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Draft Bio: Captain Freedom

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Hi all. This is the draft bio for an NPC-possible Gold PC I'm tossing around for a character that fills the niche of the Silver Age Spiderman in Freedom City.

Lemme know what you think:

Simon Benjamin Salter (born May 10, 1946) was the son of Martin and Rita Salter, who worked as atomic scientists at Freedom City University. Despite his parents' intelligence, Simon preferred more physical pursuits like gymnastics, boxing, and the track team. A bit of a slacker and hot-rodder as a teenager, he often goofed off and rarely studied, much to the ire of Martin and Rita. Still, they were loving and supportive parents, and encouraged him to find his own path in life.

In 1960, Simon joined his parents at a nuclear rocket test launch, where an accident exposed the boy to tremendous cosmic energies from an unknown source. (Actually, the rocket was an attempt to reverse-engineer captured Grue technology.) The mysterious radiation transformed the scrawny 15-year-old into a slightly-less-scrawny 15 year old able to leap thirty feet in the air and lift a car over his head! His parents were exposed to the radiation as well, with no apparent effects. At least at the time.

This was just before the birth of the Freedom League. Superheroes as such weren't in again yet. Simon initially set out to find fame and fortune, winning a match while wearing a makeshift disguise against professional wrestler Smasher Johnson. He attempted to interest a television network in the idea of featuring him as a costumed hero (with the advantage that he could actually do the things his character can), and created the Captain Freedom name and costume. After quickly becoming a minor celebrity, Simon appeared on a television special, only to have his first appearance interrupted by Hades' 1961 invasion of Freedom City!

A frightened boy confronted by a god's army, Simon fled the station as it burned and hid in the Waterfront, belatedly going to his parents' rescue when he realized that a monster was loose in the South Side! He saved his mother from the rampaging cyclops, but it was too late for Dr. Martin Salter. Grief-stricken over his father's death, Simon joined the fight to drive the last of the monsters out of the city. Seeing the Centurion in action was as much of a change as his father's death, and the young man vowed to do all he could to make both his heroes proud. This mix of selfless obligation and self-recrimination brought about by his father's death made up Captain Freedom's moral core.

Simon Salter attended Joseph Clark High School. He unmasked to the Freedom League after the events of Hades' invasion. Deeply concerned at the idea of a 15-year-old boy fighting crime, the League told him to stay in school...but didn't tell him to stop fighting crime. After all, it was a different, more innocent age. Simon occasionally teamed up with the Centurion, who was very protective of the boy hero, and his role as an occasional pupil of the Raven helped persuade the dour Duncan Summers that there was something to the idea of teenage superheroes. A young man inclined to let his mouth run off with him, Captain Freedom always had an uneasy relationship with the press, fueled partially by his cowardice at his debut.

After his father's death, Simon got a part-time job as a stringer for the now-defunct Daily Star selling line items to N. Noah Nathan, confronting the Blood Eagle for the first time this way. Blood Eagle would ultimately prove to be Captain Freedom's most persistent foe. A high-tech scientist turned mercenary adventurer with a flair for the dramatic, Blood Eagle plied his trade at everything from industrial espionage to pure old-fashioned murder. His command of the air meant that he could usually get away from Captain Freedom, but Freedom's speed, athletic ability, and resilient hide meant that he could usually drive off his enemy before he did whatever wicked scheme was on his mind.

While working at the Daily Star, Simon dated co-worker Sally Smith and clashed with his high school rival Speed Winchester (whose girlfriend Vicky also later developed a crush on the handsome Simon, which further served to infuriate Speed). Winchester was brain to Simon's brawn, the hard-working, studious boy popular with his teachers (including Simon's parents!) in the age of science education. He encountered many of his most famous enemies for the first time during this period, including such foes as Luna Moth, Lenore, Fear-Master, Doc Holiday, Madame Zero, and Nero.

Upon graduating from high school, Simon enrolled at Freedom City University as a journalism student, where he met Jimmy Richards and Glory Ferguson. His mother introduced him to Rita June Holmes, whom he dated for a short time, but Simon soon fell in love with Glory. Meanwhile, Jimmy became Simon's roommate and best friend, but started using illegal drugs. Simon's relationship with Speed also changed, and they slowly become close friends over time. His mother died while he was in college, passing away from cancer caused by her years of exposure to radioactive chemicals.

For all of Captain Freedom's solo adventures, he amassed a great deal of allies as well including the likes of the Freedom League (of which he was a part of a replacement team for when the original team went missing), the Raven, and Lady Liberty I. He fought Omega in 1965 (his disappearance to fight in the invasion ultimately delaying his high school graduation by three months) and the Grue in 1969, a happy, laughing rogue with the courage of a dozen men. He got stronger and faster as he aged and went through puberty, and by the end of the decade was leaping tall buildings and running faster than a speeding bullet. He never quite got around to joining the Freedom League, though he was among its most important reservists.

He graduated from college in 1967 with a degree in journalism, and went to work full-time for the Star, immensely proud that his mother had lived just long enough to know that her son was graduating from college with a bright future ahead of him. In 1970, Jimmy Richards' father, Anthony Richards, was revealed to be the Blood Eagle and discovered Captain Freedom's secret identity. Not long afterwards, Captain Freedom first fought August Roman during a successful rescue of the Centurion from one of Roman's more fiendish plots. After Glory's father Fire Marshal Harold Ferguson was killed in a battle between Captain Freedom and Nero, Glory's relationship with Simon was put on hold when she traveled to England.

Shortly after her return in 1973, the Blood Eagle apparently threw Glory Ferguson from the new Pyramid Plaza; either from shock or physical trauma during Captain Freedom's rescue attempt, the falling woman died before hitting the ground. The Eagle was killed in the ensuing battle with Captain Freedom. Grieving Glory's death, Salter withdrew from his social circles, both normal and superheroic. Weeks later, Salter discovered that one of Glory's professors, Rhodes Burroughs, had cloned Glory and Simon from tissue samples that he'd taken in class some months back. It was the clone who died, and the real Glory that Simon rescued from her suspended animation just before his own disappearance.

Unknown to Captain Freedom, by now Jimmy had discovered his father's identity and become the second Blood Eagle. He attacked Captain Freedom just as Simon was reviving his clone, and a terrific battle ensued as a horrified Glory Ferguson looked on. Together the two men plunged into the depths of Burrough's underground fortress, the subsequent explosion destroying the building and nearly crippling Glory Ferguson as she ran for her life. She identified the bodies of Jimmy Richards and Simon Salter a few days later, later going on to her own heroic destiny. The League helped cover up Simon's secret identity, as was his standing request, and the young man was buried alongside his father and late mother in the South Side.

Captain Freedom, circa June 1973

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