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Destructor (Ms. Marvel comics enemy)

Destructor

(Kerwin Korman)


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

Context

Destructor was an early, obscure, generic foe of Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers). He appeared in 1977. If you need a standard later Silver Age /early Bronze Age  baddie in purple for a story, you could do worse than pick Destructor.

This entry only covers Korman up to his merger with the Doomsday Man. After the merger he’s effectively a different character.


Background

  • Real Name: Kerwin Korman (spelled Kormin at one point)
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: AIM operative
  • Base Of Operations: New York City
  • Height: 5’9” Weight: 170 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Korman is a gifted technologist, specialising in weapon systems and traps. He can design and build advanced gadgets such as potent energy beam projectors. He has a keen deductive mind and is proficient at coming up with clever plans based on those deductions.

His Destructor costume is well-reinforced and allows him to survive very powerful blows. It also includes an energy cannon within the helmet. According to Ms. Marvel, it was powerful enough to damage even a Kree battleship. It also has an unspecified array of sensors, and could withstand very high levels of radiation.


History

A professional weapons designer, Kerwin Korman built his own lab. He spent years providing advanced weaponry and other gadgets to customers such as Hydra.

It is possible that he also worked for the government. The super-robot built by Professor Kronton’s Project: Doomsday Man was armed with tachyon blast cannons, apparently one of Korman’s landmark technologies.

The tachyon beams used by Korman were more advanced than the ones in the Doomsday Man robot. They featured a dramatically shorter cycle time between shots. This further hints at him being a leading researcher behind that technology.

I shall become… a criminal

Eventually tiring of his career, he decided to use his keen mind and technology to become a supervillain. As part of this project, he sold his covert Lab in Brooklyn to the Scorpion (Mac Gargan).

Gargan wanted to use the large acid bath there to kill publisher J. Jonah Jameson. He hoped the extensive array of traps protecting the lab would foil any super-hero, such as Spider-Man, responding to the kidnapping.

Unfortunately for the Scorpion, it was Ms. Marvel who responded. She rescued the publisher and defeated the Scorpion. As the lab he had just sold was being thrashed, Korman had on-site video cameras record and analyse everything. This provided him with excellent intelligence on Ms. Marvel.

X-ray shots revealed some sort of circuitry within her costume likely enhancing her powers. Korman approached his former competitors at AIM, showing them the data. He offered to defeat Ms. Marvel and bring her back for her costume to be analysed.

AIM took the deal, though they insisted that Korman (now equipped and costumed as the Destructor) take her alive. The Destructor deemed this an overconfident attitude given the abilities of the heroine.

Unbeknownst to AIM, Korman had even more extensive intelligence about Ms. Marvel. He had somehow traced her first appearance to Cape Canaveral . Investigating with radiation counters, he even found the cave where the Psyche-Magnitron had been. Korman scientifically determined that Captain Mar-Vell and Yon Rogg were space aliens.

However, he wrongly assumed that Ms. Marvel knew about the cave where the Psyche-Magnitron had been. He thus thought that he needed to take her down before he could safely study the machinery.

Ms. Marvel

After AIM accepted his price, the Destructor confronted Ms. Marvel as she was fighting the Scorpion a second time. Knowing how powerful she was, Korman shot her in the back without warning. He managed to nail her a second time with his powerful beam, but Ms. Marvel knocked him out before collapsing.

After some minutes both opponents recovered. Thanks to her 7th sense the dazed Ms. Marvel avoided a new blast. The inexperienced Korman ran out of drive. He was knocked down again by a high-pressure jet of water directed by his opponent from a wrecked fire hydrant.

However, he knew too much about AIM operations. A commando from that organisation came to drag him away so he wouldn’t talk. To prevent her from interfering, they distracted Ms. Marvel by forcing her to save children from a collapsing wall.

AIM wanted to make an example of Korman pour encourager les autres  (and perhaps out of bad blood due to their history of competition). They submitted him to something called a Psycho-Conditioner to destroy his will. Ironically, the device had been built for AIM by Korman himself during a previous contract.

Brain damage

Perhaps because he knew how the Psycho-Conditioner worked, Korman escaped – though he now seemed diminished. Recovering his Destructor costume, he went to Florida and a cavern near the remains of the Psyche-Magnitron. His goal was to steal the Kree weapons detected by his sensors to take his revenge upon AIM and Ms. Marvel.

When he arrived there Ms. Marvel was fighting the Doomsday Man. Being still dazed by the torture the Destructor kept a low profile. He steered clear from the fight and rummaged through the wreckage.

Still addled, Korman found some sort of box and foolishly opened it. Exposed to the unearthly radiance of the Psyche-Magnitron’s power core, he was deprived of all his senses and driven mad.

Blindly firing his energy beam as he screamed and thrashed about, the Destructor wrecked much of the cavern. He collapsed it upon himself and the husk of the Doomsday Man, which Ms. Marvel has just succeeded in immobilising.

However, the mix of powerful Psyche-Magnitron radiation and the Doomsday Man technology would eventually produce a strange result. It, arguably, was no longer Kerwin Korman.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

A smart, cautious, analytical guy – but one who wishes his life was richer in excitement, wealth and power.

After escaping from AIM he seemed intellectually very diminished and confused, though it is unknown whether that was permanent or temporary.


Quotes

“Have it your way, my friend — but I think you’re underestimating the woman — and making a very serious mistake.”

“The same genius which built weapons for Hydra has created the Tachyon Blast — a bolt of energy which moves faster than the speed of light — and shatters anything which may lie in its path ! Professor Kerwin Korman may be no match for Ms. Marvel, gentlemen, but believe me — the Destructor most assuredly is !”

“Look up, Ms. Marvel ! Look up to the sky — and face an opponent worthy of your Kree-born powers !”

(After being exposed to the Psyche-Magnitron power core) “I can’t feel — anything ! Sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch — they’re all gone ! ALL GONE !!”


DC Universe History

Definitely a Supergirl villain. He would have allied with the Council instead of AIM, boasting that his tachyon blast could kill Supergirl.

After the Council turned against him for his failure against the Maid of Steel, he mistakenly attempted to steal Kryptonian technology from Supergirl (who didn’t actually have such a technology cache in Chicago) but was accidentally fused with the robot Matrix Plus, a more powerful version of Matrix Prime.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Kerwin Korman

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Power
Int: 05 Wil: 08 Min: 04 Occupation: Weapons technologist
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 013 HP: 020

Skills:
Gadgetry: 07, Scientist: 08, Weaponry (Exotic): 04, Weaponry (Tachyon blast projector in the Destructor costume): 06

Advantages:
Credentials (AIM, Low), Expertise (Tachyon beams), Genius

Connections:
Underworld (Low)

Drawbacks:
None

Equipment:

  • DESTRUCTOR COSTUME [/BODY/ 08, Acuity: 05, Energy blast: 15, Sealed systems: 05]
  • Flying Platform/Disc [BODY 03, Flight: 06]
  • Korman can also buy and use most types of small scientific and engineering equipment he may need, such as radiation counters.

It’s a trap !

Apparently, Korman always sets up a number of traps in his Labs, presumably to persuade his clients of the necessity of paying when they receive his creations. In the Brooklyn labs, the traps were fairly typical:

  • Doors and walls had a BODY of 12
  • The entrance was protected by a heat-seeking laser projector right after the door – [BODY 04, Laser beam: 10, Sharpness (Laser beam): 02]. Avoiding the fast-reacting laser in a narrow corridor is very difficult, giving an AV of 10 to the projector and preventing the use of Acrobatics (Dodging).
  • A metal door slides down to shut the corridor if the laser is bypassed ; it has a BODY of 16, though people beating the door’s Initiative (15) and with a movement speed of 6 APs or better can slip under it before it slams shut.
  • Right after it is a trapdoor, ideally positioned to trap an intruder who just rushed under and past the metal door – avoiding falling into the pit under those circumstances is Beyond the Limit. What lies at the bottom is unrevealed.
  • The back entrance is also protected, though less heavily so – one trapdoor (Difficult to avoid) and a corridor with two slower heat-seeking laser projectors [BODY 04, Laser beam: 10] who are considered to have an AV of 07 – the corridor is large enough to allow for Acrobatics (Dodging).

Brain damage

After the Psycho-Conditioner, all of Korman’s Mental and Mystical Attributes seemed down to 02. He also had a Serious Irrational Attraction toward Power, acting spontaneous and incautious to have it. His Hero Points are down by half.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Destructor (Kerwin Korman) — Averaged PL 8.4

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
00 01 01 01 02 04 02 01

Powers

Likely inventor of the tachyon beam ● 4 points ● Descriptor: Skill
– Enhanced Intellect 4 (Limited 2 to tachyon-beam related matters)
– Enhanced Dexterity 4 (Limited 2 to tachyon-beam related matters)

Devices

Destructor battle suit ● 43 points (Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology, tachyon beam
– Reinforced and armoured — Enhanced Stamina 6, Impervious Protection 2
– Protective visor — Protection 2, Enhanced Fortitude 2 (both Limited 2 to attacks against his eyes, including bright lights)
– Radiation-proofed — Immunity 1 (Radiation)
– Multitude of sensors and analyzers — Variable 1 (Limited 1 to scientific sensors of a general nature)
– Helm-mounted tachyon beam — Ranged energy Damage 14

Flying platform ● 3 points (Easily Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology
Flight 5 (Platform)

Combat Advantages

Close Attack 2, Defensive Roll 1, Ranged Attack 2

Other Advantages

Assessment, Benefit 1 (Decent AIM security credentials)

Skills

Athletics 2 (+2), Close combat (Unarmed) 1 (+5), Deception 1 (+2), Expertise (Physics and related sciences) 10 (+14), Insight 5 (+7), Perception 3 (+5), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (High-tech lab prototypes) 2 (+5), Technology 8 (+12)

Equipment

Korman can easily procure scientific equipment, but this is bought off-the-shelf when specifically needed and not Equipment in game terms

Offense

Initiative +1
Unarmed +5, Close, Damage 0
Helm-mounted tachyon beam +9, Ranged, Damage 14

Defence

Dodge 05 Fortitude 03/09**
Parry 05 Toughness 01*/02/10**
Will 04

* Without Defensive Roll
** With suit on and Defensive Roll if applicable

Complications

  • Field work is hard Korman is not used to physical battle, and may get overwhelmed due to lack of experience
  • Ambition Korman wants excitement, wealth and power. This can easily lead to problems.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 12, Dodge/Toughness PL 8, Parry/Toughness PL 8, Fort/Will PL 7
  • Points total 102 Abilities 24, Defences 11, Skills 17, Powers 4, Devices 46, Advantages 7. Equiv. PL 7.

Notes

After he suffers from brain damage, Korman seems very diminished. Dropping his Intellect, Awareness and Presence to minus one, and giving him an addition Complication (impulsively and incautiously driven to power) might cover his sorry state.

Uncapped scale

On the Uncapped Scale, his tachyon blast is Damage 15. No changes in PLs.

Laboratory

Apparently, Korman always sets up a number of traps in his Labs, presumably to persuade his clients of the necessity of paying when they receive his creations. In the Brooklyn labs, the traps were fairly typical:

  • Doors and walls had a Toughness of 12
  • The entrance was protected by a heat-seeking laser projector right after the door – [Ranged laser Damage 11]. Avoiding the fast-reacting laser in a narrow corridor is very difficult, giving an attack bonus of +16 to the projector and preventing the use of defensive manoeuvres (including Defensive Roll).
  • A metal door slides down to shut the corridor if the laser is bypassed. It has a Toughness of 16 (18 on the Uncapped Scale), though people beating the door’s Initiative (+1) and with a movement speed of 5 Ranks or better can slip under it before it slams shut.
  • Right after it is a trapdoor, ideally positioned to trap an intruder who just rushed under and past the metal door – avoiding falling into the pit under those circumstances is a DC 25 Acrobatics roll. What lies at the bottom is unrevealed.
  • The back entrance is also protected, though less heavily so – one trapdoor (DC 12 Acrobatics roll, the Evasion Advantage gives a +5 to the roll) and a corridor with two slower heat-seeking laser projectors [Ranged laser Damage 9] with a +11 attack bonus. The corridor is large enough to allow for various evasive manoeuvres.

Design Notes

Here I’m doing this little thing again with a Skill Descriptor Power making him a whiz with all sorts of applications at a very specific subject. I’m going straight at the Attribute level rather than making that Skills modifiers, both because this is a clearer notation and because it catches more odd applications that might come up in a game. The latter is more comic-bookish, IMO.

In DCH the suit gives him a blocky /BODY/ 08. Here I went *slightly* more detailed, since the Descriptor-based approach M&M system is better at it. Still, the blocky aspect is kept via enhanced Stamina, due to the impression that the suit probably had clever if minor protections against unusual attack forms (though this is mostly based on seeing how he trapped his lab).

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe

Helper(s): Darci

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