Leonard Snart (Citizen Cold)

Not all doppelgangers are evil, and the last character appearing in the Crisis on Earth-X crossover proves it quite well. In the last two episodes we meet another member of the Freedom Fighters, Ray‘s boyfriend Citizen Cold, portrayed by Wentworth Miller…and yes, he’s the heroic version of Captain Cold. As we see in Legends of Tomorrow, he’s much more empathetic and talkative than his Earth-1 counterpart, and this is just one of the many reasons Mick doesn’t like him. It’s unknown how much he’ll stick with the Legends, but we’ll have him around for a while it seems. In the meanwhile, let’s take a look at this alternate Cold…who, in the comics, is not from Earth-X.

When The Flash came back in time and stopped Professor Zoom from killing his mother Nora, he created an alternate reality, where he never became a superhero. In this new world, Flashpoint, Leonard Snart started as a bank robber and a criminal like his original self, but he eventually found it more profitable to become a superhero, and he used some high-tech devices to become Citizen Cold, the ruthless protector of Central City. Cold was a respected and cheered hero, but also a feared one because of his brutal methods: he killed many of his foes, and even brutally maimed others. Despite this, Central City population loved him, and even built a museum for him. Despite being a renowned hero, he refused the invitation of Cyborg, America‘s greatest hero, to join him and stop the war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman, stating that he couldn’t leave his city without protection. Snart’s reasons weren’t that noble, as he often robbed the very criminals he arrested or killed, becoming extremely rich in the process, and he just didn’t want to get involved in things in which profit didn’t compensate risk. This, of course, earned him also some enemies, as the ones left alive nurtured quite a grudge against him. Citizen Cold learnt it the hard way when he killed during a battle Mr. Freeze, a criminal who was trying to find a cure for his wife Nora. Freeze’s death started a chain reaction that would have led to Cold’s downfall, but of course he didn’t know it yet: he just invited for dinner the reporter who was covering the battle, Iris West, hoping for a nice end of day.

Iris, however, was investigating on Leonard Snart, and her coworker and nephew, Wally West, eventually found out that Snart didn’t die, but rather became Citizen Cold. Cold busted Wally, and killed him on the spot before he could tell his aunt. In the meanwhile, Mirror Master, who had been terminally injured by Cold and forced to live in Mirror World, gathered some criminals to form a revenge group, the Rogues: Trixter, who wanted revenge for the death of the original Trickster, Weather Wizard, whose brother Clyde had been killed by Cold, Tar Pit, who had his brother killed and his money stolen by Cold, and Fallout, who was expecting a cure to his condition from Mr. Freeze. Following Trixter’s hint, the Rogues kidnapped Lisa, Snart’s sister, who was in prison after murdering her abusive father. As Leonard learnt of this, he ran to the rescue, but the battle went horribly wrong, and Fallout ended up killing Lisa. Distraught and severely wounded, Citizen Cold barely escaped with his life, and was saved by Iris, who brought him to her home and nurtured him back to health. As soon as he recovered, Cold gave the girl the keys to his penthouse, telling her to wait for him there, and then left on a killing spree, murdering the Rogues one by one, finding them thanks to Trixter, who betrayed his teammates and told him all their locations. While Cold was out murdering people, however, another enemy surfaced: the Pied Piper, a reformed criminal whose vocal cords Snart had ripped out time before. Seeking revenge as well, and wanting to expose Snart for the monster he was, the Pied Piper approached Iris, and informed her of Wally’s death, and of course told her who had killed him. There would have been an unpleasant surprise for Citizen Cold, when he would have come back home…

Leonard Snart is a greedy and cold-hearted man, a self-proclaimed hero who simply keeps doing his old work of robber, targeting criminals instead of civilians and adding glory and esteem to his loot. As Citizen Cold, he’s a proficient combatant and athlete, and he possesses an arsenal of cold-based weaponry, first of all his Cold Gun, a weapon that can freeze anything, including air to create slides Cold uses to move around faster. Despite being one of the most honored heroes of the country, Citizen Cold can’t truly hide his true colors, and acts as a brutal and murderous vigilante, a monster hardly distinguishable from the ones he hunts down.

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Raymond C. Terrill (The Ray)

Approaching the end of Crisis on Earth-X, we meet a superhero who’s also one of the new protagonists of the ever-expanding Arrowverse: Raymond “The Ray” Terrill, portrayed by Russell Tovey. Seen for the first time in a concentration camp, where he meets the heroes from Earth-1, Ray is revealed in the new animation webseries to be from Earth-1 himself, involved by his dying doppelganger in his crusade against the New Reichsmen, Nazi superheroes who he was fighting back on Earth-X. In the show, he comes back to Earth-X at the end of the battle, having earned quite a victory against his enemies, but we’ll most likely hear about him again soon enough. In the meanwhile, of course, we take a look to the original guy from the comics.

Raymond Terrill lived the first years of his life in an elaborated lie built to keep him away from his family legacy. His (supposed) father was Thomas Terrill, and he lived with him in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was told since he was born that he was seriously allergic to light, and that he would have been horribly burnt if exposed to sunlight. Therefore, his house was constantly dark, with the windows hermetically shut, and he was allowed to come out only by night. Local media even started to refer to him as “Night Boy“, in a report about his unique disease. His only friend was Jenny Jurden, a neighbor girl who kept him company. When Ray was eighteen years old, Thomas fell ill, and on his deathbed he required his “son” to be present. In this occasion, Ray learnt the truth: Thomas wasn’t his real father, rather he was his uncle, and his real parent was Langford “Happy” Terrill, the World War II hero known as The Ray. Even more, Ray himself wasn’t allergic to light at all, but he had been denied exposure to sunlight in order not to activate the powers he had inherited from his father. Still in shock, Ray was approached by his cousin, Hank, who accompanied him in his first exposure to direct light: the pale boy started to shine, absorbing light and reusing it as raw power. Hank urged his cousin to become a superhero like his father, but Ray, still scared and confused, refused. It was at that point that his allegedly dead biological father appeared, very much alive, and much younger than he should have been. More revelations were coming for the young man.

Happy told his son that he had become a superhero in a project named RONOL, that wasn’t about fighting Nazis in the first place: his main purpose was to save the entire planet from the Light Entity, a cosmic being only he, thanks to his powers, could reach and talk to. The Light Entity was about to reach Earth again, and only Raymond could dissuade it from destroying the planet. Cornered, Ray could do nothing but to embrace his powers, and he actually met and calmed down the Light Entity, even defeating the evil Dr. Polaris in the process. Following that, Ray didn’t want to continue this “superhero career”, but he ended up working as a computer programmer for the villain Vandal Savage, a coincidence that forced him to put on the mantle of The Ray once again. Finally surrendering to his legacy, Raymond accepted Happy as his mentor, and he succeeded him as the new Ray (Happy started to call himself Neon), and he became quite a relevant member of the superhero community in little time, battling foes as the cosmic bounty hunter Lobo, the demon Neron and the Apokoliptian monster Brimstone. This obviously got him some attention, and after the death of Superman, a Justice League desperately needing new members contacted him and offered him to join, something that he immediately accepted. While in the League, he even shared a brief romance with Black Canary, but the thing didn’t last long. When Martian Manhunter left to found another cell, Justice League Task Force, The Ray was among the ones who followed him. After that, he joined many other teams: the Forgotten Heroes, Young Justice, the Justice Society of America, and eventually the new Freedom Fighters. For being a reluctant hero, The Ray had come quite to enjoy his new status.

Ray Terrill is a young man raised in loneliness and darkness, who only recently came to embrace a new life made of light, friendships and public appearances. As The Ray, he can absorb and emit a huge amount of light, processing it to fly, to create objects of “solid light”, to shoot powerful laser beams, to create illusions and become invisible by bending light in the surroundings, to reach light speed, and even to heal himself from virtually any wound; while in his light form, he’s also impervious to any damage. A reluctant hero who’s been oblivious to his true lineage and heritage for most of his life, The Ray has now come to fully embrace his power and the responsibilities deriving from it, becoming literally a beacon of light for the people around him.

Dominic Lanse (Brainstorm)

Continuing to alternate between crossover and ongoing series, we come back to The Flash, and see the new “metahuman on the bus” we met in Don’t Run. Caitlin is kidnapped by Amunet Black, and forced to operate on Dominic Lanse, portrayed by Kendrick Sampson, an “uncooperative” prisoner who doesn’t want to be sold. The buyer, unfortunately, is DeVoe, and his plans for Dominic prove to be quite worrisome. In the comics, Dominic is one of the five people going by the alias Brainstorm, and the one exclusive to Prime Earth, the post-New 52 one. Let’s meet him together.

Dominic Lanse was born in an unspecified city of the United States of America, and growing up he showed quite an impressive talent in computer programming. He became a top scientist in his sector, and he was eventually hired by a famous company in the Silicon Valley, the Silicon Syndicate in the Platinum Flats. Lanse’s talent didn’t go unnoticed, and he was put in charge of a groundbreaking project aimed to download people’s minds and consciousness into computers, thus granting immortality to the planet’s finest intellects. While working on his project, Dominic became intrigued by the Singularity” theory, a secular religion that foresaw the coming of an all-mind, an event horizon in which every people on the planet would have had access to a sort of hive mind including all of humanity’s knowledge and skills. The Singularity, however, remained a far perspective, until Dominic was involved in a lab accident that had unexpected effects on him: while he was working on a computer able to absorb and process human intelligence and consciousness, his own brain became one, and he found out he disposed of untold psychic powers, the first and most important of all was the one of absorbing other people’s intellect and knowledge with a telepathic connection. Finally, the Singularity was at hand, and furthermore he could be the god of it, an omniscient deity who would have brought on the dawn of a new, perfect creation. Testing his new powers Dominic, renaming himself Brainstorm, started using his telepathy to mind-control random people all around the world. The experiments were successful, but he needed stronger evidence of his capabilities.

One of his first attempts of mind-harvest resulted in quite a disaster, as the sound waves he used to transmit his telepathic connection inadvertently caused an electromagnetic pulse that shut down many devices, including vehicles that malfunctioned and crashed, killing many. Brainstorm learnt from his failures and perfected his technique, finally finding a way to invade certain areas with his mind without causing any unwanted interference. As he successfully took over some common minds, he started to try with more and more intelligent people, until he organized a final exam: there was a new superhero in Los Angeles, a remarkable genius who called himself Mister Terrific, who could prove to be the perfect ultimate test subject. In order to lure him out, Brainstorm remotely possessed a common man, a nobody named Edgar Holowitz, who was having a meal in a diner. He pushed Holowitz’s mind to its limits, and brought the man to act violently, first insulting the waitress for no reason, and then even murdering a tramp in the parking lot. As expected, LAPD intervened and arrested Holowitz, but when in his cell, Brainstorm manipulated him so that he wrote some extremely complex mathematical equations on the walls, just before he died of aneurysm, his mind overused. As Brainstorm had foreseen, facing the equations LAPD called Mr. Terrific as consultant, and asked him to help in the case. As the hero came out in the open, Brainstorm was finally able to attack him as well, and he connected his mind to Terrific’s one, learning his true identity: Michael Holt, CEO of Holt Industries. Reading his mind, however, was not enough: as Holt was having a meeting with Senator Gonzalez, Brainstorm put himself to the test, and tried to manipulate Holt in murdering Gonzalez, and in using a high-tech device that prevented earthquakes to cause one. This ultimate success would have meant that the final phase of his world-shaping plan was finally about to start…

Dominic Lanse is an extremely brilliant and overly ambitious man, a megalomaniac who dreams of a highly connected world he’ll be the absolute lord of. As Brainstorm, he possesses vast psionic powers, and he’s able to mind-control people by remote channeling his cognitive neurocycling initiatiors in low-level radiations, activating them with sound waves: as a result, he causes a spike in people’s intelligence that proves to be fatal, but that allows him to absorb their intellect into his own, increasing his already superhuman intellect. A mastermind who values knowledge and intellect above everything else, life included, Brainstorm is the avatar of a new era, a trans-humanist who already lives in the future…and who’s willing to burn the present to ashes to fasten the coming of the all-mind.

Walter West (Dark Flash)

The last major villain appearing in Crisis on Earth-X is an unexpected, welcome old acquaintance: dear old Eobard Thawne, once again with the face of Harrison Wells (thus Tom Cavanagh). The fact that he is still alive after being erased from existence by Black Flash makes absolutely no sense, even as a time remnant, but that’s just another proof that the show’s writers can’t manage time travel paradoxes…but at least we’re happy to have the channel’s best villain ever still around and kicking. He’s the one who manipulate the events so that Earth-X attacks Earth-1, and this time he presents himself with a new alias, Dark Flash, with an SS emblem in place of the usual bolt. Just like with Dark Arrow, there is a anti-hero from the comics with that same name, and he’s still from a parallel reality, but it’s not an alternate version of Professor Zoom. Let’s see together.

Apparently, Walter West‘s life was identical to the one of Wally West from New Earth up to one, dramatic point: while Wally was able to save his wife Linda from Kobra, Walter failed, and Linda was killed. Embittered and distraught by the loss, Walter changed his name from The Flash to Dark Flash, and embraced a new style in fighting criminals: he had been far too soft with his enemies, and as a result, the love of his life had died. First, he had to gain a better understanding of the Speed Force that gave him power, so he turned the man who knew the most about it: the villain Savitar. Walter trained with Savitar until he learnt all he could teach, and then killed him. Starting from that, he started a personal crusade, and murdered every criminal he could catch in the country, eventually becoming a wanted man. His life was changed once again when he met Linda, alive and well. The reunion was a heartbreaking moment for Walter, until it came out that this wasn’t “his” Linda, but one from another Earth, who had been sent there by Kadabra to weaken “her” Wally West. Linda realized in horror that the police was after Walter, and that he was a murderer and a criminal, and she even saw her own grave. Things became even more complicated when “the other Wally” arrived: believing he was an impostor, Walter attacked him and overpowered him, having at least ten years of experience more than his adversary, but he was stopped by Linda, who confirmed the other’s identity. Everything escalated quickly when also Kadabra arrived, wanting to finish his job and destroy his nemesis. In front of such a powerful villain, the Flashes from two worlds decided to merge, adding one’s ability to the other’s.

The merging didn’t unite abilities only, but also characters: Wally surely was affected by Walter’s rage, but he also influenced the other’s mind with his memories and his strong values. When Walter eventually decided to interrupt the merging to inflict the finishing blow on Kadabra, he found out that he was indeed “softer”, and he hesitated. This, however, allowed the magician to perform another spell, that apparently killed both Wally and Linda. Walter attacked Kadabra, and endured all the lightning bolts the other shot him: the Dark Flash was scarred and aged, but alive, and Kadabra escaped. Believing he was the cause of other two deaths, Dark Flash decided to abandon his home reality, and to hunt down Kadabra to exact revenge. Using the knowledge he had gained from the merging, he vibrated to New Earth, where he arrived just in time to save Jay Garrick, Angela Margolin and some cops from an attack from Dr. Alchemy. As Walter’s behavior was clearly different from Wally’s, Jay sent some of his speedsters-in-training after him (Impulse, Max Mercury and Jesse Quick), but Dark Flash outran them all, and reached Alchemy, torturing him until he passed out for the pain. After this harsh debut, Dark Flash came back to Jay, and revealed to him his true identity, asking him to vouch for him as a replacement Flash, since he wanted to honor Wally’s memory by protecting his city. Jay granted him his leave, on the condition that he honored Wally also with his behavior, not being the cruel vigilante he used to. Walter gave his word, and started protecting Central City, building some sort of obelisk with no doors nor windows, accessible only with phasing, just outside the Flash Museum, as a new home. Central City had now a new, darker protector.

Walter West is a tormented, hardened man, a cruel avenger who channeled all the rage coming from the loss of his beloved wife in a violent and relentless war on crime. As Dark Flash, he’s much more expert and powerful in the use of his powers than Wally, adding to the usual speedster powers (super speed, superhuman physical attributes, phasing, dimensional travel, the ability to run on vertical surfaces or water, and so on), other abilities learnt by Savitar: he can accelerate his metabolism to heal instantly from almost any wound, he can lend or steal speed, he can use Speed Force to increase his own durability, he can use his powers to accelerate a person’s neurons and slow their cerebral cortex causing a great amount of pain, and much more. An extremely powerful speedster with very few moral restraints, the Dark Flash fights a brutal campaign to avenge the ones he lost, but it becomes hard to distinguish him from the villains he’s chasing…

Hannibal Bates (Dark Arrow)

Back to the crossover Crisis on Earth-X, we meet the ruler of the reality in which Nazis won World War II, the new Führer of the world…Oliver Queen‘s doppelganger. In the show, with the name Dark Arrow, the world’s best archer commands an army of Nazis and is married to Overgirl, and leads an invasion campaign on another reality just to save his wife. Quite ruthless but easily manipulable, this Queen fails to see who is really the one pulling the strings of his domain. In the comics, there is actually an Oliver Queen clone of sorts who goes by the name Dark Arrow, but he’s no Nazi, and is actually a character we already met in The Flash with a different alias. Let’s see together.

The cannibalistic psychopath Hannibal Bates, better known as Everyman, had been allegedly killed in battle when the Teen Titans and Steel assaulted Lex Luthor‘s palace, but he had actually survived thanks to his shape-shifting powers, that allowed him to avoid some serious injuries. Resurfaced during the assault on Themyscira led by Circe, Hannibal was defeated and arrested by Nemesis, and guarded by an inescapable guardian, the goddess Athena. Luckily for Everyman, but unfortunately for all his enemies, the real Athena had been lost long before, and the one posing as her was actually Granny Goodness, a loyal agent of Apokolips and a sadistic and dangerous New God. Impressed by both Bates’ skills and ferocity, Granny Goodness decided to use him in her long-term plan to undermine the superhero community, and she freed him, instructing him to act as mole. Soon after, an army of villains attacked the wedding ceremony of Green Arrow and Black Canary, and unbeknownst to everyone Everyman was among the crowd. Exploiting the confusion, Hannibal turned into Oliver Queen, and took his place: when the heroes defeated the villains, the ceremony continued as planned, but Black Canary was totally unaware that the one she was marrying wasn’t Oliver Queen at all. The problem would have surfaced soon after, however: the plan wanted Hannibal to pretend to be Queen for a while, and then to fake the archer’s death, but even Granny Goodness didn’t know that Hannibal Bates had been hiding a small detail from her. He was impotent.

This obviously proved to be a major liability during the couple’s honeymoon: unable to act as the very much sexually active Oliver Queen anymore, Hannibal Bates didn’t think of anything better than to try and kill Black Canary on their wedding night. The heroine eventually overpowered Bates, and stabbed him in the neck with an arrow. The ruse was later exposed by Batman and Dr. Mid-Nite, who performed an autopsy on “Green Arrow”. Bates was buried, but once again his powers (or most likely an unknown third agent) saved him from death. Revived and confused, he found himself wandering into an alley. Still with the semblance of Oliver Queen, he couldn’t remember who he was anymore, and he believed to be the real deal. As soon as he came back “home”, however, he was confronted by the actual Oliver, and by Black Canary, who identified the fake one from the scar on his neck, where she had stabbed him. Bates escaped from the two heroes, only to be captured immediately after by Big Game, who had some plans for him: injected with nanites, he was later released, and found by another dangerous psycho, Cupid. Obsessed by Green Arrow, Cupid eventually settled for the duplicate, who came to call himself Dark Arrow and dress in black. Not much time later, Big Game activated the nanites in his blood, forcing him to attack Cupid…but as he was strangling her, Dark Arrow remembered of the night he tried to kill Black Canary, and regained control. Cupid served him a love potion, so that he became her lover and partner, and the two formed quite a formidable couple of deadly archers. Now, with Dark Arrow by her side, Cupid could finally exact revenge on the one who had rejected her: the two prepared a trap for Green Arrow, Black Canary and Speedy, ready to kill them all…but the mystery of who had revived Hannibal Bates and locked his memory on the last identity acquired, and why, still remained…

Hannibal Bates used to be a deranged and feral psycho, but now he’s the shadow of his former self: confused and manipulable, still believing to be an amnesiac Oliver Queen, he lets himself be ordered around by pretty much everyone he meets. As the Dark Arrow, he has no memory of his shapeshifting abilities, but believing to be the Green Arrow he shows quite remarkable skills in archery and martial arts, not exactly close to the original one’s but impressive nevertheless. With no memory of his past or even his name, Dark Arrow suffered the perfect retribution: from being a man with many identities, he is now a man with no identity at all.

Kara Zor-L (Overgirl)

This year’s crossover on The CW has been pretty entertaining, and it introduced quite a bunch of new characters, mostly villains. Let’s start with Overgirl, the cold-hearted doppelganger of Supergirl, always portrayed by Melissa Benoist. Appearing in all episodes of Crisis on Eart-X, Overgirl is a Nazi superhero who married the world’s Führer Dark Arrow, and who leads the invasion of Earth-1 hoping to literally steal the heart of her liberal double, as she’s dying from a massive radiation exposure and needs a transplant. The evil version of Supergirl is the only character actually originating from Earth-X (albeit spelled Earth-10) also in the comics, a very short-lived heroine who actually appears mostly as a corpse. Let’s see together.

The girl who would have been known with the (fake) Kryptonian name Kara Zor-L was born in Germany, but on the parallel world of Earth-10, a reality in which the Third Reich won World War II thanks to their ultimate super-weapon: Overman, an invincible alien landed in Germany as a child, who became the champion of Nazism. Years after the end of the war, Nazi scientists decided that they needed “another Overman”, so they started a decades-long experiment to clone the hero. One unnamed girl who physically represented the ideals of the Arian race was selected, and she was artificially implanted with genetic material coming from Overman. With the scientists’ intervention, the girl’s DNA was overwritten by the alien one, until she assumed all the characteristics of a Kryptonian. She was educated in being the champion of the superior race, and she was presented to Overman as “Kara Zor-L”. Overman, who had been feeling lonely for decades, found in Kara a kindred spirit, and he easily grew fond of her, arriving to consider her “a little cousin”. Kara started protecting Nazism and its ideals to her cousin’s side, using the name Overgirl.

Overgirl and Overman shared many adventures together, defending the Reich from its enemies (mainly Uncle Sam and his Freedom Fighters, but also the only other cloning experiment who survived the genetic implant apart from her, the monstrous Antihuman). Overgirl became Overman’s only family, and the only one who could truly understand him, albeit possessing not even a half of his powers. One day, however, Overgirl was involved into a unique phenomenon: the barrier between dimensions, called the Bleed, became weaker due to the infinite machinations of the New God Darkseid, and she inadvertently crossed it, arriving to Earth-0 (aka New Earth). The crossing wasn’t easy nor harmless, and Overgirl arrived on the parallel Earth severely wounded. She was found by the forces of S.H.A.D.E. (the Super Human Advance Defense Executive), and brought to Checkmate for studies, but she died immediately after for her wounds. Unfortunately for that world, however, her cousin was coming at fast pace to get her back…

Kara Zor-L is a heroine on her world, fully committed to her government’s ideals and values…unfortunately, those values are the Nazi ones, and she fights for the supreme race and for the elimination of all imperfections, being them genetic or political ones. As Overgirl, she possesses a fraction of Overman’s powers, more than enough to grant her superhuman strength, speed, durability and stamina, heightened senses, heat vision, x-ray vision, flight, freezing breath, and much more, becoming more powerful the more solar energy she can absorb. The triumph of a criminal ideology, Overgirl is the greatest Arian woman ever lived, and the only one who can make the burden of solitude lighter for the most powerful being of Earth-10.

Black-Cloud-In-Morning/John Ravenhair (Black Bison)

We keep meeting new metahumans from the batch created by the Thinker in The Flash, and a new one arrived this week. In When Harry Met Harry…, The Flash and his new partner Elongated Man take on Mina Chayton, a Sioux woman portrayed by Chelsea Kurtz who kills people to take from them the stolen relics of her tribe. Mina calls herself Black Bison, after her tribe’s totem, and has the (funny) ability to animate any inanimate object resembling animals or people. In the comics, Black Bison is male rather than female, and he sports a fancier look than just a leather jacket with a black bison printed on it. His powers and motivations, however, are pretty much the same. Let’s see together.

Black-Cloud-In-Morning was the son of Thunder Arrow, member of an unspecified Native tribe. Black-Cloud and his family didn’t live in a reservation, but rather in the middle of New York City, in Queens: despite his father, his grandfather Red-Desert-And-Night-Wind and especially his grandfather, the shaman Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky, were very attached to their people’s traditions, the young man was much more fascinated by the modern world, and refused to live according to the costumes of a people he didn’t feel like his own. Growing up, he legally changed his name into John Ravenhair, and was hired as an instructor at Bradley High School; he even fell in love with the school’s nurse, Vanessa Tremont, and he started dating her. Time passed, and both Thunder Arrow and Red-Desert died: eventually, John had to take care of his near-centennial great-grandfather on his own. Bison-Black didn’t hide his contempt for his nephew, and tried to teach him the way of the ancient Black Bison Cult, but John always ignored the old man’s teachings. One day, however, Bison-Black found out that a senator, Walter Reilly, had donated his private collection of Native American artifacts to the Natural History Museum, and that John was going to take his students there on a school trip. Before he left home, John was convinced by the old man to wear a talisman, a necklace, and he did so just to please him. While he was with his students, however, Bison-Black-As-Midnight-Sky went to Central Park, where he performed an ancient ritual and bonded his soul to the talisman; two robbers killed him, but his soul possessed an unaware John, who found himself transformed into the mystical Black Bison.

Influenced not only by his evil great-grandfather, but also by the wrath of all his ancestors, Black Bison stole from the museum the traditional headgear of his tribe, and also a legendary coup-stick that, used along with the talisman, gave him great magic powers. Black Bison declared war on all who had humiliated and robbed his people over the years, including the patrons of the museum, Walter Reilly especially. One of the students, however, was Ronnie Raymond, and he turned into the superhero Firestorm to fight the shaman. Realizing the power of his opponent, Black Bison used his stick one some stuffed animals, sending them against the students: while Firestorm was busy taking care of the reanimated predators, the shaman escaped, riding on a reanimated white horse. This wasn’t meant to be a retreat, however, as he was still pursuing vengeance: he went to Senator Reilly’s house, abducting his daughter Lorraine. He brought her to Central Park, where he held her hostage demanding that the man responsible of destroying his people’s heritage surrendered himself to him. The one who came, however, was once again Firestorm. Black Bison animated some Alice in Wonderland statues from the nearby Storybook Land, sending them against the hero. As victory was approaching, something unexpected happened: Vanessa, John’s girlfriend, arrived at the park, and tried to talk her boyfriend out of what he was doing. Her passion was enough to let John free himself from the spirits for a second, that was all Firestorm needed to take his amulet away from him and throw it in a nearby creek. John Ravenhair was himself once again, but the call of his people would have been heard again during his life, claiming the vengeance they had waited for so long…

Black-Cloud-In-Morning, or as he prefers to be called John Ravenhair, is a man who embraced the modern world disavowing his people’s traditions, and who tries to live his life far from the influence of his elders…but the wrath of his ancestors haunts him, turning him into a violent avenger bent on exacting vengeance on the white man. As Black Bison, his talisman and coup-stick allow him to bring to life inanimate objects to do his bidding, and also to command weather; he’s also a master in his tribe’s martial art. The Black Bison is literally a man inhabited by many souls, a protector gifted with a great power who can use it for protecting people or for murdering innocents on a vengeful spree, depending on who’s in control of John Ravenhair’s body…