Portrayed by Imogen Poots
Full Name Josephine Francesca Themylthorpe
Age 23 (142)
Height 5'2"
Build Petite
Eyes Green
Hair Blonde
Factions Fair
Occupation [Forthcoming]
Alignment Hero

Claim to Fame

For anyone who's interested in the history of superheroes, particularly armored superheroes, or the history of MIT or electrical engineering, powered armor, or energy manipulation, Aethera and her armor would be quite familiar. Dr. Josephine Themylthorpe worked with Nikola Tesla, among others, and was a sort of early superhero/science mascot for MIT in the late 19th century. Her father, Dr. Joseph Themylthorpe, was a leader in human anatomy and physiology, seeking ways to enhance the human body (though, as historians are hasty to point out, he was one of the /nice/ genetic engineers and hardly cackled at all).


Aethera is /supposed/ to be dead. When she was alive, she was a preeminent scientist in the field of electrical engineering and energy manipulation. She also crafted (mostly) and wore a beautiful set of armor powered by some unknown source. She took on the not-so-secret identity of Aethera as part of an outreach program to interest young people in the sciences, showing them the glories of technology—and, as it happened, fighting the menaces of the day. Stories suggested she fell in battle with Dr. Loveless, the evil scientist who murdered her father and laid waste to Cambridge with a horde of mechanical spiders, which was the sort of thing that used to happen back then.


Josephine never knew her mother. Her father told her that the woman, his only love, died giving birth to her. He'd clearly wanted a son who would be Joseph Francis Themylthorpe Jr. He got Josephine Francesca instead, but she was at least as brilliant as ever he had been. He raised her like the son he'd never had, and though she had the best tutors to teach her appropriate comportment and other ladylike qualities, she shone brightest in the pursuit of science and technology.

Partly through her own brilliance, partly through her father's influence, she was admitted as a student at MIT when she was sixteen. She studied mechanical and electrical engineering, settling more on the latter for her Ph.D. Her father, an Englishman who came to the United States for research opportunities, brought her on his travels and gave her the opportunity to meet some of the greatest minds of her day. She even worked for Nikola Tesla as a laboratory assistant for a time and had the opportunity to meet Mark Twain.
Josie's interest in electricity was not unconnected to her ability to generate it. The talent developed when she was thirteen, and the sparks and bolts that arced off her at the most inopportune moments were, at first, a massive disruption to her life. She started by wearing grounded gloves, but within a few months her father had crafted a set of metal bracelets stretching from her wrists halfway up her forearms. They were lovely and decorative, and they helped her to control and restrain her powers. Over time, she and her father developed further pieces of metalwork in the form of elaborately-decorated armor that allowed her to focus her energy as her understanding of electricity grew.

Outside of the study of electricity and energy transfer, generation, and manipulation, Josephine was passionately devoted to spurring the interest of the young for science and technology. The armor pieces she and her father created became the costume that denoted Aethera, a sort of mascot or patron saint of technology. She'd primarily worn it for demonstrations of the principles of electricity, but the day that Dr. Loveless attacked Cambridge with his fire-breathing fireflies, she found a new use for it: defending the innocent and fighting chaos and destruction.

Together with her father, Josephine developed armor that could protect her and others as well as helping her fight off enemies. Her father in particular seemed to have many nemeses, and she was called upon to battle them on more than one occasion.

It was in the final battle that Dr. Loveless murdered her father and severely injured her. He had planned to force her into marriage in order to gain control of her father's resources, but when she announced she'd rather die… well, the battle was long and brutal, but at the end of it he apparently could not bear for her to die. He sealed her in her father's stasis chamber, and whether he made his escape is unknown.

There Josephine lay from 1895 until approximately 1950, when the ruins of her father's laboratory were found by SHIELD. They documented their findings and, because she was neither an immediate threat nor an immediate asset, she was instead tucked into the warehouse of one of their labs. She rests there still, appearing to be no more than some kind of automaton in a humming, self-powered stasis pod, waiting to be brought into the world.

Character Details

Aethera is, to modern standards, just a tad… well, Victorian. She was an adventuress in her time, pushing social boundaries and the like, but that doesn't mean she isn't also rather in a different place from modern women, let alone modern feminists. She's friendly and engaging, but she is far more likely to talk (ad nauseum) about her inventions and research than about the weather or music or politics. She also doesn't deal very well with people who can't keep up—she doesn't suffer fools well and can get rather imperious with them.


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