MOTHER NIGHT

Real Name: Susan Scarbo

Identity/Class: Human, technology user

Occupation: Agent of the Red Skull

Group Membership: Skeleton Crew

Affiliations: Crossbones, Cutthroat, Minister Blood, Red Skull (Johann Shmidt), Sisters of Sin, Sleeper, Taskmaster, Tinkerer, Voice

Enemies: Avengers, Black Queen (Selene), Captain America, Dum-Dum Dugan, Nick Fury, John Jameson, Edwin Jarvis, Hellfire Club, Michael O'Brien, Schutz Heilgruppe, S.H.I.E.L.D., Fabian Stankowitz, Watchdogs, Aces Wilde, Winter Soldier

Known Relatives: Melvin Scarbo (Minister Blood, brother)

Aliases: Suprema
impersonated Sharon Carter, Crimson Cowl, Kevin O'Brien, Scourge, Mrs. Stankowitz

Base of Operations: The Red Skull's chalet, Colorado
formerly, the Smith Building, Washington D.C.

First Appearance: (as Suprema) Captain America I#123 (March, 1970); (as Mother Night) Captain America I#356 (August, 1989)

Powers/Abilities: Mother Night is an expert at hypnosis, and can use her talents to generate illusions, make herself seem invisible, assume the appearance of others, and force others to obey her will. She is also an expert at karate. Her necklace, designed for her by the Tinkerer, can release gas to assist her in subverting the will of others, and can project "dark light" to help her vanish into the shadows.

As Suprema, Susan Scarbo relied upon her hypnosis, karate, and the Wolverine Jet.

Height: 5'7"
Weight: 133 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Black

History: (Captain America I#123 (fb, BTS))- Melvin Scarbo and his sister Susan were once stage performers whose powers of hypnosis were billed under the name "Scarbo and Sister-- Hypnotists Supreme!" However, their ambitions grew over time, and they decided to turn to crime. Susan took the alias of "Suprema," and they began to train themselves an army.

(Captain America I#350/2 (fb))- Susan Scarbo was sought out by the Red Skull to serve as a nanny to his daughter Synthia. Susan raised Synthia into Sin, the leader of the Sisters of Sin.

(Captain America I#123)- When Suprema and Scarbo had completed their men's training, Suprema addressed her men, and claimed that she possessed powers of witchcraft, which would enable her to become the queen of crime. They began their operation by using their hypnosis on Aces Wilde, making him sign over his gambling operation to Suprema. They continued to subvert criminal operations throughout New York, taking control of its leaders' minds.

Declaring their first phase complete, Suprema unveiled her next take-over target-- S.H.I.E.L.D. Using the devices of the Wolverine Jet, they were able to track down S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Dum-Dum Dugan, and hypnotize him into revealing Nick Fury was at S.H.I.E.L.D.'s weaponry range testing new equipment. Dugan was forced to lead Suprema and Scarbo to the weaponry range, where Suprema quickly took over the minds of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s agents.

However, Captain America was also present, and evaded their powers because of his shield. He fought his way through Suprema, Scarbo, their men, and the controlled S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and stole the Wolverine Jet from them. After researching Suprema and Scarbo's background, realizing that they were only hypnotists, Captain America returned in the Wolverine Jet, and used it to emit an electrical current which short-circuited Suprema's powers, releasing the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents from her control. He then used the Wolverine Jet's gas jets to knock Suprema unconscious.

(Captain America I#356)- Now having taken the identity of Mother Night, Susan commanded the Sisters of Sin through her Camps of Hate, and had them gather together teenagers that she and her brother could brainwash into servants. They held a hate rally at one of their camps during which they threw a member of the Watchdogs into a bonfire in order to incite the crowd. Among the teenagers the Sisters of Sin brought to the camp was Captain America, temporarily regressed to a teenager by Sersi. When Sin found him spying in Mother Night's office, she brought him before her, and Mother Night injected him with truth serum. However, Captain America was able to resist the serum's effects, spilling a convincing cover story. Hoodwink cast a hypnotic illusion, making Captain America think she killed Jennifer, a teenager he had been protecting, and they set him free so that the Sisters of Sin could beat him to death.

(Captain America I#357)- As the Sisters of Sin fought him, the effects of Sersi's spell wore off of Captain America, and he returned to normal, easily defeating the Sisters of Sin. While her brother fought Captain America, Mother Night set out to alert the camp. Mother Night attempted to use the camp's teenagers against Captain America, but he managed to avoid her hypnotic tricks and knock her out. He then turned Mother Night and her brother over to the police.

(Captain America I#369)- After the Red Skull was captured by Magneto, Mother Night joined with the Skeleton Crew (the Red Skull's chief operatives) in attempting to locate him at the headquarters of the Hellfire Club. They soon learned that their employer was not there, but were attacked by the Black Queen. Mother Night attempted to hypnotize her, but she was immune to her powers. Instead, she used her powers on the Hellfire Club's mercenaries, making them think they were on fire. When Captain America and Diamondback joined the scene, Mother Night made herself and her allies seem to turn invisible so that they could escape.

(Captain America I#370)- Continuing in their efforts to find the Red Skull, the Skeleton Crew enlisted Tristran Micawber, and forced him to use his psychic powers to find the Red Skull for them. Mother Night supplied Micawber with a tie the Red Skull had left in her quarters so that he could focus upon it. He led them to a graveyard, where Magneto had buried the Red Skull alive. When he asked them to take him home to die, Crossbones had them bring him to Skull House. Crossbones attempted to revive his employer's spirit by showing him his trophy room, but it had no effect. The Red Skull asked to see Captain America, and his employees complied. Captain America and Diamondback came to Skull House, and Mother Night disguised herself and Crossbones as the Skull's doctor and nurse. Upon seeing Captain America, the Red Skull's spirit was restored, and was able to begin healing.

(Avengers I#324/2 (fb))- In order to celebrate the Red Skull's birthday, Mother Night and Machinesmith concocted a scheme to take control of the Avengers' support crew members, and use them to bug the Avengers' new headquarters. Disguised as a woman walking her dog, she mananged to place their butler Edwin Jarvis under her control, and spent the next several days taking control of the other support crew members.

(Avengers I#319/2)- Mother Night appeared to Edwin Jarvis as the Crimson Cowl, manipulating his guilt over having once betrayed the Avengers.

(Avengers I#320/2)- Mother Night appeared to Michael O'Brien as his brother, Kevin O'Brien the Guardsmen, manipulating his guilt at not having avenged his death.

(Avengers I#321/2)- Mother Night appeared to Fabian Stankowitz as his mother, manipulating him over his belief that he was a failure.

(Avengers I#322/2)- Mother Night appeared to Peggy Carter as her sister Sharon Carter, manipulting her over her guilt at Sharon's apparent death.

(Avengers I#323/2)- Mother Night caused John Jameson to believe that he had become the Man-Wolf again, and sent him on a rampage in the Avengers Headquarters. Finally, she brought the entire support crew out of the building to begin the final phase of indoctrination.

(Avengers I#324/2)- Mother Night brought the support crew to the truck where Machinesmith was working, and found that her brother had joined the operation. He helped them strap the support crew into restraining chairs as she ran them through their worst nightmares again, but this time came to their rescue so that they would trust her. She gave them posthypnotic orders to perform for them, and released them.

(Avengers I#325)- After Machinesmith demonstrated the effectiveness of his bugs to Mother Night and Minister Blood, Minister Blood set out with his sister for lunch. When they returned, they found that Machinesmith had been discovered by the Vision, but had deactivated him. They disposed of the Vision's body in the East River, and returned to Machinesmith's truck.

When the Avengers tested an anti-eavesdropping device of Vaughn Security Systems, Machinesmith's bugs were destroyed, altering the villains' plans. Aware that the support crew were attending a party at Sersi's with several Avengers, Mother Night and Minister Blood disguised themselves hypnotically as caterers, and gave the support crew orders to kill the Avengers, arming them with neuronic neutralizers. However, the Avengers reacted quickly enough to halt the attacks, and the Vision, having revived, confronted Mother Night and Minister Blood, and defeated them both. He then revealed that he had melted the tips off of the ammunition in the guns they had handed out, rendering the plot entirely ineffective.

(Captain America I#387/2)- Mother Night attended the Masque Club with the Red Skull and socialized with Baron Strucker. When the Red Skull received a message from Arnim Zola that his spare clone bodies had been destroyed, he gathered the Skeleton Crew and ordered them to find out who was responsible.

(Captain America I#389/2)- After the Red Skull was captured by Schutz Heilgruppe, Mother Night joined the Skeleton Crew in setting after them, unaware that the Schutz Heilgruppe had targeted them for capture as well.

(Captain America I#390/2)- The Skeleton Crew fought Schutz Heilgruppe in Berlin, as Mother Night attempted to use her powers against Hauptmann Deutschland and Blitzkrieger, only to be tripped by Zeitgeist and taken in unconscious.

(Captain America I#391/2)- Mother Night joined the Skeleton Crew in being placed on trial alongside the Red Skull for his war crimes by Schutz Heilgruppe.

(Captain America I#393)- The Skeleton Crew were liberated by bioplastoids created by Arnim Zola, imitating Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, who pretended to take the Skeleton Crew into their custody.

(Captain America I#394)- The Red Skull faked the death of himself, Mother Night and Crossbones, using Arnim Zola's bioplastoids. They abandoned the Smith Building, and moved to a chalet in Colorado. As he began to oversee the next phase of his operations, the Red Skull grew tired of Mother Night, and spat up the coffee she offered him, then forced her to mop it up with her cloak. He decided to bring the Viper into his operations, and ordered the Skeleton Crew to break her out of prison. When Crossbones questioned the mission, the Red Skull fired him. Mother Night met with Crossbones afterwards and revealed that she had been assigned to recruit his replacement. Crossbones departed the chalet.

(Captain America I#395)- Mother Night watched as the Red Skull met with the Viper in his hot tub, and was distraught to see that she had been displaced as the Skull's lover. Later, she held an audition to replace Crossbones in the Skeleton Crew, and tested Cutthroat, Deathstroke and Mangler by having them fight each other-- to the death. Cutthroat survived the battle.

(Captain America I#396)- Mother Night had the Taskmaster train Cutthroat, without the Red Skull's authorization. She expressed her frustration over the Viper to Machinesmith, although he could not offer any help.

(Captain America I#397)- After seeing that Jack O' Lantern and Blackwing were fighting Captain America at Skull House, the Red Skull ordered Mother Night to recruit them for the Skeleton Crew. She brought Cutthroat along for assistance. Using hypnotic illusions, she appeared as Scourge, and seemingly slew Blackwing and Jack O' Lantern in front of Captain America. Captain America chased after her, and defeated her with one of Jack O' Lantern's hallucination bombs. By capturing her, Captain America realized that the Red Skull had faked his death.

(Captain America I#398)- Mother Night departed the police after making bail, and returned to the Red Skull's chalet with Cutthroat, Jack O' Lantern and Blackwing. Mother Night then met with the Skull, and informed him that Captain America now knew he was alive. Furious, the Red Skull beat her repeatedly, until she begged him to continue beating her until she died. Deciding that she could still be amusing to him because of her misery, the Red Skull chose to keep her alive.

(Captain America I#402/2)- Mother Night encountered Cutthroat, who noticed she was wearing dark sunglasses. When he saw her black eyes, he realized the Red Skull had beaten her, and determined that she needed to build up her self-esteem; he started by kissing her.

(Captain America I#407/2)- Cutthroat met with Mother Night in her quarters and told her that Crossbones had returned to the Red Skull with a captive-- Diamondback, who he recognized as his sister, Rachel Leighton.

(Captain America I#408/2)- Crossbones met with Mother Night as she caught him up on what had happened since he had left. He left when Cutthroat entered the room. Cutthroat kissed Mother Night, then told her that he intended to murder Crossbones that evening.

(Captain America I#409 (fb, BTS))- Mother Night warned Crossbones of Cutthroat's intentions, hoping that neither of them would wind up dead.

(Captain America I#408/2)- That night, Cutthroat made his attempt, only to be killed by Crossbones instead, as Mother Night and the other Skeleton Crew members discovered Crossbones over his body.

(Captain America I#409)- The Red Skull did not suspect that Cutthroat had been involved with Mother Night, nor that he was related to Diamondback, and simply believed Cutthroat had felt threatened by Crossbones. Mother Night went to Machinesmith and told him how she had been involved with Cutthroat, and again asked him for advice. She contemplated helping Diamondback escape from the Red Skull. Just then, she noticed she was late for a Skeleton Crew meeting, and upon her arrival, was told by the Red Skull that the next time she was late he would have a clock face tattooed onto her tongue. The Red Skull sent Mother Night to retrieve Diamondback from her cell so that he could experiment on her with samples of Captain America's blood. When Mother Night entered the cell, Diamondback knocked her out and stole her cloak.

(Captain America I#410)- As Captain America and the Falcon fought Crossbones and Jack O' Lantern, Mother Night and Blackwing set off to join the fray aboard a helicopter, and she released a Sleeper to assault Captain America's pilot, Zach Moonhunter. As they entered the battle, Mother Night attacked Diamondback, only to be defeated. She was sent to prison with the rest of the Skeleton Crew.

(Captain America V#3 (fb) - BTS) - Mother Night returned into the Red Skull's services. In a plan to restore and rebuild a Cosmic Cube with power by turning death and destruction into energy Mother Night became field leader of a group in London. She waited for the Red Skull's call to start her fire-bomb, but the call never came.

(Captain America V#2 - BTS) - Crossbones contacted Mother Night's group and told one of her lackeys about the Red Skull's death. Crossbones told him that they should activate the fire-bomb and order their cell in Paris to do the same as a memorial for the Red Skull.

(Captain America V#3) - The underling delivered the bad news to Mother Night. Saddened by Johann's death, Mother Night had problems thinking straight and when she heard gunfire outside the abandoned train her team used as a HQ she stopped thinking about their plan altogether.

(Captain America V#3 - BTS) - The Winter Soldier killed Mother Night and her team, took the fire-bomb and left.

(Captain America V#3) - The corpses of Mother Night and her team were found by Union Jack and British soldiers who were sent in by S.H.I.E.L.D. to search for the fire-bomb. Union Jack transferred live footage to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America recognized Mother Night as one of the victims.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Gene Colan and Joe Sinnott.

Diamondback impersonated Mother Night in Captain America I#411-412.

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Mother Night should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Captain America I#356, page 4, panel 2
Captain America I#123, page 1
Captain America I#370, page 18, panel 1
Captain America I#409, page 17, panel 4


Captain America I#350 (February, 1989) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Jose Marzan Jr. (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#356-357 (August-September, 1989) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Al Milgrom (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#369-370 (April-May, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Avengers I#319-320 (July - early August, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), James Fry (pencils), Kent Williams (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Avengers I#321-322 (late August - early September, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Jim Reddington (pencils), Mickey Ritter (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Avengers I#323 (late September, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Brad Vancata & Mickey Ritter (pencils), Mickey Ritter (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Avengers I#324-325 (October, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Fred Fredricks & Diverse Hands (#325) (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Captain America I#387 (July, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Dan Panosian (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#389-391 (August-September, 1991) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Larry Alexander (pencils), Bud LaRosa (#389) & Dan Panosian (#390-391) (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#393-398 (October, 1991-March, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Larry Alexander (#393) & Rik Levins (pencils), Bud LaRosa (#393-394) & Danny Bulanadi (#393, 395-398) (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#402 (July, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Larry Alexander (pencils), Ariane (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#407 (September, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Kevin Kobasic (pencils), Rodney Ramos (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Captain America I#408 (October, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Larry Alexander (pencils), Don Hudson (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Captain America I#409-410 (November-December, 1992) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Rik Levins (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Captain America V#3 (March, 2005) - Ed Brubaker (writer), Steve Epting (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)

Last updated: 08/29/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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