Quote1.png I got a business to run -- you remember it? One that Pops left us? One I have to run myself because you're a manure fire? The House was supposed to improve you, not turn you into... this. Quote2.png
-- Junior src


Early Life

When their father died, Charles Hardiaken and his older brother, Junior, were left with the remains of the family business, a traveling sideshow carnival. Junior transformed the business into a front for a criminal enterprise he dubbed The Children of Liberty, and began kidnapping people and having them transformed by an alien within the Haunted House, giving them special powers and forcing them into his criminal "Family" to work as carnies and enforcers for him. Eventually, Junior subjected Charlie to the same treatment, justifying that his younger brother was "a manure fire" that was never going to be of any use otherwise, and that the transformation could "improve" him, but the brothers were dismayed when Charlie's transformation changed him into a disgusting, writhing mass of worms. Despite the disappointment in his new self, Charlie continued to work for Junior, but frequently found himself getting distracted and killing random residents of Valentine County, frequently forcing Junior to clean up his messes.[1]

The Children of Liberty vs. Hyperion

When Junior's daughter, Doll, escaped before she could be subjected to the Haunted House, Junior dispatched the Children of Liberty to track her across Nebraska.[2] Among those dispatched were Charlie, who became distracted when he noticed a young couple making out in the woods. Seeing a couple so happy, and knowing that he would never have such happiness himself, drove Charlie mad and he attacked the couple, consuming them. Unfortunately for Charlie, this murder attracted the attention of Hyperion, who had been wrapped up in protecting Doll. They tracked the remaining worms at the crime scene to an abandoned house in the woods where Worm-Boy was hiding out and attacked the pair.[3]

While Hyperion was able to free Doll from the worms attacking her with his heat vision, he was quickly overwhelmed by the sheer numbers that Charlie was able to attack with, and he began to consume Hyperion from the inside out. Thinking quickly, Doll severed the wire of a nearby toaster and used the electrical current to electrocute Hyperion, hoping that the hero's durability would save him, but fry the worms. She succeeded in freeing Hyperion from Worm-Boy's grip, but Charlie was able to escape and reconfigure his form back at the Valentine County Carnival. While Junior was furious to hear that Charlie had killed more random civilians yet again, Charlie was able to offset his mood by revealing that he had found Doll, and his powers were finally good for something, hurting Hyperion. Before the Hardiaken brothers meeting could conclude; however, Hyperion arrived at the carnival and attacked the pair, looking to end the conflict before it could escalate further.[1]

Hyperion then engaged the fight with the carnies, but was defeated by Worm-Boy yet again, and brought into the Haunted House as hostage. When Doll came to save him, she encountered the mysterious alien creature that had changed the carnies and tried to change her too, but she able was to resist it, after promising to free it from the Family. After recovering from injuries to his eyes, Hyperion then shot his Atomic Vision to the mirrors around him, all at once hurting his opponent. He then took Doll out of the Haunted House, while destroying the Carnival and killing Worm-Boy before they fled.[4]


Worm Body: Charlie's entire body is actually comprised of unique worms, near identical to several species of Earth worm with the addition of his Human DNA, allowing him to mold his shape and mass at will. Outside of combat, he is able to configure his shape to look identical to a human and pass himself off as a carnie, while in a fight, he is able to disperse his entire form into a horde of smaller worms, forcing himself down the throats of his targets and consuming them from the inside out.[3]

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