WANTED: Earth-Two's Most Dangerous Super-Villains
Real Name: Clea
Residence: Venturia, Atlantis
Occupation: Rule of Atlantis (deposed)
First Appearance (Golden Age): Wonder Woman #8 (March 1944)
First Appearance (Golden Age): Justice League of America #135 (October 1976)
In the distant past of Earth-Two, the continent of Atlantis succumbed to geologic pressures, much as it does in the history of many worlds of the Multiverse. A distinct difference on Earth-Two is that rather being submerged beneath the sea, Atlantis was encapsulated in a large air pocket linked to the surface by two airshafts hidden within twin volcanoes. Atlantis, either originally had or developed over time a sexual dimorphism opposite of mainstream humanity - women were statuesque, strong and warlike and men were smaller, more slender and subordinate. Two major nations existed in Atlanta - Venturia, ruled by the cruel Queen Clea and the more enlightened Aurania, ruled by Queen Eeras. No recorded evidence of humanity's awareness of Atlantis exists prior to 1944 when the Auranians ventured out into the world above.
The first contact with Atlantis occurred when Queen Eeras intercepted Colonel Steve Trevor in his attempt to acquire documentation of a scientific formula that could be weaponized for the war effort. Clea had conquered Aurania, leading Eeras to flee and see an advantage to free her country. She tracked a French traitor in Senegal, killing him and obtaining one third of the formula while Trevor track the remainder across Europe. The two crossed paths in Dakar and shared the formula. Trevor agreed to deliver Eeras to a South Atlantic destination en route to the United States but she lured him over one of volcanic downdrafts that lead to Atlantis to obtain the formula for Aurania. Trevor managed to radio Wonder Woman before he and Eeras were forced down in Venturia and captured by Queen Clea's forces. Wonder Woman arrived swiftly but was likewise captured and thrown into a cell with Eeras while Trevor was taking into an arena to battle to the death against wild boars for the Venturian's entertainment. Wonder Woman and Eeras staged an escape, Wonder Woman distracting Clea at the arena while Eeras created a "devitamizer gas" from the formula she and Trevor had acquired. As the boars were unleashed, Wonder Woman joined Trevor in the arena and fought until the gas was release, subduing Clea and her retinue. Trevor then returned with the formula with Wonder Woman.
Soon after, brazen female pirates attacked and captured a US naval ship and its crew, attracting the attention of Wonder Woman. Suspecting Atlantean involvement, Wonder Woman travels to Aurania to ask Eeras about Clea but the Queen shows her a captive in an iron mask. When the mask is removed however, it is not Clea beneath but her daughter Petra who strongly resembles her. Petra reveals that Clea has escaped and is assembling an army of capture Allied and Axis sailors to help her regain the thrown of Venturia. Her forces attack and subdue the Auranians, capturing Eeras and Wonder Woman. During a victory feast, the Holliday Girls are forced to perform for Clea's troops but they stage a disruption, allowing Wonder Woman to escape. During the ensuing melee, Steve Trevor arrives with military reinforcements and Clea's troops are defeated. Eeras plans to execute Clea and Petra but Wonder Woman appeals to her to take them to Transformation Island where they can hopefully be reformed.
With Clea and Petra in Amazonian custody, Eeras since her willful daughter Octavia to America where she encounters Wonder Woman and becomes antagonistic. Wonder Woman offers Octavia training on Paradise Island but while there Clea uses the opportunity to make a bold escape, capturing Wonder Woman and Octavia and flying back to Atlantis. There she and her captives are surprised to discover that Venturia is now ruled by males (called manlings) and all are thrown in prison. Clea eventually seizes an opportunity to convince the male king to let her be his slave. She then leads his forces into battle as Wonder Woman has herself shot out of a "big Bertha" howitzer to attract Steve Trevor's military reinforcements into Atlantis. The combined force makes short work of Clea's forces, defeats the male rules of Venturia and places Octavia on the throne. Clea is then returned to Transformation Island (Wonder Woman #8)
In 1948, Clea was still a prison of the Amazon's when the
Saturnian conqueror Evilless freed several of Wonder Woman's adversaries to form
Villiany Inc. The team of super-villainesses staged a coup on
Transformation Island that was ultimately thwarted by penitents on the island
that had not fallen under Evilless' sway. During the confusion of the coup,
Giganta and Clea escaped and made their way to Washington DC and ambushing Steve
Trevor in an effort to steal a submarine and return to Atlantis. Finding
Trevor's resistant, they abandon him and find Wonder Woman at the laboratory of
Professor Zool, the evolutionary biologists that created Giganta. They
capture her and convert Zool and the Holliday Girls into gorillas before setting
off to snag an abandoned submarine. They get out into the ocean before
Wonder Woman and her gorilla comrades break free and turn the tables, capture
the two villainesses and returning the gorillas to human form. Clea and
Giganta are then returned to Transformation Island (Wonder Woman #28).
In the 1970's through events that are as yet unrevealed,
Atlantis rose to the surface. Clea, recently escaped from Transformation
Island, staged a bid to recapture her throne with the assistance of King Kull, a
barbarian conqueror from Earth-S. Allied with Ibac, Blockbuster and the
Penguin of Earth-One, she confronted her old adversary Wonder Woman along with the
Superman of Earth- One on whom she managed to slip a Venus Girdle of submission.
A multi-way melee ensured between the four until Wonder Woman overcame Clea's
domination of Superman and knocked the renegade Atlantean unconscious. Her
distraction had been successful however, allowing Ibac and The Penguin to slip
away and create weaponry for King Kull. When Kull was eventually defeated,
Clea was presumably returned to Transformation Island (Justice League of
Her ultimate fate on Earth-Two remains to be revealed.
Powers and Abilities
The abilities of Clea extend from her Atlantean physiology, established through years of divergent evolution in a captive genome. She is a prime physical specimen of her race, extraordinarily tall, fast, agile and strong. The rate at which she ages has not been established but she appeared undiminished between the 40's and the 70's, suggesting she may age a slow rate than mainstream humanity.
Weaknesses and Limitations
While formidable, Clea could be overwhelmed by superior force. Atlanteans are not invulnerable as most of her ruling class was executed when the manlings assumed control of Venturia in 1948. She was also susceptible to the mystic forms of technology such as Venus girdles of submission deployed by Amazonian science.
On Earth-One, Atlantis sank beneath the waves and formed several city states, each with different adaptations to undersea life. None of these variations mimicked the Earth-Two version and Queen Clea is thought never to have existed.
The existence of Queen Clea is thought to be largely similar to her Earth-Two counterpart, save that she is ruler of an Atlantean outpost called Venturia as the history of Atlantis is drastically different from Earth-Two. She often battled Hippolyta when she assumed the role of Wonder Woman in the 1940's (Wonder Woman: Our Worlds At War #1) and is known to have survived into the current century when she conquered Skartaris with the Trident of Poseidon and a new Villainy Incorporated until defeated by Diana, the modern Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #179-184)
1st appearance, vs. Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman Archives #4, Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 2
Wonder Woman #28
w/ Villainy, Inc. vs. Wonder Woman
Adventure #416, Wonder Woman Annual #1 (1967), Wonder Woman: A celebration of 75 years, Wonder Woman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told
As an agent of King Kull, vs. Wonder Woman and Superman of Earth-One
Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 4, Justice League of America Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 2