Jenni Ognats (XS)

The other big news regarding the character of Nora Allen from The Flash is about her costumed identity. Jessica Parker Kennedy‘s time traveler, in fact, will don the suit and the code name of another speedster from the future, XS, who in the comics is not Barry‘s daughter, but rather his granddaughter. The suit will be the same Iris wore when she temporarily gained her husband’s speed, with a golden “XS” on the chest for a change. Whether this means that also XS’s group, the Legion of Super-Heroes that already made its presence felt in Supergirl, will make an appearance, remains to be seen, but that would be quite nice. In the meanwhile, let’s take a look at the original XS.

Time travel always makes quite a mess in events and relations, and this is no exception: Jenni Ognats was the daughter of Jeven Ognats, a politician from the XXX Century, and Dawn Allen, daughter of the second Flash and one of the Tornado Twins along with her bother Don. If uniting two eras in one child wasn’t enough, the family was soon reached by Professor Zoom, the time-traveling villain who was still fighting his bloody crusade against The Flash and all his descendants. The Tornado Twins used their father’s Cosmic Treadmill to escape into another dimension, but Zoom followed them, and was defeated only thanks to the combined effort of three Legions of Super-Heroes from just as many alternative timelines. Jenni was safe, but as a result of Zoom’s meddling she and her family were stranded on Earth-247, a possible XXX Century. She was raised here, in Aarok, with no idea of her true origins, and without showing any signs of super-speed during her childhood. This lasted until the Dominators attacked Earth once again: the Tornado Twins were killed during the resulting war, and even Jenni was targeted because of her bloodline, as well as her father Jeven for his political influence. As she was prisoner of the aliens, the sight of her father being tortured finally activated Jenni’s latent connection to the Speed Force, and she accessed all the powers of a speedster for the first time. She freed herself and her father and escaped from the Dominators, coming back to Earth just as the attackers’ base exploded. After this first manifestation of her powers, she obviously needed to control them, and she was introduced to a laboratory in which she was taught to coordinate her movements at super-speed, avoiding to constantly trip on her own feet, and to cause unwanted damage while moving. She spent some months training, until she finally mastered her powers with ease. As soon as she was ready, even if she was still young, she was requested by a representative of the United Planets, and drafted into the Legion of Super-Heroes, having for the first time the occasion to follow into her family’s heroic footsteps.

She was just an enthusiastic kid when she joined the Legion, and she was constantly nervous in measuring herself with the legends of her time. She developed an adolescent crush for Cosmic Boy and, later, for Mon-El, and always acting like the scared child who had to be guided through any mission, step by step. It took her some time to adjust, but finally managed to prove her value when she single-handedly saved the entire team from a fiery attack of Kid Quantum, earning also the respect and the consideration of her idols. While she built her name with the Legion, she also became an amateur archaeologist, digging up buildings and findings from her original time, XX Century. She, of course, also travel back to the XX Century in a couple of occasions, but during one of these she got separated from the rest of the Legion and became stranded in the past. Here she met Impulse, her cousin, who had been brought back in time after Professor Zoom’s attack for his own safety. The two became fast friends (pun intended), and they even teamed up for a while. While she was in the past, she joined that time’s speedsters and fought against the self-proclaimed god of speed Savitar. During that occasion, the Flash from the XXVII Century, John Fox, managed to repair the Cosmic Treadmill, allowing her to come back home in the XXX Century. As she resumed her usual life in the future, she found in the building she was excavating a note, left by Impulse in the past, a way to say goodbye and to make her feel him close despite the centuries separating them. She also started to flirt and date with a teammate, Magno, who she had been unwillingly rejecting for a while, all lost for Cosmic Boy as she was. Just as the two started to become closer, though, the Legion disbanded, decimated by the invasion of the Blight. XS was one of the few Legionnaires left in the XXX Century, but this didn’t mean her heroic career was over, quite the opposite: now that there was but a bunch of heroes, she had to double her efforts to protect the universe, starting with a certain emergency on planet Xanthu

Jenni Ognats is an enthusiastic and very emotional young woman, often insecure about her own abilities, but always happy about nearly everything in her extraordinary life. As XS, she’s able to move at near-light speed, enough to run on water or on vertical surfaces, and she’s also able to vibrate fast enough to phase through solid matter; after a training from her grandfather Barry, she’s able to alter her molecular vibration frequencies to travel through time and across dimensions without any tool; her Legion Flight Ring allows her to fly, to communicate in every known language, and to survive in any hostile environment, void space included. Born in the past, but totally belonging to the future, XS is a girl who lived through a lot of pain and loss, but managed to turn them into energy for a bright future, always donning a smile that doesn’t hide but rather reinvents the traumas and insecurities from her past.

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Nora Allen (Cruise)

I waited to write anything about the “surprise character” (yes, everybody knew who she was) from last season’s finale, and it turned out to be a good move, as for the next season of The Flash we have some new intel about her. First appeared in Crisis on Earth X as “Mystery Girl“, the recurring lady portrayed by Jessica Parker Kennedy revealed herself to be Nora Allen, Barry‘s and Iris‘ future daughter, in the finale We Are The Flash. She also told everyone she made quite a mess with the timeline traveling back in time, and she needs help to fix it. What a surprise. Anyway, the character is an amalgamation of two other speedsters from the comics (and no, none of them is Dawn Allen as many had imagined), the first being obviously Nora Allen from Prime Earth, a recent time traveler who made her debut last year with the name Cruise. Let’s see together.

Nora Allen came from a possible future, not exactly the happiest one possible. She was the daughter of Barry “The Flash” Allen and of Jessica “Green Lantern” Cruz, two of the greatest heroes from the Justice League. She was born in Keystone City, and raised with her little twin siblings, Jason and Jenny. While the twins had taken from their mother, and were able to tap to the entire Emotional Spectrum without the need of a Power Ring, Nora had inherited her father’s connection to the Speed Force, and was quite a powerful speedster. She spent her childhood running with her dad, her absolute favorite moments, and she also visited the Justice League Satellite to play with the other kids: George Marvin “Cube” Stone, son of Cyborg, Hunter Prince, the son of Wonder Woman adopted by Superman and Lois Lane, and Eldoris “Serenity” Curry, daughter of Aquaman and Mera. As soon as she started to master her powers, Nora was called Cruise. Her childhood was filled with amazing moments… but it all came to an end, as the Darkness started to engulf the earth. The Darkness, the physical embodiment of all the hatred and the rage in the world, awakened years before by the song of the Kindred, had infected people all around the world, forcing them to kill one another in interminable wars. The moment it infected superhumans as well, things became to look really scary. The Justice League answered the call to confront the Darkness, but just before that the heroes brought their children to Mount Olympus, to keep them safe as long as they were away. They never came back. Nora and the others waited for them, but it soon became clear that they were lost just like all the others. They spent years training together, becoming powerful enough to surpass the dimensional barrier around Olympus and come back to their world to look for their parents… or to avenge them, if the worst had come to be. Cruise became faster, even faster than her father, and she even started something like a romantic relation with Hunter. But the mission was more important.

Once on Earth, it became clear that all the heroes had died, but the world still needed them. Cruise and the others organized into a new Justice League, and traveled the world trying to bring hope and comfort to the survivors of the war… but it wasn’t over yet. A sorceress who apparently appeared out of nowhere, a powerful warrior who called herself Sovereign, attacked the Olympus, slaughtered the gods and took possession of the mount, making it her throne world and teleporting it on Earth. From Olympus, she started a death campaign, hellbent on murdering anyone she could find, apparently with no reason nor purpose. The new group, this Justice League Legacy, couldn’t do much against her, especially after Aquaman, who had apparently went mad and killed Mera, joined her. There wasn’t much they could do, until Hunter had an idea: they would have traveled back in time, and stopped the Darkness and Sovereign before they destroyed the world, acting together with their parents. With nothing to lose, the JLL reached Olympus, looking for the tech they needed to time travel, but they were greeted by Aquaman, ready for them. Cruise attacked him head on, but the former hero was prepared, and detonated a Timeless Grenade, that slowed time to a near stop, with the effect of making Nora move at normal speed… slow enough for Aquaman to knock her out with no effort. Wounded but alive, Cruise was saved by the twins, and thanks to Cube the group managed to reach Olympus, where she was finally able to recover her connection to the Speed Force. Here, the JLL broke into what remained of the Infinity Corporation Building, where Cube was still sensing the presence of Vincent. Vincent, actually, was dead by a long time, but his conscience, downloaded in the computer, still guided the heroes, and led them to the last remaining Stones of Forever. Using them, Cruise and the others finally reached the past, appearing right in front of the Justice League, contemplating a massacre occurred in Midway City. Overwhelmed by emotion in seeing her parents after so many years, Cruise embraced Green Lantern Cruz, and later followed the JLA, asking for clarifications, to the Satellite… but she and the others had failed to notice that the Darkness had followed them in the past, and was ready to fuse with and empower its past self becoming unstoppable…

Nora Allen is a girl who had to suffer a lot for her young age, but who’s still able to maintain an easy-going and cheerful attitude despite everything. As Cruise, she’s connected to the Speed Force, and as a result she can move at extremely fast speed, even faster than her late father Flash; she didn’t demonstrate other abilities connected to the Speed Force, but she’ll almost certainly develop them in time. Brave to the point of bordering with recklessness, committed to the death to the one family she knows, her friends from the Justice League Legacy, Cruise is a survivor who fights to save what remains of her world, and a heir who feels all the pressure of living up to names like the one of her parents, two of the greatest heroes ever lived… and she’s making quite an excellent job in honoring them.

David Hersch (Cicada)

Other news from the Arrowverse, as the main villain of The Flash Season 5 has been announced in the SDCC trailer. As problems with the timeline (again…) are being faced by The Flash and his team, a new threat plots from the shadows, wielding a lightning-shaped dagger that the comic readers know well: that’s Cicada, portrayed by Chris Klein. In Season 3, Tracy Brand referred to David Hersch as to one of the professors who made her fail her doctoral dissertation, and now is ready to be introduced as an obsessed man whose family has been wiped out by metahumans, and who’s ready for a big payback by killing each and every one of them as if they were a plague. This is quite a leap from the comics, where Hersch’s relation to his family wasn’t exactly idyllic, and where he rather starts a cult worshiping metahumans rather than hating them. Let’s see together.

David Hersch was born in Keystone City, but in 1890. He was an architect, but also worked as a preacher, helping the local priest in St. John’s Catholic Church. He was married to Elizabeth, a woman he was convinced to love with all his heart… but apparently there was something wrong with his idea of love, or maybe he didn’t get something from the Gospel he preached every Sunday: paranoid and bent on rage bursts, he frequently abused his wife, beating her everytime he saw something wrong in the world, an occasion that repeated itself quite often. Eventually, one night, he beat his wife so hard that he killed her. After the murder, going mad with grief, he tried to kill himself, but moments before committing suicide he was struck by a bolt of lightning, that hit the dagger he wanted to use for the act. Miraculously, he survived the experience, and not only that: he had also had a vision of himself, destined to an immortal life and accompanied by his beloved Elizabeth, risen from the dead by his side. Hersch believed this to be a message from God, and he was convinced even more so the moment he realized that he had also acquired supernatural abilities that allowed him to absorb people’s life force, to be transferred to others, himself included. He had been given a purpose, and the means to achieve it. He put his wife’s body into a metal coffin, hidden deep under what would have become years later Keystone Motors, and then used his experience as a preacher to start his own cult, promising everlasting life to his followers. He named himself Cicada, as the insect who was said to be able to hibernate itself for centuries and then be reborn anew, and his cult, the Children of Cicada, became a constant yet hidden presence in Keystone City’s history. Unfortunately, God wasn’t speaking to him anymore. Not until many, many years later.

For more than a century, Cicada used his powers to absorb the life force of his followers, gaining the immortality he wanted, but he still lacked the higher purpose he had been promised. Then, finally, he learnt that the heroic Flash had gained his powers from a lightning bolt, just as he had: he believed The Flash to be his “brother”, and presented him to his Children as the promised savior. Cicada instructed his followers to pay attention to The Flash’s daily deeds, as the ones he saved were the ones destined to be sacrificed to achieve immortality. He gave his Children a lightning-shaped dagger, that he imbued with his power so that they were able to absorb life force just like he did, and then sent them in every street, road and alley of the city, letting them murder every person who had been previously saved by The Flash. This turned out to be a success, as Cicada amounted an unprecedented quantity of life force… but it also brought an unwanted attention from the authorities. Wanting to prevent the hero, Cicada enlisted the help of Magenta, and had her kidnap Flash and bring him to his lair. Here, he told the “savior” that they were one and the same, as he himself had been hit by lightning just after his wife had been killed (apparently, age and insanity had made him rewrite some parts of his own story). Finally, using the energy he had collected from the “sacrifices” and from Flash himself, he was able to resurrect Elizabeth… but the woman wasn’t exactly happy to see him, and she revealed to everyone that it was David the one who had killed her in the first place. Enraged, denying the truth, Cicada attacked Elizabeth, and killed her once again by draining her of her life force with one last kiss. Then he was finally stopped by Flash, who had been freed by detectives Jared Morillo and Fred Chyre. He was sentenced to death and put in Iron Heights in death row… but first S.T.A.R. Labs had to determine if he was able to die at all, with all the energy he had stored. Cicada lifted them of this doubt, as he escaped from prison exploiting the commotion created by Gorilla Grodd some time later…

David Hersch is a maniac, a deranged man driven mad by guilt, paranoia and religious fanaticism; despite being totally crazy, he’s still charismatic and magnetic, able to fascinate hundreds of people in his cult. As Cicada, he’s a “lightning rod for souls”, able to absorb other people’s life force to expand his life span indefinitely, to heal from any possible wound, even lethal ones, and to resurrect the dead by redistributing the life force he’s stolen; he wields twin Lightning Daggers, weapons imbued with his power that can steal or release life force acting as catalysts of his power. A beloved leader followed by a group of fanatics who believed his promises of immortality and who hang off his words, Cicada is a dark, secret shadow looming over Keystone City’s history, an immortal threat driven by a mad righteousness that makes him all the more dangerous.

Edwin Gauss (Folded Man)

Apart from seeing the debut of Null, the last episode of The Flash also offered us a look at the last bus-meta. In Null and Annoyed, in fact, Harry Wells managed to identify the last occupiers of the fated bus, and obtained pictures of them, the last one being Edwin Gauss, portrayed by Arturo Del Puerto. Apparently, Gauss can’t be found as he “vanished in thing air”… and that comes as no surprise, considering how in the comics he possesses one of the weirdest (and coolest) powers ever, that makes him kind of impossible to track. Let’s see together.

Edwin Gauss was an obviously different boy since his childhood: extremely intelligent and gifted, his intellect and knowledge were always far beyond his age, and he finished school much earlier. He enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he became renowned as America‘s smartest man alive, the greatest genius from the times of Mister Terrific. He was the youngest graduate from MIT ever, but he was also a very ambitious young man: his top goal was to best Albert Einstein and complete his unfinished Unified Field Theory. To do so, however, Gauss needed ground-breaking technology property of Devlin Bridges, an electronics mogul… tech that Gauss, who considered himself superior to others because of his intelligence, didn’t have any problem to steal. Edwin escaped with what he needed, and took shelter in a small apartment in Central City, where he hoped to ultimate his work, uniting his theory on dimensions with Bridges’ technology. Bridges, however, wasn’t someone who would just let somebody steal from him unpunished, and had the cops of the whole country hunt Gauss down. Some agents from CCPD found Edwin’s refuge and proceeded to arrest him… but they arrived just when the thief had finished his ultimate creation: a suit that allowed him to travel between at least four dimensions, making him virtually unstoppable. Wearing his suit, Gauss effortlessly got rid of the cops, killing one of them in the process. Due to his unique abilities, he became known as the Folded Man, but to himself, he had just become a god, able to move anywhere between dimensions, proving in practice what Einstein failed to prove in theory. Of course, as inferior as the others may have been, there were consequences for his crime.

The cop he had killed was a close friend of CSI Angela Margolin, who in turn was the love interest of the new Flash. Because of her, Flash got interested in the case, and tracked Gauss’ tech back to Devlin Bridges just as the Folded Man was about to kill him in revenge. The Flash barely understood what the Folded Man was able to do, before the latter took him to the fourth dimension with him, stranding the hero there. Then, Gauss came back to the third dimension, where he proceeded the hunt for Bridges, who this time was protected by Margolin. The woman tried to shoot the Folded Man, but in his 2-D form he was intangible. Just as he was about to get rid of Margolis as well, The Flash managed to come back by vibrating through Gauss’ suit, and took Bridges and Margolies to a construction site. The Folded Man immediately reached them, but this time the hero knew who he was dealing with, and took precautions. He used some of the construction materials to pin him to a single dimension, the third one, where he was completely vulnerable, then proceeded to knock him out. Arrested, Edwin Gauss was entrusted to Devlin Bridges and his scientists, and brought to his labs to have his suit removed. Despite their best effort, Gauss had secured the suit to his own flesh, so they were unable to remove it. As soon as the Folded Man came back to his senses, he escaped, and eventually joined Blacksmith‘s Network, and later the Rogues. He was somehow arrested once again, and this time he ended up in Iron Heights, only to be freed by Gorilla Grodd during a mass breakout. He joined the biggest alliance of criminals ever seen in Central City, ready to wreak havoc.

Edwin Gauss is a genius born, a man characterized by a massive intelligence, as well as by a total lack of humanity. As the Folded Man, his suit allows him to travel freely between dimensions: when he’s 2-D, he’s intangible, and invisible if seen from the sides, and he can cut through matter as a sharp razor blade; in his 4-D form, he’s able to reach any place he can think of, he sees everything in any time and from every direction at once, and he interacts with the 3-D world as if it was 2-D, thus being extremely powerful. Ambitious and greedy, he considers other people inferior to him just because they’re not as smart as he is, and he acts on consequence, taking whatever he likes and killing whoever he doesn’t. Such a brain, and no heart at all.

Lord Crucifer

This week’s episode of The Flash didn’t move the story any forward, but the side-story had some surprise for us nevertheless. In Null and Annoyed, as an aged Breacher comes to Cisco looking for help in regaining his powers, we learn that he’s been defeated by Lord Crucifer, a pretty badass vampire portrayed by Mikael Vierge. The leader of an army of vampires, he certainly doesn’t look the least like his slender comicbook counterpart, but he has a lot of traits in common, like him belonging to the Tenth Circle. Let’s see together.

Lord Crucifer was born millennia ago, in an unspecified region of Earth. Through unspecified means, he became a vampire, and along with hundreds like him he founded the Tenth Circle, a cult that promised immortality to its members, obviously spreading the plague of vampirism as the promise was delivered. The Tenth Circle expanded all over the world, growing in power and conquering countries, until they found a people who matched their strength and numbers: the Amazons. Lord Crucifer led his people in an all-out war against Queen Hippolyta and her sisters, and despite their might the vampires were defeated. Thanks to the gods’ magic, Hippolyta was able to cast the vampires out of Earth, imprisoning them into another dimension, where they stayed trapped for centuries. From his alien prison, Lord Crucifer tried over and over again to breach the barrier separating him from a world still ripe for conquering, until he found an ancient blood magic that could actually help him: he projected his life force outside the barrier, leaving behind just his heart, obtaining a new physical form on Earth. Finally free to move again, he dedicated his (eternal) life to the purpose of freeing his people, and rebuild the Tenth Circle in all its ancient glory. In the vampires’ absence, humans had grown in number, so surely he wouldn’t have starved in the process. Obviously, however, he had to lay low for a while.

Lord Crucifer claimed a castle, that became his house, and fed on the ones fool enough to accept his invitations. In the meanwhile, he kept studying the blood magic that had freed him, and tried more than once to project the life force of his companions into human bodies drained of their blood. The vessels, however, proved to be too frail, and the body pulverized a few moments after a vampire spirit inhabited it. Then, finally, the solution was born on its own: in the 20th Century, Earth saw the dawn of superheroes, beings with incredible powers who were much more durable and resistant than baseline humans. Fascinated, Crucifer studied them for decades, always acting from the shadows, until he decided that they would have been the perfect hosts for his brothers and sisters. For the task, Crucifer bent to his will a young metahuman, Nudge, and forced her to use her hypnotic powers to enslave also her super-strong friend Grunt and young Doom Patrol member Vortex to kidnap for him a number of metahuman children, whom he prepared to be the living vessels of his brethren. These actions, however, attracted the attention of both the remaining members of Doom Patrol and even of the Justice League of America, who came to the rescue. Lord Crucifer proved to be more than a match for the heroes: he successfully hypnotized Superman, making him a personal slave, and he nearly turned Faith into a vampire as well. He then faced the daughter of his nemesis Hippolyta, Wonder Woman, and bested her in combat, stabbing her with her own sword. He was even able to recognize Martian Manhunter disguised among the children in his castle, and proceeded to bite him. The return of the Tenth Circle was right at hand…

Lord Crucifer is a highly intelligent but cruel vampire, a clever planner and a patient researcher hellbent on freeing his lost brethren from their dimensional prison. As a vampire, he possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, durability and reflexes, enhanced senses and regenerative abilities; he’s immortal and invulnerable, even more so considering that his heart, his only vulnerable part, is not in his chest; he can hypnotize people and turn humans and metahumans into loyal vampire slaves by biting them; he also has sharp claws and fangs, he can phase and shapeshift, and he’s also a master combatant and swordsman despite his frail-looking physique. A monster that has been growing like a cancer for centuries, Lord Crucifer is able and willing to bring back an era of darkness, blood and torment upon the world: the era of vampires.

Null

Most of CW super-series are still on hiatus, but some new details emerged on the next week’s episode of The Flash. Barry and Ralph will be trying to outrun DeVoe and reach the remaining bus metas before him, and in Null and Annoyed the one they’ll find first will be Janet Petty, portrayed by Bethany Brown, apparently a super-powered thief. The name doesn’t ring any bell, but her powers and alias surely do: she’ll be the show’s version of Null, a secondary villain able to manipulate gravity with the mere movement of his fingers. Yup, “his”, as the original Null is a male rather than a female… albeit they show a pretty much identical hairstyle. Let’s see together.

Little to nothing is known about the man known as Null, not even his real name. It’s even unknown how he got his powers, if he was born with them, developed them spontaneously during his life, or underwent some kind of lab accident that mutated him. Being it a way or another, he had powers, but he truly didn’t want to use them like most of the people out there did, donning a fancy costume and acting like a super-hero or a super-villain. He just wanted to live differently. In his search for a proper place to stay, away from the annoyance of the “outside world”, he ended up in Chicago, Illinois, where he entered in contact with the perfect place for him: the Netherworld. Located in the old Union Stock Yards in the south of the city, the Netherworld was ignored by any known authority, from the Illinois state to the local police, and was inhabited by the many mutants, metahumans, paranormals and such who, just like him, wanted to live a normal life despite the fact they were not “normal” at all. Taking the name “Null” following his personal philosophy, the man settled in quite well, learning everything he had to from Knowbuddy, a resident of Netherworld who was the keeper of all the costumes, laws and regulations of the place: following only what was written in the Book, Netherworld was a world that didn’t recognize outer society’s rules and laws, and served as its own one and true authority. Exactly the perfect place for Null to begin his new life.

Netherworld was divided in several groups that gathered the inhabitants depending on their characteristics: there were the Hairballs, feral werewolves-like mutates, the Phreaks, whose body had been horribly mutated, and the Nasties, bonded to demons, but Null never recognized himself in any of them. Despite not being a part of a clan, he was still a recognized Netherworlder, and soon became one of the most trusted (and efficient) protectors of the small utopia they had created. The Netherworld, in fact, being the safe house and shelter for many outsiders and freaks, was often the target of extremists and racists, such as the fiery vigilante White Dragon, who only targeted racial minorities. It was battling him that Null and the other Netherworlders first met Hawkman and Hawkwoman, two alien cops who had been sent on Earth as sign of good will from Thanagar. Netherworld didn’t recognize any police force on Earth, and there was no reason why they should accept an alien one, so the presence of the duo was immediately perceived as an unwanted invasion, leading Null and the others to clash with the couple. The two cops resurfaced once again when Count Viper, a meta able to transfer his conscience from a host body to another, settled in the Netherworld and became with his charisma and power some sort of boss there, deceiving the inhabitants to transform them into his personal metahuman army. Null fell for it, and when Hawkman and Hawkwoman came for Viper he sided with the latter, until it became clear what was happening and he let the two winged heroes defeat the Count. Even if he was one of them, nobody would have ever taken away the only thing Netherworlders truly treasured: their freedom.

Null is a self-proclaimed nihilist, who doesn’t give a dime to anything and doesn’t care for anything, apart of course for the safety of the small anarchist utopia he and the other Netherworlders created. Through unknown means, but most likely thanks to the Gene Bomb, he developed the ability to create an artificial gravitational field in a small area, that he can control at will modifying the weight of the ones in it, making them extremely light to the point of floating or heavy enough that they won’t be able to move. With no ideals, no principles and no worries in the world, Null is an anarchist who craves only one thing: freedom, and he’ll fight against anyone, good or bad, to protect it.

Pyro

It looks like The Flash is resuming villains from everywhere these days, as in the promo material for the next episode we meet yet another who had just one comic appearance. In Run, Iris, Run, a metahuman named Melting Pot (an original one, I think) uses his powers to swap the DNA of Barry and Iris… having the latter gain super-speed, just in time to meet yet another meta, Jaco Birch, portrayed by Max Adler. Birch is described as a metal lover with the power of controlling fire, but if his true name doesn’t ring any bell, his alias is another story: he’s supposed to be Pyro, an obscure villain who appeared in 1988 only, then forgotten. No surprise nobody recognized him, as his bio is totally different, apart from his powers: let’s see together.

Pyro wasn’t exactly born, rather he was created, and for a very specific reason. In the depths of the dimensional hell-prison known as Darkworld, in fact, the ancient god once worshiped as The Weaver had finally found a way to exact his millennial revenge against Agon, the Atlantean sorcerer who had imprisoned him 45,000 years before: on Earth, he had spotted one who was believed to be Agon’s granddaughter, sent to a pocket dimension for millennia to save her from the destruction of Atlantis and from the evil sorcerer Garn Daanuth. Flesh and blood of his ancient enemy, the girl was revered as Power Girl, a heroine based in New York City, and The Weaver unleashed all his magic powers from the Darkworld to bring her on her knees before inflicting the finishing blow. The Weaver used his magic to curse everyone close to Power Girl, causing a series of troubling incidents to her friends, and even bringing her company close to being sold by one of its directors, greedy businessman Harlan Brooks. Then, of course, he also challenged her on the physical ground, and crafted a series of magical constructs, super-powered golems with a limited existence, to fight her: the first one was the unstoppable Force, who brought Power Girl to hurt an innocent bystander, then came the water-manipulator Hydra, who ruined the work of her friend, the artist Garth McGarth, and then again the wind-master Hurricane, who ruined a girls’ night out with her friends Carrie Phillips and Liz Joyce. Then, at last, came the turn of Pyro.

Before attacking Power Girl head-on, Pyro paid a little visit to the main offices of Starrware Industries, the woman’s computer company, setting them afire and inflicting a major blow to her private and professional life. Then, he tracked his enemy while she was walking on the streets by night, disguised in her civilian identity of Karen Starr. Thanks to The Weaver’s knowledge, Pyro was able to recognize his target even behind the facade, and attacked her with a burst of flame, burning her clothes and revealing Power Girl’s costume beneath. He immediately noticed that the heroine didn’t fear his flame, since she (rightfully) believed herself to be invulnerable, but he soon surprised her: as his flame was of magic origin, it could hurt her pretty well, and so it did. Power Girl tried to fight back, but she was soon overwhelmed by her elemental foe, just as she had been with his predecessors. Pyro led the dances, and moved the battle up in the sky, where he crushed his foe on a building’s rooftop. Here, he bombed the heroine with all his fire balls, making the building collapse and burying Power Girl under it. Despite the woman was still alive, his mission was now accomplished: he had proved her weak and fed her insecurity, he had made her paranoia and fear grow, and he had weakened her before the final battle with The Weaver, in Darkworld. He disappeared in his flames just before the heroine resurfaced, returning to the void he had been created from.

Pyro is an extremely talkative magic construct, a sentient golem hellbent on a single purpose: to destroy Power Girl as his master, The Weaver, commands. Powered by Darkworld’s magic, he’s able to fly, to generate and control flames, and is durable enough to sustain a Kryptonian‘s blows. Artificial but pretty much real, Pyro responds to his one and only reason for existing, a force of nature impossible to stop… and impossible to shut up, apparently.