Skein in the Woman WarriorsSKEIN

 

Real Name: Sybil Dvorak

Identity/Class: Human mutant (Rumanian)

Occupation: Mercenary, adventurer, socialite, cult leader, Sex club owner

Group Membership: Women Warriors (Asp, Black Mamba, Diamondback, Quicksand);
    former leader of the Sybarite cult;
    former member of Crimson Cowl (Justine Hammer)'s Masters of Evil, Night Shift, Superia's Femizons, Thunderbolts

Affiliations: Constrictor, Night Shift (Brothers Grimm, Dansen Macabre, Digger, Hangman (Jason Roland), Misfit, Tatterdemalion, Tick-Tock), Norman Osborn, Silver Sable, Spider Queen, Superia, Thunderbolts (Amazon, Blackheath, Cyclone (Fresson), Harrier, Hawkeye, Songbird), Wild Pack;
    formerly Crimson Cowl, Moon Knight, Satannish, Shroud, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Werewolf

Enemies: Avengers (West Coast), Captain America, Locksmith, Masters of Evil (Black Mamba, Crimson Cowl (Justine), Hydro-Man, Machinesmith), Alicia Masters, Lindsey McCabe, Paladin, Power Broker Inc., R.A.I.D. (Radically Advanced Ideas), Satannish, S.H.I.E.L.D., Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew);
    formerly Tick-Tock

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Gypsy Moth, Sybarite

Place of Birth: Foscani, Rumania

Base of Operations: Mobile in the USA;
    formerly Superia’s private island in the Caribbean
    The Tower of Shadows

First Appearance: Spider-Woman I#10 (January, 1979)

Powers/Abilities: Gypsy Moth is a mutant possessing the ability to psychokinetically manipulate materials and objects with her mind although she prefers the soft feel of fiber and similar soft substances. She hence confines her manipulation almost solely to fabrics both organic and inorganic. She can also levitate herself to the point that she can practically fly. She has also mastered the English language over that of her native Rumanian.

Height: 5’5”
Weight: 112 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

History

(Spider-Woman I#48 (fb), Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#5)- Sybil Dvorak was born on Foscani, Rumania in the shadow of the Balkans. She was raised by gypsies and spent much of her time alone nurturing her and focusing on her mutant powers. She loved the sensation of fiber such as soft weaves and flowers felt to her mental touch since hard objects felt abrasive to her. In her loneliness, she wove herself gossamer wings as delicate as her personality. She then met a local actor named Jason Reed who was starring in a remake of the movie Dracula being filmed on location in Rumania. He romanced her and seduced her with promises of fame as he flew her home with him to his home in California. Reed, however, was constantly away from the house and she began imagining that he was having affairs behind her back. She wove herself a costume and began calling herself Gypsy Moth as she wreaked havoc attacking gatherings in search of Reed.

(Spider-Woman I#10)- Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman) encountered Gypsy Moth at a party she was attending with her then boyfriend, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Jerry Hunt and her mentor Magnus. She tried to confront her, but Gypsy Moth unwove her costume and then bound her in thread as she tried to drown her in a swimming pool. Spiderwoman broke free as Jerry realized she was fighting for her life and fired his gun at Gypsy Moth, damaging her wing so that she could not fly. Spider-Woman gave Jerry a small stun to keep him from getting in the may as she saved Gypsy Moth. Instead of turning her over to the authorities, Spider-Woman allowed her to walk away since they seemed to have some things in common.

(Marvel Super Heroes Contest of Champions#1)- Gypsy Moth was later battling Spider-Woman in San Francisco, when Spider-Woman was suddenly teleported away to participate in the Grandmaster's game with Death.

(Official Hand of the Marvel Universe Deluxe#5)- Sybil managed to get her American citizenship and an inclusion in Reed’s will. When he died of an obstructed blood vessel in his heart, she inherited his home and his wealth. She used all of it to start a hedonistic drug cult (Cult of the Sybarite) of drugs and decadence that worshipped her as her queen.

(Spider-Woman I#48)- On the streets, Gypsy Moth became known as Sybarite as her followers stole and scavenged everything she wanted. As Spider-Woman investigated, she overheard the name of Sybarite from among one of the drug-pushers and recalled it as the name of a hostess who was throwing a party her best friend Lindsay McCabe was attending. In a scuffle, she became injected with enough drugs to knock her out and when she came too she was before Gypsy Moth as Sybarite. Spider-Woman thought they were friends, but Gypsy Moth said she was mistaken. She tried to drown Spider-Woman again, but Spider-Woman broke loose and tried to appeal to her conscience. Saying she had no conscience, Gypsy Moth became attacked once more as Spider-Woman realized Lindsay was present in a drugged out state. Rushing to help her, she then turned round to realize Gypsy Moth was missing.

(Spider-Woman I#50 (BTS))- Gypsy Moth was kidnapped by Tick-Tock and Locksmith who used technological means to nullify her powers.

(Spider-Woman I#50)- Spider-Woman herself became captured and restrained by Tick-Tock and Locksmith herself. She had Tigra insult Poltergeist enough to short out their specially designed prisons as her prison shorted out along with Gypsy Moth’s. She then had Gypsy Moth use her powers to swap their costumes. Once placed in Gypsy Moth’s specific prison, she broke free and released everyone else as Gypsy Moth entwined Locksmith and Tick-Tock in their clothing for the authorities to find. Spider-Woman then invited everyone to her home to celebrate. During the celebration, Spider-Woman was called to the past by Magnus to combat Morgan le Fay, but on her return realized her body had died. Magnus then created a spell so that no one would grieve for her.

(Avengers I#240 (FB))- At that point, everyone became confused and disoriented and had no idea what they were doing there. Gypsy Moth and Daddy Longlegs were the first to depart.

(Captain America I#330)- Gypsy Moth became a member of the Night Shift, a band of Los Angeles-based villains brought together by the Shroud. She joined the Night Shift in rescuing Captain America from the mutated test subjects of Power Broker Inc. Shroud allowed it to seem as though Dansen Macabre had hypnotized Captain America to serve them, and they joined their powers in an assault upon the Power Broker, using her powers to incapacitate his guards.

(Solo Avengers#3/2)- Gypsy Moth joined the Night Shift in battling the Moon Knight when he visited the Tower of Shadows, but the Shroud had his team step down, revealing it had only been to test Moon Knight as a potential replacement leader.

(West Coast Avengers II#40)- After Digger was apprehended by Mockingbird, a former member of the West Coast Avengers, Gypsy Moth joined with the rest of the Night Shift in attacking the West Coast Avengers in retaliation. They were finally called off by the Shroud

(Captain America I#387(fb) - BTS)- Gypsy Moth was among the super-powered females assembled by Nightshade to be Superia’s Femizons.

(Captain America I#388)- Captain America and Paladin came across Nightshade’s ship transporting the Femizons to a rendezvous with Superia.

(Captain America I#389)- Gypsy Moth watched in attendance a skirmish between Quicksand and Anaconda. She later sat in front row attendance during a superhuman exhibition of power as Ferocia smelled the presence of Captain America and Paladin on the ship. All the Femizons then attacked en masse on the two heroes.

(Captain America I#390)- Gypsy Moth used her power to unravel Paladin’s uniform. He fired on her with his stun gun and knocked her out as Yellowjacket attacked and Mindblast incapacitated him. Captain America was then struck from behind by Knockout as he and paladin became captured.

(Captain America I#391)- Gypsy Moth met and encountered Superia for the first time as she tried to subjugate both Captain America and Paladin, but they escaped with the help of Asp and Black Mamba.

(Captain America I#392 (BTS))- Captain America discovered Superia’s plans to force into sequence the events to Thundra’s alternate future by using a rocket to sterilize the women of the planet, but he used her own ego to defeat her. Escaping her island, he made contact with the Avengers and learned the Qusar had lead the rocket into space to detonate unharmed. Planning to come back and clean up Superia’s island of Gypsy Moth and the others with the Avengers, he was informed by the Vision that there was no trace of Superia’s island for two hundred and twenty-one miles.

(Avengers West Coast#76)- Gypsy Moth joined the Night Shift under the command of their new leader the Hangman in an attack on the production of the film "The Demon That Devoured Hollywood." As she attempted to ensnare the actor Wes Nelson, she encountered Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), and wondered if she were related to the Spider-Woman she had known, but the answer was no. Spider-Woman was able to make Gypsy Moth drop Nelson by rattling her concentration with her webs. Gypsy Moth fled with the Night Shift. That night, the Night Shift met in the Tower of Shadows, where the Hangman riled up their anger towards Hollywood, noting that in Gypsy Moth's case, she was once a movie star's mistress, and now wanted to be a star herself. The Hangman opened a portal in the realm of Satannish, into which the Night Shift entered. They emerged from the portal with greater power (in Gypsy Moth's case, the ability to lift more than her own body weight), but had lost a portion of their souls.

Gypsy Moth joined the Night Shift in an attack on Stella Houston and the Avengers guarding her. She was able to lift the U.S. Agent off the ground with her new strength, and smashed him through a wall. After capturing Hawkeye, U.S. Agent and Spider-Woman, they brought them back to the Tower of Shadows to prepare them for a ritual to hand their souls over to Satannish.

(Avengers West Coast#77)- The ritual was interrupted by Iron Man and Living Lightning, who freed their comrades. The Night Shift escaped the Avengers by causing the Tower of Shadows itself to teleport to another location, leaving their enemies behind. Gypsy Moth later joined the Night Shift as the Hangman revealed to their captive, Wonder Man, that he intended to film a movie starring the Night Shift ("The Night Shift Takes Hollywood"), and Wonder Man agreed to join the production.

(Avengers West Coast#78)- The Night Shift began filming their movie, and fought Wonder Man in (mostly) mock combat. After the U.S. Agent joined the production of "The Demon That Devoured Hollywood", the Night Shift decided to capture the film's director, and fought the U.S. Agent while doing so.

(Avengers West Coast#79)- The Night Shift set up filming at the Griffith Park Observatory, and fought off a rebellion by the production crew just as the Avengers came to their rescue. The Night Shift fought the Avengers on Satannish's behalf, but then Dr. Strange arrived, and made them realize that they had given up part of their souls. They then turned against Satannish, and aided the Avengers and Dr. Strange in driving him off Earth.

(Thunderbolts I#64)- Gypsy Moth was revealed to have joined the Crimson Cowl's Masters of Evil, and welcomed Cardinal as he joined their team.

(Thunderbolts I#65)- Gypsy Moth joined the other Masters of Evil in battling Platman, Hawkeye and Songbird in their search for the legacy of Justin Hammer, a biotoxin which could kill thousands of superhumans. Hawkeye ultimately convinced Gypsy Moth and most of her teammates to switch sides and aid him in preventing the Crimson Cowl from obtaining the toxin. Gypsy Moth began to design as new costume.

(Thunderbolts I#67)- Now calling herself Skein, she joined Hawkeye's team in invading Symkaria to find the Crimson Cowl. While Hawkeye met with Silver Sable, Skein played pool with Cyclone, and discussed the sex clubs she ran while not active as a criminal. She revealed that she had only joined the Masters of Evil for kicks, and that she was only on Hawkeye's side because she wanted to have sex with a super-hero. Cyclone propositioned her, but she responded by unraveling his costume's crotch, leaving him running for cover.

Later, she joined her teammates in the Crimson Cowl's home, only to find the remaining members of the Masters of Evil waiting for them.

(Thunderbolts I#69)- Skein fled from the battle, but later returned to help her allies, realizing that the Crimson Cowl was vulnerable to her powers. She completely unraveled the Crimson Cowl's costume, rendering her powerless. She then went to assist her teammates in aiding Blackheath, only for S.H.I.E.L.D. to arrive on the scene.

(Marvel Universe: The End#5,6) - Skein was amongst the armada of warriors who assaulted the Heart of the Infinite-empowered Thanos and was destroyed, only to be reformed when Thanos surrendered his power and reversed the previous event.

(Thunderbolts I#71)- Skein fled the scene with Cyclone, Harrier and Amazon, while Songbird stood off against Dum-Dum Dugan for the sake of Blackheath. Skein attempted to convince Amazon to go back and aid Songbird, and tied her up with her own fabrics from a tree. She and the others then met up with Hawkeye, just as the Elite Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. attacked them. She fought Silicon, an agent able to generate liquid metal from his arms. She managed to ensnare him within her fabrics, then made out with him. Amazon found the two wrapped together and knocked Silicon out. The agents defeated, Skein joined Hawkeye and the others in going back for Songbird and Blackheath, evading Dugan.

(Thunderbolts I#73-74)- Skein joined Hawkeye's team in investigating the portal between Earth and Counter-Earth which had engulfed the V Battalion's headquarters. They were shocked to find the Thunderbolts lost on Counter-Earth emerge from the other side of the portal.

(Thunderbolts I#75)- SKein used her powers to create clothing for Atlas and Dallas Riordan, who had come through the portal naked. She helped get the two of them to safety as the Thunderbolts helped seal the portal between Earth and Counter-Earth.

    Subsequently, Skein joined the Thunderbolts as they gathered at a villa in the Canary Islands, and went swimming nude, much to the delight of the Fixer. That evening she was playing a game of pool with Harrier and Blackheath as Songbird and MACH-3 got into a fight. She chased after Songbird and propositioned her to join her at a club in Casablanca, but Songbird turned her down. Skein then met with Blackheath, and told him that she didn't intend to stay with the Thunderbolts.

(OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 - BTS) - Skein quit the Thunderbolts and returned to one of her apartments in Hamburg.

(X-Men: The 198 Files - BTS) - She was known to O.N.E. (Office of National Emergency) as one of the few mutants that retained their powers after M-Day.

(Avengers: The Initiative#26) - Skein joined up with the Initiative under Norman Osborn's leadership. She was appointed to the Woman Warriors team alongside Asp, Black Mamba, Diamondback, and Quicksand, and they were assigned to protect the state of Delaware.

(Avengers: The Initiative#29) - Alongside her fellow Women Warriors and Constrictor, Skein helped defeat an attack on Washington International Airport by R.A.I.D. (Radically Advanced Ideas). They were later treated as heroes by the assembled crowd.

(Avengers: The Initiative#31) - Skein enjoyed a night of partying and hard-drinking with her fellow Initiative recruits (especially Black Mamba, who stripped, and received a tip from Skein). The excitement and debauchery came to an abrupt halt when Taskmaster informed the group that HAMMER director Norman Osborn would be on site the following day for an inspection.
   The following morning at 8 am sharp, Taskmaster presented Skein and others to Osborn.

(Siege#1) - Ares called the Initiative, including Skein, to arms for their battle in Asgard.

Gypsy Moth in her Spider Island armor (Spider Island: Spider-Woman#1) - Donning a self-spun suit of armor and working for the Spider Queen with her original identity of Gypsy Moth, she went after Spider-Woman. Gypsy Moth tried to get to Alicia Masters first and had several skirmishes with Spider-Woman, including disguising her as Gypsy Moth as a distraction to fight the Thing. Ultimately Gypsy Moth failed, getting a venom blast in the face from Spider-Woman.

 

Comments: Created by Mark Gruenwald, Carmine Infantino and Al Gordon.

Gypsy Moth’s birthplace, the name of the American actor who seduced her and several other tidbits of her life are only mentioned in her entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#5.

She got also an entry as Skein in OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10.

In Spider-Woman I#10, Jessica Drew thought Gypsy Moth’s wings were real and even suspected that she was from Wundagore as herself, but both those assertions have since proven to be incorrect.

Unless Songbird completely misread Gypsy Moth's proposal in Thunderbolts I#75, Gypsy Moth is bi-sexual.
    She was also one of the few female characters who used the "hey, look at these" technique to distract an opponent and more easily subdue him. She also used the make out technique--
--Snood.

by Prime Eternal and Will U

CLARIFICATIONS:
Gypsy Moth/Skein is not to be confused with:


Images:
Avengers: The Initiative#29, p10 (main image)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#5 (original outfit with wings)
Captain America I#390, p4, pan2-3 (2-panel image)
Thunderbolts I#71, cover (arms up)
Thunderbolts I#67, p13, pan4 (serving)
Spider Island: Spider-Woman#1, p18, pan2 (Spider Island armor)


Appearances:
Spider-Woman I#10 (January, 1979) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Al Gordon (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Spider-Woman I#48 (March, 1982) - Ann Nocenti (writer), Brian Postman (pencils), Sam De La Rosa (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Spider-Woman I#50 (May, 1982) - Ann Nocenti (writer), Brian Postman (pencils), Sam De La Rosa (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Marvel Super Heroes: Contest of Champions#1 (June, 1982) - Mark Gruenwald, Bill Mantlo & Steven Grant (writers), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Avengers I#240 (February, 1984) - Ann Nocenti & Roger Stern (writers), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Official Handbook Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#5 (April, 1986)
Captain America I#330 (June, 1987) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Tom Morgan (pencils), Sam De La Rosa (inks), Don Daley (editor)
Solo Avengers#3/2 (February, 1988) - Roger Stern (writer), Bob Hall (pencils), Stan Drake (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
West Coast Avengers II#40 (January, 1989) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Mike Gustovich (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Captain America I#387-392 (July, 1991-September, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Avengers West Coast#76-79 (November, 1991-February 1992) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), Dave Ross (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), Nelson Yomtov (editor)
Thunderbolts I#64 (July, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Patrick Zirchner (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#65 (August, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Patrick Zirchner (pencils), Grant Nelson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Thunderbolts I#67 (September, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Patrick Zirchner (pencils), Sandu Florea (inks), Tom Brevoort & Andrew Lis (editors)
Thunderbolts I#69 (October, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Jean Jacques Dzialowski (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort & Andrew Lis (editors)
Thunderbolts I#71 (November, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Manuel Garcia (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort & Andrew Lis (editors)
Thunderbolts I#73 (December, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Chris Batista (pencils), Rich Perrotta (inks), Andrew Lis (editor)
Thunderbolts I#74 (January, 2003) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Chris Batista (pencils), Rich Perrotta (inks), Andrew Lis (editor)
Thunderbolts I#75 (February, 2003) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Manuel Garcia (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Andrew Lis (editor)
X-Men: The 198 Files (2006)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z#10 (2006)
Avengers: The Initiative#26 (September-October 2009) - Christos Gage (writer), Rafa Sandoval (pencils), Roger Bonet (inks), Jeannine Schaefer (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#29 (December, 2009) - Christos N. Gage (writer), Jorge Molina (pencils), Victor Olazaba (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative#31 (February, 2010) - Christos N. Gage (writer), Rafa Sandoval (pencils), Roger Bonet (inks), Bill Rosemann (editor)
Siege#1 (March, 2010) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Olivier Coipel (pencils), Mark Morales (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Spider Island: Spider-Woman#1 (November, 2011) - Fred van Lente (writer), Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Ellie Pyle (editor)


Last updated: 10/23/13

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