Mary Walker was born into an abusive home. Her parents would furiously argue with each other, traumatizing her as an infant. Abused as a child, one day when a hand (possibly her father’s) reached into her crib the first of her multiple personalities manifested itself in a wild, clawing rage that lashed out. Mary was found to have telepathic, telekinetic and pyrokinetic abilities and was taken away and institutionalized. Her persona as Mary was gentle and cooperative, but weak and prone to seizures and other disorders. Her second identity was uncontrollable and murderous, and constantly ran a fever, giving rise to her name: Typhoid. While in the institution, she was trained in her telepathy, but also experimented on and abused.
Eventually she escaped and woke up one morning to find herself in a hotel room with rope burns and a bruised lip; as Mary, she was totally unaware of what had happened while as her other persona(e). Mary tried to become an actress and was good at it but this was short-lived and she disappeared.
Re-emerging as a prostitute working in a brothel and going by the name Lyla, Daredevil (Matt Murdock) came across her while on the hunt for one of the Fixer’s associates. Mary and her fellow prostitutes attacked Matt, fearing a police raid and she was thrown from a window. Recovering from near death after that fall, Typhoid re-took control of Mary, swearing never to be hurt by a man again and beginning her criminal career.
Mary Walker first appeared in Daredevil #252 in March 1988 and was followed by the debut of Typhoid Mary in #254 released in May of that year. She was created by writer Ann Nocenti and artist John Romita Jr.
Major Story Arcs
Typhoid Mary's criminal career brought her through Chicago and New York. Enlisting a mugger called Rip as her accomplice, she killed a group of drug dealers for their money. In Hell's Kitchen she proceeded to do the same to various criminal operations belonging to the Kingpin, to the extent that the New York press approved of her and the police tolerated her activities. As Typhoid had become a noticeable annoyance for the Kingpin and upon hearing that she was an alluring woman, he researches her and senses the perfect opportunity to bring down Daredevil and satisfy his own inner desires, inviting her to his building and offering her a million dollars to play a cruel game with Daredevil by charming him as Mary Walker and tormenting him as Typhoid. Mary manipulated her way into Matt's affections by pretending to help a young blind man named Tyrone Janson. Typhoid's apparent sickness and delirium inducing abilities along with a completely different voice, scent and changed personality kept Daredevil's super senses from determining that Mary Walker and Typhoid were the same person when she attacked him later as Typhoid. Her behavior came across to Matt as disgusting. While Matt's relationship with Mary grew, behind the scenes Typhoid was manipulating the court case involving the criminal who blinded Tyrone. Matt was successful in convicting the criminal, but Typhoid continued to try to break Matt, while at the same time keeping the Kingpin satisfied. Typhoid and Mary struggled for control of her mind as Mary's feelings for Matt gave her strength to resist Typhoid's power. When the Kingpin's skepticism in her ability to stay as typhoid reaches the point of physical abuse, while being frustrated that she couldn't have Matt and that Mary wouldn't allow her to harm him personally, Typhoid sends the Wildboys with Ammo, Bullet and Bushwacker after Daredevil. The villains batter Matt before Typhoid drops him off a bridge. Without making sure Matt was dead, she informs the Kingpin of the good news.
The demon invasion of New York in Inferno then begins. Mary regains control of her mind and ponders committing suicide to defeat Typhoid for good. Finding Matt's broken body, she approaches but a demon attack allows Typhoid to briefly retake control. Mary eventually brings Matt to the hospital and tells him about her true nature as Typhoid Mary. When Matt wakes up, his girlfriend Karen is present but he calls out for Mary instead, breaking her heart. Typhoid Mary returns to the Kingpin to inform him that Matt is still alive, but doesn't tell him that it was Mary who saved him.
Acts of Vengeance
When Loki gathers a group of supervillains together to attack the Avengers and other Marvel heroes in Acts of Vengeance, Dr Doom enlists Typhoid Mary to steal the secrets of Kymellian technology from Dr James Power. This brings her into conflict with Power Pack and their friend Dagger. Mary manipulates Alex Power and James and gains their affections by telling Alex a (likely false) story of how as a child she couldn't save her blind father from dying. Typhoid then sends Alex a note saying that Mary has been kidnapped, and Power Pack attack her. Typhoid tries to kill James Power but Alex saves him. Typhoid returns to Dr Doom who is furious that she failed to follow his plan and the two part ways.
Wolverine and The Project
When Wolverine is asked to investigate an operation called The Project by a man named Brian Roberts, he is introduced to Mary, who may also have been a subject of their experiments. Mary and Wolverine break into a facility belonging to The Project and find some videotapes. The tapes show evidence of The Project performing psychic surgery on people, making them into assassins but while they watch at Mary’s house, her own painful memories trigger Typhoid to re-emerge. Wolverine tries to talk Mary back into control but Typhoid sets him on fire and flees. Typhoid goes back to The Project and forces a surgeon to reprogram another doctor to hate the things he loves. Wolvie arrives and Typhoid reminds him that he too was reprogrammed in his past. Wolverine manages to get Mary back in control despite being set on fire, but while he goes to interrogate the surgeon, Typhoid takes over again and goes to the house of Sidney Joern, the head psychic surgeon of The Project. She kills his guards and blackmails him with evidence she has gathered of his misdoings. She wants him to do their experiments on her in reverse and remove her killer persona. However, as soon as she is hooked up to the equipment, Sidney decides instead to wipe her mind to stop her revealing his crimes to the public. Wolverine arrives and Typhoid Mary wakes up. Furious, she telekinetically straps Wolvie down and proceeds to kill all the surgeons before escaping. Wolvie is only able to bring Mary back briefly by kissing Typhoid before she is gone.
Typhoid Mary continued to operate as the Kingpin's enforcer and adviser. Daredevil, however, manages to have her committed for her own good by Social Services, but loses Mary's trust in doing so. She only pretends to take her medication and escapes, taking a job with the Women's Action Movement (WAM) at a shopping mall where she meets Dan Ketch (Ghost Rider). She is intrigued by Dan, but while in the bathroom a demon named Dusk approaches her, offering to take away her Typhoid persona if she will drive Ghost Rider to madness for him.
Returning to the mall, some corrupt security guards harrass and try to kiss Mary, provoking Typhoid to emerge and fight them. Dan turns into Ghost Rider and takes down Typhoid with his penance stare but is shocked when she turns back into Mary. Typhoid reasserts control and goes on the hunt for the guards. Finding Dan and his priest friend Louis Tarsitano she fights Dan and provokes him into transforming. The last remaining security guard shows up. When Typhoid kills him, Ghost Rider chokes her with his chain but is driven mad because he doesn't want to hurt Mary; this allows Dusk to transport Ghost Rider to his Realm of Insanity. Typhoid finds out that Dusk never intended to help her and enters the Realm as well, inadvertently leaving behind her sane persona as she does so. Dusk torments her with her worst fears and her feelings for the men in her life. Ghost Rider approaches but Typhoid refuses to listen to him and jumps off a cliff onto some spikes below. Ghost Rider and one of the WAM employees bring Typhoid back to reality, but as soon as she is re-joined with Mary she escapes home to take some drugs. Ghost Rider defeats Dusk meanwhile.
While institutionalized again, her doctors note Typhoid Mary's identities fracture into a third persona. Wolverine breaks her out again so he can gain access to The Project facility again (now called The Fortress) to track down a mutant named Jessie Drake. Dr Hunt at the hospital had been trying to alter Mary's mind and Mary pleads with
Wolvie to kill her but he refuses. Mary is able to gain access to the Fortress as she appears to have no powers. Once in she switches to Typhoid and finds Jessie, but they are knocked out and captured as they try to escape. Jessie mentally calls out to Daredevil and Vengeance for help. Typhoid is then put in a sensory deprivation tank and confronted with her worst memories, which causes her to lash out with her telekinesis and pyrokinesis powers, killing all the males in the room but not the women. This creates a new persona for Typhoid: Bloody Mary, a violently misandrist (man-hating) woman, who telekinetically assembles a suit of armor for herself, frees Jessie and takes her to a women's shelter. However, there she finds out that Jessie is actually a man with the ability to transform according to people around her, hence becoming a woman. This drives Mary insane and she becomes Bloody Mary again and starts going after abusive men in the shelter's files. Steel Raven is sent after Mary and Jessie by the Fortress. Steel Raven finds Mary but the two decide instead to go after the head scientist Dr Hoffner for his experimentation on children. Vengeance is unable to stop Mary, and neither are Wolverine and Daredevil (who doesn't recognize her as Bloody Mary) but when she bumps into Jessie again, Jessie somehow enables Mary to manifest a fourth identity: Walker, a stable and rational persona. When Wolverine reveals that Dr Hunt had only wanted to preserve the Typhoid persona for himself and kill the other identities, Walker goes to confront Dr. Hunt at the hospital. She then announces to the public her mission to go after and punish all men who have hurt women in any way.
Sadly failing to maintain her sanity, Bloody Mary begins another killing rampage against abusive men in New York. After the third murder, Bloody Mary reverts to ordinary Mary who tells the police that she witnessed it from a hidden spot in the room. Peter Parker (Spider-Man) is in attendance as a reporter and invites Mary to dinner with him and MJ. Flitting between her three different personalities, Typhoid Mary continues to go on a crusade against men, but Spider-Man, realizing that the three identities are one person, is able to stop her killing Jack Morray, an especially brutal man. Spidey convinces her to return to her Mary persona and she confesses her crimes and turns herself in.
Mary is placed at a halfway house and makes friends with a man named John. The Walker persona reasserts control, but allows Mary to come forth to meet with John. Mary learns about a series of murders of prostitutes. As Walker she poses as a private investigator and looks into the case. As the investigation progresses, Walker tries to make sense of the clues that the three other personae leave for her on post-it notes. The murders turn out to have been carried out by two policemen: Dick Richards and Evan Racette and also Ophelia Taranova, the wife of an ex-detective, Jack. Typhoid poses as a prostitute to catch Racette and kills him as Bloody Mary. However, she is kidnapped by Quince, Ophelia’s son and his friend Trent who learned about Dr Hunt and his therapy videos of Mary. The two kids think they can cure her. Typhoid easily breaks free and learns from Jack that Ophelia is one of the murderers. Unable to accept a woman as her enemy she tracks down and kills Dick Richards as Bloody Mary, before returning to her P.I. job as Walker.
Back in psychiatric care, Mary was still traumatized from her horrific life: she secretly hires the mercenary Deadpool to kill her, while at the same time Typhoid puts out a request to free her. Deadpool breaks her out, but since she lacks money to pay him for either of her requests (with Kingpin unreachable) Typhoid offers her 'other' talents instead. Deadpool instead decides she should work to pay off her debt. After a fight breaks out, Typhoid is knocked out of a window. This gives her a flashback to her origin and she decides they should go to New York to punish Daredevil. The two of them trap Daredevil and beat him up a bit, but when Daredevil refuses to feel remorse for creating Typhoid Mary she goes mad and falls to the floor. At this, Deadpool takes her away to a warehouse for some practical therapy. Typhoid tricks him and easily breaks free and goes off on another killing spree around New York. Deadpool catches her up with her and beats her up, but not before she has taunted him about his true brutal nature. Returning to Deadpool's Hell house, Typhoid disguises herself as Siryn, seduces Deadpool and then leaves him, devastated.
Mary reassumes control and works as an actress again, but the Kingpin shows up. When he hits her, the shock brings back the Typhoid personality and he hires her to assassinate Matt Murdock. Matt's bodyguards Jessica Jones and Luke Cage take care of her, but not before she causes severe burns on Matt.
Typhoid Mary is imprisoned at the Raft but is broken out when Electro frees all the prisoners for Skrull-Elektra. She is then recruited by Henry Gyrich to the covert Shadow Initiative in return for a pardon and help integrating her mind. She joins as Mutant Zero, a fifth personality capable of using all of Mary's psionic powers. While successful in helping the team with their missions, she has to return to meditation frequently. The team goes after Skrull Queen Veranke during the Skrull Invasion but they are taken prisoner. After the defeat of the Skrulls, Mutant Zero remains with the Initiative and reveals her identity to them. While on a mission to Madripoor to recover Hardball who had defected to Hydra, the mission goes wrong when Bloodscream and Roughouse attack them. Without access to her meditation room, the Bloody Mary persona returns, torches some Hydra agents and she escapes.
When Daredevil is possessed by a demon and takes over leadership of the Hand, Typhoid Mary reappears, allying herself with Daredevil in Shadowland. She claims to be fully in control of her personalities but he has doubts and puts her under guard in a tower. Eventually he releases her to work for him. After the defeat and disappearance of Daredevil, the Kingpin returns and reveals he knows of a keyword that will awaken a persona in Mary that will be loyal to him.
Powers and Abilities
- Telekinesis- can levitate small objects (those weighing less that 10 pounds)
- Pyrokinesis- she has the power to set things in her immediate area aflame
- Mind Control- she has the power to implant mental suggestions into unsuspecting minds as well as sedate weak-willed people and animals
- She is also very skilled in martial arts and the use of weapons especially machetes.
Due to childhood abuse, Mary developed dissociative identity disorder, giving her (at first) three distinct personalities: timid Mary, lustful Typhoid, and vicious Bloody Mary. However, the differences between these are so great that not even highly sensitive individuals such as Daredevil and Wolverine can tell they are the same person, even her scent and heartbeat differ.
As Mary, she rarely manifests her mutant abilities, although when threatened, she can unconsciously call upon all of her personalities at will and benefit from their powers and fighting skills, but Mary can not recall anything that Bloody or Typhoid do.
When the Typhoid personality takes over, Mary gets a high fever as though she was sick, however she becomes far more athletic than timid Mary Walker. Typhoid seems to be the craziest and most lustful of all her personalities.
Bloody Mary seems to be the strongest, most unstable and violent of the personalities. Bloody Mary says she only hurts men who hurt women: she sees herself as a feminist fighter that is fighting for the rights of women that can't protect themselves. The sexual lust that she displays as Typhoid is no longer present as Bloody Mary.
Two other personalities have since shown themselves: Walker and Mutant Zero. Walker is more rational and capable than the other personae, but appears to lack the ability to use her mutant powers. Like Mary she cannot remember the things she does while in the other identities. Mutant Zero was able to use all her mutant powers, but had to return to frequent meditation. This identity appeared to break when her past as Typhoid Mary was revealed to her. She is an excellent shot and swordswoman.
In the movie Elektra, Typhoid Mary is one of The Hand Ninjas. She has her Pyrokinesis and has the ability to poison people through a kiss. She is seen poisoning one of the Hands leaders as well as Elektra. She is played by Natassia Malthe.
Typhoid Mary has a minor role in the X-Men cartoon series (episode: Beyond Good and Evil part 3) as one of apocalypse's captured Psychics.
Typhoid Mary appears in The Amazing Spiderman vs The Kingpin as one of the Kingpin's two personal bodyguards. She must be defeated before the Kingpin can be reached.
Toy Biz released Typhoid Mary in their Super-Villains line, The Vault, in 1998.