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Sergeant Kelly of the Human Defense Corps (DC Comics)

Sergeant Montgomery Kelly

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • This is intended as a companion writeup to the Human Defense Corps entry, and assumes the reader has already perused the HDC entry.
  • There’s a number of S P O I L E R S about this neat mini-series.


  • Real Name: Montgomery Kelly
  • Marital Status: Apparently single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: United States Human Defense Corps, an unnamed kind of demons
  • Base Of Operations: Hell
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 175 lbs
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black

Powers and Abilities

Sgt. Kelly is a National Guard veteran and Human Defense Corps veteran. He’s a highly-trained trooper and NCO. Kelly has been exposed to demon blood, which when he reached Hell turned him a sort of half-demon.

The scope of his infernal abilities is unclear. He cannot be killed while in Hell, though he likely can be blown or hacked apart and would have to regroup and repair his body if that happened.

He holds a staff that marks his dominion over his domain, and can perform some magic. So far, the staff has been used to pacify the undead things inhabiting the realm, and to reverse the effects of existing magical rituals. Kelly uses the staff instinctively, without any knowledge of mysticism.


Kelly was a National Guard soldier during the Invasion ; he fought a Khund landing party in Times Square. This battle was pretty much a disaster for the NG, and presumably Kelly’s first combat experience. He was quite alarmed with how many soldiers just froze around him (one in three, according to an oft-quoted statistics).

Years later, when he saw that American soldiers with experience of combat against aliens could apply to join a new branch – the Human Defense Corps – he applied, since he reasoned that it would be a unit made of people who did not freeze in combat, and that it was the kind of people he wanted to watch his back.

Kelly made it into the HDC. When the first operation was launched (a recon mission in support of Bulgarian national forces), he was the first pair of boots on the ground. However, the mission went about as well as a the very first mission of a brand new military dealing with largely unknown dangers could be anticipated to go.

They went in expecting Durlans, and bumped into vampire-like demons. The heat imaging goggles everyone was wearing in order to see shapechangers no matter what their disguise were a crippling drawback when faced by opponents not giving off any body heat, and Kelly ended up the only known survivor of Easy Company.

Having been captured by the “vampires”, Kelly expected to die. The rest of the HDC troops, however, decided to shell the perimeter, since they assumed nobody had survived, and an explosion allowed Kelly to run. He was caught by a “vampire” who started drinking his blood, but two F14s zoomed by and bombed the area with ’holy napalm‘.

A platoon leader, Rosetti, had roughly deduced what they were up against and had ordered some special ammunition jury-rigged. This mix of flame retardant gel and holy water practically disintegrated the “vampires”, including the one that was drinking Kelly’s blood. The beast dissolved on him, and though nobody paid much attention, some demon blood ended up in Kelly’s bloodstream.

Kelly and Rosetti were decorated and promoted, with Kelly going from Corporal to Sergeant. Kelly, however, was very bitter and disillusioned. On top of having nasty scars over his face, shoulders and chest from the melting demon, he now had to live with the knowledge that he had done what he so resented during the Times Square battle – during the demonic ambush, he had frozen and failed to help his comrades. He was the one out of three.

Monty got his gun

Kelly eventually learned to live with this failure – though for a time he shifted the blame to Colonel Rosetti and considered it was Rosetti’s fault for sending them in with poor intel. The more gung-ho recruits also tended to be sceptical about the bitter sarge with huge scars who drank too much and often whined about stuff.

Contributing to Kelly’s mediocre morale were recurrent nightmares and visions about the dead men of Easy, blaming him for having frozen and asking for his help. He made the mistake of mentioning the nightmares and his loss of sleep, which caused him to be passed over for battlefield promotion when he took command of his platoon after his Lt. was badly wounded in the leg.

A new lieutenant took command of the platoon, and though he was well-trained he did not know yet about the small details of fighting A‘corti guerilla. Two men were lost as a result, and Kelly blamed himself for those death since that would not have happened had he been platoon leader.

Kelly eventually discovered that other men of the HDC had similar (though less traumatic) nightmares, and he and the handful of other men who had the nightmares reported that to Rosetti. Rosetti confirmed that he too was suffering from strong nightmares following the exact same script, and suspected that it was a trans-death communication.

He put the Paranormal Science Dept. of the HDC on the case, and during a seance conducted by the PSD’s Chaplain Charlie in Midnight Station, it was confirmed that 66 men were not KIA, but POW and had been taken from the Bulgarian battle site to Hell.

Sergeant Kelly having a drink

Upon realising that Rosetti also got the nightmares, learning that most of the men were alive, and that Rosetti was firmly determined to launch an interdimensional combat rescue operation, Kelly changed his misplaced resentment toward the Colonel, and became determined to redeem himself by fighting well during the combat rescue op in Hell.

The transdimensional amphibious landing and deployment went very well, and Kelly performed just fine. When tasked with getting rid of a demon’s body (dumping it as far as possible from its head to neutralise it for a few days), things went South as they were attacked by devils riding wyern-like creatures.

One of Kelly’s men was killed and the other went crazy before being killed, but Kelly remained calm and entered a state of action over thought – hijacking a wyvern, gunning down several other wyvern-riding devils with his sidearm and regrouping with the HDC’s point unit. His clumsy landing accidentally made him the point man, and along with Colonel Rosetti and Chaplain Charlie he ended confronting the demonic tribe.

Fatally stabbed by one of the demons, Kelly failed to die or even bleed, and was identified by smell by the demons as being one of their kind.

Better to reign in Hell

Though the demon blood had apparently ’activated‘ by proximity of the other demons and his eyes began to glow red, Kelly was not mentally affected by becoming part-demon. Determined to save the POWs, he seized a moment and shot the arm of the demon leader to make him drop his magical staff, then grabbed the staff to prevent its use since it seemed to be used to send some of the POWs elsewhere.

Kelly was able to use the staff to bring all the POWs back and free them. Rosetti then asked him to use the staff to command hostiles into quiescence, and asked him to become the US-appointed interim leader of this small portion of Hell

Kelly’s use of the staff did make the attacking demons abandon the fight, and the HDC made an uneventful retreat back to its transports, along with the POWs.

Kelly was later selected by the Pentagon’s PR staff to tell the tale during a special TV interview with Vicky Vale. The small bit of Hell that was once the territory of the demonic tribe was now under Kelly’s authority, and the State Dept opened official relations between this territory and the United States.

The HDC’s R&D started working on finding a way to get the activated demon blood out of Kelly’s system – the general plan seemed to detox Kelly and nominate a native puppet ruler in the small slice of Hell. Whether that succeeded is unknown.


Kelly is badly scarred, and when in Hell his right eye glows red.


Kelly is a loyal and disciplined veteran NCO. Though he had nearly two years of doubt, execrable morale and self-loathing, freeing his comrades-in-arms and fighting heroically without ever freezing up redeemed him in his own eyes. He’s back to being a competent professional.

Kelly is modest about his own successes, and has a strong esprit de corps.


“No, I’m not [a hero]. I’m unreliable. I’m one in three. I didn’t move a muscle while my buddies got slaughtered. I’m a cartoon soldier. An empty suit. An image on the dumbest recruitment poster I’ve ever seen.”

“The circle’s broken, Taylor. Get in the game.” (charges an astral guard after a summoning ritual goes FUBAR)

“I am Sgt. Kelly, sir… and I was human when I woke up this morning. I think I’ve gone native, Colonel.”

“Well, there is one other way to put it, Ms. Vale… I was part of the *team* that did that.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Montgomery Kelly

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Infernal ruler
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 013 HP: 020

Invulnerability: 09

Bonuses and Limitations:
Invulnerability may only work in Hell

Acrobatics (Climbing): 03, Medicine (First aid):03, Military science: 04, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 04

Familiarity (Military equipment and protocols ; Known alien, paranormal and non-human threats ; SARGE reconnaissance RC units), Homo Magi, Rank (Sergeant within the HDC), Stabilisation (only in Hell). During the initial combat rescue operation in Hell he develops Lightning Reflexes (already factored into the Initiative above).

Human Defense Corps (Low)

Creepy Appearance (scars)

Kelly now holds an infernal staff of unclear capabilities. It gives him High Credentials in his little realm of Hell, and apparently has Occultist (Rituals): 08 plus a collection of Rituals the wielder can execute even without special occult knowledge (having the Homo Magi Advantage or Sorcery might be a prerequisite, though).

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Human Defense Corps (DC Universe)

Helper(s): Darci

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