Thursday, February 3, 2022

C is for the Crepuscular Man in the 2022 campaign challenge

Jacob Collins is a 56-year-old out of shape functionary in the Haven city government. OK, so yes, he has a past, but who doesn't? His past? Well, when he was a fresh-faced young government bureaucrat he was diligently filing in the deepest basement of his office when the three-day weekend started early and some nob in the city government decided to shut off the power completely. Collins spent the entire weekend in that basement, watching the shadows get deeper and deeper as the batteries of the emergency lights died, and the trauma set off his latent Infantino's Syndrome. Collins became obsessed with shadows and with proving his mastery over them. As he learned their mysteries, he felt the growing compulsion to prove his genius to the world, in the most spectacular way possible!

He took the identity of the Crepuscular Man and started a decade long spree of bizarre and spectacular crimes across Haven and the surrounding cities, all relating in some way to shadows and darkness. He somehow managed to escape jail repeatedly despite being separated from his tech, but was eventually 'cured' of his Infantino's Syndrome by Dr. Hana Tanaka and became once again a productive member of society. 

Until Akuma showed up with her team of Shadows, that is. Shadows? Them?!? They didn't know the first thing about Shadows! It's like she was begging him, forcing him to come out of retirement to show her what true shadows were! He tried to talk about it with his old therapist but Dr. Tanaka had died a few years earlier and this new woman, Learson? Larson? Whatever… was just too distracted. Hopeless really. No, no, the city of Haven had to learn again, via robberies and blackmail of famous monuments and ransoming of famous people, what true mastery of shadows looks like!

Creation Notes

I wasn't thrilled with the banal combination of darkness control and teleportation, and the rest of the power set was lending itself to shadowy serial killer, which is boring as all get out. Yes, I know I built Akuna as someone who fought serial killers in her original 1980's comic run, but by the 2020's I've found that really played out. So I took some time away from it and came back in full on Flash rogues' gallery mode, including the goofy silver age origin story of developing darkness devices because he'd been locked in a dark basement for a weekend. 

His relatively low STR score – this is three characters in a row with a 6 STR, which is a little weird - is the result of years in retirement and perhaps being overly sedated. At STR 9, 230lbs he's running a little on the chunky side these days. His 10 Charisma is because so many people have forgotten him. Forgotten the Crepuscular Man? He'll show them!

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