Virtue, in costumeCharacter Bio:

Real Name: Chastity Cortez

Height: 5'2"
Weight: 120 lbs
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

Profile: A devout Christian and community volunteer in the troubled town of New Viras City, Chastity Cortez is a deskbound police officer by day and a costumed superheroine by night. She works independently of the New Crew superhero team, and is often used as a scapegoat by their supporters in the media.

The superheroic identity of “Virtue” predates the current wearer of the costume. The origin and ultimate fate of the prior superheroine who wore the mantle remains untold, and the name, costume and legacy of New Viras City’s original superheroine now belongs to police officer Chastity Cortez.

Chistity’s father and grandfather had both been police officers. Chastity had a brief period of rebellion during high school in which she ran with the wrong crowd, but after her father died in the line of duty she worked to turn her life around and vowed to follow in his footsteps.

The top of her class in the police academy, Chastity pushed herself to excel both academically and athletically. She was soon rapidly moving up the ranks of the New Viras City Police Department, although her obsessive workaholic zeal left her on the edge of burnout.

Chastity's carefully balanced life collapsed after a family auto accident hospitalized her for months and left her mother permanently paralyzed. Chastity struggled with depression and suicide during her long recovery, until a religious experience transformed her outlook on life.

Chastity has since converted from being a non-practicing Roman Catholic to an evangelical Christian of the Reformed tradition... much to the irritation of her mother, with whom she still shares an apartment

It was after a second life-threatening incident during an investigation of police corruption that Chastity assumed the role of “Virtue”. Locked in an abandoned bomb shelter and left to die, Chastity stumbled into a hidden room containing the uniform, tools, and diaries of New Viras City’s anonymous (and long-absent) super-heroine. Donning the costume, Chastity was able to escape and apprehend her captors... and discovered a new way to help fight the crime in her neighborhood beyond her desk job at the police department.

Although the publicity-seeking superhero team, The New Crew, has since taken the spotlight as the self-appointed guardians of New Viras City, the reality is that Virtue is busier than ever.

Powers: None. Virtue relies on her athletic skills, martial arts training, protective costume, arsenal of non-lethal weapons, and a fearless trust in divine providence. Among her tools and weapons is a nightvision visor, a miniature earpiece radio to monitor police frequencies, a bulletproof/fireproof cape, a handheld grappling hook, and a collapsible martial arts staff.

Weaknesses: Virtue is seemingly unable to say “no” to a good cause, regardless of whether or not she's already overcommitted to a dozen other ministries. She has also struggled with anger management issues in the past

Notes from the author's original series proposal:

The city's unappreciated solo superheroine, always being upstaged by the New Crew. She's a nocturnal vigilante with lots of skill but no flashy powers, armed with a wide range of non-lethal tools & weapons... She lives in a small apartment, taking care of her elderly mother. When not fighting crime as a superheroine, she is working in the police department, attending church, or doing charity work in her neighborhood. As a throwback of a bygone era of heroes, Virtue is continually being criticized as a "dangerous fanatic" by the media. (After all, "virtue" is a word often associated with the "religious right".)

Re: Virtue's religion and ethnicity-- During the time when I was looking for a new church to attend, I found a listing for a "Reformed" church in my neighborhood that was advertised as "Spanish-language only". I found this idea interesting, as the stereotype of a religious Hispanic in pop culture is Roman Catholic. When creating the somewhat obsessive Christian superheroine for this book, the idea of casting her as a non-traditional Calvinist Hispanic popped back into my mind.

Comments or questions?

Limited Quantities!

    A few copies of the original first issue of the New Crew are still available from the publisher at
    Cover art, New Crew #1 first printing
    Wraparound, full-color cover.
    B&W interiors. 32 pages.

The further adventures of Virtue

    Moving beyond the lighthearted parody of the New Crew series, the heroine "Virtue" now continues her own solo adventures in Ragged Capes, an anthology title from
    Cover art, Ragged Capes #1
    40 pages, full color, trade paperback
    For sale online at

Related Sites

Find out about the author's other related projects at, including Tales of Hemlock, the Writerlad blog, and the Magical Space Pony webcomic.