”High Guard. He's quite possibly the most powerful being in this universe.”
“Also… he’s a dick.”— Mr. Pierce and Driver
High Guard’s first appearance was in Buzzkill #3 - Past Errors. He was created by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw and Mark Reznicek.
High Guard was the leader of the world's most powerful superhero team, the Command. His secret identity was that of “Patrick Patterson,” an eligible bachelor and dedicated reporter from New York City.
High Guard had been active as a hero for quite some time. He had already established himself over 20 years prior to his conflict with the Paybacks, as a young Francis Ruben used to play with an action figure that depicted him. Ruben would later go onto to become a superhero himself, even joining the Command under the name of ”Absolute."
Battling the Paybacks
After his secret identity was exposed by the super-repossession group known as the Paybacks, High Guard swore revenge on them, declaring that what they had done was an "act of war." The rest of the superhero community rallied behind him, and an open conflict soon erupted between the two groups.
Mr. Pierce, the shadowy benefactor of the Paybacks, believed that High Guard was quite possibly the deadliest being in the universe. Bloodpouch, a member of Payback's top squadron, theorized that High Guard could wipe out the entire organization by himself, which was comprised of many hundreds of enslaved superheroes and villains.
In a “what if“ scenario constructed by Bloodpouch, High Guard was shown punching through the chest of the Soviet Nunchuck, before wiping out the remaining Paybacks with rapid-fire Heat Vision blasts. Bloodpouch, being the only surviving Payback, then activated a meteorite shard kept in a pouch above his heart… the source of his powers. This granted him the “god-like” might necessary to compete with High Guard, though it would eventually destroy him in the process. The scenario ended with Bloodpouch and High Guard charging towards each other.
However, before this event could come to pass, High Guard was stopped by the Paybacks’ mysterious Driver, who was revealed to possess incredible powers of his own. After a titanic brawl, High Guard was eventually able to overpower his foe with his Heat Vision. However, he recognized Driver as a legendary hero from his youth, and attempted to learn why he had discarded his superhero identity and joined the Paybacks.
This proved to be High Guard's undoing, for as soon as he began to utter Driver's former name, his opponent recovered and, in a blind rage, overpowered him. Driver then snapped High Guard’s neck, sending Earth’s mightiest defender plummeting to the ground below.
Personality & Appearance
“It's easy to be brave when you're bulletproof.”— Absolute
High Guard is the stereotypical Superman-esque hero, complete with bulging muscles and a square jaw. He is initially depicted as having blond hair, but it becomes gradually darker as the Paybacks series progresses. He also has a single scar running from above his right eye down to his cheek.
While he is a world-renowned superhero, High Guard is disliked by several characters in both the Paybacks and Buzzkill series’, and is frequently referred to as being "a dick."
He is depicted as being a cold and ruthless leader. Francis Ruben, who was once a member of High Guard's team, was coldly dismissed by the hero when he attempted to apologize to the Command for his drug and alcohol addiction. High Guard even threatened to kill him should he ever "suit up" again, reasoning that he could not control his own actions and was a coward, just like his supervillain father.
High Guard openly despised the Paybacks, considering their benefactor Mr. Pierce to be a "monster." He was more than willing to kill any of the enslaved heroes that served the organization, having ordered the Command to kill one of Paybacks' repo-teams when they attempted to infiltrate their underwater base
Powers & Abilities
“I mean, High Guard can see through walls, you know? How do you sneak past that?”— Dark Horse Comics
High Guard was considered the most powerful superhero alive, possessing powers similar to those of DC Comics' own paragon, Superman. He was a skilled leader, though also a cold and remorseless one. He appeared to be quite intelligent and fast-thinking, as he was able to instantly identify the multiple internal injuries that he had inflicted upon Emory Rains.
Super Strength - High Guard possessed incredible superhuman strength. He was capable of overpowering an entire Paybacks' team, punching them through a reinforced wall in the process.
Superhuman Durability - High Guard was almost immune to injury and damage. He was able to survive a massive explosion caused by the supervillain Shoxxx, and could withstand multiple blows from the superhumanly strong Driver. Francis Ruben also stated that he was bulletproof.
Super Speed - High Guard was capable of moving at superhuman speeds. He was able to attack and pin Ruben before he or the rest of the Command could even react, and quickly amputated Shoxxx’s arm before the villain could fire his weapon. He also easily countered an attack from the vampire, Emory Rains, pinning her to a wall and inflicting multiple injuries upon her in a matter of seconds.
Flight - High Guard could fly at incredible speeds, often appearing as little more than a blur while doing so.
Heat Vision - High Guard could fire blasts of red, superheated energy from his eyes. He could also control the potency of these attacks by unleashing rapid-fire shots or wide-ranging beams.
X-Ray Vision - High Guard possesses the ability to see through virtually any material. He likely used this power to ambush the Paybacks when they infiltrated his base, and to identify the injuries he had inflicted upon Emory Rains.
Environmental Adaptation - High Guard appeared to possess a resistance to environmental extremes. He was seen to casually ignore the sub-zero temperatures that were slowly killing the captured supervillain, Shoxxx.
Longevity - High Guard appeared to age at a slower rate than normal humans. By the time of his conflict with the Paybacks, his appearance remained virtually identical to that of his action figure, which Francis Ruben had owned over 20 years prior.