All the women that have carried the title of the Magdalena descend from Mary Magdalene and Jesus himself. They are holy warriors and protectors for the Catholic Church. The secret of their lineage was lost until recently, and threatens the fabric of the Church itself. According to a letter discovered by Cardinal Innocent, Mary Magdalene was the head apostle and wife of Jesus, a man, a prophet and a king but not more of less a son of god than any other man.
It is unclear of whether the title is passed on by blood or by tradition. There is an Order of the Magdalena from which the one Magdalena is chosen and/or discovered. All of them lead secluded lives as nuns, and have little exposure to the outside world until they are called into service. The title seems to be traditionally passed from mother to daughter but not always.
Arianne de la Croix (1253)
A covenant in France discovered Arianne's blood relations to Mary Magdalene. She was made the first official Magdalena.
Benedetta Maria Ferro (1671)
A Magdalena who appeared in the Black Sails. Benedetta was in charge of safeguarding treasures brought from the New World to holy father. Her ship was intercepted by Darkness bearer Miguel Estacado, and the two entered into a fierce battle. Before succumbing to death, Benedetta sank the ship although Miguel managed to take the Spear of Destiny from her hand as consolation price.
The first Magdalena introduced in the comic recovers the Spear of Destiny from Adolf Hitler in Berlin. To do that she eliminates a number of Nazis. She first uses her powers to show Hitler the evil he has committed, which is said to be the main reason for his suicide.
Rosalia was called into active duty to investigate a vampire rumor surrounding a number of killings in France. Confronted with the so called vampires, she learned that they were in fact affected by a rare disease which had shunned them from society. Rosalia intended to help them but by then she had called on the agents of the Inquisition, the Garduna, who made a move to eliminate the alleged vampire coven. Rosalia had no choice but to battle with their former employers who eventually took her life.
It was later revealed that as a teenager, Rosalia was raped and gave birth to a daughter who was taken from her and brought up in a convent. This child eventually took her mother's place as the second Magdalena.
Mariella was sent by Cardinal Innocent to kill the Darkness, Jackie Estacado even though her training was unfinished. Her first encounter with the Darkness wielder ended in disaster and resulted in the Spear of Destiny being broken. Three other sisters from the Order of the Magdalene came to assist her, but the Darkness still emerged victorious.
Mariella managed to recover from the ordeal and received word that the Spear was in a secret location in the Amazon jungle. Upon traveling to the Spear's location in order to retrieve it, she ended up facing the Angelus, Lauren Franchetti, as well as her daughter Appolonia who wielded the Spear and chose to use it for darkness. As the battle progressed, the Magdalena was able to prevail against the Angelus' warriors but could not gain the upper hand against the combined forces of the Angelus and her daughter. Lauren then chooses to give herself completely to the Angelus entity and rather than choosing to face her daughter for embracing the Darkness, she flees from the battle. Mariella apparently survived the confrontation and was successful in recovering the Spear.
The current wielder, and so far the one with the most independent spirit.
Major Story Arcs
Patience was raised in a convent and eventually ran away just as Kristoff, a captain and designed Shepperd of the Magdalene by the Knights of Malta, was sent to retrieve her. Along with a runaway named Rowan, Patience discovered New York, and learned that she had lived a very secluded life, with very little knowledge of the outside world.
Once she was discovered, Patience revealed her skills when she squared off against Kristoff. Their bout ended in a draw, and Patience agreed to hear him out. After taking her to a cathedral, he explained the destiny of the Magdalena. Although when Patience left, she found that Rowan had been kidnapped. While hesitant, Patience accepted to embrace her destiny in order to save her friend. She traveled with Kristoff to the island of Malta, where she was presented with the shattered remains of the Spear of Destiny. Patience then proved her worth by regenerating the Spear anew using a drop of her blood and powers that blind all those observing the phenomenon. This more than suggested that the Magdalena's power does not come from the Spear, but rather from the Magdalena herself. The Spear of Destiny remained a perfect conduit, and we later learn that as it is considered the Spear of Longinus from christian tradition, it also shared the myth of being the same Spear of Lugh from Celtic tradition.
Mathias, overseer of the island of Malta, explained to Patience that a new pagan order called the Bright Hand wanted to claim the Spear as part of their Celtic tradition. Mathias instructed the Knights of Malta to capture them, although it was later discovered that Mathias was actually a traitor and was working for the Bright Hand all along.
Patience, Kristoff and the Knights of Malta traveled to Prague to stop a ritual that involved Rowan herself as a sacrifice. Patience reached Rowan as the battle raged around them. When a portal was created by the leader of the Bright Hand Rowan urged Patience to throw the Spear into it. This ended up being a trick, as the portal allowed Chernobog, a creature from another plane and a bringer of destruction, to cross into our world. Rowan was then revealed to be the daughter of the leader of the Bright Hand and was used to deceive the Magdalena as part of the plan to use the Spear in order to summon Chernobog.
Patience then cut her hands to call upon the power of her lineage. As she levitated above the battle and crossed the portal into the other plane, she found the myths of the Spear of Longinus, the Spear of Lugh and the legacy of the Magdalena together. As she was about to retrieve the Spear a snake spoke to her and revealed how tainted the truth has become, although Patience's faith actually grows stronger with the truth. With a mighty heave, Patience freed the Spear and beheaded the snake. Once she returned back to reality through the portal, she throws the Spear at Chernobog, resulting in his destruction. Her victory is praised by the fathers of the Church, but Patience knows there is more truth out there than the Church cares to admit or even reveal.
Patience is later sent by the church to kill Lara Croft who is searching for the Rapture on behalf of Sara Pezzini. The previous host, Tom Judge, was found murdered and Sara needs Lara's help to figure out what the item is. As the church knows very well what the Rapture is capable of they need anyone who is searching for it removed. Unaware of Lara's intentions, Patience attacks her and only Lara's incredible skills keep her from being killed by the descendant of Mary Magdalena.
During their next encounter Lara is able to convince Patience that she is not looking to use the artifact, she is searching on behalf of a friend and that she has no intentions of using it. Patience saves Lara from being killed by one of her handlers and is in turn branded as a rogue. The church send other units to eliminate both Lara & Patience but the duo are able to stop them and to keep the Rapture from falling into the wrong hands.
Patience is later seen several times in the company of Sara Pezzini, The Witchblade bearer, and also encounters Jackie Estacado who is being hunted by the Angelus. The Angelus mistakes patience for her predecessor and attacks the duo. When the Angelus' host is killed by Appolonia Franchetti, the Angelus force possesses Patience but is driven out. Patience fights and is forced to kill a member of the Angelus' Cast before the birth of Sara's child. She helps The Darkness protect Sara while she is giving birth to Hope Pezzini. Afterwards she encounters another Angelus Cast and is forced to kill it as well. Patience is considered a liability to the Catholic Church and she is unaware that they are plotting to kill her and replace her with another of the Magdalena line.
Patience is on the hunt to find a demon(s) who has ben priests, and her is a man she can tell comes from Hell. She finds her suspect, Tom Judge, bearer of the Rapture. She finds him at a church and attacks him, but Danielle Baptiste , bearer of The Angelus, stops her. Patience accuses Tom of killing the priests but Dani tells her that she got the wrong guy. At that moment Jackie Estacado , Sara Pezzini, and Abby, the Necromancer bearer of half of The Heart Stone, appears. Sara comfirms Tom's alibi and then request Patience help because Hope Pezzini has been kidnapped and the crime involves the Artifacts bearers.
Tilly Grimes, a precog and friend of Tom Judge, gets everyone's attention and explains that they need to find the bearer of thirteenth Artifact and bring him to their side. Sara, Jackie, and Dani go look for the Curator to get more information but they comeback saying they were step up for a trap and that Curator is dead. Sara is upset and on her way out she confronted by Aphrodite IV , the one who kidnapped Hope. Aphrodite IV is aided by Cyberforce and a all out commences between the two groups.
Patience and the Necromancer team up against Cyberforce members Velocity and Cyblade. The battle ends after Aphrodite is taken down by Velocity's sister and team mate Ballistic. The members of Cyberforce explain that the assault was due to a lie that Aphrodite IV told them. Sara explains the situation team and afterwards Aphrodite reboots and attacks everyone with the power of the Coin of Solomon . Sara attacks her from behind and rips the Coin of Solomon from Aphrodite's chest.
Powers and Abilities
The Magdalene is trained on several forms and styles of fighting. She's an expert on both unarmed and armed combat but favors medieval weaponry. She's an excellent sword and knife fighter, as well as considered unbeatable when she wields the Spear. She has been known to use firearms on occasion and carries one concealed handgun among the many swords, blades, knives and throwable devices she carries.
The Spear of Destiny itself seems to augment the Magdalena's power. It appears more of a perfect conduit to power the Magdalena already owns. The weapon seems to react better to true conviction than mere fanatical religious zeal. The Spear itself seems to become weak, and even breakable, should the faith of the bearer falter. The Magdalene has also the skill to show her enemies their own sins with increased intensity. This ability can break anyone's resolved - provided they feel guilt over what they've done.
It has also been proved the Magdalene's own blood has incredible power. In times of great need, it can perform miracles (it can even fuse the Spear back together) but it has always depend on the Magdalena's conscious participation. The Magdalena is also very well versed in religion, history, folklore, myth and battle tactics. Her main weakness has been her lack of street-smart senses and religious overconfidence due to her secluded life but the latest holder of the title of the Magdalena, Patience, seems to be changing all that as she has walked away from the shadow of the Church and now faces the world on her own.