Comic Book / Tomboy

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Addison Brody has a good life. She goes to a private school in the city, is on her school's field hockey team, has a boyfriend -sorry, best friend- she loves, and can talk about her favorite Magical Girl anime, Candy Castle with her best friend. All of this changes when she discovers that she no longer has a boyfriend: He was murdered, his body unceremoniously dumped in the river, and his father murdered at home. By a twist of fate, she comes across the men who carried out the act on the subway and bludgeons them to death with her hockey stick.

While she does make it home without being seen or caught by any cameras, things will not end there for Addison. There's a greater conspiracy surrounding Nick Vivaldi's death. His father was a police officer and was investigating the practices of Irene Trent, the head of a powerful drug manufacturer. All the while, Addison is starting to suffer from vibrant hallucinations of Nick's ghost and Princess Cheery Cherry - the protagonist of Candy Castle, who encourage her to seek revenge.

Not to be confused with the obscure 1950s Superheroine Tomboy.

This work contains examples of:

  • Always Save the Girl: Addison has this mentality for Jessica Daniels, her best friend and daughter of the DA. Sadly, she fails and actually has to Mercy Kill her, though its partly due to She Knows Too Much.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The art would work perfectly in a drama comic aimed at girls. This makes the gore and horror elements even more unsettling.
  • Back from the Dead: Of a sort. Jessica returns as a guardian spirit in issue 7, along with Lady Lemon Lorraine from Candy Castle that she had on her phone's charm. They kill off Princess Cheery Cherry and Nick's spirit and take over in guiding Addison.
  • Badass Grandpa: Addison's grandfather, Anthony Brody. He's a war veteran and a former Vigilante Man who helped take down the de Luca mob. When he learns Addison's killed one of the two the cops responsible for her boyfriend Nick's murder, he quickly uses ammonia, bleach, and an incinerator to get rid of all of the evidence connecting Addison to the murder, figures out why Nick and his father were killed along with Irene Trent's involvement based on the contents of a single flash drive Addison retrieved from her first victims, and calls in a favor from a friend to have the surviving cop killed off before he can come to his senses. He is also savvy enough to tell that despite Addison's insistence that Nick is not her boyfriend, but her best friend, they're actually in a sexually active relationship, as shown in a flashback.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Irene Trent is not above in personally engaging in bloody torture and murder.
  • Big Bad: Irene Trent, the Corrupt Corporate Executive of Trent Pharmaceutical and wielder of the power of the Golden Crown.
  • Black and Gray Morality: It's acknowledged in-universe that pretty much everybody in Rivergrove is corrupt or morally bankrupt. On the black side, we have Irene Trent and her henchmen, who have a stranglehold on the city and will do anything to maintain that power. The only people opposing her are Warren, the district attorney (who also happens to be Irene's unwilling pawn), and Addison and her grandfather, who are both mentally unstable Well-Intentioned Extremist vigilantes who brutally murder their targets. Pretty much the only unambiguously good major character in the comic is Addison's father.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: The eyes of an Ambidrex test subject change to have black sclera when she has what appears to be a psychotic episode, and Addison's eyes are occasionally shown with black sclera or being completely black as well.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Played with. Addison isn't exactly innocent, but boy is she blood splattered after her first kill.
  • Casting a Shadow: The power of the Shadow Bell manifests as the ability to use darkness to teleport by opening portals to and from an Eldritch Location.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Irene Trent tortures a guy by cutting all his fingers with shears.
  • Cool Old Lady: Detective Autry, who doesn't take shit from anyone, not even Irene.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Irene Trent is peddling Ambidrex, a drug that is quite often deadly and may be the cause of the increase in violent crime in Addison's area, and is willing to have people killed if it means hiding this fact. In addition, it's hinted that she's deliberately selling Ambidrex as part of a deeper conspiracy to find an entity called the "Scarlet Queen".
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: The Elder Branch hunts those who bear the power of their namesake: the Golden Crown, the Shadow Bell, and the Scarlet Wing. Addison's grandfather was a former member during World War II, despite possessing the Scarlet Wing's powers, which were sealed away by the Branch's tattoo.
  • Dangerous Sixteenth Birthday: Everything starts on Addison's 16th birthday.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Warren expresses extreme distaste at the thought of his daughter being romantically involved with Irene Trent's son Owen.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Addison can see and converse with Nick's ghost. And It Runs in the Family: her father can see and converse with Paolo's ghost, while her grandfather would be able to see and converse with his wife Grace's ghost were his powers not sealed. Iris Jacoby, who has the power of the Shadow Bell, can see the ghost of her son.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: It's implied that Jessica's ghost is actually the Scarlet Queen using Addison's friend's form as a mask to manipulate her.
  • Dirty Cop: There's a bunch of cops on Irene Trent's payroll, like the ones responsible for Nick's death. Detective Mickolas Tico is not in it for the money, but because he owes Trent after she literally delivered a mob boss's head on a silver platter. However he does funnel all of the money to his dead partner's family to support them.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The later issues begin to demonstrate that there are definitely supernatural factors at work here that may or may not have Addison's or humanity's best interests in mind.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Irene has a son, Owen Trent, who goes to school with Addison and Jessica. So far we've only seen her treat him with love and respect. He has no idea why people are so afraid of his mother.
    • Detective Tico, one of Irene's henchmen, takes care of his murdered partner's wife and daughter, and even plans to marry the wife and adopt the daughter. This plan is cut short when he's killed by Addison, and his last sight is a vision of the daughter smiling at him.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Addison's main calling card, aside from writing "WAKE UP" in her victims' blood, is forcefully removing their eyes and leaving them at the crime scene. Not-Jessica implies this has ritual significance related to the Scarlet Queen.
    • Jessica gets her eyes plucked out as part of her torture.
  • Expressive Mask: Addison's blue cartoonish wolf mask has been shown sporting toothy grins in addition to its usual C-shaped smile, and its eye sockets change shape as well.
  • Foreshadowing: In Issue 1, Jessica wears an angel costume for Halloween. After she's killed, her ghost - or something impersonating her - comes back to act as a "guardian angel" for Addison.
  • Friends with Benefits: While Addison protests that Nick was her "best friend" rather than her boyfriend, they were having sex prior to his death and it's implied that she has sex with his ghost.
  • Generation Xerox: Addison's grandfather was also a vigilante in his youth. Her grandfather and father both suffer from hallucinations, and the former also used to have a berserker mode in which he was able to kill way more people than should be feasibly possible for someone like him in particularly bloody fashion. Just like Addison left a train car painted with blood of murderers, her grandfather left a church in the same state with the blood and bodies of enemy soldiers.
  • Genre Shift: A Revenge story with Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane suddenly becomes a story about how Lovecraftian Superpowers lead to class warfare, following the Info Dump of Issue 9.
  • Green Thumb: The power of the Scarlet Wing appears to manifest as vines that act as Combat Tentacles, and occasionally transforming its conduits' fingers into wooden claws.
  • How We Got Here: The story begins with Addison standing on top a building in her bloodstained hockey dress, probably about to commit suicide, before Iris appears and holds her at gunpoint. The rest of the story is well... how she got there.
  • Humanoid Abomination: In later issues, Addison learns that she's become something other than human as a result of awakening the power of the Scarlet Wing. In Issue 9, Iris exposits that they, along with Irene Trent, are Children of the Branch, humans transfigured by the blood of the dead gods.
  • Immune to Bullets: When Addison attacks Tico and the other dirty cops torturing Jessica, he shoots her in the chest only for her to spit out the bullets and tear his heart out.
  • It Runs in the Family: Mental instability. It says a lot when Addison's father is the sanest one, on account of being the only one that doesn't experience violent rage and the worst mental episode that happens is a ghost or hallucination telling him to relax and not stress himself out. In contrast, his father has a secret Vigilante Man basement, a shrine to his wife and her dolled-up skeleton in his closet, and his daughter had a psychotic break, sees hallucinations, and beat two grown men to death with a hockey stick. Iris later reveals that the powers of the Scarlet Wing are passed down through blood: Addison's grandfather acquired them when he came into contact with the Scarlet Queen's corpse, and passed them down to his son and granddaughter.
  • Kill 'em All: As of Issue 7, quite a number of the supporting characters have been killed off, and the in media res opening implies that her grandfather and father have been killed, too.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Nick's Ghost and Princess Cheery Cherry seem to be Addison's hallucinations, but the former is seen in one panel when she's not present. Their replacements in issue 7 also appear when Addison is explicitly off-panel or in another room.
    • Issue 4 hints One of Ambidrex' side-effects is extreme psychosis and homicidal tendencies, which Addison might have taken at one point in her life. That doesn't explain her father and grandfather's similar things though.
    • In Issue 3, The flower imagery during Addison's grandfather's experiences in World War II implies that he was exposed to the same flower Ambidrex is derived from, and that exposure passed down to his son and to Addison. Issue 9 confirms this to be the case, with the Golden Crown and Shadow Bell also having associated flowers said to be capable of bestowing the power of the dead gods.
    • And issue six we get to see video of one of the early Ambidrex tests. Said patient refers to Irene as "the Devil ringing the Morning Bell" and goes into very strange but also very ominous ramblings, almost like that of an apocalyptic prophecy. Irene mentions in the video that they need someone traumatized for this to work, and refers to the woman as a prophet. The ultimate takeaway from the scene is that Irene's goals go far beyond just making money off of a dangerous drug, but that she's also after something called the Scarlet Queen.
    • Issue 7 seems to indicate things leaning more heavily towards magic, as the bodies of the dead police officers Addison killed have wounds that match perfectly with the vines she assaulted them with in the previous issue, as well as her grandfather reacting to a manifestation when she returned home. In addition, there are holes in the back of Addison's jacket from where her tentacles protruded.
  • Mercy Kill:
    • Addison to Jessica, following her recognizing their shared ringtone after Addi's grandpa picks a really bad time to call. It can be argued that she also killed her because Jessica recognized her and thus knew too much and point others at Addison, and just like her grandpa said, she needs to Leave No Witnesses regarding her vigilante actions. She tries to justify this by saying it was the only way, but Not-Jessica is quick to point out she's lying to herself.
    • When Irene exposits to Addison the source of their powers, she says that the Elder Branch's genocide of the Scarlet Wing branch caused the Scarlet Queen to go insane, and thus the Shadow Bell and Golden Crown branches were forced to hunt her down and kill her before she caused any more damage.
  • Modesty Shorts: Addison usually wears bike shorts under her skirt.
  • Morality Chain: Back when Anthony was the vigilante Justicar, he initially used brutal violence and murdered his targets. His wife Grace got him to stop using lethal force, which indirectly got her killed.
  • Multigenerational Household: Addison lives with her father and grandfather.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Addison initially panics after brutally beating the two cops responsible for Nick's death, though her grandfather calms her down and takes care of disposing of the evidence. After Jessica is mistaken for the wolf-masked vigilante due to her ringtone being the same song Officer Hunter told Tico his attacker was singing and is abducted by dirty cops working for Irene Trent, Addison blames herself and tries to rescue her friend despite her grandfather telling her not to. This winds up with Addison killing Jessica after she recognizes her as the vigilante, leaving Addi sitting in a Shower of Angst and chanting "What have I done..." after returning home.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Not only did the crooked cops reveal their guilt to Addison, but their Evil Gloating sends her on a quest for vengeance against their boss and the one who arranged the murder, Irene Trent.
    • It also sends Addison's dad hot on her trail, and he digs up all the evidence he needs to prove what she's up to. We have yet to see what he's going to do with the evidence.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Addison is initially haunted by Nick's ghost, while the ghost of Paolo - Nick's father - tries to get Mark to spend more time with his daughter but is dismissed as a hallucination. Addison's grandmother's ghost is haunting her grandfather, but he can't see her due to his powers having been sealed by the Elder Branch.
  • Punch Clock Villain: At least a few of the corrupt officers working for Irene are only doing it for the money or because they have no other choice. Tico in particular doesn't really enjoy what he has to do for Irene, but does it anyway to support his old partner's family.
  • Serial Killer:
    • Iris Jacoby is a Deadly Doctor who acts as an angel of mercy, and was infamous at the time Justicar was active as "Mother of Mercy, the Angel of Death". She's also a bearer of the power of the Shadow Bell.
    • Addison becomes one in order to take down Irene Trent's corrupt corporation and avenge her boyfriend's murder.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: In the first issue, Addison's grandpa notes that her boyfriend is running late, causing Addison to immediately exclaim that Nick isn't her boyfriend, but her best friend. A flashback reveals that at the very least they were Friends with Benefits.
  • She Knows Too Much: In issues 6, Addison's grandpa advises her not to try rescuing Jessica after she's kidnapped by Irene's corrupt cops because 1) she's an avenger, not a superhero; and 2) Addison risks Jessica finding out that she's the vigilante and telling her father, the DA. Addison goes out anyway and arrives just in time to stop the the corrupt cops from killing Jessica, but before Addison can rescue her friend her grandpa calls to see what she's doing. Despite having been blinded Jessica recognizes their shared ringtone, causing Addison to abort her rescue attempt and kill her friend, and later tries to justify doing so on these grounds.
  • Significant Birth Date: Addison's birthday is on Halloween.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: A very unique variation given the medium. We never hear Kagayaku Dream, but we see the lyrics and we know it was the main theme song for a Magical Girl show about a princess, and it's for all intents and purposes Addison's theme song. The fact that both Addison and Jessica have it for their ringtones eventually gets the latter abducted and tortured by Tico, who was told by Officer Hunter that the wolf-masked vigilante was singing it. The ringtone also tips Jessica off that Addison is the vigilante just as Addi was about to rescue her, causing her to turn the rescue into a Mercy Kill.
  • Tears of Blood: Those under Ambidrex's effects - or the flower it's derived from - bleed from their eyes, or at least appear to.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Issue 6 is ambiguous at whether all the crazy stuff with the vines and stuff really actually happened. For one, the cops are supposedly killed in this fantastical manner, on the other, after all that carnage is over... Addison kills Jessica with a plain gun. However, Issue 7 confirms what we saw actually happened, as Tico's corpse has the same massive hole in his chest that Addison created.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Officer Lake, one of the two corrupt cops who killed Nick and his father, was arrogantly bragging about it on the train with the knowledge that they were within earshot of Addison. He thought that they were fine because they assumed that she was listening to music and couldn't hear them. She beat him to death and nearly killed his accomplice, Officer Hunter.
    • Jessica's father hands Jessica a USB drive containing evidence of Irene's illegal activities in public and in plain view of corrupt police officers working for Irene.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: It's eventually revealed that the power of the Scarlet Wing is awakened through trauma.
  • Unreliable Narrator: A given, considering the Sanity Slippage Addison and the rest of her family seem to have.
  • Unstoppable Rage: A berserk mode seems to be the primary form of Addison and her grandfather's power.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: In volume 6 we see video of an early Ambidrex trial, and find out that Irene's goals are far more than just making money off of her dangerous drug. Said user is noted to have been traumatized—a trait Irene needs in the Ambidrex users to get information out of them regarding the location of someone or something Irene calls the Scarlet Queen. When trying to coax information out of her, the readers are treated to vague, very apocalyptic sounding prophecies:
    Doctor: Rose, tell us about the stars... The ones that fell?
    Rose: They came out of the night sky. Burning from the heavens and the places we can't see.
    Doctor: And where they fell, a tree grew? Is that what you told me?
    Rose: No, no... Not a tree, a branch. Split into seven. Four flowers for the mad servants and three blossoms for the kings. The golden crown sings for damnation... The shadow bell serves death. The scarlet wing dreams of destruction... And wakes to end the world's breath.
    Irene: Oh, you found a prophet!
    Rose: Shh! You'll wake her! You'll wake her! Oh god, that's what you want isn't it? To wake her? No, let her die as it is! Let the shadow's war be done! The gods are dead and their children are but waking dreams. No more fighting. No more monsters. Let her sleep. Her eyes are shut. Leave them shut.
    Irene: She's resisting the call! (...) She's not the one, but even a servant can lead us to the queen!
    Rose: You won't make me into one of your monsters! I won't be the one to wake her, I won't!
    Irene: Tell me what they're saying to you! Tell me where she is!
    Rose: I won't! I won't let you wake her!
    Rose kills herself by stabbing herself in the neck)
    Irene: Ugh, increase dosage on the next one. Do whatever it takes. The Scarlet Queen is in this city. I want to know where.
  • Vigilante Man: Addison's grandfather used to be a vigilante called Justicar, who helped take down the de Luca crime family. After she kills the two cops involved in Nick's murder, he trains her to follow in his footsteps.
  • Wax Museum Morgue: Addison's grandpa keeps the body of his dead wife in a secret closet. He knocks the body over in issue 7, revealing it to be her skeleton underneath a porcelain mask.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Addison's grandfather is firmly in this camp, as he believes that criminals must be punished no matter the circumstances. And the proper punishment? Death. Addison slowly begins to become one too as she is eager to avenge the deaths of her friends.
  • Wretched Hive: Rivergrove is apparently this, as it suffers from a hopelessly corrupt local government, the police force is plagued with dirty cops, crime is rampant, and the city always seems to suffer waves of violence from mass murderers and serial killers. It's heavily implied in later chapters that Rivergrove's endemic crime issues were set up by Irene herself.
  • Winds of Destiny, Change: The power of the Golden Crown appears to be manipulation the threads of fate.
  • 0% Approval Rating: Public opinion of the hopelessly inept and corrupt government of Rivergrove is so low, that the majority of the populace actually openly supports Addison's murderous rampage against Irene's criminal empire.
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