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Quote1 I'm safe here, Richard! No one can touch me here -- No one... Because I am a god, Richard! Maybe I can't create life here in my new world, but I can steal life from the old world -- and I can bring it here, transform it, use it... And be worshipped by it! Quote2
-- Richard Redditch src

Richard Redditch appeared to live an average, unassuming life on the surface, but was really the cold, power-hungry serial killer the press dubbed, "The Artist".

Redditch was an architect based in Portland, Oregon but really aspired to be an artist.[1] His failed attempts to be taken seriously drove him find a different medium where he would achieve recognition. His complete lack of apathy led to his becoming a serial killer, collecting an ear from each of his victims as a trophy. He would inform the local newspapers of each murder by sending them letters, boasting of his genius. His ninth victim was the niece of the detective assigned to the murders, Jason Praxis, who quit the force to pursue a personal vendetta.[2] Redditch later moved to New York City with his wife, Tina, who was concerned about his behaviour — acting as if someone was following him.

It was after moving to New York that the Earth was invaded by the Dominators, unleashing the gene bomb. Redditch soon fell ill due to his dormant metagene and was hospitalised until the crisis was averted.[3] Immediately upon being dismissed from the hospital, Redditch was picked up by two men in black who claimed it was for his protection. They did not travel far before their car was attacked by masked men. The two agents were killed while Reddicth was sedated and kidnapped.[4]

Redditch was abducted by the government for covert experimentation on the metagene. In a secret facility, under the supervision of Mr. Creach, Dr. Shockley was hired to discover the potential of the metagene and whether superhuman abilities could be made to design. During controlled electrical stimulation, Redditch's anaesthesia wore off and his metagene was triggered. His consciousness and soul became one with electrical energy and he created an explosion by overloading all the electronics in the room, allowing him to escape. However, he would soon learn his influence extended far beyond that. Unconsciously he had spread his mind across the electrical grid and possessed a teenage boy via a video arcade game who then became compelled to kill a cat and cut off its ear.[4]

Redditch quickly discovered he could spread his will via any electrical conduit and manipulate living souls. He possessed more youths and create the "Boyz be Bad" gang. The power he'd gained in the transformation only amplified his mental illness and desire to be "heard". He tested his powers further, obsessively announcing his death tally through various electronic mediums, before advancing to more human slaves to kill for him and scream the body count. From a cheap hotel room he could control, distort, and manipulate any electronic appliance and anyone using them. His mind fractured and his other self spoke to him from monitor screens, belittling and berating him to constantly utilise the breadth of his abilities.[5]

No longer content with just taking lives, Redditch craved power instead. He reached out to all nearby people using a computer and absorbed their souls into his matrix, leaving his victims in a zombie-like state, alive but comatose, which was described as VDT Syndrome. The Boyz had garnered the attention of the Spectre who then sought out the source of the problem, entering the electrical grid. Spectre was overpowered by Redditch's innocent pawns but managed to locate his position, sending Praxis and Quarral to arrest the criminal. The two detectives opened fire on Redditch but he escaped his physical body and fled into the realm of circuitry.[2]

Redditch bolted to a top secret government facility in the mountains of North Dakota where he possessed the body of Mr. Rand. Rand had authority over the world's most powerful super computer, codenamed: "Monster". From here, Redditch was able to launch America's nuclear arsenal and kill billions. Inside the grid, he discovered he could create anything his mind could conceive, besides actual life which he could steal from the outside anyway. He lorded over his new world like a god and made his soul slaves worship him.[6]

The Spectre tracked Redditch down after absorbing large amounts of electrical energy to compensate for his enemies' power, but Redditch was simply able to absorb the Spectre's energy blasts, only making him stronger. Spectre decided to turn the tables, allowing Redditch to attack him, draining his power instead. Spectre grew to an intimidating size and Redditch fled to his original body. The reanimated corpse of Redditch tussled with Spectre internally, while externally, Praxis and Quarral burned the body so there was nothing left to occupy. Before the body collapsed, Redditch attempted to transfer himself to the nearest host, narrowly missing Praxis. With Redditch's death, his influence ceased over the million souls which returned to their owners, and "Monster" which averted nuclear Armageddon. However, Praxis made an alarming discovery that he now inherited some control over electricity.[7]

Powers

  • Metagene: Redditch's metagene was purposely trigger via illegal experimentation.[4]
  • Electrokinesis: Redditch's consciousness and soul became electrical energy allowing him to manipulate electricity, appliances, and human bodies/souls at will.[2]
  • Intangibility: Redditch could become pure electrical energy.[2]
  • Mechanokinesis: Redditch could remotely access and manipulate any electrical device, even physically moving them or causing them to explode.[2]
  • Illusion Casting: Redditch could distort images and sounds on any TV, radio, or computer. Within an electronic state he could create anything he could imagine except life.[6]
  • Fear Projection: Redditch made a televangelist appear as if snakes and spiders were coming from his eyes and mouth, scarring many viewers into burning their money.[1]
  • Possession: Redditch could infect the physical bodies of humans with his consciousness.[6]

Abilities

  • Architecture: Redditch was one of the most respected architects in the Pacific North-West.[1]
  • Artistry: A twice failed artist. Skill unknown.[1]

Weaknesses

  • Mental Illness: According to Dr. Shockley's psychological profile, Redditch was a schizoid and confirmed psychopath with a desire for power. Tina Redditch expressed that Richard became "remote and moody" after his second failed attempt as an artist and tried to disfigure himself. Unable to go through with it, causing him to think he was a failure at everything.[1] Post-metagene, Redditch demonstrated some form of split personality where his submissive self (Redditch) interacted with his dominant self (Richard) who he later identified with his father.[1] "Richard" accused "Redditch" of being a megalomaniac and his powers allowed him a literal god complex. Redditch blamed his dominant persona for making him wet the bed, torture animals, and shoplift as a child and symbolically destroyed him to complete his 'apotheosis'.[6]
  • The million victims of Redditch that had their souls sucked out were left as comatose bodies. Doctors couldn't understand the bizarre phenomenon but dubbed it VDT Symdrome as all the victims were using Video Display Terminals at the time they fell into the trance.[2]
  • Redditch stayed in room 23 in the Tivoli Hotel[5] and was assigned drawer 23 at the morgue.[6]
  • Redditch referred to the Spectre as "Whitestuff".[7]

Related


Footnotes