Sergeant Kelly of the Human Defense Corps (DC Comics)

Sergeant Montgomery Kelly

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


This profile is absolutely meant to be read after our Human Defense Corps organisation profile, which explains all the context.

It has S P O I L E R S about this series.


  • Real Name: Montgomery Kelly.
  • Marital Status: Apparently single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: United States Human Defense Corps, an unnamed kind of demons.
  • Base Of Operations: Hell.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 175 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Sgt. Kelly is a National Guard veteran and Human Defense Corps veteran. He’s a highly-trained trooper and NCO.

Kelly has been exposed to demon blood, which when he reached Hell turned him a sort of half-demon. The scope of his infernal abilities is unclear. He cannot be killed while in Hell, though he likely can be blown or hacked apart. Sgt. Kelly would have to regroup and repair his body if that happened.

He holds a staff that marks his dominion over his domain, and can perform magic. So far, the staff has been used to pacify the undead things inhabiting the realm, and to reverse the effects of existing magical rituals . Kelly uses the staff instinctively, without any knowledge of mysticism.


Kelly was a National Guard  soldier during the Invasion . He fought a Khund landing party in Times Square. This battle was a disaster for the NG, and presumably Kelly’s first combat experience. He was impressed with how many soldiers just froze from stress around him (one in three, according to an oft-quoted statistics).

Years later, he saw that American soldiers with experience of combat against aliens could apply to join a new branch – the Human Defense Corps. Kelly applied, reasoning that it would be a unit made of people who did not freeze in combat. That was the kind of people he wanted to watch his back.


It’s a man’s life in the HDC

Kelly made it into the HDC. When the first operation was launched (a recon mission in support of Bulgarian national forces), he was the first pair of boots on the ground. However, the mission went about as well as you’d expect from the very first mission of a brand new military dealing with largely unknown dangers

They went in expecting Durlans, and bumped into vampire-like demons. The heat imaging goggles worn to see shapechangers no matter what their disguise were a crippling drawback when faced by opponents not giving off any body heat. Kelly was the only known survivor of Easy Company.

Having been captured by the “vampires”, Kelly expected to die. The rest of the HDC troops, however, decided to shell the perimeter, assuming no survivors. An explosion allowed Kelly to run. He was caught by a “vampire” who started drinking his blood.


A that point, two F14s zoomed by and bombed the area with improvised ‘holy napalm’. A platoon leader, Rosetti, had roughly deduced what they were up against. He had ordered some special ammunition jury-rigged. This mix of flame retardant gel and holy water practically disintegrated the “vampires”.

The one that was drinking Kelly’s blood was hit by one such deflagration. The beast dissolved on him, and some demon blood ended up in Kelly’s bloodstream.

Kelly and Rosetti were decorated and promoted. Kelly went from Corporal to Sergeant.

However, Sgt. Kelly was bitter and disillusioned. On top of having nasty scars over his face, shoulders and chest from the melting demon, he now had to live with the knowledge that he had done what he so resented during the Times Square battle. During the demonic ambush, he had frozen and failed to help his comrades. He was the one out of three.

Monty got his gun

Kelly eventually learned to live with this failure. For a time he shifted the blame to Colonel Rosetti. He considered it was Rosetti’s fault for sending them in with poor intel.

Kelly wasn’t popular with the more gung-ho recruits. The bitter sarge with the huge scars drank and whined too much for their taste.

Contributing to Kelly’s mediocre morale were recurrent nightmares and visions about the dead men of Easy. They blamed him for having frozen and asked for his help.

Kelly mentioned the nightmares and his loss of sleep, which caused him to be passed over for battlefield promotion. The Sgt. became eligible when he took command of his platoon after his Lt. was badly wounded in the leg.

A new lieutenant took command of the platoon. Though he was well-trained he did not know yet about the small details of fighting A’corti guerilla. Two men were lost as a result. Kelly blamed himself for those death since that would not have happened had he been platoon leader.

These are not normal nightmares

Kelly eventually discovered that other men of the HDC had similar (though less traumatic) nightmares. They reported that to Rosetti. Rosetti confirmed that he too was suffering from strong nightmares following the exact same script. Based on this, the HDC now suspected that it was a trans-death communication.

Sergeant Kelly having a drink (DC Comics) (Human Defense Corps)

Rosetti put the Paranormal Science Dept. of the HDC on the case. During a séance conducted by the PSD’s Chaplain Charlie in Midnight Station, it was confirmed that 66 men were not KIA, but POWs. They had been taken from the Bulgarian battle site to Hell.

Sgt. Kelly now realised that :

  • Rosetti also got the nightmares.
  • Most of the Easy Company men were alive.
  • Rosetti was firmly determined to launch an interdimensional  combat rescue operation.
  • As a result, he let go misplaced resentment toward the Colonel. The Sergeant became determined to redeem himself by fighting well during the combat rescue op in Hell.

    Going native

    The transdimensional amphibious landing and deployment went well, and Kelly performed fine. But when tasked with getting rid of a demon’s body (dumping it as far as possible from its head to neutralise it for a few days), things went south. Kelly and his men were attacked by devils riding wyern-like creatures.

    One of Kelly’s men was killed. The other went crazy before being killed. But Kelly remained calm and entered a state of action over thought. Thus he hijacked a wyvern, gunned down several wyvern-riding devils with his sidearm, and regrouped with the HDC’s point unit.

    His clumsy landing accidentally made him the point man. Along with Colonel Rosetti and Chaplain Charlie he ended confronting the demonic tribe.

    Fatally stabbed by one of the demons, Kelly failed to die or even bleed. He then was identified by smell by the demons as being one of their kind.

    Better to reign in Hell

    The demon blood was apparently activated by proximity of the other demons. Kelly’s eyes began to glow red. However, he was not mentally affected by becoming part-demon.

    Determined to save the POWs, Sgt. Kelly seized a moment and shot the arm of the demon leader to make him drop his magical staff. He then grabbed the staff to prevent its use, since it seemed to be used to send some of the POWs elsewhere.

    Kelly was able to use the staff to bring all the POWs back and free them. Rosetti then asked him to use the staff to command hostiles into quiescence. After that worked, Rosetti asked Kelly to become the US-appointed interim leader of this small portion of Hell

    Kelly’s use of the staff did make the attacking demons abandon the fight. The HDC made an uneventful retreat back to its transports, along with the POWs.

    The ambassador’s receptions are noted in society

    Kelly was later selected by the Pentagon’s PR staff to tell the tale during a TV interview with Vicky Vale. The small bit of Hell that was once the territory of the demonic tribe was now under Kelly’s authority. The State Dept  opened official relations between this territory and the United States.

    The HDC’s R&D started working on finding a way to get the activated demon blood out of Kelly’s system. The general plan seemed to detox Kelly and nominate a native puppet ruler in the small slice of Hell. Whether that succeeded is unrevealed.


    Kelly is badly scarred. When in Hell his right eye glows red.


    Kelly is a loyal and disciplined veteran NCO. Though he had nearly two years of doubt, execrable morale and self-loathing, freeing his comrades-in-arms and fighting heroically without ever freezing up redeemed him in his own eyes. He’s back to being a competent professional.

    Kelly is modest about his own successes, and has a strong esprit de corps .


    “No, I’m not [a hero]. I’m unreliable. I’m one in three. I didn’t move a muscle while my buddies got slaughtered. I’m a cartoon soldier. An empty suit. An image on the dumbest recruitment poster I’ve ever seen.”

    “The circle’s broken, Taylor. Get in the game.” (charges an astral guard after a summoning ritual goes FUBAR)

    “I am Sgt. Kelly, sir… and I was human when I woke up this morning. I think I’ve gone native, Colonel.”

    “Well, there is one other way to put it, Ms. Vale… I was part of the *team* that did that.”

    Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

    Tell me more about the game stats

    Montgomery Kelly

    Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Responsibility
    Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Infernal ruler
    Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
    Init: 013 HP: 020

    Invulnerability: 09

    Bonuses and Limitations:
    Invulnerability may only work in Hell.

    Acrobatics (Climbing): 03, Medicine (First aid):03, Military science: 04, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Infantry weapons): 04

    Familiarity (Military equipment and protocols ; Known alien, paranormal and non-human threats ; SARGE reconnaissance RC units), Homo Magi, Rank (Sergeant within the HDC), Stabilisation (only in Hell). During the initial combat rescue operation in Hell he develops Lightning Reflexes (already factored into the Initiative above).

    Human Defense Corps (Low).

    Creepy Appearance (scars).

    Kelly now holds an infernal staff of unclear capabilities. It gives him High Credentials in his little realm of Hell, and apparently has Occultist (Rituals): 08 plus a collection of Rituals the wielder can execute even without special occult knowledge (having the Homo Magi Advantage or Sorcery might be a prerequisite, though).

    By Sébastien Andrivet.

    Source of Character: Human Defense Corps (DC Universe).

    Helper(s): Darci.