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The Untold Truth Of Marvel's Moonstone

Captain Marvel 2 is undoubtedly one of the MCU's most highly-anticipated sequels. In addition to Brie Larson returning in the titular role, the cast also picked up WandaVision star Teyonah Parris, reprising her breakout role of Monica Rambeau, as well as future household name Iman Vellani, who will be playing Kamala Khan in her own upcoming Disney+ miniseries, Ms. Marvel. Add in an up-and-coming director like Nia DaCosta and this film seems to have all the makings for a superhero-sized splash at the box office.

With a trio of powerful heroines like Carol Danvers, Rambeau, and Khan poised for battle, it begs the question: who will they be fighting? While that character's name is still under wraps, it is confirmed that British actress Zawe Ashton will be playing the film's main villain. There's no shortage of fan speculation as to which Marvel baddie Ashton might be portraying, but there's one Captain Marvel foe in particular who could make a perfect fit on-screen: Karla Sofen, a.k.a. Moonstone.

Sofen has a long and storied history in Marvel comics, first appearing way back in 1975's Captain America #192. A one-time psychologist who acquired nearly unlimited power from a stolen alien artifact, Sofen is as dangerous mentally as she is physically, if not more so. Over the years, she's both fought against and hooked up with a number of Earth's Mightiest, making her a perfect option for the next big MCU villain. Here's the untold truth of Marvel's seductive scoundrel, Moonstone.

She's a bad therapist

Some Marvel villains break bad as a consequence of nurture as opposed to nature, but it'd be difficult to blame the nefariousness of Karla Sofen on her childhood upbringing. Her father was the personal butler for an Oscar-winning film producer named Charles Stockbridge, so young Karla actually lived in Stockbridge's Hollywood mansion with her parents. She was even friendly with Stockbridge's spoiled daughter, Deanna, although Karla would often manipulate her to get what she wanted.

When Papa Sofen passed away, Karla and her mother, Marion, moved out of the mansion despite being offered a place on the estate. Marion worked three jobs in order to provide Karla with a top-notch education, but instead of seeing this maternal sacrifice as an act of kindness, Karla perceived it as stupid. Vowing she'd always put her needs first, she studied psychology in college, mastering how to mentally control others. She ultimately earned her PhD and became a practicing psychologist.

However, you'd definitely want to think twice about going to Dr. Sofen for a session. Karla was such a skilled manipulator, she would often play mind games with her patients in order to keep them coming back for more. She allegedly even went so far as to convince some of her more depressed patients to commit suicide while she watched! Yikes!

With such a sinister track record, it's no wonder Karla eventually joined forces with longtime Captain America foe and psychological mastermind Doctor Faustus. Talk about a deadly duo!

Becoming Moonstone

Training under Doctor Faustus allowed Karla to dip her toes into the murky waters of villainy, and it didn't take long for the bright young troublemaker to seek a more hands-on role. But in order to reach the next level, she needed to make some changes — namely in her physical abilities. After all, what's a supervillain without superpowers, right?

So when Lloyd Bloch, the first villain to don the name Moonstone, was being held in a special prison equipped to contain his dangerous powers, Karla used her credentials as a psychiatrist to gain access to him. Fooling the government into thinking she was going to help "cure" Bloch of his abilities, Karla instead drugged him with hallucinogenic gas and tricked him into rejecting the source of his powers: a mysterious lunar rock that was Kree in origin. Dr. Sofen grabbed the stone and absorbed its energy into her body, instantaneously granting her a slew of new powers, including super strength, photokinesis, and even flight.

Now equipped with the enhanced physical abilities to match her masterful mind, Karla was finally able to step into the big leagues of bad guys. The new Moonstone was officially born.

She held her own against the Hulk

If you were to suddenly became a Marvel supervillain overnight, which of Earth's mightiest heroes would you choose to trade blows with first? The smart person would probably choose someone on the bottom end of the most powerful Avengers rankings, right? Maybe Hawkeye? Squirrel Girl? LEATHER BOY (seriously, this was a character who made the Great Lakes Avengers roster)? Regardless, you probably wouldn't be picking a fight with one of the more imposing members of the team, right?

However, that's exactly what Karla decided to do, choosing to break in her new Moonstone moniker against one of the strongest characters in the entire Marvel universe: The Hulk. While working for the seedy criminal organization known as the Corporation, Moonstone was tasked with stealing a high-tech gammavator from a military base in New Mexico. The mission was going pretty smoothly until Karla crossed paths with the Jade Giant himself, resulting in an all-out brawl.

Although the gamma-powered rage monster ultimately proved too strong to defeat, Karla certainly held her own in her first official super-powered showdown. To be able to withstand a few rounds with the Incredible Hulk is no small feat.

You down with MoE (Yeah you know me)

After her stint working for the Corporation came to an end, Moonstone eventually landed in jail. While behind bars, she was recruited by frequent Ant-Man antagonist Egghead to join his version of the Masters of Evil. After accepting the offer and breaking out of prison, Egghead actually named Karla as the team's leader, putting her in charge of a few other supervillains including Whirlwind, Tiger Shark, and Scorpion.

While her short time with Egghead ultimately resulted in her testifying against her former boss to receive a reduced prison sentence, it marked the beginning of Moonstone's long affiliation with the Masters of Evil. The team, most often assembled under the leadership of Baron Zemo, would become one of Karla's most consistent collaborations. In fact, the purple-masked menace himself went on to add Moonstone to his own MoE roster after the Egghead debacle blew over. It was actually while working with the Masters of Evil that Karla would begin her years-long feud with Captain Marvel, a rivalry that would become one of the character's most notable features.

Meteorite strikes with the Thunderbolts

It's not that uncommon for Marvel superheroes to undergo public rebranding — changing their costumes, names, and in some cases, even personalities. For example, Hank Pym went from Ant-Man to Yellowjacket, Hawkeye once traded in his bow for a samurai sword to become Ronin, and even Captain America himself adopted the moniker of Nomad for a brief period of time. As it turns out, heroes aren't the only ones who have changed their super-identities in comics.

After Carol Danvers defeated Moonstone in Brazil, Karla was placed behind bars in the infamous Marvel prison, The Vault. However, it wasn't long before Zemo yet again broke his right-hand woman out of jail, this time to assist him in a secret new team he was forming: the mysterious Thunderbolts. The Avengers and Fantastic Four had recently sacrificed themselves to defeat the uber-powerful psychic baddie Onslaught, and Zemo wanted to capitalize on the giant-sized void their absence created in the vigilante world. Under the guise of Citizen V, Zemo tricked the world into believing his one-time Masters of Evil were actually promising new superheroes.

For her part, Karla hung up her well-known Moonstone outfit and took on the new title of Meteorite. Although she was Zemo's second-in-command, the psychological mastermind used her manipulative skills to create a rift between her boss and the rest of the team. When their cover was eventually broken, Karla stayed with the T-Bolts and helped them legitimately go straight, becoming an actual superhero team.

Jolt's mother-figure

Although she's certainly done some truly heinous things in her long career of villainy, one of the most despicable acts Karla Sofen ever did involved her own mother. In Ms. Marvel #38, Karla, while speaking to a mysterious therapist, explained that before she joined the Thunderbolts, she was living with her elderly mother, Marion. She divulged that she couldn't bear that Marion saw her as a criminal. So she did exactly what you'd expect a criminal to do: suffocated her own mother and set the apartment on fire to cover her tracks.

This tale of daughterly disgrace makes it even more shocking that apparently, Karla wasn't entirely without a maternal instinct herself. When the T-Bolts recruited Hallie Takahama, a naive teenage victim of Arnim Zola's experimentation who joined the team as Jolt, Meteorite stepped in and kind of became a mother-figure for the young heroine. She was frequently looking out for Hallie, and even once went as far as to say that if she ever had a daughter, she'd want her to be just like Hallie.

With Karla it's always difficult to tell where her true motivations lie, but it does seem as though her affection for Hallie was at least partially genuine. In fact, when Jolt is later assassinated in the pages of Thunderbolts issues #34 and 35, it legitimately affects Karla, even moving her to tears at the funeral. Even the baddest of bad guys (and gals) can have a heart.

Hot for Hawkeye

After the government finally let down its guard and gave the Thunderbolts full access to the Avengers' top-secret files, Zemo decided to reveal his team's true nature to the world. While this lie rocked the public, who had grown to love the new Avengers' replacements, it actually hit some of the team's members even harder. 

The former villains, especially Screaming Mimi (later known as Songbird) and Beetle, had learned to enjoy the lavish life of their new personas, what with all the fan mail, autograph requests, and general societal acceptance. Even Meteorite found herself opposing Zemo as the team began to crack, resulting in an all-out brawl that also involved newly-returned heroes like Iron Man and Thor. Ultimately, Zemo and his small faction was defeated.

The T-Bolts briefly disbanded but were later reassembled when Hawkeye stepped in as team leader. It didn't take long for the ace archer, a notorious womanizer in the Marvel universe, to aim Cupid's arrow at Meteorite. Apparently Karla's a sucker for a man in tights, because it worked. The two got hot and heavy during a private training session, and were even walked in on by an unsuspecting Songbird. Who knew Screaming Mimi could be such a Peeping Tom!

Ms. Marvel wannabe

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the Avengers would probably disagree. In the wake of the devastation caused by the Skrull alien race infiltrating some of Earth's mightiest heroes, also known as the "Secret Invasion" storyline, longtime Spider-Man arch-nemesis Norman Osborn obtained massive amounts of diplomatic power. One of his most significant new charges was that of the government-funded Avengers. As you can probably guess, Osborn decided to make a few shady changes to the roster.

Osborn himself donned the star-spangled Iron Patriot armor as team leader, and he also called upon some of his former supervillain pals to "slip into" the shoes of some of the most well-known Avengers. For example, Bullseye picked up Clint Barton's bow as the new Hawkeye, Venom replaced Peter Parker as the squad's new Spider-Man, and for Ms. Marvel, Osborn recruited one of Carol Danvers' oldest nemeses — Karla Sofen.

In her short time as acting Ms. Marvel, Moonstone unsurprisingly was a bit of a loose cannon. She actually did some good, such as killing the dangerous sorceress Morgan Le Fay, but she and her Dark Avengers teammates were anti-heroes at best. Osborn's band of Avengers were eventually arrested by the real heroes, but it was nothing if not an interesting chapter in Marvel's ever-expanding mythology.

Don't touch my moonstone!

Even some of the mightiest super-powered individuals have weaknesses. Superman is famously useless in the presence of kryptonite, Venom can't withstand loud sounds or fire, and Hawkeye's weakness is...running out of arrows? For Moonstone, it sounds like her only real Achilles' heel is also the very thing that makes her so powerful.

It was revealed in Ms. Marvel #46 that if separated from her moonstone, Karla would only live for a few days. This is actually how Carol Danvers defeats her in their brutal battle during the "War of the Marvels" storyline — she manages to remove the stone from Sofen's essence. 

Although Danvers eventually gives it back to her (she is a hero, after all), it's worth noting that Moonstone does in fact have a weakness. Well, that and apparently peanut butter, as the mighty Ms. Marvel wannabe once claimed that she has a peanut allergy.

An explosive death

Those who complain about the impermanence of death in MCU movies should probably read a few more comic books. It's not exactly a secret that death to a comic book character is not so much the end as it is a chance for a new beginning. In fact, even some of Marvel's biggest names have bit the dust on the page, only to be reincarnated or re-written in the next series. It's kind of just part of the comic book culture.

Moonstone is no exception, having finally met her maker in the pages of 2018's gritty post-apocalyptic run, Old Man Hawkeye. Forty-five years after his once-trusted Thunderbolts murdered the Avengers, a nearly-blind Clint Barton hunts down each member of his former team, revenge-killing them one-by-one. His search for Moonstone leads him deep into the Canadian mountains, where he finds his aging former flame worshipped as a goddess in a remote village. Karla attempts to defend herself, but Hawkeye, with help from Kate Bishop, causes her to overload her stone's power, resulting in an explosion that kills both her and her followers. Talk about going out with a bang!