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Moonstone

Moonstone.
Art by Simone Bianchi.

Moonstone (real name Dr. Karla Sofen) is a fictional character, both a supervillain and superheroine in Marvel Comics' Marvel Universe.

Publication historyEdit

The character first appeared as a psychologist in Captain America (vol. 1) #192. In Captain America #228-233, she manipulated a criminal named Moonstone into giving her his source of power, and took on the Moonstone identity for herself.

Moonstone was one of the Thunderbolts characters that Brian Michael Bendis moved over to the Dark Avengers, where she is shown dressed as Ms. Marvel[1] and she becomes the main character in the Ms. Marvel solo title in issue #38.[2]

Fictional character biographyEdit

OriginsEdit

Karla Sofen was born in Van Nuys, California. She grew up in the mansion of Hollywood producer Charles Stockbridge, as the child of Stockbridge's butler Karl Sofen. After her father died, her mother Marion worked three jobs to put her daughter through college, and Karla vowed never to end up like her mother, to never put another's needs before her own. Despite building a successful practice as a psychologist and psychiatrist, Karla so disliked being dependent on her patients for income that she entered the super-criminal world as an aide to Doctor Faustus.[3] Learning of the original Moonstone, Lloyd Bloch, she became his psychologist and manipulated him into rejecting the source of his powers, an extraterrestrial gem of considerable power, which she then acquired and absorbed to gain the powers of Moonstone. She then battled the Hulk.[4]

Masters of EvilEdit

Karla worked briefly for the Corporation, controlling the Hulk and manipulating General Thunderbolt Ross into a nervous breakdown. She battled Captain America, Falcon, Hulk, and Quasar on behalf of the Corporation.[5] She continued to pursue greater power, stealing Curt Connors' Enervator and searching the moon's surface for further moonstone fragments, but wound up fighting Spider-Man.[6]

Egghead then recruited her for the third Masters of Evil, and she fought the Avengers.[7] However, this tenure was short-lived and she surrendered after the Masters' defeat.[7] However, it wasn't long before she broke out of Project: Pegasus confinement with Blackout, Rhino, and Electro.[8] She battled the Avengers, and escaped from Pegasus.[9] She escaped from the Avengers into the Darkforce dimension with Blackout.[10] She traveled to Earth's Moon, where she battled Dazzler and the Inhumans, and was then returned to Pegasus.[11]

Later, Baron Zemo recruited Moonstone for the fourth Masters of Evil. She participated in the Masters' takeover of Avengers Mansion.[12] She battled Captain Marvel and became paralyzed for a time.[13] She then had a rematch with Captain Marvel.[14] Moonstone later battled Volcana.[15] She was kidnapped by the original Moonstone, now calling himself Nefarius. She defeated Nefarius, but was recaptured.[16] Eventually, she decided to serve out her prison term and give up her criminal life.

ThunderboltsEdit

When Zemo formed a group of villains to masquerade as heroes, he broke Moonstone out of the Vault and she reluctantly returned to villainy as the Thunderbolt Meteorite.

Upon encountering a young victim of Arnim Zola's genetic manipulations, a youngster by the name of Jolt, Meteorite nudged Zemo into accepting her in the team. She soon became a mother figure to Jolt and used her enthusiasm to create a power-base inside the team, rallying the others behind her. Zemo exposed the true nature of the team, but Moonstone opposed him, followed by MACH-1, Songbird and Jolt. Zemo had brainwashed the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, but the small team of Thunderbolts, with the help of Iron Man, was able to defeat Zemo and Techno, his ally. After the battle the Thunderbolts had decided to pay for their crimes, but they were unwittingly teleported to an alternate dimension.

In this world, known as Kosmos, Moonstone led the team to safety from the Kosmosian army and eventually executed the Kosmosian Primotur to ensure their return to Earth. Inspired by Jolt, she made the Thunderbolts see that it would be preferable to work for their redemption as heroes, rather than to be in jail. After gaining fake identities for the team, she led them away from S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Lightning Rods, and she managed to defeat Graviton using her psychological skills, making him see that he did not truly have a goal, that he lacked vision. However, the Thunderbolts disagreed with her, for she merely thought of the present and did not care for the future consequences of her actions. When the former Avenger known as Hawkeye joined the team, claiming they would be pardoned if they followed him, she stepped down as leader and allowed him to get the position.

NightmaresEdit

Soon after the Thunderbolts fought the new Masters of Evil, a veritable army of supervillains, and Moonstone decided to betray the team. But something inside of her snapped, and she defeated Crimson Cowl and returned to the team.

Weeks after, Graviton returned, having pondered the words of Karla. He took over the city of San Francisco, turning it into an island in the skies. The Thunderbolts attempted to stop him, but they were captured. Graviton offered Moonstone a place at his side, as his queen, but she laughed in his face. As the youngest members of the team saved them, Moonstone wondered why she didn't take Graviton's offer.

During a mission against the Secret Empire, she became romantically involved with Hawkeye. But as time went by, she became haunted by nightmares of an ancient alien warrior woman, who whispered in her thoughts. Soon after, the team was targeted by Scourge, who killed Jolt. The death of the youngster hit Karla deeply. Subsequently, Citizen V asked for help against her own team, the V-Battalion, and the Thunderbolts agreed to do so, engaging the V-Battalion's operatives in battle. Karla was torn about fighting them, for they were heroes. She released a surge of her powers to stop the fight, making them all intangible, and fled, trying to find out what was wrong with her. Her first stop was Attilan, but the Inhumans were gone. She then searched the Fantastic Four's computers and found the answer she was looking for.

She flew under her own power to the Blue Area of the Moon, where she sought the Kree Supreme Intelligence and demanded the truth. The Supreme Intelligence revealed to her that the fragment she referred to as the "moonstone" was part of a Kree Lifestone, which was used to empower the Guardians of the Galaxy centuries ago. The alien warrior woman that haunted her dreams was the previous owner of the moonstone, whose memory was etched into it, and kept steering Karla into the path of heroism. The Thunderbolts managed to catch up with her, and so did Captain Marvel, who offered her help. Led by Captain Marvel, the Thunderbolts went to Titan, where Mentor and ISAAC attempted to remove the moonstone from Karla's body. After a serious discussion about Karla's potential to do good, Mentor allowed her to keep the gem but erased the memory of the previous owner, leaving Karla's mind, and by consequence, her decisions, to herself.

Uncertain loyaltiesEdit

The team returned to Earth, only to find Jolt alive. She exposed Hawkeye, revealing that the pardons Hawkeye promised would not be honored. Soon, the Thunderbolts chased Scourge, who was being manipulated by Henry Peter Gyrich. The Thunderbolts fought the V-Battalion's Redeemers but eventually teamed up with them to defeat Gyrich, who was being manipulated as well. Valerie Cooper offered the Thunderbolts pardon for saving the world from her own people, with the condition that they would hang up their heroic identities forever.

Karla Sofen was soon contacted by Graviton, who hired her as a tutor. In the following weeks Karla helped Graviton understand and control his powers in ways he had not even dreamed, making him fall in love with her. Graviton soon attacked the Redeemers, slaughtering the team. He also managed to keep many of Earth's heroes unmoving in the sky, as he lifted hundreds of cities all over the world as well, for he wanted to reshape the face of Earth into a semblance of his face. The Thunderbolts re-formed to stop him, only to find Karla at his side. In the end, she hesitated fighting them and helped them stop Graviton. However, his power imploded, sending most of the Thunderbolts to Counter-Earth.

While trapped on Counter-Earth, the Thunderbolts became true heroes at last, rescuing thousands in their flying city, Attilan. Karla was given the task of reshaping the minds of the world's leaders, creating a new way of thought to ensure the survival of all. Soon after, Karla removed a second moonstone from that world's Lloyd Bloch (known there as the Phantom Eagle), dramatically increasing her own powers. The Thunderbolts eventually returned to Earth, leaving Jolt and the Young Allies to complete their task of saving Counter-Earth.

"The Best Intentions"Edit

See also: Avengers/Thunderbolts: The Best Intentions When the Avengers later interfered in the Thunderbolts' plan to control the world's "transnormal energy," a failsafe was triggered; a device that Karla had planted in her private plot against Zemo. The stolen energy was funneled into her moonstones, further increasing her powers. Karla attempted to use this energy to flee, but the Thunderbolts and Avengers combined forces to stop her. In the end, Zemo ended up in possession of both moonstones and Karla was left comatose.

Since then, Zemo occasionally used her link to the moonstones to puppeteer her, but her mind remained shut down.

ReturnEdit

Later the Commission on Superhuman Activities brought her body to their facility, where she and Songbird became mentally linked through the moonstones' power. Karla came out of her coma, and now has the moonstones in her possession again.

Moonstone next became the field leader of the revamped Thunderbolts, sponsored by the government.[17] The Director of this team, the semi-insane Norman Osborn, eventually turned to blackmail to force her to join, threatening that he would remove her moonstone and put her in a coma if she refused.Template:Issue Moonstone is seen as a ruthless if less-than-capable leader of the Thunderbolts; on one of their first missions (capturing the renegade Jack Flag), she preferred to have the mission finish early so that she could have sex with one of the government agents,Template:Issue a point stressed by Songbird at their next briefing. She is fully behind the Thunderbolts' new role and that they must rely on public approval to stay employed, but clashes with her teammate Songbird and her employer, Osborn. She revealed that she had been influencing S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to give Norman Osborn placebos rather than his usual medication,Template:Issue and also that when Osborn was gone she planned to 'accidentally' kill Songbird in the field and take over as leader.Template:Issue When she is shot through the wrist by a crossbow bolt by American Eagle, pinning her to their jet and tearing some of her wrist away; she subsequently orders Bullseye to cripple the Eagle.[18]

When the psychic supervillains, Mind-Wave, Caprice, Bluestreak and Mirage, are imprisoned in the Thunderbolt's base, they use their powers to alter the Thunderbolts' minds. They force Moonstone to attack Doc Samson and Penance. Penance manages to repel her with a powerful energy blast. It is later mentioned that Moonstone survived, but her body needs a fortnight to stabilize before she can be submitted to nanosurgery.[19]

Secret InvasionEdit

Main article: Secret Invasion Moonstone is among four Thunderbolts members present during an attack on Thunderbolts Mountain by a renegade Skrull sleeper agent Khn'nr who has taken the form of Captain Marvel but has refused to follow his programming and has pledged to defend the human race.[20] During the battle, Khn'nr reveals that her stone is of Kree origin, and uses his energy-controlling abilities to shut it down.[21] When the Thunderbolts attack and board a Skrull ship, Swordsman confronts a group of them with his newly-returned sister. Moonstone painfully immobilizes the Swordsman, and suggests an alliance to the Skrulls and Andrea.[22] Andrea turns out not to be a Skrull, however, and attacks Moonstone, although Bullseye kills Andrea from behind. He tries to kill Moonstone as well, although she becomes intangible, and she threatens him in order to keep him in line.[23]

Later, Bullseye tries to kill Songbird under Osborn's orders. Songbird manages to get into the Zeus aircraft, and blows up part of the Thunderbolts' mountain headquarters. Moonstone survives because Bullseye had warned her to go intangible, and walks away saying "to Hell with this team."[24]

Dark ReignEdit

MoonstoneMsMarvel

Moonstone as Ms. Marvel. Variant cover to Dark Avengers #2. Art by Mike Choi.

See also: Dark Reign (comics) Norman Osborn approaches Moonstone while she is meditating and offers her a spot on the Dark Avengers. She is given the codename of Ms. Marvel as well as her original costume after Carol Danvers refuses to follow Osborn.[25]

Powers and abilitiesEdit

Moonstone draws power from a Kree gravity stone (found on Earth's moon) which is charged with unknown energy and bonded to her nervous system. She can use the stone's elemental energy to fly, become intangible (by lowering the density of her body) and pass through solid objects, and focus gravity into laser-like force blasts that she fires from her hands (able to penetrate steel plate in a narrow beam). She has also shown the ability to discharge non-coherent light omni-directionally in a blinding flash and has prodigious superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and reflexes through the use of the stone. When Moonstone absorbed a second gravity stone, she displayed the ability to control gravitational forces to move and manipulate matter, create force fields, increase gravity around a target to crush it, generate miniature black holes, even transport objects through dimensional rifts.

Karla Sofen has extensive knowledge of psychology and psychiatry, and has an M.D. in psychiatry.

Other versionsEdit

Marvel ZombiesEdit

Moonstone appears alongside the Thunderbolts in the "Dead Days" one-shot of the Marvel Zombies mini-series using her alias of Meteorite. She attacks Thor, pouncing on him but is stunned with a blast of lightning and then destroyed when Thor smashes her head.

Other mediaEdit

TelevisionEdit

External linksEdit


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