Women’s History Month: Female of the Species
Get to know the dastardliest women in the Marvel Universe!
Heroes, it has been said, can only be as interesting as their villains. Although be no means comprehensive, we present to you now some of the women that make the Marvel Universe so interesting.
Mary MacPherran grew up small, underweight, and prone to fantasies about gaining super powers and using them to gain the positive attention she hungered for. When a lie about being Spider-Woman got her in trouble, she ended up in the proverbial arms of Doctor Doom who ultimately made her dreams of power come true, turning her into a tall and muscular woman, unrecognizable as her old self.
In the years since, Titania has joined with a few villain teams—the Masters of Evil, the Hood’s Illuminati—and began a long-term romance/criminal team-up with Absorbing Man. She consistently has tangled with She-Hulk and usually come out the worse for wear because of it but continues to seek more strength and more power—even grabbing a hold of an Infinity Gem at one point—to try and decimate her emerald skinned rival. Most recently she fought Thor and helped destroy the Pleasant Hill holding facility.
A pyrokinetic with a general distaste for all of humanity and shattered mental state makes for a compelling, erratic villain. While Mary’s dominant personality might be gentle and sweet, Typhoid has repeatedly demonstrated herself to be anything but. Wielding her anger and sexuality with equal aggression, Mary broke on the scene by mentally and physically devastating Daredevil, literally sending him running for the hills.
Since then, her life has been a series of peaks and valleys made up of violence and cruelty committed by and against her. That path most recently took her to joining the Sisterhood and battling the X-Men. While she fell in combat, it seems her Dissociative Identity Disorder had been integrated through some mystical means raising the question whether Typhoid Mary might be gone for good or more deadly than ever.
Living proof that there can be too much of a good thing, Goddess entered the universe as the embodiment of all the goodness within Adam Warlock that he dispelled to become a being of pure reason. While that sounds great, his female aspect quickly set about proving that an excess of anything always ends up in bad places, subjugating vast swaths of the universe to her will as she sought to purify the cosmos of everything but what she judged as good and virtuous.
While she has not been seen for years, as long as Warlock and the Infinity Gems still exist, the possibility of her return cannot be underestimated.
The so-called “Mother of All Demons,” Lilith once lived in Atlantis before that city met its grim underwater grave. Judged as too powerful to walk the Earth, she faced a cadre of Atlantean sorcerers teamed up to imprison her. In the prison Lilith dwelled for many, many years, only touching the minds of the living now and then but largely unable to influence people or events.
Then two scientists happened upon her living tomb and released her. In short order, she attempted to kill Danny Ketch and Johnny Blaze and became enemy to the likes of the Midnight Sons, Doctor Strange, Morbius, and the Nightstalkers.
More recently, she aligned herself with mystical creatures to crush the Skrull Secret Invasion as the aliens would certainly obliterate magic from the Earth, and then Dracula in a plot to destroy the United Kingdom.
Speaking of mothers, this Young Avengers adversary proved a most terrifying and apt antagonist for the teen team.
An interdimensional parasite lying in wait for some powerful being to awaken her/it, Mother found a way into Earth via Loki and Wiccan. First appearing as Hulkling’s deceased mom, Mother quickly set about ruining the lives of the rest of the Young Avengers until the team escaped to the stars.
Eventually, Mother would align herself with the emotionally wounded Leah leading to a frantic fight between the Young Avengers and their allies against former loves of the heroes, alternate universe versions of the teens, and Mother. In the end, Wiccan gives her access to the power she hungered for only for her to realize too late she could not handle it all at once.
Altered and driven mad by her “boss,” Mojo, Spiral nonetheless remained loyal to the interdimensional entertainment obsessive. In addition to gifting her multiple arms and multidimensional sight, Mojo taught his protégé dark magic so she could effectively lead others to similar fates as the one she had experienced.
Over the years, Mojo has proven a capricious boss, often casting Spiral off when she fails to do as he demands. Although she has repeatedly found places to belong without him—the Dragons of the Crimson Dawn, Freedom Force, the Body Shoppe—he always seems to convince her to come back when he wants it.
Currently, however, she finds herself on her own again. This initially led to joining the Sisterhood alongside Typhoid Mary and Lady Deathstrike. Now, she lives somewhere in Los Angeles with a young mutant, perhaps grooming her as a lieutenant at a brand new Body Shoppe.
The Goddess of Death, Hela’s dark reign extends over the realms of Hel and Niflheim, but she seems never satisfied with her fiefdom, often seeking to capture the likes of Midgard, Asgard, and Valhalla as her own as well.
Her greatest hits include afflicting Thor with a wasting disease that left his bones brittle and his face scarred while ensuring that he also would never die no matter how the disease progressed, stealing a portion of Odin’s soul to aid Loki in some quixotic attempt at seizing power, letting the dead wander Midgard, and feasting on the souls of Las Vegas gamblers. As long as people still die, she will never stop seeking power nor run out of souls to fuel her mad quests.
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