|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #209 (October 1980)|
|Created by||Denny O'Neil (writer)|
Alan Weiss (artist)
|Alter ego||Calypso Ezili|
|Partnerships||Kraven the Hunter|
|Notable aliases||The Witch|
Use of potions
Calypso Ezili is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, usually as an enemy of the superhero Spider-Man. She is a voodoo priestess who utilizes magic potions, and the occasional lover and partner of Kraven the Hunter.
Calypso initially appeared as a minor character The Amazing Spider-Man #209 and Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #65, where she was an ally of Spider-Man's enemy Kraven the Hunter. After Kraven's death, Calypso bewitched the Lizard into helping her attack Spider-Man in Spider-Man Vol. 1, #1-5, then made guest appearances in Daredevil Vol. 1, #310-311 and Daredevil Annual Vol. 1, #9. Calypso next appeared in Web of Spider-Man Vol. 1, #109-110 and Spider-Man Annual 1997, and was killed off in a storyline that spanned The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 1, #249-253.
Fictional character biography
Calypso is a nameless voodoo priestess of Haitian nationality. She was a psychopathic woman who was associated with Kraven the Hunter. Calypso seemed to enjoy driving Kraven into fits of rage and furthering his hatred of Spider-Man which ultimately led to Kraven's suicide in the "Kraven's Last Hunt" storyline.
When artist Todd McFarlane started writing the new Spider-Man comic in 1990, his opening five-issue story arc "Torment" featured Calypso as the main antagonist, whom McFarlane transformed into a dangerous threat for Spider-Man. The explanation for Calypso's supernatural powers was the sacrifice of her younger sister. She used her abilities to hold Lizard in her grasp and the two nearly succeeded in murdering Spider-Man. However, the webslinger managed to beat them both and Calypso is apparently killed.
Calypso resurfaces abducting Haitian refugees, turning some into zombie slaves and selling the rest back to her homeland's government. Her actions bring her into conflict with Daredevil and his Infinity War doppelganger, Hellspawn. Calypso briefly enthralls Daredevil, but he is able to break free of her control, and she seemingly dies yet again when the spirits of those she turned into zombies overwhelm her. Cheating death once more, Calypso flees to New Orleans, where her obsession with necromancy leads her to the resting place of Simon Garth, a self-aware zombie. Reviving Garth, Calypso tests his abilities and pits him against Hellspawn, though he eventually breaks free of her control and wanders off, leaving one of his Amulets of Damballah with Calypso.
Calypso subsequently breaks into the Vault and attempts to make the incarcerated Lizard her servant again, but he resists and mauls her. The Amulet of Damballah, which Calypso transferred her soul into while dying, ends up in the possession of Glory Grant, who Calypso possesses. Despite interference from Spider-Man, Garth, and Shotgun, Calypso is successfully able to exhume her own corpse and revive herself with the Amulet of Damballah.
Commanding a squad of savages, she later attacks Spider-Man and Alyosha Kravinoff, the son of the original Kraven the Hunter. Desiring revenge for losing Sergei, she uses her powers to drive Spider-Man and Alyosha into fighting each other. Spider-Man and Alyosha fight off her spell, and shared a handshake. Alyosha says that he will hold Calypso at his mansion, so the villainess can tell him about his long-lost father. However, Alyosha kills Calypso instead.
Powers and abilities
Calypso was well-versed in the religion and practice of voodoo. She often used voodoo drums, potions, and charms. Calypso used mind control, resurrection, and poisons.
An issue of What If? which asked the question "What If Spider-Man Killed the Lizard?" had Calypso in it. When Spider-Man is forced to kill the Lizard in an alternate version of the "Torment" story-arc, Calypso approaches the Lizard's distraught son Billy Connors and offers him the chance to get revenge on Spider-Man via a potion that will make him "just like daddy".
In other media
- In the 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series, Calypso was initially introduced as a research scientist named Dr. Mariah Crawford (voiced by Susan Beaubian) who was engaged to Sergei Kravinoff (who affectionately calls her "Calypso") before his mystic serum transformed him into Kraven the Hunter. She assisted Spider-Man in several episodes, most notably helping him develop a cure for the Man-Spider mutation. During a confrontation with Man-Spider, Dr. Crawford was shown to be familiar with the Punisher's backstory and persuaded him to help Kraven subdue the Man-Spider, allowing her to restore him back to normal. In the episode "The Return of Kraven", Mariah contacted an African plague and, in an effort to save her, Kraven injected her with the same serum that she used on him some time ago. However, upon their return to New York, this caused Mariah to mutate into a feral monster, with claws, green eyes, and lion-like ears, prompting Kraven to use the serum on himself to track her down. While Spider-Man initially mistakes Kraven for the one attacking people in Central Park, he learns the truth after subduing him, and Spider-Man and Black Cat ultimately help Kraven capture Calypso and administer a cure made by Dr. Curt Connors, which suppresses Mariah's more feral instincts and restores her reason. Afterwards, Mariah and Kraven leave New York to be alone, with Mariah choosing to embrace what she now is.
- Calypso appears in the Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Destructive Testing", voiced by Angela Bryant. She is Kraven's lover, and may or may not be a voodoo priestess. After receiving pictures of Spider-Man from a mysterious American friend, Calypso presents them to Kraven and encourages him to go to New York and hunt him. After Kraven's first defeat at Spider-Man's hands, she suddenly appears in a robe and offers to help him, but he refuses. After Kraven's second defeat, Calypso rescues him before he can be arrested, and they are contacted by Calypso's friend, revealed to be the Master Planner, who asks Kraven if he would like to "hunt in a pack".
- Calypso appears as a secret boss in the Spider-Man 2 video game, voiced by Angela V. Shelton.
- Calypso appears in the Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions Spider-Man 3, voiced again by Shelton. She assists Kraven the Hunter by providing him with various potions and mutating the Lizard into an even larger, more monstrous form.
- A Marvel Noir version of Calypso appears as an exclusive boss in the Nintendo DS version of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, voiced by Jennifer Hale. Calypso uses her fragment of the Tablet of Order and Chaos to raise an army of zombies. She also hopes to use it to revive Kraven in a ritual. Calypso is eventually defeated by Spider-Man Noir.
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- Comics Continuum by Rob Allstetter: Monday, January 21, 2008