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Ghost of the Thunderbolts (Iron Man enemy) (Marvel Comics) Thunderbolts era white costume

Ghost

(Thunderbolts)


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

Context

Ghost was originally an Iron Man (appearing in 1987) with a bit of a mystique. He unexpectedly became a Thunderbolts character in 2009, which is now what defines him.

The Ghost is an expert saboteur and technologist with an intangibility/invisibility and weapons. He was primarily a radical anti-corporations activist, though over the year his mental health issues (particularly paranoia) played more and more of a role.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed
  • Former Aliases: John Morley
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Thunderbolts
  • Base Of Operations: The Raft; formerly The Cube
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 120 (formerly 175) lbs
  • Note: His current weight an estimate, since official sources only have his weight before his current dietary regime.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

A gifted inventor, also skilled with computers and demolitions, the Ghost’s primary accomplishment is his suit. It enables him to become intangible or invisible at will by harnessing polarized electrons, which he can use them on others with whom he’s in physical contact.

The intangibility and invisibility can’t both be used to their fullest extent at the same time, but he can use a degree of invisibility while intangible so as to become translucent (in DC Heroes terms he can use 1 AP of Invisibility, allowing him to use his Stealth subskill with 1CS less deducted from the OV/RV based on environmental conditions).

It also allows him to:

  • reprogram computer-controlled equipment by touch
  • fly
  • shoot electricity (which can cause short-term memory loss if applied correctly)
  • detect life signs
  • offer a degree of protection from radiation

While he is vulnerable to sonics, even while phased , he has altered his audio receptors to let him block such attacks when expected.

He controls it mentally via circuitry in his mask. It has a wi-fi communicator built in, records all his conversations and an onboard hard drive for data storage during thefts.

He has also used a gun which fires concussive blasts, and a number of explosive devices.


History

(A general history of his time with the Thunderbolts can be found in the Thunderbolts entry.)

His true identity unknown, the Ghost claims to have been a business executive and inventor. But due to betrayal by businessmen he used his technology to start a one man war on the corporations he came to see as ruining society.

He told Moonstone a story where he was a technological genius who developed super-fast processors by having them phase out of reality. Used by executives who then tried to kill him, he was fused with some of his technology by the explosion. It’s dubious whether someone so paranoid would share the truth with someone like Moonstone, and his true history may never be known.

What’s certain is his pathological hatred for corporations. He became a hacker’s tale, an electronic bogeyman who destroyed companies for fun and profit. He hired himself out as a corporate saboteur, even working for corporations as long as their money allowed him to support his vendetta, and as long as they targeted other ‘deserving’ victims.

Sabotage

It was while attacking Accutech on behalf of Roxxon that he first clashed with Iron Man (Anthony Stark). Stark managed to drive him off before he could finish the job, causing the Ghost to swear revenge on “Iron Man’s boss”, Tony Stark.

Anxious to hide their link to him, Roxxon hired the Spymaster to dispose of Ghost. He tried to carry that out during a joint attack on Stark Enterprises. The battle ended with Spymaster’s death, Ghost having materialized Spymaster into a wall (although it was later revealed he’d faked his death).

Ghost (Iron Man enemy) firing a weapon

Iron Man drew Ghost into a trap, within a room with a beta particle generator. The radiation interfered with Ghost’s circuitry. His hatred of Stark had grown so great that he ignored the danger to his life to try and destroy the generator, disappearing in the resulting confusion.

Hammered

He next appeared plaguing an Italian company remotely owned by Justin Hammer, who tried selling the problem to Tony Stark. Stark discovered its true owner, though. He reached an arrangement to work with some of Hammer’s operative, Blacklash, Blizzard and Boomerang, to hunt the Ghost.

Hammer’s team inevitably turned on Iron Man during the fight.&emsp.The Ghost took advantage of the situation, rendering Iron Man temporarily intangible. Succeeding in destroying the company, the Ghost escaped. He soon confronted Hammer, who briefly trapped him in a room which countered his intangibility, holding him just long enough for Hammer to flee.

The Vibranium Vendetta

Accepting a job from the Kingpin to sabotage a Roxxon experiment, Ghost clashed with Spider-Man and the Black Panther while trying to steal a synthetic vibranium.

The situation escalated when Sunturion got involved. But Ghost managed to escape, planning on trying again. After clashing with Ultron, however, he decided to forget about it, returning Kingpin’s money and leaving.

Ghost (Iron Man enemy) standing in an explosion

He again clashed with Spider-Man on another assignment, when targeting Tricorp. His attempt to sabotage an energy test brought him into conflict with Spider-Man and the time travelling historian Cassandra Locke, who shut down his tech long enough for Spidey to take him down. The Ghost was arrested.

AIMed

Partnering with MODOK, then in charge of an AIM division operating as the Advanced Corp, the Ghost later bombed a number of companies. He also infiltrated Askew Electronics as “John Morley”. It’s unclear whether he was using technology to disguise himself, but he apparently had the Ghost suit on when he needed it. So he may have had a temporary device, possibly provided by MODOK, to alter his appearance.

This again drew him into conflict with Iron Man, whom he nearly beat in their first fight. But in their second he made the mistake of attempting to phase his hand into his chest again. Anticipating the manoeuvre, Stark had rigged the armour to cause feedback against the Ghost, knocking him out, and he was arrested.

Inevitable

Having escaped custody, he was employed by the third Spymaster to free the Living Laser from where he was currently held by Stark Industries. He believed he’d killed Iron Man during the attempt, but this turned out to be untrue.

Ghost tried going after Stark again, only to find he’d upgraded his security systems with measures which disrupted his intangibility. Managing to escape, Ghost abandoned the assignment.

Dark Reign

The Ghost became increasingly unhinged, and unhealthily spending so much time in his costume (preferring to be in a sealed environment otherwise). He was recruited into Norman Osborn’s black ops Thunderbolts team.

Based in the Cube prison, he had his room completely sealed so that he could only access it by phasing. He had his own stock of MRE army rations so he couldn’t be poisoned.

He’d also reprogrammed the Cube security systems to make them unable to observe him.

Ghost (Thunderbolts) phasing through a wall

He followed his own agenda, though, keeping secrets from Osborn and acting covertly against his orders. He claimed at one point that he was waiting for Osborn to become king of the corporate world so he could be close enough to act as a virus in his new empire.

Stark Disassembled

Hired by Madame Masque to kill the lobotomized Stark, Ghost took to the job with glee. He was frustrated a couple of times, though not for long, and seriously wounded Dr. Strange. But Stark recovered in time to grab the Ghost Phone Masque had armed Ghost with, and sending him far away.

Siege

With Osborn beginning his assault on Asgard, Ghost had no time to try for Stark again, instead focussing on stopping Osborn. He made sure Pym’s Mighty Avengers were there to help, and helped them against the Thunderbolts, but was still regarded with suspicion. He was arrested following the incident, but his actions were taken into consideration.

Heroic Age

He was recruited into the new Thunderbolts as a part of his sentence, happy to get his suit back.


Personality

Obsessed with his vendetta against corporations, Ghost has become increasingly unhinged in recent years. He took notably less care of his health. He retains his intellect however, albeit tinged with a degree of paranoia. But this does make him good at spotting when someone’s trying to fool him.

His paranoia has left him suspicious of everyone. He doesn’t like being out of his costume for any length of time in case he’s poisoned. He prefers to live in a sealed area accessible only by phasing.

While not necessarily likely to betray his team mates, his motivations are never clear cut. He’ll often observe his colleagues from the sidelines so he can work out their agendas, and how best they can work in concert with his.

He’s been known to manipulate team mates, possibly to see how they’ll react, or on one occasion to (maybe) get them to grow together as a team. He often worked against Osborn’s wishes when they clashed with his (although usually in a covert manner).

His primary goal in a team will always be to know everything about everyone, so he can be sure how much of a threat they pose him.

While determined to destroy corporations, primarily technological ones, he takes a long term view of his plans. He will hire himself out to other corporations so as to fund his war.

He seems to prefer to cause the maximum damage while destroying his targets, using bombs on facilities and assassinating executives. This is even though his hacking skills would probably allow him to cause a company’s collapse without loss of life.

For a long while he targeted Tony Stark as the model of everything he hated, and would go out of his way to strike at Stark. During their last confrontation Stark opened his accounts to Ghost, proving he’d divested himself of his corporate assets and now only had a relatively small company.

Since he was no longer a corporate figure, Ghost’s hatred of him immediately dissipated and they were able to work together.


Quotes

“Congratulations ! You have succeeded where most have failed ! For you have indeed uncovered — the Ghost !”

“I can’t be bought, Hammer ! Businessmen made me what I am today — and I won’t trust them again ! Sure, I take money for destroying companies ! But I’d do it for free if weasels like you didn’t hire me !”

“I never eat food that I haven’t prepared myself. You can’t be too careful. Not these days.”

“Don’t tell me what to do. Just… don’t.”

Paladin: “It stops hurting when I’m intangible.”
Ghost: “Everything’s better when you’re intangible. Once you realize nothing’s really real… well, it gives you perspective.”

[On being painfully teleported to Asgard] “Assessment: I have died and a large clerical error was made in my afterlife assignment.”

“For great acts of high treason in the name of your bloody corporations around the world… For the many woeful misdemeanours committed in the name of your almighty dollar… I condemn you, Anthony Edward Stark, to death. Any last words ?”

“I regret that I must be party to your demise. You were but pawns of an insidious global police force, who likely used you as guinea pigs. We are all pawns in such a construct.”

“My birth branding no longer applies. Nor does any federal identification number. All designations try to define who I am. But nothing explains that. Only I know who I truly am.”

Ghost: “This is no mere mental exercise. I have been following the daily crossword in Front Line for several weeks now. I am certain that it is being used to communicate messages among a secret group in New York. My guess is a very select group of influentials numbering under 30…”
Moonstone: “I see. Ghost, why do you see plots and conspiracies everywhere ?”
Ghost: “Because… there are.”

“Corporate hierarchy will always push to the top those who will oppress and exploit the true creative forces. So in this… afterlife… I haunt them into oblivion. The schemers, power players, manipulators… Eventually I come for them all.”

Warden John Walker: “We have a duty to protect innocent citizens.”
Ghost: “You may have a duty. I have a nanobot leash and a very different definition of innocence.”


DC Universe History

Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor have both become victims of his campaign. He has worked together a few times with Anarky, but his increasing paranoia prevented them developing any long-term working relationship.

At one point his attacks became so severe that the Captains of Industry were formed to hunt him down. He clashed with them a few times. He then decided he didn’t need to fight them, so changed his approach to be more subtle, not leaving signs that he’d been responsible for accidents. Unsuccessful in their searches, the Captains were eventually turned to more profitable activities.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Ghost

Dex: 05 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Nihilist
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 06 Occupation: Former business executive
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 016 HP: 050

Skills:
Gadgetry: 08, Military Science (Demolitions): 06, Scientist (Computer Science, Computer Hacking): 11, Scientist: 08, Thief (Security Systems): 10, Thief (Stealth): 07, Weaponry (Firearms): 05

Advantages:
Stroke of Genius

Connections:
Thunderbolts (Low)

Drawbacks:
Creepy Appearance, MIH (Corporate types)

Equipment:

  • GHOST SUIT [BODY 05, Data Storage: 08, Dispersal (Range of Touch, Partial Dispersal, no protection vs. magic, takes no damage from dispersal attack): 15, Extended Hearing: 06, Flight: 05, Hypnotism (erase short term memory only, Contingent on Lightning): 08, Illusion (Only fools technological observation): 06, Illusion (Project recorded image and audio): 01, Interface (computer-controlled tech only): 12, Invisibility (Range of Touch): 08, Life Sense: 04, Lightning: 06, Neutralise(Technological audio recording): 05, Radio Communications: 10, Recall (audio): 06, Sealed System (Radiation protection only): 04, Sound Nullify (Must be activated): 06, Thermal Vision: 06, Advantage: Misc. (Lip Reading), Limitations: Dispersal and more than an AP of Invisibility cannot be used concurrently, Drawback: Power Loss (as part of Cage’s Thunderbolts, his suit can be deactivated should any of the command team wish)]
  • In his early days he used a gun which fired an unidentified type of energy. Gun [BODY 05, Energy Blast: 06]
  • He also briefly used a phone engineered by the Tinkerer to allow him to transport himself via the signals. Ghost Phone [BODY 03, Teleportation: 22, Limitations: Teleportation is Contingent on Dispersal (-1), and only allows travel to another phone (-1)]
  • At one point he created a small device which attached itself to a target and made them intangible, and unable to deactivate it. Intangibility device[BODY 04, Cling: 05, Dispersal (Triggered by Ghost): 08].

Previous stats

Originally his STR and BOD were both an AP higher.

His original suit only had Dispersal and Invisibility, and it was only by his second appearance that Invisibility could be used on others. The rest of the Powers were only available by the time he got his current suit.

By Gareth Lewis

Source of Character: Marvel Comics

Helper(s): Wikipedia, Marvel Handbook A-Z, Capita_Senyera

Writeup updated on the 6th of May, 2015.

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