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Marissa "Mars" Newland, also known as Sundancer, is a member of the Travelers.

PersonalityEdit

Marissa is a friendly girl that is shown to be at odds with Trickster's way of thinking, despite following his orders. She would prefer not to be involved with the Travelers and Coil, but it was her only hope of saving Noelle and returning to Earth Aleph.[1]

She did not actively enjoy the life of a cape, especially with the monsters she had to deal with.[2] She actively went out of her way to avoid killing anyone.

She wanted to get away from her controlling stage show mother, eventually doing so but not in the way she wanted.[3]

When she got the chance she retired from the cape life.[4]

AppearanceEdit

Sundancer edit 2

She is an attractive young blonde woman with delicate features and a long neck.[5] Her costume is a suit of black body armor emblazoned with red suns.[6]

Abilities and PowersEdit

Marissa's power allows her to create a miniature sun, hundreds or thousands of degrees in temperature that she can manipulate at will,[7] even while the orb is out of sight.[8] It is bright enough to leave spots in the vision of anyone who looks at it, even for a second.[9]

The orbs she could create ranged from the size of a beach ball, to a room,[10] to the size of a three-story building,[11][12] but even small orbs are dangerous.[13] One the size of a beach ball was capable of forcing a fifteen-foot-tall Lung to collapse from the heat.[14] It took time to form the sun, with repeated flickers of flame appearing between her hands. When sufficiently transformed, Lung's pyrokinesis was at the level to prevent her attempts to form the orb,[14] it could also be disrupted by hand but this ran the risk of being exposed to its heat.[13]

Over time she showcased more versatility with her sun, using it to put out fire by flash burning oxygen and absorbing heat and flame into her sun,[15][16][10][17][18] or creating a small light.[19] Her orb was able to burn creations of the world's foremost tinker,[20] even through doors meant to keep out Endbringers.[21] Her control of the Sun was such that it responded to her will even when it was out of her sight.[22]

Temperature completely normalizes close to her, as part of the protections afforded by her powers, preventing her from getting burned.[23] This effect extends to her clothes and the ground beneath her for about five feet. It doesn't extinguish flames but prevents them from damaging anything.[14]

HistoryEdit

Background Edit

Marissa was born to a comfortably middle-class family where the only thing she had to worry about was a preppy name and a helicopter-stage mom. Growing up her best friend was Noelle Meinhardt, and thanks to her she eventually wound up as a member of a professional video game team after Mars finally rebelled against her mother.

Migration Edit

When the Simurgh attacked Madison, WI on Earth Bet, she took several buildings from Earth Aleph - including the building Marissa was in - which left her stranded on Earth Bet with her friends. After Francis found a suitcase full of Cauldron superhero serum, they each took one except for Noelle and Oliver who only took half a dose.

They would eventually leave Madison, and when they discovered Noelle's problem they began seeking out help after it forced them to move from place to place.

While in Boston she had to interrupt Tricksters meeting with Accord due to the perennial problem being excited by an angry agitator. Her life was forfeit for this meeting but she was able to demonstrate, through a ballet routine, that she was not the source of the issue and was allowed to live. She would eventually receive her agreed upon costume.[24]

Story StartEdit

During the war with ABB the Travelers appeared at the meeting at the Rock, With Sundancer, Ballistic and Genesis acting as an entourage for Trickster.

Was part of the Travelers contribution to the raid on what turned out to be an ABB drug den. She was able to keep Lung at bay for a time but the Monster's increasing ability eventually superseded her own prowess.

Created a large sun that was temporarily effective against the Enbringerthat came to the Bay.[25] The monster was injured by her sun but was able to bat her away.

This knock back broke well over half the bones in her body, her life was saved by Panacea.[2] As were many others.

Post-LeviathanEdit

She engaged in multiple skirmishes in the weeks that followed, including against the Wards when the young heroes discovered them lurking around a site that heralded new arrivals to the Bay.

She proved effective against Slaughterhouse 9 when they made their presence known.

Post-Slaughterhouse NineEdit

Defended her territory when the Dragonflight came to town, destroying several suits.

Mutinied against Trickster along with the rest of the team. Subsequently she was tranqed by Coil so he could focus on the Undersiders.

She personally ended Echidna and put her friend Noelle to rest. Afterward she removed her armor and stepped through the portal to Aleph.

Post-EchidnaEdit

All indicators point to her settling back into civilian life. The degree of success is outside of the scope of the story.

Gold MorningEdit

Mars returned to her civilian life and did not pursue cape activities further. Nevertheless, during Gold Morning, Khepri found Mars and brought her back when she was collecting capes.[26] Her sun was summoned and magnified by Vista while under the influence of Khepri; it proved effective against Zion.[27]

When the portals were closed between Earth Aleph and the rest of the Earths, Sundancer was presumably returned to her homeworld with the rest of her former teammates.[28]

TriviaEdit

  • Marissa took a combination of the Cauldron vials 55% of C-2-0-6-2, 'Prince' along with 30% of O-0-1-2-1 'Aegis' and 15% of C-0-0-7-2 'Balance'.[29][30]

Fanart GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Sundancer, Marissa Newland (Returned home) – A young woman that has demonstrated the ability to create a miniature sun, hundreds or thousands of degrees in temperature, that she can manipulate at will. She has indicated some unhappiness with the group’s methodology, stating it is too high intensity and lonely for her tastes. - Cast (in depth)
  2. 2.0 2.1 “I don’t know about you guys,” Sundancer spoke up, “But monsters scare me enough.”

    “Says the girl who can vaporize buildings and give Leviathan pause for thought,” Regent said, giving her a sidelong glance.

    “Leviathan broke half the bones in my body. The only reason I’m standing here is Panacea,” Sundancer said, a little defensively. - Excerpt from Prey 14.8
  3. There is a connection though.

    Marissa's mother wanted her to shine, and she only found peace when she got away from the spotlight. Now she shines brighter than ever.

    Luke was the pillar of the team, everyone's friend, the glue that held them together. Now he stands alone, and he destroys rather than support.

    Jess was good at compartmentalizing her life, facing reality and entertaining fiction with monsters and superheroes in good measure. Now the lines between reality and dream are blurred, she has everything she secretly wanted for herself, and little else... Comment by Wildbow on Spacebattles
  4. There were capes in Earth Aleph, barely C-list by our standards. Sundancer, Genesis, and Ballistic were there as well, the former two in civilian clothes, retired, the latter in a lavish penthouse, fully done up in costume. My portals opened, and I had control of them. I left Oliver behind. - Excerpt from Speck 30.4
  5. Plague 12.3
  6. “I’ll be taking a chair, I think,” someone spoke from the door. Most heads turned to check out a male figure in a black costume with a red mask and tophat. It gave me sort of a Baron Samedi vibe. His teammates followed him into the room, all in matching costumes of red and black, differing only in design. A girl with a sun motif, a guy with bulky armor and a square mask, and a creature so large it had to crawl on its hands and knees to get through the door. It was hard to describe, approximating something like a four armed hairless gorilla, with a vest, mask and leggings in the red and black style its team was wearing, six-inch claws tipping each of its fingers and toes. - Excerpt from Hive 5.1
  7. Sundancer – A traveler, Sundancer wears a red and black costume with a sun motif. Her power lets her create a miniature sun, an intensely hot orb that can melt concrete and turn rock to ash. - Cast (spoiler free)
  8. “Then tell me where to move it,” Sundancer’s eyes were closed. “I can’t see that far.”

    “Out further, left, left, left,” the miniature sun slid twenty or so feet with every order I gave as I tracked the enemy’s position and the movements of the orb with the binoculars. “Short bit left and then out!”

    I couldn’t look directly at the thing, but I saw Mannequin and Siberian wheel around as the blinding light of the orb caught their attention. Mannequin ran, and Siberian lunged forward. - Excerpt from Snare 13.6
  9. “Doubt it,” Sundancer replied. But she raised her hands in front of her, and there was a brilliant flare of light, only a fraction of a second, but enough to leave a black-blue spot in the center of my vision. There was a brief roaring sound as the light faded.

    I turned my focus to my bugs as another flicker of light appeared, longer and stronger than the first, again, accompanied by that faint roar.

    “Hey, Skitter, was it?” Sundancer spoke.

    “Yeah,” I said.

    “Get back. Way back.”

    [...]

    Sundancer had managed to get her power going. A ball of light, larger than a basketball, smaller than a beachball, sat between her hands.

    Light? That was it?

    Then I saw the floor.

    The warehouse had clearly been raised above a flat expanse of asphalt, maybe an old parking lot, and the surface had cracked and been patched a fair bit over the years. It still bore the oil stains from the old days.

    Directly below Sundancer, the floor was normal. Starting around five feet from her, though, the ground looked wet, glassy.

    The asphalt was melting.

    She dropped her hands, and the ball of light rose. Like it had a mind of its own, it darted towards Lung, zipping left and right and up and down as it moved. I saw how it rose higher as it moved over Lung’s people, who were still nailed to the floor. At one point, it moved only ten or so feet over one of the tables, and the plastic surface of the table seemed to crumple up in fast motion, turning black and smouldering with tongues of flame.

    I scattered my swarm, all too aware they weren’t doing a thing to Lung, knowing they’d just die when Sundancer got her orb to Lung.

    She didn’t make it touch him, but seeing what it had done to the table, I thought maybe that was a good thing. Lung raised a hand towards the light and I could see the heat shimmers in the air. She pushed it a little closer to him, and his legs buckled.

    Kaiser was apparently unwilling to let Sundancer steal the show, because he brought a shaft of metal out of the wall behind Lung, shoving Lung toward the orb. Sundancer moved the ball back, but just the second or so of close proximity to the ball was enough to take the fight out of Lung. He fell to all fours, tried to move, and found the asphalt like a molten tar beneath him.

    Wasn’t he supposed to be fireproof? Or was that immunity only to the flames he made with his own power? Or, I thought, was that ball of light -Sundancer’s miniature sun- that hot?

    I was lingering at the exit, watching and waiting to see the outcome. My bugs were prepared and ready, lingering as close as they could get without being wiped out by the superheated air.

    Even with his superhuman constitution, even with his pyrokinesis to maybe take the edge off the effect, Lung was clearly suffering. Just a matter of time, I realized, before he collapsed. Probably, I supposed, much longer than one would think, with his regeneration. - Excerpt from Hive 5.9
  10. 10.0 10.1 “Where is she!?” Tattletale shouted. Sundancer was leaning back, her hand out to one side. The orb she was creating was small.

    I pointed.

    The orb was getting larger. The size of a baseball, a beachball, an armchair. As it grew, it drifted farther away, higher.

    By the time it was directly overhead, it was large enough to swallow up my bedroom whole.

    [...]

    We passed out of the darkness just in time for me to catch sight of the orb. It was larger now. Large enough that when it fell, it had to be touching both of the sidewalks on the four lane road. Even with a building between us and the impact zone, I could feel the wave of heated air, and I saw the billowing steam. Grue took the reins and guided Sirius away before it could reach us.

    Sundancer hadn’t hit Siberian. She’d dropped the orb straight into the road a hundred feet ahead of them, and she’d plunged it down, hard.

    My bugs died as Siberian approached the impact site, burned up by the heated air. I could imagine what had happened. The miniature sun would have burned a hole into the ground, melted or even vaporized pavement.

    Affected by Siberian’s power or not, they were still affected by gravity.

    I couldn’t say what would have happened in the long run. Had they hit the wall or floor of the pit and used Siberian’s power to make it as invulnerable as they were? Or had they plunged through it, burying themselves some distance underground.

    A nearby building was burning. I saw Sundancer forming another orb near the site, I wasn’t sure what she was doing, but the flames on the building were shrinking and dying out. - Excerpt from Prey 14.3
  11. Echidna materialized out of the darkness the Grue had created.  She was nearly twice the height she’d been before, to the point that the human body on the top was miniscule, a speck by comparison.  A human figure atop a broad three-story building. - Excerpt from Scourge 19.4
  12. Sundancer hung her head. She started approaching Echidna, her hands cupped in front of her.

    “Move!” Chevalier shouted. “Clear out of the way!”

    Capes began to retreat. Final patch-up jobs were thrown onto the mound of rock, forcefields and ice before the respective capes turned and ran.

    It took Sundancer a long few seconds to form the miniature sun. When it was formed, she held it over her head, letting it grow with every passing second.

    I had to back away as the heat reached me. I could note how the ice was melting, even though it was a hundred feet away.

    Echidna roared and threw herself against her temporary prison. Rock and melting ice tumbled away. She began to claw free, until her upper body was exposed. Capes opened with ranged fire, tearing into her forelimbs and limiting her mobility. Alexandria dropped Tattletale and cast off her cape, before flying in and helping to hold Echidna in place.

    “Marissa!” Echidna screamed, her voice guttural, voiced from five different mouths. “Mars! It’s too soon! I want to kill them! I want to kill them all! Kill this world! Destroy this universe that did this to me! Not yet, Mars!”

    The sun flew forward, melting pavement as it traveled, before it enveloped Echidna, Alexandria and the prison of ice and stone.

    It hung there for nearly a minute, deafening with its sizzling and crackling.

    The sun flickered and went out. Echidna wasn’t there any more. Only sections of her feet were still in contact with the ground, bones and claws scorched black, crumbling and decaying like any part of her did when disconnected from the core that supplied her with power.

    Alexandria was there in the midst of it, panting for breath. Her costume had burned away, and only the metal pieces remained, including helmet, belt and metal underwear, each so hot they were melting and running over her skin. - Excerpt from Scourge 19.7
  13. 13.0 13.1 Sundancer created her flaming ball – small, but still far too bright to look at – and sent it after Kid Win. The young hero scrambled for cover, dropping his gun in his hurry to get away from the superheated orb.

    [...]

    Sundancer moved the orb in between them and Trickster, igniting a few of the pieces of wood that were exposed and above the water. Vista responded by raising her hand to shrink it dramatically. Weld ducked one of Ballistic’s attacks, then charged for the orb, striking it out of the air with one fist. The blow dispersed it enough that Sundancer couldn’t draw it back together, and a wave of hot air washed over everyone present.

    Weld, for his part, staggered back, his hand glowing white-hot. He flexed his glowing hand, and it moved slowly, stiffly. Even as far down as his elbow, the metal of his arm was an orange-red. - Excerpt from Sentinel 9.3
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Hive 5.9
  15. A few seconds later, Tattletale was back on the phone, “Genesis is already making a body that can withstand the fire. Sundancer thinks she can clear away some of the blaze by flash-burning the oxygen from the area and drawing the heat and flame into her sun. If she can, it might give us some elbow room.” - Prey 14.5
  16. “I remember that one,” I replied. We were walking at a brisk pace around the perimeter of the bomb site. The area to our left still burned, and Sundancer was in the lead, clearing away the worst of the fires ahead of us. I was walking with Tattletale and Grue, Atlas following behind us. The others rode the dogs behind me.

    [...]

    We watched as Sundancer cleared away the flames with her flickering sun. Flames bent toward it as if being influenced by a strong wind, thinned out and disappeared.

    She cancelled out her power and turned back to us. “One minute to cool off and we’re probably okay to go!” - Prey 14.5
  17. Prey 14.3
  18. A few seconds later, Tattletale was back on the phone, “Genesis is already making a body that can withstand the fire. Sundancer thinks she can clear away some of the blaze by flash-burning the oxygen from the area and drawing the heat and flame into her sun. If she can, it might give us some elbow room.” - Excerpt from Prey 14.5
  19. Sundancer formed a tiny ‘sun’ and held it up for light, while Regent turned on the flashlight he’d brought. - Excerpt from Plague 12.3
  20. Sundancer created an orb of flame and drove it into Azazel. I watched as the metal melted and the wiring burned in clouds of acrid black smoke. In the span of a minute, the suit was slag. I signaled Imp and Trickster to tell them it was okay to approach.

    We watched the suit burn. Trickster and Imp joined us from the outskirts of the mall. - Excerpt from Monarch 16.5
  21. “Tattletale?”

    “Sup?”

    “Legend’s fighting Siberian here, but the maker isn’t in the truck. I think he’s in the vault with Jack and Bonesaw.”

    “Someone’s sealed over this door with a heavy pad of metal, because Leviathan or someone tore it down. My gut’s telling me the Nine didn’t gather inside and weld it shut behind them, but I can’t ignore the possibility that Bonesaw’s spiders did it. One in twenty chance, I’d guess? We’ll know in about thirty seconds, after Sundancer burns through.” - Excerpt from Prey 14.7
  22. Sundancer sent her sun soaring around to the Nine, taking the long route so it could cut them off.

    [...]

    “Hit the others,” I told Sundancer.

    “You mean kill them,” her voice was quiet, her fists clenched at her sides.

    “Kill them, then.” I could see the sun growing as it flew. It was maybe eighteen feet in diameter now.

    [...]

    I looked through my binoculars. The remainder of the Nine were making a break for it. Mannequin and Siberian stood still, watching Grue and Ballistic, Crawler was barreling towards them, and Shatterbird had taken to the air. Jack and Bonesaw were taking cover around a corner to stay out of Grue and Ballistic’s line of fire.

    The thing that had once been Hatchet Face scooped up the wounded and anyone he could catch and deposited them with his group. Bonesaw had a scalpel out and was cutting the second the people were in her reach. A throat slashed here, a stomach cavity opened there. Intestines and muscle strung from one individual to another, connecting them together as their faces contorted in pain. Some struggled to stand, to strike Bonesaw or push themselves away, but deft slices with the scalpel severed tendons and ligaments. It was a kind of grim reversal, the adults utterly helpless and weak when faced with the child.

    We’ll never have another shot like this.

    “No,” I said. I even managed to sound convincing. “No civilians! Go!”

    “Then tell me where to move it,” Sundancer’s eyes were closed. “I can’t see that far.”

    “Out further, left, left, left,” the miniature sun slid twenty or so feet with every order I gave as I tracked the enemy’s position and the movements of the orb with the binoculars. “Short bit left and then out!”

    I couldn’t look directly at the thing, but I saw Mannequin and Siberian wheel around as the blinding light of the orb caught their attention. Mannequin ran, and Siberian lunged forward.

    The orb slid out into position around the mouth of the alley and then rolled over Jack, Bonesaw and Hatchet Face.

    “Report!” Tattetale’s voice came from the walkie-talkie. “I don’t have visual.”

    “Sundancer just hit Jack, Hatchet Face and Bonesaw.”

    [...]

    Crawler reached the base of the building only to be switched with yet another car, resetting his position a second time. He roared in frustration, then turned toward the miniature sun, breaking into an all out run as he charged for it.

    “Sundancer, switch off!” I called out.

    The orb disappeared, and Crawler crashed through the alleyway, only barely avoiding Jack, Siberian and Bonesaw. The edges of the alley were unrecognizable, and the walls were on fire, but the trio were untouched. Siberian had Jack draped over one shoulder and another hand clasping Bonesaw by the back of her shirt, holding her high. The pavement was a molten liquid beneath them. - Excerpt from Snare 13.6
  23. There’s other limitations or advantages that come with the powers. Sundancer over there can’t be burned. Temperature completely and one hundred percent normalizes within a certain range of her body. - Excerpt from Scourge 19.3
  24. Migration 17.8
  25. Fog was blocking one route, while Sundancer stood at another, her superheated orb between her and Leviathan. The remaining capes were divided between the other two possible alleys Leviathan might have moved through and the air above him. Legend was hammering Leviathan down to the pavement with a series of laser blasts.

    [...]

    Leviathan was landing back in the area where the two alleys met. He leaped in Sundancer’s direction, caught the ground with the claws of his hands and feet to halt his momentum. His echo surged forward, some striking the superheated orb, where it blossomed into massive clouds of steam. The rest went low, catching Sundancer below the waist, sweeping her legs out from under her in one violent rush. She flipped forward, her upper body colliding with the ground. The miniature sun winked out of existence.

    Sundancer down, CD-6. - Excerpt from Extermination 8.3
  26. There were capes in Earth Aleph, barely C-list by our standards. Sundancer, Genesis, and Ballistic were there as well, the former two in civilian clothes, retired, the latter in a lavish penthouse, fully done up in costume. My portals opened, and I had control of them. I left Oliver behind. - Excerpt from Speck 30.4
  27. Halo. Sundancer. A handful of masters with projection powers. A cape with a giant mask.

    All powers that made stuff.

    A ring of razor-sharp gold that produced forcefields and lasers. A miniature sun. Soldiers of stone. A golden mask. I had each of them make the individual objects as big as they could get.

    I retrieved Chevalier, and I did the same with his cannonblade, raising it to its maximum capacity.

    Then I accessed Vista. And I made it all bigger.

    I pulled the capes out of the way as the various weapons entered the fray. The sun was as broad across as a skyscraper was tall, the halo was only twice its usual size, firing a substantially sized laser. Scion avoided both.

    Chevalier’s weapon should have been too heavy to lift, but he didn’t seem to care.

    He shot Scion, and Scion was consumed by the sun. - Excerpt from Speck 30.5
  28. “But they sealed this world off. Someone on the other side, they used a device to close all of the doorways, because it looked like there was going to be rioting or war, with too many refugees wanting in.”

    “I know,” Taylor said. Except the device wasn’t on the other side. “Yeah. But they sent back everyone that belonged here, and a few of us slipped through before the doors closed.” - Excerpt from Interlude: End
  29. Migration 17.6
  30. Migration 17.7