Isis (DC Comics)


Isis (DC Comics)

Superherobox|

caption=Adrianna Tomaz as the second Isis
character_name=Isis
real_name=- Andrea Thomas
- Adrianna Tomaz
publisher=DC Comics
debut=(Thomas)
" Shazam!" #25 (1976)
(Tomaz)
"52" Week Three (2006)
creators=(Thomas)
Lou Scheimer
Norm Prescott
Richard Rosenbloom
Marc Richards
(Tomaz)
Geoff Johns
Greg Rucka
Mark Waid
Grant Morrison
alliances=(Tomaz)
Black Marvel Family
aliases=
powers=Magically bestowed superhuman strength, speed, endurance and wisdom.
Flight.
Telekinesis.
Control over various aspects of nature.

Isis is a DC Comics superhero, as well as a separate goddess also living in the DC Universe. The superhero was originally the main character of "The Secrets of Isis", a live-action American Saturday Morning television program that served as the second half of "The Shazam!/Isis Hour". The character appeared in several late 1970s DC Comics publications, and was reimagined and introduced into the DC Universe in 2006 as a counterpart for the "Shazam!"-derived character Black Adam. The goddess is depicted within the "Wonder Woman" comic book.

Fictional character biography

Andrea Thomas and Saturday morning television series

Like the main character of the first half of the program, Captain Marvel, Isis also had roots in ancient Egyptian mythology. "The Secrets of Isis" starred Joanna Cameron as Andrea Thomas, a high school science teacher who gains the ability to call upon the powers of the goddess Isis after finding an Egyptian amulet during an archeological dig in Egypt (this is revealed during the opening credits only; no "origin episode" was ever produced). Fifteen episodes of "The Secrets of Isis" were produced for "The Shazam! Isis Hour", and the character also appeared in three episodes of the "Shazam!" portion of the show. "The Secrets of Isis" was given its own timeslot in 1977, for which seven new episodes were broadcast alongside reruns from the first two seasons.

Isis later appeared in animated form on Filmation's "Tarzan and the Super 7" show in 1980, as part of a segment called "The Freedom Force". She later had guest starred on The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam!'s Hero High segment.

Isis demonstrated numerous powers, that manifested when the need arose. Powers demonstrated in the series included flight, superspeed and strength, the ability to make objects levitate, the ability to hold back elements such as rocks and water, the ability to change the molecules of inanimate objects to allow people to pass though them, the ability to act as a human lightning rod, remote viewing, and (at her power's maximum) the ability to stop and reverse time. She is also able to communicate telepathically with her pet crow. To activate these powers, Isis usually is shown reciting a rhyming chant (the most frequent being "Oh zephyr winds that blow on high, lift me now so I can fly!"). The medallion Andrea Thomas uses to change into Isis also gives her apparent limited powers even when in her non-Isis form, as she is shown communicating telepathically with Tut and engaging in minor mind control even without changing.

Andrea/Isis' love interest is fellow teacher Rick Mason (although this relationship is more implied than explicitly stated - the two characters are simply shown in many episodes enjoying each other's company: going on picnics, horseback riding, and going for dinner together). As in the classic Lois Lane example, Mason remains oblivious to the physical similarities between Andrea and Isis, beyond some idle speculation in early episodes. In one episode ("The Seeing Eye Horse") a blind character realizes that Isis and Andrea have almost identical voices, but otherwise the series never explored the secret identity dilemma in any serious way. During the abbreviated second season, cosmetic changes were made to the Isis character in terms of makeup and hairstyle.

Isis' first appearance in comics was in "Shazam!" #25 (Sept-Oct. 1976). She was later given her own TV tie-in book the following month, the title ran for two years. The eight issue run by DC Comics began in October (1976) and ended January (1979). All stories starred the Andrea Thomas character from the television series; the book was edited by Denny O'Neil, written by Jack C. Harris and illustrated by Mike Vosburg.Isis(Andrea Thomas)though not shown or mentioned is wiped from existence in the Dc Mini series The Crisis on Infinite Earths.

As a goddess within the DC Universe

In January 2002, DC Comics re-introduced the goddess Isis as one of the chief gods worshipped by the Bana-Mighdallian Amazons in the Wonder Woman comic. Although the Bana tribe was introduced in 1989, their gods were not shown until 2002. Her introduction depicted her in a standard white sleeveless gown and Egyptian head-dress containing her trademark symbol. Later, the various Amazon gods were depicted as selecting more modern appearances for themselves. After this, Isis was then shown as wearing a black business suit with skirt, long straight black hair and a neck choker containing an ankh. It must be noted though that the goddess and the superhero are two separate individuals.

Adrianna Tomaz

"52"

The superhero Isis was re-introduced in the DC Universe in the weekly comic book "52". In this series, an Egyptian woman named Adrianna Tomaz (a homage to the "Andrea Thomas" character on the television program) is a refugee who is enslaved and brought to Black Adam as a gift from Intergang. Upon freeing her and killing the emissaries who had brought her to him, Black Adam found her to be unafraid and highly vocal about how he could change his country for the better.

After weeks of discussion, during which Adrianna changed the way Adam looked at the world, Adam retrieved the magical amulet of Isis from the tomb of his wife and children, and asked Captain Marvel to confer its power on Adrianna. The "Amulet of Isis" had long ago belonged to another of the wizard Shazam's champions, Queen Pharaoh Hatshepsut of the 18th Dynasty, who had used it to bring peace to her kingdom. Upon Hatshepsut's death the amulet became dormant.

Upon holding the amulet and speaking "I am Isis," Adrianna was transformed and instilled with the powers of the goddess. She and Adam then began traveling the Middle East and freeing enslaved children, hoping to find Isis' kidnapped brother. In Week Sixteen of the series, Adam proposes to Isis and the two are wed by Captain Marvel, with several other "Shazam!" characters (Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel, Jr., Tawky Tawny the tiger and Uncle Dudley) present as members of the wedding party. It is suggested in "52" that the presence of Isis is having a calming influence on Black Adam, transforming him from the ruthless dictator he was prior to her arrival into a more benevolent figure.

This incarnation of Isis has powers similar to Black Adam's. She also possesses healing abilities, which can heal minor and fatal wounds. She also has control over nature, which depends on her mood; rain falls when she's sad while flowers bloom when she is happy. Despite her first transformation using the phrase "I am Isis," later transformations during a press conference when the Black Marvel Family depowered and resumed their superhero forms in public, the traditional "Oh Mighty Isis" was used.

Adrianna finally locates Amon, who has been tortured and crippled by Whisper A'Daire for refusing to join Intergang. Isis is unable to fully heal his wounds; Black Adam then asks Amon to say his name; Amon is stuck by a lightning bolt and transformed into Osiris. Now reunited with her brother, Isis decides "to change the world", starting from China. Coerced by her brother's will to act for changing not only the world, but the perception the world itself has of the Black Marvel Family, she coaxes Black Adam into join them in a public revealing of their human identities, and a public declaration of their good intentions for the future.

Apparently this is not sufficient, as Amanda Waller forms a new Suicide Squad, sending the Persuader to badly injure Isis with his radioactive axe, able to damage both nature and her godly superpowered form. Osiris rushes to help, shredding the Persuader's body in half. Isis hugs a distraught and weeping Osiris, then they leave. These incidents are part of a calculated series of attacks by Intergang. The events brought about the death of Isis' brother, Osiris, at the hands of Sobek, which leads directly into a battle with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, contained in physical forms created by Intergang and Doctor Sivana.

Isis dies when she is infected with diseases from the Horseman Pestilence, but not before driving off the Horseman Death and saving Adam. Before she dies, Isis tells Adam that she was wrong in trying to change him, and to avenge her and Osiris's deaths. Several weeks later, a hand can be seen reaching for Isis's amulet, while her face can be seen within it.

One Year Later

In "Black Adam: The Dark Age", Adam (now under his civilian title of "Teth-Adam") resurrects Isis using the Lazarus Pit. Her resurrection is short lived, as Adam is forced to kill Isis again upon seeing her new body rotting away as soon as she has come back to life. Her bones are then transferred to Doctor Fate's tower, where, with the assistance of Felix Faust, Adam turns them into a magical conduit to imbue himself with god-like powers taken from Isis' corpse itself. Apparently, Isis still could be revived, but every time Adam takes power from her, her bones become more brittle, jeopardizing a new attempt at resurrection. Faust reveals that it is Isis' amulet that can revive her, and that Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. broke it into four parts and scattered it across the globe. It is later revealed that the missing fragments of her body, the reason the Lazarus Pit failed, were being held by Atom-Smasher.

Finally, Black Adam manages to find the amulet and reunites it with the now-complete skeleton. The spell apparently backfires, resulting in a shambling, rotting corpse. A séance takes place in which Isis' spirit swears eternal hate on her husband, before returning to death. Black Adam flees, laden with guilt, emptiness, and rage; then Faust begins the real rite, having shown Black Adam Ralph Dibny's skeleton as a way to hide the real Isis from him, and blame "her" rotten condition on Black Adam's abuse of their now-shared powers. So Isis is able to be fully restored to life, even if bound by powerful spells to drain her will and bind her to mindless obedience. Now a mere puppet in Faust's hands, Isis' magic is used to free him from his imprisonment in Fate's Tower. Felix Faust then drags her away.

Later Black Adam, still mourning for her, finds a bloodied flower sprouting in their family shrine. He takes it as a sign that Isis is trying to communicate with him. ["Justice Society of America" #16 (2008)]

DVD releases

Fans of the TV series, with support from Joanna Cameron, lobbied for the release of the series to DVD for several years. BCI/Ink and Paint has released three DVD sets containing the TV character of Isis:

*"Space Sentinels" /"The Freedom Force" - The Complete Series - August 22 2006
*"Hero High" — The Complete Series - May 22, 2007
*"The Secrets of Isis" — The Complete Series DVD Set - July 24th 2007

Despite her stated support for the DVD release, Cameron did not participate in the release of the live-action series DVD.

Notes

References

*comicbookdb|type=character|id=5731|title=Isis (Shazam)
*comicbookdb|type=character|id=7113|title=Isis (Egyptian Goddess)
*comicbookdb|type=character|id=7082|title=Isis (Adrianna Tomaz)
* [http://www.toonopedia.com/isis.htm Isis] at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
* [http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/i/isis.htm Isis TV Biography] at the International Catalogue of Superheroes

External links

* [http://www.dcuguide.com/who.php?name=isis DCU Guide : Isis (Wonder Woman version)]
* [http://obscure.dcuguide.com/isis.htm Guide to "Isis" TV show and comic books]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/tv2/isis/comics.html Guide to "Isis" comic book]
* [http://www.70slivekidvid.com/isis.htm "Secrets of Isis"]


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