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Marissa as seen in the original series
|First appearance||"Five Faces of Darkness" (Part 2)|
|Last appearance||"The Burden Hardest to Bear"|
|Portrayed by||Susan Blu (English)
Kazue Komyia (Japanese)
|Occupation||Ally to the Autobots.|
|Significant other(s)||Jazz (The Transformers)
Optimus Prime (Transformers: Kiss Players)
|Relatives||Flint (G.I. Joe) (father)
Lady Jaye (G.I. Joe) (mother)
Marissa Faireborn (occasionally misspelled "Fairborne") is a fictional character from the Transformers series. A human female, she holds the rank of captain in the Earth Defense Command, a military organization helping the Autobots fight against the evil Decepticons. In some interpretations, she is depicted as an unlikely love interest for Autobots such as Jazz (G.I. Joe/Transformers), and, more prolifically, Optimus Prime (Kiss Players).
Marissa debuted in the 5-part mini-series "Five Faces of Darkness", travelling to Jupiter's moon, Io, in order to rescue the stranded Autobots Blurr and Wheelie. The lipoles that were native to the moon destroyed her spacecraft, however, leaving her stranded with them until Sky Lynx arrived to rescue them, fending off an attack by Predaking.
Marissa was later captured for study by a Quintesson scientist, along with Ultra Magnus, Cyclonus and Wreck-Gar, but when the entire group was trapped in a negative universe beyond a black hole, they all worked together to liberate themselves. The Quintessons crept into Marissa's life again when she was briefly reverted into a baby by unstable chronal energy leaking from a malfunctioning Quintesson time portal.
Marissa had a very brief tumultuous fling with smuggler Dirk Manus, as the smuggler both used her to further his own deals with the Quintessons, and aided her against them. It is apparent that both Marissa and Manus cared about each other to some degree, but although Manus avoided arrest, Marissa did manage to switch his ill-gotten gains with counterfeit "mimic dust", which made even Manus laugh; the straight-and-narrow law enforcement officer had conned a conner.
Marissa's final appearance saw her aiding the Autobots' diplomatic relations in Japan.
As Marissa was a character conceived uniquely for the animated series, she did not make any appearances in the original 1980s Marvel Comics Transformers series. However, she finally made her first appearance on the printed page in the 21st century reimagining of the G1 universe by Dreamwave Productions.
Holding the rank of Commander, rather than Captain, Marissa is again portrayed as a member of the EDC, which in Dreamwave continuity clandestinely handles terrestrial/extraterrestrial encounters. Following the Transformers' return to activity on Earth after a period of absence in the early 21st century, the EDC stepped in to control the situation, capturing Warpath and Bumper, along with the bodies of several deactivated Autobots who had previously been attacked by Bruticus. Taking them to their subterranean desert base, the EDC reactivated Jazz, Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, who joined with Warpath, Bumper and Marissa in investigating the mysterious events going on in the town of San Desto, which turned out to be the hive of the Insecticons. The Insecticons' plans were stopped, but Marissa's superior officer did not share her fondness for the Transformers.
Dreamwave's bankruptcy and subsequent closure left remaining stories of Marissa Faireborn untold.
In the "Kiss Players♥" story line Marissa (メリッサ/Romanized as Melissa) is a young American woman from New York, where she met and became friends with Shao-Shao Li. As a child, she resented her military father, and when she was once rescued by Optimus Prime, she quickly came to view the Autobot leader as both a father figure and more. Ten years later, she joined a (possibly all-female) commando resistance movement and attempted to steal Prime's corpse from the Earth Defense Command. When the rest of her strike team was taken by surprise and slaughtered, Marissa elected herself as the backup plan. She quickly sliced the clothes off the Kiss Players who stood in her way, but was briefly incapacitated when struck from behind by a Kremzeek bullet fired by a nearby Autrooper. Hurling her knife through the air, she cut open Prime's trailer and discovered his body...only to see the Autrooper summarily eject its Kiss Player partner and begin to fuse with the Autobot's corpse. Marissa kissed Prime, fusing with him and triggering a transformation that restored him to life and upgraded his body into its Dodge Ram SRT 10 form. Now the two travel together, battling Legion agents and eluding both the E.D.C. and Hot Rod, who believes to be an impostor.
Marissa wears various skull-themed accessories. As they have a pattern of renaming one another's possessions, Optimus Prime has dubbed the design on her shirt "The Three Skull Brothers". She has been known to carry several knives, at least one of which is sharp enough to slice through reinforced metal when hurled through the air.
Marissa considers Optimus Prime to be her boyfriend, and merges with him to share her knife-wielding skills by kissing him. Marissa is also a professional surfer, this comes in handy as her surfboard doubles as a knife.
When abducted by the Quintessons in the animated series episode, "The Killing Jar", Marissa is duped by a hologram of her father—Commander Faireborn. For a long time, fans have suspected the G.I. Joe character Flint (Real Name: Dashiell R. Faireborn) as being Marissa's father. He is never actually identified by name in the episode, but aside from the obvious connection of sharing a last name, he is voiced by the same actor, Bill Ratner, and is visually designed to look like an aged version of the character. Consequently, it is theorized that Marissa's mother could be Flint's paramour, Lady Jaye. The 20th Anniversary edition DVD of The Transformers: The Movie provides a commentary that confirms this fact—Sunbow's writers had indeed always imagined her as the daughter of the two G.I. Joe characters.
In the Dreamwave comics, the connection between Flint and Marissa is not so cleanly drawn—the G1 comics instead make reference to her grandfather, Nathaniel Faireborn, who established the EDC. Then, in the second Transformers vs. G.I. Joe miniseries—which, it is important to note, is not set in the same continuity as the G1 series—a relative of Flint's is cited, named Nathaniel, although it is never stated that he is his father. Though this could just be because Flint is a G.I. Joe character, and that property is handled by Devil's Due.
The season 3 episodes are set in 2006 and Captain Faireborn is at least 20 years old requiring her to have been born no later than 1986. As Lady Jaye was not said to have been pregnant or have had a child up through the conclusion of the Sunbow G.I. Joe series in 1987, her potential parentage by Flint and Lady Jaye can be considered a continuity error.
IDW Comics has recently acquired the license to G.I. Joe and already publishes Transformers, so perhaps some closure may eventually be reached on this matter.
- Kiss Players Convoy x Melissa (2006)
- Available only as part of the headliner Kiss Players set, Marissa's first-ever toy is a soft-plastic PVC figurine with a permanent pucker, designed mainly to sit demurely on the robot-mode shoulder of her partner Convoy. Marissa comes with several interchangeable limbs; a pair of legs bent at the knee to allow her to perch on Prime's shoulder or sit in his driver's seat, a pair of straight legs to allow her stand upright (but only with the aid of the small stand included), a set of straight arms, and a set of arms bent at the elbow to allow her mime the act of placing her hands on Prime's steering wheel while she's sitting in him. She comes with a surfboard that becomes either Optimus Prime's "Surfblade" sword or a pair of long serrated knives. The set also comes with a CD containing the first 5 episodes of the Kiss Players radio drama and the exclusive 10-minute audio story, "Someday, Under the Sun". This set was originally intended for release in the Binaltech Asterisk line as "Black Convoy meets Marissa", but was cancelled due to low sales of the previous toys before it was even officially solicited. How much difference there is between the planned Asterisk version of Marissa and the final Kiss Players version is currently unknown.