Full Name: James Hungerford Fritz
Jim Fritz first joined the group during the partitioning of Bludhaven, when they came across him by the ruins of his shoe repair and locksmithing business. He helped the group fight a minor vampire and, having few other options, agreed to join their party.
Before he knew it he was helping break into the mayor's mansion with the intention of kidnapping him in order to bring down his corrupt administration. This was his first time working with Sam, who quickly became his strongest link to the group - even if that wasn't initially reciprocated.
Jim's skill at sneaking, lock picking and darkness manipulation helped him to quickly find a useful role within the group. His shady background and mischievous sense of humour also helped him get on with Steve, another party member with a questionable past.
Jim was born in upstate New Jersey to a fairly affluent family – his father, Richard, was an attorney and his mother, June, worked part-time as a realtor. Despite a generally happy home life, Jim’s parents had high expectations, and would always push him and him sister to be the best – whether it be at school, sports or music. His older sister Bethany was one of life’s natural high-achievers, gaining top marks at school and generally excelling at everything she did. She went on to be accepted to study medicine at an ivy league school, and ultimately became a surgeon at one of Gotham’s top hospitals, where she met her future husband – a fellow doctor, specialising in oncology. As a result, Jim forever found himself in his sister’s shadow, never quite living up to the standards she set and failing to meet his parent expectations. Although he did OK at school he was never an academic sort and fell in with some questionable friends, ending up regularly skipping class and likely to be found at the mall, where he wasn’t averse to the odd spate of shoplifting and petty crime.
The College Years
Despite this, and much to his parents’ relief, he scraped the grades he needed to get into college and moved across to Star City on the west coast, with every intention of starting over. Things were going well, he was getting settled into his engineering course and getting back on track. Then he met Brigit. Brigit was an art history major who’d moved to Star City from the wilds of Alaska, and was working in a video store to help cover her rent when Jim met her. With her dark auburn hair and pale skin, Jim was instantly smitten and it didn’t take him long to discover that the feeling was mutual. They had an intense and passionate relationship, during which time neither of the found much time to focus on their studies. They’d only been together 6 months when Brigit arrived back from work one day and announced to Jim that she was pregnant and she wanted to keep the baby. Jim was terrified, but also overjoyed at the thought of starting a family with this woman he loved so much. The both vowed that they would do everything they could to make the situation work. Unfortunately Jim’s parents, who had never really been aware of his relationship, were not so overjoyed. When he reached out to them for support the conversation deteriorated rapidly – things were said which couldn’t be unsaid, and from that point on Jim determined that he didn’t need them in his life and would make his own way.
Brigit and Angelica
Despite Jim and Brigit’s best efforts, their studies fell by the wayside altogether as making ends meet while preparing for the baby proved a seemingly insurmountable challenge in itself. In an effort to stop them ending up on the street, Jim returned to his old ways – shoplifting and picking pockets, cashing in his ill-gotten gains at some of the less reputable pawn shops in town. It didn’t take long before he started to get noticed, and one day when cashing in some designer trainers the owner of the pawn shop – affectionately known to his customers as Skunk – asked if he’d be interested in earning some real money. Jim was nervous, but also desperate. After talking to Skunk, he reluctantly agreed to meet up with some guys that he knew, and was promised that they paid well. Unsurprisingly it turned out that the guys were a gang of small-time crooks, whose specialty was breaking and entering, whether it be shops, businesses, or homes in some of the more upmarket areas of Star City. Despite his initial nerves on upgrading from petty theft to grand larceny, it soon started to become routine and Jim would regularly be out with the gang liberating valuables from their latest target. Although they rarely talked about it, Brigit was aware of how Jim earned his living, and as their income increased and the due date grew closer they both accepted that this was a necessary way of life.
In December 1988, Angelica Mae Fritz was born, a healthy and happy baby girl. Both parents were overjoyed, and life soon settled into a routine of caring for the baby while Jim maintained his night-time excursions to support his young family. All seemed right with the world in Jim’s eyes.
One night in late March 1989 he arrived home from a job and the house seemed unusually quiet. It was a particularly foul night, with thick cloud and a late burst of freezing sleety rain making it feel like the depths of winter. Turning on the light in the kitchen, Jim immediately noticed a note laying on the kitchen table. Written on the back of an envelope, it simply read:
I’m sorry. Love you always, Brigit x
The hunt for Angelica
To cover his loss he threw himself into his work, taking greater risks and often going out without the gang, breaking into places more for the thrill than any real need for the things he took. He did everything within his power to locate Brigit and Angelica, but despite using every favour and contact he had no one had even the slightest clue where his family had gone. It was during this time that Jim first started to notice his abilities – that when he didn’t want to be seen the shadows around him would become that much darker, and lights would often go out when he was around.
In an attempt to forget his past he began to move around the country. Gradually as time passed he began to want to escape from the criminal way of life he’d got into. He started saving the money he made from his jobs, and by the time he’d made his way across to Bludhaven he had enough cash to rent a small shop and attempt to straighten his life out, putting his skills to use in the role of locksmith. Despite finding himself back on the east coast, he could never bring himself to make contact with his family again, and was living a largely reclusive lifestyle until he met up with the Ramraiders following the destruction of his shop.
Jim, Llynos and Sam
Following his joining of the gang, Jim finally felt like he found purpose again in his life. Having friends and feeling part of something bigger, he was more than happy to cast his criminal past aside and put his efforts into giving good back to the world. His relationship with Llynos and Sam in particular developed into a close friendship. At first this led to tense times, with Sam feeling that Jim was trying to steal Llynos' attentions away from her. However, after Jim fulfilled the role of middle spoon a few times, the tensions began to ease and the three became a close team, often working together.