John Ramirez grew up the Hispanic ghetto of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He managed to escape falling into the gang culture thanks to a community run gym in his neighborhood. Thanks to his years of training, John was very strong, but was also agile and very quick for a man of his size. After graduating high school, the now 6'10", 290 lb young man decided to try and break into professional wrestling. After a few years working the Mexican wrestling circuit as the masked luchador El Hombre, John moved into the big leagues when he was hired by the Ultimate Wrestling Federation. Over the years John became one of the Federation's main superstars, wrestling under the name Desperado.
During a show in Empire City, the arena the UWF was performing in was attacked by agents working for an organization called the Crime Cartel. The agents kidnapped several wrestlers, including John. Taken to a nearby secret base, John watch in horror as several of his fellow wrestlers were subjected to treatments which granted them super-human powers, then brainwashed to serve the Crime Cartel. When it came to be John's turn, the process was interrupted by the arrival of a group of heroes, many of whom had been in attendance at the show in their civilian identities. While he had been given powers by the process, John had not yet been subjected to the brainwashing. Breaking free, John used his new powers to help end the Crime Cartel's Empire City operation. Afterwards the group of heroes decided to form a permanent team and John agreed to join. When in public with the team, John was referred to by his wrestling character name, Desperado.
Desperado remained with the team for their first few adventures but then professional commitments threatened to take him away. John regrettably left the team, feeling obligated to fulfill his contractual obligation to the UWF. Desperado would return to the team briefly during the Revelations crisis. A religious man, John was instrumental in helping the team locate the legendary Holy Grail, but after discovering the artifact he vanished before his teammates in a flash of brilliant white light. Desperado's final fate remains a mystery.
Powers and Abilities:
The procedure used by the Crime Cartel scientists on Desperado granted him superhuman strength and invulnerability. Desperado could lift several dozen tons and was impervious to gunfire and small explosives thanks to skin almost as hard as solid steel. Also, whenever Desperado was struck by kinetic force, like a punch or gunfire, his powers would channel the kinetic energy into his body, increasing his density and therefore his strength and imperviousness. When fully charged Desperado himself weighed several tons, could lift over 1,000 tons, and could withstand the force of a multi-kiloton explosion. From maximum capacity, Desperado's extra strength and density would wear off in approximately one hour.