Real Name: Mary McGrill Archer

Identity/Class: Human

Occupation: Short Order cook and waitress

Group Membership: Star Stop;
formerly the Short Stop

Affiliations: Al the Alien, Poppa Wheelie, Retread, Wide Load Annie
Taryn O'Connell, Razorback
formerly controlled by

Enemies: Highwayman, Spragg the Living Hill, Xemnu the Titan; former rival of Taryn O'Connell

Known Relatives: Ulysses Solomon Archer (husband), unnamed child, Jefferson Hercules Archer (Highwayman, brother-in-law)

Aliases: Formerly: Mary McGrill, Midnight

Base of Operations: Star Stop, in an unknown sector of space

First Appearance: Mary McGrill/Midnight: U. S. 1#2 (June, 1983);
Mary McGrill Archer: Sensational She-Hulk#6 (October, 1989)


Powers/Abilities: None. Mary is a wholesome and friendly person, and a darn fine waitress. She was accustomed to regular brawls in the restaurant, and wasn't above using a frying pan to whack anyone who got too out of control. She had no knowledge or memory of her time as Midnight when she reverted back to her Mary McGrill persona.

As Midnight, she gained skills and weapons via hypnosis. Her primary weapon was her hypno-whip, which aside from being able to be used as a conventional weapon could also hyponotize others into obeying her will. US Archer could resist this control due to the metal plate in his head, but he also required aluminum foil in his mouth, placed against his metal fillings, to completely break the circuit. She was also highly skilled on a motorcycle, and used a specialized cycle which contained a rocket booster, enabling her to reach greater speeds and even to become airborne for short periods of time.

History: Mary McGrill was a short order cook at the Short Stop and she was kind of sweet on US Archer.
At some point, she was hypnotized by the Highwayman, causing her to take on the identity of Midnight.

(US1#2) - After participating in one of the Short Stop's regular brawls, Mary briefly became Midnight and forced one of the brawlers to give her information on how US fought. Later, after a little cattiness with Taryn O'Connel, her rival for US's affections, she became Midnight again and took off after the US1. After confronting him and evading some of his rig's weaponry, she managed to hypnotize him with her whip. She then directed him to drive his rig right into a rock wall, but he used the foil from a gum wrapper, pressed against the fillings in his mouth, to interact with his CB skull and disrupt her control. Without her hypnosis controlling him, her motorcycle was no match for the US1, and he easily ran her off the road and knocked her off her cycle. She got back on her bike and fled.



(US1#3) - After US had a nightmare about the Highwayman, Mary comforted him. Later, in the Short Stop, Mary heard an old man (acutally the Highwayman) give a questionable account of the Highwayman's origins. Mary also met Retread, and briefly shared a saucer of milk with Taryn.

(US1#4) - Mary was present when Baron von Blimp threatened the Short Stop, and then she served her friends her own special brand of coffee. Later when US accepted a racing challenge against von Blimp, Mary gave US a kiss for good luck.

(US1#6) - Mary served some coffee while the realty firm of Clutch, Grab, and LaGreed threatened to forclose the mortgage on the Short Stop. Later, as Midnight, she followed US and Wide Load Annie on a haul to Peaceful Vista, where she hypnotized Wide Load.

(US1#7) - Mary was present back at the Short Stop when US and Wide Load returned, but soon after, as Midnight, she hypnotized Retread and Poppa Wheelie. She then used US' friends to hold him while she softened him up with a few lashes of her whip. US managed to use his remote control silver dollar to send the US1 after Midnight. Under his control, the truck used a grappling hook to disarm her of her whip, and she then fled. As Midnight escaped over a hill, the US1 fired missiles at her, blowing up her cycle.

(US1#8 (fb) -BTS) - When US and the others went over the hill to check, all that could be found was the wreckage of her motorcycle.

(US1#8) - Mary was back at the Short Stop, serving up her coffee with a friendly smile when Taryn arrived, looking rather beat-up. Taryn used her injuries to pry some TLC from US, but Mary then ran in with Midnight's whip and costume, saying she had gotten it out of the back of Taryn's rig. As everyone suspected Taryn of being Midnight, she grabbed Midnight's whip to hold them back. Mary jumped her, but Taryn kicked her away and took off. US eventually caught Taryn, who denied being Midnight. No one believed her until the real Midnight showed up and reclaimed her whip.

(US1#9) - Midnight again hypnotized the others, but Taryn grabbed her and managed to knock her whip form her hands. US used the whip to free the others from her control, and then Taryn ripped Midnight's wig off, revealing her to be...Mary McGrill. Mary was extremely disoriented, and then the Highwayman showed up.

(US1#10) - The Highwayman revealed that he had hypnotized Mary to become Midnight. He then released her from his control so she could witness his triumph over US.

(US1#11) - Mary remained somewhat dazed, but was nonetheless present as the Highwayman revealed his origins, and as Al the Alien set up the final race between US and the Highwayman.

(US1#12) - After defeating the Highwayman, US accepted Al and the Aliens' offer to travel to the stars. Mary McGrill and the others decided to go with them (Al said they "could use a good cup of Java out there"), but Taryn chickened out and stayed on Earth. Mary continued as a short order waitress at the Star Stop.

(Sensational She-Hulk#6 (fb) -BTS) - Mary married US, and she became pregnant not too long afterwards.

(Shulk#6, 7) - Taryn O'Connell, with the aid of Razorback and the She-Hulk, traveled to the Star Stop to try for another shot at US, but was devastated to learn that Mary had married him and was nearly at full term in her pregnancy. Mary didn't feel too bad for her. There wasn't much time for idle chit-chat, as Xemnu the Titan burst into the Star Stop. After subduing the others, Xemnu hooked Mary up to a Psycho Relay helmet, transmitting the metamorphological data to her unborn child, reshaping its genetic structure so that when it would be born, it would be of his race. She-Hulk broke free and attacked Xemnu, while Razorback destroyed the device intended to mutate Mary's fetus. Xemnu then abducted She-Hulk and planned to mutate her instead, but was defeated by a convoy of Aliens led by Al.

(Shulk#40 (fb), 39-43-all BTS) - Spragg and his Stone Clones assaulted the Star Stop and were eventually defeated by She-Hulk, US, and Al the Alien. The Xemnu got loose and went on another rampage before being again defeated.


Comments: Created by Al Milgrom and Herb Trimpe.

Everyone was supposed to assume that Midnight was the reckless and rowdy "Taryn down the Highway" O'Connel. Boy were we surprised when she was unmasked as sweet little Mary.

C'Mon, where's that "Son of Xemnu" storyline involving US and Mary's child? Surely Xemnu's machine had some effect before Razorback destroyed it. Mary could return to her Midnight persona to lay the smackdown on that big, no-mouthed, psychic polar bear, Xemnu.
Hopefully Byrne and Marvel will someday kiss and make up and we'll get this story!

If Mary showed up (or had her absence explained) in She-Hulk#39-43, I missed it. Any help?

No known connection to:

images: (without ads)
U.S.1#8, Cover (Mary McGrill main pic)
U.S.1#2, Cover (Mary as Midnight)
(Mary McGrill at work)
Sensational She-Hulk#7, p8, pan4 (Mary McGrill Archer and Xemnu)

Other appearances:
U.S.1#3-4 (July-August, 1983) - Al Milgrom (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks)
U.S.1#6-12 (October, 1983 - October, 1984) - Al Milgrom (writer), Frank Springer & Steve Ditko (#9) (pencils), Mike Esposito & Dan Bulanadi (#9) (inks)
Sensational She-Hulk#6-7 (October-November, 1989) - John Byrne (writer/pencils), Al Gordon (#6) & Bob Wiacek (#7) (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk#39-43 (May-September, 1992) - John Byrne (writer/artist), Renee Witterstaetter (editor)

First Posted: 12/06/2002
Last updated: 12/05/2002

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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