Alloy (Icons Writeup)

Alloyalloy
aka Paul Bouvier & Shanhara

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

Stamina 12

Powers
*Blast (100 MGHz pulsed ion beams) 8
*Dazzle (blinding light) 6
*Flight 7 (Extra: Spaceflight)
*Interface 5
*Life Support 10
*Immortality 2
*Regeneration 4
*Damage Resistance 5
*Stretching 5

Specialties
Aerial Combat (+1 bonus), Athletics (Expert +2 bonus), Martial Arts (Expert +2 bonus), Military (Expert +2 bonus), Weapons – Guns (Expert +2 bonus)

Qualities
Twisted Perception of Reality – Blames Aric for his Death
I’m no longer human!
Dark Mirror of X-O Manowar

Background

Paul Bouvier was a former soldier and special agent of the Department W, a task force of the Canadian Secret Service. He was poisoned by Spider Aliens while he saved the lives of Aric Dacia, Randy Cartier, and Turok. Instead of dying he decided to sacrifice his body to bond with an X-O Manowar Seed and become Pol-Bekhara, a new Good Skin for Aric. Because the Manowar Class Armor was never designed to have a human life create it, Paul never merged correctly with the armor and he managed to gain control over the armor and recreate himself soon after. In his madness, he now blamed Aric for his death, discounting the sacrifice that he himself had made.

After a battle with Aric for control, Aric purged Paul from the armor (depriving it of sentience in the process). As the two were fighting near the remains of Aric’s original armor, Shanhara, Paul was able to merge with the remains and become a new being, Alloy. Because Shanhara was essentially dead, the merger rendered Paul completely insane and he sought out Aric to kill him. After a fierce battle that triggered an avalanche, Aric rose from the snow with Alloy’s severed head. He cast the head aside and departed.

Given that he literally IS the armor, there’s no reason to assume that being decapitated would prevent him from returning.

Alloy appeared to have all the offensive capabilities of a Manowar Armor but as he was comprised of a destroyed armor was not stable (physically nor mentally). Alloy also exhibited the ability to flex the metal parts of his arms to increase his physical striking range. Overall, Alloy is not as powerful as X-O… but his insanity can sometimes give him an advantage. Note that he still remembers his training as a mercenary and is thus adept at a number of things that a normal man would not be.

Eternal Warrior (Icons Writeup)

Eternal Warrioreternal_warrior
aka Gilad Anni-Padda/Gilad Abrams

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

Stamina 14

Powers
*Spiked Glove 4
*Retractable Whip 4 (Extra: Binding)
*Medium Caliber Semi-Auto 4
*Combat Knife 4
*Dense Flesh – Damage Resistance 3
*Immortality 8

Specialties
Athletics (Expert +2 bonus), Drive (+1 bonus), Investigation (+1 bonus), Leadership (Expert +2 bonus), Linguistics (Expert +2 bonus), Martial Arts (Master +3 bonus), Medicine – First Aid (+1 bonus), Mental Resistance (Expert +2 bonus), Occult (+1 bonus), Sleight of Hand (+1 bonus), Stealth (Master +3 bonus), Weapons (Master +3 bonus), Wrestling (Expert +2 bonus)

Qualities
“No matter how many times I’ve been through this… the hundreds of friends and lovers… I never know how to deal with this.”
The Fist and Steel of the Earth – Gilad is sworn to protect and follow the Geomancers
“You’re bigger than me. Stronger. But you’re not a soldier. Not a tactician… I’m a fighter.”

Background

The Eternal Warrior is Gilad Anni-Padda, an immortal hero sworn to protect the Geomancer of every generation. His extended life has allowed him to become an expert in almost every form of combat. He is one of three immortal brothers, including his brother Aram also known as Armstrong and his brother Ivar also known as Timewalker. It has been shown that the Eternal Warrior will still be active in the 41st Century with the heroes of that era.

Though most of Gilad’s adventures throughout his 5,000 years of life have gone unchronicled, those that have been prove that he has indeed worked to play a crucial role in world history.

33rd Century BC
Unity – 3228 BC
When Erica Pierce, the God–like entity called Mothergod, tries to achieve Unity, a convergence of all the timelines, the Geomancers of two eras gather the heroes of Earth to stop her in one final decisive battle for all eternity in the Lost Land, a place outside time and reality.

The 20th Century
Unity – 1992 AD
When Erica Pierce, the God–like entity called Mothergod, tries to achieve Unity, a convergence of all the timelines, the Geomancers of two eras gather the heroes of Earth to stop her in one final decisive battle for all eternity in the Lost Land, a place outside time and reality. Once the battle for Unity has passed, Gilad allies with many of the heroes of this era to combat threats like Master Darque, the Immortal Enemy, and Dr. Eclipse.

The 41st Century
Almost half a decade before his 7,000th year on Earth, Gilad Anni-Padda vanishes and receives the first of five successive psycho-probes that rob him of his memory and identity. By 4001, he believes that he is Gillie Pachter, a peaceful fish handler, until Rokland Tate, the Geomancer, finds him and helps him remember who he truly is.

Unity – 4001 AD
When Erica Pierce, the God–like entity called Mothergod, tries to achieve Unity, a convergence of all the timeliness, the Geomancers of two eras gather the heroes of Earth to stop her in one final decisive battle for all eternity in the Lost Land, a place outside time and reality.

This writeup covers the original Valiant Universe version of the Eternal Warrior but with only minor changes it could be used for the current version, as well.

 

Magnus (Icons Writeup)

Magnus, Robot Fighter
Magnus

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

Stamina 13

Powers
* Leaping 2

* Radio-Pathic Implant 4 (Functions like Telepathy – allows him to listen in on the thought processes of Freewill robots. Limits: Only works on Freewills and does not allow Magnus to transmit his thoughts back to them)

*Battle Tunic – Damage Resistance 6

Specialties
Athletics (Expert + 2 bonus), Leadership (+ 1 bonus), Martial Arts – Robot Fighting (Master + 3 bonus against robots only), Pilot (+ 1 bonus)

Qualities
“I will not deliberately kill another human being — not while I have another choice.”
“To be honest, I feel more comfortable with robots — and yet I kill them on a regular basis.”
“I am Magnus — and I fight for HUMANITY !”

Background

Magnus was born in North Am, a super-city that encompasses the entirety of the North American continent, and his parents remain unknown.  He was found by a very old robot named 1A, who raised the child.  With North Am under the control of an AI dictator named H8, 1A decided to train the young boy, who he named Magnus, to be able to do battle with robots.  One such technique included a fighting technique that allows him to break metal with his bare hands.  A1 also provided Magnus with a special device that allowed him to hear robot-to-robot communication, giving him an edge in information gathering.  As a result, Magnus fought both evil robots who would enslave humans and humans who would use robots for evil.  Later Magnus met Leeja Clane and the two fell in love.

Magnus teamed with other heroes from the 20th century during the Unity event, during which he was in a place outside of normal time and space dubbed The Lost Land. This allowed him to meet members of Harbinger, as well as X-O Manowar, Solar, Shadowman and other super-powered beings like himself. In fact, two members of Harbinger (John “Torque” Torkelson and Kris Hathaway) were actually the parents of Magnus. When Geoff McHenry (the Geomancer) informed Kris that her baby was needed in the far future to save humanity as the Robot Fighter, Kris tearfully allowed the Geomancer and Solar to transport her child to the 41st century.

Ninjak (Icons Writeup)

Ninjakninjak
aka Colin King

Prowess 7
Coordination 6
Strength 4
Intellect 6
Awareness 6
Willpower 7

Stamina 11

Powers
* Equipment – Damage Resistance 4, Swords 5, Shuriken 4, Flash Grenades 4, Smoke Bombs 4, Concussion Grenades 6, Gadgets 4, Images 4, Wall-Crawling 4, Life Support 5

* Body Supremacy – Regeneration 5

Specialties
Athletics (Master + 3 bonus), Business (Expert + 2 bonus), Drive (+ 1 bonus), Investigation (Expert + 2 bonus), Linguistics (Expert + 2 bonus), Martial Arts (Master + 3 bonus), Medicine (+ 1 bonus), Mental Resistance (Expert + 2 bonus), Stealth (Master + 3 bonus), Technology (+ 1 bonus), Weapons – Blades (Master + 3 bonus), Weapons – Thrown (Expert + 2 bonus)

Qualities
“When I fight someone, they don’t realize it until it’s too late.”
“One can never be too prepared.”
“You can take away my equipment. But you can’t take away my training.”

Background

History is taken from the Valiant Fandom Wiki

Ninjak, the ruthless and charming, super-spy and mercenary for hire, was born Colin King, wealthy son of privilege. For the Kings, espionage was the family business, and Colin’s parents both served as clandestine operatives with MI6. Inattentive at best when they were home, his parents’ work kept them away, for months at a time, and the young Colin’s upbringing was left to his family’s brutal butler. At his hands, Colin received his earliest training in the deceit, ambush, and self-sufficiency, of the MI6 master spy.

On reaching adulthood, Colin King left his family behind and quickly fell into the folds of the intelligence community. Upon joining MI6, Colin’s training agent was Angelina Alcott. Against MI6 policy, the two soon began a secret affair. A year later she would be killed by Xaman, an assassin and acolyte of the Undead Monk – when Colin broke protocol and inadvertently led to her death. Lying about his own part in her death, Colin stayed with the agency to hunt down Angelina’s killers alongside his new handler, Neville Alcott.

The two tracked the Undead Monk to a remote monastery in the Himalayas. Colin infiltrated the group, joining them as a student. There under the Monk’s wordless tutelage, Colin’s mastery of the martial arts was completed. Colin succeeded in killing Xaman, but was banished from the monastery before he could complete the mission and kill them all. Years later, he would encounter the Monk’s most gifted students in their guise as the Shadow Seven.

His training complete, Colin rose in the ranks of MI6, becoming the lead agent of their newly formed ninja program, gaining the designation of Ninja-K. Working now as a freelance agent and inheriting his family’s wealth and estates, he lived a dual life as a wealthy financier and a secret agent.

It was in this capacity that he unwittingly took the contract to kill Aric of Dacia and retrieved the X-O Manowar for the Vine infiltrators that had assumed leadership of the MI6. When Aric and a Vine traitor named Alexander Dorian revealed the true identity of Ninjak’s employers to him, the three worked together to eliminate Vine Plantings all over the agency. Ninjak would again work side by side with Aric when they formed the superteam Unity, though the relationship between the two remains tense. Recently, the two have teamed again to track down and eliminate again the Vine plantings led by Aric’s enemy, Commander Trill.

Ninjak’s vendetta against the Shadow Seven would resume when he was tasked with infiltrating their underworld weapons dealing organization known as Weaponeer. This mission brought him face to face with Roku, an enforcer for the Shadow Seven whose relationship to Ninjak’s is more than it seems. Ninjak eliminated Weaponeer’s leadership and assumed control of the organization to find the remainder of the group, surrendering them to MI6 custody.

Following that mission, Ninjak was teamed with the voodoo mystic known Punk Mambo for a mission into the alternate dimension known as the Deadside to retrieve a lost MI-6 team. There the two encountered and fought The Magpie, whose attempts to break his mystical bondage to the necromancer Master Darque had led him to capture several members of the Shadow Seven from MI6 holding facility. Ninjak and Punk Mambo defeated the Magpie and his ally Ember and returned from the Deadside with Jack, the MI6 team and the missing members of the Shadow Seven as prisoners.

Doctor Mirage (Icons Writeup)

Doctor Mirage (Modern Version)
aka Shan Fong

Prowess 4shan_fong
Coordination 3
Strength 3
Intellect 5
Awareness 6
Willpower 7

Stamina 10

Powers
*Astral Projection 5
*Spirit Sight 8
*Gadgets (Mystic Artifacts) 3

Specialties
Investigation (+ 1 bonus), Mental Resistance
(+ 1 bonus), Occult (Master, + 3 bonus)

Qualities
“You’ve probably seen me on television.”
“I’m saving lives, you moron!”
“I’ll send you my invoice.”

Background

Shan Fong and her husband Hwen once shared a love story for the ages, but tragedy left Shan widowed. Her ability to see spirits led her to investigate psychic and supernatural phenomena, either for private cases or as the television personality known as The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage.

Shan has occasionally become quite obsessed with bringing her husband’s spirit back to the physical plane but she has also found time to work with heroes like Shadowman, Ninjak, and Punk Mambo in combating the forces of darkness.

Doctor Mirage is reluctant to be in the spotlight, despite being a television personality, and she rarely interacts with others unless needed.

Shadowman (Icons Writeup)

Shadowman (VH1 Version)63shadowman
aka Jack Boniface

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

Stamina 10

Powers
*Detection (Darque Energy) 2
* Leaping 2
* Regeneration 4
* Night Vision 3

Note: Jack’s powers stem from necromantic energy (often called Darque Energy). As a result, all of his powers are only effective at night. In addition, during the daytime hours, Jack’s Prowess, Coordination, and Strength are reduced to 3, which means his daytime Stamina is 8.

Specialties
Performance (Saxophone Expert, + 2 bonus), Athletics (+ 1 bonus), Occult (+ 1 bonus), Stealth (Expert, + 2 bonus)

Qualities
Free-form improvisation in the dark
“Others to hunt down. Others to cast out of the night. MY night.”
“Someone’s shooting me ! Some sorry FOOLS are SHOOTING me !”

Background

Jack Boniface was a jazz player who became empowered by a mysterious organization, the Coven, with the “Darque” power to fend off the sinister Master Darque. When the night falls he becomes the Shadowman, gaining super-strength, fearlessness, and a drive to help others. During the event known as Unity, Jack learned that he was fated to die in 1999 – this brought about an extra layer of fearlessness as he believed that he could do anything and would find a way to survive until the day of his foretold demise. Unfortunately, the original Valiant Universe (dubbed VH1) never made it to 1999 so we’re not certain if the prophecy came true or not.

Characters I Love # 11: Magnus, Robot Fighter

magnus0Every Wednesday, I focus on a character from adventure fiction (film, comics & prose) that I simply adore. This week we’re talking about: Magnus, Robot Fighter. Originally introduced in 1963 by Russ Manning, Magnus starred in a series published by Gold Key Comics. With Manning’s sleek linework and a fun premise – Magnus lived in the year 4000 where robots controlled nearly all aspects of human existence – the series was fun Silver Age storytelling at its best. As with comics of the period, once the initial setup was established, there wasn’t a lot of variation in the tales but the series managed to last for 46 issues.

I was only vaguely aware of the character until he was revived by Valiant Comics in the 1990s. There, he was written by Jim Shooter and all the old mainstays of the series were revived — Magnus, his robot mentor 1A and the gorgeous Leeja Clane. The Valiant version was pretty successful, running for 64 issues plus some specials. I particularly recommend the Steel Nation arc that ran in issues 1-4, the Magnus/Nexus crossover, the Magnus/Predator crossover and (though it was reviled by many traditionalists) the Keith Giffen run (55-64). Really, though, the entire series is worth picking up.

Magnus then got a big makeover for the Acclaim version of Valiant and the less said about that, the better.

When we next saw Magnus, it was once again written by Jim Shooter, though this time the series had been divorced from Valiant continuity and transplanted over to Dark Horse. This 2009 resurrection didn’t last very long and it’s not hard to see why — it was missing some heart this time around (as was Shooter’s revival of Doctor Solar).

What I loved about Magnus was the sheer pulpiness of the concept — the setting was ripe for adventure and the supporting characters were fun, if somewhat thin in terms of character development. Valiant’s 64-issue run took the hero and his friends into some odd but interesting directions and it’s one of my favorite books from the Nineties. I’ve also gone back and read a good bit of the original Manning stuff.

I miss Magnus… with Valiant having been revived and doing so well, it’s strange not having this character (along with Solar and Turok) in the mix.

Until he and Leeja return, I still have my back issues.

My Favorite Comics At the Moment

20120622-153803.jpgEveryone knows I love comics, just as much as I love pulp novels. So what are my current faves? Read on! The list is broken down by publisher, ’cause I roll like that.

Note: I actually buy more than just these titles… but these are my favorites.

DC Comics
Aquaman
Batman
Batwing
Earth 2
Green Lantern
Supergirl
Sword of Sorcery
Talon
Worlds’ Finest

Marvel Comics
Scarlet Spider
Iron Man
Avengers
Uncanny Avengers
All-New X-Men

IDW
Mars Attacks
Judge Dredd

Archie
New Crusaders

Valiant
X-O Manowar
Bloodshot
Shadowman

Abstract Studios
Rachel Rising

Dynamite
The Shadow
Masks

I also highly recommend you seek out the Shinku trade paperback (Image) by Ron Marz & Lee Moder!

Favorite Comics of the Moment

Everyone knows I love comics, just as much as I love pulp novels. So what are my current faves? Read on! The list is broken down by publisher, ’cause I roll like that.

Note: I actually buy more than just these titles… but these are my favorites.

DC Comics
Aquaman
Batman
Batwing
Earth 2
Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE
Green Lantern
Sword of Sorcery
Talon
Worlds’ Finest

Marvel Comics
Scarlet Spider

IDW
Mars Attacks
Star Trek (ongoing series)

Archie
New Crusaders

Valiant
X-O Manowar
Bloodshot

Abstract Studios
Rachel Rising

Dynamite
The Shadow

I’m really looking forward to Shadowman (Valiant), Masks and Hickman’s Avengers but none of those are out quite yet.

Hack. Cough. Repeat.

Sore throat? Check. Tired eyes? Check. Feel like crawling in a hole and sleeping for a few days? Check.

Yep, I’m sick. Normally, the ‘con grunge’ hits me sooner after Dragon*Con but this year it allowed me a few weeks to lull me into a false sense of security. Sneaky thing.

Work resumed on Gravedigger last night and I’m currently writing a scene where she meets Max Davies, aka The Rook. Fun times. Gravedigger is very much a “spine” kind of thing, where it plays very hard with my other continuities. So there are references to The Rook, Lazarus Gray and much more. I’m still aiming for a first quarter 2013 release with this one but I need to pick up the pace to make that happen — I’m currently about 12,000 words into the story.

If you’re a comic fan, check out X-O Manowar # 5. Best comic published by the revamped Valiant so far. Really, really good stuff.

Reading “The Golden Dog Murders” right now — it’s a 1938 Shadow story. Good fun with some great scenes but it feels a bit like a mishmash of several different stories. Honestly, they’re throwing everything but the kitchen sink in there!

Reaction to yesterday’s Tales of The Rook announcement has been very positive — a lot of people are really pleased with the lineup of authors and are excited to see what they come up with. So am I!