The leader of the Nefaria crime family
Madame Masque has no powers to speak of, yet remains a consistently deadly foe for the Avengers. Her skill with firearms and hand-to-hand combat makes her the equal of nearly any human alive, and her access to advanced technology lets her stand toe-to-toe with all but the mightiest superheroes.
Masque covers her terribly scarred face with a golden mask, and her usual costume is a black body stocking topped with a white coverup and gloves. Her black hair hangs wild and free down her back, and she is never without several powerful weapons, obvious and concealed. She is also surprisingly intelligent and technically adept, capable of building and programming highly lifelike robots to serve her.
Born as Giulietta Nefaria, the daughter of the master criminal Count Luchino Nefaria, the corrupt count decided that he wanted a normal, safe life for his daughter and gave her to the wealthy industrialist Byron Frost to raise. Spending most of her life as Whitney Frost, she did not learn her true heritage until she was engaged to be married. When her fiancee, a politician, discovered who she really was, he broke off the engagement out of fear for his own career. A subsequent accident left her once-beautiful face permanently marred.
After her betrayal, Whitney took up her birth name and joined her father’s criminal empire, the Maggia, as his top lieutenant. She learned martial arts, gunplay, business, and many other valuable skills, forging her into a lethal weapon. When her father was captured by the Avengers, she took over his branch of the Maggia, focusing on regaining ground lost during the last years of his reign. While she ostensibly controls the entire Nefaria family, she leaves most branches outside of the East Coast to run themselves, asking only token lip service in exchange for the aid of her stable of super-powered enforcers.