How Cool Is That?

I’m having a vile week, so I’m going to write about something that makes me happy: Kate Corrigan.
Kate is a character created by Mike Mignola, although these days, she’s written primarily by John Arcudi and drawn by Guy Davis. She first appeared in Hellboy and is now a regular in spinoff series B.P.R.D.
Kate is smart. She is crazy smart. She’s also an academic: she has a Ph.D. from N.Y.U and has written over a dozen books on European folklore. She has millennia-worth of history and myth at her fingertips, is a polyglot, and spends most of her money onyou guessed itmore books. She writes papers for fun.
So? you ask. She’s just another dusty old professor-type. What’s so special about that?
Ah, but that’s not all she is. Kate has given up her teaching position to work as a consultant, Field Director, and Special Task Force Liason at the B.P.R.D., which. for those of you who don’t read Hellboy and B.P.R.D. (and shame on you!), is the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Kate goes on missions. She gets dirty and bruised. And she loves it, because it’s fun and it’s interesting. Oh, and she doesn’t just play the token egghead and spout useless trivia, eitherif she’s on a mission, it’s because she knows or can do stuff that matters.
Kate is somewhere between thirty-five and fifty. She has short, unkempt hair. She dresses practically and comfortably. She doesn’t wear makeup. When she’s not on assignments, she likes to wear long, flowy skirts. She drinks green tea and tries to make friends.
In the B.P.R.D., she’s the levelheaded one: unlike Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman, Kate stays pretty angst-free. She’s practical, she’s smart, and she’s even genuinely nice.
Kate has been around since pretty early in Hellboy, but she didn’t really get a chance to shine on her own until the B.P.R.D. series The Universal Machine, in which she got sucked back in time to the home of the ancient and sinister Marquis Adoet de Fabre, a nasty, centuries-old nobleman with a castleful of vampires and an incredibly powerful demon in his thrall.
I’m not gonna give too many details, ‘cause it’s a great read and full of teriffic twists. But I will tell you that Kate ends up tricking the Marquis, cutting off three of his fingers, destroying his castle, and generally being badass. Kate does this without any superpowers, and, more impressively, she does it without breaking character. She’s smart, she’s witty, and she stays aware of her surroundings, and that’s enoughwithout diminishing her accomplishment or making it look like something anyone could have done.
I like Kate. I like her because she’s a well-realized female character, and I like the people who created her. I like her because she isn’t a cliché or a stereotype. I like that when I think of her, the image that jumps to mind is her face, not her body. I like her because she’s smart and nice, and because I suspect she’d be a lot of fun to get drunk with, and because she loves books. I like her because she’s someone I’d like to know, and because she reminds me of people I really do know. I like her because she reminds me a littleokay, maybe more than a littleof me, or at least of someone I wouldn’t mind becoming someday.
As Kate’s original creator would say, There you go.