Antihero for Hire

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Antihero for Hire
Author(s) Mark Shallow
Website http://www.antiheroforhire.com/
Current status / schedule Mondays and Fridays
Launch date 2003-06-01 [1]

Antihero for Hire is a webcomic authored by Mark Shallow and hosted by Keenspot. The comic is set in 2114, and stars a professional superhero named Dechs Rashart, otherwise known as "Shadehawk." It shows his nightly adventures as he fights against criminals who are usually quite incompetent. Shadehawk's sidekick is Laria Moondale, also known as "Wrench", who is the self-proclaimed greatest hacker in the business. Mark Shallow is also the creator of Adventurers!, another Keenspot comic.

Backstory[edit]

In the year 2075, the United States faced an unexpected attack from Canada, who sent waves of genetically modified dinosaurs to conquer the northern states. The invasion was quite successful, as the U.S. was concerned about weapons of mass destruction and never considered the threat of dinosaur attacks.

Those in the northern states who did not wish to live under Canadian rule founded a city in the South, ironically named Triumph City. It is now the year 2144, and the city has grown to a population of ten million.

Triumph City is a literal haven of crime, and thus is home to many superheroes and supervillains. In order to legalize and encourage the superhero way of life, a bureau called SHAB, or Superhero Accounts Bureau, was formed. Through it, superheroes are paid for capturing villains.

Characters[edit]

Protagonists[edit]

Shadehawk[edit]

The titular anti-hero for hire, a card-carrying vigilante superhero. His real name is Dechs Rashart. Officially, Dechs Rashart is deceased, falsely believed to have died in a fire in his home, which is believed by Shadehawk to be the responsibility of Tera-Corp. He is nocturnal, and is very susceptible to suggestion during the day when awake.

Shadehawk uses a large array of equipment, typically designed by Wrench. He uses the Silver Arrow, a gun with unexplained but definitely heavily plot involved origins. The Silver Arrow can use a wide variety of ammunition, from typical bullets to fire, ice, and electricity enhanced bullets. His "sunglasses" are actually a light amplification device, giving him better than average night-vision. They are also equipped with radar mode to help counteract stealth technology, though this has not been perfected and it is not very effective.

Wrench[edit]

Shadehawk's partner. Her real name is Laria Moondale, and presumably, she is the world's best hacker, and an excellent engineer. She designs gear for Shadehawk, and designed everything he uses with exception to the Silver Arrow. She also provides tech-support for him.

Crossroad[edit]

True identity: Celestina Domerelli.A very melodramatic supposed antihero. She is very skilled at acrobatics and martial arts and is naturally very flexible. Though she is the crime lord Domerelli's daughter, she uses her alter ego, Crossroad, to oppose him. Her father discovers her true identity in chapter six. Because of her rich father, she is able to afford expensive equipment, including an atomic projection blade, U-grip gravity boots, and a communication headset. Her partner is Echo. As a result of her father discovering her identity, she is currently a guest at Dechs' apartment.

Echo[edit]

True identity: Trent. Echo is Crossroad's partner. He graduated in the same year as Wrench, and the two appear to be close. Ever since realizing each other's alter ego, they have teamed up to put their minds together when Shadehawk and Crossroad encounter each other.

Lesser Antagonists[edit]

Baron Diamond[edit]

A recurring villain. His real name is Orange Earthsmantle von Potatoflight, and he was a wealthy, eccentric diamond mine operator. Instead of opening a diamond company, he just diamond-tipped everything he owned. He lost his right eye while using a diamond razor, and he was refused to be given a diamond-tipped robotic one. He lost the use of his arms in an accident in a diamond-tipping facility. He soon disappeared, and reappeared as Baron Diamond, rising to 8th place in Triumph City's street fighting circles and remaining there steadily. His arms have been replaced with diamond-studded prostheses, which he can use defensively or to focus a coherent beam of energy.

Dr. Nefarious[edit]

His real name Doctor Albert Charious Airious Nefarious-Smith. He is a genius in anything technological, but completely incompetent in all other regards. Shadehawk has foiled his plans and sent him to jail numerous times, but he always gets out early on good behavior.

Neon/Cardmaster[edit]

A skilled hacker who wanted to be the world's best, but was overwhelmed by Wrench's skills. Recently, he took up the name "Cardmaster" after being released from Jail, conning others out of their possessions in a 3-D version of Cardmaster Conflict (a java based card game created by Mark Shallow). However, he also helped Shadehawk in this story, only to be put back in jail.

Crimson Boomerang[edit]

A minor character who was an incompetent villain. Was released by Shadehawk, as all he stole was some worthless prop money. Used exploding boomerangs, which only furthered his uselessness, as they would not return when thrown. He also couldn't throw regular boomerangs correctly anyway.

Jack[edit]

A bounty hunter for the other side of the law through unassociated middlemen. He tried to kill Shadehawk, but left when his victory became uncertain. He claimed that it was not retreat, as the only result of leaving is not getting paid. He carries a wide variety of weapons, but prefers an extending flail.

The King of Ice[edit]

Can create fire and ice attacks and is invincible to any temperature, but specializes in the cold. He is a very wacky character, carrying a cup-like object to produce ice (even though he does not need it to produce ice, it just makes focusing a bit easier), has not decided on a real name, calling himself many names such as Froster and the Cubeinator, has a nonsensical origin story, and constantly makes ice puns (which he is unaware that he is making). He often reveals parts of his plan to Shadehawk, and is very boastful.

Tera Corp[edit]

The world's most powerful business, Tera Corp is nearly ubiquitous. With grasps in nearly every business and offices in every major country, there is no doubt that Tera Corp could and possibly does present a threat to the world.

The Vengeful Sisters[edit]

A group of ex-orphans who try their best to help other orphans, as well as wreaking vengeance on those who commit injustices against orphans. They mean well, but tend to go about their tasks without thinking of the consequences, and are being manipulated by Tera-Corp as a further test of the power-suit technology. They are led by Dragon, a redhead who uses sai. They are named for their various elemental powers, including Waterfall (water), Sparks (electricity), Aftershock (force), and Snow Angel (ice).

MANTIS[edit]

Military Agents Nominally Trained In Spying. MANTIS is an ultra-elite mercenary organization. Trained from childhood, individual members have four-digit alphanumeric designations instead of names. MANTIS agents are often equipped with a standard issue sidearm and various tools such as explosives and lockpicks. They are amazingly single-minded and only focus on success of the mission. They have no morals or values.

Tera Dameon[edit]

Ex-CEO and ex-President of Tera Corp. A largely unexplored character, she seems to have higher moral standards than some of her subordinates, although it has been revealed that she was involved in Tera Corp's more corrupt operations. Her office is halfway up the building in order to avoid break-ins (because having it at the top would be 'too obvious'), which doesn't seem to work against Shadehawk. After being captured by Hector, the head of security and extremely amoral individual, her fate is unknown.

Hector[edit]

New CEO and President of Tera Corp. He manipulated his way to the top by kidnapping Tera Dameon, whose fate is not revealed. He was responsible for the deaths of Dechs Rashart's friends and father, and he frequently questions "Jacob" about forcing him to do it. This may be Jacob Rashart, Shadehawk's father, who died in the fire. He also provided Charles with Wizard, who may have been unstable even before the powersuit was put on him.

Wizard and Associates[edit]

Wizard[edit]

A mysterious character who seems to know more than he tells. His power-suit, which was the first prototype made by Tera Corp, appears to give him supernatural abilities (primarily a very strong form of telekinesis). He apparently isn't quite sane, and it has been suggested that feedback from the power-suit drove him mad.

Keneris[edit]

He is nearly as mysterious as Wizard. He appears to be Wizard's apprentice or second-in-command. It's unknown whether he wears a powersuit. He may have been killed by Wizard, but it is uncertain.

Simile[edit]

Simile is made of a mud-like substance. She speaks in haikus and works for Wizard. She is very durable, able to withstand attacks from satellite lasers.

External links[edit]