Once a simple Japanese Michael Jackson Impersonator, Taro Watanabe accidentally gained ice powers during a dance-off. Now as the supervillain Chilly McFreeze, he seeks to destroy all other musical talent so he can be recognised as an artist in his own right.
Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Taro Watanabe developed an interest in the American pop sensation Michael Jackson at an early age. As he grew up, Taro decided that he wanted to be a pop superstar just like his idol, and decided that he would model his success on his hero’s. Learning to sing and dance (he was better at the latter then the former) he started up something of a career on the club circuit as a tribute band act.
However, Taro wanted to be seen as more than just a tribute; he wanted to be seen as his own artist. Things didn’t work out; he recorded several of his own songs, but they failed to find any interest. Taro continued to work his impersonator act, but still yearend for so much more. He built up his reputation, trading off of his idol’s name while trying to build up his own reputation.
This yielded some rather unusual results; he was challenged to a “Battle of the Tribute Bands” by another tribute artist, Iced Q. The two met in a concert hall, eager to do battle to see who was the better tribute artist. However, as the night unfolded, a pair of unforseen events came into play, ones that would reshape his career.
The first was that Iced Q was no ordinary tribute act; he was actually an Ice Demon from another dimension who travelled earth seeking to draw the life essences from others. The second was that the concert hall was in fact at a ley line nexus, built over an ancient Ainu graveyard, a fact that neither of them were aware of. As Iced Q reached out to take Taro’s soul, there was a massive explosion of spiritual energy.
When he came to, Taro found that there was no sign of Iced Q; furthermore, he found that he was surrounded by a small army of the living dead, apparently freshly raised from their ancient graves. He desperately screamed to them to stay back and, to his surprise, they did. Curious, he found that they were responding to his commands; these living dead were, in fact, his servants.
The second thing that he found was that he had somehow absorbed Iced Q’s powers; he had the ability to create and control ice; experimentation proved that he could use these powers as weapons, ones that gave him innate power beyond any mortal tribute band. Aware of these abilities, a plan began to form in his mind.
Taking the name “Chilly McFreeze”, Taro decided on a course of action. The music industry had failed to recognise his talent for what it was. With his newfound abilities, he would force them to take notice of him. He would win the recording contract that he so desired, and become an international superstar in his own right. He decided, however, that it would not be enough to be big in his homeland; no, he would have to travel to the capitol of pop, the United States, and take it by force.
He arrived in the US and, after raising a new Zombie Army, launched attacks on bands and concerts. His initial wave of attacks went off well; nobody expected an evil Japanese Michael Jackson Impersonator with ice powers that commanded a zombie army to strike a concert; this won him massive amounts of attention and headline space. But that was not enough; he had made the opening moves, but had bigger things in mind.
Travelling to Millennium City, he prepared to move into the big time. Watching his targets carefully, he picked a perfect opportunity; a concert by mega-star band, Wind-Up Fire-Breathing Plastic Nun. He would destroy the concert and the band, then show the crowd that he, Chilly McFreeze was a mega-star, greater than any other.
However, his plan hit an unexpected hitch. It seemed that there was a Superhero in the crowd, a gigantic Amazon possessed of incredible strength. His Zombie minions were defeated by her, and his own ice powers proved to be at best the equal of her strength. For the first time ever, Chilly was forced to retreat. Vowing revenge both on the Music Industry as a whole and this one superhero in particular, he escaped to plan his next move.
(In retrospect, it was probably fortunate for him that he attacked his secondary target. His original plan was to attack a Sapphire concert, however, she was off fighting the Gamma-Activated Bull Men from beyond the 9th Parallel at the time and had to postpone)
Having been soundly defeated by the first American superhero that he had came across (and realising that he had initially planned to fight a far more powerful one), Chilly McFreeze decided that, before he could implement his plan for musical domination, he needed to increase his own powers. Realising that they were supernatural in nature, he figured that he needed to use magical or supernatural powers to aid him.
This bought him into contact with UnitedHoldings(holdings) Pty.Ltd.Inc.com, and their evil CEO, Corporate Buyout. Learning of her business in the smuggling and resale of illegal black-market souls, he approached her, offering to buy a significant quality of said souls to feed his own demonic-derived powers, in exchange for the souls of his enslaved undead minions once he was done with them. Impressed with his abilities, and knowing of his defeat at the concert, Corporate Buyout offered to extend the deal.
Knowing he had fought Skadi in past (having identified the superhero he fought at the concert), she offered to give him not only more power than he had ever dreamt of, but also to give him the recording contract that he so desired. All he had to do was to destroy her enemies, the Lolcat Brgud. Chilly eagerly agreed; Corporate Buyout was offering everything he wanted for a surprisingly small price.
Equipped with his newly enhanced powers, Chilly McFreeze attacked a major recording studio in Millennium City, eager to strike a blow for his singing career. As luck would have it, Skadi did show up to try and stop him, allowing him to unleash his new powers on her. The results were immediate; whereas she had been an even match for him in past, now he was able to easily overwhelm her. Unfortunately, the rest of the Lolcat Brgud showed up, driving him off before he could finish off her or the studio.
Despite this setback, he was emboldened by his success. With his new powers, he staged numerous other attacks, each aimed at furthering his own goals. Several more battles with Skadi only served to underscore the capabilities of his newfound powers, showing that he was clearly superior in ability to her. Confident in his abilities, and with Corporate Buyout’s backing and promises of albums if he succeeded, he prepared for his masterstroke, an attack on the PoP TV music awards, one of the largest gatherings of musical industry stars and executives.
As he had hoped, the Lolcat Brgud were present, having anticipated this move. He didn’t care; he knew he could beat them and was going to get everything that he wanted as a reward. So it came as something of a rude shock when Skadi used chemical grenades to disrupt his icy attacks, rendering him effectively powerless. Rather than being able to easily overwhealm her and the other Lolcats as he had expected, he instead found himself outmatched.
With his Zombie minions falling, he made a desperate call to Corporate Buyout’s office, only to discover that she was in an important meeting and could not be disturbed. He was easily captured, and imprisoned in Stronghold for his crimes.
Having absorbed the essence of Iced Q, an inter-dimensional ice demon, Chilly McFreeze possesses a considerable array of ice-based powers. Chief amongst them is the ability to create and project solid ice. Chilly can shape these as he sees fit, creating a variety of different icy weapons; from solid chunks of ice to sheets and ice traps, hailstorms that spread over a wide area and even icy cages and spikes.
His powers are not limited to being purely offensive, however. He can create a sheet if icy body armour that greatly enhances his durability and resilience, making him a dangerous combatant. Similarly, he can create icy walls or shields to serve as a protective barrier. Finally, he can create a continuous ice slide to allow high-speed movement.
Additionally, Chilly seems to have some form of affinity for the living dead. Not only can he command them, but he seems to attract them wherever he goes. It does not appear that he can raise the dead, but rather they seem to be drawn to him wherever they are found.
Since forming his alliance with Corporate Buyout, his abilities have drastically increased in power. Fuelled by smuggled black-market souls, his icy blasts have become far more dangerous and deadly. Similarly, his icy walls and shields are far more durable then they were before. Finally, the numbers of undead following him have increased dramatically, and they in turn seem to be more powerful.
Chilly McFreeze is obsessed with the idea of proving his worth as a singer and to be recognised as an artist in his own right. While he still idolises Michael Jackson and still performs his impersonation act, but at the same time, he wants to be seen as more then just an imposter, and instead as someone with his own distinctive identity and style. As a result, he is rather fragile and defensive; he cannot stand to have his singing talents criticised, and will lash out at anyone who dares to do such. That he’s not actually that good a singer to begin with doesn’t help.
He views other signers with a degree of envy and resentment, feeling that they are stealing the publicity and fame that, by all rights, should be his. As a result, his main goal is to defeat other signers using his icy powers so that the record companies will have to turn to him and his talents to sell albums. The legality of these matters never seems to have crossed his mind. He especially hates other Michael Jackson impersonators, as he sees them as being disrespectful to his idol’s memory and, more to the point, inferior to his own talents.
Taro is a rather average-looking Japanese man in his early thirties, with sharp features, narrow eyes and long hair that he keeps excessively greased. As Chilly McFreeze, he wears his “Michael Jackson” costume, which is a mish-mash of different elements of different eras of his career; a bright red jacket, leather pants, broad-rimmed hat and only one glove. He is often covered in an icy sheen, somewhat concealing his features.