Cleopatra (Sarah Brandeis)

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© Juke Box Productions


AstroFacts


Status: Active
Real Name: Sarah Brandeis
Origin: Astro City: The Dark Age Book Three #1
Affiliation: Honor Guard

An early member of the Omega Rangers

Base of Operations: Astro City
Range of Operations: Global, Intergalactic, Inter-dimensional
Debut April 6, 1982


Personal Data


InfoDump


Appearances (in Publication Order): Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.1 #1, 6

Kurt Busiek's Astro City Vol.2 #1, 6, 7, 9, 19, 20, 22
Astro City: Local Heroes #1, 3
Astro City: Beautie #1
Astro City: The Dark Age Book Three #1, 4
Astro City #1, 2, 3, 6, 17, 25, 27


Event Timeline

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A current member of Honor Guard, Cleopatra protects Astro City and the rest of the world from various menaces. She is the successor (of sorts) to the original Cleopatra.

History

How It All Began

Sarah Brandeis was a regular working woman, assisting the archaeologist Dr. McGillicuddy. In 1982, while doing research work, he found the Gem of Thebis, an item of great magic power. The sinister Hellsignor came seeking it, clashing with various superheroes in the process. To prevent him from controlling the necklaced gem, the Point Man, a member of the Omega Rangers, tossed the artifact around Sarah's neck. In that moment, for better or worse, she found the power and responsibility of Cleopatra irrevocably thrust upon her. With her newly acquired powers, Sarah vanquished Hellsignor to another dimension, but was left confused and overwhelmed.

In the ensuing months, The Omega Rangers helped her adjust to the culture shock of her new situation. Their most vital assistance was providing her with training on using her powers effectively. She quickly earned membership with the team.

Joining Honor Guard and Solo Efforts

Cleopatra has been a member of Honor Guard since at least 1995 and has had many exploits with them. During the Enelsian Invasion, Cleopatra and Honor Guard were instrumental in discovering the initial Enelsian scout ship and later defending Astro City, which faced the brunt of the aliens attack. She also was present when the reawakened Omnius Rex in late 2004 required the combined might of Honor Guard, the First Family and other heroes of Astro City to be ultimately defeated.

In 2008, she again took part in helping repel an invading alien force with Honor Guard, this time the Torori, whom the team fought with at Jupiter Station in outer space.

But her adventures with Honor Guard are only a part of her deeds, she has a stellar history apart from the team as well. In December of 1995 she took on Gnomicron at some point, presumably defeating the creature according to Mr. Bridwell's notes. A few weeks later in January, while members of Honor Guard were covering for Samaritan and Winged Victory's first date, Cleopatra faced a tornado threatening Topeka, Kansas. During Thunderheads attempted destruction of the Astro City in September of 1996, she joined many various heroes in defending Astro City.

Teaming with Jack-in-the-Box on a case in April of 2003, the duo reapprehended Demolitia and Slamburger who were trying to intimidate a member of the east-coast mob to agree to a deal on their terms.


Current Honor Guard Activities

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Currently, she continues to serve with Honor Guard, as both a fighting member, and—it appears—part of the management team, guiding employees of Honor Guard's Emergency Call Center, a complex and highly sophisticated organization for gathering intelligence information, screening incoming emergency calls and monitoring world crisis situations.

She was among the superheroes who investigated Telseth's doorway and witnessed his arrival on Earth. ("Through Open Doors (Part One)")

When Honor Guard made a charity appearance in Australia, she took the time to personally thank the Contact Center employees who organized it, congratulating them on the good work. ("Welcome to HumanoGlobal")

Alongside the rest of the team, she laid siege to the Skullcrushers' hidden base in Ecuador. When the Assemblyman was able to create a portal into the facility, she was part of the squad that went in. Afterwards, she spoke to Marella Cowper, a guilt-plagued Honor Guard employee who felt all the violence was due to a mistake on her part. Cleopatra convinced her that she deserved to keep her job, that it was employees who worked to fix their mistakes who're the keepers. ("Mistakes")

She fought the Ore-Master in his debut crime, when he attacked the home of a mining executive. He escaped that time, but he resurfaced to continue his vendetta, this time on a mine itself in Canada, and Cleopatra brought him down. ("Through Open Doors (Part Two)")

Powers

Cleopatra carries the Sun-Staff of Ra which the first Cleopatra also wielded in a somewhat different form. This mystic weapon can generate a pyramid-shaped force field called a "Power-Pyramid." By controlling their size, she uses them to bind adversaries.

She or her staff also possess a weather-shaping ability, and many are the foes who've been harried by storm and struck by lightning. She can survive in space without artificial protective gear, and she can fly. Some of these powers may be natural, while others might be dependent upon magical forces within her staff.

Cleopatra has significant super-strength, placing her with the highest echelon of super-powered entities--like Samaritan and The Gentleman.

Observations

  • She is the second superhero to bear the name Cleopatra.
  • Sarah's regular, casual speech was noticeably different from Cleopatra's grand, formal elocution. As Cleopatra, she sometimes even referred to herself in the third person. However, in her most recent appearances, Cleopatra is talking much more like a regular 21st century woman, perhaps indicative of some change in the very nature of the transformation.
  • In the story "Her Dark Plastic Roots", following an adventure with Honor Guard, she casually mentions an "afternoon lecture" as part of her schedule for the day. Considering her connection to Dr. McGillicuddy, this might indicate her position as a professor of archaeology at an area university.
  • She switches between her Sarah Brandeis and Cleopatra IDs via transformation.

Speculations, Theories

  • Based on her being in her early 20s at the time of her origin (1982), her age should range between the late 40s to early 50s. Her powers also seem to preserve her age, and her beauty.