Paul Manning
Portrayed by Tahmoh Penikett
Full Name Paul Manning
Age 35
Height 6'2"
Build Muscular
Eyes Blue
Hair Dark Brown
Factions SHIELD
Occupation Secret Agent Man
Alignment Hero

Claim to Fame

Paul is the product of over a hundred years of deliberately chosen breeding. The only ones who know this are the one who oversaw the program, a group called the Galton Society. He now bears the Rapture, one of the 13 Artifacts.


Paul doesn't really have a reputation outside of the NYPD. As a uniformed officer, he was a liaison with the GLBT community and being out was something some of the other cops had a problem with. Most of them kept it to themselves since they knew he was a former marine and a skilled fighter. He does have some excessive force complaints in his file but they all turned out to be unwarranted. Likewise, while many officers go twenty years without ever firing their gun on duty, he's not one of them. They too have all been determined to have been justified.


Vignettes In Time

The man at the desk is middle aged, white, and wealthy. When there's a knock at the door, he looks up and invites whoever it is in. "Manning is dead." the newcomer says without prelude. He too is middle aged and white though not quite as wealthy. "How?" The single word is all the reaction he gives as he waits for more information. "He got hit by a bus. It seems superior genetics doesn't guarantee a habit of looking both ways." His face doesn't betray any amusement but it's there in his tone. "That's unfortunate. His line was promising." "He does have one issue. A boy of three." "He should have had more. The woman is not one of us, correct?" "No." "Then we write off that line. But keep track of the boy. Even if we've lost our influence there, we have too many generations invested into Manning's line to just close the file."


I think I was twelve the first time I boosted. Mom and I were going to the grocery store. I remember it was a Saturday afternoon. The sun was bright and it was really nice out. April, maybe. It was the last day you'd expect trouble except that it was Gotham City and trouble comes no matter what in that neighborhood. I never did find out what it was all about but all of a sudden, gunfire started. Mom grabbed me and we ran toward a doorway to try to take cover. She cried out and fell. A bullet had hit her in the leg. There wasn't time to think or panic. I just picked her up and carried her. We got to the doorway and went inside the store. Then I passed out. After that, it happened more and more till I eventually learned to control it. Most people are never able to tap into the so-called 'hysterical strength' phenomenon but I am. I don't know why. Maybe it's for the same reason I've never been sick.


"Another rejection?"
Mom's voice was quiet and sympathetic. She didn't need to ask, it was clear on my face.
"That was the last one." With the help of my guidance counselor, I'd sent in applications for every scholarship I could qualify for. They all said no.
"We'll apply to others."
"There are no others. My grades aren't good enough for an academic scholarship. I might be good at sports but I just don't care enough about them and it shows." I didn't want to be a sports star, I just wanted the money for college.
"You can go to a community college. I can get another job. With both of us working, we should be able to afford it."
"No." I wasn't going to let her do that. Once the rejections started to pour in, I looked at other options. Anything illegal was automatically disqualified. "No. College can wait. I'm going to join the marines."


My shift doesn't start for several hours yet so I have time to work out. I'm warmed up after a mile or so and turn into an alley. A step up the wall and I'm on top of the dumpster. Up the wall again and I can reach the fire escape. I climb up the outside of it to the roof and run across it, flipping across an air conditioning unit. The gap between the next building is a lot wider than I thought it would be so I go into turbo mode. I can feel the adrenaline flood my body. Heart rate increases, breathing quickens, focus sharpens, muscles contract. With the extra strength and speed, I easily leap across the alley and land on the other roof with a shoulder roll. I'm back to my feet without pause and shut down the extra boost. The door is unlocked so into the stairwell, vaulting the railings so I only touch ground twice on each floor. Out the front door and back to the street. Half a block up is the Krav Maga school I train in. I can get an hour's practice in before I need to get ready for work.


"Welcome aboard, detective."
"Thank you, sir."
"It's not often someone requests a transfer to special cases."
"No, sir."
"You were a marine, I see."
"Yes, sir."
"But not an MP."
"No, sir."
"May I ask why you decided to become a police officer?"
"I wasn't qualified for much else, sir. And I could do some good."
"You're from Gotham."
"Yes, sir."
"But you decided to join the force here in New York."
"Yes, sir."
"I joined the marines to get out of Gotham, sir."
"I can understand that. Parents still there?"
"My mother, sir."
"Relax detective. You don't have to sir me every sentence."
"Yes, Captain."
"All right, Manning. Go meet your partner. She'll show you the ropes."

Well, that could have been worse. Meeting a new commanding officer is always tricky. You're never quite sure how spit and polish they are. I felt good about it though despite the third degree. Most of the answers to his questions were in my file he was reading. He just wanted to feel me out on the parts that weren't. I don't think he was satisfied but how could I convey just how bad growing up poor in Gotham or serving in Bosnia was. If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know.


Character Details

Paul tends to be a bit gruff and no-nonsense, especially on the job. While he recognizes the importance of the rule of law, he knows that sometimes it needs to be administered with a certain discretion because life isn't black and white. He believes there's basically three kinds of people: those who try to make the world a better place, those whose absence would make the world a better place and those who are merely background noise. Which group he places someone into determines how they get treated.



Character Gallery


World on Fire: The Central Axis (2015)
April 2, 2015: Monsters, time travel, tears in spacetime. Just another Thursday in New York.
(log: 20150402-world-on-fire:the-central-axis-2015 | tags: captain_america corvinus edwin_jarvis fitz howard_stark kara meggan paul_manning peggy_carter simmons witchblade world_on_fire | posted: 04 Apr 2015 18:21)

Primal Force: Hellgate and Leylines
March 30, 2015: Zee follows up with Paul about the Hellgates. Primal Force discovers something about the wya they are situated.
(log: 20150330-hellgatesandleylines | tags: aspect coyote paul_manning primal_force witchblade zatanna | posted: 01 Apr 2015 22:04)

Core Dimensions
March 28, 2015: Sue and Reed have examined the core from the Helicarrier and have information from Jericho.
(log: 20150329-coredimensions | tags: aspect invisible_woman mister_fantastic paul_manning zatanna | posted: 29 Mar 2015 12:42)

World on Fire: The Talking Horror
March 23, 2015: A warped creature comes through another portal - but this one can communicate.
(log: 20150323-world-on-fire:the-talking-horror | tags: booster_gold fitz paul_manning simmons witchblade world_on_fire | posted: 04 Apr 2015 16:23)

Why So Much Power
March 22, 2015: Jericho arrives at the Triskelian to discuss his findings. Simmons briefs everyone on what she found out at Stark Industries
(log: 20150322-whysomuchpower | tags: aspect emmett-argyle fitz paul_manning simmons skye the_cavalry witchblade | posted: 23 Mar 2015 21:39)

World On Fire: Missing Persons And The Math
March 15, 2015: Howard Stark visits The Triskelion to speak with FiztSimmons
(log: 20150315-missingpersons | tags: fitz howard_stark paul_manning simmons the_cavalry witchblade world_on_fire | posted: 16 Mar 2015 12:03)

World On Fire: Stark and Ectoplasm
March 14, 2015: Howard Stark finally returns to New York and Pezzini, Manning and Simmons corner him to discuss Simmons' findings
(log: 20150314-starkandectoplasm | tags: howard_stark paul_manning simmons witchblade world_on_fire | posted: 15 Mar 2015 02:18)

The Short Artificially Lit Tea Time Of The SHIELD
March 13, 2015: Various SHIELD agents come and go, talking about various things over coffee and tea. There are no pastries or cucumber sandwiches.
(log: 20150313-the-short-artificially-lit-tea-time-of-the-shie | tags: black_widow emmett_argyle fitz paul_manning shield simmons the_cavalry witchblade | posted: 14 Mar 2015 15:50)

Lockdown: Slaughter Swamp
February 28, 2015: S.H.I.E.L.D. attempts to discern the connection between Fracture and the Winter Soldier with a good ol' fashioned group interrogation; it doesn't go quite as planned.
(log: 20150228-lockdown:shield | tags: captain_america falcon fracture mockingbird paul_manning the_cavalry who_is_james_buchanan_barnes? winter_soldier witchblade | posted: 25 Mar 2015 20:33)

Visiting the Jailbird
January 8, 2015: Manning and Pezzini visit Allen in jail. You know it's bad when Manning is the best tempered of the three.
(log: 20150108-visiting-the-jailbird | tags: age_of_sorrow booster_gold flash hammerman paul_manning witchblade | posted: 09 Jan 2015 03:21)

Picking up the Pieces
January 6, 2015: Detectives from the NYPD come to see what's happening at the Allen Household.
(log: 20150106-picking-up-the-pieces | tags: eventide flash paul_manning witchblade | posted: 07 Jan 2015 06:14)

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