In the first issue of Dark Nights: Metal, the Justice League is captured by Mongul and forced to wear armor that neutralizes their powers. For example, Superman: the dust of a thousand red suns, Flash is slowed down by the vibro-domination boots of the Dominators, Green Lantern: micro black-holes, Aquaman: pit glass from the fires of Apokolips, and Wonder Woman: a venom-infused lock from Stheno, the Elder Gorgon.

While battling robots created by Hiro Okamura, the Toyman, Wonder Woman says “mine has a Cassandra Engine”. (It is unclear to me whether she means her armor or the robot she is fighting.)

relevant Dark Nights: Metal #1 panelsrelevant Dark Nights: Metal #1 panels

panel of Wonder Woman mentioning "Cassandra Engine"

I think I understand how most of these neutralize the powers of their respective armor wearers, but I’m puzzled by Wonder Woman’s. What is a "Cassandra Engine", and how does it suppress or neutralize Wonder Woman's powers? Was it explained in another comic book storyline? Does it have anything to do with any of the Cassandras in DC Comics or Greek mythology?

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    pure guess, so it does not deserve an answer : Cassandra in mythology is cursed to predict the future, but never be believed. At first I saw a link with the lasso of truth, but the mention of 'every move I make...' make me think that this Cassandra engine act as 'fumble' engine. Every action WW will try will fail, either because opponent will predict it, or because WW will not be able to act as she want.
    – dna
    Commented Jan 23 at 10:01
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    @dna It looks like someone else also came to the same hypothesis: bleedingcool.com/comics/…
    – Clockwork
    Commented Jan 23 at 10:13
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    By the way, there is a confusion. WW 'kryptonite' is the lock from stenho the elder gorgon, while the Cassandra engine is something the enemy is using. Probably giving the enemy standard precognition.
    – dna
    Commented Jan 23 at 13:20
  • @dna I see, I'll edit my question later to correct that. Commented Jan 23 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure why dna posted as a comment rather than an answer, but they are correct. In Greek mythology, Stheno is a Gorgon, and is classically depicted as having snakes for "hair" like her more well-known sister Medusa. Since Wonder Woman's origin is also loosely based on Greek mythology, a single serpent (the "lock" of Stheno's "hair") is placed on her armor to weaken her via profoundly unspecific venom action.

The page in which Wonder Woman talks about the Cassandra Engine begins with Cyborg attempting to say each opponent in the arena is built to counter the heroes' specific abilities, by way of explaining why he cannot hack them. Wonder Woman is referring to her opponent having a Cassandra Engine, a reference to the prophetess Cassandra from Greek mythology. This is why "every move [she] make[s]..." is predicted and, presumably, countered.

It is a slightly confusing presentation because Green Lantern and Aquaman are referring to their restrictive armor in between Cyborg and Wonder Woman referring to the arena opponents. Further complicating matters, a number of these weaknesses and abilities are presented here suis generis, including the never before mentioned "Cassandra Engine" and Stheno's weakening venom (Stheno had previously appeared as an enemy of Wonder Woman in 2004's v2 issue 201, but her powers were more classic petrification).


In classical mythology, Stheno is a Gorgon, the less-known elder sister of Medusa. Like all Gorgons, one of her powers is turning people to stone.

In some versions of the myth, the blood from the left side of the Gorgon is an instant and deadly poison.

Additionally, still in classical mythology, Athena (goddess of warfare and heroes, and mentor of Wonder Woman in DC) has quite the history with Gorgons, being responsible for their current hideous form, and "currently" displaying Medusa's head on her shield (Gorgon head is the new black). 

So the "lock of Stheno" seems to be a power leech that forces Wonder Woman to use all her powers just to keep alive. It would probably work the same (or worse) on a lot of other characters. The reference to a Gorgon being adding insult to the injury.

But what about the Cassandra engine, then?

Well, even without superpowers, Wonder Woman is still a fantastic warrior, having trained all her life in the arts of combat. She would have no difficulties fighting a 'simple' robotic opponent. Therefore, in addition to toning down her powers, you also need to give an edge to the opponent.

In classical mythology, Cassandra was cursed with the gift of perfect prophecy... With the curses being: predicting bad things, no one believing her, and not being able to act on it.

On the enemy, the Cassandra engine probably allows it to anticipate movement, ensuring every attack from Wonder Woman is either parried or dodged.

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