Brave New World
Kree-Human Hybrid Paragon
Basically, while Ethan appreciates being a superhero, he’s not into spandex or any of the other classic looks. His friends insisted he had to wear a cape, but he stood his ground, with the compromise that he’d wear a trenchcoat instead. So Ethan’s Captain Marvel persona looks less like Superman and more like Neo. He wears a long black leather reinforced coat (so it’ll take windshear). Beneath is a two piece jumpsuit, with a simple eight-pointed star logo, similar to Captain and Miss Marvel’s from the comics. He also wears a heavy-duty construction belt for his cell phone and a few other bits he carries with him. (he’s not Superman, he need GPS to make sure he’s going the right way).
Long and Involved Backstory
The original Captain Marvel, was the Kree Captain Mahr-vell, sent to survey Earth as a potential addition to the Empire. Part soldier, but also part scientist, he could blend in and evaluate the species’ potential.
He came to Earth back in the 80s. He posed as a superhero of sorts, though the government kept news of him mostly muffled. Given that he mainly dealt with extraterrestrial threats, this worked, by and large. But much like Hellboy, stories get out, and the tabloids dubbed the stranger “Captain Marvel” thanks to some badly translated reports from federal whistle blowers.
After a year on Earth, he wound up going native. He’d met a woman, fallen in love, and to his surprise, they had a son. A few discrete scans with his medical technology revealed something shocking: Kree/Human hybrids were a good deal more potent than either parent species. This was something he didn’t want his people to learn, so steps had to be taken.
First “Captain Marvel” died a heroic death staving off a minor alien incursion, or so those who knew of his existence were led to believe. Then he informed his superiors that the Earth was in the process of destroying itself via nuclear war (a prospect they knew existed), and that he was unable to get off world in time, and expected to be dead. He faked a few scans and an appropriate final report, and sent them off. Given the usual timetables, it was a reasonable assumption that no one would come by and check on a radioactive crater on the far side of the galaxy for at least a century or two.
All that done, the newly christened “Mark Vail” settled down with is wife and baby son, out in scenic Denver, Colorado.
Actual Character Background
Ethan had a fairly normal life for the most part. Well up until puberty. Then he started getting stronger, tougher than his classmates. At first he wrote it off to being a mutant, so when his parents told him to keep it under wraps, he understood and did as he was told. After all, he knew how weird people got about those guys. It sucked too, because he would have DOMINATED any sport he could have joined. Instead, he settled for being a godlike Call of Duty player. Such were the travails of high school.
Everything changed when he went to school at NYU. At first, he just wanted an Aerospace Engineering degree. He’d always loved astronomy, and his father had told him such fantastic stories about aliens and space battles and other tales, that he just knew he had to get out there one day. Of course, with government space programs dying, it meant going into the private sector.
Then came the cliched bank robbery. The guys burst in and tie up the people, and shove grenades in their hands. Only Ethan calls their bluff. He stands up, lets the pin pop up and just walks towards them. They run out into the hands of the arriving police. the grenade blows up in his hand, and… aside from the clothes and hair, he’s undamaged. And a news crew catches the whole thing. Thus begins the publicity.
Eventually, SHIELD got wind of it, and sent some people to ask him a few questions. He confessed to being a mutant, but agreed to a few tests (they offered him a nice check in compensation). It didn’t take long for the SHIELD scientists to reveal a secret so deep even he’d been unaware of it. He was half-alien. Somehow, the alien DNA, mixed with human that contained a latent X-gene had created a true superman.
This led to an angry confrontation with his parents. The real story of “Captain Marvel” was told. Furious that his dad had kept the truth from everyone, even his mother, the two exchanged harsh words, and even came to blows. However, in fine dramatic tradition, son overcome the father, sending him flying back through a few walls, surprising them both. Apologizing to his mother, he left that day, and never came back. He has no contact with his family, except for a few letters and emails to his mother.
Since then, he’s been inspired by the Avengers (and the encouragement of his friends who think its cool they know a real-live half-alien superhero) to go out and kick evil’s ass. Colonel Fury classified him as “Captain Marvel” on the official files, much to his annoyance, but when the media got wind of it, the name stuck, despite the fact that he really dislikes it.
Doing What Others Can’t
First off, this guy does not start off as a crime fighter. The bank robbery thing was because he and his friends where there. They were involved in it. But honestly, he’s not Batman. He’s not a detective, and after the first time he tried to “help out” got him an ass-chewing by the authorities, he realized that there was something more important he could be doing.
So rather than stopping muggers and chasing bank robbers, he shows up to fires and helps get people out. If an accident destabilizes a building or bridge, he holds it up. As far as crime goes, if there’s a stand-off that makes the news, he does show up, but he finds the man in charge, and asks if he can help. If he gets told “no,” then he backs off. The first few times, this happened, but after they saw he wasn’t going to charge in half-cocked, and actually work with the unit, he’s used as a big obvious “go play hero up front while SWAT sneaks in and rescues hostatges” or as walking cover.
He’s NOT the cocky, reckless archetype I usually play. Oh, he’s young enough he has his moments, but he’s got a better head on his shoulders than that. It also sets up for, if SHIELD offers him a job, he’d take it.
Are My Fifteen Minutes Up Yet?
The rather public display got him media attention. At first, he avoided it, but his friends insisted he make something of it. So he took an interview. Then another. And another. He’s not a full-on Kardashian-level celebutante, but it’s edging there, and it makes him nervous. Basically, he’s kinda like Jennifer Lawrence. He’s got enough natural charm to not make an ass of himself, but he sometimes sticks his foot in his mouth. If Clark is the embodiment of Midwestern Values, then Ethan is the everyman college student. Not the jock, not the geek. Elements of both. He has friends, gets dates, and is just trying to figure his life out.
This makes him recognizable even when off duty, which can be annoying. It means someone could go after his friends. But it also gets him little perks, which he can’t always resist availing himself of. People buy him drinks. He gets quite a bit of female attention. While he’s grounded enough to be aware that most of these people aren’t really interested in him, just his fame and glory, he’s human enough to want to ride the gravy train while it’s still there. Also, his friends’ urgings aren’t helping. In fact, they’ve started Youtube-ing him, trying to convert him into an almost Kickass-style internet star. However, he’s resisting this… mostly. He does chats and even vlogs from time to time, but he’s yet to cave into some of their wilder suggestions.
With Friends Like These…
Basically, its a four-man band hanging out at the City College of New York. They met during their undergrad days, and they continue to associate even now, into their graduate programs. Aside from Ethan, there’s Julie Matthews, the civil engineer and one of his ex-girlfriends. She figured out she was a lesbian. He gets ragged on about this constantly, even though they stayed friends. He quips it really is his fault; the threeway was his idea, after all. How was he supposed to know Julie and her new lover were hit it off that well?
Next up is Rashid, a computer engineer whose family emigrated to the US from Syria when he was a boy. He’s the group prankster, and is generally the one most responsible for the worst trouble they’ve gotten in. There’s Kim Muy Than, a second-generation Korean-American architect. She’s currently dating Rashid, which baffles everyone considering she’s every bit as serious as he is a goofball. Opposites attract, and all that. There are others, but they come and go. These four have stayed constant since junior year.
They’re his support network, and confidants. They’re also not the best influence. Rashid obviously loves to cause mischief, but Julie knows him well enough to manipulate Ethan pretty easily. She never does so with malice, but when disagreements break out, more often than not, it’s her tweaking Ethan on his choice of sides that tends to end things. She’s also been the most vocal proponent of Ethan’s continuing media appearance. Only Kim really disagrees with it, but even she has to admit its kind of nice. Yes, there’s the usual “threats against friends” to worry about, but they’re peer pressure can affect him, and not always for the better.
Can’t Escape Your Past
This covers two different sides of a similar coin. First is his relationship with his father, the original “Captain Marvel.” They don’t speak much. His public outing has forced his family to go off the grid, and it’s made a mess of his family life. But it’s a mess he doesn’t want to deal with, so it’s more background material.
No, the REAL problem is the fact that the Kree now know something is going on at Earth, and they want to know what the hell happened to their advance scout. So they’re coming. This is going to cause major problems in the future.
However, there’s a third side to this that could also come into play. There could be other Kree related items or people hiding on this planet. Now that he knows of his heritage, Ethan would be eager to get his hands on something that could tell him more about the other side of his genetic lineage. I know you made comments about having humans and Kree be related on some level. Ethan’s smart enough to intuit “it can’t be a coincidence how alike we look” and might start leveraging university resources to seeing what might be around to uncover.
Like all good double-edge aspects, this covers two ideas. The first is that Ethan is not fully grown into his powers, and that there’s more he can do, once he figures it out. Standard stuff to justify future choices with experience, and power stunts. etc etc etc
But it also has the added complication that people want Ethan for more than just a trending topic. He’s the first successful example of humanity crossbreeding with an ALIEN SPECIES, and the results are clearly PHENOMENAL. There are plenty of military and scientific organizations that would do very bad things to get their hands on a proper set of genetic samples. Or better yet, a subject for study. Or vivisection.
Minor Aspect: I’m Not Wearing That
This is just thrown in to justify his look. See Character Description at the top of the page.