Margaret Isobel Shaw had always been a tomboy growing up. It helped that she was unusually tall and strong for her age. When she hit puberty, though, the true extent of her increased strength became obvious, along with her inability to get hurt. She was chasing a football and dodged into the road to get it... and promptly got hit by a delivery truck. The truck was hurt worse from the impact than she was. Her friends and her family all talked to her about becoming a superhero, but that just wasn't interesting to her. She didn't want to dress up in a funny set of tights and hit people for a living. Her father called her selfish for not thinking of others and using her gifts on behalf of the public. Her mother just shrugged. Clara... sweet Clara who created such deep and abiding feelings in Margaret... thought she ought to do it as well. But Margaret was having none of it. She was set on staying at home, getting a job, and working for the rest of her life.
The staying at home ended when her dad found out about Clara. He tossed Margaret out, declaring that no godless lesbian would live under his roof and eat his food. After that she wandered for a while, taking what she had to when she got hungry enough, working odd jobs when she could find them. She'd been a rootless vagabond for two years when she heard about the fight in Bermuda. The so-called "Great Bermuda Punchout", whose prize was whatever the person asked for. It wasn't much of a hope, but it was a small hope. Hating the fact that she was doing it, Margaret used her strength to rip an automated teller machine from a bank's wall. The money she stole funded her plane ticket to Bermuda.
Once there she had no idea what she would do next. She got to the arena and filled out the entry forms. Then she "auditioned" by being thrown into the ring with a short, barrel-chested man who called himself Steeplejack. Steeplejack was much stronger than she was, but none of the punches Steeplejack threw even so much as bruised her. Eventually, she wore the short man down enough to knock his head into the wall. Officially, she was in the tournament.
It wasn't anything like what she expected. She was the youngest competitor by far, and one of only two women. But using the same tactics as she used with Steeplejack (who she had to fight again during the course of the tournament), she managed to win her way to the final round. Unfortunately, the final fight was against Strength of TAROT, the so-called "strongest man in the world", and a defending five time champion. For the first time in her life, Margaret had met someone taller than she, and it frightened her. This was Strength... everyone knew about this criminal. He'd killed the last man he fought in the finals, and there he was on the other side of the arena, staring at Margaret as if she were something he scraped off of his shoe.
The fight was brutal. Unlike her previous opponents, Strength seemed to have endless reserves of energy. And he was so strong she was actually feeling his blows. It swiftly became obvious that the man was playing with Margaret, almost as if he had some psychological need to terrorize and dominate women. He shrugged off her hardest blows as if they were nothing, and then would toss her around the arena like a ragdoll. Margaret's vision constructed to a very narrow tube when Strength grabbed her by the back of her head, pulled her up off her feet, and drove her face-first into the concrete wall. She expected him to finally finish her off at that point...
But he stepped away. She shook as she climbed to her hands and knees, hoping her vision would clear enough to see what was coming.
The arrogant prick was playing to the crowd. Strength had his back to her. His arms were raised over his head and he was pumping his fists up and down like a jackass would, playing the crowd's excitement. If ever she was going to make a move, now would be the time.
With desperate haste, she lept to her feet as best she could and jumped onto Strength's back. Quickly, she wrapped her arms around his neck and squeezed as hard as she could. She could feel his hands grasping at her back, trying to get a hold of her to tear her off... but his movements were getting slower and slower, more and more sluggish. In seconds, it was over. Strength was unconscious, and Margaret had won.
She couldn't believe it. She stood there, standing over Strength's body, when she abruptly collapsed. She woke up in one of Lord Doom's hospitals, with her broken left arm in a cast and her head wrapped up in gauze. In front of her bed stood a handsome older man in a very expensive suit. He congratulated her on her unexpected win, and then asked her what it was she wanted as her prize. It was only after he asked this that she realized that this was Lord Doom.
Not so scary after all... just a man in a really good-looking suit, with a bit of a clever smile. Margaret thought about what she wanted as her prize. Asking for money was easy; she read once that money was the most commonly asked for reward. Most winners ask for a million dollars. A couple had asked for five million. One, the winner of the second ever International Fighting Championship, had asked Lord Doom for a hundred million dollars and had got it. But Margaret wasn't really sure that just money would be what she wanted. She thought about it as the man himself stood there patiently, waiting. Finally, she made her request. Lord Doom smiled at her, and nodded. It was easily enough done.
Six months later, Margaret began her Oxford education. Her tuition, all applicable fees, and even the rent on a small apartment were all being paid for by Lord Doom, whose only request in return was that she apply herself to her studies to the best of her ability. And she did. It was during her tenure at Oxford that she first met the woman who would be the great love of her life: Fiona Richards. The flighty engineering student was everything she wanted in a woman. When Margaret graduated with her economics degree, she wondered if their relationship would survive the distance since she wouldn't be staying in the Oxford area. But Fiona had already thought of that. Wonderful, brilliant, absent-minded Fiona had founded a company, and hired Margaret to be her Chief Operating Officer.
That suited Margaret just fine. It let her be with Fiona, let her take care of her friend's safety (and let her save Fiona's life on two occasions), and let her put her skills to use at the head of a massive multinational corporation.
Personality and MotivationsEdit
Margaret Shaw is a woman who hasn't always known what she wanted out of life, but always had a knack of figuring out how to get it once she did know. She's practical and down to earth, and eschews the flashy life for a quiet existence taking care of the love of her life. Fiona Richards, her partner in both life and business, is the one person in the world Margaret would walk into hell for. (Several years ago, a team of kidnappers found this out the hard way when they tried to capture Fiona Richards in Mexico City.) She isn't interested in fame or fortune (though she is wealthy and famous now), and thinks the idea of using her powers as a crime-fighter is laughable. She's not callous or uncaring, and would step in to help should a bad situation happen in front of her, but she never goes looking for trouble.
Margaret is still recognized in some circles as "the only woman ever to win the Great Bermuda Punchout". Its not something she particularly enjoys anymore, though once upon a time she found the attention flattering.
And what d'you think you'll be doin', trying to shoot me like that?"
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Margaret is a mutant with heightened strength, but her true power lies in her ability to shrug off almost all damage. In the past, she's fallen from great heights, been run over by a semi truck, and been hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. While her clothing didn't necessarily survive, she always did.
Though the exact limits of her strength are unknown, she does know that she's among the strongest people on the planet. In the past, she has lifted up to eighteen tons over her head and thrown it.
She is a capable hand-to-hand fighter, though she doesn't play it up, and she never actively seeks out trouble. Other than her physical strength and invulnerability, she has a keen and quick mind. People often underestimate her intelligence because of her size.
Margaret Shaw has always been tall. As a child she was gawkish, and now she just towers over everyone around her. Her height is as much a part of her mutation as her invulnerability is. Margaret has long, flowing red hair that she normally wears in a tight bun during business hours. Off hours, she's been known to pull it into a pony-tail.
She prefers business suits and skirt-sets in much more conservative colors than Fiona Richards wears. She is in fantastic shape without being grotesquely muscular. She doesn't wear a "costume", and doesn't consider herself a superhero. She's a bodyguard and lover to Fiona, and that's all.