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Power Ring II of the Crime Syndicate (DC Comics)

Power Ring II

(Post-Crisis, pre-52 version)


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

Context

Power Ring II is an evil version of green Lantern, living on another version of Earth. He is part of a motley crew of similar “reversed” super-heroes, the Crime Syndicate.

There have been several takes on this concept. This profile covers the power Ring who was first seen in Grant Morrison’s Earth Two graphic novel. He was active during the early 2000s.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed, presumably single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Crime Syndicate of Amerika.
  • Base Of Operations: The Panopticon.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Eyes: Unrevealed Hair: Blond


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Powers and Abilities

Power Ring is an ordinary young man except for the mystical ring bonded to his hand. This ring has the ability to form objects out of mystic green light based on Power Ring’s mental commands. Whether this is based in part on attributes of the user as is the case with Green Lantern power rings is unknown. Comments by Power Ring II indicate that willpower is definitely not a factor.

The ring is inhabited by a spirit called Volthoom. It is forced to follow the ring wearer’s orders but also drives the wearer to use more and more of its power.

The Favor Bank

The people of the anti-matter Earth are generally driven by amoral self-interest and lust for power. This tendency would cause the societies of that Earth to quickly fall apart if it were not for the Favor Bank. This is the one inviolate rule of the cultures of the anti-matter Earth.

As Batman summed it up, “If you ask a favor, you owe the person who supplied it. It’s a debt to be repaid — whenever it’s called in. How ever much it hurts you.” Or as Owlman stated more succinctly, “When you owe, you pay. Even if your grandmother is bleeding out in the gutter. You don’t get to set the terms.”


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The effect of this is that all people of the anti-matter Earth have, in DC Heroes terms the equivalent of a Catastrophic Irrational Attraction to repaying debts when the marker is called. On those few occasions when people violate this rule, whatever passes for the local authorities will quickly bring the offender in for trial.

Such offenders are usually put to death, though it is possible they would be granted a second chance if they can show a good faith effort was made to repay the debt.

Home Field Advantage

The matter and anti-matter universes have not only physical but moral differences. In the matter universe, good ultimately prevails, while evil is the dominant force of the anti-matter universe. Within each universe, this is represented thus — the prevailing force tends to have better stats and more Hero Points  than their opponents, especially in the aggregate.

When the JLA and CSA first met, this difference was expressed more dramatically. When individuals from one universe crossed over into another, they became less efficient. In DC Heroes terms, their HP expenditures were raised as if they were operating one Genre lower than the usual campaign setting.

For example, if the campaign is set in the Action Genre, those who have crossed over into other universe spend HPs as if they were in the Mock-Real Genre.

This apparently only applies if the individuals crossing over were at odds with that universe’s moral bias. When the heroic Alex Luthor of the anti-matter universe crossed over into the matter universe, he was not affected. However, when the CSA traveled to the matter Earth they did suffer this disability.

This imbalance between the universes was negated as part of the universal restructuring of the DCU when Krona was defeated in the JLA/Avengers crossover series. The essential character of the two universes — that good triumphs over evil in the matter universe and vice versa in the anti-matter realm — remains the same though.

This version of Power Ring was actually erased and replaced by a revised version during this same restructuring. But it is possible that he might return in some manner in the future.


History

The Crime Syndicate of Amerika is the JLA of an Earth in an antimatter universe where good is evil and evil is good. Benedict Arnold was the first U.S. President, Washington was a traitor, Britain fought for its independence against an Amerikan colonial power, etc.

It is a reversed DCU. By large, things are pretty upbeat in the DCU and people are generally happy, secure and open to the wild and the novel by virtue of living in a world where good always triumphs in the end, thanks to colorful superheroes.

On the other hand, the dreary inhabitants of the antimatter world live on a planet dominated by lies, greed and hypocrisy. If that world sounds all-too familiar, then you’re just too cynical by half… There vice and corruption are a way of life and the bad guys always win.

Here crime is the founding principal of society. Evil is rewarded, cruelty is lauded and people live everywhere in fear of their masters. This goes all the way through the local mobs and the corrupt police, the bent journalists and up, through City Hall and the governments, to the top of the pyramid – the seedy Crime Syndicate of Amerika and its vicious bullying leader, Ultraman.

The CSA rules their Earth with an iron fist from their lunar headquarters, the Panopticon (“The place of wide vision” or “watchtower”). Their motto is “Cui Bono”: Who Benefits. (Interview with Grant Morrison)

Ring-slingers

Power Ring and Johnny Quick act as liaisons between the CSA proper and the lower elements of the Crime Syndicate — organized crime heads, presidents, etc. It’s not a particularly enjoyable duty, but as the junior members of the CSA, Power Ring and Quick don’t have much choice. (JLA: Earth 2)

Power Ring’s personal history is largely a mystery. He received the ring when he accepted it from his predecessor (JLA: Earth 2). Thus, there was at least one prior Power Ring and accordingly this Power Ring is numbered the second in this writeup.

A brown-haired Power Ring wearing the pre-Crisis Power Ring’s uniform was depicted in a flashback panel. It is unrevealed whether this was the current Power Ring’s only predecessor or if there were other Power Rings prior to that one or in between that Power Ring and this one. (JLA Secret Files and Origins 2004)

The matter of matter

The CSA’s dominion was temporarily disrupted when the last free superhero, Alexander Luthor, traveled to the matter Earth. There he convinced the Justice League to intervene on the anti-matter Earth.

The CSA launched a retaliatory strike on the matter Earth as a prelude to conquest. However, both teams came to realize they could not prevail in the universes opposite their own.

The two groups then discovered that the universal crossover was part of a plot by Ultraman’s servant Brainiac. He had secretly engineered the confrontation to regain his freedom and expand the power of his consciousness. The latter goal required Brainiac to take actions that would have destroyed both Earths.

Working with the JLA, the CSA was able to return to their Earth, after which they took their revenge against their rebellious servant by lobotomizing him. (JLA: Earth 2)

Having established a strong dominion over the entire planet with the fall of the rebel nation of Modora, the CSA continued to seek out new places to conquer in their own universe. They eventually discovered the planet Qward. They were in the midst of ravaging Qward when their universe and the matter universe were both destroyed and restructured as a result of Krona’s experiments (JLA/Avengers).

This restructuring of the anti-matter universe removed this version of Power Ring from reality. An alternate version took his place. (JLA: Syndicate Rules).

See the Power Ring III writeup for more details regarding this replacement.


Description

Power Ring is a physically fit white male of medium height with short, spiky hair. His costume is a black spandex bodysuit with knee-high emerald green boots and trim, and the Power Ring logo (a silver badge with a green X on it) affixed to his left breast.

He has a couple of silver bracers on his wrist, but they are purely ornamental. The final touch is a set of large mirror shade sunglasses with a thick green frame. He wears the power ring on his right index finger.


Personality

Power Ring is a thrill-seeker and a troublemaker, constantly seeking opportunities to use more and more of the ring’s power. He particularly delights in torturing the populace with ring-created Boschian  monsters and inflicting all-out carnage on large armies.

Power Ring has a special contempt for “old people” such as his predecessor. That caused him to underestimate Aquaman to his great misfortune.

Volthoom is a subversive servant, compelled to follow the ring wearer’s orders and to be honest with him. But it also mocks him and seduces him with its powers by turns. Volthoom usually speaks in a formal manner, but occasional bits of informal speech slip in. It takes on a conversational tone at those moments that it is most blatantly feeding the wearer’s lust for power.


Quotes

“Wish I’d never seen this ring. Bastard told me it was a curse but I was too dumb to care… but hey ! I got the power ! ”

“It wasn’t me—it was the ring.”

Power Ring: “Got to be something — something more out there — something to fight — to kill — to use power on —”
Ring: “Entity Volthoom finds no signs in sector epsilon-61, boy. No signs in sector-eta-40…”

Power Ring: “Ring ! More power ! Give me MORE !”
Ring: “Of course, young fool. Volthoom gives you all you desire, and more…”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Power Ring II

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Power Lust
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Syndicate Overlord
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 012
Init: 013 HP: 120

Advantages:
Expansive Headquarters (The Panopticon), Insta-Change.

Connections:
CSA (High).

Drawbacks:
CIA (finding suitable targets on which to use the ring’s full power, was only an SIA during the first encounter with the JLA).

Equipment:
Mirror Shades [BODY 01, Shade: 06].

Pet:
RING OF POWER [BODY 20 INT 06 WIL 08 INF 06 AUR 08 SPI 20, Acuity: 15, Awareness: 12, Flight: 14, Force Field: 12, Force Manipulation: 24, Sealed Systems: 11, Scientist (Analysis, Observation): 10. Drawbacks – Ring constantly makes inane observations in the wearer’s voice ; the Ring cannot be removed from wearer unless given to another by mutual agreement ; the Ring slowly causes the wearer to develop an Irrational Attraction to using its power; though the Ring may have a different agenda than its owner, it has a CIA to following the owner’s orders. Bonuses & Limitations:

  • Each active AP of Force Field reduces Force Manipulation by one AP.
  • Power Ring and those he surrounds with his Force Fields can attack through them so long as the fields are projected around each of them separately at a Range of Self (as opposed to a larger all-encompassing field).
  • Separate Force Fields can be erected around anyone in Range of Force Field, with APs split using normal math (see Aura of Protection for details).
  • Sealed Systems only affects those contained in a ring-construct Force Field].

Aura of Protection

A common trick that Power Ring (and Green Lanterns) perform is to provide life-sustaining auras around teammates without Life Support or Sealed Systems when circumstances warrant. This usually happens when the CSA is fighting in space.

In such instances, Power Ring will place individual 1 AP Force Fields around each other person that needs protection. This provides them with the benefits of his Sealed Systems without reducing his Force Manipulation APs any more than necessary.

These protective auras are usually projected around each person separately so they can move without restriction rather than being forced to remain clustered together. Assuming individual movement isn’t a tactical necessity, such as during a reconaissance mission, Power Ring will place everyone who needs protection in a single force-construct bubble to minimize the number of APs of Force Field in use.


Get on the Bus

Since some of those same teammates may need transportation as well, Power Ring will sometimes simultaneously create transports as needed, such as a glider for Owlman or a treadmill that channels running speed into Flight for Johnny Quick. If necessary, he will do this simultaneously with a protective aura.

As with the protective auras, he will make individual vehicles if needed for tactical advantage or place everyone in a single vehicle if separate movement is unnecessary (while simply ferrying people from one place to another, for example).

Since each Force Manipulation AP used in a vehicle is one he cannot use for other purposes, Power Ring will cease projecting a vehicle as soon as the user no longer needs it.

By Roy Cowan and John Colagioia.

Source of Character: DC Comics.

Helper(s): Grant Morrison (interview), Michael Andrew Ficklin, Chris Cottingham.

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