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Etta Candy-Trevor (Wonder Woman ally) (DC Comics)

Lieutenant-Colonel Etta Candy-Trevor


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Ever since 1942, Etta Candy has been a friend an ally of Wonder Woman – one of her main supporting cast members. But when the Crisis on Infinite Earths came in 1985, the character was seen as too dated. It was time to reinvent her. This character profile is about the post-Crisis, 1987+ version of Etta. She appeared during the fantastic relaunch of the book by George Pérez.

Though “modern Etta” was a success in Pérez’s hands, she did not appear that much with subsequent writers. Still, her importance in pre-Crisis stories ensured that she popped up from time to time, and continued her character growth. Gail Simone’s run during the late 2000s had more focus on Etta, continuing the character’s evolution.

As a result, the Trevors are not just supporting cast these days. They could easily play an active role in an adventure. Or even be used as Player Characters , which would be a cool campaign.


Background

  • Real Name: Lieutenant-Colonel Etta Marie Olive Candy-Trevor.
  • Note: Candy’s first names have been given as both Etta Marie and Etta Olive (the second presumably as a pun approximating “ate a whole of candy”), so I’ve robertbrucebannerised  her as usual.
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: Col. Stephen Rockwell-Trevor (Husband), various in-laws (see Steve Trevor’s entry), Dave (uncle, deceased), Helen (aunt).
  • Group Affiliation: Checkmate officer, U.S. Department of Metahuman Affairs officer (Scramble Team D). Former U.S. Air Force officer, former Air Force Intelligence officer, former co-manager of Trevor’s Way.
  • Base Of Operations: DMA HQ in Washington, DC. Formerly the Hanscom Air Force Base (Concord, MA), later the Lowry Air Force Base (Denver, CO), later an unspecified island in the South Pacific, other unspecified military bases, later the Checkmate château in Switzerland.
  • Height: 5’4” Weight: 130 lbs. (previously 165 lbs., previously 110 lbs.).
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Light brown


Powers and Abilities

Originally, Lt. Candy is a junior military officer trained in the signature US Air Force military skills. These include sitting in a chair, drinking coffee or typing on a keyboard. Etta was qualified to work with desktop computers (which were not common back in the early 1980s). Later scenes imply that she’s a data management specialist.

Though she tended to be clumsy and nervous, she also was a good shot. She fared pretty well in a raging firefight. For once her short size may have been an asset, making it easier for her to find cover.

After transferring to Air Force Intelligence, Candy became a competent cryptographer and military hacker. Furthermore, she apparently acquired background skills in the hard sciences. She later became a qualified pilot of small civilian aircrafts, presumably after her husband taught her. Lastly, she seemed to be self-taught in basic business accounting.

After being trained by Checkmate, Candy became a competent agent type, working as a spy and irregular warfare fighter. She doesn’t scare easy, thinks on her feet, keeps a cool head under fire and knows a lot of useful tricks, techniques and tactics.


History

As a girl, the adventurous Etta Candy dreamed of becoming an athletic, martially capable, beautiful woman. Unfortunately, she grew up to be short, clumsy and overweight. Etta’s self-image was devastated, and she became mousy and frumpy.

When she joined the service, the physical tests left being a desk jockey with the Air Force as her only option. Though her smarts qualified her for a commission she remained a Lieutenant for years, having few opportunities for promotion.

In 1983, a Congressional investigative committee inquired about oddities in the US military machine. Lt. Candy volunteered some troubling information about Air Force operations. She was joined by Việt Nam war hero and ace pilot Col. Trevor, who named names and described the lunatic behaviour of some officers.

However, the hearings failed to produce any results, leaving them both exposed.

General Kohler, one of the officers denounced by Trevor, demoted him to a pointless desk job. Furthermore, he had Lt. Candy demoted from her data management position to being Trevor’s attache. Despite this blow, Etta secretly fell in love with her new boss. As a result, she tried another lengthy round of dieting and exercise so she’d look more attractive.

War for the war god

Kohler was covertly an Ares cultist. In 1987 he carried out divine orders by sending Trevor on a nuclear bombing run against Themyscira. The strike failed, and Ares incinerated Kohler. He also had other cultists within the USAF shift the blame to Trevor, and try to murder him.

Hounded as soon as he returned to the US, Steve correctly assumed that Etta would stand by him. Indeed, she hid and supplied him. Etta even spied on Air Force records to prove that Col. Trevor was innocent.

Etta Candy-Trevor saluting

Col. Trevor and his best friend Col. Michaelis volunteered to accompany Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira) in a mission to expose Ares. Lt. Candy insisted on joining. Toting an old Thompson M1 from Michaelis’ collection, Etta saw combat for the first time.

The team fought in Hades, then invaded a nuclear launch silo occupied by cultists. Lt. Candy fought capably and emerged from the fighting with but minor wounds, but Col. Michaelis was killed.

Trevor resigned after he was cleared of accusations. He and Candy became a couple.

First comes love

The vagaries of the service did not help with this relationship. Steve remained in Boston while Etta was assigned to another desk job in Denver. Feeling insecure about Steve’ friendship with the impossibly beautiful Wonder Woman, Lt. Candy’s intensified her exercise and dieting regimen.

Though she took stupid risks with her health, Etta lost 35 pounds. Feeling more confident, she successfully applied to a position with Air Force Intelligence.

Lt. Candy rapidly qualified as a radio interception and cryptography specialist – a codebreaker. Unfortunately, that took her even further from Steve, to a military tracking station in the South Pacific.

Early during the Invasion , Etta cracked alien transmissions. Thus, she got a rough understanding of what was going to happen. However, the alien invaders detected her efforts and bombed the listening station.

Lt. Candy was apparently the only survivor, and evaded Khund ground forces long enough for the JLA to come in. Unfortunately, Candy’s code-breaking notes had been rendered illegible after hours in the swampy jungle.

Steve Trevor reenlisted to fight during the Invasion, but was captured and badly tortured by Durlan aliens. Wonder Woman and Captain Atom rescued him. Then, Wonder Woman took Etta and Steve to Themyscira to receive medical care.

After the Invasion

In 1989 Lt. Candy foiled a sabotage plot against the USAF with the help of both Steve and Wonder Woman. She seized the occasion to have Steve, now an aerospace engineering consultant, become a regular contractor for the Air Force. They also started considering marriage, especially after Etta obtained a transfer back to Hanscom, MA  as an aide to Gen. Hillary.

Etta Candy, and a jet fighter taking off

However, Candy then became an aide to Gen. Yedziniak. The general still hated her and Trevor for their congressional testimony. Yedziniak harassed her for month. Meanwhile Steve was busy since the god Hermes had chosen him to become his guide in the world of mortals. Yedziniak also annulled Candy’s leaves whenever possible.

Stressed out, Etta came to irrationally resent Wonder Woman. Nevertheless, Ms. Candy helped her understand what was going on with the Silver Swan (Valerie Beaudry) by analysing computer records.

In retaliation she and Wonder Woman were captured by Beaudry’s masters. Etta cleverly ensured Wonder Woman’s escape by closing an electrical circuit with her body. She used the rubber waist-trimmer under her clothing as insulation.

War of the Gulf, War of the Gods

Increasingly stressed out by Gen. Yedziniak and by seeing Steve associate with godly personages, Etta became aggressive toward her companion. Growing to regret this, she left a somewhat incoherent message on Steve’s answering machine. She then left for Saudi Arabia for an Air Force Intelligence assignment to prepare for the invasion of Kuwait and Iraq .

Etta and Steve tried to patch up things, and Steve reenlisted for the Gulf War out of an irrational need to be there for Etta.

Etta Candy and Steve Trevor discuss George Yedziniak

Weeks later, a conspiracy brought Themyscira and the US to war. Yedziniak pounced on the occasion and had Trevor arrested as known associates of the Amazons. While working to accelerate authorisations to bomb Themyscira, he ensured out of sadism that Candy would be present at Trevor’s interrogation.

Etta had no choice but to betray the Air Force. She signalled to super-heroes that a bombing mission was about to leave. Hawkman, Hawkwoman and Starman (Will Payton) responded. Then Superman prevented the bombing run.

Once it was proven that the charges against Themyscira were false, the USAF hurriedly covered up the activities of Yedziniak and his ilk. Gen. Yedziniak was arrested and forced to sign a paper stating that he had ordered Lt. Candy to warn the super-heroes, mooting any charge of treason against her.

Reinstatement and consultancy

Both Candy and Trevor were reinstated, though they hated the brass’ strategy of using Yedziniak as a universal scapegoat.

These crises having brought them closer, Etta and Steve fully reconciled. Steve proposed, but they agreed not to marry right away. Etta left the service to become the administrative manager of Steve’s consultancy. However, the company was slowly failing.

Etta’s body image issues also worsened and she became near-anorexic. She was 20 pounds underweight and occasionally passing out from lack of nutrition. Though Etta hid her condition from Steve, Wonder Woman sensed the problem and spent some time with her. During that visit, Candy saved Wonder Woman and the Flash (Wally West) from the assassin Mayfly.

Then comes marriage

As their consultancy floundered, Steve and Etta hired themselves out as flight instructors to bring cash in. They next came up with the idea of doing air surveying work, which put them back into the black.

A summoned magical creature once attacked them due to a plot by a foe of Wonder Woman, but they fought it off long enough for Wonder Woman to come in.

Etta Candy and Steve Trevor vs. a tentacled monster

Wonder Woman temporarily forsake her costumed identity. She then founded a detective agency with lawyer Donna Milton and detective Micah Rains. Etta enjoying visiting and lending a hand, though that once resulted in her getting kicked unconscious by the deadly Cheschire.

She also became a close friend of Milton. But it was later revealed that Milton had never really existed and was but a disguise for Circe.

Diana’s activities had her drift away from Steve and Etta. Yet she attended their marriage as a bridesmaid, reawakening some of Etta’s insecurities about their respective physiques.

Six months later the Trevors were summoned to Olympus for a soul reading, to testify about Wonder Woman.

Up the ladder, down the scale

Etta eventually re-upped, perhaps for financial reasons. Steve had been considering retiring in Enid, Oklahoma, to be close to his family — but Etta was once again assigned to Hanscomb. Steve resumed doing some freelance consulting, presumably to help pay their Boston-area rent. The Trevors seldom saw Wonder Woman during this era.

After many years as a Lieutenant, Etta received a rapid series of promotions and made Lieutenant Colonel. Meanwhile, Steve agreed to become the Deputy Secretary of Defence for the Luthor administration. He would later agree to resume this role for the Obama administration.

Mrs. Trevor was once seen operating with an American naval task force in an unknown capacity. For unknown reasons she couldn’t maintain her diet and exercise regimen, and quickly regained all the weight she had warded off for so long. She eventually hit 180 lbs..

Checkmate with knight

In 2005, the flabbergasted Etta received a visit from Green Lantern (Alan Scott) and Mister Terrific (Michael Holt) from Checkmate, the UN’s intelligence and enforcement division. The goal was to recruit her as a Pawn (technical specialist) then transfer her to a diplomatic position.

Albeit reluctant to leave the Chair Force, Etta took the offer to pursue her long-buried childhood dreams. Thus, she requested to receive the full physical and field training regimen as her signing bonus.

Etta Candy points her pistol

The advanced training program was a huge success for Candy. She lost 50 pounds and proved her capabilities as a combat and clandestine ops operative. Checkmate scratched the plans to make her a Pawn-type agent and made her a Knight. Thus, she was now a field operative (these are not to be confused with the four royal Knights high up in the Checkmate hierarchy).

Etta’s work for Checkmate is undocumented, but they apparently maintained the illusion that she was Air Force Intelligence.

In 2008, Etta was about to be injected by Checkmate into the US’ Department of Metahuman Affairs. Right at this point, Wonder Woman asked her to… join the DMA. As “Diana Prince” Wonder Woman had herself infiltrated the DMA with Batman’s and Superman’s help. Etta agreed, keeping her Checkmate backers hidden from the trinity of super-heroes and vice versa.

Furthermore, DMA director Sarge Steel requested that Candy watch “Prince”. Not being used to lying Diana was acting suspiciously, and Steel thought she had ties with the Amazons. Now a quadruple agent, Candy took the job after warning her friend, but Steel came to suspect that Lt.-Col. Candy was hiding something.

Etta Candy, agent of D.M.A.

When the Khunds came to recruit Wonder Woman to save their homeworld from the Ichor, they brought Etta along as Diana’s squire. It was Etta who convinced the Ichor to relent after breaking down the situation into its simplest ethical terms.

Etta Candy produces her Checkmate ID

Later on, a mall Etta and Diana were at was bombed, killing 15, and they were attacked by the Swashbuckler. The whole point was to steal Etta’s badge as a component for the “dark trinity” mystical ritual. Other agents stole Jim Gordon’s pipe and Lois Lane’s notepad.

When Stalker recruited Wonder Woman, the Amazon princess entered a trance. Etta tried to awaken her by projecting her soul in the lasso. When that failed she hid her unconscious friend and covered up for her absence.

When ‘Diana Prince’ was put in command of Scramble Team D (or “Team Dragon” using the DMA’s mascot system), she had her lover Tom Tresser (aka Nemesis) and her best friend Etta Candy transferred to her unit. Etta was thus in the field with Dragon when the DMA responded to the rampage of the immensely powerful monster Genocide.

Genocide and recovery

Wonder Woman was crushed by Genocide. Candy and Tresser barely managed to extricate her from the debris using construction tools. The Society then stormed the DMA headquarters, razing the building and massacring most agents. As a known associate of Wonder Woman, Etta was captured by Genocide.

In the wake of this disaster, Steve took personal command of the DMA.

Etta Candy and Steve Trevor driving

Genocide tortured Etta with the Lasso of Truth. But Wonder Woman came in within hours and demolished the Society’s entire base. Though Candy had held, she was gravely wounded and Diana rushed her to the hospital. Though she was physically stable, Etta’s spirit had been shredded when Genocide used the lasso to expose her to the insecurities she had spent years conquering.

After months in a coma, Etta worked her way out of her trauma and awoke. Howbeit, one of her arms was so badly broken it would take several more months to heal. Steve came to visit as often as he could, as did Diana – who also detailed one of her Gorilla Knights to guard Etta.

Thus, when a child of Ares came to mind-control Etta and Steve into shooting each other, the ape mauled the creature before the Trevors could pull the triggers.

War in Washington

Etta confessed to Wonder Woman that she had been a Checkmate agent all along. While she was still in the hospital, the Silver Serpent alien forces invaded Washington. The Trevors took command of what little was left of the DMA — about a dozen agents, several of them wounded — to defend the population.

The Gorilla Knights came in, greatly reinforcing the defenders, and Achilles the Warkiller came to destroy the heaviest war machines. Steve even got the DMA’s last stealth fighter in the air, fighting along with Achilles until he was downed.

The Trevors and their forces held long enough for a relief force of Amazon and Gargarean warriors to reach Washington and disperse the Silver Serpent troops.


Description

Etta originally was a brunette, but was then depicted as having light brown hair and was then a blonde in most of her appearances. Presumably this is dyeing tied to her body image issues.

She now seems to be in her mid-40s (though that varies a lot from artist to artist), and has her hair alternate between blonde and strawberry blonde.


Personality

Much of Etta’s life has been dominated by her low self-esteem. Though she’s well-above average in terms of smarts and willpower, her body type made her very insecure. She always felt unimportant, unimpressive and unattractive.

Over the years, her energy varied in direct proportion with her waist size. As she lost weight she was getting younger by the pound – more lively, fun and active. Even when she was nearly anorexic and weakened by the lack of food, she was still much more bubbly, social and assertive than she had been years before, while somewhat overweight.

During the Pérez era, Etta is mousy and awkward. But she’s smart, her heart is in the right place and she wins arguments surprisingly often by virtue of being objectively right. She also wants to be considered like a real soldier, and feels quietly frustrated over being a data management specialist.

After her transfer to Army Intelligence she gets to do more soldierly and impressive things, to her satisfaction.

Turn of the century

During the 1990s, she’s more like Diana’s cheerful American friend and enthusiastic, helpful buddy. Her near-anorexia issues are touched upon but once and never mentioned again.

Etta Candy during an alien invasion

The Checkmate training let Etta confront her numerous insecurities head-on. It finally gave her the means to change her body through extensive exercise monitored by doctors (and possibly advanced surgery, Checkmate having a lot of experience in changing the appearance of its agents). Her trial by fire through training and field missions revealed Etta to herself, reuniting her with her girlhood self-image.

Etta is competent, tough and smart, and can be devious or even vicious when needed. However, many of her values are still those of an Amazon. These include fighting to save the lives of the innocent (or at least the only moderately guilty), fighting to the last breath, and genuinely respecting her friends and loved ones.

Alice in Wonderland  seems to be her favourite book, appropriately enough.


Quotes

(As Director Steel tries to establish hierarchical dominance over the newly-transferred Lt.-Col. Candy, Candy slashes back) “I took the liberty of tossing your office while you were off being what you think of as intimidating. Aside from the mountain of antacids, I’ve found the anxiety meds Cymbalta and Xanax, as well as the anti-insomnia aid Ambien, all prescription, all missing in doses that are nearly twice the indication of last renewal. You’re self-medicating, Director. I couldn’t find the bottle, but — sniff — scotch on your breath, and it’s not even 1100 hours. And finally… your eyes, Director. Good liars look away when confronted.” (Steel keeps looking at her) “Extraordinary liars never do. You’re a man with a guilty conscience, Mr. Steel.” (beat) “You want dirty, I can do dirty.”

(On Khundia) “Do not, under any circumstances, eat the national dish. It’s still moving around inside me. And it could talk.”

“I don’t like these people, not one bit. But I’m not standing by to watch them all burn.”

“You can’t destroy a planet in the name of compassion. I know I’m just a Lieutenant-Colonel from a small planet a long ways away, but even I know that.”

“You can’t [kill Wonder Woman]. She will beat you. You will beg before her.”

“Woo woo !”

(As Wonder Woman hesitates to leave Etta to respond to an emergency) “Sweetie, just go. You were given all that power for a reason, weren’t you ?”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Lt.-Col. Candy

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Service
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Special agent
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 012 HP: 020

Skills:
Evasion (Ranged only): 05, Medicine (First aid): 03, Military science (Cartography, cryptography, demolition): 05, Scientist (Computers, Research): 05, Thief (Locks & Safes, Security systems, Stealth): 05, Vehicles (Air, Land, Water): 04, Weaponry (Firearms): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Candy’s Vehicle (Air) Skill likely is limited to small civilian aircrafts.

Advantages:
Confidant (Steve Trevor), Credentials (Department of Metahuman Affairs, Medium ; Checkmate, Medium), Familiarity (Military equipment and protocols, Basic physical and life sciences), Iron Nerves.

Connections:
Wonder Woman (High, Powerful), DMA (Low, from Credentials), Checkmate (Low, from Credentials).

Drawbacks:
None demonstrated.

Equipment:

  • Lt. Candy did not carry as an USAF officer, but kept a .38 Special revolver [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 06, R#03, Limitation: Long reload time] handy at her workplace after she resigned her commission.
  • .40 S&W P226 SIG Super Capacity Tactical pistol [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 15, R#02]. Candy’s sidearm since joining Checkmate is drawn generically, but this is a likely model.
  • TACTICAL VEST [BODY 04, Invulnerability: 05, Skin armor: 02, Limitation : Invulnerability and Skin armor only vs bullets and slashing and piercing weapons ; Real Armour]. Type III body armour with plate inserts and four extra clips for her handgun, kept handy just in case. Etta may also still have a genuine Khund military helmet fitted to her size, kept as a present and collector’s item.
  • D.M.A. FIELD UNIFORM. These S.H.I.E.L.D.-style dark red jumpsuits presumably have protective properties, but those never were demonstrated. Perhaps 5 APs of Blunting, 2 APs of Flame Immunity and Lightning Immunity, and 1 AP of Cold Immunity. A tactical radio headset is commonly worn along with it.
  • Lt.-Col. Candy-Trevor had access to the DMA armoury. She has used battery-fed energy rifles from those – performance is poorly documented but is likely close to [BODY 03, Laser beam: 08, R#2].
  • Lock-picking kit, smartphone, and presumably a few other useful devices.

Design notes

Military Science (Demolitions), Vehicles (Water) and Thief (Security systems) are very likely but not clearly demonstrated.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Post-Crisis DC Universe.

Helper(s): Darci, Chris Cottingham, Capita_senyera.

Writeup completed on the 11th of January, 2011.

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