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Moonstone / Meteorite of the Thunderbolts (Marvel Comics) silver and gold costume

Moonstone

(Karla Sofen profile #5 - Osborn's Thunderbolts era)


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

“Karla — c’mon — you never quite got it that I get you. I know what makes you tick — and I know how much you hate needing other people to help you.”
– Songbird


Context

This profile is part of a chronological series, which should be read in order ! The profiles are :

  1. Karla Sofen (early)
  2. Moonstone (classic villainous career)
  3. The Thunderbolts team profile
  4. Meteorite (early Thunderbolts era)
  5. Moonstone (double Moongem era)
  6. Moonstone (Osborn’s Thunderbolts era) – this here profile

The previous profiles were used as the starting points for this one. This profile covers the period from her waking from her coma (Thunderbolts #108), up until the beginning of the Heroic Age (Thunderbolts #144).

It builds on the pre-Meteorite profiles, which provides a special sections dealing with her using her psychological skills to manipulate people, a note on the debate over whether she’s a psychologist or psychiatrist, and other bits that this entry builds on.

Since the stone which powers her is called both the Moongem and the Moonstone, I’ve used the former when referring to it so as to differentiate it from her costumed identity.


Background

  • Real Name: Karla Sofen.
  • Other Aliases: Ms. Marvel.
  • Former Aliases: Kate Sorenson, Meteorite.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Karl Sofen (father, deceased), Marion Sofen (mother, deceased).
  • Group Affiliation: Thunderbolts; former member of the Masters of Evil III and IV, the Corporation, Superia’s Femizons, & Osborn’s Avengers.
  • Base of Operations: Various.
  • Height: 5’11” Weight: 130 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blonde


Powers & Abilities

(See the Moonstone (Pre-Meteorite) writeup for her basic powers).

Her powers have dropped back from the levels they were when she had two Moongems.

Moonstone’s abilities have continued to evolve over time, possibly helped by:

  • The dual Moongems showing her how much more they were capable of.
  • Zemo’s use of them to do more than she could, showing her how limited her use had been, and encouraging her to test their limits.

Energy Control and Bond

There are a couple of recent appearances where she displays new abilities.

  • In Ms. Marvel she can absorb energy. How exactly this is supposed to interact with her phasing’s vulnerability to pure energy is unclear.
  • In Nova she increases the effect of gravity on a person. This she’d previously used when she had two Moongems.

Frankly they seem like poor research on the part of the writers. But I’ve chosen to interpret them as an evolution of her abilities. Zemo used the two Moongems to do a lot more than Karla ever did, and she could well have taken this as a challenge.

The Moongem appears to have bonded more strongly to Karla now. If removed, as Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) managed to do, Karla will die within 3 days if not reunited with it.


History

(Her earlier history can be found in the previous writeups, and a general history of her time on the Thunderbolts can be found in the team entry. This section assumes that you’re familiar with the main Thunderbolts events explained in the team entry.)

The Thunderbolts Army

The Moongems were shattered and half-merged in Songbird. Karla’s personality, recorded by the stones, was forced to work with Songbird in order for both of them to escape.

Karla was finally restored to her body, now with only one Moongem. She found herself in a changed world, in the aftermath of the Superhuman Registration Act.

(It’s unclear what happened to the second Moongem. Both were shattered together, the shards showering Songbird. They disappeared from her once Karla woke. While they may have merged, Karla’s powers since then have returned to single Moongem levels. There have been a couple of references to her having only one Moongem, and Ms Marvel pulled only a single Moongem from her.)

Osborn’s Bastards

Assigned to work for a government sanctioned super-group, with a PR department that ensured her the popularity and respect she’d always wanted, Karla took happily to the new Thunderbolts. Especially when she was assigned team leader over Songbird by their new boss, Norman Osborn, a highly unstable individual who she felt confident she could manipulate.

Managing to gain access to his medication, she swapped occasional ones for placebos, to keep him off balance.

By this point she’d developed a hatred of Songbird, who’d achieved the redemption Karla had strived for. This became so strong that she’d tried pulling Swordsman (Andreas Strucker) into her plans. Sofen suggested that Songbird dying on a mission would open up a path for them to take control of the group.

Strucker had little interest in working with her, however, not wanting to be drawn into her machinations.

During this period, she acted more like her old villainous self, which their authority gave her license to do. She didn’t interact with many people she didn’t try to manipulate. She socialized with some of the support staff, but only for sex.

When the team came under the influence of captive telepaths, Karla was nudged into letting her grudge against Doc Samson erupt in violence. Vastly overpowered, she didn’t cause much damage. She didn’t last long either, as Samson put her through a wall. A blast from Penance then sent her through a few more walls, leaving her needing a fortnight for her body to stabilize before she could have neurosurgery.

Secret Invasion

During the attack against the Skrull  invaders, Osborn assigned Karla to watch the returned Andrea Strucker. They both assumed her to be a Skrull. Karla followed Andrea and her brother on board one of the ships. When the opportunity arose, knocked Andreas out before he could finish the Skrulls.

Karla then offered to switch sides if they offered her enough (namely, South America). Unfortunately, it turned out Andrea wasn’t a Skrull. She killed the Skrulls, and would have killed Moonstone if Bullseye hadn’t arrived and killed her first.

Karla took satisfaction in drugging Penance and having him institutionalised. She also enjoyed being able to openly try to kill Songbird, exhibiting no remorse when she was believed dead.

Dark Reign

Though reluctant to change her identity, Karla accepted the role of Ms. Marvel in order to join Osborn’s Avengers. Carol Danvers was presumed deceased at the time (Osborn having arranged to have her killed). Karla was less than happy at him taking field command, and especially at being subordinate to Victoria Hand.

She acted out in increasingly overt ways, culminating in making out with Hawkeye (Bullseye) on the meeting table. She was fully aware of the surveillance cameras (and H.A.M.M.E.R. guards) watching them.

She’d also seduced Noh-Varr (Captain Marvel), but he ran away after she accidentally let slip the team were mainly super-villains. Whether this was actually accidental, or whether she’d been manipulating him to get back at Osborn, is open to question.

As part of government regulations, she was required to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. The psychiatrist assigned, Dr. Gerald Wright, turned out to be a telepath and former C.I.A. agent, looking for revenge on her and the team.

While rummaging around in her head, she let him awaken the memory of killing her mother. This shook him enough to give Karla the chance to break free, and probably kill him.

War of the Marvels, part 1

Ordered by Osborn to find A.I.M., Karla followed leads Danvers had left. These led her to their accounting department in Atlanta. Trying to establish a truce, she was given a tour of their facility.

There she encountered the Storytellers, baby M.O.D.O.C.’s (Mental Organisms Designed Only for Computing) who had genetically engineered to alter reality. These were an earlier incarnation of those Danvers had met. Wanting Ms. Marvel to save them, they telepathically influence Karla to take them. She hid them in her room in Avengers Tower, while searching for their sibling.

During Sofen’s tour of the facility, A.I.M. pulled a meteor from space, aimed at Avengers Tower. They revealed this to her, expecting her to fly after it. She instead ended the tour before intercepting it and diverting it into their building.

The rest of the Avengers were drawn in when the Tower was attacked by an energy being after the Storytellers. It was fought off, but the babies, moved to Thunderbolt Mountain for safekeeping when Osborn learned of them, were soon stolen by Deadpool on behalf of A.I.M..

Karla tried to recover them, but the New Avengers got them ahead of her, along with other mysterious energy beings. With the babies reunited, the energy beings were merged together into the not-quite-dead Carol Danvers. Karla attacked her.

War of the Marvels, part 2

Despite a vicious, public, fight, neither of them could finish the other. Danvers disappeared shortly before Sentry arrived to call Karla back to Osborn.

While Ms. Marvel (Danvers) was later captured, it turned out she’d been split into two beings by the Storytellers. The other, Catherine Donovan, was killed by Osborn while Karla was battling the escaped Ms. Marvel. Donovan’s personality was shunted into Karla’s body, taking control while Karla was trapped in her own mind.

Reasserting herself as Moonstone, she managed to expel the Donovan persona. It remerged with Ms. Marvel, making her whole again. Continuing their battle, Danvers used her energy absorption powers to pull the Moongem out of Karla, depowering her. Danvers told her she could find it if she thought of the moment she lost the ability to be a human being.

Travelling to her mother’s grave, Karla found the Moongem atop it. She reabsorbed the stone, then smashed the gravestone in a rage.

Siege

Accompanying Osborn’s primary assault against Asgard, Karla was among those who attacked and nearly killed Thor. She also fought Danvers again, but Osborn interfered, blasting Danvers in the back. When the fight was obviously lost, Karla tried to flee, but was brought down by Iron Man. Arrested, she was sent to the Raft prison.

Heroic Age

Approached about joining the new Thunderbolts as part of her sentence, Karla wasted no time in accepting. She had no doubt she’d be accepted to the program, despite the reservations of her personal guard, Songbird.


Personality

(See also the personality notes of the earlier writeup.)

While it may have influenced her earlier in her career, it seems Karla blocked out the memory of having murdered her mother (shortly before becoming Meteorite).

It’s possible this act triggered her initial need for redemption, as it showed her what she really was. It could be responsible for driving her to want to change, while stopping her from ever reaching that point by making her feel she isn’t worth saving, and can never fully atone for the act.

Reversion to type, part 1

During this period, she seemed to revert to her earlier, villainous, behaviour. She again became arrogant, manipulative, and vindictive. In part this may have been due to having woken from a coma to find the world had left her behind.

Her relationship with Hawkeye had ended when he’d turned on her during the Liberator incident. He’d also died and come back since, but Sofen may not have been aware he’d come back. And Songbird (Songbird!?!) was now the calm, collected, and respected leader Karla should have become. She also learned Zemo had used her Moongems in ways she never had.

Then she was offered a place on a government-sponsored team. Yet instead of having to toe the line, she was encouraged to act more like her old villainous self. All the while gaining more public acclaim and trust than she ever did as a Thunderbolt. So she fell into her old habits, taking the easy path. She seemed to be rewarded for it, becoming an Avenger, and Ms. Marvel.

Reversion to type, part 2

While outwardly happy with her situation, Karla displayed symptoms of unease. She was constantly pushing the boundaries with Osborn, manipulating him and fiddling with his medication. She engaged in random casual relationships more than she had before, sometimes openly trying to cause friction with her team mates.

Sofen also developed a true hatred of Songbird. She actually tried to kill the one person who’d accomplished what she’d been trying to do, the model of what she could have been. Karla felt that Songbird’s new ways constantly shoved her failures in her face.

It’s possible that without a Jolt or Hawkeye to urge her to become a better person, she lost the momentum to do it on her own. Her inability to ask others for help left her in a subtly self-destructive cycle. This would match what happened when they were pardoned but had to give up using their powers.

It seems that when she’s on her own, with no one else to disagree with or manipulate, she loses focus and direction. And when that happens she reverts to familiar paths of behaviour, no matter how self-destructive.


Quotes

Osborn (On demoting Songbird): “I didn’t like her. She was moralistic and ethically confused. You on the other hand have neither morals nor ethics. You are also used to working with persons whom we might broadly classify as criminals. Karla, it’s no secret to me that, while you were working as a psychiatrist in the outside world, you drove eight patients to suicide and were instrumental in the therapeutic hospitalization of six more. You are, frankly, a monstrous human being, and I trust you feel bad about all this.”
Moonstone: “Oh, terrible.”

“Dammit. I was hoping we could just shoot him. We’re going to have to make a show of this now. How is it the government didn’t line up and shoot the media before they decided to deal with the super heroes ?”

Swordsman: “I saw him two hours ago standing in a corridor on his own and laughing like a maniac.”
Moonstone: “Yes, well. He’s on quite a lot of medication, you know.”
Swordsman: “Really ?”
Moonstone: “Norman Osborn is massively bipolar. Meds keep him on an even keel.”
Swordsman: “I wouldn’t call him even today”
Moonstone: “No. I happen to know that he combines medications in an unapproved manner. Also, that some days he gets placebo medications.”
Swordsman: “How could that happen ?”
Moonstone: [Smiles]

[To the Skrulls] “So… let’s talk about what you can offer me to switch sides. I think South America is a good start, don’t you ?”

(As Ms. Marvel, while beating up Rogue) “You have the right to be silent. And, in today’s three-for-one offer — the right to be concussed, and the right to be unconscious.”

“Being dead made you sloppy, Carol. Go be dead some more !”


DC Universe History

Moonstone served on the Suicide Squad when it was reformed under Osborn’s control. He took her with him when he was elevated, and she joined his new Justice League as Superwoman.

His empire soon disintegrated, and Karla would have been imprisoned alongside him if a Sinestro ring hadn’t shown up to recruit her.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Moonstone

Dex: 06 Str: 11 Bod: 09 Motivation: Power Lust/Responsibility of Power
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 04 Occupation: Super-Hero/Villain
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 04 Wealth: 005
Init: 018 HP: 060

Powers:
Bomb: 06, Chameleon: 04, Dispersal: 12, Energy Absorption: 04, Energy Blast: 12, Flash: 12, Flight: 09, Gravity Increase: 12, Laser Beam: 12, Regeneration: 01, Sealed Systems: 12

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Bomb, Energy blast, Flash and Laser Beam have no AV (-1 or -0 depending on house rules).
  • Bomb and Flash may have the Combined Power Usage Bonus (+2).
  • Chameleon only affects her costume (-1).
  • Dispersal has the Partial Dispersal Bonus (+2), can only be performed as long as she can hold her breath (-1), has Range (+1), offers no protection against pure energy, wind, or sonic attacks (-0), cannot be used offensively (-1), and allows spirit travellers to attack her as though she were also spirit travelling (-1).
  • Bomb, Energy blast and Flash are Contingent upon Laser Beam (-1).
  • Flash can have an Explosive Radius, but then it has No Range (+0).
  • Flash can be its own AV (+1 or +0 depending on house rules), but only if it has an Explosive Radius (+0).

Skills:
Accuracy (Bomb, Energy Blast, Flash, Laser Beam): 07, Acrobatics (Dodging): 05, Artist (Actress): 07, Charisma (Persuasion): 08, Gadgetry (Identify Gadget): 05, Medicine (Medical treatment): 06, Thief (Security Systems): 05, Thief (Stealth): 06, Vehicles (Land, Space): 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Acrobatics is Contingent upon Flight (-1).
  • Medicine (Medical treatment) repairs MIN damage rather than BODY damage (+0).

Advantages:
Familiarity (Dr. Faustus’s technology in the 1970s; Voice modulation; Kree technology), Expertise (Psychology), Gift of Gab, Languages (Kree).

Connections:
Thunderbolts (Low), Underworld (Low).

Drawbacks:
MIA toward Independence, Fatal Vulnerability (Removal of the Moongem will either kill her within 3 days or make her permanently comatose), Misc. Drawback (Energy Absorption vulnerability, see Profile #3).

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics.

Helper(s): Chris Cottingham, Roger, Peter Piispanen, Darci, Frank Murdock, Sébastien Andrivet, rapsheet.co.uk  (images).

Writeup completed on the 10th of September, 2016.

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