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Myriad of Dynamo 5 (Image Comics)

Myriad


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

Context

Dynamo Five was a late 2000s super-hero comic book by Jay Faerber and Mahmud Asrar. It is tied to the Invincible universe, and the primary theme is family dynamics.

It is a fun yet simple comic with simple characters to write up.


Background

  • Real Name: Spencer Bridges.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Captain Dynamo (Father, deceased), Adoptive father, Unnamed Mother, Bridget Flynn (Half-Sister), Hector Chang (Half-Brother), Gage Reinhart (Half-Brother), Olivia Lewis (Half-Sister), Synergy (Half-Sister).
  • Group Affiliation: Dynamo 5.
  • Base Of Operations: Tower City.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 180 lbs.
  • Eyes: Black Hair: None


Powers and Abilities

Myriad has the ability to shapeshift. He can alter the form of his body, his facial features, and even the clothes he wears, in order to disguise himself as anyone he chooses. He often practices his impersonations of people, and uses reference materials in order to perfect his disguises.

Like his father, Spencer can alter the apparent size of his body. This enables him to disguise himself, for example, as an obese person. How he is able to do this, in light of the law of conservation of mass, has not been explained.

In addition, as a result of taking a street drug called Flex, Spencer has superhuman strength and speed. The extent of these powers have not been explicitly given. But they enable him to break several lines of chain tied around him, and display a Olympic-level acrobatic prowess.

The Aquarium

The team is headquartered at the Aquarium. This is a high-tech lair underneath an industrial pier that was formerly used by Captain Dynamo.

The Aquarium’s resources include equipment with which Warner can monitor the police radio for watch words that trigger an alert to the team of a possible emergency. From these facilities she can summon, monitor, and communicate with members of the team during engagements with hostile forces. There’s also an officer for her.

Myriad (Spencer Bridges) running over a white background

The team also uses a teleportation device called the Jump Station. It allows them to travel instantly across the continent to meet with one another. The team can activate the Jump Station by manipulating a device on their costumes.

The Jump Station can only transport persons from the station itself to another location and back. It cannot effect transportation directly between two other locations.

The Aquarium also features a training simulator room. It can present a number of threats to the team, and be programmed for a number of difficulty levels. The team refers to it as the Shark Tank.


History

Captain Dynamo, the much-beloved superhero protector of Tower City, was assassinated. His widow, the former government agent posing as a now-retired investigative reporter Maddie Warner, discovered from his personal effects that he had been unfaithful to her countless times.

Despite her devastation at this discovery, Warner realized that without a full-time protector, Tower City would be vulnerable to Captain Dynamo’s legion of super-enemies. She used her skills and the information she discovered to track down five individuals who could have been her late husband’s illegitimate children.

Myriad (Spencer Bridges) kung-fu fighting

The third individual that Maddie approached was coincidentally a tower city native named Spencer Bridges. Spencer was living “the life”. He never held down a job for more than two weeks at a time, but never hurt for money. And like his father, he never lacked for company of the opposite sex.

When he was approached by Maddie he turned down her offer. This was a first for Spencer, as he never refused an offer made by a women. Until she sweetened the deal by offering to pay him. With his cash in hand, Spencer agreed to a meet and greet with his newly extended family.

Family reunion

Upon his arrival at the Aquarium, Spencer found himself surrounded by four other young men and women. He mingled with the others, casually revealing that Maddie paid him. Then Warner exposed the five youths to the unknown radiation that empowered their father, Captain Dynamo, 40 years earlier.

The radiation unlocked Spencer’s siblings latent powers immediately. But unknown to the others (including Maddie), Spencer was unaffected at the time. That was because this wasn’t his first exposure to the unidentified radiation.

Myriad (Spencer Bridges)'s featureless face closeup

From what Spencer had been able to put together on his own, his first exposure to the radiation occurred when he was but a boy. When he was an infant, Spencer was left in the custody of a F.L.A.G. (Foundation for Law and Government) research facility by Captain Dynamo. Dynamo told the scientists that he had found the baby at an alien crash site.

This, of course, was a lie. Spencer was the product of an affair with an unknown alien woman. Dynamo had met in deep space when he came to the aid of her damaged starship. Dynamo left for Earth before realizing that the alien was pregnant with his child. That lasted until she came with the infant.

She left Spencer with his father due to a cultural taboo of raising a “half-breed” child on her home planet. Dynamo, unable to raise the child on his own and fearing the threat to his marriage, came up with a plausible lie.

Half-breed, that’s all I ever heard

The scientists believed Dynamo’s story. For the following few years they subjected the young child to extensive study and experimentation. This included exposing him to the same radiation that gave Captain Dynamo his superhuman abilities, not knowing what effect it would have on Spencer. This exposure activated Spencer’s shapeshifting ability, which he inherited from Dynamo.

He learned how to use this power to disguise his alien appearance, and to mimic the appearance of people around him. But one of the scientists in particular, an African-American woman named Dr. Bridges, took a liking to Spencer. The two formed a rapport. The other scientists were not amenable to how Dr. Bridges was bonding with Spencer, and separated the two.

Bridges contacted Captain Dynamo in the hopes of getting him to remove Spencer from the facility. Yet, Dynamo refused to aid her. Desperate, Bridges had Spencer use his shapeshifting ability to disguise himself as one of her colleagues in order to smuggle him out of the compound.

Knowing that she would be discovered by F.L.A.G. if she attempted to raise Spencer on her own, she placed Spencer, who maintained the appearance of a full human, in the care of child services. Because of this, the two never saw each other again.

Spencer spent his childhood in an orphanage. Then he was placed in a succession of less-than-ideal foster homes. He struck out on his own at the age of 13. Spencer named himself after the woman who gave him his freedom.

A game of shape

At any rate, as his newfound siblings discovered their powers, Spencer feigned that he too gained his powers on the spot. He took the name Myriad became a founding member of the Dynamo 5. The five siblings began an aggressive campaign to protect Tower City from Captain Dynamo’s enemies.

Myriad (Spencer Bridges) delivers a kick

Spencer participated in several adventures during the early days of his superheroic career. They battered away at the criminal element that rose in Tower City immediately after Captain Dynamo’s death.

However, he quickly realized that his powers didn’t really lend themselves to the big explosive conflicts that the group tended to get into. He was the weakest link of the group, and even the villains knew it.

A game of you

Looking for a way to help, when his brother Gage was comatose, Spencer used his powers to impersonate him at home. Thus, he ensured that his home life would remain stable while he recovered. Spencer was taken aback at how easy it was for his brother. Gage had a loving family and was extremely popular at school.

For a second, Spencer let himself enjoy Gage’s life. He even went so far as kissing a young Black girl while wearing Gage’s face. This led to a physical conflict between the two brothers, as Gage was observing Spencer’s actions on the astral  plane.

Initially, Spencer (who’s default form was that of a Black man) suspected that Gage was a racist. Gage kept emphasizing the girl’s ethnicity. Instead, Gage saw this act as an invasion of privacy on Spencer’s part. The brother’s managed to talk out their feelings, and have since buried the hatchet.

Exposed

Nearly a year after the team was formed, the Dynamo 5 were attacked in the Aquarium by a combined group of their enemies. During the course of the battle Spencer, who tries to swim from the Aquarium to the surface, nearly drowned.

In being rendered unconscious, he reverts to his true appearance. That was much to the shock of his siblings, who feel betrayed by his having kept his alien nature a secret. Spencer saw this as hypocrisy, and the siblings had a blow out fight. This combined with the stress of the battle, and Maddie’s coma, caused the family to split up.

Spencer, having no where else to go, returned to Tower City. There, he tried to take up his previous life. To his surprise, he found that he couldn’t. He couldn’t ignore the crime that once again rose in a wave with the absence of the Dynamo 5. Spencer assumed a new identity, that of a female vigilante named Vigil. She once again returned to the streets.

I want a new drug

Sometime during the course of his transformation into Vigil, Spencer experimented with the street drug Flex. This granted its users temporary enhanced strength and speed. Using the drug and her training in the martial arts, Vigil became an immediate threat to the criminal underworld of Tower City.

Myriad (Spencer Bridges) breaking free of his chains

Spencer soon found himself joined by, of all people, his sister Scrap. Scrap also had returned to Tower City out of a sense of duty. Rather than revealing her true identity to his sister, Spencer continued her charade as Vigil and fought alongside her.

The two made an immediate impact as a duo, but found that they still needed aid. Scrap continued to recruit, eventually bringing three other superheroes (Quake, and the mother-daughter team the Firebirds) into the fold. They thus created a brand new Dynamo 5.

Widowmaker

Unfortunately, the new Dynamo 5 drew the ire of the Widowmaker. This was the assassin who originally murdered Captain Dynamo. Widowmaker recruited a team of superpowered mercenaries to wipe out the new Dynamo 5. The new Dynamo 5 took heavy casualties, and Spencer was forced to reveal his true identity.

Fortunately, Scrap was able to contact her brother Gage through their telepathic link. Gage assembled the original Dynamo 5 to rush to their aid.

The original Dynamo 5 reunited and made quick work of the combined force of villains. However, Quake and the elder Firebird were severely injured. The five continued to adventure together, and Spencer stopped taking the drug Flex. To his shock, it’s effects never faded from his body. Apparently, his alien physiology allowed the drug to permanently bond to his system.


Description

With his shapeshifting abilities, Spencer can look like anyone he wants. However, he does have a default disguise that he uses in his day to day life. It was based on Doctor Bridges, the woman who saved him. As such, Spencer looks like a handsome young Black man, with an athletic build and no body hair.

Like the rest of the Dynamo 5, his costume is made up of a one piece blue and read shoulder-less leotard. It leaves his arms bare. The leotard itself has a highly stylized “D5” near the center of his torso.

Unlike his siblings Spencer doesn’t bother with a mask to disguise his features. Instead he disguises himself by erasing all of his facial features. How he is able to see, breathe, hear, and speak without them is also not explained.

In his true appearance Spencer has: pale grey hairless skin, an exaggerated forehead, and long arms that hang nearly to his knees that end with three fingered (including his thumbs) hands. Each of his fingers end with a claw. Two piercing black and irisless dark eyes stare out of his face, sitting above a snout like nose that has no philtrum. In this form, Spencer has no visible ears.


Personality

Spencer was a bitter, promiscuous womanizer (much like his father). He trusted no one and would only depend on himself. He generally attempted to hide his pain behind a mixture of sarcasm and humour. But to anyone who knows him, they can see it is simply an act.

While he has grown to trust, and possibly even love, his siblings he is still at his core a loner. Despite all of that, Spencer has realized that he does care about the well being of those who surround him. He slowly but surely has become a hero, throwing himself at the forces of evil with abandon.


Quotes

Unnamed Woman: “You think you can just pick up the phone whenever you’re in town and I’ll come runnin’, don’t you ?”
Spencer: “If not you, someone else.”

“We gotta get you laid.”

“I spend my whole life wondering who my father is, and I get stuck with you. Hooray for me.”

“Okay Mrs. Chang. I won’t lie to you. It’s gonna be tough swimming out of here. But I’ll be right there beside you. I promised Hector I’d get you out, and I never break a promise. So take a deep breath and we’ll go, okay ?”

“I’ve had no one my entire life. Dr. Bridges was the only person who ever gave a damn about me, and I don’t even know what happened to her. All of you have families who love you. I got nothing, and I learned a long time ago not to trust anyone. So yeah, I kept my mouth shut and just went along for the ride. By the time I realized you guys are actually okay, and that I could trust you, well… it didn’t really seem relevant. Who cares where I came from ?”

Myriad (Spencer Bridges) morphing into another man

Gage: “You’re a freakin’ alien !”
Spencer: “Half alien, really.”
Gage: “So ? For all we know, you eat babies !”
Spencer: “I do not ! In fact, I’m a vegetarian.”

“Drop the chains… and I promise not to break all your bones. The name’s Vigil. Tower City is under my protection now.”

(Spencer disguised as Vigil) “Hey Scrap ! When you gave your sales pitch for this team, you left out how many times people were gonna try and shoot me.”

“Your fancy gun only took away the powers we got from dear ol‘ dad. And my strength and speed got nothing to do with him !”


DC Universe History

The Dynamo five can be dropped wholesale into the DC universe as is. Tower City can be yet another fictional city within the DC USA. More interestingly though, each of the siblings could have been the illegitimate offspring of a certain Martian in a less cordial campaign.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Myriad

Dex: 09 Str: 07 Bod: 06 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Superhero
Inf: 06 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 008
Init: 014 HP: 030

Powers:
Chameleon: 12, Growth: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:
Growth doesn’t add to STR or BOD.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing, athletics, dodging)*: 09, Artist (Actor): 06, Charisma (Intimidation, Interrogation): 07, Martial artist: 07, Thief (Stealth): 06

Advantages:
Headquarters (Expansive), Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Burst of Strength).

Connections:
The Dynamo 5 (High), Madeline “Maddie” Warner (High), Augie Ford (High), Nobles (Low).

Drawbacks:
Strange Appearance, Exile (Involuntary).

Genre:
Action.

Equipment:

  • Transformation Wrist Watch [BODY 04, Radio Communication: 10, Bonuses & Limitations: Insta Change, allows use of the Jump Station].
  • Jump Station [BODY 10, Teleportation: 10, Bonuses & Limitations: while has a continental range, teleportation must have a stop at the Jump Station itself].

By Bryan Gittens.

Source of Character: Dynamo 5 Issues #1-24 (Image comics).

Helper(s): Wikipedia, Darci, cassius335.

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