Some content in this article is derived from information featured in The X-Adults: Endgame: The Latest Threat, and, as such, spoilers will be present.
Script error Roger Black, known to all as the Gladiator, is the leader of the Knights of Plague and Becca Smith's master. The Gladiator founded the Knights of Plague and based its practices off of ancient NoHead teachings. He trained several previous apprentices, with his most prized pupils being Abalan, who eventually betrayed him, and Becca Smith, mother of Alyssa Smith, who remained loyal. The Gladiator was critical in the seduction of Becca to the dark side, and when her turn was complete, the Gladiator christened her as the commander of the Knights of Plague. In 2035, the Gladiator met Master Intelligence, who had come to learn who had reincarnated Nagatha. When he realized it was the Gladiator, Master Intelligence tried, but failed, to kill him.
During another encounter, the Gladiator discovered the effects of Pitial Defilatetum. The Gladiator, who had already identified Master Intelligence as a grave threat, began searching for the Orb of Power, wanting to perpetuate the Knights of Plague. The Gladiator’s first attempts at securing the orb involved possessing Russell Stewart and Fredrick Powell, leading to failures. After Nagatha failed to retrieve it, the Gladiator planted a vision in the head of Lindsay Kellerman, so the S.M.S.B. would get the Orb of Power for him.
When the S.M.S.B. arrived, the Gladiator led the attempts to retrieve the Orb from Master Intelligence, who refused to give it to him. After Red X further foiled his plans, he attacked Master Intelligence, beginning a powerful duel between the two mutants that resulted in the Orb's destruction. Master Intelligence ultimately triumphed, and the Gladiator was subsequently imprisoned in his own fortress for decades.
Roger Black was born into a very old, wealthy and gentry family, and raised in the lap of luxury at the family estate, a magnificent mansion in Edgewater which had been in his family’s possession for many centuries. From a very young age, Roger was taught that he was special: Firstly as a mutant, and secondly as Black, whose family name alone commanded respect due to the considerable influence in the government due to their substantial wealth, leadership of New York City going back three generations, and social standing in the community in general. As such, his father, who was known to possess many of the qualities that have distinguished so many of Roger’s ancestors, taught his son about the prudence of maintaining an appearance of respectability to preserve their status of prominence among their kind, as well as the importance of retaining the goodwill of the ruling class from which the family could benefit. Taught to take great pride in his heritage, Roger was encouraged to mainly associate himself with the mutant children of other wealthy families who shared their cast-iron belief in the inherent superiority of superpowers.
Roger began attending Indian River Elementary School in 1983, where he did not get along with the other students. At one point, he sent a student a threatening note for continually pinching his arms. He also overheard a girl expressing her belief that she spotted a boy named Jaden talking to a turtle and believed that she should keep an eye on him. Roger decided not to interfere, believing it was not his business, though he considered doing the opposite.
Superhero School years Edit
First year Edit
In 1985, at the age of seven, he discovered the exceptional reality about who he was. An email had arrived to his mother, addressed to him from a place called Superhero School. His mother told him of the message. Roger was not surprised &mdash he had wanted to believe that he was special, different from everyone at his school. The following day, at midnight, Roger's mother woke him, beckoning him into the living room. There, he was surprised to find a woman named Ruby Wright waiting for him. Wright explained to Roger that he was a mutant, what she had revealed to his parents, and that he was to be sent to Superhero School.
From there, he began attending Superhero School, by which time the amount of Dark activity had began to waver steadily, and the community, during the First NoHead War. He quickly became best friends with an adult named Mykew Hadeline, who had returned because of her parents, and the extremely tenacious Sean. 
Intervening years Edit
Over time, Roger gathered to himself a gang of thugs, a motley composition of the ambitious seeking glory, the weak seeking protection, and the thuggish turning to a leader who could show them more refined forms of cruelty, most of which would become the first Knights of Plague. Roger claimed they were his friends, and made it appear so in public, but in truth, they amounted to little more than servants, and he cared almost nothing for them. He often manipulated them into committing petty crimes and other misdeeds, but none of these incidents were reliably traced back to the group. During his school career, he did a very good job academically and displayed above-average intelligence and ability, and his skills in history even earned him the recognition of Supermaul’s successor, who invited him into a group called the Sanders Club. This club consisted of specially-selected students, who, like Roger himself, showed true promise. Of course, he also warmly welcomed Sean and Mykew Hadeline into the fold, as they were close friends.
Tenth year Edit
When he was sixteen, Roger was made a prefect, which showed the hard work he put into appearing a model student in the eyes of his teachers.
Eleventh year Edit
After Superhero School (1995-2005) Edit
After graduating from Superhero School in 1995, Roger disappeared for ten long years. He slipped deeper into the dark side, travelled extensively, consorted with disreputable people, began to become distorted in appearance and lost his handsomeness due to immersing so far in the dark side, and began to use the alias “the Gladiator” openly.
The discovery of Abalan Edit
During the early years of the NoHead Empire, the Gladiator participated in another invasion of Mars following a resurgent Martian uprising after the first attack. Aside from a robotic escort, the Gladiator did not personally lead the campaign as he pursued an objective of his own — the hunt for a fugitive guard who lived on the Martian homeworld. Despite his disappointment in the overall strategy of his subordinate officer, whom he judged to be incompetent, the Gladiator allowed the Commander to live while he executed his own mission. The Dark Lord encountered numerous Martian warriors, all of whom fought with fierce determination, though none were able to prevent the Gladiator’s path into their village. Soon after reaching a large hut, decorated with banners, the Martian Allieano confronted the Gladiator.
The Dark mutant dueled the former nursemaid, but found his opponent’s skills to be significantly inferior to his own. Allieano was using a kyroblade and she clearly had little training in using it. As such, the Gladiator quickly overcame her by using his refined form of Djem So. The duel came to an end when Allieano was disarmed and the Gladiator telekinetically smashed her through the front entrance of her hut. As the Gladiator entered the hut, he sensed the presence of a being who was far more powerful than the alien he had just defeated. The Gladiator prepared to kill his adversary when a small boy lunged at him, ripping his sword from his hand and telekinetically pushing him back. He quickly deduced the boy to be both the Martian’s son and the other presence he felt upon entering the hut. When Allieano urged her son to run away, the Gladiator casually crushed her throat.
Horrified and in shock, the boy could only watch as the Imperial Commander and a squad of robot soldiers entered the hut. As they approached the two, the Commander signaled his soldiers to execute the boy under the assumption that his leader would approve. Instead, the Dark Lord telekinetically summoned his sword back to him, and promptly killed the Commander and his troopers in front of Abalan, thus ensuring that there would be no witnesses to his next move. He then commanded the boy to come with him, warning that more soldiers would soon arrive at their location. Unknown to Abalan at the time, he had been chosen as the Gladiator’s secret NoHead apprentice, although the Gladiator never verbally acknowledged him as such until several years later. In the aftermath of Mars’ fall and subjugation, the Gladiator spirited the young Abalan to a hidden location on the Wasp.
By 2000, the Gladiator had become renowned as a warrior, which eventually resulted in Cooper Malsa, a Knight of Metta who had been left for dead in a battle during the final few months of the Knight War, to desire to join him, also doing several battles to earn the Dark Lord’s respect. Eventually, the Gladiator, having respected Malsa, brought him into the fold and was later dispatched to the country Mongolia to participate in a mission to assimilate a police holdout discovered on the Asian country. However, the operation ended disastrously due to the Gladiator staying behind on his ship, not conducting reconnaissance beforehand, and giving direct command to an armchair general named Rudy, resulting in Malsa having to do something that will risk his life, also flying alongside the Gladiator before ending up captured by the police forces. The Gladiator eventually managed to attack the police due to Malsa sabotaging the police forces from the inside, causing Malsa to see the ruthlessness of the Gladiator in person.
Transylvania Quarters Edit
Ten years after his disappearance, the Gladiator befriended a wealthy, elderly woman named Harriet Swenson. Harriet showed the Gladiator her home, Swenson Quarters. The Gladiator’s eyes flashed red with greed and avarice upon seeing this place and he desired to live there, because he saw the building to be rightfully his after Harriet’s ancestors stole the mansion from his own. In order to steal this building for himself, the Gladiator killed Harriet.
After scouting his family’s old home, he realized there was only one room even he could not access by any means - the Hall of Domination. He covered his tracks well by implanting another false memory into an innocent bystander — Eli, Harriet’s goblin butler. Eli admitted to accidentally putting poison into Harriet’s tea, which was believed, as Eli was elderly himself. Meanwhile, the Gladiator took up residence in Swenson Quarters, renaming it Transylvania Quarters. He also learned, much to his shock and horror, that all the early Knights of Plague had been arrested and detained together on the third floor.
The secret apprentice Edit
- "You were weak when I found you. You should never have survived my training. But now your anger has become your strength. At last, the dark side is your ally. Rise, my apprentice."
- ―The Gladiator acknowledges Abalan as his NoHead apprentice for the first time[src]
In the years that followed his abduction of Abalan, the Gladiator trained the boy in the ways of the NoHeads, including dumping him unarmed onto Norway while sending a Norwegian Death Commando hunting party after him with the intention of having Abalan survive and defeat them as an ultimate test. At first, he controlled his student through fear, but then taught him to embrace emotions such as anger and hatred. In time, Abalan forgot about his past; the memories of his childhood became repressed and he came to assume that he was merely one of his Master's many experiments. In addition, the Gladiator allowed him to keep his original name since it was off-worldly.
The Dark Lord became the mentor of a child whose potential in the Dark side rivaled Mr. Stupid NoHead. A loyal servant to the NoHead Empire, the Gladiator devoted years to personally molding Abalan into a highly trained NoHead assassin with an array of powers—including lightning. As time passed, Abalan grew increasingly immersed in the dark side to his Master's approval, but also developed a strong sense of loyalty to the NoHead, whom he came to view as the closest example he had to a father figure. Abalan's loyalty to the Gladiator was rivaled only by his desire to fulfill the purpose of his existence, as stated by his Master: the assassination of the Gladiator's own Master, Mr. Stupid NoHead. The apprentice longed for years to be a true NoHead, providing him with the motivation and desire to become a greater mutant in preparation for the day when he and his Master confronted the Emperor.
Although the Gladiator himself never visited Annabeth Black, he did appear to the latter in two visions: One of her current state, and one when she was a child. This vision interacted with Annabeth under the name “Anna” and noted the coincidences about their similarities. This vision eventually vanished while both mutants were fighting a dragon that Anna inadvertently lured to them when trying to use a sabotaged R2 robot to allow a flare to be released signalling where Anna and he were, although the Gladiator was certain that “Anna” was not a dream.
Genocide in Ecaudor Edit
- The Gladiator: "Strike the interior reactor at the following coordinates, and strike it hard. Once that is out of action, I will consider the mission complete."
- Laleh: "Thank you, Gladiator."
- The Gladiator: "Your gratitude is wasted on me. Give me success, Captain. That is all."
- — The Gladiator conversing with Laleh Clipso[src]
Aside from teaching Abalan the ways of the dark side, the Gladiator performed several tasks for the Emperor, and became something of a chief enforcer — responsibilities that included the military enforcement of the New Order on rebellious countries in the NoHead Empire. As a commander, he demanded loyalty and competence from all of his subordinates, though he kept losing them to Hell Burnbottom, who had a habit of murdering the incompetent. Those who could pass the Gladiator's expectations were rewarded with elevation in rank. One such officer was Captain Laleh Clipso, a young woman who graduated at the top of her class as the youngest cadet from the Imperial Academy in South Carolina. Impressed by her record as a highly skilled N pilot, the Gladiator promoted Clipso as the leader of his Black Eight Squadron.
The Gladiator judged Captain Clipso to be a capable officer and pilot, but her concern for life convinced him that she lacked ruthlessness, a trait that the Gladiator expected in everyone who served under him. During the Bombing of Ecuador, he sensed Clipso’s hesitation when he ordered her to conduct a full-scale bombing run that would have resulted in the genocide of the country’s defeated inhabitants. Unconcerned with the Captain’s disapproval, the Gladiator redirected her to target the built-in reactor. Clipso complied with the order under the belief that single precision strike was preferable to blanket bombing. However, she had been unaware at the time that the damaged reactor would contaminate the world’s atmosphere with pollutants, which then resulted in the complete sterilization of all life in Ecuador, as the Gladiator intended when he altered his order.
In the months that followed after the destruction of Ecuador, the Gladiator removed Eclipse as commander of the Black Eight Squadron and reassigned her to a top secret mission. As Hell Burnbottom had recently executed Abalan’s last pilot, the Gladiator chose Clipso as the eighth pilot of the Shadow Laser. The details of her new assignments were left unclear; the Gladiator only informed her of the ship’s advanced design in stealth technology, as well as its enigmatic owner. After providing her with the coordinates to the stealth vessel’s location in a secret hangar on the Wasp, the Gladiator sternly warned Clipso to keep her mission a secret and that the consequence of betraying his trust was execution.
The apprentice's final tests Edit
- "Your training is almost complete. It is time now to face your first true test."
- ―The Gladiator, to Abalan[src]
Laleh Clipso's reassignment coincided with Abalan's progression through his trials to the point where the Gladiator acknowledged him as a NoHead apprentice for the first time. In recognition of his apprentice's increasing power in the Darkness, the Gladiator ordered Abalan to kill his first police target — officer Ronald Koda, a survivor of the First Police Purge. According to his informants, Koda and his private army were in the process of conducting a raid on an important construction facility for N-54 skyfighters located above Australia. He also commanded the apprentice to use the utmost discretion while in the field in order to avoid detection by the Emperor's spies. Hence, the apprentice was instructed to kill everyone he encountered in the facility, both Imperials and Koda's insurgents alike. Shortly after his briefing, the apprentice met Laleh Clipso in the hangar that contained the Shadow Laser. Given that none of his previous pilots were female, Abalan believed that the Gladiator selected a woman as the ship's latest pilot in order to test the apprentice, although Abalan feared his Master too much to voice his suspicion.
Despite the destruction of the construction facility, Abalan returned to the Wasp and reported to his Master. With Koda blind and left for dead since their last encounter, the apprentice assumed that the police officer would no longer be a threat to the Empire. He was also disinclined to admit that he had not actually killed his target, and merely confirmed what the Gladiator wanted to hear — that Ronald Koda was dead. Afterward, the Gladiator dispatched Abalan to hunt down Casey Tartus, a police outcast who lived in self-exile in Columbia; and officer Rachel Bradley, one of the last members of the Police High Council whom the Gladiator discovered to be hiding in Tsala.
At the same time, the Gladiator believed that his apprentice required further training, and thus sent him to the police station in New York City with orders to participate in the Police Trials, particularly the lessons regarding skill and insight. In addition to the apprentice's completion of the tests in New York City, the Gladiator was also satisfied by the deaths of Tartus and Bradley, both of whom had been slain by Abalan in single combat.
Crafting a new plot Edit
- The Gladiator: "Save for WINDOW, you must sever all ties to your past. No one must know that you still serve me."
- Abalan: "Yes, my Master."
- The Gladiator: "Now go. And remember that the dark side is always with you."
- — The Gladiator and Abalan, shortly before dispatching the apprentice to restore the police[src]
With Rachel Bradley’s death, the last of Abalan’s trials had been completed. The Gladiator recalled his apprentice back to the Wasp, where the Gladiator assured Abalan that they would finally kill Mr. Stupid NoHead and rule the world together as Master and Apprentice. But unknown to Abalan, the Emperor’s spies had been following him since Columbia, tracing him back to Mr. Crooked NoHead’s flagship. The Gladiator, faced with certain death for his “betrayal,” in turn betrayed his shocked apprentice by impaling him through the chest with his sword. After a moment of pause, the Gladiator threw Abalan into the vacuum of space by hurling him through the bridge window, at his master’s command. Afterward, the Gladiator arrested Laleh Clipso and declared her a traitor to the Empire. For the next six months, she was kept as a prisoner aboard his science vessel, the Endurance. Despite the odds, the Gladiator made sure that Abalan’s body was retrieved and brought to the Endurance as well. Upon the apprentice’s full recovery, the Gladiator excused his betrayal as a necessary course of action, both to save their lives and to fool Mr. Stupid NoHead into believing that the secret apprentice was dead. Abalan, although clearly bitter over the betrayal and denied a chance to finally become a true NoHead, nevertheless resigned himself to his fate and obediently submitted once more to his master’s will.
With his every move under close observation, the Gladiator charged his apprentice to create a distraction that would divert the Emperor’s attention away from him. To that end, Abalan was ordered to create an alliance of police officers. To that end, he ordered the apprentice to take great care in maintaining the secrecy of his mission, so as to not alert the Emperor of his survival, nor reveal his NoHead identity to his imminent police allies. Before cutting off his transmission through WINDOW, the Gladiator left the apprentice with one last reminder — the dark side would always be with him.
When Abalan found a valuable ally in Sheriff Bladepoint, Abalan was told that he needed a target to show that the Empire was vulnerable to those that silently opposed it. Seeking his master’s council, the Gladiator suggested that the Super Exterminator shipyard over Columbia, South America would be a perfect target, as the Empire’s rule through fear was embodied by the awesome might of the Super Exterminators. Although his apprentice remained loyal, the Gladiator could sense that Abalan was developing feelings for his supposed allies. He sternly reminded the apprentice of where his allegiance truly belonged, a statement which Abalan solemnly accepted.
Afterward, the Gladiator informed the apprentice of the extent of his successful mission, claiming that Mr. Stupid NoHead was greatly displeased at the events in Columbia. Abalan advised that he could not maintain communications with the Gladiator for the time being, mainly so that the police would not suspect his identity or his past under the Gladiator, which could potentially undo all that he had accomplished in reforming the police. Although the Gladiator initially intended to betray NoHead with his apprentice at his side, for unknown reasons he later changed his mind and made other plans. He swiftly captured the police officers when they met and signed the Japanese Treaty in Japan. After revealing to the seemingly short-lived police officers that Abalan’s was the NoHead’s secret apprentice, the Gladiator once again assaulted his pupil, only this time with true lethal intent. Unable to bear a second betrayal, Abalan bitterly lamented that he had been played a fool once again, to which the Gladiator informed him that he never intended to destroy the Emperor — at least, not with Abalan at his side. It was then that the apprentice realized the truth; money, aircraft, Imperial lives, and even Abalan himself had no value to the Gladiator outside of their use in fulfilling his plans. Having lured the police officers into one place so they could be revealed and arrested, Abalan had outlived his usefulness. Just as he was on the verge of killing his apprentice, WINDOW, under the holographic guise of the Gladiator’s master Mr. Stupid NoHead, distracted him in a short duel. Although the Gladiator easily defeated the holobot, Abalan was gone, having fallen off the cliff outside the police site.
The master defeated by the apprenticeEdit
- The Gladiator: "I've trained you well, but you still have much to learn."
- Abalan: "You have nothing left to teach me!"
- — The Gladiator confronts his former apprentice inside the Imperial Palace.[src]
For a time, neither combatant was able to gain any sort of advantage. During the duel, Abalan came to realize that he had much in common with his master; they were both slaves to a Dark Lord, but while Abalan possessed the strength to break away from the Gladiator, he was misled to believe that the Gladiator could not do the same with Mr. Stupid NoHead. Abalan then proceeded to taunt the Gladiator with this "knowledge", hoping to break his concentration. In addition, he informed the Gladiator that he was no longer like him, and that he intended to end the Gladiator's life as an act of mercy. Abalan's taunts, particularly his professions of pity, enraged the already frustrated NoHead and caused him to redoubled his attack. Close to being overwhelmed, Abalan surprised the Gladiator with a sudden blast of lightning, breaking the momentum of the Gladiator's furious onslaught and forcing him onto his back foot. This move allowed Abalan to both catch his breath and seize the offensive.
Abalan pressed his advantage, scoring two hits on the Gladiator with his sword before telekinetically hurling objects at him from every direction. The final such missile was an energy field generator, which detonated upon contact with the Gladiator. Barely surviving the explosion, the Gladiator was unable to continue fighting. However, as Abalan moved in for the kill, he hesitated.
Mr. Stupid NoHead was pleased by the outcome of the duel. After seeing the Gladiator humbled and beaten by a superior opponent, NoHead wasted no time in encouraging the young apprentice to kill his weak and broken master, thus finally becoming a true NoHead and taking his rightful place at the Emperor's side. Though sorely tempted by the thought of revenge and the power he could have as a true NoHead, Abalan chose to follow the Light side by confronting the Emperor. Catching him by surprise, Abalan quickly attacked the Emperor with a telekinetic blast. Far from accepting defeat and, much less, death, NoHead goaded the apprentice one last time to give in to the dark side—by slaying the Emperor himself in anger and hatred. With General Koda's help, the apprentice resisted the dark side one last time. Outraged, NoHead struck Koda with lightning, refusing to let the police have someone as powerful as Abalan on their side. However, Abalan thrust himself in the way to protect the police, deflecting the attack and fleeing.
By this time the Gladiator had recovered enough to muster a squadron of robot soldiers in order to kill the police and his former disciple. As the robot soldiers pursued Koda and the police, the Gladiator could do nothing more but watch as his master and apprentice locked with each other in a chain of lightning. Abalan, knowing that he could not survive against the full fury of the Emperor, sacrificed his life and with one last defiant yell, he caused a massive explosion that killed all of the robots in the room and incapacitated the NoHeads long enough for the police to escape.
Battle of Kansas (2012) Edit
Upon learning that Abalan had died fighting, the Gladiator rushed to the scene. Slowly approaching the body of Abalan. The Gladiator, his voice solemn, noted that the secret apprentice was truly dead this time. The Gladiator crushed Abalan's sword under his boot heel. Sighing, he Apparated back to Transylvania Quarters, but not before salvaging Abalan's corpse.
Creating the armyEdit
Cloning a new apprentice Edit
In the aftermath of Abalan’s death, the Gladiator brought the body of his former apprentice to Florida, where he stored it in a secret chamber in the Tallahassee Cloning Facility. With Abalan’s body serving as a genetic template, the Dark Lord endeavored to create the perfect version of his fallen disciple — a clone that possessed all of Abalan’s power, but none of his weaknesses. Due to initial imperfections in the accelerated cloning process and the inherent difficulty involved in cloning from a mutated template, the first batch of clones developed extreme mental and physical deformations. As time progressed, the project began to generate superficially stable clones. However, it was soon revealed that these subjects were haunted by various memories and personality fragments of their template. Although many of these clones made it far in their trials, none of them were able to develop stable personalities of their own. The clones would ultimately go on to become fixated on one or two elements of the original Abalan’s life, and eventually all of them descended into madness.
Another failure Edit
- "They are the memories of a dead man. A side effect of the cloning process and the memory flashes used to train you. They will fade."
- ―The Gladiator[src]
As the Gladiator’s secret project continued to develop through trial and error, one clone in particular showed a great deal of promise. The clone progressed far enough in his training that the Gladiator considered dispatching him to China to execute Ronald Koda. Although he was impressed with the clone’s progress, he knew that this subject was just as troubled by Abalan’s memories as all of the other clones had been. In order to see if the clone was truly strong enough to overcome his template’s emotions, the Gladiator provided the clone with a challenge to destroy NoHead Training Robots that had taken on the holographic appearance of police officers. Although the clone easily destroyed the officers, sparing no feelings for the organization that his progenitor helped to create, he was suddenly dumbfounded by the robot that had taken on the image of a woman he recognized as Annabeth. When the Gladiator commanded the clone to strike her down and demanded that he hate that which Abalan loved, the clone struggled to obey, but ultimately refused.
His fears confirmed, the Gladiator destroyed the training robot, causing the image of Annabeth to disappear. Disappointed with yet another failure, the Dark mutant revealed to the confused clone the fact that he had tried many times before to create a perfect version of his original apprentice, only to fail when it came to purging them of Abalan’s emotional imprints. Despite the successful growth and progress of a different clone of Abalan, the Gladiator lied to the clone, telling him that the accelerated cloning process was still imperfect. Before the Gladiator could rectify his mistake by killing his latest failed experiment, the clone unleashed a blast of lightning at his master after receiving a vision of the Gladiator’s first betrayal of the original Abalan. While the Gladiator was momentarily dazed by the attack, the clone blasted a hole through a wall and jumped outside in order to escape. In response, the Gladiator alerted the cloning facility’s garrison and commanded them to kill the clone but none of the guards succeeded. With his forces having little to no success in killing or stalling the clone, the Gladiator moved to intercept him before he could escape. The Gladiator was too late however, and the clone stole his N-66 skyfighter and escaped from Florida. During the clone’s travels, he became known by the codename of X1 after refusing to go by his progenitor’s birth name.
Hiring a bounty hunter Edit
- Xydarone: "He has a healthy head start."
- The Gladiator: "Find the women and bring them to me. He will follow."
- Xydarone: "I’ll need a squadron of robot soldiers. They won’t be coming back."
- The Gladiator: "The NoHeads will provide whatever you require."
- — Xydarone and the Gladiator[src]
Shortly after the clone’s escape, the Gladiator contacted Xydarone, a bounty hunter whose skills he knew would make her a reliable asset to the Dark Lord. When Xydarone arrived in Florida, she surveyed the damage to Tallahassee and concluded that it would take some time to discover X1’s whereabouts. Knowing that the bounty hunter would never be able to capture or defeat X1 directly, the Gladiator commanded Xydarone to abduct Annabeth, a valuable member of the NoHeads. Since the clone had inherited his template’s emotional attachment to Annabeth, the Gladiator anticipated that the clone would never be able to resist returning to Florida to save Annabeth Black.
Despite her own talents, Xydarone knew that she was not capable of single-handedly assaulting the NoHead Base and abducting an extremely powerful (albeit somewhat undeveloped) Dark mutant all on her own. To that end, she requested that the Gladiator provide her with enough F-7 robot soldiers to aid her in completing her mission, though she lacked confidence in the troopers’ ability to survive. The Gladiator’s only concern was bringing the clone back to Florida, regardless of how many resources he had to use to achieve this goal. As such, the Gladiator provided Xydarone with a far greater and more capable force than she had requested, including Terror Troopers, TDBs, Terror Biobots, and a Terror Walker.
The "perfect" clone of Abalan Edit
- The Gladiator: "Do you understand what this is? What it means."
- X2: "Yes, my Master."
- The Gladiator: "Good. Very good. You have come far. You may yet survive."
- — The Gladiator and X2[src]
Around this time, the Gladiator was training another clone that showed a great deal of potential. Unsurprisingly, this clone inherited the same disturbing memories and emotions of his genetic template just like his brothers before him. Upon being released from his cloning tank, the clone was confronted by Abalan’s memories of Annabeth and Laleh Clipso, thus causing the clone to ask about their whereabouts. The Gladiator simply stated that the two girls were irrelevant, and all that mattered was the training that lay ahead for the clone.
In the early phase of his training, the clone revealed to the Gladiator that he possessed memories, but could not tell if they actually belonged to him. Having dealt with enough of Abalan’s clones suffering from an identity crisis, the Gladiator knew all too well what the clone was talking about. He simply explained that the clone was copied from the cells of Abalan’s corpse, thus allowing him to inherit the original Abalan’s strengths and weaknesses. Although the clone continued to survive in his trials, the Gladiator was not yet fully convinced that this was the one he sought to create, recalling all of the other clones that made it far in their training — only to fail in the end. Even though the clone was determined to not fail his Master, it didn’t stop him from becoming curious about the exact number of clones that came before him, or from wondering about what his progenitor was like as a person before he died. The Gladiator dismissed the clone’s questions as pointless curiosity. All that mattered to him was if any more clones would be created if this one failed. With Abalan dead and his power surpassed by the clone, the Gladiator felt that delving into the details of his original apprentice’s identity was irrelevant.
To the amazement of both the lead cloning technician and the Gladiator, the clone was gradually able to compartmentalize his template’s memories while forming new ones of his own. Thus, he succeeded in achieving what none of his brothers were capable of doing — holding Abalan’s memories as separate from his own experience. By doing so, the clone had come to know for certain that he was a copy and that the original Abalan was truly dead. The Gladiator greatly approved, and promised to prove what the clone already knew to be true. That proof was revealed by the Gladiator to be the body of the late Abalan, stored within a cold chamber in Tallahassee. By seeing Abalan’s corpse with his own eyes, the clone understood that he had succeeded where all of the clones failed before him, and that he was well on his way to fulfilling the purpose of his creation — much to the Gladiator’s delight.
Battle of Florida Edit
- Annabeth Black: "Look!"
- Laleh Clipso: "Is that…?"
- The Gladiator: "He is almost here."
- — The Gladiator's prisoners spot the[src]
When Xydarone returned to Tallahassee with both Laleh Clipso and Annabeth Black as her prisoners, the Gladiator greeted all three of them in person. Although he was slightly tempted to summarily execute Annabeth for her loyalty to the NoHeads, the Knight maintained his focus on using Annabeth as bait to lure Abalan’s wayward clone back to Florida. Xydarone wanted to leave the city before the battle commenced, as she believed her job to be finished and had no desire to encounter the vengeful X1. However, The Gladiator commanded the bounty hunter to remain in the city until X1 was once again in Imperial custody, and withheld Xydarone’s payment to strong-arm her into doing so. Accompanied by a squad of robot soldiers, the Gladiator and his prisoners proceeded to a tower located at the top of the cloning facility.
When the battle began, X1 directed the Rescuer on a collision course with Tallahassee. While Clipso and the robots became increasingly nervous, the Gladiator maintained a calm stance and awaited the clone’s return. While the first half of the ship crashed into the cloning facility, X1 destroyed the second solid fragment so as to not inadvertently harm Clipso and Annabeth, the latter who had been trying to redirect its path. While the clone made his way to the top of the facility, killing all forces in his way, the Gladiator secured Clipso in the tower, tightened Annabeth’s bonds, and moved to confront his former apprentice.
The duel between Master and apprentice Edit
Only power.|X1 and the Gladiator|The Life and Legends: The Gladiator}} Within the cloning facility, the Gladiator and X1 engaged in a sword duel. While X1 pressed his attack and demanded to know where Clipso and Annabeth were, the Gladiator stood his ground against the clone. Having learned his lesson after nearly being killed by Abalan, the Gladiator refrained from the same sort of reckless offense that he utilized against Abalan. He fought more defensively and cautiously, knowing that the cloned Abalan was not to be taken lightly. In order to stall and demoralize X1, the Gladiator unleashed various imperfect clones of Abalan and commanded them to attack their renegade brother. X1 was shocked to see that there were other clones of Abalan besides himself, and realized that he was wrong in believing that the Gladiator had lied about creating other clones before him. These clones however, presented no real threat to X1, and he easily dispatched them.
After defeating the aberrant clones, X1 pursued the Gladiator all the way to the cloning tower where he found Annabeth and Laleh Clipso, both at the Gladiator’s mercy. The mutant elevated Annabeth off of the ground and began choking her through the Dark side. The Gladiator gave the clone a final chance to surrender, or watch as he killed Annabeth. Overwhelmed with fear and concern for Annabeth’s life, X1 dropped his swords and obeyed, promising to serve the Dark mutant once more as long as Annabeth remained unharmed and Clipso was given the same. Satisfied, the Gladiator released Annabeth from his grip and commanded the clone to kill General Koda. With nothing but silent compliance from the clone, the Gladiator told X1 that he would go on to become fully immersed in the dark side and that he would execute the police; resistance or failure to meet any of the Gladiator’s expectations would cost Clipso her life.
However, Annabeth rebounded and attempted to assassinate the Gladiator with one of the clone’s swords. Warned by his senses at the last second, the Gladiator narrowly dodged her strike, turning her attempted death blow into a gash on his breast. In retaliation, the Gladiator blasted Annabeth out of the tower, causing her to fall on a landing platform before losing consciousness. The Gladiator then hurled Clipso after her.
In a rage, X1 grabbed both of his sabers and attacked the Gladiator, only to be thrown out of the tower as well. Before he could get to his friends, the Gladiator leaped out of the tower and landed on the platform, purposely standing between the clone and the girls. Although initially X1 could not understand why the Gladiator would risk his life by damaging or even destroying the two tools he could use to control him, the clone came to believe that the Gladiator had wanted Annabeth and Laleh Clipso dead all along. By killing them, the Gladiator intended to remove X1’s only reason for resisting his purpose as a Knight of Plague, thus causing X1 to fall headlong back into the fold of the Dark side.
Finishing the duel Edit
- "It is our destiny to take over the world. You and me, together."
- ―The Gladiator to X1[src]
As the two engaged in combat once more, the Gladiator tried to convince the clone to rise above his concern for Clipso and Annabeth, stating that their lives were meaningless and that her death fueled his strength in the dark side. He reminded the clone that his feelings for the woman were counterfeit, nothing more than the emotional imprints left behind by a man who was no longer even alive. Between trying to kill the Gladiator and get to Clipso and Annabeth, X1 came to suspect that he and his master were more alike than he first believed. He came to wonder how far the Gladiator had gone to serve the Dark side, and how far the latter would go to destroy Mr. Stupid NoHead in order to replace him. With these thoughts, the clone managed to calm himself to a degree, and he tried to suggest that the Gladiator work with the police against the NoHead Grandmaster. The Gladiator ignored this statement and continued his attacks with increasing aggression, making it perfectly clear that he wanted nothing to do with the police.
As the duel progressed, X1 came to the conclusion that, despite his memories of having bested the Gladiator as Abalan, the Gladiator’s adjustments to his combat technique had resulted in a situation where the best outcome X1 could hope to achieve in their duel was a stalemate. This problem was further exacerbated by the fact that the Gladiator wished to keep X1 alive, and was fighting to disable rather than kill. As such, X1 formulated a plan to feign surrender for the sole purpose of getting the Gladiator to drop his guard, hoping that the Gladiator’s desire to keep him alive would provide him with an opening.
The battle nearly ended when the Gladiator managed to disarm X1 and destroy his swords. The Gladiator taunted his weaponless opponent, telling him he had one last chance to surrender, or he would die. X1 appeared to capitulate and the Gladiator, believing the fight was over, dropped his guard. What the Gladiator didn’t know however, was that X1 had been waiting for just such an opportunity. As soon as the Gladiator lowered his guard, X1 absorbed a lightning bolt from a nearby lightning rod and used it in conjunction with his own powers to unleash an extremely powerful electrical blast at the Gladiator. The blast hit the Gladiator’s busom, directly striking the gash that Annabeth had carved into it with her earlier surprise attack. The Gladiator was injured by the lightning to the point where he could no longer defend himself, and Abalan used the opportunity to telekinetically pull the Gladiator’s sword from his hand. The Gladiator fell to one knee as X1 swept the Gladiator’s own sword up at his throat.
Before X1 could decide to kill the Dark Lord, Ronald Koda arrived with his squad and urged the clone to spare the Gladiator’s life, but only so that the police could take the Gladiator as its prisoner. X1, torn between Koda’s reasons and the desire to take revenge, was conflicted over what to do at first. As he struggled with this internal conflict, he also recalled his earlier vision of what might happen to him if he chose to take revenge. While Koda implored X1 to think of the valuable information that the Gladiator could provide the police with, the Gladiator goaded the clone to embrace his destiny and strike him down.
In the end, X1 spared the Gladiator’s life, turning away from the dark side. As such, X2 stayed his hand as well, since the Gladiator’s life was no longer in immediate jeopardy. The Gladiator was subsequently arrested by Koda and heavily restrained aboard the Shadow Laser, while X1 tended to Annabeth, who had barely survived the Knight’s attack on her.
A prisoner of the police Edit
- "As long as they live, I will always control you."
- ―The Gladiator[src]
After being secured in a harness that covered most of his body and completely restricted his ability to move, the Gladiator was placed inside the Shadow Laser’s meditation chamber. There, X1 visited the captured Dark mutant shortly before the police fleet departed from Florida. Although he nearly lost his confidence at the sight of his former Master, X1 began mocking the Gladiator by gloating on how he chose to spare his life. Although he remained uncertain over his own origins, he dismissed it as irrelevant, stating that he had succeeded in breaking the Gladiator’s hold over him. Throughout X1’s short display of new-found confidence in himself, the Gladiator remained silent the entire time and did not indulge the clone with the answers he sought. Seeing the pointlessness in his actions, X1 turned to leave.
But at that moment, the Gladiator declared to the clone that he would never be free as long as Laleh Clipso and Annabeth lived. Refusing to give the Gladiator the satisfaction of seeing the uncertainty in his eyes, X1 exited the meditation chamber and left the Gladiator in the darkness of the room where he was confined. After the police fleet left Florida, X1, Annabeth, and Clipso took control of the Shadow Laser and departed for Oklahoma with the Gladiator on board as their prisoner — unaware that they were being followed by Xydarone's skyfighter (implying that the Gladiator anticipated the possibility that X1 would capture him instead of killing him and used the opportunity to track the Orb of Power for which he sought).
At some point prior to his meeting with Master Intelligence, the Gladiator escaped from captivity and resumed his quest to gather followers and create the Knights of Plague. As Supreme Leader of his organization, he continued to execute his mandate to destroy the police he unwittingly created through the original Abalan’s actions.
Developing the Knights Edit
The skirmish in the City Volcano saw the death of Annabeth Black and the redemption of Sebiscuits Cardarphen, sealing the doom of the NoHeads. Through a secret Contingency, however, many former NoHead supporters, nobles, and technologists fled to the Unknown Countries and took the shape of what eventually became the Knights of Plague. Although most of the former officers would have likely perished while crossing this uncharted realm, the ancient hyperspace trails blazed by the Gladiator's retinue helped them to stay there and organize themselves. Although he was a powerful practitioner of the Darkness, the Gladiator was no longer affiliated with the NoHeads, which had become extinct. As such, the Gladiator, a secretive master of the ways of mutantry, was a seeker of arcane and ancient lore.
- "You don’t know who his supporters are, you don’t know who’s working for him and who isn’t; you know he can force people into doing terrible things. You’re scared for yourself, and your family, and your friends. Every week, news comes of more chaos... the government’s in disarray, they don’t know what to do.... that’s how it was. Almost as bad as the First NoHead War."
- ―Master Intelligence regarding the Dark Lord and his followers in 2056[src]
The Gladiator, as he was now exclusively called, spent the next fourteen years before the Battle of Transylvania gathering followers in mutants who called themselves, collectively, the Knights of Plague. Some were supportive of his cause to dominate Fobbles; while others were greedy for domination, wealth and fame; and yet others joined the Dark Lord out of fear. The Gladiator only valued them for their usefulness to him. They freely committed murder mercilessly and indiscriminately. In his later years, the Gladiator was given major assistance by the ghost of Annabeth Black, his relative, who could still appear in a completely corporeal form, in doing this.
At some point around this time, the Gladiator greatly enhanced his skills in mind control and possession, to the point that he became known to some (primarily the Knights of Plague) as the greatest mind invader in the world, rivaling Mr. Stupid NoHead himself. The Gladiator could read, control and unhinge the minds of others, and could almost always tell when he was being lied to. By extension, the Gladiator often enjoyed telepathically invading the minds of others, creating visions designed to torture them into madness. Only after extracting the last exquisite ounce of agony, only when he had them literally begging for death, would he finally kill them.
The Smith bloodline Edit
During this time, the Gladiator openly used Transylvania Quarters as his home. He had several apprentices before he became invested in the Smith bloodline, believing Alyssa Smith’s mother, Becca Smith, had the right balance of the dark and light sides in her. Alyssa was aware of the influence the Gladiator could have on her mother, but did not inform her father, believing he would not understand, though she did vow to keep Becca away from the dark side.
Eventually, the Gladiator turned Becca to the Darkness, anointing her commander of the Knights of Plague, and ordered her to destroy the police station. Though Becca failed to destroy it entirely due to its shields projected after Operation: Purge, she did find a weakness in the shields, before Carrie intercepted her. Afraid to face Becca herself, Carrie shot sparks into the air from her gun, before warning Becca that the entire city knew she was there. Becca nodded approval, as this is what the Gladiator had hoped they could accomplish. Just then, Master Intelligence intervened and drove her away with Sebiscuits Cardarphen’s help. To Becca’s surprise, the Gladiator forgave her for her failure and congratulated her for her efforts.
Serpent reincarnation Edit
- "Come, my rebirthed baby."
- ―The Gladiator[src]
In August 2033, the Gladiator traveled to Bast Castle. Here, he recovered Nagatha’s corpse, mere months after the battle. Using a capsule, the Gladiator brought her to Transylvania Quarters. There, he brought her back from the dead by unknown means, and, realizing she had nowhere to go, took her under his custody. From that day forth, Nagatha served the Gladiator and the Knights of Plague, which the Gladiator was just barely forming when he found her. The Gladiator also Apparated to Beta Prison. There, he blew open the entire third floor, releasing several mutants, many of which knew him and were already loyal. Now he had many minions to do his bidding, and they became his followers, known as the Knights of Plague.
Second Cold WarEdit
In 2035, the Gladiator met Master Intelligence, who was alone, for the first time. He was filling out a file when Augustus Salt brought the mutant to him. The world-acclaimed superhero had received wind that Nagatha had come back to life and was trying to investigate. Realizing the Gladiator was too dangerous to be left alive, he immediately attempted to cut him down, but to no avail, as the Gladiator Apparated away with Nagatha. Master Intelligence immediately realized it was the Gladiator who had brought Nagatha back from the dead.
Duel With Master IntelligenceEdit
Later on, the Gladiator encountered Master Intelligence for the second time. After calling Red X back, Master Intelligence engaged the Gladiator in a duel. The Gladiator, however, parried his initial attack and then tortured Master Intelligence and tried to possess him for good, but when it didn't work, he tried to murder him using his sword. However, with the first attack, their swords both became locked in Pitial Defilatelum. After a battle of wills with the Gladiator, Master Intelligence was interceded by Red X, who blasted the Gladiator away. She then grabbed Master Intelligence's hand and they were able to escape. At this point, the Gladiator had already identified Master Intelligence as a grave threat.
The search for the OrbEdit
The Gladiator was now after the aforementioned Orb of Power housed in the Hall of Domination, wanting to use its power for himself and perpetuate the Knights of Plague.
The Gladiator’s first attempt at securing the orb was to have George possess government official Fredrick Stewart and send him to take the orb. During the autumn of 2041, he captured a Muggle named Alicia who tried to have their base destroyed, and killed her during a meeting at Transylvania Quarters with the Knights of Plague before feeding her to Nagatha. During this time, he learned from Becca that the orb was in the Hall of Domination, the aforementioned room they could not breach. However, Fredrick was unable to get into the Hall of Domination. His next attempt was to possess a police officer named Russell Stewart. He was ordered to retrieve the orb, but was seriously injured in the process and was put into a permanent ward at NYC Hospital.
Eventually, the Gladiator planned a full-scale attack on the MBH. His plan was to send Nagatha to find a breaking point, before he and his High Generals barged in, soon to be accompanied by the rest. While heading to the site of the planned slaughter, Nagatha recovered news that Alyssa and Andromeda are indeed the same person. Although this news shocked the Gladiator, he did not reveal this to Becca (Alyssa's mother). He then sent Nagatha to find a breaking point in the building. The Gladiator told Nagatha to head inside, despite Becca Smith’s wish to participate, and Nagatha began her search. Master Intelligence barely managed to escape, thanks to the intervention of Andromeda and Sebiscuits Cardarphen. When the Gladiator saw Nagatha being hurled out a window and forced to Apparate to Transylvania Quarters, he realized that she had not found an entry point, and ordered a retreat.
Shortly afterwards, the Gladiator resorted to sending Nagatha to the Hall of Domination. She injured Percy, who was guarding the orb, but was unable to acquire it herself. Afterwards, the Gladiator tried a different tactic — he used a telepathic link through Lindsay Kellerman to cause her to go there instead.
Battle of TransylvaniaEdit
- The Gladiator: "Lindsay, your race is run. Now. Give me the Orb. I'll finish the others first, so you can witness the glory."
- Lindsay Kellerman: "Let — let the others go, and I'll give it to you!"
- The Gladiator: "You are not in a position to bargain, Kellerman. You see, there are fifteen of us and only one of you ... or hasn't Master Intelligence ever taught you how to count?"
- — The Gladiator threatening Lindsay during the Battle of Transylvania[src]
Becca Smith and George later returned to Transylvania Quarters to communicate with the Gladiator via hologram. George proposed using their base’s superweapon to destroy the police’s sanctuary before figuring out how to destroy their headquarters, an undertaking which the Gladiator authorized. He then spoke with Becca privately, asking if she had felt an awakening in the light side. He ordered Becca to kill her daughter to overcome her temptation by the light.
Meanwhile, the S.M.S.B. flew to Transylvania Quarters, where they descended to Level 11 and down the corridor to the Chamber of Mystery. When they finally arrived at the Hall of Domination, in the row where the Gladiator was supposed to be waiting, they spotted the Orb of Power, and Telekinibabe seized it. Accompanied by twelve Knights of Plague — Rudolph Lestange, Sebastian Lestange, Wallace Blanks, Nolan Giles, Eve Higgins, John Webb, Caberra, Augustus Salt, Monroe, George, and second-in-command Becca Smith, the Gladiator emerged to pry the orb from Master Intelligence’s hands, upon seeing Telekinibabe hand it to him. Master Intelligence refused, however, and the S.M.S.B. attempted to flee.
As the Knights of Plague pursued, Master Intelligence, Lindsay, and Andromeda fled to the edge of the shelf, where Becca and the Gladiator intercepted them. However, Sebiscuits intervened and blasted them away. Seeing everyone meet there, Master Intelligence telekinetically smashed the shelves, allowing them to flee. Thinking quickly, the Gladiator Apparated to the door leading into the Death Chamber, where the others were headed. He ordered the Knights to pursue the members as they made their entry. Upon entering, the Gladiator realized that Lindsay had the orb. 
He blackmailed her into handing it over, then proceeded to reveal the Grand Bomb the S.M.S.B. members sought, carrying the capacity to destroy the entire continent. Ignoring Master Intelligence's taunts, the Gladiator unleashed it, but Red X (who had broken free) sacrificed her life, running into the bomb and causing herself a slow, painful death. The bomb never passed her torso, negating the range it needed. Meanwhile, Baby Strength freed the others. Master Intelligence, Lindsay Kellerman, Telekinibabe, Andromeda, and Force Baby, and Sebiscuits reclaimed their weapons, and the battle continued.
The Gladiator's mission to obtain the Orb were ultimately a failure when he accidentally dropped it into an abyss. He Gladiator moved to attack the fleeing members, but Master Intelligence leaped upward, knocking him away and attacking the villain, reclaiming his sword. The two engaged in a titanic duel that ended when both opponents went tumbling off the platform, clinging on for dear life. Meanwhile, Andromeda confronted Becca Smith, pleading with her mother to reject the Gladiator and return to the light side. However, Becca refused and killed Andromeda, who fell into a shaft. Force Baby angrily injured Becca and proceeded to shoot down several unsuspecting Knights much to the struggling Gladiator’s horror. Meanwhile, Sebiscuits disarmed Becca, prompting her to run.
As the Gladiator returned to the platform and reclaimed his sword, Master Intelligence slipped and fell off the platform, desperately clinging to a pole attached to the wall. The Gladiator chased Master Intelligence onto a balcony overlooking the abyss, slashing at him. When Intelligence tried to climb back up, the Gladiator slammed Intelligence off the balcony, but he managed to hold on and ended up pulling the Gladiator along. The Gladiator quickly grabbed on to a pole. As he raised himself in position to kill Master Intelligence, the pole started to break off and he fell, clinging on and dropping his sword. Lindsay immediately pulled Intelligence on top and Intelligence levitated the Gladiator there.
As Master Intelligence captured the Gladiator with cords, the three surviving Knights of Plague attacked. However, Master Intelligence enforced their surrender and capture, just as Becca Smith was killed by Cardarphen.
Later life (10 January, 2042-?)Edit
After the battle, the Gladiator was captured and taken to court. After the session was over, he was detained in the top cell of a prison he himself had built to hold his enemies. He remained there for life, with no chance of release. At the bequest of the ex-Dark Lord, all other inmates were incarcerated. Everybody regretted the deaths of Red X and Andromeda, but as a result of it they all survived.
The Gladiator was very tall and muscular with large hands. He was seven feet tall, though his hologram used in Transylvania Quarters projected him several times larger than his natural appearance. The Gladiator had an elongated face with pale, hardened skin and sickly yellow eyes. The Gladiator wore a simple cloak, and tended to speak slowly and enunciate his desires with a forceful undertone.
Personality and traitsEdit
Roger Black, or the Gladiator, was a calculating and reserved military leader as well as a powerful master of the dark side. Becca Smith of the Knights of Plague described the Gladiator as “wise”, while Master Intelligence and Andromeda believed he was manipulative and that he exploited mutants such as Becca herself only for their power. The Gladiator was a quick learner, having a vast knowledge of the past and of the dark side. He displayed tendencies unusual for practitioners of the dark side, displaying an interest in Becca Smith due to her embodiment of a balance between both the light and dark sides, as opposed to only one aspect.
The Gladiator showed little emotion, appeared very calm, and didn’t appear to be in any form of worry or distress despite the circumstances against him and the Knights of Plague, only truly showing annoyance when George interrupted him and began to stutter. When Alicia convinced the government to have Transylvania Quarters torn down, he calmly expressed his wishes without showing any form of anger or annoyance, a stark contrast to his apprentice Becca Smith, who was prone to violent outbursts when faced with frustration.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
The Gladiator was an exceptionally skillful sword duelist, preferring to use Ataru, being able to hold his own against the likes of Master Intelligence and Nagatha. He was also able to overpower many other prodigious mutants, and was responsible for the death of Lewis. His dueling style was, ironically, much like Master Intelligence’s in its unpredictability: he could instinctively switch styles in the blink of an eye, and was extremely aggressive, using powerful dark side techniques and masterful fencing moves to overwhelm his opponents. 
However, despite his skill, the Gladiator's method was not perfect. Particularly during situations where he believed himself to be facing an inferior opponent, the Gladiator could be taken off-guard or frustrated, causing lapses in his usually staunch defense. For example, during his duel with Abalan in the Imperial Palace, the Gladiator began the duel with an all-out offense, believing he would quickly overwhelm his opponent. Abalan however, initially took a defensive stance against the Gladiator, blocking or dancing around the Gladiator's attacks while expending as little energy as possible. Additionally, Abalan's misled taunts interfered with his focus. Ultimately, the Gladiator expended most of his energy in an unsuccessful attempt to batter Abalan into submission and was brought down when Abalan suddenly counter-attacked with lightning, breaking the Gladiator's momentum and causing the duel to shift decisively in Abalan's favor.
However, the Gladiator quickly learned from his mistake, as he demonstrated during his duel with X1 in Florida a few months later. During this battle, he utilized a more defensive set of tactics against Abalan and maintained a more controlled, less prideful mindset. As a result, X1, who was even more powerful than his template, ultimately came to the conclusion that the best he could possibly hope for in a duel against the Gladiator was a stalemate. As such, X1 was forced to resort to trickery to defeat the Gladiator, banking on the hope that his former Master's desire to keep him alive would provide him with an opening if he offered to surrender.
The Gladiator possessed a masterful knowledge of the most unknown and complex superpowers that a mutant was capable of, and was also a masterful practitioner of torture, with a special affinity for death beams, having murdered at least two dozen people, and was known to have cast this attack effectively while he was still an adolescent. The Gladiator was also capable of developing dark side powers of his own, though most resulted in failure. Apparently, he only chose to face opponents whom he saw as worthy adversaries. The only duelists who was shown to truly be the Gladiator’s equal were Master Intelligence and Abalan. It ultimately took the S.M.S.B. leader and NoHead prodigy to defeat him, though Master Intelligence only did by sheer luck.
On one occasion, he also demonstrated the ability to redirect already existing electricity. During his battle with X1 in Florida, he was able to gather residual electricity from the lightning rods surrounding the battleground and blast it at his opponent. The Gladiator also demonstrated the ability to both block and redirect lightning with the Dark side, as he demonstrated during his duel with Abalan within the Imperial Palace. He could also use his sword to ground extremely high-intensity blasts of lightning with little effort. In addition, the Gladiator could manipulate the elements of fire, which amplified when he was angry.
The Gladiator was incredibly adept in the use of both Mind resistance and Mind invasion, being able to shield his own mind and penetrate the minds of others. He was particularly skilled in Mind invasion, and gained a reputation as one of the most accomplished invader the world has ever seen. His frighteningly tremendous possession powers allowed the Gladiator to delve and peer deep into the minds of others, seeing their deepest thoughts, and according to Andromeda, the Gladiator could not only read, but also control and unhinge the minds of others, with him often enjoying telepathically invading the minds of others, creating visions designed to torture them into madness (such as the one he sent to Lindsay Kellerman in 2041), and only killing them "after extracting the last exquisite ounce of agony", when he had them literally begging for death. Hence, the Gladiator could almost always tell when someone was lying. The most remarkable part about this skill was that he seemed to be working on it while he was still a child in elementary school. Extremely few people were skilled enough in Mind resistance to shield themselves from him. Annabeth, Master Intelligence, Mr. Stupid NoHead, and also possibly X2 were notable exceptions to this. Additionally, X1 discovered that he could block the Gladiator's intrusions into his mind by feeling love, as direct contact with X1's mind while he was feeling love was excruciatingly painful for the Gladiator.
The Gladiator also used a power similar to telekinetic destruction when facing Abalan in the Imperial Palace. In this instance, he surrounded himself several times with a red energy field which he would subsequently unleash at Abalan. On a similar note, the aforementioned energy field also functioned as a barrier that Abalan could not penetrate with either the Light side or with his sword. Thus it would appear that the Gladiator retained his skill at creating mutant barriers. This degree of power, coupled with his blatant morals, made him an extremely dangerous adversary indeed.
Other abilities Edit
Even at a young age, the Gladiator displayed a talent for the manipulation of others, being able to hide his true nature from most of the teachers at Superhero School, and surrounding himself with a group of friends who would become Knights of Plague. Sebiscuits noted that the Gladiator also used tricks, powers, and blackmail to get people to join him.
Under his leadership, the forerunners of the Knights of Plague were able to sneak past surveillance while acting under Roger's command, with several nasty incidences that were never connected to them, showing that even at a young age, the Gladiator was a very competent leader. As he slipped further into the Dark side, his style of leadership presumably changed from the original charismatic rule of his friends to the tyrannical and completely ruthless — though no less effective — command of his Knights demonstrated throughout the Second Cold War. The best example of his efficiency as a leader would be the fact that he, with the help of less than forty united Knights, completely overwhelmed and came very close to dominating the entire population.
In Superhero School, the Gladiator built his sword. Like most Supers, it is his most prized possession. His sword is made of durasteel, a sword with the powers of evil. The sword is in deliberate contrast to the sword of Master Intelligence, whose material has the powers to repel evil. The Gladiator’s sword shared a twin energizer with Master Intelligence’s sword, as both were made of space rocks. The Gladiator would lose this sword after his arrest in 2042.
The Gladiator lived in Transylvania Quarters ever since he stole it from Harriet Swenson, after the Swensons stole it from the Blacks in the 16th century. It is unknown what happened to it after the Gladiator was arrested.
In August 2033, the Gladiator traveled to Bast Castle. Here, he recovered Nagatha’s corpse and brought her to Transylvania Quarters. There, he brought her back from the dead and, realizing she had nowhere to go, took her under his custody. From that day forth, Nagatha was his pet, loyally serving the Gladiator and the Knights of Plague. She was killed by Andromeda.
Behind the scenesEdit
D. Isaac Thomas actually began the final draft of the comic before drawing in the Gladiator’s clothes. It is likely he will draw them in later on, sometime between now (January 2017) and the release of the graphic novel in July 2018. Thomas designed the Gladiator to which he was muscular, but true to the former’s drawing style, he ensured that his muscles were not exaggerated.
The cover design of The Life and Legends: The Gladiator reveals his full clothing.
“Roger” means “famous spear” from the Germanic elements hrod “fame” and ger “spear”. The Normans brought this name to England, where it replaced the Old English cognate Hroðgar (the name of the Danish king in the Anglo-Saxon epic ‘Beowulf’). During the Middle Ages, it was a common name in England.
- The X-Adults: Endgame: The Latest Threat (first appearance)
- The X-Adults: Endgame: The Latest Threat (graphic novel)
- The Life and Legends: Annabeth (Mentioned only)
- The Life and Legends: The Gladiator
- D.I.T. Website
Notes and references Edit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 The Life and Legends: The Gladiator
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 The X-Adults: Endgame: The Latest Threat
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 D.I.T. Website
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 D.I.T. Website - Writing by D. Isaac Thomas: "UNKNOWN ARTICLE - Add to Template:DITW"
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Knights of Meyer