Crafting a new identity for herself, Margaretha Zelle-MacLeod takes the stage name of Lady Gresha MacLeod and has become a dancer for the Cirque Molière in Paris in 1902. She dazzles the crowd with hypnotic movements, her stunning costumes and her exotic beauty. These leads to several men eagerly wanting her attention, but she only sees them as stepping stones to become a true starlet. In 1905 Margaretha has embraced her new life and reintroduced herself as Mata Hari, an princess from the far east. Using this new fame, she finds empowerment to control her life, but this only brings suspension to her spy accusations later in her life.
Issue four delves into the Margaretha’s full transformation into the persona of Mata Hari, utilizing her charm and beauty to survive in a cruel world. Early 20th century was not kind to strong women, but Margaretha knew how to climb the ranks to be in a position of power. Her new persona as Mata Hari drew in crowds to watch her perform and played with the desires of men. From 1906 to 1914, Mata Hari travels around Europe, living up in high society with many lovers. However, when war breaks out across the world, Mata Haris the attention for her travels and this sparks the accusations of her being a spy.
Writer Emma Beeby shows the rise and eventual fall of Mata Hari by showing the struggles of Margaretha working up the social ladder. In a short time of being Mata Hari, Margaretha has lived a life of luxury, but sadness. It appears that all of Margaretha’s efforts to become a star was to earn wealth and respect to be reunited with her daughter again. It becomes more tragic when the start of war has caused others to question Margaretha and her loyalists. This all builds to a final act where Margaretha will either have bow to the will of others or have one final act of defiance.