Victor Alvarez is a young Dominican teenager from Hell's Kitchen (neighborhood in New York City) who primarily operates in Spanish Harlem. As a child, he was caught in an explosion, caused by Bullseye, that leveled an entire block, killing his father and hundreds of other people. Alvarez managed to survive the explosion by drawing upon the chi energy of those who did not survive the attack. As a result, he now possesses the ability to utilize chi in a similar manner to Iron Fist, Marvel's most famous practitioner of weaponized chi.
Victor Alvarez was created by comic writer Fred Van Lente and artist Mahmud A. Asrar. His first comic appearance was in 2010, during issue #1 of the Shadowland: Power Man mini series. Victor is one of the few Afro-Latino characters in mainstream comics and is of Afro-Dominican descent.
Major Story Arcs
During the events of Shadowland, Victor took on the alias "Power Man" and began using his abilities to fight crime. By advertising his services for money, via the internet, he became a self employed Hero for Hire. His actions eventually drew the attention of Iron Fist and Luke Cage, curators and founding members of the Heroes for Hire concept. Cage had initially used the alias "Power Man" during his early adventures and was curious of who the young teen was. However, Iron fist was first noted of the teen's presence by Hand ninja who were defeated by Victor, after he used the "Screaming Eagle Clap", which is an advanced chi based attack. After an altercation with Nightshade and the Flashmob, Cage and Iron Fist eventually learned that this new Power Man was the son of Shades, a Dominican criminal that Luke Cage had once befriended and fought in his youth. Though Victor was not initially fond of Cage (nor Iron Fist), he eventually allied himself with them to help stop the crazed Daredevil and his army of Hand ninjas.
Power Man & Iron Fist
Shortly after the events of Shadowland, Iron Fist took in the estranged chi wielding hero as his student. Victor accompanied Iron Fist on several adventures and the two became the new Power Man/Iron Fist combination.
Power Man would later go on to enroll and graduate from, the Avengers Academy, after some of the West Coast Avengers joined the school's staff. During the events of Fear Itself, Power Man was part of a ragtag team of teen superheroes, brought together under mysterious circumstances, called The Chosen.
During the events of Infinity, Victor and former classmate Ava Ayala, were offered internships by Luke Cage, who was thinking about reopening his Heroes for Hire business. Luke seemly offered the internship to Victor as a favor for Danny Rand (Iron Fist) to keep Victor out of trouble. After thwarting Parnival Plunder's plan to steal robot parts, the group had a run-in with the Superior Spider-Man. This "superior" Spider-Man is actually Doctor Octopus who, unbeknownst to other heroes, has placed his mind inside Peter Parker's body (readers commonly refer to him as "SpOck"), SpOck mentions that the Heroes for Hires concept makes them no different than "hired thugs", which angered Victor.
The two began to argue, which was later interrupted by Ava, who agreed with SpOck and had decided to resign from the internship. Upon leaving the scene, Ava said that she had no real interest in hero-ing for money and mentioned that she felt that they could (and should) be doing more.
Luke attempted to console Victor by taking him out for lunch. However, Vic was still fuming from SpOck' s comments, which he felt were hypocritical, seeing as Spider-Man (and some other Avengers) get financially compensated by STARK Industries. Luke agrees with Victor that SpOck's comments were inappropriate. He also agrees with Ava's comments about "doing more". Victor misinterprets this as Luke not wanting to be in the Hero for Hire business anymore, and storms out of the restaurant to clear his head. As he leaves, he states that he's going to form his own Avengers.
Later that day, he decided to go and check up on Ava. He located her by tracking her chi and when he arrived, she explained that she wanted to do more than stop low-leveled criminals from stealing machinery. They began to have a heart-felt conversation about their responsibilities as heroes, which was interrupted by the arrival of Thanos' forces. Victor and Ava go on to track down Luke, who was off fighting a weakened Shuma-Gorath alongside Blue Marvel, Monica Rambeau, SpOck, and "Spider Hero" (Blade). Gorath was released by Thanos' general, Ebony Maw, who used his abilities to manipulate Dr Strange into summoning him.
When Victor and Ava joined Luke and the others, he called them the "Mighty Avengers." During the battle, Victor absorbed a large amount of chi from the environment and used it to augment Ava's powers as she used her Jade Tiger Amulet to awaken the Tiger God. The powerful God was then able to subdue Shuma-Gorath long enough for Monica Rambeau to defeat him.
Chi Manipulation: Victor can absorb chi from his environment, granting him superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, generation of personal force fields and accelerated healing. He’s been shown surviving point-blank gunfire, and surviving the bombing of his home. His superhuman strength allows him to trade blows with Luke Cage. Victor glows when empowered, in the same way when Iron Fist powers up his chi fist punch.
Victor can explode chi outward through punches, and can channel messages through bioelectric frequencies. Victor once absorbed chi from multiple sources simultaneously, briefly growing giant-sized with increased strength. He sometimes experiences memories of those who died in the tenement's explosion.
Since Victor absorbs chi, chi based attacks like Danny Rand’s Iron fist technique and Hand ninja dis-corporation are rendered useless, due to Vic siphoning off the energy faster than it can be used. Since chi is life energy,Victor can absorb the very life force of those around him though he has not mastered it. Additionally when he hits things while using his powers they tend to explode.
- Energy Absorption: As a form of self defense, Victor absorbed the "spirit energy" of over a hundred people who were not as fortunate as him to survive an explosion. He has since then learned to hone and utilize his own chi as a weapon. Victor has even managed to absorbed the chi from Iron Fist's energy enhanced strikes.
- Energy Enhanced Strikes: Victor can enhanced the destructive ability of his punches by focusing chi to his fist, to a degree that the chi itself becomes visible. He commonly uses a highly advanced chi-based attack called the "Screaming Eagle Clap." According to Iron Fist, only one of his students had managed to master the technique. The student was killed during an explosion (that Victor survived) and Victor absorbed his spirit energy.
- Power Augmentation: Victor can boost the power levels of his allies, by complimenting their abilities with chi. He was able to greatly enhance the power level of Ava Ayala's Tiger Amulet, to a degree that it awoke the Tiger God that dwells within it.
- Skill Mimicry: When Victors building was destroyed he absorbed all the life force of those who died, and as a result gained the accumulated their knowledge, including one of Iron Fist's Thunder Dojo students, Javier. Javier was the only student who mastered the "Screaming Eagle Slap" but was killed in Bullseye's blast. Danny surmises that this is how Victor knows the K'un L'un technique without ever having practiced it himself.
Master Martial Artist:Victor is a formidable and skilled user of Kung-fu. His martial arts prowess comes from Javier, one of Iron Fist's most prodigious students, whose life force he absorbed. He's also the understudy of Iron Fist, and has received training in K'un-Lun martial art fighting techniques, since enrolling into Iron Fist's Thunder Dojo.
Body Suit: Víctor Álvarez wears a yellow and black body suit with metal embellishments, similar to the look of Luke Cage, the first Power Man.