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Plutonian (Irredeemable Boom Comics)

Plutonian

(Dan Hartigan)


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

Context

Irredeemable was a 2009-2012 comic book published by Boom! Studio.

It is a “what if Superman went bad ?” story, with the Plutonian being the Superman expy  in question. This profile has S P O I L E R S.


Background

  • Real Name: Dan Hartigan
  • Other Aliases: The wolf-boy of Coalville (not publicly known), Tony, Dan Anderson
  • Marital Status: single
  • Known Relatives: unnamed mother/creator (deceased), Anita Daniel (1st foster mother; deceased), Loren Daniel (1st foster father; deceased), Joey Daniel (foster brother), Bill Hartigan (last foster father; deceased), other unnamed foster parents, unnamed last foster mother (deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: The Paradigm
  • Base Of Operations: Sky City, mobile around the world
  • Height: 6’4”? Weight: 215 lbs? Age: 35
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond


Powers & Abilities

According to the world the Plutonian has:

  • limitless strength (known to be able to at least lift a stadium)
  • immeasurable speed
  • anti-gravity capabilities
  • an impervious skin
  • enhanced senses
  • can project ocular radiation
  • and maybe even has telepathic capabilities

The truth is more complex than that, however, with all his powers being based on latent psionic abilities and his true limits laying far beyond those imagined.

He keeps his Extended Hearing on almost all the time. Thus he hears cries for help from all over the world almost every second. His hearing is also often used as a lie detector.

His senses, however, allow him far more than that. He can in fact watch the electrons bounce through a man’s subcortex and interpret their dance as anxiety, elation or rage etc. He can decode the pheromones a target gives off and know conclusively what the target lusts for and what repels him.

While a teenager he made his way through his county’s main library as so is well-versed in many subjects. His powers are actually all psionic  in nature. This is so because no humanoid form of that size, however different from human, is capable of storing enough energy to do what the Plutonian does. It’s all mind over muscle.

Finally, the Plutonian is as charismatic a figure as ever walked the planet. He’s a leader of man and superman.

Quantum might

This writeup depicts the Plutonian as his abilities were for most of his career up to issue #33 of the series. All of the Plutonian’s powers are based on his latent psionic abilities.

His laser vision, for example, is what happens when he transfers kinetic energy to the air molecules striking his eyes, turning them into a stream of superheated gas. His arctic breath is the opposite effect as he withdraws molecular motion from the air, reducing its temperature to sub-freezing.

He doesn’t emit x-rays from his eyes. Rather, he mentally alters the atomic structure of the objects he’s looking at, making them more permeable to electromagnetic radiation in general. That way, his brain can interpolate an image based on all various electro-magnetic wavelengths it can perceive that normal human senses cannot.

Likewise he can understand languages through their tone, context and body language amazingly accurately. He can also reduplicate it himself. His flight ability is derived from shifting his mass into the surrounding atmosphere, telekinetically squeezing through it like soap through a fist.

More powerfully, he manipulates the density of matter with a thought. For instance he toughens his skin and muscle to make them harder than diamond. At the same time he temporarily reduces the mass of solids he makes contact with. This way he can smash through them or lift ocean liners without them collapsing under their own weight.

The Plutonian himself knows nothing about any of this: he just thinks that he is strong.

The Plutonian knows both the position and momentum of every atom around him, thus breaking the uncertainty principle of quantum physics. In principle, by altering quantum mechanics with his brain he could redefine reality, change probability, reverse entropy, see through time and much, much more.

Unfettered quantum might

After his training at the hands of Qubit (in issue #34) he finally learned to start tapping into his real potential.

In the end he could thus also:

  • blow up a mountain just by looking at it
  • see past events through time-lensing off another’s mind
  • alter his own density to become completely intangible
  • telekinetically collect rare elements directly from the earth
  • stop the rotation of the Moon with his hands

History

The Plutonian used to be the world’s greatest hero. He often fought alongside the Paradigm superteam. He had many adventures and had many enemies. His archenemies were an insane scientifically oriented villain named Modeus, as well as Max Damage, who had known him during his younger days.

Everything was perfect on the surface. But over the years his actions led to secret disasters and accidents, which took their toll on him.

He led a secret civilian life as Dan Hartigan until his cover was blown when he proposed to his sweetheart Alanna Patel. She was horrified to find that Dan was really the Plutonian, and thus that she didn’t really know him at all.

Over time, the impossibility of forgetting his mistakes, the constant demands of the world, and trying to live up to a perfect image became just too much. He snapped completely. His first act was to kill a member of the Paradigm who had seen it coming.

The roots

The Plutonian had originally been an accidental creation. He was the result of a faulty device created by a race of very powerful extra-dimensional explorers in an attempt to understand humanity. The template for his creation was a faulty, broken image of a human being, and so, despite being physically perfect, he harbored a broken core.

He was raised by several foster parents, each getting subject to horrific accidents involving his powers. The Plutonian eventually came to live in the wilderness for a while. He was the elusive Wolf-boy in the Coalville area.

His last foster parents managed to teach him some aspects of goodness. But he severely misunderstood vital points of his foster father’s teachings, which allowed for his foster mother to die from cancer when he could in fact have saved her.

After this, he had left everything behind and started up a new identity as the world’s greatest hero, the Plutonian. This quest that was doomed to fail.

Fallen

The Plutonian turned into the greatest supervillain, mass murderer and threat the world had ever seen. He murdered millions and millions on a whim and destroyed the social, industrial and economic infra-structure of not only the U.S., but dozens of other nations as well.

The Paradigm rose up to stop him, but were unable to do so. Max Damage reformed into a hero and tried to stop him, but failed as well, instead agreeing to respect each other’s geographic boundaries. The demon Orian was summoned to deal with the Plutonian, but this failed as the demon had an agenda of his own until its destruction.

Modeus showed up and messed with him as usual as well, but ended up taking over the body of Paradigm member Bette Noir, on whom the Plutonian had a secret crush. The Paradigm then made a deal with a technologically powerful alien race, an old enemy of mankind.

Thus they managed to stop him. The Plutonian became catatonic and was placed first in a mining facility and later inside an asylum inside a sun.

At around the same time, the world’s governments had liberated a pair of superhumans locked in a Chinese facility, with the hopes that they could stop the Plutonian. This horribly produced enough radiation to eventually kill all intelligent life on the planet.

Escaped

The Plutonian’s imprisonment was temporary only, however. The Plutonian eventually woke up, broke free and recruited the worst, super-powered psychopaths the place had to offer into a gang of his own. They all went to the Earth, through the unwilling help of Paradigm member Qubit.

They again wreaked havoc upon the planet until Modeus, as Bette Noir, interfered. At this point Qubit joined in and convinced the Plutonian to help the planet in exchange for a chance to take it all back. Qubit told the Plutonian he could redeem himself and again become the world’s greatest hero, with the implication that time travel would do it.

To manage in the herculean task of saving the planet, Qubit trained the Plutonian in the use of his powers to new, unforseen levels. The Plutonian proceeded to save the planet, but it cost him his life, which Qubit had known. The Plutonian’s eessence and energies spread out into other dimensions .

In one of those dimensions Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster  used these energies to come up with the Superman, a non-broken perfect vision of what the Plutonian could have been.


Description

The Plutonian used to wear a full-body hero costume in black and white, leaving only his hands and head non-covered. It also had red boots with an upper black rim and black bands as his belt and arm bracers. The upper chest has a red triangle within which his icon is placed.

In his villaneous days the main white color was exchanged with red instead. The Plutonian’s icon, kept on for example his chest and Paradigm member’s chair, is a three-edged, upward pointing sign in white with a lower blue base pointing downwards. Completing the heroic image is a red cape with black edges.

During his hero days his blond hair was a bit longer and cut into a trust-worthy form. As a villain, he cut his hair much shorter. He’s said to move gracefully and have a pleasant voice.

In some respects he evokes Miracleman.


Personality

He was originally seen as the world’s greatest hero. But it was all a desperate act to find his lonely place in the world. He was only partly taught the values of piety, loyalty, utility, truthfulness and order (P.L.U.T.O.) by his foster father.

He genuinely tried to follow a righteous path, but it was impossible since he had been artificially created in the image of a broken human.

Personally, he believes that his life would be perfect if he were adored and loved, and seen as a flawless, selfless hero. But he’s wrong about that; he’s a mistake of nature, or rather by his accidental creators, the Eleos. These are the alien gatherers and caretakers of all spacetime’s knowledge.

Frankly, he doesn’t want anyone to understand him, and he likely doesn’t do so even himself. Getting new foster parents all the time during his upbringing was quite traumatic. Many of them died through accidents by his hands or by other factors involving his powers.

After having lived alone in the forest, after the death of his most recent foster parents, as a young (wolf) boy, he felt the need for mortification.

Past violence led past consciousness right to shame. He genuinely wanted to be a good human being, getting a new chance with new foster parents. Thus started a lifetime of packing down his anger and living in fear, until these parents died, and he made a fresh start by becoming a superhero.

While he is potentially nearly limitless in his abilities his fatal intellectual flaw is that he never was especially curious and never really explored the limits of his own abilities.

Other than that, the Plutonian is a brilliant man capable of truly understanding as distinct disciplines as emotions and quantum physics intuitively if he puts his mind into it.

Supposedly his name signifies a chtonian archetype. He keeps the truth hidden and he’s afraid, afraid to get too close to anyone since they will soon notice the awful, sick, dark places inside him and recoil. If rejection doesn’t happen he forces it. And then it doesn’t go well for the recoilers. This way he gets to feel punished for whatever is inside of him.

Women do interest him, and he seems to have genuinely cared for his girlfriend Alanna Patel. He later developed something of an apparent secret obsession with fellow teammate Bette Noir. His male archenemy, Modeus, both hated and loved him, but he cared none for that until he realized that Modeus was the only man that the Plutonian feared.

As to Max Damage, Max was a part of his past that the wanted to forget (’the wolf boy shame‘) and to cover up. As such he was a danger. Max is actually a very familiar face bearing few mysteries, but seeing how Max repented and became a hero when he himself fell must have been quite painful to face.

While he managed to be a great hero for a while, quite a few years even, eventually the weight of the world was too much for him to bear. He seemingly irreversibly snapped. While a hero he spent nearly every waking hour correcting the world’s wrongs, accidents, crimes and other misfortunes.

He could hear the cries for help all the time, having to prioritize. A coping mechanism was to take some time out in his volcano fortress, on the Moon or at the deepest sea bottom where he couldn’t hear anything.

He currently, due to mental ill-health, has another coping mechanism that sometimes surfaces. When facing extreme pain, suffering or mental anguish he occasionally withdraws from all worldly affairs by temporarily falling into a catatonic state where imagination can make life sweeter.

Since his childhood he has been making involuntary and costly mistakes where people have lost their lives or suffered otherwise. Eventually, it all took its toll on him: the constant demands for help from the entire world, the non-forgivness for even the slighest of mistakes and never getting to relax or pause from the never-ending battle.

In the end he snapped completely and irredeemably, which was unavoidable. After then there was no going back as much as he would later have wanted to. The only discourse was to live out all of the insanity, with one plan or action worse than the previous one.

Now, a true psychopath, he is prone to violent impulses. This sometimes results in the loss of millions of life. In fact, as long as he’s free and running, the entire world’s population is at the risk of utter destruction at his every whim.

His temper nowadays is explosive and just trying to reason with him can be quite life-risking or even worse. If his curiosity is piqued, one stands a better chance of bearing out a productive discussion with him. He will usually hear out old comrades since it amuses him.

To promise him a chance either for complete redemption (through time-travel for example) or complete mayhem will fall into his tastes quite well.

He used to be a very good team player, and still is, even if he was prone to closely guarding his personal life. He never led the Paradigm, that being Qubit’s task, but chose to downplay his capabilities to fit in better with the other.

Now, he recently led a band of very dangerous alien psychopaths, that he had liberated from an alien asylym, as their de facto leader and never held back a bit. He much enjoys seeing a team fight with itself.

He’s said to be one of the most charismatic people in the entire world. People have even speculated that his charm is a form of super-hypnosis, and perhaps it is so. Even now he likes to talk with influential and interesting people, only to have a little respite from madness and destruction, and he may even appear to want to redeem himself, although his genuine interest in that is unclear.

A more dangerous loose cannon was never seen.


Quotes

“This is what happens when you make one mistake. There’s no forgiveness.”

“I gave you a fair choice. Did you really think I’d hand you a way to hurt me even if there were such a thing ?”

“For God’s sake, stop treating me like I’m a time-bomb ! Is that what you think I am ? Is that what you want me to be ? Is it ?!”

“Every time I looked in those eyes, I relived that ’Wolf boy‘ shame. I wanted to kill him. But what would I have felt then ?”

“Do what I do. Think of Earth as a playground. You’re all psychopaths. Get creative. Work out your issues.”

(’Recruiting‘ the chronokinetic Mallus) “Now, punching people through the damn time barrier is a very useful power… but so is Cutter’s [telekinetic claw attack], and there’s more pain where that came from unless you simmer the hell down.”

Xotan: “I am Xotan the All-Being, Architect and Creator of all reality. I am God. And who might you be, you insignificant speck of flesh ?”
Plutonian: “An atheist.”


DC Universe History

The Plutonian is a failed Superman proto-type, seemingly of a parallel universe, who eventually got remade into the real Superman, possibly of New Earth or the like.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Plutonian

Dex: 13 Str: 20 Bod: 17 Motivation: Psychopath, previously Upholding the Good
Int: 09 Wil: 16 Min: 08 Occupation: Fallen hero
Inf: 08 Aur: 13 Spi: 06 Resources: 004
Init: 041 HP: 100
(originally 160)

Powers:
Air Control: 07, Analytical Scent: 08, Comprehend Languages: 07, Directional Hearing: 18, Empathy: 06, Extended Hearing: 24, Flight: 42, Heat Vision: 20, Ice Production: 08, Microscopic Vision: 20, Recall: 06, Sealed Systems: 25, Sonic Beam: 08, Superbreath: 12, Superhearing: 08, Superspeed: 11, Telescopic Vision: 18, Thermal Vision: 12, X-Ray Vision: 14

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Air Control can only be used in conjunction with Flight (-1)
  • Ice Production can only be used in conjunction with Super Breath (-1)
  • Empathy is Derived from both X-Ray Vision and Microscopic Vision (-1)

Skills:
Artist (Tailor): 05, Charisma: 12, Gadgetry: 03

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Sky City, now destroyed), Headquarters (Extensive, the Fortress in the volcano, earlier only, now abandoned), Insta-Change, Popularity (formerly only), Sharp Eye, Sidekick (Samsara; formerly only)

Connections:
The Paradigm (formerly only), Modeus (High), Gang of liberated alien Gehnom psychopaths (High)

Drawbacks:
Archenemy (Modeus, formerly only), Guilt, Secret Identity, Catastrophic Psychological Instability, Serious Superman Syndrome


Superman and super-superman

The stats are for the first 33 issues. After his training at the hands of Qubit (in issue #34) he finally learned to start tapping into his real potential and soon developed the following abilities, which were henceworth added to his arsenal of Powers.

  • Dispersal (manipulating atomic density) 20
  • Bomb (with the Range Bonus)(exploiting quantum entanglement) 20
  • Gravity Decrease (inertial negation) 20
  • Matter Manipulation 20
  • Postcognition (with Range; time-lensing minds) 20
  • Likely also Power Reserve (All abilities) of at least 5 APs.
  • Several times the Plutonian mentions that he now has telepathic abilities and could read minds, but that was never actually demonstrated on panel.

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen

Source of Character: Irredeemable #1-37 by Mark Waid, Boom studios

Helper(s): Frank G. Murdock, Mike Davis

Writeup completed on the 28th of November, 2012.

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