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Bird-Man of the Ani-Men (Marvel Comics)

Bird-Man

(Ani-Men)


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

Context

This profile is meant to be read after our Ani-Men team profile, which explains most of the context and history.


Background

  • Real Name: Possibly Henry Hawk. It may be an alias.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: The Organisation, then the Unholy Three, then the Ani-Men.
  • Base of Operations: New York City area.
  • Height: 5’9″ Weight: 180 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Dark.


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Powers & Abilities

Hawk seemed to be an experienced small-time criminal. He had some skill with handguns.

Unlike the others, he didn’t seem to have either an unusual speciality or military experience.

Gear

The Bird-Man suit had the usual radio headset and the chest camera.

It also had wings. Flapping them with one’s arms somehow allowed for flight. What tech was used for this is unrevealed, but it emitted little noise.

The aerodynamics could get weird. Bird-Man is once seen flying sideways (though it likely was a weird skidding manoeuvre). He also repeatedly stays aloft with little if any forward motion to provide lift. This and the lack of noise suggests some form of anti-gravity tech.

Lacking other combat assets, Bird-Man usually carried a handgun. At first it was an dated, compact piece in an older calibre. He eventually switched to a .45 ACP semi-auto.


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Gear – talons

At first, with his arms busy flapping, Bird-Man had no means of prehension. He twice had to carry an attache case using his teeth.

Prehensile, avian “feet” were then added. Presumably, these gadgets still had reliability issues during his earliest outings.

These talons were strong enough to carry an adult. They presumably were cybernetically operated. They were soon equipped with sharp ends, though doing this sort of swooping attack isn’t easy. Plus, swooping is bad.

Once the talons became reliable, the wings’ tech was also strengthened. Before that, Bird-Man couldn’t carry much in flight. Maybe 40 pounds top.

Supernature

Bird-Man was then turned into a superhuman by Count Nefaria. He thus became a mutate with an avian appearance.

There are but a few panels depicting him in this state, but he :

  • Could fly in confined spaces.
  • Consistently dodged Cyclops (Scott Summers)’s optic blasts whilst flying defensively.
  • Took Cyclops out with a single feet-first charge.
  • Bird-Man then started carrying Cyclops away with his talons. Presumably the goal was to fly outside and drop his prey to his death.
  • Which implies that his talons weren’t sharp enough to claw a person open.

History

Back in 1965, Henry Hawk was working as a small-time bookmaker. He was taking small bets on horse races. Hawk quit shortly after the Organizer called him.

See our Ani-Men team profile for more.

Vulture & Hawk

The Organizer called Hawk a “specialist”. But Bird-Man didn’t display special skills.

Ani-Men group shot from the Official Handbook Marvel

Howbeit, a Marvel secondary source  notes that the Bird-Man suit might be based on the Vulture technology of Adrian Toomes.

If this hypothesis is correct, *perhaps* Henry Hawk was a tester for Toomes, helping him refine his design by risking life and limb. Thus allowing Hawk to fly as Bird-Man without further training.

(The Vulture debuted in 1963. He only had had four appearances when Bird-Man debuted. So the timing seems reasonable.)

If you want to get weird, Hawk might have ties with Red Raven. Perhaps he’s a Bird Person born without wings and who fled Sky Island with some tech goodies during the 1950s. Or some such far-out scenario.


Description

Henry Hawk has an aquiline nose and piercing eyes.

He also had male-pattern baldness. Thus, when in his civvies, he wore a hat. This no longer was the norm by 1965, though it wasn’t rare either.

In his mutated state, he could make raptor noises. Don’t you wish you could make raptor noises ? If so you should learn.

Bird-Man is the only Ani-Man who seemed more human when the team attacked Stark, than when they fought the X-Men. Specifically, his arms no longer were elongated, spindly and partially merged with his wings.


Personality

He’s just, like, this guy. He lacked any special mannerism or resolve, though he had experience with being around killers.

When he wielded one of the Exterminator’s T-Ray blasters , he suddenly acted confident, domineering and cruel. Funny how it works.

Bird-Man tends to fly past his opponents, grapple them from behind, and hold them for one of his colleagues to punch. It’s not a bad tactic, until someone goes for a Dupe Manoeuvre…


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Bird-Man

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Wealth: 004
Init: 008 HP: 015

Skills:
Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Handguns): 03

Advantages:
Familiarity (Horse races and bookmaking).

Connections:
Street (Low).

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated.

Equipment:

  • BIRD-MAN SUIT [BODY 02, Claws: 04, Flight (Winged): 06, Radio communication (includes video): 12, Thief (Stealth): 03, Limitation: Thief only in flight, and only for audial stealth].
  • Early on he packed some old .380 semi-auto [BODY 02, Projectile weapons: 03, Ammo: 07, R#04]. This was replaced by a .45 [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 08, R#03].
  • When serving the Exterminator, Bird-Man was the most enthusiastic about using his T-Ray handguns. See the Exterminator’s profile for stats.

Rodeo on bird-men isn’t even a real sport

Whenever Daredevil (Matt Murdock) tried to grab him in mid-air, Hawk knew enough to twist, roll and turn in flight. This forced Daredevil to cling to him, rather than try offensive manoeuvres. Like punching.

This isn’t a quantified attribute of Hawk’s. Anybody with a flying suit and half a brain could do it.

OTOH, you need numbers to solve this in-game. Thus, if a non-flying person pounces atop Bird-Man for some aerial wrestling :

  • Hawk can use his APs of Flight as if they were APs of Acrobatics (Dodging). This is atop of the normal use of Flight as OV.
  • During any Phase where he does that (even if he lost Initiative), the attacker can elect to just cling to Bird-Man. If they try to attack despite Bird-Man’s high OV, they also need to make a DEX/STR roll against Bird-Man’s Flight/Flight. This consumes both Automatic Actions. Lack of RAPs means being thrown off.
  • APs of Cling or other means to stick to Bird-Man may entirely negate this defensive tactic.

Design Notes

His Stealth rolls will often receive sizeable bonuses. Since people do not generally expect some dude to swoop in from the blue.


Bird-Man (mutated)

Dex: 07 Str: 05 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Wealth: 004
Init: 014 HP: 015

Powers:
Flight (Winged): 06

Skills:
Acrobatics (Dodging)*: 07

Advantages:
Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
Ani-Men (Low).

Drawbacks:
Strange Appearance.

Equipment:
RADIO HEADSET [BODY 01, Radio communications: 10].


Design Notes

Other raptor-like abilities are certainly possible. APs of Telescopic Vision are the first that come to mind.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Older Marvel comics.

Helper(s): M. Ficklin.

Writeup completed on the 13th of January, 2020.

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