|New York City|
The Pharaoh: antihero of Egypt, scorn of the sands, fated protector of the desert’s secrets. Ahmed Sharif held claim to every one of those titles throughout his years of terrorizing, and occasionally saving, Cairo. Until the police, who viewed him purely as a menace, got wise to his secret identity. Ahmed’s terrakinesis made him a powerful force but even he couldn’t stand up to the might to the entire Egyptian government.
Without many options left, Ahmed collected his sons, left flowers on his wife’s grave one final time, then sought asylum in America. It was miraculous when he was actually approved to enter the country. All he had to do was sign a contract that he would give up his borderline villainous ways, something he was more than willing to do if it would save his family from persecution.
A new citizen of the United States, Ahmed joined a business firm as a translator and marketing specialist. It was there he ended up meeting his second wife, Karen Angier. A fellow single parent, as she was the single mother of a daughter, the two first bonded over their own exasperation at trying to raise teenagers-- Meta-human teenagers.
Two years later in 2003, they were married and both Karen and her daughter, Mona, took Ahmed’s last name as their houses joined. Despite her cool attitude towards the new family, Ahmed adored his new stepchild. She was the complete opposite of his own sons, a young woman who took things far too seriously with a dry biting wit. Add in that she was a mutant and after several years of living together Ahmed knew she was perfect: she would be the one to continue the Pharaoh’s legacy.
Mona couldn’t have cared less about the Pharaoh. In fact, she had no interest whatsoever in heroes or villains of any sense. What she did care about was his approval. Her own father had left them within years of her birth, making it well known he didn’t want her or her mother. Her real father could go screw himself but Ahmed was kind to them. Even his sons were lovable in their own genuine, if obnoxious, ways. If he wanted her to continue his own Legacy after all he had done for them? She couldn’t bring herself to even consider saying no. So then seventeen year old Mona began training in 2006.
It was a process to adapt the name of “The Pharaoh” to not only a woman but someone with entirely different powers. While Ahmed was famous for bending the sands of Egypt with terrakinesis, Mona had the ability to animate her extremely long hair. There was no way they would be able to even get close to imitating him. So they didn’t.
Over countless hours, Mona experimented with ways to string of her own hair into yards and yards of cloth strips. The end result: A costume she had complete control of by manipulating the hair sewn into it. Within seconds she could “suit up” and be climbing walls using the excess fabric that draped off her body like tentacles. It was an ingenious solution to an evidently useless power.
She had the costume and she had the means, but Mona still lacked the skills needed to go into such a risky field. Her stepfather and stepbrothers began to train her over many grueling years. She became especially skilled at weaponizing her own costume, her favorite tactic involving pinning her brothers with hair laced fabric as she choked them out.
The new Pharaoh made her first public appearance November 2015, on her 24th birthday. Busting her way into a museum exhibit, the woman made off with thousands of dollars worth of jewels and a newfound pride in her abilities. It was that event that bolstered her confidence and helped her gain the courage to pursue her dream of a modeling career.
The only true kink in her grand plans rose in 2017 when her stepfather’s old arch nemesis, Captain Ra the Protector of Egypt, travelled to the states to hunt down his rival. After two years of villainous deeds she finally met her match. Mainly because said match seemed to have an overall murderous intent. Her stepfather and him had been more than professional rivals, for Ra it was personal. The Pharaoh was the one enemy that the protector of Egypt could never defeat. His hatred for the man grew so great that if it meant trapping or catching his rival’s heir he had no qualms about destroying buildings and rarities alike. The most well known disaster when he nearly burned down a hospital with his pyrokinetic powers. He hadn't set fire to the hospital itself. It just happened to be next to the art gallery he did set fire to. What truly irked him most about that day was Mona managed to escape AND help delay the spreading flames.
Now, in 2019, she’s not only a well established villain in New York but a world known model with a brand of her own easily earning more money than she can spend-- and that’s just the legal income.
Mona Sharif is far different from the sultry smile and bedroom eyes she displays on magazine covers and catwalks. In person she has been described as “elegant but tired”. She puts phenominal effort into being soft and kind while on the job when reality shows her to be a hardened and serious young woman shaped by her life without the support of extended family or a father for her first fourteen years. She's more likely to make a dryly biting comment to strangers than give kind words of encouragement.
Despite her prickly attitude, Mona does have strong morals at her core. She may do bad deeds but she doesn't necessarily wish them onto others. Perhaps in another world she would have been a hero-- some hopeful souls even think she is destined to go heroic. She heavily disagrees with said souls.
Mona Angier-Sharif is capable of controlling the movement and growth of her hair, which is actually formed of unfeeling muscle tendons surrounded by keratin. She can lengthen the strands of her hair up to 9 feet away from her skull and shorten it a significantly less distance. Her hair is limited in its shortening by how far it naturally reaches in its growth cycle. Every time she cuts it, it will go back to its natural length the next time she has it grow to accomplish a task. The end result is hair that rests around her knees from nearly 28 years of continual growth. Thank the stars that her natural growth rate is relatively sedate. Unnaturally, however, she can force her hair to extend at a fairly rapid pace. While she has never actually timed it, it can grow about as quickly as she is able to react to things. She regularly has used it to stop punches and snatch passing objects from the air but it isn’t fast enough to stop fast moving projectiles like bullets if she couldn’t stop it with a limb. In essence, her hair grows/reacts at the same rate she is able to.
Being formed of muscle tendons, it is far tougher than the hair of anyone else. The keratin coating makes it even stronger. When the strands are combined together into thick tendrils her hair is capable of lifting and carrying extreme weight without breaking or straining. If thick enough, it can even stop bullets and other projectiles in the same way kevlar can. Her hair’s weight limit seems to be about one and a half tons, as she once picked up a taxi and lobbed it at an advancing hero. That doesn’t make it immune to damage, though. While it is leagues harder to cut than regular hair, a very sharp blade can easily slice through it and sever the hair and cut off her ability to control it. Once her hair is severed from its roots in her skull, she can no longer manipulate it.
Mona uses her prehensile hair to feign cloth manipulation as her villain alter ego by forcing the strands of her hair to weave with the threads of cloth strips that make up her costume. With her hair combined into the cloth, she has complete control over every bandage she wraps around her body to conceal her identity. One example of her use of this ability is creating fake fingers and toes that extend from the gold gauntlets and boots she has on her limbs.
The only things she doesn’t control is the cloth she uses as a skirt and jewelry that she uses to give her costume the more royal feel.
Mona Sharif is widely considered to be one of the most renowned models in America and on a fast track to being a worldwide favorite. As such she often gets invited to parties and exclusive events.
HAND TO HAND COMBAT
Mona was trained by her stepfather, step siblings, and several hired instructors in martial arts since she was seventeen. She is nowhere near as advanced as her stepfather or some heroes but she does have the advantage of extra "limbs" in her hair formed tentacles.
She still trains once a week with her stepfamily.
Mona has the advantage of having her stepfather, Ahmed, and step brothers there to help her in any troubles she may find herself running into. Ahmed was a villain for decades before she was even born, making him the best source of experience and information she can find. He trained, encouraged, and supported her from the age of seventeen to become his successor. Her brothers also helped in any ways they could, be it sparring partners or poor unwitting subjects of her fashion experiments.
NERVES OF STEEL
Mona is not one to be easily intimidated, no matter the forces she may find herself facing up against. Her entire life she has been something of a rock to the weaker willed members of her family and friend groups and proves it with every fiber of her being. Even in the worst of circumstances she remains steady and clear thinking.
Mona Sharif has money through both family and career. At first her stepfather would donate his own funds to her for her villainy but after her modeling career set off she no longer had the need for his support. Last year alone she made nearly $11 million and very obviously enjoys the benefits of such wealth from her upper class lifestyle. Striking out with her own fashion brand has only bolstered her income.
Mona actually has a lot of stress and anxiety revolving around driving, especially in traffic packed cities like New York. While she does love the thrill of going fast, the woman barely managed to get her license when she was in her late teens and it shows in every jerky turn of a steering wheel.
If at all possible she can and will spend the money to be chauffeured around the city-- whether it be by Taxi or Limo.
While her famous status is an advantage, it is also a bit of a curse. Almost everywhere Mona goes she can feel eyes watching her. They either recognize her name brand clothes or Mona herself but either way she often is gawked at in public and its a drain on her. She has to savor every moment alone she can.
It also makes it incredibly difficult for her to slip away to do more illicit affairs as The Pharaoh.
FLIRTING WITH DANGER
Not only is Mona a villain in secret, but as a civilian she has been known to walk amongst heroes at public events and has even been seen on the arm of one or another as dates set up by her agent. She dangerously toes the line between safety and discovery for her day job, as such events and charities can help keep her reputation on the good side of the public.
Though, Mona would be lying if she claimed some heroes like Fusion and Granite weren’t very attractive people.
Mona can’t fail in her villainous career and risk bringing shame down on her Stepfather’s legacy. The Pharaoh has been an infamous figure around the world for decades and it could be entirely her fault if she messed up and destroyed his entire reputation.
Despite her villainy, Mona at her core is a good person. She doesn’t wish to see anyone innocent suffer and in an instant she will drop whatever she may be doing to save a civilian in peril. Of course then she will spin around and gladly sock the next hero to approach. Baby steps towards progress.
Being a famous model and villain means she has a lot of rivals in both worlds. On the one side she has to compete with other models looking for any crack in her public facade to swoop in and steal the limelight, on the other? Heroes and other villains alike doing much of the same, only they want to unmask her and destroy the name of the Pharaoh forever.
Her stepfather’s own arch nemesis, Captain Ra, came out from retirement just to try and track her down. His apparent need to bring the original Pharaoh to justice is intense enough that he has toed the line between heroism and vigilantism as he ignores most legal barriers to chase her down. One of the most well known reports of Ra's lack of control was documented in 2017, when he nearly burned down a hospital with his pyrokinetic powers. Of course, he hadn't set fire to the hospital itself. It just happened to be next to the art gallery he did set fire to.
Mona’s civilian identity is astounding not just for her amazing skills at acting the part of ignorant model, but for the fact she has taken great lengths to cover up the fact that she’s meta-human. As far as the public is concerned her hair is the result of years of effort and time. Her physicality is simply long grueling efforts to keep in shape for her job. It is a constant and exhausting dance to keep up the act and avoid discovery from any of the more intelligent heroes.
She has three dogs: two Pit Bulls, Rufus and Stella, and a Pomeranian, Max.
Many don't realize she was gravely injured in the fire set by Captain Ra, she had third degree burns across nearly a fourth of her body and required the help of a healing mutant to recover. She knows just how dangerous he really is.