Natasha Hanzlicek

Janie’s younger sister, Natasha is an energetic, free-spirited soul who takes greatly after her older sibling. She’s wild, fun and full of life, and also engages in a running battle with her sister to see who can sneak up on the other.

Like Mark Hanson, Natasha was developed early in the story’s concept, and would have still been the sister to Janie’s original idea of Jamie, sharing more of an affectionate brother/sister dynamic. When Jamie became Janie, though, Natasha’s role was altered to be still affectionate, but more that she’d follow Janie’s energetic escapades to the letter, often leading to playful sparring between the two girls as one attempts to overcome the other.

Unlike Mark and Ryan, whose relationship is one of protectiveness and deep care, Natasha is shown to be a touch more mischievous than Mark while also having a streak of independence, being able to think and act for herself regardless of Janie’s presence or input. In this, Natasha is usually the over-the-top little sister who tries whatever she can to be the centre of attention, but not in a way that comes across as bratty or somehow in spite of her sister’s larger-than-life personality.

Again, much like Janie, Natasha’s design goes way, way back to the original concept of Red 348 in 2014, where she was once again the sister of main character Suzanne during that series, and would also have had the same general personality and age difference. While she didn’t make an appearance in Outsiders, I felt her general look was worth reviving as the two characters had shared a sisterly dynamic all those years earlier, and thus she made her grand reappearance for the series.

The problem with Natasha is giving her a role. As the sister to Janie, who herself is a secondary character, assigning acts to her can be a little difficult. There are great swathes of the comic where she’ll only be present in the background and not say a word, so in these regards I redress this by having her doing something that usually draws attention to her, but not in a way that distracts too greatly from the general storyline.

Overall, Natasha Hanzlicek is meant to play the part of untainted innocence within the story. While Ryan and Mark are boys who have lost much of their childish virtues, having been corrupted, though not irreparably, by their surroundings, Natasha is meant to embody the opposite – someone who’s had the chance to grow up free from a world of sin and vice, and generally enjoy the wonders of being young without fear or trepidation.