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Abra Kadabra (Flash enemy) (DC Comics) appearing in mist

Abra Kadabra


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Abra Kadabra is a classic member of the Flash’s rogues gallery. He appeared in 1962.

A time traveller from the far future, Kadabra wields the proverbial “sufficiently advanced technology ” as magic.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Other Aliases: John Cardine, Rokk, Dr. Petrou, Professor Zoom the Reverse-Flash, Abhararakadhararbarakh.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Rogues; former agent of Neron, and leader of the Injustice Gang.
  • Base Of Operations: Keystone.
  • Height: 6’6” Weight: 202 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Armed with an array of 64th century technology, Abra Kadabra can achieve a wide array of effects, seemingly doing whatever he chooses.

Even when apparently bereft of all his technology, a lot of which is small patches of circuitry hidden about his person, or contained in his wand. And he’s still able to access a cache he has in a super-space time-fold, a tesseract  accessible by him from anywhere.

Abra Kadabra by Pérez

Initially his main tricks were his hypno-ray, teleportation (usually used on inanimate objects), and transforming people into life-sized puppets (in DC Heroes terms, Matter Manipulation).

But he’d later become more inventive in his actions and plans, and some of his more commonly used tricks are: disguising his appearance; transforming people into animals, and vice versa; and flying. A number of his attacks have been turned back on him by being blocked by mirrors, or other reflective objects.

Knowledge from the future

Coming from a more advanced era, his scientific knowledge is far more advanced than that common in modern society. Thus, he is able to assemble very advanced technological devices, even with modern components.

His 64th Century intellect also makes him a skilled linguist, able to quickly learn alien languages.


History

Abra Kadabra is the name adopted by a 64th Century man fascinated by stage magic.

The highly advanced science of the time meant there was no interest in his stage magic performances. Stealing an experimental time travel device, he returned to the 20th Century in search of an audience. Still unable to draw a crowd due to too many other things of interest, he used his advanced technology to commit showy crimes.

The Performer

He debuted at the public unveiling of a statue which he made vanish (teleporting it away), and used his Hypno-Ray to escape pursuit. But something was missing. Thus, when he stole a valuable antique book he paused to make the watching crowd – including the Flash (Barry Allen), who failed to stop him – applaud his performance.

Now renowned for his crimes, he organized a heavily attended stage show. When the Flash turned up, Abra made him vanish from his costume, and sent him speeding into space. He was caught by surprise when the Flash returned, and underestimated his opponent’s speed. The Flash moved Abra into the path of his own Hypno-Ray, freezing him and seeing him imprisoned.

Getting a job in the prison kitchen, Abra used his advanced scientific knowledge to assemble a long range Hypno-Ray. Targeting the Governor in his last few minutes in office, the beam caused him to pardon Abra.

The Unstrung Puppet

Deciding to go straight, Abra started a puppet show using life-sized puppets. His favourite act involved a puppet Flash getting beaten by Captain Creampuff. The Flash worried its popularity would dent his reputation. He embarked on a crusade against crime, reducing the popularity of Abra’s show.

Offended by the reduced applause, Abra ambushed Flash and transformed him into a puppet. Using him in a show, Abra was caught by surprise when the Flash’s control over his molecules let him transform himself back to human. Abra was returned to prison.

Escaping, Abra gathered a gang to perform crimes. He infected Flash with magic which caused his attempts to stop the gang to end in failure, oil slicks and walls of earth appearing in his path. Summoning Flash, he offered to help him control the magic in return for the Flash letting Abra take his superspeed.

The Flash refused, subdued Abra, and transferred the magic into a lamp. Since Abra’s magic is technological, this was likely achieved by hypnosis.

The Reveal

Imprisoned yet again, Abra sent a mental message to the authorities of his home time. They sent special policeman, Slor Disi, to recover him. Abra got the drop on Slor, using his technology to swap bodies. Free again, he attended a magicians’ convention. Taking to the stage, he promised to perform the greatest trick by revealing Flash’s identity.

The Flash soon appeared, as predicted. Abra teleported him out of his costume, and tried to slow him enough for the audience to see his face. The Flash used magician’s costumes from manikins on the stage to disguise himself long enough to knock Abra out. Reversing the body swap, Abra was handed over to Slor and taken back to his home time.

The Hypnotised Man

Supervised by a robot guard, Abra fabricated a hypnotic device which made its targets see, hear, and speak no evil. It was powerful enough to even affect his mechanical guardian, letting him walk out of prison.

Returning to the 20th Century, he assumed the identity of John Cardine and gained a role in a popular stage play as Merlin. Armed with his “Detectiring”, which alerted him to the Flash’s presence, he learned that Flash was actually Barry Allen.

Luring the Flash to stop a robbery, Abra tricked him into staring at his hypnotic device. This left Mr. Allen unable to see any crime being committed. With the secret help of members of the JSA, the Flash fooled Abra into believing the hypnosis had increased his powers, making him a greater threat.

Removing the hypnotic control, Abra didn’t last long against his freed opponent, and was returned to his own time.

Displacements

His next return to the 20th Century saw him allied with Professor Zoom. The pair disguised themselves as Rokk and Sorban, rulers of the gamblers planet Ventura. Taking the rest of the Justice League captive, they forced Superman and the Flash to rerun the race to prove whom was the fastest.

They claimed to have wagered on the previous race, and been unhappy it ended in a draw. In reality, the route they laid out had a number of traps they hoped would kill the Flash. The Leaguers realised the deception, and Superman and the Flash returned to subdue the villains.

Learning to mentally travel through time, Abra returned from 64th Century incarceration. Appearing before a stage magician’s conference in the 20th Century, he sought admittance into the group. Denied due to his criminal record, he hypnotised the audience into committing crimes.

Deciding to take it further, he built a larger hypnotic device. It influenced the entire city, causing everyone to bring him all the money. It even controlled the Flash, until Abra treated him like a dog. Flash’s outrage broke him free, and Abra was again returned to the 64th Century.

He next managed to pull the Flash into a cartoon world. Kadabra then tricked him into using his vibrational powers so as to pierce his body with rods designed to prevent him vibrating. With the Flash held in place, Abra left him to die as the cartoon world self-destructed.

The Flash freed himself and hitched a ride on Abra’s escape craft. When Abra tried to transform him into cardboard, the Flash reflected the attack back at him.

The Escape

Back in the 64th Century, Abra became the subject of an experimental reform program. He was released into the community, where the public kept applauding him to remove his drive to commit crimes. Trapped, he sent a device back in time which transported the Flash to the 64th Century.

The device forced Mr. Allen to apparently kill Abra, disrupting him molecular structure so there was nothing left of him.

He’d actually transported himself back in time, while the Flash was arrested for murder. But his escape didn’t work right. The effect of Flash’s vibrational powers on his time travel sent Abra to Earth-2’s past, where he was confused to find a different Flash (Jay Garrick).

Capturing this Flash, Abra’s questioning of him was interrupted by Barry Allen’s arrival. Having escaped custody, he freed Jay and they sent Abra back to his own time again.

Abra Kadabra tortures the Flash

Keeping his identity secret, Abra broke a select group of super-criminals out of prison. They then formed a new Injustice Gang of the World. He had them steal a handful of seemingly worthless artifacts, which were actually objects of power left by extra-terrestrials, and they plotted to take control of the Earth’s energy sources.

The plan was uncovered by the JLA, and the Gang were captured.

Abra later created an elaborate illusion of a mental institution at which Barry Allen believed himself to be a patient. Assuming the identity of Dr. Petrou, Abra tried convincing him his Flash identity was a delusion.

Abra’s desire for applause tipped his hand, and he was again captured. He spent several years imprisoned in the future before a freak electrical storm allowed him his freedom.

The Deathtrap

When the Flash was on trial for the murder of Professor Zoom, Abra wagered with the Commissioner that he could alter history by having the Flash found guilty. Disguising himself as the Reverse-Flash and using technology to duplicate his powers, Abra only allowed himself to be seen by select individuals as his manipulated events.

While in disguise, Abra took the opportunity to gain revenge upon members of the Rogues (for unrevealed reasons). Kidnapping Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Captain Boomerang, Weather Wizard, Rainbow Raider, and the Trickster, he placed them in a death trap and left them there.

With the Flash found guilty, Abra left a trail he knew would bring his opponent to the 64th Century, where he had a trap prepared. The trap worked and the Flash was captured, but the plan was disrupted by the Rogues. They’d escaped their trap and followed his trail into the future.

Working together, Flash and the Rogues overcame his traps, and Abra was turned over to the authorities.

The Breakdown

Following the Crisis , Abra’s mental state deteriorated. When he next faced the Flash (the temporarily depowered Wally West), he was randomly turning people into animals and animals into people. He was engulfed in flames after the Flash drove a truck into him.

His technology was damaged by the impact, his body shoved out of phase with reality. It left him invisible and insubstantial, unnoticed by the audience he craved, which further deteriorated his sanity.

The Clockwork Execution

(Following the Crisis, there seemed to be a change in his home time period. Abra becomes an individualistic rebel in a sterile, fascistic society, rather than an outsider in an advanced and benevolent one. The major change is the authorities exiling him to the 20th Century as punishment. I’ve made no attempt to reconcile the difference, leaving the history as is.)

(His being a rebel can be written off as propaganda, with Chronarch coming to power between Barry Allen’s last visit to the time and Wally West’s first visit. During this time laws become more harshly enforced, such as exiling criminals to the “lawless” 20th Century.)

When he finally pulled himself back into reality, he discovered another stage magician had taken his name. Quickly dispatching him, Abra once again faced the Flash (Wally’s powers having returned). Their battle was interrupted when a Peregrine (a hunter for the authorities of his time) arrived to take Abra back to his own time. The Flash was pulled along with them.

They arrived to find revolutionary forces, inspired by Abra’s individuality, rebelling against the conformist authorities. Following a quick sentencing by the Chronarch, Abra was taken to a public place where the Peregrine was about to execute him. The Flash intervened.

Setting Abra free, the Flash let him cause a distraction while he dealt with the Central Clockworks. This neutralized the source of Chronarch’s power, and began open warfare. With the rebel forces having the upper hand, the Flash tricked Peregrine into sending him and Abra back to the 20th Century, robbing Abra of the chance to seize control.

His one chance at serious recognition stolen, Abra developed a particular enmity for Wally West.

The Burnt Lady

Escaping prison, Abra learned of Allison Armitage, a lady badly scarred by a fire where the Flash had managed to evacuate others. She blamed the Flash for her injuries. Kidnapping the wife and child of a prominent and respected lawyer, C. Eric McCullough, Abra forced him to represent Allison in suing the Flash.

Pushing Flash’s buttons, Abra got him to attack McCullough in open court, believing him to be Abra in disguise.

Banned from operating in costume, West nevertheless went into action as a fugitive. But in tracking Abra to where his hostages were held, the Flash apparently fell into a trap. Thus, Mr. West got Abra to brag about what he’d done. The Flash then revealed he’d already rescued the hostages, and that the police were listening nearby.

His plot foiled, Abra disappeared in an explosion.

The Disappointing Trip

Abra’s escape threw him into the river, where he happened across a copy of The Life Story of the Flash by Iris Allen. This book had originally belonged to Professor Zoom in the far future. Kadabra washed ashore outside Kobra’s new Keystone headquarters, and hid among them, waiting for his chance to kill the Flash.

It came when Wally discovered the building. Kadabra trapped him in a hologram lab with a web of laser fire reflected by mirrors. His plan was foiled when his costume began to change as a result of a temporal anomaly. It pulled Abra and Wally forward into the 64th Century, before the Flash was pulled away into the Zero Hour  event.

It’s unclear what happened to Abra next. But given his later preference for the 20th Century, it’s possible his opportunity for recognition in his home time had passed, and the open warfare in the period made it unsuitable for his act.  He returned to the 20th Century.

The Bargain

Offered true magical powers by Neron, Abra accepted and became his agent.

He offered similar deals to others, and arranged Neron’s arrival on Earth by tricking five Rogues into making suicidal attacks on strategic targets. Becoming a member of Neron’s inner council, he was soon dispatched by internal conflicts among the group as they attempt to gain Neron’s power.

Abra Kadabra burned face closeup

In the Flash biography he’d acquired, Abra learned of an imminent ice age. Teaming up with Doctor Polaris and Chillblaine, Abra set about orchestrating the event to ensure they became rulers of the world.

They abducted the book’s author, Iris Allen, and forced her to write detailed accounts of the future history she knew from her time in the future. Abra hoped to use it as a road map to help them rule.

When Chillblaine drew too much attention to their operation, they terminated his part of the partnership, having what they needed from him. They used the device to freeze Central City, but it was soon destroyed by Wally West and John Fox (a Flash from the future who was visiting the 20th Century at the time).

The Vanished Woman

Abra learned that Flash’s fiancée, Linda Park, served as some kind of anchor for him to find his way home whenever he was lost in the time stream. He abducted her on their wedding day and cast a spell which made the world forget about her. She was believed to have disappeared a couple of years prior, before ever meeting Wally.

As a result, the next time Flash pushed his speed while travelling through time, he became lost with no way home.

Linda escaped Abra, but ended up in an alternate reality where Walter West had gone insane following the death of his Linda. With her no longer shielded by Abra’s technologies, Wally was pulled to this world by her presence. When Abra caught up to them, he had to face both Flashes.

He tricked them into believing him beaten, allowing him to launch an attack which apparently killed Wally and Linda.

Learning that Walter had followed him back to Wally’s world, Abra teamed up with Flash adversaries Replicant and Zoom, the Reverse-Flash. But Zoom was actually Wally West in disguise.

He tricked Abra into reversing the spell which removed Linda from people’s memories. Enraged, Abra tried the same trick on all his opponents. They reflected it back with mirrors, making him forget who he was.

The Big Show

Abra became the victim of an alien parasite which used his powers on a greater scale, summoning mythic creatures to wreck havoc on civilization. Only the intervention of the JLA stopped their rampage. They freed Abra, but his sanity was shattered.

Despite the authorities believing they’d stripped him of all hidden circuitry, when his sanity (such as it is) returned, Abra was easily able to break free. Confronting two Flashes (Garrick and West) in Metropolis also drew the attention of Superman. Abra caused first West, and then the audience of a stadium, to rapidly age. He threatened to let them die unless Garrick and Superman raced.

It was actually a trick. The race let him harness enough speed to transport himself and both heroes to his home time period so he could get a fresh supply of technology.

Acquiring a Fourth Dimensional Chaos Sphere, he was about to absorb the life force of everyone within 500 miles and 52 centuries. The Flash (West) again reflected the attack back on him, shrinking Abra and leaving him trapped within the Sphere, in which he was returned to the Iron Heights prison.

The Hanged Man

Putting on an open air show in LA, Abra was supposed to make a building slated for demolition disappear. He instead made a jewellery store disappear, teleporting it to the Alps where his hired muscle were waiting to strip it clean. Unfortunately the Flash (Bart Allen), had tagged along on the trip, and easily foiled the robbery.

Recruited into Inertia’s Rogues, Abra’s technological knowledge let him see that the device Inertia had them assembling wouldn’t stop time as he’d claimed. Inertia turned on him to try and keep him quiet.

The Flash (Bart Allen) soon tried to stop them, but his powers were neutralized as Wally West returned to Earth. Things quickly got out of control, and Inertia manipulated the Rogues into murdering Bart. With his death, the reality of the situation hit the Rogues, and they turned on Inertia, who fled.

They followed suit, but were individually captured by the Suicide Squad. The Rogues were the first group exiled to a distant planet where the government was secretly sending super-villains.

The planet turned out to be a training ground for Apokolips’ Parademons. Abra was among those who escaped when the scientists among the group assembled a teleportation device to return them to Earth.


Personality

An egotist craving the recognition and applause of others, voluntary or otherwise, Abra’s mental state has undergone periods of deterioration over the years.

While he often targeted Barry Allen due to his frequent opposition, he has developed an even greater hatred for Wally West, after he stole him away from his greatest moment of triumph. Thus, he sometimes targets West with plans which have no hope of being seen by any audience other than himself.

While his powers would allow him to easily dispatch most opponents, he prefers to play with them, making the most of the show, keeping himself in the spotlight for as long as possible.


Quotes

“No one can capture Abra Kadabra – the mightiest magician in history.”

[Being compared to Houdini ] “Houdini ? How dare you ? Houdini was a charlatan ! A cheat ! A base fraud ! Houdini swore to perform the ultimate magical feat ! He vowed to return from the dead ! Dear ladies and gentlemen Houdini failed where Abra Kadabra has succeeded !”

“Ladies and gentlemen – from across the centuries, I present to you the greatest audience of all time the sensational showmanship — the spectacular sorcery — the magnificent magic — of Abrrrra Kadabra !”

“Do you realize what you cost me when you dragged me to this backward era ? I was the new monarch of the 64th Century ! My followers were legion ! I could have ruled ! I could have conquered ! I could have been a god !”

Flash (West): “I thought you were in jail.”
Abra: “Freed on a technicality. Technically, I’m the greatest escape artist your world will ever know. I made my own way out. My one goal since then has been to pen you in your own prison one walled by anguish and self-doubt. To reduce you as you have diminished me.”

Inertia: “When did you become an expert in temporal mechanics ?”
Abra: “The third grade. Temporal physics is part of the elementary school curriculum in the 64th Century.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Abra Kadabra

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 07 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 007
Init: 018 HP: 070

Powers:
Chameleon: 06, Comprehend Languages: 12, Flight: 06, Hypnotism: 12, Matter Manipulation: 11, Teleportation: 14, Transform: 15

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Matter Manipulation and Transform both have a Range of Sight (-1).
  • Comprehend Languages is a Skilled Power (+1).
  • Matter Manipulation works on organic matter (+3).

Skills:
Artist (Showmanship): 06, Gadgetry: 07, Scientist: 07, Thief: 05, Vehicles (Air): 05

Advantages:
Familiarity (Time Travel), Genius, Scholar (Stage Magic).

Connections:
Rogues (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIA (Receiving Applause), MIH (Flash [Wally West]), Miscellaneous Drawback (Any ranged power used by Abra may be reflected back on him if someone Blocks it with a reflective object).

Equipment:
While the most commonly used bits of his technology are covered by the listed Powers, he often causes other effects which can be address by giving him 4 14AP ABCD Omni-Gadgets with Miniaturization, and any Ranged Power are limited to Range of sight.

Certain effect (mainly plot points) are far more powerful than this. Examples include:- duplicating Zoom’s superspeed; aging a stadium full of civilians; or altering the memory of everyone in the world to forget the existence of an individual.

These can be treated as a single ABCD Omni-Gadget, also with Miniaturization, at the AP level required (if you need to actually work it out).


Design notes

Despite his powers being technologically based (apart from the Time Travel Power he had Pre-Crisis, and the Sorcery Neron gave him, which disappeared soon after [see below), it has been shown that even when the authorities believe they have stripped him of all hidden circuitry, he can still have some left.

So they’re modelled as actual Powers, rather than as Equipment. I’ve listed his most commonly used abilities, and used non-magical Sorcery to cover the others.

While it’s never actually stated that he loses the actual Sorcery Neron gave him, after the Underworld Unleashed story his magic‘ is always referred to as being technological, so I’ve assumed that this deal ended with Neron’s defeat.


Previous Stats

Initially he had an SIA to Receiving Applause for his tricks (crimes). This diminished to an MIA as his MIH grew, beginning when Wally snatched him away from victory in his home time.

Prior to the Crisis on Infinite Earths he had learned to mentally project himself through time, so had Time Travel: 36.

During his first confrontation with Wally West, he was badly burnt, giving him Distinct Appearance. By the time he clashes with Bart Allen, his face appears recovered, although whether this is just due to his Chameleon Power is unknown.

While an agent of Neron, he had 14 APs of Sorcery.

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: DC Comics.

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, Chris Cottingham. One illustration from rapsheet.co.uk .

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