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Jennifer Sparks (Wildstorm Universe)

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Jennifer Sparks was born in England on January 1, 1900. Her family possessed quite a fortune, and she was sent to an all-girls school in Vienna. Her family had died on the Titanic in 1912, and her father's arch-nemesis took over their fortune. Left penniless, young Jenny was invited by her godfather, Albert Einstein, to Zurich, where he offered to finish her education. Before leaving she befriended a young struggling painter named Adolf Hitler, whose art was quite abysmal. Hoping to help him escape poverty, she suggested that he leave painting behind and take a career in politics as he had a certain charisma and talent for speeches.[1] This was one of many acts that she would later come to regret.

Between 1913 and 1919 her powers started to manifest. Jenny Sparks had absolute control of electricity, including travel through power lines, shooting bolts of lightning and shaping electricity. With age her control and power increased. By 1919 Jenny had also stopped aging.

Her adventures from 1919 to the early thirties were marked by the mindset of the era - Scientific Romance. In this period the Wildstorm universe had the first contact with Sliding Albion, an alternate Earth where humanity encountered aliens in the Renaissance, and where the blue-skinned aliens and humans intermixed through the ages. In 1919 she married prince Lorenzo of Albion to help him to take power against his father's tyrannical reign. Unfortunately Lorenzo was using the British of Jenny's reality to help him take over from his father, who he considered too soft. In consequence, she ended up shot and would have died were it not for the aid of Dr. Angela Spica, who had traveled back in time from 2001 to prevent Jenny's death in 1919.[2] Sparks continued with traveling the multiple realities, visiting alien worlds, entering fast relationships with supermen and people of the era. During this time she earned the rank of Colonel in British Army Intelligence. A reporter named Clarence Cornwall became part of her life.

In the early thirties she went to America and spent most of that time as an adventurer and pulp hero. During this period she was the girlfriend of a certain Dr. Jones. In 1939 she met Elijah Snow and after a one-night-stand they both agreed to forget that it ever happened.[3]

During World War II she was working as an allied operative against the Nazi superbeings and preventing the Nazis from obtaining valuable artifacts and ancient weapons. In 1943 she was rescuing a Tibetan egg from the Nazis. The egg was prophesied to open and bring forth a being that will usher a new age. Inside it was a small, curled up woman. She was captured and the only thing that prevented her from being sent to a camp where she would be dissected for creating German supermen was the sudden arrival of Adolf Hitler, who remembered her and upon accidentally noticing her being dragged away ordered her to be released and sent to England with the egg.[1]

Jenny returned to America after the war. The world no longer believed in heroes. She didn't either and her darkening turned her into a noiresque private eye who dealt her own brutal justice. During this time, she electrocuted Clarence for trying to kill an orphanage because it was full of black kids. With the end of the forties she decided to head home.

In the fifties she got involved with the British Space Group - "The biggest clandestine stunt ever pulled on the British public", an organization involved with alien and cross-dimensional interaction and exploration. Even their banquets were held under maximum security. During one of those, in 1953, the Sliding Albion reality entered its first World War, and bacterium weapons were unleashed on their London. In a final act of contempt and spite, Sliding Albion vented the bacterial fallout over Britain.[4] However, this agent changed while traversing The Bleed and caused the first surge of superhuman powers in Britain. Jenny didn't notice, she only felt the world losing a great opportunity to become a better place. After a while she tried to write a book about her life... but that got quashed.

The sixties were a new age of exploration and freedom. Not only that but, the first British heroes started to band together, and quite easily took Jenny as their leader for her experience and spirit. For the first time Jenny actually felt she belonged somewhere, and with her companions was set on making the world a better place. In the late sixties, Jenny and her friends were participating in a large festival on the Isle of Wight. Tragedy struck when one of the heroes, Abel Eternity, overdosed on drugs in an attempt to prove his masculinity. Abel went into a homicidal rampage, forcing Jenny to slay him. The group disbanded and Jenny decided to go to bed until 1982.

In 1976, Sparks was roused by the CCCP to lead a team of government superhumans against the genocidal 70th Century incarnation of Kansas City, which had gained sentience and sought to obliterate all human life. Sparks and her team failed to make a dent in the monstrosity, but the rampaging city was defeated when Jack Hawksmoor transformed the city of Tokyo into a giant living battle-suit and wrecked the future city.[5]

In the eighties, a new British superhero group appeared, mainly composed by people who were children during Sliding Albion's attack. Jenny Sparks joined the group since they considered her the "clean one" from the sixties group. However, they all were revealed to be homicidal and she threatened to kill them on the spot if she ever saw them again. Sometime around this point, she was contacted by Henry Bendix to join Stormwatch. She declined.

In 1992, Sparks saved Apollo and Midnighter from an ambush led by Kirsan Pruzhany. This brought her back to the attention of Henry Bendix.

Stormwatch

Contacting Sparks a second time, Bendix managed to convince her to join the StormWatch Black team alongside Swift (with whom she had a brief relationship[1] and Jack Hawksmoor. She was given command of the team against her will. Stormwatch Black was a covert insertion team, specially built for urban environments.

After a few missions, an old friend of hers, the former superhero known as The High, reappeared after decades of self-exile, leading a group that wanted to change the world by removing the structure of society itself. It would be no more laws, no authoritarian structures, no crime and no war. Bendix didn't want her to know, but The High appeared on the TV news and Jenny saw him. Around this time, Jenny survived an assassination attempt by a needle-armed adversary. When Jenny confronted Bendix about The High, and about the fact that Bendix had given orders to Stormwatch to kill The High and his group, he revealed the depths of his insanity. Jenny was forced to strike him down, but he escaped. In the ensuing chase, Jenny saw that he had killed all of the facility's cryogenically frozen prisoners. Afterwards, an enraged High flew right to the [Skywatch] platform. Being temporarily in command, Jenny was forced, crying, to order the staff to raise the Storm Door force field to protect the hundreds of people on board. The High vaporized upon impacting against it.[6] Some time later, Jenny finally tracked Bendix down and killed him, or so she thought.

The Authority

When Stormwatch disbanded after aliens attack Skywatch that took the lives of half the team, Jenny created The Authority alongside her Stormwatch Black teammates, with the goal to change the world, no matter what it takes. Old friends Battalion and Synergy assisted her in the beginning.

During her leadership, Jenny and her team faced many threats, including multiple attacks by Sliding Albion forces on Los Angeles and super-powered terrorists attacking many cities, including London and Moscow.

On December 31st, 1999, Jenny Sparks knew that she would die at midnight as the 20th century ended (the end of the 20th century according to consensus reality, at least), a fact known only by her teammate the Doctor. She electrocuted the brain of an enormous alien creature, the "God" that had originally created Earth and which was planning to wipe the planet clean of all life. This was her final act as humanity's defense mechanism. She died moments later in her teammates' arms. Her dying words and last will were: "Save the world. They deserve it. Be better. Or I'll come back and kick your heads in."[7]

At the moment of her death, a new entity was born, Jenny Quantum. Though not, in fact, a reincarnation of Jenny Sparks, she is actually her successor. Just as Jenny Sparks was the spirit of the 20th Century, Jenny Quantum is the spirit of the 21st century. In death Jenny Sparks' spirit occupy the astral realm of the Infinite City, similar to the Doctors' Garden of Ancestral Memory, where her predecessors' spirits also resides there.

Powers

  • Spirit of the 20th Century: She was born "with the century" - on the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve of 1900. As she grew she displayed certain superhuman abilities and skills, as well as immortality (not aging beyond her 20's). It has been theorised that they act as an immune system for the planet, her very existence protecting Earth. As such she supposedly represents an aspect of the century into which they were born. In her case, this was to influence the 20th century. As such, her moods are tied directly to the world's status. For example, she was suicidally depressed during the Great Depression and deliriously high during the Roaring Twenties.
    • Immortality: Additionally, she stopped aging at nineteen and remained this way until her death. Her appearance alters from time to time and it is unclear if this is an effect of her connection to the planet or artist interpretation. She had at least a 100 year lifespan, not aging once she reached adulthood.
    • Electrokinesis: Jenny Sparks had absolute control of electricity, including travel through power lines, shooting bolts of lightning and shaping electricity.
      • Electric Absorption: Jenny has the ability to manipulate electricity. She can easily draw electricity from electronic devices as well as from the human brain, a move she has threatened to kill people with.
      • Electric Form: Like an electrical current, Sparks as electricity must go somewhere before she can re-emerge in her human form. Normally this is into a machine, but other conductors seem to work as well. She was once able to go into the sky and remain there until striking down as lightning. She can also enter a person briefly and electrocute them.
      • Electric Teleportation: Sparks can also convert her entire body into electricity and travel anywhere electricity would. She can apparently survive being transformed into other forms of energy as when she traveled through a TV and power lines and then into a police radio.
      • Accelerated Healing: Shifting into her electrical form heals Sparks from injuries as well as poisons.

Abilities

  • Leadership: Through her lifetime Sparks was the members of various branches of the British military and led various superhero teams. As such she is an experienced leader and knowledgeable about military protocol. She has not demonstrated the fighting skill that one might associate with this experience, usually relying on her powers instead.
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic)

Weaknesses

  • Electrical Limitation: A key distinction is that Jenny Sparks does not generate electricity. If she is unable to access electricity from any sources or has no place for her electrical form to go, she is powerless and as vulnerable as a normal human.


Transportation

  • During the Transfer Of Power storyline, a magical version of Jenny appeared and temporarily removed all mechanical weapons from the Earth.
  • Jenny Sparks is also known as the Spirit of the 20th Century.
  • Jenny Sparks was Albert Einstein's goddaughter.[1]
  • Jenny Sparks had a one night stand with Elijah Snow.[8]
  • Her long life has made her cynical and aggressive towards everyone. [citation needed]

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