Real Name: Unrevealed
presumably a Russian citizen
Occupation: Spy/mercenary/agent of Dr. Neutron
Group Membership: None
Meltdown, Sugar Man of Earth-295;
formerly Havok (Alex Summers)
Enemies: Fatale, Havok, Wolverine (Logan/James Howlett)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Scarlett McKenzie (see comments)
Base of Operations: Mobile
First Appearance: Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#1 (1988)
Powers/Abilities: Quark is a skilled psychologist, able to manipulate the thoughts and behaviors of others, both through her speech and behavior, as well as through drug therapy. She was a skilled actress and experienced with a handgun (at least one that fired biological weapons).
Height: Approximately 5'9" (she seemed just a little
shorter than the 6' tall Havok)
Weight: 125 lbs.
Eyes: Green (possibly wearing colored contact lenses)
Hair: Red (possibly dyed); formerly black (possibly a wig)
(Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#2 (fb) - BTS) - Quark was a pioneer in the study of the effect of assigned roles on human behavior.
(Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#2 (fb) - BTS) - Quark ran a Russian asylum, in which
(Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#1 (fb) - BTS) - Quark allied with Dr. Neutron and his ally Meltdown in their plot for physical and political power. She was to manipulate Havok for their purposes so Meltdown could use him to obtain vast power: Meltdown could absorb and manipulate vast amounts of radiation, but only at certain concentrations and in certain forms. They intended to cause a meltdown of a nuclear reactor, for Havok to absorb the radiation, and for Havok to blast Meltdown with all of that power, which Meltdown could absorb and achieve vast power.
(Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#1) - As Havok & Wolverine fled a Mexican bar under gunfire, the disguised Quark appeared to be an innocent bystander in the parking lot. They took her with them as they stole her car to prevent her from being shot. She coolly reapplied her makeup until they were then rammed from behind and assaulted by a number of Dr. Neutron's agents. The two heroes eventually took out their attackers, but then Quark announced that the assault had proven the two men were who she and her allies thought they were, and she pulled a gun from her purse and shot them.
(Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#1 (fb) - BTS) - The gun fired capsules that contained Bubonic plague. It took six pellets to subdue Wolverine, whom she left for dead. Upon recovering, Wolverine was told that his friend was dead and had been buried, but Wolverine dug up his grave and confirmed it contained a fake body.
(Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#2 (fb) - BTS) - Quark took Havok a hospital facility staffed with other agents of Dr. Neutron.
(Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#2 (fb) - BTS) - Having shed her black wig and glasses and now posing as nurse Scarlett McKenzie, Quark treated Havok, giving him drugs that made him susceptible to her influence.
(Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#2) - As Havok awakened, nurse
McKenzie told him he was being treated for the Bubonic plague and that his
friend had died. She met with the other agents, telling them to watch Havok
closely and to have him watch TV that was subliminally enhanced. She then
contacted Meltdown, who told her they were shipping her equipment that would
allow her to better monitor Havok. She soon returned to Havok who was attracted
to her, but as the TV program began to work on him, his training by Xavier
allowed him to detect its subliminal influence and he fried the TV with a plasma
bolt. Pretending to be surprised by his powers, she agreed that if his friend
had such powers he might have survived, and she continued working to make him
both trust and desire her. Later, she discussed things with Dr. Neutron, who
decided they would have to increase his drug dosage to make him more pliable.
Realizing that Havok would not believe Wolverine was dead and would not stop
trying to rescue him, Quark decided to use that strong belief and twist it
towards their ends.
Soon after, as she aided the weakened Havok in physical therapy, she told him she had come to Mexico from Oregon with the Peace Corps, and that a spy had been asking about him. She and Havok agreed that she would take the spy's money and bring him to him so that Havok could learn who he was and what he wanted. The man claimed to be CIA, and after he slapped Scarlett to the ground to try to intimidate Havok into cooperating, Havok punched him out. He then took Scarlett with him as he departed, heading towards in the Carpathian mountains in Poland , which the man had referenced as where Wolverine had been taken by Russians. After Scarlett arranged for a bi-plane for them to depart in, Havok blew a hole in the wall through which they "escaped." They departed mere moments before Wolverine's arrival.
(Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#3) - To avoid a storm, Scarlett
told Havok to fly to Meridia. Upon arriving, she secretly contacted Dr. Neutron,
learned that Wolverine had survived another attempt to kill him, and outlined
revisions to their plan, as she felt like he was suspicious of the ease with
which their plan to rescue Wolverine was proceeding. She also left her dress
there so Wolverine could more easily follow her scent. However, she was also
starting to become genuinely interested in Havok, perhaps becoming lost in her
own role; Neutron recognized that Scarlett's personality was showing through in
their conversation. Dr. Neutron pointed out to Meltdown that Quark may be
becoming a liability, though they would follow her plans as they seemed sound.
Scarlett then concocted lies about how she was getting the planes -- the first from her ex-lover, a drug dealer; the second just by paying him -- further earning his confidence by seemingly coming clean with him. En route, they shared some lovin'.
Per Quark's plan, when Wolverine arrived some time later, he was incapacitated with tasers and then used a photonic quantum brainwiping device (which wouldn't work on Havok due to his energy sensitivity) on him.
Scarlett and Havok made it to the Carpathian mountain base on horseback, and Havok had Scarlett stay outside while he investigated. As per Quark's plan, the brainwiped and reprogrammed Wolverine attacked Havok, seeking to kill him. Unable to otherwise stop Wolverine, Havok fought back with lethal force, killing him (or at least inducing cardiac arrest). Further, per Quark's plan, Havok swore vengeance on the man who had forced him to do this.
(Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#4) - Scarlett consoled the
distraught Havok and led him to a "clue" in the facility, overlays of an Indian
nuclear reactor. While Scarlett feigned surprise, she allowed him to conclude
that he had been targeted for assassination because the schemer(s) feared that
he might interfere with their plans. She noted that the grave was shallow and
wondered if Wolverine's mutant powers might allow him to survive even this, but
Havok convinced her Wolverine could not have survived his attack and that they
were in too much of hurry to dig a deeper grave; however, he knew he had
actually held back slightly and that Wolverine would indeed survive. Havok left
behind his jacket, containing the map of the reactor, then headed to the reactor
to confront the schemer(s), with Scarlett by his side. Soon after their
departure, Wolverine revived and followed their trail, his healing factor having
restored his mind.
Soon enough, Scarlett and Havok arrived by jeep at the Tarapur reactor in the district of Maharashta. Havok felt that Scarlet was everything he ever wanted in a woman, though he was not telling her about Wolverine's survival, so that if something went wrong she couldn't tell anyone what she didn't know. At the same time, Scarlett/Quark, now having strong feelings for Havok, hoped that Meltdown wouldn't kill Havok, or possibly even that Havok might slay Meltdown, and then she and Havok would be free.
They realized that the process had already started at Tarapur, as there was massive radiation leakage. Havok instructed Scarlett to stay outside, but she refused and accompanied him inside, saying she needed him to watch out for whoever was behind this while he was putting out the nuclear fire. He told her that he loved her, and they both agreed that it was a miracle that they had met. Wearing a radiation suit, she accompanied Havok inside as he began absorbing the radiation. Unable to replace the dampening rods in the core, Havok ordered Scarlett as he tried to absorb all of the radiation. He was surprised to find the process easier than he had expected, at which point Meltdown introduced himself and claimed responsibility. Havok attacked him with progressively stronger blasts as Meltdown goaded him, and Scarlett realized that Meltdown would soon kill him, and she would die as well. Scarlett rushed in, warning Havok of the threat, and Meltdown saw the means to force Havok to unleash his full power. Mentally thanking Quark for her brilliance, Meltdown incinerated her with an energy blast.
As originally planned, Havok struck Meltdown with all of his force. Meltdown gained vast power, and Havok and the arriving Wolverine were unable to harm him, until Wolverine impaled Meltdown with multiple boron control rods, weakening him until his energized form and his body faded from existence.
Afterwards, Havok noted that Scarlett was the real hero, that she had led him to Meltdown and sacrificed herself to try to save him. Wolverine realized that she was the one who had shot him in the first place and knew that she had been part of Meltdown's plot, but as she was dead and Havok had fallen for her, he decided to just let Havok believe that she was what he had thought she was.
Comments: Created by Walter and Louise Simonson (writers) and John J. Muth and Kent Williams (artists).
This story occurred sometime after the X-Men's death and resurrection by Roma, as neither Havok nor Wolverine was visible on video equipment. Specifically, the series immediately follows Uncanny X-Men#245 where we see Logan and Alex in the Mexican bar.
It's possible that her real name is indeed Scarlett McKenzie, but she was the head of a Russian asylum during the Cold War, so I'd ASSume she was actually Russian.
As noted below, an alternate reality Scarlett McKenzie appeared in Factor X during the Age of Apocalypse storyline. A duplicate of Scarlett appeared in X-Factor I#112-114. As this Scarlett worked for Sugar Man it is possible that she was cloned from Earth-295's DNA.
Profile by Snood.
Quark/Scarlett McKenzie should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#1 (bystander appearance, close-up)
(bystander appearance, full body)
Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#1-2 (1988) - Walter and Louise Simonson (writers) and John J. Muth and Kent Williams (artists), Margaret Clark & Steve Buccellato (editors)
Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown#3-4 (1989) - Walter and Louise Simonson (writers) and John J. Muth and Kent Williams (artists), Margaret Clark & Steve Buccellato (editors)
X-Factor I#112 (July, 1995) - John Francis Moore (writer), Jeff Matsuda (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Kelly Corvese (editor)
X-Factor I#113 (August, 1995) - John Francis Moore (writer), Jerry Bingham (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Kelly Corvese (editor)
X-Factor I#114 (September, 1995) - John Francis Moore (writer), Steve Epting (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks), Kelly Corvese (editor)
Last updated: 09/26/08
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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