Lieutenant Martin Rahm is a respected member of the Dakota Police Department, working on a case in which the perpetrator tortures, rapes, and murders transsexual women working as prostitutes in the city’s seedy district of Seaport.
Marisa Rahm was created by Adam S. Blaustein and J.H. Williams III .
One night, while working off-duty, Martin happens across the perpetrator terrorizing two potential victims, transsexual prostitute Dini Torres and an acquaintance, but flees before Rahm can apprehend him. Martin comes face to face with the serial killer Deathwish, who tells Martin he recognizes him as one of the girls, before disappearing. Afterwards, Torres provides the first information to Rahm about her attacker’s identity. She tells him that his nickname is “Boots”, after the silver-tipped boots he is never seen without. Four years later, Lieutenant Rahm has undergone hormone treatments and counseling to transition into Marisa "Maddie" Rahm, the first pre-operative transsexual Dakota has ever employed. Her transformation is met with disgust and contempt by her fellow officers. However, the decision does nothing but earn Marisa more respect in the eyes of her commander, known as Skipper, Skip, or Gil. Gil wants Rahm off of the Seaport murder case, and notifies her that the Internal Affairs Division suspects that she is romantically linked to one of the witnesses, producing a photograph of Dini as proof. Marisa denies the accusation, but she reveals through internal monologue that the two are indeed lovers, and have been living together for quite some time. Marisa is convinced that Deathwish, now imprisoned, will provide her invaluable information regarding the Seaport murder case, and bribes a guard in order to visit with the killer. In order for Deathwish to reveal what he knows, Marisa must first provide him with the details surrounding her decision to transition into womanhood. Rahm reveals that following Dini's attack by Boots, she repeatedly visited her future lover to check on her well-being. The visits are both therapeutic and revelatory, as Martin came to terms that his outside facade does not match the person living inside of his body. This realization is responsible for ending Martin's marriage. He transitions into Marisa, and begins a new life with Dini.
Major Story Arcs
The Case of The Seaport Murder
Marisa and Dini struggle with Rahm's obsession with the Seaport Murder Case. Marisa cannot stop fixating on the facial scar Boots gave Dini several years before. Rahm's lover does her best to encourage Marisa by purchasing her a computer to monitor the progress she has made on the case, and Dini entertains thoughts of moving to Paris with Marisa to start over again. Marisa pays lip service to Dini's aspiration, but her obsession with the case overshadows everything they share together. Gil interrupts a romantic dinner between Marisa and Dini with a new lead in the Seaport murder case. Marisa visits a grim murder scene, where three transsexual prostitutes have been murdered, and placed in an obscene tableaux of Boticelli's "Birth Of Venus". Boots managed to flee the scene before he could be captured, but three of his henchmen were not so lucky. Rahm caught the goons, and beat them to a bloody pulp, all the while reading them their Miranda Rights.
Deathwish breaks out of prison, and goes on the prowl in Dakota. He bursts into a motel room, and terrorizes a man that picked up a transsexual woman for sex. To complicate matters, Marisa is assigned a new partner on the case, Kevin Thorne, who graduated from the police academy with Marisa several years before. Thorne is a patronizing and obnoxious man.The captain orders Thorne to assist Rahm in every way, which only serves to fuel his personal trans-phobia more. Their partnership will only lead to tragedy. Meanwhile, Boots and his goons continue their killing spree, murdering several women from another of Dakota's "Houses". Later that night, Marisa and Dini have a fight over Rahm's obsession over the Seaport murder case. Marisa receives an unexpected telephone call from Deathwish, who demands that the two of them meet. Against Dini's wishes, Marisa braves a storm outside, and visits Deathwish. The vigilante tells Rahm that the case is soon coming to an end, and encourages the lieutenant to join him in a self-styled mission of vengeance, believing that Marisa "knows him" very well, and that they are "the same".
Deathwish recounts the Tragedy of Pentheus, a Theban King who tried to suppress the cult and rituals of the god Dionysus. Dionysus lured the king with deception by disguising himself as a woman, so he could spy on the Maenads during one of their secretive rituals. Pentheus was discovered, and his disguise was shattered. He was torn to pieces as punishment for violating the sparagamos ritual. The name Pentheus means "man of sorrows" derived from "Penthos", meaning sorrow or grief, especially in the case of a loved one. Deathwish's implication that Marisa's life will be torn to pieces if she is not careful will inevitably ring true for the officer on a level she could not possibly imagine. Per Deathwish's prediction, events begin to come to a boil. Marisa confides in her friend, Linda, a friend that was formerly married to a police officer. Later that night, as Marisa and Thorne are staking out a night club, they see two of Boots' men enter the establishment, and Rahm calls for back-up. The officers stand out like a sore thumb inside of the crowded club, and the situation turns ugly when one of Boots' goons takes a hostage. Thorne disarms him, and Marisa pounces, knocking the man unconscious. Deathwish then crashes through a sky light, and shoots Thorne. He proclaims "This is for you, Marisa", but escapes before Rahm's back-up can capture the killer. Thorne survives his injury, and Boots is later shown menacingly stalking Dini.
Two weeks later, the stress of the Seaport murder case causes Marisa to have a nightmare in which Deathwish is a puppeteer, pulling the strings of a smiling Boots, dressed in a black corset, panties, and fishnet stockings. Deathwish demands that she either blow his head off, or hers. Marisa then confronts Martin Rahm in the dream. Dressed in the same outfit as Boots under his trademark trenchcoat, Rahm kills the dream version of her former self, and is jolted awake from the nightmare. Dini attempts to console Marisa, and encourages her to consider her plan to move to Paris, France. The conversation only leads to a horrible argument. More time passes, and it is now July 8th, and an exceptionally hot summer day. It is Marisa and Dini's fourth anniversary. While taking a private call from Dini at the precinct, three of Rahm's colleagues begin to harrass Marisa. When one of them foolishly tries to put his hand up her skirt, Rahm punches the man in the face, and makes the decision to resign from the force.
Meanwhile, Boots has committed another grisly work of art using the bodies of dead transsexual prostitutes. A sketch of Dini Torres can be seen in one of Boots' sketches. Boots kidnaps Dini as she is preparing to go clubbing with Marisa. Elsewhere, Rahm is picking out a dress with her friend Linda, and grows alarmed when Dini is late. A note written by hand with a bouquet of flowers indicates that Marisa was to meet Dini at the clothing boutique at 10:00 PM. Marisa and Linda walk back to Rahm's apartment, where Marisa finds an invitation to attend a a ball at the House Of Boots. Rahm is driven mad by Dini's abduction. She gives herself a buzz cut, removes her make-up, and dresses up in a black leather bodysuit, similar in design to that of Deathwish. Via flashback, we attend a ball for Dini when she becomes top diva at the House of Luna. She meets James Gordon Staley, also known as Boots, who later tries to rape Dini on the pier. Dini kicks him in the groin, and laughs as Boots vomits all over himself. It will later be revealed that Dini allowed Boots to become her pimp. Forward to the present, and Deathwish is standing before Dini, handcuffed to a radiator in an unknown room. Deathwish says nothing to her, but clearly she is frightened.
Elsewhere, Marisa and Linda await entrance to Neverland, the bar location provided inside the invitation. Realizing the bouncers dressed in Boots' psuedo Nazi military drag will attempt to stop her, Rahm loses Linda, and climbs to the rooftop. She faces off against two of Boots' goons, as Deathwish watches Marisa brutally pulverize the men through a pair of binoculars. While Deathwish is distracted, Dini uses a bobby pin to unlock the handcuffs, and makes a hasty escape, although Marisa does not realize this. Rahm finds a .357 Magnum from Deathwish with a note that reads "It's time, kiddo". Dini escapes to the street, and makes a run for it. A car approaches her, with Marisa's partner, Thorne, inside. He calls to Dini by her birth name, Estefan Torres, and tells her that Rahm sent him to look for her. Terrified, Dini enters the car. Marisa continues to search Neverland, and finds a woman seated at a vanity table. It is Boots, wearing a wig to make himself look like Dini. A brawl ensues, and Deathwish appears from nowhere. He helps Rahm get the upper hand, but Marisa gives Boots her revolver with the order to "blow your brains out, or mine." Boots shoots himself in the head. Deathwish is then apprehended by police, as another officer drives Rahm and Linda to the scene of another crime. They find Dini, dead, murdered by Kevin Thorne. Her murder shocks Marisa back into reality, and she travels to Paris in honor of Dini's dream. Marisa is seen speaking with another transsexual woman at a cafe, who asks her if she will stay in Paris. Rahm replies that she does not know.
Powers And Abilities
Marisa is a human transsexual woman with no known superhuman abilities. She is highly intelligent, and honed her investigative skills during her time with the Dakota police force.
She was trained in both boxing and urban self defense techniques, and is an excellent marksman. Although unconfirmed, Marisa appears to have had gymnastics training at some point in her past, displaying feats of physical prowess uncommon to the average individual.
She is proficient in a variety of weapons, although her weapons of choice are a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum Colt Python revolver, and a combat knife she keeps sheathed to her leg.