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Context

Destructor was an early foe of Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), back in 1977.

If a story needs a purple-clad late Silver AgeSuper-hero comics from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. villain, you can consider Destructor.

Sequence

The full sequence to follow Korman’s story is :

  1. Destructor (Kerwin Korman). This here entry.
  2. Doomsday Man robot.
  3. Doomsday Man (Kerwin Korman).

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Background

  • Real Name: Kerwin Korman.
  • Note: His given name was once spelled Kormin.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: AIM contractor.
  • Base Of Operations: New York City.
  • Height: 5’9” (1.75m). Weight: 170 lbs. (77 Kg.).
  • Eyes: Blue. Hair: Black.

Powers and Abilities

Korman is a gifted technologist. He specialises in weapon systems (such as potent energy beam projectors) and traps.

He has a keen deductive mind, and comes up with clever plans based on those deductions.

His Destructor costume :

  1. Is armoured, which allows him to survive superhuman blows.
  2. Can protect against tremendous levels of radiation.
  3. Has an unspecified array of sensors.
  4. Includes an advanced tachyon blast cannon mounted within the helmet. According to Ms. Marvel, it was powerful enough to damage even a Kree battleship.
  5. One blink-and-you’ll-miss-it panel shows the suit having superhuman strength. Perhaps “Class 5” ?

He also rides a small flying platform, for both mobility and better firing angles.

Destructor (Ms. Marvel comics enemy)

History

Weapons designer Kerwin Korman spent years providing advanced weaponry and other gadgets. He worked in his own lab, and his customers included the likes of Hydra.

It seems that he also worked for the US government.

For instance the governmental Project: Doomsday Man super-robot was armed with tachyon blast cannons. These weapons are apparently one of Korman’s signature technologies.

Pivot

Tiring of his engineering career, Korman instead became a supervillain.

As he pivoted, he sold his secret lab in Brooklyn to the Scorpion (MacDonald Gargan).

Gargan wanted to use the large acid bath therein to kill J. Jonah Jameson. The extensive array of traps within the lab would foil any would-be rescuer, such as Spider-Man (Peter Parker).

However, it was Ms. Marvel who responded. She overcame the traps, rescued the publisher and defeated the Scorpion.

Korman still had access to the lab’s cameras and sensors. He thus gained ample intelligence about Ms. Marvel’s powers. Notably, X-ray shots revealed circuitry within her costume.

Destructor - Marvel Comics - Ms. Marvel - Korman - face and scorpion

I shall become… a criminal

Now calling himself the Destructor, Korman approached his former competitors at AIM with this data. He offered to defeat Ms. Marvel and analyse her costume’s systems.

AIM took the deal. But they insisted that Korman take her alive. Even though the Destructor insisted that they were underestimating her power.

Korman acquired more intelligence about Ms. Marvel.

  • He traced her first appearance to Cape Canaveral  .
  • He found the cave where the Psyche-Magnitron had been.
  • He determined that Captain Mar-Vell and Yon Rogg were space aliens.

Korman mistakenly thought that he needed to take Ms. Marvel down in order to study the Psyche-Magnitron remains in peace. In actuality, she didn’t know about the cave.

Ms. Marvel

The Destructor confronted Ms. Marvel as she was again fighting the Scorpion. Knowing how powerful she was, Korman shot her in the back without warning.

He managed to blast her a second time with his tachyon cannon. But Ms. Marvel knocked him out before collapsing.

Both fighters recovered. But thanks to her 7th sense, Ms. Marvel avoided the Destructor’s third blast. The inexperienced Korman partially froze, and Danvers took him down.

Brain damage

An AIM team immediately came after Korman so he wouldn’t talk. They distracted Ms. Marvel by forcing her to save children from a collapsing wall.

AIM wanted to make an example of Korman, pour encourager les autres  . And perhaps for once having been a competitor.

They used their Psycho-Conditioner to destroy his will. Ironically, the device had originally been built by Korman.

But, perhaps because he knew how the Psycho-Conditioner worked, Korman wasn’t completely debilitated. He escaped, recovered his Destructor costume, then returned to the Psyche-Magnitron cavern.

Psyche-Magnitron exposure

Korman sought to arm himself with Kree weapons, then take his revenge upon AIM and Ms. Marvel. But Ms. Marvel was already there, fighting the Doomsday Man robot.

The addled Korman discreetly rummaged through the wreckage. He foolishly opened an odd-looking box (no relation). Exposed to the unearthly radiance of the Psyche-Magnitron’s power core, he :

  1. Was deprived of all his senses.
  2. Had large chunks of his genetics replaced by Kree DNA.
  3. Was driven mad, and had parts of his mentality and memories replaced by Kree ones.

Blindly firing his energy beam as he screamed and thrashed about, the Destructor wrecked much of the cavern. He collapsed the cave upon himself and the Doomsday Man, which Ms. Marvel has just immobilised.

Continued

Kerwin Korman would eventually return. But first, this series of profiles must take a detour to discuss the Doomsday Man.

Destructor (Ms. Marvel comics enemy) - fight flying platform

Personality

A smart, cautious, analytical guy. But he wished his life were richer in excitement, wealth and power.

After escaping from AIM he seemed intellectually very diminished and confused. He apparently recovered – but not wholly, and that took decades.

Quotes

“Have it your way, my friend — but I think you’re underestimating the woman — and making a very serious mistake.”

“The same genius which built weapons for Hydra has created the Tachyon Blast — a bolt of energy which moves faster than the speed of light — and shatters anything which may lie in its path ! Professor Kerwin Korman may be no match for Ms. Marvel, gentlemen, but believe me — the Destructor most assuredly is !”

“Look up, Ms. Marvel ! Look up to the sky — and face an opponent worthy of your Kree-born powers !”

(After being exposed to the Psyche-Magnitron power core) “I can’t feel — anything ! Sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch — they’re all gone ! ALL GONE !!”

Destructor (Ms. Marvel comics enemy) - throwing wreckage

DC Universe Adaptation

(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).

Definitely a Supergirl villain. He would have allied with the Council instead of AIM, boasting that his tachyon blast could kill Supergirl.

After the Council turned against him for his failure against the Maid of Steel, he mistakenly attempted to steal Kryptonian technology from Supergirl (who didn’t actually have such a technology cache in Chicago). Korman thus was accidentally fused with the robot Matrix Plus, a more powerful version of Matrix Prime.

DC Heroes RPG

Kerwin Korman

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 03
Int: 05 Wil: 08 Min: 04
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04
Init: 013 HP: 020

Skills:

Gadgetry: 07, Scientist: 08, Weaponry (Exotic): 04, Weaponry (Tachyon blast projector in the Destructor costume): 06

Advantages:

Credentials (AIM, Low), Expertise (Tachyon beams), Genius.

Connections:

Underworld (Low).

Drawbacks:

None demonstrated.

Motivation:

Power Lust.

Occupation:

Weapons technologist.

Wealth:

005

Equipment:

  • DESTRUCTOR COSTUME [/STR/ 07 /BODY/ 08, Acuity: 05, Energy blast: 15, Sealed systems: 05].
  • Flying Platform/Disc [BODY 03, Flight: 06].
  • Korman can also buy and use most types of small scientific and engineering equipment he may need, such as radiation counters.

It’s a trap !

Apparently, Korman always sets up a number of traps in his Labs. Presumably to persuade his clients of the necessity of paying when they receive his creations. The Brooklyn Lab had :

  • Doors and walls with a BODY of 12.
  • The entrance was protected by a heat-seeking laser projector right after the door – [BODY 04, Laser beam: 10, Sharpness (Laser beam): 02]. Avoiding the fast-reacting laser in a narrow corridor is very difficult, giving an AV of 10 to the projector and preventing the use of Acrobatics (Dodging).
  • A metal door slides down to shut the corridor if the laser is bypassed. It has a BODY of 16, though people beating the door’s Initiative (15) and with a movement speed of 6 APs or better can slip under it before it slams shut.
  • Right after it is a trapdoor, ideally positioned to trap an intruder who just rushed under and past the metal door. Avoiding falling into the pit under those circumstances is Beyond the Limit. What lies at the bottom is unrevealed.
  • The back entrance is also protected, though less heavily so. One trapdoor (Difficult to avoid) and a corridor with two slower heat-seeking laser projectors [BODY 04, Laser beam: 10] who are considered to have an AV of 07. This corridor is large enough to allow for Acrobatics (Dodging).

Brain damage

After the Psycho-Conditioner, all of Korman’s Mental and Mystical Attributes seemed down to 02.

He also had a Serious Irrational Attraction toward Power, acting spontaneous and incautious to obtain it.

His Hero Points are down by half.

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DC Adventures RPG

Destructor (Kerwin Korman) — Averaged PL 8.6

STR STA AGL DEX
00 01 01 01
FGT INT AWE PRE
02 04 02 01

Powers:

Likely inventor of the tachyon beam ● 4 points ● Descriptor: Skill
– Enhanced Intellect 4 (Limited 2 to tachyon-beam related matters).
– Enhanced Dexterity 4 (Limited 2 to tachyon-beam related matters).

Devices:

Destructor battle suit ● 55 points (Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology, tachyon beam
– Reinforced and armoured — Enhanced Stamina 6, Impervious Protection 2.
– Seldom-used exoskeleton — Enhanced Strength 6.
– Protective visor — Protection 2, Enhanced Fortitude 2 (both Limited 2 to attacks against his eyes, including bright lights).
– Radiation-proofed — Immunity 1 (Radiation).
– Multitude of sensors and analyzers — Variable 1 (Limited 1 to scientific sensors of a general nature).
– Helm-mounted tachyon beam — Ranged energy Damage 14.

Flying platform ● 3 points (Easily Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology
Flight 5 (Platform).

Combat Advantages:

Close Attack 2, Defensive Roll 1, Ranged Attack 2.

Other Advantages:

Assessment, Benefit 1 (Decent AIM security credentials).

Skills:

Athletics 2 (+2), Close combat (Unarmed) 1 (+5), Deception 1 (+2), Expertise (Physics and related sciences) 10 (+14), Insight 5 (+7), Perception 3 (+5), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (High-tech lab prototypes) 2 (+5), Technology 8 (+12).

Equipment:

Korman can easily procure scientific equipment, but this is bought off-the-shelf when specifically needed and not Equipment in game terms.

Offence:

Initiative +1
Unarmed +5, Close, Damage 0 (6 with the exoskeleton).
Helm-mounted tachyon beam +9, Ranged, Damage 14

Defence:

Dodge 05
Fortitude 03/09**
Parry 05
Toughness 01*/02/10**
Will 04

* Without Defensive Roll.
** With suit on and Defensive Roll if applicable.

Complications:

  • Field work is hard Korman is not used to physical battle, and may get overwhelmed due to lack of experience.
  • Ambition Korman wants excitement, wealth and power. This can easily lead to problems.

Powers Levels:

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 12, Dodge/Toughness PL 8, Parry/Toughness PL 8, Fort/Will PL 7.
  • Points total 114. Abilities 24, Defences 11, Skills 17, Powers 4, Devices 58, Advantages 7. Equiv. PL 8.


Notes

After he suffers from brain damage, Korman seems very diminished. Dropping his Intellect, Awareness and Presence to minus one, and giving him an addition Complication (impulsively and incautiously driven to power) might cover his sorry state.

Uncapped scale

On the Uncapped Scale, his tachyon blast is Damage 15. No changes in PLs.

Laboratory

Apparently, Korman always sets up a number of traps in his labs. Presumably to persuade his clients of the necessity of paying when they receive his creations. The Brooklyn lab had :

  • Doors and walls had a Toughness of 12.
  • The entrance was protected by a heat-seeking laser projector right after the door – [Ranged laser Damage 11]. Avoiding the fast-reacting laser in a narrow corridor is very difficult, giving an attack bonus of +16 to the projector and preventing the use of defensive manoeuvres (including Defensive Roll).
  • A metal door slides down to shut the corridor if the laser is bypassed. It has a Toughness of 16 (18 on the Uncapped Scale), though people beating the door’s Initiative (+1) and with a movement speed of 5 Ranks or better can slip under it before it slams shut.
  • Right after it is a trapdoor, ideally positioned to trap an intruder who just rushed under and past the metal door. Avoiding falling into the pit under those circumstances is a DC 25 Acrobatics roll. What lies at the bottom is unrevealed.
  • The back entrance is also protected, though less heavily so. One trapdoor (DC 12 Acrobatics roll, the Evasion Advantage gives a +5 to the roll) and a corridor with two slower heat-seeking laser projectors [Ranged laser Damage 9] with a +11 attack bonus. The corridor is large enough to allow for various evasive manoeuvres.

Design Notes

Here I’m doing this little thing again with a Skill Descriptor Power making him a whiz with all sorts of applications at a very specific subject.

I’m going straight at the Attribute level rather than making that Skills modifiers. Both because this is a clearer notation and because it catches more odd applications that might come up in a game. The latter is more comic-bookish, IMO.

In DCH the suit gives him a blocky /BODY/ 08. Here I went *slightly* more detailed, since the Descriptor-based approach M&M system is better at it. Still, the blocky aspect is kept via enhanced Stamina, due to the impression that the suit probably had clever if minor protections against unusual attack forms. Which is mostly based on seeing how he trapped his lab.


Writeups.org writer avatar Sébastien Andrivet

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): Darci.