Membership: Bloody Mary, Sabine, unrevealed others
Purpose: Street gang, servants of Pluto and Hippolyta
Affiliations: Centaurs, Cerberus, Dionysus, Hippolyta, Myrmidons , Pluto, Yellow-Crested Titans
Enemies: Alyssa Moy, Bounty, Caledonia (Alysande Stuart), Fantastic Four (Invisible Woman/Susan Storm-Richards, Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Mister Fantastic/Reed Richards, Thing/Benjamin Grimm), Golden Horde, Golden Sword (Lao Wei Chung, Lu, unidentified other), Hercules, Marvel Girl/Valeria von Doom, Matthew (owner of the Double Helix), Jade Parisi, Domenic "Don" Parisi, Spider-Man/Peter Parker, X.S.E. (X-Treme Sanctions Executive -- Bishop/Lucas Bishop, Marvel Girl/Rachel Grey, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett)
Base of Operations: Tartarus, Wall Street, Manhattan, New York;
formerly District X, New York;
formerly Club Danae, Manhattan, New York;
formerly Tartarus, Olympian Underworld
First Appearance: Fantastic Four III#7 (July, 1998)
(Greek-Roman Myth) - In ancient times warrior queen Hippolyta and her sisters were known among various lands as war mongers. During each attack, they would abduct young girls, raising them among themselves to be faithful warriors loyal to Hippolyta. This practice gave rise to the origin of the mythological Amazons. Hippolyta ruled the women warriors as their undisputed queen and was the first to call her female followers the Bacchae. This was the status quo for many years, until the arrival of the demigod Hercules on the shores of Themyscira, the home of the Amazons. Along with other famous heroes of the times in the Argonauts (Jason, Theseus, and Telamon), Hercules had come to collect Hippolyta's famous golden girdle. Naturally, the Amazons didn't plan to surrender it without a fight, and Hercules and the others wiped most of them out in the ensuing conflict. Theseus eventually kidnapped Hippolyta, not aware it was actually the queen's sister Antiope who had disguised herself as Hippolyta to protect her.
(Fantastic Four III#7 (fb) - BTS) - Hippolyta decided to restart her Bacchae cult in modern times.
(Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS / extrapolation) - This time around, she didn't recruit members through wars of conquest, but reached out to homeless women, female vagrants and runaways, providing them with a home, sistership and most importantly: weapons and fighting skills.
(Fantastic Four III#7 (fb) - BTS / extrapolation) - Staying true to their heritage as worshippers of Bacchus (or Dionysus), the Olympian god of wine and song, the Bachae started a number of nightclubs and discotheques renowned for their love of excess. The clubs were part legitimate business operation, part front from which they ran their underworld activities.
(Fantastic Four III#7 - BTS) - The Bacchae were the proprietors of Club Danae, a New York City disco known for its outrageous parties. They considered it their turf and did not approve of any rival gang encroaching on their territory.
(Fantastic Four III#7 - BTS) - When several members of the Golden Sword gang were spotted in Danae, the Bacchae took offense. Considering it an act of trespassing, they fought and captured them, planning to kill them in an alley outside their club.
(Fantastic Four III#7) - Just as the Bacchae were getting ready to slay their rivals, the intergalactic bounty hunter Bounty intervened, even though she herself was on the run from the Technet, with Franklin Richards in tow. Not willing to let anyone get murdered, she stopped to help the Golden Sword gain the upper hand in battle. Upstaged and outgunned, the Bacchae fled.
(Fantastic Four III#20 - BTS) - Not having forgotten the defeat Bounty dealt them, the Bacchae happily acted on orders received orders from Pluto, the lord of the underworld himself, and Hippolyta, their queen. They were ordered to capture Bounty and deliver her to Hades. Tracking the bounty hunter down to Pier Four, the Fantastic Four's warehouse turned temporary headquarters, the Bacchae planned to move in even as Bounty herself was preparing to collect the bounty placed on the head of the alternate Earth-9809 heroine and FF houseguest Caledonia (Alysande Stuart).
(Fantastic Four III#20) - The Bacchae broke into the Fantastic Four headquarters and immediately stunned all present with a special grenade. They then took not only Bounty captive, but kidnapped Caledonia, fellow house guest Alyssa Moy, Marvel Girl (Valeria von Doom), Franklin Richards and his teleporting pet dog Puppy as well. They were all taken to Danae.
(Fantastic Four III#21) - After Pluto and Hippolyta revealed their presence to Bounty and the others, Caledonia immediately engaged and almost beat the Amazon in combat. The Bacchae rushed to aid their queen, while Pluto teleported himself, Hippolyta and the Bacchae to Hades, taking Caledonia with them. Determined to free their friend, Marvel Girl, Franklin and the others eventually found their own way into the Olympian afterlife. They were soon discovered by Pluto, who sent his forces after them. The Bacchae engaged the young heroes, along with Cerberus, a horde of Yellow-Crested Titans, warrior Centaurs and the dread Myrmidons. The battle ceased when Persephone forced Pluto to stand down.
(Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 2000 (fb) - BTS) - Diane, a junior member of the Bacchae, fell in love with Jack, a member of the Golden Horde, a gang the female furies had an ongoing feud with. Unable to deny their feelings, Jack and Diane ignored orders and continued seeing each other. Diane even ran away from club Danae to work as a waitress in the Coffee Shop, a trendy nightspot on the corner of 16th Street and Union Square West where Jack also worked in the kitchen.
(Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 2000 - BTS) - Distraught over the fact the Thing (Benjamin Grimm) had turned her down romantically, Bounty was drowning her sorrows at the Rodeo Bar, where Peter Parker happened to be tending bar, filling in for his friend Randy Robertson. The heavy drinking Bounty eventually left, but not before Peter followed her to make sure she was okay. He took her to the Coffee Shop, and she revealed her love for the Thing even as Diane served them.
(Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 2000) - Various members of the Bacchae, led by Bloody Mary, entered the Coffee Shop moments after a delegation of the Golden Horde. Peter Parker noticed Diane visually stiffening at the sight of the Bacchae and wanted to get involved. Bounty beat him to it and walked up to Bloody Mary, warning her to not start any trouble. Annoyed, Mary simply grabbed Diane and left. Upset, Jack yelled at Peter and Bounty for what they had just done. The two decided to team up and help reunite the two lovers who had went their separate ways. After gathering the required information from local informants, Bounty realized what was going on and how the two gangs were involved with the teens. Locating Jack, who was right in the middle of getting mugged, they convinced him to take them to Club Danae, where Diane was being held. Secretly changing into his Spider-Man gear, Peter discreetly made his way inside, taking out a few of the Bacchae who were guarding the roof even as he learned that Diane had run away again. However, just as he reached the main staging area, he witnessed how Bounty made her entrance through the front door to make a deal with Bloody Mary and the others. She wanted to know how much the Bacchae had to offer her if she helped them keep Diane away from Jack. Striking a deal, Bounty told the women where Diane was hiding. Spider-Man rushed out to reach the girl before the Bacchae could and, after surviving a heavy fire fight, succeeded in rescuing Diane. He immediately took her to Jack, but their happy reunion was cut short by Bounty who came to make sure she upheld her end of the bargain with the Bacchae. Engaging Spider-Man, she very nearly beat the wall crawler who urged the young lovers to make a run for it when the Bacchae arrived. Bounty, however, fired a shot from her gun that exploded the car, apparently killing Jack and Diane. Their honor satisfied, the Bacchae left and Bounty explained to the incensed Spider-Man she had done this on purpose, revealing that Jack and Diane were safe inside the burning wreck, protected by a force bubble. Now that both the Bacchae and the Horde thought them dead, the two could start a new life together.
(Uncanny X-Men I#450 - BTS) - At some unrevealed point in time, the Bacchae started a private club in Wall Street, cleverly called Tartarus. It quickly became known as the place to be for those of the international business elite who considered the already rather risqué Hellfire Club to be passé.
(Uncanny X-Men I#450 - BTS) - Looking to expand their turf to the mutant neighborhood known as District X, the Bacchae decided to stake their claim on the territory. In order to warn off other crime syndicates, they captured Matthew, a mutant chef who owned Double Helix, a restaurant in District X. Matthew's girlfriend, Jade, was the daughter of North Jersey crime boss Domenic "Don" Parisi, and Matthew's abduction was intended to send Parisi a message to stay out of their way. However, unbeknownst to them, Jade had vanished as well, taken into hiding by X-23 (Laura Kinney) after she rescued Parisi from a group of mutant haters.
(Uncanny X-Men I#450) - Several members of the Bacchae, among them Sabine, were present in Wannabee's, District X's biggest club. There, they were spotted by Wolverine who, along with several other X.S.E. members visited there in their search for Jade Parisi. When a fight broke out between Wolverine and X-23, who was working as a waitress, the Bacchae incorrectly assumed the X.S.E. might be on to them. To cover their tracks and flee Wannabee's, they fired a few rounds to create an uproar big enough for them to leave without opposition.
(Uncanny X-Men I#451) - The group of Bacchae involved in the Wannabee's incident returned home to Tartarus where Sabine tried to explain just what had happened. At that moment, the X.S.E. came crashing through the door, incorrectly figuring the Bacchae were behind the disappearance of Jade Parisi. With relative ease, the mutants defeated the Bacchae and found the captured Matthew. At around the same time, X-23's involvement in the disappearance of Jade was discovered and, after a brief fight with Parisi's superstrong bodyguard Geech, the two lovers were reunited. Whether the X.S.E. or Matthew filed any charges against the Bacchae for kidnapping or firing in a crowded club, has not been revealed.
Comments: Created by Chris Claremont (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), and Art Thibert (inks).
For my money, the Bacchae's look finally came together during their appearances in Uncanny X-Men The Bacchae started out in red costumes combined with metallic elements, switching to yellow and adding nipple clamps because they're Chris Claremont creations after all. Eventually, they stopped looking like something straight out of an online fetish catalogue when Alan Davis redesigned them and gave the Bacchae a shiny, chrome body armor that made them look like 21st century Amazonian warriors instead of a fetishist's dream. Then again... Alan Davis can make anything look good.
The X-Men operated as federally licensed officers known as the X.S.E during the events of Uncanny X-Men #450 & 451.
Thanks to Norvo for providing the text on the Spider-Man Annual and pointing out that the plot to the Spider-Man annual is pretty much repeated in Uncanny X-men #450 & 451, with both stories revolving around two young lovers who are caught between the Bacchae and a rival gang.
And thanks to Snood for pointing out the presumably intentional reference to Jack and Diane...from the 1982 song by John (Cougar) Mellencamp.
Profile by MarvellousLuke
Group name has no known connections to
Blood Mary was the leader of a group of Bacchae who tried to bring former Bacchae member Diane back into the fold. She apparently had a previous run in with Bounty, who reminded her at the Coffee Shop how their last encounter ended in a humiliating defeat for both Mary and the Bacchae. This was enough for the otherwise ruthless woman to leave, only taking their wayward member Diane with her instead of engaging in combat. Later, Bloody Mary accepted Bounty's offer to lead them to Diane after the girl escaped again.
--Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 2000
Despite the fact she was welcomed by and inducted into the Bacchae, the young girl known as Diane longed for a semblance of a normal life. When she met and fell in love with Jack, who was part of the rival Golden Horde gang, the two of them decided to leave their life of crime behind. Diane and Jack got regular jobs, both working at the Coffee Shop, where Diane waited tables and Jack worked in the kitchen. The Bacchae didn't let her go so easily, sending Bloody Mary and several others after her. The Bacchae took Diane away from the Coffee Shop, as witnessed by Bounty and Peter Parker, but managed to slip away and hide from the Amazonians through unrevealed means. Eventually, the combined efforts of Spider-Man and Bounty, who helped fake her death, allowed Diane and Jack to start their new life together. They eventually had a child.
--Peter Parker: Spider-Man Annual 2000
Sabine seemed to be the leader of a small group of Bacchae, she instigated the shooting at Wannabee's and informed their leader of their problems with the X-Men.
--Uncanny X-Men I#450, Uncanny X-Men I#451
images: (without ads)
Uncanny X-Men I#451, p11, pan2 (main image)
Fantastic Four III#20, p22, pan5 (capture Bounty and friends of the Fantastic Four)
Peter Parker Spider-Man Annual #2000, p22, pan5 (Bounty makes an offer)
Peter Parker Spider-Man Annual #2000, p16, pan3 (Bloody Mary)
Peter Parker Spider-Man Annual #2000, p14, pan7 (Diane)
Uncanny X-Men I#451, p6, pan1 (Sabine)
Fantastic Four III#7 (July, 1998) - Chris Claremont (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Mark Powers (editor)
Fantastic Four III#20 (August, 1999) - Chris Claremont (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Mark Powers (editor)
Fantastic Four III#21 (September, 1999) - Chris Claremont (writer), Salvador Larroca (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Peter Parker Spider-Man Annual #2000 (December, 2000) - Chris Claremont, Bill Rosemann (writers), Joe Bennett (pencils), Mark Pennington (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Uncanny X-Men I#450 (December, 2004) - Chris Claremont (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Mike Marts, Stephanie Moore, Sean Ryan (editors)
Uncanny X-Men I#451 (December, 2004) - Chris Claremont (writer), Alan Davis (pencils), Mark Farmer (inks), Mike Marts, Stephanie Moore, Sean Ryan (editors)
Last updated: 07/05/14.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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