Ball-n-chain (Marvel Comics) (Captain America enemy)

Ball-n-Chain and “the Knuckles”


These are negligible villains who only appear for three pages in a 1973 Captain America issue.

Nobody cares about them. But in a tabletop role-playing game, they could be useful.

If you’re not the RPG type, well at least it’s a short read.

Ball-n-Chain’s wingmen aren’t named in the comic. The name “the Knuckles” is therefore arbitrary.

Plus, “the bad seeds” was already taken.

Ball-n-chain (Marvel Comics) (Captain America enemy) with his brass knuckles wingmen

Powers & Abilities

These men are large, experienced brawlers. They all are equipped with brass knuckles, and fight hand-to-hand.

The leader wields a medieval European flail – hence his moniker. If you’ve ever held one, you can appreciate how actually wielding a flail in combat ain’t trivial. His specific model has brass knuckles built in the handle, so I guess it’s a “trench flail” of sorts.


They were hired by the Cowled Commander (Roger Muldoon) to attack Captain America (Steve Rogers). They were easily defeated.

That outcome was predictable. Thus, the goal may have been to facilitate timing a bomb that was waiting for Captain America at his nearby destination.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Generic member of this trio

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 01 Min: 02 Occupation: Thug
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Wealth: 003
Init: 008 HP: 005

Weaponry (Melee)*: 04

Area Knowledge (Hell’s Kitchen).

Street (Low).


  • Brass knuckles [BODY 04, Enhance (EV): 01 (Cap is 04), Descriptor: Blunt, Bonus: +1CS OV/RV to resist Disarm attempts].
  • One-handed flail w/brass knuckles [BODY 03, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 08), Descriptor: Bludgeon, Bonus: +1CS OV/RV to resist Disarm attempts]. A flail receives a +1 to the final roll total when attacking a shield-wielding target. But melee opponents with a medium melee weapon get a +1 to *their* final roll against a flail-wielder who doesn’t have a shield.

Design Notes

The stats are kept simple since these guys are so, so minor. They are a bit highballed to make them slightly better than a generic beefy thug.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Captain America Vol. 1 #157.

Writeup completed on the 27th of January, 2020.