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Banca Rech (Earth-616)

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Quote1 And you think Halflife cannot speed the process of decay within you, metal man? My touch takes you halfway to your death--- and each subsequent touch takes you half the remaining distance! See? Quote2
-- Halflife[6]
 

An alien from a never-before-seen species, Halflife is likely to have obtained his extraordinary, weak force-based powers somehow (as opposed as they being a natural feature of her race). She viciously[4] murdered every other living being in her birthworld[2][4][7] using her age-accelerating power in unknown circumstances.[2] She has since bragged repeatedly on that feat.[4][7]

Halflife then received an open message broadcast in a light alteration[7] by Earthling supercriminal Graviton, whose powers were related to gravity, one of the four fundamental forces in the universe. Graviton wanted to create a group of conquering villains based on each of the four forces,[4][7] and Halflife exemplied one of those, the destructive attraction between matter and anti-matter.[4] Halflife answered the call[2] and travelled from her own solar system[2] to Earth via unknown means.[2][4]

Banca Rech (Earth-616) from West Coast Avengers Vol 1 12

A woman coming from within the reactor!

Halflife appeared within a nuclear reactor of the Horseham Nuclear Power Plant, in Diablo Canyon, California. Unaffected by radiation, she melted the walls to the surprise of radiation suit-wearing auditing technicians witnessing it. Halflife murdered these men simply by touching their suits, then went through some high-voltage lines and, either debirately or not, she released[6] the intelligent[2] electromagnetic entity[2][8][9] Zzzax,[6] a supervillain native to Earth.[7] Both Halflife and Zzzax walked southward toward Los Angeles to meet Graviton.[6]

Graviton had already recruited the representative of the strong force, Quantum,[2][7][8][9][10] a Dakkamite alien soldier who had submitted to a power-endowing process and was looking for his fellow troopers; he agreed to cooperate with Graviton in exchange for the later's help in his own quest.[1][11] Graviton also recruited Halflife and then accepted Zzzax as the exemplification of electromagnetism.[7][8][9][10] The Fundamental Forces[4] agreed to cooperate in villainous ventures[7] and to help Graviton in his conflict with local based superhero team, Avengers West Coast.[9]

While Graviton went solo to capture Avenger Tigra,[7] Halflife, Quantum and Zzzax were sent on a mission to destroy the other West Coast Avengers.[3][7][12] To do so, they raided Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles: Hovering, burning Quantum issued an alien challenge that LAPD passed on to the Avengers and, when the passer-bies tried to escape Quantum, Halflife and Zzzax attacked them. Halflife expressed her interest in "feasting" on the locals.[6]

The Quinjet-piloting Avengers appeared only seven minutes later. Land-based Avengers Hawkeye and Mockingbird confronted Halflife and Zzzax; as Hawkeye had already fought Zzzax in the past, they confronted again. Mockingbird criticized Halflife's choice in clothes before fighting; Halflife simply reprimanded her on being too loud and touched her once, making her grow old in a moment. She then repeated the process, with Mockingbird aging quickly every time. Armored Avenger Iron Man intruded the fight, hoping that his armor would protect him from the effect, but he discovered that Halflife's touch also affected him.[6]

Meanwhile, Hawkeye and fellow Avenger Wonder Man defeated Zzzax. Wonder Man then decided that Halflife was a greater threat than Quantum, as she could defeat an Avenger with a single attack. Wonder Man then grabbed Halflife and, using his jetpack, flew away with her. Halflife tried to age Wonder Man, but he happened to be made of ionic energy, which cannot age. This allowed Wonder Man to knock Halflife down with a punch and, as soon as she was out cold, both Iron Man and Mockingbird recovered their lost age.[6]

The Avengers defeated Quantum soon afterward, with Iron Man deducing that their enemies represented three fundamental forces.Then, Graviton came with Tigra already captured,[6] and he easily defeated the standing heroes.[1][2][4][6][8][9][13] He moved his prisoners and allies to his headquarters, a massive chunk of rock hovering[7] ten miles over the surface and having artificial atmosphere[7] thanks to Graviton actively using his powers.[2][7][9][8]

Once there, with the Avengers jailed and watched by mercenaries, Graviton gloated over his victory and tried to seduce Tigra while Halflife hugged Quantum's muscular arm. Halflife then, on the defensive, justified the Forces' initial failure, but Graviton was happy with her. He then explained his origin story, but Halflife started wondering on the value of the alliance, believing she could not trust Graviton or Quantum (whose language she could not understand). Graviton then led his partners to a throne chamber to discuss next steps and during the meeting he intercepted an SOS that the Avengers tried to send. After the meeting, Halflife went to meditate while Quantum went to get some fresh air on the border of the lair.[7]

Furry Tigra escaped her cell[4][7][9] by recovering her human form,[2][7][8] donned one of Graviton's mercenaries' uniform[1][2][4][7][8] and interrupted Halflife's concentration to[7] warn her that Quantum was bent on killing her -which was false.[1][2][3][4][7][8][9] Pronto Tigra then lied Quantum in the same way,[1][3][7][8][9] hoping to prompt the villains to fight each other.[1][2][3][7][8][9]

Halflife insulted Quantum and tried to touch him, but he dodged and used his powers to replicate himself fifty times[7] apparently - specifically he was only teleporting many times so quickly that he seemed to be in different positions simultaneously[8][12] within his field of probability.[9] Halflife wouldn't let that intimidate her and started touching the assumed duplicates, knowing that any of them would grow old at one touch -but due to the nature of Quantum's powers, the other dopplegangers were not affected. The Quanta punching Halflife aged quickly when touching her even that way.[7] This led to a deadlock state where none of the fighters could completely overcome the other.[4]

Lomen, Banca Rech, Franklin Hall (Earth-616) from West Coast Avengers Vol 1 13

That escalated quickly.

Seeing the skirmish, Graviton summoned his guards to separate them, thus reducing the Avenger's watch. Tigra took care of the remaining wardens and release the Avengers, who ran to the duel.[7] Meanwhile, Graviton himself tried to stop the conflict himself, producing an interaction of very unified forces coming from their respective powers. This clash of forces build up an unstable situation[7][9] that eventually escaped Graviton's control[2] Before the Avengers could intervene,[7] Quantum was repulsed, catapulted away from the rock[1][2][7][8][9][11][12] to outer space[2] At the same time, Halflife was rendered unconscious,[2][3][7] steaming through her pores[7] and with her power apparently depleted due to the cataclysmic conflict.[4]
Banca Rech (Earth-616) defeated from West Coast Avengers Vol 1 13

Halflife is defeated.

Graviton's powers also failed and his headquarters quickly raised, moving away from Earth.[7][4] Graviton's mercenaries surrendered in exchange of the Avengers evacuating them, which they did[7] while escaping themselves.[2][7][9] Proud Graviton, however, refused to capitulate and he remained on his flying island until it flew into space,[7] along with senseless Halflife.[2][3][7]

Although Halflife was apparently no longer a threat, the Avengers noted down her known powers and limitations in their files, so that every Avengers member would be familiar with them.[5] During a rainy day, the West Coast Avengers tried to make up a list of ten villains exclusively of their own and Iron Man pondered whether Halflife and Quantum should count as one or two; he decided that they were not collaborative enough with each other for the later option.[14]

Some time later, Avenger rookie and Protector of the Universe Quasar was involved on a quest to find an unknown alien menace on Earth; he defined a strategy of checking aliens on Earth and, during this odyssey, he met -and fought- Quantum. Quantum briefly mentioned him his past alliance with Halflife.[11]

Halflife somehow returned to Earth and inconspicuously started searching for a Kree experimental device known as the Psyche-Magnetron in the New Mexico deserts. She was found by Quasar, who captured her with his matter-energy construct restraints. Thus lassoed, Halflife was dragged through the air by flying Quasar. Halflife used her atomic decay powers to break Quasar's constructs. Seeing that Halflife could destroy any other shape his powers could built, Quasar looked for an alternative, then he deduced that Halflife's clothes were probably immune to her powers. He then used Halflife's own boots to tie her[5] and carry her to The Vault, a prison for superpowered criminals[3][5] were armored Guardsmen were her wardens. Quasar intended to have Halflife prosecuted for suspected homicide.[5]

Powers

  • Weak force: All of Halflife's powers come from[2] her manipulation of the decay of subatomic particles, the so-called "weak force",[5] the fundamental force causing the attraction of matter and antimatter until both are obliterated at physical contact.[2] As this force is outside the electromagnetic spectrum (electromagnetism being a different fundamental force), superpowers based on electromagnetism cannot neutralized Halflife's.[5]
Banca Rech (Earth-616) from OHOTMU v3 3

Good old Mockingbird!

  • Aging: Halflife can speed the aging process of any organic being or material she touched, halving the normal lifespan that the victim has at that point, stealing "half their life." A second touch would reduce the remaining life expectancy, which was already reduced - thus, a 40-year man with 40 years of life left would age half his expectancy to 60 years on Halflife's touch, then to 70 on her second touch. A person cannot die simply by this process, but his or her life can be reduced to mere minutes.[2][3][4][6] Besides, a prematurely aged person will quickly lose fighting skills and strength.[4]
To use this power, Halflife must touch a victim[2][3][4][5] and likely she must consciously activate the power,[2] but people attacking Halflife with their punches will be affected by the power on that contact moment.[7] The power can go through clothes and even high-technology armor[4][6] but it cannot go through force fields, nor it can affect living artificial construct or inorganic beings[4] such as energy-made people like Wonder Man.[4][6]
If Halflife is knocked down unconscious, any aged victims who are not already dead instantly recover their normal age and health.[2][3][4][6]
  • Disintegration: Halflife can manipulate the weak force to disintegrate physical objects,[3] including matter-energy constructs such as those generated by Quasar's powers,[3][5] through atomic decay.[5]
  • Heat generation: Halflife can generate unidentified intense radiation producing enough heat to melt steel walls.[2][3][6] She can also use this power to kill human beings with a mere touch.[6]
  • Invulnerability: Halflife is immune to electricity[6] to intense heat[2][3] to radiation[3][6] including atomic radiation[2] and to her own powers.[3] Her alien physiology protects her slightly from other kinds of damage.[4]

Abilities

Banca Rech (Earth-616) meditating from West Coast Avengers Vol 1 13

Halflife was meditative.

Halflife has contemplative talents.[4] She claims to speak several languages, with Dakkamite not included in that list.[7]

Strength level

Halflife apparently has the strenght level of an Earthling human woman of her height, weight and build who regularly engages in moderate physical exercise.[2][4]

Weaknesses

Halflife's weak force powers do not interact well with powers based on other fundamental forces: When confronting Quantum's strong force-based powers, they ended in a deadlock.[4] When the fray was joined by a third fundamental force, Graviton, the interaction built up until it became intractable, with Halflife and Graviton temporarily losing control of their powers and Halflife also knocked down.[7]


Equipment

Halflife's alien clothing[3] are immune to her powers.[3][5]

Transportation

Through means unknown,[2] Halflife can travel to different worlds, such as going from her birthworld to Earth[6] or returning to Earth[5] after having been expelled on Graviton's headquarters.[7]

  • A precarious partner at best, Halflife is openly aggressive toward any individual self-identified with life or life-preserving forces,[4][7] and also toward noisy beings because she enjoys serenity and stillness.[4][6] She xenophobically despises beings of other species.[7]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update #4; Dakkamites' entry
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33 2.34 2.35 2.36 2.37 2.38 2.39 2.40 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 3 #3
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #26
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 4.34 4.35 4.36 Gamer's Handbook of the Marvel Universe #5 (Halflife entry)
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Quasar #10
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 West Coast Avengers Vol 2 #12
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.16 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 7.31 7.32 7.33 7.34 7.35 7.36 7.37 7.38 7.39 West Coast Avengers Vol 2 #13
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 3 #6Quantum's entry
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 Gamer's Handbook of the Marvel Universe #7 (Quantum entry)
  10. 10.0 10.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #16; Graviton's entry
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Quasar #4
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition #20; Quantum's entry
  13. Gamer's Handbook of the Marvel Universe #2 (Graviton entry)
  14. Avengers: West Coast Annual #7



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