The Fox (Icons Writeup)

The Fox
aka Paul Patton Jr

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

Stamina 8

Powers
*Costume – Damage Resistance 2

Specialties
Art – Photography (Expert +2 bonus), Athletics (Expert +2 bonus), Investigation (+1 bonus), Martial Arts (Expert +2 bonus), Stealth (Expert +2 bonus), Wrestling (+1 bonus)

Qualities
*Head of a superhero household
*Heir to a legacy
*Attracts the weird

Background

Paul Patton Jr. was raised as a child in the town of Beaver Kill where his father, Paul Patton, operated as the Fox. Patton took up a career in photography and eventually got a job as a photographer in Impact City. His wife, Mae Patton, operates as the She-Fox while his son, Shinji Patton, follows in his father’s footsteps as the Ghost Fox.

Because Archie’s continuity is a malleable concept, there have been multiple origins and backgrounds featuring Paul Patton, Jr. The current version dates from 2013 and is not too dissimilar from the 1980s incarnation. One thing that’s kind of neat about the current version is that his family are all superheroes, much like The Incredibles.

Firefly (Icons Writeup)

Firefly
aka Kelly Brand

Prowess 4
Coordination 5
Strength 6
Intellect 3
Awareness 5
Willpower 3

Stamina 9

Powers
*Blast – Fireballs 6
*Super-Senses – Vision 1
*Extra Body Parts (Wings) 4 (provides Flight, Extra: Blast- Wind Attack)
*Wall-Crawling 5

During her Fly-Girl days, she used the Buzz Gun – Sonic Attack 6.

Specialties
Aerial Combat, Performance – Acting

Qualities
*Eternal Optimist
*Legacy Hero
*Daddy Issues

Background

Kelly is a bright, outgoing and active member of school with a bit of a geeky side to her. She is the proud daughter of superhero royalty, her mother having fought crime as Fly-Girl. Estranged from her father, Ted Tyler (aka Fireball), Kelly was raised by her mother, who instilled in her a sense of responsibility and loyalty. In the third issue of Dark Tomorrow, Kelly abandons her Fly-Girl identity and becomes Firefly.

Turan is an emissary of the Fly People. His world exists on a dimensional plane outside our galaxy. Turan bestowed the powers of The Fly on Tommy Troy and, later, Kim Brand. Kim later passed the gifts of Turan to her daughter. Firefly can create wings that give her the power of flight, she can crawl up walls, she has super strength and superior sight. Firefly can generate wind currents by beating her wings. Firefly can also throw fireballs or flames.

Americommando – Fictional (Icons Writeup)

Americommando
aka Roger Stevens

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

Stamina 12

Powers
*Chainmail – Damage Resistance 3
*Shield – Damage Resistance 6 (Limits: Coordination roll required, still subject to stuns and slams) (Extra: Damage 7 when used as a bashing weapon or when thrown; shield is magnetically summoned back to Americommando the next round)
*Resistance 3 (Disease, Poison, Aging)

Specialties
Leadership (Expert +2 bonus), Military (Expert +2 bonus), Weapons – Shield (Expert +2 bonus), Athletics (+1 bonus), Wrestling (+1 bonus), Martial Arts (+1 bonus), Driving – Motorcycles (+1 bonus)

Qualities
Extremely Patriotic
Treats Rusty as a surrogate son
Living Legend

Background

This version of The Americommando was a fictional character on Earth-1 in DC’s pre-crisis multiverse. He was the leader of a team of Nazi-busting heroes known as The Crusaders alongside his sidekick Rusty, the sea-king Barracuda, and the flaming heroes Fireball and Sparky. At some point after the Freedom Fighters had made their trek from Earth-X to Earth-1, a group of people appeared claiming to be the actual Crusaders. They went after the Freedom Fighters, who were wanted for murder at the time, but eventually it was revealed that the Americommando was actually the Freedom Fighters’ arch-enemy, the Silver Ghost, in disguise. He had used technology to transform comic book fans into the other members of the Crusaders.

This writeup is of the fictional Americommando. Roger Stevens was a skinny 4-F army reject that took a super-soldier serum to become America’s crimefighting ideal. If he reminds you of anyone, that’s purely by coincidence.

Well, not really.

You see, the same month that the Freedom Fighters fought these Invaders-like Crusaders, the Invaders at Marvel fought a group of Crusaders modeled after the Freedom Fighters. It was all part of a stealth crossover that the Big Two used to do from time to time. I based this writeup on what little we were told about the fictional hero in the Freedom Fighters’ storyline. You’ll note that he’s not quite the equal of Captain America – since the Americommando is supposed to be based on the Invaders’ Cap, I figured he’s not quite as good as the later versions of Captain America.

Silver Ghost (Icons Writeup)

Silver Ghost
aka Raphael Van Zandt

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

Stamina 9

Powers
*Transmutation 8 (Limit: Can only be used to turn items into inanimate silver; Limit: range is touch)
*Armor – Damage Resistance 4; without the armor, lower the Silver Ghost’s Prowess, Coordination, and Physique to 3; Stamina is reduced to 7.

Specialties
Leadership, Science, Technology (Expert +2 bonus)

Qualities
*A Nazi immigrant from Earth-X
*Archfoe of the Freedom Fighters
*Villainous leader of men

Background

Inspired by the works of his entrepreneur ancestor, Raphael Van Zandt sought to carve a niche for himself by taking control of the island of Manhattan. He acquired a group of thugs and a simple-minded strongman named King Samson and tried to achieve his goal by taking out New York’s telecommunications network. This invariably brought him into conflict with the Freedom Fighters, who had only recently emigrated to Earth-One from Earth-X.

During his first encounter with them, he unwittingly phased through an intangible Phantom Lady causing him to accidentally kill one of his own thugs. He avenged himself against the heroes by turning Phantom Lady, the Black Condor and Doll Man into statues of solid silver. With half the team incapacitated, it was easy for the Silver Ghost to blackmail the other Freedom Fighters into working for him as his slaves. This infuriated Uncle Sam, the Ray and Human Bomb, but they felt like they had little choice but to concede to the Ghost’s demands.

After being forced to commit random acts of property damage through the city, the three Freedom Fighters turned against the Silver Ghost when he threatened to poison the New York Reservoir. It was the Ray who finally defeated the villain by using his powers and a nearby body of water to short-circuit the Silver Ghost’s armor. Afterward, the Human Bomb was able to use his knowledge of physics to turn Black Condor, Doll Man and Phantom Lady back to normal.

The Silver Ghost returned to oppose the Freedom Fighters on several subsequent occasions with a variety of schemes, including impersonating the comic book hero Americommando as the leader of the Crusaders and hiring the Secret Society of Super-Villains. He was eventually revealed to be an immigrant from the Freedom Fighters’ home world of Earth-X, a Nazi who had traveled to Earth-One in pursuit of Firebrand, the alleged ‘collaborator’ who had seemingly betrayed him, and was apparently killed in battle with Firebrand. He later turned up alive during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Darkling (Icons Writeup)

Darkling
aka Darla Lang

Prowess 4
Coordination 4
Strength 3
Intellect 4
Awareness 5
Willpower 6

Stamina 9

Powers
*Shadow-Bending (Darkness Control) 7 (Extras: – Dimensional Travel, Energy Drain, Phasing; Limits: +2 Difficulty when operating in bright sunlight or extremely well-lit areas)

Specialties
Occult, Power: Shadow-Bending (Expert +2 bonus), Stealth (Expert + 2 bonus)

Qualities
*“Bright sun. No clouds. Makes shadow-bending impossible out in the open. In the dark? Different story.”
*“You’re right. You are lousy at this. But thanks. Jerk.”
*The Mysterious Maiden

Background
(part of this comes from The Mighty Crusaders Network)

The mysterious Darkling first appeared during the Crusaders epic battle against the combined forces of Eterno, the Brain Emperor and the Malevolent Legion of Juggernauts. She aided the team with her mystic cloak and was quickly accepted into their ranks. Darkling never revealed anything about herself, though she seemed to forge a quick friendship with Kim Brand, aka Flygirl.

Serious without being overbearing, Darkling was a sensual woman with an appreciation for the paranormal. During the alien invasion that united the Crusaders with Thunder Bunny, it was Darkling who sensed that the rabbit hero was not a threat to the Earth. She also proved her usefulness in dispatching the Druid when the mystic villain attempted to steal the Jaguar’s magical belt.

Unfortunately, Darkling’s promising career as a hero came to an abrupt end when the evil Brain Emperor returned with the Riot Squad at his side. Seeing that Darkling posed a threat to him, the Brain Emperor wiped her mind clean and left her floating adrift in Limbo.

When the New Crusaders were formed, Darkling was included amongst the members. While at first it was unclear if this was a new heroine or the same woman from the original Crusaders, it was eventually established that she is the same person. Her attitude and appearance are quite different now as she’s very somber – and her powers, which used to be a part of her cloak, now seem to be internally generated. We can assume that the shift in personality comes from her recovery from being mind-wiped but the alteration in powers has yet to be explained.

The energy drain power works a little differently than described in the Icons rulebook – generally, she dispatches foes into a “shadow dimension” and while they are there, they are ‘attacked’ by the power. In issue four of the most recent Mighty Crusaders series, we see that she can also do this by touch.

Steel Sterling (Icons Writeup)

Steel Sterling
aka Johnathan “Jack” Sterling

Prowess 5
Coordination 4
Strength 7
Intellect 3
Awareness 3
Willpower 4

Stamina 11

Powers
*Damage Resistance 7
*Leaping 2
*Electrolized tongue 4 (Jack was able to rub his tongue against his teeth to tap telephone wires, the sound then coming from his mouth)

Specialties
Athletics (Expert +2), Martial Arts (Expert +2 bonus), Performance – Acting (+1 bonus), Wrestling (Expert +2 bonus)

Qualities
Not as young as I used to be.
A good, solid guy.
Misses his family.

Background

Jack was enjoying life as a career bodybuilder and movie star when he agreed to help a friend with a “little debt problem.” What his friend failed to mention was that he was indebted to the mob for a few million. John was thrown in molten steel at an industrial metalwork facility to send a message.

Miraculously, Jack survived, his body tempered into something super-human. Using his stage name, Steel Sterling joined the Mighty Crusaders to combat all forms of villainy.

After many years of service, he retired as mayor of the small town of Red Circle to raise a family. However, he and the other veteran heroes were ambushed by the Brain Emperor and sent to a strange pocket dimension. His son Johnny became the new Steel Sterling, swearing to find vengeance for his missing father.

Jack and the others were eventually rescued by the New Crusaders. Jack returned to find his family slain and his town destroyed. With nothing left, he rejoined the Mighty Crusaders to continue the fight for peace. Due to his advancing age, Jack sometimes becomes winded easier than his younger teammates.

Note: Steel Sterling’s origin has been revised several times. At one point he created the process that gave him his powers. In another version, the light of a star led him to the vat of molten steel and then to his costume, which was found in a nearby trash can. What is depicted above is the current version of his past.

Brain Emperor (Icons Writeup)

Brain Emperor

Prowess 2
Coordination 3
Strength 2
Intellect 6
Awareness 8
Willpower 8

Stamina 10

Powers
*Telepathy 8 (Extras: Mind Control, Mental Blast)
*Extra-Sensory Perception 6
*Teleportation 6
*Dimensional Travel 5

Specialties
Mental Resistance (Expert, + 2 bonus)

Qualities
Mind over Matter
I’m through playing games with you, Crusaders!
Go forth, my minions!

Background

Originally from the planet K-Shazor, Brain Emperor’s brain was modified to be hyper-efficient. These modifications, along with the Brain Emperor’s own mutations, gave him vast mental powers which he used to become ruler of his world. After being overthrown by his own people, he fled his planet and set his sights on Earth.

On Earth, he has become the world’s most feared super-villain. He has repeatedly clashed with The Mighty Crusaders and is responsible for many of their greatest tragedies. Long thought dead, the Brain Emperor’s return led to the formation of the New Crusaders and when several of their members fell in battle against him, he cemented his position as the most dangerous foe any hero has ever faced. His current whereabouts are unknown but it is only a matter of time before he returns.

The Brain Emperor is not a particularly nuanced villain – he wanted to take over the world for his own amusement and is willing to kill, maim, or mind-control anyone to accomplish this. He often uses small armies of super-villains to wear down his enemies before arriving on the scene himself. These minions often serve out of fear but if need be, he’ll mind control them into working for him.

The Web – New Crusaders (Icons Writeup)

The Web
aka Wyatt Raymond

Prowess 5
Coordination 6
Strength 5
Intellect 6
Awareness 4
Willpower 4

Stamina 9

Powers
*Strand Sense – Danger Sense 6
*Super Suit – Ability Boost 3 (without the suit, subtract 3 from Wyatt’s Coordination and 2 from his Prowess & Strength; this also lowers his Stamina to 7)
*Gadgets 3

Specialties
Science (+1 bonus), Technology (+1 bonus)

Qualities
Academically Gifted
Prankster
Lacks Self-Confidence

Background

John Raymond became The Web because his brother was a criminal, which left John with a lifelong obsession with crime, inspiring him to become a criminologist, mystery writer, and ultimately a vigilante. He met Rose Wayne while teaching a University course on criminology, and married her when he eventually retired. When a criminal pretended to be him, he came out of retirement, initially infuriating his wife, until she rediscovered her taste for adventure and decided to become the superheroine “Pow Girl,” joining him in fighting crime. In time the two retired to raise a family.

Young Wyatt Raymond grew up very different from his adventurous parents. An academically gifted but unpopular book-worm, Wyatt grew up trying to avoid confrontations, mapping out the safest routes to travel around school and his neighborhood to avoid bullies. Shy and socially awkward, Wyatt found himself more content staring through a microscope than interacting with his peers. Wyatt didn’t know the truth of his parents’ double lives, but knew he was somehow special – he possessed a strange sixth sense allowing him to see connections between different people and things, like strands of a web. In game-play terms, it allows him to sense danger, even when none is apparent. It is unknown how he gained this “Strand Sense,” given that both his parents possessed no superpowers.

When the Brain Emperor attacked a reunion of the original Mighty Crusaders, Wyatt’s parents were apparently killed, but he was saved by his father’s old teammate The Shield, as were the five other teenagers that had been at the party. From this old hero Alex learned the truth about his parents, and learned that they had hoped he would take up the mantle of The Web if anything ever happened to them. Wyatt received a high-tech “super suit” based on The Shield’s, which would amplify the wearer’s physical attributes ten-fold, effectively allowing him to replicate the Olympic-level athletic skill of his parents. Becoming the new Web, Wyatt joined the New Crusaders.

The Comet – New Crusaders (Icons Writeup)

The Comet
aka Greg Reeves

Prowess 3
Coordination 5
Strength 3
Intellect 6
Awareness 4
Willpower 5

Stamina 8

Powers

*Flight 6
*Energy Blast 8

Specialties
Aerial Combat (+1 bonus), Leadership, Science (Expert, +2 bonus)

Qualities
*“We’re here to fight the battles that normal people can’t!”
*Heir to multiple legacies

Background

The current Comet has multiple ties to the original Crusaders – he is the nephew of Crusader Malcolm Reeves and he is also the adopted son of original Comet John Dickering and his wife.

When Greg first appeared on the scene, much was made of his mysterious past – at the time, he was very concerned with exactly how his parents had died. In later appearances, that appears to no longer be a major concern so it’s possible that the mystery was resolved off-panel.

Greg has natural leadership tendencies and he sometimes clashes with the group’s official leader (the current Shield) as he thinks she has a lot to learn about managing the team’s various personalities.

The Comet – Impact (Icons Writeup)

Comet
aka Rob Connors aka Jay Cole

Prowess 4
Coordination 5
Strength 6
Intellect 4
Awareness 4
Willpower 4

Stamina 10

Powers
*Photonic Energy Manipulation 6 (Extras: Flight, Blast, Dazzle, Force Field [Limit: Force Field only protects at level 3 against heat-based attacks])
*Damage Resistance 3
*Transformation – Humanoids 4

Specialties
Aerial Combat (+1 bonus), Athletics (+1 bonus), Athletics – Baseball (Expert +2 bonus), Power – Photonic Energy Manipulation (+1 bonus), Underwater Combat (+1 bonus)

Qualities
What’s Going On? (early) / They put my brain into an alien’s body! (later)
Unlucky
Founding Member of the Crusaders

Background

In the beginning, he is an ordinary human named Rob Connors, whose only real ambition in life is to play professional baseball. His ambition is somewhat stilted by his parents, who are scientists living in arctic areas.

Rob returns to his parents’ home one day to find it torn apart by some kind of battle, which to all appearances took places weeks ago: our first sign of a strange continuity clash, since Rob had been gone only a matter of hours. In an attempt to call for help, Rob is forced to climb up the radio mast to fix it. It collapses under his weight, and he is pinned beneath it, unable to free himself until a sudden surge of energy sends him soaring through the air. Assuming his powers to be the result of an electric shock from the mast, Rob learns he can fly and generate energy beams from his hands – one of which inadvertently sets off an explosion. He returns to his girlfriend, a news reporter, who reprimands him for not speaking to her for months, even though Rob wrote to her every week. He reveals his powers to her, and she suggests he don a costume and become a superhero, since he left a red energy trail behind when he flew, he assumed the guise of The Comet.

In his numerous battles as the Comet, Rob slowly learns to use his powers. He can fly, generate heat beams and force blasts, create a limited forcefield, and even breathe underwater by using his powers to force the water away: he hypothesizes that this traps a bubble of air between him and the water. The Comet is also stronger than a normal human, and considerably tougher, though not invulnerable: shrapnel from a grenade does his arm some damage. Eventually, Rob learns that his powers are the result of his mind being accidentally transferred into the body of shape-shifting aliens that were researching the Earth, disguised as the Connors family. This is the reason for the discontinuity in Rob’s memory compared to actual events. He attempts to force the other aliens to free his parents, but fails: they leave, never to return. The hits keep coming, as Rob’s original human body is killed by one of the Comet’s enemies, in circumstances that make it look like the Comet was responsible. He goes to his girlfriend for help, only to discover that she knew all along, and was in fact the one who sent the aliens to the Connors. In attempting to reveal this story on the news, she breaks the bargain she made with the aliens, and the last of them on the planet kills her. The police attempt to arrest the Comet for the murder of Rob Connors. Rob tries to unmask himself to prove himself blameless, but accidentally accesses his alien shapeshifting ability in his desire to show his face, and morphs into a one-eyed alien monster. Horrified, Rob tears away from the scene, and is apparently killed in an explosion. We learn later, in The Crucible, that he didn’t die, but resumed human form and became a baseball player named Jay Cole with no memory of his earlier life.

His true identity is revealed by The Black Hood, and they team up for a while. However, the Tomorrow Men, a group of time-manipulating businessmen, make it look like the Hood was intending to betray the Comet, and in insane rage, the Comet irradiates an entire city. The city is covered over with an immense dome, but the Comet breaks free, intending to kill Jordan, the world’s greatest authority on energy control, whom he believes is a threat to him. His attack is foiled by one of the Tomorrow Men, who captures the Comet, intending to steal his energy to power the Tomorrow Men’s base. The Comet breaks free, but is sent back to Earth, where the Black Hood is forced, regretfully, to kill him.