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Origin

 Black Mariah
Taking her name from the paddy wagon nicknamed "Black Mariah," she led a gang of criminals, using fake ambulances and paddy wagons to pick up people without being questioned. They would cart off the bodies of rich people who died in public places, as well as collecting criminals. After taking the valuables from their victims they would take the victim's home and office keys and rob them before they could be closed up.

After Black Mariah's agents did their work on the recently murdered Frank Jenks, Mariah physically punished one of her men who had complained about her eating up their profits. Luke Cage tried to find Jenks' body for his widow, and his informant Flea directed him to the property next to Mariah's where he was spotted and ambushed by her men. Cage feigned defeat and then overpowered the men, eventually confronting Mariah herself. He was initially reluctant to strike a woman, resulting in him taking a lot of punishment as she slammed him into the walls and floors, but she fled after he braced himself to resist her attacks. She tried to escape in her motor boat, but he capsized the boat and left her floating in the bay.

Creation

Black Mariah was created by Steve Englehart and George Tuska in 1972 and first appeared in Hero For Hire # 5.

Mayor Story Arcs

Black Mariah moved to Chinatown and got involved in the drug business, employing Scimitar. Black Mariah got a bad shipment of drugs, known as Acid Z, which drove those who took it into a frenzy before killing them within hours.

Iron Fist followed a lead to Mariah's base after she sent some of her agents to
 Black Mariah And Her Minions
cut his heart out. Iron Fist overpowered the men and made his way into Mariah's room, defeating Scimitar after some struggle. He didn't see Mariah as a threat, and was surprised when she suddenly stabbed him with her sewing needles. Weakened by the drugs on the needles, Iron Fist struggled to maintain consciousness, but was then knocked out by Mariah. She took him up to the roof and threw him off, but Luke Cage caught him.  She and Scimitar attempted to flee in her van, but Cage stopped the van by throwing a lamp post through it. Cage easily beat Scimitar, then knocked out Mariah when she attacked him.
 

Powers And Abilities

  • Black Mariah was a human female with no know superhuman abilities. She was exceptionally strong considering her weight, and was proficient at unarmed combat. Black Mariah was also knowledgeable in the use of firearms, and also possessed a pair of poison knitting needles. 

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