Omnipedia: Mandalora Hartley Shapiro
Mandalora Hartley Shapiro
104 lbs. to 133 lbs. depending on era
Criminal Defense Lawyer
3-4 depending on the era, later none
Pentad of Guardians
Law Offices of Jackson, Thompson, Shapiro and Smith
Deceased (In Nadir Era)
Mandalora Hartley Shapiro was a law student at Columbia during the Emergence Era when she ended up rushing into Empire City's King Kurtzberg Tower at the start of the Skyquake. Though she was able to help evacuate civilians, she was caught in the backlash and placed in a temporary fractal timeline where she was an aspirant in the main temple of Themis, the Goddess of Justice, and the personification of divine order, fairness, law, natural law, and custom. Winning the right to be Themis’s Champion, Mandalora gained the ability to even the odds in any contest or battle, so that she would compete on a fair playing field at all times. Emerging from the fractal time alongside her friends the Pentad of Guardians, Mandy joined their ranks as Antonym. She quickly became an invaluable member and close friend of the Pentad of Guardians, and was a founding Excelsior before her disappearance in the early Halcyon Days Era. Mandy completed law school and passed the bar in multiple jurisdictions, including New York State and Rhode Island, and specialized in parahuman criminal defense.
Powers and Skills
When Mandy and her four closest friends were near the King Kurtzberg Building the night of the dimensional-shattering Skyquake, they ran in to help evacuate the panicking crowd while the reality distorting energies were detonating across the Empire City skyline. They succeeded in evacuating the crowd, only to get caught in one of the experiment’s surges, which caused reality and the timeline to ‘fractalize,’ forming five temporary alternate histories, with each of the friends being caught in a different history. Mandy was caught in a ‘world that never was’ based on the ancient greek myths. She was one of a hundred aspirants who traveled to serve in the black market high temple to Themis, the Titaness of Law and Order and the Personification and Goddess of Fair Play. The Aspirants spent years training and devoting themselves, all in an effort to be chosen as the Champion of Themis, the Divinely Appointed Opposition – the Antonym to any attacking force who could compete with them on their own level. During this time, Mandalora had no memory of her original life in Realspace.
Finally, at the high tournament that was the culmination of their quest, Mandalora was one of the two finalists. During the battle, her opponent’s sword broke when she blocked one of Mandalora’s strikes. Mandalora threw her own blade aside to continue the battle on an even footing. Later, her opponent got ahold of a large chunk of broken granite, striking Mandalora down and preparing to crush her with the stone. Mandalora refused to back down or yield, when suddenly a surge of power gave her the strength to leap up and shatter the rock. Her opponent grabbed Mandalora’s discarded sword, but Mandalora suddenly had a blade of darkness in her hand. And, though the two remained on an even footing, when her opponent lost the ability to leverage advantages or cheat, Mandalora came out victorious. It had turned out that her opponent’s attempted cheating offended Themis, and she granted the blessings of her Champion to Mandalora. She became the one who evens the odds, capable of fighting whole armies at their level but no more.
When she emerged from the fractal universe and remembered her friends, Mandy became the Black Pentad Point of the Pentad of Guardians, representing chaos – reflecting the chaotic nature of Antonym’s own ever-shifting powers. She and the rest of the Pentad were inherently aware that in some way they were destined to save the entire world, and Antonym served as their Advocate and the Adversary in that regard.
- Mandy’s youth as a goth punk/industrial/New Wave fan was no affectation or lie, and she never got over it, but after she became a mother she exclusively listened to her music with headphones on. As a result, after her death, Danni simply put her vinyl collection up as a single lot at the estate auction, where it was bought by a speculator for $375. That speculator then sold the albums individually in various online auctions for nearly $7,400.
- During her time as Antonym, Mandy always had a streak of hair dyed blue or purple while she dyed the rest of her hair black. After her forced retirement, she dyed her hair something close to her original chestnut brown and let it grow out.
Spoiler for the Shapiro children's later storiesAbsolutely by coincidence, since crossing the aisle and becoming a villain her daughter Leather always dyes her hair black for the field, with streaks of some other color — often the exact same shade of blue.
- In the twelve years her daughter Evvie trained to become an elite gymnast, Mandy never learned a single gymnastics term. She was extremely proud of her daughter, but as late as the Junior Olympics she was asking Evan when Omnipedia PopupThere are no Rings event in Womens' Artistic Gymnastics. There's also no pommel horse, high bar, or parallel bars. Similarly, Men's Artistic Gymnastics lack the uneven parallel bars and balance beam. were about to start.
- Mandy was nothing if not resourceful. Since her powers caused her pain later in life, she learned to use them almost like a danger sense.
- Mandy’s combat style is largely inspired by professional wrestling. In particular, Mandy fights like an old school heel mat wrestler — there’s a lot of Arn Anderson, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Dean Malenko in her combat style (assuming one of her adaptations doesn’t temporarily change that style.)
- Though the circumstances aren’t actually known, after her injury Mandy apparently once used her powers very close to (if not over) the danger threshold over having been delivered a pizza with pineapple on it. She remained unrepentant over this for the rest of her life.
- Mandy Hartley Shapiro is the direct counterpart to the Superguy character Mandy Harken.
Spoilers: Mandy's reasons for investigating the King Kurtzberg Tower in the first placeThis is directly alluded to when Mandy, having learned about Aiden Archer’s experiments, first went to investigate. She was hoping Archer had some means of giving her super powers, and for a brief time thought Evan Shapiro would be her best bet. She was wrong — but this directly mirrored the initial partnership between Mandy and Kid Solipsism.
- Heather Thompson, the senior partner at Mandy’s law firm, is based on Heather “Magneta” Thompson, a villain-turned-hero from my original Champions campaign back in 1981 (or thereabouts). She is also based on a similar Superguy character who worked at the Academy which became the Justice Wing Institute here, though the Superguy version of Heather was also a slant reference to a character belonging to Christopher Angelini.
References and Stories
- RTW Presents Meet The Pentad of Guardians!
- Justice Wing Excelsiors: Reaching Higher
- Justice Wing Excelsiors: Reorientation
- Justice Wing In Nadir: Transposition