Zero : Character profile
Zero is originally from an alternate Earth in the multiverse, one which was destroyed by some terrible cosmic catastrophe. Using meditative powers he still doesn't fully comprehend, his previous self was able to transfer its consciousness to other worlds, taking over bodies in comas or similar unconscious states and claiming them as his own. He would then move on (or be forced to move on) to another Earth, eventually finding his way to New Earth, his current home world.
He still does not recall how many times this cycle repeated itself, but he knows that he currently has taken on the guise of Will Symes, an orphan boy from Oklahoma whose single mother was killed in the same car crash that put him in a vegetative state. He eventually left the Midwest to become a soldier in the Army Rangers, was recruited into the CIA as a field operative, then acted as some sort of black ops agent, possibly for a disguised Vandal Savage.After a mission in Russia went bad, he got amnesia and made his way back to the US. He ended up in the Bronx, where he lived as a vagrant and drunk. He became entangled with some small time hoodlums at a robbery at a local pawn shop at his lowest point, but he and his fellow crooks were defeated by the vigilante Green Arrow. Escaping the scene, he began to experience confusing flashbacks of his past as Will Symes and his previous lives on other Earths.
Recovering his skills from his military and espionage training, he decided to try and better his community by following Green Arrow's example, becoming a costumed vigilante. He first garnered attention for helping to stop a serial killer who was preying on local street people, and after an encounter with the NYPD he became known by the identity of "Zero". He focused chiefly on the Bronx at first, but would eventually begin fighting crime and injustice worldwide. He met and befriended the Fly at the first annual SMART Conference in Metropolis, and eventually became one of his teammates.
As a member of the famous Secret Sentinels superhero team, Zero became acquainted with Brother Donovan, Professor Mysterium, and Black Scarab, among others. Despite having no known powers, his skills and grit proved useful in helping the team to combat evil cultists, parademons from Apokolips, clones created by Lex Luthor, a prehistoric Vandal Savage, Darkseid, and other threats to the world. He remained based in a warehouse in the Bronx and also acted as a member of Batman's "Batman Incorporated" initiative. As Zero, he began to gather a network of down-on-their-luck operatives known as the "Lowest Common Denominators".
In the last months of his first year as a superhero, Zero became a federal fugitive after a failed attempt to break into the U.S. Capitol in Washington. While he had planned to find evidence of Vandal Savage's conspiracy, he ended up confronting and fleeing from the Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, and DC police. This event would result in him writing a "Zero Manifesto" and quitting his costumed career for several months. He was also present when the Sentinels decided to break up after an attack at the Extraordinary Carnival of Wonders.
As Will Symes, he returned his focus to community development and activism, eventually earning a seat on the Bronx City Council. He cultivated more personal and private relationships, and developed a reputation as a fiery proponent of low-income families and the inner city. He remained in loose contact with his former teammates and other allies, but appeared to have retired for good from the superhero game.
His life changed again when an imposter adopted the guise of Zero and began killing local criminals. He learned that the man had been seeking revenge for the murder of his son, one of the earliest Lowest Common Denominators. While this man (Peter Lawson) is killed by an assassin named Cain, Will takes up the mask once more, making some refinements to his costume and his methods. He continues to live a double life as Will Symes, city councilman, and Zero, costumed crime fighter, doing what he can to address the injustice he perceives in the world around him.
Questioning his mysterious past and the vague memories that came from it, he travels to Russia and learns that he may have participated in the murder of a political enemy of a local crime boss on behalf of Checkmate, an independent intelligence organization. He crosses paths with the Suicide Squad and Maxwell Lord, and the latter uses his mental powers to unlock the lost memories in Zero's brain. Overwhelmed at first, Zero falls from grace and ends up drinking yet again. Helped out of his stupor by the Blue Lantern (and fellow Sentinel) Donovan Michaels, he travels to the remotest reaches of Asia in search of peace and enlightenment.
Finding counseling from an old Buddhist priest in Tibet, Zero learns to meditate and recovers his ability to transfer his mind to other people's bodies. They have to be prepared for him, however, and must be sympathetic to his cause, meaning he can only currently use the power with his Lowest Common Denominator network. The network has grown worldwide, however, enabling him to leap entire continents when he swaps bodies.
After his return to the Bronx and his political life as Will, Zero decides to run for congress on the Democratic ticket, seeking to protect a community center he helped create. He wins this election by a narrow margin, and after a rough adjustment to the life of a young representative, he begins a new chapter in his career and his secret second life.
Someone else would describe me as...
Zero is a more confident and capable man than he was five years ago, having come to terms with both his strange, convoluted past and his brighter, more assertive present. He is still a friendly and likable man most of the time, and he has learned how to charm both voters and the press when appearing as Will Symes, war vet and Congressional neophyte. As Zero, he retains his dry sense of humor but is more direct and occasionally confrontational. He has seen and done things most people cannot imagine, and he has cultivated a calm and stable center amidst the storm of his life.
In order to juggle his duties on Capitol Hill, in the Bronx, and around the world, he has learned to manage his time and network many aspects of Zero's vigilante activities. As such, he is more reliant than ever on the Lowest Common Denominators, his motley crew of dispossessed men and women who have sworn oaths of loyalty to the ideals he stands for. While none of them are world class combatants or superheroes in their own rights, they provide him with much needed perspective, intelligence, and morale support - not to mention bodies should he need to travel far.
As a Secret Sentinel, Zero continues to act as the primary intelligence and clue gatherer for the team, taking a more subtle route than his mightier friends. He is still prone to lecturing the others on moral and philosophical questions, especially if politics or world affairs happen to come up as a topic of conversation. Despite these and other annoying habits, he is implicitly trusted by his comrades, especially the Fly and Donovan.
Brother Donovan: Zero looks on Donovan as a brother in arms, a fellow fighter for righteousness in an all-too unjust world. While he is still amazed as the scope and power of Donovan's abilities, he can relate to him on a human level and is a good friend he can vent to. He would do much for Donovan, even if it means the occasional trip through space at naueseating speeds.
The Fly: When it comes to the Fly, Zero is a bit startled at the young wisecracking hero's maturation and change over the past half-decade. He is impressed by his mysterious metahuman talents, but he especially admires his loyalty and sense of duty. He has also become an occasional mentor to the Fly's wife, Jaguar, advising her on the pitfalls of street-level crimefighting.
LCD: Zero has cultivated a large following in the form of the Lowest Common Denominators. Most of the network's dozens of members are average men and women who found themselves in a tight spot which Zero helped them out of at some point. As a favor to him and to their fellow man, they have agreed to help provide him with support in the field and (on occasion) the temporary use of their physical body. This trade-off also means the LCD (as he calls them) can take over Will Symes' form, acting through the congressman even when he's on the floor of the Hall of Representatives! As such, Zero only trusts this aspect of his hero activities with the LCD members he knows and respects most of all.
Congress: Will Symes is still a new face in Washington, and he has made a few early missteps that have cost him a few potential allies. He is nothing if not adaptable, however, and should be able to start gathering political friends and contacts to help him in his congressional career.
New York City: Will retains deep and varied connections to the people of New York City, particularly in the Bronx burough he represents and still calls home. Most of these friendships relate to his work as a community organizer and advocate for the less fortunate. Others are from his time as a vigilante on the street, meaning that he has associates who only known him when he's sporting a mask.
Superheroes: In the hero community outside of the Sentinels, Zero has the most ties to Batman and the other members of Batman Incorporated. He is often asked by the Dark Knight to offer assistance or intel on crimes in the New York area, and he has also participated in the Bat's sting operations as a double-agent. When circumstances demand more firepower, Will has called on his friends in the Sentinels to also aid Batman and his fellow crimefighters.
Aside from the Caped Crusader, Zero is friends and allies with Green Arrow, Black Lightning, and Agent Liberty, three superheroes who share his passion for social activism. While they haven't teamed up as a group, he has still helped each of them out in person or via the LCD, especially when it comes to sticking it to The Man. He is particularly grateful to Oliver Queen due to his involvement in inspiring him to become a crime fighter five years ago.
Zero is acquainted if less familiar with the Justice League and its members, having fought alongside them against Darkseid. He has helped Flash in testing out his cosmic treadmill of late as well, offering some tips via his knowledge of the multiverse. He is a little better acquainted with other "street level" heroes such as the Question, Arsenal, Red Robin, and the like; even if he hasn't fought side-to-side with all of them, he shares much in common with most and often targets the same threats they go after.
Multiverse: Due to his unique status as a survivor of several alternate Earths, Zero can be expected to possess curiously accurate and even private information on beings who are not as well known by the rest of the metahuman community. This knowledge is not always perfect, however, as it is often dependent on what his consciousness knew of the person in another universe. Still, he has a habit of stunning metas with his accurate knowledge of their origins, motives, and methods.
Private Life: In his personal life, Will has had a fairly rough time when it came to romantic relationships. In his life as an Army Ranger he had married (and then divorced) Rosa Symes, but their breakup was bitter and distanced them from one another. They only occasionally make contact, despite living in the same area. More recently, councilman Symes was known to be dating Rivka Fleming, the mercurial lead vocalist for The Broken Bottles, a rock band from the New York area. While the whirlwind romance had more intense highs than his failed marriage, Will also experienced more intense lows, including their eventual break up over his complicated schedule and secrecy regarding his past. They still have feelings for one another, but neither believes the relationship can work given their conflicting lifestyles.