DALIA the SHAPE CHANGER
Real Name: Dalia
Identity/Class: Extraterrestrial (native of Cherron)
former homeless person;
former revolutionary leader
Group Membership: Formerly the Haif-Nas
Affiliations: Meru (they were merged when her presence was last felt; her current fate is unrevealed);
formerly Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Thor Odinson, Valkyrie (Brunnhilde; mind-controlled pawn)
Enemies: Haifs, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Thor Odinson, Valkyrie (Brunnhilde; mind-controlled pawn);
formerly (or currently?) Meru
Known Relatives: None
formerly Jane Doe
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
formerly an unidentified extradimensional realm
formerly the sword Dragonfang;
formerly Mount Sanai Hospital, Manhattan, New York;
formerly an alley off the corner of 41st street and 8th avenue, Manhattan, New York;
formerly mobile throughout space;
formerly an unspecified planet;
formerly planet Cherron, unidentified star system and galaxy
First Appearance: Marvel Team-Up I#115 (March, 1982)
could transform herself to mimic the appearance of others, including
others of different races, such as humanity. She apparently took such
forms with sufficient detail that not even a skilled surgeon could
recognize her tissue as non-human; further, she maintained her
transformed state even when unconscious or anesthetized. This would
seem to indicate physical change, rather than illusion.
It is not revealed to what extent she could change her bodily dimensions or if she could assume non-humanoid shapes, etc. It is unrevealed whether her ability was average or greater-than-average (or perhaps less than average) for the Haif-Nas.
In her human form, she apparently reacted like a normal human to human medications, anesthetics, and likely even blood products.
She could apparently recover rapidly from severe wounds (such as from a life-saving surgery after receiving otherwise fatal wounds). As she could grapple with Dalia (albeit perhaps just briefly), she likely had some degree of superhuman strength, perhaps enhanced human to Class 10?
She had the training to induce a hypnotic trance to submerge her memories, although appropriate stimulation could cause the memories to recur.
She had some experience as a revolutionary leader and the associated skills inherent therein.
Dalia could apparently fly a ship across interstellar distances. Within an atmosphere, she rode upon a hover disc. She also carried a weapon that allowed her to levitate other beings.
Following their bodies' physical destruction, Meru and Dalia, at least, could survive as disembodied consciousnesses/energies that could inhabit inanimate objects (even, or perhaps, only mystic objects), animate/levitate them, and mentally influence others (even an Asgardian, such as Valkyrie).
Height: Unrevealed; approximately 6'10" (she
appeared fairly close in height to Meru, who seemed to tower of the
6'6" Thor; she also looked to be Thor's height or taller (although they
were oddly positioned));
(as Jane Doe) unrevealed, but more likely closer to the human average, as no comments were made about exceptional height; perhaps 5'9"
Weight: Unrevealed; approximately 280 lbs.;
(as Jane Doe) unrevealed, but perhaps less, as no one commented on her massive weight, nor did her tissues seem more dense than normal
Eyes: Solid light blue (no visible pupil or iris);
(as Jane Doe) unrevealed, but dark (likely brown)
Hair: White - originating only at the top of her hed and extending into a long pony tail;
(as Jane Doe) gray
Skin: Blue-gray, scaled
Other features: She had a pair of large fangs on both upper and lower jaws, a long, thin, forked tongue, and pinioned ears (like the fin on a fish).
(Marvel Team-Up I#115 (fb) - BTS) - Native to the planet Cherron, Dalia was a revolutionary leader of the Haif-Nas, who were allegedly oppressed and forced into menial labor by the Haifs.
The Haif-Nas tried to use reason and diplomacy to gain their freedom, but the Haifs responded by (presumably figuratively) tightening the yoke on their servants.
The Haif-Nas turned to more forceful means, finally giving the Haifs an ultimatum: Set them free and grant them the equality they deserved, or Cherron would fall in ruin around them all.
Dalia fell in love with Meru of the Haifs. As their love was forbidden, Meru took Dalia to another world where they could share their love freely. Realizing the end of the world was coming, Dalia agreed (perhaps encouraged) Meru to take them both off world to save his life.
(Marvel Team-Up I#115 (fb)) <According to Dalia> - The Haifs laughed at the threat of the Haif-Nas, who employed technological skills the Haifs did not believe they could ever master, destroying key Haif power stations across Cherron.
This set up a chain reaction in the planet's core that tore Cherron apart.
(Marvel Team-Up I#115 (fb) - BTS) - After Cherron's destruction, Meru felt betrayed by Dalia and sought her death.
Dalia fled from Meru, and he pursued her "for ages."
Eventually Dalia took refuge on Earth where she took human form as a homeless woman, and used an induced hypnotic-trance to wipe her memories to prevent Meru's probes from discovering her.
Living in an alley off the corner of 41st street and 8th avenue, Manhattan, New York, she apparently lived in filth, wore rags for clothing, and ate garbage.
When members of the New York Police Department engaged in a shootout with some bank robbers, Dalia was struck by stray bullets. She was rushed to Mount Sinai hospital, where her amnesia was assumed to have resulted from the trauma, and she was dubbed Jane Doe. Reports of her plight led people to send money to pay her bills, and to offer her a decent home.
The chief of surgery at Mount Sinai called Dr. Donald Blake to operate on "Jane."
(Marvel Team-Up I#115) - Meru eventually pierced the veil and sought out Dalia while she underwent apparently life-saving surgery at the hands of Dr. Donald Blake. Spider-Man fought off Meru long enough for Blake to finish surgery and then transform into his other self, Thor, and drive off Meru.
24 hours later, "Jane" thanked Blake, who in turn thanked her for giving him a purpose as he had been out of work lately; wishing she could remember something, she somehow sensed the presence of her would-be attacker in Times Square. She warned Blake, who turned into Thor and confronted Meru.
As Meru caused Thor's mind to submerge under Blake's and then knocked out the off-guard hero, "Jane" regained her memory.
(Marvel Team-Up I#115 (fb) - BTS) - Dalia summoned her hover disc and flew to confront Meru.
(Marvel Team-Up I#115) - Seconds after Thor defeated Meru, "Jane" arrived on the hoverdisc, transforming into and introducing herself as Dalia the Shape Changer. After she revealed their common history, she used a device to levitate Meru off of the top of building and then drop him. Thor pulled Dalia off of her hoverdic and brought her to the rooftop, while Spider-Man rescued and returned Meru.
Recovering, Meru denounced Dalia as a witch and charged her with his weapon, accusing her of betraying him while he had truly loved her. As she argued the opposite, the two struggled, and Meru's weapon began to overloard. Dalia pleaded with him, telling him there was still time for amends, time for love, but the weapon's energy discharge disintegrated them both.
Their two energy forms floated through the air, intertwining, and then silently screaming.
(Marvel Team-Up I#116) - Meru and Dalia's essences floated through Manhattan, eventually agreeing they wanted revenge on Spider-Man and Thor, whom they blamed for their plight. They sensed the magical properties of the sword Dragonfang, entered it, and used its energies to take control of the Valkyrie (Brunnhilde) and force her to attack Spider-Man and Thor. Spider-Man tore Dragonfang from Valkyrie's hands, removing Dalia and Meru's influence from her, after which the two aliens levitated Ultimately, Thor shattered Dragonfang with his mystic hammer, Mjolnir, expelling the disembodied form of the merged aliens. Thor then opened a space warp through which he dispatched the energy form.
(Quasar#14 (fb) - BTS) - Meru (and
most likely Dalia, since they were last seen merged)
was captured by the Stranger (see comments).
Meru was returned to his original form (whether he was first returned to his physical form and then captured or vice-versa is unrevealed) and imprisoned on the Stranger's laboratory world, where he underwent various forms of tests.
(Quasar#14-16 - possibly BTS, see comments) - During the Over-Mind (Gromm)'s attack on the Stranger, Meru was one of those freed and sent to attack the Stranger's allies. After the Over-Mind's defeat, man of the Stranger's former prisoners escaped after this struggle, but Meru's fate remained unrevealed.
Comments: Created by J.M. DeMatteis, Herb Trimpe, and Mike Esposito.
Dalia was not seen in Quasar#14-16. It is unrevealed whether she:
I'd think Cherron was likely in the Milky Way galaxy, as Dalia happened to end up on Earth while fleeing Meru, but they got have been teleporting or warping around the larger universe.
Obviously the Haifs and Haif-Nas names were plays on "the haves and the have-nots." They were apparnently sects and/or sub-species of the same race, although that race was never identified...perhaps they were the Cherronians, Cherrosians, Cherros, Cheerios?
Donald Campbell points out that "I think the fact that Meru and Dalia's home planet was named 'Cherron' was a nod to a Star Trek episode entitled "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" which was also about racial prejudice. In that story, the Enterprise crew encountered Bele and Lokai, two humanoids from Cheron, a planet whose humanoid inhabitants had truly bizarre pigmentation patterns. All Cheronians were neatly bisected in their skin colouring, with one half of their bodies being solid black and the other half being solid white. Those who were black on the right side were dominant over those who were black on the left side. Anyway, the people of Cheron also wiped each other out but without destroying the planet."
Profile by Snood.
Dalia the Shape Changer should be distinguished from:
images: (without ads)
Marvel Team-Up I#115, story pg. 15, panel 5 (Jane Doe face);
pg. 19, panel 4 (Jane, full on hover disc);
panel 5-6 (Jane turning into Dalia);
panel 7 (Dalia - full);
pg. 21, panel 6-8 (Dalia and Meru blasted, converted into energy);
Marvel Team-Up I#115-116 (March-April, 1982) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Quasar#14-16 (September-November, 1990) - Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Manley (pencils), Dan Panosian (inks), Len Kaminski (editor)
Last updated: 02/26/15
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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