Rose Tattoo (comics)
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Rose Tattoo, in art from Authority Revolution #8 (2005), by Dustin Nguyen
|First appearance||(I)Stormwatch Volume 1 #37 (1996)
(II)The Authority Revolution #8 (2005)
|Created by||(I)Warren Ellis and Tom Raney
(II)Ed Brubaker and Dustin Nguyen
|Alter ego||Rose Tattoo|
|Team affiliations||The Authority
|Notable aliases||Murder, Spirit of Murder, Spirit of Life|
The ability to kill anything with weapons made by herself
Fictional character biography
Rose Tattoo was the spirit of murder; an ageless representation of a pure idea, who had presumably existed as long as the idea itself before she was killed.
In the 1960s, Rose was a member of the superhuman conspiracy founded by "The High" to create a new world order. While on a mission, Rose was discovered by a young Henry Bendix (a field agent doing favors for Richard Nixon at the time) and he immediately fell in love with her. While the time between their first meeting and Bendix's restructuring of Stormwatch is largely unaccounted for, Rose kept very quiet and remained obedient to Bendix until he called on her. When she initially appeared, she was in a small building in Sicily, Italy, having created a candle-lit 'altar' of dead, bleeding victims.
Rose was a member of Stormwatch for some time, killing those Bendix wished, some of whom were criminals, many of whom were innocent bystanders. Rose kept to herself and Bendix had ordered the others not to talk to her. Rose also drove a Stormwatch guard mad, by seducing him and then simply talking to him.
Rose was meant to be a key player in Bendix's plan to establish his own new world order, but unfortunately The High's 50-year-old dream of a finer world got in the way. While raiding The Changers compound, Rose killed one of the Changers whilst he was in negotiations with Stormwatch Black. Jack Hawksmoor (of Stormwatch Black) then snaps her neck, killing her.
Rose Tattoo would eventually find a new host. Working for Henry Bendix yet again as his personal assassin, she was responsible for the death of the Doctor, Jeroen Thornedike. Rose Tattoo was able to murder Thornedike by secreting an overdose of heroin passed into him through her bodily fluids during sex. After fighting a newly regrouped version of The Authority, the new Doctor, Habib Ben Hassan, changes her from the Spirit of Murder into the Spirit of Life and recruits her as a member of The Authority.
In The Authority: Prime by Christos Gage, Rose Tattoo joins the Authority team. In the first issue she assists civilians who are dealing with the mental trauma of seeing an 'elder god' manifest in their city. Soon after, Rose (along with the rest of the Authority) battles the latest incarnation of Stormwatch. In the midst of the battle, an incarnation of Bendix caused Rose to regress into the Spirit of Murder and turn on her team mates. Once she is removed from battle however, she is convinced by one of her team mates to turn on Bendix, whom she then murders, destroying her body in the process. Immediately afterward she is reincarnated within a teenager called Shawna, who, it is implied, is about to murder her father.
Powers and Skills
Rose had superhuman aim. She was very skilled at creating weaponry and made her own arsenal of super-powerful handguns and knives. It is uncertain what powers, if any, this incarnation of the spirit of murder possessed due of her connection to the act of murder, or if her facility for violence was supernaturally derived. It is known that a Stormwatch security guard assigned to keep her in her quarters was driven insane when Rose Tattoo spoke to him, but again it is unknown whether this was supernatural or merely a side-effect of her nature. It was, however, recorded that Rose had somehow destroyed The Eidolon, another member of The Changers, who was considered unkillable due to its unique nature as a dead spirit. It was commented upon by the first Engineer that "Rose Tattoo could kill anything."
The full extent of Rose Tattoo's new powers as the Spirit of Life have yet to be shown, but Jenny Quantum said Rose is able to cure people. Her new way of dealing with opposition in battle is unusual at best - Rose often subdues her enemies by having sex with them.
- "Stormwatch" Vol1 #48-50
- "The Authority: Prime" #1