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PINBALL

Real Name: Chester Freeman

Identity/Class: Extradimensional/alternate reality (Earth-712/"Earth-S") human (possible technology-user, mutate, mutant, etc.; see comments)

Occupation: Professional criminal

Group Membership: Redeemers (Black Archer/Wyatt McDonald, Foxfire/Olivia Underwood, Haywire/Harold Danforth, Inertia/Edith Freiberg, Lamprey/Donald McGuiggin, Mink/Julie Steel, Moonglow/Melissa Hanover, Nighthawk/Kyle Richmond, Michael Redstone, Remnant/Frank Edwards, Shape/Raleigh Lund, Thermite/Sam Yurimoto)  

Affiliations: Captain America of Earth-616 (Steve Rogers), Cerebrax, Master Menace (Emil Burbank), Professor Imam

Enemies: Squadron Supreme (Arcanna Jones, Blue Eagle/James Dore Jr., Hyperion/Mark Milton, Power Princess/Zarda Shelton, Doctor Spectrum/Joseph Ledger, Whizzer/Stanley Stewart);
    formerly Nighthawk

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None;
    "Pinny" (nickname used by Remnant), "Ol' roly-poly" (nickname used by Nighthawk)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly Richmond Manor, New Troy;
    formerly mobile throughout the United States of America

First Appearance: Squadron Supreme I#6 (February 1986)

Powers/Abilities: Pinball's wore a costume that could inflate itself within 5 seconds after he pulled a string secured to his neck. When he yanked the cord, he swiftly grew to become as spherical as his codename suggested. Even though his legs were useless in this puffed up form, he could somehow direct himself at great speed. Pinball's preferred method of attack was throwing himself at his opponents like a battering ram, counting on the momentum he'd pick up to add to the damage a collision would cause. Though his puffed up form offered some additional protection, he was by no means invulnerable. Pinball's fully inflated form was remarkably flexible, he could rapidly bounce around like a ball, function as a springboard for others though a well placed hit could force him to rapidly deflate. Pinball relied on his size and maneuverability to keep himself safe. As such he had a relatively poor physical condition, though that improved somewhat during the months he trained with Nighthawk as part of the Redeemers. Pinball was a trained helicopter pilot.

Height: 5'6" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Green 
Hair: Brown (dyed)

History:
(Squadron Supreme I#6 (fb) - BTS) - For unrevealed reasons, Chester Freeman decided to embark on a life of crime. Using a suit that turned him into a sphere and taking the name Pinball, he often tangled with Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond). During his early days, Remnant met several other super-villains, such as the Institute of Evil, Master Menace (Emil Burbank), Mink, and Remnant. He grew particularly close to the latter two.

(Squadron Supreme I#6 - BTS) - After the Squadron Supreme launched the Utopia Program and started using a Behavior-modification (B-Mod) device to brainwash criminals into walking the straight and narrow, Pinball got nervous. That anxiety turned to full blown panic when he and his fellow criminals Mink and Remnant discovered the Institute of Evil had been defeated and brainwashed by the Squadron as well.

(Squadron Supreme I#6) - Figuring Master Menace would be able to help them escape the Squadron, they visited his citadel. Welcomed by Menace's robotic servant Cerebrax, they were forced to wait around until Burbank was ready for them. Once he granted them an audience, Pinball and the others pleaded with Menace to help them get off world, claiming it just wasn't safe anymore for code-abiding criminals such as themselves. Menace agreed to aid them and used his advanced technology to transport the trio the alternate reality Earth-616. 

(Captain America I#314 - BTS) -  After arriving on Earth-616, in the New York City borough known as Queens, the three villains initially laid low. Some time after that, unbeknownst to Pinball and the others, their nemesis Nighthawk was transported to Earth-616 by Professor Imam, in hopes of recruiting that Earth's super-heroes in his fight against the Squadron. While he was trying to convince Captain America to help him free his planet, Nighthawk overheard a police report coming in via Cap's hotline about a flying carpet causing mayhem at a Queens movie theatre. Figuring this reminded him of his old enemy Remnant, Nighthawk accompanied Cap to check out the case. When they reached the site, Nighthawk spotted some stray hairs from Mink's costume, his enhanced senses immediately recognizing the scent of her signature perfume. He went off to chase the trail.

(Captain America I#314) - Mink's scent eventually led Nighthawk to the chic nightclub called the Magic Carpet. As soon as Pinball and the others spotted Nighthawk entering the club, they made a run for it. Pinball puffed himself up and charged Nighthawk, buying Remnant enough time to get his flying carpet off the ground. However, Nighthawk ended up using Pinball as a trampoline, jumping high enough to sink his collapsing grappling hook into the magic carpet that was carrying Mink and Remnant into the air.

(Captain America I#314 - BTS) - Remnant and Mink were so busy fighting off their old nemesis, they didn't notice the carpet had veered off course until it rammed into the Industrial Display Company. There, amidst prop pieces like oversized typewriters, they continued their assault on Nighthawk until both Pinball and Captain  America showed up.

(Captain America I#314) - Pinball once again tried to run his enemy over, only to be rebuffed by Captain America's impact-absorbing shield. Pinball recoiled, running over his teammate Remnant. Not ready to give up yet, he charged again, but Captain America casually tossed his shield, hitting the villain at such an angle he was forced to deflate. Momentarily stunned while Nighthawk and Cap conversed, Pinball felt as if he'd sprung a leak. With the battle over, Pinball and the others begged the Avenger for asylum, preferring jail or even a mental hospital over being forced to go back and be brainwashed. Though sympathetic to their plight, Cap reminded them they'd essentially be non-persons on this Earth and might be better off joining forces with Nighthawk and bringing down the Squadron. The villains agreed to band together and help their old enemy, only to be transported back home moments later by Professor Imam's spell.

(Squadron Supreme I#7 - BTS) - Materializing in the Temple of Contemplation, Pinball and his new allies met Imam, who was too frail to actively join in their fight against the Squadron. However, he did supply them with a magic crystal called a "power pyramid" that would lead them to other super-powered beings sympathetic to their cause.

(Squadron Supreme I#7) - Setting out on Remnant's flying carpet, the foursome first returned to Master Menace's citadel to see if Burbank wanted to join up. Mink, Pinball and Remnant waited outside while Nighthawk made his pitch to Menace, who scoffed at the idea of working with underlings not of his own choosing and summarily dismissed Richmond and his offer, preferring to take on the Squadron alone and even warning Nighthawk and company not to get in his way. After hearing the news that Menace had declined to work with them, Pinball got worried they might be on a fool's errand. They nevertheless decided to use Imam's crystal to look for the help they needed.

(Squadron Supreme I#9 - BTS) -  After procuring a helicopter, piloted by Pinball, Remnant and the others joined Nighthawk as he followed the power pyramid's directions.

(Squadron Supreme I#9) - The power pyramid led them to a location on the Apache mountain range. Nighthawk asked Remnant to accompany him, riding his carpet down where they met and recruited Michael Redstone. Bringing him on board, Remnant used his thread and needle skills to create a costume for Redstone, even as the power pyramid was already picking up their next recruit.

(Squadron Supreme I#10 - BTS) - In the weeks that followed, Pinball and the others helped to recruit Haywire, Inertia, Moonglow, and Thermite to Nighthawk's resistance force, which was now called the Redeemers. Even the former Squadron member Golden Archer, who quit the team in disgrace, joined up as Black Archer. Nighthawk had his teammates keep close tabs on the Squadron's movements.

(Squadron Supreme I#10) - During one of their regular meetings, the individual Redeemers all shared what they'd learned about the Squadron. Nighthawk then turned the subject to how the ten of them were going to overthrow the Squadron.

(Squadron Supreme I#10 - BTS) - During the meeting, it was decided that Moonglow and Redstone would infiltrate the Squadron, literally by applying for a job as members of the Squadron Supreme. After some doing, they were allowed to join the team as provisional members, pending a background check.

(Squadron Supreme I#11 -BTS) - Over the next few weeks, Haywire, Inertia and Thermite managed to gain provisional Squadron membership as well, living and training with the team in their undetectable base. After an unspecified amount of time had passed, the Squadron decided to officially induct them, marking the occasion with a televised ceremony.

(Squadron Supreme I#11) - Pinball, Nighthawk and the others watched the swearing in ceremony and realized phase one of the plan was complete. Black Archer was growing stir crazy from waiting around, but Pinball kept quiet as Nighthawk calmed the Archer down by promising they'd see action real soon.

(Squadron Supreme I#11 - BTS) - Moonglow managed to procure the design schematics for the B-Mod device. She successfully transmitted the plans via modem to Master Menace who started work on a way to undo the effects of the machine.

(Squadron Supreme I#11) - Several days later, while Nighthawk had his team training in Richmond Manor, with Pinball practicing his bouncing maneuvers, Master Menace called in to inform them he'd created a device that could reverse the effects ("unbrainwash") any mind affected by the B-Mod technology. A day or two later, Pinball joined the others and Master Menace in setting up the device while Haywire conned the B-Mod controlled Lamprey into accompanying him to that location. Pinball watched as Lamprey was forced to undergo the deprogramming procedure, emerging as his old self again. Lamprey agreed to join up.

(Squadron Supreme I#11 - BTS) - The group decided that Shape would be the next former Institute of Evil member to unbrainwash. Redstone and Thermite managed to kidnap the simple-minded former villain, but were caught in the act by Blue Eagle who followed them to the Redeemers hideout. Even as Shape was being restored to normal, the Eagle was spotted and overcome by Remnant and Black Archer who brought the hero inside, restrained by a piece of Remnant's fabric.

(Squadron Supreme I#11) - After a brief discussion, it was agreed to subject the Blue Eagle to the mind control device, though Nighthawk demanded they'd only use it to erase his memory of what he had seen here. Remnant and the Black Archer held the struggling Eagle in place while the behavior modification began. Still, even this minor violation of his former teammate's mind left the conscientious Nighthawk feeling he'd just sold his soul.

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(Squadron Supreme I#12) - Pinball was present when Lamprey brought in Foxfire to be deprogrammed. After Olivia Underwood was in her right mind again, though rather confused by the situation, Nighthawk introduced her to Pinball and the others. Later, Pinball joined in on the discussion whether or not they should keep the B-Mod technology around to use it on the Squadron Supreme. Chester sided with Master Menace, feeling they should actively use it, only to be outvoted by Nighthawk and the Black Archer. He then joined the others to plan an ambush for their enemies in Squadron City (whose location and access codes had been supplied by Moonglow and the other double agents).
    As the Squadron returned from a press conference celebrating the Utopia Program's first year's successes, they discovered Pinball and the others waiting for them. Surprised when the Redeemers among their numbers showed their true colors, Dr. Spectrum still managed to trap Pinball and the rest of their enemies with his power prism. Hoping to quickly take down the opposition, Whizzer knocked out Haywire and Black Archer, but just as he was approaching Pinball, his teammate Inertia used her powers to toss the speedster aside. She then redirected Power Princess' inertia and slammed her into Dr. Spectrum, who lost control and released everyone. Pinball inflated himself but didn't get a chance to attack when he was accidentally hit and stunned by one of Thermite's stray heat blasts. Bouncing around the battlefield, barely conscious, he was spotted by Blue Eagle (whose wing's energy had just been drained by Lamprey and who was in desperate need for a safe place to land). The Eagle flailed towards Pinball who was still so out of it he didn't hear his teammate Remnant warning him to get out of the way. Blue Eagle crashed on top of Pinball, not only breaking his fall, but also Freeman's back and even collapsing a lung. Remnant came to his friend's aid, but he was too late.

(Squadron Supreme I#12 - BTS) - After the fighting ended, Pinball's body was taken to the Squadron City medical complex where physicians concluded Freeman's official cause of death was a broken spine.

(Squadron Supreme I#12) - Remnant and most of the Squadron and Redeemer members later visited their dead friends in the morgue, with Remnant comforting the sobbing Mink as they paid their respects to Pinball's corpse.

(Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe I#1 - BTS) - Pinball was placed inside a hibernaculum, designed to keep the body in a state of stasis until a cure could be found for whatever fatal disease or injury threatened them (see comments).

(Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe I#1) - Doctor Spectrum visited the Squadron City Hibernacle to see his friends Foxfire and Black Archer who were in their own hibernaculum, stored right next to Pinball.

 

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald, Paul Ryan, Sam de la Rosa & Keith Williams

    The origin of Pinball's powers has not been revealed. The only hint we got about his powers was the scene in Captain America I#314 in which he had to pull a cord and wait five seconds until he was combat ready... A lot can happen in five seconds, especially if you fight a team that includes at least one speedster. For Pinball's sake, I hope he had some extra powers or else his only claim to super-villainy was the fact he committed crimes wearing the equivalent of a self inflating air mattress.

    Just why Pinball (or any of the others for that matter) were placed inside a hibernaculum escapes me. The device was intended to preserve life signs, but poor ol' Pinny was announced dead on arrival. Heck, he and the other lethal victims of the Squadron/Redeemers battle were kept in the morgue for at least several hours. Odds of any of them ever coming back after that are... slim.
    --I believe the hibernaculum was intended to preserve beings until such time as medical science could cure their issues.--Snood.

In regards to Pinball: because of his physical appearance, he's probably supposed to be a take-off of Batman's foe, the Penguin, but Batman did have a foe called the Bouncer, who created a steel/rubber suit that allowed him to bounce from impacts (@ Detective Comics #347 (Nov. 1965)- http://www.comics.org/issue/19784/ ... with such a limited gimmick, you can probably guess that he never went on to be one of the Darknight Detective's major foes, because I believe he only appeared once more in 1981.
--Ron Fredricks

    Unless otherwise specified, all locations and beings related in this profile refer to Earth/Reality-712 versions.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Pinball has no known connections with


images: (without ads)
Captain America I#314, p11, pans4,5,6 (main image)
Captain America I#314, p15, pan6 (deflated)
Squadron Supreme I#12, p35, pans 2&3 (killed by Blue Eagle's fall)
Squadron Supreme I#12, p41, pan2 (in the morgue)


Appearances:
Squadron Supreme I#6 (February 1984) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rosa & Keith Williams (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#314 (February 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Neary (pencils), Dennis Janke (inks), Michael Carlin (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#7 (March 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Jackson Guice (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#9 (May 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rossa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#10 (June 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rossa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#11 (July 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rossa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme I#12 (August 1986) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Sam de la Rossa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe (November 1989) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Paul Ryan (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 01/30/15

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