Zara (comics)

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Zara, Priestess of the Crimson Flame
ZaraWW.jpg
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Comics Cavalcade #5 (Winter 1943)
Created by William Moulton Marston
In-story information
Alter ego Zara
Team affiliations Villainy Inc.
Cult of the Crimson Flame
Abilities Pyrokinesis

Zara, Priestess of the Crimson Flame is a villain who battled the Golden Age Wonder Woman. She was also a member of the super-villain team Villainy Inc. She debuted in Comic Cavalcade #5.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Pre-Crisis[edit]

The true past of Zara is unknown, however she claimed to be "an Arab girl," (although she had a French accent), and wore belly dancer attire. According to her tales, she was sold into slavery as a child; which created in her an intense hatred of mankind. Using a flair for pyrotechnics, she eventually created a new religion (The Cult of The Crimson Flame), which had swept the globe. Zara rigged various fire-based effects to dazzle her followers and keep them in thrall to her. After her initial defeat by Wonder Woman, the Cult went underground; and Zara was able to scare up at least one follower to do her bidding when she joined Villainy Inc.

The lovely red-haired high priestess of the mystic Cult of the Crimson Flame, a "new religion" that has begun "sweeping the world". Its symbol is an eerie "crimson flame" that appears out of nowhere at the behest of the high priestess, hanging suspended in midair and inscribing mysterious flaming messages to cow the members of the cult - the so-called "flame slaves" - into abject obedience.

Anyone daring to oppose the cult falls mysteriously ill and dies soon afterward.

When Helen Armstrong, a U.S. Senator's daughter who has been intimately involved with the flame cult, disappears mysteriously, Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, and the Holliday Girls follow her to Arabia, site of the Crystal Temple of the Crimson Flame, the "international headquarters" of Zara and her sinister "flame forces." Ultimately, Wonder Woman and her companions defeat the flame cultists, rescue Helene Armstrong from their clutches, and capture Zara.

It was to wreak vengeance on Helene's father that Zara had had her abducted.

The much-feared "crimson flame," confesses Zara, was actually nothing more than "floating, burning, liquid hydrogen," while the voice seeming to speak from inside it was actually an illusion created with movie projector sound equipment.

[1]

Zara escapes from Transformation Island which works to rehabilitate female criminals along with seven other villainesses and joins them in forming Villainy Incorporated [2]

Post-Crisis[edit]

Post-Crisis, Zara has been depicted as an Arabian woman and her flame-powers were inborn rather than produced by gadgets (originally, she used a fire-gun). However, Hippolyta referred to her flames as 'scientific trickery.' [3]

Recently, Zara has been mentioned as one of the inhabitants of Alan Scott's Emerald City on the dark side of the moon. She is mentioned as being a "fire girl" and an "old enemy of Wonder Woman." [4]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Pre-Crisis, she used a fire-gun and rigged effects to appear to have a mastery over flames. Post-Crisis, her powers are internal, but may have been the result of scientific engineering rather than from natural sources (e.g., magic, meta-human, etc.).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Comics Cavalcade #5 (Winter 1943): "Mystery of the Crimson Flame"
  2. ^ Wonder Woman #28: "Villainy Incorporated!", "Trap of Crimson Flame", "In the Hands of the Merciless!"
  3. ^ Wonder Woman: Our Worlds at War #1
  4. ^ Justice Society of America #43 (November 2010)

External links[edit]