Golden Age and Silver Age Super Hero Comic Book RPG
The Big Bang Comics RPG allows players to explore the Golden (1940s) and Silver Age (1960s) of comic books. It takes its source material from the pages of Big Bang Comics, a variety of indie titles featuring heroes such as Mister U.S., Knight Watchman, and Ultiman. Written by Chris Carter and published by Pisces All Media in 2006, this superhero role-playing uses a variant of the d20 system and can be found online in PDF format from $10 to $15. As of this writing, no new supplements or adventures have been released for the game.
Playing the Big Bang Comics RPG
The rules for the Big Bang Comics RPG are simple and to the point. Each superpower is considered a feat, and character disadvantages are considered negative feats. Non-power feats also exist for those who want to play low-powered characters such as Green Arrow or Batman.
The game uses a modified version of the d20 system, meaning that all contests are resolved by the roll of a twenty-sided die. Each attempt to do something generates a target number, and the player must roll a d20 and add the number to the appropriate skill or ability. If the player equals or exceeds the target number, then the action is successfully attempted. Otherwise, the action results in failure. Rolling a 20 always results in a success and may also do additional damage in combat.
Big Bang Comics Characters
While the Big Bang Comics RPG allows players to create their own superheroes, they also have a chance to play the heroic men and women depicted within the pages of Big Bang Comics. In case you’re unfamiliar with these individuals, I’ve listed the more popular characters below. You’ll immediately notice a similarity to the heroes of other comic book companies, especially DC.
Beacon – When she discovered a mysterious crystal that fell to Earth, Julie Gardener realized that she now possessed the ability to create any power she could imagine.
Blitz – A speedster who gained his powers after being experimented on by Nazi scientists.
Dr. Stellar – The son of an alien police officer, Peter Starr has the ability to control cosmic energy.
Dr. Weird – A ghost dedicated to fighting the supernatural forces of evil.
Knight Watchman – A grim anti-hero out to rid Midway City of its criminal element. Frequently clashes with Pink Flamingo, Mr. Mask and Quizmaster.
Mighty Man – When they slam their wrists together, the host for this alien being gains godlike abilities and transforms into a handsome blonde man (regardless of their regular gender).
Mr. Martian – A Martian who’s vowed to protect Earth, Mr. Martian fights evil with teleportation, super strength, shape alteration, and the ability to enlarge or shrink his opponents.
Mister U.S. – A patriotic hero in the mold of Captain America, he’s fought Nazis, communism and terrorism throughout the years.
Protoplasman – With a crazy sense of humor and the ability to take a liquid-like form, this hero has become the favorite comic relief for Big Bang Comics.
Shadow Lady – Able to become intangible at will, this crime-fighting debutante can also blind villains using her Shadow Ray Projector.
Thunder Girl – When this young librarian says a magic word, she gains the ability to fly at great speeds and lift buildings with ease.
Ultiman – Possessing laser vision, flight, ultrastrength and ultraspeed, this heroic character is Big Bang’s version of Superman. His chief villains include Reverso (like Bizarro) and Dr. Dexter Cortex (a combination of Lex Luthor and Dr. Sivana).
If you want to form a superteam, Big Bang Comics offers a wide range of options. Their most popular superhero teams include the following: Round Table of America, Knights of Justice, Pantheon of Heroes and Whiz Kids.
When characters are created, players will also get to choose whether they exist on Earth-A (Silver Age) or Earth-B (Golden Age). This will not only affect the overall tone of the game, but it will also determine which heroic non-player characters you’ll interact with.
Fans of the comic books will be delighted by all the attention paid to pre-existing characters in the Big Bang Comics RPG. A total of 50 pages are devoted to write-ups and artwork for the various heroes and villains from either Earth-A or Earth-B of the Big Bang Universe.
Big Bang Comics RPG Review
The Big Bang Comics RPG offers Golden Age and Silver Age excitement for fans of old school heroism. Even those who’ve been raised on characters like Wolverine and Deadpool might still enjoy the game thanks to its easy-to-learn system and wealth of available characters. While not all the Big Bang Comics RPG reviews have been positive, it’s garnered enough attention to be worth a look for superhero gamers who want to try something different.