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Porcelain

At this time much remains a mystery about the character introduced as Porcelain in Secret Six. What is known is that Porcelain is held captive with five other people (Black Alice, Big Shot, Strix, Catman, and Shauna Belzer (AKA the Ventriloquist- and also Ferdie, her “dummy”) by Mockingbird. The premise of six strangers brought together for mysterious reasons against their will being true to the original late 1960s concept. How Porcelain came to be imprisoned as well as the others, except Catman, in a steel container under the sea is a mystery Simone will surely reveal in stories to come.

Porcelain’s personal background is also largely a mystery. What Simone has revealed is that the character has the power to make organic and inorganic things brittle. This power is first seen used on an inorganic object when Porcelain aids in their joint escape effort in the debut issue and used against two men who bother Porcelain and Shauna (Belzer) while out walking (issue #3).

In issues #1 – 3 Porcelain is shown as female and goes by the name Kani. Simone surprises readers in issue #4 by having a young man approach Catman and Big Shot as they discuss approaches to handle their current situation. Big shot confronts the man and the seeming to be a stranger tells them: “Guys, it’s me. Kani. Porcelain. I should’ve said. I guess. Look….Some days I feel like a girl…other days, not so much.” Big Shot, who might be read to be conservative based on the character’s visual appearance and demeanor, takes the revelation in stride and offers Kevin, Porcelain’s name of choice in this form, his hat to add a dapper touch to Kevin’s outfit. At some point off panel, Porcelain transforms back to Kani just in time for a big fight with three masked operatives sent by Mockingbird. Porcelain seems to be fairly adept at fighting, based on a scene in which Porcelain engages a Mockingbird operative; said operative having been an extremely deadly fighter in their pre-Flashpoint version. This agent’s body was totally concealed by a uniform which prevented Porcelain from making contact with skin. Scenes showing Porcelain’s bare arms hugging Catman’s bare shoulders and using the power while wearing gloves suggest control over this ability. Porcelain has been seen carrying a sledge hammer, and you better stay out of its path. The domino mask Porcelain wears on occasion is cracked and seems suggestive of something more.

Simone has planted clues about Porcelain from the start. Big Shot uses male nouns in the scene in which Kevin appears, just as he used female pronouns when referring to Kani in issue #1. Kani’s reply at the time was an enigmatic “Let’s not say things we can’t take back.” Simone slips in another clue in a conversation Kani and Shauna have about Catman as the pair walk through the neighborhood in search of eggs for breakfast. Presumably Kani’s interest in Catman as a sexual partner carries over with the Kevin presentation. How sex between a bisexual male and a literally gender fluid person might play out in a scene seems like very tempting idea for a writer like Simone who doesn’t shy away from exploring humanity and sexuality. Simone may also have other ideas regarding gender (and presentation) in store for readers. Porcelain might best be described as gender fluid though attempts to define Porcelain’s sexuality with tags in this profile is arbitrary at this point.

Porcelain first appeared in Secret Six #1 vol 4. Created by Gail Simone and Ken Lashley. Art by Lashley and Jason Wright. Please see Catman.

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