Real Name: Marjorie; surname unrevealed (see comments)
Identity/Class: Human technology user
Group Membership: Euroforce (Baby Killer/Mikhail Zamorska, Black Knight/Dane Whitman, Sliver/Franco Fibbri, Tiger/Hughes Aït-Kaci, Tumult)
Affiliations: Avengers (Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Nightmask/Adam, Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew, Star Brand/Kevin Connor), Sebastian Druid, Champions of Europe (Ares, Captain Britain/Brian Braddock, Guillotine/Jeannine Sauvage, Outlaw/Nigel Higgins, Peregrine/Alain Racine), U.S. Avengers (Enigma/Aikku Jokinen, Squirrel Girl/Doreen Green)
Enemies: Morgan Le Fay
Known Relatives: Unidentified mother, Jacques DuQuesne (Swordsman, alleged father, deceased), Armand DuQuesne (alleged paternal grandfather, deceased), Rene DuQuesne/Jean-Luc Batroc (Crimson Cavalier, alleged distant kinsman), Georges Batroc (Batroc the Leaper, possible distant relative), Marie Batroc (possible distant relative); (see comments)
Base of Operations: Mobile throughout Europe;
previously France (see comments)
First Appearance: Avengers World#8 (August 2014)
Powers/Abilities: Swordswoman wields an energy blade. When not in use, the hilt is stored in a small glowing disc housed on her left hip; the blade is generated as she "unsheathes" the hilt, until it is roughly 3' long. She wears protective armor.
As well as being an expert with swords, Swordswoman is also extremely agile and acrobatic, and seems to have some martial arts training, specifically in kick-fighting.
Height: 5'7" (by approximation)
Weight: 115 lbs. (by approximation)
History: (Avengers World#8 (fb), BTS) - Marjorie was (allegedly) the daughter of the Swordsman, Jacques DuQuesne. He never knew about her.
(Avengers World#12 (fb), BTS) - As a child, Marjorie frequently asked her "Momma" about her father, and was always told he was a criminal, a loser and not worth knowing about beyond that. Momma made it clear that she considered her involvement with Marjorie's father a mistake.
(Avengers World#12 (fb)) - Young Marjorie asked her mother to tell her a bedtime story about her "Poppa," but received the usual response - he was a criminal and worse, a loser, and she could only ever learn two things from him - not to go to the circus drunk and never trust a man who wears purple. Then Momma told the disappointed girl to go to sleep. Instead, once she was alone, Marjorie took up a toy sword and began swordfighting against an imaginary foe.
(Avengers World#1 (fb) - BTS) - As a cocky young adult, Marjorie donned a costume reminiscent of her father's, armed herself with an energy blade, took the name Swordswoman and joined Euroforce seeking adventure. Some time later, Morgan Le Fay took control of a City of the Dead beneath the Italian town Velletri. One of several underground spirit trap constructed in Europe by Yagzan's followers, the Cult of Entropy, back in the 15th and 16th centuries, the City held countless tormented lost souls unable to move on. Either as a deliberate act or a side-effect of seizing control, Morgan's action caused everyone within the city limits of the Italian town Velletri to simultaneously vanish.
With the Black Knight serving as their temporary leader, the new Euroforce - Baby Killer, Sliver, Swordswoman, Tiger and Tumult) - were sent to investigate, though Swordswoman was unimpressed with the Knight, viewing him as old. Reaching Velletri four hours after the mass disappearance, Euroforce soon found their way to the City and learned of Morgan's plot, but were trapped and unable to communicate their discoveries to the outside world. Eight hours later S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Maria Hill dispatched a squad of Avengers - Hawkeye, Nightmask, Spider-Woman and Starbrand - to the scene. They also found their way into the City.
(Avengers World#8) - Not recognizing them, Swordswoman impetuously attacked the Avengers, performing a leaping splits kick to strike down both Nightmask and Spider-Woman. Dodging Spider-Woman's venom bolt retaliation, Swordswoman drew her energy blade and was about to skewer her opponent when Black Knight called her off. He introduced his new teammates to the Avengers, and apologized to Spider-Woman, noting that Swordswoman was a bit..."eager." Unrepentant, Swordswoman responded that the Avengers should have announced themselves, and disparagingly noted that if these were the "mighty Avengers" then they didn't look so mighty.
As Black Knight was starting to inform the Avengers about Morgan, Hawkeye spotted an army of monsters racing towards them. Black Knight called the two teams to action, and both Baby Killer and Tumult raced into combat without waiting for further instruction. Tumult's earthquake punch proved a poor choice on the unstable terrain they were on, and she apologized to Black Knight for using it, but Swordswoman chastised her for apologizing, rudely announcing that the Knight fed off weakness as she too waded into the fight. Black Knight quickly filled Spider-Woman in on Swordswoman's parentage, noting she had potential as they watched her stumble and fall backwards as a demon lunged towards her, then added that she had "no idea what to do with it" as he stepped forward and decapitated the demon with ease. An indignant Swordswoman complained that she had been beating her foe, prompting a mildly sarcastic "of course you did" from Black Knight. He began to say that if she wanted to learn, but she interrupted, making it clear she felt there was nothing he could teach her. While the teams fought the demons, Morgan used the power of the tormented souls to unleash armies of the dead from all the Cities of the Dead, sending them to assault Europe's capitals.
(Avengers World#10) - The Avengers and Euroforce continued to battle the City's monstrous defenders while Morgan's armies rampaged. As they fought, the Avengers and Black Knight relayed the news of Morgan's involvement in events back to Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D.
(Avengers World#12) - The battle continued with no apparent end in sight to the demons. Swordswoman openly revelled in the fight, noting that being a superhero was living up to the hype. Black Knight sighed at this, and wearily asked Spider-Woman if they had ever been that young; she responded "Young, maybe. That crazy? Definitely."
As the demons attacked her from all sides, Swordswoman jokingly told them there was no need to rush, as the party was just getting started, but before she could finish saying this, her teammate Tumult leapt into the center of the throng and dispersed the demons with an earthquake-generating punch to the ground. Annoyed, Swordswoman called her a "buzzkill," prompting Tumult to deride her back as an "amateur." However, more monsters kept coming, until Sebastian Druid teleported in, his magic disrupting the creatures. When Black Knight noted he had served on the Avengers with Sebastian's father, and Sebastian responded by calling him "Mr. Whitman," Swordswoman laughed, impudently declaring him "so old." Ignoring this, Druid explained that Morgan was nearly invincible in her current empowered state, but he had figured out a way to beat her; before he could expand on this, he was impaled from behind by a spear wielded by a giant spectral image of Morgan herself. Druid collapsed to the ground, seemingly slain, and Morgan demanded that the other heroes bow to her.
(Avengers World#14) - Ignoring this demand, the two teams continued to battle as the City's monstrous creations again attacked them. However, Druid's spirit emerged from his downed body, now able to fully access the City's death magic, and forcibly returned all her ghostly armies to the void, painfully depowering Morgan back to normal strength. Druid, Spider-Woman and Black Knight then swiftly and simultaneously struck, finishing her off.
Sliver and his teammates and allies stood around, catching their breaths and taking stock of their sudden victory.
(Captain America: Steve Rogers#18) - Euroforce battled Hydra forces next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. When a woman fell from the Eiffel Tower's observation deck, Swordswoman swung up on an energy rope and caught her, then deposited her safely back atop the tower. Swordswoman then surprised the woman with a passionate kiss before swinging off again to rejoin the fight. Leading the team, Key shouted to his compatriots to bring the terrorists down, an order Sliver, Tumult, Tiger and Baby Killer were happy to comply with.
(U.S. Avengers#9) - Hydra took over France, maintaining control with the aid of the flying fortress La Deuxiéme Bastille, which hovered over Paris threatening to rain down death. Euroforce members Baby Killer, Swordswoman and Tumult, plus their ally Black Knight, were held hostage in the fortress' brig under power-dampening fields. However, the recently assembled Champions of Europe (Outlaw, Captain Britain, Guillotine, Ares and Peregrine), joined by U.S. Avengers Squirrel Girl and Enigma, attacked in stolen Hydramechs, damaging the fortress' generators, which in turn shut off the power dampeners. Confronted by the freed and angry quartet, the fortress' commander swiftly surrendered. They joined the Champions on the ground as Enigma received word from her girlfriend Toni Ho that anti-Hydra forces in America were also rallying. In response, Enigma informed Toni that she and her fellow heroes were all "coming home."
(Secret Empire#9 - BTS) - As Earth's superhumans went to war with Hydra in Washington, D.C. to reclaim the United States, Euroforce (Tiger, Baby Killer and Tumult visible) teleported to join the fight.
Comments: Created by Nick Spencer (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils, inks).
Though Swordswoman is identified as Swordsman (Jacques DuQuesne)'s daughter, we don't have solid corroboration of that. It's unclear whether Momma told young Marjorie who her father was, or whether Marjorie somehow worked it out for herself, but Marjorie clearly knew his identity at a young age, given that she practised fighting with a wooden sword. If Marjorie worked it out herself, we better hope she got the right man and didn't just pick the most dashing option - after all, "criminal loser at the circus who wears purple" describes the Fire-Eater, Gambonno twins and Human Cannonball of the Circus of Crime too! If the Swordsman is her father, then she gains his relatives, including a possible distant relationship to WWI's Crimson Cavalier - and though the name initially ascribed to the Cavalier, Rene DuQuesne, has some doubt cast on it by the recent revelation that he was called Jean-Paul Batroc, a name change doesn't discount the familial claim, which means Swordswoman might be a distant relation to Batroc the Leaper and his daughter Marie.
...And that got me wondering down a different path - Marie could be a diminutive of Marjorie, and there's nothing to prevent Batroc, a criminal loser who wears purple, from attending the circus and hooking up with someone he met there. Swordswoman is a blonde thrill-seeker who is also an exceptional acrobat and used kicks in her fighting, a description that matches Marie Batroc too. Distant cousins? Or has Marie Batroc decided to try being a hero, and, knowing her own family name is tainted, laid claim to that of a distant relative who died a hero, and whose being dead means he can't contradict her story? I suspect Nick Spencer intended her to be exactly who she claims to be, and didn't have any part of my wild speculation in mind for her backstory, but that doesn't mean we can't wonder - nothing is confirmed until it is seen in print.
Assuming DuQuesne was her father, we still don't know for sure Swordswoman's true name. Her surname might be DuQuesne, but we can't assume Swordswoman's parents were married. Black Knight calls Swordswoman "Adelynn," but in her flashback her mother calls her "Marjorie." I've assumed her mother would be the one to know the right name, so I guess Adelynn is either an error on Black Knight's part (he'd known her for less than a day), or else the name she prefers to go by (perhaps a middle name, but maybe just one she likes the sound of). If she is Marjorie "Marie" Batroc hiding under another name, then Adelynn DuQuesne would presumably be her alias.
Swordswoman grew up in France for at least part of her childhood, and given her membership in Euroforce is probably intended to be their French representative, but it's not a guarantee that she was born there or is a French citizen. Her calling her parents "Momma" and "Poppa" are counts against her being French, as those are English-language variants (and more common in the USA than UK), whereas French children are more likely to use Mama/Maman and Papa/Pére.
Profile by Loki.
Swordswoman is connected to but should not be confused with
but has no known connections to
(Avengers World I#12 (fb) , BTS) - An unidentified woman had a romantic liaison with Jacques DuQuesne (see comments) which resulted in her becoming pregnant. The relationship did not last, with the woman learning DuQuesne was a criminal, the Swordsman, and, "even worse," a "loser."
(Avengers World I#8(fb) , BTS) - DuQuesne was not told about the pregnancy, and never knew of the daughter, Marjorie, that resulted from it.
(Avengers World I#12 (fb), BTS) - Marjorie often asked her mother about her father, and always got told the same answer - he was a criminal and a loser, with nothing to offer her.
(Avengers World I#12 (fb), BTS) - The young Marjorie asked her to tell her a bedtime story about her father, but got the familiar response, and was told to go to sleep.
Comments: Given Momma tells her daughter that the only things she could learn from her father were not to go to the circus drunk and not to trust a man wearing purple, and given that the Swordsman was a circus performer whose costume was mostly purple, I think it's a safe conclusion that Momma was drunk when she initially hooked up with Swordsman. It's possible the entire relationship amounted to a single drunken one-night stand. Or maybe that's just how things began, and a longer relationship ensued - but however it went, it ended badly. Momma's face is never pictured, leaving open the possibility that she might be intended to be someone recognizable.
--Avengers World I#12
images: (without ads)
Avengers World I#12, p5-6, pan1 (main image)
Avengers World I#14, p19, pan1 (headshot)
Avengers World I#12, p7, pan4 (young Marjorie)
Avengers World I#8, p7, pan1 (Swordswoman doing a leaping splits kick - not at all like Marie Batroc)
Avengers World I#8, p7, pan2 ("unsheathing" her energy sword)
Avengers World I#12, p7, pan2 (Momma)
Avengers World#8 (August, 2014) - Nick Spencer (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils, inks), Will Moss (editor)
Avengers World#10 (September, 2014) - Nick Spencer (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils, inks), Will Moss (editor)
Avengers World#12 (November, 2014) - Nick Spencer (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils, inks), Will Moss (editor)
Avengers World#14 (December, 2014) - Nick Spencer (writer), Marco Checchetto (pencils, inks), Will Moss (editor)
Captain America: Steve Rogers#18 (August, 2017) - Nick Spencer & Donny Cates (writers), Javier Pina (pencils), Andres Guinaldo (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
U.S. Avengers#9 (October, 2017) - Al Ewing (writer), Paco Medina (pencils), Alex Arizmendi (pencils/inks), Juan Vlasco (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Secret Empire#9 (October, 2017) - Nick Spencer (writer), Leinil Francis Yu, Joe Bennett & Rod Reis (pencils), Gerry Alanguilan, Leinil Francis Yu, Joe Pimentel & Rod Reis (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
First Posted: 05/01/2016
Last updated: 10/21/2017
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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