As soon as superheroes appeared, it became clear that they were news. Dedicated Super news outlets sprang up almost overnight, but none would prove to be as successful and enduring as Fast Atction X-treme News; or FAX News as it became known. The runaway success of FAX News was put down to the fact that the outlet always, without fail, had Superhero-related news at 1900h every night. The secret of FAX News’ constant stream of “Super News” was simple; they were faking it. FAX News Corporation had hired a production team, a washed-up hero from the 1980s and a handful of actors and stuntmen and were broadcasting the exploits of “Captain Heroica” whenever there wasn’t real news to fill the gap.
Time went by and the ruse remained undiscovered, the thought occurred to the Network Executives that if they were already robbing banks with the intent of stopping the robbery, why not get away with it every now and then? FAX News became the perfect cover for corporate espionage in the name of pushing up share prices, no one wanted to see a hero who never failed after all, and other [actual] heroes would usually have the good manners to steer clear if Captain Heroica was already on the scene. On rare occasions, FAX News has had to break cover to fight against well-meaning heroes, but a little light and magic and no one is too sure what they’ve seen.
Villamax and Sam Scoop
Anita Action: Liposuction, breast implants and hair extensions turned a young journalism graduate into Anita Action, the sexiest and most hard-hitting New Anchor in prime time. Trained in the FAX News arts of leading questions, ambush reporting and making assumptions, few Superheroes are prepared for the kind of grilling that Anita Action can deliver and few Villains can withstand her withering sarcasm.
In the field, Anita is required to be as distracting as her reporting is misleading, keeping all eyes on her and the faked action whilst something nefarious is going down just out of sight. Even those few who know the truth behind FAX News will be careful what they say with a microphone shoved in their face.
Sam Scoop: The man now known as Sam Scoop could have been one of the greatest cinematographers of the age, but a drunken car accident left him with a criminal record, making work hard to come by. Forced to squander his talents on tabloid journalism, Sam began to volunteer for increasingly dangerous assignments, hoping to find some thrill in life again. After refusing to leave the scene of a gunfight in order to keep filming, Sam gained the attention of the FAX News Corporation and was quickly offered a job.
Sam is a bitter and angry man, more than happy to help facilitate the criminal acts that are the true purpose of FAX News and more than willing to disgrace real superheroes. Sam’s grasp of news photography is near-Olympian; he can shine a spot and zoom a lens in just the right way to accentuate every minor flaw and imperfection in his subject, leaving them open to the rest of the FAX News Team.
Anita Action and Captain Heroica
Captain Heroica (Owen Grace): Even the keenest Hero Watcher would be hard pressed to recognise Owen Grace, having fallen so far from his heyday in the 1980s as part of the original NextGen. Grace was once Ogre, NextGen’s resident strongman and was one of only two of the team that survived their final battle with Purity (the other being Edward Caan). After barely walking away from the costume with his life, Grace opted for a quieter life for many years, though he never held down work for long and began drifting after a time. FAX News stumbled upon Grace quite by accident just when they were seeking a fake “Hero” for the team; Grace was made a generous offer and Captain Heroica was born.
In order that no one peg Owen Grace (a known mutant) under the mask of Captain Heroica, he wears a wig and prosthetic pointed ears when in the field, as well as effecting another voice, all whilst claiming to be an alien saviour from beyond the stars. Grace finds the idea of fighting other heroes distasteful, but there is little else he can do to stay off the street.
Villamax (Ryan Brandstone): Out of work actor Ryan Brandstone had never managed to land the one big role that would break him through to Hollywood. Classically trained in the British Theatre, Brandstone moved to the United States of America to make his fortune, though his flamboyant style and Oxbridge accent landed him solely in the roles of pantomime villains. As time went on, Brandstone became bitter over his lot and the few roles he did have dried up.
Hurting for a pay check, Ryan Brandstone applied for a dubious sounding role for the FAX News Corporation, and was surprised to be hired to play the role of a costumed super villain. Brandstone chaffed in the role of Professor Villamax at first, finding it yet another in a series of parts that was beneath him, but as time went on, he warmed to the act, to the terror and respect he could invoke from behind the mask.
The Terror Tortoises: No one is quite sure where the Terror Tortoises came from and no one at FAX News is talking. The size of men and about as smart as pigs, the Terror Tortoises live for fighting and drinking, taking most of their wage in store-brand whiskey and spending the rest on archaic and unreliable weaponry. Despite being unruly in their downtime, the Terror Tortoises take direction well and are perfectly willing to do their own stunts, giving Captain Heroica plenty of faceless villains to punch on camera.