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Doctor Nemesis of the X-Club and X-Men (Marvel Comics)

Doctor Nemesis

(Dr. James Bradley)


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

Doctor Nemesis, Science Bastard !

Context

Dr. Nemesis (James Bradley) was an obscure Golden Age  comic book hero.

He then joined a set of similar character that Roy Thomas brought back from comic book limbo  as villains, clashing with the Invaders during the 1940s. This group included characters such as Meteor Man.

Unexpectedly, Dr. Nemesis made his second return in 1993 – this time as a full character rather than as a comic books history reference. He became a scientific consultant and adventurer working with the X-Men. His over-the-top sarcasm, unhinged intellect and never-ending snarky repartee made him a fan-favourite.


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Background

  • Real Name: Dr. James Nicola Bradley.
  • Former Aliases: Dr. Death.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Nicola Bradley (father, deceased) Catherine Bradley (mother, deceased) John and Mary Price (grandparents, deceased).
  • Note: He made reference to an ex-wife at one point, but this may just have been snark.
  • Group Affiliation: X-Club, X-Men; formerly Battle-Axis.
  • Base Of Operations: Utopia, near San Francisco.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond


Powers & Abilities

Doctor Nemesis’ mutant ability is his highly evolved intellect, which makes him a genius in a number of fields. These include weaponry, medicine, chemistry, genetics, robotics, and anything else he decides to do. By experimenting on himself he’s greatly prolonged his natural lifespan.

He’s also replaced his eyes with superior artificial ones. These are capable of seeing genetic anomalies (such as the Nazi clones he hunted in South America) at a distance of 200m. They can also see through to a target’s organs and skeleton.

He’s usually armed with a pair of handguns – with which he’s a skilled shot. They fire hypodermics containing narcotics – science narcotics – of his own creation. They can subdue most targets, and can pierce some protective armours.

He also has other narcotics of his own devising on him, such as his tinkered strain of sodium pentothal.


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History

One of the earliest known mutants of the modern era, James Bradley was born on December 1st 1906. His father, Nicola Bradley, was a leading scientist. He worked on a generator for free, safe, wireless energy – he’s heavily based on Nikola Tesla. However, he died before James was born. His mother, Catherine, died in childbirth.

Doctor Nemesis

While a medical doctor, James Bradley worked with Professor Phineas T. Horton in the 1930s. Together they developed the original Human Torch – and Bradley was also developing his own android.

They disagreed when unable to correct the design flaw which saw the android burst into flame on exposure to oxygen. Unlike Bradley, Horton was eager to reveal their work to the public in order to gain further funding.

He went ahead with it despite Bradley’s misgivings, and it turned out badly. Bradley – who had kept his involvement hidden – broke off their partnership. He turned his attention to his own android.

Bradley succeeded in creating Volton, the Human Generator. Voltron acted as a superhero in late 1941 and early 1942. Volton believed itself to be human scientist Guy Newton, whose investigations led him to be able to manipulate his own static electricity.

Bradley himself also became a masked crimefighter while working by day at NY’s Mercy Hospital. Arming himself with a hypodermic gun, he became Doctor Nemesis.

Doctor Death

Contacted by agents of the Third Reich, Bradley agreed to assemble a group of costumed agents for them. Changing his name to Doctor Death, he recruited the Human Meteor, Spider Queen, Strongman, and Voltron, forming the Battle-Axis.

While not all members supported Nazi policies, they were united in wanting the US to stay out of the war.

Using Bradley’s experimental oscillotron, they planned to cause earthquakes along the American west coast. This would destroy industrial plants which would supply the war effort, and release poisonous gases from storage facilities underground.

Battle-Axis’ first public operation was protecting a German u-boat from the Invaders on June 22nd, 1942. The teams continued to clash, and in their final confrontation Doctor Death activated his oscillotron.

He was struck down by Volton before he could use it. The android had learned the truth about himself, and Bradley’s role in his creation. The machine was destroyed and Bradley left for dead.

Penance

He survived, and returned to his Doctor Nemesis identity, repentant over his actions. During this time he became engaged to nurse Mary Strong.

His actions following this are unknown until after the war. At this point he moved to Buenos Aires in Argentina. There he initiated a campaign to hunt down escaped Nazi super-scientists. This continued in a decades-long private war with Nazi superclones.

X-Club

After more than half a century of his unending war against Nazi superclones, Bradley was approached by the X-Men. Beast and Angel wanted to recruit him for a science team they were assembling to work on restoring the x-gene. He deigned to offer them his expertise.

They also recruited Madison Jeffries (Box), Dr. Kavita Rao, and Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi.

Relocating to the X-Men’s base in San Fransisco, they set to work. Their first step was to use time travel to obtain genetic samples from the parents of one of the earliest mutants from modern times: Doctor Nemesis himself.

Doctor Nemesis dual-wielding science pistols

Travelling back in time they found his father has been tricked into working for the Hellfire Club, creating a generator for their first Sentinel. The X-Club rescued him, but Nicola was killed in their battle to stop the Sentinel. The destruction of the generator caused an earthquake.

Nemesis convinced Catherine Bradley to bury the blood samples – since they wouldn’t survive the time travel back. But when they tried to recover them they found them trapped under where the Dreaming Celestial stood. Nemesis made another trip to the past alone, delivering himself but unable to do anything to save his mother.

The scorching haze of the radiant light of scientific progress

He continued to operate as one of the X-Men’s scientific and medical support as they relocated to the artificial island of Utopia. Dr. Bradley also occasionally got involved in the field. However, Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi died shortly after the move, and Beast left.

Nemesis then:

  • Helped secure the island’s structure.
  • Aided external attempts to breach the energy sphere Bastion placed around San Francisco.
  • Accompanied a joint rescue expedition of the Fantastic Four and X-Men to another dimension. There he and Reed Richards had to work together to rebuild the dimensional transport (despite Nemesis initiating a pissing contest).

The X-Men then split during the Schism event. Nemesis and the rest of the X-Club – which by this time was comprised of Nemesis, Rao, Jeffries, and Danger – remained on Utopia under Cyclops’ leadership.

We Do Science, part 1

Nemesis took a lead role in the X-Men’s partnership with Stratocorp. The goal was to create a space elevator and platform. The work took place at sea, and drew protest from Atlanteans who claimed they were polluting the ocean. Nemesis dismissed it as absurd based on the work he’d done.

The launching of the elevator (lifted by Magneto rather than letting Nemesis build gravitic propulsors) was successful. However, the ceremony to be disrupted by an Atlantean protestor violently mutating and then exploding.

The surrounding sea life rapidly mutated from Terrigen  exposure. Nemesis was attacked by a mutated starfish which attached itself to his head and projected his innermost thoughts. Donning one of Stratocorp’s diving suits Nemesis investigated beneath the waves. Meanwhile the rest of X-Club continued their work above the surface and in orbit.

Encountering a breakdown in the laws of physics, Nemesis survived by forcing reality to accept his observations of it as what he wanted it to be. Plunging ahead he found the source of the contamination: a sunken vessel Stratocorp had salvaged.

We Do Science, part 2

However, they’d been monitoring his communications. Stratocorp men cut the cables connecting Bradley to the surface before he could report his findings to the X-Club.

Doctor Nemesis fights evil clones and will put his science in all of them

Managing to saddle a mutated hammerhead shark, Nemesis rode it to the surface. He then snuck back on board the Stratocorp facility. The starfish spoiled his stealthy sneaking, forcing him to inflict science on the Stratocorp guards.

His attempt to use sodium pentethol on the CEO of Stratocorp was foiled when the true head of the organisation revealed himself, killing the CEO.

We Do Science, part 3

Stratocorp was actually run by Schragestrum. Formerly Nazi scientist Frederik Heiden, his studies in Terrigen mutation had changed him, enabling him to detect a disturbance in the walls of reality in the Atlantic during the war. Investigation brought an attack by the Invaders, and he was tangled up between dimensions while trying to capture the creature he’d detected.

Freed by Stratocorp – causing the Terrigen spill in the process – Heiden took over. He then enslaved the entity he’d found to run their computers. He planned to collapse realities into the one he wanted, where he took over the Third Reich after Hitler’s early death and led them to victory.

Injecting himself with a Terrigen sample, Nemesis followed Schragestrum into extra-dimensional space. With the help of the computer entity – freed by Madison Jeffries and Danger – he stopped Schragestrum.

Nemesis returned to reality, expecting to die soon thereafter. Yet, was saved when Dr. Rao managed to stabilise him. Being rescued by a microscope monkey did not make him happy.

The Terrigen situation handled, he got the starfish removed from his head, but kept it for company.


Personality

Irritable, arrogant, bombastic, and intellectually domineering. Half a century devoted to hunting Nazi’s have atrophied Doctor Nemesis’ social skills. He makes little attempt to be nice to anyone, and by this point may no longer be able to do so.

He exhibits little in the way of fear – although the empathic starfish has shown this to mainly be a mask. He will rarely avoid a fight (unless he’s obviously outclassed and others more powerful are on hand – they make as well do something useful), unleashing his empirical science on any cretin who gets in his way.

Having the starfish revealing his innermost thoughts shows he has some affection for the other members of X-Club. He’s attracted to Dr. Rao, and sees Jeffries as a friend – albeit a mentally unstable mechanic.


Quotes

“I’ve hunted this twisted scum nigh on 60 years now, children. I’ve committed acts of science and heroism off the map and underground, without any help or headlines. And I’ve done it without donning the ridiculous unitard of a common carny. You spoiled little dilettantes can wave your bottomless bank accounts at me all you like. I will not be seen playing dress-up with you tourists while there are perfectly good genocidal maniacs I can be associated with murdering.”

Beast: “Dr. Bradley —”
Dr. Nemesis: “I co-created the original Human Torch with vacuum tubes and copper wire. I’ve captured more fugitive Nazi superscientists than anyone alive. I am a working man. You will call me Dr. Nemesis while I work.”

“Dr. McCoy, I don’t believe in magic. I believe in science. And I believe in applying it harshly to any problems life presents. Take this weapon, for example. Fires hypos loaded with dangerous narcotics – science narcotics – of my own invention that can bring down all kinds of genetic aberrants. Or my eyes. You know, eyes are just cameras made out of jelly and water. And for jelly and water, they’re not too bad. But I made eyes of my own, designed to seek out those genetic aberrants at 200 meters.”

“I believe in neither magic nor superstition, Dr. McCoy, and if you touch my jacket again I’ll spay you.”

Dr. Kavita Rao: “It must be hard to be so difficult all the time. Does it worry you to know you’ll die alone and unloved and that so many of your former colleagues will use your grave as a toilet ?”

Doctor Nemesis taunts tube-grown super-Nazis

“I was born in 1906, so yes. Quite older, I should say. I am kept alive by an aggressive array of bizarre narcotics of my own invention and my unending annoyance of you all.”

Angel: “Nemesis, you’re with me.”
Dr. Nemesis: “Like hell, pretty boy. You’re with me.”

“How do I know ? I no longer possess the capacity to evaluate what is and isn’t completely off-the-charts insane while dealing with you people. And I’m the man who spent most of his adult life hunting Nazi super clones through South America.”

[To Magneto] “You know what I don’t care about one jot ? Metallurgy. Reminds me of metalwork. And that’s what they got the stupid schoolkids to do when men of the future were busily rewriting the laws of physics. Now while there’s a distinct lack of Nazis to kill, I’ve got the plague aftermath, mutated mutations, vampires, demon-possessees, more vampires, annoying Limbo godlings and a new generation of freaky x-kids to prod with science sticks. Very busy ! No time for your foolish space tin. Now leave me alone and scuttle off to complain to the one-eyed vizir. I’m saving lives. Shout if you see a Nazi.”

“Is this some manner of space-ninja smoke-bomb ? I hate space-ninjas ! I hate all ninjas !”

“Since I have no use for false modesty, I hope you’ll simply take my word that my knowledge in this area is unparalleled.”

“Westchester ? What are the lab facilities like there ? Actually, no. This experiment is at a very delicate stage. A move is unthinkable. In fact, why are you disturbing me ? Begone ! Scurry ! Science stalks this night !”

Dr. Nemesis: “For the last time, it’s perfectly simple. Tensile nanotubes alone never test above 63 gigapascals by embedding erbium nodules and neodymium alloys in the tether. My design enhances energy-potential and E.M. bonds ; bearing 137GPS and holding the whole ostentatious crapheap together. Half a day’s monkeywork and two cups of coffee. Do not make me explain again. Doesn’t anyone have an interesting question ?”
Hapless reporter: “Where do you get your ideas ?”
Dr. Nemesis: “I self-evolved a laterally superior intellect at age 16 and rigorously conduct a preventative stupidectomy every fortnight. It’s a surprisingly painful procedure I’m considering imposing on certain parts of the national press.”

[To reporters] “I believe my team represents the greatest collection of scientists on the planet, and I’m proud of them all. Of course, if you even think about telling them I said so, I’ll inflict poleshift on your digestive system.”

“Excuse me, gentlemen, there is science to conduct… in the laboratory of violence.”

[To Dr. Rao, with a mutant starfish attached to his head] “You ! Petri-girl ! An echinodermic specimen has chemically bonded to my person. You will remove it before it detonates an irreplaceable human treasure.”

“Mr. Summers, there is an empathic starfish revealing my inner monologue to the unworthy universe. [inner monologue]I wish my costume was as cool as yours[end]. Someone. Is going. To pay.”

“Pay attention, universe: when I open my eyes I shall ignore all weirdness and observe only standard reality. I shall restore normal physics using stubbornness alone.”

“Supernemesis wins at all science ! He shall now perish in a spasm of mutagenic martyrdom, and his grateful underlings shall ensure his tombstone is twice as big as Darwin’s ! So mote it be !”

“An extraconceptual entity which was held captive by our secretly-fascist allies has now returned to its native plane, taking with it all traces of existentially problematic pollution and sealing the dimensional fracture behind it. Just another boring day at the office. The office of pure empirical science.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Doctor Nemesis

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Upholding Science
Int: 09 Wil: 12 Min: 08 Occupation: Scientist & Nazi hunter
Inf: 07 Aur: 07 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 007
Init: 023 HP: 040

Powers:
Detect (Genetic Anomalies): 07, Telescopic Vision: 05, X-Ray Vision: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:
Detect is visual (-1), and has the Discerning Bonus (+1).

Skills:
Gadgetry: 12, Martial Artist: 04, Medicine: 10, Scientist: 12, Vehicles (Air, Land): 05, Weaponry (Firearms): 07

Advantages:
Genius, Iron Nerves, Rich Friends (X-Men), Slowed Aging.

Connections:
X-Club (High), X-Men (High).

Drawbacks:
Mistrust (Mutant), Socially Inept.

Equipment:

  • He may have access to other narcotics — science narcotics (6 AP Omni-Gadget) — and as they’re chemical, Powers such as Systemic Antidote can work against them.
  • Gun [BODY 05, Sharpness (Sleep): 02, Sleep: 08, Bonuses & Limitations: Sleep is a Physical Attack (-0), and is chemical (-1), Ammo 12].
  • Sodium pentothal syringe [BODY 03, Hypnotism: 06, Bonuses & Limitations: Hypnotism only causes target to tell truth (-1), and is chemical (-1)].

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics (mainly his X-Men appearances).

Helper(s): Wikipedia (source for his pre-X-Men history).

Writeup completed on the 24th of December, 2012.

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We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .