Changers

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For the species of shapechangers in the Culture series, see List of societies of the Culture setting § Changers.
Not to be confused with Changer.
The Changers
Publication information
Publisher Wildstorm/DC Comics
First appearance Stormwatch #48 (May 1997)
Created by Warren Ellis (writer)
Tom Raney (artist)
In-story information
Member(s) Blind
The Doctor
Eidolon
The Engineer
The High
Rite
Smoke
Wish

The Changers are a group of superheroes published by Wildstorm an imprint of DC Comics. The team first appears in Stormwatch #48 (May 1997), and was created by Warren Ellis and Tom Raney.

Publication history[edit]

The Changers are antagonists in the final story arc of Stormwatch volume 1, entitled "Change or Die", the storyline encompassing issues #48-50.

Members[edit]

The team members are:

The High
"A transparent stand-in for Superman/Captain Marvel".[1] He came from an alternate reality. He fought as a superhero alongside Jenny Sparks in the 1930s, but became frustrated and left the crime-fighting occupation long before she did. He was an utter idealist, the ultimate Boy Scout, but after years detached from society (including a decade spent seated atop a throne of stone in the Rocky Mountains, contemplating his plan) he was left with a somewhat naive apprehension of others, their motives and ability shrinking in the face of his noble plan. He was overly trusting of his cohorts, quick to mistrust anyone who stepped in their way, and eager to force the world to change and be done with it - and he ultimately learned, as Jenny Sparks said, that people only want change on their own terms. His emblem was five arrows in a circle, much like the symbol for recycling - he wore this on his costume's belt and on a t-shirt he wore when out of costume. His powers included super strength, stamina and speed, flight and some form of ocular energy beams.
Blind
A vigilante. Blind both literally and figuratively saw existence in black and white. He seemed to believe that everything could be divided into absolute right and wrong, if enough effort was taken to do so. He was an extremely violent individual, not above resorting to torture, but mostly hid this fact from the other Changers. He wore a black mask that covers his entire head except his mouth and chin - the slits for his eyes were so thin as to be nearly invisible. The rest of his costume consisted of a black leather jacket, pants and gloves; his belt buckle was engraved with the scales of Justice. He once attempted to kill Jenny Sparks. Ironically, Blind was gunned down by a fellow Changer, Smoke.
Wish
A Seedling activator. She was also able to influence minds of men to the degree of near-total control, and because of this ability decided she was inherently better than anyone she could have power over. She chose to spend her life amusing herself by manipulating "lesser" beings. After the world was "saved", she planned to find soldiers uncomfortable with peace and others who'd rather not live without violence, and organize war games for her own pleasure. Her feelings and behavior were very much at odds with the others' ideals, and throughout the events leading up to "Change or Die" she took many actions which were later revealed to have little to do with their grand plan except amuse her and distract Stormwatch, such as activating a serial killer. She was killed by Bendix, who gave the order for her to be teleported to space.
Rite
She is a mystic, from a matriarchal culture which taught her that both combat and spirituality are women's work. She was sent out from her home to fix the rest of the world. Her costume consists of various pieces of armor and tough clothing, including a breastplate in the shape of two coiled snakes.
The Eidolon
A human who was "not allowed to fully die". His mission was to teach humans about death, specifically that no god exists, that only oblivion follows death, and that religion is pointless. This causes chaos and panic when he uses his powers. The upshot of his declarations was that mankind should not be cheated out of the knowledge that we have only one chance to live our life as we want to and that anyone that kills is not worth the life one has. Privately, he longed to die again and fully become nothing. He was definitely killed (at least, apparently) by Rose Tattoo.
Smoke (Victor and Austin)
His mission was to kill those who were inherently evil and beyond rehabilitation. Privately, he regretted killing and spoke hopefully of the day when the Changers' plans would be complete and murder would no longer be necessary for anyone. Smoke was responsible for Blind's death after being revealed that Blind was mentally unstable. He was shot dead by Rose Tattoo.
The Engineer
His successor would found the Authority, a group with a mission similar to the Changers'. His part of the plan was to seed the world with nanomachines of his own design, which would grow techno-organic plants which could be configured to produce almost anything, from food and medicine to basic tools to complex electronic devices. His entire body was covered with a green shell, seeming to have both rigid and flexible parts, a product of his nanotechnology.
The Doctor
A planetary Shaman, his successor would found the Authority as well. His mission was to educate the world about their natural resources. At one point he drugs Britain's population with the hallucinogen DMT.

The main goal of the group was to change the world. Knowing that Stormwatch would try to stop them, Blind chose to attack Jenny Sparks and to torture Malcolm King (a.k.a. Strafe, a former member of Stormwatch) in order to obtain some information, without the knowledge of the other Changers and much to the outrage of John Cumberland (The High). Sparks narrowly escaped. Both teams fought and the battle came to its climax in the Changers headquarters. During this confrontation, it was revealed that both Blind and Wish had their own, private and horrific agenda. Most of the Changers died thanks to a Hammerstryke Deep Sanction Missile (a payload and tailored acid bomb) ordered by Henry Bendix. However, High survived and, furious, went to attack Stormwatch's base, Skywatch. The Stormdoor (Skywatch's force field) was activated, and High apparently died in the collision.

Number of the Beast[edit]

In a subsequent series, it would later be revealed that the High was still alive, despite his body being nearly completely pulverized into jelly.[2] He was used as the base material to produce superhuman clones, all of which have so far repeated the phrases "Change or Die" and "Reap What you Sow" over and over. The Eidolon is also revealed to have returned to his state of "non-life". Due to his ability to gain more powers from surrounding death, and the widespread destruction brought on Earth by the High clones, he's in a mostly unbalanced state, likened to a drug addict continually fed new doses, and roams the Earth leading a gang of sadistic murderers and fanatical followers to harness new deaths for himself.[3]

As a personal penance, The High sheds every bit of his hubris, and acts as a ferryman, escorting survivors into Finland, one of the last safe havens on Earth and a place in which posthumans aren't allowed.[citation needed] He confesses to a little girl that he feels alone and guilty, but finally gains purpose and self-fulfillment by pushing himself hard to help as many people as he can.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Comic Book Politics: Authority". Abuaardvark.typepad.com. 2005-01-03. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  2. ^ Number of the Beast #1
  3. ^ The Authority: World's End #2
  4. ^ StormWatch PHD #19