Sunday, May 30, 2021

Heroclix Sunday: Ray Palmer's Lab

Today on Heroclix Sunday we do a little something for the little hero with a big brain, Ray "The Atom" Palmer.

I only WISH I could look this gay.

Oops; wrong guy; that's one the large hero with the little brain and nobody's favorite hero, Captain Atom, seen here crapping out the world's largest lithium atom (which apparently has an extra capacious K shell!).

I mean this guy:

The one in the costume, not the hot naked one in the bottle.

Ray Palmer, who, although very much NOT the first shrinking hero or even the first 'The Atom", is definitely the most famous one.

Doll Man is the first shrinking hero and pre-dates Ray by over 20 years.

That's the first "The Atom", an extremely short Golden Age hero whose only power was his lack of a self-preservation instinct.

Ray was (is?) an academic, a physics professor and trained gymnast; he's terribly smart and weighs exactly 180 pounds.

We know this because it's mentioned in every. single. story.

Ray's whole schtick is (un)shrinking and that doesn't translate well into Heroclix.  Figures of Ray often have or can use the Tiny Symbol.

It's an atom, in his honor.

The Tiny Symbol does give a figure some advantages; it can be carried around by larger figures and gets +1 Defense against ranged attacks.  But that's it; it's kind of crappy. It's shared by shrinking heroes, small animals, and baby groot.

While other powers shrinking heroes have try to capture the usual advantages of size-changing -- stealth, the element of surprise, focused and unavoidable attacks--it doesn't capture at all the idea the two shrinking characters can battle on a complete different level that other characters can't access, walloping at each in a train set or a petri dish.

So I made a map for Ray that does.

It kind of matches his costume.

The right side is at our normal human scale.  The bottom part with red wood floors is the hallway and waiting room to the Nanophysics Department where Ray works. The middle part with blue carpet is the lounge/study where colleagues meet and relax. The top part with grey tile is the lab where experiments are conducted.

The left size, with the atom symbols, is a much smaller (1/64) scale.  It represents a 'zoom in' on any one appropriate square from the other side of the map.  A shrinking character can move from a square on the right side of the map to the corresponding part of the left side (leaving a marker on the spot they 'traveled from' to show where they are in the bigger picture).  Another shrinking character can go where that marker is and transfer over to the left side to following the first one.  There they can do battle ... or just use the left side as a way to travel to a new place on the right, unmolested by opponents who can no longer perceive them.  

You can't make such areas in every map and there aren't that many shrinking characters to take advantage of them anyway. But I thought Ray deserves a map of his own where he can do so and what better place than his own lab?

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Shut up, Hal: Great...what?


"Great Terra!"...?  Shut up, Hal.  

Also: you have exactly one thing you have to do as Green Lantern. You have one job.  Buy an alarm watch,  you airhead. Or tell your RING to tell you when it's running low.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Heroclix Sunday: The Mystery of Prof. Barnes

Prof. Barnes.

P R O F E S S O R   B A R N E S

Who IS Professor Barnes? Only Dennis Marks knew for sure, and it's too late to ask him.

Professor Barnes is a scientist, certainly. He works in a Vast Lab Complex outside Midway City.

I like to imagine that "Vast" is brandname, like "S.T.A.R.".

He has not only lab coat but a COLLARED LAB JACKET. That's the sign of a SERIOUS scientist.  He's not labcoat Aquaman.

He's Doctor Sivana.

He's not the pharmacy tech.  He's the actual PHARMACIST.

Is he merely Carter Hall's colleague? Or is there something more Carter Hall requires of him?

"I sure he would."
"And I'M sure he DOES!"

He knows Carter's secret identity as Hawkman, so clearly it's something more.

Hawkman is a man of needs. Strong ones. Sudden ones.

Is Prof. Barnes The Alfred?

"You may need to look at this, Carter."

Is Prof. Barnes The Commissioner Gordon?

"Well, you DEFINITELY need to look at this, Professor Barnes."

There is no Hawkgirl. So, in her absence, is Prof. Barnes The Vicki Vale?

"Oh, Carter! Did you import that one from Thanagar or buy it here...?"

I am not entirely certain what role he serves in the Filmationverse. But I know what role he must serve in Heroclix.  Like any vague scientist who backs up a superhero, Professor Barnes goes on a S.T.A.R. Labs Scientist dial.

S.T.A.R. Labs Scientist are potentially powerful but unreliable support figures in Heroclix; they work better in pairs, since whatever ability they temporarily gain is held by all of them at the same time, and since if you don't get the ability you want from the first one's roll, you can always try the second one's roll.  

Since no one else seems to work in the Vast Lab Complex (just Carter and Professor Barnes; alone; all day), I had to draw from other versions of Hawkman for a companion scientist: Mavis Trent.

Not the Marvel universe "Mavis Trent"; I refuse to comment on the absurdity that BOTH Marvel and DC have a character improbably named "Mavis Trent".  

I mean Mavis Trent of Midway Museum, the shameless hussy who constantly hit on Carter Hall, even though he was married and his wife was RIGHT THERE working in the museum with them.

Seen here trying to remember how to keep at least one strap up.

Hawkman isn't the only person with strong sudden needs.  

Mavis Trent made Vicki Vale look like a nun.  

This is from the time she decided to move in with Carter, like, the week after Shayera left him.  

But, although it wasn't much emphasized after her first few appearances. she was indeed a scientist, specifically a naturalist.  

Which may explain why she had such trouble keeping her clothes on.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Those Yellow Gloves are for Cleaning Up Blood

 You know who'll cap your *** without batting an eyelash?

O.G. Aquaman, that's who.  Golden Age Aquaman would just as soon kill you as look at you.

Friday, May 21, 2021

One Through Five: Fifth Story

In their fifth stories,


saves a train from a faltering bridge and townspeople from a faltering dam.


scares the city senseless

fights a gorilla

escapes from a death-trap

fights an even larger gorilla.

Wonder Woman

saves an American submarine twice and destroys a Nazi one.


saves a millionaire's life,

befriends a senator,

becomes a millionaire himself in order to solve a case,

saves the senator's daughter's life

exposes corruption in the shipping industry.


travels at the speed of light, 

goes to outer space, 

circumnavigate the moon, 

defeats Mr. Element, 

and gets chewed out by Iris West.

Green Lantern

defeats an empty uniform worn by the imaginary friend of an overworked scientist.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

One Through Five: Fourth Story

In their fourth stories,


exposes gambling corruption in college football.


snaps a man's neck with his foot.

Wonder Woman

saves a host of innocent girls from slavery in Baroness Paula Von Gunther's Nazi espionage operation, while giving a serious bump to Holliday College admissions.


punches his way out of decompression chamber death-trap to save a boy's life by raising an entire freighter off the seafloor, while exposing corruption in the salvage business.


captures the terrorists Le Chat Noir in Paris and El Claw in Cairo, 

re-builds the Great Pyramid, 

saves some hikers from an avalanche on Mt. Everest, 

does a panel homage to the Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai (1831), 

defeats a pirate sub in the Pacific, 

goes around the world in 80 minutes and 

still makes his date with Iris in time.

Green Lantern

scares off some birds.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

One Through Five: Third Stories

In their third stories,


drags of bunch of rich a-holes down into the mines they own to convince them to improve conditions for the workers.


starts a fire, then stands and watches a foe burn to death in it, while posing dramatically.

Wonder Woman

saves Steve Trevor,

meets and befriends her sidekick, Etta Candy, and the Holliday Girls

joins a college marching band,

saves Steve Trevor again, and

meets and defeats her first supervillain, Dr. Poison.


kills a shark with a conch shell and saves the entire nation of Pearl Island from pirates.


defeats his first named supervillain, Captain Cold.

Green Lantern

defeats a bald scientist who has a battering ram and 

sexually harasses his boss.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

One Through Five: Second Story

In their second stories,


stops a war in the South American country of San Monte single-handedly.


hangs a man out a window to make him talk.

Wonder Woman

brings Steve Trevor back to Patriarch's World in her Invisible Plane

acquires a secret identity,

makes a bunch of money with a one-woman show,

saves Steve Trevor's life two more times,

uncovers and destroys an enemy chemical base.


sinks a pirate ship with its own torpedo.


saves a child's ring from a sewer, 

defeats criminal conjurer "The Brain" three times, and 

gets demeaned by Iris West, all before dinner.

Green Lantern

gets hit in the head with the Yellow Lamp.