Delya Castil is Mentalla, a native of Titan where all of its inhabitants have mental abilities.
Mentalla is a character from the pages of the Legion of Superheroes, which is published by DC Comics. She was created by Paul Levitz and Steve Lightle and first appeared in Legion of Super-Heroes #14—Unto the New Generation.
Delya Castil was born on Titan in the latter half of the 30th century, and as is normal on that world, she possessed a degree of mental power - a telepathic ability to manipulate and influence the minds of others. She was quite a noted student at Titan’s Institute for the study and development of psychic powers, and aspired to achieve the same notoriety and respect as her legendary predecessor Imra Ardeen, who as Saturn Girl had helped found the Legion of Super-Heroes.
In 2986, in her early teens, Saturn Girl and the other Legion founders resigned from active duty, causing the Legion to hold it’s first open call for new members in some years. With Saturn Girl off the roster, it was an excellent chance for another mentalist to qualify, and Mentalla was sure she would gain a place in the Legion.
Since Saturn Girl had to take a leave of absence from the Legion Of Super-Heroes to birth and raise her child, Mentalla became an applicant and was able to make it to the qualifying round. She had an impressive tryout and was one of the finalists considered by the Legionnaires. However, the Legion decided to induct Tellus, a telepathic and telekinetic alien whom they found to be a much more capable teammate, and decided Mentalla's powers would be too similar and unnecessary. Mentalla was referred to the Legion Academy, where she became a student, to hone her abilities and possibly be admitted into the Legion ranks in the future.
Delya was not excited about this, however, and did not prove to be a committed student. After her years of intensive training on Titan, the idea of yet more training did not appeal to her, and she also resented being passed over in favor of Tellus. She was determined to prove them wrong for rejecting her. When Legion Academy trainer Bouncing Boy told the story of his origin, how he was at first rejected, but later accepted when he proved his worth by catching a criminal, Mentalla decided that she would do the same. She set her sights extraordinarily high, however.
Major Story Arcs
The Death of Mentalla
Leaving the Academy without a word and under suspicious circumstances, she chose to infiltrate the Emerald Empress’s new Fatal Five. Pretending to be so embittered by her rejection that she would seek revenge against the Legionnaires, she presented herself to the Empress as a candidate for membership in the new Fatal Five. Along with Mentalla’s powers and her Legion Academy connection, which gave her at least some knowledge of Legion secrets, were enough to intrigue the Empress. The Empress accepted her into the group, not suspecting anything, and even used Mentalla’s uncle’s estate on Stratus to lay a trap for the Legion.
Mentalla was taking a huge risk in deciding to infiltrate the Fatal Five when the Emerald Empress was looking for new recruits. She would have to hope that she could show the Legion of Super-Heroes that she was capable enough to defeat a power super-villain.
Mentalla, though showing signs of fear, fought alongside the Fatal Five until it seemed that the Legionnaires would be killed if she refrained from taking action. Hoping she’d not waited too long, she influenced her teammate Flare to misfire an energy bolt, destroying the techno shield the Empress was using to suppress communications from Stratus. At the same time, she caused the Empress to activate the alarm from a stolen Legion flight ring, sending a distress call to the Legion.
Emerald Empress learned that Mentalla intended to betray the Fatal Five and showed no mercy, attacking her immediately after realizing what had happened, and despite attempts by the Legionnaires to shield her, the Empress brutally murdered Mentalla for her betrayal. Her psychic death cry was felt even by Saturn Girl, many light years away on Earth. Saturn Girl felt the traumatic sensation that somewhere, someone died a horrible death.
In her dying moments, Mentalla was able to use her telepathic abilities to stop Emerald Empress long enough for the Legion of Super-Heroes to defeat the Fatal Five. Mentalla was considered to have died as a hero. Thanks to Mentalla’s signal, Legion reinforcements arrived before the Legionnaires took any further casualties, and the four remaining members of the Fatal Five were all captured. Mentalla’s actions had saved the Legionnaires and brought down the Five, and in recognition of this, the Legion had her buried on the asteroid of Shanghalla among the great heroes of the galaxy.
Weight: 104 lbs.
Powers and Abilities
Mentalla has the ability of telepathy, just like every other citizen on Saturn’s satellite homeworld of Titan. Mentalla's power was less about reading minds and more about temporary possession of one's mind. Mentalla had possessed within her telepathic powers a degree of specific kind of mind control. In her case, her primary ability was a telepathic variant—more a matter of controlling minds than reading them.
Primarily, she had the ability to control people’s subconscious mental functions, manipulating their nervous systems into uncontrolled or distorted action. However, if a subject's willpower was more powerful than her own, Mentalla would have to attempt different strategies. Since she could not completely control anyone with a strong will, especially if they were on guard and prepared to resist, she often relied on surprise.
For example, she could cause another to activate or deactivate their own superpowers, manipulate them into pressing a button without realizing it, or cause a charging opponent to think Mentalla had moved when she really hadn't.
Mentalla had a moderate proficiency in the use of her powers, but she possessed no ability or training in physical combat, thus avoiding it whenever she could. She was most often seen away from the main fight so she could focus on her Motor Skill Manipulation. She didn't last long once engaged in combat.
She could control someone's thoughts and activities if they were surprised by the attack. Someone with a strong will could rebuke her mental command.