Steeplejack (Plumm) (Marvel Comics)


(Maxwell Plumm)

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


The second Steeplejack fought Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) that one time in 1978. He had previously appeared as a non-costumed, background character in Luke Cage’s book (back then, Power Man).

So yeah, he’s not the most unforgettable of Carol’s foes. But one might wonder what he and his gear have been up to since.

For ESL speakers, a steeplejack is “a person who climbs tall structures such as chimneys and steeples in order to carry out repairs” (New Oxford ).



  • Real Name: Maxwell Plumm.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Unrevealed, possibly either Boston (yay !) or New York City (boo hiss !).
  • Height: 5’8” Weight: 130 lbs.
  • Eyes: Grey Hair: Brown

Powers and Abilities

Plumm had no special abilities. But he was quite proficient with his unique weapons, and performed strangely well against Ms. Marvel.

In DC Heroes RPG terms, Plumm had a surprising amount of Hero Points . He often augments his Weaponry AV and/or EV, and leverages the /BODY/ of the costume to LDD.

His arsenal includes :

  • A heavily reinforced, padded and insulated costume. This also increased his strength to the level of a much larger and more muscular man. For instance, it allowed Plumm to rip off a car door.
  • A slipknot made of construction wire. This cable was described as “light and pliable as a rope, yet strong enough to hold tons” and was used as a lasso.
  • A high-tech pistol with four modes :
    1. Automatic fire shooting white-hot rivets.
    2. Super-acetylene cutting torch.
    3. An acetylene flash that could briefly blind even Ms. Marvel.
    4. A force beam.



Maxwell Plumm was a crooked entrepreneur, with significant mob debt. He seemed to chiefly work construction in Boston and New York City. Plumm had an habit of discreetly cutting corners and playing fast and loose with regulations so as to repay his loans. Furthermore, one suspects that he laundered mob money.

Predictably, he did not always manage to dodge trouble.


The first documented such crisis was when a man named Jake Mallard, aka Steeplejack, accused Plumm of having caused the death of his two brothers. Mallard credibly blamed Plumm for scrimping on security measures on a high steel project. The masked Steeplejack, wielding a weapon of his own design, twice attempted to kill Plumm to obtain vengeance.

The entrepreneur was saved by Power Man (Luke Cage), who just happened to pass by. Plumm then hired Cage to become his bodyguard. During the second attack, Steeplejack was accidentally killed while fighting Power Man.

Seizing the opportunity, Plumm located and raided Mallard’s apartment, stealing his inventions.

New Steeplejack city

Plummthen designed the identity of the second Steeplejack. As a cover, he spread rumours that Jake Mallard was not dead and was still active as Steeplejack. This was made possible by the costume he wore, which covered him entirely and made him look as big as Mallard.

Steeplejack (Maxwell Plumm) points his gun

Plumm’s plan did not go very far. During a Boston construction project, contractor Joe Danvers got incensed that the building codes were not respected. Danvers got into a shouting match with Plumm.

As Steeplejack, Plumm captured Danvers. He planned on executing him so he could not become a whistle-blower. Danvers was saved in the nick of time by the costumed adventurer Ms. Marvel, secretly his daughter.


Plumm continued to be active as Steeplejack II. This may have been in addition to his usual activities, or as a full-time supervillain.

It is as Steeplejack that he attended a meeting at the Bar With No Name to discuss the matter of the Scourge of the Underworld. However, this turned out to be an ambush. Steeplejack, like almost all participants, was shot dead by the Scourge.


The costume seemed to make him look considerably taller. And it definitely made him look much larger and buffer.


Like most of his ilk Plumm seemed respectable and professional, yet had a vague, hard-to-pin shady vibe. He seemed to be prideful, living the good life and pretending that he had no debt problem or mob connections. But he reacted in a violent and underhanded way whenever he felt that he could crush the opposition and get away with murder.

As often happens, wearing a special costume and wielding a super-weapon made him uninhibited. He seemed somewhat intoxicated by a feeling of power and impunity.


“We’re within the building codes.”

“I’m sorry it had to come to this, Danvers, but you were warned to lay off.”

“So now I’m a killer. I suppose it had to happen, sooner or later.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Steeplejack (Maxwell Plumm)

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation: Greed
Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Construction entrepreneur
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 009 HP: 025

Charisma (Persuasion): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 03, Weaponry (Steeplejack equipment): 05

Familiarity (Construction management).

East Coast real estate scene (Low), Varone cosca (Low).

Debt (+2), MIA toward Greed, Secret ID.


  • Construction Wire Slipknot [BODY 07, Snare: 07, Limitation: Snare has no AV – use the applicable Weaponry Subskill of the wielder instead (-1 or -0 depending on house rules)].
  • SPECIAL PISTOL [BODY 04] with four MODES:
    • RIVETER MODE [Projectile weapon: 06, Flame project: 03, Ammo: 06, Range: 03, Advantage: Autofire, Bonus: Flame project can be Combined with Projectile weapons, Limitation: neither Power has Range – use the listed Range instead].
    • SUPER-ACETYLENE TORCH MODE [Flame project: 06, Sharpness (Flame project): 06, R#02, Limitations: Flame Project has a Range of but 00 ; each AP of Flame Immunity the target has nullifies two APs of Sharpness (Flame project) before damage is determined].
    • ACETYLENE FLASH MODE [Flash: 08, Limitation: Flash has No Range].
    • FORCE BEAM MODE [Mental blast: 07, Ammo: 04, Range: 02, Limitation: Mental Blast has no Range, use the listed Range instead].

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Steeplejack (Plumm) — Averaged PL6.8

00 01 00 01 01 01 01 01


Steeplejack suit ● 20 points (Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology
– Some sort of internal exoskeleton — Enhanced Strength 3.
– Armoured, padded, insulated — Protection 8, Enhanced Fortitude 9.
– Feature 1 (Costumes gives the impression of a taller, much buffer man).

Steeplejack pistol ● 14 points (Easily Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology

  • Riveter mode — Ranged Multiattack ballistic Damage 5, Linked w/Ranged Multiattack fire Damage 2.
  • Super-acetylene torch mode — Close fire Damage 6, Linked w/Progressive Weaken (Toughness). The Weaken has a -2 Limitation (only applies to Toughness checks against the Linked Damage Effect).
  • Acetylene flash mode — Close Dazzle 9.
  • Force beam mode — Ranged concussive Damage 6, Diminished Range 2, Limited 1 (four shots before it has to be recharged at base).

Combat Advantages

Close attack 2, Defensive Roll 1, Improved aim, Improved critical (Steeplejack pistol) 1, Ranged attack 2.

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Well-off), Contacts, Connected, Equipment 2.


Athletics 1 (+1) (+4), Deception 3 (+4), Expertise (Construction management) 4 (+5), Insight 3 (+4), Perception 1 (+2), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Steeplejack pistol) 5 (+8).


Construction wire slipknot Chokehold, Improved Hold, Improved Trip, Reach 3 ● 6 points


Initiative +0
Unarmed +3, Close, Damage 3 (w/costume)
Firearms +3, Ranged, Damage by type
Steeplejack pistol +8, effects by mode


Dodge 3 Fortitude 2**/11
Parry 3 Toughness 2**/8*/10
Will 2

* Without Defensive Roll.
** Out of costume, with Defensive Roll is applicable.


  • Temper Plumm is a greedy, self-centred, ego-ridden bully.
  • Secret Plumm hides both his mob ties, and that he’s Steeplejack.
  • Debt Plumm owes the mob money.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 8, Dodge/Toughness PL 7, Parry/Toughness PL 7, Fort/Will PL 7.
  • Points total 73. Abilities 12, Defences 6, Skills 9, Powers 0, Devices 34, Advantages 12. Equiv. PL 5.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Ms. Marvel volume 1 #14 (1977).

Helper(s): Kal El el Vigilante.