Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr) (Marvel Comics)

Marvel Boy

(Noh-Varr) (Profile #1)


Noh-Varr is a distinctive Marvel Comics character introduced by Grant Morrison in 2000, an alien agent of radical change. He was later toned down and appeared in a number of team books. This profile presents the toned down version, with a small section about the original take.

This profile is continued in the .


  • Real Name: Noh-Varr.
  • Other Aliases: Ensign Marvel.
  • Note: He’s never actually referred to as Marvel Boy in the comic.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Formerly 18th Kree Diplomatic Gestalt.
  • Base Of Operations: The Cube, Location Undisclosed.
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 165 lbs.
  • Eyes: Green Hair: White
  • Note: Officially his eye colour is listed as black, but in the comic they’re green.


Powers and Abilities

Genetically enhanced in a number of ways, including with cockroach DNA, Noh-Varr is incredibly fast and strong. He is significantly more durable than an average human or (Reality 616 ) Kree. He can also achieve high running speeds of at least 86 MPH, and can run on walls and ceilings.

He has nanotechnology in his body, and can excrete it in a number of ways. His spittle can cause programmed hallucinations in anyone who comes into direct physical contact with it; and he can rapidly grow and detach his nails as small grenades.

His digestive system is more adaptive than that of a human, and he can survive on a diet of cardboard and garbage. He is also triple-jointed, and can transform pain he feels into music in his head. He seems to be able to detect thoughts, although he can’t read minds, and is able to track down Skrulls by scent.

His training allows him to enter a state called White Running, where his body intelligence takes control, allowing him to operate at peak efficiency without extraneous distraction.

He’s also a skilled pilot and combatant, able to use most forms of firearms, and is good with computers. He has a communication device implanted near the surface of his ear, which allowed him to communicate with the Plex, and which was later co-opted by the warden of the Cube.



Noh-Varr is a Kree from a different reality – where his people are more interested in enriching their genetic codes, resulting in a more genetically diverse race. A member of the 18th Kree Diplomatic Gestalt, he and served as Ensign aboard Captain Glory’s dimension-schooner, the Marvel, along with his love Merree.

After successfully negotiating the end of the millennia long Kree/Skrull war in their native dimension, the Marvel was diverted on their way home to Hala by a distress call from five doomed civilizations. They found three astro-gods from the First Firmament, the immense sink-suits they wore to explore the Hypoverses powered by gravity refraction and epic genocide.

Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr) running on the ceiling, dual-wielding assault rifles

The encounter left the Marvel lost in Macrospace, exploring a multitude of realities as they searched for a way home.

Finally locking on to their home dimension, they were closing in on it when they passed near the Earth of dimension 616. Their SOS signal, broadcast in a few billion languages, was detected by Doctor Midas. Obsessed with gathering alien technologies, he shot the ship down.

The only survivors of the crash were Noh-Varr and the Plex – the ship’s artificial intelligence. Noh-Varr was taken captive by Midas’ forces when they came to scavenge the wreck. However, the Plex subsequently woke and teleported the remains of the Marvel into hiding below Manhattan.

The Boy who Fell to Earth

Noh-Varr awoke inside Midas’ laboratories, where he was subjected to a series of tests under Midas’ supervision. When one technician strayed too close, Noh-Varr spat on him, causing the man to hallucinate and release who he thought was his wife. Noh-Varr fought his way out, hijacking a jet plane he sent crashing into Midas.

Free, Noh-Varr regained contact with the Plex and returned to the Marvel. Distraught by the deaths of his friends and his lover, Noh-Varr struck out at humanity, seeing their entire culture responsible for Midas’ behaviour. While Plex mind-controlled civilians out of the way – and argued against the course of action – Noh-Varr demolished a number of buildings in Manhattan, the path of the destruction spelling out his message to the world.

S.H.I.E.L.D. sent in the experimental Bannermen to stop him. Using the Pocket Battlefield, Noh-Varr handled them with ease.

Corporate Warfare

Plex alerted Noh-Varr that one of the prisoners from the Concept Dungeon, Hexus, the Living Corporation, had escaped by attaching itself to one of Midas’ scavengers. They discovered it had launched itself as Brand Hex, and was growing rapidly. Uncontested, it would take over the planet and leave it lifeless when it moved on.

Noh-Varr was initially unwilling to help the humans, but relented when Plex pointed out that it was their duty to deal with their escaped prisoner.

Tracking down their central office, Noh-Varr confronted Hexus via human drones it happily sacrificed to attack him. Noh-Varr held its attention while Plex accessed its trade secrets and sent them to its competitors, rendering it obsolete. He then fired a Cosmic Bullet into the Corporate Headquarters, destroying Hexus.


Beaten by the encounter with Hexus, Noh-Varr stumbled into an alley where he feasted on the contents of a garbage can until harassed by the police. They were warned off by Midas’ daughter and assassin, Exterminatrix, who tried to kill Noh-Varr. He led her on a chase into the subway, and halfway up the side of a skyscraper.

She herded him into an ambush by Midas’ thugs, and Midas beat him almost to death. He was stopped at the last minute when Exterminatrix shot her father, and helped Noh-Varr escape.

Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr) face closeup

Exterminatrix got Noh-Varr back to his ship, where Plex fixed him up. Noh-Varr and Exterminatrix formed an alliance just as Midas’ forces found them. The assault was led by a Mindless One from the Dark Dimension, part of Midas’ collection. They survived the Mindless Ones’ attack, and escaped into the tunnels.

Leaving Exterminatrix to deal with the Mindless One, Noh-Varr returned to the Marvel to find that Midas had mutated after exposing himself to the energies of the Cosmic Engine at the ship’s core. They fought until Exterminatrix turned up with the head of the Mindless One, and used its blast to flatten her father beneath the floorboards of reality.

Civil War

Moments later Noh-Varr and Plex were captured by S.H.I.E.L.D., although Exterminatrix escaped to embark on a terrorist campaign calling for his release. Noh-Varr was sent to the Cube, a giant prison for alien supervillains, who had no rights. He claimed that within five months it would be the capital of the new Kree Empire.

Some time later the sadistic warden of the Cube had turned Noh-Varr into his pet, replacing the allegedly dead Plex’s voice in Noh-Varr’s mind with his own. When the warden was assigned by S.H.I.E.L.D. to retrieve the Runaways, the warden took Noh-Varr to Los Angeles and set him loose to track down their Skrull.

Marvel Boy (Noh-Varr)'s Kree gun

Noh-Varr found them just after they’d met the Young Avengers. Noh-Varr snapped the Skrull Xavin’s neck on arrival (although the Skrull only pretended to be dead), and proceeded to subdue Lucy in the Sky, Hulkling, and Wiccan within seconds.

The Vision solidified his hand in Noh-Varr’s chest. Despite the pain, Noh-Varr managed to rip the arm off, leaving it embedded within him. Before he could do further damage, he was kicked a few miles by the giant Stature.

He sped back to the battle site faster than they anticipated, easily avoiding Hawkeye (Kate Bishop)’s arrows. The warden, having already retrieved the four he’d initially subdued or killed, ordered a giant grappling hook fired to retrieve Noh-Varr, taking him back to the Cube with the new prisoners.

Attack the Cube

When the Runaways and Young Avengers attacked the Cube, Noh-Varr was activated to stop them. He easily handled their forces until the Vision – whose hand was still embedded in his chest – flowed onto Chase as a suit of armour, and managed to hold Noh-Varr at bay.

The Vision had earlier discovered a weakness from some of his programming being similar to that of Victor Mancha, in that if one of them were injured the other would lose control of their powers if they came too close. When Noh-Varr came close to overcoming the Vision, Victor moved in, affecting both the Vision and Noh-Varr. Noh-Varr was immobilised.

In retrieving his arm, the Vision realised Noh-Varr’s operating system had been mangled by the warden’s foreign code, leaving him in constant pain. The Vision used the nanotechnology within Noh-Varr’s system to remove the infection, returning him to normal.

Following the heroes departure, the warden found Noh-Varr kneeling in the middle of the control room. He soon learned he no longer controlled him, as Noh-Varr took over control of the prison, establishing it as the base of his New Kree Empire.

Morrison’s view of Marvel Boy

Marvel Boy was drawn and envisioned as Crowley’s take on Horus — god of force and fire — and represents a 2,000 year cycle of revolution in human affairs.

His “zen fascism” alien thing was envisioned as a belief system so strange and powerful it could take over and ruin dominant societal beliefs — Marvel Boy is the superhero as a terrorist, his cosmic jihad breaking a fossilized establishment.


Impulsive and aggressive, Noh-Varr was grief-stricken when his friends and love were casually murdered for the salvage of their craft. He blamed Earth society for breeding the world-view that caused it. He devoted himself to remaking Earth in the image of Hala, and improving the lives of all humans by doing so, by any means necessary.


“Because it was the likes of you and this whole murky, hypocrite race who powderized my guiltless crewmates for no reason better than profit and ignorance. So, war.”

Plex: “It’s marking the planet as its own, warning off other celestial predators.”
Noh-Varr: “Too late. I got here first.”

“Everybody. Out ! I am a vicious and extremely dangerous alien soldier. Run or become my latest victims !”

“I’ll show you people what paradise looks like if I have to level every city on Earth and rebuild it stone by stone.”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 07 Str: 06 Bod: 06 Motivation: Seeking Justice
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 06 Occupation: Terrorist; formerly explorer
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 030 HP: 050

Analytical Smell/Tracking Scent: 12, Bomb: 06, Cling: 08, Damage Capacity: 06, Detect (Thought): 06, Jumping: 05, Mental Illusion: 06, Power Reserve: 01, Radio Communications (Only with Crew): 12, Running: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Bomb takes an Automatic action to grow and detach an explosive nail, which he throws at a target (-2).
  • Cling only works while he’s moving (-1).
  • Mental Illusion has a Range of Touch, or as far as he can spit (-1), is Physical Linked [uses target’s DEX/BODY as the OV/RV against the attack] (+0), and the target’s Systemic Antidote Adds to RV (-1).
  • Power Reserve only works while White Running (see below, -1).

Acrobatics: 06, Martial Artist: 07, Scientist (Computer Science): 05, Vehicles (Air, Space): 07, Weaponry (Firearms): 07

Double Jointed, Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Pain Management).

Exterminatrix (High).

Forced Exile, Mistrust.

White Running

Noh-Varr can enter a state called White Running, wherein he limits his awareness of sensory input, allowing his body intelligence to take control. He’s still aware of his surroundings, and any threats, but it lets him avoid unnecessary distractions and focus his energies. This allows him to activate his Power Reserve, which may be applied to any Stat or Power, or his Shade power.

When making Multi-Attacks while White Running, his focus and speed compensate partly for splitting his attack, allowing him to ignore 1CS of the RV increase (but not the OV).

White Running requires his complete focus, so it can be difficult to maintain if he sustains an injury. If at less than full BODY, he must make a roll with his current BODY as the AV\EV and his regular BODY as the OV\RV. If he fails the roll he slips out of the White Running.

Previous Stats

Before his incarceration he had access to highly advanced equipment from the remains of his crashed spacecraft, the Marvel:

  • COSTUME [BODY 07, Insta-Change]. He wore a hyper-dense costume which can automatically repair any damage done to it.
  • BLASTER [BODY 06, Bomb (Grenades): 12, Energy Blast: 15, Mind Blast: 15]. His wristlet could grow into a blaster, capable of destroying large buildings in a single shot, launching grenades, or firing a ’cosmic bullet‘.
  • Pocket Battlefield [Flash (Not Visual): 08]. Stolen by a crewmate from the Pink Pantheon after the Matter Fax malfunctioned and cloned the entire Macroverse, the Pocket battlefield expands into a series of nine zones, each with its own self-contained area of physics. The wielder is immune to the effects of these zones, but anyone else is subject to extreme disorientation while within the Battlefield.

The Plex

The Plex was a hive mind composed of some of the greatest minds in Kree history from its native dimension, which existed at the heart of the Marvel spacecraft. It survived the fall to Earth, and acted as advisor to Noh-Varr, communicating with him, presumably by means of some technology within his costume.

It could engage in a form of mass mind control, which allowed it to control those within a 10 mile radius of itself. It has also exhibited the ability to hasten the healing process of others, and can communicate with members of its crew.

PLEX [BOD 12, INT 13, WIL 13, MIN 15, INF 10, AUR 10, SPI 10, Control (): 13, Radio Communications (Only with Crew): 12, Regeneration (Usable on Others): 08].

Design notes

The Power Reserve from his White Running has minial evidence, I just felt he needed something to support the focus he gains from going there. I’d thought about also giving him Shade (all senses) while White Running, but I’m not sure if it’s valid (he’s not cut off from sensory input, just not consciously aware of it).

His blaster’s “Cosmic Bullet” wasn’t really clearly defined, but it did seem to destroy the Hexus entity, so I’ve defined it as Mind Blast, barring further evidence.

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Marvel Comics (up to Young Avengers/Runaways #4).

Helper(s): , Sébastien Andrivet, Peter S Piispanen, Grant Morrison (via Supergods).