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Cardiac (Marvel Comics) (Spider-Man character)

Cardiac

(Dr. Eli Wirtham)


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

Context

Cardiac is Marvel Comics cyborg vigilante who appeared in 1990. He popped up frequently in comics, especially Spider-Man, during the first half of that decade.

Though the costume and some concepts are very much steeped into the dominant early 1990s style, he can be an intriguing character.


Background

  • Real Name: Doctor Elias “Eli” Wirtham.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Joshua Dale Wirtham (brother, deceased), unnamed parents (status unrevealed).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Wirtham Tower, Midtown Manhattan, NYC, NY.
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 260 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Cardiac is a cyborg, with an unrevealed percentage of his body replaced by artificial parts. His core cybernetic implant is no less than his heart – which now doubles as a high-powered generator of beta particles.

His skin was replaced to an unrevealed depth by a vibranium  mesh, though it is normally covered by artificial skin giving him a normal look. Our game stats assume that the vibranium provides some level of Vibe Immunity and Sonic Immunity (as per the normal properties of Wakandan vibranium), though that was never clearly demonstrated.

Cardiac's battle staff

Cardiac’s nervous system is partially laced, paralleled or replaced with a vibranium pseudo-nerves network, likely giving him superhuman reflexes.

Wirtham’s heart has been replaced by a combination artificial heart and high-powered generator of beta particles, possibly for medical reasons. This technology is still experimental. When a glitch happens, he starts experiencing the symptoms of a stroke. It is not an immediately fatal or dangerous one, but it is painful and has to be treated quickly.

These symptoms can only be treated in Cardiac‘ private lab. He plugs in a dedicated test bench into his circuitry, running an automated diagnostic and flashing the firmware in Wirtham’s heart.

Beta particles

The beta particles from his heart can be channelled through his body to give him superhuman strength and speed. They can also be channelled outward (usually through his hands, more rarely through his eyes) as energy blasts or heat. Those blasts become particularly potent when channelled through a custom amplifier staff – giving them a distinctive “ECG” shape and a much extended range.

With the staff, Cardiac can match the power of a large cannon (when emitting concussive energy) or enough output to melt and fry Spider-Man’s webbing (when emitting heat). Even without the staff, Cardiac can melt metal he’s holding or grasping within seconds.

The staff’s beam has been known to destroy warehouses by one-shotting multiple metallic support beams into smithereens, or even to sink a large container transport ship (though that likely took Hero Points ).

Beta particles are, in the real world, one of the possible products of radioactive decay – just like the infamous gamma radiation. Those are high-speed, high-energy electrons (or positrons), called “beta” since they are the product of the second (“beta”) type of radioactive breakdown.

Assuming that the “beta particles” in Cardiac’s technology are beta particles, it is likely that the vibranium mesh is used to turn the impacts of the beta decay-produced electrons into usable energy with a very high conversion rate.

Strength from the heart

With his enhanced strength, speed and reflexes, Cardiac moves in a very quick and agile fashion. He does not really have a killer instinct and his moves are not that of a savage combatant, but rather those of a trained athlete and acrobat. He does not like closing in and slugging it out, either. He will usually use ranged attacks, acrobatics, trip and/or throw people with his staff, and the like.

Cardiac crashes through a window

Given his slight reluctance toward blasting people, he has gotten pretty good at blasting things to achieve indirect effect. Examples include collapsing buildings, starting flammable chemical spills, blasting an escape hole through the ground, blasting something to create smoke or steam and obscure other people’s vision, etc.

There exists several estimates for Cardiac’s strength level, though generally speaking he seems to be roughly equivalent to Spider-Man. His durability is also a bit fuzzy (and it is unclear how much depends on his costume), but our game writeup matches the bulk of the material. Cardiac :

  • Withstood massed small arms fire from the early Code: Blue roster.
  • Was flung by Spider-Man into a ship’s bulkhead without suffering significant damage.
  • Could take a blast of Johnny Blaze’s hellfire-spouting shotgun with but moderate damage.

Hover-Hawk

Aside from his special staff and body armour, Cardiac also uses a small, remote-controled drone plane. It is shaped like a stylised bird of prey, having flying wing configuration. The drone has a pair of articulated hooks on its underbody, and a specialised guidance system.

It is usually used with Cardiac lifting his staff with both hands above his head and keeping it horizontal. The Hover-Hawk then swoops in and grabs the staff with its hooks, yanking Cardiac off the ground. Cardiac just hangs from his staff – there is no support for the rest of his body, unlike with a hang-glider.

This piece of technology make Cardiac very mobile, able to drop from the air or gain instant aerial extraction practically everywhere. The precision of the remote control over the Hawk suggests a cybernetic interface, and the staff seems to include a beacon for the drone’s guidance system.

Tactic

Cardiac has been repeatedly able to escape or even fight off Spider-Man, and thus has a very solid Hero Points total. His tactics are both smart and slippery, and he’ll always keep 10-15 HPs to escape if need be.

Cardiac seldom gets hit, largely because he works hard at maintaining the distance he wants from his opponents and is almost always in motion. This is not so much a direct use of superhuman agility (though he seems quite hard to hit with gunfire) as employing solid tactics to maintain as many degrees of freedom as he can. Another important factor is that Spidey is reluctant to hit him.

Cardiac is will do sweeping attacks to catch hard targets with a glancing hit or the blast of the impact against a nearby obstacle (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Flailing attacks done against high-OV, medium-RV targets). It doesn’t hit as hard as a straight hit, but the energy blast enhanced by the staff is powerful enough that such minor hits will hurt.

Other assets

Wirtham is a gifted surgeon and medical technologist. He’s also a gifted businessman, and has built the most powerful medical and biological research empire on the East Coast. Of course, such a position in the US means tremendous wealth and influence.

Wirtham is very well-known at the city, state and Federal level, within the healthcare business, among technologists, within the charity business (as a major benefactor), among lobbyists, etc. He considers Tony Stark to be a friend.


History

Eli and Josh Wirtham shared an unusually strong fraternal bond. The younger Eli idolised his older sibling. He was thus shattered when Josh went into a coma due to a rare, incurable disease that eventually killed him. Attempting to cope with this life-changing tragedy, the teenage Elias swore to become the best healer ever, and to save as many lives as he could.

As a brilliant, hard-working medical student, the surviving Wirtham brother eventually learned of a medical research company that had just developed a new drug. This molecule could cure the rare disease that had killed Josh. Now a medical doctor, Wirtham realised he could help even more people through medical research.

Big pharma

Studying business, he then developed a small empire of medical companies – presumably after a string of successful startups. Wirtham mentioned “close associates” who accompanied his technological, medical and business ascension, though only one of these people was shown – Dr. Kevin Trench.

A gifted student and later a brilliant academic, Trench roomed with Wirtham for a while and was his friend. Trench’s research was apparently a key business asset for Wirtham for years – until professor Trench was reported dead in a terrorist crisis at Kennedy Airport.

Another unusual researcher working for Wirtham was a biotechnician named Gerald Stone, who had unusual ideas about oncology. Wirtham greenlighted Stone’s risky research – how aware Wirtham was of the risks is unclear. But unlike Trench’s work Stone’s research only produced disaster and the murderous villain Styx.

Maudlin medical mogul

Beyond his activities as an entrepreneur, Dr. Wirtham continued to work as a physician. In particular he was the star trauma surgeon at Mercy General Hospital, as well as a medical consultant at Blessing Hospital. He presumably had a similar roles in other hospitals. By any measure, he remained a top-flight practitioner.

As part of his corporate acquisitions, Wirtham eventually bought the company behind the drug curing the disease that had killed his beloved brother. That resulted in a second life-altering shock – the drug in question had actually been developed more than a decade before, but hadn’t been released due to a poor economic climate.

It was marketed after waiting for a few years, until the economy got better and greater profit could be expected. Joshua Wirtham had died because the drug had been shelved.

Cerulean cross cyborg

Seething with rage, Wirtham decided to rebuild himself into something that could strike at evils that the law could not, or would not touch. He would impose his vision of justice. He was inspired in this by what he knew about the vigilante Spider-Man, and in particular by exaggerated reports about Spider-Man’s willingness to flaunt traditional law-enforcement to fight crime.

Using his top-notch skills and privileged access to cutting-edge medical technology, Wirtham subjected himself to tremendous pain and made numerous personal sacrifices. Eventually his heart was replaced by a machine, and his flesh and nerves were intertwined with rare metals. He became Cardiac.

Cardiac flies away with his drone

It is unclear whether Wirtham replaced his heart for medical reasons. But there were hints that he suffered from a serious medical condition at that point, perhaps a degenerative disease. In particular, people close to him seemed used to seeing him walk around with a walking stick.

The decision to rebuild himself as the cyborg Cardiac, rather than use other means to become a vigilante, may thus have been spurred by other problems.

Call him Cardiac

Wirtham assembled information that his privileged position in the political, business and medical worlds allowed him to learn about. Estimating that only force and destruction could put an end to many of the deeds he learned about, Cardiac started a modus operandi of raiding and destroying corporate installations to put an end to unethical research and activities.

Cardiac’s various raids included :

  • Pharma companies releasing harmful drugs or getting involved in narcotics.
  • Companies running off-the-record projects in inhumane weapons research.
  • Companies releasing toys with known defects that would seriously harm children.
  • S&L companies that destroyed customer savings for the personal benefit of the manager.
  • Producers of videos exploiting human suffering.
  • Car companies producing cars with known deadly defects.
  • Providers of illegal enhancement drugs with nasty undocumented side effects.

His activities resulted in some deaths (usually security guards), which Cardiac rationalised away with some difficulty and ethical tension.

Along came a spider

Early in his activities, Cardiac clashed with Spider-Man (Peter Parker). Spidey understood Cardiac’s motivations but disapproved of the destruction, disruption and loss of lives. Cardiac was disappointed by Spidey’s lack of approval, but carried on.

Their encounters eventually became an uneasy mix of Spider-Man collaborating with Cardiac to an extent while attempting (often unsuccessfully) to stop him from causing consequent destruction. Empathising with Cardiac despite his unacceptable methods, Spider-Man found that he was holding back when it came to apprehending the cyborg.

Chronicled adventures involved Cardiac clashing with Stane International and companies held by the criminal businessman Justin Hammer. This led to clashes with Hammer operatives such as the Rhino or Boomerang. Once, Cardiac accidentally teamed up with the mercenary Chance, who just happened to have been hired to destroy the company Cardiac was targeting.

Styx and Stone

Cardiac also fought against with the enforcers Styx and Stone. Wirtham later discovered that Stone was a former employee of his as Gerald Stone, the oncology researcher.

Realising that he was partly to blame for the activities of Styx and Stone, Cardiac approached them as Dr. Wirtham. He offered to finance a treatment for Styx – who as part of Stone’s old project had become a sort of living cancer.

This attempt at redeeming the damage he had indirectly wrought was tainted by his Cardiac attitude, though. His real goal was to kill Styx, since he was certain that the psychopath’s condition was incurable. Spider-Man intervened and saved the life of Styx, then Stone. Cardiac escaped from Spidey, and remained willing to kill in the name of the greater good.

No simple solution to complex problems

Cardiac’s relationship with the authorities further degraded when he attempted to execute two contractors. Their systematic use of kickbacks and substandard construction material had triggered a catastrophe in a city hospital, killing several infants.

The special NYPD unit Code:Blue engaged Cardiac before he could kill his main target. With some daring manoeuvring, the cops managed to save Cardiac’s targets and made sure that nobody was killed in the collapse of the building the fight was taking place. Cardiac narrowly escaped them, though.

Cardiac was next seen taking action against Morelle Chemicals, a particularly unethical company with numerous black projects. The Black Cat was also investigating Morelle at this time, and she and Spider-Man prevented him from destroying a Morelle building.

The Black Cat later discovered what the building was housing – the First Striker project, turning people into somewhat mindless combat cyborgs. As she fought against the attacking cyborgs Cardiac saw his chance to finish the job and fought along with her.

When the self-destruction procedure was triggered, he refused to help her drag out the unconscious guards and cyborgs to save their lives – though he did send his Hover-Hawk in at the last second to yank the Black Cat away from the explosion.

Hippocratic incident

Wirtham was later thrust into an unusual situation. A man name Kapoztas, whom he had been trying to kill as Cardiac, was saved by Spider-Man’s intervention. Kapoztas had a stroke and was rushed at Mercy General, where Cardiac had just changed back to Dr. Wirtham to begin his work.

Cardiac fires his signature staff

Confronted with both the direct consequences of his action and the necessity to uphold his Hippocratic oath , Wirtham, after some painful hesitation, managed to save and stabilise his would-be victim.

The same night, as Cardiac was watching Kapoztas from outside his hospital window and wondering what to do, he was attacked by Spider-Man. Spidey assumed that Cardiac had come to finish the job. During the fight, Kapoztas relapsed and died.

Cardiac was tortured by guilt, as he feared that he had subconsciously held back during surgery and not done a thorough enough job to save his patient.

Nightwatch

Some time later, Dr. Wirtham was called by fashion designer Killian Fox, who had questions about Doctor Trench. This led Wirtham to suspect that his old friend was somehow still alive, and he investigated. Trench soon showed up in his office to explain his long disappearance. But he did not reveal his own secret identity as Nightwatch, and Wirtham did not reveal that he was Cardiac.

Meanwhile, a plant from Morelle Chemicals into Wirtham’s main company, Chris Paxton, struck gold when he discovered Wirtham’s private, secret laboratory. That was where Dr. Wirtham had become Cardiac. Paxton used the lab to turn himself into the super-villain Cardiaxe.

When Paxton burst out of the hidden lab, both Trench (as Nightwatch) and Wirtham (as Cardiac) intervened to confront Cardiaxe. Furious that Cardiaxe had discovered and used his secrets, Cardiac nearly killed Paxton. To Cardiac’s consternation, Nightwatch saved the villain.

Paxton eventually confessed that he had been sent by Morelle. Cardiac resumed his campaign against that company, which had previously stalled due to a lack of sufficient evidence.

Foxy lady

While spying on Morelle, Cardiac spotted Killian Fox. He swooped in and kidnapped her, supposedly to determine what she knew and what she was doing here. But a large part of his motivation was actually that he was attracted toward her. As they discussed Wirtham impulsively unmasked.

Despite the unusual circumstances, she returned his interest – and also decided to join him in investigating Morelle Chemicals. Fox introduced Cardiac to her ally, Dr. Ashley St. Croix (a former lover of Dr. Trench) and Drake Trench (Kevin Trench’s uncle). Hours later, however, a Morelle satellite, with Nightwatch aboard, was destroyed. Wirtham learned at last that Nightwatch was his friend Kevin Trench.

Wirtham and Fox, who had started dating, soon learned that Trench was still alive. Trench attacked them as Warbringer, apparently an agent of Morelle. Cardiac helped Trench bring the nanites within the Warbringer suit under his control, but to his and Fox’s dismay Trench soon disappeared again.

How Wirtham and Fox’s relationship went is unrevealed.

Change of heart

Some time later, Cardiac discovered that a major charity for children was actually a well-armed child slavery ring. He came to their headquarters to cause enough property damage to expose their secret installations.

His first attempt led to a clash with Johnny Blaze. Cardiac left to repair the pseudoskin damage occasioned by Blaze’s hellfire shotgun, and Blaze left to discuss Cardiac’s accusations about the charity with a police contact, detective Badilino (secretly the vigilante Vengeance).

After the usual misunderstanding, Cardiac teamed up with Blaze and Vengeance to vanquish the huge security force on site, and expose the slavery ring.

Cardiac shoots at Spider-Man

Cardiac later intervened to curb the destruction caused by the super-powered bloodsport called the Great Game, and was generally successful. He briefly allying with Spider-Man to deal with the deadly mercenary Toro Negro, who had killed Cardiac’s friend Nightwatch as part of the game.

When Wolverine was possessed by a body-stealing alien, Cardiac was one of the costumed adventurers in New York City who attempted to stop him. But he was surprised by the power and savagery of the clawed mutant and quickly defeated. He and, coincidentally, Solo, later tracked down Wolverine for another attempt to stop him, but Nightcrawler interrupted the fight and explained the situation.

XXIst century

Cardiac was most recently seen in 2005, destroying a batch of dangerously substandard catazene seven, which was to be mixed with medical drugs to cut costs.

Spider-Man intervened in the mistaken belief that Cardiac was responsible for the death of six guards, but Cardiac managed to destroy the chemicals, escape from Spider-Man, and explained that he hadn’t killed anyone and no longer saw himself as a murderous judge, jury and executioner type.

It is possible that this new attitude stemmed from his relationship with Killian Fox – a very reasonable woman with strong, sarcastic common sense.

Cardiac was listed in the Fifty-States Initiative files as a potential recruit, though he wasn’t contacted, perhaps due to his anti-corporate track record as a vigilante.


Description

Wirtham has a distinctive, high brow and receding hairline. Likewise, since his cyborg modding, his shoulders are unusually broad, especially since his overall build is not hugely athletic – it looks a bit as if there were big shoulder pads within his suit.

Cardiac by Bob McLeod

There is a tiny hatch within Cardiac’s left hand, which he can pop open to access a few basic controls to perform routine operations on his artificial heart, or to emit small arcs of beta energy.

Officially Cardiac is 6’5”, but he never was actually drawn as that tall. I’ve toned it down to reflect primary sources. Likewise he’s officially 300 lbs. – I’ve likewise toned that down a bit to reflect the height used in this writeup. Obviously, much of his weight comes from the metal in his body.

Cardiac’s beta blast from his staff is not always drawn with the distinctive “ECG” motif, but this seems to be artistic error.


Personality

Cardiac is a man cursed by the death of his brother. He now simply cannot ignore injustice and harmful deeds, and his conscience will never let him rest as long as he knows “evil” acts are taking place and that he’s not using his considerable talents to fight them.

Since the evil he knows of is white-collar crime, he feels compelled to act as a vigilante. This results in an endless series of violent, destructive acts to stop barely legal but clearly unethical doings. This causes great tension in him – he’s not a violent man. He is in fact a doctor who has pledged to prevent harm.

That he’s so uneasy about the violence he sees as being necessary makes him even more violent. He forces himself to commit acts of terror and brutality. In game terms this is represented by his Guilt – costing him HPs since he knows that his ends do not genuinely justify his means, and forcing him to commit more acts of violence to regain the lost HPs.

Cardiac really wishes super-heroes could see the values of what he is doing, and highly respects Spider-Man in particular. That most heroes disapprove of his approach is a further source of regret and tension.

Terrorist

One of Cardiac’s main tools is terror. Through violence, threats and power he tries to intimidate wrongdoers into never doing anything bad again. He also wants them to spread his reputation as an implacable nemesis to the unethical in the hope of curbing those activities via fear.

To that end he often proclaims aggressive and threatening mission statements (see his quotes), threatens to people he has beaten up with death, destroys ill-gotten gains to make it clear that crime does not pay, etc. Generally speaking, he tries to portrait himself as being much deadlier and bloodthirsty than he actually is, and to have a Batman-style presence.

This persona and the crushing weight of responsibility eventually led Cardiac to further exceed his ethical boundaries. He decided that he had a right to euthanatise the superhuman murder addict Styx through trickery. At that point he became willing to be a murderer, pushing him on a slippery slope toward justifying killing those who oppose him.

He also grew self-important, even pompous. As his intimidation tactics did not stem the crimes he fought in the least, he increasingly became willing to execute his targets rather than scare them straight as he originally tried.

Evolutions

At this point of his evolution, Cardiac was closer to being a Punisher-type character (though he would not actively kill guard types, he usually left them to their fate if something happened) rather than the conflicted, shades-of-grey character he originally was.

Cardiac's ECG energy blast

This led him to increasingly dissociate his activities and value as Dr. Wirtham (sworn to the Hippocratic oath) and Cardiac (applying Hammurabi’s code ). The Kapoztas incident, however, forced him to reconsider his stance.

Eventually, Cardiac returned to being a destructive vigilante making a serious effort at preventing collateral damage, and no longer a Punisher type.

In fact, during the last known encounter with Spider-Man, in 2005, Cardiac explicitly rejected Spidey’s comparison between him and the Punisher. He sternly pointed out that the six security guards he had taken out were merely unconscious. He even claimed the moral high ground over Spidey, who assumed that he was still a somewhat crazy and self-important murderous vigilante.


Quotes

(As Wirtham) “Heart monitor ! Get the life cart ! Now !”

“Have you no sense of justice ?”

“Tell the slime you work for : Cardiac is here.”

Spider-Man: “I didn’t come here to destroy private property ! This operation is strictly legit !”
Cardiac (pausing): “But… it’s *evil*”

“This is… difficult. As a physician, I took an oath to protect life ! Those guards… No ! There are things to be done. Tasks that only I can perform !”

“You can escape the law, Brukner – but you can’t escape *justice*”

“Call me ’judge‘… call me ’jury‘… call me Cardiac !”

“Nice car ! How many of your depositors lost their because of you ? Time for turnabout !” (THBAMP)

“What am I ?! An instrument of justice — the scourge of those society will not reprove ! I am CARDIAC ! I’ve come for William Grant – and all who stand with him !”

“I underwent the pain, the physical alterations to become Cardiac so I could punish criminals who work within the law – and Enos Warwick is a prime example !”

“The people who let Josh die were within their legal rights. People die, and they squabble over rights. People die, and they squabble over legalities, abusing or escaping the courts, with no concern for greater responsibility ! You’re monsters. I have come face to face with monsters. You are a monster, Stone. But none of you will escape me.”

“Expect no mercy, murderers — from the full vengeance of Cardiac !”

“I can’t ignore this and live with myself.”

“Your concern for those who recently tried to take your life is touching. I do not share it.”


DC Universe History

Cardiac would undoubtedly pit himself against Lexcorp first. After the election of Luthor he would most likely be further driven into terrorism, as he knows exposing the president is impossible.

As a twist, Cardiac’s heart could be partially derived from Metallo’s. He might have unsuccessfully fought to expose the Everyman project – perhaps he had ties with Trajectory.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Cardiac

Dex: 06 Str: 09 Bod: 09 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 06 Wil: 07 Min: 05 Occupation: Businessman, vigilante, doctor
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 014
Init: 022 HP: 050

Powers:
Energy blast: 07, Heat vision: 07, Interface: 08, Jumping: 01, Sonic Immunity: 02, Vibe immunity: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Heat vision and Energy Blast are Diminishing and have a Range of but 03.
  • Interface only with the Hover-Hawk, and likely can be jammed as if it were Radio Communications.

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 06, Evasion (Ranged only): 07, Martial Artist (incl. Techniques): 04, Medicine: 06, Medicine (First Aid): 09, Scientist (Analysis): 03, Scientist (Drawing plans): 06, Scientist (Research): 04, Thief (Stealth): 04, Vehicles (Land): 04, Weaponry (Pulse staff – both wielded and as a beam weapon): 07

Bonuses and Limitations:
Cardiac has two sets of Medicine (First Aid) – one from his normal Medicine Skill, the other (the one with 09 APs) as a stand-alone Powered Subskill. The Powered one represents his ability to use beta particles (channelled through a small aperture built into his hand, in order not to ruin his pseudoskin) and his extensive medical knowledge to perform crash resuscitations, such as restarting a heart or a nervous system via electrical shock, using the heat to cauterise a wound, etc. The GM decides whether the Powered Subskill can be applied based on the description by the player.

Advantages:
Expertise (Healthcare business, Medical technology), Headquarters (Expansive – Wirtham Tower), Lightning Reflexes, Stroke of Genius (Beta particles technology).

Connections:
City of New York (High), US Senate (Low), Business world (Low), Medical community (Low), Wirtham biomedical companies (High), Mercy General Hospital (High), Tony Stark (Low), Omni-Connection.

Drawbacks:
Mistrust, Strange Appearance, MIA toward Seeking Justice, Guilt, Secret ID, MPR (Occasional cardiac troubles – see “This old heart of mine” below).

Equipment:

  • BODY ARMOUR [BODY 06, Flame immunity: 02, Skin armour: 02, both being Partial (Vest level)].
  • Pulse staff [BODY 06, EV 04 (10 w/STR), Jumping: 02, Energy blast: 14, Heat vision: 14, Lightning: 06, Bonus: Energy Blast can have the Scattershot Bonus if Cardiac so wishes ; Limitations: Energy blast and Heat Vision are both Contingent upon Cardiac’s own Energy blast and Heat Vision (-1), Jumping is done via pole-vaulting, Lightning has No Range, Lightning can only be triggered when somebody touches the staff whilst Cardiac is not holding it, Lightning attacks BODY/BODY every Phase the staff is held without any Action cost ; Advantage: Insta-Change (a microscopic surge of Cardiac’s beta energy will turn it from a metallic walking stick to the full-length pulse staff].
  • HOVER-HAWK GLIDER [BODY 06, Flight: 07, Limitation: substract the APs of weight to the Flight of the wing when it has passenger(s) (-1)]. This drone has also been called a Stingray Glider.
  • PSEUDOSKIN APPLICATOR [BODY 04, Note: This negates Cardiac’s Strange Appearance Drawback by covering his metallic skin with a layer of normal-looking epidermis. This fake skin as easily damaged as real one, though. The APPLICATOR is a large machine in his lab ; the artificial epidermis is spread through heat application, and takes time to cool off and set. Another, even larger machine in his personal lab will automatically run a full repair of his body armour and pseudoskin as he just lies on a slab and starts the procedure.]
    Wirtham has also been known to do touch-up jobs with a can of pseudoskin and a special brush when he is away from his office.
  • Cardiac also occasionally uses an ordinary-looking van with a police band scanner, or one of the ambulances from his hospital – ambulances can rush to and from just about anywhere without looking suspicious. As Wirtham he also owns a flashy red vintage Ferrari 250 GT convertible.
  • A major piece of his investigative resources (along with hiring PI firms) is automated media scans that pick up key words and record relevant broadcasts ; those are often used to watch selected companies for unethical activities.
  • Wirtham’s office building has hidden high-speed elevators leading to his 12 APs private Lab.

This old heart of mine

If somebody rolls a double when attacking Cardiac with some exotic form of energy, the extra damage can also be explained by having the radiation jam the correct functioning of Cardiac’s artificial heart. This happened once, when Boomerang rolled quite high with a disrupterang – high enough to Stun Wirtham.

Conceivably, a Scientist (Observation) roll based on some relevant information could also unearth this weakness, but from the stories the OV/RV for this seem to be about 11/11.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Spider-Man comics (Marvel Universe).

Helper(s): Peter Piispanen, David Johnston.

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