From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
DISCLAIMER: This hero, and by necessity this page, get into the geopolitics and history of City of Heroes, as defined by the Story Bible. The hero himself is extremely politically active and holds views far to the left of the American Overton Window. If you consider yourself "apolitical" or get annoyed by the presence of "politics," turn back now!
|An undead gunfighter and necromancer.|
|Security Level:||50 (+1)|
|Real Name:||Bill Evers|
|Known Aliases:||The Corpse from Kansas, the Perdition Pinko|
|Age:||198 (born 1821)|
|Eye Color:||Shriveled (may have once been brown)|
|Hair Color:||White (formerly brown)|
|Place of Birth:||Missouri Territory|
|Base of Operations:||Paragon City, RI|
|Immortality, necromancy, limited invisibility, spiritual projection, teleportation, cold/acid spells|
|Two Colt Navy revolvers (cartridge conversion), heavily modified in both the magical and mundane sense.|
Boneyard Bill is one of America's older heroes, though certainly not as old as some, such as the late Talos. There is a good chance your character will have read about him or seen him on the news, for a number of reasons:
- Involvement with John Brown's abolitionists during the Bleeding Kansas conflicts
- Fought in the Civil War, on the side of the Union
- Left US Army to protest treatment of Native Americans
- Disappeared from 1880-1920; lived in Kansas as a recluse/thought to be dead by some until 1931
- Claims to have fought alongside Zapatistas in Mexican Revolution
- Among the heroes who fought the Fifth Column at home
- Known in magical circles as a talented necromancer and psychopomp
- Observed to be immune to the pull of the Netherworld, can exist as a ghost or revenant without an 'anchor'
- Vocal leftist and member of Communist Party USA since 1929; continued political activism well into the present day:
- Outspoken criticism of the Might for Right Act during the 50s and 60s
- Imprisoned for resisting draft pertaining to Might for Right Act; while incarcerated, sent spirit messengers to news outlets to accuse the US of sending leftist heroes on suicide missions in Eastern Europe
- Critic of Hero Corps, believes they invite costumed villainy in order to profit from it
- Criticized/lauded (depending on who is asked) for fighting with protesters against against 'super merc' union busters during the 90s.
- Open enmity with Fifth Column, Council, Sky Raiders, Arachnos, and other conservative, far-right or outright fascist villain-groups, as well as the Circle of Thorns.
Boneyard Bill has fiercely held political opinions, to the point where those who only know him from his media appearances might find him intimidating. The man himself is far from it, if you can get past his ghastly visage. In fact, Bill Evers is downright sociable, for a dead guy. He never has a problem striking up a conversation, so long as the other party doesn't mind a chat. Bill gives freely of his time and skills to those in need, and does not feel that hard work is beneath him. Though he is more well read now than ever, he still has a penchant for crude sayings, as if something of the Old West's rugged spirit still lives within him.
In addition to being sociable, Bill is very kind and empathetic, towards those he believes are at least reasonably empathetic themselves. Those who do not want to understand their fellow beings and seek only to hurt do not benefit from his patience. With these sorts of people, Bill is at his most vulgar and combative. It is this side of Boneyard Bill which is most well known, and this side which provides his detractors the most ammunition. No matter how many times he's shot, figuratively or literally, Bill keeps getting up--his stubbornness and outspoken nature alike are the two traits for which he's most famous.
Although he is a fairly famous hero due to his long lifespan and frequent appearances in the public eye, Bill is approachable to a fault. Even when his welcoming nature gets him burned, Bill gets back up and gets back at it. He'd rather open his door to someone in good faith and be burned than hide away from the world forever. Those who know him personally are often surprised by his optimistic, determined outlook.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Expert marksman
- Heavily modernized/enchanted artifact pistols
- Unnatural range of motion
- Pivoting head 360 degrees, bend arms backwards, etc.
- Theoretical immortality
- Soul immune to pull of the Netherworld
- May use Netherworld energy or ghostly currency 'wax' to repair body upon entering it, even when mangled beyond recognition
- Can summon, commune with, and guide spirits to the Netherworld
- Channels energy from the Netherworld to empower and heal himself in battle
- Ice and poison spells in his repertoire, as any classical necromancer
- May hide between the worlds of the living and the dead, but cannot interact with either while in this state.
- Long and Short-Range Teleportation
- Fragile corporeal form
- Though it is notoriously hard to keep him dead, Bill is easy to kill. As a classic 'glass cannon' he relies on sudden, swift and decisive strikes. If an enemy survives his initial strike, his defensive options are limited to cantrips and stalling tactics such as encasing himself in a block of ice.
- Reliance on corporeal form
- His time in prison proved his Netherworld allies can certainly be a nuisance, but Bill's ability to affect the physical world is greatly limited as a spirit. When defeated by particularly clever enemies, a common tactic is not destroying his body, but placing it in an incredibly difficult place to return from. By the time he manages to free it, his enemies are often long gone.
- Spirit magic
- Experienced users of soul and spirit magic, like the most wizened of the Circle mages he often combats, can pose a problem by forcing Bill out of his body. With the rise of threats like the Banished Pantheon and the dark god Mot, there may even be ways to destroy a soul completely...
Bill has quite an extensive history, owing to his long life. Excerpts from the bestselling biography by Wild West historian Bubba Gruggos can be found here. What follows below is a more streamlined account of the life of Bill Evers.
'Boneyard' Bill Evers was born in poverty to sharecroppers in Missouri, circa 1821. He spent most of his life there, but migrated to Kansas looking both for prosperity, and a fight with John Brown's abolitionists. Evers died during the Sacking of Lawrence, Kansas, struck in the head by rubble from the Free State Hotel. This was the first of several ignominious deaths in conflict with abolitionists. They gave him his famous moniker as a way to mock him--though he always seemed to return from the grave, his ineptitude seemed to put him right back. At some point, Evers realized he had no chance against them, listened to what they had to say, and had a change of heart. Evers taught himself to read at some point after this meeting, and from that point became an avid social activist.
He battled alongside the abolitionists at the raid on Harpers Ferry, and though he died, he got back up as he was known to do. This was the first use of many of his unusual power for the cause of the downtrodden and mistreated. When the civil war began he fought on the side of the Union. He would later quit the army in protest over the treatment of Native Americans and the States' inability to honor its treaties with them. From 1880 to 1920, Evers disappeared. He claims to have traveled to Mexico to see the world. A year into the Mexican Revolution, he was swept up by the cause of the agrarian Zapatista faction, and idolized Emiliano Zapatista. It was here that he was first exposed to communist ideas, but he did not adopt them until almost a decade into his return to America.
Visibly dead by this point, Evers was living in America as a recluse, communicating with his surviving friends through letters. He began to write to the Wichita Eagle in his home state of Kansas. At the time, he was believed to be dead, and the letters were a minor sensation. They were ultimately eclipsed by the arrival of Statesman in 1931 and the wave of heroes that followed. After studying his condition and learning the art of necromancy through his connection to the Netherworld, Evers emerged as one of Kansas' first heroes. As an open communist and an obvious corpse, reception was mixed, but the results didn't lie--he was an expert shot and a quick study at the dark arts. During WWII, he led a domestic anti-fascist campaign aimed at preventing other Nazi attacks like the one in Independence Port. Though encounters with the Fifth Column were rare in the midwest, Evers and the Wichita Warlocks uncovered and thwarted a conspiracy by Nazi mystics known as the Thuleorden to create a gigantic magical war machine and with it, ravage the Breadbasket.
Evers is noted for remaining a vocal communist up to and through the Cold War, all the way to the present day. Having been jailed twice during the Cold War, Evers is no stranger to controversy. After openly criticizing the US' involvement in the near-nuclear apocalypse of the 70s (read:blaming it on the US), comics featuring the Perdition Pinko (as his critics called him) were taken off the shelves, and the already rare merchandise that existed with his likeness upon it became even more scarce. If Evers was bothered, he didn't show it. He continued his habit of open criticism into the 80s and 90s, decrying the Regulators' War on Drugs as a 'wild goose chase,' and coming into open conflict with super-mercs employed to break up union strikes in South America. As many heroes blamed increases in costumed crime upon the rising star of Hero Corps, Evers not only joined them but went a step further, arguing that they paved the way for the aforementioned super-mercs by making pay-for-cape models viable.
His first visit to Paragon City was in 1998, where he teleported across the country, one state or city at a time, to join in the protests against the opening of the Rhode Island Hero Corps facility. He saw action in the Rikti War after he and the surviving, elderly members of the Wichita Warlocks traveled to nearby Chicago to investigate the lights in the sky, fearing it to be a plot by a returned Thuleorden. In 2004, MAGI requested his assistance in rebuilding Paragon City. He accepted their request and has remained there since, loudly and controversially crusading against the force of capital and villains alike--though in his mind they're one in the same. As a hero, Boneyard Bill has his sights on several villain groups within Paragon City. His focus is primarily on the Circle of Thorns, but he is quick to lead charges or solo missions against the Fifth Column, Council, Sky Raiders, Arachnos, and other conservative, far-right or outright fascist villain-groups wherever they crop up.