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Who is Typhoid Mary in Marvel? Mary Fisk explained

The history of Daredevil's unpredictable supervillain foe, who could do with a strong run in the MCU.

What does a superhero fear more than a mutant supervillain? Three mutant supervillains in one.

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Typhoid Mary is a fascinating part of the Marvel Multiverse, and a long-standing rumor has it that she’s set to make it even bigger in live action as she faces off against Deadpool in his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut.

Deadpool has had his fair share of misadventures with the supervillain in the comics, although she is mainly associated with Daredevil. Her relationship with the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen and his alter-ego Matt Murdock is complicated.

Introducing Typhoid Mary

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Typhoid Mary arrived in the pages of Daredevil #254 in 1988, created by writer Ann Nocenti and artist John Romita, Jr., who drew her name from the real-life Mary Mallon. She was the first asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever identified in the U.S. in the early 20th century. She was thought to have infected up to 122 people and spent 30 years in enforced isolation, earning the nickname Typhoid Mary. Despite her hating that moniker, it entered the English language to indicate someone who spreads disease or bad luck, whether they mean to or not.

Nocenti and Romita, Jr.s’ character certainly brings bad luck to the superheroes she opposes, but her character is a twist on the concept, helping to make one of Marvel’s most dangerous, unpredictable, and sympathetic villains. Typhoid Mary is a mutant with several psionic powers. Pyrokinesis means she can ignite and manipulate fire. Telekinesis means she can levitate and move small objects with her mind, which is handy for retrieving dropped weapons. Finally, telepathy allows her to implant mental suggestions in the minds of others, induce sleep, or create distractions. Her hypnotic powers can compel people to do things they don’t want, which includes seduction.

Those traits are found in other mutants to varying degrees, but Typhoid Mary suffers from dissociative identity disorder whereby her different personas can access those abilities to different power levels. The apparently quiet Mary Walker has no mutant powers, but while she is the default personality, she’s seldom dominant. Typhoid is the outgoing and violent alter-ego that can access all her mutant abilities and gets her name from running a fever when dominant. Bloody Mary is the brutal and most highly powered persona as well as a vicious killer and avowed man-hater.

In addition, a Walker persona has occasionally appeared to broker peace between the other Marys. During 2007’s Avengers Initiative, Mary appeared as the mysterious Mutant Zero, a member of Henry Peter Gyrich’s black ops team. She was revealed as one of the mutants to escape the mass de-powering event, M-Day, but it’s unclear if this was a new persona or had different power levels to Typhoid or Bloody Mary. The major modification was the full suit of armor that supplemented her peak fitness, agility, and martial arts skills. 

Lives and Loves of a Daredevil

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Typhoid Mary’s comic book career has been chiefly entwined with Daredevil’s, leading to some dark places.

Her comic history established that Daredevil played a role in Typhoid Mary’s emergence. After childhood abuse caused her to manifest a defensive persona, she escaped from New Mexico to New York and eventually ended up in a brothel. There she encountered a pre-persona Daredevil taking his first cautious steps into crime fighting. His inexperience and mishandled attempt to take down a pimp led to Mary being thrown from a window. She survived by manifesting Typhoid Mary and swore no man would hurt her again. 

Things got darker from there. Daredevil battled Typhoid Mary and was almost killed by the mutant while Matt Murdock embarked on an affair with Mary Walker.

Years later, after uncovering the truth that they were the same person, Daredevil dealt with her in a manipulative way. As Daredevil, he planted the seeds of a rift between Kingpin and Typhoid Mary. Meanwhile, as Murdock, he tricked her Mary persona in order to to restrain and incarcerate her.

As her Fisk name suggests, Mary became closer to Kingpin. Unsurprisingly, it’s another manipulative relationship that’s seen Kingpin forcibly return Mary’s personas when she’s attempted to carve herself a peaceful life. She eventually married the crime lord, who by this time was the Mayor of New York City, in the final issue of Daredevil’s sixth volume in 2022.

Breaking walls with Deadpool

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Over the years, Mary has also battled Spider-Man, Wolverine, and supernatural antiheroes Ghost Rider and Vengeance. However, the only relationship that can compete with her and Daredevil’s came in the unlikely form of Deadpool. 

Mary proved to be one unpredictable character who can run rings around Deadpool. The two formed a difficult team-up after Deadpool was hired by two of Mary’s personas to simultaneously kill her while also breaking her out of a mental institution. The two confronted Daredevil about Mary’s past before Deadpool attempted (and failed) to rehabilitate her.  

Typhoid Mary in the MCU

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While the live-action mutant escapades of Deadpool seem like an ideal fit for the character, could a long-awaited match-up with Daredevil be on the cards? 

With the Man Without Fear returning to the MCU in the Disney Plus series, Daredevil: Born Again, and Kingpin already reestablished after the events of Hawkeye, Mary could have a bright future in the MCU. However, things are always complicated with her, and the MCU must deal with her previous appearance in the continuity. 

Alice Eve played the character in the second season of Iron Fist, displaying her Mary, Walker, and Typhoid personas. It was a time before mutants, so the alter-egos were ranked by violence, with the Typhoid persona presented as a vigilante serial killer. The MCU established her as a former armed forces sergeant whose dissociative personality disorder emerged after being captured and abused in Sokovia. It was a more faithful adaptation than the character’s live-action debut in 2005’s Elektra, where Natassia Malthe played her as a Hand assassin who could kill by touch. Like Iron Fist in general, this version of the character didn’t go down too well with fans. 

That’s not to say Eve can’t return with a new spin on the character. The fourth-wall-breaking antics of Deadpool 3 in the middle of the timeline-altering Multiverse Saga is the perfect opportunity to retcon the character. If there’s any Marvel supervillain who can repeat the fan-pleasing changes Ryan Reynolds’ Wade Wilson took between X-Men Origins: Wolverine and his first solo outing, it’s Typhoid Mary.

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Image of Matt Goddard
Matt Goddard
Matt enjoys casting Jack Kirby color, Zack Snyder slow-mo, and J.J. Abrams lens flare on every facet of pop culture. Since graduating with a degree in English from the University of York, his writing on film, TV, games, and more has appeared on WGTC, Mirror Online and the Guardian.