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Tech Jacket (Image Comics)

Tech Jacket


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

“I’m like a planetary guardian… or superhero, whatever. It’s not like I’m ashamed of the label.”


Context

Tech Jacket is a superhero by Robert Kirkman, who appeared in 2002. He operates in the same universe as Invincible, but has also met some other high-profile Image Comics super-heroes such as Shadowhawk.

Tech Jacket is a close variant over Green Lantern, except instead of a power ring he received power armour .


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Background

  • Real Name: Zachary “Zack” Thompson.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Ed Thompson (father), Unnamed Mother.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile; Orbital Space Station above upstate New York.
  • Height: 5’8” (unarmored), 6’ (armored) Weight: 150 lbs (unarmored), 250 lbs (armored).
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers & Abilities

Strength Level

The Tech Jacket augments Zachary’s strength to superhuman levels, allowing him to lift (press) at least 50 tons directly overhead under normal conditions.

By reconfiguring the Tech Jacket, Zachary can temporarily increase his strength even further.

Known Superhuman Powers

Zachary has no inherent superhuman abilities of his own. They are all derived from the Tech Jacket itself.


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Paraphenalia

Zachary the Tech Jacket, to which he has been permanently bonded, in his role as planetary guardian. This vest is a highly configurable powered exoskeleton. It augments Zachary’s physical structure, and provides him with an impressive array of weaponry for offensive purposes.

When faced with danger, the jacket extrudes a sheathe of metallic material that covers the entirety of Zachary’s body. This sheathe grants him a high degree of resistance to physical harm and sealed environment that allows Zachary to operate comfortably in a hard vacuum.

In combat, the Tech Jacket can be configured to provide the appropriate weaponry that Zachary needs at the time. In the past, Zack has used the Jacket to:

  • Fire potent laser-like beams from various ports from its surface.
  • Extrude whip-like tendrils to grasp and flay his foes.
  • Project potent energy shields for protection.
  • Fire high velocity projectiles.

The Jacket also allows Zachary to fly at high velocities through an atmosphere as well as in a vacuum. While his top speed is unknown, Zachary is easily able to achieve orbital velocity.

Outside of its purely physical applications, the Tech Jacket features a vast database that chronicles the history of several alien races – most prominently the Geldarian race.

It also provides him with a unique feature named “Host Maintenance” which removes and destroys all germs, dirt and bacteria from his body.


History

Zachary “Zack” Thompson was living a normal life until he saw a burning object drop from the sky while walking to school. He rushed to the objects point of impact. Zack discovered a severely damaged alien vessel and a survivor lying inert in the crater.

Rushing to help, Zack climbed into the wreckage and attempted to aid the alien being. As he reached out to touch the survivor, strands of metal shot out from the alien’s vest and wrapped around his body. A mere second later, the entire craft exploded.

Tech Jacket (Zack Thompson) flying on a white background with a wrist cannon out

The explosion consumed the craft and survivor, leaving absolutely no trace of their existence. Curiously, Zack survived unharmed. As the light faded and dust cleared, Zack took a good look at himself. He realised that a metallic vest had attached itself to his torso.

Armoured

Confused and already late, Zack continued on to school. Once there, he attempted to remove the vest. This action triggered the vest’s computerized consciousness which informed him that he would be unable to ever remove it.

Left with little choice, Zack finished out his day at school and returned to his father’s hardware store to attempt to figure out his next move.

Shortly after his arrival, two men entered his father’s shop. They attempted to shake him down for money that he owed them. As the confrontation turned violent, Zack entered the room and attempted to intervene.

Zack’s wish to protect his father triggered the Tech Jacket’s defence mechanisms and it easily rendered the two men helpless.

Zack and his father spent the next day attempting to discover the limits of the Tech Jacket. They soon discovered that its capabilities were even greater than they expected. However, their experiments were interrupted by Zack’s need to attend school.

Zack could barely wait for the school day to end before continuing his experimentation with the Jacket. While he did, a group of similarly armoured individuals dropped from the sky and rendered Zack unconscious.

The Geldarians, part 1

Zack was next awoken by an explosion that tore through the wall of the alien ship he was shackled to. His Tech Jacket instantly protected him from the vacuum of space by extruding a suit of armor around his body.

At that moment, one of the armoured individuals that had assaulted him earlier came into the damaged cell and set him free. He told Zack that he was being held on the charges of murder and stealing a Tech Jacket. However, the ship that they were transporting him in had come under attack.

Zack allowed his captor to shackle him and lead him out of the ship. Even as he was set adrift, he watched his captors engage a group of much larger armoured foes in a losing battle.

When an errant blast of energy destroyed his shackles, Zack made a split second decision. He used his Tech Jacket to destroy his captors’ attackers. He then surrendered peacefully to his former captors once more. Among other things, he realized that they were the only ones that actually knew how to get him home.

Zack was taken to the alien’s home world, a world known as Geldaria. The Geldarians were a highly advanced, yet physically weak race. They were locked in a desperate war against the Kresh.

The Geldarians, part 2

The Kresh were the beings that had attacked the transport that had been sent to retrieve Zack. Zack’s actions in the battle, in addition to his Tech Jacket’s logs, ultimately proved Zack’s innocence to his Geladarian captors.

The Geldarians saw a unique opportunity in Zack. His human biology made his Tech Jacket exponentially more powerful than any Geldarian warrior. Zack’s raw power could literally turn the war in the Geldarian’s favour.

After listening to the Geldarians’ story, Zack agreed to fight in their war. He spent the next month training with their greatest warriors. He was then thrown into battle.

As it turned out, Zack’s training wasn’t really that necessary. The raw power of his Tech Jacket was simply too much for the Kresh forces to withstand.

Zack won virtually every conflict singlehandedly, and eventually forced the Kresh to retreat. With the war at an end, the grateful Geldarians returned Zack home.

Time Delay

Zack was shocked to find that over 6 months had passed on Earth while he had been fighting in the Gelardians’ war. During that time, his parents had abandoned their business and gone into hiding from the mobsters that they owed money to.

Zack, having no idea what else to do, holed up at his father’s abandoned store front.

Tech Jacket (Zack Thompson) flying and blasting

That night, the very same mobsters that had assaulted Zack’s father all those months ago, stole into the shop. They were looking to destroy any remaining evidence that tied them to Zack’s father.

Zack forced the 2 mobsters to take him to their leader in the hopes that he would know were his father was. Mr. Cappella had no idea where Zack’s father was, but was willing to negotiate a settlement to his father’s debt.

Home by the lake

Disappointed with the results of his conversation with Cappella, Zack used the Tech Jacket to soar skyward when he had a sudden stroke of genius. He remembered an old lake house that his grandfather owned. He assumed his parents would be there.

Upon his arrival, his assumptions were proven correct. His reunion with his parents were cut short though by the remnants of the Kresh forces. They had somehow followed Zack to the Earth and were hellbent on gaining a measure of vengeance for their previous defeats.

Unfortunately for the Kresh, Zack was highly motivated to defend his home world, and slaughtered the alien invaders with ease.

Planetary Guardan

Zack and his family settled in a comfortable life at the lake house, and when any situation that required his attention arose Zack would intervene.

He participated in both the battle with the planet conquering Omnipotus as well as the Invincible War. He eventually set up an orbiting space station in the skies above the Earth in order to monitor for global threats.

Viltrumite War, part 1

It was shortly thereafter when Omni-man, along with Allen the Alien, came to Earth. They sought both Invincible and Zack’s aid in the upcoming Viltrumite War.

Zack realized that the power of his Tech Jacket could be a deciding factor in the upcoming battles. He agreed to join the Coalition of Planets in their war against the Viltrumites.

Zack’s transport was destroyed en route to Coalition space by a trio of powerful Viltrumites. Zack survived the ship’s destruction. He then found himself struggling alongside his allies to fend off the Viltrumites.

At the conclusion of the skirmish, the Grayson family (Invincible, Omni-man and Young Omni-man) were missing in action. Furthermore, Zack found himself marooned in deep space along with Allen. Thinking quickly, Zack used the Tech-Jacket to cling to the hull of the remaining Viltrumite cruiser until Coalition help could arrive.

Once their allies arrived, Allen and Tech-Jacket rejoined the battle. They eventually drove off their Viltrumite enemies. As a result of this, Zack became one of the lynch pins in the Coalition battle plans.

Zack spent the next year fighting skirmish after skirmish. He was often thrown into battles against vastly more powerful foes. As it turned out, the Tech Jacket’s power paled before the raw strength of a Viltrumite warrior.

Viltrumite War, part 2

Despite this, Zack survived each battle. In the process he grew extremely close to Allen the Alien. The two, alongside large Coalition strike forces, freed several occupied worlds from their conquerors and put the Viltrumite Empire on its heels.

Tech Jacket (Zack Thompson) fighting and discussing with Allen the Alien

In response, the remaining Viltrumites massed for a supposed final assault on the heart of the Coalition; the planet Talescria. Zack and Allen were both present on Talescria when the Viltrumite forces arrived en masse to devastate the planet.

The two did their best to repel the invaders. Yet they were on the verge of defeat when the Graysons made a miraculous return and turned the tide of the battle.

Viltrumite War, part 3

Rather than face possible defeat and/or capture, the Viltrumites retreated from the rejuvenated Coalition forces. Thaedus, the leader of the Coalition, organized an immediate counter-assault against the planet Viltrum itself.

He hoped to catch the assembled Viltrumites off guard while they still reeled from their defeat. Zack, along with the Graysons, Allen, Battle Beast, the Space Racer and Thaedus himself travelled to Viltrum. There they tried to prepare an ambush for the Viltrumites.

Instead, they were taken surprise by the Viltrumites, who had expected such tactics from the Coalition. They had set up an ambush of their own. The battle of Viltrum was fierce and short.

Despite his best efforts, Zack was rendered unconscious in the early moments of the battle, and was literally dragged away from the fight by the Space Racer.

Return to Earth

Zack spent the next 2 weeks resting and recuperating from the battle. He learned that even though the Coalition forces had lost the battle itself, the Viltrumites had disappeared immediately afterwards.

As a result, the war ended without fanfare. Most of the enemy forces simply surrendered without their task masters driving them into combat.

With the cease in hostilities, the need for Zack and the Graysons’ presence was gone. The quartet returned to Earth. Upon his arrival, Zack said his goodbyes and returned to his duties as the Earth’s planetary guardian.


Description

Zack is a fairly typical looking teenaged boy. Over his adventures, his physique has begun to mature, but he still appears to be a relatively slender young caucasian youth, with some distinctive Asian-American features. He has jet black hair and deep brown eyes.

At all times, Zack wears the Tech Jacket. The jacket itself is a metallic blue-grey chest-plate that covers the entirety of his torso at all times.

As Zack utilizes more and more of its capabilities, tendrils of the Jacket’s metallic material spread over his limbs, obviously reinforcing his physical abilities and/or extruding weaponry.

When fully active, the Jacket forms a full suit of armor which covers Zack from head to toe. The armor is made up of interlocked layers of metal, but is completely seamless. The armor’s appearance shifts and Zack uses it for different purposes.

For example, if he needs greater amounts of physical strength, the armor grows larger and bulkier. When he pushes the armor’s capabilities for flight, large boosters erupt from the armor’s back.


Personality

Like many of the ancillary characters in the Invincible Universe, Zack’s personality is very simple. He is a brave, well-mannered teen hero that approaches every situation with a relatively positive attitude and a desire to do what’s right.

Zack is somewhat impetuous and rarely seems to put a lot of forethought into his actions. He has complete and utter faith in his Tech Jacket. He relies on its power and versatility to get him out of whatever trouble he may have gotten himself into.

The one area where Zack shows some reluctance or hesitance is in his dealings with women (of any species). Zack is definitely not a ladies’ man, and can be quite awkward around them.


Quotes

“Holy smokes ! This is the coolest thing ever !”

“If I can make a difference, and help you end this war, I’ll gladly stay as long as you need me.”

“I’m totally growing a beard !”

“I know I’m nowhere near as strong as you guys — but I just want you to know, whatever we’re heading into, whatever we’re up against… I’m totally there for you.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Tech Jacket

Dex: 06 Str: 10 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Student/Planetary Guardian
Inf: 02 Aur: 03 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 011 HP: 045

Powers:
Comprehend Languages: 08, Data Storage: 15, Energy Blast: 12, Flight: 15, Force Shield: 06, Jumping: 03, Laser Beam: 12, Omni-Arm: 12, Projectile Weapons: 12, Sealed Systems: 15, Skin Armor: 07, Snare: 10, Ultra Vision: 06

Skills:
Acrobatics: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:
Acrobatics is a Powered Skill (+1FC).

Advantages
Headquarters (Space Station, Confined), Insta-change, Local Hero, Miscellaneous (“Host Maintenance” during sleep/rest – removes need to bathe), Scholar (Alien Races).

Connections:
Allen the Alien (High), Coalition of Planets (Low), Geldarian People (High), Invincible (Mark Grayson) (Low), Oliver Grayson (Low).

Drawbacks:
Age (Young), Power Loss (Removal of Tech Jacket, Physical stats reduced to 02APs & Powers to 0 APs, rare), Public Identity, Strange Appearance (Only when utilizing powers – 5 pts).

Genre:
Action.

By Bryan Gittens.

Source of Character: Image Comics Series – Tech Jacket, created by Robert Kirkman (author) and E.J. Su (illustrator).

Writeup completed on the 11th of October, 2013.

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