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The Grappler (She-Hulk enemy) (Marvel Comics) in action

Grappler


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

Context

The Grappler is a minor Marvel villain. He essentially has but one appearance, in 1981.

Though he’s obscure he looks goofy, there’s a little something to him that feels workable.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Los Angeles.
  • Height: 5’5” Weight: 140 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


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Powers and Abilities

The Grappler is a skilled martial artist, financier, athlete and small planes pilot. He also seems to have built his specialized weaponry himself.

He is surprisingly effective in combat. He can even engage superhumans, as long as he has the focus to use his leverage-based techniques. Once his concentration drops, he is much less of a threat.

Weapon

His main weapon is a somewhat flexible metallic rod of great tensile strength. With his knowledge of leverage and his special computer, he can apply it in such ways as to generate great force. For instance he could hit a speeding armoured truck in just the right way to have it vault to its side. Or block the charge of the She-Hulk so as to have her own momentum and strength hurt her.

Throwing and tripping moving opponents is a common, and effective tactic of his. The Grappler could also jam his special rod in a crevice so his opponent would run into it, bend it forward with her momentum, then be flung back as the rod snapped back.

The rod can also fire bundles of ensnaring steel cables.

In a later appearance he was seen hitting a large stone column with his rod an making it collapse. This isn’t quite in line with his original appearance. Perhaps he had since installed a weak points detection system.

Vehicle

The costume has a remote control for a single-prop airplane with an advanced auto-pilot. The plane is usually flying circles high above the Grappler, to be called in case of trouble (usually to flee).


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History

The man who would become the Grappler grew up in a ghetto somewhere in the Western half of the US. Despite the lack of access to education he was smart and determined. And despite his short, ugly and rail-thin body, he had a natural talent for wrestling and home-brewed soft martial arts.

These martial techniques allowed him to defeat the constant bully attacks through throws and holds. However, while he could survive his poverty-ridden milieu, what he really wanted was to get ahead.

He travelled to Vegas to meet the richest man in the West, Hugh Howard (sigh ). He bum-rushed Howard to ask him for the secret of his success. While his bodyguards were throwing out the small man, Howard replied with a single word – “leverage”. Then he had the small man beaten up by the guards, since in his opinion good advice had to be paid for to have value.

While Howard presumably meant leverage in the financial sense, the small man studied leverage in all its meanings. He started with physical leverage as a martial artist, employing it in both hard and soft forms. He won several international championships. The man leveraged those gains into investments, studying finance until he reached a upper middle-class lifestyle.

However, the man needed more money which to apply his skills at leverage. Thus, he became the criminal Grappler, a name alluding to the wrestling skills from his childhood. He leveraged his current capital to build specialised equipment and a terrible costume. Much of this equipment used leverage – in the initial sense of Archimedes’ lever .

The Grappler

The Grappler soon attacked an armoured truck. It was transporting a full load of gold ingots on a Los Angeles highway. This attack triggered a huge traffic jam. Jennifer Walters was caught in the jam, which irritated her enough that she transformed into the She-Hulk and jumped over the congestion to put an end to it.

Her initial attempts at swatting the Grappler were foiled by his sophisticated combat techniques. Since the She-Hulk was wanted by the LAPD, the Grappler thought that she was a criminal. Therefore, he offered her a partnership in crime.

The persuasive Grappler nearly convinced the jade giantess to become a criminal. But after some hesitation she renewed her attempts to collar the Grappler. He had his plane airlift him out before the emerald amazon would smash him with the armoured car.

However, that proved insufficient as the She-Hulk made a series of jumps onto the roofs of increasingly taller buildings and then onto the Grappler’s airplane. She then captured him.

Green, green, green

After getting out of prison, the overconfident Grappler decided to apply “leverage” in yet another way – blackmail. He attacked a courthouse to seize the sealed files from the record room.The Grappler then used the information therein to pressure prominent locals.

However, one of the cops he bound with his steel cables was Morris Walters — Jennifer’s father.

When the She-Hulk showed up, the Grappler collapsed a stone column over his prisoner as a diversion. But the aggravated gamma gal just swatted the column aside. She then hit the ground hard enough to make the Grappler fly despite being 20 meters away, wrecked his rod and threatened to make him swallow it before her father intervened and calmed her.

Over-leveraged

The Grappler eventually got out of prison again. It is unrevealed whether he resumed criminal activities.

He was present and in costume at the 1986 Bar With No Name meeting of minor costumed criminals discussing the threat of Scourge. However, the Scourge was also present, disguised as the bartender. He gunned down everyone. Like almost all patrons, the Grappler died, reaped by the Scourge’s machineguns.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

The Grappler is out for wealth, and confident in his talents and equipment. He’s so proud of his skills that he can’t help but soliloquise about how clever and powerful “the science of leverage” is.

He only realized the downside of his criminal activities after She-Hulk nailed him. But she then turned a deaf ear to his desperate offers for a 90% cut if she let him go free.


Quotes

“The poor saps inside [the armoured truck] are going to get a first-hand lesson in the truly unlimited power of leverage ! When employed by the awesome genius of — the Grappler !”

“I don’t have to unwedge it ! Its tensile strength is more than enough to blast you away from me ! It’s simple logic, She-Hulk ! How the world works !”

“You don’t have to be strong to conquer a she-hulk — not when you’ve mastered the all-powerful science of leverage !” (judo-throws Shulkie)

“Ta ta, She-Hulk ! I’m going to hitch a ride on the friendly radio-controlled Grappler Airplane which has been circling above me. A quick flick of the wrist, and my staff will launch a retractable lift line !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Grappler

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Power
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 016 HP: 025

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 05, Charisma (Persuasion): 05, Gadgetry: 05, Martial artist (incl. Techniques)*: 05, Vehicles (Land, air): 04, Weaponry (His rod): 06

Advantages:
Expertise (Investment), Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
MIA toward overconfidence.

Equipment:

  • Titanium-Steel Rod [STR 10 BODY 10, Range: 03, Note: Range represent the built-in launcher, and is only useful when loaded with ammunition such as the cables below. The rod can also extend a 4 APs long, BODY 08 cable, whose end can wrap around an appropriate hold (such as the landing gear of his plane). The cable can be reeled in or out by a STR 05 motor. Limitation: the Rod’s main STR can only be applied through leverage — usually by anchoring the Rod on something it can pivot on for a lever effect, or by using it to strike a precise point and use the target’s speed and mass against itself ; only simple cases of this will not require use of the Computer Pac)]
  • Coiled steel cables (x8) [BODY 08, Snare (No Range): 07, Grenade Drawback. Those cables are normally stored inside the Rod and shot using its built-in launcher.]
  • COSTUME [BODY 02, Radio communications: 04. Radio coms is also used to remote-control his small plane (+1). This costume also includes a “Computer Pac” which calculates and shows the wearer where to apply the Rod for maximum leverage on its target.]
  • Small, single-prop PLANE [STR 05 BODY 07, Flight: 07, R#02, Vehicles (itself): 02].

Design notes

When he burns through his HPs, he can be surprisingly effective in combat — until he runs out, at which point he’s probably toast.

Against the She-Hulk he was mostly Laying Back and using some HPs for AV, but even clever combat techniques will not go very far against the vigorous viridescent vixen.

He uses the Throw Maneuver a lot.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: She-Hulk comics.

Helper(s): Roy Cowan.

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