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MARIA RAMBEAU

Real Name: Maria Rambeau

Identity/Class: Human, civilian

Occupation: Owner of a seamstress' shop

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Avengers (Black Knight/Dane Whitman, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Doctor Druid/Anthony Ludgate, She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, Thor Odinson), Mr. and Mrs. Kozluskies (friends)

Enemies: None

Known Relatives: Frank Rambeau (husband), Monica Rambeau (daughter), Charmaine Romeau (sister-in-law), Charmaine's unidentified husband (brother-in-law)

Aliases: Beautiful (nickname given by Frank Rambeau), M'dear, Momma (nicknames given by Monica Rambeau)

Base of Operations: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

First Appearance: Avengers I#246 (August, 1984)

Powers/Abilities: Maria Rambeau possesses no superhuman powers. She is a talented seamstress who runs her own succesfull shop in downtown New Orleans. After worrying about her husband Frank's safety during his years as a fireman, Maria grew even more concerned about her daughter, the superhero known as Captain Marvel.

Height: 5'5" (by approximation)
Weight: 135 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: White

History:

(Avengers I#246 - BTS) - Besides being a home maker, Maria Rambeau ran a succesfull seamstress' shop in New Orleans, that employed three other women.

(Avengers I#236 - BTS) - Concerned about her father Frank's safety, Monica Rambeau decided to start a small business with him. Before telling her parents about her plans to launch a charter fishing boat company, she wanted to make sure she had the means to get the venture off the ground and succesfully applied for a small business loan.

(Avengers I#246) - After a busy day at the shop, Maria returned home to her husband Frank who was busy cooking gumbo. Frank told her she'd missed several dozen phone calls, including one from their daughter Monica. Immediately returning her call, Maria invited Monica to dinner. When her daughter knocked on the door no sooner than she'd hung up the phone at home, Maria and Frank learned that Monica had recently gained superpowers and had even joined the Avengers as Captain Marvel. Maria and Frank were initially incredulous, but Monica managed to convince them by turning into living light. Taking a moment to let it all sink in, Maria then hugged her daughter and told her how proud he was of her.

(Avengers I#247) - Still grappling with the notion of their daugher's new life as a superhero, Frank and Maria grilled Monica while sitting down to have his gumbo. After a while, Monica turned the tables and wanted to know how Maria's business was doing. Then, Monica wondered if her father was still considering an early retirement. Frank revealed that, while he was definitely entertaining the thought, he would have no idea what to do with himself. Expecting this answer, Monica was about to propose starting a business with her father, when an incoming Avengers priority signal forced her to table the subject. Promising Frank she'd be in touch about the offer, she flew off. As he watched his daughter go and possibly risk her life, a worried Frank asked Maria if this is what she felt all these years when he went off to fight fires. She told him this was exactly how she felt all this time.

(Avengers I#261 - BTS) - With Captain Marvel and the Avengers on an unexpectedly extended mission in space, Maria and Frank grew increasingly worried when they failed to reach Monica by phone for weeks.

(Avengers I#261) - The fate of their missing daughter weighed heavily on the Rambeaus' mind. Maria tried to persuade Frank to have breakfast, but he had lost his appetite. When Monica popped in as Captain Marvel, assuring her parents she was all right, an overjoyed Frank immediately got up to make a proper breakfast (coffee, bacon and scrambled eggs) for his family.

(Avengers I#264) - After helping her father fight a fire, Monica flew to her mother's shop to assure Maria her husband was safe. She then tried on a dress her mother had made for her, while contemplating telling her fellow Avengers about her civilian identity. After showing Maria how well the dress fit her, Monica decided to take her parents out to dinner.

(Avengers I#279 - (fb) - BTS) - When the Wasp stepped down as Avengers chairperson, the position was offered to a hesitant Monica Rambeau who wasn't sure if she was ready. Captain America tabled the subject of Monica's nomination until the next meeting, which left her seeking advice.

(Avengers I#279) - Maria and Frank were watching a football game on TV between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints. With the score at the end of the fourth quarter 21-3 in favor of the Bears, Frank still believed the Saints could turn it around while Maria quietly told him to be realistic. Just then, Captain Marvel showed up on their screen during a commercial break. Initially believing their daughter was doing a public service announcement, the Rambeaus were stunned when their daughter was speaking directly at them and emerged from the set.

   Revealing she only pulled that trick to see if they had company over, like the Kozluskies, Monica then informed her parents about her dilemma. Frank was elated, proud that even Captain America had endorsed his little girl and assured her she'd do fine, after all he was one of the youngest firemen in the history of New Orleans to be promoted lieutenant.

   That still didn't resolve Monica's concerns: if she became Avengers chairman, she'd have no time to start her charter boat business with her father. While Frank assured her that she'd still have plenty of time for that in the future, Monica noticed her mother wasn't too enthused about the notion both her daughter and husbad would continue in their dangerous line of work.

(Avengers I#294 - BTS) - Monica Rambeau nearly died fighting Avengers associate Marrina who had mutated into a giant sea serpent. After managing to restore herself to human form, the emaciated Monica was rushed to the hospital by the Avengers. Afterwards, the team went to New Orleans to collect Frank and Maria Rambeau.

(Avengers I#294) - Maria and Frank accompanied the Avengers on board their Quinjet to the New York hospital where Monica was being treated. As they arrived, Thor warned them about their daughter's changed appearance but the Rambeaus were still ill prepared to see her, in spite of Frank's claim that after 25 years as a cop (see comments) there was very little he hadn't seen before. Maria promised her weakened, rail thin child she'd fatten her up on hominy and chicken.

   With Captain Marvel temporarily incapacitated and unable to perform her duties as Avengers chairperson, the ambitious Doctor Druid moved that the team immediately voted on who would replace her. Formally requesting Frank and Maria left their daughter's hospital room during the vote, the newly elected Druid then assured the Rambeaus he'd personally see to it that they would be allowed to take Monica home to Atlanta, post-haste. The next morning, Druid had booked passage on a commercial flight for them and joined the other Avengers in seeing them off. (see comments).

(Captain Marvel II#1) - Maria rushed to her daughter's room when Monica woke up screaming from the frequent nightmares she'd been having, always revolving around her recent power loss after fighting Marrina. Maria tried to comfort her, but Monica assured her she was fine. Frank then told his wife to let their daughter get ready for work. Over breakfast, however, he admitted to being worried about her nightmares and the way she'd been pulling deeper and deeper into herself. Maria told him not to worry and that Monica's new job as a ship's captain would be just the thing she needed to get her groove back.

(Avengers III#16 - BTS) - Much to Maria's joy, Frank took Monica up on her offer to start a business together. During her recuperation, they launched a charter boat business together. In order to make sure Monica would not be distracted by any pressing Avengers business, Maria hid away her daughter's Avengers I.D. Card.

(Avengers III#27) - When Captain America tried to contact Monica Rambeau on her communicard to see if she'd be interested in returning to active duty, her mother Maria answered instead. She frantically pleaded with Cap not to ask her daughter because she'd agree to come back. This would leave Frank alone in the business they'd just started and with him not in the best of health, Maria figured they couldn't afford it if Monica wound up stuck on the wrong side of the galaxy again.




(Avengers Infinity#1) - Monica caught her mother frantically trying to muffle the alarm signals coming from her missing Avengers I.D. Card. Realizing Maria had been keeping it in a relatively soundproof Mason jar in the kitchen, Monica took back the card and answered the priority summons call. Before she went off, she demanded an explanation from her mother, who tearfully apologized for her actions.

   Maria explained how happy she was when she got her husband to quit his dangerous profession and that she couldn't stand the thought of seeing her daughter return to an equally dangerous line of work. Monica then hugged her mother, explaining that while she understood her concerns, she simply couldn't turn away when she was needed. A reluctant Maria said she understood, after all Monica was her father's daughter in that respect.

Comments: Created by Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott & crew (inks)

Maria Rambeau's plight is an interesting one, to say the least. Her decision to hide away her daughter's Avengers I.D. card might be considered selfish, it could even make her an accessory to whatever disaster that would have occured because the Avengers couldn't reach Monica.  Still, how would you feel when, after decades of watching the man you love risk his life on a daily basis, your only child decides to do the same? First by joining the police and later as the Avengers, which almost killed her once already?

In Avengers I#294, Doctor Druid wanted to ship the Rambeaus off to Atlanta while they're cleary from New Orleans. An obvious and innocent oversight by incoming writer Walter Simonson, but it might also be indicative of how dismissive, uncaring and overbearing Doctor Druid had become by that point. Then again, Simonson really did Maria a great disservice when he suddenly reverted her speech patterns to that of what can most favorably be described as a loving caricature of an African-American woman, right down to the use "oh, honey child!" and bringing up chicken. Talk about on the nose.

Incidentally, though only a handful of artists drew Maria, she's sported a wide variety of looks. Starting out svelte with a salt and pepper afro, she was turned into a plump elderly woman with white hair, only to be mysteriously deaged and slimmed down considerably, even as she got an new, frizzy all black do. Must be hard for Maria to be perpetually in-between sizes. Thank heavens she's a professional seamstress.

In Avengers I#294 Frank accidentally called himself a cop even though he had been a fireman for decades. Presumably this was a mistake by Simonson like the Atlanta situation discussed above.
--Markus Raymond

Profile by Norvo.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Maria Rambeau has no known connections to


images: (without ads)
Avengers I#246, p7, pan3 (main image)
Avengers I#246, p7, pan2 (face)
Avengers I#279, p6, pan5 (doesn't want Monica to do it )
Avengers I#294, p14, pan4-5 (suddenly fluent in ebonics)
Avengers III#27, p9, pan9 (hides the communicard)
Avengers Infinity #1, p12, pan6&7(apologises to Monica)


Appearances:

Avengers I#246 (August, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott & crew (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#247 (September, 1984) - Roger Stern (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#261 (November, 1985) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#264 (February, 1986) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#279 (May, 1987) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#294 (August, 1988) - Walter Simonson (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Captain Marvel II#1 (November, 1989) - Dwayne McDuffie (writer), Doc Bright (pencils), Stan Drake & Frank Bolle (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers III#16 (May, 1999) - Jerry Ordway (writer and penciler), Tom Smith (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers III#27 (April, 2000) - Kurt Busiek (writer), George Perez (pencils), Al Vey (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers Infinity#1 (September, 2000) - Roger Stern (writer), Sean Chen (pencils), Scott Hanna (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor) 


Last updated: 12/25/13

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