Is this the stupidest, most inane and frankly disturbing superhero we've seen?
Penance - debuting in Civil War Front Line 10 & featuring as part of Warren Ellis' New Thunderbolts series.
Now I hope Warren has got something to say with the character but fuck only knows what it is. If ever anything demonstrated Ellis' own idea of Superheroes as Pervert Suits this is it.
I think Warren Ellis is a great writer and genuinely love his stuff, but sometimes, just sometimes, I get the impression he just has a daft idea and enjoys being paid lots of money to see it through.
To quote from the Newsarama article because it manages to be quite disturbing enough without me adding commentary to it:
"Robbie Baldwin, the former Speedball .... He was a nice boy! He still is, really, just a nice boy who has some…issues to work out. Robbie Baldwin was involved in a fight with the villain Nitro, who caused an explosion that killed 612 people in Stamford, Connecticut.
Robbie knows how his powers work now—that they’re fueled by his pain. And the bullet in his spine causes him to be in near constant pain, which must certainly be getting to him.
Robbie’s costume serves as a constant reminder of the destruction at Stamford. It has 612 spikes on the inside, 60 of which are larger than the others, representing the 60 schoolchildren who were killed. One particularly large spike near the heart represents the daughter of the man who shot Robbie. The costume aids in channeling the energy that is created from Robbie’s pain."
Just too bloody bizarre.