Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Supervillainy A-To-Z: H is for Hollow Victory

Sometimes a character concept comes to me by taking a look at two or three superheroes or supervillains from the 'Big Two' (Marvel and DC) and pulling an Amalgam Comics move.

That was certainly the case here. I started by noticing that there were very few (hardly any actually) supervillains with the rather-creepy-for-a-hero-to-have power of possession. The version of possession I am thinking of here is that used by Deadman and Jericho, both DC characters.

I thought to myself, "What if Captain America had died in the ice and became Deadman?". Then, what if he was a bad guy. Of sorts. This fellow, more than any other I had posted here so far, is a bit more anti-hero than villain. If should be made clear though, he remains firmly in the villain camp. He simply has a streak of his old life remaining and sometimes it comes to the forefront.

So there you have it, an amalgam, not quite anti-hero with a cool outfit and creepy powers.

Enjoy...


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 HOLLOW VICTORY
 


 

True Identity: Buckley 'Buck' Bradshaw
 
Description/Appearance: When he served his country as American Victory, Bradshaw was 6' 2", 240 lbs., with rugged good looks, sandy blonde hair and blue eyes.
 
All that remains of this patriotic protector is the armored booster suit he wore in his short lived career as a super soldier and hero. It remains in excellent condition, with only a minimal amount of visible wear and tear on its red, white and (mostly) blue exterior. The sight of this seemingly uninhabited armor charging across a field of battle is most unnerving.

Origin and Background: Project: Trinity has had (since its development following the end of World War II) its ups and downs. The information obtained from the early German research into the creation of supernormal military operatives has resulted in some of our greatest superheroes, though rarely without various issues or side effects. Every once in a while there is a new advancement or someone claims a better understanding of the process and we try again.

US Army Major Buckley Bradshaw seemed like the perfect candidate for another attempt to create a super soldier. Physically impressive, mentally sharp and matching all DNA compatibility tests, Bradshaw was approached with the opportunity and he excepted. Although there were considerable dangers involved, Buckley Bradshaw, 'Buck' to his men, would do anything from his country.

For this particular incarnation of Project: Trinity, only Phase One and Three would be utilized. Bradshaw would be injected with the 'First Ring' super soldier serum and than outfitted with a Booster Suit (the 'Third Ring'), an armored suit capable of temporarily boosting his physical and mental abilities while worn.

The operation was a success and for a little over a year, the press and patriotic Americans everywhere thrilled to win after win against terrorists and criminals thanks to Bradshaw as 'American Victory'. During this time he teamed up with other superheroes, most notably members of the Crusaders Vanguard, such as Maiden America, Godspeed, Mr. Twilight, Touché and Blind Faith.

Around this time, Bradshaw told his handlers and superiors he was experiencing moments of great insight and awareness. According to his descriptions, Bradshaw was having near out of body experiences that told him what his enemies were going to do next. Of course, Buck neglected to mention the terribly painful migraines he suffered during these instances.

Intrigued by the possibilities, the scientists of Project: Trinity considered exposing American Victory to the Alpha Wave Rays of the Phase Two, designed to enhance mental powers. Bradshaw had originally tested negative for such abilities and was not considered a psionic prospect. Still...

Without full approval from those in charge of the operation, the scientists set up the equipment and bathed Bradshaw's head with a series of waves on a fairly low setting. It was believed safer and they hoped the enhancing abilities of the Booster Suit would help increase the effectiveness of any abilities Bradshaw developed.

It wasn't long before the abilities improved and their side effects started to show. American Victory would often become confused and disoriented right before gaining some amazing revelation about his opponent's tactics. Unfortunately, the disorienting effect occurred one time too many, for too many moments that could never be found again once lost. American Victory was killed in action against the forces of 'The Last Rite', essentially vaporized by a powerful explosive. When I.N.S.I.G.H.T. and Vanguard moved in to retrieve the body and the armor they saw it was empty...and then it moved.

The Booster Suit stood up on its own and proceeded to wade right into the battle. At some point it was seen lying on the ground near a Last Rite operative who was attacking his own minions. The suit disappeared from sight soon after and has been seen only a dozen or so times since. It would seem Buck Bradshaw still has some unfinished business.

Powers and Abilities: The apparently haunted Booster Suit is an extremely tough and durable armor set capable of protecting...whatever it is Bradshaw has become. When attacked, Bradshaw (now morbidly dubbed 'Hollow Victory' by a group of Vanguard agents who regretted it later) acts like he can still die, although that would not seem to be the case.

When not inside the suit, the spirit, soul, psychic consciousness or whatever you want to call it, can attempt to possess another person near by (within line of sight). Hollow Victory can possess anyone, although he has some difficulty maintaining control with aliens. He can even take over robots and androids but for now more than thirty minutes tops. When in control he can move them around as if wearing a costume (which is pretty much how he moves the armor he wears).

The suit still functions, enabling Hollow Victory to temporarily increase his strength, speed or fighting ability. He can only do one at a time. Prowess and speed seem to be his preference.

Personality and Motivations: It is difficult to determine the exact nature of Hollow Victory's motivation, as it is difficult to determine the exact nature of what he even is. Is he a ghost haunting advanced combat armor, the psychic impressions left behind by a dead psionic and inhabiting the suits systems?

One thing is clear and that is, while Hollow Victory will steal to obtain the parts he needs to repair his armor, he tends to avoid attacking military or police authorizes without provocation. The most common target of his more aggressive abilities are criminals and villains, especially those that work for secret societies such as The Last Rite. Still, he will sometimes get involved in a battle between superheroes and such individuals and accost the heroes if they try to protect their opponents (Evil doesn't deserve your protection!).


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Hollow Victory was originally created for Champions 4th Edition but didn't get much use until I converted him into Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition. There he was an infrequent and surprisingly creepy opponent who would sometimes warn the PCs of a greater supernatural threat that way surely on its way.


Hollow Victory for ICONS:


 


 
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AD
Barking Alien




6 comments:

  1. I like this one. He's got a great concept.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Any other favorites so far? Any you just wouldn't use for one reason or another?

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    2. I like Fake-Out, but it is one of those characters I'd rather introduce and play out the whole story than just throw in at the stage in her life you depicted. By that I mean I would have the PC's see the whole transformation.

      I've liked all of them, plus you have pics which makes me envious.

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    3. Oh I like this one, I like it a lot. I especially like the ambiguity around his physical nature AND his motivations. What is he now? Why is he doing that? Why is he coming towards us ...

      (oh and please note - I wrote up my "K" entry before I saw this tonight)

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    4. @WQRob - The story here is a sort of gestalt of the different versions of these characters I've used over the years. In some of the appearances of Fake Out she was used just as you describe. The team would be informed of a rogue android and find out sessions later she was the new heroine we'd been teaming up with for the past two or three adventures.

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  2. @Blacksteel - Similarly, in one campaign the death of American Victory hadn't been made public knowledge when our superhero team received his assistance during a battle against Viper (Champions' Hydra/Cobra like group). When the fight was over and we went to thank him for his help, he turned to reveal no one wearing the armor. I don't recall exactly how I described it but at least one person at the table jumped with a start. Victory then attacked our team mystic in an attempt to get a magical artifact the mage hero owned.

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