Powers & Abilities
In 1977, the Enforcer was :
He was familiar with the movie industry, and the history of American cinema.
He also had lots and lots of money, with about $1M in discretionary funds. That’s in 1977 USD, so about $4.2M in 2019 USD.
He also seemed to have acting training. He could project an aura of dominating confidence, like a he-man hero movie character of the 1960s. This was especially effective when masked, so people could imagine he looked like John Wayne.
However, early on, he couldn’t fully walk the walk. He was overwhelmed by superhuman combat, and unnerved by the Ghost Rider. He wasn’t incompetent, but he wasn’t strong enough.
His disintegrator beam could sink a WWII destroyer. My guess is that the disintegration effect was a chain reaction that fed off the target’s mass.
His mask was armoured.
The Enforcer returns
By 1979, the Enforcer was a cinematically skilled athlete, acrobat, fighter and marksman. He was also quickly accruing experience as a professional hitman, and learned to pilot small jets.
However, he seemed less knowledgeable about cinema and charisma.
He also had new gear. Though less E.E. “Doc” Smith than the disintegrator ring, it still was advanced :
- A pair of high-quality .45 semi-automatic pistols, à la Shadow.
- A reinforced, electrically-insulated costume. One layer is a steel mesh to prevent penetration from blades and claws. Others are ballistic fabric. The Enforcer can ignore most handgun rounds.
- .45 saboted tranq darts. These high-end chemicals can quickly knock out even a large animal. A volley once took Johnny Blaze out for 20 hours.
- .45 silver nitrate fragmentation rounds. These are primarily useful against werewolves.
- .45 saboted blackout darts. These induce blindness for about two hours.
- .45 pyrogranulate rounds. These have a weak powder charge, but a large incendiary warhead. This is primarily useful to start a large fire, perhaps as a diversion.
- .45 knockout gas rounds. Somehow (Pym particles ?) these have roughly the output of a smoke grenade.
- .45 “tingler” injectables (no relation ). See below.
The tranq darts are his default ammunition, rather than standard bullets. Presumably it’s to avoid pointlessly adding to his rap sheet.
In 1980, the Enforcer and his gang flew a private jet modified to clamp onto, then board, a jumbo jet. One suspects that it was a remnant of an aborted plan by another super-villain. Perhaps Doctor Faustus ?
In 1981 he had a tricked-out car – see the game stats for details. I suspect this too was second-hand.
In his last appearance, his gun was drawn more like a machine pistol (but never used).
The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol. 2 adds a curious amount of info about him. Perhaps an Enforcer story was planned but never actually done. It mentions two additional bits of equipment :
- Infrared imaging built into the mask. From the wording it was more for low-light vision than for thermal imaging.
- A silver nitrate coating on his vest. This was meant to discourage some supernaturals, like werewolves, from hitting him. How well this worked is unrevealed.
Tales to tingle
“Tingler” rounds are loaded in the Enforcer’s .45s. But the pistol is then used just like an injector gun, rather than a firearm.
Apparently, a tingler consists of :
- Some sort of incendiary capsule, which reacts powerfully with the human body. The resulting not-so-spontaneous combustion of an adult can easily set fire to an entire house. How long it can remain implanted is unrevealed.
- Some sort of hypnotic solution. It has a short active life. But during it the words of the Enforcer will be accepted like a post-hypnotic suggestion. It includes the ability of subconsciously detonating the capsule.
The usual suggestion is “if you oppose me, or tell anybody about me, you will spontaneously combust”.
This setup seems to work fine against ordinary humans. However, there are too many failure points against superhumans, supernaturals and (presumably) people trained to resist hypnosis. It’s still worth trying, but something will likely peter out.
One variant over the “tingler” round only consists in a venomous injection. The poison remains inert until the victim comes close to another person. At this point, they “spontaneously” combust.
There is no antidote to this. It is possible to slow down the toxin’s diffusion (say, by refrigerating the victim), and to prevent the trigger (by keeping the victim unconscious). But that’s about it.
This attack likely uses supernatural components. If so, we can assume that it was a Committee weapon. The Enforcer thus would have but a few of those, and no means to replace the spent ones.
Dr. Malus claims to have invented one or both “tingler” variants. This is likely true, since he knew how to counter them.
At this point, he’s also seen trying to weaponize Spider-Woman’s bioelectricity. So it’s not unreasonable to imagine that the tingler was the weaponized version of some superhuman or supernatural’s blood. Perhaps the Son of Satan ?
The Enforcer has occasionally worked with a small cadre of thugs equipped with submachineguns. These will be a .45 ACP model so they can use his tranq rounds, if the plan requires it.
Something to evoke 1977, let’s see… Something fitting the Enforcer would be Barracuda, which I’d argue was Heart’s peak.
It barely grazed the top 10 so I’m not sure it’s a solid cultural marker. But it sounds very much like the late 1970s.
History (part 1)
Mr. Delazny, senior, is the owner of an once-prestigious movie production facility in Los Angeles.
However, the 1970s weren’t kind to him :
- The industry drifted away from him. Delazny had to make do with TV series. Back then this meant far lower budgets, quality and prestige.
- The 1973-1975 recession devastated his finances. He ended up borrowing money from the mob.
- His only child, Charles Junior, wouldn’t succeed him. While Charles attended film school, he ended up dealing in narcotics.
“Just Say No”, they say
Within a few years, Charles Delazny, Jr. was an underworld multimillionaire. Part of it was his acting knowledge, allowing him to project a formidably confident persona.
He also acquired special connections, including :
- A cadre of experienced henchmen. He took over an existing mob in 1977 by murdering the previous leader.
- Reclusive gadgeteer -for-hire Ignatz Goldman, and later Karl Malus.
- Foreign spies (presumably Soviets) hiring American criminals to damage American strategic assets.
He began calling himself the Enforcer and wearing an ominous costume.
(One mobster noted that the “Enforcer” name had also been used by real-world mobster Frank Nitti. Delazny Junior likely was familiar with this from the movies .)
Fear and loathing in Los Angeles
Mr. Goldman miniaturised the prototype. First as a medallion, then as a ring. It was just what the Enforcer hoped – powerful and terrifying.
With his newfound firepower, Delazny, Jr. took foreign money to sink an old US Navy destroyer. Though he was nearly caught by the Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) and lost his disintegrator ring, the Enforcer did destroy the ship.
Delazny had also taken over the mob that owned his father’s business. But his goal was simply to use the familial business to launder money.
The ol’ switcheroo
The Enforcer hired the Water Wizard (Peter van Zante). The first job was to recover the disintegrator ring from the bottom of the San Diego Bay.
The second was to help against the Ghost Rider. But both were terrified, overwhelmed and defeated by the morbid maniacal motorcyclist.
However, the Enforcer had a contingency plan. Somehow, the person whom the police found was apparently fellow student Carson Collier, Jr..
The lad was the son of “Coot” Collier, a has-been actor and longtime associate of Delazny, Sr..
Though the deception was a success, it apparently required the Enforcer to leave his costume and disintegrator ring on the unconscious Collier.
Who was that masked man ?
Whether the Enforcer is Charles Delazny, Jr. or Carson Collier, Jr. is an obscure, but headache-inducing, issue.
The more you try to figure it out, the less sense it makes.
I assume that this is a byproduct of the book switching from Gerry Conway to Jim Shooter. During the late 1970s there were writer changes at Marvel where the new guys apparently didn’t get any info about the planned storyline.
My favoured approach is that Carson Collier, Jr. and Charles Delazny, Jr. both were the Enforcer. In this scenario they were drugs-dealing associates and had some unrevealed plan that was lost in the writers transition.
This plan likely involved taking advantage of both their fathers.
Secondary sources, schmegonbarry schmourfes
However, the official version is that the Enforcer was Charles Delazny, Jr..
And that law enforcement held him for years, several times, while being certain that this man was Carson Collier, Jr..
I went with the official take, since :
- It’s simpler.
- No scenario really works anyway. Especially since there later was another mess about who, exactly, murdered the Enforcer. Then another about Delazny having a nephew.
- He’s dead.
- He wasn’t resurrected when the Scourge victims were demonically brought back. Even the devils of the pit don’t want to deal with the Collier/Delazny recondite matter.
- There’s a new Enforcer (Mike Nero), making Delazny even more likely to stay dead.
So both History sections are written using the assumption that the Enforcer always was Charles Delazny, Jr., and only him, and that’s it.
(The cleanest implementation of this is to just ignore the references to the Enforcer being Collier in Spider-Woman. To consider them a continuity screwup. The writing during this era wasn’t the tightest, anyway.)
History (part 2)
The Enforcer stuck around the L.A. underworld scene. But he now made most of his money as an elite hitman. One capable of dealing with supernatural and superhuman targets.
By 1979 he was working for the Committee (Baron Thunder’s). This odd conspiracy helped him redevelop his arsenal. The Committee specialised in researching strange sources of power, such as werewolves.
(It certainly seems possible that Delazny specialised in capturing and/or sanctioning supernaturals during the late 1970s. Presumably as Committee jobs. This is never quite stated, but it’s implied on multiple occasions.)
Eliminating a witness resulted in a clash with Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) and Committee foe the Werewolf by Night (Jack Russell). Stunned by a venom blast, the Enforcer (identified as Carson Collier, Jr.) was arrested.
The killer elite
In 1980, corrupt L.A. press publisher Rupert Dockery was making a bunch of money from exclusive Spider-Woman news. This was done by arranging for criminals to clash with her.
Dockery engineered the Enforcer’s escape. Several prisoners came along, and Delazny forced them to become his gang. As planned, Drew came after them.
Spider-Woman ally Scotty McDowell was poisoned by the Enforcer. Delazny, Jr. gleefully forced Spider-Woman to help him steal enough to retire. He promised her an antidote to save McDowell.
This led to a fight against Spider-Man (Peter Parker) aboard a jetliner. Drew eventually had no choice but to help arrest the Enforcer. Delazny happily admitted that no antidote existed as he went to jail.
On yer bikes, lads
In 1981, the Enforcer was hired to sabotage a stunt cycling face-off between Johnny Blaze and Flagg Fargo. His client was a gambler.
The Enforcer couldn’t intimidate Fargo into throwing the match, so he shot him during the exhibition. He then also robbed the income from the tickets.
The Enforcer then drove away. But the Ghost Rider caught up with him, and forced a game of chicken the Enforcer couldn’t win. He was forced off a cliffside road, but survived the crash.
In 1983, the Enforcer was seen among the many incarcerated by Locksmith. To keep him under control, he was dosed with paranoia-inducing drugs.
Spider-Woman and Tigra later led a jailbreak. The Enforcer was presumably picked from his cell by the police.
Twilight of the Enforcer
Over the years, Delazny had grown close to a younger man named Mike Nero. He was apparently his only friend.
Nero called his mentor “uncle Charlie”, though Delazny couldn’t have been his literal uncle.
Knowing that he would get killed sooner or later, Delazny passed on his knowledge to Nero. That included where to find caches of Enforcer equipment.
Apparently, Nero was particularly interested in the supernatural. He thus paid extra attention to what his “uncle” had learned from the Committee some years before.
Death of the Enforcer
In 1985, the Enforcer was hired by Obadiah Stane (via Madame Masque) to murder Termite (Neil Donaldson).
However, Delazny was assassinated by a Scourge of the Underworld before he could reach his target.
Mike Nero would eventually succeed his “uncle”, though he wasn’t seen until 2009.
A first version of the costume was only seen in 1977.
In 1977, the Enforcer was a ruthless and cinema-obsessed college kid. He was willing to do anything and hurt anyone to gain wealth and power, which remains the best predictor of success.
He understood the importance of theatrics and intimidation.
By 1979 he had become a professional assassin. The previous characterisation has vanished into the ineffable aether.
One gets the impression that the Enforcer had been humiliated by his own fear while fighting the Ghost Rider. He thus may have taken the decision to specialise in supernatural and abnormal situations to conquer his fear and affirm his strength.
Characterisation after that was erratic.
Sometimes he was a tough, cruel hitman with a tendency to gloat.
Sometimes he was a goofball-ish, but still cruel, thief making dad jokes and puns. This later behaviour was even lampshaded as drawing from Batman ’66 episodes.
The one consistent trait is that he’s a pig, a bully, a user and a bigot. OK, the four consistent traits are…
DC Universe History
I love the DC Implosion era, so a DC Universe Enforcer would have fought, hmmm, Deadman then Vixen ?
Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG
Enforcer (1977 appearances)
|Dex: 04||Str: 03||Bod: 04||Motivation: Power|
|Int: 04||Wil: 04||Min: 03||Occupation: Drugs lord|
|Inf: 05||Aur: 04||Spi: 03||Wealth: 011|
|Init: 013||HP: 015|
Acrobatics*: 04, Artist (Acting): 04, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms, exotic): 04
Expertise (Narcotics sales and trafficking), Familiarity (Cinema).
Street (Low), Underworld (High), Underworld gadgeteers around L.A. (Low).
- DISINTEGRATION RING. Possible stats are [BODY 02, Disintegration: 10, Sharpness (Disintegration): 10, Limitation : Sharpness can only engage has many APs as the target has APs of Growth].
- ARMOURED MASK [BODY 03, Conditional Soaking (Ballistics, Unarmed)].
Enforcer (subsequent appearances)
|Dex: 05||Str: 03||Bod: 04||Motivation: Mercenary|
|Int: 05||Wil: 04||Min: 05||Occupation: Hitman|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 04||Spi: 05||Wealth: 008|
|Init: 014||HP: 035|
Acrobatics*: 05, Artist (Acting): 04, Vehicles (Air, Land): 04, Weaponry (Firearms, exotic): 05
Familiarity (Mob lore).
Street (Low), Underworld (Low), Underworld gadgeteers around L.A. (Low).
- ENFORCER COSTUME [BODY 05, Blunting: 03, Enhance (Ballistic RV, Slashing RV): 02 (cap is 07), Enhance (Piercing RV, Lightning RV): 01 (cap is 07), Ultra-vision: 04]. The vest is coated with silver nitrate.
- .45 pistol (x2) [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 08, R#02]. He presumably has two extra clips, plus two clips with silver bullets.
- .45 tranq darts [BODY 01, Poison touch: 08, Ammo: 08, Misc.: ammunition load for a .45 ACP firearm, but gains Range equal to that weapon’s normal Range]. He carries at least four clips of those.
- .45 blackout dart [BODY 01, Sensory block (No Range, Sight Only): 08, Misc.: ammunition load for a .45 ACP firearm, but gains Range equal to that weapon’s normal Range. Sensory Block is tested against DEX/BODY, and is resisted by Systemic Antidote]. He presumably has one clip of those on him.
- .45 pyrogranulate [BODY 01, Flame Project (No Range): 06, Range: 03, Ammo: 08, Misc.: ammunition load for a .45 ACP firearm, Power Loss (AV is -1CS vs. moving targets due to the slow and arcing projectile]. He likely has but one clip.
- .45 knockout gas [BODY 01, Knockout gas: 06, Ammo: 08, Misc.: ammunition load for a .45 ACP firearm, but gains Range equal to that weapon’s normal Range. Power Loss (AV is -1CS vs. moving targets due to the slow and arcing projectile]. He likely has but one clip.
- “Tingler” rounds (both forms). See below.
Tales to tingle
Tingler round [BODY 01, Hypnosis: 05, Pyrotechnics: 07, Grenade Drawback, R#4, Limitations :
- Both Powers have No Range.
- Both Powers are an ammunition load for a .45 ACP firearm.
- Both Powers will fail against any target proofed against low-end handgun ammunition.
- Hypnosis is limited to triggers for detonating Pyrotechnics (one trigger per suggestion).
- Hypnosis is resisted by Systemic Antidote.
- Pyrotechnics is rolled against BODY/BODY.
- Pyrotechnics can only be triggered through Hypnosis.
- Any change in shape (Alter-Ego, Shapechange, Zoomorph, Shrink, Growth…) will likely destroy the Pyrotechnics charge.]
The alternative, likely supernatural form was simply a (hackneyed) plot device.
I’d thus argue stats are pointless, but just in case :
- Treat it as Poison Touch: 06, with similar modifiers as the tranq rounds.
- Once the victim is brought to negative BODY APs, they do not die. Instead, they’ll die of self-combustion if they perceive someone in close proximity.
- Treating or countering this toxin is Pushing The Limit. Extraordinary means may of course lower this.
The private jet had standard sets, but had APs of Cling to clamp itself atop a jet liner. It presumably needed to be calibrated for each different model.
How the in-flight boarding was done isn’t too clear. But the Enforcer had the target plane reduce altitude and speed under threat of having a hole blown into the fuselage.
Good thing my car is fast
The 1981 sports car likely went [STR 05 BODY 06, Running: 07, R#02].
There were .45 submachineguns mounted on mechanical arms under the rear view mirrors. These were loaded with tranqs, and could be used for drive-by shooting – or to shoot at pursuers, using the rear view mirrors to aim. [BODY 02, Poison touch (No Range): 09, Range: 04, R#3].
The rear had some sort of retractile short-range mortar. [BODY 03, Projectile weapon (Double-Diminishing Area of Effect 2 APs): 12, Range: 04, Ammo: 04]. The Enforcer used it just after crossing a long bridge.
It likely had airbags, which was rare in 1970s US cars.
Source of Character: Marvel Comics.
Writeup completed on the 2nd of January, 2020.