Real Name: Unknown
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Enemies: Coffin, Carmine Tango
Known Relatives: Unidentified parents (deceased)
Aliases: Johnny, Jack, John Doe, John Smith 24, the X Killer
Base of Operations: Arcadia
First Appearance: Arcadia : X (Dark Horse)
Powers/Abilities: X can heal virtually any injury (with the exception of his eye), and can go without sleep, possibly food, and air. X has had a sword shoved through his chest and out his back, then stabbed several times by ninjas, after he supposedly died, he was thrown in a river and a day later he was whole and crazy again. X's cape is died red with X's blood and just like him it heals itself and even if the blood is frozen it goes back to normal. X has been shot, stabbed, drowned, drugged, hammered, and beat, but every time it happens to him he heals a little faster from each injury.
History: "The first mark is a warning, the second mark is Death."
There are numerous stories about the mysterious and terrifying X. That he's an escaped maniac, triggered by the phases of the moon. An avenging angel, wielding fire and steel. A devil, raining down brimstone and blood. A criminal, driving out all competition. A dead man, back from the grave, to avenge his murder. A government experiment gone awry, let free to prey on Arcadia. The city, taken human form to purge itself of its intolerable corruption. The real story is as follows:
X's father worked in the Vortex project, and he came across the arm of an officer that had been exposed to vortex energy. After things started to go bad, the man stole the arm and ran off with his family. A few years later, the officer who had lost his arm (now a general) located him and came to him with a heavy black ops Army team, killing both the man and his wife. Before they could destroy their home, X's father took the blood from the arm and injected it into his own son, giving him his powers.
After X's parents were killed, he wandered the streets of Arcadia, until he was spotted and taken by the city's social workers at age twelve. They could find no trace of his actual identity; his only possessions were his cloth and a kid's wood cube with the letter "X". His memory was peculiar: he was well educated, but personal details were blanked out. They stayed that way, since no method managed to undo his amnesia. He became a ward of the state. At about fifteen, he started working with a new psychiatrist - who happened to be the mistress of the man who would become Arcadia's crimelord, and was already a very important mob boss: Carmine Tango. The psychiatrist tried everything she could to "save" the amnesiac, violent kid. She gave him an actual name, "Jack" (his official name was John Smith 24) and later screwed up and became his lover. Tango learned of this, of course - and ordered the young woman to cease immediately. Panicking, she started the break her relationship with "Jack" and hit him hard psychologically to make him go away.
That didn't work at all - except for breaking X some more and probably making him unable to love someone again. The young man found out the actual reasons for this rejection, and single handedly and with no weapon invaded Tango's home. His motives were unclear, but when he came across Carmine Tango with a gun, Tango realized that the kid had it. He recruited him and changed his name to "Johnny".
The kid, indeed, had it - in a few years, he became one of the star lieutenants for Carmine Tango, who himself was becoming Arcadia's top dog.
After a few years, Carmine Tango, who was a deep believer in astrology and ran his empire according to what he could calculate in his planetarium, received a very, very bad prediction from the stars - he had to kill his star lieutenant, "Johnny". He put his most efficient enforcer, Coffin, on the case. Coffin led him to a dock where he cut X's face and eye (hence the scars) and tossed him into the bay. This fate-imposed death would haunt Carmine Tango until his very death.
X survived his death and, after some unknown amount of time (probably years), came back to start a crusade to turn the corrupt Arcadia into something else. It is known that he struck a deal (a rarity) with Mafia queen Diana Goretti, who funded him - in exchange for hot real estate on the waterfront.
It started slowly as X first concentrated his efforts on claiming the waterfront as his own. It took about six months for the message to be heard : the waterfront was X's domain. No cops, no syndicate, no unauthorized business - although many beggars and other street denizens moved to the waterfront once it was known the place only knew X's law. X continued to pick up momentum, and in the tenth or eleventh month shot dead a corrupt candidate to the Congress.
While the police remained unable to apprehend him (a special SWAT team sent to kill him even found itself blasted in an exploding building), the local criminals (although the difference between those factions was rather thin in Arcadia) were not having much more success and the city's crimelord, Carmine Tango, an astrologer, began to take things in his own hands.
The Mayor, Marcus Teal, was a crook but not a dangerous criminal; Carmine Tango sided with an old acquaintance, Congressman DeMarco - a major player with heavy connections, having once lost the mayoral race to Teal but having since become a big shot in Washington (and, incidentally, having survived the Cinnibar secret Army base when it was attacked by alien Seekers). They wanted to replace Teal with Commissioner James Anderson, a borderline psycho running his police like a guerilla army. X killed Anderson after the commissioner had sent killer cyborgs after him, and saved Teal from Tango's killers, telling in no uncertain terms to Teal he was working for him now.
DeMarco had enough power to convince the National Security Council to sic the all-American superhero Titan on X ; he was helped in this by a powerful Arcadia drug runner with strong political connections, Roscoe Ligotti, who was on X's hit list. X, of course, was not a match for Titan's tremendous power. However, he found it relatively easy to explain to him who he was actually working for - and it became obvious, in fact, that Ligotti was helping finance the US intelligence community in return for immunity. Titan faced down Ligotti, but was told off by the NSC. X, however, was right behind with a grenade and killed the druglord.
DeMarco died away from Arcadia, while X was held prisoner by Alamout, the Master of Assassins. He had an encounter with Ghost, panicked and shot loose a huge wood X-shaped cross that crushed him to death - since his helicopter already had a huge red X painted on the belly, it was clear to all that X was the killer. Meanwhile, X, brainwashed by Alamout, almost killed Tango - but snapped out of his conditioning at the last moment. Still, Tango considered himself at war against X and launched an assault on him - which failed, leaving about fifteen dead. During the firefight, Tango's handpicked boy, Christy, chose to gun down the last other man alive in order to surrender himself to X. The heat was steadily rising - and became worst as a secret society of criminal policeman, the Judgment Knights, started a campaign of murder against rival mobs.
After X had ensured, by pressuring Teal and the press, that the right candidate was chose to be the new commissioner, the war further escalated. Carmine Tango had Coffin hired, using him to discipline other crime lords to stand behind him during the war and not make their play at power. Coffin also led an operation to destroy X's waterfront. A half-dozen of firefighting planes dropped thousands of liters of crude oil all over the waterfront, which Coffin ignited with a car bomb, devastating many blocks and killing untold numbers of vagrants. Meanwhile, Alamout captured the Mayor, so as to impersonate him when needed. As the Mayor, he triggered an assault by Carmine Tango on Mafia heiress Diana Goretti (by revealing her financial connections with X) and drew X to him, killing him by surprise.
X's corpse was thrown in Arcadia's bay, but his invulnerability allowed him to survive. He came back while Lord Alamout, disguised as X, had called through Carmine Tango a conference of Arcadia's underworld in a stadium. X entered the stadium and killed Alamout, then proclaimed he had won the war. At that point, the renegade policemen known as the Judgment Knights charge in, and the stadium erupted in chaos. Shortly after that, X killed Diana Goretti, his backer, and mentally broke Carmine Tango - leaving Christy, his right hand man, take over the Tango mob under X's orders.
With Arcadia broken under him (and after a bad chance encounter with Headhunter, on a mission for the government in Arcadia - followed by a chance encounter with a Predator, which didn't go very well for the Predator), X moved to greater things. His plan was to pressure the Congress into pouring funds into Arcadia so as to help rebuild it and make it a better place - a plan motivated by the fact the government had pulled back from Arcadia. He used his usual tactics of terror against key Congressmen to have an "X bill" passed, but was then arrested by an operative of the Dept of Justice he had already met and narrowly beaten - Challenge. Challenge's superior in the Department of Justice offered a negotiated compromise, with an ulterior motive : he had shown X that negotiation could have faster, more efficient results than violence ; and, more subtly, than the outside world was not his.
When X came back to Arcadia, things had degenerated very quickly when it became apparent he was away from the city. Street gangs were rampant, Gamble was back to implement a cunning plan to get in power, and the general had understood who was back and was back to claim his arm. Wildboy Willie McCone, the general's hired killer, got rid of Gamble and plunged the town in a mean civil war, destroying most infrastructures with explosive charges and having heavily armed and united the gangs. He also ambushed X and shot him with a special virus that neutralized X's healing abilities, leaving badly injured and greatly weakened. Driven by his CIA, X's nevertheless tried to stop the civil war in Arcadia's streets, and shortly associated with Gamble. He then challenged the general to a meet.
Although X silently killed all of the general's men before meeting him, he was shot by Wildboy Willie McCone. After a few minutes (during which the general discussed with X, who thus could remember the raid on his house during his childhood), McCone was shot by Gamble ; the General was killed by the psionic form of the resurrected Coffin, seconds before X killed Toby Klein, thus destroying Coffin. Gamble then attempted to betray X and was shot dead by the vigilante.
X then apparently retired, as all the players in Arcadia had been eliminated ; the assistant district attorney offered amnesty for his crimes if he just disappeared. It is unknown if X accepted this deal.
Comments: X is scarred beneath his mask and has no secret identity. He lives in the sewers; the only person he talks to is street urchin Mikki D. X is highly violent and ruthless; he is here to kill a large number of persons and their goons, and is certainly not above torture. He's a sociopath, and never seems to display emotions or need human contact.
The "X" marks sometimes appear in impossible circumstances : a trickle of blood just happens to form one of the bars. An item falls on someone's face in just the right fashion. The mark is done impossibly quickly, and the victim doesn't even notice until a few minutes later. The mark appear while X is away, and events make it very unlikely he could have put it there in advance. A splash of blood falls on a mirror at just the right place. A plexiglas visor cracks just in the right way. X only put his mark on one billboard in the town, but that's the one his target sees. A shadow falls as it should. Sometimes, a mark dies far from Arcadia, but the circumstances of his death mark him with the second half. The reasons for this supernatural phenomenon is unknown.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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