The American Shield: Victoria Adams
Since the dawn of the republic, whenever her country faces its blackest days, Victoria Adams returns to fight for what is right. Known as a Daughter of the Revolution, Victoria’s first recorded outing was against the British Empire in the Revolutionary War where she was caught behind enemy lines and hung as a traitor.
She next showed up in the War of 1812 where she was killed by Indians. This patterns of fighting and reincarnation continued through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, and so forth. She answered every time her country called.
This latest time, she came to life with no memories. She only had a need to fight, although she didn’t know the cause. After an altercation where she stopped a robbery but caused a lot of collateral damage. As she was taken to the police station, an investigator walked in and said in a serious tone: “Annuit Coeptis.” A flood of memories struck her at once. She lashed out and hit the investigator, and escaped.
With the police in tow, Victoria escaped. Her head was swirling with memories. A van screeched to a halt in front of her. The side door l=flew open and an older man leaned out. “Come with us!” Victoria jumped in the van before the police could find her.
The group in the van consisted of 2 men and a woman. They were Cornelius Baird, Catherine Catchings, and Lancelot Strong. They took her to an underground library. They explained that they were a group of freedom fighters. Lance was the U.S. Shield, Cornelius and Catherine were his support staff. Lance had remembered reading about Victoria’s exploits from Desert Storm.
The door swung open behind them. It was Lance’s sidekick, Dusty Starr. She introduced herself to Victoria and welcomed her in her own way. They invited Victoria to join their ranks and she agreed. They outfitted her with a costume and a moniker, The American Shield.

 

The Black Hood:
The Black Hood is no one man. It is an item. The physical embodiment of vengeance. No one knows the history of the Hood, where it came from, how it came to possess such magnificent powers. Even it’s users are shrouded in mystery. A lot of people accused of being the Black Hood had been dead, some for years, some missing for the same amount of time.
Take the story of disgraced police officer Kip Burland. Burland was the lead investigator in the DSK case. DSK was short for Dead Skull Killer, a serial killer who would murder someone and then send the skull of that victim to his next victim. Burland was so obsessed with the case that he let everything else slide. He was discharged from the force. Soon after, he disappeared. It was assumed he had become the next victim of DSK.
What people and police speculate is that Kip became the Black Hood to go after DSK. These fears were confirmed when the DSK was finally apprehended by the Black Hood. Although victorious, the Hood had been mortally wounded and died at the scene. The autopsy examiners cataloged his belongings, and the hood was accounted for. When his belongings were released to his family, the Hood had disappeared.
Enter petty criminal Giles “Hit” Coffee. He was awaiting booking when the precinct exploded with the activity of press and the booking of the DSK. Hit was left handcuffed to a bench. He picked the cuffs and slid down a side corridor. He saw a bin sitting on a desk. In the bin was the hood that Hit mistook for a hat. He swiped the hat and left out a side door.
Hit was busted on a minor possession charge, but the detectives wanted to question him about a shooting a month earlier. The shooting took the life of Hit’s brother. As Hit pulled on the Hood, he flashbacked to the day of the shooting and saw the target of his ire, Turner Willis. Turner was a local street thug, a grunt in the army of the neighborhood kingpin, Pharaoh Caspian.
Hit learned that Caspian ordered the attack on his brother. While trying to track down Turner, he found out that he was in prison after trying to kill a young athlete. Hit then went after Pharaoh Caspian. Hit secured several illegal firearms. He started to perform guerilla attacks against Caspian’s operations. He would steal money and weapons and kill everyone associated with Caspian.
A showdown between the King of the Empire of the Streets and the Robin Hood draped in black was inevitable. Hit attacked Pharaoh’s stronghold. He was able to kill several of his soldiers, but Caspian escaped. The war spilled out on the streets as Caspian escaped in an armored Escalade while Hit gave chase on a motorcycle.
The SUV smashed into the Red Circle Center Mall. Hit followed. They squared off near the food court with Hit getting the upper hand. Defeated, Caspian raised his hand in submission. Hit pulled his 12 gauge shotgun and placed it on Caspian’s forehead. The police were shouting for him to put the gun down. Hit cocked the gun and before he could take the shot, he was tackled by a marine named Wayne Sidmonson. The shotgun went off and hit him in the arm. The police swarmed in and yanked off Hit’s hood, tossing it aside.
Alice Chandler, a nurse who was also in the food court, went to help Wayne and grabbed the hood to stop the bleeding. Wayne went to the hospital, Hit and Caspian went to jail. As Wayne recovered in the hospital, he was given a box with all of his belongings that he had when he came into the hospital. In the box was the Hood. When he got home, out of curiosity, he put the Hood on. He saw the image of Mohammed Abdul Aron Farhangi. Farhangi had claimed responsibility for the IED attack that had injured Wayne (ultimately leading to his discharge) and killed three of his unit. He saw that Farhangi had shortened his name to Aron Farr and took a job as the CEO of one of his father’s companies….in the United States.
Wayne was a Marine Sargent. An impossibly tough and gruff man. A man made for military duty. A duty to which he devoted his life. After the IED attack, he was discharged with a Purple Heart. He was despondent because a military career was his dream, and now it had been ripped from him. Now, the man responsible for his misfortune gets to live in this country, his country…..not if he has anything to say about it. Aron will answer for his crimes, he will answer to….THE BLACK HOOD!

POWERS: The Black Hood grants the user increased physical strength, speed, and stamina. It also allows the bearer to see the target of their true vengeance.

 

Black Jack:

Jack Jones was a police detective who went by the nickname Black Jack because he was a known card-player. However, while he enjoyed playing cards, Jack was an honest cop. He earned the reputation by busting up mobster Lucky Lavitto’s operations. When busting a sex-traffic ring, Jack met a young runaway who went by the name Roxy Ventura. He had intervened before she made a great mistake. He also took her in and helped her enroll in college.

Jones got a hot tip that would finally put Lavitto behind bars. After being ambushed by policemen on Lavitto’s payroll, he was imprisoned in a wall by Lucky Lavitto’s men. Jones was found a month later, having perished in the trap.

Roxy suffered a breakdown and was institutionalized. She began therapy and was released. She went home to find in Jack’s possessions a pack of playing cards. Then she suffered a stroke. The stroke was not debilitating, in fact, physically, she was fine. She began suffering weird side effects. She submitted herself to the local hospital for observation.

It turned out that the severe trauma had opened a neural path to abilities locked away. Roxy’s therapist determined that the deck of cards was the catalyst. She had Roxy shuffle and draw from the deck. Immediately she teleported across the room. As she drew different cards, different powers started to manifest.

Roxy memorized the powers associated with each card and she began training. She became adept at drawing certain cards and how to use the abilities. Eventually, she donned a costume in honor of her friend, Jack and began a war against the criminal underworld as Blackjack.

 

Bob Phantom:

Walter Roberts was a New York City theatre blogger who wrote a gossip column called ‘On Broadway.’ It frequently made fun of law enforcement who failed to catch criminals and because of this Walt was unpopular with the police. He also served as a podcast host in his early career. What most people didn’t realize was that he secretly was the crime fighter Bob Phantom, a character Walter created for his podcast. Bob Phantom was obsessed with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.

Walter began his crime fighting career as a joke. He was on his way to a costume party. Not having a costume, he turned to a costumer friend, Raoul, who borrowed a cloak from one of his stage productions. The cloak was in a box of old costume pieces imported from Paris.

Foiling a mugging, he turned to the on-looking crowd and said “You will curse the day you did not do, all that the Phantom asked of you!”, and then disappeared in a cloud of smoke. The next day he was all over the dailies, people calling him Bob Phantom after the popular podcast character.

Raoul recognized the cloak and called Walter. They were both excited. Walter asked if there were any other pieces like this. Raoul went to work and found the box of articles in the trash. Walter and Raoul took the items. They went through them and created a proper costume for Bob Phantom.

They found out that the cloak could teleport the user to a destination of his choice. The amulet provided near invulnerability. The mask allowed the bearer to phase and become invisible. Walter had caught the bug…he was going to be a superhero….Broadway’s first superhero…..BOB PHANTOM!

Brain Emporer:
All humanoid children of the alien world of K-Shazor have surgery to make their brain hyper efficient. The Brain Emperor (real name unknown) had a mutant brain, which gave him limitless mental powers when the surgery was performed.
He later used his mutant mental powers to become absolute rulers of the planet K-Shazor. A solar eclipse caused a lapse in his mind control powers, during which time the people of K-Shazor over threw the Brain Emperor and imprisoned him in the Cosmo-Cube. After escaping the Cosmo Cube the Brain Emperor came to Earth to conquer the planet.
He found that his power to control the human race allowed him a great swath of power. He first took control of the African warlord Ayjumbo Molojabi. To his surprise, he found that Ayjumbo was an actual vampire. Using Molojabi and his warriors, they attacked the U.S. Embassy in Uganda. They held the inhabitants hostage until several costumed heroes (commissioned by the US government) came to free the hostages.
Steel Sterling, Doc Reeves, Zambina, Captain Flag, and Firefly were joined by Mr. Justice and they attempted to free the hostages. While they freed the hostages, it was a trap to lure more super-powered individuals to the Brain Emperor’s employ. Somehow, the powers didn’t affect Doc Reeves.
Doc escaped and contacted his friend, John Raymond. Raymond used his contacts to send The Wizard, the Jaguar, Kardak, The Web, the Comet, and the Shield. The heroes clashed with the brainwashed heroes, eventually overpowering them and taking down Molojabi. The Brain Emperor escaped vowing revenge. After this incident, several of the heroes stayed together forming the Mighty Crusaders.
The Brain Emperor remains at large today clashing time after time with the Crusaders, always turned away…yet always escaping.

Captain Commando: John Grayson

John Grayson was a soldier who served in Afghanistan. His unit was ambushed and pinned down. They were able to get themselves out of the situation but soon found themselves in a worse trap.

The enemy had taped Grayson’s unit firing through innocent civilians that the enemy had put in the line of fire and released the video online. Grayson, the highest-ranking officer, was court-martialed.

As he was being transferred to prison, his envoy was attacked. The bus flipped over and Grayson was ejected from the vehicle and into a river. He dragged himself onto a riverbank and passed out.

As he came to, he realized he was in a hospital bed hooked up to several machines. He was surrounded by his former squad. They explained Gen. Marion Higgins offered them honorable discharges in exchange for immunity and not testifying on his behalf. They all went to work for a private security form. The security firm offered them bio enhancements. They found out when Grayson was being transferred and began to plot.

Grayson had been in a coma. His squad had him put through the same bio enhancement procedure. Grayson wanted to turn himself in, but the squad argued that said action could land them in hot water. Grayson was adamant until he met with the squad’s new leader: Gen. Marion Higgins.

Higgins explained that he wanted his own special ops group to track Joe Higgins and reclaim the Shield armor. He wanted Grayson to take over the role of the Shield and use his squad as back-up. They would take orders from only him. Grayson said he would have to talk with his wife about it. Higgins explained that John had been in a coma for 2 years. He had been declared dead. His wife had moved on and remarried.

Grayson was furious and escaped. His squad gave chase. After a disastrous confrontation and explosion, the squad presumed Grayson died.  He raided one of their safehouses. Grayson armed himself and as Captain Commando, righted his sights at Gen. Higgins and the squad now known as The Crucible.

 

Captain Flag:

Tom Townsend was a wealthy son of famed inventor James Townsend. Tom and his father are kidnapped by the villainous cadre The Black Hand. They want the secrets of Mr. Townsend’s inventions. Tom’s father refused to disclose the information and was killed. Tom is saved from the same fate thanks to an eagle who crashes through the window and provided a distraction for Tom to run away.

Tom and the eagle return home. Using his contacts, he got in touch with a mercenary group for protection. He hired the Crucible who took up headquarters in his castle which he outfitted with his father’s inventions. The castle was fortified with automatic defenses and Tom felt a sense of security.

Tom trains with the eagle and the Crucible. They empower him with basic combat training. He has one of his father’s inventions, similar to a cochlear implant, that allowed him to communicate with his eagle (which he named Yankee).

Late one night, the defenses were activated. The castle was under assault. Tom awoke to see his guards, The Crucible, shutting down the defenses and letting the Black Hand into the castle. They took Tom to the top of the castle, shot him in the head and threw him into the ocean below.

Tom was pulled from the waters by his eagle, Yankee. He was found by villagers and nursed back to health. In the news and media, Tom was declared missing. He took the time to recover and let the world think he was dead. He returned to his father’s private lab. There he discovered experimental nanites. They could be programmed to allow people to relearn skills or abilities. He injected himself and Yankee with the nanites.

The Black Hand took responsibility for the bombing of an elementary school. The terrorist group had taken up residence in his castle. Taking inspiration from the Shield, Tom created a costume that emulated the American flag. After foiling another Black Hand plot, Townsend befriended FBI agents, Veronica Darnell and, later, Linda Reed.

Captain Flag assaulted the castle, assisted by the Shield, and broke up the terrorist cell. He brought down their flag and raised Old Glory over the castle once again, protected by Captain Flag.

POWERS:

Captain Flag possesses no superhuman abilities but has undergone intense physical and mental training and utilizes an extensive range of equipment and technology. Common tools include body armor, gauntlets, various projectiles, and a helmet that is capable of emitting strobe lighting capable of disorientation and hypnotism. He can download the knowledge and physical skills of others directly into his brain via WiFi.

CaptainValor:
Dan Hastings was an astronaut on the experimental Echo 6. After attempting a whiplash maneuver around the moon, Dan hits an event horizon that causes an explosion. When Dan awakens, he is still aboard the Echo 6, but it looks changed…and there is a man sitting in the pilot’s seat. The man stands and turns around to reveal, it is an older version of Dan Hastings.
The older Dan begins to explain that he is from the future. A future in which a warlord wages war against Earth. He has switched their ships. The Echo 6 they are on is from the future with a lot of future tech. The older Hastings gives Dan an alien battle suit powered by an element called Valorum. He told him he is returning to the future, to finish his fight and wished him luck on the beginning of his.
Dan began to train with the suit letting the people of Earth believe he died. Older Dan left his journals for younger Dan to review and plan for the arrival of the conquering Lord Omeron. Dan decided to be proactive and seek out Omeron.
He found his planet and told him not to try to invade Earth. Hastings was captured and as it turned out, Dan seeking out Lord Omeron is what put Earth in his sights. Dan escaped the clutches of Omeron and raced back to Earth to prepare for an invasion.

Clown:
The man who would become the Clown killed a woman after she refused his marriage proposal. The murder was witnessed by her sister, who was promptly killed too. Tormented with grief, and yet wanting the last laugh, he made up his victims faces as clowns. He began a swath of carnage killing 13 people before being apprehended by the Hangman. He was committed to the Maurice L. John asylum for the criminally insane. Earlier this year, he was found unresponsive in his cell. When the guards went to check, they found one of their guards in the Clown’s uniform, dead, and with his face painted.

The Cobra:

In the mid-nineties, a comic writer by the name of Morrow Northridge created a grim and gritty alien character named the Cobra. The Cobra was a smash success. The story of an alien that possesses the body of a teenage boy. The boy fought back against street thugs and influences that tried to destroy him and his friends.

Enter Jeremiah Burton. Jeremiah was a full court hero. A high school basketball star of the highest caliber. He was called the next Kobe Bryant by some. Jeremiah also had a love for comic books. His favorite was the Cobra. He and his friend Neal were on the way to a local comic convention to meet their hero, Morrow Northridge.  They were confronted by street thugs and mugged. In the process, Neal was stabbed and paralyzed. When Morrow heard of the horrible story, he sent both boys signed runs of the Cobra comic.

Jeremiah was gearing up for a game when he saw the thugs in the audience. He notified the police who promptly arrested him. Jeremiah went on to win the game. As he was leaving, he was jumped by a couple of the thugs’ friends. He felt a jab in his side and started to lose consciousness. Jeremiah blacked out. He awoke in the hospital. The doctors told him he had suffered an overdose and went into cardiac arrest. They had to shock him to bring him back to life. They couldn’t determine what he was injected with.

Weeks after the assault, Jeremiah was in physical therapy. He was doing pull ups when he started to slowly slink down to the ground. He looked at himself and saw that his arms had stretched about three feet. He let go of the bar and his arms recoiled to normal. He tried stretching again, and to his amazement, he found his body was more pliable. The odd thing was, these were the exact same powers that his favorite comic book character, The Cobra, had.

He revealed his amazing powers to Neal, who initially was upset and asked him to leave. This caused a rift between Neal and Jeremiah because Neal was jealous that both had been attacked, but only he suffered any consequences.

Jeremiah heard that the leader of the gang that attacked him, Turner Willis, was out on bail. Jeremiah went to confront him. They squared off at a local hangout and went to throw down. Turner began throwing hands, none seemed to affect Jeremiah. Jeremiah easily puts Turner down. Turner pulled out a gun and shot Jeremiah (unknowingly, his body had absorbed the impact of the gunshots). Jeremiah took the gun away and knocked him out.

As the weeks went on, Jeremiah found he was able to control every aspect of his body: Color, shape, size, density, and malleability. Jeremiah constructed himself a crude costume and dubbed himself the Cobra and began to protect his neighborhood.

Turner escaped from custody in the hospital. He went to Jeremiah’s house to confront him again. He broke in and took Jeremiah’s sister, Siya hostage. Jeremiah couldn’t make a move to help her without putting her in harm’s way. At that moment, Neal came in (having come over to talk to Jeremiah) saw what was going on and charged Turner. Turner shot at Neal who dodged the bullet by throwing himself from his wheelchair. In that instant, Jeremiah knocked Turner out. The police collected Turner and Neal and Jeremiah made up with Neal saying he couldn’t let Jeremiah keep doing his stuff in such a crappy costume. Neal designed and had Jeremiah’s new costume created as an athletic sports body suit. Now, Jeremiah with the help of his friend Neal and younger sister Siya face all the dramas of youth today, plus battle super villains! So beware evil-doers, justice strikes like a Cobra!

 

The Comet:

In the early 1940’s, while working at his research lab in, Dr. Rob Connors discovers a gas that is “fifty times lighter than hydrogen.” Injecting it into his bloodstream, he finds that he can “make great leaps” through the air. He continues experimenting on himself until, after many injections, the gas accumulates in his eyes and causes them to throw off two powerful beams. When they cross, whatever he’s looking at will “disintegrate completely.”

He finds that the only problem is that can’t control it except by closing his eyes. Fortunately, Connors’ vision can’t harm glass, so he makes a pair of goggles which he raises to release his blasts. Inspired by the exploits of other costumed heroes, he becomes the crime-fighting Comet. A hero, albeit an unorthodox one; he is one of the few who kills his adversaries.

Not so the aliens of the planet Altrox who, after studying his adventures on earth, teleport him to their world to help Queen Naija wage war against invading robots. Barely surviving the encounter, the Comet is returned to Earth, his powers seemingly gone.

Rob Connors’ parents were working in a laboratory in a remote part of Alaska. Rob went to visit them, only to find the lab destroyed. Seeking to summon assistance, he turned to repair the lab’s damaged radio antenna, but it collapsed on him. There was an explosion of light and energy, which somehow reignited his superhuman powers. Returning to civilization, Rob once again, became The Comet.

Witnessing the transformation, Queen Naija brings him back to Altrox, where the two are eventually married. But bad luck continues to hound the Comet. Less than a week later, robot survivors of the Battle of Annexia ambush the newlyweds. By this time, the Altroxian atmosphere has deprived him of his powers again, something the Comet is unaware of until he tries to use it against the assassins. The queen is killed.

Creating a super powered costume using Altroxian science, he buries his wife in a passing comet. Rob returns to earth, after spending the equivalent of several earth-decades on Altrox, only to discover that once he returns to Earth, he regains his powers. Today, he fights for the memory of his universal bride as the Comet.

 

The Darkling:

Darla Lang

Project Supernova was an experiment that would create a singularity portal into the heart of a sun. Theoretically, it would allow the user to have access to unlimited power. Dr. Darla Lang was one of the lead scientists on the project. The project had come against strong opposition of fossil fuel and other environmental groups questioning the safety of harnessing the power of a sun.

The day came when the project went for a test launch. One of the engineers was bribed to sabotage the project. He had changed the projection details meaning when they established the bridge to the star, it wouldn’t go to the star, it would go into an ambiguous part of space.

The purposeful miscalculation was deadly and explosive. The saboteur had accidentally bridged from the heart of the start into the heart of a Black Hole. Dr. Lang was sucked into the portal and it exploded. As the onlookers watched with baited breath for 3 minutes and then the lab exploded. Dr. Lang was expelled from the explosion. Three scientists died. Lang looked as if shadows were pouring out of her body.

Lang was hospitalized. The saboteur had been killed in the explosion. It was determined that mishap had created a bridge between Lang and the Black Hole. Lang had become more than human. She had become an entity. She was self-sustaining, she could move in between the shadows, and could manipulate the shadows. Her mere presence drained electrical power in the nearby areas. After a few weeks in an ICU, Darla disappeared.

She began reappearing in several different instances. When a reactor in Japan started to collapse, she appeared and drained the reactor of all its power. Then again, she disappeared. There was no rhyme or reason to her appearances. She would show up, diffuse a situation, and then fade away.

Prime Energy Projects LLC. bought the labs and all their work. It was rumored that P.E.P. LLC was the culprit behind the sabotage.  President Jack Strand denied the rumors and made the announcement that they were going to fix the “mistakes of the past”. At the press conference, Dana appeared After causing chaos, Zambina, the Jaguar, and Flygirl appeared to stop her rampage. Dana subdued them but backed off when she saw the destruction she caused. She told Strand that he had made an enemy the day they created the Darkling.

 

Doc H:

Heracles (or Hercules) is best known as the strongest of all mortals, and even stronger than many gods. He was the deciding factor in the triumphant victory of the Olympians over the giants. He was the last mortal son of Zeus and was to be the only man born of a mortal woman to become a god upon his death.

Offsetting his strength was a noticeable lack of intelligence or wisdom. Once, when the temperature was very high, he pulled his bow out and threatened to shoot at the sun. This, coupled with strong emotions in one so powerful, frequently got Hercules in trouble. While his friend and cousin Theseus ruled Athens, Hercules had trouble ruling himself. His pride was easily offended. He took up grudges easily and never forgot them. His appetites for food, wine, and women were as massive as his strength. Many of Hercules’ great deeds occurred while doing penance for stupid acts done in anger or carelessness.

It would be easy to view Hercules as a muscle-bound buffoon. Indeed, many of the Greek comedy playwrights used his character this way. Even among serious critics, he was often seen as a primitive, brutal, and violent man. There is much evidence to support this view; his weapon of choice was a massive club; his customary garment was a lion skin, with the head still attached; he impiously wounded some of the gods; he threatened a priestess of Apollo at Delphi when an answer to his questions was not forthcoming. He created most of his own problems.

However, viewing Heracles as simply a strong buffoon is unfair. He may have held grudges, but he would also do anything to help a friend. Once his anger passed, he was the most critical judge of his own actions. He was too strong for anyone to force a punishment on him. That he willingly did severe penance shows a fundamental sense of justice. During his punishments, he showed patience, fortitude, and endurance that were as heroic as his strength. Terrible things happened to him because of Hera’s hatred, a hatred that he was not responsible for. That he persevered through it all was a moral victory beyond simple strength.

Hercules was tasked with completing 12 trials. Upon the completion of these tasks, he could ascend to godhood and be reunited with his family. Knowing he would impetuously agree to anything to see his family again, she secretly created the contract to include an additional 13th labor. Hercules agreed to the contest. He would be awarded a new power for every task completed, the last being an ascension to godhood.

Hercules confronted Eurystheus and demanded to know why he had not become a god yet. Eurystheus façade disappeared revealing only Hera. She told Hercules that he could not ascend until he completed the tasks. Hercules shredded his contract and set it on fire. He claimed he had finished them. Hera revealed the mystery 13th labor, but wouldn’t tell him what it was.  Hercules had destroyed his copy of the contract and anyone who had any idea of the 13th labor was dead…or worse Hera. He wandered the world, immortal and alone.

Turning inward, Hercules became introspective. If he couldn’t rejoin his family, he decided to make this world a better place. He had all the power of anyone in the world….what he needed was the brains. Hercules began to learn. He did not shy away from any subject or cause. He applied himself in every avenue, every aspect of mental perfection. He had all the time that this world had left. He became a learned scholar and a genius.

In the year 2000, a buried temple was uncovered in Greece. In the temple was Hera’s copy of the contract. Finding this out, Doc Hercules has spent the last two decades tracking down the document. Hera has played the opposite side of the chess game, keeping the contract out of his hands. With faith renewed, Doc H has reengaged the quest for godhood and to be reunited with his family.

POWERS:

Aside from great strength, he was gifted by Zeus at birth, Hercules gained powers from the 12 labors. From the Lion, he gained invulnerability(Head). From the Hydra, he gained immunity to poison(Fang). From the Hind, he received the speed of a deer(Antler). From the Boar he earned patience(Tusk). From the stables, he uncovered ingenuity(Horsetail). From the birds, he got flight (Feather). From the Bull, he received Power (Horn). From the Horses, he was now able to communicate with animals. From the belt of Hippolyta, he was gifted with battle sense. The cattle bestowed him self-sustenance. From the apples he received endurance. From Cerberus, he gained immortality.

 

“Doc” Malcolm Reeves:

Malcolm Reeves was a personal friend of the John Raymond. When John’s brother was found murdered, Malcolm temporarily took over the reins of his company so that he could make adjustments to his new life. Malcolm was a brilliant engineer. When Raymond developed a serum that could allow a person to grow and shrink. Malcolm quickly created an application by which a person could use this formula in undersea exploration. He created an adaptive suit which allowed a subject using the formula to shrink to collect samples and footage but grow big enough to fend off dangers. While a subject was shrunk, they used less oxygen.

Many subjects tested out the formulas, but all failed. The project was deemed a failure and was shuttered. Before they closed the lab, John was going to try the formulas on himself. Malcolm convinced John to have a control, and Malcolm volunteered to be the control. Malcolm switched the formulas because he didn’t want John to suffer any detrimental effects (John was just given charge of his nephew). The project was a success. Malcolm’s blood was infused with the chemicals. The suit would be the catalyst to jumpstart the effects of the chemicals: A green button on the right hand to grow and a red button on the left hand to shrink.

He hung out with the Mighty Crusaders at their headquarters and worked on their computer systems. In the field, Doc Reeves joined the Crusaders on several adventures. While fighting the Brain Emperor, it was revealed that Malcolm could not be mind controlled, a side effect of the experiment.

POWERS:

Doc retains his normal strength when small, and possesses greatly increased strength and stamina when in giant form, courtesy of the increased mass. Doc’s costume is synthetic stretch fabric composed of a mutable atomic structure and automatically adapts to his shifting sizes. It is also pressurized and contains its own atmosphere. It also provides a form of armor.

Dusty Star:
Dusty Strathmore was an orphan in trouble with the law from a young age. She was serving time in a juvenile facility for assault. She was being transferred from the courthouse back to said facility when her bus was attacked by the Hun. Unknown to most, the son of the Hun (not an actual son, a clone) was also on the bus. The US Shield appears on the scene and engages the Hun in battle. A total of seven people were on the bus with Dusty (2 guards, a driver, and 4 convicts).
With the guards down and the prisoners released, Dusty jumped into action. She took all 4 prisoners down (even the Son of the Hun). She then incapacitated them and helped U.S. Shield stop the Hun. Because of this, U.S. appeared at her sentencing hearing asking for leniency for her show of valor. The judge agreed on one condition: The U.S. Shield must become her guardian. Shield agreed and brought her back to the Lexington (The expansive Library that houses the U.S. Shield’s base of operations).

Dusty wanted to become the U.S. Shield’s partner, Strong agreed as long as she got her G.E.D. first. Dusty passed the test with flying colors and began her training. After about a year of training, Cornelius Baird gifted Dusty “The Buckler”. The Buckler was a belt buckle that projected a skintight forcefield for her protection. Dusty now serves as the sidekick to The U.S. Shield as Dusty Starr.

Fireball: Tuesday Tyler

Tuesday Tyler was a fireman like many of the male generations in her family before her. She had to work twice as hard because of the systemic misogyny in the fire department. Tuesday studied hard and applied herself. She even created a new hose dispensing station that she donated to the department for free.

Tuesday, even with brothers, a dad, and a grandfather all having served in the department couldn’t get past the male egos currently running the firehouse. Captain Garrison Kand made her work harder than the men because he didn’t believe women should serve as firemen.

During a call to Impact Chemical Company, Garrison sent Tuesday in first. Garrison followed and tripped a backdraft even though Tuesday vocally disagreed with him. The explosion knocked a lot of firemen down and out. Garrison ordered everyone to pull out. Tuesday was left to die in the fire when she was knocked unconscious. Tuesday became coated in chemicals, allowing her to both survive the fire and gain the power to control and absorb it. She was thought dead in the blaze by the public.

Tyler decided to use her powers to bring Garrison to justice. She assumed the identity of Fireball. She found that Garrison was an arsonist for hire. She stopped him from burning down the Red Circle Mall and in doing so, revealed to Garrison that she was still alive. Garrison was convicted of arson and attempted murder. Tyler received a payout from the city in a civil case. Instead of rejoining the department, she became FIREBALL!

 

Firefly:

Harley Hudson was driven to become a crime-fighter since she was a young girl. She studied a wide variety of disciplines, eventually becoming an entomologist and chemist. She discovered that insects such as ants have super strength because they are able to coordinate their muscles. After teaching herself the same trick, Harley finds herself able to do astounding things and becomes the hero known as Firefly. Her love interest was internet blogger Jon Burton.

Another creation of hers was a jetpack. The jetpack allowed limited flight. An after effect is that radiating energy from the backpack looks like an explosion of flame. Harley dubbed herself The Firefly, and her exploits were chronicled by her fiancée.

 

POWERS:

While she had no true superpowers, Firefly could optimize her physical strength and energy, which allowed her to become strong enough to uproot a tree and break through chains, leap across large distances like an insect, chuck bricks and stones and remain under water for long periods of time. Later she gained the superhuman ability to glow like her namesake.

 

The Fly: Jason Troy

Jason Troy was a high school student and son of FBI agent Thomas Troy. One day, during school, he was assigned by his teacher to create a superhero. He sketched a hero wearing a costume with insect-like eyepieces and antennae, like a fly. In fact, it was based on the Human Fly, a famous stunt performer.

When his father was on the case of the Black Witch Cult, they busted a coven where a lot of “magic” items were stored. Among these was a small necklace with a fly encased in amber. Thomas grabbed it, got distracted and put it in his pocket instead of submitting it for evidence.

Thomas got home and hung up his coat. The amulet fell out. The next morning Jason found the amulet and picked it up. He thought it was different, in a cool sorta way. By lunchtime, he was wearing it. By bedtime, he forgot he had it on and went to sleep. He dreamt he was his created hero, the Fly. He dreamt he flew over the city by night and stopped muggings and attacks.

After about a week, Jason awoke to abject amazement when he looked at his reflection and saw not himself, but his hero….the Fly. After doing internet searches, he saw that his dreams were not dreams…he was stopping crime. He looked closer and saw the amulet on his chest. Touching it, he reverted to Jason.

As any teenager given superpowers, he handled with a grace and aplomb unseen in most his age….. Are you kidding me? Being honest to goodness superhero is a 24/7 rollercoaster ride. Keeping his identity a secret, helping his dad solve cases, and still making it back in time for homeroom, Jason Troy proves great power is an awesome responsibility as The FLY!

 

Fly-Girl: Kim Brand

Kim Brand was a hard-nosed intellectual. It would surprise a lot of people she went to college on a cheerleading scholarship. She had participated in gymnastics her whole life, but when she wanted to go to college, the college she wanted to attend didn’t have a gymnastics program. It did have cheerleading scholarships. She was a different breed than the rest of her “sisters”. While most were young girls obsessed with self and boys and shopping, while Kim had a life plan from the age of 2.

During one of her team’s contests, the bus she was riding in was hi-jacked by the Eraser. While her teammates cowered and cried, Kim stood up for herself, defying the super-villain. As the Eraser moved in to eliminate her quarrels, the Fly arrived. The Fly made short work of the Eraser who was revealed to be her professor, Dr. Evan Andsure.

The other girls fawned and cooed over the Fly as he soaked up the attention. Kim thought to herself        “This is ridiculous. I could have done that easy….I mean look, my prof was a supervillain.” Those words resonated with Kim as she headed home, when she slept, and when she woke up. She became obsessed. If he can do it, so can I.

Life Plan pt. 2

Kim took to designing herself a costume and gadgets. The first thing she designed was the “Fly-ring”. It was based on The Wizard’s Secret Formula F22X, the chemical compound that allows the bearer to negate gravity.  Using the Fly-ring as a power source, she designed an ionized propulsion system that would allow the user the ability to fly. Other gadgets include a flash gun, stun discs, wings and navigation goggles. Her wings could generate a vibro-shock.

About a month later, the Eraser made his return. Again the Fly was on the scene. This time, the Eraser got the better of the Fly. As he was about to erase the Fly, Kim leaped into action. A stunning no-hand cartwheel somersault distracted the Eraser. She then hit him with the flash gun. As he stumbled backward, she hit him with the flash gun and threw several Fly bolos ensnaring the Eraser.  A crowd gathered as she disengaged his tech. They cheered her as the Fly recovered and thanked her. Now she fights crime, holds down a full-time job and a 4.0 GPA as Flygirl!

POWERS:

Flygirl has no powers, but she is an incredible athlete. She developed a jet-pack harness which allows her to fly. She has goggles that provide AI navigational assistance and sensory input. She has a flash gun which has components that can be attached to make it a stun gun.

 

The Fox:

Paul Patten is a young news reporter and photographer for The Daily Globe and a former athlete at Penn State University. He was looking for an angle to play to further his reputation as a reporter. He wasn’t the liberal guy or the conservative guy. He wasn’t the loud obnoxious guy or the strong independent woman. With the reappearance of super heroes, Paul got a “brilliant” idea? He would become the reporting superhero!

Paul remembered a small tech firm that went out of business that he did a story on. At the time, they were breaking technology that they called “B.L.E.E.D.” ( Bio-reactive, Logistical, Executive,  Equipment, Deployment). This technology literally looks like the subject being covered in blood that becomes a suit. The applications were for espionage in the military.

Paul found one of the scientists attached to the project who still had a subject of the experiment that he kept. The scientist, Ruth Ransom agreed to help Paul and provided him with a suit. The suit is activated by a belt buckle.

In Paul’s first outing, he came was listening to a police scanner and heard of a burglary in progress.  Paul made it to the scene and jumped into the fray. Paul was beaten handily. Then one of the thugs drew a gun and fired. To his amazement, the suit stopped the bullet. The police arrived and the thugs were chased off.

Paul knew he had to become a better fighter. He hired a personal combat trainer named Mae. Paul was a natural athlete and took to the training like a fish to water. As the Fox, Paul exploded onto the scene. He told of his exploits through his job at the paper. One hand washed the other as the Fox’s legend grew while Paul’s career soared. Soon, love blossomed in the form of Mae and the two were married.

Paul sat Mae down before they married. He revealed he was the Fox. Her reaction was not expected. She was ecstatic. She wanted to join him. They visited Ruth who made a new suit for her and off to the races they went. Paul became the toast of the town. Now he had double the stories to write and double the exposure. That fall, Mae sat Paul down to announce….she was pregnant! And baby makes three….

POWERS:

The Fox doesn’t have any super powers. He is a natural athlete and a trained hand to hand combatant. The body provides up to bulletproof protection. The suit activates with a twist of the buckle; it then bleeds over his body and forms his suit.

 

The Green Falcon:

Ace Navy pilot Brett “Flash” Calvert had flown several Middle Eastern missions by the time his career as a military pilot came to an end. With his excellent track record and superior flying skills, not to mention multiple awards, commendations, and medals; Brett had secured a cushy job in the private sector as a private pilot. He became the pilot of the “Falconer” the personal transport of King Farhangi of the United Republic of Itar.

Brett was flying a quick mission to the United States for the king on a personal mission. The plane was unloaded, refueled and he got back in the air. Off the coast of Florida, shortly after takeoff, the Falconer came under fire and Brett crash-landed near an abandoned isle. Brett escaped to the isle as the plane sank.

Brett had no means of communication. He made himself a shelter and waited. The Falconer eventually washed up to shore. None of the communication worked. Brett had little in the way of supplies, but a lot in the means of survival.

Brett began scrapping the plane and trying to build a contraption that would allow him to escape the coastal trap. It took two years, but Brett constructed a crude jet pack and glider wings. He was able to fly within the reach of the coast of Florida and swam the rest of the way home.

He got in contact with the King who offered to pay him for his silence. Not realizing why he accepted the offer. Then he learned the awful truth. The secret mission he was on was sneaking the king’s son Aron Farhangi into the United States. Aron had claimed responsibility of attacks on U.S. troops. Aron was responsible for the death of many Americans and had ties to the terrorist cell The Black Hand.

Crestfallen, Brett vowed revenge against the king by the bringing his son to justice. He used some of his “blood money” to redesign his crude jet pack into a small stream-lined version. He bought a helmet and a Kevlar body suit with adaptive wings. He took flight as the hero of the skyways….THE GREEN FALCON!

 

The Hangman:

This is the story of Robard Earl Dickering, a serial killer, a psychopath, and to some, a hero. As the story goes, Robard grew up in the post depression era 1950s. He hammered out a living as a shoe repairman. He had a wife and two children. The mob moved into his neighborhood. They pressed the local businessmen into a protection racket. Barely able to make ends meet, Robard refused to pay and went to the police.

This turned out to be a mistake. The police (who were in the pocket of the local mob) detained Robard. Robard spent 12 hours in police custody. When he got home, his shop/house was in flames. He ran into the house and dragged out the bodies of his wife and children to the front lawn. As he openly wept, he was grabbed by two big men and was shot in the back of the head.

10 years to the day, Robard was murdered, his grave was found disturbed. The casket was unearthed and the corpse was missing. Soon, strange things start to happen. The two large men who had grabbed Robard were found hanging in their apartments. The next week, the man who pulled the trigger was also found hanged.

The killer was dubbed the Hangman by the papers, the murders did not stop. The mob boss who ordered the hit was found hanged on his birthday. Soon, each member of the neighborhood mob was found hanged. Everything pointed to Robard, but that was impossible because he had been dead. The only person who didn’t suffer the hanging fate was a mob lookout, a punk kid named Mike Minetta. Mike had skipped town for a while, and the murders seemed to have stopped.

Fast forward 50 years and Minetta resurfaces having grown in the criminal underground, safe from the reaches of the hanging grim reaper. As Minetta ascended to the throne, he turned his attention to city councilman Hanover Cray. Cray was a small businessman with a wife and young son in college. Cray had been stirring up trouble trying to organize the community against crime.

Minetta had the Crays brought before him. He killed Hanover’s wife and Hanover as he jumped to defend her. Their 20-year-old son was back handed as he stood up, Minetta drew his gun. The Hangman crashed through the window. He took out the bodyguards and turned to see Minetta with the drop on him. The Hangman strode towards the threatening mobster. A gunshot went off, and Minetta fell. Nathan Cray had killed him. The hangman walked over to him and handed him the noose.

As soon as he did, the costume disappeared and the visage of Robert Earl Dickering returned….slumping to the floor. Nate turned, awkwardly and caught his reflection in the mirror. A voice spoke in his head:

“The hood brought low

A new addition to the throng

Justice hangs in the balance

On the melody of the Executioner’s Song”

Resolved, Nathan Cray became the next HANGMAN.

POWERS:

The Hangman possesses several powers. The Hangman can levitate, become immaterial, and become invisible. Otherwise, the hangman has heightened physical attributes allowing him to compete against top human performances.

Hun:
A recurring foe of both The U.S. Shield and Dusty Starr, The Hun (also known as “the hercules of hate”) was a Nazi operative chosen by supernatural means to serve as Hitler’s personal champion.

In his youth, the Hun was prone to many savage and brutal acts including murder and arson, earning him the scorn and fear of his neighbors. One night, the spirit of Attila the Hun came to him in a dream to offer his magic shield and costume, promising his decedent great power alongside a “paperhanger.” Following the instructions left by his ancestor, the Hun found and donned the costume, ready to fulfil his destiny as the conqueror of mankind.

Years later (1931 specifically) he would finally meet Adolf Hitler as predicted by his ancestor, and the two would pledge their allegiance to each other.

He first encountered the Shield (Lancelot Strong) while on the trail of an F.B.I. agent with information regarding a secret Nazi base hidden in Mexico. Despite murdering several people to keep the base’s location a secret, the Shield still managed to uncover its location and destroy the operation, nearly killing the Hun with machine gun fire.

A month later, the Hun commanded a German Merchant Raider disguised as an American freighter off the coast of Maine and plotted to attack an American concentration camp housing thousands of loyal Nazis waiting to be freed as his new army. But just as he was ready to set his plan in motion, the Shield attacked, seemingly killing him once more when a grenade sent his jeep careening off a cliff engulfed in flames.

However, thanks to the magical power of his ancestor’s shield, the Hun was able to escape the burning wreckage into the wilderness (although he eventually passed out from the strain). He was later found and rescued by the pro-fascist newspaper philanthropist Monte Kuller. With the assistance of his effeminate (but surprisingly strong) assassin Ladybird, Kuller wished to join forces with the Hun in overthrowing the United States government. However, the Shield once more intervened, and the Hun finally died while attempting to escape, crushed beneath a speeding train.
After the Hun’s demise was confirmed, his fight against the Shield was quickly taken up by his “biological son”, Captain Kurt Wiedler of the S.S. Captain Wiedler was, in actuality, the cloned body of the Hun with his mind transferred into it. The Hun has kept this process going to present day.

After the fall of Germany in the Second World War, the Hun went underground and formed the Black Claw. The Black Claw is a terrorist cell comprised of competing ideologies all bent on the same goal: World Domination.

POWERS:
Along with his mastery of deception and torture techniques he was also an exceptionally skilled combatant and claimed to be the best swordsman in all of Germany. The Hun also employs a shield given to him by Atilla the Hun. The shield is magical in nature and provides him great strength and invulnerability.

The Inferno:

The man known as Frank Verrano was brought into a hospital in San Francisco with no recollection of his past. As he was lying there, he was attacked by an assassin. The attempt on his life triggered a transformation into a body with pyrokinetic abilities. He took out the assassin and the backup coming to finish the job. Causing a small amount of fire damage, Verrano left.

In the mean time, lieutenant Lynn Barker who was on the case tried to find him in the system, only to discover that there was no trace of him existing anywhere. Then she received the bulletin that he had fled from the hospital. Frank Verrano….was a fugitive.

After defeating the attackers, Verrano disappeared and started trying to find out who he was and why he was attacked. The only clue he had was a picture of himself, torn in half with the writing “y & me!” on the back. The picture was on the assassin.

Frank lingered around homeless shelters and soup kitchens. He would intervene when he saw people committing crimes using his powers, becoming an urban legend.

Lt. Detective Bart Piero transferred back to the force from having worked in another state. By fortune, he was teamed with Lt. Lynn Baker. As he was going through her files of outstanding work, he saw the picture of Frank. He told Lynn that they used to serve at the same precinct about a decade earlier. They knew of each other but were not real close. He said Frank went into Vice and that was the last time they saw each other.

Piero and Barker went to the head of Vice who revealed that Frank went into deep cover and his wife and daughter went into protective custody. About a year ago, Frank’s wife was murdered, and his daughter disappeared. Frank then disappeared. He was so deep undercover that his files had been expunged from the record, thereby his identity wouldn’t be compromised.

Frank was found and brought to the station. He was debriefed and put on leave. He has begun searching for his daughter with the help of detectives Piero and Baker. He sees the empire that crime has built, and he will burn it down as ….The INFERNO!

 

The Jaguar: Maria DeGuzman

A college student from Rio de Janeiro, Maria DeGuzman came to study in the United States. Like her aunt, Maria had the ability to morph into a powerful, cat-like humanoid. She took a part-time job as a Counselor’s assistant at the college.

The group she worked with was an assault support group. Now Maria was usually a shy and timid girl, but when she would hear the stories of these brave ladies, her blood would boil. Her boss talked with her at one time, she urged Maria to find a healthy outlet for her frustration.

It was the end of the semester, finals are done, let the party commence! It was the last night of finals and Maria and some friends were partying at a local frat house. Maria didn’t drink but wanted to make sure her friends got home alright. She kept watching over them until she met Danny Grady. Danny and Maria talked for most of the night. Maria’s friend, Isabelle, drunk from the night’s festivities fell over a table. Maria and her other friend, Luke, helped her up. Luke said he was going to take her back to her room. Maria apologized to Danny and excused herself to leave. Danny tried to persuade her to stay, but she said she needed to go. Luke whispered to her that he would be okay to take her home if Maria wanted to stay. Maria did want to stay.  She smiled and kept talking to Danny.

About an hour later, she was feeling sick. Her head was spinning. Danny helped her to his room. Danny kissed Maria. Even though her head was pounding, she wasn’t feeling this was right. She tried to leave, and Danny grabbed her arm. Maria tried to pull away and Danny shoved her down. Maria’s head hit the edge of the bed and exploded in pain. Anger washed over, and adrenaline shot through her veins. She pounced on him and began attacking him relentlessly.

 

The next morning, Maria woke up in her bed. Her head still hurt but was more manageable. As she hurried to class, she heard strange mutterings. When she found Isabelle, Isabelle was profoundly worried about her. Isabelle exclaimed that Danny was in the hospital, seemingly attacked by a big dog. He was found on the front lawn and no one had seen what happened to Maria.

Later that night her head began to pound again. She wrestled with a bottle of aspirin. As the bottle got the best of her, it fell to the ground and Maria cried out in frustration. In the bathroom mirror, she saw her face, but not her face. She had changed. She had grown from 5’6’’ to 6’5’’, muscles rippled across her body. Her features looked dramatically feline and a small layer of fur covered her body. Her visage changed back to normal. She tried to change again….and succeeded. Maria practiced changing for the next three hours.

Two months later Maria was working when a new girl, Jessica, joined the group. Jessica broke down and told the story of how she was assaulted by a guy who drugged her drink….his name was Danny. Maria was incensed. That night, she kept going over the events. They rolled around in her head until she felt herself turn. She made her way to Danny’s place.  She found out that he was at his brother’s house. Danny’s brother was on leave from the Army. His brother, Curt, had just received a promotion to a new unit headed by General Marion Higgins.

Maria confronted Danny at his brother’s house. Danny didn’t recognize her. Maria laid it all bare and he laughed it off, trying to look good in front of his brother and friends. As he started making lewd innuendos, Maria punched him. Embarrassed, Danny jumped up and pulled a gun. He fired two shots hitting her once. She reacted with instinct and struck Danny. Danny fell and people rushed to his side, including his brother. Maria saw the blood on her hands and fled.

The next day Maria’s wound had healed. She was horrified when she read in the paper that Danny had died. Maria was crestfallen. She felt she had let the rage consume her. Danny deserved to be brought to justice not murdered. She went to work. She saw Jessica. Jessica was elated. She was overjoyed when she heard that Danny had died. For a girl that was so lambasted by guilt and self-hatred, she seemed renewed with hope.  As Jessica finished, another girl stood and began her story. Maria found absolution in their stories. She vowed that any who prey on others will become the prey of the rage of the JAGUAR!

 

Kardak & the M.Y.S.T.I.C.:

John Cardy was an American adventurer and a professional magician/escape artist/mentalist popularly known as Kardak the Mystic. He traveled the world doing shows. As the rise of stuntmen and extreme magic came into the forefront, Kardak’s type of entertainment was less sought and even mocked.

Kardak started seeking the four corners of the world of magic. Taking risks and crossing the line several times, Kardak was trying to become relevant again in the social zeitgeist.

After 5 years of study and research, Kardak announced a magic special no one had ever seen before: He would travel through dimensions on live TV.  The day of the event arrived and Kardak opened a portal into another dimension. Wearing a camera, he traversed through showing people the Hellish dimension.  Suddenly, a primal shadowed demoness fell upon the Mystic. The demoness had a large tattoo on his chest. One quick strike against his head and Kardak fell back into our world, the door closed.

Kardak’s ratings were a smash. He was back in the limelight again. The only evidence of the attack, a long vertical scar across his forehead. As he was sleeping one night, he dreamed of a murder. He saw the demoness that attacked him, murders someone. The next day, he saw the victim of the murder on T.V.  Around the same time, Kardak was suffering from frequent migraines. Over the next two months, he would dream of the attacks, only to awake and find that the dreams were premonitions.

The next night fell like the rest and John wearily dragged himself to bed. Sleep became a fight with his wakened conscious as he saw the demon going to murder another person. This time, Kardak loosed the grip of fear and screamed NO! at the demoness. As he did, he felt his head explode as a bright light burst forth and obliterated the demon. As he stood there in amazement he looked into a mirror that the demon was standing in front of…there he saw his reflection, with a third eye in his forehead where his scar used to be.

John woke in a panic, he rushed to the bathroom to check his forehead and only saw a scar. Then he raced downstairs and turned on the TV to see if anyone was murdered. There was a news story….but not the one he expected. The killer had been caught and was in a coma at the hospital. An elderly couple awoke to a bright flash of light in their bedroom. They saw one man disappear and one man left lying on the floor. When they showed the picture of the killer, he had the demoness’ tattoo engraved on his forehead.

John knew this wouldn’t be the last of it. He got in touch with the FBI and was put in contact with Agent Nevada Jones, the great great granddaughter of the Texas Marshall by the same name. She too was not entirely sure that the comatose suspect was responsible for all the murders. There was evidence of more murders, abductions, and other crimes that she believed were connected to a cult called the Cult of the Black Witch. She formed a special investigations squad within the bureau consisting of herself, Kardak, and agents; Lorna Delroy, Tom Troy, and Delilah Monico.  Together, they investigate crimes more mysterious and dark than the normal as the Major Yeomanry of Strategic Tactical Intelligence Command: Kardak and the M.Y.S.T.I.C.!

POWERS:

Because of Kardak’s trip to an extra dimensional universe, he gained telepathy, telekinesis, astral projection and telemetry.

 

Mr. Justice: James Prince

James Prince was a civil rights freedom fighter in the 60s. As a black man in Atlanta, he was targeted by the racist attitudes of the day. After a rather intense encounter at a diner, Prince walked home. On the way home, he was confronted by several men from the diner. Prince was found the next day, hung from a tree.

Prince felt his breath leave his body for the final time. His soul was yanked from his body and met a myriad of bright lights. The lights started to move and swirl and then speed past him. He felt as if he was falling through the sky. When he landed, it was amidst the smoke. Prince stood and peered through the ghastly mass.

He saw a young black man being chased by several attackers. Prince intervened and stopped the attack. As he helped the young man to his feet, he took stock of everything around him. The shock hit him like a brick. He was no longer in 1960s Atlanta, he was in 2016 Atlanta. He turned to question the man he saved. His voice came out hollow and echoing. The young man was terrified and ran away. Prince caught his visage in a reflective store window. A phantom-like skullface  adorned his head. In horror he ran away.

Prince’s life continued. He explored his new world. He seemed drawn to evil acts. A kind of tuning sense which allowed him to anticipate the acts of evil men. Constantly drawn to the fray, Prince started to act against it. Not needing to eat or sleep, he patrolled the streets non-stop dispensing his brand of justice.  Over time, he assembled a costume from scraps. He became an urban legend, the Phantom of the Alleys of Atlanta: MR. JUSTICE!

 

R.O.I.I. the Super Boy

The Wizard saw the new Rise of Heroes. With it came the influx of sidekicks. The Wizard decided that he needed one. He looked for a sidekick and kept becoming disappointed in all the candidates. He took several applications and liked several different aspects of different candidates, but ultimately he couldn’t find the right pick. So what to do? He decided to create his own.

Thus was born the Robotic/Organic Independent Intelligence or R.O.I.I. the Super Boy. Roy was compatible with the Wizard’s armor and allowed him to serve as a backup. The only problem seemed to be that independent operation wasn’t a factor. Roy had to be fed instructions before application and sometimes would just stand there if not given instructions.

The Wizard tried an experiment mixing sorcery and magic with technology. The Wizard tried to place the spirit of a recently deceased boy into the android. He chose Roy Walker, a boy the Wizard had met while doing an appearance for Make A Wish Foundation. Roy was dying from Leukemia and was in the final stages. During one of the times they were speaking, the Wizard asked Roy for permission and a DNA sample. He explained that there is a possibility that he could give Roy a new lease on life. Roy agreed.

The Wizard went on with his experiment after Roy passed. Using the DNA to map out a whole new Roy and then using Nano-technology recreated the DNA map. Then he used his Dynamagnotron to energize the creation. A modern day Frankenstien’s Monster.

Roy reacted to stimuli and responded. It was Roy, he had the memories, movements, and predilections. His memory ended at the day the Wizard visited him in the hospital. ROII or Roy was more than a suitable partner for the Wizard. He was able to act and react independently from the Wizard, and he was able to master his weapon and flight systems.

POWERS: Being an artificial life-form/android of sorts, R.O.I.I. has superhuman senses, superhuman stamina, reflexes, speed, agility, strength, superhuman analytical capabilities, and the ability to process information and make calculations with superhuman speed and accuracy. He has flight capabilities via the rockets built into his feet. He has lasers mounted in his eyes and a sonic disruptor fixed in his mouth.

 

Ruby Red:

Rueben Red was a young orphan who ran away from the orphanage. He hid out in an old mansion but discovered it was his ancestor’s home. His ancestors still haunted the mansion as ghosts, all sharing the same name as their descendant, and wanted to help him. For years he stayed at the mansion. He got married and had a daughter named Ruby.

His daughter grew to be a bright young lady and went on to university in Oxford. She enjoyed a good stay as an above average student when she received horrible news: Her parents had died. She moved back home to settle her affairs.

As she stayed at the mansion, several odd occurrences began to happen. Occurrences of the paranormal type. Things began to move without explanation. Things would disappear. Ruby tried using cameras to determine if she had an intruder. Upon reviewing the tape of the kitchen, she saw visions of her parents.

The next night she stayed up all night in the kitchen. At about 3 am, they appeared again. They began to speak. They told a sad tale of their family. Their family, throughout generations, had served as protectors of this world. Upon the birth of their 1st son, the parents would perish. The child would then find his way back to this mansion. When they did, they would become the new Red Protector. It seems though, that in 100 generations….Ruby was the first girl to be born. This must be why her parents didn’t immediately die after her birth.

Ruby was introduced to a plethora of the ghosts of her ancestors. As she continued to learn about them, she learned different skills. From a distant great uncle who was a musketeer, she learned swordsmanship. From a cousin across the pond in America, she learned gymnastics and acrobatics. She amassed an immense amount of knowledge and skills. Philanthropy was a compassion that could not be taught or gifted. Ruby saw the ability to help those in need and heeded the call.

She became Ruby Red, the Protector. Her mind gained the wisdom of the ages, her body was edified by the strength of generations, and her skill was forged in the fire of family.

POWERS:

Ruby Red has the power to tap into the generations of her family line, harnessing their knowledge, strengths, and skills. The limits of Ruby’s power are unknown. She has shown to possess supernatural strength, speed, and durability in the physical realm. She can also learn skills from the ghosts of family members she meets. After a while, the skills become permanently hers.

 

Scarlett Avenger:

Jim Kendall lost his family when their plane was hijacked and then crashed. He managed to survive but lost the ability to smile thanks to a head injury that damaged his face muscles. However, his mother and father were not so lucky and perished in the crash.

While in the hospital recuperating, Jim befriended another one of the victims of the crash. A young man of similar age, Perry was 23, and Jim was 20. Perry had lost a leg and an arm in the attack. He had an absolute twisted sense of humor. He told Jim of his life before the plane crash. How his wife had left and taken his kids and he was moving out to the coast to be closer to them.

While attempting to sit up in bed, Perry lurched forward and fell out of the bed. Jim was there to catch him. As he righted Perry on his bed, Jim came into contact with his wound. In a flash, Jim was watching Perry’s life. He saw that Perry had murdered his wife and kids, and was on the run from the law.  Jim stepped back and saw the same shocked expression on Perry’s face. Perry started calling for the nurse and accused Jim of pushing him out of the bed.

Confused Jim was escorted to another room where he would be moved for the rest of his stay. As he slept that night, he was awakened by the creek of the wheels of a wheelchair. He saw Perry hovering above him with a syringe. Jim handily disarmed him and took him down. As orderlies came into the room, they broke the two up. Jim accused Perry of killing his family. When the police finally came, they sorted out that Perry was indeed on the run and promptly arrested him.

Jim returned to his life with a big fat settlement and reward money for the capture of Perry Walcott. He returned to his job as an EMT. He would help people in distress and when he came in contact with blood, he could see the sins of their life. In one instance, he came into contact with a junkie who had overdosed. His sin? He had sold his daughter for drugs.

Jim saw the man he sold her to and recognized the place they were at because of a familiar fast food sign he could see out the window. Jim contacted the police. He lied and told them that the junkie told him where his daughter was. The cops found her and got her to safety.

Jim had a decision to make. He could continue his life as is or he could dedicate it to a purpose. Jim chose to honor the memory of his parents by becoming the Scarlet Avenger.

POWERS:

Jim had the power to see the evil that men do. When Jim made contact or even saw a person’s blood, he could mentally read it. He would see memories and history. A bloodborne telemetry.  He was an expert in Ju Jitsu. He used his fortune to have things such as a bulletproof jacket, a hypnotic device, a magnetic device for climbing, and a paralysis taser created to help him in his war against crime. Scarlet Avenger left a calling card in the form of a card emblazoned with a flaming arrow.

She-Fox:
Mae Patton is the wife of Paul Patton Jr., aka the Fox. Mae has a son with Paul named Shinji. They met when Paul was looking to better his self-defense acumen. Mae Patton, originally Mae Livshin was a Japanese/Israeli nationalist and a Katzín miktsoí academia in the Israeli Defense Force.

After a career in the IDF, she moved to America bringing her unique mix of Krav Maga and Japanese martial arts allowed her to open a few dojos on the west coast. She compiled a list of clients with a bit of celebrity status.

She met Paul at a time when she felt her life had plateaued. She felt she was simply going through the motions. She saw Paul as an entitled rich guy that was following the newest fad. She was surprised at his dedication to learning her craft. She noticed that Paul kept coming in with fresh bruises. When she inquired, he played it off as sports related.

Bit by bit, Paul won Mae over. The two started dating. Their relationship flourished. Then, Mae found out about a woman Paul was seeing named Ruth Ransom. Mae started drawing lines between Paul’s late nights at work, business trips, and absences. She began to suspect Paul was cheating.

She confronted Paul with her evidence, and Paul had to come clean: He was the hero known as The Fox. Mae was taken aback by the news, simultaneous relieved, frustrated, and excited. He showed her the suit and explained that Ruth helped him create it. Mae punched him in the arm and with a gleem in her eye asked….”Where is my suit?”

 

The Shield: Joseph Higgins

General Marion Higgins, used his son, Lt., Joseph Michael Higgins, to test a suit of armor belonging to the original Shield, a great American hero who disappeared in 1963. Joe Higgins soon discovered that his father’s motives were questionable, and the two became enemies. Joe Higgins sought out information about the original Shield while evading his father’s minions, and battling various costumed foes.

Lt. Joe Higgins was a lifelong army brat. He moved frequently in his youth keeping him from forming attachments or forming bonds. His father parented in negligence leaving the duties to his mother. His mother passed away when Joe was 16. From there, father and son clashed often and horribly.

It got so bad that Gen. Higgins sent his son to military school and then to West Point. Space was exactly what Joe needed. He thrived in this environment. He graduated with highest honors and entered the Army as an officer.

Joe served three tours abroad and came back to the States to start a career at the Pentagon. Before his career could start, he got into an altercation with a couple of Marines because they hazed him about being a daddy’s boy.

Higgins was court-martialed. His father stepped in and was able to sway the board. Joe had a choice; dishonorable discharge, another tour in Afghanistan, or work for his father. With a heavy heart, he went to work for his dad.

Joe was brought aboard the Shield program.  The program was to provide armored suits to soldiers that amplified their natural abilities and provided extra protection. The suit would also allow for a heads up 360 display and tactical assistance.

Joe trained with the suit for a year. His father complained that things were going too slowly. Joe tried to explain that they needed to proceed slowly to make sure they were battle ready.  As Joe was testing the armor, a monster machine identified as Maxx-13 attacked Joe. Joe defeated him and they began disassembly. Gen. Higgins came in to shut down the cybernetic autopsy. He ordered everyone out of the room. Joe remained and argued with his dad. As they exchanged words, a holographic message was activated from Maxx-13. It showed Gen. Higgins explaining how he could get the Shield program into production and get some of the suits for his other project: The Crucible.

Joe was wearing the armor still. He backed away slowly, Gen Higgins picked up his phone and called MP, telling them that he was attacked by Lt. Joe Higgins. With that, he pushed a button and Maxx-13 jumped up to attack again. Joe escaped the lab and went on the run.  Now he lives as a fugitive, running from his father and the army.

 

Sterling Steel:

In 1945 John Sterling’s father was killed by racketeering mobsters. Vowing revenge, but knowing that a single man is vulnerable, he spent his youth developing a formula to give his body the strength and resistance of steel. After coating himself in the chemical he plunged naked into a molten steel filled cauldron. While this would have killed a normal man, John gained superpowers and became the costumed hero known as Steel Sterling, the Man of Steel.

Sterling began his one man war against the criminal underworld. There, he came into the crosshairs of a boss by the name of Apollo Bates. Apollo tried to break Steel, but John resisted. In his final gambit, Apollo revealed that John’s father was killed because he was a mobster, not because he stood up to him.

John was crushed. His will to continue being a superhero had left him. His image of his dad was utterly destroyed. He languished for a while between depression and abandonment.

John restablished himself as a police officer. He worked his way up to detective and was paired with a likable sort named Bart Piero. During one altercation, John was shot protecting Bart. He was forced to reveal to Frank that he was the once hero called Steel Sterling. They partnered until Bart transferred out of the department, but they remained friends. One day, John got a call from Bart who was working a missing person/possible fugitive case of a former cop named Frank Verrano. Bart suggested he might need a more powerful form of backup.

Steel agreed and helped out on the case. He confronted Verrano and the two battled until John managed to convince him they were there to help.  This confrontation led John to believe that he should again assume the mantle of Steel Sterling. He retired from the police force and formed Sterling Investigations led by  Steel Sterling, the Man of Steel.

 

POWERS:

Sterling was as strong and resilient as steel, had limited invincibility, super speed, and is capable of magnetizing himself such that he can “fly” along with a plane when magnetized to it. He could listen to telephone conversations using his teeth and “electrolyzed tongue”. The process also edified his cells against the wares of time. Therefore he ages slower than normal humans. However, his powers would fluctuate during a solar flare.

 

The U.S. Shield: Lancelot Strong

The first person to don the costumed identity of The Shield was not Joe Higgins, it was a young man by the name of Roger Flemming. Roger Flemming is the son of Dr. Malcolm Flemming, a post WWI scientist. Dr, Flemming was tasked with creating a training regimen for new soldiers. He had created a new drug that allowed the user to access the potential o the untapped portions of their brain. He began administering the drugs to his pregnant wife.

His experiment worked. Roger was born and began speaking fluent English at the age of three months. Roger was a perfect specimen. His mental acuity was 100 percent on point, his physical attributes were unparalleled. Dr. Flemming became obsessed with his progress. To such an extent that other matters seemed to go by the wayside. He paid little attention when Roger was drafted into the army. Mrs. Flemming developed breast cancer and died in 1942. Dr. Flemming was distraught.

Roger had served two years when he received notice that his mother had died. Roger traveled back to the U.S. for the funeral. As he attended the funeral, spymasters from the Nazi party attacked. They wanted Dr. Flemming’s research. Roger dispatched them with ease. Dr. Flemming was amazed at the abilities his son displayed.

Dr, Flemming used his pull in the army to have Roger reassigned to the special project he was working on. Flemming designed a whole promotional campaign for his son. Roger would not only become a super soldier, but a super symbol of freedom to help the cause. Dubbed the Shield, Roger renamed himself Lancelot Strong as sort of a penname to protect his father. The project took off like gangbusters, the Shield helped usher in a new wave of American patriotism.

But it didn’t last. As the 60’s approached, American patriotism took a hit, as did everything that embodied it. On a promotional tour for the war effort in Vietnam, The Shield was accused of war crimes due to an incident in the foreign country. The Shield encountered a villain dubbed The Executioner. The Shield had defeated him when he was given a choice, let the Executioner go free, or save the native villagers. Lancelot called the Executioner’s bluff and took him, prisoner. As they landed at their base in Saigon, the news reached that the village had been burnt to the ground….no survivors. After several reports and exposes, Lancelot Strong was court-martialed.

The prosecutor of the case was Major Marion Higgins, a man seemingly set on making a name for himself rather than seeing justice done. On a cross examination, he interrogated Dr. Malcolm Flemming so badly he suffered a heart attack and perished. Lance took this hit hard. He agreed to a plea deal where he would give up being the Shield in exchange for an exoneration.

Fast forward to today, Lancelot sees the news story about the now General Higgins was pursuing the fugitive Shield. Lancelot donned his costume again to expose the traitor Shield. After a small fight, Lancelot realized that Joe was being framed. They teamed up to defeat Maxx-13 and Lance assured Joe he could count on him as an ally.

To the anger of General Higgins, Lancelot has resumed his costume career, now calling himself The U.S. Shield; this exposed a loophole in his plea agreement as he was not operating as the Shield, but the U.S. SHIELD!

 

The Web: Harada Lee Raymond

John Raymond was born rich and spoiled. He turned his family’s fortune into a vast fortune sacrificing personal relationships along the way. He had partnered with Blaine Whitney to expand their joined tech firm: Orb Technologies. His brother Eric took a very different route. He became a doctor and joined doctors without borders, choosing to spend his inheritance in the service of others.

Eric was working in Myanmar when his village was attacked. The guerillas held him and his family hostage, contacting John for ransom. John was advised, by the government and his own lawyers,  to not negotiate with them and his brother was murdered as a consequence.

They threatened to kill his brother’s wife and son next if he didn’t comply. John hired a mercenary group known as the Crucible to retrieve his brother’s family. The Crucible achieved their goal….partially. John’s wife was killed in action, but the 16-year-old boy was secured.

Harada came to live with John. Harada was non-communicative. He could speak English, he just talked in short sentences and yes or no. John started him in therapy to help him work through the death of both of his parents.

Time moved on, and the therapy seemed to help turn Harada’s intense behaviors. One night, he found Harada had left in the middle of the night. He waited until he caught Harada sneaking in through his window. He confronted Harry about his activities and asked if it was drugs. The two began shouting until the truth came out: He was tracking his parents’ killers. He ripped down posters and pulled out files and overturned a mirror. On the backs, hidden from sight John looked at the web Harry had drawn. All of the connections, all of the theories that led to one man: Gen. Marion Higgins.

John knew Gen. Higgins. He was the reason that Orb Tech. ceased its contracts with the Army. He wanted them to design weapons that violated the statutes set by the armed forces. Why would Gen. Higgins want his brother dead? The answer to John was clear: revenge. Higgins was passed over for promotion and missed out on a bid as Secretary for Defense when Orb Tech dissolved their working relationship.

John put the full power of his company into developing weapons for his private use. He had a suit designed with several gadgets and weapons. John donned the costume and became: The Web. He set out to track the trail of evidence back to Higgins, to out him and bring him to justice.

Then tragedy struck. John was ambushed by the Crucible and mortally wounded, or so the Crucible thought. John was able to make his way back to his home. Harry found him on the lawn and brought him inside to John’s lab. Being a very adept young man, Harry had learned at the foot of his dad and was able to patch John up, get him out of the suit and call for medical professionals.

John woke up in the hospital to the horrible news: He was paralyzed. John was frustrated and upset. About a month later, he returned home. As Harry brought him into John’s lab, John saw the Web suit. Harry had repaired and updated it….and outfitted it for Harry himself.

John flat out refused and forbade it. Harry would take up the suit, against John’s wishes and continue the quest. Seeing Harry’s natural affinity for the suit, and the ease with which he operated it, John finally gave in. John set up headquarters at all his properties in the city. Over 2500 stations, a web of safehouses cascaded over the city. With all the proper tools at their disposal, John guides his young ward as they capture the enemies of their family in….The WEB!

 

The Wizard: Blaine Whitney

Blane Whitney IV came from a long line of Americans who served their country in some capacity or another since the beginning of the 1900s, including several first born males who took the name Wizard.

Many “Wizards” took advantage of the technology at the time, but none more so than Whitney. In 1943, Blaine Whitney I was born. He was born on the very day Tesla died. Other than that, not much was known about the Whitney family.

That is until….Perry Chase. Perry Chase was an investigative reporter. Perry was doing an expose on Blaine Whitney IV. Whitney had been the Wizard for about 15 years. Aside from living on numerous trusts, and being an inventor, there was precious little that Perry could find on the enigmatic genius. Mr. Chase was attending the release of Whitney’s latest invention; the “Without A Trace” I.D. System. The system creates a designer “virus” that attaches itself to a person’s ID online. Then it can track or erase said ID.  Whitney provided an example by using himself as a guinea pig.  Chase grabbed a copy of the results.

He began researching the older Whitneys. Oddly, he found a receipt for an immigration card in his files. When he looked up the immigration card in the public files, he, on a lark, had the fingerprints on the immigration card compared to the ones on Whitney’s results. They were a match….an exact match. As he dug deeper he saw anomalies on all the birth certificates of the Whitneys.

He began compiling a case. He kept seeing anomalies in all the paperwork that Whitney had filed. Nothing really concrete, but enough circumstantial evidence to warrant a closer look.

As he left his work late one evening, Perry encountered a small sphere that rolled down the street and stopped at his feet. Metal ribbons flew out of the sphere and trapped the bewildered Chase. He felt as he was carried away. When the coils unwrapped, Chase found himself at the feet of Blaine Whitney.

Blaine helped him to his feet and explained. “I iinvited the press to the release of the WAT ID system. I wanted to see if anyone could solve my riddle. Yes, I am Nikola Tesla, but I have lived longer as Blaine Whitney.” Whitney took him to a giant machine where a clone of Blaine floated. He explained this was the Dynamagno Machine. It has created clone bodies for Whitney. Then he would use the H2-VX-O Ray to transfer his mind into the cloned bodies.

He created the Wizard personae to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a crusader for justice. He used his ensuing inventions to support this endeavor. The reason he decided to reveal his identity was that he was going to change his identity with the next iteration of his cloning. Chase told him that was nice, but he intended on revealing Whitney’s secret. Whitney agreed he could try, but he had plans that he could not allow Chase to do so. With Chase’s indirect help, Whitney had located all of the physical evidence of any connection between him, Tesla, and any cloning. He revealed that all of the physical evidence had been destroyed. Then with a push of the button, he used the WAT ID system to wipe out all electronic traces of his existence.

Chase returned home. He went online and got a notification from his bank. His account now set at $1,000,000 dollars. Chase was a bit furious. He planned on outing Blaine Whitney as Nikola Tesla aka the WIZARD!

 

Zambina, Mistress of Miracles:

Zachary Zambini, also called Zambini the Miracle Man, was an extremely powerful sorcerer who wore a magic “boomerang” amulet that gave him access to unique powers. The amulet came with a warning: what you sow you will reap, good upon good….evil to evil.

Zambini went on to become a world famous magician. He gained wealth beyond imagination. He traveled the world hailed as an ambassador of good will wherever he went. He ended up in India, a guest of the Dhali Lama. He fell in love with the country and decided to live there. While there, he studied varied forms of mysticism. He learned body control, astral projection, and other mental abilities.

Unfortunately, as in love that he was with this beautiful country, his heart was soon captured by a woman named Kavari. Their love was forbidden. Kavari was betrothed to another. They escaped to America, but could not escape their fate.

Kavari became pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Jayanti. Unfortunately, Kavari passed away during birth. This sent Zachary into a depression. He lost custody of his daughter to Kavari’s parents. He lost his fortune, and later he committed suicide.

When Jayanti turned 16, she received a gift in the mail. She opened it to find a boomerang amulet with a simple note :

“What you sow you will reap, good upon good….evil to evil.   I Love You -Dad”

Upon touching the amulet, the spirit of her father exploded forth. He explained the powers of the amulet and the curse that comes with it. His soul was trapped in the amulet until the next bearer could pay significant penance. For the next few years, his spirit taught Jayanti the ways of magic and mysticism.

Jayanti traveled to America to go to college. It was here, out of her grandparents strict perview that she delved deeper into the magic arts. Guided by her father, she began setting minor aberrant occurrences correct. It wasn’t until she was attending a party where she saw a student assaulted by a werecat.

She used her powers to make the students think he was assaulted by gang members. From there, she began taking a more literal role and took a clerical job in the campus police. Here she would data input the complaints and in her free time, she would investigate and solve them as Zambina the Mistress of Miracles!