In Chaos! Comics, Ernie started as a child with psychic powers of foresight and telepathy. His parents didn't understand him and feared him. After his parents were in a car crash they feared him even more, and life grew worse for Ernie. He was sent to a psychiatrist Dr. Leonard Price. Who used his Dream Probe machine. Ernie met Lady Death and wanted to be with her, which by her words were possible if all mankind was dead. He killed 12 people and his parents and was sent to mental institute. Second use of the same machine by Mary Young killed Ernie and brought him back as Evil Ernie.
When Chaos Comics! went bankrupt, Evil Ernie was bought by Devil's Due and he had a short run, his origin story wasn't changed and seamed to take place after the events of Chaos! Armageddon. Although Lady Death was renamed to just Lady, because Devil's Due didn't have the rights to Lady Death who had moved to Avatar Press along with her creator Brian Pulido.
After a year of being in limbo Dynamite Entertainment obtained the rights to Evil Ernie. This time the origin story was completely changed. Ernie was the second child of a happier family while still in the womb, his parents were killed in a car crash due to his biological father's possession by a spirit or demon. Ernie survived the ordeal only to grow up into a horrible childhood haunted by the ability to see peoples true characteristics. Then he murdered 665 people in Lucretia and wanted to kill his abusive foster father Buford King, but was caught before he could get his 666th victim and incarcerated. He was sent to prison and executed. An event similar to Pandora Effect happened and Ernie was transformed into Evil Ernie.
Evil Ernie is undoubtedly the brainchild of Brian Pulido, the founder of Chaos! Comics and principal writer for the company he founded, was originally published in a five issue series Evil Ernie for Eternity Comics. Those first issues would see re-printing with new covers in 1996.
Visually Evil Ernie was designed roughly by Brian Pulido and professionally drawn for the first time by Eric Mache, a month before Steven Hughes became involved with Evil Ernie.
Brian Pulido has stated that the look of Ernie was inspired by Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth the lead singer of the heavy metal band Overkill. The two share the heavy metal look of the time: tight Jeans, black t-shirt, leather jacket with pin badges and shoulder length wild hair.
After a brief stint at Devil's Due, Ernie is set to return at Dynamite Entertainment.
Evil Ernie started out as a tale of revenge for an abused young boy with a twist of mysticism that could almost have passed for the pure delusions of an insane mind but after the 2nd series and the the Lady Death spin off there was no doubt that Lady Death was a real entity in her own right and her story turned out to be far grander in design. Ernie's basic task stayed the same throughout his run, he simply had to end all life on earth. he never stopped to think about how hard that task was but as his campaign grew he got ever increasingly bold and devastating in his quest. While he only conquered less than half the USA in the first 65% of his story (probably due to Pulido not wanting to have his story over with too quickly) towards the end he launched several nuclear war heads around the globe but failed to ignite global war when the other nations refused to return fire. These story-lines did seem to feed into the last 20th centuries fear and blasé attitude to nuclear war and nuclear proliferation.
Chaos! Comics, unlike many other publishers, resisted 'Event' story-lines and had a great deal of interconnection between its characters individual arcs. Two years before January 1st 2000 Chaos! began a story arc with new characters attempting to fend off the end of the world. They succeed but a plot point from 5 years previously triggers an even larger, universal extinction event and all characters current story arcs started to intertwine with this central one. Culminating on Jan 1st 2000 with the destruction of the Chaos universe and the demise of Evil Ernie's Megadeath Quest. This level of planning is almost unprecedented in the comic book world where writers and creative control is rarely so structured and planned this far in advance.
In Dynamite Entertainment publishing the iconic character has shifted from omnicidal maniac to vengeful vigilante on the payroll of hell's designate chaos lord. Now re-imagined by talented writer Jesse Blaze and artists Jason Craig, Ernie is now depicted as a vengeful fallen innocent turned deadly revenant in service to hell and the master of its domain Lucifer. Over time however he would eventually act mire on his own autonomy often shifting hands to other willing benefactors like Lady Hel; Goddess of The Dead and ruler of the Norse afterlife. Which, in turn, would bring him back into contact with many of the old Chaos! imprints other iconic characters like Chastity, Purgatori, Homicide, The Omen and the like. Ernest is seen in a much more sympathetic light this time around as he is a murderous soul collector who focus's his talents upon the decadent and reviled people of the world, in larger part due to his service to Hell as well as his tendency to see both the good and bad in people, figuratively and literally.
Major Story Arcs
Ernest Fairchild was born as extraordinary kid; he inhibited the power of telepathy and precognition. His parents noticed how Ernest was drawing things happening before they actually did. They misunderstood his powers and thought that Ernest makes things happen by drawing them. Being devoted Christians they thought Ernest to be possessed, they saw a priest in these matters, but got no help there. When his father went bankrupt, he started drinking, occasionally hitting Ernest. One time Ernest secret friend, a mouse named smiley dropped down into his mothers coffee cup, his father killed smiley. Ernest being angry with them drew a picture of them hitting a lamp post. Coincidentally his parents drove off the road and hit a tree. His father was in a coma for a while and mother lost a baby. His parents still thinking that Ernest's drawing was the reason they crashed, feared him. Over time Ernest's life descended into hell. His abusive parents and lack of any friends made him a very lonely child. After being relentlessly beaten he told his school about how his parents beat him, his parents denied the charges and said he was uncontrollable. The school requested he be taken to a psychiatrist. Doctor Price believed that Ernie's problems were so ingrained into his subconscious that he would need to use his experimental Dream Probe which would put Ernie into a deep sleep. While Doctor Price worked, Ernie dreamed. He dreamed of a large endless graveyard with a beautiful caretaker who called herself Lady Death. Seeing his potential for destruction, Lady Death told Ernie that in exchange for killing everyone on the planet she would love him forever.
When he awoke, he seemed like an ordinary little boy and the operation was considered a success. It wasn't until night fell on the happy town that Ernie took an axe to his uncaring parents. He then went on a killing spree that claimed the lives of 12, not including his parents. He was imprisoned until Dr. Mary Young claimed that she had perfected the technology once used by Dr. Price. Once Ernie was in the machine his mind brought him to the endless graveyard once more. Lady death was pleased with him and told him as a gift for trying so hard she would give him a kiss, but she couldn't be with him forever until all life was wiped from the planet. He agreed to do it and she kissed him. As their lips met, the machine Ernie was in exploded, killing him. She imbues a small plastic smiley faced button badge with her arcane energies as a conduit and when the deceased Ernie is placed in a room the attending nurse pins the badge to him saying she bought it for him as a present to celebrate his cure. Smiley button activates and reanimates Ernie whose first act is to murder the nurse. Now undead and full of an arcane green energy that gave him the ability to command the dead to rise and serve him. With his transformation complete, he took up the new moniker of Evil Ernie and led a war against the living in a world war that was meant to extinguish all life on the planet.
Quest for Mega Death
After leaving Clearview Mental Institution he moved on randomly killing every person he saw. This stopped when Dr. Price and Mary Young came after him and tried to kill him. Mary shot Ernie to the head, he felt great pain and the pain crossed over to the dead as well. Ernie recovered from that quickly, he pinned Mary to the ground and left for the ghouls, he himself moved toward Youngs house to punish them. At Youngs, Ernie first disposed the guests, but when the time to kill Youngs came, he was again stopped by the doctors, who had somehow survived the ghoul attacks. They blasted Evil Ernie with a rocket launcher, effectively killing him. Smiley survived the explosion, and was picked up by Commissioner William Stone.
Evil Ernie went to hell after he was killed, being reunited with Lady Death who still wanted him to eradicate the earth of humans. When William Stone bled himself with The Badge of Evil, Evil Ernie could influence Stone a little, but he couldn't take over his body. He gathered as many dead in the Endless Graveyard as he could and they all started to scream, which Stone could hear, driving him crazy. Dr. Price saw that and decided to kill Stone before he turned, and that was exactly Evil Ernie's plan, as he controlled the dead and now with Stone dead he could take over his body. After resurrecting he was attacked immediately by Rick Young, Ernie killed him and fought his way out of court house. Getting second chances of killing people he stuck to the plan, again gathering as many dead as he could, he moved towards Washington. It being Halloween eased his killings, as people opened doors to kids in costumes, Ernie used that to kill as many as he could.
When Ernie made it to the capital, he started act two in his plan, several ghouls wore his masks, and attacked multiple targets throughout the city, dividing the attackers and making them easier targets. Ernie himself moved directly to White House, with several decoys near by. Security was dealt with kamikaze ghouls, blowing themselves up with grenades. Doctors again tried to interfere, but they weren't able to stop Ernie from killing the president on national TV. Country in disarray made his job again easier, he selected his next target, New York. In New York, Ernie met General Ramsey, who had organized the military to track Ernie and kill him. Ernie fought him tirelessly, being forced to fight hand-to-hand, Ramsey over smarted him. Hitting Ernie with miniature Dream Probe, Ramsey trapped Evil Ernie in a dream loop reliving his past as a kid. Ernie managed to fight his way through the illusion with the help of Lady Death, and escaped. He also brought the government satellite down, which crashed directly into New York causing major damage and death. Then he ordered his ghouls to surround the New York City, and killed personally every living person in there.
On his last days in New York, Ernie is attacked by Crush, who wanted to punish him for killing his mother. Carrying a whole arsenal with him and puffed up with drugs and adrenalin shots he lasted longer than regular human but was eventually killed. Little later Price coaxed Ernie to come into their base. Ernie was attacked by several armored soldiers, and finally by Price himself, who didn't care about casualties. Evil Ernie was momentarily defeated, being separated from Smiley he was weakened and but under cement. Smiley being a good friend blasted him free and they joined again. Ernie then killed every one in the building, except Mary Young who was in a coma; and Leonard Price, who he left behind; both arms torn off and legs broken. Ernie was still hunted by General Ramsey, but one time Ernie killed his entire battalion and left Ramsey standing in the middle of corpses surrounded by ghouls, just to scare him.
But fun times were over, Ernie couldn't get in contact with Lady Death anymore, this bummed him out. Rick Young, who had gone through a bit of a makeover and was going by the name Homicide, was now his general and watched over Ernie while he was using his dreams to make contact with hell. He walked around the hell seeking clues of Lady Death, but nothing, finally Pagan sent him to Cremator with false information, hoping they would kill each other. The battle rages on for a long time, neither of them willing to give up. Only after final punches the veil of truth is lifted and Ernie learns that Cremator serves Lady Death and looks for her himself. Feeling like hero after a fight of misunderstandings, Evil returns to the real world. He wakes just as Billy Young is about to shoot him. Taking Billy as a hostage, Evil thinks of a plan: To build a machine that brings Lady Death to earth. Using secret tunnels, he travels to other side of the wall, and kidnaps Mary Young. Threatening with Billy's life he makes Mary to build him a machine. On their way to dead base Evil's car is attacked by Chastity, who was hired by vampires, who want him to stop killing their food. The battle between the two is ended by the stake through the heart, Evil leaves, but Chastity survives wanting more. Months pass while Mary is working on the machine. The time came and Lady Death is returned to earth, but only briefly, because bringing her to earth released the wave of arcane energy later names as Pandora Effect. Not wanting to destroy earth she is sent back. Having learned that Pagan was the one who banished Lady Death, evil returns to hell and fights through scores of guards to confront him. In the meantime, Rick Young leaves Ernie's side thinking that he has lost his way and he himself has to spread the gift of death. Having chopped Pagan to pieces Evil Ernie return to earth and thinks of something to raise the kill rates, specifically nukes.
Returning to home in New Jersey for a while, he meets Chastity again there, who was at his house. Not liking the feelings Ernie leaves and asks Chastity to accompany him. Ramsey's soldiers come after Ernie again, having killed them he finds first piece of information about the nukes; In Atlanta there is man who knows launch codes. Next stop Atlanta. On their way there Ernie makes pit stops in carnival and amusement park, of course killing everyone there. Chastity is still making attempts to like Evil Ernie, as she has a crush on him. Lost contact with the dead one who knew the codes, Evil fastens the pace to kill off Atlanta. Finally at the medical center, Evil encounters dead ones who don't follow his commands; this brings him to conflict with Autopsy who was releasing dead ones from Evil's control. Evil Ernie and Autopsy have the battle of minds, Evil in the end succumbs. Chastity comes to the rescue and distracts Autopsy, just enough for Evil Ernie to get free. Having disposed of the doctor, Evil got what he came for: the head of Garris, the guy with the nuke codes. Having made it to the Forcecom military base Ernie used the knowledge in the head to send nuclear missiles all over the world. Detroit is hit, but most of foreign missiles are intercepted. Evil Ernie moves to Detroit to raise some dead. His trip is cut short by ARA (American Restoration Army), 300 men against one, Evil cuts through them without trouble. Then Cyber-dead arrive and shoot him with arcane energy guns, suck energy is in those guns that it kills Evil Ernie. After that three of the nukes hit their target: Sydney, Johannesburg and Baghdad are obliterated. But the arcane energy that gives Evil Ernie life has a mind of it's own, Janelle Armstrong, who now generates that energy in steady rate is guided to place of Ernie's death and she re-powers Smiley. From that energy Ernie's body is reformed and given life. Moving on with his plan he tries to command the dead who died in nuclear blast, but fails, there is something different in them. Disappointed he tries to convert the Cyber-dead created by the government, and succeeds in overriding their commands.
When celebrating his victory of creating World War III, Purgatori arrives and kidnaps Chastity. Evil Ernie goes on a quest to get her back as he has grown to like her. On his quest to find Chastity, Ernie meets The Savior in Los Angeles. He says that he knows where Purgatori is hiding and they need to get some part for a magic ritual to weaken her. Cruising around and helping Savior for a while, Ernie is lead into the trap and savior revealed to be working for Purgatori. Temporarily subdued Purgatori uses telepathy to dig in Evil Ernie's memories, bringing some long forgotten ones to the surface but also learning of a buried ability to impose his dreams upon reality. Ernie having gathered some strength to resist orders his Cyber-dead to attack, breaking Purgatori's mind-link. Defeating Purgatori, Ernie has rescued Chastity who has had a change of heart and breaks up with Ernie. Ernie understands that, as he has promised himself to Lady Death anyway. After Purgatori's mind attack, Ernie has some questions of his past, he returns to home and raises his parents asking them to talk of his past. While they talk something unexpected happens, Ernest Fairchild separates from Evil Ernie. Evil is left catatonic after the separation; some living ones who are worshiping Evil come and help Evil to regain power by showing death, destruction and evil on television. At the same time Ernest is moving through his home town meeting with ghost of his past. After regaining his strength, Evil questioned the livings who wanted to join as his elites. Some he killed and resurrected, but some of them he saw too weak or weird to receive the gift of death. Still thinking of his past Ernie looks up a girl who wanted to be his friend in the past. Ernie sneaks over the wall and flies to Montana. Wanting the Christmas to be special Ernie reveals himself to that girl, who now is a grown woman. She however doesn't want anything to do with him, and Ernie goes on a killing spree. Coincidentally Lady Death tries to make contact at the same time and succeeds. Reminding Ernie that she loves him and he loves her, Ernie continues his quest for megadeath.
Again having found his place in the world Ernie travels spreading death. He discovers a plan to eradicate the dead, plotted by Dr. Price. Ernie Infiltrates the Black Box, a research facility to create a virus that kills the dead. The scene plays out as something from a scary movie, Evil Ernie picks off the survivors one by one. One doctor manages to board a helicopter with the sample of the virus, and fly away. Making it to the destination point, a dead one reveals himself to be on board and plows up the chopper, right in front of Dr. Price. Again set his mind on nukes, Evil Ernie moves toward Norad. Only thing stopping him is the great wall raised to separate the dead and the living. With massive force Ernie brings down the wall. The dead mind has started to act more on its own. Some of the dead think for themselves wanting peace. Evil holds as many ghouls under his influence as he can. Ernie's first target is President Ramsey, taking over him, he now has the codes necessary to enter any government facility. In the meantime the living Ernest is trying to do some good by helping people and even killing dead ones, one time he even discovers that bullets won't hurt him. Evil Ernie is distracted from megadeath for a moment, when he senses Billy Young in dead mind, but Billy is alive yet. Evil drives to his location and uses the dead mind to influence Billy to kill himself. Another distraction is his undead parents, who now have captured the living Ernest Fairchild. Evil Ernie releases living him and kills his parents all over again.
Free of distractions Ernie returns to creating megadeath. Ramsey unable to launch the nukes from distance creates a plan to attack Cheyenne Mountain. Evil Ernie and Smiley have a disagreement, and Smiley bails to travel alone. Mary Young is back to hunting Evil Ernie and teams up with the living Ernest Fairchild. Smiley meets Ernie's old right arm Rick Young and joins him for a while. Soon Rick and the independent dead make a pact with Dr. Price and his chip controlled dead ones; every one of them gunning for Evil Ernie. Ernie manages to fight his way to Cheyenne Mountain and takes it over. Without Smiley, Ernie constantly grows weaker. Rick uses the dead mind to get control over Ramsey, Ernie fights back. At the same time Mary and Dr. Price are fighting their way towards Evil Ernie. With all the force the oppressors are unable to stop Ernie from launching every nuke America had. After the launch, Dr. Price still bent on destroying Evil Ernie shoots the living Ernest killing him, his death in turn weakened Evil Ernie, and the two fight. While the two fight they fail to notice Mary Young planting a nuclear warhead into the base and setting it on timer. Ramsey notices it, but fails to disarm it. Cheyenne Mountain and every one inside are destroyed in the explosion. Soon after the nuclear war, earth is washed over by un-creation wave.
A dimensional rift opens up inside of Widmark Prison in Oklahoma, from it falls a seemingly harmless smiley face pin. An inmate picks it up, accidentally sticking himself. After a few moments the prisoners roommate falls very ill, but it doesn't matter to him as he is taken to the electric chair for execution. When the switch for the electric current is flipped, the prisoner's stomach explodes open and his body becomes deformed to the shape of Evil Ernie. Evil can sense Smiley somewhere in the vicinity, so he begins a brutal hunt for his psychotic friend, leaving most of the prisoners dead in his wake. In classic Evil style, the dead arise and start a bloody rampage that the prison guards see as a riot. The riot is quelled by Ernie himself after finding Smiley and realizing that he is in a new world. Wanting answers, Ernie commands his dead to die again and leaves Widmark.
Next, Ernie is discovered in Sata Fe, New Mexico. There he continues to kill people under the guidance of a numbered top that he presumably fashioned himself for a more amusing method of mass murder. While stalking a selected victim, Ernie finds that the man is part of a satanic cult that kills children. He agrees to let the man live in exchange for information on the other members of the cult. The man agrees and divulges the information. Ernie exits the man's home then spins the top and returns to kill him.
While hunting down members of the cult, Ernie ponders his free will, asking himself and Smiley "Am I controlled by God? Or by the Devil?" As he travels, the viewpoint switches to a young woman named Layna on Evil's tail. She is seeking revenge on Evil for the death of her father, who in this world is Dr.Price. Switching back to Evil, he attempts to and successfully enters the Endless Graveyard. There is just one problem though, all that is left of Lady Death is a fain apparition that only teases Ernie. After the disappointing return to Hell, he seeks out and kills a few of the satanic cult members. En route, he also meets Layna. He sees her and makes her the object of his love, sparing her life. When Ernie finds the last cult members, they have just summoned a demon to which they will sacrifice a young girl. The demon spots Evil and starts to mock him, infuriating Ernie. As he slaughters the cult members and ignores the child, a fire starts inside the sacrificial chamber and Ernie makes for the exit. Layna blocks him, only allowing him through if he rescues the little girl. Of course he complies, and then flees the scene. At the end of the story, Layna pledges to track him down and kill him at all cost.
Hack/Slash: The Final Revenge of Evil Ernie
Some time later, Ernie has returned to his hometown and takes residence at the saw mill his father owned. He routinely kills blonde women and takes them back to the mill and explains to their ghoulish incarnation why he kills them - an attempt to replace Lady Death. Around the same time, Cassie Hack and Vlad move into the area and are attacked by some of the Dead Onez that Ernie has outside. As they kill the Dead Onez, Ernie comes out to investigate the disturbance. First he attacks Cassie, then disables Vlad. Before he delivers the killing blow to Vlad, Ernie feels a psychic cry from Cassie and turns around puzzled. He grips her head and uses the link to read her mind and discovers her past and her goal in life: to rid the world of serial killers. He announces his love to her, but Vlad interrupts and the two escape Ernie. In an effort to gain Cassie's love, Ernie breaks into Clearview Mental Institution maximum security ward and begins killing the murderers there. Cassie and Vlad make their way into the institution and confront Evil again. He begins an attempt to persuade Cassie to join him and live together killing murderers. As he explains the plan, a guard shoots at Ernie and the bullet travels through him harmlessly. Angry at the interruption, Ernie slaughters the guard and returns to Cassie, but sees the bullet has lodged itself in her. Saddened by this, Ernie doesn't want her to become a Dead One and gives the ultimate sacrifice of his arcane energy to bring her back.
Origin of Evil
Ernie's life started in a tragedy: he was set to be born to a loving family of three consisting of his birth parents and elder brother, but his father was taken over by a demon and crashed the car with his pregnant mother and sibling in it. Ernie's family died at that time while he was still in the womb. The years that followed the boy who'd come to be known as Evil Ernie, would grow up in an abusive and neglectful foster home to a cruel man named Buford King and his sleazy Girlfriend Eunice. The former of whom would regularly brutalize Ernest whenever Ernie bothered him for whatever reason or when in need of a laugh while the latter of the two sat aside and let it happen. Over the coarse of his childhood Ernest would prey to god every night for the next 11 years while living with them. First for forgiveness on their part, then for deliverance from their cruelty, again for punishment towards his hateful family and lastly a means to judge them himself since his savior never heard his prayers. When they still went unanswered however, Ernest Fairchild changed hands and called upon a new idol of worship.
Years later He would go on to kill 665 people in the town were he lived, which in time would make the news. Dubbed as The Lucretia Massacre of 6/06/2006, by putting arsenic into the water supply, when after Mr. King's girlfriend Eunice tried to abscond him for stealing her semi-truck. She'd be the first of many to die by his hand, bifurcated at the waist and left to rot in the sun, Ernie would then visit his foster father at the Widmark Maximum Security Prison, having walked 20 miles from his former home with intent of killing him to complete a ritualistic sacrifice to the devil. Though severely wounded in his attempts, Ernie failed to kill his father and was imprisoned himself as a death row inmate for the next five years, due being too young for an execution. Time spent in prison with the other murderous dead men walking made his hellish life infinitely more unbearable, as he was regularly assailed both by his fellow prisoners in that block as well as by Buford himself.
The prison warden who allegedly promised he'd be protected from the more violent inmates in his cell-block, would purposefully look the other way as they brutalized him on a regular basis. He made a few friends while imprisoned namely Dr. Thena Thomas a prison psychiatrist, Father Chaplain who was a priest managing his own church wing and Mac a desk clerk security guard who first met young Fairchild when he came to the prison. He also had regular talking sessions with another psychologist named Dr. Leonard Price. Who, As the day of Ernie's execution had arrived, had allowed him to wear his iconic leather jacket and smiley button to his death sentence by his request. During Ernie's final walk both his compatriots Thena and the Priest attended to read him his final rights, all the while the corrupt and reviled Warden Straw came by to gloat as he invited Ernie's surrogate parent Buford King to the festivities. Saying he has to step out in order to greet the masses of friend's and family of the people Ernie killed, satanists who admire his work, religious fanatics and local anchor buffs who came to witness the penalizing of his penitentiary's youngest inmate but promised that King would share every detail of his favorite inmates grizzled demise with him.
When asked about last words they were that the people he killed were all evil and deserved to die. As the switch was flipped and Ernie road the lighting there was a prolonged power outage just moments after his death, the good Father checked his pulse to confirm it seeing as Dr. Thomas could not stomach what was to pass, then on June 6 2010, a supernatural event occurred as eerie green energy descended upon the prison. This arcane force entered into the corpse of the recently deceased Ernest Faichild and violated it, turning his body into a reanimated mockery of the life it once had, thus on that day 5 years since his mass murder and recent death penalization, the nightmare was revived. Evil Ernie Lived.
After being fired upon several times and reviving, the undead psychopathic teen begins his bloody tiraid by killing his executioner who both killed and shot him in the first place. Then he turns his attentions to Buford who immediately senses he's in it deep soon turning tail and running for his life, while the mobs and local media sat outside the facilities along with Straw, who was perplexed to see what all the fuss was about as one of his inmates came running, Ernie made his grand entrance on the scene shocking everyone who was present at the sight of the otherworldly effigy he had become. Soon after being jumped by a host of criminals, malignant pedestrians and other such malcontents whose sins he saw upon branded upon them; the psycho teen quickly dispatched most of them in a blast of arcane might, much to the chargin of smiley. Others he physically dispatched with uncanny brute force hideously mutilating them in gory fashions, while others he let free due to seeing their inherent goodness, soon after he is approached by one of the news castors who'd been present for his execution; looking to get an exclusive interview. He quickly incinerated her after seeing her traitorous nature. Just before heading back into the prison only to find his friend Mac shot and bleeding the cringing prison warden who'ed told him that his foster father had taken Ms. Thomas, before he opted to save her Ernie first dispatched his unsavory caretaker by disintegrating him his testes outward with his powers.
Making his way to the heart of the prison he is beset by a host of criminals gathered together by his estranged guardian whose also holding Ernie's psychiatrist hostage. Soon after the evil one runs out of arcane mojo just as he charges up to unload on the inmates, this is due to having not yet completed the ritual he enacted five years ago by killing Buford King as told by Smiley beforehand; leaving him vulnerable to the oncoming mob. Ernest puts up an impressive fight for the time being but is quickly overpowered by them and eventually finds himself being slowly mutilated by his foster parent/final sacrifice, Buford questions him about where and how he got his powers as he was looking to cash in on Ernie's devils deal. When it seemed like Smiley had sold Ernie out to Bufford when the criminal shoves his hand into the ghouls innards to reach his heart, but he realizes too late that it was a trick. As the green energy animating him is explosively caustic to living flesh blowing off the would be devil worshipers arm. Ernie proceeds to get free and slaughter the army of inmates he's faced with. Continuing their hunt the duo are soon met by Father Chaplain whose possessed by the spirit of Uriel, one of heavens Archangels. As the hosted holy man beset Ernest with visions of a life he was meant to lead, the undead teen begins to question why heaven was never there when he needed them most. But before the heavenly apostle could further elaborate on the purpose of his visit and Ernie's destiny; Smiley killed his mortal host by possessing a corpse left behind in the previous carnage unleashed, surprising everyone.
Enraged at what he'd done, Ernest warned smiley never to do such a thing again as per their arrangement they are meant never bring harm to the good. Working their way towards the death row block of the prison, Ernie suffers a panic attack as a hoard of horrible memories of his time spent with the other inmate their come flooding back into his mind. Smiley comforts him as he realizes who let the dead men out of their cages, Ernest surmises his episode came about due to a psychic backlash he had when he sensed their minds. As the inmates began to swarm them, they launched a counter assault where the possessed button took control of one of Ernest's tormentors and assisted him in their premature executions. But Smiley is soon incapacitated by a stray bullet fired by familiar face headed by some of the prisoners Ernie had spared, as a result Ernie begins to lose his powers as Mac; now possessed by Uriel, had incapacitated his demonic benefactor. But they are again interrupted by a now demonized Bufford King who has Dr. Thomas in tow, having grafted Ernie's arm to himself gaining some of the demonic power that Ernie happened into.
Powers and Abilities
As long as Evil Ernie is in contact with Smiley he is connected to Lady Death's arcane power which is depicted by the green glow in his midsection.
When disconnected from Smiley for extended periods of time Ernie begins to decay at a slowly increasing rate and smiley slowly starts to revert to inanimate form. Smiley can operate without Ernie for longer periods of time after a power boost Lady Death imbues him with after a narrow escape when Smiley only just made it back to Ernie in time. They have used this separation both tactically and to be away from each other after a disagreement.
When the duo are reunited they are nearly invulnerable as Ernie has powerful regenerative powers and Smiley has never been physically damaged while animated, despite being shot clean off at least once. Ernie has completely regenerated from scratch after being disintegrated (by a modified arcane energy weapon) but this took many hours to complete, where as when he fell in acid he was able to climb out continue his attack immediately while still regenerating. Being blown apart he has been able to reform within minutes and when destroyed the first time he was able to exist in spirit inside the mind of a susceptible victim whose actions he controlled and lead to his murder so he could be reborn through his corpse.
His rebirth altered his telepathy so now he can hear the dead instead of the living and anyone he kills (or is killed by one of his victims) is under his control. These are known as Dead-Onez and while zombie like they are referred to mainly as ghouls. He uses this tactically to maneuver his army and to locate specific individuals that have useful knowledge. This system is called the Dead Mind. Later in the run some Dead-onez are created via an act of mass destruction without the direct hand of Ernie. At times of powerful connection with his arcane energy a circle with spikes, at the compass points, appears on his forehead. During his campaign for various reasons he loses control of some sectors of the dead, either by human intervention or some other mystical means. After the schism between his good living self from his evil undead being had further altered Ernest's psychic abilities, for now even while undead he could effect the thought processes of the living once again; having used this regained capacity to scan the minds of three teen hooligans who brought him out of his vegetative state.
Ernie's muscle capacity and strength seem to also be greatly enhanced as he is shown tearing through steel doors and concrete walls as easily as human flesh. In his earlier life Ernie had the latent power to influence causality via sketching whatever it was he imagined into art, by drawing events taking place on paper they would soon come to pass e.i. drawing a brand new washing machine in the household initiated his parents winning one through a contest they never even entered, or drawing himself and his family with a little brother beside them following his mothers surprise pregnancy shortly after. Even after his death and transformation Purgatori had found he could shape reality with his mind even beyond the use of his arcane energy as the zombies she encountered while in his psyche became real and tangible, this staggering potential frightening even her.
The source of all his tremendous power lies within the eerie green arcane energy that powers and animates his being, bestowed upon him from Lady Death through the conduit smiley. Ernest accomplishes a great many terrifying feats such as destructive concussive force, though this is rarely used as he prefers to work with his hands, deadly area of effect arcane energy waves that destroys everything around him from a good distance away. Fueling his control over the Dead Onez and the Dead Mind used to control his corpse legions, in some cases unintentionally granting them their sentience, accelerating his own regeneration and fighting ability via physical infusion and even teleportation or spontaneous materialization out of nowhere with but a thought. Through a potent expenditure of his energies Ernest can even bring a person back to life or save a person who is close to death, usually at the cost of his own life.
In recent publishing Ernie's powers remain largely unchanged minus some of the psionics powers and reality warping thus far, he instead has the ability to gauge a persons internal center. Their moral alignments which are revealed to him as either hideously nightmarish demon forms adorning whatever sins they committed upon their bodies or a normalized human semblance garbed in a halo of light sporting a smiley button on their clothes respectively. It has been said by many that he is a mesh of angel and demon decent and has tremendous dormant power resting within him it was why he was so sought after by both the agents of heaven, forces of hell and its master as well as certain other chaos lords. How this will effect his abilities or his place in story of the Chaos!/Dynamite universe has yet to be seen.
The Effects of the Energy Arcane remain the same as well. The energy is the substance that animates his dead carcass and as with previous incarnations, it is supplied to him by his partner smiley which after Ernie can channel and redirect said energies for a number of handy persuit's. Such as melting and seering through flesh and steel, unleashing shockwaves of concussive force, igniting with devastating blast waves of green energy, projecting it as destructive energy waves which can level houses and neighborhoods, augment his physical striking power or infuse them into a weapon of choice, grasp the minds of both living beings to do his bidding as well as perform his trademark of raising those slain either by him or dead through other means to serve as his personal army know as the Dead Onez.
Other abilities which he's never shown in previous continuity with the arcane force is changing and completely regenerating his physical appearance back to what it was before he died and was resuscitated as a ghoulish specter, along with the ability to attach another corpses limbs onto himself using it in place of his own missing limbs; ironically enough his own necrotic appendages possess enough arcane charge in it to give others demonic powers of their own provided that they integrate said flesh to themselves somehow. Being apart of Ernie however, enables him to pirate their bootlegged limbs motor functions while still separated from him, even going so far as to mystically reincorporate his missing biomass back into himself afterwards.