Vernon Masters is a veteran of the War Department with a keen understanding of how to work the system. He was also a member of the Council of Nine, helping them to secretly shape the politics and the economy of the United States to the benefit of its members. In 1947, he came in conflict with Peggy Carter, while at the same time trying to recruit Jack Thompson for the Council's cause. He temporarily took control of the SSR's Los Angeles branch when Whitney Frost became the leader of the Council of Nine, only to turn against her when he made a deal with Thompson, Carter, and Daniel Sousa.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 Arresting Dottie Underwood
- 1.3 The Threat
- 2 Personality
- 3 Abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Facilities
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Appearances
- 8 References
When the United States Armed Forces captured Ilse Koch, the sadistic wife of Karl-Otto Koch, the Schutzstaffel commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, Masters took charge of her interrogation. He tortured her with various tools and in less than 24 hours she told him everything he wanted to lead to her prosecution.
Recommending Jack Thompson
Vernon Masters heard that his colleague of his had a son named Jack Thompson, who was seeking employment after the World War II. Masters was able to pull strings and got Thompson a job with the Strategic Scientific Reserve's New York Bell Company Office where he worked for Roger Dooley until his death at the hands of Johann Fennhoff, at which point, Thompson became the Chief. Masters remained a strong supporter of Thompson throughout his career.
Arresting Dottie Underwood
Pulled out of an Interrogation
When the Strategic Scientific Reserve arrested Dottie Underwood for her many crimes during Johann Fennhoff's Campaign, Masters decided that the FBI should take custody of her. Masters led his team as they stormed into the New York Bell Company where Underwood was being questioned by Jack Thompson, Underwood's handcuffs were removed and despite Thompson's protests, she was taken away while Masters offered no explanation but invited Thompson to join him for a drink.
Masters joined Thompson for a drink as the young Chief continued to complain about losing Underwood after all the work they had put in to arrest her. Masters reminded Thompson about how he had gotten him the job at the SSR in the first place and had been his biggest supporter, Master advised Thompson to start considering the long game as he believed the SSR were becoming irrelevant now that World War II was over. He revealed that Underwood had been trying to steal from powerful figures but he had stopped her.
Covering Up Evidence
Masters traveled to Los Angeles to meet with Jack Thompson regarding a mysterious explosion at the Isodyne Energy Headquarters. Thompson assured him that the documents regarding the incident were very straight forward and Masters assured him that Jason Wilkes had indeed stolen sensitive materials from the lab which he needed to be recovered. Although Thompson expressed his uneasiness about handing over evidence, Masters reminded him of the SSR's upcoming end.
Meeting Thompson in Daniel Sousa's office, Masters was handed the footage of the Zero Matter explosion which Thompson was uncovered in his investigation. When Masters asked if he had watched it Thompson claimed he did not watch films which do not include Rita Hayworth. As he checked the footage, Masters assured Thompson that he was doing the right thing. Masters explained that while the history books would never remember their meeting, he always would, claiming that he would prefer to give him a medal just for this action. Masters shook Thompson's hand as Thompson claimed that all he ever wanted to do was serve his country.
Masters took Thompson to the Arena Club an hour before the SSR Chief was due to fly back to New York City, with Thompson noting how pleased his father would be to hear that they were working together. Masters introduced Thompson to Calvin Chadwick, who assured him Isodyne Energy appreciated all the work Thompson had been doing for them. Masters informed Thompson that Chadwick was to become a Senator soon as Anderson had just seceded from the running, leaving Chadwick unopposed in the race and the group shared a laugh over a drink.
Dealing with Peggy Carter
Having learned that Daniel Sousa's branch of the Strategic Scientific Reserve was preparing to raid the Arena Club having learned of their connection to the Council of Nine, Masters led a team of FBI agents into the Auerbach Theatrical Agency with a cease-and-desist order. While Chief Sousa argued with the agents about the executive order, Masters and Carter withdrew to talk.
Masters told her that Jack Thompson thought of her as a free-thinker, but Carter felt that he meant it as an insult. She revealed that they had learned from an informant that the Council of Nine was behind events including three deaths and the Wall Street crash of 1929. Masters asked who the informant was, but Carter refused to tell. Masters told her that she needed to be a team player by bringing the informant to him, but Carter continued to refuse. Angered, Masters told Carter that though she may be able to withstand the coming changes, those closest to her might not. He then proceeded to give Sousa the same speech when he also failed to reveal his source.
Protecting the Council
- "Who said 'kill'? That would be wrong, both morally and strategically. Killing makes her a martyr, shines more of a light on her. I need you to destroy the very idea of her, discredit, disgrace and subdue Agent Carter so all this misguided work that she's done becomes unquestionably invalid!"
- ―Vernon Masters to Jack Thompson[src]
Masters and Jack Thompson attended a Congressional fundraising party for Calvin Chadwick. Masters took time to introduce Thompson to Chadwick and Whitney Frost and they began discussing their views on fighting communism, with Masters commenting on how Thompson had been responsible for capturing Johann Fennhoff during his attack on New York City, before listening as Frost attempted to flirt with Thompson.
Masters and Thompson took some time to discuss what a powerful ally Chadwick could become, with Masters pointing out Thomas Gloucester and Mortimer Hayes who could also assist them. They then spoke to Hugh Jones who remembered Thompson from a previous investigation. Jones furiously informed Thompson that Peggy Carter had infiltrated one of Roxxon Corporation's warehouses and stolen parts of an Atomic Bomb. Once Jones had gone, Masters told Thompson that Carter had been disobeying his orders and needed to be reprimanded immediately before she completely humiliated Thompson and the SSR.
When Masters went to check on a Council of Nine meeting that Chadwick was holding to discuss the Zero Matter research, Masters instead encountered Dottie Underwood, who was leaving the room and attempting to escape the MacArthur Grand Hotel. Underwood mocked Masters, claiming that it was a good party before turning and running for her life. Masters furiously ordered his men to bring Underwood back to him alive. Although Underwood managed to kill one of the men by throwing him through a window and knocked out the other, she was soon found and captured by Thompson.
Masters was informed by Jones that Frost had killed Gloucester and various other Council-Members, including her husband Chadwick and had now taken over the Council with immediate effect. Masters was both confused and mortified but Jones assured him that he was finding out this news in the best possible way. Jones reiterated that Frost was now calling the shots and ordered Masters to ensure that Frost got what she wanted, which was a box containing the captured Underwood. Jones then left the building, leaving Masters alone to speak to Chief Thompson.
Masters furiously accused Thompson of causing this disaster by failing to control Carter's actions, as she was also responsible for freeing Underwood from her cell. Losing patience, Masters ordered Thompson to take Carter out; when Thompson insisted that he was unwilling to kill Carter, Masters explained that he did not want her dead but he wanted him to discredit and disgrace Agent Carter so nothing she said could be taken seriously. When Thompson again hesitated, Masters realized that Carter must have dirt on Thompson which was making him so unwilling, questioning if his unwillingness had made unsuited for high command.
Masters took charge of the questioning of Dottie Underwood once she was tied down in a basement. Masters showed off the many tools that he planned to use to torture Underwood while she remained highly confident, so Masters told the story of how he had tortured Ilse Koch, the cruel wife of a Nazi, into confessing her many crimes within twenty-four hours of torture. Masters demanded to know what Peggy Carter wanted but Underwood, however, claimed to be resistant to pain so Masters resorted to a Truth Serum.
The effects of the drugs did not prove as effective as Masters hoped, with Underwood clearly able to resist the drugs and mocking Masters. Taking a new approach, Masters spoke to Underwood about her time with Johann Fennhoff, noting that she had been forced by Fennhoff to leave Leviathan and now was unable to return, noting that Joseph Stalin would not forgive her. Masters explained that she was now an assassin without a country or target and not a friend in the world. Masters was interrupted when Joseph Manfredi informed him that Frost wanted to speak to him.
Masters stormed upstairs and furiously insisted that he was on the verge of getting Underwood to talk about her work with the SSR, although Frost remained unconvinced. Masters questioned Frost about the need for Manfredi and his Maggia mobsters, but Frost insisted that Manfredi was provided protection and his men followed his orders which she felts Masters' men did not do. They discussed how Isodyne Energy could make new Atomic Bombs but Frost insisted they must be the same as the original test. When Frost revealed her scars while drinking with Manfredi, Masters had to look away before Frost decided to question Underwood personally.
Taking over the SSR
Under Whitney Frost's orders, Masters traveled to Auerbach Theatrical Agency. While Masters enjoyed a cup of coffee, Daniel Sousa spoke to his mother on the phone. Masters questioned if Sousa had enough resources in light of the theft at Roxxon. Masters tasked Sousa with finding the stolen uranium cores from Roxxon's Atomic Bombs. Masters then complimented Sousa, calling him a war hero and suggested that success here would mean great things for his career.
Believing Sousa to be a threat, Masters had two men assault him in his home. When Sousa arrived in the office the next day with notable injuries, Masters greeted him. Sousa and Masters agreed it must have been a robbery and Masters asked about the Roxxon case, but Sousa insisted they would likely never find the cores. Masters claimed that Sousa needed rest and therefore took charge of the Auerbach Theatrical Agency, despite Sousa's protests. Shortly after taking charge, a phone-call was put through to his office but as soon as he answered, the person calling hung up.
As promised, Jack Thompson located a redacted file which linked Carter to some form of a massacre during World War II when she was working for the Special Operations Executive. Although Masters complimented Thompson, claiming he had gone above and beyond in his mission, Thompson remained skeptical, saying that the file may not be valid. Masters, however, insisted that as it was an official document, it was true regardless of what really happened. They were interrupted when an agent informed him that a call was waiting for him and Masters asked Thompson to wait outside while he spoke to Whitney Frost.
Frost ordered Masters to collect the uranium rods from the Atomic Bombs which were being stored at the SSR lab and bring them to a specific spot in the desert. When Masters did as instructed he was confronted by Thompson who had listened in to the conversation, Masters attempted to talk his way out of the situation, promising Thompson a promotion however Thompson instead threatened to pull out his gun. Disappointed by Thompson's reaction, Masters used the Memory Inhibitor to confuse him before escaping with the rods and drive out into the desert to meet with Frost.
Masters assisted Whitney Frost in setting but the Atomic Bomb ready to be dropped at her order, Masters held the trigger and assured her that he was ready when she was. Standing beside Joseph Manfredi, Masters once again silently questioned why the Maggia guards were involved as Manfredi casually compared the atomic explosion to fireworks, causing Masters to roll his eyes.
Masters watched as the bomb was activated and the rift that was created sucked in Jason Wilkes until it was destroyed by a blast fired from Gamma Cannon. Edwin Jarvis then attempted to kill Frost but he and Peggy Carter were captured by Manfredi's men once it was revealed that Frost survived the explosion due to the Zero Matter inside her. Masters then sent Vega to assassinate Daniel Sousa, Jack Thompson and Aloysius Samberly who had activated the weapon which had destroyed the rift, desiring to have no more interference from the SSR.
Masters discovered that Vega had not killed Daniel Sousa, Jack Thompson and Aloysius Samberly as instructed, but had instead arrested only Sousa and Samberly and locked them up in the Auerbach Theatrical Agency. Masters berated Vega before Thompson explained that the Gamma Cannon they had recovered from the scene could be repaired by Samberly. Thompson then pitched the idea that they work together to fix the Canon and use it to finally kill Whitney Frost, which they all agreed upon.
While working in his office, Masters was on the phone when Peggy Carter stormed inside to confront him. Just as Masters greeted Carter and called her resourceful she assaulted him, knocking Masters to the floor and hitting him repeatedly, demanding to know where Thompson and Sousa were. However, Sousa and Thompson ran into the room and pulled Carter off Masters before explaining the situation to her and saying that he was integral to their operation. Masters meanwhile pulled himself up from the floor and insulted Carter by furiously calling her insane for attacking her superior so violently.
While Samberly repaired the Cannon, Carter continued to question their plan as she refused to trust Masters as she believed he wished to kill them all. Masters, however, insisted that this was not the case as he had no interest in killing her as he knew that they all had enough dirt on one another that if one tried to stop the other, then they would all pay the price. Carter agreed and they discussed their plan, with Masters noting that Frost needed the Cannon now, so they agreed to send Thompson to distract Frost until the Cannon could be repaired.
Much to the surprise of everyone, Thompson did return having convinced Frost to wait for the Cannon; when Masters complimented Thompson on his success, Thompson noted that he should not be underestimated. Once Samberly had loaded the final pieces for the Cannon onto the truck, Masters agreed that he should be the one to bring it to Frost with Thompson coming with him for backup. The group confirmed their plan and Masters got inside the van and drove to Frost's base while the rest of the team followed behind.
Betrayed by Thompson
- "That boy can't help you, Whitney; he hasn't got the juice! I've got the connections!"
"Your connections are going to find themselves facing a similar fate, Vernon. I'm remaking the world in my image, and I'm starting with you. Why are you smiling?"
"'Cause they got you too, bitch!"
- ―Vernon Masters and Whitney Frost[src]
Masters and Jack Thompson arrived that Whitney Frost's base with the Gamma Cannon and Masters proceeded to explain how it worked, with Frost explaining that she intended to use it to draw the Zero Matter out of Jason Wilkes' body. Masters then volunteered to show Frost how the Canon worked, attempting to aim it at her and kill her. However before he could, Frost moved the Canon aside and revealed that Thompson was now working for her as he drew his gun and threatened Masters.
As Masters was forced onto his knees at gunpoint, he pleaded with Thompson to reconsider, noting that if they went against Frost now they could still run the country together. Frost, however, claimed that all Masters did his entire life was the answer to men more powerful and respected than him. Although Thompson called Masters his second father, he explained that he had learned never to let a good chance pass him by and therefore he left Masters and Frost alone so his mentor and father-figure could be absorbed with Zero Matter.
Frost began to choke Masters, slowly absorbing him with Zero Matter while Masters tried to convince her that he was still a more worthwhile ally than Thompson due to his connections. Frost, however, refused to listen, claiming that she would soon be remaking the world in her own image. Masters began laughing when he saw that a bomb had been left on the Gamma Cannon, telling Frost that she had been betrayed too. Suddenly, Wilkes stormed into the room moments before the Zero Matter inside him overloaded and exploded.
This section requires expansion
To be added
This section requires expansion
- Master Tactician: To be added
To be added
- Auerbach Theatrical Agency: To be added
- United States Department of War
- Council of Nine
- Joseph Manfredi
- Ilse Koch †
- Dottie Underwood
- Strategic Scientific Reserve
- Whitney Frost - Former Superior
In chronological order:
- Agent Carter