NIMROD STRANGE's BODYGUARDS
Membership: Assigi, Mary Sands, Jeesala (see comments), Sheena, Sonia (see comments), Yumi, other predecessors unidentified (three of whom may appear in the image to the left)
Purpose: Protection and entertainment (both in terms of enjoying their personal combat and in terms of enjoying the pleasures of the flesh)
Aliases: See comments
Affiliations: Nimrod Strange (leader, later Arsenal), Chu-Lin, Master Sniper, Slayers Elite (Jou-Jouka, Kareesh-Bek, Sumaro), Rashid (not clearly identifed/pictured), Third World Army (of which they were members), others
within their own ranks, the bodyguards were generally allies, though the engaged in merciless combat with each other at Strange's direction; they weren't direct competition, as Strange wanted one of each of their races in their ranks, though if one of them proved to consistently be the weakest link, she would be demoted and replaced; they would be naturally resentful of anyone that succeeded them
Enemies: Marlene Alraune, Jean-Paul "Frenchie" DuChamp, Eban, Moon Knight (Marc Spector), Mossad, Strelgov, US anti-terror task Force (Mr. Brent, others), President of the United States (POTUS)
Base of Operations: Unrevealed, if any, currently;
formerly a series of oil tankers in the waters surrounding Manhattan, New York;
formerly unidentified island base
First Appearance: Moon Knight I#17 (March, 1982)History:
(Moon Knight I#17) - One week after Strange's Master Sniper had shot Moon Knight, Strange watched from his palatial command center on his island base as his bodyguards challenged each other in combat.
As the Asian bodyguard battered the Caucasian bodyguard, Strange was briefly distracted by an aide (Chu-Lin?) who noted the arrival of new recruits; calling the aide a fool, Strange ordered him to begin their indoctrination and to not bother him there again.
When Sonia (the Caucasian; see comments) fell in combat, Strange praised Jeesala (see comments), but told Sonia she was getting slow. She asked his forgiveness, but he refused it, demanding instead complete and constant protection; if she could not provide it, she would be replaced.
(Moon Knight I#18) - Over two weeks later, in his palatial command center, Nimrod Strange watched his bodyguards battle. Sheena (the Caucasian; see comments) was dropped by a kick to the head by Assigi (the black/African; see comments)
Assigi and Yumi (the Asian; see comments) then squared off against each other, and after Assigi had punched Yumi in the face, Strange told them, "Enough." He noted his pleasure in Yumi and Assigi, but warned the fallen Sheena that she had slowed down and that if she did not improve quickly, she would be replaced. When Assigi questioned why she and Yumi, who he had admitted were as skilled as ever, were not being sent on the mission to Jerusalem, he assured them that he needed them by his side. With the Master Sniper dead, the Slayers Elite would handle the mission. After Strange had summoned in the Slayers, he reviewed before them and the three bodyguards their mission.
(Moon Knight I#19 (fb) - BTS) - Nimrod Strange watched his bodyguards battle again. He again noted that Sheena was becoming too slow.
(Moon Knight I#19) - As the new recruits arrived on Strange's islands, Nimrod bodyguards accompanied him out the palace. Strange commended his bodyguards on an excellent workout, noting that no man had ever been blessed with better or more beautiful bodyguards. However, he again chided Sheena; having thrice noted that she was growing too slow, he told her that he really thought she would have to be replaced. Pleased to see the new recruits' approaching plane, he invited his bodyguards to join him as he reviewed them.
After reviewing the Third World Army's purpose, Strange questioned the names and histories of the new recruits, including Mary Sands (an alias of Spector's lover and ally, Marlene Alraune). Strange took an interest in "Mary," noting she had many of the requirements to be one of his bodyguards. When he ordered Chu-Lin to train her in the rest (of the requirements), "Mary" insisted she had already been trained, and Strange instructed Yumi to test her and show her the type of training required of her.
Replying, "At once, Commander Strange," Yumi leapt at "Mary" with a flying drop kick, Trained by Spector in personal combat, "Mary" rolled away from the kick to lessen its impact and then parried with a sharp chop of her own. Seeing that Yumi had "blood in her eyes," Marlene partially regretted her impetuous action, but realized there was no turning back now. Yumi blocked the next arm strike of "Mary," kicked her in the hip, and then dropped an elbow into her back as she fell. Marlene, however, prepared her landing so she could then kick out Yumi's legs from the back of the knees and then delivered a punch to Yumi's head as she fell. Hitting her head on the ground, Yumi, lay still, defeated.
Acknowledging that "Mary" had passed the test, Strange then replaced Sheena with "Mary"; he told Sheena she was dismissed from his personal service, but could join the others to be outfitted for uniforms. Strange then took "Mary" to show her her new uniform and to prepare her for the night's initiation.
Noticing that two of the other new recruits showed an inordinate interest in "Mary," Sheena suspected that the appearance of those three at this time was too propitious; she further concluded that since they should have heard of someone like this "Mary" before but hadn't, that she needed to learn the reason why. She entered the office of records, her presence pleasantly surprising the records-keeper, and she asked for the manifest list of recruits, including their names and credentials. Assuming this to be on the order of Nimrod Strange, the records-keeper swiftly complied, and he then watched as Sheena departed, wishing Strange would share a little.
(Moon Knight I#19 (fb) - BTS) - Strange had "Mary" change into a blue or purple bikini to match his other bodyguards.
(Moon Knight I#19) - Later, at the compound behind Strange's personal barracks, Strange spoke to his three bodyguards (who now included "Mary"), noting the recent loss of both the Master Sniper and the Slayers Elite; he told them they needed someone colorful and inspirational to take their place. Donning the weaponry of the Master Sniper, Jou-Jouka, Kareesh-Bek, Sumaro, and Chu-Lin (nunchaks) as part of his new costume, he introduced himself as Arsenal and demonstrated his skills and abilities.
"Mary" wondered if he was serious about his Arsenal identity, and Assigi assured her it was mostly for show, but Yumi countered that no man needed bodyguards less than Nimrod Strange. After asking Mary if she agreed that the costume was effective, Arsenal excused himself to meet with his lieutenants.
Investigating further, Sheena confirmed that there were three extra recruits, and no Mary or any other woman in the manifest. She immediately concluded that "Mary" and "her two boyfriends" were infiltrators and/or spies.
That night, as Moon Knight and DuChamp sabotaged most of the Third World Army's weapons and planes, Strange prepared to "initiate" "Mary"; after some wine, he kissed her passionately, and she was forced to go along with it to avoid blowing her cover.
Chu-Lin refused to allow Sheena into Strange's private barracks, telling her if she had something to say to tell him. Sheena informed Chu-Lin of two infiltrators in the new recruits; after telling her to stay there, he confirmed the two empty bunks at the barracks, and he awakened the rest of the Army; meanwhile Sheena entered Strange's barracks, intending to deal with "Mary" herself. With the Army's weapons neutralized, Moon Knight and DuChamp took them out easily.
Irritated when Sheena knocked on his door, interrupting his intended romance, Strange sent "Mary" to deal with it (not knowing who was there), allowing Marlene to quickly strike Sheena in the throat to silence her, and then beat and incapacitated Sheena. "Mary" then told Strange that it was just a servant with more wine, and that she had sent the servant away as they were already drunk on love. Pleased, Strange told her to come to him, as he was not quite drunk enough...
However, subsequently hearing the explosions of their planes, Strange realized something was amiss, just as Chu-Lin arrived and informed Strange what was going on. Strange instructed him to gather the other bodyguards, and they would use the hidden motor-launch to leave the island at once; Strange, meanwhile, donned his Arsenal costume and went to confront his attackers.
(Moon Knight I#19) - After directing "Mary" to the motor-launch -- fearing ruining their planning, Marlene continued to play along -- Arsenal was confronted by Moon Knight; Marlene waited for a sign from Spector rather than blowing her cover by assisting him. However, Arsenal's grenade, deflected off-course by a crescent dart, exploded close enough to Moon Knight to leave him seemingly dead amongst shattered wreckage; "Mary" departed with Arsenal after seeming Moon Knight's hand move and realizing he was still alive.
(Moon Knight I#19 - BTS) - By the time Moon Knight recovered,
Strange, "Mary," Assigi, Yumi, and Chu-Lin were long gone. Finding a piece
of Nimrod's shattered giant globe, Spector told Stelgov of Strange's plans to
destroy the bridges and tunnels out of Manhattan.
Strelgov and Eban's men captured the Third World Army members present on the island.
(Moon Knight I#20 (fb) - BTS) - Receiving Strange's signal, the Third World Army agents stationed in Manhattan initiated the plan, hijacking the four oil tankers and anchoring them by the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels and the Brooklyn and George Washington Bridges.
(Moon Knight I#20 (fb) - BTS) - Strange and his bodyguards met up with his Army members, occupying the tanker under the George Washington Bridge, controlling his men aboard the other three tankers via "radio-phone" (a topical reference?).
(Moon Knight I#20 - BTS) - Moon Knight approached the tanker via scuba gear just as Strange's men began purging the oil into the water. Scaling above the oil line, Moon Knight burnt a hole into the hull to release the built up gas before it could reach the point of explosion.
(Moon Knight I#20) - As Moon Knight continued to infiltrate the tanker, Arsenal ranted to his bodyguards about Moon Knight destroying his army and island base. Nonetheless, he vowed the final victory would be his; and even if they denied his victory, still would Moon Knight and all of Manhattan perish in flames. Claiming to be the greatest warrior that ever lived and to be unstoppable with his beautiful bodyguards by his side, he pulled "Mary" in for another kiss; though nauseated by Strange, Marlene continued to play her role. As Moon Knight worked his way through the Third World Army soldiers on the ship, one soldier recovered quickly enough to warn Arsenal that Moon Knight was aboard the ship. When Moon Knight burst into the room, Arsenal commanded "Mary" to stop him. Both "Mary" and Moon Knight hesitated, allowing Assigi and Yumi to strike unseen from his left and right sides with powerful kicks to the head that knocked Moon Knight unconscious.
Rather than execute his enemy, Arsenal, accompanied by his bodyguards, tied Moon Knight over the ship's generator and took his truncheon. As Arsenal pulled off Moon Knight's mask, Marlene apparently received Moon Knight's mental urging (or facial expressions through his mask) that she not blow her cover just yet. Arsenal laughed at having captured the man who was both of his nemeses, then warned that only an hour remained for his demands to be met or else the tankers would explode. As Arsenal took his bodyguards away for a last bit of fun, Moon Knight popped off his crescent darts on the generator's rivets and eventually caught one in his hand and began cutting through the ropes binding him.
When Strange, Assigi, and Yumi dozed off, Marlene tried to sneak away and free Moon Knight. Assigi awakened and questioned "Mary"; not believing her excuse of going to get some fresh air, Assigi awakened Arsenal.
(Moon Knight I#20 - BTS) - Arsenal readied himself for an assault on his cabin.
(Moon Knight I#20) - Marlene reunited with the already-free Moon Knight, and took out the crew together, but when they entered Strange's cabin in hopes of finishing him off, they narrowly dodged a shotgun blast from Arsenal. Strange sent Yumi and Assigi after his foes as he rushed to reach the detonator in the forward hatch. Tackling Yumi and Assigi, Marlene urged Moon Knight to go after Arsenal, assuring him she could deal with both of them; she convinced him to leave her by reminding him that if he didn't stop Arsenal, the entire city would die.
Marlene dodged a kick from Yumi, but was knocked across the room by a kick to the abdomen from Assigi. After Marlene smashed Yumi in the face with a piece of chair, Assigi grabbed Marlene's hand and forced her to drop the chair piece. When Assigi bragged of her superiority, Marlene rolled under her and kicked her in the abdomen, smashing Assigi's head against the wall and then knocking her out with a kick to the back of the head while her head was still against the wall. Yumi grabbed Marlene's hair and pulled her back, but Marlene kicked back into her abdomen and then threw Yumi against the wall, dropping her as well.
(Moon Knight I#20 - BTS) - After defeating Arsenal, Moon Knight tied him up and ripped the wires from the detonator. Moon Knight then departed with Marlene, met up with DuChamp, and departed in the Mooncopter.
(Moon Knight I#20 - BTS) - Mr. Brent's forces retook the other three tankers.
(Moon Knight I#20) - Reviving, the unsupervised Strange, sat up, reconnected the wires to the detonator, and pushed the plunger with his head. Though the gas had already been vented, everyone aboard Arsenal's tanker (just he, Yumi, Assigi, and other members of the Third World Army apparently) were instantly killed. The George Washington Bridge was undamaged, and the oil fires on the water burned themselves out harmlessly.
Comments: Created by Doug Moench, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Steve Mitchell.
Assigi was the black/African bodyguard, identified consistently in #18-20. I believe she was the same woman as we saw in #17, but that woman was not identified (unless Strange meant the black woman when he compliemented "Jeesala," despite it having been the Asian woman who had just defeated "Sonia" and thus most clearly deserved his praise). Regardless, she is clearly seen in the main image, face image from #18, full image with "Mary," and the full image battling "Mary"
Jeesala was identified in #17. After the Asian bodyguard defeated "Sonia," Strange complimented Jeesala as "excellent." Presumably that indicates that the Asian woman was Jeesala. In #18-20, the Asian woman is consistently identified as Yumi. This would indicate that either:
is identified as the Caucasian bodyguard in #18-19, and in the latter
of which she is defeated by Marlene and is presumably left behind on
Strange's island, or else she just becomes part of his conventional
army thereafter, as she isn't seen in #20. Sheena has blonde hair, but
is otherwise pretty similar to Sonia, from #17.Obviously, woman can and do change their hair color frequently enough.
Most notably, Sheena continues the pattern of being defeated by her
African and/or Asian partners, which Strange tells her has happened
three times before he replaces her with "Mary Sands." Regardless, she is clearly seen in the main image, face image from #18, and the image getting pummeled by "Mary"
Sonia is identified as the Caucasian bodyguard in #17, during which time she is defeated by the Asian bodyguard in combat. Sonia has strawberry blonde hair, but is otherwise pretty similar to Sheena, the Caucasian bodyguard from #18-19, who continues the pattern of being defeated by one of her partners and being criticized for it by Nimrod Strange. Obviously, woman can and do change their hair color frequently enough.So, either:
Yumi is the Asian bodyguard, consistently identified in #18-20. It would appear that the Asian bodyguard in #17 was identified as Jeesala. Regardless, she is clearly seen in the main image, face image from #18, full image with "Mary," and the full image battling "Mary"
Two weeks take place between the scene involving "Sonia" and "Jeesala" and Spector's travel to Switzerland, and I don't think any significant time passed between #17-18. It is entirely possible, however, that Sonia and/or Jeesala were replaced by Sheena and Yumi; or perhaps the former names were nicknames or errata. Given the errors in calling the organization the Third World Slayers in #17 and the Streglov Strelgov inconsistencies, and the consistency in traits/skills/failing (In #19, Strange tells Sheena that he had three times noted she was growing too slow), I personally think that it more likely that Sonia and Sheena are the same woman, and probably that Jeesala is another name for Yumi (or Assigi). But, we'll probably never know.
Irrelevant to the story, Marlene, as "Mary," is in a black bikini top and some lingerie-type bottoms with a light blue bikini bottom-type garment covered by a transparent slip/skirt. Minutes later (during an ongoing kiss between Strange and Marlene), when Sheena barges in, "Mary" is back in the outfit she was wearing when she arrived on the island. Maybe Strange enjoyed watching her change outfits...
Profile by Snood.
Nimrod Strange's bodyguards have no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Moon Knight I#17, pg. 4, panel 7 (photo of Strange with bodyguards);
pg. 9, panel 5 (bodyguards; Jeesala? vs. Sonia?, with Assigi? in the background);
#18, pg. 1 (bodyguards in action);
pg. 2, panel 3 (bodyguards faces);
#19, pg. 15, panel 5 (bodyguards, with Marlene replacing Sheena);
pg. 23, panel 4 (Marlene pounding Sheena);
#20, pg. , panel (Marlene vs. Assigi and Yumi)
Moon Knight I#17-20 (March-June, 1982) - Doug Moench (writer), Bill Sienkiewicz (penciler), Steve Mitchell (inker), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Last updated: 03/22/15.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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