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Arco (Fantomah comics by Fletcher) the scientist

Arco

(the super-scientist of long ago)


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

Context

Arco is a foe of Fantomah. Fantomah probably was the first super-powered comic book heroine, and was one of the features of Jungle Comics during the early 1940s. Yes, *all* the stories in these comics were about the jungle.

It may be best to read our Fantomah profile first.

Fantomah was one of the creations of Fletcher Hanks, a rather… peculiar writer and artist.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: He led mummies
  • Base Of Operations: His observatory in “the Jungleland”
  • Height: 5’5” Weight: 80 lbs.
  • Eyes: Red Hair: Unrevealed


Powers & Abilities

Arco is a mummy. His kind of mummy doesn’t appear to have special physical abilities, though one gets the impression that they were a bit stronger than an ordinary man. They also don’t appear to ever age, and Arco stated that he was immortal.

It is possible that they have characteristics often demonstrated by mummies in fiction, such as resilience to toxins or cold, vulnerability to fire, resilience to bullets, etc. The story doesn’t demonstrate these, but never implies that this isn’t the case, either.

They could remain seemingly dead for centuries or millennia, until awakened.

Forbidden knowledges

Arco himself is an ancient scientist. His master weapon is “the scarlet shadow”, a huge energy cannon. The ray of light it emits isn’t physically destructive, but everyone it bathes will become blind. Even Fantomah would have been eventually affected.

Arco could aim this cannon with great speed and precision, tracking the swiftly flying Fantomah like a pro.

Arco (Fantomah comics by Fletcher) the mummies awaken

Some of Arco’s knowledge is magical in nature – perhaps, as per the hoary chestnut, science and magic weren’t different paths yet in his time.

He cast a spell that woke up many, many mummies – then made them quickly fly to his current location (which he called “transmitting” them). He could make himself fly as well.

When Fantomah threatened Arco, he dismissed her threats by stating he was immortal. Presumably he didn’t just mean that he couldn’t die of old age, so he may have some sort of protection he thought could withstand Fantomah’s power.

Perhaps he is highly resilient to direct application of magic, as Fantomah only used indirect spells against him — but then she often does that.


History

Arco is apparently an Ancient Egyptian from Biblical times, though he could easily be older. He was either a part of, or the investigator of, a plan to preserve fellow Egyptians as inert mummies until they could be returned to (un)life to create a new empire.

It would seem that many, many more mummies existed on Fantomah’s Earth than in the real world. On our Earth, tonnes of mummies were used for trivial purposes – say, as combustible or pigments.

However it is possible that on Fantomah’s world somebody protected them. Perhaps that, just like Fantomah defends “the jungleland” from outside menaces, somebody defends “the desert” from exploitation.

2,000 years ago…

Arco’s master weapon, the blinding Scarlet Shadow ray projector, was used “2,000 years ago” against natives of “the jungle”, presumably by Arco. One imagines that Fantomah’s predecessor stopped him.

Arco resumed plotting for centuries. Perhaps he needed to rebuild the Scarlet Shadow using extremely rare components and lengthy procedures – but what is time to mummies ?

Mystery woman of the jungle !

In 1940, Arco struck again, killing many natives of “the jungle” by striking them blind. As Fantomah investigated, he concentrated on a specific part of “the jungle”, blinding everyone so there would be a first patch of land mummies could take over.

Arco (Fantomah comics by Fletcher) and his mummies

Arco then awakened many mummies worldwide and had them swiftly fly to him. However, Fantomah found him and announced that he was doomed to a jungle death. As usual, Arco ignored her. Fantomah then ordered all jungle animals to attack the mummies, devastating the ranks of the undead.

The super-scientist of long ago attempted to blind Fantomah with the Scarlet Shadow and nearly succeeded, but she turned the ray against him. Sightless, Arco soared in a futile attempt to flee, but Fantomah inverted his trajectory and sent him crashing among hungry crocodiles.

In the next issue — more of the exploits of remarkable Fantomah.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Arco is evil and pitiless, but seemed driven by a desire to carve an empire for “his people” to colonize – and where they could thrive.


Sharing

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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Arco

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mummy power
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Evil scientist
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 009 HP: 015

Powers:
Flight: 06, Self-Link (Animate Dead): 03, Suspended animation: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:
All Powers are Mystic-Linked

Skills:
Gadgetry: 05, Occultist: 04, Scientist: 05, Weapons (Exotic): 07

Advantages
Immortal, Stroke of Genius (Scarlet Shadow)

Connections:
Other mummies (Low)

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance, Misc.: Body mass is 1 AP

Equipment:
SCARLET SHADOW [BODY 06, Sensory Block (sight): 05, Bonuses: Sensory Block has a 3 APs Area of Effect, Sensory Block has a Special +10 Duration Bonus]

Rituals:
Arco used 2 Rituals –

  • One that woke up hundreds of mummies throughout the world, and may have given them a predetermined signal (such as “Plan #9 !”)
  • One that gave all these mummies the ability to rapidly fly to Arco (Flight: 11 or so, but only to a point set by Arco)

It is simpler to treat these as plot devices – Arco had up to 34 APs of time to cast his Rituals and lower their difficulty, after all.


Generic mummies

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Power
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Varies
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 000 when awakened
Init: 007 HP: 005

Powers:
Self-Link (Animate Dead): 03, Suspended animation: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:
All Powers are Mystic-Linked

Skills:
Per individual

Advantages
Immortal

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance, Misc.: Body mass may be one AP

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Jungle Comics #11 (Fiction House)

Helper(s): Darci

Writeup completed on the 7th of September, 2015.

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