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Phobius (Minions of Maelstrom) (Marvel Comics)

Phobius


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

Context

Phobius is a very minor Marvel villain, and something of a one-trick pony. He first appeared in 1981 and only returned a few times in odd corners, though he did fight the Avengers in 1984.

But he is part of a trio of superhuman agents, along with Gronk and Helio. These guys are certainly useful as a small team of handy, low-profile enemies with good abilities. So they’re on writeups.org. Because that’s how we roll in the pampa.


Background

  • Other Aliases: Phineas ; “Minuscule but Malevolent Fear-Monger” (according to one caption)
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Maelstorm’s Minions
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile with Mælstrom
  • Height: 5’3” Weight: 102 lbs
  • Eyes: Green (sometimes solid white) Hair: Black and weird


Powers and Abilities

Phobius can emit a mental pulse from his brow. It makes people highly averse toward whatever Phobius wants – such as water, a gas, himself, etc.

Phobius using his power

Subjects falling under his influence will actively avoid touching or even approaching what they’ve been made afraid of. This effect is specific, but very strong. It can even affect very strong-willed heroes – though as always chance plays a significant role.

He’s obviously the least physical of the Minions, and the tactics of the group take that into account. Since he’s not on the front lines, Phobius is usually the one handing the technological assets.

He seems to be smartest and least impulsive of the bunch.


History

Phobius is assumed to be either a Deviant or an Inhuman. He has been serving, along with Helio and Gronk, as the small cadre of enforcers and agents known as Mælstrom’s Minions. They’ve been around since at least 1981.

The first documented appearance of the Minions took place when Mælstrom sent them to board Hydrobase and steal the Anti-Terrigen Compound. This chemical had been designed by Reed Richards and Inhuman researchers to restore their normal human form to the victim of the madman, Dr. Hydro.

The Minions easily stole the gas. But on the way out they ran straight into the security element – Stingray, Karnak, Gorgon and the Thing. The battle went as can be expected. Nevertheless, the canister holding the compound made its way to Malestrom on its own, Phobius having dropped it in the ocean as per instructions.

Don’t fear the reaper

Then, as per procedure, Mælstrom sent Deathurge to kill all three Minions. Their recent memories were downloaded into new clones, whose activation procedure was launched. This new batch of clones fought alongside Mælstrom until he was defeated. Maelstrom had Deathurge kill him and all Minions, so their consciousnesses could be transferred into new clones.

The Minions of Maelstrom emerge from the ocean

During Mælstrom’s next big plan (to absorb the power of Earth’s rotation within himself, likely destroying the planet in so doing), the Minions were of course at his side. But the crisis drew in a whole roster of Avengers from both coasts, and the Minions were completely outmatched.

Phobius did manage to hit the first Avenger onsite, Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), with a huge burst of his phobia power. But that was about it.

The 1990s, part 1

Years later, Phobius and the rest of the Minions were present to assist Mælstrom when he stole Quasar’s Quantum Bands. Mælstrom, under his alias as Malcolm Stromberg, invited Quasar and his colleagues in his property under the pretence of discussing business.

Phobius used an image inducer and the name “Phineas” to pass as Stromberg’s aide. His job was to make Moondragon, who was undercover as one of Quasar’s employees, too afraid of speak. The objective was to prevent her from warning the others about what the danger she sensed. It worked for much of the dinner, though Moondragon eventually broke the fear through willpower.

After Quasar’s hands were cut off for Mælstrom to get the bands, Phobius tortured the hero with an energy-charged whip. Infuriated by Quasar’s refusal to submit, Phobius ended up killing him.

The 1990s, part 2

This death attracted the attention of the Ghost Rider (Ketch), who charged in and dispersed the Minions to reach Quasar. The Minions did not fare much better against the rest of the rescue efforts, with Sersi turning Phobius into a rat.

The Minions and another set of servants of Mælstrom, the Weird Sisters, later executed on instructions left by Mælstrom to bring him back and imbue him with great power. They did so by draining the life force of a select set of Deviants, Eternals and Deviants-Eternals hybrids.

The Minions and Sisters were successful, though Mælstrom’s bid for power was eventually foiled by the Fantastic Four and a number of Eternals.


Description

Officially Phobius is 5’9”, but he’s consistently drawn as being much smaller than that.


Personality

Petty, sadistic, haughty, arrogant, wants to be respected at any cost. Phobius sometimes seems to consider he’s the leader of the Minions, which is probably not the case.

The Minions of Maelstrom charge Circe and Moondragon


Quotes

“Fear is at the foundation of human existence. It is my gift to stimulate the fear centres of the brain, making all who live prey to their own nature…”

“Now I’m going to whip you a mere 39 times. And as I do, I want you to keep count for me ! Understand me, boy ?”

“Nobody makes me, Phobius, look foolish boy… nobody ! I am the master of fear and the king of pain !”

“I am the titan of terror ! The duke of dread !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Phobius

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 05 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 010 HP: 025

Powers:
Neutralise: 12, Phobia: 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Neutralise is Contingent on Phobia
  • Neutralise can only be used to counter mental influence effects based on pleasure, confidence, and other feelings that can be reasonably opposed to fear
  • Phobia has the Scattershot Advantage
  • Phobia does not generate an illusion – it must be about something that’s actually there
  • Phobia is only triggered when attempting to interact with the object of Phobia, and ceases when the subjects stops attempting to interact
  • Phobia has a Special +5 Bonus to Duration
  • Phobia can be used on a subject who’s already affected, but only the longest duration is applied
  • Phobia cannot affect unliving targets

Skills:
Charisma (Interrogation): 04

Advantages:
Familiarity (Mælstrom’s technology)

Connections:
Mælstrom’s Minions (Low), Weird Sisters (Low)

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance, MIA toward Sadism

Equipment:
Can be equipped with Gadgets provided by Mælstrom, including image inducers.

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe

Helper(s): Jackson

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