crusaders and Criminals: Villains
For decades now Doctor Apocalypse has been saving humanity from the horrible fate that awaits it. Before he was even born, Pietor Apoucalos was chosen, fated to discover the gemstone, open the portal, and unleash the demonic horde upon the Earth. Did he release the monsters? No. He did not. Because of his strength. Because of his will. He was able to overcome and contain these unearthly masters, claim their power for himself, and save humanity from annihilation.
Do the people thank him? Do they shower him with laurels? Do their leaders fall to their knees before him? No. They do not. These pathetic worms refuse to recognize the sacrifices, the punishments he has endured, and continues to endure, in order to save their miserable, useless lives. Even when Doctor Apocalypse summons gigantic global storms to torment them, or creates a massive Doomsday Robot to ravage their cities - don't they understand that this is but a small demonstration of his power? Whatever miseries they inflict are but a pale shadow of the cataclysm that awaits humanity should Doctor Apocalypse choose to abandon his lonely vigil. Why is that so hard for them to understand? These people, all of them, owe Doctor Apocalypse their lives. They do not yet accept him as their rightful lord and bow before him. But they will. Oh, yes. They will.
The Island of Doctor Apocalypse
There has always been something supernatural about Holly Cooks. Even before her abduction and transformation, she was an internationally recognized super-model, known for her poise and unearthly beauty. Her looks and high profile naturally attracted admirers. Unfortunately for Holly, one of those admirers was the sinister Doctor Phage.
Holly was kidnapped in the midst of a publicity stunt, before the eyes of a stunned and adoring crowd. She simply disappeared. But Doctor Phage hadn't realized that his teleportation device would pull Holly through a daemonic dimension. It seemed like the transference took only a split-second, but within the lost dimension, it was an eternity. There, time had no meaning, and the dark forces that inhabit that realm had eons to make Holly their plaything. They tormented her. The inhabited her. They consumed her. And they transformed her.
Holly Cooks had been captured by the teleportation device. But the person who came out other side was Lady Armageddon. She emerged a being of pure rage. An unstoppable agent of destruction. A beautiful, terrifying angel of death.
In Broad Daylight
How do we know if something is "real"? If we can see it? Feel it? Touch it? Taste it? Doesn't that make it real? These are more than philosophical questions for Meryl Jordan. Ever since experiments with powerful hallucinogenics unlocked her latent mutant and psychic abilities, reality has been a very slippery concept for her. Meryl found the world to be constantly warping around her. She found drugs that allow her to control and amplify her powers- giving her control of her environment and the power to make real anything she imagines. Unsure what a "normal life" even is any more, she took on the super-villainous persona of the Mirage.
The precise nature of Mirage's power is somewhat elusive. Her creations don't appear on cameras. And there are noted cases of Mirage inflicting crippling pain without any accompanying illusions. However, the horrific injuries and massive property damage caused by her creations suggest her power is much more than just psychic projection. In any case, it is dangerous to cross a woman whose power to shape reality is limited only by her, extremely active, imagination.
Most Wanted: Volume 1
Some people just aren't meant to lead a normal life. Daryl Gardner had one. Girlfriend, apartment, job as an associate professor and wrestling coach. One day he bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok and walked away from it all. He started making a living with his fists. Bare-knuckle brawling, underground fight pits, no-rules mixed martial-arts matches - Daryl traveled the world learning new fighting styles and techniques and testing them in the pits against the toughest opponents he could find.
One night in Sao Paulo, Daryl heard about a secretive bio-chemist that had developed a formula, using spider DNA, that offered enhanced strength and agility. Always looking for an edge, Daryl broke into the lab, killed the chemist, and injected himself with every dosage of the formula. When he finally recovered, Daryl was quite pleased with the results.
With his new powers, Daryl felt he has a great responsibility, to himself. He continues to travel the world seeking worthy opponents. Sometimes he's an assassin or enforcer for hire. Mostly he's setting out to prove he's the best fighter on the planet - as the deadly Spyder.
Most Wanted: Volume 1
It is said that when the dead are returned to the land of the living, they are doomed repeat the patterns of their former lives. That certainly seems to be true for Hauntress. In life she was the super-powered brawler know as the Shrew. Even after her death and rebirth, Hauntress can still be found following Mocker and hanging out with her old Crusher palls.
As Shrew, she met her end when she was bitten by a rabid animal let loose by the psionic teenaged demi-human known as Weaselmanic. "Death by rabies", they said. The radioactive rabies must have had a strange reaction with Shrew's own mutant metabolism because she didn't stay dead for long. And out of that infernal concoction, the Hauntress was born.
Hauntress haunts the world in non-corporeal form. She can take the form of a friend or loved one, expose enemies to terrifying visions of the tormented souls that exist beyond the veil, or steal someone's life with a touch. If sufficiently enraged, she might re-materialize in her old body - where she retains the Shrew's enhanced speed and strength - to beat someone to death the old-fashioned way.
Since her transformation, Hauntress has gone from C-list supervillain to a nightmare from the depths of hell.
Villains and Vigilantes comic mini-series
The Destroyers as a group and individual characters, Doctor Apocalypse, and the distinctive likenesses hereof are TM and copyright Bill Willingham. All rights reserved. Used here with permission.