Comics
Published March 1, 2022

Caught in Spidey's Web: Who is Calypso?

Get to know this mysterious villain!

DAREDEVIL (1964) #310 interior art by Scott McDaniel
DAREDEVIL (1964) #310 interior art by Scott McDaniel

Born in Haiti, the priestess Calypso Ezili studied and wielded powerful arcane magic. She would soon be known to those who crossed paths with her as 'The Witch' and 'Hunter of Souls.'

Introduced over 40 years ago, she has proven herself a formidable opponent for our New York heroes, Spider-Man and Daredevil.

Want to know more about this unyielding sorceress? Keep reading!

Calypso

first spell

Calypso made her first appearance on the page of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #209 as Kraven the Hunter's paramour. 

Thrilled with the hunt, and disappointed that Kraven had dropped his pursuit of the wall-crawler, Calypso manipulated and pressured the Hunter to return to "greatest" as he wasn't getting any younger and just letting his talents go to waste.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #209 interior panels by Alan Weiss
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #209 interior panels by Alan Weiss

It's Dark Magic, Baby

Her time on a small Caribbean island was spent envying the tribal heads who wielded ancestral power. Calypso devoted herself to the practice of arcane magic to satisfy her deep hunger for power and control. Drawn to the darkness and evil, she welcomed the sacred ceremonies that required a blood sacrifice, easily making the kills necessary to be her own master.

After the death of Kraven, she needed somewhere to focus her lust and direction, even taking on his hatred for Spider-Man. Obsessed with not just being a witch, but the Witch, she didn't hesitate sacrificing her younger sister—securing her second kill, and first soul. This was just the start; the number of souls she has taken is staggering. 

SPIDER-MAN (1990) #4 interior art by Todd Mcfarlane
SPIDER-MAN (1990) #4 interior art by Todd Mcfarlane

Insatiable desire to torment and toy

With her heightened powers, Calypso mastered mind control, rituals, poisons and spells, and resurrection. She also has the ability to dull Spidey's spider-sense, control animals, and harness the evil spirits that serve her. In taking over her sister's possessions, she found herself able to control over her servant, the Nameless One, a strong zombie. Her power would soon take on the ability to zombify others as well as possess their bodies. She has spared herself from death by resurrecting herself.

SPIDER-MAN (1990) #4 interior art by Todd Mcfarlane
SPIDER-MAN (1990) #4 interior art by Todd Mcfarlane

Summoning the rage

During a five-part story arc titled 'Torment' (SPIDER-MAN (1990) #1-#5), her hatred for Spider-Man reached its boiling point as she blamed the web-slinger for the Hunter's death in 'Kraven's Last Hunt.'

Armed with her potions and incantations, Calypso took over the Lizard's will and possessed his mind, aiding her in her takedown of Spidey. With Calypso's spirit drums pounding in their minds, she drew them both into a savage and fierce frenzy. With all three near death, following a building explosion, Calypso lived to see another day by faking her death by summoning some magic and having another building collapse on herself.

SPIDER-MAN (1990) #5 interior art by Todd Mcfarlane
SPIDER-MAN (1990) #5 interior art by Todd Mcfarlane

Controlling the (Dare)devil

Interested in resurrecting Kraven, Calypso found herself in Hell's Kitchen with the Nameless One.

Believing she found her former paramour's old foe, Daredevil, she pursued the red demon hoping to triumph over him. Impaling the beast with its own severed horn, Calypso was disappointed to find out it wasn't Daredevil, but his doppelgänger, Hellspawn. The real Daredevil was able to defeat the Nameless One, but the Witch was able to best the Man Without Fear, transforming him into her new Nameless One servant, who was mystically bound to her. Together, they captured Haitian refugees within the city as she transformed them into more zombies.

DAREDEVIL (1964) #311 interior art by Scott Alan McDaniel
DAREDEVIL (1964) #311 interior art by Scott Alan McDaniel
Calypso's Back

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