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History

The Traffic Men were a group of mercenaries who hunted and captured Dakota City's Bang Babies, metahumans empowered by the event known as the Big Bang. [1] The group was secretly founded by the hero turned villain, John Tower whom the general public believed dead. [2][3] Following his "death," Tower discovered he could gain the power of Bang Babies by injecting himself with their blood. [3] After further experimentation, he developed a means to distill this blood into a serum that enabled his body to more easily absorb and retain the blood donor's metahuman abilities. As result, Tower desired to capture all the Bang Babies to gain limitless power. [3]

To that end, Tower hired the Traffic Men with promises of great power through injections of his serum. .[2] Because the Traffic Men were normal humans, the serum did not bestow upon them unique Bang Baby abilities as it did Tower. However, the serum did temporarily boost their physical abilities to superhuman levels. .[1] Tower also equipped the Traffic Men with weapons called energy staves that could temporarily depower Bang Babies, who could then be captured easily. [1] In the main chamber of his underground complex, Tower constructed an automated factory that would keep the captive Bang Babies sedated as it drained them of blood that was processed into serum. [3]

The Traffic Men accepted Tower's appealing proposal, but soon learned there was a catch. Tower's serum was physically addictive so much so that the Traffic Men would suffer excruciating and sometimes fatal withdrawal if deprived of it. Tower was aware of this side effect, which ensured the Traffic Men would not disobey or betray him.[2]

With his preparations complete, Tower unleashed the Traffic Men on the unsuspecting Bang Baby population. The timing of this assault was fortuitous since Icon, Dakota's most powerful hero, was off in deep space on a vital mission. Hardware and the Heroes tried to stop the Bang Baby kidnappings, but were soundly beaten by the Traffic Men. In a matter of months, the Traffic Men had captured 90 percent of the city's Bang Babies. During their sweep, the Traffic Men also captured metahumans who were not Bang Babies. Tower did not consider this excessive as he began devising a means to absorb the powers of these captives as well. The extent of the Traffic Men's onslaught was such that they seemed invincible. [1]
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Traffic Men capture Blood Syndicate

That changed when a team of Traffic Men patrolling the Avalon Mall detected the presence of a Bang Baby. [1] The Bang Baby was teen superhero Static (formerly of Heroes), whom the Traffic Men initially did not recognize since he was in his civilian identity of Virgil Hawkins. [1] Meanwhile, Heroes leader Starlight had been trailing Static in order to attack the Traffic Men when they tried to kidnap him. The Traffic Men were about to identify Virgil as their target when Starlight sprang her trap. [1] The would-be kidnappers mistook Starlight as a Bang Baby and fired their energy staves to capture her. However, the staves' energy blasts combined with Starlight's stellar energies to trigger a massive explosion. When the smoke cleared, Starlight was comatose while the unharmed Traffic Men moved in to capture her. [1] Seeing his friend in trouble, Virgil donned a makeshift Static costume and fought the Traffic Men. [1] Despite their superior numbers, the Traffic Men were no match for Static’s wits and sheer power. [2] Facing defeat, the Traffic Men radioed John Tower to teleport them back to his complex. [2]

In their haste, the Traffic Men left behind their energy staves as well as a vial of Bang Baby serum, which Static gave to Hardware for study. This news displeased Tower who knew Hardware would soon determine the origins of the serum, which would inspire Dakota's heroes to rescue the metahuman captives. So, the Traffic Men who fled from Static faced a terrible fate when Tower deprived them of their desperately needed serum. Tower then recalled all the Traffic Men back to his complex to protect it from imminent attack. [2]

Sure enough, an ad hoc alliance of Dakota's superheroes attacked Tower's complex. The Traffic Men tried to depower the Bang Babies among the heroes, but this was ineffective due to bracelets designed by Hardware that protected their powers from energy staves. [3] Still, the Traffic Men's energy staves could generate lethal energy blasts and pressed their counterattack. During the battle, Static and Blitzen discovered the automated factory and tried to free the captive Bang Babies and other metahumans. [3] The pair were then ambushed by Tower who defeated Blitzen, causing Static to flee. [3][4] Static regrouped with his allies and came up with a plan to defeat Tower and the Traffic Men. Static engaged in a game of “cat and mouse” with Tower who was angry with the teen hero for disrupting his operation. [4] With Tower distracted, Static's allies successfully routed the Traffic Man in battle. Worse for Tower, Static freed his captives from the automated serum factory while he was eluding Tower. Thus, Tower was all alone when he had to face his vengeful former captives and their rescuers who soundly beat him. [4]

Dakota's heroes then pondered what to do with Tower and the Traffic Men. The alien heroine Gloria Mundi suggested adding them to her collective intelligence as the most practical means of imprisonment. With her fellow heroes' approval, Mundi absorbed the souls of Tower and Traffic Men, leaving their bodies lifeless husks. Thus, the Traffic Men were now part of someone else's collection, a most ironic fate indeed. [4]


Paraphernalia

Equipment:

  • Scanner: The scanner was a handheld device that tracked Bang Babies by detecting the unique quantum wells (energy fields) generated by their bodies. The scanner produced audible "pings" whose frequency informed a Traffic Man of the location and even number of Bang Babies he was tracking. [1]
The scanner could also determine a Bang Baby's power level which was displayed on its readout screen. The scanner could be adjusted to determine the power level of metahumans who were not Bang Babies as well. [1]
  • Serum: Traffic Men carried several vials of Bang Baby serum that they used to increase their strength and endurance to superhuman levels. [1][2] An injection from one vial was sufficient to boost a Traffic Man's physical abilities, but this effect was temporary. Thus, Traffic Men only injected the serum just prior to battle to ensure their powers would not fade too quickly. [1] Another drawback of the serum was it was very physically addictive, resulting in severe and sometimes fatal withdrawal in Traffic Men deprived of it for too long. [2]
  • Wrist Communicator: Each Traffic Man wore a communicator on his wrist enabling him to remain in contact with other Traffic Men in the field as well as John Tower's base. [2]

Transportation:

  • Teleportation via John Tower's powers

Weapons:

  • Energy Stave: A Traffic Man's primary weapon was his de Broglie compensator, more informally known as an energy stave. [1][3] The stave resembled a pickax except with a much longer handle. The pick end of the energy stave emitted an energy beam called a carrier wave that interacts with the quantum well of a Bang Baby, creating a quantum containment field. [1][3] Normally, a Bang Baby's quantum well randomizes Planck's constant, thus granting him or her metahuman powers. An energy stave's containment field re-established Planck's constant and thus depowered the Bang Baby. [3] This sudden loss of power was traumatic for Bang Babies, who often fell unconscious from the shock. [1] Eventually, the Bang Baby regained consciousness and later their powers as the quantum well reasserted itself. [4]
    Traffic men dakotaverse 02

    Energy stave in action

    The energy stave could also depower a Bang Baby on contact though Traffic Men preferred long range attacks to avoid the chance of being disarmed by their targets. [1]
The energy stave's carrier wave could be adjusted to be used as a concussive energy blast against non-Bang Baby opponents. [1][3] At maximum power, such an energy blast could stun beings as powerful as DMZ. [1]


Notes

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Trivia

  • No trivia.

See Also

Links and References

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Footnotes