Pillar Men

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Awaken, my masters! (目覚めたまえッ! 我が主たちよ!Mezame tamae! Waga omotachi yo!)


The Pillar Men (柱の男 Hashira no Otoko) are four powerful humanoids that serve as the primary antagonistic force in the second part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Battle Tendency.

Summary

Esidisi revealing his true form

The Pillar Men are from a race of ancient, humanoid, super-human beings. These beings are now nearly extinct, but used to live hundreds of thousand of years ago in the American continent. They are highly intelligent, extremely strong, and able to manipulate their bodies to a very fine degree; however, they are vulnerable to the rays of the Sun and to the Ripple.

Their physiology is very different from humans, though outwardly they appear very similar. The only visible feature that can differentiate them from humans is the horns on their forehead. An individual being can possess one or several small horns; for them, displaying their horns is a sign of honor. Moreover, these beings are inherently powerful, have athletic physiques exclusively, and have long life spans. Their near immortality causes them to produce only very few children, as there is little need, and sleep for millennia instead of hours, staying awake for comparable periods.

The four remaining representatives of this species in the world are Kars, Esidisi, Wamuu, and Santana, in descending order of hierarchy, now called "Pillar Men" since they were discovered sleeping inside stone pillars. Led by Kars, this group awakens in 1938 to continue seeking out the Red Stone of Aja, which, combined with their technology of the Stone Mask, will transform them into "ultimate beings" immune even to the Sun.

Members

Powers and Abilities

Superhuman Body

The Pillar Men generally have vastly superior physical abilities than humans in all aspects, surpassing by far even the strongest of Vampire.

Super StrengthLink to this section
User(s): All
Pillar men strength.gif
While a Vampire can exert a pressure of 235 kg/cm² with his fingers,[1] the Pillar Men have an even greater strength. Santana's Rib Blades can exert a pressure of 825 kg/cm²[2] and his finger pressure would have been about 925 kg/cm² if Stroheim's estimates were accurate.[3] Wamuu was also able to casually break a stone pillar then lift it to crush Joseph Joestar.[4]
Super ToughnessLink to this section
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Pillar men endurance.gif

The Pillar Men's bodies are exceptionally tough. For instance, Esidisi was able to swallow a dynamite stick and withstand its explosion in his stomach.[5] Similarly, Kars was not wounded when he fell off a 175 m tall cliff.[6] The Pillar Men have also a high resilience to pain and think little of losing limbs or piercing themselves on spikes. In fact, they can still function even if they are cut in half or even reduced to a head or a brain. However, the Ripple constitute a weakness for them. While their skin can resist a sufficiently weak Ripple and disperse it, a concentrated Ripple can pierce their skin and melt their bodies.

Super SpeedLink to this section
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Pillar men speed.gif

Pillar Men are able to move extremely quickly, as Wamuu demonstrates when he moves between the soldiers of a platoon and ties them together before they are able to react.[7]

Super SensesLink to this section
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Pillar Men possess extremely enhanced senses. These are demonstrated a number of times, such as Santana sniffing out the area like a dog, or Kars being able to detect the number of people in a room via heat signatures.[8] Likewise, Wamuu's horn allows him to read the wind and detect other object via their breathing.[9]
Super IntelligenceLink to this section
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Pillar men intelligence.gif
The Pillar Men's most dangerous trait is their superior intelligence. They are capable of perfect recall and are able to instantly analyze and understand the mechanics behind anything including complicated things such as languages, machinery, tactics, systems, and people's minds and actions, within a matter of seconds. Santana instantly learned the procedure to dissemble a gun that might have taken a human hours to learn; and Esidisi was able to match Joseph in wits. The Pillar Men were also able to learn the modern language in moments, just by listening to others speak.

Advanced Powers

High-Level Body ManipulationLink to this section
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Pillar men rip blade.gif

The Pillar Men can freely change and manipulate their bodies to a greater degree and speed than any vampire created by the Stone Masks, being able to dislocate or even break their own bones as well as flatten organs in order to achieve any form they desire. Even if a body part is severed, the Pillar Men can still remotely control them. With their near-immortality and powers of regeneration, they can survive, endure attacks, and restore their bodies even after being reduced to only their brain. They can also slip into another organism's body and control them from the inside. One victim said he felt an overwhelming pleasing sensation thanks to that.

AbsorptionLink to this section
User(s): All
Pillar men absorption 02.gif

The Pillar Men's main method of sustenance is absorbing living beings (including Vampires) via any form of physical contact. A Pillar Man's body is composed of cells that release a digestive acid, which melt the victim at a cellular level, creating the illusion that the Pillar Man is absorbing a victim into its body. The cells also appear to induce an euphoric enzyme as victims subjected to the process do not feel anything until physical contact is broken. The surviving Pillar Men displayed this ability in creative ways: Santana forced himself into another's body to control their movement while eating them from the inside, Wamuu grafted the hands of multiple targets and absorbed their innards by simply touching one, and Esidisi grafted a human limb to himself after losing his original forearm. This ability is ineffective against Ripple users as the cells perceive the danger posed by their energy.

Elemental Battle ModeLink to this section
User(s): Wamuu, Esidisi, Kars
Kars blade.gif
The more experienced Pillar Men each have their own special fighting style, characterized by a specific "element" such as fire, wind, or light. Powers based around these elements are referred to as "Modes" (流法(モード) Mōdo, lit. "Flow Method").

This ability and their body manipulation appear to only be usable by those associated with Kars and the Stone Masks; the Pillar Men race originally used primitive weapons such as spears before they were massacred.[10]

Ultimate BeingLink to this section
User(s): Kars
Debut: Chapter 108: JoJo: The Final Ripple, Part 2 / Episode 25: The Birth of a Superbeing!!
KarsExposed.png
A Pillar Man can become an Ultimate Being (究極の生命体(アルティミット・シイング) Arutimitto Shīngu, lit. "Ultimate Thing") by activating a Stone Mask affixed with the Red Stone of Aja. So far, only Kars has been seen to become an Ultimate Being. A Pillar Man in this state becomes much more powerful, with a massive enhancement to his overall capabilities and as well as new ones:
  • Being unaffected by sunlight
  • Complete immortality
  • The ability to reshape their body on a cellular level to that of any kind of human, animal or plant
  • The ability to use the Ripple

History

The powerful race later known as the Pillar Men

The Pillar Men come from an ancient race of humanoids that possess extraordinary strength, intelligence and lifespan. This race once ruled the Earth, living at the top of the food chain and consuming humans who regarded them as either gods to be worshiped or demons to be feared. However, because of their great abilities and physique, the race followed the "rule of evolution" regarding the trophic level: the "higher" it "evolved", the fewer its population became. They remained unable to overcome their adversity to sunlight, yet were content with their lives regardless.

Kars using the first Stone Mask

One among this tribe named Kars did not accept his kind's way of life and sought perfection. This led to Kars creating the Stone Mask to bring out his race's full potential through acupuncture. He found that the mask worked effectively on humans (though turning them into vampires), but the thickness of his species' skull only enabled the mask to partially unlock its full potential. The result was enhanced body manipulation, presumably unlocking the use of Elemental Battle Modes, with a increased hunger. Fearing the threat posed by Kars' genius, the tribe sought to execute him in order to maintain natural order. Kars retaliated by massacring most of his race, including his parents. Only Kars, his co-conspirator Esidisi, and two infant children (Wamuu and Santana), were the sole survivors of their race.

A mural depicting the 4 Pillar Men; from the top: Kars, Esidisi, Wamuu, Santana

The four remaining pillar men first appeared in human history 5000 years before Battle Tendency, capturing hundreds of thousands of humans for experimentation with the stone mask.[11] Kars found through his research that a flawless Red Stone of Aja called the Super Aja would be essential to perfect the Stone Mask and complete their transition into ultimate beings. To this end, Kars took Esidisi and Wamuu to the old world while leaving Santana behind in Mexico.

The three reached as far as imperial Rome where a emperor was rumored to possess a Super Aja, nearly wiping out the entire Ripple Clan in the process.[12] Unable to find the stone, the Pillar Men were forced to hibernate, fusing themselves into a stone wall hidden within a cave under the Colosseum near the 1st Century A.D. The wall itself was rigged by the Pillar Men as a trap to feed themselves on any greedy humans while sleeping, as seen with Mario Zeppeli. The Aztec correctly predicted that the Pillar Men would reawaken in the year 2852 of the Aztec calendar, the equivalent of the year 1938.

Battle Tendency

Santana resting

In the winter of 1939, the Speedwagon Foundation discovered a Mexican temple filled with stone masks and the body of Santana. Robert E. O. Speedwagon intended for Straizo to destroy Santana, only for the Ripple user to betray him and become a vampire, while also preventing the Pillar Man from awakening. The Nazis discover the other Pillar Men around this time, sending a research group under Rudol von Stroheim to extract and observe Santana. Once awakened prematurely, Santana kills everyone but Speedwagon and Stroheim before being confronted by Joseph Joestar. It is only the combined effort of Joseph and Stroheim's sacrifice that Santana was stopped and stored at the Speedwagon Foundation Headquarters.

The Pillar Men awaken after 2000 years

Several days later, Wamuu awakened himself and killed off the team watching over him before reviving Kars and Esidisi. Coincidentally, Speedwagon, Joseph and Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli along with a soldier named Mark came into the cave to join with the Nazis. When Wamuu inadvertently gave Mark an agonizing death, he provoked Caesar and defeated him. Wamuu also defeated Joseph, who lured him away from Caesar and Speedwagon while convincing Wamuu to spare him for a future confrontation. But Wamuu and Esidisi, the latter out of interest, placed their poisoned wedding rings in Joseph's body to force him to seek them. The three Pillar Men, after setting up base in the San Moritz hotel in Swizterland, proceed to search Europe for the Super Aja.

Esidisi battles against Joseph

Nearly a month later, Esidisi learned the Super Aja was in the possession of the Ripple Master Lisa Lisa and infiltrated Air Supplena Island where he killed Loggins. Though his body was destroyed by Joseph who took the first antidote, Esidisi, surviving as a disembodied nervous system, managed to possess Suzi Q and mailed the Super Aja to San Moritz. Esidisi was then safely extracted by Caesar and Joseph and destroyed by sunlight. Kars, fearing the worse when not contacted by Esidisi, sets out for the Swiss border and attempted to steal the Super Aja when the Nazis intercepted the package. It turned into a battle with Kars overwhelming a cybernetically-modified Stroheim while instinctively knowing Joseph killed Esidisi, letting him keep the stone while intending to personally kill him when the time comes.

Wamuu and Caesar near the end of their battle

Events accelerated when Caesar, learning of the Pillar Men's hideout, attempted to go after Kars in daylight, with Messina accompanying him to the San Moritz. The two were intercepted by Wamuu after he returned from Greece, incapacitating Messina while engaging Caesar. A fight ensues, and by the time Joseph and Lisa Lisa reach the building, Caesar is already dead. Following the trail of Wamuu's blood, the two ripple users find the remaining two Pillar Men surrounded by an army of Vampires. Lisa Lisa bluffed that the Red Stone would be destroyed if neither of them return to it, proposing two one-on-one death matches to settle things. Kars accepted the challenge and let Joseph go with Messina to get the stone, keeping Lisa Lisa as a hostage while setting a meeting point at the arena of Skeleton Heel Stone.

Kars revealing his true colors

Once at Skeleton Heel Stone, Joseph engages Wamuu in a chariot race to the death and managed to defeat him in an epic battle between two honorable warriors. Kars, having no intention of honoring his contract, ambushed Lisa Lisa during their fight with a body double, seized the Red Stone of Aja, and sicced his army against an exhausted Joseph. A timely intervention from the German Army and the Speedwagon Foundation, armed with miniature UV lights, saves Joseph who manages to outwit and defeat Kars. Cornered, Kars uses the UV lights to activate his Stone Mask with the Red Stone to evolve into the ultimate being.

Kars drifting through space for eternity

Now an invincible immortal, Kars proceeds to act on his obsession to kill Joseph as the human flees by plane to lure the Pillar Man into an active volcano. Joseph manages to force Kars into a lava pit with Stroheim's help, but the Pillar Man eventually develops a defense and emerges unscathed while slicing Joseph's left forearm off. As Kars goes to deals the final blow with his own newly-found Ripple, Joseph uses the Super Aja to transfer the energy into the ground to trigger a volcanic eruption. With Joseph egging him to keep him from escaping, Kars ends up knocked out of Earth's atmosphere and freezes in the vacuum of space. Immobile and immortal, Kars gradually ceased intelligent thought while drifting off into deep space.

Trivia

  • The Pillar Men's appearances are based on a combination of Roman sculptures, the Great Sphinx of Giza, and the Nio Buddhist guardians.[13]
  • Their names share phonetic similarity with three rock bands and a pop band:

References

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