First Appearance: Wonder Woman 153 (1965)
Creators: Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru
Abilities: A divinely empowered gorgon with the infamous ability to turn a living creature to stone, she is also a fierce combatant with a hypnotic voice, genesistic blood, and the power of possession.
Backstory: Based on the tragic Greek mythological figure, destined for torment and death, Medusa is a child of the Goddess Ceto, one of the three daughters of the sea, and mother to Pegasus. Prized for her beauty, she is assaulted by Poseidon and then ultimately cursed by Athena out of spite, transforming her into a deadly, macabre creature…and we all know how that story ends: a beheading.
Her comic debut would replace her mythic victimizers with Wonder Woman’s longstanding foe, the Duke of Deception.
Medusa was targeted by the Duke, and using his Martian technology to mar Medusa’s beauty, he transformed her into a frightening snake-haired entity with a fatal gaze. Forsaken, Medusa traveled the streets of Greece to exact her rage, with her subsequent ghost returning to menace others.
Her origin is later updated to include her sisters, along with Poseidon and Athena. Still beheaded by Perseus, Medusa’s heart was later used by Phobos, the god of fear, to create the villain Decay who would attack young Vanessa Kapatelis and battle Wonder Woman. Eventually, at the request of her sisters, Euryale and Stheno, Medusa is brought back to life by the immortal sorceress, Circe, resulting in one of Wonder Woman’s most iconic storylines.
The wrathful gorgon, wronged and vilified until she became the monster society had cast her to be, she had Diana’s sympathy; But Medusa’s rage had taken a personal toll on Diana, leaving the Amazon champion no choice but to meet her opponent in combat, where Diana would prove once and for all the depth of her convictions.
After New 52, Medusa would go on to become the Queen of Monsters, and even take up residence in Gotham. More recently, as a prisoner in her immortal life, Medusa attempted to escape through Doom’s Doorway, seeking revenge against the Amazons for the years of captivity and torment she suffered in Tartarus, an infernal realm of Hades.