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The Box (Astro City) with his puppet

The Box

Astro City

Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game
  • This entry has minor S P O I L E R S


  • Real Name: Jerome Johnson
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed
  • Known Relatives: Zachary Johnson (Jack-in-the-Box II, father), Tamra Dixon (mother)
  • Group Affiliation: None
  • Base Of Operations: Presumably a future Astro City
  • Height: ~7’ Weight: ~400 lbs?
  • Eyes: Mechanical Hair: Bald

Powers and Abilities

The Box is a large, powerful man who was turned into a cyborg. He has low-superhuman strength, stretching legs, the ability to absorb electricity, and presumably some vision powers.

Another asset is the Justice Jacky, a jack-in-the-box with said container being grafted on The Box’s left shoulder in lieu of an arm. This maniacal, bloodthirsty little imp appear to be an autonomous android, though it remains tethered to the Box.

The Jacky can somehow produce endless weapons fron within its box – it once wielded a submachinegun and once a harpoon gun, but prefers odd melee weapons such as scissors, gavels, chainsaws, paired curved knives, a bat, etc. which it wields with considerable speed and accuracy. It also once produced what seemed to be a flamethrower.


The Box is the psychotic son of Jack-in-the-Box (Zack Johnson) in a possible future. Johnson died while his wife Tamra Dixon was still pregnant, and his son only learned about his father’s secret identity when he was twelve.

The Box and his Justice Jacky

Apparently, this future was a crime-ridden, impoverished, brutal dystopia à la Robocop. The youth obsessed over being a killer vigilante as The Box, seeing this as his legacy from the crime-fighting Jack-in-the-Box. He mutilated himself to install cybernetic enhancement, but despite successive enhancements he was overhwelmed and never had enough power.

Deciding that this was the fault of his father for not having trained him, The Box somehow travelled back in time to pass judgement on the Jack-in-the-Box. The chronophysical window of opportunity was narrow, though – and he wasn’t the only traveller to aim for it.


The Box is a muscular African-American male, extensively mutilated by cybernetic surgery. His right eye has been replaced by a “pop-out” telescoping prosthesis ; his left arm has been replaced by the robotic Justice Jacky, while his right arm is almost entirely concealed by a mass of intersecting cables.

Both legs have been removed below the knee, replaced with telescoping robotic limbs similar in construction to Jack-in-the-Box’s “footapults”, though more stilt-like than spring-like. Aside from these, his only costume is a red and green striped swimming suit in the 1920s “bather” style.

His voice is technologically altered.


The Box is psychotic, desperate and obsessed by his war against crime. He seems to consider himself the only lawful authority facing an endless ocean of crime – perhaps his dystopic future is completely corrupt, or perhaps he’s schizophrenic and the persons he fights aren’t actually criminal.

In his view he’s a self-sacrificing hero who holds against impossible odds and is fully justified in acting as a judge, jury and executioner.

The Box is a casual killer with a self-confidence problem, and clearly isn’t sane. None of this is helped by the nigh-demonic android replacing his right arm, who just keeps screaming legal-sounding condemnations (or just about death). If The Box is the judge and prosecution, the Jacky is apparently the Serjeant-at-Arms (and vaguely a court clerk).

The Box will always be happy to shout, discourse, expound and ramble.


“I am the Box ! And more — I am your SON — whom you failed !”

“I’m *not* crazy ! I AM your son — I am ! And I’m as good as you are ! I’m *better* ! BETTER !”

“Run, criminal, run ! But justice is inexorable !”

The Box : “An accomplice ! Aiding and abetting !”
Justice Jacky (emerging from its box) : “Guilty ! Guilty !”


Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

The Box

Dex: 04 Str: 07 Bod: 06 Motivation: Psychopathic
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Vigilante
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 013 HP: 035

Powers: Energy Absorption: 08, Growth: 01, Running: 05, Stretching: 02, Telescopic Vision: 03, Thermal Vision: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers (as well as APs of STR and BODY past 04) are cybernetic in nature and can be targetted by some specialised attacks
  • Energy Absorption only affects electricity – but absorbed APs heal Bashing damage to BODY
  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In
  • Stretching only affects Box’s legs, and can’t be used for defense

Skills: Charisma (Intimidation): 04, Gadgetry: 06

Advantages: Expertise (Electrical power systems), Pet (Justice Jacky), Misc.: The Box is from a technologically advanced future

Drawbacks: Catastrophic Rage, Serious Irrational Hatred of Crime, Serious Psychological Instability, Strange Appearance

Pet: Justice Jacky [DEX 05 STR 05 BODY 06, Flame project: 05, Omni-Arm: 08, Projectile Weapons: 05, Weaponry (Omni-Arm): 07]

By Bryant Berggren and Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Kurt Busiek’s Astro City

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