|First Appearance:||New Year's Evil: Prometheus #1 (February, 1998)|
|Created by:|| Grant Morrison|
|Abilities:|| Trained to peak physical and mental levels|
Possesses arsenal of weapons and deadly gadgets
A dark reflection of Batman, Prometheus was raised by criminals who were gunned down by policemen right in front of him. Dedicating his life to destroying the law, Prometheus traveled the world and trained in the ways of murder. Clad in an armored suit that maximizes his natural skills, he is a master assassin whose physical and mental abilities rival Batman's own. Currently active as a costumed criminal, Prometheus possesses a pathological need to kill enforcers of the law, whether police officers, vigilantes, or super heroes.
Prometheus was the son of two loving, hippie criminals who traveled across the United States with him. They committed indiscriminate murders and thefts, often of a brutal nature (similar perhaps to the infamous criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde). Eventually, they were cornered and forced the police to gun them down in front of their son, whose hair turned white from the shock. That night, he swore an oath to "annihilate the forces of justice." His true name has not yet been revealed.
Prometheus obtained large sums of money both from his parents' hidden stashes of money and by extorting local mob bosses using his knowledge of their criminal activities. Leaving home at the age of 16, he used his money to travel the world in order to develop the skills he would need. His activities during this period included training as an underground pit-fighter in Brazil, working as a mercenary in Africa, joining terrorist groups in the Middle East, studying silat in Malaysia, associating with the wealthy social elite in order to learn their secrets ('I learned to kill in a dozen different Languages'), and attending only the finest in legitimate academic schools and universities. Eventually he found the legendary Himalayan city of Shamballa, inhabited by a sect of monks who worshiped evil itself. Studying with them, he eventually became a favorite of their leader, who showed him their greatest treasure, an alien spaceship upon which their ancient monastery had been built. The leader then transmuted into one of the aliens who'd first landed there, and Prometheus was forced to kill him to obtain the Key to the 'Ghost Zone'.
Along with the ship was a key that opened into what Prometheus dubbed "The Ghost Zone," an infinite expanse of white nothing-ness. (JLA member and angel Zauriel referred to this zone as limbo; it was also used by the White Martians as a form of Hyperspace to effect interstellar travel; the people of Krypton knew it as the Phantom Zone). Prometheus would eventually build himself a small, lopsided wooden house in The Ghost Zone ('Nothing builds straight here. But that's fine with me. A crooked house for a crooked man.'). Here, he was free to build up a resistance to the JLA, unhindered by Earth's authorities or heroes.
Retro was just a normal young man who had won a competition to be a member of the new Justice League of America for a day by designing his own costume and fictitious "origin story."
Prometheus took the place of Retro at the Justice League Watchtower on the Moon and almost single-handedly took down the League: He shot the Martian Manhunter with a dart that turned his shape-changing power against him, infected Steel's armor with a computer virus which commanded the suit to damage the Watchtower, hypnotized the Huntress into unconsciousness, attacked Green Lantern with a "Neural Chaff" that rendered his ring useless, trapped the angel Zauriel in the Ghost Zone, and tricked the Flash into believing that he had planted motion sensitive bombs that would explode if the Flash used his powers. He defeated Batman in hand-to-hand combat with the aide of a device that downloaded the skills of the thirty greatest martial arts masters in the world (including Batman) into his brain and a pair of lights on his shoulder that blinked in an erratic pattern to cause disorientation. At the time, the Watchtower was filled with innocent civilians that the League had invited for a tour. With the Watchtower under his control, Prometheus then demanded that Superman—the only hero he could not defeat—commit suicide in exchange for the lives of the hostages, sacrificing the two things which he presumed would matter to Superman; his image and his reputation. He also expressed his pleasure at the fact that 'Superman said "Prometheus" and he didn't sound scared.'
However, Prometheus's best laid plans were laid to waste by an unforeseen variable: the anti-hero Catwoman, who incapacitated him with a simple whip crack to the groin. Having sneaked onto the Watchtower disguised as Cat Grant looking for things to steal, Catwoman's intervention bought Steel the time he needed to beat the virus (Although it was only thanks to the lucky arrival of Plastic Man that Steel's hammer failed to do any damage to the Watchtower walls) and, in turn, override Prometheus' helmet. Prometheus then escaped to the Ghost Zone.
Prometheus later returned as a part of the second Injustice Gang created by Lex Luthor. He was able to use the Ghost Zone and a White Martian spaceship left from the Martian Invasion within it to get into the Watchtower. He almost killed Oracle by throwing her out of a window when she refused his deal. He wanted her to betray the JLA in return for being able to walk again. Oracle manages to survive by grabbing the hand on the face of the Clocktower, simultaneously damaging Prometheus's helmet.
He then had a final rematch with Batman who had, in the intervening time, managed to unlock the secrets of Prometheus' helmet. Batman replaced the martial arts skills Prometheus had downloaded into his mind with the physical skills and coordination of Professor Stephen Hawking, a famed scientist who could barely move. Huntress, who witnessed the latter half of the battle, described this as "cheating." Batman retorted with "Not cheating. Winning." Batman later commented that it was the "first time [he] ever hit a man with motor neuron disease". Later, Batman was forced to intervene in order to prevent Huntress from killing the helpless Prometheus, firing her from the Justice League in the process.
After battling Mageddon, Batman and Martian Manhunter conceded that no prison could hold Prometheus, so they placed him in a psychic loop, trapped in his own memories. In this state, he was sent to Blackgate Prison and left. Martian Manhunter kept him in this state for the rest of his life. During this time, his "identity" and all his equipment was used by Chad Graham, his protegé.
Graham was later seen in Star City, fighting Green Arrow and the police. He was nearly killed, but escaped with the help of Batman villain Hush. Prometheus II later formed a partnership with Hush, but was abandoned for his complicity in the murder of Poison Ivy. Infected with a terminal disease by one of Ivy's mutated foster children, Prometheus II is powerless to defend himself from kidnapping. He is taken by The Society, of which he had previously been a member. The Society wanted to steal the key to the Ghost Zone, which Prometheus had already hidden in the museum of the Justice Society of America. He is later seen in the Battle of Metropolis, in which a villain army battles a superhero army. During the battle, Chad is glimpsed killing the Peacemaker (Mitchell Black).
Prometheus II then appeared in Birds of Prey #94 defeating Lady Shiva, one of the DC universe's top-rated martial artists. Shiva, despite knowing her own skills were recorded, along with twenty-nine others, attacks and is defeated in three seconds.
Chad Graham also appeared facing off against Captain America in the JLA/Avengers crossover. While he put up a fight, using the high-tech outfitted helmet and Batman's fighting skills, the Captain soundly defeated him, deriding him for his usage of the technology (he even remarked he learned focus from fighting the Wehrmacht, giving him effective immunity against Prometheus' neural chaff and hypnosis).
Prometheus II then recaptured the Society defector Crime Doctor from under the Huntress' nose. He then fought the Huntress, Lady Blackhawk, and Black Canary before the Crime Doctor's suicide removed their reason for fighting. Prometheus II departed unopposed, commenting sardonically that thus far the Huntress had given him more trouble than Superman.
In Teen Titans #51, Prometheus II is shown to be under the control of Starro. It appears that while under Starro's control, he is not as skilled a fighter and Robin is portrayed as being nearly a match for Graham. However in the end, Prometheus II is defeated by an alternate-reality version of Tim Drake.
Faces of Evil: PrometheusEdit
After Martian Manhunter's death at the hands of Libra, the real Prometheus regained control of his own mind and broke out. Enraged that his successor hadn't tried to rescue him, he tracked the younger man down and killed him.
As the impostor died, Prometheus realized that Chad had done him a favor by making people think he was a joke, which allowed him a great opportunity to make his mark once more.
Cry for JusticeEdit
Prometheus is revealed to be the central villain in the 2009 series Justice League: Cry for Justice. In the story, he begins to make his move on the superhero community, killing Freedom Beast, Gloss, Tasmanian Devil and possibly other heroes as well.
It is revealed that Prometheus has sent out a bevy of supervillains to attack various superheroes (including Barry Allen, Batwoman, Crimson Avenger, and Courtney Whitmore) in order to distract them from his true plan. Prometheus and his involvement in the plot is revealed after one of his hirelings, Killer Moth, is cornered by the two Atoms in New Mexico. The heroes torture Moth into revealing that Prometheus is the true mastermind. It has been revealed that he has been impersonating Freddy Freeman throughout the series to gain access to the JLA satellite. He defeats the entire gathering of heroes who try to stop him, only to be distracted by the Shade (who, being a villain, Prometheus doesn't have a file on), allowing Donna Troy to beat him down. Prometheus reveals he has placed teleportation devices in various cities to send them through time and space in order to hurt the heroes. He offers to reveal their locations in exchange for his freedom and proves his threat by revealing Star City is about to be taken away. The Justice League was forced to allow Prometheus to escape in order to stop further destruction. When a faulty teleportation device kills thousands in Star City, the heroes agree and release Prometheus. Prometheus returns to his lair, but is apparently killed by Green Arrow, who shoots an arrow into the villain's head.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Genius-Level Intellect
- Peak physical and mental conditioning: Even without his suit, Prometheus still posesses great physical strength, as well as physical fitness. He has studied many martial arts, and has trained himself to a mental peak as well as a physical peak.
- Gifted Inventor: Prometheus invented objects such as the Computerized Helmet and Nightstick.
- Master Martial Artist: Even without his helmet, Prometheus is a very skilled combatant, proficient in several forms of hand-to-hand combat including Judo, Kickboxing, Boxing, Karate, Capoeira, Silat, Savate and possibly more.
- Expert Marksman: He has the amazing ability to use almost any common object, such as CDs and pencils, with deadly accuracy making it more dangerous than many metahumans.
- Weapon Master
- Muti-Lingual: He is able to speak English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and knows Sign-Language.
- Master Tactician and Strategist: He has created more than 1,000 master plans to escape any situation and defeat any meta-human through planning and preparation and a detailed understanding of the weaknesses and tactics that an opponent is likely to use against him.
- Body Armor: The costume is made of a lightweight and durable material, which is intertwined with synaptic relays to increase his formidable fighting prowess and covered with microscopic nanobites to affect the opponent's brain. The armor is fireproof and can withstand a direct hit from Superman.
- Computerized Helmet: Is connected to his brain and central nervous system.
- Download Capabilities: Able to download any kind of information into his brain and download movements, mannerisms, and fighting styles into his central nervous system. He has been able to download the Watchtower's schematics onto a CD and from there download them straight into his brain which allows him to automatically know where everything is in the Watchtower. Has been able to download a CD into his central nervous system that contains 30 of the World's Best Martial Arts Masters, one of them being Batman's fighting style.
- Hypnosis: By flickering the lights at a rate of 10 cycles per second, he can induce hypnosis.
- Neural Chaff: Given off by the helmet, neural chaff disorganizes thought processes. It interferes with brain electricity. It is like giving thoughts the "Flu." Exclusively used against heroes like Green Lantern who needs to concentrate to use his ring.
- Short-Term Memory: Enhances his short-term memory
- Pain Killers: His helmet releases endorphins to take care of any pain he feels.
- Chameleon Device: Prometheus used the device to pass by Captain Marvel and infiltrate the Justice League satellite, the device allows him to imitate the voice and facial mannerisms of a person.
- Energized Nightstick
- Reprogram Computer Systems: Program electronic equipment when in physical contact.
- High Hit-Impact: Able to destroy boulders and anvils with a single light strike.
- Wrist Gauntlets: fires and/or launches different kinds of ammo and artillery.
- Phospherous Dart: catches opponents on fire
- Molecular Toxins Dart: attacks morphoplastic nervous system. It gives complete spastic paralysis. The victim doesn't have any control over their physical structure. It stops his molecules from forming polymer chains. This effect turns the victim into a puddle and can last about an hour. Used against opponents with malleable bodies like Plastic Man and Martian Manhunter.
- Special Bullets: Made by Vulcan capable of causing serious injury, even to Martians and Kryptonians.
- Microscopic Nanobits: Attacks central nervous system, infecting the brain of a metahuman through electronic impulses, causing the individual to lose control of his abilities for 5 minutes.
- Cosmic Key: possessed the key to The Ghost Zone, allowing him teleportation abilities via another dimension as well as a hidden extra-dimensional base. It can also be used to inflict total molecular disintegration of a target.
In other mediaEdit
- Prometheus also appears as a villain working for Brainiac in the Nintendo DS version of the video game: Justice League Heroes. He goes to Gotham City and implants one of Brainiac's mind control devices on Batman. He is then defeated by Wonder Woman and The Flash, who then rescue the Dark Knight.
- While Prometheus does not actually appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum, an old 'Wanted' flyer issued for the villain by the Gotham City Police Department can be seen among several other cluttered papers tacked to the bulletin board in the insane asylum's Penitentiary Guard Room. This old wanted picture is the best recent picture found in the game of him such as other villains like Firefly, Penguin, and Maxie Zeus. An evaluation report with his name on it can also be found on Dr. Harleen Quinzel's former office. The report states that he is considered legally sane.
- A dossier of Prometheus is seen in the old GCPD building in Batman: Arkham City, but Prometheus doesn't actually appear. He is referenced in an article about two criminals being gunned down in an alley in front of a young boy, and there are newspaper clippings in the GCPD building that reveal he was released from Arkham Asylum before the events of the game. Whether he would make an appearance in any possible sequel is unknown.