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Black Tom Cassidy (X-Men enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Black Tom Cassidy


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

Context

“Black” Tom Cassidy is a minor enemy of the All-New, All-Different X-Men. He appeared but one years after their 1975 launch, and has specific ties with the X-Men Banshee (Sean Cassidy). Unfortunately, you could still get… peculiar portrayals of the Irish in US comic books back in those days.

This profile is an older one, so it is about Black Tom’s appearances during the XXth century. Back then he was chiefly known as the Juggernaut’s partner, with Tom being the brains of the pair.


Background

  • Real Name: Thomas Samuel Eamon Cassidy.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Sean Cassidy (aka Banshee – cousin), Theresa Rourke (aka Siryn – cousin), Maeve Rourke Cassidy (cousin by marriage – deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Frequent partner of The Juggernaut.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 200 lbs.
  • Eyes: Dark Blue Hair: Black


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Powers and Abilities

Cassidy possesses the mutant ability to project energy, such as blasts of concussive force, heat, and plasma. Cassidy can only project energy to a limited extent unless it was focused through another object, often his shillelagh .

During the time when his entire body was suffused with vegetative material, he:

  • Had limited invulnerability to most forms of physical attack.
  • Could merge with other wooden and organic material.
  • Could control plants.

In addition to the full powers of his energy blasts. He could also implant bits of his own body within a human being, enabling him to control their body through the implants. Cassidy seems immune to the effects of his brother’s mutant ability to project sonic vibrations.

Cassidy briefly shared power with Cain Marko and possessed half the power of the Juggernaut.


History

Thomas “Black Tom” Cassidy was the true heir to the fortune and estate of Cassidy Keep in Ireland. That lasted until he wagered it and lost to his younger cousin, Sean, now known as the mutant hero Banshee. Later, both he and Sean vied for the love of Maeve Rourke. Sean prevailed and eventually married her.

While still a young man, Cassidy turned to crime as a way of seeking thrills. He soon became a professional criminal and mercenary. At one point, he was imprisoned in a Third World country, where he met and formed a friendship with Cain Marko, a.k.a. the villainous Juggernaut.


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The two escaped using Cassidy’s powers, which he normally kept secret. (It is known that Cassidy was at least once imprisoned due to his cousin’s police work as an agent of Interpol. Whether this imprisonment was referred to remains unclear). Cassidy and Marko became partners, especially after Marko became the superhumanly powerful Juggernaut.

Later, unbeknownst to Sean, his wife was killed in an accident, although Cassidy rescued her daughter (his niece) Theresa (later, the mutant hero Siryn). Cassidy hid the knowledge of his niece from his cousin, and raised her as his own.

All-New, All-Different

When Sean had joined the hero team, the X-men, Cassidy and Juggernaut ambushed the team on behalf of the Shi’ar alien, Eric the Red. Although the X-men escaped, Cassidy had many other attempts to fight the mutant heroes.

Eventually, Cassidy coerced Theresa to join him and Juggernaut in various crimes. Later, when in police custody, Cassidy exonerated Theresa of her crimes. He even wrote a letter to Cassidy explaining who Theresa was, reuniting father and daughter. Cassidy later escaped to pursue more criminal careers.

During a caper, which brought him and Juggernaut in conflict with the mercenary Deadpool, Cassidy was shot in the head by Cable and left for dead.

Juggernaut managed to get Cassidy to help. “Dr. Tolliver” saved Cassidy’s life, using advanced techniques to reconstruct his body, as if merging it with his trademark shillelagh. The process altered his powers and personality, driving him insane.

Made of wood

He soon sought out his cousin’s new team, Generation X. Cassidy bade a criminal contact of his, the mutant known as Mondo, to infiltrate the group. Later, Cassidy and Mondo tried to kill Sean and this team, only to have them escape at the last minute.

Another time, as the wood-virus took complete control of his body, Cassidy attempted to steal the children of Generation X away from Sean, but was seemingly slain by Penance.

Under circumstances yet to be revealed, Cassidy managed to survive. When he later resurfaced, he had no trace of the virus. Cassidy helped the Juggernaut to recover the Ruby of Cyttorak from a cult who had at the time somehow removed the gem and drained Juggernaut of his strength.

His plant powers recently returned with a vengeance, leading Juggernaut to seek help from Charles Xavier.


Description

Cassidy is a medium sized man with black hair, a handlebar moustache, and goatee.


Personality

Black Tom is an amoral swashbuckler, filled with hate and jealousy for his cousin, Sean. Black Tom rather appears to see himself as a dashing villain with strong Irish charm and luck, which makes him highly arrogant and prone to overconfidence and excessive risk-taking. He will sometimes take unnecessary chances to reinforce this image.

After his power changed, he became insane and significantly more malevolent.

Black Tom sometimes has long depressive phases, presumably linked to Maeve’s life and death or his jealousy toward Sean Cassidy. During those phases he becomes truly evil. His original career as a terrorist and part of his phase as a wood creature were examples of this.


DC Universe History

He works best if he has that familial hate relationship against a hero, and reciprocal immunities. He might have made a marvelous (and fairly powerful) member of the Suicide Squad.

He also might have been an effective Green Lantern (Alan Scott) enemy, especially if using his wood-being powers against GL when still in possession of his wood-based Achilles heel (a reversal of Cassidy’s usual trend).


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Black Tom Cassidy

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Mercenary/Thrill Seeker
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 016 HP: 040

Powers:
Energy Blast: 11, Flame Project: 11, Sound Immunity: 20

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Energy Blast and Flame Project have no AV.
  • Energy Blast and Flame Project function at ½ of their normal value (rounded down) unless focused through an object made of wood, preferably his trademark shillelagh.
  • Sound Immunity works only against the powers of Banshee and Siryn.

Skills:
Accuracy (shillelagh-focused attacks): 08, Martial Artist: 05, Thief: 04, Vehicles (sea, land): 04, Weaponry (melee): 07

Advantages:
Language (Irish).

Connections:
Juggernaut (High), Siryn (Low), International Terrorist Organizations (Low).

Drawbacks:
Public Identity, SIH (Banshee).

Equipment:
Shillelagh [BODY 06, EV 03 (04 w/STR, 05 w/Martial Artist). Black Tom uses his shillelagh both as a melee weapon and to focus his Energy Blast and Flame Project. It takes no damage from his channeling the power through it].


Black Tom – Plant Virus Form

Following his “treatment” by Dr. Tolliver (Tyler Nathan’son, son of X-Force leader Cable), Black Tom became a human/plant hybrid (making his body wooden and removing his reliance on his shillelagh to project his energy projection powers).

He gained considerable increases in strength and endurance, as well as extraordinary levels of control over plant life, including the ability to make animated “plant simulacra” that could mimic living people and were completely under his control. He appeared to be destroyed in a confrontation with Generation-X, but has reappeared with his old form and powers restored.

He later began regaining the plant powers (this time, out of control), leading his old partner Juggernaut to seek help from Xavier.

Dex: 05 Str: 08 Bod: 08 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 016 HP: 060

Powers:
Chameleon: 08, Claws: 10, Control: 10, Energy Blast: 11, Flame Project: 11, Plant Animation: 10, Plant Growth: 12, Self Link (Plant Control): 13, Skin Armor: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Plant Animation can create duplicates of living humans.
  • Chameleon is only usable on Plant Animation creations to make them look like existing human beings – Black Tom cannot use it on himself.
  • Control is a function of Cassidy implanting bits of himself inside a target and using it to control their body – they are still fully aware and can make attempts to break the control at -1cs to both OV and RV.
  • Sound Immunity works only against the powers of Banshee and Siryn.

Skills:
Accuracy (shillelagh-focused attacks): 08, Martial Artist: 05, Thief: 04, Weaponry (melee): 07

Connections:
Juggernaut (High), Siryn (Low), “Mondo” (High).

Drawbacks:
Public Identity, SIH (Banshee), Distinct Appearance, SPI.

By Andrew Lee.

Source of Character: X-Men Comics (Marvel Universe).

Helper(s): Sébastien Andrivet, Perry, Michael Davis, Pufnstuff, Paul ’Z‘ Ewande, Gareth Lewis, John Colagioia, The Angel, OHOTMU Deluxe Edition, Text from The Unofficial HOTMU, http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Zone/4005/villains/blacktom.html (defunct).

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