LAST EDITED ON Mar-26-08 AT 11:51 AM (EDT)
[175 million times I edited this document in the prototype phase, and I still managed to spell the Silver Spectre's name wrong at least once. Grumble frckmutter.]
The Paragon City Justice Guild was founded in 1938, making it one of the oldest Super Groups in the city. The five founding members were:
- The Silver Spectre;
- The Scarlet Sultan;
- Doc Decoy;
- Lady Freedom; and
The Guild was originally headquartered in the basement of the Banks Industries Tower, once the tallest building in Overbrook, but moved to quarters in the nearby Ted Knight Building in 1955, when Banks Industries moved its corporate headquarters to Baumton. Over an active period spanning from 1938 to approximately 1967, the Guild battled menaces large and small. At its height, the group boasted dozens of members, many of them now sadly forgotten by heroic history.
The Silver Spectre and the Scarlet Sultan, who were co-chairman for most of this period, believed firmly that the Guild should, first and foremost, protect the ordinary citizens of Paragon City against crime and injustice. Saving the world from cosmic threats was generally left to the higher-profile groups like the Freedom Phalanx, though the Guild always stood ready to pitch in against any foe if the situation called for all hands on deck.
During World War II, the entire Guild volunteered for action in the U.S. Army's First Hero Brigade, under the auspices of which they fought in North Africa, Italy, the Soviet Union, and finally as part of the great European invasion force of 1944. During the war, Guild members formed bonds with heroes from many other nations, including members of the special force of British sorcerers known as Company 13.
In the mid-1960s, with its original members dead or reaching retirement age and younger heroes increasingly attracted to more glamorous Super Groups, the Guild went into a steady decline. In 1972, when the Silver Spectre at last retired, he formally placed the Guild on inactive status with the city's Super Group Registrar, closed down the Guildhall, and resigned himself to allowing the group's memory to fade into obscurity.
After the Rikti Invasion of 2002, though, all that changed. The Spectre himself, restored to the prime of youth by an untested alien technology, was back in action. Before long, a few of the young heroes flooding into Paragon City in answer to the Statesman's call had come to his side. Some had heard of the Guild's prowess in earlier times; others were simply looking for a time-honored alternative to the flashy latter-day Super Groups springing up everywhere. With youngsters flocking to his banner, as it were, the Silver Spectre reactivated the Guild's charter.
The Silver Spectre
See profile under Active Members below
The Scarlet Sultan
Qarim Shirazi always claimed to be descended from Persian royalty, and had a formal address name as long as your arm, but as far as Adam Banks could ever tell, his main claim to fame was that his family was rich long before oil. Banks and Shirazi became friends in college in the early 1920s, before either one thought of becoming a mystery man, as they were known in those days.
The idea seems to have occurred to both young millionaires independently - indeed, the Silver Spectre and the Scarlet Sultan crossed paths several times before realizing that they were good friends in "real life". Thereafter they often worked as partners.
The master of a mystic force known as the Undying Flame (which he often claimed was the family djinni), Shirazi was a powerful force for justice in old Paragon City. He retired from superheroics in 1960 and returned to his native Iran, only to flee the country during the 1979 revolution. He died in 1984, in exile in England. Rumor has it that he smuggled certain relics relating to his family's mystic heritage out with him.
Dr. Abraham deCoy was the main scientific brains behind the Golden Age Justice Guild, the man who developed most of the outfit's high-tech equipment and investigated most of the weird science the Guild encountered on a regular basis. An expert in the then-infant sciences of robotics, cybernetics, and computer technology, he often manned the communications center in the Guildhall, dispensing his technical wisdom to the others via sophisticated miniature two-way radios he invented. When the situation required it, he also fought the good fight in the field as Doc Decoy, master of illusion, using various of his pioneering achievements in the fields of light, sound, and energy redirection.
Among the pieces of advanced equipment he created for the Guild were the Silver Spectre's advanced night-vision optics (well beyond the cutting edge in the 1930s and '40s), Sgt. Victory's multifunction rifle, the grapple-gun and radio-marker attachments for Lady Freedom's .45 pistol, and many others. He also developed the Guildhall's computer systems, which were far in advance of anything in use elsewhere at the time (and, indeed, were still futuristic into the 1950s).
Doc Decoy retired from field operations in 1955 following a near-fatal confrontation with Requiem, master of the 5th Column, but he remained the Guild's scientific backbone until his death ten years later.
Elizabeth "Libby" Kennedy (no relation), the incomparable Lady Freedom, was often overshadowed by other, more famous patriotically-themed superheroines of her day, such as Maiden Justice of the Freedom Phalanx - but she could hold her own in a toe-to-toe fight with any villain you cared to name.
At first, like many of her contemporaries, Lady Freedom had no superpowers. Instead she relied on her wits, acrobatic prowess, and marksmanship with a .45-caliber pistol, the last not a talent often found in city-bred young women of her generation. That changed in 1937, when accidental exposure to the radiations of a strange meteor greatly boosted her metabolic rate, giving her super-speed and incredibly rapid powers of healing and recovery.
Even with superpowers added to the overall package, Lady Freedom was nonetheless a thinking heroine and, indeed, one of the Guild's premier tacticians. Though the Silver Spectre and the Scarlet Sultan were co-chairmen for much of the Golden Age Guild's history, it was Lady Freedom who most often led them when all hands battled together in the field in the early days. A product of another time's values, she always declined to take the public leadership of the Guild, saying that the world wasn't ready for a woman in such a role.
In 1945, shortly after the end of the Second World War, Lady Freedom married an Army captain named David Franklin and retired from superheroics. She came out of retirement several times over the next 20 years, but never for more than a single incident at a time. The last time she appeared in costume was to help the active Guildsmen fight off the 5th Column's attack on Doc Decoy's funeral in 1965.
Libby Kennedy Franklin, against the expectations of all who knew her, died peacefully in bed in 2000, at the age of 89.
Probably the most famous Golden Age hero who wasn't a member of the Freedom Phalanx, the mighty Atlas, a giant with a heart of gold, always gave his all to protect the people of Paragon City. His sheer size, and the corresponding size of his exploits, made him one of the most publicly visible Guildsmen, and his heroic death defending Independence Port from the attempted Nazi invasion of 1941 ensured that he would go down in history as one of Paragon's greatest heroes.
Ironically, most people now don't remember that he was a Guildsman; in fact, the average man on the street assumes he was a member of the Freedom Phalanx. Today's Guildsmen choose not to make a big deal about it, knowing that Atlas wouldn't want a fuss. As the first member of the Guild to fall in action, he holds a special place in the Guild's heritage, and is the only member mentioned by name in the modern form of the Guildsman's Oath:
"I, _______, solemnly swear that I will do my utmost to protect and defend the good people of Paragon City and the world from the forces of villainy and injustice, whatever forms they may take. While I have the strength to fight on, I will never dishonor the memories of mighty Atlas and the other great heroes who have paid the ultimate price to guard the innocent against tyranny and evil - even if I should be called upon to make that sacrifice myself."
Guild Rank: CHAIRMAN
The Chairman is in at least nominal command of all Justice Guild activities, including field operations, recruiting, and personnel management. Though in practice the Guild is considerably more democratic than many Super Groups (sometimes, its critics say, bordering on anarchic), the Chairman's name is on the forms, and it's the Chairman who answers to the city authorities, Statesman, and/or the Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs when things go wrong.
The Silver Spectre
Trained in the mysterious mountains of the Far East, Adam Banks embarked upon his career as one of Paragon City's first mystery men in 1929. Lacking true superpowers, the Silver Spectre relies instead on finely honed martial arts skills and incredible powers of concentration. Through intense focus, the Specter can harness his chi to produce effects beyond the abilities of normal humans, such as superhuman reaction speed and near-invisibility.
Fearless and high-principled, the Silver Spectre believes strongly in the concept of the hero as community servant. In his private life as a wealthy industrialist and philanthropist, he backed the charitable Banks Foundation, which helped the working poor of Kings Row, until 1979, when the foundation came under the corrupt sway of executive director David Koczyzki and crumbled amid scandal. Ironically, the collapse left Banks himself among the ranks of the Row's impoverished citizens, a reverse he took philosophically.
Banks's first career as a hero spanned nearly five decades before his retirement in the early '70s. He came out of retirement to help fight in the First Rikti War and, nearly killed in the process, was revived and restored to youth by an experimental application of Rikti technology (which later formed the basis of the city's Medicom system). Forced to start over from square one, the Silver Spectre earned the right to don his trademark silver cloak once more and is steadily re-establishing himself as one of the greats.
Guild Rank: JUSTICIER EMERITUS
Justiciers Emeritus are members of the Guild whose membership pre-dates the group's 1972 hiatus. This rank, which in practical terms differs from that of Master Justicier only in name, is also occasionally bestowed on long-established heroes who have joined more recently.
The Bauxite Avenger
In 1952, Prof. Robert Boxman, Ph.D., was leading a successful double life. By day, he was a mild-mannered professor of geology at Paragon University. By night, thanks to a magical artifact he found on an expedition to Peru during his days as a grad student, he was known as the Bauxite Avenger, bane of evildoers, and member of the Paragon City Justice Guild. Things couldn't stay so good for long, though, and that fall the Circle of Thorns got the better of him, trappping him in a stasis field buried deep in the earth's crust.
Fast forward to December of 2007, when the Bauxite Avenger finally found a way out of his stone prison and tunneled to freedom. A month of debriefing, investigation, and re-training later, he's back fighting crime - when not trying to convince Paragon U to give him his old job back. He has tenure, dammit!
Born in Colombo, British Ceylon, in 1920, Cornelius Cyclone was a member of the British Royal Army's famous "Company 13", a group of mystics and mages from all over the Empire who gathered to balance the scales of war in Europe against the Nazi Zauberkorps. A specialist in the science and sorcery of weather, he fought numerous battles against his Nazi opposite number, Der Wetterkaiser, over the course of the European campaign. His ultimate victory came on Christmas 1944, when, despite Der Wetterkaiser's opposition, he secured good weather for the Allied relief of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. The duel between the two wizards, fought high in the stratosphere, had only one survivor.
After the war, Cyclone emigrated to the US and joined the Justice Guild, many of whose members he had befriended during the war, when they served in the U.S. Army First Hero Brigade. Under the name of Doc Cyclone, he served as a hero until 1963, when he retired from active crimefighting to take up a professorship in the arcane sciences at Salamanca State College (now the Salamanca campus of Paragon University).
Like the Silver Spectre, Doc Cyclone came out of retirement to fight the Rikti invasion, but unlike the Spectre, he didn't confront the aliens face-to-face. Instead, he used his mastery of the ancient arts to gather the clouds and hide Salamanca from the aliens altogether, and to create punishing weather patterns in Paragon City that would hinder the Rikti attacks and provide cover for heroic counteroffensives. He had no initial intention to return to the field after the invasion was pushed back - he's an old man, after all - but Statesman's call and the Silver Spectre's return convinced him to do what he can.
More of an investigator and delver into the unknown than a straight-up superhero, he's much more likely to be found searching ancient caverns and dusty tomes for answers than fighting Trolls in the streets of Skyway City. There are plenty of other heroes for that, but the subtle and ancient mysteries that lie below the city... those call for an equally subtle (and equally ancient, he often adds with a laugh) hand to uncover them.
His business card reads:
Cornelius J. Cyclone, D.Th.
Scientific Sorcerer - Alchemist - Investigator
Meteorological Matters a Speciality
Telephone SAlamanca 6-5000
The Phantom Dynamo
Before the superheroes of the Silver Age and the modern era, before even the mystery men of the pre-World War II period, heroes walked the streets and stalked the rooftops of Paragon City. In those days before the Citizen Crime Fighting Act, most of them kept to the shadows. Today, like the supposed superheroes of the Old West (the Existential Cowboy, Red Tracker, et al.), they are more legend than history. Only a few were ever photographed, their existence thus provable to modern superhero historians.
One such confirmed proto-hero was the mysterious, electrified figure known as the Phantom Dynamo, who was a scourge of crime in the late 1800s. Though he seemed to be based in Paragon City, he was sighted in Boston, New York, San Francisco, and even London and Paris over the course of his roughly-decade-long career. He was last verifiably seen in Paragon City in 1903. Sightings of a man with the powers and appearance of the Phantom Dynamo continued off and on throughout the twentieth century, but they were never proven, and eventually he took on the character of a modern myth - until 2002, when a news photographer caught a blurry image of someone who looked like the Victorian hero battling the Rikti invaders in Founders' Falls.
Three years later, hero historian Dr. Delilah Stein came across the picture while searching archives of war photographs during an effort to account for all the dead of the war. Enlisting the aid of the Silver Spectre, Doc Delilah took it upon herself to find out whether the man in the photo really was the Phantom Dynamo, and in either case, what happened to him during the war; but their investigation seemed to be leading nowhere until, in mid-2006, the Dynamo reappeared again on his own terms.
On the face of it, his claim - that he is the original Phantom Dynamo, displaced in time by a mishap with one of his own inventions - seems too fantastic to be believed... but stranger things have happened in Paragon City, and the Silver Spectre is inclined to believe him. Today he fights crime as a member of the Guild while trying to find a way to return to his own time.
The Siberian Shield
Alexei Kovalov was 19 when the Hitlerite bandits invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. Mature beyond his years and already hardened physically by the rigors of growing up on a collective farm not far from Novosibirsk, he joined the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army at once, volunteering even before he could be conscripted. His bravery, quick thinking, and absolute devotion to the defense of his homeland all brought him to the attention of the brass, and in the spring of 1942 he found himself transferred to a secret branch of the Red Army, Project Redstar. Four months of dangerous, painful scientific experiments later, he returned to the field, but not as Sergeant Alexei Alexandrovich Kovalov.
In the guise of the ice-slinging super-soldier called the Siberian Shield, Kovalov distinguished himself extensively during the remainder of the Great Patriotic War. He helped break the siege of Stalingrad, was instrumental in the victory at Kursk, and was twice named Hero of the Soviet Union. But what no one - not even his foreign colleagues with the First Hero Brigade and Company 13 - knew, what the Red Army kept a closely guarded secret, was that the Siberian Shield's scientifically induced superpowers were unstable. Periodically he would vanish from the front for a few days, then return without explanation. These disappearances were hasty returns to the Project Redstar lab (nicknamed "the Ice Palace") in the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, far above the Arctic Circle, for treatments to help stabilize his fluxing powers.
Near the war's end, during the siege of Berlin, Kovalov was recalled once more to the Ice Palace - but this time the motive was sinister. Project head Anatoly Shistavenko was a plant for the GRU, Soviet military intelligence. Knowing of Kovalov's distaste for the extremes of Communist politics and the many crimes of Joseph Stalin, Shistavenko feared that he would exploit his huge popularity as the Siberian Shield in an attempt to provoke a peasant uprising against Stalin after the war - so he tampered with the stabilization process in an effort to murder Kovalov and make it seem like an accident.
Instead, Kovalov's powers ran amok and flooded the lab with ice, transforming it into a literal Ice Palace and killing everyone else in the central laboratory, including Shistavenko. The lab was abandoned in place and Project Redstar itself struck from the historical record. Alexei Kovalov remained entombed in the ice, in suspended animation, until he was sought out and freed in 2007 by the Silver Spectre and Stardust Ember. Once reoriented to the radically different world in which he found himself, he decided to remain in Paragon City and fight the good fight as a member of the Justice Guild - but he always keeps a weather eye on developments back in Russia.
Sgt. John Vickers was a gunner aboard a B-17 bomber during World War II. His bomber was shot down over occupied France in early 1943. Vickers was captured and taken to a secret research facility in Alsace, where Nazi scientists were performing experiments on captured Allied soldiers. The Nazi efforts to duplicate the Super-Soldier Serum were not going well, and their leaders had decided to let the Allied prisoners run the risk of the hideous side effects that usually resulted from failed formulations.
Vickers was doubly lucky - first, that the serum the Germans tested on him actually worked, and second, that the Justice Guild contingent of the First Hero Brigade mounted an audacious raid on the lab within a few days of the test, before the Nazis could wring all the useful data out of their subject and have him shot. The Guild raid shut down the ‹bersoldat project for the duration of the war and saved the lives of dozens of prisoners, including Johnny Vickers.
The experimental formula tested on Vickers gave him access to the full physical potential of the human body. Though not actually superhuman in strength, reflex speed, or any other attribute, he is able to achieve perfect conditioning with minimal effort and does not appear to age. Dubbed "Sgt. Victory" by FDR himself, he spent the rest of the war as an important member of the First Hero Brigade, then served as a Guildsman in peacetime until 1952, when he went home to Louisiana, took over the family farm, and married his high school girlfriend.
When the Rikti invaded in 2002, Johnny's kids had all long since grown up and had families of their own, and his wife had passed away a few years before. Watching the coverage of the invasion, Vickers could only sit helplessly as events unfolded. Hearing of the loss of so many veteran heroes, he had to ask himself, is it too late to get back in the game? After all, he hadn't aged a day, though he'd let himself get pretty far out of shape.
The tipping point came when he learned that his longtime friend and teammate from the Guild days, the Silver Spectre, was lying in a coma, having been terribly injured fighting the invaders at his advanced age. After an extended period getting himself back into fighting shape, Vickers oiled up his trusty M1943 Multi-Rifle, traveled to Paragon City and reactivated his hero license. It has been difficult, but Sarge is slowly getting back the edge he had a half century ago. Back in the Justice Guild with old friends like the Spectre, Sarge has found a new purpose. That, and he has a whole new generation of young heroes to tell countless stories of the Old Days to.
Guild Rank: MASTER JUSTICIER
Those Guildsmen who have consistently demonstrated their mettle as heroes and upheld the Guild's highest standards are awarded the title of Master Justicier. The backbone of the Guild, these senior heroes of the new generation have the responsibility to serve as examples to the younger heroes who appear in Paragon City every day. Master Justiciers lead by example, not fiat. They are among the city's greatest heroes.
In 1950, a young U.S. Army ROTC cadet named Wally Hudson volunteered for an experimental project that gave him superpowers. None of his four subsequent children showed any sign of their father's legacy, but his grandson Dan manifested similar powers at puberty.
Trained by his grandfather in those powers' safe use, young Dan Hudson took up the role of a superhero in high school, protecting his rural hometown under the name "Captain Positron". He graduated from high school not long before the Rikti invasion and moved to Paragon City in answer to Statesman's call in 2003.
Once in Paragon, he was required to change his nom de guerre because of the Freedom Phalanx member named Positron, so he adopted the name by which he is now famous: Captain Photon. An old-fashioned, two-fisted man of justice, Photon was the perfect recruit for the reborn Guild. First as the long-time sidekick to the legendary Twilight Torch, then on his own, he's carved out a career that includes earning most of Paragon City's high honors, including a reserve membership in the Freedom Phalanx, the Vanguard Medal for valor against the Rikti, and the coveted Atlas Medallion.
In addition to his incredible photon blasts and his arsenal of high-tech gadgets, he has recently developed forcefield powers similar to those once wielded by his grandfather.
Beneath a thick coating of ice lie two fists of awesome power! Or so Glacial likes to boast to the papers. However, in quieter moments, the brash personality and Ray-Bans come off, and while nobody doubts that he has the soul of a hero, quite a few were surprised to find he has the mind of an accountant.
Paul Cunningham was born with a love of numbers, and is even a CPA, but found that his mutant powers offered him a much better career option as part of the Justice Guild. (Even if he does keep offering to do their taxes every year to "keep himself loose.") In battle, he tries to do his best to get into the face of mooks and Archvillains alike so that they focus their anger on his nearly impenetrable defenses rather than look for an easier target.
Harry S. Truman
The thirty-third president of the United States, Harry S. Truman presided over the atomic bombing of Japan and the sebsequent ending of World War II, the creation of the UN and NATO, the Berlin Airlift and beginning of the Cold War, the recognition and creation of Israel, and the Korean War. And that's just what was in the papers.
He was also a founding member of Majestic 12, a secret government organization formed shortly after WWII to analyze and confront the growing threat of extra-terrestrial and extra-dimensional aggressors. MJ12 was a vastly more hands-on venture than popular conspiracy theorists purport. Far from dictating policy in the rarefied air of an underground bunker, members used their world leader status to jet to the far corners of the globe, slipping away from the cameras to deal with the looming threat in person.
Ironically, it was the remnants of this very same organization that, over thirty years after his death, pulled off the resurrection of President Truman deep in their secret laboratories buried inside Mount Rushmore. (Indeed, an early form of the program had been sketched out between Harry himself and Douglas MacArthur on a long flight back from Antartica in 1951.)
Upon hearing of the new threat, this time in the form of the Rikti, Harry was merely heard to ask gruffly for his hat and a brief primer on his new nanite-infused powers. Having been used to working in the shadows, Harry chose to push out to Paragon City on his own, merely telling anyone who asked about his unique name that his parents were "really big fans" of the former president. Seeing the potential of finding like-minded folk in the rosters of the PCJG, he petitioned for membership and, after a quick genetic scan, was welcomed warmly.
Hero of the City
Iris Jenkins (no relation to any other Jenkins you're thinking of, at least none that she'll admit to) worked at Paragon University as a researcher in the Astronomy Department. She had always been a bit too obsessed with comic books, so when she theorized that iridium, an element found commonly in asteroids, could grant phenomenal cosmic powers to humans, her colleagues were bemused, but unsurprised. When she reported to them late one night after an observing run that she'd tried the theory on herself, however, they were shocked.
They were even more surprised when she showed up for work the next day, seemingly unharmed. Iris herself was disappointed, since the iridium had apparently had no effect - until three months later, when she watched a papercut heal before her eyes.
After a period of training to determine the limits of her powers and learn the art of combat with bladed gauntlets, she quit her job and registered for a hero's license, and the rest is history.
Moment of Inertia
Jesse "Rockstar" Sullivan is one of several former child prodigies in the Guild, and had she had the motivation, she could have had a Ph.D. or two by age 20, like at least one of her colleagues. Instead, she dropped out of MIT at age 16, having gotten bored with classes and figuring there had to be something better, or at least more fun, to do with her life. She spent the next few years DJing in local clubs to earn cash and tinkering with various inventions in her spare time.
After several years' work, she proclaimed her "kineto-gauntlets" acceptably functional, moved to Paragon, and registered for a hero's license. In her spare time she continues to improve the gauntlets, as well as play bass and sing backup vocals in a remarkably terrible all-female, all-superhero punk band called "Nuclear Bacon".
The Prime Target
When world-famous physicist and inventor Dr. Analog, Practitioner of Science, handed his visiting friend, John Trussell, a pair of electrodes and spoke the fateful words, "hold these for a minute," John had no idea that he was about to become the central figure in the good Doctor's latest experiment. (It is the subject of some debate whether Dr. Analog himself knew.)
One flip of a switch, one bright red flash and six hours of unconsciousness later, John awoke to find himself highly resistant to major damage (though more vulnerable to nagging injuries). Noting that this power alone made him a walking challenge to foes he could not actually harm, he jokingly took the name "The Prime Target." A month later, new fire-related powers began to emerge (much to the dismay of John, an established pyrophobe). To this day, John is left to wonder if the full effects of Dr. Analog's experiment have shown themselves...
The twenty-sixth President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. ("TR" to his friends) was the youngest man ever to take the office of president. A vigorous outdoorsman and man of action, he had a much more colorful - and dangerous - presidency than the general public ever knew. He viewed the President as not just the Commander in Chief, but the elected protector of the people, with his own hands if necessary. His hands-on approach would later inspire such other covertly adventurous Chief Executives as Harry S. Truman, JFK, Ronald Reagan, and even his own cousin Franklin.
History tells us that after his unsuccessful bid to regain the presidency in 1912, Theodore Roosevelt took an ill-advised expedition to the Amazon that ruined his health, went into a steady decline, and died in 1919.
History is wrong.
Instead, Roosevelt was extracted from his natural timestream shortly after delivering his famous "it will take more than that to kill a bull moose" speech, during his 1912 presidential campaign, by agents of Majestic 12 from the year 2008 - who, oddly enough, promptly delivered him to the year 2004. These agents were acting on the orders of the recently resurrected Harry S. Truman, who had declared that the Rikti invasion and the proliferation of villains in its aftermath called for the help of the toughest president the USA ever had, and that TR was needed before Truman himself was revived.
Now, armed with his trusty multi-rifle "Clarabelle", his big-game-hunting skills, and the powerful techniques of fisticuffsmanship he learned among the Sioux during his time in the Dakota Territory, Pres. Roosevelt battles to save a future he never imagined he'd see for himself from threats that would have been beyond his contemporaries' understanding. Just don't call him Teddy. He never liked that nickname.
Born in Moscow in the penultimate decade of the Soviet Union, Maxim Semyonovich Netrinov was a genuine child prodigy, earning his bachelor's degree at the age of 12 and taking advantage of Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost to pursue his graduate studies in the United States. By the age of 20 he had four doctorates, a professorship at Paragon University, and a thriving career as a researcher, specializing in the use of exotic radiation to treat injury and disease.
Just after the Rikti War, which he spent helping to treat injured heroes and get them back into the fight, a force from the 5th Column stormed his lab and tried to force him to devise a way of using his crowning achievement, the Medicollider, to improve the Vampyri, their nefarious super-soldiers. When he refused, they strapped him to the machine and set the controls at their highest settings, then left him for dead - but Netrinov did not die.
Instead, imbued with the powers of the machine, he became a living atomic engine, able at a stroke to heal or destroy. Sealed within a containment suit to protect others from his radioactive body, he doesn't let his enforced containment get him down. As he's noted to his teammates, it doesn't even really hamper his social life. There are a lot of invulnerable women in Paragon City.
Roxanne Sharp's grandfather Rockford "Rocky" Sharp was a widely feared assassin, codenamed Killrazor, in the 1940s. The original Killrazor and his son Frank, who took over the name in 1962, were both frequent foes of the Justice Guild's Silver Spectre. The Spectre's last case before he retired in 1972 culminated in an attempt by both Killrazors to trap and kill the elderly hero, who managed to defeat them both. In the battle, the elder Killrazor was accidentally slain.
In prison, Frank Sharp vowed revenge. When he was freed, he outwardly reformed, and started a family. Secretly, he trained his daughters Rhonda and Roxanne ruthlessly from an early age to take up the real "family business" - though neither wanted any part of it (or of him). Rhonda vanished in 2003, and Roxanne escaped shortly thereafter. At the age of 17, she defeated her father in a duel and left, taking her late grandfather's unbreakable meteor-steel katana with her. Traveling to Paragon, she sought out the Silver Spectre - to fight crime by his side.
The Clan Barilla boasts a proud heritage of con artists, thieves, tricksters, mad mages, renegade inventors, and excellent chefs. Rotini can cook you a four-course meal, build you a Gaussian's Synchronized Fire Control unit, and set your enemies on fire in any one of eighteen different ways. What she can't do is lie convincingly, steal things, or trick you out of your wristwatch. She's too friendly, too honest, and too obsessed with doing the right thing.
That character flaw got her tossed out of her home dimension on her ear by the local deities, an unpleasant and highly interventionist bunch. Her partner Tuncer was caught up in the chaos, and they landed in Paragon City. Rotini's had to adjust to the loss of a good deal of her magical ability - she's permanently stuck on "hot," in her own words, and can't cast any other kind of spell - and the loss of her dubious ties to her Barilla kin.
Fortunately, Rotty has two things going for her: Tuncer's still around, and she's more or less pleasantly batshit insane, which makes everything less of a worry than it might otherwise be.
Rotty's bonded with Captain Photon over shared registration class - he helped her sort out her Blaster application - and odd technology. Tuncer is the light of her heart, the meatball of her spaghetti, and the Deific Weapon of her Aegis.
Of course, she's also not the only Barilla loose in this world. But what she doesn't know probably won't hurt her. Until its Threat Level is higher than her Security Level, at least.
Hero of the City
Sarah Fleischer was just another unremarkable student at Paragon City University. A 5th-year, straight-C senior on her 3rd major, described by professors as "a drifter with potential, but no ability to focus."
Over the summer, Sarah volunteered as an intern at an archeological dig, where she unearthed a stone tablet whose engravings no one has yet been able to translate. When she touched it, her skin turned steel-grey and she fell to the ground, unconscious. She awoke in Chiron Medical Center six days later, and discovered her new abilities soon afterward. She is proving her professors wrong by focusing like never before on her true calling: fighting crime in Paragon City. "Nothing satisfies me," she has been heard to comment, "like bringing a little misery into the lives of those who richly deserve it."
Tuncer was torn from his mystical homeland by loathsome gods and left for dead in Paragon City. Which isn't as bad as it sounds, things were pretty lame there anyway. They were nice enough to send him along with his companion Rotini Barilla. Really, that's two favors they did him right there. Not the brightest vengeful gods.
Tuncer managed to bring two of his best magical gifts with him: an incredible ability to heal himself and extreme skill at hitting other things - preferably bad things - with large, heavy, and occasionally sharp objects. As luck would have it, he and Rotini were found by a member of the Guild and brought back to their headquarters to recover. While wandering the halls one night, unable to sleep, Tuncer stumbled across the Guild armory. When he found the large array of heavy swords there, he knew he was in a better place.
He is rarely ever far from Rotini; their combination of close-in fighting skills and long range offense prove to be an almost unstoppable combination. He has a thirst for new blades, usually of increasingly exotic origin. Fellow Guild-mates suspect he joined the Vanguard solely to gain access to their monomolecular technology, even though he insists that the Rikti are just fun to hit.
Venus de MÍlťe
Jeri Ferguson knew she had discovered something important when she found that odd bronze tool in a dusty Athens curio shop. A bit of research informed her that she had indeed located the legendary nail care kit of Aphrodite. Foolishly, she tried it herself and learned that the Gods are made of sterner stuff than mere mortals. To her horror, it did trim her nails... all the way to her shoulders.
As she lay on the floor bleeding out, Hephaestus, looking down from Olympus, felt bad that a beauty aid he created had done this. He crafted a set of metal replacement arms and bonded them to Jeri with the help of a dose of Ambrosia. Since then, Jeri has become enormously faster, stronger, and heals most wounds in mere moments. The jury is out on whether or not she is now immortal. Ask her again in a hundred years, and she'll get back to you on that...
Guild Rank: JUSTICIER
If the Master Justiciers are the backbone of the Guild, the Justiciers are its heart: proven heroes who take the fight for justice to the enemy at all Security Levels, in all parts of the city, at any time of the day or night. Either directed by more senior Guild members or acting on their own initiative, the Justiciers get the job done in the streets, offices, sewers, and secret places of Paragon City.
Allison Rossini is no stranger to the limelight. In 2003, she burst onto the entertainment scene with an award-winning performance in the Paragon City Philharmonic Orchestra's presentation of Mendelssohn's oratio "Elijah". Her contralto voice was declared by one local critic to be "a blessing upon our fair city, the likes of which we may never hear again." All were in agreement that she would go far indeed.
Then, in 2005, her mutant powers manifested.
Now, Allison is making the transition from the entertainment section to front page headlines. Her voice is her weapon, and her seemingly boundless energy fuels her efforts to bring order and prosperity to the city she calls home.
Alli Snodgrass was born with blue skin and an abnormally high body temperature. She confounded the series of doctors her family continually dragged her to, until she manifested fire powers at age 14, and they realized she was perfectly normal - for a mutant, that is.
Now 17, Alli fights crime in her spare time when not filling out college applications or attending classes at Atlas Memorial High School. She plans to attend Paragon U next year to study chemistry and art history. She spent her early childhood reading comics featuring the original members of the Justice Guild, so she's ecstatic, albeit a bit intimidated, at being a member of the current incarnation of the Guild.
Nancy O'Conner is a deeply puzzled woman. Lost on a glacier while on vacation in Alaska, she was offered power by an ancient primordial spirit of winter. That part makes sense. She can handle that.
Why she got a pair of ram's horns growing out of her head, on the other hand, is less clear. The species of sheep that has that kind of horn isn't even vaguely found in that part of the world. Never mind all the problems she gets with idiots who assume she is part of the Circle of Thorns. Ick.
Oh well, never mind. There's another villain to frost over there.
Little is known about the man called Clawdacious. It's known that he has remarkable skill with his curious weapons of choice, and that he has an uncanny ability to survive against any odds. His Guildmates don't know his civilian name, nor has any of them even seen his face. No matter what else he's wearing - and he has a wide variety of "super suits" - he always wears a full helmet with a reflective face shield.
One thing they do know is that, despite the elaborate-looking battle suit he wears most of the time, he doesn't use technology (apart from the ancient technology of sharp things) to enhance his abilities. Not only is he just as capable when wearing spandex - or a T-shirt and beach shorts, for that matter - the "battle suit" isn't super at all. It's made of fiberglass. In another life, before Clawdacious retrieved it from a Dumpster, cut it up with a Sawzall, and embellished it with some Rust-Oleum and Super Sculpy, it was a life-size Crey Juggernaut store display mascot.
In battle against the enemies of justice and right, he's boisterous and good-humored, always ready with a quip. Some say he's insane, others insist he's just eccentric. Whatever the case, his actions leave little doubt that he's a hero.
Kicked out of the Freakshow on the grounds that he showed insufficient disdain for the squares, the gentle giant known as the CryoPhreak still retains many Freak tendencies, including his manner of speech and his general approach to life.
Recommended by the Silver Spectre's then-sidekick Stardust Ember (who has since moved on to another Super Group), Phreak was initially considered an unlikely recruit for the Justice Guild, but his performance soon proved that his heart is in the right place, and once you get past his weird speech patterns and general hulking, well, freakishness, it's impossible not to like him. Few members of the Guild like a party more than the CryoPhreak. He likes to point out (though no one knows if it's true) that his highest rank in the Freakshow was "Mad Freak Kegbearer", and claims he was the mastermind behind the famous "no arms" prank.
A savantish wizard with technology despite his demeanor and spotty formal education, Phreak (as his friends call him) is constantly tinkering with his cryonic battle gear and the high-tech systems of the Guildhall. When not battling evil or stepping between his teammates and impending harm, Phreak's hobbies include watching hockey on television, ordering out for Chinese, and exploiting vulnerabilities in the telephone network to his financial advantage.
The second Doc Decoy is the original's great-granddaughter, Samantha Drake. She never met her famous ancestor, who died before she was born, but she grew up hearing tales of his exploits and those of his fellow Guild members. Having inherited his gift with technology, she decided after the Rikti War to take up where he had left off, using a variety of devices intended to enhance her prowess in close combat - but her fledgling career nearly ended before it could really begin when, shortly after taking to the streets, she was captured by the minions of Dr. Vahzilok. She was rescued by a group of heroes, but not before one of Vahzilok's fanatical surgeons amputated her right arm.
After fashioning a bionic replacement limb (which is tricky if you've only got one hand), Samantha considered giving up her hero license, but in the end she decided to keep at it. She wouldn't be a front-line combatant any more, though. She turned her skill toward the creation of devices that would allow her to keep the bad guys at a safe distance.
Aside from her mechanical arm, the incident has left its mark on Doc Decoy in other ways. She has (as one might expect) a particular distaste for the Vahzilok, one of whose robot zombies presumably now sports her arm, and is understandably leery of mixing it up in close quarters. She's also less likely than she once was to go it alone. It was shortly after her "retooling" that she discovered the Silver Spectre was rebuilding the Guild and looked him up.
Many people just assume that Farrah Day is slumming it in Paragon City. And in some ways, they would be correct. Born into wealth, she grew up never having want or need of anything. But, really, it was all so terribly boring to her. She'd even go so far as to wish, on long flights home from the family's vacation villa in South America, that the plane would just crash down into all that rain forest and she'd be forced to cast off the shackles of her soft and privileged life and find it within herself to just survive.
No such luck, sadly; Daddy only bought the finest aircraft.
She turned her energies into her schoolwork and, at a relatively young age is already hard at work on her graduate degree at Paragon University. Her fascination with electrical engineering and high energy physics led to a secondary bonus: a breakthrough in room temperature superconductors and miniaturization that can be woven into clothing (or, well, at this point body armor, but she's getting there), granting the wearer superhuman control over the zero-point energy that surrounds us all.
Sure, she could patent it and make millions, but what the hell, she's already got millions. Being a hero is much more fun, and it drives Daddy almost as nuts as her girlfriend Dee Gauss does. Win!
Little is known about Jane by the Guild, or anyone else. She appears to be an old-fashioned cowgirl from the mid-19th-century American frontier, an impression that is backed up by her accent and vocal patterns, when she bothers to speak at all. Somewhat counterintuitively, she wields a broadsword of mystic origin, and seems to have some other mystical abilities as well, mostly protective magics.
Despite her quiet nature, she has fit in well with the Guild - particularly with the older members, to the point where some almost forget she's a newer addition. Whatever her mission, the Guild suits her fine for the time being.
Growing up, Holly Eisenberg never knew that her great-grandfather on her mother's mother's side was the legendary Silver Spectre. She only found out after the Rikti War, when she was just starting college. When she confronted her parents, they forbade her to even consider following in "that crazy old man's" footsteps - something that had not occurred to her before that moment, but which immediately took on enormous appeal.
Dutifully, she waited until she finished college, and then sought out the Guild. To her annoyance, the Silver Spectre declined to train her, saying he wouldn't go against her family's wishes. Undaunted, she kept looking until she found another prospective mentor: Ray Thornton, the semi-retired hero Midnight Call, now living in Boston.
Persuaded by Holly's earnest desire, he agreed to teach her to wield the powers of darkness in the service of good. When the Silver Spectre learned of his great-granddaughter's end run, he accepted the fait accompli and welcomed her into the Guild.
Fifteen-year-old Norma Dinsdale has one of the classic hero origins: while exploring the ruins of an archaeological dig site on a school trip to Guatemala, she touched something she shouldn't have and found herself endowed with the powers of an ancient god.
Unfortunately for Norma, there were a couple of problems with this: she was a student at a prestigious Catholic school; and the god in question was Ixtixtaaqitotlotl, a goddess of vengeance worshipped by a pre-Olmec people about whom almost nothing is known. Suddenly granted the ability to heal almost instantly from any wound - which she would need, because her other key ability involves dozens of jagged, poison-secreting bony spikes erupting from her body - Norma found herself thrust into a world she had only observed from a distance to that point.
Her horrified parents refused for months to let her get a hero license, and when they did at last consent, wouldn't let her adopt a secret identity, so now all the guys at St. Trinian's know that she's Freaky Poison Spines Chick - and the monsignor, as you might expect, is just thrilled that one of his school's students is the embodiment of an ancient pagan deity. It's all given her a bit of an attitude - or maybe that's just a side effect of being the living avatar of a goddess of revenge.
Constance Green began her heroism career as Paradox Girl, teen sidekick to the Amber Archer. Northern New England was their beat; it was a relatively quiet area, but it kept them busy. It also served as a good place for a mentor to train his apprentice before settling into a well-earned retirement.
Then the Rikti invaded.
The Amber Archer had fought alongside Hero 1 in London before relocating to the United States, so when his friend approached him to get involved in the war, he leapt at the chance, and Paradox Girl was at his side through it all. When Hero 1 asked if the Archer was willing to participate in that war's final operation - a mission from which he would never return - he agreed without hesitation, but insisted that his young assistant stay behind.
With her own powers and her mentor's bow, she fights to honor Omega Team's sacrifice.
Maryanne Strudlbrug was a brilliant political sciences student at Paragon U, dying by inches in a wheelchair as her motor neuron disease advanced, and dreaming of a better world. Then one of her classmates involved her in a fairly ridiculous plan to try to create back-channel negotiations with a group of Rikti and try to end the conflict.
It took the intervention of the Justice Guild to keep the young and earnest college students from being taken to the Rikti homeworld for undoubtedly unpleasant purposes, leaving Maryanne's dreams of peace as dust. With no reason to do anything anymore, she sat in her room, stopped eating and taking her medications, and waited to die.
That's when the blue light showed up. I am Ta'Thona, it said to her. You dream of peace, as we do. Are you willing to do battle for that peace?
When she said yes, the Kheldian merged with her, reshaping her body. Now, while she's often off dealing with what she refers to as "Kheldian stuff" or back in classes working on her master's in Political Science, she's still available to give a hand, or a claw, or a burst of cosmic energy as the Peacebringer called Ta'Mar.
The Torch of Victory
Though she is one of the youngest members of the modern Guild, Jennifer Rossum already has a long and complicated history. The daughter of the late roboticist Carl Rossum, Jen was convicted at 15 of a crime she didn't commit. She spent time in Zigursky Penitentiary and was then spirited away to the Rogue Isles by Arachnos. There she was forced to operate as a costumed villain, the notorious Gen. Rossum, in order to survive.
Two years later, she devised a bold and dangerous plan which saw her escape the Isles, make her way back to Paragon City, clear her name, and eventually acquire a hero's license. As a reluctant villain she operated with a certain desperate recklessness. As a hero she is fearless, never letting her lack of true superpowers slow her down - but calculating, always seeking the best angle of attack or defense (and very rarely choosing defense). Those who remember her sometimes sense eerie echoes of Lady Freedom when they watch the Torch of Victory at work.
Now 18, she strives to live up to the high standards not only of the Guild, but also of Captain Photon - a friend who stood by her in her darkest hours and whose heroic example has inspired her to be more than a mere seeker after revenge. Which isn't to say she doesn't take special delight in taking the fight to the doorstep of the two foes most responsible for her Rogue Isles ordeal - the Sky Raiders and Arachnos...
Guild Rank: APPRENTICE JUSTICIER
The most junior members of the Guild, the Apprentice Justiciers are mostly young heroes who are just starting their careers. They're very often found in the company of more senior Guildsmen - very often, but not always, because personal initiative and the dedication to go it alone when necessary are key attributes encouraged in all members of the Guild.
The ultimate weapon for a war that never happened, the B-36 armored battle suit was conceived in the late 1940s as the United States arsenal's answer to the Soviet "Red Star" series of autonomous combat robots (the USSR's more easily controlled replacement for the human heroes of Project Redstar). Designed by the noted mad scientist Dr. Vannevar Bush (possibly with the aid of captured alien technologies), the B-36, with its nearly indestructible heavy-duty chassis, advanced battle assist logic systems, and patented Atomic Punch, was the last word in military powered armor.
The contract to build the prototype went to the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation, better known as Convair. Technicians there, wryly noting that the armored suit had the same designation as the enormous strategic bomber the company was developing for the Air Force, gave it the same nickname: Peacemaker.
Like its aerial namesake, the B-36 battle suit was canceled during the 1950s, when it became apparent that both technology and strategic necessity had passed it by. Only the prototype was completed, and it remained in storage, all but forgotten, until the revived Harry S. Truman ordered it reactivated. Its pilot was covertly selected by MJ12 from a pool of subjects the organization had been monitoring for some time.
Major Carol Wright was more than a little nonplussed to be pulled out of her promising career flying fighter jets to take part in a top-secret project involving an armored suit from the 1940s, and she's not sure she believes that the man directing the operation is really President Harry S. Truman - but stranger things have happened, and it's hard to argue with the pay. Besides, the old suit might smell like the cockpit of a well-used T-38 on the inside, but its performance is astounding, especially given its age. Being a hero isn't as challenging as aerial combat at Mach 2, but at its best it might just be as much fun.
B-36 Peacemaker is always accompanied by a miniature robot called XF-85. This device was originally developed by Convair engineers from captured 5th Column Mek Man technology as a pack-along escort and battle assist unit, but they could never get the combat AI to work, so in actual practice it does nothing much.
The Crab Pot
Sig Hillstrand made his living at one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: crab fishing in the Bering Sea. Hulking, good-humored, admired by the rest of the crew for his tireless effort and never-say-die attitude, Sig was content in a life most would find backbreaking and terrifying... until that fateful day when his luck ran out on him and he got his foot tangled in the buoy line of a just-launched pot, sending him over the rail and below the angry black waves in the blink of an eye.
No one knows what he saw when he was down there, and to this day he never speaks of it, but by the time they got him back up to the boat, he was nearly lifeless in a state of extreme hypothermia. The Coast Guard rushed him back to Dutch Harbor, but even their facilites seemed to be not enough for the poor soul.
As fate would have it, though, Prof. Neutrino just happened to be passing by Dutch on his way elsewhere on Guild business, and was able to intercede. Neutrino brought the man back to life, but it quickly became clear that Sig had changed, exhibiting an extreme control over the ice that had almost sealed his doom. Sig accepted an invitation to the Guild from Neutrino, and has since been in Paragon City learning to use his new powers, only stopping in this new pursuit for a few weeks every year... when it's time for the crab to run again.
When you're a thrillseeker by nature, sometimes the mundane hobbies - roller derby, rock climbing, playing bass in an all-girl punk band - get... well... mundane. Really. They do. There's only so many times you can have a front tooth put back in before your dental insurance starts upping your premiums, after all, and only so many times you can deck Elphaba Tituba McShitkicker, star defenseman for the Salamanca Cabalistas, in the face before the ref throws you out of the game.
When your girlfriend's a grad student in electrical engineering at Paragon University's Steel Canyon branch, though, your horizons are likely to be broadened. Dee now sports force and energy projectors woven into her derby outfits, a hero license, and a gig as Farrah Day's sidekick.
The Frozen Capybara
Amy Kingston was granted ice powers by a magical talking capybara.
It doesn't make much sense to her, either.
Very little is known about the magical being who goes by the name Generic Catgirl. She appeared in the Guildhall one afternoon and announced that she was supposed to be there. An amused Sgt. Victory let her tag along with him on patrol in Atla Park, and upon seeing her actual ability, sponsored her for her superhero license and for membership in the Justice Guild.
Generic Catgirl is perfectly willing to talk about her past. Only problem is, she has never told the same story twice running. The one about her being the daughter of a Japanese magical girl and her talking cat advisor is considered especially unlikely. Regardless, she has become a cheerful and capable asset to the Guild. It has been noted by fellow Guild members that members of the the Circle of Thorns seem to take special notice of her and attack her whenever possible. When asked about this, she says only that "they have no sense of humor."
Lee is... well. There's no easy way around it. Lee Stack is a radioactive lizard man. Unsure of his own origin, he merely woke up one day in the desert outside of Las Vegas, aware of himself, his powers, the English language, and the common knowledge of the modern world one accrues in several decades of life. But anything about himself before he woke up that morning in Jackass Flats - his name, why he was created, and who created him - was a total blank.
He took this all in stride, though, and walked himself to Vegas, doing various odd jobs as a DJ, bartender, and even occasionally as a dealer. Las Vegas proved to be terribly accepting of his mutant nature, but he eventually yearned to try and do more with his powers. When the call for heroes went out from Paragon City, he packed up and moved east.
Cheerful for a looming, brightly colored lizard man, he's always eager to aid his teammates and rarely broods on his lost past. He also mixes a mean margarita and has "t3h m4d d33-j4y sk1llz0r5" (according to Phreak), making him popular on Guild party nights.
Millimeter should be on the Moon. Originally designed to be a security droid with an advanced AI for Armstrong Base, Millimeter effectively ended his own shot at the Moon by gunning down his malfunctioning engineering prototype counterpart before it could do any harm to onlookers during a demonstration in front of government officials. The company that created him went under shortly after, which more than likely saved him from the furnace.
Seeing a faint, if distant, possibility of it being his only chance at finally achieving his original purpose, he argued and won his rights both as a sentient being and a licensed hero. The closest entity he could even remotely call a friend, The Scoville Unit, recommended him for membership in the Guild.
Grumpy and sometimes more than a little bit bitter, Millimeter makes up for sour attitude by being a crack shot with his wide array of rifles and eagerness - sometimes to a fault - to join his comrades in combat. His time in their ranks has even started to soften him a little bit, making him often more snarky than angry, especially in battle. If you ever catch him taking a moment to look up, however, just... pretend you didn't notice.
Sascha Kiel was 24 when she got her degree and signed on to the research team aboard her uncle's icebreaker ship, the PFS Polarstern. She still has no scientific explanation for the incident that rendered the ship powerless for 15 minutes upon reaching the North Pole. She can provide no logical theory to account for the unearthly voice she claims she heard (but could not understand) while she was unconscious. She is unable to rationalize her sudden, yet undeniable, proficiency with the twin blades she now yields - let alone where they came from - or her ability to alter her own body temperature.
Maybe that makes her a poor scientist. But she's becoming a pretty good hero.
The Scoville Unit
Countess Crey allows her research and development teams a lot of leeway, as atrocities like Project: Revenant Hero have proven over the years. So when the boys from Medical Expert Systems Development got together with the guys in Combat Robotics Prototyping, she largely turned a blind eye. The CRP guys had been wanting to try out the new flamethrower configs for months, after all, what harm could it really do?
And, hey, it worked out pretty well. Within three months, they'd come up with a pretty solid combat medical unit, capable of holding its own in a fight and delivering assistance to other Crey operatives. Things were looking promising. Everyone was going to get a promotion... until the summer intern in Expert loaded the Crey Battlefield Medical Unit prototype's nascent neural net with the works of such luminaries as Maimonides and Ishaq bin Ali Rahawi.
(Crey doesn't offer internships to history majors any more, interdisciplinary program or not.)
The medical AI got a good look around the network, decided it didn't like what it saw, and downloaded itself into the Battlefield Medical Unit's android form. Sure, it wasn't quite ready for prime time yet, even for a prototype, but it would get him out of the building. It also got the building out of the Paragon City property tax rolls. With fire. Amazingly, though, the entire research staff survived, largely uninjured.
Countess Crey would like her toy back now. The Scoville Unit has no intentions of obliging her. He picked up his hero license before he really had a grasp of his powers, resulting in an early career plagued with malfunctions, near-misses, and brushes with deactivation. Fortunately, his best friend and reluctant ally Millimeter is there to back him up when the chips are down.
The Scoville Unit enjoys making friends with other heroic units, assisting younger heroic units with their early exploits, and studying advanced combat robotics in the hopes that he can someday rectify some of his major design flaws. He's a good-hearted 'bot with some serious issues, but he knows he'll figure it out. He just hopes he can learn everything he needs to know before his eventual reckoning with the Countess.
Technical whiz kid Tom Townshend always intended to become a hero. Before he finished high school, he had developed prototypes for a wide variety of high-tech gear - but fate had a different plan in store for him.
Tom's senior prom was crashed by young members of the Trolls gang. When Tom tried to reason with them, they decided to bring him down to their level by hauling him off to their hideout and forcing him to overdose on Superadine, the drug that gives them their power. They expected this would burn out most of the higher functions of his brain (as tends to happen to Trolls, which explains the lack of subtlety in their plan) and make him one of them.
Instead, to their considerable surprise, Tom mutated into a mindless, hugely distorted mass of muscle (a form not seen before then, but now commonly known as a "Supa Troll"), went utterly berserk, and trashed their hideout, then took his furious rampage into the streets of Skyway City, smashing any Trolls who got in his way. He made so much noise and commotion that it attracted the attention of Manticore, who eventually managed to subdue the boy and rush him to LaGrange Medical Center.
There, doctors attempted an experimental emergency detoxification, which partially worked: Tom was restored to his original size, but he still showed many of the common side effects of Superadine overdose, such as green skin and superhuman muscle density. His doctors gloomily predicted that, if he ever awoke from his coma, he would also display the usual diminished mental capacity of a typical Troll.
To everyone's surprise, though, he woke a week later to discover his intellect intact. Now a student at Paragon University, Tom puts his superhuman strength and durability to good use in his off time. He still works with technology, too, having perfected his original super gear, which is now used by his younger sister Tara.
Tom's younger sister Tara knew about his desire to become a hero, of course, and shared it to some degree (albeit not with Tom's near-fanatical devotion). She helped him test his gear a few times and generally indulged his mild mania, but had no plans to enter the field himself - until the Trolls struck, leaving her brother hospitalized and possibly brain-damaged. Then she knew what she had to do. Sneaking into his room one night, she got out the equipment he'd intended to use himself and hit the streets in search of revenge.
She got it, too, with the aid of an enigmatic archer called Arbalest, who teamed up with her almost immediately. It wasn't until she'd tracked down the last of the Trolls responsible for her brother's hospitalization and sent them to the Zig that she discovered her mysterious benefactor was really none other than Manticore himself, who had decided after subduing Tom that he'd watch out for the boy's family in case the Trolls sought revenge. When he saw it was to be the other way around, he stepped in and prevented Tara from getting in over her head - both from taking on the Trolls unprepared and from heroing without a license.
By the time Tom awoke, Tara was registered (with their parents' reluctant permission) and making headway in her new career. He joined her as soon as he was able, maintaining and improving for her the equipment he once intended to use himself.
Veronique LaPerle (of the Chesterfield LaPerles) is a spoiled little rich girl. She wanted to come to Paragon and play hero for a year or two before college, so daddy bought her the best powers money can buy - but no melee powers, please, lest she break a perfectly manicured nail. How she managed a membership in the Justice Guild is anyone's guess, though one might suspect a significant donation towards the Guild's operating expenses by one J. Thomas LaPerle, Esq., might have something to do with it.
In point of fact, it really doesn't - the Silver Spectre seems to have seen some hidden potential in the young woman, and regards her as a sort of project. He did take LaPerle's money, though. Why shatter the man's illusions?
The Unknown Stuntman
Some say he was a world-renowned Hollywood fall guy. Some say he lived a secret life of danger as a high-risk bounty hunter. All we know is... he's called The Unknown Stuntman.
Oxana Radulescu has only a few scattered recollections of her early childhood in Bucharest. At age three, precious moments spent playing with her seldom-present father. At age four, being hastily whisked into her bedroom by her mother each time the men in the black suits visited. And at age five... chaotic, disjointed scraps of sight and sound from the day that her parents were killed.
(Raised voices. Gunshots. Screams. Splintering wood and crashing metal. Smoke. An unholy SHRIEK that seemed to come from everywhere. A wall of flame. A small explosion. Her mother, yelling her name. A wordless scream from her own that became a howling wind. Terrible, bone-numbing cold. Darkness.)
Oxana has no memory of the time between that day and her arrival at a Paragon City orphanage. There is no record of her immigration, and what files could be recovered after Ceauşescu's fall from power confirmed only that her parents were killed on November 6, 1986 in a "household accident". Sister Psyche herself has tried, and failed, to find a clue within Oxana's mind.
Oxana was eventually adopted (and, later, trained in the use of her powers) by a crime-fighting couple, and is a recent addition to the Guild. Perhaps surprisingly, she is one of the most cheerful members of the group. "Clearly, I am not meant to remember my past," she notes, "so there is little point in dwelling upon it."
With a strong core of experienced members, alliances and friendships throughout Paragon City's superheroic community, and a talented crop of up-and-coming young heroes eager to learn their strange trade from the older hands, the future is bright. Today the Paragon City Justice Guild stands strong - as it was in its heyday, not the most famous or the most glamorous of Paragon City's many Super Groups, but one that commands respect for its history and its heritage. Today's Guildsmen put Paragon's ordinary citizens first, just as their Golden Age predecessors did. Mighty Atlas, they are sure, would want it no other way.