Global Defense Force (discharged, later contracted)
Valerie Michelle Arem
Unknowingly the illegitimate child of Global Defense Force general James Holloway, Harrison became a GDF bomb specialist in Neo D.C., where she got her nickname for her bomb defusal skills and kept it for her looks. By 2097, she had achieved the rank of Corporal, and was tasked with heading the domestic defense squad after only 6 months of service. She was driven by ambition throughout her education and career at the GDF. Her signature weapon was the three-barrelled revolver called the Loverboy, but also made frequent use of so-called bowling bombs with a skull painted on each one.
At an undefined time, by which she was promoted to Major, she failed to defuse a bomb in a Washington institute related to Jadus Heskel's work, resulting in an explosion that killed the GDF B-52 unit that she was in command of, while she survived having lost her right arm. After this event, dubbed the Washington Incident, she was discharged. From the wreckage of Heskel's complex, certain technologies were scavenged which allowed Harrison to receive a bionic arm, which she subsequently named Amiga (the Spanish word for "friend"). She returned to service as an external contractor, seeking revenge against Heskel.
In the game Bombshell and in Ion Fury, she is voiced by Valerie Michelle Arem.
Personality[edit | edit source]
In Bombshell, Harrison appears to be mostly cold and jaded as a result of her recent suffering, with the only strong emotion she expresses being anger. Her only motives are revenge against Jadus Heskel and the rescue of President Aurora Skye.
In Ion Fury, she is implicitly portrayed as rather playful, frequently spitting out one-liners (often referring to real-life films, series, and other video games). Her default facial expression is a confident smirk.
Official Bombshell profile[edit | edit source]
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Likes: kicking ass, motorcycles, kicking ass on motorcycles
Dislikes: bubble gum, sunglasses, blonde hair
Backstory[edit | edit source]
As a child, Shelly Harrison demonstrated an insatiable desire to succeed. From a young age, she demonstrated an aptitude for creative complexity and was always the outcast, prioritizing success over sociability. As she matured, Shelly became known for her risk-taking, resilience and leadership, and developed a strong reputation for accomplishing her goals. These traits lead her to join the Global Defence Force, where she eventually became a well-respected and highly-regarded Colonel.
But Shelly quickly grew tired of conventional combat and became a Bomb Disposal Specialist. Charged with the safe disposal of unexploded ordnance, such a mines, shells and bombs, Harrison’s new career indulged her affinity for danger.
That career ended after what became known as "the Washington incident," where she lost both her arm and her squad -- a group she thought of as family -- in a violent and explosive act. Shortly after, Shelly was given an honorable discharge.
She was later approached by a private military contractor. In exchange for her diverse skillset -- which includes expert weapons training and bomb disposal -- they offered her a second chance: a mechanical arm built from unidentified remnants discovered in the aftermath of the Washington incident.
Looking to get revenge on those responsible for the incident, she accepted. With this new arm, Shelly took on the name of “Bombshell” and vowed to restore both her name and her career.
If Shelly isn't on standby awaiting assignments in Washington D.C., she's further indulging her affinity for danger on her motorcycle as a stunt rider -- a potent combination of her three favourite "Likes."
Development[edit | edit source]
Bombshell was first envisioned as a character in a Command & Conquer fan fiction piece written by a 3D Realms staff member, where she was the member of the Global Defense Initiative. She has then appeared in concept art for Duke Nukem Forever since 1997. She was originally supposed to be Duke Nukem's sidekick in the game, but her appearance and weapons of choice changed frequently, though they were generally sexualized, much like other female characters in the series. Aesthetically, she was initially based on Pamela Anderson in the film Barb Wire. Bombshell was first seen with a bionic arm (the left one) in concept art made between 1999 and 2001. Her last known appearance in relation to the Duke Nukem IP was in a 2009 screenshot of Duke Nukem Forever, clad in official EDF armor. When Gearbox Software acquired the Duke Nukem IP from 3D Realms, they did not claim copyright ownership over Bombshell, as she was not present in any officially released version of a Duke Nukem game. Therefore, she was given her own IP.
In her first outing as an independent character in 2013, Bombshell had a primitive bionic right arm, the right half of her head was shaven, and wore revealing clothing. She rode off in a bike that was not seen again. By her next showcase, her appearance was altered again, with a more elaborate arm design, regular attire and braided hair on the side facing her arm. Around this time, her full name was officially given, and has become basically the opposite of what she was being imagined as during the development of Duke Nukem Forever.
In Ion Fury, Harrison appears younger, wearing official GDF armor, and, in the game's main menu, a protective helmet.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- On Shelly's board seen in the intro to Bombshell, on which she collected reports and memorabilia relating to her deceased squad and the Washington Incident, there is a picture of a man with the initials R.R. and a lipstick stain, implying that Shelly was in a romantic relationship with her squadmate Rad Rogers. The following game by the same development team (by then reformed as Slipgate Studios) was Rad Rodgers[sic] which had no relation to the Bombshell universe other than Shelly's cameo appearance in the game's Radical Edition update.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Duke Nukem Forever[edit | edit source]
Bombshell[edit | edit source]
Ion Maiden / Ion Fury[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- A Visual history of Bombshell, an official 3D Realms article