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Hypnota the Great

Contributed by Ronald Byrd

A stage magician who conceals her gender via masculine costume and false facial hair, Hypnota (real name unknown) was accidentally shot in the head during the rehearsal of one of her act’s illusions. Experimental surgery saved her life, but it also released a “blue electric ray of dominance” from her “mid-brain,” granting her the ability to mesmerize others with a glance. Hypnota uses this new talent both in her stage act and in crime, including the selling of her mesmerized victims to slave merchants from the planet Saturn. When Saturn’s slave trade in Earthlings is banned as part of a peace treaty with Earth, Hypnota, hoping to revitalize her source of revenue, steals America’s contingency defense plans against the ringed world in order to foment hostility and break the treaty. Her warmongering efforts are thwarted by the heroic Wonder Woman with the aid of Hypnota’s twin sister Serva, who had been her magician’s assistant as well as an unwilling aide in her crimes. Hypnota, like many of Wonder Woman’s enemies, is sentenced to prison on the Amazon penal colony Transformation Island, but in 1948 she and seven other female super-villains escape and pool their talents as Villainy, Incorporated. Led by the Saturnian slaver Eviless, the evil eight are again defeated by Wonder Woman. Whether or not Hypnota’s masculine garb, which concealed her true gender throughout most of her first appearance and which she retained in her second appearance, is to be taken as anything more than a stage affectation is unclear.

As an enemy of Wonder Woman during World War II, Hypnota originally, one would assume, existed on Earth-2; following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, history was altered so that Wonder Woman’s golden age adventures never took place, leaving her enemies of that era primarily in oblivion. However, continuity reconsiderations have recently determined that Wonder Woman’s mother, Hippolyte, was active as Wonder Woman during World War II. To date, the only original golden age rogue re-established into current continuity has been Dr. Poison.

Hypnota was able to project “blue hypnotic rays” from her eyes and hands. Anyone who fell under the influence of these rays became slaves to her every command. She was also skilled in the use of various stage tricks.

Hypnota first appeared in Wonder Woman #11 (1944) and is last seen in Wonder Woman #28.

Created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G Peters. Art by Peters from the cover of Wonder Woman #11 and the Villainy Incorporated story in Wonder Woman #28.

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