Power Princess grew up living on a peaceful place called Utopia Island on Earth-712, the Squadron Supreme's world. The Utopians believed that their race was created by the Kree through genetic experimentation, making them the equivalent of Earth-616's Inhumans. As a result, the Utopians were far more advanced while the rest of the worlds' humans were in their early stages of development.
During Earth-712's equivalent of World War II, Power Princess helped the side of the Allies against Germany and Japan, and served as a member of the Golden Agency. When "man" started playing around with atomic and nuclear bombs, the Utopians felt the world was threatened. Being a peaceful race, they found the easiest solution would be to simply leave Earth. They built a spaceship and left, however Zarda stayed behind as Power Princess and served as the Utopian's emissary. She became a founding member of the most renowned team of heroes on her world: the Squadron Supreme.
Power Princess first appeared in Defenders #112 in October 1982 and was created by JM DeMatteis and Don Perlin. As a member of the Squadron Supreme, her character parallels a DC Universe superhero - in this case, Wonder Woman.
Major Story Arcs
Power Princess and the other Squadron Supreme heroes fell under the mental control of the Overmind and were used by him to rule over their Earth. Hyperion was able to resist his influence and traveled to Earth-616 to seek help. The Defenders and Hyperion returned to Earth-712 and together are able to defeat the Overmind and Null the Living Darkness, but as a consequence their planet was thrown into chaos.
The Utopia Program
Based on the principles of Zarda's Utopia Isle and motivated by Power Princess and Hyperion, after a vote amongst the team the Squadron Supreme decide to take control of the US government and implement the Utopia Program. The intention was to use their knowledge and powers to solve all the world's problems, whether social, environmental, criminal or health-related. However, since their methods included behavior-modification of criminals and other controversial theories, Nighthawk (one of the founding Squadron members) resigned and formed a rebel team called the Redeemers to try to stop their plans.
During this period, Hyperion from Earth-616's Squadron Sinister is brought to Earth-712 when Master Menace (an enemy of the Squadron) banishes the real Hyperion to a pocket dimension. He feigns amnesia and becomes romantically involved with Power Princess. When the real Hyperion returns, he defeats and kills Earth-616 Hyperion, who dies in Zarda's arms, confessing to having murdered the elderly Howard Shelton, her former love from World War II.
Power Princess and Earth-712 Hyperion begin a real relationship and were in the process of handing back power to the US government when Nighthawk and the Redeemers attack. The death of Nighthawk in the ensuing battle leads to the assembled heroes realizing the error of their ways and halting the Utopia Program and disbanding the Squadron.
The Nth Man
In the days following the end of the Utopia Program, Professor Imam (a World War II hero on Earth-712 and their world's Sorcerer Supreme) appears and summons the Squadron to confront the Nth Man, a being of immense power threatening to destroy the Universe.
Although the Nth Man is defeated by Squadron member Arcanna's infant son Benjamin swapping places with the Nth Man, Master Menace turns on the team and sends the team into dimensional exile. They eventually end up in Earth-616 reality.
Trapped in Earth-616
Power Princess and the Squadron encounter Quasar when they arrive in the Earth-616 reality, but are taken under the mind-control of the Overmind. The Overmind uses the team to attack the Stranger on Laboratory World. Power Princess breaks free of his power and with the Stranger is able to defeat the Overmind. The Squadron takes up residence at Project: Pegasus and Power Princess makes friends with Quasar and Blue Shield.
When Imus Champion uses the Corruptor to mentally influence the team yet again, he makes the Squadron believe that the Avengers were still dead after the Onslaught Saga and causes the two teams to fight. Champion uses the situation to defeat both sets of heroes and is only beaten by the timely intervention of Giant Man. With equipment called the 'Nth Projector' found in Imus Champion's collection, Iron Man helps the Squadron Supreme to return to Earth-712.
Global Directorate and The Exiles
When the Squadron arrive back in their dimension, they discover that their world is under the rule of a corporate dictatorship called the Global Directorate who are using a behavior-modified Master Menace and his technological genius to rule the people.
Mysterium (formerly the Nth Man/Dr Thomas Lightner who had tried to destroy the universe) regroups the team with other original members, while Power Princess is able to track down the Amphibian. The team take up residence on Power Princess' former home Utopia Isle from where they fight the forces of their enemies.
Proteus, an escapee from the House of M, arrives on Earth-712. He helps the team fight off the Blue Eagles - the Global Directorate's shock troops - and weasels his way onto the Squadron's good side so they'll be on his side when the Exiles (the interdimensional superteam who are on his trail) arrive. The Exiles turn up and are attacked and put on trial by the Squadron, while Proteus escapes. With the help of Heather Hudson, the Exiles reveal to the Squadron that somehow once again they have been duped. After the Squadron Supreme and the Exiles team up to depose their fraudulent government, Power Princess joins the Exiles.
Member of The Exiles
Power Princess joins the Exiles at the Panoptichron and makes a plan with them to recapture Proteus. Unfortunately her idea backfires when she accidentally stabs Maestro who attacks her and her new team. Proteus is able to break Maestro's neck, merge with Morph and escape to another reality. Zarda remains with the Exiles for a time, even after they are able to finally trap Proteus in Morph's body, but eventually volunteers to leave and return to the Squadron Supreme. Psylocke takes her place on the Exiles' roster.
Powers and Abilities
At the peak of her attributes, the entity called Power Princess has several naturally inherent powers attributed to her genetic stock, granted to her by Eternal engineering. Amongst her physical attributes, Zarda has immense superhuman strength and can lift past 80 tons. She has super-humanly enhanced speed and reflexes, allowing her reaction time and hence her defensive combat to mix in many highly effective manners. Her skin and mass are highly durable and can deflect most small caliber artillery, explosives, fires, electricity, and physical damage. It takes a great deal of force to knock Zarda out. As a Utopian, her genes give her extended longevity, and immunity to some disease and illnesses. Lastly she has the ability to fly and is able to travel at great speeds for quite a period of time.
Since she first debuted as Power Princess, Zarda has used a shield of unbreakable transparent material. She has used her shield in almost all her arenas of combat and it stands of a symbol of her ideals, almost serving as her standard. Trained in defensive and offensive tactical combat Zarda often takes charge of field work, trusted by all the Squadron's members as a highly trained warrior.
On the alternate Earth setting of ''Supreme Power'', Zarda awakens after having waited for almost two-thousand years for the arrival of Hyperion (Mark Milton). She claims that they are both of the same race, and exhibits many of the same powers that Hyperion does. However, this version is more callous, killing people in her way on a whim, and treating humans as "mere dust." In addition to having powers similar to the first Power Princess, she also can shoot beams of energy from her eyes which she can use not only to kill, but also to drain victims of their youth and vigor, keeping herself eternally young. She is able to heal herself or Hyperion with the same process.
During the Ultimate Power crossover, Zarda along with her teammates from the Squadron Supreme of Earth-31916 travel to the Ultimate Universe (Earth-1610) to arrest Mr. Fantastic for crimes he had committed on their world, and after a short battle with the Fantastic Four, X-Men, the Ultimates, and Spider-Man, they do so, taking Mr. Fantastic back to their universe only to be followed by the heroes of the Ultimate Universe. Zarda speaks with Hyperion of how he cannot save everyone, but this talk is cut short as Hyperion senses that the Ultimate heroes have arrived leaving Zarda to clash with Thor. Zarda later comes to Hyperion's aid, but is defeated by Thor as well. Thanks to the Scarlet Witch, Zarda does battle with the Power Princess of Earth-712, but all of the heroes from all three universes join forces to stop the Hulk how is now out of control. After all of this, the Squardron of Earth-712 is sent back to their own universe, and to make sure nothing like this ever happens again, Zarda goes with the Ultimates back to their universe, leaving her team and lover Hyperion behind.
Zarda is next seen in Manhattan, New York in the Ultimate Universe in battle with Thunderball, Wrecker, Piledriver, and Bulldozer of this universe, she defeats all of them, but Captain America steps in and stops her before she could kill Wrecker. She is then told by Captain America to learn from the people of Earth, to live among its people and not above them, and that the Ultimates do what they can to spare lives, even their enemies. Zarda then leaves to do as Cap requested and to learn from Earth's people. At a diner somewhere in Kansas, Zarda finds the Hulk causing trouble, she and Hulk then do battle, she then defeats Hulk, but spares his life under Captain America's orders. She then sleeps with Hulk.
During Ultimatum, Zarda travels with Mr. Fantastic and Doctor Doom back her universe to get Nick Fury and bring back to stop Magneto from destroying the planet, which they do and after Magneto is defeated Zarda is seen back in New York helping the remaining Ultimates and S.H.I.E.L.D. clean up the damage Magneto had caused.
Eight months after Magneto's attack, Zarda has joined the Ultimates, and joins with Captain America and Valkyrie to fight of The Defenders who are attacking Iron Man and Hawkeye on top of the Triskelion, but the Defenders escape. Zarda is then seen watching Tony Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Carol Danvers arguing, she then listens to Captain America as he tells her that something needs to be done about those two, Zarda then tells him that she believes that they are doing more then arguing with their free time and that if he came with her back to her quarters that she'll show him how she sees it, which he denies her offer and simply walks away. Later, Enchantress manipulates her, Valkyrie and Carol Danvers to face the other members of the team (the men).
In Other Media
The Super Hero Squad Show
Power Princess (alongside the Squadron Supreme) appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Whom Continuity Would Destroy" voiced by Susan Eisenberg.
Power Princess makes a non-speaking cameo alongside the rest of Squadron Supreme in the Avengers Assemble season 1 episode 7 "Hyperion". They also appear as statues in Hyperion’s Fortress later, but obscured so you can’t tell who is who.
She later makes a full appearance in the season two episode "Dark Avengers," voiced by April Stewart. She is depicted as a villain along with the rest of her teammates.
X-men: Battle of the Atom
Zarda is featured in the mobile card game "X-Men: Battle of the Atom" based on the comic book story with the same name. Her cards are:
- [Original Exiles] Power Princess
- [Originals] Exiles