5704 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Radiation Roy (Legion of Super-Heroes enemy) (DC Comics)

Radiation Roy


Context

The goofily-named, ridiculous-looking and not terribly competent Radiation Roy is a minor Legion of Super-Heroes character. He first appeared in a bit role in 1964, but unexpectedly made further appearances over the decades.

He actually made further appearances after this profile was written, in 2008+.


Background

  • Real Name: Roy Travich.
  • Other Aliases: Radiation Roy, possibly Radiator.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Legion of Super-Villains.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height:  ? Weight:  ?
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Currently bald, formerly brown.


Powers and Abilities

Roy has the power to emit energy which causes living beings to grow weak and ill. Prolonged exposure will lead to collapse and eventually death.

At the School for Super-Villains, Roy was taught basic thieving and combat skills (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Thief, Martial Artist). He is also familiar with enough basic piloting skills (Vehicles/Space) to operate in weightless environments. Using LSV technology Radiation Roy can fly, as well as survive and communicate in space or underwater.

His power was said to be the emission of “paralyzing radiation” that makes people and plants weak. He didn’t paralyze anybody in the sense of freezing them in place. But he did make them weak and droopy. They tend to fall down or eventually fall unconscious.

I don’t think he’s ever blasted anything inanimate, but organic targets can be killed by long enough exposure.


History

There were some Post-Crisis retcons made to his history – for no discernible reason. These conflict with what he said about himself in his first appearance. I’ve reconciled the two versions. But honestly, neither of which was very detailed – or important – in the first place.)

(As usual I gave priority to what occurred in the stories, rather than what was said in Who’s Who in the Legion since it’s a secondary source )..

Enter the Roy

Roy Travich inherited a fortune when he was orphaned while still a teenager. The deaths of his parents may have been tied to a genetic anomaly passed down through several generations of his family. This anomaly resulted in an over-energized metabolism which could be extraordinarily debilitating.

Roy invested most of his fortune into medical research. He hoped that scientists could find a way for him to harness or cure him of his disability. Eventually they succeeded in helping Roy bring his metabolism under control. His body still produced paralyzing “radiation” but he was no longer affected by it himself.

Roy decided to capitalize on his ability. He tried out for membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes in 2975 as “Radiation Roy.”

Roy told the Legionnaires a slightly idealized version of his history. He only said that he had always idolized the Legion and had spent his fortune trying to gain powers so that could be a hero like the Legionnaires. He left out the part about the research having been necessary for his own health.

Roy had not yet refined his powers. During his tryout he simply radiated energy in all directions, striking down all the non-invulnerable Legionnaires present. His energy output grew out of his control for some moments, as well.

This prompted Superboy to grab Roy and fly him away from anyone who might be vulnerable to exposure before Roy was finally able to shut down. The Legion rejected him for his lack of control over his powers.

Rejected

This was before the creation of the Legion Academy. Thus, the Legionnaires were not yet in the business of training other would-be heroes in the use of their powers. It seems Roy did not attempt to attend the Academy when it opened some two years later.

Radiation Roy attacks Phantom Girl

Perhaps he was more offended than it appeared by his rejection for Legion membership, despite his gracious front. Or perhaps he didn’t make the grade for Academy training either. Or he may have already been too old for Legion membership at that point, as new members had to be under 18 when admitted.

In any case, Roy was still looking for some way to hone his powers. Thus, he was easily recruited by agents of Tarik the Mute’s school for aspiring super-villains. Roy mastered his powers there. He eventually served with all incarnations of the Legion of Super-Villains, and was repeatedly incarcerated for his part in their crimes.

Five years later

In the post-Crisis, “Five Year Gap” timeline, Roy was freed from prison due to the manipulations of the Dominators. The aliens were secretly controlling Earthgov. They also were performing genetic experiments on any metahumans they could get their hands on.

As a result, Roy spent several years as a captive in their underground chambers. It is believed that he was killed when resistance fighter Grinn caused the Chambers to explode.


Description

Roy was a man of average height and build, with brown hair and brown eyes. Later he was bald. Apparently someone felt that a villain who had “radiation” in his name should lose his hair.

His original costume was a rather garish affair of green, orange, and white. The legs were green, the trunks and the bottom of his shirt were orange, the part of the shirt covering his abdomen was green with a white wavy line running around the top of the green and separating the green from the top of the shirt, which was orange, as were his long sleeves.

He had a high green collar and green shoulder scallops.

His second costume was only a little better. It had green leggings and wrist cuffs and a sort of magenta shirt. The collar was eliminated, and there was a white (sometimes green) streak down his chest with a chest symbol in red, an interlac letter “r”. Sometimes he had magenta boots.


Personality

It initially was surprising that Roy ended up a member of the LSV, given his apparent good heart and graceful acceptance of his rejection for LSH membership. It becomes less surprising when you understand that Roy Travich has always been more about appearances than substance.

Roy wanted the thrill of being famous, a heroic and important galactic idol. That was the real reason he wanted to be a Legionnaire. When he was rejected, he again put appearances first, and strove to appear gracious and resigned. But he was actually infuriated.

He then went the other direction. If he couldn’t be important and famous as a hero, then he’d be famous as a villain. Thus he joined the LSV. There, he always strove to sound and act like a first-rate, formidable villain.

At heart, though, Roy is a small-minded and petty person, and a bit of a coward. He comes off sounding threatening when he has the upper hand. He will bicker forcefully with teammates trying to make them think he is tough. But he is easily intimidated and quick to back down or even run away when things aren’t going his way.

Other traits

The other thing to know about Roy is that his judgment is not the greatest. For example, he’s always been concerned about appearances, yet he chose the name “Radiation Roy” thinking it was clever and original. His costumes, too, show a lack of judgment, especially the first one.

And of course, rather than working on mastering his powers and then reapplying to the Legion, he chose to become a second-rate supervillain instead.


Quotes

“I’ve got my power under control, now ! *choke* I know I’ve failed the test. Until I master my ability completely, I might do more harm than good !”

(On seeing Sun Emperor incinerate an innocent): “Ick.”

Radiation Roy : “The name is Radiation Roy, Tyr – not Radiator.”
Tyr : “Change it. It’s stupid. I don’t associate with stupid people.”

Radiation Roy: “Only two Legionnaires ? This is no challenge !”
Element Lad: “Is inertron blocking your powers more of a challenge, Roy – or are you just all choked up ?”
Radiation Roy: “Element-lad ?”

“Your power won’t protect you from my radiation, Phantom Girl !”

Radiation Roy: “This is our chance – we can save the others, kill us a Legionnaire each – prove ourselves !”
Ron-Karr: “Right, Radiation Roy ! Let’s do it !”
Radiation Roy: “Ulp !” (Seeing Ultra Boy and Chameleon Boy coming for them, they run away.)
Ron-Karr: “Let’s get out of here !”
Radiation Roy: “I think it’s time we looked for a new line of work, Ron-Karr !”


DC Universe History

Nothing special is necessary – he can be used anywhere easily enough. The Post-Crisis retcon that had Roy inheriting a “genetic abnormality” (metagene) from his “Russian ancestors” never played a role in the stories.

It may have been an attempt to tie him in to some Russian metahuman or other of the 20th century – possibly the Soviet nuclear hero Mikhail Arkadin (Pozhar) who became a part of the second incarnation of Firestorm.

That would also tie him to Soyuz, through Mikhail’s niece Serafina. A connection with some incarnation of Firestorm, or perhaps with the Marvel villain known as the Presence, might tie into the Power Complication Subplot mentioned above.

Alternative

Or from John Colagioia: Another possibility also exists in the form of Sonya “Fireball” Chuikov, the WWII Russian heroine briefly seen in Young All-Stars and the obligatory legacy of the 1908 “Tungusta Blast” required by all universes.

Of course, (a) she could mostly only zap things, and (b) any number of families could’ve moved in and out of Russia in a thousand years. Incidentally, does anybody else ever wonder why, when a Legionnaire has a legacy of some sort, it always dates back to the 20th century and nobody seems to be descended from Star Hawkins or one of the Space Rangers?

They weren’t *that* boring…


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Radiation Roy

A 487 HP Character

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Thrill Seeker
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 04 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 015 HP: 035

Powers:
Numb: 14

Note:
Roy’s Numb Power may be a form of actual radiation; as such, at GM discretion Systemic Antidote and Sealed Systems may add to the RV vs. Numb attacks, and Energy Absorption may protect against it.

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Numb is Transdimensional – it affects Dispersed characters normally (+3 FC).
  • RAPs from Numb attacks are spread evenly among all 3 Physical Attributes (DEX, STR, and BODY), not just the normal DEX and STR (+ 1 FC).

Skills:
Martial Artist (AV, OV): 03, Thief: 03, Vehicles (Space): 03

Connections:
Legion of Super-Villains (High).

Equipment:
As a member of the LSV, Radiation Roy has access to purloined technology from the LSH, notably a Transuit and some form of anti-gravity flight technology (probably either a Flight Belt or an early model Flight Ring). He has some form of communications technology as well, a telepathic earplug or perhaps a simple radio. See the LSH Equipment writeup for details.


Early Roy

By the time of Roy’s second appearance, he had the stats shown above. In his first appearance, as an applicant to the Legion of Super-Heroes, Roy did not have Martial Artist, Thief, or any Connections. His HPs were only 25. He had just finished exhausting his personal fortune – originally he had a Wealth of 012.

His Power had Area Effect of 1 AP but No Range. That is, the power was always centered on Roy and affected everyone (except him) within a 1 AP radius. His Power also had a sort of Catastrophic Power Burnout, but when the Burnout # was rolled, his Power didn’t Burn Out, it activated at full strength (Killing Combat).

It could not be turned off until Roy succeeded in a Mental Action check against OV/RV of 6/6.


Design Notes

Roy’s power cannot be a simple Energy Blast, but neither is it normal Paralysis. Seb’s Numb Power seems to fit the bill, with a Bonus that RAPs are spread among Dex, Str, and Body. I debated using the Combined Power Bonus, with combos of Energy Blast, Paralysis, and Neutralize, but that was ugly and the RAPs didn’t work out right – this models him better.

His “paralyzing radiation” may or may not be actual radiation. I tend to doubt it, myself. It will be up to individual GMs to determine if defenses against radiation help resist Roy’s power. Personally I’d allow Energy Absorption to protect against him, but not Systemic Antidote or Sealed Systems (though most others who commented disagreed).


Über Roy

In one story Roy had a phenomenally potent power that he’s never exhibited before or since. This is the ability to create an Energy Bubble strong enough to imprison Superboy and Mon-El at once and hold them helpless for hours.

Roy could maintain multiple bubbles with no lessening of their strength and without having to think about keeping the bubbles in existence. He maintained the bubble around Superboy and Mon-El while simultaneously creating a second bubble to imprison Ultra Boy, who was light years away on the planet Rimbor.

The story was rife with many continuity errors and oddities – not only about Roy, but about several other characters. So I recommend you ignore the incident, or decide in your own mind that it didn’t happen exactly as shown in the comics. Or you may treat it as a Power Complication Subplot which is unlikely to recur unless the GM really wants it to.

In any case, there are a couple of options for handling this Power Complication Subplot. One is to say that Roy’s Numb power has vastly increased. Perhaps the LSV has built a Gadget for this purpose which has roughly 20 APs or so of Enchantment or Power Reserve. This allowed him to Numb even Superboy and Mon-El to the point that they had Dex of 0 and couldn’t move.

Come up with any scenario you like – just double his APs somehow, let him spend lots of HPs on AV/EV, and limit his ability to Multi-Attack, and you should have everything about right. In this case the “Energy Bubble” created by Roy is something of a special effect with no real effect on gameplay.

On the other hand, perhaps Roy really can create impenetrable energy bubbles as he boasted. This might be represented with Matter Manipulation (Air to Bubbles only – Bubbles only have BODY – bubbles dissipate after 15 APs of time) at 50 APs.

Perhaps this is part of a subplot in which Roy’s radioactive powers are increasing to include abilities possessed by such other radioactive metahumans as Firestorm. In this case the Matter Manipulation power is probably Catastrophically Marginal, requiring a 30 HP fee to use, which is why Roy has only used it the one time… so far.

John Colagioia suggests it’s even possible that there’s more than one guy running around calling himself Radiation Roy. Perhaps there’s a whole club (or more likely a support group). Energy Bubble Roy did have a different hair color.

By Chris Cottingham and Andrew Lee.

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet for the Numb Power, KalEl el Vigilante, Dr. Peter S. Piispanen, Frank Murdock, John Colagioia, 1st Edition stats from the Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 1 Sourcebook by Mayfair Games, Who’s Who in the Legion #4, Legion of Super-Heroes Help File by Chaim Mattis Keller.

Source of Character: DCU (Pre-Crisis and Preboot LSH).

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Short. To the point. Learn more.