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Crossbow (Daredevil enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Crossbow

(Jason Praed)


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

Context

Crossbow is a minor Daredevil villain, seen in but one 1984/85 story arc.

He’s an obscure hitman-with-a-gimmick. Those are always useful. Plus, writeups.org contributor Nick wanted him on WORG.


Background

  • Real Name: Jason Praed.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Presumably Great Britain.
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 140 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


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Powers and Abilities

Crossbow is an adept hunter and assassin. He seems to be in good physical condition – he could take several punches from Daredevil and keep fighting.

As can be imagined he’s an excellent marksman with a crossbow, and is probably a decent brawler. Yet compared to Daredevil he’s out of his depth. Crossbow actually hit Daredevil once, inflicting a nasty wound to the shoulder. But that was a result of Daredevil misinterpreting who was about to get shot.

Other assets and limitations

One of Crossbow’s skills is to set up simple but efficient booby traps. Examples include :

  • A noose on the floor that catches a foot of an unwary opponent and swings up to leave him hanging upside down from a pulley.
  • A mechanism firing volleys of arrows along a set fire corridor.

He likely has other outdoors/assassin skills (such as Military Science (Tracking)), but those were not demonstrated during his appearances.

Crossbow prefers not to use modern technology and conventions, but how far this dislikes extends isn’t clear. There’s a rifle scope on his crossbow and he presumably came to the US using modern conveyances (though it may have been a boat).


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History

In 1984, a sensational news story brok. A ’lost civilisation’ founded by stranded XVIIIth century British explorers had been found somewhere in Africa. These men and women had developed an odd, primitive culture over the centuries.

After Belgian geologists found them, American anthropologists brought them to New York City. A media craze erupted around the tribesmen, with a gaggle of journalists following them everywhere and the public clamouring for more about the ’lost tribe‘. The tribals called themselves the Kinjorge.

Noble cause

This caused problems for one British nobleman, Lord Synn. The leader of the Kinjorge, a giant savage named Micah Synn, was distantly related to him. The enormous popularity of this primitive in America was likely to result in unspecified problems for Synn. Apparently it was a matter of tarnishing the family’s reputation.

To put an end to the matter, Lord Synn hired a hitman named Crossbow for £50K.

Crossbow conducted two assassination attempts, but they were both foiled by Daredevil. The red-suited hero was involved in the Kinjorge craze in his civilian identity. The second attempt led to Praed’s arrest, and he ended up with a prison work gang digging graves on Hart Island. However, he was soon burst out by Kinjorge commandos, who killed or wounded several guards.

One Synn leads to another

While Crossbow originally assumed that he was a dead man, the ruthless Synn actually hired him. The savage was now in the process of establishing himself as a New York City crime lord and wanted to quickly beef up his crew of hitmen.

Crossbow aiming his weapon

Crossbow agreed to work for Micah Synn, especially when he was told that the first job would be to help his boss set up an ambush for Daredevil. But Praed intended to double cross him later and kill the savage to close his original contract.

He never got an opportunity to – both he and Mycah Synn were defeated by Daredevil. Still, Crossbow managed to flee as the police came in.

Republican Army

Laying low for a few weeks, Crossbow tried to arrange for a clandestine exit to return home. He ended up getting in touch with an IRA underground railroad, coordinated by a contact known as the Old Woman of Beare. However, Daredevil found Crossbow before he could be exfiltrated, since he was at that point tracking down the IRA killer known as the Gael.

After Crossbow gave him precious information about the Old Woman of Beare network, Daredevil handed him over to the police.

Ye Olde Hiteman has not been seen since.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Crossbow speaks in an over-the-top Olde Englande manner with plenty of Britishisms — real or imagined. In fact, most seem imaginary. He actually has a reason to project an Olde Schoole, quaint European image, though.

Crossbow stated that he thoroughly disliked the modern world. He added that as a killer-for-hire he sought out contracts to “make things proper again” by protecting old-time interests such as the obscure matters of peerage of the Synn family.

It’s not clear which part of the UK Crossbow is meant to be from.

Claptrap

Crossbow is obviously no historian. So feel free to go all Ren Fair, call everybody “laddy” (or “lassy”, I’d imagine) and the like.

In fact you can do that an awful lot – Crossbow is a chatterbox. He keeps thinking aloud, and loves to gloat and hurl threats, to the point where it clearly detracts from his efficiency. I’ve added a few extra quotes to give ye a feelin’ for the lad’s soliloquisin’.

Crossbow claims that the money is incidental and that he’s chiefly motivated by eliminating affront to a nigh-forgotten social order. He greatly prefers to work for noblemen with a well-established peerage. He’s also something of a British chauvinist. When given a choice Praed favours whatever has the most ties with the British Isles, even if it’s superficial.

Crossbow often presents as an honest working man trying to do his job despite all of ’em fancy, modern foreign tricks his opponents use. To him his actions are self-evidently justified.


Quotes

“It’s this scumscullion of a city… it’d throw any laddybuck off his aim, but next time, Lord Synn… next time it’s skewered he’ll be.”

(Spotting Daredevil) “The laddy in the red suit !”

“I’ll keep you from interferin’ in an honest man’s work again… by puttin’ you in the dirt !”

“You’ve a few moments livin’ left, lad. For I’ll not skewer ye — I’ll aim for the rope. Ye can contemplate yer folly durin’ he fall. If you’re religious, ye might mumble a prayer.”

“Yer blow was weak ! Yer labours have taken their toll !”


DC Universe History

Crossbow uses pretty much the same Robin Hood motif as Green Arrow (Oliver Queen). His real name, given much later in secondary Marvel sources, is a wink toward two actors known for playing Robin Hood – Jason Connery and Michael Praed.

Crossbow looks very similar to G.A., which is presumably not a coincidence. There were even a few references to Oliver Queen in the Daredevil story, such as DD finding Crossbow in a flowers shop. That would make using him in the DCU awkward, though Green Arrow does not suffer from a lack of old, uninteresting but thankfully obscure opponents.

If you have to have him, and I’m not going to judge your tastes other that looking at you weirdly with a sheepish smile, Roy suggests the following :

  • Crossbow’s an admirer who initially worshipped Oliver Queen.
  • He then decided that Queen was a sellout. Queen might have spoken out about the silliness of a monarchy or something, offending the anglophilic Crossbow.
  • He began stalking Queen or even committing crimes in the guise of the Green Arrow to either implicate his former idol or to show Queen the proper way to comport himself.

For a more pre-Crisis feel, you could have him be a rogue Green Arrow Of The World. But that would be cruel and unusual.


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Crossbow

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Uphold Tradition/Mercenary
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Hitman
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 011 HP: 015

Skills:
Gadgetry: 04, Military science (Camouflage): 06, Thief (Stealth): 05, Weaponry (Crossbow): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
Gadgetry is limited to relatively low-tech booby traps.

Advantages:
None demonstrated.

Connections:
British underworld (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIA toward Gloating, MIA toward Using little modern tech.

Equipment:
Light crossbow [BODY 03, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 04), Projectile weapon: 05, Ammo: 01, Telescopic vision: 02, Drawback: Long reload time, Descriptor: Piercing]. This deadly weapon includes a modern rifle scope. Its butt sports a pair of retractable spikes, making it possible to wield it as a close combat weapon in a pinch.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (Daredevil in the mid-1980s).

Helper(s): Roy Cowan, Darci, Steve B., Ethan Roe.

Writeup completed on the 30th of December, 2010.

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