Holocaust (DC Comics)
Holocaust as depicted in Milestone Forever #1.
|First appearance||Blood Syndicate #1 (April 1993)|
|Created by||Dwayne McDuffie (writer)
Ivan Velez Jr. (writer)
Denys Cowan (artist)
|Alter ego||Leonard Smalls|
|Team affiliations||Blood Syndicate
|Abilities||Pyrokinesis, superhuman strength, durability, stamina, and agility.|
Holocaust made his first appearance in Blood Syndicate #1. After leaving the team several issues later, the character became a recurring antagonist throughout the book's 35 issue run from 1993 to 1996. The character also appeared in several other Milestone titles such as Static #4, Icon, and the My Name is Holocaust mini-series.
Milestone media discontinued its comic book line in the late 1990s but continued on as an entertainment company which is still in existence, creating new properties for screen and comics as well as managing DC Comics use of their various properties including the award-winning Static Shock animated series created with Warner Animation. In 2008 DC and Milestone unveiled an experiment to fold the two comic book universes into one following author Grant Morrison's Final Crisis series. Contrary to common fan perception, this deal was more akin to a licensing agreement than an acquisition of Milestone's properties by DC Comics. Moreover, the deal was contingent upon the strict provision that Milestone would continue to have editorial oversight over their trademarked properties.
As a provisional part of DC's mainstream continuity, Holocaust made his first reappearance in August 2009 as the main villain in issue #24 of The Brave and the Bold, written by Matt Wayne and with art from Howard Porter. Following this, the character appeared as the antagonist in both Milestone Forever (a two issue mini-series published in April and May 2010) and as the main antagonist in a four issue storyline in Teen Titans #79-82 (published from March–June 2010).
Fictional character biography
Leonard Smalls was a small time gangbanger from the city of Dakota, and the bastard child of the city's mayor. He killed his father at a young age, and engaged in criminal behavior for most of his life. During an event later dubbed "the Big Bang", most of the city's gangs showed up for a massive confrontation at Paris Island, only to be attacked by members of the Dakota police department. The majority of the men and women present at Paris Island were exposed to experimental tear gas designed by Edwin Alva, which killed most of those present and granted superhuman abilities upon the survivors.
The exposure to the gas caused Leonard to grow several times his normal size, and granted him with several superpowers, the most notable of which being pyrokinesis. Dubbing himself "Holocaust", Leonard joined the Blood Syndicate, only to be expelled after a violent duel with the team's leader, Tech-9. Now on his own, Holocaust used his abilities to muscle his way into Dakota's organized crime scene, eventually amassing a vast amount of manpower and wealth.
Holocaust appeared at the graduation ceremony at a local Dakota high-school, where he attempted to kill the superhero Black Lightning, blaming the hero for using his status as then-president Lex Luthor's Secretary of Education to block Leonard's plans to build a casino. Leonard nearly killed Black Lightning, but was defeated and imprisoned thanks to the timley intervention of Static.
Some time later, Static returned to Dakota (after spending several months as a prisoner in the Dark Side Club) to find the city in a state of chaos due to the spread of a lethal virus. Static eventually tracked the origins of the virus to research facility, where he was ambushed and kidnapped by Holocaust. When several members of the Teen Titans attempted to rescue Static, Holocaust easily defeated them as well, and had them taken to a metahuman prison he dubbed "The Hole". Smalls informed the heroes that he planned to execute them and weaponize their abilities for sale on the black market, but the remaining members of the Titans arrived at the Hole and attacked him.
Holocaust was able to defeat the would-be rescuers as well, only to be confronted by Cyborg, Superboy, and Kid Flash. The combined might of the three heroes was enough to keep Holocaust at bay long enough for the other Titans to make their escape, and the entire team was soon assembled for a final showdown with the villain. After being bound by Wonder Girl's lasso, Holocaust was ultimately defeated when Kid Flash ran around him fast enough to open a vacuum, which then sucked Leonard into the Earth's inner core.
Powers and abilities
Holocaust's abilities have never been clearly defined, though his most notable ability is his power to mentally conjure and manipulate fire. In a prior encounter, it required Static bringing down an entire roller coaster structure to incapacitate him. During his battle with the Teen Titans, Holocaust was shown to be able to generate heat blasts powerful enough to render Wonder Girl, Aquagirl, and Bombshell (all three of whom possessed superhuman strength and durability) unconscious with a single impact, as well as direct blasts underground. He was also able to create a shield made of fire that was powerful enough to absorb a blow from Blue Beetle's energy cannon.
He displayed near-Kryptonian levels of strength during his battle with Superboy, and was able to withstand a number of direct blows from the young hero, including his trademark heat vision. In addition, while he was able to effortlessly absorb the Boy of Steel's attacks, Holocaust's own punches were able to damage the Kryptonian hero. He was also depicted as being powerful enough to lift Beast Boy over his head while in the form of a rhinoceros, and was able to knock Miss Martian, a powerful member of the White Martian race, unconscious with a simple backhand. Despite this, Wonder Girl was able to draw blood from Holocaust after striking him in the jaw, and Static was able to make him cry out in pain after shooting a bolt of electricity at his forehead.
The actual limits of Holocaust's superhuman durability have not been established, though both Static and Wonder Girl agreed that not even a fall into the molten core of the earth would be powerful enough to kill him.
- Icon #38-40 (October–December 1996)
- Milestone Forever #1 (April 2010)
- Static #4 (September 1993)
- Teen Titans (vol. 3) #79 (March 2010)
- Teen Titans (vol. 3) #80 (April 2010)
- Teen Titans (vol. 3) #81 (May 2010)
- Teen Titans (vol. 3) #82 (June 2010)
- Static #27 (September 1995)