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Victorius (Ka-Zar enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Victorius

(Victor Conrad)


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

Context

Victorius is an obscure Marvel character, who appeared from 1973 to 1978. He’s been largely forgotten by those who aren’t comics researchers.

But he’s a handy villain with complex plans and rich potential, particularly if you like using 1970s Marvel elements. He’s super-soldier, a scientist and a melee combat expert – that’s cool !


Background

  • Real Name: Dr. Victor Conrad.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: AIM.
  • Base Of Operations: An AIM fortress in upstate New York.
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 235 lbs. Age: 50
  • Eyes: Blue-grey Hair: White, balding (formerly brown).


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Powers and Abilities

Victor Conrad was an melee combat enthusiast. For years, he trained himself both in unarmed martial arts and in medieval weaponry, reaching a remarkable level of proficiency in his hobby.

He was also a proficient scientist, apparently specialising in chemistry or biochemistry.

Only the strong

After exposing himself to the Super-Soldier serum, Conrad acquired peak human physical strength, stamina, speed, coordination, etc.. He generally matched Captain America (Steve Rogers) in raw prowess.

After retraining to attune his old martial skills to his new body, he could reliably defeat Ka-Zar in close-combat. Which is no mean feat. As we all knew back then, this is Ka-Zar… victor of a thousand combats ! Ka-Zar… with the might of the mastodon, the ferocity of the sabretooth ! Ka-Zar, swifter than the cheetah ! Ka-Zar… LORD OF THE JUNGLE !

Ahem, sorry.

He also could fight Captain America on somewhat equal footing. But it is doubtful he would actually have prevailed against the star-spangled Avenger.


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Super-soldier

Victorius tends not to spend many Hero Points  against human opponents, even Ka-Zar, unless they have special weapons. This is what allowed the lord of the jungle, who spent HPs and landed some luck strikes, to overcome his opponent.

However, Victorius’s strategy means he has no problem doing a Desperation Recovery check after he’s brought down. Even after that, he remains unlikely to spend many HPs. Victorius reasons his opponent must be spent at this point, and will fall to his superior speed and strength.

Conrad took the serum without the complementary “vita-rays” treatment to stabilize the host’s organisms. Thus, had he survived, hewould have probably gone the way of Captain America VI. His strength reached superhuman levels, but he would have experienced psychotic delusions and instability, and ultimately madness and death. Such was also, decades later, the fate of Nomad (Jack Monroe).


History

Victor Conrad was an accomplished Oriental and European martial artist decades such pursuits became recognised as hobbies. He also was an excellent athlete. But his all-consuming goal had to do with science.

His lifelong goal was to recreate the Super-Soldier serum, as used in the 1940s on Captain America. When the government closed the unsuccessful project Conrad was working in, the scientist joined criminal organisation Advanced Ideas Mechanics (AIM). There, he could continue to work on the serum. However, even as he reached his 50s, its formulation still eluded him.

However, the formula was rediscovered by a Captain America fanatic who stumbled upon secret Nazi documentation. Sharon Carter, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., discovered the existence of that man. But at that point the man had already injected himself and a young friend with the formula, becoming the new Captain America (VI, later the Grand Director) and Bucky (III, later Nomad II).

The Burnside papers

The formula was destroyed shortly after, but AIM managed to obtain a copy of the notes. Conrad worked feverishly on those, and eventually recreated the Super-Soldier formula.

Victorius (Marvel Comics) vs. Ka-Zar

Minutes later, an anonymous agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. burst into the lab. In the ensuing firefight with AIM troops the agent was killed, but not before he succeeded in destroying the notes. To ensure his own survival, Conrad consumed the serum. He soon was gifted with extreme prowess and an incredible physique.

Exploiting a temporary disappearance of MODOK, Conrad took over AIM, thus achieving the power and respect he craved. But MODOK soon returned, reinstating himself as leader and overthrowing Conrad. The scientist fled, plotting to take MODOK down. He allied himself with the Plunderer (Edgar Plunder) and Gemini (Joshua Link), working from a base in upstate New York.

Messing with Ms. Morse

However, Bobbi Morse, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., clad in groovy 1973 rad fashion, was on the trail of the Super-Soldier formula – and thus Conrad. She was captured by Conrad (who had renamed himself Victorius), but that drew in her close friend Ka-Zar (Lord of the Jungle !) and his feline partner Zabu.

Ka-Zar eventually invaded Victorius’ fortress, dispatching both Plunder and Gemini. He briefly had the upper hand against Victorius, but the scientist was mightier than even the lord of the jungle. But before Victorius could execute Ka-Zar, Bobbi and Zabu came to his rescue.

Victorius took Zabu down with a lance spraying knock-out gas. But Ka-Zar rose to battle again. By pressing all of Victorius’s psychological red buttons, the lord of the jungle could defenestrate the scientist from a tower and into the moat.

At least it’s an ethos

Victorius didn’t suffer defeat well. He experienced a mild depression. He aimlessly wandered around, looking for what to do next. While in an occult bookstore, he read about the Cult of the Entropists, a cult worshipping chaos and decay in the Everglades. They operated in Florida, near the Nexus of All Realities.

Seduced by their theology, he joined them. True to his nature, he then took power. Researching a way to bring entropy to the world, he learned that the all-powerful Cosmic Cube was being analyzed at Project: PEGASUS.

A disguised Conrad infiltrated PEGASUS right as tests involving the Cube and the young extraterrestrial Wundarr were taking place. Sabotaging the test and using his physical power, he absconded with the Cube. Victorius even shoved Captain America back before he could act.

Master of the Cube

Teleporting back to the Everglades, he reanimated the corpse of Yagzan, the former leader of the Cult. Specifically, Conrad used the Cube to turn the skeleton into a strange independent entity called Jude the Entropic Man.

Meanwhile, the Thing (Benjamin J. Grimm) and Captain America tracked him down. Victorius and Captain America fought mano a mano, with Victorius setting the Cube asides in order to prove he was the better super-soldier of the two.

During the fight, Jude the Entropic Man decided it was time to bring entropy to the world. He started with the two nearby combatants, ignoring the Thing’s attempts to stop him. As he was about to destroy them, Jude was taken aback by the willpower of the two super-soldiers. He thus renounced his project, considering the human race was not ready for the final dissolution yet.

As he was pondering, the Man-Thing, attracted by the fights in his domain, shambled in and grabbed the Cosmic Cube.

Victorius went furious at the sight of the monster taking his prize. He tried to wrestle the Cube for the Man-Thing. At this point the erratic Jude decided to bring the gift of entropy to Victorius, estimating that he would understand and appreciate it.

The touch of Jude triggered fear in Victorius, and whosoever knows fear… The odd combination of the Cube, Jude’s entropic energy and Man-Thing’s touch turned Jude, Victorius and the Man-Thing into a unearthly block of crystalline matter. The Man-Thing quickly reformed and wandered away, but neither Victorius nor Jude have emerged since.


Description

The red robes are for his time with the Cult of Entropists.


Personality

A grandiose, verbose, power-hungry villain with a large superiority complex and a huge chip on his shoulder. He revels in his own physical might and orders everyone around like lackeys. He is obsessed by gaining power and respect at any cost. Conrad will plan with both cunning and directness to achieve those goals.

Victorius was horrified by the effects of age on his body. His once-powerful muscles turned to flab, his reflexes faded, and so on. He was near the abyss, and the Super-Soldier serum both saved him from decrepitude and allowed him to achieve his lifelong, all-consuming dream. Which made him even more intense.


Quotes

“That S.H.I.E.L.D. firebomb destroyed everything – the lab, my A.I.M. protectors, formulae – everything ! Sprayed by unknown chemicals and surrounded by flame, my only hope for survival was to take the serum ! Now the formula is irretrievably lost – but I survive, able to crush anyone who stands in my way – and I plan to do just that !”

“Don’t quake with such fear, Gemini ! Ka-Zar is only a man… and as a man, he will be dispatched !” (hurls battle axe at Ka-Zar)

“Then don’t stand there gawking, cretins ! Seek him out – and destroy him ! Plunder – you’d best follow them ! Then while you tend to that nobly savage fool – I’ll begin extracting the information I wish from this unfortunately beautiful S.H.I.E.L.D. agent !”

“A moot point, savage, for I am more powerful than you both ! And further, my skills are not limited to your primitive fisticuffs – but to martial arts from the world ’round ! The efficiency of Japanese karate… the subtle French savate… the blow-dodging art of a Philippine bantam weight… and the direct power of an American heavyweight ! But the stylings I most prefer are those of the ancient gladiators ! Theirs was a life honed solely in combat, blending supreme skill with bludgeoning brutality ! And now that you are sufficiently softened by my demonstrations, I move in for the kill !”

“You were worthy — but ultimately, you had to fall — as all shall fall before Victorius ! The super-soldier reigns supreme !”

“I have what I’ve come for, you orange-skinned misanthrope – the means to reshape a world if I wish !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Victorius

Dex: 10 Str: 06 Bod: 06 Motivation: Power, later Nihilist
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Criminal scientist
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 022 HP: 040

Skills:
Acrobatics: 06, Martial artist: 08, Scientist: 05, Weaponry (melee, exotic): 10

Advantages:
Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
AIM (High).

Drawbacks:
Age (old).

Equipment:

  • HELMET [BODY 07, Shade: 02].
  • Unique Battle Axe [BODY 08, EV 04 (07 w/STR, 09 w/Martial Artist), Gliding: 02, Limitation : Gliding only to return to thrower. This baroque battle axe is specially balanced to circle back to the wielder when thrown – not unlike Captain America’s shield, according to a cryptic caption].
  • Horseman lance [BODY 06, EV 04 (07 w/STR, 09 w/Martial Artist), Knockout gas: 07, Ammo (KO gas): 02]. this seemed to have been more a part of the AIM fortress’s gear than a piece of equipment used by Victorius, however.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Astonishing tales vol. 1 (Marvel Universe).

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