5832 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Volcana (Marvel Comics) in human form wearing a white dress

Volcana


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

Context

Volcana is a minor Marvel character, who appeared during the 1984 Secret Wars event that (once again) saved Marvel’s finances. As you can imagine she has volcano-themed powers.

Yes, the History section is ridiculously detailed for such a minor character. I blame the plethora of fan sites which make significant mistakes in her history for provoking me. It stops in 1991, since I can’t verify all her later appearances.

There are also a lot of quotes, because the way Marsha and Owen talk to each other must be seen to be believed…


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Background

  • Real Name: Marsha Rosenberg.
  • Other Aliases: Volcana.
  • Marital Status: Single (engaged at one point to Owen Reece, aka the Molecule Man).
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed mother (“Momma”, still living) and brother.
  • Group Affiliation: Formerly allied with Dr. Doom’s forces during the first Secret War; former lover and partner of the Molecule Man.
  • Base Of Operations: Denver, Colorado.
  • Height: 6’5” Weight: 210 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Marsha Rosenberg was a normal woman until she was given superhuman powers by Doctor Doom, using the alien technology of Battleworld. She gained the power to convert her entire body into plasma, blazing with white-hot intensity, at times setting aflame or melting any surface beneath her (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Flame Being).

Her plasma form consists of highly charged particles which surround her in white-hot flame. She is able to emit controlled bursts of this thermal energy with a fair degree of accuracy up to at least 40 feet (Flame Project).


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Variant forms

Volcana’s powers later expanded, due to her subconscious use of the power of a cosmic cube . First she gained the ability to convert her body into a stone form, her volcanic rock body overlaying a magnesium skeleton. In this form she’s pretty resistant to damage and has significant superhuman strength (Molecular Chameleon, STR, BOD).

She subsequently gained a third form, composed of volcanic ash which she can shape and control as she wishes. This allows her to flow out of restraints and absorb impacts (Fluid Form and Skin Armor). Her ash form is represented by Self-linked Earth Control. As per normal Earth Control it can be used for a Physical Attack (a snootful of ashes). Her Stretching provides a Range component to this attack.

Per Earth Control she can also turn herself into a dust (ash) storm. Theoretically, she could use Earth Control’s ability to “move a volume of Earth” on herself, but in practice this is already covered by the normal function of a self-linked Power. This allows her to travel at 4 APs of speed (half her APs of Self-Linked Earth Control).

Other strengths and weaknesses

Volcana cannot make partial transformations; she can possess the attributes of only one of her forms at a time.

As a combatant, she’s got surprisingly good reflexes, can toss a tire accurately several stories high (when in rocky form), and has unusual strength due to her size. She also has some first aid skills.


History

Little is definitively known of Marsha Rosenberg’s early life, though she is apparently close to her mother and brother. She and her friend Mary MacPherran lived in a suburb of Denver, Colorado when the entire community (grounds, buildings, people, and all) was transported by the near-omnipotent Beyonder to another galaxy.

This fragment of Earth was joined to fragments of planets from around the universe to create an artificial planetoid, Battleworld. It served as the setting for the first of the Secret Wars. The Beyonder gathered heroes, villains, and civilians to create the perfect setting for war, and promised that the winners would be granted “all you desire.”

Doom’s will be done

Dr. Doom, leader of the villainous forces, discovered the fragment of Denver early on, and looked there for potential recruits to increase the power of his forces. He contacted Rosenberg and MacPherran, offering to transform them into superhuman beings in exchange for their services.

“Skeeter” MacPherran was a scrawny, weak woman who had always felt bullied and belittled. Marsha was much larger, also an outcast in her own way, with a soft spot for anyone who was different or bullied.

Doom used his scientific know-how, alien technology, and powerful elemental forces (a tremendous storm generated by the unnatural creation of the Battleworld) to give them great powers. Marsha was now able to convert her entire body into ionized plasma, causing her to burst into flames and radiate pure thermal energy.

She took the name Volcana as her nom de guerre. MacPherran was transformed into a tall, super-strong powerhouse, and took the name Titania.

Secrets of the Secret War, part 1

Years later, Doom’s private thoughts in FF Annual 23 (1990) indicate that in the process of empowering Volcana (and presumably Titania), he also implanted subcutaneous monitors and enhanced their aggressive tendencies. During the war Volcana displayed aggression and ruthlessness, if not to the level of Titania, and high power levels.

As mentioned above, at various points she incapacitated the She-Hulk (with two blasts, though the initial strike was from behind), Iron Man, and Wolverine.

Spider-man and the Secret Wars (2009) #2 deals with Doom’s untold adventures in Denver and introduces us to Skeeter and Marsha before they had powers. According to this story, Doom attempted to recruit Spider-Man and the temporarily human Ben Grimm to try out a Battleworld machine he had found that gave superpowers.

Of course, Spidey and Ben refused Doom’s offer on principle.

Secrets of the Secret War, part 2

Later, Doom spotted Skeeter and Marsha in the crowd of Denver residents who fought back against an alien horde that tried to invade Denver. Doom offered super powers to Skeeter and Marsha because they demonstrated the will to fight before they ever met him.

Volcana shoots Wolverine with a fire blast during the Secret Wars

It’s worth noting that this retcon  is just that – a retroactive insert into the very tight timeframe of the first Secret War. The entire war takes place in the course of an extremely frenetic and fast-paced week. In particular, it’s hard to imagine fitting another encounter between Doom and any of the heroes in between issues 2 and 3 of the original series.

It’s also pretty clear in the original story that Doom doesn’t do anything so straightforward as “finding” an alien machine that can mutate humans. Rather, he uses a combination of his own genius, alien technology, and the freak nearly planet-wide storm caused by Battleworld’s creation…a “perfect storm” of events coming together.

Still, even if all the events of the story are difficult to reconcile, there’s no reason Doom could not have spotted Skeeter and Marsha in the way indicated. The reason they were chosen out of all the other inhabitants of the city is never explained, otherwise.

Meet the Molecule Man!

As Volcana and Titania interacted with the villainous forces, Marsha quickly formed a bond with Owen Reece, the Molecule Man.

Reece was easily the most powerful of all the combatants other than the Beyonder himself. But his unimpressive appearance and usually mild demeanor made him the butt of jokes and name-calling by the other villains. Volcana was quick to jump to his defense, and the two became romantically involved.

During the War, Reece was badly injured by Wolverine of the X-Men. Back at the villains’ base, Marsha begged the Enchantress to teleport her to Reece’s side. The Enchantress callously and casually refused until Volcana rashly offered her “anything” for her help.

The Enchantress chose to view this as a binding mystic oath, and teleported Marsha to Owen’s side in exchange for a price to be paid later. Marsha helped care for Owen and he began to recover.

The war goes on

As the war intensified, Doom used his supposed allies as cannon fodder, using them to distract the opposing forces while Doom targeted the Beyonder himself and stole his powers. Feeling both betrayed and exhausted, the villains chose to abandon the fight.

The Molecule Man used his powers to tear the suburb of Denver free of Battleworld and launch it into space, along with all the villains except Doom and Klaw.

Volcana destroys a building

But while the Molecule Man prepared to create a space warp that would return them all to Earth, the Enchantress struck. Fearing that Dr. Doom’s possession of the Beyonder’s made him a threat to Asgard itself, she determined to go there and raise the alarm.

But, stranded in another galaxy, she feared that the distance was too great for her powers to transport her there unaided. So she chose to exact payment from Volcana for their mystic bargain, draining Rosenberg’s life force to augment her teleportation spell. The Molecule Man and the Lizard intervened, rescuing Marsha.

Back to life, back to reality

The Lizard slashed the Enchantress across the face. As she needed no mystical bargain to drain the life of a “lesser being”, the Lizard became the Enchantress’s victim instead. (Though this simply reverted the Lizard to his human alter ego).

Once they arrived safely on Earth, the criminals went their separate ways. Rosenberg and Reece remained in the Denver area, where she acquired a job at a day care center. They lived together in quiet anonymity. They spent most of their time eating frozen dinners in front of the television, the perfect couple.

Marsha was very happy, though she did conceal their secret identities from her family, mostly to protect Reece. Marsha has no criminal record, as her activities on Battleworld are not publicly known and were outside any Earthly jurisdiction, but the Molecule Man was a known criminal.

Secret Wars II, part 1

Then the Beyonder (who’d reclaimed his power from Doom) intruded once again. Still curious about human desires, he traveled to Earth and took human form to search for fulfillment. The Molecule Man was one of the Beyonder’s early confidantes, as he was the closest thing the Beyonder had to an equal.

But over the following weeks the Beyonder became increasingly disillusioned with his time on Earth. He used his powers in increasingly dangerous and irresponsible ways. He even talked about destroying the universe so he wouldn’t have to bother finding a place in it.

Increasingly he was clashing with super-heroes and even some of the great powers of the universe. Uatu the Watcher tried to recruit Reece to help stop the Beyonder, but he initially refused. He was torn between fear of what the Beyonder would do unchecked and the fear of angering him.

Eventually the Beyonder reached a tipping point. He decided to vent his anger by simply destroying the planet, and possibly the entire universe. Reece panicked and enclosed the Denver area in a protective dome, hoping it at least would survive.

The Beyonder casually shattered the barrier, and threatened that shortly he’d return and destroy everything. The Molecule Man decided to flee with Volcana to another dimension, but Volcana persuaded him to stay and fight.

Secret Wars II, part 2

Meanwhile, the Beyonder had again calmed down, and decided to visit Owen and Marsha to mend fences. Not knowing that the Beyonder had changed his mind, the Molecule Man attacked him on sight. But the Beyonder survived and was enraged all over again.

Just as he was about to kill Reece, Volcana tried a desperate ploy to save him. She threw herself at the Beyonder, supposedly abandoning Reece and offering the Beyonder anything (including herself) to spare her life. In disgust, the Beyonder allowed her to flee.

The shock of her apparent betrayal devastated Reece. His resolve collapsed and he went into a near catatonic state. Contemptuously dismissing Reece as a threat, the Beyonder left.

Volcana blasts She-Hulk during the Secret Wars

But Volcana alerted the Avengers and the Fantastic Four to the danger. While they began gathering dozens of superhumans to prepare an attack, Volcana returned home to find the Molecule Man recovered. Their relationship moved to a new level, as the Molecule Man declared he was now strong enough to love her without being dependent on her.

Filled with new resolve, Volcana and the Molecule Man joined the heroes’ attack on the Beyonder.

Secret Wars II, final battle

The Molecule Man, despite being outclassed and injured by the Beyonder, proved to be decisive to the conflict. His presence enabled the heroes to survive the Beyonder’s initial counterattack without the Beyonder being aware of it. Believing he’d defeated his enemies, the Beyonder made himself vulnerable.

He created a machine which would give him a truly human, mortal body, having decided that the only way to finally understand humanity was to become truly human himself. The Beyonder stored his power in the machine, then projected himself into it. The machine created a cloned infant body and began rapidly aging it to adulthood, whereupon the Beyonder would reclaim his powers.

Seizing the opportunity, the Molecule Man killed the baby and destroyed the machine. This projected the Beyonder’s unleashed power back into the Beyonder’s home dimension before it could do any harm. There it acted like a Big Bang, creating a new universe.

The Molecule Man and the Silver Surfer then combined their powers to repair the damage done to the Earth during the battle (including reconstituting the entire Rocky Mountain Chain and preventing tectonic stresses from ripping the planet apart).

The heroes believed his great exertions against the Beyonder had burned out Reece’s powers, but due to the Surfer’s help, he was able to recover completely. And the belief that his powers were burned out kept the heroes from worrying about any potential future threats from the Molecule Man.

Owen and Marsha were able to return home to Denver and settle down again into quiet lives. At some point they became engaged.

Re-Enter: Doom!

This extended period of domestic tranquility was shattered when Dr. Doom brutally ambushed Owen, aiming to kill him before he could concentrate to use his powers. Doom had learned that the Fantastic Four were investigating the mysterious extra-dimensional beings known as the Beyonders, hoping to find them, or perhaps the Beyonder himself.

Doom hoped to encounter the Beyonder again, seeking his power as he had in the past. Knowing that Reece and the Beyonder had continually been connected, Doom’s preemptive strike was meant to prevent Reece from interfering in any way.

Doom believed his attack succeeded, but Reece’s powers acted without conscious control to revive and heal him. Marsha was with him in the hospital when Owen’s wounds healed. Together, the two pieced together what had happened. They pursued Doom and the FF into another dimension…the universe of the Beyonder.

There Doom and the FF had already discovered that the Beyonder’s consciousness had survived the supposed death of his human form, and he had created a universe where he could be and rule everything. The invasion of beings from beyond his universe angered him, reminding him of the nagging incompleteness he had felt throughout his existence, and he intended to destroy Doom and the FF.

Re-Enter: the Beyonder!

Doom manipulated and deceived him, however, and was close to stealing his power again when Kubik (the sentient being birthed by Earth’s cosmic cube) and the Shaper of Worlds (the sentient being birthed by the Skrulls’ cosmic cube) arrived. 

Volcana drives back a giant robot using a lamp post

Kubik battled the Beyonder to prevent Doom gaining access to the Beyonder’s power. The Shaper and the Molecule Man defused the situation, and revealed that the Beyonder’s long struggle to feel whole and satisfy his desires was because the Beyonder truly was incomplete. He had been intended to be a cosmic cube himself, like Kubik and the Shaper.

But a nuclear accident of Owen Reece’s had ripped a hole into the home dimension of the cubes at a time where there was no force field prepared to contain the energy and be shaped into a cube. Part of the Beyonder’s power flowed through the rift and transformed Reece into the Molecule Man. Thus Reece and the Beyonder each had only a portion of the power of a cosmic cube.

To repair the accident and end the threat of the Beyonder, Reece and the Beyonder merged to create a new, complete cosmic cube. Reece claimed it was best for everybody, and Marsha affirmed her trust in him. In fact, Reece felt he had no choice, considering the Beyonder’s instability, the ongoing threat of Doom, and with Kubik and the Shaper taking a hand in events.

Cosmic widow

However, he did manage to secrete a tiny fragment of his power in Marsha, unknown even to her and apparently undetected by Kubik and the Shaper.

Once Reece and the Beyonder had become a new cube, the Shaper sent Marsha, Doom, and the FF back to Earth. Marsha grieved but was determined to go on with her life. She returned to Denver, although she did not move back into the apartment she had shared with Reece.

She left it as it was, since she wasn’t yet ready to pack up all his things and fully acknowledge the loss. Doom, however, suspected that the Molecule Man would try to leave Volcana with something of himself, and determined to monitor her closely.

Dormant No More

Later (weeks or months, most likely), Marsha’s friend Annie convinced her to go on a trip to New York City for fun. As apparently always happens in NYC, the two encountered a super-villain.

They came across the Wizard pursuing one of his schemes, so Marsha switched to her flame form and drove him off. It’s not clear if Volcana had decided to become a superhero, or was acting to protect herself and her friend, or simply didn’t like something about the Wizard.

However, Doom’s monitors indicated that Marsha was in a depressed state when something triggered a surge of energy from her, operating on the same frequency as the Molecule Man. Doom theorized that Reece’s hidden power might have responded to Marsha’s depression and engineered her meeting with the Wizard, thereby distracting her from her misery and improving her state of mind.

In any case, Volcana fought the Wizard hard, accidentally using enough flame power to destroy a building.

You okay Annie?

Volcana’s display was apparently enough to drive the Wizard off. While Volcana made her statement to the police, she learned that a woman had been trampled by the stampeding crowd and taken to the hospital. Realizing that the injured woman was her friend Annie, Marsha asked the police to take her to Mercy Hospital to check on “the injured woman”.

Volcana attacks using a bulldozer's blade

Doom arrived in secret to personally monitor Volcana for further traces of the Molecule Man’s power. At first he detected nothing, but then Marsha arrived at the hospital. Unable to show her face for fear of revealing her identity, Volcana asked one of the policemen to go inside and check on things.

As she waited outside, her guilt and anxiety triggered another power surge. Again, Marsha felt nothing, but she subconsciously sent a wave of energy into the hospital. Annie and the other patients in the ER were all instantly healed.

Harsh mistress

Others in the hospital were also affected. And because it was New York City, a super-villain was in the hospital and was also healed. Moonstone (Dr. Karla Sofen) had broken her neck while battling the Avengers and had become a quadriplegic.

Suddenly fully restored (a healing which she erroneously attributed to the power of her moonstone), she smashed her way out of the hospital. The policeman waiting outside with Marsha tried to stop Moonstone, and the super-villain blasted at him. Marsha tackled the officer, knocking him out of the way of Moonstone’s blast.

She didn’t dare switch to her energy form while touching the police officer, but her dilemma triggered another subconscious use of Owen’s power. Thus Marsha suddenly had a new power of her own as she transformed into stone.

Doom realized that Reece’s “gift” would respond to any of Marsha’s subconscious needs, especially worries or fears, enabling Reece to “protect” her.

Volcana, in her stone form, battled Moonstone and managed to eke out a victory. Leaving Moonstone tied up for the police, Marsha left the scene to go home, where she could check on Annie without worrying about protecting her identity.

Doom was pleased that he had the key to accessing the power within Volcana, but determined to go slowly and carefully. He especially wanted to be sure that Kubik and the Shaper would not detect his activities and interfere again.

The Molecule Man Cometh!

Later (again, probably weeks or months), A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics, the criminal organization which created Earth’s cosmic cube) detected an energy transmission originating from interstellar space which dispersed over Denver, Colorado.

Volcana misses Storm with a fire blast during the Secret Wars

The energy was reminiscent of a cosmic cube. A.I.M. went on the alert.  They scoured Denver for clues to the purpose and destination of the energy transmission, eager for any opportunity to find or reproduce a cosmic cube.

A.I.M.’s vigilance paid off three weeks later, when they picked up Marsha Rosenberg returning for the first time to the apartment she had shared with Owen Reece. Marsha intended to clean it out at last, and move on from her loss. Instead…she found Owen Reece.

Advanced Idea Mechanics

He had been back for three weeks, ejected from the cube and returned to Earth when it had separated out his essence from his power. The powerless Reece was deeply depressed, and explained that he’d made no effort to contact Marsha because he no longer felt worthy of her. Both he and the apartment were a mess.

While Marsha tried to understand how Owen could have returned and not called her, A.I.M. monitored their conversation and verified that Reece had been connected with the cosmic cube, even though he was now powerless.

A.I.M. sent Klaw, whom they had coerced into service, to retrieve Reece for interrogation and examination. Klaw blasted his way into the apartment. When Marsha tried to protect Owen, Klaw grabbed her and threw her through the hole in the wall.

Volcana fell several stories but managed to stone-form before hitting the ground. Fighting back with everything she had, Volcana used both her stone form and her plasma form against Klaw, but he defeated her and was about to kill her. A.I.M. ordered him to bring her in for examination as well.

Defeat From the Ashes of Victory

As she was about to pass out, Volcana’s desperate need to save Owen triggered the power again, and she suddenly developed a third form, volcanic ash. This form, reminiscent of the Sandman or Quicksand, enabled her to escape her bonds and re-engage Klaw.

Surrounding him with a dust storm, she again tried to stop Klaw, but was again being defeated. She found herself wishing desperately that Owen had his powers back, and the cosmic energy within her surged to its highest level yet as the energy transferred itself from Marsha back into Owen.

Volcana in volcanic ash form

The newly empowered Molecule Man battled Klaw with Volcana’s help. Owen destroyed Klaw’s sonic blaster and seemed prepared to kill Klaw. But thinking him defeated, the posturing Reece dropped his guard. Klaw incapacitated Reece and dispersed Volcana’s ash form.

As the devices A.I.M. used to control him had been in the sonic blaster, he was now a free agent again. Believing Volcana and the Molecule Man dead, Klaw left to seek vengeance on A.I.M. Marsha managed to reintegrate her body and then passed out. Owen also survived, thanks to armor under his new costume, and got himself and Marsha home safely.

Reunited

When Marsha awoke, she began to question Owen. She was confused by his failure to contact her, and felt betrayed that she conveniently never knew about the power he’d given her until it was returned to him. She was also disturbed by how firmly his self-worth was tied to his powers, as Reece declared that now he could “care for you as you deserve.”

Marsha felt she was seeing the dark side of him for the first time, especially when she’d seen him ready to kill Klaw. Whatever side she’d been on in any battle, Marsha had mostly fought to protect herself and those she cared about. Her most vicious attacks in the Secret Wars had been to protect Owen.

Owen’s insecurity and power lust appalled her, and she found herself wondering if she’d ever known him.

As Marsha’s mother, brother, and friend Annie arrived at the apartment to check on her, Marsha asked Owen to leave. Her family thought he was dead, and they didn’t know that Owen and Marsha had super-powers. So Owen left, protesting his love and determined to renew their relationship, while she found herself grieving anew.

Marsha felt that what they once had together was gone for good…even moreso than when she believed he was dead.


Description

Marsha is a large woman, both extremely tall (6’ 5”) and “big-boned”. She has dark hair, worn down past her shoulders, and blue eyes.

When Doom transformed her into Volcana she was wearing a magenta one piece bathing suit. This bathing suit may be made of unstable molecules, as it transforms with her. In flaming form she is dark but crackles with yellow-white flames. Her hair is white hot and her eyes are filled with white hot energy, obscuring her pupils.

In stone form she is, well, made of stone. Hair, eyes, skin, and muscle all become rock, and her skeleton is composed of magnesium alloys. Her stone form is a bit craggy, not smooth like a statue, but all one piece, unlike the Thing.

Her ash form can apparently change shape, much like the Sandman, though she’s not demonstrated anything like his level of control.


Personality

Volcana’s basically a momma bear. She’s fairly nice, but if you threaten her or people she cares about, she’ll come after you, sometimes viciously.

Her most devastating attacks were during the Secret War on Battleworld, where she was under the influence of Doom’s aggression enhancement. At that time she was probably spending HPs as needed on her AV and EV, and was willing to attack foes like the She-Hulk from behind.

She’s not engaged in any known criminal activity since returning to Earth, and has several times aided superheroes and fought supervillains on her own. She shows concern for innocents and believes killing is wrong.

Volcana forming a volcanic ash cloud with her body

She was appalled to see the Molecule Man threaten Klaw’s life, and when fighting Klaw’s sound constructs thinks to herself that she doesn’t have to hold back since they’re not alive. By this point she seems right on the brink of becoming a superhero herself.

Volcana is a fairly strong person and pretty content with simple things. In her relationship with Owen Reece the two of them were positively sickening, using all sorts of ridiculous pet names like snoogleplums, cuddle-bunny, sweetsie-pie, etc. She usually called him “Owie” and he most often called her “Marshmallow” (ick).

But there was undeniably something a little sweet and naïve, almost child-like, about their relationship.

Other traits

But as Owen’s desire to “give her things” and “take care of her” shows, they had little real adult understanding of each other. Marsha certainly didn’t need to be taken care of, as she’s always been the most stable of the pair, and best able to come to terms with her losses.

She’s not shown any desire for wealth or “finer things” and seemed happy eating frozen dinners with her boyfriend in front of the television.

As a side-note, Marsha’s mother and brother live in Denver, too, and they seem fairly close. She’s not revealed her powers though, perhaps in part to protect Owen’s secret identity.

Her mom “nearly had a stroke” when Marsha began living with Owen before they married, and Marsha didn’t feel she could reveal that she wanted to be there to protect him against his enemies. On some level, it seems, she always feared that his past and his powers would endanger him.

It’s unclear what originally prompted her to accept Dr. Doom’s offer on Battleworld, but based on her personality, she may have been going along to protect her friend Mary (aka Titania). She watches out for her friends, she really doesn’t like bullies, and she will instantly take up for an underdog. Her battles with the Wizard and Moonstone fit this pattern, too.

She fights hard and while she’s inexperienced and sometimes naïve, she’s also fairly adaptable. She’s hardly what you’d call a brilliant combatant, and her “marshmallow” act with Reece made it difficult to take her seriously, but she’s not stupid.

She knows when to change a tactic that isn’t working and knows the basics, like playing possum and using the terrain to her advantage.


Quotes

Molecule Man: “Oh God, marshmallow, I love you ! More than my life itself ! But…you know how I see so much…”
Volcana: “I know, Snuggies ! I’ve always known… it could end !”

“I trust you, Owie… trust you to do what’s best for everybody !”

“I was always stronger than my cuddleplums… and if he could take it, then so can I !”

Police Officer: “Okay… so then the Wizard destroyed the building ?”
Volcana: “Well, sir… uh, not exactly ! See, I was trying to protect myself…and I kind of used… a little too much power…”

Moonstone: “This, officer, is what it is like to be awake and utterly powerless.” (Continues posturing and threatening a police officer.) “OUCH!”
Volcana (grabbing Moonstone’s leg with super-strength and throwing her): “What kind of a monster are you ?? Good thing I was only faking… you might have killed him !”

(Volcana, watching Moonstone pass through solid objects): “Did she – ? What just – ? She can – ? Oh, good ! What do I do now?”
Police Officer: “You are new at this, aren’t you?”

Moonstone: “So… you can take a lot of punishment ! I like that !”
Volcana: “Hmmph ! I’ll just bet you do !” (To herself: ) “Yyyuck ! My snappy comebacks need work.”

“Oh, please ! You don’t really expect this to stop me ?”


DC Universe History

If you bring the Molecule Man into the DCU, you’ve gotta bring Volcana along too! But she’s also easy to insert on her own. In Invasion! she might have been one of the 50 humans experimented on by Dominators, and gained her volcanic powers alongside the Blasters. It’s even easier to make her powers a result of the Gene Bomb.

Her powers are also reminiscent of the Will Payton Starman and the folks at the Hutchings Institute. A connection there could be interesting, as she’s arguably as non-human as Payton was.

Another good entry point might be during Panic in the Sky, when Brainiac invades Earth using Warworld. Warworld/Battleworld, mass fight scenes between lots of heroes and villains, yadda yadda yadda.

More possibilities

Another possibility, more in keeping with her 80s origins, is that she might have been empowered by the Monitor (or the Anti-Monitor?) during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Like the heroic Dr. Light and the Harbinger, she’d have been one of his agents. Maybe (wait for it) she even formed a relationship with Alex Luthor which ended when he disappeared into the dimensional void at the end of the Crisis.

Meeting up with him again during the Infinite Crisis has a similar negative outcome as her reunion with the Molecule Man did in the Marvel Universe.

Another option is to have her show up on Oa during the Mosaic period. Replace the Beyonder with the Old-Timer (the crazy Guardian snatching cities from all over the universe), put her in one of the Earth cities the Old-Timer brought to OA, and it should work ok.

You can either bring lots of heroes and villains along and re-enact a DCU version of the Secret War, or just import Marsha into John Stewart’s storyline. (Though honestly, I can’t imagine how they would interact. John Stewart has little in common with someone who goes around saying “snuggleplum” and “sweetsie-pie”!)


Misc. Universe History

Back during my days playing TSR’s Marvel Super-Heroes game (in the 1980s), one of my favorite modules was the Avengers Coast to Coast Sourcebook (MA2). It had everything you needed to create an Avengers Experimental Franchise (AEF), using unknown, unsung, or original heroes.

Mine was based in Texas on the Gulf Coast, not because I know anything about Texas, but to maintain symmetry. The “Gulf Coast Avengers” went well with the East Coast Avengers and West Coast Avengers, and were based just outside Houston.

My AEF lineup varied but included a homemade character unimaginatively named Omega (a sort of Homo Magi based on Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni novels ), Doc Samson, and of course Volcana.

I think at one point I wanted to add the Black Cat and maybe some defecting Soviet Super-Soldiers…it was a really odd line-up, now that I think about it.

T-bolts

At any rate, in some ways it anticipates the Thunderbolts as a central/western team partially composed of former criminals needing redemption. Volcana would have been a natural for the Thunderbolts, and her antagonistic history with Moonstone would’ve been interesting.

When the Tbolts first set up shop in Colorado, I figured Volcana was right around the corner…at least until Charcoal showed up with his very similar powers.



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Volcana

Dex: 06 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Thrill/Responsibility
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Day care center employee
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 013 HP: 035

Powers:
Flame Being: 08, Flame Immunity: 10, Flame Project: 15

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Flame Project has no Acting Value, use Dex instead (-1 to +0 FC depending on House Rules).
  • Flame Project has an effective Range of 2 APs (-1 FC).
  • Flame Being and Flame Immunity are Derived from Flame Project (-1 FC each).
  • Flame Being must be active to use Flame Project (+0).

Skills:
Medicine (First Aid): 03, Weaponry (Thrown): 05

Advantages:
Miscellaneous: Volcana’s powers don’t show up on many technological scans, even those as advanced as A.I.M.’s. When powered down she registers as a normal human being, and when in plasma, stone, or ash forms, she registers as an inanimate object.

Connections:
Molecule Man (High), Titania (Low – maybe).

Drawbacks:
Alter Egos (x3, Controllable – plasma, stone, and ash forms); MIA (protecting the weak); Secret Identity.

Equipment:
Bathing Suit [BODY 03, Bonus: the bathing suit, often worn under her regular clothes, transforms with her when she activates her various powers.]


But she’ll never break, never break, never break, never break this heart of stone

Initially Volcana’s fire form was her only Alter Ego. The next to emerge, years later, is a body composed of various types of volcanic rock overlaid on a magnesium skeleton. In this form she has the following stats:

Dex: 06 Str: 10 Bod: 10 Motivation: Thrill/Responsibility
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Day care center employee
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 013 HP: 035

Powers:
Molecular Chameleon: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:
Molecular Chameleon needs no material to copy (+3 FC), but only transforms her into volcanic rock (BC 30, FC -2), and is Always On in this form (no points for this since it is her Alter Ego).


Now watch me rise up and leave all the ashes you made out of me,
When you said that we were wrong, life goes on, look how wrong I could be

Volcana’s third and last form is composed of volcanic ashes, which she controls in a manner similar to the Sandman or Quicksand. In this form use the following stats:

Dex: 06 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Thrill/Responsibility
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Day care center employee
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 013 HP: 035

Powers:
Fluid Form: 06, Invulnerability: 10, Self-link (Earth Control): 08, Skin Armor: 02, Stretching: 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Fluid Form allows Partial Solidification (+1).
  • Invulnerability is Physical only (+0).
  • Self-Link (Earth Control) is actually a self-linked ash form (+0). See the Powers section below for details.
  • Skin Armor is vs. kinetic attacks (punches, hits, some kinds of Mental Blast, etc.) only, not energy attacks (+0).

I don’t know where I’m a gonna go, When the volcano blow

Dr. Doom implanted subcutaneous monitoring devices in Volcana which enable him to locate and observe her at any time. At least one unconfirmed report indicates that these devices can be triggered to stimulate the aggression centers of Marsha’s brain, giving her the equivalent of Minor Rage and perhaps a Minor Irrational Attraction to combat.

There’s some support for this notion, as Volcana was more aggressive and dangerous during the Secret War than she has been in subsequent appearances. She didn’t hesitate to Blindside opponents, striking out at full force and, when angry, spending HPs freely to enhance her attacks.

Her raw power was impressive, and she was able to take down durable, A-list heroes like She-Hulk, Iron Man (Jim Rhodes in the Golden Avenger armor), and Wolverine. She started off with 45 HPs back then.

Doom’s own thoughts connect her aggression with the treatment that gave her super-powers, rather than his monitoring implants, and I suspect the effects have long since worn off. She’s not nearly as vicious as she used to be, and in her later battles with Moonstone and Klaw she tries to think her way through problems rather than erupting in an angry show of force.

By Chris Cottingham.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe.

Helper(s): OHOTMU Deluxe edition #14 (January 1987), Eric Langendorff, Darci (editor supreme), Pufnstuff (tire-tossing), Skylord163.

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