This woman desperately needs a name. Spanish names… scroll scroll scroll… Marisol, meaning “rebellious sun”. That’s fairly common but also super appropriate. I’m using it.
She looks to be, let’s say eighty years old.
This is 2013. Eighty years ago was 1933.
When World War II kicked off Marisol would have been six years old. Eight by the time Captain America showed up. When Cap vanished she’d have been twelve or so.
I think she’s lived in New York for a long time, but not that long. A lot of the Spanish-speaking world wasn’t involved in WWII- the closest I can think of is Spain itself. So maybe she moved from there at some point. Surname… lessee… aha. Abravanel. Spanish-Jewish name meaning “little Abraham”, with Abraham as a personal name meaning “father of a multitude.” That works nicely.
The formation of the Avengers comes… after that. When exactly depends on the Marvel timeline and its connection to the one with days and weeks and months and years, which we all know is a tenuous and frayed thing. But thanks to the stalwart anchor of Captain America and World War II, we can say with certainty that she lived through all of it. The hero-on-hero battles of the early days, with the Hulk and the Space Phantom. The return of Captain America. The debut of Spider-Man, as a wrestler and then as a hero. The day the Avengers quit and Captain America recruited three former villains to take their place. The Fantastic Four. The miniature sun over Avengers Mansion. The Kree-Skrull War. The day the heroes vanished, and the debut of the Thunderbolts. (She thought she remembered hearing the name Citizen V, on the radio broadcasts during the war, but she was so young then, and she can’t be sure anymore.) The Heroes’ Return. The madness of the Scarlet Witch and the death of the Vision and Jack of Hearts. The rise of Norman Osborn as the Iron Patriot. The day the world nearly burned from the madness of Otto Octavius.
Mostly Marisol heard these things on the radio, the TV, the Internet. (When she moved to the city she was not yet thirty, alone and seeking her fortune. She learned English from night classes and worked during the day. There was a handsome man three seats over who sometimes asked to study with her. Eventually she said yes. They were married within two years. These are the important things.)
Sometimes she was there. (Everyone knows where they were the day the sky caught fire with Galactus’s presence. She was at the corner of 44th and 9th Avenue, on her way to her favorite deli for an early lunch. The deli has long since been bought out- it’s a bar and grill now, and she never goes there anyway.)
She saw Spider-Man confront the Green Goblin on the Queensboro Bridge. (By then she had a daughter of her own- little Lucia- about the same age as the Stacy girl, but still so little in her mother’s eyes. After what she saw that day she ran home and called her and told her not to watch the news.)
She dreamed impossible dreams the night Doctor Strange fought off the unspeakable designs of the Bend Sinister.
She was watching the news the day Captain America was shot.
She didn’t join the fight the day the Skrulls came- Lucia and her husband wouldn’t let her- but they all gathered together in her apartment because it had the strongest walls and the fewest entry points, and when everything was back to normal she had a new mailman and no one would talk about why.
She saw the lights in the sky from the battle in space the day the Human Torch returned.
And of course there were three days- three amazing, spectacular days- when she and so many others could not only move like they used to, but walk on walls and lift weights that should have been impossible. Her grandson Humberto still has the “compass power” granted by the Horizon Labs vaccine. Sometimes his father makes a game out of it, taking him to Central Park and spinning him around before asking which way is north.
Proxima Midnight doesn’t speak English. We read her dialogue in English because it’s our first language.
Marisol Abravanel hears her first language, and she hears words and a tone she remembers from the Second World War. She’s not a child anymore- she’s lived her life and lived it well. Somewhere her husband is waiting for her, and if this is the day she goes to meet him, she’s ready. But there are still things to do here.
She doesn’t declare protection for herself. She calls back the way her father did, not at first when they thought the war wouldn’t touch them, but later, when they thought it might.
These monsters might get her. But they won’t get past her.
And when the heroes of New York have fallen, she knows the words that make them rise.
(Images from Mighty Avengers (2013) #2.)