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The Clockwork King is a Clockwork archvillain as well as their leader. His true identity and motivations are a mystery, but he hates heroes with a passion. He's suspected to be one of the most powerful psychics in the whole planet, but apparently, he hasn't learned to use his talents yet. Still, his psychic powers seem to manifest when he's in a crisis (such as having his "clockwork princess", Penelope Yin, in danger). There's at least one alternative dimension where this being was able to eradicate all human life of the planet.

Heroes may fight him:

Villains may fight him:


Copied from the City of Heroes Official Site [1]:

These are the known details about the man who would later become the Archvillain known as the Clockwork King.

Initially confused and somewhat amused by the strange robots behavior and appearance, police finally took the Clockwork seriously when an officer was killed trying to prevent two Sprockets from stealing a spool of copper wire from a cable service van. The police cracked down, but the Clockwork men proved difficult to injure or contain, due to a single-minded purpose and their metallic hide. So the commissioner called in a number of favors with local heroes, including the former policeman Blue Steel and a city-wide manhunt was undertaken.

The Sprockets were eventually tracked down to an abandoned warehouse, where a major assembly line production seemed underway. There were dozens of Sprockets attempting to construct scores more of their kind. Blue Steel scouted ahead and reportedly saw a young, disheveled man overseeing the operations.

When the combined task force of heroes and police raided the warehouse, all hell broke loose. In the firefight that ensued, several propane tanks were ignited and the warehouse caught fire. The robots fought on, ignoring the flames. When the heroes and SWAT Team finally broke their ranks, it appeared that a number had escaped, including the young man. Tragically, three officers were killed in the fight and fire.

Blue Steel chased after the robots, ranging far ahead of his fellow heroes and the SWAT Team. The young man was carried through the sewers by a half dozen robots and finally reached a “safe house”: a decrepit bungalow in Boomtown. When Blue Steel radioed back to the commissioner, he learned of the officer casualties…and a fury exploded within him. He launched himself into the bungalow.

The young man was too disoriented from the early encounter, hurt by smoke and fatigue and could not coordinate a proper defense. Blue Steel single-handedly smashed the Sprockets to pieces and then turned his rage upon the man, beating him into a bloody pulp. Blue Steel collapsed, exhausted and spent. He checked on the man and felt the bile rise when he realized the man was dead. Disgusted with himself and the whole day’s tragedy, Blue Steel radioed in for the coroner and clean-up crew. With a heavy heart, he left to help fight the fire. The pieces could be sorted out later.

Thus, there were no witnesses to whatever happened next. When Blue Steel returned later, the emergency crew was cleaning up the debris. There was sign of the scuffle, but none of the Sprockets were there, nor was the body of the young man. Had Blue Steel been wrong and the man not died? Did the robots repair themselves and carry the corpse away? Was there something else at work here?

Thereafter, there were a handful of sparse reports of Sprocket activity but the questions were put on hold, then forgotten, as Paragon City trembled under an apocalyptic threat: the Rikti war!

A second article mentions the first appearance of the Clockwork King, dated August 30, 2002:

Clean-up crews have been puzzled by the appearance of Clockwork men over the past several weeks, seemingly helping with the salvage operations. Long term residents of Kings Row and Boomtown will remember the Sprocket crime-wave last summer, in which five police officers died. No one ever discovered where those Sprockets came from or who was controlling them.

The Sprockets were last seen in a warehouse firefight, where they aggressively defended their territory against a combined task force of Paragon’s SWAT Team and the city’s local heroes. In that fight, Blue Steel led the charge that broke their defenses and drove them into hiding. But these Sprockets seem to have a distinct and menacing master.

In an abandoned factory on Kirby Lane, Sprockets line up to assemble each other. They move with clock-like precision, fitting joints and machining gears and newly built Clockwork fall into perfect lockstep, contributing to the effort. All of this anthill-like activity occurs under the gaze of a metal tyrant, some sort of Clockwork King. The King speaks his orders and his minions parrot them back and obey without hesitation.


During the Synapse Task Force:

The mad Clockwork King imagines himself as the center of a mechanical court. His powerful mind continually creates more subjects to his insane rule. The true horror is that his massive steel chassis holds a human brain.

During The Lady Grey Task Force:

It's been known that the Clockwork King was one of the most powerful psychics on earth, but it took a direct threat to Penelope Yin, his self-adopted "Clockwork Princess", to make him unleash a portion of his immense psychic power. Unfortunately, the strain appears to have driven him even further into insanity.


At the end of the Synapse Task Force:

Combat start: Here you are at least, Task Force Name. You are determined, I will say that much for you. I fear, however, that your dodged pursuit will be your downfall. Rise up, my creations, and level our foes!

During the Lady Grey Task Force he has a cutscene where he runs to rescue Penelope Yin from the Rikti...or whoever he finds in his way!:


Penelope's protector arrives

The Clockwork King:

Don't worry, Penny! I'm here to protect you!
I'll keep you safe from everything!
Safe from villains, from Rikti, from heroes, from boys...
You'll be my little Clockwork Princess, safe and happy forever!

At 75% Life: I hereby declare you enemies of the Clockwork Kingdom!

At 50% Life: The Clockwork King shall not fail!

At 25% Life: Come to me, my minions! We shall prevail!

Defeated: Are you safe, Penny?
That's good...
That's good...

After defeating a player: So falls all enemies of the Clockwork Kingdom!

See Also[]

  • The Clockwork King's Clockwork profile for a list of his powers
  • The Clockwork King's Psychic Clockwork profile for a list of his powers, once he starts using his psychic talents
  • The Clockwork King has been making friends with young Penelope Yin in Faultline, and thinks of her as his "Clockwork Princess".
  • In Issue 10, the Clockwork King makes a comeback in The Lady Grey Task Force, as Penelope Yin's guardian. She psychically called for his help after being captured by the Rikti.