is a fictional comic book
character created by Jim Lee
and Brandon Choi
from the Wildstorm Universe
Fictional character biography
Michael Cray was born to a US Navy Admiral. He has a brother named Alexander. His parents were slain by terrorists and he joins the military to avenge their deaths. He became a Navy SEAL
prior to being transferred to International Operation's newly formed Team 7
. Like all members of that group, he was a highly experienced Special Forces operative. The team had been sent on a mission (or so they believed) when in reality they were sent to be exposed to the Gen Factor
by Miles Craven
(head of I.O.). Unlike the other surviving members of Team 7 (not everyone survived the exposure to the gen factor treatment), Michael's powers did not manifest until many years later. Despite the lack of power, he would fight for his teammates, such as taking a Naval officer hostage when the other powered-members of Team 7 were literally being nuked as a test (they got through). When the majority of Team 7 went underground (with their families), Cray continues to serve I.O. (as did Lynch, Dane & Backlash). Miles Craven assigns Cray to the Special Operations Group. He did many wetwork and blackbag assignments for them.
Michael Cray left I.O. when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He wanted to atone himself for all the innocent men and women he killed during his missions. He got his chance when he became involved with the Order of the Cross. Their adversary, the Black Angel awoke, a demonic entity bent on killing a young boy with miraculous abilities. It turned out that Cray's cancer was in fact a result of the Gen Factor, giving him regenerative abilities. It would also give him the ability to manifest psionic shields to protect himself, but he could not control it and was not even aware it existed. Cray defeated the Black Angel with the help of Sister Mary, a former police officer turned nun, Gabrielle D'Angelo, his ex-wife who had become a vessel for the archangel Gabriel, and several of his Team 7 colleagues. After the death of the Black Angel, the young child restored the damage he had done by rewriting reality, but in the new reality, Gabrielle had died during their honeymoon.
Michael spends time working for Rayna Maure, who ran a bodyguard agency called 'Executive Protection Services'. Cray then is involved in the Brothers In Arm incident as Craven goes after all the surviving members of Team 7. Cray also deals with alien forces who are pursuing keys to an ancient warship. On a Team 7 mission long ago, Cray had actually found one of the keys, sticking up out of the mud.
Deathblow dies during the Fire From Heaven event, sacrificing himself in order to kill Damocles, the villain from that crossover.
After the events of Captain Atom: Armageddon and the Worldstorm, Deathblow was revived and began starring in his own series, Deathblow Volume 2, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Carlos D'Anda.
During World's End, he is part of Stormwatch: Post Human Division leading missions on a post-apocalyptic Earth.
In the three-issue mini-series, Deathblow By Blows
(1999-2000), written by Alan Moore
with art by Jim Baikie
, it is revealed that I.O. have created several variant clones of each Team 7 member, using the DNA
collected from them without their knowledge. In the event of a Team 7 member's death, their clones are released in a simulated environment with the intention that only one survive to act as the member's replacement. However, the series is concerned with Deathblow's clones only. The clones were:
- Genevieve Cray - a bald female and the series' protagonist.
- Kraus Cray - a cyborg.
- John-Joe and Joe-John Cray - two child clones.
- Michael Cray, Jr. - apparently a true clone.
- Damon Cray - a teenage clone.
- Caleb Cray - half-man, half-baboon.
- Judgement Cray - a clone with an extra Y chromosone.
- Gemma Cray - an expert poisoner.
- Cynthia Cray - a telepath and precognitive.
All were killed by Judgement except for Genevieve, who killed Judgement and escaped from the laboratory where they were created, and Kraus Cray, who was captured by Genevieve and later killed by John-Joe and Joe-John Cray. Gemma, Cynthia and Michael Cray, Jr. are never shown alive due to being killed by Judgement Cray before the protagonists discovered them. Genevieve later joined up with Sublime, Michael Cray's daughter and a few of her DV8 teammates.
A new Deathblow
(vol.2) series began on October 25th, 2006 with the second issue out a month later. Issue #9 (February 2008) appears to be the last of this series, ending with the 'death' of the character.
- Deathblow: Sinners and Saints (by Brandon Choi and Jim Lee, trade paperback collects Deathblow #1-12, 1993-1995, WildStorm/DC Comics, 256 pages, 1999, ISBN 1-56389-547-1)
- Deathblow/Wolverine (by Aron Wiesenfeld and Richard Bennett, Image Comics/WildStorm, 64 pages, 1997, ISBN 1-887279-61-X)
- Batman/Deathblow: After the Fire (by Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Tim Bradstreet, and Mick Gray, 160 pages, 2003, Titan Books, ISBN 1-84023-664-7, WildStorm/DC Comics, ISBN 1-4012-0034-6)
- Deathblow by Blows (by Alan Moore and Jim Baikie, 3-issue mini-series, 1999-2000, collected in Wild Worlds, trade paperback, 320 pages, Titan Books, July 2007, ISBN 1-84576-559-1, Wildstorm, May 2007, ISBN 1-4012-1379-0)
- Deathblow... And The You Live (by Brian Azzarello, Carlos D'Anda and Henry Flint, collects Deathblow Volume 2 #1-9, August 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1515-7)