Real Name: Sonya Tolsky
Identity/Class: Human (source of powers unknown); Russian citizen
Occupation: Secret agent for the FSB (Federal'naya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti)
Group Membership: Affiliate of Soviet government; formerly a member of United States army; formerly an operative of the Secret Empire
Affiliations: Colonel Razumihin;
formerly Professor Power's Secret Empire (including Cloud, Harridan, Leviathan, Mad Dog, and the Mutant Force (Burner, Lifter, Shocker, Slither);
formerly the army unit of General Argyle Fist
Enemies: Professor Power's Secret Empire and its agents
(listed above), the
formerly (New) Defenders (Angel, Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Moondragon, Valkyrie);
formerly the Vision and the Scarlet Witch;
Known Relatives: None known
Aliases: Specialist Nancy Turpin, Katarina Ivanova
Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
formerly General Argyle Fist's army camp;
Professor Power's Secret Empire
First Appearance: (New) Defenders I#123 (September, 1983)
Powers/Abilities: Seraph had powers of telepathy and super-strength. The origin of her powers is unknown. She could read minds, mentally calm her opponents, and fill another's mind with bliss. Seraph's powers manifested as an amber glow from her eyes, a hypnotic trilling, or as the sounds of a heavenly choir.
Little is known of the background of the woman Seraph, including the origins of her powers. At some point, she became a government agent for the Soviet Union, working for a Colonel Razumihin (who was described by Nick Fury as Fury's Russian counterpart).
((New) Defenders I#129(fb)) - Seraph was sent deep undercover into Professor Power's Secret Empire, acting as a super-powered agent for him in his villainous schemes. Seraph participated in several missions. Cloud was given false memories that made her think Seraph was her older sister. Amongst these false memories was that during one of those missions, the Secret Empire had killed Cloud's parents and recruited her into the Empire (Cloud was actually not human, but rather a sentient nebula in human form. As per the comments, it is possible that these people were the parents of Carol Faber, whom Cloud believed herself to be for a time).
((New) Defenders I#123) - Seraph, Cloud, and Harridan were sent by Number One to retrieve the Vision, so that Secret Empire scientists could study him. They took a base in an old house in Leonia, New Jersey, prepared to strike at the home of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch. When Cloud got back from scouting the Vision's house, Seraph read her mind and discovered that the Defenders (Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman) were visiting there. Seraph and Harridan disagreed over how to proceed with the assignment, and Seraph telepathically lulled Harridan into submission. Later, they attacked the Vision's home. Cloud hit the Vision with a lightning bolt while Harridan hit Gargoyle with a blast from her Deathstaff. When Iceman encased all three women in ice, Seraph punched it apart and demanded the Vision surrender. Cloud battled the Scarlet Witch while Harridan drained the life forces of the Beast and Iceman. Seraph defeated the Vision, overcoming his mind with bliss and leaving him unconscious. She picked him up over her shoulder, and demanded that they leave immediately. Seraph stopped Harridan from killing the Beast and Iceman, but then she and Cloud were hit by blasts from the Gargoyle. Harridan seemingly died trying to drain the Gargoyle's life.
((New) Defenders I#124) - Seraph, Harridan and Cloud were taken into SHIELD custody in null-fields. It is unknown how they later escaped to return to the Secret Empire.
((New) Defenders I#126 (BTS)) - The Defenders discovered that Nick Fury had no record of Seraph, Harriden, and Cloud's capture.
((New) Defenders I#128) - The Defenders (Angel, Beast, Gargoyle, Iceman, Moondragon, Valkyrie) stormed the Secret Empire base, attempting to recover Cloud (who'd defected from the Secret Empire to the Defenders and then been captured by the Secret Empire). Professor Power had equipped the operatives with devices that sapped the Defender's "physical strength and mental acuity." Moondragon beat Seraph in battle, but the weakened Defenders were then defeated by Leviathan.
((New) Defenders I#129) - Seraph telepathically put one guard to sleep and knocked another unconscious in order to free Cloud. Seraph told Cloud they were going to free the Defenders, before it was too late to stop Professor Power from initiating war that would harm both the United States and Russia. Cloud and Seraph worked together to beat another group of guards. The Defenders managed to free themselves, and Seraph and Cloud helped them battle a group of Secret Empire robots. Seraph led the Defenders and Cloud to the launch pad, where Professor Power was launching a satellite that would initiate a world war. Seraph helped battle the Mutant Force and Mad Dog, trying hard to get to the main launch computer in time to enter an abort code. Moondragon and Valkyrie boarded the satellite as it launched in an attempt to stop it.
((New) Defenders I#130) - Moondragon managed to explode the satellite before it went into orbit. Seraph helped the Defenders defeat Mad Dog and the Mutant Force again. Colonel Razumihin and Nick Fury arrived (they'd been called by Seraph previously), and Seraph and the Colonel prepared to head back to the Soviet Union since the battle was over. Cloud confronted Seraph about Seraph's involvement in the deaths of Cloud's parents (now that her "true" memories had returned). Seraph apologized, saying that she had to allow that to happen in order to maintain her cover in the Empire.
((New) Defenders I#145) - Seraph went undercover as Specialist Nancy Turpin in the U.S. Army, under the command of General Argyle Fist. The army unit responded to the Defenders' cry for help, following their battle with Moondragon. "Nancy" waited until dark, then went to Cloud's bedside. The Beast stopped her, asking what she was doing in the dark, and she dissuaded him by flirting. After Beast left, "Nancy" pulled out a newspaper article detailing the first hints of Cloud's true origins.
((New) Defenders I#146) - "Nancy" flirted with the Beast as Argyle Fist briefed the team. Fist commanded the Defenders to take "Nancy" with them on their next mission. "Nancy" accompanied the Defenders to Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich Village. As Cloud settled in her room, "Nancy" pulled off her wig and revealed herself as Seraph.
((New) Defenders I#147) - While the Defenders were off on a mission, "Nancy" served Candy Southern some tea, drugging her into sleep. "Nancy" met the Defenders after their battle with Hotspur, during which Cloud was tormented by her memories. "Nancy" unmasked herself as Seraph, and told the Defenders that she knew who Cloud really was.
((New) Defenders I#149) - Seraph went back to Strange's mansion with the Defenders (Andromeda, Angel, Beast, Cloud, Gargoyle, Iceman, Candy Southern, Valkyrie). The Beast argued that Seraph could not be trusted, but Seraph admitted that she cared for Cloud and that her superiors suspected that Cloud's origins were of immense importance. The Defenders agreed to accompany Cloud and Seraph. The Defenders and Seraph took one of the Angel's jets the next day, but the jet was struck by lightning when Cloud's powers spasmed out of control (they later learned it was because the jet was approaching the area the Secret Empire first picked Cloud up). The Angel (though blind at the time) was able to level out the jet, and Seraph directed him to go to a community hospital in Norbrook, West Virginia instead. Seraph calmed the doctor's mind telepathically, and asked him to show them the body of Carol Faber. When Cloud saw the bodies of her male and female forms before her (see comments), she fainted from the strain of her true memories. Seraph helped Cloud recover some of her memories, but Cloud couldn't remember enough, so Seraph led them all to the place where Cloud witnessed the two teenagers crash their car (which was the same place they'd just flown over). When Gargoyle flew Cloud up in the air, finally Cloud regained her full memories, and she exploded in a storm of lightning.
((New) Defenders I#150) - Cloud transported the Defenders and Seraph into space with her, granting them the ability to breathe there. Cloud explained her origins as a nebula. Before she could explain more, the space-farers were drawn into an alien ship by a tractor beam. They battled the aliens until Seraph calmed the aliens with her bliss powers. The aliens shared their origins, telling how their planet was destroyed when their star disappeared. Cloud finally told of her origins as a star who developed consciousness and who feared for her life as she saw other stars dying. Kubik (the newly evolving Cosmic Cube) joined them, and Seraph joined Kubik, the aliens, and the Defenders in their battle with the Star-Thief and the aliens of her planet.
((New) Defenders I#151) -The Defenders bid Seraph goodbye at the airport, hoping that her failure to bring Cloud back with her would not cause her Soviet superiors to be angry with her. She reminded them that her powers could protect her. Before leaving, she gave Iceman a hug goodbye, stating that they'd been the two to love Cloud the most.
Comments: Created by J.M. DeMatteis, Don Perlin, and Kim DeMulder.
A seraph is defined as an angel of the first order.
Seraph's story is tied strongly into Cloud's origins, which are some of the most needlessly complex bits of story woven together in the history of comic books (in my opinion). Briefly, Cloud was a nebula who developed sentience but who had great fear because of the stars disappearing around her so Kubik sent her to Earth to learn of heroes where Cloud saw two teenagers almost die in a car wreck so she took on their forms switching from male to female (Carol Faber) and then the Secret Empire picked her up murdering the Faber girl's parents and gave Cloud false memories to believe that Seraph was her sister and then sent her into battle against the Defenders until she ran away and joined the Defenders and fell in love with Moondragon and changed from male to female and finally got her real memories back so she could go back to being a sentient nebula. Yeesh!
Thanks to Brandon Nash for pointing out Seraph's real name, citizenship and occupation from her profile in Defenders: Strange Heroes (2012).
Clarifications: Seraph has no known connection to
SERAPH, friend of Wolverine, @ Wolverine II#126
SERAPH, Luddite @ Marvel Super-Heroes III#13
SERAPH, of Earth-NU @ Justice I#22
SERAPHIM, group of Warpies @ Excalibur I#62
or to anyone else associated with Seraphs, Seraphim, or angels.
Little is known about Colonel Rodian Razumihin. He acted as an agent of Soviet Intelligence. When SHIELD contacted him regarding Professor Power's plans to start a new world war, Razumihin sent Seraph undercover to join the Secret Empire. When the Defenders battled the Secret Empire, Fury (with SHIELD) and Razumihin (with Russian agents) helped round up and arrest several Secret Empire agents. Razumihin then returned with Seraph to Russia.
--(New) Defenders I#129 (130
(New) Defenders I#123, page 8, panel 4
(New) Defenders I#123, page 19, panel 3
(New) Defenders I#130, page 10, panel 3
(New) Defenders I#123 (September, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
(New) Defenders I#128 (February, 1984) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Alan Kupperberg (pencils), Mike Mignola (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
(New) Defenders I#129-130 (March-April, 1984) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (#129) & Mike Zeck (#130) (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
(New) Defenders I#145 (July, 1985) - Peter Gillis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
(New) Defenders I#146-147 (August-September, 1985) - Peter Gillis (writer), Luke McDonnell (#146) & Don Perlin (#147) (pencils), Art Nichols (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
(New) Defenders I#149-151 (November, 1985-January, 1986) - Peter Gillis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Art Nichols (#149), Dell Barras (#149, 151), Alan Kupperberg (#150) & Randy Emberlin (#150) (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Last updated: 09/03/16
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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