Note: These are pulled via an automatic pull from CharacterName/Comics subpages of all the characters on the wiki. They are in alphabetical order by character, not necessarily story order. If there is nothing in a section, then the page is setup to be included here but the information has not yet been added.
- Vengeance: Baron Blade putting together a team of foils for the FF was tricky in that he didn't have anybody really lined up for AZ, specifically, because he didn't have any kind of solo adventures that could have resulted in him developing a nemesis. Blade did know about a Soviet super-weapon that had been put on ice years ago, though. More detail in the Vengeful Five episode, but in short he convinced Proletariat that Absolute Zero was the "bad" version of himself - this unwitting slave of capitalism, etc.
- In one fight with the Vengeful Five, however, he and Proletariat wind up isolated without the rest of their teams nearby. Eventually, AZ's faceplate gets knocked off. Normally this is such a danger to him that he needs to patch it with something or retreat, but this time nothing happens. He doesn't experience the burning that it would normally cause, and is able to defeat Proletariat. He replaces his faceplate and joins up with the rest of the team. He's suspicious of this whole situation.
AA isn't a big part of Vengeance since the magical/extra-planar stuff doesn't really factor into the Vengeance plot, but there is Ruin to discuss. As has been mentioned in earlier episodes, he was a denizen of the Realm of Discord who wanted was sent by Gloomweaver to go after Nightmist, but once he's in the physical plane he runs into AA and can recognize the large amount of Void energy he contains. If he were to syphon off that Void energy, he'd be strong enough to dethrone Gloomweaver. So Ruin winds up fighting Argent Adept instead, and being able to feed on Void energy, AA's normal tricks are just making him stronger. This requires him to change tactics - instead of using his Void powers directly against Ruin, he has to instead use them to utilize the elements of the physical world around him that then, in turn, works out as an attack against Ruin (this is an instance where AA's powers wind up looking more like recognizable "magic" than his powers generally do - I'm assuming this is what's going on in the art for "Scherzo of Frost and Flame"). He freezes Ruin and then shatters him. Baron Blade has been watching this while AA was distracted with Ruin - and he knows that AA is very powerful and needs to be dealt with somehow if his plot is to succeed. He sees an opportunity when AA is fatigued after taking on Ruin and just sucker punches him to knock him out (this is likely just prior to the art on "Vengeful Assault"). He's largely absent from the rest of the story. This (along with, say, Nightmist having been Regression Darted) is a big reason why Baron Blade winds up trapped in the RoD for so long at the end of the story - most of the people who could have gotten him out were rendered incapable of doing so earlier.
Bunker has been involved in most Freedom Five conflicts, but doesn't really have a rogues gallery of his own (a result of his main pre-team book was military in nature). Fright Train was a mercenary who got augmented by Revo-Corp and recruited to the Vengeance Five specifically to be a foil to Bunker (due to the shared backstory) and was the first such "Super Villain" for him as an individual (this was also happening at around the time that his solo comic was winding down). Choke also first shows up at this point and she winds up stealing a bunch of Bunker suit parts and blows up other suits in the Freedom Five Headquarters (Choke is later apparently "killed" by K.N.Y.F.E. per her card "For the Greater Good"), but shows up later as Chokepoint in the Termi-Nation story.
- As part of the general Vengeance plot, Baron Blade broke a bunch of people out of the Block, Choke included. Choke's involvement with the general mayhem was to infiltrate the Freedom Five Headquarters and destroy a bunch of Bunker suits (a common theme between him and Absolute Zero with the exception that Bunker's not often wearing his suit when it gets destroyed). During these events, she is confronted by Agent Huntly (with new powers resulting from the fight in the Block and now designated as K.N.Y.F.E.), who stabs her through the abdomen (see the K.N.Y.F.E. card "For the Greater Good"), seemingly killing her.
- The military find her "totally dead" body and take it to bury (since she was a ward of the state). She's taken to Fort Adamant and the Ironclad Project again for study (while comatose).
Cassandra Lilya grew up in the same socialite circles as Maya Montgomery. They both shopped at the same exclusive boutiques, were regularly seen at major fashion weeks, boarded their horses at the same stables, attended the same high class parties, and even sent spies to find out what the other was wearing to said parties, as wearing the same dress would be social suicide.
Maya despised the foolish girl “Cass”, finding her investment in the social scene to be entirely vapid. Maya only engaged in these activities as a cover for her actions as The Wraith - Cass clearly thought that these silly frivolities were the most important parts of life, and Maya could not think less of her.
But Maya was wrong. Cass thought just as little of the bubbly Maya Montgomery. She could not know the thrill of leaping from rooftops and breaking into the most well-guarded vaults in the world. The public life of Cassandra Lilya was merely a cover for Ermine, the greatest thief in the world!
Ermine had stolen most of largest gems and most expensive archaeological finds in the world, selling them at top dollar to private collectors to fund her extravagant lifestyle. However, when a huge diamond was on exhibit at a museum in Rook City, Ermine’s attempted thievery was interrupted by The Wraith, who trivially defeated her and left her tied up in the museum right in front of the diamond. The authorities attempted to arrest her, but without actually catching her in the act of committing a crime, there was nothing for them to prosecute her for. However, her secret identity was revealed publicly, and Cassandra Lilya was ruined.
She continued to act as Ermine, but she quickly found that she actually missed her social outings. She cursed The Wraith with her every waking breath. So, when she received a lovely, handwritten letter from Baron Blade, offering her the chance for vengeance, she readily joined his team.
Now, Ermine, the world’s greatest thief, fights as part of Blade’s Vengeful Five! Ermine will have her revenge on The Wraith!
- Lots of work with the FF in the Vengeance War, a bunch of stuff against the Revo-Corp aspects of it. Accidentally shoots this guy called Setback (Is he a hero? The stuff he's doing isn't really helping) with lightning rounds when she was trying to hit Revenant. That's when they meet.
Krystal Lee was overjoyed to get accepted as an intern at the Eaken-Rubendall Research Laboratories. Working with Dr. Meredith Stinson was the greatest possible honor, and the opportunity for Lee to share her own brilliant ideas with Dr. Stinson meant she would have a chance at her own greatness! She couldn't wait.
Unfortunately, after only a few months working in the lab, things were not looking so good for Krystal Lee. She was constantly leaving her work area a mess, which irritated Dr. Stinson to no end, she made countless errors in her lab reports, and she even broke valuable lab equipment by not keeping a close eye on an experiment. Worst of all, Dr. Stinson didn't approve of any of Lee's inventions, claiming them all "derivative" and "not actually functional". So, when Lee received her notice that she was out of the intern program, she wasn't terribly surprised. However, she was terribly furious.
She broke into the "work in progress" lab area and stole several gadgets, notably a "speedsuit" prototype which Dr. Stinson had hoped would allow others to operate at speeds close to her own without injury. Lee was familiar enough with the Freedom Five and their workings to know that Baron Blade had been a constant threat, and attempted to make contact with him. After several heavy-handed inquiries, Lee received a form-letter from Baron Blade, claiming no vacancies in his Vengeful Four team, but Lee was adamant. She needed vengeance.
She powered up the speedsuit, altering the regulators in an attempt to prevent whatever damage might be dealt to her. Wearing the suit, she could move so fast she put out waves of heat, but she had to be careful not to run through her own waves. Also, the likelihood that the suit would result in two broken legs for the would-be villain was terrifyingly high.
Pushing these fears aside, she tracked down Baron Blade for an in-person audition, which resulted mostly in property damage and an entirely exhausted ex-intern. Unimpressed by her abilities, the Baron did see something in Lee that spoke to him. The overwhelming need for revenge.
Baron Blade reworked her speedsuit and gave her the name Friction. Now, Friction works as a scout and speedster as part of the Vengeful Five. She will show Tachyon once and for all what she missed out on!
Tyler Vance and Steven Graves enlisted on the same day, and from the first time they met, they knew they would never be friends. The 6'2" Graves towered over the 5'8" Vance, and he never let him live it down. They constantly competed for the top spots and highest accolades in boot camp, and their competive nature often resulted in both of them getting demerits.
After boot camp, Vance and Graves were assigned to the same platoon, and they were ready to continue their ongoing competition. But when Tyler Vance was promoted to Lieutenant and put in charge of the platoon, Corporal Graves resigned himself to respecting his authority, however begrudgingly.
When Lt. Vance's platoon was under heavy fire in the Middle East, Corporal Graves was seriously injured, and Lt. Vance risked his life to get Graves to safety. The two of them were stuck under scant cover for over four hours of heavy fire before they could rejoin the rest of the troops, and in that time, Graves and Vance made a peace, of sorts.
Upon returning to the United States, Graves was honorably discharged due to his injuries after Lt. Vance put in many a good word for Steven Graves. However, Graves still had trouble finding work for years, and ended up working for a South American druglord doing "security". Quickly making a name for himself in the private security sector, Graves became a hot gun and a rather expensive commodity.
Eventually, Graves was hired by a secret security force, but as part of his contract, he was chemically and mechanically enhanced, making him even more of a colossal force to be reckoned with. He was outfitted with a massive helmet resembling the front of a large train, which led to Graves being called "Fright Train". Unfortunately for Fright Train, in the security force's first mission, the team was decimated, and the few remaining members ended up in The Block.
After several years of incarceration, the dastardly Baron Blade managed to get word to several of The Block's inmates, Graves chief among them. "Come work for me," the Baron offered, "and I'll give you the chance for vengeance you so deserve."
Now, Fright Train serves as Baron Blade's body guard and battering ram, and he has a particular vendetta against the hero known as Bunker…
- In Vengeance, he's a known issue for the villains (and writers!) that they need to keep him out of the general fight if the plan is going to have a chance. So, they enlist the Hippo, Haka's most... persistent foes, to just keep him busy. Baron Blade directs him to the school in Colorado that Haka substitute teaches at currently. The plan isn't to so much fight him to win, but to set up a kind of hostage situation where if Haka just comes in punching the kids will get hurt. If the Hippo can stick to the script, he should have the upper hand and be able to play the defensive game until the Vengeance plot succeeds, at which point Blade can send in the cavalry to get him out of there, thus "defeating" Haka. Plus, Blade will pay him a bunch of money. This leads to an interesting issue where Haka can't punch the problem since Hippo's got a school bus full of kids that he's carrying around and Haka has to outsmart/goad him into a mistake (which basically comes down to him taunting the Hippo to eventually put down the bus and fight him - Hippo's not too bright, so this isn't a huge hurdle to clear). One punch later, Blade's plan is ruined - Hippo gets thrown in jail real quick and Haka books it over to the main Vengeance fights that Hippo had spilled the beans on during their verbal sparring. This probably results in Haka learning about/getting to the main fight earlier than he may have if Hippo hadn't been involved at all - he fights his way through waves of Proletariats and eventually takes down Fright Train (one of the major threats at this stage - Baron Blade being stuck in the Realm of Discord with Legacy by this time).
Baron Blade has suffered greatly at the hands of the so-called “heroes” of the Multiverse. His brilliance has always been met with unnecessary physical force. The Freedom Four blew up his amphibious robot, which was specially designed to drill into the core of the earth and harness the power there to power the Baron’s inventions. The Freedom Five attacked his TerraLunar Impulsion Beam Platform, destroying his invaluable and nigh-irreplaceable inventions, leaving him to burn in the wreckage. When he decided to bring the fight to the heroes himself with a combined bombing and death ray plot, the Freedom Five largely ignored him as other heroes dismantled his bombs and physically assaulted him. It was far too much for a scientific genius to stand!
So, the accomplished inventor went into hiding. He began carefully reverse engineering his most dastardly invention: the regression serum, the very mixture he developed to deny Legacy the strength of his own genetic line. His tests, however, were disappointing. He went through hundreds of test subjects with a 0% survival rate. Baron Blade was getting desperate, until he received reports from one of his testing facilities that one plucky test subject had not only survived the test, but had actually developed rudimentary physical powers as a result! This was a great breakthrough, but it came with a notable setback. The subject had escaped the testing facility.
After a frustrating lack of luck in reappropriating the subject, Baron Blade continued experimenting, based on the success of the recent testing, and finally, desperate for results, tested the most promising version of the progression serum on himself! The injections almost incapacitated him, but he recovered quickly and found that he was, in fact, stronger than ever! His strength and speed quickly advanced to superhuman levels, but without regular injections of the serum, using his new power would drain him, leaving him entirely exhausted. Still, his success bolstered his resolve. It was now time for vengeance.
Baron Blade went about gathering villains to him from across the Multiverse. He built an elite team to rival that of the Freedom Five, making himself the leader of the newly formed Vengeful Five, and gave each of his new accomplices command of the other villainous riffraff that heard the Baron’s call.
Now, stronger than ever, Baron Blade and his team are ready to take on the Freedom Five and take the Multiverse back for themselves! Vengeance is upon us!
- Vengeful Five plotlines involve the destruction of the original FF Headquarters and another fight in the new Freedom Tower. The Vengeful Five is around for a while before the "big" event where Blade starts pulling in more members of heroes' rogues galleries and is also when Blade builds Omni-blade (officially Omnitron III) out of the parts that Revocorp had.
- As part of the "Vengeance War", Legacy and Blade wind up fighting in the Realm of Discord and enter a Positive Energy Field where they can't actually hurt one another. They eventually just have a conversation there and Blade's various scars heal. His body stabilizes - the serum has left him a bit more buff than he had been, but it's otherwise out of his system. The conversation doesn't resolve very much between them, but probably plants the seeds that allow Luminary to become a thing later as he recognizes the futility of their recurring fight.
- Blade disappears from the public eye after the Vengeance War. Revocorp continues doing stuff, but it's not really under his direction. He largely already got what he wanted from them in terms of the serum. More Revocorp info in a podcast about them specifically.
After Baron Blade organized the Vengeful Five to take on the Freedom Five and their allies, the living vegetation known as Man-Grove was thought to have retreated to the far-off land from whence it had originated. In truth, it stayed much closer.
- During Vengeance, they're fighting a bunch of Proletariats and it's mentioned that Mister Fixer is doing things like taking their hammers away and smashing their chests in, that kind of thing. During that fight, though, the assassin Heartbreaker shows up to attack him (this isn't the first time, Equity and other less important assassins or super-powered thugs had shown up occasionally for the same purpose - to remove him from the field). Heartbreaker manages to get the drop on him, however, due to the distraction of the existing fight - Heartbreaker drives a blade through his chest, whispers a greeting from the Chairman to him, and leaves. The Chairman remembers how close Mister Fixer got to taking down the whole Organization and has been trying ever since he came back from the dead to negate that threat.
- He's not dead yet, though. The rest of the DW team still had their hands full with Proletariat and couldn't offer immediate aid, but he stands up anyway and helps them win the fight. He definitely *should* be dead, but he isn't. Nightmist determines that whatever Zhu Long did to restore a body is still active. It's a two step process - restore the body itself (think "healthy zombie") and then a separate step to actually grab the spirit of the person and put it back in the body. Since the body isn't actually really alive again, he can't really die. This is a kind of revenge by Zhu Long, putting his foe into this state of unlife, unconnected to the world and deprived of the final peace of the grave. This explains the source of bitterness.
- Vengeance is his first really major "superhero" appearance and he's involved in the major set-pieces: in Ruins of Atlantis he can communicate with the Kraken to help take out Doc Tusser (see "Environmental Allies", Vengeance has a lot of "mini-Nemesis fights" where heroes wind up fighting members of other heroes' rogues galleries), he's part of the team that takes down Fright Train (whose incap art shows Naturalist along with K.N.Y.F.E. and Setback), but ultimately lost, along with Haka, in a fight against Proletariat (see "Flanking Maneuvers"). He's then out of the public eye for a while.
- Vengeance: Nightmist is part of the team involved in the fight with Baron Blade himself. She gets hit by his regression serum darts and this removes her powers, but also the curse and she's once again just a normal person... for a few minutes before the mist starts encroaching again. As part of the follow-up story she has some discussions with Tachyon about reverse engineering the regression serum to make it permanent. For several issues her comic is just her without the mist powers - she's still doing the magic thing since she didn't lose her training (it's no longer as easy, though).
Mini Nemesis, found in Vengeance Five: Baron Blade's deck
- Some genious decided it would be a good idea to have a robot on-hand during the Vengeance fight and builds one out of these handy parts lying around the Revo-Corp labs. Without the creation of the Omni-Blade, that would have been the end of Omnitron. Not much story here, it was in the Vengeance fight, but wasn't as much of a threat as previous versions and just didn't really stick out to most heroes as being anything to really worry about. It gets smashed, but gets left in an industrial area since it wasn't cleaned up as thoroughly as the last time.
Aleksandr Tsarev was an exemplary Russian soldier who was in active service near the end of World War II. When the war ended in the mid-1940s, he was approached as part of a secret Soviet program to make the perfect combatant for the anticipated confrontations.
In 1949, as part of a highly-classified and controlled experiment, Tsarev was exposed to cosmic radiation from a lump of otherworldly material the Soviet scientists had been experimenting with for years. His body chemistry reacted wildly, cells splitting and reproducing rapidly, tearing his cellular structure apart. The scientists at first feared the experiment to be a failure and the subject to be an unfortunate casualy; however, after months of stabilization and medical attention, Tsarev survived, apparently unchanged.
One day, during combat training, Tsarev was inadvertently struck with excessive force - a blow which should have shattered bone. Instead, his body split at the point of impact and immediately reformed… into TWO Aleksandr Tsarevs! Two identical men stood where only one had been moments before. The two soldiers shared thoughts and experiences and acted as extensions of each other, but were two complete bodies, each with the full capabilities of the veteran soldier.
He was quickly reinducted into the top secret program, and test upon test was run, determining the extent of his self-duplication abilities. It seemed that mortal threats would disrupt and duplicate his cellular structure, leaving him unharmed and more prepared to meet the threat then before. Once his heart rate returned to normal, the multiple forms would be re-absorbed, so the copies would never last particularly long. With time and training, Tsarev was able to exert more control over his powers, and could even jump start his duplication process at will. However, many duplicates would wear significantly on his mind, as he struggled to control each individual copy of himself. This put a limit on how many identical soldiers could be active at once, a limit with Tsarev constantly pushed.
With the ongoing threat of what came to be known as the Cold War, Aleksandr Tsarev was cryogenically frozen and kept in a unlisted bunker in the USSR, waiting to be deployed at the hour of their greatest need. Decades passed, and the decline of the Cold War resulted in the few that knew of this secret soldier conveniently forgetting his existence.
Fast forward to modern day. Baron Blade unearthed records of Tsarev, and broke him free of his containment. He convinced the solider that his old causes mattered not, but that his freedom was taken from him by the opppressive, so-called "Freedom Five". The Baron likened Tsarev's existence to that of "Absolute Zero", Ryan Frost, a willing lap-dog of the goverment due to his own bizarre nature. Did Tsarev want to end up like those people, or to help the architect of a new world?
Taking the name Proletariat, Tsarev now fights alongside Baron Blade and the other members of the Vengeful Five. Proletariat can be found throughout the battlefield, assaulting his opponents with numbers, skill, and fury!
- Krystal Lee and Devra Caspit weren't Tachyon's only interns, but the earlier ones had just been background characters. Krystal was kind of an airhead (still could do the science stuff, or she wouldn't have gotten the job), but inattentive and lazy in the "takes shortcuts" way. Outside the lab, Tachyon is lighthearted and easy-going, but is all business in the lab and Krystal's personality is not a good fit and gets fired (thus laying the seeds for her becoming Friction later). Unity becomes the longest-running intern character (and a popular Sentinels Comics character in her own right).
- She takes part in Vengeance, she fights Miss Information, during OblivAeon she builds a giant T. Rex bot, but there aren't any real Unity-specific story as she's 1. a fairly late-addition to the Multiverse timeline and 2. spends most of that time as a sidekick/supporting character, only really stepping out of that right at the end of the Multiverse era.
- Vengeance! Baron Blade was aware of Project Cocoon (and vice versa) and contracted out Major Flay to capture Visionary to take back to the Project. During the big fight with everybody, Flay finds her and calls her out. She just tears him to pieces, which is a bit of a shock to everybody.