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"You exposed the secret of the Desert Rose to the world. Coryana is the garden, and I am its keeper. My family has dedicated lifetimes to protecting its secret. History is littered with colonizers who come with their false ideals and pillage for their own profit. The African Diamond Trade, oil in the Middle East. Coryana is no different. Our garden will be ravaged, and our island will cease to exist."
—Safiyah Sohail to Beth Kane[src]

Safiyah Sohail[1] is the queen of Coryana and the leader of the Many Arms of Death. Subsequently, she allegedly captured Kate Kane and promised Alice to free her twin sister in exchange for Beth killing Safiyah's brother-figure, Ocean.

However, it is eventually revealed that Safiyah never had Kate, as well as the fact that she was never responsible for causing the explosion on the latter's private jet, as it was seemingly all orchestrated by Tatiana in order to drive a wedge between Safiyah and Beth. Ultimately it was revealed that Safiyah had indeed been behind it all, having been aiding Roman Sionis in his master plan to avenge his daughter's death by capturing, torturing, and brainwashing Kate thanks to Safiyah supplying him with the information about Kate's flight. Safiyah is stabbed by Alice as revenge for killing Ocean. and her part in the transformation of Kate into "Circe", temporarily killing her. She then hid the body in a junkyard to keep her hidden until whenever she wished to bring her back.

Biography

Original multiverse

Early life

Safiyah became the ruler of Coryana and created one major rule, after she noted how individuals wasted natural resources, that the Desert Rose, a plant that grew naturally here, was not to be exported from the island. Eventually, Tatiana became Safiyah's second-in-command.[2]

Meeting Beth Kane

When Catherine Hamilton took out one of Coryana's defenses, Safiyah sent Tatiana and the Many Arms of Death to attack one of Catherine's yachts to teach her a lesson. However, they found Beth Kane, also known as "Alice", onboard the yacht. Alice attacked Tatiana and her men before she was captured and brought to Coryana. When Tatiana presented Alice to Safiyah, she wanted to kill her, but Safiyah, noticing Alice's rage towards Catherine and inspired by her determination to escape, decided to train her to be a soldier.[3][4] Safiyah taught Beth to turn her anger into power, teaching her how to fight as well as other skills.

Over time, Safiyah came to have strong feelings for Beth, but could not bring herself to tell the latter. Meanwhile, she had Beth's combat training handled by Ocean. Later, it was revealed that Ocean began instilling Beth with doubts about seeking revenge on Catherine and their growing closeness led to a romantic relationship. Upon approaching the two, Safiyah also discovered that Ocean stole a Desert Rose and planned to leave the island with it. Furious at his various betrayals, especially stealing Beth's affection, Safiyah had Enigma wipe the couple's memories of each other. In the process, Beth's emerging conscience was suppressed, programming her to become the psychopathic "Alice". Safiyah had Beth was sent back to Gotham under the belief that she escaped.[3] Unknown to Safiyah, Alice took a Desert Rose with her, violating Coryana's rules and drawing Safiyah's anger.[2]

Sending Rifle to Gotham

At some point Safiyah heard about Batwoman and decided to assassinate her.[1] Thus, in 2019, she sent the Rifle to Gotham to retrieve a weapon capable of penetrating the Batsuit from Alice. However, the latter used him to kill the only three people who could fix said weapon right before giving it to him sabotaged. The Rifle warned Alice that Safiyah was going to be pissed for that.[4]

Anti-Monitor Crisis

During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, Safiyah as well as everyone in the multiverse except for the seven Paragons, was killed in an antimatter wave by the Anti-Monitor on December 10, 2019,[5] only to be restored a month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new universe.[6]

New multiverse

Deal with Julia Pennyworth

Safiyah was approached by Julia Pennyworth, who promised to give her Lucius Fox's journal if she stopped the Rifle from pursuing Batwoman, a condition to which the criminal agreed.[1]

After Julia infiltrated the Lookout, Safiyah called her and asked about her progress on the mission, prompting the latter to reply she will retrieve the journal and give it to her.[7] However, after Julia discovered the journal's true content could be used to kill Batwoman, she terminated their deal which officially puts her in Safiyah's cross-hairs as well.[1] Afterwards, she had Julia stalked by someone who took and gave Julia photographs of herself with Sophie Moore to show them that they were being watched.[8]

Framed by Tatiana

In 2020, Tatiana killed all members of Wonderland gang and left a note saying that Safiyah had done it.[9] Later, Tatiana sent another note to Alice which insinuated that Safiyah was responsible for the apparent death of Kate Kane when her private jet exploded. So, Alice declared war on Safiyah.[10][11]

Getting even

After Alice reveals the secret of the Desert Rose to the world, Safiyah sent Tatiana to retrieve her, but Tatiana brought Sophie Moore here as well.[12]

Later, Safiyah learned that employees of Hamilton Dynamics had mass-produced a vaccine based on the Desert Rose to a poison that was spread by bats infected by Alice.[12] So, she hired Victor Zsasz to kill Mary Hamilton, but he had failed.

In Coryana, Safiyah and Alice talked about the past, but Alice was more interested in avenging the death of Kate because she believed that Safiyah had killed her twin sister. After a brief scuffle, Safiyah told Alice that she had not killed Kate and showed Kate's unique necklace to Alice as proof that she knew the whereabouts of Alice's twin sister. Before being drugged and dismissed from Coryana with Sophie, Alice promised Safiyah that she would do a job for her in order to be reunited with Kate. Safiyah told Alice that Kate would be returned to the island after Alice left.[2] The job was for Alice to find and kill Ocean.[13]

To have Ocean killed

Upon learning that Ocean was staying at a hotel just outside Gotham, Safiyah sent members of the Many Arms of Death to kill him; however, they failed.[14]

The next day, Safiyah answered a phone call intended for Tatiana from Alice; Alice wanted to know the real reason as to why Safiyah had sent her to kill Ocean; Safiyah replied that she could tell Alice, but that would make Alice's assignment harder, verifying for Alice that she and Ocean were once lovers. Later, Safiyah was called again by Alice, stating that she had killed Ocean; Safiyah told her to bring the body to Coryana and Alice agreed.[15]

While Alice and Tatiana took "Ocean's body" to Coryana, Safiyah ordered the Many Arms of Death to kidnap Sophie and Jacob Kane and bring them to Coryana. When Batwoman was caught on the island and taken to Safiyah, she revealed that the body before her was not Ocean, so she took his face off and found it was true. She took Alice to a cell with Batwoman, whom she offered to cure with the desert rose, which Batwoman accepted. Safiyah managed to find Ocean and took him to Coryana; she asked Alice to choose him or her sister. Alice then chose Kate and stabbed Ocean with Safiyah's knife. Safiyah took Alice to the cell where Kate was supposed to be and revealed that she never had Kate and arrested Alice.

Later, Safiyah removed the knife from Ocean's chest, causing him to wake up. She explained to Tatiana that her knife was dipped in a potion that caused suspended animation; Ocean awakened by removing it. When Safiyah realized that Tatiana had framed her for massacring the Wonderland Gang and for being responsible for the apparent death of Kate, she proceeded to stab her with her knife and said to Ocean that she'll only remove it when she has forgiven her. Later, Alice managed to break free and burned the desert roses, leaving Safiyah devastated.[11]

Over a month later, Ocean admitted to Safiyah that he had given a Desert Rose plant to Angelique Martin years ago, so she, thinking Batwoman has it, sent him to retrieve it.[16]

Weeks passed without Ocean returning, so Safiyah and Tatiana go to Gotham themselves. Safiyah reminds Roman Sionis that he owes her a debt. Roman gives Safiyah a run down of his actions over the past few weeks; Safiyah calls Roman an idiot for not knowing that Beth Kane and Alice are the same person and for allowing the sisters Beth and Kate Kane to see one another.

Later, Tatiana brings Alice before Safiyah. As Safiyah contemplates Alice's fate for burning the desert rose plants and the death of nine Coryana citizens who had tried to extinguish the flames, Batwoman enters with a desert rose plant and offers the plant for Alice's freedom. Safiyah is touched that Batwoman is willing to sacrifice a memoir to her mother for her mother's killer, so Safiyah accepts the trade. Alice laughs as she leaves because she feels that she has it all, including Ocean's love. Safiyah retorts that Alice is wrong, because Safiyah sent Tatiana to kill Ocean.

Safiyah goes to Roman's mansion and overhears "Circe" arguing with Roman about her true identity and tells Roman to let "Circe/Kate" decide who she is.[17]

War ended with Alice and "death"

After Alice scatters Ocean's ashes in the sea, Safiyah appears. She says her that she wants to end the war between them and throws away her knife in the sea as a proof. She demands that Alice return to Coryana with her. Alice seemingly accepts but stabs Safiyah with her dagger, as revenge for killing Ocean and for the transformation of her sister, temporarily killing her.[18]

Personality

"You are a monster!"
"And I created you. So what does that make you?"
Alice and Safiyah[src]

Safiyah is quite terrifying when she is enraged, she is compassionate and charismatic with both physical and psychological prowess, she is beloved by her people and will stop at nothing to protect what's hers; and in a way, Safiyah represents an esteemed matriarch who longs for but, at the same time, keeps what she is not supposed to have away and at arm's reach. Ruling over many subjects on an island under her name, she ironically also sees herself as prisoner bound by her duties, and obligations to Coryana and thus; cannot leave it's borders whenever Safiyah wants.

Safiyah is unforgiving, as seen when she is under very conditional and amendable circumstances, murdered Tatiana in cold blood for bringing Beth Kane back into her life and the Rifle once mentioned that Safiyah's intellect parallels her ruthlessness. She also loves her brother-figure, Ocean deeply and protective to the point of jealousy and going out of her way to manipulating Beth into killing Ocean just so the latter would realize it that Beth could not reciprocate his affections the way Safiyah can. However, despite her sisterly love towards Ocean, Safiyah harbored anger and resentment towards him as he not only tried to leave Coryana with a Desert Rose, but also winning the affections of Alice.

Safiyah is very knowledgeable; as nothing goes unnoticed by her, specifically when it comes to those who have encountered the Desert Rose.

Safiyah has no tolerance for any form of treachery or deception, when she discovered that her second-in-command, Tatiana had framed her for massacring Wonderland gang and for being responsible for the apparent death of Kate Kane; in order to make Beth hate Safiyah and stay distant from her, she killed Tatiana for her treachery. However, Safiyah did come to forgive Tatiana and had her track down Ocean in order to kill him for his betrayal.

When Safiyah fell in love with Alice, during her time on Coryana, Safiyah did not have the courage to tell Alice her feelings where she instead went through different lengths to confess her love such as sharing the secret of the Desert Rose with Alice. However, upon discovering Alice had fallen in love with Ocean, Safiyah was angered, hurt, and jealous to the point where she decided to erase Alice and Ocean's memories of each other. She also had Evelyn Rhyme suppress Alice's consciousness and her ability to sympathize, turning her into the psychological criminal she became to be, so Alice could one day love Safiyah. This comes to show that Safiyah is very possessive of Alice and despite being made clear that Alice is not into her, Safiyah will do anything to get Alice to fall in love with her. However, Safiyah's love for Alice also proved to be her undoing when she finally confessed her feelings, Safiyah let her guard down which allowed Alice to stab her with a Desert Rose imbued-knife. This also shows Safiyah is unable to recognize the hatred and anger Alice held towards her for what she did to her, Ocean, and Kate.

Abilities

  • Master Tactician/Leader/Manipulator: As queen of Coryana, Safiyah is a highly skilled leader and strategist. She gave Black mask Kate's flight info which lead to the plane crash. She used the Wonderland gang framing to manipulate Alice that she had Kate using a replica necklace in order to "kill" Ocean with a desert rose imbued dagger for revenge. She later worked with Black Mask again to aid in his plans for Kate Kane and Gotham City.
  • Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Safiyah is a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist; as she was able to easily disarm and overpower Beth Kane, the latter who is a master hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist in her own right.[2]
  • Intimidation: As the queen of Coryana and the leader of the Many Arms of Death, Safiyah commands an intimidating presence, to the point where many of her fellow criminals fear her and knew it's not wise to make her angry.[4] Even Beth and Jonathan Cartwright are terrified of Safiyah.[19]
  • Network: As the queen of Coryana and the leader of the Many Arms of Death, Safiyah is a very infamous figure in the criminal underworld, as she has many connections and contacts all over the world, sending her assassins on missions to Gotham City from somewhere near Santorini.[4]

Equipment

Former Equipment

  • Knife: Safiyah's knife was dipped in a potion that cause suspended animation; by removing it after being nailed to someone.

Appearances

Batwoman

Season 1

Season 2


Gallery

Promotional images

Batwoman

Season 2

Behind the scenes

References