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Steeplejack (Mallard) (Marvel Comics) using his special pistol

Steeplejack

Jack Mallard


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • For ESL speakers, a steeplejack is “a person who climbs tall structures such as chimneys and steeples in order to carry out repairs” (New Oxford)

Background

  • Real Name: Jake Mallard
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: Two brothers (names unrevealed, both deceased)
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Unrevealed
  • Height: 6’10” Weight: 380 lbs.
  • Eyes: Unrevealed Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Steeplejack is a humongous giant, bigger and heavier than even Luke Cage aka Power Man. His strength is unbelievable, and he is definitely in that grey zone where a low-profile mutation giving superhuman strength is quite possible – like, say, the Ox.

His durability matches his strength, and of course his speed is impossible for one so huge yadda yadda move so quickly. Steeplejack is also an excellent brawler with keen reflexes, and could to some extend handle even a tough superhuman such as Power Man.

Steeplejack has built himself a special double-barelled pistol – one mode can shoot bursts of red-hot rivets like some sort of very large calibre machine pistol, the other can shoot a long “super-acetylene” torch, fed via an armoured cable from his backpack, that can cut through most non-fireproof things.

It is likely the other modes that were seen later (see the Steeplejack II writeup) had been in development in Mallard’s apartment – since the pistol he held was destroyed by Power Man during their last fight.

Since the gear used by Steeplejack II was designed by Mallard, his ability to apply his Expertise to his Gadgetry should be interpreted liberally – more like a silver age-ish ’theme‘ to his gear (he builds a reinforced costume but the costume features a hard hat and construction harness, so it counts) rather than a logical derivation of existing construction equipment technology.


History

Very little is known about the giant Jake Mallard – except that he left school in eight grade and that he once had two brothers, who perished in a high iron accident. Mallard blamed their death on the owner of the building they were working on, Maxwell Plumm.

Using a pistol he had just built himself for unrevealed purposes, Mallard, as Steeplejack, attempted to kill Plumm by throwing him off another tall construction site, but Plumm was saved by passerby Luke Cage (then operating as Power Man).

Plumm hired Cage as a bodyguard, and the hero for hire soon surprised Steeplejack attempting a new sabotage that would kill Plumm. The two huge streetfighters fought in a high-rise under construction – until Power Man hit harder than he intended and Steeplejack, knocked back, broke through an I-beam (which he previously had sabotaged) and fell to his death, with his acetylene backpack exploding on impact.

Later events gave significant credibility to Mallard’s accusations – it is indeed likely that his brothers had been killed because Plumm had cut corners with safety measures. In a way he was avenged years later, when the Scourge of the Underworld murdered Maxwell Plumm, who had stolen all of Mallard’s design to become the second Steeplejack.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Mallard was a rough, working class guy who obviously did not trust the system and preferred to get things done himself. He *may* have been a criminal – or he may just have been a blue collar inventor with serious anger control issues. He greatly (and quite justifiably) trusted his physical might and weaponry, but was a complete racist – at least toward Black people.

For all we know, Mallard was a fascinating (albeit highly flawed) person, but as the Marvel Universe currently stands he’s at best an obscure footnote.


Quotes

“This is New York, remember ? Ain’t nobody gets involved in nothin’ in this town !”

“Hey — I don’t know who you are, *boy* — but you keep your big flat nose outta business that don’t concern you !”

“I tried goin’ soft on ya — tried givin’ ya a chance to walk away from here alive — but if you’re that blasted anxious to die, I’ll accommodate ya !”


DC Universe History

He’s a friend of Rosie, the head of the Demolition Crew ; he knows them and built the first version of their various weapons. He attempted to avenge their defeat at the hand of the Predator by fighting him, and was apparently killed.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Steeplejack (Jack Mallard)

Dex: 06 Str: 06 Bod: 06 Motivation: Unrevealed
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Unrevealed
Inf: 05 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 018 HP: 030

Powers:
Growth: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:
Growth is Always On and Already Factored In

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Gadgetry: 04, Martial artist (EV, RV): 08, Weaponry (firearms): 04, Weaponry (his PISTOL)*: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Acrobatics (Climbing) also covers moving on high iron construction sites – for instance moving quickly on an unprotected beam.

Advantages:
Expertise (construction equipment), Lightning Reflexes

Connections:
None known

Drawbacks:
SIA toward racism, Serious Rage

Equipment:
SPECIAL PISTOL [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 06, Flame project: 03, Ammo: 06, Range: 03, Advantage: Autofire, Bonus: Flame project can be Combined with Projectile weapons, Limitation: neither Power has Range – use the listed Range instead] W/SUPER-ACETYLENE TORCH MODE [BODY 04, Flame project: 06, Sharpness (Flame project): 06, R#02, Limitations: Flame Project has a Range of but 00 ; each AP of Flame Immunity the target has nullifies two APs of Sharpness (Flame project) before the attack is resolved]


Design notes

It is unclear how much Cage pulls his punches during this fight, or whether he actually takes any RAPs, so a few stats are still a bit hazy.


By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Power Man #18 (1974)

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