From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
Masked-Revenger is the first long term character created by Masked Revenger (Player) for the City of Heroes game. He was originally created on the Victory server, but he was re-rolled on Virtue after Masked Revenger started hanging out with the people from the CoHGuru.com message boards.
Supergroup: Paragonian Knights
Former Supergroups: Urban Bushido
Outwardly, Masked-Revenger displays a happy-go-lucky type of personality, with a snappy remark, witty comeback or biting remark for his enemies (and sometimes his allies) always at the ready.
Inwardly, however, he is a serious young man, focused and determined. He sees it as his duty to the children of Paragon to rid the city of the drug called Superadine, and will go to almost any length to see this duty through.
Masked-Revenger is trained in several forms of martial arts, including Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Judo, and holds black belts in all of them.
Since an early age, Robert Ryan has loved Martial Arts. In combat, he combines the different styles he knows, using whatever he feels is best in the given situation, or simply switching styles to simply throw an opponent off. His expertise is undeniable, however, and very few natural martial artists would be a match for him.
Masked-Revenger's reflexes are almost super-human. He has been observed dodging bullets during combat, and can leap high, reaching single level roof tops. He focuses his senses to such a degree that it is almost impossible to surprise him.
After meeting and training under a mysterious man known only as Ming, Masked-Revenger has learned how to focus his internal energy (ki) and to release that energy in new and surprising ways. One of his favorite ways to do this is by releasing the energy through his legs, allowing him to leap large distances or great heights. He has been seen leaping from the ground to the roof of a single story building in one jump. He has also been observed leaping back and forth between two close buildings to gain even greater heights.
Robert Ryan was born to Edward and Donna Ryan, a typical middle-class family, in Iowa City, Iowa. He was always shorter than other kids, and though he kept in pretty good shape, he was wiry and never muscular. He had a pretty typical childhood, and made his way through high school on a B average. During high school, he discovered martial arts in the form of Karate, his first true love. He took to the discipline as well as the activity, and found that his slight frame made little difference in performance to this sport. He later also took classes in Tae Kwan Do and Judo, quickly becoming black belts in all of these and winning several tournaments. After high school, not sure what he wanted to do with his life, he did what most kids his age did, and went to college. Though Iowa City University offered a top notch Tae Kwan Do team, he instead decided to take advantage of a Karate scholarship into University Rhode Island Paragon City, and so moved here. While at URIPC, he took business and art classes, flip-flopping back and forth on what he wanted to do with his life.
During his first year at school, at a Karate tournament, he met a strange, old Chinese man named Ming. Ming was a martial arts master who had his own school, but he only taught those he thought worthy. Robert had caught his eye, and after a quick interview, decided Robert was worth teaching. Ming taught Robert many things he never learned in more typical schools, including how to focus his chi internally and then to release the stored energy as bursts of energy, allowing him to leap and dodge blows. We were unable to learn more about Ming, even to the point where his "school" appears to not exist.
During this time, he also met and fell in love with Patricia Andrasofszky, daughter to Alexis Andrasofszky, the famed businessman and rumored ex-Russian Mafia member. She was another business student, and they met during their classes. The two didn't hit it off right away, with Robert coming off as a bumbling idiot that couldn't find his way out of a paper bag, never mind to their class. Eventually, however, he started to win her over, and after winning a big tournament, asked her out in a rush of adrenalin. She said yes, and the two have been dating ever sense.
Despite these seemingly wonderful things happening in his life, one thing always struck Robert the wrong way; the rampant amount of crime in Paragon City. Though the scholarship paid for his schooling, lack of available dorm space forced him to find an apartment off campus. He found two other people in the same situation, and the three found a small apartment to rent near the college. This also forced him to find a job. His experience at the local dairy back home got him a supervisor position during the graveyard shift at a local Mega Mart. Though labeled a "supervisor," he had but one other employee to look over, a cranky old man who would only go by Bob, who pretty much kept to the back and cooler. However, the pay was enough to make Robert's portion of the rent. During his shifts, Robert saw many a young kid or member of the Hellions enter the store and rob it, often at gun point. At first, Robert was terrified, but he quickly grew angered when his boss, the franchise owner, and Bob both seemed to simply ignore the robberies, calling them the "cost of business in Paragon.'
After a few short weeks, and having been robbed three times, Robert was very angry. Add to his mood the fact that he had just been in an argument with Patricia, and he was ready to explode. The poor Hellion that entered the store didn't know what he was in for. Before the gun even left the thugs coat pocket, Robert had leaped over the counter and was attacking him with various kicks and jabs, knocking him down quickly and without much return fight. Bob, having witnessed the entire event from the cooler, was awed, and said, "You looked almost like a super-hero."
The man he had attacked was young, not more than 16, and Robert, trembling from fear and adrenalin, was terrified. Patricia had a younger brother, Jason, about 11, who was exactly the kind of kid these gangs recruited. And no one seemed to do anything to curtail their activities, not his boss, not the police, and even the cities heroes seemed to turn a blind eye to "street thugs" in favor of more powerful and flashy threats to the city.
Bob's statement, combined with his confusing emotions over the incident, rang in his mind for the next few weeks, and Robert seriously though of donning a costume and fighting crime on the streets. He had doubts, of course, and he tried to push it all away, but the though lingered on nonetheless. However, an event changed his mind forever. He discovered a group of Skull's in King's Row trying to sell drugs to a kid. Angered, he leapt into combat without even thinking about it. Though the Skull's managed to get in their licks as well, his reflexes and unique fighting style easily defeated the three thugs. When he saw that the child being sold the drug was none other than Jason Andrasofszky, he was stunned into silence. The drug was new, called Superadine. Jason told Robert that the Skull's told him it would give him super-powers. That clenched it. Someone needed to put a stop to this poison, and the vermin who were selling it. He designed a costume, took a name, and went to Atlas Park to register as a hero.
The Superadine Connection
Early in his carrier, Masked-Revenger began by taking down the street dealers of Superadine, trying to get it off the streets. He quickly realized that as long as the stuff was being made, someone was going to sell it, no matter how hard he hit the sellers. So, he needed to find the source. He focused mostly on the street gangs, the Skull’s specifically. During this early part of his career, he met and befriended a hero called Dynamo-Man. The two formed a strong bond of friendship, and even though they eventually went their separate ways, they remain friends, and are willing to aid one another at the drop of a hat.
Following a tip, he raided a base of the street gang known as the Skulls. While there, he fought and arrested their leader, Compound Fracture. From Compound Fracture, he found a ledger the group kept, that described the Skull’s collaboration with another street gang, the Trolls, and how the two distributed the drug throughout the city. The ledger further described that both gangs were getting their supplies from an organized crime organization called the Family. The Skull leader also told Masked-Revenger of the current plan of this tri-gang alliance, which was to completely destroy the Skull’s main rivals, a gang called the Hellions.
Taking to the streets to find out the location of this massive attack, Masked-Revenger encountered another hero, a young Inuit woman called Chanook. She was a mystic, with ice-related spells, and the two made a devastating team against the street gangs. Chanook had apparently discovered that the Hellions were part of a similar organization, involving the Outcasts and being led by the Warriors. Together, the two were able to stop the gang war, and arrested many high-level members of both the Skulls and the Hellions.
Unfortunately, before he could act on the information in the ledger, it was stolen from the Police station where it was being kept. Undaunted, Masked-Revenger turned his sights against the Trolls, hoping to find a direct link to the Family.
The Troll Bridge
As Masked-Revenger moved his battles against the Trolls, he began to be come more active in Troll infested areas, specifically a Hazard Zone known as the Hallows. Here, he was contacted by a most unlikely ally, a young Troll known as Julius. Julius was a runt amongst the Trolls, but seemed to want to aid the Hallows, restore it to it’s former status, rather than continue to destroy it like the rest of the Trolls. Therefore, he was willing to help Masked-Revenger in his quest as well. As a low ranking member of the Trolls, he was unable to provide MR with the information he was specifically searching for. Eventually, however, using information provided to him by Julius, Masked-Revenger was eventually able to discover the location of a meeting between the Family and the Trolls, thus providing that essential link between the two group, which MR referred to as the Troll Bridge. It was here that Masked-Revenger learned that the Family was shipping the Superadine in from outside the city, and they were doing it via the docs in Strigia Island.
It was also during this period that Masked-Revenger met the Widowed, who was impressed with his martial arts skill. She invited him to join the Urban Bushido, which he was more than happy to do.
During his time fighting against the Trolls, that gang decided to fight back. They declared war against Masked-Revenger, and attached him on sight. This led to several large battles against the Trolls, and even resulted in the gang performing actions specifically designed to draw out the hero. One such attack lead to the fight being brought to the residence of a man called John Ledger. John was simply trying to paint his house, when Masked-Revenger sent a troll flying through his window. The troll smashed through John's ladder, causing him to fall to the floor, unconscious. Although Masked-Revenger did try to get the remaining Trolls away from John before they could harm him, the trolls simply overpowered MR, and knocked him out, causing his medical teleporter to kick in. Unknown to Masked-Revenger, however, a Nictus called Heolstor took that moment to try and posses John, resulting in the strange, complex entity that came to be known as Sledger. Sledger eventually blamed Masked-Revenger for his current mental state, though it would be a while before he would fully remember these events and decide to take revenge.
Just as he was starting his fight against the Family, Masked-Revenger was contacted by Juliana Nehring, who tipped him off to a possible connection between the Trolls and the mysterious organization known as the Tsoo. Based off of her information, he went to an abandoned office building where the two groups were meeting. There, he recovered a drug ampoule that at first appeared to be for Superadine. He then took the ampoule to Wyatt Anderson for analysis, where he learned it was a new version of Superadine, called Rage, developed by the Tsoo. Apparently, Rage had a specially designed side effect, which would eventually kill any Troll that uses it. Hitting the streets, Masked-Revenger attacked Tsoo to gather information, gaining a coded note from one Tsoo Sorcerer. Eventually, he was able to decipher the note, which lead him to the location of the Rage development lab. Rushing there, Masked-Revenger attacked and destroyed the lab, preventing the Tsoo from poisoning the Trolls.
The Paragonian Knights
It was just after his battle with the Tsoo that Masked-Revenger came to the attention of Grae Knight. The young hero had teamed up with several members of the Paragonian Knights in the past, and had received high praise from them. When Grae had read the reports of his fights against the Tsoo, he knew that Masked-Revenger was Knight material, and extended an invitation. Having realized that Urban Bushido, while a fine organization, did not have the resources that the Knights had that would aid him in his fight against Superadine; Masked-Revenger accepted the invitation.
The Family Way
Meanwhile, Masked-Revenger’s war against the Family continued. Teaming up with several new heroes as well as members of the Knights, he traveled to Independence Port to hit several known Family hideouts. There, they learned about and stopped a rather large shipment of Superadine the Family was bringing into the city. During this battle, some evidence was discovered that vaguely connect the Family with a small Crey Industries subsidiary, Crey Cola. Masked-Revenger was delighted, for while he had discovered that the Family had several labs that seemed designed to make Superadine, they were not the true source. This piece of evidence could lead him to that source, Crey. Unfortunately, the evidence was stolen from Police Headquarters before any kind of legal action could be filed.
Despite this, Masked-Revenger and fellow Paragonian Knight, Blood Tyger, attacked the Crey Cola facility. They arrived just as a Crey clean-up crew was leaving, and managed to capture several members of this team, though in the end, there was no evidence connecting Crey Cola to the Family in the facility, and all Crey employees were released. Crey industries eventually sent a letter from their legal department to the Paragonian Knights, threatening legal action if such unprovoked attacks continue. This resulted in Masked-Revenger being talked to severely by Legerdemain, although Gwendolyn Snow also spoke to MR, and noted that she would be willing to aid in any future attacks against Crey.
The Furtive Fox
Returning to concentrating on the Family, in hopes of finding more concrete evidence against Crey, Masked-Revenger learned of a shipment of Superadine coming into the city via a Family owned and operated casino in Bloody Bay. Heading there to stop them, he ran into a villain called The Furtive Fox, who the Family had hired for just this reason. The two battled, and Fox’s claws caused some serious damaged to MR before the hero managed to get a solid kick in that knocked Fox off the roof to the fountain below. Unfortunately for Masked-Revenger, the Fox turned invisible and disappeared, leaving MR unable to capture him. The fight also alerted the Family inside the building, and the Superadine was no where to be seen. Masked-Revenger is sure, however, that the Furtive Fox and he would meet again.
Freed from both prison and his former gang, the Troll Sledger begins attacking heroes from Paragon City. Each time, after defeating these heroes, he lets them go, with a message.
"Tell Masked-Revenger that I'm gunnin' fer him."
Sledger seems to bear an intense hatred for Masked-Revenger. Enough to clash directly with both military and superpowered forces to go after MR. Masked-Revenger does not know why Sledger detests him so much.
Eventually, word of the attacks gets to Masked-Revenger, and he heads to Bloody Bay in the Rogue Islands to confront this monster. The two fight, during which Masked-Revenger learns of his part in the creation of the monster. The battle nearly ended in Masked-Revenger's death, but for reasons unknown to Robert at the time, Sledger left him battered, but alive. The two have not met again since then.
Unknown to Robert, a new threat as arrived. This time, in the form of a young Japanise woman who goes by the name Intentional Malice. She has come here seeking the death of not only the Masked-Revenger, but also of Ming, Robert's master. So far, she has limited her activities to spying on our hero, but it is only a matter of time before moves in for the final blow.
The End of Innocence
After watching and observing for several weeks, Intentional Malice makes her move. She had already identified Patricia and Jason as people that Robert cared about, and thus were the biggest weakness he had. Following from a distance, she watched as Robert, Patricia and Jason all met at the University for a lunch. As they walked across the quad, she lifted her bow, took aim, and fired. The arrow flew true, and struck the young boy, Jason, killing him instantly. Stunned and shocked, it took several minutes before Robert noticed that there was writing on the arrow itself. “M-R, meet me where it began for you – IM.” He had no idea what the cryptic message meant, except that someone had discovered who he really was. He rode with Patricia to the hospital, but it was obvious to both of them that poor Jason was dead. And Robert knew that he had been killed to get to him.
Later that night, he put on his costume, and headed to the Mega Mart where he worked. He was immediately ambushed by several ninja, and though he fought them off fairly well, he eventually had to stop fighting when a woman appeared with a bow and a very sharp arrow pointed directly at his neck. She introduced herself as Intentional Malice. She explained that she had a contract to kill him, but that she wasn’t ready to do so quite yet. She wanted to play with him for a while first. Then, she let him go.
Unsure of what to do, Masked-Revenger immediately went to find Ming. He described his encounter with Intentional Malice, and the death of Jason, and wanted to know what was going on. After some very probing questions, Ming sighed. “I’ve been expecting this day ever since I decided to train you.” Ming finally explained to Robert some of his background. He was once part of a Japanese Ninja organization and with them performed many assassinations. It in this ninja clan that the met a woman, Hiroko, whom he fell in love with. In love, he began to realize that what he was doing was wrong, and tried to convince her to leave the clan with him. When she refused, he fled, but not before doing massive amounts of damage on the way. From the sounds of the fighting style of Intentional Malice, she was a member of this very same clan, and was no doubt here to kill Ming as well as Masked-Revenger.
“But, Ming, who is she?” Robert asked.
“She is my daughter.”
Stunned by these revelations, angry that Ming kept it a secret that the martial arts techniques he was teaching him were based on ninjitsu, Robert returned to the hospital to find Patricia and explain to here what was going on. When he found her, she was holding the arrow that had killed Jason. She knew that her brother was killed to get at Robert, at Masked-Revenger. She threw the arrow at Robert, and told him she never wanted to see him again. Her father was arranging for her to fly down to Florida and live with her mother for a while. Crying, she left Robert. In the matter of 24 hours, his entire life had been turned upside down.
The Death of Masked-Revenger
Responding to the note left by Intentional Malice, Masked-Revenger went to confront her. He managed to surprise her, taking down her ninja henchmen quickly and quietly before she was even aware of his presence. Impressed with his skills, she finally calls him out, taunting him with descriptions of her joy at the death of Jason and claiming to have killed Ming. Finally letting his anger get to him, he charged her, but she proved to be the quicker of the two, firing off an arrow that pierced his chest and sent him falling to the ground, blood splattered everywhere. Malice, gloating briefly over how easy he was to taunt, leaves him there for dead. When his Knight’s Emergency Signal goes off, several Knights arrive to find out what happened, only to find that his body is missing. All they find, left behind in the pool of blood, is his mask.
In the Pratorian Universe, Robert Ryan discovered that the only way to gain respect was to be a powered, costumed maniac. Although he railed against a life he considered himself unfair, it wasn't until a rival to his girlfriend's father (who was a mob crime lord) killed his girlfriend and her little brother that Robert decided to do something. He sought vengeance, but was, at first, unsuccessful. Then, he met a man named Ming, who taught him the arts of assassination. After killing Ming himself, he designed a costume, named himself Masked Vengeance, and set about killing those who had killed the ones he loved. Afterwards, his reputation had grown to the point where he was getting offers, and he became a paid assassin. Eventually, he was contacted by a powerful villain, one of Tyrant's inner circle, who paid him to travel to the universe known as Victory to kill a hero that would eventually become a thorn in Tyrant's side. So, now he resides there, hunting this hero, and still taking jobs as a paid assassin.
In an alternate universe, Dr. Vahzilok managed to create a super plague that killed and zombified most of the world's heroes. Unfortunately for Doc Vahzilok, it didn't work as well as he wanted. The hero Psy-Beetle regained his memories and free-will, and started to free other heroes, forming a corps of zombified heroes. Masked-Revenger was one of the first rescued, and, along with many other heroes that started the Zombie Horde (as they called themselves), re-named himself Masked-Revenger Z to denote that he was no longer human. Teaming up and using their newfound zombie abilities, the Horde lead a revolt against Dr. Vahzilok, and defeated him, freeing the remains of humanity in that universe.
In an Elseworld known as Earth-Triumph, a female version of Masked-Revenger exists. Robin Ryan had a past very similar to that of Robert Ryan, moving to Paragon City to attend college under a martial arts scholarship. Here, she discovered the street gangs, and their attacks on the citizens going unnoticed by the other costumed heroes, and she became the Masked-Revenger to revenge these wrongs. Later, she hooked up with other Triumph heroes (all reverse gender versions of our own Virtue heroes), such as Empyrean, Meltwoman, Miss Regal, Miss Supernova and Jane Vendel.
The Masked-Revenger was a character originally created during the ‘80’s, when Masked Revenger was in high-school. At the time, he was writing and drawing a little comic series called The Raven, which was basically a parody of the Michael Keaton Batman movie. Masked Revenger wondered what a heroic opposite to Batman would be, and decided he would be incompetent, have no money, work during the day time, and wear bright colors. Thus was the Masked Revenger created. He worked the graveyard shift at the local Quickie Mart, and did his super-hero thing during the daylight hours. He had no training or money, and was totally incompetent in every way. When he was re-created in game, it was because the name Raven was already taken, and he was turned into a far more serious character.
Some comic influences for the in-game Masked-Revenger include Spider-Man, Iron Fist and Daredevil.