Nocturna, also known as Natalia Mitternacht, is an inmate of Arkham Asylum. She is dubbed by the media as "Nocturna, The Heartless Black Widow" for her string of alleged murder charges on her husbands. In secret, Nocturna is a vampire as well as a thief and an enemy of Batwoman, who operates primarily in Gotham City.
Prior to her incarceration, Natalia Mitternacht collected a string of dead husbands. She was in Arkham Asylum for murdering her husband when it was brought under attack by the Court of Owls, who were aiming to assassinate Doctor Jeremiah Arkham. Surviving the Night of the Owls, Nocturna remained in Arkham Asylum until released by Wolf Spider during a fight with Batwoman. Though she was given ample opportunity to escape the city, she stayed, and was acquitted for the crime that had resulted in her incarceration.
When Nocturna aimed to steal a chalice from an exhibition on Lady Báthory, she was met with opposition from Batwoman more directly. In the ensuing fight, Nocturna was hit with a batarang in her eye, but managed to escape with the chalice with the help of her lover, Anton Knight.
Some time later, recovered, Natalia was at a dinner when the assassin "Killshot" attempted to shoot her, accidentally killing Barry Daniels instead, and subsequently infiltrated by Batwoman and Anton Knight, the latter in the guise of "Night-Thief".
In the ensuing fight, Batwoman attacked Killshot first, allowing Night-Thief to attempt to usher Nocturna away. However, Nocturna, found the fluidity of Batwoman's fighting style very alluring, and lingered. By the end of the fight, Night-Thief lept in the line of fire of a shot aimed by Killshot, falling over the edge of the roof they were all on. While Nocturna grabbed him, she was yanked over the side as well, and both plummeted into the harbor.
The following night, Nocturna spotted Kate Kane on the front page of the Gotham Magazine, and immediately recognized her as Batwoman. Meanwhile, Kate prepared for bed in the home she was in alone for her fiancé Maggie Sawyer's sake. Lying there, she sensed someone else's presence, and imagined that it might be Maggie. However, it was Nocturna, and she manipulated Kate into letting her bite her neck.
Controlling Kate into breaking up with Maggie and dating her instead, Natalia took on a dominating tone in the relationship, reveling in the "dirty little secret" and insisting on them going out for a surprise date night. As they walked out, Natalia planted a kiss on Kate's cheek and whispered that Kate belongs to her. Just then, a loose dog rushed up, Kate recognizing him as belonging to her therapist, Doctor Huss. He caught up to his dog and remarked that it had been a month since he last saw her, with him obviously troubled by the relationship that Kate seems to have struck up with Natalia. Though the therapist reminded Kate that she could call him any time, Natalia reasserted her control by kissing Kate on the lips.
When Batwoman returned to her penthouse later on in an investigation, Natalia accused her, within moments of her arrival, of having been with Maggie. Jealously, she warned that Kate could either be with her, or not. Kate admitted that she saw Maggie, but Natalia would not let her explain further, pinning Kate to the wall and running her tongue up her neck, warning Kate to show she loved her.
As Beth Kane came to Kate's residence, wanting to be known as "Red Alice", Natalia was roused by the commotion of the emotional reunion, and demanded an introduction over a glass of wine from her personal stores. Beth explained that Kate hadn't heard about her mental breakthrough from their father because he'd decided to go off the grid for a while. While Natalia stepped out to get more wine, Beth commented that she was surprised to see Kate not with Maggie Sawyer as before - though Kate always had a penchant for picking up strays, a remark Natalia overheard, becoming very angry and defensive over her own history, which she told the sisters. Nonchalantly, Beth reminded her of a string of late husbands suggesting Natalia was not so innocent, but Natalia responded that her alleged body count paled in comparison to Beth's documented one. Frustrated, Kate urged both women to lay off of each other and excused herself, going so far as to shout in a way that showed an unknown, very hostile side of herself. Aside, Beth warned that she knew what kind of woman Natalia was, as she knew crazy intimately. Finally, after some time, Kate returned, explaining her intention to go on patrol, which she invited Beth to join her on and was answered affirmatively. As Kate went to get changed, Natalia cornered her and apologized for her behavior, receiving a smile and kiss in return, to Beth's dismay.
While Kate and Beth are out, Natalia received a knock at her door from Maggie Sawyer, who was investigating the murder of Alexandra Witherspoon.
Kate confronted Natalia about Alex's murder after she found out about it, and Natalia responded that she was keeping Kate's secret, having found her bloodied gloves at Kate's apartment and saying that she assumed that Kate killed Alexandra for her. Grinning, Natalia commented that the girl was far from innocent, since she had tried to put Natalia in jail. She tried to influence Kate to accept and enjoy this, but Red Alice interceded, having been on to Natalia's manipulations from the start, but having had enough. Angrily, Natalia forced Kate to attack her own sister, intent on having Kate kill her. Beth responded that Kate was under the delusion that she'd been made a vampire, but that it was not true, and that she would prove it by inviting Kate to bite her neck and take her life.
Kate tried, but she could not bring herself to do it, thereby breaking Natalia's manipulation. Kate realized that she'd been hypnotized, and that Natalia did not love her. Natalia agreed, disgusted and saying that she didn't even like her, but that Kate's heartbreak over Maggie had made her easier to snare and harder to resist, using Kate's attraction to Natalia in order to take advantage of it and frame Kate for Alexandra's murder. Fortunately, Beth caught this last confession recorded on her cameraphone, and had already streamed it to the police, telling Batwoman of this as they left the black widow to be arrested.
Powers and Abilities
- Hypnosis: With a bite, Nocturna is capable of completely changing someone's behavior, both with their own recollection and by controlling them to be increasingly violent and subsequently forget what they did in that state, as if possessed. However, the hypnosis cannot make a subject do something they otherwise would not do, including becoming a murderer of the innocent if they had not done so. In this capacity, Nocturna calls herself a "psychic empath". However, it does not turn them into vampires on that first bite.
- Vampirism: In addition to the various mental and physical benefits that vampires are heir to, they also possess the ability to turn others into vampires as well. Each new vampire is traditionally subservient to the one who "turned" them, but some strong-willed vampires have been known to rebel against their masters.
- Enhanced Senses: A vampire's senses are enhanced far beyond those of a normal human being.
- Enhanced Vision
- Enhanced Hearing
- Enhanced Sense of Smell
- Immortality: So long as vampires continue to consume blood, they will not age beyond the physical state they were in when they first became a vampire.
- Invulnerability: Vampires are invulnerable to most forms of injury (certain exceptions apply). Bullets, blades and blunt objects do little to no damage to a vampire's body.
- Regeneration: In addition to being virtually indestructible, whatever damage a vampire does in fact suffer can be healed through the consumption of human blood.
- Superhuman Strength: A vampire's strength level is several times that of a normal human being and they are considered superhuman.
- Superhuman Stamina: So long as they continue to consume human blood, a vampire can function tirelessly without rest or relaxation. However, a vampire's stamina wanes the closer it is to sunrise.
- Psychokinesis: Most vampires possess some form of psychokinesis. Some are clairvoyant, others can communicate telepathically, some possess mind control. Particularly powerful vampires can control the minds of several people at once.
- Transformation: Vampires often possess the ability to transform into a variety of creatures or effects such as bats, wolves, rats or even mist. While their physical attributes may fluctuate during such states, a vampire's mental acuity is the same as that when they are in their human shape. A vampire who transforms into an animal may also benefit from that particular animal's attributes including razor-sharp claws, fangs or the ability to fly.
- Metamorphosis: Vampires often demonstrate the ability to alter their appearance at will.
- Enhanced Senses: A vampire's senses are enhanced far beyond those of a normal human being.
- Nocturna was created by Doug Moench and Gene Colan, first appearing in Detective Comics #529. However, in the Prime Earth continuity Nocturna first appeared as part of the New 52 DC Universe in Batwoman (Volume 2) #29 by Marc Andreyko, Jason Masters, and Jeremy Haun.
- Natalia Mitternacht was created by Chuck Dixon, Jon Lewis, and Pete Woods, first appearing in Robin (Volume 4) #100. However, in the Prime Earth continuity Natalia Mitternacht first appeared as part of the New 52 DC Universe in Batwoman (Volume 2) #29 by Marc Andreyko, Jason Masters, and Jeremy Haun.
- While Nocturna's first appearance was in Detective Comics (Volume 2) #9 as a background character in Arkham Asylum, she was only fully fleshed out as a character, especially one with different powers than her New Earth version, in Batwoman (Volume 2) #29.