|“||I will stand above that flock of pigeons and I will control them.||„|
Diego "Dio" Brando is a racer in the Steel Ball Run race and serves as a core antagonist of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run. He is the alternate universe counterpart of Dio Brando, the most featured antagonist in the series.
Diego Brando is a genius British jockey hailed as one of the best contenders in the Steel Ball Run race, but he soon shifts his attention to the Saint's Corpse. Diego becomes a powerful intermittent rival to both Gyro and Johnny. Although he works with different factions during the course of the race, Diego is only loyal to himself.
Diego also appeared in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven.
Diego is very similar to his namesake in both looks and personality. However, Diego is a famous professional jockey from England participating in the Steel Ball Run race across North America. Although his mother raised him with much love, he had a very hard life growing up in poor conditions they were forced to live in, resulting in his cold-heartedness – it is said that he will virtually do anything to win. At the age of 20, Diego married a rich 83 year-old woman who died six months later, enabling Diego to inherit her wealth. This led to speculations that he murdered her.
During his childhood, he was a good-natured and resourceful kid. His mother raised him with love and taught him to keep his dignity in even the direst situation. At age five, witnessing his mother sacrificing her hands so that he could be fed, Diego developed a resentment of everyone around him for allowing that to happen, and an insatiable ambition, on par with that of the original Dio Brando.
Since then Diego has been driven to climb the social ladder in order to get back at everyone who wronged him in the past. His first and foremost target is his biological father Dario.
Using any opportunity, he is said to have married an old woman for her wealth, and in the same vein, participated in the Steel Ball Run for prestige. Diego is particularly vindictive against anyone who gets in his way, and doesn't hesitate to injure or kill them, although he doesn't manifest murderous intents automatically.
Diego possesses a strong misanthropy, describing humanity as a "flock of pigeons", and resents humans as a whole for the death of his mother. Thus Diego is naturally solitary, never looking to bond with anyone, and in case he has to cooperate with someone, he will keep a certain amount of separation between them. Diego sees human life as worthless and will sacrifice anyone to further his goals without hesitation.
Diego's parents were financially weak and attempted to dispose of him as a baby – however, his mother felt guilty and risked her own life to save him from drowning, upon which his alcoholic father left them both. His mother changed her surname to "Brando" and became employed by a farm, but she and Diego lived in poverty in the stables. Through this, it was discovered over time that Diego had a talent for relating to horses - even seemingly untameable ones would allow themselves be handled by him. Five years later, the man that had arranged her employment demanded sexual favors from her, and upon her refusal, sabotaged their means to get food. For the sake of dignity, she would not allow him to eat out of his shoes, and held boiling stew in her hands so he could eat. Another year later his young mother died of the tetanus infection, which Diego (at the time 6 years old) believed to be a result from the humiliation they had to suffer. Partly from her example, Diego developed a strong sense of pride and grew up resenting everyone who abandoned them, swearing to himself to get revenge against the man who had harassed his mother.
After he loses the first stage of the Steel Ball Run to Gyro Zeppeli, he becomes irritated and considers Gyro his personal enemy from that point onwards. After losing another round to Gyro, he joins Funny Valentine, the president of the United States, who is searching for the body parts of "The Saint", which are said to grant great powers. Upon requesting a Stand-using ally, Diego is paired with Sandman. By doing so, Diego hoped to find a way of defeating Gyro.
During the 8th round, Diego turned against Valentine, but was quickly defeated by his Stand, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, and had the Corpse's Eye taken from him. He devises a plan with Hot Pants to attack Valentine as he is on the train with Lucy Steel.
Diego's life ends after an attempt to kill Valentine by dragging him under the train, resulting in his own demise in vain as he is torn in half; although he is soon succeeded by a Diego from a neighboring universe, retrieved by Valentine, to track down Johnny.
At a later point of the race, Diego meets Gyro and Johnny again in a small village in the mountains. He appears to be friendly, but just as the two heroes think he won't harm them, he suddenly transforms into a velociraptor and attacks them. It turns out that the meeting was a trap set up by the bounty hunter Dr. Ferdinand. Ferdinand's stand power can turn living beings into dinosaurs. He uses this ability to create dinosaur "bodyguards" in his hunt of the Corpse Parts. Even Diego was turned into one of his soldiers when he was attacked by him earlier. Gyro manages to defeat Dr. Ferdinand by fusing with one of the Turbo eyes that Ferdinand possessed and receiving the stand ability "Scan". Even though Ferdinand was killed and all his dinosaur minions turned back into humans, Diego escaped with the second Turbo Eye, making him able to keep the transformation power and turn into a raptor when he wants, even though he initially can't control it very well.
- He has been good with horses since he was a child, even untameable ones let themselves be handled him.
- As a 5-year old boy, he resembles Giorno Giovanna.