Early Years: 1992 - 2010
Joseph Kane is the heir apparent of the Brooklyn branch of the Kane family, grandson of Eleanor Kane, the young sister of Roderick Kane and famed theatre actress. A frail lad in his youth, Joseph made up for his physical shortcomings with his wit and intellect. As a child, Joseph was especially close with his grandmother, famed theater actress, Eleanor Kane, who would sneak her grandson out with the assistance of his bodyguard, Brighton, to young Joseph on 'adventures'. On one such adventure, the two went saw Haly's Circus at Coney Island where young Joseph was impressed at the acrobatics of the Flying Graysons.
As he grew older, Joseph Kane's health improved and his grandmother brought Joseph to Gotham City to attend the wedding of Jacob Kane and Camille Hamilton. While on holiday in Gotham, Joseph was kidnapped by the Penguin's men and held for ransom. Though rescued by Batman, Robin (Jason), and Batgirl (Helena), Joseph took a bullet in the course of his rescue.
Due to the severity of his injuries, Joseph was kept in Gotham to recuperate. It was while in his hospital bed that he learned that Oswald Cobblepot's lawyers had successfully got their client out of the charges due to lack of evidence. I guess he took that news pretty harshly as my father asked me to speak to Joseph about my own shooting. This is how I first met Joseph.I recall talking to him about moving on and not holding grudges, the typical rhetoric. I must not have been very convincing. Odd, I must be losing my touch.
During the early days of the Cataclysm, Joseph was among the lucky few who were medically evacuated from Gotham, finishing his recovery in Metropolis before returning home to Brooklyn. Motivated by the lack of justice he had received in Gotham, Joseph asked his bodyguard to train him. Brighton humored him, thinking Joseph would abandon the notion with time, but Joseph did not, even when the training got more difficult as Brighton tried to dissuade him against it. After graduating early, Joseph and Brighton began to travel, telling Joseph's parents he was sowing his wild oats before college, but in truth he had set out to further his training.
Ronin: 2010 - 2015
Naturally, I had algorithms set in place to monitor the type of activity that Joseph Kane was up to. When he did settle into college, Joseph blew through his courses, taking full advantage of his natural genius. Joseph stuck to his education, going to medical school by day beginning his work as a vigilante by night. After college, I contacted him by anonymous text messaging as Oracle and was able to persuade him to undergo his internship at the Park Row Clinic under the mentorship of Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Joseph and his brother Sam moved to Gotham.
As Ronin, Joseph was venturing out at night, often on his own, but occasionally at the behest of me, by way of an encrypted cell phone. After his internship, Joseph found employment at the Wayne Foundation, along with some PRN contract work at Arkham and other hospitals around Gotham. While working at Arkham, Joseph helped improve their inhibitor collars in-house. This act may have been what upset Cobblepot enough to put a hit out on the young doctor as Cobblepot's own tech firm, Umbrella Securities, was in line to get the lucrative contract. Deadshot attacked the Kane brothers while at home in their Coventry brownstone. I have a theory that Deadshot spared the brothers due to his own brother issues, just walking away.
While investigating the assassination attempt, Batman discovered that Joseph had been secretly sabotaging Cobblepot's plans for months. Joseph was given the choice to leave Cobblepot alone or get out of Gotham. Joseph Kane pressed his luck and revealed to Batman that he had discerned the Dark Knight's identity as Bruce Wayne. Impressed, but cautiously so, Bruce decided to put Joseph up in a corporate apartment in the Wayne Residential Tower and give him access to Batcave 2 for training with Bruce and Luke Fox.
To his credit, Joseph never did reveal his earlier work for me and after some intensive training with various members of Batman, Incorporated, Birds of Prey, and the Outsiders, Joseph was officially sanctioned to don his trademark fedora once more. Sometime after he started working with the family, Joey and I began dating after the repercussions of a late night digital stakeout turning into a big bust.
Rise of Heretic: 2015 - 2017
In the spring of 2016, Joseph Kane began exhibiting bursts of strength and other signs of metahuman ability. Concerned for his well-being and being Joseph's girlfriend at the time, I collected some hair and blood while he slept. How did I not wake him doing that? I was trained by Batman, but I stopped short of testing it as I felt it was a betrayal of his trust... for a while. When Bruce Wayne returned to Gotham after a six-month absence, I discussed the matter with him and when he determined a test was in order, I produced the samples I had collected.
The results were surprising. Joseph Kane had inherited the meta-gene from his father, but more importantly, the man he thought was his father was in fact not. Nope, Joseph's father was in fact, Deathstroke himself, Slade freakin' Wilson. This discovery sent Joseph off the deep end for a bit and in order to help him recover, he and I may have done some digging into the old fertility clinic where his parents were thought to have gone to conceive Joseph. This turned out to be an old front for a Cadmus Labs and when Joseph went to investigate it physically, he was abducted by dear old daddy Deathstroke himself.
What exactly happened after that is kind of unknown and subject to much conjecture and guessing. What we can confirm is that Joseph was abducted and taken out of the country to a League of Assassins camp where he was kept drugged while El Penitente conducted a regimen of tests on him, probing him to discover the psychic connection that Slade Wilson innately has with his progeny. This research was used to not only amplify Slade's psychic ability but to also allow Slade to assert mental control over the feral Bat-Assassins that El Penitente had also been producing using Dr. Kirk Langstrom's serum. In order to boost the potency of the psychic bond between father and son, Talia al Ghul ordered that Joseph be injected with the same serum that Slade Wilson had been injected with so many years ago- a serum which, fortunately for Joseph, had a high probability of success due to the genetic markers inherited from his father.
As Joseph's attributes were now even further enhanced than before, Talia did not see the point in disposing of Joseph (or Slade wouldn't allow her... it's uncertain) and ordered he be brainwashed. In an effort to make certain the brainwashing had an added potency and to make further use of Joseph's heightened physique, Talia equipped Joseph with the Suit of Sorrows and the Sword of Salvation and inducted him into the League of Assassins, giving him the new name 'Judas'.
Making his debut by assaulting the Outsiders' base, Joseph not only subdued Donna freakin’ Troy and tore Roy Harper’s robotic arm off, but he also scared the crap out of Lian before giving her a slight concussion. But he didn’t stop there, he accessed the Outsiders' mainframe with some really scary ease and wreaked havoc on our mainframe. When he was done, he told Roy Harper his name, but due to Roy's head wound, he misremembered the name causing us to incorrectly refer to him a 'Heretic' for a considerable time.
But wait, there’s more. Joseph doing his best [expletive] impersonation also then made a point to ambush Bluebird just to steal her comms and torture her, drowning her to within an inch of her life. When Red Hood and Starfire responded to rescue Bluebird, Joseph set a trap and was able to nearly take down both before fleeing when Indigo, Shift, Grace, Batwoman, and the Question all showed up. Keep in mind, we still didn't know this was Joseph. We didn't know who had Joseph or where he was, but we certainly didn't think he was the one tormenting us at every turn.
A few nights later, Heretic showed up at the Cape Carmine Lighthouse, lying in wait for Renee Montoya to enter her lair before equipping for a night patrol. Heretic apparently dislocated a number of her joints and attempted to interrogate her about the location of a secret passage into Arkham Asylum that her predecessor, Vic Sage, had used to help Batman infiltrate the asylum during a riot. When Renee didn't give him what he wanted, he assumed that I was the one who knew where these tunnels were. Not only did he assault me in my home but I feel he would have done much worse if Dinah had not shown up and blasted him out the window.
He did a bunch of other messed up things, outing Luke Fox's undercover assignment in the Sons of Batman, gutting Damian, and nearly killed Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. But then we learned what his true goal was. He was meant to keep us all busy while the League of Assassins prepared a massive breakout of Arkham Asylum, freeing Ra's al Ghul.
Joseph Kane: 2017 - Present
Joseph Kane defected from the League of Assassins and was able to escape due to the intervention of Dick Grayson. On the lam, he attempted to find a cure for his addiction to the Suit of Sorrows and found out that armor was made of Nth Metal. Joseph was later found in Corto Maltese where he was confronted by his friend and fellow Outsider, Jack Dahl. The two had a brief sword fight before being interrupted by Rina Nishida who drugged them both and captured them so that she could bring them before the Monitor.
After both Joseph Kane and Jack Dahl allied themselves to the Monitor's cause, they were sent on missions, often to recruit other 'Artifacts' to the upcoming conflict against the Anti-Monitor. In their downtime, Joseph stayed on the Monitor's Sphere, often locking himself in a containment cell so that he might get his safely 'fix' of the Nth Metal's effect. However, as part of an arrangement for recruiting Silas Helvig, the Monitor gave away the Suit of Sorrows and the Swords of Sin and Salvation. The results of that, and what effects that will have on Joseph remain a mystery.
Joseph Kane was Canonized by the Anti-Monitor and is no more.
Powers and Abilities
- Artifact: Joseph 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.
- Metahuman: Due to receiving the same military experimental serum that his biological father was injected with, Joseph Kane's physiology was changed permanently. The procedure likely crippled his mind and body at first, as it had done to Slade. Then, the serum rebuilt his physical and mental faculties further than a human could process or build. These enhancements make Joseph Kane a superhumanly enhanced human.
- Enhanced Intellect: His mind works at incredible speeds and is his greatest asset. Able to think and perceive 9 times faster and utilize that much more of his mind than average human for information processing and sorting.
- Enhanced Reflexes: Joseph possesses enhanced reflexes, flawless dexterity, and coordination. His reaction speed allows him to automatically and casually dodge gunfire from multiple assailants from anything distance further than close range. He's able to instantly discern the motivations of people and situations, allowing him to instantly act and react to danger.
- Enhanced Speed: He's able to easily run at speeds of 45 mph and make precision strikes at close range that even a speedster is hard-pressed to avoid. In combination with his reflexes, he is able to dodge gunfire or deflect bullets with a sword, bo staff, or other weaponry.
- Enhanced Stamina: Theoretically, Joseph Kane can exert himself at peak capacity for several days, and possesses superhuman pain-tolerance, willpower, vitality, virility, vigor, endurance, tenacity and lung capacity. It should be noted that his mind would still suffer the effects of sleep-deprivation.
- Enhanced Strength: Joseph Kane's entire muscular system was hardened and fortified making him many times stronger and durable than humans. He places this capability into his strikes, augmenting the concussive force of his attacks. His strength is sufficient enough to press about a 1 ton with ease and has demonstrated enough might to move 3 tons with effort, but the full limits of his strength have yet to be determined. He is strong enough to easily cut through a car with his sword, and even trade blows sufficient to incapacitate Royal Amazons, such as Donna Troy. This classifies as Class III strength according to ARGUS.
- Enhanced Agility: Joseph is extraordinarily limber and his tendons and connective tissues are twice as elastic as the average human being's, despite their enhanced strength. He can perform any complicated sequence of gymnastic stunts such as flips, rolls, and springs. He is able to achieve a state of perfect equilibrium in nearly any position.
- Enhanced Senses: All of Joseph's senses have been augmented to heightened levels of function. He can perceive things better than a normal human, he possesses perfect pitch, and excellent night vision. His senses allow him to identify small changes in the air.
- Enhanced Durability: Joseph's skin, bone, and muscle tissues are considerably stronger and harder than human and the tissues are impervious to injury to a limited degree.
- Enhanced Healing: Joseph can regenerate damaged or destroyed bodily tissue with far greater speed and efficiency than an ordinary human. As such, Joseph's body can take a tremendous amount of punishment before succumbing to death. Gunshot and stab wounds, cuts, and broken bones can perfectly heal within the hour.
- Enhanced Immunity: Joseph's body neutralizes all detrimental contaminants within minutes of exposure making him partially immune and highly resistant to all poisons, toxins, venom's, viruses, bacteria, diseases, disorders, parasites, allergens, radiation, and even mind control.
- Decelerated Aging: Joseph will not age beyond his prime, allowing him to retain his physical prowess, health, vitality and youthful appearance indefinitely. This theoretically makes him immune to natural death.
- Acrobatics Due to a lifelong interest with acrobatics after watching the Flying Grayson's perform as a child, Joseph spent some time honing his skills. He also has mastered parkour and free-running techniques to aid him in navigating the urban jungle of Gotham.
- Acting: Trained by his grandmother at an early age, Joseph is essentially a classically trained actor.
- Business: Business skills are from training by his parents at an early age to groom him for the business.
- Criminology: Trained by Batman, Joseph is a master detective.
- Hacking: Even before he dated me, he was a pretty good hacker. Now he's phenomenal, but he's still got a lot to learn.
- Martial Arts: Joseph was trained in Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do, and Muay Thai; in addition to boxing and general mixed martial arts. He was later trained in the variation of ninjitsu commonly used by the League of Assassins, which included extensive sword-fighting training.
- Medicine: Joseph is a skilled physician and surgeon.
- Multilingualism: Joseph speaks English, Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Hebrew, Italian, and Yiddish. He refuses to learn Russian.
- Science: Joseph attains advanced training in most scientific fields.
- Social Status: Currently wanted fugitive/kidnapping victim but was previously included in the upper echelons of Gotham and New York society.
- Wealth: Joseph is part of the Kane family and is entitled to considerable wealth as a result. He was also formerly a high-paid executive at Wayne Enterprises.
- Armor: A Kevlar infused high-density carbonate armor with integrated power dampening technology for regulating his nascent powers.
- Utility Belt: In the vein of his mentor, Batman, Joseph utilizes a gadget-filled utility belt for carrying combat, forensic, and medical equipment.
- Mask: Touch-sensitive controls on the mask control different filters of vision as well as detective mode and a connection to the Batcomputer.
- Fedora: For the fashion conscious vigilante.
- Bo Staff: Joseph's signature weapon is a bo staff which he has trained to remarkable skill levels with.
- Taser Disks: Nicknamed 'Jitterbugs', these weapons are utilized much the same as a shocker Batarang.
- Mental Link: As a child of Slade Wilson, Joseph has a two-way connection to his father through psionic means. While Slade is able to locate Joseph regardless of his place in the multiverse and even use Joseph's senses as if they were his own, Joseph is able to utilize his father's muscle memories and instincts as if they were his own. This is a passive effect, however.
- Mystical Dissonance: The Suit of Sorrows left its mark on Joseph in many ways. One such way is catastrophic rending to his metaphysical soul, leaving him essentially vulnerable to magic and psionics. In time, with the help of Candice Yacoub, he is likely to make a full recovery.
- Nth Metal Addiction: Joseph is addicted to Nth Metal as a result of his time spent wearing the Suit of Sorrows without having undergone the proper rituals and preparations needed to wear the suit without harmful effect. As a result of this, exposure to Nth metal can cause Joseph to relapse, experiencing withdrawal symptoms and aggressive, violent behavior.
Trivia and Notes
- Joseph is a very accomplished pianist. His godfather is an accomplished composer.
- Joseph is a huge nerd/geek. While his interests are all over and pretty typical (sci-fi, fantasy, comics), he is especially savvy in theatre.
- Rumor is Joseph is trying to atone for his misdeeds as Heretic. I honestly don't know what I will say to him when I see him again. I'd punch him in the face, but I fear his recent enhancements would see to it that the only thing I'd accomplish would be to break my own hand.
- Joseph uses acronyms for anything and everything he can.
- Joseph is obsessed with the Tokugawa era of Japanese history. He collects replicas of art from that era (donating authentic pieces he acquires to museums and universities).
- Joseph firmly believes he can fix just about anything with duct tape. He carries two rolls in his utility belt.
- Joseph was the center character of E-27's Judas Contract.
- Joseph Kane is an original character created by Dkalban.