Edsel is a streetwise inner city teenager who carries a baseball bat and has a predilection for classic Edsel automobiles. During the course of Matt Wagner's
series The Hero Discovered
, it is revealed that she is the latest incarnation of the Lady of the Lake, and that the bat is Excalibur
. Edsel is loyal, believing in Kevin Matchstick
and the rightness of his cause, even when he doesn't. She defends Kevin with bravery and grace to the bitter end.
We first see Edsel spying on Stanis Grackleflint
. She gets in her classic red Edsel automobile and follows him into an alley, but he realizes she's after him. He hides around a corner as she drives past. He pulls up the rear end of the car and wedges a cinderblock underneath so it can't go anywhere. She gets out of the car, pulling a standard baseball bat with her. Swinging it around her, she brings it down with a crack on his head. Stanis is unphased; he grabs her and prepares to stab her with his poisonous elbow spur.
Having been warned by Mirth
's Sight, the World Mage and Kevin Matchstick have been rushing to her aid, even though they have never met her before. Kevin gets there just in time and grabs Stanis' arm to stop him. Kevin and Mirth defeat him, and Edsel quickly joins the group. Confusing Kevin, the young streetwise girl calls him "my lord," and says she is his servant. Mirth quickly takes her aside and tells her that Kevin does not know who he is yet. Edsel, on the other hand, seems to have a pretty good idea about who she "really" is. They get in her car (about which she is very defensive) and drive off. Mirth takes her bat and says he will enchant it, and as he does, it starts to glow green.
They go to the football stadium, which is closed for the night, and Mirth explains what is going on. They are in the midst of a Struggle between the light and the dark. The forces of darkness, led by the Umbra Sprite and his Grackleflints, are trying to find and kill the Fisher King
. The heroes must try to protect him; if he dies, it will usher in a new age of evil. Kevin is surprised at how easily Edsel accepts all this, but she says that living on the streets has led her to accept the fact that anything can happen--it's the middle class that is ensconced in its fantasies about reality.
At that time, the Marhault Ogre
attacks. Kevin fights it for a while, but isn't getting anywhere. Finally Edsel gets her Bat and leaps onto it, cracking its head several times. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to notice much, and flings her off. Only a cushion spell by Mirth saves her from being squashed against a wall, and she is knocked out. While she is out, Kevin finally beats the Ogre, but the police come and he is arrested. Mirth escapes, and Edsel is taken back to her parents.
Mirth springs Kevin from jail. While doing this, two important things happen. First, they meet Sean Knight,
a ghost, who agrees to join their group. Second, the Umbra Sprite gets one of Kevin's cellmates to join his cause, and arms him with a magic staple gun. This man, Rashem
, ends up living on the streets, waiting to kill the heroes.
The heroes go over to Edsel's parents' apartment and help her get out through the window. They drive her Edsel to Kevin's apartment. However, a Leanhaun Sidhe
is waiting there, and she entrances Kevin in his room. When Mirth finds out, he's scared--he has a weakness for her kind. Edsel literally steps up to bat and strides in the room and knocks the faerie off Kevin. The succubus knocks her down and is about to claw her when Kevin wakes up and destroys it.
Eventually they find out that Mirth's very magic is causing them trouble--it is so bright within the faerie land that the Umbra Sprite can see it, so Mirth has to leave them for a time. Sean becomes their new strategic leader. Kevin and Edsel set up ambushes for the Grackleflints after they realize that they are targeting homeless people in the area (because the Gracs believe the Fisher King will appear to be a homeless man). Edsel continues to be an excellent warrior at Kevin's side, dispatching Redcaps
with alacrity and humor. All this time, her parents are filing runaway reports on her, which Sean (who works in the public defender's office) intercepts. She says she'll return home eventually. They find a laundry ticket in one of the Redcap's pants, and eventually run down that clue to find out that it came from the Styx Casino. The heroes dress up (Edsel carries the Bat under her dress!), and go in to investigate.
The Grackleflints are disguised as red-headed casino employees, and recognize the heroes. They capture Kevin and hang him above a bottomless pit. The Umbra Sprite
, standing on a plank below, begins to interrogate him along with some of the Gracs. Sean and Edsel, meanwhile, finally realize that the red-headed men are the Grackleflints, and Edsel takes down Piet
with the Bat. They force him to being them to Kevin. Edsel knocks down the door to the pit and beats down three Grackleflints in seconds, and even knocks the Umbra Sprite down. He is about to deal with her, but ends up having to go after his falling son, Lazlo
. Kevin manages to get himself loose, and falls onto the plank, which knocks Edsel off--but Sean catches her.
They run away, but Emil manages to spur Kevin in the chest. Edsel cracks Emil on his spur, hurting him badly. She and Sean rush Kevin away to Sean's apartment. Sean stays behind to guard Kevin while Edsel goes to get Mirth, who has been hiding in a computer system. She gets him out, and is overjoyed to see him, and he her. But he quickly realizes that Sean is at home being attacked by Cromm Cruich
, a dragon. They rush back to find Sean fighting a holding action, the only thing that allows them to get Kevin out in time. He dies, and they escape.
Mirth takes them to the faerie realm, where Kevin is cured after a year. Edsel spends her time getting used to the place, and even drives her car around there. They all return to our plane, and prepare an attack on the Styx. Before they can begin, however, Rashem, the prisoner who has been living on the streets all this time, shoots at Mirth, knocking off one of his false legs, and then, as she strides towards him, shoots again at Edsel, killing her. The Bat flies from her hand and Kevin grabs it. It turns from green to white, and Kevin is filled with additional power. He decapitates Rashem, then collapses in horror and rage at what he has done. He still has not come to terms with the fact that this path means he must kill.
And yet, this moment is one he cannot ignore. As she dies in his arms, Edsel tells him that he is the avatar of King Arthur Pendragon, and she is the Lady of the Lake, the holder of his sword, Excalibur. After talking with Mirth about her sacrifice, Kevin finally takes up his mantle as the Pendragon and Hero, and claims the Bat as his own.
Character and Abilities
Edsel is a perceptive girl with a sense of wisecracking humor that keeps the group alive and energized. She is fairly skilled at fighting with her bat, even before it is enchanted. (Technically speaking, Mirth really didn't enchant it, he revealed its enchantment.) She was able to repeatedly defeat faerie creatures like Redcaps, and singlehandedly took out several Grackleflints with the Bat. When she possessed it, the Bat was magic, but only had an effect somewhat like a cattle prod, as Mirth described it. Later on, when Kevin possessed it, its powers increased exponentially.