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Spitfire of the New Invaders (Marvel Comics) (Jacqueline Falsworth) face closeup

Spitfire

(Jacqueline Falsworth) (Profile #4 - 1992-2008)


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

Context

Spitfire is one of the foremost British heroines in the Marvel Universe. She keeps appearing in weird corners of the MU rather than in the spotlight, but she’s an elder stateswoman for the British super-folks and adventurers. Her career started during World War Two and is still ongoing.

To facilitate reading, this lengthy career is covered in a series of 5 profiles:

  1. Spitfire (1942-43) – start there.
  2. Spitfire (pre-rejuvenation).
  3. Spitfire (1992-2008) – this here profile.
  4. Sptfire (2008-2011).

This era is frustrating for Spitfire fans (all three of them). Several times, she seems poised to occupy a position in the Marvel Universe that matches her background, and things go sour – Byrne leaves Namor, Knights of Pendragon and later Invaders are rapidly cancelled, Union Jack volume 1 and Mortigan Goth are just niche, short mini-series, etc.

Still, she’s a pivot character for the British superhuman and adventuring scene.

This profile has S P O I L E R S.


Background

  • Real Name: Jacqueline Falsworth Crichton (Lady Crichton), née Lady Jacqueline Falsworth.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: Lord William Falsworth (grandfather, deceased), Lord Montgomery Falsworth (aka Union Jack I, father, deceased), Lady Falsworth (mother, deceased), Lord John Falsworth (aka Baron Blood I, uncle, deceased), Lord Brian Falsworth (aka Union Jack II, aka the Mighty Destroyer, brother, deceased), Lord Crichton (husband, deceased), Lord Kenneth Crichton (son, deceased), Katherine Ainsley-Jones (distant cousin, deceased), Lord John Crichton (grandson).
  • Group Affiliation: Former member of the Invaders, former member of the V-Battalion, former member of the New Invaders. The Falsworths are also traditionally members of the Hellfire Club.
  • Base Of Operations: London. The traditional estate, Falsworth Manor, is in the Home Counties.
  • Height: 5’4” Weight: 115 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blonde or white


Powers & Abilities

Spitfire recovered her abilities as they were circa 1945 – and possibly a bit higher.

She also received broader military and intelligence training. For instance she’s now a qualified Blackhawk Special Operations Helicopter pilot.

Speed

Her superspeed now definitely can be used to deliver massive impacts. For instance she once charges open huge, reinforced doors. She accelerates from standing still to full speed within tenths of a second.

Spitfire usually moves so fast as to be a blur, even on most types of photographic films (barring expensive high-speed film). As a consequence she is impossible to identify except as somebody with blonde hair. That there is someone is obvious on photograph, but it’s just a person-shaped presence amidst massive gusts of wind.

Though some GMs treat this as a natural effect of Superspeed, the game stats in this entry mark this effect with a limited Invisibility or Concealment Power.

Other powers

Jackie has yet to discover her vampiric abilities. But it is possible that by 2004, after the Baroness Blood encounters, she is starting to suspect the truth. She also learns that the Human Torch (Jim Hammond) has an empathic link with her, though, due to the presence of his blood in her body.

This empathic connection seems largely one-way, but Jacqueline has a strong instinctive affinity toward Jim due to this. This is firmly a Subplot and not a Power, though, except maybe on Jim’s side.

Very little is seen of Spitfire in action during this era, despite her being an Invader.

Hotblooded

In 1993, drinking Spitfire’s blood resulted in incineration for a fairly powerful vampire. In game terms that was perhaps the equivalent of Disintegration: 12 in DCH and Penetrating Fire Damage 12 in DCA. Why this happened is unclear. Howbeit it is not that surprising given the complex nature of Crichton’s physiology and haematology.

However, a dozen years later, Baroness Blood has some of her vampire minions drink Jacqueline’s blood as a communion of sorts. This has no negative effect on them.

This discrepancy was likely caused by drinking Baroness Blood’s ichor  just before drinking Jac’s blood. The Baroness can ignore fire and sunlight, and this immunity is transmissible via her ichor.


History

After they got out of Berlin Namor, Captain America and the starkly rejuvenated Spitfire officially buried and gave a wake for their former colleague the Human Torch (Jim Hammond). They announced that the Torch had died in heroic sacrifice.

The Torch had actually survived the transfusion that saved the Lady Crichton. But Jim also had temporarily lost his fire powers in the operation. As a consequence he had decided to retire to explore his humanity.

Corporate action

Falsworth Industries became an ally of Oracle, Namor’s corporation. In particular, Crichton had Falsworth carry out a hostile take-over of the Rand-Meachum Corporation. Her goal was to clean up the manipulations of the Super-Skrull following Danny Rand’s apparent death.

After Rand turned up alive, Jacqueline had the control of Rand-Meachum returned to him. She also engineered the take-over of Marrs Corporation by Oracle to put an end to the shenanigans of Phoebe Marrs.

Rejuvenated

On a more personal level, Crichton found it difficult to adjust to her new physical age. Despite Namorita’s efforts Jackie experienced difficulties in letting go of the frumpy habits of a nostalgic 65-year-old dowager.

Spitfire and Doctor Strange out of costume (Marvel Frontier Comics)

Namorita offered her own wardrobe for Jackie to experiment. But the trendy and often provocative clothing the young Atlantean favoured did not quite take with the Lady Crichton.

Namorita even pushed Jackie into becoming a cover girl when they happened upon a supposed glamour photographer. As it turned out it was an exploitative trap, and Jackie beat the photographer up before leaving. The man intended to sue, but the photos of the beatdown were unusable, Spitfire being now too fast to register on film.

Still, the incident ended up helping, making the Lady Crichton more comfortable with her rejuvenated body and powers.

Corporate power struggles

Back in England, Jackie had to struggle against the board of Falsworth International, presumably the holding company owning Falsworth Industries.

One board member named Malton attempted to build a coalition to have her ousted as CEO, his main argument being that Falsworth was now a teenager and thus not fit to run the group in a context of heightened international competition and mediocre results.

The outraged dowager fought back against Malton, though the outcome of that influence struggle was never revealed.

Rumours and sensationalist coverage of her rejuvenation in the British gutter press did not help. It kept he Lady Crichton in the news for weeks. She had to hold a number of press conferences to deny whichever absurdity was currently en vogue, such as rumours of a stay in a secret cryogenic machine built for Michael Jackson.

The attention had some positive aspects, though, such as television retrospectives of her wartime exploits.

Fearless vampire hunters

Her ladyship then discovered that her cousin Katherine was once again active as a vampire. As Katherine preyed on locals in the Falsworth area, Jacqueline summoned Mortigan Goth. Her hope was that he could saved Katherine and make her human again, as he had done 50 years before.

They were to be joined by Doctor Stephen Strange, who was looking for Goth for different reasons.

However Katherine attacked the good doctor on his way, crashing his car and incapacitating him. Katherine also tricked and mesmerised Jacqueline, but was destroyed by the Lady Crichton’s blood. The vampire had hoped it would make her young and superhuman, but all it did was incinerate her.

Oh England my lionheart, part 1

For some years after that incident, Jacqueline apparently drifted away from her previous corporate and familial responsibilities. She became a part of the upper class social circuit.

Meanwhile, her beloved son Kenneth resented his mother for being so young and vital while he was struggling with anaemia. Kenneth increasingly rejected his mother and his best friend Joe, as he resented the incredible strokes of luck they both enjoyed as super-heroes. He also believed that his anaemia had been caused by his mother’s abnormal blood.

This facilitated Kenneth’s recruitment into a vampiric Grail cult, headed by Baroness Blood. The Baroness was a woman turned into a vampire by Baron Blood decades before. The cult convinced Kenneth they could cure his anaemia by turning him into a vampire and making him the new Baron Blood.

His existence as a vampire was brief, however. He had been manipulated from end to end by Baroness Blood, who soon expended him.

While Union Jack fought hard against the Grail cult, Jacqueline was in denial and refused to admit there might be a situation. The cult bombed Falsworth manor during a major party, killing dozens, though Spitfire produced a burst of speed that saved Union Jack and herself from the blast.

Oh England my lionheart, part 2

Though Jacqueline did not know it at the time, a key part of the Baroness’s ambitious plan was to give birth. Her machinations allowed her to become pregnant despite her vampiric nature, with Kenneth being the father.

Baroness Blood named her son John in honour of the original Baron Blood, and propped the baby vampire up as the founder of a great new dynasty of undead rulers.

During the Baroness Blood plot, Jacqueline was oddly passive and in denial. I would assume that major events had recently taken place in her life. My No-Prize Hypothesis  is that she was ousted as Falsworth CEO after year of struggling, and was suffering from depression as a consequence.

Since her wealth seemed greater than ever, she likely received a huge severance package if that hypothesis is true.

After the death and apparent destruction of Kenneth, Jacqueline dropped her attempt to lose herself in a socialite life. She became a special government operative — presumably for one of the MIs — just like her father had been.

Sporting an updated Spitfire uniform, she often worked along with Union Jack (Joe Chapman) and the two became lovers. Their career on her Majesty’s secret service is mostly undocumented.

Super agent

In 2004, a joint US/UK/Atlantis operation in the Middle East led to the creation of a new version of the Invaders, usually called the New Invaders. The British government put Spitfire and Union Jack under the leadership of USAgent (John Walker), who allied with Namor, recruited the Blazing Skull, and procured the female Human Torch called Tara.

Behind the scenes the New Invaders were also enjoying the support of the Thin Man.

Spitfire (Jacqueline Falsworth) and the New Invaders

Spitfire had strong reservations about the whole thing practically from the start. She objected to the planned invasion of the so-called rogue state of Mazikhandar, to being placed under US authority, and to USAgent’s leadership.

She was right all along. The Sub-Mariner was having one of his bellicose phases, slanting the New Invaders’ action toward needless aggression. Furthermore, much of the support the USAgent was receiving to form the New Invaders came from Mr. Dell Rusk, the former Secretary of Defence – and secretly the Red Skull.

New Invaders

Though Mazikhandar fell to the Invaders, the operation went into the toilet when the Quisling backed by the US and the UK went rogue. The Avengers intervened to stabilise the situation. The British members barely maintained discipline and dignity during the fiasco.

In the end the US plan semi-succeeded — largely through fait accompli  and a general desire not to throw oil markets into further chaos.

With the Red Skull’s involvement revealed, the Thin Man largely took control of the New Invaders. He then established strong ties with the V-Battalion. This development worked for Jacqueline as it meant renewed ties with Jim Hammond, the former Human Torch, who had become one of the leaders of the Battalion.

Hammond was also a welcome counterweight to John Walker’s crass and bold leadership style, which Crichton and Chapman still greatly disliked.

The Thin Man refocused the New Invaders on countering an emerging neo-Nazi global terrorist organisation, the Axis Mundi. The Axis was backed by the Red Skull and employing stolen Kalahian technology. Spitfire and Union Jack soon discovered that one of the key members of the Axis Mundi was Baroness Blood, who held Jacqueline’s grandson John.

Love bites, part 1

Though the career of the New Invaders was short, it was marked by emotional hardships for Jacqueline.

She came to realise that she loved Jim Hammond, which put a strain on her relationship with Joey Chapman after a slip of the tongue betrayed her. This mutual attraction was largely caused by an empathic bond they shared thanks to the Torch’s blood in Jackie’s body.

The Lady Crichton was also lured into a trap after Baroness Blood convinced her, through mesmerism, that Kenneth had returned from the dead. During this incident, Jac discovered that her grandson was an infant vampire of complex heritage. The “baby” could only gain nourishment from the Baroness’ or Spitfire’s blood.

According to the Baroness, this was caused by his grandmother’s peculiar physiology, which she also blamed for Kenneth’s anaemia.

Love bites, part 2

In shock, Spitfire produced a burst of super-strength (in hindsight, a sign of her vampiric abilities) and attempted to escape with her grandson. She intended to feed it with her blood – even if that meant her death.

There were too many vampire minions for her to fight, but a team of Invaders found her and helped her fight free. The Baroness nevertheless escaped with baby John.

Spitfire, the Human Torch and Union Jack never managed to resolve their love triangle, as the fight against the Axis Mundi consumed all their time. During a clash with a Merrano-led Atlantean faction of the Axis, Union Jack was gravely wounded and the Torch seemingly died sacrificing himself to put an end to the Axis Mundi plot.

The New Invaders soon disbanded, and Crichton and Chapman’s relationship disintegrated soon after.

Spitfire then resumed her work as a solo special agent for the Crown.


Description

Spitfire’s hair starts out white, in a colour reminiscent of that of Felicia Hardy (the Black Cat). For some reason, it took about ten years for her hair to “catch up” with her rejuvenation, regaining a platinum blonde and eventually a straight blonde hue.

For a while during the 1990s it went through a blueish shade of grey-white. Eumelanin is weird, man.


Personality

The Lady Crichton took years to adjust to a teenage body. She was quite old and had grown up in the very different world of the 1930s and 1940s, having come to dislike the changes brought by the 1970s and 1980s. For years she remained frumpy and staid, with very dated values, manners and Britishisms, in stark contrast with her adolescent cover girl looks.

During the mid- to late 1990s, Jackie came to terms with her renewed youth. She rebuilt her social life with great energy, gaining a reputation as a socialite and organising elaborate parties.

She seemed to have left behind her responsibilities as a heroine and manager, came across as vain and superficial, and was in denial about being stalked by a vampire cult. See the History section for our No-Prize Hypothesis about this era.

Preferences

Jackie seems to be a practising Christian — presumably Anglican — and her faith is true enough to repulse vampires when she brandishes a crucifix.

Her familial history has amply exposed to the supernatural, the paranormal and the superhuman. Coupled with her above-average strength of character this allows her to handle such matters with calm and good manners.

Jacqueline is generally a private person. She dislikes pointless violence and bravado. She is slightly understated and almost always proper and principled – she obviously has a rank to uphold. She wasn’t too old-fashioned about her relationship with Joe, though.

Spitfire is very, very attached to her son and grandson, no matter what. Their well-being is a traumatic subject for her. Emotional manipulation using Kenneth and/or John will soon have her ragged and may lead to a shocked, irrational state where she utterly neglects her own safety to save or even just contact her descendants.


Quotes

“Honestly, Joe Chapman, I know you’re not exactly to the manor born, but do you *have* to dismantle this contraption indoors ?”

“Well… ahem… I’ll just leave you to your privacy… I have an important call to make, anyway…”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Spitfire (rejuvenated)

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation : Thrill/Responsibility
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation : Heroine
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth} : 010
Init: 026 HP: 030

Powers:
Air control: 05, Gravity decrease: 02, Kinetic Absorption (Structural only): 02, Invisibility: 02, Superspeed: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Air Control is Contingent Upon Superspeed and is performed via moving (usually running).
  • Air Control does not allow for flight.
  • Gravity Decrease is Contingent on Air Control – it consists of forming a strong updraft under the target object. Spitfire can also use it on herself through rapid legs movement heating the air below her.
  • Invisibility is limited to blurring/obscuring her facial and body image, and requires Superspeed to be active (one AP of Invisibility at 5+ APs, the other at ten) (BC 5 FC 2).
  • Spitfire can only use up to 5 APs of Superspeed to reduce the time for tasks.

Note:
When receiving a full transfusion of the blood of the original Human Torch, Spitfire’s unique physiology grants her Invulnerability: 12 and Regeneration: 12 for as long as the transfusion lasts. Invulnerability counteracts ageing effects, and both Powers will work to erase ageing and wounds suffered since the last time she was physically 16.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Athletics, Dodging): 08, Martial Artist (inc. Techniques): 04, Vehicles (Land, Air): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 04, Weaponry (Knives)*: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Acrobatics is Contingent on Superspeed.

Advantages:
Connoisseur, Familiarity (British nobility customs, Business management, Financial engineering), Language (German), Schtick (Fists of Fury), Misc.: Jacqueline is a fairly senior English noble and enjoys some social privileges due to her rank.

Connections:
Former Invaders (Low), Mortigan Goth (Low), British business world (Low), British nobility (Low), Human Torch I (Jim Hammond, High), Roger Aubrey (Low), Scotland Yard (Low), Namorita (Low), Dr. Strange (Low), Union Jack III (Joey Chapman) (High), New Invaders (Low).

Drawbacks:
Public ID, Dependant (Kenneth, until his destruction), Traumatic Flashback (seeing Kenneth or John).

Equipment:

  • In the early 2000s, Crichton was operating with a redesigned costume. Observed features included special sunglasses ([BODY 02, Shade: 02)] and a 9mm handgun ([BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 13, R#02]).
  • As a New Invader, her costume had GOGGLES [BODY 02, Shade: 01, Do nothing: 05], a LIGHTWEIGHT RADIO HEADSET [BODY 01, Radio communications: 06], and might also have had some protective properties. When arming herself for war, her loadout was :
    • TACTICAL VEST/COMBAT WEBBING [BODY 05, Skin armour: 02, Limitations: Skin Armour is Partial (vest), Only Effective vs Bullets & Blades, and is Real Armour].
    • Kukri (x2) [BODY 06, EV 03 (05 w/STR), Sharpness (EV): 01]. A pair of so-called Ghurka Knives.
    • Defensive grenades (x4) [BODY 01, Bomb: 08, Grenade Drawback].
    • .41 Desert Eagle [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 05, Ammo: 08, R#02] with three extra clips.

Design Notes

This entry no longer uses statting conventions for square-jawed WWII-era Allied heroes, and reflects what little was seen of her actual performance. This does not mean that Jackie is less competent than before – she simply now operates in the Iron Age rather than the Golden Age, where the average hero is less of a shining paragon and thus had lower average stats.



Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Spitfire (writeup 2 – 1992 to 2008) — Averaged PL 10

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
00 (02) 01 (03) 00 (02) 01 (02) 02 (04) 02 01 02

Powers

Superspeed ● 49 points (Sustained)
– Speed 9, Quickness 5, Leaping 6
– Movement 1 (Water-Walking 1)
– Enhanced Agility 3, Enhanced Dodge 2, Enhanced Parry 2
– Improved Initiative 2, Defensive Roll 1, Evasion 2, Instant Up, Quick-draw
– Superspeed blur — Concealment 1 (Visual – unidentifiable blur, including on most photographs)
– Acrobatics 6 (+11), Athletics 10 (+12)

Superspeed blows ● 19 points (Sustained)
– Close Attack 4, Takedown, Move-by Action
– Array :

  • Dozens of punches — Strength-based Multiattack Unarmed Damage 5
  • One big rush — Strength-based Blunt Damage 7

Superspeed wake Array ● 8 points (Sustained)

  • Mini-whirlwind — Cone Area Move Object 5, Close, Limited 2 (to gas, vapour, smoke, etc.)
  • Violent gust of wind — Burst Area Move Object 4, Close, Limited 1 (Direction – up and away)
  • Generate strong updraft — Movement 1 (Burst Area Safe Fall, Affects Others)
  • Kick up dust and debris — Environment 1 (Visibility -5)
  • Crosswinds — Environment 1 (Impede movement 2 ranks)

Unique physiology ● 21 points
– Protection 4 (Limited 2 – to Structural Damage)
– Feature 1 (A full transfusion from the Human Torch (Jim Hammond) will thoroughly heal and rejuvenate Spitfire)
– Feature 1 (Jackie’s blood will set most vampires on fire)
– Enhanced Strength 2, Enhanced Stamina 2, Enhanced Agility 2, Enhanced Dexterity 1, Enhanced Fighting 2

Combat Advantages

Close attack 6, Defensive Roll 2 (3 w/Superspeed), Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 2, Instant Up, Move-by Action, Quick Draw, Ranged attack 2, Takedown.

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Senior British nobility), Benefit 2 (Indep. wealthy), Connected, Equipment 8, Language (German).

Skills

Acrobatics 6 (+11), Athletics 10 (+12), Deception 2 (+4), Expertise (British nobility) 6 (+8), Expertise (Business management) 5 (+7), Expertise (Financial engineering) 6 (+8), Expertise (Military) 4 (+6), Insight 4 (+5), Perception 4 (+5), Persuasion 1 (+3), Ranged combat (Firearms) 2 (+6), Vehicles 4 (+6) (Limited 1 – Common and military air and land vehicles).

Equipment

In the early 2000s, Spitfire usually works with a costume that includes goggles (Enhanced Fortitude 4, Limited 3 to Bright Light and other attacks against the eyes) and a tactical radio (Communication 2, Radio). This costume costs 8 equipment points.
When waging war, Spitfire will wear a costume similar to the one above, plus a Bulletproof Vest, a Heavy Pistol, Knives and Fragmentation Grenades. This arsenal costs 28 equipment points.

Offense

Initiative +2 (+13 w/Superspeed)
Unarmed +10, Close, Damage 2
Dozens of punches +14, Close, Damage 7 Multiattack Blunt
One big rush +14, Close, Damage 9 Blunt
Paired kukri knives used at superspeed +14, Close, Damage 8 Multiattack Slashing, Crit 19-20

Defense

Dodge 15**/10 Fortitude 7
Parry 12**/10 Toughness 6**/5/3*
Will 7

* Without Defensive Roll
** With Superspeed

Complications

  • Motivation Thrill/Responsibility.
  • Enemy Various vampires.
  • Honour As the Lady Crichton.
  • Identity Public Identity.
  • Relationship Her son and grandson, no matter how hopeless it is.
  • Responsibility Toward Crichton Industries during parts of this era.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 11, Dodge/Toughness PL 11, Parry/Toughness PL 9, Fort/Will PL 7.
  • Point total 168. Abilities 18, Defences 24, Skills 17, Powers 97, Devices 0, Advantages 22. Equiv. PL 12.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): Capita_Senyera, Frank Murdock, Darci.

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