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Wizard (Marvel Comics)

Wizard

(Formerly Bentley Wittman) (Profile #1 - Earliest)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • This profile covers his appearances in Strange Tales, between 1962 and 1964, before he became a costumed villain.
  • It doesn’t include later revisions to his history, such as his ex-wife and daughter.

Background

  • Real Name: Wizard (legally changed from Bentley Wittman)
  • Former Aliases: Human Torch
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: One-time partner of Paste Pot Pete
  • Base Of Operations: New York area
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 150 lbs
  • Eyes: Hazel Hair: Dark Brown


Powers & Abilities

A genius, the Wizard is one of the leading inventors of the age, making scientific breakthrough in a number of fields. He’s also a master escapologist, and taught himself to become a master of disguise in prison.


History

Hero Envy

Growing up a child prodigy and chess champion, Bentley Wittman’s genius saw him become a renowned inventor, his futuristic technology making him rich. Using his technology for his stage magician and escapology act, he even had his name legally changed to the Wizard.

Growing bored with how easy things came to him, he decided to turn his mind to defeating the Human Torch, whose popularity was starting to eclipse his own. As the Torch’s identity was secret at this time, he faked putting himself in danger from which only the Torch could save him.

It worked, and to show his gratitude Wizard invited the Torch to see his high-tech mansion.

Easily subduing the Torch, he locked him in an asbestos-lined room. Using a costume designed to impersonate the Torch, he went on a crime spree, robbing a bank, causing a prison break, and menacing motorists.

The asbestos-lined room proved incapable of handling the Torch’s maximum heat, though, and once the chemical which doused his flames wore off, the Torch escaped and came after the Wizard.

The Torch caught up to the Wizard after he’d finished his spree and dumped the costume. The Wizard said he knew the Torch wouldn’t harm an unarmed man, and invited him back to his house that night for a showdown.

Offering photos of himself donning the Torch outfit, Wizard claimed the only way the Torch could get them was to kill him with his flames, or to flame off and fight him. By flaming off his identity would be recorded and revealed to the world.

Holding the photos over a fire, Wizard waited. The Torch claimed to use unknown powers to float the pictures into his hands. Actually it was the Invisible Girl, but the Wizard didn’t know this and was left dispirited by his defeat.

With the pictures as proof, the Torch was cleared and the Wizard sent to jail.

Revenge

Behaving himself in jail gained him the position of trustee, working in the prison hospital, where he used the vast array of chemicals they left unguarded to create a substance which burned through walls.

Using it on his cell wall at night, he hid while the guards rushed through it after him, then escaped through the open cell door [because, of course, there was only one door keeping him from freedom].

Free, he decided to seek his revenge on the Torch. Returning home, he was surprised that the police would come looking for him there, but his house’s defences kept them at bay. Trapped in a stalemate, he again challenged the Torch to come and face him.

The early Wizard and Paste Pot Pete

The Torch did so. After heavy artillery [which everyone has lying around in futuristic houses] failed to stop him, the Torch managed to avoid falling into the asbestos-lined dungeon by hovering out of the trap [but how was the Wizard to know that the flying Human Torch could avoid falling through a trap door in such a manner], and the nerve gas couldn’t get through a wall of fire [which the Torch erected after the Wizard announced he was using nerve gas].

When his house detected an intruder, but nothing showed on the cameras, Wizard deduced it must be the Invisible Girl. With a spray which made her visible, he easily captured her.

Sealing her in a room rigged with explosives on a five minute timer, Wizard threatened to detonate them unless the Torch flamed off and joined her. He did.

The explosives were rigged with a heat trigger to stop the Torch flaming on. Unfortunately the trigger was in the form of an alarm bell inside the room. The Torch managed to burn the hammer before it struck the bell.

Burning the bomb out of the wall, the Torch catapulted it into the sky before it exploded. With the pair free, Wizard didn’t last long, and soon returned to jail.

Partnership (Now Do As I Say)

Trapped in solitary confinement, the Wizard still managed to create a tiny explosive pill. Before he could use it, he was sprung by Paste Pot Pete, another enemy of the Torch who suggested they work together to bring down their foe. The Wizard readily agreed. His idea of partnership tended towards expecting Paste Pot Pete to follow orders, though.

Using his house as a secret base, since the police would never dream he’d go back there [and apparently they didn’t consider him stupid enough to go back there, so didn’t bother checking this time], they set about scheming.

Impersonating the Torch again, the Wizard framed him for spying. His next attempt to frame the Torch by robbing one of the world’s richest men proved to be a trap, and the pair found themselves facing the Torch.

Quickly leading him back to the his house [which, despite being on a private estate, coincidentally appears to be right next to the hotel where the Torch set his trap], the Wizard again used a trapdoor, this time with a blast of air from above to push the Torch into a labyrinth of mirrors. Made from impenetrable polished steel, he intended to flood it with a fire-extinguishing liquid.

He again underestimated the Torch’s maximum heat, and while it took most of his energy, the Torch managed to burn through the steel, leaving a flaming facsimile in his place. He quickly subdued them, and their partnership ended in bickering acrimony, with the pair in jail.

The Wingless Wizard

Behaving himself in jail long enough to gain access to the workshop, the Wizard used a sleeping gas on a guard, disguised himself as the guard (after reading a book on it in the prison library), then used his anti-gravity power unit to fly to freedom.

What would freedom be without the opportunity to revenge himself on the Human Torch, though? So, with his previous hideouts having somehow been discovered [possibly because he always used his house], he decided to hide in a new identity.

Setting himself up as a TV producer, he invited the Torch to record a one-man charity performance of his powers. The Torch accepted, and the Wizard got him to perform until his flame was exhausted, then knocked him out.

Disguising himself as the Torch again, this time even when not flamed on, the Wizard subdued the Invisible Girl, and announced they were taking a vacation from the Fantastic Four. They inevitably get free, and the Torch came after him.

Having used the time to hone his anti-gravity technology, the Wizard tried using them on the Torch. He failed, and tried to fly away, increasing his device’s power to its maximum. He escaped, but the device jammed, leaving him ascending, unable to stop himself.

He was only saved when the Trapster (formerly Paste Pot Pete) and the Sandman passed by in an airplane during their escape from prison. Joining forces, they decided to gain their revenge on the Torch and the Fantastic Four.


Personality

Arrogant, egomaniacal, and intellectually superior, while the Wizard can be charming and personable when it suits his purposes, he regards everyone around him as his inferior, and sees his defeats as being solely due to luck.

He has trouble in any kind of partnership, since he can’t accept anyone as his equal, so tends to order them about.

He became fixated on proving himself superior to the Human Torch, whose press attention was greater than his, and became obsessed with getting revenge for every defeat.

Despite his great intellect, which he makes sure to mention at every available opportunity, his plans tend to be fairly simple, and he doesn’t consider more than one or two contingencies to be necessary for any plan his brilliant mind devises. Yet he continually underestimates the Torch.


Quotes

“I have proven my mental superiority in countless ways ! There is only one challenge left for me — to defeat the Human Torch ! That will be my ultimate achievement !”

“It’s useless to protest ! I am your mental superior and I’m going to defeat you ! Nothing can stop me ! Nothing !”

“The fools think they can keep me locked up, but my superior intellect has already devised a plan of escape !”

“Of course we’re partners — in crime ! But I shall lead and you shall follow ! Now be quiet… while I plan a brilliant crime to pin on the Torch !”

“No wonder they call me the Wizard ! I can outsmart anybody !”


DC Universe History

The Wizard would likely try to prove his superiority over one of the smarter super-heroes, such as the Atom (when his identity became public).


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Wizard

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Thrillseeker
Int: 08 Wil: 08 Min: 08 Occupation: Escapologist/entertainer
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 008
Init: 017 HP: 030

Skills:
Artist (Disguise, Showmanship): 05, Gadgetry: 08, Scientist: 08, Thief (Escape Artist): 06, Weaponry (Firearms, Heavy): 05

Advantages:
Expertise (Chess), Genius

Connections:
Paste Pot Pete (Low)

Drawbacks:
Arrogant, MIA (Beating the Human Torch)

Equipment:
He uses a range of devices in this period, presented in chronological order:

  • An expandable saw in his ring which allows him to cut through chains [BODY 05, Claws: 01, Sharpness (Claws): 07]
  • A capsule of expanding gas, which can exert enough pressure to break open a safe without hurting anyone inside it [Super Breath (No Range, only targets inanimate objects): 10]
  • A Human Torch suit. Designed to impersonate the Human Torch, there have been a couple of versions of this suit. The first was asbestos lined on the inside, with hundreds of jets on the outside, and a miniature rocket pack which let him fly. The later version used a cold flame unit and his anti-gravity technology.
    [BODY 06, Flame Being: 06, Flame Immunity: 07, Flame Project: 07, Flight: 05]
  • A gun firing a spray which neutralizes the physical effects of invisibility [Neutralize (Invisibility only): 07]
  • Sleeping gas delivered by a number of methods, usually some form of capsule, or even a gun disguised as a camera which projects enough pure white energy to knock normal human unconscious [Sleep: 05]
  • Anti-gravity power unit. The beginning of his main technological discovery, the first unit is a backpack sized, attaching to his back or whatever heavy object he decides to lift. It was later miniaturized (Miniaturization: 06) [BODY 05, Cling: 04, Flight: 05, Gravity Decrease (Range of Touch): 07, R# 03]
  • He created an anti-gravity shotgun, which would fire pellets that stuck to targets and negated gravity’s hold on their targets, sending them floating up, without end. The Human Torch melted them before they got near him. [BODY 05, Gravity Decrease: 06]

Futuristic Home

He transformed his ultra-modern home into a virtual deathtrap over time. It was already technologically advanced, with air chairs (chairs composed entirely of air), robotic wardrobes, and every other showy luxury he could think of.

It also became armed with:

  • a chemical spray which doused the Torch’s flame [Flame Control: 08]
  • an electromagnetic force field which kept the police out [Force Field: 06]
  • heavy artillery [BODY 06, EV 08]
  • an asbestos-lined dungeon [BODY 06, Flame Immunity: 08]
  • nerve gas [Chemical Attack: 05]
  • moving walls
  • explosive-lined rooms [Bomb: 07]

It can also be expected to have a couple of 8 AP ABC Omni-Gadgets designed for anyone he’s expecting.

By Gareth Lewis

Source of Character: Marvel Comics

Writeup completed on the 22nd of August, 2012.

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