Marlo Chandler

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Marlo Chandler
Marlo Chandler, from The Incredible Hulk #417 (May 1994). Art by Gary Frank and Cam Smith.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceThe Incredible Hulk #347 (September 1988)
Created byPeter David (writer - artist)
In-story information
Full nameMarlo Chandler Jones
Supporting character ofHulk
Captain Marvel
Notable aliasesHarpy
"Death Substitute"
AbilitiesExpert gymnast and swimmer however in extreme circumstances such as in chaos war she is able to rekindle her connection with death and access the powers of Mistress Death
As Harpy:
Superhuman strength and durability
Energy bolt projection
Reality manipulation via "death wish" power

Marlo Chandler is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Peter David, she first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #347 (September 1988), and became an ongoing supporting character, first in that book, and later in the Captain Marvel series published between 1999–2004. She is the wife of Rick Jones, a perennial sidekick to the Incredible Hulk, and was a best friend to Betty Ross, the wife of Hulk's alter ego Bruce Banner.

In keeping with her introduction during a storyline in which the Hulk was involved with organized crime, Marlo's name combines the surnames of fictional detective Philip Marlowe (e.g. Marlo) and his creator Raymond Chandler.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Marlo first appeared as an aerobics and swimming instructor and was a love interest for the casino security enforcer "Joe Fixit", in reality the Hulk, believed dead, and now living incognito, his true identity unknown to Marlo.[volume & issue needed] She ended their relationship after seeing him brutally kill an enemy.[volume & issue needed] They later reconciled after Hulk reached out to her in a rare display of emotion and their relationship was able to end in a more amicable way.[volume & issue needed]

She later appeared as the girlfriend of Rick Jones, the Hulk's sidekick, and best friend to his alter ego, Bruce Banner.[volume & issue needed] She met Rick while he was on a book tour promoting his memoir, Sidekick. It was only when Rick, not knowing of Marlo's previous relationship with the Hulk, introduced her to Bruce and his wife Betty, that Marlo discovered that Mr. Fixit was really the Hulk, and that Bruce was not merely his friend, but his alter ego.[volume & issue needed]

Shortly after this introduction - Marlo assuring Betty that she had nothing to be jealous about as Bruce and Joe were two distinct people and Bruce had been unswervingly loyal to Betty - the psychiatrist Doc Samson managed to integrate the various personalities of the Hulk, resulting in a being that now possessed a permanent Hulk body with Bruce's face and intelligence. When Betty expressed skepticism of a continued relationship with this new version of her husband, she moved in with Marlo, with whom she became best friends.[volume & issue needed]

Marlo was stabbed to death by Jackie Shorr, a deranged woman who claimed to be Rick's biological mother who had abandoned him at a young age.[volume & issue needed] Rick eventually employed the technology of the Hulk villain known as Leader, who managed to revive Marlo. She did not come back all the way at first; she spent some time in a near vegetative state.[volume & issue needed]

Rick and Marlo eventually married, although the wedding was nearly called off. At his bachelor party, Rick discovered a soft porn film that featured Marlo stripping nude at the beach, one of several such films she appeared in, just after she had finished high school.[volume & issue needed] The couple quickly reconciled, thanks to the Hulk's intervention, and they went on with the marriage. Every supervillain from Kree to Mephisto appeared at her wedding, due to the machinations of the Impossible Man.[volume & issue needed] The two even became famous while hosting a successful talk show called Keeping up with the Joneses. During this time they would drift in and out of the Hulk series, making numerous appearances. During this time Marlo and Betty Banner (wife of Bruce Banner) became close friends and even lived together for a while until Betty's untimely death.[volume & issue needed]

Marlo and Rick separated for a time, and she occupied herself with running the couple's Los Angeles-area comic book store.[volume & issue needed] She and Rick reunited shortly after he was bonded with Genis-Vell the son of the original Captain Marvel, who took on that mantle himself.[volume & issue needed] Soon after, Marlo was menaced by the Wendigo, a cannibalistic monster. She was saved by the Hulk.[volume & issue needed] During the Captain Marvel series, Marlo became possessed by the personification of Death. The large amount of cosmic powers leave her with a literal death wish, which manifests itself as reality changing to suit Marlo's desires.[volume & issue needed] Later, after coming to understand the situation, this talent goes away when she wishes for it to be gone.[volume & issue needed] The comic store itself often had stories featuring real-life incidents happening to Marlo and Rick. Marlo spent much of the time annoyed by a chain-smoking, female ghost only she could see and hear.[volume & issue needed] This was the spirit of the girl killed during the Wendigo debacle. Marlo played a major role in the Captain Marvel series.

At one point she develops an attraction for the superheroine Moondragon which surprises the pair. At first both were unsure of what to do and before they could explore the possibility Marlo is whisked away by her husband.[volume & issue needed] When the truth eventually comes out Rick stands aside to let Marlo and Heather figure out what may be. After some time passes Marlo and Heather break up when Marlo realized that whatever feelings she had, they were stronger towards Rick. Heather, brokenheartedly, states she must have subconsciously used her telepathy to enamor Marlo. This is not true, just Heather trying to make the split easier for Marlo.[volume & issue needed]

As the Captain Marvel series ended, Rick, now separated from Captain Marvel, and Marlo were last seen happily in love and giving their marriage a second chance.[volume & issue needed]

Marlo went missing for some time and was revealed to have been kidnapped by the Leader. She was turned into a new version of the Harpy by the Leader. After telepathically manipulating her, the Leader sent her to battle Bruce Banner and Skaar. Afterwards when she recognized Rick upon regressing back from his A-Bomb form, she returned to normal and reunited with Rick.[1]

During the World War Hulks storyline, she as Harpy helps A-Bomb fight Ulik after averting a disaster on the train tracks he destroyed. When Ulik starts to choke Marlo, she is saved by A-Bomb who defeats Ulik.[2]

During the Chaos War storyline, Doctor Strange reveals to the Hulk and his allies that Marlo is now a crucial factor in the war. Due to her time as a host of Death, Marlo could serve as a "Death substitute" if she is discovered which would result in everyone currently merely immobilized by Hell being killed by the hellfire.[3] Marlo soon uses her connection to Death to bring Doc Samson, Jarella, Hiroim, and Rebecca Banner back from the dead to help the Hulks in their fight against a resurrected Abomination, a Zom-possessed Doctor Strange, and the forces of Amatsu-Mikaboshi.[4] Marlo Chandler later uses her connection to Death to free Doctor Strange from Zom and send Abomination back to the afterlife.[5]

Marlo apparently reappears in Las Vegas some years later.[6] to talk with Ben Reilly, the clone of Spider-Man, recently brought back to life and having spent time acting as the new Jackal, but it is soon revealed that this is actually Death, using Marlo's body to talk with Reilly due to their prior bond.[7]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Marlo Chandler is an expert gymnast and swimmer.[volume & issue needed]

For a time, Marlo possessed a "death wish" power after she served as host to the cosmic being known as Death, which resulted in her being able to unconsciously shape reality when she made wishes, although this power would only work if she was not consciously trying to use it. She eventually erased this power after she wished that she no longer had it. It has been revealed the connection with Death can be rekindled under extreme circumstances, allowing her to access the powers of the cosmic being Mistress Death herself.

As the new Harpy, Marlo had superhuman strength and durability as well as the ability to fly and fire energy bolts from her hands.[volume & issue needed]

Other versions[edit]

The Ultimate Universe version of Marlo Chandler made a brief appearance as the hostess at a Kansas diner that was visited by the Hulk and Power Princess.[8]

In Ruins Marlo Chandler appears as a morphine addict living with Rick Jones who has gotten cancer from the Gamma Bomb.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Incredible Hulk #604
  2. ^ World War Hulks #1
  3. ^ Incredible Hulks #618
  4. ^ Incredible Hulks #619
  5. ^ Incredible Hulks #620
  6. ^ Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #6
  7. ^ Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #7
  8. ^ Ultimate Hulk Annual #1. Marvel Comics.

External links[edit]