Friday, May 15, 2015

Classic Enemies: Bang, You're Dead

Like what I assume is a majority of Champions fans, I'm an avid comic book reader.  I've been collecting comics since December of 1981, which may seem like a long time, but I was a freshman in college at the time.  Sure, I'd bought and read the occasional comic when I was younger (particularly the giant-sized Marvel and DC reprint treasuries I could get at the grocery store), but I wasn't an avid reader.  Superhero gaming changed all that.  

In December of '81, while I was on winter break, I bought a copy of Villains & Vigilantes (2nd edition) and was instantly hooked.  I started planning a game and realized I knew absolutely nothing about how a superhero game should work. So, late one night, I went to the nearby convenience store (you could still buy funnybooks on the spinner racks back then) and bought a digest-sized treasury of "Legion of Superheroes" stories and a copy of "The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe" #3.  The next day, I found a local comic book shop (ComicQuest!) and bought my first back issues (#1 and #2) as well as a handful of other books.  Thus became a lifetime hobby.

Anyway, one of my early favorite comics was "New Teen Titans." I was pretty much the ideal audience for it, being the same age as the protagonists (not to mention George Perez's art). And my favorite Titans bad guy was Deathstroke the Terminator. "The Judas Contract" remains one of my favorite storylines of all time, and my first introduction to the long-term plot arc.

All of which is a rather convoluted way to introduce Mechassassin.  Created by Andrew Robinson, he's the Champions Universe's answer to Deathstroke. 

Ex-Military? Check.  

Mercenary? Check.

Enhanced Physical Abilities? Check.

Equally Deadly At Range Or Up Close? Checkerino!

Of course, Slade Wilson is a helluva lot better name than Craig Vandersnoot, but you can't have everything.  Also, his costume is kind of terrible, but it's hard to hate, because it's just so darned  comic-booky.

Mechanically, Mechassassin is very, very capable.  He hits as hard as a brick with his martial arts, has deadly wrist blades, and a host of ranged capabilities.  He's got armor and more armor (his shield).  He has a few weaknesses, mostly based on his equipment, but I wouldn't count on them being enough.

In a campaign, Mechassassin can fill a number of roles: he's a good solo villain to take on a new team.  If the GM builds him up sufficiently, he can be the sign of someone's goose being well and truly cooked ("Word on the street is Mechassassin accepted the contract.  Santino's a dead man.").  His contempt for supers means that if thwarted by one, he's not going to forget it.  Classic Enemies suggests using him as the head of security for a master villain, a role he can play quite well (despite his propensity for back-stabbing).  I've used him in all of the above.  He's just all-around fun.

(Incidentally, somewhere in my collection I've got an issue of Different Worlds magazine that had official stats for Deathstroke. It's been forever since I looked at them.  I ought to see how they compare.)


  1. You were the same age as George Perez's art?

  2. I never used him, probably should have but never did.