Plague Rat/References

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Artwork

  • The card "Plague Locus" shows Plague Rat's nest. It is littered with various items from all over the Sentinels universe, including:
    • Chrono Ranger's poncho
    • Spite's hypodermics
    • A golden idol, most likely stolen from Dr. Blake Washington (Ra).
    • One of Gloomweaver's voodoo dolls, shaped like Legacy.
    • A can of soda/beer
    • Three hard to identify glowing orbs.
  • Aside from the title, header, and author credit, the text that makes up the newspaper on Plague Rat's card backs is pure gibberish (specifically [wikipedia:Lorem_ipsum Lorem Ipsum]).
  • * "Shadowy Ambush" features the Chrono Ranger's first appearance on a Sentinels card.

Confirmed

  • Originally a man named Randy "Rot Mouth" Burke. (See Letters Page 26)
  • The rat creature that bit Chrono Ranger's arm off is likely a descendant of Plague Rat, explaining why they are nemeses. (confirmed in Letters Page 25)
  • Between his and Chairman's villain bios in the Rook City rulebook, it can be concluded that the criminal organization that forced him into the sewers was The Chairman's criminal empire. (confirmed in Letters Page 26)

Unconfirmed

  • In the post-apocalyptic future depicted by The Final Wasteland, Plague Rat's descendants have become the dominant species.
  • It is hinted in his character bio that Plague Rat had an encounter with the Chairman.

To Other Works

  • As a mutated human who lives in the sewer, resembles an animal, and feeds on human flesh, Plague Rat is most similar to the Batman villain Killer Croc.
  • The flavor text for "Noxious Bite" is a reference to the video game Resident Evil 2

Questions Answered on The Letters Page

  • Notes from Letters Page 26 - Plague Rat
    • How is the infection spread - like is it some kind of venom in his bite or a kind of gas or what? It's carried in his saliva, so bites are really bad but even his claws give a chance for infection because there could be some on them from when he licked his fingers while eating earlier or something. He also belches toxic gasses, but that's not part of the infection.
    • Art shows that Legacy, Tachyon, and Ra have been infected and they're pretty powerful, is there any way to resist it? No. That's kind of what makes it so terrible until Revo-Corp makes an antidote (not a vaccine). If you had some method of preventing him from breaking your skin you might be ok, but we see him ripping a Bunker suit apart, so good luck with that.
    • What are the cures? As mentioned, Revo-Corp's cure. One seeming exception is that in the fight where Legacy, Tachyon, and Ra all get infected (in the Megalopolis sewers), Tachyon is able to shake it off herself with a hand-wavy "fast metabolism fought it off" explanation. This is later ret-conned in a La Comodora story when she shows up and takes care of it for her.
    • Why was Chrono-Ranger not infected since he took his arm off? First, that was a Rat Beast in the far future, not Plague Rat himself. He was infected during the fight in the sewer that the Dark Watch heroes came across (see CR's alt-art incap side), though. In both cases CON is able to take care of things (being in the future and having access to Revo-Corp's info on the matter).
    • Are there any long-term effects of the infection for the cured? Not really beyond the expected psychological trauma.
    • How sentient is Plague Rat? Does he have a particular goal? He's pretty much just a beast. He can say English words, but the guys compare it to parrots or "what a dog would say if it could talk" - it's the subconscious remnants of his past humanity that he's retained as these sounds, but he's by no means communicating.
    • In-game, the infection can affect everybody, but does that carry over in the stories to things like Absolute Zero, Omnitron-X, Haka, Dr. Medico, or Dark Watch Mr. Fixer? Haka is susceptible, but the others mentioned aren't (DW Mr. Fixer before being "fixed" by Faultless) as they either don't have blood or aren't "using" it to sustain them.
    • Because of his bestial nature preventing him from recognizing the difference between "hero" and "villain", has he infected any of the latter? Have any villains (Ambuscade or Bugbear for example) hunted him? Other than Revo-Corp has anybody tried to capture him to use as a weapon? Miss Information used him as a distraction in one of her plans, as mentioned previously (although she didn't capture him herself). No primary villains (i.e. those with their own decks) were infected, but some minor ones certainly were during the big infection event. Powers don't really matter when you're infected, though. When the Hippo was infected he wouldn't be a "super rat creature" just a larger one, infected Ra wouldn't be a fiery rat creature, etc. It's really just the closest we get to "zombie-apocalypse" style zombie threats (although "fast zombies") rather than the "voodoo-zombies" like in Gloomweaver stories.
    • When PR was captured, did they try to cure or weaponize the plague so they could then profit by the cure? Definitely onto something - they did develop a cure, but they didn't wind up selling it - it was more of a public-relations coup they went for by giving it away. We don't see them weaponizing the plague in the Multiverse, but they've got it ready somewhere.
    • Do people in-setting call him "Plague Rat" or something else? What did Revo-Corp call him? There are other descriptive terms that probably get thrown around, but "Plague Rat" is the general term. Revo-Corp has a subject number for him: 18-PZ4 (they've got a lot of projects and everything gets this kind of number).
    • Can he recognize people who may have been nice to him (citing Setback interaction text in the Video Game)? Not really. I mean, he has a memory, but he really just wants to bite and rend stuff. Setback wasn't involved in finally freeing him from the handlers either, as mentioned.
    • Does his infection actually turn people into rat beasts or is it just a mental affliction? If the former, how many rat beasts are running around Rook City? If there's a cure, why hasn't it been given to Plague Rat? It does turn them into rat beasts. There weren't many in Rook City to begin with and aren't likely any left now given the limited nature of that story - it's more likely that there are some running around in Megalopolis, but even that's suspect given Revo-Corp's efforts there to dispense the cure. Plague Rat's own mutation was a bit more complex than the infection mechanism and so the cure doesn't work.
    • Does Revo-Corp have any kind of legal claim to Plague Rat? Why does his VotM version not have infection powers? The infection was successfully engineered out of him by Revo Corp. They don't have much of a "legal" claim to him, but he's this large dangerous animal and so it's not really contested that they took him (it's not generally known that he was once a person - sure he's got some humanoid elements, but so do a lot of monsters).
    • In VotM, Plague Rat is Setback's nemesis, does this mean that Chrono-Ranger's gotten over his problem with rats? Chrono-Ranger never shows up in stories involving Plague Rat after he got turned into a "bloodhound" by Revo-Corp (by then he was lost in time and/or tracking down La Capitan). The stories in the "bloodhound" era were focused more on Setback and so that's who wound up as nemesis. However...
    • Chrono-Ranger's status as nemesis was explained by his (not Plague Rat's) motivation based on what happened to him with the Rat Beasts in the future, but then why is Setback the VotM nemesis given that Plague Rat probably couldn't care less and Setback certainly doesn't have a grudge? This is another example of asymmetrical nemeses. Chrono-Ranger wants to kill Plague Rat for specific reasons, but PR doesn't care. Similarly, Setback has no grudge with Plague Rat, but PR is being sent after Setback by his handlers (it's not personal).
    • PR's VotM card's incapacitated side shows him as a human again, how'd he get cured? Uhh... that's not Plague Rat, that's a handler. You can see Plague Rat's tail leading around the corner as he makes his escape.
    • Is the spreading of his plague an intentional goal or incidental? He doesn't care about spreading the plague. He'd probably be less likely to attack/eat another rat beast if anything else was available, but it's not like he wants more around specifically.
    • The art for the handlers are obvious references to a popular "spook-chasing" franchise - are they and the Sentinels brand related? They're not familiar with these "spook chasers" and there's no crossover happening here. The handlers just look like what they look like. They're not afraid of no rats.
    • Is there any chance for him to be cured/returned to some semblance of normality? Let's talk about the future...

Sources