Medusalith Amaquelin (Medusa)

Next character from Inhumans is one of the female leads, the proud queen Medusa, portrayed by Serinda Swan. She’s described as a wise and elegant advisor to her husband Black Bolt, but this seems to be a limit at the beginning of the series, as she’s looking for a place out of her husband’s shadow, using her remarkable qualities to emerge outside their relationship. Her portrayal is surely similar to the comics’ one…but she’s not exactly what fans were expecting, mostly because her make-up and costume make her look like an ugly cosplayer. Let’s just hope that her garments (and everything else) will look better in the actual show than in the promotional pictures, right now let’s just come back to the source, and let’s take a look at the original queen of the Inhumans.

Medusalith Amaquelin was born in Attilan, the hidden city home to the Inhumans, the descendants of prehistoric humans mutated by experiments led by the alien race of the Kree. She was the daughter of nutritionists Quelin and Ambur, and her father was the brother of Rynda, wife to the brother of the king, thus making her a member of the Royal Family. When she was still an infant, her parents exposed her to the Terrigen Mist, and the process of Terrigenesis gave her the ability to manipulate any single hair as it was a limb; soon after that, she became known as “Medusa”, after the Gorgon from Greek mythology who had snake for hair. As a cousin to the future king Black Bolt, Medusa was bethroted to him, but the boy was in an isolation chamber as long as he could not control his impossibly powerful voice; not discouraged at all, and willing to know her future husband, Medusa from time to time sneaked into the isolation chamber, introducing herself to the boy and learning to communicate with him through a special sign language they invented together. The bond between them grew stronger with the years, and when Black Bolt, at age nineteen, was finally allowed to leave his chambers, it finally blossomed into love: at that point, the two cousins were able to understand each other without any sign at all, thanks to a psychic bond Black Bolt himself had created between them. Medusa started accompanying her bethroted into his first steps as a prince, and along with him and his cousins Gorgon and Karnak she exposed the king, only known as the Unspoken, as a traitor to his people. Soon after, Black Bolt’s parents died in an accident caused by his brother Maximus, and he became king at an extremely young age: Medusa stayed by his side, and helped him through the first chrisis of his government, including the great exodus that had the Inhumans moving their home to the Himalayan Mountains. When Maximus tried to seize the throne leading an army of Alpha Primitives, Medusa fought against him and his creation, the Trikon, but during the battle her flying sled was damaged, and she crashed many miles from Attilan. When she reawakened, she couldn’t remeber anything of her past life.

Wandering in search of hints about who she was, Medusa arrived in ParisFrance, where she first experienced humans’ racism against her kind. Seeking refuge from an angry mob, she was found and saved by Paul Dumas, a thief who meant to use her for his heists: grateful to her savior, Medusa accepted to help him, and she became an expert burglar, using her powers to assist the thief. When Dumas started making advances on her, however, she felt increasingly uneasy, until she left him and France; on her way, she met a monstrous man, who actually was her cousin Gorgon: not recognizing him, Medusa refused to follow him to Attilan, and she escaped once again, this time ending up on a deserted island in the Mediterranean Sea. The French police eventually tracked her back there, and the woman had to defend herself from the intruders: while she was battling the French, a man found her: Bentley Wittman, aka Wizard, a supervillain who was forming a team to counter his enemies, the Fantastic Four. Wizard, impressed by Medusa’s powers, asked her to join him, Sandman and Paste-Pot Pete in the Frightful Four, an offer she accepted. The Wizard, realising that Medusa was amnesiac, secretly put a device in her costume that kept messing with her memories, so that she could stay with him without the risk of remembering anything of her previous life. Medusa fought the Fantastic Four more than once, even crushing Reed Richards‘ and Sue Storm‘s engagement party, but each time they got defeated, either by the superheroes alone or with some help from others, such as the Asgardian warrior Balder. While battling the X-Men, Medusa ran into Professor X, who theorized she could be a mutant and offered to restore her memory with his telepathy: as soon as the Professor located Wizard’s device on the base of Medusa’s neck, he instructed Cyclops to destroy it: free from Wizard’s control, Medusa left him to the police, and resumed her search for her origins…but she was found again by Gorgon, whom she still perceived as a menace. This time, thanks to the help of the Human Torch, Gorgon managed to defeat Medusa and to take her back to the Royal Family: upon seeing her beloved Black Bolt and her sister Crystal, Medusa’s memories finally came back: it was time for the Inhuman queen to claim her place to her king’s side.

Medusalith Amaquelin is a strong and resourceful woman, a devoted bride and a committed queen who leads her people with wisdom and determination, albeit she’s not so fond of rules and protocols as her husband is. As Medusa, she can control her hair like many mobile appendages, gifted with an unnatural durability and strength: she can move them one by one or all together, as they were a single giant limb; if cut, her hair grow back very quickly; as an Inhuman, she’s also stronger, faster, more durable and agile than any human. A queen worthy of her throne, more than capable to rule even without her husband (something that she’s forced to do from time to time), Medusa is the true pillar that holds the entire Royal Family, the perfect match for a leader such as her beloved Black Bolt.

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Zatanna Zatara

zatannafilmToday we leave the Marvel Universe in order to speak of the last DLC character released for Injustice: Gods Among Us, the heroic sorceress Zatanna Zatara. Despite being an extremely popular character, she only received one live action appearance in the tv series Smallville, as a recurrent guest star in the last three seasons. Portrayed by Serinda Swan, Zatanna acted both as a mysterious ally to Clark Kent and his friends and, more often, as a pesty and unpredictable menace, who enjoyed putting people and relationships at risk just for some fun. In the DC Universe, she’s a powerful and precious member of the Justice League of America (in several incarnations of the team), and definitely a heroine. Let’s see together.

Zatanna was born the daughter of Giovanni “John” Zatara, an adventurer and one of the most powerful magicians ever lived, and Sindella, member of a mystical race called Homo Magi. From her very first childhood, it was clear she would have been an incredibly skilled magician, especially considering her well-known ancestors, a century-long lineage that includes, among the others, the inventor Leonardo da Vinci, the alchemist Nicholas Flamel, the clairvoyant Nostradamus and the wizard Cagliostro. When her mother faked her death in order to come back to her people in Turkey, John kept her magical origins secret from his daughter, but, also as a child, Zatanna was fascinated by magic and prestidigitation. In her childhood, Zatanna lost her father too, since the sorceress Allura cursed them both with a spell that prevented each other to ever meet each other. The girl was raised by strangers, always with the desire of meeting her natural father. Once a teenager, she discovered her father’s diary and, inspired by it, she created a stage persona and started studying magic. With the money gained with her shows, Zatanna gave a new energy to her quest to find out the truth about her parents, and she started looking for her father around the world. In her travels she met John Constantine, a British occultist who she started an affair with, and who helped her zatannacomics1discovering her true powers: an innate ability with magic, the real stuff. She also met some members of the Justice League of America who helped her with her search. Finally, thanks to the help of Batman, Robin, Hawkman and HawkgirlElongated Man and Green Lantern, Allura’s spell was broken, and Zatanna was finally reunited with her father. John had finally the occasion to speak to Zatanna about her true origins, and especially of her mother Sindella. Finally, Zatanna had found a place in the world, having found loyal friends in the JLA and, most of all, a family she belonged.

Unfortunately, the family reunion didn’t last long. Zatara taught her daughter to handle her magic ability and to cast some spells: Zatanna learnt that, speaking backwards (a homage to her father’s style), she could bend reality to her own will. When Zatanna visited the city of the Hidden Ones (the Homo Magi she belonged to for half her genetic heritage) to learn more, however, things didn’t go as planned, and the other magicians threatened to keep her segregated forever, since they were feeding off medulla jewel, a special part of her brain that emanated a unique kind of energy, the same of her mother’s. Sindella herself intervened to save her daughter, but she died in the effort of protecting her from the Hidden Ones. Her mother’s death gave Zatanna the will and strength to take upon her Sindella’s heritage, and she studied to become one of the world’s most skilled magicians. She helped the Justice League with every magic foe that was beyond the other heroes’ reach, and she was finally regarded as the magician she always had been. When the Great Evil Beast, the embodiment of all the world’s evil, threatened to conquer and destroy all reality, both divine and demonic forces joined to stop it, and Zatanna was part of a team of four magicians committed to fight the Beast: the group consisted of Zatanna, her father, Constantine and Sargon the Sorcerer. The Beast was extremely powerful, and barely become aware of the sorcerers’ attacks; it noticed them just twice: the first time, its power litterally burnt Sargon alive, but he decided to die nobely and didn’t break the circle, passing away holding the zatannacomics2hands of his comrades; on the second time the Beast glimpsed at the magicians, Zatanna was about to be annihilated by its gaze, but John transferred the effects of the monster’s attack on himself, thus protecting his daughter and sacrificing himself to save her life. Eventually, Zatanna and Constantine managed to neutralize the Beast, but Zatanna’s life had changed forever one more time. Now carrying with her the will of her father and her mother, both of which died to protect her, Zatanna fought with the Justice League against many powerful foes, until she decided to give up with her adventurer’s life. She retired in Shadowcrest, Zatara’s manor, and became one of the Sentinels of Magic, powerful and hidden guardians watching over the balance of light and dark in the physical world and the other dimensions.

Zatanna Zatara is a carefree and provocative girl, who masks the pain of a cursed childhood behind a cheerful behavior and attitude. As one of the world’s most powerful magician, Zatanna disposes of a vast amount of powers, such as flight, the manipulation of the four natural elements, the ability to heal herself or others from wounds, teleportation, telepathy, and especially transformation, which she uses most often to turn her opponents’ weapon into harmless objects. She is also a good hand to hand fighter, and she uses some objects, such as her wand (which is not clear if it’s just a stage tool or an actual magical artifact) and her top hat (used as a dimensional portal) to increase her magic. Last one of a powerful lineage of magicians, Zatanna protects the worlds from threats whose existence normal people cannot possibly be aware of.