It was announced earlier this week that actress Tala Ashe had been signed on to play Zara Adrianna Tomaz on the CW series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Previously executive producer Marc Guggenheim had stated that they would be adding a character that didn’t start off in the comic and wasn’t currently on one of the Arrowverse series. Tomaz fits that bill for in the comics Adrianna Tomas is the character Isis.
Isis is of course an Egyptian goddess and has been around for centuries, but she first became connected to DC Comics back in the 1970’s when she was created to be part of the Shazam! Isis Hour on Saturday mornings. Played by Joanna Cameron, Isis was a teacher named Andrea Thomas who found an amulet that allowed her to tap into the powers of the Egyptian goddess. This was playing off of a similar theme with the Greek gods and Shazam. Her origin was explained in the opening credits of each episode which first aired in 1975. There were 15 episodes of the Secrets of Isis and another 7 created when she got her own time slot. Cameron also appeared in three episodes of Shazam!. Cameron would lend her voice to the character when Isis appeared on Tarzan and the Super 7 in 1980 and but a different actress was hired to voice Isis when she guested on the Kids Super Power Hour with Shazam!.
Isis made her first appearance in comics in 1976 in Shazam #25 and then got her own 8-episode TV tie-in series written by Jack C. Harris and drawn by Mike Vosburg. It is believed that the character was the retconned out of existence along with many others by Crisis on Infinite Earth in 1985.
Isis the goddess would appear in the early 2000’s in Wonder Woman, but the hero didn’t return until July 2006 when Adrianna Tomaz (an homage to Andrea Thomas) appeared for the first time in 52 #3. An Egyptian woman and refugee, Tomaz was given as a gift to Black Adam along with $2,000,000.00 by Intergang. Black Adam slayed the Intergang emissaries and freed Tomaz. She became a forceful voice pushing him to make Egypt a better place, to help his people. After weeks of making him a better man, Black Adam retrieved the Amulet of Isis, which had remained dormant since the death of Queen Pharoh Hatshepsut. He took it to Captain Marvel and asked him to bestow the powers onto Tomaz. By putting the amulet on and saying, “I am Isis”, Tomaz taps into the powers of the Goddess and has the abilities similar to Black Adams. The two would later wed with Captain Marvel officiating. They would also travel through Egypt freeing slaves and looking for Tomaz’s kidnapped brother. Upon finding her brother and healing him as best she can, Black Adam gives him powers by speaking Adam’s name. He goes on to become Osiris.
Isis, Oriris and Black Adam begin to change the world and the perception of the Black Marvel Family. This fails when Amanda Waller sends the Suicide Squad against them and Osiris kills Persuader in an attempt to protect his sister. They would then take on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse being controlled by Intergang and Dr. Sivana. Isis is infected by Pestilence and dies. But before she passes, she tells Adam she was wrong to try and change him and for him to get revenge. This leads to World War III.
Adam would later try and resurrect Isis using the Lazarus pit, but her body began to decay almost immediately. Her bones ended up in the possession of Felix Faust and he used them to tap into the power of the Goddess. Adam is lead to Faust by Isis’ spirit where he is able to resurrect her finally, but she is far more evil than before and castrates Faust for her treatment by him. Isis and Adam then go to the Rock of Eternity and throw Captain Marvel out, leaving him powerless as Billy Batson on Earth. They are confronted by the Justice Society who end up finding Shazam and bringing him back to the rock. Shazam takes Isis’ power away and both Adriana and Teth-Adam are turned into statues.
In The New 52 Adrianna Tomaz is a young woman who pacifically opposes Khandaq’s evil rule, the opposite path to her brother Amon who chooses to join The Sons of Adam, a terrorist group. When he is killed by Khandaq’s forces, Tomaz is forced to resurrect Black Adam and chooses to use violence going forward. An unknown voice says she will be chosen for power.
Power wise she’s got all the good stuff… flight, speed, durability, stamina, strength and healing. But she also has control over the elements including weather manipulation, plant growth, and can whip up wind and lightning and manipulate the ground and lava. Kind of a huge power level for a show like Legends that has already kept Firestorm’s ability to change objects in check. I expect that we’ll see a portion of these powers when Isis appears on the series.