Archive for May 22nd, 2016

Character Bible: The Rescuer

May 22, 2016

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Hi all! I’m going to go ahead and do another character bible today. This time it’s for the Rescuer, who has been more sort of a “near protagonist” than protagonist in most of the stories, but who has a backstory I’ve kind of been wanting to set down for later.

Real Name: Kyle Kane

Physical Appearance: 6’3″, 190 lbs, although in his civilian identity he tends to duck his head and wear slightly oversized clothing in order to make himself look smaller. He is a powerfully-built man (although again, he dresses to make his physique less noticeable when not acting as the Rescuer) with short dark hair (kept slicked back in his civilian identity). His costume is a white spandex bodysuit with red trunks and a red cape, and blue gloves and boots. His chest has an emblem of a large blue five-pointed star, with several smaller red stars surrounding it. He wears a blue domino mask covering his eyes and the upper part of his face when acting as the Rescuer.

History: Kyle Kane was a test pilot and later astronaut for the United States Air Force, working under the auspices of NASA while also carrying out important military work in deep space. (Note: It can be assumed here that, as with pretty much any comic book universe, the space program is significantly more advanced than that of the real world.) While carrying out an EVA mission to maintain one of Earth’s defense satellites in low orbit, Kyle was witness to a battle between two alien beings of cosmic power. Later, he would learn that this was the first salvo in a major war among the Elevated Ones, beings whose gifts transcended the laws of physics and whose struggles determined the destiny of all life in the universe, but at the time he only knew that massive energies were being unleashed in his immediate vicinity. The resultant waves of force sent him crashing to Earth…without his spaceship.

On landing, it became apparent that the titanic powers unleashed by the Elevated Ones had transformed his body into something unknown to conventional physics, a battery of cosmic energy that was capable of absorbing virtually unlimited physical punishment (hence his surviving a fall from Roche’s limit) and of astonishing feats of physical prowess. He was faster and stronger than any human being could have imagined, his senses were sharpened to impossible levels, and that only scratched the surface of his capabilities. With his background of service, it is perhaps unsurprising that he chose to use these abilities for the good of humankind.

Legally, however, Kyle Kane was thought dead by the authorities, and he chose not to disabuse them of this notion. Having served in the military, he was all too aware that soldiers were too commonly “lions led by donkeys”, and he decided he preferred not to submit to the authority of a government that may choose to use him to further a private agenda. He used some of his skills and connections as a commando to set up a fake identity (luckily, the name “Kyle Kane” is common and inconspicuous enough that he was able to continue using it) as a freelance artist, and has been operating covertly as the Rescuer ever since.

Personality: The Rescuer is a calm, confident individual who has grown accustomed to being one of the most powerful beings in the known universe–not a statement of egotism, but simply an awareness of how very few limits he has. Already a courageous man even before he gained his abilities, he has almost forgotten how to be afraid for himself (on those rare occasions where he has lost his powers or had them weakened, he has needed help in remembering what it means to be vulnerable). Instead, he focuses his emotional energies on keeping a sense of empathy, something he has worried about losing ever since his encounter with a parallel-universe version of himself called “Imperil”, and on protecting and nurturing the humanity he sees as in his care.

Perhaps as a result of this conscious engendering of a parental instinct, and of his knowledge that very few beings (human or otherwise) are capable of matching him on a physical level, he has had almost no close relationships. Notable exceptions would include Venus Ascendant, who has had a non-exclusive and casual sexual relationship with him, and Adventure Girl, who shares similar powers and who slept with him during the events of “All She Wants To Do Is Dance”. That incident greatly complicated their relationship, though, as she felt (once recovered from the spell of the Pendant of Persephone) that he took advantage of her diminished ability to consent. Unable to disagree, the Rescuer has spent a lot of the subsequent time trying to make amends for his actions. Whether he will ever be able to do so remains in doubt.

Unique Abilities: The Rescuer’s body has, as mentioned above, been transformed into a repository for a vast and seemingly inexhaustible supply of cosmic energy. (Only once has it been successfully siphoned off, using a cosmic artifact called the Parallax Key, which has since been destroyed.) This energy gives him virtually limitless strength, speed, endurance and durability, as well as the ability to fly and to project beams of heat from his eyes (his so-called “power vision”). He also has improved sensory capabilities, able to attune his senses to events both distant and extraordinarily small.

Virtually no known entity within the laws of physics has been able to affect him, with the exception of the rare and difficult to produce compound known as “xenonite” (Xe2O) which, due to xenon’s status as a noble gas, can only be created under very specific conditions that virtually never occur in nature. Xenonite, which generally forms as a crystalline solid, interrupts the connection between the Rescuer’s body and his cosmic energies, weakening him (and potentially killing him in sufficient quantities).

In addition, forces outside of the laws of physics (“magic”) can affect him, as these things operate on a symbolic and abstract level and not the mundane rules we know. The Rescuer must always be careful when magic is involved.