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Early Life

Once an unremarkable Austrian noblewoman, Paula von Gunther and her family were targeted by the Gestapo shortly after the Anschluss. When her husband Gottfried refused to surrender his wealth to the Nazi Party, he was tortured to death; fearing for her daughter Gerta's life, Paula submitted to the Nazis, who not only confiscated the Von Gunthers' properties but took Gerta hostage.

With Gerta as collateral, the Nazis forced Paula to become a spy and saboteur against the United States. Though hating her new role, Paula could not bear to endanger Gerta, and thus drove herself to become a cold, cruel schemer. By the outbreak of World War II, she was well-settled in American high society, masquerading as a displaced aristocrat while operating nationwide spy rings.

Espionage Career

As one of the Nazis' most valuable overseas agents, Paula was aided by two factors: her own scientific brilliance (which created many unimaginable inventions), and an army of slave-girls instilled with near-fanatical loyalty to their mistress. These girls, kidnapped from multiple states, eventually attracted the attention of Wonder Woman, who ultimately exposed and apprehended Paula.[1]

Imprisonment, however, could not stop Paula's espionage activities. Again and again she escaped, constantly reorganizing her spy rings and acquiring new slave-girls along the way. Soon, she became one of Wonder Woman's most persistent enemies, working to sabotage everything from Allied warships[2] to domestic milk markets.[3] Every one of these schemes was thwarted by Wonder Woman, but each time, Paula would learn a little more about the mysterious Amazon - until she knew enough to attempt an invasion of Paradise Island.

This invasion, Paula's most ambitious operation to date, would ironically prove the beginning of her spy career's end. As always, Wonder Woman and her fellow Amazons routed the scheme - but since it had targeted Paradise Island, they were not obligated to return Paula and her slave-girls to American custody. Instead, Queen Hippolyta consigned the would-be invaders to Transformation Island, where they were to be peacefully cured of the Nazi ideology.[4]

Reformation

Eventually, Paula's background and motivations were extracted by Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth. Determined to reform her most brilliant adversary, Wonder Woman braved enemy lines to rescue Gerta, winning Paula's gratitude and friendship. Almost immediately after, Paula returned to the United States and risked her own life to stop a gang of Nazi arsonists, saving countless lives but suffering severe burns in the process.

Though Paula was ready to die without regret, she was found in time by Wonder Woman, who administered a life-extending Amazon ointment. Subsequently, the Amazon Princess spoke on Paula's behalf on trial, her words (coupled with Paula's horrific burn scars) successfully winning the ex-spy acquittal from all prior crimes. Now thrice-indebted to Wonder Woman, Paula pledged her life to the Amazons, whose patron Goddess Aphrodite accepted her as a neophyte.

After being granted a new, unscarred face by Queen Hippolyta, Paula underwent many difficult tests, training her spirit as well as body to Amazon standards. Finally, after completing a trio of trials beyond Paradise Island's shores, Paula was deemed worthy serving Aphrodite, and elevated to an official Amazon, using her many inventions to serve the causes of love and justice.[5]


Abilities

Equipment

Weapons

  • Fountain Pen Automatic
  • Pencil Bomb
  • Poison Spray-Gun Lipstick
  • Luminol Knockout Drops
  • This version of Paula von Gunther (Earth-Two), including all history and corresponding appearances, was initially erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. However the ending of Convergence retroactively prevented that collapse, saving all the alternate realities, though in an "evolved" form. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • On Earth-Forty Paula von Gunther went by the name Paula von Gunta (The name used by her Earth-One counterpart).
  • The background of Paula and her family is somewhat anachronistic; as an independent republic, Austria had abolished its system and titles of nobility decades before World War II.

Related


Footnotes



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Wonder Woman Villain(s)
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This character is or was primarily an enemy of Wonder Woman and the Amazons in any of her various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Wonder Woman Villains category."