Silver Age Shenanigans

Is your superhero campaign getting a little staid – a little routine – maybe boring. Would you consider bringing the insanity of DC’s Silver Age into it? Can your players handle the challenge, or are they a bunch of mopey, modern age cry babies who think getting turned into a gorilla is some kind of punishment? If you answered yes and/or no to the questions in the appropriate order … oh Hell – here’s a chart. Roll a dice.

I think my next MM! Google + campaign will draw heavily on the imaginary stories from DC’s Silver Age, though I have no idea how as yet.

Edited to correct an error.

Sunday Grab-Bag – Grabbier Than Ever and with 50% More Bag!

A few odds and ends I’ve collected from the internet …

From the Paper Your Digital Wall Dept.

Something for the season – enjoy it in better health than this guy.

From the Variations on a Kryptonian Theme Dept.

Am I wrong to love this look? Oh – and in case you need it, some boilerplate Mystery Men! stats for Kryptonians operating under a yellow sun.

From the Oh Great, Another Remake Dept.

My wife and I have been watching the original the last few months, and I love it. Honestly, not even a tiny bit of interest in a remake. Oh, and is it just me, or does Depp look like one of those creepy Madame Alexander dolls?

Oh, and for the real deal …

From the Space Princess Inspiration Dept.

Bat demons, claw creatures, snake men and human vampires … yeah, I’m gonna need stats for them.

Also this …

This …

And a little this …

Yeah, this is for you space buddy!

The Warlock Brews Up Awesome Mystery Men! Character Sheets

And they are better than anything I’ve ever come up with. Check them out and roll up a character why dontcha?!

Side note – Bliss mentioned the game I’m running on Google +. I’ve had a few other people ask to join after the sign-ups closed and wasn’t able to accommodate them. While I plan on doing another game in the future, maybe after a PARS FORTUNA or LAND OF NOD adventure, and since I would like to encourage interest in Mystery Men!, I’m thinking about setting up a Mystery Men! Fight Club.

People submit characters, I pair them off and they fight it out in some sort of battle space on Google +. If we got enough submissions, we could even form brackets and crown a champion. Whaddya think? Any interest?

I’d also like to draw attention to some other places in the Blog-o-verse  talking about Mystery Men!, just to prove I’m not the only one.

From the Weirdlands of Xhuul comes the Gun Spectre, a very cool pulpy hero.

And an old one from Strange Stones – and using the Beta rules for MM! – some Mexican super heroes: El Aguila Solar, El Misterio Verde and Profesora Manana.

Finally, from the Chronicles of Ganth, the “Trial of the Mystery Men!” – mashing up super heroes and McCarthyism. Introduction HERE and Episode One HERE.

To everyone who has read the book, enjoyed it, and seen fit to blog about it – I thank you!

What If?

Over the weekend, I was sitting with the daughter on the couch, watching MST3K Gamera movies and old Spider-Man cartoons on Netflix and watching her use Fabrica Herois to make public domain superheroes. While she was doing that, an idea popped into my head of what Spider-Man might have looked like had he been invented in 1938, and likewise what a 1960’s Superman might have looked like. So, seizing the laptop I put together some notions on interposing Spidey and Supes, and then Daredevil and Batman. Here, then, are my “What If?” origins of these characters and their little costume sketches.

Spiderman

Daily Bugle photo-journalist Peter Parker has been everywhere and done everything while snapping pictures for his hard-nosed publisher, J. Jonah Jameson. Maybe his most fantastic adventure occurred in Cairo, when he was accosted in a dark alley by a desperate old man who pressed a strange little golden amulet into his palm. The man, it turned out, was on the run from art smugglers. Putting on the amulet, Parker discovered he gained the powers of a spider! Using these powers and quickly crafted mask, he foiled the smugglers and turned in the expose’ to Jameson. Back in New York, he continues to fight crime as the mysterious Spiderman, all while dueling ace reporter Betty Brant and dallying with fashion model Mary Jane Parker. His aunt, May Parker, still lives in the Forest Hills section of Queens.

Super-Man

Young brainiac Clark Kent lives with his parents, John and Martha Kent, in the suburbs of Metropolis. Late one night, Clark gazes at the sky with his telescope and sees a meteorite streak out of the sky, striking nearby. Clark sneaks out of the house on his bicycle and discovers the glowing green meteorite in a nearby park. It bathes him with its rays, and Clark soon discovers by accident that he has gained tremendous powers. Enjoying his new power, he becomes a show-off and misses a chance to save his father’s life when he suffers a heart attack. Realizing his error of his ways, he dedicates himself to helping people with his powers. Clark now tries to balance high school, crime fighting and a job as a cub reporter at the Daily Planet – not to mention his love interests – ambitious fellow cub reporter Lois Lane and pretty girl next door Lana Lang.

Daredevil

Matt Murdoch grows up in Hell’s Kitchen with his father, a boxer. When gangsters of Boss Fisk kill his father, Murdoch makes a solemn vow to destroy all crime in New York City. To this end, he trains mind and body, becoming a crusading lawyer as well as studying under Tibetan yogis, who teach him to “see without eyes”. He adopts the guise of a devil in order to frighten criminals who are a “cowardly and superstitious lot”. While his arch enemy is Boss Fisk, the “Kingpin of Crime”, his most interesting foe is the seductive Russian-born cat burglar known as “The Black Widow”.

Batman

As a youth, Bruce Wayne is struck blind when he is struck by a radioactive rod that flies out the back of a van driven by gangsters who have just stolen an x-ray machine from his father’s medical practice. The rod steals his sight, but gives him the echo-location abilities of a bat, along with other super senses. He soon discovers that his father, a widower, has been killed in the robbery. Inheriting his wealth, Wayne builds it into a vast industrial fortune that he uses to bankroll his war against crime in Gotham City, which he fights as Batman, the Man Without Fear.

News of the World [Mystery Men! Dark Renaissance]

The players in my Google + Mystery Men! game continue to hunt down clues from Seattle to Washington DC. But as they do so, world tensions are rising …

News of the World

March 17, 1962

TENSIONS RISE!

New York City – Tension continues to rise on news of a break-in attempt at the Old Senate Office Building and angry exchanges at the United Nations. After a day of attacks on military targets in the United States by American super villains, Soviet Ambassador Zorin issued an angry reprieve to those who have blamed communist agents for these attacks, declaring such accusations are based purely on “falsified information” from the FBI. In fact, Zorin went on to say, he believed these attacks were mere ruses to cover up American involvement in similar attacks on infrastructure within the Soviet Union, including the destruction of a dam and the sabotage of the Voskhod spacecraft in development in the USSR. American ambassadors countered that the United States government has made no such accusations of Soviet involvement and that accusations of American sabotage in the USSR are completely baseless. Nonetheless, each nation remains at a high state of alert.

Washington DC – After a successful robbery of the home of Senator Henry Haskel (D-Ala.) that netted the thief top secret papers, an unsuccessful attempt, possibly by the same burglar, was made last night on the senator’s office at the Old Senate Office Building. At approximately 3:00 A.M.an unknown assailant, apparently “cloaked in darkness” according to eyewitnesses, wrenched open the locked window of Sen. Haskel’s office with “super-human” strength. The presence of the Bronze Statesman on guard in the office and heavy security by military personnel chased away the villain. This comes as tensions between the United States and Soviet Union are at an all-time high.

Chicago – After fighting the “Great Train Robbers” in the morning, popular heroes Firefly and Green Mask joined forces again to foil an attempted armored car robbery near 13th St and Wabash by known criminal Doctor Magno. Magno stood little chance against the combined efforts of Firefly and the Green Mask, and is now in police custody awaiting trial and transportation to Iron Island in Shore City, OH. Two associates of Doctor Magno escaped the scene in a 1958 Packard sedan after showering the two heroes with machine gun fire.

New York City – Negotiations between the Port Authority and the New York City Council continue over the site of the planned World Trade Center.Current plans would require the demolition of the Hudson Terminal building of the H&M Railroad and the demolition of famed Radio Row.

Washington DC – The U.S. Space Administration announced today that space agent Scott C will replace Deke S of the famed Rocketeers on their planned Mars expedition. Deke S had to withdraw from the program due to a heart condition discovered during a routine medical exam. Team leader Rocky X was unavailable for comment.

Mexidor – In the run-up to the long awaited elections in the Central American nation of Mexidor between the ruling, pro-American Democracy Party and the pro-Soviet Workers’ Dignity Party, there have been many stories of campaign shenanigans, dirty tricks and even violence. But now people in the hill country are spinning yarns about purple zombies seen wandering the hills and attacking livestock. Mexidor’s authorities have found no evidence that these spooks are real, and blame the sightings on a campaign of fear by the WDP. Dr. Albert Hale of New York University was unavailable for comment.

New York City – A 200 year tradition for New York City continues today with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Residents are warned that streets around the parade route, which extends from 5th Avenue and 44th Street to 86th Street, will be blocked and traffic congestion should be significant.

Prelude to War! [Mystery Men! Dark Renaissance]

The Mystery Men! Dark Renaissance campaign I’m running on Google+ is a week old and going well. The game is currently taking place in four localities, which I’ve turned into circles on Google+. There is also a Dark Renaissance circle for communications with all the players. Today I posted the first “News of the World” – a way for players to get inklings of what is happening in the campaign world, especially in the other cities. I’m going to post those news updates here as well so people can get an idea of what’s happening in the camapaign.

News of the World
Evening Edition
March 16, 1962

PRELUDE TO WAR

Washington DC – J. Edgar Hoover has given top priority to solving a series of super villain attacks at United States military installations which his spokesmen said could be a “prelude to war.” The military remains on high alert, in the aftermath of attacks at the naval yards in San Diego and Seattle, air bases in Las Vegas, NV, San Bernardino, CA,Lincoln, NB and central Oklaholma, and Fort Bliss in Texas. Only one of the criminals, known by the moniker “Super Size”, was apprehended by naval personnel in an attackon the USS Courser at Seattle’s Bremerton Naval Base.

Tensions were further raised when it was reported that Sen. Henry Haskel (D-Alabama), head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was assaulted in his own home by a masked, super-powered assailant whose identity is being kept confidential by the FBI. Together with the attacks on military bases, this assault has put the United States on high alert. President Kennedy is expected to speak to the nation tonight about these events and the way forward for the United States.

L to R: Pinball King, Sunburst and Shatter

Chicago – Union Station in Chicago has experienced a “Great Train Robbery”, in which three super powered criminals, identified by authorities as “Sunburst”, “Shatter” and “Pinball King”, did their predecessors one better by actually stealing the train. Shatter was apprehended at the scene with the help of the heroes known as “Firefly” and “Green Mask”. Firefly sustained injuries in the brawl but was released by police doctors after regaining consciousness and showing no signs of permanent injury.

New York – Mass panic at the Emigrant Savings Bank located on Broadway, as rats swarmed the bank, sending patrons fleeing into the streets. Injuries among patrons and employees were minor. Police say the rats were a diversion, as crooks entered the bank’s subterranean vaults and made off with an as yet unknown amount of loot. The FBI does not believe this attack on the bank is connected with the attacks on several military targets in the United States by super-powered criminals.

Geneva – Talks between France and Algeria continued in Geneva today, with spokesmen saying the two sides were “very close” to a substantial agreement to end the Algerian War. Nationalist elements in France claim they will recognize no such agreement and that the “war will continue until their cause is won.”

Manila – U.S. Military Intelligence is investigating the disappearance of Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 over the Western Pacific, enroute from Saigon to Manila. The Lockheed Super Constellation went down with 11crew and 96 military passengers. Sabotage is suspected.

As always, heroes illustrated with the help of Fabrica Herois.

A Purr-fect Day for a Celebration

Happy belated birthday to Julie Newmar, the one true Catwoman in this guy’s opinion. I’m a day late on her birthday, but I wanted to mention it just the same and, of course, throw in some MM! stats. Those who have followed the blog for a while might remember that Catwoman and Invisible Woman got some MM! stats very early on in the process. Since then, the rules changed quite a bit, so here’s some revamped stats for one of my favorites.

And if you’re going to use her in your Mystery Men! campaign, don’t forget the goons, for crying out loud!

Trivia: Ms. Newmar made her own Catwoman costume.

Also – I’m two days into the Mystery Men! Dark Renaissance campaign that I’m running on Google+. It’s working well so far, with slugfests in Seattle, Chicago and New York and some snooping in Washington DC. Hopefully the players are having as much fun as I am. I’ll probably start some game recaps on the blog in a couple weeks – I want to make sure I don’t reveal anything to players that shouldn’t be revealed, and a two week lag will probably ensure that. If the campaign goes well, I’ll turn it into an adventure for a future issue of NOD.

The Resistance [Mystery Men!]

Super heroes garbed in the old red, white and blue weren’t the only ones fighting the Nazis in World War II. During the early stages of the war, as the Nazi war machine ran rampant over country after country, a group of super powered freedom fighters already living on European soil came together as the resistance. After the war, they maintained their alliance as the Resistors!

Giantess 
Creator: John M Stater (2011)

Sigrid is literally the daughter of a frost giant, and one of the last of her kind. She was discovered when Reginald Carstairs of the RAF crashed his plane into a secluded valley in Norway. Sigrid lived there alone, tending a farmstead there, and she tended Carstairs’ wounds and nursed him back to health. In the meantime, the Nazis discovered the valley and sent in an assault force to take the prisoner. Sigrid handily defeated the Nazis, but her home was destroyed. Having nothing left to do, and nursing a grudge against the Nazis, Sigrid went back to the UK with Carstairs and became the super hero known as the Giantess.

Lady Satan 
Creator: Unknown (1941)

Lady Satan was the victim of a German bombing on their cruise ship. Her fiance was killed in the attack, so she dedicated herself to destroying the Nazi menace. She primarily operates in Paris.

Marksman 
Creator: Bob Powell and Ed Cronin (1942)

The Marksman is Baron Povalski, a Polish noblemen who masquerades as Major Hurtz of the German army. Spying on the Nazi war machine from inside helps him to thwart their devilish schemes.

Blackout 
Creator: Don Rico (1941)

Blackout is Yugoslavian scientist Basil Brusilof. While working in his lab in Belgrade, it is bombed by the Germans and in the resulting explosion he becomes infused with a secret gas he was working on. The gas causes his body to grow black hair and the gas gives him a variety of powers.

Grim Reaper 
Creator: Richard E Hughes and Al Camy (1944)

The Grim Reaper is William Norris, an American student at the Sorbonne who is captured when Paris is taken. After escaping from a concentration camp, he returns to Paris to fight the Germans as the Grim Reaper.

Kismet 
Creator: Omar Tahan (1944)

Kismet is a Muslim who operates in the south of France, combating the infidel Nazis.

Spitfire 
Creator: Malcolm Kildale (1941)

Black Douglas was a privateer in service to Elizabeth I, fighting pirates or sinking galleons as her majesty pleased. Two hundred years ago he is captured and set adrift by his foes, but washes ashore on a small island. On this island he finds a fountain and drinks of it. It turns out the fountain grants him immortality and super powers. It also knocks him out for a couple centuries, until he is rescued by a German u-boat crew. When he discovers they intend to attack his country, he fights back with all the powers at his disposal.

Heroes International [Mystery Men!]

Aztec Prince
Miguel Santeria was a shoe salesman in Mexico City, and as mild mannered as they come. While he fitted people for shoes and re-stocked the backroom, he dreamed of being a hero. One sunny day he got his chance. Two crooks had just broken into the recently finished Museo Nacional de Antropología and stolen an Aztec calendar made of solid gold. Making their getaway, they ducked into Miguel’s shoe store to cut through to an alley. As the crooks made their way into the backroom with the police hot on their tail, Miguel happened to step around a corner holding a stack of shoes. Colliding with the lead crook, he grabbed hold of the golden calendar to steady himself. The second crook’s gun was drawn, and without thinking he fired at Miguel, striking him in the arm. The force of the impact threw him to the ground, the disc still in his hands. As his blood trickled on the calendar, it activated the magic within. Instantly, the spirits of one thousand Aztec warriors flowed into Miguel, transforming him into the Aztec Prince. The newly born hero quickly dealt with the crooks, delivered them to police and then made his escape. Now, when Miguel hears of trouble, he cries the name of Quetzelcoatl and becomes Aztec Prince, hero of Latin America. His only weakness is the dark – after sunset, his powers can only be invoked for one hour. After that, they fade and cannot be called upon until the rise of the sun.

Red Baron
Hans Friedrich Richter was a German scientist and engineer impressed into working for the Nazis during the Second World War. As he neared completion on a rocket pack, he got wind through a friend that the authorities had discovered that his great-grandfather was Jewish and that they were on their way to arrest him. Hans quickly donned his armored flight suit and rocket pack and blasted his way out of his subterranean workshop. He went on to fight the Nazis in Germany and beyond with the Resistors, a band of super-powered Europeans that included the British Spitfire, Norwegian Giantess, Polish Marksman and Hungarian Blackout. After the war he improved his suit and continued to fight crime in Western Europe with the surviving Resistors. There is also speculation in the super-powered community that the Red Baron has started a private detente with Soviette (her NATO codename), a member of the USSR’s Secretariat Seven.

Superhero images built using Fabrica Herois.