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Power Ring III of the Crime Syndicate of America (JLA enemy) (DC Comics)

Power Ring III

(Post-Crisis, pre-52 version)


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

Context

Power Ring is an evil version of Green Lantern, living on another version of Earth. He is part of a motley crew of similar “reversed” super-heroes, the Crime Syndicate.

There have been several takes on this concept. This profile covers the Crime Syndicate was first seen in Grant Morrison’s Earth Two graphic novel.

The Roman numeral is tentative. See the History section for details.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed, presumably single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Crime Syndicate of Amerika, formerly the Slave Marines
  • Base Of Operations: The Panopticon
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 185 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

The second Power Ring was a soldier with extensive experience prior to gaining the power ring. This ring has the ability to form objects out of mystic green light based on Power Ring’s mental commands.

Whether this ability is based in part on attributes of the user as is the case with Green Lantern power rings is unrevealed. But comments by Power Ring II indicate that willpower is definitely not a factor.

The ring is inhabited by a spirit called Volthoom. Volthoom is forced to follow the ring wearer’s orders but also drives the wearer to use up more and more of its power.

Aura of Protection

A common trick that Power Ring (and Green Lanterns) perform is to provide life-sustaining auras around teammates when circumstances warrant. This usually happens when the CSA is fighting in space.

In DC Heroes terms, Power Ring will place individual 1 AP Force Fields around each other person that needs protection. This provides them with the benefits of his Sealed Systems without reducing his Force Manipulation APs any more than necessary.

These protective auras are usually projected around each person separately so they can move without restriction rather than being forced to remain clustered together. Assuming individual movement isn’t a tactical necessity, such as during a reconnaissance mission, Power Ring will place everyone who needs protection in a single force-construct bubble to minimize the number of APs of Force Field in use.

Get on the Bus

Since some of those same teammates may need transportation as well, Power Ring will sometimes simultaneously create transports as needed, such as a glider for Owlman or a treadmill that channels running speed into Flight for Johnny Quick. If necessary, he will do this simultaneously with a protective aura.

As with the protective auras, he will make individual vehicles if needed for tactical advantage. Or he will place everyone in a single vehicle if separate movement is unnecessary (while simply ferrying people from one place to another, for example).

Since each Force Manipulation AP used in a vehicle is one he cannot use for other purposes, Power Ring will cease projecting a vehicle as soon as the user no longer needs it.

The Favor Bank

The people of the anti-matter Earth are generally driven by amoral self-interest and lust for power. This tendency would cause the societies of that Earth to quickly fall apart if it were not for the Favor Bank. This is the one inviolate rule of the cultures of the anti-matter Earth.

As Batman summed it up, “If you ask a favor, you owe the person who supplied it. It’s a debt to be repaid — whenever it’s called in. How ever much it hurts you.” Or as Owlman stated more succinctly, “When you owe, you pay. Even if your grandmother is bleeding out in the gutter. You don’t get to set the terms.”

The effect of this is that, in DC Heroes terms all people of the anti-matter Earth have the equivalent of a Catastrophic Irrational Attraction to repaying debts when the marker is called. On those few occasions when people violate this rule, whatever passes for the local authorities will quickly bring the offender in for trial.

Such offenders are usually put to death, though it is possible they would be granted a second chance if they can show a good faith effort was made to repay the debt.

Home Field Advantage

The matter and anti-matter universes have not only physical but moral differences. In the matter universe, good ultimately prevails, while evil is the dominant force of the anti-matter universe. Within each universe, this is represented thus — the prevailing force tends to have better stats and more Hero Points  than their opponents, especially in the aggregate.

When the JLA and CSA first met, this difference was expressed more dramatically. When individuals from one universe crossed over into another, they became less efficient. In DC Heroes terms, their HP expenditures were raised as if they were operating one Genre lower than the usual campaign setting.

For example, if the campaign is set in the Action Genre, those who have crossed over into other universe spend HPs as if they were in the Mock-Real Genre.

This apparently only applies if the individuals crossing over were at odds with that universe’s moral bias. When the heroic Alex Luthor of the anti-matter universe crossed over into the matter universe, he was not affected. However, when the CSA traveled to the matter Earth they did suffer this disability.

This imbalance between the universes was negated as part of the universal restructuring of the DCU when Krona was defeated in the JLA/Avengers crossover series. The essential character of the two universes — that good triumphs over evil in the matter universe and vice versa in the anti-matter realm — remains the same though.


History

The Crime Syndicate of Amerika is the JLA of an Earth in an antimatter universe where good is evil and evil is good. Benedict Arnold was the first U.S. President, Washington was a traitor, Britain fought for its independence against an Amerikan colonial power, etc. It is a reversed DCU.

By large, things are pretty upbeat in the DCU. People are generally happy, secure and open to the wild and the novel by virtue of living in a world where good always triumphs in the end, thanks to colorful superheroes.

By contrast, the dreary inhabitants of the antimatter world live on a planet dominated by lies, greed and hypocrisy. If that world sounds all-too familiar, then you’re just too cynical by half… There vice and corruption are a way of life and the bad guys always win.

Here crime is the founding principal of society. Evil is rewarded, cruelty is lauded and people live everywhere in fear of their masters. This goes all the way through the local mobs and the corrupt police, the bent journalists and up, through City Hall and the governments, to the top of the pyramid – the seedy Crime Syndicate of Amerika and its vicious bullying leader, Ultraman.

Syndicate of crime

The CSA rules their Earth with an iron fist from their lunar headquarters, the Panopticon (“The place of wide vision” or “watchtower”). Their motto is “Cui Bono”: Who Benefits. (Interview with Grant Morrison)

Having taken control of the entire Earth, the CSA was seeking out new places to conquer in their own universe when they discovered the planet Qward. They were in the midst of ravaging Qward when their universe and the matter universe were both destroyed and restructured as a result of Krona’s experiments (JLA/Avengers).

As part of this restructuring, the original Power Ring was erased from reality and replaced with an alternate version.

Brave new reality

The new Power Ring was a soldier who had recently won manumission from the Slave Marines. He was serving in an attack squad under someone named Malcolm. He had gotten the ring from a predecessor named Harrolds, who fooled the trooper into taking the ring by telling him he was chosen for this special honor.

This Power Ring is numbered the third. However this is tentative since the history of the Power Ring legacy is unclear. See the Power Ring II writeup for some details regarding previous Power Ring history.

It is unclear whether this version of Power Ring inherited the ring from the previously depicted blond Power Ring (Power Ring II), the brown-haired Power Ring depicted as an apparent predecessor of Power Ring II, or some other Power Ring,. The name Harrolds has not yet been associated with a particular Power Ring.

The lineage becomes even more confused due to the uncertain nature of the universal revision that resulted in the third Power Ring’s debut. At one point Johnny Quick explained how the CSA worked to Power Ring III as if Power Ring was new to the group and had no idea about its internal dynamics.

However, a short time later the two made reference to a common memory about an earlier exploit in their CSA careers (though Quick asked to make sure if Power Ring remembered it). This creates the possibility that the third Power Ring may actually be replacing the second one in continuity.

The JLA still remembers Power Ring II as well, so if a retroactive substitution is occurring, it is still incomplete as of this writing.

Cross-worlds invasions

Seeking to discover what had happened and to prevent it from occurring again, the CSA returned to the matter Earth. Their initial mission was satisfied when they found out that Krona was responsible but had been neutralized by the Justice League of America (JLA).

However, the CSA had also discovered that the imbalance between the universes — an imbalance that had previously kept them from defeating the JLA in the matter universe — had been eliminated by the restructuring. Exploiting this opportunity, the CSA began a reign of terror on the matter Earth.

The Qwardians also came to the matter Earth following the CSA’s trail. They sought revenge for their attack on Qward as well as wanting to find Krona themselves. The JLA redirected the Qwardians to the anti-matter Earth and then made the CSA ask them for help in repelling the Qwardians, gaining a favor in the favor bank from the anti-matter villains.

The Qwardians eventually quit the field of battle against the two supergroups and the CSA sent the JLA back to the matter Earth, bitterly aware that they owed the heroes a favor.

With that resolved, the CSA began the arduous work of restoring order on the anti-matter Earth: their public humiliations during their battles with the JLA and the Qwardians had caused:

  • seventeen countries to riot against the Syndicate
  • two other superteams to break allegiance with them
  • twenty insurgencies led by superbeings to begin around the world
  • a break-out of the entire Justice Underground from Ultraman’s Flying Fortress

Furthermore, another Qwardian fleet was headed toward their planet.


Description

Power Ring is a muscular black male with a thin, neatly trimmed beard and a bald or shaved head. His costume is a black spandex bodysuit with emerald green shoulders, over-the-calf boots, and forearm bracers. There is a Power Ring logo (a silver badge with a green X on it) affixed to his left breast. He wears the ring on his right index finger.


Personality

This version of Power Ring was bitter over his past. He had been forced to fight in Amerikan jungle wars at the behest of unreliable and brutal officers. He was then tricked into accepting the cursed power ring. His experiences with class divisions and the Slave Marines’ officer corps have made this Power Ring contemptuous of educated white-collar people.

Volthoom is a subversive servant. Yes, it is compelled to follow the ring wearer’s orders and to be honest with him. But it also mocks him and seduces him with its powers by turns.

Volthoom usually speaks in a formal manner, but occasional bits of informal speech slip in. It takes on a conversational tone at those moments that it is most blatantly feeding the wearer’s lust for power.


Quotes

“…You call me (Black Power Ring) again, you junkie loser, they’ll be finding pieces of you for weeks.”

Jon Stewart: “You new ? I heard you were a white guy.”
Power Ring: “Long story. Not worth telling, either — you’d be dead by the time I finished it !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Power Ring III (post-Crisis version)

Dex: 07 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 07 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: Syndicate Overlord
Inf: 05 Aur: 06 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 012
Init: 019 HP: 130

Skills:
None demonstrated as yet, but his prior career as an experienced Slave Marine makes it likely that he may have had some of the Subskills of Military Science, Vehicles, and Weaponry, at least.

Advantages:
Expansive Headquarters (The Panopticon), Insta-Change

Connections:
CSA (High)

Drawbacks:
None; this Power Ring has apparently not had the ring long enough for it to begin affecting his personality.

Pet:
RING OF POWER [BODY 20 INT 06 WIL 08 INF 06 AUR 08 SPI 20, Acuity: 15, Awareness: 12, Flight: 14, Force Field: 12, Force Manipulation: 24, Sealed Systems: 11, Scientist (Analysis, Observation): 10. Drawbacks — Ring constantly makes inane observations in the wearer’s voice ; the Ring cannot be removed from wearer unless given to another by mutual agreement ; the Ring slowly causes the wearer to develop an Irrational Attraction to using its power; though the Ring may have a different agenda than its owner, it has a CIA to following the owner’s orders. Bonuses & Limitations:

  • Each active AP of Force Field reduces Force Manipulation by one AP
  • Power Ring and those he surrounds with his Force Fields can attack through them so long as the fields are projected around each of them separately at a Range of Self (as opposed to a larger all-encompassing field)
  • Separate Force Fields can be erected around anyone in Range of Force Field, with APs split using normal math (see Aura of Protection for details)
  • Sealed Systems only affects those contained in a ring-contruct Force Field]

By Roy Cowan and John Colagioia

Source of Character: DC Comics

Helper(s): Grant Morrison (interview), Gareth Lewis, Michael Andrew Ficklin, Chris Cottingham

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