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Undercover Brother (Eddie Griffin) with Sistah Girl and White She-Devil

Undercover Brother

(Movie version)


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

Context

Though it was originally an Internet animation, Undercover Brother is best known as a 2002 action comedy spoofing various 1970s genres, such as James Bond flicks, kung-fu movies and — especially — blaxploitation .

This hilarious movie features cool performances by the likes of Eddie Griffin (as Undercover Brother), Aunjanue Ellis (Sistah Girl), Denis Richards (White She-Devil) or Dave Chappelle (Conspiracy Brother). Solid !


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: BROTHERHOOD
  • Base Of Operations: Da Hood
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black
  • Height: 5’7” (plus six or seven inches after adding platform shoes and the ’Fro)


Powers and Abilities

Undercover Brother is the epitome of 1970s hip. He’s a lover, he’s a fighter, and he’s a hell of a dancer. He’s also capable of nigh-superhuman smooth moves while fightin’ or drivin’ when he’s stepping up to preserve his cool rep.

Despite his legendarily ostentatious demeanor, he’s an excellent disguise artist. He can slip into the most secure places without getting a second glance if he so chooses.


Video

The trailer. It’s just 360p, so watch it small.


History

Undercover Brother had two missions in life: keeping the soul of the 1970s alive and playing Robin Hood to da Hood. He became infamous as the Afro Bandit, breaking into financial institutions. Rather than robbing them, he performed subtler sabotage such as erasing mortgage records so that low-income families could keep their houses.

Unknown to Undercover Brother, there was a whole group dedicated to the same fight. The secret organization known as the BROTHERHOOD (“Fighting for truth, justice, and the Afro-American way since 1972”) was also keeping the struggle alive by taking it to the Man. The Man is the secret White master of the world, dedicated to turning back the clock on race relations.

Then, distinguished Việt Nam war hero, civil rights activist, and former Defense Secretary Warren Boutwell (General, US Army, Ret.) announced that he was going to open a chain of fried chicken joints instead of running for President of the United States.

BROTHERHOOD knew something was up. The Chief of the BROTHERHOOD decided some new blood was needed for this case. “Get me Undercover Brother !”

Agent of BROTHERHOOD

Surveillance of General Boutwell quickly revealed an ominous associate. It was Mr. Feather, number one flunky of the Man. Going to work with Mr. Feather’s company under an assumed identity, Undercover Brother recovered computer files.The data regarded the Man’s plot to subvert Boutwell using a powerful mind-control drug.

Mr. Feather discovered Undercover Brother’s subterfuge and sidetracked him with White She-Devil. This operative for the Man who seduced Undercover Brother. In short order had turned him into a fawning, white bread boyfriend.

Sistah Girl of the BROTHERHOOD put on her finest ’70s disco suit and a proud Afro. She confronted Undercover Brother with his daddy’s medallion, snapping him out of White She-Devil’s spell. She-Devil actually switched sides along with Undercover Brother, having been seduced in turn by the power of his incredible cool.

Stick it to The Man

Thinking Undercover Brother was out of the way, the Man extended Operation WHITEWASH to society at large. They laced the food served at General’s Fried Chicken with the same drug used to control Boutwell. They also started kidnapping prominent Black personalities, which proved to be their ultimate undoing.

Undercover Brother disguised himself as James Brown  and infiltrated the Man’s island fortress, leading the BROTHERHOOD there as well. Together the BROTHERHOOD and Undercover Brother foiled Operation WHITEWASH by trashing the island and Mr. Feather.

The Man escaped, but the BROTHERHOOD had found its hero and Undercover Brother had made the world a funky place again.


Description

Undercover Brother is a slim well-toned Black man who bears an unfortunate resemblance to Macy Gray , albeit with a huge Afro, pork-chop sideburns, and full, proud mustache.

He wears platform shoes, shiny pleather bell-bottomed suits in every color of the rainbow (occasionally changin’ it up with polyester or denim) and silk shirts with huge lapels and colorful designs. That’s unless he’s working — wait for it — undercover, in which case he’ll wear garb appropriate to his cover identity.

Undercover Brother will complement these costumes with suitable makeup disguises to further distance himself from his normal look. The most notable piece of Undercover Brother’s attire is his father’s medallion, a gold disc with an ebony fist raised in a Black Power salute in the center. He usually wears it on a black leather string around his neck.


Personality

Sistah Girl initially summed up Undercover Brother as, “A Soul Train  reject with a Robin Hood complex,” a judgment that was a little harsh but not completely inaccurate. When Undercover Brother isn’t out trying to right wrongs against the people in his ’hood, he’s living a life of ’70s cool just like Shaft and Superfly.

Undercover Brother’s biggest influence is Jim Kelly, who was most famous for his role in Bruce Lee’s movie Enter the Dragon. Undercover Brother even based his fighting style on Kelly’s. This once prompted Sistah Girl to sarcastically refer to Undercover Brother as “Bruce Leroy.”

Undercover Brother takes great pride in playin’ it cool at all times. He is easily flustered by surprises — he panicked and started praying to Jesus for help the first time he dropped down BROTHERHOOD’s secret elevator entrance, among other things — but he recovers in short order.


Quotes

(Trying to sound defiant while staring at Sistah Girl’s gun) “If you’re gonna shoot me, shoot me.”
(Sistah Girl lowers her gun, Undercover Brother sighs with relief) “Thank you, Jesus.”

Sistah Girl: “This is strictly an observation mission. We are not authorized to take action !”
Undercover Brother: “Well, observe this: Action is what Undercover Brother’s all about.”

(Insta-changing) “Say ’Goodbye‘ to Anton Jackson… and say ’What it is’ to Undercover Brother.”

White She-Devil: “Oh, Undercover Brother, you’re just too much man for me.”
Undercover Brother: “Baby, sometimes I’m too much man for my own damn self.”

(After Mr. Feather cuts out a chunk of Undercover Brother’s Afro) “You mess with the ’Fro, you got to go.”

And of course
“Solid.” (With Black Power salute)


DC Universe History

It’s possible that Undercover Brother was inspired by Black Lightning, emerging to take up the torch when Black Lightning retired. As much as I hate the stereotypical superhero comic motif of “Every Black hero knows every other Black hero”, these two characters do have some roughly similar motivations and places of operation.

He might have even stopped by to visit the Detroit JLA, promptly exiting the scene when he realized they weren’t the Outsiders.

Speaking of cliché, Undercover Brother may have taught a young Bruce Wayne some of his disguise and streetwise tradecraft. Better yet, let’s rewrite the classic Denny O’Neil Green Arrow/Green Lantern road trip through America with Undercover Brother in Green Arrow’s stead.

Or pair him up with John Constantine when the ol‘ Hellblazer makes a trip across the pond. Undercover Brother’s cool would represent a spiritual potential of fearsome proportions and his antics pulling the rug out from under the more portentous/pretentious members of the mystic community. UB would definitely dig the Phantom Stranger’s gold medallion and big lapels.

More alternatives

Jay Myers suggests a more direct tie-in to a DCU hero: “His own personality all but obliterated by the thousands of roles he had assumed, the Unknown Soldier began experimenting with psychoactive drugs in an attempt to discover his true self.

After more than a decade of this pharmacological crusade, he was walking by a (blaxploitation) film festival when a wave of severe disorientation hit him. Needing to sit and rest while the spell passed, he bought a ticket.

As he sat in the darkened theater under the influence of the chemical cocktail he recently consumed, the Unknown Soldier’s unconscious began constructing a new personality based on the characters on the screen. By the time the movie marathon was over the Soldier was no more and his place was Undercover Brother !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Undercover Brother

Dex: 07 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 05 Wil: 07 Min: 05 Occupation: Adventurer
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 021 HP: 050

Powers:
Power Reserve (Martial Artist, Vehicles): 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Power Reserve only lasts for one Phase and can only be used to preserve Undercover Brother’s cool, such as easily spinning his car in multiple 360s without spilling his soda and thrashing the dude that messed up his ’fro (-2FC).

Skills:
Artist (Disguise)*: 07, Charisma (Persuasion)*: 07, Gadgetry*: 05, Martial Artist*: 07, Vehicles (Land)*: 07, Weaponry (Hair Picks)*: 07

Advantages:
Insta-Change, Local Hero (Da Hood)

Connections:
BROTHERHOOD (High)

Drawbacks:
Miscellaneous (Undercover Brother doesn’t handle surprises very well; If he is Surprised in combat he is suffers a -2 to Initiative in the second phase of combat in addition to the normal first phase penalties, -10 points), Mistrust

Equipment:

  • Hair Picks (x2) [BODY 03, EV 02, Snare: 03, Limitation: Snare requires Undercover Brother to make a Trick Shot while throwing the picks, representing him pinning someone to the wall. Undercover Brother keeps a pair of hair picks handy at all times, allowing him to even out his ’fro. He’ll use them to hamper mooks occasionally, but otherwise doesn’t bother using them in fights — he’d rather show off his skills by hanging his foot in the bad guys’ asses]
  • 6 AP C Omni-Gadget (x2) (only x1 before he began working for BROTHERHOOD). Examples of Omni-Gadgets used by Undercover Brother include mini-parachutes hidden in his attire and platform shoes with extending stilts.
  • GOLD CADILLAC COUPE DEVILLE CONVERTIBLE [BODY 06 STR 06, Running: 06 (5), 4 AP C Omni-Gadget x2. This sweet street machine is Undercover Brother’s pride and joy, with a pair of bif fuzzy 8-balls hanging from the rearview mirror and a customized “SOLID” license plate. It’s far from the fastest ride out there, but damn well the smoothest. Undercover Brother has made some modifications to his caddy over the years including a concealed hair-gel spray that creates slick spots on the road and an 8-track player capable of shooting its cassettes out over the back of the car like projectiles (Omni-Gadgets). When Undercover Brother joined the BROTHERHOOD, Smart Brother added a comm system (Radio Communication: 10), an amp for the 8-track player, and an orange soda dispenser]

By Roy Cowan

Source of Character: Undercover Brother (movie), character played by Eddie Griffin

Helper(s): Frank Murdock, Jay Myers, Dr. Peter S. Piispanen

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