|The Nuclear Gravedigger|
|Real Name:||Robert Critchfield|
|Known Aliases:||Robbie, Bobby Bones, Roberto|
|Age:||24 (DOB August 9th, 1997)|
|Eye Color:||Brown (Green via radiation emission)|
|Nationality:||American (Granted "resident alien" status in Etoile Isles by Recluse Administration)|
|Place of Birth:||Cygnus Medical Center, Paragon Heights (Galaxy City), Paragon City, RI, USA|
|Base of Operations:||Mercy City, Mercy Island, Etoile Isles|
|Known Relatives:||Mother (Barbara Critchfield-Rodriguez), Brother (John Critchfield Jr AKA The Radioactive Skull), Aunt (Maria Rivera-Rodriguez), Cousin (Luis Rivera AKA Death's Head Atomic); Father (John Critchfield, deceased), Uncle (Jorge Rivera, deceased)|
|Superhuman Strength, Superhuman Durability & Endurance, Short-Range Radiation Projection, Radiation Immunity, Flight (via ionized particle emission)|
|Moderate combat/stunt driving skills, above-average mathematics knowledge|
|Critchfield is a wanted felon in the United States with multiple active warrants for his arrest.|
Robert Critchfield was born to John Critchfield and Barbara Critchfield-Rodriguez in Galaxy City, one of the major boroughs of Paragon City. When Robert was born, the borough was still known as "Paragon Heights". When Robert was five, the Rikti War began, and his was one of the many families devastated. Robert's father John and his uncle Jorge were both killed by invading Rikti forces, dying in an act of self-sacrifice to buy the rest of the family enough time to evade capture and make it to a Vanguard safe zone.
Although Robert is too young to remember the War itself, he does remember growing up as a refugee in his own town; what little his family had was utterly destroyed during the invasion, and although Paragon Heights was rebuilt as Galaxy City, many citizens and families fell through the cracks. Growing up in abject poverty, Robert and his brother John Jr were both easy recruits into The Skulls as that gang made in-roads in Galaxy City. Robert and John Jr were hardly anyone in the gang; like most low-level gang members, they hadn't committed any crimes worse than petty theft and vandalism, instead relying on the gang to help take care of the neighborhood where the government couldn't or wouldn't. Both boys relied heavily on their cousin Luis, a much higher ranking member of The Skulls. Robert sometimes acted as a getaway driver for Luis' jobs, and also helped his cousin maintain the finance records the gang had to show to The Family.
Robert, John Jr, and Luis were all in Galaxy City the day the Shivan Meteors rained down and obliterated the borough. The three were all headed home from high school, and were exposed to a massive dose of radiation from one of the crashing meteors. Like a number of other people who happened to be in Galaxy City that fateful day, the three developed superhuman abilities! Robert gained superhuman strength, endurance, and durability, as well as limited atomic projection abilities.
In the chaos of the Shivan Crisis, Luis convinced Robert and John Jr to join up with Arachnos for a shot at a better life. The three evaded Longbow forces and the city's heroes, making their way to an Arachnos Flier. With their atomic abilities, the three former Skulls began to take various contract jobs throughout the Isles, slowly building a new life for themselves as career criminals, with Robert becoming known as "The Nuclear Gravedigger". The three have spent the past decade or so living in the Isles and acting as mercenary supervillains.
Robert accepts contract and mercenary work from interested parties across The Rogue Isles. As he relies primarily on his superhuman abilities without possessing much tactical sense, he works best as a "monster hunter" or "super-exterminator", fighting creatures like The Snakes, The Arachnoids, or The Devouring Earth, handling crazed escaped science experiments or summonings-run-amok, and things of that nature. In particular, Robert's atomic abilities allow him to completely scour Devouring Earth infections, which has made him a frequent go-to contractor when Arachnos needs to cleanse a hive. He has also made forays into Paragon City under Arachnos orders, and participating in these operations has earned him several arrest warrants.
Robert maintains an apartment in the Mercy City neighborhood of Mercy Island, and is roommates with his brother John Jr.
Robert is not officially affiliated with Arachnos, although like many residents of the Rogue Isles he frequently accepts contract work from them. As a part of Lord Recluse's general policy of making life hard for the forces of law and order, Robert is one of many villains who has been granted "resident alien" status in the Etoile Isles, which can make any arrests on American soil more complicated as a matter of international relations (although legally/formally, the United States does not recognize the Isles' "general amnesty" policy and still considers Robert to be an American citizen).
Robert maintains friendly relations with many of the larger organizations operating in The Rogue Isles, accepting work contracts from many different groups. In addition to working for and maintaining friendly relations with Arachnos, Robert is in similar good graces with The Family, The Cage Consortium, and Crey Biotech. In addition to contract work, both Arachnos and Crey have paid Robert for biological samples and opportunities to run medical tests of various kinds on him.
Robert has living relatives in Paragon City; his mother Barbara and his aunt Maria. Both survived the destruction of Galaxy City and are living in Atlas Park with the other displaced Galaxy residents. No records exist of Robert attempting to contact them since his departure for The Rogue Isles.
Like most superhuman residents of the Rogue Isles, Robert is on Longbow's watchlist of threats. While he is not a high enough priority to have units dedicated specifically to his capture, Longbow agents have been instructed to combat him and attempt capture whenever the opportunity arises. Robert is also one of the superhumans under general surveillance by Project Vishnu, Longbow's ongoing research and intelligence operation dedicated to researching the Shivans and monitoring superhumans empowered by Shivan radiation.
Recently, Robert has come to the attention of the mysterious Malta Group. On more than one occasion he has stumbled into a trap laid by Malta, who so far seem primarily interested in spying on him and testing the extent of his superhuman abilities. Malta seems to have not yet organized a full operation to capture or assassinate Robert; however, this is only a matter of a time, as Robert's combination of powerful superhuman abilities and low tactical sense makes him easy prey for the organization.
On September 17th, 2017, Robert was arrested in Independence Port. He had been participating in an Arachnos operation in the area, launching a highly visible attack on the borough's bank and police station (this was to divert attention from an infiltration of a high tech firm in the area that had made a breakthrough in cutting edge laser optics; Arachnos operatives were successful in this theft) alongside several other villains who managed to evade capture. Robert was held in lock-up at the Ziggursky Penitentiary for 229 days (escaping on May 4th, 2018 during an Arachnos raid on the complex); during his stay, he was studied by Longbow and FBSA scientists, who compiled a full medical report on his altered physiology. The following are excerpts from said report, written by Dr. Rebecca Brinell of SERAPH, based on data compiled by the research team. The report categorizes Robert as a Class 12 Threat according to the Ronan-Greene Universal Threat Scale.
- "Physiological tests and examinations have confirmed that the subject lacks the energy absorption capabilities of some energy-using superhumans. Our Portal Corp liaison was kind enough to allow us temporary use of a multiversal baffler, which confirmed that the subject also does not draw energy from any alternate reality or dimension. This puts the subject firmly into the category of a force multiplier: a superhuman who seems to create more energy via their super-powers than they take in, thus seeming to violate the conservation of energy."
- "Radiation siphons rapidly drain the subject of generated atomic energy, representing a near 100% deviation from typical efficacy benchmark for a power drain. Subject retains moderate superhuman strength and durability when completely drained of radiation, but can otherwise be contained with only enhanced-durability materials and an ongoing radiation siphon, rather than requiring a complete power nullifier."
- "Subject creates short-range radiation fields to protect himself from injury during combat. Most superhumans who create protective energy fields of this nature create semi-solid planes of cohesive energy, broadly falling into the category of 'phasic energy constructs'. Subject seems to instead create an energy reduction field; a bullet shot at the subject will simply lose a substantial portion of its kinetic energy when passing through this field, rather than impacting the field and deforming as if the field were a solid object."
- "Subject does not possess any typical genetic markers for inherited genetic mutation or latent superhuman potential, making it likely that the subject's superhuman abilities were the direct result of DNA alteration from exposure to Shivan radiation, rather than an existing mutation that was simply triggered due to radiation exposure. Genome samples have been sent to Project Vishnu to cross-reference with their catalogue of known Shivan mutations. The fact that three close blood relatives all received broadly similar powers from the same dose of radiation may also be relevant; it's possible that the subject possesses a variant superhuman mutation that we simply have not yet catalogued, which was activated in all three when exposed to Shivan radiation."
- "Subject's use of radiation projection does not seem to carry carcinogenic potential, other possible forms of genetic corruption unknown. Even during a rest period, the subject seems to leak radioactive particles unless completely drained of radiation; long distance tracking of the subject, even satellite tracking, seems likely. Exact half-life of these particles is currently under investigation."
- "Cell samples taken from the subject indicate near-complete immunity to the effects of radiation, with the exception of specific wavelengths of radiation produced by the Shivans. As well, radiation produced by the subject seems to have little effect on Shivan cell samples. This inability to affect Shivans and weakness to Shivn radiation seems to apply to both the Bloody Bay strain and to the Neo-Shivans."
- "Despite undergoing radical cellular mutation during puberty, subject's physical and physiological development seems to have not been impacted, aside from already catalogued superhuman genetic and physiological deviations."
- All of the above information is information any investigating character could get a hold of; this page isn't written as being a single document from a single source, but all of the personal information and background details could be discovered by searching a handful of major databases (IE collating data from both Longbow and the FBSA). Nuclear Gravedigger is tagged as "Not Publicly Known" purely by virtue of fame; he's "just another supervillain", the kind of guy who could be handily be beat in a Tip mission (an Elite Boss at best) so he's not exactly famous, and the average person on the street may have not even heard of him specifically, much less know of his real name. However, the information is readily available, as he has an arrest record and has made no attempt to hide his civilian identity.
- The dates presented here assume a real-time timeline, and that the destruction of Galaxy City occurred on its real world date of September 13th, 2011. If you use a Sliding Timescale, feel free to ignore all dates on this page.
- The "Ronan-Greene Threat Scale" is a reference to the tabletop game Mutants & Masterminds, published by Green Ronin. In that system, Nuclear Gravedigger would be a PL 12 character; roughly equivalent to a higher end Spider-Man villain such as Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, or Electro, or someone who could provide an even solo challenge (IE give them a good run for their money, but ultimately lose) to an experienced (but not overtly powerful) superhero such as Batman, Captain America, Iron Man, or Black Panther.
- I'd love to be recruited for your storylines/schemes! Nuclear Gravedigger can play second fiddle to a smarter/more powerful supervillain, be a one-off foe for a higher tier superhero, or be a big challenge (but ultimately still lose through some cleverness/tactics) to a street level type. Other villains can recruit him into most anything if the payment or promised pay-out is good; he only balks at doing more heinous things (IE he's fine with fighting, especially people on relatively even footing, but won't torture, accidental/negligent death is different than intentional murder or assassination, etc). He's a Jobber villain in the classic sense. He can also work well in an "Enemy Mine" type situation, situationally working alongside a superhero (for example, working against Malta; they are scouting him for kidnapping and indoctrination as a living superweapon, but he's completely ignorant of their presence).
- If your character also gets powers from the Shivan meteors (or the Shivans in general), I generally assume that those powers would cancel his out, and that they'd be largely or completely immune to his radiation.
- Crey has no doubt cloned Nuclear Gravedigger for use in their Paragon Protectors, or spliced his DNA into existing clone lines.
- Nuclear Gravedigger's atomic powers can be easily be tracked by satellite (or a geiger counter for close range) if your character has access to that kind of capability/technology/whatever.