Real Name: Aiden Gillespie
Identity/Class: Human magic user (spirit channeler), UK citizen
Group Membership: Braddock Academy (Captain Britain/Brian
Braddock, Meggan Puceanu Braddock, others);
formerly Masters of Evil in training
Affiliations: Cammi Benally, Cullen Bloodstone,
Hazmat (Jennifer Takeda), Nara, Nico Minoru, Chase Stein, X-23 (Laura
formerly Apex (Katy Bashir), Death Locket (Rebecca Ryker), Kid Briton (Brian Braddock), Reptil (Humberto Lopez)
formerly faked affiliation with Baron (Helmut) Zemo, Madame Masque (Whitney Frost) and Masters of Evil
Enemies: Apex, Arcade, the Hand, Hydra, Kid Briton, Masters of Evil (Baron Zemo, Constrictor/Frank Payne, Hellstorm/Daimon Hellstrom, Madame Masque), Porcupine (Roger Gocking), Young Masters of Evil (Black Knight (unidentified female), Coat of Arms/Lisa Molinari, Death Locket, Egghead (robot), Enchantress/Sylvie Lushton, Excavator/Ricky Calusky, Executioner/Danny Dubois, Mako, Melter/Christopher Colchiss, Morg, Mudbug/Ledbetter, Radioactive Kid, Snot, Alex Wilder)
Known Relatives: Lorne Gillespie (father), Mhairi Gillespie (mother)
Aliases: "Axe Bro" (Cammi's nickname), "Big Red" (Nara's nickname)
Base of Operations: Braddock Academy, Essex, U.K.
First Appearance: Avengers Arena#1 (December 2012)
Powers/Abilities: Anachronism possesses superhuman durability and strength, lifting 10 tons. He wields a large battleaxe, strong and sharp enough to slice through thick tree trunks with a single blow, and is a proficient fighter with and without this weapon. He has excellent reflexes, at least in terms of being able to catch the axe when others throw it. He initially transformed between his teenage boy and Celtic warlord forms a couple of times a month, a painful process that was apparently accompanied by a discharge of energy. However, after a beating by Kid Briton triggered a transformation, Anachronism has remained stuck in his warlord form.
Height: 6'2"; (pre-transformation)
Weight: 185 lbs.; (pre-transformation) 200 lbs.
History: (Avengers Arena#6 (fb)) - Aiden Gillespie was born in Aviemore, a small tourist town situated in the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. After his mother left them, his father was left distraught, and proved too angry and confused to give his son any advice on girls. Socially insecure, he spent a lot of time being the overweight, harmless friend who listened, the ones girls told their troubles to rather than dated.
(Avengers Arena#8 (fb) - BTS) - He was never into sports, not caring about chasing a ball,
(Avengers Arena#5 (fb)) - but enjoyed online computer gaming.
(Avengers Now! Handbook) - One morning, while playing in the Glenmore Forest Park, Aiden's soul was merged with the spirit of an axe-wielding immortal Celtic warlord, periodically transforming the teenager into a muscular warrior.
(Avengers Arena#6 (fb) - BTS) - Initially transforming a couple of times each month, Aiden found it hard to control the warlord's love of fighting and bloodlust. He was enrolled into Braddock Academy, a British school aimed at training the next generation of superheroes. Unlike most girls, who viewed him like a harmless puppy, Atlantean student Nara treated him like scum from the outset and did her best to break him, and he in turn hated her guts. Aiden chose the codename Anachronism, and became best friends with fellow student Cullen Bloodstone.
Cullen, for his part, also harbored a romantic attraction for Aiden, but was aware his friend was oblivious to this, and that he did not feel the same way.
(Avengers Arena#5 (fb)) - School bully Kid Briton swiftly targeted Aiden. Soon after Aiden joined the school, he was wandering the corridors playing an interactive fantasy game on his laptop with friends online, only to have the computer sliced apart by Kid Briton's firesword. Minutes later Aiden inadvertently walked in on Kid Briton in a compromising position, making out with Atlantean student Nara despite having a girlfriend, Apex. To ensure Aiden kept his mouth shut, Kid Briton smashed the smaller boy in the face, then ground his face into a bookshelf, making it clear worse would follow if he told anyone what he had seen. Kid Briton left Aiden bleeding and crying on the floor and returned to Nara, declaring his victim too cowardly to talk, but the brutality triggered Aiden's power, and Kid Briton and Nara witnessed Aiden transform into his warlord form.
(Avengers Arena#6 (fb) - BTS) - Aiden discovered that this time the transformation appeared to be permanent. Worse, most of those around him felt he should be happy about the change, seeing the physical transformation as an improvement, and not realizing that Aiden now felt trapped, sharing his mind with a psychotic warlord filled with bloodlust and...other urges. He had been able to cope with putting up with the occasional transformation, but the possibility that the change was permanent frightened him.
(Avengers Arena#6 (fb)) - He confided these fears to Cullen, the only person who seemed to understand. Nara found the new Aiden attractive, but when she began flirting with him, Kid Briton intervened, punching Aiden and telling him that just because he had changed physically didn't mean Nara was now interested in "geeks."
(Avengers Arena#15 (fb) - BTS) - Cullen confided in Aiden that he was the unwilling host to an immensely powerful extradimensional parasite which had bonded to his soul during a trip to another dimension, and which fed off his fear and anger. Aiden helped Cullen identify the beast as a Glartrox using cryptozoology (see comments) books owned by Cullen's late father, the monster hunter Ulysses Bloodstone. With the monster kept in check via a bloodstone ring worn by Cullen, and having learned from the book that the monster could not survive outside its home dimension without its host, Cullen made Aiden promise to put him out of his misery and kill him if the Glartrox ever got out of control.
(Avengers Arena#6 (fb) - BTS) - Despite Anachronism's physical enhancement, Kid Briton's bullying persisted, and he soon discovered that Aiden was reluctant to fight back; unaware this was because Aiden was now fighting against giving in to his Celtic warlord's bloodlust, Kid Briton decided Aiden was simply a coward. Meanwhile Aiden's feelings regarding Nara became confused, as despite her belligerent attitude, he harbored a growing crush on her. Though Aiden tried to hide it, Cullen noticed and disapproved.
(Avengers Arena#2) - Over the course of the next six months, Aiden's self-confidence did not improve despite him now inhabiting the body of an immortal Celtic warlord.
(Avengers Arena#6 (fb) - BTS) - Kid Briton continued to pick on Aiden specifically because he felt threatened by him, aware that Aiden's new form could give him a good fight if Aiden ever tried. As it became increasingly clear Aiden remained reluctant to fight back, Kid Briton concluded he was simply a coward, unaware Aiden was trying not to give into the warlord's desire for battle. Every so often the warlord got his way; roughly five months after joining Braddock Academy, Anachronism snuck off to a football pub and picked a fight, unaware Nara had followed and was secretly observing. She saw him with knuckles covered in blood, grinning ear to ear.
(Avengers Arena#1) - On Christmas Eve, the assassin Arcade took advantage of the absence of most staff and pupils to kidnap Anachronism, Kid Briton, Apex, Nara, and Cullen from Braddock Academy. He also snatched other young superhumans from around the world, sixteen in all, and transported to his new Arctic Murder World complex. All the abductees were woken simultaneously by their captor to find themselves paralyzed and floating in mid-air, dressed in their respective costumes. Showing himself to his captive audience, Arcade explained that they were going to take part in a thirty day death match against one another, by which point there would be only one survivor. With a snap of his fingers, Arcade restored the youths' mobility. Anachronism swiftly announced he was going to take Arcade's head off, a suggestion that Cullen openly approved of. Predictably several of the others likewise made it clear the only person they intended to harm was Arcade. Despite his initial belligerence, Anachronism held back as others blasted Arcade with various energy attacks and were casually swatted down, with Arcade boasting that within his realm he was effectively a god. Anachronism remained defiant, insistent that while Arcade might be able to beat them he couldn't force them to kill one another, but their kidnapper disagreed. To get the ball rolling, Arcade elected to make the first kill, picking Avengers Academy student Hazmat when she made another unsuccessful attack. Arcade offered to let the youths pick someone else, but initially nobody, including Anachronism, spoke up, unwilling to mark another to die or to die themselves; Hazmat was saved when her boyfriend and teammate Mettle offered to take her place, and was promptly blown apart by Arcade.
(Avengers Arena#2) - After Arcade departed, the Braddock Academy students split away from the others, moving into the woods to find somewhere safe to spend the night while they considered their options. Despite Kid Briton reminding her they were leaving, Apex hung back to watch the fourteen year old cyborg 'Becca Ryker, one of the youngest captives, offer her sympathies to Hazmat and be violently rebuffed.
(Avengers Arena#2 - BTS) - After the Braddock pupils started a campfire, Kid Briton found 'Becca wandering through the woods towards their camp.
(Avengers Arena#2) - Kid Briton "captured" her and presented her to the others, suggesting she was a Deathlok and had planned to kill them all in their sleep, and informing them they could repay him with their admiration. Viewing their situation as kill or be killed, Nara suggested they slay 'Becca, though Cullen made it clear he thought they were being stupid. As 'Becca pleaded for her life, Kid Briton drew his flame sword and asked her for one good reason why he should not finish her off, but backed down when Apex told him to.
(Avengers Arena#3 (fb) - BTS) - On the fourth night, intending to win the game, Apex secretly began using her ability to mentally control technology to send 'Becca, now calling herself Death Locket, out under cover of darkness to attack the various groups' camps, testing defenses and heightening paranoia. Even her own camp was targeted, with Death Locket always striking and leaving unseen.
(Avengers Arena#3) - The Braddock pupils set up a watch system, but despite this on Day 8 they were nearly set on fire. Apex accused Nara of sleeping on duty, a claim Nara angrily refuted. Trying to keep peace, Kid Briton told Apex to drop the debate.
(Avengers Arena#5 (fb) - BTS) - At some point Kid Briton misread Cullen's unrequited attraction for his friend Anachronism and wrongly concluded the two boys were a romantic couple.
(Avengers Arena#5) - A short time into their captivity, the sleepers were woken in the morning by the ground rumbling across the entire island they were on. A fiery visage appeared in the sky, and Arcade's voice boomed out, telling them he was bored and so for the next 24 hours, Murder World would become increasingly "interesting." As natural disasters started up across the island, Arcade informed everyone that there were four safe zones they could seek out, where they could also find limited supplies of food, water and medical supplies, but only enough for the first groups to get who got to them. The Braddock pupils prepared to move out, but Cullen and Anachronism delayed, searching for Anachronism's axe. Kid Briton suggested to the girls that they leave the pair, declaring them dead weight, and taunting Anachronism that he didn't have the guts to use the axe anyway. Fighting to keep control, Anachronism glared sullenly at Kid Briton, who failed to realize the danger he was courting. Cullen announced he had found the axe, then shouted at Kid Briton to catch. Turning, Kid Briton had no time to react as Cullen threw the axe right at his head, but Anachronism caught it only inches away from the shocked Briton's face.
Enraged, Kid Briton punched Cullen in the face, and Anachronism stepped in to restrain him before he could strike again. Facing off, Kid Briton laughed at Anachronism's sudden willingness to fight, but Apex called at them to stop trying to prove who was top dog. The group headed towards the nearest safe zone, with Cullen and Anachronism hanging back as the group crossed a narrow stone bridge over a river chasm. Anachronism asked his friend where they really were, wondering if Arcade had built the place with magic, then admitting he wondered if they were all really hooked up to some Virtual Reality program; Cullen told him it didn't really make any difference, and asked why he cared. Before Anachronism could reply, Kid Briton taunted the pair from the land on the other side of the bridge, suggesting they jump in. Irritated, Anachronism noted that he hated Kid Briton, and Cullen reminded him that everyone did, just as the bridge made an ominous cracking sound. The pair had just enough time to realize what was about to happen and swear, then the bridge gave way, dropping them into the chasm below. Luckily, they landed safely in a river, and Anachronism hauled the stunned Cullen safely to the bank. Glancing over the edge, Kid Briton was amused by their plight, but Apex saw an opportunity and secretly took control of Death Locket, making her blast Nara in the back, knocking the Atlantean into the chasm too. Apex then calmed an upset Kid Briton down, making it clear she was the boss of those left above the chasm.
(Avengers Arena#6) - Despite their situation, stuck down the bottom of a chasm, Anachronism was unable to stop smiling because Nara was there with them. As she ignored the two boys while she screamed bloody revenge plans at the others for shooting her in the back and abandoning her, Anachronism tried unsuccessfully to hide his grin from Cullen, who, as Anachronism expected, chastised him for being happy about them being left for dead with "your psychopath fish girl." Nara abruptly ended her rant as she sensed a flood coming, warning the boys to grab onto something, then saving their lives as the waters engulfed them, swimming to them and dragging them to the surface. To Cullen's annoyance, this merely intensified Anachronism's good mood, as he took it as a sign that she cared, even if only a little. As the raging rivers carried them downstream, Cullen sarcastically informed his friend that he believed there was something lodged down in his brain, and that if they survived, he would very much like to help knock it loose. Too pleased to care what Cullen thought, Anachronism agreed.
As they finally exited the river once clear of the chasm, the trio argued over which way to head, with Nara wanting to follow the others and take revenge on Death Locket, while Cullen preferred to head south to what was now the nearest safe zone. Cullen won the debate by making Nara realize Apex was the one who had really been behind things. While they walked, Nara pointed out to Anachronism why Kid Briton continued to bully him, making it clear that he could give his nemesis a serious fight if he ever tried to do so. When he told her that he didn't like to fight, she insisted that was a lie, recalling the pub fight she had witnessed and insisting he loved to fight. Anachronism insisted that was the warlord, not him, and admitted he sometimes took over, but Nara chastised him, telling him there was no other personality within him - he was not the Hulk, and he hadn't been transformed into an unspeakable monster that needed to be hidden away. He was simply more aggressive now, and she saw nothing wrong with that. Cullen tried to intervene, telling Nara she had no idea what Anachronism had to go through, and Nara agreed, but added that she knew what he wanted, and that he would already have it if he wasn't afraid to reach out and take it.
As she said that last, the trio were suddenly teleported to Safe Zone 2 by Arcade, just as Kid Briton, Apex and Death Locket were approaching the same place. Realizing Arcade was trying to provoke conflict, Anachronism told Nara not to bite, but the furious Atlantean confronted Apex, and punched out Kid Briton when he tried to calm things. The strength of his powers based on his confidence, which had been shaken by recent events, the strike drew blood and floored Kid Briton. Dropping her pretence of innocence, Apex ordered Death Locket to kill Nara, but Cullen broke her control by blasting the entire group away from one another with a bazooka he had found in the Zone's equipment chest. Anachronism chided Cullen for hurting Death Locket, reminding his friend that it was not the girl's fault and running over to check she was okay. Also recovering swiftly, Nara began pounding on Apex, who called on Kid Briton to come to her help. Kid Briton pleaded with Nara to leave Apex alone, but Nara taunted back that he was too weak and pathetic to be able to stop her, now that she had cut his strings. Trying to rebuild his confidence, Kid Briton insisted he was not weak, drew his sword, and leapt at her, screaming at her to take it back, his actions drawing Cullen and Anachronism's attention away from Death Locket and back to Kid Briton. Even after Kid Briton wounded her, Nara continued her taunting, enraging Kid Briton to the point where he raised his sword intending to slay her. Unwilling to see Nara die, Anachronism acted instinctively, and decapitated Kid Briton with a single axe blow.
(Avengers Arena#8) - While Cullen dressed Nara's wound, Anachronism stared at Kid Briton's body, stunned by his own actions. He admitted to the others that he had not intended to kill his opponent, nor had he even known he was physically capable of doing so. Anachronism wondered if they should bury Kid Briton, feeling that for all his flaws he deserved better than to left out in the sun to rot. Before he could complete this thought, a grateful Nara thanked Anachronism for saving her, reminding him that he had killed to defend her, not for sport or in cold blood, concluding that he had finally embraced what he was, a warrior, adding that a warrior should never apologize for defending what was his. And with this, she began to aggressively make out with him, much to Cullen's disgust. As the pair's clinch became more mutual and passionate, Cullen spotted Cammi and Runaways Nico Minoru and Chase Stein watching events unfold, and offered to share their food with the new arrivals in return for their help burying Kid Briton. Finding the ground too hard to dig, they built a stone cairn over Kid Briton's corpse and stuck his sword into the ground to serve as a headstone. Chase tried to make conversation, seemingly incredulous that the muscular Anachronism wasn't into sports, asking why he wasn't a(n American) football god, but Anachronism responded that for one thing, being Scottish, his football (soccer) had different gods. Seeing Nara storm off, annoyed by comments Nico had made, Anachronism called out to her and followed.
(Avengers Arena#9) - The couple returned later that night to find the others had just witnessed a battle between Death Locket, Juston Seyfert's Sentinel, and a boy identified as Apex's brother, Tim. Believing this last to be a trick, Nara snatched Anachronism's axe and threatened to kill Tim, but was convinced to back down. The group listened as Tim explained that he shared his body with his manipulative and murderous sister, after which the group voted whether to kill him or not to prevent Apex's return; Anachronism was amongst those who voted against murdering Tim.
(Avengers Arena#10) - The next morning the group woke to learn that Apex had reclaimed her shared body during the night, murdered Juston, and departed with Death Locket and the Sentinel under her control. As they were discussing what to do next, Apex returned and attacked; Nico used her sorcery to teleport the others to safety somewhere else within Murder World.
(Avengers Arena#11) - The group reappeared in the air above a beach, where fellow abductees Hazmat and Reptil had been living. Offered food in the form of a recently caught shark, Nara pushed a reluctant Anachronism to try it, and to his surprise he found it tasted better than he had anticipated. Cammi then convinced the group to search for Nico, in the hope she had survived encountering Apex.
(Avengers Arena#14) - After four days of tramping through the woods, on the 29th day of captivity the group found they had gone in a circle as they emerged on the beach they had left, having lost Hazmat, Reptil and X-23 during their wanderings thanks to Arcade's manipulations making navigation virtually impossible. While Nara took a swim, Cammi tried to figure out how to beat Arcade's game, but Cullen lost his temper and began ranting at her for not accepting their situation. Anachronism tried to calm his friend, but Cullen, sick of Anachronism's infatuation with Nara, turned on him and asked him if he had "managed to dislodge" his "head from Nara's blowhole long enough to notice the rest of us?" Anachronism warned him he had crossed the line with this last, telling Cullen to shut his mouth, but Cullen responded by telling Anachronism to make him do so, then punched him flying. More surprised than hurt, Anachronism stood up and struck Cullen a return punch as he stormed forward. Nara emerged from the water to seeing both Anachronism and Cullen with bleeding noses, but her boyfriend insisted nothing had happened.
To let things calm down, Nara led Anachronism into the woods again, where he let off steam slicing apart trees. He told Nara that Cullen was supposed to be his friend, but wouldn't let him know what the problem that was bothering him really was. Incredulous, Nara asked if Anachronism was serious, then pointed out that Cullen believed that most of them were going to die, and that on top of that he had to watch Nara and Anachronism "distract" one another from this impending fate by carrying on like lovers in front of him all day long. Anachronism wondered why Cullen couldn't just be happy for them, and Nara spelled it out for him - Cullen had it bad for him, and always had, a revelation that left Anachronism speechless.
Further discussion was curtailed by the arrival of X-23, turned homicidal by a trigger scent Arcade had deployed. The pair raced back to the beach, arriving with X-23 hot on their heels, but Nara tripped. Anachronism went back for her, blocking X-23's claws with his axe, though she sliced the top spike off his weapon. As Anachronism tried to help Nara up, Cammi shot X-23, buying them a few precious seconds. Realizing no one else had a hope of stopping the clawed mutant, Cullen removed his bloodstone ring, unleashing the monstrous Glartrox trapped inside him.
(Avengers Arena#15) - Anachronism watched, unsure what to do, as the Glartrox and X-23 sliced chunks out of one another, stunned that his friend had sacrificed his humanity in an attempt to save them all. Realizing she had genuinely come to care for him, Nara snapped him out of it, and he explained about Cullen's Glartrox problem. While the battle raged further down the sands, with a newly arrived Reptil and Nico joining in, Anachronism, Cammi and Nara hunted for Cullen's discarded ring. Cammi found it, only to have it knocked out her hands and into the sea by Reptil, who had been sent flying by a glancing blow from the Glartrox. Nara told Anachronism and the others to help with the fight while she searched underwater for the ring. As everyone else battled the Glartrox, it became clear the creature was growing ever stronger and larger, and Anachronism sadly concluded the time had come to fulfill his promise to slay his friend. While the others provided a distraction, Chase flew Anachronism onto the Glartrox's back, and he peeled back its scales to reveal Cullen trapped beneath them. Apologizing to his friend, Anachronism raised his axe to strike, but was stopped as Nara erupted from the sea shouting that she had the ring. The Glartrox turned its attention towards her, its abrupt change of direction throwing Anachronism off it to land on the sand. Determined that Murder World would not turn her naive, innocent boyfriend into a hard-hearted killer like herself, Nara stood her ground despite Anachronism screaming at her to run, and let the monster snatch her up. As it crushed the life from her, she called to Anachronism to tell her what she needed to do with the ring, and he shouted to her through his tears that she merely needed to touch it against the creature's skin. As soon as she did so, the creature began deflating like a giant balloon, its body retreating into Cullen's until it was gone. Anachronism raced to the discarded Nara lying on the beach, then began screaming in grief as it became clear she was dead.
(Avengers Arena#16) - Cullen walked up to Anachronism, trying to comfort his friend, but Anachronism turned on him with his axe raised. Feeling that he had lost Aiden, and killed the woman Aiden had loved, Cullen made no attempt to defend himself as Anachronism sliced his abdomen open with the axe, then kicked him in the face. Cammi intervened, pointing her energy blaster at Anachronism and ordering him to stop; when he didn't, she blasted him, sending him flying. Unfortunately, the two Runaways decided this was an appropriate juncture to eliminate the other survivors, triggering multiple battles. Racing back through the woods towards the beach, Anachronism was attacked by Reptil, who had taken on the form of a triceratops.
(Avengers Arena#17) - Having evaded Reptil, Anachronism came across X-23, still berserk from the trigger scent, attacking Hazmat. Blaming X-23 for starting the events that ended in Nara's demise, he attacked, saving Hazmat as a by-product of his assault. After his axe knocked X-23 off of the prone Hazmat, Anachronism proceeded to rain blow after blow down on her, hacking away at her as tears streamed down his face. Still in triceratops form, Reptil stormed into the clearing, shouted at Anachronism to leave his friends alone, and knocked him flying. All parties involved ignored Hazmat as she called out to them to stop fighting, aware they were giving Arcade exactly what he wanted.
(Avengers Arena#18) - Anachronism and Reptil continued to fight until they spotted Hazmat's radiation powers were overloading. To save everyone else, Reptil broke off the battle, turned into an amphibious dinosaur, and carried Hazmat into the sea. Anachronism and the others watched as the waters erupted in a radiant explosion, but were spared its effects. Watching all this from Arcade's control center, where she had usurped control, Apex activated Murder World's weapons to slay the survivors, who put aside their differences to fight back. However, they were gradually overwhelmed and were being buried alive by the sand creatures when suddenly the attacks ended. As they pulled themselves from the sand, an energy bubble rose through the sand and disgorged Death Locket, who revealed she had slain Apex and switched Murder World off. After comparing notes, the survivors discussed what story they should tell the outside world about what had happened to them during their captivity, determined not to let Arcade win by revealing his success in manipulating them into killing some of their number. Then they contacted their respective adults and teachers. Anachronism watched as Captain Britain oversaw a bandaged Cullen being stretchered onto an evacuation helicopter, unsure what to say to his friend. A few days later, Arcade released uncensored footage of the teens in Murder World onto the internet, where it swiftly began trending.
(Avengers Undercover#1 (fb) - BTS) - Thanks to Arcade's footage, the Murder World survivors became unwilling celebrities, their lives laid open for the world. Anachronism and Cullen returned to Braddock Academy, but barely spoke to one another, despite Anachronism's attempts to talk. When he did manage to get Cullen to say anything, all the junior Bloodstone could talk about was Arcade - where he might be hiding, how they could find him, etc. One morning Cullen abruptly packed his things and left.
(Avengers Now! Handbook) - The revelation of their son's ordeal had the unexpected side effect of bringing Aiden's parents back together.
(Avengers Undercover#1 (fb) - BTS) - Hoping his friend merely needed some time and space, Anachronism let Cullen be for the next three months.
(Avengers Undercover#10 (fb)) - When Arcade approached Baron Zemo in the corrupt nation of Bagalia hoping to join his Masters of Evil, he was instead taken prisoner. Intending to lure the Murder World survivors to the underground Bagalia City, a supervillain stronghold, and then use them in turn to lure their adult mentors into a trap there, Zemo had a duplicate made of his captive.
(Avengers Undercover#1 (fb) - BTS) - Cullen began hunting Arcade, ultimately tracking him to Bagalia City.
(Avengers Undercover#3 (fb) - BTS) - Cullen was captured by the Masters of Evil, with the demonic Hellstorm taking control of his mind.
(Avengers Undercover#1 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually Anachronism grew concerned, and visited Bloodstone Manor. He found a room decorated with research on Arcade, his hideouts and known associates, with toy effigies of Arcade hanging from the ceiling, and the walls liberally covered in grafitti replacing one simple phrase: "Kill Arcade." Anachronism also found research on the Masters of Evil, and videos Cullen had made destroying some of Arcade's homes around the world. The final video, now three weeks old, showed Cullen in Bagalia, about to enter the underground capital city where he believed Arcade was hiding out. Seeing this, Anachronism contacted the other survivors, sending them Cullen's first revenge video and asking them to come to Bloodstone Manor.
(Avengers Undercover#1) - Cammi, Chase, Nico, Death Locket and Hazmat answered the call, and Anachronism convinced them to join him in trying to rescue Cullen.
(Avengers Undercover#2) - Having entered Bagalia, the survivors flew into the underground city, but were spotted by several of its supervillain residents before they could land, prompting an immediate battle against the Young Masters of Evil. Defeating them, the group moved further into the city, tracking Cullen to Arcade's bar, The Hole. As the others tried to think up a plan to infiltrate a drinking establishment containing over a hundred supervillains, Anachronism announced he was done planning and that he was going to get his friend. He stormed towards the bar, smashing through the villains at the door, sending one, the Porcupine, crashing through a window. As Anachronism strode through the broken glass, the venue fell silent and the revelers within turned to stare at the newcomer. The others expected a mass melee to erupt, but instead Cullen's voice cried out from the back of the bar, telling the assembled villains to wait. Striding out from the throng, in seeming good health and smiling, Cullen informed the criminal clientele that these were the other infamous Murder World survivors, prompting an appreciative cry from the assembled villains.
As the survivors adjusted to the discovery that they were considered welcome celebrities in the bar, Cullen demanded to know what his friends were doing there. Anachronism explained they were a rescue mission, but Cullen asked if it looked like he needed rescuing. Hearing his friend refer to himself as part of the villainous throng, Anachronism asked Cullen if he had joined the Masters of Evil, but Cullen responded that he couldn't tell him as he wouldn't want to lie to his best friend and betray his trust, then reminded Anachronism that he had no right to question Cullen's decisions after trying to hack him to bits back in Murder World. As the others showed concern, insisting they were not trying to judge, Cullen claimed that while he had initially come down to the city hunting Arcade, he had stayed because he had found people who were not disgusted by what he was or the darkness he held within him.
As Chase derided the decision to associate with villains, Cullen strode off in annoyance, with Nico following, trying to patch things up. Unsure what to do, Anachronism stood there looking dejected, until Hazmat dragged him onto the dance floor. He protested that he didn't know how to dance, and was not in the mood anyway, but Hazmat told him to stop it, pointing out that he hadn't lost Cullen in the way they had lost their friends who had died. Cullen was still there, just mad with him, and he had a right to be mad, after Anachronism chose Nara over him, then nearly killed him. Hazmat consoled Anachronism by telling him they would stay as long as it took to get Cullen back, but in the meantime he needed to "Celtic warlord up" and act like he belonged, before one of the villains fitted him for a leash. Much to the others' surprise, a gradually smiling Anachronism did his uncoordinated best to dance with Hazmat.
After four hours of watching all of her fellows become increasingly cosy amongst the bar's villains while she literally held their weapons, Cammi confronted the group outside the bar and chastised the embarrassed group. She informed them the mission was a bust and insisted they all leave, but before they could, Cullen appeared at the bar entrance and interrupted, agreeing that departing was a good idea, but suggesting a different destination. Without further explanation, Cullen called out to his "mentor" Hellstorm, who teleported them all to a swanky black tie party. The group found themselves in tuxes and little black dresses as appropriate, and watched as Arcade (actually the duplicate) was introduced as the party's guest of honor. Cullen then told his shocked friends that they were there to kill the assassin.
(Avengers Undercover#3) - Since this was a Murder World party, the attendees were all there to try and kill one another. "Arcade" told them to begin, prompting the teens to duck for cover. Noticing that Hazmat was staring at "Arcade," seemingly lost in memories of what he had done to them, Anachronism tackled her to prevent her being shot, then moved her to a side room where the others had gathered. Hazmat remained unresponsive while Cullen explained that "Arcade," now hunted by a lot of very angry heroes for what he had done, had invented a new "pay to play" Murder World winner take all bloodsport to keep himself amused, bringing in paying patrons willing to fight one another to the death. However, Cullen viewed it as the ideal opportunity to slay "Arcade." As the others argued over what to do, Anachronism called for them to stop, concerned that something was very wrong with Hazmat. Death Locket concluded that she was in catatonic shock. While Death Locket, Cullen and Nico headed to the ersatz Arcade's control center to shut off his artificial powers, "Arcade" spotted Anachronism, Cammi and Chase protecting the unresponsive Hazmat and attacked, sending them flying while easily repelling their attempts to counterattack. "Arcade" levitated the trio into the air, checking out and then ignoring Hazmat, and wondered aloud about what he could do to better his win against them. A moment later, his powers switched off. Anachronism and the others confronted "Arcade," and took turns hitting their tormentor, but stopped short of killing him. Beaten and bloodied, "Arcade" noted that despite his actions, they had remained true heroes because of this, but to the others' shock, Hazmat suddenly came out of her daze and angrily burned "Arcade" down to his skeleton.
(Avengers Undercover#4) - As the others stood staring at the ersatz Arcade's smoldering skeleton in shock, Cammi asked Death Locket if she had turned off the cameras when she shut down Arcade's powers. Death Locket's uncertain response prompted Cammi to instruct the others that they needed to leave immediately. As they did, Anachronism asked Hazmat if she was okay, and she confirmed that while she was not totally so, she was well enough for them to table the discussion until they got out of Murder World. They battled their way past the remaining Murder World competitors to the exit, with Cammi pointing out that if their actions had been recorded then they might be facing prison time for murder. Chase callously noted that only Hazmat had been involved in killing Arcade, causing Anachronism to warn him to watch what he said, before Hazmat pointed out he was right. However, Cammi pointed out that since they had explicitly discussed killing Arcade prior to what happened, they would all be considered guilty of pre-meditated murder.
Before they could leave, the walls crumbled to reveal a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier hovering overhead, and armed troops dropped down and stunned them. The group was taken into custody at a S.H.I.E.L.D. containment facility, where Anachronism was visited by his crying mother and angry father. Moments later, Hellstorm teleported them all out of custody and back to Bagalia, where they were greeted by cheering crowds, supposedly impressed by what had been done to Arcade. As the youths followed Hellstorm into Zemo's command building, Anachronism made it clear to Hazmat and Cammi that he was suspicious about how carefully planned their rescue seemed to be, and asked Hazmat how she was doing. Saying she was hanging on, she thanked him for his concern. The group was led into an ornate dining room laid out with a feast, and met by Baron Zemo, who offered them a chance to join his organization, pointing out that while mundane people were allowed to use any talents they had to achieve success, the truly superhuman were effectively forced into thinly veiled conscription, noting that in the outside world they had been locked up for killing a madman. Claiming there was no threat, just an offer, he said he could teach them to live the lives they wanted, instead of the ones expected for them, if they simply joined him.
(Avengers Undercover#5) - The group were split up between Zemo's lieutenants to be shown round Bagalia City, and given the night to consider his offer. Madame Masque took Anachronism, Cammi and Hazmat. As she took them higher up Zemo Tower, she informed them that she had seen from the Murder World videos that, unlike their fellows who she deemed either victims, cannon fodder or loaded guns waiting to go off, they had demonstrated leadership potential, and told them they could win a seat at Zemo's top table. Then she departed in a helicopter on a personal mission, stating she had offered them the world on a golden platter, and saw no reason wasting her whole evening trying to convince them to grab it. As soon as she was gone, the trio confirmed to one another that they all knew they were being played, but acknowledged that their options sucked, with Anachronism summing it up - they either played along with the badguys and hope the endgame wouldn't be terminal for them, or sucked it up and went back to jail. Hazmat noted that heroes got away with worse than murder all the time, suggesting they could claim they had all been possessed, but Anachronism noted they were not considered heroes any more, but Murder World. However, Hazmat suggested they might change that if they did something especially heroic.
A short while later they met up with Chase and Nico, and informed them there was a third option they preferred to jail or join - to infiltrate the Masters of Evil and bring Zemo's empire down from the inside. Anachronism pointed out that superheroes didn't tend to be put in jail, or at least, not for long, and Hazmat admitted that they didn't have a plan yet beyond playing along until they found an opening to use. Since Hellstorm had chosen to try and win Nico over, thus making her the most likely to spend time around Cullen, Anachronism asked her to work on his friend, accepting that Cullen might not be interested in their scheme at the moment, but hoping she could work on him, and making it clear that he was not willing to do this without extricating Cullen too. Cammi chose to leave (but was secretly captured and imprisoned alongside Arcade when she tried to depart), but the others went along with the plan, and told Zemo they would join him.
(Avengers Undercover#7) - After Chase was badly injured by Death Locket (after revealing to her the group's plan) while out on a mission with the Young Masters, Anachronism and Hazmat went to inform Nico. They found her arguing with her villainous ex-boyfriend, Alex Wilder, and she teleported to meet the ship bringing him in. Anachronism and Hazmat arrived in time to witness Nico use her magic to try and heal Chase. Though she healed his chest wound, he remained unconscious, and Anachronism and Hazmat stayed with Nico as she watched the Master's doctor examined him, and witnessed her subsequent argument with him over Chase's treatment.
(Avengers Undercover#8) - Unfortunately, Death Locket decided to tell the Masters what Chase had said to her.
(Avengers Undercover#8 (fb)) - Over the next few months Anachronism and Hazmat continued to fake allegiance to Masque and the Masters, joining their mentor in missions across the globe, including battling Hydra, and becoming increasingly close.
(Avengers Undercover#8) - In Madripoor with Masque, Anachronism and Hazmat battled the Hand. When Masque seemed to become distracted by a dress in a shop window, Anachronism asked her to focus until they beat all the ninjas, but Masque informed him that since this was the Hand's territory, it would take them several lifetimes to achieve that goal, even as more ninjas poured in from above. The ninjas surrounded them, then backed down as their masters, Sabretooth and Mystique arrived, chiding Masque that she could have just called them if she wanted a meeting. Anachronism and Hazmat stared at one another incredulously as Masque departed with the new arrivals, telling them that this way was more fun. While Masque conducted business in Sabretooth's penthouse, Anachronism and Hazmat stood on the balcony outside watching the sunset, and Anachronism admitted it was sometimes tough reminding himself that their "James Bond" jet-set lifestyle was a cover. He asked Hazmat to tell him they still wanted their old lives back; she admitted their fake life was fun, but reminded him that they were still working with villains and would be fools to trust them, adding that as soon as they saw an opening they should take it. To her surprise, Anachronism's response to this was to grab her and kiss her. As she broke off blushing, Masque joined them on the balcony, telling them she was glad they had finally admitted their attraction to one another. Telling them she had been impressed with their performances of late, she invited them to sit in on the negotiations, and the pair accepted the offer.
(Avengers Undercover#8) - Faking needing to use a restroom so she could access a phone in a diner en route back to Bagalia, Hazmat called Hank Pym and informed him of the Master's supposed plan. She confirmed to Anachronism that the call had gone well, but that they would have minimal time once they got back to Bagalia to get the others on board. Despite Hazmat warning him to give up on Cullen, and admitting to himself that Cullen would not leave with them, Anachronism visited him anyway to inform him that they were gathering the others and planned to leave.
Anachronism told Cullen he knew Cullen's place was in Bagalia now, but since this might be his last chance to talk to his best mate, he just wanted to apologize for everything - for being too dim to realize how Cullen really felt, for loving him like a brother when that wasn't enough, for chopping him with his axe when Nara died despite knowing full well it wasn't Cullen's fault, and mostly for not knowing how to fix their friendship. As he finished speaking, the Glartrox's tentacles erupted out of Cullen's back, trapping him and lifting him aloft. Mockingly praising Anachronism's speech, Hellstrom revealed his presence, making it clear he had been controlling Cullen for some time. Hellstorm unleashed the Glartrox, which began smashing Anachronism against buildings, drawing Nico's attention, moments before an unconscious Anachronism was smashed through the wall.
(Avengers Undercover#9) - Under Hellstorm's command, the Glartrox continued to pound Anachronism. Though awake again, he felt beaten, with nothing left to give in the fight, and he noticed that he no longer heard the warlord within him, nor felt his bloodlust. Hellstorm told him to stay down, informing him that nobody wanted to kill him. He and the others were just a means to an end, and if he was smart he would stay down and let things play out. Anachronism recognized that yielding was his only chance to survive, but got back up anyway, as Hellstorm had overestimated how much stock Anachronism put in surviving. Picking up his axe, he informed Hellstorm he would not be yielding while a walking matchstick had his best friend on a leash. Hellstorm reacted angrily to the insult, but Hazmat joined the fight before he could retaliate, pouring on her own insults. As he angrily rounded on them, Nico joined the fight, knocking loose the hellfire crown from the Glartrox's head, freeing it from Hellstorm's control.
While Nico battled Hellstorm, Hazmat asked Anachronism how they would take down the Glartrox as it loomed over them. Saying that the only way to stop it would be to kill Cullen, and he was done with killing, Anachronism dropped his axe and strode forward. The Glartrox lifted him aloft with its tentacles, but Anachronism appealed to Cullen, saying that the friend he knew would be embarrassed to be outwitted by someone like Hellstorm, or to admit a pasty faced hellspawn could control his soul monster while Cullen couldn't. Abruptly waking from his stupor, Cullen pulled the Glartrox back into himself through force of will alone. When Cullen moved closer to ask if he was alright, Cullen surprised him by kissing him on the lips. Anachronism was left stammering and unsure of what to say, much to both Hazmat and Cullen's amusement, and Cullen reassured him that he knew Anachronism loved him like a brother, but told him that since Anachronism had been willing to risk his life to save Cullen after six months of being given the cold shoulder, Cullen was going to kiss him on the mouth: "Deal with it." The trio then joined Nico in confronting Hellstorm, moments before the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Braddock Academy's Captain Britain and Meggan arrived in Bagalia City, responding to the summons Hazmat had sent via Pym. Hellstorm responded by summoning his own back-up, in the form of demons, Constrictor, Satannish and the Young Masters, and battle commenced...but only for a few seconds, after which Hellstorm teleported Zemo's forces out, and Alex Wilder sealed the pit's entrance. Before the heroes could free themselves, Zemo's forces seized control of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier they had brought with them.
(Avengers Undercover#10) - Anachronism apologized to Captain Britain as the trapped forces worked to breach the rocks sealing the pit shut, but Captain Britain accepted that his student had not known he had lured them into a trap. Though Zemo's forces ran amuck for a short time, Cammi usurped control of Arcade's technology to duplicate the god-like powers he had within Murder World and defeated the Masters, then revealed to the world that Arcade was alive, clearing her friends of the murder charge hanging over them. S.H.I.E.L.D. director Maria Hill confirmed that all charges had been dropped, and the teens joined other students from their respective faculties and teams taking a well-earned vacation by an out-of-the-way lake.
Comments: Created by Dennis Hopeless (writer) and Kevin
Hopeless stated that he initially conceived of Anachronism as a Scottish version of He-Man.
Aiden's surname and the circumstances of when and where he gained his powers was revealed in his entry for the Avengers NOW! Handbook. Some online sites had inaccurately claimed that he gained his powers while playing a computer game, presumably a misreading the flashback in Avengers Arena #5 when he was bullied by Kid Briton while playing a computer game, then transformed following a subsequent assault.
Anachronism claimed he learned of the Glartrox from Ulysses Bloodstone's "cryptology" books - however, while it is entirely possible that Ulysses had books on code-breaking, it seems less likely that these contained information on extradimensional parasites. Presumably Anachronism mis-spoke and meant cryptozoology books.
A few sites online claim Aiden merged with a Celtic war GOD, rather than warLORD, citing Avengers Arena#2 as the issue that makes this claim. However, if you check out the relevant dialogue (image on the right, third word balloon, last word), you can see it is definitely warlord, not war god. This identification is repeated through several other issues, all of which say "lord" rather than "god."
Anachronism's dialogue in Avengers Arena confirms his mother had left his father some time ago, and that she was apparently no longer part of his life. However, his parents both visited Aiden when he was incarcerated by S.H.I.E.L.D., raising the possibility that they had reconciled, that one of the parents seen was a step-parent, or that they had perhaps merely both visited their son and put aside past differences for the duration of the visit. Dennis Hopeless confirmed for Anachronism's handbook entry that Anachronism's highly publicised ordeal in Murder World in Avengers Arena had indeed served as a catalyst to bring Aiden's parents back together.
Profile by Loki.
Anachronism has no known connections to
Lorne and Mhairi Gillespie
Aiden's parents split when he was a child, a break-up his father coped with poorly. His ordeal in Murder World inadvertently prompted a reconciliation between Aiden's parents, but his mother was heartbroken when Aiden was subsequently arrested for his part in the fake Arcade's murder. Visiting their imprisoned son, she broke down into tears. Aiden asked her not to cry, but his angry father told him it was a little late for him to begin to concern himself about her feelings.
images: (without ads)
Avengers Now! Anachronism entry (main image)
Avengers Arena#5, p11, pan5 (head and shoulders shot of untransformed Aiden)
Avengers Arena#5, p11, pan4 (closer face shot of untransformed Aiden)
Avengers Arena#5, p13, pan5 (transforming - this is the only time we've seen the process, so while it doesn't show the transformation too clearly, it has to do)
Avengers Arena#15 cover (transformed Anachronism)
Avengers Arena#8, p6, pan5 (transformed Anachronism headshot, showing neck tattoo)
Avengers Arena#5, p10, pan1-2 (Cullen throws axe, giving clear view of the weapon; Anachronism catches, demonstrating reflexes)
Avengers Arena#5, p16, pan1 (Anachronism falls into chasm - despite the awkward stance, it's one of the clearest shots of his original boots, his axe and his belt)
Avengers Arena#6, p20, pan1 (Kid Briton is slain by Anachronism)
Avengers Arena#8, p7, pan4 (being kissed by Nara)
Avengers Arena#14, p15, pan3 (slicing a tree in two)
Avengers Arena#16, p2, pan2 (slicing Cullen)
Avengers Undercover#2, p7, pan5 (with bits of 4 and 6) (with new jacket and axe with top spike sliced off)
Avengers Undercover#3, p6, pan6 (in a tuxedo)
Avengers Undercover#8, p7, pan4 (kissing Hazmat)
Avengers Undercover#9, p9, pan4 (being kissed by Cullen)
Avengers Arena#2, p17, pan1 (not a warGOD; also shows dots tattooed on left side of face)
Avengers Undercover#4, p9, pan1 (Anachronism's parents)
Avengers Arena#1 (December 2012) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (art), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#2 (December 2012) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (art), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#3 (January 2013) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (art), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#5 (February 2013) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (art), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#6 (March 2013) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (art), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#8 (April 2013) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (pencils), Jason Gorder (inks), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#9 (May 2013) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (pencils), Kev Walker and Jason Gorder (inks), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#10 (June 2013) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Ricardo Burchielli (artist), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#11 (June 2013) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Ricardo Burchielli (artist), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#14 (August 2013) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (pencils), Kev Walker and Jason Gorder (inks), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#15 (November 2013) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (pencils), Jason Gorder (inks), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#16 (December 2013) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Karl Moline (pencils), Mark Pennington with Rick Magyar and Karl Moline (inks), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#17 (January 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (pencils), Kev Walker and Jason Gorder (inks), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Arena#18 (February 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (pencils), Kevin Walker and Jason Gorder (inks), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Undercover#1 (March 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (art), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Undercover#2 (April 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (art), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Undercover#3 (May 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Timothy Green II (art), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Undercover#4 (June 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (pencils), Jason Gorder (inker), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Undercover#5 (July 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (pencils), Jason Gorder (inker), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Undercover#7 (September 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Kevin Walker (pencils), Jason Gorder (inker), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Undercover#8 (October 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Tigh Walker (artist), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Undercover#9 (November 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Timothy Green II (art), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
Avengers Undercover#10 (December 2014) - Dennis Hopeless (writer), Tigh Walker (artist), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Bill Roseman (editor)
First Posted: 06/02/2016
Last updated: 05/30/2016
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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