Giganta in Wonder Woman #175.
|First appearance||Wonder Woman #9 (Vol. 1) (Summer 1944)|
|Alter ego||Dr. Doris Zeul|
|Team affiliations||Injustice League
Secret Society of Super Villains
|Abilities||Size manipulation (increasing)
Superhuman strength and durability, and limited invulnerability when in giant form
Giganta is a super-villain appearing in DC Comics publications and related media. A longtime enemy of Wonder Woman as well as an occasional foil for The Atom and Apache Chief, Giganta possesses the superhuman ability to increase her physical size and mass, effectively transforming into a giantess. Her first appearance (Wonder Woman #9, volume 1, published in 1944), written by Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston, presents her as a brutish strongwoman with super strength. Later adaptations (including appearances on Hanna-Barbera's popular cartoon series Challenge of the Super Friends in the 1970s) introduced Giganta's size-changing ability, a feature which has been retained to date.
Giganta was introduced as a foe of the Golden Age Wonder Woman, first appearing in Wonder Woman #9 (volume 1). In the story, a scientist named Professor Zool artificially evolves an ape named Giganta into a malicious red-haired strongwoman. The evolution machine goes haywire and somehow reverts the world back to an earlier stage. Giganta joins a primitive tribe to attack Wonder Woman, but is defeated. When the world gets to the Golden Age of humanity, Giganta causes trouble by encouraging a rebellion, which Wonder Woman stops. When the world returns to normal, Giganta is still in the strongwoman stage. Giganta is ultimately subdued and captured by Wonder Woman and taken to Paradise Island for rehabilitation. In issue #28, she joins a rebellion of prisoners held on the island started by the Saturnian slaver Eviless, thereby becoming a member of the criminal team Villainy Inc. Eviless steals Wonder Woman's lasso and kidnaps Hippolyta. She joins with the Atlantean Queen Clea to cause trouble. Giganta is not seen again in the comics until 1966, in Wonder Woman #163 (volume 1), in which her origin is revamped to include another member of Wonder Woman's rogues gallery, Doctor Psycho. This appearance also premiered a short-lived update to her look, giving her waist-length blond hair and an even larger physical stature.
Fictional character biography
Giganta is Dr. Doris Zeul, who suffers from a fatal blood disease. She captures Wonder Woman and plans to put her "life-essence" into Wonder Woman's body using an experimental machine. Interrupted by Wonder Girl halfway through the experiment she ends up with her consciousness in a test animal gorilla named Giganta.
Desperate to return her mind to a human body, Zeul the gorilla abducts a comatose circus strongwoman named Olga with size changing abilities through unknown means, (though Olga was comatose due to a mysterious shaman) and uses the machine to successfully transfer her mind into that body, keeping the villain name "Giganta".
Following her transformation, Giganta allies herself with Queen Clea and the modern incarnation of Villainy Inc. in an attempt to conquer the lost world of Skartaris. Villainy Inc. is defeated by Wonder Woman, but Giganta is subsequently seen as a member of several criminal groups, including the Secret Society of Super Villains.
As part of the Society, she takes part in the "Battle of Metropolis", a confrontation with multiple heroes, including Elasti-Girl, the size-changing member of the Doom Patrol. The Society ultimately loses this battle.
When Diana Prince noted that Giganta's intellect reduces as she grows in size, compelling the villain to become less rational and more prone to violence, she was corrected by her colleagues in the Department of Metahuman Affairs. They implied that Giganta has overcome that limitation and retains her full intelligence at any size.
One Year Later
Giganta, along with The Cheetah and Doctor Psycho, engage in a battle with Donna Troy (who has assumed the identity of Wonder Woman one year after the events of Infinite Crisis), as part of a search for, as they term it, the "real" Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira). The villains continue their quest, holding Troy hostage in order to draw Diana out for a rescue attempt and contend with the current Wonder Girl, Robin, and Diana herself in the guise of government agent Diana Prince. Giganta and her allies also battle Hercules, with the giantess being felled by the legendary champion.
Giganta is a teacher at Ryan Choi's Ivy Town University. Infected and controlled by M'Nagalah, the monstrous Cancer god, she was sent to seduce and capture Ryan Choi, the new Atom, in the process even going so far as to swallow the miniature hero alive (he escapes, and also discovers that she has a tongue piercing). Now free of M'Nagalah's control, a seemingly repentant Dr. Zeul retains her position at Ivy University and has approached Ryan for a second chance, despite the bizarre circumstances of their first meeting.
Before their second date, the Atom is approached by Wonder Woman on behalf of the Department of Metahuman Affairs and asked to wear a wire on his date with Dr. Zeul. After professing her desire to reform, she is informed that Ryan is wearing a wire and tears off the roof of the restaurant to see Wonder Woman and Ryan talking - unaware that Ryan had removed the wire. A fight between Wonder Woman and Giganta ensues. Wonder Woman quickly knocks Giganta out but Ryan intervenes to stop Wonder Woman from beating her further, after admitting she had lost her temper - they realize that Dr. Zeul has disappeared. Whether she heard or saw Ryan's actions to stop her from getting further injuries is yet to be seen.
Giganta is also a member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains, during the Final Crisis and is shown as a thrall of Darkseid alongside several other super-powered women. She is now called Gigantrix. Over the course of the series she fights as one of the new incarnations of the Female Furies with Wonder Woman, Batwoman and Catwoman. She is possessed by the spirit of the fury Stompa, and only freed when Supergirl smashes the skull-and-crossbones mask from her face.
Giganta is attacked by Diana while on her way to a date with Ryan Choi, implying that their relationship has survived despite earlier difficulties. Mellower than in her appearances in the All-New Atom series, she seems to accept and respect the shortcomings brought by their different lifestyles, going so far to help Wonder Woman in a mission, reasoning that, with Ryan being a superhero, they should both be used to putting their heroics in front of their private lives.
Most recently, Bane hires her on as one of the new members of Secret Six. The team also includes the shrinking killer, Dwarfstar, who recently hired Deathstroke and his Titans to kill Ryan Choi. Giganta initially seems unaware of this fact, admitting to Dwarfstar that she is dating the Atom (much to Dwarfstar's amusement). Following a disastrous mission to Skartaris, Amanda Waller reveals the details of Ryan's murder to Giganta. After luring Dwarfstar to her bedroom with the promise of sex, Giganta strips him of his belt (the source of his powers) and beats him into submission. She is last heard covering Dwarfstar's mouth with duct tape to stifle his screams, telling him that she plans on keeping him alive so that she can prolong his suffering.
The New 52
In The New 52, a reboot of the DC Comics universe, Giganta appears as a member of the Secret Society during the "Trinity War" storyline. She assists Vandal Savage and Signalman into tracking Pandora. When the three villains attack Pandora, Pandora successfully subdues Giganta. Her costume combines elements from her original and One Year Later costumes.
Powers and abilities
Giganta has the ability to increase her size from 6'6" to several hundred feet. These powers seemed to have been given to her magically since the magical power stealing Black Alice is able to copy her powers.
Though her incredible power does not surface until she uses it and grows, she is still quite formidable having some fighting skill and training. In full-size mode, she becomes strong enough and durable enough to take on Wonder Woman.
Giganta is also a brilliant scientist who now retains her full intelligence at any size.
It is presumed that she works out, keeping herself athletically healthy, lean, and muscular.
Giganta's suit is specialized to grow with her and enhances her invulnerability. Even at normal size, it is bulletproof and resistant to extremes of heat and cold.
Giganta has superhuman strength, superhuman durability, some levels of invulnerability when in giant form.
In the 'Odyssey' storyline that ran through issues 601-614 of Wonder Woman, Giganta was one of many characters re-imagined in the alternate reality created by the goddess Nemesis. She was part of a trio - along with Artemis of Bana-Mighdall and Barbara Minerva - of dead Amazons resurrected by the Morrigan to hunt Wonder Woman.
Giganta possessed no size-altering power, instead relying upon enormous natural strength (enough to shatter a stone statue and throw a school bus) and a double-headed axe to fight. She dressed in Amazonian battle-garb decorated with leopard print, in a callback to her original costume, and stood over six feet tall.
Giganta is eventually won around to Diana's side after being shown the truth of the Morrigan's lies. She joins her in attacking their stronghold, killing Bellona with her axe even as her flesh is melted from her bones by the goddess' magic.
Giganta was featured as a member of the Legion of Doom in Alex Ross' maxi-series Justice. Here she is in her traditional costume, though she briefly disguises herself as a nurse and wears hunting gear in her first appearance. She attempts to assassinate the Atom in his office using a sniper rifle, but Palmer is distracted by a phone call and is instead hit in the shoulder. Later, in the hospital, Giganta tries to smother the Atom to death with a pillow, though he escapes using his belt and knocks Giganta out a window by getting in her eye. Later, when the Legion toast their apparent victory, she is seen talking with Gorilla Grodd about his suspicions towards Lex Luthor and Brainiac's goals. When the Justice League storm the Hall of Doom itself, Giganta fights the League as a whole rather than any particular target. In the end she is defeated by Rita Farr of the Doom Patrol. Her origin is more in-line with that of her DC animated universe counterpart, having originally been a gorilla altered into a human, though she has no known connections with Grodd or Gorilla City itself.
In the Flashpoint universe, two conflicting versions of Giganta existed. In Lois Lane's tie-in miniseries, she joined with the Amazons' Furies, as they had taken over the United Kingdom, and ambushed the resistance. Here her appearance resembled that of her 'Odyssey' counterpart, and she seemingly possessed no super-powers. She was last seen fighting against Grifter on London Bridge, parrying his gunshots with twin swords.
Conversely, in Hal Jordan's miniseries, Giganta appears in her traditional, original costume, and is capable of growing large enough to grasp and crush fighter jets in her hands. When she is about to kill Hal while he struggles to control his damaged plane, Giganta is shot in the eyes by Carol Ferris, collapsing and playing no further role in the fight.
Giganta is referred to by name only in the Lois Lane series, so the two conflicting versions may be reconciled by assuming that the giantess may in fact just be another magically-powered Amazon with a similar costume.
In other media
- Giganta appears in Super Friends voiced by Ruth Forman. She appears as a powerful member of the Legion of Doom. In the TV series, she has the ability to grow to giant size (with accompanying superhuman strength) simply by willing it (at the time, she did not yet possess this ability in the comics). She typically dresses in a leopard skin two-piece loincloth (presumably treating them so that they grow with her when she uses her powers to achieve her gigantic stature), wears large, bangle-like bracelets and anklets, and she is always barefoot (like her original appearances). Her muscular body is a side effect of her powers. In the episode "History of Doom," it was revealed that Giganta was a normal woman who was horseriding when she witnessed Apache Chief using magic dust given to him by an older Native American. The latter used it to grow larger so he could fight off a grizzly bear. Giganta stole the dust with her lasso and used it on herself, gaining the ability to transform into a powerful, 50-foot-tall (15 m) giantess. The dust not only gave the two size changing powers, but influences personality as well. Because Apache Chief was brave when using it he became one hundred times more brave. Because Giganta had evil thoughts, it made her more evil, as the Elder warned her.
- Giganta was replaced by a male gorilla named Gargantua in a Season One episode of the live action television series of Wonder Woman starring Lynda Carter.
- She later appeared in the Super Friends short episodes "Two Gleeks are Deadlier Than One" and "Revenge of Doom" again voiced by Ruth Forman. In "Two Gleeks are Deadlier Than One," she and Gorilla Grodd capture Gleek and make an evil robot of him to attack a meeting of all the Super Friends. However the Super Friends reveal the meeting was a trick as they suspected an attempt would be made if they were all together. They capture the two. In "Revenge of Doom," she was present when the Legion of Doom got back together but had no dialogue.
- Giganta also appeared in Legends of the Superheroes played by Aleshia Brevard. In keeping with the show's decidedly low budget, she doesn't demonstrate any ability to grow in size, and instead bends a prop steel bar around Riddler's neck for a "superstrength" effect. She returns in "The Roast" and is interviewed by "Rhoda Rooter" (who is an impression of gossip host Rona Barrett). Rooter interviews Giganta and the Atom about their recent engagement. Wonder Woman did not appear in this special due to the television series on CBS.
- She appears in the Justice League episode "Secret Society" voiced by Jennifer Hale. This version has an origin somewhat similar to that in the comics. Unlike her more brutish characterization in the comics, Giganta acts in a more feminine manner in the Justice League cartoons, but is still eager for battle according to Hale. While she still has red hair and blue eyes, she does not wear a leopard skin, but a dress, complete with earrings and bracelet that increases in size when she grows. She was once a small female ape, transformed by Grodd, whereupon she becomes Grodd's devoted follower and has become a returning member of his Secret Society (based on the Legion of Doom).
In "Secret Society," Giganta recruits The Shade into Grodd's Secret Society. The Shade, when revealed Gigantas background as a gorilla, glances at her eating a banana and simply shrugs and smiles at her, showing that he doesn't mind overall. During her first confrontation with the Justice League, she manages to defeat Wonder Woman with help from Killer Frost and later topples the Man of Steel. In the ambush of the other Justice Leaguers, she attempts to catch Martian Manhunter with her hands, but is unable to due to Jonn's phasing abilities. Then at Gotham Field, Superman is being beaten badly by her, but manages to escape. Giganta is seen using her huge size as an advantage to step on and smash the Man of Steel. When he finally is about to strike back, she manipulates him by asking "Wouldn't hit a woman, would you?" Fortunately, Wonder Woman has no problem delivering a blow which knocks her out.
- Giganta appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Ultimatum" with Jennifer Hale reprising her role of Giganta. She attempts to break Grodd out of prison with the help of Bizarro (whom she manipulates by pretending to be his girlfriend). She is defeated by Wonder Woman and the similarly powered Ultimen member Long Shadow (who was himself a thinly veiled homage to Apache Chief). While on a mission for Grodd as a backup to retrieve the Viking Prince's corpse, she ends up comatose after the Martian Manhunter tries to read her mind, which triggered a mind implant by Grodd which would prevent the Secret Society members from being questioned. Wonder Woman also gives her the nickname "Jumbo" which Giganta apparently does not like. However, in the episode "The Great Brain Robbery", Giganta is seen among the rest of the Secret Society, apparently fully recovered. When the Secret Society becomes divided between Luthor and Grodd, she sides with Luthor, angry with Grodd for having manipulated her brain. She is seen confronting Grodd and squeezing him. However, Tala blasts her with a magic bolt, but Giganta is apparently not damaged as she is seen soon slapping Silver Banshee out of the air. Parasite attempts to take her vast strength, but Sinestro stops him. When Darkseid attacks the remaining members of the Society, she argues with the Justice League to fight alongside them, going with Green Lantern and Flash to defend Paris. At the end of the series, Giganta sacrifices a few seconds of her allotted five minute head start reward (for helping the League) to plant a fast kiss on the Flash.
- Giganta made a non-speaking cameo appearance in Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Powerless." Her appearance was only in a hypothetical scenario when Captain Atom discussed how Batman's lack of superpowers made him vulnerable to supervillains. In the brief scene, Batman threatens to stop Giganta's rampage, only for her to calmly step on him.
- Giganta appears in the animated film Superman/Batman: Public Enemies with her grunts provided by Andrea Romano. She wears the same outfit as in her comic. She is defeated in a few seconds after she tries to kill Superman by stepping on him. Unlike in the aforementioned Justice League episode, "Secret Society," Superman had no problem hitting her this time around.
- Giganta appears as a villain in a cinematic trailer for the video game DC Universe Online MMORPG, voiced by Lana Lesley. In the cinematic, "Who Do You Trust", the trailer depicts a dark future where Lex Luthor and other villains are engaged in what seems to be a final battle against what's then left of the Justice League. Giganta is seen only briefly crashing down through a building after being struck by the Green Lantern before he begins doing battle with Black Adam. In this depiction, she has her typical appearance and is wearing her modern, One Year Later black-and-yellow costume. In the hero's part of the story, Giganta is in cahoots with Circe in a plot to prepare a spell that would transfer her mind into the body of Wonder Girl. When Giganta succeeds, the players end up fighting Giganta in Wonder Girl's body. After destroying the Convergence Crystals, Giganta ends up back in her own body enabling the players to fight and defeat Giganta with Wonder Girl's help.
- Giganta makes a cameo appearance in Injustice: Gods Among Us. Her costume is based on her One Year Later design. She is seen at the Hall of Justice stage battling Atom Smasher in the background. She also plays a role in the level's stage transition where she grabs the fighter and while holding them punches Atom Smasher in the face and then throwing them into the Hall of Justice.
- Giganta appeared in the spin-off comic book Justice League Unlimited #38. She tries to go straight so she could spend time with The Flash. She reveals her intentions angrily once he announces that he is going on a date.
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