Leyla was a Kurdish woman, who nevertheless used her talent for chemistry to work for the oppressive Iraqi regime. Despairing after her family and husband were killed anyway, she attempted to end her life by submerging herself in a river polluted with highly corrosive chemicals. The presence of an unknown organism allowed her to survive. In her new form, Leyla likened herself to the goddess Ishtar, using her talents for revenge; to this end, she gathered a band of followers around her and started a terror campaign. A group of insurgents used "Vitriol" as it was called - actually a weaponized bacterial strain which reproduced at an incredible rate, consuming iron and producing acid - against rival groups and the United States military in Iraq. Iron Man was dispatched to investigate her, but found that Vitriol could dissolve his armor.[citation needed]

Analysis of Vitriol's composition revealed that she was covered with an acid-resistant micro-organism which protects her from her own biological weapons. When she planned to douse Baghdad with her deadly bacterium, destroying the city completely, Tony Stark had her bombed with a giant amount of magnesium hydroxide ("Milk of magnesia"), which neutralizes acid. She was not heard from again.[citation needed]


Vitriol's body is resistant to chemical affection, particularly acid. The scales which cover her body are alive and, when separated from her, grow into a similar coating onto any surface she desires, giving it similar protection. She controls weaponized bacterial strains which can corrode even Iron Man's armor in seconds.


Leyla is a genius-level biochemist and geneticist.


Magnesium hydroxide - and theoretically any alkaline compound - can neutralize Vitriol's effects. Her destructive bacteria cannot penetrate force fields, or, presumably, any non-metallic material.


Leyla used the equipment afforded to her by the insurgents she led - vehicles, weapons, fuel, chemicals.

The bacterial strain Vitriol uses to deadly effect, Leptospirillum ferooxidans is real and indeed eats iron and secretes acid,[1] but at a much, much slower rate than in this story.

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