Featured Columns

April 9, 2017

Character Spotlight: Crossbones

Filled with hate, trained to kill, he has some of the worst traits and exceptional skills a person could have. A soldier of fortune if there ever was one. The Red Skull’s right hand. Who is Crossbones? How did he become the man behind the mask and a constant thorn in Captain America’s side? Let’s find out.

Brock Lumlow was a hatefull person early in his life. A neo-nazi who lead a gang in New York’s Lower East Side. He’d assault the woman who would eventually become the mercenary Diamondback and kill one of her brothers who sought vengeance for her. This level of crime was new to Brock so he fled and enlisted in Taskmaster’s school for criminals. Learning from someone who had the skills from the best in the world, Brock excelled and became the top of his class.

His first real gig as a mercenary had him working for the communist Red Skull, the Red Skull is almost a franchise, and was sent to attack Nazi scientist, Arnim Zola. The battle ended with Brock being the only survivor on his side, this impressed the original, Nazi Red Skull and he hired Brock and dubbed him Crossbones because if there’s one thing Nazis seem to love, besides genocide, it’s a skeleton theme. Proving to be a faithful servant, Brock would commit and attempt to commit many atrocities for the Red Skull, revelling in it all the while. Death, destruction, torture, hate, and fear. Truly, he was in his element.

Wherever the Red Skull told him to go, Brock would strike. He’d attempt to kill the Kingpin but could not fight off both Bullseye and Typhoid Mary, Kingpin’s bodyguards, at the same time. Brock’s time as a loyal servant meant nothing to the Red Skull when Brock doubted the Skull’s choice and was kicked out of his service. Left to his own devices he would seek out whatever horrible organization would take him. He’d work for Nazi-sympathizer organization, Hydra for a time until they betrayed him and he would find his way back to Red Skull to begin one of their more elaborate plans.

Brock would begin the process to set up the assassination of Captain America. As the superhero Civil War raged on, Brock would kidnap Sharon Carter, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. so she could be brainwashed by Doctor Faustus. When the Civil War ended with Captain America in handcuffs to be taken into custody, Brock had Sharon shoot Cap while he himself through everyone off the trail for a while that she was the killed by sniping Cap as well, allowing him to get credit for the kill and the killshot when he was only responsible for the kill. This ends with Brock being locked away on the super prison, The Raft, but with the infamy of being the one to kill Captain America, Steve Rogers.

Having all this happen was still part of the plan so Brock would be broken out of captivity to aide in getting Red Skull’s consciousness into the body of Steve Rogers. The planned failed and the mind of Red Skull was lost in the process while Steve Rogers was revived fully. Alive once more, Steve made sure to get Brock thrown back into The Raft.

Qualifying for the Thunderbolts program as run by Luke Cage, Brock would be fitted with a nano-bomb at the base of his skull so he could be a part of the super team work-release program with other imprisoned villains. Brock would play as nice as a heavy weight white supremacist can while working for a black man. Until he is exposed to Terrigen Mist which grants him energy blasts he can emit from his face, he immediately tries to escape and kill Captain America who was working with the Thunderbolts on this same mission, until a strange pool of water took Brock’s powers away for good, making him easy to stop. He was kicked from the Thunderbolts and kept on The Raft for this, understandably.

When the evil duplicates of the hammer Mjolnir fell to Earth with one choosing Juggernaut, it destroyed The Raft, which was housing him at the timw. This allowed Brock to escape in the ensuing chaos and would team up with Sin, daughter of the Red Skull, to hunt the hammers down and eventually this lead to them hunting demons for the D.O.A. (Department of Occult Affairs) Brock would assist with Hydra’s infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. and nearly killed Sam Wilson, Captain America but was stopped by Misty Knight. He would have his memory and personality replaced with a less threatening set and placed into Pleasant Hills, a secret prison for dangerous villains. When the facade broke he returned to his bigoted, murderous ways and nearly defeated an elderly Steve Rogers before a living cosmic cube restore Rogers’ youth allowing him to fight off Brock. He has recently been part of a faction in Hydra who is working with Steve Rogers, that’s weird and awkward.

There you have it! Crossbones is a hate-filled murderer who has been a rival of Captain America’s for years now. His own code of ethics keeps him interesting but make no mistake, he loathes this planet and many of the people on it, simply for being different than him. He’s been in two of the Marvel films but was underutilized. Whenever he shows up you know it’s going to lead to something bad. See you next time!

Suggested Reading
Captain America #359, #360, & #362
Thunderbolts
Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America
All-New Captain America

Dr. Bustos
drbustos@comicattack.net

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