|The Web Of Worlds|
What good is a superhero mythology without parallel universes?
Over the years, with my favourite RPG character - The Acrobatic Flea - being remade and reimagined for different superhero RPG systems, this has thrown up the opportunity for some parallel world/weird science tomfoolery.
With my Knight City campaign lumbering out of hibernation, this has spurred me to tentatively revisit a few "alternate universes" as they impact on my current campaign world.
This also includes some ideas I've been kicking around with Justin Isaac and Jonathan Linneman, the hard-working geniuses behind the Light City project (bringing superheroes alive with old school mechanics).
THE CURRENT ACROBATIC FLEA (of Earth-H): The most recent superhero to bear the name of The Acrobatic Flea, 17-year-old Tim Knight is learning the ropes as a junior member of Knight City's Agents of C.O.M.P.A.S.S. on Earth-H (HeroPress)
THE ORIGINAL ACROBATIC FLEA (of Earth-V): The first superhero of the multiverse known to have taken the mantle of The Acrobatic Flea is an old man now, living out his twilight years training young up-and-coming heroes in his gym.
During the brutal "iron age" of Earth-V (Villains & Vigilantes), this Acrobatic Flea lost a leg in a confrontation with his arch-nemesis Dr Bionics.
|Retired Hero: The Acrobatic Flea |
Luckily scientific genius and billionaire inventor Nick Law was able to give the hero a proper prosthetic, but the Flea was never his old self again.
During this violent time, the Flea's sidekick, the effervescent Flea-Girl suffered brain damage after an oversized villain cracked her skull in the middle of a particularly viscous brawl on a space station.
The Flea now divides his time between training others and caring for his severely disabled former partner-in-crimefighting.
|Flea-Girl of Earth-M|
Both remain members of the premier British superhero team known as The Gauntlet.
When not fighting crime, the Flea, in his secret identity, is an entomological scientist for the prestigious Masters’ Corporation and a champion practitioner of the martial art of savate.
Sixteen years younger than The Acrobatic Flea, Flea-Girl is the Flea's best friend and verbal sparring partner, whose abilities continue to develop as she continues to fight crime alongside her mentor.
Over the years her phenomenal luck power has saved both her and the Flea's bacon on more than one occasion, and while he still jokingly refers to her as his "sidekick", he really knows that these days they are very much equals.
THE ACROBATIC FLEA (of Earth-G): A mere teenager starting out on a career of superheroics, the Acrobatic Flea of Earth-G (Guardians) perished (along with all the other inhabitants of that plane) when that universe unexpectedly disintegrated.
THE AQUABATIC FLEA (of Earth-W): On this waterworld, where mankind evolved as a mer-race, The Aquabatic Flea is the leader of the crimefighting Agents Of N.A.U.T.I.L.U.S.
THE ACROBATIC FLEA (of Earth-S): Of all the Acrobatic Fleas so far identified in the multiverse, the one on Earth-S (Squadron UK) is the one the least is known about beyond his very existence.
THE ACROBATIC FLEA (of Earth-L): Even less well-known than his Earth-S colleague, the Acrobatic Flea of Earth-L (Light City) is currently more a rumour than a reality.
However, this Earth is of particular interest to multiversal scientists as it's a nexus of links to different branches of the "web of worlds", proving the theory that the multiverse is more than just parallel universes but expands in other dimensions.
These worlds are classified by Grecian nomenclature, and include such exotic parallels as Earth-Mu (a world of anthropomorphic cats) and Earth-Xi (a world of toy bricks).
Scientists on Earth-L who study these other universes refer to their own as Earth-Alpha.
DER AKROBATISCHE FLOH (of Earth-N): Given its pivotal role in recent human history, it's a quirk of all parallels that they feature - in some form - a world where the Nazis actually defeated The Allies in the Second World War.
This was the fate of Earth-N, an industrialised, fascistic nightmare planet dominated by The Eternal Reich. Here the villainous Der Akrobatische Floh is one of the foot soldiers of the Reich's Übermensch Division.
THE ACROBATIC ZOMBIE (of Earth-R): This decaying, rotten Earth has seen 99.999% of the human and metahuman population wiped out by a zombie virus.
Unfortunately for the handful of uninfected survivors, the zombie-metahumans (including The Acrobatic Flea) have retained their superhuman abilities (if not their intelligence).
It's just now coupled with an insatiable, bestial, hunger for human flesh.
THE ACROBATIC FLEA (Of Earth-P): Another nexus world, Earth-P (The Mighty Protectors) has one of the most storied and dense histories of superpowered characters. On this world, the young Flea is Sean Gentry.
Born in the UK, son of billionaire industrialist Geoff Gentry, his mutant powers were recognised at an early age, but Geoff's dislike to "powered inidividuals" means it was kept quiet.
However, when a supervillain targeted Sean for assassination (Geoff, on his way to supervillain status himself, has a lot of enemies), Geoff did what any sane parent would do and faked his son's death, before sending him to live in New Jersey with distant - impoverished - relatives, under the name of Tim Knight.