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Renee Montoya (Gotham Central and 52 eras) (DC Comics) ankle piece

Renee Montoya

(Profile #3 - Mid-2000s)


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

Context

This profile for Renee Montoya is part of a chronological series. The series is full of S P O I L E R S and should be read in order for it to make sense. It dauntlessly goes:

  1. Renee Montoya – the 1990s – start here !
  2. Renee Montoya – the early 2000s
  3. – this here writeup
  4. Renee Montoya – early Question

Background

  • Real Name: Renee Montoya
  • Former aliases: Pacita Trujillo
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Hernando Montoya (father), Louisa Montoya (mother), Captain Benjamin “Benny” Montoya (brother), unnamed cousin, unnamed goddaughter
  • Group Affiliation: Gotham City Police Department’s MCU
  • Base Of Operations: Gotham City
  • Height: 5’7” Weight: 148 lbs.
  • Eyes: Golden brown with green reflections Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Montoya is a bit tougher, stronger and more experienced than before. She’s an exceptional police detective in one of the US’ toughest towns.

Though she’s of average height and not genuinely muscular, Montoya is a dogged brawler. She’s well able to beat up a trained man 30 pounds heavier than she is. However she’ll take some nasty punches in so doing.

Her hand-to-hand prowess isn’t heroic or even cinematic . But ordinary opponents will be surprised by how aggressive and determined she gets in a brawl, especially if she is in one of her moods.

We got the gun

Beyond a basic police handgun (presumably a Glock 22 .40 S&W or similar), Renee seems to pack two backups. Police detectives from another city were surprised when seeing her surrender her ordnance to enter a prison, which wouldn’t have been the case if she just had a primary and a backup.

From the art her primary backup is a compact-frame, short-barrelled .38 revolver kept in an ankle holster. The DC Heroes game stats assume +P rounds. Since she aligned with Bullock for much of her firearms choice a compact-frame snubnosed .357 magnum revolver in a small-of-the-back holster would be logical as her third piece.

Renee Montoya bleeding and holding an Apokolips pistol

Detective Montoya normally wears a concealed vest. She keeps a ready-to-go tac vest at her desk, and it is likely that she has another one stashed in her car. She seldom packs something heavier than her handguns, but when Gotham degenerated into urban chaos she armed herself with a shotgun, like much of the force.

These looked like the workhorse Remington M870P for years – the most common police shotgun by far. But after Jim Gordon is shot the GCPD cops start being drawn using shotguns resembling a Benelli M1 Super 90 in its “Entry” configuration (with both a pistol grip and a stock).

As a MCU officer, Montoya has access to whatever speciality equipment the GCPD can buy, borrow, scrounge or impound. This includes gas masks, tear gas grenades, shotguns, forensics equipment, two-officers rams to bash doors open, etc.

Connected, part 1

During this era, Montoya has an oddly extensive set of connections, though she isn’t quite aware of it.

Renee has had several contacts with multi-billionaire Bruce Wayne. They have a common “friend” in Harvey Dent and she served as Wayne’s city-detailed bodyguard for a brief period.

She knows that Wayne has some sort of interest in her. He once sent his personal defence lawyer Rachel Green to represent Renee after she has been framed. Montoya has no reason to ask Wayne for favours, but he will float help her way when necessary.

She became a friend of Barbara Gordon after James Gordon retired. Though she does not suspect that Barbara is Oracle, a new database access to Oracle’s Gotham files soon popped up on Renee’s work computer. Whether she actually had time to use it remains unknown.

Detective Montoya is the main GCPD officer Batman and Robin liaise with after the departure of Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock. However, she cannot summon them. GCPD officers are barred from activating the bat-signal for legal reasons.

Connected, part 2

Renee has another non-standard connection with Two-Face (Harvey Dent). While the madman is obsessed with her and has been the cause from incidents ranging from creepy to horrific, there’s also a non-trivial chance he might spontaneously decide to help her. Montoya would never ask anything of him, though.

Other unusually competent people in Renee’s cell phone include her former police partner Harvey Bullock, and her former lover Katherine Rebecca Kane. However, in both cases, Renee parted with them in awkward terms and is way too stubborn to rekindle her ties.

After Renee leaves the GCPD, all of her connections seem to go dead. She eventually forces herself to reopen her Connection with Kate, and would likely be able to do the same with Harvey or Barbara. She can no longer get any help from the GCPD, though. Captain Sawyer will cover for her to an extent, but will not give her real access.


History

(This is continued from the previous writeup).

Officer down, part 1

In 2001 one Jordan Rich, whom Gordon had arrested decades before, ambushed and nearly killed the Commissioner. Though all clues pointed toward Catwoman being the shooter, Montoya and Allen soon determined this was a red herring. They tenaciously followed the path back to Rich.

However, they did not get a confession. And the evidence was too circumstantial to get a conviction.

Renee Montoya with Harvey Bullock and Crispus Allen

After unsuccessfully arguing with Allen that they should have Batman interrogate the suspect, Montoya became physically violent toward Rich. As a result, the city was sued for wrongful arrest.

Furious and depressed, Renee and Cris escorted Gordon everywhere as he was slowly recuperating from his grievous wounds. The Commissioner then retired. Akins would become commissioner and Bock would become chief of police.

Officer down, part 2

Montoya underwent an epic guilt trip about the Commissioner’s wounds. Cracking under the strain, she went to Rich’s apartment, kicked the door open and manhandled the suspect, threatening to execute him.

Her old friend Harvey Bullock, who had guessed what was going on, came in and convinced her to leave. He then joined her in a cop bar for a night of hard drinking.

During Gordon’s retirement diner, Two-Face crashed in with an hostage and armed henchmen. But though he had a nice word for Renee, he had come for Gordon. A flip of the coin resulted in Two-Face giving a heartfelt speech in honour of Gordon’s retirement before being arrested.

GCPD gone wild

A few weeks later, Montoya cracked a case where the Mad Hatter was using cops to commit robbery. Her willingness to give suspects the benefit of doubt (as opposed to Allen’s hard-arsed attitude) was the key to understanding what was going on.

However, right before they could determine which freak was behind the plot, they were themselves mind-controlled into robbing a strip joint. Batman and a masked Sasha Bordeaux stopped them using minimum force. Bullock refused to fill any paperwork. However he had to perp-walk  Montoya and Allen across the station since his office had but one exit.

Montoya experienced sharp anxiety at the thought of having her career ruined by formal charges. However, being in the holding pen protected her and Allen from the takeover of the minds of a third of Gotham’s police by the Hatter.

When guards under the Hatter’s control opened the cells, Montoya and Allen rushed to the control room. They overcame the guards and locked down the building before too many suspects could escape. Allen and Montoya were subsequently cleared of all charges by the IAD and lauded for their heroic efforts.

Blood on Bullock’s hands

Jordan Rich was then declared missing, and IA launched an investigation. Det. Montoya was of course the prime suspect. However, coming to trust that Montoya was innocent, IAD’s Det. Esperanza allowed her to help with the case.

Esperanza deduced that Bullock had hired hitmen to ice Rich. But he let Montoya reach the same conclusion independently, as he knew that she was the only cop whose opinion Bullock respected. Montoya confronted her old partner. Bullock admitted that, after he had stopped Montoya from killing Rich, he arranged for people with scores to settle with Rich to find him.

Renee Montoya arguing

Bullock gave Montoya a present Commissioner Gordon had offered him when he retired. He then left the force before the IAD could indict him. Shaken, Montoya blamed herself for almost shooting Rich as she considered that this had forced Bullock’s hand. Unable to deal with the guilt, she broke contact with Bullock.

Some weeks later Detective Montoya witnessed the arrival of a new vigilante in Gotham, Orpheus. To her annoyance, the new kid on the block kept hitting on her. This stopped after Orpheus and the Bat-Squad prevented a crooked cop and his allies from triggering race riots in Gotham.

Captain Sawyer

Meanwhile, Akins was headhunting to replace Bullock. He reeled in the toughest cop in Metropolis – Inspector Margaret Sawyer of the Special Crimes Unit. Interested in the unique character of the GCPD’s MCU, Sawyer joined though that meant that she was back to being a Lt..

Like Bullock, Essen and Gordon before her, Sawyer made Montoya and Allen her star detectives. Sawyer headed the main shift. An old GCPD hand, Lt. Probson (aka “the Probe”) ran the night shift. Sawyer was soon promoted back to Captain.

Bruce Wayne, murderer

In 2002, journalist Vesper Fairchild was murdered, apparently by Bruce Wayne. Sawyer made Allen the primary on the case. Montoya had had previous contacts with Wayne damaging her objectivity, and Allen was particularly skilled at CSI work.

Neither Wayne nor his bodyguard Sasha Bordeaux talked, and Wayne then appeared to flee the country. The case went Federal.

Knowing that something was off-kilter, Allen and Montoya doggedly investigated alternative leads. Montoya had to take time off the Wayne case to investigate a long series of Triad murders, but she and Allen came to suspect that Alfred Pennyworth had aided and abetted Wayne’s flight.

Pressuring Pennyworth, Allen deduced that Wayne had never actually left the country. However, Pennyworth lodged an harassment complaint against the detectives. Soon afterwards, Bruce Wayne was cleared. The actual murderer was established to have been international assassin David Cain, and the GCPD dropped the case.

Gotham Central

After the Wayne case, Detective Fields — a MCU mainstay — was killed during a chance encounter with Mr. Freeze. The entire MCU staff developed a sense that they owned it to Fields and his widow to solve this without Batman’s help. Sawyer put Montoya and Allen on the case.

Renee Montoya writing on a blackboard

Thanks to Fields’ partner Det. Driver, they deduced where Freeze would strike next. However, they realised that they couldn’t reliably stop him. The cops reluctantly warned Batman, who took Freeze down after a GCPD tactical team failed. This resulted in a bitter victory for the MCU.

By that point Montoya had been single for months. Her feelings of loneliness were hampering her ability to deal with stress. She rekindled her relationship with a restaurant chef, Daria “Dee” Hernandez.

Lipari

Renee was then sued for ten million dollars in reparations by one Marty Lipari. Lipari had recently walked from a rape case Montoya had been investigating. The prosecution had lost after a critical piece of evidence was “misplaced” by the police – likely following a bribe to an evidence control officer.

Lipari had attempted to stab Montoya during the arrest, but this wasn’t sufficient to keep him in prison.

Lipari hired a PI to dig up dirt about Detective Montoya. When the PI turned up dead with his office ransacked and documents missing, an IA unit of the GCPD contacted Renee. By the next morning, a series of photographs taken the previous night and showing Montoya and Hernandez kissing was anonymously sent to the MCU. Somebody displayed it on the bulletin board.

Renee, who for years had concealed her homosexuality from the entire GCPD, was now outed.

Out of the closet

In the conservative, hard-edged Gotham City, this was a catastrophe. Many cops openly reviled LGBT persons, and peppered Montoya with inappropriate and insulting remarks.

Thankfully, Captain Sawyer was herself openly a lesbian. This meant that Montoya had to be harassed somewhat covertly. Homophobes correctly assumed that Sawyer would use the LGBT-friendly regulations promulgated during Commissioner Gordon’s time to fire them into orbit if she saw something.

However, the detective didn’t want her Captain’s support. Montoya resented Sawyer for being from the much more modern and liberal Metropolis.

Montoya also received unconditional support from Detective Allen. Despite their rocky start, they had by that point developed an uncommon level of partner simpatico.

When Lipari returned to harass Montoya and Hernandez, Renee lost it and beat him up before letting slink away. However, a third party was watching.

Two-Face again

The situation had been engineered by Two-Face, who had murdered the PI and mailed the photos. He then stole a gun in Montoya’s gun safe and used it to murder Lipari. Montoya was arrested, and for the second time had to cross the station in handcuffs.

The situation was well-handled, though. To Montoya’s surprise Bruce Wayne sent his defense lawyer Rachel Green to represent her pro bono. Renee herself had deducted that Two-Face was behind the conspiracy and told Allen.

Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen working

Allen was temporarily partnered with another highly competent cop, Detective J. “Josie Mac” McDonald. The pair proved in record time that Detective Montoya had been framed. Two-Face reacted by sending in a heavily-armed team, who kidnapped Renee during a prison transfer.

From Two-Face to pride

The psychotic crimelord held Montoya captive. He tried to convince her to love him. When Renee asked Harvey Dent why he had ruined her life, he pitifully admitted that he had flipped the coin and that Two-Face won. Thank to Detectives Allen and McDonald, Batman came in just in time, as Two-Face and Det. Montoya were grappling for control of a gun.

Two-Face had also sent the photos to Renee’s parents. Her brother Benjamin had tried to do damage control. But after finally listening to Sawyer’s advice Renee decided she just couldn’t live in the closet anymore.

Her coming out went about as poorly as can be expected. Her parents told her they never wanted to see her again and that she was going to Hell. They then formally disowned her.

Having only held together that far through Hernandez’s loving support, Renee finally collapsed. She was ordered by Sawyer to liquidate her accumulated vacation time and scram.

Meanwhile, the DA’s office dropped all charges against Det. Montoya as copious evidence about the Two-Face machination was presented by Allen and McDonald.

A long slide into darkness

Detective Montoya was re-partnered with Allen. Mayor Dickerson and another town official were then shot dead by a sniper, and Montoya and Allen were entrusted with this redball .

As it turned out it was a plot of the Joker to manipulate and cripple the GCPD’s MCU. It was generally successful. Several officers and detectives (including Lt. Probson) were killed or grievously wounded by the Joker’s plot and his subsequent rampage through the MCU’s offices.

Thankfully, the carnage was stopped short by Captain Sawyer. Maggie emptied her backup revolver into the Joker to save the unit’s administrative assistant.

Probson was replaced by Lt. David Cornwell from the OCB. This did not go smoothly, as the MCU detectives had favoured the application of Detective Sgt. ”Sarge” Davies, a veteran of the GCPD.

Renee Montoya grinning on the phone

While Montoya hadn’t talked to Bullock again, she covered for him when his obsession with an old unclosed case nearly led him to murder the Penguin.

Detectives Driver and McDonald used new data to correctly close the cold case, likely preventing the guilt-ravaged Bullock from committing suicide. As to Montoya she took care of the paperwork and liaised with Wayne lawyers detailed to Bullock’s defense.

Stress and tension continued to wear down Renee but Cris supported her, regularly inviting Montoya and Hernandez to have Sunday lunches with his family.

Jim Corrigan

In 2004, Montoya and Allen spotted a Burnley Town Massive hunting party. They shadowed the gangbangers, but a gunfight erupted before they could get close enough. The two detectives arrested several armed survivors, but then ran into the last gunman – Black Spider II (Johnny Lamonica).

Montoya’s luck and tac vest saved her. Allen then emptied a clip into Lamonica, killing him. Renee walked away from all the hits she took with but broken ribs.

One of the surviving BTM bangers, who had been hit by a stray shot from the Black Spider, sued Allen. He claimed that the detective was the one who shot him. The simplest way to exonerate Allen was for the CSI team to match all bullets found at the scene. But Jim Corrigan, the head of the CSU, pocketed the bullet that had killed Lamonica.

He then auctioned it off on the Internet, as a morbid collector’s item marking the death of a genuine Gotham supervillain.

Evidence control (and wild bats)

Suspecting this, the increasingly violent and obsessive Montoya launched her own investigation. She confronted Corrigan in a cop bar – though she knew that the homophobic patrons there reviled her. After the overconfident Corrigan provoked her, they took it outside. Montoya thrashed him in front of his colleagues until he confessed and gave her the name of the bullet’s buyer.

The fight was witnessed by Det. Esperanza of the IAD. Though Montoya’s unprofessional conduct had tainted Esperanza’s dossier against Corrigan, Esperanza had enough respect for her to help her track the bullet down. Allen was cleared of charges thanks to this new evidence, but Renee refused to tell him what she had done to save his career.

Renee Montoya talks about Gotham

The relationship between the GCPD and Batman then took a turn for the worse. Commissioner Akins had the bat-signal taken apart. Later on Batman briefly took over police radio frequencies during massive gang wars that left 27 officers dead. This turned a lot of police against him.

This also created tension between Detective Montoya and Detective Allen. Allen disapproved of vigilantes for ethical reasons but Montoya was staunchly pro-Batman, knowing just how much the Gotham police owed him. Commissioner Atkins practically declared war against Batman, which lasted for months.

Better living through alchemy, part 1

In 2005, patrol officer Andy Kelly, a former mentee of Montoya, was grievously wounded and mutated while saving a kid from weird chemicals. Cpt. Sawyer surprisingly agreed to let Montoya in on the case, though she put Allen on primary. The detectives soon determined that the chemicals likely belonged to Doctor Alchemy (Albert Desmond), a Keystone City supervillain.

As the crime took place a block away from the Montoya bodega, Renee briefly saw her father again. But the familial situation was still deadlocked.

Renee Montoya eyes closeup

To save Kelly, Montoya and Allen decided to interogate Alchemy in a Keystone prison, though they knew that he was a manipulative genius. Batman asked Renee not to make any deal with Desmond. However, the discussion did not go well as he confronted her over how cold and Bullock-like she had become.

Though they suspected a trap, Montoya and Allen had little choice but to fly Desmond to Gotham to examine Officer Kelly. At the hospital, Alchemy revealed that his powers had not been actually neutralised by the Keystone cops.

Better living through alchemy, part 2

He disposed of the nearby police and turned Montoya’s little double-Venus  pendant into hydrogen and chlorine. This branded her with the symbol under her throat. Alchemy started a rampage to confront Batman, but the enraged Montoya caught up with him and beat him to a pulp before he could use his powers.

Many Keystone and Gotham cops discreetly approved. They even thanked Det. Montoya for thrashing a hated villain responsible for the death of numerous officers. This did not lift Renee’s spirits, though, as she realised that she had done exactly what Bullock would have done.

Hernando Montoya apparently tried to mend fences with his daughter at that point, with much encouragement from the ever-friendly Daria Hernandez. This seemingly went nowhere.

Miscellaneous cases

Renee and Cris’s next documented case, the death of a street urchin, quickly led them to suspect that a couple of uniforms were crooked. The two MCU-hating cops, Officers Decarlo and Munroe, paid the CSU’s Jim Corrigan to disappear some evidence and significantly delay Allen and Montoya.

However, the kid they had murdered was a follower of Poison Ivy. The villainous vegetal vixen killed the two patrolmen in revenge.

Some weeks later, dead young men in Robin costumes start turning up across Gotham. The MCU quickly established that none of the vics was the real Robin, as Captain Sawyer had the Titan come to provide data to the GCPD.

Renee Montoya looking grim

As the case was almost closed, Commissioner Atkins was forced to reactivate the signal as only Batman stood a chance to save the next victim. This marked the end of this round of hostility between the GCPD and Batman.

During this stressful case Renee started smoking, first bumming Allen’s cigs then graduating to about three packs a day.

Meanwhile, Detective Allen had been investigating how Detective Montoya had saved his career, and discovered the truth about Corrigan and the stolen bullet. A man of strict principles, Allen was furious about his partner’s conduct and how she had poisoned the IADs case against Corrigan to exonerate him.

The downward spiral accelerates

As Allen and Montoya were yelling at each other over the Corrigan case, their unit crashed into Captain Marvel. The super-hero had fallen off the Rock of Eternity as the Spectre destroyed it. The Seven Deadly Sins followed and Renee was possessed by Anger.

She started shouting her hatred of her parents for rejecting her, and of her colleagues for talking behind her back, threatening Cris with her pistol. The good Captain Marvel then expelled the spirit from her, leaving her disoriented.

With Gotham City turned into a magical war zone, Allen made his way back toward his family. He dragged Montoya after him and dropped her at Daria’s restaurant. A group of looters assaulted them and Allen realised that he had lost his gun. But the still-dazed Montoya produced her ankle piece and kneecapped one assailant, sending the rest running.

By that point, Renee had clearly entered a spiral of alcoholism, violence and lack of sleep. She could no longer hide it from Cris. By the time she admitted to thrashing Corrigan, Montoya had started pushing Daria away and was trawling lesbian bars most nights, drinking heavily and provoking fights.

Meanwhile, Allen worked on salvaging the IAD case against Corrigan, who had been expanding his little empire of corruption.

Death of a detective

Daria still stood by Renee despite her efforts to push her away. The chef found the detective one night in her apartments clutching her weapon and apparently considering suicide. The frightened Daria talked Renee into dropping the gun.

Mere hours later, Captain Sawyer came to tell Detective Montoya that Detective Allen had been found dead.

Renee Montoya smirking

Renee showed up at the MCU in an obvious state of hysterical shock, ransacking Allen’s desk until she found his Corrigan dossier. She was certain that Corrigan had killed her partner. Though she soon collected herself, she could not bring herself to come with Dee to bring solace to Dore Allen and her kids.

She smelled a well-prepared setup behind Cris’s murder, and was terrified that Corrigan would walk.

Game over, man. Game over.

She was right. Corrigan and his girlfriend, Officer Mulcahey, had prepared and crafted their alibi. They had also paid the ballistics man to lie about the rounds used to kill Detective Allen. Since the case hinged on the murder weapon, Corrigan would indeed walk.

Renee lied to Dore Allen, telling her that the investigation was going fine. She then told Hernandez to forget about her and their relationship, and stay well away.

Hitting her favourite bar, Montoya got thoroughly inebriated. She then stumbled out blind with drunken rage. Reaching Corrigan’s apartment, she bashed the door open and brutally pistol-whipped officer Mulcahey. Montoya walked to the terrorised Corrigan to execute him, but then silently relented and walked out.

Some hours later, she came to the MCU, left her service pistol and badge on Sawyer’s desk, and quit the GCPD.

A man with a question

Allen’s death and her own inability to kill Corrigan crushed Renee. She spent all her time drinking. Daria finally left as she could not stand watching Renee destroy herself, and Montoya started picking up girls in bars, though casual sex failed to bring solace. Blamed herself for breaking Dee’s heart, Renee sunk further into depression.

Renee Montoya pointing her pistol, over a white background

Three months after Daria left, the enigmatic Question (Vic Sage/Charles Victor Szasz) recruited the washed-out alcoholic detective for a surveillance job. After weeks of boredom, Montoya spotted somebody entering a deserted warehouse.

She was joined by the Question and they ran into some sort of lizard-man, who broke Renee’s arm whilst ignoring her gunfire. Montoya found a strange gun in a nearby smashed crate, and used it to disintegrate their opponent.

The GCPD wasn’t enthused with Montoya’s B&E . Especially since she didn’t have a PI license, and the crates in the warehouse had vanished. Renee’s curiosity nevertheless got the better of her and she continued investigating.

The building being owned by the Kane family, she reluctantly contacted Kate Kane — who had been her lover ten years before — to check the private records. While the reunion was tense and awkward, Kane agreed to help. Some romantic tension reappeared, but Renee purposely drove Kate away, not wanting her to become a target for the syndicate she was investigating.

Intergang

The Question reappeared, unmasking as a show of trust. Despite her sorry state, Montoya resumed functioning as a detective. The Question started dragging her out of her guilt, pointing out that in the end she had done the right thing and let Corrigan live.

Their investigation revealed that Intergang was moving into Gotham, spearheaded by the mysterious Whisper A’Daire and Kyle Abbot. Sage and Montoya were beset by werebeasts serving the organisation but saved by a new heroine, Batwoman. Renee immediately realised that Batwoman was Kate Kane.

After the GCPD chewed Montoya off for wrecking their only lead on Intergang, she and Sage flew to the rogue state of Kahndaq, ruled by Black Adam, to continue investigating. Renee and Charlie became friends, and the Question patiently continued to help her clear her crushing guilt and depression.

National heroine of Kahndaq

Montoya and the Question fell into an Intergang trap framing them for mass murder, and were arrested. Imprisoned and regularly beaten, Renee and Charlie nevertheless escaped. They continued investigating whilst hiding in shipping container.

Renee intuited that Intergang was about to hit the marriage of Black Adam and Isis, and the suicide bomber turned out to be a child. Renee was forced to take the shot, killing the kid to prevent a carnage.

Montoya and the Question were hailed as heroes and cleared of previous charges. Black Adam and Isis decorated them with a national honour, the Order of the Crescent. However Renee was unable to deal with the guilt of having killed the kid. She resorted to her usual – lots of booze, the tender ministrations of a beautiful strumpet and letting everything else crumble.

She more or less attempted suicide by disrespecting Black Adam, but Isis stayed her husband’s hand.

Renee Montoya firing her pistol, and the Question

Resuming their investigation, the duo determined that A’Daire was some sort of priestess. Her men kidnapped and brainwashed teenagers into a cult. They found her in Yemen, where she had kidnapped Amon Tomaz, Isis’s little brother.

Szasz and Montoya stole the cult’s unholy book the Crime Bible. Black Adam and Isis saved the dying Tomaz by sharing their power with him – turning him into the superhuman Osiris.

Nanda Parbat

Renee and Charlie left to resume investigating Intergang, and Szasz requested that Black Adam drop them in the middle of the Himalayas. He and Renee then walked to the mystical refuge of Nanda Parbat. There lived the Question’s teacher – Richard Dragon, possibly the greatest martial artist on Earth.

Charlie had arranged for Richard to train Renee. As he had done for the Question, the former kung-fu fighter designed a style for her to master. He then ran the Gothamite through an intensive regimen of acrobatics, athletics, meditation and introspection.

Dragon was clear from the onset that the kung fu fightin’  was not the main objective. What Montoya really had to learn was who she really was. That would only be possible after she would let go of the crushing amounts of guilt and self-loathing she had accumulated – and came to terms with her terrible experiences.


Description

After being outed, Montoya started wearing a little “double Venus” pendant (a common lesbian pride symbol) at her throat – but only when she wore clothes covering it. This pendant was a romantic gift from Daria. They did not replace it after it was vaporised by Alchemy.

It is possible Renee had that scar fixed later on, but she likely still had it when she reached Nanda Parbat.


Personality

After the Gordon shooting and especially after being outed, Montoya threads closer to the edge and becomes more violent. When her temper flares up, her methods are not entirely distinct from Bullock’s old ways.

She is no longer the compassionate, reasoned, quiet officer whom she used to be. This is especially true if a loved one (such as Dee, Benny or Cris Allen) is threatened.

Montoya’s remarkable drive gradually turns into obsessiveness. Furthermore, it intertwines in nasty ways with her all-consuming guilt about her every failure – real or imagined. The combination of the two leaves little room for a life and she becomes increasingly cold.

Combined with her drive this results in a Batman-like, hardcore behaviour. This worsens after she gets outed, as many cops see her as a symbol of why they resent the MCU.

Renee Montoya looking haunted and exhausted

During her last few weeks with the GCPD Renee is depressed, sleep-deprived, stressed out. She’s also pumped full of nicotine and caffeine (and presumably sleeping pills). She has more alcohol than blood in her veins, and the torn skin over her knuckles from fights is but partially concealed with makeup.

The fatigue and her mounting nervous breakdown make her increasingly zombie-like. Her eyes go cold and dead and she looks increasingly hostile, drawn and closed. After she leaves the force she becomes a full-time alcohol-soaked wreck.

Slow and painful recovery

After she is hired by the Question for a stakeout job, Renee recovers some of her professionalism. She acts like a typical noir detective, complete with whiskey, attitude, complicated relationship with dames, a taste for violence and cynical internal monologue.

This attitude and her occasional childish behaviour toward Charlie are an attempt to maintain some dignity as guilt is crushing her to death.

Before having to kill a kid in Kahndaq, Renee was improving. She drank less, slept more, smoked less and the bitter and burnt-out cast to her expression and speech was receding. Taking the shot make her relapse hard for several weeks. But this time she fought back and dragged herself back to a visibly better state even before she and Charlie left for Nanda Parbat.


Quotes

“Yes [Bullock], I wanted that son of a bitch to pay for what he did to Gordon, you’re right… but I wasn’t planning to get away with it. What you did, that was calculated, Harvey. And to know that you think you did even a little bit to save me… how am I supposed to live with that ?”

“You want to take this outside, [Corrigan] ? I’d be *glad* to take this outside.”

“I’ve lost count of how many times [Batman] saved my life, Cris. You don’t understand. You didn’t grow up here. I’m a cop because of that signal, you get it ?”

Montoya (coldly): “You didn’t used to be so cold.”
Batman (coldly): “You would know.”
Montoya: “…”

Corrigan (sarcastically): “Hello, Detective Montoya. How’s the wife ?”
Montoya (coldly): “Hello Jimmy. How’s the dog ?”

Montoya (blatantly ogling at Starfire, whispering): “Wow.”
Sawyer (blatantly ogling at Starfire, whispering): “You should see Wonder Woman.”

“Charlie Tango Four, mobile, responding… be advised Charlie Tango Four now 32 Baker.”

“I… I can’t feel anything, Marcus… just… just this anger, that’s all there is, and… and I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what I should do… it’s like… it’s like…”

“I’m past help, Dee. And the best thing you can do now is to stay away from me.”

(Resigning) “I can’t do it anymore, Captain. I’ve got nothing left. I’m done.”

The Question: “So you are a detective, after all.”
Montoya: “No, I’m not. I’ve got a new job. It’s called being a drunk.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Renee Montoya (mid-2000s)

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Justice
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Police detective
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 013 HP: 015

Skills:
Charisma: 04, Detective (Legwork, Police procedure): 04, Medicine (First aid): 03, Vehicles (Land): 04, Weaponry (Police weapons): 04, Weaponry (Blue Boys weapons): 03

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Gotham City), Familiarity (Gotham city criminals, Urban survival, Personal security), Language (Spanish), Rank (Detective, GCPD), Schtick (Double-tapping)

Connections:
GCPD (Low, from Credentials – but see her Drawbacks), GCPD Major Crimes Unit (High), Jim Gordon (High), Street (Low), Nora Fields (Supervisor with the coroner’s office – Low), Cpt. Margaret Sawyer (Low). For further Connections, see below.
In the last few months of this era, Renee gains a High Connection with the Question, and a Low Connection with Black Adam and his family (Isis and Osiris).

Drawbacks:
Dark Secret (Deeply closeted lesbian, later replaced by a Misc. Drawback as an outed one), Traumatic Flashback (see the previous writeup), MIA toward Guilt trips

Equipment:

  • Glock 22 .40 S&W [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Ammo: 15, R#02]
  • Backup revolver [BODY 04, Projectile weapon: 04, Range: 03, Ammo: 06, R#02, Limitation: Projectile Weapon has No Range, use the listed Range instead] and probably a second backup with the same stats.
  • Police radio handset [BODY 03, Radio communications: 05]. On undercover missions, Montoya is wired with an in-ear radio and wire mike, which has the same stats plus about 3 APs of Miniaturisation.
  • CONCEALED VEST [BODY 05, Skin armour: 01, Invulnerability: 04, Limitations : Skin armour and Invulnerability only vs. blades and bullets, Partial coverage (vest)]. Montoya also keeps at least one TAC VEST [BODY 06, Skin armour: 02, Invulnerability: 05, Limitations : Skin armour and Invulnerability only vs. blades and bullets, Partial coverage (vest), Drawback: Real armour] ready to go.
  • Montoya occasionally sports a shotgun [BODY 04, Shotgun blast: 06, Range: 03, Ammo: 07, R#03, Drawback: Very long reload time]
  • After the Question hired her, Renee ended up finding a kirbyesque energy pistol, which she kept for some months. Likely stats for that gun were [BODY 06, Disintegration: 10, R#02]

Disintegration

Early on Renee still has her Dark Secret (Lesbian in a gay-hostile milieu) Drawback. After she is outed she no longer has it but acquires a Misc. Drawback, with homophobes (including numerous cops) having a Suspicious or Hostile initial attitude toward her if they know she’s a lesbian.

After Cris is murdered, Renee’s MIA toward guilt trips explodes and she gains an SIA toward guilt trips, an SIA toward alcohol, a MIA toward cigarettes and an MIA toward one-night stands. All of these and her psychological breakdown Subplot last until she reaches Nanda Parbat.

Though guilt becomes one of the major themes for Renee during this era, she does not seem to have Guilt in game terms.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Renee Montoya (mid-2000s) — Averaged PL 4.4

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
01 02 01 02 03 02 01 01

Combat Advantages

Close Attack 1, Defensive roll 1, Ranged Attack 2, Second chance (Unarmed blows)

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (GCPD Detective), Contacts, Equipment 3, Language (Spanish)

Skills

Athetics 2 (+3), Close combat (Unarmed) 1 (+5), Close combat (Police weapons) 1 (+5), Deception 3 (+4), Expertise (Police detective) 6 (+8), Expertise (Gotham City) 4 (+6), Expertise (Bodyguard) 3 (+5), Expertise (Urban survival) 2 (+4), Insight 3 (+4), Perception 4 (+5), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged combat (Police weapons) 1 (+5), Treatment 2 (+4) (Limited 2 to revive, stabilise), Vehicles 3 (+5) (Limited 2 to common land vehicles)

Equipment

Light pistol ● 8 points (Feature 2 – two extra pistols)
Concealed vest — Protection 2 (Limited to Ballistics) ● 2 points
5 points in police equipment

Offense

Initiative +1
Unarmed +5, Close, Damage 1
Light Pistol +5, Ranged, Damage 3

Defense

Dodge 5 Fortitude 4
Parry 6 Toughness 3/2*
Will 4

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Responsibility Detective Montoya is a highly driven cop
  • Identity Renee lives deep in the closet
  • Obsession Montoya is prone to developping feelings of guilt
  • Prejudice Racism and sexism
  • Addiction After Renee breaks she develops addictions to alcohol, tobacco and casual sex

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 4, Dodge/Toughness PL 4, Parry/Toughness PL 5, Fort/Will PL 4
  • Point total 66 Abilities 26, Defences 12, Skills 17, Powers 0, Devices 0, Advantages 11. Equiv. PL 5.


Design Notes

Assembling the stats for Renee is interesting as it reminds me of how high the NPC stats on pp266-267 of the DCA books are. For instance the average police officer is stronger than the Flash and but one point less athletic than Hal Jordan. While I think that a lower scale is probably for the best, it does create yet another area of divergence from official stats.


By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: DC Universe (Batman books)

Helper(s): vicsage.com  for the Rucka interview. Mike Winkler, Roy Cowan, DeadLast.

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