Damien OmenOMEN


In his quest for power occultist Lucas Ferguson (aka Father Lucifer) struck a deal with the demon Mellikon, in exchange for the pure soul of a newborn child the demon would provide Father Lucifer with great power. The soulless child would then serve as the vessel for the demonic power and Lucifer would control the child. Lucifer chose to father the child himself with one of his female followers serving as mother and the instant the child was born Lucifer sealed the contract with Mellikon. The demon took the soul of the boy, named Damien, and instructed Father Lucifer to perform a particular ritual every year on the child's birthday. The ritual would infuse Damien with a portion of demonic power culminating on his 18th birthday when he would gain power over the hordes of Hell. For six years Father Lucifer performed the ritual, placing a little more demonic energy into Damien each time, but the sixth time would be the last.

Shortly after Damien's sixth birthday federal agents raided the compound where he and Father Lucifer's followers were staying. In the ensuing firefight many of the followers were killed and Damien was taken by the authorities. Damien spent several months in protective custody as therapists worked to undo the cult's programming. No one believed the stories of what Damien supposedly was, but because of them a cruel federal agent registered the young boy under the name Damien Omen. Because of his history no one wanted to adopt the boy so he grew up in various orphanages. When he was old enough, Damien decided to become a federal agents, perhaps feeling he owed the government for rescuing him as a child. Damien signed up with the Central Bureau of Investigation and was later recruited by the fledgling Checkmate organization as a low-level agent, or Pawn.

Damien's final mission as a Checkmate Pawn started off bad and got worse. He and his partner were hastily dispatched to investigate a crashed alien spacecraft with no briefing or backup. They were both on the ship when an explosion went off, possibly a weapon or the ship's reactor that had been damaged in the crash. Damien remained conscious just long enough to watch his partner disintegrate before his eyes. When he awoke Damien found himself in an Army hospital where he had been apparently undergoing treatment for radiation poisoning. Though he felt fine, Damien soon discovered that whatever had happened on the alien ship had activated his metagene, giving him powers. In the inquiry that followed Damien realized that Checkmate, under increased scrutiny by the federal government after a series of failed missions, was going to use him as a scapegoat. Facing the possibility of being sent to federal prison, Damien instead used his new powers to escape custody and went on the run, eventually arriving in Empire City.

Damien was one of would-be heroes who were attending a professional wrestling match in Empire City in their civilian identities when the event was attacked by agents from the Crime Cartel. Damien and the others each intervened and together they were able to put a stop to the agents. Afterwards the new heroes decided to band together permanently as a hero team. The team decided on calling themselves the Guardians and Damien joined, using his last name, Omen, as his code-name. With his powers making him ideal at espionage-style tasks, Omen quickly became the team's chief detective and spy. Together with the Guardians, Omen helped destroy the Crime Cartel's Empire City operation, uncover a secret government conspiracy, and discover the secret of the mysterious Grandmaster.

Ever since the government psychiatrists had de-programmed him as a child Damien believed there was nothing to what he had been told by the cultists while growing up, that he was the chosen one that would lead the forces of Hell on Earth. Omen first began suspect that these claims might in fact be true came during the final confrontation with Kristallnacht at the end of the Revelations crisis. In order to combat Kristallnacht, who wielded the mystic Spear of Destiny, the Guardians had located the mythical Holy Grail. During the battle Kristallnacht had taken the Grail and Omen tried to take it from him. As soon as Damien touched the Grail, though, it violently shattered into pieces; unknown to Damien it had reacted to the latent demonic power he had been infused with as a child. The Grail was restored by the hero ArcAngel later in the battle, but the event left Damien disturbed.

It was not long before Damien learned the truth about his heritage and origin. The Guardians found themselves in conflict with Father Lucifer and his young followers, Lucifer's Six. When Father Lucifer learned that Omen was the child he had lost over twenty years earlier he had Damien captured and told him the truth, hoping Omen would choose to join Lucifer. When the Guardians arrived to rescue Omen the situation quickly came to a head when Mellikon himself arrived. The demon had been seeking Lucifer, who had stolen his powers some years earlier. Mellikon defeated Father Lucifer and condemned him to Hell, then turned to Omen and offered him a choice. Damien could take the demonic powers that were his by right of the rituals performed on him as a child, or he could give up all the power and take his soul back. Damien chose to have his soul restored which Mellikon gladly did, having already won by retrieving his stolen power from Lucifer and knowing that when the Damien's soul return to his body, the demonic energy would be forced out and would come back to him. Mellikon also knew that since Omen's soul had been from him when he was a newborn, restoring the pure soul would regress Damien back to that state. Reduced back to infancy, the baby Damien was adopted by his former teammate, Paladin.

Damien spent several months in the care of Paladin and the other Guardians until the team disbanded after most of their membership disappeared or left. Paladin took Damien and along with the child's nanny begins a cross-country trip to meet with his fiancée, ArcAngel, who was a member of the west coast-based team, the Enforcers of Justice. In Arizona the three were attacked by the villain Harrier, who was actually being mind-controlled by Lucifer's Six. The nanny was killed and apparently so were Paladin and Damien. In reality Paladin had been saved by his teammate Flashback and Damien was taken through time by a magic spell to the 150th century. Young Damien would grow up in the future and eventually returned to the past just a few months after Harrier's attack. This adult Damien, calling himself Harbinger, soon located many of his teammates from his life as Omen and re-formed the Guardians.

It has been revealed that Father Lucifer actually fathered twins and had kept Damien's brother imprisoned as a potential bargaining tool to use against Mellikon. The boy, Malachi, was thought dead after the federal raid those many years ago, but he has recently resurfaced calling himself Prophet and claiming to serve a mysterious dark power. When he was last seen, Malachi had killed Father Lucifer and taken control of Lucifer's Six.

Powers and Abilities:

Damien's powers were activated when he was exposed to the strange radiation in the crashed alien ship, but Mellikon has said the nature of the powers were formed by Omen's lack of a soul. According to the demon, because he lacked a soul, Damien was not a "real" human being and his powers reflected his status as a non-person. Omen had the power to alter his physical appearance to resemble anyone of approximately the same build as he was, which Mellikon attributed to Damien's lack of a true identity himself. Omen could also become intangible, able to pass through any but the most dense solid objects, again something the demon said showed that Damien was not really there. Perhaps the thing that lent the most credence to Mellikon's claims was Omen's ability, if he wanted, to make people ignore him completely. When he willed it Damien could make himself invisible to any living creature in his vicinity and if he concentrated he could also make people forget specific events, an effect similar to hypnosis but limited to making people forget. As Omen, Damien also carried an experimental sonic blaster he had taken from Checkmate when he fled. During his later missions with the Guardians, Omen had also learned to use his power of intangibility to propel himself through the air by making quick shifts in the degree of intangibility of different parts of his body.