Saturday, May 21, 2016

Making MHR Characters: Fury (ANOHotMU #4)

Let me make an overly simplistic statement: European comic books are different from American comic books.

Let me explain why this matters to today's entry: Captain Britain's comics, in which Fury first appeared, were UK-based, and they were rather different from American fare.

To sum up the general history of this divergence, in the 50s the U.S. went from having a wide and vibrant universe of funny, horror, supernatural, romance, western, classic, adventure comics and superhero comics to having the CCA, a non-binding but nevertheless terrifying ruling body that basically stifled creativity for most of the fifties and sixties. Basically, if it had kissing, outright violence, death or references to the occult, the CCA wouldn't endorse the comic and that meant the publisher couldn't get the comic distributed through wholesalers.

There were a lot of small comic book companies that ignored the ban and kept the fires of creativity burning while Marvel and DC fell back on mostly selling superhero comics, which lead to stuff like this:
This actually makes less sense in context.

Meanwhile, over in Europe, comics were mostly humming along. They actually weren't all that big of a business, really, and it was mostly funnies and adventure comics that were the big sellers. There was censorship abroad, of course - hello East Germany! - but superhero comics just weren't that much of a thing.

As the decades wore on the CCA started to lose some of its teeth as wholesales watched the number indy comics on sale rise, and superhero writers started to push the boundaries. This began formally with a revision to the regulations in 1971, and continued with "clever" workarounds like referring to "zombies" as "zuvembies" to avoid a word with occult connotations, and just plain ignoring the restrictions and publishing titles without the Code's stamp of approval and expecting the popularity of the character to keep the title in distribution.

By the late 70s and early 80s, comics were operating with greater and greater freedom, and the Marvel UK imprint moved from just publishing reprints of Marvel titles to creating their own content. Thing is, because the writers for these comics had cut their teeth on Daffy Duck, Asterisk and Dan Dare, the superheroes were . . . singular. Chris Claremont, who'd later go on to great fame in Marvel US, was actually ones of those responsible for the creation of Captain Britain, but found the American superhero sensibility clashed with the British sensibility and bowed out of the title.

I love the spatulate feet.
Various other writers worked on the series until Alan "Sweaty-Toothed Madman" Moore took over the title and introduced Mad Jim Jaspers, a world-destroying superpowered freak, and his creation, the Fury, which was responsible for wiping out all superhumans so no one would be left to stop Jaspers from having his fun. The storyline was trippy, with a body count that consisted of multiple universes, and ended with the Fury coming to the mainline Marvel universe before being stopped.

The Fury didn't really come back until Captain Britain was completely worked into the mainline continuity of Earth-616, the primary reality of the Marvel Universe and since then has taken the role of the "unstoppable killer" in semi-cosmic storylines. I think I've written it as appropriately badass here - it'll take a lot to take down the Fury, and it should.

Part of the problem with this character is that it was never really intended to be made part of the Marvel mainstream continuity, and in its storyline really seemed to have as much power over the narrative as the hero, which is . . . odd, for American comics.

Solo 3d8
Buddy 1d4
Team 2d6

Inhuman Cunning
Kill all Superhumans

Terrible Form
Energy Blaster 1d12
Godlike Durability 1d12
Godlike Reflexes 1d12
Godlike Speed 1d12
Godlike Stamina 1d12
Godlike Strength 1d12
Sensor Array 1d10
Transdimensional Teleport 1d10
Weapons Array 1d12
SFX: Area Attack - Add a 1d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Invulnerable - Spend a doom die to ignore physical stress or trauma.
SFX: Mindless - Spend 1 PP to ignore stress, trauma or complications from psychic powers or magic.
SFX: Multipower - Use two or more Terrible Form powers in a single dice pool at -1 step for each additional power.
SFX: Self-Repair Routines - Before you make an action including a Terrible Form power, you may move your physical stress die to the doom pool and step up the Terrible Form power by +1 for this action.
SFX: Versatile - Split any Terrible Form power into 2d at -1 step, or 3d at -2 steps.
Limit: Mission Focus - Shutdown Terrible Form whenever there are no superhumans to target.

Combat Master 1d10
Menace Master 1d10

Tech Expert 1d8

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