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Blockbuster (Roland Desmond) (DC Comics) (Nightwing enemy)

Blockbuster

(Roland Desmond)


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

Context

Blockbuster has been around in one form or another since 1965, as a super-strong brute that usually poses a deadly challenge to Batman and his allies.

Ideally we’d have a chronological series exploring the varied and vituperous versions of Blockbuster. But this isn’t an ideal world, so for now we just have these old notes that are specifically about Blockbuster (Roland Desmond)’s appearances in Nightwing during the early 2000s.


Background

  • Real Name: Roland Desmond
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Mark Desmond (brother, deceased), Joyce Elizabeth Desmond (mother)
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Blüdhaven
  • Height: 8’ Weight: 825lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Blockbuster II is very, very big – and very strong, too. One of his punches can easily demolish a big block of steel-reinforced concrete. He’s pretty slow, at least according to Nightwing – but against a human, getting one good punch in is sufficient to ensure victory.

Blockbuster has been undamaged by a 30K volt taser discharge, a high-power air cannon shooting a beanbag, or having a huge condo crash on him from a cliff. After he was shot with six high-performance .44 magnum bullets in the chest at point-blank Desmond had to wear bandages, but it is not obvious he was genuinely wounded even in this instance.

Blockbuster is also a smart, competent crimelord who can plot devious criminal plots and have an entire town under his thumb, with something of a Soprano  feel.


History

As a kid Roland Desmond lived with his brother Mark on an island near Gotham. Unlike his brother, Roland wasn’t the brightest. It didn’t take him long to get a criminal track record, with convictions for robbery, petty larceny, conspiracy to commit grant theft and murder.

When an experimental serum turned his brother into the hulking Blockbuster, Roland saw it as a perfect opportunity to bring his criminal activities to a new level. He manipulated his brother into carrying out criminal activities for him.

Mark eventually died at the hands of Brimstone during a mission for Suicide Squad. Roland returned to a life of petty crime.

Now it’s your turn, Roland

However, some moths later during the Invasion, the alliance of aliens activated a gene-bomb in Earth’s atmosphere. That triggered the latent metagene in a great number of humans. Among those affected was Roland who was wracked with seizures and rushed from prison to a hospital.

The staff treated him with an experimental steroid in an effort to cure him. Instead the steroid reacted with his genetically altered cell structure to enable him to become a hulking creature like his brother. Unlike, Mark, however, Roland had control of his transformations — and his mind.

Blockbuster with his mother

The prison staff then decided to transfer him to a medical facility for further studies. However, during the transfer Roland escaped.

The new Blockbuster soon lost his ability to revert to his normal body. But before he could do anything about it, his rampages in the southwest brought him to the attention of Starman. With the help of Batman, the young hero was able to stop the new Blockbuster. Roland was then imprisoned at Belle Reve.

Shout at the Devil

After a stint with an anti-Suicide Squad and a short prison stay, Roland accepted a deal from the infernal power Neron, where he would gain his deceased brother’s intellect.

Now a cunning criminal mastermind, Blockbuster tested himself against Impulse. He then prepared to establish a base of power in Washington, D.C.. Opposed by Steel, the city’s resident hero, Roland realized that he would be better served by finding another city as his base of operations.

Please come to Blüdhaven for the springtime

The metropolis in question would be a cesspool south of Gotham named Blüdhaven, home of Mark and Roland’s elderly (but devious) mother. Using his newly found intellect he slowly and methodically set up shop as Blüdhaven’s new crime lord.

First Desmond learned from, then forcefully supplanted, then interrogated, then killed the former boss – Angel Marin. Roland was now considered the new crime lord of the city, although only a few knew of his presence.

Blockbuster quickly built a criminal empire in his new home. He stayed behind the scenes even as Gotham emigre Nightwing moved to town. Roland and Nightwing finally met face-to-face, igniting a war that continues as of this writing. On another front, Blockbuster launched a hunt for the computer crimefighter known as Oracle.

Oracle, who’d been keeping tabs on Roland ever since his demonic makeover, responded by bankrolling her own operations… with funds electronically stolen from his own cache. Blockbuster’s men came awfully close to eliminating Barbara Gordon, who was saved by her close friend the Black Canary and several heroes.

Along the way, Blockbuster has also had run-ins with Young Justice and the Encantadora.

This old heart of mine

Roland’s recurring chest pains eventually led doctors to conclude that he had a terminal heart condition and required a transplant. However, finding a heart large and powerful enough to save the gigantic Blockbuster’s life seemed impossible.

The discovery of a sentient ape named Grimm, from Gorilla City, seemed to be the miracle that Blockbuster was hoping for. Grimm proved incompatible with Roland but Blockbuster made a deal with the evil ape to arrange a raid on Gorilla City in the hope of finding a match.


Personality

A smart crimelord, using strategy and subtlety to slowly build an empire. Although his power base is Blüdhaven, Blockbuster II intends to become the equivalent of the Marvel universe’s Kingpin one day.

He knows very well that somebody like the Batman is too much heat for him, however, and deftly manoeuvre his way out of super-heroes if possible.

He likes to ponder and think things thoroughly, but his old nature is still in him. Thus he has a serious anger control problem, and although he’ll do his best to remain icily calm, when he gets carried away he’s liable to become extremely brutal. The rest of the time he’s very articulate and a good negotiator, with a formal grammar.

As befits a smart, sophisticated crimelord, Desmond dresses very well, and is houses tend to be luxurious without ostentation.

He takes great care of his ageing and wheelchair-bound mother, sparing no expense on bodyguards for her. She tends to treat him like a kid and be overprotective of him, but is also a good consigliere with cunning and experience.


Description

See illustrations.


Quotes

“You pose a quandary for me… to snap your neck like a straw, or starve your brain of enough oxygen to leave you an idiot.”

“I’ll have to ponder this.”

“You see, I have a problem controlling anger. A friend suggests it might help if I count to ten.” (proceeds to smash ten pillars, letting a whole warehouse crash down on a band of incompetent hirelings) “Thanks for your advice on counting to ten, inspector. I *do* feel better.”

Blockbuster : “I fail to see how a cup of hot cocoa will improve the situation, mother.
Mrs Desmond : “That’s because you’re not a mother, Roland.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Blockbuster II

Dex: 05 Str: 11 Bod: 10 Motivation: Power
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 06 Occupation: Crimelord
Inf: 07 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 009
Init: 017 HP: 050

Powers:
Growth: 02, Joined: 02, Lightning immunity: 02, Skin armour: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:
Growth is Always On and already factored in ; Skin armour only against blunt blows (not bullets, arrows, blades, etc.)

Skills:
Charisma (persuasion): 06, Charisma (intimidation): 08, Martial artist: 06

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Blüdhaven), Iron Nerves

Connections:
Underworld (Low), Blüdhaven underworld (High), Blüdhaven Street (High), Blüdhaven Police Dept (High)

Drawbacks:
Creepy Appearance, SPR (his enlarged heart is giving out), Serious Rage, Dependant (his mom)


Blockbuster’s gunmen

For high-risks assignment, Blockbuster uses two assets. If masked adventurers are involved, he’ll usually hire masked mercenaries – like Stallion, Lady Vic, Brutale or the Electrocutioner.

However, he also has his own private SWAT-type team – people who are way more trained than normal goons and have access to good equipment, assault weaponry and even an helicopter. It is in fact likely that this team has been trained by the Blüdhaven’s Police Dept SWAT team.

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Hitman
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 009 HP: 005

Skills:
Military science: 04, Weaponry (firearms): 04

Advantages:
None

Connections:
Blockbuster (Low), Street (Low)

Equipment:

  • M4A1 assault carbine [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 06, Ammo: 08, R#02, Bonus : Autofire]
  • Glock 17 pistol [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 17, R#02]
  • BODY ARMOUR [BODY 06, Skin armour: 02, limitation : Skin armour only vs bladed weapons and bullets ; Skin armour is Partial (long coat level when wearing helmet and everything)]
  • Grenades (x4) [BODY 02, EV 07 (Area of effect), Grenade drawback]
  • Night-vision goggles [BODY 02, Ultra-vision: 04, R#03]
  • etc.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Nightwing comics (DC Universe)

Helper(s): The History was written by Mikishawn and Tenzel Kim for www.dcuguide.com ; Danielle Mendus.

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