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Heroes Inc – Introduction and Roll Call!

23 January, 2020

As it looks like I may be CHing a new supers campaign (see the pitch here), I thought it was time to revisit my earlier (successful) superheroic campaigns.

Here is the Original game framework:

Champions of the 1960s – Background

Torch of LibertyA new age of heroes is emerging, the fifties have ended and a new age is beginning. It is a four-color age, heroes are heroes and larger than life. Patriotism is in vogue and America is the greatest nation on the Earth. The House Un-American Activities Commission has wound down, the Red Scare is now receding or is it?

America is changing, the children of the baby boom are maturing into adults. New political and social ideas are emerging, the old consensus is changing.

The Industrial Champions (the US superteam of the 1950s) have just disbanded following the death of Radio Hero from a heart attack. The Captain of Industry has gone to the Pentagon as an advisor on the development of powered armor. Detroit Motor, Sparks and the Super Car continue to tour the United States. Tinker Belle has retired from the public eye. Union Suit remains a hero and has become a regular on the Union speaker circuit.

Challenger has emerged as the protector of the streets of New York. The vigilante Gang Buster strive to keep the criminals of Chicago in line. The Night Cat continues to patrol Boston. Pacific Sun uses her high flying ways to protect San Francisco.

Briefly, there were fears in the US of a “hero gap” after the Industrial Champions team disbanded. For a short time the Soviet Union had a super team, the New Future, and America did not. But America now has Heroes Incorporated, led by Jack Diamond (aka Playboy) head of Diamond Industries.

Current Members of HEROES INC (name in bold indicate founding members)

Jack Diamond aka “the Playboy created/played by Peter Blake Hindman.

Formerly Jack Diamond, Junior Ace, sidekick to USAction during WW2. Now the head of Diamond Industries, a major defense contractor. Skilled martial artist, good at everything (5 -five!- overall levels) and access to the latest technology.  First Appearance: Issue 1.

Askar the Untamed created/played by Blake Lemoine.
Amazing athlete who was raised since childhood in (wait for it) . . . The Valley of the Dinosaurs!  Also could speak to animals.  First Appearance: Issue 6.  (Inactive, in South Africa searching for his family)

The Human Jack-Rabbit!Human Jackrabbit Created/played by Tom Michaud.
What do you get when you mix the speed of the Flash,TM the wit of Groucho Marx and the appearance of Bugs Bunny?TM Aside from a licensing nightmare, you get the Human Jackrabbit. Originally dubbed the “Defender of Upstate New York,” he has brought his antics to the Big Apple in search of bigger action.  First Appearance: Issue 6.

The Origin of the Human Jackrabbit
  The lone survivor of the devastated Lopin, the Human Jackrabbit (HJ) crashed on Earth in a small space vessel made by his parents and launched just moments before the planet’s ultimate destruction. Found by a modest farming family, the Seleskis (who named this mysterious babe from space, ‘Jon’). Jon was raised as a normal child, almost unaware of the powers granted to him by the Earth’s yellow sun . . .

    In High School (“Benedict Arnold High”), while attending a demonstration of the wonders of atomic power, Jon was bitten by a radioactive rabbit. Jon soon found that he had acquired the proportionate strength of a rabbit, and an affinity for diving into open manholes . . .

    The Canadian government, seeing Jon’s powers, kidnaped him and subjected him to their mysterious “Weapon Y” enhancement project. The Project subjected Jon to bizarre and unlikely experiments. Jon’s bones were laced with non-viscus Tethlon and he was given retractable razor-sharp Tethlon claws. The Weapon Y program was also responsible for the creation of the HJ’s arch-rival, the Wooly Mammoth, his massive muscles augmented by bones and tusks of cubic zirconium. Then something went terribly wrong with the experiments. The labs were sealed, the records destroyed and the subjects had their minds erased. Jon and the other subject were released back into society, now believing they were mild-mannered shoe salesmen . . .

    After many years, Jon/HJ once again manifested his superpowers. Troubled with the duality of how to manage his ‘Rabbit Fury”and his occupation sizing shoes, he sought out Dr Julius Young, who was renown for his knowledge of helping super-powered beings adjust to society. HJ arrived at Young’s School for Talented Young just in time to single handedly turn back an assault by the Fraternity of Nasty Naturally Powered Super Beings. This was the beginning of HJ’s long stint with the M-Men . . .

    The M-Men and the rest of Earth’s greatest heroes united to confront the ‘Emergency on Endless Worlds,” where all of the possibilities of time converged into a single ‘coherent’ world. This caused HJ to combine with several of his alternate selves: the dark defender of central Gothopolis, Black Rabbit. The militant feminist female analog, GunBunny. The frog inspired version, Hopper. Lastly, the maniacal evil mastermind, the Hare. Once all of the worlds were one, Jon Seleski, the Human Jackrabbit, Protector of Upstate New York, was formed. Jon was now a young man in the Poconoes (a ski resort town in the mountains), blessed with the powers of The Rabbit by the great and powerful pantheon of the Animal Gods, and it is this avatar of all things rabbit, that we have come to know and love . . .

    Although there may be some loose ends from the other worlds that may need to be tied up, the Human Jackrabbit is on the way . . . (copyright Tom Michaud, 2000, used with permission.)

Kid Comic created/played by Steve McDonald.

Ten-year-old comic fan (when he first appeared) with the ability to take on the powers, and appearance, of the characters in the comics he reads.  First Appearance: Issue 1 (backup story).

Plasma-Man created/played by Dave Cain.

Once a mild-mannered scientist in the employ of Diamond Industries.  Now an exemplar of Science! and able to transform into living plasma,  First appearance: Issue 7.

Rebel created/played by Daniel Shiu
“The hero who can fly almost as fast as he can run.”  Gained super-powers (super strength, enhanced senses, flight) from a glowing meteor. Now a media star and spokesman for Black Label cigarettes. Looks an awful lot like James Dean. [Actually gained his powers through chemically altered cigarettes.] First Appearance: Issue 1.   Learn more in Rebel: the Untold Story and Rebel Interviewed in Teen Beat Magazine. (Inactive, currently hosting his own TV show “Black Label Cigarettes presents ‘the Rebel Variety Hour'” in Hollywood and making movies and records.)

Spymaster created/played by Matt Powell
Product of the Russian super-soldier project where he was trained as a spy and granted mental powers.  Defected to the US and now fights against the Communists.  First Appearance: Issue 1.   (Inactive, working for US Government on Top Secret missions.)

Lt. Steven Steele of the U S Army, Special Equipment Unit created/played by Ali.
One of the first cyborged soldier of the U.S. Army  First Appearance: Issue 11.  (Inactive, serving in Vietnam.)

Torch (of Liberty) created/played by Sean Holland (NPC).
Torch, as she is known by her friends, has command over both heat and flame and is capable of flight and projecting bursts of heat.  Torch was trained by the WW2 heroine, MinuteMaid, and endeavors to carry on that proud tradition.  First Appearance: Issue 1 (backup story).  (Inactive, pursuing her own career)

Probationary/Reserve Members

54-40 created by Sean Holland/played by Viktor Stearns.
Son of the WW2 American villain of the same name, the new 54-40 fights to clear his father’s name and to protect America.  Using an updated version of his father’s power armor 54-40 is well protected and can fly. First Appearance: Issue 1 (Inactive, working in the Pacific Northwest.)

Blue Archer created/played by Ali.

Master of archery and inflatable technology.  First Appearance: Issue 7.  (Moved to San Francisco to pursue the life of an independent hero as of Issue 10.  Also acquired a sidekick by the name of Quiver after moving venues.)

Caretaker/ Gravedigger created/played by James Hall

Dual natured mystic healer/ supernatural avenger, changing from kindly mystic to unstoppable supernatural force.  First Appearance: Issue 4.

Doctor Unknown created/played by Bryan York.

Master of the esoteric arts, sorcerer and scholar.  First Appearance: Issue 6.

X created/played by Asynaka Lyon.

Strident African-American activist with mental powers. A psychology student at SUNY in his secret identity.  First Appearance: Issue 2 (back up story – Cry Wolf).

Other Heroes

Reggie the Talking Gorilla created/played by Nelson Rushton
Super-intelligent gorilla and media star.   Now acting as Rebel’s ‘second banana’ on the Rebel Variety Hour.  First Appearance: Issue 1 (backup story).

Jade Dragon created/played by ?

Mystical force user.  Details are hazy.  First Appearance: Issue 15.

Sirius created/played by J R. Misatano

Shapeshifting alien with a fondness for dogs.  First Appearance: Issue 15.

White Knight created/played by Lawrence

Chivalrous hero, attempting to be a knight for the modern age.  First (and only) Appearance: Issue 6.

Once Heroes

Jet-Man created/played by Paul Patino.

Arrogant inventor with high flying, high tech super-hero armed with his electric gun and EMP missiles.  First appearance: Issue 5.  Jet-Man, and Paul, never clicked with the rest of the group.  It was always my intent to have him reappear as a villain is best comics tradition.

Head to the heroic First Issue!

Notes: This was played under Champions (4th Edition) rules at the end of the 1990s, which seems like more than an age ago.  Art of Torch of Liberty by the immensely talented Brian Stelfreeze, done for me at Dragon*Con, art of the Human Jack-Rabbit from a Champions character sheet by his creator, Tom Michaud.

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