Introduced as a member of the Frightful Four —an evil counterpart to the Fantastic Four— while lost in the human world and suffering from amnesia, Medusa soon regained her memory and was recovered by the Inhuman royal family, who'd been searching for her.
Having grown up on Attilan as part of the Royals, Medusa formed a close (and telepathic) bond with her distant cousin Black Bolt, who she'd later marry and have a son —Ahura— with. Her sister, Crystal, is a former lover of the Human Torch and the ex-wife of Quicksilver.
Medusa's Inhuman ability (activated upon exposure to the Terrigen Mist) is her prehensile hair, which she can grow and control as if they were limbs. Like other Inhumans, she also displays advanced strength, and her hair alone can support more than a ton.
Over the years, Medusa became Queen of the Inhumans, even serving as their acting ruler during Black Bolt's frequent disappearance. She became especially prominent in the wake of Infinity, when a Terrigen Bomb unleashed on Earth activated the powers of latent Inhumans worldwide. Relocating Attilan to New York City, she became the new face of Inhumans on Earth, and played a major role in the second superhuman Civil War when an Inhuman with precognitive abilities was discovered.
Moreover, she was a key figure during Inhumans vs. X-Men, which concluded with Medusa abdicating from her throne on Earth after the conflict was resolved. With the rest of the royal family, she heads back into outer space, seeking answers about their kind and why they came to be.
Medusa has appeared frequently in other media, showing up in various cartoons based on Marvel characters, like Fantastic Four and Disney XD's Marvel Universe block. In 2017, she made her live-action debut in the ABC series Inhumans, played by Serinda Swan.
Notable Comic Books
- Inhumans vol. 1 (1975 — 1977)
- Inhumans vol. 2 (1998 — 1999)
- Inhumans vol. 3 (2000)
- Inhumans vol. 4 (2003 — 2004)
- Silent War (2007)
- Secret Invasion: Inhumans (2008 — 2009)
- War of Kings (2009)
- FF (2012 — 2014)
- Inhumanity (2014)
- Charles Soule's Inhumans (2014 — 2017):
- Inhuman (2014 — 2015)
- Inhumans: Attilan Rising (2015)
- Uncanny Inhumans (2015 — 2017)
- A-Force vol. 1 (2015)
- A-Force vol. 2 (2015 — 2016)
- Civil War II (2016)
- Inhumans vs. X-Men (2016 — 2017)
- Royals (2017)
- Death of the Inhumans (2018)
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance (2006)
- Marvel: Avengers Alliance (2012)
- Marvel Future Fight (added in 2016)
- Marvel Puzzle Quest (added in 2016)
- Marvel Heroes (added in 2017)
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (2019)
- The Fantastic Four (1978) note
- Fantastic Four (1994), voiced by Iona Morris
- Disney XD's Marvel Universe block:
Medusa provides examples of:
- Action Girl
- Fiery Redhead: When she's not trying to act above-it-all as a queen, she's emotional to a fault with a temper as dangerous as her hair.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Most of her costumes are form-fitting, if not Stripperiffic.
- Graceful Ladies Like Purple: Medusa is the queen of the Inhumans and is often seen wearing purple.
- Happily Married: Usually, though some of the things they've gone through have strained their marriage. As of Inhuman, they are estranged. Uncanny Inhumans sees her in a extramarital relationship with Johnny Storm.
- HeelFace Turn: Was originally introduced as a member of the Frightful Four, enemies of the Fantastic Four, though she was suffering from Laser-Guided Amnesia at the time.
- The High Queen: Of the Inhumans and has served as such whenever Black Bolt has not been in power. She's since dispensed with the role since the responsibilities wore her down over the years.
- I Have No Son!: Inverted, during the time Ahura was imprisoned and subject to Mind Rape, one of the few things he said to her was that he didn't consider her his true mother.
- Ill Girl: During Royals, her powers stop working and Medusa begins dying. Noh-Varr explains that it's because she destroyed the Terrigenesis cloud, meaning terrigenesis itself is rejecting her, a "death by symbolism".
- Insistent Terminology: During Royals, she has to keep reminding people (Gorgon in particular) that she's not a queen anymore.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: She is this when she's on the side of angels. When she's not and acts according to her own morally dubious code of what's best for the Inhumans, she drops the "lovable" part.
- Mama Bear: She's willing to stand up to the Genetic Counsel and even Black Bolt to protect her son.
- Most Common Superpower: She's often drawn with a fairly large bust.
- Mundane Utility: While her main use for her Prehensile Hair is as a form of Combat Tentacles, she's also seen using for things like signing an autograph.
- Prehensile Hair: Her incredibly long red hair which cannot be cut unless she allows it to be. And if it is, it can move independently of her. In the 21st century, a few clever artists have drawn her weaving her hair into battle armor during sustained combat situations. Given its strength and invulnerability, this is an excellent idea both on the character's and the artists' part.
- Purple Is Powerful: Is often depicted wearing purple outfits, which makes sense, considering how she is the Queen of the Inhumans.
- Statuesque Stunner: Officially stands at 5'11"/180cm tall, and she's quite attractive.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: From Secret Invasion onwards, she becomes increasingly snide and rude, especially towards her sister. And then she gets worse when Black Bolt apparently died in the T-Bomb detonation. It's died down since Black Bolt came back though not that much.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Since she's long gotten used to movement on the edge of her vision, what with her hair, her peripheral vision is her blind spot.