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Ghoul (Ultraverse comics)

Ghoul

(Jonathan Martin)


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

Context

The Ultraverse was a super-hero setting and comic books line launched by Malibu Comics in 1993. The Exiles were an early part of it, with a peculiar storyline.

For context, you should first read the profile for Dr. Rachel Deming, which has the info about the team’s history.

This profile is verrrrry old, and will have to be redone to match our modern quality standards.


Background

  • Real Name: Jonathan Martin
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Ultraforce
  • Base Of Operations: Washington, D.C.
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 160 lbs. (often less due to damage, lost limbs, etc.)
  • Eyes: Red Hair: None


Powers and Abilities

Ghoul was essentially killed by the Theta virus. His body is long since dead, yet he’s still alive.

Ghoul’s decaying body can easily be damaged, but he doesn’t feel pain or shock, doesn’t bleed or has vital organs, and can somehow reattach torn limbs (perhaps by literally stitching them back).

Interview with a corpse

Ghoul’s main power is that he can talk with the dead. He summon a ghostly image above the corpse and it answers aloud, if in an eerie ghost voice.

Martin sometimes receives strong, recurring visions of impending doom and death. These are often centred on a person who is doomed to die. In DC Heroes RPG terms this is the Occultist (Precognition) subskill at work. Some visions might not cost Hero Points  if they are triggered by the gamemasters.

Ghoul can also harm the spirit of the recently departed, though that’s not something he would normally do.

Other assets

After the death of the Exiles, Ghoul didn’t pass on and patched himself together over a month, somehow rebuilding his body from vegetal debris. After this experience he started seeing things that normal persons can’t, and developed quasi-mystical powers of forceful persuasion that can stop aggressive crowds cold. His eyes glow when he employs the latter.

There exists a claim that Ghoul will see the death of any person he touches, as an extension of his morbid precognitive abilities.

According to secondary sources, Ghoul is highly intelligent and a proficient programmer.


History

Jon Martin was reportedly a serious student. He had his eye on a career in engineering – presumably computer science. When he was about 17, he was hit by the Theta virus, and narrowly saved by the intervention of Dr. Rachel Demming. The random empowerment left him a sort of living zombie, with odd abilities and perceptions.

Martin joined the other Theta survivors who had agreed to help Deming in her work to save other victims of the virus – the Exiles. Ghoul apparently did not participate much to field missions due to his appearance. But his technical skills were useful at Stronghold, Dr. Deming’s base.

TPK 

When Deming ordered a general assault on the base of her enemy, corrupt businessman Malcolm Kort, Ghoul was among the other Exiles. He and his friend and fellow Exile Tinsel had to be left behind on the op site, and were captured by Kort’s superhuman enforcers.

Ghoul was thrown into the biological wastes disposal system, but narrowly escaped. Tinsel was handed over to the mercenary Bloodbath, and burned his eyes out in self-defense when he attempted to sexually assault her.

Weakened, Tinsel was gunned down by Bloodbath, and Ghoul arrived minutes too late to help her. Enraged, Ghoul killed Bloodbath, then killed his spirit to empower himself. He went on a murder run using Bloodbath’s advanced guns to avenge Tinsel. This ended with Ghoul blowing up the top floor of Kort’s corporate HQ, apparently killing everyone – including himself.

A few hours later, most of the Exiles were killed in an accident.

Until you come back to me

Ghoul, however, did not die. His body reconstructed itself using vegetal matter near his grave, leaving him forever changed. His return from the grave triggered strong public reactions when it was revealed an ultra  had survived death. But Hardcase intervened and calmed the crowd.

Ghoul met with Dr. Deming, who had narrowly survived but confirmed that her involvement with ultrahumans was over. Martin then checked the Exiles’ grave, but could not contact their spirits since it had been too long.

The despondent Ghoul was convinced to join with Contrary and her pupil Pixx, and later ended up joining Ultraforce along them both. He was instrumental in the fight between Atalon and Ultraforce.

He later solved a case of a faked rock star suicide, leading to a plague of copycat suicides, in a solo investigation.


Description

Ghoul’s scarf originally belonged to Pixx, and he has been keeping it as a memento since her death.


Personality

Ghoul is several things :

  • Tough. He’s been dead and is apparently unkillable, and sometimes hints as having “seen things” when he was dead. It is almost impossible to frighten or intimidate him ; however he can feel tension and will get stressed.
    At the same time, he’s fully aware that he’s a physical wimp, and acts in a careful, almost physically cowardly way when faced with physically powerful foes. Unless angry, of course.
  • Sarcastic. Ghoul is a undead monster, and compensates by being extremely cynical and sarcastic. He’ll make numerous flippant remarks, most having to do with death, his appearance or the fact he’s disposable.
    Given his unfeazable streak, he’ll continue making flippant, even slightly insulting remarks in the face of ultra-powerful foes. And he’s really good at gallows humour.
  • Hurt. Ghoul mays seems scary but funny. However sometimes he reacts with uncharacteristic aggressively, either verbal or physical. These are often tied with the death of others ; for instance when someone attempts to commit suicide, when he’s afraid somebody will die, or when a loved one dies.
    In those cases, he stops being funny and is just scary, taking direct action while he normally stands by the sidelines due to his lack of direct powers. He tends to grow kind attached to young well-meaning innocents, such as Tinsel or Pixx.
  • Removed. Ghoul is distant from normal persons, and rarely explain himself. On some level he feels his plight justify whatever he does, and he’s very aware he’s an outcast.

Since he now longer has to care about such things, Ghoul smokes and drinks heavily (through the effects of alcohol on his “organism” are fleeting) and eats complete junk.


Quotes

“My name’s Jonathan, I’m from Vermont, I’m a big fan of Tori Amos , and I’m dead.”

Pixx : “Stop staring at me, okay !”
Ghoul : “I don’t have eyelids.”

“If he tries to use me as a bargaining chip, just remember… I’m only worth two Mortal Kombat pogs and a Darryl Strawberry rookie card.”

(Noticing someone watching him in horror as he’s eating some junk food) “What’re you lookin’ at, kid ? It’s just a hamburger.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Ghoul

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Unwanted
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 07 Occupation: Reluctant hero
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 015 HP: 040

Powers:
Self-Link (Animate Dead): 14, Damage capacity: 14, Invulnerability: 12, Postcognition: 14, Regeneration: 05, Systemic Antidote: 12, Telepathy: 05, True sight: 14

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Damage Capacity can also be used as the OV/RV to resist physical pain
  • Invulnerability is lowered in the absence of dead organic matter that his body can cannibalise to rebuild himself, but is enhanced if there are human corpses nearby to appropriate rotting flesh from
  • Postcognition only if English-speaking corpses are available on the scene (-3) and will only cover things known by the corpse (-1)
  • Telepathy only with the spirits of the very recently deceased (it can be used to initiate Mental Combat)

Skills:
Charisma (Intimidation, interrogation): 10, Occultist (Precognition): 04, Scientist (Computers): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Charisma is a Powered skill (-5 BC)

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, No Vital Areas, Rich Friends (Ultraforce), Stabilisation

Connections:
UItraforce (High)

Drawbacks:
Exile (Undeath), Public ID, Strange Appearance, Misc.: Analytical smell/tracking scent receives a +2CS bonus to track him down (10 pts)


Killed by death

In the last issue of Exiles, Ghoul employs an ability that wasn’t demonstrated before or since. He kills his opponent, then engages the departing spirit in psychic combat and kills him again. Doing so allows him to replicate all of his victim’s abilities, and he seemed to also absorb the person’s Hero Points.

This was done when Ghoul was beside himself with anger and burning all the Hero Points he had on a murder/suicide run.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Ultraverse

Helper(s): Capita_Senyera

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