This Marvel Comics character only appeared in one issue of 2010 Limited Series Black Widow and the Marvel Girls.
Powers & Abilities
Thera is a sophisticated gynoidA female-shaped android. robot. Her documented abilities :
- Some sort of covert operations programming, allowing her to operate deep in enemy territory.
- The ability to analyse and master new technologies within hours.
- The ability to rapidly build killer robots. She will normally emphasise quantity over individual power. These bots are meant for mass terror.
Her role was described by Nazis as a “Mother Sleeper”, in the sense that she creates more Sleeper robots once active.
- A self-destruct charge that seems to be in the megaton range.
For game stats purposes, I am going to assume a low level of superhuman strength and durability. But this isn’t demonstrated in the material.
The Sleepers (die Schläfer) was a 1940s program to build doomsday robots.
It was initiated by the Red Skull (Johann Shmidt) at the close of World War Two. The goal was to have these awaken from hiding decades later, to avenge the Third Reich.
The first Sleepers were scheduled to awaken 20 years after the fall of the Reich. Nazi agents went into hiding to supervise this re-emergence.
Wir haben die Technik
Originally, the Sleepers were assumed to be the product of German technological geniuses. Such as Baron Heinrich Zemo or Doctor Otto Kronsteig.
But some — including Thera — are too sophisticated. Not that Zemo couldn’t possibly build these, but there was only so much time and resources available during the war.
Additional sources of technologies that may have been implicated are :
- Dr. Doom (Victor von Doom) tech similar to the Monster God of Fire and Iron. The connection is never stated, but it would make sense.
- Possibly space alien technology, from the Gnobians. But whether these aliens were actually allied with Baron Von Strucker during the 1940s remains unclear.
- Tech from ancient secret societies. Herr Shmidt had ties with the Thule Society, and Baron von Strucker with Hydra. Both of these date back to ancient prehistory, and have vast resources and knowledge.
Ich sage nicht, dass es Asen waren, aber…
During the 2010s, Sin (Sinthea Shmidt) stated that the Sleeper tech was derived from technomagic once used by Cul Borson of AsgardThe reality of the Old Norse gods, such as Thor..
The older brother of Odin, Vili and Ve had reigned over Earth for a time as The Serpent. The Thule Society retained knowledge from those days.
Apparently, the latter means that the “tech” Odin used to build the Destroyer is related to Cul’s inventions. And that documents about this “tech” inspired the construction of some Sleepers.
Thera’s odd abilities could thus be in part technomagic. Perhaps her ability to rapidly understand any tech is derived from the wisdom of Yggdrasill ?
The Sleeper Thera was apparently developed in Palestine, and hidden within a lab under a building in Ashdod.
Back then, Palestine was under British mandate. This was violently contested, both by Palestinian independentists and by Zionist settlers.
Having a Nazi lab hidden there is odd. While there were some pro-Nazi locals — mostly because Germany was an enemy of the UK — I don’t think Ashdod could be considered friendly territory. Especially since it is a major port, and was thus a strategic asset for the British.
My hypothesis would be that the lab was hidden here at the Thule Society’s direction. To exploit some ancient underground resources.
In the Marvel Universe, there’s no shortage of weird things hidden under this region. The Power Stone once wielded by Prester John would be one example.
Die Schläferin muss aufwachen
The Mother Sleeper proved difficult to control. She accidentally woke up twice, and it seems possible that she attacked her creators. This might be related to unique technologies used for this specific Sleeper.
The engineers were thus forced to include a deactivation phrase for Thera. It was also mandatory for her to formally confirm that she was to awaken before she could start creating killer robots.
But in 1979, the building was hit by a terror attack. The explosion was powerful enough to open a breach into the still-hidden lab.
(The lab was still in good shape. Notably, the researchers had left all their books and notes behind. My faint impression was that the plan was to return to work on Sleeper Thera at some indeterminate point in the future).
Witwen & Wunder
The lab was found and investigated by the Black Widow (Natalia Romanova), Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) and S.H.I.E.L.D.. But by the time they pieced together what had happened, the Sleeper Thera had been out in Ashdod for an entire day.
When Carol and Natalia located her, the Mother Sleeper had stolen a van and built a score of killer robots. One of these was sent to destroy the lab, though Ms. Marvel’s precognition allowed for evacuating S.H.I.E.L.D. researchers and Israeli soldiers in time.
Ms. Marvel engaged Thera and her robots. But the sheer power of the Mother Sleeper’s self-destruct charge meant that she would have to sacrifice herself by flying Thera up, far enough to keep Ashdod clear of the blast.
However, the Widow found the deactivation phrase. She then evacuated the inert Mother Sleeper with the help of Israeli soldiers.
Thera wore slacks, and a blouse that evoked both kinds of music – country and western.
It is therefore possible that the original plan called for her to be hidden in the US.
Thera’s body language, gaze and facial expressions aren’t really lifelike.
The rest of her can pass, but the Widow likely would have noticed something wrong under different circumstances. Here, Natalia simply assumed that Thera had been shocked by the terror attack.
Her activation phrase is any positive answer to “am I to be activated ?”. Her deactivation phrase is “One. Two. Three. Activation error. Return to bed”. The latter also deactivates her creations.
Presumably, both passphrases are in German.
The Mother Sleeper was largely emotionless. But she seemed relieved when told that she could sleep again.
DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 03||Str: 06||Bod: 06|
|Int: 04||Wil: 04||Min: 04|
|Inf: 02||Aur: 02||Spi: 03|
|Init: 009||HP: 010|
Bomb: 18, Self-Link (Gadgetry): 06, Superspeed: 03
Bonuses and Limitations:
- Bomb is a self-destruct charge.
- Superspeed only for Gadgetry-based Tasks.
Detective (ID systems): 08, Gadgetry: 08, Military science (Demolitions): 07, Thief (Security systems): 08, Thief (Stealth): 04, Vehicles: 04
Life Support (Full), Schtick (Make-Do Equipment (Gadgetry)).
CIA toward obeying her deactivation phrase.
Something like DEX 04 STR 02 BODY 03, Claws: 04, Bomb (self-destruct): 05, Running: 04.
Lotsa assumptions in the stats, due to the scarce material.
Source of Character: Black Widow and the Marvel Girls #3 (2010).
Writeup completed on the 13th of November, 2021.