"They say behind every great man is a great woman." -- Dartmouth quarterback Meryll Frost, 1945
Gosh, Mr. Frost--I suppose it all depends on how you define "great":
Today we take a look at a few of the women behind the men, though that positioning is often deceptive. Like Anna here, who can humble even the manipulative Dr. Faustus with just a few well-chosen words, the ladies featured here will leave little doubt as to who is wearing the pants in these pair-ups. It's tempting to label some of them femme fatales and leave it at that--but perhaps it's more accurate to call a few of them outright schemers when it comes to gaining their objectives. And not many of them have complimentary things to say about the object of their disaffection.
In the case of Anna, it looks like she's content with exercising a measure of control over Faustus, while taking a moment to crush his ego while she's at it.
(In spite of appearances, the story of "Anna" is a little more complicated when it comes to her relationship to Faustus. Check out Marvel Team-Up #133 for the whole story.)
On the other side of the galaxy, there's also the lovely R'klll, who belittles her husband, the Skrull Emperor, at every opportunity.
Having his shrew of a wife go on holiday is no doubt a dream come true for Dorrek--but the bane of his existence isn't quite through imposing her presence on him, particularly when she has a scheme in the works.
And unfortunately for Dorrek, R'klll indeed makes good on her word--but that's another story.
Perhaps the queen of femme fatales would be the Black Widow, who took aim at Hawkeye with marksmanship that far surpassed his own.
And speaking of queens, there's also Kala, so-called Queen of the Netherworld (which would be news to Pluto). Kala would end up in the Mole Man's domain after her tussle with Iron Man--and given the Mole Man's resources, it's not hard to guess that an opportunist like Kala would choose to consolidate her power by appealing to the Mole Man's vanity, and to his very lonely heart.
But unknown to the Mole Man, Kala has eyes for another--an entranced
Yet Kala will find that the vainglorious have little room for those who seek to share their glory.
Finally, there are few more adept at scheming than the Asgardian God of Mischief, Loki--but aren't we profiling the women who assume such roles? Quite so--which is why we now indeed turn to Loki, who had astonishingly returned to his immortal existence in the form of a woman following the passing of Ragnarok. More soft-spoken and less overtly threatening, but no less wily, Loki sought to become a trusted confidante to Balder the Brave, on track to becoming ruler of all Asgard.
Loki's expression here speaks volumes--in essence, he's... er, she's thoroughly enjoying moving the Asgardians about like pawns on a chess board, all in the guise of one who appears to have turned over a new leaf in his new existence. In this case, she brings Balder one step closer to the throne by divulging that Balder, like Thor, is a prince of Asgard by blood, a product of Odin's indiscretion with the goddess Frigga. And so subtle are her machinations that even Thor cannot find cause to turn aside her counsel.
It's a little difficult to tell here just who is being moved closer to power, eh?
Now you're catching on.
Because you demanded it! (Not really!)
Kala, Queen of the Netherworld!
Kala, Queen of the Netherworld!