Character » Empress appears in 89 issues.

    Inspired by the superheroine Arrowette, Anita Fite vowed to use her considerable fighting skills and proficiency in the mystic art of vodoun to save lives as Empress.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Empress last edited by gmorto on 02/04/23 03:58PM View full history

    The daughter of Donald Fite, of the All Purpose Enforcement Squad (APES.), and his wife Oshi, Anita Fite was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, just before her parents both finished college. Oshi was the daughter of a powerful "mambo," a priestess of the mystical art of Vodun (more commonly referred to as "voodoo"), and though she had her reservations about Don, her mother allowed Oshi to marry him once it was known that Anita would be born. However, before that time, she convinced Oshi to allow her to perform a ritual that would    ask Oya, vodoun goddess of the wind, fire, and thunderbolt (who represented female power and guarded the gates of death), to "sponsor" Anita and serve as her "Gros Bon Ange" (Big Guardian Angel).

    When Anita was born, she grew up in her grandmother's home before the Fite family moved to a small apartment along Bourbon Streen in New Orleans. Though she was only five at the time, Anita displayed considerable athletic abilities, able to do a handstand on their apartment's railing two-stories up with no visible effort, something her grandmother chalked up to the influence of Oya. Because of her imperious, somewhat bossy attitude, her mother called her "Empress," and for a time, the Fite's were a happy family.

    However, good things rarely last long.

    A few years later, when Don was working for the Justice Department, he almost single-handedly dissolved the underworld organization of a local crime baron, known as Aqua Sin Gaaz, who escaped the final dragnet. Unbeknownst to law-enforcement, though whispered amongst his subordinates, Sin Gaaz was a "bokor," an evil practitioner of the vodoun arts. Enraged at Fite's actions, he used his magicks to set their apartment ablaze, and Anita's mother died in the aftermath while trying to save Anita. Initially furious at her father for not being there to save her mother, Anita made it all but impossible for Don to take car of her, so he allowed Oshi's mother to take her in.

    It was under her care that she was taught the ways of the vodoun, and under her care, Anita's spirit began to heal and she was given a sense of the "loa"... A sense of mystery. However, by the time Anita was 13-years-old, her grandmother fell ill and perished, though not before bequeathing to her an "Emperor's Staff," a weapon that resembled an escrima stave, but could be split into a set of knives. She told Anita that, since Oya had taken her spirit into her keeping, that she would be able to use it as none before had. In that moment, her spirit passed on, and Anita was mystically teleported to a candlelit room upon an alter. Somehow knowing exactly what to do, she performed a mysterious ritual that required a shedding of blood on her part, the rest was a mystery.

    A few years later, Anita and her father had moved to Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, and Don had become a member of APES, partnered up with Ishido Maad. Unbeknownst to him, Anita became a costumed vigilante after watching Arrowette (Cisse King-Jones), dispatch a thief at the local mall. She was inspired by the archer's heroics, and resolved to use her skills and proficiency with the vodoun arts to help others, taking her mother's nickname for her as her costumed alias. She first intervened on Young Justice' behalf when they were framed for defacing Mount Rushmore (the cover for APES' headquarters), after the organization had kidnapped Secret as a favor to the DEO (Department of Extranormal Operations), and later became a full-fledged member of the team after her father and the group made amends. At first, there was tension between Cissie and Anita - Cissie thinking that Anita had simply wanted to replace her in Young Justice - but the girls quickly came to an understanding and became friends, with Cissie having recently given up her career in heroics to persue a more "normal life" due to personal trauma, and Anita making sure Young Justice still had someone to back them up.  

    During her career with Young Justice, Anita finally got her chance to avenge her mother's death at the hands of Agua Sin Gaaz. Her father and Maad had finally tracked him down after all those years, and had him cornered. Then, suddenly, they dropped off the radar. Weeks went by, and though it was normal for her father to be gone for so long on missions, Anita finally knew something was up when two government agents interrupted the Young Justice girl's sleepover at her house to inform her of her father's latest case. Divining his location via a "skyclad voodoo ritual" at Young Justice' HQ, Anita led the team to her grandmother's old home in New Orleans, just in time to save Ishido. However, it was too later for her father. When Sin Gaaz tried to kill them by blowing up the house, that was the final straw for the team. Organizing an army of young heroes, Young Justice staged an attack on the island-nation of Zandia, home to numerous supervillains from the world over. Battling Sin Gaaz in his own mansion laboratory, Anita triumphed over her mother's murderer, and an arrow through the heart, courtesy of Bonnie King-Jones (Cissie's mother, who had come in her daughter's costume), his fate was sealed.

    However, Sin Gaaz left Anita with a final parting gift. Though a bizarre fusion of vodoun mysticism and modern science, a booby-trap in the lab forced two spirits out of ghostly "warder" Secret (Greta Hayes), Anita's teammate, and into a pair of incubation chambers nearby. Upon opening the capsules, the team found that Sin Gaaz had been able to successfully clone Anita's mother and father (possibly to use as psychological torment for her later on). Although they were but infants, Secret's involvement had ensured that the babies had the genuine souls of Anita's parents. Their task complete, Young Justice left Zandia, and Anita left her old life to raise her infant parents on her own, with the occasional help of her "Uncle Ishi."

    Though she has left her costumed life behind for the most part, Anita has become "Empress" again in recent times, though mostly this has been to aid her friends in times of crisis. During the events of the "Day of Vengence," she appeared at Stonehenge to help the other magicians and mystical beings who had gathered there to reign in the then hostless Spectre, who was gunning for anyone who had sinned greatly, or who had considerable magical power. In the "One Year Later" saga, she again took up arms alongside the surviving members of Young Justice to help Wonder Girl and the now reformed Hercules battle the forces of Granny Goodness and her Female Furies. As of late, her current activities are unknown, though it can be safely assumed that she is still in "pseudo-retirement."

    Powers and abilities.

    A practicioner of the mystic art of Vodoun, Empress is widely versed in the religion's lore, not to mention is proficient in many spells, incantations, and prayers that can be used to conjure up magical forces to aid her and others in times of duress. When her father was kidnapped, she displayed talents for scrying a person's location magically, through the use of "hoodoo" (a branch of vodoun that involves an animal sacrifice to appease the "Loa,
     usually a chicken). Though she rarely uses these other forms of mysticism, Empress frequently employs a spell of teleportation, which she can apparently use without the need of incantation or intense concentration, nor is she impeded by the need to see where she is going. However, this ability does have its limits, as teleporting with a "passenger" leaves both of them physically weakened, and her passengers have been known to experience intense sensations of nausea.

    In keeping with her alias, Empress has the ability to telepathically command others to do whatever she says, and they will react nigh instantaneously to her commands. This has been explained recently as being a host for a portion of the "Anti-Life Equation" that is sought after by Darkseid, lord of Apokalips. Although this ability is formidable, it is not without its weaknesses. Her influence over her opponent's will is not indefinite, and the effects of her powers will wear off with time. Also, those with a strong enough will have been known to resist her commands.

    Outside of her mystic and telepathic powers, Empress is a skilled fighter and an even more accomplished acrobat. From birth, she displayed incredible agility and physical endurance, able to perform complex acrobatic feats with ease, while showing little to no exhaustion on her part. Her grandmother believed that this was another mystic gife from the vodoun goddess Oya, Anita's guardian. She has been shown to be capable of these feets in her later years as well, performing at nigh Olympic-levels. The daughter of a secret agent as well, Anita has been trained in various fields of martial arts, and is greatly skilled in unarmed combat. Her weapon of choice was the "Emperor's Stick" that was given to her by her grandmother upon her passing. This weapon resembles a beautifully decorated escrima-stave at first glance, but it can be separated into a pair of short swords at a moment's notice.

    Aside from these superhuman talents, Anita is also an accomplished singer and pianist as well.


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