…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, physician then sit back and watch as some incredibly talented folks work their creative magic upon the quantified chaos.
These week’s exercise in mall-walking magnificence comes courtesy of Adam Prosser.
All Jackson Brax ever wanted was to be a mad scientist, and he wasn’t planning on deferring his wishes any longer than he had to. The fact that he hadn’t even graduated from high school yet was hardly an impediment for someone with a supergenius-level IQ (by Jackson’s own reckoning), so every spare moment after school and on weekends was spent working away in his basement. In terms of equipment, what little he couldn’t wheedle from his well-off, doting parents could be salvaged from a nearby Stark Industries disposal site, and soon Jackson’s lab became a suburban subterranean monument to man’s arrogant superiority over the laws of physics.
Unfortunately, Jackson wasn’t having much luck at his ultimate goal, making a sufficient splash with his pseudo-scientific stunts to get noticed as a supervillain. His first real production, an attempt to create a real-life Manticore by crossbreeding a lion and a scorpion, produced only a ten-inch, vaguely feline critter with no claws or sting that only wanted to curl up in the toe of his boots. His killer robots always seemed to retain some trace of Stark programming in the computerized architecture he stole, and he couldn’t get them to do anything but serve tea and comment wryly (and with a British accent) on his repeated failures. He was able to create a real-world Gelatinous Cube (out of actual gelatin) which absorbed his parents and kept them trapped in a state of suspended animation, but after congealing it just sat there, impervious to attempts to get it to expand further.
Around this time, Jackson’s only remaining relative, his aged aunt Mathilda Gernsey, came for a birthday visit. While never one to turn down a card with $20 in it, Jackson had always been mortified by his aunt, and was all the more so now that he was trying to appear badass for the supervillain community. In an attempt to kill two birds with one stone, Jackson unleashed his newest experiment: he opened a portal to the Negative Zone while showing his aunt around the lab, and then when a horrific creature came blundering through, he ran upstairs and locked the door.
As it happened, though, the seemingly monstrous being, while ugly, was the negative zone equivalent of a docile herbivore, and Mathilda, having taken off her glasses for the moment, remained unaware that Jackson had attempted to get rid of her. The creature wasn’t *quite* harmless, though. Nuzzling her arm, the negative zone energy passed through the creature into her, infusing her with strange atomic powers. Mathilda now had power to bond and enlarge non-organic matter, as well as causing it to burst into flame at will.
Taking this in stride, Mathilda adopted the superheroic persona of Auntie Matter, since she’d been looking for a hobby since retirement anyway, and “that seems to be the thing everyone’s doing these days”. A sweet-natured, somewhat oblivious soul, Auntie Matter doesn’t really see anyone as “evil”, not even the villains she comes into conflict with, and certainly not her nephew. In fact, between her poor eyesight, her trusting nature, and the fact that she’s basically invulnerable, she still hasn’t quite twigged to the fact that he’s attempted to kill her multiple times. Although Jackson’s discovered she has an incapacitating allergy to Neptunium (not Uranium or Plutonium, for some reason) that causes her to cough uncontrollably, she tends to blame it on the dry air.
This hasn’t stopped her from foiling his plans, and those of other supervillains, multiple times, usually inadvertently, rather like a superpowered Mr. Magoo. And while she may drive Jackson into levels of fury and embarrassment far beyond anything the Avengers or the X-Men could do, the vast majority of supervillains tend to find themselves rather disarmed by her. “Doom didn’t get into this business to pick fights with a sweet old lady,” the Latverian dictator was overheard remarking. Reports that Annihilus sent her a new housecoat for Christmas remain unconfirmed.
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.