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Traci Thirteen | Girl 13 - DC Comics - Blue Beetle ally

Category :

Comic Books

Subcategory :

DC universe

Type :

Hero

Game System :

DC Heroes (Blood of Heroes S.E.)

Notes :

Croatoans ; Team Blue Beetle

Traci Thirteen (aka Girl 13) v1.1

By Sébastien Alexandre Andrivet

Source of Character: DC Universe

Helper(s): Darci, Alan Wilkinson, Roy Cowan, Cassius335

Reasons (1): Traci 13’s continuity has numerous problems, culminating with the decision to feature what was essentially a new character in Blue Beetle. This entry works to provide an unified view of the character, and offers hypotheses to explain the unusually severe discrepancies.

Reasons (2): The person initially identified as “Terri Thirteen” among the Croatoans has been assumed to be Traci.

Reasons (3): The Homo Magi Advantage is from Mayfair’s Magic Sourcebook for DCH. If you don’t have the book just ignore it - it’s just a marker of the ability to develop Sorcery and has no genuine game effects.

Reasons (4): There are some S P O I L E R S in there.

Writeups.org & Amazon.com recommend Dr. Thirteen - Architecture & Mortality by Chiang & Azzarello, and in order Blue Beetle: Reach for the Stars then Blue Beetle: Endgame then Blue Beetle: Boundaries and Blue Beetle: Black and Blue.

Quotes

Traci 13 (Hell’s Heart)

(In a squalid dinner, Traci uses the salt container to pour a circle of salt around herself)
Clark Kent: “…” (beat) “Most people save some for their food.”
Traci 13: “Yeah, well, if most people knew what I know about the underworld, they’d use their condiments a lot more wisely.”

Traci Thirteen | Girl 13 - DC Comics - Blue Beetle ally

(Traci and Leroy, the latter perched on Traci’s head, are uncomfortably staring at Clark Kent)
Leroy: “Hssk.”
Traci: “He’s got a double aura, but I think it’s OK.”
Leroy: “Hssk.”
Traci: “Right on, we’ll give him that one for Christmas.”

Irate bartender: “Yo, Miss Saigon ! You twenty-one ? Ya sure don’t look it.”
Girl 13: “Yeah. Gimme a beer and an apple martini.” (vaguely nodding toward the man’s approximative hairdo) “Oh, and Don King called. He wants his afro back.”

Traci 13 (Suicide Slum)

“Metal’s dead, dog. Even white boys know that.”

“We haven’t seen Superman once. Thought we could do him a solid, but I don’t know…”

“Nutmeg ! Where’s your damn nutmeg ?!? Come on ! Ladies-who-lunch keep all that junk ! Nutmeg holds back blood wraiths and - candles ! Get me candles !”

“I know that ! I got eyes ! What I don’t got is a way to stop it from here ! 212 ain’t my area code ! I don’t have any soldiers up in here !”

“This has not been my idea of a good day on the block, nowmsayin ? So don’t even unless you want to pick up a lot more than your face !”

“Large and so very in charge ! […] Got to prepare my spells this time. Nothing gets access, ’specially not some pale-face wannabe Lucy Liu reject with no butt.”

Traci: “Holy —-… you’re Black ?”
Natasha: “What does it matter ?? I’m bleeding !”
Traci: “No, I know, I— You really sound White, though. Hasn’t anyone ever told you ?”
Natasha: “BLEEDING !”

Traci 13 (Current)

Traci “Mecka lecka high, mecka hiney-ho…. aaaaand moron says ’what-zap ?”
Eclipso: “What —!?” (ZAP !)
Traci: “Boo-yah ! How’d that taste ?”

“Chains of Hecate bound by light and silver and clarion sound, purgorum !” (reverses an enchantment)

“Okay, crash course on Eclipso : ex-hitman of God. Spirit of wrath. Major magic mojo. We’re talking apocalypse chick.”

Traci: “[Eclipso]’s got everybody’s senses fogged, not just yours. Which means it’s up to detectives, not magicians.” (beat, talking to herself) “…seriously, you could bottle the air and sell it…” (resumes what she was saying) “I handle all the supernatural stuff for the Croato — uh, some detectives. Makes it my job.” (beat, stares at Jaime in a mysterious sexy ominous scary way) “And I can be very dangerous.”
Jaime: “…”
Traci: “How was that ?”
Jaime: “It was good. It worked.”
Traci: “Cool. Been practising.”

“Feel that ? That’s a whole lotta powerful good-guy mojo building up in this holy place, boiling, trying to find a way to nuke you in the face. All it needs is focus. Meet the Staff of Arion.” (as the Staff starts burning up) “Wow. They’re gonna see this from space.”

Traci (telling Jaime not to mess with the Spectre) : “Y‘know, I only did this whole image-casting thing so you could see my face — see how serious I am about this.”
Jaime: “Hey, I like seeing your face.”
Traci: “Sweet and corny. You’re like a good breakfast cereal.”

(After shielding the Reyes household from an alien WMD) “Hi. My name’s Traci 13. I’m dating your son. I brought cookies.”

Jaime: “I’m warning you. This is going to be a culture shock. Nobody on the Leal side of the family speaks any English.”
Traci: “My dad and I once spent a week with the pygmy mummies of Kracht Island. No culture can shock me after that.”

“Uh, Blue ? In the immortal words of Admiral Akbar…”

“It’s not that simple. Nothing is free when it comes to magic.”

“Levo lo velum, exhibeo exibeo nobis ! Exsto ! Exsto ! Exsto !”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Click here to hide or display the game stats

Girl Thirteen (stats circa 2009)
Dex: 04 Str: 02 Bod: 03 Motivation : Upholding the good
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation : Adventurer
Inf: 06 Aur: 07 Spi: 09 Resources {or Wealth} : 002
Init: 015 HP: 030

Powers: Acuity: 08, Energy blast: 06, Eyes of the Cat: 10, Force wall: 11, Iron will: 05, Sorcery: 04, Spirit Travel: 18, Telepathy: 05, Teleportation: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Everything is Mystic-Linked
  • Acuity only for subjects having to do with cities. Examples have included X-Ray Vision to see what was below a road (a subway line, in this case), having Gotham tell her where the fragments of the Rock of Eternity were (Detect) or having the Ciudad Juarez metro area request her help against a threat (Awareness)
  • Energy blast can have the Scattershot Advantage
  • Energy blast uses her INF as AV (+1)
  • Eyes of the Cat only works on Leroy, but she can use’s Leroy’s superhuman senses through it
  • Force Wall is a transparent purple bubble
  • Force Wall initially had to be erected on top of a circle of blood if more than 6 APs were to be used - this Limitation has since disappeared
  • Iron will only against mystical mind/emotion control
  • Telepathy initially has No Range (she must touch the person’s brow) (-1), but this Limitation disappears by 2008

Skills: Medicine (First aid): 03, Occultist: 06, Weaponry (Melee): 04

Advantages: Attractive, Homo Magi, Rich Friend (Dr. Thirteen)

Connections: Dr. Thirteen (High), Leroy (High), Blue Beetle III (Jaime Reyes, High), Croatoan Society (High), Mr. Boswell (the head librarian of a vast otherdimensional mystical library, Low)

Drawbacks: Age (Young)

Equipment:

  • Staff of Arion [BODY 16, EV 03, Damage capacity (SPI): 08, Sorcery: 12, Misc.: the Staff is an ancient artefact, which is useful in itself - for instance it can channel unexpressed ambient magical energy looking for a focus.]
  • Cell phone
  • Some junk components for common rituals

Rituals: Traci knows a number of rituals that take one full Phase to cast and are the equivalent of Mental Blast: 12. However, these are all only useful against very specific mystical creatures. One is efficient against shadow pixies (though she occasionally uses it for intimidation purposes, as the energy buildup around her hands looks powerful), and one is efficient against golems and other animated rock creatures (it smothers them under a giant piece of paper - because paper beats rock). Apparently she also has a Teleportation Ritual that can take her around the world, but this one involves hours of prep time and significant components requirements.

 

100 ways to be a good girl - previous stats
Not wanting to be a one-trick pony, Traci has been training in staff fighting, sword fighting and unarmed combat - apparently, she started when she joined the Croatoans. Back in Metropolis and before that, she had a DEX of 03, her Initiative was one point lower and she had no Weaponry Skill.

The Spirit Travel, Teleportation, un-Limited Telepathy and un-Limited Force Wall appear in 2008, as she makes considerable progress in her mastery of the mystic arts. In Hell’s Heart, she did not seem to have any Sorcery APs, and had but 015 HPs.

Girl Thirteen obtained the Staff of Arion just prior to the confrontation with Eclipso.


 

101 ways to be a good girl - subsequent stats
2010 appearances depict Traci as being much closer to being Sorcery-based. Raise her Sorcery to 08 and delete Acuity, Energy blast, Telepathy and Teleportation, which are now rolled into Sorcery.

By 2010 her Occultist also rises to 07, and she acquires Low Connections with a few mystical entities. The documented one is Rangda Durga, a Balinese entity known as the Queen of Witches and Goddess of Death, and linked with Shiva. Powers associated with Rangda include Remote Sensing, Mind Probe and Magic Sense ; see the Writeups.org “a short guide to magic in the Marvel Universe” article for more about Connections with mystical entities.

Leroy seems to have vanished at that point - delete the Connection, and the Eye of the Cat Power.


 

Leeeeerrrroyyy ! 
Traci’s familiar is an iguana named Leroy. When they are together, Leroy usually rides on Traci’s shoulders and occasionally on top of her head

Leroy

Dex: 05 Str: 09 Bod: 08 Motivation : ?
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 05 Occupation : Familiar ?
Inf: 04 Aur: 04 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth} : N.A. ?
Init: 013 HP: ?

Powers: Analytical Smell/Tracking scent: 05, Claws: 08, Detect (Auras): 03, Flame project: 11, Magic sense: 06, Sealed Systems: 09, Shrinking: 12, Telepathy: 06

Bonuses and Limitations: Sealed Systems works neither against gas nor radiation (-5) ; Detect is Discerning ; Flame Project has a Range of but 03 ; Telepathy only with Girl 13

Skills: Occultist (Occult knowledge): 04

Background

Real Name: Traci Thirteen
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Dr. Terrence Thirteen (father), unnamed mother (deceased), “uncle John” (a warlock, name and relation unknown)
Group Affiliation: Croatoan Society, occasional associate of the Blue Beetle and “team Beetle”, one-time ally of Natasha Irons and Cir-El as “the Supergirls”, member of the Coven of Three with Black Alice and Zachary Zatara
Base Of Operations: Occasionally Doomsbury Mansion ; previously Mobile with an apartment somewhere in a major urban centre with a strong identity. Her current base of operations seems to be the House of Mystery, since that is the Croatoans’ headquarters, but they rove around a lot.
Height: 5’5” Weight: 115 lbs
Eyes: Variable Hair: Variable

Powers and Abilities

Girl 13 is still a teenager, but she is steadily growing in competence as a detective and as a paranormal adventurer-cum-super-heroine. Her best-known abilities, however, rest with her budding mastery of the mystical arts.

Originally a specialist in urban magic, Traci has broadened her occult skills to become a fuller sorceress drawing from a number of influences. Furthermore, she now has access to a potent artefact, the Staff of Arion, which considerably boosts her might and versatility. Traci studies very hard, and that brings results - she’s clearly more powerful every year, and her style of magic keeps evolving and broadening. She seems to have a very high potential.

Traci is able to anticipate trouble and thus be in the right place at the right time to intervene. While this all occurs off-panel, it seems to be a mix of free Occultist (Precognition) uses granted by the GM to advance the plot, unspecified magical alarms set up by the Croatoans to detect magical threats, and scrying routines using her connections with magical entities.

Though the staff of Arion allows her to conjure up some big-time effects, this has a limit - her SPI is solid but significantly below the Staff’s Sorcery, and she doesn’t have that many HPs. Even with the staff’s Damage Capacity, she won’t be able to sling major mojo for long. But this is full Sorcery, allowing her to do a endless variety of effects, including unusual stuff such as purging nuclear radiation from an explosion site.

Leeeeerrrroyyy !

Traci’s familiar is an iguana named Leroy. When they are together, Leroy usually rides on Traci’s shoulders and occasionally on top of her head.

Traci Thirteen | Girl 13 - DC Comics - Blue Beetle ally

Leroy is fully sapient, and can converse telepathically with Girl 13. Normally, he uses his Shrinking to look just like a pet iguana, but he can grow into a vaguely draconic, truck-sized creature when needed. He likely has capabilities beyond the documented ones.

Since Leroy is not always with Traci and seems to have his own life, he’s not considered a Pet or Sidekick, but a Connection. This is not traditional for familiars, but Thirteen presumably didn’t like all the forced servitude stuff.

Leroy was with Traci in Washington and Metropolis, but has not appeared since. He hasn’t even been mentioned, and it’s entirely possible that he left.

Some girls wander by mistake

Girl 13’s personality, physical appearance and fashion choices vary significantly from one story to the next - even by comic book standards. This section suggests a No-Prize Hypothesis to account for these discrepancies.

Traci originally practised something called ’urban magic‘ that put her in touch with the soul of city she’s in. Our take is that her style, appearance and personality were affected by the city she was currently connected with and drawing power from. The hypothesis is that she mimicked the style, the urban vibe, the soul of the neighbourhood feeding her magic.

Thus the Description, Personality, illustrations and quotes have been arranged by city, under the assumption that it’s what govern her style at that moment - and that it’s what explains the changes.

Our No-Prize Hypothesis assumes that her ’normal‘, baseline appearance and demeanour are what is observed in her appearances in Tales of the Unexpected, where she accompanies her father. The action takes place away from major urban centres, and Dr. 13’s presence has a documented influence making the mystical seem more mundane.

Her recent appearances are based on the Blue Beetle and Tales of the Unexpected appearance and characterisation, so a continuity of sorts has been re-established. In the No-Prize framework proposed here, this reflects the fact that Traci has moved away from urban magic to practice broader, more powerful magic. She is also more mobile than before, not tying herself to a urban centre — so it would seem that the era of Traci’s personality and appearance fluctuating from story to story are gone.

History

Traci Thirteen is the daughter of the famous ghost-breaker Dr. Thirteen. Dr. Thirteen’s strange destiny is to forever brush against magic and yet deny its existence, being a professional - perhaps even ontological - sceptic, materialist and debunker. This is how he met a sorceress, who became Traci’s mother.

Traci’s mum died while her daughter was very young. Doctor Thirteen was marked by this loss, and it reinforced his belief that mysticism was a harmful delusion. When he discovered that Traci had been taught some magic by her mother, he forbade her from practising or studying further. Doctor Thirteen raised his daughter as a single father, likely explaining his dearth of appearances during those years.

During her early teens, Traci clandestinely resumed her study of magic. Genetics had made her homo magi rather than homo sapiens, and she was an able ritualist and caster, capable of performing real magic even from cobbled-together sources of instruction. Though she realised that her father was very boring, monomaniacal and overprotective, she loved him and kept lying, assuring him that she wasn’t messing with any of the ’hogwash‘ that had led to her mother’s death.

Traci thus secretly acquired a small mystical library and developed her own style, a personal approach to the “urban magic” used by some modern mystics.

One story mentioned that Traci had “a horrible destiny ahead”, without further detail - though recent events lead one to suspects that this destiny might be to become a power-hungry evil witch. It is possible that Ms. Thirteen knows that horrible things are in store for her - if so that presumably played an important role in her drive and precociousness.

Traci Thirteen | Girl 13 - DC Comics - Blue Beetle ally

From her mid-teens onward, Traci lived in a series of major US cities with her father’s financial help. Though she made pretences toward studying in college, she was actually a budding mystical super-heroine and was methodically working on becoming a more competent protector and adventuress. Her main inspiration was apparently Superman.

For a while, she lived with Ralph and Sue Dibny, whom she considered to be a second set of parents with whom she could be herself. Ralph taught her deductive reasoning and to be a competent amateur sleuth, and Sue taught her to be her own woman. She applied their lessons to grow up smart, weird and with an attitude.

The Dibnys introduced Traci to the Croatoan Society, a band of obscure detectives specialising in the paranormal and the unexplained. Beyond the Dibnys, the Croatoans included such nigh-forgotten sleuths as Bobo (aka the Detective Chimp) or Tim Trench, and had various adventures that often involved strange solutions to historical mysteries. Despite her youth Traci became an active Croatoan.

Land of hope and dreams

When Traci was 15 or 16, her father disappeared. She came looking for him in Washington, D.C.’s Hell’s Heart neighbourhood, believed to be the most desperate and dangerous place in America. Traci soon realised that invisible mystical parasites were attached to the locals, constantly worsening the conditions of the slum. She studied those creatures, which she called the Heartbreakers, and determined how they were operating - but she couldn’t find a way to destroy them.

Traci Thirteen | Girl 13 - DC Comics - Blue Beetle ally

Attempting to get help in fixing Hell’s Heart, she wrote to the White House. Surprisingly the wife of the VP, Lana Lang Ross, was moved by the letter and came to investigate. Poor, well-meaning Lara was soon eaten alive by the dangerous ’hood, and Pete Ross contacted Clark Kent for help.

Kent found Thirteen while she was busy dodging the Secret Service looking for Lang, and she accepted his help. Though he ended up with three Heartbreakers leeching his hope away, Superman saved Lana, found a way to destroy the Heartbreakers by focusing on loving memories, and prevented Dr. Thirteen - then under the influence of a Heartbreaker - from killing his daughter. Superman then worked to restore hope in the neighbourhood so Heartbreakers would be warded away. Girl 13 came to consider herself as one of Superman’s allies.

Sound of da Metropolis

Traci thus moved to Metropolis’s Suicide Slum to help Superman when needed. When she did find the Man of Tomorrow, he had been grievously wounded by a killer called Gaki, and Traci frantically worked to protect him and save his life.

A tad out of her depth, Traci ended up teaming with two other teenagers who responded to the crisis - Natasha Irons and Cir-El, the latter then calling herself Supergirl. The three “supergirls” narrowly saved Superman and convinced Gaki to renounce her vengeance. Though the ’supergirls” ended up battered, wounded and exhausted, the recovered Superman thanked them for their heroism.

Tragedy then struck the Croatoans, however. Sue Dibny was murdered, and her husband became obsessed with resurrecting her - which eventually resulted in his own death. Weeks later, Tim Trench was found dead. At that point the Croatoans were down to half their roster - Traci, Detective Chimp and Edogawa Sangaku - and Girl 13 had lost two of her parents figure.

(The Dibnys continued to exist as ghosts ; it is possible that the magically gifted Traci Thirteen was able to re-establish contact with them despite their death.)

Despite these losses, the Croatoans continued to investigate mysteries and famous historical enigmas. It is presumably during this era that Traci acquired several artefacts, including various magical alarm systems warning her of potential crises.

Traci was also instrumental in finding the Rock of Eternity fragments that had showered Gotham, hastening the reconstruction of the Rock.

Tales of the unexpected

Months later, something unusual occurred - Traci accompanied her dad on a case, staying as secretive as possible when she had to cast spells. This strange caper led them to meet other obscure characters from shadowy folds of the DCU (I, Vampire ; the Primate Patrol ; Infectious Lass ; Captain Fear - that sort of guys). This motley crew tried to fight the Architects, four writers (Morrison, Johns, Waid and Rucka) tasked with reorganising the universe. The Architects had decided that some obscure characters had to go, including Dr. Thirteen and his new allies. In contrast, the Architects agreed that Traci Thirteen would stay, since they were all big geeks and geeks just love really hot half-Asian chicks.

With Traci’s help, the obscure characters apparently prevailed and continued to exist ; Terrence Thirteen definitely still is a part of the universe despite the plot of the Architects.

Traci Thirteen | Girl 13 - DC Comics - Blue Beetle ally

Shortly after this strange adventure, this mysterious suspense, this cancelled comic cavalcade, Traci resumed her adventures with the Croatoans. She discovered that Eclipso was back — though the entity was channelling much of its mystic might into evading magical sensing, it could still be picked up by mundane detection work, which the Croatoans routinely used.

Ms. Thirteen came to El Paso to confront Eclipso, who was possessing Jean Loring - the murderess of Sue Dibny. Allying with powerful local hero Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) and his buddy Paco, Traci managed to stop Eclipso from transferring its consciousness into a newborn homo magi. During this fracas, she and Jaime started a relationship. Traci also became the Blue Beetle’s advisor about mystical situations.

A war erupted between Jaime Reyes and the mercantile alien space empire the Reach. Traci invited herself to join the ’ground team‘ that protected the Reyes and their friends from retaliation by the Reach. The situation escalated into a shooting war in El Paso. With Traci providing invaluable firepower and protection via her Staff, everybody made it out alive.

Traci was also part of the Zatanna-led mystical staff organised by Checkmate during the Final Crisis, and briefly considered joining the Teen Titans, though she and Jaime agreed that being on the same team would just be too weird. She did operate a few times alongside the Titans as a consultant of sorts, though.

The craft

Titans allies and homo magi Traci Thirteen, Black Alice and Zachary Zatara were later targeted by the Demon Three - Abnegazar, Rath and Ghast - as potential hosts. To manipulate her, the demons leveraged Traci’s resentment against her dad for forcing to hide her magic, and her feeling of power of dominance stemming from her rising magical puissance.

Like the other two, Girl 13 was projected into a made-up world flattering her fantasies. In this timeline, her dad had died alongside her mother, and she had saved the world from a crisis using her enormous mystical might. Traci had become an unstoppable archmage and essentially ruled over the world, with a magically modified Metropolis as her private fief.

This dream world miserably failed to sway Traci, but completely worked on Alice (who was reunited with her parents) and left Zachary (who was reunited with his lover) hesitant. The Demon Three offered to make the new world they had created permanent, overwriting the normal Earth timeline. Alice broke, accepting the deal and stealing Traci’s power to prevent her from intervening.

The three youths eventually got over their differences and formed a coven to repulse the Demon Three, putting the world back to its normal state. They then reached an agreement to reunite as the Coven of Three when necessary to counter further magical menaces.

Signs of tension abound, though. In particular, while Traci beat back the temptation of power with some ease, it would seem that the worm is actually in. She took the artefacts of the Demon Three with her while pretending to destroy them, being fascinated by their power.

Description

As noted above, Traci’s appearance tends to vary a lot from time to time and place to place. Generally speaking, she’s a petite Eurasian female, aged about 17 during her Blue Beetle appearances (and aged 14 or 15 in previous appearances). She’s very attractive, and this is often commented on - Jaime’s close friend Brenda has described Traci as ’improbably hot‘.

In Hell’s Reach she looked almost completely Asian - perhaps Laotian or Cambodian. Her eyes alternated between green and light brown and her hair was solid black with purple highlights. She had the look with the grungy green calf-length pants, clogs and fake white fur coat illustrated in the sidebar.

She still had that look when she came to Metropolis, but this changed as soon as she established herself in Suicide Slum. She still looked almost completely Asian, but her features looked much more Northern - perhaps Han. Her hair were the same colour as before but shaved on the sides and worn in what may have been a trendy Korean or Japanese cut. Her eyes were now a darker brown, and she wore outré clubbing clothes - a sort of halter top exposing most of the river between her breasts, matching skin-tight micro-shorts, BDU-style pants and a small leather backpack.

Traci Thirteen | Girl 13 - DC Comics - Blue Beetle ally

In her appearance along with her father, Traci is clearly Eurasian - Asian eyes, brown hair and eyes, mixed skin tone. She dresses in a fairly typical way for a teenager at that point, though the mid-calves length BDU-style pants are still there.

In Gotham, Traci’s skin was a light purple and her hair black with two orange streaks looking like thunderbolts. Her eyes were light, orange-ish brown and her ethnicity impossible to determine. She wore something like the skimpy Metropolis outfit, minus the trousers.

In El Paso, her skin colour is basically the same as the Latino members of the cast, such as Jaime and Paco. Her eyes have a noticeable epicanthic fold, but they seem to be a very dark blue, and the rest of her features are hard to place, not looking particularly Asian. Her hair is solid black, she’s still wearing BDU-style pants (though they now have a normal length) and fairly ordinary T-shirts and belly shirts.

As she steps away from urban magic, her physical appearance and wardrobe seem to be stabilising, and she now tends toward more mainstream clothing (long black skirts, jeans, little beige vests, pink t-shirts, sneakers, little purple dresses, etc.) rather than street fashion. When she starts flinging hexes her irises go solid purple.

Generally, purple/violet seems to be the colour associated with her magic, and when she casts there tends to be ephemeral, intangible manifestations akin to purple glass slivers floating around. Those minor manifestations disappeared by the time she met with Jaime Reyes. Likewise she used to speak her incantations in a strange, unknown, violet-looking language, but hasn’t done so recently.

Personality

As noted above, it used to vary a lot.

In Hell’s Heart, Traci was weird, spirited, fearless and uninterested in social validation of her acts. She did whatever she wanted, moved in mysterious ways, and was very driven, direct and dedicated. That nobody understood what the hell she was doing and saying does not bother her in the slightest - she had an important job to do. She was cynical, unusually smart, bohemian and precocious - though she was still 15, with the limitation that it entails.

Despite her youth, Traci had already experienced far more danger and weirdness than most at that point. She could handle herself even in very dangerous areas, was a decent detective and tactician, and had an obvious, indolent form of courage. She was not quite a super-heroine - more like a adventurer, professional troubleshooter and activist, and a mystical explorer and protector.

Using our No-Prize framework, one observes that Hell’s Reach is full of junkies, weirdoes and headcases with an hostile attitude and who live in their own world. Traci was reflecting that while connected to this ’hood.

In Metropolis

In Metropolis, she had a distinct hip-hop/urban Black vibe, and was using a lot of slang from those subcultures. She seemed much less experienced and more hectic than in Washington. In particular, Traci clung at Natasha since she seemed to know what she was doing (she didn’t). Interestingly, Traci spoke as if she was herself African-American, not seeming to realise that it wasn’t actually the case.

Using our No-Prize framework, one notes that Suicide Slum has been predominantly African-American since the 1970s, and has a strong hip-hop street culture. Traci’s immodest manner of clothing also matched the Slum - where being a stripper is considered a desirable profession, as Jefferson Pierce once mentioned. Traci was channelling those elements of local culture all but physically, and it is possible that her mixed races heritage might eventually have started including element from Black ethnicities frequent among Suicide Slum residents.

Tales of the Unexpected

In her appearances along with her father, Traci looked like a normal, somewhat superficial teenager and did not evidence any special experience or attitude. She was afraid that her father would see her using magic, and would only use her spells as a last resort. It was as if much of her savvy and toughness had washed away once she couldn’t tap the urban soul of a tough area.

Traci Thirteen | Girl 13 - DC Comics - Blue Beetle ally

In El Paso

In her El Paso appearances she’s a playful, vital, funny, particularly intelligent and courageous young woman. She’s already a professional, if minor, adventurer - and is obviously working hard to improve her skills mundane and mystical. She clearly has the potential to become a major presence in the mystical community, and she knows it. She’s very mature and confident for her age - way more than Jaime. She’s also probably a bit older than him, maybe 17.

At this stage Traci is very confident and well-adjusted, though she knows a lot of weird things and lives in a weird world. She likes the weird, perhaps even thrives on it, and has been practising her ominous remarks and mysterious airs, as well as her super-heroic banter.

Traci Thirteen | Girl 13 - DC Comics - Blue Beetle ally

Thirteen is almost preternaturally cool, nice, understanding and gracious. She comes across a bit like a young actress with training as a stand-up comedienne, who has been told to play the perfect mysterious girlfriend. It’s a weird, perhaps even creepy, but a much more subtle kind of weird than before and most people won’t notice it.

In 2010

In 2010, as she evolves away from urban magic and toward more classic and powerful sorcery, Traci adopts a pantheistic worldview. In her school of magic all gods, demi-gods, spirits, etc. from Earth and beyond exist, can be contacted and are connected with each other. Her hocus-pocus involves a hodge-podge of mythologies, routinely mixing Astarte, Athena and Kali together. She also now uses terms quite reminiscent of Harry Potter for some spells and entities (see writeups.org’s Harry Potter Spellbook article for inspiration).

2010 Girl 13 is not as playful as she was back in El Paso, though she’s still with Jaime. She now sees herself more like a serious heroine and protector, rather than a Buffy-style sassy girl adventurer. The light-heartedness also recedes as she grows increasingly obsessed with her own power and her - allegedly catastrophic - Price of Magic fate starts looming.

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