BELLADONNA

Real Name: Narda Ravanna

Identity/Class: Human, chemical user

Occupation: chemist

Group Membership: Former co-owner of Vaughn-Pope Cosmetics

Affiliations: Cat/Prowler, led a small gang (Manny, Moe, and Jack)

Enemies: Cat/Prowler, Roderick Kingsley, Detective Lou Snider, Spider-Man

Known Relatives: Desiree Vaughn-Pope (sister)

Aliases: Madam Belladonna

Base of Operations: New York City, formerly Europe

Place of Birth: Boston, Massachusetts

First Appearance: Spectacular Spider-Man II#43 (June, 1980)

Powers/Abilities: Belladonna uses a variety of chemical gases and perfume. Her major type of gas is neo-atropine, a substance derived from the belladonna plant. This gas causes drowsiness, unconscious, mydriasis (extreme pupil dilation--resulting in light sensitivity), as well as obscuring visibility and dissolving Spider-Man's chemical webbing (or at least it did until he improved his web formula). She uses a gas gun, as well as tubing stitched into the sleeves of her coats to make the gas appear to be coming from her hands.

In addition, she was served by a small gang of criminals armed with handguns. She also had access to explosives, and locations in which to set traps.

Height: 5'5"
Weight: 120 lbs.
Eyes: Blue-grey
Hair: Brown

 

History:
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#48 (fb)) - Narda and his sister Desiree were born in the US, but went on to own one of the largest fashion houses in Europe. Desiree handled the business and designs, and Narda supervised the labs which produced a whole line of Vaughn-Pope Cosmetics. Roderick Kingsley attempted to buy them out, but they refused to sell, and he conspired to ruin them. He had a former model of theirs claim that their cosmetics caused severe skin disorders. Kingsley called in the press, and "championed her cause." Before any legal action could be taken on their behalf, the bad publicity had ruined their business, and they were forced to sell. They went back to the states to start over, but Desiree had lost her motivation, and they were unable to achieve any degree of success. Narda took the identity of Belladonna to gain vengeance on Kingsley.

 

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#43) -  Belladonna sent her three goons to Empire States University, where they stole a pair of drums of neo-atropine gas. From this, Belladonna fashioned her chemical gas weapon, and began her vengeance on Kingsley. She and her goons confronted the fashion designer, accusing him of stealing his designs. Her assault was interrupted by Spider-Man, but her gas dulled the senses of the web-slinger, and they managed to drop him long enough to escape. They next ruined Kingsley's fashion show, destroying the garments, and knocking out the models and audience. Belladonna cornered Kingsley himself, but Spidey busted in again stopped her. She remained bold until the wall-crawler actually got his hands on her, then her demeanor turned to terror, and she escaped his grasp by slipping out of her own overcoat. Spidey chased her, but she blinded him with a bright light and ditched him before he could regain his sight.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#47 (fb)-BTS) - Belladonna sent the criminal formerly known as the Cat, now wearing the stolen Prowler costume, to her sister's apartment. Desiree's bodyguard, Charlie McGuire, tried to stop the Prowler and wound up falling to his death. The Prowler fled.

(Spectacular Spider-Man II#47-48) - Belladonna had the Prowler set a trap for Spider-Man. However, she betrayed the Prowler, trapping him in her vault as well, and proceeded to gas both Spidey and the Prowler. Spider-Man broke out of the vault, and Peter Parker learned that the place was owned by Desiree Vaughn-Pope. Spidey then tried to track down Desiree--figuring her to be Belladonna, but instead ran into Narda, who played innocent, and told Spidey that Desiree was meeting with Kingsley. When Spidey swung off "to save Kingsley," Narda, as Belladonna, called Kingsley and told him that Spidey had joined her and was coming to kill him. Thus set up, Kingsley grabbed his gun and filled Spidey full of holes when he entered his apartment...

Well, not really. Spidey had seen Kingsley rushing around his apartment, gun in hand, and figured that he had been pushed over the edge. Spidey had sent a web-filled dummy into the room.

Anyway, Belladonna heard the seeming death of Spider-Man from the bugs she had had placed in Kingsley apartment, and figured her vengeance was complete. However, the Prowler tracked her down and was hungry for revenge. Narda was without her costume and weapons, and was no match for the Prowler, who prepared to toss her off the balcony. Spidey--who was NOT dead--swung in and saved the day. He webbed up both Narda and the Prowler, and also took out Belladonna's three goons.

Comments: Created by Roger Stern and Mike Zeck.

Belladonna has a brief, half-page profile in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#2.

If you're relatively new to the spider-verse, you have to read these issues, just to see how Roderick "Rod" Kingsley is portrayed! Then, like me, you can read where he is revealed to be the sinister Hobgoblin, and think "What the Frick?" I'd believe him more as someone called "The Pansy" or dare I say it--hmmm...humor or P.C.? --humor!..."Ramrod."

Atropine is an anticholinergic drug that is used in anesthesia, to prevent bradycardia (slow heart), excessive salivation, etc. It is also used to dilate pupils.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:

Belladonna's goons have no known connection to:


Desiree Vaughn-Pope

 

Desiree inherited the business from her second husband and she and Narda built it into a fashion empire.

Narda wanted to make Kingsley pay for making Desiree lose her edge, but she had no problem framing Desiree as being Belladonna.

 

--Spectacular Spider-Man II#48 (49

 


Belladonna's goons

Mannie, Moe, and Jack

 

obviously named for the automotive company, the Pep Boys

 

--Spectacular Spider-Man II#43 (48, 49

 

 

 

 

 

 


images: (Belladonna main image)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#49, p16, pan3 (Belladonna head shot)
  #48, p6, pan2 (Desiree Vaughn-Pope)
  #49, p21, pan1 (Belladonna's goons)


Appearances:
Spectacular Spider-Man II#43 (June, 1980) - Roger Stern (writer), Mike Zeck (pencils), Steve Mitchell (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#47-48 (October-November, 1980) - Roger Stern (writer), Marie Severin (pencils), Bruce D. Patterson (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#49 (December, 1980) - Roger Stern (writer), Jim Mooney (pencils), Bruce Patterson (inks), Denny O'Neil (editor)


Last updated: 04/30/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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