info Overview
Name - What is Joey Puglisi ’s full name?

Joey Puglisi

Role - What is Joey Puglisi ’s role in your story?

The Sole Survivor

Age - How old is Joey Puglisi ?

16-20 (Beautiful Dreamers)
22 and older (Render Unto Caesar)
35 (American Nothing)

Gender - What is Joey Puglisi ’s gender?

Transgender man (he/him)

Full Name

Joseph Alessio Puglisi

Other names - What other aliases does Joey Puglisi go by?

Render Unto Caesar/American Nothing: Joey Poole (Americanized name he uses when he falls off the map), Caesar (cape name)
Beautiful Dreamers: Giulia Puglisi, Giulia Benedetta Puglisi, Giulie, Venus (cape name)


Formerly the League, now...nothing.


Caesar; Joey Poole (he Americanized his surname when he fell off the grid to blend in)


Beautiful Dreamer
Stranger in a Strange Land
Render Unto Caesar
American Nothing


Alcoholism, depression, disordered eating, PTSD, forced kiss

folder_open Name
First Name



First Name Meaning

God Will Add


First Name Pronunciation


(Joo-lee-uh; pronounced like "Julia" as it's the Italian variant of it. Giulie is pronounced as "Julie")

Middle Name



Middle Name Meaning



Middle Name Pronunciation




Puglisi (Poole)

Surname Meaning

Someone From Apulia (Someone Who Lives By a Pool)

Surname Pronunciation

Pugh-yee-see (Pool)

In-Universe Relevance

He didn't have any specific reason for picking Joseph/Joey as his name besides just liking it. He chose Alessio after his father and because he wanted to still have one name of Italian origin. When he was born, he was given the middle name Benedetta after his paternal grandmother.

Out Of Universe Relevance

I was reading Jane Eyre for AP Lit when Joey first popped into my head and I think that's where I got the surname of Poole from for his alias.

face Looks
Race - What is Joey Puglisi ’s race?

Human (white; specifically Sicilian and Italian)

Body Type

BD: A bit above average height, with a body type that slowly goes from healthy to underweight as the story progresses and the stress of being in the spotlight and pigeonholed as "the chick" weighs down on him. Pierced ears, fought tooth and nail not to wear dangly earrings with his costume and won.
RUC/AN: Average height, stocky build. Used to be muscular, but now he's more heavyset. Any money he gained as compensation for his time with the League went straight into hospital bills following the ambush that wiped out the rest of his team, and so he has yet to get top surgery, although he wants to at some point; alternates between a binder (on "normal" days) and a sports bra (on days when he knows he's going to do vigilante work to) to bind since the physical stuff he does during his vigilante work would be dangerous if he did it in a binder. Almost all of his scars are a bit jagged since he's sewn up most of his injuries himself.

Weight - How much does Joey Puglisi weigh?

BD: Starts the story off with a pretty average build for a teenage girl, but his increasing role as the "chick" of the team and status as "the attractive one" puts more and more pressure on him to lose weight. By the time of the ambush, he's constantly dizzy and nauseous and at an unhealthy weight.
RUC/AN: Above average, due mostly to fat but some muscle.

Skin Tone

Light with olive undertones

Height - How tall is Joey Puglisi ?


Hair Color - What color is Joey Puglisi ’s hair?

Dark brown

Eye Color - What is Joey Puglisi ’s eye color?


Hair Style - How does Joey Puglisi style their hair?

BC: Long and a bit wavy, and always loose--not ideal for fighting crime.
RUC/AN: Messy and unkempt, slightly overlong but not so much that he can tie it back. Thick and wavy.

Facial Hair - What facial hair does Joey Puglisi have?

Some stubble. One of those guys who pretty much always has a five o'clock shadow.


  • Burn scar on his thigh, which he gains at the end of BD in the apartment fire. It wasn't quite big enough to warrant a skin graft but it was close. It's pinker than his normal complexion and looks almost taught. He will not wear any shorts that fall above it both because he dislikes looking at it and because it could potentially be an identifying mark.

  • Assorted other scars racked up during nearly two decades of crime fighting. As Venus, he was given state of the art medical care (and since his role was "the pretty one", minimalization of scars was a priority) but as Caesar he's on his own.

  • The League provided appendix-removal surgeries for their heroes to avoid ruptures, so he has a scar from that.

  • The most notable one is a scar on his stomach from being stabbed.

  • Slightly jagged scar on his right palm from breaking a bottle.

  • His less notable scars range from very neat lines to much more jagged--it really depends on how easily he could stitch the wound up and if it was especially painful (or, earlier in RUC, if he was drunk) the stitches are generally less elegant because his hands would be less steady.

  • Broke his nose at least twice. The first time it was set perfectly, the second time left it more crooked.

  • Pain in his lower back due to breaking it at the end of BD. It's generally irritating but not unmanageable, but it's one of the leading reasons in why he put a pause to his vigilante work--the exertion and injuries put more strain on the pre-existing injury.

  • Broke his arm fighting Wunderkind, who gave him a sturdy kick to the forearm that snapped one bone and cracked the other. It healed well since he sought out an actual medical professional, but it still wasn't the best experience.

  • As his story progresses and he spends more and more time in crime-fighting scenarios, the amount of times he's had guns fire close to him (along with other intense auditory stimulants) has left him partially deaf in his left ear--not to the extent that he needs a hearing aide or anything, but enough that you need to speak a little louder if you're facing that way and you might have to repeat yourself.

General Description

BD: Joey is fairly tall and on the slender side, with an olive complexion and some faint freckles usually covered with foundation or concealer. His hair is wavy and thick, falling down to his mid-back. Thick eyebrows that are usually plucked to be narrower. As the story progresses, he gets noticeably skinnier and more tired in the face. As Venus, he wore a lot of makeup that wasn't the most practical.
SIASL: About the same, but at a healthier weight, though still on the lighter end. Very short hair, baggy clothing.
RUC, AN: Joey is on the shorter end of average height with a broad, heavy build and a moderately large burn scar on his left thigh. He has a soft face, thick eyebrows, and a slightly crooked nose. His hair is thick and wavy and falls into his eyes a bit--it can be brushed back. Been on T for about 12 years, started at around 23. Fairly hairy. Generally looks like he needs to sleep. Stands very sturdily--arms crossed, feet hip-length apart, etc.


Joey's voice is low and a bit gravelly. As Venus, he spoke almost entirely with his head voice but could switch between head and chest very easily, which some of his teammates found jarring since he'd drop his voice whenever the cameras were off.

General and/or Relevant Outfit(s)

BD: His out-of-costume clothing is just run of the mill late 90s/early 2000s clothing popular among girls in their late teens/early 20s. His Venus costume is Roman-inspired and a bit like a toga, but less loose, accompanied by a silver laurel-esque crown.

RUC/AN: Dark jeans, a button-up shirt that's either black or black and red (or, later on in AN, some bright color combination), and a jacket, usually dark denim or a dark red bomber jacket. He doesn't have much of a change of costume as Caesar; it depends on the temperature but sometimes he'll shed his jacket for ease of movement.

fingerprint Nature
Personality type - What personality type is Joey Puglisi ?

Beautiful Dreamers: While initially a loudmouthed and energetic 'tomboy', Joey was made to play the role of the "chick" of the team's five (or six, technically) man band as Venus since he happened to be more conventionally attractive than Elizaveta Lenya, and his power was also far less physical--it was his voice while Eliza's was enhanced strength. At first it was something he could easily slip in and out of (hence his close friendship with Barry Rodgers--at the beginning of their time with the League, they were fairly similar) but by the ambush it's not a mask anymore. He's perpetually tired and has a growing discomfort with both the Venus persona and being seen as a woman at all, even if he doesn't have the words to describe it at the time (although he did try to use his power on himself so he could be happy as a girl. It didn't work.). Finds some solace in his relationship with Eliza, but it's equally weighed by the pressure to keep it secret. Similarly to Barry, Joey often feels overlooked by the League, but unlike Barry, he doesn't take this anger out on other people. By the end of the story he's almost unrecognizable from the person we meet at the start, who was naive and good-natured, if a bit brash and impulsive. Everyone in the team gradually breaks down during the story but Joey shows the biggest difference. All of the rough edges of his personality are shaved off into a cheerful, slightly ditzy girly-girl persona that he initially shucks off after each public appearance but soon becomes more mandated by the League's leaders--he's discouraged from "breaking character" and soon the Venus persona goes from something he takes off after every mission to more or less his default personality even though he's aware that it's all fake. The pressure to be the "pretty one" also weighs on him and he begins to restrict his eating in hopes of keeping a slim figure--which in turn results in him feeling lightheaded and nauseous more often than not towards the end of his career and impacts his ability to fight crime. Even after he recovers from this disordered eating after his time in hospital, the insecurities about his appearance take longer to shake.

Everything else: At the start of RUC, Joey's main concerns are flying under the radar and shaking off everything remotely Venus-like about him. At this point he's emotionally volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, whether warranted or not--he loses his first job as a bartender by breaking a man's wrist after he catching him trying to roofie a woman at the bar. It's at this point that his self-worth is at its lowest and he engages in unhealthy coping mechanisms, mainly by seeking out relationships that he knows will just fall apart before he has a chance to get really attached, binge-drinking, smoking, and of course vigilante crime fighting. He's an emotional drunk and he knows it, which only makes the spiraling worse. There was a point where once every few weeks he'd spiral and drink until he felt sick, going over every possible way that the ambush could've gone differently. As much as he blames the League for it, he also blames himself since he's the one who said they needed to try and help the tenants even though tensions were running high. He especially blames himself for Eliza's death since they went in together but Joey split off to save a young Ira Welles-Tyler--and to an extent, he blames himself for the tensions since it was Barry forcing a kiss on him and the resulting fight that dropped the match into the powderkeg. He's reckless and someone who claims to hate the world but really hates himself. Cutting himself off entirely from his family out of an attempt to shield them from the harm that came to his teammates also didn't help and he constantly reconsiders the decision, but is terrified of both their potential rejection and harm coming to them. After exchanging numbers with his neighbor Mabel Brell he has a real friend for the first time in years, and it's their influence that convinces him to try and do better, as well as to think through his vigilante work as opposed to completely wing it (and, less importantly, take up the saxophone). The two form a team and are soon joined by Ira Welles-Tyler, who Joey somewhat reluctantly befriends and has a vested interest in keeping safe--he reigns in Ira the way Mabel reigns in him and although the two don't jell right off the bat, they find a system that works for their team-ups.
On the whole, Joey is stubborn, brash, and a bit gruff–he's a bouncer, after all. He has a performative disinterest in getting to know people that comes from the fact that the last time he had a close group of friends, they all died. Beneath the surface, though, he's a man who cares very deeply about the people in his life, even if he doesn't always show it in the best way. Very much postures as a cool, disaffected guy but underneath…I wouldn't say he's a softie, but he's softer than he lets on--he wants to love and be loved without the fear of it falling apart. Very much in love with Mabel and very much has no idea how to woo them at first, as well as surprisingly easy to fluster when he has his guard down, which admittedly doesn't happen often. He's still sort of actively forming his identity–he lived the first 20 years of his life not really knowing that being trans was, like, a thing he could be and for the four years he was in the League, he was assigned the part of "hot girl" since he was more conventionally pretty than Folly, and all of his brashness was basically trimmed off so he didn't "break character", and it can still be hard to figure out who he is really without the years of being forced to be something he's not. Unlike Ira Welles-Tyler, Joey can tell when it's best to pull out of a situation before he gets in too far over his head--a big part of his arc in RUC is learning that sometimes the better decision is to back out and recollect yourself instead of pointless self-endangerment. Even after he has a more solid sense of self and is working through his self-worth issues, he still struggles to see himself deserving of good things and constantly catches himself waiting for the other shoe to drop when something good happens, as seen by his panicked response when Mabel proposes and how he immediately jumps to imagining the worst case scenario of what could happen. He's loyal until the end and is more than willing to put his life on the line for his friends, as well as lend them places to stay and medical care if they need it.
In American Nothing, Joey becomes the de facto mentor figure to Safiya Alinsky and Dallas Smith --especially Dally. He's still brash and grumpy, he still has a reckless streak and his mental health issues aren't gone so much as manageable, but he's overall in a much better place in AN and the last parts of RUC than he was.

Mannerisms - What mannerisms does Joey Puglisi have?

BD: Near-constant nervous smile. Towards the end of his career, a sort of unfocused expression and slight swaying.
RUC/AN: Very expressive facial features and not the best at controlling his expressions. Stands with his arms crossed, shoulders squared, and feet hip-width apart, which is something he picked up at work to make people think twice about crossing him. Tendency to over-gesticulate when talking and isn't great at vocal moderation. Scoffs about as much as he laughs.

Skills and Hobbies

BD: "charmspeak" ability, agile, very pretty. Did some theatre and wasn't half bad. Can cook and sew well thanks to his grandmother. Fluent in Italian.
RUC, AN: Good in a fight, very good saxophone player. Still has the charmspeak ability, but it tends to fizzle out--he's not sure if it's just something that happens to powers as their wielders age or if it's tied into something else. Knows about as much first-aid stuff as he can due to both classes and research. Rusty Italian but still can speak it.

Motivations - What motivates Joey Puglisi most?

BD: To improve the world! Clearly his superpowers have to mean something; it's his duty to protect others.
RUC: To stay under the radar and not get involved in anything involving League politics. He does vigilante stuff, but it's mostly just stopping crimes that are actually happening.
AN: To help Mabel Brell expose corruption within the League, and to keep an eye on the new upstarts and make sure they don't get themselves injured or worse.
Motivations that span multiple appearances include:
- Working through the trauma of his last days with the League, especially the ambush and how he feels responsible for it.
- Working through issues surrounding his self-confidence, insecurities, and self-worth.
- His struggle with depression is at its peak in RUC but it doesn't fully go away and is something he has to continue to live with.

Romantic Orientation


Sexual Orientation


Sexuality And/Or Gender (Elaborated)

Joey is predominantly attracted to women and identified as a lesbian when he was younger. His love interest, Mabel Brell, is nonbinary, but presents as very feminine, uses she/they pronouns, and from a visual standpoint is not really distinct from a cis woman. If pressed, he'd probably call himself straight or bisexual, but not entirely sure which--probably bisexual, but in the "attracted to two or more genders" (in his case, women and nonbinary people) sense as opposed to the "attracted to all genders but with preferences" sense.

Star Sign


Myers-Briggs Type

ISFP (Adventurer)

Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Fawn?

Fight, 100%. He fights dirty, too, especially if someone he cares about is in danger.

Hobbies - What hobbies does Joey Puglisi have?

Saxophone and a bit of trombone. Vigilante crimefighting. Cooking, when he has the time and energy, as well as baking stuff for Mabel. As a teen, he did some theatre (nothing relevant except for playing Anybodys in West Side Story, which itself would be irrelevant if Dallas Smith didn't do the same) and played volleyball.

Prejudices - What prejudices does Joey Puglisi have?

  • Will go out of his way to avoid anything League-related, which can be tricky. The sole exception is Mabel since Mabel hates working for the League but feels like she has no other option.

  • He initially struggles to adapt to working with Ira, partially due to Ira's autism and occasional mutism and partially just because of who Ira is as a person. It took some time working together (and Ira saving his ass a few times) for him to stop treating him with kid gloves and assuming he had no idea what was going on.

  • Unlike Ira, Joey doesn't focus his efforts into specific types of crime to fight: he'll take on corrupt politicians and break up a mugging in the same night, sometimes with his power and sometimes by force, and he'll let people go without a fight fairly often. There is one group of criminals that he does not offer that ticket out to, though, and it's sex criminals: whether it's pedophiles, human traffickers, rapists, or anyone else in that ballpark, he will not hesitate to give them a beatdown they won't soon forget. He insists that this stems from basic human decency, which is true, but it also stems from his past experience with Barry.

  • He generally doesn't have enough energy to care about his past time as a superhero or people's reactions to it--he knows that people broadly didn't like Venus and hell, he didn't like the Venus persona either. That being said, if someone has a pin-up or otherwise "sexy" picture of Venus (especially in the debut outfit, since he started working with the League at 16) his opinion of them instantly plummets into the ground.


Gen1: Borderline--if not outright--eating disorder.
Gen3: Depression, PTSD


Charmspeak--he can convince people to do or even believe what he wants by ordering them to, with the caveat that they have to actually hear him say it, like a Jedi mind trick. When he was in the League, he disliked his power because it was not only the least flashy of his teammates but also the subject of mockery and even sexist jokes (ha ha, the girl's power is being bossy :/) by both the public and even his teammates. His distaste towards his power grows even stronger after Barry forces a kiss on him--he knew beforehand that his power was iffy and he quickly learned to be specific with his word choice and tap in and out of using it, but after that he could barely stomach using it at all since the idea of taking away someone's consent even in a non-sexual context repulsed him, although he still used it in combat and to save lives during the ambush.
As likely inferred by other information, Joey is someone who's generally more physical as opposed to someone who'd end a fight with "put your gun down!" and in his early days as Caesar especially he would ignore his ability in favor of the thrill of an actual fight. He mostly uses it to diffuse fights while working as a bouncer, but even then it sometimes doesn't work. He's unsure if powers naturally fade with age since he is, to his knowledge, the oldest surviving hero with powers, if whatever provides him his powers was injured at some point during his long career of fighting crime, or if there's some other cause.

groups Social
Favorite possession - What is Joey Puglisi ’s favorite possession?

Joey is one of those people who more or less only keeps things that have sentimental value (mainly because that way if he ever has to flee his apartment at short notice he can grab everything) but he kept all of the letters Mabel left him when they were pen pals and values them a lot.

Lovers (Current and Past)


Benedetta Puglisi (his paternal grandmother)

Favorite or Associated Animal


Favorite weapon - What is Joey Puglisi ’s favorite weapon?

His fists, but that's not always practical. Like Ira, he has an array of weapons, including brass knuckles and even a garrote, though he's only used it once. He also has a handgun but he saves that for the most extreme cases.

Occupation - What is Joey Puglisi ’s occupation?

Bouncer, vigilante crime fighter, and saxophone player at local bars and nightclubs. Former League hero. Also used to bartend, but he got let go one too many times for injuring would-be date rapists--ideologically good, but in practice it caused more of a scene than those bosses would've liked. At one point he veered into private investigation after putting a pause to his vigilante work, but he soon learned that the line between PI and vigilante was a bit blurry.

Politics - What politics does Joey Puglisi have?

If forced to pick a label he'd say anarchist--his time within the League opened his eyes to how corrupt power systems could be, and his time working with Ira Welles-Tyler only showed him further.

Religion - What religion does Joey Puglisi practice?

Raised Catholic but now leans more agnostic. He has a crucifix because it belonged to his grandmother and prays when he feels the need to, but similarly to Ira and Mabel, he finds it hard to believe in any sort of god after everything he's seen and experienced.

Favorite or Associated Color


Favorite food - What is Joey Puglisi ’s favorite food?

Cherry almond biscotti, mostly for sentimental reasons. It's the first recipe his grandmother taught him, and also what he made for Mabel to thank her for her letter and cookies, which kickstarted their relationship. On a practical level, coffee.


  • Elizaveta Lenya: Eliza and Joey's relationship started off to a rough start, as Eliza initially shunned him in favor of the guys on the team. Eliza was, at least at first, a very "not like other girls" and the Venus persona was the definition of the "other girls" she felt superior to. After a few months of putting up with Eliza's cold shoulder, Joey confronted her and demanded to know why Eliza didn't give him the time of day, saying that the girls of the team should stick together, and Eliza realized that she was being too judgemental. The two became fast friends and it was a mutually beneficial friendship--Joey had another friend in the League, and unlike Barry, she was taken seriously by their peers, and Eliza had an actual friend for the first time in years. The fact that Joey was bilingual also helped, as Eliza was a Russian immigrant who struggled with the English language and Joey could help her out with it. Everyone in the League sort of figured that Eliza was a lesbian, but like Barry's underage drinking and Tobias's hallucinations, it was something that was not publicly acknowledged. Eliza came out to Joey when she was 18. Joey said he felt the same, and they started a secret relationship that carried on until their team fell apart, although it was strained by everyone's deteriorating mental health. Their relationship was revealed during the argument the day before the ambush, not that Eliza really cared--as mentioned, everyone more or less knew. Joey, however, knew that being outed as a lesbian would destroy the Venus brand and begged Barry not to say anything, even offering to pose as his girlfriend publicly so that Barry could get the attention he wanted. Everyone but Joey was killed the next day, so nothing came of it. Joey blames himself for Eliza's death moreso than any of the others since the two went into the apartment complex together and then split off with Joey going back for Ira and getting him outside while Eliza tried to get the Welles-Tylers to the emergency exits. Losing Eliza and the grief that followed is what led to him giving up any chance at a long-term relationship for years and instead specifically seeking out hookups that he knew wouldn't last--he doesn't want to experience a loss like that ever again.

  • Barry Rodgers: Barry and Joey's friendship was born of two factors: similar personalities and a mutual feeling of being ignored by their teammates. The two had their interviews on the same day and hit it off in the waiting area, and the rest was history. Their friendship slowly became more and more strained, however, as the toll of the spotlight took over--as the Joey who Barry befriended was slowly chipped away at to form the corporate Venus, the Barry that Joey befriended grew disillusioned with his place as the perpetual funny guy sidekick and began to act out. It started off with some off-color "jokes" about his teammates and Schrodinger's Douchebag type comments that he'd either clarify as jokes or as serious depending on their response (for example, digs at Joey whenever they were tasked with busting open mafia operations that were either totally just jokes, bro, or dead serious questions about if Joey could really be trusted in an operation like this or if he had conflicts of interest, or jabs at Eliza or Jacob for being queer, not that Barry himself even knew that they were) but it slowly grew to Barry throwing himself headfirst into risky situations and going against explicit orders from either Tobias or the League heads so he could have a shot at being the hero for a day. During this time the two grew apart as Joey and Eliza got closer and Barry turned to underage drinking as a way to cope with his inner turmoil and resentment. Barry began to loudly talk about leaving the League to enlist in the war, knowing that his powers could give him a shot at becoming a war hero. Their tense relationship came to a head when a minor emergency was called and Tobias, Jacob, and Eliza decided to tackle it themselves (with Michael at his desk at another building), leaving Joey and Barry alone in their headquarters. Barry, already drunk, tried to convince Joey to date him as a mix of a publicity stunt to gain attention and genuine attraction. Joey turned him down and explained that not only does he just see Barry as a friend, but if he was going to be with someone, he wanted it to be out of actual love and not just for attention. Barry takes this as well as you'd expect and sees it as an abandonment by his last friend, yelling that Joey would sleep with anyone in the League except for him as Joey tried desperately to diffuse the situation in the sort of panic that short-circuits your brain--by this point he's been so worn down into Stepford smiling and so exhausted that he doesn't even think to use his power. He tries to diffuse the situation as Barry keeps talking, a mix of angry ranting about the friendzone and genuine devastation at what he feels is a betrayal, as well as realizing that Joey and Eliza are in a relationship. Joey begs him not to tell and offers to fake date him for the cameras in exchange for Barry keeping it secret. It's then that Barry tries to kiss him. Joey pulls away but since Barry's power is being able to stretch his limbs, it doesn't really help. He punches Barry but it's like punching clay and hurts him more than Barry, and Barry kisses him. It's then that the others arrive. Eliza throws herself on top of Barry and pummels him, not that it does much due to his powers, and Tobias and Jacob are barely able to pull her off. Joey tries to help but is knocked backwards and clocks his shoulder on the table, and it's his cry that really brings Eliza and Barry out of it. Jacob and Tobias haul Barry off to the bathroom and dowse him with cold water until he's slightly sober and he apologizes profusely. 15 years later, Joey still doesn't know how to feel about Barry. Whenever he thinks of him, the first thing that comes to mind is being trapped in the headquarters and unable to get away, but just below that is the memories of how Barry was his only friend at first, as well as some questions Barry had asked when drunk that made him wonder if Barry was also working through issues surrounding his sexuality or gender. Like most things in regard to Barry, Joey's feelings in regards to him are messy and complicated--he misses the friend he had and hates what his friend became. He wishes that he had a chance to know Barry without the League breaking both of them down. Out of all of the League members, Barry is the most likely to pop up in his dreams--there was a point where at least twice a week, Joey would have a dream where he was just hanging out with Barry at an event when they were teens, before either of them really broke down, but Joey himself was aware of Barry's impending demise and tried to warn him, to which Barry would either laugh and assure him it wouldn't happen, or angrily accuse him of lying. This doesn't happen nearly as much nowadays, but it's still a recurring dream-slash-nightmare of his.

  • Tobias Thompson: Tobias and Joey's relationship was strictly professional, as Tobias' relationships with all of his team members were. Tobias always saw Joey as the weakest link in combat, although he didn't have any hard feelings towards him out of combat. More or less amiable, but not friends and they rarely talked out of costume. After his death, Tobias was first venerated as a great leader, but soon that status was usurped by Tomas Dintka when he sacrificed himself for his team. Joey respects Tobias as a person and would argue that any seventeen to twenty-one year old forced to be the head of a superhero team would make bad decisions, and seeing Tobias' legacy smeared while Barry goes down as an overlooked hero does sting.

  • Michael Brell: Michael and Joey weren't close friends, but they got along well when they interacted. Michael was the least physical of the team since his role was to be the intelligence guy, and his twin sibling Mabel would occasionally stop by and help too. Through Mabel's stories about Michael, Joey has a sort of "I wish I knew you better" feeling towards him. Michael was always kind to him even when his other teammates mocked him or looked down on him, and for that he has Joey's respect.

  • Jacob Spring: Jacob and Joey were never close, but they got along well when they interacted, even if they never really did one-on-one. They were the two team members who were objectified the most, with Jacob being the "hot guy" of the team--but unlike Joey, his power of transmutation was one that was not only flashy but very effective in combat. Joey resented Jacob for that, especially since Jacob was the golden boy of the team (literally; his cape name was Midas), although he tried not to let it show. Although they only learned it twenty-four hours before everything fell apart, they also had a shared struggle of being shoehorned into roles that don't fit them: although Jacob was cis, he was gay but prohibited to come out by the League due to both the time period and his persona. Like Michael, Joey wishes he had known Jacob better, especially since he seemed to be a genuinely good guy both in and out of costume.

  • Benedetta Puglisi: Joey was an only child and his parents both worked, so he was often looked after by Benedetta, his grandmother (who he called Nonna or Nonnina) who lived with the family. Nonna Benedetta was a constant in his life from the day he was born and given her name as his middle name, and for years she was his closest friend and confidant--she sponsored his confirmation, she helped him to study for exams, she came to all of his concerts and put it lightly, she's the kind of grandmother that people wish they had. Until one of Joey's cousins was born when he was in his tweens, he was the only one of Benedetta's granddaughters who lived in the same city as her and she taught him everything she knew, from the recipes she brought over from Sicily to how to sew, and he carries these into his life decades later (especially the sewing, which he uses whenever he gets scraped up fighting). He would go to Nonna Benedetta whenever he felt overwhelmed from his superhero work--outside of his parents, she was the only one who knew he was Venus. Benedetta and Eliza were the only ones who noticed the toll that being Venus was taking on him, and there were many nights where he'd cry to her about how stressed he felt, although he never told her about his feelings for Eliza or his growing discomfort with being seen as a girl. After the ambush, Joey decided to cut ties with all of his immediate and frequently visited extended family by convincing them that Giulia Puglisi had died via his powers--and as much as it stung to do so to his parents, he's never forgotten the sheer devastation on Benedetta's face as she heard that her beloved grandchild was dead. There was a period where Joey would semi-obsessively google Benedetta as she aged to see if an obituary would come up, especially on nights where he was either drunk or dealing with flashbacks. He stopped doing so when he realized it was doing more harm than good to his mental health to constantly check if she was dead or alive. As Benedetta gets older, Joey starts to wonder if it would be worth the risk to find her and reunite, although he doubts that the very religious Benedetta would accept him and there's no way he could pass as a woman by that point; he'd have to come out as trans to her, and Benedetta is the one family member who he would really struggle with rejection from--he was never very close to his parents and in the years that have past, his cousins don't occupy much of his brain. He does eventually reunite with Benedetta, and to his surprise, she accepts him as her grandson, and she takes a strong liking to Mabel as well.

  • Mabel Brell: Mabel and Joey met on occasion when Joey was with the League, but it was always through her twin brother Michael. By sheer coincidence, the two wind up living at not just the same apartment complex but on the same floor, with Mabel's apartment on the opposite side of the hall from Joey's and a few doors down. This apartment complex is known for having high turnover rates of tenants and it's usually used as a holdover while they wait for a better apartment or a house, and once Mabel realizes that Joey is the only person who's been living by them for more than a few years, they decide to strike up a conversation by leaving a plate of cookies and a letter outside of his door. Joey responds by leaving her a tray of biscotti and a thank-up note and soon they're penpals and casual friends. This is rather early on in RUC, and Joey's playing with a lot of fire with his vigilante work--after a year or two of fairly casually hanging out, Mabel is woken up at 3 in the morning by Joey, bent double and mumbling about not knowing where else to go. Mabel half-carries him into her room and Joey explains that he got stabbed but can't go to the hospital because 1) it's expensive and 2) it'd be really easy for the people he was confronting to find out his information then. Mabel agrees in a panic and stitches up the wound, grateful that it's not deep, and lets him spend the night. It's then that Joey lets slip that he knew Michael, and the two start talking about the League. Mabel reveals that they still work for them and was essentially forced into Michael's old position. She feels like she can't leave due to how much information she knows and that the League is the only thing offering her protection, even though she absolutely hates working with them. As a League employee, they knew about Caesar and that he was an enemy of the League for not being licensed, but they agreed not to tell the League that it was Joey. From that point onward their relationship is know that sort of tension where you and a friend both want to become a couple but neither of you wants to risk ruining the friendship? Yeah, that. It's through Mabel's influence that Joey begins to try and handle his mental health in a healthy way, and through Joey's influence that Mabel begins her project of secretly cataloging all of the ways that the League mistreats its employees and heroes with the goal of eventually blowing the whistle on them. Once Ira joins their crew, the two start to clash a bit more over their respective treatment of him, but this is resolved once Ira himself steps in. Joey and Mabel are one of those couples who could not for the life of you tell you when they started being a couple, and their first date goes about as well as you'd expect when one of the people involved is a vigilante, which is to say that it gets cut short by a few hours because Joey tries to stop a mugging and the location of the date is moved from a local restaurant to Joey's bathroom--to patch up a wound, get your brain out of the gutter. The third time that Mabel patches up one of Joey's injuries is when Joey realizes that Mabel panics quite a bit over the smallest of injuries, a holdover from the death of their brother. Even though this injury is by far the most minor (he broke a bottle and it sliced the palm of his sewing hand so he couldn't stitch it up himself), Mabel treats it with the same severity as she did a stab wound. Joey helps them to work through their tendency to panic the same way that Mabel helped him through his own mental health. As a couple, the two compliment each other well. Joey is more brash and emotionally driven while Mabel is generally more chill but also does have their limits and is by no means a doormat. For a while, Mabel was the only person Joey was comfortable being emotionally vulnerable around, or vulnerable at all, considering he'd go to her when he had an injury he couldn't treat on his own (and honestly a small part of Mabel is excited to be involved in something as reckless as vigilante crime fighting, although the bigger part of them is still incredibly worried for their boyfriend's well-being. As they become more dissatisfied with the League and finds out more of their shady secrets, this turns to more than just the thrill of adrenaline associated with being associated with something "illegal".) While their different personalities can grate on each other a bit, they altogether smooth out each other's rough edges. They're pretty touchy as a couple and usually hold hands or link arms while out together. At about midway through AN Mabel proposes, which...does not go as expected. Instead of the reaction Mabel expected, the idea of making their relationship fully concrete like that sends Joey into a panic and he turns Mabel down, retreating to his apartment as he runs through all of the possible ways that it could go wrong and drinking again for the first time in years. Cameron Alexis drops in and talks him through it since she's been through the same, and Joey returns to Mabel, explains what happened, and accepts their proposal. Although they've been together for years and routinely spend the night at each other's places, they don't move in together until after they get engaged, mainly because Joey uses his apartment as a place for other freelancers (namely Ira) to stay if they needed to.

  • Ira Welles-Tyler: Ira and Joey meet when Ira stumbles into the bar Joey works at and asks to be let in without any ID so he can use its bathroom to sew up a gash in his arm, which sets the scene for their relationship pretty well. While guiding Ira in, Joey grabs him by the bicep and Ira cries out. Joey quickly apologizes and Ira casually says that it wasn't Joey's fault and Joey just happened to burst an abscess in Ira's arm. Joey can tell from that point that Ira is...different, but can't pinpoint why, and he can instantly clock him as another vigilante. He helps him with the cut and then sends him on his way--only to run into him again months later, wandering through the streets clutching his broken arm to his chest and near-delirious. Joey and Mabel help him to safety and then to the ER to get the arm set. From that point on, Caesar and the Sparhawk are allies in their work, although not without conflict. As mentioned, Joey is to Ira at this point what Mabel was to him but in a platonic way, the one who was able to reign him in and keep him from getting himself killed. It takes them a bit to warm up to each other--both are very used to working alone when they're actually doing hands-on crime fighting and so it takes months for them to adjust to their respective styles, especially since Ira tends to talk very little and occasionally can't talk at all. As mentioned, Mabel and Joey both had issues with the way the other treated Ira--Mabel thinks that Joey is judgmental of Ira and is letting him destroy his life by doing vigilante work, Joey thinks that Mabel infantilizes and condescends to Ira and doesn't treat him like he's an adult capable of making decisions, and until Ira explicitly calls them out for it, neither actually asks him for his opinion. Likewise, Joey and Ira clash during Joey's RUC days when he's priding himself on being a freelance vigilante but mostly just breaking up fights and stopping robberies while Ira hunts down and executes corrupt officials and human traffickers and the like, which often puts him in danger. Joey calls Ira out for his lack of self-preservation and Ira shoots back that he fights real criminals, the ones who don't always wear masks, and it's a bit of a realization to Joey that he could be doing more and doing better, marking his turn from using vigilante work as a way to work through his own issues to confronting real corruption. The two are close without being people who you'd instantly guess as friends based on their interactions, and go from semi-reluctant allies who just want to make sure the other doesn't get killed to actual friends over the years. After around four years, it hits Joey that Ira doesn't realize that he's the one who saved him in the fire--Ira knows that Joey is trans, but doesn't know that he used to work with the League and is the one who got him out of the fire. Ira takes the news shockingly well and thanks Joey for saving his life, and then it's like nothing happened at all, as Ira blames his family's death on the fact that the government sent a bunch of 20somethings to help put out a massive fire before sending firefighters and not on the heroes themselves. The biggest strain on their relationship was when Joey paused in his vigilante work to turn to private investigation, a move Ira derided as cowardly, though Joey's PI work was incredibly similar to his vigilante work and also still helped Ira out a lot. They patch things up, but it was still tense for a while.

  • Cameron Alexis Le : Despite being about a decade older than her, Joey considers Cameron Alexis to be one of his closest friends. Another ex-League hero gone freelance vigilante, he first encounters Cameron Alexis when she's homeless and living outside his bar, her home destroyed by the supervillain Fryght. He can tell that she's in need of somewhere to stay and he offers his place, and she hesitantly agrees. As he gets to know her, Joey begins to see Cam as a sort-of combination of himself and Eliza: like Eliza, she's an immigrant (although she's Vietnamese and not Russian, and was adopted as a baby as opposed to immigrating as a teen), a lesbian, and a goth, and like Joey, she's transgender, although she transitioned before joining the League. And also like Joey, she blames herself for the deaths of her loved ones. Once Cameron Alexis is back on her feet and has a steady job, she begins her two-pronged quest: to find and kill Fryght and her associates, and to reunite with Maisy Owens, who blames herself for the information leak that led to Cam's family being killed. Cam stays in touch with Joey after she leaves and the two get along well. Cam doesn't hesitate to call him out when he needs it and he returns the favor, but at the end of the day they'd both put it all on the line for each other.

  • Maisy Owens : While Cameron Alexis is staying with Joey, Maisy is staying with Mabel, also cast out from her home since her closest living relative was one of Fryght's associates. She and Joey aren't super close but they get along well, and she works with him sometimes. Once Joey and Mabel move in together, Cameron Alexis and Maisy take the other apartment. To Joey, Maisy is sort of like a slightly annoying younger sister: he respects her but also she can be very irritating at times.

  • Dallas Smith : Dally instantly latches onto Joey, to Joey's chagrin. Joey is the first trans man Dally has met, as well as the first adult trans person (his friend Syd is genderfluid, but Syd is only 17)--and the only person who has superpowers like he does, although Dally's power of gravity manipulation is very different. Although Martin is the one who semi-officially takes Dally under his wing, it's Joey who Dally tries to emulate since he sees Joey as everything he wants to be: an effortlessly cool, masculine badass who passes well and uses his powers to help people. After all, Joey punches things and gets into fights while Martin is trying to teach Dally how to do basic exercises with his powers. This, of course, is the exact opposite of what Joey wants and is honestly kind of a wake-up call since he very much doesn't want Dally to end up like him, even now that he's doing far better than he was in RUC. The idea that a fifteen year old looked at him and saw a cool crime fighter was terrifying. The words "I want to be just like you, Mr. Poole" honestly made him laugh, but under it he wanted to shout that Dally didn't have any idea of how much shit he's gone through to be mostly okay. He's fine with Dally looking up to him as a role model in regards to their shared trans identity, God knows he could've benefited from one when he was younger--but absolute not in regards to the superhero part--he couldn't live with himself if Dally decided to be a vigilante like him and got killed for it and frequently urges him to go back and work with Martin before jumping headfirst into the action.

  • Safiya Alinsky : Like Dally, Safie is also a young, naive crimefighter, but unlike Dally, Safie wants to work to fully understand her powers before engaging in combat. She's bubbly and excitable and very much a foil to Joey--in fact, she kind of reminds him of the good bits of Venus. The two don't work together a lot and the first time they meet is when Safie seeks him out to help an injured Dally, but when they do they get along moderately well. They have a "grumpy dad and overexcited daughter" vibe going. He admires the control she has over her power of light manipulation although he tries to dissuade her from her dream of joining the League.

  • Martin Matthews : Like Cameron Alexis, Martin is around ten years younger than Joey but unlike Cameron Alexis, Martin has put crime fighting more or less behind him in favor of fencing and swimming, which his enhanced agility gives him a leg up in. Like Joey, Martin was in a secret relationship with another teammate, and like Eliza, that teammate died. When Martin returns home, the occasion is bittersweet--he's excited to reunite with the friends and family he left behind and to take up a new job as the school's assistant fencing coach after he decided he couldn't go through with an Olympic competition, not with his superpowers giving him an edge. He didn't know Joey before leaving town, but the two meet up through Dally and hit it off since they're both ex-League members. They have a deep mutual respect and Joey is curious to see where Martin's life leads him, as he's the only ex-League member who hasn't gone back to fighting crime, although he does mentor Dally.

  • Rosa Ramirez : Rosa and Joey have never interacted prior to AN, as Rosa has gone on the exact opposite path of the other surviving members of her team and decided to stay with the League as an engineer, putting her genius STEM skills and metal manipulation to good use. Although Joey struggles to understand why someone would willingly stay with the League, after talking with her a bit he starts to get it. The two aren't close, per say, but they get along well enough once they really get going in a conversation. He wonders what would have happened if he had made the same decision she had and stayed back with the League instead of quitting it.

  • Wendy Reed: alias Wunderkind, Wendy was a recurring criminal who Ira and Joey faced in their earlier days of crimefighting, an Alice-in-Wonderland themed acrobat in a checkered costume. Joey tries to uncover their power since they seem more unwell each time they face off, but it's Ira who realizes that Wendy has no powers and instead has grown addicted to cocaine. Together they subdue them, unmask them, and send them to rehab, visiting on occasion to see if they can get any information out of Wendy about who their employer is. Wendy refuses to speak while in rehab but once they're let out, they spill the truth about their criminal actions: they were forced into a crime family run by a man known as the White King who lured vulnerable youths into a life of crime to survive, all with cutesy names inspired by classic children's literature. Wendy joined to provide for their sisters after their parents died, and they agree to work with Joey and Ira to break "Wonderland" open from within, working as a sidekick with the two of them in the meantime. Wendy was shot in the standoff with the White King, but Joey bought time by distracting the White King in possibly the dumbest way possible: diverting his attention off of Wendy by shouting the poem The Walrus and the Carpenter (which Wendy has used often as a calming tool, leading to Joey memorizing it whether he liked it or not) and luring him off to the side while Ira got Wendy to safety. The White King died that day, but Wendy died soon after from their wounds. Although their relationship initially wasn't the best, Joey grew to care about Wendy like a younger sibling and was distraught by their death. It killed what little naivety he had left about the vigilante life since he really did think they'd make it out okay. He swore off any other allies besides Ira after that.


  • Although he wouldn't realize it until much later, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was the movie that both cracked his egg (Eddie Valiant, who he thought he had a crush on until he realized that no, actually, he wanted to be him, not be with him) and made him realize he liked girls (Jessica Rabbit, to no one's surprise).

  • He and Ira have faced both gimmick-ridden wannabe supervillains and genuinely evil people who use their powers to harm others, and now he finds the former more annoying than anything else. Still, among the gimmicky ones there's two standouts: Wunderkind, a Wonderland-inspired villain who seems to just enjoy causing chaos for the fun of it--and, as Ira realizes, has no powers and instead does quite a lot of cocaine, not that that realization is appreciated by Joey, who just had his arm broken in two places by Wunderkind, and Scarface, a British man whose gimmick is that he's a wannabe Al Capone.

  • He kicks the cigarettes much faster than he kicks the drinking habit.

  • While Beautiful Dreamers is a more straightforward superhero story and American Nothing is similar, Render Unto Caesar (or at least parts of it) have a distinctly more noir tone to them, especially when Joey dabbles in PI work. Fitting, since Joey is essentially what you'd get if you dropped your typical hardboiled detective into a superhero story. Despite the framing, Mabel is quick to remind Joey that this is real life and not a Hitchcock film and he's putting himself in a lot of danger.

  • He's slowly but surely making progress on destroying every oversexed Venus pin-up that he finds. At one point, a guy he was trailing was selling one along with other similar items, and Joey essentially threatened him into giving it up before crumpling it and burning it once he got home.

  • Both Venus and Caesar were names he chose for himself.

info History
Background - What is Joey Puglisi ’s background?

Keeping this brief as it's all mostly a recap of stuff mentioned prior:
Born in the mid to late 1980s, Joey Puglisi is the only child of Alessio and Sofia Puglisi. He grew up in a mostly Italian-American community that was part of a much larger city (more akin to historical Greenbush, Madison, than Little Italy though) and was "one of the boys" growing up, often trailing a bit behind his cousins and other friends as they played outside. Besides them, his grandmother Benedetta Puglisi was his closest friend, as she moved in with the family after the death of her husband. Joey's mother was an Italian immigrant and Benedetta and her husband immigrated decades earlier from Sicily, and so Joey grew up speaking Italian about as frequently as English while growing up. His parents both worked long hours and so he was predominantly raised by his grandmother, who taught him to cook and sew, among other things. When he was around ten years old, he started to notice that people around him listened to him--like, really listened to him--but figured it was nothing special since even though superheros were a well-established part of American culture, superpowers were not. When he was sixteen, however, he realized that this extended past any sort of naturally-occuring charisma into something superpower-related, and the League realized this too, sending out a call for any people with superpowers. It was then that five local teens came together: Tobias Thompson, Eliza Lenya, Barry Rodgers, Jacob Spring, and Giulia Puglisi, with Michael Brell added on as out-of-combat support. At first, working with the League was a dream come true--after all, what kid doesn't want to be a superhero? But things quickly soured. Everything about the League was curated, but it become even more so as the heroes aged and once Joey hit 18, the pressure to lean into the sex appeal of Venus was on and he had to actively fight to keep a semi-practical costume (it's still got too much loose fabric and his hair is still impractical, but at least it's more than a leotard). The pressure to stay as "the pretty one" also weighed on him and he began to restrict his eating to keep a slim frame, and he and Eliza didn't even mention their relationship to their employers. As the other members of the team also begin to be weighed down by their personas, things internally fall apart. Everything came to a head when a tipsy Barry announced that he was leaving the League to fight in the war in Afghanistan, to which Tobias harshly objected, conjuring up an illusion of Barry dying brutally in combat to try and dissuade him. They got a call about an emergency and Tobias elected to only take Eliza and Jacob, with Michael already at a separate location, leaving Barry and Joey at the headquarters together. Barry kept on drinking and rambling as Joey just tried to ignore him, already exhausted from the day's work. Barry forces himself on Joey and kisses him, Eliza returns and throws herself onto Barry until the others pull her off, and for a brief few hours everyone tries to sort of ignore what happened--Barry sobered up and apologized and Joey just tried to avoid him for the time being until they received a second call asking them to come upstairs to the official League building. It was there that they learned that Michael was dead, shot point-blank through the head at his desk. And with that everything erupts again: Jacob jumps first and accuses Barry of orchestrating something to take Michael out to eliminate competition for attention, Barry shoots back that Jacob's only saying that because he's in love with Michael (effectively outing him to the League) and then accuses Eliza of being a Russian spy who killed him to stick it to America, Eliza accuses Tobias of getting Michael killed to try and keep the group together, and in the only time he's used his power against his teammates, Joey forced everyone to stop arguing and go rest.
Everything was as uncomfortable as you'd expect the next morning, to the point where they almost vote to leave a massive fire to the fire department until they're on better terms. Joey was the dissenter, arguing that Michael would've wanted them to help the tenants and it wasn't fair to let people die just because they weren't on great terms. They reluctantly suit up and arrive...and it was an ambush. Jacob was killed first, shot through the chest while trying to turn nearby items into water to douse the fires. Eliza, Joey, and Barry made a break for the building and got in, splitting up into Eliza-and-Joey and just Barry, as Joey was obviously not comfortable being alone with Barry even in this scenario. At this point, Joey is underweight enough that he's constantly tired, dizzy, and nauseous, something that's not helped by the smoke, and he and Eliza barely make it through the staircase in one piece. They try their best to get everyone outside, but one of the people they're ushering out calls that she doesn't know where her son is. Joey sees him, a boy crouching under a table in the hallway, and goes back for him as Eliza helps the others to the fire escape. Joey runs back to the boy and orders him to go outside by the firemen, as he's close enough to that exit to just leave that way. He listens, compelled by Joey's power, and then Joey tries to get back to Eliza. A beam falls through the hallway and he can't get past it and has to go out the same exit that the boy did. Once outside he sees Tobias crumpled on the ground, his neck snapped, and veers back in, barely making it back up the stairs without vomiting. He tries to get to the next level but can't, and narrowly avoids being crushed by falling debris that takes out part of the wall. He falls through and lands hard on his back, cracking his head against the ground as a metal beam pins down one of his legs. The firemen get it off before too much damage is done, but the burn is still bad. They carry him to a safe location and he's too weak and disoriented to protest, as well as too badly hurt to fight back. It's there that he notices that the fire escape Eliza was on is completely gone, and he calls out for her to no avail. The boy Joey saved punches a cop and makes a run for the building before being sedated, and from his position on the ground, Joey can just barely make out Barry as he falls from one of the top stories, his body wrapped in a flaming curtain as it hits the flag pole, the point stretching through his chest until his power finally gives way with a sickening pop. Joey blacks out and wakes up in a hospital bed. His leg was treatable without needing a skin graft, but they needed to do surgery on his lower back and skull. They also end up admitting him for disordered eating. Once released, his first act is to use his power to convince his family that he's dead to avoid them being endangered by any supervillains. His second act is to shave his head, and his third is to begin publicly presenting as a man, having learned that there was a name for the way that he felt. He starts HRT a bit over a year later, and after about ten months, he gets his name changed from Giulia Puglisi to Joey Poole (no specific meaning to Joey except that he likes it, and none to Poole except that it's close enough to Puglisi without being obvious).
Everything from here on out is covered in RUC (I say, as if everything prior isn't covered in BD and SIASL).

Education - What is Joey Puglisi ’s level of education?

Went to public school from kindergarten to his sophomore year, at which point he switched over to the League's tutoring programs, which were surprisingly not bad. He's taken a handful of community college courses but nothing beyond that.

Birthday - When is Joey Puglisi ’s birthday?

September 3rd


Alessio and Sofia Puglisi

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Art credit to the makowka character maker II Picrew by makowka

Song Associations

I/Me/Myself (in the very specific case of BD) and 6up 5oh Cop-Out (Pro/Con) by Will Wood, though the latter applies just as much to Ira. Otherwise any "training montage music" like Eye of the Tiger. Maybe Whistle For the Choir by the Fratellis? I don't know much beyond theatre when it comes to music. Oh, anything with an epic sax solo I guess.

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