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Celia was the daughter of Lucinda Delmont and Costas Kazantkakis, an exchange student from Greece who attended Gotham University. Costas returned to Greece before Celia was born and Lucinda committed suicide when Celia was three. Celia was raised at the orphanage by Lucinda but after her death, the deed to the orphanage was passed onto Celia. When she grew up, Celia became the secretary at the Copper Street Orphanage. A land developer named Stanford Whittaker was intimidating all residents within her neighborhood in order to put up high end apartment buildings. Whittaker threatened the present owner of the orphanage that he will have the deed to the orphanage one way or another.
Fortunately, Martha Wayne was a social crusader and her legal team made the Copper Street Orphanage a historical landmark, thereby by putting an end to Whittaker's aggressive push. Unfortunately, the victory was short-lived and the orphanage was burnt down, but the children all made it out. Whittaker was eventually arrested for arson. Martha helped Celia place the children with good homes among Gotham's elite. Celia later admitted to Bruce Wayne that the friendship she shared with Martha ended when Martha started dating Denholm Sinclair, who ran the Chat Noir Club for Cesare Rossetti on Avenue B.
When Sandy Newport held a New Year Eve's party at Arlo's, Celia reiterated her disapproval of Martha seeing Denholm Sinclair. Celia confronts Denholm when he sneaks out for a smoke. Celia tells Denholm to leave Martha alone but Denholm brushes off her demand by saying Celia has "a lot of fire in her". Denholm made passes at Celia while he was still dating Martha. Celia succumbed to Denholm's advances but only so she could get access to his office and his accounting books. At one point, Celia threatened to tell Cesare Rossetti that Denholm was skimming from the Chat Noir's profits. Denholm offered Celia ten thousand dollars for her silence.
At the age of 22, Celia was confronted by Martha about the Copper Street Orphanage fire; Martha did some investigating and reached the conclusion that Celia had set the orphanage ablaze and not Sandhurst. Martha followed a paper trail which proved that Celia was embezzling money from the orphanage when it was meant to go to the children. Celia brushes off Martha's anger as spite for dating Denholm Sinclair behind her back. Celia tells Martha that this so-called discovery is simply some falsification cooked up by Denholm because he is afraid that Celia will tell Cesare Rossetti about Denholm skimming from the Chat Noir's profits. Martha tells Celia to leave Gotham or she will expose her for the criminal that Celia is. Celia leaves by cab and warns Martha that she doesn't want the former as an enemy.
When Celia left Gotham for Europe, she had the Chat Noir Club torched as a way of saying goodbye to Denholm. Denholm saw the burning of his club as a blessing in disguise because Cesare Rossetti would never be able to get a look at the accounting books. Franco Bertinelli reported that his people have found Cesare Rossetti's son, Lorenzo, in Greece and he is living under an assumed name. Cesare's son had abandoned his wife and son in order to run off with Celia, as well as stealing half a million dollars in heroin profits from the Cassamento family. As for Celia, she eventually met her estranged father and took over his textile mills when he died. She developed a lucrative business by supplying designer fabric to European fashion houses.
Cesare Rossetti ordered Denholm, Franco, and Charlie "The Iceman" Zamboni to go to Greece and find Cesare's son. The three of them found Lorenzo and Celia laying low on the island Mykonos. Denholm was uneasy about what needed to be carried out so he left before Zamboni eliminated Lorenzo. Denholm chose to leave Gotham behind and tried to start a new club in South Beach Florida. Denholm receives a letter from a possible investor for his proposed club. Denholm goes to a hotel to meet his mysterious investor but he is gagged and bagged from behind. When Denholm comes to, he realizes that he is in a room within the hotel.
Denholm sees Celia with a much younger Mr. Fun by her side. Celia tells Denholm that Franco Bertinelli is lucky that he was killed 6 months ago or he too would have been at her mercy. Celia points to Mr. Zamboni who is tied to a chair. Celia remembers what Zamboni did to Enzo five years ago. Celia introduces Mr. Fun to Denholm. Denholm watched as the collegiate psychopath Mr. Fun beat Zamboni to death with his bare hands. Celia chose to spare Denholm so long as he shared with her everything that he knew about Cesare Rossetti.
She handed Rossetti's offshore accounts to the proper authorities and the Feds froze all of Cesare's accounts. Celia didn't marry Porter Endicott until she was 53 and they resided in Spain until Endicott passed away. Celia returned to Gotham when Porter's seat on the board of directors for Wayne Enterprises was awarded to her.
Likewise, how Celia entered the world of crime is also not clear. It is known that she is now the head of her own highly specialized crime family, the Network. Celia displays a keen head for business and organization, and is somehow able to command fierce loyalty in her operatives. It is possible that this is more through fear than anything else, given her propensities for using arson as a tool for revenge.
At one point, Celia had taken as a lover the mobster Lorenzo Rossetti, and from all appearances, she truly did love him; as a consequence, when Lorenzo was slain by other members of the Rossetti family, Kazantkakis - who by now had taken the name Athena from the Greek goddess of wisdom - vowed to get revenge. This pursuit led her to Gotham City and her encounters with the Batman and his team of operatives.
During her time in Gotham City, Celia also tried to infiltrate the Wayne Enterprises corporation and take it over from within, sensing that Bruce Wayne was weak and disinterested in the business. She almost succeeded in doing so, until Batman discovered the truth about Celia and opposed her. It was during this same time that Celia lost her son Nicholas, who died in a battle with Batman. Blaming Batman for his death, she tried to use her Network to destroy him by attacking Batman through his allies, but this gambit ultimately failed; in the end, several Network operatives were captured, and much of its equipment and funding were intercepted. Athena herself escaped and fled Gotham City, but Network's operations are currently considered to be severely crippled, and whether or not they will ever recover fully is open to question.
enemy of Batman
- 10 Appearances of Celia Kazantkakis (New Earth)
- 2 Images featuring Celia Kazantkakis (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Celia Kazantkakis (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Celia Kazantkakis (New Earth)