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Little is known about Slag's background before he joined the Shadow Cabinet, an ancient team of metahumans that covertly protects mankind from being destroyed by its worst instincts. It was the Cabinet that supplied Slag with heat dampeners enabling him to better control his pyrokinetic powers. During missions, these abilities along with Slag's superhuman strength made him quite valuable to the Cabinet. However, socially, Slag's brutish, abusive personality caused most other Cabinet operatives to steer clear of him off mission. Slag did find a kindred spirit in the sadistic operative Rainsaw. Slag also developed an unlikely friendship with the snobbish operative Ash that is rumored to have become much more.
In recent years, the ambitious operative Headmaster felt that beings as powerful as the Shadow Cabinet should rule humanity rather than protect it. His views were shared by several other operatives including Slag. These dissidents would eventually become the faction known as the Star Chamber, which promptly split off from the Cabinet. This schism would begin the covert metahuman conflict known as the Shadow War.
Since the Shadow Cabinet would oppose their goal of world domination, the Star Chamber needed to quickly bolster their ranks. The key to doing so was the Dakota City, which saw a major increase in metahumans due to the "Big Bang" event. Dharma had extensive files on Dakota's metahumans, information which the Chamber had secretly copied before leaving the Cabinet. Thus, the Shadow War quickly escalated as Shadow Cabinet and the Star Chamber vied to get Dakota's superheroes and supervillains to join their side.
Headmaster assigned different teams of Chamber operatives for the metahuman recruitment effort. Slag, Ash and Rainsaw were assigned to recruit the metahuman street gang the Blood Syndicate. Headmaster was especially interested in recruiting the gangmembers Fade and Flashback due to their time manipulation abilities. If the Syndicate declined the Chamber's offer, Slag, Ash and Rainsaw were ordered to eliminate the gang to prevent any of them from joining the Shadow Cabinet. Naturally, Slag and his cohorts concealed this aspect of their mission from the newer Chamber members, who would object.
Slag, Ash and Rainsaw met with the Blood Syndicate at their abandoned factory headquarters. With Ash serving as spokeswoman, the Chamber tried to appeal to the gang's desire for respect, power and honor to win their support. Syndicate leader Wise Son realized the gang was being deceived and expressed his disgust by dumping a glass of champagne that Ash offered on her head. Furious at such disrespect, Slag, Ash and Rainsaw shed all pretenses and declared death on the Syndicate. However, as the Chamber members were about to attack, they were thwarted by the sudden arrival of a team of Shadow Cabinet operatives led by Sideshow. The Cabinet and Chamber members promptly engaged in a fiece debate that further angered the Syndicate, who decided to expel both groups from their territory. This resulted in a massive three-way battle between the Star Chamber, Shadow Cabinet and Blood Syndicate.
As the battle escalated, Syndicate member DMZ knocked out Ash in retaliation for her injuring his teammate, Brickhouse. Witnessing this, Slag attacked DMZ who proved more formidable than he realized. Blinded by rage, Slag decided to unleash his full pyrokinetic power against both the Cabinet and the Syndicate even though he would wind up killing Ash and Rainsaw in the process. Before Slag could do so, all the combatants suddenly noticed a massive tsunami bearing down on them. (This tsunami was secretly created by the watery metahuman Aquamaria, who felt kinship with the Blood Syndicate and now decided to aid them.) The Syndicate promptly took cover while the Shadow Cabinet teleported to safety. The Star Chamber was not so lucky and were swept away when the tsunami hit. Miraculously, Slag, Ash, and Rainsaw survived and retreated to their headquarters to lick their wounds.
The other Star Chamber teams were successful in their mission, enabling them to begin the next phase of their planned world conquest. A vital part of this plan was Quantum Juice or "Q Juice", an unpredictable,often dangerous mutagen responsible for the Big Bang. The only known stockpile of Q Juice belonged to the malevolent conspiracy S.Y.S.T.E.M., who stored it in a vault hidden in an American casino. Headmaster convinced the new Chamber recruits that stealing the Q Juice from SYSTEM was necessary lest it fall into the hands of the "evil" Shadow Cabinet. Headmaster also desired to capture Q Juice's creator Dr. Nathan Flack, but the Chamber's efforts to find him had so far failed.
The Chamber teleported via Funyl's powers into the casino, breached the vault's outer door, and quickly overcame the squad of armored SYSTEMatics protecting the vault. However, the Chamber met new opposition as the Shadow Cabinet teleported in, leading to a fierce battle. During the battle, Slag melted his way into the inner vault containing the Q Juice. However, Slag was beaten to the prize itself by the superfast Cabinet member Blitzen. With the Q Juice in enemy hands, the Chamber teleported back to headquarters.
Headmaster had planned for this possibility and implemented a new strategy. Since the Star Chamber could not steal Q Juice, they would make their own by using the superconducting supercollider in Luoyang, China to process certain radioactive materials into the mutagen. These materials were available in three fusion reactors on Earth. Headmaster split the Chamber into three teams each one assigned to a fusion reactor. These simultaneous strikes would increase the odds that at least one team would be successful.
Slag joined Headmaster and Xombi to raid the Benterai Research Center in Tokyo, Japan where they clashed with Static, Plus and Iota of the Shadow Cabinet. Early in the battle, Static used his electromagnetic powers to disable Slag's heat dampeners. Without the dampeners, Slag's pyrokinetic powers went out of control and melted the floor beneath his feet, causing him to sink. Now that the battle was deadlocked, Headmaster ordered them to retreat. Slag just barely freed himself in time to make the teleport back to Star Chamber headquarters.
Despite this defeat, another Star Chamber team acquired the radioactive material so the entire group teleported to the collider, leading to the final showdown with the Shadow Cabinet. During the fierce battle, Slag along with Ash and Funyl used the conflict as diversion to reach the collider control room and take the staff hostage. The trio of villains then reprogrammed the collider so it would process the stolen radioactive material into Q Juice. Successful in this endeavor, Slag and his teammates loaded the Q Juice into a missile that Funyl had teleported near the collider. They then launched the missile, whose loud roar was so startling that it brought the fight between the Cabinet and the rest of the Chamber to a halt.
Headmaster then revealed to all present that in minutes the Q Juice-bearing missile would reach geosynchronous orbit. The rocket was rigged to be detonated by a remote in Headmaster's hand, thus releasing its payload into Earth's atmosphere and killing countless millions. The missile was Star Chamber's trump card in case any superhero tried to thwart the group's goal of world domination.
However, Headmaster's gloating was short-lived when his remote was suddenly snatched by an invisible observer: Dr. Nathan Flack, who now called himself Dr. Nemo. Nemo gained his cloaking power by exposure to Q juice, and he now wanted to similarly "bless" humanity by repeating his experiment on a global scale. After observing the Shadow War for days, Nemo realized that the Star Chamber's scheme for world conquest was the perfect way to accomplish his dream. He then detonated the missile to the horror of those present.
Fortunately, the Cabinet's ally Hardware had secretly flown off to intercept the Star Chamber's missile as Headmaster explained its purpose. Hardware boarded the missile and then escaped with its Q Juice payload just seconds before the missile exploded. Thus the world was saved from Flack's genocidal plans.
The Star Chamber promptly surrendered while the new recruits joined the Cabinet except for the fiery crimelord Holocaust, who fled the scene and returned to Dakota. After securing the new Q Juice, the Shadow Cabinet left the rest of the Chamber to be picked up by the authorities. Slag and his teammates soon found themselves in maximum security prison with lengthy sentences.
Slag would still be incarcerated if not for an unexpected turn of events. During the infamous Utopia Park Riots, several Shadow Cabinet members disobeyed Dharma's explicit orders to not get involved in order to save endangered civilians and police. Dharma considered this mutiny as proof that his Cabinet operatives had too much free will and thus were less effective in his eyes. So, he declared that operatives could no longer leave the Cabinet’s headquarters, the Shadowspire, except for missions. Realizing Dharma was insane, operatives Donner, Blitzen and Iota fled the Shadowspire to form their own public superhero team, Heroes. Perhaps anticipating such a rebellion, Dharma had earlier arranged for the release of the Star Chamber, who having no where else to go decided to rejoin the Cabinet. Now, all Slag and the rest of the Cabinet had to do is wait for the right time to bring back their wayward teammates.
The Heroes reappeared again when they saved the city of Iberia, Arkansas from being wiped out by a flood caused by a bursting dam. Dharma concluded that the Heroes would regroup at Donner and Blitzen's apartment. Slag joined a Shadow Cabinet strike team led by Iron Butterfly to confront the Heroes, who had just recruited three more wayward members, Payback, Starlight, and Static. Iron Butterfly delivered a simple message to the Heroes: return to the Cabinet of die. The Heroes flatly refused, and the battle was joined.
As Cabinet and Heroes fought, the apartment building they were in began suffering major structural damage. Calling a truce, the two sides combined their powers to shore up the building and save the lives of its residents. Ashamed that the battle had endangered innocent people, Iron Butterfly promised the Heroes that they were free of their ties to the Cabinet. With that, Slag and the other Cabinet operatives teleported back to the Shadowspire.
- Pyrokinesis: Slag has the ability to envelop his entire body within fiery plasma without harm to himself. It is because of this power that Slag is said to have "thermite skin."
Normally, when aflame, he is surrounded by orangish plasma that can kill a normal human being on contact. Slag can generate even higher temperatures and flame about himself, enabling him to melt through a bank vault door in under a minute.
Slag can remain aflame at average expenditure for several hours before having to rest. He can release all his body's stored thermal energy in a single intense, omnidirectional burst. This burst is comparable to the heat-pulse of a nuclear detonation and can incinerate several city blocks. This violent discharge uses Slag's entire reserve of energy (except for that necessary to keep him alive) at once, entirely exhausting his flame power. He requires an undetermined number of hours to recover from this feat.
Slag cannot set selectively envelope portions of his body with flame. His whole body is in enveloped in flame when he activates his power. The heat from his body radiates omni-directionally and is beyond his control. Thus, Slag is as much a danger to foes as friends in close quarters combat, something that he does not always appreciate.
Slag's flame is supported by the presence of oxygen, and thus is extinguished in low air pressure or a vacuum. His flame can also be extinguished by smothering materials, such as water, sand, fire-fighting foam, and heat-resistant blankets, unless his flame is at such an intensity that it immediately vaporizes such materials on contact. If hit with small amounts of water, up to about few gallons, Slag can turn it to steam with relatively little effort. More water than that could extinguish his flame at its normal level, and he would have to wait until he could evaporate the residual moisture before re-ignition.
- Energy Resistance: Slag is unaffected by heat and flames whether his own or those generated by other sources. His flesh cannot be scalded or burned by any heat source whose level is below that of his maximum output.
- Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Durability: Slag has displayed an unusual resistance to injury that goes beyond an immunity to fire. He survived blows from the superhumanly strong DMZ that would have instantly killed a normal person.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic): Slag is an experienced hand–to-hand combatant who relies more on brute strength than on any particular fighting style.
Power Instability: As noted, Slag lacks fine control over his pyrokinetic abilities which can endanger himself as well as others, Even at its normal temperature, the plasma generated by Slag's body is sufficient to melt the ground beneath his feet, causing him to sink. Thus, he relies on heat restriction dampers in his boots to offset this problem (see Equipment).
Slag's boots are equipped with heat restriction dampers that prevent the heat his body generates from melting anything within a radius of three feet. Hence, even at his maximum temperature, he can comfortably walk across any surface without fear of melting it and thus sinking. After his defeat by Static, Slag had a second set of heat restriction dampers installed in his boots that activate automatically if the primary dampers fail.
As an operative of the Shadow Cabinet, Slag can teleport via the team's Shadowslide system.
As a member of the Star Chamber, Slag relied on Funyl's teleportation powers for transport.
- 5 Appearances of Slag (Dakotaverse)
- 4 Images featuring Slag (Dakotaverse)
- Quotations by or about Slag (Dakotaverse)
- Character Gallery: Slag (Dakotaverse)