The Scarred Man (傷の男, Kizu no Otoko), known more casually as "Scar" (スカー, Sukā), is a nameless lone serial killer and vigilante who targets State Alchemists for his own brand of lethal justice in accordance with the fundamental tenets of his religion and for the revenge of his slaughtered people and family. An Ishvalan survivor of the Ishvalan Civil War, Scar's moniker comes from the large X-shaped scar on his forehead and sports a conspicuous and intricate alchemical tattoo on his right arm, which originally belonged to his older brother, and which he uses as his murder weapon of choice.
Being a native Ishvalan, the man known as Scar carries the dark complexion and distinctive red irises of his people. He is fairly tall with a muscular build and his hair is shaved close on the back and sides, leaving a silver-colored crown on top. In the manga and 2009 anime storyline, this crown sticks up a bit, while the 2003 anime series depicts it as relatively flat and spread out. Scar's right arm is adorned with a thin scar stretching entirely around the limb where the bicep meets the shoulder and, from that mark all the way down to the wrist, is nearly covered with a complex tattoo. The upper portion of his face is disfigured with a large X-shaped scar which stretches across his forehead and down over his eyes into his upper cheekbones. The manga storyline portrays Scar as being in his early- to mid-thirties while the 2003 anime depicts him as being roughly ten years younger. In the early part of either series, Scar wears sunglasses to hide his red eyes from view and bears a distinctive gold-colored jacket emblazoned with a cross on the back and sleeves. Additionally, he sports a pair of black slacks with a white cross on the left leg and a white stripe running down the right.
Scar is a decidedly brooding, vicious, and angry man, almost totally consumed by hatred toward the people who destroyed his homeland. Knowing full well that his actions go against many of the teachings of his religion, he still fashions himself an agent of God's divine punishment and takes out his fury on State Alchemists; as a result, he abandons his birth name which Ishvalans consider gifts from God. Unfortunately, this escalates into a monomaniac hatred of State Alchemists, to the point he even targets Edward Elric who was never part of the war and is a champion of the people.
However, vestiges of his former life's kinder nature are prone to seep through. Even in the middle of his bloody vengeance, Scar is willing to show compassion toward others, honoring last requests and offering a chance to pray before dying. He is reasonably wise and a skilled rhetorician, though his misguided thirst for vengeance clouds his greater judgment and leads his arguments in circles. Having had his people and his family stolen from him, Scar sympathizes with those who care for their loved ones and looks after those who have lost their place in the world. Additionally, he is very protective of his surviving kinsmen and takes all their words of encouragement or chastisement to heart.
As a former warrior of Ishval, Scar is quite adept at hand-to-hand combat, boasting significant strength and stamina, remarkable agility and reflexes and deceptive speed. Though the 2003 anime shows him as a young armed combatant during the war, in the manga he displays his abilities on the field by subduing a number of armed Amestrian soldiers using only melee tactics. Scar's killing spree throughout Amestris itself is proof of his skills, as he manages to murder ten State Alchemists (including Basque Grand, who had been hailed as a combat specialist) and is able to hold his own against combat-based alchemists like the Elric brothers and Alex Armstrong. In addition, Scar proves himself capable of taking down inhuman beasts such as chimeras and Homunculi. Most impressively, through a combination of luck and skill, he managed to gain a pyrrhic victory over a severely wounded Wrath.
Scar is also reasonably intelligent, able to comprehend some more complex alchemical texts and concepts despite having never studied the craft and an adequate tactician capable of immediately identifying and assessing his opponents' weaknesses in combat.
Use of AlchemyWhile his physical prowess and intimidating figure are frightful in and of themselves, Scar's most dangerous element is his right arm, which is able to destroy anything with which it comes into contact by way of the intricate and arcane Transmutation Array tattooed thereupon. As a fundamentalist opponent of alchemy, Scar does not consider himself an alchemist in the traditional sense, but the strain of alchemy that his arm itself allows him to produce is powerful, advanced and unique. As observed by those who have seen it in action and lived to tell the tale, Scar's method follows the cyclical flow of transmutation, but only takes into account the first two steps - comprehension and deconstruction. By "stopping at the second step", the physical structure of whatever he targets is broken down and not reshaped, essentially reducing it to debris. By applying this method to his victims, he destroys their internal systems (general organs in the manga, but the brain specifically in the 2003 anime version) instantly while circumventing both Human Transmutation and the Ishvalan stigma associated with giving new form to one of God's creations. In the 2003 anime, he is able to destroy Chimeras by blowing them up, reducing their bodies to bloody splatters. Still, for all the serial killer's anti-alchemical posturing, the fact that he is unable to deconstruct an object whose composition he does not comprehend suggests that Scar does have a fair bit of alchemical knowledge and must actively identify, or at least make educated guesses at, the makeup of objects he wishes to destroy; despite his repeated assertion that the arm (and not himself) is the one performing alchemy, Scar is an amateur alchemist by practice.
The origin of the markings on Scar's arm differ somewhat between the manga and 2003 anime story-lines of the series, but in both it was originally the right arm of Scar's older brother, transferred from one sibling to the other in an emergency procedure during the Ishval Civil War.
Manga and 2009 anime
Scar's arm array is the deconstruction half of a two-piece complementary set designed by his older brother. By studying both Amestrian alchemy and Xingese alkahestry, Scar's elder brother was able to find similarities between the two and combine them into an array that incorporated their strengths. The right arm, marked with "TERRA" (the Latin word for "Earth") and "AER" (the Latin word for "Air"), carries an array incorporating twin snakes in a Caduceus pattern surrounded by reptilian scales which may represent the "Dragon's Pulse" of alkahestric origin and a series of tribal arrows leading down to the wrist, representing an outward flow. This arm is designated for deconstruction. The left arm, designated for reconstruction, is marked with the same array turned upside down to represent an inward flow and with the Dragon's Pulse tattooed in white ink rather than the black ink of the right arm. Its inward flow completes the cyclical pulse of full transmutation and it is marked with "IGNIS" (the Latin word for "Fire") and "AQUA", (The Latin word for "Water") completing the elemental tetrad.
After an attack by State Alchemist Solf J. Kimblee left the young Scar dying from exsanguination due to the loss of his right arm, his older brother used the Alkahestric properties to transfer his own right arm to his brother's body in exchange for his life. Though Scar is unable to transmute past the deconstruction stage with this arm, the Alkahestric nature of the array makes his transmutations immune to Father's alchemy-sealing ability.
Scar reveals in Chapter 103 that he had, at some point in the previous several months, deciphered the deconstruction array enough to accurately recreate the reconstruction array that had been on his brother's left arm. Now, with his own left arm marked with the same array, he is finally able to create in addition to being able to destroy and can perform full transmutations with the full power of his brother's extensive research. Though new to the craft, not having had enough confidence to even make an attempt before The Promised Day, Scar proves himself able to create large spikes from the ground similar to those used by the Elric brothers and Alex Louis Armstrong. However, instead of being conical, Scar's spikes take the form of hexagonal pyramids.
The array on Scar's arm is a fragment of a larger array called the Grand Arcanum, which his older brother had tattooed over his entire body after delving into old alchemic methods in a failed human transmutation of his late lover. The Grand Arcanum, an ancient and forbidden strain of alchemy native and unique to Ishvalan culture, was designed to create a Philosopher's Stone by reacting with lost souls and other incomplete Stones, absorbing them into the array. After an attack by State Alchemist Solf J. Kimblee left the young Scar dying from the loss of his arm, his older brother regained his senses long enough to transfer his own right arm to his younger sibling at the cost of his own life. As such, Scar's right arm is an incomplete Philosopher's Stone, retaining enough of his brother's full-body Grand Arcanum tattoo to react in the same way. It gives off a scarlet light when used, in keeping with the nature of the Stone, and painfully absorbs Red Stones and the souls of Scar's victims into itself as it attempts to become complete.
The markings on the arm are similar to those in the manga, but are more vague and lack the defined symbology of the Dragon's Pulse arm. Additionally, because of its differing origins, it carries a different meaning. It appears that his arm is able to reconstruct, but is not allowed to by Scar's religious ideology.
Scar's Brother: They loved each other dearly. While Scar and his brother were near opposites and Scar never understood his brother's studies regarding alchemy and alkahestry, he genuinely cared for him. When Kimblee attacks them, Scar's brother shields Scar and later even cuts off his own arm and transmutes it onto Scar to save his life. When Scar realized his brother died, he went on a rampage which ended up killing Winry's parents. He would keep his brother's research notes which would later prove useful in saving Amestris. His death (along with the death of his fellow Ishvalans) is one of the main reasons for his hatred of Kimblee.
May Chang: Being a child and not being a state alchemist, Scar had no vendetta against her. She healed his wound and he allowed her to journey with him. She is one of the few people who didn't see Scar as a monster and he tended to protect her. She in turn grew to care for him as a brother, often healing his wounds and remaining attached to him.
Dr. Marcoh: The two met while Scar was investigating the underground tunnels to find the homunculi and learn why they instigated the Ishvalan war. Scar happened to be above Marcoh's prison cell and Marcoh revealed he was the alchemist responsible for the Ishvalan massacre. He begs Scar to kill him so the homunculi won't force him to be part of another genocide but Scar spares him to learn more and disfigures him so no one can recognize him. While there is clear animosity from Scar regarding Marcoh and what he has done, he still keeps him alive as his knowledge regarding the homunculi and Scar's brother's research notes was invaluable. While it is possible Scar still doesn't forgive him for what happened, he manages to tolerate his presence. In the 2003 anime however, Marcoh was one of Scar's targets and later attempt to kill him, along with Edward Elric, but Marcoh figured out the symbols on Scar's tattooed right arm, and helped drive him off.
Winry: He accidentally killed her parents when he was on a rampage due to the extreme pain of his wounds and trauma from witnessing his brother and fellow countrymen be killed by Kimblee. When she finds out he killed them, he tells her she is justified in shooting him but then she would become his enemy. He didn't hesitate to attack her but when Ed protected her, it reminded him of how his own brother protected him from Kimblee. When they meet again in the North and Winry offers to treat his wounds, he asks if she forgives him. She says no but that her parents would want her to help him. The two traveled together and although the two didn't interact much, it seemed Scar did grow to regret killing her parents since they did save his life.
Mustang: He hated Mustang as he did the many state alchemists who killed his countrymen and on a few occasions tried to murder him. As a result, Mustang did view him as a threat but the two worked together to stop the Homunculi from using Amestris to make a giant Philosopher's Stone.
Edward: Simply because of his status as a state alchemist, Scar hunted Ed down to kill him. Ed tried to use him to lure out the Homunculi since he knew Scar wanted to kill him and the homunculi wouldn't let Scar kill him. Ed hated Scar for what he did to Nina and when he learned Scar was the one who killed Winry's parents, his hatred for Scar increased. He hated having to work with him but oftentimes the two were forced into an alliance for the greater good of the country.
Yoki: Yoki tried turning Scar in to get a reward and be reinstated into the military when they first met. When that failed, he quickly submitted himself to being Scar's servant, which Scar didn't object to. While he tries to play himself off as Scar's master, whenever Scar is in earshot he takes it back and calls Scar master. Scar for the most part seems to simply allow him to travel with him and thinks of him as a nuisance but uses him as a watch-out and to help find a means of transportation. He didn't seem to mind him getting killed when Envy got attached, though he could've been acting as well.
Kimblee: Kimblee killed many of Scar's people, including his brother and as a result is the state alchemist he hates more than anyone. Kimblee saw Scar as a survivor and a stain on his reputation since he wouldn't allow any Ishvalans he killed to have survived and the two fought against each other, though it ended in a draw but the matter was not settled as Pride eventually ate Kimblee. In the 2003 anime however, Scar however was the one who killed Kimblee during their battle in Reole after sacrificing his left arm.
Miles: A fellow Ishvalan, he is one of the people who try to convince Scar to give up his life of revenge in order to help reform the Amestrian government to help save their people. Miles does state he will shoot Scar if he continues to evade pursuit but admitted he would hate to have to kill a fellow Ishvalan. Though their interactions are short, the two do reference each other as brothers and by the end of the series work together to help rebuild Ishval.
Homunculi: Upon hearing that the homunculi were the ones responsible for destroying his people, he set out to eliminate them. His hatred for them eventually led him to an alliance with Edward and Mustang to help bring them down and save Amestris. In the 2003 anime, he also had a connection to Lust, as she was the created as the result of a failed transmutation by Scar's brother, due to his attempt to bring his deceased girlfriend back to life.