Action Man Programme
Action Man (Ian Noble)
Action Man/Ian Noble
A young South London lad who was recruited into Action Man's support team after managing to break into an A.M.P. facility; he was pushed into becoming the new Action Man after being present during the mission in which his predecessor sacrificed his life. Cheerful, friendly, irreverent and reckless, Ian struggles to live up to his predecessor's impossible legacy, but is equipped with serious skills and a sharper mind than most give him credit for.
- Beehive Barrier: Armed with one of these.
- Clothes Make the Superman: His power suit, which among other things, somehow supplies his respirator with air without an oxygen tank.
- Cowboy Cop: He doesn't always follow orders to the letter... or at all. His Revolution bio indicates that he undertook multiple pieces of unauthorised fieldwork in the years before becoming Action Man.
- Crazy Awesome: Derailing trains, destroying castles, crashing a jetski into a fortified compound, befriending a Transformer... Ian is proof of the fact that "sometimes, crazy works".
- Destructive Savior: A lot of his operations involve Stuff Blowing Up; most notably, the occasion when he stopped a train from crashing (and detonating a dirty bomb) by derailing it into a wildlife park.
- Guns Akimbo: His standard fighting technique.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Brogan, and to a lesser extent with Mercy. Taken Up to 11 with Kup, who's literally older than the universe.
- Jumped at the Call:
Ian: ""Action"... that's gotta mean something. What's it an acronym for?Action Man: Nothing, Ian. It just means action.Ian: Heh. Now that's the kind of life I've been looking for.
- Nice Guy: Kind, friendly, brave and outgoing... even if he does have a tendency to annoy people with his terrible puns.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Plays the fool a lot, claiming that he thought that Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote Les MisÚrables and that he didn't know that Mount Olympus existed. He's a lot sharper than he lets on, though.
- Odd Friendship: With Kup.
- One Riot, One Ranger: As Action Man, this is his job.
- The Pollyanna: No matter how bad the situation gets, Ian's going to come at it with a grin and a wisecrack.
Salmons: Are you kidding me? I thought you were seriously injured.Ian: I'm not seriously anything, Salmons.
- Pungeon Master: Loves a good pun, and loves bad ones even more. He even criticises Vanessa Warfield for telling him to "stop" and not to "freeze"!
- Trigger Happy: Not much of one for subtlety, and likes to go in guns blazing.
- Unfortunate Name: A Running Gag in Revolution is people being incredulous about his name being Action Man. Miles Mayhem, Mainframe, Kup, and Scarlett all get in on it.
- Unskilled, but Strong: He's hardly unskilled, but compared to his predecessor he likes using brute-force solutions more than elegant infiltrations and expert technical skill.
Agent Terrence SalmonsOne of the Action Man Programme's field agents, and the front-runner to succeed Agent Brogan as Action Man until circumstance forced Ian's promotion. He's rather bitter over Ian getting the role despite not being nearly as qualified, and nurses a grudge against Ian for it.
- The Ace: Considered good enough to be the frontrunner to become the new Action Man.
- Cynical Mentor: Doesn't think that Ian deserves to be Action Man or is good enough, but trains him regardless. Salmons eventually comes around a little, saying that he's good even if he still has a long way to go.
- Deadpan Snarker:
Ian: What would I do without you, Salmons?
- Fire-Forged Friends: It's not exactly "friendship", but he and Ian gain more of a mutual respect once they work together to stop Doctor X.
- The Resenter: Is bitter over being passed over as Action Man in favour of Ian.
- Sour Supporter: Doesn't like Ian much, but works with him regardless.
- Training from Hell: As Ian put it: "I think he's trying to kill me, but I think he thinks that's training."
Agent Mercy GaleA high-ranking intelligence operative and field agent for the Action Man Programme, and one of Ian Noble's best friends. Unlike Salmons, she sympathises with the difficult position that Ian's in, and does her best to support him. In actuality, she is the true identity of the supervillain Doctor X. For tropes relating to her in this role, see Doctor X below.
Quartermaster Bryce ChanQuartermaster of the Action Man Programme, who moved up to replace his predecessor Sinclair at some point after Ian became Action Man. He's one of Ian's friends, though his Insufferable Genius tendencies push it into Vitriolic Best Buds territory; as well as that, he provides Action Man with all of his mission-specific tech and gear.
- Asian and Nerdy
- Deadpan Snarker: Gives a dry running commentary on Ian's blunders.
- Improbable Age: He can't be older than his early 20s, and he's running tech support for one of the most elite organisations on the planet.
- Insufferable Genius: Very smart, and he wants you to know it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- The Scapegoat: Doctor X tries to have him framed as the traitor in the Action Man Programme, though it doesn't stick.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Ian.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Alongside Bestley, he oversees Action Man's operations.
Director Pauline BestleyDirector of the Action Man Programme, and boss of both Brogan and Ian. She quickly gets frustrated with Ian's antics, but is willing to recognise that he's good at what he does.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: She "didn't become A.M.P. Director by taking names".
- Beleaguered Bureaucrat: The more Ian acts out, the more she has to deal with the bureaucracy and paperwork.
- Black Boss Lady
- Reasonable Authority Figure: While she doesn't like Ian's methods and Cowboy Cop antics, she's reasonable enough to recognise that they're effective and that his heart's in the right place.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Alongside Bryce, she oversees Action Man's operations.
Action Man/Agent Mike BroganIan Noble's predecessor as Action Man, and the man who recruited him into the Action Man Programme. A legendary hero, his death leaves an impossible legacy for Ian to live up to.
- The Ace: Very, VERY good at what he does.
- Dying to Be Replaced: His role in the story is essentially to die and pass the Action Man title on to Ian.
- Famous Last Words: "Ian, it's a good way to go out, and a good world to stand on guard for. I'm happy. Hope you're happy too."
- Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices himself to prevent London's destruction by Doctor X's rocket.
- Ideal Hero: Friendly, kind, and honorable to the extent that Doctor X didn't have a place in her world for him.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Ian considered him to be his best friend.
- Large Ham: He's a bit, er, larger-than-life. Lampshaded by the Prime Minister, who asks "he really talks like that?"
- Legacy Character: Inherited a title that's been passed down for centuries.
- Mythology Gag: Mike Brogan was the pseudonym of an author who wrote several "Action Man" stories in the 1970's.
Doctor X's forces
Doctor X (SPOILERS)
Doctor X/Mercy Gale
In the aftermath of a routine mission to counter the operations of the villain Doctor X, Mercy Gale — who had grown weary and disillusioned with the constant struggle of the Action Man Programme to break even — discovered that, by pure chance, Doctor X was dead. Instead of reporting this to her superiors, she realised that if she controlled both Doctor X's operations and those responsible for countering them, she could accomplish real change. As such, she covered up the evidence of his death, and took control of his operations as the new Doctor X. When this was inadvertently revealed to Ian, Mercy attempted to convince him to join her, but her underestimation of him allowed the Action Man Programme to learn the truth. Mercy faked her death, and took up the role of Doctor X full-time.
- Affably Evil: Genuinely seems pleased to see Ian in Revolutionaries #1, and tries to make sure that he doesn't come to harm.
- Big Bad Of Action Man; doubles with Baron Ironblood in Revolutionaries.
- Evil Costume Switch: After her true identity as Doctor X is revealed, Mercy switches to a new costume with a Badass Longcoat.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gets an X-shaped scar on her forehead, matching the one on the original Doctor X.
- Legacy Character
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Part of the reason Britain's in much better condition than America is, after the Decepticons came along, is because of her.
- Running Both Sides
- Samus Is a Girl
- That Man Is Dead: After destroying the A.M.P. aircraft, she claims that "Agent Gale died in the VTOL explosion".
- Villains Act, Heroes React: The reason that she becomes disillusioned with the AMP, and decides to take over Doctor X's operations.
- We Can Rule Together
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
Ian: God. The access to alien technology alone...Mercy: Is too much for them to have — it should belong to the world. Or at least to me.
- Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Some of what she says indicates that she's become less interested in saving the world, and more interested in power for the sake of it.
The ProfessorThe leader of Doctor X's evil scientists at the Chateau.
- Body Horror: His skin is green and mutilated.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Had his sense of humour surgically removed so he could focus on coming up with new ways to murder.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Only ever referred to as "the Professor" in the series, but he's an update of the 90's Action Man villain Professor Gangrene.
- Evil Genius
- Glasgow Grin
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate
ColditzA helmeted German mercenary doing work for Doctor X.
Baron IronbloodA long-time enemy of the Action Man Programme; in the aftermath of the destruction of Doctor X's airship, Storm Shadow and Doctor X contacted him, and they subsequently began working together to secure the Talisman. In actuality, he's Joe Colton, the original G.I. Joe, working with Earth's villains in an attempt to destroy all the Transformers.
- Bad Boss: Orders his group to evacuate the Section Sabine moonbase without making any effort to secure those elsewhere in the base.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Forms one with Doctor X in Revolutionaries.
- Canon Immigrant: Hails from Action Force, the British counterpart to the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line.
- Cool Helmet: The classic Ironblood's helmet was pretty doofy looking; by contrast, the IDW one exudes pure menace.
- Create Your Own Villain: Ironblood wouldn't have gotten started if the Autobots and Decepticons had just stayed away from Earth, and especially if Optimus hadn't forcibly made it part of the Council of Worlds.
- The Faceless: Unlike the classic Ironblood, who had a large eye-slit in his mask through which part of his face was visible, this version simply has a visor with Glowing Eyes of Doom showing through.
- Noble Demon: Claims to not want to see anyone die unnecessarily. Cybertronians, to him, don't count, and he's perfectly willing to do hideous things to them.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: His plans for the Talisman are unknown, but he seems to think it's for the greater good. It eventually turns out he plans to use the Talisman to kill all of the Transformers to protect the Earth from them.
Storm Shadow IIThe mysterious leader of the Red Shadow ninja, formed from the remnants of the Arashikage clan; she acts as Doctor X's bodyguard and second in command.
- Body Horror: Doctor X's enhancements mean her arm can burst into Wraith-like Combat Tentacles to attack with.
- Dual Wielding: Carries a pair of swords. Action Man comments on how appropriate it is when she puts them into an "X"-shape across his neck.
- Highly Visible Ninja: Wears white.
- Legacy Character: To the first Storm Shadow.
- Mama Bear: Is furious when Action Man kills one of her ninja.
- It's Personal: Has it out for Action Man.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Pulls one of these on Colditz.