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Taboo (Amanda Reed) (Wildstorm Comics) (Backlash ally)

Taboo

(Amanda Reed)


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

Context

Taboo was one of the main characters in the 1994-97 Image Comics Backlash series, as the partner of the titular hero. She’s the traditional prostitute-with-an-attitude-but-a-heart-of-gold, except kitted out with a vampire-themed super-symbiote .

I liked the series back then (though I’m unsure of how well it aged in the intervening 20+ years), so this profile likely dates from the late 1990s. As such it’s a bit crude compared to more modern articles.


Background

  • Real Name: Amanda Reed.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives:
  • Group Affiliation: PSI ; Partner of Backlash.
  • Base Of Operations: PSI H.Q..
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 125lbs. Age: 25
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Red


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Powers and Abilities

Amanda wears a symbiote grown using of vampire DNA. It is apparently the DNA of Calobis, the first Vampire. This life form was created as a pact with the Cabal. The deal was that the Cabal would create a way for Vampires to survive sunlight, and the vampire nations would help the Cabal with its objectives of world domination.

The symbiote provides Taboo with enhanced physical attributes (especially durability), claws and a barbed tail. It also enables her to modify her physical appearance. Her voice is made mesmerizing and she exudes Calobis’ presence. The latter two make her extraordinarily convincing when discussing or negotiating.

She also has several budding mental power. These include a mental attack and major modifications to her body shape, such as growing bat-like wings or a mermaid-like tail.

However, she has problems with her symbiote, as the spirit of Calobis resides within. She tends to frenzy at the sight of blood and has been briefly possessed by it on several occasions. But generally, she seems to have it under control.

Mostly.


History

Amanda Reed is from the Queens, in New York City. Her mother died when she was an infant, and her father was a cokehead who frequently beat her.


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When she was 17, Amanda was living on the New York streets as a prostitute. An old man named Hoagland offered her $20 is she would take part in a “biological experiment” . Assuming that he was just an eccentric john, Amanda agreed.

However, Hoagland was working for the Cabal, and the experiment was grafting symbiotic vampire DNA to a random young human subject. The experiment succeeded beyond all hopes, and the Amanda/symbiote combination was a clear superhuman.

Amanda, now code-named Taboo, became Pike’s “lover” and a Cabal assassin. Pike then arranged for the convenient murder of Hoagland to point at Amanda. This bit of framing ensuring the former prostitute’s loyalty toward the Cabal.

Backlash

Taboo, after months as a Cabal agent, was finally was arrested. She was then sent to Purgatory Max, a government prison in Alaska.

Taboo and Backlash (1990s Wildstorm comics) fight besuited guards

However, Backlash (Marc Slayton) had just went AWOL in order to rescue his fiancée from Purgatory max. While there he freed Reed, since he needed someone with inside knowledge about the Cabal. They worked together, and Backlash promised to help her clean her name. Everything worked out fine, and Amanda was pardoned.

Shortly after that, Slayton’s fiancée left him. She had discovered that while attempting to save her, Backlash had committed indiscretions with Reed. Backlash and Reed grew closer and stuck together, along with Backlash’s daughter, Crimson. They eventually joined PSI, an X-Files type government organisation.


Description

Amanda is a very good-looking young woman, with red hair worn in a huge perm.

As Taboo, she grows a violet and black costume that only leaves her neck, face and hair exposed, with a barbed, metallic-looking fine tail. Since the suit drinks a bit of her blood, her skin turns chalk-white when it is in use. Her eyes also turn a glowing green.


Personality

Amanda is on the amoral side, and shows little respect toward authorities. She has lots of willpower. However, her love for the Slaytons is more important to her characterisation than her street background.

She now sees herself as Colonel “Backlash” Slayton’s companion, and as a surrogate mother/big sister to Crimson (Slayton’s daughter). Both Crimson and Slayton have had a definite mellowing influence on her (at least, when she’s not vamped out) and she’s now firmly one of the good guys.


DC Universe History

You could have her be the product of a union of Andrew Bennett (I… Vampire) and the Lords of Order, when they allied to bring about the end of reality. Taboo could have supposedly been the key to bring about chaos and the rise of Kali Yuga.

Or, she could have been an experiment by Jason Blood who was seeking a way to free himself from Etrigan and entombing the demon within a living cage – Taboo instead of himself. Or any other demon for that matter. Who says vampires aren’t demons !


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Taboo

Dex: 08 Str: 05 Bod: 08 Motivation: Uphold Slayton
Int: 05 Wil: 07 Min: 05 Occupation: PSI Agent
Inf: 07 Aur: 07 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 05
Init: 022 HP: 040

Powers:
Chameleon*: 05, Claws: 07, Control: 03, Extra limb: 03, Flight: 04, Invulnerability*: 08, Mind blast*: 05, Regeneration*: 08, Swimming: 03, Vampirism: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Chameleon is Usable on Others ; Claws can also be used for biting (EV becomes 03) (+0).

Skills:
Acrobatics: 08, Artist (erotic arts): 05, Charisma (persuasion): 12, Thief (stealth)*: 08, Vehicles (land): 04

Bonuses and Limitations:
Charisma (Persuasion) is a Powered Skill.

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (New York), Insta-Change, Credentials (PSI, Medium), Lightning Reflexes.

Connections:
Backlash/Crimson (High) ; PSI (High).

Drawbacks:
Alter-ego, Minor PI (the suit seems to have its own consciousness and sometimes control her), Minor Rage (same ; goes up to Major is she sees blood), SIA to Backlash.


Amanda (alter-ego)

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Uphold Slayton
Int: 03 Wil: 06 Min: 04 Occupation: PSI Agent
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 05
Init: 012 HP: 040

Powers:
None.

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 05, Artist (erotic arts): 05, Thief (stealth)*: 05, Vehicles (land): 03

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (New York), Credentials (PSI, Medium).

Connections:
Backlash/Crimson (High) ; PSI (High).

Drawbacks:
SIA to Backlash.

By Sébastien Andrivet, Philip John Mason and Alex Hunter.

Source of Character: Backlash comics (Wildstorm – Image).

Helper(s): Jackson.

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