Jeannette was born centuries ago into a tenuous lineage of Hungarian nobility. Noble but poor, her family sold its belongings so that it could send her at the age of nine to the Castle Csejtein order for her to serve Countess Bathory and learn the ways of the court. What no one outside the castle realized was that Countess Bathory was perhaps the most horrific female serial killer of all time. Jeannette was forced to watch as the Countess and her four assistant horribly tortured, mutilated and killed young girl after young girl. The horror was so great Jeannette lost the ability to speak. She was told that she was the favorite and would therefore being saved for last.
Eventually, the Countess and her assistants were tried and punished. Jeannette managed to have herself remain the Countess' servant to care for the dark lady while she spent the rest of her days locked away in a room, bringing meals and removing the waste. But the truth of it was Jeannette sprinkled tiny quantities of broken glass into every meal.
The process took years, but soon Countess Bathory could not experience even a day without pain. Medical attention was denied her, and she went mad from the endless torture Jeannette inflicted upon her.
Jeannette died by the blade of an executioner's axe for reasons unrevealed. She paid off the executioner with her mother's necklace, the only piece of jewelry she had left. This was to ensure the executioner would make it quick, but he did not. The first three swings of his axe missed their mark, cracking and breaking her body without killing her. The horrible trauma of this caused her to lose touch with herself and who she had been. She found and became the banshee.
Created by Gail Simone and Nicola Scott, Jeannette appeared in the first arc of the Secret Six ongoing series to become the new sixth member of the team. At first, it was heavily alluded to that she was a vampire because of her apparent long life, her supernatural nature and her ownership of a casino called Nocturne. However, it was soon revealed that she was actually a banshee. Simone stated that she asked John Byrne for his blessing on making Jeannette the same kind of creation as his Silver Banshee.
Major Story Arcs
UnhingedFor further details: Unhinged
Centuries later, Jeannette was still very much alive and running a Las Vegas hotel-casino known as Nocturne. She had acquired for herself a large and loyal staff, very much like her own private army. But this life must have begun to bore her. She took up an offer from an old friend, Scandal Savage, to join the Secret Six and help them on their job to deliver the Get Out of Hell Free Card to Gotham City. She housed the team at Nocturne when the arrived in Las Vegas, helping to protect them from the horde of supervillains after the bounties on their heads. Then, she left with them for Gotham.
Along the way, Jeannette made her sexual intentions towards Deadshot very clear. She cornered him in a rest stop restroom, telling him the story of her past with Countess Bathory as she began to have her way with him. However, he shot her. It was beginning of Deadshot's play to take the card and bring it to Gotham City on his own. But being shot was only a small bother to Jeannette.
She caught up to Deadshot in Gotham with the rest of the Six, just in time for an all-out supervillain brawl on the bridge into the city. She saved Deadshot from Captain Stingaree's sword, twisting the Captain's head backwards. She remarked that by all rights she should have let Deadshot die, yet she did not. When it was all over, she knew the Get Out of Hell Free Card had to be legitimate, because she understood Neron's sense of cruelty on the matter. A fake card would only condemn one person, but a real one would cause misery for so many more.
Despite the shooting, Jeannette continued to pursue Deadshot. He reeked of death, and this turned her on. Things progressed between them after she forced him into a double date with Scandal and Liana Kerzner
. From this point on, they were in something resembling a relationship. Or at the very least, they were having regular sex.
She informed Deadshot that he reminded her a great deal of her first husband. This was a man who hid behind money and being a soldier as an excuse for all of his killing. She loved him, and she threw him to his death. Deadshot looked very much like him.
Tensions rose in the Secret Six after taking a protection job over a prison being constructed by slavers, especially when it was revealed that the Amazon known as Artemis
was one of the slaves. Jeannette had a great dislike of Amazons
but disliked even more the idea of these men having Artemis as their slave. She snuck into Artemis' cell during the night and freed the Amazon, only to be discovered by the rest of the Six. The team split on what should be done, whether to do the job as they agreed or free Artemis. Deadshot came down on the side of doing the job and shot Jeannette, again. Catman
also came down on the side of doing the job, while Bane
and Scandal sided with Jeannette. Wonder Woman
's arrival forced a pause in the Six's disagree. Artemis appeared dead, and Wonder Woman wanted answers. Jeannette, however, was not so willing to cooperate. The two fought, with Jeannette taking a brutal beating from Wonder Woman until transforming into her banshee form and unleashing her terrible scream. The horrors of her wail were enough to fell Wonder Woman, while Jeannette almost lost herself to her banshee form. Scandal was able to talk her back to her normal self. She was carried off by Scandal, joined by Bane who carried Artemis.
Jeannette soon recovered some semblance of her sanity and took part in helping the rest of the imprisoned Amazons escape. She and Catman were attacked by Mr. Smyth's fierce assistant, who was in fact an Amazon herself. A cut to Jeannette's neck caused her to lose grip on her mind once again as she began flashing back to her beheading. She and Catman were saved by Deadshot, who put a bullet in the Amazon's head. In the aftermath of this job, she supported Bane's decision to take over leadership of the Secret Six.
The Darkest House
A fight over the Get Out of Hell Free Card between Scandal and Ragdoll dragged the Secret Six into Hell, where each of them were confronted with the harsh reality that they were all inevitably damned to reside there. But Ragdoll was offered a position of authority there and invited the Six to stay with him as his court now. The alternative was to return to Hell when their times came and be among the suffering instead. Jeannette, along with King Shark, voted that they stay to be part of the upper class of Hell now rather than later suffer in the pits. The tied vote was broken by Deadshot, who opted to just start shooting.
The battle ended with the arrival of Lady Blaze, ruler of Hell. She subjected each of the Six to their own personal hells. Jeannette was sent back to a time in her memories where her former husband turned on her in disgust when he realized her banshee nature. She revealed that she clung to the hope that if she could be loved she could be mortal again.
Refusing to break, as did the other members of the Secret Six, they were allowed to use the card to free Knockout and leave Hell, knowing they would all return eventually.
Caution to the Wind
When Bane decided it was time he returned to Gotham City to hurt Batman
, Jeannette and the rest of the Secret Six fell in line behind them for reasons they could not easily verbalize. This unfortunately led to the team being cornered in Gotham by practically an army of superheroes. Jeannette was absolutely panicked at the idea of losing her freedom due to traumatic experiences with her own execution and in a gulag. She was willing to tear apart Huntress as a hostage to prevent it but was talked down from the futile gesture. She, like the rest of the Six, chose to instead go out fighting as hard as they could, going so far as to inject themselves with Venom
in the effort.
Jeannette was prevented from unleashing her banshee scream on the superheroes by Black Canary
, who preemptively took Jeannette down with her own Canary Cry. Like the rest of the team, Jeannette was taken into police custody.
Powers and Abilities
Jeannette appears to be immortal, having lived without aging for centuries and endured great physical trauma without any long-term harm. She has also shown to be a lot stronger and faster than a human being. She can break padlocks or chains with her bare hands, or throatlift man.
Transforming into her banshee form, the scream she released causes those who hear it to experience all the horrors of her traumatic death at the clumsy axe of an executioner. This is what she beat Wonder Woman with.