Marvin Noronsa (Jack O’Lantern)

jackolanternfilmLast week also DC’s first comedy sitcom debuted, and the first episode for Powerless has been released. It’s been… well… pretty lame, but let’s see this under a different perspective: there’s a lot of room for improvement. Anyway, in Wayne or Lose there has been literally a ton of name drops, a couple of cameos, and a new entry for this site as well (you can already find here all the other characters appeared in the episode): on her first day on the job, Emily Locke finds herself caught in the midst of a battle between Crimson Fox and what appears to be a parody of all supervillains, Jack O’Lantern, portrayed by Kimani Ray Smith. Jack doesn’t do anything but flying around, shooting fireballs and shouting world-conquering nonsense, and Charm City inhabitants are not impressed the least. In the comics, there are three different guys who used the moniker “Jack O’Lantern”, two of them are heroes, while only one (the second) is a villain… and it’s pretty easy to guess that the show’s version is based on the latter. Let’s see together who this guy is.

Marvin Noronsa was born in an unspecified city in Bialya, an unstable country in the Middle East. Since he was young, Marvin lived the military dictatorship of Colonel Rumaan Harjavti, not enjoying much the lifestyle the tyrant imposed to the population. Harjavti was not a beloved leader, and Noronsa himself only waited for a chance to free his country of his presence… a chance that unexpectedly came sooner than expected. It’s unknown what kind of connection Marvin had with one of Harjavti’s wives, the mysterious Queen Bee, but when she started plotting a way to overthrow the dictator, she called him and offered him a pivotal part in his grand maneuvers. Queen Bee had enlisted the Global Guardians, an international team of superheroes who had found themselves without financial support after the UNO had replaced them with the Justice League International, as part of jackolanterncomics1Bialya’s army, and convinced Harjavti that the heroes where his to command; in reality, Queen Bee had brainwashed most of the heroes and used them as her personal pawns. During a public demonstration of “his” new private army, Queen Bee ordered the alien Wandjina to kill the Colonel, and the dictator was struck down in front of thousands of witnesses; after that, Queen Bee announced herself as the new leader of Bialya. One of the Global Guardians, however, the Irish superhero Jack O’Lantern, rebelled to Queen Bee, and she had him imprisoned in the country’s dungeons; since she couldn’t allow the people to know of Jack’s betrayal, Queen Bee hired Marvin Noronsa as a replacement: while Daniel Cormac was imprisoned, Marvin Noronsa would have worn his costume, used his Mystical Lantern (modified by Queen Bee to allow him to use it) and his name. Nobody would have ever known that the man behind Jack O’Lantern’s costume wasn’t the heroic Cormac anymore. Marvin Noronsa liked the idea, and he didn’t even had to be brainwashed to join the ambitious Queen Bee.

In his first mission with the team, the new Jack O’Lantern went to Paris to destroy an alien robot (actually, a ruse devised by Queen Bee with the Dominators to strengthen the popularity of her superhero team), and during this occasion the Guardians teamed up with Justice League Europe. The mission went exactly as planned: the “menace” was repelled, the Global Guardians obtained popularity… and nobody realized there was a different man under Jack O’Lantern’s mask. With time, however, Noronsa realized that Queen Bee’s dominion wasn’t much different from Colonel Harjavti’s one, and his loyalty to her began to falter. When the Colonel’s brother, Sumaan Harjavti, started to plot to overthrow Queen Bee and retake control over Bialya, Jack O’Lantern became his infiltrator, tasked with sabotaging the queen’s operations from the inside, taking advantage from the fact that, being considered the most loyal member of the Global Guardians (even because he was the only not-brainwashed one), nobody suspected him. When Captain Atom flew over Bialyan airspace, Jack O’Lantern attacked him and jackolanterncomics2nearly killed him, blaming it on the army later; similarly, when Maxwell Lord and Inspector Camus were almost killed during an assassination attempt, Noronsa staged things so that it looked like Queen Bee was moving against the JLE as part of war actions against Europe. Queen Bee quickly realized there was a traitor among her ranks, but she misinterpreted the clues, and she believed that one of the heroes had broken her mind-control; in order to find out who the spy was, she named Jack O’Lantern the leader of the Global Guardians, believing to increase her chances to regain control of the superhumans… and actually making things worse. With the power to maneuver the Guardians as he pleased, Jack O’Lantern hastened the diplomatic crisis with the JLE, and he even killed a defenseless Little Mermaid, blaming the team for that. The death of the young heroine was the last drop, and Queen Bee was publicly seen as a villain now: with the Justice League moving against Bialya, there was room for Jack O’Lantern’s new master, Sumaan Harjavti, to attempt his coup… with a position in the new order waiting for Noronsa, of course.

Marvin Noronsa is an ambitious man with no loyalty, who seeks opportunity for himself to emerge victorious with no concern for the means to achieve his own advantage. As Jack O’Lantern, he uses Cormac’s Mystical Lantern, whose power is stronger by night and weaker by day; it allows him to fly, to increase his own strength and durability, to generate fog and create illusions, to shoot powerful energy blasts and to teleport himself and others wherever he likes. A man entrusted with an incredible power, who deserves none of it, the second Jack O’Lantern is nothing like the hero who preceded him, a false patriot whose only loyalty is to himself.