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Stan Lee presents… The ongoing adventures of espionage and intrigue with the mysterious mutant mercenary… Maverick !

Context

Maverick is a Marvel character with ties with the X-Men.

He appeared in 1991 and met with some success during the 1990s – he even had his own comic book for a while.

He’s called Christoph Nord, but frequently uses an Anglicized version as “Christopher North”.

To the danger zone

He’s tied to the general paramilitary and espionage scene of the Marvel Universe, as well as mutant issues.

Maverick is the kind of character many players create in super-hero TTRPGs – badass commando dude with a simple defensive power, big armour, mad skillz, lots of guns and a tough guy name.

He’s one of the terribly “guns & pouches” early 1990s characters designed by Image founders, which later received actual character development and some substance.

Sequence

This profile explains some arcane espionage stuff. And Maverick *then* became a different character with different abilities – Agent Zero.

So we’ll have three articles for clarity’s sake :

  1. Maverick (Christoph Nord) part #1. This here entry.
  2. Reading the Elena Ivanovna character profile at this point is an option, if you want to understand every last bit.
  3. .
  4. Agent Zero (Christoph Nord).

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Background

  • Real Name: Christoph “Christopher” Nord.
  • Other Aliases: David North, Christopher North.
  • Known Relatives: Parents (deceased), Andreas Nord (brother, deceased), Ginetta Lucia Barsalini Nord (wife, deceased), possibly an unnamed, unborn child (deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Formerly Weapon X member, Team X member, Cell Six member, former bodyguard of Psi-Borg/Aldo Ferro, former agent for Major Barrington.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’1” (1.85m). Weight: 230 lbs. (104 Kg.).
  • Eyes: Blue. Hair: Brown.

Powers and Abilities

Maverick is a top-shelf commando, gunfighter and special agent. He has nerves of steel, and a high level of professionalism.

His decades of career make him knowledgeable about many subjects, particularly those related to covert operations. He’s a smart, perceptive fellow who does his homework and comes prepared.

His core skills involve sneaking in, shooting stuff to bits and blowing stuff up – but also technology. His technical skills range from 1960s hardware to the latest classified computer gizmos.

X-factor

Maverick’s mutant power is that his body absorbs impacts, such as punches and falls. Since it works even in armour, it may be a field that extends a short distance from his skin.

For decades he was only partially aware of this. But once he knew, he trained with it. With a focus on using the absorbed kinetic energy to return it as super-strength blows.

He also received the Weapon X anagathicWhich suspends aging genetic enhancement, apparently derived from Wolverine’s DNA. This may be what strengthened Maverick’s impact absorption ability.

(There’s also one stray reference to a healing factorThe power to heal wounds and regrow tissues, like Wolverine. I’ll assume it was a mistaken reference to the anagathic factor.)

Later on, his powers further mutated. He could absorb more energy than before, and discharge it as :

  • Enhanced punches.
  • Heat radiating from his hands.
  • Energy beams with both a heat and a kinetic component.

Maverick (Christopher North) (Marvel Comics) with armor and weapons

Gear

Maverick is known for using a bunch of advanced, classified combat and intrusion equipment.

Most of his hardware was seemingly built by Isabel Ferguson.

Body armour

Maverick has always worn heavy armour when available. His 1990s suit was fireproofed fiberglass plates with padded Kevlar lining, though it followed the general design of the suit he wore as a Team X agent.

Beyond the heavier and more modern plating, the 1990s suit had :

  • A retractile, transparent, armoured gas mask.
  • Thermal imaging and glare protection.
  • A full infantry radio.

Maverick (Marvel Comics) and Wolverine in a sewer Jim Lee 1992

Main armament

A heavy, futuristic assault rifle. It has two removable magazines, as per the 1990s sense of kewl. Underbarrel rails can, if the mission requires it, receive a grenade launcher and/or a special darts launcher.

The darts are tranquilizers designed for superhumanly durable targets. Three darts from this weapon were described as being able to “put five elephants to sleep”. Since he never used it against Sabretooth, it is likely that the drug is optimized for instant release throughout the system, and thus easily defeated by regenerative powers.

A futuristic-looking combat pistol.

A dozen grenades. These include :

  • Incendiary. His body armour being fireproof, Maverick has occasionally detonated those at his feet as a surprise tactic.
  • Offensive.
  • Smoke.
  • Several kinds of “neural gas” grenades, lethal or non-lethal. The gas looks just like a smoke grenade’s.

Other armament

Maverick occasionally wields a pair of high-capacity machine pistols instead of his rifle.

He was twice seen using leptons accelerator heavy pistols. These are sci-fi blasters.

He often carries a pair of breaching charges. These are easy-to-use shaped demolition charges that can be used with minimal training in demolition. Each can punch a man-sized hole through thick, reinforced walls.

Misc. equipment

On some missions he used a scent suppression kit. It can erase any scent he may have left at an ambush spot. That prevents dogs or individuals with a superhuman sense of smell from tracking him. This is likely a spray loaded with a cocktail of chemicals.

He usually has a lightweight telescoping wand. It resembles the ones used in presentations before laser pointers, but seems about two metres long and ends with a hook. It is useful to press buttons, grab keyrings, etc..

A “chatterbox” is a Ferguson-built cellphone that can piggyback on pretty much any cell station and runs proprietary encryption algorithms. Obviously, encryption is only possible if the other person has a Ferguson-built phone.

In some of his safehouses, he had a skycycle.

Seen that one time

During a confrontation with Sabretooth, Maverick used two special-purpose weapon systems that had been hastily assembled by Ferguson. Both were likely based on earlier designs of hers, or even prototypes she had laying around.

The gauntlets shot a barrage of pencil-sized and -shaped projectiles. Those would embed themselves into their target then start delivering brutal, regular electrical shocks. These could keep down even a regenerating and superhumanly durable target. Unfortunately for Maverick, Sabretooth had recently gotten significantly tougher.

The booster field is a backpack that fits onto the armour and looks a bit like a jetpack, with a large cylinder on each side. It amplifies all impacts Maverick receives tenfold for absorption purposes. The point is to have more kinetic energy to wield.

There also was an additional miniature air tank for the suit, since the fight was taking place in the sewers.

Sountrack

Something from 1992 for atmosphere… Well, the very month Maverick debuted (by cover date) the band James was releasing a fantastic album with one track called “Bring a gun”. Seems fitting, ja ?

History (part 1)

Christoph Nord was born in the Eastern half of Germany, probably in the late 1920s.

He was once told that his parents had been militant Nazis. Whether this was true is unknown. But since Herr Nord didn’t know either, he was presumably separated from his parents as a child.

After the second World War, he became a German Democratic Republic  citizen. The ideologically-driven Nord fought against the Communist regime. He thus became an agent of Cell Six, a small espionage and terrorism organization based in West Germany.

Cell Six had ties with NATO intelligence services. It fielded Eastern German, Western German and foreign operatives, and conducted fairly cinematicThe level of power and (un)realism found in a spectacular action movie. operations.

The coldest war

One Cell Six op was helping a KGB cryptographer defect to the West. But Nord and team were ambushed by an elite Soviet agent, the Confessor. The Confessor killed the cryptographer, then threw Nord from a church tower.

Nord survived, but spent six months in an Italian hospital. There he met and fell in love with a nurse, Ginetta. They were married within a year, probably somewhere around 1955.

Herr Nord also developed ties with Red Guardian (Alexei Shostakov). How an anti-Communist agent and the champion of the USSR came to know each other is an untold tale.

After three years, Nord’s Cell Six covert team was slaughtered in an ambush. Nord deduced it was an inside job, and was puzzled that the attackers had left him live. This led him to realise that the mole was his beloved wife.

Ginetta Nord attempted to knife her husband, forcing him to shoot her. Before she died, she told him she was pregnant and that he had not only killed his love, but also his unborn child.

Maverick (Marvel Comics) by Texeira in a very 1993 art piece

Team X

Shellshocked, Nord threw himself into his work as a special operative.

Within weeks, he attracted the attention of the CIA – presumably after an impressive success. They hired him and changed his name to David North.

The Agency soon made him a part of Team X, one of their most elite units. It included three other mutants :

  • John Wraith.
  • Logan (actually James Howlett, who would become Wolverine).
  • Victor Creed (who would become Sabretooth).

Team X members were apparently not aware of each other’s mutant abilities. But in the fading days of the team, Creed came to suspect the truth.

Creed and Logan knew about their own healing factor, but not that they both had one. North knew that he could somehow survive impacts that should have been fatal (from his early encounter with the Confessor). But it is unclear whether he realized that he was superhuman.

Gains and losses

It is likely at this stage that North received the anti-aging genetic factor from the Weapon X project. This allowed him to remain about 32 or 33 for years if not decades.

During one mission, while carrying Logan and Creed who had been severely wounded by shrapnel, Nord encountered a East German fire team led by his brother Andreas. Still desensitized by the death of his wife, North refused to surrender.

Christoph killed all his opponents, including Andreas, rather than surrender his wounded comrades-in-arms.

Maverick (Christopher North) (Marvel Comics) Team X Berlin flashback

Team X in Berlin. Maverick is on the right.

That fustercluck in Berlin

Another mission disintegrated in Berlin. There, Team X attempted to kidnap Janice Hollenbeck, a double agent, from her position as an East German scientist. But they ran straight into the deadly Soviet agent Omega Red (Arkady Rossovich).

Team X managed to steal the carbonadium synthesizer used to power Omega Red up. This forced the KGB to store Red back in suspended animation. But they failed to extract Hollenbeck. Creed murdered her to prevent her capture.

Team X was disbanded soon after. It seems likely that Creed’s murder of Hollenbeck is what triggered Logan’s departure, and a CIA investigation of Creed.

1970s and 1980s

Nord continued to immerse himself in espionage and wetwork as a mercenary. He adopted the nickname Logan once gave him, ’maverick‘, as his nom de guerre.

This era is the least well-documented of his career.

Team X was apparently disbanded around 1969 and Maverick did not appear again until 1992.

(It is once implied Team X disbanded in 1963. But the Epsilon Red events mean it could not have occurred before 1969.)

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History (part 2)

In 1992, Japanese crimelord Matsuo Tsurayaba and his allies, including former Weapon X scientist Doctor Cornelius, resurrected Omega Red. Rossovich’s imperative priority was to locate the carbonadium synthesizer.

Omega Red captured Wolverine, who still had the location of the C-Synthesizer buried in his memory. Maverick was hired by former Team X liaison Major Arthur Barrington to stop this.

Nord found Rossovich by tracking Creed down. He then ended up helping the X-Men, who came to free Wolverine. Once the job was done, Maverick :

  1. Killed Dr. Cornelius.
  2. Hid the C-synthesizer, which Wolverine had given to him, within a Weapon X base in Canada.

Maverick noticed that neither Creed nor Logan remembered about him. They had been subjected to further memory alterations from the Weapon X project.

From Weapon X with love

Maverick was then assigned by the U.S. government to protect Aldo Ferro, a former Weapon X ally. The other Team X alumni were after Ferro.

A fellow Weapon X subject, Mastodon, had recently died when his age suppression factor was reversed. The others suspected Ferro’s involvement.

Unbeknownst to the former agents, Ferro was the man responsible for secretly implanting them all with false memories during their time with Weapon X.

Maverick (Christopher North) (Marvel Comics) rappelling in a elevator well

Ferocious

Wolverine, Sabretooth, John Wraith and Silver Fox confronted Ferro and Maverick. But Ferro used his powerful psi-talent to activate pre-programmed pain memories in all Weapon X subjects, including his bodyguard Maverick.

The sadistic Ferro then betrayed Maverick for no clear reason. Herr Nord was then told about the Weapon X age-suppression factors breaking down.

As a result, the German sided with his former teammates against Ferro. The memory manipulator was seemingly killed in the subsequent battle.

Man of a thousand missions

Barrington later sent Maverick to recover documents written by the father of Professor Charles Xavier. The files were held by one Doctor Alexander Ryking, who was under the protection of the superhuman mercenary Warhawk.

Warhawk unexpectedly exploded when hit by Maverick’s fire. This killed Ryking and seemingly destroyed the files.

Maverick later had an opportunity to help the X-Men locate Wolverine in the ex-USSR. He explained to them the significance of an unofficial code name used by CIA field operatives to refer to a space launch base in Siberia.

Maverick (Christopher North) (Marvel Comics) flashback big gun

Creed

By 1993, Nord was on the trail of a serial killer of low-powered mutants. He correctly suspected his quarry was Creed/Sabretooth. He caught up with him in Barcelona.

Maverick was overcome by Sabretooth. But Creed, who was having a severe psychotic episode, was practically begging to be taken down by Logan.

Maverick then raided the X-Mansion to kidnap Wolverine. Why he did not just knock at the door, and why he seemingly expected a hostile response, was not explained. Nord took down Rogue, Gambit and Bishop using state of the art non-lethal weaponry. But Xavier told him Wolverine had taken a leave of absence.

Maverick allied with the X-Men and the Silver Samurai (Harada Keniuchio) to take Sabretooth down. This made it possible for Professor Xavier to start telepathic psychotherapy on the captured Creed.

The Legacy Virus

Some time after that mission, Maverick contracted the Legacy Virus. An incurable, ghastly disease with a 100% mortality rate on mutants.

This hit the long-lived Maverick hard, and he became suicidal.

As his condition rapidly worsened, Maverick decided to die Viking-style at the hand of a true warrior. He arranged a fake ambush to force Wolverine to kill him, but Logan refused.

Maverick had to walk away, his incurable condition continuing to slowly kill him.

Continued !

The has the rest of the pre-Agent Zero history, the Personality and Description sections, the game stats, etc..

Maverick (Christopher North) (Marvel Comics) night combat big gun

Writeups.org writer avatar Sébastien Andrivet

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Various X-titles and his own series.

Helper(s): Roy Cowan.

Writeup overhauled on the 12th of April, 2021.