Not much is known of the background history of Kate Waynesboro. She was a young woman whom was enlisted by the security organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. and soon became one of their agents. Kate Waynesboro first appeared in Bruce Banner's life after he managed to seize control over his Hulk personality, imprinting his own will and thoughts over that of the rampaging beast. Despite the fact that Banner had received a Presidential pardon, SHIELD remained concerned about the potential for the Hulk to spin out of control, and assigned Waynesboro as an undercover agent to monitor his condition.
Kate Waynesboro first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #287 (1983) and was created by Bill Mantlo and artist Sal Buscema.
Major Story Arcs
Danger for Kate
Nearly killed by the jealous Recordasphere when it discovered Kate's true purpose, the scientist was soon kidnapped by the Abomination and transported to an AIM facility. There, she was implanted with the terrorist group's technology and transformed into the sinister Ms. MODOK, but rebelled against both MODOK and AIM, destroying much of the facility and reversing the transformation process before the Hulk came to the rescue.
Shortly thereafter, Kate and Banner struck up a relationship, complicated by the fact that Bruce was still unnerved by the fact that SHIELD had used her to spy on him, and the Hulk's regression back into a mindless beast at the hands of the Ringmaster. Resigning from SHIELD, Kate began working with Banner full-time at Northwind Observatory on the Gammascope, putting her extensive knowledge of gamma radiation to medical uses, only to be kidnapped by Boomerang. The Hulk's participation during the Secret Wars meant that Kate was essentially abandoned in the mercenary's hands for weeks, until such time as the Hulk returned from Battleworld and rescued her. By this time, however, the Hulk had fully reverted to his Savage persona, and Kate found herself working once more for SHIELD in order to restrain the Hulk and help Banner re-assert his personality. An attempt using the Gamma Gun backfired, and the Hulk turned on Kate, striking her even as Banner's consciousness became fully subsumed by the Hulk. With the man she loved essentially gone, Kate returned back to SHIELD full-time.
World War Hulk
More recently, Kate returned to the scene in the fallout of the conflict known as World War Hulk. Though the Hulk had finally been subdued and captured, his elite band of warrior companions, the Warbound, still remained at large in the ruins of New York City. Interrogating the treacherous Warbound member Miek, who lay crippled in the Number 42 prison, Kate learned much about the alien warriors, as well as herself. According to Miek, Kate was tracking the Warbound out of more than just duty; she intended on healing her own guilt regarding her past with the Hulk by finding solace with those who knew him.
Tracking the Warbound through the sewers of New York City, Kate was caught up with the team when the Leader's teleporting devices transported them into the New Mexico desert, where the gamma-irradiated villain used the Oldstrong Power of Hiroim to create a deadly dome of gamma radiation over hundreds of square miles, cutting this "Gammaworld" off from the outside world. Assisting the Warbound in protecting the trapped civilians and aiding them in their fight against the Leader, Kate found herself becoming attracted to Hiroim, and used her experience with gamma-radiation to help the Warbound deal with the crisis. In the final battle against the Leader, Hiroim (whose body was breaking down from the strain of manipulating the Oldstrong Power) transferred its energies to Kate before he died, transforming her into a Shadow Warrior and giving her the power to drive off the Leader. With Hiroim dead, Kate took her place as one of the Warbound, aiding the rest of the team as they sought to protect the remaining humans from the radiation-empowered creatures of Gammaworld.
With Norman Osborn's ascension to power following the recent Skrull invasion and the establishment of H.A.M.M.E.R., the walls of Gammaworld have been brought down and the region cleansed of radioactive contamination through the combined efforts of Kate and H.A.M.M.E.R. scientists. Even as Osborn declares that the Warbound will be pardoned due to their efforts at protecting the humans trapped in Gammaworld, Kate senses the arrival of Skaar, the Son of Hulk, onto Earth, and warns Osborn of the threat posed by him. Shortly after the Son of Hulk arrives on Earth, Kate's trust in Osborn is betrayed when H.A.M.M.E.R. captures and tortures her in order to unlock the secrets of the Old Power, but she is rescued by Banner and Skaar and returns to the Warbound.
Powers & Abilities
As a baseline human, Kate had no extraordinary powers, instead relying upon her SHIELD training and scientific knowledge to get the job done. As Ms. MODOK, Kate possessed powerful telepathic and telekinetic abilities, as well as a hyper-charged intellect, though these powers were removed when she reverted back to normal.
More recently, Kate has been transformed into an alien Shadow warrior, granting her heightened strength, endurance and resistance to injury. She has also been granted the Oldstrong Power, a semi-mystical ability that is possessed by a sole Shadow each generation. With the Old Power, Kate becomes a living conduit for the energies of whatever planet she is standing on, allowing her to channel these energies to strengthen her attacks, convert her body into living stone and manipulate geological forces to heal the planet or generate earthquakes.