breakdown-derangers-main.jpgBREAKDOWN  

Real NameEsme Fernando

Identity/Class: Human mutant (presumably);
    Canadian citizen

Occupation: Former housewife

Group Membership: Derangers (Laura Dean, Freakout/Arthur Amadeus van Krijg, Goblyn, Janus/Willem Vincent)

Affiliations: Alpha Flight (Box/Madison Jeffries, Sasquatch/Walter (Wanda) Langkowski, Vindicator/Heather Hudson), Manikin (Whitman Knapp), Purple Girl (Kara Killgrave), Wolverine (James Howlett/Logan)
    formerly mentally controlled by Bedlam (William Nowlan);
    formerly treated by Lionel Jeffries (
Scramble)

EnemiesBedlam (William Nowlan), Scramble (Lionel Jeffries);
    formerly Alpha Flight 
(Box/Madison Jeffries, Sasquatch/Walter (Wanda) Langkowski, Vindicator/Heather Hudson)

Known Relatives: Unidentified husband, daughter, and son

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
    formerly Bedlam's Arctic Circle base;
    formerly the New Life Clinic, Vancouver, Canada
;
    born in unspecified location in Canada

First Appearance: (Behind-the-scenes; only their former containment cylinders are shown) Alpha Flight I#49 (August, 1987)breakdown-derangers-exploding.jpgbreakdown-derangers-charged.jpg
    (seen, identified) Alpha Flight I#53 (December, 1987)

breakdown-derangers-charging.jpg

Powers/Abilities: Somewhat lacking in conscious control of her actions, as Breakdown's tension climbs especially during confrontations, she accumulates glowing energy, culminating in an explosive force that can nearly shatter the force-shields of Vindicator's body armor. 

    Following such an explosion, it takes an unspecified time (perhaps a couple minutes) to reconstitute herself and to build up sufficient energy for another charge. 

    Vindicator described her as "a living energy cluster-bomb," and it does appear that she transforms into energy and explodes, rather than just releasing explosive force from her corporeal form.

    Breakdown had no hand-to-hand or other fighting skills, nor did she demonstrate any other skills. She had minimal reasoning skills due to her state of constant mental distress.

Height: Unrevealed (approximately 5'4")
Weight: Unrevealed (110 lbs.)
Eyes: Unrevealed
Hair: Black (formerly brown; presumably dyed)

breakdown-derangers-family.jpg

History

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) - BTS / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update#5: Scramble entry) - Esme was a normal Canadian housewife, with two children.

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) - BTS) - See comments...breakdown-derangers-drugtears.jpg

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) - BTS / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update#5: Scramble entry) - Overwhelmed by the psychological and domestic pressures of her existence, Esme suffered a nervous breakdown.

(Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Esme was committed to a conventional mental health facility.

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) - BTS / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update#5: Scramble entry) - With his ultimate intention to create a superior species, Dr. Lionel Jeffries (aka the insane Scramble) secretly used corpses’ body parts to restore others, and, under the guise of psychiatric treatment, imprisoned patients with superhuman potential. 

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) - BTS / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Discovering Esme's latent power to explode, Dr. Jeffries had her transferred to his New Life Clinic in Vancouver alongside autistic, portal-generating Laura Dean who exchanged bodies with her monstrous twin Goblyn; drug-induced brain damaged berserker Arthur Amadeus van Krijg, who was unable to feel pain; and psychopathic artist Willem Vincent, who could split into two separate bodies. breakdown-derangers-newlife.jpg

(Alpha Flight I#49 (fb) - BTS / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Esme and the other three were kept in stasis tanks at the New Life Clinic.

(Alpha Flight I#49 (fb) - BTS / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Alpha Flight member Aurora stumbled across the four holding cells while suffering a psychological episode in her Jean-Marie Beaubier persona.

(Alpha Flight I#49 (fb) - BTS / Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update#5: Scramble entry) - During the battle between Alpha Flight and Scramble (now calling himself Omega), the power to the New Life Clinic was cut, plunging the complex into darkness and allowing the four captives to escape. breakdown-derangers-newlife-escape.jpg

(Alpha Flight I#49 - BTS) - Still in her Jean-Marie persona, Aurora sat a short distance from the shattered containers.

(Alpha Flight I#52 - BTS) - The mental-powered sociopath Bedlam was revived by Gary Cody, whom he then slew. 

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Learning of the existence of Scramble's former captives, Bedlam decided that they fit his own distorted version of a super-team (like what had been intended by Guardian/James Hudson, who had originally arranged Bedlam's empowerment).

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) / Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates) - Tracking down the escapees, Bedlam took mental control of and transported them to his newly created Arctic Circle base. He forged them into a fighting team and then bound them in his base. At some point, Fernando, van Krijg, and Vincent were codenamed Breakdown, Freakout, and Janus, respectively.

(Alpha Flight I#53 (fb) - BTS) - Bedlam captured Alpha Flight members Vindicator and Sasquatch (with Box/Madison Jeffries having escaped by transforming and retreating into an inert piece of machinery), along with Alpha trainees Purple Girl and Manikin; and transported them to his Arctic Circle base where they were imprisoned across from the still bound Fernando, Dean, van Krijg, and Vincent.breakdown-derangers-bedlam-captures.jpg

(Alpha Flight I#53) - Bedlam briefly linked the minds of his prisoners allowing each to see the origins/recent histories of the others. He then released the two groups from their imprisonment and -- naming his first group the Derangers -- forced them to fight, with the winning team to serve as the core to the new master race.

    Breakdown's explosive power nearly shattered Vindicator's force shields. When Breakdown prepared to attack anew, Vindicator blasted her with a plasma-burst before she could explode, which kept her in her harmless steady state long enough for Purple Girl to take mental control of her.

    Distracted by attacks from Freakout (whom he subsequently slew) Bedlam lost control of the others, allowing Alpha and their trainees as well as the remaining Derangers to unite against Bedlam.

    Bedlam apparently slew Breakdown with a telekinetic blast through her torso.derangers-af-vs-bedlam.jpg

(Alpha Flight I#53 - BTS) - Vindicator slew Bedlam.

(Alpha Flight I#54) - Whitman Knapp (Manikin), a medical intern, examined the bodies of Bedlam, Breakdown, Freakout, and Janus, finding them dead ("near as he could tell") and already cold.

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, Jim Lee, and Whilce Portacio.

    I'm not sure what the tearful image over a pill bottle in Breakdown's origin montage is supposed to show. In the family picture, the mother has brown hair and the daughter has dark hair, so I originally thought it was the daughter...perhaps she got sick or died in spite of (or because of?) drug? But then I realized that all other pictures of Breakdown show the mother/Breakdown with dark hair, so I'm thinking it is just a picture of the mother's emotional breakdown...but it's not clear to me.

    I don't think it's hard to imagine that Breakdown's energy form may not have died from a blast that might have slain her corporeal form. It would be nice to see that she survived and eventually got some therapy.

    Breakdown received a real names in the Scramble entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update#5. Stuart Vandal, the profile writer, revealed the reasons for the name choices below, and discussed the choices of providing names or not here:

Breakdown - insane housewife Esme Fernando's name derives from I Love Lucy, since I figured you couldn't get a more quintissential housewife tham that show's star. Hence, Lucy Esmeralda Ricardo and her husband Ricardo Alberto Fernando Ricardo y de Acha. 

    Further thanks to Loki for supplying the Gamer's Handbook of the Marvel Universe pages!

    According to Wikipedia, The Gamer's Handbook of the Marvel Universe is a series of role-playing game supplements published by TSR beginning in 1988 for the Marvel Super Heroes role-playing game.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Breakdown
should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Alpha Flight I#53, pg. 9, 6th column, panel 1-5 (Breakdown: family; tears-drugs; ; Jeffries-treatment; escape; Bedlam capture);
        pg. 13, panel 3-5 (Breakdown building energy, glowing, exploding);
        pg. 19, panel 8 (Derangers attacking Bedlam; Breakdown blasted);
Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates (aka Volume 5) - main image


Appearances:
Alpha Flight I#49 (August, 1987) - Bill Mantlo (writer), June Brigman (penciler), Whilce Portacio (inker), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#52 (November, 1987) - Bill Mantlo (writer), June Brigman (penciler), Whilce Portacio (inker), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#53 (December, 1987) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Jim Lee (penciler), Whilce Portacio (inker), Carl Potts (editor)
Alpha Flight I#54 (January, 1988) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Hugh Haynes (penciler), Whilce Portacio (inker), Carl Potts (editor)
Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe 1989 Character Updates (aka Volume 5) - designed by Scott Bennie, David Martin, Chris Mortika, David Rogers, and William Tracy
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update#5: Scramble entry (February, 2011) - Stuart Vandal (writer),


First posted: 02/19/2018
Last updated: 03/08/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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