These are the monsters that make the Dark seem not so bad.
The very, very first S-Class metahuman, Dread Roger was a supervillain of the late twenties and early thirties. Little is known about his past, other than his Nationality – he spoke with a Dutch accent, though he did use the English language. A self-styled “Heir to Blackbeard”, his powers allowed him to terrorize the world for seven years, before he mysteriously vanished – the world simply wasn’t ready to deal with someone of his abilities.
His powers were multilayered:
- He was tough enough to go toe to toe with a normal-sized Kraquok and shrug off even military rifle rounds of the time. His strength matched his toughness, and his reaction speed allowed him to cut bullets out of the air.
- His Captain’s Uniform gave him the ability to fly, and his cutlass could cut through solid steel and his flintgun could blow up cars.
- His main power created a pirate ship that could fly – and, as he put it, “sail across the oceans of reality”. It was self-repairing, self-flying, had cannons that could take down buildings and could evade most pursuit by escaping into other dimensions (one theory as to his disappearance is that he ran afoul of something even he couldn’t deal with, in some other dimension). What was most terrifying, though, was his crew. He could make deals with people, taking them into his crew. His crewmembers were empowered by him, becoming monstrous and immortal – no matter what happened to them, they would be reborn on his ship, after a while. The only limit was the maximal capacity of his ship (around 100 people, no one ever got the exact number out of him).
- The top three reasons for joining his crew, back then: Terminal Illness, Greed, Flight from Enemies
- Estimates put about four thousand deaths to his name, and several million dollars of damage (at a time where that was an incredible amount of money).
Queen Bee surfaced in the late fifties in Southern Iran – at least that’s where her first colony was stationed. She was a monstrous being, a twisted bee-woman the size of a horse who implanted her eggs into the bodies of her victims. The eggs hatched, and her children worked their way up into the brain of their host, taking over their bodies. Depending on their caste – worker, warrior, spy or bodyguard for the queen – they developed different mutations and powers, and shared a hive mind with her as the center and master controller.
Ironically, Queen Bee did not meet her end at the hands of any hero – but at the hands of Weisswald. In 1958, she attacked and killed a whole division of his metahuman army near the Turkish border – as she was quite unwilling to negotiate with him, he set out to take her down. The following battle – which he won, if barely – contributed greatly to giving the PATO and the Sovjet Union time to recuperate, gather their forces and plan how to strike back. Despite the terror she caused – nearly a hundred thousand people are supposed to have died at the hands of the Queen Bee and her “children” – she is considered one of the main reasons for the allied victory (apart from Lady Lights near-legendary rampage after the death of Brightchild).
The Nightmare Sun
In 1983, a glowing figure appeared over the Vietnamese city of Hue. Within three hours, the city had been entirely depopulated, and the Nightmare Sun flew out onto the ocean.
Three weeks later, it appeared at the coast of Ecuador and flew in a straight line towards the Atlantic Ocean, before swerving South to enter Brazil, and continuing towards the Southernmost tip of the continent.
Whomever its cruel light touched saw their own shadow come to life, rise from the ground and become… something. Whatever they feared mosts, monstrosities that embodied their each and every fear and shame. Many died simply from looking at them, their hearts ceasing their function from the shock. Many more died when the monstrosities went on a rampage – even the death of their creators did not stop these monsters, and each of them was hard to put down to say the least. The more powerful the person was that spawned them, the more powerful the shadows were. They also seemed to react strongly to powers that related to creating or intensifying light – shadows of such people were even more powerful.
The Nightmare Sun itself was a being made of pure light. There was no body, nothing to attack. It did not even seem to have a mind, or at least it was utterly immune and undetectable for mental powers. No one, not even Lady Light and the Dark, were able to so much as slow it down – only mitigate the damage its spawn caused (they did prove to be some of the few people immune to its power – fortunately, the world never had to find out what the shadow of Lady Light would have been capable of).
A week and a half after it appeared at the South American shore, the Nightmare Sun vanished. There was only a single, unreliable eye witness report – a small child that had escaped its light until the last moment – and when its shadow rose, it was immediately crushed underfoot by what it described as “that funny mirror man”. She went on to describe him punching the Nightmare Sun so hard “he punched it into another world”. Neither the Nightmare Sun nor the mirror man were ever seen again, as far as the world knows.
The final death toll of the Nightmare Sun’s rampage is estimated at about two million people – and the only reason it wasn’t more was because it didn’t specifically target population centers. In fact, to this day, it remains a mystery how and why it took the route it did.
The Iron Dragon
The Iron Dragon held, for the longest time, the distinction of being the oldest operating supervillain, second only to the Dark, with the Matriarch close behind. A mastermind of a villain, he got his start in LA’s Chinatown. His power was rather simple – he could always tell when someone lied. Always. He levereged that into taking over the triads, becoming the first great superpowered crime boss (the Dark was still flying solo at the time, save for his sidekick Kraquok).
At first, the man who called himself the Iron Dragon (it’s not known if he was actually of Chinese descent, despite his style – he always wore a mask) simply took over the local triad and profited from normal crime.
Then, two years after he first came to power, a group of superheroes managed to take his operation apart, and he fled the country when the government came after him.
For five years, no one in the West heard of the Iron Dragon, and he was thought either dead, or retired on his substantial private coffers.
Then, rumors came in of a new mastermind in the Chinese Empire, which was then still independent of the Sovjet Union. Many dismissed them out of hand – the Emperor did not tolerate supervillains, and the empire was, at the time, the most powerful police state in the world, even more so than the Sovjet Union. And these stories spoke of a man calling himself the Iron Dragon, who was leading a war against the Emperor, demanding the throne for himself.
A year later, the Iron Dragon had taken over, declaring himself Emperor. What follows is sketchy, at best. There were stories of Eugenics programs, of him trying to breed a new race of pure metahumans. There were stories of rape camps, where normal women and metahuman women who opposed him both were used by metahuman men to breed more children with the “metahuman gene”. But no one in the West cared much what happened to a bunch of Chinese people.
It wasn’t until the second world war that people payed attention again – because his ideas seemed quite similar to Weisswalds, and no one wanted Weisswald to get an ally as big as Imperial China. Thus, a team of metahuman spies known as the Dragonslayers were sent into the empire to find out what exactly was going on.
What they found was worse than the rumors. Whatever madness had befallen the Iron Dragon, it had driven him to rework entire cities into breeding camps, under the then still widely believed theory that metahumans were genetically different and could pass on their powers. He had drummed up an army of metahumans – almost all of the lowest level, but still more than anything anyone had known at the time – and was preparing to assault Korea, in order to incorporate the population in his program.
What followed is one of the most legendary and highly fictionalized acts of covert warfare in history, a five year campaign that ended with more than two hundred thousand Chinese dead, and the Iron Dragon slain by one of his own lieutenants. China was so weakened after the “Dragonslayer’s War” that it was easy for the Sovjet Union to absorb it – and the countless metahumans left in the wake of the Iron Dragon’s terror – after Weisswald’s fall, thus contributing in large parts to their modern-day power.
The Godking of Mars
Emyr Blackhill. An author of science fiction novels and short stories. Born to a baker and a professional dancer from London, emigrated to America at the age of twelve. Straight A student, but too lazy to really do much with it apart from writing stories. His parents died in an accident when he was eighteen. He had no close friends. When he was twenty-two, he vanished.
Five years later, scientists were elated when they observed activity on the surface of Mars, using Earth-based telescopes. People couldn’t believe it, but there seemed to be intelligent life on Mars, after all. And it was building something big on the surface. Bigger than any human city, and it seemed to be a single building.
A mere five months after construction began, a structure could be seen. A single grand building, a palace, perhaps, bigger than the State of California.
Five weeks later, the Martian Army invaded Earth, striking simultaneously across the globe, their ships appearing out of strange rifts in space.
Five days later, Emyr Blackhill, self-proclaimed Godking of Mars, had conquered the Planet Earth, with only a few pockets of resistance left (the biggest led by Lady Light and the Dark).
A desperate final plan was hatched, and Lady Light and the Dark attacked the Martian headquarters on Earth (stationed in Roswell, New Mexico) – but it was only a distraction. A small, elite team of heroes and villains hijacked a Martian ship and took one of the rifts to their homeplanet – and to their god’s palace, Gran Gyagas, a building so massive it dwarfed any mortal construction in history.
Five hours later, his people began to fade, their impossible technology falling apart, their very bodies turning into… nothing.
The details of the battle are shrouded in myth, for there were no survivors, but this is known: Gungnir, a young supervillainess under the command of the Dowager, managed to penetrate the Godking’s defenses and slayed him, paying with her very life.
Nothing remained of the Martian Empire but the massive, sprawling palace, and the Godking’s corpse, transfixed, to this day, to his own throne by Gungnir’s spear.