Real name: Cybele Rhamnusia (née Rhamnusia Nemesis; named changed upon split with her father)
Occupation: Technofetishist, would-be world conqueror and only recognized heir of Nemesis
Legal status: Panzerfrau has no legal citizenship, as her country of birth is unknown and no nation is willing to claim her
Place of birth: One of Nemesis’ many secret bases around the world; precise location unknown
Marital status: Single and loving it
Known relatives: Nemesis, the Prussian Prince of Automata (father); Marlene Dietrich (mother, deceased)
Group affiliation: Masters of Mayhem (for as long as it amuses her)
Base of operations: Currently at large in the Rogue Isles
Weight: Unknown. Panzerfrau is sensitive about her weight, and thus scales refuse to give accurate measurements
The woman that would one day be known as Panzerfrau was born in the late 1940s. The actual date is undisclosed, but scholars of such things place her birth after the end of World War II but before Nemesis’ nerve gas attack on Washington, DC.
Born, actually, is not quite correct; “decanted” would be the proper term. It is unknown how Nemesis acquired Marlene Dietrich's genetic material, but DNA testing performed in the 1990s bears out the allegation that Rhamnusia Nemesis is her biological daughter. It is presumed that the male donor is none other than Nemesis himself, and that Panzerfrau is a test-tube baby.
Little is known about her early years, save that she traveled extensively, was given an education befitting a super-genius, and was denied human contact through puberty. This last edict was rescinded following an unfortunate event when she was 16: in an attempt to better conform to what she perceived as her father’s ideal of beauty, she amputated her right arm and replaced it with one from a Nemesis Automaton. Psychologists believe this was her first serious foray into technofetishism (see below).
The 1960s were a turbulent decade for the Nemesis “family”. After attaining her majority and being granted the right of human contact, she quickly fell in with the wrong crowd and committed the unforgivable sin: she began to question her father’s wisdom. In this case, the “wrong crowd” equaled believers in Reich’s theory of Orgone energy. As a biological with machine parts that drew energy from herself, she felt that this nascent technology best represented who she was. Within a year she had refit her Jaeger to run off of bio-energy that she generated and stored within power cells of her own devising.
This simple act of “finding herself” was seen by Nemesis not as simple teenage rebellion, but as rank betrayal of the worst sort. When he commanded her to destroy her prototypes, she refused. When he destroyed her lab, she fled, taking only her notes and personal fortune, and disappeared into the third world.
It is unknown how many brushfire wars were the result of the feud between Nemesis and his daughter, who had renamed herself Cybele, but it is widely believed that the Rhodesian War was one of them. A typical pattern was this: Nemesis would send soldiers to capture, or perhaps kill his daughter; she would evade or destroy them. As reprisal, she would thwart one of his schemes or reveal it to local heroes, then escape (often with Nemesis resources) in the ensuing confusion. Nemesis’ pride would then demand that he not allow this insult to go unanswered, and thus the cycle would begin again, only with greater measures and higher stakes.
It is perhaps this same pride that prevented Nemesis from disowning his daughter. To his way of thinking, only one truly of his blood could thwart his brilliant schemes so thoroughly and still live. However much his anger at her grew, so did his respect of her abilities and, grudgingly, of the technology that she commanded.
The rules of this war changed in the 1980s, following what can only be described as a “summit meeting” in Switzerland. Nemesis swore that he would no longer seek the destruction of his daughter, who had proven worthy of being named his heir. Instead, their war would be one of technological supremacy. In short: whoever takes over the world first, wins.
This marked the first appearance of Panzerfrau on the supervillain scene, and life has not been easy for her. In addition to vying with her father for world supremacy, she must now contend with other villain groups and that most annoying of all x-factors, superheroes. Following the loss of much of her resources after a disastrous defeat at the hands of Kenku (herself a legacy hero, daughter of The Raven, hero of Baltimore), she was remanded to Ziggursky Penitentiary for rehabilitation. Having managed to escape, she must now rebuild her financial and criminal empire, and to that end has allied herself with the Masters of Mayhem, a loose alliance of megalomaniacs and would-be world conquerors, whose general mission statement seems to be "First we defeat all the heroes, and then we fight each other to determine who rules the world."
Powers and Equipment:
Panzerfrau possesses no known superhuman abilities. However, her human abilities are more than sufficient to make her a force to be reckoned with. Genetically engineered and raised from birth to be the successor of the most brilliant and twisted mind of the 19th and 20th centuries, she is a Machiavellian supergenius whose command of the sciences is not hindered by such petty things as ethics or morality.
An inspired inventor, Panzerfrau is constantly inventing new technologies in her never-ending quest for world domination, and as such, her capabilities are likely to change on a case-by-case basis. However, there are three pieces of equipment she is never without:
- An orgone gun, which stores and fires bolts of bio-energy. These discharges can knock a hole in a bank vault at full strength, or they can stun a target through over-stimulation of its pleasure centers.
- A suit of body armor designed not only to protect, but also to flatter and enhance her already formidable figure. This suit has the ability to fly and project force fields (technology stolen and extrapolated from her father) and also has built-in life support.
- Her Panzers:
- Wild Weasel, Double Tap, and Jackrabbit, disposable drones armed with rapid-fire orgone guns;
- Sturm and Drang, shield-generating robots that repair the other Panzers and serve as her personal bodyguards;
- and Umlaut, a ten-foot tall Assault Panzer equipped with rocket pods, heavy orgone cannons and a flamethrower.
Imagine if, from birth, you were surrounded by machinery. Your nanny was an automaton, as were all your teachers. Your first puppy was really a Jaeger. Your father was locked into a suit of armor and, to this day, you have never seen his face. If all this transpired, two things would be certain to occur:
1) You’d transfer feelings of affection normally reserved for other human beings onto machinery.
2) You’d be very, very screwed up psychosexually.
Panzerfrau doesn’t just love machines; she loves them carnally. You might look at a sports car, or a jet fighter, or a sleek piece of technology and think, “I love the way that looks.” She looks at the same thing and thinks, “What a sexy piece of technology. I’d like to fuck it.”
For her, an armored chassis equals six-pack abs. Decorative filigree is lingerie. A long, powerful cannon is a penis, and the breech of that same weapon is a vagina. It’s all sexual, and it’s all for her pleasure. And yes, she generates the orgone that powers her equipment in exactly the manner you think she does. Not for nothing is she called the "Tank Wife"...
However, for all of this, she’s not a slut. Quality is quality, after all! A simple gun won’t do it for her, in the same way that a cheeseburger won’t satisfy a gourmet. No, it has to be elegant, it has to have craftsmanship, it has to have that certain je ne sais quoi that separates the fashionable from the jejune.
- Is it big?
- Is it powerful?
- Is it sublime or ridiculous in scope?
- Is it, in some way, artistic?
Motivation and Personality:
Panzerfrau engages in schemes of conquest and dominion because, quite frankly, it’s the family business. She was raised to believe that not only is she better than everyone else, but that it’s her destiny to rule. Her educational curriculum resembled that of a military aristocrat in Borgia Italy or Czarist Russia: History, philosophy, tactics, literature, politics, war, economics, science, and etiquette. Oh, and assassination.
Think of a classic Bond villain, like Dr. No, and you’re not far off. She doesn’t kill unless pressed, because it’s far better to have living subjects who can serve and worship her. Her ego is monolithic, her confidence unshakable, and this is not unwarranted; remember that during the decades she was feuding with her father, she survived the numerous assassination attempts he threw at her, while managing to thwart enough of his schemes to prevent him from dismissing her.
If she chooses to gloat over a defeated hero instead of delivering the coup de grace; if she throws said hero into a deathtrap and then leaves to attend to “more pressing matters”; if she painstakingly explains her master plan just so that someone – someone – will be able to appreciate its breathtaking scope and cunning depth…
… well, that’s just how things are done, you see. Well-bred villains understand these things. Etiquette must always be observed.
Now playing: And One - Panzer Mensch