Sunday, May 30, 2010

Superheroes, Peregrine, 484 words

Peregrine is one of any number of well-endowed but unremarkable "flying bricks," heroes with the extremely common powers of invulnerability and strength. She's also picked up a nickname, whispered behind her back, of "Black Widow," not to be confused with the spider-themed villainess of the same moniker.

Peregrine has had bad luck with boyfriends all her life. It started in high school, when a relationship ended in an acrimonious argument the day after they first had sex. Her ex-boyfriend shed his bland "good student" habits and turned into something of a delinquent shortly thereafter. Her track record didn't show much improvement at all as she found her relationships falling apart through college and afterwards, but it didn't really get bad until after she developed her powers in a car accident, when a tanker truck full of strange glowing chemicals overturned on the highway. Her boyfriend at the time, a bit of a narcissistic prat, was in the same accident, and came out of a two-week coma with his own powers and some fresh scars that marred his "all-American" (read: unthreatening white male) good looks. He freaked out on her for coming out of the accident clean, especially since she had been driving, and blamed her for their crash into the truck. They broke up there and then, while he was still in his hospital bed, and she only learned a couple months later that he'd started using his powers to enable a crime spree.

Since then, Peregrine has had a string of failed relationships, in her mid-30s now with no signs of this bad luck stopping. Two of her previous boyfriends have died, one in a freak accident within a week of proposing to her, and the other murdered and stuffed into a fridge by a villain who she had crossed paths with one too many times. After recovering from that second death, she's kept her relationships restricted to her secret identity, so nobody can pin boyfriends to Peregrine again and repeat the act.

Peregrine is an unassumingly pretty woman in her civilian life, who "dresses to repress" -- thick nerd-glasses, baggy t-shirts and jeans (or bulky sweaters in the winter) that hide her figure, and her long brown hair tied back in a simple ponytail. In costume, she looks and acts completely different, with her hair flying free and flaunting her ample figure in a skin-tight suit that leaves little to the imagination. Unfortunately for her reputation, she's hardly the first to go this route with her public persona, meaning she's easily mistaken for other heroines with regularity. Still, she has a small but intense group of fans who admire her from afar and spend far too much time in online groups dedicated to discussing her latest exploits (including, in one infamous case, a wardrobe malfunction during a fight that revealed once and for all she doesn't wear a bra underneath her costume).

No comments: