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Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) smiling

Frenzy

(Joanna Cargill profile #3 - 2007-2014)


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

Context

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) is a minor character closely associated with Marvel Comics’ X-Men. She has been around since the 1980s, and is super-strong.

Though she was originally a villain, Frenzy’s trajectory was unusual. Among other things it involved :

  • Joining cults.
  • Worshipping Magneto.
  • Becoming an ambassador.
  • Being inspired by a virtual lifetime in an abominable alternate reality.
  • Joining her enemies, the X-Men, in 2011.

This profile is meant to be read in sequence after the first two (Frenzy part #1, ). It covers Joanna Cargill, aka Frenzy, from 2007 to 2014.


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Background

  • Real Name: Joanna Cargill.
  • Former Aliases: Ambassador Cargill.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: Gareth (brother, deceased), father (name unrevealed, presumably deceased), mother (name unrevealed).
  • Group Affiliation: X-Men. Former Acolyte of Magneto, former Acolyte of Exodus.
  • Base Of Operations: Utopia, then the Jean Grey School campus.
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 210 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers & Abilities

Frenzy is now markedly stronger and more durable than she was in the 1990s. Her strength seems to be about “Class 50” now – enough to use cars as thrown weapons, take on giant robots by herself or rip Shi’ar armour plating open.

She’s also strong enough to delay opponents with massive superhuman strength, such as Exodus or the She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters).


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She described her entire physiology (not just her skin) as having the robustness of sheet steel – which is reminiscent of how her fellow mutant Colossus (Piotr Rasputin) became increasingly metallic as he grew up and trained in his superhuman form.

Frenzy can take Sunfire-grade flame blasts without budging, can withstand Havok’s plasma blasts, and a joint light blast from Northstar and Aurora couldn’t take her down. Cargill also proved highly resilient to microwave blasts and electrocution.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) vs. Colossus ; X-Men vs. Marauders

Frenzy seems to have become stronger and tougher after her experiences in the Age of X reality. In DC Heroes terms, her pre-Age of X STR and BODY were probably one AP lower. One gets the impression that she was even stronger while the Age of X reality was “on” – perhaps by as much as two APs of STR and one of BODY.

Unlike her traditional black leather outfit, her X-Men costume is presumably made of unstable molecules, and thus as resilient as she is.

Frenzy also demonstrated some outdoors skills that were not apparent before, presumably from her military career.


History

Frenzy was not seen for years after the Genosha genocide – perhaps as she recovered from physical and psychological wounds.

Messiah Complex

In 2007, not too long after the Scarlet Witch depowered the vast majority of Earth’s surviving mutants, Cargill was approached by Exodus (Bennet du Paris). Exodus was assembling a team to fight against mutant extinction, and Frenzy joined it along with Random (Marshall Stone) and Tempo (Heather Tucker). Carmella Unuscione would join later, and later still Amelia Voght.

This team successfully stormed S.H.I.E.L.D.’s command helicarrier while Cable (Nathan Summers) was aboard, allowing Exodus to use S.H.I.E.L.D. resources and Cable’s mind to perform a global scan for newborn mutants. He did not discover any, and the X-Men beat his team – Frenzy was taken out by Mystique, Northstar and Aurora after flattening Rogue.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) threatening face closeup

Exodus then joined forces with Mister Sinister and his Marauders. They put everything they had into determining where the first mutant since the Scarlet Witch’s spell would be born, as data from the future indicated that this baby would become a mutant messiah.

During these events, Frenzy was part of a successful raid on the X-Mansion to steal the collected foretellings of Destiny (Irene Adler). She was also part of a successful defense against a X-Men raid on Mister Sinister’s base in the Arctic.

However she was defeated by Colossus during a second assault, and in the end it was Cable who secured the baby and disappeared into the timestream.

Fallen messiah

During the final battle, Charles Xavier was accidentally shot dead by Bishop (Lucas Bishop). Exodus and his Acolytes retreated with the body, and were joined by Sentinel (Karima Shapandar). Exodus worked on resurrecting Xavier, and was joined by the former Magneto (Max Eisenhardt, then going by Erik Lehnsherr) – now a mere human after the Genosha catastrophe.

Frenzy found herself torn over Lehnsherr’s return and the attempts at reviving Xavier – Magneto’s greatest enemy. Rejecting the human Lehnsherr as a fallen prophet but still upholding the mutant Magneto’s teachings, she attempted to kill Xavier. In so doing she defeated Shapandar, but Lehnsherr took Cargill out by shining a surgical laser into one of her eyes.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) with machine oil on her face

Though the physical damage was easily repaired, Exodus telepathically forced Cargill into a coma for disobeying him. She was awakened a year later by Charles Xavier when he single-handedly invaded the Acolytes’ base, and convinced Exodus to renounce his plans and disband the Acolytes.

Frenzy was furious. She and Unuscione refused to give up, but realised that just the two of them couldn’t accomplish much. The rest of the Acolytes had agreed to move to the mutants safe zone in San Francisco, and Cargill and Unuscione reluctantly followed suit.

Utopia

Soon after they arrived in San Francisco, anti-mutant activists escalated the situation into a coexistence crisis. Frenzy was predictably among the mutant hardliners. The US enforcement apparatus, then headed by Norman Osborn, moved in to suppress mutants, who reacted by establishing a new island nation in the Bay, named Utopia.

Frenzy joined the defense effort. Together with fellow hardliner Nekra (Nekra Sinclair) and the young mutant Bling (Roxanne Washington), they overcame Ms. Marvel (Dr. Karla Sofen) of Osborn’s Avengers.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) with the X-Men Legacy team

Cargill continued to live on Utopia, though she apparently kept her distances. She occasionally posed problems through her violent activism, and she and her ally Nekra had to be taken down at least once by other mutants.

In 2010, she again joined the mutant forces in a defense effort – this time against an army of Nimrod-class Sentinels.

Though this assault from the future was the last ditch effort at wiping out mutants before their prophesied saviour returned, it failed. Cable had come back from his travels in time with the now grown-up baby, whom he called Hope Summers. Hope was instrumental in stopping the robotic invasion, though there were significant casualties.

Age of X

In 2011, Legion (David Haller) accidentally rewrote reality for a while, projecting everybody on Utopia into a dystopic timeline.

There, the efforts at mutant/human peace had never worked, and the last surviving mutants were making their stand at the General (Max Eisenhardt)’s sentient Fortress X. Though Legion’s reality only existed for a week, everybody spent a subjective lifetime in this brutal, horrible world.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) during the Age of X

In this reality, Frenzy was among the survivors. She had previously run with an organisation called the Mutant Liberation Front, but they took too many casualties and rallied to the General. The Fortress held for 1,000 days despite the harsh circumstances and the deaths – including Tempo, one of the last MLF survivors and the leader of Cargill’s squad.

During that time Cargill, one of the last champions of mutantkind, married Basilisk (Scott Summers). The couple was admired for their fighting prowess and determination, and held to the end.

This reality was torn apart after several X-Men realised that it was a construct, and had Legion undo it.

Age of X : Aftermath

Most people on Utopia had their memories telepathically edited to remove the traumas of a lifetime of disaster and total war. Joanna was among the few who refused.

Though the experience had generally been awful, being a heroic and valued fighter had been precious to her, and she found it difficult to let go of her marriage with Scott Summers.

Unable to forget and move on, she decided to completely turn her life around based on her harrowing yet happy Age of X experiences. She switched her looks to what it had been in the artificial reality, and announced that she wanted to join the X-Men. Professor X agreed to let her join after she promised not to kill and let him scan her mind to understand her motivations.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) holding Scott Summers' hand

At that point Xavier and Cyclops formed a cadre of X-Men with a difficult past — Gambit (Remy Lebeau), Rogue (Anna-Marie NLN), Magneto and Legion — and Frenzy volunteered. They were tasked with corralling 6 of Legion’s personalities, who had gone rogue and gained a physical existence.

After completing this, they teleported to the Shi’ar galaxy to re-establish contact with several former X-Men operating as the new Starjammers. The mission was successful, and the team even saved millions of lives by preventing a gigantic space station from falling into a sun.

Schism

Shortly after Frenzy and the rest returned from outer space, the larger X-Men community went through an ideological split in leadership.

Joanna joined Wolverine’s side, as she couldn’t stand seeing Cyclops with Emma Frost. She also felt that she was less likely to fall back into old patterns at a school than in a paramilitary base. She became adjunct faculty – specifically one of the hand-to-hand combat and PT teachers.

Rogue also chose the Westchester school, and took command of a modified squad there – Frenzy, Gambit and Rachel Summers. Within a few days of arriving they defeated a N’Garai invasion. Cargill also continued flirting with Lebeau and even got to kiss him thanks to beer and adrenaline, though they agreed not to turn it into a relationship.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) vs. a mecha during the Age of X

(Parts of the dialogue heavily imply that Frenzy and Gambit had sex in the past, but there’s no indication as to when. No known era of Frenzy’s life is an obvious candidate, though it may have been during her mercenary days, before she joined Apocalypse).

The team also had a run-in with Exodus, who showed up at Westchester intending to telepathically force a reunification of mutantkind. Frenzy tanked  Exodus for a while. Though du Paris accused her of having fallen due to her love for Scott Summers, she refused to give in and revert to whom she had been.

AvX

In 2012, dramatic tensions appeared between the X-Men and Avengers. Frenzy chose to stay at the school rather than follow yet another mutant messiah – in this case, Hope.

However, a small team of Avengers intruded on the school to keep it under surveillance. Considering that the Avengers were cops and cops unfailingly started trouble, Cargill got into a pissing match with Moon Knight (Marc Spector). When he accused her of being a former terrorist, she told him that she knew quite a bit about his own unsavoury mercenary past.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) smashes a car to let off steam

The situation got out of hand as Moon Knight attacked, and She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) and Frenzy had a rematch after an inconclusive fight years before on Genosha. The X-Men eventually prevailed.

During the reign of the “Phoenix Five”, Frenzy volunteered to help after all. She was airdropped in the nation of Narobia, where Cyclops had just destroyed the vast majority of armament to stop an endless civil war. Frenzy hunted down and destroyed those weapons Cyclops had missed, to prevent the factions who lucked out and kept guns from establishing themselves as warlords.

When the Phoenix Force situation went out of hand, Frenzy was among the faculty who evacuated the X-Mansion students to Avengers Academy for safety reasons.

She continued to serve through a number of incidents, often involving Legion.


Description

Cargill is now drawn at “generic female character” height, and 5’8” may still be highballing her. She’s occasionally drawn wearing platform boots, which seem to bump her effective height back to 5’10”.

The listed weight is arbitrary (officially, Marvel still lists her at 6’11”, so the accompanying weight estimate is unusable). It assumes that she’s now physically superhumanly dense, albeit not by a large factor.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) and X-Men vs. N'Garai demons

The look with the long hair — often braided as dreadlocks — was her traditional do as an Acolyte. The look with the half-shaved and straightened hair is the one she had in the Age of X reality, though she sometimes leave behind the huge combat boots and built-in brass knuckles to look more conventionally heroic. She occasionally wears dark blue lipstick.

Now that Cargill is more or less a good guy her skin tone is lighter and her features less markedly African. Total big surprise there, yeah.


Personality

Frenzy’s intelligence was less visible during her years as an Acolyte, where she was just a cult follower – but it’s now back in evidence.

One also gets the impression that she gained further education, probably by reading about history and political science while living on Genosha. She also mentions that she studied everything she found about the life of Magneto, though the bulk of that probably took place while she was an Acolyte.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) vs. Exodus

Some actual insight into Frenzy’s personality surfaces during this era. It’s not that she has a typical anger problem – rather, violence has been hardwired into her mentality as a survival and coping mechanism. It is what has carried her through a lifetime of fighting, to the point of feeling comforting and sustaining as it enables her survival.

Even her sexuality includes a large dose of consensual violence. And if she’s frustrated or just bored, her preferred approach is to smash something big to pieces, like a truck. Frenzy also enjoys looking all macho by showing off her tolerance for pain.

That Frenzy is ex-military is all but confirmed, and she still has some turns of phrase and habits from her barracks days. As during the previous eras of her life, Cargill isn’t particularly verbal – but is quite eloquent when she does feel like talking.

So you say we haven’t turned around

Frenzy is trying to be a heroine now, but it’s more in the sense of a war heroine than a super-heroine. She remains physically aggressive, and verbally brusque and threatening – a warrior. As a soldier, she is highly loyal toward her squad despite her curt remarks.

Cargill is very goal-oriented, and treats every mission like a battlefield.

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) air-dropped without a parachute

Joanna is still in love with Scott Summers, though she realises that it’s impossible. She is craving for a similarly intense and satisfying relationship with a man of Scott’s calibre. While she wanted to start something with Gambit, they let the matter drop as it rapidly became clear that Cargill was still pining after Summers, and Lebeau after Rogue.

Cargill doesn’t want to unquestioningly follow a leader anymore, though she still admires Magneto. She’s comfortable with chains of command, though, and good with straightforward teamwork.

Frenzy retains her profound distrust of law enforcement, seeing them as oppressors, and continues to view “flatscans” as weak and pathetic.


Quotes

“You can’t keep a good X-Man down. Even the bad ones recur like a half-digested Mexican meal.”

“When you’re a soldier, the red rage carries you. It sees you safely through, like a lucky rabbit’s foot. Like armour you wear on the inside. The blood tide. The hot wire in my brain, glowing like the filament in a light bulb. Bright, bright red. Even when I love someone, it feels like that. Like I’m halfway fighting them. Tearing some trophy of joy or lust out their lips, their flesh. Feeding that red screaming thing at the core of me.”

“I actually *liked* the way we had it back at the Fortress. It made *sense* to me. I was off the leash the whole time, and it made me a hero. A legend. But in the real world, there’s… morality. Context. Consequences. […] [But] there was something I *had* back there, and I want to have it again.”

Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) vs. soldiers

“How come we ran away ? I could have taken those toy soldiers out by myself !”

“You might want to *shut that mouth* before I shove a five-door saloon into it.”

“Do I look like I give a damn ? Get the hell out of my way.”

“You’ve got me babysitting humans ? I thought there was a target ! I thought this was a combat mission ! I don’t even like flatscans.”

“I’m not big on small talk.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Frenzy

Dex: 06 Str: 12 Bod: 12 Motivation: Uphold Mutants
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: X-Man
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 014 HP: 030

Powers:
Cold immunity: 02, Flame immunity: 06, Lightning Immunity: 02, Skin armour: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Half of Frenzy’s Flame Immunity is applicable against attacks relying partly on heat, such as microwave blasts or plasma discharges.
  • Skin armour only vs. bodywide damage such as falls and collisions.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 04, Artist (Knitting): 02, Charisma (Intimidation): 04, Military science (Camouflage, cartography): 03, Vehicles (Air, Land): 03, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 03

Advantages
Familiarity (Extravehicular space operations, Magneto’s biography).

Connections:
X-Men (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIA toward Violence, Minor Irrational Dislike of Police, Mistrust (Mutant), Misc.: Cargill promised Professor X she wouldn’t kill anybody.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (X-Books).

Writeup completed on the 10th of October, 2014.

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