Origin and History
November 23, 1990, New Haven, Connecticut - Jacob Krantz hated all the young people in his neighborhood. Bunch of stuck-up rich kids, no use to anyone. This one in particular. Adam Bernbaum, 21-year-old trust fund baby. Country club tennis pro, making his spending money flattering dewy-eyed matrons at $100/hour on their husbands' dimes. What good did that do anybody? Well, guess that's why I got called to stand here, waiting in this oak's shadow, waiting for the kid to come out...
A tall, handsome man with red hair in an Armani suit left the home and approached the new blue Acura NSX in the driveway. Jacob stepped out of the shadows.
Adam's head snapped around with a mocking grin.
"What is it now, old man? Someone leak oil on your side of the street again? Mess with your trash cans?"
"Punks!", Jacob muttered, "I still say this is a mistake... Look, kid, I got something for ya. I'm not so sure you're gonna like it, though."
"Talk sense old man," said Adam, looking at his Rolex, "I've got a party to get to."
"I wouldn't count on it," said Jacob, "Here's the deal. I work for these people...well, I don't know that you could really call them 'people', but anyway, they're my bosses. See, back in the day I used to be what you call a SUPER-HEERO. In the '40s and '50s they called me The Bewitching Bohemian! Even a punk like you has to remember...the beret...the striped shirt...the magic..."
Jacob shook his head, coming back to the story.
"The point is, they need someone again. And for whatever insane reason that I simply cannot comprehend, they chose you."
Adam glared at Jacob like he wasn't sure whether to laugh or grab his racket out of the back seat to protect himself from the crazy old coot.
"I don't have time for this," he said, and opened the car door.
"Sorry, kid," said Jacob, stepping forward and placing his thumb on Adam's forehead, "My bosses don't take no for an answer."
A New Man
Adam Bernbaum disappeared that day. Not as if he'd gone missing, but as if he'd never been. No record or memory of him remained. The essence of Adam was taken on a mystical journey. It changed him greatly from the spoiled, idle man he had been before. He met the Powers of Balance, Krantz's "bosses" and was told of his destiny, to take the place of their former agent on Earth. He was taught to draw from both the powers of Chaos and Order to create his magic, to maintain the delicate balance that teetered back and forth. He was drawn through many astral realms, learning more and more at each. At his journey's end, The Efficacious Emerald of Erdon was placed on his brow and he was deemed skilled enough to assume his duties.
Rise and Fall
Eleven years had passed while Adam was being trained. Taking the name Adam Arcane he moved to a small Soho brownstone in New York and fought for the Balance there, accompanied by Jacob Krantz to continue his training. In 2006, he began a long war away from Earth against his most dangerous foe, Kurlolo, Wizard-King of the Warped Dimension. His previous arrogance reasserted itself, causing him to make many errors in judgment. If not for the lucky acquisition of the Blood-Red Bands of Borturazz and the self-sacrifice of Jacob Krantz, all would have been lost.
When he returned to the Powers of Balance, he was deemed culpable and stripped of much of his power in penance. He was sent to Millennium City with a new sanctum to relearn the Balance once more. Jacob Krantz has died, but is still available to advise Adam through The Mystic Mirror of Mirobol.
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Inspirations and Creator's Notes
Doctor Strange, Doctor Fate - (1st character)
I'd started my last universe with the Superman archetype. There was no question about that for me. But I wanted to go somewhere different here. Thinking back to the beginnings of various eras I had in mind a kind of Martian Manhunter thing, but it really didn't click. So I thought of the beginnings of Marvel's Silver Age. Sure you had The Hulk and the FF and Spidey...but you also had Dr. Strange! Perfect! Here was something the other game had failed me at that Champions could do. They really didn't have a combination of power sets that simulated all-purpose sorcery very well.
He's about 90% Dr. Strange with a touch of an odd era of DC's Dr. Fate where Nabu, who was usually in the guise of a helmet, was instead walking around as a crotchety old man advising a new Dr. Fate.
The silly item names are, of course, my homage to Stan Lee's goofy alliteration in the early Strange Tales.
I decided he needed to "crash and burn" in the story to bring him down to the levels of a rookie hero starting out in Millennium City.
Kurlolo, Wizard-King of the Warped Dimension is inspired by The Dread Dormammu, Doctor Strange's extra-dimensional enemy.
The Conclave is inspired by Marvel's "non-team", The Defenders.
The Bewitching Bohemian is a nod to Johnny Beyond, Alan Moore's Dr. Strange homage from the wonderfully geeky, ill-fated 1963 series, mixed with The Bouncing Beatnik from Kurt Busiek's Astro City.