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Condor (Nova enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Condor

(Nova enemy)


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

Context

Not only is the Condor like a bridge over troubled waters, but he appeared early in the adventures of Nova (Richard Rider), in 1978. These were meant to evoke the Silver Age  and the Condor thus looks retro even for 1978. He has a slightly more modern vibe than the rest of the cast, though.

The Condor can work fairly well as a mastermind villain opposing beginner heroes. He has the brains, he has the tech, and he has some physical robustness and speed to him.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Partner of Diamondhead, master of Powerhouse.
  • Base Of Operations: His “aerie” in the hills over northern Long Island.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 166 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown (later on, reddish and enlarged) Hair: Black (later on, bald).


Powers and Abilities

The Condor was an Avian — and thus was pretty strong and had powerful birdlike wings.

Howbeit, his strength and durability were definitely beyond the norm for Bird People. It is likely that this is the result of scientific enhancements. His speed, agility and reflexes may also be the result of scientific enhancement rather than simple training.

Science !

The Condor is a gifted scientist and technologist. But he’s not as good as he think he is – he cannot invent groundbreaking technology on his own, duplicate alien super-tech, or work with insufficient resources.

For instance, he could not duplicate the power of the best Avian weapons and had to steal them. He seemed outmatched by the technology deployed by the Bi-Beast. Neither the Condor complete his space shuttle on his own, due to lack of funding.

Still, he should not be underestimated. “Not as good as he thinks he is” is a far cry from “incompetent”. For instance, the Condor had :

  • Machines that could precisely analyse the powers of superhumans.
  • Brainwashing computers.
  • “Petrifying” (paralysing, really) gas.
  • A spray that could somehow allow people to operate in space.
  • And a working space shuttle, once he stole the systems he couldn’t afford to build.

History

Although the Condor was long thought human, he was revealed to actually be an Avian. Meaning that he’s a member of the so-called Bird People, and a scientist well-versed in the discoveries of his race.

Since the Bird People were placed in suspended animation in, IIRC, the 1950s, it is likely he went renegade and escaped before that point. He is apparently possessed of inhuman lifespan, and did not seem to age much.

Days of the Condor

His activities during his first decades in the outside world are unrevealed. But they presumably involved science and crime. He built an advanced base in caverns on Long Island, which he called the Aerie (a common name for the flying city of the Bird People).

At some point he learned a great deal about the Sphinx. It is possible they worked together for a bit, but the megalomaniac Condor decided that the Sphinx had to be eliminated as a potential competitor.

The proud Condor was obsessed with finding some way to overcome “the dreaded one”. After that he would “claw his name into the annals of crime” as an independent crimelord. To do so, he started accumulating resources. For instance he lucked out on the amnesiac superhuman Powerhouse, who was floating in the sea amidst wreckage.

The abusive Condor turned the thankful Powerhouse into his servant. The Avian terrorized him so he would not leave the aerie unless he needed him to.

Up in the sky

Learning about the first appearance of the fledgling crimefighter Nova, the Condor tricked him into fighting Powerhouse. Once Powerhouse had drained enough energy, he took him to he Manhattan museum where a relic the Sphinx was after was kept.

The Condor (Marvel Comics) (Nova enemy) flies over mountains

However, Nova intervened. Although he was quite ineffective again, his battle with Powerhouse destroyed the mummy case they were after. This infuriated the Condor, who abandoned Powerhouse to be defeated.

Still intending to fight and defeat the Sphinx in the near future, the Condor soon allied with another new local villain — Diamondhead. Together, they busted Powerhouse out of the hospital (where he was kept prisoner with an “absorbaron” power neutralizer). When Nova tried to intervened, he was taken out and captured by the Condor with the help of a petrifying gas pistol.

Using his sophisticated machines, the Condor probed Nova and learned a great deal about him. That included his uplink with an orbiting alien vessel, which even Nova knew nothing about.

Up into space

Deciding to use the resources within this ship to defeat the Sphinx, the Condor brainwashed Nova. Although the procedure was interrupted by Powerhouse briefly rebelling, it was ultimately successful.

As a result, the Condor used Nova to steal critical parts from the Air Force. With those, the criminal scientist could finish his space shuttle and reach the mysterious orbiting ship. Nova started shaking off the mind control when they came back to the aerie, but was again taken down by Powerhouse.

The Condor rebrainwashed Nova, finished his spacecraft, and got them all to the Nova ship. They defeated its defenses and got close to both the armoury and the computer centre. This is the point when Nova recovered his free will. But the Condor and his allies managed to stun Nova and flee, grabbing nearby weapons.

Up against the Sphinx

Losing no time the Condor and his two helpers attacked the headquarters of the Sphinx. They used their energy weapons to great effect against the human troops of the powerful entity. But predictably, they did not far very well when facing the ancient Egyptian superhuman.

Powerhouse got in a few good ones, but he and Diamondhead were overwhelmed. The Condor fought on, but one of the Sphinx’s men snuck behind him and seized one of the Xandarian weapons.

Although he intended to shoot the Sphinx, the henchman instead hit the Condor in the back, destroying his mind. Furious that he could not absorb the Condor’s now-destroyed mentality, the Sphinx used his Ka Stone to turn the Condor into an actual condor, which mindlessly flew away.

Up in the air

As far as can be determined, the Condor remained a simple bird for years. Yet, his mental faculty slowly returned to him. He eventually flew to a small island in North Atlantic. It was where the mutated, sapient  animals called the Ani-Mates lived.

The Ani-Mate Birdbrain sensed that the condor had once been a man. It is also possible that Birdbrain could more or less communicate with the Condor. Birdbrain felt kinship with his fellow bird/sentient. As a result, he used the machines left behind by Doctor Animus, the creator of the Ani-Mates, to turn the Condor back into a man.

Birdbrain succeeded, although the Condor now had a somewhat inhuman, more bird-like form.

Almost immediately, the mutated Condor rushed to America to have his revenge upon Nova… and pretty much everything else. Now even more unstable than before, he ambushed Nova and his girlfriend Laura, and engaged him in a vicious aerial fight. As they fought they broke power lines, one of which whipped around and hit Laura.

Up in arms

Nova started panicking as he realized that Laura’s heart was not beating anymore. But the Condor did CPR  and guided Nova to assist with his resuscitation efforts. They managed to save the young woman. Then Condor proudly flew away, claiming that he was a man after all and would make his decisions as such. Whether his path was to be science, or science and crime, was to be determined.

The Condor was later contacted by the Shadow Consortium. But he did not ally with them. Still, he returned to crime and decided to kill Nova. Hijacking several discarded robots, the Condor briefly tested the might of his old foe, who had recently become much more powerful.

Continuing to spy on him with an old HERBIE unit, the Condor waited until Nova contacted Mister Fantastic to run tests.

When Richards strapped Nova to a special contraption to bring his new powers, the Condor attacked. He knocked Richards out and redlined the machine. This largely depowered Nova. The Condor then fought the Fantastic Four, making a good showing. But the Condor was defeated when Nova, crawling on the floor, tripped him and exposed him to the blast of one of his own weapons.

Up the river

The capture of his kin was remotely witnessed by the Red Raven, himself not very stable. The Raven eventually decided that the Bird People should be the ones doing the punishing. He and his troops attacked the prison where the Condor was held. But after a brief discussion with Nova, they agreed to leave.

A decade later, in 2008, the Condor was confirmed to still be active (and mutated). He was a patron at a Bar With No Name. By 2009, he was again a prisoner – though his mutation was now less pronounced.

By this point, a sizeable population of maximum risk prisoners had been moved to a new prison facility in… the Negative Zone . This angered the locals, who besieged the prison. The guards were evacuated, leaving the prisoners behind. Condor became one of the tops dogs, along with Jack Flag, Gorilla Man and Bison, as the prisoners sought to survive.

Star-Lord and his Guardians of the Galaxy eventually evacuated the prisoners. Condor and the others refused to trust Star-Lord and Jack Flag, but were overpowered. When they attempted to ally with Blastaar instead, Condor was flattened by Mantis.

Up that hill

The US government was planning to hand him over to the Bird People. But Condor aw actually sent to the Pleasant Hill virtual reality prison. This program was a success, but in 2016 it catastrophically blew up. Several Avengers team and a large contingent of S.H.I.E.L.D. troops did stop most prisoners attempting to flee, though.


Description

His original form is illustrated first, followed by his mutated form.


Personality

The Condor is a huge control freak. He’s full of grandiose ideas about how he should have more power, how his plans are flawless and how everyone should obey him to the letter. He talks like a sophisticated, arrogant megalomaniac – and treats everyone else as imbeciles.

He chafed under the thumb of the Sphinx, of course. His main objective was to find something big enough to defy the Sphinx. Especially if that something could be absorbed by Powerhouse, whom he viewed as one of his greatest assets.

He’s also pretty crafty and manipulative. The Condor can hide his arrogance for a bit — or even feign obedience — if that is necessary to advance his plans.

Other traits

The Condor has a curious inability to grasp how powerful the Sphinx was. He kept believing the Sphinx merely wanted to become emperor of crime, while the Sphinx had the capabilities to become master of the world. The Condor is likely to underestimate anybody more powerful than himself. Probably because he believes there’s nobody he cannot defeat given enough scheming.

The Condor is so certain he’s smarter than everybody else that being defeated is incomprehensibly unfair. How can he fail when he’s so much better than everyone else ? This inability to deal with defeat was slowly eroding his mental state.

After Birdbrain made him a sapient humanoid again, the mutated Condor would randomly emit bird-like noises in his speech. He was also more insane than ever. He hated everything having to do with his past and any reference to it made him aggressive and confused.

He regained his sanity after saving Laura, and eventually managed to rid himself of the bird noises and weird voice, sounding human again.


Quotes

Condor : “There it is – the mummy of Tuckankahn the wizard — and the same mummy *he* wants !”
Powerhouse : “Who is this ’he‘ you keep speaking of, Condor ? And why do you fear him. I thought together we were undefeatable.”
Condor : “By all except *him*. He is a power we must all fear, Powerhouse.”

“Farewell, fool ! These bars were meant to keep others from getting inside the building. But when the Condor wants to leave, nothing gets in his way — nothing ! And now I take leave — to re-think… to retrench ! But one thing I do know for sure — where next the Condor flies — he flies alone !”

“There, Diamondhead — in that hospital sleeps the final member of our alliance. For there lies Powerhouse in the clutches of the police.”

“Away, you witless fools. Away while the Condor swoops for his prize.”

“What ?! Insubordination again ?!”

“An alien computer network ? One more advanced than my own ? You scoffed, Diamondhead. You thought Nova would be useless in our ultimate struggle. Well, my friend — I believe we just may have found the one weapon that even the Sphinx can not defeat !”

“I said KILL him, you miserable little cretin ! Didn’t you hear your master’s orders ? Slay Nova – NOW !”

“Done away with ? Because I stand in the way of your becoming master crimelord ? No, Sphinx — I’m afraid *you* must be gotten rid of. Only *I* can become emperor of crime !”

(After his mutation): “Surprised, Nova ? Of all the foes — chik chik — you ever thought you would encounter again — skrk skrk — never in your worst nightmares — chik — did you think you would face the furious wrath — skk — of… the CONDOR ?!”

(After his mutation): “I am a bird of prey, Nova ! I am a scavenger — chikk — picking at the bones of my former life — tearing away at the raw flesh of those who have what I no longer possess — humanity !”

“So, he is going to see Reed Richards. This may present itself as a fine opportunity for the Condor to be rid of that irritating young upstart.”

(To Reed Richards): “You arrogant snob. I am your intellectual superior. If not for the fates conspiring against me, the world would know that as well ! It’s not fair !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Condor

Dex: 05 Str: 06 Bod: 09 Motivation: Power
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: Would-be crimelord
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 018 HP: 040

Powers:
Flight (Winged): 07, Super-breath (Winged): 04

Skills:
Acrobatics (Dodging): 07, Evasion (Aerial only): 07, Gadgetry: 09, Medicine (first aid): 04, Scientist (incl. Computers): 06, Thief (stealth): 06, Weaponry (firearms, exotic): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Thief (stealth) only while in flight (-1).

Advantages:
Expansive H.Q. (the Aerie), Familiarity (Avian technology), Lightning Reflexes, Slowed Aging.

Connections:
Diamondhead (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIA to Power, Minor Psychological Instability (very poor frustration tolerance, control freak).

Equipment:

  • COMPUTALYZER [BODY 05, Detect (superpowers): 09, Bonus : Detect has the Assess Bonus but has No Range. This is a huge bank of 1970s computers, with the (willing or unconscious) subject being placed on a special pod. The readings are quite precise and detailed.]
  • BRAINWASHING COMPUTER [BODY 05, Hypnosis: 07, Limitation : Hypnosis has No Range. This is a huge bank of 1970s computers, with the (willing or unconscious) subject being placed on a special slab.]
  • Petrifying Gas Pistol [BODY 02, Knockout gas: 10, Ammo: 01. This pistol was only used once.]
  • CONDOR SPACE SHUTTLE [STR 09 BODY 10, Flight: 15, Flame immunity: 05, Radar sense: 18, Sealed systems: 12, R#03. Note – The Condor couldn’t complete this craft by himself, and had to have Nova steal advanced Air Force components to make it spaceworthy.]
  • Space spray [BODY 02, Sealed systems: 06. This spray somehow makes people able to operate in vacuum for up to an hour.]
  • For a while, he had access to a few energy weapons from Xandar — their stats are unknown, though, except for two pistols :
    • Xandarian Force Field Pistol [BODY 03, Disintegration: 18, Force field: 08, Range: 04, Bonus: Force field is Combined, and can only be Combined, with Disintegration. Note that one cannot attack through the Force Field — it adds its APs to the RV of anything the target tries to assault ; Limitations: Disintegration has No Range, use listed Range instead ; Disintegration starts at 5 APs and increase by one AP per hour ; the contracting force field has a BODY of 18, but has an attack Vulnerability (-3CS OV/RV) against extreme heat and possibly other types of attacks. This large pistol shoots a force field around its target (looking much like a giant soap bubble), which starts slowly contracting. Eventually, the force field will crush its targets to atoms and pop out ; Nova managed to escape that fate by entering a nuclear furnace, which burned the for field off.]
    • Xandarian Mind Wipe Pistol [BODY 03, Mind blast: 10, Range: 04, Limitation: Mind blast has No Range, use listed Range instead. Note that a subject whose MIND is destroyed by this weapon will be rendered non-sentient, and not be slain.]
  • Avian staff [BODY 08, Energy blast: 16, Limitation: Energy blast has No Range. This odd contraption, looking like a plumbing tube slightly curved at the end and equipped with some sort of handguard, was likely of Avian origin. It emitted a blue flame at the business end, which was powerful enough to stun the Thing. This weapon was stolen from the Bird People.]
  • SONIC PULSER [BODY 05, Sonic beam: 13, Sharpness (Sonic beam): 13, Ammo: 01, Range: 02, Limitations: Sonic Beam has No Range, use listed Range instead ; Sharpness only vs. Force field and Force shield (-2). This Avian weapon is built into one of his bracers, and was stolen from the Bird People.]

Return of the Condor

After his mutation, the bestial-looking Condor was more physically powerful than before. He had DEX 07 STR 09 BODY 11, and his Claws reached a 12 ; he also gained Enhanced Initiative: 05. It is likely, though not demonstrated, that his Superbreath was enhanced by a few APs. Of course his Appearance was now Strange.

Before saving Laura, he also had as part of his Power Complication Subplot a general Serious Psychological Instability, and a Serious Rage.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Condor (early Nova foe) — Averaged PL10.6

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
5 8 4 1 3 5 2 2

Powers

Avian Wings ● 15 points ● Descriptor: Avian
– Flight — Flight 6, Winged
– Wing Buffet — Alternate Effect of Strength, Move Object 3, Area (Cone), Close, Limited to One Direction
– Aerial Evasion — Enhanced Dodge 3, Limited to while flying
– Quiet Wings — Enhanced Skill (Stealth 5), Limited to while flying

Avian Physiology ● 1 points ● Descriptor: Genetic
– Slowed Aging — Feature (extended lifespan)

Devices

Petrifying Gas Pistol ● 12 points ● Descriptor: Technology
– Paralyzing Gas — Ranged Affliction 10 (Resisted by Fortitude; hindered/immobile/paralyzed), Unreliable (charges), Easily Removable; Used only once

Space Spray ● 1 point ● Descriptor: Technology
– Somehow Protects People From Space — Immunity 4 (hot and cold environments, vacuum, radiation of space), Quirk (lasts about an hour), Unreliable (charges); Easily Removable

Xandarian Force Field Pistol ● 28 points ● Descriptor: Technology, Xandarian
– Crush Into Atoms — Create 23, Continuous, Impervious 15, Limited (sphere), Proportional, Quirk (begins at volume 8 and Toughness 15, and then decreases in size each hour), Quirk (no Impervious and half ranks against high heat and maybe other effects) and Ranged Damage 15, Chronic 2 (one hour), Limited (only against trapped targets), Limited (all but the first 4 ranks are Limited to increasing by 1 each hour until it reaches full power); Easily Removable

Xandarian Mind Wipe Pistol ● 19 points ● Descriptor: Technology, Xandarian
– Dementate — Ranged Damage 10, Alternate Resistance (Will), Diminished Range; Easily Removable

Avian Staff ● 24 points ● Descriptor: Technology, Avian
– Energy Attack — Damage 14; Easily Removable; This odd contraption, looking like a plumbing tube slightly curved at the end and equipped with some sort of handguard, was likely of Avian origin. It emitted a blue flame at the business end, which was powerful enough to stun the Thing. This weapon was stolen from the Bird People.

Sonic Pulser ● 14 points ● Descriptor: Technology, Avian
– Sonic Attack — Damage 13, Impervious 13 (Limited 3 to force fields and shields); Removable; This Avian weapon is built into one of his bracers, and was stolen from the Bird People.

Combat Advantages

Defensive Roll 3, Improved Initiative.

Other Advantages

Equipment 11.

Skills

Athletics 2 (+7), Close Combat: Avian staff 4 (+7), Close Combat: Unarmed 4 (+7), Deception 2 (+4), Expertise: Science 6 (+11), Insight 4 (+6), Perception 5 (+7), Persuasion 1 (+3), Ranged Combat: Firearms 6 (+7), Ranged Combat: Weird Energy Weapons 6 (+7), Technology 11 (+16), Treatment 1 (+6, Limited 2 to Revise and Stabilize).

Equipment

The Aerie An Underground Headquarters Lair with a Computalyzer (a huge bank of 1970s computers with Acute Detect Superhuman Powers) and a Brainwashing Computer (a huge bank of 1970s computers with Affliction 7, Resisted by Will, that causes a restrained target to be dazed, compelled, or controlled) ● 21 points
Condor Space Shuttle Size C, Strength 16, Speed 14, Defense 2, Toughness 13, Senses (Radar, Accurate, Extended 3, Radius, Ranged) ● 33 points

Offense

Initiative +8
Unarmed +7, Close, Damage 5
Avian staff +7, Close, Damage 14
Sonic pulser +7, Close, Damage 13
Advanced weapons +7, Ranged, various effects

Defence

Dodge 11/8** Fortitude 11
Parry 8 Toughness 11/8*
Will 6

* Without Defensive Roll
** Not in the air

Complications

  • Lust for Power Condor seeks ever greater power.
  • Instability Condor is a control freak with poor frustration tolerance.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 11, Dodge/Toughness PL 11, Parry/Toughness PL 10, Fort/Will PL 9.
  • Points total 172. Abilities 60, Defences 16, Skills 26, Powers 16, Devices 39, Advantages 15. Equiv. PL 12.

Notes

  • The above costs don’t include the petrifying gas gun or hix Xandarian weaponry. For a while, he had access to a few energy weapons from Xandar — their stats are unknown, though, except for two pistols, listed above. These items increase his point cost but not his PL.
  • After his mutation, the bestial-looking Condor was more physically powerful than before. His abilities and defenses increased to STR 8, STA 11, and FGT 5, Dodge 11, Parry 11, Fortitude 12, and Toughness 12 (11 without Defensive Roll). He gained another rank of Improved Initiative and it is likely, though not demonstrated, that his Wing Buffet increased in ranks. He gained Claws 4 (STR-based Damage ) and Close Combat: Claws 6 (+11), but he loses Aerial Evasion from his Wings power.
  • Before saving Laura, he also had a Complication of general psychological instability and Rage.
  • His point cost increases by 31 points to 200, raising his equivalent PL to 14, Attack/Effect PL to 12, Dodge/Toughness PL to 12, and Parry/Toughness PL to 12, for an average PL of 11.8.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (various Nova series).

Helper(s): Roy Cowan, Gareth Lewis, Pufnstuff. M&M stats by Pawsplay.

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