Krystal Lee was overjoyed to get accepted as an intern at the Eaken-Rubendall Research Laboratories. Working with Dr. Meredith Stinson was the greatest possible honor, and the opportunity for Lee to share her own brilliant ideas with Dr. Stinson meant she would have a chance at her own greatness! She couldn't wait.
Unfortunately, after only a few months working in the lab, things were not looking so good for Krystal Lee. She was constantly leaving her work area a mess, which irritated Dr. Stinson to no end, she made countless errors in her lab reports, and she even broke valuable lab equipment by not keeping a close eye on an experiment. Worst of all, Dr. Stinson didn't approve of any of Lee's inventions, claiming them all "derivative" and "not actually functional". So, when Lee received her notice that she was out of the intern program, she wasn't terribly surprised. However, she was terribly furious.
She broke into the "work in progress" lab area and stole several gadgets, notably a "speedsuit" prototype which Dr. Stinson had hoped would allow others to operate at speeds close to her own without injury. Lee was familiar enough with the Freedom Five and their workings to know that Baron Blade had been a constant threat, and attempted to make contact with him. After several heavy-handed inquiries, Lee received a form-letter from Baron Blade, claiming no vacancies in his Vengeful Four team, but Lee was adamant. She needed vengeance.
She powered up the speedsuit, altering the regulators in an attempt to prevent whatever damage might be dealt to her. Wearing the suit, she could move so fast she put out waves of heat, but she had to be careful not to run through her own waves. Also, the likelihood that the suit would result in two broken legs for the would-be villain was terrifyingly high.
Pushing these fears aside, she tracked down Baron Blade for an in-person audition, which resulted mostly in property damage and an entirely exhausted ex-intern. Unimpressed by her abilities, the Baron did see something in Lee that spoke to him. The overwhelming need for revenge.
Baron Blade reworked her speedsuit and gave her the name Friction. Now, Friction works as a scout and speedster as part of the Vengeful Five. She will show Tachyon once and for all what she missed out on!
- References for Cards in this deck and in other decks. See the full list here.
- Link to sources for confirm-able information, separate unconfirmed in a different section, RL Card References in a third, and Art References in a fourth. See This page for more detailed information on how to categorize references
- Friction is found on the card "Scum and Villainy" in the Rook City Environment Deck
- “Supersonic Streak” features Friction running through an abstract environment with checkered soil, bright green grass, and towering loops. Fans of the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series will recognize this location as the GreenHill Zone from the original Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis. Unity’s golems stand in for the “badnik” enemies which populated that zone.
- The card “Unchecked Acceleration” features Writhe being struck through by a speedster yet again, Friction this time. This happened to him before at the hands of Tachyon on the card “Supersonic Response.”
- As an evil super-speedster with an inverted color scheme to a heroic super-speedster (Tachyon), Friction is evocative of Eobard Thawn, the Reverse Flash, the arch-nemesis of the Flash. In addition to these similarities, both Friction and the Reverse Flash idolized their nemesis before seeking their destruction.
- The artwork for Friction’s Incapacitated side is a reference to the Flash comics. More than one DC Comics speedster, the Flash included, has been disintegrated from abusing the power of the Speed Force, the mysterious energy field which gives all super-fast heroes and villains their powers. The best known example was in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, in which the silver-age flash, Barry Allen, pushed his powers to the limits to stop the evil Anti-Monitor, and was subsequently withered to dust.
- The art on “Unhealthy Speed” is an homage to the first issue of the “Flash: Rebirth” miniseries by Geoff Johns.
- Friction is phasing her hand through Setback’s chest on the card “Blinding Surge.” Numerous DC speedsters are able to do this as well, including the Flash.
- As a villain made of liquid metal, Argentium seems to be an homage to the T-1000 from the James Cameron movie “Terminator 2.” The fact that he is pictured in a steel mill, the same setting as the film’s climax, furthers the comparison.
- Revenant is named after a monster European folklore. The creatures in the original tales were corpses that rose from their graves in search of vengeance on those that wronged them in life. The creatures were often impossible to kill outside of strange/magical means. Aside from his flavor text, not much about the robotic Setback nemesis bears a resemblance to his namesake.
- As a large, burly villain who dresses like a large, burly animal, the Hippo is a clear homage to the Rhino, a Spider-Man villain.
- Highbrow bears a strong resemblance to both members of the Brain Trust, a villainous psychic duo who first appeared in the second issue of DC’s “Kingdom Come” miniseries.
Vengeance Style Deck
- Blinding Surge (x2)
- Destroy X Hero Ongoing cards, where X = the number of Surge cards in Friction's trash. Friction deals herself 3 lightning damage.
- Art: Friction using her speed to vibrate into Setback's chest;
- Flavor text: "Gwah! Get your hands off - no, get your hand outta me!" - Setback, Vengeance #4
- Supersonic Streak (x2)
- Friction deals herself and the X hero targets with the highest HP 2 lightning damage each, where X = the number of surge cards in her trash.
- Art: Friction sending out shocks to multiple Bee Bots;
- Flavor text: "Stupid robots made by a stupid intern who got a job because she's got stupid powers." - Friction, Freedom Five Annual #27
- Surge Strike (x2)
- Friction deals herself 1 lightning damage. Friction deals the Hero target with the highest HP X melee damage, where X = the number of surge cards in her trash.
- Art: Friction punching an unsuspecting Tachyon;
- Flavor text: "Pow! Right in the kisser! Teach you to fire me!" - Friction, Vengeance #2
- Synergy Surge (x1)
- Friction deals each villain target 2 lightning damage. Play the top card of each villain deck in turn order.
- Art: Friction with the rest of the Vengeful Five with shocks coming off them;
- Flavor text: "You heard the Baron! Let's take'em out!" - Friction, Vengeful Five One-Shot
- Unchecked Acceleration (x2)
- Friction deals the Hero target with the highest HP 3 melee damage. Friction deals herself 2 lightning damage.
- Art: Friction going through Writhe;
- Flavor text: *Sigh* "Why do people never look where they are going?" - Writhe, Vengeance #6
- Unhealthy Speed (x3)
- Friction deals each Hero target 1 melee damage. Friction deals herself 1 lightning damage. Play the top card of Friction's deck.
- Art: Friction with lightning streaking around her;
- Flavor text: "Is that your plan? Live fast and die faster?" - Tachyon, Vengeance #6
- Speedy Sidestep (x2)
- If Friction would be dealt 5 or more damage from a single source, prevent that damage and destroy this card.
- Art: Friction sidestepping a blast from Absolute Zero;
- Flavor text: "Hah! Not fast enough! Sucker!" - Friction, Freedom Five Annual #27
- Shock Dampeners  (x1)
- Friction is immune to lightning damage.
- Art: Lightning being absorbed by the Shock Dampeners;
- Flavor text: "You must protect the dampeners. Otherwise, your speedsuit will be your coffin!" - Baron Blade, Vengeful Five One-Shot
- Stolen Gear  (x1)
- At the end of Friction's turn, play the top card of Friction's deck.
- Art: Friction wearing Tachyon's HUD Goggles;
- Flavor text: "Hey, these things are great! Lots of warning messages though. Must be an error." - Friction, Vengeful Five One-Shot
- Argentium  (x1)
- At the end of Friction's turn, this card deals the Hero target with the second lowest HP 1 projectile damage. If Guise is active in this game, targets dealt damage by this card cannot deal damage until the start of Friction's turn.
- Art: A closeup of Argentiun;
- Flavor text: "Silent he may be. But he makes up for it in lethality." - Expatriette, Vengeance #2
- Highbrow  (x1)
- The first time a hero card enters play each turn, this card deals the Hero target wih the highest HP 1 energy damage. If Parse is active in this game, increase damage dealt by this card by 1.
- Art: A closeup of Highbrow;
- Flavor text: "Try not to over think it, hon. I can already see you're overdoing it. Tsk." - Highbrow, Vengeance #5
- Reverant  (x1)
- Increase damage dealt by the villain target with the highest HP by 1. If Setback is active in this game, increase damage dealt by villain targets by 1.
- Art: A closeup of Reverant;
- Flavor text: "Did you forget? You should know by now, I always return for more." - Reverant, Exordium #4
- The Hippo  (x1)
- At the end of Friction's turn, this card deals the Hero target with the highest HP 3 melee damage. If Haka is active in this game, any time a Hero target would deal damage to Friction, redirect it to this card.
- Art: A closeup of the Hippo;
- Flavor text: "Ain't nothin' that can stop me!" - The Hippo, Exordium #1
- Suppose Friction has a target in her trash but Ermine does not. You may select Ermine’s trash for Training Simulator and avoid having a target be moved into play.