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However, it turns out that the villains were controlling her actions, and Akela returns to the group permanently.
After staying with the group for several episodes, Alecks is revealed to in fact be Akela - she's experienced sexism before and had to masquerade in this fashion to gain their trust.
Alecks is male-to-female transgender. After some thought, the group accepts her as Akela and for the rest of the show she is treated in-story and out as no different from Marian.
Zig Zagged: Once Akela joins the team, Marian is killed off. Then Betsy joins in, but Akela is kidnapped by the bad guys. In the process of rescuing her, Betsy is turned into a boy by a curse. Then Marian comes Back from the Dead.
The group gains only male characters.
The group remains constant throughout the show.
Enforced: "Okay, we have to increase the viewership among the female demographics. Let's try adding a new girl character!"
"I'm so glad you joined the group, Akela! I was sick of being the only girl!"
"There are times I wonder if Akela's just on the team so we can have another girl."
As soon as the Five-Man Band has been formed, the group realizes they only have one girl and quickly seeks out another to balance things out.
When the group notices they should get more people, Marian suggests they try to find a girl.
Discussed: "This team really needs one more member. Do you think it'll be another girl?"
Conversed: "I knew this day would come. Teams of fictional characters with only one girl always get another chick somehow, don't they?"
When the group first meets Akela, they're a little skeptical about taking her on - she's just not as powerful as the rest of them. But they feel guilty about keeping out a girl, so they let her in. Things get worse for them after that, because she just can't fight like the boys can.
Akela is a competent fighter, but is never truly accepted by the group because they simply wanted her for PR reasons.
Reconstructed: Akela is introduced as slightly weak, and the boys worry that she can't handle fighting. But her other talents are soon proved to be at least as useful and they're very glad they accepted her.
Played For Laughs: The heroes panic about only having one girl, and look hard for another one.