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The cover to Astro City: Beautie Special
Art by Alex Ross
|First appearance||Astro City #1 (1995)|
|Created by||Kurt Busiek
|Team affiliations||Honor Guard|
|Abilities||Is an android endowed with:
-Enhanced senses, durability, and stamina
-A high-level A.I.
Beautie is a fictional character in the comic book series Astro City. Created by writer Kurt Busiek and artists Brent Anderson and Alex Ross, Beautie is a powerful android hero and a member of Astro City's premiere super-hero team, the Honor Guard.
Fictional character biography
Beautie is a perfect life-size replica of the doll sold by Tip-Top Toys, based on the real-life fashion doll series Barbie. In imitation of her source material's popularized attitudes, she is preoccupied with all manner of clothing and accessories.
Beautie was built by a then 8-year-old Elaine Girbachs – daughter of criminal technologist "Dr. Gearbox" – to be a playmate, companion, and protector. Despite all of the intelligence and cleverness of this little girl, her father merely ridiculed and shunned her creation, evidently humiliated that such an advanced android had been built by his daughter single-handedly. Elaine ordered Beautie to leave and to forget about her, but her A.I. developed and resisted the command, repeatedly leading Beautie back to her creator over the years.
Beautie arrived in Astro City in the fall of 1969, with no memory of her past. Her first heroic act was foiling the kidnapping of Joanie Wheaton, the heir to the Wheaton Investments fortune. Six months later, she assisted Honor Guard in defeating the Toymaker, who'd attempted to copy her design to build a robotic toy army. The Honor Guard brought her into their ranks, leading to legal action declaring her a free person, using the Loony Leo v. Fago's Funny Features decision as precedent. As part of the case settlement, Beautie acts as the corporate symbol and representative for Tip-Top Toys, making appearances nationwide.
In 1978, she broke up an attack on the Astro City Gay Freedom March, which has led the gay community to adopt her as their favorite hero. She currently resides in an apartment located over a gay bar in Astro City. This results in isolation from male admirers with romantic notions, which is perfectly fine with her – she was not designed to be anatomically correct, plus her skin is rigid ferrostyrene on an omnitanium frame.
Over the course of her heroic career, she has been destroyed twice, once by the Living Nightmare, and once by The Silver Brain's sledgehamsters. Each time, she has been rebuilt.
She is a friend of The Tourist.
Powers and abilities
Beautie is a powerful android with a highly sophisticated artificial intelligence. She has a high degree of resistance to injury and in the event of catastrophic damage can be rebuilt and repaired. She has a broad array of sensory devices and her computerized mind permits total recall, although Elaine Girbachs's orders to forget about her can cause periods of repetitive amnesia over information gathered which relates to her. She also possesses significant strength and flight abilities.