The 30 Million Dollar Woman

disruptorAs a crimefighting vigilante, Dani was slowly building a reputation in her neighborhood as the Ghost of Cabrini. But she didn’t like her superhero name very much. “I don’t want to be a ghost,” she complains. “I don’t want to be alone in the dark.”

Dani spent her nights haunting Russian mobsters, sex traffickers, and the lords of Dogtown. Even though she was trained in the military arts of infiltration, exfiltration, hand-to-hand combat, guns, knives, and anything else she could get her hands on, she was fighting a losing battle. She needed a sidekick, preferably one with the skills of Oracle and Overwatch.

Enter Kevin Moynihan, the wayward scion of the city’s wealthiest family. Until recently, his life was filled with endless parties and stupid stunts. He was a rich playboy dilettante who didn’t know the meaning of the word comeuppance. In no way was he sidekick material.

But after Dani saved his life from a group of Dogtown gangbangers, Kevin knew he had to turn his life around. He contacted Dani and proposed a crimefighting partnership. So what if he didn’t have the strength of a spider or the sting of a wasp. He had other useful superpowers. “I’ve got devastating good looks, irresistible charm, and a trust fund with no credit limit,” he says with a wink.

How could Dani resist such a rascal? He was persistent and cute. After getting frisky in the front seat of his car one night, the two decided to go into the superhero business together. She & Him Consolidated (with extracurricular benefits).

In a way, author Sonya Clark has turned the superhero/sidekick relationship on its head. In her world, the sidekick was the nurturing one with Bruce Wayne-like resources (and Wassily Kandinsky artistic skills). The superhero, on the other hand, was the emotionally fragile badass who needed a bit of tutelage.

To be fair, Dani never wanted to be a superhero in the first place. She was a runaway street kid who was coerced into being a lab experiment. After five years of biotech implants and gene therapy, she was transformed into some kind of cyborg super soldier. She was the $30 million woman, an “A+ killing machine,” she says.

Now on her own, she was a creature of righteous fury. Her number one priority was to protect women who were being bought and sold like chattel. “These traffickers,” she says, “they don’t even think we’re human. Women to them are nothing but property. Like buying a new car. Shit, they treat their fucking cars better than the women they sell.”

Kevin’s duties as sidekick were a bit more ambiguous. What was his job, exactly? He was willing to provide food, shelter, and material support. He was well connected in the community and was a pretty good wheelman. He was also available for boyfriend duties too. That definitely put him outside the Dick Grayson/Bucky Barnes paradigm. Ultimately, his job was simple. “You want to help people,” he tells his new charge, “and I want to help you do that.”

Once things get sorted out, Dani dons a superhero costume and announces her debut on social media @PSDisrupter. “I’m not a ghost. I’m very real. But I will haunt the streets of Point Sable and make life hell for those who hurt the innocent. I will fight for the powerless. I will defend the weak. I will disrupt the status quo.” So tweets the Disruptor!

[Disruptor / By Sonya Clark / First Printing: October 2016 / ISBN: 9781539137948]

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