Enforcers tried to defeat Spider-Man, this time working for Lightmaster, but things ended the same way as the previous ones.

Montana and the others didn’t want to start any particular private war with Spider-Man, especially considering how bad for business this was, so they soon tried to change their target, accepting a job from former industrialist Techmaster; this time, however, they were confronted and defeated by the mutant singer/vigilante Dazzler. Things didn’t go any better the moment they crossed paths with She-Hulk, who had them all arrested (luckily enough, in one piece). The trio came soon out of jail, but they suffered a loss as Ox fell victim to Karl Stragg, a scientist who apparently killed him in an effort to swap bodies with him; Montana and Fancy Dan recruited Raymond’s brother, Ronald Bloch, as the new Ox, and they resumed their business, entering Mr. Fear‘s services in his war to conquer Hell’s Kitchen. Obviously, Daredevil confronted the trio almost immediately, but he wasn’t a target, as the Enforcers primarily destroyed the activities of Fear’s rivals…who, however, had mercenaries on their own, as Montana discovered as he was faced by The Wrecker, a goon empowered by an enchanted weapon: as he soon found out, criminals were not so careful about his integrity as heroes were, and Montana barely made it out alive. In hospital he rejoined Fancy Dan, who had met the Wrecker after him, and the two escaped together, only to discover that Mr. Fear had lost the war. This, however, was not such a big problem, as the winner, The Hood, required their services instead. Montana didn’t like to work for the demonic crimeboss the least, and he often complained about how creepy he was, and how he always appeared out of thin air when someone was speaking about him. Plus, serving The Hood exposed them all to unusual supernatural threats, as they found out when Satana mind-controlled them to do her bidding, luckily enough releasing them all alive and well when they did what they had been ordered to. When The Hood lost his empire, the Enforcers came back to New York, just as Spider-Man was on a rampage, looking for the killer of Lily Hollister‘s baby: maybe it wasn’t exactly the best time to be back on business…

Jackson Brice is a man of no principle nor honor, a mercenary who only aims to profit and who sells his skills to the best bidder in order to achieve it. As Montana, he’s a skilled martial artist with total mastership over lariat, and he can use his lasso in a variety of unexpected and effective ways during battle. Usually overpowered when facing some masked hero, Montana is nevertheless one of the first names people like Big Man, Kingpin or The Hood call when they need some old-fashioned street thug, a “job” he still excels at.

Thaddeus Bodog Sivana

Going on with Lucy W.‘s list we meet another historical DC villain, Dr. Sivana, the nemesis of the Marvel Family. Sivana is one of the oldest DC villains, born in 1940, and he’s pretty much the prototype of mad scientists in comics. As for now, he received only one live action portrayal, in the 1970s tv special Legends of the Superheroes: portrayed by Howard Morris, he debuts alongside an impressive number of villains in a new incarnation of the Legion of Doom, trying to ruin the party for Scarlet Cyclone‘s retirement celebration, and he comes back in the second part to participate to the roast of the superheroes held by Ed McMahon. In the comics, he’s much more menacing than this, and he’s renowned for being the first villain who expressly doesn’t have any problem in killing children (quite a feat at the beginning of comics). He’s one of the few characters who retained at least part of his biography going from Fawcett Comics to DC Comics, so we can reduce his origin stories to two different versions: let’s see together.

Thaddeus Bodog Sivana was born somewhere in Europe in 1892, from an unknown family. Growing up he became one of the most brilliant minds in the world, so ahead of his time that most of his peers believed him to be a visionary. The only one who encouraged him in his discoveries was Venus, his wife, who also gave him four children: Beautia, Magnificus, Georgia and Thaddeus Jr., children who inherited a part of their father’s character each. The scientific community, however, kept mocking him for inventions they simply couldn’t understand, and after the umpteenth refusal Sivana finally snapped: he decided to leave the very planet Earth, sure that humans weren’t worthy of his genius. With a spaceship of his own invention (one of the creations that weren’t supposed to work according to the scientists), Sivana and his family travelled to planet Venus (a homage to his wife), waiting for the moment Earth would have been ready to accept his superior intellect. Venus, however, wasn’t exactly a heaven of a planet, and Sivana’s wife perished there; embittered by his beloved one’s death, Thaddeus blamed Earth’s scientists for everything, and having to fight for his life every day of his life didn’t make things any better. When, some thirty years later, Sivana decided it was time to come back to Earth, he did so with one thing in mind: revenge. In the United States it was 1940, and the planet was engulfed in World War II: the best way Sivana had to obtain his revenge, was to put the country in danger against its enemies. With one of his machines, a radio silencer, he threatened to destroy all radio communications permanently if he wasn’t given $50,000,000. Anyway, there was something else new on the planet, appeared in the time he had been away: superheroes. During his first adventure, Captain Marvel intervened to stop him, vanquished his lackeys and destroyed his machine. From that moment, Sivana included the superhero in the list of the people he wanted to take revenge against, and becoming Captain Marvel’s living nightmare.

The universe was destroyed, recreated and rewritten, and Dr. Sivana along with it: when he was reborn, he did so much time later, in the second half of the XX Century. In this time, Sivana was always a brilliant (and mad) scientist, but he was also a renowned genius, rewarded with success in business and even in politics; also his family made it out to the new reality, but this time his wife Venus divorced him soon after the birth of their fourth child. He lived in Fawcett City, and he was easily one of the world’s richest and most powerful men. Some researches of his evidenced the presence of an ancient power somewhere in Egypt, and he employed renowned archaeologists C. C. and Mary Batson to retrieve what he wanted from an ancient pyramid; he also sent one of his lackeys, Theo Adam, along with the couple, instructing him to kill them as soon as they digged out the ancient power he wanted for himself. Sivana invested quite an amount of money in the expedition, sure that the final prize was worth any sum of money…but something went wrong: the Batsons found what they were meant to, Adam killed them both, but it was the archaeologists’ young son, Billy, the one who obtained the power, becoming the superpowered Captain Marvel (both Adam and Sivana recognised him, as he assumed his late father’s appearance when he turned adult as the hero). Already on the brink of bankrupt for the money he had lost on the expedition, Sivana received the finishing blow by Captain Marvel himself, who confronted him and destroyed his research facilities, ending his financial empire. For Sivana, this meant the beginning of a war, and knowing that his adversary was a ten years old boy didn’t represent a problem for him. With no resources at his disposal, Sivana formed an uneasy alliance with the alien warm Mr. Mind, but his humiliation grew as he was forced to ally himself with Captain Marvel himself to get rid of the parasite. Next, he joined forces with Lex Luthor, a kindred spirit who helped him get back on his feet and to elaborate a plan to utterly destroy the Big Reed Cheese‘s life (that’s how he called Marvel): the war had just begun.

Dr. Thaddeus Sivana is an extremely intelligent and brilliant individual, but also a ruthless and greedy man who only seeks power and dominion. With no superpowers of sort, his incredible intellect gives him advantage against any foe: a skilled inventor and engineer, he can create pretty much everything, from mind-controlling devices to death-ray machines, to his best known and most effective invention, the Unternet, a network system used by criminals all around the world which is completely undetectable and impenetrable by unwanted guests (including the super-hacker Oracle). Bent on a vengeful quest against a world who fails to acknowledge his superiority, Sivana is as dangerous as he is intelligent, a genius who’s devoted his science to utter evil.

Daniel Turpin (Brooklyn)

Next in Lucy W.‘s list comes one of the best known cops in the DC Universe, Dan Turpin, the toughest policeman in Metropolis. Just as many others, Turpin made his live action debut in Smallville, in Season 8, portrayed by David Paetkau: a young police officer, he’s a subordinate of Detective John Jones, and he’s partnered with rookie Joe Fordman…actually Clark Kent investigating on some crooked policemen. Turpin is initially a strictly anti-vigilante cop, but after cooperating with The Blur and Green Arrow to stop Talbert and the other corrupt colleagues he changes his mind. In the comics, Turpin is a long-time ally of Superman and one of the recurring characters in his mythology, with a story starting from the 1940s: let’s see together.

Daniel “Terrible” Turpin was a street kid born in New York City in the 1930s, one of the many street-smart children who grew up pretty much on their own, most of them (Dan included) being orphans. When World War II began in Europe, Dan was little more than a kid, but he wanted to make his part as well: nobody, however, was interested in sending children to war (quite comprehensibly, actually), and the US Army simply laughed his battling ambitions off. A single officer, however, took him seriously, and invited him to a one-time opportunity to make something of his life: the officer was Captain Rip Carter, the on-field leader and guardian of the newborn Boy Commandos, an elite group of children from all around the Western world who wanted to fight in the war like adults. Dan was the first American kid to be recruited, and he joined French André Chavard, English Alfie Twidgett and Dutch Jan Haasan as one of the founding members of the Commandos. The four orphans, under Carter’s supervision, accomplished many tasks the adults were unable to, thus making quite a name for themselves in such dire times; Turpin, deeply patriotic, chose for himself the moniker Brooklyn after the neighborhood he had grown up into. Obviously, being defeated over and over again by a bunch of kids made the Nazis feel quite humiliated, so that they targeted Carter’s unusual squad with unbelievable ferocity, but the Boy Commandos always managed to walk away from it with a laughter, albeit often changing their roster. Dan Turpin was among the only one of the original team who made it through the entire war, and when it ended, he came back to the United States as a war hero. Wanting to start anew, he didn’t come back to New York City, but he moved to the Suicide Slums in Metropolis, where he enlisted in the local police, having acquired a taste for kicking bad people’s butt. Albeit a young man, Turpin became quite famous within the MPD for being an extremely tough guy, who put to shame the local veterans with his incredible courage and his uncompromising attitude towards criminals.

Dan Turpin, who resumed his old nickname “Terrible” for both colleagues and thugs, was the scourge of Metropolis’ criminals, but the world was rapidly changing, as more and more superhumans popped around, crowding the city with heroes and villains alike. The MPD needed to evolve to respond to the threat, so the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit was created, a unit specialised in dealing with situations far too extreme for regular policemen to handle; needless to say, smelling a new challenge, Dan Turpin was among the very first candidates for the newborn SCU, and he was promoted inspector to join the unit. The veteran officer was partnered with Maggie Sawyer, a detective who was among the very few ones who can handle his harsh character with one that could match it, and the two formed quite a formidable couple, always on the front line even against threats they could not possibly overcome. While battling crime, Turpin had the time to had a daughter, Maisie, from an unknown wife, who eventually divorced him. The only woman Dan ever felt attraction for afterwards was Maggie, who even became his boss when she was promoted head of the SCU, but after finding out she was a lesbian he had to put away his romantic ambitions on her; he remained fiercely loyal to her, always standing on her side even against superior officers anytime her work was questioned. Despite being a subordinate, he again became quite a living legend when he battled an impossible foe, Kalibak, the rampaging New God: he assisted Lightray and Orion into fighting him, and eventually it was him who defeated the monster by hitting him with the entire city’s energy accumulated into a generator. Badly injured but alive, Dan Turpin became a role model for his colleagues, albeit from there on he had to learn to work alongside Superman and the other heroes in similar situations. When Maggie Sawyer moved to Gotham City, however, the SCU was entrusted to Turpin, as nobody could be a better candidate than he was: with Terrible Turpin as a leader, there was no supervillain the SCU wouldn’t have fought.

Dan Turpin is a tough as nails man, a no-nonsense cop who does his job the same way he did war as a kid. Feared by criminals and respected by his subordinates and colleagues (albeit he’s quite a pain in the back for his superiors), Turpin is an exceptional marksman and an expert combatant, who brings on the field an experience matched by nobody else’s; he doesn’t have any superpower, but his Simm-Bot armor, obtained from reverse-engineering a Kryptonian Warsuit, grants him enough firepower to face even superhuman threats…not that he actually needs it, as he does the same even bare-handed. A policeman like nobody else, Dan “Terrible” Turpin keeps fighting the same war he did in the 1940s, he just changed the battlefield.

John Henry Irons (Steel)

Happy Easter everybody! Today we select a fan-loved superhero from Lucy W.‘s list, one of the many who debuted as a replacement for the deceased Superman and who later became a widely popular hero on his own: Steel. This unlucky hero made his live action debut in one of the worst superhero movies ever, Steel indeed, where he was portrayed by NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. In the movie, John Henry Irons is a weapon designer for the US Government, who quits his job after his weapons cost his friend Susan Sparks her legs; when a rogue military officer, Nathaniel Burke, starts selling Irons’ weapons on the black market to criminal gangs, the engineer builds himself a suit of armor and a futuristic hammer to fight him and his new clients. This version of the character is extremely different from the original one, in both backstory and powers: let’s see together what the real Steel is made of.

John Henry Irons was born in Washington, D.C., and he was orphaned when he was still a kid, since his parents got killed in a robbery. Moving to his grandparents’ house, John became quite obsessed with protecting his family and his dear ones, and he came to the realization that the only way he could achieve it was by becoming rich and powerful. Gifted with an impressive physique, John became an athlete in high school, and he earned a scholarship that brought him to Yale, where he studied to become an engineer. Brilliant and creative, he was hired immediately after his degree by Amertek Industries, a renowned (and infamous) multinational company that was looking for a gifted ballistic expert. Irons started designing and developing advanced weaponry for the Government and for its contractors, and earned all the money he was looking for, sending quite an amount of his salary to his family: finally, he could say he had achieved what he wanted in his life. Then, some of his high-tech prototypes, the BG-60s, were stolen by a terrorist group from Qurac, causing a massive battle that killed hundreds of innocent civilians. Irons was sent on the scene to identify his weapons, and upon realising what his work truly led to, he resigned, disgusted by himself…but not before destroying the remaining BG-60s and the blueprints of their perfected version, the BG-80s. He then went into hiding in Metropolis, changing his name into Henry Johnson and finding a job as a steelworker: surely he worked twice as harder as before and his genius wasn’t rewarded in the slightest, but this way he could make amend for his past, and nobody was hurt by what he did. One day, one of his colleagues fell from a high-rise and John, trying to save him, fell as well. The workers were both saved by Superman, who grabbed them in mid-air and brought them to safety: when he thanked the hero for saving his life, Superman told him to make it count, and left. This single encounter deeply influenced John and when, months later, Superman was killed in battle by the monstrous Doomsday, the man realised it was his time to make something to honor the fallen hero.

Naming himself the Man of Steel, Irons used his advanced engineering to build himself a suit of armor, jet-boots and an experimental weapon, then he tailored a red cape with an “S” on it, ready to take Superman’s place; a psychic, Rosie Kratz, even declared that she sensed Superman’s soul was now inhabiting the Man of Steel’s body. In that time, other three wannabe successors were presenting themselves as Superman’s heirs (SuperboyCyborg Superman and the Eradicator, all calling themselves with different monikers previously attributed to the original Superman), but Irons had a precise target: someone had found his BG-80s blueprints, and was selling advanced weapons to the street gangs, someone he needed to stop so that his work didn’t kill anybody else. That “someone” turned out to be his previous coworker, Angora Lapin, who had become the arms dealer White Rabbit: it was while chasing her and her product, the Toastmasters, that Irons first met and battled the Eradicator, who called himself the Last Son of Krypton and pretended to be the real Superman, while killing criminals in cold blood. The battle for the right of being Superman’s successor excalated when Cyborg Superman destroyed Coast City trying to blame the Eradicator for it, forcing the Man of Steel and Superboy to join forces against him. Unexpectedly, the duo was soon reached by a reborn Superman, this time the real deal as confirmed by Lois Lane, who thanked them for keeping an eye on Metropolis while he was gone; Superman renamed Irons “Steel” for short, and along with him and Superboy made a move on Cyborg Superman: while Superman and Matrix Supergirl fought the Cyborg’s ally Mongul and Superboy stopped some missiles aimed to Metropolis, Steel himself battled Cyborg Superman, stopping his machine and halting his plan…only to have his armor wrecked by him in retaliation. Saved by Superboy, Steel lent his hammer to Green Lantern, who used it to defeat Mongul while Superman beat the Cyborg. After the battle, Irons came back to Washington, believing that his career as a hero was over now that Superman was back…but in the capital he was caught in a gangwar between Toastmasters users and Tar users, a situation that forced him to rebuild his armor and resume his Steel identity to protect his city and his family…

John Henry Irons is a selfless and althruistic man, who’s been moved his entire life by the urge to help and protect the ones dear to him; his sense of guilt for his past actions lead him to an often solitary crusade against weapons dealers, a task that he always considers a personal matter. As Steel, he’s a genius engineer specialised in weapons manufacturing: this allowed him to create a high-tech armor that allows him to fly and grants him superhuman strength and durability (nearly on Kryptonian levels), while his trademark Kinetic Hammer is controlled vocally by him, and can stop in midair to return to its owner; the hammer is a weapon that increases its impact strength by storing kinetic energy, and that can emit electromagnetic pulses with a variety of effects. Mainly powered by his incredible intelligence, Steel is a capable leader and a compassionate hero, possibly the best replacement for a living legend like Superman.

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…

Alpha Quintesson

The second character we can identify in the third trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight is apparently the big bad of this time’s adventure, Quintessa, voiced by Gemma Chan. In the movie, Quintessa will belong to the robotic race that created the Transformers, and she’ll capture Optimus Prime while he’s travelling in space…and apparently she’ll brainwash him and turn him against humans, convincing him that, in order for Cybertron to survive, Earth must perish, transforming him into a destroyer ready and willing to reform Earth’s atmosphere to make it another Cybertron (eradicating humankind in the process). In the comics the Quintessons are indeed the creators of the Transformers and some major antagonists, but there’s no Quintessa: the robotic woman in the movie seems to be a gender-swapped version of Alpha Quintesson, the tentacular puppet master behind the century-old civil war on Cybertron in the Dreamwave continuity, and whose many faces and split personalities resemble the original Quintessons from Generation-1. Let’s see together.

The being who would have been later known as Alpha Quintesson (or Alpha Q, for short) was born on a remote planet called Planet Q. We don’t know the name of the planet’s ruler, but he led his world helped by his trusted Grand Chamberlain. Planet Q’s life came to an abrupt end when Unicron, the world devourer, found it and targeted it as his next meal: unwilling to let his planet die, the king sent against Unicron his entire army, launching at the monster everything he had…but with no apparent effect, as Unicron wasn’t even slowed down by the impressive display of power. Following the orders of his king, the Grand Chamberlain sent a distress call to the planet’s allies, the Autobots led by Rodimus Prime, but nobody came (not in time, at least). Facing the inevitable destruction of Planet Q, the Chamberlain accepted his and his people’s death, but he tried at least to bring Unicron along: he detonated the planet’s core just while the world devourer was consuming it. The massive explosion failed to kill Unicron, but it was enough to damage him heavily, to the point of forcing him to enter a state of hibernation to heal himself. Of course, all inhabitants of Planet Q died in the detonation, but the king’s spark (his soul) inhabited the inhert body of Unicron. Incorporeal and alone, the king was slowly driven mad by the time passing by year after year, and with nobody to speak to his psyche was shattered into five different personalities, each one with separated characteristics and identities. Finally, using the remnants of his deceased subjects inside Unicron’s stomach, the deranged king created a new body for himself, one with five different faces who could switch place depending on which personality was in command: only one face remained hidden all the time, the original personality of the king, who only spoke when his armor was closed and he could hide himself from sight.

Naming himself Alpha Quintesson, the mad king kept studying Unicron: demented but not stupid, he was still one of the most brilliant minds from his world, and he found out that everything Unicron had ever consumed wasn’t lost at all, merely stored, ready for being reconstituted. And there was only one way to do it: energon. Energon was a natural and extremely rare element that was basically crystallized life, the essence of everything in existence: to give life back to an entire planet, Alpha Quintesson would have needed quite a lot of it. Not wanting to abandon what remained of his planet, but needing to collect as much energon as he could, Alpha Q found the remains of his heroic army and reassembled them into the Terrorcons, a team of beast-like Transformers, and sent them to Earth, where a huge quantity of energon was detected, and where the Autobots where battling the Decepticons continuing the civil war that had led their homeplanet to ruin. Seeing an opportunity for his goal, Alpha Quintesson recreated his former Grand Chamberlain in the form of Scorponok, and sent him along with the Terrorcons to take the lead of the Decepticons. Unfortunately the historical leader of the Decepticons, Megatron, had managed to resurrect himself in the time being, and he wasn’t happy to find an “usurper” in his place; trying to get rid of the unwanted rival, Alpha used some of his energon to restore to life Megatron’s enemy, Starscream, but his plan failed, and not only Megatron regained the leadership of his group, but he also exposed Scorponok as a spy. Needing to manipulate the conflict to be sure that nobody would have interfered with his harvesting again, Alpha Quintesson released his Four Horsemen, three Autobots and a Decepticon he had captured years before and brainwashed to be his servants. With agents on both sides, Alpha Quintesson could manipulate the conflict to move the battles wherever he wanted on both Cybertron and Earth, thus collecting all the energon he needed: it was just a matter of time before he could finally achieve his goal and recreate his world…

The creature known as Alpha Quintesson is a wise and devoted ruler, who only wants to restore his lost world and people…unfortunately, he’s also completely mad. With one personality (the blue face) being highly intelligent and wise, one (white face) who’s constantly happy and always tries to avoid violence, one (red face) characterised by a constant blood lust and rage, one (green face) cunning and deceiving and a last one (always hidden) who’s scared by everything and everyone, he’s quite unstable and constantly battling with himself. Mad or not, he’s highly intelligent and a superb tactician; he also possesses superhuman strength, durability and speed, and he possesses a variety of limbs ending in either sharp blades or firearms, making him quite a threat also in close distance, even if his primary resource is his long-time planning. A disgraced monarch from a destroyed world, Alpha Quintesson will do anything in his power to restore his lost domain and people, including manipulating from behind the curtains a planetary war…

Onslaught

A new trailer for Transformers: The Last Knight has been released, and it features a lot of new footage for the upcoming fifth chapter of the saga. Among the many robots seen there, just a couple of them is recognisable, starting with the massive Onslaught, voiced by a yet unknown actor (if any). Onslaught will be one of the new Decepticons following the reborn Megatron in his war against humans, and despite his massive size he appears to be one of the tactical minds behind the civil war raging on Earth. In the movie he’ll be able to turn into a Western Star 4900SF Tow truck, quite a huge beast…definitely not something useful if you’re meant to observe a battle from afar, guiding your teammates. Anyway, let’s just have a look at the original Onslaught, leader of quite a pesky sub-team of Decepticons.

The origin of Onslaught represents quite a paradox: when Buster Witwicky came in contact with the Creation Matrix (the legendary artifact containing the essence of the creator of the Transformers, given into possession to the Autobots‘ leader from generation to generation), it gave him visions of the future, a timeline in which four sub-groups from both Autobots and Decepticons were able to combine with ease creating more powerful warriors. These groups, called the Special Teams, were the Aerialbots, the Protectobots, the Stunticons…and the Combaticons, led by Onslaught. In the vision, the evil Stunticons were battling the heroic Protectobots, and the first ones combined to form Menasor; the second ones combined in Defensor, and were about to defeat their enemies, but Onslaught led his team (BrawlVortexSwindle and Blast Off) to the rescue, combining with them to form Bruticus, an extremely powerful warrior. Unbeknownst to Buster and Optimus Prime, who were witnessing the vision, they were being spied on by Shockwave, that time leader of the Decepticons: Shockwave took inspiration from the vision and put all his team’s effort into the creation of the Combaticons before their time. Onslaught was born in the present, modelled after a future self that never came to be…but also his nemesis, Hot Spot leader of the Protectobots, was built before time. The two teams were created one the dark mirror of the other, and they found themselves battling each other time and time again. Onslaught proved to be quite a tactician, thus becoming a trusted subordinate not only for Shockwave, but also for the other leaders of the Decepticons, including the evil Megatron, who always regained control of his faction in a way or the other. It was while accompanying Megatron in one of his neverending battles against Optimus Prime that he crossed paths with Hot Spot and his Protectobots for the first time.

The two teams were battling near a computer lab, and the human scientist in it, Ethan Zachary, had an idea to limit the damage caused by the giant robotic contenders; he convinced them to continue their fight by transferring their conscience in a videogame of his invention, Multi-World, with quite some risky odds at stake: the leader of the loser team would have lost his life in real life. Megatron and Optimus accepted the challenge, so Combaticons and Protectobots found themselves challenging each other in a virtual world, level after level. Despite his tactical prowess, Onslaught found himself outmatched by his hated rival, and he would lose level after level. Finding himself losing the fight, however, Megatron used a cheat code, and after being destroyed in-game by Defensor, he came back to Multi-World, challenging Optimus directly. Optimus won, but he let innocents perish in the process, so he eventually sacrificed himself ridden by guilt. Despite the “victory”, Onslaught didn’t exactly come out with his head held high . He and his team kept fighting the Protectobots, but he wasn’t tasked with delicate missions anymore…until he was dispatched to kill Galvatron, a Decepticon would-be leader. The team travelled inside the volcano Galvatron was trapped in, but they faced a trio of human women who “myraculously” (they were actually controlled by Ultra Magnus, trapped in the volcano as well) managed to take down each and every one of the Combaticons…everyone but Onslaught, who managed to take the upper hand and to defeat the women. He was about to kill them, but he was stopped by the Throttlebots, a team of six Autobots who had come there in search of Ultra Magnus. Defeated and humiliated, Onslaught gathered his team members and started an all-out war on the Throttlebots, hunting them everywhere. He finally found them, but they were trapped in the form of a car, in a used car lot. Lucky news, they were being sold in an auction…

Onslaught is a cold-hearted warrior, a brilliant tactician who relies on his mind as his first weapon in combat. As all Transformers, he possesses superhuman strength and durability, and he can transform into a vehicle, specifically an anti-aircraft truck; he has an arsenal of heavy weapons, and he can combine with his fellow Combaticons to form Bruticus, who’s much stronger than the individual Decepticons, but also much dumber than Onslaught. Usually an observer of battles who keeps his distance to study the enemies’ moves and elaborate an effective plan, Onslaught is also able and willing to actively join the fight, distinguishing himself for ferocity and prowess: quite a brain and brawn combatant.