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Context

Tales to Astonish is a comic book that ran from 1959 to 1968. When it was launched the publisher was still called Atlas, though it would soon be called Marvel – the launch of Fantastic Four was about two years in the future.

The book followed the format of 1950s short horror stories with a shock twist ending, though the themes trended more toward science-fiction than previous books (say, the EC Comics ones).

The “supernatural investigator” was typical of this format. But it might be amusing to have him appear in a Marvel Universe adventure.

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Powers & Abilities

The supernatural investigator is an expert at debunking so-called paranormal phenomena. To do so he relies on extensive scientific knowledge regarding magnetic fields, materials engineering, Newtonian physics and the like.

He is affluent and well-travelled, and might speak multiple languages.

Beneath his lifelike mask, the investigator is a member of a faun-like humanoid species called poltergeists. These can become invisible, inaudible and scentless, and apparently really enjoy playing with random objects in selected locations.

Supernatural Investigator - Tales to Astonish comics - Closeup

History

During the 1950s and perhaps beyond, this investigator of the supernatural travelled worldwide to spots where poltergeist activity was reported.

Armed with robust scientific knowledge, this hard-working man always managed to prove that such events were freak coincidences. Very unlikely ones, but still explicable through ordinary physics. Small earthquakes and unusual magnetic fields were often involved.

The investigator was actually himself a poltergeist, working tirelessly so that humans would never discover the existence of his invisible and mischievous species.

Personality

An authoritative, serious man who seems to be all about Science and Rationality, though he’s pleasant about it.

He’s supportive toward the occupant of “haunted” sites, if only to better convince them that everything is normal.

DC Heroes RPG

The supernatural investigator

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 02
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04
Init: 010 HP: 010

Powers:

Invisibility: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

Invisibility also affects olfactory senses.

Skills:

Artist (Actor): 04, Charisma (Persuasion): 04, Detective (Clue analysis): 04, Scientist: 04, Thief (Stealth): 08, Vehicles (Land): 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Charisma is for games with house rules featuring Skilled Character Interaction.
  • Thief only to move soundlessly whilst invisible.

Advantages:

Expertise (Debunking, Construction).

Connections:

Poltergeists (Low).

Drawbacks:

Distinct Appearance, Dark Secret.

Motivation:

Protect poltergeists.

Occupation:

Debunker.

Wealth:

006

Equipment:

Mask [BODY 01, Chameleon: 06, Limitation: Chameleon only to copy a specific human head, Drawback: Must be put on and off].

Writeups.org writer avatar Sébastien Andrivet

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Tales to Astonish vol. 1 #1 (1959).

Writeup completed on the 28th of September, 2014.