Monday, July 11, 2011

It's Not A Knockoff, It's An Homage

Let's face it: I've read a lot of funnybooks over the years.  I started collecting and reading them a little less than thirty years ago, and I've never really stopped.  Over that time, I've absorbed a lot of information and influences.  And, let's be honest, the superhero genre is a bad one for feeding off itself.  So it really doesn't surprise me when I come up with a character and then, once I get it all out on paper (or screen), I realize that it's got a lot in common with an existing one.  So, today's villain is less a Black Widow ripoff and more of a Black Widow tribute.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Yelena Abramov

Prowess  8
Coordination  5
Strength  4
Intellect  5
Awareness  4
Willpower  6

Stamina  10
Determination  *


  Power (Paralysis)

  Resistance Device 4 (Physical Damage)
  Paralysis Device 4
    Close Range
  Wall Crawling Device 6

  From the shadows, the Black Scorpion strikes!
  Silent, but deadly!
  Destroy the West

  Enemy : All-American Girl
  Hardcore Communist
  Weakness : Sonics

Point Total  48

For Yelena Abramov, the saddest day of her life was her tenth birthday, the day the Soviet Union collapsed.  The daughter of a GRU general (who took his own life only weeks later), the Party was the only world she'd ever known.  After her father's funeral, Yelena's mother agreed to send her to a private academy run by an old friend of the family, ex-General Dmitri Bukharin.  In his final posting, Bukharin headed a top-secret research group tasked with creating super-soldiers.  Officially, they were disbanded, with a number of their "graduates" forming a group of new-thinking civic minded heroes, but this was merely a cover.  Thanks to an operative with precognitive powers, Bukharin had a clear view of what he saw as disastrous times ahead for Mother Russia: the rise of oligarchs who would oppress the people in the name of Western Capitalism, the horrors of Chechnya, and the eventual rise of his hated rival from the KGB to the highest seat of power.  While not every prediction was 100% accurate, they were close enough to give him cause to come up with countermeasures.

Yelena was trained to be such a countermeasure, an assassin to be used against targets within and without the former Soviet empire. Equipped with high-tech armor that allows her to traverse walls and ceilings and a neural neutralizer that allows her to paralyze nearby targets, her first mission involved rescuing a former Soviet spy who was being held by Chechen "advisors."  After this success, Bukharin decided to deploy her to the West.  Adopting the code name Acrassicauda (the Latin name for the Iraqi Black Scorpion - a deliberate misdirection), Yelena began targeting allies of the decadent capitalists and mobsters, mixed in with US Military targets, to sow confusion as to her actual motives.  In the ensuing years, Acrassicauda has racked up a substantial body-count. Along the way, she's also crossed paths with All-American girl on three occasions.  The Princess of Power thwarted Yelena's missions, but Acrassicauda avoided capture each time.  Given the circles in which she operates, a rematch is almost inevitable.

Note:  Yes, the general who trained her shares a name with the most well-known of Marvel's Crimson Dynamos.  For as long as I've been running superhero games, I've used the names of comic book characters for "mundane" NPCs.  So you might find a scientist named Banner, or a reporter named Kent, but they're not superpowered.  It's just a thing I do.

Tomorrow: something quite different

1 comment:

  1. Man, these character write-ups are making me want to play Icons even more.