Friday, December 12, 2014

Case Study No. 1737: Marjorie Brink

Librarians in Comic Books... Marjorie Brink!
From: Marvel Comics Presents (1990) #61
Tags: librarians comic books marjorie brink stephen strange sorcerer supreme
Added: 7 months ago
From: ComixLibrary
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[the first panel shows an elderly female librarian (greyish-brown hair in a bun, glasses on a chain around her neck, green blouse and long skirt) carrying a stack of books in the library]
STEPHEN: [from off camera] Excuse me, I'm looking for the reference librarian ...
MARJORIE: I'm Miss Brink. How can I help you?
[the second panel shows Doctor Strange (in "plain" clothes with his back to the reader) standing at the front desk, while the librarian puts down her books]
STEPHEN: I'm looking for a book on gamma-globulin immuno-history ...
MARJORIE: I'm sure we have--
STEPHEN: Marjorie?
MARJORIE: Stephen?!
[the third panel shows Strange smiling and taking her by the arm, with the story's title ("The Librarian featuring: Dr. Strange") in the upper right-hand corner]
STEPHEN: [whispers] Hush, Marjorie. This is a library, you know!
[the fourth panel shows Strange and the librarian talking quietly, as some young patrons stare at them from the background]
MARJORIE: [whispers] You're looking great! You haven't aged a day!
STEPHEN: [whispers] Neither have you.
[the fifth panel shows the two continuing their conversation (as two more young patrons stare at them)]
STEPHEN: [whispers] Is there somewhere we can talk? It's almost lunchtime!
MARJORIE: [whispers] Of course! I have a little place right across the street ... If you don't mind, that is.
[the sixth panel shows the two walking into her apartment]
MARJORIE: A trifle cramped, but I make the most of it.
STEPHEN: Marjorie ... You've been dying your hair!
MARJORIE: My, that was blunt. Not a mousy enough brown?
[the seventh panel shows the librarian taking off her glasses]
STEPHEN: I meant you've been dying it gray.
MARJORIE: Ah. Maybe that's why I fell in love with you, Stephen. You pay attention to a girl.
[the eighth panel shows the librarian with her back to Strange, letting her hair down]
MARJORIE: It started a couple of years after we had our ...
STEPHEN: "Brief relationship?"
MARJORIE: Torrid little romance, and you graduated med school. I started eating a lot, but I didn't gain any weight. Never had, but now I was trying. I never exercised and yet I never sagged like my co-workers.
STEPHEN: I remember.
[the ninth panel shows the librarian (her face away from the reader) sitting on her couch and looking out the window]
MARJORIE: And when I tried exercising, I never got any stonger. Never gained or lost an inch. And my cuts and bruises healed amazingly fast ... It hit me. Homeostasis. A completely self-correcting body. I wasn't getting any older.
[the tenth panel shows Marjorie turning to Strange (her face suddenly looking much younger without the glasses and bun in her hair)]
MARJORIE: Stephen, I ... I think I'm immortal!
[the eleventh panel shows Marjorie continuing to talk while Strange puts a hand on his chin and listens intently]
MARJORIE: Poison doesn't work on me ... I tried it. I even tried starving myself. I simply went to sleep. And I'm not courageous enough to jump off a building or shoot myself!
STEPHEN: Marjorie ... The reason I was attracted to you is that you were always strong and alive. I sensed your psychic torment, but surely you don't want to die ... to have me kill you?!
[the twelfth panel shows Marjorie with her head down]
MARJORIE: Not really. I suppose if I thought they would've worked, I wouldn't have tried them. It's actually nice to know I'll have all the time to read all the books I want to ... and with no one taking a second look at a librarian ... Stephen, is this going to go on forever? An infinity of time, watching others grow old? Why did this happen to me?
[the thirteenth panel shows a closeup of Strange]
MARJORIE: [from off camera] I heard you gave up medicine and became a mystic or something. I thought maybe you could explain it to me somehow!
STEPHEN: I've become a little more than that, Marjorie ...
[the fourteenth panel shows Strange magically changing into his "Sorcerer Supreme" costume]
STEPHEN: As you can see!
MARJORIE: My goodness!
STEPHEN: And if I can help you, I will!
MARJORIE: My goodness!
[the fifteenth panel shows Strange pointing to something on the table in front of Marjorie]
STEPHEN: And to solve this mystery, I will need that.
MARJORIE: My ... bubble-blowing kit?
[the sixteenth panel shows Strange using the wand to blow a bubble]
STEPHEN: You have been given the future, Marjorie ... An unending future, perhaps. But in a very real sense, neither the past nor the future really exists. All we have is the present!
[the seventeenth panel shows Strange holding the bubble in his hand]
STEPHEN: And the present is as delicate, evanescent, and frail ... as a soap bubble.
[the eighteenth panel shows Strange tossing the bubble to Marjorie like a baseball]
MARJORIE: Are you seri ... Oof! It's as heavy as a stone! A crystal ball!
[the nineteenth panel shows the two standing face to face, holding the crystal ball in their hands]
STEPHEN: This present is also the window onto both those other magickal realms, Marjorie. With our four hands touching this moment, we may see towards ...
[the twentieth panel shows the two suddenly standing in an open field]
STEPHEN: Our answers? Hosts of Hoggoth! This should not be happening!
[the twenty first panel shows Strange looking around in confusion, as Marjorie points to something off camera]
STEPHEN: It should only have conjured up a vision ... not transported us! We are still on Earth, that I can sense, but--
MARJORIE: Earth, huh? Then would you mind explaining that?!
[the twenty second panel shows the planet Jupiter looming impossibly large on the horizon]
MARJORIE: Would you mind telling me what Jupiter is doing taking up half the sky?!
STEPHEN: I would if I could, Marjorie!
MARJORIE: Well, if this is the future, Stephen, I'm not prepared for it!
[the twenty third panel shows a cloaked figure (along with three soldiers in metallic uniforms) suddenly descending from the sky and surrounding the two]
MARJORIE: Stephen, this is supposed to be completely safe, isn't it?
STEPHEN: You're safe with me, Marjorie!
[the twenty fourth panel shows Strange summoning green energy from his hands]
STEPHEN: Whatever tongue you speak, know you that I am Doctor Strange, master of the mystic arts, and I shall not be moved nor conquered!
[the twenty fifth panel shows Strange holding up his energy-consumed hands so as to defend himself, but the cloaked figure holds up her hand]
FUTURE MARJORIE: That is not necessary! We mean you no harm ... They are for your protection only!
MARJORIE: Stephen! That voice!
[the twenty sixth panel shows the cloaked figure pulling down her hood, revealing herself to be Marjorie (looking exactly the same, except for the yellow-and-green leotard she's now wearing)]
FUTURE MARJORIE: You came! I knew you'd come! I knew it would be true!
[the twenty seventh panel shows the future version of Marjorie talking to Strange (while the other version hides behind him)]
FUTURE MARJORIE: There isn't much time to explain. We are about to launch our final assault on the demon sun!
STEPHEN: Demon sun?
[the twenty eighth panel shows a profile of the future version of Marjorie, as images of our solar system appear in the background]
FUTURE MARJORIE: Briefly ... After mankind went out to the stars, flourished and returned home to live out their twilight years, the sun went mad and was taken over by a power none had ever seen.
[the twenty ninth panel shows beams of radiation emanating from the sun, causing several of the planets to disappear in a "Poom!" of explosive energy]
FUTURE MARJORIE: [in voice over] To flee it, we moved the planet outward to orbit Jupiter, augmenting Jupiter's radiation to sustain us. The demon sun consumed the inner planets and there seemed to be no stopping it!
[the thirtieth panel shows the future version of Marjorie continuing her explanation]
FUTURE MARJORIE: Mankind had lost the knowledge of how to fight back, but I was there to give them back their memory! We have forged a fleet of ships not seen since the ascendance of the City of R in the Age of Terror ... but this is the final hour. The demon sun is striking back!
[the thirty first panel shows a large red spider-like creature appearing behind them]
[the thirty second panel shows Strange disintegrating the creature in a blast of green energy, as the sun appears brightly in the sky]
STEPHEN: It shall not have you!
FUTURE MARJORIE: They have found me! But at the last moment! The demon sun clears the horizon ... Careful, Stephen! An unshielded touch will mean annihilation! They are K'kylthri, pure anti-life!
[the thirty third panel shows more types of demonic creatures descending from the sky]
FUTURE MARJORIE: [from off camera] The sun knows the fleet will not fly without my word and will! They must kill me within moments!
[the thirty fourth panel shows both Strange and the future version of Marjorie shooting energy blasts from their hands to destroy the creatures (one of which attacks an armored soldier in the foreground)]
STEPHEN: You will have those moments! Even in this time I have power enough for that!
[the thirty fifth panel shows the future version of Marjorie speaking into a transmitter in the clasp of her purple robe, while the other Marjorie watches from the background]
FUTURE MARJORIE: Flight Three, right ascension seventy five! Flight Five, right ascension two-two-six! Flights Seven, Nine, through Forty-Two, every third point! All even flights, Performance Gamma! Go, my children!
[the thirty sixth panel shows the horizon apparently on fire]
STEPHEN: The sky!
FUTURE MARJORIE: It is done! They are away!
[the thirty seventh panel shows the sky lit up in lights (apparently the ignition from the many spaceships taking off towards the sun)]
FUTURE MARJORIE: Now the battle will be won or lost, there is nothing more we can do! But they will win, for however far removed, they are all, each and every one, my children.
[the thirty eighth panel shows the future version of Marjorie holding Strange by the hand]
FUTURE MARJORIE: Take care of me, Stephen. You know what they say ... the first hundred years are the hardest!
STEPHEN: I will!
[the thirty ninth panel shows the two back in Marjorie's apartment, as the bubble pops while she slumps down on the couch]
STEPHEN: And the bubble bursts, leaving us with the present once more!
MARJORIE: Stephen, was that ... was that real?
[the fortieth panel shows a closeup of Strange's face]
STEPHEN: The future is given to man at every instant, Marjorie ... and like all true gifts is never certain, never altogether understood. What we saw was more than a vision, but a dream, a taste of what might be.
[the forty first panel shows a closeup of Marjorie's face]
MARJORIE: Stephen, that was me. That was, and if I can be that ... even possibly, if I can be the memory, the living past for a distant future, then I can deal with all the centuries! After all, what are librarians for?
[the forty second panel shows a closeup of Strange's hand, as he holds up a red amulet bearing Marjorie's profile]
MARJORIE: What's that, Stephen? Did she give it to you?
STEPHEN: Yes, she did. It is a memory ... a memory of great courage. And a promise!



Real Name: Marjorie Brink
Former Aliases: none
Height: unknown
Weight: unknown
Hair color: Light brown with dyed white strips
Eyes: Blue
First appearance: Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #61
Known Relatives: None
Profession: former librarian
Group Affiliation: Unkillables
Powers: suspended homeostasis maintains her body indefinitely in its current state, allowing her to survive without food, ignore poisons, rapidly restore physical injuries, and making her apparently immortal

Marjorie Brink developed her unusual ability quite late in life. Marjorie had briefly dated Stephen Strange, the future sorcerer supreme, before he graduated from medical school. Despite the fact that their relationship didn't last that long, Marjorie had been in love with Strange. She took the breakup quite hard and began over-eating. However, despite this Marjorie didn't gain any weight. Around this time she noticed that she had never really gained or lost weight. She also noticed that she didn't get any stronger when she exercised. Marjorie began to test the limits of these abilities. She found out that she healed cuts and bruises amazingly fast, starvation and poison had little or no effect on her and she wasn't aging. Marjorie referred to her condition as homeostasis. In essence, she was immortal.

Marjorie decided to treat her power as an opportunity to read all the books she had always wanted to and became a librarian. Marjorie believed that she could hide her ability in plain sight as she believed that no one notices a librarian. She was cautious though and continually dyed her hair gray to avert suspicion. Some time later Marjorie heard that her former love, Stephen Strange had given up medicine and became a mystic of high renown. Marjorie reached out to Stephen hoping for an explanation of her powers and some indication of what the future would hold for her. Stephen attempted to show Marjorie her future using a spell, however both of them were inadvertently transported to the future.

Upon arriving in the future, Marjorie was shocked to see Jupiter orbiting Earth. She and Stephen were soon met by her future self. The future Marjorie explained that the sun had become possessed by a demon. The Demon Sun had consumed the inner planets of the solar system and Earth had been forced to relocate out of the sun's grasp. As time had gone on, mankind had lost the ability to fight back against the demon hordes of the sun but Marjorie, as a connection to the past, had given them back their fighting spirit. This Marjorie had become the leader of mankind and she was leading them into their final battle with the demonic sun, a battle she was confident they would win. As the future Marjorie bid them farewell, Marjorie and Stephen returned to the past. Marjorie was shocked by what she had just seen and questioned if it was real. Stephen assured her that this future was merely a possibility at this point. Nonetheless meeting her future self had changed Marjorie. She now felt her immortality had a purpose. She could go on with the centuries, knowing that she would be living memory of the past for the people of the future. [Marvel Comics Presents #61]

NOTE: The source of Marjorie's powers has never been explained. It's possible her powers may be supernatural, as her future self appeared to be an adept sorceress. This seems unlikely though as Doctor Strange should have been able to sense if her powers were mystical in origin. Her description of her powers and their development suggested that she could possibly be a mutant. However this was contradicted by Hank McCoy in Wolverine: The Best There Is #1-6, when Cerebro indicated that none of the Unkillables possessed the X-Gene.

As time went on, Marjorie's optimism about the future began to fade. She started to feel daunted by what awaited her. As the future shepherd of mankind, she thought she would have to learn everything there was to learn so she could defeat the Demon Sun. This fear made her susceptible to manipulation by a villain named Winsor. Winsor was seeking out beings with healing factors or "unkillables" as he referred them in an attempt to cure the plethora of viruses that his body bred. Winsor played on Marjorie's fears and offered her the promise of vast knowledge that she could use to save the future if she helped him. At some point early on in their collaboration, Winsor began drugging Marjorie with a chemical secreted by the Corrupter, another villain he had captured. The Corrupter's sweat allowed him to control Marjorie and for the most part, nullified her conscience.

Marjorie's intellect and resourcefulness was invaluable to Winsor. She managed to source DNA samples from various self-healers and located at least half of Winsor's group for him. Some time after the group's creation, they captured the X-Man Wolverine. The group began to put Wolverine's healing factor through a variety of tests. Even though she was under the influence of the Corrupter's sweat, Marjorie didn't display the level of sadism that her teammates did when it came to testing Wolverine. However, she recorded the results of each "test" in her notebook. Despite her lack of a medical background, Marjorie displayed a great aptitude for anatomy during her procedures on Wolverine. Eventually she theorized that Wolverine's healing factor had undergone a constant mutation over the years. His healing factor was mutating itself in order to cope with the ever increasing severity of the injuries that were inflicted upon his body.

It wasn't long before Wolverine managed to escape his captors and neutralized most of the Unkillables. In the end, the only one left to protect Winsor was Marjorie. Wolverine confronted Marjorie with the knowledge that he could smell that she had been contaminated with the Corrupter's sweat. At this point, Winsor came clean and admitted that he was drugging Marjorie by dipping the pencils she used to write in her notebook with the Corrupter drug. Marjorie was wracked with guilt by what she had done under Winsor's influence. She quickly apologized to Wolverine and attempted to take her own life. Wolverine stopped her and subsequently defeated Winsor. As he dragged Winsor away, he told Marjorie that she was going to be okay, to do some good and save the future. [Wolverine: The Best There Is #1-6]

Marjorie's freedom was short-lived however. Winsor had been incubating antibodies and viruses in the bodies of these self-healers with the intention of harvesting them so he could distill a virus that could kill anything on Earth, Heaven or Hell. He had no intention of letting all of this work go to waste and quickly recaptured Marjorie and the other Unkillables. Once again he used the Corrupter compound to keep them in line.

Once more, Wolverine turned out to be Winsor's undoing. Winsor lured Logan to the location where he was keeping the other Unkillables. His trap was undone as Wolverine had been followed by his cohorts, the X-Men. While the X-Men battled Winsor, his telepathic son Flip freed Marjorie and the other Unkillables. Ultimately, the X-Men were defeated by Winsor but Wolverine managed to get the best of Winsor single-handedly. Just as Wolverine was about to kill Winsor, Marjorie cried out telling him to stop. Winsor had forced Marjorie to record his every word and action for months. This gave Marjorie an insight into his psyche and she knew exactly what he was now planning. Marjorie claimed that upon Winsor's death, the viruses in his body would kill everything in the surrounding area. With this in mind the Unkillables and Wolverine dosed Winsor in Corrupter sweat and told him to contain all of the viruses in his body. As Winsor writhed in pain, Wolverine stated that he worried that Winsor wouldn't be able to nullify all the viruses he had grown but Marjorie assured him that Winsor's body would function as the perfect containment shell. With the viruses contained and the X-Men still unconscious, the Unkillables took turns with Winsor until he was finally dead. Marjorie's rationale for the murder of Winsor was that "Experience is Knowledge". [Wolverine: The Best There Is #11-12]

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