Thanks to Marvel’s Comic-Con announcements, we now know that actress Alice Eve will be playing the villain Typhoid Mary in the second season of Iron Fist. While traditionally associated with characters like Daredevil and Spider-Man, Typhoid Mary promises to pose a significant challenge to Danny Rand in the new season.
If you’re not familiar with Mary and her deadly alternate personalities, we’re here to help. here’s everything you need to know about the villain and her role in the Marvel Universe.
At first glance, Mary Walker might seem too quiet and timid to be a danger to anyone. But in truth, she’s one of the most dangerous assassins in the Marvel Universe. A lifetime of abuse and trauma have left her mind fractured and suffering from dissociative identity disorder. Whenever she reverts to her “Typhoid Mary” or Bloody Mary” personas, she switches from ordinary civilian to super-powered killer.
Mary’s fighting skills and psionic powers have made her a frequent thorn in the side of heroes like daredevil, Spider-Man and Deadpool. And as villains like Kingpin have shown, Mary is a valuable tool for any person capable of manipulating her fragile mind.
Powers and Abilities
Mary Walker is a mutant who exhibits low-level telekinetic and psionic abilities. While not a rival to powerful mutants like Phoenix or Emma Frost, Mary’s telekinesis is enough to allow her to levitate and hurl small objects like projectiles, while she can also implant suggestions in the minds of others. She also has a pyrokinetic ability, allowing her to spontaneously set people and objects on fire. Even without her mutant abilities, Mary has shown herself to be a proficient martial artist and marksman.
Interestingly, Mary’s mutant abilities don’t manifest themselves in her standard Mary Walker personality. She seems to repress them untiul she transforms into Typhoid Mary or Bloody Mary, with the latter personality being even more powerful.
Origin and Background
Typhoid Mary was created by writer Ann Nocenti and artist John Romita, Jr. and debuted in 1988’s Daredevil #254. Her name comes from historical figure Mary Mallon, an Irish-American cook infamous for being a carrier for typhoid fever in the early 1900’s.
Mary became a key figure in Nocenti and Romita’s Daredevil run. As established in her origin story, Mary worked at a brothel and was accidentally knocked through a window by Daredevil. This act was apparently the final straw in a lifetime of physical and emotional abuse, causing Mary to swear that no man would ever hurt her again. This is when she began manifesting her dangerous alternate personalities.
This marked the beginning of a difficult relationship between Mary and Daredevil. Matt began dating Mary Walker even as he battled Typhoid Mary in her new role as Kingpin’s hired assassin. Even with his enhanced senses, it was some time before Matt realized the two women were one and the same.
Those early stories set the general tone for the Daredevil/Typhoid Mary dynamic. Mary herself has regularly fought to keep her mental illness under control, but inevitably Kingpin or another villain sends her spiraling back into her Typhoid Mary form.
Mary underwent a major transformation in the 2007 series Avengers: The Initiative, which took place after the Civil War storyline and spotlighted a government-sanctioned team of Avengers recruits. Mary was recruited by Henry Peter Gyrich, who promised help in merging her split personalities in exchange for working as part of the government’s “Shadow Initiative” team. Mary took on the new codename Mutant X and wore a full armored bodysuit designed to conceal her identity. Mutant X’s identity remained a mystery until a fight with Taskmaster exposed her face.
Mary has since reverted to a more villainous status quo. She recently joined a team called the Sisterhood of Mutants, joining forces with the likes of Arkea, Selene, Amora the Enchantress, Lady Deathstrike and Madelyne Pryor.
Beyond the Comics
Mary has appeared in two animated series so far – with multiple silent cameos in X-Men: The Animated Series and a more substantial role in an episode of Avengers: Secret Wars (voiced by Tara Strong). She also appeared in early Marvel video games like The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin and the 1990 Punisher PC game.
Mary made her live-action debut in 2005’s Elektra, where she was played by Natassia Malthe. This version shares little in common with the source material, however. Known simply as “Typhoid,” this character has the power to kill others by touching them and works as a Hand assassin.
Mary will next be played by Alice Eve in Iron Fist: Season 2. It remains to be seen how closely this version will draw from the comics. Given the character’s strong association with Daredevil in the comics, it’s speculated that Eve will also reprise the role in the upcoming Daredevil: Season 3.