NIGHT PATROL

Membership: Several unidentified members (see comments)

Purpose: (originally) to take back the streets from Ultras;
   (subsequently) to capture or kill any and all Ultras

Aliases: None

Affiliations: Formerly Contrary

Enemies: Exiles (Siena Blaze, Cayman/Evan Murayama, Hellblade/Jefferson Kotto, Amber Hunt, Reaper/Pantu Hurageb, Shuriken/Brittany Chien, Strike/Brandon Tark), Freex (Anything/Lewis Phillips, Boom Boy/Ray Golic, Cayman/Evan Murayama, Plug/Michael Rafani, Pressure/Valerie Sharp, Sweetface/Angela Salazar), Old Man

Base of Operations: (originally) San Francisco;
  (subsequently) active across the U.S.A.

First Appearance: (original) Freex#7 (January 1994);
   (outfitted and trained) Freex#13 (September 1994)

History:
(Freex#7 (fb) - BTS) - Growing tired of feeling that criminals, homeless people and especially "monsters" (Ultras) had taken over their neighborhood and frustrated that the police were either unable or unwilling to intervene (see comments), a group of San Francisco residents decided to turn vigilantes, forming the Night Patrol. Initially very rag tag, they armed themselves with whatever weapons they could get hold of, mostly handguns, rifles and baseball bats, wore mismatched clothes, some with jackets or t-shirts with the group's name sown or written on them, and they hid their identities behind a variety of balaclavas, hoodies and home-made masks.

(Freex#7) - Alerted by a green flash (the Freex's Pressure using her powers in an argument with her teammate Boomboy) outside his apartment late at night, and witnessing the Freex heading into the park across from his building, one of the Night Patrol called the police, but was again fobbed off with excuses, so he decided that he and his friends should deal with the problem.

(Freex#7 - BTS) - The Night Patrol assembled and headed into the park.

(Freex#7) - Spotting the rocklike Boom Boy sitting talking to a woman (Pressure, who looked normal), one of the Night Patrol shot the Ultra in the back of the head. The bullet bounced off without penetrating, but still knocked him out. Turning to confront her friend's attackers, Pressure began glowing with green energy, confirming her non-human status, and one of the Patrol shouted at the others to kill both the "monsters." Pressure dodged a hail of shots, but one winged her skull. Continuing to fire on her as she reeled from the impact, the Night Patrol were distracted by the materialization of another of the Freex, Plug, who appeared behind them. Some of the Patrol turned and one opened fire on the newcomer, but they only got off a single shot before a sniper bullet (from the mysterious Old Man, who had been covertly observing events from a tree) burst through one of the Night Patrol's neck, killing the vigilante instantly. Panicking, the rest of the Patrol immediately fled in disarray.

(Freex#9 - BTS) - The Night Patrol members wrangled up reinforcements from others in the local community (see comments) by informing them of monsters in their midst, and blaming local child murders and other recent strange phenomena on them.

(Freex#9) - The Night Patrol returned to the park and spotted the Freex with the Old Man. As they opened fire again, the Old Man led his new allies in a retreat out of the park, but as they exited onto Haight Street they were confronted by the mob the Night Patrol had stirred up. Despite this, the fleeing Ultras managed to steal a car and escape. Nevertheless, the two vigilante groups - the impromptu mob and the Night Patrol - considered the encounter a victory, happy to have driven the "monsters" out of the area, at least temporarily. One of the Night Patrol stated that he would feel better if they had killed the Ultras, but another looked to the newcomers who had formed the mob and noted that it was good to see people finally rising up to confront the problem, adding that perhaps they could use the same spirit to take the city back from criminals too. The discussion was interrupted by a blinding light, heralding the arrival of Contrary. Though her powers marked her as another Ultra, she counseled them to not plan their next move yet, telling the group that if they hoped to fight monsters they would need many more recruits and better weapons, and promising that if they joined her she would make the Night Patrol into a legend that Ultras feared.

(Freex#13 (fb) - BTS) - Needing pawns rather than actually supporting their cause, over the next few months Contrary helped the Night Patrol to recruit members across the U.S.A. and equipped them with body armor, high tech equipment and weapons.

   During this time Boom Boy left the Freex and enrolled in Contrary's Academy for the New Elite.

(Freex#14 (fb) - BTS) - Contrary also gave the Night Patrol access to all military and police lines so they could be alerted the moment Ultras were sighted anywhere in the country. However, since she didn't actually want the Night Patrol to be able to hurt Ultras and really only intended for them to frighten the Freex into thinking they needed her help, Contrary ensured their light-based weapons were a lot less lethal than they appeared, only capable of stunning rather than killing, and that they had no other weapons to use.

(Freex#13) - Picking up police reports that suggested the Freex were in Denver, Contrary decided to deploy the Night Patrol "to keep the game going with the Freex."

(Freex#14) - Night Patrol agents attacked the Freex while the Ultras were sheltering in a cave hoping to avoid a confrontation with local law enforcement. Recalling the name Night Patrol, the Freex were surprised to see how much their foes had upgraded, prompting the Patrol members to boast that they were "backed by every decent American" and that they would be ready to respond at the first sighting of any "monsters." Fighting back Anything turned into electrons and entered one of the Patrol member's cyber-guided weapon, seized control of it, and directed it to fire on the other members of the Patrol, knocking them all out. Quickly the Patrol member holding the weapon flipped a short-circuit switch Contrary had included specifically as a counter to Anything, shocking him out off the gun and back to human form. Hearing the Night Patrol member mention that he finally understood why "she" had insisted on including the switch the Freex began to suspect Contrary's involvement with Night Patrol. The last Night Patrol member then cranked up the weapon's power to maximum, intending to slay the Freex, but before he could do so he suddenly grasped at his helmet, then collapsed as if struck. Contrary revealed her presence, claiming to have saved the Freex but noting that there were dozens more Night Patrolmen in the vicinity, and repeated a past offer to take them under her wing. Suspicious, the Old Man questioned her convenient timing, and Anything noted that the Patrol's weapons had been turned down to low power, as if they weren't meant to hurt them. Trying to maintain her facade, Contrary asked if they were willing to risk the next Night Patrol contingent would have the same type of weapons. Her ruse was exposed by the arrival of Boom Boy, who had discovered her files on the Night Patrol and their true purpose.

(Ultraverse Premiere#9) - Celia Chun watched a news report showing the Freex battling the Night Patrol (see comments).

(All New Exiles#11 (fb) - BTS) - The Night Patrol got hold of new weapons.

(All New Exiles#11) - When the Exiles, reputed to have killed millions months earlier by causing a massive explosion in the center of Manhattan, were spotted back at the blast site, numerous parties, including some Night Patrol members, raced to the scene to capture or kill them. However, the Exiles' leader Strike apparently made short work of them (see comments).

Comments: Created by Gerard Jones, Ben Herrera and Mike Christian.

   None of the Night Patrol are given individual names, not even codenames; indeed, only one is ever even seen without a mask (see last paragraph), the one who makes the call to the cops in Freex#7. Initially disguised with balaclavas hiding their faces, the group returned in more militaristic outfits with helmets that had "NP" and then a Roman numeral scrawled on them; however, while at first glance this might be considered individual identifiers, making them NP III, NP VII and NP IX, the trouble is that in the main image above there are clearly two members who are both NP III. Either this is an error, or the numerals don't identify individuals but have some other significance.

   The initial Night Patrol members were at least partially correct in their assumptions, not so much in their belief that Ultras were necessarily threats but very astute in the observation that the police were unwilling to handle the problem, since the mayor of San Francisco had instructed senior officers to keep the existence of the Freex quiet in order to avoid a panic, which ironically only increased tensions since the cops wouldn't respond to public reports of sightings.

   The battle Celia Chun is watching on the news might be the one from Freex#14; certainly, the correct Freex team members are present. However, there were no signs that any news crews were around filming the fight in that issue.

   The guns Contrary provided had large cylindrical barrels down near the grips. Since the weapons carried by the two Night Patrol members in All New Exiles#11 don't have these, it would seem the group replaced Contrary's ineffective firearms at some point. The Night Patrolmen in All New Exiles are only visible in one panel, in which one of them is being shot in the head by Strike, so it seems likely the other didn't last long either. Though numerous other Ultras were also involved in that same melee, I've only included the Exiles as enemies, since those were who the Night Patrol were fighting; however, given their general disdain for Ultras, I doubt the Night Patrolmen would have considered anyone else present anything more than another target, had they not been eliminated from the fray so quickly.

   Hey wait, I hear you say, you stated that we only see one of the Night Patrol without a mask, but I thought that there were a whole bunch of unmasked ones in Freex#9. But no, the unmasked people who helped the Night Patrol chase the Freex in #9 weren't members (at least, not yet) - firstly, the text tells us the Night Patrol were "stirring people up," and since they presumably couldn't stir themselves up that means they'd stirred up others; secondly, we see the Night Patrol members, still wearing masks, a few pages later. Why would some take their masks off and not others? Or, conversely, if the unmasked people are newcomers but still Night Patrol, why would the original group bother continuing to hide their identities if all present were in the group. And thirdly, once the Freex have escaped, one of the Night Patrol says to the unmasked people that "it's good to see people finally rising up to do what the police won't." The Night Patrol members had been prepping for this for a while, at least long enough to get their group name added to jackets and t-shirts, but that comment is the kind of thing you say to someone just joining the cause, not someone who has been part of it for a while.


A "mob" "stirred up" by Night Patrol, not Night Patrol themselves.


Night Patrol with mob - "Good to see people" (e.g. not just Night Patrol)"rising up."


Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Night Patrol has no known connections to:


images: (without ads)
Freex#13, p24, pan4 (main image)
Freex#7, p17, pan1 (original Night Patrol)
Freex#7, p20, pan1-2 (member shot, group flees, some with Night Patrol emblazoned t-shirts and hoodies)
Freex#9, p8, pan1 (the not-Night Patrol mob)
Freex#9, p12, pan2 (Night Patrol with the mob)
All New Exiles#11, p3, pan1 (fighting the Exiles)


Appearances:
Freex#7 (January 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), Ben Herrera (pencils), Mike Christian (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Freex#9 (March 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), Michael Egeland (pencils), Tim Roddick (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Freex#13-14 (September-October 1994) - Gerard Jones (writer), Scott Kolins (pencils), Jonathan Holdredge (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
Ultraverse Premiere#9/3 (January 1995) - Gerard Jones (writer), Mike Edsey (pencils), Javier Rodriguez (inks), Hank Kanalz (editor)
All New Exiles#11 (August 1996) - Phil Craine (writer), John Fang & Shannon Denton (pencils), Bruce McCorkindale (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)


First Posted: 06/21/2023
Last updated:
06/21/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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