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Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg in Big Bang Theory)

Howard Wolowitz


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

Context

The Big Bang Theory is a hugely popular situational comedy. It started in 2007 and is still running as of 2016. Its core cast is a small band of young, nerdy scientists.

The Big Bang cast would make great supporting characters for any superhero or with some twists as heroes in their own right.

The Big Bang Theory profiles cover the first 3 seasons of the series as this is the stretch they’d most likely used as supporting cast for heroes. They all start getting into serious relationships in later seasons which changes the tone of the show and their characterizations.


Background

  • Real Name: Howard Joel Wolowitz MSc.
  • Other Aliases: Sir Howard of Wolowitz
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed Mother, Betty (aunt), Elliot (uncle), Lewie (uncle), Jeanie (2nd cousin), Murray (uncle, deceased), David (cousin)
  • Group Affiliation: Perpetual Motion Squad (Physics Bowl team), The Physics Department Paintball Team, California Institute of Technology, NASA
  • Base Of Operations: Pasadena, California
  • Height: 5’7” (though this may be due to lifts) Weight: 130 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Howard is a mechanical genius who has designed portions of several spacecraft for NASA. Some of the projects he’s worked on include a craft taking pictures of one of Jupiter’s moons, the Mars Rover and a waste disposal system for the International Space Station.

In his spare time he constructs robots, complex laser security fields for his friends to play “Laser Obstacle Chess,” as well as tracking the “America’s Top Model” house’s secret location by hacking government military spy-planes, satellites and Google Street View.


History

Howard was a precocious child who always made straight As and attended the Temple Beth-El Hebrew School. However, that changed when he discovered girls.

When he was 14, he fell in love with Marcy Grossman. Howard was afraid to ask her out; but when the school talent show came, he got up the nerve to perform “My Girl” replacing the title words with her name. In response, she spit in his hair.

Then he met Denise Paulmary. He constantly tried to think of ways to get her attention and what he would do once he had it, finding it difficult to think of anything else. He came to the conclusion that women weren’t all that interested in him and that he would try harder than others to gain their attention.

Howard Wolowtiz meets Power Girl

He spent the majority of his time researching every pick-up line and methods for meeting women. His grade point average fell from a 5.0 to a 1.8 as he focused most of his attention on becoming the ultimate pick-up artist. He became a believer in the “Mystery Method” of attracting women.

Unfortunately for Howard, his approach with women makes him come across as needy, off-putting and a little creepy since he tries entirely too hard.

Howard could have been one of the top minds in the country before his distractions. However he was still bright enough to make it into MIT . He earned a Masters degree in Engineering there of which he is extremely proud. He also became an accomplished polyglot.

Caltech

He soon gained the notice of NASA and was invited to work in Caltech’s  Department of Applied Physics to help build components for the space program.

Despite his accomplishments professionally, Howard still lives with his mother. While insisting on being treated like an adult, often falls into habits from childhood. For example, she still packs his lunch and cooks many of his meals and he argues with her over whether or not he can go out on “school nights.”

Considering the fact that she often references “school nights,” she may be slightly senile which could be a contributing factor to his living at home. However, it seems more likely that Howard’s own insecurities regarding women are at the root of his living arrangements.

The Big Bang Theory men in Flash costumes

At Caltech, Howard worked closely with a young Indian astrophysicist named Raj Koothrappali. Raj has the opposite problem with women. He is painfully shy and is afraid to even speak to an attractive woman to the point he becomes mute.

The two became best friends and eventually met a pair of physicists, Sheldon and Leonard who shared many interests with them. Despite Sheldon getting on his nerves, Howard has learned to navigate his idiosyncrasies and tolerates him in part due to the fact that he values Leonard’s friendship.

The four are inseparable and Howard often leads them in crazy experiments and projects using his engineering skills such as building a killer robot, making a non-Newtonian fluid bounce using a speaker, or giving world-wide access through the internet to Leonard and Sheldon’s apartment lighting.

Most recently, Howard was asked by Sheldon to be the team engineer on an expedition he was granted to the North Pole. The expedition would require the 4 of them to live together in a facility while conducting experiments which could potentially prove string theory.

Howard agreed mainly because Raj and Leonard did, but cautioned his friends that he might build a crossbow and shoot Sheldon if he was trapped with him for that long.


Description

Howard’s fashion sense seems to resemble that of Davy Jones of the Monkees  (in the 1960s). He has a mop-top hair style and wears tight, brightly colored shirts (often turtle-necks). He almost always has some sort of pin on the neck of his shirt (worn in the same manner as a Star Trek: The Next Generation rank insignia). Usually this is an Alien pin.

He also wears collectible belt buckles. They are often the shape of varying super hero logos, but he has been known to wear other “geeky” buckles such as one that was a replica of a Nintendo 64 controller.


Personality

Howard is a young, intelligent Jewish man who desperately wants to be accepted by the opposite sex. Somewhat stereotypically, he still lives with his Jewish mother who constantly give him guilt. He tries to follow his culture to satisfy her, but when not in her presence makes no attempts to keep kosher.

According to Leonard’s mother, this, combined with his bahavior towards women and his friendship with Raj, is likely due to a deep seated fear of women.

Howard will hit on absolutely any woman who crosses his path ; usually with the worst pick-up line imaginable or by trying to impress them with his work. He considers himself a romantic, but usually comes off as needy and/or creepy.

If he’s turned down, he’ll simply try another line from his répertoire. This has led to him being slapped and verbally berated in some instances, which he seems to take as flirting.

Howard Wolowtiz (Simon Helberg) from the Big Bang Theory

Howard is a loyal friend, however. Sheldon annoys him more than anyone else, even Penny, and he has commented on more than one occasion that he may be the one who will finally crack and kill Sheldon. At the same time, he takes delight in Sheldon’s treatment when it’s directed at others.

Ultimately, Howard is actually very sensitive and has revealed that the reason he tries so hard with women is that he feels this is the only way he will prove himself worthy of being loved. Ironically, if he stopped trying so hard, he might actually be charming.

If he ever does find a woman interested in him, he usually tries to pass her off as Jewish to his mother to please her.


Quotes

Howard
Leonard: “Maybe she’s his lawyer.”
Howard: “Well she’s free to examine my briefs.”
Leonard: “Howard !”
Howard: “I know. I’m disgusting. I should be punished… by her. Oh look ! I did it again.”

Wolowitz: “First we let the lawyers and the jocks thin the herd, then we go after the weak, the old, and the lame.”
Leonard: “That’s your system ?”
Wolowitz: “Yeah and if you spot a girl with a seeing-eye dog, she’s mine.”

Howard: “You know what would be a great idea ? We get some girls over here and we play laser-obstacle-strip-chess.”
Leonard: “Believe me Howard, any girl who would want to play that, you don’t want to see naked.”
Howard: “You underestimate me.”

Penny: “How are flower barrettes gonna appeal to men ?”
Howard Wolowitz: “We add Bluetooth !”

Howard Wolowtiz (Simon Helberg) in loud red clothing

Leonard [upon seeing Howard successfully picks up a girl after having been depressed]: “Hey, how’s it going ?”
Wolowitz: “Cut the crap, you set this up, didn’t you ?”
Leonard: “Yes…”
Wolowitz: “She’s a hooker, isn’t she ?”
Raj: “A prostitute, yes.”
Wolowitz: “You already gave her the money ?”
Leonard: “Yes.”
Wolowitz: “Thank you !!!!!”

“Raj, there’s no place for truth on the Internet.”

[Upon discovering “America’s Top Model”] “Every week they kick out a beautiful girl, leaving her feeling unwanted and with low self-esteem, a.k.a. the future Mrs. Howard Wolowitz !”

“Oh boy I was afraid of this. These instructions are a pictographic representation of the least imaginative way to assemble these components. This right here is why Sweden has no space program.”

“Love is not a sprint; it’s a marathon, a relentless pursuit that only ends when she falls into your arms… or hits you with the pepper spray.”

[Referring to a calculation determining the odds of a woman sleeping with him] “The Wolowitz Coefficient : Neediness times dress size squared.”

“You know what ? If it’s creepy to use the Internet, military satellites, and robot aircraft to find a house full of gorgeous young models so that I can drop in on them unexpectedly, then fine, I’m creepy.”


DC Universe History

The Big Bang Theory cast could be dropped into the DCU as is, and in fact they have been. In the most recent Power Girl series #4, a group remarkably resembling the Big Bang guys appeared and the one that resembled Howard tried his luck hitting on Karen, only to get shot down.

Howard Wolowtiz (Simon Helberg) takes a selfie with Summer Glau

They could easily be research scientists at any of the StarLabs. They’d love a chance to examine any superhero to try to figure out what fuels their super powers and hopefully replicate the results in themselves. Leonard and Sheldon even have a clause in their roommates’ agreement that if one should acquire super powers the other will be their sidekick.

Howard could be one of the engineers the Justice League chooses to help do maintenance on the Watchtower. He’s already designed parts for the International Space Station, after all. It would only sweeten the deal for him if he got a JLA Communicator Belt Buckle (low priority channels only, of course)!


Marvel Universe History

With his computer and gadgetry skills, in the Marvel Universe Howard could end up being a wannabe Tony Stark. If could get enough HP (and resources) together to build the armor, he would probably see himself as on par with Stark and not understand why Tony gets the attention.

Howard at a party with Tony might complain, “I’ve got the armor ! I’ve designed parts of the International Space Station ! But he still gets all the girls !”


DC Universe History

Considering his ability to track down the Top Model House, it is possible Howard could track down and “stalk” some favored female super. He’s got the computer and research skills that he could probably figure out her secret identity (especially if it’s known to the government or some law enforcement agency).

He might show up at her home or a frequent hangout looking to be her “studly sidekick.” He’d only get encouraged by the attention a beating would bring, but could prove to be helpful if handled correctly.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Howard

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Lust
Int: 08 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: NASA Engineer
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 007
Init: 017 HP: 020

Skills:
Artist (Acting, Singing, Dancing, Sewing, Musician): 03, Detective (Clue Analysis): 05, Gadgetry: 10, Martial Artist: 01, Military Science (Cartography, Cryptology): 08, Scientist: 10, Thief (Security Systems): 07, Vehicles (Land): 02, Weaponry (Paintball rifles, video game controllers): 03

Advantages:
Credentials (University Physics Department/Lab and NASA, both Medium), Familiarity (Arctic Survival), Languages (Klingon, French, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, Yiddish, Hebrew, Farsi/Persian, American Sign Language, English – native), Scholar (Computers, Engineering, Comic Books, Picking up girls (Lines and theoretical only, does not apply to any practical application))

Note:
I am not giving any of the guys the Genius advantage since in the series they are limited to (cutting edge) real world science. However, dropped into a Superhero universe, this would be entirely appropriate for them.

Connections:
Rajesh Koothrappali (High; Best Friend), Sheldon Cooper, Leonard Hofstadter, Penny (All High), NASA (Low), Government (Low), Science Community (Low), Caltech Applied Physics Department (High)

Drawbacks:
Dependent (Mother), MIA towards Collectible Belt Buckles, Socially Inept (particularly when he tries to hit on women, which is to say always), MPR (Allergic to Peanuts), SIA towards Sex, Unluck

Equipment:

  • Alien Ware Laptop Computer [INT 04, BODY 02, Data Storage: 16, Split: 03 (Split limited to mental tasks only) Rel# 3] He not only works with this computer, he often plays online games such as Age of Conan and World of Warcraft and actively maintains a Facebook page. He may have Halo installed, though we’ve only seem him play that on Leonard and Sheldon’s X-Box. He is also often seen using Leonard and/or Sheldon’s Dell XPS often or may also have one himself. He has used his computer to hack/access military spy hardware in order to locate the secret location of America’s Top Model House.
  • Cell phone [BODY 02, Radio Communication: 04, Recall: 04, R#02 (Recall represents the phone’s ability to take video, pictures and phone messages)] His last cell phone was smashed when he tried to take pictures of himself with Summer Glau (and using it as an excuse to attempt to make out with her).

Design notes

  • I see no real reason not to give Howard the full language advantage regarding Mandarin. While a Chinese restaurant owner refers to him as “your annoying little friend who thinks he knows Mandarin,” the same man makes mention that he’s not from China but Sacramento a few lines later. Also, we know that Sheldon was saying the wrong words after his lessons with Howard, but Howard was pointing that very fact out during the lessons.
  • I am assuming Security Systems and Scientist include computer skills such as hacking. If you’re not making that assumption, Howard should have appropriate computer hacking skills of similar AP levels.


By Adam Fuqua

Source of Character: As portrayed in Big Bang Theory by Simon Helberg

Helper(s): wikipedia, Dr. Peter Piispanen

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