Statesman (City of Heroes)

Statesman (City of Heroes)


real_name=Marcus Cole
publisher=Image Comics
debut="City of Heroes
creators=Jack Emmert
alliances=Freedom Phalanx
aliases=Zeus, James Lancaster, Marcus Cole
powers=Flight, invulnerability, superhuman strength and speed, limited lightning control|

Statesman is the lead hero of the City of Heroes backstory and was the actual character played by Jack Emmert, Cryptic Studios co-founder/Lead Designer. The Statesman is the leader of Paragon City's most famous supergroup, the Freedom Phalanx.

Publication History

He made his comic debut in the promotional comic printed online, which was more of an overview of the game itself. Statesman first appeared in the official City of Heroes comic with the first issue of the second volume beginning in 2005. He has been featured prominently since then, being the leader of the Freedom Phalanx superhero team that the comic focuses on.

The first City of Heroes novel, "Web of Arachnos," released in late 2005, delved deeper into the character's history by showing his origins, how he came by his powers and how he came to be a hero and found the Freedom Phalanx. The sequel, "The Freedom Phalanx", released in May 2006, focuses on Statesman's dealing with his wife's imminent death, and by extension, the consequences of his own immortality. Statesman is arguably the most memorable hero in "City of Heroes".

The status of the third City of Heroes novel, which was to focus on and was itself named "the Rikti War", is currently unknown, but would have featured Statesman and the Freedom Phalanx prominently, and covered the actual events of the Rikti War, which is referred to in the official City of Heroes fictional timeline on the game's website. It was originally slated for release in August 2006. As of the present time, NC Soft has made no further information about the book available.


Statesman served in World War I under his real name, Marcus Cole, alongside his then friend Stefan Richter (who would go on to become Lord Recluse and Statesman's primary arch-rival), whom he traveled with after the war in an attempt to cure himself of a potentially fatal exposure to mustard gas. To learn of the location, he led the double life of both the criminal Marcus Cole and as James Lancaster, the police officer sworn to take him in. The double life came to an end when he finally stole a scroll that revealed the location of the Fountain of Zeus, which he believed would cure him. Cole and Richter discovered the Fountain of Zeus on an island in Greece and drank from it. As a result, they gained superhuman powers and near-immortality. While at the fountain, they threw open the lid to Pandora's Box (holder of the golden light of Creation) which caused a dramatic increase in the number of superhumans worldwide and is directly responsible for their proliferation to this day. Marcus sold many of the island's treasures and built up a small fortune in Europe before Stefan, now calling himself Lord Recluse, lured him back to the United States and Paragon City, a fictional city which is located somewhere on the eastern seaborn side of Rhode Island.Fact|date=February 2007 In order to avenge the deaths of his brother and step-father, Marcus became the first costumed crimefighter in Paragon's history, The Statesman, going on to found the Freedom Phalanx and saving the city from an attack by the mechanical overlord Nemesis. He continued on as Statesman even after he defeated Recluse following the events of "Brass Monday." Statesman fought in the second World War after fighting crime on his native soil in Paragon City.

He has a keen interest in organizing the hero community as the founder of the Freedom Phalanx and a member of the Vanguard Elite. Statesman is one of the few survivors of the devastating Rikti War and now spends much of his time aiding and training the new heroes of Paragon City. Though he actively fights crime on his own and with the Phalanx, he is also depicted in the comics as training up and coming heroes, a necessity in the days following the Rikti War which killed more than two-thirds of the entire population of heroes.

The novel "The Web of Arachnos" revealed that he married Stefan's sister Monica Richter, who had become Maiden Justice. In the second novel, The Freedom Phalanx, it is also revealed she died of cancer in 1976. Official discussion on the City of Heroes message boards revealed that Statesman is the father of retired hero Miss Liberty and grandfather to the current hero Ms. Liberty, whom many players will immediately recognize as one of the two initial trainers new heroes meet in the game.

In the June 2005 Top Cow issue of City of Heroes, it was revealed that Marcus Cole discovered the fabled "Fountain of Zeus." By drinking from this fountain, he obtained the strength, power, and spirit of the Greek god Zeus. Statesman's seemingly unmatched powers are apparently derived from his status as a near-god. When referring to Zeus, he changes between first and third-person usage. While this seems to contradict the previous origin, there have been some hints that he has not been fully open with his own origin. These events were discussed in detail in "The Web of Arachnos."

Cole has the reputation of being a bit of a humorless hard-nose when it comes to Hero duties. When being praised/questioned/admired by the younger heroes of the city, he is often stoic in response. In the 10th issue of the City of Heroes comics by Top Cow, he suspended Manticore for use of "excessive force" against the villain Protean despite the fact that it was the only way to stop him from killing the coming-out-of-retirement Back Alley Brawler. It is believed that Statesman is this way because of how he's had to bid farewell to friends long gone while he remains young and invincible because of the power of Zeus. In most recent issues (namely #13), however, it is shown that he is still capable of being friendly and cordial, as indicated by his enthusiastic hug and conversion with the Korean hero Foreshadow (who is also another long-lived entity).The name "Marcus Cole" may be a reference to the character of the same name from Babylon 5.

Powers and abilities

Statesman's more commonly seen abilities are super strength and invulnerability to an incredible degree. The history of Paragon City on the official City of Heroes website details an event during the Cold War in which Statesman was attempting a rescue in Soviet controlled territory. The Soviet military, desperate to prevent the rescue, launched a nuclear missile at the hero. While it killed his charges, Statesman himself ultimately survived, displaying the lengths of his invulnerability. In the game itself, this seems to correspond to the Tanker archetype class and the primary and secondary powers of Invulnerability and Super Strength, respectively. In actuality, however, official statements on the boards have indicated that Statesman and Lord Recluse both belong to an archetype not yet in the game - Incarnate. He can fly under his own power, as seen in both the comics and the novels.

A power that was not shown in the game or the spin-off media for years was a limited control over lightning. This was first confirmed by the developers on the message boards as Statesman's signature power and appears on both the Statesman Hero Clix piece and in the COH Trading Card game. Statesman's appearance in the end of beta event for City of Villains allowed players to read over an extensive list of his powers. In addition to his Tanker primaries and secondaries, Statesman also possesses the flight, fitness, and leadership power pools, as well as his own personal power pool, named simply "Statesman." This pool contained several Electric powers, including the "nuke" Thunderous Blast, which he occasionally used in lieu of Super Strength attacks. Starting with Issue 7, a "Hero" version of Statesman randomly spawns as a reinforcement against villains in Recluse's Victory. This version has been confirmed through testing on the Training Room to use Thunderous Blast in his attack chains.

Officially, Statesman is an Incarnate, one of City of Heroes' Epic Archetypes. This Archetype has not been yet been implemented in the game, and when heroes encounter the NPC version of Statesman on a late game mission, his powers are still based around the Tanker power sets. However, in spite of this, gamers who have encountered Emmert at game events and exhibitions have noted that he has three signature powers unique to his character as well as "Resist" which is unique to signature character. Whether this is simply reflective of special perks available to Statesman as a "signature character" or if the Incarnate archetype is simply reflected by access to an additional pool of powers remains unknown.

Statesman's superhuman speed, strength, invulnerability and power of flight are reminiscent of DC Comics' most recognizable hero, Superman. However his control over lightning is similar to heroes such as Captain Marvel and Black Adam, among others. His backstory, history, appearance and over-the-top patriotism also bear a striking resemblance to Marvel Comics' Captain America.

In chapter eleven of the first City of Heroes novel "The Web of Arachnos", Statesman's transformation from ordinary human to superhuman is described as being accompanied with an amazing increase in the actuity of his senses, particularly vision, smell and hearing. He also appeared to have some form of control over it as well, again in a similar fashion to Superman. It also hints at an increased sense of touch, but this has never been directly stated, while the increase in sight, hearing and smell has been directly stated as having occurred after drinking from the fountain of Zeus.

Alternate versions

Two evil counterparts of Statesman exist. One is The Reichsman, a version of Statesman who serves as the greatest 'hero' in a world in which the Axis had won World War II and served to keep America under Nazi rule. This particular evil version of the Statesman was ultimately defeated after a battle between his Amerika Corps and Statesman's Freedom Phalanx. The Reichsman remains in cryogenically suspended animation in the primary headquartes of the Freedom Phalanx.

The second evil counterpart to Statesman is yet another alternate dimension version called Tyrant, who leads a group known as the Praetorians. This version of the Freedom Phalanx is every bit the equal of the primary versions of the characters seen within the game, unlike the Amerika Corps whose training was kept lax by Reichsman to avoid potential rivals to his power. According to Ms. Liberty (Statesman's Granddaughter) in issue 16 of the Top Cow comic book based on the game, the Praetorians very nearly beat Statesman to death and tortured him. This version of Statesman remains free and can be found in the City of Heroes game, though how appears to be unknown. The comic insinuates that Tyrant's relationship with Dominatrix, his granddaughter (and the counterpart therefor of Ms. Liberty) may have been incestuous.

Both of these evil versions of the character are stated to be Statesman's equal and possess all of his powers. However, while little is known about Reichsman's personality, Tyrant is depicted in the comic book as overbearingly arrogant and overconfident in his power, believing Statesman to be the weaker of the two of them.

Sean Michael Fish, known to the playerbase as Manticore, who is one of the developers of the City of Heroes game has stated that the Reichsman will return, leading the return of the Fifth Column, a group of neo-nazi villains who were replaced by the Council. How this will occur is unknown as this has not yet happened in game, though the statement said that this would occur sometime in 2007. As no information yet released by the official website makes mention of it, this means that Reichsman will likely make his return (and thus his on-screen debut in the game) sometime in December 2007. This has not been implemented as of May, 2008.

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