Markus Fenix (pictured below), anti-hero and protagonist of the futuristic shooter series Gears of War, definitely is a modern hero. There is no resemblance to classic super-benevolent heroes like Superman, the A-Team or Hulk Hogan. Markus Fenix clearly follows in the footsteps of “bad guys” such as Batman, John McLane or Stone Cold Steve Austin.
At the beginning of the first Gears of War game, Fenix is locked in a prison cell as the Locust (humanoid aliens who stereotypically hate humans) attack. He first appears to be a cynical man with no care for anyone. He seems to like excessive violence more than anything else – which is, let’s be honest, convenient for a shooter game. Before his imprisonment, he was a distinguished Gear. Gears are highly trained and tough infantry soldiers. Fenix excelled in this role. He even earned the highest military award!
Soon it becomes clear he was not imprisoned for a selfish reason; he abandoned his military post in order to make an attempt to save his father. Unfortunately, his attempt was futile, and his father is supposedly dead now. Furthermore, this action resulted in his dishonourable discharge and ultimately, four years in a dilapidated prison.
As the game starts, he is released by his old friend Dominic Santiago. Both share some characteristic traits: They like to dismember their enemies and they love excessive swearing and vulgarity in many forms. But they have one more thing in common: They care about their families (Santiago is looking for his wife who had gone missing). They don’t shy away from taking detours to even follow hopeless trails to find their families.
However, it is also hinted several times that Fenix’ relationship towards his father is a troubled one. It is known his father lied to him about the death of Markus’ mother and that he did not want Markus to join the Gears. Therefore, Markus seems to hold a grudge against his father.
Soon, Fenix and Santiago join the Delta Squad, a team of elite soldiers chosen to fight deep behind enemy lines. Their mission is to destroy the tunnel system of the Locust horde. Markus Fenix does not only redeem his status as a war hero but during the events of Gears of War, he gets promoted to Sergeant. Fenix eventually kills General RAAM, the antagonist, and plays the biggest part in detonating the lightmass bomb.
In Gears of War 2, it is revealed that the Locust are far from finished. With his reputation restored, Markus Fenix is finally regarded a proper war hero again. However, this does not save him from tragic events: He hands a severely injured friend a shotgun – but his friend decides to kill himself instead of fighting the Locust. Fenix was also seen shaken when his friends Carlos Santiago and Ben Carmine died. In times like these, Markus’ hard shell cracks a little – but he does not allow anyone else to witness his weakness.
Gears of War 3 will greet Markus Fenix with a huge surprise: His father Alan Fenix is still alive! Will Markus is able to forgive his father? Will the Gears be able to defeat the Locust horde for good?
Find out on 20 September when Gears of War 3 will be released.
John is a guest blogger from HMV.com where you can pre-order Gears of War 3 online now