TW Villain: Neo-Hydra Picture

Over the long period of time that the Greek goddess Hera held her grudge against Samantha West, she sent many, many opponents and creatures after the heroine, either to directly defeat her, humiliate her, or as part of larger, more elaborate schemes. Out of all of these attempts, only two came truly close to their ultimate goals. The first of these was the Neo-Hydra.

The Hydra was a terrible creature, a legendary descendant of the titan Typhon that could grow two more heads for every one that was removed. Even the mighty Herakles had required outside assistance to defeat the beast, cauterizing its wounds and trapping the single indestructible head under a massive rock. Hera realized such a creature would pose a great challenge even to one empowered by Zeus. Using her resources, she had the immortal head of the Hydra dug up.

But a hydra alone would not be able to completely defeat its quarry. It needed that little extra edge to make it a truly unstoppable opponent. And that is when Hera committed an act that would nearly push Zeus to outright execute her: she went into Tartarus, and took from it some of the blood of Typhon himself, a creature so powerful even Zeus had barely defeated him. She mixed this blood with the flesh of the hydra, and nursed to life an entirely new creature, a Neo-Hydra.

Its growth surprised even Hera, as even in its infancy it was strong enough to give even her pause. In its adulthood, it would be unstoppable. However, she knew that when it reached that point, it would destroy Mount Olympus before she could attempt to unleash it upon Thunder Woman, and no one would be able to control it. As a result, she released the Neo-Hydra onto Earth well before it could reach full maturity, and waited for what would happen.

Thunder Woman naturally appeared in response to reports of a huge serpent-like creature rampaging in downtown Newport City. She intercepted the creature, and at first it seemed to be no more difficult that any other overly large monstrous creature. But then it caught her in its grip, and to her horror, Samantha found herself unable to break its grip. It took a tremendous blast of energy to free herself, a blast that she thought would surely killed it. Instead, it emerged unscathed, any injuries sealing up immediately. In fact, it was more than just healing its wounds. Its regeneration caused it to increase in size and mass, even growing new arms and tails.

The battle between the two was violent and vicious. But in the end, the Hydra came out on top, immobilizing Thunder Woman in its crushing coils. Helpless in its grasp, Samantha could do nothing as the hydra bit her, injecting the heroine with a venom so potent that it could affect even her godly constitution. Its task accomplished, the Neo-Hydra would have finished her off, were it not for the intervention of the NPCPD Metahuman Response Unit. Though they fared little better, it was enough to allow EMTs to extract Thunder Woman and take her to an emergency center. But no matter what the doctors good do, nothing could work to stop the venom coursing through her body, and even pumping it out proved ineffective, as the substance merely multiplied like its source, seemingly growing into a network of snake-like creatures within Thunder Woman's body, threatening to rip her body apart from within.

During this desperate time, Samantha revived momentarily, long enough to utter a prayer to Zeus himself. He responded, personally arriving with the daughters of Asclepius, the god of medicine. Together, they were able to heal Thunder Woman, removing the horde of snake-like parasites from her body and all traces of the venom.

But unless Thunder Woman changed her strategy, it was guaranteed that the previous battle would only repeat itself. Samantha was a student of Greek mythology; she was familiar with the legends of the Hydra, and how Herakles had defeated it, but this creature was different, more powerful; it was not necessarily guaranteed that cauterization of the wounds would prevent it from regenerating and growing. That was when Samantha came up with a clever plan.

She confronted the Neo-Hydra again. Since the previous battle, it had matured and grown even more powerful than before. Even the intervention of Hermes, giving Thunder Woman various mythical weapons, and the assistance of Herakles was not enough to overcome the beast. But Samantha had a plan. She repeatedly blasted the Neo-Hydra, and continuously repeated doing so. Every time, the Hydra regenerated and grew, adding new arms and tails to its body. Eventually, the beast reached a point where it was so massive and had so many body parts that it could not function anymore, effectively immobilized by its huge size and mass. Now effectively neutralized, Thunder Woman called upon Zeus' power to deliver a blast so powerful, it completely incinerated the Neo-Hydra, leaving nothing but ashes.

After that, it seemed the Neo-Hydra was done for. But even its ashes contained microscopic traces of its regenerating flesh. The wind blew these ashes away, and they settled in the Blackbrier Swamp, where they infected the local wildlife, mutating it into an army of serpentine monstrosities. Even worse, it found its way in the city sewers, infecting the city populace. Even with the assistance of SHE, Thunder Woman found herself overwhelmed by the horde of mutations, and to top it all off, the Neo-Hydra itself was reforming itself from its "spawn." Even after many members of SHE fell trying to contain the outbreak, a virus reverse engineered from the Hydra's own cells was able to stem the tide of mutations, while a contained nuclear detonation by Boom-Jockey reduced the Neo-Hydra to its head, which was placed in cryogenic suspension, keeping it in a constant state of paralysis to prevent its full regeneration.

For now, the Neo-Hydra remains in containment. Should it ever escape, it would take considerable effort to defeat it again....

The Neo-Hydra is an enormously powerful creature, stronger than even Thunder Woman, and almost as tough. It has six arms and three tails, strong enough to physically restrain Thunder Woman and other super-strong types simultaneously. It possesses a phenomenal healing ability that allows it to regenerate from even a handful of cells, and when it does, it grows to even larger sizes, and its arms and tails multiply in number. Lastly, the Neo-Hydra's fangs contain a potent venom capable of harming even the divine, godly physiology of Thunder Woman and other Greek gods. Any attempt to use medicine on it results in the venom spawning into millions of microscopic serpents, which multiply until they rip the host's body apart.

Neo-Hydra, Thunder Woman, and all related characters are (c)