Force of July
Oh Say Can You See...
· Other Affiliations ·
DOSPA (Department of Superhuman & Paranormal Affairs)
Force of July
July 14th, 1972
Former Convicted Criminal
· Known Relatives ·
Arthur Wilkins (Father), Patricia Wilkins (Mother)
· Distinguishing Features ·
Powers & Abilities
· Known Powers ·
· Equipment ·
· Other Abilities ·
United States Armed Forces training
In 1994, a group of US Army generals launched Project Sunburst in an effort to determine if it were possible for soldiers to survive, and thus for America to win, a nuclear war. Volunteers told they were participating in a "wargame" were exposed to the effects of a nuclear blast at short range. The lucky ones died right away. The unlucky ones lingered for months, sometimes years, before dying agonizing deaths. A mysterious few, on the other hand, were affected in strange ways. One, Randall Gordon, seemed basically unharmed, though it was later learned that changes to his neurochemistry made it possible for him to operate the powered armor create by the military's Man Amplification Project. He became the supervillain Armadillo. A handful of other survivors went into comas. To keep the whole matter quiet, the generals created a secret facility, nicknamed 'the Crypt', to store the comatose victims and care for them until they died.
And some did die...but most did not. One, Jason Matthews, awoke a few days later and soon developed powers of radiation control and projection. He was eventually liberated from the Crypt by the supervillain Binder and became Radium, a member of Binder's team the Ultimates. The other bodies remained in the Crypt, some slowly deteriorating, but other remaining surprisingly strong and vital for comatose persons. In late 1994, an agent for Dr. Destroyer infiltrated the Crypt and "liberated" one such victim, Tim Colton, whom Destroyer later awakened and made into his henchman, Gigaton. Other survivors of the project were Randall McFadden (awakened in 2002) who became Sunburst, Roberto Hernandez (Helios), Roy Wilson (Nuke) and Delon Russell (Phaze). [Information from Champions Villains Vol. 1: Master Villains - Sunburst]
Lieutenant Ashley Wilkins, however, was no volunteer. Several years prior, she had been subject to a court-martial, and was well on her way to being dishonorably discharged from the US Army for the murder of two of her fellow soldiers, Norman Larson and Charles Ryan. Her case stagnated for a while as she and her legal team continued to attempt to prove that the so-called 'murders' were actually self-defense after she discovered that the pair were engaging in under the table arms deals to enemies of the States. By the time 1994 rolled around, the Army generals had had enough of her and her case. They informed the former Lieutenant that if she participated in the upcoming Project Sunburst, it would do wonders to help clean her slate and push her 'crimes' under the table. When the bombs went off and bathed the area in radiation, it appeared as if the convict was atomized.
In truth, she was. However, the unique circumstances of the incident meant that instead of being obliterated, her body became a sort of 'living energy'. When she reformed several days later, the generals were astounded to see that their problem was still alive. She was quickly gathered up by Army personnel and 'entombed' in the Crypt with the rest of the survivors of Sunburst. The scientific and medical staff on hand came to a startling discovery when they examined Lt. Wilkins' structure. The atoms that composed her body were constantly splitting and reforming almost instantaneously! The influx of strong nuclear force meant that she generated almost obscene amounts of energy constantly, which she could emit as hyper-concentrated blasts of a blazing blue 'energy'.
Ashley underwent training to control her newfound capacity for energy projection, and soon found that she could easily emit such high volumes of energy that the Army couldn't really keep her contained down in the Crypt any longer than she wanted them to. With that realization, and the fact that she'd been exploited and used as a guinea pig, she decided that really, she had no interest in staying. Using her powers, she blasted out of the Crypt, leaving behind several badly wounded soldiers and scientists, smashing down the barriers between herself and the outside world, and escaped.
As the years ran on, Ashley found that physically, she wasn't getting any older. She looked not a day over 22, the same age she was when the blast went off. By the next time the Army ran into the former Lt, she wasn't Ashley Wilkins anymore - she was the red, white and blue clad heroine Force of July. Still believing in a more idealistic America, Ashley had chosen to use her 'gift' to protect the citizens of the States from threats both internal and external. In 2008, new evidence surrounding her old case came to light (partially thanks to her own efforts in attempting to clear her name), which led to Ashley gaining an official pardon and being exonerated of her criminal charges. Afterwards, she was formally invited to work as a sanctioned superhero for the DOSPA, or Department of Superhuman & Paranormal Affairs. She accepted, and has been working as a government agent ever since.
In 2012, Ashley, operating without strict government supervision, was caught attempting to enforce PRIMUS' ASPRA initiative amongst the non-registered metahuman population of Millennium City. Thanks to several incidents already occurring with non-registered metahuman kids causing structural and civilian damage, she was making regular sweeps of the city, and attempting to force these loose cannons to register with ASPRA. However, her rather extreme methods led her into conflict with local superheroes. She was talked down, leaving without further incident, and Ashley appears to have moved on to different focuses.
Ashley is a five foot eleven inch Caucasian woman with an athletic body. Her costume has a blue bird-like design on the top, with white borders forming 'feathers' that lead down to a rich red leotard. A white star emblem sits above her chest, and a matching one is on her belt. Her legs are clad in red & white striped stockings, that switch to black fishnet at mid-thigh height to meet up with the bottom of her leotard. Long black gloves with stars at the wrist and black folded boots complete her ensemble. A black mask hides her eyes, although most of one side is usually hid beneath her long brown hair.
Ashley is devoted to the idea of her country. Ever since her time in the military, she's been a loyal soldier and citizen of the United States. Despite her feelings of betrayal and distrust that are directed mostly at the Army (thanks to their breach of trust with Project Sunburst), she still would do anything necessary to protect and preserve the US. She doesn't let things like morality or personal judgment get in the way of her goals - if doing something would fulfill her goals, she does it without hesitation. This unfettered, unrelenting attitude often leaves her at odds with other superheroes, many of whom see her actions as being dangerously volatile. In truth, nothing could be more wrong - Ashley prefers to take the path of least resistance, but she is unafraid to make difficult choices when she has to.
Her main goal is the preservation of the sanctity of the United States - but that doesn't necessarily mean she's blind to the problems that are internal. She protects the idea of the States, not the direct physicality of the current structure. She can be critical and look down on actions that the government takes, but it would take some real convincing to turn her against it. She's especially critical of the Army, and PRIMUS, and of any super-soldier or superhuman soldier projects. More often than not, you can count Ashley amongst the crowds that are vehemently against any further 'testing'. She feels like the Army exploited and used her (as well as the other soldiers), and she tries her best to make sure that other people aren't victimized in the same way.
Ashley's atomic structure is in constant flux. Her atoms are constantly splitting and instantly re-merging, which gives her incredible amounts of energy at her fingertips. She can redirect this energy into devastating blasts that can shear through almost any known substance on Earth. She is one of the most powerful energy projectors in the world, especially when she really pushes herself. She can emit energy on a level that competes with other powerhouses such as Sunburst and Firewing. She, however, lacks versatility. Ashley is limited in scope - she can either blast people, or blind them with bright flares of energy. Thus, her combat options are fairly limited, but thankfully she can rely on obscene amounts of raw power that she can generate, plus the assistance of her teammates, who fill holes in her repertoire.
However, Ashley needs to remain careful when overtaxing herself. Her body, while usually stable, can very rapidly start splitting and fusing at a pace that causes her to undergo atomic instability. Should she continue to overexert herself while in this unstable state, it is theorized that her entire body could go nuclear, devastating everything within miles of herself in a gigantic explosion.
Ashley is no longer truly flesh and bone. Instead, her body is made up of a type of living energy, which she can manipulate at will to appear however she chooses. Most often, she takes the form that she wore before the accident, a 22-year old Caucasian woman with brown hair. Thanks to her unique physiology, she no longer requires food, water, or air (although she does partake in all three frequently). She can, by focusing, accelerate to hypersonic speeds (equivalent to that of Mach 5) in flight. She can function easily under intense pressure (such as at the bottom of the ocean) or in null atmosphere (such as in space) with little adjustment. She can absorb most energy into her being when struck with it, but she seems to have trouble with assimilating magic or vastly alien energy sources.
Allies & Enemies
Enemies: Project Sunburst
- Are you a patriotic hero? Ashley is the leader of the National Assembly, a collective of American heroes that works directly for DOSPA.
- Are you a relatively well known hero? Ashley is too! She's well known (especially in the States) as one of the foremost energy projectors in the world.
- Are you a survivor of Project Sunburst? Ashley would love to get to know more people that were part of the same experiment.
- Are you a product of a similar secret project? If you need revenge on people that victimized you as part of a super-soldier project, Ashley would gladly lend a hand.
Got a word for the patriot powerhouse, Force of July? Leave it below.