Argonauts – Atomic Avenger

May 29, 2018

Atomic Avenger is one of the oldest characters I made up, and you can tell this is high on the list of tween or young teen boy “cool” ideas.  His original battlesuit concept evolved as I advanced the story in that little universe to where we are now on the third volume of this comic book.  As one of the originals, he is getting a Power Level bump each new volume so he is one of the two Power Level 12 characters in this Card Catalog Write Up.

A design a 12 Year Old Boy Loved

System Notes

Since this version of Atomic Avenger is very much a blaster archetype, the powers are going to be a heavy lift on the costs.  Because of the history of Atomic Avenger, the clearly superhuman and exceptional attribute is going to be Intellect at 9 which is described as clearly super human.  He is, after all, still a brilliant inventor and scientist. The rest of the Attributes are in the unimpressive levels of 1-3 but this reflects his underlying human nature where a “0” is average adult human.

To increase the defenses involved, I am going to use some special effects and power based enhancements.  Specifically, I am going to link an enhanced Dodge to the Flight power and increase both the Will and Fortitude defenses on the special effect of “Growing Energy Being.” We will explore what that means in the Character Notes.  Promise.

In his powers, there are three things that must be address – protection, flight, and energy blasts.  This is the basic load out for a blaster archetype. I keep the flight to around 7 Ranks so that we have a reasonable supersonic speed and link the enhanced Dodge Defense to this.  When looking at the Protection, which is an Atomic Force Field, I cap it at 10 levels of protection. The combination of Dodge and Toughness (which includes the Protection power) is capped at twice the Power Level, so for AA it is a 24 total limit.

I mentioned the Growing Energy Being special effect, and including in that are going to be a handful of small powers that will grow into his future: Immunity to Radiation, a single rank of Immortality, and a single rank of Persistent Regeneration.  The big final power is the blasting for the blaster, but I am going to use one of the more interesting components of Mutants & Masterminds for that – the Array!

An Array is a grouped set of powers that are Alternate Effects for a single power.  These are powers that can’t be used at the same time, effectively pulling power from a pool that can be put into each slot.  You can choose a Dynamic slot for additional costs to rebalance the powers between them, but this is a straightforward collection of Atomic Blasts that show different aspects of the same power! The obvious start is a straight up Atomic Blast which is a 10 Damage Ranged Blast power which is augmented in the Array with the Atomic Flash 10 Rank visual dazzle power to blind his opponents, an EMP Pulse which is a 7 Rank Burst Area Nullify Electronics, and similar ways to manipulate that sort of energy projector utility.  

I’m going to look at the Skills and Advantages together because Atomic Avenger started as an almost stereotypical battlesuit building genius.  Obvious choices are 12 ranks of an Expertise: SCIENCE, 9 Ranks of Technology, with the Advantages of Skill Mastery: SCIENCE, Jack of All Trades, and Inventor.   This makes Dr. Chandler a leading luminary and world renowned scientist with a mastery of the creadth of comic book science that only happens in the Comic Books with the ability to improvise in the field as well as attempt any skill check.  A few other advantages like Evasion and Instant Up relate to his flight power while Ranged Combat with the Blast Array balances out his 12 Rank Array with another 12 ranks of to hit for his POwer Level Limit. Check the link below for the last few powers and advantages added to the sheet.

The Complications from Mutants and Masterminds blend the nature between the crunch of construction and the incoming character notes.  Every starting character has a Motivation and one other Complication which, if they come up in a session, may allow for Hero Points to be earned. For his motivation, Atomic Avenger has Thrillseeker as he has fallen in love with the energy and excitement of being a hero. For further Complications, Atomic Avenger is Slowly Losing Humanity as the transition to an energy being continues without his control. Since he’s been around from the beginning, we’ll add extra complications for him – Fame as one of the premier heros on the planet, he has a constant stream of fans and media attention as well as protesters over his ‘Atomic’ nature; and Relationship with Espionage that finally came about can leave him distracted in combat.  

The later version of AA from my late 20s

Character Notes

Dr. Andrew Chandler is absolutely brilliant. His mind is beyond once in a generation but perhaps once in a century.  He rapidly was recognized by his parents as far smarter than an ordinary child … indeed he was far smarter than his parents.  To his ever thankful history, his parents upper middle class, suburban lifestyle was exactly what an idyllic americana childhood should be … if it meant being left alone in the public library reading every book that he could get his hands on.

He was first recognized by the public and the media when at age 12 he was accepted to high prestige colleges and announced his intention to be working on his PhD by 14.  It wasn’t quite as big a deal when he succeeded at that. As a 13 year old at college, he didn’t really have a normal upbringing or normal socialization. His habit of asking questions of *everything* hadn’t abated by the time he had his first PhD at 17, or his second at 18.  While grant applications were easy to write, Dr. Chandler had limited experience with anyone who wasn’t a lab assistant or graduate student.

The idea of a self-contained, atomic powered and shielded suit had stuck in his mind after Vyrkolas had tried to ignite chernobyl-style meltdowns across Soviet Union.   This was troubling for sure because the human species would face extinction. He threw himself into the task at hand with great aplomb and little sleep. The initial few tests went well, and the engineering grad students were very helpful in perfecting the specific designs in the suit.  The prototype and the first generation suit were both ready when disaster struck. Okay, when sabotage struck. One of those grad students was well and truly seduced by large payments from the underworld o set in motion the almost inevitable explosion.

Dr. Chandler’s lab was ruiner, and the grad student escaped in the prototype suit to become Fireflight – a twisted reflection of everything that Dr. Chandler would become.  The first generation suit allowed Dr. Chandler to be The Atomic Avenger! It didn’t take more than a few years of flying around and blasting trouble makers that he was welcomed onto the Argonauts.  A super scientific energy blasting battlesuit is almost always desirable in a super team, after all. It was on the Argonauts that Dr. Chandler became Anthony and found his voice and his place.

He had fun.  Yes, it was serious and dangerous with world shattering consequences, but the excitement was like nothing he had ever experienced before.  

It was through the Argonauts that friendships grew, and Anthony even grew closer to Espionage – the taciturn and mysterious leader that the Argonauts had.  Perhaps,as he became one of the first to learn his story it was more than just friendship. In the course of saving the world, the second generation Atomic Avenger suit was pushed into use sooner than it probably should have been, but Anthony needed the power upgrade.  A fight with Demon Lord damaged it, and the power coupling’s slow leak sealed his future fate. A year later, when Eidolon literally ripped him out of his armor and threw him from the top of Uluru (Ayers Rock, when I first came up with this before the dual naming policy in 1993, so consider this one of the retcons from a world shattering event), Espionage and the few Argonauts left standing thought he was dead.  While Espionage and Magique dispatched Eidolon, Anthony flew back to rejoin them … under his own power.

It seems that the damage from Demon Lord had left an energy leak that has been slowly changing Anthony to something even further from Dr. Chandler.  While he is outwardly happy with his life as a premier world saving hero with Espionage at his side away from the public eye, he doesn’t know what the future holds as he continues to shift from the flesh and blood Anthony Chandler to whatever he is slowly becoming.


Argonauts Write Up Here.

Atomic Avenger Character Sheet Here.

©2014 Green Ronin Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. References to other copyrighted material in no way constitute a challenge to the respective copyright holders of that material. Mutants & Masterminds, Super-powered by M&M, Green Ronin, and their associated logos are trademarks of Green Ronin Publishing, LLC. Please also see the Open Game LIcense from Wizards of the Coast regarding the use of the d20 system and underlying components that are not designated product identity of Green Ronin Publishing.
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