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Monster Master (Iron Man enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Monster-Master

(Toru Tarakato)


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

Context

This bloke is an obscure, early enemy of Iron Man (Tony Stark).

He was only seen once, in a 1970 story. And he’s entirely unrelated to DC Comics’ Monster Master.


Background

  • Real Name: Tarakato Toru.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Japan.
  • Height: 5’9” Weight: 155 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


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Powers and Abilities

Tarakato-san was presented as the assistant of research engineer Professor Watanabe. This profile assumes that he’s a trained engineer (rather than, say, an administrative assistant).

He was also a good sailor, pilot and presumably driver.

Since he was depicted with a sword on the cover, this entry arbitrarily assumes that he was a solid combatant with medieval melee weapons.

Zoga ! Zoga the Demon ! Zoga the Unthinkable !

This flying robot vehicle is shaped much like a dragon. It has working wings, four clawed and prehensile limbs, and a cockpit built into the head.

The main weapons are powerful laser cannons mounted in both eyes. Point defence is achieved using the clawed forelimbs, biting, and through electrification of the hull.

The Zoga dragon-shaped mecha

Zoga apparently requires tonnes of maintenance, but when well-maintained it seemed highly reliable. Likewise, many of the materials used to build it were sub-par, but that didn’t really seem to affect Zoga’s performance. Except for the ejection system melting when Zoga was downed.

At one point Zoga vanished from radars. Though it may have somehow hidden, the entry assumes that it had some short-term cloaking technology.


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History

Mr. Tarakato was apparently a young Japanese engineer. He worked for Fujiyama Electronics as the assistant to famous research engineer, Prof. Watanabe Goro. Most of their work was about detection devices, including long-range electromagnetic emissions sensors.

Toru was the lover of the Professor’s daughter and administrative assistant, Fujiko. Both Mr. Tarakato and Ms. Watanabe were nationalists, and by the time of the story — 1970 — resented the American influence on Japanese politics and national policies.

Tarakato’s resentment was such that he wanted to overthrow the Japanese government, with the help of hostile foreign powers if need be. Contacting Chinese agents, he worked with them to construct a powerful air assault vehicle with which to depose the Japanese government.

Apparently, Tarakato-san brought both his expertise and stolen Japanese and American technologies. This wwas combined with Chinese heavy labour.

Of course there’s a mecha

The result was a piloted giant robot, shaped like a dragon and hidden within a secret base on a desert island.

Zoga vs. Iron Man

While Iron Man (Tony Stark) was in Japan, Professor Watanabe enlisted him in an expedition to small island in the Sea of Japan. He and his staff had detected abnormal energy emissions there. Suspecting the involvement of Communists, Iron Man agreed to join.

The Fujiyama engineers and Iron Man sailed to the small island to investigate. This jungle-covered rock was, in traditional sailors’ tales, the abode of the demon Zoga.

Robo-kaiju rampage

The survey team confirmed their readings, though they lost Toru in the jungle.

The young man hurried to the base under the island, suited up and got into the cockpit of the dragon robot. He chased away the survey team and knocked Iron Man out of the sky. The researchers referred to the attacking mecha  as “Zoga” after the local legend.

Toru rejoined Fujiyama Electronics in Japan. He explained that he managed to get back home using the abandoned launch. While Iron Man was repairing his armour, he worked with Professor Watanabe to build a defence system against a probable Zoga attack.

Zoga did raid Japan, shrugging off the air defences and laying waste with its powerful lasers. Iron Man engaged it and lured it to the new defence systems. These were mirrors that could reflect the robot’s eye-mounted lasers right back at the emitter. The ploy worked, and Zoga was downed.

When Iron Man and his Japanese allies unmasked the fatally wounded pilot, they were shocked to discover that it was Toru. The young man died of his wounds within a minute of being unmasked.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

Toru didn’t just want to expel foreign influences to restore the full sovereignty of Japan. He wanted to make sure that it was done right by ruling himself, presumably through some sort of neo-shōgunate.


Quotes

“Cease your babbling ! Where are the mechanics ? Zoga requires their services.”

“I will free my country from the shadow of the vulgar Yankees ! My monster will end the mastery of the money-masters, and my word shall rule !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Toru Tarakato

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Power/Nationalism
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Engineer
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 009 HP: 015

Skills:
Gadgetry: 04, Scientist (Drawing plans): 05, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 05, Weaponry (Heavy weapons, melee): 05

Advantages:
Language (Japanese).

Connections:
PLA (Low), Fujiyama Electronics (Low).

Drawbacks:
Secret Identity.

Equipment:

  • COSTUME [/BODY/ 05, Drawback: Real Armour]. The Monster-Master’s costume was presumably lightly armoured and reinforced, though that wasn’t conclusively demonstrated.
  • The Monster-Master is depicted on the cover of the issue as wielding a sword, though, no such weapon is used in the story. One might actually been stored inside Zoga’s cockpit for tradition’s sake, though. [BODY 04, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing].

Zoga ! Zoga the Demon ! Zoga the Unthinkable !

ZOGA PILOTED ROBOT [DEX 04 STR 14 BODY (Hardened) 20, Flight: 08, Growth: 10, Invisibility (Radar only): 12, Laser beam: 14, Lightning: 12, Radar sense: 16, Limitations: Growth is Always On and Already Factored In, Lightning has No Range (but is its own AV), Invisibility has Ammo: 04 (each Ammo lasts a minute)].

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (Iron Man vol. 1 #30).

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 30th of May, 2011.

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