Fantastic Tales of Avalon City
X the Marvel
“Oh, yeaaah! It’s X the Marvel”- For years Hugo Hill cultivated the personae of X the Marvel. As a showman, Hugo would use his famous tag-line to announce his presence, signal a incredible feat of strength or daring, and elicit an reaction from a crowd. Now it serves as a rallying cry used to intimidate/incite his foes, fortify his allies, and summon internal reserves of will.
Renewed Sense of Purpose-After years of substance abuse, depression and failure, X’s powers have given him something to fight for. His whole existence is centered around making good of himself. Along with his rebirth has come a heightened sense of determination and purpose.
Slams, Throws and Holds-Despite all of the pro-wrestler flash, Hugo Hill is an olympic level wrestler. He has mastered a multitude of wrestling and submission holds, which he has combined with an array of over the top maneuvers, which he can use to devastating effect. He has also perfected the art of the pratfall and can “sell” an injury with the best of them.
Human Battery-Hugo Hill’s ability to absorb and radiate electro-static energy has made him a human battery.
Has Been-Hugo’s glory days as an athlete and professional wrestler are far behind him. For years he was known as washed up and over the hill. He has a hug hip on his shoulder and his fall from grace was a devastating blow pride and sense of self-worth. Everybody loved him when he was on top, but when he was down nobody cared. The thought of that happening again is never far from his mind.
Recovering Alcoholic-For years Hug was addicted to alcohol. He used booze to deaden the terrible headaches he suffered from as a result of his injuries as well as the emotional pain of his past failures. He has an addictive personality, tending to go overboard, when he finds something he can hold onto. Hugo absolutely avoids drugs of any kind for fear of losing control.
“My Head is Killing Me-The years of repetitive blows to his head had a terrible effect on his brain. Eventually the damage dulled his senses leaving him punch drunk. He also suffered from constant dull headaches, which sometimes flared to full blown migraines. The energy which gave him superhuman powers reversed these effects, but occasionally something will trigger a painful headache. This could be some emotional situation, such as a traumatic flashback, a particularly viscous blow to the head, or an extreme or prolonged use of his powers.
Trying to Have a Normal Life-Hugo has developed a group of normal friends, which he interacts with on a normal basis. He met his girl friend Liora Cannon, his sponsor Big Al McCage while attending AA meetings. He’s cultivated a support network outside of his X the Marvel personae, and he’s desperate to keep it that way.
Big Time Showman-His years as a top pro-wrestling attraction has left him with a taste for the limelight that he just can’t deny. Any simple act has the danger of being turned into a show stopping event. This can often lead to unnecessarily difficult situation, but sometimes X just can’t help himself.
It’s All About the Kids-Hugo has a special place in his heart for the downtrodden, helpless and forgotten. He will go out of his way to help anyone forgotten or overlooked by society, as he was in that position for years. He is particularly protective of children, who he feels look up to him. He will go above and beyond to protect them, no matter what the cost.
Hugo Hill was born to wrestle. He knew it was his destiny even as a young boy growing up in Minneapolis. He grew up watching the larger than life wrestlers on T.V. and had dreams of one day holding that mythical championship belt. When his father took him to his first wrestling meet he never looked back. He focused on the real thing and his dreams went from being the heavy-weight champion of the “World Wrestling League”, to a State Champion at Forrest Valley High School. Becoming NCAA champion for the Minnesota Golden Gophers for 4 consecutive years was his next goal; a goal he achieved. Then came the world championship, and then Olympic gold. His athletic ability, brought him accolades, fame and the nickname “The Marvel”, but very little money. After his glory days were done and his sponsorship ran it’s course he was left with a gold medal, past glories and little else.
But where was a wrestler to go from there? He completed college, but had next to no skills to boast of. His wrestling success allowed him to cruise through school with little effort. He tried to coach with little success. He was a master of the grappling arts, but a terrible teacher. It was during this time that he was approached by Slick Eddie Rose, professional wrestling manager supreme. He could make him famous again, and parlay that fame into cash! At first Hugo turned him down. Even though he once idolized the wrestling champions of his youth, “Bruno the Barbarian”, “King Blubber”, and “Hacksaw Irving Cash”, he now disdained phoney boob tube wrestling. But then he thought about his empty pockets and lack of prospects. He decided to give pro-wrestling a try. He became X-the Marvel, heavy-weight champion of the World Wrestling League.
Hugo embraced his new persona and found that the love of his youth returned. He fought characters like “The Son of Blubber”, "The Nature Boy Eugene Hayes, and his arch nemesis “Red Hot Scorpio”. He became a hero and a household name for children everywhere. He felt empowered and to take his as a role model seriously. Public service, helping those in need and always doing what’s right were the rules that he preached to his fans, and he took those words seriously. You could hear the catch phrase “Time to Get Jacked Brother!” on the lips of young Marvelous Ones everywhere. Then things changed. A series of concussions kept him out of the ring for longer and longer periods of time. Each time his skills eroded more, and his following dwindled. Slick Eddie, seeing the luster fading from his champion changed gears. X the Marvel would go from Hero to Heel.
Hugo resisted, but his deteriorating skills could not be denied and he had only two options; play the villain or find a job somewhere else. Hugo didn’t have a choice, he hadn’t learned from history, and all these years later, all he knew was wrestling. Boos replaced cheers and the same kids that once idolized him, not jeered and rooted against him. Hugo had to swallow it despite how he felt. His role may have changed, but the pounding his body took didn’t. The concussions got worse and soon the only thing that would muffle the blinding headaches he suffered from was booze. X became just another bad guy with cauliflower ears, to get flattened, and soon he was out of the business altogether.
All he had were his glory days, that same Olympic medal from a decade earlier and the bottle. He was soon working second rate hack promotions for little money. After that, he kicked around second rate mixed martial arts circuits for awhile, mostly losing, until the doctors refuse to clear him to fight anymore. And without fanfare or notice, X the Marvel was done. All he had left were the streets, and the foggy, throbbing pain in his head that could only be dulled by cheap wine. He would tell anyone who would listen he was Hugo Hill, Olympian and champion, and they would laugh. They called the gold medal he always wore around his neck a fake and offered him a drink if he would just shut up, and shut up he did.
Then his chance to become a hero came again. The Rihkti descended on Avalon City like an Alien plague. The city was caught unaware and Hugo Hill awoke to the sounds of death and destruction. He stumbled out of the alley he’d be sleeping in, confused and astonished. Was this another wine soaked dream? When he saw the insect-like aliens wreaking carnage throughout the streets, he knew it was real and looked for somewhere to cower. What could he do? He was Hugo Hill the has-been. That’s when the screams of children snapped him out of his stupor. Several of the insect creatures attacked a bus, and were ushering a group of children towards a strange whirring machine. One large insect held a glowing prism in his hand and held in menacingly in front of the cowering children. A light shone from it, and as it struck each child they would go silent and glassy eyed. Hugo didn’t think, he acted. He smashed into the humanoids with all the fury of his glory days. Sending them flying this way and that. One flew into the strange machine, causing it to spark uncontrollably.
Then his strength failed him. The years of drinking made him less than a shadow of his former self. The large alien turned the prism towards him. Hugo didn’t know what it would do, but he knew for the sake of the children he wasn’t going to find out. He flung himself at the creature, smashing the prism, which exploded. Hugo could feel something embed itself in his chest as he was sent flying into the sputtering remains of the odd machine. Energy flooded thru Hugo, and the last thought he had before blackness overcame him was “I hope the kids are safe”
Hugo awoke weeks later. He was laying on a cot at the Avalon City Homeless Shelter, a place he was all too familiar with. As the memories came flooding back to him, he was sure he should be dead, but he felt good. Damn good, and stronger than he had ever felt. He looked at himself in the mirror and saw that his body had regained it’s old form. Even through the dingy hand me down clothes, Hugo could see the muscles rippling. He also didn’t feel the pounding in his head. As he wondered at his miraculous transformation, a social worker entered the room. He told Hugo that he had wondered into the shelter weeks ago. He seemed to be in shock and barely spoke a word. His clothes were torn and he had a terrible burn on his chest. The gold medal had fused there. He refused medical assistance and nobody pressed the issue, due to his large size. That’s were he stayed as the heroes of Paragon beat back the alien invasion and saved the city.
He felt his chest and felt an odd tingling there. He felt something lying dormant, waiting to grow, to activate. Hugo was confused, but elated. He left the slack jawed social worker and wondered out into the crumbled streets. The aliens had done a job on his city. He didn’t know how long he walked, before he heard a crash and a shriek. He ran towards the disturbance and saw another alien. It had obviously been hidden amongst the ruins of a building, but an unfortunate citizen had discovered it and now his life was in danger.
This alien was larger than the others, but that didn’t stop Hugo, who smashed the creature with a titanic elbow that sent it crashing into the rubble. Hugo stood in astonishment at his power when the monster clubbed him across the head with a block of concrete, and Hugo went to one knee. It hurt, yes, but Hugo grabbed the creatures arms as it tried to strike him again. Their strength was equal and they struggled against one another. Then Hugo felt the strange tingling in his chest grow. His skin began to glow a translucent green, and lines of energy can be seen coursing through his skin. A surge of energy flowed thru his hands into the alien and it fell to the ground, a smoking ruin.
As the glowing energy left him, Hugo’s amazement turned to realization. He had another chance to be the hero he was meant to be. He helped the shaking man to his feet and gave him his best championship smile.
“Who… who are you?” the grateful man asked.
“Me?” Hugo Hill said, almost questioning himself. “You can call me X the Marvel, and it’s time to get jacked brother. Oh, Yeeeaaaah!”
AFTER THE RISE OF X THE MARVEL: THE STORY CONTINUES
After his return to prominence as the super power X the Marvel. Hugo returned to doing what he loved most. Being a hero and inspiring kids. He regularly visited Orphanages, Boys and Girls Clubs, and children’s hospitals. His legion of young Marvelous Ones began to grow again, and he befriended children in need whenever he could. More than that, Hugo Hill was maturing. He regularly attended alcohol anonymous meetings and even stayed in regular contact with his sponsor, Little Al McCage. He was able to be himself there, not X the Marvel. Instead of the dealing with the floozies that used to follow him around, when he was a star, he began to build a relationship with Liora Cannon, one of his fellow alchohol anonymous colleagues. He also began using his mind, reading self-help and empowerment books. As X, he championed anti-drug campaigns focusing on the city’s youngsters. Enter Slick Eddie Rose.
Eventually his new found fame, caught the attention of his old manager Slick Eddie, and Slick saw a gold mine. Slick Eddie approached X with renewed offers of fame within the ring. But this time X refused. He wasn’t just a wrestler anymore. Slick Eddie wouldn’t give up. He took to the airwaves, calling Hugo a coward and daring him to fight his current cast of wrestlers. Determined to draw him out, he began appearing at X’s charitable appearances. X would simply ignore the boisterous pitchman and be on his way. Finally Slick pushed him to far. Eddie turned up with his camera crew and cartoon villains; Son of Blubber, Master Adonis Marco Graham and his nemesis, Red Hot Scorpio. Scorpio, who harbored a real dislike for Hugo, began to go to far. He eventually knocked into a child, X had come to visit.
Hugo gave them the fight they wanted, as short as it was. Worse still for Slick Eddie Rose, when the executives of the World Wrestling League saw his behavior, the drummed him and Red Hot Scorpio straight out of the business. Hugo felt vindicated after all of those years, but he knew he would have curtail his appearances, because his mere presence could put the those he swore to help, in danger. He still maintained his relationship with Liora and a few of the children most in need. But the always over the top X the Marvel showed something that was alien to him, and that was restraint. He knew that he could do more good as a super hero, battling real life villains and not buffoons like Slick Eddie Rose. But no matter how he did it, Hugo Hill would always be the role model he was meant to be. After all he was X… the Marvel!!!