Real Name: Mary Brown
Identity/Class: Human, chemistry user;
Canadian citizen; criminal record in the USA
former chemical researcher for Gaylord Cosmetics Corporation
Group Membership: Superia's Femizons
Affiliations: Superia, Femizons
Enemies: Captain America (Steve Rogers), Invisible Woman (Sue Richards; technically, she was still known as the Invisible Girl when they met each other), Martin and Mr. (father) Le Guye, Paladin, Thing (Ben Grimm)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Currently unrevealed;
formerly Femizonia Isle;
formerly Manhattan, New York;
born in Calgary, Canada
First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#266 (May, 1984) - see comments
Powers: Karisma uses makeup amd lipstick composed of a long-chain isotope which emits radiation on specific wavelengths that allows her to mesmerize men, enslaving them but otherwise leaving their personalities unaffected. It works best at close range, and the effect tapers with time and distance; her subjects are generally affected for several minutes. The radiation functions on visible wavelengths, requiring that she be directly seen in order to affect her victims. The radiation is dampened by anything in its path, even clothes. She must raise her veil to get the full effects of its power. The more makeup she applies, the better the effect, so she goes for function over form. When wearing thick makeup layers, she can affect a dozen men simultaneously, but if exposure is blocked, they regain their senses immediately, with no memories of their mesmerized actions.
Women are minimally affected or completely unaffected by this radiation, and thus immune to her control.
She has a PhD in radiochemistry, and a BS in biochemistry.
Height: 5' 4"
Weight: 110 lbs.
History: (Fantastic Four I#266 (fb)) - Mary Brown was working at Gaylord Cosmetics when she designed a make-up that would allow its wearer to become literally irresistible. Her employers scoffed at her, and she proved them wrong by enslaving them with a quick application of her lipstick. She then realized that she had created much more than just a new cosmetic line. She then used her powers to drive her employers insane.
(Fantastic Four I#266 (fb)) - As Karisma, Mary appeared on the streets of Manhattan,
using her power to control men to have several underlings help her rob an armored
truck. The Thing was in the area and attempted to stop her, but she took quick control of him by raising her veil. She forced him to assist in the robbery, and then to go on a rampage to occupy the police while she made her escape.
The Invisible Woman learned of the commotion, and arrived on the scene. She attempted to corral the Thing, who attacked her in full force. Eventually, Sue was forced to turn invisible and hide, although Karisma's power over Ben was beginning to fade. Karisma returned and took control of him again, but Sue, after making Karisma's veil invisible, reasoned that her power operated on visible wavelengths. Sue turned Karisma's whole head invisible, and her power over all the men faded. Sue bound Karisma's head in cloth and handed her over to the police.
(Captain America I#387+388 - BTS; 389-391, ) - Karisma was one of the super-women who answered Superia's invitation to join her Femizons. She was present when Captain America and Paladin were discovered spying on them and the Femizons attacked them en masse.
Comments: Created by John Byrne and Kerry Gamil.
The whole story, you imagined Karisma to be irresistibly beautiful...but she's not.
Although Karisma may seen to be pretty goofy, she is, in fact, Cosmetically Aware (buh-dum-bump!).
The first story took place as a flashback, told by Alicia to the She-Hulk. The flashback took place a few months BEFORE everyone was sent off to the Secret Wars. Alicia told the story shortly after their return. At that point, according to current retro-active continuity (ie. crap), Lyja should have replaced Alicia, and it would have been her relating the flashback. I guess they must have copied Alicia's memories into Lyja...and done a really, really good job of it.
A likely explanation by Norvo: I'd like to offer that Paibok used a device on Masters similar to the encephalo-link Dorrek VII handed to Zankor in the pre-modern era. It stands to reason that a decade or two since Dorrek's days the technology would still be around, possibly even perfected. That would allow Lyja to use Alicia's drained memories of the Karisma encounter to further cement her credibility as the one, true Alicia Masters.
I know Sue would technically still have been the Invisible Girl during both of these stories, but she should have changed her name back in the sixties.
After getting the image updates from Stuart, I thought
perhaps the OHotMU entry/image got the coloring wrong (see main (top right)
image), as compared to the digital images he obtained from Marvel's Digital
Comics Unlimited (see the other two images in the profile and the one to the
right right)...but then I compared the images to my old scans (see the
image on the left here)...grainy, but compare the colors...I think the
handbook got it right, and the digital comic/re-colored version went with too
light/bright a blue...I guess I'll pull the comic and compare...eventually!
And, what's the deal with her skirt in these pictures...either the Invisible Girl is hiking up the front of skirt for some reason, or perhaps her makeup had other side effects...like gynecomastia.
Karisma actually appeared long before FF I. #266. On the 15th of October 1971, a college newpaper called the Emily Weal introduced a super-villain called Charisma, who controlled men using cosmetics mutated by radiation. Her outfit was identical to the one worn by Karisma in the FF story. Her enemy was a hero who ran a beauty salon and whose real name was Gaylord LeGuye (see Occupation and enemies above). And the young writer/artist doing his first published work for his college newspaper? - John Byrne. - Loki
So, why haven't we seen Charisma in awhile...smearing radioactive chemicals on your face...good idea, or bad idea? Probably developed some nasty carcinoma on her face...
images: (without ads)
Fantastic Four: Five Fabulous Decades: Karisma entry - main
Fantastic Four I#266, pg. 4, panel 5 - upper body;
pg. 6, panel 5 - side/oblique view;
pg. 19, panel 5 - veil lifted
Captain America I#389-391 (August-September, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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