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Poison (Spider-Man character) (Marvel Comics)

Poison

(Cecilia Cardinale)


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

Context

Poison is a minor, somewhat obscure character. She first appeared in 1988, and chiefly featured in two storylines written by Steve Gerber . A pair of later appearances by other writers were… less convincing.


Background

  • Real Name: Cecilia Cardinale.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Carlos (son).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Miami, Florida.
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 115 lbs.
  • Eyes: Greenish brown Hair: Reddish brown


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Powers and Abilities

Poison has retained from Ylandris a number of otherdimensional  disciplines, giving her superhuman powers. She can “become steel” and “make the steel float”. Which in practice means :

  • Enhanced strength and durability.
  • Abnormal ability to resist being moved against her will, or telepathically dominated.
  • Making her hands extremely hard, allowing her to punch for considerable damage or drive her fingers through solid steel.
  • Flight.

When she flies she stands perfectly vertical, with her arms pressed against her sides. She usually levitates straight up until she reaches the desired altitude, then starts moving around. This odd flight is perfectly silent. Thus, she can often land lightly and undetected behind people.

Poison’s moves are fast and precise, and she is amazingly perceptive. She moves with great economy, fighting with so few unneeded movements that she almost appears to stand still. Even dodging bullets will likely be a single side step. Against people trying to rush her she stands still, letting them crash against her unmoving body then brushing them off.


History

Cecilia was a young Cuban girl. In 1979, she fell in love with a handsome Russian diplomat named Vassily. They had a passionate relationship for several months, resulting in a pregnancy. When the authorities asked Cecilia about the father, she naïvely told the truth.

To protect himself, Vassily claimed that Cecilia had seduced him and asked money for favors. He was sent back home to Leningrad. Meanwhile Cecilia, still pregnant, was imprisoned. Due to the poor conditions, she soon contracted a fatal sickness.


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Alien warrior

She would have died, except for an alien warrior named Ylandris. Having fallen from her dimension , Ylandris needed a corporeal form to survive on Earth. Cecilia agreed to allow Ylandris to bond with her. This saved Cecilia, Ylandris, and Cecilia’s unborn child.

In 1980, Cecilia was shipped to America as an undesirable during the Mariel boatlift . She was still pregnant by that point.

Cecilia eventually made it out of the refugee camps. She found a job as a housekeeper at a Miami hotel to support herself and her newborn son. But Ylandris, still a warrior, craved battle. Cecilia agreed and allowed Ylandris to use her body to fight evil. They did so as “Poison” – a translation of “Ylandris” in English.

Her alien nature attracted the attention of the High Evolutionary’s Purifiers. These troops sought to destroy her, but she defeated them.

Poison then made her way to the Nexus of All Realities, whence Ylandris returned home. But the alien left some of her power to Cecilia as her thanks. And thus, Poison still stalks the streets of Miami. It is also possible that her son Carlos was affected by the extradimensional energies.


Description

Cecilia is an undeniably attractive woman, but gives off a strange and threatening vibe.


Personality

Poison is a superpredator – she preys on those who inflict emotional pain. Thus, what interests her is different from what mobilise other vigilantes. She goes for “human interest” cases. Poison drifts around the city, sensing pain and desperation. She then approaches the victims to understand what is going on and, if necessary, act.

Cecilia was forged by a warrior from a superior dimension, and severe hardship. She only relaxes when in presence of her son, with whom she has a normal, playful rapport. She comes across as weird and dangerous the rest of the time. Her gaze is too intense and her non-verbal communication is slightly off, rigid and too disciplined.

Peter Parker called her “the human branding iron”. Despite the lack of danger Poison posed to him, his spider-sense was tingling like mad.

No mercy

Poison is calm, disciplined and extremely confident. She approaches people who have suffered emotional abuse, and gauges whether justice is necessary. She cannot stop being Poison, as she needs vicarious revenge far too much.

However, juggling between her miserable job, her time as Poison and being a mother is hard, especially due to lack of sleep. And Carlos hates it when his mother goes out at night without any explanation.

Poison is devoid of mercy for those who inflict great, unneeded emotional pain. For her, there are no excuses. She also prefers to savour this vengeance. Frex she’ll inflict nightly terror on her target, slowly breaking them until retribution runs its course and she moves on to another case.

In some ways she perpetuates the cycle of abuse, inflicting what was done to her to more deserving targets. At first, Ylandris tended to have Cecilia see everyone as Vassily to keep her resolve fresh. But that gradually faded after the higher-dimensional warrioress left.

Cecilia sometimes speaks in comic-book Spanglish.


Quotes

“ I am the price of pain. I am the penalty you pay for inflicting all love’s cruelties. I am Poison.”

“Poison is a warrior. Cecilia Cardinale is a mother – with responsibilities. I do not know which part of me is more real. It is like asking which is greater, my love for Carlos – or my contempt for his father’s cowardice. Each make me stronger. Each make me stronger. But only my love matters to Carlos. This I never forget. No. That is not true. I do sometimes. When my attention is most centered — as I was taught by the warrioress, Ylandris — I forget nearly everything. Except whatever must be done to beat the enemy. Otherwise, I would die.”

“I can drive my fingers straight into your skull. Is that necessary, or are we finished ?”

“Come with me. Tell me your story. Poison can take the pain away.”

Peter Parker : “You, uh, seem young to have a school-age kid…”
Cecilia : “Thank you. I forget sometimes. I am young.”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Poison

Dex: 07 Str: 06 Bod: 06 Motivation: Justice
Int: 09 Wil: 07 Min: 07 Occupation: Maid
Inf: 07 Aur: 05 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 023 HP: 025

Powers:
Claws: 09, Empathy: 07, Extended hearing: 02, Flight: 05, Iron will: 05, Joined: 02, Sharpness (Claws): 03

Bonuses and Limitations:
Once Poison decides to avenge the pain done to someone, her Empathy becomes a permanent empathic link with the person, with a special +10 Range bonus. That lasts until either the person is dead or vengeance has been gained. This is considered to be a 0-pts misc. Advantage/Drawback.

Skills:
Acrobatics (dodging): 05, Charisma (intimidation): 08, Thief (stealth): 08

Bonuses and Limitations:
Thief (Stealth) is considered a Power, is Contingent on Flight, and can only be used while in Flight (-3).

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, Language (Cuban Spanish), Sharp Eye.

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Dependent (Carlos), SIA toward retribution against people deliberately inflicting severe emotional pain.


Ylandris-powered Poison

Back when she was hosting Ylandris, a warriorress from an higher dimension, Poison was more powerful. Use the following values :

  • DEX is a 09, Acrobatics (dodging) is a 07, and she has Reflection/deflection (subsonic projectiles only): 10.
  • STR is a 09, and Claws is a 10.
  • She has a High connection to Ylandris, who seems to have extra-sensory perceptions allowing for any necessary plot device (such as sensing the High Evolutionary’s troops purpose at the Nexus of All Realities, and the rough power level of the High Evolutionary himself).
  • Ylandris resides in her mind, talks to her and instructs her. She sees her reflection in mirror as slightly changed to resemble the human form Ylandris would have, and usually has to talk aloud for Ylandris to hear. Which makes her look somewhat crazy.

Howard Mackie appearance

This writeup is entirely based on her appearances written by her creator, Steve Gerber. I am leaving out the unexplained changes introduced in Peter Parker : Spider-Man #64, namely :

  • Her identity is known to some criminal concerns, who kidnapped her son to make her their enforcer.
  • She moved to New York City along with Carlos.
  • Her DEX is 09, her STR appears to be about 11, and her BODY is a 09. She didn’t seem to have the Claws/Sharpness suite – in fact none of her Powers were displayed, except Flight, and she flew like any other super-hero – not vertically.
  • She apparently had Omni-Power, using her alien-born powers to emit a huge Flash and then Teleport Spider-Man, with an obvious HP cost.
  • The new costume might be the one salvageable thing – it is the last illustration down the bar.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel universe.

Helper(s): History section from OHOTMU ; Jobe.

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