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John Cumberland (Earth-50): Misc


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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From DC Database

Character Template Character Template
The High

John Cumberland (Earth-50)
Real Name
John Cumberland
Current Alias





Base Of Operations
a base in the Rocky Mountains; formerly The Changers' base in Paraguay





Marital Status

Super Hero

From a Parallel Earth but still a mystery as to what he truly is.

Place of Birth
Parallel Earth

First appearance

Stormwatch #46
Image:Quote1.png I only wanted to change things... any generation that survives this will know that the end wasn't my doing. Image:Quote2.png
-- The High



A mysterious hero of the 20th Century. Next to nothing is known about John Cumberland except from the few people who knew him as Axel Brass stated, "Most people thought him a myth, or a trick of the light."

The High was brought across from a parallel America at war on a parallel earth by a shiftship in 1910. He was found and raised by American farmers (Mr. and Mrs. Cumberland). Thus he was adopted and raised as an American from this planet. His idea of what America was framed by them. Thus he grew thinking that America cared and that it was great and good.

By the year 1938 he as was a grown man and entered into a life of super-heroism. The government convinced most people that he didn't exist, that the sight of him finding both "bunds and corrupt isolationists" was mass hysteria.[1] His career as a superhero was only three years long before he became disillusioned and quit. In that time he was a member of The Big Three, consisting of himself, Mr. Majestic, and Maximum Man. During his time in semi-retirement he would resurface in times of political unrest, but mainly he went around the world talking to people of different cultures and nations to gain an understanding of ideas.

He was an utter idealist, the ultimate Boy Scout, but after years detached from society (including a decade spent seated atop a throne of stone in the Rocky Mountains, contemplating his plan) he was left with a somewhat naive apprehension of others, their motives and ability shrinking in the face of his noble plan. He was overly trusting of his cohorts, quick to mistrust anyone who stepped in their way, and eager to force the world to change and be done with it - and he ultimately learned, as Jenny Sparks said, that people only want change on their own terms. His emblem was five arrows in a circle, much like the symbol for recycling - he wore this on his costume's belt and on a t-shirt he wore when out of costume.


Change or Die

Later still in the present time The High became the leader of The Changers seeking to make the world a paradise free from authority. Knowing that Stormwatch would try to stop them, his teammate Blind chose to attack Jenny Sparks and to torture Malcolm King (a.k.a. Strafe, a former member of Stormwatch) in order to obtain some information, without the knowledge of the other Changers and much to the outrage of John Cumberland. Sparks narrowly escaped, and eventually both teams fought and the battle came to its climax in the Changers' headquarters. During this confrontation, it was revealed that both Blind and Wish had their own, private and horrific agenda. Most of the Changers died thanks to a Hammerstrike Deep Sanction Missile (a payload and tailored acid bomb) ordered by Henry Bendix. However, High survived and, furious, went to attack Stormwatch's base, Skywatch. The Stormdoor (Skywatch's force field) was activated, and High apparently died in the collision.

John Cumberland's death was confirmed by one of his friends Elijah Snow of Planetary, as he died "trying to bring down a United Nations space platform."[2]

Number of the Beast

Main article: Number of the Beast
A Reaper about to battle Nemesis as shown in Wildstorm: Revelations #6.

However, it was revealed that The High had survived, albeit as a liquefied mass of his former self, due to the collision with Skywatch's Halo shield. Despite giving The High a hero's funeral as strongly insisted by Jenny Sparks, he was passed around and studied by I.O. then Department PSI, and was used by the American government as the base material to produce superhuman clones, all of which have so far repeated the phrases "Change or Die" and "Reap What you Sow" over and over, known as Reapers under the "Reaper Initiative" before being taken to the top secret U.S. Military Bunker 1, the foremost sight of the Number of the Beast program. While in a stasis tube his body reconstituted itself and he later succeeded in freeing all the heroes and villains that where trapped in the high tech scenario's being played out. He then vowed to make whomever was in charge pay and flew off to the Skywatch station again, and this time throwing a nuclear bomb at the Halo shield and then comets, and attempting to push the station into the sun or force its Halo shield down. When Jackson King realized he was caught between a rock and a hard place he agreed to a talk with Fuji present.

Both The High and King later learned of the intentions of Number of the Beast and the Reaper Initiative, in which Cumberland senses his clones being activated and used to kill the escaped metahumans from the NOTB Bunker 1. The High, on advice from Jackson, traveled to Washington, D.C.'s Pentagon demanding General Somerset, the founder of the Reaper Initiative, a way to stop his clones. But learning from Somerset and the Daemonite Slyxx that there was nothing to deactivate the Reapers and that they, having their original programming compromised from entering into the Bleed, are intent on destroying every superhumans with the cost of harming the Earth. After swearing to Somerset that he and others involved with Number of the Beast will pay for their crimes, The High attempt to stop his clones that were encircling the Earth preparing to create a massive explosion via self-detonation, and fought a Reaper (and in the process shattering Earth's moon). Despite his efforts, The High was too late in preventing the cataclysm known as the "World's End".

World's End

Having survived Armageddon, and as a penance The High, having sheds every bit of his hubris, helped Earth's remaining survivors by escorting them to Finland, one of the fewest havens on the planet. He confesses to a little girl named Ava that he feels alone and guilty, but finally gains purpose and self-fulfillment by pushing himself hard to help as many people as he can.[3] Before leaving The High was discretely given a note from Ava with the message: "help us". This deeply perturbed Cumberland and grew warily suspicious of what's happening inside of Finland's Masking Wall. The High later made his way to his old home in the Rocky Mountains, where he has rendered himself temporarily human in order for him to bypass the Masking Wall.[4] Once inside, The High discovered that a Kherubim militaristic force led by the Knights of Khera have conquered the nation and were using Earth's refugees as either slave labor or quisling followers. High quickly escape with his life to Skywatch and alerted Jackson King and Stormwatch about the new threat that pose to eradicate all of Earth's lifeforms and sought to conquer the planet. However, Stormwatch was overpowered by the Knights of Khera and its space station was destroyed when it was deliberately setup to destroy the Kheran's warship The Red Blade. Following this The High takes King and the other members of Stormwatch to his hidden base as temporarily refuge.[5]

Powers and Abilities


Superhuman Strength


Longevity: The High hasn't aged a day from the 1930's, he maintains the physical and mental abilities he has always had well into the present day.

  • Self-Sustenance: He can survive in anaerobic environments indefinitely (he flies in space, possibly even all the way to the moon and into deep space), by the simple method of not breathing. He also does not require food or drink, though he apparently enjoys both.
  • Genetic Memory: allows his body to rebuild itself back together from its most basic building blocks. It is not likely he can be killed as his body can be deconstructed and then reconstruct itself.

Superhuman Speed

Superhuman Senses: ability to see in a spectrum far beyond what normal humans can see.


Plasma Vision


Expert Combatant

Strength level

Referred to as a "Majestic-class" superhuman


  • The High is weak against a substance known as "purple gas", which is connected to the Bleed somehow, and whose effects range from short-duration physical mutations(for short exposures) to the total loss of his powers(for longer exposures).



Over the High's life, he has acquired advanced technology. His Rocky Mountains headquarters is guarded by a humanoid robot called Highpernaut One, and is stocked with customized aircraft and vehicles.




  • The High is an analogue of Superman, alongside with Wildstorm's Mr. Majestic and Apollo who are also analogues to the Man of Steel.
  • The High was once fatally allergic by a substance called Highnium, though he claims to have dealt with this somehow in 1972.[6]


See Also

Links and References

  • None.


  1. StormWatch #50
  2. Planetary #5
  3. Stormwatch PHD #19
  4. Stormwatch PHD #22
  5. Stormwatch PHD #24
  6. Number of the Beast #5
Wildstorm Character

This character exists under the Wildstorm Imprint, and their continuity takes place within the Wildstorm Titles. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Wildstorm Characters."

This article uses material from the "John Cumberland (Earth-50)" article on the DC Comics wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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