The man called Arsenal began life as a child who was often bullied and learned to deal with this by evolving another persona that transformed him into a far darker person. Diagnosed with a form of multiple personality disorder, his parents put him in military school hoping it could do what the mental health system couldn't do without making their son dependent on medication for the rest of his life. Upon reaching adulthood, Jack chose the military as a profession where his rapid learning skills and willingness to blindly follow orders led to his recruitment into a special ops program called Project Victory.
Becoming an assassin, he had no issue with killing anyone he was ordered to kill no matter their age or gender and whether they were guilty... or innocent of any wrong. But, as his conscience started to bother him, he began disobeying orders and secretly became wed to a woman of Japanese descent named Akari. To aid him, he underwent treatments granting him the ability to mimic the appearance of others almost perfectly by touching them and was given various items used by so-called super villains to use in his activities. What made him exceptionally lethal was his ability to improvise anything into a weapon and to understand complicated weapons systems almost instantly.
Exceptionally gifted with computers, he could hack into almost any system and glide through the internet with ease. The
dark web became his personal playground even as the real world became a bloodbath in which he indulged himself. But these skills also made him aware of certain government operatives who were abusing their positions of influence becoming enemies of the nation they served either by intent or ignorance. Assuming the costumed identity of Argent, he began to infiltrate and assassinate some of these people because his abilities made it almost impossible to trace his activities.
On a mission to kill billionaire William Ross, he was set up by a member of the Illuminati within this power structure who had become aware of Argent's activities. Sending an armored powerhouse called Arsenal to kill him during the mission, Jack was put in a position where he was forced to defend his intended targets and himself at the same time. While he would succeed in defeating Arsenal, it cost him dearly as he lost his lower right leg and suffered numerous high-caliber gunshot wounds. As Jack began losing consciousness, his last vision was seeing Williams's family embracing him and them looking at him as he died.
When he awoke, he found himself still among the living as William Ross had done everything in his power to save him calling on experts from throughout his corporate empire to do what seemed impossible. He found that his body had been rebuilt using cybernetic enhancements and that while his body itself had been scarred, his ability to mimic others had seemingly acted on its own to allow him to conceal the remaining damage. Among the changes was that his surviving organics had been made invulnerable to further harm and cybernetic implants had been placed throughout his body.
William Ross Knew exactly who Jack was because he used hiw connections with Project Guardstar to do an extensive background check. His daughter Abby, however, saw only the hero who saved their lives and Ross made only one request in return for all he had done... to use his second chance to be the hero his daughter believed him to be and to protect the innocent from men like him. Given the codename
Rōnin, Jack would undergo extensive retraining to learn about the things done to him and, in particular, what the cybernetic nanite implants placed within him allowed him to do.
In his basic fighting mode he was just a man with the abilities granted to him and a fondness for bladed weapons, firearms and stealth. The cybernetic implants allow him to summon weapons and three interactive suits of armor that each integrated into the next by mere thought alone. This armor provides life support as his eyes, ears, and ability to breathe are vulnerabilities that the "survival suit" compensates for. He also has an oxygen supply provided by the suit so that he can continue to breathe in situations where there is no oxygen or it exists in a form his lungs can't use (such as underwater).
This survival suit augments his abilities by providing interactive computer systems capable of tapping into space satellites, allows him to see in a wide range of ways and provides long-distance communications. The second suit of armor blends seamlessly with the first providing him with Class 6 superhuman strength, the ability to fly, and to generate waves of concussive force ranging from a minor shove to destroying a tank. It ejects drones to expand his sensory range, do recon and self-destruct like a stick of dynamite while projecting mini-missiles from his gauntlets, optic lasers and forcefields around those near him for protection.
But it is the third set of armor that provides him with the most devastating power which William prefers not to use because the collateral damage and risk of killing innocents is too great. The level of explosive force it can unleash is tenfold greater than the second suit of armor and generates devastating heat beams capable of melting almost anything. Gatling guns on its wrists fire a devastating barrage of high-caliber ammo that has to reset itself after every 300 rounds and a multi-missile launcher on his back that can fire different types of specially designed missiles that also reset after emptying.
This suit of armor is where he gets the name Arsenal because the armor is based on that of the mercenary that almost ended his existence. It possesses the ability to summon a mace-headed wrecking ball to channel all of its destructive power into anything it hits. What lay before him was no less than taking on the entire government of the United States because he had become an enemy of the state determined to cleanse it of the cancer he saw growing within it. Setting out on a mission of vengeance bearing in mind the wish of Abby Ross (Williams daughter) that he be a hero so that he would not kill anyone not worth killing.
This meant he had to learn how to immobilize thugs, henchment and soldiers who were not his primary targets even though this would often prove difficult to impossible. Seeking to reach his target was made more difficult by the fact he had been made an enemy of the state and that an entire organization called Nexus protected the Shadowlord. When he finally confronted his enemy and destroyed him outright, he was to learn he had only killed an imposter but he had successfully exposed his operations eliminating that threat and others connected to it.
In retaliation, Shadowlord ordered assassins to murder Jack's family during this battle as Jack had made the mistake of revealing who he was to the impersonator unthinking of the repercussions. He was not aware of this at first because while he had checked in to see what had become of them, he had decided to conceal himself from his wife and children. William Ross was aware and had spirited away his wife and younger children to safety while being unable to save his eldest son, his parents and other members of his extended family. Overwhelmed at the magnitude of his loss, it would soon be compounded when William Ross himself was slain.
Cynthia Ross would bury her husband in secret concealing him within a tomb on his family plot under his true given first name Tucker as William was his Middle name after his father. Assuming William's identity to conceal the fact that Shadowlord had been successful, Jack gained access to all of Williams connections including his financial empire. Williams wife Cynthia would go along with the ruse as long as she remained in control over her husbands estate because she wanted vengeance upon her husbands killer and allowed her daughter Abby in on the arrangement because she knew her real father was dead.
When the Shadowlord then came for them, he would only succeed in destroying SD's (Synthetic Decoys) designed to fool even the most discerning eye. Cynthia's research on the Shadowlord learning that he was an ancient warlord named
Sun Tzu who was Unholy, an immortal who could not be truly slain as he would always return in one form or another. When William finally confronted the Shadowlord, he could not help himself but to destroy his enemy understanding full well that it was a wasted opportunity as he would have to do it all over again when Sun Tzu returned.
As an operative of Project Guardstar, Arsenal was now put to use protecting the Earth from all threats which included extraterrestrials. The Earth was not alone in the universe William (Jack) was to learn and one of these threats arrived in 1959 when a group of shapeshifting aliens called the
Shuāng were shot down by Project Guardstar as they entered Earth's orbit. There were survivors at the crash site in the
Ural Mountains and while the wreckage was quickly covered up by Black Ops, a single pregnant female escaped notice.
Giving birth, her child was a male and quickly set about breeding with humans as only the males can pass on their genetic traits. By the time Project Guardstar learned of these events, a second-generation had been bred and William was to learn that his mother was one of these beings. This meant that he was a third-generation descendant of the Shuāng and this was the true origin of his shapeshifting abilities. His mother had been working on behalf of the US government with his father and that the life he knew as a child was all a front to cover up what they were really up to.
This explained what he thought was his own mental instability as a child because it was the Shuāng within him that was emerging. By studying what was known of the Shuāng, William came to know and understand more about himself. The Shuāng blend in with populations alien to them and actually strengthen them over generations as they seamlessly blend in to preserve their
mnemonic legacy. While most remember their Shuāng origins alongside that of the new species they blend into, others sought to use their shapeshifting abilities to conquer, subdue... to supplant and replace the original inhabitants.
As a third-generation Shuāng, William did not possess the same ability to transform himself as completely as the first and second generations. He could only alter his features as a human because the Shuāng genetic legacy becomes weaker the more they interbreed with the species they assimilate into it. William had been able to sense what his mother was but thought it a part of his mental instability. Now, he was to become a hunter of the Shuāng and while he could sense them, he was given special glasses allowing him to see them as well.
For those who are innocent or who just want to complete their assimilation, William possessed a special chemical injection that would finish the process. These humans would inherit many blessings as they would prove extremely resistant to disease, they healed more quickly, lived longer, remained youthful until their final days, and enjoyed greater physical abilities. But for those preying on humans seeking to eliminate and replace them, their Shuāng DNA became dominant and they became less human but needed to feed on humans for their survival... these he sought to kill or capture to protect humanity.
William viewed himself as two-thirds human but human nonetheless and that it was his humanity that would define who he was. What worried him is what this would mean for his children and he was to learn this the hard way when his deceased son (and namesake) seemingly returned from the dead as only his humanity had perished while his body underwent a metamorphic process putting him in a death-like coma. Newly resurrected, Jack jr took the name
Tengu and, unlike his father, he sought to rule the Shuāng and bring about their conquest of the Earth.
William would not only assume the identity of William Ross, he came to think of himself this way as his mind adapted to the form he possessed. He would not forget his family or anything about his life as Jack Williams, his adaptive nature simply accepted the change now that he understood more about himself. He would bring his family into Black Ops where his fourth-generation children could learn how to handle their abilities. His wife would also need to adjust as those impregnated by Shuāng also possessed certain of their traits and she assumed the name
Kitsume as she became trained as a Black Ops agent.
Because of his fondness for bladed weapons, William became a collector of swords having acquired the
Honjō Masamune, a legendary Japanese sword created by the swordmaster
Masamune that disappeared after World War II. While this sword would be more prized for its historic value, William also acquired the legendary
Yawarakai-Te (also created by Masamune) and the
Juuchi Yosamu which was created by Masamune's most famous student
He would carry these swords into battle with him using the Yawarakai-Te to test who his enemies were as it would not harm a friend or innocent. But the Juuchi Yosamu would cut through anyone or anything requiring purification ceremonies after a battle if used to take life because of the demon's soul contained within it. He would also make new enemies including the "Demon King"
Oda Nobunaga) ruler of the
Mazoku with whom the Shuāng are beginning to assimilate. Sun Tzu would also return having infiltrated the Chinese military now seeking to bring about WWIII.