Richard Goodson


Gender: Male

Kit: Normal

Location: San Francisco, California


Alignment: Hero

Team: Solo Hero


Strength: superior (rank 2)

Agility: superior (rank 2)

Mind: superior (rank 2)

Body: superior (rank 2)

Spirit: (rank )

Charisma: (rank )


Fame Points: 398

Personal Wins: 43

Personal Losses: 2

Team Wins: 0

Team Losses: 0

Tourney Wins: 0

Tourney Losses: 0


Status: Active


Who made me? It's a philosophical catechism that really seems to resonate with orphans, (and Catholics, and some robots.) Figuring out who you are takes most people their whole lives. Not me, though. I knew early on, and it was a done deal. It was just this fact of life, you know? I remember being six years old, staring down as the newspaper came through the slot- his picture plastered all over the front page. That's my dad. There was no question in my mind, an absolute and fundamental certainty that this man lifting a cruise liner out of the ocean, this was my father. My adoptive parents, the Goodsons, kindly explained that no, that's the most powerful, popular, and beloved superhero on the planet, and a lot of people see him as a role model, but he's not really anybody's father. I knew they were wrong, but eventually they stopped trying to correct my delusion and figured I would grow out of it naturally on my own. After all, if a boy needs a substitute father figure, you can't really do any better. I grew up smart and strong and confident, due in no small part to the fact that I knew who I was: the son of Gavin Stormforge, aka Mister Tempest, the Greatest Superhero in the World. I think it is important to note that orphans do this all the time. All things considered, it is pretty easy to make the jump from hero worship to wishful thinking, and from there it's just a matter of time before you convince yourself that your absolute favorite celebrity just happens to be your real dad, and he will be back for you any day now, and boy what an amazing life you'll lead then. That's really common, and eventually kids do grow out of it. I guess I did too, but that connection persisted in my heart. We were connected in a way beyond anything logic or science or common sense could ever disprove. Maybe I couldn't make him my real father just by wanting it, but I could be his biggest fan, and live my life in a way that would honor him. I read every book and magazine, listened to every interview, watched every special and expose. I collected all the Jupiter League Adventures serials back when those was still going on, I watched Sentinelevision, heck, I still read Great Justice. My favorite, though, was the Channel 6 Evening News with Lance Extraordinary. Classic Lance, back before he made it big on KNN. Most stations just run News, Weather, and Sports, but Channel 6 also ran Crimestoppers. God, Crimestoppers. It was this daily SLJ community update, with mid-tier Sentinels and various KPD officers, and occasionally they'd answer fan letters. It always ended with a 1-800 number for regular people to call in and leave tips to help solve crimes. The Goodsons didn't have a lot of money, but one Christmas my parents and my adoptive siblings- Ty and Atalie- got together to buy me my own little television, and every weeknight from then on we would crowd into my tiny bedroom and the three of us would sit on the floor watching Crimestoppers. It was more than my favorite program, it was everything I wanted to do. I wanted to report on superheroes, I wanted to talk and write about them. That's exactly what I started to do.


"The Good Son" was picked up by the pop-psych crowd, a pun on my last name helped push the gimmick, and it sold enough copies to help put all three of us through college. I didn't originally intend for it to be an exploration of orphan psychology, but I certainly wasn't above making the changes the editors wanted if it meant I could get a book published. The followups, "Zero to Hero" and "Guardian Angels" were considered a let-down by a lot of those same folks, but they carved their own niche market in "superhero obsession," a trashy genre I keep getting credited with, even though my first three books were all about how Superheroes can inspire greatness in ordinary people. I finished my degree in broadcast journalism the same spring Lance Extraordinary filed his final report from the Benedict Satellites, and the whole world changed then. It's funny, I met him a half-dozen times and he always promised to give me an internship whenever I wanted to start my career, but I never felt like I was ready. Then, suddenly, he burned up on re-entry and it was too late. Gavin saved as many of them as he could, the Sentinels all did their best, but even the greatest superheroes on the planet couldn't stop those astronauts- and one reporter- from dying. Somehow, in spite of that very obvious display of the limitations of even their combined powers, Superpeople became something to fear; the public began to see them as flawed people wielding too much power, beyond the reach of the law. The Sentinels tried to do their own version of PR damage control, which certainly helped, but the end result was that Crimestoppers was taken off the air, and the only job I had ever dreamed of having vanished in an instant. I had just written my fourth book, but the publisher wouldn't touch it. It's a bad time for superheroes right now, Rich. Maybe we'll give it another look in a year or two. Screw that. Half the book was about how much I wanted to follow in Lance's footsteps anyway, so I spent the next two days rewriting like crazy, repackaged the book as "An Extraordinary Man" a retrospective bio of the Late Great Journalist Lance Extraordinary, and it hit stands a good two months before the competition. It sold like gangbusters, but I was still screwed in the long run because Crimestoppers didn't exist and even though I was part of Lance's legacy, nobody at the time wanted to hire a journalist who actually liked superheroes. Everyone wanted filth and scandal, and that just wasn't my style. The answer was staring me in the face, but I kept missing it. I had a decent amount of money, I was a young writer, with a moderate degree of success. My stepbrother Ty was an airline pilot. I don't know why it took me so long to set foot on a plane.


Natural Polyglot

     Communication: standard (rank 1)


I have to be honest, I never would've gotten on that first plane, but Mister Tempest was in the hospital. Well, he was in l'Academie d'Avenir in Paris, but you can't put Gavin in a regular hospital any more than you could take an intergalactic starship to your local mechanic. The Sollus video had just been released on youtube, and everyone had this sense that it was going to be the end for Mister Tempest. It seems ridiculous that we were worried now, but we really thought he might die. I spent almost a months in Paris with thousands of others, keeping a vigil in the Champs Elysees. When he woke up, he addressed the French people, in French. I couldn't understand a word, but hearing him speak, in person, seeing him standing on that platform, it brought back every feeling from my childhood. I had been so blinded by the prospect of writing about superheroes that I had perhaps forgotten why I loved them in the first place. This guy. This amazing, perfect hero, humbly speaking to the assembled crowd, thanking us for our love and support, promising he would get right back to work! Absolutely amazing. I worked hard to learn French, Atalie helped, and it turns out I have a knack for learning new languages. Call it a gift, if you like. I moved to Switzerland, partially so I could easily study German, French, and Italian at the same time, but mostly because Switzerland is beautiful. I bounced around the continent, adding Spanish and Greek to me repertoire, before moving home to San Fran. Recently, I have been taking classes in Mandarin and conversational Japanese. I've got an idea for a new book that's going to inspire people, get them out of this inexplicably pervasive hero-hate that seems to be dominating the national dialogue. The concept for the book is simple: Everyone knows Gavin Stormforge. There are tribes that communicate exclusively in clicks that know who Mister Tempest is, and I'm going to interview them. Anyone who has ever been saved, anyone with a Mr. Tempest story to tell, I will listen. Atalie has spent her spare time making contacts, planning our itinerary, and Ty called in a lifetime's worth of favors to get us a plane- he will be flying us from place to place. I put my entire life savings up for the six month trip, augmented by an advance from my publisher and some family help. We're planning six continents, more than thirty countries, and hundreds of interviews. We've got a prison interview with Dr. Phalanx, we've got the Cambodian underwater welders, we've even got Madam Madeline Maxwell. There are dozens of these kind of famous stories, but we've also got quite a few you've likely never heard of.



     Empathy: standard (rank 1)


You know, I always thought Anthony Bourdain was kind of a pampered douche, but it turns out human intuition is a huge part of this job, and anyone without it would get eaten alive. We ended up spending a week at the prison, not because Dr. Phalanx had that much to say, (although he probably came up with the book's title: "Big Damned Hero,") but because everyone in XN-Detention Center had the most amazing Tempest stories. Did you know that after the mess surrounding The Honolulu Hit, Dietrich Killraven jumped into an active volcano to try and commit suicide, only to be saved by Gavin Stormforge? Or that after he imprisoned FrostViper, his personal charity paid for her kids to get into a highly-rated military academy in The March, so they'd have a shot at turning their own lives around? That he had his American citizenship revoked in 1985 for disobeying a direct order from the president telling him to not interfere in the Black Serpent's coup, because he refused to sit back and let them all kill one other? That now four of the nine former Black Serpent supersoldiers serve as XN rehabilitation counselors? It was interesting, his enemies didn't talk about his godlike strength and invulnerability, his speed or his power. To a man, they talked about his character, his unimpeachable morals, and his innate ability to understand the shades of humanity in the most inhuman situations.


Prior Preparation

     Detective: standard (rank 1)


The last time I saw Lance Extraordinary, he was headed into space. He asked me if I was ready to start my internship, I told him I was graduating in a month and would love to do so when he got back. He mailed me his old trenchcoat just before he left, which I didn't understand at the time, I think he had a sense that it would be his last journey. He went anyway. A journalist has to be bold, to put himself in harm's way. I remember asking Lance if he realized how dangerous his job really was. He said that there are certain Americans who hop in pickup trucks to chase down F5 tornadoes. In order to do this job, a person has to have that kind of mentality: you quite literally have to care more about witnessing the action than you do about your own personal well-being. Of course in the note that accompanied the coat, he added the caveat that it doesn't hurt to hedge your bets a little bit. You've got to do the deskwork before you do the legwork, sometimes, and knowing the details of a situation is vital, and not just for quality reporting. Sometimes, it's your best bet for survival! God bless Atalie, she somehow managed to contact the SLJ and schedule an interview with Gavin himself to help wrap up the book. I'm going to meet him. I'm finally going to meet the man who has influenced every major turning point in my life. Rumor has it he's read "The Good Son." I wonder if he'll let me call him "Dad?"