The Devil's Lineage
Christine Spar's mother, Stacy Palumbo, was the adopted daughter of the masked crimelord Grendel, known publicly as best-selling author Hunter Rose. Stacy lost her parents at a young age and was adopted by Rose after he murdered her uncle. Due to carelessness on Rose's part, Stacy eventually discovered the horrible truth that Rose hid as Grendel, and that he was responsible for murdering her uncle. It was Stacy that plotted Rose's eventual destruction at the hands of his arch-nemesis Argent the Wolf.
Shortly after Grendel's death Stacy was institutionalized. She was raped by her psychologist, but refused to terminate the pregnancy. Christine was born in the institution, and directly after the birth Stacy descended completely into madness.
Christine was herself adopted by the Powell family. As an adult, she became a staff reporter at the New York times. She married war correspondent Peter Spar, with whom she had a child, Anson Spar. Peter was killed on the job, leaving Christine alone to take care of Anson.
Eventually Christine would contact her mother, seeking to learn more about the truth of her brutal origins. It was during these meetings that Christine was informed by Stacy of the connection to Grendel. Stacy gave Christine the location where she hid Grendel's journals many years ago. It was with these journals that Christine was able to reconstruct Rose's past. She would use this knowledge to publish a book entitled Devil by the Deed about Rose's life, becoming acknowledged as the foremost expert on her late "grandfather". She would gain some amount of fame for this, particularly stemming from an interview on Donahue.
The Devil's Legacy
It was Christine's friend, Ginny, that introduced Christine and Anson to kabuki star Tujiro XIV. Ginny worked for the Arts-Watch section of the paper, and had an extra pair of tickets to the Kabuki show for Christine and Anson. After the show Ginny, Christine, and Anson located Tujiro backstage. Ginny had already had contact with Tujiro, and introduced herself, then Christine. When Christine held out her hand, Tujiro licked it with a long, sharp tongue. When he greeted Anson he pulled a lock of hair out of the back of Anson's head. Anson assumed that a bug bit him, and thought nothing of it. That night after Christine put Anson to bed, Tujiro used the lock of Anson's hair to hypnotize him. Anson wandered out of their apartment and outside of the building where Tujiro's lackey Yoshi Onagawa was waiting to pick him up. The next morning Christine found that Anson was gone and assumed that he got up early to go to school.
When Christine came home from work late to find that Anson was still not home she began to realize that her son was gone. She called up Regina, and the two went to the police to help. Because Anson was not missing for long enough there was little the police could do for her. Christine began to put things together. She started to research Tujiro's kabuki and discovered that several other young boys like Anson were also kidnapped at various tour stops. She didn't know why he did it, but she knew that he was responsible.
Christine stopped showing up to work. She was consumed by getting Anson back. When Ginny came over to visit she found Christine's apartment a wreck and Christine with a bottle of booze in her hand. Ginny tried to help her friend, and soon left. However, it was all an act; Chris was actually sober. It was during this deception that Christine first displayed a white streak of hair on the left side of her head, the sign of being Grendel (Hunter had a white streak on the right side of his head). After Ginny was gone Christine put her plan into action. Dressed in a black cat-suit, she donned a mask and gloves and snuck into the public library. She quickly located the Grendel display, and stole Hunter Rose's original Grendel mask, staff, and costume. When she donned her Grandfather's costume Argent stirred in his dark solitude. He knew that Grendel was back.
Christine flew to San Francisco where Tujiro would be making the next stop on his tour. While she was spying on Tujiro at the theatre she was met backstage by the theatre manager Brian Li Sung. She introduced herself and said that she was looking for an interview. Brian recognized her from her interview on Donahue. Brian told her that Tujiro was already gone, and gave her a ticket for that night's sold out opening show. She watched the show that night, wondering what he was. One thing she new for certain was that Anson was no longer alive, and that she would exact her revenge.
After the show Christine followed Tujiro to his hotel where a parking attendant told her Tujiro's room number. She went back to her own room where she got cleaned up and called Ginny to see how she was doing. Ginny was frantic because the police had paid her a visit asking questions about Christine concerning Anson's disappearance. The police and Argent monitored their communications. Argent was convinced it was Christine that had become the new Grendel. Christine later followed Tujiro's lackey Yoshi. She found that he enjoyed the company of prostitutes, and hoped that this inclination could be used in her favor.
The next day Christine called Brian and arranged for a date as an alibi. That night she dressed as Grendel for the fist time and snuck into Tujiro's room. Within his room she found a briefcase filled with vials containing eyes. Out of the vials she instantly recognized Anson's as one. It was then that Tujiro entered the room with his lackeys Yoshi and Niccolo. She knocked out the light and attacked Yoshi and Niccolo. She could see perfectly due to the infrared lenses that Hunter Rose had built into her mask's eyes. Yoshi and Niccolo posed no great threat, but Tujiro grabbed her by the neck and hurled her across the room and then through the window before she could even tell what was happening. Christine was able to descend the side of the building again, and removed her costume at her car. She was early, but was injured and dazed from the fight and needed to get to Brian's apartment across from the hotel. She told Brian that she was mugged and she spent the night on his couch.
The next day she followed Yoshi to the prostitute he was visiting. He waited in bed below a window. Christine came up in the window behind him and stabbed him through the neck with her forked staff. This was her first murder as Grendel. After the police came by to take their report it was made public that Grendel was back. Brian took note of this when he heard the news report at home. Christine went back to Tujiro's room to find that he had kidnapped another young boy who Christine believed was drugged. The boy had a patch over one of his eyes. Before Christine could decide what to do, Tujiro bit the boy's neck and drank his blood. Up until this point she thought Tujiro was human; now he was something else all together. Christine was intensely disturbed by the sight and left the scene. Before leaving she planted a bug in Tujiro's car and went home. She used this bug to discover that Tujiro was involved in a slavery ring, and that they planned to kidnap Brian Li Sung. Chris made a date with Brian for the evening that they had planned to kidnap Brian, and in doing so she was able to keep him away from the kidnappers. She and Brian continued to bond during this date and eventually slept together. Finally she was having some positive changes to her life. The next day, after he left, she tried to do some research on vampires, but found that it was all to ambiguous and legendary.
Knowing that Tujiro would strike again, Christine waited on the rooftop across from Brian's apartment. She watched Niccolo standing across the street and just barely noticed Tujiro approach her from behind. Tujiro and Grendel fought on the rooftop; she tried to stab him with the fork but he was able to stop the point of the fork with his palm. He knocked her down easily but she scared him off by starting a fire. Then she climbed a water tower to control the battle space. However, Tujiro teleported up and punched at her. He broke the side of the water tower, splashing himself. He howled in pain at the touch of the water. Brian caught the end of the battle from his apartment building and saw Grendel and Tujiro fighting and then leaving amongst the fire and water of the rooftops. Brian realized that Chistine was Grendel.
The next day Christine called him but he didn't want to talk; he was angry about her new identity. She called Regina and nearly broke down; she couldn't take the way that her actions were negatively affecting all of her friends. They were being harassed by the cops; they were judgmental about wha she was doing to avenge her son. Everything seemed to be falling to pieces around her. The craziness wasn't limited to her friends: random people in town were copying Grendel's signature white streak in their hair as the new cool thing to do. She went back to talk to Brian at the theater. He listened, but couldn't stand by what she had been doing, even after finding out about her son. She did not tell him about the slavery ring or the vampirism yet. She was at wit's end, but after Brian left, she heard some more of Tujiro's troupe talking about kidnapping him. She could not falter.
She came to Brian's apartment to tell him that he was a possible target. Brian didn't believe her until she played the recording she made from the bug in Tujiro's car. She put on her costume and prepared for Tujiro's arrival. Tujiro burst through the window and Niccolo arrived through the front door. As a diversion she blew up Tujiro's tour busses. She then pulled out a hose that was hidden under the couch and sprayed Tujiro, soaking him. Tujiro howled in pain again and tore off his clothing. Niccolo lunged at Christine with a bladed hand, but she took his hand off with her staff. She went after Tujiro again who was covered in hair like a cat. Brian helped her take out Niccolo and Tujiro lunged at Christine, turning into a cat. He was able to evade capture and flew out another window. Christine left and dyed the streak out of her hair, then she took a flight home, believing that she would permanently leave behind the Grendel identity. Tujiro, remaining a cat, hid out in the alleys of the city.
After Tujiro's defeat, Christine flew back to New York. She left a letter to Brian who she cared deeply about. She just barely missed Ginny, who had flown to San Francisco to find her. Ginny met up with Brian and decided to travel back to New York to find her. When Christine arrived back she didn't have time to leave the airport before Argent and Captain Wiggins's goons arrived to pick her up. They took her back to see Argent. Argent and Wiggins questioned her, trying to pull any information out of her that would link her to Grendel. She knew that they didn't have any hard evidence because she had the mask and fork shipped to a secret locker in Grand Central Station, and as such she wouldn't budge. It was an important moment for her: she saw her grandfather's ancient enemy, who had become her enemy and the antagonist of her friends. She verbally sparred with him and Wiggins, knowing it was dangerous considering Wiggins' bionic eye lie detector. The meeting ended with Argent and Wiggins angrily allowing Christine to leave.
She returned home to find that Ginny had returned to New York looking for her with Brian. She and Ginny had a brief talk, in which Chris tried to explain what had happened without giving any details. Then they went over to see Brian, only to find that he had been badly beaten by an overzealous San Francisco police officer,
, that followed them out to New York. Enraged, she pulled out her staff and costume once again, returning to he Grendel identity that she had meant to leave behind. She couldn't accept all the pain that was swirling around her friends due to her actions, yet she continued to take more of these same actions in order to try to stave it off. She tracked the cop down and followed him, constantly harassing him from cover. He knew that something was going on but could not see her as she worked. Finally she allowed herself to be seen and killed him in cold blood. She cut off his fingers as he reached for his gun, hitting him in the face with the blunt end, and finally stabbing him in the chest. Violence was now becoming the automatic solution to her problems, and it was becoming easier and easier.
Regina woke her up the next day, and they had a longer conversation about her recent experiences. She talked about how Grendel made her feel vital, in control, against the tide of fate. She was close to moving back to her original self; she felt like she had tied up her last loose end. Maybe she could leave Grendel behind now. However, they went over to Ginny's apartment, and found that the police had trashed it while searching for Grendel's gear. Ginny broke down. She had been a rock for Chris, being supportive even as Chris took extreme actions, but having her home destroyed was too much for her; she felt like her one safe place had been breached. Chris left in a rage.
Christine went back to Brian's room and waited for him, unmasked. The white streak in her hair had reappeared. When Brian arrived he attempted to dissuade her from the course of action that she had set herself in, but the news that Argent and Wiggins had interrogated him earlier that day just made her even more infuriated. She felt that nothing would save her friends from constant harassment unless she did something about it. Still, the two shared a passionate final evening together. Christine allowed Brian to go on believing that he had talked her out of her quest, but in reality her plans had not changed. After they made love, Christine suited up and snuck out into the night leaving Brian sleeping soundly in bed.
Christine's first target was Captain Wiggins. She killed a couple cops that were watching Brian's apartment. Then she planted a bomb under Wiggins' car, triggered to explode when he entered. She regretted not being able to stay behind to witness Wiggins' demise personally, but had more work to do. She only hoped that Wiggins was the first to enter his car that night, and that as he died slowly he knew exactly who was responsible. Wiggins, as it would turn out, was not the first to get into his car. Shortly after the explosives were planted, Wiggins and two of his goons left the police station to get into the car. The two goons got in first, and the vehicle exploded with Wiggins safely out of it. Wiggins did, however, know who was responsible, and mobilized a police team headed for Argent's house.
Christine arrived at Argent's house knowing that he would be expecting her. She used various pieces of gear that she had picked up in the past to get past the security. Argent sat in his wheelchair waiting for her on the top floor of his home, casting ancient spells of his people that allowed him to use his legs again. When she arrived, the two locked into brutal conflict. The battle was fierce, and Christine brought out the savage, bestial nature of both herself and the wolf. Each would strike the other, wounding and drawing blood. She sliced him deeply in the side. Argent got hold of Christine's staff during the fight and smashed it on the floor, breaking it. Christine smashed him in the face with a nearby candelabra and Argent struck her fiercely in the neck with razor-sharp claws. She tilted his hoverchair and fired its propulsion rockets at him, blinding him. At the end of the battle Christine grabbed for the blade portion of her staff. The two struck a killing blow at exactly the same time, Argent's claws rending Christine's sides and Grendel stabbing Argent through the chest with the forked, steel blade. Christine died there, alone, satisfied at having finally killed Argent, having accomplished Hunter Rose's old mission to defeat the great Wolf, but ending in tragedy as Rose had--and as many Grendels of the future would as well.
Toward the end of the fight Wiggins's police force had arrived, and so had both Regina and Brian. Brian and Regina found their way into Argent's house in time to find the slain wolf as well as Christine's slain body. Brian was shattered by the site of his beloved Christine's body. Wiggins had the two removed and told them both to stay in town.
Brian would later receive a letter sent by Christine before her death. Before confronting Argent on that final evening she buried both her notes and her Grandfather's journals in the park overlooking Argent's home. The letter detailed where to locate the package. Brian would stay in New York, using these journals to piece together a better understanding of Christine's life and death. Confronted by the lowest points of society in New York, and a deeper understanding of the darkness within both former Grendels, Brian would later become the third to wear the mask, carrying on the tradition of Christine Spar and Hunter Rose.
Powers and Abilities
Christine Spar is a normal human in most respects. She has moderate strength and endurance. She showed herself to be unusually agile, capable of flipping around on rooftops, jumping down multiple stories, etc. She was also trained in kendo before becoming Grendel. However, what made Christine truly dangerous was her drive, and the rage which fueled her. She possessed most of Hunter Rose's original weapons and costume. Rose had dedicated his considerable genius into augmenting every part of his weapon, every piece of his costume in order to make himself more and more deadly. As Christine grew more experienced in wielding these pieces she too grew to be more deadly, finally becoming capable of killing Argent, something which even the original Grendel could not do.
Hunter Rose was an ingenious inventor and uses his skills to make his weaponry and himself as deadly as possible. Christine spar inherited both Grendel's costume and his primary weapon: a
staff with a forked blade
at one end chosen to further the demonic appearance. The forked blade retracts into the hilt, so that she can disguise the staff as a normal staff. Along with being razor sharp, the blades can be electrified with the push of a button located on the hilt (the charge of which does not last very long). The staff also contains a radio transmitter and can be used as a grappling hook. She often used the blunt end as a ram, jamming it into people's faces and mouths, breaking their teeth.
Her outfit also has several additional devices built in which aide her as Grendel. Special infrared lenses are carefully built in the eyes of his mask by Hunter Rose, which give her the ability to see in the dark. Her mask also projects tubes which insert into the nose and allow for a greatly heightened sense of smell. They also act as a filter. There are most likely similar apparatus to enhance hearing within the mask. Hunter Rose's original equipment and costume would be destroyed by Argent during their final battle.
She also bought a fair amount of high-tech military-surplus equipment which she used very effectively. This equipment included several climbing devices that allowed her to climb exterior walls many stories high, lasers that disabled cameras, bugging devices and recording equipment, an anti-bugging device hidden in her earring, binoculars, and especially high explosives, which she used to destroy multiple buses and a police car.
Starting out Christine shared few qualities with her Grandfather. Hunter Rose was brilliant, cold, calculating, and enjoyed the smell of his victim's blood. He enjoyed the hunt and the battle. He was in peak physical condition, and was an expert with multiple weapons. Christine was a normal person up to and after discovering her lineage. She was inexperienced at fighting, and was not as skilled as a tactician as her Grandfather. As time progressed she found herself more and more enjoying being Grendel. She enjoyed the fear that it inspired, and as she grew into her role she arguably became more and more like Hunter Rose. Her fighting abilities matured during her short tenure under the mask, and she would become more ruthless and bloodthirsty. She would be survived by her boyfriend, Brian Li Sung, who would go on to carry on her legacy as the third incarnation of Grendel.