Medusa (DC Comics)

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Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceWonder Woman #153 (April 1965)
Created byRobert Kanigher
Ross Andru
In-story information
Alter egoMedusa
Team affiliationsThe Gorgons
Notable aliasesMedousa
AbilitiesThe ability to transform a living creature to stone

Medusa (occasionally spelled Medousa) is a fictional character appearing in DC Comics publications and related media. Based upon the Greek mythological figure of the same name, she is one of the three snake-haired Gorgons and a major adversary of the super-hero Wonder Woman. She is not to be confused with Myrra Rhodes, a member of the Creature Commandos who calls herself Dr. Medusa.

Fictional character biography[edit]


Hailed as most beautiful of all mortals, Medusa was reviled by the Duke of Deception. Deception, using his Martian technology, transplanted Medusa's beautiful face with that of a snake-haired crone. Her lover, a young prince, broke off their engagement at the sight of her. Furious, Medusa turned the prince to stone, and traveled the streets of ancient Greece to take out her rage.[1]

Medusa was eventually slain by the hero Perseus, and her snake hair was turned into a skull-cap. The Medusa Skull-Cap was eventually given to an alien called Illena, who used it in an attempt to kill Superman.[2]


The blonde-haired Medusa was one of the three Gorgons, beautiful daughters of the sea with golden wings and golden claws. Many considered Medusa to be the most beautiful, as she was mortal, unlike her sisters Euryale and Stheno. She eventually met the gaze of Poseidon. Athena took notice of this, and cursed Medusa, transforming her hair into snakes and giving her a deadly gaze that turns any who look into her eyes to stone. The hero Perseus was given the task of slaying Medusa and taking her head. After using her severed head for his own use, Perseus threw it into the sea as he believed it too dangerous to keep.[3] At some point before Medusa's death, she mated with the cyclops Polyphemus and gave birth to the serpentine giant Cyclon.[4]

The god of fear, Phobos, later used the heart of Medusa to create the demonic Decay, who battled Wonder Woman on numerous occasions.[5]

During the second contest to become Wonder Woman, Diana of Themyscira encountered a serpent-bodied gorgon she believed to be Medusa. This gorgon turned several amazons to stone before being thrown off a cliff by Princess Diana.[6]

Much later, Euryale and Stheno wished to resurrected their sister, and coerced the witch Circe to aid them with Poseidon's help.[7] Circe performed the ritual, and Medusa was successfully brought back to life. She vowed to get her revenge on Athena by killing Wonder Woman.[8] Circe then equipped Medusa with a magical artifact which enabled her a one-time round-trip to battle Wonder Woman. When she arrived to New York, Medusa became overwhelmed with the modern world and fled back to the gorgons' lair.[9] Circe then pointed Medusa and her sisters to the businesswoman Veronica Cale in order to help figure out Wonder Woman's weakness.[10]

Medusa then attacked a celebration dinner at the White House, turning several civilians to stone and battling Wonder Woman. Though the both combatants were evenly matched, Medusa fled to attack Wonder Woman's embassy.[11] Wonder Woman chased the gorgon back to the embassy and continued battling, resulting in the death of one of Diana's aides' sons, Martin, as he looked into Medusa's eyes. Enraged, Diana beat Medusa to near death. Medusa called out to Ares, and he ended the fight, teleporting Medusa to safety in preparation for her challenge against Wonder Woman.[12]

While preparing for the challenge, Medusa's sisters and Circe planned to broadcast Medusa's face on camera, which would end up transforming any viewers into stone. At Yankee Stadium, Wonder Woman confronted Medusa. After a lengthy battle, Wonder Woman blinded herself with the venom of Medusa's snakes, and continued to battle the gorgon blind. One swift motion of her ax ended Medusa's life, decapitating her.[13] Minutes later, Pegasus was born from Medusa's blood. Ares grabbed Medusa's head and promised to return it to Athena.[14]

Wonder Woman later used Medusa's head to kill the hundred-armed Briareos, who had been serving as Zeus's champion.[15]

When Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, and the minotaur Ferdinand were sent by Athena to the Underworld to rescue Hermes, Medusa's spirit ambushed Wonder Woman. The battle was interrupted when Ares appeared and teleported Medusa away so that he could speak to the amazon.[16]

During Odyssey, The Morrigan came into ownership of Medusa's head. Two unsuspecting men working for the Morrigan were turned to stone by looking at the head. When Anann and Bellona found the statues, Anann decided to use Medusa's tears to transform the pair into Cernunnos and Minotaur.[17]

The New 52[edit]

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Medusa is first thought to be a criminal organization consisting of urban legend-themed supervillains, many of which have battled Batwoman. It is eventually revealed that Medusa is the Queen of Monsters, and that she's broken free of her imprisonment on Paradise Island. Batwoman teamed up with Wonder Woman to face off against Medusa's mythological army. They discovered from Medusa's son Pegasus that she has taken residence in Gotham City. Medusa also transformed Killer Croc into the Hydra.[18] Medusa soon after revealed her plan to summon her mother Ceto.[19]

During the final battle with Medusa, Batwoman managed to use a shard of Bloody Mary's destroyed body to force Medusa to look at her own reflection. Medusa turned into stone, and was soon after shattered by Batwoman. Ceto, who had been summoned by Medusa, changed shape from a monstrous creature to a humanoid woman, and mourned her daughter Medusa.[20]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Medusa has the ability to transform any living creature into stone if they look into her eyes. In her Post-Crisis depiction, Medusa has been seen with both a serpentine body and a humanoid body with golden wings.

Other versions[edit]

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A Crisis of Imagination[edit]

Medusa made a brief appearance alongside several other mythological foes battling Wonder Woman on Mount Olympus.[21]

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman[edit]

In the story "The Problem With Cats," from the anthology series Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, Medusa teams up with Cheetah and Circe to battle Wonder Woman after capturing Batman and Superman. It is eventually revealed to be a little girl playing with her dolls, one of which she pretends is Medusa.

Wonder Woman: Earth One[edit]

Medusa appeared as an enemy of Wonder Woman in the graphic novel Wonder Woman: Earth One. Out of jealousy, Queen Hippolyta and her fellow amazon Nubia travel to the Underworld to free Medusa and allow her to turn several humans in Man's World to stone, including Steve Trevor. Medusa then left, presumably returning to the Underworld. Later, during Diana's trial, Diana uses the purple healing ray to restore Steve Trevor and the other victims of Medusa's gaze.[22]

In other media[edit]


  • Medusa appears in the episode "Battle of the Gods" from the Challenge of the Super Friends series, voiced by Shannon Farnon. Alongside other mythological creatures, Medusa is summoned by Zeus to battle the Super Friends as a contest to see if they are worthy of Aphrodite's favor. While each of the Super Friends are given a mythological creature to contend with, Wonder Woman is given the task of finding Medusa and taking her necklace. While Wonder Woman battles Medusa's statue guardian, Medusa turns the Wonder Twins into stone. Teamed up with Gleek, Wonder Woman manages to take Medusa's necklace. As Medusa prepares to strike, she sees her reflection in Wonder Woman's bracelet and is turned to stone herself.
  • Medusa appears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "This Little Piggy," voiced by Laraine Newman. Medusa appears as a prisoner of Tartarus. After her cellmate Circe had escaped, Medusa is questioned by a blindfolded Batman and Zatanna as to her whereabouts upon arranging Themis to have Medusa brought to them by Charon. She directs them to the Amphitheatre that Circe ranted about wanting to perform at. Themis congratulates Medusa for her cooperation and reduces her sentence to 300 years. As Charon returns Medusa to her imprisonment, she has Batman and Zatanna tell Circe if they find her to return her curling irons.


Video games[edit]


  • Medusa is used in ads by MAC Cosmetics for their make-up line based on Wonder Woman. In the ads, Medusa is presented as Wonder Woman's nemesis, a fiendish serpent woman who has stolen all make-up in order to become the most beautiful creature on Earth.


  1. ^ Wonder Woman #153 (April 1965)
  2. ^ Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #52 (October 1964)
  3. ^ Wonder Woman #200 (March 2004)
  4. ^ Sins of Youth: Wonder Girls #1 (May 2000)
  5. ^ Wonder Woman #3 (April 1987)
  6. ^ Wonder Woman #92 (December 1994)
  7. ^ Wonder Woman #204 (July 2004)
  8. ^ Wonder Woman #205 (August 2004)
  9. ^ Wonder Woman #206 (September 2004)
  10. ^ Wonder Woman #207 (October 2004)
  11. ^ Wonder Woman #208 (November 2004)
  12. ^ Wonder Woman #209 (December 2004)
  13. ^ Wonder Woman #210 (January 2005)
  14. ^ Wonder Woman #211 (February 2005)
  15. ^ Wonder Woman #213 (April 2005)
  16. ^ Wonder Woman #216
  17. ^ Wonder Woman #605 (January 2011)
  18. ^ Batwoman #14 (January 2013)
  19. ^ Batwoman #16 (March 2013)
  20. ^ Batwoman #17 (April 2013)
  21. ^ Scribblenauts Unmasked: A Crisis of Imagination #5 (2014)
  22. ^ Wonder Woman: Earth One, Volume One (2016)