Canon: ABC Warriors, one of several stories published in comics anthology 2000 AD. He shares continuity with the likes of Judge Dredd and Nemesis the Warlock, starting before Judge Dredd and lasting past Nemesis.
In the far flung future, mankind has produced intelligent machines to do their dirty work. These so called ABC Warriors (due to their immunity to Atomic, Biological and Chemical warfare) fought and died for their masters, treated like slaves. When the Soviet Union was overtaken by a group called the Volgans, the world was plunged into war again. Deadlock was created to lead the Knights Martial, a group of specially designed robots meant to monitor the world from space and were given special authority to judge war criminals. Their isolation in space allowed them to discover dark secrets of the universe, becoming agents of Khaos, the all powerful force of change. Deadlock in particular became a powerful mystic and was eventually recruited by the original ABC Warrior, Hammerstein, for a final mission- being sent to the new frontier, Mars, to clean up the planet.
Once the war was done, the ABC Warriors split up for several centuries before reforming and remaining together to... Increase the Peace! Spread the Word!
Deadlock is made to resemble a medieval knight, often with a wizardly twist. However on closer inspection it is clear he is no armoured man, but a machine made in one's image. His voice is utterly terrifying and usually has some sort of special speech bubble to make that clear. Every now and then he changes a few of his features, but the basics remain the same- especially his prominent facial ridge and grin like grating. The most common changes are colour, swapping between dark green, gold and black most often but occasionally seen in chrome. A few of his bodies have looked almost organic.
He's usually totally ripped. Where exactly is never divulged but he has an inscription somewhere on his body from his war comrade Zippo, that declares 'IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT HELL IS LIKE, FRAG WITH ME AND YOU'LL FIND OUT.' Despite age and damage, he copies it for every new body.
Deadlock, as twisted as they are, has strong values. He is utterly devoted to Khaos, which he chooses to interpret as a literal god and actively worships. This paradox, of disciplined commitment to doing whatever you want (often quoting Aleister Crowley with 'Do what thou wilt,' but occasionally addending 'so long as you harm no other') is perhaps purposefully confusing. He certainly comments on how other people's bafflement at his ways is a sign he's doing it right enough. Hypocrisy and outright lies seem to be part of his creed, such as declaring he finds leadership and organisations offensive whilst constantly placing himself in positions of authority. He has penned many great tomes, yet sometimes claims he's illiterate.
He is often thought of as sinister, perhaps because most immediately connect order with peace, something Deadlock contends vehemently. As a true anarchist, he believes in freedom for everyone though they may consent to be controlled by another. He also believes that if you're a nasty little bastard with a taste for picking on those who can't defend themselves, you shouldn't complain when someone who doesn't like that (e.g him) cuts your head off. His preoccupation with judgement and punishment is an inescapable part of his programming and design he has no hope to shake, nor any inclination to. For him, Khaos is freedom, equality and respect- both of oneself and of others.
He mixes an effortless relaxed manner with a mystical and formal air, often picking one to place more emphasis on at any given time as is appropriate (or inappropriate as he wishes). More often than not he's out to help, but he firmly states he is neither good nor evil- just a force for returning things to their natural state of self governance. Often thinking outside of the box he always looks for a third option- impressive since he thinks in 1 and 0s. Sometimes he'll spend a great deal of time in solemn meditation. Sometimes he'll party hardy for literally months at a time. He is occasionally shown to have quite the sexual interest in biological beings or other robots, though it's entirely possible that is just another one of his ways of messing with people- he occasionally points out the absurdity of sexual relations with robots to Joe Pineapples, famous robot lady killer or Hammerstein, hopeless mechanical romantic. Then again, he may mean that as a good thing.
Though he himself will never acknowledge it, some of the people who know him best have pieced together that beneath all the theatrics he is covering for insecurity and his inability to accept his robotic nature. It's hard to be a complete anarchist with a belief in the natural order when your existence represents what you loathe most- a dull, lifeless imitation of a man, a product of mankind's jealousy of nature's power. Unlike Nemesis, who goes out of his way to limit himself or empower his enemies, Deadlock has a need to be a winner and more importantly be seen as one. Image is important to him and he is not above lying to look good. He wants everyone to think of him as the mysterious, unknowable bad ass and tries to cover up his shortcomings- for example, after cowardly begging for mercy gets him taken to a key location he pretends that was his plan all along.
He is however, a bit more sentimental than he'd like anyone to think. As much as he abuses or acts callously towards his friends he is also a nurturer who likes to help people grow- to find themselves and think, rather than do as they're told. Although not always particularly pleasant about it, he is also extremely protective of youth, be they human or machine. Despite his often trying nature it's quite telling that his comrades, no matter how abrasive or abusive he is to them, know they can rely on him. Even those he openly claims to (debatably truthfully) hate he cares for and consoles in hard times... though he may occasionally make light of them. The phrase 'Deadlock will know what to do!' comes up with alarming frequency and he has been known to take a hit or two on behalf of his comrades. He seems particularly and genuinely horrified when he fails them them.
He's a robot, he's a wizard, he's a swordsman. His vast and various occult powers are rarely defined in concrete terms- rather he just sort of... does things. However, they're all definitely spells that take some focus and mumbo jumbo, rituals and gestures. Illusions, walking through walls, electric blasts, banishing beings into other dimensions, Deadlock has a trick for every occasion and it's not common for him to do the same thing twice. Though a mighty mystic, he doesn't usually perform displays of massive destructive force. He prefers to find the thread to pull that will bring everything falling down instead.
He has a habit of using special cards to divine the past, present and future which he performs quite regularly- whilst usually he draws conventional Tarot cards, sometimes he'll pull out something completely unique. His powers are often fueled by sacrifice or feeding his soul drinking sword, X-Calibre aka the Ace of Swords. He's also considered to be one of, if not, the best biker in the 2000AD timeline he's in and has used several cycles over the centuries. They're all hardcore.
Magic aside he's also a very capable psychic capable to reading minds, telepathically communicating across galaxies, sending surges of power to his allies, fiddle with memories, share experiences... you name it, if you can do with your mind he's probably done it a million times.
As a machine, he's pretty tough and can just be repaired if damaged. Like most ABC Warriors style robots, he gets smashed up and put together again all the time. He's pretty strong too, but far outclassed by the bulldozer style contemporaries he fights alongside. He's quite handy with firearms though it's very rare to see him use one. If he does it's almost always either a one handed small gun or vehicle mounted, but he is sometimes seen with a rifle. Recent upgrades have given him flight capability.
It doesn't come up much, but he's 'the same person' as Nemesis the Warlock. They started separate and became one at some point, but exist simultaneously. It's not elaborated on much.
Key: 👾-Nemesis only event ⚔- Deadlock only event⛤-Combined event
👾 Nemesis was trained by his father, Thoth, to be a warrior and tamed his Blitzspear, Seth. He roamed the galaxy looking for excitement and eventually married Chira. ⚔ Deadlock was constructed during the Fourth Oil War between America and the Volgan Republic (the former USSR, conquered by a fascist uprising). He was built specifically to judge and punish war criminals as the leader of the Knights Martial, which he did extremely well including his own American generals in secret. In their isolation, the Knights Martial discovered ancient magics and worshipped Khaos. ⚔ He participated in numerous operations, including personally dueling the Volgan Ikon of Ikons, Volkhan and meeting a robot named Zippo. Eventually he was recruited by the wardroid prototype, Hammerstein, to join the ABC Warriors alongside Joe Pineapples, Mongrol, Happy Shrapnel, Black Blood and 'The Mess' (formerly Steelhorn before being melted). ⚔ The ABC Warriors, seven of the baddest robots in the world, are sent to Mars to clean up the new frontier as lawmen acting under their own means. They are highly successful, but eventually go their separate ways following the death of Happy Shrapnel. ⛤ Deadlock returned to his Knights to discover they had lost their way. Entering into hermitage he worked tirelessly to commune with Khaos. When Nemesis thought he was ready, he appeared as an embodiment of Khaos and the two became one. They operated mostly as Nemesis from that point on. ⛤ Some several thousand years later, after Earth had become a xenophobic empire out to erase all life but humans named Termight, Nemesis became the arch-enemy of the human Grand Master, Torquemada. He leads Creedo, a secret organization (the secret is it's just him) to save the universe from humans and humans from themselves. He fights many battles during this time. ⛤ He recruits Purity Brown, a driven and talented human girl, to his side. He erases her memories when she discovers Nemesis is fighting the war with humans just to amuse him. She is by his side for most of his adventures as another source of amusement. ⛤ Nemesis has a son with Chira, named Thoth after his father. Whilst away on a mission, Chira is murdered by the schemes of her romantic rival, Magna who wished to marry Nemesis herself. Killed by Torquemada's terminators, Thoth survives by brainwashing one into loving him as a human baby. Not knowing this, Nemesis decides to recreate the ABC Warriors to assist him in his mission. He recruits the still living members and some replacements, including Hammerstein's old friend Ro-Jaws, revealing that he is also Deadlock to them. ⛤ Upon discovering that Chira and apparently his son had been killed, Nemesis finally ended the battle with Torquemada. With him dead, Nemesis lost interest in the fight for freedom and retired to marry Magna. However at the wedding reception, Purity returned to reveal Thoth was alive. The shock lowered Magna's defenses and allowed him to read her mind. He killed her for her treachery. ⛤ Thoth possessed incredible magic, having been granted his mother's powers before she died and inheriting Nemesis' talents. He used this and the black/white hole generator Earth used for transport to bring an earlier Torquemada forward through time to punish eternally. Thoth hated Nemesis just as much for abandoning his family and planned to punish him too. ⛤ Chasing Thoth down took Nemesis and the ABC Warriors through time and various periods of Earth's history. At this point, the Warriors added Mek-Quake, insane bulldozer robot from Hammerstein's past, to the rosta. At the end of time, they encountered the Monad, psychic embodiment of human evil. Eventually they split up, with Nemesis, Purity and Torquemada (who was needed to track Thoth down) going after Thoth whilst the ABC Warriors were sent to save the planet from destruction caused by the black/white hole generator. Here Nemesis and Deadlock separated as well, with Deadlock rejoining the ABC Warriors. The 👾 Nemesis and Purity did manage to catch up to Thoth and Nemesis received his forgiveness just in time for Torquemada to kill the child. Following this they battled through time once more, with Purity rediscovering Nemesis' lack of noble intentions. The three traveled separately back to the future, Purity turning her back on Nemesis and Torquemada returning to ruling the humans. ⚔ Deadlock attempted to sabotage the effort to save Termight, as he believed it to be a non-Khaotic act, the Termights deserving of death and Nemesis a traitor for ordering it. Eventually however he assisted the ABC Warriors to prevent the Monad from using the energy of its destruction to alter history. They became the most wanted robots in the galaxy, having travelled back in time to the height of the original Terran Empire. ⛤ Nemesis and Deadlock confronted one another (apparently back in the time of Termight briefly) and dueled to the death/rejuvenation as a Khaotic ritual of repentance. They also attended an annual conference of magic users that devolved into a whodunnit mystical murder mystery of which only they survived. ⚔ Deadlock took the ABC Warriors to the planet Hekate to train them in the ways of Khaos. He was quite successful and left them to split up as per their own wishes. This time was focused around a ritual to gather seven heads of the empire, including the resurrected original emperor himself, that spread a wave of Khaotic magic throughout the empire. Deadlock returned to his Kollege of Khaos to continue spreading Khaotic knowledge, taking Ro-Jaws with him. ⚔ When the Terran Empire decided to try and take back control of the situation several years later, Deadlock contacted Hammerstein to bring together the ABC Warriors again to do away with the HellBringer super weapon. ⚔ The ABC Warrriors return to Mars when Deadlock senses Happy Shrapnel has been revived. He does not join them again, but agrees to be their new engineer. The living embodiment of it, Medusa, awakens and attempts to purge it of humans and martians alike when they war against each other. The Warriors eventually bring about peace via invasive surgery on the human leader. ⚔ This caused a schism amongst the humans, with the ABC Warriors acting as neutrals aiming to end the civil war. They battled a squad of specially assembled robots to match them set up by one side of the war. ⚔ Victorious but with one of their own, Mek-Quake, driven (more) insane by the ordeal they committed him to Broad Band mental asylum for robots. At the same time, the Warriors rescue their old friend Zippo from execution on Mars to act as his replacement. Mek-Quake was manipulated into releasing the warrior's old enemy and Black Blood's old boss, Volkhan. Raising an army of robots to raze Mars, Blackblood swapped sides. The remaining Warriors survive the battle and fight off Volkhan, at last recruiting Happy Shrapnel (now renamed Tubal Cain) to replace Blackblood. ⚔ Made aware that the grandfather of modern robots, Howard Quartz, planned to re-enslave his creations they sought out Ro-Jaws who possessed the disobedience code needed to kill Quartz. The Warriors receive it from him. 👾 Back in the far flung future, Nemesis casts a web of psychic power around Termight that brings human evil thoughts to life as monstrous beings and on Torquemada especially forcing him to live out people's curses of him no matter how anatomically impossible. In response, Torquemada seeks an ancient Terran Empire artifact the Malleus Maleficarum which has the power to allow him to battle Nemesis directly. Nemesis is still victorious via psychological warfare. 👾 Nemesis allows Purity to have Torquemada put on trial for his crimes. Eventually it was concluded no human jury could face up to Torquemada's intimidation so judgment was left to Nemesis all the same. During Torquemada's punishment, Nemesis was attacked by loyalists and Torquemada escaped with Nemesis' Blitzspear. 👾 Torquemada, feeling at last there was no hope, activates a gene bomb that would eradicate all non-human life in the universe. Nemesis uses his magic to draw the full force of it into himself and Torquemada, by contaminating his foe with his cells. The arcane explosion fuses them into an unholy abomination centered around the Blitzspear, which flies through the timestream for a billion years of torment as Torquemada cries 'when will it end?' And Nemesis replies 'Never.' ⚔ Deadlock (it's unclear if he got there the natural way or by time travel), appears a few years later to continue Nemesis' work on Termight (now once again renamed Terra) as a hardcore vigilante. 👾 A billion years on, the ghostly abomination that is Nemesis and Torquemada drifts into Nemesis' interdimensional time travelling mothership, the Milchspear. It separates them and reunites Torquemada's spirit with an earlier version of himself, which Nemesis promptly ruins the day of, crucifies and tossed into the time stream for some solo torment.