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Clock Queen

Clock Queen

Clock Queen, aka Anna Cline, was a notorious criminal in Freedom City from the mid-1950s through the early 1980s. A founding member of the Crime League that bedeviled the first incarnation of the Freedom League, Clock Queen evolved from spunky teenage thief to veteran super-criminal (with her own legacy in her teenage partner Tempus Fugitive, now the hero Fast-Forward) before going away for twenty years in the wake of a failed theft and battle with the Freedom City police in 1981. Long retired from crime, her powers have kept her healthy (if not young) and she has retired to Bowlegs Bay, a south Florida community that has sheltered many retired super-criminals. 


Anna Cline's brush with history began when she was just a little girl, child of a German-American family living in Hanover. At six years old, she was too young to really understand Pearl Harbor was, only that her parents were very sad and her older brother Charlie was talking about enlisting in the service, and he was fighting with Mama and Papa about that. When she ran outside to get away from the arguments, she ran straight into a glowing flash of light and a man who appeared out of nowhere (who immediately rocketed into the air and away) that she later learned was Dr. Tomorrow's time machine. The collision with the time machine (so small that Tomorrow himself never noticed) irradiated the little girl, infusing her growing body with chroniton particles. But it was years before she learned that, years before her powers manifested. 

Those were bad years. Charlie died at Guadalcanal and her parents never got over it - her father disappeared into his work and her mother disappeared into the bottle. While the other little girls grew up listening to the Lady Liberty Hour or wearing homemade Siren costumes, Anna found herself coming to resent the shining beacons of morality that everyone loved who hadn't been able to save her brother from death or her family from loss. She cut school and she smoked, and got into fights with other girls, and wound up in reform school from fourteen to sixteen. She got herself out by hard work, though, and by the time she was sixteen things were starting to get better at home. 

Until her powers developed. Anna tried petty theft at first, feeling guilty until she realized just how free she really was. No more worrying about the look on Papa's lined face or the stink of the bottle on Mama! After a few misadventures, she joined up with Troublemakers, Inc - the last great supervillain team of the 1950s, where she learned about how to pull a real heist with class and panache, how to fight with swords and humiliate the cops and what few supers were still around before running away, laughing. She became Calendar Girl - pretty, young, and in love with the fun of crime. She didn't laugh when she met Midnight for the first time, though, the terrifying figure looming up at her in the shadows one night - instead she ran away at her maximum speed, terrified of the grim costumed avenger! Suddenly this didn't seem fun anymore. 

She ran faster than she knew - so fast that she skipped nearly a half-decade, vanishing from the mid-1950s and reappearing in the early 1960s. It was a new era now, and she was going to make a new life for herself. Once she figured out exactly what had happened, she ran home - only to find a crater there. In the recently ended invasion, a giant monster, something called a Skolopendra, had stepped on her parents house and killed them both instantly. The heroes hadn't quite stopped it in time. She ran into the night, but this time found a friend; her old friend Brian Nisbet was still active as the Bee-Keeper, still in his old lair, and delighted to see the girl he'd given up for dead or straight! 

She pulled a few jobs here and there, coming to the attention of August Roman and the new Crime League, but she found a partner for the first time in Bryant Halliday, a friend of Brian's who shared her amused contempt for superheroes and who was also very rich, and very handsome. Calendar Girl and Doc Holiday partnered up for a few months and everything was going swimmingly. Right up until she got pregnant; and Bryant ran out on her. After all, as he told her in the note he left behind, it wasn't Father's Day - how could he possibly be the father? 

She seriously thought about tracking Bryant down and maybe ripping something off him, but she was no killer; and doing wouldn't help the baby anyway. She pulled a few jobs, did a few favors for friends, and Calendar Girl disappeared for a while. About a year later, Clock Queen reappeared - Anna had traded her bathing suit costume for something more suitable to royalty, and somebody was watching her kid while she worked. She was a working mom now! 

Clock Queen was, by her own lights, a good mom. She was always there to help her boy when she needed it and she did anything for him, making sure he had a roof over his head, someone feeding him and taking care of him, always cheering him on whenever he tried anything. And she took him under her wing, making sure he grew up with the skills he needed to make it in the world. And she had to make sacrifices, too; sometimes partnering up guys who could help put a roof over the head meant partnering up with them in more ways than one. It was all for her little boy, even as he started to grow up into a man. She even made sure, thanks to frequent exposure to her, that he got powers! 

So what if little Dickie didn't go to school and didn't have anyone to tell him no? So what if she was teaching him how cool and glamorous it was to be a criminal and how you could only look out for yourself? And so what if he was getting high before he was fifteen; that stuff never really hurt anybody. She made sure he wasn't gonna get a girl pregnant by talking with him about using a rubber; she was pretty sure with their powers that was all she had to worry about. When he was old enough, a nice healthy fourteen, he joined his ma on the warpath as Tempus Fugitive to her Clock Queen. They had, by her reckoning, some damn good years. 

In 1981, after a disastrous battle in South Africa between the Crime League and the Jet Patrol, Clock Queen and Tempus Fugitive retreated back to Freedom City for a big score. Anna was getting older now, even if her powers kept her looking younger than forty-six, and she was thinking about settling down. If she got out of the game, Dickie could go be his own man, maybe try and impress that Psion girl's dad, start a real dynasty maybe! But it didn't work out that way - a battle with the increasingly violent Freedom City police ended when her son was shot in the stomach and held hostage in front of her, forcing her to surrender so they'd take him to the doctor. They both went to jail - Dickie, still a juvenile and a sad case with his bullet wound, got a couple years in juvie, but Anna herself got hard time, twenty years in lockup, and with no more Crime League to bail her out. 

She did every one of those twenty years. She got through twenty years of hard time in jail in the 80s and 90s by watching her back, making friends, and when push came to shove showing the new girls and the guards alike that she wasn't some street punk - she was a QUEEN. She thought about trying to bust out a few times, but honestly the world outside seemed pretty grim. Even the heroes were killers now and the crooks, well, they didn't even bear mentioning. Her boy and his girl were different, though, and she watched their adventures with a smile on her face. She escaped in 1993 during the Terminus Invasion (hiding in a bolthole of hers near Scotland) and tracked them down afterwards, only to find (to her disgust) that the experience had changed them. Her boy and his girl had gone straight now! 

Disgusted, she turned herself back in, but now found she was getting tired of jail. Good behavior got the escape penalty taken off her sentence, and when she heard she had a grandkid she decided it was time to go back to school. When she left jail in 2001, she had a GED and an associate's degree - and no idea what to do with herself. Luckily her boy intervened at this point; Richard helped her find a job with a company that hired ex-supervillains looking to go straight and for a few years she played it cool, making quick deliveries for big companies and also finding the occasional stash she'd hidden back in decades past, letting herself build up a tidy retirement sum. 

Back in 2010, she moved down to Florida to a little planned community in the Keys called Bowlegs Bay, a place of peace and quiet, where she can live in a cozy bungalow, visit her grandkids whenever her do-gooder daughter-in-law doesn't turn up her nose at the sight of her, and make passes at the handsome young men working at the pool or the tennis courts. It was a good life...but she's starting to get bored. Anna is 80 but looks like a healthy fifty. She's not worried about dying so much as she is about growing old, and she can't lie, that's happening now. She doesn't want to mess with the good thing her family and her grandkids have - but maybe there's room for one more big score. 

In her day, Anna Cline was the fastest being on Earth - easily outpacing anyone on the Silver Age Freedom League. The fact that she was a pretty good, albeit self-taught swordsman, made her even more dangerous. She only rarely used her time-controlling powers as such, instead preferring to rely on raw speed and hilarious taunts aimed at the opposition. Luckily for the world, the time-traveling super-thief never really had a lot of ambition except to steal and have pretty things. She's lost a lot of speed in the intervening years, but she can still break the sound barrier pretty easily. 


She loves her son and her grandkids - and even her daughter-in-law, Paige Cline. Her closest allies, though, are probably some of the old lags from the Crime League - some of whom have retired, others who are immortal, and a whole bunch who remember her with fondness from back in the day. She was particularly close to Maestro, now the "conductor" of the New Crime League. 


January 2014

Double Dutch Clock Queen pays a visit to Freedom City to help out after the 'murder' of Professor Psion - and takes the occasion to get to know the brand-new and much more attractive Set. 

June 2014: 

Can't Change Time - Rampart, Errant, and Clock Queen's grandson Thoughtspeed travel back to June 1981 and encounter Clock Queen just before the infamous Battle of Capetown. 

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