Fighter for the Future: Incog

The world has been altered. Lex Luthor, in a desperate attempt to change the future that he helped to create, releases  nanotech called exobytes into the atmosphere. These microscopic machines have the ability to pass on powers stolen from defeated heroes and villains. Lex’s plan is to bolster the defenses of Earth for the coming invasion by an evil alien being named Brainiac.

The first character I’ll introduce is the former detective, Incog. I originally wanted to create a character much like a former hero named Aberrant. I enjoy tragic heroes skating on the edge of antihero.  Aberrant’s character was centered around the struggle to keep his powers in check. Intense use of his powers would cause his character to transform uncontrollably. I attempted to transplant that idea in his DC Universe as best I could and played the character a good bit to understand him a better.

DC Universe Online defines your character by for main choices, the mentor, weapon, power, and travel power type. The mentor has a direct affect on what the story of your character will be. The others have a direct effect on the way your character interacts with the world and reacts in battle.

When I chose Batman to be Incog’s mentor I immediately thought of him as a detective. This allowed me to start off with an array of weapons that could be explained by his time on the force. I had to stop myself many times from flat out ripping off one of my childhood idols, The Shadow. That made me a bit iffy on choosing handguns since that was The Shadows main choice for weaponry. I decided I’d choose the bo staff because it still relates to martial arts training and a self reliant attitude that I think Incog would strive to uphold and which would create conflict because of the extent to which the exobytes have altered his body.

Incogs power type was one I’d had no plan of playing on or near release. Nature based powers in the vein of Poison Ivy intrigued me but I was sure I’d be all about Shapeshifting if I were to decide on the nature powerset. I was proven wrong with the first power. Though it does no damage, it yanks the enemy over to Incog and into a whirling dervish for a staff flailing death! Later powers cause explosions of vines that toss enemies away and make for an action packed experience. It was damn fun to play Incog from the beginning.

Nature is a great choice to stay with the concept of instability and mutation that was started with my Abberant character. The introduction of the exobytes has give the ability of spontaeus growth of plant life to Incog. Covered in a super dense and ever growing husk of a fiberous wood-like substance, Incog is ever at risk of losing control of his abilities and being consumed by them. This is where the conflict between his self reliant attitude and his new found dependence on others starts to emerge.

It’s important to know that while Incog is not a dark skulking hero like Batman. He is not a loner that forces others away. His self reliance is based in the feeling of pride received by it. He still has issues with having to seek out aid from others to keep his ability under control. As the three hero mentors reach out to potential heroes he decides to seek out Batman for his unparalleled knowledge of technology for a possible solution. By no means is this solution he seeks a “cure.” He embraces the new abilities that he has been given. Incog has watched the super heroes of his time save more than his efforts at the precinct ever could for crying out loud! With Batman as his mentor he will be able to gain control over his abilities and still help those he’s spent his life to protect, but in a much extent.

Lastly my choice of travel power, Super Speed, seemed to fit with the uncontrollable rate at which Incog’s body grew plant life. The question of if Incog is really human anymore underneath his exoskeleton is something that even Batman is unsure of and has withheld from Incog. A notable increase in his cognitive functions and retention of knowledge increases daily which also must be managed by treatments.  This adds yet another layer of interesting unpredictability to Incog that I love!

Incog is short for Incognito, which I find ironic because of his outward appearance and the explosive nature of his abilities. His roots lie in his former life as a detective though, and this still gives him a small touch of the gumshoe grit that pervades Gotham City.

Like all the characters he’s an ever changing work in progress, but this is what I have so far.

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