|Artwork by James Beaver
Even before my character Twofold made the transition from 'displaced ninja fighting criminals in America for no apparent reason at all' to 'Martial Arts hero', Smiling Demon was his enemy. He goes as far back as Passion Tanaka does to around 1990 or so. He always looked like this for the most part, except for the mark on his head and his new Chinese heritage and clothing. Still, I tried to stay close to the Karate gi that I had him in for over ten years.
His origin, which I've constantly modified over the years, remains the same at it's core: a bandit of the old days returning to seek vengeance on Kenji's teacher and anyone else who kept him from robbing. But now, I've got an even better start to the story. I won't spoil much of it, but I'll tell you that he originally got the mask by stabbing a demon through it's forehead with a spear blessed by a Shaolin priest, pulled the skin from it's still-screaming face and finished it off with the spear. He used the skin to make the enchanted mask that augmented his strenth and made him even more dangerous than before. You know what's funny? That's the one of the more tame parts of his origin. Wait until you hear about his childhood. Cripes, that alone could be it's own movie.