Marrina Smallwood

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Marrina Smallwood
Art by John Byrne
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Alpha Flight #1 (Aug 1983)
Created by John Byrne
In-story information
Species Plodex
Team affiliations Alpha Flight
Beta Flight
Notable aliases Leviathan
Abilities Underwater breathing

Marrina Smallwood is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is a member of Alpha Flight and an honorary member of the Avengers.

Publication history[edit]

Marrina first appeared in Alpha Flight vol. 1 #1 (August 1983) and was created by John Byrne.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Marrina was a member of the alien species known as the 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 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 sixteen years of age to join Beta Flight, a team of superheroes 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.[1] She then learned of her alien origin when captured by the Master, and was rescued by Alpha Flight and Namor the Sub-Mariner alongside Sue Storm.[2] 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.[3] She served alongside him on Avengers missions and received honorary membership,[volume & issue needed] and also served as the queen of Deluvia.[volume & issue needed]

When she became pregnant, the Plodex DNA reacted to her condition by turning her into a savage beast in the North Atlantic Ocean, a Leviathan. Namor was forced to slay her, impaling her with the Black Knight's enchanted Ebony Blade.[4]

However, Llan the Sorcerer later told the self-proclaimed Master of the World that, "Now she sleeps a false death under the waves."[5] 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.[6]

During the Dark Reign storyline, 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 D.N.A. spliced and modified, making her a snake-like leviathan, 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 Magik'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.[7]

During the Chaos War storyline, Marrina Smallwood (alongside Alpha Flight members Guardian, Vindicator, and Shaman) returns from the dead following what happened to the death realms. She joins up with the still-living Alpha Flight members in order to fight the Great Beasts.[8] Marrina remains among the living after the defeat of the Chaos King.[9]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Thanks to her genetic structure that is a hybrid combination of Plodex and Earth DNA, Marrina's body is totally amphibious, and she has pale yellow skin, large fish-like eyes, and webbed hands and feet. Possessing both lungs and gills, she can breathe and exist indefinitely on land or under the sea. She is able to withstand freezing temperatures and underwater pressures without harm. Her hydrodynamic proportions, sleek skin, webbed extremities, and superhuman strength aid in her swimming. She can sustain underwater speeds approaching 51 knots (roughly 59 mph) for several hours and is capable of massive acceleration by shedding the outer layer of her skin to expose a nearly frictionless inner skin layer, allowing her to briefly reach speeds in the 800–900 kn (1,500–1,700 km/h; 920–1,040 mph) range.[10] She has further demonstrated some ability to control water — a simple sweep of her arms was sufficient to hurl enough water to thoroughly drench her 10-foot tall teammate Sasquatch,[11] and, in combination with her massive underwater speed, she was able to raise and ride the crest of a huge waterspout, letting her travel from an ocean shore up to three miles inland.[1] After such feats, her outer skin layer can quickly regenerate to normal. Her skin also secretes an oil which can cause extreme constriction of the pupils — with one slap, she was able to temporarily blind the Sub-Mariner,[12] himself superhumanly adapted to underwater existence.

On dry land, she can sprint at tremendous speeds. She can also brace her body to withstand the full impact of a semi truck, completely stopping the vehicle dead in its tracks, while completely remaining unharmed herself.

Although Marrina has a friendly personality, thanks to her upbringing by her foster parents, her mental programming by the Plodex with a savage lust for conquest repeatedly emerged from her subconscious mind. Her savage instincts can even be triggered by chemical stimuli given off by other Plodex. When Marrina becomes enraged and her Plodex DNA takes over, she can take on a more beast-like appearance. Her hands will turn into talons that easily cut through most material (with one angry swipe, she nearly eviscerated teammate Puck[13]). Marrina can change shape to an unknown degree under the influence of her savage instincts. During her pregnancy she grew to gigantic size as the Leviathan. In this form, Marrina resembled a sea serpent and was over a mile in length.

Other versions[edit]


Marrina is also a member of Alpha Flight on Earth 3470, the reality that the Exiles' Heather Hudson is from. She has to reside in a tank of water to participate in Alpha Flight's meetings. She does not demonstrate that she is capable of human speech, but she was shown to have the same ability to create water spouts as her counterpart in the main reality.[14]

House of M[edit]

Marrina is briefly featured in House of M #6 during Genosha's celebration of mutantkind's victory over man, alongside Namor.[15]


  1. ^ a b Alpha Flight #1
  2. ^ Alpha Flight #3–4
  3. ^ Alpha Flight #40
  4. ^ Avengers vol. 1 #291–293; Alpha Flight #15–16
  5. ^ Alpha Flight #78
  6. ^ The Avengers vol. 3, #47–48
  7. ^ Dark Reign the List: X-Men
  8. ^ Chaos War: Alpha Flight #1
  9. ^ Chaos War #5
  10. ^ Alpha Flight vol. 1, #1–2
  11. ^ Alpha Flight vol. 1, #2
  12. ^ Alpha Flight vol. 1, #15
  13. ^ Alpha Flight #2
  14. ^ Exiles (vol. 1) #33
  15. ^ House of M #6

External links[edit]