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Darkstar

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Gimmick
Real Name: Ferrin Colos
First Appearance: Darkstars #1 [DC Comics October 1992]

ABILITIES
Prowess 5
Coordination 8 / 4 (without the Exo-Mantle)
Strength 8 / 5 (without the Exo-Mantle)
Intellect 4
Awareness 4
Willpower 4

Stamina 9 / 12 (with the Exo-Mantle)
Determination: 1

SPECIALTIES
Criminology
Investigation
Law (Intergalactic)

POWERS
Exo-Mantle (All his powers derive from his suit)
          Blast ["Twin Maser Units"] 7
          Flight [Space Flight] 7
          Force Field [Expandable] 7
          Life Support Device [Cold, Airlessness, Radiation, Vacuum] 4

QUALITIES
  • Connections: NEMO (Network for Establishment and Maintenance of Order)
  • Force field can be expanded somewhat to allow the Darkstar to take others into his protection as well.
  • Motivation: Protect the innocent and helpless from harm, no matter who they are.
CHALLENGES
  • Personal: Tied to a somewhat bureaucratic law enforcing intergalactic organization, some decisions must be reported to his superiors.
  • Personal: Stuck on Earth.
  • Personal: His planet and civilization are destroyed.
Points: 70 (overwhelming!)

ORIGIN STORY
There came a time when the concept of evil was unleashed throughout the universe and the Maltusians now on Oa felt themselves to blame. Now immortal, these cosmic beings felt it their duty to solve the problem. Their discussions led to a deep, irreparable rift among the male Oans: some wanted direct "hands on" intervention while others felt surrogates were the best way to operate. The more aggressive Oans left their world and their ways, going deep into the universe, their ultimate goals unknown.

Little was heard from those Oans for billions of years until finally, word reached the known populated universe that agents of NEMO (Network for the Establishment and Maintenance of Order) were roaming the stars. They challenged evil in all its forms and fought it bravely, without fear; sacrificing their lives to bring justice to the needy.

Rivaling the fabled Green Lantern Corps themselves, it seems these Darkstars, with their powerful armor and intensive training, were continuing to grow in strength and resourcefulness.

Among these Darkstars was a veteran, a man who had seen just about all you could imagine: Ferrin Colos, survivor of the ravaged world Zamba. When his world was attacked by raiders, he vowed vengeance and signed up to be a Darkstar so no other world would suffer as his did. Over time, his enthusiasm faded and a hard cynicism invaded. Now, feeling old and tired, Cobs did not care if he survived his next mission.

When the Guardians of the Universe went to another dimension in order to reevaluate their goals, the Oans-now called Controllers-had their Darkstars sweep out through the universe, filling the obvious void left by the dismantled Green Lantern Corps. Their influence and success made them respected-and feared. The upstart mercenary organization LEGION never seemed a concern, and when the Guardians returned and the GL Corps began rebuilding, the Darkstars never slowed down.

So it was that Colos was sent after a drug smuggler and his trail led him to Earth, long considered a backwater planet of above-average cosmic importance. Colos successfully defeated the drug smugglers and their Earth-based processing operation, but rather than return him home, his supervisor, the crafty Huvah Jeddigar, orders him to remain on Earth, opening a base, keeping an eye on this increasingly important corner of the universe.

(Converted characters, most of the times, unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book).

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Crimson Avenger

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Gimmick
Real Name: Jill Carlyle
First Appearance: Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 [DC Comics April 2000]

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

Stamina 9
Determination: 1

SPECIALTIES
Deception
Law
Stealth
Weapons [Guns]

POWERS
Immortality 10 
Offensive Device ["Crimson Pistols"] 9
          Blast
          Phasing
          Postcognition
          Teleport
Supersenses 2
          Additional Enhanced Sense ["Acute Blindsight"]

QUALITIES
  • Her two twin Colt pistols are cursed to turn whoever uses them for revenge into the next Crimson Avengers. These guns come with certain abilities that set them apart from regular firearms and even afford mystical properties:
    • Infinite Ammo: Never runs out of ammo.
    • Triggerless: Has no triggers.
    • Cannot Miss: Doesn't miss a single shot.
    • Omni-Penetrable: Can travel through any substance, including any physical resistance such as Captain Atom or Superman.
    • Self-Directional: She doesn't need to aim or even pretend to fire since they do it themselves once she points in the general direction of an enemy. These guns have a "mind" of their own and need to be told when not to shoot through allies.
  • Her teleportation creates a visual side effect in the form of a crimson mist.
  • Although she sees only red through her mask, she has a mental blindsight that enables her to maneuver as well as a sighted character, being also able to distinguish fine details or colours.
  • She cannot die by conventional means, even if she takes her own life with her mystical pistols she arises for her next assignment. 
  • Connections: Justice Society of America, Spectre.
  • Motivation: Exact vengeance upon criminals.
CHALLENGES
  • Her double Crimson Pistols can only be used by her.
  • Her Postcognition is limited to murdered victim's death only and is linked to her Teleportation. Upon gaining a new "assignment," she mentally relives the death of the victim, and then is teleported to their place of burial.
  • Her Phasing doesn't work against her own bullets or other magical forces.
  • She cannot use her Teleportation on command; as a Spirit of Vengeance, she is forced to teleport to her next assignment even if it disrupts her life.
  • Part of the curse attached to the pistols, there is a constantly bleeding painful bullet wound in her chest that cannot or will not be healed.
  • Personal: Spirit of Vengeance's pawn
Points: 80 (staggering!)

ORIGIN STORY
She does not know if she is dead or alive. She just knows vengeance. Little is known about the origins of the Crimson Avenger save that is she is from Detroit, Michigan. It is there that she purchased two 1911 Colts from a pawnshop in order to carry out some kind of vengeance. Originally owned by Lee Travis, the first Crimson Avenger, the guns are cursed, thirsting after the blood of sinners. After the new Crimson Avenger used them for the first time, the triggers disappeared, the guns grafted themselves to her very soul, and an open wound appeared on her chest... a wound that would never heal.

The Crimson Avenger is somehow compelled to hunt down and dispose of the murderers of innocent people - one by one. Seeing only the color red through her mask, the Avenger experiences the pain of each victim's death, and is then infused with the memories of the spirit she must avenge.

Once a victim is avenged, the curse's red mists take her on a new quest for justice. Her only hope of escaping this bleak future is the fact that somehow, in some way, Lee Travis freed himself from the curse of the guns.

(A very interesting character, although called a plot device by many, the Crimson Avenger has a very powerful device at her disposal, but with a whole lot of associated challenges, which make her fun. Converted characters, most of the times, unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book).

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Quicksilver

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Transformed
Real Name: Unknown, (alias) Max Crandall
First Appearance: National Comics #5 [Quality Comics November 1940]

ABILITIES
Prowess 5
Coordination 8
Strength 4
Intellect 5
Awareness 3
Willpower 3

Stamina 7
Determination: 1

SPECIALTIES
Acrobatics Expert
Criminology
History Expert [Native American Studies]
Science Expert [Chemistry]

POWERS
Resistance 6 [Limit: Cold, Drugs and Alcohol]
Super-Speed 7
      Air Control [Create cyclones by running round the target]
      Defending
      Fast Attack
      Phasing
      Surface Speed
      Vibration Control

QUALITIES
  • Connections: Speed Force Heroes, Freedom Fighters, All-Star Squadron.
  • Epithets: The Laughing Robin Hood, Ahwehota, Windrunner, Whip Whirlwind, Lightning, Bluestreak, Max Mercury, Buckshot, The Zen Master of Speed.
  • Motivation: Uphold the good.
  • He also differs from other speedsters because of his agility; he cannot run as quickly as them, but he has a greater ability to perform acrobatic stunts and finely coordinated actions than they do.
CHALLENGES
  • Whenever he tries to approach "Speed Force", he's propelled to a future date, not controlled by him.
  • Enemies: Baron Hoff, Birdman, Black Cats, Bumpy John, Crocodile Man, Dr. Von Lohfer, the Hawk, Human Fly, Speed Demons, the Wasp, Witch Doctor,Wizard Ward.
  • Personal: Mysterious and reticent about his life.
Points: 90 (tremendous!)

ORIGIN STORY
One of the most mysterious heroes of the past, Quicksilver appeared seemingly from nowhere in 1940. He was never seen without his mask. It was eventually revealed that he had previously been a circus acrobat, but how he gained his amazing speed has never been disclosed.

When first seen, Quicksilver was a super-speedster unlike any other, as he combined his swiftness with amazing acrobatics. He was able to dodge bullets with ease, and even to race between the blades of a whirling propeller. Sometimes he seemed to defy gravity, though he was not a true flying hero. However, leaping several stories was a simple feat for him.

He was largely a loner, yet he had friends, such as an Indian named Shoshone. Quicksilver's closest friend - and perhaps his only confidant - was a youthful Chinese server named Hoo Mee. He shared Quicksilver's secret lair in Oakwood Park, apparently a hidden cave remodeled into living quarters and a laboratory - for this mystery man was also an accomplished chemist. In his second recorded adventure he used special firefighting capsules of his own creation to extinguish a series of fires on the New York waterfront.

It is not known whether Quicksilver ever used a secret identity; if so, he was never seen in it. His lifestyle resembled those of certain other crimefighters who wore masks because their real identities were believed dead, but whether this was the case with Quicksilver is anybody's guess.

This "Laughing Robin Hood", as he was called, battled crime for nine years, then vanished as mysteriously as he had come. Perhaps he resumed his true ID and retired; he seemed to have ample financial resources. It is hoped this was the case and that Quicksilver did not die in action.

(Converted characters, most of the times, unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book).

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Nightshade

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Birthright
Real Name: Eve Eden
First Appearance: Captain Atom (vol.2) #82 [Charlton/DC Comics, September 1966]

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

Stamina 9
Determination: 1

SPECIALTIES
Martial Arts Expert
Military

POWERS
Alternate Form (Shadow) 8
               Instant
Darkness Control 8
               Dazzle
               Shadow Constructs
               Supersenses (Infravision)
               Teleport (Limit: Transmit, darkness and shadows)
Dimensional Travel (Limit: Only to the Land of the Nightshades and back to Earth) 8

QUALITIES
  • Connections: Captain Atom, Sentinels of Justice, Shadowpact, Suicide Squad, Senator Wayne Eden (father), C.I.A
  • Motivation: Rescue her brother from the Land of the Nightshades; uphold the good
  • Her Shadow Constructs normally take shape of homunculi who try to help her or two shadow ravens  to serve as scouts for her; she has named them Hugin and Munin after the legendary ravens belonging to the Norse deity Odin.
CHALLENGES
  • Enemies: Incubus, Succubus
  • Her teleportation requires her to pass through the now barren and haunted Land of Nightshades
Points: 90 (tremendous!)

ORIGIN STORY
When Eve was a child, her mother revealed to Eve and her brother Larry that she was really a princess from the Land of the Nightshades, and had come to Earth while escaping from the evil Incubus. Magda showed her children, who had inherited the ability to cross drimensions through shadows, how to use that power to travel to the Land of the Nightshades. While there, they were attacked by Incubus' flying warriors, who stabbed Magda, giving her a fatal wound. Larry was kidnapped, but Eve escaped by changing to shadow-form and transporting both herself and her mother back to Earth, where Magda died. Eve made a promise to her mother that she would return to rescue Larry someday.

After her mother's death and brother's disappearance, Eve's father moved them to Japan, where Eve began her self-imposed training by studying martial arts, becoming especially proficient in karate. She hid her training from her father, and after becoming the C.I.A. operative known as Nightshade, she continued to hide her double-life from him. To him, she is only a shallow jet-setter with no worries.

As Nightshade, she works for the C.I.A. as a "spy-smasher", exposing and apprehending foreign agents, and has often paired up with Captain Atom. Her ultimate goal is to reach a level of training where she can return to the Land of the Nightshades to rescue her brother.

(Converted characters, most of the times, unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book).

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New Power: Penance Stare

While working on the conversion of Bloodwynd, I was faced with a power that has been present in comic books since DC Spectre (ides of 1940) and Marvel Ghost Rider (1970s). Called Penance Stare by some authors, it's an intrinsic part of the arsenal of mystical powers of some avengeful characters. Considered by some a kind of Affliction, it has some peculiarities that would justify its standing as a separate power, as you can see below (it doesn't affect Stamina or physical health, mainly).

As usual, please feel free to discuss, critique and evaluate in the comments below.

PENANCE STARE
Offensive Power
Grab check (Strength limited by Prowess vs enemy Strength). Success means Penance Stare test vs. Enemy Willpower. Success means Power Level Damage to Stamina. Once Stamina is reduced to zero (which means they're unconscious anyway), apply Power Level Damage to Willpower. Once Willpower is reduced to zero, enemy goes insane. This power only works on evil individuals.

(Text edited to accomodate the very good suggestion by Cameron Mount. Thanks, again, Cameron!)
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Bloodwynd

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Gimmick
Real Name: Unknown
First Appearance: Justice League America #61 [DC Comics April 1992]

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

Stamina 10
Determination: 1

SPECIALTIES
Investigation
Occult Expert

POWERS
Control Device ["Blood Gem", Magic] 8
           Ability Boost [Strength]
           Blast ["Eldritch Bolt"]
           Detection ["Death Sense", able to know when death occurs]
           Flight
           Penance Stare
           Servant (Dead bodies)
           Spirit Control

QUALITIES
  • Connections: Justice League
  • Motivation: Avenge his ancestors; uphold the good
CHALLENGES
  • Enemies: Rott
  • Personal: Mysterious and reticent about his life and powers
Points: 85 (flabbergasting!)

ORIGIN STORY
Bloodwynd is the descendant of a group of slaves enslaved by a man named Jacob Whitney. These slaves created the magical Blood Gem and used it to kill Jacob Whitney. It was subsequently passed down among the slaves' decendants. Without them knowing it, the Blood Gem was a gateway to another dimension, and the demon Rott claimed the souls of those who were killed by the Blood Gem.

In recent times, Rott sucked Bloodwynd into the Blood Gem and mind-controlled the passing Martian Manhunter into wearing the Blood Gem and impersonating him. Using Bloodwynd's identity, The Manhunter joined the Justice League as one of their more mysterious members. When the JLA fought Doomsday, Superman and Blue Beetle realized Bloodwynd's identity when Bloodwynd was surrounded by fire.

Bloodwynd refused to be taken along with the others to go get treatment and instead mysteriously disappears. Bloodwynd also blames himself for the fire incident, to which the Martian Manhunter was especially vulnerable. Once the Manhunter was freed of mental control, the Justice League battled Rott and freed Bloodwynd.

Bloodwynd joined the Justice League after they freed him from Rott's control. Later, he withheld information from the Justice League about an offer of alliance from the mystical villain Dreamslayer. Bloodwynd did not join Dreamslayer, though sensing a strange kinship with him, Bloodwynd would not oppose Dreamslayer either.

Later, Bloodwynd reveals more about the nature of his morality and powers, and punishes a drug dealer by forcing him to experience the pain of his victims.

(The stupendous amount of points used to build Bloodwynd's vast array of powers startled me at first. But because it's a converted character, I decided to keep them, to reflect the mystic powerhouse he is. In comics, the Blood Gem was never attempted to be taken, although it's a possibility. Converted characters, most of the times, unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book).

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Shade, The Changing Man

© DC Comics / Used without permission
Origin: Gimmick
Real Name: Rac Shade
First Appearance: Shade the Changing Man #1 [DC Comics June-July 1977]
ABILITIES
Prowess 3
Coordination 5
Strength 3
Intellect 4
Awareness 4
Willpower 4

Stamina 7
Determination: 1

SPECIALTIES
Acrobatics
Investigation
Martial Arts

POWERS
All powers derived from his "Miraco Vest"
       Dimensional Travel (Limit: One Dimension) 8
Meta to Earth-Zone via Zero-Zone
Meta to Earth-Zone via Zero-Zone
Meta to Earth-Zone via Zero-Zone
Meta to Earth-Zone via Zero-Zone
       Emotion Control (Fear) 6
       Flight 3
       Force Field (Limit: Always on, minimum level is 1) 6
       Images (Limit: Obscure his features to surveillance machines) 2
       Reflection 4

QUALITIES
  • Connections: Meta police, Dr. Miraco, Kellu, Suicide Squad
  • Motivation: Prove his innocence in Meta; investigating the corruption of Meta on Earth; accomplish the Suicide Squad missions
  • Security measures prevent the M-Vest from being removed, or used by anyone else
CHALLENGES
  • Enemies: Meta police
  • Social: Mistrust (on Meta)
  • Weakness: Dimensional Travel is limited to himself; from Meta to Earth and vice-versa only
  • Weakness: Force Field has no effect against gas
Points:  55 (impressive!)

ORIGIN STORY
One of the leading security agents on Meta, Rac Shade's fascination with, and studies of, Earth, led to him being one of the primary agents dispatched when criminals fled there from Meta. Discovering a weak section where the Zero-Zone got close to the Earth-Zone, he found an empty apartment which he rented as his base there.

To see to the safety of fellow Earth scholar, Agam Loron, Shade was assigned to mentor Agam's daughter, Mallu, a junior officer in the security service. She learned quickly, and a romantic bond formed between her and Shade.

Shade's mentor and superior, Colonel Kross, assigned him to investigate the theft of the Miraco-Vest, which he suspected of being an inside job. Shade discovered the vest in the possession of a resident of the Zero-Zone who was able to break through and loot items from the Meta-Zone. He recovered the Vest, but wasn't sure he knew the full story of what had happened to it, and still suspected corrupt agents of being involved. He hid the Vest and some of the other stolen equipment in his Earth apartment until he could be sure.

When Agam came to Shade having learned of a plot by treason forces to take over Meta, Shade reported it to Lt. Emp, his acting superior while Kross was away. Shade fell under suspicion when seen outside Agam's house just before it exploded, crippling Agam and his wife, Mira. When Emp claimed Shade had never reported the suspected treason to him, Shade was convicted of treason and sentenced to death.

Taking advantage of a prison break which dumped inmates in the Zero-Zone, Shade used a sensor implant to locate the weak point which let him reach his Earth apartment. Donning the M-Vest, he was determined to prove his innocence and uncover the real traitors.

Knowing Emp was on Earth, using his Kempo identity, Shade began searching for him, investigating his links to local organized crime. He also responded to reports of Metan criminals on the rampage, battling Zokag and Form, and learned that Mellu had been assigned as the N-Agent sent to negate him.

Finally catching up to Emp, Shade got the better of him, and forced him to admit he answered to Captain Majan, and didn't know anyone else in the conspiracy. Mellu's unexpected attack gave Emp the opportunity to flee while Shade incapacitated her.

Heading back to Meta to follow the trail, Shade stumbled across a security patrol being ambushed by natives of the Zero-Zone. Coming to their aid, he was too late to save more than one of them, Sergeant Barak, and he was badly wounded and unconscious by the time Shade reached him, although not before recognizing his saviour. Shade took him to a hospital undetected.

He contacted Kross, now retired due to his closeness to Shade, who agreed to help. Shade infiltrated Meta Security Headquarters and confronted Majan. Attacked by an invisible assailant, the Cloak, he was kept off balance until the assassin had killed Majan. Shade was leaning over the dead body when Mellu walked in, and fled before she could stop him.

The trail led next to Majan's ex-lover, the criminal Gola Zae. He arrived in time to see her transport the unconscious Mellu to the Area of Madness. Knocking out Gola, Shade transported himself and her after Mellu. He rescued Mellu, but not before she was affected by the Area. Taking her to Dr. Sagan, Shade convinced him to use an experimental device to transfer Mellu's memories of the Area of Madness to him. Sagan did so, and Shade and Mellu survived the process.

Spotting an attempt by crime forces to break the prisoners recovered from the Zero-Zone out of the hospital, Shade intervened to stop them. He succeeded, but was captured by Mellu. He was imprisoned again, in a prison under the reinstated Kross' command, but security measures in the M-Vest prevented it being removed.

It took some doing, but Shade managed to break out of his cell, only to be captured by agents of the crime chief Sude. In Sude's grasp, Shade got the chance to escape when Mellu and Barak interrupted proceedings to help him, Mellu having been told what he did for her in the Area of Madness and after. The Sude automaton was destroyed, but its operator escaped.

Suspicious of Kross, Shade decided to investigate his new posting as advisor to President Olon. Approaching the Presidential Palace, he found the security perimeter breached, and rushed in, arriving in time to find Khaos trying to take over Sude's role by killing the President, who'd resisted his demands to cede power.

They fought, and Khaos explodes, leaving Shade apparently dead. Kross and Olon hid him from the security forces, calling in Dr. Sagan to help, although all he could do was observe while the Vest kept Shade safe until he recovered consciousness. Olon became convinced of Shade's innocence, but was unable to do anything openly while the treason charge remained.

They learned Dr. Z.Z., head of the crime school, has travelled to Earth with his students, taking over the ORC and destroying the transporter allowing easy travel to the Earth-Zone. The M-Vest offered the only way to travel to Earth in time to stop Dr. Z.Z. putting his plans into action, so Shade agreed to travel there. After a brief reunion with Mellu, he set off.

[The final issue was cancelled before publication, but printed in the Cancelled Comics Cavalcade, and while the ending is a bit awkward for the start of the next entry's History, it's included here for completeness] Shade's journey back to Earth was hampered when he was captured by a Zero-Zone resident building an army of slaves. Recognizing the danger such an organized force could pose Meta or Earth, when he broke free, Shade also freed the other prisoners, letting them turn on each other while he dealt with their master. Leaving them in chaos, he continued on to Earth, where he made plans to deal with Dr. Z.Z.

(Steve Ditko, more than any other comic book creator, impressed me when I was a child. His creations were always a bit out-of-the-norm, on the verge of lunacy somehow. I guess this impression came after reading the Creeper or Shade here, but also because of his trademark eye/eyebrows expression of his characters. Converted characters, most of the times, unavoidably exceeds the 45-point limitation that the ICONS Superpowered Roleplaying Game core book recommends. Character revised according to rules presented in ICONS Great Power book).

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