Jab’s Builds! (Blistik! The X-Men! Iceman! Xorn! Ord!)

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Moonstone! Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas!)

Post by catsi563 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:54 pm

One of the interesting moments for me in that series was When Abe and Songbird were flying around doing basic superhero stuff. they run into Natasha who talks to them about being a hero and how lies can be dangerous and how they need to make a choice real soon as to what theyre going to do and what side to choose.

Basically implying out right that she knows who they are and what theyre up to and is giving them the chance to make this a real thing or else shell take them down hard.
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Moonstone! Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas!)

Post by Woodclaw » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:52 pm

catsi563 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:54 pm
One of the interesting moments for me in that series was When Abe and Songbird were flying around doing basic superhero stuff. they run into Natasha who talks to them about being a hero and how lies can be dangerous and how they need to make a choice real soon as to what theyre going to do and what side to choose.

Basically implying out right that she knows who they are and what theyre up to and is giving them the chance to make this a real thing or else shell take them down hard.
I remember that story. It was nice, too bad that, in the end, Natasha didn't matter much in the story.
"You're right. Sorry. Holy shit," I breathed, "heckhounds.”

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Moonstone! Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas!)

Post by Ares » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:09 pm

I mentioned on Discord, but Jab's thread got me re-reading some old West Coast Avengers issues, including this one:

Image

It's funny how some things change and some stay the same. Hawkeye is still a guy cocky and confident enough to challenge the USAgent to a fist fight, but also shows some character depth by admitting part of why he hates the Agent is because the Agent reminds Clint of the kind of guy he use to be. Only he considers the Agent worse.

Despite Clint really having the moral high ground, the Agent is treated like a credible threat, an even match for Hawkeye with full gear and winning cleanly once it becomes just a fist fight.

The battle armor they stuck Hawkeye with for that issue was stupid, tho.

They also had a decent moment for Wonder Man as well. During this time, the Avengers switched from a US Government sponsored team to a United Nations sponsored team. The USAgent had originally be forced on the West Coast group by the government to be their representative. Now that they operated under a UN charter, the Agent's special status (which he'd just been rubbing in Clint's face) was revoked. The Agent angrily punches the table, and Wonder Man restrains him, telling the Agent to quit acting like someone who'd just had a prank pulled on them by a fraternity.

USAgent: "You got a better way to describe what just happened?"

Wonder Man: "As a matter of fact, I do. From this point forward, you're going to be an Avenger or not based solely on your own merits, and nothing else. If you don't like that, you can walk right now. GOT IT?"

USAgent: " ... I ... I got it."

Nice showing for Simon there, I thought.

It's also kind of funny to look back at the comics of the late 80s/early 90s and how much more optimistic people were about the UN of the time, whereas today it's much more heavily criticized and decried for numerous scandals and human rights violations.

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Smuggler (Conrad)

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:35 pm

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SMUGGLER II (Conrad Josten)
Created By:
Fabian Nicieza & Tony DeZuniga
First Appearance: Thunderbolts #47 (2001)
Role: Suddenly Introduced Sibling
Group Affiliations: The Thunderbolts
PL 9 (113)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 4
FIGHTING 6 DEXTERITY 4
INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 1 PRESENCE 1

Skills:
Athletics 2 (+4)
Deception 4 (+5)
Expertise (Soldier) 2 (+3)
Insight 2 (+3)
Investigation 2 (+3)
Perception 3 (+4)
Ranged Combat (Snare) 2 (+8)
Technology 3 (+4)

Advantages:
Ranged Attack 2

Powers:
"Darkforce-Powered Smuggler Suit" (Flaws: Removable) [45]
Protection 4 (4)
Elongation 2 (2)

"Shadow-Melting" Teleport 10 (Feats: Change Direction & Velocity, Increased Mass 6- 3,200 lbs.) (Extras: Accurate, Extended) (48) -- (50)
AE: "Darkforce Tendril" Snare 10 (30)
AE: Movement 1 (Dimensional Travel- Darkforce Dimension) (2)
-- (56 points)

Offense:
Unarmed +6 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Darkforce Tendril +8 (+10 Ranged Affliction, DC 20)
Initiative +4

Defenses:
Dodge +9 (DC 19), Parry +8 (DC 18), Toughness +3 (+7 Suit), Fortitude +5, Will +4

Complications:
Rivalry (Erik Josten- Brother)- Conrad resents his brother greatly for becoming a criminal, embarrassing the family, and causing the family farm to go under.

Total: Abilities: 44 / Skills: 20--10 / Advantages: 2 / Powers: 45 / Defenses: 12 (113)

-Conrad Josten is the suddenly-introduced sibling of Erik, better known as Atlas of the Thunderbolts (and under various names as a member of the Masters of Evil). The only surviving sibling of Erik (Carl was killed by a loan shark, and their little sister Lindy was hit by a car while following the brothers on her bike), Conrad held a grudge against him for embarrassing their parents, who died after losing the family farm when Erik was revealed as a super-villain.

-The Commission on Superhuman Activities (the group that gave orders to Freedom Force and John "U.S. Agent" Walker) empowered him and the other Redeemers when the Thunderbolts were thought to be lost in battle- he was given a suit that let him control Darkforce energies. The Redeemers were ultimately sent against Graviton, who slaughtered them with ease- Conrad was believed killed when Graviton threw him into the sun. However, it was later revealed that he was really in the Darkforce Dimension. Conrad was freed by Baron Zemo in payment for Erik helping him kill Genis-Vell, but his costume was eventually destroyed. The two brothers apparently repaired their relationship.

-Smuggler has some pretty simple gear, which works a little bit like S.H.O.C.'s armor. It has a Snare and Teleportation capabilities, but that's about it. The Snare is PL 9, but the rest of him is on the weak side.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Moonstone! Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas!)

Post by Ken » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:45 am

Ares wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:09 pm
I mentioned on Discord, but Jab's thread got me re-reading some old West Coast Avengers issues, including this one:

Image

It's funny how some things change and some stay the same. Hawkeye is still a guy cocky and confident enough to challenge the USAgent to a fist fight, but also shows some character depth by admitting part of why he hates the Agent is because the Agent reminds Clint of the kind of guy he use to be. Only he considers the Agent worse.

Despite Clint really having the moral high ground, the Agent is treated like a credible threat, an even match for Hawkeye with full gear and winning cleanly once it becomes just a fist fight.

The battle armor they stuck Hawkeye with for that issue was stupid, tho.

They also had a decent moment for Wonder Man as well. During this time, the Avengers switched from a US Government sponsored team to a United Nations sponsored team. The USAgent had originally be forced on the West Coast group by the government to be their representative. Now that they operated under a UN charter, the Agent's special status (which he'd just been rubbing in Clint's face) was revoked. The Agent angrily punches the table, and Wonder Man restrains him, telling the Agent to quit acting like someone who'd just had a prank pulled on them by a fraternity.

USAgent: "You got a better way to describe what just happened?"

Wonder Man: "As a matter of fact, I do. From this point forward, you're going to be an Avenger or not based solely on your own merits, and nothing else. If you don't like that, you can walk right now. GOT IT?"

USAgent: " ... I ... I got it."

Nice showing for Simon there, I thought.

It's also kind of funny to look back at the comics of the late 80s/early 90s and how much more optimistic people were about the UN of the time, whereas today it's much more heavily criticized and decried for numerous scandals and human rights violations.
I think this was around the time I gave up on the Avengers... Well, one of the times.
W: Professor Plum, you were once a professor of psychiatry specializing in helping paranoid and homicidal lunatics suffering from delusions of grandeur.

PP: Yes, but now I work for the United Nations.

W: So your work has not changed.

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Dallas Riordan/Vantage

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:51 am

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DALLAS RIORDAN (aka Vantage)
Created By:
Kurt Busiek & Mark Bagley
First Appearance: Thunderbolts #1 (1997)
Role: Government Liaison
Group Affiliations: The NYPD, The V-Battalion, Thunderbolts
PL 7 (98)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 4
FIGHTING 9 DEXTERITY 5
INTELLIGENCE 3 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 3

Skills:
Acrobatics 3 (+7)
Athletics 5 (+7)
Deception 3 (+6)
Expertise (Police Officer) 2 (+5)
Expertise (Politics) 4 (+7)
Expertise (V-Battalion Agent) 4 (+7)
Insight 1 (+4)
Investigation 4 (+7)
Perception 3 (+6)
Stealth 2 (+6)
Technology 1 (+4)

Advantages:
Benefit (Rank- NYPD/V-Battalion/Mayor's Office), Equipment 3 (Gear, V-Wing Glider, etc.), Improved Aim, Improved Trip, Ranged Attack 3

Offense:
Unarmed +9 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Sword +9 (+5 Damage, DC 20)
Throwing Knives +8 (+3 Ranged Damage, DC 18)
Initiative +4

Defenses:
Dodge +10 (DC 20), Parry +10 (DC 20), Toughness +3, Fortitude +5, Will +6

Complications:
Relationship (Erik Josten- Atlas)- The two have an on-again, off-again relationship that's been poisoned by his initial lying to her about the Thunderbolts's intentions.
Disabled (Wheelchair-Bound)- Dallas is often left-crippled at various times. Drop her Agility down to -2, and lower all Physical Stats as well.

Total: Abilities: 64 / Skills: 32--16 / Advantages: 6 / Powers: 0 / Defenses: 12 (98)

-Dallas Riordan was the "Civilian Buddy" of the Thunderbolts- a somewhat necessary type of character to act as a "go-between" for superheroes and the government. In her case, she was an aide to the mayor of New York City, and thus somewhat important to a team that was operating in the Baxter Building (at this point, the T-Bolts were the ONLY major, public super-team, as the Avengers & FF had died in the "Onslaught" thing). In a twist, she ended up dating Atlas, but unfortunately took the fall when the team were outed as being the Masters of Evil in disguise. Having lost her job, she ended up with the V-Battalion (which was formed by a group that included her paternal grandfather), which sent her against Baron Zemo and others. Unfortunately, she was framed by the real Crimson Cowl into taking the fall for her, resulting in jail time- the V-Batallion sprung her. However, Dallas left the group when they ordered her to assassinate some "compromised" agents which included Henry Peter Gyrich. Though few people would have MOURNED his passing, it was technically wrong in this case, and so she warned the T-Bolts of her new bosses' plans.

-Following this, she was crippled in another fight with the Crimson Cowl, and began getting ionic-ghost visitations from Atlas, her now-deceased ex. Atlas was channelling his ionic powers through Dallas, allowing her a powered-up, non-crippled form. Eventually, Atlas returned for realz, but Dallas retained some power of her own, and thus she joined the Thunderbolts, taking the name "Vantage". Eventually, the group fell apart, she & Atlas broke up again, and she took a job for Homeland Security... then ended up re-crippled when Atlas tapped back into his ionic powers again (he didn't know that would be a side-effect, to be fair). That's one hell of a "Back To Basics Syndrome", right there- it's like the universe is conspiring to keep her in a wheelchair! She helped out Zemo in his attempts to save the universe, but still kept a careful eye on him- finally, she had the use of her legs restored by Atlas. The character has since fallen into Comics Limbo, only rarely popping up in government positions- anyone who'd really cared about her was writing Thunderbolts.

-Dallas is a solid fighter (this is using her V-Battalion gear), but isn't much that a superhuman would struggle against until she gained a variety of super-powers later. When Atlas empowered her, she had Blast 10 (Split), Force Field 10 & Flight 7, gaining 35 points.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Moonstone! Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas!)

Post by Tattooedman » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:57 am

Ares wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:09 pm
I mentioned on Discord, but Jab's thread got me re-reading some old West Coast Avengers issues, including this one:

Image
I remember this issue, I actually bought it off the stands at my local supermarket after a quick read through. I thought the story really explained a lot about Hawkeye's personality and why he and US Agent did not get along.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Moonstone! Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas!)

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:49 am

Woodclaw wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:48 pm
Ah, Thunderbolts.
The original run was one of the saving graces of Marvel after Onslaught. I collected the series more or less up to when Hawkeye joined the team, after that the publication schedule became too erratic for me.
In and of itself the series could have been a very mediocre redemption tale, but the fact that you could clearly see that some characters were really buying into the idea of being heroes, while for others it just a mean to an end made everything click. My favorite moments were the issue #1 final plot twist and the redacted story that Zemo/Citizen V gave to Jolt, showcasing panels of the real events with Zemo's doctored narration, it was brilliant how he never really lied, just reframed the details.
I'm kind of pissed that Abe got the short straw in recent years, since I really liked him, even if only for the fact that (even as Beetle) he is one of the few supervillains that tries to update his arsenal.
Kurt Busiek's entire run was more or less saving Marvel during the darkest time it had yet seen- comics were unpopular, the only superhero stuff in the media was cartoons (and the best ones were ending), and Marvel had gone bankrupt. So him on Avengers and Thunderbolts around the same time was a massive saving grace and universally appreciated, I think.

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Jolt

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:05 am

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JOLT (Helen "Hallie" Takamara)
Created By:
Kurt Busiek & Mark Bagley
First Appearance: Thunderbolts #1 (April 1997)
Role: Mary Sue, Newbie Character, Miss Innocent
Group Affiliations: The Thunderbolts
PL 9 (153)
STRENGTH
0/4 STAMINA 2 AGILITY 4
FIGHTING 10 DEXTERITY 2
INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 1 PRESENCE 3

Skills:
Acrobatics 8 (+12)
Close Combat (Unarmed) 2 (+12)
Expertise (Super-Heroics) 5 (+6)
Expertise (Survival in Cities) 2 (+3)
Perception 4 (+5)
Persuasion 4 (+7)
Stealth 3 (+6)

Advantages:
Evasion, Improved Defense, Move-By Action, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 6, Teamwork

Powers:
"Hyperkinetic Agility"
Speed 6 (120 mph) [6]
Enhanced Advantages 4: Improved Initiative 3 [3]

"Electrical Form" (Alternate Form- Move Action -1) [-1]
Enhanced Strength 4 (Flaws: Limited to When Struck by Energy) [4]
Speed +2 (500 mph) (Flaws: Limited to When Struck by Energy) [1]
Immunity 10 (Life Support) [10]

Flight 6 (120 mph) (12) -- [13]
  • AE: Leaping 3 (60 feet) (3)
Electrical Blast 9 (Feats: Dynamic) (19) -- [24]
  • Dynamic AE: Electrical Aura 4 (17)
  • Dynamic AE: "Electro-Shock" Damage 8 (9)
  • AE: Insubstantial 3 (Energy) (15)
Offense:
Unarmed +12 (+0 Damage, DC 15)
Boosted Strength +12 (+4 Damage, DC 19)
Electro-Shock +10 (+8 Damage, DC 23)
Electrical Aura +12 (+4 Damage, DC 19)
Blast +8 (+9 Ranged Damage, DC 24)
Initiative +16

Defenses:
Dodge +14 (DC 24), Parry +14 (DC 24), Toughness +2, Fortitude +4, Will +6

Complications:
Motivation (Being a Hero)- Jolt idolizes super-heroes, and was very proud to be a Thunderbolts member.

Total: Abilities: 44 / Skills: 28--14 / Advantages: 11 / Powers: 61 / Defenses: 23 (153)

-Jolt is kinda funny- she seemed well-received by fans, despite her being a relentless example of the Mary Sue: She's a new cute teenager who got to suddenly join a super-hero team, act more competent than the lot of them (she frequently came up with the battle-winning strategy), inspire them to be good just by her sheer likeable innocence, and more. Just goes to show you that you can't just paint all the Mary Sues with one brush- sometimes the character type can work well in the hands of a pro.

-Jolt seemed like a fun character, despite her origins. Orphaned by Onslaught and experimented upon by Arnim Zola, she gained superhuman powers, and used her encyclopedic knowledge of super-history to join the Thunderbolts as their first non-villainous member. Zemo was hesitant, but as the girl was publicly liked and legitimately nice, Moonstone figured she would be a good fit and advised him to let her in- however, she had her own reasoning- she was hoping to get another person on the team on her side. Zemo, as Citizen V, invited Jolt to join the T-Bolts, then gave her a phony version of his history that was clearly directed at the FANS, to showcase what the T-Bolts' "Fake History" was supposed to be.

-Jolt's innocence greatly contrasted the others and really helped change many of them- it was a pretty great way to have guys reform, as Atlas saw her as a younger sister, and her idealizing of him made him want to be a better person. Moonstone CLAIMED to be faking her "Motherly" affection, but in a great bit, we knew it was bullshit. And so many of the T-Bolts started LEGITIMATELY reforming due to proximity to Jolt. And then she died. Busiek, knowing it would break the hearts of fans and the characters, made the gutsy decision to remove her from the book, giving us a real sense of tragedy. Carried out by the Scourge of the Underworld (a mind-controlled Nomad), Jolt's death shatters even Moonstone, who thought she was above such feelings.

-Jolt was semi-quickly revived by Techno, being crippled in human form but able to become "Living Electricity". But the magic of the book was fading by this point- she was left on Counter-Earth with most of the T-Bolts, and chose to stay there, helping out the populace as one of the Young Allies (a very short-lived concept). She has largely only reappeared in background shots since then, and has never gotten a push in the Post-Busiek world. It seemed like later writers had no idea what to do with her, and she bounced around from place to place. I haven't read a comic featuring her since the first T-Bolts run ended.

-Early on, Jolt was a bit of a PL 7-9 offense, PL 8 defense Speedster type with a Shock power and some Energy Absorption, making her pretty weak defensively unless someone was trying to nuke her. Later on, post-resurrection, she could turn into a being of living electricity, a power which makes her fairly hard to figure out. Most of her "original" powers are now Alt-Effects from an Alternate Form, because she can only use (or NEEDS to use- Electro-Shock is just a Touch version of her Ranged attack now) some of them outside of that form. Reading a few of her appearances, she comes across like a standard Speedster archetype otherwise- I've yet to see her Electrical Form in combat.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas! Vantage! Jolt!)

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:33 am

huh- interesting. So apparently Sailor Moon was planned almost from the beginning to be a full-on Media Blitz franchise: https://puckobox.tumblr.com/post/621114 ... -about-the

Like, they'd planned to run the manga, anime and toys simultaneously, more like what American toy franchises are. For years, I'd heard the story of "Naoko wrote Sailor V, the editors liked it and they wanted to expand on it, and it was SO GOOD the anime started production right away", not that it was planned from the beginning to be all hands on deck to sell stuff.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas! Vantage! Jolt!)

Post by Ares » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:52 am

I already went on a mini-ramble about Jolt here, but I will say that I never got the Mary Sue warning bells from her that I got from other characters that I will not name so at to not derail the thread. The only thing Jolt was shown to be right about 9 times out of 10 was what the MORAL thing to do was, which made sense because her whole personality was based around a friendly, helpful, good girl that idolized heroes like the Avengers. Her adult teammates looked to her to be a moral compass because they were all SUPERVILLAINS who were trying to reform. Even Abe, the guy who legitimately wanted to reform the most, often struggled with what the right thing to do was. Jolt was there so that her idealism and morality could contrast the more cynical and sometimes selfish nature of her teammates.

Apart from that, Jolt almost never really was the one who saved the day or came up with the plan. Usually Busiek would use her as a mouth piece to give a bit of Avengers-related trivia (which was why she was a superhero fan), and from there someone like Zemo, Techno or Abe would come up with a plan to save the day. Half the time when Jolt tried to get her teammates to do something, it backfired on the because, surprise surprise, she was a teenager. When she talked the team into going fight the Elements of Doom against Zemo's wishes, the team got their asses kicked. When she tried to get them to play diplomat with a group of aliens, she got them all captured and almost executed.

She only really saved the day twice as I recall. The first time was when they dealt with Arnim Zola, and she managed to talk her mutated former friends down from attacking her teammates. The other was helping to come up with the plan to take down Zemo in issue 12 by engineering a fake hero on hero fight while she located the device that let Zemo control the world. And even in that case, her plan didn't work and Moonstone had to improvise.

They also made it clear that, despite her heroic attitude, Jolt was still a teenager. She got frustrated with her teammates constantly coming to her for moral guidance, as the rest of them failed to realize the pressure they were putting on her. Losing her family also gave her a complex about having a normal life, which was why she threw herself into her life as a superhero. She was basically trying to avoid dealing with the loss of her old life, and "playing superhero" was a way to focus on something else. It was why she resisted going to school beyond the usual reason teenagers didn't want to go to school. That last part actually lead to a rather heartwarming moment where Moonstone actually did her job as a psychologist to help Jolt deal with her trauma, and showed that she (Moonstone) could have been good at her job without the supervillainy if she wasn't ... well ... such a terrible person.

So yeah, I never really saw Jolt as a Mary Sue. On a team filled with other good people, she would have simply been a somewhat excitable, geeky and fun girl who has a bit of a complex about saving people and wants more than anything to DO something good with her powers. She only stands out out on the Thunderbolts because they were all morally grey types with the exception of Moonstone. Once Hawkeye came on board and gave the team actual leadership, they didn't rely on Jolt at all for moral guidance.

Part of me actually kind of wonders if Jolt wouldn't have been better off being moved to a different team after Hawkeye joined. With him on board they no longer needed her for moral guidance or superhero trivia, and Hawkeye's ability to lead with authority changed the dynamic of the book quite a bit. Given the way Nicieza flipped the script on Busiek's book after he took over (the team immediately having a major screw up, Jolt getting killed, Abe being turned Black), I have to wonder how much of that was Nicieza following Busiek's notes, and how much was Nicieza deciding to add more drama to the book.

Overall, I liked Jolt. I'd definitely undo that second rate Living Lightning schtick they gave her and make her that agile electric puncher again (possibly with some new stunts and an increasing power level), and stick her on some team. Like I said, to me, she was Kamala Khan way before Kamala Khan, and in my opinion, might be the better character.

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas! Vantage! Jolt!)

Post by Ian Turner » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:10 am

One of my favorite Jolt 'moral compass' moments was on counter-earth, where Zemo is up to some horrible-ness and Moonstone is trying to talk him out of it, and gives up because she doesn't really know how to articulate *why* what he's planning is wrong, and she zips over to Jolt and asks her, Jolt gives her an earful and she's like, 'okay, thanks' and then goes and says *that* to Zemo.

One line I remember specifically from that scene, is that she'd just gotten her second moonstone, and vastly increased her power, and teleports in front of someone who says, 'Is there any power you *don't* have now?' and she replies, 'the power to make a moral decision, apparently...'

Anywho, I loved Jolt's initial power. Basically super-speed / reflexes, and a zap-touch. Very cool. A nice mix of offense (zap touch), defense (hard to hit) and movement (super-running), in one tight theme. I was annoyed later when Surge (another Japanese-American teen with super-speed and electrical powers) kind of had the same power, in the New X-Men, although she at least had a radically different attitude (and her powers were different, more lightning-blasty and less shock-touchy).

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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas! Vantage! Jolt!)

Post by drkrash » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:10 pm

Once again, I agree with Ares on a couple points.

Jolt was definitely Kamala Khan before Kamala Khan. I also think she would be great to have come back (with her original costume and powers). Plus an Asian female, she'd fit right in. They'd probably do serious character assassination on her with the current writers, though.

Also, yes, the UN has to be portrayed as evil, as do all organizations. Even heroes are not allowed to be un-ironically good. Ideals are only allowed to be talked about, not actually lived out, in comics now.
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (Songbird! MACH-1! Atlas! Vantage! Jolt!)

Post by Ares » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:10 pm

Regarding Atlas from a bit earlier, they explained that when he was Goliath, he DID still have a measure of superhuman strength and durability when normal (apparently in the Spider-Man/USAgent range), and got stronger as he grew. At his larger sizes he had full on Class 100 strength and durability, but technically hit harder than guys like Thor or Wonder Man because his fists had much more mass behind them.

When he became Atlas, it was revealed in issue 6 that his time in another dimension had changed how his powers worked. See, originally Atlas had been powered purely by the same ionic energy process, but since it was designed for Simon and not him, Atlas' powers were unstable and settled in at a lower level. When he was turned into Goliath, his powers were mixed Pym Particles, his Ionic Cells bonding with the Pym Particles and providing the energy to change.

When Atlas wound up in another dimension before being rescued, being shifted back and forth between dimensions flushed the Pym Particles out of his system, but his Ionic Energy had been changed thanks to bonding with the Pym Particles. He could still grow, but now the growth process was due entirely to the Ionic Energy, not the Pym Particles. This was why he had to worry about surpassing his max height. The Pym Particles could allow for virtually any kind of height or shrinking if the person doing the shrinking was strong enough to survive them. The Ionic Growth meant that Atlas technically got stronger and more durable than someone of a similar size using Pym Particles, but after a certain point the Ions couldn't hold themselves together, and Atlas ran the risk of literally breaking apart into an ionic cloud. This was why he tended to limit his height unless he was angry or having a heroic willpower moment.

The energy requirements of size shifting also apparently forced his Ionic Cells into a more dormant state, where they closely resembled human cells. As a result, once he became Atlas, Erik was now completely human at normal size and only got stronger and tougher as he grew.

Which is ultimately a long-winded way of saying, "Kurt Busiek wanted Atlas to be a normal guy at normal size and usually have an upper size limit for his max size, making him powerful but with some solid weaknesses.

Jabroniville
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

Charcoal

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:41 pm

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CHARCOAL (Charlie Burlingame)
Created By:
Kurt Busiek, Fabian Nicieza & a Wizard Magazine Reader
First Appearance: Thunderbolts #19 (1998)
Role: Team Strongman, Victim of Copywrite (aka "Rom Syndrome")
Group Affiliations: The Thunderbolts
PL 9 (109)
STRENGTH
1/7/9/11 STAMINA 1/6 AGILITY 1
FIGHTING 7 DEXTERITY 0
INTELLIGENCE 0 AWARENESS 0 PRESENCE 0

Skills:
Deception 4 (+4)
Intimidation 4 (+4, +6 Size)
Perception 2 (+2)
Ranged Combat (Fire) 4 (+8)

Advantages:
Improved Grapple, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 4, Startle

Powers:
"Take Any Carbon Form"
"Incendiary Form" (57) -- [59]
  • AE: "Charcoal Form" (50)
  • AE: "Diamond Form" (42)
Alternate Forms- Move Action [-1]

"Charcoal Form"
Growth 4 (Str & Sta +4, +4 Mass, +2 Intimidation, -2 Dodge/Parry, -4 Stealth) -- (12 feet) (Feats: Innate) (Extras: Permanent +0) (9)
Enhanced Strength 4 (8)
Enhanced Stamina 2 (4)
Protection 5 (5)
Fire Blast 9 (18)
Regeneration 5 (Feats: Regrow Limbs) (6)
-- (50 points)

"Diamond Form"
Growth 4 (Str & Sta +4, +4 Mass, +2 Intimidation, -2 Dodge/Parry, -4 Stealth) -- (12 feet) (Feats: Innate) (Extras: Permanent +0) (9)
Enhanced Strength 6 (12)
Enhanced Stamina 2 (4)
Protection 6 (Extras: Impervious 9) (15)
Enhanced Advantages: Withstand Damage (1)
Regeneration 4 (Feats: Regrow Limbs) (5)
Reduced Defenses 2 (-4)
-- (42 points)

"Incendiary Form"
Growth 4 (Str & Sta +4, +4 Mass, +2 Intimidation, -2 Dodge/Parry, -4 Stealth) -- (12 feet) (Feats: Innate) (Extras: Permanent +0) (9)
Enhanced Strength 2 (4)
Enhanced Stamina 2 (4)
Protection 5 (5)
Flame Aura 6 (24) -- (25)
  • AE: Fire Blast 10 (20)

Flight 5 (60 mph) (10)
-- (57 points)

Senses 4 (Detect Pieces of Himself, Ranged 2, Acute) [4]

Offense:
Unarmed +7 (+1 Damage, DC 16)
Incendiary Form +7 (+7 Damage, DC 22)
Charcoal Form +7 (+9 Damage, DC 24)
Diamond Form +7 (+11 Damage, DC 26)
Fire Aura +7 (+4 Damage, DC 19)
Charcoal Fire +8 (+9 Ranged Damage, DC 24)
Incendiary Fire +8 (+10 Ranged Damage, DC 25)
Initiative +1

Defenses:
Dodge +7 (DC 17), Parry +7 (DC 17), Toughness +1 (+11-12 Alternate Forms, +5 Impervious Diamond), Fortitude +3 (+8 Alternate Forms), Will +5

Complications:
Involuntary Transformation (Sludge)- If struck by great quantities of water while in Charcoal Form, Charcoal will turn into sludge.

Total: Abilities: 20 / Skills: 14--7 / Advantages: 7 / Powers: 62 / Defenses: 13 (109)

-Charcoal is pretty neat, very original, and has a distinct history about him. He was created for a Wizard Magazine (remember when they were relevant? Or even existed?) "Create a Villain" contest, in which the winner would get his character into a comic, and he was snapped up by Thunderbolts. He was a villain at first, but soon joined the team as a newbie trying to reform, where he became close friends with Jolt and argued with some of the others, such as Hawkeye, about what they should be doing. However, he was quickly killed by Graviton. The idea was to bring him back, but as writer Fabian Nicieza has stated, the legalities over his ownership came into question thanks to some iffy legal-writing by Wizard (Seriously? They didn't think copywrite issues would turn up?), and a failure to give the creator all he'd asked for. The creatoro, feeling undercompensated, decided to try and legally-claim Charcoal for himself, so Marvel kind of nudged Fabe to "just forget about him", and so the character vanished. Too bad, really- he seems part Brick/part Blaster, and was quite unique for that. And thus a combination of Wizard's incompetence and human spite, a potentially-interesting character has never turned up again.

-This is as much as I could glean from the bios regarding the guy- they barely even mention super-strength, but I recall him being super-big, so it's implied. He can take three different "Forms" of carbon- burning ash/charcoal, diamond and flaming incendiary, gaining three semi-distinct power-sets around it. To meet his caps, his Diamond Form is a bit less mobile, he can throw out some pretty big Blasts in various forms, Fly in one, etc. He's a pretty cheap PL 9, but he's still a newbie- there's a lot of places he could have gone and "grown" in to.

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