Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Mark has the ability to fly faster than a jet plane, his senses are superhumanly accurate, and his skin is invulnerable to anything except for weapons made of or coated in Mithranium. He is also the strongest person on Earth, capable of lifting whole mountains without breaking a sweat.
Mark is somewhat of a boy scout, always willing to do what's right. He has vowed to never compromise his morals, especially his rule against killing. On the flip side, he can be authoritarian at times, which puts him into conflict with Drake Stormhayle's pragmatism. He's extremely protective of his nephew Squire.
Mark was born in 1916, son of James and Mary Bertrand. At the age of 15, he started showing special abilities such as super strength. After an incident in school, his parents revealed to him the secret of their family: the Bertrand clan descended from the demigod Hercules, and superhuman abilities were in their blood. He was sent to meet the wizard John D. Ace, who trained him to become the hero known as Paladin. In 1938, at age 20, Mark had his debut as Paladin, donning a costume of white and silver while stopping a bank heist. The event was reported by newspapers all over the world and instigated more and more powered heroes to come out of the woods.
Superhero Career Edit
In the next year, he met Blackwatch, a fellow crimefighter, and the two became best friends. He also encountered his arch nemesis Doctor Destructo for the first time, stopping the mad scientist's Death Ray from killing off all students and teachers in the Paradise City Scientific Institute
The Golden Age Edit
In 1941 he joined the Hypermen, a team of American superheroes idealized by FDR as a response to the Axis' usage of superhumans in the war. Together with Blackwatch, Aurora and other misterymen, he fought enemies like the evil wizard Faust, the mad scientist Dr. Destructo and his arch nemesis, Nazi paragon Blitzkrieg. The rivalry with the last one culminated in 1945, when the Hypermen fought Blitzkrieg and other Nazi villains to stop them from activating Projekt Wünderwaffe, Hitler's secret weapon. Most of the team died in the battle, including Blackwatch, Paladin's best friend.
The Hypermen's Decline Edit
The team disbanded in 1951, when Joseph McCarthy's Communist witch hunt led to the public losing their trust on costumed superheroes, and led president Harry S. Truman to terminate the Hypermen Initiative. Paladin, however, continued to fight crime on his own, and later with the help of his nephew Percy Bertrand, who developed the same powers as his uncle and began training as his sidekick, Squire. After McCarthy's downfall in 1954, Paladin began searching for ways to restore the Hypermen, now with new, younger members.