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Spitfire (Jacqueline Falsworth) (Marvel Comics) (1940s)

Spitfire

(Jacqueline Falsworth) (Profile #2 - 1944-1949)


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

Context

Spitfire is one of the foremost British heroines in the Marvel Universe. She keeps appearing in weird corners of the MU rather than in the spotlight, but she’s an elder stateswoman for the British super-folks and adventurers. Her career started during World War Two and is still ongoing.

To facilitate reading, this lengthy career is covered in a series of 5 profiles:

  1. Spitfire (1942-43) – start here, old chap !
  2. Spitfire (1944-1949) – this here profile.
  3. Spitfire (pre-rejuvenation).
  4. Spitfire (1992-2008).
  5. Spitfire (2008-2011).

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Background

  • Real Name: Jacqueline Falsworth Crichton (Lady Crichton), née Lady Jacqueline Falsworth.
  • Marital Status: Widowed.
  • Known Relatives: William, Lord Falsworth (grandfather, deceased), Montgomery, Lord Falsworth (aka Union Jack, father, deceased), Jane, Lady Falsworth (mother, deceased), John Falsworth (aka Baron Blood, uncle, deceased), Brian Falsworth (aka Union Jack, aka the Mighty Destroyer, brother, deceased), Cedric, Lord Crichton (husband, deceased), Kenneth Crichton (son, deceased, aka Baron Blood), Katherine Ainsley-Jones (distant cousin, deceased), John Crichton (grandson).
  • Group Affiliation: Former member of the Invaders, former member of the V-Battalion, former member of the Women’s Voluntary Service, former member of the SOE (the wartime Special Operations Executive). The Falsworths are also traditionally members of the Hellfire Club.
  • Base Of Operations: England. The traditional estate, Falsworth Manor, seems to be in the Home Counties, and the Invaders used to be headquartered within the Big Ben tower.
  • Height: 5’4” Weight: 110 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blonde


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Peerage

The important question of the Falsworth peerage yet has, perhaps wisely, to be explored by Marvel writers.

The Falsworth title

In the sadly short-lived Captain Britain and MI13 series, Jacqueline is called “Duchess”. But it seems safe to assume that this title was given in jest, as an exaggeration.

Not only is a Duchess very senior nobility, but the title is accompanied by a special protocol and naming conventions. These were never observed toward a Falsworth in published material, even recent material from a British writer.

I would suppose that the Lord Falsworth was a Marquis. But this is just a wild guess based on quick descriptions of how old and influential the Falsworth family is. Furthermore, we are going to assume that the word “Falsworth” is both the family name and the title, the later corresponding to a geographical location called Falsworth.

This is not the normal case. Usually, the title and the family name do not coincide. But this is what most closely matches Marvel sources.

Keeping with the hypothesis of Monty having been a Marquis, Jacqueline’s brother Brian (who never inherited the title) would have been considered an Earl and called Lord Brian Falsworth. Jacqueline would have been Lady Jacqueline Falsworth, but *not* the Lady Falsworth (that was her mum).

The Falsworth estate

The estate of the Falsworth has consistently been described as being a relatively short distance from London but in a rural area. This presumably means the Home Counties . My guess would thus be that Marvel Earth/Earth-616  has an extra chunk of land in the Home Counties, called Falsworth.

The Master Edition of the OHOTMU  locates Falsworth Manor in Little Storping-on-the-Thames. I assume this is a reference to an Avengers episode during the John Steed and Emma Peel era . One account has the manor being North of London, but of course the Thames does not flow to the North of London. We can assume that the reference to the Manor being North of London was mistaken, and that it should have been West.

A 2004 story then places Falsworth Manor in the fictional town of Dymhurst, of unspecified location. This was confirmed in a 2010 sourcebook.

The Crichton title, and inheritance

Jacqueline later married one Lord Crichton, of unknown peerage. He might have been a Marquis or an Earl. In both cases Jacqueline, after her marriage, becomes the Lady Crichton (being the wife of a noble is different from being the daughter of a noble, so the naming conventions change).

Note that Marvel presents Lord Crichton as a *another* man whose title is also his family name. Which is starting to seriously stretch suspension of disbelief.

After Crichton dies, Jacqueline formally becomes the Dowager Marchioness or the Dowager Countess Crichton, depending on what Crichton’s title was. But usually the “Dowager” is dropped when addressing people of Jackie’s station. Jac’s son Kenneth became the Lord Crichton after his father’s death.

Marvel sources refer to Jaqueline as the Lady Crichton. Based on that we can assume that the Falsworth peerage is not among the rare ones with special rules allowing women to carry it. The British nobility system is not exactly women-friendly. Females are generally ignored when it comes to inheriting titles, with the rather important exception of the Queen.

Since both Lord Falsworth and Lord Brian Falsworth are dead and have no living male children, the Falsworth title is likely now held by Jackie’s grandson John, as is the Crichton title.


Powers & Abilities

While Spitfire is generally listed as being subsonic, several flashbacks depict her as being supersonic. For instance she is seen outrunning bullets.

These flashbacks can generally be assumed to take place in 1944/45. This allows for the simple hypothesis that her speed and power increased during the war as she practised. This is what is reflected in the DC Heroes RPG statistics for this entry.

Spitfire also demonstrated new field skills as the months passed. She presumably trained with the military and the Invaders.

With all these small differences in skills and powers, doing separate profiles was deemed simpler for game stats purposes.


History

In late 1942 or early 1943, Jacqueline was supporting British troops on the battlefied. However, her lack of experience resulted in her being caught in a shelling. While she survived unharmed, a young combat medic who rushed to her aid was gunned down before even she could react. Spitfire felt that this death was her fault, and guilt over this kept eating at her for decades.

Later during a war, a Japanese commando sneaked into the Falsworth estate (!). They de-staked Baron Blood before Union Jack (Brian Falsworth) and Spitfire could intervene. Blood repulsed the heroes, and the Japanese commando left to ferry Blood to their mistress Lady Lotus. Union Jack and Spitfire barely escaped with their lives.

The remainder of Spitfire’s war time activities is largely unrevealed. There exists a scattered wartime flashbacks, though in most cases it is impossible to tell the larger context. Since in most such flashbacks Spitfire displays a higher speed than in her original appearances, they can be assumed to have occurred in 1944 or 1945.

The storm is gone

After V-E Day, Spitfire, the Mighty Destroyer and Union Jack (Brian Falsworth) helped rebuild London. They later aided the Symkarian Wild Pack (then led by the brothers Ernst and Fritz Sablinova) in hunting down escaped Nazi war criminals.

Spitfire’s powers then faded over the years. By 1950 her blood was reportedly back to normal and her powers gone. But the loss of her powers was actually psychosomatic, and tied to the Norwegian murder in 1940 or 1941, the medic’s death in 1942 or 1943, a massacre in Netherlands in 1945, and perhaps other wartime incidents.

Jacqueline could still produce bursts of superspeed under extraordinary circumstances, but was retired as a superhuman.

The 1950s

Meanwhile, Roger Aubrey assembled the V-Battalion, which became active in 1951. Both Montgomery Falsworth (as a sponsor) and Brian Falsworth (as Union Jack) were major contributors to that clandestine organisation, inspired by the American All-Winner Squad. Jacqueline was also a member, but not in a field capacity.

Spitfire (Jacqueline Falsworth) rushes out of a car

In the early 1950s, Jacqueline started a romantic relationship with one Lord Crichton, whom she married in 1956. In 1953, Brian Falsworth was killed in a mundane car accident. It is apparently after losing her brother that Jacqueline stepped down from her position with the V-Battalion.

The 1960s

Jacqueline had a son, Kenneth, circa 1960. Howbeit, her husband died when their son was a teenager. While the Lord Falsworth had hoped that his grandson might become the next Union Jack, Kenneth suffered from anaemia.

It was suspected that this was caused by her mother’s unique blood. But in hindsight, it seems more likely that it was a consequence of Jacqueline being unknowingly a sort of living vampire. Kenneth came to resent his mother, as he saw her gift as his curse.

Despite this Jacqueline was very protective of her son, though usually in a distant and formal way. Thus, she was relieved that his medical condition prevented him from ever risking his life as Union Jack. Beyond the anaemia, Kenneth was an artist, not a fighter, and thus wasn’t interested in carrying on the familial tradition.


Description

See illustrations.


Personality

As per the previous writeup.


Quotes

“Good show, RAF ! That will teach those ruddy blackguards to stay on their own side of the Channel !”

“All right then, Jerries ! Shall we see how two members of the ‘master race’ fare against one ‘helpless and inferior’ woman ?” (Sha-Blaff !)


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Spitfire (1944 to late 1940s)

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation : Thrill/Responsibility
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation : Heroine
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 028 HP: 040

Powers:
Air control: 05, Gravity decrease: 02, Kinetic absorption (Structural only): 02, Superspeed: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Air Control is Contingent upon Superspeed and is performed via moving (usually running).
  • Air Control does not allow for flight.
  • Gravity Decrease is Contingent on Air Control – it consists of forming a strong updraft under the target object. Spitfire can also use it on herself through rapid legs movement heating the air below her.
  • Spitfire can only use up to 3 APs of Superspeed to reduce the time for tasks, and this is further limited to purely physical tasks.

Note:
When receiving a full transfusion of the blood of the original Human Torch, Spitfire’s unique physiology grants her Invulnerability: 12 and Regeneration: 12 while the transfusion lasts. Invulnerability counteracts ageing effects, and both Powers will work to erase ageing and wounds suffered since the last time she was physically 16.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Athletics, Dodging): 08, Martial Artist (inc. Techniques): 04, Vehicles (Land, Air): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 04

Bonuses and Limitations:
Acrobatics is Contingent Upon Superspeed.

Advantages:
Connoisseur, Familiarity (British nobility customs), Language (German), Schtick (Fists of Fury), Misc.: Jacqueline is a fairly senior English noble and enjoys some social privileges due to her rank.

Connections:
Invaders (Low), Mortigan Goth (Low), British nobility (Low), Human Torch I (Jim Hammond, High), Roger Aubrey (Low), Scotland Yard (Low) and eventually British Business World (Low).

Drawbacks:
Secret ID, MIA toward defending women’s rights. Spitfire seemingly had Guilt from 1943 onward.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

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Spitfire (1944 to late 1940s) — Averaged PL 9.6

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
00 (02) 01 (03) 01 (03) 02 (03) 02 (04) 01 01 02

Powers

Superspeed ● 45 points (Sustained)
– Speed 9, Quickness 4, Leaping 5.
– Movement 1 (Water-Walking 1).
– Enhanced Agility 3, Enhanced Dodge 2, Enhanced Parry 2.
– Improved Initiative 2, Defensive Roll 1, Evasion 2, Instant Up, Quick-draw.
– Acrobatics 6 (+11), Athletics 10 (+12).

Superspeed blows ● 19 points (Sustained)
– Close Attack 4, Takedown, Move-by Attack.
– Array :

  • Dozens of punches — Strength-based Multiattack Unarmed Damage 5.
  • One big rush — Strength-based Blunt Damage 7.

Superspeed wake Array ● 8 points (Sustained)

  • Mini-whirlwind — Cone Area Move Object 5, Close, Limited 2 (to gas, vapour, smoke, etc.).
  • Violent gust of wind — Burst Area Move Object 4, Close, Limited 1 (Direction – up and away).
  • Generate a strong updraft — Movement 1 (Burst Area Safe Fall, Affects Others).
  • Kick up dust and debris — Environment 1 (Visibility -5).
  • Crosswinds — Environment 1 (Impede movement 2 ranks)).

Unique physiology ● 21 points
– Protection 4 (Limited 2 to Structural Impacts).
– Feature 1 (A full transfusion from the Human Torch (Jim Hammond) will thoroughly heal and rejuvenate Spitfire).
– Feature 1 (Jackie’s blood will set most vampires on fire).
– Enhanced Strength 2, Enhanced Stamina 2, Enhanced Agility 2, Enhanced Dexterity 1, Enhanced Fighting.

Combat Advantages

Close attack 6 (10 w/Superspeed), Defensive Roll 2 (3 w/Superspeed), Improved Initiative 2, Evasion 2, Instant Up, Move-by Attack , Quick-draw, Takedown.

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Senior British nobility), Language (German).

Skills

Athletics 10 (+12), Deception 3 (+5), Expertise (British nobility) 4 (+5), Expertise (Military) 3 (+4), Insight 5 (+6), Perception 5 (+6), Persuasion 2 (+4), Ranged combat (Firearms) 2 (+5), Vehicles 4 (+7) (Limited 1 – to common land and air vehicles).

Offense

Initiative +11
Unarmed +10, Close, Damage 2
Dozens of punches +14, Close, Damage 7 Multiattack Blunt
One big rush +14, Close, Damage 9 Blunt

Defense

Dodge 12**/8 Fortitude 7
Parry 10**/9 Toughness 6**/5/3*
Will 8

* Without Defensive Roll
** With Superspeed

Complications

  • Motivation Thrill/Patriotism.
  • Identity Secret identity, though it’s a weak case.
  • Honour As a noble, and as 1930s feminist.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 12, Dodge/Toughness PL 9, Parry/Toughness PL 9, Fort/Will PL 8.
  • Point total 143. Abilities 20, Defences 21, Skills 13, Powers 79, Devices 0, Advantages 10. Equiv. PL 10.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (Invaders volume 1, mostly).

Helper(s): Rpg.net’s Britpack, Jo Beverley’s article on writing about British nobility ; Capita_Senyera, Chaplain Chris, Darci.

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