5703 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Diamondback (Captain America) (Marvel Comics) by Aaron Lopresti

Diamondback

(Rachel Leighton profile #2 - Enhanced)


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

Context

This profile directly follows Rachel’s first profile (Diamondback II (Classic) profile). So make sure you’ve read the first profile first.

The second profile covers the era where Diamondback receives a lot of additional training and low-key superhuman powers. She thus goes from very minor unpowered criminal to capable adventurer, leaving her with a very different character sheet .

Chronologically, this second profiles goes from 1992 to the end of the Dark Reign event in 2009. 2009 isn’t a specific cutoff point – it’s simply when this profile was last updated.

Main illustration by Aaron Lopresti .


Background

  • Real Name: Rachel Leighton.
  • Other Aliases: ’Ratsel‘, ’Ratzel”, Snapdragon II.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Mrs. Leighton (mother, likely deceased), Mr. Leighton (father, deceased), Danny (aka Cutthroat, brother), William (aka Willy, brother, deceased), Richard (aka Ricky, brother, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: BAD Girls, Inc. Former member of the Serpent Society (Sidewinder’s version), the Femizons (Superia’s version), and the ’Secret Avengers’. Former employee of Superia, former partner of Captain America, former unofficial member of the Avengers Ground Crew, former leader of the Women Warrior, former agent of Avengers Resistance, former agent of H.A.M.M.E.R., former officer of the Fifty-State Initiative.
  • Base Of Operations: Formerly the Serpent Citadel (upstate New York), formerly an apartment somewhere in New York City, formerly Avenger’s Mansion.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 160 lbs. (After the super-soldier serum treatment, from the extra muscle).
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Light brown (usually dyed magenta)


Powers and Abilities

After being experimented upon with Cap’s blood, Diamondback was *much* stronger – able to snap leather restraints on an operating table. She also became considerably faster and more agile.

This came on top of the recent training she received from Crossbones, which included far more ruthless and efficient techniques than her old Taskmaster Academy training. And, of course, her strength made her projectiles even more dangerous and longer-ranged than before. She became able to beat a high-level martial arts expert such as Snapdragon.

Beyond the original stories that follow the transfusion, Diamondback doesn’t quite demonstrates enhanced strength – though she’s still depicted as being more competent and robust than she ever was.

This writeup assumes that she still has a near-superhuman strength for her frame, since there’s no evidence on the contrary. But it is possible that her strength has faded a bit since the transfusion (say, down to 04 in terms, or even 03).

Diamondback’s abilities as a thief also progress at an impressive pace. Before being enhanced she did not do much beyond the usual Taskmaster training, strengthened by the basics of lockpicking and the like she picked up in her teenage years.

By the time she breaks into Sidewinder’s place she’s a talented professional. Eventually she becomes known as a mercenary able to break into highly secure installations.

A woman who, during her time as a secretary-in-training, was taking basic lessons in secretarial computer use and had to work seriously to learn all of this stuff, is now highly fluent in hacking all sorts of state-of-the-art security sensors, electronic locks, identification scanners, etc.

Diamondback, Black Mamba and Asp laughing

Given her big Subplots, her adventure with Cap, and her reluctance to spend Hero Points  due to feelings of inadequacy, I’d assume she had a lot of leftover HPs for Character Advancement.

Another possibility is that she learned through contacts given to her by the Black Widow whilst she was living at the Avengers’ Mansion. The Widow knows a ton of people who could have trained Diamondback.

There’s presumably something special about Diamondback’s genetics. Only one person comes to mind who gained enhanced abilities through a transfusion of Super-Soldier-enhanced blood, and in Elijah Bradley’s case it was likely due to his genetic closeness with Isaiah Bradley.

If a transfusion worked for everyone, the world would be awash with super-soldiers, and such tests have undoubtedly been done.


History

Leighton’s secretarial classes were brutally interrupted when Crossbones kidnapped her. He intended to pump her for information about Captain America, and use that data to get back into the good graces of the Red Skull – who had recently fired him.

Before moving upstate, Crossbones starved Leighton (who was still weakened by her near-death experience) until she could barely walk.

Rachel gave Crossbones some nonessential info about Captain America, but was unlikely to spill more. Based on his rudimentary but effective understanding of brainwashing, Crossbones decided to start training her so she could eventually join the Skeleton Crew and serve the Red Skull.

During this early training, Diamondback nearly crushed the sleeping Crossbones’s head with a piece of masonry. But she renounced after realising that Cap would never love a murderess.

Crossbones ’trained‘ Diamondback for a month, keeping her locked up, wearing the same stinking clothes, and very short on food and sleep. While her sanity and ability to remember her old life receded, she improved as a fighter and became more ruthless in combat.

Crossbones eventually assumed that she was broken and on his side and gave her a new Diamondback costume, complete with throwing diamonds.

To test her loyalty, he sent her to steal some of Cap’s blood from Avengers’s Mansion, which she did in a haze. Now holding Cap’s brainwashed girlfriend, 8 pints of the man’s blood and some info, Crossbones decided to try getting back in the Red Skull’s good graces.

The Red Skull

Crossbones and Diamondback made their way to the Skull’s abode, fighting part of the Skeleton Crew to a stand-off. A monkey wrench appeared in Crossbones’s plan, though – Skeleton Crew member Cutthroat (Danny Leighton), who had succeeded Crossbones after he was fired, recognised Diamondback as his baby sister.

Danny approached Rachel so she could recognise him, to apologise for having been such a poor brother. He then told her that he was going to murder Crossbones – mostly to prevent him from reclaiming his position as chief enforcer of the Skeleton Crew.

The shaken Rachel continued to struggle against the brainwashing, and was in for another shock. Crossbones killed Cutthroat when Danny Leighton tried to murder him in his sleep. The Leightons had been reunited for but a few minutes after years of estrangement.

(Cutthroat would, years later, turn up alive without any explanation).

Diamondback (Rachel Leighton) rushes in>

While he held her captive, Crossbones had been forcing the brainwashed Rachel to make various phone calls so suspicion wouldn’t be raised by a disappearance. However, Cap came to suspect that something wasn’t kosher.

He requested a divination from Doctor Druid. The visions showed Rachel held by a man with a skull mask in the Rockies. Minutes later Cap and the Falcon were westward-bound.

Escape from the Skeleton Crew

Meanwhile Rachel escaped from her cell. She ambushed Mother Night and stole her costume. When she ran into Blackwing she savagely beat him unconscious. Using Batwing’s flying platform and Mother Night’s darkness-emitting jewels, she nearly managed to flee from the rest of the Skeleton Crew, but Crossbones caught her and badly stabbed her.

Diamondback was brought back to the Skull’s hideout for emergency care. Crossbones decided that it was a great occasion to test a blood transfusion using Captain America’s blood. A physician working for the Skull started monitoring the transfusion to analyse the effects it was having on Diamondback’s body.

Meanwhile Cap and the Falcon came in and stormed the base.

As it turned out, the blood transfusion had spectacular effects, bringing Diamondback’s physical prowess much closer to the human peak. She snapped her restraints, knocked out the doctor and went on the warpath against the Skeleton Crew. She again mauled Mother Night and Blackwing.

Diamondback next pounced on Crossbones and choked him with a microphone’s cable. Crossbones eventually shook her off but was then hit in the back by red-hot shrapnel from a nearby explosion. Exhausted, Rachel collapsed into Cap’s arms, hoping that everything was over and Crossbones would die on his way to the hospital.

Captain America’s partner

Though she shook off the brainwashing, Rachel had been considerably changed by her ordeal, the torture and the transfusion. She got over her fears, and reverted to the punk styling and colouring for her hair, which she had previously abandoned to better fit with Cap.

Diamondback resumed physical training. She impressed even the Falcon with her power, moves, reflexes and tactical acumen while they were sparring. With Crossbones in the hospital, she decided to tackle the Snapdragon issue once and for all. Cap convinced her to let him and the Falcon help with that.

Using S.H.I.E.L.D. databases, the trio learned that Snapdragon would be at the next AIM weapons expo in Boca Caliente. Sersi turned them into duplicates of Mother Night, Crossbones and Jack O’Lantern, and they went undercover. Leighton discovered that Snapdragon was part of Superia’s entourage along with Jackdaw II and Iron Maiden.

Diamondback (Rachel Leighton) rides with Captain America on his motorbike

Once Snapdragon was alone, Diamondback shed her disguise and confronted the woman who had once killed her. She actually defeated Snapdragon – thanks to her now heightened prowess, techniques learned from Crossbones and burning her Hero Points.

Her intention was to force Snapdragon to beg for her life, but as she was choking her opponent in a shallow pool, Diamondback lost it. Blinded by rage, she accidentally drowned Snapdragon. Shaken, she left and did not tell anyone what had happened.

Murderess

In large part due to Rachel’s involuntary homicide, things then became shaky. Rachel and Steve were unsure of how to handle a relationship were they were at once lovers and fighting partners. Rachel resented the fact that Steve was away much of the time, busy with his constant responsibilities.

Rachel’s tactics in the field continued to go edgier and more vicious, though not to the point of brutality. This was in part because the guilt-ridden Diamondback started hallucinating that the ghost of Snapdragon was stalking her. She kept silent about these visions.

Eventually, one of her frequent hallucinations about Snapdragon nearly killed her. At that moment she was crashing a skycycle, which she had equipped with explosive diamonds taped to the front, into a suit of Terminus armour. This darin move became a suicidal attack as she froze in mid-dive.

Cap saved her life and got her to a Wakandan hospital ASAP, where she was treated for 3 weeks. After she came back, she was seen working in the Mansion with an Avengers Ground Crew jumpsuit. Whether she formally joined the support crew and was paid in return was not addressed.

Diamondback’s old boss, Sidewinder, next contacted Cap so he could fund treatment for his sick daughter without having to commit crimes. Rachel was trapped between two loyalties, which drove one further wedge in her relationship with Steve.

She arranged for the situation to be solved peacefully. Sidewinder surrendered and Cap found the money for the kid’s treatment. Diamondback and Cap even saved Sidewinder from the mob he had been stealing from to get the money to save his kid.

Dealing with Snapdragon’s death

Once the Sidewinder case was over, Diamondback cracked. She told Cap what had happened with Snapdragon, her PTSD  and the hallucinations. While she thought that Cap would dump her on the spot, she had underestimated Cap’s affection for her, in part due to his emotionally reserved nature.

He told her that she would have to be judged for what had happened, but that he would be there for her. Soon after that, Rachel started discreetly meeting with a former girlfriend of Steve, Bernie Rosenthal. Rosenthal was now a lawyer, and Leighton was considering legal representation for the death of Snapdragon.

Captain America’s promise would prove difficult to honour. The Super-Soldier serum in Cap’s vein turned bad, damaging his body whenever he exerted himself too hard. Leighton tried to convince him to retire rather than die from this, but the presence of a new Super-Patriot seeking to tarnish Cap’s image made that difficult.

Rachel stayed by Steve’s side. She helped him deal with his anger and his medical condition. When the Super-Patriot threatened Rosenthal, Diamondback nearly managed to fight him off on her own until she was sucker-punched. Cap then intervened, which worsened his condition and resulted in even more guilt for Diamondback.

Diamondback (Rachel Leighton) trains with her throwing diamonds

One of the allies of the Super-Patriot, one Dexter, could assume the shape and powers of the dead by touching a piece of their corpse. When he turned into Snapdragon Diamondback initially freaked out. After realising it wasn’t an hallucination, she forced Dexter to tell where he had been in contact with Snapdragon’s body.

Telling Cap that she found a lead to confirm whether Snapdragon was truly dead, she flew to New Orleans to investigate with the help of Cap’s pilot, Zach Moonhunter.

New Orleans

There they soon attracted the attention of a major crimelord there – Damon Dran, the Indestructible Man, who employed Snapdragon’s brother, Kono “the Sumo” Sanada. Another Dran agent, Angela Golden aka Golddigger, captured Leighton and Moonhunter.

Leighton soon managed to escape. However during interrogation Kanada, who suspected that she had something to do with the death of his sister, hacked her long hair off with his sword-cane. Diamondback and Moonhunter clashed with Dran’s forces inside his mansion, learning that Snapdragon’s body had been cremated.

Leighton and Moonhunter were separated. As she tried to find him Dran’s domain was stormed by Captain America and Americop. Fearing for Cap’s health, Diamondback called the Avengers in, and they handled the situation.

At this point Steve, with his deteriorating health, started shutting Rachel out. Ironically it was in part due to his own feelings of inadequacy from his condition, which were similar to one of Rachel’s long-standing issues.

Due to poor communication amidst the couple, Rachel felt rejected. This worsened when she learned that the Avengers had a poor opinion of her and were talking behind her back.

Going back to Bernie Rosenthal, Rachel learned that without a body and with the murder having taken place in Boca Caliente, she could not be tried by US judges. While she technically could go and confess to the Boca Caliente authorities, expecting due process from AIM was unreasonable.

Taking the news badly Rachel, still pissed off at Steve’s worsening ability to communicate with her, attempted to break off their relationship. Telling her that he did not want to break off, Steve clumsily tried to explain what was on his mind.

He then took the path of least resistance and invited her to join him on the latest emergency. It was a new lead about a missing children case had just been found near Castle Zemo in Mexico.

Superia

At the castle, Cap and Diamondback confronted Baron Zemo and the Baroness. They were separated by a hail of gunfire, but Diamondback allied with beginner super-hero Free Spirit, who was there to track down a visiting Superia.

When Diamondback confronted Superia, the villain confirmed the death of her employee Snapdragon. She also played on Rachel’s guilt to persuade her that she was enough of an authority figure to allow her to make proper amends for the murder of her bodyguard.

Superia continued by playing up on Rachel’s fears that Cap could never truly accept her due to her past. She then followed with the coup de grâce – a promise to cure the degenerative ailment afflicting Cap, restoring his full power and saving his life in exchange for Diamondback joining her.

Seduced by the notion of sacrificing her “worthless” person to save the life of her man, Rachel accepted to replace Snapdragon – provided Superia was able to create a cure within 6 months. Furthermore she knocked Free Spirit out, telling Superia she did not need to enslave Free Spirit since Diamondback was the only bodyguard she would ever need.

Amused by Diamondback’s bravado, Superia agreed to leave Free Spirit behind.

Rachel, who still had Super-Soldier serum in her veins, even agreed to risk a 50% chance of death to serve as a Guinea pig to test Superia’s serum so it could save Cap. She survived, proving that the serum was working.

Diamondback (Rachel Leighton) hugs Captain America

Superia then injected a sample of her curative serum to Captain America, which likely played a role in his eventual survival. In return, Diamondback made good on her promise, which was to serve as Superia’s agent in stead of Snapdragon for the remainder of Snapdragon’s contract – about 3 years.

During this service, Leighton came to adopt the Snapdragon costume and alias.

It is thus as the new Snapdragon that Leighton encountered Captain America again. Cap recognised her, but they were separated by explosions. Leighton ended up helping the Avengers execute on Cap’s order to evacuate children from the battlefield.

On the other side of the explosions, Superia tried to barter another sample of her curative serum with Captain America, but he rejected her.

The Red Skull, who knew that the Super-Soldier serum in his own body would also eventually degenerate, then swooped in, took the serum, seemingly killed Superia and injected himself. Soon after that, Cap mysteriously disappeared and was presumed dead.

After the love is gone

Thus, within days, Snapdragon found herself without an employer, without a debt to pay, and with Cap gone. She ditched the Snapdragon armour and identity, becoming Diamondback again. She decided to go back where her life had arguably taken its first big turn toward professional crime — Taskmaster’s Academy — with the intent of destroying it.

Locating the current main site of this underworld institution, she renewed her ties with Taskmaster, pretending that she wanted to get back to the criminal life. She also met the thief and mercenary Siren, originally from the Ultraverse but then on Earth-616 following a transdimensional  adventure.

Taskmaster offered the two women to execute on a current contract – killing James Rhodes, aka War Machine. Diamondback soon came to realise that Siren wasn’t really an assassin, and was also deceiving Taskmaster for her own purposes.

Despite this and other complications, Leighton set demolition charges in several of Taskmaster’s academies and eventually blew them up whilst they were empty, crippling his current business. She then entered comic book limbo  for some years.

Nanobots infection

Diamondback re-emerged several years later. She was now a highly professional mercenary specialising in snatch jobs. When she was seen, she was working for the Strucker twins, though she apparently had been forced to do so using mind-control nanites.

Diamondback raided a secret V-Battalion base near Atlanta, and found what her employers were after. However, Citizen V intervened as she was leaving. When Diamondback poisoned 2 guards with envenomed diamonds and threw the antidote to Citizen V, he elected to go after her rather than save the guards.

After capturing Rachel, V scanned the nanites to identify their source, though he knew that the security feedback might cripple her for life.

Leighton was thus left twitching and drooling by Citizen V, to be recovered by a V-Battalion clean-up crew. Though Leighton survived the nanite backlash, there are reasons to believe that it left her with some personality alterations and memory damage. She spent months receiving care from S.H.I.E.L.D. physicians.

During that time a rogue agent used medical readings of her brain to covertly program a LMD  double.

Diamondback (Rachel Leighton) trains in acrobatics with Captain America

The LMD successfully infiltrated Captain America’s life as Diamondback. However, it genuinely believed itself to be Leighton, and was unable to process any data conflicting with that belief. This artificial Rachel ended up defending Cap from an onslaught by the Red Skull, nearly killing the Nazi.

It was stopped by agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., who carted away the LMD. The machine still believing itself to be Rachel Leighton despite the extensive damage making its robotic nature obvious. The hapless android was later turned into a suit of power armour by the Iron Maniac.

Back in the field

Meanwhile, Rachel was reunited with Steve as she left the S.H.I.E.L.D. hospital. Though they seemed to intend to renew their relationship, nothing lasting happened. Our No-Prize Hypothesis  was that the personality changes within Diamondback from the nanite damage were too important and they no longer had the chemistry they once shared.

Diamondback kept in touch with S.H.I.E.L.D.. They hired her and Paladin when Californian company Genassist cooked up a very powerful toxin. Diamondback and Paladin got in, got the toxin, destroyed the files so as to prevent the company from making more of it, and defeated a band of unidentified terrorists trying to steal in.

They next ran into the young, promising X-team called the Hellions. Although the 2 mercs got excellent results against the 6 mutants, they were defeated by the powerful telekinetic leader of the group. After some hesitation, the mutants returned the toxin to S.H.I.E.L.D.. But it had been rendered inert, costing Diamondback much of her mission bonus.

Eventually, the original BAD Girls reunited and started operating as a mercenary team specialising in snatch jobs. Diamondback was apparently the main driver behind the effort, and it is possible that she was the one who trained her 2 friends in more advanced infiltration, combat and B&E techniques, having learned a lot since her Serpent Society days.

Return of the BAD Girls

One of the few documented jobs of the BAD Girls was to steal a hard drive – a case which turned messy as no less than 4 parties were simultaneously trying to get the drive. The Girls repeatedly clashed with Deadpool, and at one point with Cable, Iron Fist and Luke Cage.

Performing very well, the BAD Girls eventually found the drive in the hands of the legendary mercenary the Cat (Shen Kuei), who single-handedly defeated them. After he offered them some tea, the Girls allied with Cat and ended up helping him to rescue Cable and Deadpool from Black Box and an army of clones.

Diamondback, Black Mamba and Asp doing a sexy pose

The BAD Girls later joined the ’Secret Avengers’ – that is, the illegal faction supporting Captain America during the Civil War debacle. Very few details are known about this era, including any interaction between Captain America and Diamondback.

At one point the BAD Girls were defeated by a trio of official Avengers (Ms. Marvel, the Wasp and the Black Widow) and arrested. They did not stay incarcerated for long, being soon spotted at a Bar With No Name.

Initiatives, hammers and snakes

This release may have been the result of a deal with the government, since Diamondback was soon drafted into the Initiative Project. As an Initiative trooper, she survived the K.I.A. rampage across boot camp and fought in the battles that ended the most successful Skrull invasion of Earth to date.

From dialogue, it would seem that Diamondback finished basic training with the first wave of recruits, then remained with the Initiative to help train and managed newer recruits as she finished her own curriculum. Diamondback also survived the Ragnarok rampage, after which the Initiative’s academy was closed.

After leaving the Camp Hammond academy, Diamondback accepted to join H.A.M.M.E.R., the Norman Osborn-run successor to S.H.I.E.L.D., when she was personally recruited by Osborn and his underworld ally, the Hood.

She was promoted to field leader of the Women Warrior, H.A.M.M.E.R.’s Delaware-based fighting force. Asp and Black Mamba were also on the team, as well as Skein (formerly the Gypsy Moth) and Quicksand. Osborn used Diamondback’s past relationship with Captain America as a media-friendly argument to demonstrated that they were the good guys.

Leighton, however, had never intended to work for Osborn. A heroine at heart, she contacted the heroic Avengers Resistance and was a double agent practically from the beginning. She wasn’t exposed, but nearly died during a Women Warrior mission. Ex-Initiative veteran Constrictor (Frank Schlichting) saved her life.

Rachel soon jumped into Schlichting’s arms. In part to deal with the terrible stress of being a double agent, and in part because as a bad boy hiding a decent and conflicted man, he was her type. Schlichting accidentally discovered Rachel’s actual allegiances, but decided to stand by her and kept silent.

When the increasingly erratic Osborn had H.A.M.M.E.R. attack Asgard, Diamondback and Constrictor had to go along with it. Fighting back to back, they slipped away from the main field of battles, but Diamondback stumbled upon Osborn and his closest allies bringing down Thor.

Agonising over the fact that all she could do was to stand there while powerful superhumans were killing the Avenger, Diamondback committed on a suicidal course of action to try and save him until Constrictor yanked her away.

Rachel came to resent Constrictor for being overprotective. On the other hand she was smart enough to realise that she kept mentally comparing him to Steve Rogers — and that there was no way for any man to look good in that light.

When Captain America appeared on the field of battle to lead the anti-H.A.M.M.E.R. force, Diamondback was further shaken but quickly collected herself and tried to convince Constrictor to come with her join Cap’s forces.

They were separated in the fracas. Constrictor fled with his buddy Taskmaster to resume their criminal career, erroneously thinking that Rachel had dumped him to return to Captain America.


Description

Her Attractive Advantage is confirmed at several points during this era, with quite a few males making risqué remarks about her beauty.


Personality

After her brainwashing, Rachel became a different, harder, far less romantic and starry-eyed woman. She had a rough edge and a strong sense of independence. Haunted by her murder of Snapdragon and remnants of her brainwashing, she even used violent, devious tactics a la Crossbones. Those did not cross the threshold into anti-heroism though.

She also channelled her aggressiveness into combat banter intended to annoy and anger her opponents, a bit like a less practised Spider-Man.

However, this somewhat ruthless side coexisted with old insecurities. In fact it worsened her constant worries that she was not up to Cap’s standards and that she was not worthy of him as a partner or lover.

That became worse when she realised that her guilt over Snapdragon was making her go crazy. She kept lying about very minor mistakes she made since she did not want to look bad in Steve’s eyes.

Even though she’s now practically superhuman, Rachel still has an irrational need to prove she’s as tough as any man on the team. This is something she always has done even as a teenager, trying to show she could run into trouble with her brothers and that she could be a Savage Crims member.

The realisation that, even with enhanced strength and the like, she could not really keep pace with the ultimate fighting machine was one of the last wedges driven into their relationship. It kept feeding her neurotic feelings of being inadequate, criminal, slutty, damaged, impure, inept, etc.

Diamondback, Asp, Black Mamba (and Deadpool)

By 2005 she seemed generally confident, competent, sassy and happy, with perhaps a tinge of overconfidence. She also seemed quite comfortable with her activities as a mercenary and criminal, she and her friends concentrating on commissioned thefts.

Failures that would have previously devastated her seemed to be dealt with much better as the inevitable vagaries of the job. The level of initiative, forethought and professionalism she evidenced were significantly above her previous performance.

This characterisation started in the 2001 V-Battalion appearance. Our No-Prize hypothesis would be that the nanites shock actually resulted in permanent changes in Rachel’s personality.

Those changes in personalities, possibly stemming from the nanites, might explain why she broke up with Cap after they were reunited following the Diamondback LMD case, why she was more interested in her fee than in seeing a dangerous toxin destroyed during the Hellions case, etc.

In any case, she now seems to see herself more like the cool, sassy, talented anti-heroine of a heist movie than a criminal genuinely trying to reform for the love of Captain America.


Quotes

“Nobody’s going to beat me anymore ! NOBODY !” (THUDD)

“Crossbones, you pitiful pile of shit ! You killed two of my brothers — one 10 years ago, one last night ! You tortured me and called it training — you made me promises you had no intention of keeping ! I am sick and tired of sharing space on this planet with you – I’ll see you dead !” (proceeds to strangulate Crossbones from behind with a random cable)

“Sheoke ? You still with me ? Let’s remove that stupid helmet and wig. I want to see your face when you beg me to spare you.”

(After opening fire on an hallucinatory Snapdragon and weakly trying to pretend that everything is OK) “Oh Steve… I think there’s something wrong with me.”

Sidewinder: “How’d you get in ? I have a state-of-the-art security system !”
Diamondback: “Guess I’m better than it.”

(Blasting through a door with an explosive diamond to confront a dozen armed thugs) “Candygram !”

The BAD Girls' pink Hummer

Diamondback (convincing Cap to go out on a date with her despite his wrecked morale): “Look, Steve, the future’s a scary thing. We have no idea what may happen, what we may be doing, if we’ll even be together. But the present is something we have control over ! We can do whatever we want. And I say we do something together, something fun… because who knows if we’ll ever have the chance to do so in the future ?”
Cap: “Okay, Rachel… okay.”
Diamondback: “Good, I wouldn’t want to have to get tough with you.”

“Steve went into action again – nearly died – all because I wasn’t able to pull my own weight !”

Golddigger (interrogating the captured Leighton and Moonhunter): “Tell me your names.”
Diamondback: “Rachel Rosencrantz and this is my faithful Indian sidekick, Zack Guildenstern.”

“Steve, we’re still not addressing what’s at the root of our relationship problems. I’m not worthy of you. I’m an ex-crook, a murderer, a woman of ill repute !”

(Fighting Siren) “You a mutant, or do you just dress this way to pick up bored clowns ?”

“Sorry kid. But your buddy’s power only has so much range, and I’m pretty good with range.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Diamondback (Crossbones-trained, Super-Soldier serum-imbued)

Dex: 07 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 06 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Adventurer
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 021 HP: 045

Skills:
Acrobatics: 07, Artist (Poker): 04, Charisma (Fast talk): 05, Evasion (Subvelocity ranged only): 08, Martial artist: 08, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Demolition): 04, Thief (Concealment, Locks and safes, Pickpocket, Security systems): 07, Vehicles (Land, Air): 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 05, Weaponry (Thrown): 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Her Thief Skill starts at 04 at the very beginning of this era, has gone up to at least 05 by the time she is reunited with Sidewinder, is a 06 by the time she is injected with the Strucker nanites, and is a 07 when she reunites with Asp and Mamba and the BAD Girls start specialising in snatch jobs.
  • Thief (Concealment) is only ever used to hide throwing diamonds in secret pockets.

Advantages:
Attractive, Language (Egyptian Arabic), Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Make-do Equipment (Weaponry (Thrown))).

Connections:
Black Mamba (High), Asp II (High), Captain America (High), Sidewinder (Low), Bernadette ’Bernie‘ Rosenthal, attorney at law (Low), Street (Low), Underworld (Low), Paladin (Low). For a short while she has a Low Connection with S.H.I.E.L.D., and may also have had a short-lived Low Connection with the Black Widow.

Drawbacks:
Traumatic Flashback (Drowning), SIH of Crossbones and Snapdragon, MIA toward Proving herself as tough as any guy on the team. During her Subplot after the murder of Snapdragon, she had the equivalent of a CPI (Visions of Snapdragon’s ghost).

Equipment:

  • A full set of diamonds (see below), as well as a few doses of an antidote for the poison on her venomous diamonds.
  • DIAMONDBACK COSTUME [BODY 06, Blunting: 05, Lightning Immunity: 05]. While the primary sources do not demonstrate that this version of the COSTUME is armoured, it would be extremely odd if it were not Kevlar-lined, a feature which previously saved her life. In 2001, a new gadget was demonstrated – lightly armoured plates on top of her hands and wrists, each with a pair of barrel, each barrel loaded with a throwing diamond. This has no in-game effects compared to throwing them, though.
  • As Snapdragon she wore the SNAPDRAGON ARMOUR [/BODY/ 06, Skin armor: 02, Limitation : Skin armor only against piercing attacks (-2), Partial coverage (-3CS to bypass)].
  • Once she re-formed BAD Girls Inc. with Asp II and Black Mamba, she became the usual driver for the team’s signature vehicle. HOT PINK HUMMER [STR 05 BODY 07, Running: 06, R#02].

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Her normal weapons load is:

  • Right earring [BODY 01, Acid: 02, Grenade Drawback].
  • Left earring [BODY 01, Chemical attack: 02, Fog: 02, Bonus: Chemical Attack can be Combined with (and is active throughout) the Fog, Grenade Drawback].
  • Basic diamond with depleted uranium core (x6) [BODY 02, EV 05 (06 w/STR, whether wielded or thrown), Dart Bonus].
  • Explosive diamond (x4) [BODY 01, EV 08, Dart Bonus, Grenade Drawback].
  • Acid-filled diamond (x4) [BODY 01, Acid: 06, Grenade Drawback].
  • Poisoned diamond (x2) [BODY 01, EV 03, Poison touch: 06, Dart Bonus, Grenade Drawback, Note: EV and Poison touch can be Combined and the Dart Bonus applies both to the EV and Poison touch].
  • Tear gas diamond (x2) [BODY 01, Chemical attack: 06, Dart Bonus, Grenade Drawback].
  • Sleep gas diamond (x2) [BODY 01, Knockout gas: 06, Dart Bonus, Grenade Drawback].
  • Electric diamond (x1) [BODY 02, Lightning: 08, Grenade Drawback, Limitation: Lightning has a Range of Touch].

Schematics for Diamondback's throwing diamonds


Design Notes

This entry is one of those writeups that use loosely-defined ’custom‘ Subskills (Artist (Poker) and Charisma (Fast talk)) to model the character.

Nothing special about those, really – just use those APs for roll when Rachel plays poker or is trying to fast-talk someone (which more or less maps with Persuasion, but with a different style, slightly different applications and not lasting anywhere as long), using common sense about what can be achieved since there are no special rules for playing cards or confusing people.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (chiefly Captain America comics).

Helper(s): Darci, Capita_Senyera, Roy Cowan, Adam Fuqua. One picture from rapsheet.co.uk .

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