LORDS OF WAR
Membership: Kaneda, Oda, Sakuragi, others
Affiliations: A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), Nadir, Inc.
Task Force (Argento, Blue Condor/Emilie Scholz, Dragonfly/Cornelia van der Valk, Iceboy/Hamish Carlyle, Tiger)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed
First Appearance: Europa#1/2 (July 1996)
(Europa#3 back cover text) - The Lords of War are a mercenary group equipped with hyper-technological weaponry, who offer their services to the highest bidder. Outside of the Lords themselves, no one knows their exact number, nor where their main base is located.
The specialize in the fast resolution of crises situations where official authorities cannot operate without creating political or diplomatic problems. Their operations encompass industrial espionage, anti-terrorism, shows of force to dissuade dissent, and more. No member is considered the leader, but they share a strong esprit de corps and, by their own estimation if not their opponents, believe they carry out their missions with a deep sense of honor, apparently resulting from their strong affinity to (what they consider) the traditions of their Japanese ancestry. To each member, victory is less important than the mission at hand.
The Lords own extremely powerful and sophisticated weapons. The armor they wear resemble ones developed by Stark Industries, but utilize materials developed as a result of a new evolution in technological research.
(Europa#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Their already formidable armor was designed to be capable of reconfiguring to a second, more powerful format, "Armor B," for when they were either facing more dangerous than average opponents or needed to end a fight more quickly (see comments).
Nadir, Inc., a French multinational that was secretly a front for A.I.M., was conducting illegal experiments seeking to give human test subjects the ability to transform into powerful monsters. When one of their test subjects spontaneously transformed while in a market place in Kuantan, the capital of the Pahang district of peninsular Malaysia, Nadir managed to evacuate the mutate onto a plane intended to transport it back their lab on an isolated private island in Western Malaya, but, perhaps as a result of the mutate rampaging, the plane went down near Mount Mulu, Sarawak (a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo). Nadir hired three of the Lords of War, Kaneda, Oda and Sakuragi, as "cleaners," to dispose of any evidence linking back to Nadir (see comments).
(Europa#1/2) - The Lords of War discovered S.H.I.E.L.D. combat specialists Task Force at the site investigating, and having already discovered both bodies and paperwork linking Nadir to the wreckage. Two of Task Force, Iceboy and Blue Condor, had left the others at the wreck while they patrolled the perimeter separate from each other. Oda descended silently from the sky behind Iceboy and charged up his left gauntlet to strike, but before he could carry out his ambush Blue Condor suddenly smashed into him, her timely intervention surprising and saving Iceboy. Climbing back to his feet and wiping his jaw where he had been struck, Oda heard Blue Condor shouting to Iceboy to warn the others they were facing an Iron Man-wannabe. Disparaging the comparison with "that two-bit Avenger" Oda announced he was a Lord of War, and smashed Blue Condor to the ground with a sudden lunge. Looming over the stunned woman, Oda charged up both fists with energy and told his victim that it was time to send her to her god. As the energy flared, a horrified Iceboy screamed "no!" and opened fire.
(Europa#1/2 - BTS) - Oda blasted Blue Condor in the head, killing her. Kaneda and Sakuragi arrived, and one of the Lords blasted Iceboy in the back, knocking him out.
(Europa#1/2) - Hearing the sounds of battle, the remaining members of Task Force raced to their friends' aid, arriving to find the three Lords looming over their fallen comrades. Kaneda wryly told his compatriots that it seemed their job wasn't finished yet, and Sakuragi cockily replied it should only take them a few seconds. Kaneda opened fire on Task Force's Tiger, inflicting pain but minimal damage on the indestructible soldier. Reminding his fellow Lords that they were professionals, not "supergaijin," Kaneda pointed out that this was intended to be a hit-and-run mission, and so they should be fast and expeditious, and not play with their foes.
As Task Force's remaining members opened fire, Argento noted the Lords of War had enough artillery to destroy an army. Agreeing, Dragonfly instructed Task Force to open fire with everything they had, and to aim for joints and exposed flesh. Leaping up, she vaulted over Kaneda, her right hand briefly touching his back as she used him to complete her jump. As she landed alongside Tiger and Argento, the latter suggested they deploy an E.M.P. to take out their opponents' armor, but Dragonfly told him it was too risky, as it would also disable their weapons, too. Smiling, she pulled out a remote control trigger and noted she had another solution, then pressed her thumb down. An explosion engulfed Kaneda, as the bomb she had stuck to his back detonated. However, the smoke cleared to reveal him unscathed but angry. He ordered the other Lords to stop wasting time and switch to "armor B." Shocked at his survival, Dragonfly noted her charge could have taken out a building, and she and Tiger watched as the Lords' armor bulked up, covering them more fully and extruding even more weapon ports.
Then Dragonfly was distracted to see that Argento was crouching, ignoring this new turn of events as energy poured from his hands and eyes. Tiger leapt forward, telling his distracted teammates to stay behind him as he blocked an energy blast from their temporarily forgotten foes. Kaneda reminded the other Lords that he wanted the fight ended with the next shot, and Tiger warned his fellows that he didn't think they would survive another blast like the last one. As the Lords flew towards them, Dragonfly told Tiger to keep his composure, adding that they needed to figure out a way to make a run for it. Struggling with newfound and painful abilities, Argento generated an energy shield that blocked the Lords and their assault, while simultaneously ripping up the ground between them, opening a portal elsewhere. Slamming into the momentary barrier, the Lords were knocked to the ground, and Tiger seized the opportunity to pick up the now unconscious Argento and grab Dragonfly's arm, urging her to jump into the portal. Dragonfly hesitated, pausing to glance back at their opponents and shouting she thought she had identified something on their armors, but before she could complete her thought, an energy blast ripped through her midriff, fatally wounding her.
(Europa#1/2 - BTS) - With most of their foes having vanished, the Lords cleansed the site, and took the captured Iceboy back to Nadir.
(Europa#3/2) - The survivors of Task Force joined with EuroMind's EuroLab team to form Euroforce, and they broke into Nadir's base to hunt for evidence about the mutates and the missing Iceboy. After splitting into two teams, their presence on site was discovered and the alarm was sounded just as "Euroforce Red," consisting of Argento, Danger, Deep Sight, Nuage and Picaro, reached the computer room. They overpowered the guards there and while Picaro helped Deep Sight hack the computer system Argento and Danger stood watch. Responding to the alarms, the Lords of War announced their arrival by blasting Danger from behind. Recognizing Argento as one of the opponents who had escaped them a few days earlier, Kaneda called dibs on him.
(Europa#4/2) - The Lords of War learned they had underestimated
their new adversaries. Though most of Euroforce's members were not combat
specialists like Task Force, this time the Lords of War did not have the
advantage of ambushing and downing half their opponents before the battle
began. Additionally, the former EuroLab members possessed a wider range of
powers than Task Force, who had mostly been armed with military weapons
outmatched by the Lords' superior technology. An energy blast from Picaro
sent Oda flying backwards, and a telepathic assault by Nuage instantly knocked
Complaining that these tactics were dishonorable, Kaneda and Oda switched their armors up to higher power levels and charged back into the fray. As they re-entered the room, Argento dropped on Kaneda from above, informing him they had a score to settle. Caught off guard, Oda wondered aloud where Argento had been hiding, just before Danger suddenly appeared and struck him, emerging from the same psychic camouflage Nuage had been providing his teammate. Deep Sight announced that she didn't foresee any great difficulty taking down the Lords, a pronouncement that pleased Danger, who noted that his foe didn't seem to want to stay down even as he struck Oda with energized fists. Leaping over Kaneda, Argento shot him in the face with both guns and shouted to his teammates that the mercenary was all their's. Nuage drew the Lords attention towards her, distracting them while Deep Sight stepped up behind them and electrocuted them into unconsciousness, a feat she noted was only possible because the battle had ruptured their armors' internal insulators.
Comments: Created by Xavier Marturet and Paco Diaz.
It's not openly stated that the Lords were first hired by Nadir to clean up the plane crash; it is feasible they were already on payroll as security. However, the Lords' desire to find honor in their missions, with combat being viewed as one of the ways to achieve this, seems at odds with being security guards who might end up sitting down twiddling their thumbs much of the time. Plus, if they'd been Nadir's troubleshooters to begin with, then they would have been the ones tasked with transporting the dangerous mutate from Kuantan, rather than cleaning up the mess when things went wrong. Additionally, if they'd already been working for Nadir and so on site at their Malayan lab, then they would have reached the plane wreckage long before Task Force, who had to travel all the way from Europe. So I've ASSumed that they were only brought in initially to clean up the crash, and then were kept on or re-hired because Nadir had advance warning that Euroforce were on their way to raid the lab.
Since they can shift their armors to more powerful configurations, the question is, why don't they simply always have them on the higher setting? It might be that the lower setting provides more mobility and agility and so is better for some types of combat; it might be because the higher setting uses up fuel more quickly and so can't be sustained for very long; or, given how they see combat as an honorable pursuit, it might be because they view it as more of a challenge and thus more honorable to win fights without having to switch up levels. If the last, then I personally think it's a dumb choice, but what do I know? If I were a Power Ranger, I'd turn up for the fight against the ninja minions and monster-of-the-week already piloting the combined giant robot and stomp them to paste before the monster had a chance to turn into a giant.
The Lords appear in Europa#2/2, but only in a flashback narrated by Tiger, discussing Task Force's encounter with them.
A trio of armored individuals who resemble the Lords seemed to attack Euroforce's plane as it fled Nadir's lab, just before the plane blew up, seemingly killing all on board. However, though Euroforce genuinely believed they were under attack, subsequent events revealed that the three Lords who had already fought the team were still unconscious at the time, and Euroforce's deaths were faked so they could work in the shadows to clear their names, as they had been framed for terrorist acts. As such, the Lords who carried out the plane attack were presumably not the real deal.
Profile by Loki, with invaluable aid from comic translator Angelo Mammone.
The Lords of War has no known connections to:
Kaneda has no known connections to:
Oda has no known connections to:
Sakuragi has no known connections to:
The Lords of War say they don't have a leader. But if they did, Kaneda would be a strong candidate, at least for the trio encountered by Task Force and Euroforce. He is the sharpest strategist of the trio, and the one who kept the mission parameters most in mind, ordering his compatriots to switch to their higher powered Armor B mode to finish the fight with Task Force more expediently.
Comments: Kaneda is a common Japanese surname, literally meaning "Golden Rice Field," or less literally "rich" or "wealthy." It might be his actual surname, as Golden Rice Field seems a pretty bizarre codename, but given each of his teammates names surprisingly translate into something along a similar theme, perhaps the Lords of War choose agricultural crop codenames that can double for real names.
--Europa#1/2 (3/2, 4/2
Oda is a massive man, easily the largest of the three Lords of War who battled Task Force and Euroforce. His face is marked by "a thousand" scars, evidence of his bellicose nature and a history of fighting.
Comments: Oda is a common Japanese place name and surname, literally meaning "Small Rice Paddy." It might be his actual surname, as that's a pretty bizarre codename, but given each of his teammates names surprisingly translate into something along a similar theme, perhaps the Lords of War choose agricultural crop codenames that can double for real names.
--Europa#1/2 (3/2, 4/2
Sakuragi is one of the few female warriors who the Lords of War consider deserving to be counted in their number.
Comments: Sakuragi is a common Japanese surname, literally meaning "Cherry Blossom Tree." It might be her actual surname, as Cherry Blossom Tree seems a pretty bizarre codename, but given each of her teammates names surprisingly translate into something along a similar theme, perhaps the Lords of War choose agricultural crop codenames that can double for real names.
--Europa#1/2 (3/2, 4/2
images: (without ads)
All images from Europa issues, 2nd (Euroforce) stories:
#3, p17 (main image)
#1, p14, pan 5 (standing over their fallen foes)
#1, p19, pan 3 (powering up to Armor B)
#1, p21, pan 4 (in Armor B mode)
#4, p18, pan 1 & 2 (the fake Lords flying to Euroforce's plane and entering it)
#4, p1 (Kaneda)
#1, p12, pan 3 (Oda)
#4, p1 (Sakuragi)
Europa#1-4 (July-October, 1996) - Xavier Marturet (writer), Paco Diaz (art), Enrico Fornaroli; Marco M. Lupoi; Miguel Carrasco (editors)
First Posted: 01/16/2019
Last updated: 01/16/2019
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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