Growing up in a California mansion, Karla watched as her father put others before himself while he worked as a butler. After her father's death, Karla's mother was forced to work three jobs just to put her through the best colleges. During this time, Karla vowed to always place herself first, so that she would never end up like her parents. She also vowed to only be around people that she could control. After she graduated from high school, Karla moved onto college and attended many lectures taught by Doctor Leonard Samson. She ultimately received an M.D. specializing in psychiatry and built a successful practice for herself. However, Karla was still dissatisfied with having to depend on her clients for income, so she began to work with Dr. Faustus and other criminals to fulfill her lust for power and control. During this time, Doctor Faustus taught Karla some of his methods of psychology in an unofficial capacity, giving her extensive knowledge in this area. Karla was asked to help the prison board with the original Moonstone, Lloyd Bloch, due to the outlandish cost of the cell he was required to be contained in. After learning of its powers, she devised a way to make him reject the Moonstone, using a hallucinogenic gas which caused him to believe that he was a monster and then to reject the stone. When Karla picked up the stone, it was absorbed into her body and she took on its powers. A new Moonstone was born. Moonstone then joined the Corporation and briefly controlled the Hulk and caused General Thunderbolt Ross to have a nervous breakdown. Craving more power, she stole the Enervator from Dr. Curt Conners in order to go to the moon to attain more Moonstones. After being recruited by Egghead and Baron Heinrich Zemo she joined the Masters of Evil until she was jailed for her crimes.
Moonstone was created by Marv Wolfman and Frank Robbins and first appeared in Captain America #192 in 1975 as Karla Sofen, but made her full appearance as Moonstone in Incredible Hulk #228 in 1978.
Major Story Arcs
Moonstone contributed to the team by using her skill as a psychologist to stablize fellow member Blackout enough so he could control and use his powers to cut the Avengers mansion from the outside world. She tried to challenge Baron Zemo for leadership right before the main attack, ordering Blackout to kill him, but Zemo had already installed a device in his costume headband to mentally control Blackout for just this reason. She conceded that he's the leader and the group went on to invade the mansion.
The Masters of Evil broke Moonstone out of the vault to join the "heroic," Thunderbolts, where she took on the identity of Meteorite. After meeting Jolt she persuaded the team to to let the young woman join. The two soon grew close and Karla took on an almost motherly role in the young woman’s life. When the Thunderbolts' true nature was revealed to the public (c/o Baron Zemo), Moonstone, Jolt, Mach IV, and Songbird rallied against him. Wanting to continue their lives as heroes, the group defeated the brainwashed Fantastic Four and Avengers with the help of Iron Man. When the battle was over, the group decided to pay their debt to society so they could start new lives as heroes. Unfortunately, before they were able to do this, they were transported to an alternate dimension. Taking on leadership of the team, Karla defeated the Kosmosian Primotur Jekuakkekt which allowed them to return to Earth. Moonstone used her psychological prowess to defeat Graviton, though her teammates felt that she neglected to consider the consequences of her actions. When Hawkeye promised the team pardons, Karla stepped aside allowing him to lead the team instead. Later, during the team's battle with the current roster of the Masters of Evil, she considered turning on them, but quickly changed her mind.
Fighting against the Secret Empire, Karla became involved with Hawkeye, but began to have nightmares about an alien woman. The team was attacked by Scourge and unfortunately Jolt was killed. Karla took her death very hard and went in search of answers after a fight with the V-Battalion. Then, seeking help, she went to the Kree and received the answers she was looking for. The alien woman in her dreams was the previous owner of the moonstone and was influencing Karla's desires to be a hero. The Thunderbolts (along with Captain Marvel) found her and attempted to help her. After talk of removing the stone from her body was rejected, the group opted to leave it in place. Instead they hoped to wipe all the memories of the previous owner from the object. This left all of Moonstone's decisions and the consequences thereof, to her. Returning to Earth the team found Jolt alive and well. In spite of this good news Moonstone discovered that Hawkeye's promises of pardons were just a ruse. She exposed him to the rest of the team and went after Scourge and the man controlling him, Henry Gyrich. Their defeat of the Redeemers lead to the revelation that Henry Gyrich was being controlled as well. The team eventually received a full pardon from Valerie Cooper.
Graviton re-emerged and hired Karla as his teacher. She taught him how to better control his powers and made him fall in love with her. He attacked and killed the Redeemers and held most of the world's heroes in place, relocating many major cities to the sky. The team of would-be-heroes reformed, only to find Karla at Graviton's side. Because of her hesitation to fight them, his powers imploded and sent the team to Counter-Earth. While there, the team finally had their chance to be true heroes. They helped to save many people and Karla even reshaped the minds of the political leaders in order to give them a new way of thinking. While there, Moonstone acquired another moonstone from the Phantom Eagle which greatly augmented her powers. They then returned to Earth shortly after leaving the younger members there to continue their work.
Shortly after, the Thunderbolts (with Baron Zemo as a member once more) designed a machine called the liberator in an attempt to drain the world of potentially harmful energies to make way for true peace; however none of the Thunderbolts trusted Zemo yet. Iron Man had secretly infiltrated the group disguised as Cobalt Man to make sure Zemo was not attempting to control the world's energy for himself. When Iron Man did not report back to the Avengers, the mighty heroes arrived just after the machine was activated, and believed the machine was built to harm the world. Captain America attempted to destroy the machine, and the energy seemingly disappeared, leading to a fight between the long-standing team of heroes and the reformed villains. Moonstone inexplicably began to writhe in pain, yet quickly recovered, exhibiting even stronger powers than she had thus far. She then revealed she had put a backdoor program into the liberator that would divert the energy into her, just in case Zemo betrayed the Thunderbolts and the world. Captain America's assault on the machine caused this backdoor program to kick into effect and direct the energy toward her. She then became emotionally unstable, angered by the Avengers' interference and lack of trust and lashed out at the heroes. She continued her decline into madness as Captain America and Zemo continued to argue over whom was to blame for the situation. However, every time someone began to reason with Moonstone, her emotions and frustration only worsened, until her new power combined with Scarlet Witch’s chaos magic and began to rip the fabric of space and time. Ultimately, after repeated attempts to reach out and save the world and Moonstone, Hawkeye had no choice but to release an arrow that would allow the Avengers to separate Karla and her moonstones. With the moonstones removed from her body she fell into a coma. After some time she was taken by the Commission on Superhuman Activities who used their resources to link her mind with Songbird, whom found the powerful stones once more and returned them to Karla, bringing her back to conciousness.
During the Civil War, Moonstone was blackmailed into becoming the leader of the team by Norman Osborn (Green Goblin). Well aware of how important the team's public image was, she was very careful to hide the more ruthless side of the team, but was still a less-than-capable leader. Moonstone often clashed with Songbird and even convinced S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to give Osborn placebos rather than his prescribed medication. In a recent battle with American Eagle she was shot through the wrist by a crossbow and ordered Bullseye to cripple him. When four psychic super villains invaded the Thunderbolts Mountain, they manipulated Karla into attacking Doc Samson, whom she professed a deep seated hatred for. Moonstone managed decently against Sampson, however, when she attempted to attack Penance, he deflected her beam and knocked her through several walls. Although she did manage to survive, it was noted that Moonstone would still require nanosurgery, although it would be about two weeks before her body was healthy enough to under go the operation.
Once she recovered, Moonstone was among the members of the team that was attacked by the sleeper Skrull agent known as Khn'nr, who had taken the form of Captain Marvel. Khn'nr then rejected his original programming, and chose instead to defend the human race. He later used his power to easily shut down Moonstone's source of power after revealing the moonstone's Kree origin. After a discussion with Osborn, Khn'nr left the area and allowed the team to recover before launching an attack on a Skrull airship. Karla, along with the Swordsman and his newly cloned sister, Andrea, moved to the control center. However, Karla believed Andrea's recent arrival clearly marked her as a Skrull, so she attacked the Swordsman, knocking him unconscious in order to negotiate a deal with the Skrulls. Unfortunately for her, Andrea was not a Skrull and brutally attacked her. Andrea was prepared to unleash another attack that would have killed Moonstone, however, she was instead killed by Bullseye when he stabbed her from behind. Bullseye then attempted to kill Moonstone, but she turned intangible and began threatening Bullseye just to keep him in line.
After the Secret Invasion ends, Osborn leaves for Washington, allowing Moonstone and Bullseye to finally eliminate the other members of the team. Moonstone first has a therapy session with Robbie, where she makes him feel worse about himself before drugging him and stating that she has already made plans to place him in a maximum security mental institution. She then unleashes Bullseye and Venom on Songbird after they manipulate her into sending the Radioactive Man (Songbird's only true ally) back to China. Songbird manages to evade her killers long enough to blow up a section of the Thunderbolts Mountain with Zeus, before faking her death with the aid of the Swordsman. Karla then leaves, appearing to have given up.
Karla was next seen meditating on Thunderbolts Mountain when Osborn appeared and tossed the original costume of Ms Marvel in her lap. He then convinced her to join his new team of Avengers after he informed Karla that as "Ms Marvel" she would live in a penthouse in New York City, rather than being forced to remain in the Mountain under house arrest. Though curious as to whether she would retain her position as field leader of the team, Karla took the time to appreciate the fact that she was now officially an Avenger. Later, she and the rest of the Dark Avengers were revealed to the public, led by Osborn as the Iron Patriot. As Ms. Marvel, Karla helped to assist Osborn in providing aid to Doctor Doom when he battled with Morgan le Fay. Karla also faced the X-Men in San Francisco, where she and the rest of the Dark Avengers attempted to deal with the rebelling mutants before they were ultimately defeated on the resurfaced Asteroid M.
War of the Marvels
While Karla is a skilled psychiatrist herself, Norman eventually insisted she have a psychiatric evaluation just like every other member of the Dark Avengers. The psychiatrist Dr. Gerald Wright knew of Ms. Marvel's real identity and informed Karla that he was aware that she was not Carol Danvers. Dr. Wright then assaulted Karla's mind with telepathy since he knew that the Dark Avengers were evil and wanted to kill them all himself. Karla however, was not without tricks of her own. When Dr. Wright attempted to learn about her past, Karla showed him everything, including when she murdered her own mother to prevent her from learning about the villain she had become. This terrifying image caused the doctor to lose control of his telepathy and gave Moonstone the chance to cut off his arm which he had been using to maintain his telepathic contact. When Karla left the room, she was covered in blood stains and refused to speak with Osborn, who had been waiting for her in the hallway.
When Karla later infiltrated an A.I.M. facility in an effort to serve as a liaison for Osborn, she was surprised when their new Storyteller system of genetically-modified M.O.D.O.K. fetuses telepathically asked her for help. After she destroyed the A.I.M. splinter group by redirecting a meteor onto their building, she retrieved the "babies," and stored them at HAMMER HQ. She was later attacked by a mysterious energy being, who also seemed to seek the babies for itself. The conflict over possession of the reality-altering Storyteller fetuses grew and eventually included Deadpool, Wolverine, and Spider-Man.
After Karla pursued Deadpool to the Hollywood area of L.A., she encountered the New Avengers and the energy beings working together in storming yet another A.I.M. facility, so that they could retrieve the remaining Storytellers. Although she attempted to fight off the New Avengers, Karla was unable to stop them from networking the Storytellers. This resulted in what Karla had been fearing: The Storytellers fused the energy beings back into a single entity, that of the original Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers, who everyone had believed to be deceased after she overloaded in an earlier incident. Inevitably, Karla and Carol battled across the city until the two were stopped by an intervening Sentry. After a brief meeting with Norman Osborn, the War of Marvels continued after Carol confronted the two Dark Avengers in their base. During the fight, the M.O.D.O.K. babies attempt to assist Carol again by placing the personality of Catherine Donovan inside Moonstone. As Catherine's personality became dominant, Karla reaffirmed her strength when she returned to her former Moonstone persona. She then continued her duel with the original Ms. Marvel until Carol ripped the moonstone from her body and instead of killing her, placed her item of power where Karla initially lost her humanity. Since Carol had intended to make this an opportunity for redemption, she placed the moonstone at the grave site of Karla's mother. While Karla initially looked remorseful, she simply took the moonstone and destroyed her mothers headstone before walking away.
Soon Norman Osborn begins to unravel and he decides to attack Asgard with his Avengers and the Initiative. Moonstone joined him alongside the Avengers with the knowledge that their slates would be wiped clean. She personally attacked Thor with Norman and the U-Foes. But when Captain America's Avengers showed up, she and Bullseye choose to leave, as they felt it was over for them. Like most members of the team she was eventually arrested and placed in the Raft.
Luke Cage was put in charge of the new Thunderbolts and gave her the chance to join his new team, along with new and old members alike. Though Karla does not appear to take the team seriously at first, which she makes clear when commenting that she wants her suit pressed and that she's allergic to peanuts. Cage snaps her out of it by saying he would never have put her on the team in the first place if it weren't for the government officials' requirement. Afterward, Moonstone attempts to be one of the more loyal members of the team, constantly trying to be helpful and finish the missions. It is unknown if her intentions to reform are true or not; she might simply be trying to get out of the Raft, rather than waiting around in a cell. Recently, she called Luke Cage a "true hero", indicating that she may be showing signs of true of inner growth.
Due to extra nanomachines placed on her spine, Moonstone has lost her ability to phase through objects. Though she claims she can't work well without her phasing abilities, the other members believe she has enough power and skill to last on her own.
Karla is able to access a variety of powers after a Kree gravity stone found on the Earth's moon was bonded to her central nervous system. Kree gravity stones are shards of a Lifestone derived from the Kree Tree of Life. Her powers include: self propelled flight, intangibility, the ability to manipulate gravity in a variety of ways like force blasts, superhuman strength, speed, stamina, reflexes, generation of miniature black holes, and transportation of objects through dimensional rifts. Also, her costume is an extension of the stone and can be altered at will.
Karla possesses an M.D. in psychology, however she also holds extensive knowledge in the area of psychoanalysis due to her time studying under Dr. Faustus. This has helped to make her an expert manipulator.
Karla also has perfect control over her voice. She can alter her pitch and modulation to varying degrees to literally drive a man crazy, as shown with what she did to Red-Hulk..
Gender: Female Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 130 lbs.
Known Relatives: Karl August Sofen (father, deceased), Marion (mother)
Place of Birth: Van Nuys, California
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Former criminal, psychologist
Education: M.D. in psychology
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.
Through unknown circumstances, Moonstone died and her soul inhabited the Realm of the Dead, created by the Elders of the Universe. She is seen among many other superheroes who were continually in battle in the Realm.
The Avengers: United They Stand
Moonstone appears as a member of the Masters of Evil in the 6th episode of the animated series. the episode was titled Command Decision, in it the Avengers were torn between two leaders, Hank Pym and Captain America. Moonstone along with Absorbing Man and a few other villains worked for Baron Zemo in this animated series episode.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
Moonstone appears as a villain and boss enemy in the video game, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2. Voiced by Tessa Auberjonois, she is encountered by the heroes first with Bullseye (standing guard of Firestar), who is being subjected to nanites in an attempt to make her part of the Fold. After this she appears yet again in Prison 42, at the portal.
Marvel: Avengers Alliance
Moonstone appears as a boss during several missions in the game. She is even part of the Dark Avengers (Along with Dark Wolverine/Daken, Dark Thor/Ragnarok, Dark Hawkeye/Bullseye, Ares, Vulture, Dark Spider-Man/Venom and Dark Widow/Yelena Belova) under the leadership of Dell Rusk (Red Skull). Although she is part of the team, she does not take the mantle of Ms. Marvel as in the comics.
Her bio says: Karla Sofen, A.K.A. Moonstone gained her powers from an alien gem which she absorbed after extracting it via psychological manipulation of the original Moonstone, Lloyd Bloch. She can fly, become intangible, blast energy from her hands and emit blinding flashes of light.
Moonstone was later released as a playable character, unlockable via Lockboxes mode (in her case Recruit by completing the Psycho Collection).
As a hero, her bio says: Dr. Karla Sofen originally became a psychologist not to help others, but to manipulate them. When the original Moonstone became her patient, Karla convinced him to give up the Kree Lifestone he had stolen. Karla then absorbed the stone herself, gaining the powers of flight, intangibility, gravity manipulation, and more. Her recent signs of reform may be genuine...or may simply be another psychological power play.
Marvel Avengers Alliance Tactics
Moonstone was a boss in the short lived online game.
Marvel: War of Heroes
Moonstone is depicted in the mobile game in several cards:
- [Multiple Personality] Moonstone
- [Dark Reign] Moon Stone
- [Dark Avenger] Moonstone
- [Dark Marvel] Moonstone
- [Attachment Disorder] Moonstone
- [Control Freak] Moonstone