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Fisherman from the Who's Who over a white background

Fisherman

(Aquaman villain)


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

Context

The Fisherman is a… distinctive, very Silver Age  opponent of Aquaman. He first appeared in 1965.

This profile covers his classic appearance. Specifically, it was written years before his 2007 return.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed (Presumed Single).
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: The Terrible Trio.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’0” Weight: 196lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


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Powers and Abilities

The Fisherman’s primary ability is his phenomenal skill with his unique weapons. He repeatedly snares Aquaman in his fishing line even when battling underwater where the advantage belongs to the Sea King.

On two separate occasions he has displayed strength sufficient to lift his prey (Aquaman and Blue Devil) off their feet with his rod. He appears to posses some skill in the design of his simple yet effective weapons and vehicles and is an excellent pilot.

He has used trained dolphins in his crimes.


History

In his first recorded appearance, mysterious seagoing criminal the Fisherman tried to net the biggest haul ever; “a whole civilization !” The civilization in question ? Atlantis !”

To this end, the sea thief sent his frog-suited henchmen to steal a new growth formula created by the elderly Professor Brant. Aquaman, who was visiting his friend the Professor, fought the frogmen. But he was inadvertently splashed with the formula and knocked unconscious.


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Upon awaking, Aquaman discovered the professor dead. The excitement of the battle had been too much for Brant’s weak heart. He also discovered himself growing to gargantuan proportions. Lumbering back to Atlantis, he found it being torn out off its foundations by a Fisherman-enlarged jellyfish. Meanwhile, its criminal master cruised nearby in a strange manta-shaped sub.

Through a series of size changes by both the Sea King and his adversary, Aquaman defeated the Fisherman and his henchfrogs. The Fisherman was turned over to “upper-world authorities.”

Terrible Trio

Not long after, the Fisherman resurfaced as a member, along with the Invisible Un-Thing and Fire-Haired Karla, of the extremely short-lived super-villain team called the Terrible Trio. The Fisherman and his teammates were in league with an alien race they referred to as “Them”. These sought to conquer Earth but possessed a fatal vulnerability to water.

The Fisherman sees Aquaman freeing himself

The Earth criminals were bent on exacting revenge on the world. It is never clearly explained why the Fisherman seeks revenge – perhaps for his incarceration. They were given a strange undersea satellite that created holes in the ocean. Naturally, this brought the Trio to the attention of Aquaman, Aqualad, and Mera.

After an initial skirmish that saw the Aqua-Family getting the worst of it, the heroes vanquished the villains. The Fisherman found himself trapped in his own fishing line by a rapidly swimming Aqualad.

This forced the hand of the aliens, who attempted to kill all six combatants. Aquaman and Karla teamed up to repulse the alien attack and the criminals were turned over to the proper authorities. The Fisherman had been netted once more.

The French Connection

Many years later, Aquaman stumbled across a drug trafficking operation using trained dolphins to deliver heroin to France. When the Sea King followed the drug runners back to their floating marina base, he was shocked to discover his old foe the Fisherman in charge. The sea criminal captured Aquaman and sentenced him to death in a vacuum chamber death trap.

As so often happens, the villain left the scene of his great triumph to attend to other business. This allowed the hero to elude his dire fate. Aquaman escaped the death trap and, after a brief running battle, defeated his enemy. The Fisherman was turned over to NATO.

Short weeks later, Aquaman discovered a gunrunning operation, headed by Black Manta. It was supplying underwater-modified laser rifles to Karshon. Karshon (actually the disguised Shark) had deposed Arthur as King of Atlantis and was plotting further woe for the hero.

Aquaman tracked Manta’s supplier to “A. Hobb’s Confederate Emporium”, a Civil War memorabilia factory just outside of Vicksburg, Mississippi. There he encountered the Fisherman. Using a booby-trapped dummy of himself, the villain captured Aquaman and put him in another death trap.

This time the Sea King was hung on an oversize fishhook and slowly lowered into a crossfire ring of laser rifles. Escaping this latest death trap, Aquaman defeated the Fisherman and left him wrapped up for the authorities in a Confederate Flag.

Lights… camera… Kobra!

It wasn’t long before the Fisherman returned, this time in the employ of Kobra. Kobra, whose latest world domination scheme required the recovery of the sunken cargo ship the Bellerophon, hired the Fisherman. He was to supervise the salvage operation and eliminate a possible threat, Aquaman.

The Fisherman vs. Aquaman

For the third time, the Fisherman captured Aquaman and stuck him in a death trap. This one had the Sea King strapped to a pair of solar collectors stolen from NASA. These were attached to the top of a lighthouse. When the sun rose, Aquaman would fry!

The Fisherman left the scene on further business for Kobra. What the Fisherman could not have known was that the lighthouse to which he chose to affix the panels was Arthur’s childhood home. Gaining strength from the memory of his father (and conveniently recapping his origin), Aquaman burst free of his bonds. He then tracked the Fisherman down.

During their subsequent battle, the Bellerophon was jarred loose from its precarious position on an undersea cliff. It descended rapidly into the deepest abyss. However, it was caught and stolen away from both hero and villain by the Scavenger’s Scorpion Sub.

Arthur suggested that he and the Fisherman team up to defeat the Scavenger. But the villain ignored both the Sea King’s idea for a temporary truce and Kobra’s direct orders. He attacked Aquaman vowing to, “get that blasted do-gooder off my back permanently !” He was soon defeated and delivered to NATO, once more.

New Earth

It was several years before the villain returned. Howbeit, the Ocean Master did use a Fisherman robot during one campaign against his hated half-brother, Aquaman.

During the Crisis, the Fisherman finally resurfaced. This time he attacked a swank Hollywood party attended by Daniel Cassidy, the reluctant hero called Blue Devil. The Devil foiled the Fisherman’s plan to rob the party guests. He also defeated his bumbling fish-named and fish-suited henchmen (Monk, Whiting, Pollack, Calamari, ugh !).

Cassidy further destroyed the Fisherman’s latest fiendish gadget, an amphibious vehicle styled to look like a sea serpent.

More recently, Aquaman and Animal Man battled a super-villain called the Gamesman. Among the trophies seen in the Gamesman’s ship is the distinctive helmet and cowl of the Fisherman. How the Gamesman acquired this item is unknown. But the implication is that this new villain killed the Fisherman.


Description

In his earliest battles with Aquaman, the Fisherman wore a bulky diving suit. Its segmented armor shell gave him the appearance of a humanoid lobster. This costume also included gloves, swim fins, a helmet, and the Fisherman’s trademark spotted cowl that kept the faceplate of the helmet in perpetual shadow. The entire ensemble was in deep purple with a fishing net cape.

His fishing rod in this incarnation resembled a lance with a flared hand guard and no external reel.

Later on

In later appearances, the Fisherman’s uniform became more streamlined. He added an oversize metal belt / shoulder harness and dark blue hip boots. His cowl became the yellow spotted version that he wore from then on and the color of his uniform lightened to a pinker shade. His fishing rod lost its hand guard but gained its telescoping feature.

In his battle against Blue Devil his costume once more became deep purple although it retained its streamlined look. Under his mask is a thuggish face with a black mustache.


Personality

But for his chosen milieu, the Fisherman would make an excellent addition to the gimmick-laden Rogues Gallery of the Flash. He is boastful and overconfident when winning but willing to beat a hasty retreat when things begin to go against him. In addition, he is fond of the sort of overblown death trap that modern super-villains rarely use anymore.

Able to devise and execute his own plans and schemes, he also has no problem taking a paycheck from someone like Karshon or Kobra. However, judging by some of the transmissions between them, the Fisherman seemed genuinely intimidated by the latter villain. Though he hates Aquaman, such hatred does not usually cloud his judgment the way it does Ocean Master’s or Black Manta’s.

In his battle against Blue Devil, the Fisherman displayed a truly out of character goofiness. He makes terrible fish-based puns, has one of his henchmen give him a verbal “Da Da Da Dum !” vamp before announcing his nom de crime. He even mentions hiring his gang out of something called “The Villain’s Gazette.”


Quotes

“Your briny friends won’t save you from my wrath this time !”


DC Universe History

If the Gamesman episode is to be believed the Fisherman is dead. But the cardinal rule of comics is: “no body, no death.” It is possible that the villain who battled Blue Devil was a former henchman who gained access to his boss’ weaponry while the Fisherman was in prison.

This would explain the Fisherman’s odd behavior during this encounter and might prove to be the individual killed by the Gamesman.

Once a reason for the Fisherman’s return is decided upon, he can easily be used as an enemy for a low-powered group of PCs. Or he could be a lackey of a major criminal for a campaign featuring a more powerful group. As long as the Fisherman stands to gain financially, he would be as likely to accept an assassination contract as rob a bank.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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The Fisherman

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Professional Criminal
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 017 HP: 045

Skills:
Animal Handling (Training): 05, Gadgetry: 05, Martial Artist: 06, Vehicles (Air, Sea): 06, Weaponry: 10

Advantages:
Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
Terrible Trio (High).

Drawbacks:
Secret Identity.

Note:
The number of times that the Fisherman has been captured would seem to preclude a Secret Identity yet his real name has never been revealed.

Equipment:

  • Telescoping Fishing Rod [STR 09, BODY 10, EV: 04, Power Reserve: 04, Shrinking: 08, Stretching: 06, R#: 02, Limitation: Power Reserve can only augment Stretching once its wielder has used it to make a successful Line Grapple Attack. (See Line Grapple – The Fisherman’s Strange Arsenal) ; Limitation: Shrinking can only be used to collapse the Rod down for storage in his belt.]
    Note: The Fisherman’s Who’s Who entry mentions a razor sharp hook that the Fisherman also employs when using the Rod. None of his recorded appearances bear this out; although a hook is sometimes seen on the end of his line it does not seem to be meant to cause any significant damage.
  • UTILITY BELT [/STR/ 07, BODY 06, Joined: 02. Limitation: The Belt’s Italicized Str Attribute can only be used in conjunction with the Fishing Rod. Similar in design to those employed by deep-sea fishermen, the Belt aids the Fisherman in landing his prey.
    After successfully grappling a target with the Rod’s line, the Fisherman may use an Automatic Action to attach his weapon to the front of the Belt. Under these circumstances, the Fisherman may use the Belt’s Str to reel in his catch. In addition, the Fisherman may use the Belt’s Str as RV against any Takeaway Attacks that attempt to deprive him of his trademark weapon.]
    Note: The Fisherman’s many trick lures also hang from the Belt.
  • Lures:
    • Grenade Lure (x2) [BODY 01, Bomb: 08, Water Freedom: 05, R#: 03, Grenade Drawback, Limitation: The Grenade Lure’s Water Freedom Power only allows it to function as effectively underwater as it does on land ignoring the normal Penalties associated with such use. It does not grant its wielder any of the other benefits of the Water Freedom Power.]
    • Knockout Gas Lure (x2) [BODY 01, Fog: 05, Poison Touch: 08, Water Freedom: 05, R#: 03, Grenade Drawback, Bonus : Fog and Poison Touch can be Combined,
      Limitation: The Knockout Gas Lure’s Water Freedom Power only allows it to function as effectively underwater as it does on land ignoring the normal Penalties associated with such use. It does not grant its wielder any of the other benefits of the Water Freedom Power.]
    • Net Lure: [BODY 01, Snare: 07, R#: 02, Grenade drawback].
    • Torpedo Lure [BODY 01, Bomb: 08, Swimming: 07, Water Freedom: 05, R#: 03, Grenade Drawback, Limitation: The Torpedo Lure’s Water Freedom Power only allows it to function effectively underwater ignoring the normal Penalties associated with such use. It does not grant its wielder any of the other benefits of the Water Freedom Power].
  • Trident [BODY 06, EV: 04 (05 w/STR)].
  • FISHERMAN SUIT [/BODY/ 06, Energy Absorption: 06, Extended Hearing: 05, Radio Communications: 05, Sealed Systems: 14, Super-Ventriloquism: 05, Swimming: 04, Water Freedom: 05, R#: 02]
    Limitation: Energy Absorption Power is limited to the Suit’s gauntlets.
    Limitation: Energy Absorption is limited to electrical energy.
    Limitation: The Suit’s Extended Hearing and Super-Ventriloquism Powers are only functional underwater.
    Limitation: The Suit’s Water Freedom Power does not grant its wearer the ability to breathe underwater.
  • SUBMARINE [STR 11, BODY 14, Extra Limb: 10, Sealed Systems: 16, Stretching: 08, Swimming: 05, Water Freedom: 05, Hardened Defenses, R#: 03]
    Limitation: The Submarine’s Water Freedom Power does not grant its pilot the ability to breathe underwater.
    Note: The Submarine’s Extra Limb and Stretching Powers represent a huge claw hand that can be extended from its belly. In his first appearance, the Fisherman applies his stolen Growth Formula to the claw, causing it to expand rapidly outside the sub, and uses it to menace Atlantis.
    Note: This red manta or skate-shaped sub appeared in the Fisherman’s first appearance only.
  • DEPTH BOMBS (x3) [BODY 06, Bomb: 09, Detect (Depth): 01, R#: 05, Grenade Drawback, Drawback: The Depth Bombs must be dropped on their target and will detonate at a preset depth below sea level, Note: The Depth Bombs are depth charge devices that the Fisherman carries aboard his sub. In his first appearance he threatens to attack Atlantis with them.]
  • SEA SERPENT SHIP [DEX 02, STR 09, BODY 10, Radio Communications: 05, Running: 05, Sealed Systems: 15, Swimming: 04, R#: 05. Bonus: The Fisherman may summon the Sea Serpent Ship by remote control.]
  • NET TRAP [BODY 08, Water Control: 12, R#: 03]
    Bonus: The Net Trap’s Water Control Power is Area of Effect within the net.
    Limitation: The Net Trap’s Water Control Power can only be used to rapidly change the water pressure within the area of the Net. This is a Physical Attack with an AV / EV equal to the APs of Power and an OV / RV equal to the target’s Body or APs of Water Freedom Power, whichever is higher.
    Note: The Net Trap is a large (9 AP volume) rigid cage device that the Fisherman can drop on a target by remote control. This device must be prepared in advance. The Water Control circuitry was supplied by Kobra.
  • 07 AP C Omni-Gadget (x1).

Note:
In addition to his more fantastic equipment, the Fisherman has used a number of mundane vehicles (helicopters, jet ski-like water vehicles, etc.) in his crimes. He can be expected to have some sort of escape vehicle prepared should he require one.


Line Grapple – The Fisherman’s Strange Arsenal

The Fisherman’s weapon of choice is a specially designed fishing rod. With this unlikely tool in his grasp, the Fisherman is a fearsome foe. He may use it as a whip, striking targets with the weighted lure at its end.

To make such an attack, the Fisherman uses his Weaponry Skill as the AV, the Rod’s EV, and the target’s DEX / BODY as OV / RV. More often, the Fisherman uses the Rod to Line Grapple a target.

A Line Grapple is an attempt to use a lasso, length of chain, whip or similar rope-like object to grapple a target. Such an attack bears some similarity to a traditional Grappling Attack but differs in a few significant areas.

A Line Grapple Attack uses the attacker’s Exotic Weaponry Subskill as AV and the STR of the Line as EV, although GMs may rule that such an attack may be attempted with the usual Unskilled Use Penalties by characters who do not possess the Exotic Weaponry Subskill. OV / RV equals the target’s DEX / BODY while the Range over which a Line Grapple may be made equals the length in APs of the Line.

If this attack earns one or more RAPs, the target is grappled by the Line and takes damage normally. The effects of a Line Grapple are as follows:

If a target that has been Line Grappled has not yet acted during a Phase and has earlier declared that he would be performing an action which is now illegal, he does not get to act in the Phase at all.

A Line Grapple restricts the movement of both characters. Unless a Line Grappled character has APs of Movement that are greater than the STR of the character with whom he is Line Grappled, he cannot move away from his opponent. If the APs of Movement are greater, he can move a distance equal to his Movement APs minus the STR of his opponent.

Anyone who moves while involved in a Line Grapple takes his opponent with him, and the two characters remain Line Grappled. Note: A character involved in a Line Grapple may move normally toward his opponent. Movement and STR are only compared when a character wishes to move away from his opponent.

Either character involved in a Line Grapple may attempt to use the Line to pull the other character toward his own position. Such an attempt is a Dice Action using the puller’s STR / STR as AV / EV. The OV / RV equals the resistor’s STR or Movement whichever is higher. RAPs equal the distance in APs that the puller may move the resistor toward his own position.

Unlike a traditional Grappling Attack, both characters involved in a Line Grapple may use Ranged Physical Powers to attack any character in Range including one another. Hand to Hand combat and Powers that have a Range of Touch may only be used to attack each other although the attacker must still cover the distance between himself and his target in order to attack in this manner.

These attacks use the attacker’s DEX / STR (or APs of Power) as AV / EV and the target’s DEX / BODY as OV / RV as normal.

Additionally, characters that initiate a successful Line Grapple attack may attempt to use the Line to do further damage to the Line Grappled character in subsequent Phases. Such an attack is always resolved as a Trick Shot using the attacker’s Exotic Weaponry Skill / STR as AV / EV and the target’s STR / BODY as OV / RV.

An attempt to break a Line Grapple is a Dice Action using STR / STR as AV / EV and the STR / STR of the Line as OV / RV. Positive RAPs indicate that the Line Grapple has been broken. Alternately, a Line Grappled character may attempt to damage the Line. Such an attempt uses the Line’s STR / BODY as OV / RV. A GM may rule that Positive RAPs which succeed in damaging the Line result in the Line Grapple being broken.

A Line Grapple is also broken at the end of any Phase when all of the involved parties agree to allow the Line Grapple to cease.

By Vincent Paul Bartilucci.

Helper(s): Dr. Sean MacDonald, John Colagioia, Dan.

Source of Character: Various Aquaman comics published by DC Comics.

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