As Browbeat progressed through high school, he craved solitude even while his social circle thwarted this desire. This combined with insomnia and general eventually took him to a psychologist, after studying his family history, came to the tentative conclusion that he might have schizophrenia, yet to manifest.
Anecdotally, his powers are the result of him seeing what would happened if he suddenly jumped into the freezing Bay. Further his early career as solo hero was Browbeat empirically determining the extant of his abilities.
His cape identity is rather baseline, with his powers he is able to achieve a muscular physique that dwarfed many body builders and bordered on the absurd. His costume was a dark blue spandex piece with a diamond print, his full-face mask only left his eyes uncovered and was topped with a crystal on the forehead. His costume did not include body armor.
In his civilian identity Browbeat has been referenced as being moderately handsome.
Browbeat has two powers - short-range telekinesis and biokinesis; his abilities are mutually reinforcing. Further in the face of a Power cancellingTrump that affects one aspect of his powers the other half would generally need a separate counter.
His telekinesis is a personal force field with some crude control, having a multiplicative effect on his physical strength. While also having a noticeable defensive aspect, given that he was durable enough to survive damage from Leviathan.
His physical strength is bolstered by his biokinesis, as he makes himself into a physical Adonis. He can patch up his own wounds and harden tissues, accumulate calcium into stone-like plates under his skin. He can use his biokinesis to reshape his features, possibly qualifying him for a Changer rating. He could return to his natural state reflexively, drastically reduces his muscle mass towards the original baseline.
As he gained more familiarity with his powers he could reflexively dampen the damage from burns by creating heat resistant chemicals, neutralize the toxins by isolating it with in the body; increase the insulation and conductivity qualities of his flesh before electricity damage takes hold. He can use his powers to modify his appearance marginally, unable to affect any sort of fine detail change.
Interestingly for a natural trigger Browbeat goes out of his way to avoid conflict, a trait he shares with his parents. The implications this has regarding his relationship with his shard is an issue not addressed.
As Browbeat progressed through high school, he became more solitary even as his social circle kept dragging him out of the 'peace and quiet' and back into the 'noise and hubbub'. Eventually, he went to a psychologist and, after studying his family history, came to the tentative conclusion that he might have schizophrenia, yet to manifest.
Sometime later when out with a friends family on their boat Browbeat would walk off the side into the march-temperature water. In doing so, he suffered major physical trauma, nearly died, and ultimately triggered.
The PRT found out about his power after the hospital notified them of his fast recovery time. His family and the PRT discussed several options while they figured out a balance of mental health and powers. Ultimately, they decided he was safe to stay for the Wards for the time being.
Now gifted with strange abilities Browbeat would go out of his way to begin testing. He had a short sojourn as a solo hero taking on the likes of Victor and Othala, the Merchants, and even Regent and (to Browbeat's misfortune) Hellhound. With the members of the Undersiders the only ones who gave him trouble, the PRT decided to capitalize on his new reputation and recruit him. Seeing the organization as the best way to gain the training and skills that he would need for the future he accepted.
He participated in the fight with The Undersiders at the Bank where he would have a rematch with Hellhound. Grue was able to use his powers to pass as Browbeat to incapacitate Vista. He was disabled by Regent using his taser on him. During the Wards after action meeting at PRT Headquarters Browbeat wanted to know how he could respond better to it afterward.
When the Endbringer came to Brockton Bay Browbeat took part in his cities defense, he was taken out of the fight surviving a physical altercation with Leviathan.
By the start of the story, Browbeat has had his powers for less than the three months Taylor has had hers.
Had his mental health been considered to be in serious jeopardy, Browbeat may have stayed at the Parahuman Asylum.
An early Worm draft titled 'Versus Dragon' featured a character named Highbrow that had Browbeat's powers if not his personality. Here part of a more offensive team that elects to runaway from bank robbery despite being composed of more heavy hitters.
What can you tell me about him? Does he play Football? He's 17ish?
He'd be about 16 or so. Younger than Clockblocker, Gallant and Aegis (recall their discussion in interlude 3, about who would be succeeding in terms of leadership). Older than Shadow Stalker and Vista.
My leaning would be to say he'd play Baseball if anything, even if Brockton Bay doesn't have a big team, school or otherwise. There's a level of intelligence and strategy that goes into baseball that would suit him. Not necessarily a kind of intelligence and strategy that factors into superhero fights, though.
Browbeat is an intelligent guy, but he is/was intelligent in a way that sort of puts him at arm's length from stuff. It's not that he was so smart that people ignored him or picked on him. More the opposite. He's fit, knows a lot about a lot of things, and is the sort of guy that everyone wants in their club. He's popular, fairly attractive (not necessarily the first person you'd point to in a crowd, but if your friend were to say "I like him" you wouldn't go 'really!?), and gets good grades across the board. Prospects high. He's the guy that every mother wants to have dating their daughter.
What's the problem then? He can't buy into it. Life's a stage and all that. Anyone who talks with him too long gets/got frustrated because he tries to boil every topic down into constituent elements. All human behavior is biology or evolutionary psychology at the root, baseball is hitting a ball with a stick and he hears the cheering and thinks about affiliation and social psychology. At first it was a quirk, not something most would notice, but over time, it became more pronounced. He'd like baseball because he can focus on the strategy, the numbers that a given pitcher has for throwing fastballs vs. knuckleballs or whatever, and everything else goes quiet. He doesn't hate making out with girls or sports or anything like that, he's not humorless, he just has trouble unfocusing his eyes and taking things as they are.
As he progressed through high school, he experienced it more and more. He became more solitary, even as his social circle kept dragging him out of the peace and quiet and back into the noise and hubbub.
After insomnia and general indifference to life in general came to a head, and his generally blank facial expressions started to spook people, he went to a psychologist, and after studying his family history, they came to the tentative conclusion that he has symptoms suggesting he may have schizophrenia, yet to manifest, (usually appearing in early/late twenties).
A few weeks after the diagnosis, he was on a boat with a friend's family and walked off the side, into march-temperature water. To this day, he maintains that he wasn't suicidal, that the pressure from all directions wasn't a factor - that he just felt that impulse you sometimes have when you wonder "What would happen if..." and followed through. In doing so, he [suffered major physical trauma, nearly dying, and ultimately] triggered. - Wildbow on Spacebattles
↑“On the opposite end of the line was someone I didn’t know. He was big in a different way than Grue was big. The kind of bulk that made you think powers were at work. His muscle laden arms were bigger around than my thighs, and I thought he could probably crush cans between his pecs. His costume was little more than dark blue or black spandex with a diamond print. His mask was full-face, except for the eyes, and had a crystal attached to the forehead. He was the only person standing there who didn’t have body armor. He didn’t look like he really needed it. - Excerpt from Agitation 3.8
↑ 3.03.13.2His role: (Not a question, just adding)
He's a Ward and he's not into the whole scene. He's part of the Wards primarily because the PRT found out about his power (the hospital notified the PRT when he recovered as fast as he did, PRT investigated and talked to his friend's family) and found out about his psychiatrist's appointments in the process. The family and PRT discussed options (including a stay in the Asylum in Philly - same one where Yamada, Glory Girl, Burnscar, Labyrinth and Sveta were), while they figured out a balance of mental health and powers, and ultimately decided he was safe to stay with the Wards for the time being.
He's broken away from friends and school life in large part, though he might hold on to things he likes, like baseball - the fact that it isn't a sports team that goes to events or plays seriously on any county/state/national level means it's okay.
As part of the team, he's not really a major participant. There's a lot of flexibility and families have say in how involved their child gets in the Wards, and both Browbeat and his parents basically take every opportunity to distance themselves from conflict. Cooperating to these ends. They're using the situation to basically get him all the help he can get and deal with the powers/prepare for the future.
He likes his teammates and might join to help on small jobs (bank robbery), but when the ABB got more serious, he stayed back at the base. After Leviathan came, he basically put in his paperwork and asked to leave town.
His biokinesis ~can~ be used to alter his features. By and large, however, it reinforces his physical strength and durability.
His powers in general reinforce one another. He has short range telekinesis, clumsy, and he couldn't use it to, say, thread a needle, or even hold a needle straight.
By and large, though, the TK is a personal forcefield with some crude control, augmenting his strength multiplicatively with his physical strength. His physical strength is bolstered by his biokinesis, as he makes himself into a physical Adonis, fitting the 'huge muscled guy' superhero stereotype. He can patch up his own wounds and harden tissues, accumulate calcium into stonelike plates under his skin, and may well reflexively dampen the damage from burns (redistributing heat or heat-absorbing chemicals), poisons/venoms (kill the tissue intentionally or interpose nonorganic waste between living tissues) and electricity damage (insulating his own tissues) as the damage takes hold.
He's a walking tank. If one aspect of his power fails, he can turn to the other, and still put up a good fight. If he were to fight Hatchet Face, the effects of his biokinesis alterations wouldn't be reverted, and he could still trade blows. If his biokinesis were reverted or screwed with somehow, he could still rely on the TK. - Wildbow on Spacebattles
↑“Browbeat,” Tattletale sighed, “He’s a point blank telekinetic, which means that he can move things with his mind, but only if they’re within an inch or so of his skin. He can use it to throw punches that hit like freight trains, or shield himself from incoming attacks. He’s also packing personal biokinesis, which means he’s got a kind of ability to manipulate his own body. He can heal just by concentrating on an injury, and he’s used it to bulk up. He might be capable of doing more on the fly, depending on how much he’s trained since we saw him last. He’s been a solo hero in Brockton Bay for a little while.” - Excerpt from Agitation 3.8
↑ 6.06.1Browbeat saw an opening, stepped in to pound Leviathan in the stomach, strike him in the knee Armsmaster had injured. Leviathan, arms caught by Parian’s octopus and goat, raised one foot, caught Browbeat around the throat with his clawed toes, and then stomped down sharply.
↑Browbeat – A cape with biokinesis, limited to his own body. Can alter his own body, healing himself and making himself stronger simply by willing it. Also has telekinesis, but at point blank range, limited to within an inch or so of his body, effectively granting himself durability and super strength. - Cast (spoiler free)
↑Flechette wasn’t a breaker, though her power came close. Technically, she was a striker, a cape with the ability to apply some effect by touch or at point-blank range. The striker classification could include certain breaker effects as they were applied to things other than the cape themselves, but not always. Other strikers included those who used energy weapons, those who had certain kinds of superstrength that weren’t accompanied by durability and those with pyrokinesis or such that didn’t extend more than a foot around them. The way she used her ability, coupled with the intuitive understanding of angles, trajectories and timing she got from her secondary powers, gave her a low rating as a ‘blaster’. A cape with a ranged attack. - Excerpt from Sentinel 9.2
↑“Fuck, I wouldn’t mind so much if I knew what happened,” Browbeat stretched, and his muscles began to dwindle in size, “At least then I could figure out what to do better next time. All I know is that I was suddenly blind and deaf, and when I tried to move, everything bent the wrong way. Then I think I got tasered.” - Excerpt from Interlude 3
↑Change his features in the swell/shrink, not the 'make myself look like a bishounen protagonist' sense. - Wildbow on Reddit
↑ 12.012.1“We crossed paths with him once, Regent and Bitch beat him. Either he’s here for revenge or he’s joined the Wards very, very recently. My power’s suggesting it’s the latter.” - Excerpt from Agitation 3.8
IIRC, the only contradiction that cropped up was his existence as a solo hero - forgot to add that and frankly completely forgot I'd put in that bit re: his backstory. I'd say he went out to experiment with his power and figure out his limitations, and a massive, hard-to-injure hulk of a guy got attention. Knowing he could heal, with a sort of analytical perspective, he picked a few fights to figure out his limitations, because no matter your mental state, unknown powers are spooky. Victor & Othala were one, the merchants another, and Regent a third (with Bitch happening to join in). Win-win-lose, in that order.
Word got around, his reputation preceded him, low-level villains were reminding each other about having to watch out for the big guy, yadda yadda. The PRT found & reached out to him, and Piggot elected to use his reputation as an active solo hero to help cloud the details around his trigger event (which, with witnesses and a few doctors/nurses scratching their head, were more transparent than the PRT/B.Beat like).
↑Browbeat (Changed cities)– Onetime rookie member of the Wards, Browbeat had a very short range telekinesis as well as a form of biokinesis that lets him gradually alter his biology and physique. Moved away and quit the Wards program after the Endbringer arc. - Cast (in depth)
↑My eyes roved over the fallen, both those that had been rescued and the ones that still lay on the ground, injured or dead. Weld had Kid Win and Scapegoat, and I recognized Browbeat dragging Tecton behind him. He must have joined another team in another city, only to find himself accompanying them in a return trip to Brockton Bay. - Excerpt from Scourge 19.6
↑► Vista (Verified Cape) (Wards ENE) Replied on July 7th: Gallant. Aegis. Battery. Armsmaster. Dauntless. Velocity. Glory Girl. Browbeat. One family member. I can’t say who for obv. reasons. Nc plz. - Excerpt from Interlude 19.y
↑Versus Dragon: If I remember right, it was the first chapter featuring Circus. You’ll notice she recurs – she was a protagonist for a stretch. She, a ‘Miss Miasma’ (tinker specializing in gases) and ‘Highbrow’ (with Browbeat’s powers) robbing a bank when Dragon shows up. The approach was very different (kick the door in, and they ran instead of trying to fight, despite being a more offensive team than the Undersiders, ironically) but I did use the same blueprints for the bank layout. - Comment by Wildbow on Prey 14.8