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Jenny Sparks and the Authority

Jenny Sparks


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

Context

Jenny was part of the remarkable overhaul of StormWatch by Warren Ellis, in 1996. It turned a mediocre-at-best book into a landmark super-hero epic that would soon became The Authority, with Sparks emerging as the most authoritative character.

These notes were taken during the Ellis run, so they are less detailed and elaborate than our later work. Then Millar took over the book and characters, which was big cue to walk out. So it hasn’t been overhauled since, I’m sorry to say.


Background

  • Real Name: Colonel Jennifer Elizabeth Sparks.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Deceased.
  • Group Affiliation: StormWatch Black.
  • Base Of Operations: SkyWatch II.
  • Height: 5’7” Weight: 120lbs. Age: 98
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Blonde


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Powers and Abilities

Jenny Sparks is la Fée Electricité , the spirit of the century. She can :

  • Convert all or part of her body into electricity or an electronically-generated signal.
  • Create lightning.
  • Control the flow of electricity in machines or human brains.

Without the presence of electricity, Jenny is powerless – but still dangerous. She’s athletic, and a highly experienced fighter and adventurer. Her Hero Points  total is significantly above the rest of StormWatch.


History

After the Despot crisis, the UN found itself facing a severe shortage in metahuman manpower. Thus, they recruited superhumans from all over the world. Jenny Sparks was among the second wave of new agents. She’s definitively not a rookie, and was recruited by the Weatherman himself.

Spirit of the century

Jenny Sparks was born with the century. She gained her powers and stopped ageing in 1919, when dimensional doors opened to an alternate universe called Sliding Earth. She’s been adventuring ever since, both in England and America. She was a characteristic comic book heroine for every decade, always defending her progressive dreams. Thus, Jenny became an urban legend in some circles.

She was :

  • A scientific and romantic adventurer in the twenties.
  • A Doc Savage-like socialist crimebuster in the thirties.
  • A hardboiled detective in the forties.
  • A Colonel in the British Space Group in the fifties (covering the deals between Britain and ETs).
  • A Stan Lee-esque superheroine with an odd costume in the sixties.
  • A flower-power hippie in the early seventies. At this point she helped found a movement of public superhumans within the counterculture, which ended in violence and disillusionment.
  • An angst-ridden antiheroine in the Watchmen tradition in the late seventies and early eighties. Back then she saw a chance to effect a lasting good upon British society with a new generation of British superhumans.

She was part of most projects in Britain regarding ETs and alternative dimensions. She apparently saw several attempts at bringing the wonders of other worlds to Earth fail.


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Things go to shite

In 1982, something horrible happened (see Stormwatch #44, which is Highly Recommended for everyone who like comics). Afterward Jenny just slummed for 14 years, all illusions finally lost.

However, she recently accepted to put her incredible experience behind StormWatch and became the leader of StormWatch Black. She was not happy about joining StormWatch. But when the Weatherman promised her that he would attack the causes of crime, and not just the criminals, she agreed. She probably saw this as another shot at changing the world.

StormWatch Black is a semi-undercover op team working for the UN (composed of Jenny Sparks, Hawksmoor and Swift).

In the Wildstorm universe, the UN is at that point a menacing worldwide conspiracy led by gun-toting, paranoid “Secret Masters”. While they are heroes, the operatives of StormWatch (especially StormWatch Black) are thus quite ruthless. They do not hesitate do violate the rights of a country in order to advance the agenda of the UN.

Enough is enough

More recently, Jenny Spark was the one who understood the madness of the Weatherman, and attempted to kill him. It is however probable that the Weatherman managed to flee.

As I understand it, Jenny Spark died on 31/12/00, while somewhere the spirit of the XXIst century was born.


Description

Jennifer Sparks looks 19 or 20. However, she *feels* old and disabused. The eyes of a mature woman in a teenager’s body are a bit unsettling.

She generally dresses informally : a sleeveless white T-shirt, a loose, open shirt, loose pants, hiking shoes and suspenders. She’s always smoking.


Personality

Jenny Sparks is a demolished woman. She feels old and tired. She pretends not to give a damn about anything other than smokes, alcohol, slumming and being foul-mouthed. She has lost utopia several times, fought too many battles, seen too many horrors and feels the world has gone right into the toilet.

Within StormWatch, she accepts to use a more constructive side of her personality. Tough, apparently ruthless, aggressive, with loads of battle experience and investigative and leadership skills. She still refuses any kind of discipline.

Her diction is evidently British, and not an upper-class one either.


DC Universe History

Well, this whole “replacement” business is not so simple. If you’re dumping the Guardians as a whole and replacing them with these Image characters, then there is no need for a one-on-one replacement. Since the Guardians almost never had solo adventures of any significance.

If you want to replace some members of the Guardians with some of these Image characters, then it becomes more tricky. Someone who’s been around for about a century would not characterization-wise be similar to any of the Guardians except Dr. Mist. This Sparks character could possibly be a junior Dr. Mist, organizing the early foundations of the group. Or not.

Power-wise, she’d fit right in with/replace almost any of the point-and-blast members of the Guardians. In particular, Rising Sun is one of the few such members to show a similar degree of versatility with his powers.

However, since nationality is (in most cases) the most important aspect of each Guardian member, perhaps she would be better off replacing Godiva.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Jenny Sparks

Dex: 06 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: UN Officer
Inf: 08 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources: 010
Init: 022 HP: 070

Powers :
Energy absorption (electricity): 20, Self link (Lightning): 12, Mental blast: 10, Neutralize: 16, Teleport: 16

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Mental blast only works on beings whose brain is powered by electricity, such as humans (-1).
  • Neutralize only works on electrical power sources (-1).
  • Teleport only works if Sparks can follow electrical current or an electronically generated signal (-2).

Skills:
Detective: 07, Martial artist: 07, Vehicles*: 06

Advantages:
Credentials (UN, Medium ; UK Intelligence, medium), Iron Nerves, Leadership, Immortal.

Connections:
StormWatch (High).

Drawbacks:
Guilt, MIA to chain smoking, MIA to alcohol, Loss Vulnerability (all powers except Energy Absorption in the absence of an electrical source within 06 APs).

Equipment:
StormWatch Fetish [BODY 04, Radio communications: 15. Radio Communications is also used by StormWatch to pinpoint team members, notably for teleportation purposes].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Helper(s): William C Wendel. DCU History section by Dr. Sean MacDonald.

Source of Character: StormWatch (Image Comics, Wildstorm universe).

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