5686 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Holocaust (Blood Syndicate character) (Milestone Comics)

Holocaust

(Leonard Smalls)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Background

  • Real Name: Leonard Smalls, Junior
  • Former Aliases: Pyre
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Leonard Smalls Sr. (father, deceased), Thomasina Jefferson (mother)
  • Group Affiliation: The Paris Bloods (Former), The Blood Syndicate (Former)
  • Base Of Operations: The Hot Spot, old Downtown Dakota; formerly The Blood Syndicate’s abandoned factory, Paris Island, Dakota City
  • Height: 6’9” Weight: 360 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers & Abilities

Due to his multiple exposures to the bizarre substance colloquially named “Q-Juice”, Holocaust is one of the most powerful Bang Babies to walk the planet earth.

Unlike most Bang Babies, he has developed multiple gifts, but none so potent as his ability to harness and project intense flame from any part of his body. 

Pyrokinesis

Under normal conditions, the flame and heat that Holocaust is capable of generating is intense enough to vaporize metal and less durable substances. When in combat, he often surrounds the flesh of his body in a field of flame intense enough to liquefy/atomize most objects and prevent most opponents from actually touching him.

Unlike the Human Torch (and other fire wielding heroes), Holocaust seldom cares about the collateral damage he causes and thus makes little to no attempt at reigning in his flaming aura and often sets nearby objects alight as he passes.

Holocaust can actually project his flame at a distance as well in either rolling waves of fire or as concentrated gouts of flame, much like water flowing from the end of a high pressure hose. There doesn’t seem to be any limit to the amount of flame Holocaust can produce, making him a walking disaster to those who face him.

With concentration, Holocaust can produce flame and heat at levels beyond what he is normally capable of. When he does so, the flame races about him with abandon and he becomes as much of a danger to his allies as his foes.

Physical Abilities

In addition to his pyrokinesis, the Q-Juice initially caused Holocaust to grow over a foot in height and packed over 200lbs of muscle onto his young frame. In the process he gained a measure of superhuman strength and durability to harm which cannot be accurately quantified at this time.

In the past, he demonstrated great enough durability to survive dozens of point blank gun shots with little to no visible harm (though they did cause him enough discomfort to abandon the fight), and strength enough to lift fully grown men off the ground with a single arm.

His strength was clearly augmented upon his second exposure to the Q-Juice; he has battled foes with superhuman strength to a standstill using his raw physical might alone after the exposure. With this in mind, it would be safe to say that Holocaust possesses superhuman strength allowing him to press at least 1 ton under optimal conditions.


History

Thomasina Jefferson was little more that a child when she became pregnant as a result of a particularly brutal rape. Her pregnancy brought her no joy or happiness, and when the baby was born she could barely look upon the child. Desolate and without hope, Thomasina resigned herself to raising her unwanted child when fate intervened.

One night, as most of the patients slept, the hospital in which they were residing caught aflame. The fire spread rapidly and Thomasina was evacuated with most of the other patients.

When they made it outside, Thomasina realized the her unnamed son had yet to be evacuated. Despite her better judgement and the dread in her heart, Thomasina plunged back into the inferno looking for her child.

She found him crying fitfully in the nursery which had filled with smoke and flame. Many of the other babies had succumbed to the fire already, but her son had managed to hang on through some miracle. Resigned to her own fate, Thomasina grabbed the infant and ran from the blaze.

When she made it outside, she stood aimlessly for a moment wondering what next to do, when she spotted one of the other mothers sobbing hysterically about her baby boy. In flash of insight, Thomasina realized that fate had once more intervened in her life.

Thomasina strode confidently over to the hysterical woman and pushed the baby into her arms. She told the woman in no uncertain terms, “This is your baby, he survived the fire.”

You ain’t shit

With that, Thomasina’s baby boy was christened Leonard Jr and was raised by the Smalls family. His youth was far from idyllic. From the moment he could walk, Leonard endured a cycle of mental and physical abuse that initially destroyed his self-worth and eventually forged him into a sociopathic nightmare.

As soon as Leonard hit his tween years, he began getting into trouble. He got into fights over nothing and eventually was forced into a reform school. The school did little to curb Leonard’s temper and seeming natural proclivity for violence.

Leonard’s mother eventually succumbed to one of the many beatings that Leonard Sr dealt her, leaving Leonard and his siblings parentless while their father was incarcerated. Left with no one else to turn to, Leonard joined one of Paris Islands most notorious gangs; the Paris Bloods.

The Bloods were led by a particularly charismatic, yet brutal man named Elijah Sinclair. He had forged the disparate members of the gang into an effective unit and he controlled the majority of Paris Island.

When Leonard joined the Bloods, he met and fell madly in love with Elijah’s daughter Juniper. The two struck up a fast friendship, which eventually grew intimate despite their young age.

It was during this period that Leonard committed his first true murder; when his father was released from jail, Leonard ambushed and killed him with his bare hands. He was twelve at the time.

Elijah eventually stumbled across Juniper and Leonard’s relationship, and reacted … poorly to it. While his men held Leonard helpless, he beat Juniper savagely to punish her for laying with a nobody like Leonard.

He then repeated the process on Leonard, all the while degrading him with phrases like, “You ain’t nothing but shit. How dare you!”

Leonard absorbed the beating and the lesson, filing it away deep in the recesses of his mind. You see unlike his father and Elijah, Leonard was a patient young man. Elijah had too much power to strike back, but he could wait.

The Big Bang

Leonard continued to run with the Paris Bloods, despite his loss of status with the gang’s leadership. He had little choice, once you were a Blood, you were a Blood for life.

Eventually, the Bloods and their rivals grew weary of the constant turmoil and loss of life over their co-joined territories and decided to end their conflict unequivocally. They agreed to face each other on neutral ground, along with any other gang that wanted a chance to settle their scores.

As word spread, over 500 members of the various gangs planned on entering the battle to end battles for the ownership of Paris Island.

The Bang started as planned, and Leonard made a decent showing for himself. He was knee deep in “kicked ass” when the police first appeared on the scene. It was apparent that despite their attempts to keep the events of the Big Bang quiet, word had spread and the local authorities arrived to break it up and stop the potential loss of lives.

Leonard kept fighting, even while the authorities lobbed the foulest smelling tear gas he ever experienced into the group. The gas had an immediate and horrific effect on the people around Leonard; as he watched some of the bangers’ skins melted clear off of their skeletons.

Others simply dropped dead. Leonard himself felt like the fires of God were burning through his body in the attempts to get at his soul. His skin felt like it was burning and he screamed and howled as it consumed him. Thankfully blackness eventually claimed him.

When he next awoke, it was in a field of bodies and in a new body. The gas had transformed him into a perfect physical specimen and overtime, he realized that he could control the fires that he had felt burning within him during his transformation. 

Thicker than Blood

99% of the participants of the Big Bang lost their lives that day. Those that survived the gas either fled the scene before they could be cataloged, or gathered together to try and understand what happened.

The majority of survivors came from the Paris Bloods or their once rivals, the Force Syndicate. They decided to combine their strength and form a new faction, the Blood Syndicate.

The Blood Syndicate began a super-powered wave of terror throughout Paris Island. They struck at any and all gang related and drug dealing targets, slaughtering all who opposed them and taking their resources for themselves.

Leonard, how had been re-christened Holocaust by his new found friends, took great pleasure in using his new powers to wipe out his enemies. As the Syndicate’s reputation grew, Holocaust’s callousness and arrogance grew alongside it. He realized that no one could stop them, and he was going to enjoy his new found infamy.

It all came to an end though, when during a raid on a drug dealer’s home, Holocaust set fire to an entire apartment complex.

Every member of the Syndicate went into action and tried to save as many bystanders as they could, except for Holocaust. He sat back and watched the fires burn with a look of satisfaction on his face.

When the Blood Syndicate finished rescuing the civilians, Tech-9 (their current leader) confronted Holocaust over his actions. Nearly two decades of training reared its ugly head immediately in the face of a challenge, and Holocaust lashed out angrily at Tech-9.

On the spot, he challenged him for the leadership of the Syndicate. The two met in one on one combat later that day, and while Holocaust had the upper hand through the majority of the fight, he eventually lost due to his budding over-confidence.

Rather than killing him, Tech-9 forced Holocaust to do the one thing he hated the most; admit that he was weak.

Embarrassed and seething with rage, Holocaust surrendered and then quit the Syndicate. He walked away and solemnly promised himself that he would be back and get even.

Recruiting

Holocaust spent the next several weeks making significant changes in his life; his loss to Tech-9 actually taught him something. He funneled his energy and money into establishing a sustainable base of power. He bought a night club which he immediately named “The Hot Spot,” and more importantly he began to aggressively recruit Bang Babies.

The first of his recruits were two particularly nasty individuals; the first called himself Hot Streak while the second had taken the name Tarmack. When the bang-powered Static defeated both Hot Streak and Tarmack in combat, Holocaust attempted to recruit him for his growing organization as well.

He used all of the charm and influence he could muster, and nearly had Static converted to his point of view until he made a fatal misstep and attempted to murder the child of Giacomo Cornelius. Cornelius was a local mobster who had insulted the Bloods in the past and Holocaust in particular.

Static balked at Holocaust’s actions, and refused to allow him to kill the child. Holocaust realized that the two would never see eye to eye, and dismissed Static from his side.

Shadow War

Only a few short weeks had passed, when Holocaust was approached by a group of super-powered individuals who called themselves the Star Chamber. They were a splinter faction of a much larger organization that was named, “The Shadow Cabinet.”

But even more interesting than their powers, or their organization was the information that they possessed; they knew what caused the Big Bang and had created all of the Bang Babies.

They revealed to Holocaust that the source of his abilities was a bizarre substance called Quantum Juice, and that there was a stockpile of it around the world. If they gained possession of it, they could recreate the events of the Big Bang and potentially rule the remains of the world.

Ever the pragmatist, Holocaust realized that they needed his power to gain the Q-Juice, and so he struck a bargain. He wanted 15% of the Quantum Juice for his own purposes.

The Chamber agreed to his demands, and Holocaust joined their side. His first assignment was to recruit one of the more powerful individuals in Dakota; Icon’s partner Rocket.

The Chamber felt that if they got Rocket over to their side, Icon would be less likely to interfere. After recruiting Rocket, the conflict between the Chamber and the Cabinet burst into an all out war.

The opposing sides battled it out for the remaining Quantum Juice, and the Chamber came out on the short end of the stick. Unfortunately for Holocaust, his actions both before and during the conflict drew the direct attention and ire of Icon.

The Hero of Dakota confronted Holocaust immediately after the conflict at the Hot Spot, and the two exchanged words and blows.

Once again, Holocaust ended up on receiving end of a beating and his nightclub was ruined. As Icon left though, he did not realize the events that he had set into motion.

Unknown to anyone, Holocaust had stolen a single vial of Quantum Juice during the Shadow War. His latest loss, and his overwhelming pride forced Holocaust to do the unthinkable; he rolled the dice and exposed himself once again to the Quantum Juice.

My Name is Holocaust

The odds fell in his favor; Holocaust’s second exposure to the Quantum Juice didn’t kill him … it made him stronger, much stronger. He immediate began to rebuild his crumbling power base using his new found strength.

Using his existing gang, with the addition of a cybernetic assistant (Bad Betty) that he recruited from the Shadow Cabinet, Holocaust began a reign of terror throughout Dakota City’s underworld.

He began to slaughter all of the mobsters that had once held him back, the first of which was Elijah Sinclair. He not only destroyed his organization, he took his right hand man Felix, his assets, and his daughter Juniper.

After he systematically destroyed Elijah’s life, he burnt the man to a cinder.

With this accomplishment at hand, he turned his attention to the Coalition. The Coalition was the gathering of the six most powerful organized criminal organizations within Dakota. With Elijah Sinclair’s demise his seat at the table was open, and Holocaust wanted it.

The other leaders of the Coalition felt that Holocaust was too much of a loose cannon, and to “street” to join. They hurled the same threats and racial epithets at Holocaust that he had heard he entire life, but this time he had something that he desperately craved from the first time his father had laid a hand on him. Power.

Holocaust systematically destroyed two of the other member’s of the Coalition, burning them into the ground. Desperate, the Coalition called in the final marker they had. They called the Mayor of Dakota and the police.

Dakota’s mayor was a relatively young yet hard women, who had sacrificed all of her personal happiness in order to gain the life that she felt she deserved. And for the first time since she abandoned her son, Thomasina Jefferson re-entered her son’s life.

Holocaust (Leonard Smalls) back when he was Pyre

Mayor Jefferson pulled out all of the stops to stop her reckless and power hungry son, from corrupt members of the police force to John Tower; the seemingly invulnerable retired hero of Dakota. Despite the odds stacked against him, Holocaust proved a single fact to everyone who dared to oppose him; everything burns.

At the end of the conflict, all of the Mayor’s forces were dead.

Left with little else, the Thomasina directly confronted her son. The two had a hard conversation, wherein Thomasina revealed that she tolerated the Coalition due to the fact that it served to control the more unstable elements of the Dakota underworld, and would continue to do so until the situation “burned” out of control.

When that happened, she would call in the national guard, the armed forces or even Icon if she had to, to bring things back under control. Holocaust sneered at her threat and prepared to murder her, until she also revealed that she didn’t care who led the Coalition, she just wanted the situation dealt with.

As she left, Mayor Jefferson let one last tidbit of information fall into Holocausts lap. She indirectly confirmed the suspicion that he had since the night he murdered Elijah … that the Smalls weren’t his real parents.

Before Elijah died, he tried to bargain for his life with the identity of Holocaust’s real mother. The Mayor’s tacit approval of his actions only served to cement his suspicions.

With the Mayor standing aside, the remaining members of the Coalition relented and decided to give Holocaust a seat at their table. The price though was a simple one; every member of the Coalition had sacrificed something personal as a price of acceptance.

They gave Holocaust a choice of what to sacrifice, Juniper (who he had finally gotten back into his life) or his name.

Leonard surrendered his name to the Coalition, but instead of celebrating he went to Thomasina’s office and demanded that she owed him something for abandoning him. She owed him a name. Thomasina, while not directly admitting that she owed him anything, finally gave her son a name. She rechristened him “Pyre”.

There once was a burning man…

Leonard ruled his ever growing criminal empire with a iron fist, and continued to recruit from the survivors of the Big Bang. Eventually he came into direct conflict with the Blood Syndicate once more, but allowed them to live rather than taking the conflict to its logical conclusion.

After all, he could see that the group was barely holding together, especially after the death of their charismatic leader Tech-9. He would wait.

The Syndicate eventually fell apart, and when it did, Holocaust cherry picked the members that he wanted for his organization and created his own version of the Blood Syndicate. With that in place, he made his final move. He called a meeting with Coalition and got all of its leaders in a single place.

He then told them in no uncertain terms that he was in control. While they were present, the newly formed Blood Syndicate slaughtered their forces and destroyed their operations. The Coalition hierarchy had little choice but to capitulate to his requests. Holocaust left the group broken and defeated, with one last statement.

“ Oh. One last thing. Don’t call me Pyre no more. My name is HOLOCAUST.”


Description

Holocaust is often depicted as a tall, nearly impossibly muscular black man. His hair hangs loosely about his shoulders like a lions mane, and are often braided into long dreadlocks.

He normally has an immaculately trimmed goatee on his chin, but doesn’t truly possess any other distinguishing marks or tattoos (unlike many members of street gangs).

While Holocaust isn’t model handsome, he is quite striking, and his natural charisma and confidence radiates from him often drawing people to him; his stance usually resembles that of a predator waiting to pounce.

Holocaust doesn’t wear a costume per say, but he can normally be found in a pair of red tights/slacks and thick reddish brown combat boots. Both his boots and his slacks are accented with yellow designs that flow down the sides of the legs and the front of his boots.

His waist is normally encircled by a thick yellow 90’s style belt as well. Holocaust doesn’t bother with shirts and is normally bare-chested, but he does wear a red and gold vest that is usually stretched to the maximum across his massive back and shoulders.

Finally, his ensemble is rounded out by a pair of red finger-less gloves that cover his hands and forearms.


Personality

Holocaust is perhaps one of the most dangerous types of men you could ever meet. He is ambitious, clever, patient, charismatic, ruthless and so very very violent. The difference between Holocaust and a psychopath is very slight.

His belief system is simple, and was driven home by the many trials and tribulations of his youth. He believes quite simply that if you aren’t the abuser, you will be abused. Every action that he takes, every punch that he throws is all an effort to ensure that he will never be abused or looked down upon by anyone ever again.

Like many young men raised in his situation, Holocaust has become numb to the violence and the death that accompanies the lifestyle he has chosen to live. In fact, in some cases he seems to revel in it.

Under normal conditions, no matter what the odds, who he is facing, or how many foes stand in front of him, Holocaust will not run from a confrontation. He will instead react with brutal, cunning, and overwhelming force.

Despite his “rawness” and his image of barely restrained violence, Holocaust is a surprising charismatic individual. His confidence is absolutely infectious and he possesses a silver tongue.

Through the force of his will alone he has been able to convince several other Bang Babies to throw in with him, and even tempted heroes like Static and Rocket to do his bidding.


Quotes

“The power burned me, a righteous flame that forged me into this perfect being you see before you. I am no longer a man. I am a god.”

“If you ain’t taking, you’re getting took.”

Nobody tells me what I can or can not do. #$($*& you and get out… before you feel some real heat.”

(in response to Juniper saying there’s no hope for people like them) “No need for hope. I’ve got POWER. Enough for both of us.”

“Whatchoo gonna do punk ? You gonna make a move on me ?! You gonna hit me ? Come on Mother@(*#&! COME ON !”

“I don’t give a shit about this park anymore than I give a shit about you or the people I supposedly came from. You could all burn for all I care. In fact, I’m going to help you all do exactly that.”

“Let me tell you how it’s going to be from now on. Everyone strong enough to retain their territory may do so. But. I. Am. The. Man.”

“As long as you show me proper respect, we can all prosper. For those who don’t see it my way, I got enough bus tickets and body bags for all y’all. Enjoy your dinner. It’s on the house. Oh. One last thing. Don’t call me Pyre no more. My name is Holocaust.”


DC Universe History

With the merger that occurred between DC and Milestone Universes during the “World’s Collide” Crossover, it is apparent that the Milestone Universe is one of the alternate universes that remained after the Crisis.

With this in mind, all of the events of Holocaust actually occurred in the DC Universe, and he could be encountered by the player characters through the clever application of the Dimensional Travel power.

After the events of the Infinite Crisis and the New 52, the characters of the Milestone Universe are folded directly into the DC Universe, and Dakota city is presumed to have been always present.


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Holocaust

Dex: 05 Str: 08 Bod: 07 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 08 Occupation: Crime Boss
Inf: 08 Aur: 08 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 010
Init: 019 HP: 070

Powers:
Damage Capacity: 03, Flame Being: 10, Flame Immunity: 10, Flame Project: 11, Flash: 08, Force Field: 07, Growth: 01, Power Reserve: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Flame Being: Area of Effect (3APs);
  • Flame Project: No AV;
  • Growth: Always On and Figured into Stats.
  • Power Reserve: Affects Flame Being and Flame Project, Fatiguing;

Skills:
Charisma: 08, Detective (Law): 05

Advantages:
Expansive H.Q., Iron Nerves, Scholar (Business, Finance, Crime)

Connections:
Bad Betty (High), Mayor Jefferson (Low)

Drawbacks:
Arrogant, Minor Rage, Mistrust, Public Identity

Genre:
Mock-Real

By Bryan Gittens

Source of Character: Milestone Imprint Comics Series – Blood Syndicate & My Name is Holocaust, created by Dwayne McDuffie

Writeup completed on the 06th of December 2012.

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Lists what's been done on writeups.org during the previous month. That's it. Learn more.