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The Pillar Men (in Japanese: 柱の男) are an group of highly evolved ancient beings and the antagonists of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency. Their origin is unknown, but they are over 10,000 years old. They were named like this when Robert Speedwagon, while searching for the origin of the Stone Mask, found one of them in Mexico bound to a large pillar, along with dozens of stone masks. The Nazis of the time found the remaining three in Europe, and sent troops to secure the one in Mexico, hoping to study them to create a powerful war machine. In the long past it is estimated that there were at most a few thousand Pillar Men to exist until Kars and Esidisi eradicated most of them when they disaproved Kars’ quest for immortality. Because they were considered to be superior beings in comparison to other organisms, Pillar Men and their brethren did not feel the need to procreate as much as other organisms.
They have many powers and abilities, which include nigh immortality, super strength, absorb and feed on other living beings by just touching them, the ability to bend and manipulate their bodies into any form, entering other living beings' bodies, and restoring lost body parts by attaching parts from humans. Their only weaknesses are sunlight and Hamon (Ripple), a form of life energy generated by using a breathing technique, mastered by the members of the Hamon Clan.
To overcome their weaknesses, Kars, the leader of the Pillar Men, created Stone Masks, which would enable them to evolve and become the ultimate life forms. However the masks didn't work on superior beings like them, working only on humans (like Dio), who became vampires with similar but less powerful abilities. In order to make the masks work on them, they sought a perfectly cut gemstone– the Red Stone of Aja– which could send concentrated energy from light into the mask, powering it. They finally discovered the Aja, but the Hamon Clan got it before them, and after a long fight the Pillar Men were put into hibernation, and the Hamon Clan destroyed. Millennia later, in 1938, they awoke from their slumber and resumed their search for the Aja.
Each of the Pillar Men mastered a different ability:
- Santana: The Pillar Man found in Mexico. He was just an apprentice, and did not have any special techniques. He was exposed to sunlight and turned into stone, and was contained by the Speedwagon Foundation. The Nazis used their research on him to create a cyborg capable of defeating them. However, unlike the other Pillar Men, sunlight did not kill him and instead put him into hibernation.
- Esidisi: Esidisi can enter Heat Mode: He can elevate the temperature of his blood up to 500° Celsius (932° Fahrenheit), and project and manipulate his blood vessels outside of his body to attack his opponents. He also possessed a human while existing only as a brain, though this is probably not a unique ability.
- Wamuu: Wamuu can enter Wind Mode: He can sense anything by reading the air movements, use the hooks on his headdress to send blades of air, cloak himself with wind, send a powerful wind blast by spinning his arms, and send high pressured air capable of slicing through stone from his body.
- Kars: Kars has Light Mode: He possesses blades within his limbs, which have tiny barbs on the edge that move like a chainsaw at supersonic speeds, which make the blades glittery and extremely sharp. These are capable of cutting through even metal. Kars also possesses superhuman speed. When he ascends to the ultimate life form, the only Pillar Man to do so, he can transform any part of his body into any living being, even if it is disconnected from his body. He can even use Hamon. He also attains immortality, even exposure to the vacuum of space merely caused him to turn to stone in hibernation.
Their names are also references to 20th century bands. Kars is The Cars, Esidisi is AC/DC, Wamuu is Wham!, and Santana is Santana.