Marvel Studios Disney Plus streaming series Hawkeye is set to begin production soon and, as we draw nearer to cameras starting to roll, we’re learning more and more about the project. The recent report that one of Marvel Comics classic female villains, Madame Masque, is going to feature in the project has a lot of folks asking the same question: who is Madame Masque. Murphy’s Multiverse is here to help…in 400 words or less!
The woman who would become Madame Masque was born Giuletta Kristina Nefaria, the daughter of Avengers foe and made Maggia man Count Luchino Nefario. The Count sent her away and she spent her early years living with a foster family where she was known as Whitney Frost; however, when she discovered her true heritage, she came back to work for her father and eventually took control of the Maggia. A nasty little accident left her face permanently scarred so she had a fancy golden mask constructed for her, popped it on and became known as Madame Masque. For much of her early years in the comics, she found herself at odds with Tony Stark and while there are some great stories there, they’re not really significant in this context.
Madame Masque made a major resurgence in the 2000s, finding her way into several of the line-wide events such as Civil War, Secret Invasion, Dark Reign and Siege and then, beginning in November of 2012, she became a recurring figure in Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye run. MM caused quite a problem for Barton when she acquired and subsequently auctioned off a recording of Hawkeye assassinating a world leader (don’t worry, he didn’t actually do it). Both Barton and his protege Kate Bishop went to great lengths to prevent the video from going public and eventually stumbled their way into foiling MM’s plan, stoking her rage and making Kate the focal point of her vengeful plot. Madame Masque then became a constant thorn in Kate’s side even following her to Los Angeles and putting her through the ringer on more than one occasion.
Given that Hawkeye is rumored to deal with the fallout of Clint’s time as Ronin, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Madame Masque finds her way into the series much in the same way she did in the comics: by having the dirt on the Avenging Archer! We’ll all find out together in 2021!