Do you hear that?
I have grown stronger yet since I last felt a blast of this force...
Let us see how you weather this storm!
By the power of Tartarus, I call upon the souls of the dead!
~ Emperor "Tyrant" Cole: Burning down Praetoria to unleash his full power

Tyrant (A.K.A. Emperor Marcus Cole) is the Praetorian Earth counterpart of the Statesman and a villain from City of Heroes.


Early Career and the Atomic Age

Marcus Cole was born in the most poverty stricken part of Shroud City, never knowing the great destiny that awaited him. After World War I, he discovered the Well of Furies, which he used to gain the power of the gods. Cole was only the first of the many super-powered beings to appear and war was changed with super humans fighting on each side of every conflict. Cole seemed unbeatable due to his enormous strength and invulnerability, but the creation of nuclear weapons changed everything. Conventional weaponry had already become useless due to the super humans with nothing able to stop Cole. But in the Korean War, it seemed like he couldn’t beat the Soviets, prompting General MacArthur to use nuclear weapons. Communists responded by destroying Los Angeles and though America won the ensuing conflict, millions of civilians were killed as well as many super-humans. Cole was also missing and it seemed that he’d been completely atomized, but he’d actually decided to let the world think so. He had become disgusted that common men now possessed the power of nuclear weapons. Cole turned his back on the ones he’d once aided and wandered the planet in an attempt to discover his purpose. Several years later, Cole appeared in the Australian Outback, finding his ways to the outskirts of the civilized world. However he saw a magazine headline that said “The End Is Nigh: Will MacArthur Nuke Shroud City?” Cole raced back to Shroud City, only to find it and all the inhabitants had already been annihilated. Enraged and confused by this, Cole confronted MacArthur, now president, and demanded to know why he’d done this. Shocked that Cole was alive, MacAthur explained that there was a new threat to the entire world, which nothing but the atomic bomb could stop. It was the Devouring Earth, named for its goal of consuming all of humanity.

Battle with the Devouring Earth

Seed of Hamidon - spreading infection over an area.

Cole’s reappearance gave the world the first hope they’d felt for some time, since by surviving the atomic blast, he’d proven he was stronger than the Devouring Earth. Cole prepared to fight this new threat, the one that had almost driven the world to destroying itself. However the Devouring Earth launched a surprise assault on Washington DC and NORAD, destroying the capital and killing MacArthur, the vice president, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Cole swore to the public to have revenge on all the creatures of the Devouring Earth, who’d proven their cunning, and he was going to destroy every one of them. Little did he know that this declaration would win him the next presidential election by 98%. Cole smashed through the Devouring Earth and drove them back city by city, giving humankind hope and rallying the super humans behind him. Cole had found his purpose again and in a year, Cole and the Super Corps of America had stopped the Devouring Earth from taking America. Meanwhile the rest of the world had done much worse at fighting the Devouring Earth, with all their nuclear weapons killing many humans and only seeming to make the Devouring Earth angry. Refugees across the world fled to America, desperate to get protection from Cole. Cole decided to speak with what remained of the United Nations Security Council, talking about the Roman Empire and how in times of great peril, it would choose one man to lead its people and armies. Cole said that divided, humanity would be destroyed and only by uniting would they have victory. He said that anyone who would call him a dictator should know that he wasn’t pursuing that position, because he had to be on the front lines to lead the fight. The Security Council couldn’t agree on who should take the position and their bickering made it so they couldn’t pay attention to the threat. Cole finally ended the fighting and everyone decided that only he could lead humanity against the Devouring Earth. After being offered the position, Cole begrudgingly accepted, giving many of his duties to more capable leaders in the international Super Corps. He named them the Praetorian Guard and their job was to finish off the Devouring Earth’s leader. The Praetorian Guard lead a huge strike against the Devouring Earth, annihilating it, but soon, it was clear that the attack had failed to end things when a huge monster appeared in South America. It destroyed every unit of the Praetorian Guard that it came across and leveled cities as it moved north. After it crossed into Mexico, the Mexican government launched a large amount of nuclear weapons against the monster, but to no avail. This was the challenge that Cole had been meant for and he faced the monster alone, not wanting more of his Praetorian Guard to fall. At first, neither seemed to be gaining the advantage, as Cole’s power did nothing to the monster, but its claws and tentacles did nothing to him either. Cole called on a reserve of energy that he never realized was within him and unleashed a final, powerful attack against the monster that nearly defeated it. However the monster regenerated and responded by sending out a beam of psychic energy at Cole and the two began a battle of will. As the world watched, the energy around Cole dissipated and the monster collapsed, defeated. Cole had also learned much from his thoughts mingling with the beast. Immediately, the amount of Devouring Earth attacks took a steep decline and even stopped completely in some areas. Humanity called out for the monster to be slain and Cole agreed, but nothing had any effect on it and it seemed to be tied into the very Earth.

Taking Power

The threat was over, allowing the world to return to normal and people fleeing to America, combined with the wave of nuclear fallout, left many parts of the world uninhabited. The world’s nations fought with each other as they split the world into various territories. Cole decided it was time to address the world once again, but didn’t speak to its leaders, instead to its people. He said that humanity had been through too much and grown too strong to let its leaders dash it all to pieces. Cole planned to return the world to the way it had once been and even better. He’d reared in the monster, now called Hamidon, which was tied into the Earth itself and could be used to cleanse and heal the planet. But Cole needed humankind to trust him to lead them to a new and better future. It worked like clockwork and the people demanded that their leaders do as Cole asked. Some governments joined willingly, while those that resisted were destroyed and all the world’s nations dissipated. Cole renounced his former title as the world’s consul and received the title of emperor.

Emperor of Praetoria

For 25 years, Cole did all that he promised and the world saw many new advancements without war and conflict. A new force of loyal robots created by Dr. Raymond Keyes known as the Clockwork would become the world’s new workforce. They were always on time, ready to work, and worked with high precision and earned Keyes the Nobel Prize and a position in Cole’s council of advisers. The nuclear wastelands were now farmlands and thriving forests, cities were highly advanced, and oceans were clean and free of all pollution. The people of the world were clothed, fed, and educated while the Clockwork let humans pursue more enjoyable activities. Cole had created a true utopia and he and his Praetors protected the people from all threats, including the growing source of villainy called Primal Earth (the universe of the Statesman and the main universe of City of Heroes/Villains). To many, Cole was a savior, but there was a dark side to his accomplishments. While many respected and were devoted to him, those who knew the truth behind his lies feared him and few dared to stand against him. Nothing could stop the hushed whispers in the streets and alleys, where Cole was known by another name. Tyrant. In actuality, Tyrant believed that “Might Makes Right” and having conquered his own world; he turned his gaze to Primal Earth. He ruled his empire with an iron fist and only the fanatic loyalty of Neuron and his creations kept Tyrant upon his throne.


Tyrant possesses all of the same super powers as his Primal Earth counterpart, the Statesman. This includes flight, superhuman strength, invulnerability, laser vision, and energy charged punches. Tyrant is ageless, immortal unless killed, and can only be killed by another Incarnate. Unlike Statesman though - Tyrant's powers are revealed to be rooted in invoking Tartarus, not Zeus. Pushed to the edge, Tyrant sets his city alight with the flames of Tartarus and invokes the souls of the damned dead for power. Anyone killed in Tyrant's field of hellfire is trapped in a soul prison - other Incarnates may break the prison, but anyone else is kept in a state of limbo - presumably until their powers are used up replenishing Tyrant.


  • Tyrant is unique amongst the Archvillains in the game in that he spawns at a minimum of 50 no matter the level of the character who takes the mission in which Tyrant appears.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.