Criminal Karateka


Identity: Joseph “Tokyo Joe” Masseria
Occupation: Criminal
Other Aliases: Joseph Masters, John Maranzano, Joseph Mantucci
Gender: Male
Height: 5’ 11"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Place of Birth: Elizabeth, New Jersey
Known Relatives: Stefano (father), Vincent (brother)
Group Affiliations: The Chicago Outfit and various East Coast crime families.
Status: Active

Joe Masseria is a dark-complexioned Caucasian male with a muscular build. As Jo, he wears a modified karate gi and a black executioner’s hood.


Joseph Masseria embraced violence at an early age. Born into a New Jersey mob family, Masseria was in constant trouble at school due to his incessant bullying. At sixteen, he was convicted on an assault charge and was offered a choice between the military or the state penitentiary. Masseria opted for the former and joined the US Army.

To his surprise, Masseria thrived under regimental life. The structure and discipline appealed to him; it was clear exactly where he stood in the pecking order, whom he could get away with tormenting, and how much abuse the system would tolerate. Masseria became a model soldier in order to advance in the ranks and increase his pool of potential victims.

Masseria developed an intense interest in the martial arts while stationed in Japan. He saw karate as another means of gaining power and authority with a veneer of honor. Masseria managed to be accepted by a respected Japanese master and spent nearly all of his free time studying at the dojo. He even stayed on in Okinawa after his enlistment was over to continue his training. His dedication once again paid off and Masseria became his sensei’s top pupil – a position that not only offered him access to advanced techniques but opportunities to harass the other students as well. The day he received his black belt was one of the happiest in his life.

The good times came to an end when Masseria killed a man during a nightclub brawl and was forced to flee Japan. He smuggled himself back to the States and used his family connections to land a position as an enforcer for an up-and-coming capo. Masseria’s predilection for Japanese culture earned him the nickname, “Tokyo Joe”, and once again he found himself working his way up the ranks. He quickly earned a fearsome reputation and the confidence of his superiors.

Unlike other paranormals whose abilities manifest suddenly in response to a crisis, Masseria’s powers developed slowly over time. He grew stronger and faster by the week and soon the underworld was rife with tales, only slightly exaggerated, of Masseria demolishing cars and dodging bullets. His employers noticed the changes in their favorite soldato and offered his services to their Chicago associates, who were having trouble with super-powered vigilantes at the time.

After seeing his targets, the Sentries, in action, Masseria decided he needed an equalizer. He had heard about the zapguns and other weapons used by costumed criminals and, with typical ego, figured he could do just as well. Thus Masseria assembled what was to be the first in a long line of power staves out of a length of steel pipe, some copper wire, and a few batteries. Masseria took on the nom de guerre of “Jo” as a play on both his first name and that of the Okinawan short staff.

Clad in a version of his old karate gi and an ominous black hood, Jo managed to ambush and defeat a pre-transformation Sting and the Harlequin in separate attacks. Jo used the two Sentries as bait in a trap for the rest of the team and for a while it looked as though his plans would succeed. However, just as he was about to deliver the killing blow to Univox and MasterBlast, his captives managed to escape and bring down the paranormal martial artist.

After that first encounter, Jo clashed with individual Sentries a few times in an effort to salvage his rep. The subsequent battles went no better for him than the first did and Masseria gave up seeking revenge on the team. He has dodged the Midwest in recent years and operates primarily on the Coasts. He is still working for the Cosa Nostra but is not adverse to taking on independent contracts if they appeal to him. Despite his setbacks, Jo has avoided serious jail time and remains one of the more successful paranormal criminals still at large.


Masseria himself is not convinced that he is a paranormal; he’s simply stronger, faster, and tougher than anyone he’s met so far. He puts it down to good genes and his dedication to the martial arts.

Jo has minor gizmoteering ability, seemingly limited to the construction of his power staves. His current model is a quarterstaff capable of projecting powerful bolts of electricity at short ranges and delivering devastating electric shocks when used as a melee weapon.


While Joseph Masseria likes to paint himself as a noble modern-day samurai, he remains a pure thug at heart. Years of marital arts training have not abated his vile temper and he is given to frequent outbursts of violence and cruelty. He will berate others when they fail to live up to his idea of bushido, but Masseria himself is quick to discard any notions of chivalry or honor when it suits him. He is fond of quoting (and misquoting) Japanese aphorisms to justify his behavior.

Jo exults in demonstrating his superiority over non-paranormals and will gleefully take on entire packs of mundane humans single-handedly. Battling other superbeings is another matter entirely and Jo will avoid confrontations that are not entirely on his terms. Jo’s favorite tactic is to study up on a foe to learn his strengths and weaknesses before issuing a personal challenge couched in martial arts tradition. The chosen battleground will be one that favors Jo and hinders his opponent, and Jo will seed it with traps if possible. And of course, he will have several escape routes planned if things do not go his way.

Like most bullies, Jo is merciless in victory and craven in defeat. He would never admit to being fearful of the Sentries but he has stayed out of Chicago for a reason. Jo would jump at the chance for revenge on the team, but only if a sure-fire opportunity presented itself.



PL: 10 (150 pp)

ABILITIES: STR: 20 (+5) DEX: 27 (+8) CON: 23 (+6) INT: 10 (+0) WIS: 16 (+3) CHA: 14 (+2)

SKILLS: Acrobatics 6 (+14), Disable Device 8 (+8), Gather Info 6 (+8), Intimidate 10 (+12), Know: Streetwise 6 (+6), Know: Tactics 6 (+6), Language 2 (Italian, Japanese), Notice 5 (+8), Sense Motive 7 (+10), Stealth 2 (+10), Survival 2 (+5)

FEATS: Accurate Attack, Acrobatic Bluff, All-out Attack, Assessment, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Distract (Intimidate), Dodge Focus 3, Elusive Target, Equipment 5, Evasion 2, Improved Block, Improved Critical (Power Staff), Improved Disarm, Improved Defense 2, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Skill Mastery (Acrobatics, Intimidate, Sense Motive, Stealth), Stunning Attack, Uncanny Dodge (Visual)


  • Device 3 (Power Staff, Ease to Take, Restricted 2)
    • Blast 10 (Unreliable: 5 uses, Affects Insubstantial, Reduced Range 1)
      • AP: Strike 5 (Mighty, Extended Reach 2, Affects Insubstantial)

EQUIPMENT: Flashlight, Lockpicks, Smartphone, various explosive devices and other traps.

COMBAT: Attack +10, Grapple +15, Damage +10 (Power Staff), Defense +12, Knockback -4, Initiative +12

SAVES: Toughness 8, Fortitude 8, Reflex 10, Will 8

Abilities 50 + Skills 15 (60 ranks) + Feats 29 + Powers 9 + Combat 38 + Saves 9 – Drawbacks 0 = 150 / 150


The Sentries Preterite