Meet the Bacchae, Marvel’s Amazonian Warriors
Who are the Bacchae? Read on to discover this group of Amazon warriors who fled oppression and vowed to protect women—no matter what the cost.
Few of the Marvel Universe’s secret societies are as fierce as the Bacchae. Although the name is a reference to the brutal female followers of Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine, the Marvel Universe’s take on the mythological group is anything but mad. Instead, they are powerful warriors who have stood toe-to-toe with some major heroes. With the clan returning in the pages of SCARLET WITCH (2023), here’s what you need to know about the Bacchae.
The Bacchae Join the Marvel Universe
Created by Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca, the Bacchae debuted in FANTASTIC FOUR (1998) #7. As Reed Richards’ old friend Alyssa Moy helped Franklin Richards flee a group of extradimensional bounty hunters called Technet, they stumbled upon the Bacchae, who were attempting to punish members of a New York street gang for trespassing on their territory. Unable to stand by and do nothing, Moy intervened and stopped the Bacchae from harming the men. Furious, the Bacchae began to plot their revenge.
The Bacchae returned in FANTASTIC FOUR (1998) #20, where the aptly named Bounty attempted to capture Alysande Stuart, AKA Caledonia, who at the time was working as Franklin’s nanny. The Bacchae arrived right after Bounty and captured several key characters, including Franklin, Moy, and Valeria Von Doom.
Foes in tow, the Bacchae went to their hideout, Club Danae, where they introduced classic Hercules villain Hippolyta as their queen. As that story revealed, the Bacchae were female runaways that Hippolyta had recruited and trained. She was also working with Hades, the Greek God of the Underworld. In the end, the Fantastic Four and Hercules arrived to rescue their captured allies.
In the decades that followed, the Bacchae appeared sporadically in other titles. For example, PETER PARKER SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL (2000) #1 saw the titular hero working with Bounty to free a Bacchae member named Diane from the group so that she could be with her lover, who was part of a different gang. The Bacchae later returned in UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #450 and #451, where they attempted to take over mutant-owned businesses in Manhattan. That time around, they were led by a character called Sabine.
Most recently, the Bacchae returned in GAMBIT (2022) #1, though not as villains. Instead, Gambit and a de-aged Storm went to the group for information about the Shadow King. That story characterized the Bacchae as an ancient, almost mythical clan of warrior women with members across the globe. Sabine, for her part, was training children and teaching them the group’s values of honor and living by their own rules.
The Bacchae Set Their Sights on Darcy Lewis
Now, the Bacchae have returned to the Marvel Universe. As revealed in SCARLET WITCH (2023) #4, Hippolyta founded the group in ancient times to save Amazonians from oppression. Later, she turned the secret society against wicked men in general. Over the years, new sects of the organization with differing views and methods popped up, though their goal remained to protect women and free them from oppression.
One of those sects is the Daughters of Enyo, who take their name from a Greek Goddess of War. Darcy Lewis—Scarlet Witch’s assistant at the Emporium—infiltrated this group prior to the series’ start. However, along the way, she committed a major transgression. As a result, Hippolyta has returned—now using the name Scythia—to kill Lewis, an act she’s honor-bound to carry out. Considering just how deadly Hippolyta can be, that means Lewis’s only hope for survival is now the Scarlet Witch.
To find out just what happens with Darcy Lewis and the Bacchae, pick up SCARLET WITCH #4, on sale now!
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