Bully per excellence, and was smart enough to get at his victims psychologically. As a cape he was smarter than he first appeared, which he used to his advantage.
King would call his protege by his first name, Jacob, practically purring the word. He considered Jacob a "killer-in-training".Weaver believed that he was one of the few Nine members who would immediately report cheating up the chain, rather than seeing it as fun.
Liked neing in control, especially over so many dangerous parahumans.
Bonesaw's clones of King, based on historical accounts, weren't embarrassed by nudity. They were unaware that Jack had been the one to kill them.
What truly sets him apart is that he can touch certain people,
 and then any physical harm he suffered and transferred it among people he'd touched within the last day.
This power made him immune to the effects of Gray Boy's ability which is how he was able to get a hold of him. However, it was unable to protect him from Foil's charged shots, whose effects he could also not displace.
He also possessed enhanced strength and durability.
This ability and those parahumans he surrounded himself with made him very hard to capture.
↑ 2.02.12.2Panda: Figure I would get my major curiosities satisfied first.
Wildbow: Because in terms of shaping him, it's made him a hedonist. He's used to being unstoppable, he's used to being absolutely, completely in control, and being in control of some scary motherfuckers (in your case, the other careers).
Wildbow: He's smarter than he lets on (Tyrant, by contrast, was a little limited by the hatchet face in him) and he's always been a very, very good bully. In the wormverse, he was top of the heap. Police chief's son, top dog in high school, top dog in the fraternity, top student, top athlete. He found out very quickly that nothing could really affect him.
Wildbow: So he kept pushing limits and finding that nobody would stop him. Terrorizing pledges, going after girls on campus, tormenting professors he didn't like, etc.
Wildbow: But it's lonely at the top (ergo the master power) and he simply didn't know how to continue rising or proving himself when he was already at the top, already proven, so he took to substance abuse and grueling fitness regiments, which ultimately started to kill him. (The brute aspect) [...] and he triggered (in the Wormverse). It sort of settled something in him, resolved an internal dilemma. He found his place, and his focus became something entirely different. Control, securing his place.
Wildbow: He's the king. The only entity higher than the king is God, in the great heirarchy, and godhood... well, that requires infrastructure.
Wildbow: It's not really something he's *actually* aspiring towards, but that's sort of... maybe the general abstract of his thought pattern. [...] Being worshiped, and worship through fear and awe is the sort of worship he understands.
Wildbow: Having guys like Harbinger and Crimson at his beck and call, knowing that he could, if he desired, make them lick his feet. Knowing that -others- are aware that there's this group of scary-as-fuck killers out there and he's the guy in charge.
Wildbow: King in a coconut shell. (nutshell is too small for all that text) - Conversation with Wildbow on the IRC, Archived on Spaccebattles.
↑King. The leader, the founder of the group. Were the numbers in an order corresponding to when they had joined, then? Would the second member of the Nine be ten through eighteen? - Excerpt from Sting 26.1
↑ 4.04.1King, tall and blond, unabashed in his nudity. All nine Kings were broad-shouldered, each half a foot taller than Jack.
Their interaction would be an interesting one. She'd wondered if she should program King with the knowledge that Jack had been the one to kill him, reconsidered. - Excerpt from Interlude 25
↑ 5.05.15.2“Jack,” Jacob said. He kicked King’s body again. “Fuck it. He always called me Jacob, practically purring. His little killer in training. As if I could match up to his Gray Boy. I want to be more than that. Get out from under his shadow.” - Excerpt from Interlude 21.x
↑They'd been okay with a little bit of involvement on our part. Tattletale had speculated they would. There were only a few who were so regimented they would report it to Jack at the first opportunity. Winter was among them, but she was largely in the dark, here. Screamer wouldn't fill her in if it meant spoiling the fun.
In truth, the only ones who wouldn't let us get away with this were Mannequin and King. - Excerpt from Sting 26.2
↑Wildbow: Because Damsel's prerequisite for 'victory' (in the life goals sense) is to be on top of the heap, and King's prerequisite for victory is to be in control.
Wildbow: He might forego using his power on her just to keep her cooperative - Conversation with Wildbow on the IRC, Archived on Spaccebattles.
↑We circled around eight teenage girls, sitting in a circle,[...]One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, nine.[...]I looked up. Number eight sat on the bulb of a street light, a long dress blowing in the wind, directly above the circle.[...]“Nine Kings,” I said.
“A woman king?” Imp asked.
“She’s the victim,” I said. The killer is her… husband, for lack of a better word.” - Excerpt from Sting 26.1
↑Wildbow: King has enhanced strength, enhanced durability, and any damage he takes is either spread out around his pawns or each of his pawns takes the full amount.
Panda: Any unusual nuances? Or is it just as straightforward as it seems? "Touch pawn, shunt damage to them until they die, touch more, rinse, repeat"?
Panda: Do self-inflicted wounds count?
Panda: Does it take time upon touching a person to initiate the effect, or just on contact? [...] Wildbow: It's on contact. The subject knows something has been done. - Conversation with Wildbow on the IRC, Archived on Spaccebattles.
↑ 10.010.110.2Untouchable. King's power took any physical harm he suffered and transferred it among his pawns. People he'd touched within the last twenty-four hours.[...]Tyrant here had the enhanced strength each of the two had possessed, the enhanced durability. - Excerpt from Sting 26.3
↑King had a flimsy hold, Jack had a stronger hold. The former Gray Boy was closer to a Labyrinth in full-on powers mode than anything else. Using powers indiscriminately, staying within an area. King was effectively immune to him, and used this to introduce himself and start leading him around. - Wildbow on Spacebattles
↑Panda: What damage can King be hit with that doesn't get transfered?
Panda: Aside of mental attacks.
Panda: Is it anything that causes pain?
Wildbow: It'd have to be something like Foil's power. Beyond that, he'd have to be completely unaware. But there's no indication or guarantee that this is the case.
Wildbow: Asleep? Maybe. If he's in a REM state.
Wildbow: But there's no clear way to know this unless you have access to a thinker power like Tattletale's.
Panda: So it's a conscious transference?
Wildbow: Or good observation skills
Panda: Fair enough.
Wildbow: It's also reflexive.
Panda: Ah. Damn.
Wildbow: So... you'd basically have to deliver an injury that kills him right off, because if he's unconscious, then he wakes up and uses his power as you continue pushing the knife in.. - Conversation with Wildbow on the IRC, Archived on Spaccebattles.
↑ 14.014.1Panda: So Jack and Harbinger just stopped giving fucks and stabbed him over and over until all of his pawns died, huh?
Panda: Only way I could see him being taken out like that.
Wildbow: Jack's power up King's nose, to strike the same 'sweet spot' that snipers aim for.
Panda: Oh. Oh wow.
Wildbow: Using Harbinger's power to aim. Followed by stabby aftermath to guarantee it was over..
↑Crimson was a mainstay of King's era, when he'd ruled the Nine as more of a brute squad, not dissimilar to the Teeth back in Brockton Bay. - Excerpt from Sting 26.2
↑The first iteration formed twenty years ago. They were a very different group, led by King (mistakenly called Rex in a previous chapter). Jack was a junior member, as was Gray Boy. - Comment by Wildbow on Imago 21.1
↑A Hatchet Face, Breed, Cherish and King made their way towards the entrance of the alley. Golem created hands to block their path. [...] They tensed, but the King looked over his shoulder at the Cherish, and when he looked up again, he was smiling. [...] The illusions collectively shattered as he squashed the head of the ‘Cherish’ against the wall. Nyx.