Mr. Ling was the head of terribly mysterious intelligence agency G.O.O.D. in the 1970s DC Universe. For more context, check our Richard Dragon Kung Fu Fighter character profile.
Barney Ling could be interesting in espionage campaigns à la Suicide Squad.
- Real Name: Barney Ling.
- Known Relatives: None.
- Group Affiliation: G.O.O.D..
- Base Of Operations: G.O.O.D. H.Q. in Manhattan.
- Height: 5’2” (1.57m). Weight: 140 lbs. (63½ Kg.).
- Eyes: Brown. Hair: Black.
Powers and Abilities
Barney is a gifted power broker and intelligence insider.
He’s a talented fixer, extensively connected and a smooth operator .
Both G.O.O.D. and Barney Ling are cyphers. But we know that the O-Sensei worked at least once for G.O.O.D., and that Barney Ling was always interested in recruiting his best pupils.
In 1975 Ling learned that the O-Sensei star students, Richard Dragon and Benjamin Turner, were nearing the end of their training. He drove to the dojo, quickly tested them with some thugs, then asked them to assist G.O.O.D..
Mr. Ling also offered a mission custom-tailored to hook them. The pair went to Sudan, where they dismantled a slavery ring run by one Aki.
Agents of G.O.O.D.
Turner and Dragon then left to live in the US. However, one of their friends was kidnapped by international assassin the Swiss.
Immediately learning of this, Ling came to them. He made what would become his standard offer – critical intelligence to solve the current emergency, in exchange for services.
The first such service was insignificant. Ling simply was kept informed about Dragon’s assaults against the Swiss and his men, in an effort to determine whom the Swiss’ employer was.
Yes, I know, “Guano Cravat”
Ling eventually stated that this paymaster was criminal industrialist Guano Cravat, though no proof was provided. He also provided Mr. Cravat’s location.
G.O.O.D. had recently acquired another top agent, Lady Shiva. In typical Ling fashion, the relationship between Shiva and G.O.O.D. was unclear.
It seems likely that Shiva was at that point a triple agent, pretending to work for both Cravat and Ling to gain revenge over Richard Dragon. But Dragon showed her that it was Cravat who had killed her sister.
Shiva therefore joined G.O.O.D. in earnest.
Fight the G.O.O.D. fight
Whether Ling knew about Shiva’s hidden loyalties is unclear. He bragged that he knew all along, but that sounded weak and made little sense.
On the other hand, he then produced two ancient Sing-Lu-forged katana as gifts for Shiva and Dragon. So perhaps he did know all along after all.
Shortly after, Mr. Ling was flying in a seaplane carrying a stolen atomic bomb. The warhead had allegedly been recovered by one of his agents, and Ling intended to personally deliver the bomb to the President of the US.
But the plane flew near the pirate island ruled by Slash. Ling panicked and foolishly got rid of the bomb within an active volcano.
Thankfully, Shiva and Dragon were onboard. The pair :
- Prevented Mr. Ling from being killed.
- Recovered the bomb.
- Defeated Slash and his men.
Dragon decided to never work for Ling again.
Plans within plans
But Barney Ling was determined to retain the Kung Fu Fighters as his agents.
He secretly masterminded assassination attempts on Ben Turner, then traded bits and pieces of information about those attacks in return for missions. This led to :
- Capturing the Preying Mantis.
- Defeating Hatchett and his men.
After a new attack on Turner, Ling announced that he couldn’t tell who was behind the conspiracy. He said that his agent had been killed, making the original report unverifiable.
Barney Ling then of course… sent the Kung Fu Fighters to China to trace the killed agent. This conveniently resulted in our heroes foiling a dangerous criminal conspiracy.
Within hours of coming back to the US, Turner was shot using a poison dart. US hospitals could only hope to delay this exotic toxin’s action.
However Shiva was familiar with the League of Assassins. Identifying the operatives and poison, she explained how they could get an antidote by capturing the League’s chief poisoner, the Viper.
It stands to reason that the League had actually been hired by Ling. Perhaps so he could recruit the Viper after Shiva and Dragon interrogated him. But the Viper was seemingly killed while escaping, and Dragon found another way to neutralise the poison.
After Turner and Dragon clashed with the operatives of Professor Ojo, they barged in at Ling’s place to demand information. But Ling knew everything already.
He sent them to the North Pole, which was indeed Ojo’s base. Mr. Ling even provided a special boat and a special pilot – Lady Shiva.
However, while the mission was successful, Turner was captured by Ojo. He was then brainwashed by the League of Assassins and remade as… the Bronze Tiger !
See the tiger smile
The crafty Ling then acquired the Bronze Tiger as an operative. He now had his dream agent – a perfect martial artist and assassin, entirely loyal and obeying all orders.
But there was a risk Dragon could somehow break the League’s brainwashing. Mr. Ling therefore had Turner launch a covert attacks against Dragon’s pupils and friends. This eventually forced Richard to leave the US.
Months later, while meditating, Dragon realized what was going on. He came back and sneaked into the G.O.O.D. headquarter. And indeed, he found Ling discussing with the Tiger !
As the two Kung Fu Fighters fought, Ling smugly admitted the whole charade. But seconds later, Barney Ling was accidentally killed by the Tiger.
This left the now masterless Bronze Tiger purposeless. Thus, Dragon had him taken to doctors to break his conditioning. It didn’t work, but years later, Amanda Waller succeeded.
Meanwhile, the cemetery staff processing Ling discovered that his coffin had been empty all along.
The meaning of “G.O.O.D.” was one of the big mysteries of the book. A prize was even offered to the reader who could come up with the best acronym.
In keeping with this silly mystery, I will of course not tell you what it was. Feel free to wonder endlessly.
The *nature* of G.O.O.D. was a more interesting enigma.
My own take is that G.O.O.D. doesn’t exist. Mr. Ling is just one guy — albeit one with extraordinary connections — who pretends to be a fixer for a large, shadowy organisation as a diversion.
Ling comes across like, at best, a smirking used cars salesman. And, at worst, as a ruthless blackmailer and exploiter of misery.
Nobody likes him and he seems to like it that way. But he holds all sorts of cards, people need him, and he knows it.
Being shameless, he uses his money and connections to wallow in escorts, cigars, liquor and general lowbrow luxury.
While he’s not likable, he’s convincing. Ling will often have people accept his information without any proof.
Barney Ling is fixated on acquiring the very best agents to advance his mysterious agenda.
He will not hesitate to kill people and wreck lives to manipulate said agents so they remain on his payroll. Or to come up with fake missions so they can feel better about working for G.O.O.D..
One of Ling’s specialities is reacting as if he always knew everything all along.
This will usually comes across as a pathetic attempt at making it look like he’s in control. Except he will always produce something implying that he, indeed, knew all along. No matter how unlikely that seems.
What is Mr. Ling’s agenda ? Nobody knows.
In the field, Ling sucks. He takes ill-considered decisions when under stress, and is a coward.
Barney: “We are an international peace-keeping group ! We hire our services to governments and individuals we deem worthy !”
Richard Dragon: “Have we heard of your outfit ?”
Barney: “Certainly not ! We call ourselves G.O.O.D. ! What the initials stand for is not important !”
“I greet you, gentlemen, and I dispense immediately with further politeness !”
Ling: “I have nothing to do with this attack ! However, friend Ben has an enemy — one he knows nothing about… one planning his death ! I, and I alone, can reveal this person’s identity !”
Turner: “Spit it out, man !”
Ling: “Not until Dragon agrees to perform a certain task for me !”
Dragon: “Sorry to interrupt the party, Barney !”
Ling: “Not at all, Richard ! In fact, I was expecting you. You’ve come about the stolen submarine ?”
Dragon: “How did you know ?”
Ling: “I have my ways ! And once more, our interests coincide !”
DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 03||Str: 02||Bod: 03|
|Int: 04||Wil: 05||Min: 04|
|Inf: 06||Aur: 05||Spi: 04|
|Init: 013||HP: 025|
Artist (Actor): 03, Charisma (Interrogation, persuasion): 06
Street (High), Underworld (High), US government (Low), Martial arts scene (High), Mercenary scene (High), U.S. intelligence (Low), Taiwan intelligence (Low), French intelligence (Low), Lady Shiva (Low), Richard Dragon & Ben Turner (Low), League of Assassins (Low), Omni-Connection.
Apparent head of G.O.O.D..
A box of Cuban cigars.
DC Adventures RPG
Barney Ling — Averaged PL 2.4
Defensive Roll 1.
Benefit 3 (Millionaire), Benefit 3 (Cipher), Benefit 2 (NATO security clearance), Connected, Contacts, Extraordinary Effort (any Skill used as part of his Advantages), Well-Informed.
Deception 5 (+7), Expertise (Shady intelligence fixer) 10 (+2), Insight 6 (+7), Investigation +8 (+10) (Limited 2 to Gather Information), Perception 3 (+4), Persuasion 4 (+6).
|Unarmed +2, Close, Damage 0.|
|Ax (wielded) +8, Close, Damage 6.|
|Ax (thrown) +11, thrown, Damage 5.|
* Without Defensive Roll.
- Shady AF Ling is a power-hungry manipulator playing a deadly game.
- Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 01, Dodge/Toughness PL 02, Parry/Toughness PL 02, Fort/Will PL 03.
- Points total 49. Abilities 14, Defences 7, Skills 15, Powers 00, Devices 00, Advantages 13. Equiv. PL 4.
Source of Character: Richard Dragon Kung Fu Fighter.