Kurtzberg, Zelda Supporting Cast

Real Name: Zelda Kurtzberg
Occupation: College student pursuing both computer graphics and telecommunications degrees, waitress.
Identity: Zelda does not use a dual identity.
Legal Status: Zelda does not use a dual identity.
Other Aliases: None.
Place of Birth: Palmerton, Pennsylvania.
Marital Status: Single.
Known Relatives: None.
Group Affiliation: Girlfriend of Iceman, roommate of Vera Cantor, ally of the X-Men.
Base of Operations: Empire State University, Manhattan, New York City.
First Post-Reboot Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #1.
History: Little is known about Zelda's past, as she doesn't like to talk about it. It is known that she grew up in rural Pennsylvania, in the southern Pocono Mountains. She is a mutant, but it is unlikely that she ever attended the Xavier Institute.

Attending Empire State University, Zelda was roomed with Vera Cantor, who herself was already dating Hank McCoy, the X-Man known as the Beast. Hank's friend, Bobby Drake, asked her out on a date, and the two hit it off. The first time Hank and Bobby had to run off to deal with a crisis as X-Men, Zelda figured out that Bobby was Iceman. She later confronted Bobby with the truth, revealing her own power to him, telling him he didn't need to hide his mutant powers from her, while assuring him his secret was safe with her.

Zelda works part-time in a Greenwich Village cafe in order to earn spending money. She has occasionally assisted the X-Men, but prefers to stay out of the spotlight, and out of combat altogether. Hank, Bobby, and Vera presented Zelda with her own X-Men uniform, "just in case", which landed unceremoniously in the closet after the boys had left.

Even more recently, Vera and Zelda were hypnotized by the mutant Mesmero; Mesmero's plans for the two are currently unknown.
Age: 18.
Height: 5' 5".
Weight: 112 lbs.
Eyes: Hazel.
Hair: Blond, often dyed brown.
Uniform: None. She owns – but has not yet worn – a yellow X-Men uniform comprised of dynamic molecules, with an identity-concealing half-mask and a blue "X" on the chest.
Strength Level: Zelda possesses the normal human strength of a woman her age, height, and build who engages in regular exercise.
Known Superhuman Powers: Zelda doesn't brag about it, but she is a mutant with the ability to transform herself into a gerbil; she maintains her normal intelligence in her transformed state, but cannot speak. While in her gerbil state, she is able to speak with, but not control, other rodents, including mice and rats.

One side effect of her transformation is that when she changes back to human she loses any dye that was put in her hair.

27 points

ST: 10 [0] HP: 10 [0] Speed: 5.00 [0]
DX: 10 [0] Will: 11 [0] Move: 5 [0]
IQ: 11 [20] Per: 11 [0]  
HT: 10 [0] FP: 10 [0] SM: 0
Dmg: 1d-2/1d BL: 20 lbs.  
Dodge: 8 Parry: 8 DR: 0

Languages: English (Native) (Native Language) [0]; German (Accented) [4].

Cultural Familiarities: Western (Native) [0].

Advantages: Alternate Form (Gerbil) (Mutant, -10%) [14]; Appearance (Attractive) [4]; Speak With Animals (Accessibility: In Alternate Form Only, -10%; Specialized: Rodents, -60%; Mutant, -10%) [5].

Perks: Accent (Pennsylvania Dutch) [1].

Disadvantages: Pacifism (Self-Defense Only) [-15]; Secret (Mutant; Serious Embarrassment) [-5]; Sense of Duty (Friends) [-5]; Wealth (Struggling) [-10].

Quirks: Broad-Minded [-1]; Careful [-1]; Dyes Her Hair Brunette To Avoid Blonde Stereotypes [-1].

Skills: Artist/TL8 (Computer Graphics) (H) IQ-1 [2] – 10; Boating/TL8 (Motorboat) (A) DX-1 [1] – 9; Computer Operation/TL8 (E) IQ+1 [2] – 12; Connoisseur (Music) (A) IQ-1 [1] – 10; Current Affairs/TL8 (Pop Culture) (E) IQ+0 [1] – 11; Electronics Operation/TL8 (Media) (A) IQ+0 [2] – 11; Housekeeping (E) IQ+0 [1] – 11; Lifting (A) HT+0 [2] – 10; Professional Skill (Waitress) (A) IQ+0 [2] – 11; Skiing (H) HT-1 [2] – 9; Swimming (E) HT+0 [1] – 10.

Starting Spending Money: $2,000 (20% of Starting Wealth).

Role-Playing Notes:

Zelda is a young woman who doesn't want to get involved in superheroics, but ends up involved with them anyway because she and her roommate are dating a pair of superheroes. Unlike Vera, Zelda does not find the world of the superhuman more "normal" than the mundane world. She would prefer to keep the superhuman lifestyle out of her life, despite being a mutant herself, because she feels it would have a negative impact on her dreams of working for a movie special effects crew.

Design Notes:

1. In the '60s, it was essentially a running gag in X-Men that Vera and Zelda would be stood up or have their double date with Hank and Bobby cut short without a word of explanation. This worked while the X-Men were keeping their identities secret (although how Vera never figured out that Hank was the Beast during that time was beyond me), it doesn't work now. It also became increasingly obvious over time that the writers didn't know what to do with her, so when they introduced Lorna Dane as a potential love interest for Bobby they dropped Zelda like a hot potato. I, however, saw unused potential in the character and brought her back for the Reboot, making her secretly a mutant herself.

2. In the comics, Zelda's hair constantly alternated between blond and brunette; it's like the artists couldn't decide which she was. Some readers joked that Zelda was a mutant with the power to change her hair color! I've gone ahead and given her a fairly reasonable explanation for the constant hair change, inspired by Susan from the webcomic El Goonish Shive.

3. Zelda is meant to represent the "average" mutant who just wants to live a "normal" life. Her power is unremarkable, but potentially useful in some situations.

4. As soon as I discovered her real last name was "Kurtzburg", I had her pegged as growing up in an area with a heavy German/Pennsylvania Dutch population. Palmerton is an actual zinc mining town in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, with a hospital that services most of the surrounding rural area, so I figured "why not have her from there?"; it's also close to Blue Mountain Ski Resort, hence her Skiing skill. Chances are, she did not live in Palmerton itself, being from one of the nearby towns or even some of the area between towns. Yes, I put a lot of my older sister into her, as I grew up in that very area (albeit across the Monroe/Carbon County line).