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Do you know what it's like to realize just how insignificant you are? Having a taste of power is worse than none at all.
―Joanna Wise[src]

Joanna Wise was the White House Press Secretary under President Malloy's administration[1] and leader of the Pandora Project.[2]


During the Supernatural Crisis Act following the San Francisco's tsunami, Wise and Secretary of Supernatural Ophelia Reyes primarily gave announcements and interviews concerning the Safe Zone and its residents.[1][3][4][5]

However, Wise was also the leader of the secret Pandora Project, having enhanced her body to hold mystical energy as a magic-infused cyborg. She had been responsible for summoning the Shenlong, intentionally causing San Francisco's destruction and the public controversy on magic. Her final intention was to have the power of a ruler in a world that no one would have access to magic but her.[2]

When confronted by the Scooby Gang, she revealed herself while fighting against Buffy. Wise, despite being powerful, didn't have as much experience as the Slayer, who had absorbed the power from all the slayers to fight her. Wise then summoned the Shenlong once more, intending to absorb his power and defeat Buffy.[2] Willow then had the idea of rescuing the dragon so he would seek his power. However, Wise declared she would never give up her powers. Buffy kicked her into the open mouth of Shenlong, who devoured Wise.[6]

Xander and Dawn had filmed Wise during the fight, so these images were used to publicly expose her and the Pandora Project. President Malloy then declared everyone involved in this treason would be punished, and his administration would review all policies regarding the supernatural with the help of those credited for exposing the conspiracy: Riley and Samantha Finn, in accord to the Scoobies' plans.[6]

Powers and abilities[]

Joanna Wise had the combined magic power absorbed from "witches, werewolves, demons, and thousands more." Despite being a magic user, she denied herself to be a witch; her magic source was from within her own enhanced body and not from the environment.[2]

During battle, her magic was expressed with enhanced strength and protection as a translucent purple armor. She resisted the "ignis incende" fire spell from Willow and used the offensive Rain of Death.[2] The weapon was able to deflect her spells, but the target would still suffer harsh wounds.[6] One notable spell she dominated was the summoning of Shenlong,[2] and therefore power over San Francisco's destruction.[7]

As a cyborg, she had enhanced defense and durability from the inorganic constitution, resisting impact, sword cut, and vampire bite.[2]

Joanna also had influential political power, both as the White House Press Secretary and leader of the Pandora Project organization. She was capable of using it to cause a national controversy against magical beings, weaponize animals, and create unique battle suits.[8]

Behind the scenes[]

  • According to the writer Christos Gage, Joanna Wise was decided to be the Big Bad since the beginning of the season, and therefore not inspired by any White House Press Secretary from Donald Trump administration.[9]
  • Gage also expressed his opinion on the Big Bad reveal, explaining: "This season, I wanted it to be more that the world was the Big Bad. Things like prejudice, fear, oppression, etc. […] I wanted there to be less of a Big Bad in the sense of a person or being that the heroes have to fight, and more about opposing the kind of forces we've seen unfortunately growing in the country and the world… Forces that are hard to pinpoint in one place or person, and therefore harder to stop."[10]