Kenta was the first persona Rich Kassidy assumed when he joined the Mechanical Maniacs. The character of Kenta is portrayed as Rich's brother, bitter at having been abandoned by him in his hour of need. Mesmerman learns of Kenta and manipulated Shadowman into offering him membership into the team. During the War Kenta would become completely brainwashed by Mesmerman (who, through his mental unhinging, allowed Magnetman to tap into his full city-destroying potential) until he was finally freed. Kenta would last until Crorq demanded his resignation in return for his help int he Series 7 finale.
Kenta is very withdrawn from most others, thanks largely by his own country rejecting him based upon the nature of his birth, followed by the harsh rejection by his own half-brother. He very rarely converses with anyone, even from his own team, and only remains on the team to use his powers to accomplish his two goals in life, namely the destruction of the mob and yakuza, and the defeat of his brother.
This cold personality puts him in direct conflict with his new teammates, as he insists on doing his own thing, and outright refuses to obey direct orders on more than a few occasions. When he does cooperate, however, he shows glimpses of battlefield brilliance and a distinct knack for combat. This may be the only trait that keeps him on the team in the beginning.
After a while, he does warm up to his fellow Maniacs, especially to Spark-Chan, whom he sees as a surrogate mother, much to the ire of Geminiman. While Kenta largely ignores Geminiman’s jealousy, Kenta does exhibit anger on occasion for Hardman, whom he perceives as his brother’s close friend, even though that’s not necessarily the case.
Relationships: Respects Shadowman, but often conflicts with him; ignores Geminiman’s challenges and attitude most of the time, does not agree with most of his arguments against Shadowman’s leadership; develops secret feelings for Needle early on but never confesses or shows them; Respects Snake slightly less than Shadowman; Annoyed with Top, mostly because of his friendship with Geminiman; Outright hates Hardman for what he perceives as a close friendship with his brother; Sees SparkChan as a substitute mother, but does get annoyed by her constant overprotective nature towards him.
Kenta wore the Transmetal 2 version of the Magnetman armour.
The Kassidy BrothersEditA struggling salesman throughout his entire adult life, James Kassidy struggled to make ends meet for his family in Nevada. He frequently conflicted with his wife, Alison, which resulted in a rather tumultuous relationship with his son, Rich. Partly out of desperation for funds, and part desire to avoid his own family, James soon found himself working as a low level enforcer for the local mob, which further divided his family.
James became an “ambassador” for the South - Western US mob for the Japanese yakuza, and willingly volunteered to go on excursions to Japan, if only to escape his own family, to which he still maintained a sense of duty to. On one of his overseas trips, James engaged in a short fling with a woman named Yuki Eigen. Despite it being intended as one - time - only deal, Yuki and James wound up having a child. James would never even know about it, however, and would never meet the boy Yuki named Kenta Eigen.
It wasn’t long before James would get caught up in an inter - mob war when the US mob and the yakuza’s relationship dissolved. James Kassidy was killed rather unceremoniously as a final message to the US mob that their business ties were officially severed.
Both saddened and relieved at the same time, Alison moved with Rich to Charleston, South Carolina for a fresh start. Unfortunately, the US mob was anxious to cover up any loose ends as far as former associates are concerned, which included the immediate family. Alison Kassidy was killed outside of a local grocery store just weeks after arriving in Charleston while her son attended elementary school that day. At the age of 13, Rich was effectively an orphan.
Meanwhile, Yuki and Kenta struggled as well, as Yuki was quickly shunned by her neighbourhood when word got out about her son’s father’s ties with the yakuza. Soon, Yuki was unable to find work, especially in the midst of a recession. To make matters worse, she found herself sick with cancer. Doctors in her area were apprehensive about touching anyone even remotely related to the mob, and thus her care was not up to par. Within a year of being diagnosed, Yuki was on her death bed.
It was here where Yuki finally revealed to Kenta his father’s identity, as she had lied to him about his true origins (originally claiming that he died in a rare train accident prior to Kenta’s birth). When Yuki passed, Kenta added the Kassidy name to his own, and decided to seek out his father, as well as his half - brother (not realizing his overseas family’s fate already) .
Rich had quickly fallen through the cracks of the foster care program, eventually finding himself living on the street. Luckily for him, he inherited his father’s keen street sense, and Rich managed to eventually survive quite well by himself.
After a very long, exhaustive, and draining journey, Kenta Kassidy - Eigen had tracked down his half - brother’s location, having learned that his father’s and Rich’s mother’s fates. Kenta realized by now that Rich would be his only family now, as his Japanese relatives never acknowledged his existence, and went so far as to disown his mother.
Kenta, 14, and Rich, 18, finally met at Rich’s neighbourhood 2 years after Yuki’s death. Although Rich never doubted Kenta’s claims of being related to him by blood, he quickly dismissed him, having been hardened by his decidedly difficult life and lacking remorse. His few words to Kenta concluded with:
“You an’ I only have one thing in common. We both had th’ rotten luck a’ bein’ born to the miserable bastard named James Kassidy. That’s ‘bout it.”
In short, Rich refused to help Kenta on the grounds of having to fend for himself all of these years, despite being related. Rich was not prepared to play any sort of father - figure to Kenta, which was Kenta’s intention.
Kenta was heartbroken. His only remaining family rejected him as quickly as he had met him, effectively leaving him alone. He opted to leave America and return home to Japan. However, as Kenta had forgone school in order to seek out his family, his education, or lack thereof, held him back. He wound up suffering an identical fate as that of Rich, only perhaps more severe, given the Japanese stance on homelessness.
Kenta lacked Rich’s hard - boiled instincts and suffered on the street. His feelings of rejection and sorrow eventually gave way to anger, and then pure, insurmountable hatred for his half - sibling, whom he now blamed for not helping him in the least. It was the unbridled hate that provided Kenta with the drive to keep living, ironically, and he vowed revenge - first on the mob that indirectly ruined his life, and then on his brother.
Rich also harboured a heightened hatred for the mob, which eventually led him to “crash” any mob meetings known to him. Somehow, Gary of the Sinister Six eventually caught wind of this vigilante, and invited him to fill the vacant Bombman position on the team. Rich reluctantly accepted, as he was never much of a team player. However, he would have the ability to crush the organized crime he despised so much, which encouraged him to join. Rich was 23 at the time of joining the Sinister Six.
At Odds - Reaver of MesmermanEditA little over a year after joining the S6, Rich had gained a reputation as a rather sour, harsh man within the close - knit team community. He was always a heavy drinker and smoker, and this did not change when he enlisted as an S6 member. He routinely spent more time at Hardman’s Bar than at HQ.
It was a few months after the “Mesmerman” incident now, and things were quiet as of late. The city had quickly recovered, as did all of the teams involved. However, the battle factored into Jonathan’s decision to “retire” from the Mechanical Maniacs, leaving Shadowman with the duty of finding a replacement Magnetman.
One night at Hardy’s Bar, Hardman and his crew, along with the perpetually hung - over Bombman, were visited by a strange man, whom eventually attacked the pair of off - duty heroes. He was eventually fended off, but escaped. However, both Bombman and Hardman agreed that the stranger was holding back during the fight, and that it was possible that they were being set up. Despite this, the two decided to track him down and bring him in for questioning.
In their search, the two were confronted by the man yet again, this time accompanied by a compatriot. The pair claimed to be “Reavers”, or agents, of some force. The man they fought earlier proclaimed himself to be “Sorrow”, while his accomplice named herself “Calamity”, and quickly engaged the grizzled pair of heroes in a very heavy battle, as neither enemy pulled their punches this time.
The Reavers eventually revealed their true intentions behind their attack on Hardman’s Bar. They were collecting raw emotions, or the energy associated with them, in hopes of using them to help their master regenerate. It was clear now that the two were agents of Mesmerman, whom was near the brink of destruction after the Maniacs’ last encounter with him, and that these Reavers were using Hardy and Rich as pawns in his resurrection.
By now, neither Rich or Hardy could simply stop fighting, as the city would fall victim to Mesmerman yet again. But, they also knew that continuing to fight for out of anger or hate would be playing straight into the Reavers’ plan, so Bomb and Hardy fought with the intention of saving lives - something Rich never really did before.
It was at this time the Reavers’ trump card was played. They revealed that they had a third agent - Magnitude - in their midst. “Magnitude” was quickly revealed to be the new Magnetman of the Mechanical Maniacs, whom Hardy was unfamiliar with. As far as he knew, Gauntlet was still searching for a new Maniac. It was also now that Hardy and Rich realized their communications with their respective teams were jammed, effectively leaving them alone with this fight.
Luckily for Hardman, the new Magnetman paid him little mind, and was hellbent on attacking Bombman with all of his strength. Magnetman’s power had grown considerably from the Jonathan days, thanks to Dr Light redesigning its systems. But, Bombman’s hardcore battle sense and know how evened the playing field, as this Magnetman still seemed to be inexperienced with his new abilities.
Hardman had the task of fighting both Calamity and Sorrow now, whom boasted that this was merely “for fun”, rather than for Mesmerman’s direct benefit. Sorrow claimed that Magnitude and Bombman would provide their master with more than enough “product” to ensure his resurgence, stronger than ever.
Bombman and Magnetman continued to battle, with Bombman eventually tricking the new Maniac into one of his customary traps by tossing his bomb - filled helmet at Magnet, which exploded, blowing off Magnetman’s face mask, as well as the armour on his arms. Behind the mask was Kenta, whose face told the story that he was motivated by rage alone. Even seeing this, Rich had no qualms about continuing the fight.
Sorrow and Calamity eventually started to lose their fight with Hardman, although not due to Hardman actually gaining a clear advantage. Their physical bodies were starting to fade, as they were recalled into the collective set of emotions that compiled Mesmerman. Fuelled by Kenta and Rich’s grudge match, Mesmerman revealed himself to Hardman, claiming to have “disposed” of Gauntlet while he was accompanying the new Magnetman back home, as Mesmerman detected the vast amount of sorrow and anger within Kenta and simply amplified those emotions to the point of no control.
By now, Kenta was all but defeated by the veteran Bombman, despite his superior power. Rich hid Kenta’s unconscious body from the battlefield and rejoined Hardman for the fight against Mesmerman, but not before Shadowman finally showed himself to be alive and kicking, although he was knocked into a hellish coma by a psychic assault from Mesmerman earlier. Gauntlet assured that Mesmerman merely got lucky by finding Shadowman in a rare moment with his defences down. The three commence to fight Mesmerman and end his growing trance on the city about him.
The War and AfterwardsEditOnce General Cutman and Mesmerman started their War Mesmerman almost immediately used his influence to secre Kenta. In short order, Kenta would be completely brainwashed by Mesmerman who let all of his anger and mental restraints go in order to unleash his full power, which could level entire cities with his magnetic field. In this state Kenta reacts almost entirely on instinct without truly seeing what he's doing or who he's doing it to - even if they're a team member. Despite this overwhelming power the Maniacs managed to defeat him using something General Cutman created in order to counter Magnet should he turn against him - small plastic nanobots as well as a mental assault by Snakeman using one of his snakes to hack into Kenta's mind and fight Mesmerman's influence directly. Afterwards Kenta entered into a relationship with former-robot hating crusader Amatista.
After the 15 year gap between Series 6 and 7 Kenta returned posing as a successful businessman, however this was later revealed to be a hoax in order to get closer tot he villain Middleman. Kenta would continue with the team until a series of surprise attacks by the Sinister Six left him critically injured and the Mechs in a bind. In return for his help, one of Crorq's demands was to oust the unpredictable and dangerous Kenta in favour of a Magnetman of his own choosing.
Character Footnotes Edit
I’ve opted to use a new character for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I dislike seeing the same “real - life” character holding multiple positions on multiple teams, especially within the same series. It’s never explained in a matter that acknowledges that moonlighting as multiple Robot Masters is basically impossible. You always end up with clones, or other nonsense.
Secondly, I think that having a previously existing relationship with an established character in the MMC can lead to a bunch of cool stories and scenarios. At the very least, things can become more interesting now, as this character has a non - linear goal from the start - he’s not joining a team simply to become a superhero; he’s joining because it’s a matter of convenience for him and his goals. This is a very decisive, driven, maddened character.
Thirdly…Who in their right mind would WANT Rich Kassidy on their team at this point? Though it wasn’t fully explored until now, Rich is a fairly depressing character with a bunch of personal demons that occasionally hamper his work as a hero. Kenta can also be used to flesh out Rich’s character as well, even if he won’t be used that much now that the S6 are on their way out. It’s still cool to see a layered background from time to time, though.
On the subject of Kenta’s Magnetman persona, I already have a firm direction for his design and functionality. Being Japanese, Kenta is fairly short and of a slight build. Rich is a bit taller and much bulkier; like a bully.
Kenta’s Magnetman outfit is very streamlined in comparison with other Magnetmen in the Maniacs’ past. His helmet opens like a three - piece clamshell that lays on his back and shoulders whilst open, and he wears the classic Magnetman face mask as well. His armour is punctuated with silvery rectangular structures, which open to saturate his environment with iron fibres; an essential part of this Magnetman’s decidedly different powers. More on that later.
Kenta wears a special cloak over his body while not in combat, as his magnetic aura would damage surrounding machinery without it. Kenta makes no attempt to have a “normal” life outside of the Mechs while off duty, and much like his brother, wears his uniform at all times, usually sans his mask/helmet. He rarely ventures out, and avoids contact with the other Maniacs when not necessary. He is usually holed up within the Mech’s base somewhere, with his nose buried in books - he’s quite intelligent, as opposed to Rich, who is only street smart, and something of a thug. Kenta is fluent in his native Japanese, speaks with a slight accent in English, and is learning Spanish and French.
Kenta’s Magnetman powers differ greatly from Jonathan and the other Magnetmen. He doesn’t use the Magnet Missile, per say, but does launch small steel ball bearings as his main projectile. The iron dust he emits is a re - imagining of the original Magnetman’s famous shield, and is Kenta’s main attack method. Theoretically, he’s able to control it with absolute precision and perfection, but Kenta is still largely unfamiliar with his powers. He is, however, fairly resourceful from the get go, and his lack of experience is usually overshadowed by his raw power and clever attacks. As such, he is constantly developing new techniques as his character grows into the Magnetman persona.
I don’t believe Kenta to be insane, or all that mysterious. He’s quite clear about his intentions at all times. If anything, he’s too honest for his own good. He’s simply angry, and a bit traumatized from his harsh life. He’s not used to interacting with people, and is not much of a team player…yet. He may one day grow into his role as a team mate, but for now he’s very stubborn about remaining alone. I imagine this would irk and anger his teammates to no end. However, it is his unbridled passion for stamping out crime, as well as his obvious potential that caught the attention of the Mechs.
Now…How’s that for a “short” analysis of the new Magnetman?
Common Themes and Ideas that will be concentrated on with Rich's stories (Series 6)Edit
The idea that just maybe not everyone on every team is completely happy with the idea of being a superhero, and took the role for other reasons, such as the Kassidy Bros.
That not everyone is completely in tune with their powers/armour, especially from the beginning. Kenta will be struggling to control his powers, showing flashes of ingenuity from to time, and will gradually learn to properly utilize his powers as his story progresses. This will be represented, as an homage to Neon Genesis Evangelion, in the form of a Synch Rate. In the beginning, Kenta shows a 40% Synch Rate - somewhat impressive for a first time Robot Master, but nothing all that extraordinary. 80 - 90% is the idea range for a human - as - an - RM. An original Robot Master would obviously maintain 100% Synch, though it’s personality, or lack there of, limits it’s true potential.
In addition to the first idea, implied stresses amongst the team will bring out usually unseen character points and flaws. Ideally, I’d imagine each member to have a Confidant and a Rival within the team, if only to help flesh out a particular character.
Each Maniac has a distinct role within the team, such as sniper, demolitions, riot control, etc. This has become something of a trademark within my writings, particularly within the S6 AU and RE, though for the Mech’s I’ll be taking the Hardman route and simply using a darker method of story telling within the original continuity.
Kenta’s name is derived from a number of Japanese wrestlers, namely KENTA (Kobayashi) and Haruka Eigen. Kassidy is a name I’ve been using since 1998, when I first used it as a wrestling ring name.
The cloak/poncho motif of Kenta/Magnetman has more to do with functionality than look. Since Kenta is fairly dangerous with his magnetic powers barely kept in check, he needs something to help avoid damaging things around him unintentionally. Kenta did not wear a cloak as a human. Magnetman’s cloak is heavy, as it is made of some sort of insulation. It may also be subconsciously influenced by Clint Eastwood’s “Fist Full of Dollars” character.