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Mister Bones of Helix and Infinity, Inc. (DC Comics)

Mister Bones


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

Context

Mister Bones is primarily known as an ally/enemy of Infinity, Inc. and the leader of dysfunctional superhuman clan Helix. This stuff was relatively high profile during the 1980s.

This character profile covers his Infinity, Inc. era appearances – 1985 to 1988. Mister Bones made his strange and unexpected return later on, but he was essentially a different character.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Head honcho of Helix, sort-of member of Infinity, Inc..
  • Base Of Operations: Formerly the outskirts of L.A. (a ghost town in the desert near Bakersfield), then an abandoned mall in L.A., then Terminal Island (off the L.A. coast), then an undisclosed area in or near L.A. ; then with Infinity, Inc. (Bones) or with an undisclosed psychiatric hospital (the rest of Helix).
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 139 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown (Invisible) Hair: Black (Invisible).


Powers and Abilities

Mister Bones has excellent reflexes. He is superhumanly strong and tough.

His flesh, organs, blood, etc. are all perfectly transparent. His invisible skin secretes a potent cyanide-like poison that often kills instantly. But only direct contact is lethal – even thin surgical gloves are enough of a protection.

Other assets

Bones seems to be a an excellent driver, yes, an excellent driver. He’s the sort of guy who can drive an ambulance a top speed in the middle of LA traffic during a riot without issues.

He’s also surprisingly charismatic. Most people will tend to empathise with him and be conquered by his well-hidden charm over time.


History

Helix is a group of mutants. They are the result of experiments by an insane gynæcologist, Doctor Benjamin Love, during the late 1960s. He injected various chemicals of his creation to many of his patients (telling them those were “vitamin shots”). Love eventually arranged for six of them to go pregnant at the same time.

It is implied he may have been the father of all six children, using his medical authority and various date-rape drugs. All six kids were born during the same night in the same hospital. In some cases it immediately became obvious that they were not human. Love referred to the six as “genomorphs” (no relation).

Other results from Love’s experimentation were born in a more scattered way. Those other genomorphs include Carcharo and the second Wildcat, whom the core six genomorphs would locate years later. Apparently, those two were separated from the other when two of the pregnant mothers unexpectedly had to return to Mexico. This prevented Love from manipulating those pregnancies.

Baby hermits

Fearing that his work could be exposed since some the kids were more visibly mutated than he thought, Love fled with them to the outskirts of LA. He bought a house in a rapidly-desertifying village in the wasteland.

He raised the odd children peacefully. Love told them he had taken them in because their parents did not want them. He taught that, for their own safety in a world that feared and hated them, they should never leave the house.

The children were kept hidden. They learned from television, radio and (to a lesser extend) books. The named themselves Mister Bones, Penny Dreadful, Arak, Tao Jones, Baby Boom and Kritter.

Kritter eventually found the doctor’s diary. Thus, the kids (then aged about 16) learned the truth about their own origins. Incensed, the youths captured Dr. Love. They soon decided to kill him for what he had done to them and their families.

Kid murderers

The decision was that Bones would take the bound Dr. Love into the desert and kill him by touching him with his cyanide-covered hand. However, Bones could not bring himself to actually murder Love/ He let the doctor go, lying to the others and telling them the man was dead and buried. The kids then invented a simple cover story, in which Love had died of old age.

Helix group shot from an Infinity, Inc cover

They decided to become like a super-hero group since they had powers. They even fixed themselves costumes of a sort and called themselves Helix as a reference to their altered DNA. However they had had little contact with the outside world so far. And even the impressive provisions Love had stockpiled started running out.

This led them to the decision to commit crimes to gain money. Their main plan was to kidnap the fellow super-youths of Infinity, Inc.. This plan seemed to have been inspired by crime TV shows, without realistic expectations about the consequences.

Helix and the world

They specifically targeted two affluent young super-heroes with rich parents – the Silver Scarab and the second Fury. The pair had recently revealed their secret identities along with most of the Infinity, Inc. members. The confident Bones came alone to their home.

Hall was not there, but Bones managed to defeat the superstrong Fury. During the fight the then-current version of the Silver Scarab costume was also destroyed, and one of Trevor’s kangas accidentally killed by biting Bones’s ungloved hand. Contacting Silver Scarab, they exploited his overconfidence and anger to convince him to come and meet them alone. They captured him.

Leaving both hostages in the care of Tao Jones, they decided to visit the various places from their favourite boardgame (the Californian version of Monopoly). This started with a rampage in Beverly Hills. They caused chaos and mischief as they amused themselves, and helped themselves to a variety of goods.

While much of the group was thus away, Obsidian helped Silver Scarab and Fury free themselves. Though the following confrontation between Infinity, Inc. and Helix proved inconclusive, Bones later called the media to claim victory.

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Infinity, Inc. and Helix next met during exceptional circumstances. Both were part of the throng of superhumans and costumed adventurers on the Monitor’s satellite headquarters during the Crisis. During that time, Bones decided not to wage any feud with the heroes. Helix may even have been helpful behind the scenes.

The next encounter would be hostile, however. That was a result of Helix locating two other genomorphs mutated by Dr. Love.

Shortly after the Crisis, Helix finally managed to track the elusive Carcharo down. They told him what his origins were. Carcharo then set up a trap so he could capture Infinity’s newest member, Wildcat II, and take her to meet Helix.

Shark and cat

Bones told Wildcat II about her genomorphic origins. His account may or may not have been completely accurate, but the gist of it was later confirmed by Wildcat’s parents.

Meanwhile, Infinity, Inc tracked Wildcat down and engaged Helix. The fight resulted in the capture of Mister Bones. He ordered Carcharo and the rest of Helix to flee and leave him behind. While still held by Infinity, Inc. Bones nearly managed to escape, but was caught again.

While Bones was away, Carcharo muscled on in Penny Dreadful to become the leader of Helix. Leadership was uncertain for a while. Eventually Baby Boom, who had recently renamed herself Babe and was becoming increasingly sociopathic, sided with Carcharo.

This pair, two of the most dangerous Helix members, tried to force the other to toe their line. A key point was not to free Mister Bones ASAP, but take their time. As a result Penny Dreadful, Arak and Tao Jones walked away. Babe refused to “boom” them despite Carcharo’s orders.

Who will lead ?

A mysterious figure (whom Baby Boom thought was Dr. Love – she was correct) busted Bones out of prison. Bones managed to capture Wildcat II before confronting Carcharo, Babe and Kritter in their hideout. However, he had underestimated Carcharo’s ferocity.

Helix group shot from a pin-up page

The man-shark slugged him from behind. This triggered an attack by Kritter, whom Carcharo punched through two walls and seemingly killed. Carcharo took the unconscious Bones as an hostage.

Carcharo’s goal was to prevent Babe, who switched sides after Kritter did, from detonating him. But she pursued. Meanwhile, Kritter got up and helped the trapped Wildcat II free herself. He wanted her to help him rescue the others.

At the same time, the three Helix members who had rejected Carcharo’s leadership stormed the Infinity, Inc. HQ to free Bones. They were defeated and learned that Bones was already gone.

Terminal Island

Penny, Tao and Arak soon allied with Infinity, Inc. for a rescue operation to get Mister Bones back. They promised to surrender to the authorities once Bones had been saved.

The Infinitors and their odd Helix allies flew to the hideout of Terminal Island. There they found Carcharo carrying the still-unconscious Bones. The shark-man was still stalked by Babe who was hoping for an opportunity to blow Carcharo up without harming Bones.

The situation on Terminal Island degenerated into a brutal duel to the death between two monsters – Carcharo and Mister Bones. Carcharo nearly won, but Baby Boom started slaughtering his sharks, who were swimming nearby. This distracted Carcharo, and Mister Bones rammed a nearby I-beam through Carcharo’s chest.

However, the shark-like mutate was too resilient to just die. He bit off Bones’s leg. But the combination of the I-beam and the highly toxic limb of Bones apparently finished off Carcharo.

Bones’s life was saved by Doctor Midnight (Dr. Chapel), who stopped the massive blood loss and stabilised him so he could be medevaced. She then started monitoring him to prepare him for a prothesis. The rest of Helix was persuaded by Bones to honour their promise (though Penny Dreadful had to shock Babe to convince her to comply). Thus, they surrendered to the authorities.

Bones later had his missing leg replaced by a visibly prosthetic cybernetic implant once Dr. Midnight authorised it.

Community service

Dr. Chapel came to empathise with Bones, and recommend leniency. Thus, when a riot erupted in L.A. and she needed an ambulance to rescue Brainwave, she “deputised” Bones to act as a driver. Bones performed very well despite the difficult and violent circumstances. This allowed Chapel to save Brainwave’s life.

Mister Bones portrait

Weeks later, a special judicial procedure was organised. The goal was to solve the Helix situation and determine whether they were responsible enough for an actual trial to take place. Bones read everything he could about the law to beat the judges at their own game. But in the end it was chiefly the Infinitors’s testimonies (including Chapel’s) that informed the decision.

Most of Helix accepted to join a low-security psychiatric hospital for therapy and socialisation. Bones, who was considered to wield too much influence over the group, was ordered to join Infinity, Inc. instead. He was to perform more community services, given his excellent results when saving Brainwave’s life.

Though they were dismayed at being separated again, the Helix ’family‘ realised that they had received unusually favourable terms and complied.

Citizen Bones

Bones’s time with the Infinitors did not go very smoothly. Especially since the leader, Skyman, resented him and wanted him out. Still, Mr. Bones helped. He even proved essential at one point, throwing a lit cigarette near Outsiders and Infinitors who had been captured by the Force of July.

Understanding his plan, Katana used the cigarette to burn off the vines holding Jade prisoner. Bones later escaped from the Force of July and was saved by Jade.

However, whilst Bones was away, Dr. Love arranged to be the treating doctor for the rest of Helix. He tranquilised and brainwashed them into obedience.

Not knowing this, Bones continued to gradually prove himself to be a solid Infinity Inc member. He might even have been a hero, saving team members on several occasions. Albeit reluctant to take action, Bones showed no hesitation once he started to move.

Still, he grew increasingly frustrated about the lack of response from his attempts to reach the rest of Helix, and the way the doctors treating his “family” were stonewalling him.

Reach for the sky

Bones was a key factor in the events that lead to the end of Infinity Inc. A new, villainous Harlequin impersonated Jade. This allowed her to issue orders to Jade’s “pet”, the mystical undead construct Solomon Grundy. Harlequin, as Jade, thus lured Skyman into a deathtrap.

Bones, suspecting something was up, accompanied Skyman despite the impostor’s demand that Skyman come alone. Harlequin sicced Grundy at Skyman. Bones jumped in to defend the hero. But during the fight, Bones’s hand accidentally touched Skyman’s face, killing him.

Despite the beating inflicted by Grundy, Bones managed to drag himself to Dr. Chapel’s hospital. But despite his condition, Bones fled once he learned that Skyman was confirmed dead from his cyanide.

I (don’t) wanna be sedated

Bones headed for the clinic where the rest of Helix was. But Infinity Inc. members beat him to it. The Infinitors discovered that the Helix members were obviously brainwashed or hypnotised, that Dr. Love was still alive, and that he was heading the huge sanatorium as “Dr. Raymond Lamour”. It all was a trap.

Mister Bones face closeup

Love sicced his five Helix charges at the Infinitors. But Bones burst in to defend the overwhelmed Infinitors, taking his gloves off and threatening to use his touch. Love reacted by ordering his Helix thralls to kill Bones. However, this broke their hypnotic conditioning. As a result, they reflexively killed Love instead of Bones.

Shaken, they then rejected Bones from the Helix “family”. They accused him of having threatened to kill them to save his new family, Infinity Inc. Helix, now sans Bones, departed.

Solitary man

Indebted toward Bones and knowing that the burden of proof for Skyman’s death was against him, the Infinitors on site (Obsidian, Nuklon and Wildcat II) left. They pretended that they never found Bones – but told him to make himself scarce.

Rejected by both his families, Bones refused to just hit the mattresses. Instead he stowed away on Infinity’s craft, to help them expose Skyman’s real murderer.

The confrontation between Infinity, Inc. and Harlequin (backed by her allies of Injustice, Unlimited) nearly went south. Harlequin ordered Grundy to use the ungloved hand of the unconscious Mr. Bones to murder his incapacitated allies. But the Infinitors eventually prevailed and Mister Bones was cleared from Skyman’s death.

Without Skyman as a leader, Infinity, Inc. dispersed. They never reunited – though Lex Luthor would much later use the group’s name and codenames as part of his “Everyman Initiative”. As to Helix, they disappeared in the woodwork.

Mr. Bones peregrinations after Helix rejected him and Infinity, Inc. disbanded are unrevealed. One day of 1999, he simply popped up as the director of the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO).


Description

Bones has a persistent smoker’s cough, because smoking is bad.

When subjected to a special treatment by Dr. Chapel so his soft tissues would become visible for medical purposes, Bones as revealed to be a Black man. He already knew about his ethnicity, but considered to be unimportant given his usual transparency.

In typical Roy Thomas  fashion, Bones’s costume is a Golden Age reference. It’s a dead ringer for the Terror (aka the Black Terror) costume. The Black Terror has been revitalised several times since, most notably in Tom Strong stories by Alan Moore.


Personality

Helix members were raised outside of conventional morality. Until their late teens, they only knew about the world through television. They walked into the world as rowdy teens, which led to trouble and exacerbated their clan-like mentality.

Being the only people they’ve known for more than 15 years, they tend to distrust outsiders. They also need to be together.

Rhymes of the young driver

During his youth Mister Bones was cocky and talked tough. Or rather versed tough, since he insisted on speaking in rhymes. Howbeit, if he cannot come up with something or is surprised, he’ll just say a normal sentence.

He also usually speaks normally when addressing Helix. His rhymes were chiefly intended to intimidate outsiders. After his first appearance he started renouncing this schtick, in part because Penny Dreadful nagged him about how corny it sounded. However he later resumed rhyming. It eventually became even more systematic, even with no outsiders present.

Bones loves driving, especially at high speeds and in difficult conditions, and will always want to be the driver. He also likes to boast about his skill as a driver, but as it turns out he’s actually pretty good behind the wheel.

Chieftain Bones

Although he’s no older than the rest of Helix, he’s functionally the big brother with a fatherly role. Bones tells them not to talk back to him and the like. This is more true with the less mature members such as Arak, and less true with more mature mutants such as Penny Dreadful.

He increasingly had to use authority and even threats against Helix members to keep them in line. But that changed after they were separated for some time, and with the chaos the Carcharo affair brought into their group dynamics. At this point, Helix rediscovered their loyalty toward Bones, and their bonds.

Other traits

In the classic days, he was a renegade running a band of superhuman misfits with a strongly clanic, us-against-the-world mentality which he enjoyed and cultivated. Being young, he hated comments about his appearance and could be distracted by those. He was a chain smoker, preferring cigarettes.

Bones, however, has a distinct sense of honour. He will also not pointlessly endanger the greater good, and will nearly always keep his word. He’s also courageous, and has repeatedly taken considerable risks.

Some of this courage may stem from overconfidence. He rarely got up against somebody genuinely more powerful than he is. Bones is used to being the scariest thing in the room.

It was unclear whether Bones became more heroic during his time as an Infinitor, or if he chiefly was loyal to the group he was in. Like the rest of Helix, he’s clannish whenever he starts belonging to a group. He thus may have felt a need to demonstrate heroism due to a conflicting desire to fit in with the team.


Quotes

“Mister Bones is my name, kickin’ ass is my game / And if you make me prove it, you’ve only your pretty self to blame !”

“No ’trick or treat‘ no joke Ms. Trevor, so do not misconstrue / All I want is daddy Hall’s ransom, for his handsome son Hector – and oh yes, you !”

“I’ve given you time to strut your stuff / Now I’ll show you – you’re not so tough !”

“Did you really think your sticks and stones / Would put the lid on Mister Bones ?”

“Don’t call the fuzz, just cool your feet / Don’t tell a soul, or she’s dead meat.”

“Don’t look now, my gene-warped cronies / But we’re being eyed by those Infinity phonies !”

“If you were trying to brain a feller / I’d have been in more danger from Helen Keller !”

“Not me ! I’m snagged for life by a pack of nicotine hooks / And what am I scared of, anyhow ? That I’m gonna lose my looks ?”

(After deciding to represent himself at his trial) “Sure, but why run for it like a bunch of cheap crooks ? / We’ll beat them at their own game ! I know ! I’ve read the books !”

“Nuts ! Finally outside, where I could smoke — and I haveta play hero before you croak !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Mister Bones

Dex: 07 Str: 09 Bod: 08 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: Leader of Helix
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 019 HP: 045

Powers:
Poison touch: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:
Poison touch is Always On (-1), covers his entire skin (+0) and is Killing Combat Only (-1).

Skills:
Acrobatics (Athletics): 04, Detective (Law): 02, Vehicles (Land): 05

Advantages:
None demonstrated.

Connections:
Helix (High).

Drawbacks:
Altered Anatomy, Strange Appearance, MIA toward Smoking.

Equipment:
Helix’s usual car was a large 1940s roadster with flames painted on the sides. They also had a green 1940s pickup truck.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: DC Universe.

Helper(s): Darci, Chris Cottingham.

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