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Thunderstrike of the Avengers (Marvel Comics)

Thunderstrike

(Eric Masterson)


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

“The Earth still needs heroes.”


Context

Eric Masterson was a supporting character in Marvel’s Thor comic. Around 1990 he was magically merged with Thor, then replaced him for a while. When Thor inevitably returned, Masterson became Thunderstrike – with his own magic mallet and comic book.

Thunderstrike ran from 1993 to 1995. Thunderstrike was an everyman, hard-luck hero. He favoured peaceful solutions over fighting and sometimes stumbled along the way, but always displayed true heroism in spite of thinking he was just an everyday guy. In the end, he gave his life to save the Avengers and the world.

This profile includes S P O I L E R S for the Thunderstrike series.


Background

  • Real Name: Eric Masterson
  • Former Aliases: Thor – God of Thunder, Sparky the Lightning Kid, “The Everyman Avenger”
  • Marital Status: Divorced
  • Known Relatives: Kevin Masterson (Son), Marcy (Ex-Wife)
  • Group Affiliation: The Avengers
  • Base Of Operations: Manhattan, New York
  • Height: 6’6” (Thunderstrike), 5’10” (Eric)
  • Weight: 640 lbs (Thunderstrike), 160 lbs (Eric)
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond


Powers & Abilities

Strength Level

When in the guise of Thunderstrike, Eric Masterson possessed vast superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) weights in the “Class 100” range, and made him one of the physically strongest heroes in the Marvel Universe.

While his strength paled in comparison to the likes of the Hulk or the strength he wielded as Thor, he could still lift thousands of tons directly overhead with supreme effort. In his mortal body, Eric possesses the normal strength that one would expect of a human male his relative age, weight and height that engaged in normal exercise.

Known Superhuman Powers

For so long as he was in contact with the enchanted mace, Thunderstrike, Eric’s human body was mystically transformed into that of a particularly potent Asgardian male. Due to this fact, when in that guise he possessed all of the typical physical attributes of an Asgardian male but at a heightened level.

Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson) catching his mace in mid-air, over a white background

Thunderstrike’s strength was clearly superhuman, and was in fact far superior to that of the average Asgardian male (the average Asgardian male can lift weights in the ten ton range). This was due to the fact that his mystical body was based on that of Thor, who is the son of Odin and Gaea the elder goddess.

Outside of his raw physical strength, Thunderstrike’s Asgardian metabolism provided him with a far greater endurance than that of any normal mortal and rendered him immune to all terrestrial diseases and poisons.

Finally, like all Asgardians, Thunderstrike’s bone and tissue was unusually dense (approximately three times that of a normal mortal) which greatly increased his resistance to conventional injury and pain.

Abilities

Eric was a trained architect, with a natural understanding of large scale design and project execution. In addition to the skills he gained through his education, Eric has become a competent hand to hand combatant due to the training he received from Captain America in addition to the practical experience he gained in battle.

Weapons

Eric wielded the eldritch mace, Thunderstrike, into battle. The mace is an extremely potent weapon and artifact, second only to Mjolnir and Stormbreaker. It is virtually indestructible as a result of being forged by Brokk and Eitri (the very same dwarven blacksmiths who created Mjolnir and Stormbreaker) out of a solid block of the mystical Asgardian metal, Uru.

Odin, the All Father, saw fit to imbue the mace with four specific enchantments in order to maximize its power for Eric and those of his bloodline.

The first enchantment transforms the wielder’s mortal body into that of a powerful Asgardian warrior. The transformation is nearly instantaneous and lasts for as long as the wielder is in contact with the mace.

The enchantment also allows the wielder to transform back into their mortal body by striking the mace against a solid surface and willing the change. At that time, the mace itself transforms into a wooden cane.

By stamping the cane against the ground (or any other solid surface) and willing the change, the bearer of Thunderstrike (and the mace itself) is instantly transformed back into their super-heroic guise once more.

With each transformation, all damage that may have been incurred in the past is fully healed by the mystic energies of the transformation, including damage that may have been taken to the bearers items and clothing that were on their person at the moment of the transformation.

Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson) flying over a white background

The second enchantment allows the mace to return to hands of the wielder after being thrown. The mace returns in as direct an approach as possible, soaring through the air at great speeds.

Much like Mjolnir, if the mace’s wielder throws the mace and then immediately grasps its trailing strap, he is dragged through the air in a manner that closely simulates flight.

When travelling in this manner, Thunderstrike’s wielder can mentally influence the direction of the mace’s flight, but the experience is still a harrowing one. Unlike Mjolnir, travelling with Thunderstrike is a rocky, unstable experience.

The third enchantment bequeathed to the mace, is the ability to unleash vast amounts of pure mystical energy from its head in waves of devastating concussive force. These bursts, or “Thunder-Strikes”, are powerful enough to penetrate plate steel and cause beings like the Juggernaut to pause.

The fourth (and final) enchantment possessed by the mace grants the wielder the ability to traverse dimensional barriers through the mystical vortices that are created when whirled the mace overhead. This enchantment not only allows the wielder to travel from Midgard (or Earth) to Asgard, but it also allows travel to other planes of existence.

Through the clever application of this ability, the wielder of the mace can essentially teleport from one location on the earthly plane to another by entering another dimension from one location in Midgard and exiting from another.

Eric has mastered this ability, and through experimentation has learned that Thunderstrike can track energy signatures from one dimension to another. Eric makes good use of this ability to follow foes that attempt to teleport away from battle.

Limitations

Due to injuries he suffered while aiding Thor in battle, Eric is lame in one leg and requires the use of a cane when performing any sort of physical activity past a gentle walk.

In addition, should Eric ever lose contact with the Thunderstrike mace for more than sixty seconds while in his super-heroic guise, he will spontaneously revert back to his normal mortal form.


History

Eric Kevin Masterson first encountered the mighty Thor while working as an architect on the construction for Jerry Saprisiti. Jerry and Eric were old friends, and Jerry had recently become a close acquaintance of Thor in his mortal guise of Sigurd Johnson. Eric first came to Thor’s attention when he was injured saving Jerry’s life during one of Thor’s battles onsite.

For one reason or another, Eric continued to find himself entangled in Thor’s battles and was eventually mortally wounded by a particularly vicious villain who went by the name of Mongoose. In order to save Eric’s life, Thor begged his father Odin to save the mortal’s life.

In response to Thor’s prayers, Odin merged his son’s very essence with that of Eric, thus creating a gestalt being made out of the two individuals.

The two shared many adventures, but in the end their partnership was ended when Thor seemingly murdered his step-brother Loki in response for Loki’s kidnapping Eric’s son and placing him in mortal danger. Odin was unable to let Thor’s actions go unpunished, and as a result banished the Thunder God into the far reaches of Masterson’s mind.

The Odinson banished

With Thor’s banishment, Eric thought his time as an adventurer had come to a close. He was quickly disabused of that notion when he discovered he could still transform his mortal form into that of Thor’s, and that Odin had charged him with Earth’s defines in Thor’s absence.

Eric did his best to live up to Thor’s legend, but his inexperience soon shone through and he was forced to reveal the truth to Thor’s allies in the Avengers. Despite his tendency to cause as much damage as the foes the Avengers faced, the Thunder God’s power was often the deciding factor in their battles.

Eventually, Eric decided that the world needed Thor more than it needed him and he embarked upon a quest to free Thor. Odin finally gave in to Masterson’s wishes after he proved his convictions and freed Thor from his banishment.

Upon his initial return, Thor refused to return to Earth as its protector, and continued to allow Eric to wield Mjolnir in his place. But soon events transpired that forced him to reclaim his weapon and power from Eric.

Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson) vs. Bloodaxe

With Thor’s return to power, Eric prepared to once again resume his normal life. But, once again, it seemed that Odin had other plans for the mortal that had taken his son’s place.

Before Thor set out upon a galaxy spanning quest, presumably leaving the Earth once more without a guardian, he paid Eric a visit after which he left him with a rather unique gift; a walking stick that looked exactly like Mjolnir’s “mortal” form.

Even as Thor left, Eric looked at the walking stick with curiosity and a growing sense of dread… after all he reasoned, they couldn’t or wouldn’t do this to him again would they? Eric struck the walking stick cautiously against the ground, and in a flash of light and thunder was once more transformed into the form of the God of Thunder.

Instead of Mjolnir being clasped in his hands though, a finely crafted mace sat firmly in his grip. On its head was inscribed the words, “The World Still Needs Heroes. Thunderstrike.”

Brand new gig

Eric quickly discovered there were fundamental differences between his new found power and that he possessed as Thor but his mission had not changed. As Thunderstrike he almost immediately found himself in battle with all manner of villains; from the unstoppable Juggernaut to the newly-created menace Bloodaxe.

Bloodaxe became a particularly troubling foe for Eric as the increasing violent vigilante killed many criminals and injured dozens of police officers who attempted to halt his rampages. Bloodaxe was an extremely perplexing opponent, as he seemed to be every bit as powerful as the mighty Thor, making him stronger than Eric’s new found Asgardian might.

To make matters worse still, Eric’s ex-wife Marcy and her husband Bobby were having issues and it had begun to affect his son Kevin (who Eric had lost custody of during his adventures with Thor due to his many lengthy absences).

Eric’s life seemed to regain a measure of control however, when he finally managed to defeat Bloodaxe in one on one battle and claimed the villain’s weapon for himself.

He continued to prove himself both on his own and as a part of the Avengers, who he joined in order to fill the power void left by Thor’s absence. He began to train under Captain America who hoped to help Eric grow to his full potential as a hero.

Alas, this would not come to pass. Eric eventually ran afoul of the Egyptian God of Death, Seth, whose machinations led the two into direct conflict. In order to defeat the dark god, Eric was forced to combine the full power of the Bloodaxe with that of Thunderstrike.

Even as he did, the magical axe corrupted his soul and created an even greater menace for those around him than Seth ever was.

Curse of the Bloodaxe

Eric went on a rampage, using the combined strength of his mace and axe, defeating all of the Avengers and eventually gaining the attention of Thor himself. The two battled fiercely until Eric was able to temporarily wrest control of his soul from the evil contained in the axe.

In his final moments, Eric realized that he would be unable to retain control of himself and so he turned the power of Thunderstrike against the Bloodaxe and himself and died in the resulting conflagration.

Eric awoke at the gates of Valhalla, where he stood alongside Skurge and Thor himself. Thor, feeling quite pleased with himself, had arranged for Eric’s soul to reside there as a reward for his ultimate heroism. Unfortunately, Eric steadfastly refused the honour, stating that in the end he was just a man and not a hero.

Reluctantly, Thor granted Eric his last request and allowed Odin to guide his soul to the realm where mortal men went to rest. Before he ascended, Eric reminded Thor to never forget that “the world still needs heroes.”

Eric returned to the mortal plane one final time, when the Grim Reaper used dark magic to revive several dead Avengers to use against the very same team. Eric battled Thor in his Thunderstrike guise briefly, until he (and the other dead Avengers) was able to overcome the Grim Reaper’s control.

He turned on the Reaper at that point and helped his friends defeat the villain. Before he was returned to his eternal rest by the Scarlet Witch, Eric once again asked Thor to check in on his son.


Description

In his human guise, Eric Masterson is a relatively plain and nondescript Caucasian male. He has pale blue eyes, and naturally blonde hair which he styles in a mullet-like cut. At first glance, Eric doesn’t appear to be athletic in form, and since his accident is rarely seen without some form of cane or walking stick.

As Thunderstrike, Eric’s form Asgardian form is a virtual twin of the mighty Thor’s. As such, he appears to be a tall, muscular Caucasian male with long blonde hair and movie star quality looks. Unlike Thor, a thick blonde beard covers his chin and his hair is tied back into a long pony tail.

His costume is also a pastiche of Thor’s Asgardian clothing, and “nineties” fashion. His trunk, shoulders and legs are covered by a blue spandex-like material with four lighter blue disks on the torso which cover his pectoral muscles and abs.

Though he wears a duplicate of Thor’s golden belt around his waist, Thor’s helmet and crimson cape are absent from his frame.

Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson) in battle

In their place he wears a sleeveless brown leather jacket, a stylized lightning bolt ear-ring in his left ear and a single leather glove over his left hand. The glove itself had three of the five fingers missing (the first and fourth digit, as well as the thumb).

Thor’s golden boots have also been replaced with brown padded boots, which seem to have a leathern appearance.

The Thunderstrike mace itself closely resembles Mjolnir. It has a thick five-sided Uru metal head which is capped with a round cap piece that has a stylized “T” engraved upon it, plus the phrase “The World Still Needs Heroes. Thunderstrike.”.

Its haft is wrapped in a leather-like material and ends in a circle of chain that Eric either loops around his fore-arm or uses to twirl the hammer.


Personality

Eric was a classic “everyman” hero, whose extremely human point of view made him seem like a fish out of water, even when he was in control of the situation. Despite the length of time he spent around heroes like Captain America or the other Avengers, he would often be nervous or feel out of place.

His nervousness often caused him to speak out of turn, or to lash out in frustration at his allies while he tried to gain control of his emotions.

In addition, Eric sometimes displayed a naivety that would have been unexpected by a man his age, and was taken advantage of by both his allies and enemies in battle and other situations.

Despite all of this, Eric nearly always acted heroically, and took his responsibilities as Thor’s replacement seriously. He did so, even to the detriment of his own personal happiness, and willingly gave up custody of his son in order to both fulfill his obligation and to protect his boy.

In battle, Eric fought like an untrained brawler for most of his career. When he had the raw power of Thor, this worked quite well for him even though it somewhat tarnished Thor’s reputation.

He held very little back and used Thor’s full might against his foes, often causing them to remark on how savage and unruly Thor had become.

The cause of Eric’s brawling style wasn’t because he was cruel or particularly violent; rather it was due to the often panicked reaction he had to the situations that he found himself in.

As Thunderstrike, Eric had to come to grips that his new found power simply could not measure up to that he possessed as Thor. This fact, coupled with the hand to hand training he received from Captain America, helped him to evolve into a far more seasoned fighter and less of a brawler.


Quotes

“No one dies tonight ! Not if I can help it !”

“Raw power is never enough my friend ! Power without responsibility, compassion and intelligence is merely a defeat waiting to happen !”

“It was the height of stupidity for me to play like I was the mighty Thor… and try to trade you blow for blow… but I’ve learned my lesson ! I’m my own man now !”

Cop: “It’s him ! It’s the mighty Thor !”
Thunderstrike: “No. He’s the other guy. My name is… er… Thunderstrike !”

“Juggernaut ! Don’t turn your back on me, mister ! I’m not finished with you !”

“Okay mister ! If we have to do this the hard way, I sincerely hope you like the taste of Uru… you’re about to get a mouthful !”

“I know that you only invited me into the Avengers so that you could keep an eye on me… because you thought I was a screw up !”

“This form… this power… they were a gift ! A disguise ! This isn’t me ! I’m only Eric Masterson from Long Island, New York. I was given a wonderful opportunity — and the power — to help others ! I did it to the best of my ability ! But that doesn’t qualify me for godhood ! I’m just a regular guy.”

“Don’t ever forget that… ’The world still needs heroes !‘”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Thunderstrike

Dex: 05 Str: 18 Bod: 14 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Architect & Avenger
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 007
Init: 016 HP: 050

Powers:
Damage Capacity: 04, Density Increase: 02, Invulnerability: 12, Magic Sense: 03, Sealed Systems: 08, Systemic Antidote: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:
Density Increase is Always on and already factored in (-1FC);

Skills:
Martial Artist: 03, Weaponry (Thunderstrike): 08

Advantages
Government Credentials (Avengers, Medium), Miscellaneous (Whenever Eric transforms to Thunderstrike, he automatically gains a Recovery check [once per scene] and all items on his person are magically repaired), Near-Immortal, Scholar (Architecture)

Connections:
Avengers (High), Beta Ray Bill (High), Gods of Asgard (High), Hercules (High), Sif (High), Thor (High)

Drawbacks:
Alter-Ego (Eric Masterson, Controllable), Attack Vulnerability (-2CS against piercing attacks), Secret ID, Unluck

Genre:
Action

Equipment:
THUNDERSTRIKE [BODY 30, EV 08 (19 w/STR), Detect (Energy Signatures): 10, Dimensional Travel: 10, Extra-Sensory Tracking: 10, Flash: 09, Flight: 12, Force shield: 06, Mystic Blast: 15. Bonuses & Limitations:

  • Detect is Discerning (+1FC)
  • Extra-Sensory Tracking can only be used to track Energy Signatures that have been previously Detected (-1FC)
  • Flight is automatically used by the mace to return to the spot it was thrown from (+1FC)
  • Force Shield cannot be attacked through since it requires Eric to vigorously spin the mace (-2FC)
  • Loss of Thunderstrike for greater than 60 seconds automatically triggers Alter-Ego drawback (+0FC to BOD)
  • Thunderstrike can only be wielded by Eric Masterson or one of his bloodline (+0FC to BOD)]

Alter-Ego (Eric Masterson)

In his mortal form, Eric has the following stat chances: Dex 02, Str 02 and Bod 02.

In this form he has no powers, and the following Advantages/Drawbacks –

Advantages
Scholar (Architecture)

Drawbacks:
Alter-Ego (Thunderstrike, Controllable), MPR (Near-Sightedness), SPR (Lame in one leg), Unluck

Additionally the Thunderstrike Mace is transformed into a sturdy walking stick, that Eric must strike against the ground in order to activate in order to activate his alter-ego.

Walking Stick [BODY 04, EV 02 (03 w/STR, 04 w/Martial Artist). Bonuses & Limitations: Enables transformation into Thunderstrike.]

By Bryan Gittens

Source of Character: Marvel Comics Series – Thunderstrike, created Tom DeFalco (writer) & Ron Frenz (artist)

Helper(s): eickeric, Peter Piispanen, Tiago, Darci, Sébastien Andrivet, Quintanads

Writeup completed on the 3rd of April, 2015.

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