Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at my second favorite member of the Authority: Jenny Sparks
Appearances in Heroclix: The Flash
First Appearance: Stormwatch #37
Team Affiliations: Stormwatch, The Authority
Created By: Warren Ellis and Tom Raney
Jennifer Sparks was one of the “century babies,” born on January 1, 1900 in England. She came from wealth and was sent to a boarding school in Vienna. In 1912, the rest of her family died on the Titanic leaving all of her father’s wealth in the hands of his arch-nemesis and leaving Jenny penniless.
Jenny was taken in by her godfather, Albert Einstein, to finish her education. Before leaving, however, she suggested to her friend and failed painter, Adolf Hitler, to take up a career in politics. Seeing what he became, Jenny would often regret this as well as other choices.
Between 1913 and 1919, Jenny’s powers began to manifest. She had complete control of electricity and by 1919, she had stopped aging completely. It was this point that she married Prince Lorenzo of Sliding Albion, an alternate earth where humanity and aliens met back in the Renaissance. The aliens had interbred with humanity and the descendants were blue skinned hybrids. This marriage was an effort for Lorenzo to take over from his father, who he claimed was a tyrant. However, this was a ruse, and Lorenzo actually hoped to conquer Jenny’s earth. When Jenny discovered this, Lorenzo shot her and she was mortally wounded; she was only saved the by timely arrival of Dr. Angela Spica from the future. After repelling the armies of Sliding Albion, Jenny continued adventuring and attained the rank of Colonel in British Army Intelligence.
She spent most of the 30s adventuring in America. In 1939 she encountered fellow century baby Elijah Snow. They had a one night stand and afterward agreed to forget that it ever happened.
During World War II, Jenny served as an allied operative against Nazi super-beings and worked to prevent the Nazis from obtaining valuable artifacts and ancient weapons. In 1943, Jenny was rescuing a Tibetan egg prophesied to open and release a powerful being. Jenny was captured and the only thing that allowed her well timed escape was the arrival of her old friend Adolf Hitler. He recognized Jenny and chose to spare her, allowing her to take the egg to England.
After the war, Jenny spent the remainder of the 40s as a hard boiled detective in America. She was jaded and cynical, dealing out harsh justice to criminals.
In the 50s, Jenny returned home and became involved with the British Space Group, which was a front for dealing with cross-dimensional and alien interactions. In 1953, Sliding Albion entered its first World War and bacteria weapons were unleashed on their London. Sliding Albion vented the bacterial fallout over Jenny’s Britain. Unbeknownst to Sliding Albion, the weapons’ journey through the Bleed changed it and instead of killing millions, it led to the first outbreak of super-beings.
The 60s brought with it a new age of exploration and freedom, as well as the first super group in Britain. Jenny fell in with them and became their leader, with all of them set on making the world a better place. They worked at it for the better part of the 60s, until Abel Eternity, a member of the group, overdosed on drugs and went into a homicidal rampage. Jenny was forced to kill him, leading to the disbanding of the group and Jenny’s decision to go to bed until 1982.
Jenny was awakened from her stupor in 1976 by the CCCP. The 70th Century incarnation of Kansas City had gained sentience, traveled back through time, and was attempting to obliterate all human life. Sparks was put in charge of a team to fight the creature but ultimately failed. Kansas City was eventually defeated when Jack Hawksmoor transformed Tokyo into a giant living battle-suit and destroyed the future city.
In the 80s, a new superhero group formed; most of its members were children during Sliding Albion’s attack. They sought out Jenny on the reputation of the group from the sixties, but Sparks discovered they were all homicidal and a bit mad. Jenny threatened to kill every one of them on the spot if she saw any of them again. Around this time, Henry Bendix asked her to join Stormwatch but she declined.
In 1992, Sparks saved Apollo and Midnighter from an ambush. As Apollo and Midnighter were agents of Bendix, this brought Sparks back to his attention. Reaching out once again, Bendix managed to recruit Jenny to his “Stormwatch Black” team. This team was meant as a covert team for activity in urban environments. Jenny was forcefully given leadership of the small team that consisted of Swift and Jack Hawksmoor.
After a few missions, former friend of Jenny and former superhero, The High reappeared after decades of self-isolation. The High was leading a group that wanted to change the world for the better by removing the structure of society and creating a utopian anarchist world. Bendix tried to hide this from Jenny but the High appeared on television and forced Jenny into a confrontation with her new boss. Bendix revealed that he had dropped into insanity and was becoming megalomaniacal. Jenny tried to kill Bendix, but he managed to narrowly escape. As Jenny chased him, she saw that he was killing all the cryogenically frozen prisoners of Stormwatch. Taking temporary control of the Skywatch platform, Jenny was forced to give the awful order to raise the Storm Door force field to protect the base and its hundreds of staff from an enraged the High. The High was killed on impact with the force field.
Jenny later tracked down Bendix and seemingly killed him.
Stormwatch Black was almost all that remained of Stormwatch after these incidents. It was at this point that Jenny formed the Authority, deciding that it was time to make the world a better place. Whether it wanted to be or not. The Authority was initially made up of Jenny, Swift, Jack Hawksmoor, the Engineer, the Doctor, Apollo, Midnighter and helped by Battalion and Synergy.
In their first few months of existence, they had to face super powered suicide bombers as well as the return of Sliding Albion and its attempted invasion.
On December 31st, 1999, Jenny could feel her life ticking away. So close to the end of the 20th century, Jenny could feel that she would die with it. The only other member of the team to know this was the Doctor, who had the benefit of all his predecessors’ knowledge. On this day, an entity that could best be described as humanity’s “god,” the being that had seeded human life, returned to destroy all life on earth. In her final act as the spirit of the 20th century, Jenny put all her power into electrocuting the alien creature’s brain and killing it.
She died among her team members, her last words being: “Save the world. They deserve it. Be better. Or I’ll come back and kick your heads in.”