Carol Ferris (Star Sapphire)

Next character in Lucy W.‘s list is quite a major one in Green Lantern‘s mythology: Carol Ferris, the eternal love interest of Hal Jordan. She appears in the Green Lantern movie portrayed by Blake Lively; in here, she’s a childhood friend of Hal, and she’s the first one to recognize him under the mask of Green Lantern; she also has a long friendship with Hector Hammond, who’s romantically interested in her as well. In Man of Steel and its sequel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeChristina Wren portrays a US Air Force officer named Carrie Farris, who’s obviously a nod to Carol Ferris. In the DC Extended Universe continuity she’s General Swanwick‘s assistant, and apparently she doesn’t possess her own aviation company like her comicbook counterpart. However, she’s still in time to become a supervillain (or superhero, depending on the moment) like the original one: let’s see together.

Carol Ferris was born in Coast CityCalifornia, the daughter of Carl and Christine Ferris. Carol’s family was the owner of Ferris Aircraft, one of the most important aviation companies in the country, and since her childhood she was trained by her father to take his place at the lead of the family business. Since she was very young, she was appointed Vice-President of the company, but her real passion was flying, and she learnt everything she could on how to fly a plane. She became friends with Hal Jordan, the son of one of Ferris Aircraft’s test pilots Martin Jordan (who was also one of Carl’s closest friends), and the two often were together, both dreaming of becoming test pilots like Martin. One day, due to technical problems to the plane he was testing, Martin had an accident, and was killed in a crash-landing: from that day, Carl Ferris was overcome by grief, and Carol slowly took his place in leading the company, giving up on her dream of becoming a pilot due to the responsibilities her position required. Carl’s sense of guilt eventually made him ill, to the point that Carol found herself forced to step in as the new CEO of Ferris Aircraft when she was still pretty young; out of respect for her father, she hid his sickness and told everybody that he had grown tired of his activity as a CEO and he had retired and moved to Miami. As the new President of her company, Carol hired Hal Jordan as a test pilot, since he had become even more skilled than his father, but the relationship between the two was somehow ruined by the fact that Hal still blamed Carl for his father’s death. However, when Hal discovered the truth about Carl Ferris’ condition, he forgave him, and he found in grief something he had in common with Carol: the two grew closer… but just as very good friends, since Carol, who surely felt attracted by him, had a strict no-date policy with employees. Hal wasn’t the only man in her life, as she was smitten also by the new hero in town, Green Lantern… without realizing he was always Hal. All that repressed love, eventually, drew attention to Carol, and some unusual one.

An alien race of women known as the Zamarons were looking for their new queen, and the mystical gem on the royal tiara led them to Earth, where they found Carol. The gem, a sapphire, transformed Carol Ferris into the Star Sapphire, the legendary Zamaron queen, but the woman didn’t want to leave her homeplanet to follow them: she still had much to stay on Earth for. The Zamarons soon found out that one of the main reasons for Carol’s desire to stay was her love for Green Lantern… who was an agent of their former companions and now enemies, the Guardians of the Universe. Fearing for their queen’s safety, and wanting to take her back to Zamaron, the aliens hypnotized Carol in the effort of making her forget her love for the superhero, and convinced her that Green Lantern was her sworn enemy. As a result, not only Carol didn’t feel any affection to the Lantern, but she even attacked him in the form of Star Sapphire, cornering him with powers that mirrored his own. Eventually, however, Star Sapphire was defeated… and the Zamarons decided that this was a proof that she was (still) unworthy of becoming their queen; upon leaving Earth, the aliens erased Carol’s memory of her secret life as Star Sapphire, but left the gem behind, as well as a subconscious knowledge of her powers and capabilities: this way, from time to time she reverted back to her Star Sapphire persona, improving everytime and slowly becoming worthy of the position she had been offered. In some years, however, the Zamarons realized that the gem was uncontrollable, since it was channeling something much more ancient and powerful than what they realized: the very essence of The Predator, the living embodiment of love. While in its pure form, the gem made people lose their mind and attack the object of their affection, just as Carol Ferris had done; the Zamarons tried to lessen its power by splitting the gems and forging the Star Sapphire Rings, artifacts fueled by love (felt, lost or rejected) which made their bearer retain their thoughts and personality. Obviously, among their first recruits there was Carol Ferris, the one who was still suffering from an impossible love.

Carol Ferris is a smart and strong woman, capable of great passion but always repressing her personal feelings for the sake of a greater good. Deeply committed to her family’s company, she’s a skillful businesswoman and a capable leader, but she’s also a proficient pilot. As Star Sapphire, her Violet Power Ring fueled by love allows her to fly and to survive in the void of space, and she can materialize anything she can think of in energy constructs, as well as create force fields and generate energy blasts. Now an agent of the Emotional Spectrum, Star Sapphire protects the universe and fights to spread love in the galaxies, making her oath be heard in every corner: “For hearts long lost and full of fright, for those alone in blackest night, accept our ring and join our fight: love conquers all… with violet light!

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Jenet Kylburn

jenetklyburnfilmWith the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice released (it didn’t change my opinion about the movie, sorry), we finally know who Jena Malone was playing in the now reinserted deleted scenes… and no, she’s not Barbara Gordon, as it was heavily rumored. The actress is Jenet Kylburn, a scientist from S.T.A.R. Labs who’s contacted by Lois Lane to understand the nature of a weird bullet she found in Nairomi. The scientist cannot identify the yet-unknown Kryptonite, and she later reappears to examine Wallace Keefe‘s wheelchair after the bombing: she finds out the bomb in the chair was covered in lead, so that Superman was unable to see it. In the comics, she’s quite a minor character, who works in S.T.A.R. Labs as well, and who aids many heroes in her job. Let’s see together.

Jenet Kylburn was born in Metropolis, a very intelligent and gifted child who grew up to be one of the most relevant scientists of her time. Her talent didn’t go unnoticed, and Kylburn was soon hired by the local branch of S.T.A.R. Labs, working under founder and director Albert Michaels‘ wing. Michaels taught much to Jenet, and she assisted him in helping the city’s hero, Superman, in many of his adventures. She even met other renowned geniuses, such as Will Magnus, whom she befriended (years later, she would have been by Magnus’ side when he unveiled to the world his “children”, the artificial heroes Metal Men). She gained the respect of all her colleagues, of the scientific community and even the superheroes with her discoveries, her remarkable intellect and her honesty, imposing herself as the most promising young genius in S.T.A.R. Labs… and this came in handy when her life was completely turned upside down. Her friend and mentor Albert Michaels was exposed as the Atomic Skull, the jenetklyburncomics1supervillain leader of the organization Skull (that he had worked for since long before obtaining superpowers). Now without a director, the Labs turned to her looking for a new guidance, and Jenet Klyburn accepted to become the new director of one of the widest scientific research holdings in the world. Being the leader of S.T.A.R. Labs, she kept directing them the way they were supposed to be, acting as a propeller for humanity’s evolution, and always at disposal for helping the heroes with their scientific problems: as one of her first acts as a director, she helped the New Titans and rebuilt Cyborg‘s damaged body.

With much more responsibilities then before, Kylburn started dividing her time between Metropolis and New York City, putting her expertise at her labs’ service. In one of these travels she met Josiah Powers, the metahuman businessman in charge of the Powers Company (which was not-so-secretly helping the superhero Firestorm), and she formed a cooperation with him, joining forces to serve their common goals and values; the alliance continued even after Josiah was sent to a coma by a gunshot. As a personal touch to her direction of S.T.A.R. Labs, she promoted the hiring of young female talents, who with time became some of the best scientists of the Labs: Kitty FaulknerSarah Charles and Tina McGee owned all their careers to Jenet’s policy. When the mercenary Shockwave broke into the Metroplis labs and stole from the radiation section a chunk of experimental “super Kryptonite”, Jenet decided that the superhero community could return one of the many favors she had given them over the years, and she enlisted the reluctant hero Blue Devil for help (she obviously didn’t ask Superman, since she didn’t want him to know that S.T.A.R. Labs were developing an even more powerful version of the only natural poison that could damage him). The Blue Devil gave the help he was asked to, jenetklyburncomics2and he battled Shockwave: despite the two superhumans’ powers nearly matched, eventually the mercenary escaped, leaving behind the Super-K and allowing S.T.A.R. Labs to retrieve it. Kylburn, grateful, returned the favor by helping the Blue Devil remove his costume, bonded to his skin: from that moment, Blue Devil started “working” for S.T.A.R. Labs as a hero on call of sorts. When Jenet was diagnosed a cancer, she finally faced the one enemy no hero could save her from… but she would have never given up, and she continued her work despite her apparently inevitable approaching death.

Jenet Kylburn is a brilliant woman, one of the greatest scientific geniuses of her time. She’s also an idealistic woman who aims to the improvement of the entire human race, and she dedicates her scientific achievements to this; despite working side by side with superheroes, her work sometimes puts her on a different path than theirs, but she doesn’t cower away from what she believes to be her duty, regardless of the public opinion or even of her friends’ opinion. After all, a better future for humanity is in her hands.

Steppenwolf

steppenwolffilmA few days after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released, WB surprised us with an early deleted scene, which showed Lex Luthor making some experiments with the Kryptonian ship, and ending opening what seems to be a holographic communication with a creepy creature with three Mother Boxes (and he’s the reason Lex freaks out at the end of the movie… not that he was so normal and balanced before). That would have just been the umpteenth set-up for Justice League, and the monster has been confirmed to be Steppenwolf, a high ranking officer from Apokolips‘ army. Apparently, Steppenwolf will be the big baddie in the first part of Justice League, opening the road for his much more fearsome nephew, Darkseid, to appear in Part 2. That doesn’t sound exactly a great plan, but as always we’ll wait and see. In the meanwhile, let’s take a look at the original Steppenwolf.

Steppenwolf was a New God from Apokolips, a fierce warrior who lived on the dystopic planet ruled by Yuga Khan. Steppenwolf was the brother of Khan’s sister, Heggra, and consequently he was close to the throne, a high ranking officer in the army of Apokolips. When Yuga Khan was imprisoned in the Source Wall and Heggra became the absolute queen of Apokolips, Steppenwolf was promoted to the role of commander of the entire army, and he was given a hover bike that represented a sample of the finest technology of the planet. Steppenwolf was also the mentor of Uxas, his nephew and Heggra’s son, who however proved to be a difficult disciple for him. When Uxas came of age, Heggra decided to give him in marriage to the princess of Bylan-5, a planet rich of natural materials vital to Apokolips’ technology; Steppenwolf was charged with escorting Uxas to the planet, along with Master Mayhem. The marriage was suddenly interrupted by the arrival of a hulkling monster, Doomsday, who started wreaking havoc on the planet: Steppenwolf briefly confronted the creature, but soon realized he was no match for the steppenwolfcomics1behemoth; even Mayhem got killed by Doomsday. Realising that Uxas’ Omega Beams were the only chance to defeat the monster, Steppenwolf ordered his nephew to use them, but the boy stubbornly refused, and preferred to engage Doomsday in hand to hand combat. The following clash of titans laid waste to Bylan-5, and every form of life was annihilated from the planet… excluding Steppenwolf, who watched in horror as also the precious natural resources Apokolips needed got destroyed along with the rest of the planet. Finally, Steppenwolf interrupted the fight, and teleported Uxas away, leaving Doomsday alone in the desert he had created; both warriors swore to keep the secret about what had really happened on Bylan-5, and came back to Apokolips, announcing that the marriage wasn’t possible anymore. From that moment, Uxas realized he could manipulate his uncle for his own goals, and he started devising a plan that would have directly involved Steppenwolf.

Some time later, Uxas managed to convince Steppenwolf to practice a new, sadistic sport: the hunt for the feeble citizens of New Genesis, the other residence of the New Gods. Without considering the consequences, Steppenwolf agreed to accompany Uxas in the attack, enjoying the carnage and the “uncle and nephew” activity; during the hunt, he cornered Izaya the Inheritor, the future leader of New Genesis (and a personal rival of Uxas’): when he was about to kill him as well, a woman, Avia, shielded Izaya from Steppenwolf’s blow, ending up being killed in his stead. Avia was Izaya’s wife, and the Inheritor was now bent on revenge: Uxas intervened, and apparently killed Izaya to protect Steppenwolf, but in reality he had just stunned him. Steppenwolf left New Genesis along with his nephew, but when Izaya awoke, he declared war to Apokolips, seeking revenge for his wife’s death… just as Uxas had foreseen. The war engulfed the two planets for years, and Steppenwolf led the army against the rival New Gods with brutality and efficiency… until he was given the order (by Heggra apparently, but actually by Uxas) to invade New steppenwolfcomics2Genesis with the Dog Cavalry. Obviously, learning that Avia’s killer was on his planet, Izaya entered the battlefield, and faced Steppenwolf in battle. The Apokoliptian was soon outmatched and killed… as Uxas had planned. Now, Uxas could kill his mother and claim the throne from her, without his uncle to oppose him and to protect his sister. Uxas obtained the throne, and renamed himself Darkseid, soon becoming one of the most feared beings in the entire universe; now sure that nobody could challenge him as the rightful ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid ordered his loyal minion DeSaad to resurrect Steppenwolf. Grateful for having been restored to life, Steppenwolf swore loyalty to his nephew, and obtained from him the lead of the army once again. Under Darkseid’s reign, Steppenwolf could completely unleash his sadism and his brutality, crushing a multitude of planets and reigns under his heel and adding them to Darkseid’s dominion.

Steppenwolf is a brutal and sadistic warrior, a cunning military leader who’s rightfully considered one of the most fearful combatants in the universe. With millennia of experience, Steppenwolf is an absolute master of armed and unarmed combat, and he’s deadly with any kind of weapon, even if he usually prefers to use a sword or his trademark Electro-Axe; he’s a proficient hunter, and an expert trainer of both men and animals (he personally trains the giant mastiffs and hounds used as mounts in the Dog Cavalry). As a New God, he’s an immortal who possesses superhuman strength, durability, stamina, speed, reflexes and senses, a killing machine capable of enduring any battle. The commander of the most cruel and dangerous army in the universe, Steppenwolf thrives in war, and brings death and blood wherever he goes.

Emmett Vale

emmettvalefilmFinally, time for the last character appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (it took less time that I expected): near the beginning of the movie, a scientific expedition financed by LexCorp collects items from one of the Kryptonian spaceships, sunk in the Indian Ocean, and retrieves also a big chunk of lethal Kryptonite. The scientist overwatching the entire process is Emmett Vale, portrayed by Ralph Lister, who disappears as soon as he gives the Kryptonite to his boss. The evil scientist already appeared in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, albeit he was split in two brothers, Emmett and Rollie Vale, portrayed respectively by John Rubinstein and Christian Clemenson. The Vale brothers were robotic engineers who created the android Metallo, and the latter even enhanced himself with cybernetic prosthetic. Now, time to see who this umpteenth mad scientist from the DC Universe is.

On Earth-1, Professor Vale’s past was pretty much a mystery. He was a renowned physicist and engineer, and somehow got all the resources he needed to perform futuristic experiments using human guinea pigs. He lived in Metropolis, where his cooperators brought him subjects far too wounded to be properly treated in hospital, and who he could experiment on without any friend or relative looking for them. One day, his men brought Vale an infamous, unscrupulous reporter who had had a terrible car accident, John Corben. Corben’s heart had been terribly damaged in the accident, and the man would have surely died in a matter of minutes. Vale, however, had some ace up his sleeve, and he used some experimental cybernetic prosthetic to replace the reporter’s missing limbs, and he even replaced the man’s heart with an artificial one made of Uranium, then covering everything up with artificial human skin. John Corben regained consciousness, and became the android known as Metallo: his emmettvalecomics1Uranium heart had to be replaced from time to time since the energy was quickly consumed, so the former reporter stole it from several power plants, entering into conflict with Superman for that. Vale, in the meanwhile, suffered from a minor stroke, but he managed to recover nevertheless, ready to help his creature in his new life. When it became clear that the Uranium heart was far too unstable, Vale found another possible source for its empowerment in Kryptonite, the alien mineral that was also a lethal poison to Superman. Professor Vale proceeded to replace Metallo’s heart with a Kryptonite rock the cyborg had stolen from an exhibition, and created a more powerful version of him… or, at least, so he thought, as Superman had tricked them both and replaced the Kryptonite with a normal rock painted green in advance. Without a power source, John Corben died of a heart attack, while Professor Vale was arrested for his crimes, thus ending both his scientific and his criminal careers.

After Chrisis on Infinite Earth, a new Professor Vale appeared, this time an astronomer and a physicist. The only aim of his research was monitoring the skies in search of alien activity, a task that with years brought him to paranoia: Emmett Vale was sure that somewhere in space, unspecified “aliens” were plotting to invade Earth, and that sooner or later he would have been the one to see the threat coming and to save the world. A night, he witnessed a space vessel entering the planet’s orbit: it was the Kryptonian Birthing Martix, carrying aboard infant Kal-El, the last son of dying planet Krypton. Sure he had seen the vanguard of the foreseen invasion, Vale dedicated the next twenty-eight years of his life on searching for the alien, but eventually he only found his spaceship, and stole it. Studying the ship, Vale found a recorded message from the alien’s father, Jor-El, that revealed the ultimate fate of Krypton, but he mistranslated it, and believed it contained the instructions for an invasion; he also found the remnants of an unknown mineral, which he called “Kryptonite” after the destroyed emmettvalecomics2planet. His studies on the Birthing Matrix also brought Vale to the conclusion (this time a right one) that the alien Kal-El and the superhero Superman were one and the same, and he dedicated his life to find a way to kill the Man of Steel and save his planet from an invasion it didn’t even know was happening. Vale studied Superman thoroughly, and discovered that Kryptonite was able to damage his otherwise indestructible body. He looked for a way to weaponize the mineral, and he found it in John Corben, a soldier who had been badly injured in a car accident. Vale stole his body, and replaced the missing limbs with cybernetic implants; he then gave the man a heart made of Kryptonite, making him a living anti-Superman weapon. When Corben woke up, Vale instructed him on his mission: to kill Superman, the alien invader, a task that Corben willingly accepted… but not before murdering his creator: he wanted no masters. Superman later found Vale’s body and lab, and he erased all trace of his work: the information the man had gathered on him were far too dangerous if entrusted to the wrong hands.

Emmett Vale is a brilliant man, but not exactly a balanced individual: driven either by his ego or by a crippling paranoia, he uses his remarkable intellect always for the wrong purposes. Convinced without the slightest evidence that Earth is threatened by an alien invasion which Superman is allegedly the vanguard of, he uses his knowledge in physics, chemistry, robotics and engineering to collect data on the alien and to build an arsenal of anti-Kryptonian weapons, the masterpiece of which is the cyborg Metallo, unfortunately just as psychotic as his inventor. One of the most gifted minds on the planet, Emmett Vale is the living proof that sanity doesn’t come with intelligence.

Silas Stone

silasstonefilmSecond character from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, another brief cameo leading to a wider DC Extended Universe. When Wonder Woman explores Lex Luthor‘s data on metahumans, she stumbles upon some security video from S.T.A.R. Labs featuring one of their scientists experimenting on his very son in the effort of bringing him back to life thanks to cybernetic implants (and managing to do that with something that looks a lot like a Mother Box): the scientist in question is Silas Stone, portrayed by Joe Morton. It’s more than likely that Morton will reprise the role in some future installment of the series, even if we don’t have any official source telling us when this will happen; in the meanwhile, let’s take a look at the original Silas.

Silas was the son of two famous Vaudeville performers, singer and dancer Tucker Stone and escape artist Maude, his wife. As a boy, he surely didn’t follow his parents’ footsteps, as he dedicated himself completely to science. Silas showed from the very beginning an incredible intellect, that put him on the same level of most of his professors in college; it was thanks to his studies that he met the girl that would have become his wife, Elinore, another scientist. Silas and Elinore got married, and they both found a job as researchers in the futuristic S.T.A.R. Labs, in the Detroit division. The two specialized in human enhancing technology, a series of projects aimed to bring human beings to perfection by triggering their hidden potential… and when they had a son, Victor, they also had the awful idea to experiment on him. Silas wanted to make a genius out of his son, so he tried on him every sort of new tech to boost his intelligence; the experiments were a success, and Victor became a child genius… but their father-and-son relationship also grew colder, as Vic reacted badly to his father’s attempts to control his life: Silas, in fact, now saw him as the result of his work more silasstonecomics1than a person in his own right, and wanted to direct every part of his life, not wanting him to waste all the potential that he had helped to fulfill. In response to this, Victor rebelled to Silas, and gave himself mostly to sport (football especially), and only frequented people Silas didn’t approve, in a continuous challenge that estranged the two even more. The final straw came when Vic started hanging out with some crooks, and got involved into a gang fight: he came back home hurt, and when Silas found out what had happened, he kicked his son out of his house, stating that he would have never recognized a criminal as his son. This, of course, made the relationship between the two even more stranded: for the following years, Silas and Victor didn’t even talk to each other, and the boy only visited his mother, completely ignoring his father.

Years passed, and Silas and Elinore dedicated themselves to other experiments, the most important of which was a Dimensional Transmitter, able to open portals to other realities, allegedly only to observe them. The day Silas wanted to try his new invention out, Victor passed by the Stones’ lab, wanting to see Elinore. The device worked perfectly, but it opened on a dangerous dimension, inhabited by monstrous and highly hostile aliens: one of them managed to pass through the breach, attacking the Stones. The alien killed Elinore on the spot, and then proceeded to attack Victor, shredding him to pieces: Silas, frantic, managed to sent the monster back where it belonged, but his son was severely injured. Victor fell into an irreversible coma, with barely enough body parts to keep him whole; by his wife’s grave, Silas swore that he would have not lost his son as well. Back to his lab, Silas “stole” Victor’s body, and used on him the unapproved prototype of a cybernetic body that he had devised for injured soldiers. Victor silasstonecomics2was brought back to life, but he was not human anymore: the boy, not exactly grateful, interpreted this “rescue” as the umpteenth attempt from his father to control his life, and after months of physical training and rehabilitation he left angrily, determined never to see Silas again. Much to Silas’ surprise, Victor used the abilities his new body granted him to become a superhero, naming himself Cyborg and joining the new Teen Titans: Silas couldn’t be prouder of his son, and wanted to help him as much as he could, but he obviously couldn’t do it openly, since Victor hated him. Furthermore, the man found out that the attack from the alien creature had left him with a massive radiation poisoning, and he didn’t have much more left to live. Before dying, however, he wanted to do something good for Vic, so he used his money and influence to build the Titans Tower, a safe headquarters for Cyborg and his teammates, and kept financing the heroes anonymously. It was only after a misadventure with the Fearsome Five, and thanks to Raven‘s mediation, that Silas and Victor spoke to each other again: upon knowing that his father was dying, Cyborg agreed to give him a second chance, and to spend some time with him. It was more than Silas hoped for, or even deserved.

Silas Stone is an extremely brilliant man, who unfortunately puts science before anything (and anyone) else, often losing contact with human relations. Despite loving his son, he just can’t avoid to treat him like one of his experiments rather than a true person, and he tries to control him in his life choices out of his desire not to see him waste his potential, but ending up ruining their relation as a result. Ambitious and intelligent, but socially awkward, Silas is more at ease with numbers than with people, and has quite some difficulty in creating true bonds… but anyone can learn, and he’s no exception.

Joseph Chilton (Joe Chill)

joechillfilmFinally, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is in theaters… and it’s quite a disappointing, if you ask me. Anyway, there are some more characters adding up to the ones seen already: I counted three, but it’ll take some time before I could get all the pictures. Let’s start with the first one: at the beginning of the movie, we witness Batman‘s origins, and we see his parents killed before his very eyes. The man pulling the trigger is, once again, Joe Chill, portrayed by a still unknown actor. The character already appeared in the 1989 Batman movie, portrayed by Clyde Gatell, but he wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger, as his partner Jack Napier killed the Waynes in his place. He made his full relevant appearance in Batman Begins, portrayed by Richard Brake: a desperate man driven to violence by poverty, Chill kills the Waynes and gets arrested soon after; 14 years later, upon coming out of prison, he parlors his way out in exchange of information about mob boss Carmine Falcone… but the latter has him killed before he could talk. Now, let’s see who the original killer of the Waynes is… and, again, multiple versions coming.

Joseph Chilton was born the son of an unnamed, poor woman living in Gotham CityMrs. Chilton was hired by wealthy Phillip Wayne as a housekeeper, and Joseph grew up with his brother Max in the enormous villa of his mother’s employer. Sometimes, Mrs. Chilton was sent to the house of Thomas, Phillip’s brother, to work for him as well, and little Joseph saw a wealth he would have never been able to obtain on his own, something that made him grudgy against the Waynes. As an adult, he changed his name to Joe Chill (it sounded more “intimidating” on the streets), and he became a gun for hire, looking for a shortcut to the opulence he had seen as a child. After building something similar to a fame, Chill was finally employed by Lew Moxon, one of the local crime bosses. Knowing of his ties to the Wayne family, Moxon hired Chill to kill both Thomas and Martha, making it look like it was a simple robbery. Joe ambushed the Waynes in an alley, a night they went to watch a movie with their little son Bruce: he came out of the shadows, ordered them to give him their money, and then shot them point blank, leaving Bruce as joechilldcomics1the sole survivor. Years later, Chill had become a minor boss in his own right, but Gotham’s criminality was terrified by Batman, a vigilante who had started an all-out war on gangsters. Finally, it came the moment Chill was hunted down by Batman… who happened to know he had killed the Waynes. Believing in a bluff (there was no witness), Joe denied… until Batman removed his mask, revealing himself as Bruce Wayne. Now truly scared, Joe Chill made a run, and came back to his safe-house asking protection to his men. He briefly explained the situation, and his goons answered by shooting him, killing him for being the one responsible of Batman’s birth. Luckily enough, the crooks didn’t realize how precious the information of Batman’s secret identity was, not immediately, and Joe Chill died before he could reveal anything he knew about Bruce Wayne.

After Crisis on Infinite Earths, Joe Chill made a return to existence… actually two, contradicting one another. In the first story, he was a low-life living in Gotham, who robbed rich people in order to get enough for him and his son Joseph Jr. to survive. Of course, he also happened to gun down Thomas and Martha Wayne, making their son Bruce become Batman years later. When a brutal vigilante known as the Reaper started targeting criminals, Joe Chill was hired by several bosses to dispose of him… a task that brought him to an unexpected and uncomfortable alliance with Batman. While Batman swore to himself he would have killed Chill after the case was close, Joe’s contract told him to kill Batman as well after Reaper was dead. Eventually, Reaper apparently died in an explosion along with all the bosses who had hired Chill, so he told Batman there was no reason for him to fulfill the contract anymore… but the vigilante took him to Crime Alley, where he revealed himself as Bruce Wayne. Batman pulled out a gun, apparently eager to kill Chill, but Reaper, who had survived the explosion, appeared and beat him on time, gunning down the killer. In yet another version (oddly still set in New Earth), Joe Chill was arrested immediately after the homicide of the Waynes. Gotham’s prison couldn’t hold anybody for long, however, and Chill was out in no time. He spent the following twenty years to joechilldcomics2build a mildly relevant criminal empire, and when he was about to start playing among the big guys, Batman arrived, ruining every crook’s ambition. Curiously, Batman seemed to have some kind of preference for Chill, as he appeared to him nearly every night, going on for weeks waiting for him in his room, in dark alleys, pretty much everywhere, without saying a word and disappearing soon after. Chill became paranoid and constantly terrified, he hired bodyguards and he never left his office… but eventually Batman came for him nevertheless. The vigilante gave him a gun, the same he had used to kill the Waynes years before, and then removed his mask, revealing himself as Bruce Wayne. Fearing his fellow criminals’ reaction when they learnt that he was the one who had created their greatest enemy, and broken by months of psychological tortures, Joe Chill took the gun and shot himself.

Jonathan Chilton is a greedy and amoral man, who only thinks of profit and values it over human life without a second thought. As Joe Chill, he’s a renowned hired gun in Gotham City, a hit man who’s appreciated for always fulfilling his contracts. With no talent other than pulling a trigger at the right moment, Chill is a far better killer than he is a crime boss… something that he soon learns at his own expenses.

Stephen Rockwell Trevor

Steve TrevorThe very first footage from the upcoming Wonder Woman movie has been released, and despite it doesn’t show much, we get a very brief look at the heroine’s love interest, Steve Trevor, who’ll be portrayed by Chris Pine. In the film, Trevor will be an officer during World War I, and he’ll accompany Wonder Woman in her (still unknown) mission. The character is an essential part of the Amazon‘s mythology, and he appeared in every live action portrayal of Wonder Woman: in the 1974 tv-movie he was Diana Prince‘s superior officer, portrayed by Kaz Garas, and albeit he was clearly smitten by the woman, their relationship was never explored. In the 1970s tv series there were two Steve Trevor(s), father and son, both portrayed by Lyle Waggoner: the first one helped Wonder Woman hunting Nazis throughout World War II, while the second one assisted her during the Cold War. Last (and least), Justin Bruening had a brief cameo as Trevor in the unlucky 2011 pilot. In the comics, Steve Trevor’s history is quite complicated because of the many continuity-reboot the DC Universe suffered, but let’s try to make it easier and to see who this heroic soldier (who more often than not plays the role of the “damsel in distress” for Wonder Woman) is.

Stephen Rockwell Trevor knew the Army since his very childhood, as he was born the son of veteran Lt. Ulysses Trevor and his wife, the legendary pilot Diana Rockwell. Steve lived all his early life in Enid, Oklahoma, and he grew up admiring his mother, her bravery and her skills, dreaming upon her stories from the war times. He decided that, as a grown up, he would have become a pilot just as good as she was. When Steve was seven years old, however, the experimental jet Diana was testing crashed, and she was believed dead by the mission’s supervisors (she had actually crash-landed in the mystical island of Themyscira, but she died nevertheless, helping the local Amazons to repel an invasion). This tragic accident only increased Steve’s desires to become a pilot, and when he came of age he enlisted in the U.S. Army, he graduated with maximum grades in the academy, joined the Air Force and climbed the ranks until he became Colonel. Incredibly skilled as a pilot, Trevor became one of the most prized and acclaimed officers in the Army, thus realizing his childhood dream and paying to his mother the best tribute he could. At this point of the story, there are two (main) versions diverging. In the first one, settled during the 1940s, Colonel Trevor was among the first officers sent to Europe to fight the Nazis, and he became a war hero stevetrevorcomics1with his plane. He served under General Phil Darnell, and he fought all over the Old Continent with the enemy’s aces of aviation. During a particularly heated battle on the Mediterranean Sea, Trevor’s plane was shot down, forcing the pilot to an emergency landing on a nearby island… Paradise Island, land of the Amazons. The plane crash-landed at sea, and it began to sink with Trevor still inside. Luckily enough, a couple of Amazons witnessed the incident: they were Diana, princess of the island, and her best friend Mala. The two women dove and saved Trevor from certain death, bringing him to the Amazon doctors who, thanks to the island’s superior technology, were able to nurse him back to health. Being a man, however, Steve couldn’t stay on the island, and Queen Hippolyta organised a contest to decide who would have brought the Colonel back to his world… a contest that Diana, already in love with the beautiful stranger, won. Diana became the heroine Wonder Woman to hide among the humans, and brought Trevor back to the United States with her Invisible Jet… and then she decided to stay at the side of the man she loved.

In what she called Man’s World, Diana found a job as General Darnell’s secretary, so that she could be with Steve… even if he didn’t recognize her as the Amazon who had saved his life. Trevor, meanwhile, had fallen in love with the newest heroine around, Wonder Woman, and the two began a romantic story… that often put the Colonel in danger, as he was often kidnapped or attacked by the Amazon’s enemies, such as Giganta or Gundra the Valkyrie. This version of Steve Trevor ended up marrying Wonder Woman, and the two of them even had a daughter, Lyta Trevor, who grew up to become the superheroine Fury. As it often happens, this first Steve Trevor was erased from existence along with this Wonder Woman and Lyta. The new Steve Trevor had the same backstory, but he lived in a more contemporary age. After becoming a Colonel, Trevor entered the service of General Sam Tolliver, who got tricked by Ares, the Greek God of War, to send an attack on Themyscira, the land of his mortal enemies the Amazons. Experienced Colonel Trevor was the one chosen to carpet-bomb the hostile island: once stevetrevorcomics2above Themyscira, however, Trevor realised that the island was inhabited mostly by civilians, and that it wasn’t the dangerous terrorist base the General had told him it to be. He tried to abort the mission, but the copilot, a minion of Ares in disguise, disobeyed his order, and tried to bomb Themyscira nevertheless. The two fought for a while, until the plane crash-landed on the island as a result. The old soldier was found on the shore by Diana, who decided to help him because of the “insignia” he had on his jacket (it was actually the American flag, but after Diana Rockwell helped the Amazons fight the monster Cottus, it was taken by the Amazons as a symbol of the heroine). Diana nursed Trevor back to health, and when he came back to his senses, the Colonel warned the Amazons of the approaching threat, and he even helped them fight against Ares and his minions, both human and supernatural ones. The battle for Themyscira was won, and Steve Trevor formed a close (yet platonic) friendship with Diana, who he cooperated many times with from there on. Back in the States, Trevor quit the Army and set up his own private aviation firm helped by his aide, Etta Candy. He even entered politics, becoming Deputy Secretary of Defense, and he eventually married Etta. Of course, his life would have crossed the Amazons’ ones many, many other times.

Steve Trevor is a determined and strong-willed man, a war hero who distinguishes himself for bravery and charisma. Trevor is one of the most skilled pilots at the Air Force’s disposal, and he’s also a proficient hand-to-hand and armed combatant, a 360-degrees soldier who never walks out of a battle… at least as long as the battle in question is a rightful one. Guided by strong morals, Trevor never fights for fight’s sake, and he follows his conscience even in the midst of a battle… a trait that has earned him the trust of all the Amazons, and the admiration of their princess Diana.