Gaia (Gaea)

The Religious Affiliation of

Religion: Gaian CBR Scale: D

Name: Gaia

Alter Ego: Gaea

Other Names: Mother Earth; Mother Nature; Great Mother; Nutra; Aditi; Akka; Ala; Ammavaru; Citlalicue; Coatlique; Danu; Eithinoha; Erce; Hou-Tou; Izanami; Jord; Nana; Neith; Nertha; Ninhursag; Nokomis; Pachamama

Classification: deity deity  

Publisher(s): DC Harvey Marvel

First Appearance: Superman (vol. 1) #7 (Nov.-Dec. 1940): "Metropolis's Most Savage Racketeers"

First Appearance (Additional Details): (Marvel) Doctor Strange (vol. 2) #6 (Feb. 1975): "Lift High the Veil of Fears!"

Creators: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Wayne Boring

Super? (Has Super Powers/Special Abilities/Technology): Yes

Number of Appearances: 33

Teams/Affiliations: Kami

Ally: Cron
Ally: Casper the Friendly Ghost

Gender: female

Other names include: Aditi (Hindu), Akka (Finnish), Ala (Yoruba), Izanami/Yo (Japanese), Prakriti (Brahmanic), Papahanau-Moku, Vaat, Yo.

Gaia has appeared in a number of different comics, including Wonder Woman (volume 2) and Aquaman (vol. 5) #7.

Mother Nature helped Superman solve a murder mystery in the story retroactively titled "Metropolis's Most Savage Racketeers," published in Superman #7 (Nov.-Dec. 1940). This is the first time Mother Nature was ever mentioned in a Superman story. Mother Nature is mentioned by name four time in this story. This may be the first mention of Mother Nature in a DC comic.

In this story, Superman is not actually referring to "Mother Nature" as an actual person or entity. He is using the term "Mother Nature" as a euphemism for "nature" generally. His usage does confuse the people he is talking with, so perhaps he is intentionally being clever or confusing. Regardless of the fact that Superman isn't talking about Mother Nature as an actual person or goddess or personality, this scene is still interesting.

Superman's use of Mother Nature occurs in a story that focuses on the investigation of the murder of George Lash's wife. Lash is the district attorney who has been going after Metropolis's three most notorious racketeers. One of them, Nick Norton, framed Lash for the crime. George Lash has been arrested, but Superman has figured out that Nick Norton is the real killer.

Superman brings Nick Norton to the office of Police Chief Watson and begins his plan to get Norton to confess. On page 10, Superman tells the police chief, "And here's the real killer -- Nick Norton!"

Norton protests, "That's a lie!"

Police Chief Watson says, "I'd hoped Lash was innocent! Have you any proof of Nortons guilt?"

Superman tells the police chief, "The best in the world! Mother Nature is on our side!"

Nick Norton interjects, "Mother Nature! Now I know he's cracked!" (Apparently Nick Norton is not a Gaian.)

Police Chief Watson is also incredulous. He asks Superman, "Did I hear you say that Mother Nature will help prove Lash's innocence, and Norton's guilt?"

Superman replies, "That's just what I said! And now -- I'll explain! It so happens, Norton, that bushes grow near Mrs. Lash's home."

Norton scratches his head. "Well -- what of it?" Norton turns to the chief, saying, "Do I have to continue to listen to this nonsense! I demand you release me!"

Police Chief Watson says, "Answer him!"

Superman continues, "Thanks, Watson!" Turning to Norton, Superman explains, "You hid in those bushes! And when Lash emerged from the house, you knocked him unconscious, ripped his suit. You entered the home, killed Mrs. Lash, let the incriminating button there on purpose... And then you drugged Lash, doused him with alcohol so that he'd appear drunk, and dumped him off before his hotel!"

Norton interrupts, "A likely tale! But can you prove it? And what's this rigamarole about Mother Nature?"

Superman finally gets the point about Mother Nature: "Oh, yes . . . the bushes! It so happens, that despite your carefully laid plans you didn't take into account that these bushes were poison ivy!"

A suddenly fearful Norton exclaims, "Poison ivy!"

Chief Watson says, "I'm beginning to see!"

Superman finishes his explanation: "In a short while a rash will appear on your hand, where you touched the bushes! And that, Nick Norton, will be sufficient evidence to send you to the chair!"

Police Chief Watson takes the nervous Nick Norton to a cell. Before long, Norton is demanding to get medicine and treatment from a doctor. He complains about the itching on his hand. He is so agitated that he willingly confesses to the murder, saying, "Yes! I did it -- I did it! But fer gosh sakes please get me a doc!"

A twist comes when Lois Lane, hearing the confession, tells Clark Kent that she doesn't understand. The bush outside the Lash home isn't poison ivy, she points out. Nick Norton realizes he has been tricked. Clark Kent says the jailed killer, "Evidently Superman subjected you to some applied psychology!"

Lois Lane adds, "He told you that you had touched some poison ivy, then let your imagination do the rest!"

So Superman, with a little help from "Mother Nature," was able to trick a murderer into confessing his crime and thus secure the release of an innocent man.

In Casper the Friendly Ghost #100 (Dec. 1966), Casper enlisted the aid of Mother Nature in order to get Zooky from Neptune to return to his planet.

This character is in the following 16 stories which have been indexed by this website:
Assault on New Olympus Prologue
Captain America
The Defenders
Doctor Strange
The Earth Day Special (1990)
The Order
Superman (vol. 1) #7 (Nov.-Dec. 1940): "Metropolis's Most Savage Racketeers" (mentioned)
Thor (vol. 1) #300 (Oct. 1980): "Twilight of the Gods!"
The Uncanny X-Men (vol. 1) #138 (Oct. 1980): "Elegy" (mentioned)
Witches #1 (Aug. 2004): "The Gathering" (cameo)

Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: