We’ve saved the best for last. For our final profile of Silver City’s legendary Liberty League, we bring you that singing sensation, that flying fury, that heartthrob of millions of American servicemen, that gorgeous gal whose image graced the noses of more B-17s than anyone besides Betty Grable during the dark days of the Second World War, the one, the only, BOMBERGIRL!

BOMBERGIRL

Bombergirl

Raleigh-born Caryn Marshall was just another freshman at a North Carolina university until the day in 1940 when an accident forever altered her life. In tests sponsored by the U.S. War Department (which was alarmed by the expanding conflicts in Europe and China) professors and graduate students in the Science building were experimenting with the newly discovered delta radiation, seeking to create a new form of “super weapon”. A sudden explosion (never explained) leveled the building, killing everyone within. Caryn, who was walking near the building at the time, wasn’t injured by the blast but was exposed to a high concentration of delta radiation. Within days, Caryn was horrified when she experienced drastic changes happening to her body. She discovered that she was able to project orbs of explosive plasma from her hands. Even worse (from Caryn’s point of view) were the rudimentary wings which were starting to grow from her shoulder blades; as a part-time model for print advertisements, Caryn was alarmed and concerned that her burgeoning career was over. She attempted to hide her wings from friends and family but her new appendages continued to grow until she was no longer able to conceal them.

Caryn needn’t have worried; her feathered wings gave her an angelic appearance which enhanced her (already considerable) attractiveness. Instead of losing modeling jobs, she was offered even more work. But there was a price to be paid: Caryn soon learned that leading a “normal life” was nearly impossible due to her altered appearance. She was “rescued” by a visit from Liberty Lass of Silver City’s Liberty League; the League would provide her with a home (and a large measure of privacy and security from the public at large) if she would agree to join the team. Caryn eagerly accepted and in due course became a key member of the League. In the team’s conflicts against saboteurs, mobsters, and other miscreants, Caryn’s preferred method of attack by swooping down from the sky and dropping explosive plasma orbs on her foes earned her the sobriquet “Bombergirl”.

Bombergirl adapted a Woman’s Army Corps (WAC) uniform as her costume, and made it considerably more (*ahem*) revealing. In addition to her superheroic activities with the Liberty League, Bombergirl made regular appearances to support the purchase of war bonds as well as to promote other defense-related organizations. Caryn was an accomplished singer and often performed popular songs of the day during her personal appearances. After the U.S. entered the war, Bombergirl became a popular “pin-up girl” among the troops and her likeness was to grace the noses of more U.S. warplanes than anyone else (aside from Betty Grable).

After Caryn made a few short films encouraging civilians to “Buy Bonds”, Hollywood took an interest in the young heroine; she was to make several films when acting didn’t interfere with her Liberty League duties. Her debut opposite Cary Grant in the screwball comedy Angel Over My Shoulder released in late 1942 led directly to other roles. The movie A Wing and a Prayer, in which Caryn played the guardian angel of a young airman (the first starring role for William Bendix), became one of the highest-grossing films of 1943. Bombergirl’s third (and final) movie was also a 1943 release, a surreal film noir called Good and Evil. She also portrayed an angel in that film, in which her character matched wits against a demoness (Rita Hayworth) for the soul of an amoral private detective (played by Bruce Cabot). Tired of being typecast, Caryn quit Hollywood after Good and Evil’s release; she made an occasional exception, appearing in a few short films produced to rally public support for war bonds.

In addition to singing and acting, Bombergirl was also an accomplished writer; she’d been a college journalism student before her accidental exposure to delta radiation. Her curiosity and interest in varied and wide-ranging subjects, as well as her desire to be seen as more than just another pretty face, led her to begin writing professionally (when her duties as a Liberty League member permitted) in mid-1943. Her subjects were primarily historical in nature; her series of personal profiles of surviving American World War I pilots was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post.

Even though Caryn sought (and gained) recognition for her intellectual and heroic achievements, the public (particularly men) never let her forget that her other claim to fame was her unique beauty. The Esquire magazine issue which featured an Alberto Vargas painting of a (tastefully) nude Bombergirl was the publication’s highest-selling issue of the 1940’s and it was not unusual for Liberty League headquarters to weekly receive hundreds of letters and postcards addressed to Bombergirl (primarily from servicemen, more than a few of which offered marriage proposals).

Through it all, Bombergirl never lost her sweet and generous nature. Although she ultimately became an iconic figure of 1940’s American culture, she never became jaded or self-absorbed. She made frequent (and unadvertised, to keep the “media circus” at bay) appearances in schools to talk to children about the importance of gaining an education and serving one’s community. It was a common occurrence for her to pull a serviceman or defense worker from a dangerous spot, then give him a quick peck on the cheek and a honeyed “Be careful, sugar” before flying off to the next crisis. Bombergirl’s inherently gentle nature and easy Carolina charm made her beloved by all (except the spies and saboteurs she so often fought).

Bombergirl vanished along with the rest of the Liberty League in 1946. Their fate has never been determined.

IDENTITY: Caryn Marshall
NAME: Bombergirl
SIDE: G
SEX: F
AGE: 24 (b.1922)
EXPERIENCE: 27,000
LEVEL: 7
TRAINING: Strength
POWERS:

  1. Wings – PP=1/hr, Speed=145 MPH (636″/turn)
  2. Power Blast (Plasma Orbs) – PP=1/shot, Range=15″, Damage=1d20

WEIGHT: 115 lbs.
BASIC HITS: 3
AGILITY MOD:
STRENGTH: 11
ENDURANCE: 18
AGILITY: 24
INTELLIGENCE: 12
CHARISMA: 16   REACTIONS FROM GOOD: +2  FROM EVIL: -2
HIT MOD.: 6.05
HIT POINTS: 19
DAMAGE MOD.: +3
HEALING RATE: 1.5
ACCURACY: +4
POWER POINTS: 65
CARRYING CAPACITY: 195.6875 lbs.
BASIC HTH DAMAGE: 1d4
MOVEMENT RATES: 53″ ground/636″ flying
DET. HIDDEN: 12%
DET. DANGER: 12%
INVENTING POINTS: 1
CASH: $
INVENTING %:
LEGAL STATUS: Member Liberty League
OTHER INFORMATION: Bombergirl has worked as a model, and is an accomplished singer, writer, and actress.

Bombergirl is all set to kick ass and break hearts in your own Villains and Vigilantes campaign. If she appears in your world, please let me know how she’s doing — on Earth-1 we miss her very, very much.

Sweet dreams CM.

Steve

Copyright 2010, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.

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