Heroes Inc – 80-Page Giant

2 February, 2020

Heroes Incorporated, 80-Page Giant, Number 1 (August 1964)

Appearing in this issue: Our Heroes, Full Members of the Team: Playboy, Human Jackrabbit, Kid Comic, Plasma Man, and Lt. Steele.  Probationary Members: Askar the Untamed.

The Grandmaster’s Deadly Games
Cover: The Heroes Inc team as chess pieces with the Grandmaster reaching down to take Jack Diamond/ Playboy.
Banners proclaim: Three Stories of Heroic Action! Heroes Inc in Danger! Thrilling Adventure!

Part One: Bank Shot
This one is already openOpening page: A large suit of powered armor tearing open a bank vault, “Only three left to go!”

Splash page: The team (except for Askar) around the Heroes Inc situation room table. A call from the police chief informs the team that a group of five suit of powered armor are rampaging through downtown Manhattan.

The team deploys to meet the threat. A battle ensues in one of the banks. The heroes quickly defeat the powered armor team (who are using armor based on French designs). Upon returning back to the HQ, they find Janice tied up in a chair and that Sirius has been kidnapped! A quick search of the building reveals nothing except a black chess piece, specifically, a pawn. This indicate the involvement of the Soviet super-spy, the Grandmaster.

Interlude: The team investigates but does not find the location of Sirius. Though Elaine Elizabeth, girl reporter, is on the trial. The villain group Force Five begins raiding scientific/ research corporations in the New York/ New Jersey area.

Part Two: Team Match
Guest Appearance by: Spymaster (played as an NPC this adventure.)

Spymaster contacts the team with information about Force Five and where they may strike next. The team agrees to meet him in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Arriving at the agreed upon location, Spymaster steps forward to meet the heroes only to crumple to the ground, felled by a silenced attack. (Spymaster’s role as a guest star is to deliver important information either immediately before or after he is shot.) The heroes rush to help him as Force Five appears: Arson, a flying flame projector. The Flexible Man, street fighter with stretching powers. The Hornet, flying insectoid with a sting gun. Mr. It, scaled strongman. (And Transparency, who was never seen, with invisibility powers and a silenced pistol. She was the one who shot Spymaster.)

During the battle one of Force Five reveals that they have gained their powers from an infusion of alien blood taken from Sirius. The heroes quickly gain the upper hand, defeating Arson, Hornet and Mr. It. Spymaster is ferried to a nearby hospital. Kid Comic chases after the fleeing Flexible Man. Askar (the untamed) arrives as the heroes begin to search for Kid Comic.

Part Three: Checkmate!
(Kid Comic was captured because his player was unable to make it to this game, so Kid Comic played the role of “Robin, the Boy Hostage” for this scenario.)

Your move, Mr DiamondThe Heroes tracked Kid Comic to a large warehouse once inside banks of lights illuminated the interior showing Kid Comic trapped within one face of a giant chess clock and a huge chessboard on the floor. On the white side of the board, a living chess set has been assembled:

Soldiers for Pawns, M-113 APCs with turreted auto-cannons for Rooks, Men with body-armor and archaic weaponry on motorcycles for Knights, powered armor for Bishops, a woman in powered armor as Queen, and the Grandmaster himself as King.

For Heroes Inc: Lt. Steele as Rook, Askar as Knight, Plasma Man as Bishop, Human Jackrabbit as Queen, and Jack Diamond as the King.

“Win the match and your young friend will be freed,” says the Grandmaster. The Heroes have little choice but to accept. The Heroes, though outnumbered, win most of the battles for the squares and soon win the match. The Grandmaster graciously concedes and then drops through a trapdoor. Jack leaps! Grabs the Grandmaster and is pulled down the shaft after him! The other heroes are too stunned to react as the trapdoor seals shut.

Final page: The rest of Heroes Inc gathered around the chess tile through which Jack and the Grandmaster vanished. “What will happen next?” “Will Heroes Inc survive without Playboy?” “Will Playboy be rescued?” “Buy the next issue of Heroes Incorporated to find out!”

Flip back to Issue 18.

Onward to Issue 19!

Back to Heroes Inc Roll Call.

Notes: A nice set of linked adventures though nothing spectacular, however, the living chessboard motif is very Silver Age.  Elaine Elizabeth has shown up, in various version, in several others of my campaigns including Shadowrun.

Photos: Chess Match on Courthouse Square — “Charge at First Light” by Jack Pearce and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  The Key Bank Vault Door by Marc Smith and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.


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