Erik Kassidy: 1994 - 2004
Erik was born and raised in what he thought was a normal, loving family. However as he grew older, he realized that his mother would be beaten by his father and his older brother was also beaten, in addition to being neglected. Erik always wanted to help but he was unsure what he could do due to his age and size.
When Erik was nine, he began to have problems with bullies at school. After he came home with some bruises, his brother Nathan demanded to know what happened. When Erik refused to tell him, Nathan began shadowing his brother and the next time the bullies ambushed Erik, Nathan jumped in. Unknown to Erik at the time, Nathan had been developing his fighting skills and made short work of the bullies... or most of them anyway.
One of the kids, Aaron Helzinger, was an abnormally large and violent kid and even when his classmates abandoned him, he kept fighting. When he knocked Nathan to the ground and picked up a cinderblock, Erik intervened. The little brother ran up and kicked Aaron's knee from the side with such force that a sickening pop that both brothers can recall to this day. Aaron toppled over, dropping the cinderblock on his own head.
With their kid in the hospital, the Helzingers sued. Erik's father went off in a hysterical fit upon learning of this and began beating not only Nathan but Erik as well. Sarah stepped in to defend her boys just as John pulled a knife, sending Sarah to run to call for help. As John reached to stop her, Erik went to grab the knife and John grabbed Erik and raised his fist as if to punch Erik, forgetting he had the knife in his hand. Nathan managed to save his brother's life by grabbing a pan off the stove and throwing it into his father's wrist.
In the violence that ensued between Nathan and his stepfather, John Kassidy wound up with his throat being slashed by his own knife. John bled out before the police could arrive. Fearing that the police would also haul Erik away due to their violent fight with the bullies just days earlier, Nathan confessed to the crime and took all the blame.
Suicide: 2004 - 2017
After his fathers death and Nathan's arrest, Erik's mother collected the handsome life insurance payout from her husband's death, sold the house and moved her and her son away from Gotham for some years, moving across the Bay to Metropolis. While Erik may have left Gotham, Gotham never did leave him.
As a teenager in Metropolis, Erik began to spend more and more time on the streets and was his desire to help his community was taken advantage of by street gangs. When Erik realized the gang he had joined was self-serving and not out to help the community as they had promised him, he fought back... and ended up in the hospital.
This is when Erik learned his mother had made some poor decisions when it came to their finances, having already blown the money from the life insurance payout. In order to help his mother cover rent and Erik's medical bills, Erik considered joining Debra Sinclair's underground fighting marches, but on the day of his first fight, he was stopped by a masked man in a cat suit and given a paper bag stuffed with cash and told "Take this to your mother, kid... Now go, get out of here."
The next morning, as Erik presented the money to his mother, he found a note mixed in with the cash. Following the note's instructions, Erik began to take a ferry everyday after school. He would do his homework on the boat, walk to the Wildcat Gym, spend a few hours working out with a trainer, and then catch the last ferry of the evening. As long as he kept to this schedule, Erik would receive another bag of cash stuffed into his gym bag every Friday evening from his mystery benefactor.
This continued until Erik was seventeen when he woke up in the middle of the night to maddening laughter coming from inside his house. By the time Erik got out of bed, he heard the front door open and he saw several men and a giggling woman slamming the trunk of a purple car before loading themselves into the vehicle, laughing maniacally as they sped into the night. Erik ran to wake his mother but found her not in her bed. He checked the rest of the house but only found spattered blood and severed fingers on the kitchen table, with a smiley face drawn in a small pool of blood.
After the cops left, Erik packed his bags and took his regular ferry to Gotham, except this time he wouldn't be returning. When he learned of what happened to Erik, the owner of the gym offered Erik a job in exchange for room and board as he had done with many other hard-on-their-luck Gothamites over the years. Erik took him up on the offer and when he wasn't cleaning equipment or sweeping the floors, he'd earn a little extra money by teaching some youth classes.
Through out all this, Erik tried to visit his brother regularly but after telling Nathan about the death of their mother, Erik was told that Nathan was unavailable for visiting. Without Nathan in his life, Erik dedicated himself to training more intently than before. In late 2016, Erik sold his mother's house and invested this money in a trust fund set up for a "Natalie Snart".
The circumstances for how Erik became the hero known as "Suicide" or why he chose that name remain unknown to me. He only made a few appearances, mostly kicking in the teeth of low level drug dealers and back-alley muggers, before he made his true proper debut breaking into Arkham to free his brother and repay his life-debt.
After rescuing Nathan from his cell, both brothers were transported by the Monitor to the Sphere and there recruited into the Challengers, having been identified as Artifacts.
Puma: 2017 - Present
Erik was tasked by the Monitor to track down and apprehend the criminal serial killer known as the Underworld Killer. This led to a misunderstanding with Superman and potential catastrophic run in with the Anti-Monitor that were evaded by jumping into Hell... or rather The Underworld.
Here Erik met Hades who convinced him that a name change was in his interests and after speaking with his mentor, Ted Grant, Erik Kassidy decided to assume the new mantle of 'Puma', a tribute to the Wildcat Gym, I presume.
Erik Cassidy was Canonized by the Anti-Monitor and is no more.
Powers and Abilities
- Artifact: Erik has been chosen to join the ranks of a secret team hand-picked by the mysterious Monitor based on some metaphysical element in him that will be of some considerable use in some confrontation in the future.
- Martial Arts: Ted Grant is a world-class combatant and has used his skills to train other heroes including, Batman, myself, Catwoman, Black Canary, and now Erik Kassidy is among his most impressive pupils. As a result of his training, Erik is a world-class boxer and has mastered several other fighting styles like Muay Thai, Capoeira, Krav Maga, and Hapkido.
- Driving: Erik is an excellent driver due in part to his heightened reflexes and coordination as a result of his fighting training. His favorite vehicle to drive is the motorcycle and he has drives a modified Indian stunt motorcycle, which he uses to get around Gotham both as a civilian and as a vigilante by using a reversible license plate. He used to call it the "Sui-Cycle" but I am unsure if he still does.
- Empathy: Erik is incredibly intuitive and perceptive, particularly when it comes to emotions. Erik is usually able to fully interpret the emotions, moods, and temperaments of others by observation. While the effect seems to be almost immediate with friends and family, he can usually diagnose a stranger within a minute or two. In a fight, Erik can use this knowledge to play against his enemies by taunting.
- Combat Analysis: While fighting a new opponent or watching a subject fight, Erik can gradually understand an opponent's method of thinking and fighting. Usually within two minutes, he begins to find a way to understand them and anticipate their moves. Once Erik understands their strategy, he is able to find flaws and weaknesses which he can exploit to take them down with little effort.
- Instincts: Erik possesses a unique mind and uncanny instincts which process the world in an efficient manner. Erik is usually able to find solutions to any and all kind of a problems that he or others face using both logical sense and illogical strategies. It is not well understood if Erik has always had this ability or if it is something that he learned from his mentor, or maybe a combination of the two.
- Synergy: Erik is an exceptional team player, able to read his friends and teammates' needs and compensate his own actions or approach to compliment their own efforts.
- Wealth: By no means rich, Erik does live below his means on a very modest budget and has invested his money wisely so that he has considerable savings to draw from in order to help care for loved ones or strangers in need.
- Bleeding Heart: Erik can be dangerously softhearted. He is very liberal in his political beliefs and in practice he hates seeing others suffering, even if they deserve it. As a result of this, Erik tends to pull his punches and refrain from causing permanent damage to his enemies. In fact, even though he is fully capable of fighting multiple combatants at once, he hates doing so as he is more prone to losing control and causing great harm to someone. As a result of this, he tries to single out his opponents into smaller numbers and if overwhelmed, he is easily brought down by refusing to fight to his fullest potential.
- Idealist: Erik's conduct is influenced by ideals that often conflict with practical considerations. Erik therefore can be unrealistic and impractical, guided more by ideals than by practical considerations.
- Low Latent Inhibition: Like his mother and brother Nathan, Erik also suffers from an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and a general need to draw attention to himself. It is also possible he suffers from having a histrionic personality.
- Sociopaths: Due to his inability to sympathize with psychopaths and sociopaths, Erik has a difficult time relating to them and adapting to their combat styles. This effectively negates his empathy and empathy related techniques.
Trivia and Notes
- After a visit to Hell, Erik decided to change his Suicide identity. Ted Grant gave him his Wildcat mask and a new name "Puma".
- Erik has always owned a goldfish, ever since he was four. He used to give the pets proper names, but now he just calls it "Fin".
- Erik has a crush on Holly Robinson.
- Was fully convinced his brother was Robin when they were children. Mostly because of how protective and heroic he found his brother. When Nate was sent away Erik rationalized this as he became Robin full time.
- Erik doesn't have an e-mail address. He's a bit of a Luddite and refuses to even get a smartphone.
- Erik is a vegetarian... with the exception of hot dogs. You can't convince him that they are made of "real meat".
- If he could, Erik would have waffles with a vanilla milkshake for every meal.
- Erik hates doors that open themselves. He always hesitates for a second before walking through them.
- Erik is a very charitable person. Once per day, he buys something and gives it away to a random stranger during the course of his day.
- Erik is a sketch artist. He likes to doodle pictures of waitresses, customers, and other people he sees on napkins at his favorite diner. If he is bored or has time to kill, he will draw pictures at other times as well. He especially likes drawing women who don't realize how beautiful they truly are.
- Erik Kassidy is an original character created by ArkhamRedX.
- His first alias as Suicide is based of the real life gimmick masked wrestler of the same name from TNA/Impact Wrestling.