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What the D'ast? Marrina

Posted By: Wonder Worlock
Fri, 06/17/2011 - 12:16

 (Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with Marvel Cosmic and its many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)

picMarrina started out with an innocent and enthusiastic nature in the pages of John Byrne’s well-remembered Alpha Flight and ended her life (I guess) one of the many dark tragedies in the life of the first mutant, Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Along the way, there was happiness and heartbreak for this amphibious alien.

Marrina was a member of the alien Plodex, a species which sends its eggs to various planets. When the eggs hatch, young Plodex are born and take the forms of the native species they encounter.

The egg which would become Marrina was unlucky by Plodex standards. The egg landed in the Atlantic Ocean about 40,000 years ago, at the turn between the Middle Paleolithic and the Upper Paleolithic and remained dormant for thousands of years. The egg, containing the genetic material that would become Marrina, became water-permeable; this permeability was responsible for her adaptations to aquatic environments.

The egg was found by fisherman Tom Smallwood as he was drowning during a storm. He was drawn to its glowing nature and compelled to free it from the ocean floor and it proved to be buoyant enough to bring him to the surface and thus save his life. Tom took it home to Newfoundland, Canada. The egg was opened prematurely by his wife Gladys Smallwood, causing Marrina to imprint a human female form. The genetic code of the human beings who touched it were added to the Plodex DNA, giving Marrina her female humanoid appearance. She was but an infant who needed raising like any other of her age. The childless Smallwoods accepted her as their own daughter and she matured well in the small town who were equally welcoming.

She left home as an adolescent of 16 years of age to join Beta Flight, a team of super-heroes trained and funded by the Canadian government. After performing well in Beta Flight, Marrina was promoted to Alpha Flight, although her field duties only began after the team went freelance. She then learned of her alien origin when captured by the Master,  and was rescued by Alpha Flight and Namor. After being a member of Alpha Flight for a time, Marrina was captured by Attuma and reverted to savagery for the first time but overcame it. Marrina left Alpha Flight to marry her lover, Namor, She served alongside him on Avengers missions and received honorary membership, and also served as the queen of Deluvia.

When she became pregnant, the Plodex DNAreacted to her condition by turning her into a savage beast in the North Atlantic Ocean, a Leviathan. Namor was forced to slay, impaling her with the Black Knight’s enchanted Ebony Blade.

However, Llan the Sorcerer later told the self-proclaimed Master of the World that, “Now she sleeps a false death under the waves.” This fact was revisited later when Warbird broke into the Master's lair where (unseen by Warbird) Marrina's body floated in a watery tank.

Marrina resurfaces in Norman Osborn’s custody, and he uses her as an endgame plan against Namor, who had recently betrayed him and allied with the X-Men. How she came to be his prisoner is unknown; however, Osborn reveals that he had her DNAspliced and modified, making her a leviathan/snake-like being, driven by a hunger that can only be satiated with Atlantean blood. Once released, Marrina wreaks havoc in the undersea kingdom, injuring many and killing even more.

Namor and the X-Men devise a plan: using Majik’s and Pixie’s teleportational powers, they transport all of the Atlanteans across the globe leaving Namor as the sole bait. Once she approaches the X-Men's new base, Utopia, Namor realizes who she is. The Stepford Cuckoos scan her mind, revealing that there is nothing but rage, hunger and hate. Having no choice, they engage her. Eventually Namor drags a weakened Marrina underwater, where he performs a mercy killing, ending Marrina's life. Namor then flew her corpse to Avengers Tower and threw her through the window of Norman Osborn's office.

A sad ending for a life that knew little happiness in adulthood. A shame.