main image

DONNA MARIA PUENTES

Real Name: Donna Maria Puentes

Identity/Class: Human (Rio de Muerte)

Occupation: Avengers secretary; former administrative worker at the Swine's prison labor camp

Group Membership: Avengers Support Crew (Peggy Carter, Robert Frank Jr., John Jameson, Edwin Jarvis, Dr. Kenneth "Keith" Kincaid, M'Daka, Zachary Moonhunter, Michael O'Brien, Fabian Stankowicz)

Affiliations: Avengers (Black Knight/Dane Whitman, Black Widow/Natasha Romanova, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Crystal/Crystalia Amaquelin, D-Man/Dennis Dunphy, Falcon/Sam Wilson, Hercules/Heracles, Thor/Eric Masterson, Vision), Diamondback (Rachel Leighton), SHIELD (Sharon Carter and others)

Enemies: Blue Marvel, Doughboy, Man-Fish, Nazi X, Primus, Red Skull (Johann Shmidt), Swine, Arnim Zola

Known Relatives: Hector Santiago (cousin)

Aliases: "Baby", "Baby girl" (nicknames used by Captain America)

Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
                                   formerly Avengers Headquarters, New York City;
                                   formerly Rio de Muerte, Central America

First Appearance: Captain America I#206 (February, 1977)

Powers/Abilities: Donna Maria Puentes possesses no known superhuman abilities. Though she is proficient in the use of bladed weaponry, throwing daggers with great accuracy, she abhors violence and cruelty, even turning against her own family to fight for freedom and justice. In later years, as a refugee in the United States, she proved a talented secretary who could use the advanced computer systems of the Avengers Headquarters with ease.

Height: 5'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 120 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black

Donna Maria sunbathing

History:

(Captain America I#206 (fb) - BTS) - Through unrevealed circumstances, the beautiful Donna Maria Puentes found herself working as administrator in a slave labor camp in Rio de Muerte, ran by her sadistic cousin Hector Santiago, better known as the Swine. She disliked her cousin and hoped that one day a man would come to break Santiago as he had broken countless others.

(Captain America I#206) - Donna Maria would often sunbathe in the most skimpy of outfits after work, distracting both the guards and the Rio de Muerte inmates with the sight of her luscious body. Even though the Swine had repeatedly told her he really didn't care for this, she refused to obey her cousin, after all she wasn't "one of the sheep who served him here".

(Captain America I#207 - BTS) - Through a convoluted scheme, Captain America ended up in Rio de Muerte. He came across a work detail and even engaged the Swine and his troops in personal combat. Cap defeated them all and left the vainglorious Santiago hanging helpless on a nearby tree branch, in full view of his prisoners, who were so numbed down from by the brutal tyranny they had endured that they didn't even attempt to escape.

(Captain America I#207) - Donna Maria, having overheard what happened to the Swine, visited her cousin in the prisons underneath the camp where we he was torturing the prisoners to make sure they would speak of his embarrassing defeat to no one. Donna Maria once again openly defied Hector, even calling him "The Swine"  to his face. But Santiago was far more concerned with capturing the American hero. Donna Maria, however, was thrilled to know Cap was out there, figuring he would beat the Swine.

Donna Marie opposing the Swine

(Captain America I#208) - The Swine took the reluctant Donna Maria with him when he and his men went out into the woods to look for Captain America. When they managed to trap Cap in a pit, the Swine prepared to fry the Avenger with a flamethrower only for Donna Maria to step up and throw her knife at the killing machine. Startled, the Swine dropped the flamethrower but assaulted his cousin instead. Fed up with Puentes' continued defiance, he threw her into the pit with Cap just as he prepared to burn both of them alive. However, before he could carry out his plan, the Swine and his troops were surprised and overpowered by the Man-Fish (one of Arnim Zola's creations terrorizing the local area). Cap helped Donna Maria from the pit after the immediate threat had seemingly passed. They spotted the Swine's boots in a nearby stream, leading them to conclude Hector had died (see comments). Moments later, they were attacked by the Man-Fish. Cap told Donna Maria to stay out of the fight, but the brave girl still grabbed a stick and stood ready to attack the monstrous amphibian. Before the monster could act, it responded to an ultrasonic call signal and departed. With barely enough time to contemplate what had just occurred, Cap and Donna Maria were then greeted by the Man-Fish's creator, Arnim Zola, the Bio-Fanatic.

(Captain America I#209) - Donna Maria was initially dumbstruck when she met Zola, noting that he had a camera where his head was supposed to be. Arnim wasted no time, summoning his creation Doughboy to grab Puentes and Cap, before transforming into a flying saucer and rapidly heading towards Zola's base. Cap figured he could buy time by getting the talkative Zola to reveal his origins, which the villain didn't mind at all, even creating seats out of Doughboy for the Avenger and Donna Maria. However, when it became clear Zola considered them his personal property Cap attacked, with Donna Maria cheering him on. However, Zola manifested the superbly strong Primus who easily defeated Captain America and grabbed Puentes, claiming her for his own.

Donna Maria vs Zola

(Captain America I#210) - Cap rallied to aid Donna Maria against Primus, but Zola got involved, attempting to use his handheld Stimulator to deal with the situation. Realizing the object's power, Puentes desperately struggled to yank it out of Zola's hands, but he merely laughed at her attempts before throwing her aside. Using the dials on his device, he had Doughboy restrain Puentes and Cap until he could deliver them to a cell in his castle. Primus briefly railed against his master, feeling he had claimed Donna Maria and was deserving of her. The uncaring Zola forced the rebellious Primus to revert to his base elements, but not before the malleable servant vowed he would be back. Even as Cap and Donna Maria examined their prison, looking for a way out, Zola contacted the Red Skull to inform his master of who he had captured.

(Captain America I#211) - Much to their surprise, Donna Maria and Captain America discovered they shared their cell with Zola's ferocious Nazi X. After fighting him for a brief bit, Zola appeared to reveal the creature contained a living brain. While he was pontificating, Donna Maria snuck up behind him, covering his camera and allowing Captain America to grab the Stimulator. Using the device to make a run for it, both Puentes and Cap were unaware Zola could shift the entire castle to his will, using the devices in his lab. Arnim transformed the building, leading the two escapees into the basement that was guarded by a giant, stone monster with deadly sharp teeth. Backed into a corner, Donna Maria and Cap met Zola once again, who had shifted his lab to the basement and showed them more of Nazi X. The crazed scientist revealed the living brain powering his creation belonged to Adolf Hitler, before announcing he would be placing the Führer's brain in Cap's body.

(Captain America I#212) - Unwilling to stand by and see Zola transfer Hitler's brain into Cap's body, Donna Maria hurled a random canister at the mad scientist. Its volatile chemical contents caused an explosion on impact, startling Zola and giving Cap and Donna Maria a chance to leave. They decided to carry as many canisters as they could, figuring the items would be useful weapons. As they made their way out of Zola's sentient castle, they were forced to use a few to fight off the many threats conjured up by the structure. In the end, just as they made it out, they were confronted by the Red Skull (who had come to witness Hitler's resurrection, along with his prisoner, SHIELD agent Sharon Carter). Cap, though already weakened by his recent ordeals, decided to stay behind and fight his archenemy while Zola's castle slowly exploded behind them. In the end, Zola and the Skull seemingly perished in the flames, while arriving SHIELD operatives managed to get Cap to safety. They noted how concerned Puentes seemed with Cap's survival.

(Avengers I#305 - BTS) - Some time later, remembering her adminstrative skills, Captain America reached out to Donna Maria and invited her to join the Avengers Support Crew. She accepted a secretarial position at the newly constructed Avengers Headquarters in New York City.

(Captain America I#404) - Bernie Rosenthal, hoping to find Captain America home, decided to visit Avengers Headquarters at 8.00 in the morning on a Saturday. She found Donna Maria behind the reception desk, who had already checked her identity as a visitor with level 4 clearance. She informed Bernie that Cap wasn't in, according to the status board he was "on a mission". Just then, Jarvis and the brain-addled D-Man came into the lobby, on their way out for a walk. Donna watched as Bernie decided to join them for a stroll through Central Park.

(Captain America I#405 - BTS) - When D-Man wandered off in Central Park, Bernie went looking for him. When she couldn't find him, she figured he might have wandered back to Avengers Headquarters. She went to a pay phone to call in, only for Donna Maria to tell her D-Man hadn't been in.

(Captain America I#404/2) - Donna Maria was chatting with John Jameson when Diamondback entered the lobby of Avengers Headquarters. Before Jameson could introduce the two, Puentes assured the pilot she knew who Rachel was, after all the scanners had already identified her. When Diamondback proved particularly absent minded, Jameson got worried and asked Puentes to track her movements. When the security cameras showed Diamondback breaking into the med-lab, Jameson decided to go and find out what she was up to.

(Captain America I#405/2) - Donna Maria signed off on Diamondback taking several bags of Captain America's blood plasma from the med-lab, allegedly to use it as bait to trap the supervillain Crossbones.

(Captain America I#409) - Cap's reluctant pilot Zachary Moonhunter was chatting up Donna Maria, inviting her to go out with him after her shift when Cap stormed into the lobby, requesting his services. Moonhunter agreed to help out, apologizing to Puentes for having to postpone their date, but the amused Donna Maria replied she hadn't even agreed to go yet. Moonhunter fired back with a playful "you haven't said "no" either!".

Donna Maria meets Blue Marvel

(Quasar I#41) - Donna Maria was at work behind her desk when the Blue Marvel arrived at Avengers Headquarters to join the team. Sensing trouble, Donna Maria tried to remain calm while she subtly tried to signal for help. The Blue Marvel sensed this and captured her in one of his light constructs to prove both his point and strength. Donna Maria remained relatively calm while the Avengers rushed to the lobby to deal with the menace.

(Avengers I#363 - BTS) - With Donna Maria off for the night, the Avengers Headquarters' computer system automatically informed all in house teammembers of visitors. Sersi went out to the lobby to meet NYPD homicide detective Joseph MacNamara and his associate.

Comments: Created by Jack Kirby (writer, pencils, inks).

Leave it to Mark Gruenwald to salvage a bit player like Donna Maria, a refugee from Kirby's days on Captain America. She was fiery, not afraid of anything or anyone and ready to jump supervillains at the drop of the proverbial hat. In other words, a classic, voluptuous Kirby woman in the style of Big Barda. It's a shame she was relegated to obscurity when the Avengers Support Crew was laid off following the Onslaught tragedy.

Donna Maria's cousin the Swine is still presumed dead, but if Roger Stern and John Byrne had continued their early 80s run on Captain America, Hector Santiago would have turned up alive and well.
The creative duo had planned out a three issue storyline in which he would have appeared alongside Arnim Zola and the Red Skull. However, in those days Marvel's editor in chief Jim Shooter insisted stories would be told in a single issue, leading to Byrne and Stern quitting the book in protest. However, there are unpublished pages of Captain America I#257 that show the Swine trying to kill Cap by having him run over with a gasoline truck.

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Donna Maria Puentes should not be confused with


images: (without ads)
Captain America I#211, p3, pan1 (main image)
Captain America I#206, p17, pan1 (sunbathing)
Captain America I#208, p13, pans2&4 (opposing the Swine)
Captain America I#210, p2, pan4 (fights Arnim Zola)
Quasar I#41, p2, pan1 (faces the Blue Marvel)


Appearances:
Captain America I#206 (February, 1977) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils, editor), Frank Giacoia (inks)
Captain America I#207 (March, 1977) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Frank Giacoia (inks)
Captain America I#208 (April, 1977) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Frank Giacoia (inks)
Captain America I#209 (May, 1977) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Frank Giacoia (inks)
Captain America I#210 (June, 1977) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Mike Royer (inks)
Captain America I#211 (July, 1977) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Mike Royer (inks)
Captain America I#212 (August, 1977) - Jack Kirby (writer/pencils/editor), Mike Royer (inks)
Captain America I#404 (Early August, 1992)  - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Blevins & Larry Alexander (pencils), Danny Bulanadi & Ray Kryssing (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#405 (Late August, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Steve Alexandrov (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#409 (November, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Quasar I#41 (December,
1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Andy Smith (pencils), Ralph Cabrera (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Avengers I#363 (June, 1993) - Bob Harras (writer), Steve Epting (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 08/02/15

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™  and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters