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STRIPE (Pat Dugan) (DC Comics)

STRIPE aka S.T.R.I.P.E.

(Pat Dugan)


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

“I wasn’t Sylvester’s sidekick. I was his bodyguard.”


Context

Stripesy (Pat Dugan) is a DC Comics Golden Age  hero – he appeared in 1941. He was a patriotic two-fisted hero working with the young Star-Spangled Kid (stars and stripes, see ?), the gimmick being that the kid was the leader and the grown-up was more of a sidekick.

This specific profile focuses on a slice of his career – his 1999-2000 appearances in the Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. comic book.


Background

  • Real Name: Pat Dugan
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Barbara Whitmore Dugan (wife), Courtney Whitmore (aka Star-Spangled Kid II then Stargirl, stepdaughter), Margaret Dugan (ex-wife, née Shaw, divorced), Michael Justin Dugan (son), Patricia Dugan (daughter), unnamed cousin
  • Group Affiliation: Reserve member of the JSA ; former member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory/Law’s Legionaires, former member of the All-Star Squadron
  • Base Of Operations: Civic City, PA, later near Las Vegas, NV, then Los Angeles, CA, then Blue Valley, NE, later Metropolis, DE, now back to Blue Valley
  • Height: 6’1” (during this era) Weight: 210 lbs (during this era)
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Red


Powers & Abilities

In his prime, Pat was a strongman able to bend steel bars, and a superior brawler. These days are past, but he remains a large and robust fellow.

He is also an excellent mechanic and something of an inventor. Back in the 1940s he designed and built the Star-Rocket Racer, a super-vehicle he and the Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton) used in their adventures. However, technology has since caught up with Pat. For instance, though he has updated his skills, he’s not a cutting-edge computers guy.

Nevertheless, his old-fashioned hardware is solid. He also has access to parts once used in Robotman bodies – which remain superior to a lot of current hardware. The main downside of Pat’s equipment is that it takes months or even years to develop, then build using artisana methods and tools.

Dugan works in a basement shop called the Pit Stop. Beyond having parts, tools and mechanical facilities, it has :

  • video cameras watching the outside (so he can check for witnesses before he launches S.T.R.I.P.E.)
  • video cameras at several key points around the house and Blue Valley (to keep watch on his family)
  • radio scanners covering EMT and police bands
  • a PC with a webcam and a broadband connection (which admittedly was more remarkable back then)

Let the eagle shriek from its lofty peak, part 1

The S.T.R.I.P.E. (Special Tactics Robotic Integrated Power Enhancer) mecha /power armour  suit has about “Class 40” strength, and is sufficiently armoured to be proofed against small arms fire. While it is not overwhelmingly powerful, it has numerous systems to make it flexible :

  • On-board computers with an artificial intelligence copilot, a radio and a standard broadband satellite access for voice and data
  • Jet boots allowing for subsonic flight. The suit can operate in low Earth orbit
  • Twin fans to disperse gases, smoke and the like
  • Fire extinguishers, headlights – and a medical kit under a sliding panel in the right forearm
  • A pair of concussive micro-rockets hidden in the shoulders
  • Weather analysis sensors, and sensors to track down an active Cosmic Converter Belt and other high-energy emanations
  • Heat coils among the armour layers, to heat the armour’s surface and get rid of ice covering it
  • Industrial-grade Taser-like weapon, and a single-shot electrified net launcher
  • Ejectable rocket-powered fists to punch opponents at a distance. The fists can be quickly reattached to resume working as the suit’s hands
  • Ensnaring steel cables ejected from the fingers
  • Anaesthetic flechette guns. These shoot bursts of knockout darts from the fingertips. It is chiefly intended to take out crowds of normal people, for instance to prevent panics or because they have been mind-controled.
  • The suit can be remote-controlled, though it is clumsy in this state. Pat has a compact RC unit hidden in his wristwatch.
  • Excellent, fast self-repair systems, and “eyewash” liquid to clear gunk over the visual sensors
  • Shoulder-mounted water cannon
  • S.T.R.I.P.E. often has some recently-installed additional module that just happens to be convenient to the situation at hand.

Let the eagle shriek from its lofty peak, part 2

The suit is piloted from a cockpit encased in the chest. There is no canopy and all sensory input is routed through a VR helmet fed by various sensors. The S.T.R.I.P.E. suit has some level of artificial intelligence and a Robbie-the-Robot voice. It will answer Pat’s vocal commands and provide spoken status reports.

When it is booted it will invariably say “S.T.R.I.P.E. online – system ready.”. The S.T.R.I.P.E. suit is heavily based on a rebuilt and expanded Robotman body, and is often mistaken for a robot.

The suit can extrude two handles from its back, allowing two people to “surf” on its broad back while it flies. Its thrusters are quite powerful, and S.T.R.I.P.E. can easily carry an ambulance truck while flying.

Being 8’ tall and very broad and thick, it will not fit through most doors – Pat routinely forgets about it and involuntarily destroys door frames.

The S.T.R.I.P.E. suit was later upgraded at Steelworks with the help of John Henry Irons. Aside from faster jet boots, the extend of these improvements is unknown. The paint job was also redone, with a smoother white shell with red stripes.


History

Pat Dugan is a patriotic auto mechanic born during the 1910s. During the early days of World War Two, he and a wealthy kid named Sylvester Pemberton stepped in to stop rabble-rousing Nazi agents. They soon became an heroic duo – the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy.

”The American flag come to life” were famous, and Dugan (whom Pemberton hired as his chauffeur) designed and built the Star-Rocket Racer flying super-car, their signature vehicle.

Stripesy and the Kid joined minor super-group the Seven Soldiers of Victory until it was dispersed into the timestream by the Nebula Man. Pat found himself in Ancient Egypt for a week until a rescue expedition came. However, the heroes were from decades into his future. When they brought him with them, Pat found himself in a strange time.

(Pre-Crisis, Pat was brought back in 1972. Post-Crisis one gets the impression that he was brought back in 1990 or thereabout.)

Brave new world

Sylvester continued his heroic career and became Skyman. On the other hand Pat retired as a hero, married and had a son. However, he was neglecting his family as he spent too much time in his garage. Furthermore, a cousin of his later stole his patents and thus his income source. Maggie Dugan eventually divorced Pat and retained custody of their son.

STRIPE (Pat Dugan) in armor

Pat moved to Las Vegas and opened a garage there. He and Pemberton were now on bad terms, as Dugan had became irrationally jealous of his friend’s superheroic career. However, hearing of his difficulties Pemberton reestablished contact, and rebuild bridges.

Pemberton also compensated Dugan for his lost IP. He further offered him a job as the mechanic of Infinity, Inc. – Skyman’s current super-heroic team in Los Angeles. Pat took the offer, but Sylvester was later killed by the monster Solomon Grundy. Infinity, Inc. soon fell apart.

Mr. Dugan stayed in the L.A. area. He apparently made most of his income by restoring and selling classic American cars. He met and eventually married Barbara, a divorced mother of one from Beverly Hills – rousing the ire of her teenage daughter Courtney.

Following reports of troubles in the Nebraskan burg of Blue Valley, Pat and family moved there so he could investigate. In Blue Valley, Pat also started assembling S.T.R.I.P.E., a mecha/power armour suit that he had been designing in Los Angeles.

A new Star-Spangled Kid

Within days of arriving in Blue Valley, Pat’s angry stepdaughter Courtney accidentally discovered his past as Stripesy. Still wanting to chase him away from her mother, she provoked him by making herself a Star-Spangled Kid costume.

As a school event was attacked by strangely-garbed operatives, Courtney discovered that the belt she had found in Pat’s stuff gave her superpowers. The new Star-Spangled Kid and Pat, flying the S.T.R.I.P.E. armour, stopped the attack.

STRIPE (Pat Dugan) and the Star-Spangled Kid in flight

Courtney threatened Pat with telling Barbara about his past and activities if he told her that she was the Star-Spangled Kid. On his end, Pat felt obligated to protect the Star-Spangled Kid as S.T.R.I.P.E.. They thus operated together, continuing to investigate the mystery in Blue Valley and intervening in various crises.

During the Day of Judgement events, Pat joined Captain Marvel (Billy Batson) and Starfire (Koriand’r) in recovering the Spear of Destiny in space so it could be used against Asmodel, who was possessing the Spectre. The mission was successful. Pat further helped prevent the demon Etrigan from stealing the Spear once they were back on Earth.

Dugan also finished reestablishing his contacts with the Justice Society of America. He built their Steel Eagle supersonic jet based on plans by his friend Ted Knight (formerly Starman). He also trained Atom-Smasher (Al Rothstein) as the main pilot and alternative mechanic for the Eagle.

JSAgent

In 2000, Pat’s son Mike got himself kicked out of the military academy where his parents had him enrolled. Mike came to Blue Valley as he wanted to be the new Star-Spangled Kid. That did not work out. Courtney kept the identity and the powers. However, Pat indicated that he was working on a new S.T.R.I.P.E. armour/mecha that Mike might eventually use to succeed him.

The Star-Spangled Kid (Courtney Whitmore) in Pat Dugan's workshop

Pat and Courtney eventually unearthed and defeated the mastermind behind the Blue Valley mystery – the Dragon King. During the fracas Barbara learned of their activities, but agreed to let them continue.

Barbara also announced that he was pregnant. Furthermore Courtney let it slip that, after a very disappointing reunion with her biological father, she now considered Pat Dugan to her her dad.

Court soon became a full JSA member.

Banner year

Pat remained a reserve member of the JSA, and as S.T.R.I.P.E. was called to active service during various large crises (Princes of Darkness, the OMAC onslaught, the Black Adam rampage, Infinite Crisis, etc.). He also strengthened his ties with the old timers of the JSA – as well as some JLA members such as Steel (John Henry Irons).

Irons eventually hired Dugan for a while. Pat and the family moved to Metropolis during that time. Steel and S.T.R.I.P.E. intervened to prevent the murder of President-Elect Luthor during the swearing-in ceremony. Irons also helped Dugan with upgrading his S.T.R.I.P.E. mecha as well as the Star-Spangled Kid’s equipment.

The Dugans then moved back to Blue Valley. There, Pat soon had to use the S.T.R.I.P.E. suit to help Courtney fight the Royal Flush Gang, which her biological father had recently joined.

Fighting her good-for-nothing father depressed the Star-Spangled Kid. However, Pat gave her a good pep talk about the legacies she was representing as a super-hero – the Star-Spangled Kid and Starman.

Reinvigorated, Courtney decided to drop the “Kid” from her code name and became Stargirl.


Description

For all his talk about retirement, Pat is normally drawn looking perhaps 40 or 45.


Personality

As Stripesy, Pat used to be a hot-headed, two-fisted, hard-charging brawler. He has matured considerably since. He is now an old school guy striving to maintain a better balance between caring for his family, his passion of mechanics, and low-intensity super-hero work.

The Star-Spangled Kid (Courtney Whitmore) hops into her car with her family nearby

Left to right: Courtney Whitmore, Mike Dugan, Barbara Dugan, Pat Dugan.

Dugan is a time-tossed old-timer. His youth during the Great Depression also left him frugal and prone to reusing old things.

He never was skilled with words, and had no good idea about how to handle the rebellious Courtney. But Pat eventually won her over through simple patience and showing that he was caring and worthy of respect.

The death of Sylvester Pemberton continued to eat at Pat for years, even though his reaction was irrational. These memories made him overprotective of the new Star-Spangled Kids for months, though he started relaxing when she became a full JSAer.

Discussions with Ted Knight and seeing Courtney fully claim the legacy eventually allowed him to put Pemberton’s death behind him.


Quotes

Courtney: “So you’re going to follow me everywhere ?”
Pat: “I’m not following you. I’m keeping you out of trouble.”

“We could’ve avoided this trouble if you hadn’t gotten into my things. In my days, teenagers listened to adults.”

“Courtney, you’re *grounded* !”

“I understand women like I understand rap music.”

(Despairing over the uncontrollable Courtney) “And Barbara wants *more* children…”

Courtney: “Where the Hell’d they go ?”
STRIPE: “Watch your language.”
Courtney: “Whatever.”

“No you’re *not*, Courtney. No tattoos.”

“Courtney. I know we don’t see eye to eye. But this isn’t about our personal relationship. It’s about our professional one. Your adventures here and with the JSA have proven something. You may have a lot to learn, but your heart is falling into the right place. Sylvester would’ve wanted it this way.”

“As easy as rebuilding a 1949 Dynaflow transmission .”

(Boosting Courtney’s self-confidence) “You’re what the Justice Society is all about. A hero in training. And you’re doing something no one else on that team is doing. You’re carrying on two legacies — for my old partner, Sylvester Pemberton, the original Star-Spangled Kid. And for Ted and Jack Knight. Both known as Starman before you were given the cosmic rod. So far, so good, kid.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Pat Dugan

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Mechanic
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 012 HP: 040

Skills:
Gadgetry: 06, Scientist (Drawing plans): 05, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water, S.T.R.I.P.E. Power Armour): 05, Weaponry (S.T.R.I.P.E. weapon systems): 05

Advantages:
Confined Headquarter (the Pit Stop), Expertise (Mechanics)

Connections:
Star-Spangled Kid II (High), JSA (High), Ted Knight (formerly Starman I) (High), Shining Knight I (High – he’s now the last surviving Soldier along with Pat), Dr. Jonathan Crane (Low), Steel (John Henry Irons) (Low)

Drawbacks:
Dependents (Family), Secret ID, MIH of Solomon Grundy

Equipment:

  • The Pit Stop is a 7 APs Lab.
  • S.T.R.I.P.E. ARMOUR [STR 10 BODY (Hardened Defences) 09 INT 01, Air control: 02, Bomb: 06, Data storage: 12, Detect (Weather): 01, Detect (Active Cosmic Converter Belt): 10, Detect (High energy outputs): 04, Flame being: 01, Flame control: 07, Flash: 04, Flight: 08, Growth: 02, Lightning: 12, Projectile weapon: 11, Radio communications: 08, Regeneration: 02, Sealed systems: 14, Snare: 08, Thermal vision: 04, Water blast: 01. Notes:
    • Air Control can only move masses of air – those are twin fans. Those are chiefly useful to disperse gasses, smoke and the like.
    • Bomb has Ammo: 02 and Range: 04 – those are two concussive micro-rockets popping out of the shoulder.
    • Detect (weather) is Discerning.
    • Flame being is actually heat – heat coils working under the surface.
    • Flame control only to extinguish flames (this is a pressurized canister of firefighting foam with a nozzle) and has Ammo: 04.
    • Flash is Steady Illumination only – those are headlights in the torso.
    • Growth is Always On and already factored in.
    • Lightning has Range: 01 and Ammo: 04. It is conducted trough wires trailed by taser fork-shaped heads ; an opponent with a higher Initiative than Dugan can automatically foil the attack by yanking the taser heads out before the electricity can be pumped in.
    • Projectile Weapon has Ammo: 02, a Range of 02 and each use deprives the S.T.R.I.P.E. suit of one hand (those are ejectable fists).
    • Radio communications can also be used to summon and pilot the suit, with a pocket remote-control unit (DEX in this state is 01 – Pat will normally summon the suit to him then climb in it). Dugan has one such remote control with Miniaturization: 02, disguised as a watch.
    • Regeneration: 02 models the very quick self-repair systems – damage to sub-systems can often be compensated for within minutes. It also allows for re-attaching severed limbs.
    • Snare is a series of steel cables ejected from the fingers, with the top of the fingers serving as weights. It has Ammo: 01 and does not have built-in AV.
    • Water blast is a small shoulder-mounted water jet and has Ammo: 04 ; it also models the ’eyewash‘ fluid used when there is some gunk on its visual sensors.
  • The following subsystems are best considered as separate pieces of Equipment built into the suit:
    • ELECTRIFIED NET LAUNCHER [BODY 04, Lightning: 11, Snare: 09. Lightning and Snare can both be Combined, but they have Ammo: 01 and a Range of but 01]. This subsystem is built into the front of the chest.
    • Medikit [BODY 03]. A standard medical kit stored within the right forearm, under a sliding panel.
    • Satellite uplink [BODY 01]. A commercial broadband satellite access — Internet and POTS.
    • Anesthetic flechette guns [BODY 03, Projectile weapon (Bashing): 02, Poison touch (Bashing): 04, Bonus: Autofire, Poison touch can be Combined with Projectile weapon, Ammo: 30].
    • Omni-Gadget (x2) ABC [8 APs]. S.T.R.I.P.E. tends to always have handy systems to address the situation, as can be guessed from this entry ; he’s thus a classic Omni-Gadget hero.

By By Sébastien Andrivet and Danielle Mendus

Source of Character: DC Universe

Helper(s): Hart, Kal El el Vigilante, Jobe

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