5704 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Nekra (Marvel Comics)

Nekra

(Nekra Sinclair)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Marvel Comics’ Nekra Sinclair first popped up in 1973, opposite to “jungle queen” character Shanna the She-Devil. She then kept returning into stories, albeit often minor ones.

Nekra is one of those numerous super-hero comics characters who seem tacky and shallow to the superficial reader, but reveal a wealth of hooks and material once researched. She’s got a lot of backstory, varied capabilities, interesting characterisation, etc. and can carry a bunch of stories.


Background

  • Real Name: Nekra Sinclair
  • Former Aliases: Adrienne Hatros, Priestess of Darkness, High Priestess of the Cult of Hatred
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Buck Sinclair (father, deceased), Gemma Sinclair (mother, deceased), former common-law wife of Jerome Beechman (aka the Mandrill), Death Reaper (real name unknown, alleged daughter)
  • Group Affiliation: One-time agent of Hellstorm, member of the Utopia mutant community. Former member of the two versions of the Lethal Legion, of Black Spectre, of the cult of Kâli. Former partner of the Mandrill. Apparent stakeholder in an unrevealed narcotics syndicate. Frequent partner of the Grim Reaper (Williams).
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile. Formerly Nigeria, the Black Spectre flagship, the sewers under New York City, the Hatros clinic in Los Angeles, the Hatros clinic in Shriver Cove, the Vault, a hell dimension and now Utopia.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 140 lbs.
  • Eyes: Black over a green cornea Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Nekra’s most distinctive ability is that she can channel the power of her hatred into superhuman strength and durability. When angry enough she can :

  • lift a car (or even a truck if she’s an exceptionally intense emotional state)
  • withstand the impact of a .30-06 bullet at close range with no more than a bruise
  • see knives shatter on her skin

She is very practised at summoning her anger and experiencing violent feelings of hate. This allows her to reach the levels listed in her game stats block whenever she wishes to. Special circumstances producing unusually strong feelings of hatred can make her even more powerful (in DC Heroes terms, Power Reserve).

Upon meeting her in combat, Shanna the She-Devil described Nekra as “a cross between Bela Lugosi  and a Sherman tank”. The chemicals released into her blood when she’s boosted have been called “neo-adrenaline”, though that’s not an actual medical or biochemical nomenclature.

Black Talon and Nekra conduct a magical ritual

Even with practice, Nekra cannot remain in an all-out state of hatin’ forever. Her superhuman strength and durability will likely start fading after 30 minutes or so, and disappear after an hour. Furthermore, remaining in such a hateful state for that long is emotionally and physically draining.

Durability

A bit like Luke Cage, it’s her skin and outer muscles that can become very hard – not her inner physiology. Thus, for instance, Nekra can be defeated by being choked into unconsciousness like any human. Or at least any human with her high level of physical conditioning.

Moreover, she can withstand deadly extremes of heat and cold. When galvanising Mandrill’s troops she would often yell her rants whilst walking barefooted within a blazing fire. Nekra also enjoys a natural anti-ageing factor. I would say a factor of 10 after she hit 20, or something close to that.

Speed

Nekra is a superior hand-to-hand fighter, though in practice it is hard to assess how much of her speed and strength comes from her superhuman abilities and how much is training. She’s also very agile (in DC Heroes terms, Acrobatics). Early on, she thought she was the most agile woman in the world, though she’s actually rather far from such a lofty ranking.

Still, her movements are fast, fluid and graceful. She’s also an excellent dancer. She has occasionally been seen using her superhuman strength to perform impressive jumps, though she’s only be doing that regularly since the 2000s.

Other skills

Nekra Sinclair is a skilled priestess and cult leader, running things in a way that would be familiar to Thulsa Doom or Kulan Gath. She has significant raw charisma and presence, oodles of hateful fervour, is an indefatigable dancer, and can yell and rant about the superiority of hatred for quite a while.

She also developed useful skills in the fine art of brainwashing. She uses a number of heterogeneous techniques (cult-like programming, chemicals, hypnotism, sensory bombardment, etc.)

Later on, Nekra developed a clear potency as an occultist . Her training is somewhat heteroclite, and the exact extend of her abilities is unrevealed. But she’s really good with non-standard zombie animation projects.

The dead heart

Nekra doesn’t have much in the way of formal occultism training, but she has cobbled together a surprisingly powerful magical ritual from the traditions she has been exposed to.

It may be unique, since it draws from :

  • the lore of the cults of Kâli
  • experience with mystics from Nigeria and elsewhere (presumably Yoruba stuff)
  • Creole voodoo rituals learned from the Black Talon (presumably Damballah mysteries)

The later is the main influence.

This magical hodgepodge produces zombies that combine the toughness of an animated corpse with the full dexterity and mentality of the person while they were alive. Basically, the person is resurrected mind and possibly soul into their own dead body. Nekra seems to use various secondary rituals to preserve and repair the corpse.

The ritual requires months of work. The list of components includes quartz, a number of magnetised metals, and plants that only grow in deep underground caverns. Its effects are not quite amenable to being described in the game system (there is no ’resurrect people‘ Power, for starters). Especially since this is chiefly used as a plot element and the effects seem to be somewhat variable.

The subject of the Ritual is resurrected with the feeling of having simply overslept – by how much depends on how long they have been dead. They retain all or most of their capabilities. Corpses animated by Nekra are stronger and tougher than the living, but the specifics are variable.

The first time she reanimated Eric Williams, he looked and felt lifelike (though he couldn’t feel pain). Yet he was dependent on her to keep the animation spell running. Once it broke, Williams returned to death. The second version of the enchantment was engineered not to make him dependent on anyone – though Williams clearly looked like a zombie.

The animation was powered by the draining of life force rather than by a magician. In this state the Grim Reaper had to take a life every 24 hours or return to death.

Nekra and Mandrill – mutants or mutates ?

Nekra Sinclair and Jerome Beechman are technically mutates .

They were subjected to radiation accumulated by their parents, which resulted in genetic damage and super-powers. Since they were irradiated in 1944, right as they were conceived, they arguably are among the earliest mutates of the “modern age”. For instance they predate the Fantastic Four by nearly 20 years.

However, several sources consider them to be mutants. It would seem that Nekra herself identifies as a mutant. Which, scientifically speaking, is not absurd. For instance the Beast (Dr. Henry McCoy) has practically similar origins, his father having been irradiated at an atomic plant, and is quite clearly a mutant.

Whether Nekra and the Mandrill register on mutant detectors is unrevealed, but it’s quite probable. Nekra was left untouched by M-Day, but this doesn’t prove anything one way or the other.

Both were physically divergent since birth. But that also occasionally happens with mutants (though transformation after puberty is far more common).

An interesting bit is that Mr. Sinister (as “Dr. Nathan Milbury”) was working for the Manhattan Project, along with Nekra, Mandrill and Charles Xavier’s parents. He is documented to have implanted genetic material into many of the children of the Project’s scientist. The goal was for them to serve as back up bodies for his consciousness to transfer into in the case of his death.

It is thus possible that Nekra and Mandrill are *at once* mutates, mutants and artificial mutants.


History

Nekra was born in 1945 in New Mexico — presumably in, or near, Los Alamos or Alamogordo.

Her mother, Gemma Sinclair, was a cleaning lady. Mrs. Sinclair was exposed to a massive amount of radiation when an early nuclear pile accidentally went critical. She apparently did not suffer from any ill effects. Given the poor understanding of radiation back then, this didn’t attract much attention.

However, some months later, her daughter was born a mutate. The baby had chalk-white skin, strange eyes, straight inky black hair and vampire-like fangs. Nekra Sinclair’s childhood and adolescence were a gauntlet of harassment and cruelty. Furthermore, she was a Black girl with a White-looking complexion well before the end of racial segregation in the US.

Jerome

Another person had been present during the atomic pile accident – a White engineer, Mr. Beechman. The Beechmans’s baby, born roughly at the same time as Nekra Sinclair, was also a mutate with an unusual appearance. He had a dark brown skin with tufts of fur-like hair. His physique would soon become markedly ape-like, complete with facial features similar to those of mandrills.

Experiencing a childhood not unlike Sinclair’s, Jerome Beechman was eventually left to die in the desert by his father.

Sinclair found Beechman in the desert after running away from her home. They became friends ; both were about ten at that point. The runaways wandered the Southern US, surviving through stealth and theft. They avoided human contact as much as possible. They actively educated themselves by listening to lessons from outside schools and by stealing books.

Empowered

When they were 16, the odd-looking duo was finally spotted outside outside a high school. An armed mob surrounded them. Overwhelmed by hatred toward their persecutors, Nekra savagely lashed out, discovering that sufficient feelings of hate made her superhumanly strong and invulnerable.

Shortly after this incident, Mandrill discovered his pheromonal abilities. With the power at their disposal, the pair decided to strike back at a world that feared and hated them.

Mandrill and Nekra came up with an idea of building a terrorist movement out of disenfranchised women mind-controlled by the Mandrill. They would then exacerbate ethnic hatreds among society until the chaos would allow them to step into power. The duo decided to start their movement in Western Africa. Perhaps they reasoned that governments were easier to topple in many countries of that area.

Geographical note

Though the Shanna the She-Devil adventures are always said to occur in Dahomey (which would soon become Benin), I’ve long assumed that they in fact took place over the border in Western Nigeria, mostly for linguistic reasons. Nekra is thus listed as having operated there rather than in Dahomey.

Thus, they started their “religion of hatred” in Nigeria, with the goal of collapsing the governments of “3 African countries” (I would assume Dahomey (soon to become Benin), Nigeria and Cameroon). Nekra was the great priestess of the cult-like organisation, preaching the power of hatred.

They assembled a fanatical militia made up of local women. They then started approaching local figures to persuade them, through violence if necessary, to join their faction.

One of the notables they approached was Shanna O’Hara, best known as Shanna the She-Devil. O’Hara turned against them, and overcame the inexperienced Mandrill and Nekra. Still, they did quite a bit of damage. Though S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to arrest Mandrill, Nekra escaped after killing a close ally of Shanna, Patrick McShane.

Sinclair also took Shanna’s father hostage, and fled to Capetown with him. After she forced him to will his shares of mining companies to an alias of the Mandrill, she killed her captive.

Building Black Spectre

Nekra apparently retained control of some of the Nigerian cultists, though they were no longer under the Mandrill’s pheromonal control. She even had the ominous giant mandrill statue that was in her Nigerian temple moved or rebuilt.

She further managed to hire superhuman muscle to bust Mandrill free of the S.H.I.E.L.D. gaols – namely the Silver Samurai, in his first documented mercenary mission.

Nekra chanting about hate

Mandrill and Nekra, with the Samurai on retainer, came back the US. The game plan was to build up a power base and try to take over the country. The terrorist organisation they founded, based to a small extent on their Nigerian one, was called Black Spectre. It was mostly made up of African-American women mesmerised by the Mandrill and indoctrinated by Nekra.

Apparently, part of their financing was derived from the South African diamond mines formerly owned by Shanna O’Hara’s dad.

Unleashing Black Spectre

Black Spectre then launched a terrorist campaign in the US. Howbeit Mandrill’s and Nekra’s plans were still naïve. Some of the weird highlights of this campaign included :

  • topping the Washington monument with replica Nazi regalia
  • adding a laser-sculpted head of Hitler to Mount Rushmore
  • triggering race riots on Liberty Island
  • drugging avant-garde theatre actors so they would hurt and kill each other during the premiere
  • stealing money-printing plates from the government
  • showering New York City streets with stolen cash to create chaos and near-riots

Despite the strangeness of it all, Black Spectre was leaving corpses behind and causing unrest throughout the nation. They also apparently started a gang war in New York. District Attorney “Foggy” Nelson investigated this, but was nearly killed by a sniper for his interference.

Nekra and the Mandrill also managed to ambush the Black Widow and turn her into a Black Spectre agent. Yet, the Widow was not as useful as an agent as she could have been. Her constant attempts at resisting the Mandrill’s influence made her sluggish and muddled, but she did tell them that Matt Murdock was Daredevil.

Daredevil and the Thing briefly managed to board the Black Spectre flagship. They were repulsed and almost killed.

Mandrill and several Black Spectre agents later ambushed Daredevil in Matt Murdock’s flat. They failed to kill him. They succeeded in their next operation – to destroy the towers atop the Empire State Building (then a key telecoms hub) and send them crashing in the street below.

Black Spectre’s endgame

Black Spectre captured Shanna the She-Devil, who had come to New York to pursue the assassins of her father. Daredevil managed to board their flagship again, only to be captured. Thankfully, the Black Widow broke the Mandrill’s mesmerism at last and freed Daredevil and Shanna.

At this point, the Mandrill and Nekra launched the last part of their plan. They threatened to blow New York City up with an atomic bomb, and invaded the White House. The A-bomb bluff worked, and the lawn of the evacuated White House was soon occupied by the giant mandrill statue and Black Spectre warriors. These shed their protective gear to operate in their pseudo-African ceremonial clothing.

Daredevil, the Black Widow and Shanna engaged Nekra and the Mandrill in combat in the Oval Office. The Mandrill was seemingly killed, but immediately escaped. Nekra was defeated when the Black Widow broke her concentration with an explosion. This left Nekra deprived of her hatred-enhanced physical abilities long enough for the She-Devil to punch her out.

Los Angeles

Nekra soon escaped. It was a stroke of luck — though S.H.I.E.L.D. kept her drugged and restrained to counter her super-strength, the television in her room broadcast a speech that was part of the Hate-Monger’s campaign of chaos in the US. The Monger’s power allowed Nekra to overcome the tranquillisers and she broke free.

Nekra as a Kali priestess

While she was hiding in New York City’s sewers, Sinclair stumbled on something very much to her liking. It was a genuine Thuggee cult venerating Kâli-Ma. This cult was being led and redeveloped by the Living Goddesses Shaya and Ushas – actually mortal priestesses with superhuman powers.

Nekra offered herself as sacrifice. When the sacrificial kriss failed to pierce her skin, she affirmed that it was divine protection from Kâli. Nekra demanded that the other two priestesses be subjected to the same ordeal, apparently resulting in the death of Ushas and Shaya. Nekra took over the cult as its new priestess, and later had everybody move to Los Angeles.

Cults of Kâli

Based on Caliban’s work at marvunapp, here are the main bands of Thuggee killers that are relevant to this writeup:

  • The Cult in the Himalayas which gave the Shroud his powers, then vanished. It was presumably the same cult that was dismantled by Shanna the She-Devil. It had links with Nekra since tracking them down eventually led the Shroud to her clinic.
  • The Cult headed by the Living Goddesses (Ushas and Shaya), which was taken over by Nekra. It was often called the Cult of Kara-Kai. Nekra rebuilt it in her manner in Los Angeles since she needed the manpower.
  • A resurrection of the first Cult, which was battled by the Shroud years after Shanna did. No known connections with Nekra, but there’s nothing to rule contacts out either.
  • The ersatz cult Nekra assembled in Massachusetts, made of brainwashed New Englanders dressed and armed like very old-fashioned Indian thugs. It seems to just have been a glorified militia.
  • After she returns from Hell, Nekra mentions running what seems to be a serious and competent effort at a Kâli-based cult of death with strong influences from several kinds of voodoo. For instance, animating zombies is part of some initiation-into-higher-mysteries cycles. It is unknown whether this cult actually existed or was just invented as part of Nekra’s cover.

Of interest in Los Angeles was the Hatros Clinic, specialising in emotions research. It was run by Adrienne Hatros, the reclusive widow of Dr. Hatros. Based on Dr. Hatros’s research, the clinic was well-regarded and benefited from a huge buzz on the LA social circuit.

A Thuggee killer murdered Mrs. Hatros, and Nekra stole Adrienne Hatros’s identity, whom few people had actually met in recent years. Controlling the Hatros Clinic likely allowed Nekra to refine her ability to summon her hatred. She also turned it into a base of operation for her cultists.

Along came a spider

One of the persons interested in the clinic, named Jessica Drew, attracted Nekra’s attention. Drew had abnormal pheromonal secretions arousing subtle but tenacious hatred in women. On Nekra, Drew’s biochemicals had the opposite effect. They made her feel trust and affection toward Drew.

Nekra hated feeling that way. But she realised that by having her doctors study Drew she could learn to gain immunity from Drew’s and the Mandrill’s pheromones. That was important to her as she had grown to hate Mandrill for having forsaken her. Nekra craved a revenge that his pheromonal powers made impossible.

“Adrienne Hatros” had her lackeys offer Drew a job as a receptionist to keep her nearby. Unfortunately for Nekra, Drew was actually Spider-Woman. Furthermore another costumed hero, the Shroud, an enemy of Kâli cults, zeroed in on the clinic and the cult it hosted. Lastly, S.H.I.E.L.D. also stumbled on her operations.

Nekra’s thugs ambushed a pair of S.H.I.E.L.D. investigators and captured them, but Spider-Woman and the Shroud freed them. They did not manage to arrest Nekra, though, and did not recognise her thanks to her bulky, hooded priestly robes.

The situation ended in a ferocious fight between Spider-Woman and Nekra, as Sinclair tested her antidote to Spider-Woman’s pheromones. Spider-Woman only narrowly survived and won the fray. Nekra was hospitalised and presumably returned into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.

Nekra was next seen — in 1983 — as a prisoner of Locksmith, though how she ended up there is unrevealed. When Spider-Woman and other prisoners managed to get out of their cells and take out Locksmith, Nekra seized the opportunity to escape.

Eric Williams

Nekra Sinclair met the Grim Reaper (Eric Williams) as he was assembling a new Lethal Legion. She fell in love with the psychotic, hateful, neurotic, fanatical Reaper and they started a passionate relationship. Nekra felt that Williams was at least as a good mate for her as the Mandrill had been. The violently racist Williams decided that Sinclair was not really Black due to her mutated complexion.

One of Williams’s recruits for the Legion was a voodoo occultist, the Black Talon. He had been recruited since the Reaper’s plot hinged on reanimating his brother Simon. Though she was at first contemptuous of his magics, Nekra started acting as a ritual assistant and dancer in the Talon’s rituals. She gradually developed skills in the dark arts.

Nekra vs. Ms. Marvel

While the Legion was initially successful, it blew up due to Williams’s racism and the opposition of the West Coast Avengers. The Grim Reaper ended up jumping to his death whilst confronting his brother Simon and his quasi-brother the Vision.

Nekra escaped from the Avengers and hid in caverns. She then recovered the Reaper’s corpse and fled with it. Not having witnessed his death, she thought that he had been murdered by the Vision. Nekra then used the mystical knowledge she had gleaned from the Black Talon to reanimate Eric Williams as a zombie, with an intact mentality and capacities.

Zombie lover

Unable to cope with his new state, Williams claimed that he was still alive and that his death had just been a bad dream. Out of love, Nekra did not contradict his delusion, and played along. She also created a zombie henchman, using the corpse of a hitman left over from their previous scheme.

Sinclair and the Reaper then resumed Williams’s obsessive pursuit of his brother.&emspo;But they ended up fighting Wonder Man and Magneto. Though they burned every Hero Point  they had, the outcome was never in doubt. Wonder Man realised that his brother was now a zombie, and Magneto proved it.

Shocked at the realisation that he was undead, the Reaper turned against Nekra. After a last attempt at killing Wonder Man with her bare hands, Nekra had a nervous breakdown over the Reaper rejecting her. This breakdown destroyed her spell, and the Reaper reverted to being an inanimate corpse.

Northern exposure

Somehow, Nekra managed to break free and escape with the corpse of the Grim Reaper. She then proceeded to reconstruct her Adrienne Hatros cover, restart a Kâli cult, and reopen the Hatros Clinic. This time in Massachusetts, far away from California. The new site was a sinister building in Shriver Cove, near Cape Cod.

Wishing to expand her power base, Nekra used the clinic to brainwash the locals into feeling all-consuming hatred toward outsiders. The town became increasingly isolated. She also bought a specialised high-tech sarcophagus to preserve the Reaper’s body as she worked on a better reanimation ritual.

However, photographer Peter Parker came to Shriver Cove during the promotional tour for his best-selling photobook Webs. As Spider-Man he noticed the local oddities. After he called the West Coast Avengers for information, Dr. Pym flew in. The two heroes defeated Nekra (and the New Englanders clad as Indian cultists) and undid the brainwashing, but Sinclair managed to flee.

Northward again

Some months later, in late 1989, Nekra was one of the villains mystically drawn to Canada as part of the Acts of Vengeance conspiracy. She rationalised this impulse as fleeing from the current round of superhuman registration laws.

As she wondered why she was in frigid Manitoba rather than, say, Mexico City, Nekra was assaulted by Vindicator (Heather Hudson). Hudson had been alerted by mystical spirits and thought the American was going to cause massive damage.

The fight between Nekra and Vindicator further degenerated as other US-based supercriminals were mystically drawn to it. The violence became uncontrollable. Vindicator realised what was going on, and had the mystic Witchfire cut the villains from the mystical influence of Llan the Sorcerer.

The villains recovered their free will, but most of them (including Nekra) were extradited back to the US to be imprisoned. It was presumably at that point that Williams’s corpse was confiscated and properly inhumed by the authorities.

Slain

While Nekra was held at the Vault super-prison there was a massive attempt at a breakout. However, she and Mr. Hyde seemed more interested in catching up with all the sex they had missed while in prison than in escaping. Presumably Nekra had been condemned to a short sentence, and rebelling was not worth it.

The breakout eventually failed thanks to the Avengers’s and Freedom Force’s arrival.

All the while, Nekra has been perfecting new voodoo rituals. Her goal was to raise Eric Williams from the dead once more. Her main improvement allowed the zombie to maintain the spell by himself (by taking a human life every 24 hours) rather than be dependent on her. She thought that it would please him.

Nekra dug up the Grim Reaper and turned the corpse into an undead creature. Though Williams’s was still a heinous psychopath and now clearly looked like a walking corpse, she was overjoyed by her success. This didn’t last long – the Reaper impaled her with his scythe and cruelly drained her of her life force to feed the enchantment.

Nekra was killed and reduced to a desiccated corpse.

To Hell and back

Neka apparently found herself in the afterlife dimension then governed by Daimon Hellstrom. Hellstrom recruited her spirit to serve as an agent.

After some years, he returned Sinclair to corporeal existence. Hellstrom needed her to keep tabs on the unstable Anthony Druid. Nekra’s job also included finding his weakness and exploiting if possible. Since Druid was a Celtic magic user, Hellstorm assumed that he had a geis.

Nekra vs. Spider-Woman

Nekra’s instructions were to direct Druid’s attention toward the Second Assembly. This splinter cult of the Dry Academy that was building a new god made of corpses.

To do so, Sinclair introduced herself as the high priestess of a Kâli cult in California, and said that several of their zombies had been stolen by the Assembly and taken to New York City. She approached Druid under the pretence of needing information from a person familiar with the East Coast mystical scene to help her recover her stolen zombies.

Druid flew off his handle and went on a murderous crusade against the Assembly. He also developed a romantic interest in Nekra. Aroused by the violence and his own encroaching madness, Druid made advances toward Nekra, which she welcomed.

Druid was then slammed by his geis — which turned out to be having sex with witches. Nekra’s mission was done, and Druid had been neutralised by his own weakness before things could get ugly even by Hellstrom’s standards.

However, the hectic Celtic fanatic appealed to the Triple Goddess for renewed mystical power. Druid even murdered one of his assistants as a sacrifice. This worked, and Druid started a rapid mystical ascendance. Nekra tried to stop him by shooting him several times, but Druid started damaging reality around him.

Hellstrom intervened, putting an end to Druid. He also restored Nekra, who had suffered from the reality damage.

Hellstorm then apparently let Nekra remain on Earth to do as she wished. This resurrection was presumably Sinclair’s recompense for her services as a damned.

Back to Los Angeles

The resurrected Nekra kept a low profile. Some accounts state that she was one of the villains working for the Consultant, but this seems unsupported. She also enjoyed another fling with the bestial sadist Mr. Hyde.

In the mid-2000s, the MGH drug was a hit on the high-end illegal narcotics market. Nekra Sinclair thus found an attractive new way to turn her abilities into cash. The chemicals her power generated in her bloodstream could be turned into a powerful drug, which sold extremely well.

From context, it would seem that she allied with a Pacific-wide criminal cartel (presumably a yakuza mob) for distribution of the product. She negotiated a significant part of the profit plus involvement in the management of the operation.

Their main lab in Los Angeles was thrashed by Spider-Woman III (Mattie Franklin) and Darkhawk. Sinclair engaged the pair and was about to make short work of them when a third foe, Ricochet, intervened. Nekra was arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D. but was free within days – she presumably escaped during the transfer to a S.H.I.E.L.D. prison.

Sinclair discovered that her 3 opponents were part of a group called the Loners. She attacked the lot whilst they were having a support group meeting. Nekra ploughed through the assembled Loners, but was again brought down when an unexpected newcomer, Red Ronin II, felled her from behind.

Return of the Lethal Legion

Meanwhile, the Grim Reaper had returned to life, as a side effect of a spell cast by an insane Scarlet Witch. When Norman Osborn took over the US’s security apparatus, Williams approached him and struck a deal. It was the sort of manipulation one could expect from a pair of murderous psychopaths.

Williams was to set up a big, credible threat for Osborn’s “Avengers” to defeat, then be rewarded. He thus created a new Lethal Legion. Of course the first loyal fall girl he recruited was Nekra. Other recruits were the Absorbing Man, Mr. Hyde, Tiger Shark and the Grey Gargoyle.

This solid group of heavies caused an impressive amount of chaos, fighting Osborn’s HAMMER troops and attempting to draw in Osborn’s Avengers to deprive him of his main protectors. The Reaper also recruited his brother Simon, since Wonder Man couldn’t stand Osborn’s regime and was still hoping to reform Eric.

Black Spectre agents face the Thing under a mandrill statue

The Legion was more successful than planned by the Reaper and Osborn. They even managed to actually kidnap the latter. The Reaper arranged for Osborn to be able to free himself, then started a fight with Mr. Hyde that resulted in the arrest of the Legionnaires. Eric Williams was seemingly murdered, then secretly shipped out to start working as an agent of Osborn in Europe.

Nekra had taken the fall along with the others. However she left the Raft prison fairly quickly – perhaps she struck a deal with HAMMER. Whether she realised that Williams had once again abused her pathetic love is unrevealed. And it wouldn’t change anything, anyway.

Utopia

Strong political agitation began to further threaten mutant rights, chiefly through Proposition X. At that point Nekra was present in the threatened ’mutant haven’ in San Francisco. When anti-mutants-rights demonstrators marched into the city, Nekra was unsurprisingly among those advocating a violent response to the hateful bigotry.

While heatedly arguing the point with some X-Men in the Castro, Nekra was shot in the back by “Ms. Marvel” (Karla Sofen). Osborn’s “Avengers” were deploying with the stated intent of preventing riots.

Sinclair quickly recovered from the non-lethal blast. She regrouped with much of the mutant community on Utopia, a sovereign mutants haven on an artificial island off San Francisco.

When Norman Osborn’s “Avengers” attempted to storm Utopia, Nekra was one of the defenders. She particularly targeted “Ms. Marvel”. Sofen apparently managed to take out her attackers after a difficult fight, but at this point all the “Avengers” could do was retreat.

As of early 2011, Nekra still resided on Utopia. However she was a problem – siding with hardliners on every issue. Utopia security had to arrest her after she and Frenzy (Joanna Cargill) decided to thrash an art exhibit they though was exploitative and immoral.

Chaos

When the Chaos King came to Earth, Eric Williams’s insane mind managed to communicate with it. He pledged himself and Nekra to him. As they sensed some Avengers were still resisting his reign, the King let Williams and Sinclair in charge of exterminating them.

Like the rest of the world, New York City was in a sorry state. The living were plunged into an eternal sleep, and various dead people walked around. Nekra and the Grim Reaper found that the Avengers still active were dead ones who had been resurrected as a side effect of the Chaos King’s actions.

The resurrected Avengers and some civilians defended the building housing the sleeping Avengers, while Nekra and the Reaper rallied dead people to besiege the building. Nekra vanquished the resurrected Deathcry, then fought Druid.

However, Deathcry received the cosmic awareness from their leader Mar-vell and attacked Nekra again. Apparently channelling the power of the Chaos King through her body, Nekra knocked her opponent out but was herself left battered and broken in the ruins. As she asked for medical help, Eric Williams walked past her and completely ignored her.

Nekra Sinclair was presumably hospitalised when the Chaos King’s reign on Earth was ended, and returned to Utopia.


Description

Nekra’s features vary a lot. Sometimes she’s drawn as a hag, sometimes she’s attractive. That may depend upon how badly her rage and hatred are contorting her features. Another possibility is that Hellstorm built a better-looking body for her when he brought her back, in order to facilitate seducing Druid.

While she was an agent of Hellstorm she played up her role as a priestess of Kâli, and was decked in elaborate Indian-style jewelry and makeup.

The green cornea was chiefly apparent in her early appearances. After a while Nekra starts being consistently portrayed with more normal-looking eyes.

Nekra is a smoker, though she’s rarely seen smoking on-panel.


Personality

Nekra has had a completely messed-up life, and is obviously not well. Furthermore hatred is, in a very concrete way, her strength. It’s advantageous for her to relish in it rather than move on and rebuild.

Like the Mandrill she grew up desocialised and rejected. Thus, her notion of what is good in life is peculiar. She likes power, blood, chaos cults, having slavishly devoted servitors, being slavishly devoted to a man, chaos, goddesses of death and darkness, and terror. This hodge-podge doesn’t just make her feel good and powerful. It actually makes her powerful and difficult to hurt.

Nekra hates everything and everyone, and is rather vocal about that. It’s not her sole emotion, but she hates other emotions such as trust and affection – as they weaken her by diminishing her ability to hate. She’s psychologically damaged and monomaniacal. It’s all about hate, hate, hate.

Nekra is very confident in her power, though experience with more powerful superhumans has tempered that boldness. Early on, she thought her abilities were the coolest, deadliest, most unstoppable thing ever and disdained other powers such as voodoo magic.

Her self-assurance was downright dangerous. She made such assumptions as thinking that the blade of the Silver Samurai couldn’t possibly cut her, or that Wonder Man couldn’t possibly be that much stronger than she is.

Nekra still sees herself as being very competent and very powerful. She is very bad at admitting that she might make mistakes or be outgunned. If there’s a fight, she tends to rush in without really thinking about the odds.

Nekra has a passion for bad boys – and I mean every word. She is completely, utterly devoted to her current romantic interest. Often with an intensity that could be described as ’manic‘ and a shocking lack of regard toward self-preservation.

Furthermore, what fascinates her in her men is out-and-out evil, sadism, unhinged brutality, power and sociopathic intensity. To paraphrase Tiger Shark’s vivid and accurate remark, if the Grim Reaper told Nekra they were leaving for Hell, Nekra would only pause to grab some sunscreen.

Sinclair also believes that such men are sacred figures in her cult of hatred. Stating that she worships them may be accurate, especially when it comes to Williams. Nekra usually refers to her current lover as “my man” and tends to refer to herself as “your woman” when talking with him.

Sinclair is entirely aware that Eric Williams is bad for her. He killed her and she went to Hell – that’s fairly bad. But she cannot help but consider him her soul mate and one true love no matter how much abuse and pain he heaps on her.

Nekra dislikes “the White man”. She means that as a figure of speech about the powers that be and their treatment of minorities, since she never acted in a racist way against White persons.

As mutant cultures and mutant political issues went through some major evolutions during the 2000s, Nekra started identifying more strongly as a mutant. She sided with the cause’s hardliners, especially after the catastrophic events that followed M-Day, the seeming extinction of the mutant gene and Proposition X.

Sinclair can distinctly see a future of ever-worsening oppression and dehumanisation of mutants by baseline humans. She’s more than ready to fight it tooth and nail.

Nekra can be played as a by-the-numbers thug screaming forgettable things about the power of hate. Or she can featured as a much more complex, though broken and toxic, character. Both approaches have been used in the comics.


Quotes

“Hate, my sisters ! Hate gives me the power — the power to walk unshod on a carpet of fire ! The power to resist all who would stand in my way — our way — hate is the puissance supreme — the mover of all things ! Chant with me —! In the name of the Mandrill, cry — HATE !”

“To me, my legions ! We must stop him ! He must not reach our leader ! Attack ! With the living power of hate ! So speaks Nekra, priestess of darkness !”

“His dead men couldn’t catch the artificial man, Eric ! Just as I told you !”

“You — you made a fool of me ! And you struck my man !” (SLAM !)

“I will pursue my vow, until my man and I are reunited to terrorise our enemies with hatred and death !! Hatred and death, Doctor Pym ! The uniting of the two most powerful forces on Earth !”

“You pitiful FOOL ! You know nothing of the true power of hatred ! My mutant metabolism converts the purity of my hatred into unmatchable strength ! Your puerile webbing cannot restrain me !”

“I’d settle for getting my corpses back, Ludgate. Being a death priestess is hard enough without having my furniture stolen.”

“Then you wouldn’t understand what it’s like to care for someone who isn’t good for you. But you do it anyway. Eric at times was not himself, not… stable. And yet I accepted who he was. I still always came back to him. Even when he died, I moved Heaven and Earth to bring him back, using voodoo to reanimate him.”

“Eric’s hate is so pure, so unyielding… like red-hot magma that never cools. Smouldering and smothering everything in its path. That hate sensed the Chaos King’s approach. We pledged ourselves to him.”

“WHAT DO YOU KNOW OF HATE ?! YOU ARE A TOURIST !! WHILE I AM FURY’S QUEEN ! IN THE KINGDOM OF WRATH NEKRA REIGNS SUPREME !”

Druid: “I am the last druid. I guard the border between life and shade. And you shall not pass !!”
Nekra (unimpressed): “Yeah, I saw that movie too. I rooted for the giant flaming eyeball.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Nekra

Dex: 07 Str: 09 Bod: 05 Motivation: Power
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Terrorist, Mystic, Priestess, Criminal
Inf: 07 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 022 HP: 035

Powers:
Blunting: 03, Cold immunity: 03, Flame immunity: 03, Joined: 01, Jumping: 02, Power Reserve (STR, Any Power): 02, Skin armour: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Joined can only be used when Nekra is clearly braced for impact, and is Contingent on STR
  • Power Reserve can only be used when Nekra is experiencing an unusually strong fit of rage
  • Skin Armour also works against Energy Attacks (+2)
  • Jumping is Contingent on STR

Skills:
Acrobatics: 06, Artist (Dancer): 04, Martial Artist (incl. Techniques): 05, Medicine (Brainwashing): 04, Occultist: 05, Vehicles (Land): 03, Weaponry (Firearms): 03

Advantages:
Familiarity (Yoruba voodoo, Creole voodoo, Kâli-worshipping religions), Languages (Nekra may know a little bit of Yoruba and Hindi), Slowed ageing

Connections:
Grim Reaper (Low), Underworld (Low), Kâli cults (High)

Drawbacks:
Distinct Appearance, Mistrust (Mutant – see the boxed sections), SIA toward the Grim Reaper (Eric Williams), Partial Loss Vulnerability (her DEX and all her Powers are lowered by 3 APs, and her STR and Skin Armour by 5 APs, if she is not in a state of violent anger).

Rituals:
See “The Dead Heart” below.


Cults of Kâli

A typical Kâli cultist used by Nekra will have the following stats:

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Fanatic
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Cultist
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 007 HP: 000

Skills:
Weaponry (Melee): 03

Advantages:
Familiarity (Kâli religion). Some will speak an Indian language – likely Hindi

Drawbacks:
SIA toward fanaticism

Equipment:
Generic bladed weapon (usually a kris or scimitar) [BODY 03, EV 04].


Early Nekra ; Late Nekra

Nekra and Mandrill were noticeably less powerful during their first appearance, in Nigeria. In Nekra’s case she was short on HPs (she had 015 or so), and had one less AP of DEX than in the stats block.

Early on Nekra did not have her Occultist Skill or her Ritual, and in fact was dismissive of such practices as she felt they did not equal her own might. Likewise the Familiarities appeared gradually and were not present at first.

The Jumping Power was developed through Character Advancement during the 2000s.

In recent years Nekra seems to have fewer HPs – perhaps 025 or even 020 – due to super-villain decay. However, whenever she’s working with Eric Williams she has her full HPs and no decay is visible.


The Dead Heart

Corpses animated by Nekra are stronger and tougher than the living, but the specifics are variable. Stabilisation is very likely (Nekra’s zombies do not bleed at all), as well as some extra APs of STR and BODY — perhaps 1 extra AP of STR and three extra APs of BODY for a typical human adult. Gaining a Minor or Serious Rage is another common result of the Ritual.


Black Spectre

Despite its oddities, Black Spectre was a surprisingly effective anti-American terrorist organisation. Though the death toll they created was thankfully low, they managed to bring defacement and violence to even the most secure American national monuments with apparent ease. Black Spectre assets included the following:

  • The cultists had the stats of stock soldiers, plus Martial Artist*: 03 – the later bringing their Initiative to 009. They are usually equipped with bulky suits [BODY 05, Shade: 01, Sealed systems: 06, Skin armour: 02] which conceal their gender and allow them to use the gas weapons that Black Spectre enjoys. They don’t quite believe in nancy stuff such as firearms, and will often fight hand-to-hand.
    A typical slogan would be “We are Black Spectre – we and hundreds of others ! The world’s most invincible warriors — wielding the mightiest weapon of all — the power of hate !”
  • Some agents were equipped with concealed BOMBS [BODY 01, Bomb: 09] and used as suicide bombers. Those were not detectable via a standard police search, so they were presumably surgically implanted. They were remotely detonated from the Black Spectre flagship, not by the agents.
  • Some Black Spectre soldiers were equipped with energy pistols – presumably something close to [BODY 02, Energy blast: 06, Range: 03, R#04, Ammo: 04, Limitation: Energy Blast has No Range, use the listed Range instead]. I’d assume those were AIM-built.
  • A recurrent weapon of Black Spectre are tear gas grenades, with the usual stats — [BODY 03, Fog: 03, Chemical attack: 04, Grenade drawback, Bonus : Chemical attack and Fog are Combined (Chemical attack is active thorough the Fog), R#03]. They apparently have bulk rates on those and will CS up their operation area just because they can.
  • Some agents were equipped with JETPACKS [BODY 03, Flight: 06, Limitation: those packs cannot carry much fuel – they have maybe 10 minutes worth of it].
  • When launching a full paramilitary operation, the agents were equipped with rifles.
  • The Black Spectre flagship, from which many operations were conducted, looked like a blimp. This appearance was deceiving — it actually was VTOL heavy transport jet with several decks and four jet engines. Likely stats for it are [STR 11 BODY 12, Flight: 08, Lightning being: 07, Radar sense: 17, R#02]. And yes, you read that right – the entire hull is powerfully electrified. The largest room in the ship, housing the Mandrill, comes complete with an indoors jungle and giant mandrill statue.
  • The bottom bay of the flagship housed a sleek one-man jet aircraft, stats unknown but presumably not unlike a jet fighter’s.

Black Spectre agents vs. Daredevil

By Sébastien Andrivet

Source of Character: Marvel Universe

Helper(s): Darci, Frank Murdock. The information about the different cults of Kâli in the MU was assembled by Caliban on Marvunapp.com.

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