Commissioner Walker Stone
If Mayor Levitt is a hand stabbing at the throat of our industry, Walker Stone is the knife he’s using to do it. He is a driven, charismatic, and capable man: under his leadership, the SPD has reached record-high recruitment and conviction rates, with record low civilian casualties. His crowning achievement is undoubtedly the wholesale disassembly of the Gambino crime empire; though his ongoing prosecution of the Rasputins may one day supplant it. Perhaps most important of all is his incredible devotion to duty: despite being successfully assassinated 3 separate times, Stone has served an unbroken tenure as commissioner for the last 36 years. In fact, he aced the Bendis-Bagley Continuity Test all 3 times—making him the only certified static personality to hold public office in the city of Saskatoon.
Not everything about him is smiles and sunshine, however. Stone rose to office amidst controversy about his origins and character—controversy which persists to this day, and puts him under near-constant scrutiny: on his homepage Stone was a villain, and a particular nasty one at that. In Kings of America, Walker Stone was a corrupt county sheriff whose actions were often amoral or even cruel. In the series, the county police force is overstretched and underfunded, with violent crime spiraling out of control. Over time, Walker comes to believe that the limited order imposed by the area’s crime cartels was better than the lack of order presented by the civil government; and so allows several organized crime groups to reach prominence.
In the climactic act of the story, Ariel Levitt—the main character—discovers that Walker is secretly the King of Stone, and has the power to telekinetically manipulate stone and rock. The two briefly engage in a super-powered duel, before the more experienced Stone overpowers and kills Levitt by impaling him through the heart with a spear of solid rock. In the series finale, Stone falsely eulogizes Levitt as a victim of gang violence, and uses his death to rally the people of Levitt’s hometown in support of increased police funding. In the closing monologue of issue #6, Stone remarks that “the real tragedy is that the world will always need more dead dreamers.”
Many people were understandably nervous at the prospect of this man being put in charge of the police force. However, despite being the antagonist of the picture, Walker Stone was never portrayed as villainous—only as pragmatic and impersonal, almost to the point of inhumanity. Prior to I-day, the efficacy of his system raised frequent debate among fans of the series about whether he was truly a villain or merely an anti-hero.
After I-day, he leveraged his reputation to his advantage during several civilian careers as a lecturer, security consultant, and talk show panelist—all of which were cut short by his deaths. His fourth incarnation briefly entertained returning to the talk show circuit, before ultimately partnering with Ariel Levitt during Levitt’s mayoral bid. During the campaign, he repeatedly stressed that his actions in Kings of America were the result of extreme duress; and the size of the Saskatoon PD would allow him to work fully within the confines of the law. As a show of good faith, he regularly submits to and cooperates with the RMBI; and his approach to internal misconduct is notoriously strict—often relying on punitive measures that far exceed other cities’.
As a person, Stone is known to be stern and pensive. He prefers to listen rather than speak, and he does not like to waste words. Despite being known as a pragmatist and a tight ship-runner, those subordinates of his who remain faithful to the law say that he is understanding and reasonable, if not necessarily kind. The phrase “firm but fair” is often applied to him—though a number of less charitable things are said by those who find his single-minded devotion to the law tiresome or inconvenient. Either way, he has done a fine job of getting results—he did more than his fair share to bring Saskatoon’s Onyx age to a screeching halt, and shows no sign of stopping.