Tag: g brett williams

G. Brett Williams #27 – Stanford Faraday, The Librarian

| November 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Librarian, better known by the name Stanford Faraday, was a professor of English at a fairly well-to-do university.  But in his earlier days, when Stanford Faraday was just a lowly graduate assistant spending the majority of his time fetching coffee and hiding in the library, something quite magnificent happened to him.  While working on site at the library, shelving books and cataloguing titles, Stanford made his way into the deep, dark recesses of the library, into the bowels of the the beast where the university’s most esoteric volumes were stored.  Once down there, he was attracted to faint glow that seemed to be coming from one of the farthest corners of the collection.  When he reached the glow, he found a cloth covering a fairly plain piece of flat stone that glowed rather brightly, despite having no discernible light source.  Upon the stone were etched words in a language so lost to time that Stanford had never before encountered it.  Overwhelmed by a desire to experience the tactile sensation of holding the object, Stanford Faraday placed his fingertips on the cold, flat face of that stone and found his life inexorably changed.  He didn’t remember the next few moments.  All Stanford remembered was finding the stone, then finding himself seated at a desk where he’d previously been working.  It was as if no time had passed.  The stone, an ancient relic of unknown origin, was said to have written upon it all the knowledge of the world, from the beginning, to the end.

Stanford felt different after that day.  His mind was clearer, his thoughts crisper.  He found that he could predict with some accuracy the weather for the day, could sense moments just before they happened, could find the solution to a problem with more speed than before.  Pretty soon, he realized that it was the stone, that something must have happened to him when he touched that stone.  For a bit he used this new found brain power for fun and profit, doing things like making bets at the dog track and the like.  But Stanford Faraday was a good man and good will out.  After the campus was hit with a rash of nighttime assaults on female students, Stanford knew it was time to act.  He studied the patterns, found the pieces of the puzzle the police had missed out on, and soon managed to catch the criminal in the act.  Of course Stanford Faraday was no fighter, so the act of catching said criminal left something to be desired.  He would have to become a better weapon if he were going to continue to do this.

Utilizing the heightened powers of his new intellect, Stanford studied boxing, military tactics, the martial arts, survival skills, amazing himself at how quickly he was able to pick up the intricacies necessary to master these skills.  Before long, he found himself possessed of the necessary tools to fight crime, which he did with great aplomb.  Until one day something went terribly wrong, and Stanford Faraday, the crimefighter known as The Librarian, hung up his mask for good.

The villainous Dr. Night, the Surgeon of the Shadows, had landed in Stanford’s hometown and was painting his bloody scenes across the streets.  Never before had Stanford come up against a villain so cunning as Dr. Night, and the ease of his successes as a crimefighter had lulled him into a fall sense of security.  Stanford was ill-prepared for the Dr.  Dr. Night managed to confound Stanford at every turn.  A total of twelve people were killed by the Surgeon of the Shadows before he tired of his dirty business and moved on to warmer climes.  Stanford never recovered from this failure.  He retired from crimefighting, went back to his studies, and eventually became a professor of English at the university.   It was during this time he met his wife, Margaret.

Margaret and Stanford had a very stoic relationship, as the sadness he felt from his failure to save those people from Dr. Night permeated everything he did.  As their relationship grew longer, and his years as a professor collected, his abilities faded.  The trick to the stone’s power was the pursuit of knowledge.  Without a thirst for knowledge, no knowledge would come.  Sure, as a professor Stanford still sought knowledge, and when he did so he found it easier than most to retain it, but the vast computational power of his brain had waned.  He was a sad, complicated man.  So when a young student showed an increasing interest in him, he allowed himself a moment of weakness.  At 42, he was seventeen years the girl’s elder, but her fire and her passion for life, her zest for knowledge, reignited his own.  Suddenly the powers of the stone were evident again and all felt right with the world.  But with all things of this nature, the truth eventually crept out from the shadows and made itself known.  The girl discovered she was pregnant and Stanford came clean to Margaret, who immediately demanded a divorce.  The young student, heartbroken by the tragedy of the whole incident, left the school.  Before she left she told Stanford where she was going and, despite never again desiring to be with the man, always kept him abreast of her location so that he could money for the children; two twin boys she’d named Jackson and Jonathan.

The loss of her swelled inside him, made him ache.  From this loss, he never recovered.  His world was a dark place, void of true purpose, until the day she came to him, desperate for help.  One of his sons, Jackson, had inherited more than just a thirst for knowledge from his father;  he’d inherited the powers of the stone!

G. Brett Williams #26 – The Bastard Sons: Incendiary

| November 27, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Bastard Sons are a super-powered group comprised of the illegitimate children of prominent superheroes (and one villain).  The group, made up of four members, only learned of their lineage when their powers developed as part of their coming of age.   The group was formed by Incendiary, the illegitimate son of Bertrand Blaze, England’s fire controlling hero better known as The Brazen Blazer.  The Brazen Blazer was something of a celebrity in his home country and took every chance he could to use that celebrity to woo the women of Albion.  Not every woman he slept with ended up carrying a child, but a few did, and of those few, one of them gave birth to his superpowered heir.  Superhero genetics are a tricky business.  The gene present in certain people that grants powers has to be “switched on” by some sort of event.  Sometimes that gene can lay dormant, never finding the specific set of circumstances needed to ignite it.  Other times, as with all newborns, a set of recessive genes can come to the forefront leaving the more dominant genes, like the super gene, dormant.  Of the three illegitimate children Bertrand Blaze fathered, only Franklin Tosh, later known as Incendiary, received powers.

When Franklin was fourteen years old, his mother threw him a birthday party.  One of the party guests was a fourteen year old girl from Franklin’s school by the name of Penny Entwhistle.  Franklin had a rather large crush on Miss Penny, a feeling which she happened to return.  As the party went on, Franklin and Penny escaped to his bedroom for a bit of privacy.  Franklin had her down to just her knickers and Penny had her hand on his bathing suit area when his mother burst into the room and found them.  Penny grabbed her clothes and ran out, sobbing, with Ms. Tosh shouting a great many things about defiling her son and telling her parents and the like after the poor young creature as she darted from the room.  Franklin was so embarrassed and angry at his mother that, as she turned to remonstrate the boy’s behavior, his gene kicked in and suddenly the bed he had previously been making it to second base upon was going up in flames.

The next few years were awkward for young Franklin.  With the emergence of his powers, his mother’s long term suspicions about his parental lineage were confirmed.  Franklin’s mother demanded paternity tests from Bertrand and eventually ended up taking the man to court for child support, damages (part of her house had burnt up after all) and what her lawyers dubbed, “the emotional hardship inherent to raising a superpowered teenager.”  It was widely thought that raising a superpowered teenager was more difficult than raising the regular old garden variety teenager.  Raging hormones is one thing, but raging hormones that cause raging fires, well that’s quite another.  In the end, Bertrand’s PR team thought it best to settle the matter out of court for an undisclosed sum and get on with the business of helping old ladies cross the street and rescuing cats from trees.  Anything that would help him repair his damaged image.  The amount of money was enough for Franklin and his mother to live in comfort.

Franklin went away to university at the age of eighteen, eager to remove himself from the life of flaunting her money and dating younger men that his mother had begun since winning her paternity suit, or, as she referred to it, “the day you finally paid off, boy.”  To tell the truth, in the time since winning that settlement, Franklin’s mother had paid little attention to the young man at all.  So when she was shuffled off this mortal coil in a fatal and logic-defying jet ski accident with one of the aforementioned younger men, Franklin wasn’t terribly shaken up.  I mean sure, it was a bummer to lose his mum, but it’s not like she’d ever been all that loving toward him anyway.  And there was the problem of that time she messed up his one chance to touch Penny Entwhistles breasts.  Penny had been so mortified by the experience that she never spoke to Franklin again.  So he was sad his mother was gone, but not that sad.  The one nice thing his mother had done though was to take out a life insurance policy on herself for Franklin, in case something such as a random act of jet ski tomfoolery were to ever steal away her life.  The life insurance, plus the money he inherited from the settlement, left Franklin with a sizable chunk of change.  He immediately got a financial planner and made some shrewd investments that quickly turned his large amounts of money into obscene amounts of money.  And with that money young Franklin Tosh did exactly what any superpowered son of a superhero would do…

He decided to fight crime.

G. Brett Williams #25 – Stephen Strickland (Rumspringa)

| November 25, 2011 | 0 Comments
The first villain the group encounters is energy tycoon and COO of Jupiter Power, Stephen Strickland.  Strickland is a Texas businessman and all around shark of a man.  He has climbed to second in command of the Jupiter Power company, a subsidiary of the global corporate/military group, Obsidian.  Obsidian is a centuries old secret society that has hidden itself inside the structure of a global corporation with its fingers in many pies, similar to Blackwater in our own world.  Stephen Strickland is aware, to a certain extent, of the secret society behind Obsidian, but he doesn’t know the full extent of that society’s scope or structure.  He does want to be a part of the society and uses his position at the top of Jupiter, an Obsidian company, to impress them.  Strickland’s ability to govern and produce results has been called into question though, as an increase in public support for alternative energy sources and more environmental oversight have thrown a monkeywrench into the Jupiter Power works.  Strickland is seen as a hardline supporter of fossil fuel, mainly because he made millions as a Texas oil baron.  Obsidian begins to see Strickland as something of a dinosaur, a man not capable of adapting to the future.  Strickland, desperate to retain his relevancy, gets a gift when he discovers Sarah and her abilities.  He believes that if he can somehow capture the girl, he can spirit her away and use her to launch a renaissance of cheap, renewable energy.  Strickland becomes the villain of the first arc.  He aggressively pursues Sarah, using everything in his power to do so.  He even goes so far as to kidnap and kill Sarah’s brother to try and influence the girl.  Strickland is defeated by Sarah.  This defeat leads Obsidian to cut their losses with Strickland.  For his service to the cause, they allow him to live, but they bankrupt him and completely erase his identity.  Strickland is left homeless and broken.

G. Brett Williams #24 – Miranda Gray

| November 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

Miranda Gray is a community organizer in the town of Gateway City.  Before she became an activist and advocate for the poor and disenfranchised in her community, Miranda was a nurse in the smaller town that bordered the Amish community in which Sarah was born.  She was actually present at Sarah’s birth as she was one of the nurses assigned to the ER that night.  Miranda is friends with Sarah’s brother Zach and is aware of the fact that Zach is helping his sister escape the Amish community.  She pledges to help in any way that she can, but she doesn’t know that this girl is the same girl who she helped deliver seventeen years before.

Miranda is a strong, kind woman who campaigns on behalf of anyone she believes suffers under the yoke of economic inequality or feigned moral superiority.  She works a great deal with LGBT organizations throughout Gateway City, which is how she knows Zach.  She becomes a sort of hybrid of Leslie Thompkins and Commissioner Gordon for Sarah.

G. Brett Williams #23 – Sarah Smith (Rumspringa)

| November 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

Sarah Smith is a young Amish girl with a quiet rebellious streak.  The night of her birth, her pregnant mother, her father, and her older brother Zach (nine years her elder) were traveling by carriage from a grocery shopping trip in a nearby town.  There was a terrible storm that night full of driving rain and big, cloud to ground lightning.  The storm created so much stress that the mother went into labor.  Too far from their village, the father knew the only way to save his wife and child was to return to the town, though he was hesitant to do so.  He wasn’t trustful of outsiders and their medicine.  But his wife’s condition was worsening, as were the conditions of the roads, and his young son implored with him to return to the town.  The father relented and headed toward the town’s hospital, rain beating against the buggy and lightning crackling in the air.  Despite the conditions, the family reached the hospital as the mother’s condition was worsening.  They rushed inside and explained their predicament and the orderlies rushed out to help the woman.  As they were loading her onto the gurnee, a great crack of thunder let out through the town and lightning ripped from the sky, finding the metal on the gurnee and churning through the body of the pregnant mother.  She died on that hospital bed, but the doctors were able to save and revive the baby, so not all was lost.  That baby, dubbed by papers as the “Lightning Child” was Sarah Smith.

In Amish culture there is the concept of rumpsringa.  Rumspringa says that any member of the sect is able to leave for a short time (usually around 16 or 17 years of age) and explore the outside world.  It is meant to strengthen their faith and help them realize that the world they’ve known is better than the outside world of which they’ve dreamed.  Many return, but those who do not are shunned from the sect and are never invited to return.  Sarah’s brother Zach, who knew from an early age that he was attracted to men and that the sect considered this evil, was one of those people.  At seventeen he escaped the community and made it to Gateway City where he managed to start a new life.  That life wasn’t easy, but he made it work.  Over the years, he always found ways to spirit books, magazines, art and other things to his baby sister, helping her to gain a knowledge of the beauty of the world outside her Amish community and a fervent desire to live in it.  So when it came time for Sarah’s rumspringa, she had a plan for escape, a plan she, her brother and her friend from town, Mary, had conspired on for years.  But the best laid plans, as they say, often go astray.

During Sarah’s escape to Gateway City, a series of events allows her to uncover her control over electricity.  Having never been exposed to electricity for prolonged amounts of time, her powers have only ever briefly manifested and usually in ways that would arise no suspicion.  Things like machines or certain instruments malfunctioning when she walks past them, etc.  Nothing that would ever clue her into her gift.  But when she gets to GC, things happen that inexorably change her life and unlock the potential inside of her.

Sarah is really the first superhero in this world.  Before her, there have been on people with special gifts.  She’s unique, which means there isn’t really anyone that can help her control her power.  She has the ability to direct bolts of energy in the form of arc lightning, has the ability to control the flow of electricity to and from things, can control things that run on electricity and could, at the height of her power, even act as something of a battery, a power source.  These powers make her a target, but luckily Sarah makes friends who help her fight and help her learn to control herself and utilize her new gift to help people.

In case you’re wondering, I describe Rumspringa thusly: Terminator meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Oh yeah.  Oh yeah.

G. Brett Williams #s 21 & 22 – Strangers and Lost Ones

| November 22, 2011 | 0 Comments

Strangers and Lost Ones

A Stranger is a creature of great power and immortality.  Something of a vampire, they feed on the souls of their victims, not their blood.  A Stranger receives sustenance from draining the life force from another human being.  Just a myth throughout our history, they are masters of staying hidden, due in large part to their method of dispatching their prey.  A Stranger does not age, but they are not invulnerable.  The Stranger entity is nigh-immortal, but the host body can be killed just like any normal human being.  They are more durable, stronger, faster, more agile, and they can heal their wounds, but they can still be killed.  These powers are at their peak right after a Stranger feeds.  Once a Stranger has drained a person of their essence, he has the ability to completely burn the body away.  Because of this, a Stranger tends to develop a connection with the victim, at least long enough to get them secluded for a good period of time.  The process takes a while and therefore is not something that can be done quickly down some dark alley.  But there are problems and things do sometimes get messy.   If a Stranger goes a certain time without feeding and thus starves to death, the entity that powers him will vacate the host body (thus killing the host) and attach to another worthy vessel.  The Stranger entity can only be truly killed by a Lost One that it has created.  If a Stranger never creates a Lost One, it could feasibly live forever in one host or in many.  Since it’s rare for a Stranger to be so foolish or reckless as to leave behind a Lost One, a true Stranger death is rare. Sometimes, a Stranger may be in a situation where he hasn’t been able to feed for a while and will recklessly do so, not troubling himself with the consequences.  Other times, a Stranger may simply be interrupted or chased off during the feeding process.  Regardless of the reason, if a Stranger neglects to burn the body of the victim away, a sort of zombie like creature is created.  Those creatures are the Lost Ones.

A Lost One is a body without a soul, cursed to live a lonely and ultimately emotionless existence, searching for something it lost.  A Lost One is not mindless, though.  Part of them, what little bit of them is left, is connected to the Stranger that created them.  Because of that connection, the Lost One will always be drawn to that Stranger.  Even if they don’t entirely realize it, their life will lead them along a path identical to that of their creator.  The only way to silence this constant drive, to erase the memory of having their soul ripped away, is to finally find and destroy the Stranger that created them.  A Lost One’s touch will destroy a Stranger much in the same way a Stranger’s burning hand will destroy the body of their victim.  It only works on the Stranger that created them though.  Interestingly enough, a Lost One is immune to the burning touch of a Stranger once they’ve become a Lost One.  A Lost One must be totally destroyed if they are to be killed.  The entire body must be burned to the bone and then the bones must be scattered and destroyed.  Lost One’s need no sleep and no sustenance.  They do not bleed and they do not feel pain.  They are unnaturally strong and durable.  If in the presence of the Stranger that created him, a Lost One will stop at nothing to reach him, going so far as to destroy anyone or anything that gets in its way.

G. Brett Williams #s 19 & 20 – Beauregard Cash and Jack Reed

| November 22, 2011 | 0 Comments

His team consists mainly of two other men, the first of whom is Beauregard Cash. Cash is the team’s gadgeteer. He’s an engineering wizard, but he’s also a drunk, a braggart and something of a racist. Southern and proud of it, he is prone to drunken outbursts about the glory of the Confederacy, even though the Confederacy is long gone. Graye tolerates the man since his acumenl in fringe science and engineering is unmatched throughout the world. Cash creates things heretofore unthought of, using primarily the steam technology of the day. Flying machines, archaeological tools, weapons and even steam-powered automatons. Cash grew bored once he’d mastered all there was to master about steam technology, so looking for a new challenge he decided to join up with Edmund Graye and his crew. Being a veteran of the war effort and a lifetime Southerner, he’d seen more than his fair share of strange and inexplicable occurrences, so he figured what the heck. Cash combines his knowledge of engineering with Graye’s knowledge of the occult to create some seriously crazy ghost hunting devices.

Rounding out the group is Civil War veteran and former Buffalo Soldier Jack Reed. Reed is big, tough and quiet. He was befriended by Graye shortly after the Civil War ended while the inspector was on a mission to study the effects of the Civil War on the paranormal health of America. Graye immediately recognized and respected the courage and tenacity he saw in Jack Reed. Needing a strong man and good fighter to round out his crew, he hired Jack for a handsome sum, saving him from the unenviable life of a black man in Reconstruction America. Jack is good with a pistol but his real gift is with a Winchester rifle. A sharpshooter for his regiment during the war, he has an uncanny skill with long arms. He is also a formidable hand to hand combatant. Understandably, Jack and Beauregard have their differences, but Jack usually just ignores the man. They don’t tend to deal with each other that much outside of the field and Cash, as blustery as he is, knows he’d never survive a fight with Jack Reed. Jack’s most important duty is operating the cutting edge, steam powered ghost trapping machine that Cash has designed. Heavy, cumbersome and complicated, only someone as strong of body and mind as Jack Reed could carry and operate it.

G. Brett Williams #18 – Edmund Graye

| November 18, 2011 | 0 Comments

The main character in this story is occult investigator Edmund Graye.  Graye has been traveling through Egypt and North Africa, studying what he believes to be the occult energies hidden within the sands and stones of ancient Egypt.  Graye is a bit of a laughing stock of the scientific community, but there are still enough people left who believe in magick in the late 1800s that he manages to make a living, mainly due to the help of a couple of wealthy benefactors and some off the books support from the British government.  Edmund is also a member of a secret society of various people (not all human, per se) devoted to occult discovery and magickal practices.

Edmund is older but not old.  I would say he’s in his mid-40s.  Edmund is distinguished but hes not overly handsome.  He isn’t a bad looking man, but years of devotion to his work rather than his personal life have taken their toll.  His brown hair is graying at the edges and is beginning to recede.  His form is thin but he hides muscle you wouldn’t expect him to have.  While not an expert combatant, he could hold his own if fisticuffs were called for.  Edmund dresses in the finest suits of the day and he tends to prefer browns or grays to black.  He is often seen wearing a hat and he always carries a cane/walking stick with him.  The stick is a shaft of polished wood with a polished blue stone set into the top.  The inside of the stone swirls with what looks almost like smoke or clouds.  The cane itself has a number of supernatural powers, all of which are known only to Edmund.  Edmund is astute and distinguished.  Something of an Alfred Pennyworth, I suppose.

G. Brett Williams #17 – Simon Simeon

| November 18, 2011 | 0 Comments

Simon Simeon – Simon Simeon is the teacher in charge of teaching students how to react to and handle anthropomorphic animal threats in the field. He was the product of an experiment by Nazi super-scientist Arnold von Schrect during WWII. Von Schrect experimented with mind control and advancing brain functions on primate specimens, mostly gorillas. Simon was by far his greatest achievement and his only notable success, showing a significant increase in brain activity, essentially evolving to human level intelligence. Von Schrect took Simon as his assistant in the lab and, unaware of the terrible things the Nazi war machine was doing (or unconcerned. He was an ape after all.) Simon was happy. After the war, the Russians overran Von Schrect’s lab and liberated his experiments. For the next few decades Simon would work, as a captive, on Soviet super and fringe science programs. He grew to loathe his human overlords over time, daydreaming about how he could crush them if only he could get his hands on their puny human skulls. To comfort himself, he spent the majority of his time perfecting Von Schrect’s data to create for himself a menagerie of antrhopomorphic animal friends. He was at the forefront of science in that field, which mattered little to the Russians since you couldn’t destroy American cities by launching talking dogs and hamsters at them. So, in a show of good will toward the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russians released Simon into the custody and care of the American government. The Americans didn’t give a damn. They gave Simon a medal, a lab somewhere in the middle of nowhere and $100,000, then sent him on his way. Simon soon realized that a hundred grand wasn’t going to last him very long. He used the money to get a quaint home for he and his animal companions. When things became really lean he began looking for work and found it, quite sadly, in the only place that was willing to hire a former Gorilla super-scientist; the institute. He’s a gorilla, so he looks like, well, a big ol’ gorilla. He wears tiny glasses, a lab coat complete with ID badge and pocket protector, and some Hawaiian print shorts to cover his manhood. He is gruff and resentful, his class is tedious and difficult and he spends the majority of his time telling the students how he’d like to crush each of their skulls. Which of course he’d never actually do.

G. Brett Williams #16 – Finn MacCool (and more Donnybrooke)

| November 16, 2011 | 0 Comments

– Finn MacCool –  Brooke’s uncle Colin Dunne had been living in NYC for years, watching her and her family very closely and doing everything he could to disrupt the Fitzpatrick’s stranglehold on the city. He fought crime as the costumed hero Finn MacCool, choosing to focus most of his effort on cleaning up the corruption caused by his family. Colin is the brother of Brooke’s mother. In an attempt to avoid a life of crime, when he was sixteen Colin ran away to Ireland. Once there he found a charitable priest that was willing to take him in and give him work. The priest, who was more of a drunk philosopher than a man of god, convinced Colin that he should turn his youthful vigor and angst to the pursuit of the martial arts. The priest introduced Colin to a man who taught him everything he could about the martial arts. Colin was a natural student and he soon began to thirst for even more knowledge of the fighting arts of the world. He spent a few years traveling, coming to terms with his past, learning who he was spiritually and developing the skills he’d need to some day go back to NY and fight his evil relatives. It was Colin, as Finn MacCool, that helped the FBI finally take down the Fitzpatrick family. Once the damage had been done, Colin stepped in to take Brooke into his care.

It didn’t take long for Brooke to realize that her uncle was actually the hero Finn MacCool. Once she knew for certain, she insisted that her uncle train her to be a crimefighter just like him. He couldn’t very well tell her no when he himself had once felt that pull, that desire to do right and to help people, so he began training her. Brooke’s intelligence and athleticism made her a natural for the crimefighting trade. She fought crime for a time as Colin’s sidekick, then eventually struck out on her own as Colin’s age began to work against him in the field. Brooke, as the hero Donnybrooke, became a crusader for the poor, using her notoriety as a hero to combat the corruption and mistreatment that was rife in the city’s poorer neighborhoods. To Brooke, it’s those conditions that lead to families like the Fitzpatricks going so wrong in the first place.

G. Brett Williams #15 – Donnybrooke

| November 15, 2011 | 0 Comments

Donnybrooke – Brooke Fitzpatrick was the only good apple in a whole family of bad ones. Her family was heavily involved in NYC’s Irish mob. Brooke was a good student and a natural athlete, a gifted achiever. She did very well in high school, took martial arts and boxing, got along really well with her classmates. She worked very hard to stay positive and to not get tangled up in the family business. When she was seventeen, the Summer between her junior and senior year of high school, the FBI made a major move against her family. The ones who didn’t end up behind bars ended up dead. When the smoke cleared the entire Fitzpatrick crime family was broken and Brooke Fitzpatrick was left without a family. With no relative coming forward to take her into their care, it looked like Brooke might be remanded to foster care for her final year of high school. But she had a family member she didn’t know anything about.

G. Brett Williams #13 – Atticus Spade, the Ace of Spades

| November 13, 2011 | 0 Comments

Atticus Spade – A member of the all-black 369th Infantry, the group known by the nicknames “Harlem’s Hellfighters” and “Black Rattlers,” Henry “Hank” Needham was the first African American to earn the French Croix de Guerre. During a battle in WWI, Needham and his fellow infrantryman William Roberts were attacked by a German raiding party. Roberts was injured in the battle and was being dragged off by German soldiers when Needham, out of ammo, attacked his friend’s captors and beat them savagely with the butt of his rifle. The Germans were cowed by Needham’s savagery and abandoned their plans. The two men had driven off an entire German raiding party. Needham came home to a country still divided on the issue of race. Weary of war and death, he did everything he could to distance himself from the military and his legacy, not that many people cared much for his legacy anyway. He bounced around the country, always finding odd jobs where he could and supplementing his income with a little gambling here and there. Eventually he ended up out West where he found work on the Boulder (eventually Hoover) Dam project. The project’s proximity to Las Vegas, which legalized gambling in 1931, made it the perfect place for Needham to find some extra cash. At that point in his life he was a very accomplished con man and card sharp and he put those skills to good use in the fertile ground of a young Sin City. He was enjoying life on the grift, as much as anyone can, when the government came calling. While Needham had abandoned the US military as soon as his service was up, his friend Will Roberts had continued to serve. Roberts had been trained as a spy and sent to Africa in an attempt to gather intelligence on strange occurrences on the African continent that led back to the rising socialist movement in Germany. Roberts lost contact and was presumed compromised. Rather than risk losing those secrets to a mounting German threat, the Americans went after the one man they thought best capable of finding and rescuing (or eliminating) his former partner. This is how Hank Needham became Atticus Spade, the Ace of Spades. It is the retrieval of Roberts that serves as the first team mission for the Aces.

G. Brett Williams #12 – Amelia du Couer, The Ace of Hearts

| November 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

Amelia du Coeur – Amelia was born into a prominent French family with very, very old money. Her mother and father were both anthropologists and archaeologists. Unfortunately for Amelia, they were also very busy and rarely ever home. Both parents loved their daughter, but they weren’t exactly cut out for parenting. They didn’t think that the girl might need constant doting or attention, because that’s certainly not how they were raised. They’d seen as much of their schoolteachers and housekeepers as they’d ever seen of their parents, and they turned out alright. So it was decided that, from a very early age, Amelia would be sent away to the best possible boarding schools in Europe. She did some years in France, some in England, some in Spain, and it made of her a very worldy and well-rounded young girl. When Amelia was thirteen, her mother died suddenly of an ailment she’d contracted while adventuring. Her death sent Amelia’s father into a fit of depression. He became addicted to morphine and liquor, he railed against the world and he let a hatred for his own daughter boil up inside of his soul. For him, Amelia’s presence was nothing more than a reminder of his dead wife. It seems awful, but one can understand how he felt stronger for the mother than the child. After all, he’d hardly spent any time with this young woman now thrust into his care. So he decided that he was no longer capable of taking care of the girl and Amelia was sent to live with her grandfather, her mother’s father. Amelia’s grandfather had been a decorated soldier in the French army who had eventually retired to take up a life of adventure. So at thirteen, Amelia gave up the life of boarding schools and girlish tropes and instead went out to see the world with her grandfather. The man had a tough, stoic exterior and he was never what one would call easy on the girl, but it was obvious that he cared for her a great deal and that his life was better for having her in it. See, he had lost his own wife some years before and the years since had been filled with a vast loneliness. His vibrant and eager young granddaughter now helped to ease that loneliness and he rewarded her by teaching her anything and everything he could. Amelia learned to appreciate fine foods and wines, she learned how to sing old folks songs and dance the night away, she learned to hunt, fish, track and shoot, and she cherished every second of it. The time she spent with her grandfather was the happiest of her life. Because of her unique experience with various locales throughout the world, Amelia is the team’s specialist on international affairs and etiquette. She is also quite possibly the most dangerous person in the world with a firearm. A woman in a man’s world, Amelia works and fights twice as hard to prove herself. She is as rough and stoic as her grandfather but as beautiful and full of life as her mother was. Amelia has assumed the role of leader in the small group.

G. Brett Williams #11 – Johnny Diamond, The Ace of Diamonds

| November 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

Johnny Diamond – Johnny is your typical clean cut, blond-haired, blue-eyed, apple pie-eating, All American boy. He’s also something of a technological genius. Engineering ran in Johnny’s family. Going back to the days of the Civil War, his family had been responsible for supplying arms and armor to the American military. Some call it patriotism, some war profiteering, but to Johnny it was just the family business. He never gave it much mind. Johnny spent his youth building things, taking things apart, drawing up plans and schematics, working with his father in his lab. Anything the boy could do to learn more about the science of engineering, he did it. Johnny was a very advanced student and by the age of 19 he’d already completed a bachelor’s degree in science. At age 22, he was completing his masters in engineering. That same year, his parents were murdered and Johnny’s childhood home was burned to the ground. The word had leaked into the criminal community that Johnny’s father was developing a top secret weapon for the military, the kind of weapon that could hold the country hostage with fear if it ever fell into the wrong hands. The secret criminal organization known only as the Order of Osiris attacked Johnny’s family in their home, where his father kept a secret underground laboratory for his most dangerous projects. Somehow the Order found out about this lab and launched an assault on the mansion. Johnny was away at school at the time, so he managed to avoid his family’s gruesome fate. His mother and father were both killed, the plans for the weapon were stolen and the house was burned to the ground. This meant that the time for Johnny to inherit the family business had come. There was a certain unease at the prospect though. To Johnny, the pursuit of newer and more potent weapons was the thing that had ultimately killed his mother and father. Could he justify continuing in his father’s footsteps knowing what he knew about the dangers of munitions manufacturing? Could he put the word in jeopardy as his father had through his carelessness? The thought weighed on him. Johnny knew that he couldn’t simply dismantle the entire company. Regardless of what he had grown to believe about his father’s pursuits, he wasn’t so naive as to think that America would never need weapons again. So instead of completely suspending the company’s production of munitions, Johnny retasked a portion of the company’s assets toward the exploration of non-violent weaponry and fringe science. He appointed himself as the head of this new division and left the running of his father’s company to more qualified men. During his time as the head of this new division of his family’s company, Johnny made new discoveries and created new technologies that drew the attention of scientists and military leaders from around the country and America’s allies in the world. It was a very exciting time for the young savant, but there was always something missing. Johnny never forgot what had happened to his parents, never forgot what the Order of Osiris had done to his family, so when the government came to offer him a chance to fight back against people like the Order and their ilk, Johnny was happy to oblige them.

G. Brett Williams #10 – Gunzi, The Ace of Clubs

| November 10, 2011 | 0 Comments

Gunzi – A quiet and reserved warrior, Gunzi is by far the group’s most formidable fighter. Deadly with a weapon or unarmed, he has mastered many aspects of China’s various martial arts, creating a hybrid fighting style all his own. He is a quiet, introspective man with a great knowledge of history as well as combat. Gunzi was a soldier in the Kuomintang, Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist army. Though he followed Chiang Kai-shek, Gunzi more firmly believed in the policies of Chiang’s forbear, Sun Yat-sen. Sun Yat-sen, more versed in Western culture than his successor, espoused an ideology based on three principles; nationalism, democracy and the livelihood of the people. Gunzi was a young man filled with national pride and the willingness to defend his rapidly growing home country when Chiang took over control of the Kuomintang. Allying himself with the Soviet communist party to further his own nationalist ideals, Kai-shek took control of a large portion of China, including Shanghai. His overthrow of Shanghai led to the Shanghai Massacre of 1927 which saw the politically motivated murder of many communists in the city. While he feared the communist ideology, Gunzi certainly didn’t advocate the wholesale slaughter of his neighbors simply because they chose to believe in it. The Shanghai massacre turned his stomach so that he decided to escape the army and flee to England. In England, he took up with various institutions and learned as much as he could about Western culture, making his assimilation into that culture quite easy. Gunzi was an excellent student of history and politics. When he wasn’t practicing his martial skill, you could always find him devouring texts by the leading philosophers of the past and the present. He eventually found a job in the British armed forces, teaching code breaking and Chinese translation to communications officers and hand to hand combat to anyone who would listen. He found that, despite the problems he had with certain aspects of the West, he liked the culture as a whole. He felt comfortable with the relative freedom that Western ideology afforded its people, but part of him yearned for home, yearned to once again get his hands dirty in the fight against tyranny. So when the British government came to him with a proposition about the Aces program, he was more than willing to listen. Gunzi is the group’s oldest and wisest member, the one they always turn to for counsel when things are at their darkest.

G. Brett Williams #9 – The Aces Wild Programme

| November 9, 2011 | 0 Comments


Aces Wild – It was the 1930s and everywhere you looked, if you knew what to look for, you could see that the world was spoiling for war. The avarice of the 20s had led to the financial collapse of the early 1930s and the Great Depression had left many countries in the world weak and susceptible to totalitarian countries and radical ideals. As the world reeled from the Great Depression, wars popped up all over the planet, with smaller nations falling prey to the machinations of dangerous and powerful conquerors. As the world slipped further into despair and poverty, new threats of the scientific and the strange emerged, only now they were more often than not tied to the ideologies of these various warring nations. What had once been the evils of madmen became the implied “progressiveness” of dangerous nations. Samuel Wilde, in his time as the Wilde Card, had fought men such as Master Midnight, a master magician and scientist bent on furthering his own agenda. That was the order of the day for the 1920s. It was a time of exploration, of opulence, of self-involvement, but the Depression had ended that. Now men of Midnight’s ilk worked for dictators and religious leaders, using their powers and their skills to further deadly agendas. Combating these terrifying new villains with backing from some of the most powerful and wealthy nations in the world would require a special kind of vigilance. It would require a team.

In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States. His New Deal policies would help combat the continued threat of economic collapse. But what the American people knew nothing about was FDR’s decision to join with the British government in an attempt to reinstate the Wilde Card program. Believing that the failure of the first program could be attributed to their strict insistence on keeping the Wilde Card largely isolated from personal relationships, the British suggested that a team be developed. The team would consist of four people with complimentary skills. The hope was that having to work closely with one another would engender the kind of close relationships in the field that the Wilde Card felt he was missing. They also hoped that having differing opinions and suggestions for how to deal with certain situations would keep the entire team sharp and competitive. The British were contracted to run the program, appointing special officer Nigel Blackthorne to head up the new program, which was now being referred to as Aces Wild. A worldwide search was undertaken and possible team members were culled from various nations friendly to the cause. From China they pulled a martial artist trained in various combative arts. He was a master of barehanded and armed combat, and it was deemed that he would be the Ace of Clubs. From France came a talented and intelligent young adventurer, a woman renowned for her anthropological and archaeological knowledge as well as her ability with a firearm. She would be the Ace of Hearts. America contributed two people to the team. The first was the young heir to the largest munitions developer in America. His family had made munitions for the American armed forces since the Civil War and had done very well for themselves for it. This young man was an engineering genius and preferred to use his family’s money and resources to create gadgets and technology on the fringe of science. He would be the Ace of Diamonds. The second American contribution was something of a mystery. A professional gambler and former soldier, the man was a master with edged weapons. His background was pedestrian compared to the rest, but his connection to the team’s first mission made him invaluable. He would be the Ace of Spades. Those four members would make up the core team and would liaise with various agents and other sympathizers throughout the globe as they carried out their mission to save the world from the terrifying new threats it faced. Each of them was given a codename and they were all strictly forbidden to divulge too much personal information about themselves to one another.

G. Brett Williams #8 – The Wilde Card

| November 9, 2011 | 0 Comments

The world after the first World War was a strange place full of political upheaval, vast social change and major technological advancement. It was an Earth reshuffled, a brave new world full of wealth, opportunity, progression. And that was just what people could see happening. Only a handful of the world’s most powerful and influential people were aware of the secrets that lay beneath the surface. For every advancement in technology, there were twenty advancements in fringe and super-science, things that were deeply classified or highly sought after. For every change in the social or political landscape, there were dark, smoke-filled rooms where men pulled strings and made puppets of those we thought most powerful. It was a dangerous and unknown future and many governments decided that they needed new ways of thinking, new methods of dealing with the problems that would blossom from the world’s great leap forward. Deep within the halls of British government, one such program was created and the world’s first “hero” was born.

The program, cleverly referred to as the Wilde Card Program was enacted by the British government as a means of defending their empire from the threats that they so desperately tried to keep out of the Sunday papers. They culled all the various branches of their armed forces until they found the soldier with the perfect combination of intelligence, physicality, individuality and patriotic zeal, then they turned him into a living weapon. That soldier was Samuel Wilde, but he became more commonly known by his codename, The Wilde Card. Samuel Wilde became Britain’s greatest champion, but it was something of a thankless job. He was always expected to do as he was told, to follow orders without question, and sometimes those orders weren’t very heroic. His handlers were always quick to remind him how important he was to the cause, but they never let him forget that he was basically a commodity, not a person. The life of secrecy began to take its toll on Samuel, though he never let it show to the people responsible for sending him on his missions.

The only person in Samuel’s life that he truly cared for was Madeline Greene. Greene was a female spy, a codebreaker in the employ of the British government. Samuel had liaised with her on various missions and the two had developed an attraction. Their love wasn’t necessarily forbidden, simply because the government didn’t think that Samuel was capable of something as deep and committed as love. To his handlers, Samuel ever finding something that he found more valuable than his service to the Empire was unlikely. They didn’t calculate that he would fall in love. Did they think he would be entirely asexual? Not at all. But they didn’t expect that he’d ever become interested enough in a woman to put his service to the military in jeopardy. They were wrong.

While Samuel battled many foes throughout his time as the Wilde Card, none was more terrifying than Master Midnight. Midnight was a particularly gruesome foe who combined the powers of conjuring and dark magic with his knowledge of science. His goals were never entirely clear but his results were impossible to ignore. He cut a swathe across the world, collecting artifacts, merging science and magic, and sowing the seeds of terror. Samuel pursued him all over the globe and their battles were titanic, to say the least. Despite the horror he faced though, Samuel could always come back to Madeline. Until Midnight found out about her. He kidnapped and used Madeline to finally gain the leverage he needed to defeat Samuel once and for all.

The government informed Samuel that Madeline Greene wasn’t worth the potential risk to their investment. The mission was deemed too dangerous to undertake so Samuel was ordered to cut her loose. For the first time in his life, he didn’t follow orders. Instead, he snuck away from his handlers and went rogue, deciding that Madeline was more important to him than anything else in the world. Of course, that’s exactly what Midnight wanted. Still, even with him expecting Samuel to come, Midnight was caught off guard by the man. The two battled back and forth with neither being able to gain the advantage. When Midnight saw that things were lost, saw that Samuel would not quit, even if it meant both of them would die, he decided to cut his losses. He cast a spell against Madeline, whom he still had restrained, that killed her in an instant. Then he used Samuel’s rage and his grief as distraction enough to escape. In his retreat, he lit the building they were in on fire, insuring that Samuel would be too preoccupied to follow him. His plan worked better than he’d expected. Samuel Wilde perished in that fire.

At least, that’s what the official report said. Samuel Wilde and Madeline Greene were listed as Killed In Action and Master Midnight was considered at large. He never surfaced again after that day, so the threat was considered handled. The Wilde Carde Program was shut down and Samuel Wilde was buried as a soldier of the empire. But rumour circulated throughout the government that the official report was anything but accurate. There were certain people who believed that Samuel Wilde faked his own death, that perhaps he and Madeline Greene had both escaped a fiery death. Some people took it even further, theorizing that the body found burned to death in the remains of the building was actually Master Midnight’s, not Samuel Wilde’s.  Regardless of the truth, the government’s official position was that Samuel Wilde was dead. They wouldn’t revisit the idea of a super spy program for a few years and once they did, the program, and the world, would have changed significantly.

G. Brett Williams # 7 – The Black Synonym

| November 7, 2011 | 0 Comments

Here’s a quick departure.  The story behind this is pretty funny, actually.  When trying to come up with an appropriately dark and mysterious name for Caliginous without using something that had previously been used in comics (eventually I gave up and went with Caliginous), I found that almost all synonyms for the words “black” and “darkness” have been used to name comic book characters.  I posted my frustration over this to my Facebook wall and sparked a hilarious discussion with friends wherein they kept suggesting things and I kept informing them that I’d already exhausted their suggested options.  In response to this, my friend made a comment about the vocabulary avenger, The Black Synonym.  The Black Synonym gave birth to other characters such as Antonym Ray and Thaddeus T. Saurus, the dinosaur linguist.

I’m really not sure what to say about the Black Synonym.  I envision him being right at home in a superhero lampoon such as The Tick.  A sort of jovial Batman analogue who gets fed up with the complete lack of spooky things to call himself with out infringing copywright and decides to refer to himself as The Black Synonym.  He is joined by a crusading bunch of word enthusiasts who take to the streets in an attempt to stamp out the poor education that leads so many to a life of crime.  The Black Synonym is of course annoyed by this, as his name is meant to be a joke, not a linguistic call to arms.  Nevertheless, he fights crime alongside the tenured professor of English and anthropology at the local university, who happens to be a half man/half dinosaur, Thaddeus T. Saurus and the scientist and entomologist Ray Antz, who through a freak accident of Kafka-like proportions is transformed into the educationally crusading ant scientist, Antonym Ray.  Antonym Ray has a raygun that turns people into their exact opposite for a few hours, the effects of which can be quite hilarious.

G. Brett Williams #6 – Caliginous

| November 7, 2011 | 0 Comments

Caliginous is the shadowy leader of the rebellion forces that rise up in opposition of Cyclone and his regime in the years after the Faceless War. While very little is known about Caliginous, even among his own followers, the truth is he is was a masked hero operating in the years before the Faceless War. Choosing to conceal himself and to work from the shadows, Caliginous, as he prefers to be called, was referred to by many different names; The Eclipse, The Twilight King, Springheel Jack, Tenebrous, and others.

Caliginous operated in the five boroughs of New York City. He rarely made his presence known and was never one for the “team-ups” popularized by many Evo heroes in the years before the Faceless War. Caliginous was concerned with helping the helpless, defending the underprivileged, and he didn’t care for the notoriety that accompanied that for most Evos.

When the United States began registering known Evos and pressured the UN security council to institute the practice in every major country, Caliginous went completely off the radar. Despite pleas for his return from many of the poorer neighborhoods of New York, Caliginous never operated in the city again. He was gone, completely off the grid.

Caliginous saw the forced registration of all Evos as the first step toward a civil rights crisis that couldn’t possibly be controlled, a crisis he expected to spill over and annihilate the fabric of government throughout the world. At that time, he went into hiding and set himself up as a rebel leader of sorts, organizing various Evos who wanted to escape registration and helping them to avoid discovery by international forces. What he didn’t plan for was the Faceless invasion.

Recognizing the Faceless as a dominant threat to all life on Earth, Caliginous organized his Evos throughout the world and did his best to fight the invasion. Seeing that he and his people were genuinely outmatched, he counseled those who followed him to join forces with Cyclone and his resistance where they could and to go back into hiding if they couldn’t. Then he fell silent again, falling out of radio contact with his whole network. But he didn’t completely disappear. In fact, quite the opposite.

Caliginous is the most powerful Evo on the whole planet, and the only Evo who developed the abilities which he possessed. Caliginous was able to shapeshift into any humanoid with whom he came into contact. His ability, essentially, copied the DNA code of the person he was impersonating and laid it over his own. Therefore, when Caliginous copied another Evo, he copied that Evo’s power as well. He spent the Faceless War operating under various codenames of his own design, moving in and out of various pockets of the resistance and doing what he could to aid Cyclone’s forces without ever revealing his identity or coming into direct contact with Cyclone.

After the war, Caliginous reached out again to his network of allies, wanting to let them know that he was alive and that he would aid in the rebuilding process as best he could. Over the years, as Cyclone’s reach and power grew out of control, Caliginous amped up his recruitment of Evos. He saw Cyclone as particularly dangerous and was very uncomfortable with his continued use of the Dragon Soldiers in militaristic roles. When Cyclone re-implemented the policy of Evo registration, Caliginous saw it for what it really was; a way to find and weed out psychics, the Evos Cyclone perceived as such a great threat. As registration increased and the disappearance of pyshcically gifted Evos increased, Calignious began rallying many Evos to his banner.

In the current timeline, Caliginous has a vast network of Evos working for him, though he only appears in person to a very select few of them. He even has people inside of some of Cyclone’s closest circles, which allows him to rescue many of the psychics Cyclone has targeted for elimination. While he has no way of locating Calignious, the whispers that he is the one behind this organized opposition reach Cyclone’s ears and his inability to capture Caliginous dogs the ruler.

While he is content for the time being to rescue the Evos Cyclone has targeted and give them safe haven in some of his many holdings, he nevertheless recognizes Cyclone as a threat that must be eliminated and slowly develops a plan with which to remove him from power.

Caliginous travels constantly, though his main base of power is located in Siberia, where he operates under the silent protection of Mars and the Red Hand.

G. Brett Williams #5 – Cyclone’s Human Commandos

| November 6, 2011 | 0 Comments

After the Faceless War, Cyclone believed it important to maintain human morale. Despite their diminished numbers, human beings were still the most populace race on the planet. Cyclone, unlike many Evos, still saw himself as human. Many human survivors revered Cyclone in a near-messianic way and he reveled in it. Recognizing that any remaining humans who weren’t evolving would be dealing with increasing stress and depression in a post-war world, he decided to create “human only” police units to protect his provinces. These civilian soldiers are fiercely loyal to Cyclone and his regime.

G. Brett Williams #4 – The Faceless

| November 6, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Faceless are the alien race that invade Earth and are eventually repelled by Cyclone and his armies. It is revealed through study of the Faceless dead that they actually share much of the same DNA as humans and appear to be an evolved race of humans that left the planet and colonized space millenia before, thus making the Earth much older than previously believed. The Faceless have the most in common with Evos possessed of telekinetic or telepathic abilities and it is this fact that gives rise to widespread human distrust and Cyclone’s campaign of hate against psychics in the wake of the Faceless war.

The Faceless have staggeringly strong psychic abilities and it is theorized that they eventually evolved their complete lack of eyes or mouths because they no longer needed them to communicate or perceive their environment. The true extent of the Faceless’ abilities isn’t known, but their ability to completely dominate weaker, less-evolved minds is quite strong.

G. Brett Williams #4 – Dragon Soldiers

| November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Dragon Soldiers were an advanced race of reptilian humanoids that were conquered and subjugated by the Faceless aliens. The Faceless used their superior brains to manipulate the weaker-minded Dragons into acting as their standing army. Their world was decimated and abandoned and the Dragons served for years as the personal slaves and soldiers of the Faceless race until Cyclone and his forces liberated them and turned them against their masters on Earth.

Their are two types of Dragon Soldiers, the larger and brutish type that comprises the majority of the Faceless martial forces and the smaller chameleon-like Dragons who are best suited to intelligence gathering, assassination and subterfuge. While both Dragon races made up the Faceless armies, it was typically the larger that did most of the fighting and the smaller race that handled the Faceless’ more menial tasks.

After their liberation, Cyclone organizes intermixed groups of both Dragon races into psychic-hunting death squads and “advanced peacekeeping groups.”

G. Brett Williams #3 – Rocket 88

| November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

Rocket 88 (Eddie Pena) is another of the original American Evos that made up Cyclone’s strike team. Eddie was a latino teenager from Southern California whose passions were skateboards and working on engines. Eddie Pena liked to go FAST, which is a good thing since his evolved talents allowed him to move faster than any human alive. Eddie Pena became the fastest man in the world. Having grown up in the vibrant punk rock community of Southern California, Eddie had been exposed to a lot of musical styles throughout his youth. He particularly identified with rockabilly and old rock and roll, any music from the fifties and sixties that celebrated cars and greaser culture. So when it came time for him to choose his codename for the strike force, he chose Rocket 88, a reference to the song by Jackie Brenston about an old hot rod that most people consider to be the first rock and roll song of all time.

Rocket 88 is the resident joker and rebel of the group. The least militaristic by far, he is however reliable and trustworthy, and great when the team needs anything repaired in a flash.

G. Brett Williams #2 – Mars, Bringer of War

| November 2, 2011 | 0 Comments

Mars, the “Bringer of War,” named after Roman god of war and the battlefield, was one of the original American Evos. Like Cyclone, Mars was a soldier before his powers evolved. Jackson Reed was a soldier in the army, a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. He was the oldest of the original Evos and always resented being pulled out of the army and placed on the team. Jackson recognized from the beginning that the team was just a publicity stunt and it drove him crazy. He was a soldier, had decided long ago to give his life to the Army, and anything that took him out of that world seemed like a waste of time. But Jackson Reed was a good soldier, and when he was given an order, even if he disagreed with it, he followed it to the letter. So when he was given the codename Mars and placed on the team, he went along with it. When Cyclone, a younger military man from the Air Force was placed in charge of the group, he bristled but kept quiet. And when the time came for things to escalate, when Evos could no longer stay off the battlefield, it was Mars, not Cyclone, to which the United States turned. His battle with the Devil’s Saint in the Mexican conflict was brutal and destructive, and it made Mars feel alive once again. This was a man bred for war and for war he lived.

Mars particularly flourished during the Faceless conflict. It was the Faceless conflict that forced Mars and Cyclone to finally put aside their own issues with one another and work together. Mars was a natural leader and great military strategist and it was his Red Hand Legion that managed to hold the Russian front long enough to allow Cyclone and his people to free the Dragon Soldiers. Despite being instrumental in their release, Mars was completely distrustful of the Dragon Soldiers. While working alongside groups of them was sometimes unavoidable, Mars refused to integrate them into the Red Hand. Mars felt he couldn’t trust the Dragon Soldiers and wanted little to do with them, choosing instead to comprise the Red Hand of nothing but humans and Evos. The loyalty Mars inspired in his men was strong and nearly unwavering. They would have followed him to the gates of hell, and at times he led them close.

After the war, there was a great fear among Cyclone and his closest allies that Mars would bring the Red Hand Legion to bear against Cyclone’s power base. In an attempt to appease the warrior, Cyclone offered to make him the warlord in charge of Russia and much of Eastern Europe. Having been stationed throughout Eastern Europe throughout the Faceless War, Mars was happy with this arrangement. He rules over his land with the power of the Red Hand Legion behind him. Dragon Soldiers are not welcome inside his borders. Much speculation surrounds Mars. There are whispers that inside his borders, he strengthens his army and waits for the moment when he can overthrow Cyclone’s regime.

Mars’s evolved power is that of super strength and near-invulnerable skin. As with most Evos, his aging has seemed to slow down and his true age is difficult to determine.

G. Brett Williams #1 – CYCLONE

| November 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Cyclone’s origins are a bit embarrassing to admit, but here goes; Cyclone was created as the central villain of a LARP my friends and I developed in high school. Over the years I sat on the characters in that world, letting them stew in the ol’ brainpan until they became a delicious dish of genre tropes and sci-fi weirdness. Recently I revisited the setting and its characters for a Mutants & Masterminds campaign that never came to fruition, but I had so much fun working on the story that I thought I’d share some of it here.

Cyclone was the most powerful of the original Evos, a group of evolved teenagers who manifested super powers sometime in the near future. The US gov’t. jumps to the forefront of Evo study and policy, going so far as to collect the first of the discovered United States Evos into a special strike force meant to win more hearts and minds than actual battles. The race for Evo supremacy is something of a new cold war and the relative mystery surrounding the teenagers, their powers and their numbers throughout the world makes for a rather prominent threat of mutual annihilation. Therefore, the US Evo team is as much a publicity stunt as anything else.

Cyclone, a young pilot already ingrained in the US military, is the natural leader for the group. His control and understanding of his powers surpasses all the others and his natural charisma and level-headedness make him a natural leader. He’s a good soldier, but there is more to him than just a simple follower of orders.

The world and its people try desperately to evolve as quickly as its residents appear to be. Eventually Evos end up involved in direct combat and the world begins to warp around this powerful new force and regular, non-evolved humans begin to wonder after their place on the rapidly advancing planet.

As the world reaches its boiling point, a race of faceless aliens who communicate completely through telepathy launch an invasion from space. They control a race of Lizard Men that they have subjugated from a world in deep space, using their telepathy to guide the weaker brained reptilian race to fight their wars for them. The devastation is swift and catastrophic and the world soon cows to the will of these invaders. But there is resistance. Resistance, which at it’s core, is led by Cyclone. Cyclone’s resistance learns that the Faceless are actually a highly evolved form of psychic humans who left the world millenia ago and who share similar genes with telepathic Evos. The coalition forces managed to break the control over the Dragon Soliders (Lizard Men) and turn them against their former masters, a move which ultimately allows them to end the war.

The world is desperate for leaders in the wake of the war and they find none better than the war’s greatest hero, Cyclone. Cyclone wisely allies himself with the remaining humans, using them as a police force and being careful to make sure that those among them who have not evolved maintain a feeling of importance in his new world. There are still enough humans left alive that he needs their support to buttress his new administration. Cyclone sets up warlords of his own choosing throughout the world’s decimated continents and rules over the long rebuilding process.  His desire to protect humans, who he still views as his people, and his fear of losing power lead him to start a campaign of genocide against any psychic Evos. Cyclone believes that, if allowed to continue to evolve, those psychics would become as dangerous as the Faceless before them. For the most part, he employs Dragon Soldier death squads for these (less than) secretive campaigns against the telepathic and telekinetic Evos. It is this campaign, this abuse of power, that eventually leads Cyclone to his own end at the hands of a human/Evo coalition much like the one he originally formed to repel the alien invaders.

Sorry for the crazy long post, but trust me, with Cyclone it could have been WAY longer. haha In case you’re wondering, Cyclone has powers similar to those of Storm’s and is easily the most powerful and evolved Evo on the planet.