Name: Sheldon Smith, Capt., Ret., USMC
Weight: 185 lbs
Personal Quote: “You can’t outrun destiny.”
Background: Sheldon Smith was born and raised in Angel Falls’ West End neighborhood. His mother died when he was very young- pancreatic cancer- and his father worked as a low-level courier for the Freedom City Mob to make ends meet. Sheldon attended school in Angel Falls, but was never particularly popular- partly because of his father’s criminal connections, partly because he was a genuinely odd duck, himself.
Sheldon played baseball in high school; it was during pitching practice that he discovered his powers, although he was very careful to keep them hidden from then on. The only person to discover his powers, apart from Sheldon himself, was his baseball coach. His coach was a recruiter for the Freedom City Mob and had already taken it upon himself to keep an eye on Sheldon; when he learned about Sheldon’s metahuman abilities, he attempted to recruit the boy directly into the mob. Sheldon initially refused and it went no further at the time.
Upon graduating high school, Sheldon joined the USMC, attempting to get as far away from his father and his crooked connections as he could. After completing basic training and advanced infantry training, Sheldon was snapped up for sniper school. Upon completing his training, Sheldon was deployed to Afghanistan to serve in Operation: Enduring Freedom. Sheldon served in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005. He was honorably discharged upon his return to the U.S.
Despite an excellent service record, Sheldon found it difficult to readjust to civilian life. He moved back to Angel Falls and discovered that he still suffered from flashbacks to some of the more stressful encounters he’d lived through. Unable to keep a job, Sheldon soon lost his apartment and, against his better judgment, moved back in with his father. His father sympathized with Sheldon’s predicament, but couldn’t really afford to take care of him; the local veteran’s association, of course, would provide him with help, but Sheldon found that he simply couldn’t stand to work with them. Eventually, his father broached the subject of working for the Mob once again. This time, embittered by what he perceived as his own failure to amount to anything worthwhile, Sheldon accepted.
The Freedom City Mob equipped Sheldon with a suit of armor, a helmet, and a new purpose- to act as an enforcer for their edicts. They also provided him with the sort of rigidly structured command that he had been secretly craving and gave him a place within that order.
In the summer of 2007, Recoil, as he was now known, was given the assignment of eliminating an upstart new hero, Apollo, from ever again interfering with Freedom City Mob operations. Recoil spent weeks following the hero, learning everything he could about him, until he was certain he had a way to not only get the hero’s attention, but to execute him both publicly and without collateral damage.
Naturally, his plan failed, being foiled by another new hero, a masked man the press came to call Pyrite.
Recoil was taken into custody and served time in prison for the attempted murder of Luke Vance, serving six years before being released for good behavior.
Personality: Recoil comes off as arrogant, grandstanding, almost cartoonishly cocky. All of this, of course, hides the fact that he is nearly crippled by his own insecurity and feelings of inadequacy. He finds it nearly impossible to ask for help (although he is a competent field commander; he’s just not comfortable when he’s in the subordinate role and forced to ask for anything) and he’s terrified of being shown to be less-than-competent. Recoil is highly intelligent, capable of breath-taking duplicity, an excellent long-term strategist, and likely to hold a grudge for decades.
Powers/Abilities: Recoil has the power of ballistic amplification and nullification- simply put, he can make fast things go even faster, or cause them to simply run out of steam altogether. Using this power, he can throw a paper airplane through a cinderblock wall or stop bullets from penetrating his skin. What he cannot do is effect a change in the ballistic properties of something that is being actively propelled (say, for example, a rocket or someone’s fist), nor can he alter the vector of a ballistic projectile. His powers are also limited in effectiveness in that he cannot continue to effect anything that he cannot perceive.
Recoil has superhuman reflexes, allowing him to perceive and respond to threats roughly 100 times faster than a normal human. Unfortunately, he did not get any physical adaptation to go with this cognitive enhancement, so he is still limited by what his skeletal and muscular structures are capable of withstanding.
Recoil is a master of virtually all forms of direct-fire ranged combat, from throwing things, to bows-and-arrows, to virtually any modern firearm produced, and he is smart enough and well-versed enough to use even alien weapons, provided they conform to standard physical laws.
Recoil has the strength and endurance of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise.