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Handsome Jack

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Handsome Jack
Welcome to Pandora, kiddos.
Character Type Enemy (boss)
Group AffiliationsHyperion
GamesBorderlands 2
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Voice ActorDameon Clarke

Handsome Jack is the main antagonist of Borderlands 2. He has taken over the Hyperion corporation, declared himself dictator of Pandora, and stolen all of the credit for finding The Vault, going so far as to claim responsibility for killing The Destroyer. A new team of Vault Hunters is tasked with killing Jack and restoring (relative) peace to Pandora.

Jack has a geostationary moon base (in the shape of an 'H') in the Lagrange point between Pandora and Pandora's geostationary moon. It acts as an homage to his ego as well as a supply base from which he can send supplies and troops down to Pandora. The satellite also has a lens that allows Jack to keep an eye on the Vault Hunters at all times.



Little is known of Handsome Jack's life before becoming the CEO of Hyperion. Prior to his takeover, Handsome Jack worked as a programmer for Hyperion and was referred to as John, though this was likely by a case of his boss not caring enough to remember real name. At least some of his early life was spent in the care of his grandmother, who was (at a minimum) physically abusive towards her grandson. The emotional trauma from these events was strong enough that as an adult Jack had his grandmother murdered, and no doubt contributed towards his mental decline.

Before the opening of the first Vault

Later in life Jack married and had a daughter, Angel, one of the universe's rare Sirens. During Angel's youth, he trapped her in Control Core Angel in order to use her to control Pandora's ECHOnet and to open the vault of The Warrior. In the Borderlands 2 story mission Data Mining, Handsome Jack says that "I know you think I'm a monster. You think I enslaved Angel. But you didn't see what she did to her mother. I had to restrain Angel's power. You get that? I had to." The seeming implication is that Angel caused her mother's disappearance. However, this interpretation contradicts the journals in Get to Know Jack. While it is true that the third journal says that Jack's wife disappeared, it also says that Jack's wife suggested that "the Angel" be shut down. For there to be something to shut down, Control Core Angel must have already been active at that time, and therefore Jack's wife's disappearance could not have been the reason for the creation of Control Core Angel. Nor could whatever Angel "did to her mother"--if indeed anything happened at all--have been serious enough for her mother to agree with restraining Angel.

One of the ECHO recorders shows an employee advising Jack to restrain Angel's power because of what she did to her mother. After which Jack proceeds to kill the employee through strangulation for mentioning his wife.

After the opening of the first Vault

With his daughter secretly in place, Jack began focusing most of his time and energy on gaining control of the Warrior hidden underneath Pandora's Vault, killing and manipulating his way to Hyperion presidency. During this time Jack began to use the name "Handsome Jack". Contrary to expectations, Jack's trademark mask did not come with his new name; ECHO recordings indicate that the mask was present even before then.

Jack used his daughter to gain full surveillance of Pandora and control of the ECHOnet system. Jack needed Eridium to keep her Siren powers at maximum yield, and it is implied that Jack's primary reason for the invasion of Pandora after the opening of the Vault was the abundance of this material appearing in the ground. He ordered the Hyperion military to forcefully take control of Pandora some time after the Claptrap Robolution.

Between the events of Borderlands and Borderlands 2, the Hyperion corporation dismantled all but one of the Claptrap units, annexed Fyrestone, and engaged in battle with the citizens of New Haven. Jack, with the help of Wilhelm, killed Helena Pierce and sacked the town of New Haven. Handsome Jack also tracked down the Vault key and its owner, Tannis, tortured her, and took the Vault key from her.

Jack intro

Handsome Jack's Intro

Handsome Jack sought to lure out Vault Hunters to his sphere of influence by displaying a need for them, then left them for dead in the Windshear Waste. He constantly communicates with them through the ECHOnet, taunting them, threatening them, and otherwise manipulating them. His building of Opportunity and the drilling into Pandora's core is no secret to the citizens of Sanctuary, but he still keeps a leaderly façade when addressing the citizens of Hyperion-settled villages.


Following Angel's death, Jack makes his first physical appearance in the story and kills Roland. Lilith attempts to attack him, but Jack throws a Siren power-restraining collar at her neck and captured her to replace his recently-deceased daughter as a catalyst to charge the Vault key. He rescinds the bounty on the Vault Hunters, vowing to exact vengeance himself for Angel's death, and threatening to hunt down anyone who killed the Vault Hunters before he did.

His final appearance is at the Vault of the Warrior, and is fought as one of the two final bosses. After being defeated by the Vault Hunters, Jack takes the already-charged Vault Key and uses it to summon and control the Warrior. The Vault Hunters defeat it as well, thus ruining his plans for dominion over Pandora. Jack angrily chastises them for stopping him from bringing his vision of order to the lawless planet, and is then executed for his crimes by either the Vault Hunter or Lilith.

If Jack dies at the hands of Lilith, his mask falls off and his real face is visible. His face is deformed, with a vault symbol branded into it, and his left eye blinded. There are competing hypotheses about the cause of Jack's injuries:

  • Angel accidentally injured her father when she was young and unable to fully control her siren powers.
  • Jack was branded by a vault guardian or bandit before he turned the search for the vault over to the vault hunters.
  • Jack was branded by his abusive grandmother when he was a child.

Tales from the Borderlands

Jack appears on the trailer for Tales from the Borderlands. He is seen as an hologram advising Fiona and Rhys to be "part of the insanity". Due to his death on Borderlands 2, it is still unknown the reason of his appearance, but it has been confirmed that the game takes place after Borderlands 2 on TellTale's own FAQ for the game. "TftB is an upcoming episodic game set in the Borderlands game universe after Borderlands 2 and its DLC."

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Handsome Jack is set to appear in the upcoming Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. The Pre-Sequel details more of his back story and his transformation into the tyrant he was on Borderlands 2. Trailer footage shows that Jack does not have the mask clamps on his face, suggesting that the events of this game take place before the as-of-yet unknown incident that scars him.



Main article: The Talon of God


Opportunity announcements
  • "Citizens of Opportunity! You represent the beginning of a grand adventure. Opportunity is only the FIRST Hyperion city on Pandora. One day you'll be saying, "Bandits? What's a bandit? I can't hear what you're saying over the motor of this free blowjob machine Handsome Jack gave all of us."
  • "Hey kids, did you know that your risk of being disemboweled increases by 80,000% upon leaving Opportunity? It's a scientific fact!"
  • "Did you know that littering in Opportunity is punishable by death? If not, you should also know that complaining about Opportunity's laws is considered verbal littering."
  • "Did you know some people on Pandora still believe in ridiculous things like angels and ancient alien warriors? We call those people "bandits."
  • "Hey kids, do you know what your mommies and daddies gave up to live here in Opportunity? Literally nothing! You're paid to be here! I provide all the food and protection you need. Remember, we should all love our parents, but love me more."
General combat lines
  • "There's nowhere to hide now, suckers!"
  • "Child-murderer!"
  • "That was for my Angel!"
  • "This is MY planet!"
  • "You should've died when I told you!"
  • "This one is for Angel, jackhole!"
  • "Die!"
  • "My Angel was HAPPY!"
  • "This is when you die, bandit!"
  • "I'm gonna kill you and the rest of your stupid Vault Hunter friends!"
  • "Ah, you're way too late! Just give up!"
  • "I'm gonna win!"
  • "You and ME, craphole! It all comes down to this!"
  • "This is the end, beautiful friend!"
Turning invisible
  • "Now you see me!"
  • "See ya!"
  • "Bye-bye!"
  • "Try finding me, bandit!"
  • "Catch me if you can!"
Attacking when invisible
  • "Hi jackass!"
  • "Oh, I'm right here!"
  • "Sup!"
  • "Yeah take it, bitch!"
  • "Over here!"
Reaction to Decepti0n
  • "Fight me assassin!"
  • "Somebody kill this freaking assassin!"
  • "Stop the assassin!"
Reaction to Sabre Turret
  • "Take this!"
  • "Hey, did I show you my turret?"
  • "Hoho, have fun with this!"
  • "Stand in front of this, jackass!"
Throwing mortar
  • "Catch this!"
  • "GRENA-A-DE!"
  • "Hey, want a grenade?"
  • "Catch!"
  • "Eat it!"
Calling for Guardian Surveyor
  • "Try breaking through this, jackass!"
  • "Reinforcements, NOW!!"
  • "I want some reinforcements, now!"
While protected by Guardian Surveyor's shield
  • "Alright, safe again!"
  • "You like my reflector shield, pretty sweet, huh?"
  • "I'm invincible bitch!"
  • "No-no-nope!"
  • "Hum, how does these bullets taste, dumbass?"
  • "That's riiight, shoot the reflector shield genius!"
  • "HA-HAHA-HAH!!!"
  • "Stop shooting yourself, stop shooting yourself!!"
  • "Bullets can't go through!"
  • "Oh what's going on, you can't hurt me anymore oh that's gotta be SO FRUSTRATING!"
When Guardian Surveyor is destroyed
  • "Son of a... How the hell you did that?!"
  • "Son of a BITCH!"
  • "CRAP! Crapcrapcrap!!"
  • "Shit-shitshitshit!!"
  • "Slag you!"
Mortally wounded
  • "Gonna make it, fight through the pain Jack...! Come on!"
  • "Not gonna die here too...!"
  • "I'm fine. I'm the hero...!"
  • "Oh, dammit... COME ON!"
  • "Murdering bandit... MURDERER!"
  • "You're not gonna die here Jack... You're okay!"
  • "Urgh... Come on... COME ON!"
Crippling a Vault Hunter
  • "He-heh! There you go!"
  • "Stay down!"
  • "Now, die."
Final Words
  • "No, no, no... I can't die like this... Not when I'm so close... And not at the hands of a filthy bandit! I could have saved this planet! I could have actually restored order! And I wasn't supposed to die by the hands... of a CHILD KILLING PSYCHOPATH!! You're a savage! You're a maniac, you are a bandit, AND I AM THE GODDAMN HERO!!"
  • "The Warrior was practically a god! How- How in the HELL have you killed my Warrior?!"
  • "You idiots! The Warrior could have brought peace to this planet! No more dangerous creatures, no more bandits, Pandora-it would have been a PARADISE!!"


  • Handsome Jack operates like an Engineer when in combat.
  • Handsome Jack will drop a purple-class head customization, named Handsome Jack's Mask when he is killed. Krieg's version of the mask is named "GO TO HELL DIE DIE DIE".
  • Jack's death has no effect on active optional missions, so his ECHO messages continue, even after his demise.
  • Handsome Sorcerer is Jack's representation in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep.


  • Jack appears to have heterochromia.[1]
  • His most recent girlfriend was the Sheriff of Lynchwood.
  • He has a diamond pony called "Butt Stallion" (Jack clarifies that it is in fact a living horse made of diamonds).
  • Jack destroyed Mad Moxxi's Underdome after he thought she was cheating on him.
  • Jack's real face can be seen after defeating both him and the Warrior .
  • Handsome Jack was partially inspired by a particular interview with Nathan Fillion on Jimmy Kimmel Live.[2]
  • Game writer Anthony Burch originally intended "Handsome Jack," a reference to Doctor Who companion Captain Jack Harkness[3], to simply be a placeholder name. However, the name proved popular among the production team and they decided to keep it.

See Also

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