- Huey: "In the story of Peter Pan, Peter is a symbol of completely cruel children who ignore concepts of good and evil. In contrast, although he is evil, Captain Hook is a symbol of logical adulthood. What, then, is the role of the ticking crocodile? From what angle do you intend to turn that urge to kill on me?"
- Ladd: "Unadulterated strength, amoral bloodlust, and unstoppable hunger. Disaster, in other words."
- — Ladd and Huey Laforet in 1934[src]
Ladd Russo (ラッド・ルッソ Raddo Russo) is a violent hitman formerly affiliated with the Russo Family who is known for his bloodlust and obsession with killing anyone who believes themselves to be invincible or otherwise safe from death.
Over the course of December 30–31, 1931, Ladd hijacks the Flying Pussyfoot with his followers with the intention of securing a ransom from the railroad company. He loses his left hand and the flesh off his forearm to the Rail Tracer during the journey, and is subsequently arrested by the police.
Once recovered, Ladd physically assaults another inmate while in prison in order to have himself condemned to Alcatraz, where he hopes to meet Huey Laforet. After three years of incarceration, he meets and befriends new Alcatraz inmates Isaac Dian and Firo Prochainezo and finally comes face to face with Huey by December 1934.
Two months later, Ladd is released from prison in February 1935 and is subsequently hired by Luck Gandor as extra muscle for an upcoming casino party at Ra's Lance. He remains unabashedly eager to kill his top three murder targets.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Ladd has silver-blond hair (darker blond hair in the anime) that has bangs hanging on either side above his eyebrows and blue eyes. He is usually associated with the white formal attire he wears for the Flying Pussyfoot hijacking, which he chose since bloodstains are striking against white cloth.
The actions of the Rail Tracer during the journey cause him to lose his left hand and the flesh of his left forearm all the way up to his elbow. He ends up having a metal prosthetic bolted to his arm bones; while it is as strong as his other arm, it breaks fairly easily. As for his right ear, which the Rail Tracer shoots, the anime depicts its tip as entirely blown off; however, the ear looks intact in a 1935-C illustration. This might be an oversight, since his right ear appears more deformed in 1935-D.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Ladd is a chatterbox sadist who finds genuine entertainment in killing others, acting on his bloodlust often whenever he pleases and living life however he pleases. He is always honest about who he is as a person, openly and intentionally reveling in his violent tendencies and forever content to wear his emotions on his sleeve in over-the-top animated fashion. Whether he is dancing in the blood of his murdered friend, hugging his opponents as thanks for the entertainment, or melodramatically complaining about how he lost fair and square while standing on his head, his constant need to burn off his endless excess energy ensures that he does not just wear his emotions on his sleeve, he broadcasts them for all the world to hear.
Though some may dismiss him as 'crazed' or a 'brawn-over-brains' brutish thug, he is more intelligent than others give him credit for. He is a killer, but he is not a mindless killer; it is not that he cannot plan, he simply does not. In 1931, it is Ladd who bothers to gather information on the consequences his uncle’s bad decisions will have for the Family and concludes that it will be untenable for him to remain, his grasp on the situation proving more thorough than Placido's own. As Placido concludes, Ladd "[is] the type of man who always [comes] to action from nothing more than rough ideas, then [forces] those actions to succeed through on-the-spot calculations made in response to each individual moment."
Above all else, Ladd takes the greatest pleasure in killing those who arrogantly believe themselves invincible or otherwise 'safe', not even considering the possibility that they might die until he reminds them of their mortality. Meanwhile, he is most likely to befriend those who are constantly cognizant of their own mortality (e.g. Firo and Nader Schasschule), as fear towards death is perfectly natural and deserving of respect. Others whom he either respects or appreciates are those who fight fearlessly (like Chané Laforet), or enthusiastically subscribe to his personal philosophy (e.g. Graham Specter). While Isaac is none of these things, Ladd recognizes that his lack of fear toward death stems from sheer obliviousness rather than arrogance and treats him amiably as a result.
Most troublesome of all for Ladd are people with lifeless eyes, those who are resigned to or actively seeking death. While he has no idea how to handle men with lifeless eyes, such as Fred, women who possess them are exactly his type. His fiancée Lua Klein is one such woman, and his genuine love for her manifests a softer, warmer side of him than one is used to. They both find the idea of her dying by his own hands honestly romantic, though his caveat that he will only kill her after he has killed 'everyone else in the world' suggests that he does not intend to kill her for a long while yet.
Ladd has mellowed considerably in the years following his defeat at the hands of the Rail Tracer, and he is a tad more humble and less hate-driven than he once was. Some of his hardline worldviews have softened, including his his opinion of giving mercy to strangers; he views the concept with far less disgust in 1934 than he does in 1931.
While it is clear that he possesses a friendly side in 1931 and does care for his friends' well-being (as seen when he seeks revenge for Dune), his capacity for affableness and loyalty towards those he calls 'friend' is especially prominent in 1934 and 1935. Once Ladd views someone as his friend, they are his friend whether they like it or not and he will respect their wishes and defend them accordingly. No matter how much Ladd despises Raz Smith, he has and continues to refrain from killing him because he is one of Graham's idols; when Nader - who never wanted to be Ladd's friend in the first place - points out that he could simply take the money Ladd gave him and run, Ladd immediately acknowledges that the fault would be his own for making a wrong call, and assures Nader that he would not give chase.
Though Ladd has mellowed to a degree, he is still a violent man at his core and will become restless if he goes too long without a good fight. His antipathy toward arrogant, self-perceived 'invincible' people remains as strong as ever, and Sham, Victor Talbot, and Salomé Carpenter's personalities antagonize him just as they would have done back in 1931. However, there are only a few people in 1935 who instantly send his bloodlust levels skyrocketing and leave him consumed with hatred. The three who top his 'kill list' are: Felix Walken; Huey Laforet; and Melvi Dormentaire.
Chronology[edit | edit source]
Pre-1931[edit | edit source]
Born in either 1906 or 1907 in Chicago, Ladd's upbringing is by and large an ordinary one despite his uncle Placido Russo's ties to underworld society. He befriends a local boy nicknamed Who early on in his childhood, along with a local senator's daughter called Leila, neither of whom are homicidal or otherwise abnormal. In truth, there is no particular trauma, incident, or other external factor that leads Ladd to develop his homicidal tendencies as a child; the first impulse towards slaughter simply pops into his head one day, when he begins to wonder what the difference is between people who die and people who do not.
The search for an answer eats away at him for some time, warping his heart and convictions with bloodlust until he is irreversibly homicidal. His outlook grows worse as he and his friends grow and learn more about the world, and though he tries to hide his tendencies from Leila, she and Who both notice his obvious change and demeanor but say nothing.
Leila and Ladd take it upon themselves to intervene whenever Who is bullied, which happens often enough that the two develop a routine: first, Leila slaps the bully in order to aggravate him; once the bully is enraged, Ladd hefts a brick and has his own go at the offender – however, Leila always stops him before he can beat the bully to death.
As youths on the cusp of adulthood, Ladd and Leila come to mistake their friendship for love and eventually decide to elope. It is during their elopement that Leila dies in unknown circumstances, though Ladd makes it very clear that she did not die at his hands. Leila's death leaves a mark on Ladd's psyche; where he had previously been happy to kill anyone and everyone, it is only after her death that his homicidal interests narrow to individuals who think themselves invincible.
Returning to the Russo Family following Leila's death, Ladd starts carrying out hits on his uncle's behalf and swiftly earns a reputation in the Chicago underworld as a dangerous hitman.
At some point in the years following Nebula's founding, a young Ladd breaks into the office of Nebula chairman Cal Muybridge on a dare and announces his intention to kill him. Cal's unfazed attitude at the prospect of his own murder negates whatever bloodlust Ladd previously possessed, and he decides to spare Cal's life.
In 1929, Ladd comes across a bunch of boxers-turned-gangsters assaulting a young mechanic by the name of Graham Specter. Ladd says to the thugs: "There are no stars, and I've got no hope left. Just kill me." He then punches one of the goons in the mouth, explaining that in telling the thugs to kill him, he has given the thugs the right to kill him and be killed by him.
Graham is so inspired by Ladd's teachings that he dismantles the rest of the thugs' joints, and idolizes Ladd from that point forward. Ladd considers Graham his sworn younger brother in turn. (Note: Graham and Ladd's first meeting went differently in the anime. See Episode 14).
1931[edit | edit source]
Ladd seeks out Who on December 29 with the aim of recruiting him for a hijacking of the luxury transcontinental Flying Pussyfoot. Who spends over three hours trying to talk him out of it, and Ladd spends the next four hours convincing him to join. Ladd is ultimately successful.
The next day, Ladd visits Placido's office on December 30 and announces his plan to hijack the Flying Pussyfoot and force the railroad company into paying him a ransom – a plan which he suggests will solve the Russo Family's recent financial troubles. Placido's disgusted call for the guards to remove his nephew is answered in the form of several White Suits entering the room, accompanied by Lua Klein.
Ladd introduces Lua as his "girlfriend, lover, and fiancée," and his friends as people who share his particular predilections. The pleasantries are wasted on his uncle, who grabs Ladd by the collar and warns him to keep the massacre completely separate from the Russo name. Ladd, unfazed, agrees that it is more fun to kill people for the sake of killing, rather than using the Family's name as an excuse.
Placido snarls that if he likes killing people so much he should go play mercenary in the battlefields of South America, where he can easily satisfy his delusions. Ladd, forcing Placido to release his collar, argues that neither he nor Placido have the right to talk about soldiers; a battlefield is for warriors, people who are prepared to die in order to kill others while defending themselves – people who are no fun to kill.
Ladd takes out a rifle as he rants and points it at Placido's chin, asking if Placido understands anything he has just said. When Placido remains silent, Ladd remarks that while him and his friends do not care about killing stronger foes, that does not mean they target 'weaklings' like women and children: instead, the people Ladd like to kill are those who are utterly relaxed, the thought that they might die never once having crossed their mind. The implication that Placido is Ladd's 'type' is obvious.
His uncle's pleas for his life turn into a shriek when he pulls the trigger, but the rifle proves to have been empty all along. With a quiet laugh, Ladd assures Placido that he would never have killed him – even someone like Ladd will have some respect for the man who looked after him in childhood. Watching his uncle collapse, he remarks that this will probably be the last time they ever see each other, and wishes his uncle to take care.
Before Ladd leaves, he clarifies that he would likely not be able to come back to the Russos even if he wanted to. He reminds Placido that he is almost certainly on Lucky Luciano's hit list after he tried protesting Luciano's reorganization proposal, and that Luciano is far more threatening than Ladd will ever be. Even if the local guards are competent enough to prevent Placido from ending up like Salvatore Maranzano, Ladd has reason to believe that the local police and tax office have their eyes on Placido as well – potentially planning to use him as a scapegoat to take Chicago back from the mafia. As a further blow, he notes that the 'old Placido' would have retorted with a good comeback by now, whereas the Placido in front of him did not even try to fight back upon seeing the rifle.
Placido finally thinks to ask what Ladd has done to his guards, and Ladd reassures him he only knocked the guards out – though they might have a few broken bones. His remark that it is 'lucky' Placido's grandchild is still at school only further antagonizes his uncle, who demands to know why Ladd had bothered to stop by in the first place if he was just going to leave.
With a look of anxiety, Ladd asks if Placido could gift him his old white suit as a wedding gift. The question is so abrupt that Placido momentarily forgets his anger to ask why Ladd's friends are all dressed in white, but Ladd's answer sends chills running down his spine: "If we're gonna destroy dozens of lives in that cramped little space of a train, all that white's gonna make the blood look gorgeous, don't you think, uncle?"
Ladd changes into Placido's suit on the Russos' black double-decker bus while in transit to Chicago's Union Station. He remarks to Lua that it is a perfect fit, and she asks him why he really refrained from killing Placido, as he would have normally. His answer, that it is 'best' to attend a party on an empty stomach, leads her to call him 'sick.' While on the bus, he celebrates the "grand opening" of their party with his dozens of followers.
He and his group arrive at the station that evening, where his vow to massacre every last one of the passengers is met with high enthusiasm from his friends. While his followers board the Second Class cars, Ladd expresses his pleasure that they are traveling Second Class - neither the best or the worst, neither here nor there. He wonders what kind of "filthy rich bastards" ride in First Class, and upon remembering a black-clad orchestra boarding First Class on the platform, comments that their black is a wonderful contrast to the Russo white.
Ladd asks his friends who else they spotted on the platform once they are all on the train, and one of them pipes up that he saw two people whom he believes to Natalie Beriam and Mary Beriam, wife and daughter to Senator Manfred Beriam. Ladd immediately latches on to the idea that a Senator's family would be carefree in First Class, feeling perfectly safe, and decides that the Beriams will be his first victims.
The connecting door to the second class car opens, and a mysterious man dressed in grey walks past them to exit through the other connecting door. The White Suits wonder who he is, comparing his appearance to that of a magician, and Ladd is filled with excitement at how interesting the situation is becoming. An orchestra, a Senator's family, and a magician are variety, and variety is exciting.
Several hours into the journey, he and the other White Suits draw straws to see who will have the pleasure of hijacking the dining car. Vicky wins the draw, much to his disappointment, and he is left to wallow in envy until Lua suggests that he can at least check on the dining car. As he exits his compartment to do just that, a delinquent accidentally bumps into him and apologizes profusely for doing so; he stops long enough to explain that he is looking for the Young Conductor and that everyone is in great danger, and then takes off running.
Ladd, watching him go, finally realizes way the teenager looks familiar - he is Jacuzzi Splot, a wanted man whose head has a bounty on it courtesy of the Russo Family. Intrigued, Ladd leans back into the compartment and asks Lua to go investigate the conductors' compartment, and, if she spots a 'tattooed kid' to grab him on his behalf. Lua and Who exit the compartment as bid.
Excited by another interesting twist, Ladd's pace quickens as he heads for the dining car. Nice Holystone and Donny run past him, and then Lua and Who, with tense expressions on their face. When gunfire sounds off from the dining car not long after, it is soon followed by Nick tearing past him and hollering murder. Unable to contain himself any further, Ladd breaks out into a run at the sound of screams in the distance.
Inside the dining car, Ladd finds Vicky dead in the aisle and three armed members of the black-suited orchestra - the Lemures - standing at the other end of the car, one wounded. Ladd uses the tommy gun of one Lemur to kill the other healthy Lemur, and lets the wounded Lemur run back to first class. He then proceeds to box the remaining Lemur to death, learning in the process that the Lemures' leader is a man called Huey Laforet.
Once the Lemur is dead, Ladd informs Natalie Beriam that he will return for her and her daughter after he has dealt with the Black Suits. He returns to his compartment with his friends after retrieving Vicky's handgun and the Lemures' machine guns, briefs them that the Lemures are now their main enemies, and orders them to split up while they go after the Black Suits. His own first mission is to find Lua (and Who, who have both gone missing), and he eventually locates them, Jack, and Nick the raggedy-man tied up in a freight hold.
Noting the odd lack of guards, Ladd frees Lua and Who while ignoring Nick and Jack. Both men protest, but Nick eventually makes the mistake of calling Jack by his name; Ladd, enthused, takes the opportunity to test whether all men named Jack are good boxers. He proceeds to mercilessly assault Jack, who earlier had been openly hostile toward him, and leaves him and Nick to their fates in the freight hold.
Ladd and his friends proceed to investigate a nearby hold, where they find the bloody torso of a Lemur and blood drenching the ceiling and walls of the room. Upon exiting, they come across Jacuzzi's Gang exiting the hold where Lua and the others had been held captive. Nick warns Jacuzzi that Ladd is the man who assaulted Jack, which earns him Jacuzzi's immediate hostility - and then horror when he reveals that as a Russo, he is aware of Jacuzzi's identity. Jacuzzi accuses him of having murdered the conductors, which honestly takes Ladd aback – one of his friends, Dune, was supposed to masquerade as a conductor as part of their hijacking plan.
Assuming that Dune is dead, Ladd decides to see the conductors' apartment for himself rather than dealing with Jacuzzi now, and Jacuzzi issues his own warning that he plans on dealing with Ladd in the future. Ladd is amused by the display, and as he leaves, he truthfully claims that neither he nor his people were responsible for the mess in the hold they just left.
When the party of three arrives at the back of the caboose, they are confronted with the corpses of two men dressed in conductors' uniforms. One is a middle-aged man, but the other's face is mutilated beyond recognition, Ladd guesses that the second man must be Dune, and vows to take revenge on the person responsible for his death.
With this new goal in mind, Ladd and his companions exit the compartment intending to return to the front of the train – only for a boy by the name of Czeslaw Meyer to intercept them in the second freight car. Ladd recognizes Czeslaw from the dining car and is sure that Czes must have seen him box the Lemur to death; that Czes is relaxed and seemingly unafraid of him despite the spectacle instantly spikes Ladd's bloodlust towards him.
Czes' praise of Ladd's strength initially tempers Ladd's bloodlust, but his request for a favor and the commanding way in which in he beckons Ladd into the freight room aggravates him once more. Once inside the freight room, Czeslaw lays out what the favor entails and what Ladd stands to gain from it: he would like Ladd to massacre all the passengers in the dining car so as to ensure Czes' safety for the remainder of the journey. Not only is it a task that Ladd and his friends naturally enjoy, Czes will reward them with two hundred thousand dollars.
Ladd swiftly concludes that Czeslaw is no child, and rejects the deal: the money Czes is offering is nowhere near sufficient payment for such a task, especially compared to the million dollars or more that Ladd stands to wring from the railroad company (depending on what Ladd's negotiator is asking for). Czes changes tactics: he claims that he is currently dealing with the Runorata Family, and offers to put in a good word on Ladd's behalf once he meets with the Family in New York.
The idea that the Runoratas would so easily take in mass serial killers is one that Who finds far-fetched, but Czes claims that the White Suits can make it so that they do not need to be harbored at all: after the White suits massacre the dining car passengers, Czes can detonate the extra explosives he smuggled aboard in order to force an emergency stop. During that time, the White Suits can help him carry the rest of the explosives and escape with him off the train, making the Lemures the primary suspects behind the explosion.
Ladd wonders why Czes cannot simply use the explosives to kill the passengers on his own, to which Czes replies that he needs a certain corpse more intact than in pieces. Dropping his true persona in favor of his childlike one, he asks, "Please, mister... You'll do it, won't you?"
Though Czes' condescension and sheer confidence has grated upon Ladd throughout their discussion, it is this question that maxes out Ladd's intent-to-kill gauge and leads him to shoot Czes in the head at point-blank range. Who asks him why he rejected a good deal as they leave the hold, and Ladd grouses that Czes looked utterly sure that Ladd would not kill him – so of course Ladd had to kill him. One thing still unsettles him, though: Czes' demeanor remained unchanged even in the split second before his head was blown off.
Inspired by the Gray Magician's earlier suggestion to check out the roof, Ladd decides to climb on top of one of the cars and encourages Who and Lua to follow suit. They are barely able to stand on the rooftop while Ladd bounds about with ease, and he continues moving forward while they struggle to follow. Upon spotting two figures crawling over the roofs in the distance, he instructs Who and Lua to return to their second class compartment while he checks out first class.
Ladd's pursuit of the crawling passengers – Nice and Nick – comes to an end at the dining car, as the roof of the adjacent first class carriage is currently occupied by the sole female Lemur – one Chané Laforet. Where Nice and Nick are now stuck with no way to reach first class, Ladd is excited at the prospect of a new 'toy' to play with. Leveling his rifle in her direction, he loudly thanks her for alleviating his boredom and professes his 'love' before pulling the trigger; however, he is shocked when Chané's knife deflects the bullet.
Erroneously concluding that Chané deliberately deflected the bullet, Ladd hops in delight and stomps down the knife she subsequently throws at him, claiming the knife as his own. He is soon forced to book a retreat toward the back of the train when Chané charges at him with a large knife in either hand, though he is far more thrilled by being chased than he is actually concerned.
Ladd manages to lose Chané by ducking into the freight car and entering the hold containing the legless Lemur torso and the Lemures' wireless set. Hiding himself in the ceiling, he waits for a group of three Lemures to enter the hold and contact their leader Goose Perkins via the wireless. Once the group's leader switches the set off, he declares that Chané's ongoing fight with 'the White Suit' means that they now have an opportunity to carry out Code Beta.
Ladd drops down from the ceiling and instantly slashes the throat of one of the Lemures with Chané's knife, which he moves to the throat of the leader in one smooth motion. He orders the leader and the timid-looking Lemur to drop their guns, and both comply – with the timid-looking Lemur immediately fleeing the hold after the fact. Unconcerned, Ladd closes the door, pushes the leader into a corner, and demands to know who Chané is and why her comrades want her dead.
Once the Lemur's usefulness has run its course, Ladd slits his throat and climbs onto the roof of the freight car. Chané is waiting for him on the roof of the caboose, and he proceeds to antagonize her by rattling off everything he learned from her now-deceased comrade – beginning with the fact that the Lemures' very own Master Huey Laforet is some sort of immortal. This is enough for Chané to try and kill him; as he counters her blows and responds in kind, he further taunts her by suggesting that Huey is romantically taking advantage of her.
Over the course of their duel, he mocks her apparent opposition to the Lemures' hijacking plan and seizing of hostages, and theorizes that Huey might be the type of person he hates the most. Since he is not very interested in killing someone like Chané, he decides that he will kill the person that matters most to her instead: Huey Laforet. That Huey is supposedly immortal is irrelevant.
Chané tries to lunge at him in her fury, but a newcomer coated in blood – the Rail Tracer, aka Claire – immobilizes her simply by holding her knives in place. Claire chastises her for nicking his ear when she fell off the train and asks for an apology, only to apologize instead when he realizes she is mute. Moving toward the end of the roof, he invites them to resume their duel and announces that he will kill whoever survives.
Though Claire refuses to tell Ladd who he is, Ladd is fairly certain from the man's conductor's uniform and excessive bloodstains that he is likely the person who killed Dune. This is all the excuse Ladd needs to throw a knife at him, but Claire catches the knife mid-air. Claire's arrogant, steady eyes are even worse than Czes' eyes had been, and Ladd goes to attack him again; much to his chagrin, the Rail Tracer dodges his punch and Chané's knives with an acrobat's grace.
Upon confirming with Chané that she really was against the Lemures' operation like Ladd had claimed, Claire offers to lend her his aid. Claire's sympathy for someone who had been his enemy infuriates Ladd to his core, but it is Claire's declaration that he will never be killed that elevates Ladd's bloodlust to never-before-seen levels. His subsequent solipsist assertion that the world is his (and that everyone in it is a figment of his imagination), while still aggravating, is so outlandish that Ladd is more inclined to mock it than anything else.
However, Claire's desire to avenge Tony's death – and his justification for caring about a supposed 'figment of his imagination' – finally send Ladd over the edge, and he jabs several punches at Claire's torso with rapid-fire precision. Claire dodges them all and shoots Ladd's right ear with a pistol, boasting over how he has been humiliating Ladd so far. Ladd sneeringly rejects the idea that Claire will actually kill him, only to be taken aback when Claire abruptly asks him if Lua is special to him.
At Ladd's confirmation that Lua is his fiancée, Claire predicts that Ladd will soon jump off the train of his own accord. Ladd follows his gaze, and is aghast to see Lua clinging to the end of the car they are on. Lua's desperation is obvious, but whatever she is screaming is lost to the wind.
Claire takes out a long, coiled rope from his jacket and begins unwinding it, not budging from his spot even as Ladd rushes toward him with a killer's intent. In the instant before Ladd's punch can connect, Claire throws one of the rope's looped ends around Lua's neck and the other at a hook protruding from a post by the side of the railway track. The rope catches on the hook and rapidly loses slack, leaving Ladd with mere seconds to act.
Aborting his punch, he grabs the base of the looped rope with his right hand and reaches for Lua with his left not a moment too soon; the rope reaches its full length in the next instant and sends Ladd and Lua airborne, just as Claire had predicted. Though the shock to Ladd's right hand is enormous and the rope burn serious, his hand is the only thing keeping the noose from strangling Lua to death – and thus, he holds on. His left hand winds up entangled with the rope in his efforts to remove it, and the rope severs his left ring finger entirely during the struggle.
The blood from his right hand's peeling flesh causes his grip on the noose to slip, and he lets out an incoherent shout as the rope tightens around Lua's neck – only to unravel entirely. Claire had tied the loop with a trick knot; had Ladd not jumped, Lua would have been fine. Ladd howls at this revelation as the rope falls away, leaving him and Lua in freefall.
Lua attempts to maneuver her own body under his, clearly intending to shield him from their impending impact with the ground, and Ladd tacitly protests her actions with the last vestiges of his consciousness. He is on the verge of blacking out entirely when he realizes that they are on a collision course with a post – one that Lua's back is sure to smash into if nothing changes – and if this is the fate that Claire intended for them, then he will defy that fate with everything he has.
Summoning every last drop of energy within him, Ladd draws his maimed left fist back and punches the post with a poorly executed left straight. The impact obliterates his left hand, blows the flesh on his radius and ulna clean off (leaving the bones otherwise intact), and immediately renders him unconscious. He and Lua fall to the ground; while Lua's neck is injured, she is otherwise unharmed, and she looks after Ladd's unconscious body until they are happened upon by police.
The police are unnerved by the broken state of the pole and the gruesome nature of Ladd's injuries, which are severe enough that he is sent directly to the nearest hospital for treatment. Despite said injuries, he is awake and lucid enough that he is able to be interviewed by Federal Agent Bill Sullivan not long after receiving emergency medical care; while he readily admits to attempted kidnapping and multiple acts of murder, he claims that all his kills were done in self-defense.
As Bill prepares to leave, Ladd asks him if he knows where Huey Laforet will be incarcerated. Bill tells him that the prison has yet to be fully decided, but that he suspects the Alcatraz Military Prison to be the most likely candidate. Ladd thanks him, and Bill promises to introduce him to a prosthetics craftsman before his trial.
After Bill leaves, Ladd wonders what he will have to do in order to earn himself a spot on the Rock. He falls asleep soon after, buoyant at the prospect of killing an immortal for the first time.
1932-1934 [edit | edit source]
To be added.
1935[edit | edit source]
In February 1935, Ladd is released from Alcatraz the same day that Nader Schasschule is released from prison/protective custody. Ladd is pleased by Nader's extreme fear of both death and the Russos and declares the other man a friend (much to Nader's dismay). He is curious why Nader is so afraid of the Russos, and what his connection with the Flying Pussyfoot is, but as they're walking he notices that they are being tailed. At the first opportunity, Ladd lobs a brick at the car following them and clambers up onto its roof, punching straight through the roof with his metal prosthetic (and holding up Nader with his other arm). He pulls out the driver with his fake hand, and causes the car to crash through a house.
He and Nader disembark, and Ladd heads for the nearest occupied car. To his luck, the car contains Lua, Graham, and Shaft, and he happily reunites with his fiancée and near-brother. Ladd wants to go visit Firo's casino, but when Shaft informs him that Who is alive and kicking, decides he will visit Who at Fred's Clinic instead. He gives Nader money and tells him to gamble at Firo's casino in his stead.
(Rest to be added).
Abilities[edit | edit source]
(To be revised). Ladd is a trained hitman and formidable fighter. While on the Flying Pussyfoot, Ladd was one of the most effective fighters against the Lemures, second only to the Rail Tracer in terms of brutality. He has demonstrated impressive marksmanship, wielding guns in an orthodox but deadly, effective manner, and is equally dangerous unarmed; as a fan of boxing, he delivers boxer-style punches with extraordinary power. Though he laments he needs to "work on his right hook" in 1931, he has improved enough by 1934 that he is able to snap a table using his real (right) hand hand and take down Gustavo with just one hit.
Ladd's iron prosthetic left hand and forearm is as strong as his real arm, but can break easily if he uses too much force; using too much force can also threaten the whole arm and shoulder with dislocation. He is able to punch a hole through an automobile roof with his prosthetic in 1935.
Ladd can be manipulative and disarming when he needs and/or wants to be, as someone who is both a quick judge of character and a quick thinker. He is in fact more calculating than one might assume; as Placido observes in 1931, it is not that Ladd "[cannot plan]. He just doesn't," and so Ladd often simply implements rough ideas through successive on-the-spot calculations. However, Ladd is not immune to emotional provocation and can be provoked into rashness.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Lua Klein: Ladd is sincerely in love with Lua and puts his full belief and trust in her just as she does in him; she believes in his strength and his promise to kill her someday, and he believes in her promise to let him do it. Hers is not a coerced promise, as some have assumed at first glance, as she is excited by the thought of and looks forward to dying at his hands. Moreover, Ladd frequently declares that he will kill Lua once he has first killed everyone else in the world—declarations that ensure her death is postponed to a distant future while exciting them both in the interim.
Placido Russo: Ladd's relationship with Placido is neither particularly close nor amiable; he enjoys pushing Placido's buttons and does not hesitate to temper Placido's arrogance by reminding him of his own mortality. However, he has enough appreciation for Placido 'looking after him' over the years that he never goes as far as actually killing his uncle. He does not grieve when he learns of Placido's death.
Graham Specter: Ladd considers Graham his sworn younger brother and understands (and accepts) Graham's personality better than most. He thinks highly of Graham's fighting ability and readily admits that Graham is fundamentally stronger (better) than him in a fight—though Ladd's willingness to kill still gives him an edge. Meanwhile, Graham reveres Ladd and exalts him as one might a king or idol.
Firo Prochainezo: Ladd forms an unlikely friendship with Firo in Alcatraz, but even then the friendship is somewhat one-sided; while Ladd has decided Firo is a pal, Firo is decidedly reluctant to consider Ladd a friend in turn. A key reason Ladd respects Firo at all is Firo's aversion to death and acknowledgment that he could die despite being an immortal.
Isaac Dian: The friendship Ladd forms with Isaac in Alcatraz is just as if not more unlikely than his friendship with Firo, but works due to Ladd understanding Isaac's sheer obliviousness to death is nothing like the arrogance attitudes towards death he usually holds in contempt. He finds Isaac amusing as a result, and is happy when he unexpectedly encounters Isaac again in New York.
Who: Who is Ladd's friend from childhood, having been given his moniker by Ladd himself when a youth. Who's extreme fear of dying is in part what endeared him to Ladd in the first place, and Ladd and Leila often protected Who from bullies as adolescents. Although Ladd is rather blithe when he wonders whether Who survived the Flying Pussyfoot incident, he is nevertheless pleased when he finds out Who did survive and goes out of his way to visit Who at his new workplace.
Nader Schasschule: Nader's fear of death is what initially makes Ladd interested in him, and Ladd's interest increases when he learns Nader is on the Russos' bad side and was involved in some way with the Flying Pussyfoot. As with Firo, Ladd's perception of their friendship is somewhat unilateral; Nader wants nothing to do with him.
Huey Laforet: Huey becomes one of Ladd's murder targets on the flying Pussyfoot, where Ladd decides to kill Huey in part to spite Chané but even more so because the Lemures regard Huey as invincible—someone who has no need to fear death because he has surpassed death as an immortal. Ladd's desire to kill Huey—i.e. to kill an immortal until they wish for death—stays strong if not strengthens over the next two years, so much so that he deliberately ensures he is sent to Alcatraz just so he can finally confront Huey in person.
Chané Laforet: Chané considers Ladd a clear threat to her father and will not hesitate to oppose him; while Ladd has no particular desire to kill Chané given that she is putting her life on the line, he does at least want to spite her; as a result, the two are at each other's throats as soon as they reunite in 1935.
Felix Walken: Claire has been one of Ladd's top murder targets ever since the Flying Pussyfoot incident, and not solely (though still in large part) because of Claire's self-perceived invincibility or their heavily clashing ideologies: Claire's murders of Ladd's friends; his use of Lua against Ladd; and his humiliation of Ladd all served as extra fuel to the fire. Ladd continues to hate Claire to his core and is filled with bloodlust at the mere sight of him.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
- The name Ladd means "servant" or "man of humble birth".
- The modern meaning of Ladd has shifted to "young man" or "boy."
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Ladd tells Czeslaw Meyer on the Flying Pussyfoot that he is about to turn twenty-five, suggesting that he was either born at the tail end of December 1906 or sometime in early 1907.
- Ladd's prisoner ID in the prison he was incarcerated in before Alcatraz was 302010.
- The Russo Family is actually an Italian Family that migrated to North America in the late 1800s. However, they were not associated with underground mafias.
- Ladd has claimed that he is weaker than a famous boxer named Jack Dempsey.
- Ryohgo Narita, the series' creator, has confirmed this to be true.