5798 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

People (Ms. Marvel characters) (Marvel Comics)

The People


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

Context

This is a “hidden species” bunch of guys, who first appeared in the 1970s run of Ms. Marvel. They unexpectedly returned in X-Men during the early 2000s.

So, yes, lizard people. But they’re nice enough. Mostly.


Overview

The People are large humanoid reptiles (“Saurids”), usually with human-level intelligence. Most remain recognisable as species from the iguana suborder, usually North American desert lizards.

Their intelligence and humanoid form are the result of some sort of “accelerated evolution” from exposure to nuclear tests. While scientifically improbable — to put it mildly — this is a clear inheritance of the atomic horror stories from the 1950s. Think of the giant ants in Them!.


Advertisement


In the context of the Marvel Universe this “super-evolution” might be the result of fictional radiation. Perhaps the White Sands tests used a early form of gamma  bombs, which didn’t work right until the concept was revisited by Dr. Bruce Banner.

These variant gamma radiation might even have turned some local minerals into a loose equivalent of the High Evolutionary’s Isotope B.

Better faster smarter

Successive generations of local lizards were smarter, larger, more humanoid, more adept at using tools. This was rapid, and in less than 30 years they were essentially iguana persons with a thriving tribal culture.

Not all specimens were equally affected. A few had super-powers, whereas a subset of the population was still quadrupedal, without manipulative limbs and displaying no sign of sapience . The latter were used as mounts, and it seems that while mutated they were still animals.

These mounts were not seen again after the 1979 genocide (see the History section).


Advertisement


Parallel evolution

During the 2002 appearance of the People, individuals identifying as female had something like breasts. Some even had a full head of human-like hair. Obviously, both are completely out of place for reptiles, and seemed new. People women seen in 1978 had neither.

The most likely hypothesis is that their “accelerated evolution” set them on a parallel path to humans from the beginning. Thus, it made them increasingly primate-like as their reptilian traits became more and more cosmetic. Whether the People are now viviparous, oviparous or ovoviviparous is unrevealed. But at least some individuals have kids who need to be fed some sort of milk.

It seems likely that these individuals are warm-blooded. Between this, hair in some individuals and mammary glands they are practically mammals.

The accelerated evolution of the People may be slower now that they have left their traditional home. The specimens encountered in 2002 seemed biologically more advanced (or at least more human-like) than those encountered in 1978. But the rate of progress was not comparable to the one that was evident from 1948 to 1978.

Notable People members

Aracht’yr

The elected patriarch of the People in 1978. He was wise and perceptive, and preferred peace to war – though his priority was protecting the People. Aracht’yr did not seem to have special physical abilities. He was married to one Mirielle and had two or more youngs.

Two leaders of the People and their steeds

Haemon

A close associate of Aracht’yr, perhaps a sort of advisor and/or bodyguard. He had psychic powers, including (in DC Heroes RPG terms) :

  • Mental blast: 12 (which was its own AV).
  • The ability to scramble specific memories in ordinary persons (Hypnotism: 04 with a narrow range of applications).
  • Perhaps some mind-probing ability since he knew that Ms. Marvel was named Carol Danvers.

Haemon may have been some sort of mutant. Or perhaps he was the equivalent of Captain Comet for the People – a freak specimen in the present of what the People would evolve into in the distant future.

C’rel

The daughter of Aracht’yr, though she looks more human than the small children who were glimpsed in Aracht’yr’s home in 1978. Her chest looks human-like, and though she doesn’t have hair the top and back of her hair sport scales of varrying lengths that evoke hair.

C’rel is an idealist who remains attached to the dreams of peace of her father. By contrast Khadar, her warlord (that is, military commander) is more aggressive and considerably less diplomatic.

Others

Some warriors were named – see the Game Stats section.

One specific specimen was called the Guardian. It may or may not have been sapient. See the Game Stats section for more about this towering cobra.


History

The People are the result of nuclear experiments run by the US in New Mexico. They traditionally lived under the San Andres mountains . Specifically they resided within the White Sands Missile Range , where the tests took place.

Starting in the late 1940s, radiation hyper-accelerated the evolution of numerous local lizards. Each generation was markedly larger, nimbler, stronger, smarter and more able to work in a collective fashion.

By the 1950s they could walk erect. A few years later they had a tribal proto-culture and the beginning of a written language.

All grown up

A few generations during the 1950s actively hunted humans (chiefly civilians) as prey like any other. But they soon stopped as they realised the risks from this. Furthermore, they grew sophisticated enough to prefer not to kill sapient beings.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) vs. warriors of the People

Calling themselves “the People”, the Saurids clustered in an improbably large cavern below a mesa in the San Andres. The sun generously entered through fissures yet they could not be seen, even from the sky. Ms. Marvel estimated that the main cavern was more than a mile across and taller than the Sears Tower. Therefore, it presumably was about 500m high.

Said main cave was surrounded by a maze of tunnels and caverns. Howbeit, I’d assume that the People preferred to live in the warmer, sunlit central mammoth cavern. Population seemed to be in the hundreds, and quite possibly the low thousands.

The cavern included a huge statue of an Indian cobra (complete with hood markings). It symbolised the developing civilisation of the People.

Exposed

By 1978, humans in New Mexico suspected that something was stalking the San Andres mountains area. Poor luck then led to several locals stumbling on People parties and having to be captured.

This led to search parties and journalists investigating the area. Which meant even more humans getting captured – including a reporter from Woman magazine. An armoured column of Army Rangers was sent to investigate what was going on, and was ambushed and captured by the People.

The original mega-cavern of the People and their city

At that point, Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) had just arrived in New Mexico. She was investigating the disappearance of the Woman reporter. Despite warnings from the Army, she was given a ride into the San Andres by a friendly state trooper. This is how she stumbled upon the wrecked tanks and APCs mere minutes after the Rangers were captured.

Saurid warriors attacked her as yet another interloper to be captured… and were soundly thrashed. One of their number managed to bring Ms. Marvel down with a psionic  attack. But it was obvious that they couldn’t really contain her. She burst free then faced the patriarch of the People, Arach’tyr.

Danvers reaffirmed that she didn’t intend to kill or betray anybody. And Arach’tyr soon realised that he had no choice but to trust her.

Ms. Marvel obtained that all human prisoners be freed after they were subjected to a psionic treatment scrambling their memories of the People and their captivity.

Eliminated

Ms. Marvel kept her word, never revealing the existence of the People to the authorities. Thus, they could continue to live in peace. As a memento, Arach’tyr had an ordinary pet iguana mailed to her.

Three notables of the People

Unfortunately, one of the “human” captives who were released was actually a Dire Wraith. It resisted the memory scrambling, and reported to its Wraith masters. These decided that the giant, hidden cavern would make a perfect base.

The Wraiths attacked without warning and with high-tech weapons, spectral servants and sorcery. They slaughtered the People.

A handful of Warrior-Primes rallied among the carnage. Some wielded weapons taken from Wraiths they had killed. Rather than face them the invaders just retreated. Then they sent a deathwing to finish the last People off. Only one member of that group, called Serpentyne, survived the deathwing.

Homeless

Perhaps thanks to the warriors’s stand some survivors escaped. They were shell-shocked and looking for a refuge. One of the surviving Saurid children searched databases for such a place, and discovered the existence of the Savage Land.

(In the flashback, the genocide is retconned  to have taken place in the late 1990s as part of the ten-year sliding timescale. Thus, the kid uses an Internet access. If you prefer a timeline where the massacre took place in 1978, the kid presumably used military intelligence records that the Rangers had been carrying in their vehicles.)

Rogue and warriors of the People

The survivors, hoping to find peace in the nigh-mythical, dinosaurs-infested jungle, began a trek that lasted for years. They were led by C’rel, daughter of Arachty’r. She was flanked by a warlord called Khadar.

The survivors apparently thought the genocide had been perpetrated by humans. Most Dire Wraiths who raided the cavern were in human guise, and the People may not have known about the shape-changing aliens.

The survivors had nearly reached the Southern tip of South America when they again ran into trouble. It presumably was but one of many, many similar episodes. Local militias, alarmed by the monstrous appearance of the reptilian refugees, gave chase.

Mutant alliance

A team of X-Men intervened, and Rogue learned about their history. The X-Men helped the survivors of the People find the hidden passage through the caverns beneath the Drake Passage . Then they flew them through the colossal caverns on the Blackbird.

A catastrophe triggered by Brainchild’s Savage Land Mutates split the group. Nevertheless, the X-Men’s efforts ensured that everyone miraculously survived. They made it into the Savage Land.

After confusion resulting from Brainchild’s machinations, C’rel obtained that her refugees join the United Tribes. The UT are a political body with a majority of Humans, but it also includes sapient Saurid tribes.

Despite the considerable misgivings, the Saurid refugees from New Mexico agreed to settle a corner of the Savage Land as United Tribes members. It apparently more or less worked out.

United

C’rel eventually became co-leader of the United Tribes. Her colleague was Nereel, a Human. The People’s culture changed to match many of the trappings and values of other civilisations among the United Tribes. And they celebrated the X-Men as their heroes and saviours.

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) faces the rulers of the People

In the mid-2000s, the Savage Land was invaded by an even more advanced Saurid race, the Hauk’ka. Those were hell-bent on a war of extermination. As a result, C’rel was forced to negotiate an alliance with the Savage Land Mutates. This way, the United Tribes would have a chance to survive that war.

Many members of the People trusted that the X-Men would come and save the day. In the end they were proved right, as a team of mutants stumbled upon the situation and narrowly stopped the Hauk’ka.

Interestingly, part of the victory was won when a Hauk’ka super-heroine and military leader, Carai, witnessed the unconditional trust the Saurid People had in the Simian X-Men. This led her to realise how the Hauk’ka ideology of necessary war between the two was baseless drivel.

The People presumably continue their tribal existence in the Savage Land.


Sharing

These open a new page on Facebook, Twitter or G+. This is because we don't let social networks track you on writeups.org.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

The People seem to adopt a specialised role and attitudes governed by their species. For instance, warrior-primes tend to all look and behave pretty similarly, at least to human eyes. Thus, they can safely be assumed to have the same stats.

Some Powers are based on the likely abilities for giant lizards, and have not been clearly demonstrated in the material.


Generic Warrior-Prime

Dex: 05 Str: 10 Bod: 09 Motivation: Brute
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Warrior-Prime
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 011 HP: 008

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 03, Digging: 01, Growth: 02, Extended hearing: 02, Ultra-vision: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Growth is Always On and Already Factored In.

Skills:
Military science (Camouflage): 06, Thief (Stealth): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Military science and Thief likely only work in a desert environment.

Advantages:
Misc.: For the purpose of lifting and throwing heavy objects, their STR is considered to be 3 APs higher.

Connections:
Various within the People.

Drawbacks:
Outside of their own society, a definite Strange Appearance. It is quite likely that they also have a Partial Attack Vulnerability (-3CS RV ?) against cold-based attacks, at least in 1978.

Notes:
Warrior-Primes are spiked giant humanoid lizards. They have massive superhuman strength and are practically immune to small arms fire. In their native desert milieu, they are amazingly stealthy. They can disappear silently into the sand within seconds and emerge back in perfect silence.

Between their ability to lay nigh-undetectable ambushes and their raw power, they could wreck a US Army elite armoured column within minutes. They did not fare well against Ms. Marvel, though.

Their strength is difficult to evaluate. They could throw wrecked tanks (which I assume to be M60s , weighing about 45 tonnes). Yet they could not get too many RAPs against Ms. Marvel.

Their durability is also somewhat inconsistent. Our stats assumes that they have HPs and use those to LDD or boost their RV against credible assault. This goes a long way to explain how the first Warrior Prime whom Ms. Marvel met withstood her first punch but not the rest.

All the Warriors seen in the story were apparently male. They generally had a surly, brutish, low-brow disposition. A few Warrior-Primes were named – M’dhar, Faelar, and B’ok.

Warriors who are not “prime” come from lighter species of iguanas. They do not have the HPs or the Misc. Advantage, and their STR and BODY are lower by at least 2 APs.


Generic Flying Fighter

Dex: 04 Str: 05 Bod: 04 Motivation: Uphold the People
Int: 03 Wil: 02 Min: 03 Occupation: Fighter, scout
Inf: 03 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 010 HP: 000

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 03, Extended hearing: 02, Flying (Winged): 07, Ultra-vision: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Growth is Always On and Already Factored In.

Skills:
Evasion (Aerial only): 05

Advantages:
None demonstrated.

Connections:
Various connections among the People.

Drawbacks:
Outside of their own society, a definite Strange Appearance. It is quite likely that they also have a Partial Attack Vulnerability (-3CS RV ?) against cold-based attacks, at least in 1978.

Notes:
Much lighter than the Warrior-Primes, those guys seem evolved from gliding lizards (Draco volans ?). They can fly under their own power, reaching impressive speeds with excellent manoeuvrability.

One flying fighter was named – Tak. He was more careful, less aggressive than a Warrior-Prime. Other flyers may not be as fast and agile as Tak, and thus have lower stats than the listed ones.


The Guardian

Dex: 05 Str: 12 Bod: 10 Motivation: Defender
Int: 03 Wil: 01 Min: 03 Occupation: Guardian
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 03 Resources {or Wealth}: ?
Init: 010 HP: 010

Powers:
Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 07, Flash: 16, Poison touch: 13, Growth: 10, Ultra-vision: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In.
  • Flash and Poison touch are Combined, though Flash has No Range.
  • Flash is resisted by Systemic Antidote rather than Shade.

Skills:
Thief (Stealth): 05

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Caverns of the People).

Connections:
The People (Low).

Drawbacks:
Partial Attack Vulnerability (-1CS RV vs. cold).

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) vs. the giant cobra god of the People

Notes:
This impossibly huge snake served as the last line of defence against intruders. It’s impossible to estimate the Guardian’s size, though its head alone was larger than a man. The Guardian was accidentally killed by Ms. Marvel as they fought. Her vision blurred by poison, she Knocked Back the creature into a stalactite, which impaled him.

The giant cobra was smarter than most animals, and may have been sapient. Or perhaps presapient, as the mounts were. Perhaps he was a very unusual member of the People.

Though I ain’t no herpetologist the Guardian seemed to be an Indian Cobra (naja naja), which isn’t found in the US. Perhaps it just looked like one and was a result of parallel evolution from another, American snake species. Or perhaps there is a tie with the statue that represented a similar cobra species.

Perhaps the Guardian was the first, most-powerful and longest-lived of the People ?


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Generic Warrior-Prime of the People — Averaged PL8.2

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
10 07 02 00 04 00 00 00

Powers

Terrible lizard ● 14 points (Noticeable) ● Descriptor: Physiology
– Enhanced Strength 3 (Limited 1 to Lifting).
– Impervious Protection 2.
– Desert hunter — Enhanced Skill 8 (Stealth) (Limited 1 to desert and sandy environments).
– Desert hunter — Feature (Can dig in sand to hide themselves within seconds).
– Reptilian senses — Senses 4 (Acute tracking scent, Low-light vision, Ultra-hearing).
– Feature — Huge (body mass is 4).

Combat Advantages

Close attack 3, Defensive Roll 2.

Other Advantages

None demonstrated.

Skills

Perception 2 (+2).

Offense

Initiative +2
Unarmed +7, Close, Damage 10

Defence

Dodge 07 Fortitude 11
Parry 08 Toughness 09*/11
Will 02

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Jurassic woes Warrior Primes look scary and threatening to Humans.
  • Temper Warrior Primes tend to be aggressive brutes.
  • Cold-blooded These may have been vulnerable to cold, at least in 1978.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 9, Dodge/Toughness PL 9, Parry/Toughness PL 10, Fort/Will PL 7.
  • Points total 81. Abilities 46, Defences 15, Skills 1, Powers 14, Devices 0, Advantages 5. Equiv. PL 6.

Notes

See the notes under the DCH game stats for more data.


Generic Flying Fighter of the People — Averaged PL 5

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
04 02 02 00 02 00 00 00

Powers

Dino-soar ● 9 points (Noticeable) ● Descriptor: Physiology
– Flight 6 (Wings).
– Maneuverability — Enhanced Parry 3, Enhanced Dodge 3 (both Limited 1, only whilst flying) .
– Reptilian senses — Senses 4 (Acute tracking scent, Low-light vision, Ultra-hearing).

Combat Advantages

Defensive Roll 2.

Other Advantages

None demonstrated.

Skills

Close combat (Unarmed) 3 (+5), Perception 2 (+2).

Offense

Initiative +2
Unarmed +5, Close, Damage 4

Defence

Dodge 05/08** Fortitude 06
Parry 05/08** Toughness 02*/04
Will 02

* Without Defensive Roll
** In flight

Complications

  • Jurassic woes People members look scary to Humans.
  • Cold-blooded These may have been vulnerable to cold, at least in 1978.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 5, Dodge/Toughness PL 6, Parry/Toughness PL 6, Fort/Will PL 4.
  • Points total 46. Abilities 20, Defences 12, Skills 3, Powers 9, Devices 0, Advantages 2. Equiv. PL 4.

Notes

See the notes under the DCH game stats for more data.


Guardian of the People — Averaged PL9

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
12 11 02 -5 03 -2 00 00

Powers

Ra ra, serpentine ● 31 points (Noticable) ● Descriptor: XXX
– Senses 4 (Acute extended tracking scent, Low-light vision).
– Titanic – Feature 1 (immense size, but that affects surprisingly little).
– Poisonous bite — Close poison Damage 12, Linked With Close visual Dazzle 15.

Combat Advantages

None demonstrated.

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (In-depth knowledge of the caverns of The People).

Skills

Perception 2 (+2), Stealth 6 (+8).

Offense

Initiative +2
Unarmed +8, Close, Damage 12

Defence

Dodge 08 Fortitude 12
Parry 08 Toughness 11
Will 02

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Cold-blooded The Guardian is probably vulnerable to cold.
  • Why did he have to be snakes? Many Humans would be terrified of the Guardian, but the odds of that being a problem are low.
  • Sapient? We have no idea whether the Guardian was sapient, presapient or an animal.
  • Pas de bras… The Guardian has no limbs.

Powers Levels

  • Trade-off areas. Attack/Effect PL 11, Dodge/Toughness PL 10, Parry/Toughness PL 10, Fort/Will PL 7.
  • Points total 92. Abilities 42, Defences 14, Skills 4, Powers 31, Devices 0, Advantages 1. Equiv. PL 7.

Notes

See the notes under the DCH game stats for more data.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .