- "Well, I tend bar at the Ruby-Red Lipstick bar, and we do cosplay party on Friday nights. You dress up as any superhero you want. Supergirl. Looker, if vampires are more your thing."
- —Grace to Anissa Pierce[src]
Grace Choi (born May 16, 1991 as Shay Li Wylde) is a woman with a troubled past who grew up in the foster system and was apparentely born with a shape-shifting meta-human condition that have caused her to live on the run since she was kidnapped by a child prostitution ring at the age of sixteen. After escaping her captors and changing identity, Grace briefly worked as a bartender at the Ruby Red Lipstick Bar in Freeland, where she met Anissa Pierce, developing an on-again-off-again relationship with her and eventually becoming her girlfriend as well as a member of Black Lightning's team.
Shay Li Wylde was born on May 16, 1991 in a dysfunctional family and was abandoned by her biological parents, who later both died. Growing up she was bounced around between various foster homes and manifested shape-shifting powers since early infancy, stating she didn't even remember not having them.
On 2007, at the age of 16, Shay Li was abducted and sold into a prostitution ring that held her prisoner for years until it was broken up by I.C.E., then Shay Li vanished for some time until she resurfaced in Freeland under the new identity of "Grace Choi".
One day Grace met Anissa Pierce at a library, insisting she check out a favorite of hers, The Outsiders. She then promptly invited her to a cosplay party at the bar she worked at. At the party, the two danced together, before being interrupted by Anissa's then-girlfriend Chenoa. Trying to avoid a fight at her bar, Grace asked Chenoa to take their problems outside.
Leaving the Ruby Red Lipstick Bar with Anissa, they were confronted by former patrons, angered at Grace and the bar. One of the guys knocked out Grace, but the whole group was quickly knocked out by Anissa. She soon woke up, with Anissa tending to a graze on her head.
A troubled relationship
Grace was hired to work as a waitress at a party thrown by musician Zoe B. at her apartment. While working there, she saw Anissa kissing Zoe so she walked away. Anissa tracked her down at the party and apologized for not calling her because things were busy. Grace commented that she could tell and said she had to get back to work, leaving Anissa.
Grace was working at her bar when Anissa came in looking to talk. She apologized for how they met at Zoe's party and for the fact that she dropped out of their potential relationship without saying anything. Telling Grace that she took her work seriously, Anissa told her that she also wanted to try taking a relationship with Grace seriously.
After Peter Gambi's apparent death, Anissa went to Grace's apartment telling her what happened and that the event made her realize that Grace would have been the only person, outside of her family, she would spend her last night with. The two women had sex and slept together. However, the following morning, Grace told Anissa it was an error as she can't come to her looking for consolation when she feels vulnerable only to disappear after everything went back to normal. As Anissa replied that was not the case, Grace asked her if she could honestly tell her she would not hurt her again; Anissa hesitated and Grace left the room in frustration. As she got back to her living room, Grace started to develop some mysterious scale-like spot on her arms, neck and face, so she drank two bottles of water and took some pills, making them disappear.
Grace and Anissa spent time at Grace's apartment watching television. After a little flirting, during which Grace accused Anissa of being corny, she excused herself to go to the bathroom. She watched at the mirror as the discoloration on her skin reappeared and, breathing heavily, again took some pills in order to counter the effect.
After Khalil Payne was hospitalized again due to Tobias having ripping off his spine, and the whole Pierce family attended his bedside, Grace went to the hospital in order to take some food to Anissa, kissing her fronthead and telling that she wanted to be there for her. Anissa rested on Grace's shoulder and the two waited quietly to receive news of Khalil's recovery or death.
Exposed and disappearance
On her day off, Grace was sleeping on the couch after having read come comics, when Anissa woke her up with a series of kisses. Grace said she was glad she gave her a copy of her apartment keys and, after showing her that both Black Lightning and Thunder have their own comic book series (causing her girlfriend to smile joyfully), she went to get ready to go out for their date.
The two women went to see a movie that Grace deemed as too violent and then took a walk in the park; while talking about their relationship, Grace's condition started to manifest and her eyes changed color right in front of Anissa; she tried to cover-up the event and walk away but right in that moment Anissa took her hands and asked her to come to diner at her house to meet her family, before Grace can answer, the dark scale-like spots appeared on her right hand, so she stormed away, telling Anissa that she "can't control herself" when she's with her, causing her girlfriend to wonder what she did wrong. After Khalil's funeral, Anissa went to Grace's apartment in order to talk to her, but discovered that Grace has disappeared.
On the run
Gambi gave Anissa details on Grace's foster brother, and she headed off in search of information. At the apartment, Anissa heard noises from the other side of the door. The door was answered by an elderly man who told her that troubles would find her if she does not leave. Anissa believed that Grace was inside and continued knocking on the door – on the other side, the elderly man shapeshifted into Grace.
Later, Anissa returned to the apartment in her Thunder costume and broke in, finding dead animal carcasses. The elderly man told her that she should not have come there and to leave. He attacked Anissa, and the two fought through the apartment. Anissa wanted to know where Grace was and they continue to fight. Despite Anissa's powers, the man was a match for her. After Anissa got the upper hand, Grace/the man appeared to transform into an animal and escaped through a window.
Back to AnissaOne night, feeling lonely and wishing to see Anissa again, Grace sat down on a bench and waited for her ex-girlfriend out of the clinic in wich she worked, despite some initial awkwardness the two women quickly reconciliate and Anissa confessed she loved her regardless of what she was and that she consider her shape-shiftering power "a gift". Anissa reassured Grace that she won't make her run away and all she wanted was to stay at her side, prompting the latter to confess she was tired to run, to which Anissa answered she doesn't need to do it. Grace and Anissa embrace and went back together. That night, after Anissa break off her fling with Jamillah Olsen, the two women spent the night together and slept between each other's arms in Anissa's new apartement.
Later, Anissa disclosed her own powers to Grace as well as her secret identities as Thunder and Blackbird. The evening after Jefferson Pierce was released from the A.S.A. custody, he visited his daughter's loft and met Grace, who gladly welcomed him to the place expressing how happy she was to finally meet her girlfriend's father. When Anissa returned, Jefferson had a clash with her because of her Blackbird's activities and how she revealed her identity to Grace, stating that she would "throw her out of her bed" again despite claiming of being in love with her and trusting her with her life. The following fight between Anissa and Jefferson involuntarely triggered Grace's powers, prompting her to shape-shift into a scared little girl version of herself.
After telling her father to go out, Anissa comforted her age-regressed girlfriend assuring her that despite Jefferson's attitude, he was never violent toward her and is not a threat to them. Grace stated that she felt ashamed she have seen that side of her, prompting Anissa to reveal that due to her uncle Peter Gambi she knew her past life and real name, thus making her trasform back to her former self. Anissa reiterated that Grace past doesn't matter since she was in love with her, and they shared an embrace.
After somministrating Grace the vaccine for the meta-virus that was affecting Freeland, due to not knowing how her shape-shifting cells could react, Anissa called her uncle Gambi to take care of her and make her company. Not pleased with said choice Grace joked about not needing a baby sitter and teased Anissa that she was treating her home AI like a slave since it was programmed to said it was a pleasure to serve her. After Gambi came to Grace and Anissa's apartement bringing fettuccine, however, the woman got immediately along with her girlfriend's uncle and, as soon as Anissa exited the house, Gambi offered to show Grace some of her pictures as a baby.
Later, as Agent Odell came to visit the apartement suspecting Anissa to be Blackbird, Grace shapeshifted into her girlfriend and, with some indications by Gambi in an earphone, managed to deceive him. The agent left the place, but not before remarking that he made a mistake as the vigilante could not be in two place at the same time and an operative of him had just tracked Blackbird, which allowed Gambi to went to her rescue.
Despite being saved by Painkiller, after her fight with him Anissa got poisoned and losed her powers, getting weaker by day. One night, entering their apartement, Grace found Anissa fainted on the floor and take her to the sofa waiting for her to wake up. After she did, Grace asked her how she was, remembering that if she needed it she could always count on her; Anissa answered that she was fine and Gambi was already working on a cure for her so, feeling reassure, Grace offered her girlfriend to take a shower together.
Later, after finding Anissa once again collapsed to the floor, Grace called Gambi to somministrate her the anti-venom, which succed into stabilyzing her. The man leave the women's apartement to check Khalil's grave verifying his suspicions that he was resurrected, leaving Anissa in Grace's care.
Sometimes later, the medicine stopped work and Grace started to shapeshift daily and uncontrollabily. During one of said episode, Anissa found her scared on the floor and, knowing her emotional state influence the changes, she helped her calm down with a routine they had previously programmed, eventually helping her turning back to normal. Then, Grace expressed her fear that Odell would visit their apartement again and arrest her if she changed form in front of him, however Anissa told her she won't let that happen and they embrace.
In order to solve the problem, Anissa enlisted Black Lightning to help her underground railroad to sneak Grace and other suspected metas out of Freeland. Grace was so scared that she took her teen form when Anissa escorted her for half of the way prior to entrust Black Lightning with her protection; despite at first Grace didn't trust him, her girlfriend promised her that they won't be apart for long and gave her her necklace to remember her whenever she felt lonely.
Along the way, the group was attacked by a bunch of soldiers led by Major Sara Grey and while Black Lightning distract them, Grace got separated by the group and foun herself being chased into an abandonated house by one of the soldier, eventually being cornered and, after shapeshifting in her leopard form, forced to kill him in self-defense. After seeing that he came back for her, Black Lightning gained Grace's trust completely and she shapeshifted to her former self, stating that Anissa was lucky to have a father like him and that she figured out his identity due to her enhanced smell. Grace reassured Jefferson that she won't reveal his secret to anybody, to which he smiled and replied he trust her. Then, the woman was transported out of Freeland.
During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, Grace as well as everyone in the multiverse except for the seven Paragons, was killed in an antimatter wave by the Anti-Monitor on December 10, 2019, only to be restored a month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new universe.
Back at home
Few days later, Anissa visited Grace, while she was still into hiding. After her girlfriend semarked how mutch she missed her, Grace asked her to bring her back to Freeland with her, saying that she could now control her shapeshifting powers due to her real problem being with abandonment and believing that her connection with Anissa was the only cure that she needed. After receiving a text from her father, Anissa sadly told her she got to go, quickly being corrected by Grace that "they" got to go.
Then, she came back to her and Anissa's apartement and enjoyed a quiet diner with her girlfriend after more than a month, making a puzzle and teasing her for having programmed Shonda, the house AI, to call her "My Queen" and react positively to her jokes. Then, as Jefferson visit them, she moved into another room to gave them some sapce.
Mission in Markovia
After Anissa discovered that her mother was taken prisoner by Markovians and began assembling a strike team together with her father and the assistence of A.S.A. Major Sara Grey and Sergeant Gardner Grayle, Grace asked her girlfriend to join them as well, stating that her mission is also hers.
At first Anissa refused, being too worried for Grace's safety, then the latter challenged her in a sparring session, showing that she can hold her own against her, if none of them used their powers. During the fight some of the erotic alchemy between the two women surfaced, however both of them managed to keep fighting until reaching a standstill, prompting Anissa to told Grace she would have been devasted if she had losed her, to which Grace answered she won't.
Later, Grace, Anissa and Jefferson took part at a briefing to prepare the raid together with the two A.S.A. officers and their teammate Gambi, Jen, TC, Brandon and Erica Moran, where they all made clear to the governative agents that none of them was there to help them but rather out to respect for Black Lightning.
Before departing from Markovia, Grace and her teammates underwent several battlefield simulaion; during a break between one of those, she stayed at Anissa's side while she had a skirmish with her sister over not telling her that Khalil was alive.
Later Grace and the team - with the addition of Painkiller - flew to Markovia in helicopter and, after landing, she shapeshifted into Colonel Yuri Mosin, infiltrated the facility in which Lynn Stewart was held prisoner and defeated the men stationed in the control room thus granting her team access to the base. Grace was then extracted and returned to the helicopter when the target was rescued, however Gravedigger tried to prevent them from escaping the facility, managing to paralyze Grace and the whole team through his power and therefore being electrocuted by Black Lightning, after which the team flew back to Freeland.
Grace is a friendly and joyous person, who immediately tried to help Anissa with her quest at the library. Nevertheless, when concerned about a possible argument rising at her bar, she immediately made sure that Anissa and Chenoa leave the premises to sort their problems out. She is a comic book and superhero fan, enjoying such books as "Outsiders," and is also a fan of cosplay, suggesting Anissa to dress up as Supergirl or Looker. She is also an extremely avid reader as her apartment is filled with books and a huge library, it could be assumed reading is her favorite hobby as she is often seen doing it.
Due to her family issues, she never let herself get to much into anybody but, to her own admission, that completely changed when she met Anissa and, despite she tried to play it cool, she felt very hurt and frustrated about the girl getting in and out of her life only when she's feeling vulnerable. For the same reason she is visibly hurt when Anissa tried to justified her affair with Zoe B. saying that they weren't at a serious relationship at the time and, when asked if she had seen other people too, Grace awkwardly told her that she has do it, despite is implied to be a lie.
Despite her "tough girl" facade, Grace is actually a very sensitive person and blushes quite easily when Anissa complimented her. Also, growing up with shape-shifting powers also leave her with some insecurities regarding how she really was and her place in the world.
Powers and Abilities
- Meta-human physiology: Through unknown means, and likely befor her birth, Grace's DNA was altered turning her into a meta-human with the power to manipulate her cells and alter her physical and genetic structure into a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Shapeshifting: Grace is capable of changing her entire appearance into that of another individual or creature, with her main forms being that of an old man, a younger version of herself, and a leopard. The process is not limited to her body, but also completely transforms the clothes she wears.
- Superhuman Strength: Grace possesses enough strength to easily overpower and knock down a group of ordianry people simultaneously. In leopard form, Grace was able to slaughter a bunch of armed soldiers using nothing but her fangs and talons.
- Superhuman Speed: Grace has shown to be able to move at such high speeds, she become near-invisible to the naked eye.
- Superhuman Agility: Grace was able to jump on and climb the outside of Anissa staircase. Her agility can be further enchanced while she assume certain forms - while in the form of a leopard, Grace has shown to be capable of jumping out of an open window, presumably landing on her feet.
- Superhuman Durability: Grace demonstrated to be able to withstand severe hits from Thunder, as well endure a sofa landing on her from a large height, seemingly not sustaining any injuries from the impact.
- Enhanced Senses: As Grace's powers manifested, her sensorial perception seems to get higher. According to Grace, she remembers every scent that she experiences while she's in leopard form, even when she's in her default human form; this can include anything from fresh cut grass to the scent of death.
- Peak of human physical condition: Grace is in exceptional physical form, having a powerful, nimble and agile physique. She is strong enough to keep up with Anissa during a prolonged and intensive sparring session of fighting. Grace is also extremely athletic, regularly engaging in various sports activities.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Grace has been shown to possess impressive martial arts skills as, while disguised as an old man, she was able to single-handedly go toe to toe with Anissa despite the latter's powers, even almost defeating her. Grace has also demonstrated that she can keep up with Anissa in training even without using her shapeshifting powers, as well as simultaneously defeat two Markovian soldiers with ease.
- Artistry: Grace is a skilled painter and has many easels and painting material in her home.
- Mixology: Being a bartender, Grace has shown to be a capable mixologist.
- Power instability: Grace doesn't have her powers under control; her eyes flash golden frequently, her shapeshifting wears off quickly and periodically, she started to uncontrollably develop dark scale-like spots on her body. Also, using her powers seems to be quite stressful and affects her breath almost as if she's choking. To counteract said side-effects she assume a custom compound containing megadose of a medication used to treat schizophrenia. However, Grace seems to have overcome this weakness and claim to currently be in control of her powers, supposedly due to her deep emotional connection to Anissa.
- Grace has Chinese style tattoos on both arms, from the wrists to the shoulders. A reference to her comic book counterpart. Although, in "", her left arm is shown to have none, likely meaning that she got it tattooed between that episode and "".
- It is unclear however how she could even get a tattoo due to the ever-changing nature of her cells wich it was said would have made impossible even predict her reaction at receiving an injection of vaccine, let alone ink.
- She seem to be fond of living room plants and modern art paintings.
- It's implied that Grace is an atheist, as in "", she states that she doesn't believe that "everything happens for a reason".
- According to her own statement, Grace dislikes action movies, however in her living room she has posters of "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" and "Blade Runner".
- Grace is the 3rd of 4 LGBTQ+ characters appearing on the show; first Anissa, then Anissa's ex-girlfriend Chenoa, Grace herself and Zoe B.
- Grace is the only one out of the 4 to be bisexual or confirmed bisexual; Anissa is a lesbian and the other two women mentioned have never confirmed theirs.
- Grace is a huge puzzles lover.
Behind the scenes
- In DC comics, Grace Choi is descended from the Amazons and, along with Anissa Pierce, is a member of the Outsiders. She and Anissa are also in a romantic relationship.
- The character is also partially based on Charlie Wylde.