Planetary: The Second Field Team
William Leather should have been a superman.
As far as he knew, his grandfather had been the Dead Ranger, a masked vigilante who hunted the vicious Dowling gang in 19th Century Texas. His father was a Century Baby, born at midnight on January 1st, 1900, and used his strange and powerful abilities to fight crime as Dark Millionaire. By all rights, William should have inherited some kind of super-powers.
He would have, if his mother hadn’t been unfaithful to her husband. William Leather was the son of a loanshark named Danny Vincenzo, with whom Miriam Leather had been having an affair. There was no family legacy for William to inherit, other than money.
Bitter and angry at his fate, William was easily convinced by Randall Dowling to join him on a mission to glory – the first manned flight to the moon – in 1961. Leather joined the crew, and was as surprised as the others to find a rift in space on their way. The ship was swallowed by The Bleed, the interdimensional buffer zone between universes. When their ship emerged, they were in orbit around a technologically superior, and incredibly paranoid, Earth.
The inhabitants of this Earth viewed Leather’s as a potential threat, and made a deal with the four astronauts. They would be granted metahuman abilities. In return, they would do everything in their power to inhibit the progress of Earth so that it could be easily conquered and destroyed later. They agreed, and returned to Earth as The Four.
William Leather, like all members of The Four, is beyond most other metahumans. He is able to manipulate energy to very precise levels, can fly and seems to have some level of super-strength. He does a lot of the Four’s clean-up work, destroying evidence of aliens and advanced technologies. Despite his great power, he still feels resentful that he is not higher in Dowling’s eyes – that position is reserved for Kim Suskind. Leather was planning to subvert Dowling’s work and supplant him as the alien Earth’s contact.
Recently, William was captured and tortured for information by Elijah Snow, the leader of Planetary. He is currently undergoing psychiatric therapy to restore his mind, and physical therapy to restore his eyes.