||This article consists almost entirely of a plot summary. It should be expanded to provide more balanced coverage that includes real-world context. (February 2011)|
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (January 2016)|
|First appearance||The Eternals #3 (September, 1976)|
|Created by||Jack Kirby|
Heroes for Hire
|Notable aliases||Circe, Sylvia Sersi, Mesmer, Sorceress|
|Abilities||Superhuman strength and durability
Molecular and atomic manipulation
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 References
- 7 External links
|This section requires expansion. (April 2010)|
Sersi was created by Jack Kirby and first appeared in The Eternals #3 (September 1976). Although the comic book was published by Marvel Comics, the Eternals were not treated as part of the Marvel universe, but as a stand-alone series. The characters were incorporated in it later, and Sersi was used in The Avengers comic book for a long time as a member of the team. Sersi and the Black Knight, as with other Marvel characters, were incorporated into the short-lived Ultraverse imprint, when Malibu Comics was bought by Marvel.
The character was redesigned by Neil Gaiman during the 2006 relaunch of the Eternals.
Fictional character biography
Origins and early history
Sersi is a fourth generation member of the Eternals, an evolutionary offshoot of the human race. Sersi is the daughter of the Eternals Helios and Perse, and was probably born in Olympia, Greece, some time after the Great Cataclysm that destroyed the continents of Atlantis and Lemuria, during an extended ice age known as the Hyborean Age. At a young age, Sersi differed from her fellow Eternals in her desire to live amongst humans. It was during her time in ancient Mesopotamia that Sersi first met Captain America, who had traveled back in time. While Sersi still had the appearance of a child at this time, she was already thousands of years old.
A few thousand years later, Sersi was based in ancient Greece, where she met the poet, Homer. Homer would later write one of the earliest works in Western literature, The Odyssey. The character Circe, who lived on an island in the Aegean called Aeaea, and turned the hero Odysseus' men into pigs, was based on Sersi.
It was Sersi, under the name of Circe, who imprisoned the imps in Pandora's Box in ancient times. Unlike the majority of her fellow Eternals, who stay in their hidden cities, Sersi revels in her humanity, and has lived amongst humans more than any other Eternal, save the Forgotten One. Thus, it is no surprise to find that Sersi has lived in various places of historical importance, from Nero's Rome, to Camelot, the Court of the legendary King Arthur, where she helped Merlin the magician to defeat an impostor who had usurped his position. Sersi fought alongside Thor in the Viking Siege of Paris, although he was not aware of this. She has been a dancer, actress, stage magician, hedonist, and adventurer.
Enter The Marvel Age
In more recent times, Sersi battled Deviants in New York City. Sersi was one of the Eternals anthropologist Dr. Samuel Holden introduced to the world at large at New York's City College. Sersi became fascinated with the soft-spoken Doctor, and began a relationship with him. Although she gives the impression that she would rather be at a party, Sersi has proven to be a staunch ally to the Eternals in their struggles with the Deviants.
She met and became an ally of Thor. Sersi then participated in a battle between the Olympian gods and Eternals. Despite her loyalty to the Eternals, Sersi does value her independence, and often refuses to come to the Eternals gatherings. It was during an instance such as this that Domo of the Eternals sent the Delphan Brothers to bring her to Olympia so that all the Eternals could form the Uni-Mind in order to debate their future. Sersi had decided not to attend as she would continue doing what she wanted regardless of the outcome anyway. Unbeknownst to the Delphan Brothers, two of Sersi's party guests were actually members of the Avengers known as the Wasp and Starfox (they had actually crashed the party, much to Sersi's delight). They came to Olympia as well, where it was revealed that Starfox was actually the son of A'lars, better known as Mentor of Titan, brother to Zuras. While the majority of Eternals decided to leave Earth for space, Sersi was one who chose to remain.
Some time later, the Avenger Captain America had need of someone with illusion casting or shape changing abilities regarding a case he was working on. He found Sersi's address on the Avengers database, and considered it worthwhile asking her for help. Sersi was more than happy to aid Cap (she quite fancied him, and was constantly flirting with him, much to his embarrassment), although she told him it would require a favor from him in return, (an invitation to dinner as it turned out).[volume & issue needed]
Sersi battled Ghaur alongside the Eternals, Thor, and the West Coast Avengers. Sersi also aided the Avengers in their struggle against the Deviants and the Elder God Set.[volume & issue needed] When her fellow Eternal, the Forgotten One, was injured while serving as an Avenger, the Avengers came to Sersi for help. She traveled into the Negative Zone with the Avengers to find the Eternals, and was seemingly killed by Blastaar, but returned to life.
Due to her previous assistance, Avengers Chairman Captain America decided to ask Sersi to join the Avengers. Perhaps based on her attraction to Cap, or because she discovered that she enjoyed heroics more than she let on, Sersi accepted Cap's proposal, and became one of Earth's mightiest. In her first mission with the team, she helped them defeat Nebula.
Sersi proved to be a powerful addition to the Avengers roster, although her harmless flirtation still managed to embarrass Captain America. Sersi served with the team for quite a long time. Then, during an attack on the Earth by the Brethren, Sersi was captured and formed a Uni-Mind with the Brethren leader, Thane Ector. Such a union, between two different species, is forbidden by the Eternals, as it may lead to the breakdown of the Eternals mental disciplines. Sersi fought Sybil Dorn, and became an ally to Thane Ector.
Some months after this, Sersi became more aggressive, and was one of the Avengers involved in the attempted murder of the Kree Leader, the Supreme Intelligence, during the Avengers involvement in the Kree-Shi'ar War.
Black Knight's Love and Proctor's Evil
This aggressiveness may have been due to the Uni-Mind Sersi shared with the Brethren, or, it may also have been due to the machinations of Proctor, a man from an alternate reality who had been spurned by the Sersi from his world, and had created the Gatherers, and was planning to kill all the Sersies across the multiverse.
During this time, Sersi began a relationship with fellow Avenger Dane Whitman, the Black Knight. Unbeknownst to both of them, however, was the fact that Proctor was actually an alternate reality version of the Black Knight himself.[volume & issue needed]
Sersi's now aggressive nature caused tensions between herself and her teammates. These tensions weren't helped by the fact that the newest Avenger, Crystal, had come between Sersi and the Black Knight. These tensions came to a tumultuous climax when the Avengers traveled to the planet Polemachus, at the behest of its leaders Arkon and Thundra. When the priest Anskar cowardly murdered the young Polemachan girl, Astra, Sersi slew him in fiery retribution.
Returning to Earth, Sersi fled to Warrior Falls, Wakanda, in a futile attempt to escape the guilt she felt at her responsibility for Anskar's death, and the fear she felt due to her rash actions. The Black Knight found her, however, and convinced her to return to Avengers Headquarters. Sersi confessed to the Black Knight that she feared she was going insane. Little did either of them realize that Sersi's apparent instability was due to the subtle manipulations of Proctor.[volume & issue needed]
Upon her return to Avengers Headquarters, Proctor used his powers to cause her to attack her fellow Avengers. She was stopped only by the intervention of the Vision, who was secretly the Anti-Vision, a member of Proctor's own team of Gatherers who had infiltrated the Avengers in the guise of their teammate. The real Vision was being held prisoner in Proctor's Andean mountain base.[volume & issue needed]
By this time, Sersi's fellow Eternals had become aware of her unstable nature, and had sent three of their kind, Ikaris, Arex, and Sprite, to New York in order to return her to Olympia. The Eternals feared Sersi was suffering from what they call the Mahd W'yry, a breakdown of the mind due to the Eternals extended lives. Sersi rejected their fears as archaic, and refused to accompany them back to her homeland. The Avengers also didn't want to let them take one of their members against her will, especially when they learned that if she was found to be suffering from the Mahd W'yry, the Eternals planned to 'cleanse' her of it by molecular discorporation which would cause death. The ensuing battle between the Avengers and the Eternals was contained only when Sprite, who had learned of Sersi's feelings for the Black Knight, insisted that the Knight be made her "Gann Josin". This is a concept the Eternals use to describe an intimate joining of two minds as soulmates in their own personal Uni-Mind. Before this could be further discussed, however, Ikaris used his powers to cause it to happen. The Eternals departed, leaving Sersi behind. The Black Knight was less than enthusiastic at being used in this manner, for he had come to the conclusion that it was Crystal he loved, not Sersi. 
The Avengers, by their very nature, had little time to reflect on these matters before they were once again involved in other affairs, first with the assault on Proctor's Andean citadel, then against the Kree suicide squad, then in the Genoshan conflict, where Sersi fought Exodus, and even venturing to Deviant Lemuria, in a battle against Ghaur. 
Unfortunately relations between the teammates continued to deteriorate, and Sersi remained in an unstable state. The Avengers called on former member Hank Pym to discover the cause of her problems. At one point, Sersi confided in the Avengers' butler Jarvis that she had been having dreams of a sort about a strange man dressed in black who was assaulting young men she had befriended. Jarvis probed her further, in an effort to have her talk about her fears, and she used her powers to pull the image of Proctor from her mind. Neither Jarvis nor Sersi had ever seen Proctor however, and both failed to recognize him.[volume & issue needed]
Around this time, two police officers question Sersi personally. They are found, later, dredged from a river, having been turned into stone. Proctor was in fact causing Sersi to befriend young men who he would then murder. He then contacted the NYPD and, on the pretense of being a concerned citizen, aided them in framing Sersi for the murders. 
Sersi was astounded at this new calamity in her life, and was astonished to find that members of the Avengers, her supposed friends, actually believed her capable of the crimes. This was all part of Proctor's plan however, and he intended to have Sersi destroy the Avengers, her only real hope of salvation. When the police attempted to arrest her, Sersi destroyed Avengers Mansion, and fled to the Brooklyn Bridge. In her maddened state, she used the Gann Josin mind meld to call the Black Knight to her side and the two of them prepared to fight their fellow Avengers with all their power. When Sersi threatened Crystal however, the Black Knight faltered, and broke the Gann Josin bond, freeing himself from Sersi's control. Shocked by his betrayal, Sersi destroyed the Brooklyn Bridge, and seemingly the Avengers with it. 
Confused, bewildered, and shocked at the person she had become, she was finally approached by Proctor, who revealed to her at last the full extent of his mad plan. Capturing her, Proctor returned to his New York base of operations, and revealed that it was he who was behind her madness and seizures, and it was he who was responsible for the murders of the young men. With her full memory of events returned to her once more, Sersi broke free from his control long enough to stumble upon Proctor's trophy room, where Ute, the defeated Watcher Proctor used to traverse the multiverse, lay in stasis, as well as the various Sersi's of other worlds Proctor had already defeated. In her confused state, the Gatherer Rik was able to contain her once again. The Avengers did not perish in the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge, but were rescued by the Eternals Thena and Sprite. Based on the description Jarvis gave to them of the man in Sersi's dream, the Avengers had reached the conclusion that he was responsible for her actions, when they were approached by the astral form of Ute, who warned them that Proctor must be defeated, or all that is would cease to be. The Black Knight meanwhile, had reached the conclusion that he and Proctor were one and the same, albeit from differing realities. Proctor meanwhile, had begun his final gambit: using the life energies of Sersi and Ute to collapse the various realities on one another. 
The Avengers and their allies, Thena and Sprite, rushed to the scene, only to be confronted by the Gatherers. While his fellow Avengers fought the various Gatherers, the Black Knight approached Proctor himself, only to be defeated by the Ebony Blade from Proctor's own world. Sersi and the Watcher looked on helplessly from the vortex that contained them as Proctor began to 'gather' the Black Knight's essence into himself. Proctor would have succeeded in 'gathering' the Black Knight if not for the timely intervention of Quicksilver, Crystal's estranged husband. Quicksilver was still suffering from injuries sustained in Genosha though, and Proctor would have defeated him were it not for the combined powers of Crystal and Thunderstrike, who caused a terrific bolt of lightning to strike Proctor. This freed Sersi and the dying Watcher. Approaching Proctor, Sersi used his own sword to end his madness, once and for all. With his dying breaths meanwhile, Ute used his powers to undo the damage that had been done to Avengers Mansion, the Brooklyn Bridge, and various other locations, as well as opening a dimensional rift to another reality. Sersi, fearing that the manipulations of Proctor were irreversible, decided to enter this door between worlds, so that she may be able to live free of his madness, of his curse. With his own mind clear for the first time in months, the Black Knight decided to join Sersi in her exile. He felt in some way responsible for the suffering Sersi had endured, and he knew that he couldn't remain in the Avengers if it meant interfering with Quicksilver's attempts to reconcile with Crystal. 
The two Avengers entered the dimensional rift, never to see their colleagues again... or so they thought.[volume & issue needed]
Lost in the Ultraverse
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The portal opened by Ute brought the duo to the Ultraverse, a world similar to their own, but also with vast differences. Becoming separated in the dimensional rift, Sersi ended up in Equatorial Africa, while the Black Knight found himself in Miami.[volume & issue needed]
If Sersi thought she would be free from disaster in this new world, she was mistaken. Almost straight away, she was possessed by the spirit of one of the Infinity Gems, fabled jewels of power that had once been the embodiment of the being known as Infinity.[volume & issue needed]
The Gem that possessed Sersi had been separated from its fellow Gems for untold millennia, and now intended to use Sersi to be reunited with them once more, for the six other Gems had also been transported to the Ultraverse, along with Loki, the Norse God of lies. Sersi's will proved too strong for the Gem though, and her bond with the Black Knight caused her to seek him out. The Gem, realizing that she would fight it, gave her one-day to make peace with her past.[volume & issue needed]
The Black Knight meanwhile, had taken up with the superteam Ultraforce, the mightiest heroes of the Ultraverse. Learning of Loki's control of the Infinity Gems, he attempted to contact the Avengers, but was foiled when Sersi showed up. The Seventh Gem, realizing that it could use Ultraforce to reunite with its 'brothers', forced Sersi to send them after the six other Gems. The Black Knight and Ultraforce failed to wrest the Gems from Loki's control, however, and with her last act of free will before the Seventh Gem took control of her completely, Sersi returned them to their base.[volume & issue needed]
Now totally under the Seventh Gem's control once more, Sersi became aware of the Grandmaster's presence in the Ultraverse. This Elder of the Universe had once controlled the Mind Gem, and had journeyed to the Ultraverse in an attempt to regain it once more. Realizing that it could use the Grandmaster in order to get close to Loki, and thus the other six Gems, the Seventh Gem forced the Grandmaster to do its bidding as well.[volume & issue needed]
The Grandmaster approached Loki, and proposed a game. If he won, the Grandmaster would be given the Mind Gem. If Loki won, he would be told the location of the Seventh Gem. At first, Loki tried to gain the location using the Gems he already possessed. The Grandmaster was immune to their power though, protected as he was by the Seventh Gem. Thus, Loki eventually accepted his challenge.[volume & issue needed]
The game was called Worlds and Warriors, a simplified version of an Earth card game. Instead of cards, however, actual heroes would be used. The Grandmaster choose the Avengers, while Loki was given Ultraforce. Due to his membership of both teams, the Black Knight was made the 'wild card.'[volume & issue needed]
Members of each team were pitted against members of the other. The Avengers, for their part, were told it was in order to stop Loki, and to save the Black Knight, while the members of Ultraforce were told that the Avengers were part of an invading force.[volume & issue needed]
The various battles ended in stalemates however, and Loki, claiming that he had only played not to lose, claimed victory. The Grandmaster, still in the thrall of the Seventh Gem, revealed Sersi to Loki. She would never have been able to get close to him were it not for the diversion. Launching herself at him, she was able to separate him from the Gems before he could act. Free at last to reunite with its brothers, the Seventh Gem released Sersi from its power. Reuniting with the six other Gems, they were rendered entirely sentient, anthropomorphing into something calling itself Nemesis.[volume & issue needed]
Nemesis proclaimed a desire to create, and, joining elements from both the Avengers and Ultaforce's worlds, created an amalgam universe. There were too many conflicting elements though, and when Topaz of the Ultraverse made physical contact with Loki, elements from two wildly different continua, the structure snapped.[volume & issue needed]
In her panic, Nemesis teleported to the Ultra's Earth, and intended to continue creating there, even if it meant the destruction of the world that was there already. The six other Gems were resisting her though, for the being called Nemesis lacked the controlling influence that was needed to unite them. The Avengers and Ultraforce joined forces to stop her. Creating a diversion, they attacked her together, allowing the Black Knight to get close enough to separate the Gems once more.[volume & issue needed]
In the resulting explosion, the Avengers were returned to their Earth, while Ultraforce, Sersi, and the Black Knight returned to the Ultraverse.[volume & issue needed]
Ancient Enemies — Modern Rebirth
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In time however, the two Avengers found a way to return to their Earth, but not before traveling back in time to the era of the Crusades, where they fought the man who would become Exodus.[volume & issue needed]
On their return to their correct timeline, the two were separated once more. The Black Knight found himself in New York, but finding the Avengers dead in the wake of Onslaught, he joined the Heroes for Hire (both fictional group and 1997 limited series title).[volume & issue needed]
Sersi found herself in Lemuria, and learning of yet another plot by Ghaur, escaped to get aid. Also finding the Avengers dead, she turned to the Heroes for Hire. Foiling Ghaur's plot, Sersi and the Black Knight decided that they both needed some time apart after all they had been through.[volume & issue needed]
Sersi returned to Olympia, and, apart from aiding the Avengers in their battle against Morgana Le Fey, remained there until recently,[when?]  when she joined the New Breed, a group of Eternals posing as a human super team, in order to control the Deviants, who have become mindless monsters.[volume & issue needed]
The Eternals (2006)
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Due to Sprite's attempt to become a human, Sersi is currently living in New York, where she plans parties for a living. She cannot remember her origin as an Eternal, or her powers. She has been hired by Druig, currently deputy Prime Minister of Vorozheika, to publicize this small former Soviet republic by organizing a party at the Vorozheikan embassy. After the party was saved from a group of gunmen via the efforts of Mark Curry (who temporarily regained his powers, though means unknown even to him), and Iron Man, Iron Man questioned Sersi about registering, as she was a former Avenger. Sersi is shown to be perplexed by what he means, and Iron Man later is confounded when he finds that there are no longer any records of Sersi in the Avengers database.[volume & issue needed] She tests her powers out and accidentally turns a cat into a dragon.[volume & issue needed]
If the Eternal known as Sprite is to be believed, the Eternals' memories of their history and lives are actually a complex illusion on his part (a possible retcon of the Eternals' origin brought to the fore in this new Comic miniseries), and Sersi is actually much closer to half a million years old rather than "just" at most five thousand years old (she has had the Eternal Makkari as an on-again, off-again lover for hundreds of thousands of years now if Sprite's story is true as stated). By the end of the series, she decides that she wants to resume her normal life, wishing to be neither an Eternal, nor lead the life as an Avenger that is offered to her by Tony Stark.[volume & issue needed]
Sersi later appears as the head of a party planning website, now retired from the world of superheroics. She declines the Wasp's request to become an Avenger once again, but does use her powers to help the team track down Yon-Rogg.
Powers and abilities
As a member of the race of superhumans known as the Eternals, Sersi has the standard abilities of Earth's Eternals, though she has focused the majority of her power into transmutational abilities and passed it off as illusion or magic over the centuries. Sersi's psionic ability to rearrange the molecular structure of objects is far greater than that of any other Eternal; the limits on Sersi's molecular rearrangement powers are as yet unrevealed. Sersi is the only living Fifth Level adept at matter transmutation (on a 1-5 scale). She has the ability to alter molecular and atomic structures of all matter including living organisms. However, she has expressed difficulty in rearranging sub-atomic matter.
Sersi has a gifted intellect, and superhuman strength (which she can supplement by psionically levitating heavy objects), stamina, durability, agility, and reflexes. Sersi possesses the ability to manipulate cosmic energy to augment her life force, granting her virtual invulnerability and immortality, the ability to project cosmic energy from her eyes or hands in the form of heat, light, or concussive force, and possibly other powers. Sersi is resistant against cold, disease, electricity, energy, heat, radiation, and toxin attacks. She does not age, and can only be killed if her atoms are scattered. Sersi possesses total mental control over her physical form, granting her virtual invulnerability and immortality.
Sersi has the ability to levitate herself and up to seven others, and thus fly at superhuman speed. She has the ability to cast illusions to disguise her appearance and that of others from the perceptions of normal human beings. She has the ability to teleport herself and others with her; like other Eternals, Sersi finds their method of self-teleportation unpleasant and uses this power sparingly. Sersi can communicate telepathically, though she can not mentally read the mind of any Deviant, and she can control the minds of Eternals, Deviants, and humans. Sersi can telekinetically manipulate objects and generate a force field. Sersi, like all Eternals, can join the Uni-Mind.
As a trained dancer who has perfected her art over centuries, aided by her superhuman physique, Sersi has extraordinary athletic ability. She has also demonstrated a talent in martial arts, multiple languages, wrestling, and fashion design.
Sersi has many other versions in the multiverse, but many of them were apparently killed by Proctor himself.
In other media
- Byrne, John (w). "Along Came a Spider..." Avengers 314: 15/3 (February 1990), Marvel
- Strange Tales vol. 1 #109
- Chaos War #3 (2011)
- Eternals vol. 1 #3-5
- Eternals vol. 1 #6
- Thor #284-289
- Thor #291-292
- Avengers #246-248
- Eternals vol. 2 #1-12
- Avengers #308-310
- Avengers #314-318
- Avengers #334-339
- Avengers #347 (May 1992) - Operation: Galactic Storm (part 19)
- Avengers #344-375
- Avengers #358-359
- Avengers #361
- Avengers #363
- Avengers #364-366
- Avengers #367-370
- Avengers #372
- Avengers #373
- Avengers #374
- Avengers #375
- New Eternals #1 (2000)
- Avengers Assemble #17 (July 2013)