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Muse (Blue Beetle enemy) (DC Comics) jumping around with a gun

Muse

(Richard Perignon)


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

Context

Muse is an obscure DC Comics character, seen in a 1986 Blue Beetle story arc.

He’s a bit less obscure for comics researcher. The early Blue Beetle stuff, shortly after Crisis on Infinite Earths, showed DC’s New Earth and the way Charlton characters were retconned  in. I ain’t sure that’s super-exciting for a more general public, though…

From a tabletop RPG standpoint, he’s a self-contained street-level scenario.


Background

  • Real Name: Richard Perignon.
  • Other Aliases: Big M, “guardian angel”.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Vincent Perignon (father), unnamed mother (deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Chicago (usually the North Riverside manor of his father).
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 179 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


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Powers and Abilities

The Muse was a good, charismatic showman and actor. But he never got to really use his talent professionally.

He was also a competent made man, with an unusual proficiency with military-grade weaponry. But he chiefly used these to deter pursuit and create diversions, rather than to slaughter people.

He’s also a good acrobat and a surprisingly strong man.


History

Richard Perignon was the son of Vincent Perignon – de facto king of the Chicago underworld. He was determined to become an actor, and studied for this. But his father steadily refused him, insisting that his only possible occupation in life was to inherit his mob leadership.

Resenting being forced to work as a wise guy and to ignore his calling, Richie came up with a plan. He would, as the masked agitator the Muse, destroy the Chicago mob so as to be free of his “birthright”. Likely inspired by his own situation, he eventually opted to facilitate the destruction of the old mob by a new, younger one.


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M-my generation

Nicknamed “the Big M”, Muse organised he youth gangs of Chicago. These had been previously fighting with each other and being used by the mob. He brokered lasting truces between the factions, gave them some useful intelligence. He also started acting as their guardian angel, using military weaponry to foil the police and rival gangs.

Though he apparently did not kill anybody, the use of grenade launchers and rockets in the middle of Chicago attracted a considerable amount of attention from the police.

Eventually, in the abandoned Globe Theatre, the “Big M” had the youths gangs he had been working with assembled. Muse made his first public, costumed appearance. He made his pitch, telling them the Chicago mob was old and tired, and that it was time to unite and take over.

The gangs were taken aback by his strange appearance and theatrical manner. Yet he managed to convince them after manhandling a rebellious gang leader, demonstrating considerable physical strength.

Gangland

The assembled gangs spotted and captured the Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), plus his ally the Question. The Muse then threatened Don Perignon in his bed, but the old man reacted poorly and his guards forced the Muse to flee. The elder Perignon personally led a raid against the youths gangs and their costumed guardian angel.

Muse on stage talking to Chicago youth gangs

At this point, Richard realised that things were going to get out of hand.

The mob found and surrounded the lieutenants from the various youth gangs in a deserted stadium. But the intervention of the Blue Beetle and the Question turned the situation into a brawl rather than a rerun of the St Valentine Day Massacre. The Muse then showed up and called for the gangs to give up, announcing he would not lead them after all.

One of the gang leaders he had convinced refused to obey. He picked up a submachinegun to kill the elder Perignon. Richard dove in front of his father to protect him and was fatally shot.

He died with a line from Romeo and Juliet on his lips.


Description

See illustration.


Personality

Little was shown of Richard’s personality. He was reluctant to kill, blinded himself to how far the situation would go, and loved being on stage and playing a theatrical role.

While he openly expressed his bitterness at his father about his situation, he was still loyal to him.


Quotes

“And what the devil’s so wrong with that, papa ? Acting is something I’m good at ! It makes me happy !”

“Gentlemen, if you will kindly take your seats… tonight’s entertainment is about to begin ! Permit me to officially introduce myself. I am your host for this evening… you can call me… THE MUSE !”

(His last words) “No papa… ‘’tis not so deep as a well, or so wide as a church door… but ’tis enough, ’twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow… and you shall find me… a grave man. I am peppered… I warrant… for this world. A plague… on both… your houses !’ That’s Romeo and Juliet, papa… act three… scene one…”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Muse

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 04 Motivation: Psycho
Int: 05 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Menace
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 015 HP: 020

Skills:
Acrobatics (Athletics): 05, Artist (Actor): 04, Charisma (Persuasion): 05, Vehicles (Land): 04, Weaponry (Firearms, Heavy): 06

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Chicago), Expertise (major theatrical plays).

Connections:
Street (Low), Maffia (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIA toward Dramatic Flair.

Equipment:

  • Submachinegun [BODY 04, Projectile weapons: 05, Ammo: 07, R#03, Advantage : Autofire].
  • .45 Pistol [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 04, Ammo: 07, R#02].
  • Smoke grenades (x2) [BODY 01, Fog: 06, R#03, Grenade drawback].
  • M-79 Break-Open Grenade Launcher [BODY 02, Range: 07, Ammo: 01, Bonus: Range can be Indirect (limited to ballistic arcs, +1), Drawback: Long Reload].. Muse uses a variety of 40mm grenades with it, though he can also simply lob them:
    • High-Explosive Dual Purpose (x2) [BODY 01, EV 07 (Area of Effect 1 AP), R#03, Grenade drawback].
    • Tear Gas (x2) and Laughing gas (x2) [BODY 01, Fog: 03, Chemical attack: 04, R#03, Grenade drawback, Bonus: Chemical attack is Combined With and Active Throughout the Fog].
  • The Muse sometimes carries a M72 LAW [BODY 01, Bomb: 04, Projectile Weapons: 09, Sharpness (Projectile weapons): 02, Ammo: 01, Bonus: Projectile weapons and Bomb can be Combined (Bomb rides the Range of Projectile weapons)] instead of the M79.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: DC Universe (early Blue Beetle issues).

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