Acrata is one of Supergirl season 5's new main villains, and the episode "Confidence Women" revealed the secret origins of the shadowy assassin. These origins were notable in being far removed from the character's story in the comics, in which Acrata was a hero.
The Supergirl season 5 premiere introduced the character of Andrea Rojas; a tech magnate who had purchased CatCo Worldwide Media from Lena Luthor with the intention of turning the proud news organization into a clicks-generating machine that promoted her companies' products. This immediately brought Rojas into conflict with Supergirl in her day job as reporter Kara Danvers. Rojas would also face off against the Girl of Steel in her villainous alter ego, as she slipped past Supergirl to kill another assassin before they could be questioned about who they worked for.
All of this was revealed in Supergirl season 5, episode 6, "Confidence Women", which confirmed that the mysterious shadow woman was Andrea Rojas, after she attempted to silence another assassin held within the DEO. The episode also showed (through a series of flashbacks) just how Rojas gained her powers and how she was recruited by the mysterious organization known as Leviathan. Here is everything you need to know about Acrata in the comics and how she was adapted for the Arrowverse.
Acrata's History In The Comics
Acrata first appeared in Superman Annual #12 in August 2000, as one of three Mexican superheroes who joined forces with Superman to face a mystic threat that he couldn't face alone. The story revealed Acrata as Andrea Rojas, daughter of Bernardo Rojas - a former political leader in Central America, who migrated to Mexico and became a college professor specializing in the study of Pre-Hispanic cultures. Andrea apparently followed in her father's footsteps, being an expert on archaeology who was capable of identifying various mystic artifacts relating to the Mayan culture. It was probably in this capacity that she or her father discovered the ancient medallion that served as the source of Acrata's powers.
Acrata has only appeared in a handful of stories since her first appearance and has never been given a definitive backstory. It has never been made clear, for instance, just how she acquired her martial arts training or why she seems to harbor a grudge against organized crime in Mexico City. Acrata is notable, however, in that she was one of a select few independent heroines to be given an invitation to join the Birds of Prey, though she apparently declined it.
Acrata's Powers In The Comics
Acrata's powers come from an ancient medallion, which Andrea Rojas worked into the forehead of her mask. The medallion is engraved with the ancient Mayan symbol for "shadows" and gives Andrea the power to teleport from one shadow to another in seconds. No limit has ever been placed on how far Andrea can teleport in the comics, but Superman compared her ability to blend into the shadows and strike at foes unseen before vanishing to that of Batman. It is unknown, however, just how intensive Acrata's combat training was and how much of her talent for stealth comes from the medallion.
Acrata In The Arrowverse
The comic book version of Acrata has almost nothing in common with her Arrowverse adaptation, with the episode "Confidence Women" revealing how the Arrowverse version of Andrea Rojas gained her powers. The episode showed how Lena Luthor and Andrea Rojas became friends at boarding school as teenagers. Andrea was the first real friend Lena ever had and the first person to whom she ever shared her dream of discovering the Medallion of Acrata; an ancient necklace which would bestow great gifts on the woman who wore it, "so that she alone had the strength to bend shadow to her will."
Years later, Lena believed she found the location of the Medallion of Acrata and asked Andrea to accompany her. She agreed, despite being worried about her father and his fears that the new product he had invested so much of their family fortune in would be obsolete upon release. Upon reaching the old temple where Lena believed the Medallion of Acrata would be found, Andrea fell into an underground passage and was approached by an old man who said that he could save Andrea's father and their business. All she had to do was take the Medallion of Acrata, hide it from Lena, tell no one else about it and wait for the day when she would be asked to do a service for his organization - Leviathan.
Andrea agreed and thought nothing of it, until years later when Lena saw Andrea wearing the necklace at a party which Lena hadn't planned to attend until the last second. Sadly, the necklace would go on to destroy more than Andrea's friendship with Lena. It would also destroy her romance with Russell Rogers, a young scientist who fell into Leviathan's clutches after he discovered the Medallion, soaked in blood, in Andrea's bathroom after she completed her first mission as an assassin with the organization. Andrea tried to save Russell's life by convincing her handlers that he could work for them as well, but she effectively killed the man she loved, as the technology he created was used to transform him into the emotionless cyborg Rip Roar.
Andrea's suffering is not yet over, despite the events of "Confidence Women" depriving her of the Medallion of Acrata and any chance of restoring Russell Rogers' mind after retrieving Rip Roar from the DEO's custody. After killing Russell Rogers, Andrea's handlers revealed that the medallion merely awakened Andrea's ability to harness the darkness within herself; it didn't have any power unto itself beyond that. Like Leviathan's grasp, the handler said, Andrea's powers as Acrata are "something you can never escape." Presumably, Supergirl will still try to find a way to save Andrea from her own dark power and Leviathan, if she ever learns the truth of her boss' double life.