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Nemesis (Wonder Woman ally) (DC Comics) in a black suit and sunglasses

Nemesis

(Thomas Tresser) (Wonder Woman era)


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

Context

This profile is very much meant to be read about our Nemesis (Thomas Tresser) (Classic) profile. So you should do that. Please.

This profile covers Nemesis as he appears in the 2000s, chiefly in Wonder Woman. It stops with the last issue of Nemesis: The Impostors in late 2010.


Background

  • Real Name: Thomas Andrew Tresser
  • Other Aliases: Numerous assumed identities ; Sir Thomas of Cleveland, Guardsman Thomas (Amazon names)
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Chet (father, deceased), Craig (brother, deceased), unnamed mother (deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: Former agent of an undisclosed Federal agency, agent of the Department of Metahuman Affairs (DMA), former Amazon of Themyscira
  • Base Of Operations: DMA HQ in Washington, D.C. ; later a building in an undisclosed location (possibly New York City)
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 175 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Nemesis has grown considerably in skill. This is true both as an agent (combat skills, athletic ability, stealth and infiltration, security, fitness, etc.) and as an inventor (helped of course by overall technological progress and access to Federal labs).

Though his work routinely involves superhumans who are much mightier than he is, his competency and intelligence should never be underestimated. When he deals with more mundane opponents he can fly rings around them.

Tresser is now closer to a Nick Fury type than to a James Bond type, to use a loose comparison. With less combat experience, admittedly, but far keener technological skills.

Man of a thousand faces

Nemesis’s “man of a thousand faces” schtick is still his most distinctive and useful weapon. These impersonations are now near-perfect and can be done on the fly. Since these are important to the character, here are a few examples of tactics employed by the modern version of Nemesis:

  • passing himself as an enemy leader (including Circe or a maddened Hippolyte) to gain access, give orders causing chaos, trick lieutenants in revealing what the current plan is, approach persons he intends to take down, etc.. Taking the shape of the opposition’s security chief — or even their principal — is one of his favourite tricks.
  • briefly dropping out of sight and switching to the form of one of his enemies (a soldier, a nurse, a gorilla…). This is usually to disappear and be overlooked – or to create brief confusion and have the opposition hold their fire.
  • he once researched a Secret Service agent who was part of the backup team but not the reaction team. In the confusion of an explosion Tresser adopted the form of that man – with some serious wounds. Everyone assumed that their colleague had come to reinforce the reaction team and he was evacuated past the security envelope, toward the medical unit within the building, delivering Nemesis deep into the secured perimeter.
  • using disguises of the older generation to disguise unconscious enemy agents as himself, and his imager to turn into the enemy agent.
  • using a smoke pellet or flash grenade as a diversion, then change his appearance to maximise confusion.

Technologic

Nemesis is proud of his inventions. As can be seen from their game stats they’re quite clever, and allow for daring plans and unconventional approaches. Nemesis still prefers long-term planning, and if needed will build gadgets specifically designed for one mission.

Nemesis (Thomas Tresser) and Diana Prince

Nemesis has bought an apartment building to serves as his HQ. Everything in it is treated with a special compound. Once a specific gas is released, everything dissolves and the entire building collapses cleanly.

It held a lot of equipment, his main servers and the like, but was destroyed after Batman (Dick Grayson) penetrated its security. The security systems had about 8 APs, with a laser grid and the like. This sort of array of precautions is typical of his current level of paranoia.

Like all close associates and loved ones of JLA members, Nemesis is under special surveillance by the JLA to ensure that he doesn’t disappear. This seems to be pretty light, though – presumably checking every six hours or so via satellite that he’s alive and his general location. Nemesis was unaware of this until late 2010.


History

The activities of Nemesis during the early 2000s are undocumented, though he resumed working for Federal agencies.

During the fall of the Luthor administration, when Vice-President Ross was in the Oval Office, Tresser helped with a mysterious plan from an undisclosed agency. It involved :

  • keeping super-heroes busy with Luthor
  • arresting Sarge Steel for a short while on trumped-up charges to curtail his ambitions
  • convincing Ross not to run again
  • keeping Amanda Waller alive for later

Though Tresser seemed conversant with his employers and their goals, he was also being deceived, since these persons were at that time working on the construction of Electric City, with which Nemesis would later be all too familiar.

Department of Metahuman Affairs

Nemesis then came to work at the Department of Metahuman Affairs (DMA). That was the agency which the demoted and increasingly paranoid Sarge Steel was heading. Nemesis remained a special agent working in the field. He insisted on working alone, both to facilitate infiltration work and to avoid risking the death of fellow agents in high-risk situations.

After several years, he was nevertheless saddled with a partner, newcomer agent Diana Prince.

Nemesis (Thomas Tresser) kicks a door open

Though the reluctant Nemesis kept snarking at her to drive her away, she didn’t seem to mind. Thus, the partnership held long enough for Nemesis to become certain that Prince was Wonder Woman. At the same time, Nemesis started running into Wonder Woman much more often, which did not surprise him – though he kept up an act of hating his partner.

While Wonder Woman was wanted by the DMA for the killing of Max Lord, Nemesis was firmly on her side – even against his own hierarchy.

Meet the princess

Due to Wonder Woman’s presence, things got more interesting for Nemesis – often in painful and dangerous ways. He was briefly captured and tortured by Circe, though Wonder Woman quickly found him and treated his wounds.

This rescue led to Wonder Woman being captured by the DMA. As a result, the incensed Nemesis turned against the agency to free her. During this escape, they became clearly attracted toward each other — with no immediate result, since Wonder Woman was freed just in time to deal with the Amazon attack on Washington.

Nemesis (Thomas Tresser) with his gift pendant from Wonder Woman

Nemesis provided critical help during this crisis. He discovered :

  • that a shape-changer working for Circe had impersonated Sarge Steel
  • that an armed ICBM had been launched toward Themyscira 
  • what the secret weapon of the Amazons was

He also assumed command of the DMA. Thomas aborted all Amazons-related missions (since they had all been designed to fail by the Sarge Steel impostor) and redeployed the manpower to coordinate with the JLA.

And then let’s never talk about Amazon Attack again

Tresser then nearly sacrificed himself to help contain the weapon provided to the maddened Hippolyte by Circe – Stygian killer hornets. He was saved by the JLA, Wonder Woman procuring an antidote just in time, and the DMA’s medical staff.

My God, bees.

Leaving the hospital early, Nemesis freed the real Sarge Steel. However, a chance encounter with Captain Nazi sent him right back to the ICU mere weeks later. While he was still being hospitalised, Wonder Woman offered to make their relationship a bit more serious, through a small Amazon ritual called the Bond of Consideration.

Nemesis thus came to share the life of Wonder Woman, socialising with her troops the Gorilla Knights, meeting her sister Donna and being formally introduced to her mother Hippolyta, Queen of Themyscira. Tresser was formally made an Amazon, and given a spear that the Queen created for his hand.

Later comments imply that he took a vacation to Themyscira during this general time frame, presumably in Diana’s company, and came to greatly appreciate Amazon lands and culture.

Genocide and aftermath

However, DMA surveillance discovered that Tresser was intimate with Wonder Woman. And at this point, the acts of war in Washington were still in fresh memory. Sarge Steel had Nemesis arrested. Though Tresser immediately escaped, he discovered that, meanwhile, Wonder Woman had nearly been killed by the creature called Genocide.

Nemesis (Thomas Tresser) pointing his finger

As an Amazon warrior, Nemesis took part to the battle to recover the lasso stolen by Genocide. He fought at the side of the Gorilla Knights, Donna Troy, Cassie Sandsmark and Wonder Woman. This battle sent Tresser back to the hospital yet again, frustrating him. Still, he got out within days and returned to help Wonder Woman against Genocide.

Nemesis, allying with repentant evil genius T.O. Morrow, attempted to take down Genocide with weaponry developed by Society researchers. Their assault helped a bit, but brought Tresser too close to Genocide. Holding the Lasso, the monster knew all the truths that destroy.

For whom the golems would destroy

Genocide was inspired by Tresser’s presence to hold him hostage. It then challenged Wonder Woman by asking whether she loved him truly. The perfectly truthful Amazon had to answer in the negative – since while she was genuinely attracted toward Nemesis, her first wish was actually to have children.

Though he did not know the details of the reasoning, hearing Diana answer negatively broke Tom’s heart. Wonder Woman immediately managed to have Genocide drop Nemesis, and he survived the battle without further physical wounds.

When they managed to see each other several days later, Wonder Woman told Nemesis what had been on her mind. She explained why she had been attracted toward him, how Amazons saw love, and why she had wanted children. Thomas still chose to end the relationship, in part because his hideously dangerous life meant that he wasn’t fit to be a father.

Thomas Andrew Tresser left the DMA, wishing to move away from superhumans for a while and go back to his roots. The Council having secretly reconstituted itself under a new form, Tresser decided that it was his job to go after them – and did so with considerable heart.

With his far greater experience and skill, and his new technology, Nemesis took the Council apart. They had little chance to ever fight back.

The global peace agency

However, during this new mission of justice, Tresser was touched by the Global Peace Agency. This Agency is a transtemporal and transspatial concern, working to prevent universal crises (such as the Final Crisis) in thousands of arcane ways.

The Agency apparently wanted to recruit Tresser as one of their agents, and seemingly approached other espionage and action types at the same time.

Determining what happened is difficult. The Agency put Tresser through a strange gauntlet where many of the events were hallucinations, engineered through time travel, and/or relied on android doubles.

Nemesis (Thomas Tresser) and Cameron Chase

Tresser spent, by his reckoning, several months in a non-place called Electric City. All the while he was doggedly trying to escape and determine what was going on. He eventually ’won’ when he partially determined the nature of Electric City, Buddy Blank, Myron Forrest and their OMAC.

Thomas was apparently returned to Earth seconds after he was kidnapped.

After spending months that didn’t exist in a place that didn’t exist to break free from a trapped reality, Tresser resumed his activities – but he was clearly harrowed by his experiences.

The Impostors

Despite the sophistication of the new Council, Tom worked his way up to the head, a Senator. Nemesis managed to kidnap Sen. Andrew Bell in spite of the best efforts of the Secret Service. However, he was then intercepted by some sort of superhuman duplicate of himself — possibly a robot — who took him down.

The enhanced double then very publicly shot Bell dead and left Nemesis holding the murder weapon.

Nemesis was thrown into prison. Batman and Wonder Woman realised that there was some sort of conspiracy framing Nemesis. However, Tresser said that he would not seek to escape. This time, he’s waiting for whatever the conspiracy is to come and get him.


Description

Nemesis is a leftie.


Personality

Early during this era, Nemesis is far more lively, extroverted and seductive than he used to be. Yes, he’s still very, very serious and committed to his values. But he now realises that life is much more enjoyable with a charming, talkative rogue act than as the dull and stiff person he used to be.

Nemesis adopts a great sense of humour and an excellent repartee, coming across like a good stand-up comedian when he’s on a roll. He occasionally adopts a bit of a jokey frat boy style.

This humour and snappy patter is to a degree an act and not his real personality. Yet he seems to enjoy it and it helps him endure the rigours of a life dedicated to fighting injustice.

Hard life

His experiences with Amanda Waller and other shady government operations (including the DMA and Sarge Steel) have left Tom bitter. On one hand, he realises that it’s still where he can do the most good and balance the scales. On the other he insists on working alone, does what he can to drive any partner away, and definitely does not trust his superiors.

In some ways he’s the archetypal 1980s American maverick hero who makes his own rules. But these similarities are superficial.

Nemesis (Thomas Tresser) with his map of Electric City

Tresser now accepts to use his name again, and prefers to have his friends use it rather than “Nemesis”. He’s also grown back into a true hero of impressive courage, who will unhesitatingly sacrifice himself to save lives. He may seem way more flippant and roguish than before, but he’s even more determined to serve the cause of justice and defend innocents.

He may pretend that he’s just in for the adrenaline, but he’s very, very serious and committed about his fight for justice. He’s also extremely intelligent, quite experienced, and very quick mentally, making him genuinely dangerous.

Nemesis has a minor problem with taking on the personality, habits, mannerisms, etc. of the person he’s impersonating if that lasts for too long. But that seldom causes trouble for him. It’s more of a small characterisation bit.

After Electric City, part 1

After his experiences in Electric City, Tresser is a changed man. He drops the Han-Solo-as-a-comedian routine, since his heart is no longer in it. He becomes more violent (though still using less-than-lethal force and working to prevent casualties as best as he can). He’s much more tense. He no longer has any sense of humour – faked or real.

He’s still serving the cause of justice, of course — anything else would be impossible — but his harrowing experiences led to him developing a paranoid streak.

He continues to have occasional hallucinations of Electric City (which seem induced by Brother Eye), and trusts nothing and no one. His plans get even more devious and full of traps, and anything that starts going wrong is going to trigger a spurt of tension as he wonders whether he’s encountering another piece of tricked-out reality.

Nemesis (Thomas Tresser) dreams of Themyscira

Nemesis plays hardball, and he’s fed up with preternatural situations where even the best resources of a highly intelligent and experienced vigilante are not enough to prevail. He’s been through some semi-incomprehensible, surreal nightmare that is still haunting him, manipulating him and establishing an invisible wall between him and reality. That’s unbearable

Though he’s burnt out on superhuman stuff — even resentful — he still greatly respects his old allies such as Batman and Wonder Woman. Though he’d rather be out of their lives he’s touched by their faith in him.

After Electric City, part 2

In particular he has come to terms with the failed relationship with Diana, understanding what she wanted to do. He’s not bitter at all about his time as an Amazon – he has great memories of his time on Themyscira and with Diana, and feels an affinity for the Amazon culture.

His life may now be haunted by stealthy P.K. Dickian  horror, but at least he also experienced wonders.

After Electric City, Nemesis is in a sense back to his roots as a generally laconic planner and man of action. But his understandable paranoia leads to sudden bursts of verbosity, usually to rant about the world he’s now living in or his wish to just break something to reassert some sort of control over his existence.

He’s obviously unravelling, but yet is still clearly an intelligent and good man who remains in control and will not give up.

Nemesis has always had minor problems with slightly lacking a sense of identity. This is especially true during long-term impersonation/undercover work as he wears the mannerisms, voice and identity of another 24/7. This never was very important, but now that he’s unravelling for other reasons he sees this as a threat to his mental integrity.

In particular he’s had a moment of panic that resulted in plastering an entire room of his HQ with photos of his face, on all the walls and the ceiling, to reassure himself in case yet another crazy hallucination were to happen.


Quotes

“I don’t always do what I’m told. Especially when I get the feeling I’m not being told everything.”

(To Wonder Woman, sarcastically) “Uh, right. Clearly you Amazons have a *lot* to be insecure about aesthetically.”

Black Canary: “Call me sweetheart again and I’ll kick your butt so hard you’ll be gagging on my boot until Christmas.”
Nemesis: “Will you quit focusing on my butt ? I know it’s sexy, but we’ve only just met.”

Nemesis: “Don’t be so surprised, Prince. I got the date [of your birthday] out of your files.”
Agent Prince: “You read my personal files ?”
Nemesis: “Yeah, but don’t be mad. I read everyone’s files.”

“I’m angry because I know I don’t deserve [Wonder Woman]. Because everything about her from the inside out is about finding and uncovering the larger truth. And [me, I am] a liar to [my] very soul.”

(Kicks through a door and levels his rifle) “Freeze, you ******** furball !” (realises that he’s actually facing five armed and annoyed super-gorillas) “Uh.” (beat) “Not that a ******** furball, is a bad thing, really…”

Tolifhar, about Nemesis: “He isn’t suitable for the Princess. He takes nothing seriously.”
Donna Troy: “On the contrary, Tolifhar. He takes everything incredibly seriously. And he carries that weight alone.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Tom Tresser

Dex: 07 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Seeks Justice
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 06 Occupation: Special Agent
Inf: 06 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 020 HP: 050

Skills:
Acrobatics: 05, Artist (Actor): 06, Charisma (Interrogation): 06 Gadgetry: 06, Martial artist: 06, Military science (Cryptography, demolitions): 07, Scientist (Computers, drawing plans): 06, Thief: 07, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 05, Weaponry: 07

Advantages:
Credentials (DMA, Low), Expertise (Disguise – including spotting disguises), Familiarity (Bible quotes, Chess, Amazon culture), Genius, Headquarters (Expansive), Iron Nerves, Language (Russian, and implicitly Standard Arabic), Rich Friend (DMA account), Sharp Eye

Connections:
DMA (Low, from Credentials), U.S. Intelligence community (Low)

Drawbacks:
SIA toward Seeking Justice and Balancing the Scales. After his time in Electric City, Nemesis acquires a Serious Psychological Instability (or does he ?) with hallucinations about the City, OMAC and Brother Eye

Equipment:
Nemesis’s core equipment includes :

  • IMAGER [BODY 01, Chameleon: 06]. This technology allows Nemesis to take on nearly any humanoid form, and can somehow be programmed on the fly – within seconds – with the image of a person he has just seen. He can do perfect likenesses, emulate the form of females (such as Queen Hippolyte) and even turn into a large humanoid (such as one of the Gorilla Knights). This doesn’t seem to be some sort of hologram – Nemesis’s form appears to be solid to the touch – and behaves just like the Chameleon power. Whether it duplicates voices, or Tresser mimics voices himself, is unclear.
  • High-cap .45 pistol w/‘freeze bullets’ [BODY 04, Paralysis: 06, Projectile weapon: 03, Ammo: 12, R#2, Limitation: Paralysis has No Range, Bonus: Paralysis can be Combined with Projectile Weapons (and can ride its Range) ; Paralysis can be resisted by Systemic Antidote, Growth and Density increase] as detailed in the previous writeup. He carries about four extra magazines. 
  • Smoke pellets (x4) [BODY 01, Fog: 04, Grenade Drawback]. These are particularly useful to hide a change of appearance.
  • Compact binoculars [BODY 02, Telescopic vision: 04, Thermal vision: 04, Ultra-vision: 05]. A compact, reinforced pair of surveillance and night-time observation binocs. A wifi uplink with some augmented reality functions tied to DMA databases displays available information about observed subjects, though the text field is very small. 
  • Concussion grenade [BODY 02, Super-breath (Explosive radius): 05, Grenade drawback]. A “much-less-than-lethal” weapon – it can be detonated centimetres away from a person without burning or breaking skin, but the deflagration will send them flying (of course, the impact against the first obstacle that comes across will likely hurt). 
  • Flash grenades (x2) [BODY 02, Flash (Explosive radius): 06, Grenade drawback]
  • Craig v5.2. Craig is a large database which Nemesis feeds with photos, texts, bank records, archives and everything he has. It also includes powerful search engines that can look for patterns and establish correlations in a mass of unrelated data. Craig is accessible via a basic web interface, though it’s of course heavily secured.
  • Omni-Gadget ABCD 9 APs. The one known example was a Pocket EMP emitter [BODY 01, EMP: 09, Grenade drawback, Limitation: EMP has No Range]. A gadget the size of a small flashlight which simulates an EMP. It doesn’t crash electronics and electrical systems like a real EMP would, just reboots them and keeps them offline for about a dozen seconds. It’s only useful when fired right next to the target systems, though.

Mission-specific equipment:

  • Paralysis grenade [BODY 02, Fog: 04, Paralysis: 06, Grenade drawback, Bonus: Paralysis is Combined with, and active throughout, the Fog]. A grenades that releases a paralysing agent similar to his ’freeze bullets’. The chemical becomes inert seconds after contact with the air, though the smoke disperses normally.
  • Cold spray [BODY 01, Sharpness (Special): 09, Ammo: 01]. This tiny spray (like those used for throat aches) is loaded with a chemical that super-freezes metal and makes it very brittle. The Sharpness works with any force applied on the brittle metal – the spray makes it possible to force open a high-quality wall safe with one’s bare hands. 
  • Stealth suite [BODY 02, Invisibility (Radar Sense, Thermal Vision, Ultra Vision, Sonar): 07, Thief (Stealth): 04]. A series of improvements used on a vehicle to make it silent and nearly invisible to anything but the naked eye. This is a successor to his old ’silencer‘ technology and is best used to retrofit a helicopter. 
  • ’Bubblegum‘. This special foam of Tresser’s invention is fireproof and impact-resistant – once released it creates a ball of foam that is not unlike a gigantic wad of bubblegum. It can be cut, shredded and the like, but it’s almost impossible to crush or set on fire – and it’s sticky against large, granular surfaces. It is pretty much the ultimate crash system for vehicles and works fine even in crashing low-flying aircrafts.
  • BODY TASER [BODY 02, Lightning (No Range, Area of Effect 1 AP): 07, Miniaturisation: 02, Ammo: 01, Bonus: Lighting is its own AV (+1 or +0 depending on house rules), R#05]. A concealed generator which zaps every grounded person in a small radius around the wearer with an impressive – but non-lethal – lightning discharge. Normally used whilst wearing shoes with hidden insulators.
  • Standard commercially available equipment such as compact cameras, etc.

DMA mission-specific equipment:

  • POWER GLOVES [/STR/ 06, Force field: 05, Force shield: 08, Force wall: 09, Split: 05, Ammo: 10, R#04]. These armoured plates with prominent buttons cover the forearms and can project force bubbles, force shields, or force armatures reinforcing the strength of the wearer. The way Nemesis uses it implies a limited power reserve (Ammo – each use or Phase of use eats up one Ammo).
    The force shield was powerful enough to stop eldritch bolts from Circe, and the Split is presumably a combination of force bubbles and his imager technology. Nemesis kept using this weapon in the field, then retired it — presumably there were glitches that were not seen on-panel and he needed to rework some major systems.
  • Grenades (x4) [BODY 02, Bomb: 08, Grenade drawback]. These high-powered grenades are commonly carried by DMA agents on combat missions.
  • Experimental plastique [BODY 04, EV 14, Ammo: 06]. This sticky clay is a high-powered explosive. Each Ammo represents a handful of explosive paste with a mini-detonator inserted within, and is detonated using a compact remote. It is possible to use minute quantities of explosive (say, to blow open a lock) without spending an Ammo.
  • Lexcorp Model D4 prototype rifle w/armour-piercing concussive burst energy shells [BODY 02, Energy blast: 09, Ammo: 10, Telescopic vision: 02, Thermal vision: 04, Ultra-vision: 04, R#04]. This heavy, scoped, experimental rifle is the sort of thing Tresser will keep in the trunk of his car as a DMA agent. DMA agents who do not routinely do field tests of ordnance instead use battery-powered laser rifles with Laser beam: 08.
  • Special pistol (x2) [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 06, Ammo: 06, R#04]. High-yield futuristic pistols, perhaps based on the same technology than the D4. Nemesis usually has one in each hand – not to fire them akimbo, but to have one handy when running out of Ammo or rolling under the R#. These pistols were being field-tested by the DMA and meant to engage some superhumans.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: DC Universe

Helper(s): Darci, Capita_Senyera

Writeup completed on the 24th of January, 2011.

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