Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Who's Who: Charma

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Charma Drisden
Super-Power(s): Hypnotic aura makes men love her and women hate her
Planet of Origin: Turabeau
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Legion Log
Charma made her debut as the brains behind an elaborate kidnapping and extortion plot against RJ Brande, using the male members of the Legion of Super-Heroes as puppets. At that time she was partnered with Grimbor, who was madly in love with her (as all men were).

Charma grew up as a poor and unwanted orphan at a girls' school, where her mutant powers manifested themselves in a strong hatred towards her by her fellow students and teachers. Eventually, Grimbor the Chainsman was hired by the headmistress to create a unique imprisonment system for Charma. However, when she met him she was able to use the other side of her mutant power and make him fall in love with her. Instead of imprisoning Charma he took her away from the girls' school and they plotted how to become rich.

Charma decided that instead of robbing several banks, she would go straight to the top and rob multi-billionaire RJ Brande. She challenged Grimbor to build devices to imprison the Legionnaires. They then captured several of them and offered to "sell" them back to RJ Brande in exchange for his fortune. Shrinking Violet was able to capture Charma and stop their plot.

The Legionnaires found among Grimbor's accessories a unique set of hand-cuffs that he had made to nullify Charma's abilities. It appeared that he had intended to "keep" Charma, literally, so that she could never leave him. The Legionnaires ended up using these cuffs to transport Charma to the authorities.

Charma was sent to a prison, where she was eventually killed by female inmates. Her death drove Grimbor insane, and he vowed fist to kill the Legion and then, later, to destroy all of Earth in her name.

After the so-called Five-Year Gap, Charma's sister, Concheta Drisden, exhibiting the same powers, was part of the Dominators' mentally-conditioned forces, along with Karate Kid II.

After the Reboot, Charma tries out for the Legion, but is one of hundreds of applicants rejected that day. Her given name was now Mara Grace (Drisden was merely an alias), and she was not enrolled in a strict girl's school, but a public academy where future Legionnaires Lyle Norg (Invisible Kid I) and Jacques Foccart (Invisible Kid II) were her classmates. Mara's mutant power emerged while in school, turning her skin color a pale yellow. She quickly learned that she could make any boy in the academy unconditionally love her and do anything she asked. By the time she resurfaced, she'd used her powers for monetary gain.  She tried to steal Lyle Norg's invisibility serum, but was defeated by Invisible Kid.

Charma does not appear in the Threeboot.

After Infinite Crisis, Charma's original history has presumably been more or less restored.

Important Charma stories:

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #221
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archivs Vol. 13)
Charma reminds Grimbor what she is and why she wants to kidnap the Legionnaires

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #240
 Grimbor tells the Legion that Charma has been killed, and that it is their fault 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #277
Grimbor decides to destroy all of Earth 
out of love for Charma 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #278
Grimbor misses Charma so much that he wants to destroy the Earth
and kill the Legionnaires

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #279
Charma returns as an illusion cast by Princess Projectra 
around a courageous Phantom Girl

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #40
Conchita Drisden, Charma's sister, takes over for her Five Years Later

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #51
Conchita engineers an escape attempt on Takron-Galtos

Legionnaires #43
After the Reboot, Charma tries out for the Legion

Legionnaires #44
Charma's origin is told as she attempts to steal Invisible Kid's serum

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