|Real Name||William Ray|
|Aliases||Carnifex, Billy Ray, Mumbles|
|Wild Card Traits||Regeneration, enhanced strength, enhanced speed|
|Place of Birth||Montana, USA|
|Citizenship||Citizen of the United States|
|Event Participant||1987 WHO Tour|
|Base of Operations||Washington D.C.|
|Affiliations||Justice Department, SCARE|
|Relatives||Midnight Angel (wife)|
|First Appearance||Jokers Wild|
|Creator||John J. Miller|
Carnifex (William "Billy" Ray) is a fictional character in the Wild Cards anthology series. Carnifex (Latin for "executioner") is Billy Ray's nickname given to him for his love of violence. Infection with the Wild Card virus has given him superhuman levels of strength, speed and stamina, along with a rapid regenerative healing factor and a heightened instinct for physical combat. In wild card terminology, this makes him an ace.
History[edit | edit source]
Billy Ray was a college football star in the late 1970s. He was able to hide his wild card infection until he broke his leg in three places in the first quarter of the Rose Bowl (on national TV) and tried to return to the game before half time.
He was recruited by the U.S. Justice Department, and has worked for them ever since, performing various missions such as protecting government officials to hunting down other aces. He is highly aggressive and confrontational, and will fight at the slightest provocation.
Billy Ray was badly injured by Mackie Messer, and subsequently sports a lopsided jaw.
Wild Card Traits[edit | edit source]
Billy Ray's ace allows his body to repair itself at unbelievable speed. His regeneration has slowed down with age, taking him longer to heal between battles. His regeneration power was put to the ultimate test when he fought the vibrating joker-ace named Mackie Messer. Carnifex was shredded and torn in this battle, losing most of his jaw and several fingers, and it took several months to fully heal. His regeneration is not perfect, as his body and face are a mass of scar tissue and obvious war wounds, and his features are slightly irregular from having his facial bones broken and reset so many times.
Billy is much faster than a normal man and also slightly stronger (greater than an Olympic power lifter). His speed gives him a marked advantage over average opponents, and his strength makes his fists hit like 10 pound sledgehammers.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Ray is of average height and weight, and frequently wears his fighting suit in public. It's white and form-fitting, with black hood covering face and head, and black gloves and pliable black boots. His face doesn't quite come together. It's lacking a little in chin and has too much nose. His green eyes aren't quite on the same level and his jaw is canted a little. He keeps his dark hair short.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Carnifex is a cocky, overconfident braggart. He has been known to flirt with a number of women who are usually disinterested in his advances. He is fastidious about his appearance and keeps a number of spare changes of his white suits ready as they have a frequent tendency to get damaged or bloodied.
In recent years he's matured quite a bit. While he's still a jerk, at least he's an honest and very competent jerk. Age has also brought on a fear that his regeneration may one day fail altogether.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- It takes seven complete CD's to store all of Billy Ray's medical records.
Selected Reading[edit | edit source]
- Wild Cards Volume III: Jokers Wild
- Wild Cards Volume VII: Dead Man’s Hand
- Wild Cards Volume XV: Black Trump
- Wild Cards Volume XVII: Death Draws Five
- Wild Cards Volume XIX: Busted Flush
- Wild Cards Volume XXII: Lowball
- Wild Cards Volume XXIII: High Stakes
- Wild Cards Volume XXIV: Mississippi Roll
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