Katarina Armstrong is a high-ranking anti-terrorism agent, to the point she claims to be of higher political authority than anyone in the United States, even the President, who is affiliated with several American, Commonwealth and United Nations agencies for the sake of maintaining the supremacy of the US Government. Her exact relationship to Alan Armstrong has not been revealed, though her secret identity and costume seem clearly inspired by him. Katarina has a ruthlessly domineering and competitive demeanor, and is not hesitant to kill or order deaths in order to complete a mission or do whatever she feels is necessary for her country.
Katarina was born into affluence as the daughter of a wealthy pilot and marked with great intelligence and arrogant confidence that allowed her to enter into Gotham State University while she was fifteen years old. It was there she would eventually get into a competitively aggressive rivalry with Barbara Gordon over achievements until they became inseparable friends despite disagreeing over everything after Barbara beat her in a foot race. However, her competitive streak got the better of her when she beat Barbara in a 100 meter dash competition by cheating, nearly permanently crippling Barbara and never apologizing for it, but immediately confessing to the judges after she had won just to prove her point. Her friendship with Barbara ended at the point and she went on to join the US armed forces to engage in military missions in foreign countries.
Birds of Prey
Katarina eventually returned claiming governmental clearance for a takeover, having forced Oracle to work for her, where she planned to take over the Birds of Prey organization and usurp Oracle's position. Katarina accompanies the Birds on a mission in Russia, and in a conflict with the Secret Six, Katarina finds her equal marksman in Deadshot. Katarina assumes leadership of the Birds from Oracle and fires Lady Blackhawk for dissent, much to the displeasure of her team. Back at Oracle's base, she is challenged to a fight by Oracle for dominance of the group, who then manages to give Katarina a proper beating. She is humiliated when she faces the united front of every single one of Barbara's living former agents who organize a strike against Katarina's leadership. Spy Smasher leaves disgraced after being threatened with an extensive beating by Black Canary if she didn't forego further relations with Oracle, but before doing so also gives Oracle information on Misfit's homeless background. Sasha Bordeaux later personally apologized to Barbara for Katarina's actions, where it was revealed she was not acting under Checkmate's orders at the time and was entirely unauthorized for any such actions by Checkmate at the time. It was later revealed Josephine Tautin had "drop-kicked her down a deep, dark hole. Something she quite enjoyed doing, incidentally."
Katarina is later seen being held prisoner by the Global Peace Agency during the Final Crisis, where the GPA agents apparently erase all of her memories by "resetting" her brain, telling their other prisoner Cameron Chase that Katarina can hear their conversations but can no longer process what the sounds mean due their tampering. After the tampering she was dumped in the Electric City to wander alone with no memories. though it is implied that she was returned to normal, as with many other characters in the story, after Nemesis and Chase use the cosmic treadmill to repair reality.
Katarina is eventually revealed to be alive and well when she recruits Bane and his new team of mercenaries to invade and claim Skartaris and its territory in the name of the U.S. in exchange for full clemency for their crimes. She also planned to have a nuclear strike on US soil which was actually revealed to be a ruse in attempt get Amanda Waller to act against US interests to stop the fabricated attack so she could have Waller arrested for treason and run the Pentagon on her own terms. However, Waller uncovered Katarina's scheme and managed to frame Katarina for illegal operations and federal treason as revenge.
- Creator Gail Simone said on Katarina, "I felt the DCU needed a Jack Bauer. In these early issues, she looks like a pointed allegory to the abuse of powers by the government, but she doesn't see it that way, and she's a lot more complex than that. It'd be a cheat to simply make her evil and completely hate-able, I think. She's got some levels. And she knows Babs' weaknesses. I like her. She's very very dark... Even above [Barbara and Katarina's] competitive natures, there is a perfectly valid and honest ideological difference of opinion there. Babs believes what she's doing is necessary, Katarina believes what Babs is doing is treason. They actually like each other, but like brothers fighting on opposite sides of the Civil War, the distance between them is so vast and clearly drawn that they can't even hope to reconcile. They were friends; their ideals make them bitter enemies."
- 15 Appearances of Katarina Armstrong (New Earth)
- 5 Images featuring Katarina Armstrong (New Earth)
- Quotations by or about Katarina Armstrong (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Katarina Armstrong (New Earth)
|Checkmate Member |
This character was a member of the top secret government organization Checkmate. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Checkmate members" and "Government Agents" categories.