Midnight Arachnia is a registered hero in Paragon City. She is a founding member and leader of the Guardians of the Dawn supergroup. She made her first appearance in the "Guardians of the Dawn Spotlight" Issue #7 (2010).
According to Midnight Arachnia, she was born Crystal Burke. Her parents were members of Arachnos who used her in the unethical experiment to create a magic-based Widow to eventually replace Ghost Widow. Ghost Widow saw this as a threat and had her parents killed. Crystal survived, though, and was raised by Ruth Burke, the mother of Rogue Isles mercenary Matthew Burke.
When Crystal's magic-based powers began to manifest themsleves as a teenager, the Fateweavers then offered her a position with Arachnos to work with Ghost Widow. This was a strategic placement as they were preparing her to one day destroy Ghost Widow and fulfill the prophecy. They trained her in her abilities as well as tested her repeatedly by sending assasins to try to kill her.
During her early teen years, she worked with a fellow recruit named John Cole, who had the honor of becoming the first male Widow for Arachnos. The two of them developed an early relationship but did not get above occasional kissing due to the intensity of their respective training programs. Their closeness, however, did form a bond that lasts even to this day.
According to the Fateweaver prophecy as listed in the Mu Codex, Crystal Burke is believed to be the child that would eventually destroy Ghost Widow.
The prophecy is listed as follows:
|The Child of Prophecy|
|Child of Crystal|
|Child of night|
|Child of loss|
|Child of light|
|Child of mercy|
|Child of right|
|The ghosts will be avenged|
|when the child takes flight.|
The Fateweavers approached Crystal when her mystical powers began to manifest themselves as a young teenager. They told her that it was her destiny to do great things with Arachnos and they promised to train her in her abilities. Over the years, the Fateweavers secretly hired mercenaries to try to kill her as a way to measure her powers. They eventually placed her under the watch of Ghost Widow, preparing for the time when the prophecy would be carried out.
What the Fateweavers did not know was that Crystal's adopted mother had contact Legacy Chain for help. Legacy Chain then asked Crystal to work for them instead of Arachnos so they could investigate the ulterior goal of the Fateweavers.
When the ultimate goal of the Fateweavers was spelled out in the Mu Codex, Legacy Chain knew they had to get Crystal away from the Rogue Isles as soon as possible.
When she was sixteen, she was brought to Paragon City by Legacy Chain under protection of political amnesty. With help of the Vanguard, she was given a new name of Jessica Danvers. After turning eighteen, she requested and became a naturalized American Citizen.
Jessica eventually realized that she could not let her mystical powers stay dormant for very long, especially surrounded by so many other magic-powered beings. She became a registered hero under the name Midnight Arachnia, in homage to her birth-parents.
Unlike some of the other members of the group, Jessica did not take up a civilian job to bolster her hero idendity, preferring instead to stay around Talos Island. She often converses with the giant statue of Talos, believing in the legend that his spirit continues to watch over the area.
(See also "Limelight")
As part of Shadowborn's plan to discredit and coral the Guardians, Midight Arachnia's past as an Arachnos citizen was revealed by controvercial PNN talk show host Garry Becker, including footage of her in an Arachnos outfit inflicting pain with her powers and her blackwand. After being confronted by Deputy District attorney Edward "The Trust" Vance and threatened with treason, she managed to escape thanks to a contingency plan initiated by MidKnight X. She fled to the Rogue Isles to meet with her adopted brother and to clear her name.
Returning to her birthname of Crystal Burke, she discovered that the reason why she had no memory of her time with Arachnos was that they were removed from her by the Midnight Squad as a way to alter her spellwebs and to prevent her from resorting to her training with Arachnos. They did not realize that by doing so, they had fulfilled one of the key tenants of the prophecy.
With the help of her teammates (who were working covertly for the Midnight Squad since their own group was suspended) she was brought back to Paragon City in time for her name to be cleared.
Following the events described in the "Guardians of the Dawn AFTERMATH" special, Midnight Arachnia returned to Mercy Island when her adopted brother was reported missing along with John Cole.
It was later revealed that Midnight Arachnia was recruited by the cosmic entity known as Libra to disrupt the reign of Emperor Cole in the Praetorian Universe. While initially recruited along with John Cole, the death of Statesman at the hands of Darrin Wade changed Libra's plans, sending Midnight Arachnia through to Praetoria on her own.
She worked with the Resistance under the guise of "Lady Midnight", a mysterious advisor to Calvin Scott. Often she stayed underground, but on occasion she would venture to Praetoria for secret missions.
Lured into a trap by the Praetorian version of her adopted brother, she was rescued by Icon Powers, ExGemini, and Furia Powers. Afterward, she chose to remain in Praetoria along with ExGemini to complete her mission.
The Prophecy Interpreted
It is believed that the key qualifiers of the prophecy as listed in the Mu Codex have now been fulfilled.
- Child of Crystal - Her original name is Crystal Burke
- Child of night - Her birth parents were member of Arachnos working on a secret project
- Child of loss - The death of her birth parents
- Child of light - Working undercover for Legacy Chain
- Child of mercy - Her removal from the Rogue Isles
- Child of right - The removal of her Arachnos memories by the Midnight Squad, which helped in her eventual transition into being a superhero.
- The ghosts will be avenged - The avenging of her birth parents, seen as the key to provoking the confrontation with Ghost Widow.
- when the child takes flight. - Originally seen as the time when Crystal would learn to fly, but later interpreted to mean her return to the Rogue Isles, presumably under the "flight" from justice.
Equally controvercial is the expected outcome of the prophetic battle between Midnight Arachnia and Ghost Widow in which Ghost Widow is finally defeated. According to Ghost Widow herself, she is linked to the whole of Arachnos. Since she is already dead, she cannot be killed. However if she is destroyed then it is believed that the whole of Arachnos would be destroyed as well. Since Arachnos is now an intrigal part of the Rogue Isles, it is speculated that the destruction of Ghost Widow would then destroy the Rogue Isles and everyone in it. It was for this reason that Legacy Chain acted to get Crystal Burke sent to Paragon City in the first place.
Powers and Abilities
Midnight Arachnia's primary ability is Dark Melee. Her use of magic allows her to be hit fast and hard.
Her secondary ability is Dark Armor, which includes shields and being able to drain an opponent of their energies.
Her magic takes the form of what she calls her spellwebs. This allows her to not only augment her strength and protect her from damage, but it also gives her the ability to fly as well as to change between her costume and her normal civilian clothes. It also allows her to summon a special Blackwand which allows her to inflict damage from a distance.
During her time in the Rogue Isles, it was discovered that her spellwebs were darker in color, and in some instances even stronger. She did not know if this was because of the general location or if it was because of her mood. The spellwebs returned to thier normal color and levels once she returned to Paragon City.