View Full Version : The Trophy Room The Trophy Room: Abner Jenkins (MACH-4)!

08/17/2006, 09:43

This has got to be some sort of record. Abner Jenkins has not three, not six, but a whopping seven versions of himself in Sinister. And you thought there were a lot of Elektras! The seventh version of Abner is a take-off of his MACH persona, and judging by how heís powered, heís coming in at about MACH-3.5. Come on in as we try to figure out if itís worth the extra 0.5 to get the upgrade to MACH-4 or if you should stick with Mr. Jenkins instead.

08/17/2006, 09:46
Here is Abnerís readout.

Abner Jenkins (LE #202 Ė MACH-4)
Points: 91
Type: V-
Clicks: 7
Range: 8
Targets: 2

Abner Jenkinsí Gains vs. V Mach-4
Though he runs a cool nine points less than the Veteran, Abner does receive a few upgrades. Most notably he gains four clicks of Force Blast, a power which is not at all present on the Vetís dial. He also adds two more clicks of Energy Explosion giving him a total of three. Unlike the Vet, Abner has a click of Leadership, and he also has one additional click of three (3) damage, bringing his total up to three clicks with three (3) damage. And though itís technically a loss, giving up that one click of Earthbound that the Vet has is really a gain in my book.

Abner Jenkinsí Losses vs. V Mach-4
To pay for those gains and still come up with a lower point total than MACH-4, Abner has to sacrifice quite a lot actually. On his movement track, he jettisons two clicks each of Running Shot and Charge, leaving him with one lonely click of Running Shot. He also junks all three clicks of Super Strength. Abner is a little less effective in combat as he gives up one click of eight attack. Defensively heís a bit easier to hit as he drops one click of 17 defense and one of 15 defense. Damage takes a hit as well as Abner scraps all three clicks of Ranged Combat Expert in addition to one click of two (2) damage. After all this, one has to wonder if olí (dis)honest Abe can still fly, but that shall be addressed all in good time.

Neutral Dial Tinkering
Whether or not this is good or bad is really playerís preference, but Abner starts with Incapacitate and switches to Energy Explosion, which is the exact opposite of MACH-4.

Cards that Work
One of Abnerís main gimmicks is his opening click of Leadership. That being the case, it would be a shame not to leverage it with Inspiring Command so that a bunch of his teammates can effectively push without taking pushing damage when they begin or end an action next to him. And given that he is a Thunderbolt, one would almost be remiss if he and the rest of his team were not given the Thunderbolts feat to obtain a team ability a little bit snappier than the traditional Avengers TA. And considering his opening clicks sporting Incap and three (3) damage, Stunning Blow would also seem a logical choice.

If playing a pure Thunderbolts theme team, Bright Lights would help Abner and the gang by eliminating their adversariesí pesky Stealth and allowing him and his team to Thunderbolt something other than the Ultimates TA. Further, given their relative lack of Support, War Zone would do an excellent job stymieing an opponentís attempts at healing and thus helping to level the playing field a bit.

If ol_Dut had to Choose
Abner Jenkins vs. V MACH-4? I see Abner and MACH-4 as very different pieces even though their dials are not as wildly different as some weíve seen (i.e. Shadowcat and Soulsword Wielder). Abner is a leader, but he feels more like a ďlead from the rearĒ type of leader. Though he weighs in at 91 points, his starting 9 attack doesnít do much to instill confidence in his ability as a primary attacker. Further, his downgrade in move and attack powers obviously limits his mobility and will force him to choose his targets and position much more carefully as he canít dart in and out of traffic and adjust on the fly the way that MACH-4 can. If Abner wants to live, heís going to let the rest of the team make first contact and then heíll wade in once the big bad guy has taken a hit or two and the oppositionís shooting lanes are a bit bottled-up. Then he can put the proverbial fly in his opponentís ointment with that nifty dual target Incap and push to get to that 10 attack Ė though it is somewhat painful to give away clicks on a short seven click dial.

MACH-4, on the other hand, is really itching to lead the charge into combat and will suit players with an aggressive style rather well. With five clicks of move and attack powers there is never a good reason for MACH-4 to be without viable targets. His mix of Running Shot, Ranged Combat Expert, Charge and Super Strength provide a host of great options to be utilized as the situation warrants to dole out the maximum amount of pain. MACH-4ís top loaded dual target Energy Explosion is quite literally begging for Armor Piercing to afford him the opportunity to do the most damage to the most targets as possible. His defensive numbers, which are generally just a touch higher than Abnerís, should make him safer from his enemiesí retaliation. Is it a mere coincidence that 4 and $ appear on the same key? I donít think so. And thatís why Iím going with MACH-$$$, I mean MACH-4 the vast majority of the time.

Quick and Dirty Price Tag
Abner never ďpeakedĒ as high as some of the pieces weíve already reviewed, and at present can be easily snatched-up for between $5 and $10. Heís a must-have for Thunderbolts fans like me, though many others will likely pass on him given MACH-4ís superior combat prowess.

Next week? More Sinister! Thanks for reading!

08/17/2006, 20:48
Great review as always!
I thought this piece was a little lite on the loafers compared to the Vet. Yet, there was some initial buzz that he was a must have.
I picked him and the Rhino Le both together for less then $10.00 A good deal for a different perspective.

08/17/2006, 22:36
Dispite what he loses from Mach-4 I'm definately looking to get an Abe. I really appreciate the totally different use of his dial. I'm sure that more often than not I'll run Mach-4 over Abe, but sometimes I might just want to run that theme team from the beginning of the new volume and have him in a leadership roll.

Great T-bolts character and a good representation for a different spin.

08/18/2006, 01:54
I think that Mr. Jenkins is a bit expensive for what he does...although I do love Multi-Target Incapacitate. However, the losses vs the gains definitely have me spending the 9 to upgrade.

I will run him in theme games though, as I try to get every piece I own on the board at some point or another.

08/18/2006, 07:53
This is a good review, and well summarizes the differences between the two figures. I like (flying) Avengers in this price range, but despite each of these figures having potential I think it will be a while before I get to use either of these guys.

I really appreciate having pieces like this for theme players.

08/18/2006, 11:42
I live Mach-4 a little better as well.

The big increase in move and attack abilities is very important. The late dial charge and Superstrength can be a real surpise.

I wouldn't play either one without armor piercing. The dual targets and energy explosion/incapacitate is a perfect match for ap.

Both are just looking for a Vet Uman or Red Hood to carry around

08/18/2006, 14:18
Great job!

Granite Moose
08/18/2006, 15:20
Not exactly a huge T-Bolts fan, but this is another example of an LE that I like. The reason being he is effectively different from the REV to provide a truly different take on the character. Sure, power-wise it seems a no-brainer to go with Mach-IV, hence his much more in-demand status. However, it would be fun and different to take a turn or two with Abe. He's definitely more of a finesse piece, but that's okay.

08/18/2006, 17:24
He's the only Sinister LE I have. Really appreciate your time and effort, as always, on a great review.

08/19/2006, 10:27
I was lucky to win ol' Abner, so after looking at his dial a little more, here are some thoughts for positive use of the LE: I think he'd be best as the centerpiece for an agressive swarm team, and here is why. (I'm focusing soley on Abner, and ignoring other figures)

Free move flier, 10 MV (w/running shot to start): Between him as a taxi, and his leadership It ought to be able to maneuver a good fraction of the team on turn 1.

Running shot w/3 damage...and 3 damage after that: In this era of Nanobots and Laser Turret, the ability to destroy objects at range is an important one to have on the team.

Troubled by the low AV? Hedge your bets: A flier with two targets and 8 range doesn't have to risk all against a single target. Plus, as I mentioned above, he can blast objects for a good part of his dial...but not objects+opponents! He also slides into Force Blast, which does not require an attack roll!

How to build around Abner: for a non-theme approach, I would try to only use Abner with other flying/transporter move+attack pieces that are under 60 points, an pair them up with some good low cost base-to-base pieces. The usual suspects (unrestricted): Lockjaw, Mockingbird, Robin, Spoiler, Vixen, Fire, Elektra (IC-U, CM-vet).

Why go with these low-costers? You need to make your opponent decide between risk and reward. Abner will be the highest cost figure on the team, but he won't be viewed as the most dangerous. If your opponent goes straight for Mr. Jenkin's 91 points, you should be able to swarm him with your pack. If your opponent is trying to crack a figure like U-Elektra, you have some time to maneuver and pick off the enemy.

Abner's got a short-ish dial for his points, but he does have high Defense Values and Damage reducers at the get go...so he won't be a trivial kill either.

08/20/2006, 00:34
Here is Abnerís readout.
Neutral Dial Tinkering
Whether or not this is good or bad is really playerís preference, but Abner starts with Incapacitate and switches to Energy Explosion, which is the exact opposite of MACH-4.

I love incap. In fact, it is my fav. power, so I think Abner is tons better than Mach 4.
Just my $0.02.

Great Reviw!

08/20/2006, 16:37
I love incap. In fact, it is my fav. power, so I think Abner is tons better than Mach 4.
Just my $0.02.

Great Reviw!

I agree. Not my reason for wanting him so badly, though. I wanted him for the ability to use Inspiring Command for my T-Bolts team!!!

Thank goodness I won him the other day! YAY!

08/25/2006, 14:51
He's definitely one of my favorite LE's. Put Stunning Blow, Armor Piercing, Thunderbolts, and ICWO on him, and he's a beast. Running shot with 8 range with two targets, putting tokens on two figures, and doing at least 1 irreduceable damage BESIDES is not funny at all. Then when he loses the incap, he's got energy explosion. Whoopdee doo, he's still got Armor Piercing from before, so he can dual-target with that. Thunderbolt him to Batman Ally or Superman Ally to make him more formidable on offense, or more protected on defense, and just use ICWO to either amp up his defense, bring his AV up, or increase his range. Not a whole lot of points being spent to make this guy a team-killer, and he works wonders.

Definitely give him a try with the power combo I just mentioned, it's a blast!