Tadeusz grew up as a Pole under the oppressive rule of
Soviet-friendly East Germany. His
father ordered his family to turn away from their Polish heritage and
embrace their stark future, so when the Wall fell in the late 1980s
Tadeusz was confused about his place in the world.
His father was even more betrayed and bewildered by the changing
times, that when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died in 1991, the
entire family saw it as a blessing. Tadeusz's
mother soon remarried, and Johannes Weiss became Tad's role model and new
father. Weiss was a former
intelligence officer for East Germany who had moved into the field of
mercenary services just before Unification.
Weiss maintained influential ties with South Africa and was a major
player in the rising neo-Nazi movement of Germany.
Tad was a tall, blonde-haired and blue-eyed Aryan, and Weiss
convinced the teenager to read up on the greatness of Adolf Hitler, and so
it was that as Tad moved into adolescence, he did so under the
manipulative and charismatic eyes of Johannes Weiss.
In 1998, Tad (who was now calling himself Johannes) attended
a school trip to a nuclear power plant in the East of France.
He had already shown a keen interest in physics and had been chosen
to attend an international student seminar on nuclear non-proliferation.
He fell into an argument with the mentor of his group and was
ridiculed for being a 'fascist'. The
insult hurt, and Tad was unable to let it pass, so for the next three days
he simmered quietly while the remaining members of his study tour enjoyed
While being shown around nuclear research facilities, Tad
found himself embroiled in another dispute with the mentor.
His anger had been fermenting for days and he lashed out at the
university student, sending him into a glass panel which contained an
active experiment. The mentor
grabbed Tad's arm and together the young men fell into the room and were
bombarded with radiation. An
investigation of the incident uncovered massive safety concerns throughout
the facility and it was closed down by the French government soon after.
The mentor was killed immediately, but Tadeusz Jerzejczak did
not die. Instead, he began
absorbing the radiation as well as the electricity from surrounding labs
until he started to glow. He
felt wave after wave of intense heat but it did not hurt him.
It was like a rebirth and as the radiation continued to fuel him he
slowly became accustomed to the unusual process that was occurring.
His anger and frustration had been searching for a way to vent, and
it had somehow tapped his active ubergene and produced an incredibly
Tad stumbled out of the shattered lab with the ability to
harness the devastating power of nuclear fire.
Naturally, the seminar and Tad's school wanted to keep the
accident out of the media, and so he returned home with only a few
explanations for his concerned family.
Johannes Weiss, however, saw the opportunity to promote the link
between the Aryan ideal and godhood.
Here was an example of the pure race becoming the next gods. He
took Tad to Berlin, which was kidnapping in all but name, and hooked up
with a man who had once served Hitler himself, Dr Mengele.
Although Tad was only 14, Mengele had already ear-marked him as a
powerful addition to the Kinder der Zukunft.
who was now known as Vaterschmerz, took responsibility for Tad's education and began an even
more rigorous campaign of indoctrination.
Tad was a perfect being, blessed with the powers of gods for the
sole purpose to wrest control back from the savages that currently
oppressed their people. He
learned that America was the enemy, that it was the Dark Country, and that
he would need to wreak vengeance on behalf of all the oppressed sons and
daughters of Nazi Germany.
The history of the world had been perverted.
The Kinder were charged with the responsibility to turn the
tide and write a new chapter in the history of mankind.
The story began well.
Tad took on the mantle of Polestar.
Kinder der Zukunft launched blistering attacks across Europe, including the
bombing of Parliament in London and severe damage to the Eiffel Tower in
Paris. They crossed swords
with many groups of uberhumans, and carried out vast kidnappings of other
uber children. And then they
crossed the Atlantic and laid siege to the New York Library.
Vaterschmerz wanted to burn books, or so he said, but in reality he
wanted to call down the wrath of Sanction, the United States' patriotic
team of uberhumans.
Polestar and half a dozen other Kinder tore up the streets of
Manhattan. Polestar had
blasted the Library and fires had sprung up in many of the levels.
Leibwächter had taken the fight to the street, hunting down
half-breeds in the alleys. Vaterschmerz
and a small band of Kinder were on another mission, perhaps the real
mission, to steal an arcane sceptre from the Museum.
And then Polestar found himself face to face with a librarian
who had not fled the building. She
was an African-American, perhaps in her late thirties and her eyes were
wide with terror and determination. She
stood between Polestar and the books. He didn't think. The
fire erupted from his eyes and hands, and before he had even thought of
the consequences the woman was consumed in the fires.
Another librarian ran into the room and shouted at him, but
he couldn't hear the words. All
he saw was a pile of ash. He
looked to the new librarian and his fires leapt out and consumed him as
well, reducing the balding man to ash and dust.
Polestar looked at his hands.
Nuclear fire crackled across his palms, but he thought he
could detect a dark stain there.
He had never considered his actions to be murderous before.
He had destroyed monuments and buildings.
He had scarred superheroes and wrought great devastation upon
cities. But he had never
looked into the eyes of a victim and seen the fire burst forth from
He reasoned that she had been a black woman.
He reasoned that she was worthless.
But the stain on his hands remained and he knew that reason
could not absolve him of guilt. Vaterschmerz
would admonish him, strap him with barbed leather; but even fear of his
leader could not pull Polestar away from the stirrings of regret.
He thought back to the accident at the nuclear facility: the young
man who had died there, all because Tad couldn't take an insult.
In all the time since the accident, Tad had never even thought of
the young man. It was as if
it meant nothing.
He realised he had been wrong.
And that feeling spread throughout his body, almost like a
virus, until he began to question everything.
Why did they have to burn books?
Why did he have to punish a people who were genetically inferior?
If they were inferior, it wasn't their fault.
With his power he should help those less fortunate than himself.
He shook his head at those thoughts.
They weren't his.
He remembered his grandmother telling him that people should
always help those less fortunate, that it was humanity's responsibility to
leave the world in a better state than when we arrived.
She had been in Warsaw during the Second World War, and she had
seen humanity's pale shadow of evil.
He thought of the librarian, of both librarians.
They sacrificed their lives to preserve knowledge in the form of
books. He was sent to destroy
Polestar couldn't decide what to do.
In retrospect, Polestar was defeated by the librarian's
death, but the newspapers credited the capture of an international
terrorist to the timely intervention of Sanction. Captain California, Doctor Spin, Lady Liberty, Major American
and Speedway arrived in New York and quickly dispersed the Kinder.
Major American discovered Polestar, still standing above the two
piles of ash, and after a short battle Polestar was thrown through two
walls and into the daylight outside.
Tad remembered seeing the blue sky and wisps of cloud before
he was rendered unconscious.
When he awoke he was incarcerated, although the rest of
Kinder had escaped. The trial
was brought forward quickly and Tadeusz Jerzejczak was found guilty of
murder, although he offered a heart-felt apology to the families of the
deceased which was generally taken as sarcasm.
The media was fuelled by anti-Nazi sentiment and the jury was
dismissed twice before a verdict could be reached.
Throughout the court case, Tad refused to contact his former
team mates and even eventually turned one of his former team mates away
when she organised a meeting with him in her secret identity.
She said she was a cousin, but Tad only talked with her briefly
before telling her that it was over.
She smiled at him and whispered that the vater never gave up
on his soldiers.
Tad wasn't so sure.
He was sixteen years old. He served five years in
prison while being interrogated by SAGE who probed
him for information on Mengele and Kinder. His case was re-examined
and leniency granted because of his youth, the severe level of
brainwashing and torture involved with his adolescence, and Tadeusz was
released on his 21st birthday. He returned to Europe and was greeted
by Steppenwolf and Armstrong of the Brotherhood, a group of independent
heroes. They invited him to join, both as a way to monitor his
activities as well as a chance to start a new life.