The Shadow Operative
|The Shadow Operative|
|Date of Birth|
Ezra Eiges, better known by his alias The Shadow Operative, was the Director of the International Clandestine Superhuman Service (ICSS) in the late 1960s and into the 1970s. He was previously a superhero who had served as a member of the Protectors of Rockbay City, later the Sense of Right Alliance, in the Rockbay Metropolitan Era.
Ezra was born on October 31, 1910 to Karl and Avigail Eiges in the Rockbay Metropolitan Era. Karl was a Jewish man who was of German, Irish, Italian, and Portuguese descent. Avigail was a Bohemian Jewish woman who immigrated to Rockbay from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Karl worked as a butcher in Rockbay, and Avigail worked as a nurse.
Like many supers who were growing up at the time, Ezra one day discovered that he had the power to manipulate shadows. It is not certain how exactly Ezra obtained his powers; all that is known is that he was exposed to Kø at some point during his childhood.
When he was only 15 years old, Ezra decided to begin moonlighting as a private investigator. He realized that no one would take him seriously and that he would likely find himself in trouble if he worked under his own identity. He was inspired by groups such as the Protectors and subsequently fashioned his own alter ego: The Shadow Operative, a private investigator who could manipulate shadows to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. He fashioned a costume using a fedora, a dark suit, an Inverness coat, and a Plague doctor mask.
Ezra struggled at first to balance school and other obligations with his hero work. However, his keen mind allowed him to excel in his studies and graduate early. Ezra then dedicated more time to hero work. The Protectors began to hear about him and his unique abilities and approached him with an offer of membership. Ezra accepted but kept his identity and age a secret from the group.
The Shadow Operative usually preferred to work alone, but he often would team up with different Protectors, especially Fascinax and Bravarius, the one whom he trusted the most. The two became friends quite quickly, and at some point, The Shadow Operative even revealed his true identity to Bravarius.
The Shadow Operative stumbled on a mysterious deal between gangsters working for the Irish mob and an enigmatic suited man. The Shadow Operative overheard that the deal involved a mysterious substance capable of creating supersoldiers, and that part of the substance was going to be sold to a mad scientist on Chowder Island. He interrogated the gangsters and found out that the enigmatic suited man was an agent of French industrialist Augustín Apolion. Unbeknownst to the Shadow Operative, the substance that was being sold to Apolion was solidified Kø. The Shadow Operative shared what he learned with Bravarius and shared a rumor that the mysterious material that was the subject of the deal could possibly be used to create super-soldiers.
After his meeting with Bravarius, The Shadow Operative continued his investigation. He detected immense amounts of Kø coming from Remy Dantes's apartment in the Upper Kings district. He was present during the explosion that ensued after someone attempted to assassinate Remy. He met Naraka Ishtar and fought alongside her, Hans Badouin (also known as "Domino"), Bravarius, and The Willbender against Thule agents, including the superpowered Photinus. It was there that the Operative confirmed that a mysterious group called Thule had something to do with what had happened to Remy Dantes. The group decided that they would discuss everything further at the Protectors Meeting the next morning.
The Shadow Operative was present at the meeting, unaware of the countless resets in the timeline that had occurred thanks to William Douglas Reed. The Shadow Operative had recently discovered messages that indicated that all of the events of the previous night were connected to Thule. The Protectors decided to separate into two groups: one team would go after all mobs involved with the substance being traded, while the others would go to Chowder Island to find out what the mad scientist, a man named Dr. Vassily, was doing. The Shadow Operative was part of the latter team, which Domino had jokingly referred to as the Sense of Right Alliance. He worked with his allies, running into numerous oddities on the bizarre island.
Eventually, the Sense of Right Alliance discovered that the mysterious substance was solidifed Kø, and that Dr. Vassily had used it to create animal-human hybrids. After defeating Dr. Vassily, the Alliance found out that Remy Dantes had been kidnapped by the group that had been behind it all: the American Thule Society, a fascistic occult group led by Dr. Gerald Zucker. The Protectors reunited, fought against Thule agents, and confronted Dr. Zucker, who revealed to them that he was the reincarnated Judas Iscariot and that Remy Dantes was the reincarnated Simon of Cyrene. Naraka Ishtar, a Three Kingdomer, had prematurely restarted Remy's reincarnation cycle when Naraka took him as a host during the battle with Photinus.
Naraka revealed that she was planning on using Remy to gain access to the Vedic Lunar Cannon, an ancient Three Kingdomer weapon. Naraka saw Judas and Simon as supernatural abnormalities and called an orbital strike on Rockbay from the cannon. However, Remy fought against her and defeated her. The Clockmaker, a mysterious individual who often bothered the Protectors outside of their headquarters, diverted the cannon’s blast.
The Protectors then fought against Zucker, nearly losing due to his Kø manipulation ability. However, they finally destroyed him. Remy was reintegrated into the cycle of reincarnation. Meanwhile, the Protectors of Rockbay City reorganized themselves into the Sense of Right Alliance, expanding their scope to encompass the whole US.
World War II
The Shadow Operative remained a member of the Sense of Right Alliance for many years, growing into adulthood and becoming even more well-established as a superhero. He helped the organization expand and fight crime throughout the country (though mainly Rockbay, his home). When World War II broke out, The Shadow Operative was among many superheroes who signed up to fight on the American side as part of the U.S. Army's Superhuman Squadron. His skills and abilities made him a valuable soldier and helped him get recruited by the Office of Strategic Services. The Shadow Operative was vital to many missions and battles in both the European and Pacific theaters.
Sadly, however, The Shadow Operative also suffered significant psychological trauma, especially after the death of Bravarius at the Battle of Hawaii. After the end of World War II, The Shadow Operative returned to the Sense of Right Alliance.
The Venezuelan Incident
In 1963, The Shadow Operative was handpicked to join a group of American and Soviet superheroes on a joint mission to stop a Neo-Nazi militia led by Thule sympathizer Diego Alvarez Landa. Landa's militia, which included many supers, had seized a Soviet submarine a year ago during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The group successfully defeated Landa's militia, inspiring the creation of an international joint team of superheroes that would deal with international threats to world peace.
Unbeknownst to the public, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution in 1963 creating the ICSS, an international joint team of superheroes that would deal with international threats to world peace. For his many years of service, Ezra was selected to become the agency's director. The ICSS recruited supers from around the world, including some of the supers who participated in the Venezuelan Incident. The Wisemen, a militia founded by Domino, joined forces with the nascent agency as well, acting as a black ops division.
The ICSS succeeded in numerous missions over the years. However, in 1966, it suffered a huge setback. Ezra and Domino's relationship as leaders of the ICSS soured, and the Wisemen split off to become their own militia again. The ICSS continued to operate under Ezra's command, albeit with fewer members. Meanwhile, Domino and his Wisemen disappeared.
In 1970, events of the SORA RPG took place. Ezra assembled a meeting between a team of ICSS agents and some mercenaries. He flaunted his powers in the meeting, intimidating the group. He then tasked the group with saving world-renowned technological genius and U.S. military contractor Melchett Apolion from The Shadow Proclamation, a group of mercenaries led by the super known as Hercules Splendor.
|“||The ICSS is a threat to global security, and should be disbanded. It's a truth that's self-evident to me, but you needed more - evidence, a lead, a story. Well here's your story, Director Helms. Here's your fucking story. Consider this your Book of fucking Mormon.||”|
During his meeting with ICSS agents, Ezra failed to acknowledge the death of Ahab, an ICSS agent and superhero who was the reincarnated Longinus. Ahab had perished in a previous mission against Atticus and his Thule cell. Ezra's failure to acknowledge Ahab's death during the meeting enraged ICSS agent Erich Bergmann so much that he defected to the Wisemen out of disgust. Erich told Domino that he was right about Ezra and the ICSS. He then gave a tape full of the agency's information to Domino, who subsequently offered it ot the Director of the CIA.
Meanwhile, Ezra met with Emma, an East German ICSS operative who was the latest incarnation of Simon of Cyrene. Ezra revealed that he was going to discuss funeral arrangements later in the meeting, but Erich had not given him the chance to do so. Ezra then went into a tirade, pointing out to Emma that he had become desensitized because of all that had happened in previous years and because of the various pressures that came with being the director of an international spy agency. Ezra angrily referred to Emma as "Simon", which annoyed her greatly as she had hoped to establish her own identity.
After he sent the ICSS on the mission to stop the Shadow Proclamation, Ezra discovered a record in his office from the year 1988. As it was 1970, he realized that it had been sent to him from Minatop, a time traveler that had helped him greatly during the Rockbay Incident and many other missions so many years ago. Ezra then realized that this record meant that something important to the timeline was likely about to happen, possibly related to another incarnation of Judas Iscariot.
At some point in 1986, an elderly Ezra met with Minatop and Donald Dalton. The group discussed Mina's plan to save the timeline. He asked Minatop to say hello to Bravarius for him when she went back in time to the 1920s. It is currently unknown what Ezra's involvement with the ICSS was at the time, or what happened to him after that meeting.
Abilities and Traits
The Shadow Operative was a good brawler in his superhero years. He was also decent at using his pistol and other firearms. However, his skills predominantly rested in the use of his power: shadow manipulation. He could obscure himself, create areas of pure darkness, project shadows on the wall, and shadow-walk. With enough concentration, The Shadow Operative could also manipulate the levels of fear in a person, either through his shadow techniques or by tapping into Kø. All this allowed The Shadow Operative to strike terror into the hearts of his enemies. Additionally, The Shadow Operative had the ability to detected Kø.
The Shadow Operative's weaknesses included bright lights, which could dispel his techniques entirely if directed to his eyes. He was also prone to all of the regular damage a human can take. Interestingly enough, given that much of The Shadow Operative's abilities were based on his own judgment and concentration, he could also be weakened by substances that impair judgment and concentration.
As for his personality, The Shadow Operative often came across as cold, brooding, and terse. However, he had a soft spot for many people and showed a kinder side to them. Nevertheless, he became colder as the years went on due to various traumas, only revealing his kinder self when necessary. The Shadow Operative was also slightly paranoid, as he only trusted a select few of the Protectors. This was incredibly helpful when the organization began to purge corrupt members as it reorganized into the Sense of Right Alliance. The Shadow Operative's paranoid tendencies were also useful during his career at the ICSS, as he often was able to root out Thule and KGB double agents. However, the aforementioned traits led to a lot of strain in some of his relationships, including that with his wife and children. In 1960, Ezra and his wife divorced.
|Protectors of Rockbay City|
|Bravarius | Fascinax | Masked Angel | The Shadow Operative | The Willbender|