Wednesday, January 11, 2012
4149. Marrina Smallwood
Marrina Smallwood is a fictional character of the Marvel Universe. She was a member of the Alpha Flight and an honorary member of the Avengers. John Byrne created the character in Alpha Flight vol. 1 #1 (August 1983).
Marrina was a member of the alien species known as the Plodex, a species which sends its eggs to various planets. When the eggs hatch, young Plodex are born and take the forms of the native species they encounter.
The egg which would become Marrina was unlucky by Plodex standards. The egg landed in the Atlantic Ocean about 40,000 years ago, at the turn between the Middle Paleolithic and the Upper Paleolithic and remained dormant for thousands of years. The egg, containing the genetic material that would become Marrina, became water-permeable; this permeability was responsible for her adaptations to aquatic environments.
The egg was found by fisherman Tom Smallwood as he was drowning during a storm. He was drawn to its glowing nature and compelled to free it from the ocean floor and it proved to be buoyant enough to bring him to the surface and thus save his life. Tom took it home to Newfoundland, Canada. The egg was opened prematurely by his wife Gladys Smallwood, causing Marrina to imprint a human female form. The genetic code of the human beings who touched it were added to the Plodex DNA, giving Marrina her female humanoid appearance. She was but an infant who needed raising like any other of her age. The childless Smallwoods accepted her as their own daughter and she matured well in the small town who were equally welcoming.
She left home as an adolescent of sixteen years of age to join Beta Flight, a team of super-heroes trained and funded by the Canadian government. After performing well in Beta Flight, Marrina was promoted to Alpha Flight, although her field duties only began after the team went freelance. She then learned of her alien origin when captured by the Master, and was rescued by Alpha Flight and Namor the Sub-Mariner. After being a member of Alpha Flight for a time, Marrina was captured by Attuma, and reverted to savagery for the first time but overcame it. Marrina left Alpha Flight to marry her lover, Namor. She served alongside him on Avengers missions and received honorary membership, and also served as the queen of Deluvia.
When she became pregnant, the Plodex DNA reacted to her condition by turning her into a savage beast in the North Atlantic Ocean, a Leviathan. Namor was forced to slay her, impaling her with the Black Knight's enchanted Ebony Blade.
However, Llan the Sorcerer later told the self-proclaimed Master of the World that, "Now she sleeps a false death under the waves." This fact was revisited later when Warbird broke into the Master's lair where (unseen by Warbird) Marrina's body floated in a watery tank.
During the Dark Reign storyline, Marrina resurfaces in Norman Osborn's custody and he uses her as an endgame plan against Namor (who had recently betrayed him and allied with the X-Men). How she came to be his prisoner is unknown, however Osborn reveals that he had her D.N.A. spliced and modified, making her a snake-like leviathan, driven by a hunger that can only be satiated with Atlantean blood. Once released, Marrina wreaks havoc in the undersea kingdom, injuring many and killing even more. Namor and the X-Men devise a plan: using Magik's and Pixie's teleportational powers they transport all of the Atlanteans across the globe leaving Namor as the sole bait. Once she approaches the X-Men's new base, Utopia, Namor realizes who she is. The Stepford Cuckoos scan her mind revealing that there is nothing but rage, hunger and hate. Having no choice, they engage her. Eventually Namor drags a weakened Marrina underwater, where he performs a mercy killing, ending Marrina's life. Namor then flew her corpse to Avengers tower and threw her through the window of Norman Osborn's office.
During the Chaos War storyline, Marrina Smallwood (alongside Alpha Flight members Guardian, Vindicator, and Shaman) returns from the dead following what happened to the death realms. She joins up with the still-living Alpha Flight members in order to fight the Great Beasts. Marrina remains among the living after the defeat of the Chaos King.
Powers and abilities
Thanks to her genetic structure that was a hybrid combination of Plodex and Earth DNA, Marrina was totally amphibious, and had pale yellow skin, large fish-like eyes, and webbed hands and feet. Possessing both lungs and gills, she could breathe and exist indefinitely on land or under the sea. She could withstand any freezing temperatures without harm. Her hydrodynamic proportions, sleek skin, webbed extremities, and superhuman strength aided in her swimming. She could accelerate herself through the water for short periods far faster than any known human-sized organism by shedding outer layers of her skin, exposing a nearly frictionless inner skin layer. She could survive in the ocean depths or on land indefinitely, and breathe in both environments. In order to survive the crushing depths of the ocean, her physiology was specially enhanced. Her strength, endurance, vision, and stamina were all heightened beyond levels attainable by humans.
To travel, she could swim with considerable speed underwater, and also create massive waterspouts to propel herself into the air that stretch several kilometers inland and can also be made to strike a target with considerable force. On dry land, she could run at tremendous speeds. She could also brace her body to withstand the full impact of a semi truck, completely stopping the vehicle dead in its tracks, while completely remaining unharmed herself.
Although Marrina had a friendly personality, thanks to her upbringing by her foster parents, her mental programming by the Plodex with a savage lust for conquest repeatedly emerged from her subconscious mind. Her savage instincts could be triggered by chemical stimuli given off by other Plodex. When Marrina became enraged and her Plodex DNA took over, she would take on a more beast-like appearance. Her hands would turn into talons that easily cut through most material, and her skin secreted an oil which worked like a contact poison and could cause extreme constriction of the pupils of a member of another species, blinding him or her temporarily. Marrina could change shape to an unknown degree under the influence of her savage instincts. During her pregnancy she grew to gigantic size as the Leviathan. In this form, Marrina resembled a sea serpent and was over a mile in length.