Frozen for over three decades, Heavy Brother struggles to adjust to 21st century America and still remain a Proud Black Man. But with his gravity powers fading, and his politics obsolete, does he have a place in this new world?
Group: Young Champions
Security Level: 14
Online Name: Heavy Brother
Country of Origin: USA
Origin of Powers: Science
Powers: Gravity / Kinetics
Battle Cry: I AM heavy, and I AIN'T your brother!
Throughout his adolescence, he watched white people exercise their prejudices with impunity. Oakland's black community found little recourse in the legal system. Oakland's police were notoriously racist. When Anthony was a teenager, his outrage took shape in action.
Coming back from a sock hop, his friend smiled at a blonde girl. Her football star escort took offense, and with the help of a dozen other of his teammates, beat Anthony's friend so badly he required hospitalization, and lost the use of an eye. Rage filled Anthony's heart, rage compounded by the refusal of the police department to file charges or even acknowledge that a crime was committed. Anthony could see that justice for his friend would have to take a darker form.
Anthony tracked the white boy's movements for days. Finally, one night, he donned a ski mask and dark clothes, and lay in wait as the boy returned from football practice. As the boy passed Anthony's hiding place, he pulled a sack over his head and dragged him into the alley. Anthony smashed his head against the brick wall a few times to quiet him, then removed the sack.
"All law is based on Hammurabi's code. An eye for an eye. You know that?"
The boy wept, trying to clear his head.
"Hammurabi was a Babylonian king. That means he was a Black man. You hurt a Black man, you're punished with a Black man's law."
Anthony pulled the boy's head up by his hair. "Who else helped you beat down Alan Thompson?"
Terrified, the boy named his fellows, all members of the football team. Big, aggressive boys who ruled the world of teenagers in their neighborhood.
Anthony felt some fear at the list. All of these boys were much larger than him. He was never a fighter, preferring to read history and crime stories. He imagined that somehow, someday he could make a difference for his people, perhaps by becoming a prosecutor or policeman. With every name of every white football player responsible for his friend's injuries, his dream of working within the system for racial justice rotted away.
For a Black man to have justice, he realized, he had to take it. Take it regardless of what the white man's laws said.
Despite his macho swagger, this football hero was red-eyed from weeping, and snot ran down his face. He looked upon Anthony's masked countenance with fear.
"Alan Thompson lost an eye tonight." Anthony reversed the switch, holding the stout end up like a sword. "Guess what Hammurabi would say to that, cracker?"
The boy screamed like a child as Anthony exacted the ancient law on him.
For the next week, Anthony stalked each one of the football players, striking from the shadows and robbing them of the same eye that Alan Thompson had lost. Each athlete's howls of pain pushed Anthony further away from mainstream justice, but tightened his resolve to change the world for his people, no matter what it took. The police never found him, though their retribution was felt amongst Oakland's Black community for years.
Anthony graduated from high school with high marks, but he had no plans for college. Instead, he joined the nascent Black Panther Party. The leaders of the party immediately recognized his passion and drive. This young man was a lion among sheep. They taught him their political theories, encouraged him to sit in on college classes and take the white man's knowledge, and honored his commitment to change. Anthony had found a home.
When the secret science division of the Black Panther's discovered a formula for altering gravity with the strength of the mind, Anthony was the first proposed test subject. He needed little convincing; the fear he had felt as the Oakland Police Department searched for the mysterious blinder of football stars made him crave the ability to protect himself. Deep in their underground lab, he drank the steaming serum as if it was the nectar of the gods.
He awoke from a coma a week later, on the floor of a featureless room. Confused and enraged, he pounded at the walls until a single brother entered the room.
"I am so sorry you had to wake like this, my brother," the doctor said, laughing. "Since you've been comatose, nothing within ten feet of you can stay on the ground. The experiment was a success!"
With careful practice, Anthony learned to control his gravity powers. As a side effect, the serum boosted his tremendous will to superhuman levels; where he was intimidating before, now his enemies withered at his glance. A normal man would have fallen prey to pride at this elevation to godhood, but Anthony remained dedicated and humble. A very relieved Black Panther leadership welcomed him back with a new rank and a new identity: Heavy Brother.
Throughout the turbulent sixties, Heavy Brother was a symbol of hope and strength to America's Black communities, but a divisive force amongst whites. Young whites had flocked to the counterculture, and revered him as they did the Beatles and the Stones. He enjoyed the admiration, and sampled liberally of the hedonistic culture, but stayed rooted in Histhe Panther's Ten Beliefs. His adventures took him around the world, to Africa, China, Europe and even the USSR. There he prevented a CIA assassination attempt on Paul Robeson, and met Red Menace. The two became fast friends, sharing adventures together before Heavy Brother returned to the states.
Yet there was trouble brewing. The FBI had infiltrated the Black Panthers. Heavy Brother, being a symbol of minority strength, had to be discredited or disappeared. They laced his serum, still required to maintain his powers at full, with an experimental poison. He collapsed while fighting drug dealers, and was soon diagnosed with severe organ deterioration. The current medical technology could not save him.
Yet the Black Panther scientists were not ready to lose their friend. Their studies of ancient Egyptian mummifying techniques had given them an insight into cryogenics. While the technology was crude, if anyone could survive it, it was Heavy Brother. The scientists made a pact to keep his location secret until a cure could be found.
The FBI had other ideas. Each of the scientists was captured and tortured; none would reveal Heavy Brother's whereabouts. They died in secret government prisons, alone but silent. Meanwhile, deep in the earth, Heavy Brother slumbered on.
In 2004, a group of young students researching the Black Panther party stumbled upon a hidden door in an abandoned Panther headquarters. The dusty staircase led to a tiny chamber, and a sarcophogus with one occupant: the famous hero, Heavy Brother. The students contacted retired members of the Panthers, who in turn contacted sympathetic members of scientific organizations. There was now an antidote for the poison, and a revived Heavy Brother was brought back to health.
He now works with the Red Brigade, the only hero organization whose ideals match his own. He is a stranger in a strange land, almost comical in his funky anachronisms, except that he is never joking or ironic. The twenty-first century offers much to this freedom fighter, this lion for the people. To quote him as he crushes his unlucky foes under unforgiving gravity: "Heavy Brother is here to lay a heavy trip on you!"