Better Angels: Ripperclaw of the Villainous Nine

RipperclawWritten by Greg Stolze and illustrated by Kurt Komoda, © 2014

Dorothy Virden was not the first Ripperclaw.  That distinction fell to an Australian with terrible gender identity issues, an insatiable thirst for blood, and multiple-personality problems that left his demon’s voice as one among several.  The Villainous Four tried to restrain him but, when it became clear that Ripperclaw couldn’t prevail, the host threw himself off a skyscraper.  After recovering his amulet, they impressed it upon Dorothy, who’d made quite a name for herself in Springfield Illinois, agitating for an end to the state’s notoriously corrupt “Combine” politics.

This was before Guts got recruited, so for a while she was the only woman on the team, and that bothered her quite a bit.  The lack of racial diversity didn’t impress her either, and that was one reason she voted to admit Nahari Sengupta.  Her debate with Null about racial and gender politics got quite heated.

How did Dot end up in this position?  Once upon a time, she was a nice lefty-liberal housewife (who felt terribly guilty about her position as a housewife vis a vis politicized gender roles but also didn’t want to take a job away from someone who needed it more and besides, the developmental benefits of having a stay-at-home parent were pretty hard to deny her kids).  She got involved with the school board as a concerned parent, which led her into local politics, and she just got deeper and deeper because she could always see how it was being done wrong—and not just blatant graft, but incompetence and laziness and plain foolishness that didn’t even benefit anyone!

She did not have the charisma to get elected, but she was a force behind the scene, a tireless organizer, and it is a grievous irony that her husband and youngest child (her daughter Doreen) were killed by a trucker who’d bribed his way to a license for which he wasn’t qualified.  Her agitations helped get a governor jailed, and attracted the attention of General Null.  She agreed to join his cabal once her surviving son was in college.

Her mortal form is a forgettable middle-aged woman with a weak jaw and frizzy, greying hair.  It makes her deeply uncomfortable to use Ripperclaw’s Impossible Beauty power, which transforms her into an absurdly proportioned blonde bombshell.  But the demon insists.  At least her current Ripperclaw costume doesn’t have a stupid boob window or miniskirt.

Greed 2, Generosity 2
Espionage 3, Knowledge 2

Cruelty 1, Courage 3
Cowardice 3, Endurance 0

Corruption 2, Nurture 3
Deceit 3, Honesty 1

POWERS: Impossible Beauty, Ineffable Defense

ASPECTS: Horned (in this case, bigass claws), Invisible


Better Angels cover