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Shape of the Squadron Supreme (Marvel Comics) stretching his neck

Shape


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

Context

Shape is a minor, but memorable Marvel character. He first appeared in 1985.

Shape mostly operated on another Earth, often called “Earth-S” or “Earth-712”. This is where the landmark Squadron Supreme series took place. Using characters evoking DC’s classic heroes and villains, Squadron Supreme explored themes around the role of heroes, their responsibilities and their power.


Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Squadron Supreme, Formerly Squadron Sinister.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile, Earth-S.
  • Height: variable Weight: 255 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Bald


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Powers & Abilities

Shape has the ability to stretch and shift his weight from one part of his body to another. These abilities also grant him superhuman durability and strength, as well as speed.

Shape has nothing else going for him, except his powers.


History

Unless you’ve already read the Squadron Supreme trade paperback (collecting the 12 part maxiseries) I strongly recommend you to read this unusual story about superheroes. For a more detailed history about the place called Marvel’s Earth-S, see the other Squadron Supreme write-ups.

Shape was an Institute of Evil member. When the Institute was first defeated by the Squadron Supreme during the so called ’Utopia Program‘ Shape was behaviour-modified. He then became a full Squadron member. Although his behaviour modification was undone by Nighthawk six months later, he remained loyal to the Squadron. Thus, he opposed the Redeemers.

When the ’Utopia Program‘ was cancelled and a new Squadron took form, Shape joined in. He was, like the rest of the Squadron, exiled to the ordinary Marvel Earth for a long time, but has since returned to his homeworld Earth-S. Shape remains a steady member of the Squadron Supreme to this day.


Description

Shape is a husky man wearing nothing except a pair of blue shorts. His limbs are constantly stretching and his weight is placed around on various parts of his body, giving him a different outlook. Often his legs are given extra weight so that the parts below his knees are broadened and extended in size. This looks similar to Popeye’s lower arms.

The Shape is bald. He often makes childish comments and facial expressions.


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Personality

Shape is mentally retarded and has the outlook of a child. He became a villain in order to wreak vengeance on a society that had mocked him. Once reformed, he became friends with people and children everywhere, especially Arcanna’s kids.

This persisted even after he was deprogrammed. Apparently, the Behaviour Modification Machine didn’t really do a lot with his personality.

Despite being like a child in many aspects, he’s pretty tough mentally and emotionally.

He speaks like a child and also refers to himself in the third person (i.e. by calling himself Shape). Likewise he omits the conjugation of the verbs “to be” and “to do” when speaking. That gives his speech a childish outlook as well.

The Shape is a pretty likeable character for whom it’s easy to feel sympathy. Although friendly towards everyone, his best friends in the Squadron seems to be Haywire.


Quotes

Shape: (Having grappled Hawkeye) “Stop wriggling, Hawkeye. Shape beat you. You not tickle him and make him let you go… Shape learned that trick.”
Hawkeye: “I’m not… beaten… yet…”
Shape: “Yes ! You beaten ! Shape beat you ! Give up !”
Hawkeye: “Not… if I can reach… ah, got it ! (picking up a small capsule from belt)”
Shape: “What that ?”
Hawkeye: That, my dear Shape, is what I call a flare arrow ! (’flash‘)”
Shape: “Aaaa ! Shape blind !”


DC Universe History

Since the Squadron Supreme basically are carboncopies of the JLA there are two options. Either use the JLA in your adventure or use the entire Squadron Supreme instead.

Shape would clearly, although he’s not as clever, be a formerly villaneous counter-part to Elongated Man, or perhaps more adequately to Plastic Man. In such a case, Shape would have been a Detroit JLA villain (low-level, era of “relevance in comics”), who turns out to be the near-monstrous creation of some evil scientist.

He later would have joined the team itself, because, hey, with Vibe and Gypsy around, who would *really* notice…

It could, of course, also be interesting to put the old JLA against the Squadron in a dimension-crossing adventure. In such a scenario the outcome of a fight between Shape and his counterpart is uncertain, since Shape is tougher and stronger, but slower than his counterparts.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Shape

Dex: 06 Str: 06 Bod: 08 Motivation: Unwanted Power
Int: 02 Wil: 03 Min: 05 Occupation: Squadron Member, Former Criminal
Inf: 03 Aur: 05 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 3/25 (in Squadron)
Init: 011 HP: 050

Powers:
Density Increase: 03, Omi-arm: 08, Skin Armor: 01, Stretching: 03

Skills:
Acrobatics (Dodging): 05

Advantages:
Expansive Headquarters (Squadron City), Free Access (Squadron Card), Security Clearance (High).

Connections:
Institute of Evil (High), Squadron Supreme (High), US Government (Low).

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance (Shifting features), Innocent, Socially Inept.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

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Shape — Averaged PL 9.6

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
05 06 02 01 04 -2 00 00

Powers

Stretchy shape ● 15 points ● Descriptor: Stretchy, Physiology
– Shape Just Have Stretchy Shape — Elongation 4.
– Enhanced Advantage (Defensive Roll 4, Improved Defense, Improved Grab, Improved Hold).
– Bulk Up — Protection 2, Reduced Trait (Agility -1, Fighting -1), Sustained.
– Shape Hand — Strength-based Damage 2.
– Take a Hit — Protection 1, Limited 1 (physical impact).

Combat Advantages

Close Attack 6, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 4, Improved Defense, Improved Grab, Improved Hold, Power Attack, Takedown.

Other Advantages

Connected, Teamwork.

Skills

Athletics 2 (+7), Perception 1 (+1).

Offense

Initiative +2
Unarmed +10/+9*, Close, Damage 7
Shape Hand +10/9*, Close Damage 7

* With Bulk Up

Defense

Dodge 10/9** Fortitude 11
Parry 10/9** Toughness 13**/11/6*
Will 5

* Without Defensive Roll
** With Bulk Up

Complications

  • Intellectually Limited Shape is capable of thinking only in very simple terms. He tends to speak in the third person, and can be quite naïve.
  • Seeking Recognition Shape basically became a villain as revenge for being devalued. After his deprogramming, he remained a hero because people liked him.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 10, Dodge/Toughness PL 12, Parry/Toughness PL 12, Fort/Will PL 8.
  • Point total 88. Abilities 32, Defences 24, Skills 2, Powers 15, Devices 0, Advantages 11. Equiv. PL 6.

Notes

His offensive PL is set by his tremendous grabbing ability.

Shape has many layers to his defenses. He is naturally quite tough, and his rubbery body easily deflects blunt force. His flexibility also allows him to roll with blows easily. He can also thicken his body, making him more clumsy but also more capable of withstanding great force.

By Peter S Piispanen aka The Angel.

Source of Character: Squadron Supreme comics, Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): John Colagioia, Eric Langendorff, Sébastien Andrivet. DCA stats by Pawsplay.

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