Sham (Icons Writeup)

Shamsham

Prowess 4
Coordination 5
Strength 3
Intellect 4
Awareness 5
Willpower 4

Stamina 7

Powers
*Transformation – Humanoids 5 (Limit: Only allows Sham to physically copy them – his clothing does not change)
*Disease Resistance 5
*Grapple with Rope – Swinging 4
*Rifle 4
*Knife 3
*Gadgets 4

Specialties
Athletics (Expert +2), Investigation (+1 bonus), Stealth (+1 bonus), Weapons (Expert +2 bonus)

Qualities
Who am I?
Family comes first
Reluctant commando

Background

The DNAgents are artificial life forms developed by a shadowy corporation called Matrix Corporation. They have been grown in a vat for five years, and their minds were programmed by Matrix. However, they are extremely close to being humans, and have their own free will and personality.

The DNAgents were designed to be a commando squad that could take care of Matrix’s dirty work, from espionage to paramilitary action. Sham is the shapeshifter and commando of the team.

At the very end of the series, the DNAgents were captured by Matrix. They were put back into the vats for future use, after Matrix convinced the public that everything to do with the DNAgents was just a big media hoax.

Since he had no innate attack powers, Sham was also trained as a commando. There were plenty of allusions implying that Sham was possibly the most powerful of the DNAgents but this was in stark contrast to how he usually behaved. As a shapeshifter, he seemed to feel that he had no true personality and thus he was extremely attached to his teammates. For a time he was best friends with Snafu, a creature that became the team’s sidekick. Unfortunately, Sham had to put the entity down when Snafu was mutated into a monster.

Despite being a very gentle person, Sham is probably the member of the group most willing to kill – though he usually seeks nonviolent solutions first.

Tank (Icons Writeups)

Tanktank

Prowess 4
Coordination 2
Strength 8
Intellect 3
Awareness 3
Willpower 3

Stamina 11

Powers
*Damage Resistance 3/6 with armor
*Disease Resistance 5
*Tank Battle Armor – Damage Resistance 3, Dazzle Resistance 2, Armor Piercing Shells 4, Concussion Grenades 6, Regulator (Limit: Tank’s regulator warns him that he is pushing his body’s limits for physical stress. If Tank’s Stamina drops to 5 or lower, roll 1d6 – on a 1, his regulator shuts down and he will immediately take an additional 3 points of damage. He will need to rest for at least a half hour for the regulator to re-set)
*Motorcycle (Handling 7, Speed 4, Structure 3)

Specialties
Drive – Motorcycle (Expert + 2 bonus), Martial Arts (+1 bonus), Weapons – Ranged (Expert +2 bonus), Wrestling (+1 bonus)

Qualities
Protective of Sham
Yearns for a life outside the team
Too hard on himself

Background

The DNAgents are artificial life forms developed by a shadowy corporation called Matrix Corporation. They have been grown in a vat for five years, and their minds were programmed by Matrix. However, they are extremely close to being humans, and have their own free will and personality.

The DNAgents were designed to be a commando squad that could take care of Matrix’s dirty work, from espionage to paramilitary action. Tank is the brick of the lot. He excels and long-range engagements as well as in close combat.

At the very end of the series, the DNAgents were captured by Matrix. They were put back into the vats for future use, after Matrix convinced the public that everything to do with the DNAgents was just a big media hoax.

Lucius Krell came up with the Human Tank concept himself, as he is often proud to admit. Consequently, this DNAgent was built for sheer strength. Concurrent with his development, Matrix engineer were working on Tank’s special armor and weaponry. Maximum protection and maximum firepower were the operative phrases in their design.

Titanium bone sheaths were surgically fitted to his arms, legs and spinal column to give his body greater durability for lifting, carrying and throwing massive objects. This plus his heavy, bulky armor puts a great strain on his cardiovascular system – so a regulator was installed within Tank to alert him when he is pushing his physical limits.

His body armor includes a pair of “blasters”, which seem to be large-bore, automatic weapons mounted on his wrists. For commando-style mission, he also carries a pair of grenades.

Tank finds himself torn between devotion to the DNAgents and a fascination with his human ex-girlfriend, Casey. Other team members sometimes get the feeling that Tank doesn’t devote himself to the team as much as he should and he often feels very guilty over this. Reluctantly, he’s a big brother figure for Sham.

Amber (Icons Writeup)

Amberamber

Prowess 2
Coordination 4
Strength 2
Intellect 4
Awareness 3
Willpower 3

Stamina 5

Powers
*Magnetic Control 6 (Extras: Flight, Force Field, Blast, Telekinesis – Metal Only, Interface)
*Disease Resistance 5

Specialties
Aerial Combat (+1 bonus), Athletics (+1 bonus)

Qualities
Wanna be my friend?
Young and spunky
Lighten up! It’s not so bad!

Background

The DNAgents are artificial life forms developed by a shadowy corporation called Matrix Corporation. They have been grown in a vat for five years, and their minds were programmed by Matrix. However, they are extremely close to being humans, and have their own free will and personality.

The DNAgents were designed to be a commando squad that could take care of Matrix’s dirty work, from espionage to paramilitary action.

At the very end of the series, the DNAgents were captured by Matrix and put back into the vats for future use. Matrix also convinced the public that everything to do with the DNAgents was just a big media hoax.

Amber is naïve about the world around her. She has an unusually trusting nature and tends to view things as if seen through rose-colored glasses.

She is very outgoing and likes meeting new people, making friends easily.

Surge (Icons Writeup)

Surgesurge

Prowess 4
Coordination 4
Strength 4
Intellect 3
Awareness 3
Willpower 4

Stamina 8

Powers
*Electrical Control 7 (Extras: Blast, Dazzle, Absorption) (Limit: Without the regulator stored in his belt buckle, Surge gains the Uncontrollable Limit and his power attacks everything within range with a Burst rating of 4)
*Disease Resistance 5
*Goggles – Dazzle Resistance 3

Specialties
Martial Arts (+1 bonus)

Qualities
Hit first, ask questions second.
No retreat, no surrender.
I can handle it!

Background

The DNAgents are artificial life forms developed by a shadowy corporation called Matrix Corporation. They have been grown in a vat for five years, and their minds were programmed by Matrix. However, they are extremely close to being humans, and have their own free will and personality.

The DNAgents were designed to be a commando squad that could take care of Matrix’s dirty work, from espionage to paramilitary action.

Surge was the first to make it off the drawing board. He was designed around the concept of a “living dynamo”.

Being the first design, Matrix scientists thought they would take a very simple premise and work from here. Seeing as how the organisms were grown in a highly energized environment, it should have been rather simple to develop a life form that could contain this energy and release it at a whim. Sort of like an electric eel.

After some study, it was discovered that the conscious effort to keep such immense amounts of energy in check would be overwhelming. Therefore, a regulator was designed to do that job for the life form.

Surge, as the first DNAgent concept came to be called, would be potentially very powerful, yet at the same time relatively inexpensive and easy to produce. This idea appealed to Matrix president Lucius Krell so much that he volunteered to become Surge’s genetic father. Following this was a brief ceremony where he passed out cigars.

At the very end of the series, the DNAgents were captured by Matrix and put back into the vats for future use. This came after Matrix convinced the public that everything to do with the DNAgents was just a big media hoax.

“Life is a series of confrontations” seems to be Surge’s personal philosophy. And he seeks to win them all with a fierce aggressiveness.

Surge functions on a highly emotional, occasionally child-like level. He often demonstrates supreme self-confidence and egotism. He tends not to worry too much about surrounding threats in combat once he starts blasting.

This self-confidence backfires on him the moment he fails at anything. When that happens, Surge begins to perceive himself as a total failure. In life, you are either a winner or a loser, by his way of thinking.

He often displays the attitude that everything in life is black or white, good or evil, right or wrong, with no in-betweens. Perhaps he keeps this outlook to avoid the frustrating realization that life just isn’t that simple, or that fair.

Among the DNAgents he has formed the strongest emotional tie to someone outside the group. He loves the replicant of Krell’s daughter, Angela. Since her death, he has built up their relationship in his mind into some great love affair that never really happened. It is something he agonizes over. That agony is what has driven him to attempt to murder the assassin, Luger.

In a fight, he will usually stick to his devastating electrical attacks. If this would make a fight unfair, he will engage an opponent in simple hand-to-hand combat. Also, when he loses his temper, he gains more satisfaction by physically hitting things.

Surge will never back down from a fight and, once in one, will never surrender.

Rainbow (Icons Writeup)

Rainbowrainbow

Prowess 3
Coordination 6
Strength 3
Intellect 5
Awareness 5
Willpower 7

Stamina 10

Powers
*Telepathy 8 (Extras: Illusion) (Limit – power drops to 1 if Rainbow doesn’t have her power regulator with her. Her regulator is hidden within her ever-present headband)
*Disease Resistance 5

Specialties
Athletics (Expert +2 bonus), Leadership (+1 bonus), Psychiatry (+1 bonus)

Qualities
Mother Hen to the DNAgents
Very comfortable with her body/nudity
Romantically Involved with Crossfire

Background

The DNAgents are artificial life forms developed by a shadowy corporation called Matrix Corporation. They have been grown in a vat for five years, and their minds were programmed by Matrix. Yet, they are extremely close to being humans, and have their own free will and personality.

The DNAgents were designed to be a special squad that could take care of Matrix’s dirty work, from espionage to paramilitary action.

At the very end of the series, the DNAgents were captured by Matrix and put back into the vats for future use. Furthermore, Matrix convinced the public that everything to do with the DNAgents had just been a big hoax.

It has long been one of the Matrix Corporation ’s desires to have a super-spy under permanent employment with unswerving loyalty to the Corporation. So when the DNAgents Project got under way, they set out to build themselves one.

It was decided that this spy would be female, and she was genetically designed for exotic good looks. Using the, quote, “greater natural psychic potential of the female”, end quote, she was bred for telepathic ability.

For her, there would be no need to plant a listening device or remain within eyesight when following a suspect. By using her mind, she could pick up more about the world around her with her eyes closed than the most observant human being ever could with their eyes wide open. She would be irresistible at interrogation.

By focusing her abilities, she could probe the mind of another person and sort through their thoughts and memories like, quote, “a secretary would sort through a filing cabinet”, end quote. From her, no secret was secure.

Rainbow is undoubtedly the most mature member of the team. While unafraid of the outside world, she openly questions the practicality of jumping headlong into it. She is the leader of the team and, hence, everyone else’s big sister. This job is sometimes indistinguishable from baby sitting.

Rainbow has developed a strong romantic attachment to Crossfire. She stays in periodic mental contact with him.

Rainbow avoids physical confrontation whenever possible. Her first action in combat is normally to dodge and evade. She relies on her illusionary abilities to frighten off or confuse any attacker. Her main role in a battle is to telepathically take count of the enemy, learn their plan and strategy, and relay that information to the other DNAgents.

She also keeps track of where everyone else is. This prevents one of the other team members from being separated (especially Sham, who may not always be recognizable) and to avoid walking into an ambush.

Characters I Love # 15: DNAgents

dnagent1Every Wednesday, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: The DNAgents! Created by Mark Evanier and Will Meugniot, these teen heroes were genetically engineered by a corporation. Their desire to exceed their original programming and become truly human was quite endearing — and the fact that they were able to have amazingly fun adventures along the way made the whole thing even better! Originally published by Eclipse Comics, the initial run of the book ran for 24 issues and was followed by The New DNAgents, which ran for 17 issues. There was also a 3-D comic, a spinoff series (Crossfire) and a few other appearances here and there — including a quasi-crossover with Tales of the New Teen Titans # 48!

The DNAgents were:

  • Tank: Super-strong, wore heavy body armor to regulate and augment his strength. He was the emotional core of the group – naive but always wanting to do the right thing.
  • Surge: He could fire blasts of lightning and was very short-tempered. He enjoyed the fame that his powers brought him, sometimes too much.
  • Rainbow: A powerful telepath and illusionist. Since she was exposed to so many people’s inner thoughts, she was the most “sophisticated” member of the group, and was involved in nude modeling. Rainbow was my favorite member of the team, probably due to my love of girls in thigh-high boots and Will Meugniot’s spirited depiction of her sexuality.
  • Amber: This young, pig-tailed beauty could project disks of electromagnetic energy as shields, weapons or stand on them to fly. Very outgoing socially and curious.
  • Sham: He was a shapeshifter. Since he had no innate attack powers, he was also trained as a commando. Very insecure and attached to the other members of the team.

While everyone rightfully remembers the Will Meugniot issues (they were the best!), Mitch Schauer had a long run as artist on the series. Erik Larsen and Chuck Patton also did issues.

There was such a sense of fun to the early issues, even with their soap operatic emotional themes. These characters actually felt like young people in a way that so many other teen heroes just didn’t. Will Meugniot was key in that, I think, not shying away from the sexuality of either the male or female characters but never forgetting that this was an adventure story, first and foremost. Evanier has written many fine books through the years (I really liked his New Gods) but I’ll always associate him with the DNAgents more than anything else. He kept a consistent voice throughout the series, even when the artwork wasn’t as good as it had been under Meugniot.

If you’re looking to track down the issues, you can find them pretty cheap online. A black-and-white reprint book was issued of the early issues at one point but I found that I really missed the colors. Heck, a character named Rainbow in black and white just isn’t right! 🙂

One of the high points of my writing career was getting to work with Will Meugniot. His cover and interior art will appear in The Rook Volume Five Special Edition and he did the interior images in The Adventures of Gravedigger Volume One. A really nice guy and one of my all-time favorite artists.