This character write-up is being posted as part of the A to Z April Blogging Challenge. The RPG stats are for ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game.
Caleb Ketchum (first appearance: American's Best Comics #26)
Caleb Ketchum was a university chemistry professor who developed a compound that was generally safe for the environment, birds, and mammals, but deadly to most insects. It could paralyze humans and other mammals for brief periods if they were exposed to extreme doses, but otherwise it had no effect on them.
Ketchum dreamed of making millions in his own pest extermination business, but business was slow and his compound was expensive to produce, as it used the expensive chemical cacobane as its main ingredient). Not wanting to be branded a failure. he joined forces with gangster Dan Haley and they used his compound for a variety of robberies by rendering guards unconscious. Ketchum and all of Haley's gang were eventually brought to justice by the superhero Black Terror.
Ketchum died in prison in 1954, but his daughter Dorothy discovered his the formula for his compound while going through his personal effects, as well as research notes that indicated it would cause insects to grow to gigantic size if it was used upon them without the presence of cacobane in the mixture. She used the formula in an attempt to avenge her father's death by unleashing a hoard of giant insects on Salt Lake City, Utah in 1955. Her insect army was defeated by Fire-Man, and she was killed in the battle.
Sixty years later, in 2014, a masked crimefighter using paralyzing gas and calling himself the Exterminator emerged on the scene in Guardian City. This man is secretly Hyrum Wallace, the great-grandson of Caleb Ketchum. After finding Ketchum's formula in a trunk of effects that once belonged to his notorious grandmother, he decided to use it for good.
CALEB KETCHUM (Male)
Brawn 14, Body 12, Brains 5
Combat Maneuvers: Basic Attack, Disarm, Dodge, Run Away!, Strategic Bleeding
Important Stuff Worn/Wielded: Cacobane Gas Gun (Ranged Weapon, no damage but forces up to 2 opponents to make Brawn ATT checks. If the check fails, they lose all actions are are completely defenseless for 2d6 rounds)