Sentinels of the Multiverse: Setback
Setback's Deck incorporates the concept of an Unlucky Pool. Cards in his deck may add or remove tokens from the pool, and many of them have differing effects based on the number of tokens in the pool. Use a stack of HP tokens, separate from his HP, to keep track of tokens in the Unlucky Pool.
Incapacitated - Setback throwing his costume into a trashcan in an alley and walking away
- "Whoops! Sorry!" (x3)
- Destroy 1 non-Character card belonging to another Hero. You may destroy 1 Ongoing or Environment card. Add or remove 3 Tokens from your Unlucky Pool.
- Art: Setback stepping on and accidentally crushing an auxiliary power source that Tyler has plugged into the Bunker suit;
- Flavor-text: "I really had no idea that was there, sir! I, ah, I should go." - Setback, Freedom Five #591
- Cash Out (x3)
- Remove any number of Tokens from your Unlucky Pool. Draw that many cards. Each player may discard 1 card. If (H) minus 1 cards are discarded this way, each Hero Target regains 2 HP.
- Art: A wounded Setback sitting down looking over his shoulder at Kismet;
- Flavor-text: "Hahahaha! Things never turn out your way, do they?" - Kismet, Run of Luck #1
- Cause and Effect (x2)
- You may destroy 1 Ongoing or Environment card. Setback deals 1 Target and himself as much Psychic Damage as there are Tokens in your Unlucky Pool.
- Art: A symbiote looking monster that has Setback wrapped up;
- Flavor-text: "Ok, look -- ow! Hey, that's really not at all nice!" - Setback, Freedom Five Annual #30
- Exceeded Expectations (x3)
- Remove any number of Tokens from your Unlucky Pool. Setback deals that many Targets 3 Melee Damage each.
- Art: Setback hitting Ambuscade, Calypso, and Hippo at the same time;
- Flavor-text: "... there is no way that should have worked." - The Visionary, Vengeance #3
- Fumbling Fool (x3)
- Discard the top card of each deck. You may add or remove (H) Tokens from your Unlucky Pool.
- Art: Setback breaking down a wall which the debris landed on Wraith and Kismet;
- Flavor-text: "Gosh! Sorry, Maia, er, I mean, The Wraith!" - Setback, Mystery Comics #291
- Karmic Retribution (x3)
- If you have fewer than 7 Tokens in your Unlucky Pool, remove 1 of them. If you do, Setback regains 2 HP. If you have 7 or more Tokens in your Unlucky Pool, remove 7 of them and Setback deals 1 Target 7 Melee Damage.
- Art: Setback waking up an delivering a back fist strike on Apostate;
- Flavor-text: *yawn* "What a night! I sure hope today goes better than yesterday!" - Setback, Mystery Comics #370
- Plucky Break (x3)
- Remove 2 Tokens from your Unlucky Pool. If you do, draw 1 card and Setback deals 1 target 2 Melee Damage. If there are zero Tokens in your Unlucky Pool, Setback regains 3 HP.
- Art: Setback leaning over to pick up a coin which prevents lightning from hitting him coming from a member of the Slaughterhouse Six (Re-volt);
- Flavor-text: "Hey look! A new penny! These new coins are looking pretty sweet!" - Setback, Mystery Comics #212
- Reckless Rush (x4)
- Setback deals 1 Target 2 Melee Damage. Setback deals himself 2 Melee Damage. Add 2 Tokens to your Unlucky Pool.
- Art: Setback running into Plague Rat taking them both off a building rooftop;
- Flavor-text: "Alrighty, smelly and bitey! Down we go!" - Setback, Mystery Comics #270
- Turn of Events (x2)
- Remove (H) Tokens from your Unlucky Pool. If you do, each other player may use a Power now. Setback deals himself 2 Psychic Damage.
- Art: Setback holding back Plague Rat as Ra is lining up a fire blast;
- Flavor-text: "Alright now, fidgety one. Hold him steady... " - Ra, Mystery Comics #270
- Friendly Fire (x2)
- Whenever a Hero Target deals a non-Hero Target Damage, that Hero may also deal Setback 2 Damage of the same type. Whenever Setback is dealt Damage this way, add 2 Tokens to your Unlucky Pool.
- Art: Setback getting shocked because he is standing right beside Tempest who is shooting lightning from his hand;
- Flavor-text: "You keep standing right next to me. Why do you think this keeps happening?" - Tempest, Freedom Five #421
- High Risk Behavior (x2)
- Increase Damage dealt to and by Setback to and by Villain Targets by 1 for every 3 Tokens in your Unlucky Pool. At the start of your turn, you may add or remove 1 Token from your Unlucky Pool.
- Art: A silhouette of Setback standing in front of the Slaughterhouse Six;
- Flavor-text: "Oh, hello there! Have you considered, say, NOT hitting me?" - Setback, Freedom Five #592
- Looking Up (x3)
- Power: Add 3 Tokens to your Unlucky Pool. Setback deals 1 Target 3 Melee Damage.
- At the start of your turn, if you have 10 or more Tokens, Setback deals himself 3 Psychic damage.
- Art: Setback has his fall broken by a thug with Graham Pike looking on;
- Flavor-text: "Man, good thing that window was there to break my fall! And these guys, too!" - Setback, Rook City Renegades #5
- Silver Lining (x2)
- If Setback would be reduced to 0 or fewer HP, remove all Tokens from your Unlucky Pool and restore Setback to HP equal to the amount of Tokens removed this way. Then, destroy this card.
- Art: Setback coming out of a broken vat with chemicals coming down from him;
- Flavor-text: "I have been experimenting with the reversed regression serum for years, and it works on this guy?!" - Baron Blade, Exordium #1
- Surprising Fortune (x2)
- Power: Remove 2 Tokens from your Unlucky Pool. If you do, Setback regains 2 HP and 1 Player may draw 2 cards.
- Art: Setback has his fall broken by landing on top of Cosmic Omnitron;
- Flavor-text: "Oof. Hi! I know you don't particularly care, but you're not at all soft." - Setback, Cosmic Concurrence #1
- Uncharmed Life (x2)
- When a Hero Target would be dealt Damage, you may remove 2 Tokens from your Unlucky Pool to redirect that Damage to Setback.
- Power: Setback regains 3 HP. Destroy this card.
- Art: Setback in a mirror maze getting blasted by Glamour;
- Flavor-text: "You know, this isn't great. But better me than someone else!" - Setback, Freedom Five #592
- When a Hero Target would be dealt Damage, you may remove 2 Tokens from your Unlucky Pool to redirect that Damage to Setback.
- Wrong Time and Place (x1)
- The first time a Hero Target would be dealt Damage each turn, redirect that Damage to Setback, or remove X Tokens from your Unlucky Pool to redirect that Damage to a Target, where X = the amount of Damage. At the start of your turn, you may shuffle this card back into your deck.
- Art: Setback ducking out of the way of a missile which will hit Revenant;
- Flavor-text: "You AGAIN?!" - Revenant and Setback, Vengeance #4
|Power Source:||Genetic, Experimentation|
|Occupation:||Adventurer, former Blackjack Dealer, Test Subject
Sentinel Tactics: Setback
This information is from the Miststorm Universe, one of two branching timelines. Products in this timeline are: Sentinel Tactics (and expansions). Prime War (and expansions)
Part of the indefinitely delayed Battle For Broken City Sentinel Tactics set
Not Yet Releaed
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- The art on Setback's incapacitated side is a reference to this picture of Spider-man when he decided to give up the life of a superhero in the "Spider-Man No More" story in Amazing Spider-man #50.
- Many members of the Slaughterhouse Six on “High Risk Behavior” are similar to members of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, including an Electro and Vulture lookalike (Re-volt and Desert Eagle). Glamour, as pictured on both that card and “Uncharmed Life”, resembles Iron Man villainess Madame Mask.
- "Cash Out" shows a confrontation between Kismet and Setback in a casino, indicating that this is their first confrontation as adults as mentioned in the Kismet Letters Page Episode. Note the precarious chandelier above Kismet - it's about to fall on her, which leads to her capture and imprisonment.
- Setback and his Vengeance Nemesis Revenant were some of Adam's earliest ideas for a hero and villain Conversation at the Gathering of Heroes 2014, Vengeance Release Party
- Setback is the first Promo card to be released before the hero actually was - Officially his Promo Power was known before his actual power or deck mechanics were.
- On the back of Dark Watch Setback's card, his incapacitated self involves a picture of him distraught while holding a dead or wounded Dark Watch: Expatriette. This seems to imply that Setback and Expatriette have some sort of relationship. Likewise the back of her Dark Watch card has her jumping in front of an explosion to protect him. Confirmed
- His costume and Luminary's outfit are inspired by and are reflections of Legacy's costume Letters Page Episode 3
To Other Works
- As a hero with an unprofessional attitude and powers that (for the most part) negatively affect him, Setback is evocative of the numerous subversive meta-commentary superheroes of modern comics.
- As a bumbling, oafish superhero that is frowned upon by other superheroes, Setback is similar to DC Comics’ Booster Gold. Both characters also share similarities in their costumes.
Questions Answered on The Letters Page
- Notes from Letters Page Episode 6
- Question time:
- What was the plan for Setback prior to Kismet (referring to the fact that Kismet was a from the Create a Villain contest - this question asked by her creator)? Christopher and Adam have a whole stable of unused characters, stemming from RPG games they've played or comics that Adam made over the last 2 decades. Setback was one of these. They assigned Kismet to him as nemesis for thematic reasons but their plan was that no matter who won the contest they had characters available to match up with them. First few expansions had lots of character cameos from later releases who they didn't necessarily think they'd wind up getting to make - even getting to Shattered Timelines was surprising.
- Where did the idea for him come from? Based on a real friend of theirs named Pete - lots of bad breaks but things works out in the end, staying optimistic throughout.
- Did he debut in comics as Blade's test-subject or had he been around for a while? That first comic shows his life with all the bad breaks leading up to his being a test subject, as mentioned earlier. Flashback to high school explaining the luck once Kismet shows up. The invented comics-industry reason is that he was originally written to just be this extremely unlucky guy (not even part of his "power set", just as the chain of events that led him to be in this situation) and the curse thing was a retcon by later writers.
- He seems like his his comic would be pretty wacky, but he's connected to Expatriette who is not - does his tone shift depending on which title he's appearing in? They don't consider him to be a comedy character - not wacky like Guise's would be. Slapstick things happen, but they're not the focus as he takes his role as a hero seriously. That being said, there is likely to be differences depending on the title (he'd still be lighthearted in a Dark Watch issue, but not as much as he would be in Freedom Five). In the grittier titles he's a "source of light in darkness" - he's not comic relief, but he's the lightest aspect of the book.
- Why did the serum work on him? The luck. No other reason. Too early in the testing process to expect it to do anything.
- What was the extent of what the serum did for him? Hard to measure. As a rule of thumb, think "half as [strong/fast/tough/whatever]" as Legacy. That's still really impressive. Initially they thought of having a fluctuating strength component, but they decided the luck thing was more interesting and so they dropped it.
- Why doesn't he need frequent injections of the serum like Blade does? Because it worked. Blade's version is a work-around/hack to get something out of it.
- Does his bad luck ever get him down or frustrate him? For most of his arc, he doesn't really recognize that he's got this weird luck thing. He's very laid back and optimistic. Not to say that he doesn't get sad when something bad happens, but he doesn't blame some external "luck" thing, it's just life.
- On his original incap art, he's thrown away his costume. What's the story there? Pretty early in his story (Freedom Five trainee phase). During a fight, he takes a hit that sends him across the room and into the janitor, Larry Hillburn, an older man who gets badly injured. Setback sees this as his fault, and decides that him being around and effecting other people instead of just himself is a problem and so quits. A few months later, Miss Information has trapped the Freedom Five in their HQ, but Larry slips out unnoticed and goes to Pete's apartment to ask him to help. Pete's very apologetic about what happened, but Larry explains that he doesn't blame him and thought that he had helped. Larry had saved the costume from the dumpster too, although it still smells bad. He goes to fight Miss Information and almost immediately falls into a trap, although one set for Tyler Vance that he's able to break. This causes an explosion, which releases the other heroes who then save the day.
- Where did he get the suit? Designed for him specifically? How often does he need a new one? Freedom Five have an in-house costume fabrication thing. Tachyon would be involved in the science of them, but not the fashion - his is essentially just spandex and so she'd have little influence in his (costume stuff to be discussed later - reference to RPG info, I'm assuming as player character info on how "costumes" make sense in-setting).
- Is the person in the Revenant armor somebody who knew Pete? Revenant is the CEO of Revo-Corp. He knows who Pete is and the whole incident with the serum, but Pete unlikely to recognize him out of comic. More about him in the Revo-Corp podcast (so get your Revo-Questions in!). He'd have been recognized by comic readers when unmasked, but he's nobody else that we've seen in the SotM game.
- Is there a point where other characters notice his luck as a superpower? Great question: brings up lots of story stuff:
- First character to notice his luck is Zhu Long. After recovering the revived Mister Fixer, the Dark Watch team argue on whether they should return to the Temple to see if there's something that can be done to restore him to his old non-bitter self. Setback decides to just go on his own and just walks right into the place, fights some ninjas, stumbles into a vat of poison and knocks himself out. Zhu Long is a master of a lot of ancient evil magic and can see the "general aura of unluck that's pervasive" as well as the "spikes of extremely good luck" and manipulates him. He uses a kind of mind control to order Setback around and also manipulates the luck stuff so that the bad luck is always facing out and the good luck inwards - making Setback very dangerous. He's more or less a match for the remaining 3 members of Dark Watch on his own while in this state, but Mister Fixer is able to stymie him long enough for Nightmist to be able to undo the magic that Zhu Long had done.
- That means that Nightmist is now also aware of it and offers later to manipulate the luck aura for him too, but he's still not sold on the fact that this is a real thing anyway and so declines to have anybody messing with him magically.
- Does Pete have any feeling/idea of when his luck is about to change? Kind of. He probably could key into it if his general outlook on life would allow him to do so. His general optimism kind of blinds him to the fact that something good is about to happen since he pretty much always expects good things to happen.
- Any reasons for nemesis status with Kismet beyond the "luck" theme? The dating thing from high school to start, but there are parallel backstory reasons following that to explain it too. More next week (Christopher has to check himself from launching right into it anyway).
- How often do his fights with villains end in a draw? Never. He probably loses more than other heroes, though.
- How does Pete's family feel about him (comparisons with the Parson and Cohen families)? He's told his mom and sister and they're proud of him. He kind of turned into a screw-up halfway through high school, but he's doing good stuff now. Always tries to make it home for holidays [insert series of unfortunate events].
- Expatriette-centric questions (5 narrowed down from like 20):
- How did they get together considering their disparate backgrounds/outlooks on life? As per the Expatriette episode, he accidentally got hit by a shock round. He was kind of in Freedom Five-sidekick mode at the time. While she's in town they got to know each other, but she was still dealing with her own stuff. He wore her down eventually with his humanity. He thought she was really cool, on top of things, and found her fascinating. They're a "working" couple - he likes helping people and she likes working. He was a big influence on her in terms of "helping people by shooting".
- What's she see in him; he doesn't seem like her type? He's "not her type" in that he's not like her, and that's what makes him her type. She probably didn't have a type before. She admires his optimism while she had been more of a nihilist/fatalist prior to meeting him. The relationship brings both of them closer to "center". They're a fantastic influence on each other.
- What kind of living situation? They both have their own places - he has a nice apartment, she has a survival bunker safehouse (or a series of them). That's true for the card game - Tactics they're always on the move (together) and RPG they're living together and are even more of a team.
- How much does his luck impact his romantic life with her? Dating more challenging/interesting. They got off on a good start. She's aware of what happens around him. She's very rational and knows it's not something he can control.
- What's a typical date night like? They don't really date like most people. They go out on patrol and that's kind of their "dates". There aren't many trips to fancy restaurants. Setback instigates them occasionally, but then Ambuscade happens to be there or something. They've probably had a single-digit number of dates with minimal bad things happening.
- Question time:
- If Setback tries to remove tokens but does not have enough, all of his tokens are removed and there is no effect. Example: Uncharmed Life. He can either remove 2 tokens or 0 tokens. If he removes 0 tokens, nothing happens. If he removes 2, the damage is redirected. If he attempts to remove 2 and only has 1, then 1 token is removed and nothing happens.
- Wrong Time and Place tracks the first time each turn that each individual hero target would be dealt damage (similar to how Combat Stance works).
- Let’s say that the Scholar has “Flesh to Iron” out, and Setback has “Wrong Time and Place” out. Suppose 3 damage is initiated to the Scholar, and thus would be reduced by 2. Because The Scholar WOULD be dealt 1 damage, you only remove 1 token from your Unlucky Pool to redirect it. However, because Setback is NOT The Scholar, he takes the full 3 damage.
- If Guise uses “I Can Do That Too” on Dark Watch Setback, then the effects “stack.” It works like two instances of Stealth from The Wraith.
- Suppose “Wrong Time and Place” is out, and Tachyon is about to deal herself damage to keep Pushing the Limits. That damage can be redirected to Setback, or he can remove 2 tokens from his unlucky pool to redirect it. He is not allowed to redirect it back to Tachyon so she can keep Pushing the Limits. You’re EITHER redirecting to Setback OR redirecting from Target A to somewhere else - you cannot redirect from Target A to Target A, so you cannot redirect from Tachyon to Tachyon. Follow-up: If you have the tokens, you must redirect damage that would be dealt to Setback that meets these qualifications.
- Dark Watch Setback can use his power to reduce damage even if he has 0 tokens in his Unlucky Pool.
- You can choose 0 tokens for Cash Out and Exceeded Expectations.
- If Setback is incapacitated and revived via Rites of Revival, his unlucky pool is reset to 0.
- Suppose Mr. Fixer would deal 1 damage to a target. Due to Jack Handle, Mr. Fixer deals the 1 damage to all non-hero targets, then Friendly Fire lets him deal 2 to Setback, which becomes 2 to all non-hero targets, and then stops. Setback does not get to add 2 tokens to his Unlucky Pool, as he was not damaged this way.
- If the damage intended to go to Setback from Friendly Fire gets redirected to a non-hero target, Friendly Fire does not allow Setback to take damage again from this redirected damage.
- Other situations where Setback does not end up being the target of Friendly Fire damage work similarly to the Jack Handle + Friendly Fire scenario. Example: Immutus is out. AZ deals damage to himself, which is redirected to Immutus. Then he chooses to deal damage to Setback, and that is also redirected. Friendly Fire does not take effect again.
- When there are two copies of Friendly Fire in play, they both can be activated (but not off each other's damage), which means Setback would get hit twice and get a total of 4 tokens. In the case of Jack Handle, this would generate two Jack Handle attacks, but zero tokens, as Setback was not hit.
- This card says, “whenever a hero target deals a non-hero target damage, that hero may also deal Setback 2 damage of the same type. whenever setback is dealt damage this way, add 2 tokens to your unlucky pool.” The card is not Limited, so you could have multiple copies of “Friendly Fire” in play. Having two copies in play would not, however, allow you to add 4 tokens to your unlucky pool for the single cost of 2 damage. you would have to pay the cost for each copy of the card to gain the benefit. So, Setback would have to be dealt the 2 damage twice, once for each copy of the card, to be able to add 4 tokens to his unlucky pool. Your Setback strategy
Comic Books: Setback
Small note: Items that are in bullets are from the Podcasts, so their form may not make sense, or feel like they are missing a part - its probably on another tab
Spoilers May Be Ahead - SCU and Miststorm Universe Tabs may contain spoilers for future products.
Pete Riske had just been fired from his third casino job. You’d think they’d stop hiring him for these jobs! Still, he interviewed well, and things just seemed to fall into place for him. Once in awhile, that is. Usually, they fell out of place. People had always pitied Pete for his bad luck, but he just didn’t see it that way. Sometimes, things just don’t go your way. He wasn’t worried. In fact, he’d just gotten information about some medical testing that he could sign up for - it was supposed to pay big! That would at least keep him on his feet until he found another job.
Turns out, that medical testing was run by some chap named Baron Blade. Weird guy, really. Short temper, too. But, he assured Pete that the hoses and wires and vats of weird goo were entirely normal and up to whatever local standards might apply. Plus, he got to stay in their cushy facility for a couple weeks during testing! Look, all the cable channels ever might not be that big of a deal to you, buddy, but not everyone has that kind of access. Just sayin’.
So, the couple weeks went by, and the doctors (at least, they claimed they were doctors…) were all freaking out about what was going on with other test subjects. Sure, Pete never saw any other test subjects, but he hoped they were ok. He was feeling great! Never better, in fact. I mean, all his hair fell out, so that was kind of a bummer, but he was looking good and feeling good. He’d gained about 20 pounds of muscle and was stronger and faster than ever! He’d never been a terribly athletic guy, but now he was confident that he could run at least a 5k! That’s far, right? He’d say you can’t put a price on that, but apparently the Baron could, and the price was not leaving the facility for a lot longer. Additional testing or something like that. Well, Pete had another job lined up, and he really was getting bored of the same blank walls, cable access or no. He had noticed the doors were usually locked at night, but one night, they weren’t, and he just walked right out! Go figure, right?
That’s when things really started to get strange. Just when Pete was starting to feel like the luckiest guy ever, everything fell apart. He slipped and sprained his ankle on the way home, knocking over a trash can, which rolled into the street and caused a major pile-up. Key government officials on the way to an important meeting were held up by the delay, and as a direct result, the new reservoir didn’t get built in time, and hundreds of basements were flooded! Of course, that didn’t happen for a few more weeks. In the meantime, Pete got back home, only to learn that his apartment had burned down while he was away for the medical testing! And he missed his interview he had lined up. Great.
As he was sifting through the ashes, hoping to find some remains of his lucky bottlecap collection, he looked up and realized he was surrounded by big guys in blue and green armored uniforms. They parted to let a guy in a labcoat through - it was Baron Blade! Yeesh, what did HE want? Turns out, Pete’s newly found physical prowess was exactly what the Baron was looking for and he was not too thrilled to lose his one successful test subject. Things were looking tense, but then, a giant metal robot fell out of the sky and started throwing the blue and green guys around! Actually, it wasn’t a robot at all, but a guy in a mech suit who called himself Bunker, and he just happened to be flying by in his transport helicopter. What a coincidence!
So, now, Pete has been hanging out with these Freedom Five people. They’re pretty cool. The fast lady called him a bit of a setback, and he liked the sound of that. They didn’t seem too keen on the idea, but Pete calls himself Setback now, and he helps out where he can. You know, just doing his part, right?
- From Springfield, MO. Raised by single-mom Patricia, older sister Sarah, dog Abbie (golden retriever) - I'm guessing on name spellings. Unremarkable childhood.
- When he was a high school sophomore, starts dating a new student a year ahead of him transferred in from Arizona, Gabrielle Adhin (Kismet!). Later that year her family is moving again and he takes it surprisingly well (just kind of assuming that they're breaking up, not trying to do the long-distance thing), which makes her mad at how blasé he is about it. From his perspective, it's just how "relentlessly optimistic" he is about things - he figures that everything will turn out great for everybody, so why try to sugarcoat the goodbye. She "curses" him, in a typical high-school way, not knowing that it'll actually be effective, with "the misfortune of the coyote" a specific old saying in her family. He thinks of Wile E. Coyote-style, "oh, he can just bounce back from getting an anvil dropped on him, so that's cool" shenanigans, which frustrates her more as he's not getting the implication, so she continues with "When anvils are falling, Pete, I wish you the best of luck." She's not aware of the power of her words, but because of his interjection the whole curse is that he will have the worst luck until when things are at their roughest, at which point he will have the best luck.
- He doesn't really know what's happening with this "curse" that was said by some girl he dated for 8 months in high school. There's no Uncle Ben "With great power..." memory of the curse happening that shapes his life. His natural optimism about everything kind of prevents him from really noticing that anything's going on.
- Gets a full ride to his college of choice, during final prep (choosing class schedule) he called up the school and found that they had no record of him or this scholarship anywhere in the system (due to a spectacular computer glitch) and nobody really remembers how conversations with him went because there are so many students and the computer is supposed to keep track of this stuff.
- Just decides to stay in town and get a job/apartment. While waiting tables he once brings the mayor's wife the wrong plate, setting off her terrible nut allergy. She survives, but Pete got fired.
- Shortly after that, one of the old cooks calls him up to ask him to help cook at the new pizza place he's opening. So, hey, having a job just fall into your lap is nice. One of the assistant managers was embezzling money, though, but shifts blame to Pete when the owners figure out that money is going missing.
- He gets a job at a copy shop. He's there for a few weeks, having a good time. One busy afternoon, he sees a guy at the back of the line with a lot of files and whatnot who's obviously impatient. He finishes helping a few other customers, but then notices that the impatient guy has left, but had dropped some files. Pete picks them up, and tries to find the man outside real quick, but can't. Takes the files inside and opens a few to see if there's a way to identify the man from them (policy would be to put them in lost-and-found or on the manager's desk, but he's trying really hard to help). The pages are marked F.I.L.T.E.R. at the top and are redacted heavily - not knowing what that means he winds up just putting them on the managers desk. When he goes back to work the next morning, the whole shop has been demolished, company out of business, etc.
- Then starts dealing blackjack at a casino. Then another. And another. They consistently lose money when he's dealing, but they can't see how he's "cheating" for the players' benefit.
- He's then waiting to hear about more job interviews when he sees a flyer looking for participants for medical testing. They provide food and he stays there for the duration, so it'll cut down on bills. It's a Revo-Corp building, he goes in and does the paperwork, and eventually goes into a room with a guy in a lab coat who speaks with a thick Latvian accent who seems very angry that Pete's there. Somebody shows Pete into the room he's supposed to be in across the hall.
- While he's wired up in a tube of goo, he overhears people talking over an intercom that's been left on by accident about how the other test subjects are all sick, but he feels great. Sure his hair fell out, but he's put on 20 pounds of muscle. At this point he's been there for about a week and a half and expects to be leaving soon for those job interviews but the staff member he's talking to tells him at this point that because of his results, they're keeping him there. They won't let him leave, but offer to double the rate of pay for the study. He's starting to think there's something shady going on, though.
- One day, he notices that his door is unlocked, which is weird. Nobody is in the hall, so he just keep meandering around, still not seeing anybody. Eventually just walks out the front door, having not run into anybody on his way out, but is still just in a hospital gown.
- He finds his apartment has burned down - he had a candle that he'd blown out before heading to the testing facility, but this one had a production error where the wick was the kind used in prank birthday candles that can't be blown out. While he's looking for his prized bottle-cap collection he's ambushed by the Blade Battalion and that guy with the lab coat and goggles. That's when the Freedom Five shows up to fight Baron Blade, while Pete has a Jackie Chan-esque tussle with the Blade Battalion members and saves the Wraith from Blade's death ray in the process by crumpling part of it as Blade fired it, the resulting explosion covering Blade's "escape".
- In reality, the "Baron Blade" he ran into when first becoming a test subject and who came to recapture him were robot decoys Blade had put in place before his capture to keep his various schemes running while he was imprisoned. The exploding death ray destroyed the robot as well (Letters Page Interlude 3).
- Pete wakes up in Freedom Tower (I'm guessing this was a misstatement as the original HQ wouldn't have been blown up yet), meets everybody, an off-hand comment from Tachyon is the source of him using "Setback" as a name. This post-high school stuff is all just origin story - Mystery Comics #212 (if Christopher remembers the issue right). Becomes intern/sidekick/mentee for the Freedom Five - their first trainee - for a while.
Variant: Originally released during the 2013 Holiday Season
While things deteriorated more and more in Rook City, the heroes who regularly patrolled the failing city grew increasingly concerned about the disappearance of Mr. Fixer. Three of the those heroes joined forces: Expatriette, Setback, and Nightmist. They worked together to protect Rook City and to investigate the loss of their friend.
When Amanda told Pete that they were going to team up, he had reservations. Of course, he was excited to help, but that was exactly the problem. He knew how things go for him - he didn't want Dark Watch to have any major setbacks. Even still, you can't help if you don't try, and Pete was very good at trying. When working with Dark Watch, Setback often leads the charge. He likes getting up close and personal with his opponents and also far enough away from his allies that he can't accidentally trip them up. Though he does like to spend as much time with Amanda as possible....
Dark Watch summary from Tactics preorder:
The hero team known as Dark Watch has gone through a lot. They were originally formed by Expatriette, Setback, and NightMist who were seeking to uncover the truth behind the events of the death of their friend, Mister Fixer. So, it was a bit of a rough start that the first major threat to Dark Watch was a mystically revived Mister Fixer! They managed to survive and even helped him reconnect his mind and body, so Mister Fixer became the fourth member of Dark Watch, fighting alongside those who risked everything to save him.
This information is from the Miststorm Universe, one of two branching timelines. Products in this timeline are: Sentinel Tactics (and expansions). Prime War (and expansions)
Part of the indefinitely delayed Battle For Broken City set
Setback has always been the heart of the team. Passionate, upbeat, and eager to help, Peter Riske's bad luck is balanced by his indomitable spirit. His favorite place to be is between his friends and danger, working to prevent any harm from befalling those he cares for. Knowing that what he does makes a difference, even given his propensity for disaster, is the best heroic motivation that he could imagine.
- They also do a duo thing, but Dark Watch is larger. Mister Fixer is kind of the "sensei" of the whole thing. Harpy is the eye-in-the-sky. Setback and Expatriette are the boots on the ground. They've worked together long enough that Expatriette actually has a good feel about how his luck is going to go and can use it to their advantage.