…in which I use the character creation rules in the Marvel Super Heroes RPG’s Ultimate Powers Book to roll up a random batch of powers and abilities, then sit back and watch as some incredibly talented folks work their creative magic upon the quantified chaos.
This Wednesday’s flare of creative radiance burst forth from the stellar imaginations of James Stowe (art) and Max Robinson (writing).
THE YEAR: 1940
Gil Everett was a chemist employed by the soon-to-be-bankrupt Thoom Inc., tinkering with an experimental “living plasma” he had designed known as Compound 6o7. While Everett worked late one night at Thoom’s Coney Island laboratory, small-time hood Ray “Squeeky” Queen lit the facility on fire after the company refused to pay him protection money (Later accounts would reveal Queen was in fact hired by Thoom’s board of directors to perform the arson in an attempt to claim some fast insurance money). Trapped in his lab and with no means of escape, Everett was caught in a chemical blast that bathed his body in Compound 6o7. Finding that he could now manipulate and even become the fire around him, Everett exploded out of the wreckage of his former lab and used his new gifts to bring Queen to justice (Queen received 3rd degree burns throughout his body in the process and would later menace Everett as disfigured crime boss THE RUSTY SHACKLE).
Having avenged himself and with the world at large thinking him dead, Everett donned the guise of PLASMAS, THE FLAMING MAN and fought crime and injustice with his fire-based abilities throughout the five boroughs for several years. When the U.S. entered World War II, Everett joined a coalition of willing heroes known as THE VINDICATORS (consisting of fellow crime fighters such as underwater queen regent NEPTUNA, academic super-spy PROFESSOR SMOKESCREEN and patriotic super-soldier THE GREATEST AMERICAN) and fought threats to freedom both locally and abroad.
While on a top secret mission with The Vindicators to stop the launch of a Nazi rocket aimed at Washington, DC and containing Hitler’s lethal Ragnafrogs, Everett sacrificed his life by flying the missile into Earth’s orbit and obliterating it with a full-strength heat blast. Everett’s few remains were interred at Arlington National Cemetery, his funeral attended by his close allies and President Harry S. Truman. Although the nation could not know of his sacrifice, Everett died a man at peace.
THE YEAR: 2013
THOOM Worldwide (now a trillion dollar corporate conglomerate with footholds in markets such as pharmaceutical development, weapons technology and private security), believing that since Everett’s body contained a compound that was, legally, theirs, exhumed his remains for further experimentation. Although his corporeal body was seemingly without use, THOOM scientist Joseph Didia discovered, using experimental protonic capture technology and certain occult rituals, that he could convert Everett into a gaseous “spirit” and place him inside a bio-mechanical shell. Further, this fusion of ghost and machine somehow even retained Everett’s natural powers and abilities.
As THE PLASMATOID, Everett is little more than a weapon rented out by his THOOM masters to the highest bidder. Although possessing only the most basic intelligence, The Plasmatoid has slowly begun to exhibit signs that he remembers his former life while deployed on assignments. On a recent mission to sabotage a South Korean computer facility, The Plasmatoid abandoned its mission mid-stream to save a school bus filled with children from a collapsed bridge. In response, THOOM scientists have developed a molecular compound, known as “Compound 666”, that when administered causes Everett’s noncorporeal form to feel excruciating agony. As The Plasmatoid grows more “unstable”, THOOM’s board of directors has commissioned R & D to incorporate a lethal CO 666 payload into The Plasmatoid’s armor shell as a “necessary contingency” against further malfunctions.
Are you an artist, writer, or terrifying combination of the two who’d like to try your hand at the Ultimate Powers Jam? Then drop me a line at bitter(dot)andrew(at)gmail(dot)com and I’ll commence the dice to rolling.
(And if you’ve already expressed interest and I haven’t gotten back to you, please send me a mildly abusive reminder. I’ve been more disorganized than usual these past few weeks.)