aka Joe Higgins
*Damage Resistance 6 (Limit: This ability is boosted by his suit, which is specially formulated to work with his altered metabolism. Without the suit, Joe’s Damage Resistance is 4. If anyone else wears the suit, they only have damage resistance of 2 since it won’t work with their metabolism as well).
*Super Senses – Enhanced Vision 3
Athletics (Expert +2 bonus), Investigation (+1 bonus), Leadership (Expert +2 bonus), Martial Arts (Expert +2 bonus), Mental Resistance (+1 bonus), Military (Expert +2 bonus), Science (+1 bonus), Wrestling (+1 bonus)
Has trouble relating to young people
America’s First Patriotic Hero
“Don’t let up!”
Joe was the son of Thomas Higgins, a government biochemist and member of the Burning Hand – a secret society formed to protect America. Thomas was attempting to recreate the powers of the legendary Shield when he was killed by Axis-allied spies.
Joe completed his father’s research and applied it to himself, becoming the Shield. After WWII he became an F.B.I. investigator, using his intel and super-powers to combat organized crime.
At one time, the Shield was frozen in suspended animation due to the Eraser’s “Ion Weapon.” His son, Bill Higgins, found a spare uniform and continued his father’s legacy. He fought alongside the Mighty Crusaders as a hero, but his civilian life was difficult, as he would often shuffle from job to job, and never felt worthy of following in his father’s footsteps.
When Bill finally asked for help to “cure” his father’s condition, the Comet used his “Altroxian Science” to reverse the Ion Weapon’s effects, and the original Shield came back to life. With his father in action again, Bill retired his Shield identity and joined the Armed Forces. Joe joined the Crusaders at this time – many people assume that the Joe Higgins and Bill Higgins Shields were the same person but it was in fact Bill that helped found the Crusaders and his father joined later.
After many years passed, the Brain Emperor reappeared, having gained power over the mysterious Blue Ribbon. With his new powers the Brain Emperor ambushed his old foes (now retired and raising families) at a reunion, using his new powers to apparently kill Fly-Girl, Comet, Fireball, The Web, Pow-Girl, Jaguar, and Steel Sterling. Joe Higgins, however, succeeded in saving the children of Steel Sterling, Fly-Girl, Comet, Pow-Girl, as well as Fireball’s nephew, and Jaguar’s protege. Joe followed his agreement with his old friends, becoming The Shield once more to protect their young. Following protocols set up by the Crusaders earlier to give the teens the abilities they would need to protect themselves, Joe gave Alex Tyler, Greg Dickering, and Johnny Sterling treatments to give them the powers of the original Fireball, Comet, and Steel Sterling. Kelly Brand received weapons and gear replicating the powers her mother had possessed as Fly-Girl, Ivette Velez was given a powerful mystic artifact that had been found by the original Jaguar, while Wyatt Raymond received a super-suit based on The Shield’s own, enabling the young boy to become a new Web. Joe clearly struggled with dealing with his young charges, however, unused to interacting with teenagers. Nonetheless the youngsters decided to allow him to mentor them as they followed in their elders’ footsteps, becoming the New Crusaders and swearing to bring the Brain Emperor to justice.
In the final battle with his long-time nemesis, the elite assassin Eraser, Shield was severely and irrevocably injured. With the return of the Shield (Victoria Adams) that first inspired his father’s work, Joe opted to finally step down from command and lead the M.L.J. He currently operates from behind a desk, offering counsel to Victoria and the rest of the team as needed. This writeup is based upon The Shield as he was when leading the New Crusaders, before his injury sidelined him for good.