The exact time in which Marada lived is unclear, as it is suggested that she lived in Ancient Rome and was the descendant of Caesar, but she clearly existed during a more barbaric Hyborian era, with worship of Hyborian elder gods, demons, sorcery, and before the rise of the catholic church. The issues have not been addressed by the creators and the setting was never addressed in cannon.
Marada was Born to the first born Daughter of Caesar, and the Prince of an unknown land who had been Enslaved by the Roman Empire. Deiphobe, the Sybelline oracle at Cumae told her mother that Marada would hold the fate of the world in her hands. At 4 years old, Marada witnessed her father being "broken on the rack," disemboweled, and eventually drawn and quartered in a public execution. Though he was being tortured the dying prince never made a sound.. That night Marada's mother fled the Eternal City, taking her child to be raised free, far from the place that had claimed the life of her love.
Marada is a warrior, talented in hand-to-hand combat, swordsmanship, archery, and presumably other weapons of the time. Short of being ambushed, she is not known to have ever failed in single combat against man, woman, or demon, and she has been known to defeat multiple opponents singlehandedly.
Marada was Created by Chris Claremont and John Bolton.
Marada's first story was initially intended to feature Red Sonja, but due to copyright complications the story and character were completely redesigned into Marada. Further, it was intended to be featured in Bizarre Adventures (the black and white magazine that had evolved out of Marvel Preview). The delay due to the copyright brought about a shelving of the material for use in Bizarre Adventures for many months. In an effort to avoid there work being by passed in inventory Claremont pitched the idea to Archie Goodwin and Jim Shooter, the editors of Epic Illustrated (with the latter being Marvel's Editor-in-Chief at the time), and they got a spot for it split between two issues...plus they got to make it their own property (which was the nature of Epic material).
Major Story Arcs
Marada, fought alongside Donal MacLlanllwyr and others near the Rhine in pitched battle against a war party out of Germanica. She fought with a ferocious skill that humbled most of the men beside her and earned her the name, "She-Wolf."
Later, celebrating their victory in a frontier post garrisoned by a cohort of the Thunderclap legion, Marada matched those two legionaries drink for drink, joining songs stories. She gambled with careless abandon and won. When a trooper tried to force her to his bed, she broke his jaw. Marada swore that no man would take her against his will, and that if she ever chose a lover or mate, it would be on her terms, not his.
By age 24, Marada's skills as a warrior were known and respected throughout the Empire. Even earning the respect of Donal MacLlanllwyr having crossed swords with him on at least one occasion, Donal counted himself lucky to hold his own.
Marada's reputations spreads to some of the N'Garai Masters, including Y'Garon, first of the Triad. They sought Marada's soul for her powers. Simyon Karashnur, a sorcerer serving the N'Garai, sought to bind Marada's power to the service of his masters.
As Marada and here allies celebrated their safe return with a vengeance she was given a mug of wine, which she drank swiftly, but she had been drugged. Marada awoke in a tower, chained within a mystic circle, by the sorcerer Simyon Karashnur. The sorcerer then summoned the Demon Y'Garon, who claimed her as his consort and then took her by force, mocking her resistance. In his passion, Y'Garon raked her back, cutting her to the bone; while Marada prayed the wounds would be fatal, Y'Garon contemptuously healed her. Finally he took part of her soul for himself and replaced it with a piece of his own. Which left her longing for him so that she begged him not to leave.
Roman Tribune Gaius Marcellus Fulva rescued Marada from her captor and arranged a caravan of Parthian mercenaries to return her to Rome in hopes of gaining favor with her grandfather, Caesar. An Egyptian sorcerer infiltrated the caravan, unbeknownst to Gaius Marcellus. Donal MacLlanllwyr freed Marada from Parthian mercenaries and killed the Egyptian sorceror who was in fact an assassin sent to kill Marada. Donal was surprised to find her so changed after just a week taking note of how submissive she had become. Donal transported himself, his warriors, and Marada to Ashandriar, an ancient and magical realm ruled by his mother, Rhiannon, mistress of the arts arcane, who recognized the stench of black sorcery about Marada.
After a night's rest, Marada asked Donal if she was his prisoner. He offered to let her go free if she could disarm him in combat, but she was easily subdued. While she submissively offered herself to Donal, she refused to explain what had happened to her.
Simyon Karashnur had his torturer painfully slay Gaius Marcellus for his theft, after which he used Marada's possessions to enable a demon of the Outer Dark to come to Earth and usurp Marada's form to recover her for their masters. Sensing this, Marada awakened, screaming. Rhiannon sensed the hidden magical scars upon Marada's back; her granddaughter (Donal's daughter), Arianrhod stayed by Marada's side, talking to her, providing comfort, and becoming her friend over the course of the night. Marada still however refused to share her recent trauma even with her.
Over the next few days Arianrhod helped Marada become more comfortable in Ashandriar, and over the ensuing months they became inseparable companions; through Arianrhod, Marada discovered a joyous innocence she had been herself denied. As Marada began to recover from her trauma, she found herself drawn to Donal. While bathing, however, Arianrhod mystically sensed Marada's "Magic" scars. When she asked Marada about them she furiously drove her off. Regretting this, Marada soon after opened up to Donal and revealed her trauma.
The N'Garai Marada doppelganger then attacked Donal and Marada. Arianrhod briefly stunned the demon, but it swiftly recovered, delivering mortal wound to Donal, and abducted Arianrhod in order to force Marada to follow her. Rhiannon tried but failed to save Donal, after which Marada re-donned her old warrior attire and persona. Rhiannon sent her to Y'Garon's realm so that she might rescue Arianrhod. She battles against many minor demons, but her instincts and skills proved to be intact, and she defeats them. Eventually she confronted Simyon Karashnur and Y'Garon alongside the chained Arianrhod. Overcoming her Trauma, Marada hurled her axe at Y'Garon, wounding him, when he created a flaming sword. Marada Faced off against Y'Garon delivering another wound, and proved herself a superior Warrior. During her battle with Y'Garon, Simyon conjured a floral scent, like a the lotus, that dulled her mind and rendered her body hypersensitive, Marada dropped to her knees before Y'Garon. but as he raised his sword high, moments away from delvering the finishing blow when she suddenly slashed upwards with her sword, gutting him. As Simyon Karashnur tried to flee, Marada stabbed her sword through his chest, apparently killing him as well.
Marada freed Arianrhod and told her of her father's death, but she had little time to mourn as Y'Garon's legions approached and they were forced to flee. Arianrhod cast a spell to return them to Earth, but they arrived in an area unknown to them. Marada decided that they would journey on foot from there.
Marada and Arianrhod traveled thousands of miles over the course of months. In East Africa, a mercenary captain had recognized Marada and made her a simple offer: join his command or die. Marada accepted the offer, but later found, as they struck deep into the black empire of Meroë, that they were on the wrong side of a rebellion, part of an army of freebooters hired to seize the throne of Meroë's ruler -- the Candance, Ashake - First sword of the Meroe.
On a morning in a dusty East African plain, Ashake's army ambushed the invaders. A bloody battle ensued, with the mercenary army getting slaughtered until eventually only Marada and Arianrhod were left.
The Royal Hunt
Ashake herself then showed up rescued the unconscious women from their would be murderrs. Ashake had them taken to her castle and given herbs to help their pain, while her mystics and healers helped them to recover. Marada and Arianrhod were invited to dine with Ashake, in her palace as the royal guests of honor. Ashake explained that they would either participate in an event where she would hunt them and earn either their freedom or become swords of the Meroe, members of her army; to atone for joining forces with the rebellion. If Marada moved against Ashake, the guards would slay them right there. Having heard of Marada's reputation Ashake was sure that she would not back down from the challenge. Marada accepts the challenge. The next morning Ashake meets Marada and Arianrhod and explains the rules to them both. They have a two hour head start. Neither of them are allowed any weapons. They have to escape the border of her kingdom on foot. The journey is treacherous. She wishes them luck, to which Marada says "Luck is for amateurs and children. We are neither."
Marada and Arianrhod venture through the perilous wilderness till night fall before they rest, in the woods. Arianrhod at this point was so weakened that she couldn't even use magic, but she senses Ashake approaching like lioness in tall grass. Fear stricken she flees recklessly, exposing there
location. Marada throws herself in the fray to draw Ashake's arrows and narrowly dodges pretending she was hit. using this to her advantage she surprise attacks Ashake and steals one of her weapons, and the two begin to duel.
Ashake is stunned at how skillful Marada is with a blade, and is thrilled at finally meeting a challenger who can stand against her. The upper hand of the battle shifts quickly back and fourth between the two warriors, until they are ambushed by the same band of marauders that had earlier captured Marada, Taking this opportunity to try and kill her and the Ashake. Ashake and Marada Join forces and together they defeat the rebellion before Ashake's royal Gaurds "the sacred spears" Show up. After a week or Rest and recovery, Marada and Arianrhod depart, but not before Ashake offers Marada a place in her kingdom as her own right hand. Marada respectfully declines but says that perhaps the she-wolf and the lioness may one day cross paths again.
Marada and Arianrhod take a merchant vessel (Raven) from Alexandria to Brindisium (Massilia). Marada was twice awakened in her sleep, while Arianrhod was crying over having trouble remembering her father, and later when Arianrhod tried to use a magic spell to return them home, which allowed a Gyatrias, a tentacled demon dwelling in the void between worlds to grab Marada and pull her through a portal. As she vanished, Marada futilely hurled her sword, which was left sticking in her cabin floor.
Marada emerges aboard the ship the Dromond, where soldiers battled Taric Redhand's pirates. As Marada struggled fiercely, the Gyatrias released her in favor of easier prey, and she was left on the ship when the Gyatrias took a man through its portal. Thinking Marada a was a demon, the soldiers' captain attacked her, but she killed him and all the soldiers attacking her. As a result, Marada was befriended by Taric Redhand, who brought her to Djeriabar, the Black Isle, to the tower of Jaffar ibn Haroun Al-Rashid, the only sorcerer with the power to return Marada to her home. Taken with Marada, Taric offers to let her stay with him. Declining Taric's offer to stay with him, she shared a jug of wine at the city's central bazaar, but they were son overwhlemed by Taric's many enemies. They fled, but Taric turned to continue the battle and was killed by a thrown spear. Marada then fled on her own but eventually was cornered in an alley, at which point Jaffar teleported her into his palace, then magically clothed her in a princess garb. Jaffar introduced himself to Marada and served her a meal and some wine, seduced her, and they shared a kiss. They were interrupted by a lightning bolt in the sky, at which point Jaffar excused himself to communicate with his demon masters, the Mabdhara. The demon reminded him that Marada must die before sunrise.
While Marada lay, daydreaming about Jaffar and wondering whether she was better suited as warrior or princess, a demon agent of the Mabdhara leapt from the shadows and attacked her. It clawed her back while announcing the blood debt between her and the Mabdhara would be paid that night. It revealed itself to be a creature given life by Jaffar and that Jaffar served the Mabdhara, and an irate Marada soon skewered it with her knife. She fled, plotting to steal a boat and escape, but was confronted by Jaffar, who turned her knife into a dove. Telling her the Mabdhara left him no choice, he mesmerized her, but was distracted by thunder, and Marada kneed him in the crotch. Unable to bring herself to break his neck, she fled again, took out a guard, and claimed his sword; but then she was beset by a group of dead horses and riders who stabbed her repeatedly with spectral swords and weakened her, before vanishing. Demons doppelgangers took the forms of Arianrhod and Rhiannon tried to fool her into trusting them so they could then killing her, but her experiences with Y'Garon left her able to sense such demons, and she Vanquished them both. The demon riders then reappeared and stabbed her through the chest, leaving her body to fall into the waters below.
She eventually washed up on the shore, barely alive, and was confronted anew by Jaffar. She stabbed him through the chest to no avail, and she eventually fell before him in a swordfight, seemingly taking a fatal chest wound, after which Jaffar delivered her to the Mabdhara, who consumed her......or so it seemed.
Jaffar's magic blade cast an enchantment that preserved her life even as he took it, then he secretly healed her wounds and offered a simulacrum to the Mabdhara...one so perfect that even they were fooled. Jaffar met with Marada, revealed the truth and confessed that he had originally intended to kill her before falling in love. Knowing, however, that the Mabdhara would discover the truth if she stayed with him, Jaffar, after one last kiss sent her back aboard the Raven. Arriving only an instant after she had vanished, Marada was reunited with Arianrhod. Arianrhod promised not to try such magic again. Marada asked to be be alone, and considered to herself that though she was tempted to stay with Jaffar as his queen, in her heart and soul she was a warrior and would remain so till the day she died.
Powers and abilities
Powers and Abilities
- Peak-Level Athlete: Marada has the maximum strength of a human female without being considered superhuman.
- Peak-level speed: Marada can run faster than the finest human athlete without reaching superhuman speed.
- Peak-level reflexes: Marada has very deadly reflexes, instincts and reaction time, bordering precognitive reflexes.
- Weapon Master: Marada is a virtually unparalleled sword-master of her era, having fought and defeated countless enemies with her blade. Even Ashake, first sword of the meroe, cannot best her in a duel. Though the sword is Marada's weapon of choice, she is just as skilled with other weapons and can gain expertise with unfamiliar ones with minimal training. She is an accomplished archer and demonstrates remarkable accuracy with any distance weapon. Marada's mastery of arms includes being able to quickly improvise and construct weapons with any available materials at hand, so that even when seemingly disarmed, she is rarely weaponless.
- Unarmed Combat: Marada has mastered the martial arts disciplines of her era and is a deadly fighter even without any weapons. She has taken down many enemies larger than herself merely with her fists and feet. Including demons and monsters. Even having fought a off a tentacled sea monster while being dragged into another realm, without the aid of a weapon.
- Berserker Strength: When greatly angered or outnumbered, Marada can go into a berserker fury, significantly increasing her strength and deadliness in battle. She has single-handedly annihilated waves of armed opponents while in this state, literally becoming a one-woman army.
- Tracking: Marada has spent much time traveling the diverse and dangerous landscape and is a gifted ranger and tracker. She can navigate and survive nearly any form of terrain and hunt down almost any quarry. She is also adept at covering her tracks and leaving little trace of her passing.
- Stealth: Marada possesses catlike grace and can move about in near-silence in order to avoid detection, making good use of shadows and any other available cover. She is also highly skilled at disguise, camouflage, and infiltration.
- Magic Potential:Marada's supernatural lineage is hinted at by the sorcerer Simyon Karashnur who said "She has powers both temporal and arcane, though she knows it not ." It has been hinted that she may be of the faltine bloodline.
- Other Abilities: Marada's diverse physical skills include swimming, climbing, acrobatics, and escape artistry. She is an expert horseback rider and an accomplished sailor. Marada is highly intelligent and resourceful, and possesses a keen understanding of warfare and battle strategy. Her charisma makes her a natural leader when called upon, though she usually prefers to work alone, true to her nature as a lone wolf.