Kathy George, a young American woman from the South who's life took a drastic turn for the worse one day when she began a journey home with her boyfriend, Roger. All along she knew this would be a bad idea, but like so many youths she found the thrill of doing something her parents and the general populace wouldn't approve of so enticing. So on the road to her parent's home in Louisiana she and Roger made love in an open field for one last time, blissfully unaware of the horrors that awaited them...
Kathy George was created by Peter Milligan and Chris Bachalo.
Kathy is a girl from the american south and was raised in a strict environment that forbid interracial relations. She suffered from the trauma of witnessing her boyfriends death and was placed in a mental asylum. After she gets out she meets Shade while seeking a sense of closure over watching Troy Grenzer's execution. She attempts to kill Shade believing him to be Troy because Shade had actually taken possession of his body, but the M Vest reacted revealing that she is still haunted by the deaths of her parents and her boyfriend. While on her travels with Shade it is discovered she suffers from alcoholism.
Kathy starts to develop feelings for Shade that eventually culminate in a sexual relationship, but it is very short lived. After she gets out of an Alcoholic rehabilitation center she starts having romantic feelings toward her friend Lenny which evolves into a lesbian relationship between the two women.
Major Story Arcs
Kathy was the first to arrive at the door, when she opened it, what she found was far too gruesome for her mind to fully process at first and she simply stood in shock. Inside, blood splatters the walls, carpet and mangled bodies of both her parents, hovered over by their murderer who's reply to Kathy opening the door is the phrase, "I'm not mad. I get mad, but I'm not mad." Then he rushes out with his blade in hand, claiming he only did it because he wanted to but Roger leaps at the insane man, knocking him off the porch and holding him down on the ground. Unfortunately, the police arrive on the scene "just in time" and shoot the assumed cause of the trouble in the forehead. Roger. It was the South after all.
At that point she snapped and her sanity went out the window, the events had been too much for her and she spent her time restrained in a bed at a mental hospital where she continuously blamed herself for the deaths of the three most important people in her life. All the input from the nurses only made things worse with such thoughts as maybe deep down she had wanted them all to die or that God was punishing her for her interracial relationship. And that wasn't even the worst of it, all her nights were haunted by him, the man who killed her family.
Eventually she was "shipped out" from the hospital after her parent's money well went dry and almost immediately she hooked up with some man who brought her to his hotel room. While he was in the bathroom she took his wallet and using the loads of money within bought a car and just began driving. Driving away from her past life and trying her best to keep it together. Listening to the radio she heard about Troy Grenzer, the serial killer who she knew all too well. It seemed in his madness he had actually refused an appeal to the death sentence he was granted. She began heading back to the South, the dreadful world that haunted her nightmares, driving up to the Louisiana State Penitentiary where she just rested on the hood of her car and watched the dawn break. It was Execution Day and she knew if she could get no closure to what happened three years ago her life would be forfeit. So she began imagining what he was feeling on his last morning.
She seemed to be on track in her imaginings up until 7 A.M. when everything went wrong. Electricity was supposed to course through Grenzer's body, but the explosion of Madness was unplanned. Kathy became confronted with all-too-real visions, a hooded chair which entangled her and kept her from getting to her car. Her mind was filled with the sound of screams...and laughter. Then the chair vanished and she was in the driver seat of her car, and in the back seat was Grenzer. He immediately denies he is who she thinks and claims to have come from the Area of Madness and that he created a "localized trauma" with his arrival. He says his name is Shade and asks her to drive.
At first she feels nothing and simply drives for Texas, hitting a costumed man on the way but heeding "Shade's" advice and simply ignoring him as apparently he wasn't real and simply an accidental creation of Shade's brought on by the M Vest, the Madness Vest. When they pull into the hotel however her mind starts getting busy when she notices he is weary and exhausted. She decides that she will kill him, after a drink. When she returns with a knife, he frantically tries again to explain to her the situation, that he is not Grenzer but she doesn't believe him.
Then it happens, the Madness Vest begins manifesting thought into matter, first Kathy's parents, then Roger...and then Kathy's temporary paradise comes to another crashing halt when Grenzer appears in her vision, killing her loved ones again and swinging at her, drawing blood to prove the reality of the situation. She tells Shade to stop what's happening but he says he can't and Kathy begins fighting the bogey of her nightmares. At first it seems her own death is imminent but she retaliates in fury and kills him, finally kills him. She is then awestruck as Shade floats high above the bed in a flurry of colors...and Madness. When the authorities come after a call from the hotel owners, Shade dispatches them with the same chair that had trapped Kathy earlier and the two flee into the sunset. Kathy still seems conflicted over what's going on, but she has no choice but to run with it and as she drives she begins to observe that the sky appears to be the wrong color. The Madness infecting America, the American Scream.
An unknown amount of time later, Shade finally awakes and sits up front the car with Kathy and they discuss the strange sky and the Madness, Shade reveals Kathy knows as much as he does since he's making it all up as he goes along. Suddenly Kathy slams her foot down on the brake pedal and the car comes to a screeching halt. There's a police-enforced road block up ahead, and knowing what they'll think when they see "Troy Grenzer: Escaped Convict" she hands Shade a jack to use as a weapon. He turns down the offer and instead has his own idea, he says he can alter his appearance with his powers for a short period of time but when they pull up to the cops everything goes wrong because he's wearing the face of John F. Kennedy.
Kathy freaks and slams on the accelerator, plowing through the roadblock and leaving behind cops who see the license plate matched that of the one they were looking for. Shade explains he pulled the inspiration for the face from the Madness and he in fact knew nothing of JFK, so Kathy gives him a brief history of the President and the conspiracy surrounding his death. Suddenly, the road begins to disappear and the car is pulled along something Shade christens the "Madstream" that seems to be pulling them to the source of the Kennedy craziness. However, Kathy must live through her nightmare when Troy regains control of his body and begins to attack Kathy, threatening her but when she bashes him over the head Shade returns and begs her to stop.
Kathy isn't so forgiving and tells Shade to get out of her car, as they find themselves landed in Dealey Plaza where a JFK Sphinx is plaguing the area. But Shade seems convinced he'll be able to rid himself of Grenzer permanently and after saving a woman from the Sphinx, he grabs Kathy and tells her he's going to try and fly. His flight is unsteady at first and Kathy demands he put her down but he doesn't and instead they fly up to the "Sniper's Perch" where they find the center of this living insanity and at it a man named Duane Trilby. Shade tries to approach the man and stop him but instead a light bursts forth from Duane and engulfs Kathy and Shade, trapping them in history. A history where Kathy is Jacqueline Kennedy, Shade is John and about to get assassinated.
As it turns out, in this reality Duane saves Kennedy from being killed and the two become friends, Kathy remains unknowingly trapped in the Mad World, truly believing herself to be Jackie Kennedy. When Shade finally breaks free from the delusion in their bedroom, he calls her Kathy and they snap back to the "normalcy" of the Plaza. Kathy seems quite shaken by the experience saying she felt just as convinced she was Jacqueline as she feels she is Kathy at that moment. Shade tells her he's almost certain that they are now in the true reality but before they can compose themselves, the Sphinx asks Kathy its riddle and when her only answer is Lee Harvey Oswald it devours her whole, leaving Shade behind to stop the American Scream.
Kathy finds herself in a surreal world and the first identifiable figure appears to be a police officer but when she rounds his body she finds his face partially chewed off, proving just how lucky she was to have been swallowed in one mouthful. Then the world expands further and she finds herself and the dead officer on an assembly line of massive John F. Kennedy busts. And across from the statues, dozens of firing guns, Kathy is forced to dive for cover behind one of the heads but after some time it becomes undeniable that she will have to either leap into the endless blue beneath her or die at the wrong end of a bullet. So she jumps...
When the ground finally comes up to meet her, it comes gently, and she softly alights upon a grassy knoll with a single tree shading the bed of a young blond-haired girl: Duane's lost daughter, Mary-Ann. The girl awakes, believing Kathy to be an angel, and giving "the angel" her doll. And once again Kathy finds herself torn from a Madness-induced reality, though she knows she met the real Mary-Ann...but once again Kathy stands in Dealey Plaza. She is alone at first until Shade and Duane return from an enlightening journey and so finally the Sphinx's riddle is solved, Duane accidentally kills himself and Shade disappears into the Area of Madness, leaving behind a colorful, two-dimensional "cut-out" of himself for Kathy to clutch fearfully as Mr. Stringer (the man who had been trailing Shade since the explosion at Louisiana State Penitentiary) approaches saying he's been wanting to meet her and Shade for a while now.
Kathy seems to take this new development a lot more calmly then your average "damsel in distress", another testament to how far gone she already is. Left in an interrogation room with Shade's silhouette for hours as Mr. Stringer and Mr. Connor watch her over cameras, they ask her questions about what's going on over a speaker but her answers don't seem to satisfy them. Instead she continues to talk to "Shade", begging him to come back and even going so far as to say he's all she has left. What she doesn't know is Shade can hear her voice but he is trapped in the Area of Madness, being broken down mentally and physically by the American Scream.
Shade manages to distract the Scream for a moment by making it "take a look in the mirror" and concentrating on the image of himself, he creates a portal between him and Kathy through the silhouette. Mud begins to flow from the Area of Madness into Kathy's cell and she steps into it, leaving behind a baffled Stringer and Connor and a pile of dust. Once she enters the Madness, Shade releases a wave of energy to once again slow the Scream while he grabs Kathy and dives through the portal he created, bringing the two not back to Dallas but two hundred miles west of Phoenix.
They check into a hotel as a married couple but they don't speak to one another through the night, and it's only in the morning they begin to share. The sharing consists primarily of Shade explaining some of his past on Meta as Kathy says she'd like to know as much as she can about a guy before she gets "involved". She believes he's holding things back from her but in fact he is just about in the dark as she is. However, one roadblock in their relationship is overcome when Shade exits the shower and finds his hair has reverted to its natural color and he no longer looks like Troy Grenzer, Kathy even suggests that with all his abilities he should be able to rustle up some clothes and he does, something of a fashion he remembered from Meta...Kathy decides it's good enough.
Kathy and Shade spend two days together in Arizona where they become closer, during the nights Kathy asks Shade to hold her and sleeps in his arms. When the Madstream comes for Shade again he grabs a hold of Kathy and the two are transported to the newest victim of the American Scream: Hollywood. It doesn't take long for things to get weird and Shade comes to the conclusion that everyone is in everyone else's film that they watch and to stop it he finds the director of the films and kills him, curtly halting the Madness. But as it turns out, nothing is ever that easy...the Madness wasn't coming from the director, but the camera and things get a whole lot more insane. The duo travels from scene to scene, film to film, until Shade becomes the writer and restores things to normalcy, destroying the camera with a sledgehammer. However, the whole affair leaves Kathy with one thought, if she could meet the real Mary-Ann Trilby in Dallas, that must mean the Madness can breach the afterlife and if so she can meet her parents. Shade doesn't think that makes sense but admits anything could be possible.
When next the two are whisked away to another city in America it turns out to be Alphabet City where "The Nameless" spread filth all over the city, bringing out the worst in people. It manages to separate Shade and Kathy, so while Shade battles the hold of the American Scream Kathy goes through her own trials as the Madness reverts her to what she is at her lowest: a drunk. She passes out on in a strange room and when she wakes up the next morning with a hangover Shade is gone and New York is recovering from the prior day's events. Kathy becomes desperate and tries to get into contact with people she may have known from New York but they've all moved and when finally she shows up to the house of her last ditch effort and finds out he's moved she collapses.
However, the new tenant (a very strange, young woman named Lenny) seems to take a shine to Kathy and lets her in and they talk about some random topics before Lenny suggests they go out. They do so and during the public outing Kathy fears her delirium tremens has returned when she sees a giant pink hand but Lenny says she had thought it was just her who saw it. It's revealed to be Shade's hand as he tries to claw his way out of San Francisco and back to NY but although he is able to become physically present for enough moments that Kathy can embrace him, he once again is dragged back to the infection of Madness.
Kathy and Lenny decide to go back to Lenny's apartment but what they find there is possibly even stranger then what lead up to it, a giant baby repeating Kathy's name. Eventually, the thing reveals itself to be part of Shade's subconscious and it tells Kathy it thinks he lover her. But they are interrupted when a radical group calling themselves the Pan-Weirdness of America storm the apartment believing Shade to be the "Anti-Weird" and they attack the women. Kathy manages to put up a fight and even blinds one teenage boy. When the group tries to retaliate Shade comes to the rescue! With brute force...Kathy shouts for him to stop and the fight ends prematurely, the Pan-Weirdness leaving in defeat.
Things try to return to normal, Shade overcome with guilt for leaving San Francisco behind and letting the American Scream take control...but he and Kathy are at last together again and while in bed at Lenny's apartment a furious knocking sounds at the door and voices begin demanding they open the door because everyone knows they're not married. What they don't learn until later is they had been transported to Crystal Falls, Wisconsin where a man is on a quest to make sure everyone is his definition of normal. At first he begins slaughtering those who aren't normal enough including family and friends but eventually he remembers "The Machine" in his basement and begins using it to make people "normal". His targets become Shade and Kathy who are taken to The Machine but escape and try to blend in with the normal-folk. Turns out that's easier said then done and Kathy's "abnormality" is spotted by the citizens and she's taken to the Machine where she undergoes transformation. Once again it's Shade who must come to the rescue and "true" normalcy is restored, so Kathy and Shade drive off into the sunset agreeing not to mention the guilt each is feeling (him over San Fran and her over alcoholism).
Although she didn't know it at the time, that was the last time Kathy would tag along for one of Shade's numerous struggles with some manifestation of the American Scream. In Chicago, Shade's services are needed by Mr. Stringer and Kathy tags along for support but she is horrified when she learns Shade is helping Stringer catch a killer who's victim's first names being with "K" and his styles seem similar to that of the late Troy Grenzer. To calm her nerves and have support while Shade is away she has Lenny come over from New York and the two continue to bond. When Shade returns from a meeting with Stringer he assures Kathy that all her fears are unfounded because none of the Grenzer-related stuff about the killer is true.
Kathy's reaction is the last one Shade wanted when she begins to console him and say it must have been hard, his first time...lying to her. Shade gets defensive but Kathy won't have it, so when she asks him again about the killer he says there's stuff she'd be better off not knowing and he leaves. When Shade returns later in the day he manages to smooth things over with Kathy, saying the Grenzer-idolizing killer has been taken care of. After that the two have sex for the first time in what Kathy finds to her surprise to be a much wilder experience then she had deemed the timid Shade to be capable of.
But after Shade leaves, he comes back acting just as odd as he had been earlier when they fought and after he talks with Lenny he leaves again and Kathy becomes fed up with him. She leaves the hotel room as well to do some thinking and she comes to the conclusion the relationship needs to end for the betterment of both of them. So she returns to the hotel room just in case Shade has returned and luckily for her he had so after opening the door she lists her reasons for the two of them needing to go their separate ways. After getting no response from his still body which oozes blood from the bullet-hole through its head she closes the door and leaves for the bar.
The patrons of the bar complain about Kathy saying she's been coming for the past few days begging for money to buy some beer but when Shade and Lenny come to collect her she makes it plain to the onlookers she has no love for Shade...and then she passes out. Shade and Lenny take her to an alcoholic's rehabilitation center with Lenny's rich father paying the bill, and although he's not happy about Shade leaves Kathy there to deal with her own sickness while he continues to fight America's.
She ends up getting out of rehab but rather then waiting for Shade, she moves on with her life and goes to live at her uncle's, eventually reuniting with Lenny. The two of them begin to form a romantic relationship and make plans for a road trip when Shade finally shows up again (having defeated the American Scream). He joins the two of them and they do begin their road trip but it doesn't take long before Shade's madness causes things to go awry and Shade begins to suspect Kathy is cheating on him.
She is, but Shade only finds out in one of the most awkward moments anyone could ever have...you see, Shade is murdered, and when he's forced to come face to face with it he can't retain his physical form anymore and continuously ends up just becoming objects in their hotel room. He asks Kathy and Lenny to seek out a new body for him to take over (one that's dying) and then does his best to keep himself together. Unfortunately, Kathy and Lenny take advantage of his mess to secretly have sex in the hotel...afterward realizing Shade was the blanket and he couldn't tell them!
Things get weirder from here, specifically when Lenny does find a body but it turns out to be a woman and Shade has more trouble, eventually he comes to accept the fact he's dead and his spirit moves on, leaving Kathy and Lenny to move on with their lives in a little less mad world.