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Guardian (DC Comics)

Guardian

(Universe AZ version)


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

Context

This character exists in Universe AZ, a super-hero setting designed by writeups.org contributor Azrael for their tabletop role-playing games campaign.

This setting merges various published universes (including DC and Marvel) to build a detailed timeline and continuity.


Background

  • Other Aliases: Jim Harper, Captain America II.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: Vandal Savage (distant ancestor), Unnamed Parents (deceased), Unnamed Brother (deceased), Danette Reilly (Firebrand, Wife, deceased), May Parker (Sister-in law), Steve Rogers (Captain America I, descendent of common ancestor), Isaiah Bradley (The Captain, descendent of common ancestor), William Harper (Nephew, Deceased), Roy Harper Sr. (Nephew, Deceased), Roy Harper Jr. (Arsenal, Great Nephew), Lian Harper (Great Grand-Niece), Karen Beecher (Bumblebee, Great Grand-Niece), Josiah Bradley (Isaiah’s Son, deceased), Elijah Bradley (Patriot II, Isaiah’s Grandson).
  • Group Affiliation: Justice League America.
  • Base Of Operations: Metropolis, League Watchtower, Luna.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 235 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown (dyed blond while acting as Captain America).


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Powers and Abilities

The famed super-soldier treatment, which was used on Steve Rogers, was originally developed by studying Jim Harper. His genetic heritage as a descendent of Vandal Savage has brought his physical abilities to the absolute peak of human ability, including an advanced healing factor (Regeneration) and superhuman endurance due to rapid elimination of fatigue poisons from his system.

He is an experienced combatant who trains constantly and has reached the pinnacle of human fighting prowess, routinely trashing multiple highly-trained SpecOps troops in the space of a single panel he’s probably one of Earth’s greatest hand-to-hand combatants. He is also a gifted tactician and leader.

Though Guardian is highly skilled with pretty much any weapon he picks up, his greatest skill is with his shield, which he uses both defensively and offensively. He is skilled enough with his shield to use it as a thrown weapon, often using Trick Shots and Multi-Attacks with it and still easily managing to have it bounce back to him in the same panel.

In the course of his adventures Guardian has picked up a great many skills in addition to his martial training. He is a skilled disguise artist, an excellent paramedic, a highly capable driver and pilot (more so than most professionals in those fields), and a very good detective (a legacy from his pre-war days as a Metropolis Homicide Detective).


History

Jim Harper’s early childhood was unremarkable, growing up in Metropolis’s Hobs Bay area (More commonly called Suicide Slum), with his parents and older brother [Will]. He was born on March 10th, 1915 to a poor family. Both of his parents died shortly before he graduated from the police academy.

After graduation, Harper joined the Metropolis Police Department and eventually rose to become a detective in the Homicide division.


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In 1938 Harper was pursuing a suspect and was shot several times, after being taken to the hospital it was noted that his recovery was incredibly rapid. He healed in just a matter of days from nearly fatal injuries. The day he checked out of the hospital he was approached at his home by Col. Wade Eiling and his top sergeants Frank Rock and Nick Fury.

They explained that they were interested in recruiting him into Project: Rebirth. A secret program to create superior combatants in the case they were needed against the Nazi’s.Their sincerity was enough to convince Harper to sign up and he spent the next two years both training and being studied.

Super-soldiers

Unknown to Harper in 1940 a “test group” of black army recruits were experimented on by a branch of the project. Nearly all of the men died, but one (Isaiah Bradley) gained enhanced abilities, and after going rogue and pursuing a mission on his own he was court-martialled and sent to Fort Leavenworth.

He would be released in 1958 after serving with Task Force X for 10 years. He later married and in 1960 his son Josiah was born, in 1985 Josiah married his girlfriend when she became pregnant and his son Elijah was born soon after. Today Elijah is known as Patriot II.

In 1941 Steve Rogers was recruited into the project and a few days before the raid on Pearl Harbor the serum and vita-ray process was administered on him. It succeeded, however the lead scientist of the project was killed on the same day as the Pearl Harbor attack. All of the other subjects the serum was tested on died from failed reactions with the formula and eventually the decision was made to stop the testing.

The Savage factor

It would much later be learned that all three men, Harper, Rogers, and Bradley, were descended from Vandal Savage. Harper was only five generations removed from Savage (compared to 10 for Rogers and 50 for Bradley) and thus his genetic inheritance from Savage gave Harper his enhanced abilities.

The Super Soldier Serum was made from elements of Harper’s blood and bone marrow and the “vita-ray” device projected energy of a similar nature as the energy from the meteor that gave Savage his immortality.

Though the U.S. couldn’t produce super soldiers en masse, they still had two. Instead of being the first of a new breed, Rogers and Harper became symbols of American values, countering the iconic Nazi super villain called the Red Skull as well as other Nazi agents such as Baron Zemo.

Their identities were made Top Secret and the two were assigned to join the All Star Squadron. Harper later joined the Freedom Fighters as well (BTW Harper’s FF was composed of Uncle Sam, Black Condor, Doll Man, Firebrand [Danette Reilly], Jester I, The Ray, Phantom Lady, Amazing Man, and of course Guardian himself), while Rogers joined the JSA.

Invaders

In 1943 Harper, Rogers and several others were re-assigned to a special commando unit, called the Invaders (including Americommando, Tarantula I, Miss America (combo of both the DC and Marvel characters of that name), Wildcat, Union Jack I, and The Rocketeer), that performed surgical strikes throughout Europe. In 44 Americommando vanished during recon and was replaced by Americommando II (Jeff Mace).

Finally in 1945 the German forces surrendered. The unit, which Rogers had led, was granted some much deserved leave time and returned to their homes.

On August 8th 1945 President Truman called Steve Rogers to the White House and informed him that the next day the US would drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Rogers was ordered to give a nationwide broadcast (as Captain America) in support of the bombings.

Steve felt that he couldn’t do so and refused. As he began to leave he was rendered unconscious by Nick Fury then spirited away and placed in cryogenic suspension. The next day Harper was called in only minutes before the bombs were dropped and told that Steve had been sent on a Top Secret mission and had failed to report in.

A new Captain America

Harper was ordered to take on the Captain America identity and make a broadcast in support of the government’s attack on Japan. A few weeks later Tex Thompson (Americommando I) was liberated from a prison camp and returned to the states, he appeared publicly alongside Harper (as Cap) and revealed Thompson’s identity.

Despite misgivings Harper did as ordered and, for the next several years acted as Cap. He continually tried to get some information about what happened to Steve and he continued to run into the wall on the subject. Finally in 52 he was fed up and resigned as Captain America.

After he did so the uniform and shield of Captain America were taken back by the government. They attempted to take Harper’s shield as well but since it had been taken by him from the enemy while in service it counted as a personal trophy, not government property. The government named Jeff Mace (Americommando II) as his replacement.

The next year Tex Thompson, now a senator, announced his candidacy for president. The events leading up to the election in 56 were tumultuous and included Thompson’s drive to recruit a new team of superheroes to replace the disbanded JSA.

Ultra-Humanite

As the election neared several former members of the JSA learned that Tex Thompson was actually the Ultra-Humanite, and his chosen leader for his new team, Daniel Dunbar (Dyna-Mite), whose powers had been enhanced after the war, had had his brain replaced by that of Adolf Hitler.

Choosing a recruiting event organized by Thompson as the time to strike the few heroes who knew the truth managed to expose both villains and in the ensuing battle they were defeated. Unfortunately Harper (who was a part of the group who knew the truth) had to watch his wife Firebrand and his friend Mace (Captain America III) die in the line of duty.

After these events the team that had come together that day decided to continue operating together and over the next several years they worked as the new JSA (this team composed of Guardian, Captain Comet, Atom I, Wildcat, Johnny Quick, Miss America, Vision, and Namor, initially).

By the mid sixties the team disbanded and Guardian decided to continue on his own. In the 70’s he met and trained Sam Wilson (Falcon). By 1980 he was feeling his age coming up on him fast (he was 65) and retired again. By this time the current Captain America (V) was a man named John Walker who worked with a partner named Battlestar (Lemar Hoskins).

Walker and Harper met in 75 shortly after Walker took over as Cap and the two (and their partners) worked together several times over the next few years.

Cadmus

By 1985 Harper was so bored with his retirement that when his friend Walker came for a visit he felt that he had to come up with something for his old friend to do. To that end he contacted a few friends at the Pentagon and soon he had delivered an offer for Harper to participate in Project Cadmus as head of security.

Shortly after starting on the job Harper suffered a major cardiac event and was in critical condition. Unwilling to lose his knowledge and experience the project director, Moira MacTaggert, ordered an experimental procedure to transfer Harper’s mind into a cloned body. The procedure worked and Harper soon woke in a body only in its 20s.

Rejuvenated Harper worked with Cadmus for several more years until, in 1990, he was in DC and encountered a man who looked exactly like Steve Rogers. Going to see Walker he found that he had been stripped of the Captain America title and not given an explanation for it.

Pursuing the mystery together the two managed to track down Steve who had been revived in order to become Captain America again. When they confronted Steve he was initially suspicious of them but as his memory began to return he decided to listen to them.

The three tracked down the man behind the whole thing, Frank Rock, now the head of a new Project: Rebirth. He had managed to find the truth about Steve and get him revived.

JLA

After a few months spent studying and regaining his memory Steve again became Captain America. Meanwhile Walker had become U.S.Agent and Harper had left Cadmus to join the JLA. Today Jim Harper is a valued member of the JLA and is considered an icon of the Super-heroic tradition.

He lives in Detroit and is currently considering a relationship with a woman in his building, having been single since 56 when his wife was killed trying to stop Ultra-Humanite and Hitler.


Description

Harper is a tall Caucasian male with an extraordinarily well-developed physique, right at the borderline where any more muscular bulk would begin to interfere with his agility.Guardian’s costume is a blue and gold body suit.

The basic costume color is a blue micro-chainmail body stocking (the upper torso is scale mail instead of micro-chainmail) with a gold helmet, gold boots and gloves, and a gold trunk area.

The most iconic part of Guardian’s appearance is his shield. his original shield was a hardened steel medieval coat of arms-style shield just like the one Captain America started out with, the design on the front was a line of three white five-point stars in a horizontal blue banner along the top fifth of the shield and red and white vertical stripes (red, white, and blue stripes in some depictions) running down over the rest of it.

As noted above Guardian’s most well known shield was created by the Nazi equivalent of Project: Rebirth. It is an irregularly shaped item with a resemblance to old style police badges. The top third of the shield is rectangular with a narrower neck piece connecting to a circular piece composing the other two thirds.


Personality

Jim Harper has dedicated his life to the American Dream, “the freedom to strive to become all that you dream of being.” To that end he has devoted himself to decades of service to his country including becoming Captain America when his friend Steve Rogers disappeared, working to give others the freedom to accomplish their goals.

Consequently, Harper is a very straightforward man, although his time working black ops has left him with a number of secrets, and unhesitating in facing any threat. He is a very caring man who considers his family very important. When his great grand-niece became Bumblebee he was so worried that he moved into an apartment near her for a month to make sure she knew what she was doing.

The day that he found out that he and Steve (along with Isaiah) are descended from Vandal Savage was a day of mixed feelings for Jim. He was happy to find that he and Steve are family but the thought that Savage was too was a most unpleasant thought.


The Legacy of Captain America

In Universe AZ, he following individuals all went by the name Captain America.

  • Captain America I (Steve Rogers). Partnered with Guardian in the 40’s.
  • Captain America II (Jim Harper) formerly and later Guardian.Partnered with Americommando (I and II). As Guardian later partnered with Falcon and most recently with Citizen V III (Jason Todd).
  • Captain America III (Jeff Mace) formerly Patriot I and Americommando II. Had no partner.
  • Captain America IV (Steve Rogers II) later revealed to be the Red Skull. Worked with Nomad (Jack Monroe) who had no idea that Cap was the Skull.
  • Captain America V (John Walker) now known as U.S.Agent. Partnered with Battlestar (Lemar Hoskins).
  • Captain America I (Steve Rogers) this is Steve today. Primarily partnered with Patriot II (Elijah Bradley).


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Guardian

Dex: 10 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Upholding the Good
Int: 10 Wil: 12 Min: 12 Occupation: Super Hero
Inf: 10 Aur: 10 Spi: 12 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 034 HP: 200

Powers:
Regeneration: 10

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 10, Artist (Disguise): 06, Detective (all except Law): 07, Charisma*: 10, Martial Artist*: 10, Medicine (First Aid): 06, Military Science*: 10, Thief (Stealth): 08, Vehicles: 08, Weaponry*: 10, Weaponry (His shield): 12

Advantages:
Government Credentials (Military, Medium), Intensive Training, Iron Nerves, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Popularity, Rich Friends (Aquaman, Wasp), Sharp Eye, Slowed Aging.

Connections:
Justice League America (High), Captain America I (High), Wasp (High), Arsenal (High), Col. Nick Fury (High), Falcon (High), Nomad (High), Captain America Family (High), S.H.I.E.L.D. (Low), Steel III (High), Spider-Man (Low), Thunderstrike (High), Superhero Community (High), US Government (Low), US Military (High), White House (High).

Drawbacks:
Arch-Enemy (Crossbones, formerly Red Guardian I during the period from 1945 to 1952), Secret Identity.

Equipment:

  • Justice League Commlink [BODY 01, Radio Communication: 15]. This is standard equipment for Justice League members.
  • COSTUME [BODY 08, Cold Immunity: 02, Flame Immunity: 02, Skin Armor: 02, Limitation: Skin Armor can only be used against edged weapons (-2FC), Advantage: The gloves are insulated against electricity, giving the wearer an RV of 10 vs. electrical attacks blocked by the gloves (10 points).].

The shield

STEEL-VIBRANIUM SHIELD [BODY 35, EV 03 (06w/STR, 11w/Martial Artist), Gliding: 02, Kinetic Absorption: 10, Recommended STR 02, Note: OV/RV bonus when using the Block Manoeuvre is 2 APs, Note: the OV bonus for the Shield Cover Manoeuvre is 2 APs, Bonus: Kinetic Absorption also reduces APs of Knockback and Falling damage, Limitations: Gliding only adds to throwing range, Kinetic Absorption requires an Automatic Action to use as Guardian must brace himself and he cannot use the shield as a weapon in the same Phase that he uses KA, Advantage: Hardened Defenses].

This is the classic shield most often associated with Guardian. It is roughly the same size as Captain America’s shield, 30” (76cm) across, but Guardian’s shield is a very different shape. While Cap’s shield is a concave disc, Guardian’s is shaped somewhat like an old style NYPD badge.

But the shape is actually a product of what it was originally created for. It was created by a Nazi scientist in 1942, the scientist was trying to replicate the alloy composing Captain America’s shield to make an equivalent object for the Red Skull. Originally the shield was painted to bear a modified version of the Nazi Eagle over Swastika symbol.

When Guardian and Captain America shut down the lab the shield was left undamaged in the wreckage. Due to an incendiary weapon being used the paint had been burned off of the shield, and Guardian took it and has used it for much of his later career.

The Vibranium in the shield has occasionally been useful for its sound absorbing properties. This is not included in the above stats since it only appears as an occasional plot device, the application of which varies with each use.


Previous statistics

During WWII Guardian “only” had 150 HPs. Replace his Advantages, Connections, and Equipment with the following:

Advantages:
Government Credentials (Military, Medium), Intensive Training, Iron Nerves, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes, Popularity, Sharp Eye.

Connections:
Freedom Fighters (High), Sgt. Frank Rock & Sgt. Nick Fury (High), Superhero Community (High), US Military (High), White House (High).

Equipment
(See description above for details):

  • COSTUME [BODY 06, Skin Armor: 01, Limitation: Skin Armor can only be used against edged weapons (-2FC)].
  • MEDIUM SHIELD [BODY (Hardened Defenses) 12, EV 03 (06 w/STR, 12 w/Martial Artist), Recommended STR 03, Note: OV/RV bonus when using the Block Manoeuvre is 2 APs, Note: the OV bonus for the Shield Cover Manoeuvre is 2 APs]. Until he got his current shield in 1942.

In 1945 Guardian took over as Captain America after being told that Steve was MIA. During this time he used the same shield that Steve Rogers had used (he was told it was a new duplicate).

By Azrael.

Source of Character: DC Comics, as well as Captain America.

Helper(s): Roy Cowan, Frank Murdoch so far.

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