Sunday, December 08, 2013

J.J. Armes: The Original Real Life Super-Hero?

Over at the website Klint Finley has put together an interesting history for J.J. Armes. Who is J.J. Armes?
The first real-life superhero may have been J. J. Armes, a private detective who has been active in El Paso since 1958. His super power? A gun implanted in one of his prosthetic hook that he could fire with his biceps — without using his other hook.
Forget Phoenix Jones, J.J. Armes was doing this back in the 70s and he even had his own line of toys.

I had a J.J. Armes action figure as a kid. Did I realize that this was based on a real person? Hell no! He had hooks for hands, for crying out loud! How cool was that?

Real life is always going to be stranger than fiction, and I think that the Life and Times of J.J. Armes demonstrates that. This also demonstrates how real life can inspire your role-playing games. I can't think of a better NPC for a modern espionage or military game. Just look at this quote from the Wikipedia page:
In 1958, after briefly working as an actor in California and returning to El Paso, Armes started his private investigative agency, The Investigators. In 1978, he launched The Investigators Security Force. Designed as a mobile patrol and security service, this branch of the organization served the community for a number of years until the patrol division was discontinued. Today, The Investigators Security Force specializes in domestic government contracts and industrial security management abroad.
How is that not readily made for a campaign? Why aren't you stating out J.J. Armes in your favorite RPG right now?

h/t to Bleeding Cool for the piece that reminded me about J.J. Armes.