Wild Claw

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Wild Claw
Once I had a name, a family, a life; like everyone else.
Then I had a handle, and a different kind of family.
Now I have a codename.
A different kind of life.
Wild Claw in the Hollows
Public Identity:Wild Claw
Global Handle:@Wild Claw
Shard:Everlasting
Real Name:William Bodson
Known Aliases:Little Bodger[1], Patella[2]
Legal Status:Unlicensed Vigilante
Clearance:Confidential
Affiliations:None
Reputation:Bloodthirsty Vigilante
Base:Converted ISO container[3]
Physical Data
Species:Mutant Human (Anthropomorphic Wolf)
Sex/Gender:Heterosexual Male
Age:25
Handedness:Right
Height:7'6"
Weight:300 lbs
Eye Color:Hazel shading to yellow
Fur Color:Reddish Brown with gray markings
Biographical Data
Nationality:Canadian (Second Generation English)
Place of Birth:Chatham, Ontario
Social Status:Lower Middle Class
Education:Military College/Trade School[4]
Marital Status:Single
Relatives:Sam Bodson (Grandfather[5])
Susan Bodson (Older sister[6])
Powers and Skills
Origin:Mutation
Archetype:Brute [Martial Arts/Regeneration]
Powers:Enhanced Physique[7]
Enhanced Senses[8]
Natural Weapons[9]
Regeneration[10]
Instinctual skills[11]
Fearsome Howl[12]
Vulnerabilities:Horror Factor[13]
Disturbing Voice[14]
Parasitic Curse[15]
Skills:Artist[16]
Driving[17]
Streetwise[18]
Martial Arts[19]
Mechanic[20]
WildClawSymbolBruteMutantVigilante

"A creature roaming the outskirts of Paragon City was spotted by citizens early this evening. Heroes flocked to the scene, to find a destroyed drug lab and a number of badly beaten thugs, but no sign of the monster. Police have assumed that it was driven off by an unknown vigilante and are increasing patrols in the area." - Stephen Clirk, Channel 10 Paragon Action News

"It was horrifying. It was just suddenly there in the alley, and the muggers were tossed about like dolls. I mean, it rescued me and all that, but it was like some kind of wild animal, not a superhero. And that voice! Horrible." - Sam Vellany, mugging victim

"The bulletins are calling it Wild Claw now. I don't know what the big deal is, it's just some kind of fur-suited pervert freak, like all the others. One more mutant menace." - Jasper Ho, Humans First Lobbyist

"Another serial kidnapping attempt was foiled by the bloodthirsty vigilante Wild Claw last night. The intended victim escaped without injury." - Alice Jones, Channel 10 Paragon Morning News

"Look, have you ever tried just talking to him? He's quite nice when you're not shooting at him, or trying to light him on fire, or something." - Amethyst Spark, Superhero

Profile

Wild Claw is hot-headed, quick-tempered, and overconfident, while at the same time being courageous, dependable, and team-orientated. Given his background and the way the media reacts to him, nearly everyone assumes he's one of the many dark edgelord anti-heroes running around Paragon City, but that is not who he is. He does like a lot of Goth and Metal music however. That doesn't help his case with the media.

He thinks in terms of forceful, direct action, but he is not stupid and uses stealth when appropriate. He has spent a good number of years in the military, but due to many bad experiences, he is leery of official authority figures like police. That makes him a bit twitchy around heroes; he wants to belong, and he honestly wants to be one of the good guys, but he has a fierce need to protect his (and other people's) individual freedoms which puts him at direct odds with the status quo.

Favourite Music
TemptationThe Tea Party
Harder to BreatheMaroon 5
Nothing Else MattersMetallica
UprisingMuse
KashmirLed Zeppelin

Wild Claw's powers are based on a latent mutation that he believes was activated by a mysterious injection given accidentally at a free clinic, but is actually due to a living curse/parasite that has lodged itself inside his genetic code. The curse was created by the demonic entity known as Daemagog as a means to create and control weapons for it's use against the heroes of Paragon City. Daemagog does not appear to have any control over the living curse now, as Wild Claw has wrested that away. Wild Claw does not have full control of the parasite, seems to be unable to retain any actual knowledge of it, and it has a tendency to project 'darker' powers than can be explained by Wild Claw's mutation origin, such as unconsciously projecting an aura of fear and unease which hampers Wild Claw's ability to work with normal people.

He is fairly skilled in other areas. He is a trained kickboxer, knows how to make various types of fuel and explosives if given the right raw materials, is a highly skilled mechanic, sheet metal artist, and something of an inventor; although he tends to tinker with motorcycles more than any other kind of device.

Wild Claw is not the strongest, fastest, or most skilled superhero. He is, however, voted 'most likely to mess you up' simply because he keeps getting back up and does hold grudges amazingly long.

History

It all really started with my grandfather.

My parents died when I was four. It was at a political protest of some kind or another, and there were people there who turned it into a riot. When I was old enough, I started asking questions, but I still don't know the details. It hit my sister worse than it did me. She was five years older.

Granddad stepped up. Raised us. Taught me about bikes, fighting, all of it.

He was an Angel.

He also taught me that there were two kinds of people. Sheep... and wolves.

He'd be so proud.


When my sister went into the Air Force, I acted out. Got in trouble. Granddad sorted me, though. Enough that when it was time, I enlisted myself. I spent six years fixing airplanes. When I demobbed, I took those skills and started a custom shop. Rebuilt bikes and made-to-order stuff. Didn't get famous, but I was good. Good enough that a lot of bikers would come a long way for a Bodge Job. Made a lot of friends. Good friends.

Role Models
Wild Claw likes to think of several classic comic-book heroes as his role models. These are his impressions of those heroes.
BatmanMixed-style martial artist, and uses the bad-guys' fear as a weapon.
Ghost RiderNot a crime-fighter, but a punisher of evil. It doesn't matter if it's illegal, is it wrong? Of course, the motorcycle doesn't hurt.
The ThingStuck in his monstrous form, unable to change back.
Spider-ManTreated as a criminal by the authorities, but as a hero by the people.

Then the Skulls moved through our small Canadian town, expanding from their normal range. The police were useless. The locals fought back, but lost. They torched my shop, and a lot of friends bit it. They didn't catch me, though. I decided to find their source. Figure out where they're coming from, and stop them.

Tracking them was easy. Of course they originated from Paragon City. The place oozes corruption, despite all the so-called 'Superheroes' there.


So there I was, all new and shiny, in the big city, also looking new and shiny. So what do I do? I figure out the layout. I want to do this quiet-like. I'm by myself, and I don't want to make enough noise to attract attention until I'm ready to make the big boom.

I make a minor pest of myself. Managed to get inside as a low-end Gravedigger's Assistant. Just to get information, right? Sure.

It doesn't go well. I dragged my ass to a free clinic, to get a bullet removed from my shoulder. There's lots of them scattered about. Both clinics and bullets, but I'm talking about clinics right now. They gave me a tetanus shot, they say.

Except something went wrong. The girl in the white uniform got really panicky, when she notices the label on the bottle isn't the right color. This is after she stuck the needle in.

The doc said it was Silver nitrite. I know enough chemistry to know that's not right at all, and got a bit upset. Apparently it had something to do with treating babies with the clap, however that works, but that's at a much lower dose than what she stuck me with. The doc explained that my eyes might turn blue for a bit, or black stains might appear on my skin, but if I survive the night it'll clear up eventually. But there was something in the way he said it. Now that I think back on it, he was awfully eager.

It knocked me out. I dreamed of this thing, a snake with seven eyes. Seven blinking red eyes. I think there was something else in that bottle. Something that wasn't any kind of medicine.

Or I'm playing association games, and that had nothing to do with what happened the next morning. It was a pure accident.

Yeah, right.


Great, I'm a monster, straight out of a SyFy Original Movie. I'm not thinking straight and I can barely stand, but I go back to the clinic. Then things go black; there was screaming, and flames, and when I get up again the clinic's gone. Just gone.

Drawn by Eat_Me

Survival is my main goal, and trying to figure out what the heck happened to me comes a close second. Until this guy in a trenchcoat shows up, proclaims that he found me through the power of prophecy, and says he is there to guide me to a cure to my conditions. He calls himself 'Oracle' and is part of M.A.G.I., some kind of local government department that deals with this kind of thing. Not having a better idea, and given that I'm not in any state to put up resistance, I follow along.

Once I'm on my feet again, off I go on a series of quests for the Oracle with this crew he's put together. A stone girl with wings called Gargola, a catgirl called Cougar Noir who looks like she's stepped right out of an old black and white movie, and a few others. Starts out with busting up Hellions to recover some minor artifacts they'd stolen, but it progresses onto bigger things. Big enough to get the attention of the spandex crowd.

Oh, and remember how this all started with a bullet? Well, I got shot again. A lot. It's weird though, it doesn't seem to matter. It hurt, sure enough, but the pain went away and the holes closed up on their own. I don't want to think about the ones that didn't go all the way through.

Before things get too hairy... yeah, I know, stupid joke... I figure out something. The Oracle isn't playing straight with us. He's manipulating us, building us up to take on these Heroes. We're living weapons for him. Oh no. I'm not playing that game, so I turn on him when we're alone.

And I'm not doing bad. Just before I think I've won, though, he suddenly goes all normal. Turns out he was being possessed by a demon that he called Daemagog and it took off the second it thought it was going to be defeated. He's just a victim as well.


Of course, this is when the capes show up. Bunches of them, I guess 'cause they thought they'd be taking on all of us at once instead of just me and mister 'Why are you hitting me?'. I give as good as I can, but it ain't enough.

Off I go to the 'Zig. I don't know what happens to the possession guy, as we get separated. Being in the 'Zig, however, doesn't last long. This place is just a giant revolving door.

There's some kind of bust-out arranged by some of the big hitters in the villain scene, Spider-fetish things. Anyway, I take advantage of the confusion and get out as well. There's so many escaped prisoners in Brickstown running around most of the time, I can just vanish into the sewers and nobody will be the wiser.

This is where I find out some stuff. The possession guy's in an institution, brain's basically blended. I bet Daemagog jumped ship and is in a different body. The rest of gang were converted to actual heroes by the government without them being told what went down. So I was the only one who ended up in prison. There were a lot of interviews and stuff at first, so I bet there was a loaded question in the middle of them that I answered wrong.

I'm not a cape. I've been fighting capes. Who in their right mind is going to trust me? I don't trust me. I can feel something in the back of my head, wanting out. Wanting to do more than bust some heads. It was there before the change, but it's gotten louder. There's an awful thought. Maybe it's Daemagog, hiding in me.

So again, here I am, surviving off of salvage. I can't get a job, go to a burger joint, or do anything remotely normal. All I can do is fight gangers and take their stuff. In the dark, when nobody else is around.

Because a cape won't be able to tell me apart from the bad guys.

Lair

Wild Claw's Lair
I've managed to lose myself down at the docks, intending to lie low for a bit. Took over an abandoned shipping container as a lair of sorts, enough for a cot and some stuff taken out of a big RV I found half buried in the Hollows. I used to fix jets and build bikes, so I know my way around a wrench and a torch. If I put my mind to it, I can stay hidden there for a bit.

Okay, maybe a bit more than a cot. The big RV had a lot of stuff in it, but it was all pretty beaten up. I need tools though, so it looks like I'm going to need to hammer on some of those Tik-Tok things I see heroes kick around. They're mechanical so they have to have some good tools in their home bases or something.

That means I have to get out and wander around though. I really hope the capes I encountered when working for Daemagog didn't take it too personal. Otherwise I bet there some hero out there who thinks I'm their one and only Nemesis or something.

Bike

Ever since I got to Paragon City, my bike's been useless.

To start with it's not like I can just go the gas station and buy a few gallons. There aren't any public gas stations in most of the city. I guess there were too many robberies.

And now I'm not shaped right anymore, and I'm a bit bigger than normal.

So I figured out that I was better off building a diesel, and raid restaurants for their used cooking oil. Don't laugh too hard, diesel motorbikes have been around for years, especially in Germany. Performance ain't so bad either. With a little chemical jiggery-pokery and some alcohol, you can make BioDiesel out of vegetable oil.

Could you imagine that, me roaring down the Aqueduct at about 130 mph sounding like a tractor and smelling of fishsticks?

It's almost worth it.

Nah, I have a better idea. Diesel Turbine. No, not a turbodiesel, a diesel turbine. And just to top it off, I might as well mess around a bit. A boundary-layer turbine, rather than a bladed one. Basically a Tesla design. Gas turbine motorcycles are all the range now for the ultra-rich, so why not a diesel one for me?

Yeah, that is worth it.

F.B.S.A. Report - Case #684923A9ZZ

Wild Claw escaping from the Zig [Security Camera Photo]
Rating: Classified. Full document contains Personally Identifiable Information and cannot be disclosed as it would put non-Metahumans at risk.

Summary: Physical, and Metaphysical, and Psychological examination of William Bodson, alias Little Bodger, alias Patella, alias Wild Claw [hereon tagged Wild Claw], was completed via remote sensors and interviews with known associates. Due to lack of resolution of remote sensors, this report cannot be taken as complete. Personnel from Genetic Investigation and Facilitation Team, Modern Arcane Guild of Investigation, as well as Enhanced Logistics for Insight and Tactical Excellence participated in this evaluation. Due to previous precedent, G.I.F.T. will be coordinating supervision of this case.

Physical: Wild Claw resembles the standard werewolf and warwolf physiological models in most ways. His appearance is of an anthropomorphic wolf, with full digitigrade stance. He displays high levels of physical strength and resilience, and a high regenerative ability. He does not display the stereotypical lycanthropic weakness to silver or other materials, much like a warwolf, however he does appear to not be able to regenerate burns at the rate that other wounds heal. Burns do heal completely over time, however.

Metaphysical: Wild Claw is subject to a latent mutation being expressed due to a parasite (singular) that has attached itself to the relevant genetic markers. This parasite is affecting all of Wild Claw due it being a non-physical entity that appears to have an unusually organized and rigid magical structure, almost technological in construction. This parasite was apparently implanted in Wild Claw by a demonic entity tagged Daemagog, and is in effect a living curse. The parasite is feeding off of the bioenergy of the mutation itself, allowing only a portion of it to express. Removal of the parasite is contraindicated as the amount of bioenergy that would be released before the mutation returned to latency would be lethal to the host. However the long-term effects to the host is not favorable, and so it is considered a parasite as opposed to a symbiote. [Research topic: Can the effects of the parasite be controlled, effectively turning into a symbiote?]

The exact nature of the mutation is not completely understood at this time. The parasite appears to be channeling the bioenergy it is not consuming based on Wild Claw's personality factors. In effect he has become a combination of his desires and fears. Wild Claw's superficial resemblance to a mythological werewolf is primarily due to his belief that his behavior prior to his mutation maps closely to the popular understanding and mythological behavior of wolves and/or werewolves. The lack of shape-shifting ability is likely due to a need/fear of alienation that being able to change back and forth would not satisfy.

While this parasite maps closely to the warwolf Nictus fragment, there are significant differences. The parasite only survives because of the unexpressed mutation, whereas the Nictus fragment can be applied to any human. The parasite also appears to have several self-defense mechanisms, including projecting a psychic field that induces unease at best, and fear at worse to any who come close to Wild Claw. Wild Claw also seems to be unable to remember anything about the parasite, as if his memory is being edited to exclude such information. [Research topic: Is the parasite actually self-aware, or is this rather sophisticated defense mechanism some form of programmed instinct?]

Psychological: While Wild Claw's personality currently lends to vigilante-style activities, his personality factors indicate that he will move towards heroism if handled carefully and exposed to the correct role models. [Research topic: Will this sufficiently change Wild Claw's behavior to be considered personality changes? If so, will this cause the mutation to change its expression?] Unfortunately, Daemagog's masqerade as a M.A.G.I. agent has prejudiced Wild Claw against our normal agents.

Recommendation: It is recommended that Wild Claw be turned towards licensing, but with strong restrictions and supervision. The fear aura the parasite radiates makes normal contacts untenable.

Original Wild Claw Concept Art

Original Character History

Wild Claw has existed in one form or another since the mid 80's. He was originally conceived as one of the main characters for an unpublished comic that was to be called 'HellHounds', written by myself (Allan Kemp), drawn by Sean Wickett. I still have at least one piece of concept art from that (See image right).

A promotional comic was written for it, but never made it past the original script (which is now lost). The full story arc that was to cover 12 issues involved a minor war between a dead wizard and a demon over the possession of an artifact that would stabilize their presence in the world. The wizard took over a cult, and the body of the cult leader, and assembled the standard list of super-thugs using the Zodiac as a theme. The demon pretended to be an oracular spirit and worked through a young girl to assemble the 'hero' team, which included Wild Claw and several other characters. The end point of the story was to have the wizard and the demon both defeated, the artifact destroyed, and the surviving members of both teams continuing on together. Like most of the garbage I wrote when I was in High School, it was unreasonably melodramatic.

Since then, Wild Claw has popped up as a character in various online storytelling forums and tabletop RPGs. I still have bits and pieces of the Villains and Vigilantes, Champions, and GURPS Heroes versions of him, and I have incorporated the relevant pieces from all those sources into this version. William Bodson has been, in various incarnations; a gang member, a soldier, an innocent bystander and so on. His transformation into Wild Claw have come from the demon's curse, being a descendant of that dead wizard mentioned above, being the reincarnated spirit of a werewolf, etc. This version is a distillation of all those, reduced down to the critical elements, and cleaned up for continuity. Other characters from that abortive comic are mentioned here, although they have slightly different names now. The demon didn't have a name at the time but eventually I started calling him Daemagog, the Oracle was actually two characters called 'Sandbagger' and his granddaughter 'The Witch', etc.

I have become aware of other characters similar to Wild Claw, ranging from the Darkstalker John Talbain, to various werewolf comic characters like Werewolf at Night. Werewolves are reasonably popular, and it's not surprising that similar themes show up in fiction. I've also heard of a horror theatre troupe in Chicago called Wild Claw, and a Finnish heavy metal metal clothing line as well. Despite any similarities of name, there is no connection to this character. Amusing though the thought is.

Footnotes

  1. Nickname derived from grandfather's biker name of 'Bodger', meaning improvised mechanics.
  2. Street name used when trying to infiltrate the Skulls
  3. Current location unknown. The container is moved on a regular basis.
  4. After high school, enlisted for six years in the Canadian Air Force as an Avionics Technician, exiting the service as a Sergeant.
  5. Sam Bodson is a convicted felon for drug trafficking while a member of the London (England) chapter of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. He is the author of a book on biker clubs going international titled 'Angels Abroad'.
  6. Susan Bodson is a career Canadian Air Force pilot. She was injured in the line of duty, her throat being slashed during a hostage situation in Afghanistan. She recovered sufficiently to continue her career, but her voice did not completely heal.
  7. Enhanced Strength, Agility, and Resilience. Wild Claw can tear the door off a car, but cannot lift the car above his head. His agility and constitution are increased similarly.
  8. Keen hearing, and can see clearly in very dim light. He cannot see in total darkness, and while he can see colors they appear very muted to him. His sense of smell is exceptional, giving him the ability to track via scent, and to identify known chemicals. Strong scents can overpower this sense, however, taking some time to clear.
  9. Although unlikely to use them, Wild Claw does posses blunt claws, and powerful jaws full of sharp teeth.
  10. Heals at a fantastic rate. Fire damage heals at a more normal rate, but does heal completely given enough time.
  11. Demonstrates instinctual abilities around stealth, shadowing, and tracking. These may be simply because of his own enhanced senses.
  12. Recently Wild Claw has been able to project the 'horror factor' of his presence by howling. He is unaware of why this works.
  13. Radiates a low-level psychic field that most people find disturbing and uncomfortable. He does not control this field, and it appears to be a self-defense mechanism for the parasitic curse that triggered his mutation.
  14. Unlike the horror factor, Wild Claw's disturbing voice is purely due to the physical changes of his mutation. It is possible his mutation is expressing this voice due to suppressed guilt about his sister's experience in Afghanistan.
  15. Wild Claw's mutation should be latent. It was expressed due to a living curse that has taken up residence, and is feeding off the released bio-energy of that mutation like a parasite. This is slowly killing Wild Claw, but due to the genetic damage already taken removing the curse will simply kill him faster. The curse has several self-defense mechanisms, including the 'horror factor' and is known to erase knowledge of it's existence from Wild Claw's memory.
  16. Specifically skilled with sheet metal sculptures and airbrush painting
  17. Can drive a wide range of vehicles, and has training for 'offensive' driving similar to that of a bodyguard/chauffer
  18. Has a wide range of gang knowledge, urban survival, and other skills learned from his grandfather.
  19. Kickboxing, mixed martial arts, as well as some acrobatics.
  20. Extensive knowledge of gas and diesel mechanics for both ground vehicles and aircraft, college-level engineering, electronics, fuel and explosives chemistry, as well as machining.