Cover to Anima #11, artist Steve Crespo
|First appearance||New Titans Annual #9 (1993)|
|Created by||Paul Witcover
|Alter ego||Courtney Mason|
|Team affiliations||Titans East
|Abilities||Life force drainage, super-strength, flight, armor generation, and force beams; psychic channeling of the Animus entity.|
Anima (Courtney Mason) is a fictional character from DC Comics, who starred in the comic book series of the same name. The character was created and written by science fiction and fantasy authors Elizabeth Hand and Paul Witcover.
Fictional character biography
Rebellious teenage runaway Courtney Mason acquired her miraculous powers following an attack by parasitic aliens: one of many New Blood superbeings created in this way, as part of the Bloodlines crossover. Seven extraterrestrial predators had come to Earth and slaughtered thousands of humans by feeding on their spinal fluids. On the run in New Orleans, Courtney was kidnapped by a cult that sacrificed her to two of these insatiable parasites, knows as Pritor and Lissik. But Courtney did not die. Instead, the parasites' bites unleashed the Animus, a sentient-energy creature that can absorb the spirit essences of the living and the dead, which was now able to enter the world through Courtney. She became the embodiment of mankind's rage and masculine drive, and quickly developed awesome physical powers of her own. As Anima, Courtney sought revenge against the cult. She also met the Teen Titans and battled a variety of supernatural menaces. Anima remains a wanderer, traveling from place to place and helping those in need by calling upon the fearsome primal force inside her.
Anima featured prominently in DC Comics' Bloodbath limited series (1993), in which all the New Blood characters teamed up to help defeat the alien parasites who had empowered them. The following year she showed up in the Zero Hour crossover.
Anima's own title, beginning December 1993, ran for 16 months before being cancelled due to low sales (issues numbered 1-15, plus a #0 issue between #6 & #7 in line with Zero Hour). It was an unconventional DC comic book, with the main theme being a war between metaphysical beings who embodied the Jungian archetypes of human psychology - Animus was only one of these. The series had a huge supporting cast, both human and supernatural - in some issues, Anima herself appeared for only a few pages. Courtney's younger brother Jeremy Mason becomes the channel for Animus' evil sister, Eris (Eris shares her name with a goddess of Greek Mythology, who herself appeared in DC's Wonder Woman title, second series). Animus and Eris ultimately combine as the Syzygy, to fight their father/enemy known only as The Nameless One. The series featured innumerable pop-culture references, as symbols of the collective unconscious where the archetypal beings dwell. Fellow DC superheroes Superboy and Hawkman also guest-starred - with Superboy temporarily acting as a channel for an archetype called The Warrior.
After the Solo Series
Since the demise of her title, Anima has appeared very infrequently. She appeared in the Young Justice series, the final issue of Infinite Crisis, and again in the more recent Titans East Special as a potential member of Cyborg's new group. She was badly wounded along with the rest of the team at the conclusion of the special and was left in a coma along with Lagoon Boy and Vulcan.
She was next seen in the Faces of Evil: Prometheus one-shot that came out in the first month of 2009. She is fighting with a new Blood Pack alongside Gunfire and Argus. They were pursuing the second villain to take up the Prometheus alias when the original one, awakened from his own coma, came to take his revenge on the usurper. The original Prometheus quickly crippled Gunfire, and as Anima charged him, he teleported. The effect of the teleport cut Anima in half, killing her and leaving her legs on the streets of Gotham, and the rest of her in Prometheus' Ghost Zone.
Awards and nominations
- The character Anima was nominated for the R.A.C. "Squiddy" Award for Favorite Comics Character in 1995, and the Anima comic series was nominated for the R.A.C. "Squiddy" Award for Favorite Ongoing Comics Series in 1995.
At first Anima gained her power by artificially aging nearby people. After an encounter with Navaho Indians in issue 5, she was able to draw power directly from the spirit world without harming anyone.