History (Submitted by Oracle)
Background: 1944 - 1961
Penny's parents had both met whilst serving in the military during the Second World War. They left the military after the war to start a family. Penelope was their fourth and youngest child.
Penny Abnett: 1961 - 1979
Penny's older siblings did not give her many breaks. They bullied her at every turn, usually claiming that their parents had spoiled Penny as she was the youngest. Childhood was rough for young Penny, but she credits it for making her the woman she would one day become.
Penny Abnett: 1979 - 1985
After finishing school, Penny wanted to serve her country and honor her parents' military service. In so doing, she joined the Women's Royal Naval Service, becoming a commissioned officer. At first, Penny worked as a weapons analyst until she somehow made the right connections or impressed the right sort of people to get recruited into the top-secret Lionheart Program - working on finding combat applications for the technology which Veidt and Osterman had begun sharing. Little did Penny or her co-workers know that Adrian Veidt was only sharing his technology with them in order to have them take on the risk of the dangerous trial and error needed to create the Intrinsic Bombs.
Penny Black: 1985 - 1987
Aboard the HMS Tintagel, a warship converted into a secret lab which housed the entire Lionheart Program, Penny helped design a lot of tech that probably rivals much of what we have today. She did not have much of a personal life, only taking shore leave to go to bars. The last thing Penny was looking for was a person to settle down with, but that's still what she ended up finding. One day while in Scotland, Penny met a guy who was different from the others. He was funny and disarming, and Penny didn't quite understand the emotions she felt around him, but she liked the way he made her feel. When she had to return to her ship, she told him to meet her in London in six weeks. He did just that.
Ten months later, Penny had a wedding ring on her finger and had just given birth to twins when the Tintagel docked in London and Penny was asked to return to duty. Penny promised her young husband this would be her last tour with the Tintagel and when she returned in a few months' time, she would transfer to a clerical position in the city. This final tour was rough on Penny. Her heart ached for her twins and husband. But she survived the ordeal by telling herself she'd soon be home and she'd soon be kissing her husband and holding her babies.
Some observers claim the blast came from the Tintagel as it sailed up the Thames, others insist the detonation came from St. Mary's College. Whatever the case, the Tintagel vanished in the blast, not a trace of it surviving... or so it was believed.
Penny Black: 2014 - 2015
Twenty-seven years and fifty-two days after the intrinsic explosion, the wreckage of the Tintagel suddenly appeared in Bjorland... with a single survivor on board. Though alive, Penny Black had been changed.
ARGUS were the first responders to the anomaly, dispatching medical shuttles to the site where Penny was found half-frozen and comatose. Her body had bits of technology sticking out of it and circuitry glowing with the familiar blue of the intrinsic bomb which was supposed to have destroyed her and the warship she was aboard.
After several surgeries and three months' hospitalization, Penny began to learn what had happened to her but all she wanted to do was see her children. ARGUS officials informed her that would not be possible due to a number of political concerns in dealing with England, political concerns that Penny demanded be explained to her.
Britannia: 2015 - 2016
Once Penny learned the truth about the state of her nation under the control of Adam Sutler's Norsefire Party, she was all too eager to enlist with ARGUS. Penny was granted status as a Special Agent and assigned to infiltrate Britain. She wasted little time forming a team of guerrilla revolutionaries willing to take the fight to Norsefire. As she laid the groundwork for that, ARGUS technicians were hard at work creating suit of armor which would enhance Penny's metahuman powers and also give her a flash of patriotic flair.
When some of Penny's team of revolutionaries were identified by Norsefire, a propaganda campaign was launched, smearing Penny's good name and denouncing her as a terrorist, and co-conspirator of Adrian Veidt and Jon Osterman. Though Britain had its share of those who did not subscribe to the state-sponsored claims against Penny, it became all too difficult for Penny and her team to operate with too many Norsefire supporters openly attacking them on sight or notifying the Fingermen of their whereabouts. Forced to lay low and work more in the shadows, the Resistance had its progress stalled.
Then came V, a revolutionary with a Guy Fawkes mask, a flair for the dramatic, and a personal vendetta against the Norsefire leadership. V escalated things considerably, putting the Fingermen on high-alert. When the Fingermen began openly killing metahumans and minorities as a fear tactic to cause the likes of Penny Black and V to surrender themselves to the authorities or risk further escalation, the Norsefire brought another enemy upon themselves: The Elite.
The Elite were composed of four metahumans and a magician. All of which had escaped from Norsefire's many 'rehabilitation camps'. These fugitives were led by none other than Penny's own son, Manchester Black. The Elite engaged in direct attacks against the Fingermen in response to Norsefire's bigotry and the lies told about Chester's mum.
Britannia: 2016 - Present
Not seeing a peaceful solution possible and hoping to spare her son's soul before he crossed the line into a full-blown sociopath, Penny tried to get ARGUS to step in. Rejected by her Division Chief, Penny decided to go another route. Penny asked Superman to help save her son.
- (Submitted by The-Chief) The nations, not so blest as thee / Must in their turns, to tyrants fall; / While thou shalt flourish great & free / The dread & envy of them all / "Rule, Britannia! rule the waves, Britons never will be slaves." "Rule, Britannia!" - James Thomson, 1763
- Lionheart Drive Fusion:
- Enhanced Physicality: Penny's body is borderline superhuman in regards to strength, reflexes, resiliency, and running speed.
- Enhanced Senses: Penny's senses are honed to perfection.
- Intrinsic Lightning: Penny can discharge intrinsic energy her body has previously absorbed in the form of electrical bolts from her hands.
- Intrinsic Technopathy: Using the tech absorbed into her body, Penny can interface with various forms of technology via a mental link.
- Intrinsic Sensitivity: Penny can sense certain forms of intrinsic energy.
- Britannia Armor, Mk 1
- "Azure Mane" Sensor System: The colorful hairdo on Penny's helm is not just a bold fashion choice but special fibers that gather data about the local environment and feed that information into Penny's brain.
- "Charter of the Land" Powered Exoskeleton: With this suit's internal mechanics, Penny can keep pace with some of the most powerful metahumans. When armored, Penny has Class VI Strength.
- "Generous Flame" Intrinsic Blade: Drawing on Penny's own intrinsic energy to power this weapon, the Generous Flame is fierce blade.
- "Guard the Fair" Integrated Life Support System: So armored, Penny is not affected by most forms of radiation, toxins or impurities in the air, and should she be wounded, the suit can deliver defibrillation or perform automated chest compressions. It also has air conditioning.
- "Happy Coast" Repair System: The suit can enact minor repairs in the field. With Penny's assistance, moderate repairs are also possible.
- "Matchless Beauty Crowned" HUD-equipped Helm: Penny's view in her helmet relays a vast number of information on the suit's systems while also feeding critical information directly into Penny's mind.
- "Native Oak" Armor with Reinforced Intrinsic Field: Made from the hull of the HMS Tintagel, the Britannia suit has a built-in resistance to damage which would compromise the suit's intrinsic bonds, making it highly resistant to most forms of damage.
- "Never Will Be Slaves" Psionic Dampening Array: With this scrambling device built into the suit, Penny's mind cannot be easily affected.
- "Rule the Waves" Intrinsic Relocation Matrix: With the suit assisting her channeling of her intrinsic manipulation ability, Penny can bend space to relocate herself to another location, usually limited to a distance of a hundred miles or so, but increased with familiarity.
- "Sky-Tearer" VTOL Propulsion: Using her intrinsic energy to bend gravity around her suit and jets to navigate, Penny can hover and fly.
- Military Training
- Master Martial Artist: With boosted reflexes and strength combining with her military training, Penny is a deadly fighter.
- Expert Markswoman: Penny's a regular sharpshooter.
- Expert Strategist: Penny knows how to think tactically.
- World-Class Weapons Engineer: Penny's genius for violent machinery knows few limits.
- Anger Management Issues: If her pride is hurt, Penny tends to get a little extra aggressive.
- Behind the Times: Penny tends to forget about things like smartphones and satellites.
- Physicality: 6 - World-Class / Superb
- Occult: 3 - Trained / Exceptional
- Weapons: 6 - World-Class / Superb
- Experience: 4 - Expert / Enhanced
- Ranged: 6 - World-Class / Superb
- Strategy: 4 - Expert / Enhanced
Trivia and Notes
- Britannia joined the Justice League in 2017 nominated by Black Canary.
- Britannia has a Threat Assessment ranking of 100, marking her as a Severe Threat.
- The numbers 27 and 52 appear again, both as the amount of time Penny was missing, as well as her address.
- The names of her parents as well as the alias of Danielle Lanning are nods to her creators.
- Her birth date is a nod to her first comic book appearance: Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #1 in August.
- She is a composite character with the British hero Lionheart.
- Chief's supplemental report and pieces of her armor are nods to the "Rule, Britannia!" song by James Thomson.