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Comic Book / Blood Syndicate

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Clockwise from the top left: Tech-9, Flashback, DMZ, Masquerade, Wise Son, Holocaust

The Blood Syndicate is a Milestone Comics "team" of superhumans created by Dwayne McDuffie, Ivan Velez Jr. and Denys Cowan. It ran for 35 issues from April 1993 to February 1996.

They are an amalgamation of two Dakota City street gangs - the Paris Island Bloods and the Force Syndicate – who survived an event known as the Big Bang from which they developed superhuman powers.

Believing that their survival was meant as proof to pursue a higher purpose, the Syndicate set their sights on eliminating the crime that plagues their city, drawing the ire of both mobsters and the government alike. As they delve deeper into the mystery behind the Big Bang, the Syndicate is forced to overcome not only their enemies, but also their own conflicting ideals and motivations.


This series provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: The Jade Emperor is this to both Kwai and the Demon Fox, and not only the worst abusive parent in the Milestone universe but possibly one of the worst in all fiction. The Jade Emperor has condemned both his daughters to seventy-seven cycles—77 full lifespans—of eternal torture, death and misery for literally no other reason than to have a cheap game for him and his immortal buddies to gamble on. When Kwai manages to reach her father and beg him to break the cycle, the Jade Emperor opts to murder her instead.
  • Anti-Hero Team: The whole team is this.
  • Badass Crew: Managed to overpower and knock out Icon, who keep in mind gave Superman a hard time. Later they take on the actual Man of Steel and although they don't win they still managed to hold their ground, an impressive feat by itself.
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  • The Big Guy: Gender Flip with Brickhouse. She also wishes she were a Girly Girl, but since she's an Expy of the Thing, it's impossible.
  • Caper Rationalization: The Syndicate rob crackhouses as a source of income, but it's justified by the idea that they're removing the drugs and the unsavory criminal element from the streets. When a crackhouse boss attempts to cut the Syndicate in on their profits in exchange for staying open, Fade's response is to knock the drug lord through a window.
  • Dead Person Impersonation:
    • Masquerade impersonates the deceased Tech-9 and takes leadership of the Syndicate from Wise Son, at the Demon Fox's manipulation. However, once her deception is revealed by the Demon Fox, the gang disbands completely.
    • The Demon Fox pretends to be John Wing's own wife a while after she was summoned by him. In reality, not only did John Wing sacrifice his own pregnant wife to call upon the Demon Fox in the first place, the Demon Fox snapped his neck afterward because she's just that much of an evil bitch.
  • Deep Cover Agent: DMZ, whom Icon recognizes as one of the Green Lantern expies of the Milestone universe.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Holocaust, being too far too crude and quick tempered to be Affably Evil.
  • Gayngster: Fade
  • Henshin Hero: Kwai/Nina Lam
  • Freudian Excuse: Neither Kwai's coldness nor the Demon Fox's insanely sadistic behavior could be explained by anything less than the monstrous abuse of their father, the Jade Emperor, who set up their Sibling Rivalry as a cheap game between him and his immortal buddies.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Wise Son, being far less charismatic and affable than former leader Tech-9, frequently butts heads with the other team members and is abrasive to everyone else on his good days. Nevertheless, he still desires to improve things for Paris Island and its people.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Roberta "Rob" Chaplik. The first four issues use her as the POV character for the readers to introduce the Syndicate and the Big Bang as she goes to Paris Island to write a detailed story about them. She returns in the final issue as Wise Son and Dogg give her the remaining evidence so she can finish her story.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The few times the Syndicate battled other heroes it was framed as this, whether it was erroneously believing Icon had come to take their turf back on behalf of the city, or being in complete disbelief that Superman was flying around the ruins of Paris Island during the events of Worlds Collide.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: The Demon Fox, the single most sadistic character in the comic's run, clearly takes all of her traits from her father the Jade Emperor. Her father not only couldn't give less of a shit about the Demon Fox, he set her up to begin with to commit horrible atrocities against her sister Kwai.
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The Big Bang. While the Bang was a key factor in the origin of other Milestone characters (most notably Static), Blood Syndicate was the most directly connected to the event, serving as the gang's origin, with numerous issues dedicated to the team trying to figure out how and why it happened.
  • Neighborhood-Friendly Gangsters: For the most part. While the locals fear them for the most part (justified as they were able to stand up to Icon), they don't purposefully cause trouble for the average citizen without a good reason and will go out of their way to save innocents in danger. Lampshaded in an issue of Static where Static (in his civilian identity) and the Syndicate show up to the same theatre, but the worst that happens is Fade tells the audience to keep quiet during the film and not to smoke weed since children are present.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Wise Son's power. Demonstrated in the first issue when Brickhouse knocks him through the second floor of the factory hangout they use and he immediately gets up, ready to fight.
  • Pyromaniac: Holocaust definitely takes the cake with this one.
  • Save Scumming: Flashback can rewind time by three seconds, an ability which has saved her teammates lives more than once. Deconstructed in that watching her friends die on several occasions begins to takes a toll on her mentally and causes her to rely even more on drugs to cope.
  • Talking Animal: Dogg with two G's, the team's resident
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Masquerade, who can shift all or part of her body depending on the situation.
  • White Gangbangers: Boogieman. Though he was raised on Paris Island, which is very much the definition of the hood. Wise Son tears into Boogieman for hiding his race from the gang, even though no one ever asked.

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