A Short Story

By Susie Christian and Grace Wheeler

Superhero Origin Story and Alter Ego


         Venus and the Origin of Betty Byrd



Betty Byrd

Powers:  The goddess Venus bestowed Betty Byrd with superhuman strength, and the ability to levitate objects.  Venus gave Betty Byrd a magic star belt that allows her to turn invisible or to shape-shift into the body of her spirit guide Blaze, the parrot.


Weaknesses: Vanity.  Becomes distracted by mirrors.


Venus and the Origin of Betty Byrd

With baby boomers living much longer these days, the goddess Venus, champion of causes related to love, beauty, and vitality, observes the tremendous population explosion of seniors.   Concerned about the welfare of the aged, Venus calls together an army of souls to incarnate (embody the human form) and descend upon the earth to act as personal caregivers for neglected seniors.  It is Venus’ desire to have all seniors live their remaining years on earth with dignity and grace.


Betty Byrd, the granddaughter of Katy Keene the famous pin-up queen, was chosen to take care of Bill Woggon in his senior years.  The young Bill Woggon created Katy Keene, an iconic beauty who was an inspiration to many young girls.  Because of Betty Byrd’s connection to Bill Woggon through her grandmother Katy Keene, and because Betty had inherited her grandmother’s beauty, intelligence, and kind heart, Venus chose her to look after Bill Woggon.  It was a perfect match.  The Goddess Venus rummaged around in Heaven’s dusty old soul bin and finally found Betty Byrd’s inert soul.  Venus touched the tiny germ of the sleeping soul with the Golden Touch and Betty sprang to life with a glowing aura surrounding her being.


Venus gave Betty Byrd a number of special powers including superhuman strength and the ability to levitate objects.  Venus also equipped Betty with a brilliant belt with a large star buckle, which could transform Betty's physical form abilities in many useful ways.  Betty Byrd was instructed to touch the lower tip of the star to become invisible, whereas touching the top of the star would allow her to shape-shift in order to enter the body of her spirit guide animal Blaze, the parrot.  Venus informed Betty that Blaze would be her closest advisor, confidant, and partner.  Finally, Venus told Betty Byrd that her mission was to be a guardian to Bill Woggon, and that Betty would need to learn how to use these powers to protect him.   As Venus fastened the belt around Betty’s waist, there was a great popping explosion and a strong whoosh – lo and behold Betty Byrd found herself standing on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood.  Earth!  Betty Byrd looked around her and observed great tall buildings and endless pavement.  She also saw what appeared to be a small red parrot, which appeared lifeless.  Betty reached to pick it up and the minute her fingers touched the feathers, the little creature sprung to life and introduced herself as Blaze.



Betty Byrd and Blaze took their first steps on the ugly grey, unending blocks of pavement to find their fortune.  On their journey they passed by a tall stately nursing home that looked like a fairy tale castle.  A huge gold leaf sign on the façade read  "Hollywoodland Home for Seniors”.  Another hand lettered sign in the window read, “Help Wanted”.  An unknown power turned Betty’s toes toward the entrance to the home.  The manager hired Betty on the spot and was glad to have the help of such a beautiful and vivacious creature.  Betty was hired as the Activities Director with a focus on the arts.  Blaze the parrot, with her gentle demeanor, becomes the  “therapy parrot” for the residents of Hollywoodland Home for Seniors.


At Hollywoodland Senior Home, Betty meets the senior Bill Woggon.  Bill had suffered a stroke many years ago and has been in a fog ever since.  He gave up drawing long ago.  The sight of Betty Byrd on her first day at work awakens him as she reminds him of his muse Katy Keene.  In the art class that Betty teaches, Bill starts to create comic strip art and paper dolls once again.  Because Bill is shaky as the result of a past stroke, Betty helps him with his art and at the same time provides loving therapy as she guides his hands.   Bill is smitten with her and refers to her as his beautiful superhero.


Even though the transition from Heaven to Earth appeared to be easy for Betty Byrd and Blaze, the transformation was not without some problems.   Betty, who has only been in her human form for a short time, becomes fascinated with mirrors and spends much of her time primping and daydreaming.  This frustrates management and the residents who are annoyed with her excessive vanity.  She is so consumed with her image in the mirror that she snaps at any of the residents who dare interrupt her dream state.    Didn’t they know she had more important things to do than to pay attention to them?  However, once Betty Byrd is brought back to the present, she becomes focused to the nth degree and more than makes up for her selfish moments of reverie.  Many times Blaze, the sidekick parrot, has to save Betty from reprimands by alerting her that there’d be trouble if she didn’t come to and toe the line.  Eventually, with the help of Blaze, Betty learns to resist the allure of mirrors, and she becomes an effective and respected member of the staff.


After several blissful months at Hollywoodland, Betty Byrd faces her greatest challenge when the “Scissorman” appears and terrorizes the senior residents.  Betty Byrd will have use all the gifts that Venus bestowed upon her to outwit and defeat Scissorman.  Betty Byrd will become the superhero that Bill Woggon envisions her to be.  Stay tuned for more.


Just for fun listen to Frankie Avalon sing praises to Venus:

Superhero Origin Story and Alter Ego

Personality Traits:


Kind, hard-working, but somewhat impatient.  Tendency to be vain.




Art and Recreation director at the Hollywoodland Senior Home.   Because she teaches art, she would normally be wearing a loose fitting art smock with her superhero costume underneath.





Betty Byrd is the granddaughter of Katy Keene.  She was a soul in the Heavens that  was chosen by Venus to be the guardian to Bill Woggon, the creator of Katy Keene Comic books.


For more detail, see the origin story.


Bill Woggon, the creator of Katy Keene


A  female Vosmaeri Eclectus parrot is the inspiration for Blaze.   (Photo: S. Christian)


The original Hollywoodland sign became the iconic “Hollywood” sign seen in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles.  There were a number of  castle-like homes in the neighborhood and these were used as the inspiration for Hollywoodland Senior Home.

The Development of Betty Byrd

Pop X: The Rise of the Super-Heroes

and Their Impact on Pop Culture

A Smithsonian Educational Project

1. Mythic and Iconic Inspirations


Venus: The Inspiration for the Superhero Betty Byrd


2. Social Issues and Superpowers


Betty Byrd: The Protector of the Elderly


3. Superhero Origin Story and Alter Ego


Venus and the Origin of Betty Byrd

4. The Supervillain


Vulcan and the Origin of Supervillain Scissorman

5. The Story


The Adventures of Betty Byrd (or Betty Bryd vs. Scissorman)




Copyright © 2015, Susie Christian

All Rights Reserved