When seven extraterrestrial predators arrived on Earth, they started to slaughter hundreds of humans and feed off their spinal fluids.
16 year old Courtney Mason had problems with her family that led her to rebel against them. Courtney went off alone on a run and was kidnapped by a cult that wanted to sacrifice her to two of these extra-terrestrial parasites: Pritor and Lissik. Using their bites, these parasites paralyzed her and left her for dead. Courtney awoke, and found she could summon a creature called Animus. Animus used Courtney as a portal to enter the world and absorb the bio-essences of people.
When the New Titans were called to make an investigation about a bio-hazard situation that took place in New Orleans, they found Courtney, who had become angry towards everyone because of what the parasites had done to her, and wanted revenge.
With the help of the Titans, Courtney stopped the cult. She realized that her life wouldn't be the same anymore, and that she was now a very powerful being. After that she decided to leave her family and live her life on the streets.
In 1993, DC Comics released a crossover event in all of its annuals. This event, Bloodlines, was designed to introduce a number of new heroes into the DC Universe. Most of these new heroes, often called New Blood, were created by the existing creative team of the series. However, this was not the case with Anima.
Anima was created by science fiction writers Elizabeth Hand and Paul Witcover. While Hand and Witcover had collaborated in the past on stories and blogs, this was the first time for both of them writing in the world of comics. According to Witcover, he and Hand had wanted to build a world that “ripped off everyone from Carl Jung to Kurt Cobain in the process.” Witcover called Anima a “gonzo-feminist comic,” visiting a lot of the common feminist themes both he and Hand would explore in their science fiction stories. They created Anima with the intention to explore a lot of these themes, should Anima get picked up for a regular series.
Anima did indeed get picked up, and Anima #1 was released in March 1994 with Hand and Witcover as its writing team. Steve Crespo was given the artwork duties, picking up from Malcolm Davis, who drew Anima in her first appearance. The Anima series lasted 16 issues before its cancellation in 1995.
After Anima's cancellation, Anima would bounce around the DC Universe, appearing in Young Justice, Wonder Woman, and the Titans East Special before her death at the hands of Prometheus in Faces of Evil: Prometheus #1.
Anima was one of the super-heroes summoned to New York City by Superman, Metron, and Green Lantern, when the Zero Hour conflict occurred. Impressed that she was asked by Superman to join, she went to New York City to team up other heroes from the Justice League to the Teen Titans. Anima helped the heroes of Earth prevent a 25th century city from crashing into New York City during a time rift. She also joined a team led by Waverider and Nightwing into the past, where their goal was to stop one of the Zero Hour time rifts from destroying the timestream. There, she and the heroes fought Extant and his Team Titans, and failed. All of time was destroyed and rewritten, and Anima returned to Gotham City.
On the Streets
On the streets of Gotham City, Anima befriended the band Boojum ( Liv, Alison, Judy, Slam, and Dred), and joined them in their tenement squat. She also befriended a pick-pocket named Pockets, and, together with the band, found a new surrogate family. It was on the streets of Gotham City that she learned more about her origin, and of the creature that she manifested.
Anima’s aunt, Maxilla Yale, discovered that the Mason family had a link to some other world, nestled deep within the collective subconscious. Yale experimented on Anima’s mother, Willow, who shared a link with the creature Fenris, much as Anima and Animus did. This experimentation caught the eye of the former ruler of this subconscious realm, the Nameless One. The Nameless One sought to be freed from imprisonment on that realm (named Arkana) and come to our world to conquer.
The Nameless One was successful, and him and some of his children, the Archai, came to our world and conquered it. Anima and Animus led a revolt, which included others of the Archai that wished to put an end to their progenitor’s evil. Anima and Anims, alongside Animus’ twin sister Eris (who was linked to Anima’s brother Jeremy), and other Archai such as Fenris, Lost Johnny, and the Warrior, fought and defeated the Nameless One and his eldest daughter, Mania.
After the fight with the Nameless One, Anima was reunited with her mother and brother; however their reunion did not last long. Anima was off again to find their missing father, who was manifesting another Archai, the Shrike. Anima travelled to Chicago, and with the help of Hawkman and Agent Kyle Woodleaf of the mysterious O.D.D., found her father and brought the Shrike under control. Agent Woodleaf offered Anima a position with the O.D.D., and she accepted.
Young Justice and the Titans East
It is unknown how long Anima served with the O.D.D. Regardless, she still maintained her ties with the super-hero community. When Wonder Girl led Young Justice and other teen heroes into Zandia to fight Lady Zand, Anima joined those assembled. Impulse extended honorary membership to all those that helped, though the validity of that offer is questionable. When Circe transformed the majority of the male super-heroes into animals, Anima helped Wonder Woman and the other female super-heroes into combating her threat.
Cyborg tried to put together a new team using the founding members and also members from the new Teen Titans, but no one else was interested. After everyone else declined he decided to use new and young talents as the new team. Among those new members was Anima, who was invited to be a part of the newest incarnation of Titans East. There, she met her future teammates: Powerboy, Lagoon Boy, Little Barda, Vulcan, Hawk, and Dove. Their first mission was a training mission to take down Powerboy since he was the most powerful, this mission would help them see if they could work as a team.
The mission did not go well, and the rest of the team discovered the body of Powerboy burned and hanging on a tree. Immediately afterward, beams from the sky started to appear, attacking the newly formed Titan team. A beam punched through Anima’s stomach, dropping her to the ground. The Titans were decimated, and though Anima eventually recovered from her wounds, she did not rejoin the Titans.
The Blood Pack and her Death
After her failed run with the Titans, Anima joined a relaunched Blood Pack, alongside other New Blood heroes Gunfire, Hook, and Argus. This new Blood Pack went on a couple of missions together, but one mission against Prometheus saw the death of their teammate Hook. The rest of the Blood Pack, led by Argus, went hunting for Prometheus. Little did they know that the Prometheus they were hunting was not the real one.
Anima, Gunfire, and Argus caught up with the imposter, just at the same time the real Prometheus did. They are attacked by the real Prometheus, who destroys Gunfire's hands. As Prometheus is teleporting the fake Prometheus back to the Ghost Zone, he is attacked by Anima. Half of her body goes with him, killing her, and leaving Anima's legs, a near-death Gunfire, and Argus behind. Argus mourns Anima, while trying to keep Gunfire alive.
Powers and Abilities
Due to the bites and infestation from the aliens Pritor and Lissek, Courtney Mason’s meta-gene was activated. This enabled her to use powers locked away into her genetic code.
Anima has the ability to leech the bio-energies of other beings. She can absorb energy from those living beings around her; everything from plants to rats to humans. When she absorbs power, it can cause side effects depending on the amount she leeches: normally, she can leech just enough power to cause no effects. However, when she needs to leech a large amount off of creatures, she can do anything from age them a number of years to kill them outright.
Anima can then utilize this bio-energy in a number of ways. She can use the energy to enhance her strength, though not at extreme super-human levels; she can knock a person across a room, but she cannot punch through a steel wall. She can channel this energy into coherent blasts of force that can do considerable damage. She can also use this energy to fly. When she uses these abilities, Anima’s eyes glow with a green energy, the same color of the bio-energy she absorbs and releases.
Link to the Arkana
Anima has a series of abilities that was once thought to be caused by the Bloodlines infestation, such as manifest the being Animus. However, it was later revealed that this was not entirely the case, and that these abilities were caused by her genetic makeup.
Before the Nameless One was trapped millennia ago, he reached out to modify the genetic structure of a warrior daughter of a woman named N’warai. The Nameless One changed her genetic makeup to allow for a link to exist between this daughter and the Arkana. As generations passed, this link was passed down. This link was passed down to scientist Willow Mason, who passed along this genetic predisposition to her children Jeremy and Courtney Mason. This genetic manipulation allowed the person to create a link between themselves and one of the Archai, the Nameless One’s children. For Willow, her link was with the great wolf Fenris (the manifestation of feral motherly rage); for Jeremy, he was linked to Eris (the manifestation female rage and empowerment); for Courtney, she was linked to Animus (the manifestation of male rage). This gene lay dormant until her meta-gene was triggered by Pritor and Lissek. Once activated, Courtney Mason could actively manifest Animus.
Anima has the ability to call upon Animus, and allow Animus to manifest in our world. While in our world, the level of which Animus can manifest varies: he can manifest as an intangible spirit, all the way to a full physical manifestation. Like all of the Archai of Arkana, Animus’s appearance is ever-changing; though most frequently Animus appears as a ten-foot-tall four-armed red-or-purple-skinned demon with fur and fangs. Animus is superhumanly strong (able to crush a human in one hand), and immune to most harm. When only slightly manifesting, Animus appears more like a ghost or vision than a being, and can move things almost like telekinesis. When fully manifesting, Animus can act independent of Anima, including being separated from her for a length of time. Like other Archai that manifest on Earth, Animus has the ability to fly and to project bolts of energy through his eyes, though he prefers to rely on his brute strength. Animus has his own will throughout this process, though he sees himself as a force for good, and will usually follow Anima’s suggestions. He is extremely over-protective of Anima, his conduit from Arkana to Earth, and will do anything to protect her. However, even though Animus can act independent, Animus will stop manifesting if Anima is knocked unconscious or tranquilized.
While Anima is linked to Animus, she can, under the right situations, summon and manifest other Archai, though it is quite a strain to do so. In the past, she has summoned Fenris and Lost Johnny, two other Archai allies. It is unknown whether she can summon Archai who do not wish to be summoned, such as Mania.
Anima has the ability to manifest “shadow armor” and a “shadow blade.” Her shadow armor’s design is reminiscent of the armor of the very first warrior possessed by a being from Arkana, so it is believed she gained this ability through her link to the Arkana, not from her meta-gene. The armor protects her from most harm, while the shadow blade (a three-bladed dagger) aids her in hand-to-hand combat. She has also used the blade to help channel her bio-energy in the past, though only rarely.
Anima is a skilled hand-to-hand combatant, and her years on the streets have given her a very keen eye. She is very knowledgeable in the alternative music scene, and has spent many nights on the streets of many cities, including New Orleans, Gotham City, Rain City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, giving her knowledge in those areas.
- Height: 5’ 3”
- Weight: 111 lbs
- Eyes: Blue (glowing green when manifesting powers)
- Hair: Blonde (though sometimes dyed, including purple, red, and black in the past)