Contributed by Ronald Byrd
When she is removed from the Olympic swimming team because she “broke training rules,” Leona vows to take vengeance and “plunder the world that I hate.” Inspired by the nickname that the newspapers gave her, “the Mermaid Queen,” she becomes the pirate Neptune, disguising herself as the legendary male ruler of the sea and outfitting her all-female pirate band as mermaids. By 1944 she has sunk twenty-three merchant ships, erasing the crews’s memories with a will-controlling drug, but she is finally apprehended by Wonder Woman, at which point her identity and true gender is revealed. Speculations about deeper reasons for Leona’s choice of nom de guerre, coupled with her decision to surround herself with lovely “mermaids” and the precise circumstances under which she “broke rules,” might be interesting but are ultimately unanswerable at this late date.
As an enemy of Wonder Woman during World War II, Neptune originally, one would assume, existed on Earth-2; following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, history was altered so that Wonder Woman’s golden age adventures never took place, leaving her enemies of that era primarily in oblivion. However, continuity reconsiderations have recently determined that Wonder Woman’s mother, Hippolyte, was active as Wonder Woman during World War II. To date, the only original golden age rogue re-established into current continuity has been Dr. Poison (see Wonder Woman #151 or the entry on Dr. Poison).
Neptune had no superhuman powers but was an excellent swimmer and had access to various resources, including a mind-controlling drug.
Neptune appeared in Comic Cavalcade #9. Do you have an image of Neptune to share?
© and ® DC Comics. Used without permission.