There is so much more I could have done with this character in terms of effects and shading the clothing, but I like it. Sometimes you just have to get the concept out there.
In this case, I was trying to make a version of Dorothy Gale that was true to the original, but also a fresh character. Thinking of her as DOROTHY GALE led me to several unoriginal false starts. Suddenly, I had this image in my head of her wearing feathers, and I made up my mind to do a Native American Dorothy. I’d never done a Native American character before, and with my initial plan to use Dorothy as the basis for my Elemental Witch of the Air, it just felt right to me. Here’s Dorothy Windrider, Iroquois shamaness of the Air:
Aliases: Dorothy Windrider, Dorothy Gale, Ataen
Team Affiliation: The Iroquois Nation, Heaven
Enemies: Theodora Kindle, Society of Foes, Robbie Boyle, Fifth Hour, Mad Jack
Birthplace: Seneca, New York
Powers/Abilities: Possesses a piece of Ataensic (a Knavium-rich meteorite which gives her wind-manipulation abilities, such as flight and compressed-air concussion/cutting blasts), Skilled in the ancient Iroquois mystic arts.
Bio: Long ago, a meteorite crashed into the Earth, bringing with it a strange substance wrought elsewhere in the heavens. First discovered by a tribe of Seneca Iroquois during a bloody land dispute with neighboring factions, the Seneca people believed it to be a gift from their sky goddess (hence the name Ataensic), and had it divided evenly among the tribes as a gesture of peace. Since then, those judged worthy of the title of Ataen (a tribal shaman tasked with maintaining balance and open communication with Ataensic, the Sky-Woman) inherited the meteorite fragment, which gave the bearer power over the air.
Now, rites of initiation have given way to simple family inheritance.
With no immediate family, Dorothy Gale was adopted by Emma and Henry Windrider, her aunt and uncle who lived on the Allegany Reservation, a plot of government-sanctioned Iroquois land in her birth state of New York. Life on the Reservation was peaceful, until the Windriders were killed in an attack by Lasair mercenaries. Who authorized the apparent assassination of her family (and most of the Allegany population) and why is still unclear, but it led Dorothy to discover an Ataen amulet, along with a note and a diary in her aunt’s handwriting, hinting at some kind of conspiracy regarding the meteorite fragments. Dorothy has since become an avid student of Iroquois history and mysticism, and embarked on a journey through her ancestors’ tribal lands in search of any other surviving Ataen. Thoughts of the conspiracy have made her wary of Dr. Jack Card (later known as the vigilante Mad Jack) and his team of scientists (the trio who would become Fifth Hour). In her travels, Dorothy has also come to blows with Lasair mercenary Theodora Kindle and the recently revived Robbie Boyle, a vicious railroad tycoon who died in the Old West.
An unexpected side-effect of her mystic dabblings would prove to be a connection to the realm of Heaven, bringing her into contact with the angel Temeluchus, who would serve as her spirit guide and later father her a child.