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Helena Sandsmark

Wonder Girl’s Mother

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Wonder WomanWonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark)

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 History


Ancient History

Helena Sandsmark is a distinguished archaeologist and former student of Julia Kapatelis at Harvard University. She gained further renown as the curator of the Gateway City Museum Of Cultural Antiquities. Helena raised Cassandra Sandsmark alone, never revealing to her daughter that she’d been fathered by Zeus, lord of the gods, during a visit to Greece. During her pregnancy, the young archaeologist was protected by her friend Aristides Demetrios, who was also the hero known as The Olympian.

Helena hired Princess Diana to work at the museum on Julia’s recommendation and was initially excited about the prospect of chatting about historical antiquities with someone who’d communed with the Amazons of Themyscira and the Olympian Gods. The downside of having Wonder Woman in her life became apparent during the job interview, however, when the Amazing Amazon was called into action to fight an ancient robot that Cassie had accidentally brought to life.


Wonder Woman enters the lives of the Sandsmarks in WONDER WOMAN #105 [1996].

Wonder Daughter

Beyond the attacks on the museum, Helena was horrified that Cassie was determined to become Wonder Girl. Although Diana agreed to Professor Sandsmark’s demand that she not encourage such an idea, the decision was taken out of their hands when the teenager petitioned Zeus for superpowers and he bestowed them. While not indicating any parental connection, the god included the proviso that Helena could remove those powers for an hour by merely touching her daughter.

In the midst of the newfound turmoil in her life, Helena found a seeming haven in demonologist Jason Blood, who delighted in her love of antiquities. That delight stemmed from the fact that he was centuries old and bonded with Etrigan the Demon. Though deeply shaken by the revelation and her subsequent imprisonment in Hell by the demon’s rival, Helena had formed a strong enough connection that she agreed to join the magician Merlin in helping save Jason’s life when the evil Neron severed the bond with Etrigan that kept the demonologist alive. The subsequent adventure was deeply traumatic; Helena’s body was actually possessed by the ancient sorceress Morgaine Le Fay at one point. Although Jason ultimately regained his link with Etrigan, his relationship with Helena soon ended.

Helena objects to Cassie’s super-heroic intentions in WONDER WOMAN #113 [1996].

As Diana prepared to leave Gateway City, Helena finally gave Cassie her blessing to continue as Wonder Girl with the understanding that she’d be well trained in combat by Artemis. Professor Sandsmark also supervised her daughter’s membership in Young Justice but openly objected to the fact that Cissie “Arrowette” Jones-King’s mother Bonnie encouraged her daughter’s participation without regard to the dangers. At one point, Helena even judged Bonnie’s behavior to be so dangerous that she kept Cissie with her and Cassie in Gateway City.

Helena remained there for Cassie in the troubled months that followed, adjusting when Wonder Girl’s true identity was publicly revealed by the Silver Swan, mending fences when the teen learned that Zeus was her father, and consoling her daughter after her boyfriend Superboy was killed during the Infinite Crisis.

During the Amazons Attack incident, Wonder Girl and Supergirl attempted to negotiate an end to the war between the Amazons and the United States but inadvertently made things worse when the president of the United States was killed. Helena was deemed a collaborator by the US government and sent to an interment camp, leading Cassie to mount an attempted rescue. At her mother’s insistence that the situation be settled peacefully, Wonder Girl finally departed.

In the war’s wake, Wonder Girl and her mother were viewed with a wary eye. Leaving the Gateway Museum, Helena took a sabbatical in Greece and used the Gauntlet of Atlas and Sandals of Hermes to keep her safe. They proved invaluable when she was abducted by the Female Furies and an ensorcelled Hercules. When the latter attacked Wonder Girl, Professor Sandsmark astonished her daughter by sending the demigod reeling with one punch powered by the godly gauntlet. The adventure also reunited Helena with her old friend Aristides Demetrios.

Helena and the Singhs in TEEN TITANS (third series) #89 [2011].

As the world’s attention shifted to other things, Helena returned to Gateway City and was pleased that Cassie was close by with the Teen Titans in San Francisco.

Helena later joined fellow archeologists Vijay and Rani Singh for an dig in Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan. When Vijay and Rani both mysteriously disappeared, Helena called the Teen Titans for help. Upon arriving, the Titans joined Kiran Singh – the brilliantly super-powered Solstice – in the search for her parents. But the team soon found itself trapped in a lost kingdom as they were attacked by the Hindu god King Rankor and his demonic minions. In the most brilliant display of her powers to date, Solstice unleashed a blinding pulse that drove the demons away, liberating Helena and the Singhs from King Rankor’s grasp.

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 Essential Reading


 Wonder Woman #105 [1996]: Diana applies for a job as a visiting lecturer at the Gateway City Museum of Cultural Antiquities… and proves her knowledge of the subject matter when an ancient Grecian artifact is brought to life. Diana meets museum curator Helena Sandsmark and her feisty daughter, Cassie. First appearance of Cassie Sandsmark and Helena Sandsmark.
Wonder Woman #111-112 [1996]: During a battle with a clone of Doomsday, Cassie “borrows” the Sandals of Hermes and the Gauntlet of Atlas from Wonder Woman, which imbues her with super-powers. Donning a wig and goggles, Cassie becomes “Wonder Girl.” First appearance of Cassie as Wonder Girl in issue #111.
Wonder Woman #113 [1996]: Cassie begs Diana to train her as the second Wonder Girl, although Helena strenuously objects; She later “borrows” the Sandals of Hermes and the Gauntlet of Atlas to battle Decay.
Wonder Woman #122-123 [1997]: Having been summoned to Mount Olympus by the gods themselves, Cassie boldly steals a moment of Zeus’s time and asks him to give her super-powers of her own. Zeus is so impressed by the girl’s courage and brashness that he does just that – granting Cassie her “fondest wish.”
Wonder Woman #129-135 [1998]: Helena’s body is possessed by the ancient sorceress Morgaine Le Fay while trying to save Jason Blood from the demon, Neron. Helena learns she can take away Cassie’s powers with a touch in issue #133.
Young Justice #7 [1998]: The mentors and parents meet with Red Tornado for a parent-teacher discussion. Helena has a heated argument with Arrowette’s mother.
Teen Titans (third Series) #29 [2005]: Cassie talks to her mother about her true parentage.
Teen Titans #48-49 [2007]: “Amazons Attack” tie-in. During the Amazons Attack incident, Wonder Girl and Supergirl attempt to negotiate an end to the war between the Amazons and the United States but inadvertently make things worse when the president of the United States is killed. Helena is deemed a collaborator by the US government and is sent to an interment camp, leading Cassie to mount a rescue.
Teen Titans (third series) #65 [2008]: Wonder Girl defeats Lycus by at last claiming her own gods-given powers. Cassie later reconnects with Helena.
Wonder Girl #1 [2011]:  During an Archaeology Conference in London, Solstice meets a like-minded friend in Cassie Sandsmark, whose mother was also a noted archeologist. The two fast friends soon clashed with the thieving Lady Zand, who is attempting to steal valuable artifacts on display at the conference. Cassie and Helena sort through their mother-daughter issues.
Teen Titans (third series) #89 [2011]: Helena joins  Vijay and Rani  Singh for an archeological dig in  Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan. 
Teen Titans (third series) #93-97 [2011]: Alarmed by the disappearance of the Singhs, Helena calls her daughter and the Teen Titans for help. Upon arriving, the Titans join Solstice in the search for her parents. But the team soon finds itself trapped in a lost kingdom as they are attacked by the Hindu god King Rankor and his demonic minions. In the most brilliant display of her powers to date, Solstice unleashes a blinding pulse that drives the demons away, liberating Helena and the Singhs from King Rankor’s grasp.  The Teen Titans are so impressed by Solstice’s powers and resourcefulness that they invite her to join the team. Solstice enthusiastically agrees and accompanies the Titans back to the United States.

 

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Sources for this entry: The Essential Wonder Woman Encyclopedia, supplemented by titanstower.com


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