This obscure, minor villainess appeared in 1986.
She’s the successor of the first Marine Marauder. Who’s every bit as minor and obscure.
But while few people care about either Marine Marauder, they’re useful if you’re planning a maritime scenario.
- Real Name: Dr. Marlene Simmonds.
- Known Relatives: Unnamed brother.
- Group Affiliation: None.
- Base of Operations: Mobile.
- Height: 5’10” (1.78m). Weight: 110 lbs. (50 Kg.).
- Eyes: Blue. Hair: Black.
Powers & Abilities
Dr. Simmonds possesses well-above-average intelligence, fitness and beauty.
Her skills set includes :
- Marine biology, and general sealife lore.
- Swimming, diving and high diving.
- An unclear level of gadgeteeringTechnnologist who builds comic book devices like those Batman uses skill.
- Remarkable speed and acumen when dodging ranged attacks.
- Having her hair remain just right even after swimming in sea water and wearing a neoprene cowl.
It is possible that Dr. Simmonds also taught herself stuff having to do with :
- Extinct pantheons.
- Ancient languages such as Akkadian .
Here comes a stingray (ooh wok ooh wok)
Her Marine Marauder costume seems to be a wetsuit. It may have minor protective properties.
It is equipped with goggles, and a lightweight transparent rebreather. The latter is normally stored in a sheathe within her left glove.
One suspects that it also includes some sort of last-resort, short-range weapon. Explaining how she saved herself from a rogue giant octopus.
Furthermore, the Marauder had a headquarters – a large sunken ship. An air bubble remained within, leaving the Marauder with numerous dry rooms. Presumably she had a device renewing or filtering this air.
This HQ was lost, but she could create another without too much trouble.
There goes a manta ray (ah ah ah)
The Marine Marauder demonstrated these telepathic powers :
- Detecting and disrupting incoming mind probes.
- Telepathically commanding sea life over a large area.
- Reading minds and delivering telepathic attacks, but apparently only against telepaths. She seemed adept at penetrating psychic defences.
- Broadcasting a telepathic “voice” over an area.
She also had what seemed to be crude telekinetic powers :
- Levitating over water, and flying forward at a modest speed.
- Dark teal eyebeams.
Her powers were developed through technology, but she seems to perform them unaided. The three main hypotheses are :
- She was altered to gain mental powers.
- The powers are done through some sort of psychotronicsElectronic equipment that amplifies or protect from psychic powers implants.
- The powers are extrinsicNot part of something’s nature, but the equipment can easily be hidden even when out of costume. This seems unlikely.
In walked a jellyfish (huah)
The Marine Marauders’ briny servants have included :
- Unseen giant cephalopods with immense (50+ metres) tentacles.
- Whales (as obstacles to force ships to stop).
- Sperm whales (the largest attack animal you can get, I reckon).
- Seagulls who can accurately drop small electric eels onto people.
- Flying fishes, each carrying a mini-grenade to do a bombing run with.
- A large dolphin serving as her mount.
- Giant octopi.
- Large manta rays.
- A kraken, inevitably. Even Metamorpho (Rex Mason) had a hard time vanquishing it.
One trick she once used was keeping sharks near human hostages, as a sort of dead man’s switch. If she were knocked unconscious, nothing would prevent the sharks from eating the hostages.
The B-52’s references in the subheadings are from 1978. So let’s not assume that everyone recognises them…
The B-52’s usually did a sort of surreal, bazaar-like, nonsensical new wave music backed by serious talent and innovative ideas.
It’s been 42 years and I still can’t whistle along Kate Pierson’s closing vocal sequence.
Oceanographer Marlene Simmonds wanted to get rich and powerful. But in a fast and exciting way.
She therefore turned to a technology allowing her to mind control sea life.
There is an implication that the original Marine Marauder was her brother. It thus seems possible that they jointly developed their technology, but both underplayed the role of their sibling.
There goes a dogfish (rea-owr)
In 1986, Dr. Simmonds was aboard a large cruise ship, the SS Ocean Breeze. Her ambitious plan was to :
- Wait for it to sail near her underwater base.
- Force all aboard to surrender their valuables.
- Hold everyone for ransom from their respective governments.
While still aboard, Simmonds girl-bullied Lia Briggs – secretly Looker of the Outsiders. This seemed driven both by :
- A burning need to upstage the gorgeous and attention-seeking Briggs.
- Having detected Looker’s telepathic powers and wanting to study them to improve her tech.
The Marine Marauder kidnapped Looker. She then confidently stopped the Ocean Breeze using a blockage of whales. However, she found herself outmuscled by the other Outsiders.
In the end, she was defeated. With her control over sea life disrupted by an electrical shock, one of her giant octopods dragged her underwater.
And so she disappeared.
Chased by a catfish (geh geh geh geh)
There may have been further, undocumented appearances by the Marine Marauder. Since there was data about her in the JLA’s casefile, which the Outsiders presumably wouldn’t fill.
Those files mention that she’s a pirate, that she seemed erratic at best, and that her rapport with sea life had become peculiar. But all we have is the short version from the less-than-highbrow Flash (Wally West).
(The stuff about her being insane may be because she started researching magic and extinct theologies. Poor analysis may have led to the conclusion that her actions were irrational.)
Dr. Simmonds now seemed to have ample financial resources. Presumably, she led piratical attacks that didn’t run into super-heroes.
Some details also imply she had her briny allies bring her treasure from selected shipwrecks.
(The Marine Marauder also appears in a 1988 DC Heroes RPG module, Operation Atlantis. She is hired to raid the Atlantean city of Poseidonis and claim to be a Soviet agent. But her real goal is to create a diversion away from her client’s operations. Said client is Serbus, a treacherous Atlantean scientist.)
In flew a sea robin (laaaaa)
Simmonds then grew obsessed with Enlil, the vindictive storm god in Babylonian myth. She tracked down his crown, reportedly a powerful mystical artefact.
(For more about Babylonian gods in the DC Universe, see our Istar character profile).
Years of research led her to a tiny island, under which the ruins of Enlil’s palace still laid. But excavating her way into the palace was a major endeavour.
She therefore used a fleet of large cetaceans to force passing ships into reefs. She’d then enslave those aboard as her workforce.
One of her captives was no less than Aquaman (Arthur Curry). The Marine Marauder smugly assumed she was so powerful that even Aquaman was under her mental control.
Watch out for that piranha (eh rek eh rek ah hoo)
The next ship that the Marine Marauder wrecked ashore counted Linda Park and the Flash (Wally West) as passengers. The latter, after being forced to cooperate using threats to hostages, greatly accelerated the excavation work.
Though the Flash kept flippantly dismissing Simmonds as a loon, she was entirely right about the crown.
However, Aquaman had never been under the Marauder’s control. Curry’s mind had actually been seized by Enlil, to hasten his return.
There goes a narwhal (eeeeh)
The Enlil-possessed Aquaman therefore donned the recovered crown. As the Marine Marauder had determined, the artefact held vast power over the sea. Enlil thus created a tsunami to smash the island.
The Flash managed to free Aquaman and save the captives before the wave hit. Meanwhile, the Marine Marauder went for the crown. But the tsunami crashed onto her before she could finish her incantationreciting a magic spell.
She was buried by a landslide, mere feet away from the crown.
However, it would be trivial for her to have survived. For all we know, in the next panel Topo’s evil twin digs her out from under the rocks.
The vitals in the Background block are the official ones, which don’t quite match the way she’s drawn. 5’9″ (1.76m) and 140 lbs. (63 Kg.) might fit better.
Simmonds is deeply, compulsively competitive. She also has a whale-sized ego.
She’s driven to bully and overshadow any attractive woman in her vicinity, to affirm her status as the alpha female. I’d imagine that the same is true when it comes to academic prestige and funding.
Simmonds also feels entitled to, well, everything. She’s also smugly confident that she’ll always win in the end. The more things go her way, the more confident and careless she gets.
As the Marine Marauder, she didn’t seem concerned with protecting her identity. She presumably had decided to make the jump into an entirely new life, and burn all her bridges.
Dr. Simmonds seemed to have a strong sexual interest in Aquaman, in part due to his aquatic nature. But she put that aside for the time being, to focus on the Babylonian crown.
“I don’t care about politics, pal, I’m in this for the money !”
“I’m extremely competitive. I’ve been that way all my life… beauty wasn’t enough for me. I wanted wealth, but without going through the tedious world of business and investment.”
“Have you forgotten, Looker ? I’ll win. I always win.”
DC Heroes RPG
|Dex: 04||Str: 02||Bod: 03|
|Int: 06||Wil: 06||Min: 05|
|Inf: 05||Aur: 04||Spi: 05|
|Init: 015||HP: 035|
Animal control: 06, Animal summoning: 12, Flight: 03, Full vision: 02, Hypnosis: 08, Mental blast: 06, Mind blast: 08, Mind field: 06, Mind probe: 10, Speak with animals: 12, Telepathy: 06
Bonuses and Limitations:
- All Animal Powers, and Hypnosis, only work on marine animals.
- Flight *might* only work over water.
- Full vision only if there are enough servants around her, and these have been instructed to keep watch for anomalies and dangers.
- Mind blast can only affect persons with telepathic powers.
- Mind blast is its own AV.
- Mind blast presumably requires direct visual contact, and has a very short range.
- Mind field is Self Only.
- Mind probe can only affect persons with telepathic powers.
- Mind probe is limited to current, surface thoughts.
- Telepathy only to broadcast mental messages.
Acrobatics (Dodging): 07, Animal handling (Sealife): 04, Artist (High diving): 04, Gadgetry: 04, Occultism (Occult lore): 03, Scientist (Research): 06, Vehicles (Land, sea): 03
Attractive, Expertise (Oceanography, Marine biology), Headquarters (Expansive). Possibly Language (Akkadian).
MIA toward Competitiveness/Jealousy, MIA toward Overconfidence, Power Loss (being Stunned by an electrical attack will Burn Out all of her Powers).
COSTUME [BODY 04, Cold immunity: 01, Lightning immunity: 01, Shade: 01, Sealed systems: 06].
Lotsa guesswork, obvs.
She never demonstrates strong APs of Flight. And I have to estimate that if she never used it underwater, it’s because she’s slower than a dolphin or shark steed.
For the animals, see our Animals File. Logically enough.
Source of Character: DC Comics.
Helper(s): Charly Clinch, Rex Smith, Vinnie’s stats for the original Marine Marauder, Mayfair’s 1st Edition stats.
Writeup completed on the 18th of April, 2020.