Leona Powers is character in the "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" series. She was first a part of the history of Karen Powers that was kept a secret by Icon Powers, but then through circumstances played out in "Galatea Dawning" storyline, she resumed control of her body and reasserted herself as an individual.
Leona Powers 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 for her, serving essentially 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.
Breakdown and Transformation
At age thirteen, it was believed Leona was almost ready to be "publicly introduced" when she suddenly became explosively violent. During one covert mission, she attacked people aggressively, shattering bones and even incinerating one suspected criminal with laser vision, a power that she was not expected to possess at the time. She began to experience bouts of megalomania and started reciting passages from her father's manifesto. She then collapsed before Kent was forced to stop her.
After placing Leona in a stasis chamber, Kent paid her father 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 was further genetically encoded with passages and ideas from Lionel's anarchistic manuscripts. At the right time, the DNA-encoded messages would activate, transforming Leona into a super-powered evangelist and agent of his world-view. 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 almost as 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 both her memories and her perspectives. Kent quickly volunteered himself, knowing that it would also gradually weaken him.
The process submerged Leona's DNA and her personality completely, changing her physically and mentally. The "new" girl that resulted from this was then named Karen Powers. Kent and Photonis then explained to others that "Leona" was simply part of her father's brainwashing and that "Karen" was the "core personality". It was a lie, but it allowed the other heroes to give her a second chance.
(See also Galatea Powers)
With everything that she was submerged in a series of genetic treatments, "Leona" essentially existed only as an occasional nightmare in "Karen's" life.
(See also "Galatea Dawning")
When the XHT-S7 universe was destroyed by Alor in 2007, Karen Powers was thrown into the Primal Universe, badly wounded and without any memory of her previous life. She was given the name "Galatea Powers" and an intermim civilian identity. During this time, she confessed to her Vanguard councilor that she was experiencing nightmares of Leona. The councilor suggested dream therapy to help her "control" her dreams, although they did not end the nightmares completely.
Eventually she reunited with her cousin, who also survived the destruction of their home universe. Under her insistence, he helped her create a tech-based bodysuit similar to his own. Although it was designed only for "covert" missions, she found herself using the suit more frequently, and she became more and more aggressive with it. There were also several instances where she reportedly did not remember taking action in the covert suit, much to the concern of others.
And even after she vowed to not use it, there were several reported incidents of her appearing in the suit at stores that sell genetic enhancements in the early morning.
Following her mysterious return from Ouroboros (as mentioned in the "Time and Changes" storyline), Galatea's personality and even her hair color eventually began to gradually change more and more to resemble Leona. This caused some heroes close to her to notice, including MidKnight X, who was made aware of the initial changes in their home universe through his predecessor's journals.
After a volatile confrontation with the designer Lauren, Galatea quit her civilian position and revealed herself through the tech-based outfit to be a registered superhero. Later that night, an explosion destroyed her civilian apartment and her civilian guise of "Kara Hamilton" was declared dead.
The next day, a figure wearing that same tech-based suit began destroying billboards praising Galatea Powers. When PNN reporter Matt Myers covered the vandalism on-air, this figure arrived for an impromptu interview, and then revealed herself to be Leona Powers, reborn in the Primal Universe.
It would later be revealed that wearing the tech-based outfit, patterend after her cousin's own outfit, was gradually undoing the genetic changes made by Photonis, bringing Leona's original base DNA to the surface. With Leona's own personality quietly becoming self-aware and asserting herself seprate from "Karen's", she began to create a formula that would supposedly purge the added genetic information. Instead, it split Galatea into two separate beings: the original "baseline" form (Leona), and a second form ("Karen"). Leona put on the tech-based suit, which allowed her to heal quickly, leaving her newly-created "sister" to later be rescued by Jimmy Hellfighter.
Because of these events, Leona's status using the HeroID for "Galatea Powers" was changed to Vigilante. She was shut out from all Guardian access, and, she deduced, from all other hero services.
After an abbrasive confrontation with NovaPrima, Leona offered her services to Shadowborn in exchange for their resources. She informed Ms. Maple that she knew all about the Rocinante Group's true purpose and her abilities would be seen as an asset with the organization.
With help from Dr. Len Zarus, she was able to purge herself of all remaining additional DNA (including a breast reduction, because she considered Galatea's physical features repulsive) and was given a modified outfit based on her original design from when she was a teenager.
After luring out a recovering Icon Powers and confronting him for his past actions, she was taunted to give chase, only to discover she did not have as many abilities as before. During a confrontation with members of the European supergroup Dawn Patrol and with Guardian ally ExGemini, she was assaulted mercilessly into the ruins of Boomtown, where she discovered a revitalized Galatea Powers. The two battled for hours before being physically overwhelmed and defeated.
A Shadowborn medical teleport transported her to the underground lab run by Zarus, where she again remains in stasis until the time when she can be made "more mentally stable".
Powers and Abilities
Leona's primary ability is Invulnerability. She can withstand a lot of physical damage.
Her secondary ability is Super Strength. She is immensely strong.
She also possesses the power of flight, as well as hyper-senses.
Although she initially possessed laser vision at a young age, this ability was neutralized when she was reduced to a younger age. It was briefly restored when she "returned", but after restoring her "base DNA", she discovered that this ability was again removed.
When she initially "returned", she was wearing the tech-based "covert" bodysuit work by Galatea Powers, but eventually when she "undid" the changes made to her, she began to wear an outfit that more closely resembled one she wore from her home universe. There is no word if this is the same tech-based outfit modified or if her new outfit replaced the old one.
Leona also has her father's manifesto encoded in her blood on a genetic level. In times of extreme stress, she will begin to recite quotes from her father's manifesto, sometimes even in his voice. Because of this, she is mentally unstable.
Leona also possesses hyper-intelligence from her "creator".
Leona suffers from severe psychological problems, mostly due to the mental conditioning imposed on her from "creation". She essentially has all of the biases and distortions of her "father" (Lionel) combined with some of her own, including a deeply-rooted hatred of everything she has endured so far.
Leona despises female sexuality. She despises how some women dress provocatively. She has a specific hatred of busty women, which goes back to the fact that "Karen" was remade in the image of her aunt, who was overly busty. Some would say that Leona is a misogynist, even though she is, obviously, a woman. This misogynistic tendency is behind her need for a breast reduction, as well as her tendency to completely cover up every part of her body except for her face.
She suffers from an inferiority complex. She considers herself to be the "ultimate" in enhanced human beings, since she possesses all of the hyper-physical powers of Jonathan Powers and the hyper-intelligence of Lionel Powers. She arrogantly believes that she is superior in every way to even the smartest man on the planet, as well as superior to her "twin".
Leona shares her "father's" narcicism as well as his sociopathic tendencies. She sees people as merely disposable means to her ends.