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Barney Ling (Richard Dragon character) (DC Comics)

Barney Ling

  • He could be interesting in espionage campaigns a la Suicide Squad. He’s also great if you want to bring back our selection of Richard Dragon characters – people like Sing, the Preying Mantis, Topper, etc. could still be agents of G.O.O.D. !

Background

  • Real Name: Barney Ling
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: G.O.O.D.
  • Base Of Operations: G.O.O.D. H.Q. in Manhattan
  • Height: 5’2” Weight: 140 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Barney is a gifted power broker and intelligence insider ; a talented fixer and smooth operator.


History

Almost nothing is known about G.O.O.D., provided it even exists ; not much more is known about Barney Ling. The oldest known fact is that the O-Sensei worked at least once for G.O.O.D., and that Barney Ling was always interested in recruiting his best pupils.

When he learned that the O-Sensei two star pupils, Richard Dragon and Benjamin Turner, were nearing the end of their training, he drove to the dojo, quickly tested them with some thugs, then asked them to join G.O.O.D. and launch their first mission – custom-tailored to hook them, and in particular Turner. They accepted to go to Sudan to dismantle the slavery ring of a local named Aki, and successfully completed that assignment.

Turner and Dragon then moved on and travelled to the US but, soon, one of their friends was kidnapped by an international assassin called the Swiss. Immediately learning of this, Ling came to them, and started what would become his modus operandi – he offered them information of critical importance to solve their problem, in exchange for services.

For the first time, the service was insignificant – he simply followed Dragon’s assaults against the Swiss and his men in an effort to determine where his employer was. Eventually, he told Dragon that said employer was criminal industrialist Guano Cravat, whose hideout they located, though no proof was provided.

At that point, G.O.O.D. had recently acquired another top agent, Lady Shiva. In typical Ling fashion, the relationship between Shiva and G.O.O.D. was quite unclear. A likely possibly is that Shiva was at that point a triple agent, pretending to work both for Cravat and Ling to gain revenge over Richard Dragon. When Dragon convinced her that Cravat was behind her sister’s death, she became a straight agent for G.O.O.D..

Whether Ling knew about Shiva’s complex gambit is unclear — he said he knew all along, which both sounded pretty weak and didn’t make much sense, then produced two ancient Sing-Lu-forged katanas as gifts for Shiva and Dragon, which may indeed mean he expected events to turn this way all along.

Shortly after, Ling was flying in a seaplane carrying a stolen atomic bomb, allegedly recovered by one of his agents ; he intended to personally deliver the bomb to the President of the US. The plane flew near the pirate island rules by Slash I, and Ling foolishly got rid of the bomb within an active volcano.

Thankfully, Shiva and Dragon were onboard and managed to both prevent Ling from being killed and recover the bomb while defeating Slash and his men. Dragon decided to never work for Ling again.

Ling was determined to retain the Kung Fu Fighters as his agents, though. He started secretly masterminding assassination attempts on Ben Turner, then trading bits and pieces of information about those attacks in return for missions. After the first attack (a drive-by shooting), he sent the Kung Fu Fighters to capture the Preying Mantis.

In return, he told them how Ben had just inherited a bunch of timberland after the death of his sister. He then told Shiva about it, and the Kung Fu Fighters defeated Hatchett and his men, who had killed Turner’s sister.

After a new attack on Turner, Ling announced that he couldn’t actually tell who was behind the conspiracy, since the agent with the info had been killed and he couldn’t verify the original report. He then of course sent the Kung Fu Fighters to China on the trace of the killed agent, which conveniently lead our heroes to foil a dangerous criminal conspiracy.

Within hours of coming back to the US, Turner shot by a poison dart by a sniper. This attacked seemed to be the final one, since the US hospitals could only hope to stop the toxin somewhat. However Shiva was familiar with the League of Assassins ; identifying the operatives and poison, she explained how they could get an antidote by capturing the League’s chief poisoner, the Viper.

It is almost certain that the League had actually been hired undercover by Ling, quite possibly so he could “recruit” the Viper for himself after Shiva and Dragon located him and interrogated him. If that was the plan it seemingly failed, though — as the Viper was apparently killed while escaping. Dragon found another way to neutralize the poison, though.

After Turner and Dragon clashed with the operatives of Professor Ojo, they barged in at Ling’s place to get information from hin, but Ling knew everything already. He sent them to the North Pole, which was indeed Ojo’s base, and even provided a special boat and a special pilot – Lady Shiva.

However, while the mission was successful, Turner was captured by Ojo and disappeared. Turner was then brainwashed by the League of Assassins and remade as… the Bronze Tiger !

The crafty Ling managed to obtain the Bronze Tiger, and now had his dream agent – a perfect martial artist and assassin, entirely loyal to him and accepting all orders without hesitation. Knowing Dragon could probably somehow break the brainwashing, he had Turner launch a covert series of assault on Dragon’s pupils and friends to chase him away from the US, which eventually succeeded.

Months later, while meditating, Dragon realized what was going on and came back, stealthily invading the G.O.O.D. headquarter — only to find Ling discussing with the Tiger ! As the two Kung Fu Fighters fought, Ling smugly admitted the whole charade.

Seconds later, however, he was accidentally defenestrated by the Bronze Tiger and seemingly killed. This left the now masterless Bronze Tiger purposeless, and Dragon had him taken to doctors to break his conditioning.

However, the cemetery staff that was burying the supposedly deceased Barney Ling soon discovered that the coffin was… empty !


A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.

The meaning of G.O.O.D. was one of this big mysteries of the book ; eventually a prize was offered to the reader who could come up with the best acronym.

In keeping with this silly mystery, I will of course not tell you what it was – feel free to wonder endlessly.

The *nature* of G.O.O.D. was a more perplexing and interesting mystery. My own take is that G.O.O.D. actually doesn’t exist – Ling is just one man, independently wealthy and infernally-well connected, who runs his own agenda. The pretense that he’s just a broker for a large, shadowy organization is just a diversion.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

Ling comes across like, at best, a smirking used cars salesman and, at worst, a ruthless blackmailer and exploiter of misery. Nobody likes him and he seems to like it that way — but he holds all the cards, people need him, and he knows it.

Being shameless, he uses his money and connections to wallow in women, cigars, liquor and general lowbrow luxury. Note that, while he’s not likable, he’s pretty convincing and will often have people accept his information without any proof.

Ling is fixated on acquiring and retaining the very best agents to advance his mysterious agenda. He will not hesitate to kill people and wreck lives to manipulate said agents so they remain on his payroll — or come up with fake missions so they can feel better about working for G.O.O.D..

One of Ling’s specialties is reacting as if he always knew everything all along, in what really feels like a pathetic attempt at making it look like he’s in control. Except he will always produce a piece of information or equipment demonstrating that he, indeed, knew all along, no matter how unlikely. He’s thus better played as an NPC.

What is Ling’s agenda ? Nobody knows.

In the field, Ling sucks — he takes ill-considered decisions and is a coward.


Quotes

Barney: “We are an international peace-keeping group ! We hire our services to governments and individuals we deem worthy !”
Richard Dragon: “Have we heard of your outfit ?”
Barney: “Certainly not ! We call ourselves G.O.O.D. ! What the initials stand for is not important !”

“I greet you, gentlemen, and I dispense immediately with further politeness !”

Ling: “I have nothing to do with this attack ! However, friend Ben has an enemy — one he knows nothing about… one planning his death ! I, and I alone, can reveal this person’s identity !”
Turner: “Spit it out, man !”
Ling: “Not until Dragon agrees to perform a certain task for me !”

Dragon: “Sorry to interrupt the party, Barney !”
Ling: “Not at all, Richard ! In fact, I was expecting you. You’ve come about the stolen submarine ?”
Dragon: “How did you know ?”
Ling: “I have my ways ! And once more, our interests coincide !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Barney Ling

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Power
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Apparent head of G.O.O.D.
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 015
Init: 013 HP: 025

Skills:
Artist (actor): 03, Charisma (interrogation, persuasion): 06

Advantages:
None

Connections:
Street (High), Underworld (High), US government (Low), Martial arts scene (High), Mercenary scene (High), U.S. intelligence (Low), Taiwan intelligence (Low), French intelligence (Low), Lady Shiva (Low), Richard Dragon & Ben Turner (Low), League of Assassins (Low), Omni-Connection

Drawbacks:
None

Equipment:
A box of Cuban cigars

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Richard Dragon Kung Fu Fighter

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