From CoH Comic Index
Galatea Powers is a character in the "Guardians of the Dawn" comic series and a member of the supergroup by the same name. Her first apppearance was in the text-only "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" Issue #0 (2009) and was featured in Issue #1 (2009).
She is one of a small group of heroes who came from another universe referred to as XHT-S7. In that world, many people received their powers from radioactive rocks that came to earth during a meteor shower in 1938.
(See also Leona Powers)
Born originally as Leona Powers, she was the daughter of Lionel Powers, one of the first two people to have superhuman abilities from the 1938 meteor shower. She is also the niece of John Powers, otherwise known as the superhero "Steelman". Much of her history was kept a secret, partially because her father's status as an international terrorist mastermind.
Her first "known" appearance was in 1984, when John Powers and his son Kent (otherwise known as Icon Powers) confronted her father one final time. Lionel threatened to engage a subatomic supercollider to create enough unconstrained antimatter that would automatically destroy the world. While Kent stopped the supercollider from activating, a second deathtrap claimed the life of John Powers. In the aftermath of that tragedy, Kent discovered a survival pod containing the four-year old Leona. He petitioned for and was granted legal guardianship over her, serving as her foster father.
Her powers and abilities began to manifest themselves early, at a rate that was very alarming to Kent and the other heroes that helped to train her.
At age thirteen, it was believed she was almost ready to be "publicly introduced" when she suddenly became explosively violent. She began to experience bouts of megalomania and reciting passages from her birth-father's manifesto. She then collapsed before Kent was forced to stop her.
After placing Leona in a stasis chamber, Kent paid Lionel a visit in prison. Lionel explained that Leona was the product of a genetic experiment, his greatest invention ever. She was cloned from the genetic material of Kent's parents mixed in with Lionel's own DNA, giving her all of Kent's super-powers plus Lionel's super-intelligence, and then genetically encoded with passages and ideas from Lionel's anarchistic manuscripts. He said it was his final gift to a world that chose his brother over him.
Faced with the prospect of having to possibly kill the girl he has raised like a daughter, Kent turned to Photonis, who was able to use his advanced alien technology to override Lionel's "gene programming", but it would require a series of genetic samples from a blood relative, and it would alter her memories and perspectives. Kent quickly volunteered himself, knowing that it would also gradually weaken him.
After the first treatment, "Leona" was transformed into Karen Powers. Her long red hair was replaced with blond hair similar to John Powers. Her perspectives changed as well as her abilities. Her power levels diminished and she no longer possessed super-intelligence. This allowed Kent and the other heroes to gradually train her in her abilities, and more importantly on the right and wrong applications of her abilities.
By the time she was eighteen, she was "officially" introduced to the public as Icon's cousin. Since knowledge of the abilities of the Powers Family had been public since the 1950's, there was no need to create a secret identity. She became an active member of the supergroup known as the League of Champions alongside other members such as MidKnight II, Photonis, and The Runner.
Knowledge of Karen's father was not kept a secret, but it was quickly downplayed, and instead the focus was on her and how she exemplified the positive traditions of the Powers family. The media quickly played up on her sweet and sometimes naive nature, although some in the hero community considered her to be a poor substitute to her "cousin".
During this time, she continued to receive genetic "tweaking" from Photonis and Icon, with some side effects causing her to have her history changed several times, including an incident where she believed she was part of a team that did not exist. Knowledge of these prolonged "treatments" was limited only to Photonis and Icon, although it was later suspected by certain other members that this was going on.
Karent would still occasionally have nightmares of "Leona", but those would be explained as "echos" of her birth-father's manipulations.
Crisis Event 2007
(See also Crisis Event of 2007)
In 2007, Karen Powers was one of four heroes at the brink of a Crisis Event in which the boundaries of universe itself were ruptured by a cosmic being. During that time, three of the four surviving heroes were thrown into the Paragon Universe.
Karen arrived in Atlas Park through the D.A.T.A. Portal in City Hall. She was taken to the Chiron Medical Center where she quickly recovered, but suffered from amnesia from the change. She was dubbed "Galatea" because of her flawless physical form. With help from the Vanguard she was given a new identity of Galatea Powers as well as a civilian identity of Kara Hamilton. She became a member of the Guardians of the Dawn soon afterward.
At the start of the Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight series, a young girl named Lyon Powers arrived in Paragon City looking for Galatea Powers. Galatea eventually learned that this universe also has a super-powered family known as the Powers Family based in Great Britain. After encountering Lyon Powers, she and her cousin were considered adopted members of this world's hero dynasty.
In her home universe, Karen Powers had no secret identity. Therefore living a different life was a new experience for her. Although she was very intelligent and skilled with computers, Vanguard's career assessment tests indicated she would do better working with the Icon tailor store designing outfits for other heroes, and thus set her up with a job through them.
She is assigned to work under the guidance of Serge in the Steel Canyon store, however this proves to be challenging at times since her ideas for outfits came from memories of her experiences in XHT-S7. After spending over six months under his guidance, Serge has her transferred to the Independence Port store to work under Lauren. On her first day there, she is accosted by the Tsoo and has to work hard to conceal her identity. This results in her being "arrested" by the Crey Private Police Department. This, however, turns out to be a blackmail ploy by the private paramilitary division of Crey and she manages to escape with help of her tech-powered covert suit. Although it brings the blackmail scheme to an end, it also creates some suspicion among her superiors in the Guardians.
She has since been reassigned in Icon from the Tailor Apprentice Program to the Management Training Program, where she is exceeding expectations.
During this time, a fellow store associate accidentally discovered her secret identity. Martin Keys came across Kara's civilian clothes while taking shelter during a Rikti incursion. After later confronting her on it, he agreed to help her with her dual identity.
Disappearance and Transformation
(See "Time and Changes")
Following a mission to the Rogue Isles, Galatea was teleported against her will to Ouroboros. This was supposedly done at the best of the Menders of Ouroboros and by the other-worldly force known as Libra to prevent her from interfering with the recruitment of fellow Guardian Daybright.
In an alternate future that would have resulted in her gradual transformation into the Omega Incarnate referred to as "Galatea Future", she was allowed to return to the 21st Century in the year 2013, having spent three "normal" years in Ouroboros. However that future was removed from mainstream development when the Pillar changed the time when Galatea would return, sending her back to Paragon City at the start of 2011.
But when she did return, people discovered that her once-blond hair was slowly turning red.
(See "Galatea Dawning")
Upon her return from Ouroboros, Galatea began to experience a series of changes, including a change in her hair color, her personality, and her appearance. She began to shun outfits that reflected her curves, as well as ignore the calls of help from citizens, even when there are no other heroes in the area.
Eventually these changes affected her personal life, causing her to have a volatile confrontation with Lauren at Icon and quitting her job, followed by her openly transforming into her tech-based suit to reveal that "Kara Hamilton" is actually a superhero.
That night her apartment explodes under mysterious circumstances. The next day "Kara Hamilton" is declared dead.
As would be later revealed, the explosion was caused by genetic fission, separating Leona Powers from almost everything that was Galatea/Karen Powers and creating two separate women. Leona manages to put on the tech-based suit, which hastens the healing process. Karen/Galatea, on the other hand, was rescued by Jimmy Hellfighter and placed in a bio-stasis chamber.
With help from the Dawn Patrol and the Guardians, Karen/Galatea is given a new lease on life with help from blood originally donated from the late Faith Powers, Lyon's older sister, whom it turned out was a genetic match. Dr. "Dev" Ellison oversaw the reconstruction of Galatea's DNA, with her memories restored thanks to Sister Psyche and Ryder Lightning. No longer a collage of jumbled memories and perspectives, she returned to Paragon City with a new outfit and a sense of confidence and self-assurance that she had never experienced before.
Sadly, though, her identity as "Kara Hamilton" had to remain dead.
To help facilitate her "reborn life" in Paragon City, Vanguard once again created a new civilian identity for Galatea, who now considers "Karen Powers" to be as officially "dead" as "Kara Hamilton" was.
Vanguard provided Galatea with a complete background for "Faith Karl", based on Faith Powers. Galatea's (now patented) dye-weave hair-net, which she invented when her hair first started to turn red, was modified to change her hair color settings from its original blond to dark plum. A different change of clothes and glasses completed the look.
According to her new history, Faith Karl is a graduate of New Hampshire University with a degree in business administration, and has ten years experience providing administrative services for small towns in New Hampshire and Vermont before being hired by the City Representative as an assistant for the Federal Bureau for Super-powered Affairs.
Powers and Abilities
Her primary ability is Invulnerability. She can withstand a lot of physical damage.
Her secondary ability is Super Strength. She is immensely strong.
Her ancillary power is Energy Mastery. This allows her to further control the energy stored inside her body. This includes being able to focus the energy into laser-like beams of pure solar energy. However, prolonged used of this ability can drain her stamina.
She also possesses the power of flight, hyper-speed, and she has hyper-enhanced senses.
In her civilian guise of Kara Hamilton, she was an employee of the superhero tailor franchise called Icon. Although she has shown some skill as a designer, she was moved to their management training program. Following the events in "Galatea Dawning", her civilian guise is declared dead. However she still uses that talent to develop her own outfits.
Galatea's outfits have changed over the years, some out of necessity. Others have specific functions.
In addition to Galatea's normal outfit, she also had a tech-powered outfit which she used on occasion for clandestine activities. This has caused some concern for Guardian leader Captain Paragonna as it may indicate that Galatea is following more of her father's path than that of her uncle and cousin.
The suit was based on the tech-powered suit worn by Icon Powers, although this suit is specifically designed to give the wearer the illusion of having tech-origin abilities, which further disguises Galatea's identity. It also possessed several scanning and sensor devices which she could control herself or could be assisted through external support by a means known only to herself and her cousin. Much like her cousin's outfit, the suit also augmented her abilities on a genetic level, enhancing her ability to heal from any possible injuries and also to maximize her strength and speed.
The suit played an important role in the investigation of the accusations of treason that were foisted on Midnight Arachnia during the two-part "Limelight" story, although she later had to explain to Midnight Arachnia the reason why she developed the suit in the first place.
In Issue #14, the data surrounding the creation of the suit was accessed by Simon Barrister, who immediately sent it to Shadowborn for reverse-engineering. The result was a similar suit being used to discredit her. She initially vowed to discontinue using the tech-suit, but she has since been seen using the suit to carry on unknown transactions in the early hours of the day.
In Issue #24, Leona Powers gives the suit to the Rocinante Group in exchange for their assistance in her own plans. It was later revealed that the suit was instrumental in the unraveling of the genetic changes made by Photonis and Icon Powers, bringing out Leona's personality, creating not only a dual personality, but also allowed her to physically split herself from Galatea, thus creating a "twin sister". By putting on the suit again, Leona was able to recover and heal faster than her newly-created "sister". There is no word as to whether or not the suit still exists, or if the suit last worn by Leona is in fact a modified version of it.
Vanguard Battle Armor
Thanks to her work with Vanguard, Galatea was able to develop a special suit of battle armor which she uses for special situations, including dealing with Rikti. The suit incorporates mystical protection, taking advantage of the Rikti's vulnerability to magic. This mystical protection also gives Galatea some protection from magic attacks, which is why she will occasionally wear it to deal with mystical enemies.
Reference In Media
Although she bears a striking resemblance to certain heroes in other publications, Galatea Powers is a Pastiche of several characters in many publications, not specific to any one person or publication.