While he seems to have supernatural levels of sheer competence, the truth about Action Man is that he is but a normal human. While he has no special powers to speak of, he is smart, strong, and intently focused on being the best he can be in numerous physical and mental arenas.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Heightened Sense / Vision: on top of his already prime physical condition, Action Man also has incredibly good vision. Truly eagle-eyed, Action Man should attempt any vision-based Willpower action at one difficulty level lower than is normally required.
Grenades (i): Action Man carries three grenades with him in the field, strapped to his web gear. They can be flung out to near missile distance, and detonate to inflict intensity 10 fragmentary damage to all uncovered targets within near missile distance of where they explode.
Sidearms (a): Action Man carries at least one of these weapons on him, the first being on a chest holster. He can either discharge one round with these weapons, inflicting his Agility +4 in damage, or instead fire a three-round burst, inflicting his Agility +5 in damage.
Submachine Gun (a): his primary field weapon, Action Man can fire it to serious effect. It inflicts his Agility +4 in damage when firing one round, his Agility +5 in damage when discharging a short burst of fire, or his Agility +6 in damage when fired continuously.
Boxing (s): supplementing his various martial arts techniques, Action Man can strike foes rapidly when he needs to. He can divide his pre-card play action score between two unarmed melee attacks, the second of which he may attempt as a contingent action.
Climbing (s): his time with the Akesh Maharishis taught Action Man how to climb almost any surface - useful, since they lived on a mountain! He should receive a reduced difficulty on any attempt to climb a vertical surface, not including any additional bonuses given by equipment.
Computers (i): the Action Man is well-versed in most computer technology - he's in fact a bit ahead of the curve, considering some of his gear. He should receive a reduced difficulty on actions required while designing, building, programming, repairing, or operating computers.
Guns (a): Action Man's time posing as one of Doctor X's Skullmen allowed him to learn how to fire most modern firearms. Whether wielding a standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifle or pistol, Action Man may do so at a reduced difficulty.
Martial Arts (a): Action Man knows Kung-Fu. Thanks to his hand-to-hand combat training, he may reduce the difficulty on actions intended to dodge incoming assaults, catch thrown weaponry, or strike others in unarmed melee combat.
Military (w): when posing as one of his brother's Skullmen, Action Man was trained in a variety of military and terror tactics. He's well-versed in fighting with organized groups of men, and knows how to plan an execute combat maneuvers with practiced ease.
Physics (i): the adopted son of an astronaut, it would've been difficult for Action Man to not actually absorb some scientific knowledge. He should receive a reduced difficulty on physics actions, whether in a passive or active sense (and as you can guess, he's quite active).
Sports (a): Action Man is a true sportsman. He's always pushing his body to its utter limits, and spends his spare time practicing at any number of different sports. He should receive a reduced difficulty on any sports actions, whether playing them or just recalling knowledge about such.
Survival (w): the Akesh Maharishis taught Action Man how to survive in the wilderness, so he may be beholden to no man but himself. He can easily scrounge up enough food, water, and shelter to survive in almost any terrestrial environment, from tropical jungles to Arctic tundra.
Trance (w): while with the Akesh Maharishis, Action Man learned how to meditate deeply. He can do this so intently that he appears dead to the naked eye, his breathing and heart rate slowing down to their absolute minimum. Proving otherwise requires an average difficulty Willpower (intellect) action.
Vehicular Combat (a): the Skullmen of Doctor X taught Action Man how to handle most vehicles - particularly in an offensive fashion. He should receive a reduced difficulty on applicable actions when fighting behind the wheel (or stick) of almost any vehicle.
The Action Man has numerous contacts he can rely on around the world. As a Joe, he can naturally rely upon any member of that team for aid in a pinch. However, Action Man is also the heavy hitter for the Action Force, and can easily draw assistance from that group as well.
Thrill-seeker with a secondary calling of Vengeance: Action Man loves to experience one thrill after another, as it keeps him on his toes. However, Doctor X brings out the worst in him, what with their violent past, causing a lot of recklessness in their battles.
Action Man's GI Joe field uniform is similar to his normal garb. It includes black trousers with a GI Joe logo printed on, black leather boots, gloves, and belts, an orange sleeveless shirt featuring the Akesh Maharishis logo, green web gear, and silver and green holsters for his sidearms.Personality:
Action Man is something of an adrenaline junky - but considering his history, can you blame him? The man loves pushing himself to the extreme, both athletically and professionally. He likes nothing more than to be functioning at the extreme limits of his capabilities!
Real Name: Matthew Exler, rank classified
Occupation: international Man of Action
Legal Status: citizen of the United Kingdom with no known criminal record, legally deceased in the Devil's Due continuity branch
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: Alex Mann
Group Affiliation: GI Joe, Night Force (GI Joe sub-group), Action Force, Team Xtreme
Eyes: blue, sometimes brown (thanks to contact lenses)
Weight: 170 lbs
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Matthew has a long, distinctive scar down the side of his right cheek.
Matthew is the adopted son of renowned rocket scientist Alfred Exler. Both he and Alfred's genetic child, Dorian, were incredibly smart, thanks to education given to them by their amazing father. While Matthew was rather well balanced, though, Dorian was clearly not.
A psychopathic nutcase, Dorian killed his parents in a fire at the family home, and led Matthew to believe he was responsible for the deed. Mortified, Matthew left the country and attended school in England, throwing himself into science to forget his past.
Though he graduated with flying colors, Matthew couldn't bury the ghosts of his past, and left to wander the world after college. He eventually wound up in the Himalayas, where he was adopted by a strange cult known only as the Akesh Maharishis - and spent years with them.
Studying their ways all the while, Matthew mastered their ninja-like martial arts, their wilderness survival and mountain climbing skills, and even their yoga-like meditations. Eventually, he earned the right to wear their mark, a tattoo of their initials: AM!
Meditating on his past, Matthew eventually pieced together the night that shattered his life, and realized that he wasn't at all to blame for the death his parents - Dorian was! Leaving the monastery where he'd lived for so long, Matthew returned to 'civilization'.
Obsessed with bringing Dorian to justice, Matthew began to seek him out... but Dorian had been quite busy. Having been reborn as the diabolical Doctor X, Dorian had arranged to have all records of his past erased. Nonetheless, Matthew knew his brother, and knew how to find him.
Infiltrating Doctor X's organization, Matthew posed for a while as one of the Skullmen, one of his brother's faceless minions. While in this guise, Matthew was trained in the group's methods, and gained knowledge of military strategy, vehicular combat, and terror tactics.
He was also gathering the information he needed to put his brother down, once and for all, though this plot was waylaid by love. You see, Matthew fell for Ursula, another of his brother's recruits (though she was legit evil). This came to a head when he faced the Action Force.
Those heroes were on scene to stop Doctor X and his Skullmen from doing whatever they were up to at that Swiss hamlet, and Matthew was forced to choose between saving their lives and the love of Ursula. Making the right choice, he abandoned his scheme and tried to save the Force.
This didn't go as well as he would've liked, though, and an explosion during the fallout of this rescue attempt severely concussed Matthew. This, combined with lingering traces of Doctor X's drugs, caused Matthew to lose his memories of everything preceding the explosion.
Collected by Action Force, Matthew (who no longer knew himself by that name) was put to work as he tried to recover his past. Experiencing only maddening, random flashes of memory as he went through his daily business, Matthew decided (again) to work against Doctor X.
Meanwhile, the evil Doctor had learned that his brother, who had come so close to defeating all of his ludicrous schemes, had lost his memory - along with everything he knew that made Matthew so dangerous to himself. But that wasn't good enough.
Bringing all of his resources to bear, Doctor X ensured that every possible trace of Matthew's identity was erased, ensuring nothing would come close to reminding him of his past... and any of the dark secrets contained in his broken little brain. Moo hoo haa haa.
Taking the name of Action Man after resigning himself to his lack of a past, Matthew continued his war with Doctor X. William knew not why he hated X so much, but he was willing to roll with it, and was happy to wield the tremendous skills he somehow retained against the madman.
Matthew engaged in battle with Doctor X for quite some time, but never managed to permanently defeat the madman. In time, fragments of his memories returned, but never quite enough to piece everything he needed together. He continued to chip away at Doctor X's plots nonetheless.
In time, Action Man came to the United States in pursuit of one of Doctor X's associates, but he needed help. To this end, Action Man was given the assistance of the GI Joe team's elite Night Force group, who quickly made him an honorary member of the team, and thus, GI Joe!
Adding their logos to his uniform, he's proud to be considered one of the elite Joes!
Shortly before the second big lull in Cobra activity, Action Man was on a mission with several other Joes when his team was targeted by Red Shadows assassins. Not seeing the villains coming, the Joes were easily wiped out and left for dead in a remote jungle.
GI Joe directories featuring a version of Action Man:
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