Streetangel is a character in the now-defunct City of Heroes MMO.
Karen Elizabeth Manning grew up in a single-parent household in Connecticut. Her mother had an affair with her boss, a rich New York financial “wizard”, and, because of that, he set Karen and her mother up with a generous “hush” package to where she would be cared for until she turned 18 or unless her mom married someone else.
Then at age 13, the “wizard” died. The “hush” package became null and void after the widow found out. Karen and her mother had to struggle afterward. Karen was taught that beauty like hers was a blessing and a curse. It was a power if she learned how to use it.
They moved to Ledyard, Connecticut, where her mom worked at the local tribal casino. Karen saw how beautiful women could lure men to do what they wanted. She saw how to use the power by watching the “hunters”, as she referred to them. She saw how they dressed, how they moved, how they feigned ignorance and stupidity. And, soon, she started copying them.
Her mother was outraged at first, but then she realized that Karen was just following her own advice about using beauty as a power. So she gave Karen some new advice: learn to defend herself. “Hunters” hate competition, and the “prey” that find out they’ve been scammed are just as dangerous.
Karen learned self-defense from the casino security staff, which were from some of the best in the world. Mossad, Secret Service, Hero Corps, Army Rangers. Each had their unique moves for situations, and Karen learned them all by the time she was 18. While she lacked formalized training, the training she did receive from her teachers gave her the edge she needed to defend herself.
She could not afford college, so she ended up working at the local grocery store. That’s when she found her first “predator”. He tried to talk her into modeling, but as soon as she was alone with him, he tried to attack her. She sued the agency and won a hefty settlement.
Soon afterward, she was approached by a private investigator to serve as “infidelity bait”. She found she was good at what she did. So she became a professional “decoy agent”. Private investigators would hire her to lure men into being unfaithful, as long as it did not involve sex. She had to be careful and document her cases. She was good at what she did, but it was not something she wanted to brag about. It also killed her social life because she couldn’t date anyone and have them know what she did for a living.
When Karen was twenty-two, she was contacted by her usual intermediary for an unusual mission: pretend to be a superhero to catch bad cops in Paragon City.
Working with Mindy Harrison, a Facilitator employed by the Guardians of the Dawn as operations assistant, she was given fake hero credentials to officially register as a hero in Paragon City. Everything about her, from her code name to her outfit, was designed to get the attention of police officers. Her studded belt buckle contained recording devices that recorded all conversations when a certain stud was turned.
Her first encounter happened a few days after arriving in Paragon City. She was starting her first "patrol" in Kings Row when she was accosted by four police officers led by Lt. Bill McCade. She secretly turned on the recording device at her earliest opportunity. The first recording was crude and somewhat muffled, but it did catch enough to serve as evidence.
Days later, a second encounter - arranged again by Harrison - led to her being accosted again, this time with the threat of humiliating her by stripping her naked and stringing her up in public for the world to see. She instinctively went into a nearby apartment building. Masked officers, not wearing identification, tried to strip her. She fought them hard. They fled when they saw that Jason Knight was approaching.
She was treated at the infirmary of the Guardians of the Dawn and was told by their operations manager that she would be a member of the Guardians if she wanted to, and if she could take on some additional training. She eventually agreed.
Jason Knight took her under his wing, and re-made her completely. He used her skills as a decoy agent to collect information. She could disguise herself, blend into the crowd, and get what she needs without notice.
Powers and Abilities
Streetangel is a trained fighter. She was trained by some of the best in hand-to-hand combat, and while not formally ranked in any one discipline, she is a formidable fighter.
Thanks to her experience as a professional decoy agent, she can also disguise herself and adapt into a role. This makes her an excellent intelligence operative.
When Karen is not "playing a role", she is a very quiet person. Her experience with men is jaded by the cases she's worked and also from the "hunters" and "prey" from the casinos.
She knows she is desirable, but she cannot see herself looking for anyone.
As a new hero, she is very uncertain about her role as one. While Jason's re-training has given her more of a purpose, she still cannot see herself as a "hero" outside of the designation on her Hero ID card.
According to David 2, Streetangel was originally meant to be a brief character, but eventually she became someone he could develop into a hero in her own right.