Emily grew up the youngest of three, with two older brothers in a traditional Asian family. Being the youngest, the smallest, and a girl, she was always told she couldn't do the same things her older brothers did when they were growing up. Of course, she never accepted this and was constantly trying to prove she could hang with her brothers and do anything they could do. She developed a fierce competitiveness and a never-give-up attitude in her life-long endeavor to show everyone she was just as good as (and often better than) her older brothers. Both her brothers practiced competitive martial arts and were quite accomplished. But by the time Emily graduated high school, she was a regional champion (Is there such a thing?) and widely considered in the martial arts community to be better than her brothers. (And indeed one of the best around.)
Emily and her brothers had a very good, though competitive relationship. They were very close. Although they were always trying to one up each other, they were also very tight. They pushed each other hard to succeed, but picked each other up when they failed. They could mercilessly rip each other to shreds verbally...but if someone else dared say anything about one of them...watch out!
On her 30th birthday, Emily was visiting her brothers who both lived in the city. She was also there to visit her mother, who had fallen mildly ill and was in the hospital. Her brothers offered to fly her in for her birthday, but being a lover of the open road, she chose to ride her motorcycle there instead. Emily loved the speed, freedom and openness of bikes. She was not an adrenaline junkie, but did gravitate towards the extreme at times.
The outbreak happened while Emily was in the city visiting her brothers. These high-population centers were the worst places to be during something like this, but they couldn't just up and leave with their mother trapped in the hospital. Despite their efforts to get to her, they failed. The outbreak became uncontrollable and Emily's mother died in the hospital, as many infected were concentrated there. And now Emily and her brothers were trapped in the city as the chaos, panic and violence quickly engulfed the city.
Shortly after all order broke down, a ruthless gang took control of the city. It was like living under a third world war lord. While the three of them were out gathering critical supplies, Emily's brothers were murdered by a band of these thugs. Now Emily had lost everything. Society was all but gone. Her mother, her two brothers, they were all dead. She vowed to hunt down every last member of the gang that murdered her brothers and was terrorizing other survivors in the city.
She hunts at night, and wears a costume to conceal her identity so she can't be identified. This way the gang would not be able to use anyone she might be close to against her. She is essentially the Batman of the zombie apocalypse. But unlike Batman, she kills. She is driven by a desire to avenge her brothers' death. It is her hate and anger that drive her.
Her hair is backwards in this image...should be longer on left.
CHARACTER DESIGN & DIRECTION
Don't want to be too close to Hit Girl. Maybe purple hair isn't a good idea. Well, maybe it IS a good idea, but someone already did it!
Emily has been a difficult character for me to nail down. She needs to run the gamut of being a highly vulnerable, sympathetic character to being the biggest bad ass on screen. As a martial arts master, she is going to provide the vehicle for (what I hope will be) some high action, intense fight scenes. So she has to look believable as someone who can take on 6 guys at once and slice her way through a crowded street of infected zombies. She's got to be tough as nails. But, Emily is also going to go through a lot of hardship, and we're going to have to also see her as very vulnerable and tragic. She will also be the eventual love interest of Henry, so we're going to want to route for her, and want to see her wind up with Henry...even though Henry is focused on finding his lost (maybe dead) girlfriend. So, we have to like her, despite seeing her do some pretty horrible things in her hate-fueled quest for vengeance over her brothers' deaths. So, wide-ranging character: she has to be vulnerable at times, yet strong at others. Dark and fatalist, yet likable. Cute, but menacing. She's going to be very complex and must be believable as she moves from one role to another.
I envision her "super hero" outfit based on motorcycle gear. Either biker type stuff or the racing clothing. I think she'd probably be more into the racing side, but her toughness might allow her to believably gravitate to the biker spectrum as well. (Maybe a flashback scene can be her cleaning house in a biker dive bar.) The leather will look cool and "super hero"ish, and would also serve as practical armor against zombie bites. She'll also use it as a disguise. In one of the images below, we kind of see her hair...which is probably no good. (That might be how her identity is eventually learned...her purple hair slips out?) I'm also trying to work purple into her character. (Although I'm wondering if maybe it's getting too close to Hit Girl from Kick Ass. ?? I had forgotten about her.)
Below are some concepts I put together of what She might look like. I was thinking she would carry some kind of bladed weapon. Guns would require ammo (and this isn't gonna be Walking Dead were ammo seems to grow on trees) and they're also loud. Besides, she isn't really a gun nut. Not to say she wouldn't use one, but she'd much more comfortable and effective with melee weapons.
Designs using a motorcycle helmet concept. Maybe outfit would be more of the racing motorcycle look, less biker-ish.
Below are some images that I think are cool, and have elements that I like. I think her suit should be dark, mostly grays and blacks. I like the idea of working in some kind of color. I have been digging on purple, so long as (as mentioned before) it doesn't start to feel like a Hit Girl rip off. Whatever she's wearing should be practical and easy to fight in. Knives, blades, swords, or other martial arts melee weapons are all fair game for her to carry. She'd probably need some kind of back pack as well to carry supplies, weapons, etc. I'd like the outfit to have lots of opportunity for surface detail. It should be mostly monochromatic in color (with a few purple accents), with subtle breaks in the outfit being provided by different materials. Straps, belts, seams, etc are all great ways to break up the surface with nice details. Also...since she is trying to hide her identity...it shouldn't be totally obvious it's a girl. Some of my concepts renders above are about as far as I think I'd go hinting at a female form. Eventually, her identity will be blown, and she can have a more feminine look (i.e., more styled and fitted clothes).
So...gotta look cool. Gotta look bad ass. Gotta be practical--good to fight in and good protection in a zombie infested hell hole. But definitely NOTHING LIKE THE IMAGE TO THE RIGHT!