The cause of all of Marvel Boy’s problems is Dr Midas. Incredibly rich Dr Midas was a collector of aliens, from physical specimens to their technology. In this regard he is much like Henry van Statten from the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Dalek’.
Using his wealth he apparently can achieve anything, including shutting down sections of New York and pulling in favours from SHIELD. Presumably he used his wealth to hide his illegal activities.
He was completely amoral, even going so far as to mutate a woman so she would produce a worthy off-spring and then ripping the child from her body. Who knows what other dark deeds he has committed?
His data file represents Dr Midas during the Marvel Boy series. After being exposed to cosmic rays Dr Midas claims that everything he touches turns to gold. This is not seen during the series but I’ve included it here as it is a defining trait of the character.
This power only works if he can touch an opponent and Dr Midas spends most of his time encased in an early Iron Man suit. This is a necessity, since it allows him to live something like a normal life. It also keeps most people safe from being turned into gold statues.
If he does remove part of his armour to use his Transformation ability it will remove his durability, making him vulnerable to attacks. I felt this was a good balance to the power, giving heroes a chance to defeat Dr Midas before he can transform them.
Dr Midas is able to survive exposure to the cosmic rays found inside the Marvels engines. The SFX: Immunity: Cosmic Rays, represents this.
The Scavenger power set represents the abilities of his Iron Man suit. I have restricted its abilities to those actually seen in the comics, the power level based on its age. Games masters may wish to add further abilities, such as flight, to this Power set. Additional SFX and Limits can be used to further customise this selection.
Dr Midas would make a good villain for an adventure. The old Iron Man armour suggests, along with what little background information we gather about him, that he has been around for a long time. This means that can be used in many eras of the Marvel universe.
He makes a particularly adapt antagonist for alien heroes. Dr Midas could spark an adventure when attempting to add to his collection, whether it be shooting down alien ships or kidnapping aliens. Did he ever try to capture the original Captain Marvel or Silver Surfer during his exile on Earth?
Mercenary heroes, such as the Heroes for Hire, might find themselves working for Dr Midas. As he did with SHIELD, Dr Midas might present himself as a concerned business man with valuable information about dangerous alien life forms.
When the PCs find themselves in opposition to Dr Midas they could find themselves in conflict with other heroes. This would require the PCs to try and convince them of Dr Midas’ true nature.
During the era of ‘Marvel Boy’ Director Dugan was in charge of SHIELD. When Noh-Varr began blowing up city blocks in New York he became an enemy of SHIELD.
The Security Council would try to sell new options for the organisation to use, each with a hefty price tag. Director Dugan was uncomfortable with this but acknowledging that they were fighting battles far removed from the realities of WWII.
SHIELD used orbiter bases, SHIELD agents and equipment transported using spacefaring shuttles. At least two such bases are shown during the 6 issues.
Director Dugan commands from Blacklight Ops ‘Omphalos’ and SHIELDS psionic division were based on Telepathic Executive ‘Overmind’. It is unknown just how many such bases existed.
‘Overmind’ used a Quantum Fax, a form of teleporter. It is quite likely that other orbiters were similarly equipped. Noh-Varr’s crew had similar technology that was even capable of copying an entire universe.
Agents working for the psionic division had colour based codenames, with matching uniforms. Telepaths had quite extensive range, an agent on Earth demonstrating the ability to read the mind of someone in ‘Overmind’.
The financial influence, from both the Security Council and Dr Midas, could be seen as a corruption of SHIELD. This lack of integrity could place them in opposition to groups of heroes during this era.
In the modern age I think it is quite l likely that the orbiters were reassigned to their sister organisation SWORD. There still might be some covert orbiters that can come in useful if heroes needed to be rescued in Earths orbit or allies to attack Asteroid M, Skrull mother ships or similar orbiting threats.
The Bannermen seemed like the ideal solution to Marvel Boy’s rampage. Cloned and imprinted with combat techniques, bones laced with adamantium before being infused with gamma radition who would suspect that one young alien would defeat three of them?
It should be noted that Marvel Boy was only able to achieve this by changing the physical laws of the universe in the local area. If the Security Council could recover from this PR disaster other heroes could encounter Bannermen.
This is particularly likely with heroes who are viewed with suspicion or fear by the public. Using Bannermen against the X-Men would seem a good alternative to Sentinels. They could also prove good opponents for the Hulk.
The Bannermen could act as an origin for a new hero. One of the clones may gain sentience and escape. A group of heroes could take them under is wing and develop his personality.
With the recession and the sheer expense of fielding Bannermen it isn’t surprising we haven’t seen them used since. The question remains what happened to them? Were they put in storage or do they have a limited lifespan?
Villains could steal Bannermen in cold storage and use them to carry out their plans. This is another way for heroes to find themselves in opposition with the Bannermen. At the end of the adventure will they return the Bannermen to their creators or help them gain freedom?
HEXUS, THE LIVIING CORPORATION
Escaping from the Concept-Dungeon within the Marvel Hexus was a living corporation. It could possess a living host and brand entire planets.
Brand Hex would consume all other corporations pushing technology to develop spaceships that could spread it to other world, using whatever resources the planet possessed to achieve this.
Once it had ‘spored’ the planet would be left to die, a slow, hungry death. That is unless someone can stop it.
No data file is provided for Hexus since it exists as a sentient thought. It begins by possessing one of Dr Midas’ men when they boarded the Marvel and spread from there. Each time Marvel Boy killed a host it simply promoted another person to become the new head of the corporation.
Marvel Boy destroys Hexus by leaking the corporations secrets to its rivals. With the business ruined Brand X vanishes, its hold lost on Earths culture.This doesn’t mean that Hexus can’t return.
It could have prepared a shell company to act as an escape route. This could allow it to wait for another opportunity to try again, perhaps under a different name this time. Heroes could find that a new company is actually Hexus. What happens if their own company is Hexus?
Marvel Boy had no qualms about killing those infected by Hexus but other heroes might very well hesitate. Much as in ‘Final Crisis’ innocent members of the public are used as weapons, here expending their body heat in lethal eye beams.
The release of Hexus’ secrets could lead to further adventures. What alien knowledge has it now spread amongst humanity? This rapid expansion in technology could have unforeseen consequences and create chaos.
Next I’ll be looking at the Cube and how Marvel Boy might have continued.