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Marrina (Marvel Comics) (Alpha Flight) standing on a beach

Marrina

(Alpha Flight)


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

Context

Marrina appeared when Alpha Flight finally and reluctantly received its own book, back in 1983. As I remember she was a minor character who ended up constantly victimised by plotlines that didn’t went anywhere.

So, unlike the bulk of the team, her profile hasn’t been overhauled yet. For all I know, more recent appearances of hers are super-cool. I’ll need to eventually dive back into this, go with the flow, stop making waves, and maybe it’ll go swimmingly. Or maybe I’ll need a bigger boat.


Background

  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: Namor (husband), Thoams Smallwood (foster father), Gladys Smallwood (foster mother), Daniel Smallwood (foster parents’ grandson), Namorita, Byrrah, Dara (cousins by marriage), unnamed Plodex (offspring).
  • Group Affiliation: Alpha, Beta and Gamma Flights.
  • Base Of Operations: Hydrobase.
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 200lbs.
  • Eyes: Black Hair: Green


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Powers and Abilities

Marrina is an amphibious being, and can swim at roughly 50 knots. Her entire physiology is enhanced to deal with that fact. She can swim at even faster speed by shedding outer layers of her skin, revealing a frictionless surface.

At such high speeds (in DC Heroes RPG terms, 8 or 9 APs of Swimming) detrimental effects occur. Such as boiling water on your path. Marrina’s speed could thus be described as maximal, and can only be bested by supercavitating vehicles.

She can also secretes an alien oil from her skin. Contact with this compound temporarily blinds through extreme contraction of the pupil.

Mobilis in mobilem

However, Marrina is handicapped by her original Plodex mental programming. It is mostly triggered through chemical stimuli given off by other Plodex. In that case, Marrina becomes extremely aggressive (in DC Heroes terms, Serious Rage), her appearance morphes  to become scarier and she grows claws (Claws: 06).

Marrina had an even worse form, that of the Leviathan. It was a one-mile long sea serpent with animal intelligence, well capable of sinking battleships. In DC Heroes RPG terms, Marrina had about 22 APs of growth in this form, with attendant STR and RV.


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History

Thousands of years ago a colony ship of the alien Plodex crash landed on Earth. Standard operating procedure for the aggressive Plodex was to discover the dominant lifeform of a planet, imprint the thousands of eggs in the colony ship’s hold with the genetic data, and then send the new Ch’tor… I mean, Plodex out to breed and conquer.

But in this case, something went wrong. All the eggs were expelled on the crash landing, before imprinting.

During the 1960s, Newfoundland fisherman Thomas Smallwood was washed overboard in a storm and tangled in his nets. He thought he was dead until he grabbed a strangely glowing object on the sea bottom. The object had sufficient buoyancy, once free of the sea muck, to carry him back to the surface. Curious, Smallwood took it home with him.

There, his wife Gladys noticed what seemed to be a form inside, and broke open the object. Although she thought for a moment that the form was not human, when she lifted it out, it was humanoid, and female… albeit a bit strange looking. The object was a Plodex egg, and Gladys Smallwood imprinted it with her genetic code, making it a human female.

As a result of being underwater for a few thousand years, the being also developed amphibious traits.

Fisherman’s foster daughter

Marrina grew up quite happily. The community she was in was quite small and clannish. Having been raised by decent people, she could ignore her true nature, that of an extraterrestrial killer. However, on her 16th birthday she demonstrated that her non-human traits went beyond looks.

The Smallwoods sought help, an Marrina came to the attention of James MacDonald Hudson. She soon joined Department H as part of the training team, Beta Flight. Marrina moved up to Alpha shortly after H’s original disbanding by the Federal government.

Marrina learned of her full origin during Alpha Flight’s first encounter with the being calling himself the Master of the World.

It was after this adventure that Marrina first encountered Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Intrigued by the notion of an underwater civilization, Marrina accompanied Prince Namor back to Atlantis. The two soon fell in love. It all went downhill from then.

Killer monsters from outer space

Marrina remained in Atlantis until summoned by her fellow Alphan Puck to investigate a series of murders on Toronto’s waterfront. During the investigation she found that the murders were being done by another Plodex. Having “hatched” without being imprinted, the creature was “sampling” every genetic structure it could find.

This Plodex was Marrina’s genetically designed mate. Thus, its presence unleashed an uncontrollable, bestial rage in her. The beast was under the control of the Master of the World. This time around the Master was defeated by the efforts of the Sub-Mariner (who had followed his love) and Puck.

Full of shame over her genetically triggered reactions, Marrina avoided Namor afterwards. Then she wandered off.

Shortly thereafter Marrina was captured by the Atlantean warlord Attuma, who had taken over Atlantis. He used Marrina’s then-monstrous appearance (a result of her encounter with her mate) to turn public opinion against Namor. She was freed by a joint rescue effort of Alpha Flight and the Avengers.

However, Marrina once again fled from Namor. After encountering her mate for the second time, nodules resembling Plodex eggs formed on her body. Marrina was apparently pregnant. During Alpha’s battle with the Plodex though, she rejected her heritage and the nodules disappeared. She and the Sub-Mariner were then married.

The serpent from 20,000 fathoms

Their happiness was not to last, however. Marrina’s association with Namor was apparently enough to activate her reproductive system. She spawned three eggs, and transformed into a monstrous Leviathan to protect them. Namor was finally forced to kill her, using the Black Knight’s Ebony Sword.

Marrina reverted to her most human form after she died. Thus, she could be decently buried.

In Alpha Flight #78, Llan the Sorcerer informed the Master that Marrina was merely “sleeping a false death beneath the waves.” This is a plot thread that was never picked up again.

Marrina’s spirit also made a recent appearance in Namor, in which the Ebony Blade was made to work like Katana’s Soultaker.


Description

Marrina is 6’, with large fish-like black eyes, green hair, pale yellow skin and webbed hands and feet. She generally wears a green scaly one-piece swimsuit and a little pendant.


Personality

Marrina was raised by good people. Thus, she is a friendly, sweet and gentle woman of proper upbringing (whatever that is). She attempted to fight the transformation into a Plodex killer, but was generally unsuccessful.

The Plodex personality is possessed of a savage lust for conquest, and Leviathan was just a monster who protected its immense territory.


DC Universe History

As badly as Canada has fared in the Marvel Universe, it is done even worse in the DCU. Thus, adding the Flight to the DCU would represent few problems, especially if your DCU of the Flight is based on the paranoid, government conspiracy-driven Flight that was seen in the latest series.

One of the cute stunts would be to stunt that Shaman was actually in his youth the mystic called Flying Fox, a member of the Young All-Stars, and retired after the war.

As for Marrina herself, well, alien invasions are easy enough to retrofit into DCU history – hell, even Nightwing is facing them these days ! Dolphin was a product of alien experimentation on humans, perhaps Marrina is the end result of those experiments (making Orin/Dolphin/Marrina/Namor quite the soap opera…).

Given the recent-as-of-this-writing alien arc in Aquaman, she could easily be from yet another undiscovered fraction of Atlantis.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Marrina

Dex: 07 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Unwanted power
Int: 04 Wil: 04 Min: 03 Occupation: Alphan
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 04
Init: 014 HP: 020

Powers:
Cold immunity: 02, Flash: 14, Running: 04, Sonar: 12, Swimming: 08, Water control: 14, Water freedom*: 07

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Flash has to be applied like Poison Touch (-2).
  • Sonar is done by Marrina skin, which passively senses vibrations within the water, and thus cannot be jammed or detected (+2) – but it only works underwater (-2).
  • Water control can only be performed if Marrina has at least half as many APs of Swimming active (-1), and can only be performed by her swimming in circles and the like (-1).

Skills:
None AFAIK.

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (Newfoundland). Also had Free Access (AF card) and Low Security Clearance during the periods when Alpha Flight was in favor with the government.

Connections:
Heather Hudson (High), Namor (High), Avengers (Low).

Drawbacks:
Uncontrollable alter-ego (to her Plodex form, and her Leviathan form), Arch-Enemy (the Master), Dependents (Namor, 0 points ; her foster parents), Distinct Appearance, Unluck.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Helper(s): Dave Oak, Kansas Jim, Dwayne MacKinnon.

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