Miles Charleston/ Chillingworth is a supervillain in the Georsha universe of Dozerfleet Comics, and an archnemesis of the Gray Champion. He debuts in The Gray Champion: Chillingworth's Revenge. He is inspired by three different characters in particular: Roger Chillingworth from The Scarlet Letter, Ivan Vanko/Whiplash from Iron Man 2, and Loki Laufeyson from Marvel's 2011 release of its Thor movie.
Powers, weaknesses, and equipment
Powers and equipment
Chillingworth, like his predecessor, is skilled at healing and alternative medicine. However, he has an ability not well-developed in his predecessor as well. This includes his ability to freeze targets in a block of ice. His power isn't perfect, however. He realizes that he needs metallic gloves to direct his blasts and concentrate his assaults. He cannot become invisible like Gray, but does have more armor and can engage in limited amounts of matter phasing. The biggest difference is that he cannot, like Gray, transport himself and others through electronic signals.
Chillingworth does not respond well to the Marsodian Ruby, a gem that is bonded with the Marlquaan and can either grant or take away bonds with the Marlquaan to almost anyone if activated. This ruby was hidden inside of Hester's Locket, which was actually a Zeran-style device that allowed informed users to wield the ruby's power.
Connection to Roger
It turns out that when Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, he left out a few important details. John Domeck had actually visited Hester Prynne at one point, and told her to keep in a secret stash a jewel that had been struck by the Marlquaan. Hester hid it inside of a locket, and shaped that locket so that the jewel would be disguised as her letter "A."
The dark forces that Roger was partaking in, as mentioned in the book, were only most of it. There was a small portion of business he did that was kept secret even from them—a dark force that believed in combining the Marlquaan with black magic, and would eventually be reorganized under a new leader by the name of Sarah Umpid.
When Dimmesdale revealed his "A"-shaped body carving to the colony where he served as minister, it activated the jewel and robbed Roger of his slow-progressing Marlquaanite powers. Missed most among those was the power to freeze a man solid, something he had tested on several Indians and was plotting to eventually use on Hester and everyone she held dear.
Word spread of Chillingworth being depowered, and one of his understudies vowed to take revenge on John Domeck. The discovery of a 21st-century man who substituted through time with John resulted in a secret society which vowed to one day find John and finish him off.
Miles assumes the mantle
This led to cult member Miles Charleston taking a job at Dae Pang's museum shortly after Dae kicks Hea out of the house for getting pregnant. He spends several months studying the museum, and paying close attention to newspaper reports about a mysterious "Gray Champion" that has been seen around town.
He immediately suspects from Dae's secrecy that Hea is hiding more secrets than just an illegitimate child, and attempts to follow Hea home one afternoon. However, she fights back. Miles realizes that Hea is determined to protect her secret, and loses control of his own budding Marlquaanite powers. He gives her frostbite on her shoulder almost instantly after grabbing a trash can lid and hitting her with it, causing him to realize that he needs to develop special gloves to control his powers. The Gray Champion intervenes and rescues Hea from Miles' assault, battling him just long enough to cause a scene and attract the police.
Miles desperately attempts an escape, while Hea receives medical attention and alerts authorities to Miles' obsession with using her to get to Gray. She mentions that if she goes into witness protection, she'll need a guarantee of safety for her friend "Jordan Dominick."
He goes back to his personal lab in his house, and works on manufacturing gloves that let him control his chill powers. After that, he listens intently to the news as he hears the words "Jordan Dominick." He immediately suspects from the pause in Hea's voice that this is a cover-up name. Police try to raid his house, so he flees to the society's secret hideout. The leader, known to most only as "Ichabod," urges Miles to continue his pursuit of his lead by any means necessary.
Miles begins growing power-hungry, and decides to pay Dae a visit. He gets her to crack, by pretending to sympathize with her grief over Hea. Admitting in her bitterness that Hea is friends with an elderly man named "John," Dae soon realizes that she's made a mistake. Miles alerts Dae that he was the "predator" on the news, and that he'd made an attempt on Hea's life earlier. He mentioned that Hea referred to "Jordan Dominick," and that it was "a feeble attempt to hide the truth." Dae attempts to escape, but Miles jumps ahead of her and freezes her arms off. Before killing her, he taunts that "it's too late to ask your daughter for forgiveness." Dae retaliates by condemning Miles as "a sick freezer bunny," to which Miles laughs. His reply is: "Freezer Bunny? Please! Just call me...Chillingworth!"
He breaks into the museum a short time later, stealing clothing items and artifacts needed to complete his new Chillingworth costume. He goes mad with power, killing Ichabod and assuming leadership of Ichabod's society. Together, Chillingworth and his underlings begin plotting a terrorist attack on Boston. He even stages a hostage-taking in town, luring the Gray Champion to fight him. Gray is unmasked during the scuffle, briefly. Chillingworth soon realizes that his mission in life is the kill Boston's favorite superhero, and a new rivalry is born.
Gray and Hea head down with Hea's in-laws to Miami, where they discover Gray's daughter was dumped by the Marlquaan into a different part of the time stream. She is now a grown-up woman going by the name of Margarita Ramirez. "Marge," as Hea refers to her, moved to Florida with her adoptive parents after life in Cuba grew too dangerous for them. Marge had taken a job as a model for a shopping mall chain, but reveals that she can run very fast and set things on fire. Going by the nickname of "Mapacha" for "raccoon," she had long known she was not the daughter of Cubans. Gray and Hea eventually convince Mapacha of her true identity, and she agrees to set a trap for Chillingworth. Marge's adoptive parents reveal that they have actually been in possession of Hester's locket the whole time. Stan and Shalia Flippo had entrusted their previous generation with it as payment for helping Stan find the treasure of Henry Lohtz.
Gray reveals himself to be in Miami, drawing publicity and daring Chillingworth to battle him there. He takes the bait, and ends up battling both Gray and Mapacha. Meanwhile, Hea informs local police of Chillingworth's followers. The battle over Miami skyscrapers grows increasingly intense, and Chillingworth manages to seriously wound and give localized frostbite to both Mapacha and Gray. They get a few serious battle wounds inflicted on him, but he stand victorious. Just when it looks like all hope is lost for the father-daughter duo, Hea shows up with her daughter in her arms, and puts on Hester's locket. The gem inside immediately activates, removing Chillingworth's bond with the Marlquaan and rendering him powerless. Mapacha very quickly finishes him off, before collapsing from her injuries.
Miles has always had a bit of a cold, if not sadistic, personality. As a key figure in the Society of the Icy Finger, he made his goal of learning what happened to John Domeck become a life-consuming mission. His initial bonding with the Marlquaan made him into a cat burglar, using his icing abilities to make doors brittle enough to smash through. However, the thrills of getting away with burglary so easily and not getting caught soon bored him. Learning from his failed attempt on Hea's life that metallic gloves could give him more direct control of his abilities, he soon relished the idea of becoming a supervillain.
His initial "creeper" persona gave way to an arrogant tyrant, leading him to kill his own mentor and take over. Knowledge that John had become the Gray Champion set him over the edge, as he soon vowed to destroy Boston—and anyone or anything John cared about. He saw himself as a rightful heir to the legacy of Roger Chillingworth, if not an actual reincarnation. He differs from Eqquibus in how he seeks to destroy Gray, largely because he is a more careful planner and also because he delights in being the pest in Gray's life. Eqquibus was a serial rapist and a businessman in league with corrupt politicians. To him Gray was the pest. This difference of mindset is exactly what makes Chillingworth a bigger threat—he is calculating and cruel, instead of merely brutal and violent. To put it another way: If Eqquibus were comparable to Willem Dafoe's take on the Green Goblin, then Chillingworth would be more comparable to a male version of Tilda Swinton's take on the White Witch.
Development of character
Chillingworth was originally going to be a red-suited color swap of Gray, and was going to have an agenda of wanting to spread decadence among the locals to stick it to Gray's morality. This is after an earlier idea for a female villain that was going to be succubus-like in quality, and try to seduce everyone. The Arab terrorist plot that was considered for Gray Champion 2 became a much-reduced subplot for Chillingworth's Revenge, with Society of the Icy Finger serving as a substitute for the near-climax.
Before that even, the idea to use Chillingworth as a new villain for the Gerosha universe came from a high school project that the Dozerfleet founder remembered fondly from around 2001. As the class was reading The Scarlet Letter, everyone in class was asked to essentially draw storyboard panels of different scenes from the book, as if making an animated feature film.
This led to the Dozerfleet founder developing an art style with saturated colors and "Disneyfied" appearances for characters. Hester's plainness from the book was replaced with a sultry, black-haired, brown-eyed, red-dressed heroine; deserving of Disney Princess fame. Essentially, she became a pale-skinned Esmeralda that didn't dance; and that dressed more conservatively. The idea that her scarlet letter would be embroidery was replaced with the added character of John Domeck entrusting her with a ruby and a locket, which she was forced to carve a letter "A" into by the town. The "scarlet" was actually the ruby inside her locket, and had Marlquaan-related powers.
Likewise was Roger Chillingworth redesigned. He became an amalgamation of the mannerisms of numerous Disney villains; and villains from films ripping off the Disney formula. He had all the calculation and cruelty of Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but a body build more like Gaston. His "icy presence" from the book was transformed into him literally freezing his victims solid. This resulted in mixed feelings from the literature teacher, who didn't like the deviations from the book's descriptions that were being done in favor of an art style that seemed to value commercialism more than literary purity. She also was not fond the the Scarlet Letter itself gaining supernatural abilities.
It was in 2011 that the idea came to create a new character, one who would assume the Chillingworth mantle just as John Domeck had assumed Gray's mantle. It all became part of an ongoing plot to enhance the Gerosha universe with themes from Hawthorne and other bits of American folklore, a slight change of direction from what more mainstream companies like Marvel and DC have done by integrating Greek and Norse mythology into their franchises.
- Chillingworth's SDCPM file
- Gray Champion
- Dae Pang
- Hea Pang
- The Gray Champion: Chillingworth's Revenge
- Hester's locket