Ma Mayhem (Werewolf by Night enemy) (Marvel Comics)

Ma Mayhem

“Good Lord ! The cleaning lady — swinging an axe straight at Hackett’s skull !”


A strange killer who seemingly specialises in supernatural targets. She appeared in but a few 1974 issues of Werewolf by Night.

It’s a shame we didn’t see more of her, if you want my opinion. Which I don’t advise.


  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Other Aliases: Mrs. Lynn James (alias of one of her old lady disguises).
  • Aliases Note: As far as I can tell “Ma Mayhem” is her old lady identity. Perhaps she’s simply “Mayhem” when not disguised.
  • Marital Status: Unrevealed.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Former employee of the Committee.
  • Base Of Operations: Los Angeles.
  • Height: 5’7” Weight: 125 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue (often disguised as brown). Hair: Blonde (often disguised as grey).


Powers and Abilities

Ma Mayhem seems to be, in no particular order :

  • An occultist.
  • A mob enforcer.
  • A disguise artist.
  • A combat specialist with a variety of unusual weapons, such as axes and whips.

Ma Mayhem grabs a weapon in her handbag

Ma Mayhem routinely uses plastic masks and disguise. Her nickname comes from the fact she prefers to disguise as an old, mousy lady with grey hair. This role of hers will often work in a profession people don’t pay attention to, such as a cleaning lady.



The operative named “Ma Mayhem” was an agent of the original Committee. These operated chiefly in Los Angeles during the 1970s, though this organisation would resurface under a new form at least twice.

She was apparently an associate of Baron Thunder, and possibly his lover.

I hunt werewolves

She stated that part of her pay for hunting down Jack Russell, aka the Werewolf By Night, was the ears of a werewolf. She needed this for a magical ritual.

When first seen she entered Jack Russell’s apartment just before nightfall, disguised as an old cleaning lady. This is apparently her usual M.O.. Russell was at that point being confronted by a police detective. The ruthless Mayhem produced a large axe from her purse.

Her plan was to kill the detective, then wait a bit more for Russell to turn into a lycantrophe (since the moon was about to rise). Mayhem would then wound the werewolf badly enough with her weapons to transport him to Baron Thunder’s base.

Russell saved the cop in the nick of time. However, the functionary was knocked out by the fall. As scheduled he turned into his wolfman form, and Ma Mayhem engaged him with anti-werewolf close combat weapons. During the fight the Werewolf was smashed through an interior wall, enraging the resident of the next apartment – Raymond Coker, who improbably enough was also a werewolf.

As the two supernatural beasts attacked each other, Ma Mayhem retreated and warned Baron Thunder.

Committee business

Mayhem soon kidnapped Lissa, Russell’s sister. Lissa was nearly old enough for the ancestral lycanthropy curse to kick in. Now seemingly out of disguise, Ma Mayhem bought Lissa to Thunder’s base, where they confronted the Werewolf anew.

Ma Mayhem faces the Werewolf with her hatchet

During the fight between Thunder and the Werewolf, sensitive equipment was knocked down. That started a chain reaction. Jack and Lissa lost sight of Mayhem amidst the fire, as she was attempting to free the unconscious Thunder, pinned under heavy machinery.

The Russells assumed the pair did not survive the conflagration.


“Ma” seems to actually be a young, pretty blonde. But she routinely disguises herself as a much older woman.


Confident operator, who thinks that facing a cop and a werewolf with a lumberjack’s axe is doing her job.

It was implied that she was the Baron’s lover, and she seemed to care for him.

She seemed quite knowledgeable about the occult.


(Disguised as an old lady) “The copper’s knocked out ! Just as well — since the Committee sent me to fetch you, son ! We needn’t remain formal, son — just call me Ma… Ma Mayhem !”

“Baron — he’s wearing the ring ! He’s a werewolf in body only ! His mind is still human. He must lack the ferocity of the wolf !”

DC Universe History

I could see her as a Cult of the Cold Flame operative.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Ma Mayhem

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Power
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Mercenary
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 017 HP: 020

Artist (Actor): 03, Occultist: 05, Weaponry (Melee, Exotic): 06 and quite likely Vehicles (Land): 04

Familiarity (supernatural monsters), Iron Nerves.

Underworld (Low), Committee (1970s version, Low), Baron Thunder (Low), Black market ancient weaponry smiths (Low).

MIA toward Baron Thunder.


  • Little old lady masks – Chameleon: 05, but only for the face, only to a pre-prepared appearance, and need to be put on and adjusted.
  • When facing Jack Russell, she had a selection of silver-based weapons. It is likely that she has further speciality weapons, usually of a low-tech nature, for vampires, ghosts, demons, etc. Her silver weaponry included:
    • Short-handled woodsman’s axe [BODY 04, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Slashing, Recommended STR 03, Note: Silver weapon].
    • Silver dust [BODY 01, Flash (No Range): 02, Grenade Drawback, Note: Not opposed by Shade but by Sealed Systems ; Attack Vulnerabilities to silver apply]. A small packet of silver dust, which Ma puts in her palm and blows at the opponent’s face. This will blind and choke most silver-vulnerable creatures.
    • Magical silver whip [BODY 06 STR 04, Stretching: 01, Limitation: Stretching has No Fine Manipulation, Note: Silver weapon].
  • Ma’s purse seems to contain more than it should. It is possible it is minor artefact that has about three times the internal volume it should have and divides weight by half. If so, that’s be the micro-Tesseract application of Dimension Travel.
  • Ma also had a small cartridge of sleeping gas that could knock out a teenage girl if spurted right in her face. Thus, a single 4 APs C Omni-Gadget seems likely.

Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Ma Mayhem — Averaged PL 7

01 02 02 01 04 02 02 02


Just call me Ma ● 3 points ● Descriptor: Skill
– Weapons specialist — Enhanced Fighting 2 (Limited 1 – when wielding specialised anti-monster weapons).
– Disguise/acting — Feature (+6 to Deception rolls involving passing herself for a much older woman). Ma’s gear include suitable high-quality plastic masks, and wigs.


Silver monster-killing weapons Array ● 10 points

  • Short-handled woodsman’s axe — Strength-based Damage 3 Slashing, Feature 1 (silver weapon).
  • Magical silver whip — Strength-based Damage 3 Slashing, Improved Grab, Improved Trip, Reach 2, Feature 1 (silver weapon).
  • Small packet of silver dust — Affliction 4 (resisted by Fortitude, Dazed & Sight/smell impaired, Stunned & sight/smell disabled, Extra Condition, Limited Degree, Feature (dazed and impaired conditions affect two senses), Feature (Silver – Affliction is boosted against creatures with a Vulnerablity Complication toward silver).

It is likely that she has further speciality weapons, usually of a low-tech nature, for vampires, ghosts, demons, etc.. Ma’s purse may have Feature (holds three times the volume it should and halves the weight of content).

Combat Advantages

Accurate attack, Close attack 4, Defensive Roll 2, Power Attack.

Other Advantages

Benefit 1 (Black market and underworld suppliers, including exotic weaponsmiths), Contacts, Equipment 2, Second chance (Fear/Intimidation).


Athletics 3 (+4), Deception 2 (+4), Expertise (Occult and monstrous lore) 8 (+10), Expertise (Assassin) 6 (+8), Insight 4 (+6), Perception 5 (+7), Persuasion 2 (+4), Stealth 2 (+4), and presumably Vehicles 4 (+5) (Limited 2 to common land vehicles).


Ma packs a few bits of equipment that often happen to be just right for the need at hand ; a documented example is a small cartridge of sleeping gas.


Initiative +2
Unarmed +8, Close, Damage 1
Melee weapons +10, Close, Damage varies


Dodge 8 Fortitude 6
Parry 9**/7 Toughness 4/2*
Will 9

* Without Defensive Roll
** Must wield a suitable weapon


  • Motivation Ma Mayhem is power-hungry, and willing to deal with very dangerous things to gain more of it.
  • Relationship Ma Mayhem seemed to be in a relationship with Baron Thunder and cares about him.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 7, Dodge/Toughness PL 6, Parry/Toughness PL 7, Fort/Will PL 8.
  • Point total 95. Abilities 32, Defences 22, Skills 17, Powers 3, Devices 10, Advantages 11. Equiv. PL 7.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Werewolf by Night v1 (Marvel Universe).

Helper(s): Roy Cowan.