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Antibody of DP7 (New Universe Marvel Comics)

Antibody

(Randy O'Brien)


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

Context

The New Universe was a cluster of Marvel comic books that existed during the second half of the 1980s.

This setting was more grounded than traditional super-hero comic book settings. For instance it steered clear of genre conventions such as the “eternal present”, costumes, or thunderous events and superhumans having little impact on the world and its history.

Antibody appeared in the D.P.7 comic book, about random people freshly turned into superhumans and held in a special clinic to be studied and receive medical treatment.


Background

  • Real Name: Randall “Randy” Lawrence O’Brien
  • Other Aliases: Randy O’Connell, Randy O’Connor
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: John (father), Rebecca (mother)
  • Group Affiliation: Displaced Paranormals-7 (DP7) Aka Group C, Test Group III, Therapy Group C, (former) United States Army
  • Base Of Operations: Manhattan (former) The Clinic for Paranormal Research, Wisconsin; Fort Benning, Georgia; The Pitt, Pennsylvania (formerly known as Pittsburgh)
  • Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 175 lb. Age: 29 by the last DP7 issue
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Randy O’Brien is trained in medicine and is a speed reader. He is also a natural leader and athlete.

Antibodies

Randy O’Brien is able to create multiple negative-image versions of himself out of an unknown substance dubbed “psychoplasm.” These duplicates can fly, become solid or immaterial at will, and are as strong as their human original.

They are also immune to attacks that affect the mind or the central nervous system. However, they do seem to have minds of their own and act independently. Although they lack vocal apparatus, they can confer their experiences upon living beings by touching them and willing such an information-transfer.

The number of Antibodies Randy can manifest at one time is unknown.

Antibody of DP7 (New Universe Marvel Comics) - an antibody punches a superhuman soldier

Each Antibody develops its own personality, apparently based on some facet of O’Brien’s personality. Each of them, once created, is capable of independent activity. They respond to O’Brien’s verbal or mental commands to varying degrees.

Other Antibody traits

The Antibodies apparently need to rest inside O’Brien’s body for at least an hour every 24 hours. Failing that their psychoplasm begins to deteriorate. An Antibody once spent 78 hours out of O’Brien’s body before totally dissipating. The demise of an individual Antibody apparently has no physical effects on O’Brien.

O’Brien is able to prevent Antibodies from re-entering his body through hypnosis, as he did when one of his Antibodies went rogue.

Initially, Randy believed he had only one Antibody. He later discovered he could create up to five at a time. Later still, he learned he could create any number of Antibodies (under stress, at least), and enter their bodies, taking on their physical appearance and enhancing his own strength and durability.

On at least one occasion Randy created four Antibodies, and then immediately reabsorbed them. He thus gained five times his normal strength for a while.

Randy is presently unable to remove the Antibody he resides in, due to exposure to “Pitt juice.” Within the Antibody, he possesses the same powers as any other Antibody, except the ability to become intangible. Also, any additional Antibodies he creates are only one foot in height.


The New Universe

The New Universe possesses interesting temporal characteristics. The White Event occurred on July 22, 1986, after which events moved in real time. That lasted at least up to The War, sometime in early 1990. It’s unlikely that the characters of the NU will be seen again (a true shame), but I’d like to think that they should somehow stay in real time.

I ran a New Universe campaign in MSH Classic RPG from 1989-1991. Likewise, our games occurred in “real time”. While this can be a royal pain for a GM, it made for a very interesting component to the setting.

Keep in mind that exact time does not need to be kept between game *sessions* to be accurate… merely that each year of comics equals one year of actual time. GMs can therefore decide exactly when time “moves” to keep the events in real time. Usually after each “story arc” was over, time advanced to the present.


History

Randy O’Brien was born in DePere, Wisconsin, in February of 1958. Randy earned his bachelor degree at University of Wisconsin-Madison , after which he went to medical school at Marquette University . He stayed at Marquette for an internship, and eventually a residency at an unnamed Wisconsin hospital.

The White Event occurred on July 26th of 1986. But it was on September 24th of 1986 that Randy first manifested paranormal abilities. He encountered David Landers when he was brought to the hospital where Randy was a resident.

Being in great pain, Landers fought the nurses trying to restrain him. Two dark arms sprung from O’Brien’s torso that held Landers long enough for O’Brien to give Landers a tranquilizer. After an argument with his supervisor, Dr. Eastman, an negative image of O’Brien flew across the room and attempted to attack Eastman, only stopping at Randy’s command.

Later, the resident fell asleep after reading a classified ad for the Clinic for Paranormal Research. This a facility designed to help individuals who had acquired strange abilities. The negative image (which O’Brien would come to call an “Antibody”), under its own initiative, relayed the information to Landers. The two entered the Clinic under assumed names.

The Clinic

O’Brien and Landers were at first convinced of the Clinic staff’s sincerity. They enrolled into Therapy Group C, where they met Jeff Walters, Charlotte Beck, Dennis Cuzinski, Stephanie Harrington, and Lenore Fenzl. Randy had some misgivings, as it seemed the Clinic was giving them a lot and asking nothing in return.

Late one night, O’Brien’s Antibody intruded on the Clinic staff, at least four of whom were paranormals themselves. It learned the Clinic had plans to make a private army out of them. It would be led by Philip Nolan Voigt, the Clinic’s director – who himself was a paranormal of vast power.

Randy and the rest of Therapy Group C subdued the Clinic staff that tried to stop them from leaving. They escaped into the night. Shortly after leaving the Clinic, the group was attacked repeatedly by a trio of paranormal bounty hunters hired by the Clinic.

Though some members of the group, especially Scuzz, wanted to seriously harm or kill the bounty hunters, Randy always managed to talk them out of it. Over time, the paranormals adapted to living with their powers.

On the run

Although most members of the group wanted to stay in Wisconsin, Randy thought it would be better if they got as far away from the Clinic as possible. David came up with a plan to split up the group temporarily. Dave, Stephanie Harrington, and Lenore Fenzl, went to get Stephanie’s kids. Meanwhile Randy and the others searched for Scuzz, who’d recently left the group.

While they were separated, Charly Beck went missing. Randy sent his Antibody to look for Beck, who, unknown to him, had already been captured by more bounty hunters. But before his Antibody could return to him, both he and Jeff Walters were captured as well.

The Clinic attempted to brainwash all of the captured members of DP7 with psychic reinforcement while they were sedated. Meanwhile, Randy’s abandoned Antibody met an orphan named Evan Huebner, and took up residence in his body. It convinced Evan to return him to Randy at the Clinic, but just as Evan arrived there, it disintegrated.

Voigt annulled

Eventually, the bounty hunters brought in Dave Landers. Dave found Randy and attempted to go and rescue the others. What he found was that most of them had been brainwashed, and Stephanie was in some kind of coma. They encountered Clinic head Philip Nolan Voigt who revealed that he could copy any other power.

Randy then discovered he could create multiple Antibodies. Randy and Dave fought with him until Voigt generated a giant antibody and was pulled inside of it. When Dave destroyed the antibody, Voigt was nowhere to be found.

Randy convinced Dave to stay at the Clinic until they found out if Voight was the only bad apple at the Clinic. Dave was misled by Dr. Dexter Charne, who claimed that Hackbarth was trying to kill Stephanie. When he tried to stop it, Stephanie was accidentally caught in the backlash.

This prompted Dave to attempt to kill the comatose Hackbarth, until Randy’s antibodies pulled him off the man.

Shortly afterwards, Charne put the Clinic’s new interim director into a coma as a bid to gain control of the Clinic. When Dave learned of this, he assumed Charne was responsible for Stephanie. He was prepared to kill the man, but before he was able to one of Randy’s new antibodies strangled Charne to death.

Blood on a pacifist’s hands

Randy, who does not believe in killing another human even in self defense, was furious at the Antibody that killed Charne. He sought a way to keep it from re-entering his body. His killer Antibody ended up finding a host in Evan Huebner, who had remained at the clinic.

Randy’s friend Jeff Walters left the Clinic suddenly in the aftermath of the disaster that came to be known as The Pitt. He had family in the Pittsburgh area. Randy suggested the group go after him, and most agreed. Stephanie remained behind due to her coma, but the DP-7 were joined by Merriam “Sponge” Morse and George “Mutator” Mullaney.

They drove as far as they could in Dave’s old Winnebago. They walked the rest of the way, until they fell over the side of the Pitt. Dave fell partway to the bottom while waiting for Randy’s antibodies to come back and rescue him. There he found Jeff, circling the bottom of the Pitt.

Into the Pitt

He tried to save Jeff by climbing out. But a sheet of rock broke off they fell to the bottom, and would have died if they’d not been saved by Jennifer Swensen in her MAX Armor. Dave was weak and nearly unconscious for a while after that. Eventually, Sponge managed to wake him up in order to deal with a vicious paranormal named Pitt Bull.

Immediately after the fight, the group was surrounded by the United States Army and captured. Randy, Dave, and Jeff were informed about a paranormal draft. In order to escape prosecution for being in a restricted area, they signed up.

While acting as a doctor in the military Randy comes in contact with the mutated Robinson Family entity known as Famileech. While fighting the combined family entity, he learned he could “wear” his Antibodies giving him added strength, durability, and flight.

When Dave was sent on a suicide mission to the Pitt, Randy deserted and tried to find him. While flying about the Pitt in one of his Antibodies, Randy was hit with a blast of Pitt Juice, the atomized remains of Pittsburgh. He was paralyzed, and thus it was Dave who found and saved Randy.

From this time on, Randy was stuck inside his Antibody, and any additional Antibodies he made were only one foot tall.

Vote Voigt

Confident they army was no longer interested in the two of them, Randy and Dave headed for New York. There they learned Voigt was now a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. At his campaign headquarters, they confronted Voigt, who learned that he couldn’t mind control them.

Voigt then revealed a number of Randy’s former friends, including both Stephanie and Charly, who had been recruited by the CIA. Voigt ordered the girls to kill Dave and Randy. Unable to resist the mental compulsion, they obeyed.

Just before they would have killed Dave and Randy, Voigt stopped them. He warned that if the men tried to interfere with his plans, he’d order all his thralls to kill themselves. The reunited group were then able to become friends, even moving into the same apartment building together.

Later, Dave and Randy were able to convince Jacob Burnely, a new holder of the Star Brand, to take on Voigt on their behalf.

The Cure

Randy remained in New York with the others. Learning of a paranormal called “the Cure”, who offered to remove paranormal abilities, Randy was tempted to have his powers removed. But when he learned it meant he would have to give up all his Antibodies, he refused treatment.

He decided he could not live without his Antibodies, which he thought of as his children.


Description

Randy O’Brien was a completely normal-looking guy in every respect, who tended to blend into a crowd. In fact he was the most normal guy in the DP-7 group, which accounts partially for Charly Beck’s attraction to him.

After he became stuck inside an Antibody, he took on their otherwordly, slightly spooky appearance. People’s reaction to him suffered a blow.

The Antibodies are dark, shadowy versions of Randy with stellar patterns visible inside their “skins”.


Personality

Randy is a true everyman. He’s a nice guy. Though gifted with great power, he is uncertain of his place in the world. He is supportive of his friends through thick and thin, and willing to put himself through considerable danger for them if they need it. And even if they don’t seem to want it.

He is hardly perfect and is well aware of his shortcomings, such as his subtle racial prejudice he inherited from his parents. But he is all the more sympathetic for it. And the more empathetic because, recognizing his own shortcomings, he can empathize with those of others.

Randy is also a dedicated physician. While this can be a good thing, it also has gotten him in trouble with his friends on occasion when he has offered emergency treatment to their enemies. Randy feels it is his duty to help everyone. The rest of DP7 felt he was endangering them by helping their persecutors.

It created some prettty deep tensions until Randy managed to overcome his altruistic instinct.

A man of gentle good humor, Randy leads by example, even when his highly individualistic teammates don’t want to follow.


Quotes

“…”

“Come on out of there, you dark devil ! Let me know I still have some—Whoa ! There it is… Barely see it in the dark. Where’s it going, I wonder ? The thing still has a mind of its own, it seems. Or it must be controlled by my subconcious in some way I’m not aware of. Don’t get in trouble, pal !”


DC Universe History

DP7 and their fellow clinic patients metahumans triggered by the metagene bomb who felt cursed by their new powers. Philip Nolan Voight would have been an associate of Niles Caulder (in Caulder’s much more evil Grant Morrison-written stage) with his own, sinister agenda.

Caulder’s death took place shortly after Voight fled the Clinic and he became an independent operator.

Randy’s obvious paralells to the Negative Man and Negative Woman of the Doom Patrol lead me to tie them together somehow… I’m embarrassed that I’m not the one who thought of it.

Substitute the Destruction of Blüdhaven for the Pitt. The side-effects of exposure to the former Chemo’s chemicals and the radiations emitted by various parties in the Blüdhaven ruins could substitute for the Pitt Juice. After fleeing the Army, the DP-7s settled in post-One Year Later Gotham.

Randy’s and the other paranormals’ pre-empowered lives need to remain untouched by their greater Universe to maintain their everyman, absolutely normal character vibe.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Antibody

A 590 Point Character

Dex: 04 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Upholding The Good
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Medical resident
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 011 HP: 030

Powers:
Split: 06, Flight: 07

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Split: No Reduction in Abilities (+3), No Control over Duplicates (-2)
  • Split Copies the antibodies from his unenhanced baseline Physical Attributes (Alter Ego) rather than the enhanced ones above (-1)

Skills:
Charisma (Persuasion): 04, Medicine (Not including Brainwashing): 05, Military Science*: 04, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms)*: 04

Advantages:
Misc: Speed-reader, Leadership, Misc: While inside an antibody Randy is considered completely covered for purposes of Powers that require direct skin contact

Connections:
DP7 (High), Jenny Swensen (Aka Chrome, Spitfire) (High), Clinic for Paranormal Research (Low), Star Brand (Jake Burnley) (Low)

Drawbacks:
Arch Enemy (Philip Nolan Voight), Dark Secret (Army Deserter), Involuntary Exile, Uncertainty, Voluntary Alter Ego, Strange Appearance (When Enveloped in an Antibody Only)


Randy O’Brien

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 03
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 03
Init: 011 HP: 030

Powers:
Split: 06

Randy’s Alter Ego is his normal body, unenhanced by being enveloped in Antibodies.

Originally he had to produce the Antibodies, then encourage them to surround his body, giving him enhanced Strength and Durability and the ability to fly. Later on, after his Army training, he could simply summon his psychoplasmic “coating”. Later on, after being trapped inside Antibodies by “Pitt Juice”, he lost his Alternate form.


The Antibodies

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 04
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02
Init: 008 HP: 000

Powers:
Flight: 07, Dispersal: 12, Telepathy: 04, Mind Blank: 10

Skills:
The Antibodies at least theoretically have all of O’Brien’s Skills as well as the Powers, but this is covered by the Split Power.

Advantages:
Stabilization, Doesn’t Breathe

Drawbacks:
SPR: Mute, Strange Appearance, Fatal Vulnerability: Each Antibody must “rest” inside Randy’s body for at least one hour out of every 24, otherwise their psychoplasmic energy starts to break down. The maximum time any antibody has survived out of his body is 78 hours Essentially an Antibody loses 1 from its current Body for every 18 hours spent away from Randy.

Misc: Each individual antibody might have (usually) a single Irrational Attraction, Fear or Hatred, Usually at the Minor Level, but occasionally Serious Level to represent their quirky personality tendencies. Examples include an MIA toward Practical Jokes or (as an extreme example) an SIA toward Killing Randy O’Brien’s Enemies.


Design Notes

This version of the Antibody w/u takes a “Happy medium” stance… i.e., this is the way Randy was for most of his appearances in the NewU. Changes that occurred later in the series (Being trapped inside an Antibody) are noted under Other Stats, along with details of his early version.


Early Randy

In his early (pre-Pitt) appearances, Randy had Dex 03, and his other stats were as his “unenhanced” Alter-Ego. Initially he had only Split: 1, but quickly upgraded to Split: 4 during his fight with Clinic Director Voight.


Late “Antibody” Randy

After rescuing Dave “Mastodon” Landers from his suicide mission to the Pitt, Randy was trapped inside his Antibody and could not revert to human form. He therefore loses his Alter Ego, gains a permanent Strange Appearance, and his Antibody Splits are afflicted with Shrinking: 05 (Always On).

By Pufnstuff

Helper(s): John Walchle (former listmember, for his original beta versions), Roy Cowan, Adam Fuqua, Frank Murdock, marvunapp.com

Source of Character: Marvel Comics’ New Universe Series of Books, circa 1986-90, Primarily DP7 #1-32

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