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Giuletta Nefaria (Earth-616)

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Quote1 I'd bet there's quite a woman behind that mask! Quote2
-- Iron Man src
 

Early Life

Giuletta's mother had died in childbirth. Her father, Count Luchino Nefaria had her sent to the Frost family in order to give her a 'good life', and partially because he had preferred a male heir instead. In their care she was given the identity Whitney Frost.[2]

Maggia

After revealing her true parentage, Whitney was forced to work for her father. She became the leader of the Maggia[2] under the codename "Big M".[2][3] She attempted to infiltrate Stark Industries using her charms to seduce S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jasper Sitwell. Her plans went awry as she actually developed romantic feelings for Sitwell.[4][2] Her plans also further fell apart as she was involved in an accident and her face was permanently disfigured. She became affiliated with Mordecai Midas and acquired a golden mask to cover her scarred face. This resulted in another code name for her: Madame Masque.[5]

Madame Masque

Madame Masque 002

Madame Masque

In a far fetched scenario, Midas captured Anthony Stark, believing him to be an imposter and an incredible look-alike, and ordered Madame Masque to train Stark and infiltrate Stark Industries and replace its current leader (actually a Life-Model Decoy of Anthony Stark deviating from its original programming), to return control of the company back to Midas. The plot failed. However, Madame Masque began to develop strong feelings for Stark who insisted that the mask she wore was not an obstacle for him to overcome.[6] Madame Masque and Iron Man were involved in several adventures. However, Madame Masque still held strong feelings for Jasper Sitwell. When she told Iron Man her feelings for Sitwell, Stark moved on with his life,[7] soon becoming engaged to Marianne Rodgers. At this time Sitwell was also severely injured by Spy-Master, hovered near death and went through a gruelling rehabilitation. Sitwell and Madame Masque also drifted apart. Sitwell was also removed as S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison to Tony Stark due to his injuries.

Madame Masque as Krissy Longfellow 1

"Krissy Longfellow"

Many months later, Midas again sent Madame Masque to infiltrate Stark Industries, posing as his new executive secretary Krissy Longfellow.[8] She was kidnapped along with Abe Klein by Commander Kraken.[9]

However, she fell in love with Stark despite the fact that Jasper Sitwell had been reassigned to safeguard Anthony Stark again. Stark and "Krissy Longfellow" became very close, sharing a penthouse apartment in Manhattan. However, when her father Count Nefaria faced grave illness, she returned to her criminal ways. She helped capture Stark with the help of the Ani-Men in an attempt to coerce Stark into curing her father's ionic induced, life-threatening aging. Stark escaped Madame Masque's plot and steadfastly refused to release her father from incarceration. Madame Masque responded by battling Iron Man with weapons from Stark International. In the ensuing battle Count Nefaria was believed killed. This was the final straw for Madame Masque, as she left Stark[10] and soon returned to her criminal mastermind ways.

Stane Masque (Earth-616) 1

Madame Masque was incensed when Stark soon began a relationship with Bethany Cabe. Among other plots against Stark, she also attempted to murder Cabe. She also told Cabe of Stark's secret identity as Iron Man (which Cabe had already deduced on her own). While later working with Obadiah Stane, Madame Masque temporarily had her mind switched with Bethany Cabe's. Her assassination attempt on Stark was averted, and their minds were switched back.[11] Not long after that, Whitney Frost was supposedly killed and replaced by a mystery woman as the new Madame Masque.[12]

Stark kisses Masque

Resurrection

Over the next few years, however, several versions of Whitney Frost turned up, dead and alive.[13][14][15] Eventually, the truth came out that Madame Masque had created several clones of herself. She became intensely paranoid. In this state, she repeatedly ordered her clones to be killed and replaced by more duplicates. Several of the bodies were found and identified by Iron Man (Tony Stark). One of her clones, Masque, briefly helped the Avengers during Immortus's machinations known as the Crossing. Another Madame Masque appeared to assist the Avengers and Thunderbolts against Count Nefaria's plot to bombard the world with a massive ionic bomb. Stark believes it was the real Giuletta Nefaria.[16]

Giuletta Nefaria (Earth-616) 003

Civil War

Madame Masque was hired by the Hood to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act.[17] She became the Hood's second in command and helped him and his followers in the fight against the New Avengers but was taken down by Doctor Strange and taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.[18]

Secret Invasion

Prior to the Skrull invasion of Earth, when Madame Masque was taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D., a group of Skrulls disguised as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were trying to learn her true face so they could replace her. The Hood freed her and killed all the Skrulls except one who he took for interrogation. Attended by most of the Hood's army, they learned from the Skrull agent that the Skrulls planned on taking over Earth, believing it to be rightfully theirs. The Skrull agent died from the injuries received under torture. Another infiltrator, in the guise of the criminal Slug was exposed moments later and killed.[19] At the climax of the Skrull invasion, Madame Masque was among the rest of the Hood's crime syndicate as they assisted the heroes in their final battle against the Skrulls.[20]

Dark Reign

Invincible Iron Man Vol 1 16 page -- Giuletta Nefaria (Earth-616)

When Norman Osborn put a billion-Euro bounty on Tony Stark's head, he personally offered the Hood and Madame Masque gold to find Stark.[21] After an operative of theirs failed to get him,[22] Osborn personally called Madame Masque over to Stark Tower, offering the locations of multiple Iron Man armories to help her find Stark. She tracked Stark to Russia, which Pepper Potts had also done.[23]

Masque captured Pepper, torturing her, before demanding that Stark tell her his true feelings to her real face. Stark admitted that, though they had been fighting, he always loved her, to which Masque reciprocated.[24] However, when faced with a direct choice between Pepper or Masque, he chose Pepper. As he escaped to Afghanistan, Masque and Pepper went hand-to-hand with each other.[25] Madame Masque was imprisoned in Stark's discarded Crimson Dynamo Armor,[26] while Pepper, disguised as Masque, reported to Osborn that she had killed Pepper in combat, and returned to the United States.[27]

When the Crimson Dynamo was examined by H.A.M.M.E.R. agents, Madame Masque was freed.[26] Whitney was later hospitalized at the Avengers Tower for dehydration, burns and abrasions, and broken bones.[28] While the bounty on Stark's head was later revoked after Osborn captured him himself, Masque hired the Ghost to kill Stark, who had been handed over to his personal doctor Donald Blake for legal reasons.[29]

New Avengers Vol 1 52 page 15 Giuletta Nefaria (Earth-616)

Madame Masque was later part of a surprise attack on the New Avengers, a trap set up by Norman Osborn.[30] Later, when The Hood attacked Doctor Strange in order to become the Sorcerer Supreme, she tried to help him deal with his possession by Dormammu, taking off her mask and confessing her feelings for him.[31]

New Avengers Vol 1 53 page 07 Giuletta Nefaria (Earth-616)

Siege

Madame Masque joined the Hood's gang during Osborn's siege on Asgard.[32] Once Osborn was defeated by the Avengers, Masque helped the Hood escape. The Hood was pessimistic, knowing that his gang would simply sell him out.[33] Therefore, she sought out her father Count Nefaria for help. The New Avengers tracked her and the Hood using John King. After a battle with Nefaria, the New Avengers took all four to Maria Hill to be arrested for their crimes.[34]

Heroic Age

At some point in time, Madame Masque escaped, and when the Hood took possession of the Reality Gem, he came to Madame Masque and healed her scars, making her face normal.[35]

Moon Knight

Marc Spector (Earth-616) Giuletta Nefaria (Earth-616) Moon Knight Vol 4 11

Unmasked.

When Count Nefaria, her father, was injured in a conflict with Moon Knight, he recruited Giuletta to take the head of an Ultron drone from him.[36] Despite a strong effort, Madame Masque failed and was defeated by Moon Knight.[37]

Hawkeye

Madame Masque showed up in Madripoor for the auction of a videotape showing Hawkeye assassinating an Asian dictator (which was actually a simulation to protect the identities of the Navy Seals that actually carried out the murder). Hawkeye himself flew to Madripoor under the orders of S.H.I.E.L.D. to retrieve said tape, but he was kidnapped by Masque's men. At some point during her stay in the hotel, Masque was ambushed and subdued by Kate Bishop, Hawkeye's protégé who had followed him to Madripoor. Bishop tied up Masque and impersonated her during he auction for the tape.[38]

When the real Masque tried to escape from her room's bathroom, her guards noticed her, blowing up Kate's disguise. Madame Masque took Bishop to the hall for her guards to get rid of her, but Hawkeye arrived in time and saved her. Before escaping the hotel, both Hawkeyes recovered the tape, which was ultimately destroyed by accident by Masque, when she tried to shoot Barton. Masque vowed vengeance on Kate for her actions.[39]

Even since their encounter in Madripoor, Madame Masque's minions had been keeping an eye on her. When Kate temporarily left Barton and moved to Los Angeles, she made a reservation in a hotel. Masque tracked her down, encountered her, and posed as an ally to Kate while a series of unfortunate yet planned events ruined Bishop's stay. Whitney lured Kate to her mansion, without knowing that Kate had already discovered she was actually Madame Masque. Kate escaped from the mansion, wrecking the house in the process, causing Masque to swear that Kate would die in Los Angeles.[40]

Masque was made aware of Bishop's subsequent whereabouts in Los Angeles by an associate of hers,[41] and tracked her down once more.[42] Masque burned down Kate's house and killed one of her allies, Harold H. Harold, pinning the murder on her. The police let her go, and Bishop started an investigation that led her to Madame Masque's illegal operations in L.A. which consisted in using LMD technology to extend the life span of the high class. Kate infiltrated Masque's mansion to recover information to incriminate her, leading to her arrest by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the shutdown of her business.[1]

Masters of Evil

Madame Masque became a member of the Shadow Council's Masters of Evil in Bagalia, and worked as Baron Helmut Zemo's right-hand woman.[43]

Search for magic items

Madame Masque decided to work on his own and retrieve different magical objects in order to empower herself.[44] During her journey, she was pursued by a mysterious group of ninjas.[45]

She finally caught the attention of Iron Man after stealing a decoy of a Wand of Watoomb from Castle Doom.[45] As soon as she discovered the artifact she had stolen was fake, she confronted and killed her informant in a hotel in Montreal. Tony Stark soon confronted Whitney in the hotel room, and tried to reason with her, but she was startled by his presence unleashed a surprising display of enormous magic power at him.[44] After a brief battle, Whitney teleported away.

Tony soon tracked her energy signature to a estate in Marina del Rey, where he didn't find her, but he was instead attacked by the ninjas that were on her trail as part of Whitney's plans to hope both of her pursuers would eliminate each other.[46] Madame Masque traveled to Chicago, and killed a former business partner of her in a nightclub called Jackpot. Iron Man caught up with her, allied with a reformed Victor von Doom.[47] As she engaged against the two allies, Whitney began falling into possession by demonic forces. While Stark held her down by encasing Whitney in his own armor, Doom exorcised Madame Masque. After being cured, she was taken by Doctor Strange to fix her metaphysically and then hand her over at S.H.I.E.L.D..[48]

Powers

None

Abilities

Martial Arts: Madame Masque is proficient and hand to hand combat, being able to hold her own against several opponents.

Firearms: Madame Masque is skilled in the use of firearms.

Disguise: Madame Masque and her clones are able to pass themselves off as other women.

Gymnastics: She has shown significant ability as a gymnast.

Weaknesses

Paranoia: Giuletta Nefaria's greatest weakness is her neurosis and paranoia. Her childhood as well as her facial disfigurement are probably contributing factors. Her conflicted nature causes moral dilemmas for her as she is capable of both great compassion and great cruelty. Her chaotic relationship with Midas, Jasper Sitwell, Tony Stark, and even her own father have probably further confused her emotional state.


Equipment

  • Golden Mask: She wore a golden mask to cover the scar on her face. Giuletta Nefaria's distinctive mask is normally made of solid gold [49]

Weapons

  • Madame Masque often carried a gun loaded with normal rounds and also capable of firing various types of gas.
  • She also developed an ionic lock weapon for use against her father.
  • The Frost family "Whitney" grew up with have no known relation to Emma Frost's.

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Hawkeye Vol 4 #20
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Iron Man #8
  3. Iron Man #1
  4. Tales of Suspense #97
  5. Iron Man #17
  6. Iron Man #18
  7. Iron Man #36
  8. Iron Man #91
  9. Iron Man #93
  10. Iron Man #116
  11. Iron Man #203
  12. Iron Man #238
  13. Iron Man #320
  14. Iron Man Vol 3 #10-11
  15. Iron Man Vol 3 #20-21
  16. Avengers Vol 3 #32-34
  17. New Avengers #35
  18. New Avengers Annual #2
  19. New Avengers #46
  20. Secret Invasion #8
  21. Invincible Iron Man #12
  22. Invincible Iron Man #13
  23. Invincible Iron Man #14
  24. Invincible Iron Man #15
  25. Invincible Iron Man #16
  26. 26.0 26.1 Invincible Iron Man #18
  27. Invincible Iron Man #17
  28. Invincible Iron Man #19
  29. Invincible Iron Man #20
  30. New Avengers #50
  31. New Avengers #52
  32. Siege #3
  33. New Avengers #64
  34. New Avengers Finale #1
  35. Avengers Vol 4 #9
  36. Moon Knight Vol 4 #10
  37. Moon Knight Vol 4 #11
  38. Hawkeye Vol 4 #4
  39. Hawkeye Vol 4 #5
  40. Hawkeye Annual Vol 4 #1
  41. Hawkeye Vol 4 #14
  42. Hawkeye Vol 4 #16
  43. Avengers Undercover #1
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Invincible Iron Man Vol 2 #2
  45. 45.0 45.1 Invincible Iron Man Vol 2 #1
  46. Invincible Iron Man Vol 2 #3
  47. Invincible Iron Man Vol 2 #4
  48. 48.0 48.1 Invincible Iron Man Vol 2 #5
  49. Iron Man #24
  50. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #6



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