Monday, October 19, 2015

Fallen Icons: Square Peg, formerly Flexiguy

Used to be, you could see sideshows at circuses. Freakshows. In this more enlightened age, they don't show up, now. Instead we have the Internet and streaming video.

Some people let other people see them. One of those people is Square Peg.

She's not attractive, as women go. Her arms and legs are too long. She obviously wears a wig, because sometimes it is askew. And she always, always, always wears a bodysuit like the one Flexiguy used to wear. It's not visible all the time, but it's there.

Square Peg looks like a church lady, but she performs. She'll do anything nonsexual and nonlethal that you ask and pay for. She swallowed live fish (twenty-six of them). She's rolled in disgusting things. She once kissed a clown.

Prowess5Intellect4Determination-
Coordination3Awareness3Stamina6
Strength2Willpower4
SpecialtiesPerformance, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Wrestling
PowersNone?
QualitiesTired.
Morally flexible.
Embarrassing secrets to spare.

Getting to know Square Peg involves getting through layers of secrets. Like an onion.

Square Peg was Flexiguy, who was Chuck "Moray" Marston, back in the 1940s. He never seemed to age, and he fought crime for years.

Years.

People have been born, lived, raised families, and passed away in all that time.  The crooks seemed to get meaner. People in general got less sunny, less tolerant of his way of looking at the world. A guy who could pretend to be a very nice desk set seemed as out of place as, well, desk sets.

He'd been adopting a woman's appearance for years in order to get in and out of places in disguise. One day, it seemed like just too much effort to change back. To stretch at all, in fact, or fight crime or do, well, anything. He's stuck in that form.

Well, he still needs to eat. So he does what they pay him to do.

What does that mean for the PCs? Well, one might be related to him, or one might need something that he knows. Someone might be suspicious of his cover identity--Peggy Rest doesn't seem as old as she should be, given that her history starts with her as a middle-aged adult in 1989.

A fresh infusion of the flavoring agent might help him. (Is Gin Gold still around? Is there someone who remembers what the secret ingredients were?) And he needs a reason to live...someone with a bright view of the world might help. Someone who figured out who he was...someone clever, like the PCs.

Flexiguy


Chuck "Moray" Marston was a gangster on the way up. He got put in charge of the Gin Gold factory robbery, but there was a double-cross, and a shoot-out, and then Marston fell into a vat of flavoring agents. That saved him from being shot dead. He crawled out (dying) , managed to overpower the night watchman who found him, but collapsed before he made it two blocks. He collapsed in front of a brownstone.

The old man who owned the brownstone had been a monk, and he cared for Marston. Under his influence, Marston decided to turn over a new leaf. Before he left, Marston discovered that his time in the flavoring agents had given him a new power: when he wanted, his body was as pliable as putty. He decided to put it to use as a superhero.

He toyed with a number of names (such as The Pliable Punk, Malleable Max, Elastic Man, Mr. Bendtastic, or Darknight Ductility) and decided to be the Flexible Freak. However, when someone asked his name, he blanked and what he got out was, "Flexible...guy." The newspapers turned it into Flexiguy.


NameFlexiguyProwess5Intellect4Determination3
Coordination4Awareness4Stamina9
Strength4Willpower5
SpecialtiesMental Resistance Expert, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Wrestling
PowersTransformation (objects) Limit: Tell6
Extra: Damage Resistance
Extra: Stretching
Life Support (vs aging)1
QualitiesSecret (ex-crook)
Came from the dark side to the lighter side
Morally flexible

Notes

Unlike every other Fallen Icons post, this one is genderswapped. Mostly, the name appealed to me. But also, if you have significant amounts of Transformation, choosing a sex is, well, optional.

Square Peg is rather a bleak, dark view of existence. It certainly doesn't fit with the character Jack Cole created, but for me, it certainly feels like what happened to comics. If you could manage some kind of a comeback story that ended up with Flexiguy being in a happier place, well, that would please me.