Giganta in Wonder Woman #175.
|First appearance||Wonder Woman #9 (Vol. 1) (Summer 1944)|
|Alter ego||Dr. Doris Zeul|
|Team affiliations||Injustice League
Secret Society of Super Villains
Strength increases in proportion with her size
Giganta is a fictional character, a red-haired super-villainess appearing in DC Comics publications and related media. A longtime enemy of Wonder Woman and an occasional foil for The Atom, Giganta possesses the superhuman ability to increase her physical size and mass, effectively transforming into a giantess. Her first appearance (Wonder Woman #9, volume 1, published in 1944), written by Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston, presents her as a brutish strongwoman with no super powers other than unusual strength. Later adaptations (including appearances on Hanna-Barbera's popular cartoon series Challenge of the Super Friends in the 1970s) introduced Giganta's size-changing ability, a feature of the character which has been retained to date.
Giganta was introduced as a foe of the Golden Age Wonder Woman, first appearing in Wonder Woman #9 (volume 1). In the story, a villainous scientist named Professor Zool artificially evolves an ape named Giganta into a malicious red-haired strongwoman. Giganta is ultimately subdued and captured by Wonder Woman and taken to Paradise Island for rehabilitation. In issue #28, she joins a rebellion of prisoners held on the island, thereby becoming a member of the criminal team Villainy Inc.. Giganta is not seen again in the comics until 1966, in Wonder Woman #163 (volume 1), in which her origin is revamped to include another member of Wonder Woman's rogues gallery, Doctor Psycho. This appearance also premiered a short-lived update to her look, giving her waist-length blond hair and an even larger physical stature.
In the current DC Universe, Giganta is Dr. Doris Zeul (a name that tips its hat to Professor Zool, a key figure in the Golden Age Giganta's origin). Appearing in the modern continuity for the first time in 1997 in Wonder Woman #127 (volume 2), Zeul captures a comatose Wonder Woman and holds her at a secret research facility. Suffering from a fatal blood disease, Zeul plans to use an experimental machine to transfer her "life-essence" into Wonder Woman's body. Interrupted by Wonder Girl halfway through the experiment, Zeul seemingly dies. Her assistant Branson discovers that Zeul is in fact not dead, but instead had her essence stored in the transference machine's buffer module, which then channeled her consciousness into one of the lab's test animals, a gorilla named Giganta.
Desperate to return her mind to a human body, Zeul/Giganta then abducts a comatose circus strongwoman named Olga. Though the subsequent events have never been detailed in the comics, Zeul apparently succeeds in transferring her mind into Olga's body, and, presumably, Olga's mind into the body of the gorilla.
When she next appears, the red-haired Giganta demonstrates the ability to grow to gigantic size, like the animated Super Friends version. In Wonder Woman #1 (volume 3), it was revealed that Olga already possessed this power when Zeul stole her body. The source of the ability is unknown, though it may be related to a shaman who placed Olga in a coma prior to her abduction by Zeul. Whatever the case, the ability appears to be mystical in nature, as Giganta has been shown (in The All-New Atom) to be aligned with the forces of magic. More proof of her powers being mystical in nature is the fact that Black Alice was able to tap into her powers.
Following her transformation, Giganta allies herself with Queen Clea and the modern incarnation of Villainy Inc. in an attempt to conquer the lost world of Skartaris. Villainy Inc. is defeated by Wonder Woman, but Giganta is subsequently seen as a member of several criminal groups, including the Secret Society of Super Villains and Injustice League Unlimited.
As part of the Society, she takes part in the "Battle of Metropolis", a confrontation with multiple heroes, including Elasti-Girl, the size-changing member of the Doom Patrol. The Society ultimately loses this battle.
When Diana Prince noted that Giganta's intellect reduces as she grows in size, compelling the villain to become less rational and more prone to violence, she was corrected by her colleagues in the Department of Metahuman Affairs. They implied that Giganta has overcome that limitation and retains her full intelligence at any size, a theory backed up in the conclusion to the Who is Wonder Woman? storyline.
Giganta, along with The Cheetah and Doctor Psycho, engaged in a battle with Donna Troy (who has assumed the identity of Wonder Woman one year after the events of Infinite Crisis), as part of a search for, as they term it, the "real" Wonder Woman (Diana of Themyscira). In the following issue, the villains continue their quest, holding Troy hostage in order to draw Diana out for a rescue attempt; they also contend with the current Wonder Girl, Robin, and (though they don't realize it at first), Diana herself, in the guise of government agent Diana Prince. In issue 3, Giganta and her allies also battle Hercules, with the giantess being felled by the legendary champion.
Giganta has also appeared in the pages of the The All New Atom, currently employed as a regular teacher at Ivy Town's University. Infected and controlled by M'Nagalah, the monstrous Cancer god, she was sent to seduce and capture, Ryan Choi, the new Atom, in the process even going so far as to swallow the miniature hero alive (he escapes, and also discovers that she has a tongue piercing). Now free of M'Nagalah's control, a seemingly repentant Dr. Zeul retains her position at Ivy University and has approached Ryan for a second chance, despite the bizarre circumstances of their first meeting.
Before their second date, the Atom is approached by Wonder Woman on behalf of the Department of Metahuman Affairs and asked to wear a wire on his date with Dr. Zeul. After professing her desire to reform, she is informed that Ryan is wearing a wire and tears off the roof of the restaurant to see Wonder Woman and Ryan talking - unaware that Ryan had removed the wire. A fight between Wonder Woman and Giganta ensues. Wonder Woman quickly knocked Giganta out but Ryan intervenes to stop Wonder Woman from beating her further, after admitting she had lost her temper - they realize that Dr. Zeul has disappeared. Whether she heard or saw Ryan's actions to stop her from getting further injuries is yet to be seen.
Giganta was seen as a member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains, and at the end of Final Crisis #3 she is shown as a thrall of Darkseid alongside several other super-powered women. She is now called Gigantrix. Over the course of the series she fights as one of the new incarnations of the Female Furies with Wonder Woman, Batwoman and Catwoman. She is possessed by the spirit of the fury Stompa, and only freed when Supergirl smashes the skull-and-crossbones mask from her face.
In Final Crisis Doctor Light stated that he was going on a date with Giganta, although there is evidence to prove that he was not boasting or lying (a fact implied by his continuing remarks to the presumed sexual prowess needed to satisfy her). In Wonder Woman #36, Giganta is attacked by Diana while on her way to a date with Ryan Choi, implying that their relationship have survived despite earlier difficulties. Mellower than in her appearances in the All-New Atom series, she seems to accept and respect the shortcomings brought by their different lifestyles, going so far to help Wonder Woman in a mission, reasoning that, with Ryan being a superhero, they should both be used to putting their heroics in front of their private lives.
Giganta has the ability to increase her size from 6'6" to several hundred feet. These powers seemed to have been given to her magically since if it were by science, she would not be able to achieve that size.. It is presumed that she works out, keeping herself athletically healthy, lean, and muscular. Though her incredible power does not surface until she uses it and grows, she is still quite formidable having some fighting skill and training. In full-size mode, she is nearly as strong and as durable as Wonder Woman. Giganta is also a brilliant scientist who now retains her full intelligence at any size from normal to maximum. Giganta's suit is specialized to grow with her and enhances her invulnerability. Even at normal size, it is bulletproof and resistant to extremes of heat and cold.
When the Secret Society becomes divided between Luthor and Grodd, she sides with Luthor, angry with Grodd for shutting off her mind and cheating on her with Tala. When Darkseid attacks the remaining members of the Society, she argues with the Justice League to fight alongside them, going with Green Lantern and Flash to defend Paris. At the end of the series, Giganta sacrifices a few seconds of her allotted five minute head start reward (for helping the League) and plants a fast kiss on the Flash.
Superman/Batman Public enemies.