|Wild Card Traits||Tantric magic user|
|Citizenship||Citizen of the United States, deceased|
|Base of Operations||Japan, formerly New York City|
|Relatives||John Fortune (son)|
|Allies||Chrysalis, J.C. Jayewardene, Peregrine, Yeoman|
|First Appearance||Wild Cards|
|Final Appearance||Death Draws Five|
Fortunato was the world's most powerful ace. A tantric magician that derived his vast powers from sexual energy, when he was charged up, there was little Fortunato couldn't do. Besides his wild card powers, Fortunato was also famous as the runner of a high-class prostitute ring that offered the most desirable hookers in New York City. Sharp-tongued and independent, Fortunato tried to avoid "cheap heroics," but nonetheless clashed several times with the Egyptian Masons, a murderous cult. He left New York in 1986 to seek refuge in Japan, tired of the violence in his life, but came back one more time to save the life of his son, John Fortune.
History[edit | edit source]
Fortunato was the son of a Harlem pimp and his Japanese wife. In 1946, his father died from the wild card virus. Fortunato was only 6-years old, and was forced to make his own way in the world. When he was a teenager, Fortunato came up with the idea of prostitutes trained as geishas, inspired by his mother's reminiscences of Japan. Bringing his first girl home for training at age sixteen, he became a successful pimp, running the most desired hookers in New York City.
In 1969, Fortunato's latent wild card manifested during a session of tantric sex. He became an extremely powerful tantric magician, gifted with a vast arsenal of psychic abilities. Fortunato used his newfound powers to track down a serial killer that had murdered several of his girls. In the process, he discovered vague clues that the serial killer was involved in a much larger conspiracy.
Fortunato became a well-known member of the wild card community in New York, even though he usually kept to himself and avoided conventional superheroics. In 1979, he came into conflict once again with the occult conspiracy, this time identifying them as the Egyptian Masons, a sinister and murderous cult with many jokers and aces as members. Using his telekinesis to ignite a gas main, Fortunato destroyed the Masons' headquarters and killed several of their members. Shortly thereafter, Fortunato became involved with the worldwide effort of aces and nat military forces to fend of an invasion by the alien hive-mind known as the Swarm. Accompanied by Dr. Tachyon, the vigilante called Yeoman, and the ace healer Mai, Fortunato helped neautralize the Swarm and hasten its departure from our solar system.
On September 15, 1986, the 40th anniversary of the wild card virus, Fortunato fought the Masons for a final time, battling their leader, the insane and extremely powerful Astronomer, a magician of death and violence, just as Fortunato was a magician of sex and life, in a spectacular battle above the skies of New York City. On this same day, soon before his final battle, he fathered a child with Peregrine, the famous and beautiful winged ace, in a brief but intense sexual affair. Despite his final victory, Fortunato decided to leave the city and his old life for good, sickened by the violence that seemed to follow him. He went to live a peaceful life in a monastery in Japan, renouncing his powers and the pleasures of the flesh. He stayed there for almost 20 years.
In 2003, Fortunato left the monastery and returned to New York City when he learned that his son with Peregrine, John Fortune, was now 16-years old and had become an ace. Something was very wrong with John's powers though. His body blazed with ever-increasing heat, effectively becoming a small sun. If left unchecked, he would eventually consume the entire Earth. In a desperate move, Fortunato used all his powers to rewrite the genetics of his son's body, turning him into a nat. Completely depleted, Fortunato died soon thereafter.
Wild Card Traits[edit | edit source]
Fortunato was a tantric magician. He could gain power from sexual activity and expend it in a multitude of ways, granting him numerous powers, most of them psionic in nature.
He could separate his spirit from his physical body. He was able to read the psychic residues in the auras of objects and places, being able to reconstruct past events and sense the use of wild card powers. He could look into a person's eyes and issue hypnotic orders that were almost impossible to disobey. He had powerful telepathy, being able to read people's minds and transmit his own thoughts. He had potent telekinesis, including the ability to levitate his own body, and the rare capacity to manipulate objects he couldn't see with his naked eye (being able to stop a person's heart with the power of his mind, for instance). He could surround his body with a protective force field. He could generate destructive blasts of prana, the energy of life itself. More impressively, Fortunato could stop time for everyone except himself, moving like a blur of speed while the rest of the world stood frozen. This last ability quickly consumed his energies. Fortunato's powers were very versatile. The abilities mentioned here were only the most frequently used. There was very little he couldn't do if he tried hard enough.
The use of his powers depleted his energies, and Fortunato needed tantric rituals to recharge. When engaging in sex, he blocked his own ejaculation, reabsorbing the sexual energy back into his body, and also taking the energy of his partner. When he was fully charged, Fortunato's brow became swollen with the power of the retained sperm. If he had sex with an ace, Fortunato became super-charged and his body was surrounded by a visible glow of power. Fortunato's sperm was so potent that it had several special properties. If he ejaculated into a person, he transferred part of his essence and power to that person, becoming weak and drained, but being able to stay in mental contact with that person, as if he were a passenger in the person's body. If he ejaculated into a dead body, he could bring the dead back to life, though the resurrected person returned with their sanity shattered from the death experience. As shown with Peregrine, even a few drops of his sperm were able to impregnate a woman, circumventing normal birth control pills.
Even though Fortunato needed to use the trappings of magic to activate his powers, they were not really supernatural. The wild card virus simply turned Fortunato's unconscious belief in magic into a reality. Nor was he limited strictly to tantric practices. In an early attempt at tracking down the Egyptian Masons, Fortunato used a cat and a mirror in an attempt to channel animal energies for clairvoyance. Later, during the final days of his life, Fortunato demonstrated the ability to draw upon sexual energy without engaging in the physical act of love as well as the capacity to draw on other sources of energy, such as the biosphere of the planet itself.
Fortunato's senses were extraordinarily acute, even when he wasn't actively using his powers. He couldn't even eat meat or processed sugar, because he couldn't stand their smell.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Fortunato was a tall man, standing 6' 3", and was very thin. His skin was dark golden and he had epicantic folds around his eyes, an evidence of the mixture of races of his parents. He was a handsome man, except for his swollen brow when he became charged with tantric energies.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Fortunato had to fight for everything in his life, consequently he expected no favors and granted none in return. He could come across as harsh and antagonistic, and genuinely didn't care what most people thought of him. He was well-known for his sharp tongue and sarcastic disposition. Nonetheless, he cared a lot for his women and did everything he could to protect them. Women were his self-confessed weakness. At the same time he exploited them. He claimed to have no use for conventional morality, but for all his protestations, Fortunato still preferred to sugar-coat his profession, using terms like "geisha," instead of hooker, or "procurer," instead of pimp.
Fortunato witnessed the first Wild Card day when he was six, and saw his father die. He never forgot the pain and horror of that time, and his view of the ace community was a lot less romantic than usual for powerful aces. He disliked Dr. Tachyon both for bringing the virus to Earth as for being a flamboyant sissy in Fortunato's eyes. He despised conventional superheroics and tended to keep to himself, studying occultism and tending to his women. The only threat that was guaranteed to make him come running were the Egyptian Masons, murderers responsible for the deaths of many women Fortunato cared about.
Selected Reading[edit | edit source]
- Wild Cards Volume I: Wild Cards: "The Long, Dark Night of Fortunato" (Fortunato becomes an ace and first meets the Masonic conspiracy in 1969)
- Wild Cards Volume II: Aces High:
- "Pennies from Hell" (Fortunato's second conflict with the Masons in 1979)
- "By Lost Ways" (Fortunato and several other aces storm the Mason's hideout in New York City)
- "Half Past Dead" (Fortunato and a small group of allies defeat the Swarm Mother)
- Wild Cards Volume III: Jokers Wild (Fortunato's last battle with the Astronomer)
- Wild Cards Volume IV: Aces Abroad: "Zero Hour" (Fortunato's life in Japan)
- Wild Cards Volume XVII: Death Draws Five (Fortunato returns to America to help his son)