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Mongrel of the Bloodpack (Hawkman character) (DC Comics Bloodlines)

Mongrel


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

Context

The 1993 annual event at DC Comics was called Bloodlines. It featured a few powerful alien parasites coming to Earth to feed, and accidentally turning a few of their victims into superhumans. It… wasn’t well-received, overall. Bloodlines continued to be mentioned as an example of a poor event for years.

But some of the characters were entirely usable, really.


Background

  • Real Name: Josh Xan Bailey.
  • Marital Status: Single (minor).
  • Known Relatives: Sgt. Josh Bailey (father, deceased), Xan (mother, deceased), unnamed paternal grandmother (deceased), Walter (paternal uncle).
  • Group Affiliation: New Bloods.
  • Base Of Operations: Chicago.
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 135 lbs. Age: 17
  • Eyes: Brown, red or solid red. Hair: Black


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Powers and Abilities

Mongrel can project beams of concussive force from his hands, which hit with considerable power. His take is that these beams are his anger made manifest.

By blasting the ground, he can launch himself in the air. Keeping on blasting downward keeps him aloft and manoeuvring. Originally it was the pressure of the beam hitting the ground that enabled Mongrel to fly, but it became increasingly depicted as just flying. Presumably this came from refining his control over his energy power.

He can also energise his hands without projecting a blast. That make him a dangerous hand-to-hand combatant, since this is a powerful attack. It hits hard even with a glancing blow.

He doesn’t have any other particular skill or capability. Howbeit, he seemed able to take an abnormal amount of physical abuse after getting his powers. Likewise, his reflexes were apparently enhanced when he got his powers, putting them at the level of a good fighter.

Like the rest of the New Blood, Mongrel’s attack are abnormally amplified when he Team Attacks with a New Blood using a comparable ability, such as Shadowstryke’s energy blasts.

More puzzlingly, he demonstrated the ability to pour power into two Hawkmen and one Hawkgirl to help them guide the Hawkgod out of its prison.


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History

Bailey is the son of a Green Beret who fought in Việt Nam and Cambodia during the late 1960s. In 1970, Sgt. Josh Bailey was leading a Special Forces unit in an incursion in Cambodia when they were surrounded by hostiles.

Seeing that they weren’t going to get out of there alive, Bailey ordered an air strike on their own position. The strike wrecked a nearby temple. It killed every American survivor but Bailey. It also presumably killed or wounded numerous Cambodian and Vietnamese combatants and civilians.

Adoptive Cambodian

Nearby villagers recovered Sergeant Bailey. The village’s doctor saved his life by amputating the American’s torn leg. In time, Bailey recovered and learned the language and culture with the help of the physician, who spoke English.

In 1974 Sgt. Bailey married Xan, the woman who had nursed him back to health. They had a son. Though he had been an angry, bloodthirsty young man, Sgt. Bailey found peace and contentment. He decided not to rejoin American forces, since he would likely be treated as a deserter.

The 1970s were a terrible time for Cambodia, especially the 1975 famine. In 1976, the Khmer Rouge ousted the US-backed junta, and their disastrous policies worsened misery nationwide. As the purges hit the countryside, the African-American Bailey stuck out like a sore thumb. He and his wife were arrested, tortured and apparently assigned to forced labour in Phnom Penh.

The American managed to flee with his two-year old, and found a CIA man he knew. Sgt. Bailey handed his son over to the Company man, asking him to get him to his mother in Chicago. Bailey refused to leave Cambodia, though. Xan was dying and he wanted to be with her until she passed away.

Exfiltrated

The baby — named Josh Xan after his parents — was safely brought to Chicago to his paternal grandmother. While Mrs. Bailey took care of her grandson, she died when Josh Xan was but a boy. He ended in the care of his uncle Walter, a violent bigot living in an awful part of Chicago.

Walter hated Asians, blaming them all for the death of his brother. He needed little provocation to hit his nephew. In the violent and racially divided neighbourhood, Josh Xan spend his childhood and adolescence rejected by both the Asian communities and the Black communities, and often called a mongrel to his face.

He became a sullen, angry, isolated kid, dressing as an outcast and getting into trouble.

Being an outsider, Josh Xan was fascinated by the Netherworld, the underground in which the nonhumans and rogue metahumans of Chicago congregated. However, he was never allowed in. The Netherworld had strict no-normals policy.

This is Spinal Tap

In 1993, seven space aliens managed to flee their universe before L.E.G.I.O.N. shut off the gateway. They ended up on Earth, preying on numerous humans. One of them, Lissik, fed off Josh Xan Bailey. But Chicago’s hero Hawkman spotted the scene and charged the alien, narrowly saving the youth.

In 1% of cases, the interaction between the alien and a Human’s spinal fluid grants him super-powers. Emowered and furious, Bailey made several attempts at killing Lissik. He ended up wrecking part of the subway system when he blasted through a wall and the Chicago River flooded the tunnels.

The seven aliens soon sacrificed themselves to give birth to an alien god, the Taker. It rampaged across the country and proved unstoppable. Most of the New Bloods — the persons having gained powers through contact with the spinal-fluid-drinking aliens — joined the effort to destroy the Cthulhu-like Taker. With the JLA’s help, they eventually succeeded.

Netherworld

Bailey returned to Chicago. Now being a metahuman, he joined the Netherworld. While he hoped to belong at last, he found the community there divided, wary and preferring to live and let live.

Mongrel shoots an energy blast at a parasite

Bailey wanted to unify them and create a sense of shared ambition and belonging. Thus, he tried to set himself up as a warlord – since he was more powerful than most mutants there.

Josh Xan managed to create a faction. But the brawls got out of hand, people started dying and the furious Hawkman, who had lost Netherworld friends, came after Mongrel. The whole situation was a complete disaster. Mongrel, seeing what he had wrought, ended up fleeing. This further angered Hawkman who needed help to transport dozens of wounded Netherworlders to the nearest hospital.

Bad Blood

Several weeks after this fiasco, the criminal Bad Blood attempted to recruit Mongrel. He wanted Bailey to join the superhuman cadre with which he intended to take over Chicago. Bailey curtly rejected the offer, telling him that he had realised how wrong he had been to try to take over the Netherworld.

Hawkman overheard this, and changed his opinion about Mongrel. Some days later he approached Bailey to ask him if he would join the fight against the Hawk-God. The youth rejected him but ended up helping anyway, providing energy that was crucial in helping the Hawk-God free itself.

Apparently, Mongrel lived as a homeless person during this era of his life.

Blood pack, part 1

In 1995, the Wunderkind Media agency launched a sustained media blitz about the “New Bloods”. That was how were called the persons who had gained metahuman powers during the war with the alien parasites. They were relentlessly presented as heroes for the 1990s who were all attitude and totally extreme.

They also approached the New Bloods to recruit them. The media campaign was meant to prime the market for a documentary movie about the New Bloods. The metahumans who agreed to the offer were named the Blood Pack. Mongrel was in, as were Loria, Balistic, Geist, Nightblade, Sparx and Razorsharp.

The agency also hired Jade to act as a mentor. And they developed floating robot cameras to get action footage.

Blood pack, part 2

Though very loud, the project was a sham. A conspiracy called the Quorum was using it as an opportunity to study the Blood Pack members so they could create supersoldiers. Security was ensured by the Sweepers, a small squad wearing powerful body armour and guns. These were tasked with keeping the Blood Pack in line and out of restricted areas.

The Blood Pack was sent to defend a Quorum base against the Demolition Team. The next mission was to evacuate resorts in Hawaii during a freak volcanic explosion. Though he was brooding, angsty and ill-tempered, Bailey managed to work with the rest. Especially since he wished to gain media recognition and become popular.

After Loria was killed by the Sweepers, the Quorum scientists used her DNA to create a new, small Taker alien. This creature could create new New Bloods, though with 99% casualties.

Using alien terraforming equipment to trigger global catastrophes, the Quorum launched its plan for world domination. They also used faked footage of Blood Pack “heroes” saving thousands of lives to become hugely popular.

However, the Blood Pack and Jade discovered what was going on. Meeting a Darkstar detective investigating the alien devices bought offworld by the Quorum also helped. They stopped the operation – though for a while Mongrel hesitated between joining the Quorum and stopping them.

The show must go on

The Blood Pack TV show continued for several seasons. Howeber, their activities were documented but once. The team was Mongrel, Sparx, Nightblade, Ballistic and (at least occasionally) Jade. They kept using the floating robot cameras originally deployed by Wunderkind Media.

The Pack once hunted down a nuclear warhead hidden under New York when Sarge Steel requisitioned all superhuman forces to foil the plot of the Crimelord. They located the bomb and a Checkmate operator remotely instructed them to disarm it. However, Steel later discovered that the bombs were decoys.

A dozen years later, the Blood Pack responded and helped the assembled heroes during the final Infinite Crisis battle. They were seen engaging Solomon Grundy, but were then swept by Superboy Prime’s heat vision and apparently killed.

Months later, most of these deaths were confirmed when Black Lantern Alex Luthor summoned Black Lanterns that looked like Razorsharp and — much more tentatively — Geist, Ballistic and Nightblade.

The entire Blood Pack is generally assumed to be dead.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Josh Xan is filled to capacity with teenage anger. He just wants to be left alone and possibly to die. While he thirsts for human contact and validation, he’s been rejected by almost everyone for almost his entire life, and feels bitter and vengeful about it.

It is not too difficult for him to explode in physical violence. And he’s unusually hot-headed and prone to tunnel vision in a fight.

Mongrel didn’t get much of an education, and was raised in poverty. That made him unfamiliar with skills such as typing on a computer keyboard since there was no money to buy a computer in the first place.


Quotes

“Look jerk, I don’t know you, and I don’t care about you. Leave me alone, okay ? I”m gonna kill that thing or die trying, okay ?”

“My whole life people have hated me – ripped on me. I’m no part of Black life or White life or Cambodian life. I’m nothing.”

“Anytime, anywhere, punk.”


Marvel Universe History

Mongrel would be the mutant son of Warhawk (Mitchell Tanner), and have ties with the Chicago-based Morlock community.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Mongrel

Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 05 Motivation: Anger
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: None
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 012 HP: 015

Powers:
Energy blast: 10, Flight: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Energy blast is Diminishing, but has Scattershot.
  • Energy blast can be used as a close combat weapon by energising his hands (+0).
  • Originally, Flight necessitated blasting the ground, inflicting significant collateral damage at close range (-1). Bailey learned to control this after a year or two.

Skills:
Accuracy (Energy blast – ranged and melee both): 06

Advantages:
Familiarity (Street survival), Lightning Reflexes, Misc.: Mongrel gains a further +1CS to AV/EV when Team Attacking with one or more other New Bloods with energy projection powers.

Connections:
None demonstrated.

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated.


Design Notes

Most New Bloods have relatively few appearances. They thus end up with some generic-ish scores since there’s not enough material to benchmark them further.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: DC Universe during the 1990s.

Helper(s): Darci, Frank Murdock.

Writeup completed on the 5th of June, 2011.

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