Helena Wayne (Huntress)

On with Lucy W.‘s request we meet the Huntress…but not the one we knew in Arrow, rather the original version of the character: Helena Wayne…and the surname should give away whom she’s the daughter of. Helena first appeared in the tv special Legends of the Superheroes portrayed by Barbara Joyce, first as a member of the Justice League of America celebrating the retirement of Scarlet Cyclone, then at the celebrity roast hosted by Ed McMahon. Her more remarkable appearance so far is as the protagonist of the unlucky tv series Birds of Prey: known as Helena Kyle, the young woman portrayed by Ashley Scott is a half-metahuman daughter of Catwoman and Batman. She doesn’t even know who her father is and she grows up with her mother, but when she is killed by the Joker she decides to use her supernatural abilities (mostly feral strenght and agility, and a mild precognition) to become a vigilante along with Oracle and Black Canary, under the tutelage of Alfred. In the comics, this Huntress is first introduced in a “What if…” story, and only exists in Earth-Two, a parallel dimension from the main one. Let’s see together.

Helena Wayne was the daughter of billionaire Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, and she grew up in luxury enjoying the advantages of a wealthy environment. Her parents, however, also imbued her with a strong morality, so that she always thought of her wealth as to a responsibility rather than a privilege. She had a close bond with the family’s butler, Alfred, whom she saw as a second father-figure since he was the one taking care of her anytime her parents were away for work. When she was still a girl, her parents finally revealed to her that they were actually the superhero Batman and the former criminal Catwoman: Helena enthusiastically welcomed the news, and she even started training as an athlete and gymnast under her parents’ tutorship. She even became close friends with Robin, who she now saw as some sort of older brother. Her life was simply perfect…until one night, one of her mother’s old henchmen came back from her past. The man, “Silky” Cernak, blackmailed Selina into coming back to her Catwoman persona and rob Gotham City Civic Center, otherwise he would have given to the press a picture of her as Catwoman murdering a cop. Selina did as she was told, but Batman, called by Commissioner Gordon, intervened to help his wife against Cernak. In the following fight, Catwoman was shot and fell from a roof, later dying in her husband’s arms. Saddened by her mother’s death, Helena was even more shocked to learn why all this had happened: not believing for a moment her mother could have killed someone, not even when she was a criminal, she decided to solve the matter herself. She tailored herself a costume, and she stole some weapons (including her trademark crossbow) from her parents’ arsenal. Alone, she used the skills she had learnt from her parents to track down Cernak, and not only she found him, defeated him and arrested him, but she also made him confess that he had doctored the picture, and that her mother never killed anyone. After leaving Cernak at GCPD Headquarters, having cleansed her mother’s reputation, Helena decided not to renounce to her new identity, and to keep fighting crime as a masked heroine: the Huntress was born.

At first, Huntress joined Robin as Batman’s young assistant, acting mostly as a sidekick. When her father, who was already dying of cancer, was killed in a final battle with the mystic-enhanced Bill Jensen, Helena found herself an orphan, and a heroine without a mentor. She moved from Wayne Manor, preferring an apartment in Gotham City, but she kept protecting the city as Huntress, first alongside Robin only, than together with the reborn Justice Society of America. She briefly joined also Infinity, Inc., a team of second generation heroes, mainly children of the original ones from the JSA. With time, she became best friends with PowergirlSuperman‘s time stranded cousin, but she also deepened her relationship with Robin, even trying to flirt with him for a time. Eventually, she gave up her hopes on Robin and started a relationship with D.A. Harry Sims, a partnership born in crime fighting that evolved into something deeper…until it ended because of Sims’ constant worries about Huntress’ safety, and because of her reluctance in telling him her secret identity. As time passed, however, Huntress felt more and more the lack of a father figure guiding her in her heroic career, so she used the dimensional transporter she found in the old Justice League Satellite to travel to Earth-One, where Batman was still alive and kicking. Huntress introduced herself to her “father”, and much to her disappointment, despite believing her story, the Dark Knight refused to give her any advice, stating she had to learn on her own what being a hero meant; however, he introduced her to Batwoman and Batgirl, giving her a chance to confront her experiences with their own and to learn something from her dimensional trip nevertheless. She was even involved in an adventure of the Bat Family as she helped Batman and the two girls against Poison Ivy and that world’s Catwoman, who was still a villainess. Despite the shock of battling “her mother” alongside “her father”, Huntress learnt a lot from her trip to Earth-One, and she came back to Earth-Two ready to be a heroine her true parents could have been proud of.

Helena Wayne is a good-hearted and good-willed woman, who feels all the pressure of a challenging legacy but who’s more than determined to live up to it. As the Huntress, she doesn’t possess any superhuman ability, but she’s an extremely skilled athlete, gymnast and hand-to-hand combatant, and she possesses a variety of weapons and gadgets going from usual grappling hooks to her father’s notorious Utility Belt, and of course to her mini-crossbow, her signature weapon she’s pretty much infallible with. One of the greatest heroines of Earth-Two, Huntress represents the union of two opposite worlds, a sign of hope for everyone to see that there is no such thing as an irredeemable criminal.

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Thaddeus Bodog Sivana

Going on with Lucy W.‘s list we meet another historical DC villain, Dr. Sivana, the nemesis of the Marvel Family. Sivana is one of the oldest DC villains, born in 1940, and he’s pretty much the prototype of mad scientists in comics. As for now, he received only one live action portrayal, in the 1970s tv special Legends of the Superheroes: portrayed by Howard Morris, he debuts alongside an impressive number of villains in a new incarnation of the Legion of Doom, trying to ruin the party for Scarlet Cyclone‘s retirement celebration, and he comes back in the second part to participate to the roast of the superheroes held by Ed McMahon. In the comics, he’s much more menacing than this, and he’s renowned for being the first villain who expressly doesn’t have any problem in killing children (quite a feat at the beginning of comics). He’s one of the few characters who retained at least part of his biography going from Fawcett Comics to DC Comics, so we can reduce his origin stories to two different versions: let’s see together.

Thaddeus Bodog Sivana was born somewhere in Europe in 1892, from an unknown family. Growing up he became one of the most brilliant minds in the world, so ahead of his time that most of his peers believed him to be a visionary. The only one who encouraged him in his discoveries was Venus, his wife, who also gave him four children: Beautia, Magnificus, Georgia and Thaddeus Jr., children who inherited a part of their father’s character each. The scientific community, however, kept mocking him for inventions they simply couldn’t understand, and after the umpteenth refusal Sivana finally snapped: he decided to leave the very planet Earth, sure that humans weren’t worthy of his genius. With a spaceship of his own invention (one of the creations that weren’t supposed to work according to the scientists), Sivana and his family travelled to planet Venus (a homage to his wife), waiting for the moment Earth would have been ready to accept his superior intellect. Venus, however, wasn’t exactly a heaven of a planet, and Sivana’s wife perished there; embittered by his beloved one’s death, Thaddeus blamed Earth’s scientists for everything, and having to fight for his life every day of his life didn’t make things any better. When, some thirty years later, Sivana decided it was time to come back to Earth, he did so with one thing in mind: revenge. In the United States it was 1940, and the planet was engulfed in World War II: the best way Sivana had to obtain his revenge, was to put the country in danger against its enemies. With one of his machines, a radio silencer, he threatened to destroy all radio communications permanently if he wasn’t given $50,000,000. Anyway, there was something else new on the planet, appeared in the time he had been away: superheroes. During his first adventure, Captain Marvel intervened to stop him, vanquished his lackeys and destroyed his machine. From that moment, Sivana included the superhero in the list of the people he wanted to take revenge against, and becoming Captain Marvel’s living nightmare.

The universe was destroyed, recreated and rewritten, and Dr. Sivana along with it: when he was reborn, he did so much time later, in the second half of the XX Century. In this time, Sivana was always a brilliant (and mad) scientist, but he was also a renowned genius, rewarded with success in business and even in politics; also his family made it out to the new reality, but this time his wife Venus divorced him soon after the birth of their fourth child. He lived in Fawcett City, and he was easily one of the world’s richest and most powerful men. Some researches of his evidenced the presence of an ancient power somewhere in Egypt, and he employed renowned archaeologists C. C. and Mary Batson to retrieve what he wanted from an ancient pyramid; he also sent one of his lackeys, Theo Adam, along with the couple, instructing him to kill them as soon as they digged out the ancient power he wanted for himself. Sivana invested quite an amount of money in the expedition, sure that the final prize was worth any sum of money…but something went wrong: the Batsons found what they were meant to, Adam killed them both, but it was the archaeologists’ young son, Billy, the one who obtained the power, becoming the superpowered Captain Marvel (both Adam and Sivana recognised him, as he assumed his late father’s appearance when he turned adult as the hero). Already on the brink of bankrupt for the money he had lost on the expedition, Sivana received the finishing blow by Captain Marvel himself, who confronted him and destroyed his research facilities, ending his financial empire. For Sivana, this meant the beginning of a war, and knowing that his adversary was a ten years old boy didn’t represent a problem for him. With no resources at his disposal, Sivana formed an uneasy alliance with the alien warm Mr. Mind, but his humiliation grew as he was forced to ally himself with Captain Marvel himself to get rid of the parasite. Next, he joined forces with Lex Luthor, a kindred spirit who helped him get back on his feet and to elaborate a plan to utterly destroy the Big Reed Cheese‘s life (that’s how he called Marvel): the war had just begun.

Dr. Thaddeus Sivana is an extremely intelligent and brilliant individual, but also a ruthless and greedy man who only seeks power and dominion. With no superpowers of sort, his incredible intellect gives him advantage against any foe: a skilled inventor and engineer, he can create pretty much everything, from mind-controlling devices to death-ray machines, to his best known and most effective invention, the Unternet, a network system used by criminals all around the world which is completely undetectable and impenetrable by unwanted guests (including the super-hacker Oracle). Bent on a vengeful quest against a world who fails to acknowledge his superiority, Sivana is as dangerous as he is intelligent, a genius who’s devoted his science to utter evil.

Khufu Maat Kha-Tar/Brian Kent/Koenraad Von Grimm/Hannibal Hawkes/James Wright/Carter Hall (Hawkman)

HawkmanA promotional image from Legends of Tomorrow has finally revealed one of the upcoming new heroes: Hawkman, who’ll be portrayed by Falk Hentschel. The character will debut in The Flash, and he’ll later be among the recurring characters in the team-up show (even if the scene will be all for his wife Hawkgirl). This is not Hawkman’s first live action appearance: he was among the heroes present in Legends of the Superheroes, where he was portrayed by Bill Nuckols and had to face an unprecedented threat…his elderly mother. Luckily enough, he received a better portrayal in Smallville, where Michael Shanks played an older verion of the hero mentoring Clark Kent and his friends from the Justice League; Hawkman comes back to action when Icicle starts to kill his old friends from the Justice Society of America, and stays a superhero until he’s killed by Deathstroke. He’s then buried to the side of his beloved wife, waiting to reincarnate once again. Waiting to see what this new portayal of Carter Hall will add to the character, let’s see who the original one is.

During the 19th dynasty, in Ancient Egypt, the wise prince Khufu Maat Kha-Tar was deeply in love with Chay-Ara, his bethroted and later wife. During the reign of pharaoh Ramesses II, a prophecy from the sorcerer Nabu was fulfilled, and the gods sent their charriot from the skies (it was actually an alien ship from planet Thanagar, crashlanding in the desert). After looking for the “charriot” along with Nabu himself and the realm’s champion, Teth-Adam, Khufu finally found it, and after seeing the hawk’s crest on it, he decided to bring it to the Temple of Horus, believing it was sacred to the god. Once in the temple, Khufu started researching the metal the ship was made of (the Nth Metal), and discovered some unique properties of it…first of all, its natural ability to defy gravity. Khufu forged several objects from the unknown alloy, mainly for himself and for his beloved Chay-Ara: he built two armors, equipped with a pair of wings that allowed them both to fly over the skies of Egypt like the gods from the old tales. He also forged weapons, amulets and other tools, always for his wife. The metal also had some invisible effects: it strenghtened the bond between Khufu’s and Chay-Ara’s kas (their souls), and somehow hawkmancomics1“chained” them to Earth, in an infinite cycle of death and rebirth (something they would have learnt ages after). As most pure and true loves, however, even their own attracted the envy and the hatred of lesser men, especially of the evil priest Hath-Set. Jealous of their happiness, and lustful towards Chay-Ara, Hath-Set murdered them both using a knife made of Nth-Metal, and casted a cruel spell on them: wanting to prevent the two lovers to be united again in the future, the priest cursed them to search each other again over the centuries, reincarnation after reincarnation, and when they would have found each other, their happiness wouldn’t have lasted long, since one of the two would have been killed, leaving the other alone until the following rebirth. From that fateful day, Khufu reincarnated many times, always loving his Chay-Ara, always losing her: in the Medieval England, he was the heroic Brian Kent, the Silent Knight, promised to Lady Celia Penbrook; in 14th Century Germany he was the blacksmith Koenraad Von Grimm; two centuries later he was Captain John Smith, a colonist in love with Indian Pocahontas; in the 19th Century United States he was Hannibal “Nighthawk” Hawkes, a vigilante married to his love and “colleague” Katherine “Cinnamon” Manser; the following century he was James Wright, a detective from Pinkerton Agency, in love with nightclub singer Sheila Carr.

From era to era, Khufu and Chay-Ara had to remember their past lives, usually a traumatic experience, and to look for each other around the world, only to witness the other’s death once again. Finally, in modern times, Khufu reincarnated in Carter Hall, an American archaeologist. Carter’s studies brought him to Egypt, working for a scientist named Anton Hastor in the digging of an ancient temple. In his work, Carter was helped by another archaeologist, Shiera Sanders, a woman he was incredibly fascinated by. While exploring the temple, Carter found out it was dedicated to Horus…and that he had already been there many, many years before. Among the artifcats the archaeologists found in the temple there was an ancient dagger made of an unknown metal: hawkmancomics2it was the same one that had killed, millennia before, Khufu and Chay-Ara. Upon touching the Nth-Metal, Carter and Shiera suddenly remembered their past lives…and they were even able to recognize Hastor, who was actually a reincarnated Hath-Set. The evil priest tried to accomplish his vengeance immediately after the two recognised one another, and lured Shiera in his lair. Carter, however, was now aware of his potentialities…and of his weapons: after rietriving Khufu’s armor and mace, he flew to the rescue, and freed Shiera. Together, the reunited couple defeated Hastor, apparently breaking (for the moment…) their infinite curse. Together again, Carter Hall and Shiera Sanders got married shortly after, and driven by their immortal sense of justice, they decided to use Thanagarian weaponry for a right cause…just as they did in the previous lives. In modern times, the two became the superheroes Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and soon after the beginning of their activity as masked heroes they joined other vigilantes founding the Justice Society of America, a supergroup Hawkman became the chairman of. Carter and Shiera also had a son, Hector, who followed their footsteps and became the heroic Silver Scarab; as Hawkman and Hawkgirl, they even joined a new supergroup, the Justice League of America. Carter’s happiness was shadowed only by the certainty that, sooner or later, the curse upon him and his wife would have struck again…

Carter Hall is a man who carries on his shoulders all the wisdom and the pain of dozens of past lives, lives that he always lived as a champion of justice, as a strong, honest and determined man. As Hawkman, his equipment allows him to fly thanks to artificial wings, while his armor grants him superhuman physical attributes (strength, stamina, durability, speed, healing…) and gives him access to the collective knowledge of the Thanagarian people; with the experience of millennia of combat, he’s one of the best armed and unarmed fighters on the planet. His soul is deeply bound to Earth and to the one of his beloved Chay-Ara: the two of them never truly die, but they reincarnate time after time, driven one to another by an immortal, tragic love, that will see them always reunited, but always doomed to witness one the death of the other. Sometimes brutal and violent, but always rightful and heroic, Carter Hall/Khufu has known many ages, many places, many people…but there is always one single constant in his neverening cycle of lives: his everlasting love for his wife.

Mark Mardon (Weather Wizard)

Mark MardonAnd now for the last character appeared (sort of…) in City of Heroes, first episode of The Flash: when Joe West tells David Singh the responsibles for the bank robbery are Clyde and Mark Mardon, he shows him a picture of the two criminals…and that’s everything we have of Mark for now, despite him being one of the most known and popular villains in DC Comics. Since his brother Clyde survived the plane accident and developed the powers that in the comics belong to Mark, it’s likely he’ll show up again as well, taking his rightful mantle as the Weather Wizard. The character already appeared in Legends of the Superheroes portrayed by Jeff Altman: in this version, he’s a member of the Legion of Doom, and along with the rest of the team he crashes the superheroes party and threatens them all with a hidden bomb. He also appeared in the tv movie Justice League of America, even if his name and origin were changed: portrayed by Miguel Ferrer, he was named Dr. Eno, a greedy scientist able to manipulate weather via a special machine; under the alias The Weatherman, he almost destroyed the entire New Metro before being stopped and arrested by the titular team of superheroes. Waiting for him to pop out again in The Flash, let’s see who he is in the comics.

Mark Mardon was born in Central City, and he grew up with his older brother, Clyde. The two, however, couldn’t be more different: as the latter was calm and responsible, the second one was impulsive and selfish. Becoming a young adult, Mark couldn’t help but becoming a small-time criminal, a burglar who continuously came in and out of prison. Finally, police caught him once again, and he was convicted to spend several years in Tri-State Prison, one of the toughest jails weatherwizardcomics1around. Still trying to avoid punishment, Mark used a window to escape from the prison transport, and desperately look for a place to hide: he immediately thought of his brother Clyde, who was at the time living in an isolated house on an island in Big Water Lake. Mark found Clyde, who had become a scientist, in the middle of an experiment, and asked him to hide him: his brother, however, told him he would have done a favor to him by calling the police and allowing him to grow up, and took the phone. Panicking, Mark grabbed the first thing he could in Clyde’s lab, a strange stick which happened to be his brother’s latest experiment, a futuristic device able to manipulate weather (nicknamed the Weather Wand): responding to Mark’s unwilling gesture, the Wand summoned a lihgtning that killed Clyde. Still shocked for his brother’s death, Mark tried to study his notes, from which he understood (more or less) what the Wand was; he also read from Clyde’s diary that he was about to share his discoveries with the world, in order to make it a better place for anybody to live in…and Mark decided it would have become a better place to live in for himself, as a beginning. Understanding the potentialities of the Weather Wand, Mark decided to use it for his crimes, and created a costume to hide his identity and to become a super-thief: the Weather Wizard was born.

First of all, Mardon hunted down the three policemen who had arrested him, looking for revenge. He found and “punished” the first two, but as weatherwizardcomics2he approached the third and last one he was confronted by The Flash, Central City’s new superhero. Flash had guessed the Weather Wizard’s real identity, and had anticipated him understanding his pattern: the two fought, but the hero’s superspeed eventually proved to be superior to Mardon’s still immature ability to control the weather, and the criminal was arrested once again. During his time in prison, Mark had plenty of time to study his brother’s notes, and he finally understood the true functioning of the Wand. His mastership over that technology was such that he became able to replicate it: he broke out of jail with his new Weather Wand, and embarked in a new project. Realising he was thinking in a far too small scale, just using the Wand to summon lightning bolts on his enemies and to fly on wind currents, the Weather Wizard built a Weather Control Station able to amplificate his Wand’s powers, and used it to cast an eternal winter on an entire city, Oakley County in Wyoming, later asking for a huge ransom to free it. Oakley County was just a test, as he planned to build an even bigger Station to imprison the entire United States in his area of influence…but, once again, he was stopped by a speedster, this time Kid Flash, who teamed up with Elongated Man to arrest him. Despite his defeat, the Weather Wizard had now finally understood the full extent of his power, and was ready to use it all, with the help of other villains in the group known as The Rogues, or even by himself, being more than a threat for whoever crossed his path…

Mark Mardon is an intelligent and brilliant man, but also a greedy and unscrupolous one, who uses his many talents for his personal benefit only. With the years, Mardon also proved to be quite unstable, sometimes even depressed, mostly because of his sense of guilt towards his brother’s accidental death. As the Weather Wizard, he uses the Weather Wand to manipulate weather, summoning lightnings, snow storms and even tornados, using strong blasts of wind to fly and levitate, and much more; the Wand is powerful enough also to manipulate Earth‘s magnetic field, but the Wizard seldomly uses his weapon to this extent, perfectly understanding the potential destructive consequences. Intelligent and powerful, the Weather Wizard has fought The Flash and the other members of the Justice League more than once, everytime proving himself a tough opponent, although driven by a personal, weird moral code.

Raymond Palmer (The Atom)

atomfilmNow for the second character who has a cameo in Injustice: Gods Among Us: in the background of the Insurgency stage, we can see The Atom working at the computers. The character has had two live action appearances so far, both quite disappointing: the first one is in the tv special Legends of the Superheroes, in which the hero, portrayed by Alfie Wise, speaks about his engagement to Giganta. The second one is in Justice League of America tv movie: Atom, played by John Kassir, is the overweight and nerdish founding member of the Justice League, who befriends Ice and introduces her to the team. Needless to say, in the comics The Atom is quite different. Quite a lot, in this case.

Little or less is known about Raymond “Ray” Palmer‘s early years, but that he was born in Ivy Town, Connecticut, from David and Sue Palmer. David died from cancer when Ray was still a teenager, and he tried his best to help his mother raise his little brother Danny; both Sue and Danny died shortly after, and Ray was left alone. Thanks to his great intellect, he managed to enter Ivy University, studying physics, and becoming one of the best students of renowned scientist Alpheus Hyatt, who would have become his friend and colleague post-graduate. During his studies, Ray met Jean Loring, a brilliant law student who became his girlfriend. Dr. Palmer atomcomics1brilliantly ended university, and asked Jean to marry him, but she refused (more than once, actually), since she wanted to establish herself as a famous lawyer before creating a family of her own. The two stayed together, and Ray started working as a researcher for Ivy University. After retrieving a small fragment of material from a dwarf white star that had fallen on Earth, Palmer started studying it, discovering its incredible properties: projecting ultra-violet rays through a lens made from the fragment, he could shrink any object to a minimal size. His experiments were meant to find a solution to problems such as overpopulation or famine: altering the size of people and food could have saved lives. There was a problem, still: everything he shrinked became unstable, and exploded moments after size alteration. The technique surely needed improvement, but Ray didn’t know where to start from in order to stabilize matter during the shrinking process. As often happens, enlightenment came from the least forseenable source.

A couple of days after the first experiments, Ray, Jean and some friends went on a country outing; during their trip, they explored a cave, that collapsed and trapped them inside. After some time in the cave, Ray decided he would have sacrificed his life to save Jean’s and his friends’ ones, and secretly used the lens on himself, shrinking to the size of an ant and escaping from the cave to search for help. Unexpectedly, he didn’t explode. At first, Ray thought this was because the cave’s moisture that had altered the beam, but this proved to be wrong. Without any possible explanation Ray, now back to his normal size without countereffects, concluded he had some unique x factor in his genome that allowed him to survive the process (that proved to be the metagene, a dormant gene that allows some unique individuals to develop superpowers under special circumstances). Keeping his discovery a secret even from Jean
atomcomics2and the friends he saved from the cave, Ray created the super identity of The Atom, and started fighting crime as a superhero. After some training, he mastered some forms of combat, like judo, but above all he learnt how to use his powers: size alteration came with mass alteration, and he was able to concentrate his body mass in single limbs to gain super strength. He first appeared publicly when he stopped the petty criminal Carl Ballard from using the innocent alien Kulan Dar to do his business for him; Ivy Town instantly fell in love with its new hero, and The Atom started a heroic career that saw him defending the town from many threats, including his first supervillain, the Floronic Man, who tried to conquer Earth with the bred plants he brought to our world from his Floral Dimension. The Atom started working for CIA, and developed a special means of transportation: he called somewhere with a telephone, and when someone answered on the other side, he shrinked to sub-atomic size and travelled through the phone lines, arriving anywhere in a matter of seconds. When Amos Fortune tried to use him to destroy the Justice League of America, The Atom proved to be a tougher opponent than expected, and helped the League to bring Fortune and his men to justice, gaining a place in the team. Known as the Mighty Mite, The Atom soon became one of the most active and popular heroes of the United States.

Ray Palmer is an extremely brilliant and intelligent man, who uses his knowledge and intellect to help other people the best he can. With a good heart and a natural compassion for every living being, Ray became a hero with the genuine intent of making the world a better place. As The Atom, he’s able to shrink to any size he desires, even subatomic, using the special lens he grinned from the white dwarf star’s fragment (the activators of the lens are located in his gloves). At whatever size, Atom is able to alter his mass in order to gain superhuman strength, or to alter his weight so that he can become light enough to glide on air currents. Often underestimated by his enemies, The Atom is a living warning on how appearances can be deceiving.

Doris Zuel (Giganta)

gigantafilmIt seems that casualgamer‘s request will be a long one to reply to, since Injustice: Gods Among Us is introducing many and more characters, both as playable ones or just as cameos. In one of the latest Battle Arena match, we saw some heroes and villains appearing: in the Hall of Justice stage, on the background, there are a couple of giants figting. One is Atom-Smasher, a hero; the other is Giganta, a villain. The latter had one live action appearance in the tv special Legends of the Superheroes, portrayed by A’leshia Brevard. She didn’t have much of a role, and she issued an interview for announcing her future marriage with The Atom. Let’s see who she is in the comics.

Giganta’s origins have been retold and quite shaken up with the years. The first version of the character has been thankfully doomed to oblivion: in here, Giganta was an ape, who, thanks to the experiments of villanous Professor Zool, artificially evolved into a large-sized red-haired woman, quite strong but with nothing superhuman. She fought with Wonder Woman and, subdued and taken to Paradise Island for rehabilitation, she allied herself with Saturnian slave Eviless and started a riot; she would have later been experimented on once again by Doctor Psycho and made even larger…and blonde. Don’t ask why. Her new origin story was completely different. This time, she was originally a scientist, Dr. Doris Zuel, who worked into an elite medical facility. She was suffering from a fatal blood disease and, with little time left to live, she developed a machine that allowed her to transfer her mind into other people’s body. Fate wanted that Wonder Woman, badly gigantacomics1wounded in a battle, fell into a coma shortly after the machine’s invention, and Zuel decided she would have taken possess of the body of a real goddess. The process started as planned, but, when the two personalities were still switching, Wonder Girl intervened, and stopped the intervention. Both Doris Zuel and Wonder Woman were declared dead, surely a premature diagnosis. While Wonder Woman came back to life shortly after, Zuel’s mind was still trapped inside the machine; it was her assistant, Branson, that discovered his former mentor’s trapped into her own creation, and, with nothing else at hand, “freed” her transferring her mind into the body of one of the test animals, the female gorilla Giganta. While Doris was surely happy not to be a machine anymore, she wasn’t satisfied at all in the body of an ape. She used her machine once again, and stole the body of a comatose young woman, a “strong-woman” from a circus, named Olga. Finally, Doriz Zuel was back into a human body…but not everything was normal.

Zuel discovered that Olga had fallen into a coma after a fight with a shaman, started for unknown reasons. Apart from the coma, the shaman’s magical powers had also given Olga a mystical ability, which resulted in the power of growing in size and strength to become a real giantess. With her power (and height), also Zuel’s ambition grew to gigantic proportions, and she decided to use her abilities to become rich, famous and powerful. She started to use the gorilla’s name, Giganta, for her criminal activities, and became a supervillain. She discovered a handicap in her powers, since her intelligence decreased the gigantacomics2more she grew in dimensions, but becoming more and more brutal and violent didn’t seem a flaw at first. She allied herself to Queen Clea, a feminist terrorist from Venturia (an outpost of Atlantis) who wanted to enslave and kill as many men possible. Along with other female villains, Giganta and Clea formed the team Villainy Inc. and tried to conquer the lost world of Skartaris, but they were ultimately stopped by Wonder Woman. After this first defeat, she entered the Secret Society of Super-Villains (now known with the more dignified name of The Society), but she was always defeated. In the years, she became part of many teams, and, along with Cheetah and Doctor Psycho, she battled to an even Donna Troy (the former Wonder Girl, going for a while under the alias of Wonder Woman) in an attempt to find the “real” Wonder Woman, Diana, who had disappeared; the heroine also allied herself with the new Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark, Robin and Agent Prince (an alias under which Wonder Woman was hidden) to battle Giganta and her allies, but the giant woman ended up being defeated by Hercules. Driven by an immense ambition and by her hatred towards Wonder Woman, Giganta came back many times during her career chasing the princess of Themyscira.

Doris Zuel is an extremely brilliant scientist, expert of mechanical engineering, biology and many other fields. As Giganta, she is able to grow in size, strength and durability, to the point of becoming a nearly unstoppable giantess; with the years, she also managed to retain her full intellect at any size. Villainous and greedy, Giganta is a dangerous woman, who uses her powers for personal benefit, to satisfy her thirst for power and to prove her superiority over males.

Thaal Sinestro (Yellow Lantern)

yellowlanternfilmTime today for the second and last part of Thaal Sinestro, speaking of the super identity he appears in the upcoming videogame Injustice: Gods Among Us with: the Yellow Lantern (even if the term is quite inappropriate, and he himself used it only a couple of times). At the end of Green Lantern movie, in a mid-credit scene, we see Sinestro, portrayed by Mark Strong, wearing the Yellow Power Ring he had the Guardians of the Universe create to fight Parallax, transforming into something else. There’s no particular reason in the movie for Sinestro to do such a thing, while there are plenty in the comics: let’s see together.

When Sinestro was banned by our universe by the Guardians, following his dictatorship on his homeplanet Korugar, he was sent to the Anti-Matter Universe, an opposite reality created eons ago by mad scientist Krona during one of his experiments, ruled by laws of matter and energy reversed to the normal ones. During his imprisonment, Sinestro arrived on Qward, home of the Weaponers, the same race to which belonged the killer Sinestro owned his entrance into the Green Lantern Corps to. Sinestro’s fame preceeded him, and the Weaponers knew him as one of their greatest foes…but the former hero of the Corps had fallen from grace, and he appeared to them alone, unarmed and full of hate and resentment towards the Guardians of the Universe. Firmly believing the Guardians were damaging the Green Lanterns, and thus the entire universe, he conceived a plan to destroy his enemies, and to strenghten the Lanterns in the meanwhile. Allied with the Weaponers of Qward, he managed to forge a Yellow Power Ring, born from the yellow impurity that made every Green Power Ring helpless against yellow objects or creatures. Thanks to his new powers, he managed to come back to the normal universe, and to battle the entire Corps single handedly, but his former friend Hal Jordan defeated him thanks to his indomitable will. Part of Sinestro’s plan succeeded and, despite being seen as an enemy, his yellowlanterncomics1continuous assaults made Jordan the most powerful Green Lantern ever lived. After a fierce battle, Sinestro seemed to be killed, but he actually managed to transfer his mind into the Central Power Battery on Oa, deactivating it and making every Green Lantern powerless. Inside the Battery, he met Parallax, the living embodiment of fear and the source of the yellow impurity; the two spoke, liked each other, and came to an agreement. When Hal Jordan entered the Battery to confront Sinestro, the two fought, until the latter was left powerless and defeated, trapped forever in the Battery itself…but, unseen, he had infected Jordan with Parallax, turning him into an avatar of fear. When Parallax took complete control of Jordan, and made him kill many Lanterns and most of the Guardians, the surviving leaders of the Corps chose to free Sinestro as the lesser of two evils, and he and Jordan fought once again; instead of coming out of the Battery, anyway, Sinestro sent a light construct made by his ring, and when Jordan “killed” the false Sinestro and destroyed the Power Battery absorbing its power, the real one was able to break free and flee. The battle with Sinestro brought Jordan over the edge, and he was utterly defeated soon after, becoming the new Spectre.

Sinestro appeared once again to battle Jordan’s successor, Kyle Rayner, along with the Justice League; he utterly defeated any opponent, until Jordan himself was forced to come back to his old body and to battle him. Secretly welcoming his old friend back, Sinestro returned to the Anti-Matter Universe, happy he made the Corps regain their most powerful member. After a brief time in Lex Luthor‘s new Secret Society, Sinestro allied himself with the Anti-Monitor, the supreme being in the Anti-Matter Universe. With his help, he founded a new Corps, composed of Yellow Power Rings wielders, which he humbly called the Sinestro Corps, a lethal army that used the power of fear as a source of yellowlanterncomics2strength. With his Corps, Sinestro attacked the Green Lanterns, starting the Sinestro Corps War; while pretending to be a cosmic conqueror-wannabe, Sinestro was in reality trying to force the Guardians of the Universe to allow their Green Lanterns to use lethal force again, something that was almost completely forbidden in the past, so that they could become once again an effective and feared force of order. The Green Lanterns defeated the new foes, and Sinestro himself was vanquished by Jordan and Rayner; he was taken back on Oa, where he was sentenced to death by the Guardians. While he was being brought to Korugar for the execution, Sinestro ended up being caught by the Red Lanterns, a new Corps powered by rage and founded by Atrocitus. Crucified on the Red Corps’ homeworld Ysmault, Sinestro kept mocking Atrocitus and his empty threats, declaring he didn’t fear pain nor death…until Atrocitus discovered the only thing Sinestro really cared about: his long time lost daughter, Soranik Natu. After a fierce battle, during which Sinestro was saved by his own Corps and Hal Jordan (who was told by Saint Walker, a Blue Lantern, that Sinestro had to survive due to his role in the upcoming Blackest Night), our man finally made it back to Korugar, when he met his daughter, and revealed himself to her. Sinestro marked her daughter with a microscopical mark, resembling their family’s coat of arms, which was also a transmitter, so that Sinestro could always knew where his daughter would have been. Under disguise, he came back to Korugar to see Soranik receive her degree in medicine, her entrance in the Green Lantern Corps, and other important moments of her life; he became proud of his daughter, since she was accomplishing the goal he could not: make Korugarians accept a Green Lantern of their own. Back to Qward, Sinestro kept leading his Corps, using fear as a weapon to bring order in the universe.

Thaal Sinestro is, under his point of view, a rightful man, whose anger against the Guardians of the Universe comes from his belief of their weakness and uncertainty in bringing peace in the universe. He accepts any possible means for preserving peace and imposing order, even if extremely violent, and conceives, thanks to his superior intellect, intricated plans to strenghten his own Corps and the Green Lanterns too (even if never directly). His Yellow Power Ring, which has the same powers of a Green one, also allows him to understand and manipulate other people’s fear, thus making him an incredibly dangerous opponent, able to read anyone’s heart at his own advantage. A determined and strong-charactered genius, Sinestro will do anything to purify the universe from evil and chaos.