Sotrold (Sea Troll)

The last three episodes of the now cancelled Powerless tv series have been released, and there’s still one obscure character the show dug from DC’s dusty shelves: in Van of the Year, another supervillain attacks Charm City, this time the Sea Troll, seen only from a distance and voiced by an uncredited actor. The Troll uses his powers to turn a retiring worker’s arm into a squid tentacle (the poor lady was actually used as a human shield by Van), and later accidentally turns it back to normal. He’s defeated and arrested by Crimson Fox, all behind the scenes. In the comics, the Sea Troll is a less-than-unknown villain who, as most as the other obscure characters appeared in the show, battled the Global Guardians. Let’s see together.

Sotrold was a monstrous creature born in the deepest abyss, a sea troll (hence his alias) who was among the last ones of his evil race. Sotrold the Sea Troll harbored the grudge of his entire people as a legacy, and he studied and learnt black magic in order to get means to obtain vengeance against both the submariners and the land dwellers, responsible of his species’ near extinction. While traveling the abyss, Sotrold found informations about a long-dead Atlantean sorcerer who used to instill fear in every mortal or immortal both under and above the sea: Thaumar Dai, the most powerful black magician ever born. Wanting to resurrect Dai, Sotrold formed an alliance with other sorcerers from all around the world: the Hebrew mystics Moloch and Ashtoreth, the legendary Greek monster Echidne, the Irish magician Dubh Magus, the Aztec sorcerer El Dorado and the Japanese witch Yuki-Onna the Snow Woman. Together, the group started gathering the six talismans that formed Thaumar Dai’s armor, and that would have allowed them to perform the ritual to resurrect the sorcerer. A master of the abyss, Sotrold travelled to Denmark looking for Dai’s belt, with a buckle made of pure Orichalcum. Things, however, weren’t as easy as they seemed, as other mystical forces had gathered to stop the magicians from resurrecting Dai: Doctor Mist, another powerful sorcerer, had gathered mystic heroes from all around the world (and Superman) to stop them…not that the Sea Troll and the others hadn’t forseen it.

While he was about to retrieve the belt, Sotrold was reached at the bottom of the sea by Superman and the Little Mermaid, who attacked him. To distract the heroes, the Sea Troll brought back to life the dry bones of the ancient Atlanteans who were buried near the temple he was exploring, and sent them against the heroes: Superman and the Mermaid, however, swam so fast they created a whirpool that scattered the bones, making the living skeletons inert again. The Little Mermaid, who swam faster than Superman, recovered the belt…but that was exactly what the Sea Troll was expecting, and as fast as she could be she was no match in strength for him: he knocked her out with a single punch, and teleported away with the belt. He joined the others, who had defeated the other allies of Mist and recovered their talisman, on the Easter Island, where they started the ritual: they succeeded, and Thaumar Dai was resurrected…but something was wrong. Superman, in fact, had replaced the talismans with fakes, so the magician came back with weakened powers, and mortal: the mystic heroes intervened, and attacked the group in full force, dividing themselves to find the best match. While Jack O’Lantern and Green Fury destroyed Thaumar Dai once and for all, the Sea Troll faced an opponent who was beyond his reach: the Olympian, who possessed the combined powers of fifty Greek heroes from the myth. Used to fight monsters, the Olympian made short work of the Sea Troll and knocked him out, restraining him with his teammates. Following this, the heroes decided to stick together and to form the Global Guardians, to protect the world from international threats like the one represented by Sotrold’s alliance.

Sotrold is an ancient and malevolent being, who treasures the hatred of his lost, evil race as a family legacy to unleash on the world. As the Sea Troll, he can breathe under water, and his body is fit to stand the immense pressure of the deepest abyss; he possesses superhuman strength and durability, and his magic abilities give him mastership over a variety of spells, allowing him to teleport, to reanimate corpses as slaves, to use telekinesis and much more. With a heart as black as the magic he uses, the Sea Troll is a constant threat to the ones living beneath and above the sea, an ancient evil ready to make the world remember who the sea trolls were.

Edgar Cizko (Doctor Psycho)

Apparently Powerless is releasing episodes in a different order than the one announced by the production. Next one will be Emergency Punch-Up, which will see the debut of a new villain, Doctor Psycho, already seen in the promo: he’ll attack Charm City with a poisonous gas, with the immediate effect of locking Emily and her colleagues in their office, unable to come out. This marks the first live action appearance of Psycho, who’s actually a pretty old villain, who debuted in the 1940s. This character crossed four eras of publication, with his deeds being changed and reinvented from time to time, but with his origin story pretty much the same all over Earth-OneEarth-Two, New Earth and Prime Earth. Let’s see together who this madman is.

Edgar Cizko was born possibly in Washington D.C., where he attended college as a medical student, impressing his professors with his superior intellect. Short in size and with a disproportionate head, Cizko was mocked by his fellow students, who called him names and excluded him from any possible friendship; the only relief in his life was Marva Jane Gray, a girl who, albeit she clearly didn’t find him beautiful, agreed to marry him, becoming his fiancée. Cizko, however, had suspicions that Marva was secretly in love with the beautiful and athletic Ben Bradley, and he had a confirmation of this in the worst way possible: one night, some precious radium was stolen from the University’s lab, and Marva testified that she had seen Edgar escaping with it, charging him with theft (actually, the culprit was Ben, who had used a costume to look like Cizko, with Marva knowing nothing of it). In jail, Edgar learnt that Marva was now engaged to Ben Bradley: mad with hatred and jealousy, he lost his mind, and started nurturing a grudge against all women. When he finished his term, he started to study different disciplines than medicine, and albeit becoming a skilled scientist, he also medded with occultism. Inspired by Ares, in the person of his lieutenant the Duke of Deception, Cizko used his new skills to obtain revenge: he tracked down Ben Bradley right before his marriage with Marva and hypnotized him to submission; then, he tortured him and interrogated him, leading him to admit that he was the one who had stolen the radium…trying to exonerate himself, however, Ben lied and told Cizko that Marva was his willing accomplish. Not inclined to spare him under any circumstances, Cizko forced him to eat one of the radium bars, killing him, and then proceeded to meet his once-beloved Marva. By that time, Cizko hated her, but he didn’t want to kill her, as this would have not been enough for his thirst of vengeance: with hypnosis, he forced her to marry him, and he transformed her into his slave, also using her as a guinea pig for his occult experiments. His mental powers kept growing at an alarming rate.

After the Chrisis on Infinite Earths, Cizko’s story remained pretty much the same, apart from the fact that he had studied psychology instead of medicine, and that among the monikers his colleagues used to denigrate him there was “Doctor Psycho”, one that he eventually came to like and use. His hatred for women didn’t change from a reality to the other, and almost inevitably he started to target Wonder Woman, the heroine who incarnated everything he despised. In an attempt to destroy Wonder Woman, he even teamed up with another woman, Circe, whom he considered the lesser of two evils: in a plot aimed to separate the heroine from her closest friends and allies, Psycho implanted horrible nightmares in the mind of Vanessa Kapatelis, Wonder Woman’s friend, and drove her mad, turning her into the new Silver Swan. In the meanwhile, Cizko was also posing as Dr. Charles Stanton, a child psychologist in Boston, and was forcing through hypnosis the students of Adams Junior High School to improve their grades. His “regular” activity was almost spoiled by Helen Andersen, the school’s guidance councillor, who was investigating on the unexpected and innatural improvement of the students’ grades. Doctor Psycho found her and knocked her unconscious, only to start torturing her by projecting horrifying nightmares in the mind of her unborn baby (she was eight-months pregnant), nearly driving her insane and aiming to kill both her and the baby; in that moment, however, Wonder Woman arrived: the heroine had read through Vanessa’s memories and had located her enemy, and she intervened just in time to stop him from killing Helen. Imprisoned in Slabside Penitentiary after briefly joining Circe’s team of villains, he was kept in a dormant state in a straitjacket, as a mental patient, but when the telepath Saturn Girl used her powers to call for her teammates of the Legion of Superh-Heroes, this boost of mental energy was enough to awaken him. Restrained, Doctor Psycho was no match for the guards nevertheless, and he incapacitated many of them running to his freedom: finally, his crusade could continue.

Edgar Cizko is a cruel and sadistic man, bent on a revenge crusade that targets everyone reminds him of the people who used to mock him (that means, pretty much everyone on the planet); a grudging misogynist, he particularly hates women, and enjoys torturing them in any possible way. As Doctor Psycho, he’s one of Earth‘s most powerful telepaths, comparable to the likes of Saturn Girl and Martian Manhunter: he can read people’s minds, he can project hallucinations realistic enough to kill, and he’s also able to mind-control people to do his bidding; through his occult studies, he’s also able to summon ectoplasm to the physical world, shaping them into life-like beings that he uses for a variety of purposes, from sheer combat to infiltration. A skilled psychiatrist who can understand a person’s fear to use it against him, Doctor Psycho is an extremely dangerous mastermind, whose mind compensates greately for his physical lacks. A man who hates women, Psycho is a serial murderer and torturer who takes pleasure from the screams of his victims, bent on a life-long crusade that will never end.

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…

Frostbite

Last week’s episode of Powerless brought an out of season snow, as in Cold Season poor Emily learns that in a certain time of the year, all the ice-based supervillains visit Charm City and freeze everything in sight. Many of them are named: Mr. FreezeCaptain ColdKiller FrostMinister Blizzard…but, among these, eventually it’s Frostbite to make an appearance. In the show, she doesn’t do anything but sliding around on ice, freezing everything in sight (Crimson Fox included) and laughing maniacally. She’s portrayed only in CGI, and no actress is credited for the laughter, so as for now she’s just another background character…more or less like she is in the comics, another forgotten villain who made a single appearance in the 1990s, never to be seen again. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Frostbite prior to her arrival on New Earth, not even her true name. She was born on planet Qward, a technologically advanced world…located in the Anti-Matter Universe, the mirror reality created by the deranged Krona. In the Anti-Matter Universe, everything was the opposite of the Positive Matter Universe, and its inhabitants followed the same rule: what was heroic on one universe was villainous on the other and viceversa. At a certain point in her life, this woman acquired ice-generating powers, created the masked identity of Frostbite (the evil counterpart to our universe’s Ice), and started oppressing the population with cruel and sadistic deeds, usually enjoying robberies and thefts. After some time of lonely activity, she joined forces with other masked criminals from Qward: the archer Deadeye (an evil Green Arrow), the pyrokinetic Fiero (counterpart to Fire), the rubbery Elasti-Man (counterpart to Plastic Man), the matter-manipulating Element Man (Metamorpho‘s double), the armored Scarab (doppelgänger of Blue Beetle) and the speedster Slipstream (an evil version of The Flash). Together, the criminals formed a new Crime Syndicate, and became the terror of the local population. This new Syndicate could obtain whatever they wanted…but soon they got the chance to have even more, thanks to an inexperienced dimensional traveler and superhero wannabe with the unlikely name of Norman the Doorman, from the Positive Matter Universe.

In the other universe, on Earth, the companywoman Claire Montgomery had created a corporate-sponsored superhero team known as The Conglomerate as a competitor to the Justice League International, run by her ex-husband Maxwell Lord. When she lost control of the team after its on-field leader Booster Gold‘s rebellion, she needed a replacement…and she found it thanks to Norman the Doorman, who opened a portal to what he believed to be Earth-Two and recruited the Crime Syndicate mistaking them for superheroes. Frostbite and the others accepted the invitation, happy to have another universe to raid. For first, Montgomery had them compete with the JLI in a pay-per-view event, with the aim of discrediting her ex-husband and proving her team superior. The JLI was mostly composed of the counterparts of the Syndicate: the third Flash, Blue Beetle, Elongated Man, Fire…and obviously Ice, Frostbite’s double. The show was held as programmed, with Green Lantern, Booster Gold and Power Girl joining the JLI…and it was the latter that revelaed that the New Conglomerate wasn’t surely from Earth-Two, her home dimension, and that they were impostors. Exposed, the “heroes” revelaed their true colors, and started battling the JLI live on television. Obviously, Frostbite targeted her double, Ice, in a battle that ended exactly in the opposite way Claire Montgomery had hoped for: not only the New Conglomerate was defeated, thus proving the superiority of Max Lord’s team, but Montgomery herself was also accused of exposing the entire world to an extra-dimensional threat by bringing dangerous super-criminals on Earth. Defeated, Frostbite and the others were sent back to Qward, while the consequences of their single visit reshaped the balance of powers on Earth…

Frostbite is a violent and greedy woman, a sadistic robber who enjoys torturing defenseless civilians and to raid cities for money and fun. She possesses the ability to create ice and snow emitting extremely cold temperatures from her hands, but how her powers work or their source, if its’ magical like her Positive Matter counterpart or something else, is unknown. Just as evil and devious as Ice is heroic and selfless, Frostbite is a super-powered raider with a taste for violence, with a heart as cold as her name suggests.

Aristides Demetrios (Olympian)

olympianfilmNew episode of Powerless, new list of cameos and namedrops. Sinking Day mainly focuses on the new deal between Wayne Security and Atlantis, so much of the stuff is Aquaman-related, but there’s a subplot with the three stooges from the Research & Development division trying to figure the secret of Alex, the accountability employee portrayed by Matthew Atkinson. Well, despite the pretty convincing final demonstration provided during the party, all other evidence point to Alex being the new hero in town, the Olympian, a super-strong and flying guy dressed like an ancient Greek warrior. In the comics, the Olympian is another secondary superhero, who’s dressed in an even fancier way than the one we saw in the show, and his personality is…let’s say complex. Let’s take a look at Greece‘s greatest (and disgraced) superhero.

Aristides Demetrios was born in Leiváda, Greece…and he wasn’t exactly a good guy at first. With a rebellious and daring personality, he was a small-time thug, always ending up in jail for petty crimes, ruining all the jobs he could find with his behavior. Once, while he was out of prison, he found a job as a guardian in a warehouse, but he soon got tired of it, and thought of stealing some of the goods the place stored to sell it and make fast money. Instinctively chasing for what shone the most, Aristides stumbled in a very weird and shiny woollen mantle…that turned out to be the legendary Golden Fleece from ancient times, now imbued with mystical powers. Wearing the Fleece, Aristides was granted the powers of the fifty Argonauts, the mythological heroes who first retrieved it…and with their personalities as well. Feeling in himself the voices of the heroes of old times, the man was urged to do something more with his life, and instead of using his newfound powers to steal and rob as he would have olympiancomics1normally done, he used them to become a superhero. Aiding his people and his country in grave emergencies as in solving little crimes, Aristides became known as Greece’s greatest superhero, the Olympian, a formidable foe for both regular criminals and mystical creatures. He even became known in the global superhero community when he helped some “colleagues” from other countries: when Colonel Conquest hid a bomb somewhere in Greece blackmailing the entire country, Olympian helped Wonder Woman finding and disabling it, and when Echidne and other mystic-empowered villains tried to revive the evil Thaumar Dhai, the Olympian aided Superman (who was vulnerable to their magic) to stop the ceremony and prevent the sorcerer’s resurrection. With this new visibility and fame, the Olympian was among the heroes gathered by Doctor Mist to form a new team, the Global Guardians, an international super-team composed of heroes from all around the world.

The first adventures with the Global Guardians were indeed the heroic deeds the Olympian was looking for, and he even got particularly close to one of his teammates, the British heroine Godiva. When the United Nations replaced the Global Guardians with the Justice League International, however, the team was about to disband, and only a mysterious new benefactor allowed them to continue their operations…but the benefactor was Queen Bee, the dictator of Bialya. Queen Bee wanted to exploit the Guardians as her personal army so, after “testing” them in a mission in Paris (putting them against a giant robot she had built herself with alien technology), she hypnotized them to force them to do her bidding. This brainwashing process, however, had devastating effects on the Olympian’s mind: without Aristides’ will to keep them at bay, the personalities of the fifty Argonauts started competing for control, and the hero slowly descended into a serious multiple-personality disorder. The only thing that allowed Aristides not to be overwhelmed by the many voices resounding in his head (and not always manging to do it) was Queen Bee’s conditioning, but when the dictator was exposed and put down by a rival, and the Guardians were freed from the mind-control, the Olympian was left with a serious mental condition. Queen Bee’s successor, Sumaan Harjavti, had Olympian forcefully hospitalized, and when he was diagnosed with a serious schizophrenia, olympiancomics2he was locked in a mental asylum. Doctor Mist, however, didn’t want to leave anyone behind, so he insisted for Olympian to be released, and personally treated him: it was thanks to Mist’s and Godiva’s help that Aristides managed to regain control of the many personalities inhabiting his mind, albeit sometimes he struggled to do it. Back to the team, the Olympian regained his position and stayed a loyal member of the Global Guardians…and was even able to resume things with Godiva from where they had interrupted them, at least until the next planetary emergency forced them to put things on hold again.

Aristides Demetrios is a man reborn: once a lowlife and a criminal, he’s now imbued with the iron-will and the heroism of some of the greatest heroes from the past, and he lives following their selflesness and their thirst for glory. As the Olympian, he possesses all the Argonauts’ powers: Heracles‘ super-strength, Kalais‘ flight and agility, Lynkeus‘ enhanced vision, Atalanta‘s super-speed, Admetus‘ intellect, Teleus‘ resistance to psychic attacks and illusions, Hylas‘ ability to survive in every environment and without drinking, eating or even breathing, Zetes‘ teleporting powers, Poriclymenus‘ shapeshifting abilities, Kaineus‘ invulnerability, Meleager‘s healing factor, Staphylus‘ immunity to all poisons, Euryalus‘ longevity, Idmon‘s precognition, Aethalides‘ eidetic memory, Euphemus‘ ability to walk on water and many others. One of the most powerful heroes on the planet, the Olympian unfortunately struggles with a shattered psyche, with the voices of fifty boastful and glory-seeking heroes screaming in his head and battling for control over his body, resulting in quite a complicated and sometimes dangerous figure…

Evillo

princeevillofilmMy fault, I completely forgot about Powerless, but the second episode was released last week, and it shone for namedrops, Easter-eggs and references (…for those at least). In Wayne Dream Team we also meet one new character, another long-forgotten one reinvented in a different way: Prince Evillo, portrayed by David St. James. In the episode, Emily Locke is forced by the head of Human Resources Samuel Greene to watch twenty-four hours of an anti-bullism video, in which, among other things, the reforming villain Prince Evillo gives advices against bullying other people. This humiliated, devilish criminal only appears in the comics in a possible future of an alternate Earth that has been erased from existence, the so-called Pre-Zero Hour. Difficulties of timeline and continuity apart, let’s take a look at the once glorious Evillo.

Evillo was born in the 30th Century, on the remote planet Tartarus. His parents were rulers but not native of Tartarus, and they soon learnt that their population valued trachery and cruelty over everything else; fearing their son would have been unable to control such an evil planet, they gave him a name that could inspire fear into the peasants, and trained him since he was a boy into knowing the darker and most dangerous aspects of human behavior, so that he would have been able to anticipate any attack to his own person. Apparently, his parents’ teachings worked far too well, as Evillo not only learned cruelty, sadism, brutality, but he also started to enjoy them: since he was a kid, he was known for his violence against his servants, when he grew up he started blackmailing some of the most important functionaries of the court, and as soon as he reached adulthood, he orchestrated his parents’ death, princeevillocomics1seizing the throne from them. In the following years, Prince Evillo (he mantained the title, as it was the one people had learnt to fear him with) studied magic and became an accomplished sorcerer, and he strenghtened his power over Tartarus; he even had eleven wives, but when he got bored of them he exiled them all in the Realm of Darkness, a hellish dimension he had learnt to open a portal to. He also opened his planet to the worst criminals from the entire galaxy, offering them a safe harbor: this alienated the sympathy of the United Planets from him, but his aim was reached, as he siphoned the scum’s evil energy to increase his magic powers. When he decided his power had grown enough on his own planet, he decided to extend his influence on other systems as well, so he founded a team, the Devil’s Dozen. He gathered the witch The Hag, the irresistible seducer Apollo, the storm-bringer Sugyn and the flying centaur Wild Huntsman, and sent them to other planets to perform robberies and to seed chaos: it was finally time for Prince Evillo to become something more than an isolated tyrant, and the Dozen would have allowed him to become an intergalactic despot.

The Devil’s Dozen did its job well…maybe too well, as the group attracted the attention of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The first fight between the two teams ended in the sorcerer’s favor, as he managed to capture Lightning Lad and to escape with his prize. Back to Tartarus, Evillo kept gathering other potential members to complete the Dozen, and two “criminals” with the unlikely names of Sir Prize and Miss Terious auditioned: obviously, they were not who they claimed to be, as they were Star Boy and Dream Girl in disguise. The two heroes freed Lightning Lad, and the three of them together defeated and dismantled the Devil’s Dozen. Even Prince Evillo, despite his status, spent some time in prison, leaving the rule of Tartarus to his twin daughters, Stilletta and Styx. When he finished his term, he came back to his throne, becoming a law-abiding king (prince) and a respected member of the United Planets. Well, at least for a while: when his daughters became infatuated with the Legion of Super-Heroes, princeevillocomics2Evillo decided it was his duty to grant them whatever they wished for, so he arranged the abduction of Polar Boy, Matter-Eater Lad and Calorie Queen, hoping to satisfy them. He entrusted Matter-Eater Lad to Dr. Orbal, one of his loyal servants (and one of his genetic experiments) since he had been wounded in the process, and returned to his occupations…but, once again, underestimating the League was the cause of his downfall, as Matter-Eater Lad, after being cured by Orbal, escaped from the infirmary and, trying to find a way out of Tartarus, ended up opening a portal to the Realm of Darkness, thus freeing the hundreds of people Evillo had exiled there…including his wives. The prince’s palace was suddenly croweded with furious people who wanted to exact revenge on him, and he found himself surrounded and overpowered by all the people who had been his victims in the previous decades. While the Legionnaires escaped, Evillo was tortured and killed by the escapees…but this was not the end for him, as some time later Mordru, a sorcerer even more powerful than Evillo, resurrected him and used him as a pawn against the Legion. Being reduced to a slave was, for the mighty tyrant, a fate far worse than death…but at least he had a chance to get his revenge.

Prince Evillo is the cruel and sadistic ruler of Tartarus, a clever and deceiving man devoted to evil and brutality since his childhood. He’s a very talented sorcerer, and he can grow a pair of horns on his forehead from which he can shoot the Dark Rays able to send people to the hellish Realm of Darkness or the painful and potentially lethal Blasts of Darkness, or even hypnotize people, making even the best heroes serve him in evil ways; he also disposes of advanced technology compensating for the lacks of his magic. Evil just as his name suggests, Prince Evillo craves for power, and is ready to extend his dominion over the entire galaxy.

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 maneuvres. 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 strenghten 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 realised there was a different man under Jack O’Lantern’s mask. With time, however, Noronsa realised 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; simlarly, 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 realised 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 maneuvre the Guardians as he pleased, Jack O’Lantern hastened the diplomatical chrisis 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 preceeded him, a false patriot whose only loyalty is to himself.