Moondragon

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Moondragon
Moondragon.jpg
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance As Madam MacEvil
Iron Man (1st series) #54 (January 1973)
As Moondragon
Daredevil (1st series) #105 (November 1973)
Created by Bill Everett
Mike Friedrich
George Tuska
Jim Starlin
In-story information
Alter ego Heather Douglas
Team affiliations Infinity Watch
Defenders
Avengers
Guardians of the Galaxy
Notable aliases Madame MacEvil, H.D. Steckley
Abilities Enormously powerful telepath
Low-level telekinetic
Master martial artist
Highly skilled geneticist and engineer.
Experienced starship pilot

Moondragon is a fictional character in Marvel Comics Universe. A vastly powerful telepath, master martial artist, minor telekinetic, and highly skilled geneticist, Moondragon's most notable characteristics are her shaved head, superiority complex, and gruelling elite excellence in virtually every area a human being can achieve.

Unlike most Marvel characters, who have gained their paranormal abilities through birth or accident Moondragon has strictly achieved her extraordinary talents through extreme degrees of personal regimen. She is openly bisexual, and has been romantically attracted to Daredevil, Thor, Cloud, Quasar, Marlo Chandler, and Phyla-Vell.

Publication history[edit]

Moondragon first appeared in Iron Man (1st series) #54 (January, 1973). The issue was scripted by Bill Everett (creator of the Sub-Mariner) and Mike Friedrich and drawn by Everett and George Tuska.

She is somewhat infamous for mentally enslaving Thor to be her lover, along with unwillingly committing patricide, in a storyline scripted by Jim Shooter.[1]

Fictional character biography[edit]

Origin[edit]

Heather Douglas was born in Los Angeles, California, daughter of Arthur and Yvette Steckley Douglas. When Heather was still a girl, her father was driving her and her mother through the desert when they accidentally happened to see the spaceship of Thanos land; the space villain didn't want any witnesses, so he blew up their car. Heather was thrown clear and survived, but her parents were killed. (She would later discover that her father's soul was bound into a new body, becoming Drax the Destroyer.) She was found by Thanos' father, Mentor, who took her to his home world, Titan, to be raised by the monks of Shao-Lom.[2]

From the monks, Heather developed her physical body to its full potential, becoming a formidable martial artist. They taught Heather various scientific disciplines such as chemistry and genetic engineering; but most significantly, they helped Heather tap into her latent psionic powers, present within all humans. Heather was able to develop her mental powers far beyond even those of her teachers, so much so that she eventually mentally contacted a powerful entity called the Dragon of the Moon. The Dragon immediately tried to corrupt and take her over, but she fought back, driving the Dragon away. This filled her with pride and an overwhelming sense of superiority. To commemorate her victory, she took the name Moondragon. Unknown to Heather, the Dragon subtly continued to influence her on a subconscious level.[volume & issue needed]

Heather's choice of the name Moondragon caused an uproar amongst the monks of Shao-Lom, so much so that Mentor had to confront her on the matter. After the confrontation, Moondragon was approached by Runner, one of the Elders of the Universe. Runner took Moondragon on a tour of the universe, showing her its fantastic sights and wonders. Runner eventually took Moondragon to the surface of a sun. He informed her that the sun would go nova in several years. Moondragon pointed out to Runner that the sun harbored an inhabited planet and that they should warn the inhabitants. Runner regretfully responded that, when he chose the path of freedom, he lost the option to interfere with others' destinies. Moondragon argued "What good is freedom" when it only leads to death. When Runner failed to answer her satisfactorily, she requested to be brought back home.[volume & issue needed]

Sometime later, Thanos attacked Titan, destroying the monastery and the Shao-Lom monks. Moondragon escaped in her spaceship and fled to Earth.[2]

Alliances against Thanos and Korvac[edit]

She first returned to Earth under the guise of "Madam MacEvil" for the purpose of developing means to combat Thanos; this led to the creation of villains like Angar the Screamer, Ramrod, and the Dark Messiah.[3] In her first appearance, she forced Iron Man to battle Namor, to study them.[4] She then revealed her true identity and helped the Avengers in their first confrontation with Thanos. She met the heroine Hellcat and took her to Titan so she could train her.[volume & issue needed]

She battled Daredevil, but was nearly killed by her ex-ally Kerwin J. Broderick.[2] She restored Daredevil's sight briefly by her alien pressure point skills, and then first met Captain Mar-Vell. She aided them against Angar, the Dark Messiah, and Terrex.[5] She fell in love with Daredevil, but then returned to outer space. She aided Captain Mar-Vell, Drax, and the Avengers against Thanos.[6]

Moondragon was one of the three candidates to be the "Celestial Madonna" who was prophesied to give birth to a universal savior, but she lost to Mantis.[7] She then became an adventurer, and joined the Avengers.[8] Although her time with the team was short,[9] she again aided the Avengers against Thanos.[10]

Moondragon was present when the Avengers confronted Korvac; her powers allowed her to see into his mind while they fought, and she decided that his goal of saving the universe by ruling it was noble; she stayed out of the battle until Korvac, dejected, committed suicide.[11]

Paths of corruption and redemption[edit]

Moondragon left Earth with her father (who was now Drax) and found a planet immersed in war, so she decided to take mental control of all its inhabitants to force them to live in peace, setting herself up as their "peace goddess". Drax summoned the Avengers to intervene and in the resultant confrontation, Moondragon was forced to kill her father with her mental powers. Afterwards, Thor took her before a real god—his father, Odin, to be judged.[12] Odin perceived within Moondragon a stalwart but tainted spirit. He condemned her to wear a magical headband that would reduce her mental powers until she had overcome her arrogance and learned humility. He also assigned The Valkyrie to be her guardian[13]

When Valkyrie rejoined the Defenders, Moondragon was forced to come along.[13] At first, she sent out low level telepathic signals, luring threats to the vicinity of the Defenders' headquarters, hoping that one of these threats would remove her headband, or force the Defenders to remove the headband so she may use her powers to aid them unhindered. One of those who responded to her telepathic suggestions turned out to be a man infected with mutated spores. Even though the Defenders managed to defeat this threat, it would later turn out to be Moondragon's undoing.[volume & issue needed]

Despite the fact that Moondragon resented being with the Defenders, she really wanted to be accepted by them as a good person. In an encounter with Asgardian trolls, Moondragon resisted the temptation of letting the trolls and the Dragon of the Moon remove her headband, thus proving herself to Odin, who promptly let the headband fall off.[14]

This personal victory was short-lived, for soon after the Defenders had to fight the spawns of the mutated spores they have fought months before. The spawns soon coalesced into a single gargantuan monster, which Moondragon vanquished with the help of the Gargoyle. Unknown to Moondragon, in doing so, she was infected with the mutated spores. She did not find out about the infection until weeks later, when the spores had supplanted a good portion of her own internal organs.[15] The Dragon of the Moon appeared again and told her it could save her life, but only if she agreed to be its host. Moondragon initially turned down its offer, knowing that it will use her to kill the Defenders. The Dragon then mocked Moondragon's sentimentality by showing her what the other Defenders were saying about her behind her back even though she had reformed. Finally overwhelmed with pain, she accepted. Now totally corrupted, Moondragon battled the Defenders, until Andromeda, Interloper, Manslaughter, and Valkyrie sacrificed themselves to kill both her and the Dragon.[16]

Heather's soul managed to survive, and, now free from the Dragon again, contacted her cousin Pamela; through her, she was able to obtain a new body for herself, a clone created on Titan.[17] For a while, she and her cousin, who became the heroine Sundragon, adventured together in space.[18]

Cosmic cohort[edit]

After Quasar was appointed Protector of the Universe, Moondragon insinuated herself into his life. She became an engineer and saleswoman for Vaughn Security Systems at one point. She was convinced that in time Quasar would realize they were eminently qualified to form the universe's most cosmic coupling. Quasar, however, asserted that qualifications have nothing to do with feelings and rebuffed her. She eventually got the message and lost interest in him.[volume & issue needed]

When Adam Warlock sought people to help him safeguard the Infinity Gems, he chose Moondragon to keep the Mind Gem—but only after erecting safeguards so Moondragon could not exploit the gem's full power. Still, she agreed to join his team, the Infinity Watch.[19] She eventually lost the gem when it was stolen by Rune.[volume & issue needed]

Moondragon later became an associate of Genis (the third Captain Marvel), determined to help him control his cosmic awareness. During this time, she fell in love with Marlo Chandler, the wife of Rick Jones (whom Captain Marvel was bonded to). The two eloped on a lesbian relationship to the reluctant understanding of Rick, with whom Marlo was having marital problems anyway. Sometime later, Marlo got over her feelings for Moondragon, and decided to return to Rick. Moondragon told her she must have accidentally prodded her telepathically into the relationship, but this was a lie to make the break-up easier. In truth, Moondragon was heartbroken; she left shortly after with Phyla-Vell.[volume & issue needed]

Annihilation[edit]

In the Annihilation miniseries, Moondragon and Phyla-Vell have returned, visiting the graves of Mar-Vell and Genis-Vell. At that time though, Thanos appeared, and kidnapped Moondragon, using her as a hostage to draw out Drax the Destroyer for an unknown purpose. Also, as she was infected with the Annihilation Wave parasites, she is forced to reveal Annihilus' plan to destroy all life in the universe which he would rule. Thanos then causes her to regurgitate the parasites, having no interest in Annihilus' plan. However Thanos' plan for revenge was cut short as Drax rushes off to save his daughter, which he did by ripping Thanos heart out, just as he was about to save the universe from Annihilus. However, Drax and Moondragon then manage to free the Silver Surfer, who in turn helps free Galactus, destroying Annihlus' plans. Galactus then teleports away Drax and Moondragon. Moondragon "loses track" of Drax, and is reunited with Phyla-Vell.[volume & issue needed]

Annihilation: Conquest[edit]

In Quasar: Annihilation: Conquest, the love of Phyla and Moondragon was explored in depth. Due to the Phalanx taking over the Kree Empire, Phyla and Heather had to find the 'savior' that was shown to Quasar (Phyla). They came across the Adaptoid who was absorbed by the Phalanx and set to prevent the ladies from finding the savior. During the battle Moondragon had to change to a dragon, like the 'Dragon of the Moon' she had to fight most of her life. Moondragon cannot change back to her human form any more. Moondragon and Phyla follow a voice Phyla hears, to find the savior for the Kree race which is being attacked by the Phalanx. In the end it turns out 'the voice' is the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree. Thanks to the Supreme Intelligence they find a cocoon, in which Adam Warlock is restoring. The cocoon breaks open and Phyla and Moondragon ask Warlock to help them fighting against the Phalanx. Shortly after, the Phalanx arrives, led by the murderous android Ultron. Moondragon attempts to protect Phyla and Ultron responds by plunging his arm into her chest. Heather dies shortly after in Phyla's arms.[20]

Sometime later, Phyla and Drax are alerted by a prophet that Moondragon may be attempting to return. Mentor concludes that this may be the case, and so kills the two of them so that they may journey into the realm of the dead to retrieve her. Phyla saves Moondragon from the gullet of the Dragon of the Moon, and they return to life.[21]

Guardians of the Galaxy[edit]

After her resurrection, Moondragon joined Phyla back at Knowhere and was accepted as an unofficial member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.[22] She assisted Cosmo and Mantis as part of the telepathic support team. Her resurrection left her mind more open than it had been before her death, as she was able to detect things before either Mantis or Cosmo did. Her increased sensitivity also left her more vulnerable to psychic manipulation by Starhawk, who had her released from her confinement.[volume & issue needed]

With Phyla's death at the hands of Adam Magus, Moondragon has taken it upon herself to become a field agent in the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, she became host to a xenoform originating from another universe at the end of the Fault, a time-space tear created by Black Bolt's T-Bomb. Worse, she was biometrically cuffed by Cynosure, leader of the Luminals (an organization of heroic alien superhumans from the planet, Xarth III), who was intending to have the creature tried for killing one of her fellow Luminals. To top things off, members of the Church of Universal Truth kidnapped Moondragon and Cynosure, seeing the xenoform as a god, whom they intend to birth. Luckily, the Guardians and Luminals mounted a joint rescue attempt and extracted the two. With Knowhere's medical staff's help, they were able to remove the xenoform from Moondragon. During these experiences, Moondragon had visions of a cocoon and Phyla being alive.[23]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Heather Douglas is a human who has accessed her full psionic potential through extreme training under the Titanian monks of Shao-Lom. She is also highly educated in Titanian science, and is a master martial artist.

Moondragon primarily possesses tremendous telepathic abilities, that arguably make her the most powerful known Earth-born telepath in the Marvel Universe, which, among other feats, have enabled her to control the population of an entire planet to stop an ongoing war, while enslaving the thunder god Thor as her personal lover.[1] She has demonstrated willpower and spiritual strength rivalling that of Thanos,[24] or the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange,[25] pierced the psionic shields of the cosmic entity Galactus to enable communication, without apparent effort (whereas Professor X and Magneto together could not rouse the latter's attention) and when borrowing her abilities Thanos almost managed to overwhelm the Devourer.[26]

Beyond communication and control of other minds, she can induce mental illusions, cause personality changes, and erase specific memories. She can also fire bolts of psionic energy as concussive blasts that can either stun an opponent or render an opponent brain dead.

She is also a low-level telekinetic, an ability that lets her move and manipulate most physical matter by using only her thoughts, levitate herself and others, create shields of psychic force, and fire concussive psychokinetic energy blasts, with sufficient strength to affect steel.

Moondragon has undergone extreme levels of training in the Titanian martial arts, as well as mental disciplines allowing her near-complete control over her body, including autonomic functions such as heart beat, bleeding, and breathing, as well as awareness of pain. She has honed her strength, speed, stamina, agility and reflexes to her highest limits. Her martial arts skills have even allowed her to beat Captain America,[27] and Mantis, in hand-to-hand combat.[28]

Heather possesses a genius intellect and is extremely knowledgeable in various areas of advanced Titanian scientific disciplines such as genetics and bionics, and has been able to upgrade the cyborgs Ramrod,[volume & issue needed] and Angar the Screamer,[volume & issue needed] and restore Daredevil's eyesight,[volume & issue needed]. She is also a highly skilled starship pilot.

She has demonstrated the ability to assume the form of her namesake, a fire-breathing dragon capable of surviving in outer space, traversing interstellar distances.[20] However, it is unclear if she retains this ability after her latest resurrection.

Moondragon's powers are not without weaknesses. For instance, Rick Jones was able to stop Moondragon's telepathy by taping her to a chair, covering her eyes and mouth with duct tape, and placing headphones on her ears which blasted deafening Limp Bizkit Nu metal music. This caused Moondragon to lose touch with her senses and concentration, thus leaving her powerless.[29]

Moondragon also suffers from emotional instability due to her isolated upbringing and intense superiority complex, which alienated her from her environment. This sometimes caused her to coerce decisions or render ruthless judgment. However, more positive later relationships have helped her emotional state, particularly her relationship with Phyla-Vell, which has allowed her to be more open and compassionate towards others.

During the early 1990s, she gained possession of the "mind gem," which enhanced her psionic powers to an unknown, potentially unlimited degree.[volume & issue needed] Adam Warlock had apparently instituted some unknown safeguards within the gem to prevent her from misusing it.[volume & issue needed]

Other versions[edit]

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

In the first issue of the Ultimate Extinction arc, as part of the Ultimate Marvel line, a bald woman with a dragon tattoo and considerable martial arts prowess attacks Misty Knight. A computer database later identifies the woman as Heather Douglas, who has been dead for decades.[30]

This woman is revealed to be a clone of the original Heather Douglas. There are in fact hundreds of these clones (as well as male equivalent, bald clones of an unnamed man). These clones were created by a cult that worships Gah Lak Tus (the Ultimate version of Galactus). They try to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. and face the Ultimates and the X-Men while other heroes attempt to deal with the threat of Gah Lak Tus.[31]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In the original Marvel Zombies series, Moondragon is briefly seen as one of the many infected heroes.[volume & issue needed]

Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four[edit]

Moondragon runs a "Hall of Magic Mirrors" in a carnival. She aids the Fantastic Four in battling Baron Mordo in this wordless tale.[32]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Moondragon appears in the X-Men animated series episode "Beyond Good and Evil" Pt. 3, in a non-speaking role.

Video games[edit]

Parody[edit]

  • Moondragon also appeared in the MAD episode "Captain America's Got Talent", voiced by Rachel Ramras. She was on her computer stating she was an Avenger for 22 seconds as read on her computer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Avengers #219-220 (May-June, 1982)
  2. ^ a b c Daredevil #105
  3. ^ Dark Messiah at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  4. ^ Iron Man #54
  5. ^ Daredevil #106-107
  6. ^ Captain Marvel #31-33
  7. ^ Giant-Size Avengers #4
  8. ^ Avengers #137
  9. ^ Avengers #151 (September 1976)
  10. ^ Avengers Annual #7; Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2
  11. ^ Avengers #177 (November 1978)
  12. ^ Jim Shooter (w), Bob Hall (p), Dan Green, Steve Mitchell, et al. (i). "War Against the Gods!" Avengers, The 220 (June 1982), Marvel Comics
  13. ^ a b .J M DeMatteis (w), Don Perlin, Kim DeMulder (p). "Darkness on the Edge of Time" Defenders, The 124 (October 1983), Marvel Comics
  14. ^ Peter Gillis (w), Don Perlin (p), Kim DeMulder (i). "Hungry Like the Wolf" Defenders, The 139 (January 1985), Marvel Comics
  15. ^ Peter Gillis (w), Don Perlin (p), Kim DeMulder (i). "All Flesh is Grass" Defenders, The 141 (January 1985), Marvel Comics
  16. ^ Peter Gillis (w), Don Perlin (p), Dell Barras (i). "The End of All Songs" Defenders 152 (February 1986), Marvel Comics
  17. ^ Peter Gillis (w), Don Perlin (p), Jack Abel (i). "Seconds" Solo Avengers 16 (March 1989), Marvel Comics
  18. ^ Peter Gillis (w), James Brock (p), Roy Richardson (i). "The Sun and the Moon" Solo Avengers 20 (July 1989), Marvel Comics
  19. ^ Warlock and the Infinity Watch #2
  20. ^ a b Annihilation: Conquest #2
  21. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #9-12
  22. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy #13
  23. ^ Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 #19-24
  24. ^ Captain Marvel vol.1, #31 (March, 1974)
  25. ^ Infinity Abyss #3 (Sep, 2002)
  26. ^ Thanos #3 (Dec, 2003); Secret Wars #5, (Sep, 1984)
  27. ^ Warlock and the Infinity Watch #27
  28. ^ Fantastic Four Annual #25 (1992)
  29. ^ Captain Marvel vol.5, #6 (March, 2003)
  30. ^ Ultimate Extinction #2
  31. ^ Ultimate Extinction #5
  32. ^ Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #43

External links[edit]