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Bliss, art by Jim Lee
|First appearance||Gen¹³ Volume 1 #1 (1994)|
|Created by||Jim Lee
J. Scott Campbell
|Alter ego||Nicole Callahan|
|Abilities||Being a trans-empath, Bliss has the ability to manipulate emotions or feelings of others. She also has strong telepathy and minor telekinesis, but rarely uses it.|
Bliss, also known as Nicole Callahan, is a supervillainess in the Wildstorm Universe of American comic books. She was created by Jim Lee and Brandon Choi and drawn by J. Scott Campbell in her first regular appearance. She appeared as a supporting character in the series Gen¹³ and as a castmember in the series DV8, her most recent appearances were in Gen-Active.
Fictional character biography
Nicole Callahan is the daughter of Stephen Callahan, a former member of Team 7. Team 7's superiors, the intelligence agency International Operations exposed the team to the Gen-Factor, a substance that endowed the team with superhuman powers. The survivors from this experiment were codenamed Gen12. I.O. hoped to use them as weapons, but Team 7 turned out to have a will of their own. A couple of years later, I.O. decided that Team 7's children could have inherited their fathers' powers and if they could raise them from childhood, they could ensure their obedience. Most Team 7 members went into hiding with their children. Stephen and his family tried to escape as well, but I.O.'s troops caught up with them in Ohio and shot and killed Rachel; Stephen's wife. They then shot Stephen and took Nicole and her brother Threshold with them. Years later Stephen turned up alive, saying that the bullet grazed him and I.O. imprisoned him for years.
Being a witness to her parents' death at the hands of the Black Razors (a group of highly skilled I.O. soldiers), at a very young age definitely changed Nicole Callahan's life. Subsequently, I.O. took in Nicole and her brother, Matthew, to be brainwashed and trained as agents for the organization, but Nicole was always more interested in her own pleasure than obeying orders. Seeing their parents die had damaged both their minds, though; Matthew had become a psychopath, and Nicole was obsessed with controlling people. During her time with I.O., she was also sexually abused by a Project: Genesis guard named Menlove, further damaging Nicole.
Nicole and Matthew were assigned to Project: Genesis under Ivana Baiul to act as operatives, but Nicole, now calling herself Bliss, was more interested in fooling around with guards and prisoners. When Gen¹³ escaped the project, she tried to seduce Gen¹³-member Burnout rather than fight him. This allowed Gen¹³ member Rainmaker to take her hostage and use her against Matthew, now calling himself Threshold. Project: Genesis was aborted and Baiul fled with Matthew, Nicole, and several subjects of the project. Baiul made Cabalitto Island their new base, a place that Nicole hated, because there were no shops or any social activities. She left the island and visited Burnout and Gen¹³ in Rome, much to the displeasure of Rainmaker. Nicole flirted with Burnout and assisted Gen¹³ in a fight with the Vatican's superpowered humans. She left the group on friendly (if not fully trusted) terms.
Returning to Cabalitto Island, Ivana had trained the Project: Genesis subjects she had taken as DV8. Ivana forced an implanted tracking device on her, using member Copycat to do so, but in the process a reptilian intelligence, one of the Kindred, that had been possessing Copycat entered Nicole's mind. Bliss caused Copycat's mind to fragment without anybody knowing. Nicole became a member of DV8, and due to her experience, she had some authority over the other members, acting as field leader whenever Threshold was unavailable. On one of these missions, she met Menlove again and killed him. Nicole tries to control the male members of her team with her powers and sex. Her brother is under her control by careful use of Bliss' purely telepathic applications of pleasurable feelings. One night stands of Bliss' tend to end up dead, a subject most of her DV8 team members did not find argument with in the least.
When Ivana took control over I.O., she wanted Bliss to run DV8 for her. Bliss did not agree; she did not want a desk job, but enjoyed field work. Soon, when Threshold turned on the team and wounded Ivana, DV8 fought him off and he disappeared. I.O. agent Frank Colby took responsibility for the team, and Bliss managed to remain a field agent as she wished.
Over the next few months, Bliss started to manipulate DV8 member Evo, pretending to be the only one who cared about him. During this time, ex-DV8 members Frostbite and Sublime had joined up with Stephen Callahan, who had come out of hiding. During one dinner, Stephen revealed to them that Nicole had more potential than Threshold, being able to read and speak at three months old. Around the same time, Copycat remembered what Bliss did to her and informed her teammate Freestyle, but Bliss imprisoned them both. Sublime, Frostbite and Callahan entered I.O. and freed Copycat and Freestyle. They then fought Bliss, who now displayed telepathy on a level that even Threshold never had, and Stephen managed to free his daughter from the possessing entity. Callahan and DV8 then fought I.O. and escaped.
Bliss left with Evo. They went to New York City where Bliss started to build her own crime syndicate, using Evo, who had become infatuated with her, as her enforcer. Eventually she sacrificed Evo as a scapegoat. Evo was arrested for the murder of an NYPD police officer and sent to the Purgatory Max prison for super beings in Antarctica, leaving Bliss alone, but with her powers she began to build herself a power base in New York.
Her current status due to the Wildstorm: Armageddon and the Gen13 reboot is unknown.
Powers and abilities
Bliss' main power is the ability to stimulate a person's neural system to an incredible state of ecstasy or agony, even to the point of cardiac arrest. She also possesses some psionic powers such as advanced telepathy and minor telekinesis but only uses them on rare occasions. Her natural ability as a seductress is usually the only power Bliss ever needs.