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Joanna Cargill of the Acolytes of Magneto (X-Men enemy) (Marvel Comics) (Frenzy)

Joanna Cargill (formerly Frenzy)

(Profile #2 - Acolytes of Magneto)


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

“Mutants need not live in fear of humans ! I have heard Magnus’s words ! I have seen the light !”


Context

Frenzy is a super-strong mutant activist in the Marvel Universe. Like several other mutants (say, Rogue) she started as an enemy of the X-Men before eventually joining them.

This profile is the second in a chronological series. It covers her time as one of the core Acolytes of Magneto, a murderous and manipulated mutant cult.

The series goes :

  1. .
  2. This here profile.
  3. Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) profile #3 – 2007-2014.

Background

  • Real Name: Joanna Cargill
  • Other Aliases: Her name is still occasionally spelled Johanna.
  • Former Aliases: Frenzy (which was not normally used whilst she was an Acolyte), Ambassador Cargill
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: Gareth (brother, deceased), father (name unrevealed, presumably deceased), mother (name unrevealed)
  • Group Affiliation: Acolytes of Magneto. Former member of the Alliance of Evil, briefly and involuntarily a sort-of member of the X-Men.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 165 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers & Abilities

Cargill is super-strong and durable (“Class 10” or whereabouts), and has significant pugilistic talent and experience. She’s skilled enough to engage the likes of Gambit (Remy Lebeau) or Wolverine (James Howlett) in hand-to-hand combat for a bit.

She doesn’t operate at the level of power of most experienced X-Men, though. Cargill is about as powerful as most Acolytes, and they’re not a match for X-Men teams unless they significantly outnumber them.

During the last few years of this era, her strength and durability seemed greater. She delivers a punch to She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) that required at least “Class 20” strength, and in her 2007 return she will be markedly tougher.

Her Acolytes uniform includes a radio headset.

During her time with the Acolytes she was taught EVA (the art of working in zero gravity and in an astronaut suit) and basic aircraft piloting. She also mentioned being a knitting enthusiast.


History

In 1991, malignant manipulative mutant Fabian Cortez reached out to Magneto. He beseeched him to act as a quasi-religious leader for oppressed mutants worldwide. This plot resulted in the seeming demise of the mutant master of magnetism.

However, the crafty Cortez used that to create the Acolytes of Magneto mutant cult. Frenzy joined in 1992 or 1993. Like most Acolytes, she found solace in their credo of mutant supremacy and became a murderous fanatic.

Fatal Attractions, part 1

In 1993 Cargill, Unuscione and the Kleinstock brothers conducted a terror raid on a school. Additional objectives included locating an unidentified mutant child within, and murdering longtime Xavier associates Sharon Friedlander and Tom Corsi.

The Kleinstocks killed 13 and Cargill killed Friedlander before the X-Men forced them to retreat. However Corsi killed one of the Kleinstocks. The mutant kid also turned out to have Down Syndrome  – causing Unuscione to abandon the kidnapping.

Days later, the X-Men raided the Acolytes’ secret base. Iceman (Robert Drake) took Cargill out in the fray. The Acolytes quickly recovered, and launched a series of mass murder blitzes.

After one such massacre in an American hospital, the government sent X-Factor (in its version led by Havok (Alex Summers)) after the Acolytes. Before Frenzy could kill anti-mutants Senator Kelly, she was taken down by Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair) using an electrical cable.

Fatal Attractions, part 2

Magneto then returned. His herald Exodus (Bennet du Paris) announced that Cortez had been a deceiver all along. Cargill and other furious Acolytes nearly killed Cortez, and rallied to Magneto.

As the situation escalated, the X-Men stormed Magneto’s gigantic Avalon orbital base, teleporting the Acolytes away before they could react – then telepathically forcing Magneto into a coma.

The Acolytes nevertheless endured under Exodus’ leadership. They launched further murderous schemes. Thus, in 1994, Cargill was part of a team attempting to destroy most life on Earth using Omega Red (Arkady Rossovich). They were stopped by Cable (Nathan Summers).

The downfall of Avalon

In 1995, a fight between the mutants Exodus and Holocaust destroyed the Acolytes’ Avalon orbital base. Scott Summers and Jean Grey convinced Cargill and other surviving Acolytes to work with them to evacuate before atmospheric reentry.

Summers’ leadership and experience allowed Cargill, Unuscione, Scanner and the Kleinstocks to survive Avalon’s crash and a long trek across the Australian Outback. When the Kleinstocks attempted to betray Summers, Cargill violently opposed them as they all owed him their life.

Cargill in her Acolytes uniform, punching

These 5 Acolytes agreed to surrender to the police. But they soon escaped, and by 1996 they were hiding in the Andes. They stuck close to another crash site of Avalon, collecting debris to build an underground church to Magneto and recruiting newcomers.

Meanwhile Exodus was leading a second, separate group of Acolytes working to rebuild Avalon.

Follow the leader

Joseph, a younger clone of Magneto, came to investigate the Andean Acolytes. While there he was caught in a raid by Larry Trask’s forces. Joseph saved his fellow mutants, but fled after the Acolytes beseeched him to lead them.

Fabian Cortez nevertheless manipulated Joseph into pretending to be the real Magneto. Cargill and other Acolytes knew doubt, but ended up following anyway as Joseph acted increasingly Magneto-like.

Cortez led “Magneto” into a trap. The plan was that Exodus would kill Joseph and have all Acolytes serve him. However, Cargill and the Kleinstocks couldn’t bring themselves to trust Cortez. They discovered that he was holding fellow Acolyte Amelia Voght prisoner.

Joseph overcame both Exodus and a major assault by Trask, then dispersed the Acolytes. He told them to find Avalon within themselves rather than continue fighting to rebuild Magneto’s fabled space station.

Many unhappy returns, part 1

Exodus swiftly recreated the Acolytes with Cortez’s help. Cargill was among those who rejoined. She suggested recruiting Colossus (Piotr Rasputin), who had been an Acolyte for a time. However, Colossus turned down the offer.

Meanwhile, the Acolytes recruited a number of mutate exiles from Genosha, still wearing their bonded slave uniform.

Exodus wished to steal Isotope E from the High Evolutionary. The Acolytes successfully warred against the Knights of Wundagore. However, the intervention of Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff) allowed the High Evolutionary to escape and take Isotope E with him.

Exodus launched more operations from the conquered Mount Wundagore science citadel. He the Acolytes as cannon fodder against the High Evolutionary and his forces. This failed due to the then-contemporary version of the Heroes for Hire.

Many unhappy returns, part 2

In 1999, a returned Magneto had Amelia Voght covertly contact a selection of Acolytes who rallied to him. The rest mostly stuck with Cortez.

Cargill was among Magneto’s selection. She and her teammates raided genetic research labs in the US at Magneto’s behest. Meanwhile, their master disrupted the Earth’s magnetic field and threatened a global EMP if he wasn’t allowed to create a large-scale mutant sanctuary.

The X-Men mounted a successful operation against Magneto and the Acolytes. Yet the UN granted Magneto rulership of Genosha. The island nation had been torn by a long and lengthy civil war over mutant exploitation, and it was hoped that Magneto would halt the carnage. The UN also gambled that doing so would keep him too busy to threaten the planet.

I don’t need your civil war

Magneto and his allies (including his son Quicksilver, and his possible daughter Polaris) successfully took control and rebuilt Genosha within less than 2 years.

Some Acolytes left due to the compromises involved. But Cargill apparently stuck fast with Magneto, helping put an end to the civil war and rebuild the cities and infrastructures.

Among other campaigns she helped retake the Genetics Complex, which diehards from the human Genoshan military had sworn to defend to the death. During the fighting of 1999 and 2000, she presumably had her powers enhanced from time to time by Fabian Cortez, much like with Michael Nowlan back during her Alliance of Evil days.

Magneto and his Acolytes suffered severe losses when a plot by the High Evolutionary and Mister Sinister negated superhuman mutations worldwide for 48 hours. The remains of the Genoshan military counter-attacked with a vengeance. Furthermore, many of Magneto’s mutate troops died as their physiology couldn’t handle a lack of powers.

The X-Men put an end to Sinister’s machine, suddenly repowering everyone. This was a boon for Magneto, Cargill and other mutant survivors. The human military was now overextended in their counter-attack, and being unexpectedly hit by repowered mutants was a disaster for them.

Dark seduction

The bulk of the remaining rebels regrouped around the Carrion Cove village. Magneto originally wanted these handled gently to enable peacemaking, but his staff soon realised that renegade Acolytes were defending the village. These were determined to fight to the death.

As it turned out, a mysterious mutant alteration device was hidden underneath Carrion Cove. It was what had allowed for the creation of the mutate slaves who had brought prosperity to Genosha for decades.

Magneto ordered an assault, with Cargill being one of the spearheads. The Avengers intervened and Cargill briefly fought She-Hulk, but Magneto forced the heroes off the battle.

The village was successfully taken, and Magneto enhanced his powers using the secret tech. He collapsed a mountain upon much of the remaining resistance, killing 10,000. He then slew the traitorous Fabian Cortez, who had helped the Carrion Cove Acolytes – and whom Magneto no longer needed to boost his powers.

Most of the human population of Genosha was kept on glorified house arrest, as they were still necessary to run the renascent economy and infrastructure. Nevertheless, a tenacious resistance remained, even after the carnage at Carrion Cove.

Eve of destruction, part 1

By 2001, Genosha was stable and rebuilt. Foreign mutants came in to gain political asylum. With the large number of superhuman mutants and mutates on the island, plus the extreme power of Magneto himself, the small island was a major military power. Magneto made threatening statements about intervening worldwide to protect mutants.

Within but a few days, it became evident that a world war was brewing.

Magneto sent Cargill as his emissary to the UN and Washington. There, she threateningly spelled out Magneto’s agenda. However, US military intelligence captured her for interrogation and execution, in a gambit to prepare a first strike. This did not work, as the fanatical Cargill refused to provide any intelligence.

The X-Men worked on their own raid against Magneto. But at that point the team was at a low ebb with only Cyclops, Phoenix (Jean Grey) and Wolverine (James Howlett) being available. Grey recruited an ad hoc team of minor mutants, to help with the plan.

Eve of destruction, part 2

These included Cargill, whom Jean Grey inexplicably brainwashed to be on her team. Perhaps Phoenix somehow had no other way to keep the hostile Cargill under control after exfiltrating her from a Pentagon interrogation room.

Grey used her team to delay Magneto, though Eisenhardt immediately realised that Cargill was under Grey’s mental control. The one-time Ambassador kept Magneto occupied for a little bit, but he then entangled her in metal bonds.

Still, that left time for Grey’s scheme to free a captive Professor X, who shut down Magneto’s powers. Wolverine unexpectedly seized the opportunity, and seemingly killed the mutant master of magnetism.

Fall of Genosha

Magneto narrowly survived, but his wounds made it impossible to continue threatening the entire world. He and his staff, including a freed Cargill, carried on with rebuilding Genosha as a mutant and mutate haven. Population eventually reached 16 millions, with humans being gradually allowed to leave – many landing in refugee camps in Wakanda.

Mere months later, the mummudrai Cassandra Nova took mental control of Larry Trask. She had his Master Mould fabricate an unprecedented horde of a new type of robots, the Wild Sentinels.

These monstrosities hit Genosha as the main concentration of mutants on the planet – nearly half of Earth’s mutants at that point. They killed 99.9%+ of the population, reportedly including Magneto.

Cargill was among the handful of mostly traumatised mutant survivors, though she wasn’t seen for years.

Likewise, she was left intact by the Decimation of 2006, when the Scarlet Witch depowered most mutants on Earth. An oft-quoted number was 198 mutants left, including Joanna Cargill – though that was just the original census.


Description

The previously towering Cargill continues to slowly shrink during this era – and during the era covered by the next writeup. As per our previous hypothesis, we can theorize that the last few inches of extra height from an unusual side effect from Michael Nowlan’s enhancement power took decades to fade.

As usual with Black comic book characters, her skin tone has been all over the map. And occasionally beyond it.


Personality

Early during this era Cargill was portrayed as a genocidal fanatic. She had thrown herself into her faith for Magneto. Things became gradually more complicated as she realised that Cortez and Exodus were actually manipulating the Acolytes, and that Magneto’s true message was considerably more complicated and even self-contradictory.

When the real Magneto was personally leading the Acolytes, he counted Cargill among his most devoted and loyal followers. She had the further advantage of not being incompetent.

Before Magneto’s big return, the Acolytes lived in confusion and doubt. Their heir faith was constantly used and manipulated to have them serve as cannon fodder and labourers. It was apparently never possible to tell which of their deftly manipulative leaders was playing what game.

Mostly, the Acolytes muddled along trusting in blind faith as they didn’t think that society left them with an alternative.

Cargill has a crude sense of honour. She was very reluctant — or refused outright — to attack Cyclops and some of the core X-Men ever since Summers saved her life from the destruction of Avalon. She also seemed to respect Colossus after the time he spent with the Acolytes.

With the lengthy war on Genosha, Cargill — who already had years of mercenary experience before that — came to behave more like a veteran soldier than like a criminal.


Quotes

“Human-lovers ! If you were true mutants, you would follow the teachings of Magnus ! You would fight at our side to purge the world of the genetically impure !”

“’Freedom‘ doesn’t pay the bills. Outside mercenary help costs money.”

(To the press) “Magneto is not without the capacity for compassion. Any country that willingly accepts his rule as just and rightful will be allowed limited autonomy… to the extent that it does not interfere with his vision for the future of both races. Of course, all these terms are non-negotiable.”

“Magneto is not my employer. He’s my saviour. I… many of us… would die before we’d betray him.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Cargill

Dex: 06 Str: 09 Bod: 07 Motivation: Mercenary/Mutant militant
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 014 HP: 020

Powers:
Cold immunity: 01, Flame immunity: 03, Skin armour: 02

Skills:
Artist (Knitting): 03, Charisma (Intimidation): 04, Military science (Camouflage, cartography): 03, Vehicles (Air, Land): 03, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 03

Advantages
Familiarity (Extravehicular space operations, Military protocols and equipment)

Connections:
Acolytes of Magneto (Low)

Drawbacks:
Mistrust (Mutant)

Equipment:
ACOLYTE BODYSUIT [BODY 06, Radio communications: 08]


Late-era Cargill

For a late-era Cargill-as-an-Acolyte raise her STR to 10 and her BODY to 08.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

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Frenzy (profile #2 – Acolyte) — Averaged PL8.6

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
02 (09) 03 (06) 02 01 03 (05) 01 01 01

Powers

Mutant strength and steel-hard skin ● 30 points ● Descriptor: Mutation
– Enhanced Strength 7, Enhanced Stamina 3, Enhanced Fighting 2
– Protection 2 (Limited 1 to Physical Impact)
– Protection 2 (Limited 2 to cold/freezing)
– Immunity 5 (Half-effect vs. flame)

Combat Advantages

Close Attack 2, Defensive Roll 2, Ranged attack 2

Other Advantages

Equipment 1

Skills

Athletics 1 (+10), Close combat (Hand to hand) 3 (+10), Expertise (Knitting) 5 (+6), Expertise (Space operations) 5 (+6), Insight 2 (+3), Intimidation 3 (+4), Perception 3 (+4), Vehicles 3 (+4)

Equipment

Headset radio (Feature 1 – a cell phone, basically)

Offense

Initiative +2
Unarmed +10, Close, Damage 9

Defence

Dodge 09 Fortitude 10
Parry 10 Toughness 8/8**/10*
Will 04

* With Defensive Roll vs. most non-energy attacks.
** With Defensive Roll vs. most energy attacks.

Complications

  • Minority Cargill is Black, mutant and female – she runs into lots of prejudice.
  • Temper As her name suggests, Frenzy has a considerable anger and attitude problem.
  • Manipulated The Acolytes have been used time and again, using their faith against them.
  • Honour Cargill has a rough sense of honour and may violently oppose harming people who helped her in the past.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 10, Dodge/Toughness PL 9, Parry/Toughness PL 10, Fort/Will PL 7
  • Points total 97 Abilities 28, Defences 19, Skills 13, Powers 30, Devices 0, Advantages 7. Equiv. PL 7.

Late-era Cargill

Late during this era, her Strength and Stamina both rise by 1 Rank. Her Fort/Will trade-off thus rises to PL7, and her Averaged PL goes up to 8.8 as a consequence.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe 1993-2001.

Helper(s): Ethan Roe

Writeup completed on the 19th of September, 2014.

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