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The Brute (Atlas / Seaboard comics)

Brute

(Atlas/Seaboard caveman)


Context

Atlas Comics (usually called Atlas/Seaboard to prevent confusion with other publishers) was a vigorous but short-lived attempt to launch a new major comic books line during the 1970s.

A lot of the material was louche, in a 1970s Times Square grindhouse cinema sort of way.

The Brute only had 3 issues before Atlas/Seaboard’s demise. It was a mix of late Atomic Horror and re-heated Gothic Horror.

Most would dismiss it as forgettable, but we, on the other hand, shall… well… eventually admit that they were right about that, yeah.


Background

  • Real Name: N.A..
  • Marital Status: N.A..
  • Known Relatives: A female companion and their child (both deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile near Hargrave, Minnesota.
  • Height: 6’10” Weight: 270 lbs.
  • Eyes: Red Hair: Black


Powers & Abilities

This creature is an improbable ancestor to mankind. While our known ancestors came from modestly-sized primate stock, this branch of the family seems closer to the gorilla side of the tree. The Brute is much larger, more muscular and more ferocious than modern homo sapiens.

He doesn’t seen superhumanly strong – we don’t see him lifting huge objects or breaking hard obstacles. But his strength is several times greater that of an ordinary man.

His ability to kill people, on the other hand, is superhuman. He can slay almost anybody within seconds, often by grabbing them and slamming them against a hard surface. He could even kill an adult grizzly bear quickly, getting onto its back and breaking its neck.

The Brute (Atlas / Seaboard comics) unconscious next to a mad scientist

Though he’s massive, the Brute can be brought down with sufficient force. Bare hands and small-calibre handguns aren’t going to achieve much, but heavier attacks do.

However, actually killing the Brute is another story. His constitution is incredible and he heals amazingly well. Even a solid headshot with what I assume was a .357 Magnum revolver did not kill the Brute. His skull was simply too thick (and his brow too sloped, I suspect).

The Brute excels at forest survival, and can climb atop of stuff like a boss. Well, assuming you know bosses who climb atop stuff particularly well.


History

“The Brute” was a hunter from a species “halfway between man and ape” in distant prehistory. He lived close to the modern site of Hargrave, Minnesota when an ice age descended upon North America.

The man chose to stay while everybody else left. Apparently this was because he had lost his partner and their child to an attack by even more primitive man-apes. Thus, he now wanted to be left alone.

During an unrevealed incident, he was trapped into an ice block and somehow plunged into suspended animation.

In 1975, an “atomic power plant” was built atop the network of caverns where the ice block laid. One assumes that irradiated wastewater was somehow disposed off into the cavern. In any case, it soon thawed the Brute.

Hibernatus

Shortly after he awakened, the Brute was discovered by local kids. He killed two of them, and the police came for him. They felled him with tear gas and a tranq gun, though not before the Brute killed a stupidly incautious cameraman.

The Brute (Atlas / Seaboard comics) prehistoric flashback and bear

Local anthropologist Dr. Ann Turner successfully lobbied against having the Brute killed. She started studying his intellect in prison, and gave him some simple clothes. However, the father of the slain kids sneaked in to murder the Brute. That failed, and the Brute fled after killing him.

The Brute sneaked into a small plane, killed the two persons aboard out of fear, and narrowly survived the crash. He was captured by a mad, murderous scientist who implanted him with a compliance device.

When Dr. Turner came in to look for her specimen, the mad scientist tried to kill her. The Brute reacted by slaying everything in sight but Ann Turner.

Caveman vs. cyborg

The police again cornered the Brute, though Turner again convinced the Chief to take him alive. The cops were successful. Though one of the patrolmen disobeyed and shot the Brute in the head, the creature survived.

A high-level brain surgery saved the creature. However, the doctor was secretly a mad scientist (a recurrent issue in Minnesota, apparently) from a secret organisation. He altered the creature so it could articulate and learn better.

Dr. Turner resumed studying the Brute, giving him a toy ball to pacify him. Though it worked fine, the Brute threw it too hard. When he tried to catch it, it was wrongly assumed he was attempting to flee the hospital. The Brute ran away from his would-be captors.

The mad doctor responded by secretly unleashing his powerful cyborg warrior, Doomstalker. The objective was to demonstrate Doomstalker’s power by taking down the Brute.

After defeating the cerulean troglodyte, Doomstalker announced he announced that he was taking over the town. With bated breath, we have been waiting to know what happens next for 40+ years.


Description

Upon emerging from the ice, “the Brute” had acquired a fashionable ice-blue skin tone. He previously had a Caucasian complexion.

The size of the Brute isn’t terribly coherent from one page to the next. Therefore, the numbers in the Background block are arbitrary.


Personality

Essentially a great ape. If he feels provoked (for instance by people intruding upon his turf) or is scared he will mercilessly kill. But otherwise he’s not really aggressive.

He liked Dr. Ann Turner since she gave him food, toys and attention. As a result, he would reliably protect her. Even against a band of mutated lagoon creatures bred by one of ’em mad scientist types.

By the very end of the story it had learned to say the word “ball”. He liked playing with his ball, and would investigate spherical objects to see if they were toys too.

Perhaps the continuing adventures of the Brute would have resembled the 1978 The Incredible Hulk TV series, mixed with Frankenstein comics.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

The Brute

Dex: 04 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Survival
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Survivor
Inf: 03 Aur: 01 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: N.A.
Init: 010 HP: 015

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking scent: 03, Damage Capacity*: 05, Growth: 01, Regeneration: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In.
  • Damage Capacity can only be brought into play once the Brute’s BODY Current Condition is zero or less.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 06, Martial Artist (EV): 08, Military Science (Survival): 04

Advantages
None demonstrated.

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Partial Attack Vulnerability (-1CS RV vs. airborne and injected chemicals), Distinct Appearance, Misc.: The Brute is, at best, pre-sapient and reacts much like an animal.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Brute (Atlas/Seaboard) — Averaged PL5

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
03 (04) 02 (03) 03 00 04 -2 00 00

Powers

Hulking primate ● 12 points ● Descriptor: Physiology
– He’s big — Growth 1 (Permanent, Innate)
– He’s big — Enhanced fortitude 4 (Limited 1 – not against airborne and injected chemicals)
– Feature 1 — +4 to Athletics roll to climb stuff
– Sense of smell — Senses 2 (Acute Tracking Smell)
– Bone-crunching punches — Strength-based unarmed Damage 2, Improved Critical 2

Hard to kill ● 5 points ● Descriptor: Physiology, narrative immunity
– Protection 4, Limited 2 (only when incapacitated), Subtle
– Enhanced Advantage (Diehard)
– Regeneration 1

Combat Advantages

All-Out Attack, Close Attack 2, Defensive Roll 2.

Other Advantages

Diehard.

Skills

Athletics 1 (+5), Expertise (Wilderness survival) 5 (+3), Perception 3 (+3)

Offense

Initiative +3
Unarmed +6, Close, Damage 6, Critical 18-20

Defence

Dodge 05 Fortitude 03**/07
Parry 06 Toughness 03*/05
Will 02

* Without Defensive Roll.
** Against airborne and injected chemicals.

Complications

  • Appearance He certainly looks… distinctive.
  • Pre-sapient The Brute isn’t smarter than many pets you know, and is ruled by his instincts.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 6, Dodge/Toughness PL 5, Parry/Toughness PL 6, Fort/Will PL 4.
  • Points total 52. Abilities 20, Defences 6, Skills 4, Powers 17, Devices 0, Advantages 5. Equiv. PL 4.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: The Brute #1-3.

Writeup completed on the 12th of September, 2015.

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