Alex Merkel was born into the unhealthy environment created by her father's cult. Her father was initially disappointed at having a daughter, but she grew up to be very beautiful and soon became his favorite (though it is heavily implied that his favor included sexual abuse.) Perhaps due to the abuse, she became close to her older brother, Peter Jr., the only one of Ragdoll's legitimate children to be born without triple-jointedness. Peter Jr. loved Alex dearly, and in their teenage years it is heavily implied the two had an incestuous relationship.
As adults, Peter Junior and Alex went their separate ways. Peter sought to become a better criminal than his father, and thus spent a dozen years in and out of hospitals, having all of his joints surgically replaced with self-lubricating prosthetics. When it was all done, he took the moniker Ragdoll, and later joined the Secret Six.
Alex's path is harder to trace. Feeling that her external beauty was nothing more than a mask for her inner ugliness, she mutilated herself, sewing her eyes permanently open and her lips permanently parted. She also stitched little red patches on her nose and cheeks. Taking the name "Junior" and passing herself off as a man, she then began a criminal empire on the West Coast. Hiding herself within a box in the cellar of a gay strip club, she managed to acquire two henchmen, former conjoined twins named Tig and Aaron, and sent them to bring the leaders of all of the local gangs before her. Those who pledged their loyalty to "him" lived; those who didn't were raped and tortured until they offered up their loved ones to suffer in their stead... and then they were killed, with their very messy remains put on display as a warning.
Alex never showed her face to anyone except those she killed. Even the two brothers were ordered to wear blindfolds around her. On the few occasions when she ventured outside, she would wear a mask that covered up her whole head. Nobody was truly sure "Junior" existed, but nobody wanted to take the risk of angering him.
More recently, an FBI agent, Catalina Flores, learned of Junior's existence from a dying criminal. She sent an FBI task force after Junior, but found only an empty crate. Managing to get ahold of Junior's accountant, Ira Shelton, she tricked him into stealing a special card from Junior, one that allowed whoever posessed it to not go to hell when they die. This brought Junior into conflict with the Secret Six, who'd been hired to escort Flores (and the card) to Gotham, and thus she was briefly reunited with her older brother. Without the card Junior tried to get a priest to absolve her sins to escape hell, but killed him when he said he couldn't do it until Junior repented. Still seeking the return of the card, but remembering her older brother's kindness from their youth, she allowed him and his friends a head start to try and escape from her.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: "Junior" possesses monstrous strength, to the point of being able to rip a person's head off with little or no effort. She also seems to have a very high threshold of pain.
- Restricted Mobility: Whether due to self-mutilation or some pre-existing condition, Junior cannot walk without the use of crutches.
- 10 Appearances of Alex Merkel (New Earth)
- 1 Images featuring Alex Merkel (New Earth)
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