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Typhoid Mary

Venom Legends
by yo go re

The problem with doing an entire Marvel Legends series (not wave) based around Venom is that you're pretty quickly going to have to turn to characters who have nothing to do with him.

One of Mary Walker's three distinct identities, Typhoid Mary is a brutal combatant with the disturbing ability to set things on fire with her mind.

Ah yes, that famous Venom character, Typhoid Mary. She has about as much to do with Venom as she does with Iron Fist, which is to say "nothing" - Mary's a Daredevil foe, and always has been. She was introduced in May of 1988 (which, coincidentally, was the same month Venom himself fully appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #300) as a criminal hired by the Kingpin to seduce and assassinate Matt Murdock. Her mutant powers are linked to her multiple personalities: "Mary" was sickly and epileptic and had no abilities, while "Typhoid" was healthy (other than running a constant fever) and was a low-level telekinetic and pyrokinetic. They even spoke differently and had different body language, to the point where not even Daredevil could recognize them as the same person.

Since she was introduced in the '80s, Typhoid Mary's original costume looks ridiculous today - fishnets, a unitard, a jazzercize blouse with only one sleeve, and riveted sheet metal armor on the shoulders. Pair that with high-heeled ankle boots and a gigantic perm, and you've got an amazing period eyesore. These days she's still got the fishnets, though she wears them beneath a pair of jeans with one of the legs cut off. She's got a leather jacket that still features some light armor on the shoulders, and is wearing a white bustier - that means her entire torso is a new mold, because while other characters have worn similar tops, none of them paired it with sculpted jeans.

The one thing that's always remainded constant is Mary's makeup: no matter what costume she's wearing, she always paints the right half of her face solid white. The eyes on this one are painted a little too far to the center, making her crosseyed, a problem only exacerbated by the lock of hair falling between her eyes. She wears her hair straight now, not all frizzed up.

The hairstyle, right down to the way it falls around her shoulders, is taken from a specific piece of art by Terry Dodson. For that matter, so is the costume - this modern "jeans and jacket" look was first created by Alex Maleev, but his version of it didn't have the armor on the shoulders. Or a shirt. Since Hasbro wasn't about to sell a toy with a tit hanging out, they went with this alternate take. Thing is, the art comes from the arc where she joined the Sisterhood of Mutants; in other words, this is an X-Men toy, through and through, despite being sold in Spider-Man (well, "Venom")-related packaging. Nobody tell the conspiracy theorists!

Since the arms come from Jessica Jones, it's a shame they didn't also use that mold's right leg. You know, so it would actually look like pants and not just a solid black leg. They probably couldn't do that because the legs would be gang-molded at the same time, and there's no way to block off just one of them. The plain leg works for her left side, because the torn fishnets are simply painted on (and they weren't going to mold a new "fishnet" leg for one toy).

Originally, Mary's weapons of choice were simple machettes, but somewhere along the way, she started using swords, instead. This figure includes a katana with a translucent orange flame piece that fits around the blade.

The figure includes a piece of this series' BAF, Monster Venom. She gets the left leg, big and thick and veiny.

Typhoid Mary had an action figure decades ago in one of those small, weird, themed ToyBiz lines, but it wasn't very good, even for its time. This one isn't perfect (the crossed eyes, the non-jean leg), but she's pretty dang good.

-- 09/30/18

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