Young Justice was a fun series from the late 1990s where a bunch of teen heroes teamed up to form a group that would help each other out in crime fighting as well as just life. The series had big names like Robin, Superboy, and Wonder Girl but it also gave us folks like Secret and Empress. Feels like we should cover the whole team, which we sort of have over the years with Tim Drake, Cassie Sandsmark and S’lobo. This week we cover Empress, the golden scale mail wearing, voudoun practicing hero with some real family drama. So let’s find out who Empress is behind the mask.
Anita Fite has quite the family background so let’s break it down bit by bit. Anita’s father Donald Fite was one half of Fite N’ Maad the notorious duo of agents of the All-Purpose Enforcement Squad (A.P.E.S.) who worked for just about every government agency and frequent opponents to Young Justice. Anita’s mother was Oshi Sin Gaaz and was the daughter of powerful Voudoun priestess Oya and dangerous crime lord and Voudoun priest, Agua Sin Gaaz. Oshi would be killed by her own father when he was trying to kill her husband. Anita’s foster parent was her father’s partner in A.P.E.S., Ishido Maad but this role would come later.
Anita was blessed by her grandmother’s powers to be peak human ability and had been trained by her grandmother in Voudoun as well. This made her a dangerous combatant and perfectly capable for superheroics. Being a superhero wouldn’t be in Anita’s thoughts until she witnessed the Young Justice member, Arrowette, fighting crime in the mall.
She’d first appear in costume and rescued Wonder Girl from a poisonous snake bite. She’d have her identity revealed to Young Justice during the Olympics when the team learns that her superhero name is a nickname her father calls her. Young Justice allowed her on the team and at first she had a rough time with her inspiration, Arrowette, due to thinking Anita was trying to get her kicked out but soon the two were good friends.
Fighting alongside Young Justice, Anita would be brought to the edge of their no killing policy when Aqua Sin Gaaz finally kills her father. This would bring her, Maad, and the rest of the team to his island hideout where many villains hid. When the chaos was over, Anita would learn that Agua had used his mastery of Voudoun to bring her parents back to life as infants leaving Anita to help raise her own parents. Anita’s life would further get thrown into upheaval after she and S’lobo developed some sort of relationship and he began dying due to being a faulty clone.
When the team dissolved Empress would sometimes show up when magical events were happening like the defense of Gotham City from magic run amok during the Infinite Crisis and again when the Spectre was on the warpath. She’d also show up from time to time to be there for Cassie Sandsmark and even help her and other former team members fight the Furies.
Her infant parents were kidnapped and Anita would go to Supergirl for help but it turned out she was to sacrifice Supergirl to get her parents but. Thankfully, Anita was able to double cross the villain and save both her parents and Supergirl.
Anita Fite hasn’t been seen since, perhaps the Convergence will bring her back. She was always a favorite of mine and she never got enough page space. It’d be wild to get a Young Justice revival with all these universes crashing into each other. I doubt it will happen but I can dream.
Infinite Crisis #6
Supergirl Vol. 5 #33