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Magician from Mars (Centaur comics) in red shorts

Magician from Mars


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The Magician from Mars is one of the very earliest comic-books super-powered heroines, along with Fantomah.

She had but 5 stories (each spanning 7 pages including the splash page/intro) in Centaur Comics’ Amazing-Man Comics in 1940.

Centaur Comics was an early US comics publisher, but was brief-lived (1938-1942). Some of its creation still live on, in no small part because they are public domain now.

For instance Marvel Comics’ Iron Fist character John Aman the Prince of Orphans starred in Amazing Man Comics as Amazing Man.


Background

  • Real Name: Jane Q-X3
  • Other Aliases: Jane 6EM35
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Jane Faro (mother, deceased), Jarl Q-X3 (father, deceased), Vanza (aunt, legal guardian)
  • Group Affiliation: Martian Royal Army
  • Base Of Operations: New York City, New York, Earth
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 125 lbs.
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Blonde


Powers and Abilities

Jane is a Earther/Martian hybrid who was mutated by being exposed to cathode rays while just a baby. The rays gave her the power to manipulate matter (Sorcery), gravity (Gravity Decrease), space-time (Sorcery), and to create illusions in the minds of others (Sorcery).

She is also possessed of great physical power being much faster and stronger than anyone on Earth or Mars (STR, Jumping). The power of her mind is such that she can even arrest the aging process making her immortal. She has an incredible intellect allowing her to come to conclusions based on only a small amount of evidence.

She is also a skilled fighter pilot and has designed her own aircraft.


History

In the far future, Jane Q-X3 was born to Earth woman Jane Faro and her Martian father Jarl Q-X3 on the planet Mars. Unknown to her doctor the baby Jane was exposed to an active cathode ray.

The effect of the cathode rays would not be revealed until the six-year old Jane knocked over a vase in her house while playing. The girl then wished for the vase to be whole again and in a flash the vase pieced itself back together.

Life on Mars

Realizing what she was capable of Jane immediately started to play with her new powers, conjuring up toys, making objects levitate and playing the electronic organ remotely.

Jane’s mother returned home and discovered the amazing things that Jane was capable of. However, little Jane was ostracized by the other children due to her developing great strength, intelligence and supernatural abilities.

When Jane’s parents died when she was 16, her aunt, Vanza, became her legal guardian. Vanza forbade Jane from going to Earth, even as the young woman began to experiment with her developing super abilities.

One day aunt Vanza learned of Jane’s plans to run away to Earth and locked her in a steel lined closet to ensure her obedience.

The Magician From Mars' atomic rocket

Jane pondered her situation and then immediately burst out of the steel prison. Running over the Martian landscape to the space-port Jane leaped into a departing ship, the Marsu.

On board, Jane used her powers to change her Martian style clothing into practical Earthling designs. Just then a rogue meteor struck the ship, rupturing the hull.

As the crew piled out to repair the damage Jane took the opportunity to pilfer the three-million in gold that is being transferred from Mars to Earth aboard the craft.

She first tried to frighten the guard into leaving using an illusion of a horrific robotic monster but the guard was brave enough to draw his gun on Jane. Jane easily knocked out the guard and then ripped the safe door off its hinges.

Taking the gold Jane repaired the damage she did to the safe and headed for the rocket powered life-boats. On her way she saw the captain of the ship overseeing the repairs of the hull and Jane, with great effort, repaired the hole herself. Jane used her powers to help make her escape to the Earth’s surface.

Six weeks later Jane left half the gold to a Doctor Clinton who was doing research in fighting infantile paralysis. Jane used the other half to set herself up in style (Amazing Man Comics #7).

Life on Earth

Jane had a most eventful day in New York after an extensive trip through Europe and Asia. On the ferry ride across the East River she saw a man leap off of the Brooklyn Bridge. Jane intervened and saved the man’s life by floating him over the water.

When the police came to try and catch the jumper, Jane leaped from her boat, over the Brooklyn Bridge, grabbed the man from the air and then jumped over to Manhattan with the suicide in tow. The man then explained to Jane why he tried to kill himself while they flew over Manhattan in an air-cab.

The man was a builder who became deep in debt with a crooked politician who contracted him to build a high rise. When the builder ran out of money and was unable to complete the project the crook told him that he had until that night to complete the building.

Arriving at the construction site Jane asked the builder to show her his plans for the building.

With a bit of exertion she was able to complete the building in less than a second just as the crooked politician came around the corner. The crook cussed out Jane for her meddling which raised the Magician’s ire. After knocking the bullying politico around a little the builder thanked Jane for her intercession.

Later that night Jane decided to enjoy an archaic form of entertainment called a “rodeo”. But the enjoyment soon ended when 3 of the show bulls broke loose and began to attack the cowboys. One rider, Zeke, was thrown from his horse as a giant bull bore down on him.

Jane leaped on top of the rampaging steer and broke its neck. One of the other cowboys threw Zeke a gun to shoot down the remaining bulls. For this heroic act Jane got her name in the papers alongside a feature about a recent air-train crash.

The Magician From Mars lands her plane

Her curiosity piqued Jane decided to take her personal air-ship to investigate the crashes. Over one of the bridges she spied a green air ship shooting melting rays at the bridge. In a daring dog fight Jane shot down the enemy ship and then landed to save the train herself.

Leaping into the air she managed to knock the falling train back into its magnetic induction coils. She then took her ship out for a short joy ride in the dusk before landing at Frael Airport.

While heading for her hotel Jane spotted a man who looked hungry and angry. She decided to help, trying to dissuade him from robbing the bank in the hotel. The man then pulled a gun on her which the Magician turned into a roll of money to the delight of the man.

Taking a break in the hotel lobby her respite was broken when a man began to harange the front desk clerk for the empty pen he gave him. The man demanded ink for his pen which Jane gave to him in spades, flooding the hotel lobby with sticky black ink.

Jane, reflecting on her day, decided that the world greatly needed her help (Amazing Man Comics #8).

The element of danger

Jane’s first major battle came about when a man named Bill Wend interrupted a piano concert in a small town. Bill was attending the concert when he was suddenly compelled to play something on the piano.

He managed to persuade the concert pianist to let him play. Bill then began to play an incredible, eerie piece which enthralled the audience.

Suddenly a mist began to take shape around the piano and from it emerged a gigantic, humanoid monster: the Elemental. The terror inspired in the audience as the beast began to eat the attendees increased the monster’s size until it erupted from the concert hall.

The military was contacted but the general at first did not believe what he was being told until a media crew televised the Elemental for all the world to see.

Magician from Mars (Centaur's Amazing-Man Comics) intro splash panel

Jane saw the broadcast and hopped into her plane to help the military if she could. The full might of the American Armed Forces were brought against the Elemental to no avail. Jane then met the demon on its own terms by growing to gigantic size. The might of the Elemental was more than a match for Jane’s who was knocked down for the first time in her life.

Jane then brought her tremendous mental powers to bear, attacking Elemental with the forces of nature but to no effect. The battle raged on for hours with no clear winner until both combatants were left exhausted from their struggle. The Elemental then disappeared in a puff of smoke, promising Jane that he would return to kill her.

The Elemental returns

Some months later there were reports of large numbers of people being kidnapped mysteriously. Jane quickly came to a conclusion as to what the mass disappearances might signify.

She began to walk the streets of the city. When a cloud of yellow gas overcame the crowd, Jane feigned unconsciousness as the crowd was put onto trucks and driven far into the countryside before finally arriving at a large castle.

The mastermind behind the mass kidnappings saw the famous Magician, who was feigning weakness from the gas, and in classic master criminal fashion he explained his plans to her. He was kidnapping the people to feed to the Elemental who promised to bring his brethren into our world and with their might the criminal would rule the world.

Jane then broke from her bonds and began tearing into the criminal’s stronghold when the mastermind called the Elemental to his aid.

The Magician From Mars flies her space rocket

Jane had previously theorized a means of finally defeating the seemingly invincible monster and began to sing a song of tremendous beauty and purity. The beautiful notes disintegrated the Elemental who withered down into nothing.

The Elemental destroyed, the mastermind raced up a flight of stairs with Jane giving chase. The mastermind turned and shot Jane, who tumbled over the stairs but caught herself on a protruding bar and landed lightly on the ground. Her anger roused Jane toppled the stairs over with her great strength crushing the evil mastermind (Amazing Man Comics #9).

Against the Hood

After this adventure Jane took a short trip before landing at the Moderni Airport. Along the way she spotted a strange plane but thought nothing of it. Happily greeting the excited field crew she was then bewildered and horrified as the men all around her suddenly started to convulse in agony and then fell to the ground dead.

Jane leaped out to investigate but was then struck by an unseen force, staggering her as what seemed to be music throbbed around her with eerie force. Her heart faltered but she was able to stay alive but unconscious.

Airport officials awoke her, trying to question her, when she saw broken glass on on the ground. She picked it up to examine it when a bullet plowed past her. Spotting the sniper atop a tall building on the air field the Magician leaped up, grabbed a flag-pole half way up the building, swung herself onto the zeppelin mast and then fell upon the assassin while dodging another bullet.

She interrogated the man who told her that a man called “The Hood” told him to kill her if the force did not.

After bringing the gunman to the police Jane took a ride in her plane to try and clear her head when she came upon the strange plane from before. The plane turned on her with its guns blazing, disabling one of her motors but Jane rallied and shot down the enemy flier.

Jane followed the crashing plane and managed to rescue the pilot before the plane exploded. The pilot, grateful to Jane for saving his life, told all he knew about the Hood, who had him and other men under his thumb.

The Magician From Mars grabs a man and jumps

Late that night Jane went to the makeshift headquarters the pilot told her about. She tried to break into one building but was captured by an armed guard who then escorted her inside. It is revealed that the building was in fact a front for an underground factory that was building weapons of war. Jane was then confronted by the mastermind himself, the Hood.

Jane quickly guessed at what the evil warlord was up to. He was using a special organ to create killing music in small glass globes to be dropped on unsuspecting targets. Jane then unleashed her power upon the factory, bringing the roof crashing down on top of the machinery.

Jane then lunged for the Hood who turned insubstantial, taunting Jane that this was only one of his killing-music factories and then completely disappeared. Jane used her powers to erect a force field around herself to save her from the collapsing cave.

Thinking quickly Jane loaded up her plane with munitions and made a bee-line for Europe in hopes of finding the other factory. She found it in the countryside and began to bomb the complex as enemy fighters attacked her but to no avail as Jane completely destroyed the factory. From the wreckage a fast rocket ship lunged past Jane’s plane into the vastness of space.

Jane then dedicated herself to hunting down the Hood wherever he might be in all the universe (Amazing Man Comics #10).

Mars attracts

On her birth world of Mars the beloved King Marsu commanded his most trusted ambassador, Kar-Lo, to go to Earth and find the Magician, Jane. He told him that only she could help them against the army of the Hood.

En route to Earth Kar-Lo’s ship was attacked by the Hood’s men and Kar-Lo made a crash landing on Earth. Kar-Lo managed to find Jane and gasped out his last message before dying.

Jane immediately grabbed her new uniform and headed out to see if she could acquire a ship to Mars. She was rebuffed as the government had forbade travel to Mars in its current, destabilized state. Not to be thwarted Jane used her powers upon a space-port guard to allow her to “borrow” one of their vessels.

While in space Jane was attacked by the Hood’s waiting ships but Jane threw up a force field in their path, destroying them. Before landing she spied the Hood’s ship who tried to follow her but Jane managed to shake him.

The Magician From Mars manhandles a charging bull

Finally arriving on Mars, Jane immediately went to the king and met his handsome son, Prince Taal. Meanwhile the Royal army retreated from the Hood’s greater forces. The Hood’s army pursued the retreating Royal forces all the way to the imperial city.

While the field that surrounded the city protected them from the Hood’s men indefinitely food was something they didn’t have an indefinite supply of. Jane rallied the beaten forces and took charge of the army, leading them into a final engagement with the evil Hood’s forces.

Prince Taal wished to come with Jane but she told him to stay behind because of his great responsibilities to Mars.

The Hood unmasked

Leading the charge Jane tore through the enemy’s armored division, throwing tanks around with ease. With the Magician’s help the Royals soon had the Hood’s army on the run and Prince Taal joined the fray alongside Jane.

The Hood, brandishing a ray gun, tried to shoot down the Magician while her back was turned but shot Prince Taal instead. The Hood tried to flee but Jane caught him, or rather her, as Jane took off the concealing hood to reveal that the Hood was in fact her own aunt Vanza.

Jane, stupefied by this revelation, could only watch as her aunt told her that she would return to battle her niece again and that she too had power like her. Their leader gone the Hood’s army soon surrendered to the Royals who restored order to Mars. Jane knelt beside the dying Taal as they spoke of what might have been.

As the prince died Jane swore vengeance upon her vile aunt (Amazing Man Comics #11).


Description

Jane changed her outfits frequently so she had no set look. When she first came to Earth she wore a green blouse with khaki jodhpurs and brown leather boots. Later she began to wear much skimpier clothing (the Martian climate being much colder) such as miniskirts and halter tops.

In her last adventure on Mars she wore a military styled uniform with gold fur trim and chains, a gold belt, a long yellow cape and a red officer’s shirt. Red is very much her color.


Personality

Jane was a fire-cracker in the old style: quick with a come-back, short tempered and whip smart. Though she can be selfish at times she genuinely cared about people and would go out of her way to help others. Now that she knows the identity of the Hood she has dedicated herself to finding and beating her evil aunt.


Quotes

“Hello boys ! How’s tricks ?”

“The Hood may have escaped, but I’ll catch him even if I’ll have to search all the planets in the galaxies of eternal space !”

“I swear vengeance !!! We shall meet again oh vile aunt !”

(Jane confronts a giant being of pure, malignant evil)
Jane: “Wise guy, eh ?”
Elemental: “Who me ?”

(Confronted by a crooked politician she has just foiled)
Crook: “Why you she-devil ! I’ll fix you up ! You – you- (censored) !”
Jane: “You shouldn’t curse at young ladies ! You don’t see me cursing YOU RAT !” (Socks him)


DC Universe History

Jane’s story takes place within its own world but she could easily be imported into the DCU by way of her own, and her evil aunt’s, superpowers. Jane did at one point use her powers to Teleport so who’s to say that she can’t also use Dimension Travel to hunt down the Hood?

She could be chasing her diabolical auntie through all reality before bumping in on, say, the New Gods or even Superman! Heck using that same logic they easily could have extended the life of the character as they had her go back in time and hang out with Amazing Man!


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Jane Q-X3, the Magician from Mars

Dex: 08 Str: 13 Bod: 07 Motivation: Thrill Seeker later Seeking Justice
Int: 06 Wil: 08 Min: 09 Occupation: Adventurer, Commander of the Royal Martian Army
Inf: 08 Aur: 08 Spi: 09 Resources {or Wealth}: 012
Init: 022 HP: 060

Powers:
Damage Capacity (Mental Bashing Damage from Sorcery): 06, Invulnerability: 08, Jumping: 07, Sealed Systems: 04, Sorcery: 18

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Sealed Systems is only to resist gas and radiation attacks (-1 FC)
  • Invulnerability adds to resist aging checks
  • Sorcery is a Mental Power (-10BC)
  • Sorcery’s active APs are halved for purposes of Mental Bashing Damage calculations (+1 FC)

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 08, Artist (Singing): 10, Vehicles (Air, Space)*: 08

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Mars), Attractive, Genius, Omni-Scholar, Popularity

Connections:
King of Mars (High)

Drawbacks:
Arch Enemy (The Hood), Public Identity, Misc: Before her return to Mars Jane had Exile (Voluntary)

Equipment:

  • RED AIRSHIP [STR 08 BODY 12, Flight: 12, Laser Beam: 10, Radio Communication: 20]
  • RED PROPELLER PLANE [STR 08 BODY 10, Flight: 12, Projectile Weapons: 08, Radio Communication: 18; Bonuses & Limitations: Projectile Weapons has the Autofire advantage]
  • RED MILITARY ROCKET SHIP [STR 10 BODY 13, Flight: 25 (13), Laser Beam: 12, Radar Sense: 18, Radio Communication: 22]

Design notes

Omni-Scholar and Genius Advantages are added since she was teased for being a know-it-all as a child and she built a red three-propeller plane in one story.


By angelocurtis

Source of Character: Amazing Man Comics from Centaur Publishing, created by John Giunta, Malcolm Kindale, and Michael Mirando

Helper(s):Darci, Roy Cowan, Eric Langendorff, Alan Wilkinson. The first version of this entry was written up by Dr. Sean MacDonald, based on the Hoohah account. Since then public domain copies of golden age comics have become available, allowing for a complete rewrite based on the primary sources.

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