the Phantom Reporter
While he originally fought crime without powers, relying only upon his considerable skills and his sidearms, Dick Jones has since become empowered by the Fiery Mask. Passing his legacy powers on to Dick as he died, the Fiery Mask granted him considerable fantastic abilities.
Atomic Sense (w): Dick has the curious ability to visually perceive the atomic structure of things. He can use this intensity 5 power to determine an object's chemical composition, or more often, to track something by the rare compounds he has laced it with.
Aura / Heat (a): this ability allows Dick to generate an aversive aura of heat, one which can repel damage per a force field. This intensity 12 (+3) ability can shield him, or anyone he's in contact with, against even the mightiest physical attack with relative ease.
Fire Control (i): upon being empowered by the Fiery Mask, Dick developed the ability to shape ambient flames in his environment - whether natural or those of his own generation. Dick may bend fire to his will with ease, having this power at intensity 13.
Fire Generation (a): in addition to being able to shape flames as he sees fit, Dick can now generate intensity 15 fire and heat. This ability is mostly under his control, but on occasion Dick's fury will cause him to involuntarily give off staggering amounts of thermal energy.
Power Transfer (i): the nature of Dick's powers allow him to transfer them to others, which will let them persist should he die. Dick may wield this power with intensity 15 skill, permanently gifting another with all of his super-human powers (including, unusually, this one).
Super Breath (s): now possessing unfathomable lung capacity, Dick can inhale an enough air that he can inflict damage upon its exhalation! Functioning at intensity 13, Dick can use this hyper-compressed air to inflict like concussive damage - or to apply force to something.
Super Jumping (a): above and beyond his enhanced strength, Dick has demonstrated the power to leap vast distances in a single bound. He may now jump anywhere within artillery distance in a single exchange, thanks to this intensity 20 ability.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Body Armor (s): at the insistence of Mastermind Excello, Dick began to wear protective gear in the modern era. His new, bullet resistant uniform provides him intensity 8 (+2) protection against piercing damage, or intensity 4 (+1) defense against other physical attacks.
Sidearms (a): Dick carries two of these weapons with him while 'on the job' as the Phantom Reporter - you never know when some two-bit hood is going to open up on you. He can fire these weapons to inflict his Agility +4 damage, +5 if fired in a burst.
Artist / Writing (w): as a general matter of course, Dick prefers the written word when detailing the things he's found out via his journalistic work. He should make actions to write compelling works at one difficulty level lower than is usually required.
Boxing (s): former a collegiate boxer, Dick knows full well how to defend himself without weaponry. Whenever engaging in unarmed melee, Dick may divide his pre-card play action score between two such attacks, the last of which occurs as a contingent action.
Guns (a): in addition to his considerable hand-to-hand fighting abilities, Dick can also fire a gun with ease. Whether wielding a standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifle or pistol, Dick may do so at a reduced difficulty level.
Journalism (i): thanks to his newspaper work, has access to - and the skill to use - several sources of information. Furthermore, on a challenging difficulty action, he can find out anything remotely public about anyone or anything within a working day.
Sports / Football (a): an ex All-American fullback, Dick knows the ins and outs of football - whether playing or when writing about it for the paper. The man should receive a reduced difficulty on any football-related actions, whether playing or commenting on the sport.
Swords (s): a former fencing champion, Dick has the ability to wield a foil - and by extension, most other swords - with heightened ability. Whenever he takes a foil or other long blade into battle, he may use it at one difficulty level lower than normal.
Wrestling (s): a former wrestler, Dick is well-versed in the application of holds in combat. If he can pass a Strength (strength) action, he can apply a hold on a foe, and for each turn he can succeed in further such actions, he can keep inflicting the same damage.
As a former member of the Twelve, Dick can readily rely upon the surviving member of that group of time-lost Golden Age heroes, should he but ask for it. In particular, he is especially close to Mastermind Excello, his current employer, and the Black Widow, his one true love.
Investigator: it probably goes without saying, but Dick loves to unravel a mystery - particularly one that others fail at handling. Whenever an unsolved crime comes to his attention, Dick is more than happy to look into it and bring the perpetrators to Justice!
While active as the Phantom Reporter, Dick has worn three separate costumes. The first was a blue three piece suit, with a large collared red cape, a red domino mask that glowed, black leather shoes, and a purple fedora with a black band.
His second uniform was just a bit different. It consists of a three piece purple suit, accented with a magenta tie, a black cape with a magenta interior and magenta collar, magenta gloves, a magenta domino mask, and a purple fedora with a magenta band.
Dick's third, modern uniform is more tactically minded. It includes black leather boots and trousers, black holsters for his sidearms, a black, bullet resistant long-sleeved shirt with a torch emblem on the front, his black cape with its magenta interior, and his purple mask.
Mind you, Dick's mask has been altered slightly, giving the impression of flames on its edges, in honor of the Fiery Mask.
Dick is a principled, idealistic sort, feeling a need to use his abilities to help the 'little guy' who can't help himself. As a reporter he's always digging into the fine details of a case, particularly if there's an unsolved crime involved that he thinks he can sort out.
Real Name: Dick Jones
Occupation: journalist, vigilante
Legal Status: citizen of the United States with no known criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: Mr. Van Ergen
Group Affiliation: none
Weight: 180 lbs
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: none
Son of a World War I veteran, Dick Jones was raised to do the right thing - and to do it well. As such, he excelled in multiple sports while in college, and was an All-American fullback, not to mention an ex-collegiate boxing, wrestling, and fencing champion.
Of course, while his physical prowess was almost without peer, Dick didn't want to be a professional athlete. No, in his heart Dick wanted to be a journalist, and while his parents disagreed with his choice of career, they nonetheless supported him in it.
So, fresh out of college, Dick got a job at a New York newspaper. It was while Dick was getting his feet wet in his job that he had his first brush with the fantastic, which all started when an old family friend, Edmund Chancellor, contacted him about the death of another.
After Edmund gloated about the demise of Billy Sullivan, Dick was incensed enough to look into the matter, which led him to discover that Edmund's father, Oswald Chancellor, was deep in bed with the mob. Not that he could exactly prove it, of course.
Meeting Sullivan's widow, Dick ultimately found out that Oswald was after the legendary Philosopher's Stone, which one of his employees had apparently rediscovered. Knowing that Dick knew his secret, he sicced his mob thugs on the man. But then, something unexpected happened.
Donning a mask that two partygoers had given him earlier in the night, Dick felt empowered suddenly, supposing that this was how other costumed adventurers popping up of late felt. Instead of rolling over and dying, Dick fought off his attackers - and won quite handily!
Exulting in this new identity, feeling that he could use it to right wrongs that were beyond the reach of his typewriter, Dick began to fight crime as the Phantom Reporter! And he started by dealing with Oswald Chancellor first - who had been considerably enhanced by the Stone.
Dick next unleashed the Phantom Reporter when given the task of investigating a series of murders being committed on the East Side, murders that nobody seemed able to stop. Lurking on the streets one night, Dick discovered several thugs in the act and broke up their murder party.
Of course, Dick hit one thug so hard that he killed him! The next day, Dick found that his boss had been threatened by other thugs, and was told to lay off the case. Not one to back down so easily, Dick resumed looking for his quarry, though they roughed him up in the process.
Returning to their lair at midnight, Dick smashed this second crew up, and forced a mouthful of Nembutal ™ down one's throat. He thus learned that the police chief, the park commissioner, and the publishers of the Record and the News-Telegram are behind it all - for sensationalism!
Subsequently taking all of these conspirators down, Dick let his victims know how he'd drugged one of their cronies. Soon enough, though the police wouldn't arrest any of them, Dick's foes were implicated by said crony, who confessed while still under the effects of Dick's drugs.
With the case solved, Dick returned to his high school beat, though few of his further exploits have yet to be revealed. He was active at least through the Battle of Berlin, however, when the Army pulled in every costumed adventurer it could to help finish that fight.
During the fighting, Dick was pulled together with eleven random heroes, and assigned to shut down the SS Headquarters. Of course their basement contained a sophisticated trap with which the Nazis immobilized Dick and company, hoping to eventually dissect them for Science.
However, their captors were killed by Russian soldiers soon after, and Dick's unit lay forgotten, in cryogenic storage, for decades. Only recently discovered by a construction crew, Dick and company were revived by the United States Army, and given a job!
With the country recovering from a super-hero Civil War, the Army thought these World War II heroes would be the best propaganda machine to help prop up the new status quo, and all of them agreed to continue doing what they would've been doing anyway - albeit in a new era.
To this end Dick has landed himself a column with the Daily Bugle, where he could talk about his observations of the past and present. He also began looking into various mysteries, including some that involved his fellow members of the Golden Age Twelve - Dynamic Man in particular.
This because various crimes in the city occurring after the group's revival ultimately pointed towards him. Thus, Dick decided to dig into Dynamic Man's origins rather heavily, and ultimately discovered what even he didn't realize: that he was an artificial man, an android!
The fallout from this revelation saw the Dynamic Man leveling the mansion the Army was housing the Twelve within, and caused the seeming death of Rockman. Pursuing the fleeing android with his fellows, Dick confronted him again at the place of his birth... almost dying in the process.
This because, after hostilities began anew, Dynamic Man broke the neck of the Fiery Mask, and went to work on Captain Wonder... while saving Dick for last. Of course, Fiery Mask had the last laugh, passing his powers on to Dick before he breathed his last.
With the help of Captain Wonder, Dick managed to end the Dynamic Man's threat once and for all, though the Captain was horribly burned in the process. Returning home, Dick and company buried their dead and said their goodbyes, as the Twelve pretty much disbanded after this.
However, Dick was not fated to be alone. No, he was quickly reunited with the Black Widow, who he had grown quite fond of since his revival, and the feeling was mutual. And they, in turn, began working with Mastermind Excello, and his new investigative firm, EXC Enterprises.
Though his reporting days are now over, Dick can nonetheless use his abilities to solve mysteries... just in new and exciting ways!
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