Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Favourite Characters: Bad & Bookish

It's a shame my cursory research reveals today's favourite character just wasn't around that much. But she doesn't wear that much, so... wey-hey!

Jennifer Maloy (Ace name 'Wraith') is a super-powered librarian sneak thief created by John J. Miller for the Wild Cards series of mosaic novels edited by the famous George R. R. Martin.

A certain librarian buddy of mine (doesn't dress like this) gave me the first twelve Wild Cards novels for my most recent birthday, and I've just finished book four.

The story continues to unfold for me of an Earth forever altered by the Takis-A xenovirus, an engineered plague from space that killed tens of thousands when it appeared in the 1940's, mutated thousands into hideous 'jokers', and bestowed unfathomable superpowers on lucky hundreds.

Such as Jennifer Maloy, a mild-mannered librarian whose intangibility power (like X-Men's Kitty Pryde or the Justice League's Martian Manhunter & his 'niece') allows her to pass through solid objects like... a wraith. The catch is, she can't be intangible AND carry stolen items AND support much in the way of clothing. It's either booty or boo-tay! Tee-hee!

She's a thief for thrills and a good cause: she steals from the corrupt and gives to battered women and homeless kitties.

Many of the "superheroes" in the Wild Card stories are only vaguely heroic, with many dragging MASSIVE feet of clay. I appreciate Wraith for her titillation factor, but also because she's genuinely kind and good in a primarily grim-and-gritty universe.

(I like the robotic Modular Man & the rotund telekinetic Turtle, too, but they don't make as pleasing a picture in their bikinis.)

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