Beautie of the Honor Guard (Astro City comics) (Busiek)


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

The world’s only living, breathing Beautie Doll !


Astro City is a fantastic comic book series that constructs an entire, classic super-heroic universe laden with archetypes and references. It then proceeds to tell human interest stories from a different angle, usually that of ordinary people or even onlookers.

Beautie is a cool character concept – a gynoid  created by a little girl genius, who naturally used her Barbie dolls  as a template for her artificial super-woman. Beautie becames a major heroine, perhaps a loose equivalent of Marvel’s Vision.

This profile has S P O I L E R S about Beautie’s origin story.



  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Elaine Girbachs (creator).
  • Group Affiliation: Honor Guard.
  • Base Of Operations: Honor Guard HQ, mobile.
  • Height: 6’0” Weight: 260 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blonde

Powers & Abilities

Beautie is an android with the following capabilities:

Fully rotatable limbs and neck allow her to look and act in every possible direction.

Being constructed with a ferro-styrene skin over an omnitanium framework she is very resistant towards damage.

Naturally, as an android, she doesn’t breathe. This makes her completely immune to pheromonal attacks.

It is not clear how she vocalizes as her mouth does not move as she talks. She may either employ air streams and complex, artificial vocal cords or loudspeakers mounted behind her mouth opening.


She does not appear to have the need to shut down regularly for resting and maintenance to continue operations, which results in her having a lot of time to spend. Still, she does eat and drink organic foods, only perhaps needing to do so. Naturally her figure is completely unaffected by her eating habits.

It is not clear exactly how she eats since her jaw doesn’t appear to be moving.


Beautie is an android built by Elain Girbachs, the daughter of Dr. Gearbox. She is a perfect life-size replica of a type of doll of the same name sold by Tip-Top Toys. The Beautie gynoid was built as a companion and in order to impress Elaine’s father. However, when she presented her superior creation to her father, the petty genius immediately went jealous and angry.

(“Beautie” is absolutely the equivalent of Barbie in the Astro City universe. Her appearance is more specifically based on the Barbie dolls that were sold in the second half of the 1960s, which were cruder than modern dolls.)

Elain, in order to appease him, decided to delete the memory of the android. She sent it away to live out its days elsewhere.

In the eye of the beholder

Thus, Beautie appeared amnesiac in Astro City in the fall of 1969. These are her first memories, searching for her place in existence. Programmed with basic decency, circumstances soon made her a heroine. Beautie stopped the kidnapping of little Joanie Wheaton, heir to Wheaton Investments, because it was the right thing to do.

Half a year later she ironically helped Honor Guard defeat the Toymaker, who had unsuccessfully tried to reverse engineer duplicates of her. Beautie became a regular member of this superhero group in 1970.

Beautie dolls in a store

Interestingly, being an android, her legal status was uncertain. This lasted until a court declared her a free person using the Loony Leo versus Fago Funny Features decision as precedent. She eventually became a corporate symbol and spokeswoman for Tip-Top toys, since she looked exactly like their bestseller. As part of this job made regular appearances nationwide.

By 1972 she had an apartment, her public appearances for Tip-Top toys and her work for Honor Guard. All the while she collected new clothes as every season meant marketing new accessories.

Strong enough

In 1978, Beautie stopped an attack against the Astro City Gay Freedom March. Beautie was enthusiastically adopted by Astro City’s queer community, and became a gay and lesbian icon. Her symbolism as an hyper-feminine girls’ toy who is also a genderless being resonated with a number of LGBTQ persons, usually for different reasons.

Beautie flies over Astro City

After four decade of superheroing Beautie is one of the most famous heroes in the United States. She has been destroyed twice – once by Samaritan’s foe the Living Nightmare and once by the Silver Brain’s Sledgehamsters – only to later be rebuilt (once by Dr. Furst and once by the Black Rapier).

She often fights Goldenboy, her robotic nature making her immune to his pheromone-based powers. She can be considered his archenemy. She also fights the Toymaker whenever he turns up. Beautie remains a famous heroine with the Honor Guard!


Beautie looks exactly like a life-sized, blonde, living fashion doll. While looking somewhat cartoonish with inhumanly perfect measures she is indeed a looker. It often takes a long while for people to realize that she isn’t quite human. Unless covered by clothing her joints are visible.

In civilian clothes she looks like a fashion model, and as a superhero she wears skin-tight spandex which shows off her statuesque looks. When speaking her mouth does not move. Her skin does not flex and her limbs move like a doll’s.

Her superheroine costume is pinkish in colors and completed by a purple, stylized half-mantle and high heels.


Beautie is a good-natured “woman” and being a superhero is therefore very natural to her. Superheroics is something that she can understand well.

Being a sophisticated android she is also built to like socializing with people – people are better than no people. This is why she is an excellent team player, even if she can be rude during one of her inquisitive moods. She likes to learn about people, but will avoid men attracted to her if possible since that can only lead to disappointment.

Beautie meets the Honor Guard

Beautie loves clothing, fashion, variety, patterns and fabrics. She has quite the collection at home.

Her logical brain makes it difficult for her to understand jokes and subtle abstract semantics. But she has learned how to make small comments to better socialize after studying television shows for six months.

Other traits

While an artificial creation she does have real feelings, which go far beyond the surface. But people have trouble understanding that. Since she does not sleep she has a lot of time to spend and usually spends that on work.

Naturally, she feels somewhat estranged from society since people are not like her (and she is genderless). Most people see only her surface and cannot truly relate to her.

However, she has found many good friends in the gay community since they too are a social minority. Her apartment is located over a gay bar – she is good friends with the owner Charlie and his boyfriend, Greg. And in gay bars she does not need to be subject to romantic male attention.

She is also good friends with the alien known only as the Tourist, and fellow Honor Guard member MPH.

The Beautie identity

Beautie is programmed to forget her origin, but her natural curiosity will eventually makes her try to trace whence she comes from. Yet she really has to struggle to remember that newfound knowledge, having been programmed to forget all such information (sometimes writing it down and having true Memento moments).

Nevertheless she usually finds her way back to Elain Girbachs, who wants nothing to do with her old creation. Elaine will reset Beautie’s memory with a verbal command.

Beautie and her wardrobe

This sends her into yet another amnesiac cycle where her curiousity starts growing until she again traces her origin, only to again lose her memory and so on. Luckily, this memory loss only relates to Elain and her own creation as she still remembers everything else about her long existence.

At the start of a cycle she is initially very much at peace with herself. Her mood will then be somewhat influenced on where in the memory cycle she currently is to being quite distant towards others once the inquisitive state is at its worst. While she usually tries to be courteous and polite she is never a bundle of laughs.


“There is no further need to scream, young girl. Your fall has been checked.”

(Dissuading amorous pursuer) “What do I say ? I say this, Mitchell: my skin is ferro-styrene over an omnitanium frame. My breasts and buttocks are rigid. And I have no genitalia.”

Beautie's first heroic outing

“I… apologize, Mike. Truly. I have been out of sorts, as you say. My ability to frame appropriate responses is… faulty of late. I am your ally, and you are concerned about the smooth functioning of the team. That is sensible.”

DC Universe History

Beautie is a female version of Robotman I & II (who dealt with similar issues as Beautie) and of Marvel’s female Jocasta character (both Jocasta and Beautie were created by villains, both have been sexually objectified on numerous occasions, both have suffered from serious loneliness at some point in their stories and both were clearly robotic in appearance and made use of conventional superhuman robot abilities such as superstrength and supertoughness).

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 06 Str: 12 Bod: 10 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 05 Occupation: Beautie doll, hero, Tip-Top Toys company symbol and spokeswoman
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 014 HP: 050

Extended Hearing: 23, Flight: 09, Full vision: 06, Recall: 18, SL:Gadgetry: 23

Bonuses and Limitations:
SL:Gadgetry is Always On (-1) making her an android.

Artist (Modelling): 03

Altered Anatomy, Attractive, Life Support (No Need to Sleep), Local Hero (Astro City Gay Community).

Honor Guard (High), The Tourist (Low).

Distinct Appearance (Beautie Doll), Minor Psychological Instability (Amnesia; Rebooting memory), Public Identity.

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Beautie (Astro City) — Averaged PL9.8

12 N.A. 02 01 04 01 01 01


Living Beautie doll ● 86 points ● Descriptor: Robotics
– Ferro-styrene skin over an omnitanium frame — Protection 11 (4 Ranks are Impervious), Immunity 30 (Fortitude effects).
– Power of flight — Flight 8, Evasion.
– Head can rotate all the way around — Senses 1 (Visual senses have Radius).
– Global hearing range — Remote sensing 21 (Hearing).
– Memory banks — Eidetic Memory.
– She’s such a doll — Benefit (+2 Circumstance Bonus to Deception and Persuasion toward some people who react strongly to her appearance – usually because of her idealised gynoid form, or due to childhood memories).

Combat Advantages

Close Attack 4, Evasion, Interpose, Move-by-Action, Power Attack.

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Beautie is a gay icon, especially in Astro City), Benefit (Beautie is a famous Honor Guard heroine).


Close combat 2 (+10), Expertise (Beautie dolls spokesmodel) 4 (+5), Insight 2 (+3), Perception 4 (+5).


Initiative +2
Unarmed +10, Close, Damage 12


Dodge 10 Fortitude N.A.
Parry 10 Toughness 11*
Will 5

* Four Ranks are Impervious


  • Limelight Beautie is famous, easily recognisable and often draws strong reactions.
  • Gynoid Beautie is an unique artificial being, and thus a perennial outsider even among friends.
  • Spokesdoll Beautie represents the Beautie brand and the Tip-Top Toys company.
  • Altruistic Beautie strong feels that she must use her considerable power to protect people.
  • Memory leaks Beautie goes through a periodical memory cycle – see the writeups and/or the comics.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 11, Dodge/Toughness PL 11, Parry/Toughness PL 11, Fort/Will PL 5.
  • Point total 153. Abilities 34, Defences 18, Skills 6, Powers 86, Devices 0, Advantages 9. Equiv. PL 11.


Her Fort/Wil tradeoff is based on her Will save alone, which lowballs her PL calculation. I guess you could eyeball her as being Averaged PL11 instead, if you need a sense of how tough she is.

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen.

Source of Character: Astro City comics.

Helper(s): Roy Cowan, Darci, Doug Mertaugh, Sebastien Andrivet.

Writeup completed on the 19th of October, 2013.