|First appearance||Amazing Fantasy #7 (2005)|
|Created by||Fred Van Lente
|Alter ego||Monica Rappacini|
Monica Rappaccini is a fictional character in the Marvel Comics Universe. She first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #7 (2005), created by Fred Van Lente and Leonard Kirk. The character is depicted as the "Supreme Scientist" of the supervillain organization A.I.M..
Fictional character biography
Monica's first invention was an electric knife to help her mother slice ham; she never got over losing the science fair to a tomato sauce-spouting volcano model.
While enrolled as a biochemistry student at the University of Padua, Monica Rappaccini went to New Mexico's Desert State University to study and shared a brief relationship with Bruce Banner, a physics student who would later become the Hulk. The ruthless Monica used their relationship to exploit Banner's radiation expertise for her own research. Upon attaining her doctorate, Monica quickly became a world-renowned innovator of anti-toxins and antidotes for various environmental poisons and nearly won the Nobel Prize.[volume & issue needed]
Recognizing the many environmental and political failings of Western Civilization, Monica decided it was too corrupt to exist. She joined a series of terrorist organizations - first the pan-European leftist group Black Orchestra, then Advanced Idea Mechanics (or A.I.M. for short), where she had a brief relationship with fellow agent George Tarleton (later MODOK). Making poisons instead of curing them, Monica's expertise with toxins allowed her to rise quickly through A.I.M.'s ranks. She implanted her own daughter and several other newborn children of A.I.M. members with memetic antibodies and released them into the world as A.I.M. waker agents with no knowledge of their heritage, programmed to travel instinctively to the nearest A.I.M. biohaven when their antibodies activated at age sixteen. Monica's daughter was raised in Vermont as Carmilla Black by undercover A.I.M. agents.
Monica went underground for nearly two decades, studying potential power sources as the sentient Uni-Power and orchestrating attacks on capitalism, such as the dioxin-based gas attack on Hong Kong. When the A.I.M. Scientist Supreme was slain by his own renegade creation MODOK, Monica became head of the splinter faction of A.I.M. that remained independent from MODOK's control. Following MODOK's numerous defeats, Monica's splinter group absorbed more cells into a sizable rival faction, and she was made Scientist Supreme of this "true" A.I.M. As A.I.M. leader, Monica rarely did field work, preferring to act through agents and proxies.
When she led an A.I.M. attack on the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, it was thwarted by her estranged 19-year-old daughter, who had since joined forces with S.H.I.E.L.D. and became the costumed Scorpion. Rappaccini eluded capture and soon attempted to harness the malfunctioning Uni-Power, but her plans were thwarted by Scorpion and several heroes who bonded with the Uni-Power.[volume & issue needed]
Her A.I.M. faction was involved in an A.I.M. civil war that drew in Ms. Marvel and S.H.I.E.L.D., following Ms. Marvel's thwarting of a plan to turn MODOK into a bomb, Rappaccini reunited the organization under her control.
Monica infiltrated MODOK's supervillain gang MODOK's 11 with A.I.M.'s new Ultra-Adaptoid robot (which is impersonating the Chameleon). She attempted to prevent MODOK from obtaining the Hypernova weapon and erasing all life on Earth. She has a stated aim to stop A.I.M. creating "inventions that turn around and try to destroy us". In the end, MODOK had gained the Hypernova and Monica gave him a billion dollars in exchange for it - which had been MODOK's plan all along, as he'd worked out the Hypernova would grow unstable and explode. A.I.M.'s base was destroyed in the explosion and MODOK believes Monica is dead.[volume & issue needed]
During the Dark Reign storyline, it is revealed she survived and comes into conflict with Mockingbird and Ronin. She also hires Deadpool to retrieve a batch of baby M.O.D.O.C.'s, enhanced to warp reality from H.A.M.M.E.R. headquarters.
During the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, Noh-Varr locates a secret A.I.M. base where Monica Rappaccini and the A.I.M. Agents that escaped following Norman Osborn's defeat are hiding out. The Avengers raid the base and arrest Monica and the other A.I.M. members that were present at the time.
Powers and abilities
A biochemical genius, Monica is one of the world's foremost authorities on organic toxins. Her inventions include the enhanced lymphatic system of the A.I.M. waker agents that granted them total immunity to all biological, chemical and radiological weapons; memetic antibodies, synthetic microbes that attack the human psyche and trigger pre-coded memories and impulses; hallucinogenic drugs that deliver programmed hallucinations before being absorbed into the system; and many innovative weapons of mass destruction, from gas attacks to nanobacteria bombs. Rappaccini's A.I.M. uniform belt contains a phasing device that allows her to teleport short distances. She keeps many different devices at hand, varying upon situation and opponent; when facing a captured Hank Pym, she admitted that she kept one-hundred and fifty-seven methods of containing him on hand.
House of M
When the mutant Scarlet Witch reality-warped Earth into a mutant-dominated society, Monica worked alongside Scorpion and the Hulk to overthrow Governor Exodus' fascist mutant government in Australia. When the Hulk became Australia's new leader, Monica's secret plan to create a cybernetic army to overthrow Earth's mutant rulers was exposed. Denying any knowledge of the army, Monica promised to restore the cyborgs' humanity. When this warped reality was undone, a disoriented Monica found herself stranded in Australia alongside Bruce Banner. Evading Scorpion's attempt to arrest her, Monica returned to A.I.M.
Death's Head 3.0 (Earth-6216)
In the alternate future timeline in Death's Head 3.0, Monica created the Uni-Alias, an artificial variant of Captain Universe's Uni-Power. Decades later Monica's granddaughter Varina Goddard, a Senior Scientist in the future A.I.M., used the Uni-Alias as a power source for the Death's Head robot in her attempt to assassinate the United Nations Secretary General.
Ant-Man Natural Enemy
Monica appears in the 2015 Marvel novel Ant-Man Natural Enemy by Jason Starr. Here, Monica captures a shrunken Hank Pym and was going to make him her pet but later attempts to kill Pym by flushing him down the toilet. It is reviled that Moncia murdered animals when she was a child especially ants in the novel.
- Ant-Man & Wasp #3
- MODOK's Eleven, #1 page 1
- Scorpion debut story in Amazing Fantasy
- MODOK's Eleven #1, MODOK profile
- Ms. Marvel #15-17: "Ready, A.I.M., Fire!"
- New Avengers: The Reunion Mini-Series
- Ms. Marvel #40-41
- Ant-Man & Wasp' #3
- New Avengers Vol. 2 #18
- Avengers Vol. 4 #24
- Avengers Vol. 4 #25
- Amazing Fantasy #18