6182 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies


Context

This obscure Marvel character is chiefly a Tigra (Greer Nelson) foe. He appeared in but one storyline, in 1976.

For context, we cattily suggest that you first read the Cat People species profile. It explains much of Cougar’s background.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Other Aliases: Curt Ranklin (human name).
  • Marital Status: Engaged.
  • Known Relatives: Sheila Conklin (fiancée).
  • Group Affiliation: Conklin Industries (apparently as Chief Scientific Officer).
  • Base Of Operations: Conklin Industries, possibly in upstate New York or in New Jersey.
  • Height: 6’1” (Cat Person form). Weight: 218 lbs. (Cat Person form).
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown fur.


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Powers and Abilities

Like most Cat Persons on Earth, Ranklin could switch from a nondescript human form to a more powerful feline form.

Like many other members of the Cat People, he was a gifted researcher. Ranklin designed and built several genius-level inventions.

Null bands

Wearing the Null-Bands gave him much-enhanced powers, including :

The null-bands were originally a power source mounted deep within the Tomazooma robot. They were rebuilt and weaponised by the Cougar.


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History

The Cougar was a renegade Cat Person, from the Earth variety. Like most of his kin he was usually disguised as a human, and had an interest in research.

However, the Cougar was also insane and consumed with a lust for power. His main goal was to find means to become a first tier superhuman.

Craving power

As Curt Ranklin, he dated one Sheila Conklin, the owner of high-tech company Conklin Industries.

However, the couple was chiefly united by mutual deceit.

The Cougar was using his fiancée so he could abuse the Conklin labs facilities and expense accounts. And Conklin was using him as her star researcher. His work was critical to dragging Conklin Industries out of the red.

A great weapon at last

The Cougar found a promising way toward power. It was based on Tomazooma, an advanced giant robot destroyed by the Fantastic Four.

He stole the null bands (sometimes erroneously called the “nega-bands”, due to a confusion with Captain Marvel (Mar Vell)) that used to power the robot. Then he turned those into bracers, prolonged by metallic spars over the back of his hand. These connected to rings on his fingers.

He now wielded significant power. But the null-bands were not enough !

The insane scientist thus built a special machine. It could be powered by the null-bands to transfer the power of the Fantastic Four to him. However, he had to hold his subjects prisoners for the transfer to take place.

Challenger of the Fantastic

Knowing that the Cougar was up to no good, the Cat People sent their champion Tigra (Greer Nelson) to stop him. Ranklin arranged for her to seek the Thing’s help.

When the two orange heroes came to his lab he captured them both. The Cougar then prepared his machine to absorb the might of the ever-lovin’, blue-eyed Thing – idol of millions.

However, Sheila Conklin no longer could live in deceit. She turned against her fiancé and discreetly cut the power as the procedure started.

Freed, the Thing and Tigra soon had the Cougar on the ropes. However, the villain grabbed a powerful explosive device.

At this point Sheila shot Curt from behind to prevent the detonation. She explained she had seen how insane his lust for power had made him – and that she refused to be like him.

The Cougar is assumed to have died from the gunshot, as he was never seen again.


Description

Curt Rankin’s ethnicity in human form might be half Native American and half Caucasian. Though that disappeared in the digital reedition.


Personality

Power-mad comic book scientist. He’s aware that he’s insane but does not care. All he wants is POWER ! POWER !!

He loathes his human form, perhaps because it lacks power and forces him to scheme and manipulate. But he is quite physical in his Cat Person form, relishing his full strength and agility. Especially after he was enhanced by the null-bands.

He sees himself as a really tough guy, not to be trifled with. With deadly claws and powerful technology.


Quotes

“Oh, but you’re wrong, my dear ! I will most certainly ‘get away with it !’ But you are right about one thing ! I am mad ! Quite mad, as a matter of fact !”

(Metamorphosing) “Farewell, my repugnant pink-skinned other self ! The time has come for the masquerade to be ended… and the Cougar to come into his own !”

“You should never have forgotten the power of the Null-Bands, Thing ! On Tomazooma they almost defeated you ! Worn by the Cougar, they will destroy you !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Cougar

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation : Power/Psycho
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation : Mad scientist
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 013 HP: 025

Powers:
Analytical smell/Tracking scent: 03, Claws: 05, Jumping: 00

Bonuses and Limitations:
Jumping has the Catfall bonus.

Skills:
Gadgetry: 06, Scientist: 06

Advantages:
Credentials (Conklin Industries, High), Genius, Financial Backer (Millionaire – Conklin Industries).

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Alter-Ego (human form with no Powers and 02s for Physical Attributes), SIA toward Power, MPI, Distinct Appearance.

Equipment:

  • NULL-BANDS [BODY 14 /STR/ 12 /BODY/ 09, Energy absorption: 07, Energy blast: 12, Partial Attack Vulnerability (-2 CS RV vs slashing, piercing and ballistic Descriptors].
  • Miniature Gas Gun [BODY 02, Knockout Gas: 11, Ammo: 01, Limitation: Knockout Gas has No Range]. This small weapon was apparently hidden in his belt.
  • The Cougar has lots of Genius-level inventions in his 16-APs Lab, including :
    • Much larger gas projectors (16 APs, Combined With and Active Throughout 5 APs of Fog).
    • A positive-charge annihilator (reportedly 14 APs or so of Disintegration with an Explosive Radius and the Grenade Drawback).
    • A contraption that allegedly could Drain the power of the Fantastic Four into him. But it needed the Null-Bands to work.
    • An electro-lance. It presumably shot Lightning, plus a Lightning Being (Always on when charged up) Power at about 06 APs.

Design Notes

The stats are tentative due to the lack of material about the character and his species.

Cougar’s physical stats in particular are hypotheticals and err on the generous side for once.



Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Cougar — Averaged PL 8.6

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
03 03 02 01 03 03 01 01

Powers

Cat Person ● 7 points ● Descriptor: Biology
– Claws — Strength-based slashing Damage 1, Improved Critical 1.
– Senses 3 (Extended, acute, tracking scent)
– Lands on his feet — Enhanced Skill (Acrobatics 12 (Limited 3 to Tumbling)).
– Feature — Can switch to a Human form. But it has no Powers save this feature, and all physical Abilities are 00.

Devices

Null-bands ● 41 points (Removable) ● Descriptor: Energy
– Enhanced Strength 9.
– Enhanced Fortitude 4.
– Protection 6 (Limited 1 – not against slashing, piercing, ballistic descriptors).
– Protection 4 (Limited 2 to radiant energy), Feature (Energy is absorbed rather than resisted).
– Ranged energy Damage 12.

Miniature gas gun ● 14 points (Easily Removable) ● Descriptor: KO gas
Affliction 11 (Fatigued/Exahusted/asleep; resisted by Fortitude), Cumulative, Reach 1.
This small weapon was apparently hidden in his belt.

Combat Advantages

Close attack 3, Defensive Roll 2, Ranged attack 3.

Other Advantages

Benefit 2 (Ranklin has access to the Conklin Industries, budgets and facilities).

Skills

Athletics 2 (+5), Close combat (Claws) 2 (+8), Deception 2 (+3), Expertise (Hard sciences) 9 (+12), Insight 4 (+5), Perception 3 (+4), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Techno-weapons he built or modified) 4 (+8), Technology 8 (+11).

Offense

Initiative +2
Claws +8, Close, Damage 4 (13 w/Null-Bands), Crit 19/20.
Techno-weapons he built or modified +8, by weapon.

Defence

Dodge 08 Fortitude 07
Parry 08 Toughness 03*/05
Will 03

* Without Defensive Roll.

Complications

  • Weak form Cougar’s human form is much weaker, which could be used against him.
  • Obsession Ranklin craves power.
  • As a hatter The Cougar doesn’t seem psychologically stable.
  • Behold my true form In Cat Person form, Ranklin is manifestly not human.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 11, Dodge/Toughness PL 08, Parry/Toughness PL 08, Fort/Will PL 07.
  • Points total 131. Abilities 34, Defences 17, Skills 18, Powers 7, Devices 55, Advantages 10. Equiv. PL 9.


Notes

I went for Limited 3 for his Acrobatics Power because of the costing for Movement (Safe Fall).

The Advantages are a bit bare since we don’t see him do that much. Adding a few, arbitrarily, wouldn’t be absurd.

His lab had bulky, static inventions :

  • Much larger gas projectors (Affliction 16 as above, Cloud Area 1).
  • A positive charge annihilator (reportedly disintegration Damage 14 or so, Burst Area 1), but using it also destroys the device.
  • A contraption that supposedly could Drain the power of the Fantastic Four into him, though it needed the Null-Bands to work.
  • An electro-lance, presumably with Ranged lightning Damage. But when it’s charged up it attacks the wielder with Close lightning Damage 5 every round.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Two-in-One #19 (1976 or so).

Helper(s): Darci, Capita_Senyera, Alan Wilkinson.