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Graviton (Franklin Hall) with the armored costume

Graviton


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
“I am… annoyed ! The world throws police, airplanes, super heroes at me — in a never-ending stream ! So rather than simply crush you where you lay, I’ll make an example of you ! An example of why it is not wise — to annoy GRAVITON !”

Context

Graviton is an immensely powerful Marvel Comics villain, who controls a fundamental physical force. You can presumably guess which one.

Though his might is overwhelming, Graviton is something of a jerk and a loser. He can thus be defeated through manipulation and trickery where direct attack will likely fail.

In some respects he’s comparable to an early Magneto, before Magneto’s character and backstory development took place.


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Background

  • Real Name: Franklin Hall.
  • Former Aliases: The First One.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Formerly allied with Quantum, Halflife and Zzzax ; former master of the Sky Raiders.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 200 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue-Grey. Hair: Black, white at temples.


Powers and Abilities

Graviton is master of one of the fundamental forces of the universe, and can increase or decrease the force of gravitational attraction at will to produce a number of effects.

  • He can increase the gravitational force on a target, crushing them, and has easily subdued the strongest super-humans on Earth in this manner. He’s then held these trapped individuals in gravitic cocoons as long as he wishes (in DC Heroes terms, Paralysis).
  • Conversely he can reduce the gravitational force, causing his targets to float uncontrollably, or allowing him to fly (at astounding speed outside of the atmosphere).
  • He can create force fields, either large scale ones, covering a small city (Force Wall. These he may not notice being destroyed), or personal ones (Force Field) strong enough to protect him from attacks by Thor’s hammer (the personal one protects against flames, but not against their heat, so doesn’t protect him from taking damage from them).
  • He can create waves of gravitic force to project as concussive force blasts.
  • He can see anomalies in gravity, and sense people and things moving around him from the gravity waves in his surroundings.
  • And he can maintain a breathable atmosphere around him, which has enabled him to survive in space, along with sending himself into suspended animation.

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All effect he creates can remain active without his concentration, even while he’s sleeping.

He has also managed to produce a number of effects from his powers which he doesn’t use as often, such as 

  • Controlling air to extinguish the Human Torch.
  • Controlling water, to show off that he can.
  • Controlling earth to recreate mountains on the moon in his image.
  • Altering the weight of molecules to create fog.
  • Affixing himself to the ground so he can’t be moved.
  • Locating individuals by their gravitic signatures, even from the other side of the planet, which enable shim to target them with his powers without needing to see them.
  • Redirecting attacks back at his attacker.
  • Creating a vacuum, neutralising the sound in an area (by which means he killed Scream, a sonic entity).
  • Increasing his eyesight by manipulating light waves, which also allowed him to see around obstacles (but not into enclosed spaces).
  • And travelling back from other dimensions (although this is extremely difficult, sometimes impossible).

His powers have been known to get out of control as he becomes enraged by those opposing him. He’s often only beaten by losing control of his powers as they turn against him.


History

Physicist Dr. Franklin Hall was working on a teleportation device at Research City in the Canadian Rockies. He was caught in an accident between the teleportation technology and an anti-gravity element in another lab. He survived, and was left able to control gravity.

He initially kept his powers quiet. But his existing resentment of his colleagues, along with possible psychological changes due to his accident, sent Hall off the deep end. He seized control of the facility, eventually ripping the complex and its surroundings out of the ground and levitating them.

Avengers assembled

When the Avengers responded to the emergency, Hall, now calling himself Graviton, beat them with little effort. He held them captive as he flew his domain to New York City, where he demanded that the governments of the world cede control to him.

Thor, who’d been away on personal business, arrived in time to distract Graviton long enough for the Avengers to free themselves. But even Thor was unable to beat Graviton.

When the Avengers faced Graviton again, Hall’s powers overwhelmed him. The research city collapsed in on him into a super-compressed mass, which they dumped in the river.

Graviton returned as a 60 foot gravitational field, facing the Thing and Black Bolt. He regained his normal form, but was pulled into the dimension  which served as the source of his power.

He was stuck in the dimension for months until finally managing to create a portal back to Earth’s dimension.

A god amongst women

Deciding to use his new power to find a woman, Graviton eschewed dating services. Instead he hoisted a department store full of women above New York. This ill-conceived plan failed to net him a date, due only partially to the fact that Thor banished him to an interdimensional  void.

He remained in a state of suspended animation until awakened by a charge of energy which would become the Beyonder. Hall returned to Earth through the charging field of the criminal Blank.

He then attempted to unite the West Coast mobs under his control, which drew the attention of the newly-established west coast branch of the Avengers. They managed to overwhelm him only because Mockingbird had infiltrated his operation as a bartender and drugged his drinks. The police were unable to hold him, though, and he soon escaped.

Fundamental Forces

Remaining in LA, he decided to ally himself with other super-powered individuals who represented the fundamental forces. He summoned Quantum, Halflife, and Zzzax. They fought the West Coast Avengers, capturing them with relative ease. The alliance dissolved quickly though, after Tigra convinced Quantum and Halflife that each planned to destroy the other.

Since Zzzax had been neutralised in the first battle with the Avengers, this left Graviton to face them alone. His powers again escalated out of his control, sending the flying island he used as a base hurtling towards space.

His powers put him in suspended animation until he recovered enough to awaken. He replenished the atmosphere he’d managed to maintain with the correct proportion of elements drawn from the atmospheres of other passing planetary bodies.

Arriving back on Earth, he noticed the anomalous gravity waves in New York caused by the Inferno event . He considered what to demand in exchange for saving New York, but was accosted by members of the Fantastic Four before he could. He managed to escape.

Graviton vs. the Thunderbolts

Acts of Vengeance

Contacted by the Prime Movers in the Acts of Vengeance conspiracy, he agreed to kill Spider-Man in exchange for others dealing with the Avengers. Travelling to Manhattan, he soon located the wall-crawler, and buried him in rubble, leaving him for dead.

He soon learned he’d been mistaken in this belief, and returned for a rematch. However, by this time Spider-Man was host of the uni-power. Spidey easily swatted aside Graviton, who decided not to press the issue.

Learning that Spider-Man’s temporary power had gone, Graviton teamed with others who’d suffered defeat while Spidey had been empowered (Trapster, Titania, Goliath, and the Brothers Grimm). But when they became embroiled in a gang war between the Kingpin and the Chameleon, Graviton left in disgust.

He again came into conflict with the Avengers when he tried increasing his powers by unifying nuclear and electromagnetic particles with his own gravitic ones. The Vision merged his body with Graviton’s to try controlling the resultant gravity storm.

This caused Graviton’s density to collapse upon itself. Hall was again trapped in another dimension.

Thunderbolts

Establishing himself as ruler of the apparently simple P’tah race, Graviton built a beacon he hoped would establish contact with the Earth dimension. The signal was detected by Techno, and Baron Zemo had him tie the robotic Hulk-bot’s systems into it.

Thus, when they sent this robot against the Thunderbolts, their attacks caused an overload. This sucked Graviton back to Earth, where he made short work of the Thunderbolts and Lightning Rods (nés Great Lakes Avengers).

The only thing that stopped him killing them was when Moonstone (Dr. Karla Sofen) convinced him his ambitions always amounted to nothing because he had no goals. He left to consider the matter.

His initial answer to this turned out to be creating a large floating island called Sky Island, of which he named himself monarch. He recruited all kinds of rabble as his army, calling them Sky Raiders and empowering them with a fraction of his power. Their attempt to pillage San Francisco was opposed by the Thunderbolts and Angel, whom he quickly beat.

He planned to execute them, but offered Moonstone (whom he was trying to impress by making something of himself) her life if she would join him. She laughed in his face, and he sentenced her to join her team mates in death.

They were freed by Jolt, who’d borrowed anti-gravity technology from Machine Man, with which they turned the tide of battle. They managed to briefly cancel his powers, but when he overcame this, his powers flooded back too quickly, and he again got shunted back into the other dimension.

Therapy?

Returning to Earth with the P’tah M’reel as his butler, he employed Moonstone, pardoned but banned from operating in costume, to be his therapist. Having no other prospects, she agreed, and helped him develop his powers in ways he’d never before considered.

However her manipulation failed. Hall’s innate mania forced him to again make grandiose gestures, taking captive every major city in the world, gravitating them all at once, and holding captive all the super-heroes who might oppose him before they could think of doing so. His plan was to reshape the planet in the image of himself and Moonstone.

He also wanted revenge on the Thunderbolts. He travelled to their Mount Charteris base, where he ripped the top off the mountain and found (because he apparently hadn’t asked Moonstone how her life had been going, or why she was no longer with the team) they’d been disbanded and replaced by the Redeemers.

He killed most of them with ease, apart from the Fixer, whom Moonstone convinced him to recruit, and Jolt and Citizen V, who join the hastily reformed Thunderbolts in opposing him.

He formed a hasty alliance with the Thunderbolts when Fixer revealed his energy was being siphoned off to the P’tah dimension. Graviton learned the race had been manipulating him into opening a portal for them to invade Earth.

Graviton and the Thunderbolts battled the invaders, but beating them required him using most of his energy to shut the portal, dragging him in to possible death. The Thunderbolts were also in danger of being drawn in, but Graviton used the last of his power to shunt them safely elsewhere.

Later appearances

Surviving somehow, Graviton ended up incarcerated in the Raft. He was part of the escape attempt during the formation of the New Avengers, but was recaptured. He escaped again, more megalomaniacal than ever, which led to another battle with the Avengers, where the Extremis-enhanced Iron Man beat him severely.

Freed by the Mandarin, he was manipulated into attacking the Initiative, killing Paragon, and again confronted Iron Man, before committing suicide by firing a microgravitational burst into his frontal lobe.


Personality

Overwhelming ego is Graviton’s main character trait. He mainly seems to try to hide the frustrated, petty, vengeful man who uses his godlike powers to try to impress those around him, especially beautiful women. He’ll often use his powers to their maximum in such situations.

He generally fixates on one woman at a time, though, his Irrational Attraction focusing on her when he has such a fixation, or on any beautiful woman otherwise.

He also possesses a vicious streak, having been known to pin Wonder Man down in a swimming pool, or sending his one time partner Blank to a certain death far away at sea.

He seemed aware of his failings to a degree. He hired Moonstone’s services as a therapist to help him overcome them, but he still ended up trying the grandiose gesture.

He attempted to use his powers to literally remake the world in his own image to prove to Moonstone (a beautiful woman) that he’d grown — thereby proving he hadn’t learned what she’d tried to teach him.


Quotes

“Gravity is the true fundamental force, and I, Graviton, am its master !”

“I… did it ! It’s over ! I beat the Avengers ! Nothing can stop me ! I can and will rule the world !”

“I’m back, you hear me ? At long last, I’m back on Earth — and no one is going to stop me from revelling in it — least of all a band of costumed morons I’ve never even heard of before !”

“The criminals before me have offended the personage of Graviton the First, Emperor of Sky Island — and the penalty is death. But Graviton is a just man. A fair man — And will therefore offer them one more chance to escape death — and live out their lives as prisoners — by humbly begging for mercy —”

“Dr. Sofen, so nice to see you again… welcome to my home. I can see you are surprised, curious and afraid. Good. All 3 are appropriate. You’re asking yourself: ’can I escape before he kills me ?‘ The answer would be… no. But you really should be asking yourself… what’s in it for me if I help Graviton rule the world ? And the answer to that, my dear Karla, is what do you want ?”

“Surprised to see me ? You shouldn’t b— eh — ? You are not the Thunderbolts ! I’d hoped to use their corpses as the first bricks — in the foundation of my new Earth ! Hmm. A shame they’re not here. I imagine all of you will do just as nicely. Well then, since the new me is more respectful of my superiority — rather than flaunting it with arrogant disregard, I shall provide you with the opportunity to determine… which one of you would prefer to die first ?”


DC Universe History

Up to you people. The obvious, he could be a JLA foe, given his power level.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Graviton

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Fundamental force; former physicist
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 014 HP: 075

Powers:
Air Control: 08, Attraction/Repulsion: 25, Detect (Gravity): 15, Dimensional Travel: 08, Earth Control: 08, Energy Blast: 15, Fog: 06, Force Field: 19, Force Wall: 22, Flight: 13 (36), Gravity Decrease: 28, Gravity Increase: 28, Joined: 20, Life Sense: 05, Paralysis: 25, Power Reserve: 15, Radar Sense: 05, Reflection/Deflection: 12, Sealed Systems: 10, Sound Nullify: 12, Suspension: 22, Telekinesis: 25, Telescopic Vision: 12, Water Control: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All powers are Contingent on Gravity Increase (-1).
  • Air Control, Earth Control, Gravity Decrease, Gravity Increase, Paralysis, Telekinesis, and Water Control have no AV (where appropriate) using Accuracy (Gravitic Powers) instead (-1), and their effects may be maintained without concentration at the cost of 1AP of the Power (+1, see below).
  • Dimensional Travel is Catastrophic Marginal (-2).
  • Flight, Force Field, and Gravity Decrease are Usable On Others (+5), with multiple others (+1), with variable APs shared (+2), using AP maths (+4, see below).
  • Force Field is Personal (-2), he Can Attack Through it (+1), and it doesn’t protect against heat attacks (although it will stop him catching fire) (-1).
  • Force Wall has Increased Size of up to 17 AP (+15).
  • Gravity Decrease and Gravity Increase can both be used with a 5AP Area Effect (+2).
  • Life Sense has Extended Range of 23 AP (+5), and may be used to target.
    with his Powers individuals he can’t see directly (+1).
  • Paralysis may have an Area Effect (+1).
  • Power Reserve is usable on Air Control, Earth Control, Gravity Decrease, Gravity Increase, Paralysis, Telekinesis, and Water Control (+25BC).
  • Sealed Systems has an Area Effect (+2).
  • Telekinesis only works on objects affected by Gravity Decrease (-1).
  • Telescopic Vision has the Indirect Bonus as he can redirect light (+2).

Skills:
Accuracy (Gravity Powers): 08, Charisma (Intimidation): 06, Gadgetry: 02, Scientist: 06.

Advantages:
Scholar (Physics).

Connections:
Moonstone (Low) .

Drawbacks:
MIA (Attractive women), Catastrophic Overconfidence, Miscellaneous Drawback (Power Instability, if he rolls 2 on an Action Check for one of his Powers he loses control and ends up being overcome by them [becomes black hole; disappears into another dimension; floating island shoots up into space; etc.]).


Fundamentals

Graviton is able to leave the effects of his powers active while turning a portion of his might to other actions, such as leaving a skyscraper hovering while sending a wave of anti-gravity repulsion against a band of super-heroes.

Maintaining such effect takes no action on his part, but his Gravity Increase or Gravity Decrease are reduced by 1 AP for each such effect they have going on, and from each related power left active (Paralysis takes an AP of Gravity Increase, but the others depend on how he’s using the Power [GM’s discretion]).

When sorely pressed, he’s been known to cancel all such ongoing effects, to regain his maximum power.

During his last appearance in Thunderbolts he displayed truly astounding levels of power (reshaping mountains on the moon; and levitating at least 32 cities globally, while also holding most of the world’s super heroes in gravitic cocoons).

This may have been because of Moonstone’s therapy helping him to better understand his power, or a part of the P’tah plan which increased his power for their ends.


“And I am a god”

Graviton has displayed a number of weird uses of his gravity powers which aren’t easily explicable (or particularly explained in the comics). These can be handled as Power Tricks.

He was able to understand Quantum’s alien language. The only way I can see this coming from gravity powers is due to some link from them both being able to manipulate fundamental force, so maybe Comprehend Languages at 12 APs, with a Limitation that it can only be used with characters able to manipulate (or embodying) the fundamental forces.

He summoned Quantum and Halflife from wherever they were at the time. Quantum emerged from the Sun (93,000,000 miles away at the time) after Graviton fired a beam at it. Possibly Telepathy, with looooong Range, limited to characters able to manipulate (or embodying) the fundamental forces.

He also diverted radio waves harmlessly into space to stop prisoners calling for help, so he’s somehow able to detect (but not listen in on) and manipulate them. Detect (Radio Waves) at 6 APs should cover the detection, and as all he’s demonstrated so far is the ability to block them, Neutralize limited to Radio Communication, at 15 APs, should cover blocking them.


Design notes

  • I’ve explained the denser body through gravity from his Fantastic Four appearance (where he can take a hit from the Thing, but the Torch’s heat is more of a threat) as being special effects (or lies) for his Force Field used skin tight. Likewise his enhanced strength is merely Attraction/Repulsion.
  • His Dimensional Travel may not actually be possible with his Powers, and may simply have been from the P’tah manipulating him. Even if not, it can take months, or he may be unable to do so, hence the Catastrophic Marginal.
  • The Extended Range used is the version from BoH:SE, where it’s +1 FC for +4 APs of Range.


Previous Stats

Prior to his therapy under Moonstone, he didn’t have Power Reserve.


Sky Raider

When he created his own flying kingdom, Graviton empowered a number of miscreants with a portion of his Powers.

He can share his Flight Force Field and Gravity Decrease with them at the levels below, with his own AP levels dropping by AP maths (so if he empowers a 1000 goons at the levels shown below, his APs of Flight, Force Field and Gravity Decrease drop to 12, 18, and 27 AP respectively).

These seem to be general thugs only interested in having a good time. Those who don’t show due deference to Graviton don’t generally last long, his gift is often recalled while they’re in midair.

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Nihilist
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Unlikely
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 007 HP: 000

Powers:
Flight: 02, Force Field: 04, Gravity Decrease: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Force Field is Personal (-1).
  • Gravity Decrease has a Range of Touch (-1).

Skills:
None.

Advantages:
None known.

Connections:
Sky Island (Low).

Drawbacks:
None known.

By Paul ’Z‘ Ewande & Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics.

Helper(s): Angel, Jackson, Steven Howard, Sean MacDonald, Sébastien Andrivet, Peter Piispanen, Chris Cottingham, Eric Langendorff, Pufnstuff, Roger, Roy Cowan, MSHAG Avengers Roster book, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z.

Writeup completed on the 3rd of March, 2011.

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