Debut: Comic #74
JD is considered one of the protagonists of Metroid: Third Derivative, though it is often questionable if he deserves this status. His pirate designation is not revealed at this time, and he once claimed that it doesn't scan well as a name. Instead, he asked Samus to call him by the same name as the "noted" human pirate, Johnny Depp. After he learned how dangerous it was to use that name in Samus's presence, the shortened form "JD" stuck. #125 — #128
JD's backstory is largely unknown, and even the parts that he has revealed could be fabricated. What is currently known is that JD is an albino Space Pirate who is apparently a member of the Space Pirate Science Team. His caste is largely phased out of the Space Pirate ranks due to certain issues, but he continues to work on various projects for the Space Pirates. One of them, the development of a kinetically-charged beam, is what first led Joey to his lab.
When Joey first meets him in his science lab, JD immediately belittles the degenerate. Joey is unable to retaliate and Squish is still disoriented from his recent meal, so Joey opts to stall. However, JD also appears to be stalling, as he is also incapable of stopping Joey without help.
The result is a surprisingly casual conversation that eventually gets around to the fact that Joey is working for Samus. Upon this revelation, JD's attitude changes and he is perfectly happy to give Joey his Kinetic Beam after telling him that he intends to contact them later.
JD does not contact them for a while. When he finally does so, he opts not to appear in person, but instead sends a series of communication drones that vaguely resemble Bombus. The similarity is too great, though, as Samus starts blasting them on sight. Only upon Joey's revelation of their true nature does Samus relent.
Joey recognizes the voice as the scientist he and Squish had mentioned to Samus, and JD introduces himself and proposes a partnership with Samus. Samus is reluctant, especially since she hadn't even agreed to anything with Joey yet. Still, after a lot of emotional appeal, Samus asks JD to prove himself first. JD does so by pointing out that a large group of Space Pirate troopers are converging on Samus's location, and leads them to an abandoned Phazon mine to hide.
It turns out to be a fairly deadly abandoned Phazon mine. Samus notes this angrily, and she and JD get into an argument. In the process, JD points out that the Kinetic Beam itself carries the tracking device the Pirates were following, and helps Samus deactivate it. Samus is still displeased.
After Samus and JD FINALLY break up the argument (largely thanks to a random phrase Joey stated suggested by Squish), JD moves on to tormenting Joey. This doesn't last long before the group starts heading through the mine, with JD explaining some of the design intent. This includes a large expanse of Phazon, which Samus accidentally falls into.
JD's immediate reaction is to propose a series of actions to keep his drone safe, including instructing Joey to build a fort. At Joey's hesitation, he insults Samus using Joey's voice in order to "motivate" him. This triggers overreactions in both Samus and Joey, and Joey sends Squish to convince Samus that he wasn't responsible for it.
Joey and JD start arguing, which escalates to the point of Joey chewing on JD's drone. Samus finally returns and breaks them up. Joey doesn't want to be shot. JD insists.
Then JD reveals some new information: Squish was captured by Space Pirates. He apparently knows where the Metroid is being taken, and uses this knowledge to finally strike his arrangement with Samus. After she agrees, he attempts to withhold the information several times without success.
As he does so, he receives a call from Ridley. Putting Samus on hold, he starts discussing some projects that Ridley wanted him to work on. The details are not revealed, but whatever happened in the conversation was enough to convince JD to send Samus the coordinates and deactivate his drone immediately.
It is quite some time before JD and Samus cross paths again. Samus has just returned from an unplanned trip to a Phazon floater, and her suit is malfunctioning badly. JD, untrustworthy as she finds him, is the only chance she has to get it fixed. JD is hesitant to meet with Samus, as her method of entry involved a horde of Phazon Zoomers devouring the Space Pirates stationed throughout the base, but Samus eventually convinces him to let her in.
JD is unable to repair the suit at first, but eventually decides on an unorthodox solution involving storing her physical data in a computer system so that the suit will be stable enough to fix. This involves a training simulation he once worked on, in which Samus finds herself portraying an elite Space Pirate assigned to kill the Hunter.
Unbeknown to Samus, this places her within reach of Mother Brain, who takes great delight in tormenting her adversary. This includes a false sequence in which JD manually removes her from the malfunctioning program, flees the area, and is killed execution-style. Samus eventually builds up a resistance to Mother Brain's psychic abilities, so she chastises JD for his actions and forces him to delete Samus manually.
Pausing only to tamper with the weapons of the unconscious Space Pirates along the way, JD reaches the Tourian System, the system that powers the Mother Brain and one of his inventions. However, JD has no intention of killing Samus, and manages to manually weaken the system itself despite being under Mother Brain's mind control.
Successfully avoiding capture by the Space Pirates due to his earlier sabotage efforts, he returns to his lab to finish working on Samus's suit. Despite the presence of Zoomers, he succeeds. Samus's reawakening, though, is less than pleasant, and only JD's decision to disable her weapons first keeps him from meeting an untimely end.
As usual, JD resorts to fast-talking. He explains recent events, reveals his caste's history, and details the modifications he had to make to Samus's upgrades to make the suit functional. This conversation is ended when the interference of a Zoomer provokes him to run headfirst into a wall.
He regains concousness and sends a message to Samus on Floater 12. However, since she ios not yet on floater twelve, Joey gets the message. He then tells Joey that Ridley has arrived on Nemesis and plans on sending a Phazon Meteor to Earth.
The first thing anyone should note about JD is that he is dishonest. As a result, it's difficult to tell how much of any of this article's content will remain true by the end of the story. He's the kind of Space Pirate who would pull one over on his peers while doing the exact same thing to Samus, and there is probably more going on than has been revealed in the comic so far.
He is extremely self-centered. He adopts a German accent in conversation for the purpose of making himself look smarter and more respectable. He considers himself important enough to require attention before those who he sees below himself, including Joey and Squish. And he is unwilling to take any action that he believes may result in the end of his life, unless it is sufficiently necessary. (His fears are justified, considering that the Space Pirates are trying to phase out his caste and have apparently confined him to his lab.)
He is also prone to erratic actions. He loses his patience quickly and occasionally pursues actions solely to be contrary. He prides himself on being a bastard to other people, although this is sometimes a cover for more rational actions. And after running into several technical errors in his effort to extract Samus's pattern from computer memory, he completely breaks down into a violent babbling fit. (Whether this was actually JD or part of Mother Brain's simulation is still unexplained.)
It is clear that he wants to get on Samus's good side. It is unknown if he just wants her to fulfill her part of the deal and get him away from the other Space Pirates, or if he has certain other plans for her. Either way, it's usually enough to make sure that she doesn't blast him on sight, so it works out in the long run. Even more importantly, he does not want Samus to die.
On the other hand, he clearly loathes Joey. This can be attributed to his opinion that Joey is dumb, his belief that Joey should be and isn't giving him the respect he deserves as a higher-ranking Space Pirate, and the idea that he would be more necessary to Samus if she didn't have the other tagalongs. It is also possible that he considers them in the way of any plan he may have. Such hatred is displayed in varying ways, from minor mistreatment (insults and arguments) to extreme actions both subtle (insulting Samus in Joey's voice) and unsubtle ("SHOOT HIM!")
Well, he's smart and he can do scientific stuff. He worked on at least one of Samus's current weapons, he built several communication drones for the purpose of contacting Samus, and he appears to have some talent with computers, including his previous work on key parts of Mother Brain's systems. Projects like these give him enough background in Space Pirate technology to repair or sabotage devices quickly, especially weapons. While not established as competent with Chozo designs, he is also capable of repairing and reconfiguring parts of Samus's suit given the proper documentation.
As a member of the Hydra caste, he is capable of using all the different parts of his mind simultaneously. This allows him to effectively think about and perform several tasks at the same time, and also allows him to bypass the effects of mind control by using a different part of his brain.
Despite his caste's status, he also has a degree of influence within the Space Pirate ranks. Combat class pirates have deferred to him, he has received personal calls from Ridley, he has access to the Space Pirate computers, and so on. Combining this with his ability to lie with a straight face, he is an excellent choice as a double agent. (The problem, of course, is figuring out exactly who gets the benefits.)
Aside from all this, he doesn't have much going for him. He is no more physically capable than an average Space Pirate, and he has shown no combat talent whatsoever. In a deliberate action by the Space Pirates, his caste is unable to equip weapons, so he can't use one even if he builds it himself.
- There are a certain number of similarities between JD's portrayal and that of the Nazi party. JD's character and accent are largely based upon the title character of the Stanley Kubrick movie Dr. Strangelove. His pale features and egotism give him the distinct air of a white supremacist, as does his strict adherence to class barriers and discrimination against those he feels are naturally inferior to himself. And his speech in #324 about telling a big enough lie enough times to make it believable originated with Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.