Characters: Trouble Man
Name: Reginald Quispe
Occupation: Gang leader, professional criminal
Weight: 210 pounds
Hair: Dark reddish brown (no hair in powered incarnation)
Eyes: Brownish hazel (no eyes in powered incarnation)
Known relatives: Hugo Durand (adopted father)
Education: Associates degree from Miami Dade College studying anthropology
Aliases/nicknames: Trouble Man, Reggie Q, RQ
Distinguishing characteristics: When in his powered form, his head is half exposed skull and half upholstered material hard stitched to his head.
Skills/abilities: Trouble Man can fly at a maximum speed of Mach 1. He has control over his molecular density and can make all or part of his body immaterial or solid on command. He is a powerful necromancer capable of raising the dead, communing with the dead, controlling the dead, and creating blasts of concussive necromantic force with the equivalent impact of a Buick hitting a brick wall at 70 miles per hour. He can lift (press) two tons. Trouble Man has enhanced durability capable of shrugging off artillery fire.
Best known for: Leading the 4th Avenue Avengers in a series of daring daylight smash and grab robberies.
Place of birth: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Marital status: Single
Ambitions: To become a vudun god of chaos
Brief personal history: Even as a child in the streets of Port-au-Prince, people knew Reginald Quispe's story wouldn't end there. A naturally gifted child, he learned to read despite not having any formal primary education. Spending as much time as he could in local libraries, including an unpaid internship at the Bibliotheque Nationale, Quispe grew fascinated with stories about the vudun tradition, an outgrowth of African spirituality adapted to work under slavery and colonialism. The bold, brash personalities seemed so much more vibrant than the people who surrounded him.
A retired French colonel named Hugo Durand was writing a book on the comparative history of Catholicism and vudun and kept running into a adolescent Quispe in the archives at the Bibliotheque Nationale. Durand's family died in a car accident while he was overseas and it led him to avoid returning to his French estate. He struck up a friendship and eventually Durand discovered that Quispe lived in an abandoned house without power or water. Durand took Quispe under his wing and got the youth into a private school. They both shared a love for the music of Motown and when Durand exposed Quispe to Marvin Gaye, Quispe (known to his friends as RQ) was enthralled. Freed from the struggles of surviving, Quispe quickly came into contention for top honors at his school. Durand was so proud that he legally adopted Quispe.
Upon matriculation from secondary school, Durand cooked a huge celebratory dinner while he waited for the youth to come home from a graduation party. Little did Durand know that Quispe had hatched a plan and came home early, smothering Durand to death with a plastic bag and setting the dinner to set a towel and pot holder on fire before leaving.
When Quispe returned later, he aptly played the role of the grieving son and accepted the condolences of the community before ruthlessly liquidating Durand's assets in Haiti and France.
Quispe relocated to Miami and invested half of the money from Durand's estate. By day, he took up the study of anthropology at Miami Dade College and at night, took to the streets to rob local drug dealers and redistribute their product, similarly studying the mechanics of American street crime. Quispe steadily honed his "legitimate" skills and knowledge of organized crime. Bothm he reasoned, could yield power and enable him to manipulate life.
After two years, Quispe found a vudun artifact called Elizi's Revenge, a rusty and broken machete rumored to date back to the Hatian Revolution, was to be shown at Miami University's 3D Anthropology Museum. This information reignited memories of vudun lore he'd learned in his childhood.
To test emergency response, he called in an anonymous bomb threat and sat nearby with a stopwatch, evaluating weak points in the facility's security. Noticing a fire exit that was virtually ignored, he realized that he had a plan.
The next week Quispe ambushed a security guard, put on the man's uniform and triggered a fire alarm, forcing an evacuation and sneaking down into the secured areas to steal the artifact. He took it back to a mambo (vudun priestess) named Mama Etienne, who cast a spell to bind the artifact to Quispe, giving him his first supernatural powers (the ability to alter his molecular density). Using a magical wooden statue that he found in Mama Etienne's home, he slew her and captured her spirit there, insuring her knowledge would be at his command. Like Elizi Dantor, he realized that the wall between Loa and mortal could be overcome with will and determination.
After finishing two years in his anthropology program, Quispe began stealing other artifacts, going as far north as New York City and Chicago. He found that a number of private collectors lived in Los Angeles with artifacts he felt would help him achieve his lofty goal. He moved to south Los Angeles, buying Marvin Gaye's old home off Western Avenue, and was immediately impressed by the scope of a local street gang, the 4th Avenue Avengers. Observing them for a year, he identified the leaders and systematically assassinated them, leaving only a signature in their blood near the bodies: "Courtesy of the Trouble Man."
The gang convened at an abandoned storefront near a car repair shop on Raymond and Vernon. Using the powers he collected, Quispe invaded their meeting and demanded the gang work for him. After several attacks by gang members ended in fatalities, the 4th Avenue Avengers became vassals for Trouble Man.
Using his keen intellect and careful planning, Trouble Man helped the 4th Avenue Avengers virtually eliminate their rivals the Rollin' 70s and dispatched them on dozens of daring robberies, securing seven more artifacts and adding to his impressive host of supernatural powers.
During these "slash-and-grabs," Reginald learns that a vudun artifact--the Blind Eye of God--actually exists. Having acquired Mama Etienne's powers and strengths from his other victims' spirits, he'd heard undead rumors of this stone. According to legends, this stone's multifaceted powers enabled the first L'Ouverture and Dessalines to destroy the French. When the latter broke the stone in two and lost it, his power--the nation's power and prestige--were lost. The undead gem, should it be found and reassembled, could enable the owner to exceed earthly definitions of greatness at a significant cost.
Written by Hannibal Tabu
Character design by Robert Roach