~ Adrianna Claire
Adrianna Claire is a Hollywood superstar gone vigilante. She quotes Shakespeare constantly and can't let a minute go by without a joke. She joined the Atlanteans after the events of Heroes I.
Adrianna, born Adrianne Malena Synthia Westbridge-Claire, was birthed in the Claire Private Hospital in downtown New York on December 5th, 2010 to Francis Claire and Edwina Westbridge. Francis Claire was a manipulative, controlling prick who just would not get off his high horse, and Edwina was a lovely, mud-brained mess of a woman with a chip on her shoulder.
The two were perfect for each other.
Growing up, Adrianne was a troublesome child, resisting rules and fussing over every little thing. It didn't help that her stuck-up parents treated her like a fully-grown woman born into nobility in the dagblasted Middle Ages, and the etiquette lessons never ended. In case it wasn't covered by your common sense, trying (and the keyword here being trying) to teach a six-year-old girl etiquette akin to Queen Elizabeth is not the brightest idea anyone's ever had. In fact, it's one of the stupider ones. But try her parents did.
By age 8 she was enrolled in a karate class, and she took it as a respite from the endlessly droll etiquette lessons, and enjoyed it thoroughly. By age 11 she was a full-fledged black belt. Her parents were, needless to say, stunned by her focus and like of karate, and how quickly she had mastered it. And, seeing as how she (now possessing the level of consciousness and pure physical strength to outright refuse to take part etiquette lessons or business lessons or any other amount of boring lesson) had put her foot down and just would not take anymore of their lessons, her parents decided to continue her down that path, arguably the most selfless decision they ever made concerning her, though at some points she began to wish she were taking etiquette lessons again.
In her spare time (which was very little, given the sheer amount of martial arts classes her parents had enrolled her in), she read comics, completely ignoring the stacks upon stacks of books about business her parents had handed her. They even scolded her, saying that if she put as much interest into reading those business books as she did into reading comics, she could be a certified businesswoman within weeks, and continue the family legacy. Adrianna did not like this idea, to say the least. Reading those comics was the only activity she had that wasn't either physically exerting or mentally exhausting. It was an escape from the grim of the world of 2033, and, under the tutelage of zen karate masters and her bleak, argumentative parents, it was the source of her humor.
She also seemed to be incapable of forgetting things she reads, having an impossibly impeccable memory. She could recite the most interesting bits of every comic she'd read, even if she'd only read it once.
When the movie adaptation of her favorite comicbook came out in 2024, Adrianna became obsessed with many of the actors and actresses in the movie, and longed to be an actor. To this day, she still can't quite explain what exactly came over her, or why she was so suddenly interested in being an actor. It just felt right. She'd never thought about it before. At least, not in that way. Sure, like every other child, she'd daydreamed about being a famous actor, fantasized about the fame, but she'd never really wanted it. It was so sudden to her.
Her parents were, at first, unimpressed by her new obsession and appallingly indifferent, encouraging her to push her dream aside to make way for the family business, or her karate work. A year passed and Adrianna had managed to finagle her way into an acting class after months and months of whining, nagging, begging, pleading, bribing, wishful thinking, and a somewhat obnoxious amount of incessant pestering. Her parents caved, and she was enrolled in drama class.
Years later, the movie adaptation of another one of Adrianne's favorite comics, a recent series entitled Black Angel: The Hunt was announced to be in progress. Adrianne, now 18, was, understandably, excited.
Her parents, realizing that their daughter would never follow in their footsteps and prove to be a promising businesswoman, and that karate would lead nowhere special, fought tooth and nail to get her the lead role in Black Angel. When the Claires had succeeded, there was a large, mysterious dent in the Claire bank account, and Adrianna, to her delight, was cast as Black Angel, the bounty hunting, Shakespeare-quoting mercenary in the sci-fi world of the Black Angel universe.
For the first time in years, Adrianna felt a hint of gratitude towards her parents.
The filming was tough, being a high-budget, revolutionary sci-fi action film set in an entirely fictional world in the far future. Black Angel, the main character, was an agile, cybernetically-enhanced bounty hunter who regularly performed stunning feats of wonder while she killed her enemies. Flipping, barrel rolls, insane stunts, all the while using her famed robotic wings - and Adrianna did it all herself. Whether her acting ability was up to par with the other actresses who had been considered for the part before the Claires had "lost" four million dollars is up for debate, but it was her incredible dexterity and likable, relatable public figure (and more lost thousands from the Claire wallet) that paved her path to stardom. She was a public icon, beloved by the masses, and raking in the cash, making Black Angel the biggest hit of the year.
And she had only turned twenty a month after the movie was released. She got numerous offers for other big production, and she had a hard time choosing between them. For the first time in her life, Adrianna was really, truly, happy. She went on to star in a whole other film, this one a true story about the oil rig conspiracy thwarted by Sean Brinkley not long prior. The movie was a hit as well, and Adrianna's name was credited with making whatever it was plastered on famous. She got sponsorship calls, commercial calls, fan mail, the obligatory hate mail, it was all wonderful.
"So we all know your family, the Claires, and we know about you're hobbies, but tell us," Kenzie "Karma" Carmington asked Adrianna. It was an interview on her late-night talkshow, and Adrianna was feeling swell. Kenzie ended the dramatic pause, "who's that special someone in your life?"
That question hit home. It really did. When Adrianna was 15, she'd been infatuated with a boy named John Darby. He'd been kidnapped, though. Not an easy way to end a relationship. Adrianna took a deep breath, her usual smile fading momentarily.
"I . . . " There had been another, too. After she'd gotten through the loss of John, she'd begun dating a man named Arthur, during production of Black Angel. She had managed to keep it entirely hidden from the press and her parents - quite the feat - and they'd even been engaged to be married, but on April 8th he up and vanished without saying anything. That had hurt. Quite a lot.
Kenzie lifted a hand apologetically.
"I'm sorry, was that too personal?" Kenzie asked. "You don't have to answer that, if you don't want to."
"No, it's fine," Adrianna answered, lifting her head up and looking back at Kenzie.
"You sure? You had a look on your face . . . "
Adrianna bit her lip. What to say . . .
"Yeah, I was realizing how lonely I am, because I don't have anyone," she said jokingly, her famed smile coming back. Kenzie laughed, as did the audience.
I don't have anyone.
It wasn't long after Spill, the flick about the oil company, that Adrianna was called back for the pre-production of the sequel to her first hit, Black Angel II: Fugitive, beginning where the last one ended, with Black Angel and her fiance on the run from the Tiberian government. The movie was another hit, and Adrianna was nominated for an Oscar. She had, for some time now, settled into the habit of regularly quoting Shakespeare, much like the character she played in Black Angel, which the press seemed to think was cute.
Things were going swimmingly.
Then she was kidnapped. It had been an ordinary day's walk back to her apartment (she had long since moved out of her parent's house, finally freeing herself of their control), and she had been a street away, when something, or someone . . . she honestly couldn't remember, but somehow, she had been kidnapped. She had awoken who knows how long later, in a chamber somewhere.
She had been experimented on. Months of the stuff. It was like torture.
Then one day, it all stopped. She had been set free. She had awoken in the middle of a field just outside Chicago, with nought but the clothes on her back - and the wings on her back.
She had never seen her torturer, nor had she known where she had been experimented on. But she would be able to make an educated guess by the time she made her way to Atlantis.
After a week of some aimless wandering and avoiding the press, she came to the conclusion that, holy crap, she was completely irreversible and she couldn't help that. Okay, that was out of the way. What then? She couldn't go to her parents. The pricks wouldn't let her in, because of the combination of grudge for her leaving and finding the wings on her back hideous.
They weren't hideous. Adrianna even thought, in some way, they were sort of beautiful. But whoever had tracked her down and experimented on her, by golly, was a sadistic one. The type of twisted mind it takes to make such a sick joke like this. The wings were obviously in reference to the character she played in her hit movies.
Adrianna sucked it up and marched to a warehouse, broke in, stole a costume, and began fighting crime. It felt natural. She couldn't explain it. It was like how she had become obsessed with acting. It just felt right.
It wasn't long after that Doom tracked her down and recruited her, paving the path to her new stardom: Vigilante Superstar.
That was no mere title, either. It was well deserved. She had taken to fighting crime with flash, pizzaz, and non-lethality. The public named her for her costume's resemblance to Black Angel, and rightfully so, as that was exactly what it was. She created a Twitter account, which she only posted from while in flight (so no one could track her location), and this was a huge hit with the masses. It wasn't long before she was the talk of the city - the Black Angel.
She had made her own fame. And it felt good.