Origin[edit | edit source]
- No autographs, please, ladies-- I've still got work to do. So if you'll excuse me.
History[edit | edit source]
Crackerjack's true origins are mostly shrouded in mystery, owing to his continually changing life story and him being very tight-lipped about his secret identity. He has variously claimed to be from a circus family abducted by aliens, an Olympic athlete poisoned by his rivals, a former member of a cult of genetically-engineered international spies, and a polio survivor who decided not to let the disease beat him (which, Quarrel observed, he copied from Silver Agent).
A Life of Adventure[edit | edit source]
Crackerjack debuted as a hero in 1991, and immediately earned a reputation among the heroic community: that of an egotistic blowhard who talked a massive game he could never hope to live up. However, while he was notorious for his braggadocio, Crackerjack carved out a rather successful niche for himself among the heroes of Astro City. He routinely teamed up with Nightingale and Quarrel, and had a small, one-sided rivalry with Jack-in-the-Box. He signed a licensing deal with Bulldog Comics that yielded him his own comic, but ended up being stymied by Manny Monkton's claims that the comic was not profitable enough to pay him.
Unwittingly, Crackerjack ended up playing a large part in the fate of the world when he caught the attention of an Enelsian spy disguised as a man named Bridwell, who lived in the same building as Crackerjack's current identity (aspiring theatre actor Eugene Wallace). Bridwell was fascinated by Crackerjack, and confused by his own fascination: by most metrics, Crackerjack's only distinguishing trait was his bravado, with his career being otherwise defined by sloppy work, a reliance on lucky breaks, and a habit of stealing credit for deeds he was only tangentially involved in. Yet Bridwell found himself sympathizing with the crimefighter, believing his continued pride in the face of his own flaws and the challenges arrayed before them echoed the struggles of his own race as they sought dominance over the universe. When a fire struck their building, authorities uncovered the remains of Wallace's belongings and discerned that the identity had been false. Bridwell found himself lauding Crackerjack for his resourcefulness and preparedness, and strongly considered calling the invasion off. However, the old women who also shared the building began speaking of Wallace as if they had always suspected that he was a hero (an outright lie; they had dismissed him as an idiot and a nobody), which enraged Bridwell so greatly that he immediately sent the signal to invade Earth.
Not long after, Crackerjack ended up being targeted by the first wave of the Enelsian invasion, in which one of them attempted to masquerade as him and commit crimes, as a means of damaging public trust in heroes. Fortunately, the in-training Altar Boy discerned that the criminal Crackerjack was an imposter, and with a brief assist from the real thing, managed to capture the shapeshifting alien. Less fortunately, not only did Crackerjack take almost all credit for the capture (even misnaming Altar Boy), but he focused so much on the interview that the shapeshifter escaped, doing little to help his reputation.
Crackerjack eventually formed a close relationship with Honor Guard member and fellow nonpowered hero Quarrel. By her own account, while she found him as annoying as anyone else, she also found they were a good match. Quarrel found that a more shallow and self-interested partner meant that their relationship required little work to maintain, which she preferred in a lifestyle of more or less constant training. In one particular instance, he was the only one who realized that if she spent months in bed recovering from a broken leg, it might take years off her crimefighting career, and demanded she be able to work out and stay in shape. Though they broke up multiple times, they seemingly always ended up back together.
Growing Old[edit | edit source]
In 2013, both Quarrel and Crackerjack were struck by the retirement announcement of Black Rapier, who found himself unable to keep going despite his youth serum. Not long after, Crackerjack took a surprisingly nasty blow in a fight with the Chessmen, and had to be saved by Quarrel, who realized she had become increasingly reliant on upgraded armor to stay even with her adversaries. Crackerjack developed something of an obsession with obtaining a youth serum of his own; while Quarrel could find better armor, he disliked the idea of losing his agility and physicality to a metal suit, and wanted to return to his prime. This became yet more evident when Crackerjack returned home to Quarrel, covered in injuries from a failed attempt to apprehend the low-level villain Demonhead. She put forth the idea of retirement, which he refused outright--and which prompted him to take drastic measures.
Crackerjack devised a plan to regain his youth. While Black Rapier's serum could not work on anyone else, it was still highly valuable and contained the necessary ingredients for something more. Therefore, he stole samples of it, turning it over to the tech-broker villain Gormenghast and his Black Lab. Gormenghast planned to create clones of Crackerjack in his youthful prime, while Crackerjack himself would then transfer his mind into one of the clones. Crackerjack believed that, once he had his body back, he would then reveal his true colors, alert the Honor Guard to the doings of the Black Lab, and claim he was undercover all along, returning to the streets as a new man. Tragically, however, Gormenghast double-crossed him instead, taking him prisoner and using him as a supply of genetic material for the clone army. By the skin of his teeth, the adventurer managed to activate a beacon in his boot that allowed the Honor Guard to track his location.
When the Honor Guard arrived, they managed to thwart Gormenghast's plans and forced him to abandon his current base. However, it was too late for Crackerjack, whose body had been utterly ravaged by the Black Lab's attempts to extract any useful material. With a broken spine, lasting injuries in his arms, knees, and skull, and even samples taken from his organs, Samaritan declared that he would likely never walk again. This event prompted Quarrel to finally declare her retirement, and furthermore, that she would aid Crackerjack in his physical recovery, as he had helped her years ago.
Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]
- Acrobatics: The first and only ability Crackerjack has is his amazing agility. He can dodge, roll and very well outmaneuver any dangerous situation that faces him. He swings through the air and lands on ledges in mid speech.
Weapons[edit | edit source]
- Grapple Staff: Crackerjack uses a short cane with a releasable end which shoots out and grapples to edges allowing Crackerjack to swing from rooftops.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Visually based on Errol Flynn.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Crackerjack has a fan club that boasts 25,000 members who are mostly made up of women and young boys.
- Crackerjack is rumored to be Eugene Wallace.
- Crackerjack was in a relationship with Quarrel.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
This list is incomplete.