Obscure DC Characters: Isis

Isis was a made for TV character who shared air time with Shazam, or Captain Marvel as he is better known.

The Isis segments featured high school teacher Andrea Thomas, who discovered an ancient Egyptian amulet while on an archaeological expedition. Through the amulet, Andrea was given super strength, super speed, the power of flight, and a form of telekinesis. Like Billy Batson before her, Andrea literally transformed into a new superhero, the inimitable Isis. Also like her male counterpart, the heroine received her powers from an ancient legendary source, the Egyptian goddess Isis, by intoning the magic words, "Oh mighty Isis!"

Andrea used these newfound powers to right wrongs and defend the helpless and downtrodden. Joining her on the show were pet crow Tut, fellow teacher Rick Mason, and students Renee Carroll and Cindy Lee. Somehow, the other humans never managed to figure out her secret identity.

After two seasons together, the heroes parted ways. Isis continued to fight evil under the new title 'The Secrets of Isis' from 1977-78. Both heroes later returned to Saturday morning in animated form, Isis as part of 'Tarzan and the Super 7' and Captain Marvel as half of 'The Kid Super Power Hour With Shazam'.

DC ran a book for Isis from 76 to 78, I believe.

Isis appeared in the following DC Comics:
SHAZAM! #25 (Sep-Oct 1976)
ISIS #1 (Oct-Nov 1976) - #8 (Dec 1977-Jan 1978)


Alter Ego: Andrea Thomas
Occupation: High school teacher.
Known Relatives: Unnamed father (deceased); Viola Thomas (mother).
Team Affiliation: The Freedom Force.
Base of Operations: Originally in California, later in The Valley of Time.
First Appearance (television): THE SHAZAM/ISIS HOUR (September 6th, 1975)
First Appearance (comic book): SHAZAM! #25 (Sep-Oct 1976)
Height: ~ 5 ft. 8 in.
Weight: ~ 130 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Brown

History: Four millennia ago, in ancient Egypt, an evil magician named Serpenotep conquered the Land of the Nile by imprisoning the benevolent wizard that had protected the people. Serpenotep ruled tyrannically until the original Isis, posing as a servant, sneaked past the guards and into the wizard's prison. The wizard explained that she would be unable to free him until Serpenotep was defeated, but that he was able to transfer some of his power into those who are worthy. Using his magic, he caused an amulet necklace to appear around her neck, and an amulet tiara on her head. He told her that she now possessed the powers of the pyramid — she could soar as the falcon soars, run with the speed of gazelles, and command the elements of earth and sky. The new heroine then confronted the wicked tyrant. Serpenotep commanded his snakes to entwine the young goddess, but she recited an incantation which freed both her and the old wizard. Isis and the wizard combined their power and encased Serpenotep in stone. For years afterwards, Isis guarded those in need, until the day finally came that she passed on. She predicted that she would come again, in another form, to battle evil.

A few centuries later, during the mid 15th century B.C., Queen Hatshepsut ruled as Egypt's first and only female pharaoh. Thanks to his powerful magic, the old wizard still lived, and served as her royal sorcerer. Sensing greatness in her, the wizard presented the Queen with the mystical amulet. He told Hatshepsut that she and her descendants would be endowed by the goddess Isis with great powers. Upon donning the amulet and invoking the name of the goddess, Hatshepsut was transformed into the mighty Isis. After her death, the wizard took the amulet and hid it, along with a scroll which explained the secrets of Isis. He cast a spell, designed to lure one of the Queen's worthy descendants to the site, so that the power of Isis could be rediscovered in some future era.

In the early 10th century B.C., the wizard, who had long since left Egypt, traveled to Jerusalem and studied with King Solomon. On the king's death-bed, the wizard gathered a small essence from the dying wise man. From the banks of the River Styx, he drew the essence of Achilles. From the edge of the world, he implored the Titan Atlas to donate some of his power. In Thebes, he sought out the Greek demi-god Herakles, but instead found his Roman counterpart, Hercules, from which he drew strength. Upon hearing of the wizard's endeavor, the Roman god Mercury joined the coalition. The king of the Greek gods, Zeus, appeared and imparted a portion of his power. The wizard bound the power into a magic lightning bolt, and renamed himself Shazam.

Sometime in the late 20th century, an American teacher named Andrea Thomas traveled to Egypt as part of a scientific expedition. While digging alone at one of the sites, she discovered the amulet tiara and scroll. Something compelled her to put on the tiara, which felt oddly familiar to her. She then discovered that she could read the scroll, as if the amulet had given her the knowledge to understand the ancient hieroglyphics. It read "With this you shall have the powers of the goddess Isis: powers over the forces of nature, and of the animals; powers of the mystical regions of the mind. To have those powers, you must repeat the words 'Mighty Isis!'". Andrea felt compelled to try, and the greatest of heroines was reborn.

Years later, Isis gave up her Andrea Thomas alter ego, and helped form The Freedom Force, along with Hercules, Merlin, Sinbad, and Super Samurai. They operated out of a pyramid in The Valley of Time.

Weapons and Powers: Isis derives her magical abilities from her mystical amulet. She possesses powers over the forces of nature and animals, and powers of the mind, which she invokes through various incantations.

Comments: Isis is copyright (c) 1975 by Filmation Associates.

Note: Most of my info on the various Isis television series is based on the few web sites that I could find. You'll note some question marks in some of the episode titles, which reflects discrepancies between the sites. It was also not clear exactly where the dividing line was between the first and second seasons of The Shazam/Isis Hour.

Isis Live Action

Filmation Associates
06 Sep 1975 - 03 Sep 1977 (CBS)

ISIS Episodes:
1. "The Lights Of Mystery Mountain"
2. "Spots Of The Leopard"
3. "Fool's Dare"
4. "The Sound Of Silence"
5. "Rockhound's Roost" (?) or "Rockhound's Robot" (?)
6. "Lucky"
7. "Bigfoot"
8. "How To Find A Friend"
9. "The Showoff" (?) or "The Show Off" (?)
10. "The Outsider"
11. "Funny Girl" (?) or "Funny Gal" (?) [Guest-starring Captain Marvel]
12. "Girl Driver"
13. "Scuba Duba"
14. "Dreams Of Flight"
15. "No Drums, No Trumpets"

Relevant SHAZAM Episodes:
22. "The Odd Couple" (1975) [Captain Marvel and Isis first meet]
26. "Finders Keepers" (1976) [Guest-starring Isis]
28. "Out Of Focus" (1976) [Guest-starring Isis]

Andrea Thomas/Isis...Joanna Cameron
Rick Mason...............Brian Cutler
Cindy Lee..................Joanna Pang
Dr. Joshua Barnes.....Albert Reed

The Isis segments featured Andrea Thomas, a high school teacher who had discovered an ancient Egyptian amulet while on an archaeological expedition. When in the possession of the amulet, Andrea has but to speak the magic words "Oh mighty Isis!" and she is transformed into a super-powered heroine. Andrea's supporting cast included her pet myna Tut, the principal Dr. Barnes, fellow teacher Rick Mason, and student Cindy Lee.

After two seasons, Isis continued in her own spin-off series The Secrets Of Isis. She later returned in animated form as part of Tarzan And The Super 7.

Filmation Associates
17 Sep 1977 - 02 Sep 1978 (CBS)

16. "Seeing Eye Horse"
17. "The Hitchhiker" (?) or "The Hitchhikers" (?)
18. "The Cheerleader"
19. "The Class Clown"
20. "Year Of The Dragon"
21. "Now You See It..." [Guest-starring Captain Marvel]
22. "...And Now You Don't" (?) or "...Now You Don't" (?) [Guest-starring Captain Marvel]

Andrea Thomas/Isis...Joanna Cameron
Rick Mason...............Brian Cutler
Renee Carroll.............Ronalda Douglas
Dr. Joshua Barnes.....Albert Reed

The live action adventures of Isis continued for one more season. Andrea's supporting cast included her pet myna Tut, the principal Dr. Barnes, fellow teacher Rick Mason, and student Renee Carroll. She later made the transition from live action to cartoon form, appearing next as part of The Freedom Force on Tarzan And The Super 7.

Isis in Animation

Filmation Associates
09 Sep 1978 - 30 Aug 1980 (CBS)
27 Sep 1980 - 05 Sep 1981 (NBC, in reruns as "Batman And The Super 7")

1. "The Dragon Riders"
2. "The Scarlet Samurai"
3. "The Plant Soldiers"
4. "Pegasus' Odyssey" (?) or "Morgana's Revenge" (?)
5. "The Robot"

Isis.....................voice of Diane Pershing
Hercules.............voice of Bob Denison
Merlin.................voice of Mike Bell
Sinbad................voice of Mike Bell
Super Samurai....voice of Mike Bell

This animated series featured seven segments: Tarzan, Batman, Superstretch and Microwoman, Webwoman, Manta and Moray, The Freedom Force, and Jason Of Star Command. The Freedom Force's roster was comprised of Isis, Hercules, Merlin, Sinbad, and Super Samurai.

Isis in Comics

DC Comics, Inc.

#25 (Sep-Oct 1976) : Story One: "Isis ... As In Crisis!" [origin retold, Captain Marvel and Isis first meet]

DC Comics, Inc.

#1 (Oct-Nov 1976) : "Scarab — The Man Who Would Destroy" [origin retold]
#1 (Oct-Nov 1976) : Text Page: "The Legend Of Isis"
#2 (Dec 1976-Jan 1977) : Story One: "The Creature From Dimension X"
#2 (Dec 1976-Jan 1977) : Story Two: "Lost & Found"
#3 (Feb-Mar 1977) : Story One: "The Wrath Of Set!"
#3 (Feb-Mar 1977) : Story Two: "Political Rally Panic"
#4 (Apr-May 1977) : Story One: "Treasure Of Lost Lake"
#4 (Apr-May 1977) : Story Two: "Avalanche!!"
#5 (June-July 1977) : "Perilous Pyramid Power"
#6 (Aug-Sep 1977) : "The Ominous Ooze"
#7 (Oct-Nov 1977) : "Feel The Fangs Of The Serpent King" [origin of 1st Isis revealed]
#8 (Dec 1977-Jan 1978) : "Darkly Through The Mutant's Eyes"

Original text copyright DC Comics unless otherwise noted. Used without permission.