Classification: Terrestrial genetic/telepathic "virus"
Creator: General Harry "TNT" Kenkoy, using genetic material from Theresa Bellweather
User/Possessors: Hellspawn, Eddie Passim
sought for various reasons by Daredevil, Erynys, John Garrett, the Hand, Hellspawn, General Kenkoy, Morbius, Siege, the Snakeroot, and Venom
First Appearance: Daredevil I#319 (August, 1993)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: The About Face virus allows its user to alter their own physical form according to their own wishes.
The virus requires a gaseous suspension medium rich in proteins and nucleic acids to support it, as much of its normal viral constituents have been replaced by gene-spliced material s from the brain of a human telepath. Once the medium dissipates, the virus is quickly destroyed as well. The virus can be ingested directly, or the virus could be triggered from within the gaseous medium by an external telepath.
History: see comments for the short version!
(Daredevil I#322 (fb)) - Eddie Passim was
placed in a tank alongside other telepaths at a Department of
Defense ESPer station, where their powers were used to collect
the world's secrets and bring them back to the DoD. Eddie formed
a rapport with fellow telepath Theresa Bellweather, in the tank
beside him. They shared a lifetime of memories in their thoughts
and dreamed of a future together.
Eventually, however, agents of Kenkoy claimed Theresa, intending to use her as part of the About Face virus he was developing.
(Daredevil I#320 (fb) / 321 (fb)/ 322(fb) / 323(fb)) - Aboard an an advanced flying installation (apparent precursor to SHIELD's helicarrier, see comments) General Kenkoy slew telepath Theresa Bellweather, harvesting her tissue to gene splice into the About Face virus to enable it to follow the wishes of its host. Nick Fury learned of his actions too late to stop Kenkoy or save Theresa. Kenkoy taunted Fury with his superior rank, but Fury punched him in the stomach and ordered his men to hang Kenkoy off the flight deck until he learned to "say his prayers."
(Daredevil I#323 (fb) - BTS) - Passim joined Project: About Face to get close enough to Kenkoy to gain revenge for the murder of Theresa. However, when he actually did get close enough to Kenkoy, he lacked the strength to actually act out his vengeance.
(Daredevil I#322 (fb) - BTS) - Kenkoy intended to perform a large-scale test of the About Face virus, using Eddie as the telepathic trigger to dictate changes which would warp thousands.
(Daredevil I#319 (fb)) <June 13, 1963> - Twenty three agents of Kenkoy traveled the subways, hurling 22 glass vials containing the sealed and suspended About Face virus onto the tracks. The vials shattered and the virus suspension medium, a gas, quickly dissipated, and the virus was destroyed soon after. However, Eddie Passim hurled the last vial, which--either by intent or by accident--landed in soft earth and was preserved.
(Daredevil I#320 (fb)) <June 13, 1963> - Kenkoy slew the other twenty two agents to eliminate loose ends. However, Passim's telepathy warned him of the ambush in time for him to escape. Passim started his life on the run at that point, joining New York's homeless in an effort to escape capture by Kenkoy.
(Daredevil I#319 (fb) - BTS) - An unnamed soldier told a Louisiana native, Hogun, the story of About Face. Hogun slew the soldier and buried him in the swamp after learning everything about the project.
(Daredevil I#323 (fb)) - Kenkoy received a court martial for acts of conspiracy and murder.
(Daredevil I#323 (fb) -BTS) - Kenkoy traveled to Hong Kong, appearing before the Snakeroot to request their assistance in regaining the About Face virus. They thought him weak and nearly slew him, but when he fought back and killed one of their agents, they accepted him into their ranks as Budo.
(Daredevil I#321 (fb) - BTS) - General Kenkoy began plotting to obtain the About Face virus, hoping to use it to create the perfect heroin user, every bit as addicted, but immune to the drug's lethal qualities.
(Daredevil I#319 (fb) - BTS) - Over time, eleven homeless people encountered Passim and were mentally deranged by his thoughts of the About Face virus. Daredevil managed to subdue these tortured souls, who told him that they had been affected by "Eddie."
(Daredevil I#320 (fb) - BTS) - A homeless woman, Jess, encountered Passim. She felt the pain from his maddened mind, but did not succumb to it.
(Daredevil I#319 (fb) - BTS) - A homeless man Joe Gettings, Jr. encountered Passim, who was affected by his thoughts of the About Face virus.
(Daredevil I#319 - BTS) - Gettings went on a rampage, ranting about burning the city to the ground so that is could be remade. Daredevil subdued Gettings and learned he had been affected by Eddie, as well.
(Daredevil I#319 - BTS) - Hogun revived the Daredevil doppelganger, Hellspawn, in order to send him to retrieve About Face for him. Hellspawn slew Hogun, but plotted to get the virus for himself to gain true life.
(Daredevil I#319 - BTS) - While agents of the Hand assaulted the Pentagon, seeking the file on About Face. As they were held off by U.S. soldiers, Osaku of the Snakeroot used the distraction to slip in and steal the file.
(Daredevil I#319 - BTS) - General Kenkoy hired Silver Sable to recover Eddie Passim, posing as Passim's cousin.
(Daredevil I#319 (fb) - BTS) - Passim encountered another man, Phil, who cut off his left arm, his right foot, and and his 3rd and 4th digits on his right hand as a result of being affected by thoughts of About Face.
(Daredevil I#319 - BTS) - Daredevil took Phil to get medical treatment and vowed to locate Eddie to get some answers.
(Daredevil I#319 - BTS) - Lord Daito of the Snakeroot sent Osaku and Tekagi to obtain John Garrett.
(Daredevil I#319 - BTS) - A Hand agent sought out Elektra from atop the icy mountain top that served as the base of the Chaste. He was struck by a sai through the chest and fell to his death on the ground far below.
(Daredevil I#320 - BTS) - Daredevil encountered and fought Silver Sable's agent Crippler as they both sought out Passim. Daredevil defeated Crippler and sent him back to Sable with a message telling her to "let it go." Daredevil later encountered Sable directly, telling her that Passim has no relatives and that Kenkoy was manipulating her from evil purposes. She agreed to call of her search if Daredevil could prove it to her.
(Daredevil I#320 - BTS) - Tekagi and other agents of the Snakeroot abducted John Garrett from the holding tank in a SHIELD substation.
(Daredevil I#320 - BTS) - The Chaste discussed the activities of the Hand, and Elektra and Stone took steps to stop them.
(Daredevil I#320-BTS) - Daredevil located Eddie hiding out in in the Canal Street Antique Yard (in New Orleans or New York?). Daredevil tried to talk him down, but Eddie lashed out with a psychic attack that stunned Daredevil long enough for him to flee. Daredevil did not realize that Eddie had panicked because the Hellspawn was standing above them both.
(Daredevil I#321 - BTS) - In San Francisco, Venom learned of the About Face while tracking down and slaying heroin dealer Tommy Nyeung, an ally of Kenkoy. Venom decided to obtain the virus so he could use it to eliminate his weaknesses to sound and fire, so that he could overshadow Spider-Man.
(Daredevil I#321 - BTS) - Stone assaulted Kenkoy, who was wounded, but narrowly escaped.
(Daredevil I#321) - Passim attempted to ambush Kenkoy and killed him with a molotov cocktail, but found his office empty, except for Daredevil, who calmed him down and offered to help him. They were then attacked by the Hellspawn, who Daredevil managed to drive off.
(Daredevil I#321 - BTS) - Nick Fury recruited Siege to recover John Garrett.
(Daredevil I#321 - BTS) - The Snakeroot and the Hand combined their efforts, distilling from Garrett the dark essence of the Elektra from within Garrett, who had mind-melded with her prior to her being purified by Daredevil.
(Daredevil I#322 - BTS) - As Passim shared the secrets of About Face with Daredevil, they were observed by Siege.
(Daredevil I#322 - BTS) - The Snakeroot completed the transfer of Elektra's dark essence from John Garrett into a corpse. Elektra's spirit animated the woman to become Erynys, and the Snakeroot sought the About Face virus to complete the animation to allow Erynys to return fully to life.
(Daredevil I#322 - BTS) - After Daredevil left, the Snakeroot arrived and attempted to abduct Passim, but both Siege and Daredevil arrived to stop them. When a sai--hurled by Stick--slew one of the Snakeroot, Daredevil mistakenly thought it to have been thrown by Elektra. The Snakeroot used the distraction to escape with Passim.
(Daredevil I#323 - BTS) - Daredevil and Siege fought off a Snakeroot agent, Bisento, after which they were assaulted by Venom. After some struggle, Daredevil convinced Venom that if he eliminated his handicaps, and that it was only by overcoming his handicaps on his own that he might become more heroic than Spider-Man. As Venom left, Bisento was slain by Stick.
(Daredevil I#323 - BTS) - From the Snakeroot's base in the catacombs beneath Central Park's Belvedere Castle, the Snakeroot's torturer, Genkotsu, prepared to force the secret of the location of the About Face virus prototype from him. Garrett and Erynys watched on.
(Daredevil I#324 - BTS) - Morbius, having learned of the About Face virus, assaulted the Snakeroot agent, Enteki, encountering Daredevil and Stick as well. After discussing how each player intended to use the virus, they split up, but Daredevil and Stick followed Morbius, hoping that his experience in the sewers beneath the city might have told him where to find the virus. In the process, Erynys ambushed and slew Stick, at which point Elektra arrived and joined the struggle.
(Daredevil I#324 - BTS) - Genkotsu and Kenkoy continued to try to force the location of About Face from Passim.
(Daredevil I#325) - The Daredevil, Elektra, Erynys & Garrett, Hellspawn, Morbius, Siege, and the Snakeroot (with Passim in tow) all sought the About Face virus. Passim continued to resist torture, while Morbius learned that the Transit Authority had torn up the length of track in which the virus had lain. Daredevil and Elektra heard this as well, incapacitated Morbius, and found the virus, only to learn that they had been tracked by the Snakeroot and the other players. Marshalling his will, Passim used his psychic powers to slay Kenkoy, killing himself in the process.
Meanwhile, Daredevil smashed the vial containing the virus into Hellspawn's mouth, granting the false creation true life, only for it to be slain by Erynys. As Elektra fought against Erynys, Daredevil hurled a sai which skewered Erynys, but also penetrated into Eletkra's body. As Erynys died, her dark essence passed into Elektra, corrupting her once again.
After the conclusion of the struggle, Daredevil, whose secret identity had been publicly outed by reporter Sara Harrington, used the now human corpse of Hellspawn to fake Matt Murdock's death. Taking the identity of Jack (later Jack Batlin), he prepared to start a new life, and used his new costume to pose as an entirely different Daredevil.
Comments: Created by D. G. Chichester, Scott McDaniel, and Collazo & Candelario.
The short version: The About Face virus was developed by agents of General Kenkoy, using material gene-spliced from the telepath Theresa Bellweather, whom he sacrificed to obtain the material. Bellweather's psychic lover, Eddie Passim, sabotaged Kenkoy's plot to perform a large scale test on the general population, by disposing of the virus in the New York sewers. However, the last vial remained intact and was lost for years, while Passim hid out from Kenkoy. In the modern era, a large number of people and groups sought the virus for various regions. Daredevil disposed of the virus by shoving it into Hellspawn's mouth, and Hellspawn was subsequently slain by Erynys.
I am uncertain whether the
historical dates given for Passim, the About Face virus, or
Kenkoy are, or need to be, topical. Passim and Kenkoy both might
have had some exposure to the virus (or some other reason) and
thus might age at a slightly slower than normal rate. If they are
topical, then they would reference events approximately 30-31
years before the modern story.
The story also discusses SHIELD being involved in the creation of About Face. They were named SHIELD at least once (DD322), and they did show a Helicarrier and Flying Car, as well as Nick Fury. However, SHIELD did not form until after the start of the modern era, with Tony Stark being involved with its creation AFTER he became Iron Man. However, since it wasn't named as SHIELD and since Fury was active in the 1960s, I think the events could still stand, if detailed as some earlier espionage group or just a division of the Department of Defense.
Alternatively, if it has to be SHIELD, then, yes, the dates are topical, AND the time scale is wrong, as it could not have been more than 10-14 years before the story in DD319-325.
Profile by Snood.
Daredevil I#324, p14, panel 1
Daredevil I#319, p2, panel 8
Daredevil I#320-325 (September 1993 - February 1994)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
First Posted: 06/21/2004
Last Updated: 06/21/2004
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