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Top (Flash enemy) (DC Comics) classic appearance

Top

(Roscoe Dillon)


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

Context

The Top is one of the odder villains in the original Flash’s Rogues Gallery. He appeared early on, in 1961.

The Top is a personal favorite, and I volunteered for a profile because you can never have enough Rogues.


Background

  • Real Name: Roscoe Neyle Dillon
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed father and brother.
  • Group Affiliation: Flash’s Rogues Gallery.
  • Base Of Operations: Central City/Keystone area.
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 179 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Roscoe Dillon a.k.a The Top is a psychic. But his powers only reached their full potential after his (first) death.

Originally, the Top’s sole power was the ability to spin at incredible speeds, much like a child’s spinning top (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Superspeed). The Top can spin fast enough to deflect bullets, knock down dozens of people and, of course, travel at superhuman speed.

Psionics

The Top would later claim that years of high-velocity spinning were responsible for the development of his other psionic  abilities. The Top is capable of implanting strong and long lasting hypnotic suggestions into unwilling subjects (Hypnosis.)

He is able to affect other people’s balance as well, distorting their perceptions so that they literally couldn’t tell up from down while inducing nausea (Mental Freeze.) The Top has shown a degree of protection from other telepathic attacks (Iron Will.)

Other assets

In addition, Dillon also has a knack for engineering. He designed many dangerous top-themed weapons throughout his criminal career.

Arguably, the Top’s most formidable ability is his refusal to die. Dillon has died physically several times in the past. Each time his spirit roams the Earth in search of a body to inhabit. It is usually someone recently deceased or terminally brain dead (Personality Transfer.)


History

Dillon was a small-time crook who turned a childhood obsession with tops into a criminal persona. He built his crimes around spinning and top-like gadgets.

He also claimed to have taught himself how to spin around at superhuman speeds. He said that this spinning somehow increased his intelligence, allowing him to create a variety of lethal and dangerous top-themed weapons. These claims seem improbable, at best. More likely Dillon was born with latent psychic powers.

Regardless of the truth, Dillon’s gimmicks and early successes within Central City made the Top a household name as a member of the Flash’s notorious Rogues Gallery. Unlike his fellow Rogues, Dillon wasn’t satisfied with mere bank robbing.

He went for the big time early in his career, inventing an “atomic grenade” (essentially a spinning atom bomb). The Top delivered an ultimatum to the world: Surrender unilaterally to the Top or suffer an atomic holocaust capable of destroying half the world.

Barry Allen, the second of four Flashes, quickly put down the Top’s plans. He thus earned himself Dillon’s lifelong hatred.

Rogues gallery

The Top remained an enemy of the Flash and a long-standing member of the Rogues, even if Captain Cold didn’t especially like him. Dillon had started coaching Cold’s sister, Lisa Snart, a professional figure skater. Their relationship soon turned into a long-lasting romance, a source of tension between the Top and the man who mastered absolute zero.

Eventually the Top developed immense psychic powers. Dillon believed that years of spinning had moved dormant brain cells to the outer areas of his brain, endowing him with mental powers. During the first caper on which he used them, the Top discovered that the newly activated brain cells were being destroyed by close proximity to the Flash’s superspeed vibrations.

The Top died within days from these brain injuries. However, he did find time to plant dozens of bombs across Central City as a final “gift” to the Flash. A secondary result of the Top’s death was that Lisa swore revenge on the Flash, becoming the Golden Glider.

Is not dead that which forever spins

Death would not stop the Top, however. Dillon’s spirit roamed throughout the Earthly plane, looking for a host body to inhabit. He found one when Henry Allen (Barry’s father) was in a car accident. Allen’s heart had stopped for 30 seconds before receiving CPR. During these, the Top took possession of the briefly-vacant body.

The Top very quickly realized that Henry’s son was the Flash. Along with Golden Glider, he hatched a plot to kill the Flash in order to take possession of the speedster’s body. He failed when the Flash tricked him into trying to possess a still living body, exorcizing Dillon from Henry’s body.

About a week later, the Top took possession of another automobile accident victim. He began terrorizing everyone that Barry Allen knew. The final straw for the Flash came when he found the rogue desecrating his wife’s grave. The Flash captured the villain but knew that the Top would return again and again to torment his friends. Not even death would stop him.

It’s okay when *we* do it

The Flash took Dillon to the Justice League satellite. He asked Zatanna to alter his mind (much as she had recently done with Dr. Light) to make the Top a hero. The forced rehabilitation worked… briefly. Dillon was a great boon to the Flash for a few weeks. He helped him round up more escaped Rogues than ever before.

During that time, he used his psychic abilities to do a little brainwashing of his own. The Top attempted to hypnotize the Rogues into reforming. Outside of the Pied Piper, Heat Wave and the original Trickster, most of them rejected his hypnotic suggestions altogether.

Soon after, the Top became insane with guilt for all the trouble he caused. His villainous nature came into conflict with Zatanna’s brainwashing and driving him mad. Presumably this conflict drove the Top’s spirit to leave it’s host body and this plane of existence.

Highway to Hell

Several years later, a team of scientists from the Washington, D.C. branch of S.T.A.R. Labs began researching dimension-travel to the afterlife in general. The were looking to reach the Pearly Gates in particular. Instead, their experiments created a portal which left them trapped in a reasonable facsimile of Hell. It fell to Hawk and Dove to lead Titans West through the portal to rescue the scientists.

Simultaneously, a small group of the dead were attempting a “prison break” from an eternity of damnation and hellfire. While in “Hell”, the Top’s spirit had organized a group of like-minded & condemned souls (Iron Major, El Papaguyao, Icicle, the Electrocutioner and Clayface) into possessing the bodies of the scientists.

All they had to do was figure out how to use the portal and they would be alive again.

With the help of the spirit of General J.E.B. Stuart (and his haunted tank), Hawk and Dove (and friends) defeated the Top’s motley crew. Then they returned the scientists to the land of the living. During this misadventure, Hawk realized that it might be possible to resurrect his late brother, a fact that the Top would exploit.

Spinning in his grave

Soon after, Hank (Hawk) Hall started received a shocking message on his answering machine. It was from his dead brother, Don, the original Dove. Don asked Hawk to steal a magical sapphire gem from the Smithsonian as a means to resurrect him. Hawk did exactly that. His actions made him a wanted fugitive.

Don’s second set of instructions asked Hawk to retrieve a body. It was the recently deceased Senator Tom O’Neill, the victim of a mysterious car accident. The third of Don’s tasks was for Hawk to perform a magic ritual with the stolen sapphire gem and the senator’s corpse, hoping Don’s spirit would inhabit the senator’s body.

It was, of course, all a lie. ‘Don’ was the spirit of Roscoe Dillon, manipulating the young Titan into assisting with his resurrection.

The Top had a new lease on life, and all of his enemies had been vanquished. Barry Allen was dead and gone during the Crisis, while Hawk and Dove were busy dealing with Armageddons of their own. There was nothing stopping “Senator O’Neil” from making a run at true power.

Initially intending a run for the Presidency, Dillon’s unfamiliarity with American politics made him settle for a vice-presidential nomination at the side of an extreme right-wing, homophobic senator named Cartwright. Cartwright was the heavy favorite to win the election.

Spin doctoring

The Top planned to become President by setting up the openly gay Pied Piper as a scapegoat for the assassination of his running mate after they had won the election. However, he was stopped by the new Flash, Wally West. Ashamed by his running mate’s actions, Cartwright conceded the election.

Then, the souls of the damned that Dillon had left behind in hell (specifically the dead-at-the-time Rogues, a very long story) returned to reclaim him. Barely coherent, the Top was left to rot in Iron Heights penitentiary. During that time, his psychic abilities evolving to the point where he could cause vertigo in others.

A prison break from Iron Height arranged by Grodd then released all of the Rogues, including Dillon. A disoriented and insane Top made an attempt on the life of the mayor of Keystone City before being thwarted by the Flash.

Shortly thereafter, Wally received a posthumous letter from Barry Allen. It explained about what he did with the Top’s mind and asking Wally to restore Dillon’s mind back to its original state. With Zatanna’s help, the Flash managed to find the Top in an abandoned toy factory and restored his mind.

Once again fully sane, the Top promptly leveled the caught off-guard heroes. Before escaping, Dillon gloated about his “fixing” of the Rogues, swearing to remove their mental programming and return them back to their villainous ways.

Rogue War

By this point, James Jesse (the original Trickster) had reformed. He was working for the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The F.B.I. charged Jesse with bringing the remaining Rogues to justice. He recruited reformed villains Heat Wave, the Pied Piper and Magenta for the task.

An attack by Jesse’s team on one of Captain Cold’s hideouts began the Rogue War in earnest. The running firefight nearly destroyed downtown Keystone City and gained the undivided attention of the Flash.

In the middle of all this, the Top appeared with own his set of Rogues. These were Plunder, Murmur, Tar Pit, Girder and Double Down. All had been hypnotized to do the Top bidding.

True to his word, he removed his hypnotic suggestions on the Trickster and Pied Piper. After removing Heat Wave’s programing, he stood in front of Captain Cold and declared himself the new leader of the Rogues. He also ordered his group of reprogrammed Rogues to attack the Flash. Angered at the Top’s interference, Captain Cold flash-froze the Top and shattered his body, killing him.

Of course, a little thing like death has never been enough to stop the Top…


Description

The Top is a Caucasian man of athletic build dressed in a bodysuit covered in horizontal green and yellow stripes with a symbol of a top on his chest. He wears a green domino mask over his eyes, which glow when he uses his psionic powers. While spinning, the Top looks like a human-sized, emerald-colored tornado.


Personality

The Top is an intelligent, manipulative and very deliberate criminal with a massive superiority complex. Arrogant to a fault, he relishes lording it over those he considers his “inferiors.” In his view, everyone is inferior, which results in a condescending attitude.

Oftentimes, his arrogance works against him. For instance, had he paid more attention to Captain Cold instead of gloating as his minions attacked the Flash, his current body would still be alive. He’s sexist, too. For instance, he *always* referred to Dove as “doll.”

Round and round he goes

The Top has a few character traits that set him apart from his Keystone/Central City peers. First off, the Top has a tendency to think big. He’s twice made a play for world (or at least continental) domination. He came dangerously close to success in his “political” career.

He’s also far more ruthless than the average Rogue. He did threaten the world with atomic blackmail, after all. This probably goes back to that whole “arrogance” thing. If people are beneath your contempt, then it’s perfectly within your right to go ahead and break a few. They’ll just make more.

Despite being one of the original Rogues, Dillon has never really fit in with them. This seems to be strictly a class thing amongst themselves. The Top is an intellectual compared to the majority of the Rogues, who are more blue collar. Captain Cold once complained that the Top always thought he was better than his peers because he could “tell the difference between red wines and alla that crap.”

As is apparent in the quotes, Dillon really enjoys saying the word “top” a lot. Top of the world, top of the food chain, top dog, etc..

The Top has full control of his powers. He knows how to mix and match them in battle. Often, his first tactic in a fight is to use Mental Freeze to disorient his opponent before flattening them with his Superspeed.


Quotes

“Do me a favor, my friend. Spin.”

“Do you want to know *why* I do this ? It’s certainly not for the diamonds, though I *do* like to decorate my tops. And it’s not for the news. Let Captain Cold and Heat Wave snatch the headlines to impress the women. It’s for the *thrill.* The thrill of spinning your world upside down. Dragging your psyche through the mud and dirt that ours has gone through. We’ll see what kind of hero you are then, Flash. We’ll see…”

(Said in the middle of a standoff with Dove, as a trapped and damned spirit in Hell.) “Love your moves, doll. Reminds me of a smooth number I use to know named Lisa Snart. Haven’t seen her since the last time I busted outta this joint…”

“I’ve learned how to spin myself like a top at incredible speed. And simultaneously, I’ve made a startling discovery – the spinning action increases my brain power ! There’s nothing I can’t attempt now !”

(The Top, during his “reformed” phase) “When I was growing up, it was always be the best, be the greatest, show everyone you’re my son. Get on top of the world. When I couldn’t, I lashed out. I rebelled against everything. For what ? To tear down those that were better than me. All out of some stupid sense of ego.”

“I told you what I did. Flipped and flopped the inner soul. Turned the cockroaches in their heads into sweet delicious sugar plumbs. I grew their hearts three sizes in one day, ha. But these naughty boys need a new father to harness the power they have together… hone what they can actually do. It’s time to stop living hand-to-mouth robbing banks and jewelry stores. It’s time to put ourselves on top of the world !”

“It’s all about survival. I was having these horrible headaches. Like I’m giving you.” (Delivers the superspeed beatdown to a temporarily stunned Flash.) “But it’s just my brain patterns re-emerging. Evolving. So that I can defeat the Flash. I can survive. And be on top of the food chain !”

(Still in Hell, still battling Dove.) “Okay, enough of this ! Time you learned your place ! I don’t care what the Iron Major says, he couldn’t have done this without me. I knew the strings to pull, I knew the palms to grease… so I’m taking you down, doll ! You’re just blood and bone – you can still die !”

(Moments after Zatanna reverses her magical brainwashing.) “My mind felt numb. As if all my dreams and aspirations had been locked into a vault, deep within the recesses of my manifolds. Never to be seen or heard of again. Secrets. I *know* what your predecessor attempted to do. Change human nature. Top the Top. *No one* tops the Top, Flash !”


DC Universe History

Starting with the obvious: without a doubt, the Top’s spirit is once again roaming the world, looking for a nice new body to call home. Players beware The Top has a frightening tendency to inhabit the bodies of people with close ties to super heroes. Don’t be surprised if your friendly neighborhood GM decides to have your character get a call from the hospital…

Once the Top finds a body, things get interesting. He has some unfinished business with his fellow Rogues. He was very intent on uniting them under his rule. What do you suppose he has planned once the gang’s reunited under his rule? Also, since he was one of the JLA’s forced lobotomy patients, I can’t believe he won’t take a shot at Zatanna at some point.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, Dove (Dawn Granger) wouldn’t need much of an excuse to investigate the Top’s return to the land of the living.


Marvel Universe History

Dillon is probably a mutant, but making him an X-Men foe seems like a waste.

Instead, have him become an early enemy of the Avengers. Quicksilver played a big part in breaking up the Top’s “atomic grenade” scheme, earning the Rogue’s lifelong animosity. The Top battled the mutant speedster several times, either solo or as a member of the Masters of Evil.

Pietro’s superspeed vibrations reacted badly with Dillon’s newfound psychic powers, eventually killing the Top. After that, who knows? Perhaps the Top’s spirit (in cooperation with Calypso) found a way to manipulate a guilt-plagued Peter Parker into helping him find a body by impersonating Uncle Ben via the “answering machine” ploy.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

The Top

Dex: 07 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 06 Wil: 08 Min: 06 Occupation: Professional criminal
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 020 HP: 050

Powers:
Hypnosis: 10, Iron Will: 08, Mental Freeze: 08, Personality Transfer: 06, Superspeed: 13

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Personality Transfer only works when the Top’s current body dies.
  • Personality Transfer can only be used on the recently deceased or permanently brain dead.
  • Personality Transfer is permanent until the Top’s current body dies. The Top’s new body gradually changes to be identical to his old body, down to a genetic level.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Athletics/Ice Skating): 04, Gadgetry: 09, Thief: 04, Weaponry (Exotic): 08

Advantages:
Connoisseur, Genius, Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
Rogues (Low), Criminal Underworld (Low), formerly U.S.Congress (High).

Drawbacks:
None.


Spin Doctoring

Before his first death, the Top’s sole Power was Superspeed at 12 APs. It is assumed that all of his Mystical Attributes and his WILL were all 01 AP lower than his current Stats. Like his fellow Rogues, he also relied on gimmicky weapons to aid him in his criminal career which, for the purposes of this write-up, were assumed to be 10 AP ABCD Omni-Gadgets (x8).

Shortly before his death, the Top’s latent psychic Powers of Hypnosis and Iron Will came to the fore. This incarnation of the Top’s stats rise to the AP ratings listed above, but at this point he possesses neither Personality Transfer or Mental Freeze. Only after dying did he gain Personality Transfer.

In the short time that the Top was “reformed”, the Top picked up both the Guilt and Minor Rage Drawbacks. But this lasted only a few weeks.

A later psychic assault by the spirits of several dead Rogues left the Top’s mental state completely deteriorated. Playing the Top during this phase of his life, he would have picked up both Mental Freeze and a Serious Psychological Instability Drawback.

By mirage_delgado.

Source of Character: DC Universe (Flash comics).

Helper(s): Thanks to Gareth Lewis for lending his preliminary work on the Top’s stats. The illustrations are from hyperborea.org .

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