|Real Name||Suzanne Melotti|
|Wild Card Traits||Animal control, animal communication|
|Citizenship||Citizen of the United States|
|Base of Operations||Guatemala, formerly New York City|
|Allies||C.C. Ryder, Cordelia Chaisson, Rosemary Muldoon,Sewer Jack|
|First Appearance||Wild Cards|
|Final Appearance||Marked Cards|
|Creator||Leanne C. Harper|
Bagabond is a fictional character from the Wild Cards series of books.
Bagabond is a woman with the power to communicate with animals and also control their actions. She lived for years as a bag lady in the streets of New York City, keeping a very low profile. She preferred the company of her animals than of people, and her constant companions were two feral cats that she called the "black" and the "calico." For a long time, her only human friends were Sewer Jack, a transit worker capable of transforming into an alligator, and Rosemary Muldoon, a district attorney with secret ties to the Mafia.
Suzanne Melotti was born in 1953 and was an innocent, ordinary girl in the 1960s. Then she experimented LSD and her wild card turned. Her mind was overwhelmed by the alien perceptions of the animal kingdom. She spent some time in a mental institution, but the doctors didn't understand her condition, and she was finally released on account of not being dangerous. Living on the streets, Suzanne started talking to animals, and discovered that they talked back to her. Her first animal companions were two large, feral alley cats, one male and black in color, the other female and calico. Comforted by the company of her creatures, Suzanne lived on the streets as a bag lady, shunning human contact. She was nicknamed Bagabond by the few human street denizens that had anything to do with her. Her most common living place was a cut off tunnel in 86th street.
All that changed in 1973, when Bagabond met two people that would be very important in her life. Sewer Jack Robicheaux was a Cajun transit worker that turned into an alligator whenever he lost control. Jack was as alienated from human society and bitter about his lot in life as Bagabond, and the two of them formed a deep bond. Rosemary Muldoon was a social worker that tried to help Bagabond. Rosemary also was the daughter of Carlo Gambione, a Mafia don. Bagabond and Sewer Jack would come into conflict with the Gambione family many times over the years.
As the years passed, Bagabond was gradually dragged into human society once more. Sometimes she even discarded her bag lady attire and dressed as an ordinary person, calling herself Suzanne again. The company of her armies of animals was not enough anymore. Her hopes of a romantic relationship with Robicheaux were dashed when she discovered that he was gay. Suzanne instead started a romance with Paul Goldberg, a young lawyer working for Rosemary Muldoon, who by now was district attorney, keeping her true identity as a Mafia princess a secret. It all fell apart in 1987, when Paul Goldberg discovered Rosemary's ties to the mob, and she had him killed.
Suzanne left America and moved to Guatemala, a haven for wild carders after the Indian-joker revolution of 1987. In the jungles and small villages of Guatemala, Suzanne finally attained peace of mind, her human and animal sides more reconciled than they were in her days as a bag lady in New York. It's likely that she is living there to this day.
Wild Card Traits Edit
Bagabond can maintain a mental link with animals, and communicate with them telepathically. This mental contact also allows Bagabond to experience the animal's thoughts and perceptions as if they were her own, effectively seeing through the animal's eyes. This ability was very useful when Bagabond wanted to perceive remotely what was happening in a distant area of the city, or when she moved through the dark tunnels under New York.
Bagabond can also control her animals telepathically. She can summon armies of animals and make them do her bidding, controlling large numbers of animals simultaneously. Her control is so strong that she can even force the animals to sacrifice their lives for her. For instance, she can send flocks of birds against automobiles, causing the car to crash. But Bagabond usually avoids using her animals in this way. She can also inflict mental pain on any animal that displeases her, though she rarely does so. Finally, she can also shut down an animal's mind, and often does it when the animal is dying or in extreme pain.
Her powers don't work well on human minds. Human minds are too complex and scheming for her, and remain mostly beyond her control. But Bagabond can sometimes affect humans, to a point. Once she was able to generate a sort of mental attack that confused a human attacker. It also seems that Bagabond can only affect animals of the higher orders: mammals, birds, and reptiles are the ones she is shown controlling. But she seems unable to establish contact with creatures that rely solely on instinct, like insects.
Bagabond is a woman who is 5 ft. 3 in. and weighs 100lbs, with black hair and black eyes. Her eyes are very intense. In her role as a bag lady, she dressed in mismatched and dirty clothes that made her a repellent figure, and also made her look much older than she actually was. Cleaned up, Bagabond is a reasonably attractive woman, though her features are still a bit gaunt.
Most times, Bagabond seemed remote and uncommunicative. She disliked and distrusted most human beings. She was much more comfortable in the company of her animals. Though she loved her creatures, particularly the cats, Bagabond wasn't sentimental in this love. She had accepted that animals die, and more are born every day. Such is the cycle of life. Nonetheless, she was still protective of animals.
After meeting Sewer Jack and Rosemary Muldoon, she started to feel dragged once again into human society and the complex network of human interactions. Her few human friends became important to her, and her former life as a bag lady started to feel uncomfortable. Her friendship with Rosemary even caused Bagabond to betray her principles and use animals as cannon fodder for a time. Her relationship with Robicheaux proved to be deeper and more meaningful, as the two of them were almost soulmates, both aces alienated from human society, both partially animal.
Despite her apparent lack of human emotion, Bagabond felt her isolation most painful in one respect: she needed a man. At first she thought she had found a partner in Robicheaux, but his homosexuality put a stop to that. Her involvement with Paul Goldberg almost made her fully human again, but he was killed before things could progress very far.
Selected Reading Edit
- Wild Cards Volume I: Wild Cards - "Down Deep" (Bagabond first meets Sewer Jack Robicheaux and Rosemary Muldoon)
- Wild Cards Volume III: Jokers Wild (Bagabond is torn between helping Jack find his lost niece, and Rosemary take over the Gambione family)
- Wild Cards Volume V: Down and Dirty (Bagabond's last, tragic months in New York City)
- Wild Cards Volume XIV: Marked Cards - "Paths of Silence and of Night" (Bagabond's life in Guatemala, as she helps out a Mayan joker and an American reporter)