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 under the name "Kara Hamilton".
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.
After that incident, she was reassigned in Icon from the Tailor Apprentice Program to the Management Training Program, where she exceeded 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. This would eventually be the encouragement for him to start his own superhero career.
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.
Faith shares an apartment in Helios Towers on Talos Island with Katie Lea Powers. Following an encounter with Isea which led to Katie Lea being seriously injured, the spare room was since given to Fiona Poderes (aka Furia Powers).
At some point in 2014, Faith transferred to the SERAPH office in Steel Canyon, where she works as an office manager in a role similar to the one held by Kent Poderes.
Powers and Abilities
Galatea's 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.
In "Guardians of the Dawn GRADUATION", it is discovered that Galatea's intelligence has expanded exponentially. She has been teaching herself Inter-Speak and First-Speak. She has also been spending her time examining the One True Book of Rularuu.
Path To Incarnate
In "Furia and the Guardians" #19, it is revealed that Galatea's powers continue to evolve, and that she is now showing signs of becoming an incarnate. This was made aware to her by Quinn Tor when she experienced an overwhelming surge of power while trying to rescue a team of Kheldians in orbit over Earth. Quinn informed her that her potential to become an incarnate has been noticed by several cosmic entities, including Rularuu.
During her time as Leona Powers, Galatea was a seemingly average little girl, albeit sheltered and with superpowers. Much like Kent Powers, she was raised in isolation atop Mount Washington among other children of heroes.
When Lionel's "blood programming" kicked in, Leona was torn between the girl she was raised as and the Machiavellian monster the programming forced her to be. She became psychotic. This was alleviated when Kent donated his own DNA to counteract the programming. As the "reset" Karen, she was once again eager and optimistic.
Growing into a young woman, Karen Powers struggled to maintain the "virtuous" image of a super-powered woman in the public eye. She wasn't rebellious. She lived the straight-and-narrow life. But she did feel she continually have something to prove, especially after Kent went into semi-retirement.
In the Primal Universe, Galatea continued to follow the straight-and-narrow, even in the early years when she had no memory of who she was. She was powerful but noble. However some people noticed a slight "edge" with her on occasion.
In the months when Leona's personality would gradually "resurface" (during the "Galatea Dawning" storyline), Galatea took on a more arrogant and dangerous personality. She became very conservative, even fascistic in her attitudes. Obviously this changed during the physical fission of the two women.
Since becoming her "true" self, Galatea has found herself to be almost a new woman. She's friendly and still every bit heroic, but there's also a fear about her that has yet to be explained.
Galatea tries to be warm and friendly, even encouraging fan appreciation as witnessed by her support of the "We Heart Galatea Powers" website and other fan-run websites.
As a young woman, Karen Powers had a few romantic relationships that have yet to be explained. Most of these would be considered "puppy love" relationships. She was also the object of several obsessive personalities, which may explain why she does not want to open up too much about herself outside of her heroic appearance.
She is a close friend to Bart Wallace, and to some extent with Jason Knight, both of whom came over to the Primal Universe during the Crisis Event of 2007. She became friends with Arktic Chill, being able to see through his "horndog" façade to see someone in need of a friend. This friendship allowed her to approve of the WHGP website (which Chill runs) and even provided exclusive information for the site.
She considers family important, and she has heartily accepted the Powers family of the Primal Universe as her new adopted family. This is especially true of her feelings towards Katie Lea Powers, whom she considers to be the sister she never had. She also wants to feel the same about her "new" adopted family member, Furia Powers, who is the Praetorian counterpart to Faith Powers.
The two exceptions to this strong feeling of family are for her "twin" Leona, and for Kent Powers. She still holds a resentment of Kent for what he did to her, even if it was to save her life, and still has a hard time accepting that he is more of a genetic father to her than a cousin.
Since 2014, Galatea has been in a very physical relationship with John Cole, the illegitimate son of Paragon City's iconic hero Statesman. It is uncertain if this intimate relationship is out of love or lust.
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 hinted that Galatea was 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.
Vanguard Space Suit
One of Serge's projects was to come up with a space suit for Galatea. Based on Vanguard's armor, this outfit would protect Galatea from the rigors of space, even though she has said before that she has operated in space in her birth universe. This outfit first appeared in "Furia and the Guardians" #19.
The original outfit came with a visor, which, along with other sensors, could allow others to see what she is seeing. However, since the suit was designed before she developed laser-vision, the visor was removed for fear that using it would destroy the visor.
During the events of "Icarus", Galatea's suit was burned up in re-entry. However, Serge has promised to design an even "better" space suit for Galatea.
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.
Connection to Galatea Future
It should be noted that although the alternate-future version of Galatea would become Galatea Future, the common history between these two women ended in "Time and Changes". The events that followed "Time and Changes" as depicted in "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" and in "The Guardian Powers" are unique to Galatea Powers and are not shared by her alternate-future counterpart currently seen in "Future's Guardian".