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Gene the Hackman

Gene the Hackman
Real name
Gene the Hackman
Ginny Woolf (mate, deceased); Clara Bow (mate); Sprog One (son); Sprog Two (son)
Base of operations

Very tall
Marital status
Created by human scientists
First appearance
Last appearance

2000 AD prog 1518
2000 AD prog 2022


Gene the Hackman, the main character in the 2000 AD strip Kingdom, is an artificially created dog/human hybrid. He was manufactured in the future to fight huge insect monsters known only as 'Them' while the humans, or 'Masters', hibernate in the Antarctic. Gene is a highly proficient fighter with muscles on top of his muscles and a skull he could probably crack rocks with, and his life mostly revolves around 'scrapping', although he occasionally finds time for the love of a good woman/bitch. He speaks a curious canine pidgin that takes a bit of getting used to but sometimes achieves a sort of poetry of its own. Decades after his death his exploits are recounted in hushed tones by future generations of dog/humans or 'aux'.

Gene's world-view was altered when he discovered a place in Auxtralia called Aux Drift, where humans and dog-people fought side by side. He was told that the 'Masters' were the élite of humanity, who ran away from the war to sleep in hiber-berths while the poor and unprivileged were left to fight. After several fierce battles against Them, the survivors of Aux Drift took Gene and his comrades to the Kingdom.

In the Kingdom, another site where dog-people and humans "lived together like kin," Gene was held in high regard as the "last of the pure-bred aux" and "chief of the Kingdom's war-pack." He lived with a partner, Clara Bow, and they had two infant sons. Then two Masters came to Earth from their space station to assess the strength of Them. Gene enlisted them on his mission to kill the King of a super-swarm of Them that threatened the Kingdom. This mission was successful, regicide was duly achieved and the Masters summoned a lander from their space station so that they, Gene and the two other aux who had survived the raid (Cutback and Michelle Barkmann) could make their escape in it.

However, Gene was horrified to learn that the Kingdom was still under threat. A second swarm, under the influence of ticks (parasites that could control Them) was moving towards it. It was this swarm which the first super-swarm had been assembled to fight — the fact that the Kingdom was between the two armies was nothing more than a coincidence. The Masters admitted that they had gene-engineered the ticks (via experiments which included 'contaminating' the DNA of pure-bred aux, which enraged Gene) in the hope of using the ticks to defeat Them. The process had got out of their control, and now Earth was nothing more than a battleground between Them and the ticks. In response to the threat of the ticks, Them were evolving to be more intelligent and more well-organised, and were secreting chemicals into the soil to try and terraform the Earth to make it a land fit for insects. In short, the Masters' intervention had made the situation catastrophically worse.

The Masters' lander took Gene, Cutback and Michelle Barkmann to their space station. There they were put into suspended animation and plugged into a virtual reality dream where they all lived with Clara and her two sons on a nice farm in the country. Six months later, the Masters decided to euthanise Gene, partly because he was a 'drain on resources' and partly through their fear of and prejudice towards him, a person whom they had created but could not control (control and obedience being one of the themes of the series). Fortunately, before this could happen Gene was rescued by the human called Leezee Sower, who lived on the space station and had known him since she was a child. Gene and Leezee went on the run into the depths of the space station. Leezee knew, but did not tell Gene, that satellite imagery revealed that the Kingdom had been obliterated by the war between Them and the ticks.

Cutback and Michelle Barkmann were awakened by the Masters so that they could use them as bargaining chips to force Gene to hand himself in. This didn't work, and Gene's friends both ended up being killed by the Masters' security team (aux who were more loyal to humans than to other aux). With his dying breath, Cutback asked Gene to promise him to fight the Masters. Gene swore to do this.

Shortly afterwards, Gene and Leezee met Pause, a cat-human hybrid whom the Masters had created to be a soldier like Gene, but rejected because he was far too independent. He lived in the 'uncontrolled' areas of the space station and devoted his life to sabotaging the Masters' systems, with the aim of eventually ending their rule. Pause helped Gene to steal the kill-codes that the Masters were going to broadcast to terminate the ticks when they'd finished wiping out Them. While doing this, Gene found the original tick from which the Masters had bred all the others. It was also the original Leezee Sower. The one walking around with Gene was a clone, and the first Leezee — who had been infested with a tick — was now a hideous tick-human hybrid. She wanted Gene to give her the codes so that 'her kind', by which she meant the ticks, could be free. The Masters then turned up and asked Gene to give them the codes, like a good dog, so that they could be in control again.

Having endured one hideously traumatic emotional shock after another, and been manipulated beyond even his exceptionally high tolerance, Gene snapped. He killed the tick-Leezee (which meant that the Masters couldn't breed any more ticks), absconded with the kill-codes and escaped to Earth with Pause and Leezee Mark II in a space shuttle.

Powers and abilities[]


Extremely keen sense of hearing.


Hand-to-hand combat.

Strength level

Superhuman. He can literally rip another aux's head off.


So loyal that he takes a long time to realise that the Masters are abusing his trust.



Gene-Machine (huge tank with palmprint recognition, auto-nav, metal-glass front end and weapons turret); space shuttle flown by Pause.


Two huge blades (hence his catchphrase, "Get whet").


Any similarity between Gene the Hackman's name and that of an award-winning American actor is entirely non-coincidental.


Gene had a cameo in 2000 AD prog 2000 (published September 2016) which was drawn by Boo Cook. He was shown apparently picking a fight with a terrified-looking Dirty Frank.


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