Elisa was born in 1968, the eldest child of Peter and Diane Maza.  After majoring in Psychology at Columbia, she followed family tradition by entering the NYPD, and by 1994, had already become a Detective Second Class in the 23rd Precinct. 
Elisa first met the gargoyles while investigating the mysterious disturbances at the Eyrie Building, caused by the first clash between Goliath's clan and the Xanatos Goon Squad. She was originally frightened enough by Goliath and Bronx to fall off the battlements of Castle Wyvern, but Goliath saved her life and in that way, helped to convince her that the gargoyles were not evil monsters. She quickly came to learn their true nature and befriend them, saving Goliath from the Xanatos Goon Squad in Central Park (he was not actually in danger from them, but neither she nor Goliath knew that), and warning him about Xanatos' true nature in time for Goliath to save the other gargoyles from the Steel Clan. From then on, Elisa was the clan's closest human friend. ("Awakening")
When it became too dangerous for the gargoyles to continue living in the castle, Elisa managed to persuade them (although not without some difficulty) to relocate to the Clock Tower, where they would be safer and where she could check up on them regularly. ("Enter Macbeth") She even purchased a television set for them. Later on, her police work helped inspire Goliath to give his clan a new purpose: protecting the inhabitants of New York from harm. ("Reawakening")
While befriending the gargoyles was in many ways a wonderful thing for Elisa, giving her some loyal new friends, it also has had its drawbacks. Soon after she first met the clan, Broadway accidentally shot her with her own gun, and she only barely survived the surgery that followed. ("Deadly Force") Also, Xanatos lured her younger brother Derek into his service and then had Sevarius mutate him, transforming him into Talon. ("Her Brother's Keeper", "Metamorphosis") Demona has also resented Elisa's close friendship with the gargoyles and particularly Goliath, and attempted more than once to kill her. Elisa has sometimes wondered about the possibilities of a normal life without the gargoyles, particularly because of her very problematical feelings towards Goliath (see below), but in the end, she always loyally comes through for them.
Elisa also does like, in a way, being the gargoyles' closest human friend; she values this so much, in fact, that for a long while, she kept her friendship with the clan a secret, not just for their safety, but also so that she could feel a sense of uniqueness about her ties with them. Eventually, however, she let her partner, Matt Bluestone, and her family into the secret. ("Revelations", "Mark of the Panther", "Cloud Fathers")
The real problem that Elisa has to face in her friendship with the gargoyles is her feelings towards Goliath. Even during their first adventure together in Central Park, they began to be drawn towards each other, though it took a long while for them to realize it. The time when Puck temporarily turned Elisa into a gargoyle undoubtedly helped, for it brought the feelings Goliath didn't know he had for her to the surface ("The Mirror"). But when Elisa did realize how she felt about Goliath, it troubled her. Being in love with a gargoyle has raised some serious issues for her, issues that she does not wish to confront. So she carefully held back from discussing it with Goliath, for a long while. But their feelings for each other could not be forever held off.
Alongside being a close friend to the gargoyles, Elisa is also a highly able police detective. Her particular nemesis in her workday life is mob boss Tony Dracon, whose organized crime rackets she often is kept busy thwarting. Sometimes Elisa goes undercover for her work, such as when she posed as a crooked cop in order to gain Dracon's trust so that he would incriminate himself during his protection racket scheme. Sometimes Elisa goes undercover as "Salli". She used the alias to penetrate Tomas Brod's gang so as to bust his gang as well as Dracon's simutaneously. ("Protection", "Turf") The gargoyles (particularly Goliath and Broadway) have helped her out on her cases on a few occasions, such as when Broadway eagerly joined her during the "Silver Falcon" case. ("The Silver Falcon")
Elisa's greatest adventure came when Tom the Guardian came to Manhattan in late 1995 to seek Goliath's aid against the Archmage on Avalon. Elisa tagged along with them, (and Bronx), more out of curiosity than anything, unaware of the odyssey she would be embarking on for the next several months. ("Avalon" Part One) Elisa was essential in helping the Avalon Clan during their battle with the Argchmage. It was Elisa who suggested they awaken King Arthur and recruit him to their cause. She then proceeded to do so with the Magus's help, and with Arthur at the helm, the battle was won. ("Avalon" Part Two, "Avalon" Part Three)
Elisa, Goliath, and Bronx left Avalon with Angela to embark on the Avalon World Tour. Elisa protected her friends when they were stone during the day. There were a few instances during the tour that held personal interest for Elisa. She helped convince Natsilane to take on his responsibilites as chieftan of Queen Florence Island and to battle Raven. ("Heritage) In Nigeria she made peace with her mother and finally introduced her gargoyle friends to her. ("Mark of the Panther") When she was kidnapped by Odin in Norway, Goliath donned the Eye of Odin in order to rescue her. ("Eye of the Storm")
During one of her most unfavorable adventures, arriving at New Olympus, Elisa was imprisoned by the New Olympians, who blamed humans for their exile and hadn't seen one in over 10,000 years. When the evil shapeshifter Proteus, posing as Goliath, escaped with Elisa, she risked her freedom in order to stop him from blowing up the island. Many New Olympians had a changed perspective of humans after this. ("The New Olympians") She took a stand against Goliath during their stop in Guatemala, protesting the Mayan Clan's method of scaring the farmers from being able to cut down trees to feed their families. Though she was also understanding of the gargoyles' plight, and made the suggestion to transplant some samples on Avalon. ("The Green") She saved the lives of her companions when they were captured by Nokkar the alien, even though she had temporary amnesia and didn't know who to trust, her instinctual bond to her friends won out. ("Sentinel") Though Elisa enjoyed some of her World Tour adventures, she was very glad when she finally arrived home. ("The Gathering" Part One)
While Captain Chavez wasn't thrilled with Elisa's six month absence, it put Elisa in the perfect position to infiltrate Tomas Brod's gang under the alias, Salli and end a turf war between Brod and Dracon. ("Turf")
When the Canmores came to New York, Jason Canmore took on the guise of a rookie policeman, Jason Conover, and became paired with Elisa. Elisa was soon drawn to him, in a very problematic fashion; she was attracted to Jason, and yet, she had strong feelings for Goliath as well, though feelings that she felt she could never acknowledge. She discovered in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of the clock tower, however, about Jason's true nature as the Hunter, which shook her severely. Elisa did all that she could to dissuade Goliath and Jason from their feud with each other, but to no avail, and during one of her attempts, was accidentally knocked off the top of the dam where Goliath was battling the Canmores. Jason saved her life, however, and together they managed to persuade Goliath at Saint Damien's Cathedral to call off the feud with the Canmores, thwarting Demona's "Operation Clean Slate" instead. Afterwards, when she was reunited with the clan at Castle Wyvern, Elisa finally admitted to Goliath her feelings for him, and even kissed him for the first time. ("Hunter's Moon")
In the immediate aftermath of the gargoyles' revelation to the world, Goliath visited Elisa to seek comfort from her. Both were attacked by a vengeful John Castaway and almost killed in a confrontation at the damaged Clock Tower, but rescued by Vinnie's intervention. ("Nightwatch", "The Journey")
The following day, upon being asked out on a date by Morgan, Elisa visited Jason in the hospital, who told her he wanted her to be happy. Elisa, knowing she'd eventually want a normal life with children and that Goliath could never give this to her, broke up with him. She encouraged him to court Delilah while she accepted Morgan's invitation and brought him to the masque at the Eyrie Building, only for her to realise she made a mistake, but still not ready to face Goliath. Upon seeing Goliath lying at near death at the hands of Thailog, Elisa told him that she loved him. ("Invitation Only", "Masque", "Bash")
A few nights later, Goliath told her that he would not hold her to any words said when he was on the verge of death, and reminded her of the things he could not give her and her desire for a normal life. Elisa replied that "normalcy is so over-rated." Overjoyed, the two kissed. ("The Rock")
Eventually, they will have a commitment ceremony of some sort (probably by 1999).  Further on down the road, they will eventually adopt and raise a child together. Greg Weisman confirmed at the 2004 Gathering that it is from this adopted child that Nicholas Natsilane Maza will be descended.  By 2198, Elisa will be dead, but of what cause is unknown. Upon her death, the Manhattan Clan will give her a Wind Ceremony as a member of the Clan. 
Elisa is of mixed heritage, African American on her mother's side, and Native American (mostly, but not exclusively, Hopi) on her father's side, though she's a born and bred New Yorker.  She is tall and athletic as well as quick witted, and she can hold her own against almost any adversary, though she is often impulsive.
A stand-out moment of her quick thinking occurred when Broadway turned to stone when caught in midair at sunrise while fighting the robot double of Macbeth. With only a few seconds to save Broadway and obviously unable to catch him herself without being crushed, Elisa fired at the cable of a nearby crane to make it spill its cargo of crated rugs in order to create a soft landing for the gargoyle. The following night, Goliath praised her as a miracle for accomplishing such an astounding feat to save Broadway. ("The Price")
Elisa doesn't take anything at face value, and accepts the beauty within, which is one reason she accepted the gargoyles as quickly as she did. She's down to earth and skeptical of certain things before she sees them with her own eyes, despite all the strange happenings that have occurred in her life. She's kindhearted and strong-willed and, like the gargoyles, tends to put the needs of others before herself.
However, Elisa does have her flaws as well. She's stubborn, and has acted selfishly when it came to telling trusted friends and family members about the gargoyles, wanting to keep them to herself. She tried for a long time to ignore her true feelings for Goliath, which caused heartbreak for both of them. Nevertheless, she always does the right thing in the end.
Elisa probably has a background in Christianity from her mother, but probably styled her beliefs after her Agnostic father. Still, all the stories her mother told about African myths and legends helped her maintain an open mind. 
Elisa lives with her pet cat Cagney in a top level apartment in SoHo with a balcony and a large window providing easy access for the gargoyles when they visit. She drives a classic red car. Though she doesn't live with them, she is considered a member of the Manhattan Clan, both by herself and by the gargoyles.
Her badge number is 16123, and based on her costuming as Belle and Jasmine, she appears to be a fan of Disney movies.
October 5. Goes to investigate the disturbance at the Eyrie Building. She sneaks up to the castle, where she encounters Bronx, then Goliath, whose appearance causes her to back up and fall off the building. Goliath saves her life, and they agree to meet later that night. Elisa helps Hudson choose his name before going off with Goliath on an aerial tour of Manhattan, and both are later attacked in Central Park by Commandos sent by Xanatos. ("Awakening" Part Three)
October 6. Elisa and Goliath escape the Commandos, but Goliath turns to stone at dawn. Elisa lures the Commandos away from him, and then watches over Goliath during the day, cementing their friendship. Meets up with Goliath later and informs him of Xanatos' treachery. ("Awakening" Part Four, "Awakening" Part Five)
October 7. Gets to the castle just in time to prevent Demona from killing Goliath. The turret she and Demona are on falls, and Goliath saves Elisa, but he's not able to save Demona in time. Elisa convinces him not to kill Xanatos, who is later arrested. ("Awakening" Part Five)
November 4. Begins trying to convince Goliath to leave the castle, but he refuses. ("The Thrill of the Hunt")
November 13. Frees Goliath's mind from the spell Demona placed on him. ("Temptation")
November 20. Regains consciousness just before dawn. Broadway apologizes and Elisa begins keeping her gun locked up. ("Deadly Force")
1995. January 3-4. Elisa, who is still on crutches, unsuccessfully tries to get Goliath to leave the castle after the attack of Macbeth. Hudson and Broadway aid her in convincing him to leave at last, and the clan moves into the clocktower. ("Enter Macbeth")
January 20. Demona breaks into Elisa's apartment and unsuccessfully attempts to poison her in order to set a trap for Goliath. ("Long Way to Morning")
January 25. Xanatos saves Elisa and Derek Maza from Jackal and Hyena at the Diamond Exchange, then offers Derek a job. Elisa tries to convince him not to work for Xanatos, with no success. ("Her Brother's Keeper")
February 3. Accompanied by Goliath on her shift, and is attacked by Coldstone. After a scuffle on the George Washington Bridge, Goliath declares an oath to protect the citizens of New York, and tells Elisa that he "needs a detective". ("Reawakening")
September 10. Goes with the gargoyles to confront the mutates at Castle Wyvern, and she quickly realizes that one of them is Derek, who has dubbed himself Talon. He accidentally shocks her with an electric blast before running off with the other mutates. ("Metamorphosis")
September 28. Demona summons Puck from Titania's Mirror and asks him to rid her of Elisa. Mincing her words, Puck instead turns her into a gargoyle, and soon thereafter turns all the humans of Manhattan into gargoyles, and the gargoyles into humans. Elisa saves Goliath after he's turned into a human in mid-air. After a battle where Elisa takes down Demona, Puck returns everyone to normal. At dawn, Goliath tries to discuss the new feelings he has for her, but she cuts him off. ("The Mirror")
October 27-28. Aided by Broadway while investigating Matt Bluestone's disappearance. She's captured alongside Matt by Dracon's gang after being sent to them by Dominic Dracon posing as G.F. Benton. With Broadway's help, she leads Dracon to a false trail, and has him arrested along with his gang and his grandfather. ("The Silver Falcon")
October 30-31. Encounters the werefox at Mr. Jaffe's store. Later attends a Halloween block party with Goliath dressed as Belle, and the two of them dance. Elisa, Goliath, and Xanatos track down Fox after she attacks at the party. She's about to pounce Elisa, but Goliath tackles her and removes the Eye of Odin. ("Eye of the Beholder")
November 9. Watches Demona's "stone by night" spell on television, and is affected by the spell. ("City of Stone" Part One)
November 14. Demona, (working under the power of the Weird Sisters), transforms into a human in front of Elisa and challenges her to a showdown at Belvedere Castle in order to save the captured Manhattan Clan. She fights with Demona while Othello takes control of Coldstone from Iago, forcing Demona and Macbeth to flee. ("High Noon")
November 28-29. Led to Long Island on a false tip along with Broadway and Lexington, and assaulted by Thailog. Returns later to investigate with Goliath and confronts his clone on an oil rig. She convinces Goliath that Thailog is his "son" right before the clone chains them up along with Xanatos and Sevarius. Using a handcuff trick, along with Xanatos' ingenuity, they escape. ("Double Jeopardy")
December 16. Begins acting as a crooked cop in order to get Tony Dracon's attention. ("Protection")
December 19. Goliath and Broadway nearly blow Elisa's cover, but she uses the gargoyles to her advantage and the three of them stop Dracon's Protection racket and have him arrested again. ("Protection")
December 20. Finds out that Goliath has kidnapped Sevarius and she confronts him about it, making him realize his mistake. He admits that he did it out of concern of her pain over her brother, and after a fight with Talon, he acknowledges Elisa as one of his clan. Later, Elisa brings her parents and sister to the Labyrinth to see Derek. ("The Cage")
December 28. Departs to Avalon with Goliath and the Guardian Tom. There she meets the Avalon Clan and Angela. Realizing that Angela is Goliath's daughter, she asks him about it, but he divulges that gargoyle children belong to the whole clan. ("Avalon" Part One, "Avalon" Part Two)
January 4. Reunites with her friends, she and Goliath embrace. She finds out that Grandmother is a Child of Oberon, and with the help of the gargoyles, helps her in convincing Natsilane to battle Raven for the island. ("Heritage")
January 22. Foils Thailog's plan to have Macbeth and Demona kill each other by temporarily "killing" Demona. ("Sanctuary")
May 16-17. Reunites with her mother in Nigeria and introduces her to her friends. After a battle with Anansi, Elisa finally opens up with Diane and tells her of everything that's happened recently in her life. ("Mark of the Panther")
May 19-20. Odin lures the travellers to Norway and nearly freezes Elisa to death and then kidnaps her as part of his attempts to get his Eye back from Goliath. Goliath dons the eye in order to save her. ("Eye of the Storm")
May 22-23. Twice imprisoned in New Olympus for being human and unintentionally causing a riot. She's tricked by Proteus to help get him out of jail, but then prevents him from destroying the island, and she's allowed to leave. ("The New Olympians")
May 26. Is concerned about the Mayan clan's methods of scaring away loggers and farmers in Guatemala and is in disagreement with Goliath, but she comes up with an idea to transplant some samples onto Avalon. ("The Green")
June 11. "Kidnapped" by Goliath who attempts to explain the truth to her . She later saves Goliath, Angela, and Bronx from Nokkar, acting upon instincts of loyalty to her friends. ("Sentinel") Elisa regains her memories on Avalon. 
July 9. Returns home to Manhattan. Goliath attempts to talk to her about their relationship but she stops him again. ("The Gathering" Part One)
October 23. Temporarily assigned to dayshift and partnered with the hunter Jason Canmore posing as Detective Jason Conover. They are immediately attracted to each other. They are involved in a car chase while trying to prevent Demona's men from obtaining DI-7 from a Xanatos warehouse. ("Hunter's Moon" Part One)
October 24. Arrives at the clocktower just before sunrise and is just in time to save Angela's life with CPR. Later invites Jason to her apartment. She kisses him, but then breaks it off, telling him that she loves someone else, but that it would be impossible to be with him. Unbeknowest to her, Goliath watches from the window. ("Hunter's Moon" Part Two)
October 25. The Hunters blow up the clocktower, and Jason grabs Elisa from the precint in order to protect her from the blast, drugs her, and drops her in her apartment. The gargoyles convene at her apartment. Elisa discovers the true identity of the Hunters. Jon Canmore reports on the news that the gargoyles blew up the clocktower, exposing them to the world at large. ("Hunter's Moon" Part Three)
October 26-27. Broadway brings Elisa to the dam where Goliath is fighting the Hunters, where she attempts to stop them. She is knocked off the dam with Jason, and Goliath is unable to save her, but she is pulled to safety by Jason. She and Jason arrive at St. Damien's Cathedral where the Hunters are battling the gargoyles while Demona sets up her Operation Clean Slate plan. Her arrival brings Goliath to his senses, but Jon shoots at Goliath, and injures Jason instead. Goliath prevents Demona from carrying out her plan and the gargoyles leave with Xanatos to Castle Wyvern. Xanatos tells Elisa that the gargoyles can live at the castle. Just before dawn, Elisa and Goliath admit their feelings for each other and Elisa kisses him for the first time. ("Hunter's Moon" Part Three)
October 29. Goliath visits Elisa and turns to stone outside her apartment. Just before sunset, Elisa is able to prevent Banquo and Fleance from smashing Goliath. They are then chased through the city by quarrymen and cornered in the clocktower where John Castaway attempts to kill them, but are saved by Vinnie's intervention. ("Nightwatch", "The Journey")
October 31. Elisa is asked on a date by Morgan which she turns down at first, then goes to visit Jason in the hospital. She breaks up with Goliath, telling him she needs balance and normalcy in her life. She tells Goliath to take Delilah to Xanatos' masque later that evening, while she brings Morgan. ("Invitation Only")
November 1. Goliath once again tries to talk about possibilities with Elisa, but she flees. Thailog attacks at that moment with the clones and stabs Goliath. A fight breaks out between the clones and Manhattan clan. Elisa kneels by Goliath and says she's a part of the clan. Thailog leaves after he obtains blood from the whole clan, including Elisa. As Dr. Sato tends to Goliath's wound, Elisa and Goliath declare their mutual love, and kiss. ("Masque", "Bash")
November 4. Elisa indicates to Goliath that she wants a relationship with him, and he kisses her after she strokes his hair. ("The Rock")
1997-1999. At some point between these years, Elisa and Goliath have a Commitment Ceremony of some sort.
Behind the Scenes
Voice Actor: Salli Richardson
Elisa's African American/Native American heritage is based on Salli Richardson's own background. Elisa's appearance was also partially drawn from Ms. Richardson.
Elisa went through various name changes in the early development of the show, and many of these names were later given to secondary characters. Her original name was "Morgan Reed" (which inspired the last name of Maggie Reed and the double name of Officer Morgan Morgan), after architect Julia Morgan. Her forename was changed to "Elisa" for aesthetic reasons, and her surname changed to "Chavez" (later given to Maria Chavez, captain of Elisa's precinct), then "Bluestone" (given to Matt Bluestone, Elisa's partner) and then "Maza".
Elisa and her earlier incarnations also had a number of different professions, including schoolteacher, firefighter, museum curator, inventor, and archaeologist. For a while she was the former partner of Xavier (the early incarnation of Xanatos), a mother, and a descendent of the Scottish Princess who became Princess Katharine.
Salli, the name Elisa used to go undercover in Brod's gang is an in-joke; Elisa was voiced by Salli Richardson.