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Rampage (Clarke) (Marvel Comics)

Rampage

(Stuart Clarke)


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

Context

Rampage is a minor Marvel Comics villain. He’s built and wears power armour  enhancing his strength. He is a paranoid and embittered fallen entrepreneur.

Rampage chiefly fought the Champions and Wonder Man. His 2007-2011 return in Punisher War Journal vol. 2 isn’t covered here, save for the flashbacks from #17.


Background

  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Former leader of the Recession Raiders
  • Base Of Operations: Los Angeles, CA
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 185 lbs. (210 lbs. in armor)
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Clarke is a gifted scientist and engineer — his work has often been compared to Tony Stark’s, though he lacks Stark’s breadth and genius and tends to concentrate on lightweight body armours.

He prided himself of being in the same weight class as Stark, until a clash between the two men’s technologies dispelled that notion.

Still, Clarke can design and build sci-fi weapon systems such as pulse-phaser rifles, plasma cannons or ion pulse guns, though such projects take years — and, as usual with comic book technology, will usually result in a prototype that cannot be replicated.

The Rampage suit is mostly supple ; like the Iron Man suit it locks itself and rigidifies through magnetic fields. It incorporates boot jets, is durable enough to survive a blow from Hercules himself, and has titanic strength.

Generally speaking, Rampage can engage even world-class bricks in hand-to-hand combat for a time.

Strength and durability are the crux of the Rampage armour – there are no other weapon systems.


History

Stuart Clarke, a superior scientist and engineer, was also an entrepreneur working tirelessly to market his work and inventions through his company Clarke Futuristics. Things were looking good and his technology full of promise, and investors agreed to provide generous funding.

Now having ample wealth to work and live with, Clarke became acquainted with the frantic L.A. social years of these years – one assumes that his investors connected him with various useful contacts and sponsors. Though he was more used to toiling alone in the lab, Clarke loved the craziness of the L.A. scene.

Despite his new lifestyle, his engineering work was progressing swiftly and Clarke Futuristics developed a reputation.

However, with the oil shock of 1973  the economy took a sudden dive, making sales difficult. Clinging to his entrepreneurial dream, Clarke refused to sell his company and strove on. Things did not improve, and the slump becoming a recession. By 1976, Clarke was unable to repay his creditors and out of cash.

The pressure led to a mental breakdown, and Clarke was found walking down the streets of Los Angeles in his business suit, ranting loudly at passerbies and uttering threats to his lawyer.

Before his breakdown, Clarke had built an experimental suit of lightweight, magnetically-assembled, power armour. This was his answer to an invitation to tender by the LAPD, but Clarke Futuristics was beaten by Stark Enterprises (who presumably sold a Mandroid or Guardsman power armour suit).

The increasingly unstable Clarke found that wearing the powerful armour was intoxicating – and grew determined to use it to strike back against the government after he lost the LAPD tender.

Falling down

Blaming the administration for not protecting the economy against the crisis, Clarke — calling himself Rampage — attacked the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in L.A.. He told himself that it was a victimless crime that would punish the government for its incompetence and put Clarke’s Futuristic well back in the black.

Iceman (Robert Drake) tried to stop him. He would have likely been killed by the furious Rampage had not the other Champions, who were barely forming as a team, intervened. The poorly coordinated heroes underestimated Rampage’s strength, and were forced to briefly withdraw.

Nevertheless, Clarke knew he wouldn’t hold for much longer and triggered a gas tank explosion to cover his retreat.

Rampage (Stuart Clarke) putting on his armor suit

Realising that he was out of control, Clarke decided to just resume his life and work on fixing the company, assuming that nobody could identify as Rampage.

He was wrong – Amos Crawley, the lawyer whom he had recently fired during one of his fits of rage, recognised the design of the armour and called the police. The deserted Clarke Futuristic lab was soon surrounded by the LAPD.

Rampage could not escape — his boot jets having been damaged by the Champions — and accidentally wounded a SWAT officer when he tried to repulse the siege.

The Champions came in and took him down, as they were more careful this time and the suit’s energy reserves were getting low. Preferring death to prison, Clarke detonated the jury-rigged ionic pack he was wearing to replace his jet boots, but Iceman saved his life with a quick ice wall.

Clarke was left comatose. With the choleric inventor out of the picture, Crawley discreetly sold the company and pocketed a tidy profit.

The Champions

The Angel (Warren Worthington III) felt that Clarke was a victim of circumstances and could be redeemed. He paid for his hospital stay and offered the services of a top lawyer. The inventor had snapped for good, however. Treated as a villain he intended to become one and avenge the destruction of his dreams.

The Crimson Dynamo (Yuri Ivanovitch Petrovitch), approached and recruited Rampage to join an assault against the Champions. After he took the lucrative offer, Clarke was flown off the hospital by Darkstar (Laynia Petrovna) and the Griffin (John Horton) despite the interference of the Angel and the Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze).

Another ally of Petrovitch, the Titanium Man (Boris Bullski), kidnapped Champions leader the Black Widow (Natalia Romanova), and Rampage was sent to announce that to the rest of the heroes.

However, he had been tricked by his employers. His armour was rigged with explosives that Petrovitch remotely detonated, hoping to kill the Champions along with his messenger. Clarke only survived thanks to the Ghost Rider, who got him to an ER in record time.

Clarke recovered, but tampered with the medical equipment so the staff would think he was still in a coma. Angry at everything (and especially the occasional maudlin visit from Iceman, who felt Clarke was but a victim), he continued to scheme against the Champions.

He hacked the defences of their base. Clarke repeatedly caused their equipment to fail and once turned the full automated security measures against them. During this latter onslaught he remote-controlled his Rampage suit, which the Champions had kept in storage, but Iceman defeated the empty costume.

Clarke’s harassment was not detected, which strengthened the Champions’ feelings that they were jinxed. This accelerated the group’s eventual disbanding.

On thin ice

Clarke stole chemicals from the hospital, brewed an hypnotic gas and used it to take control of Iceman when he came to visit. The bandages-covered Clarke had Drake wear the Rampage suit and blackmailed the Angel, who had been brooding in the Champions’ deserted HQ after their recent split.

The blackmail worked for a time until Spider-Man came in and helped restore Iceman’s free will and get him out of the Rampage armour. The Angel defeated Clarke early during the battle.

Rampage (Stuart Clarke) vs. the LAPD

Wholly destitute, Clarke live for years as a homeless man. From a comment he made, it would seem that he nevertheless scrounged enough resources to invent ways to recover from his condition. From the art it seems to have been technological means to accelerate conventional medical treatment and physical therapy rather than, say, cybernetics.

In any case, he fully recovered from his dire wounds. Obsessed by revenge, he did not try to rebuild his life. What he wanted was recover the Rampage suit – now owned by Pactech, the company that had bought the Clarke Futuristic assets.

Locating the suit after years of searching, Clarke built a remote controller. He could not take control of the Rampage armour right away — the batteries had long since been taken out — but had it emit an irregular ticking sound.

An engineer working on a batch of new Rampage suits eventually got curious and turned the original suit on to determine what was going on. Minutes later, Clarke was Rampage again.

Clarke also grabbed 5 Pactech Rampage armour replicas. Though these suits were much more modern they were also less powerful, presumably to keep costs under control. He had 5 homeless men whom he knew wear the suits, instructing them in basic Rampage armour operations and naming them the Recession Raiders.

With his garbled understanding of macroeconomics, Clarke decided that Rampage and the Recession Raiders would work for countries with a positive trade balance with the US. This would supposedly draining money away from the American high-tech industry.

This odd plan was foiled by Wonder Man (Simon Williams) and the Beast (Dr. Henry McCoy), though the Beast was badly wounded in the fracas. Rampage was defeated by Wonder Man, though a pair of Recession Raiders managed to flee.

Lady Lotus

The crime boss Lotus grew interested in Clarke – as she considered that the Rampage suit and Clarke’s life story made him a villainous counterpart to Wonder Man. She paid for his bail and legal defence then hired him.

Clarke’s role in Lotus plan was to design the armour worn by the troops of a company called “Armed Response”, offering heavy-duty security services.

The company was owned by Lotus, and her criminal network staged many of the crisis Armed Response started handling for free as a demonstration of their services. In particular, a group of brutal gangbangers was given jetpacks clearly based on Clarke technology so Armed Response could stop them.

Rampage (Stuart Clarke) rips off a vault door in a bank

As half-expected, Wonder Man got in the way and stopped several of the staged crises. Lotus sent her enforcers Splice and Rampage after him, but the pair ran into the Crazy 8, friends and neighbours of Wonder Man accidentally empowered by his ionic radiation .

Though outnumbered Rampage and Splice prevailed against the Crazy 8 and Splice grievously Crazy 8 member Alex Flores, toward whom Wonder Man was very attracted.

Splice wanted to execute the defeated Crazy 8, but Rampage wanted to keep them alive to study their powers. At this point Wonder Man came in. Rampage engaged him but the undisciplined Splice didn’t, arrogantly stating that he would take on the winner.

Rampage fought well and might eventually have won against the ex-Avenger, whose power level had been degrading. However, when Williams saw the dying Flores, he experienced a massive power surge and took down Rampage and Splice.

The Armed Response conspiracy was exposed, forcing Lotus to hit the mattresses and leaving Clarke without much support.

Clarke vs. Stark

Another female crime boss later hired Clarke – Ms. Sunset Bain, occasionally known as Madame Menace. The ambitious Bain was looking for an engineer to repair and enhance the damaged original War Machine suit, and recruited Clarke.

Clarke did get a partially reconstructed version of the War Machine armour running. It was piloted by Parnell Jacobs, the amoral mercenary who had recovered the suit.

Jacobs was an excellent power armour operator, and with the Clarke-fixed suit (plus a heavy armaments pack that Clarke and added to the armour) became Bain’s most powerful henchman.

However, when Jacobs clashed with the actual War Machine (James Rhodes), he was convinced to give up. The furious Bain fired everyone, including Clarke, calling his work inferior to Stark’s.

In unknown circumstances — but probably after a paranoid episode — Clarke ended up getting into a row with multiple armed S.H.I.E.L.D. agents as he demanded to see Tony Stark. He was imprisoned at the Raft, since he had apparently killed one of the agents using a strength-enhancing exoskeleton.

Clarke remained imprisoned at the Raft until the huge breakout triggered by Electro.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

Clarke may be unhinged, but he’s a smart, perceptive engineer and entrepreneur who knows what he wants and has the right personality to get it. Even when somewhat crazed, he’s a realistic and clear-headed tactician who knows how to gauge the risks he’s taking.

While he’s not a killer, Rampage is very bitter and angry at society and his luck. To compensate for this, he revels in the power and control being Rampage gives him. He knows this is but an escape, though — he might be unlucky, but he’s no fool.

Clarke has made his choices and decided to operate as a criminal years ago, since it is the only way to quench his thirst for vengeance — and to acquire the huge amounts of money that would vindicate him.

After his years on the street, Clarke developed something of a persecution complex — always seeing himself as a victim, and blaming various economical factors, foreign investors, Reaganomics, Tony Stark, society, intolerance, jealousy toward his genius, etc. for keeping him down ; by this point he was arguably insane.

When Splice told him to kill three of the unconscious Crazy 8, Rampage did not do it — he still wasn’t a killer, despite wanting to be a major criminal. He rationalized this by telling himself he was all about efficiency, and murder would not be efficient — taking them prisoner and studying them to discover how ionic energy worked would.

After Stark clearly beat his technology (by taking control of the heavy harness rig Clarke had added to the War Machine suit and using it to destroy many of Bain’s smart weapons), Clarke developed an even worse hatred of Stark, and insisted that he would eventually prove the golden Avenger’s better.

He bitterly grew convinced that Stark had been jealous of his genius all along, and had used his wealth since the very beginning to sink Clarke Futuristics. This soon escalated to full-blown, ranting paranoia.


Quotes

“Consider yourself fired, Crawley ! I’ll get in touch with you the next time I want a dream destroyed ! And don’t worry about my creditors. I’ll find a way to pay them back. I’LL FIND A WAY TO PAY THEM ALL BACK !”

“Skip it, friend. It’s probably just as well I show this city what I can do now.” (proceeds to rip off a bank vault door with his bare hands) “Otherwise, the next time I get lied to, I just might lose my temper and hurt somebody !”

“You think you can stop me with this ineffectual barrage, Iceman ? Don’t waste time taking it to the patent office, little man. Because as ideas go — it isn’t worth much !” (SWAT !)

“Back off, man-god ! If you come one step closer, I’ll smash this fist right though the Angel’s skull !”

“I’ve already lost my dream… but I won’t lose my freedom too !”

“I’m afraid no degree will help you, August. Take it from me. The American system, you see, has ceased to reward merit. It has ceased to consider long-term value. The race now goes to the slickest. To the one with the most lawyers and the cleverest accountants. No longer to the creator of wealth.”

“Yes ! It’s mine again ! The power is mine again !”

“Efficiency. That’s all I ever strove for. The right to lead America into the future in the most efficient way — with my own high-tech company. But the company was stolen from me. By the recession — and the bankers. By the inefficient policies of the government. By the chaos of an economy run by pirates and short-term profiteers.”

“Have you forgotten, Williams ? Been a pampered muscleman of this moron society so long — you’ve forgotten how it felt to lose your company — your inventions — your money ?”

“You think I can’t do it ? No one in Hollywood respects technical people !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Stuart Clarke

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: Criminal, former entrepreneur
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 014 HP: 040

Skills:
Gadgetry: 09, Scientist: 08

Advantages:
Familiarity (Business management), Genius

Connections:
Lady Lotus (Low)

Drawbacks:
SIA toward bitterness and feeling persecuted, Unluck, Public ID. After having been double-crossed by the Crimson Dynamo, Clarke had a SPR (crippled legs) and Strange Appearance (he was entirely wrapped in bandages), but this was eventually fixed.

Equipment:

  • RAMPAGE SUIT [/DEX/ 06 /STR/ 15 /BODY/ 13, Flight: 06, Shade: 03, Drawback: Partial Attack Vulnerability (Energy attacks, -1CS RV), R#02]
  • Ionic flight pack [BODY 04, Flight: 07, R#03. This backpack is more powerful than the jet boots in the suit and is used if extensive flying is required. It presumably also has a longer flight time.]
  • Ion-tracer [BODY 02, Detect (Ionic powers): 10, R#03]
  • Electronic ion damper pellet (x8) [BODY 03, Neutralize (Area of effect : affects all ionic powers at once): 12, Grenade drawback. Not being as skilled as Splice with thrown weapons, Rampage uses them as a hand-to-hand attack]
  • While he was crippled, Clarke developed several items that he never used again:
    • Hypnotic gas [BODY 01, Control: 07, No Range. This cartridge of gas was used to initially take control of Iceman. He then used undisclosed means to establish a more durable domination – probably a more elaborate form of the same gas]
    • Force field [BODY 02, Force field: 06, Limitation: Will implode if hit by more than 4 APs of electricity. This field was used to protect himself in his wheelchair]


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Rampage (Stuart Clarke) — Averaged PL 10.8

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
00 01 00 00 02 04 02 01

Devices

Rampage power armour ● 68 points (Removable)
– Boosted strength and durability — Protection 4 (Limited 1 to Physical Impact), Enhanced Strength 14, Enhanced Stamina 8, Close Attack 2
– Boosted speed — Enhanced Agility 3, Enhanced Fighting 5, Enhanced Dodge 4, Enhanced Parry 3
– Jet-boots — Flight 5
– Goggles — Enhanced Fortitude 6 (Limited 3 to Bright Lights)

Ionic flight pack ● 10 points (Removable)
Flight 6

Ion-tracer ● 5 points (Easily Removable)
Senses 7 (Ranged Detect (Ionic superhuman powers), Extended 5)

Ion dampener pellets ● 39 points (Removable)
Weaken (Ionic powers) 16, Broad, Simultaneous

While his legs were crippled Clarke used a mind-control gas (Affliction 8, Resisted by Fortitude, Entranced/Compelled/Controlled), and a force field (Protection 6, Quirk: implodes if hit by a large electrical discharge).

Combat Advantages

None demonstrated

Other Advantages

Inventor

Skills

Athletics 1 (+1) (+15 w/Rampage armour), Deception 2 (+3), Expertise (Applied hard sciences) 10 (+14), Expertise (Business) 2 (+6), Insight 2 (+4), Perception 5 (+7), Persuasion 2 (+3), Technology 12 (+16), Vehicles 2 (+2) (Limited 2 to Common Land Vehicles)

Offense

Initiative +0 (+3 w/Rampage armour)
Unarmed +2, Close, Damage 0
Unarmed w/Rampage armour +9, Close, Damage 14

Defense

Dodge 10*/3 Fortitude 11*/3
Parry 10*/2 Toughness 13*/1
Will 7

* With Rampage armour active

Complications

  • Obsession Clarke forever sees himself as the virtuous victim of tainted systems and envious imbeciles
  • Obsession Rampage is bitter and tends to overestimate his skills ; this eventually focused on a maniacal resentment toward Tony Stark
  • Identity Clarke is known to be Rampage
  • Quirk Clarke would never be described as a lucky person

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack & Effect PL 12, Dodge/Toughness PL 12, Parry/Toughness PL 12, Fort & Will PL 9
  • Point total 133 Abilities 20, Defences 10, Skills 19, Powers 0, Devices 83, Advantages 1. Equiv. PL 9.

Notes

The PLs and points above do not include the Ionic Dampeners since this is a very specific weapon. Against a ionic-powered opponent Rampage’s Attack and Effect PL goes up to 13 and his points total to 182 (equiv. PL 13), making his Averaged PL 11.9.

Rampage (Stuart Clarke) and the Recession Raiders attack Wonder Man


The Recession Raiders

The Raiders were a group of five fellow homeless men, who wore duplicate Rampage armours developed by the company that bought the Clarke Futuristic patents.

Their suits seemed inferior to the original, despite years spent in development. All five were average fellers (all DC Heroes stats are 02s, no HPs ; DC Adventures stats as per the bystander stock stats). What became of them is unclear, though two of them – August and Ronnie – managed to flee with intact suits.

Their suits looked just like the Rampage suit with a ionic pack on. They have the following stats :

DCH [/DEX/ 04 /STR/ 10 /BODY/ 06, Flight: 06, Shade: 02, Skin armour: 04]

M&M Enhanced Agility 2, Enhanced Fighting 4, Enhanced Strength 10, Protection 7, Flight 5, Enhanced Dodge 3, Enhanced Fortitude 6 (Limited 3 to bright lights)

Rampage (Stuart Clarke) briefs the Recession Raiders

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel comics (particularly Champions and Wonder Man)

Helper(s): Pawsplay

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