Major Force, in Green Lantern vol. 3 #178.
Art by Luke Ross.
|First appearance||Captain Atom vol. 2, #12 (February 1988)|
|Created by||Cary Bates and Greg Weisman (writers)
Pat Broderick (artist)
|Alter ego||Clifford Zmeck|
|Place of origin||Earth|
|Team affiliations||Injustice League
|Abilities||Superhuman strength, speed, endurance and stamina
Can project and control dark matter and dark quantum energy
Quantum Energy Projection
Fictional character biography
Major Force is a product of the same U.S. Federal project which created Captain Atom during the Vietnam War. The government, in a project headed by Wade Eiling and the scientist Megala, was experimenting with the effects of atomic energy on an alien metal they had taken from a crashed spaceship to determine its full protective abilities; such as protecting a human being from a nuclear blast. After the disappearance of Nathaniel Adam and the perceived failure of the Captain Atom Project, the government restarted the project with a new subject, Clifford Zmeck and increased the amount of metal used (Captain Atom #36 Dec. 89). While in the USAF, Zmeck had been jailed in a high security prison for rape and murder and sentenced to life in prison. He was offered a pardon in exchange for participation in the high-risk governmental experiment. The results were the same as with the Captain Atom Project and Zmeck disappeared into the Quantum Field, emerging one year after the return of Nathaniel Adam. This time, the government was ready and placed microimplants ranging from knockout gas to mini-explosives under the metal while it was still malleable, in order to control Zmeck in case he went rogue. During one mission, a government operator (who was actually the son of the woman Zmeck had murdered) activated one such charge, amputating Zmeck's left hand. Introduced as an ally, then successor to Captain Atom, Force's brutality betrayed his government-concocted role of superhero and brought him in frequent conflict with Atom. Major Force is now arguably Captain Atom's arch-enemy. Eventually, he became a hired gun for General Wade Eiling's or any other government affiliated groups purposes.
Crime and punishment
In Green Lantern vol. 3, #54 (August 1994), Major Force killed Alexandra "Alex" DeWitt, girlfriend of the Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, and stuffed her remains in a refrigerator where Kyle would find her on behalf of the Quorum Organization who wanted the GL ring that fell into Kyle's lap. Rayner tortured Major Force after their fight, but was stopped by forces of LAPD's Special Crimes Unit. Alex's demise inspired writer Gail Simone to create the website Women in Refrigerators, which in turn coined the term of the same name.
In Guy Gardner: Warrior #43 (June, 1996), Force killed Arisia, a former Green Lantern and dear friend of Guy Gardner. Force was apparently confronted in Kyoto, Japan. Guy Gardner seemingly kills him in revenge. In reality, Force is made of energy and not matter. He cannot die and has effectively gained immortality.
In Superman/Batman #3 and #4 (December 2003 and January 2004), Force is part of a Government Task Force led by Captain Atom, in addition to Green Lantern John Stewart, Power Girl of the JSA, Starfire of the Teen Titans, Outsiders and allies of Batman Katana and Black Lightning. He is saddled with Captain Atom by President Lex Luthor in order to bring in Superman when a Kryptonite asteroid was headed for Earth. Superman and Batman escape them in Washington, D.C., but met up with them again in Tokyo. Power Girl and Katana reveal they are double agents working with Superman and Batman the whole time. When Captain Atom and his squad pursue them to Japan, Power Girl strikes at the Major. When he returns fire, Katana chops his hands off, releasing the atomic energy he harbored. Batman convinces Captain Atom to absorb the energy leaking from Force, which threatened to decimate the city. Captain Atom absorbed all the energy and disappeared, moving several years into the future in a quantum leap.
In an issue of Guy Gardner: Warrior, Major Force seemingly slays Guy's mother in the same manner as Kyle's beloved girlfriend. After some confusion, it is learned Force had killed a neighbor who had been house-sitting. Having heard from Ryner about how Zmeck murdered his beloved, Gardner now awakened to his vuldarian heritage summarily executes him with a shifted edge. In a comic of Resurrection Man Vol. 1, #21 (February, 1999) he somehow revived himself from previous injuries after a ripple in the quantum field of reality somehow revitalized him. Giving Force enough raw power to challenge the JLA with the assistance of a quantum powered Resurrection man, only to be disassembled into particles by the immortal loner yet reform himself at a later date. In Green Lantern vol. 3, #180 (October, 2004), Force apparently decapitates Maura Rayner, mother of Kyle Rayner, and stuffs her severed head in an oven. He later says it was just a mannequin. Kyle snaps, decapitates Force (whose head was still talking), seals it in a bubble of Green Lantern energy and sends it into outer space (Kyle later finds out his mother is alive and well).
"One Year Later"
Major Force reappeared in the new Battle for Blüdhaven book, a title set a year after the events of Infinite Crisis, as the field leader of project S.H.A.D.E. In issue #5, he rips the right arm off a government hero named Major Victory, and beats him to near death with it (Major Victory reappears in issue #7). He also picked a fight with Hal Jordan, as Force vowed to kill any Green Lantern on sight after his last encounter with Kyle Rayner. Jordan personally wants to end Force's killing spree, enraged by Alexandra DeWitt and Arisia's murders, and even sent Force to a hard-light constructed refrigerator similar to what Force had done to DeWitt during the fight. However, Captain Atom was revived by the Atomic Knights in issue #6 (as Monarch), and Force's rampage was quickly brought to an end when Atom drains him of his energy, leaving nothing but a husk. Force's deflated corpse was last seen falling to the ground during chaos left by Atom's energy expenditure resulting in a Nuclear Blast.
His image appears in the series Ion as a representation of Kyle Rayner's fear.
Major Force's body is seen being kept in a secured crypt beneath Justice League of America's Hall of Justice in Washington, DC during Blackest Night #1.
However, he is subsequently seen alive and well among a band of villains that includes Eclipso and Dr. Polaris in during Justice Society of America #29. He is also seen in the pages of Action Comics #882, as part of the government project 7734, attempting to capture the rogue Captain Atom, who had since returned to his former identity.
The New 52
In The New 52, Major Force has his first major appearance in The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #20 (July 2013). He is introduced as a government agent working under General Wade Eiling, with a special rank that allows him to represent all branches of the United States Military. His primary goal is to protect, and later escort, Firestorm from the threat of various rogues and to convince him to work for the government. Major Force had previously appeared in silhouette before his full appearance.
Major Force's design is the same as that of Black Jack, also referred to as Major Bolton, a character who had appeared earlier in The New 52. Black Jack is an agent of the Black Razors, who had first appeared in Voodoo #2 (Dec. 2011). In Voodoo #5 (March 2012) and Voodoo #7 (May 2012), it is revealed that he was given powers by the Black Razors, due to recommendation of his superior, Commander Andrew Lincoln of the Blackhawks. Black Jack was decapitated by Voodoo in Voodoo #7 (May 2012).
Dan Jurgens, writer of The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man, says Major Force had been introduced into The New 52 earlier, suggesting that he and Black Jack are the same character.
Powers and abilities
Major Force is coated with the same Dilustel alien alloy that covers Captain Atom. As a result, he also can access the Quantum Field and use its energies for a variety of powers. Unlike Atom however, his abilities stemmed from a different spectrum of the field granting him different powers from Nathaniel, aside from the augmented physicality also lacking the capability to switch between human and energy being forms at will. This was theorized to be a result of the Major Force Project using double the amount of alien alloy and detonating a different type of bomb.
When he debuted, Major Force seemed to control matter much in the way Captain Atom controls energy. Therefore, he could project blasts of dark matter from his hands. He could manipulate this matter into various shapes and quantities. He used this ability to create a hand to replace one that was blown off by explosives implanted under his skin. He did not possess the ability to fly, but rather leapt great distances or traveled on ramps made of dark matter. A seldom used facet of his Dark Matter powers was the capacity to convert whatever force he comes in contact with, be it matter or energy, into solid Dark Matter. A trait that was embellished upon in Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon series. He seemed to show some minor Self-Matter Manipulation abilities as well thanks to an upgrade to his powers using some of Guy Gardner's alien DNA, being able to shape the metal of his Dilustel into various weapons, often using this in conjunction with his Dark Matter control.
Initially while he could not fly at will, he eventually learned after his first revival from when Vuldarian Guy gutted him the first time. Showing off a whole host of aerial maneuvers while battling Captain Atom and the likes of the Justice Leagues various incarnations. all of this in tandem with his metamorphic powers acquired from his gene splicing make Major Force all the more formidable an opponent to face. Matter & Energy powers aside, Major Force is a physical powerhouse comparable to some of the strongest of DC's metahumans. Force's Dilustel skin is linked to the Quantum Field, which enables him to absorb and manipulate virtually limitless amounts of matter to dynamically empower himself in the similar way Captain Atom can absorb limitless energy (but Clifford lacks imagination in the use of his abilities and is as dumb as he is psychotic).
This factor of his powers enables him superior strength (able to knock around Superman over several hundred miles from Metropolis to Ohio and trade blows with the equally powerful Captain Atom), invulnerability (He's withstood all manner of energy attacks ranging from Green Lantern and Vuldarian energy blasts, resist small to large explosive force and even weathered Captain Atom's quantum blasts more than once) Also due to his immortality Major Force lacks the need for physical sustenance thanks to the Dilustel's connection to the Q-Field (he can survive indefinitely without need to eat, sleep, breath or rest while in action; this enables him to thrive and speak freely in the vacuum of space), Due to his nature as pure material energy, Major Force is functionally immortal in a similar vein to Mitchell Shelley; the Resurrection Man. Also while force can be seemingly killed, he will always revive and return to life stronger than ever. Even learning to access new uses to his powers, ergo every-time he's critically wounded or suffers fatal inquiry he will regenerate or resurrect stronger than before.
Both through this factor of his powers and over time with his many experiences, Zmeck became all the more familiar with using his quantum based abilities, eventually discovering he could pull off many new tricks similar to his counterpart Captain Atom. Such as showcasing a better understanding in the use of his powers with time and practice. E.I. discharging quantum blasts, throwing up protective force fields bubbles, utilize his Q-Energy for simulated TK to lift and move around objects, being able to detonate like a nuke with sufficient concentration and emit quantum blasts from any point on his body such as his hands & eyes, though he preferably focuses this through his hands as it is easier to control that way. Even being able to emit a type of dark quantum energy that can forcefully siphon energy away from other superpowered beings, such as Kryptonians, but his skill in energy absorption is lacking compared to Adam as other's have taken advantage of things the latter can handle which he cannot.
On top of all his abilities Clifford Zmeck is a military trained United States Air Force operative. An armed forces Sergeant and combat specialist, eventually bumped up to Army Major after he was reinstated by General Wade Eiling upon his successful Quantum jump into the future. Despite his loutish appearance like behavior Major Force is a seasoned war veteran with apparent skill in Black Ops, Infantry, Spy Work as well as CQC (Closed Quarters Combat). On top of this he has vast military connections within his government being their greatest weapon; having ties with Checkmate, Task Force X, Quorum's security detail.
In other media
- Major Force appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Powerless!" voiced by Fred Tatasciore. Retaining many of his powers in publishing as well as his missing appendage, Major Force boasts an augmented use of ability to convert matter in inanimate dark matter using his stump of a hand. While attacking a military base at the Pentagon he ends up stealing the Quantum Vacuum; a device fueled by leeching off any feasible source of nuclear energy and uses it to steal Captain Atom's powers regressing him back to Nathaniel Adams. Then he drains the energy of a nuclear plant before engaging the other Justice League International members. Martian Manhunter states to Nathaniel Adams and Aquaman that Major Force defeated the Justice League International members that fought him before he turned his sights upon the white house. When Batman, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter try to fight him, Major Force manages to knock them down causing Nathaniel Adams to take action and crashes a jet into him. When Major Force grabs Nathaniel Adams, the Quantum Vacuum overloads which ends up releasing the stolen powers. Upon regaining his powers, Captain Atom soundly defeats Major Force.
- Major Force appears in the animated film Superman/Batman: Public Enemies voiced by Ricardo Chavira. His role in the film is very similar to that of the comic with the difference that he personally kills Metallo in order to frame Superman. It is hinted that he knew firsthand about Lex Luthor's plans for world domination and deliberately kept it a secret in exchange for Luthor allowing him to kill Metallo (something Batman makes note of). In the end, he is killed when Power Girl accidentally punctures his suit and Captain Atom succeeds in absorbing all the radiation that leaked out, which otherwise would have destroyed Metropolis. In the movie, he shares Captain Atom's power of flight.
- Major Force appears in DC Universe Online voiced by Alexander Brandon. Major Force is one of the bosses the players encounter in the Bludhaven Alert. He is apparently working with Amanda Waller to gather some samples from Chemo (who is the final boss of the encounter) in order to test the Chemoids. Nightwing appears stating that Bludhaven is his town and has Major Force tell Amanda Waller that she has crossed the line. After Major Force attacks Nightwing, the players end up fighting Major Force and defeating him. Martian Manhunter states that Major Force working with Amanda Waller will require investigation and sends the players to defeat Chemo.
- Green Lantern vol. 3, #60 (March, 1995)
- Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #37 (May 2010)
- Burlingame, Russ (22 May 2013). "Firestorm’s Finale, Major Force and the Fridge: Jurgens On #20". ComicBook.com. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Captain Atom vol. 3, #12 (February 1988)
- Captain Atom Annual, #1 (January 1988)
- Guy Gardner: Warrior Vol. 1, #43 (June 1996)
- Resurrection Man Vol. 1, #21 (February, 1999)
- JLA Secret Files 2004 1 (Nov, 2004)
- The World's Finest