Real Name: Erik Johnson + Noel Robinson
Identity/Class: Extra-Dimensional (Ultraverse)
Citizenship: United States of America
Occupation: Former student
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Aladdin, Bobbi, GENIE, Janus, Markie Van
Morris and the Markie duplicate (all Earth-Ultraverse);
Adam Warlock of Earth-616
Enemies: Aladdin, Aladdin Bioconstructs,
Officer Baily, Debbi, K-6, General Holden S. Rayder,
(all Earth-Ultraverse), Winged Justice, unnamed cult on the Isle of Mytos,
Adam Warlock and the Soul Gem of Earth-616
Known Relatives: GENIE ("mother"), "Ralph" + "Ellie" (Noel's artificial surrogate parents, deactivated), Erik's surrogate parents (deactivated ("father" destroyed))
Aliases: The Rune-Killer, U-366 (Aladdin Designation)
Base of Operations: Formerly Scotsdale, Arizona
(Erik) and Scarsdale, New York (Noel)
First Appearance: (referenced) Firearm I#2 (October,
(Erik named and seen) Mantra I#4 (October, 1993)
(Noel) Rune I#1 (January, 1994)
Powers/Abilities: Gemini could unleash energy capable of destroying everything around him. He frequently lost control of this power, resulting in mass destruction. At the height of his power, he could lay waste to areas of 0.862 miles in diameter and emit plasma over a range of 3.17 miles while generating a level 7 force shockwave. After initially forming, Gemini could actually create plant and animal life, even human beings.
Gemini's power was markedly reduced by Rune's energy theft, and his area of destruction was reduced to 42.67 yards in diameter. He could levitate and heal at superhuman rate, but this also exhausted his energy stores. From Rune's bite he developed a thirst for human flesh and blood, which could restore his power more quickly than consumption of normal food. He could assume a Rune-like form, complete with wings, claws, and retractable fangs, and could drain power from others by biting them. He briefly wore a suit of armor which granted him unspecified ability (perhaps only protection from injury), and he used a large battleaxe.
Eventually the powers split, with Noel harnessing the energy powers and Erik possessing the Rune-like form and powers. The two made an agreement with Noel controlling the form during daylight and Erik doing so during night time. As Erik became increasingly bloodthirsty, Noel imposed a limitation on him, preventing him from consuming innocents; however, this had the effect of costing him his own conscience, and he became increasingly hostile towards humanity, seeking to punish the guilty and not really caring if innocents were killed in the process.
In their last appearance, Noel and Erik achieved separate forms, each maintaining their powers, with Erik needing to take a human host to maintain his abilities.
(Rune I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Shu-Ji is the fusion of galactic power and noble cause, one of the most exalted forces in all realms. Its energy can alter reality itself, making those who become Shu-Ji godlike. However, two identical (or mirror image) life-forms are required to harness Shu-Ji.
(Rune I#2 (fb) - BTS) - An alien race accessing Shu-Ji crashed on Earth in what would become Vietnam.
(Rune I#2 (fb) - BTS) <June 16, 1966> - During the Vietnam "War", Holden S. Rayder discovered the subterranean remnants of an immense alien corpse, containing within it vessels holding a portions of two other corpses.
(Rune I#3 (fb) - BTS) <September 6, 1966> - A corps of army engineers evacuated all of the material found by Rayder, transporting it to an Arizona desert base (believed to have been built in the 1950s as a laboratory for Project Blue Book, the UFO investigation). Using a new synthesis of computer and living brain, the Genetically Engineered Neural Intelligence Experiment (GENIE) began its research of the alien materials under the designation Project Aladdin.
(Rune I#3 (fb) - BTS) <1967> - The two alien skeletons were found to be mirror images of each other.
(Rune I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Months later, a technician accidentally touched material from counterpart bones, releasing a molecular reaction that slaughtered the technician within the hour. Successive efforts (including animal experiments) to duplicate the reaction met with failure.
(Rune I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Two years later, they injected cells into a human subject, who exploded.
(Rune I#3 (fb) - BTS) <January 14, 1970> - Experimenting on Aladdin's 33rd human subject, GENIE managed to extract a gaseous essence from the compound reaction. Though the gas caused madness and death in those who inhaled it, it proved to be the breath of life for GENIE, metabolizing its living tissues into something alien, creating for itself a new architecture based on alien technology.
(Rune I#3 (fb) - BTS) <May 3, 1971> - GENIE was reborn as a new form of life, communicating directly with its former controllers.
(Rune I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Months later, Rayder ordered GENIE to override its safety programming and explain to him the truth behind what they had discovered. GENIE told him of Shu-Ji, but further explained that to understand Shu-Ji, one had to become Shu-Ji, and it began transforming him. However, realizing that as a single recipient, Rayder would not be able to handle Shu-Ji and would instead be assimilated into GENIE, the organic computer aborted the process, leaving Rayder a deformed cyborg.
(Rune I#3 (fb) - BTS) <1975> - GENIE imbued a genetically engineered twin boys with the power of Shu-Ji at birth, their DNA specifically tailored for the Shu-Ji power. The twins, named Erik Johnson and Noel Robinson were separated to allow them to properly gestate their powers, with the intent of bringing them back together when they were mature enough to handle the full power (18 years, 3 months, and 17 days).
(Rune I#0 installment H, "Aladdin's Lamp"/ Exiles I#3/2 - BTS) <June 27, 1993> - Rune learned of the existence of material of interest at the Aladdin's Scottsdale facility.
(Rune I#0 installment I, "The Hunted"/ Firearm#2/2- BTS) - In Scottsdale, Rune hunted for "the boy" (Erik Johnson)
(Rune I#0 installment J, "The Fury - Part One"/ Mantra#4/2) - The 17 year old Erik's "father" approached him while he was on the phone with girlfriend Markie.
(Rune I#0 installment K, "The Fury - Part Two"/ Solution#2/2) - Erik's "father," who had grounded him for forgetting to take his pills, discussed Erik' recent nightmares, unaware that Rune was perched right outside of his bedroom window.
(Rune I#1) <July 1, 1993> - Erik awakened from a nightmare to find Rune crashing through his window. Rune slew Erik's "father" when he tried to intervene, after which Erik blasted Rune away with a reflexive manifestation of his nascent powers. Rune was taken away by Aladdin, but Erik was frustrated when his mother told the police that Erik's talk of Rune, was a result of delusions from his medication. After Markie joined them, Officer Baily, an agent of Aladdin, delivered the trio to to Aladdin troops.
Meanwhile, Aladdin agents arrived at the home of
Robinson, taking him with them by force while his "parents" just stood by. His
father commented that Noel was still 93 days from "graduation," after which
"Ralph" and "Ellie prepared to be broken down as their job was finished.
(Rune I#2) - Erik's mother sacrificed herself to enable Erik and Markie to escape, but when the plane carrying Noel passed overhead, both Erik and Noel. As Markie tried to comfort Erik, his eyes began to erupt with energy, and Markie fled under his instruction. Aladdin troops arrived to capture Erik, but his powers exploded forth, apparently killing everyone else present.
(Rune I#3) - As Aladdin agents continued bringing in Noel, Markie, having seemingly survived Erik's outburst, tried to help him control his power. Erik annihilated another group of Aladdin agents when they approached and then took to the air with Markie in his arms. GENIE explained to Rayder that as Noel and Erik were re-joined, Rayder would be able to use Rune's star stones to transfer his soul into their combined form, regaining human form and vast power in the process.
(Rune I#4) <July 4, 1993> - While Aladdin attempted to recondition Noel, Rune interrupted, attempting to claim the twins' power for himself. Meanwhile, Erik realized that he actually had killed Markie, and that his power as just manifesting her as a companion. Rune slaughtered Rayder and abducted Noel, flying him into the air and bringing him into contact with Erik.
(Rune I#5) <July 4, 1993> - Erik and Noel merged into a
single being, Gemini, capable of dealing with the power of Shu-Ji, the power of
which rippled out from Earth, washing over everything in its path, including the
Entity "from the moon".
Lonely, Gemini created a simulacrum of
Erik's late girlfriend Markie as his companion. Rune, devastated by the released
energy, begged the naive Genesis for a kiss before it died, during which ge managed
to bite Gemini and
drain his Shu-Ji power. It proved to be too much for Rune to control, forcing him
to bite Gemini and return much of that power. Rune offered to keep Gemini as a
servitor, but Gemini refused. Rune threatened to kill Gemini when they next
met, and flew away fully healed and empowered. The greatly de-powered Genesis
(Erik's body, with Noel's mind sharing his head) took his Markie replica off
Unbeknownst to all, GENIE initiated Project Genesis, creating another pair of twins, planning to successfully repeat the process in 18 years.
(Rune I#9 (fb) - BTS) - Rune's bite induced transformations in Erik's body, transforming him into a vampiric creature similar to Rune.
(Giant-Size Rune#1) - The Markie duplicate argued with Erik, telling him that she was not the woman he was in love with, after which she left him behind at a truck stop, hitching a ride with a trucker. Noel and Erik psychically argued about "Markie," with Noel wishing to let her leave, as she was a potential liability to them.
(Rune I#8) - Sleeping in the desert, Erik was rudely awakened
by rattlesnakes and cops. Shot while fleeing, Erik unleashed his power,
obliterating the lot of them, while taking on a decidedly Rune-like appearance.
After observing that he healed quickly, Erik again transformed into his Rune
incarnation and nearly preyed on a passing civilian before coming to his senses.
He then hid out in the back of a pickup truck, which brought him to a cemetery,
where he encountered the enigmatic Janus, who was seeking Rune.
Meanwhile, the trucker brought the Markie duplicate to the Isle of Mytos, where the Acolytes of Argus proclaimed her to be the reincarnation of their goddess Pandora, who had born of no woman.
(Rune I#9) - Janus brought Erik to Hollywood, California,
where he explained that he was becoming like Rune. Drawing some of Erik's blood,
Janus determined that Rune was on the Isle of Mytos, and convinced Erik to come
along by revealing that Marky was there, too. However, a warding spell around
the Acolyte's temple prevented Erik and Rune from approaching it, causing June's
car to crash into the surrounding jungle.
Rune was unable to prevent the Acolytes from sacrificing the Markie replica and restoring Argus to Earth.
(Curse of Rune#1) - A group of zombie-like creatures captured Erik and Janus until Janus goaded Erik into a rage by tormenting him about failing Markie, causing him to slaughter their captors. Janus then led Erik into a long-sealed tomb, promising it would lead him to Markie. Janus had him don the armor within the tomb in preparation for battle.
(Curse of Rune#2 (fb)) - GENIE located recent evidence of Gemini's energy signature and sent Shuriken to capture or slay him.
(Curse of Rune#2) - Janus performed a mystic ceremony to locate Rune; following the trail to Rune, Erik and Janus came across the corpse of the Markie duplicate, which Erik tried and failed to resurrect. His efforts allowed GENIE to triangulate his location and dispatch Shuriken and the Aladdin agents to the Isle of Mytos. Erik was then summoned by Rune, who had nearly exhausted his life force struggling against the Soul Gem. Rune tricked Erik into removing the Gem, restoring Rune's power.
(Curse of Rune#3) - As Gemini struggled against the Soul Gem, Rune prepared to devour his soul once he had become weakened sufficiently. The Soul Gem caused Erik and Noel to battle each other on the Astral Plane, and Erik seemingly slew Noel, then revived and attacked Rune. Under the Gem's prodding, Erik nearly slew Rune, but then Noel forced him to cast the desiccated Rune into a dimensional portal (to the Negative Zone associated with Earth-616). Noel managed to take control of their combined form, after which he cast the Soul Gem into the ocean, where it was claimed by Loki.
(Curse of Rune#4) - Noel found himself losing control over Erik, who was stalked by K-6, a biological construct created by Aladdin, patterned after Gemini and sent by GENIE to destroy to destroy him. A girl named Bobbi tried to rob Erik, but accidentally shot him in the face, after which Erik healed and offered her some food if she stuck around to provide company. K-6 then arrived and Erik allowed his vampiric form to take over as he fought it, ultimately unleashing his power in a devastating burst.
(Rune Infinity) - During the events of Black September, Erik,
in vampiric form, went on a slaughter-fest in Los Angeles during his nightly
period of control, while Noel used his energy powers to heal others during the
day. Erik morphed into a virtual duplicate of Rune, but reached an agreement
with Noel where he would be able to consume flesh and blood victims, as long as
he stayed away from the innocents.
GENIE dispatched a trio of Bioconstructs to terminate Genie.
(Rune II#1) - Erik ripped apart and fed on a group of criminals, after which Noel morphed their body into a more human form and used his energy powers to obliterate a group of terrorists. He missed one of the group, however, and that man detonated a bomb that blew up the top of the building.
(Rune II#2 (fb) - BTS) - Noel teleported all of the hostages out of the building, but the shock of his teleportation killed or injured many of them.
(Rune II#2) - Noel rested in the apartment of Debbi, one of the hostages he saved. She criticized him for killing all of the terrorists and injuring so many hostages, and after he fell asleep, she called the police on him. Feeling betrayed, Noel allowed Erik to prey on her once he took over their form.
(Rune II#3) - Erik fled as the police arrived at Debbi's apartment, then slew some of the cops as they pursued him. He was then assaulted by Winged Justice, Angelique Zane, an ultra policewoman, but managed to turn the tables on her, seriously injuring her and leaving her for dead.
(Rune II#6) - Noel incinerated a mugger, than became disgusted with humanity when onlookers condemned his violence. He was then attacked by Aladdin's bioconstructs, empowered with Rune-like energy draining powers. Heedless of their ability, Noel squandered his energy against them, until, weakened by their assaults, he fell from the air and crashed to the ground below.
(Rune II#7) - GENIE instructed the bioconstructs to bring the defeated Noel back to Aladdin base, but the sun set before they could so so, and Noel became Erik. The savage Erik rent the bioconstructs limb from limb and he reabsorbed the energy they had stolen from Noel. The next day, Noel, fed up with his recent treatment, prepared to take his vengeance on all of humanity. Before he could unleash his assault, he was confronted by Earth-616's Adam Warlock.
(Ultraverse Unlimited#1) - Adam Warlock proposed a connection between himself and Gemini, who thought him to be an Aladdin trick and attacked, only to be incapacitated. Knocked halfway across the globe, the nighttime turned Noel into Erik, and his similarities to Rune--whom Warlock had battled in the distant past--caused psychic agony that dropped Warlock. Reviving, Warlock attacked Erik until realizing he wasn't actually Rune, at which point he confronted both Noel and Erik on the astral plane. Warlock revealed that Noel's imposing of a conscious on Erik--forbidding him to consume innocent blood, had cost Noel his own conscience. Seeing Erik has hopelessly insane and contaminated by Rune's spirit, Warlock exorcised Erik, apparently discorporating his spirit and leaving Noel completely in control. However, as the merging of their forms had allowed them to access the Shu-Ji, this separation rendered Noel powerless, essentially human...or so it would seem.
After returning to his apartment, Noel again accessed the power via the head of one of the bioconstructs, which Erik had claimed as a victory trophy. Without GENIE or Erik to worry about, he felt that he could finally do something useful with the power...not that he was sure what that would be just yet, but he'd think of something.
In addition, having hidden away some of Noel's energy after re-claiming it from the bioconstructs, Erik's spirit was able to survive. Taking possession of human hosts, he transformed them into replica's of his vampiric Rune-form, free to feed on anyone he pleased without Noel's inhibitions.
Comments: Created by Barry Windsor-Smith, Chris Ulm, and John Floyd.
With the Ultraverse on seemingly infinite hiatus, I see no
reason that it's few years of existence would have to have a sliding timescale,
meaning I think the dates given should be considered accurate and not topical. I
guess we'll see if the Ultraverse ever turns up again (beyond Rune's skeleton),
but don't hold your breath.
Maybe the lawsuits will be dealt with by October, 2011 and they'll feature GENIE's second attempt to harness Shu-Ji. Sure, they will...
Profile by Snood.
No known connection to:
Rune I#1, p20, panel 5 (Noel)
#5, p5, panel 3 (Gemini)
#8, p12, panel 7 (Rune-like face)
Curse of Rune#1, last page (armor)
Rune Infinity (Rune-like form)
Rune II#7, p18, panel 7 (Noel's Gemini form)
Solution#2 (October, 1993)
Rune I#1-3 (January-March 1994)
Rune I#4 (June, 1994)
Rune I#5 (September, 1994)
Giant-Size Rune#1 (January, 1995)
Rune I#8, 9 (February, April, 1995)
Curse of Rune#1-4 (May-August, 1995)
Rune Infinity (September, 1995)
Rune II#1-3 (October-December, 1995)
Rune II#6, 7 (March, April, 1996)
Ultraverse Unlimited#1 (June, 1996)
Last updated: 11/06/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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