Omnipedia Entry: Virginia Duncan-Purcell
(The Debutante, Debutante, Ginny Duncan-Purcell, and Gilly Purcell also redirect to this page.)
Virginia ‘Ginny’ Duncan-Purcell, after being exposed to one of Lady Velvet’s alchemical potions, had her age frozen at 19 and powerful regeneration which she used to become the Greystone City villain known as the Debutante, who was active in the Emergence Era and Halcyon Days Era and died during the [yadalink name=”Apocalypse Agenda”]. The name also refers to a number of brief successors in the In Nadir Era, though none held the name for long.
Powers and Skills
Click to Show Emergence Era Spoilers
DETAILS Threat Level: Zeta
Tier: Fourth to Third
The Debutante is unaging and has the power of cellular regeneration. Any injury she receives heals itself almost instantly, leaving no scar. Injuries caused by certain mythical metals like aurichalcum take longer to heal — minutes instead of seconds — but heal as quickly. Even Ginny’s hair regenerates to its current length in moments. Perhaps as a side effect of Ginny’s regeneration, she seems to neither get ill nor age in any way, leaving her appearance at 19 years of age, more or less.
Ginny is charismatic and intelligent, given to elaborate schemes and well able to recruit others to her cause.
Click to Show Halcyon Days Era Spoilers
Halcyon Days Era
DETAILS Threat Level: Epsilon
By the Halcyon Days Era, Ginny has discovered that her regeneration means she almost never gets fatigued over physical effort. Even sleep seems optional, though she can apparently fall asleep if she so desires (and the psychological benefits and necessities of sleep do not change). Similarly, her regeneration makes almost any pain she feels transitory at most, and she has gotten used to blocking it out as needed. Between her regeneration and her training, she easily possesses prosahuman Olympic athletic levels of strength and acrobatic ability. She has trained extensively in combat, parkour, and the various skills a successful cat burglar needs, and has equipped herself accordingly.
Click to Show Apocalypse Agenda Era Spoilers
Apocalypse Agenda Era
Unfortunately, having had a large caliber aurichalcum-jacketed bullet effectively take the Debutante’s skull off, it became clear that while her body still regenerated, the memories and cognitive capacity that made Ginny who she was lost, leaving the resulting victim mindless. Perhaps as a result, within three days her autonomic nervous system shut down, her heart stopped beating and she passed away.
Click to Show In Nadir Era Spoilers
In Nadir Era
After Virginia Duncan-Purcell’s death during the Apocalypse Agenda, three different potential successors have attempted to take up her name and legacy in Greystone City. One died early, one is serving a life sentence and has not attempted to escape, and the third disappeared and is believed to either be on the run far from Greystone or in some kind of Witness Protection. A fourth ‘came out’ at the International Debutante Ball in Empire City, but was murdered by the Jack O’Knaves within a few weeks. None of these new ‘Debutantes’ ever exceeded the fourth tier, and their powers, if any, have not been catalogued.
Click to Show Origin Story and Emergence Era Spoilers
Virginia Duncan-Purcell, scion of both the aristocratic oil baron Duncan family and the hotel tycoon Purcell family was the toast of Greystone City's social register, particular among those families that clung to the social forms of bygone eras right into Greystone’s decline as a major city. Her coming out was at the Greystone International Cotillion, once heralded as a major competitor to Empire City's International Debutante Ball but seen as in decline in later years. On the year of Virginia’s coming out, expectations were higher than normal since the Cotillion had traditionally been hosted at the Purcell Regency Hotel in the heart of Greystone’s financial district, which made this particular Cotillion a family affair. The Purcells and Duncans alike spared no expense luring wealthy families and their 17-21 year old daughters to be presented at the event, with an eye to ensuring ‘Ginny’ would be the Belle of the Ball (and thereby help restore the Purcell Regency Hotel’s reputation and prosperity in the process).
Unfortunately, that much money, wealth, glamour, and style was sure to draw untoward attention. In this case, the Lady Velvet, the Seductive Siren of Sin herself, crashed the Ball with her alchemical concoctions and a phalanx of ‘debutantes’ and ‘escorts’ of her own. With her bewitching potions, Lady Velvet sought to take the creme de la creme of the International Social Scene hostage while liberating so many of them of their priceless jewels. Of course, she had no way of knowing that one of the families overseeing the event was the prestigious Montreal family… or that where the Montreals showed up, Nightstick and Cudgel were sure to follow.
The resulting fracas was a grand spectacle, spoken of highly by all, and the charitable donations funded by the Cotillion were easily triple what they had been in previous years. However, in all the excitement… absolutely no one paid the slightest bit of attention to Virginia Duncan-Purcell, and the fight left damages that would close the Purcell Regency for years worth of renovation, meaning the Cotillion was a smashing success, and the hopes of the Duncan and Purcell families were utterly ruined.
However, when Ginny (as with most of the other debutantes) was dosed with the Lady Velvet’s potent potions, she had an unexpected reaction, triggering secondary parahuman expression. In Ginny’s case, she learned she had gained the ability to regenerate from almost any injury even as her age froze at nineteen, leaving her the perfect picture of that grand, disastrous night for all time.
Crashing multiple social events in an effort to reclaim her ‘rightful’ social status led to Ginny’s eventual rejection by the upper crust. Disowned by a disappointed family, Virginia Duncan-Purcell decided that if she were now frozen at the instant of her coming out, then a Debutante she would be… and if she had to bedazzle, connive, and steal the money, trappings, and spotlight rightfully hers? Then so be it. After all, all of Greystone could be her Ball, and she would forever be its Belle.
Thanks to a number of easily swayed (and generally elder) gentlemen of means, the Debutante has amassed a decent fortune of her own. With that money she’s made certain to keep a cadre of henchmen and women on hand to execute her elaborate plans – all of which tend to seek the spotlight while stealing something prestigious in the foreground (and often stealing something lucrative in the background). The Debutante blames Nightstick for her downfall, but (particularly as he got closer to the Debutante’s eternal 19 years of age) found herself increasingly drawn to the handsome Cudgel, with more than one of her plots centering on making the Junior Justice Winger her permanent squire to every event.
Despite her inherent selfishness and staggering ego, the Debutante has little interest in actually hurting anyone. Well, physically, anyhow. And despite her resistance to injury and a natural grace and acrobatic nature, the Debutante rarely engages in anything so common as fisticuffs. She has people for that, after all. Among the other Dark Gods of Greystone she is generally seen as a peer, if something of a lightweight. She and Lady Velvet have something of a rivalry, but despite the circumstances of Ginny’s humiliation, that rivalry seems essentially friendly – and with the well documented ‘interest’ that Nightstick and the Lady Velvet have in one another, and the Debutante’s fixation on Cudgel, the pair of femme fatales have combined their forces more than once in the past.
Click to Show Halcyon Days Era Spoilers
Halcyon Days Era
With the Greystone Renaissance in full swing, a new and exciting era for the city growing, and the old social institutions crumbling to nothing, Ginny Duncan-Purcell, while still eternally nineteen and absolutely still utterly self obsessed, has moved on into that same new era. Now more of a celebutante, Ginny is often at the center of Greystone’s growing nightlife and club life, making it as a model and fashion designer and keeping at the forefront of rumors and tabloids alike. At the same time, she has also undergone significant training, learning just how far she can push a body that constantly regenerates, losing all sense of fear, and mastering skills from parkour to Tae Kwon Do. Having ruined the families that disowned her, absorbing and liquidating their assets in the process, and cultivating a close friendship with both Lady Velvet and the ganglord extraordinaire known as the Buzzard, Ginny Duncan-Purcell has secured both legal pardons and a solid position in this new, modern society… while spending her nights as one of the finest cat burglars in Greystone and worldwide. She and the second Cudgel developed a far more intense – in more ways than one – rivalry than the one she’d had with the original, especially as he reached his own age of majority. It was said that that Cudgel’s relationship with the Debutante was one of the factors in his eventual dismissal from Nightstick’s service – a dismissal that upset Ginny greatly, especially when the next Cudgel turned out to be another thirteen year old. After all, she did have standards.
As a solid, if secondary, Dark God of Greystone the Debutante has decent relationships with most of her peers. In addition to Lady Velvet (who often employs the cat burglar in her own schemes) and the Buzzard, she has been known to work with the Cypher and Thermostat. After the second Cudgel disappeared from Greystone, the Debutante eventually entered into a partnership with the assassin called Counterpoint. She also travelled to Grantham to contend with her old ‘beau’ Truncheon (and her old ‘romantic rival’ Amulet), and once had an extended adventure where she and Counterpoint found themselves squaring off against Truncheon and Crosspointe – an adventure that the two Dark Gods of Greystone lost definitively enough that they didn’t venture outside of Greystone’s city limits again for quite some time.
Rather than have thugs to do her dirty work, at this point the Debutante has an organization that in many ways became the model for the henches provided by the Service, making her something of a pioneer in her own way. And, though most of her schemes were foiled, between her money, resources, connections, and native intelligence, she managed to avoid prison for the most part. Certainly, the somewhat silly villain of the Emergence era matured into a threat during Halcyon Days. With that came less reticence over hurting people, though she generally left actual killing to Counterpoint, finding it distasteful and beneath her.
Click to Show Apocalypse Agenda Spoilers
Sadly, in the earliest days of what was later known as the Apocalypse Agenda, the Debutante uncovered evidence of some of the Jack O'Knaves's horrifying plans for the city. Selfish she may have been, but Ginny Duncan-Purcell wasn’t about to stand by while the Jack slaughtered thousands or even millions. She sought to get information out to Nightstick – even reaching out to the former second Cudgel, though at that point he was in no condition to return to a heroic lifestyle. Stymied by the Jack’s agents, the Debutante called the media and publicly mounted the stairs of Police Headquarters, demanding to be arrested and put into protective custody, shouting warnings of a disaster.
Tragically, the Jack O’Knaves had brainwashed Counterpoint – the Debutante’s own lover – to assassinate Ginny Duncan-Purcell after she reached the station but before she could issue anything more than a vague warning. Though the Debutante’s regeneration powers were at their peak, they couldn’t save her from a large caliber headshot capable of destroying the brain, and Ginny Duncan-Purcell, instead of warning Greystone City of the disaster to come, became its martyred harbinger.
Later, after breaking the Jack’s conditioning (at least somewhat), Counterpoint committed suicide in prison, closing the book on this tragedy.
Click to Show In Nadir Spoilers (includes Apocalypse Agenda spoilers)
In Nadir (fourth tier)
In the years since the end of the In Nadir era, the Debutante’s name has been assumed by (to date) three self-proclaimed successors in Greystone City proper. None had significant impact in the role. One is believed to be dead, one is serving a life sentence in prison, and the third is believed to either be in witness protection or is on the run far from Greystone. As of the time of “Interviewing Trey” there is no ‘Debutante’ among the Dark Gods of Greystone.
A different Debutante ‘came out’ at the International Debutante’s Ball in Empire City and briefly contended with Rodent, harnessing some form of arcane power. Sadly, six weeks after her debut she was murdered, almost certainly either by or on the orders of the Jack O’Knaves. No one else has attempted to assume the name since.
References and Stories
The Debutante’s Tagged Mentions
- Justice Wing (universe)
- ⎇001JW Cast Lists
- Villains of ⎇001JW
- Dark Gods of Greystone
- Villains of ⎇001JW
- Arcane Type
- Secondary Parahuman Expression
- ⎇001JW Cast Lists