"The Lord forgives everything, but I'm just a prophet… so I don't have to. Amen."
Zachary Hale Comstock was the leader of the Founders, the ultra-nationalist/nativist party that founded the floating city of Columbia. Within Columbia, Comstock was known as earning the title of "the Prophet" and "Father Comstock." He claimed to have the ability to predict the future of Columbia, attacked from his enemies, and the actions of the False Shepherd. He is now under the "Employment" of Old Gray.
To the people of Columbia, little was known about Comstock prior to a baptism he spoke of, and had rarely spoken of anything before that event. One thing he claimed was that he was a member of the 7th Cavalry and a veteran of the Wounded Knee Massacre. After the baptism, Comstock became a deeply religious man, and he used his newfound faith to reshape his identity. He soon became a powerful man with a strong pull in the United States government.
Creation of ColumbiaEdit
Sometime after his baptism, Comstock met Rosalind Lutece, a genius physicist who was experimenting with manipulating the actions of atoms -- through use of her "Lutece Field," being able to lock atoms at fixed positions in space. Comstock took great interest in her research, which would allow for the creation of a floating city he had seen in a premonition. Receiving support from the United States government, Comstock oversaw the construction of that city, which he named Columbia. It was launched in 1893 with much fanfare. Comstock became its leader, later creating a political party of its white inhabitants called the Founders.
Comstock began to see the idea of America as "the New Eden," and the Founding Fathers as prophets of God's Great Plan. However, he also saw Caucasians as the only truly free race, and viewed "minority" races with total contempt. He often praised the Jews, whom he claimed to be the descendents of the "white Hebrew race led by Moses", and gave them the title of "Honorary Whitemen", although anti-semitism was not as popular prior to his death. He declared Abraham Lincoln "the Great Apostate" who brought nothing but war and death upon the country. He also saw Columbia as the key to usher the world into righteousness and became determined to make it a reality.
Shortly afterwards, Comstock would marry one of his devotees, Lady Comstock.
Discovery of Inter-dimensional TearsEdit
Between 1892 and 1893, while conducting further study into the Lutece Field, Rosalind found that she was able to create a communication field into an alternate universe. She then made contact with Robert Lutece, an alternate version of herself, who was performing the same exact experiment. Determined to find a way to see Robert face-to-face, Rosalind reported her findings to Comstock. Comstock provided Rosalind with additional funding to continue her research, believing her discovery was a window into the future, despite her insistence otherwise. In 1893, Rosalind and Robert were able to create a machine to open Tears into alternate universes; on October 15th of that year, they successfully opened their first Tear, allowing Robert to cross into Rosalind's universe.
Comstock used this device extensively, utilizing Tears to look into other realities, and even see future happenings. When he showed these visions to inventor and businessman Jeremiah Fink, the latter was able to greatly advance technology in Columbia through various inventions such as the Sky-Hook and mass-produced Vigors. (He would also eventually create the Songbird for Comstock, based on a "wonder" he saw through the Tears.) Due to Comstock's use of the tears, the people of Columbia saw him as a true prophet, and began to worship him.
The Presentation and Secession of ColumbiaEdit
Seen as a floating symbol of American ideals at a time when the United States was becoming a world power, Columbia was sent to all corners of the globe on a goodwill tour. However, in 1901, during the Boxer Rebellion in Beijing, China, Comstock discovered that the Boxers were holding American citizens hostage and ordered Columbia to open fire on the Chinese populace. This act revealed to the world that Columbia was, in fact, a giant warship. The United States government disavowed Columbia, and ordered Comstock to stand down. Seeing this as a betrayal, Comstock led Columbia to secede from the union the following year, and the city vanished into the skies above. Comstock thereafter declared Columbia the true America, believing the United States to be a shell of its former self and condemning it along with the rest of the world.
Meeting Adolf HitlerEdit
In 1905, Comstock decided to take a look at Berlin, Germany in order to refresh his mind without risking his true identity. On his way, however, he noticed a young man by the name of Adolf Hitler. The future Fuhrer later met Comstock and was given an option to help improve Columbia's society and further promote his dreams of a "New Eden". Hitler, being a nationalist and strong believer in the superiority of the German people, denounced Comstock as a "Jew from New York", thus ending the conversation as the bearded man walked calmly and confidently back into his floating city, viewing the future Fuhrer as "a stubborn, young lad". As time passed, despite sharing a sense of racism with Nazi Germany, Columbia denounced Hitler's anti-semitism, along with the Holocaust, and claimed that they would rather put all the non-Whites in caged than "blindly" kill them off, since they saw value in them as a fitting labor force.
The Lamb of ColumbiaEdit
Through Rosalind and Robert's device, Comstock saw that Columbia would only prosper as long as his bloodline continued to rule the city. However, overuse of the device began to take its toll on Comstock; he aged rapidly, and soon discovered that he had been rendered sterile. Desperate to have a blood successor, he conferred with the Luteces, and the three deduced that a true heir could be procured from another universe.
In late 1893, Robert was able to return to his own reality and find Booker DeWitt; since rejecting Preacher Witting's baptism, a still-regretful Booker had spiraled deep into alcoholism and gambling debt. Comstock had Robert offer to wipe away these debts in exchange for Booker's infant daughter, Anna DeWitt. Booker haltingly agreed, and Robert brought Anna to Comstock.
Almost immediately regretting the decision, Booker pursued Robert to retrieve Anna. He found them in an alleyway preparing to pass through a Tear back to Comstock's reality. Although Booker tried to stop him from taking Anna through the Tear, Comstock managed to escape with her.
Comstock saw Anna as the key to making his dream of remaking the world a reality. However, the child was rejected by Lady Comstock, who believed her to be Rosalind and Comstock's "bastard" child. At Lady Comstock's insistence that the child not live under their roof, Comstock created Monument Island Tower to house her. He also saw to the creation of the Siphons as her Tear-making powers began to develop, in order to keep them in check. Renaming her Elizabeth, Comstock began to call her the "Lamb of Columbia," and the Founders soon worshiped her as a savior.
Over time, overuse of the Luteces' contraption continued to deteriorate Comstock's body, giving him cancer, and causing him to have the appearance of an old man at thirty-eight years of age. In addition, it gave him knowledge that Booker would eventually find a way to take Elizabeth from him. He began to warn the populace that a "False Shepherd" would appear, and began constructing a plan to make Elizabeth servile to him.
Murder of Lady Comstock and the LutecesEdit
At the same time, Lady Comstock was growing frustrated and angry with keeping the truth about Elizabeth from the populace. Knowing that she was going to reveal the truth, in 1895, Comstock had her killed and framed her servant, Daisy Fitzroy, for her murder. This act set in motion the chain of events that would lead to Fitzroy creating the revolutionary group known as the Vox Populi.
Meanwhile, Rosalind and Robert saw the future of Columbia, and what Elizabeth would become, through their machine. In an effort to prevent such a future from coming to pass, they plotted to take Elizabeth from Comstock and return her to her original universe. However, Comstock soon discovered what they were doing, and ordered Jeremiah Fink to sabotage their contraption, killing the two as they were using it. In actuality, the sabotage caused the Luteces to exist across all space and time, giving them the ability to appear wherever and whenever they wanted. Still determined to stop Comstock, they devised a plan to send Booker to Columbia to retrieve his long-lost daughter.
Comstock became aware of Booker's presence after a commotion at Columbia's annual Raffle & Fair and sent his forces after the man, determined to stop him from retrieving Elizabeth. He at one point also confronted Booker directly, mocking the man's personal failures and trying to trap him inside a burning airship. However, Comstock's efforts were initially for naught, as Booker was able to reach Monument Island and Elizabeth willingly left with him. Comstock's tactics soon became more aggressive; on one occasion, he used Siphons to hijack Elizabeth's powers and resurrect Lady Comstock as the Siren in order to stop them from proceeding.
When Comstock was finally able to recover Elizabeth with the help of Songbird, he took drastic measures to keep her servile: barricading her in Comstock House, he instructed his scientists to operate on her to decrease her access to her powers, and had her fitted with an electric mechanism that delivered an intensely painful shock when she was disobedient. The scientists then used this device as part of mental conditioning, both to turn her to Comstock's way of thinking and to squash any hope she had that Booker will come for her.
In the reality where this occured, Comstock successfully turned Elizabeth into a brutal and murderous dictator. However, feeling regret for allowing herself to become Comstock's heir, Elizabeth brought Booker to her universe and gave him instructions on how to avoid this fate, to give to her other self. She then sent him back to the appropriate timeline, where Booker was able to rescue Elizabeth and the two resolved to murder Comstock.
After boarding and navigating Comstock's ship, the Hand of the Prophet, Booker and Elizabeth confront Comstock in his cabin. There, Comstock tries to regain Elizabeth's trust by weakening her faith in Booker, grabbing her and demanding that Booker tell her the truth about her lost finger. In a fit of rage, Booker grabs Comstock by the throat and smashes his head against a stone baptismal font multiple times before drowning him in it.
Employment by Old GrayEdit
After his death, he had found out that he was reborn as a Mort, a being that exist in the Space inbetween the Universes, confused by this, he started to wander the twisted and surreal landshacpe of a unusual planet. He did this for the next 14 months, until, he came across a unusual Manson where he meet a man who calls himself "Old Gray" where he offers a job. Seeing nothing else, he accepted the offer and became "Employed" by Old Gray