The Dreamer of a Thousand Names for Starlight (cloudtrader) wrote,
The Dreamer of a Thousand Names for Starlight

my brain is a bit cloudy at the moment

Yes, yes, thank you, silensy, for getting several people on my Friends List to do your Evil Bidding.

Really are a bit of an Evil Wench there, aren't you, silensy?

CLOUD (According the The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Deluxe Edition (Cloak to Doctor Octopus), #3, February, 1985)

Real Name: None (no known astronomical designation)

Occupation: Nebula, former adventurer

Identity: The general public knows that Cloud was a Defender, but assumes him/her to be human.

Legal status: None, but presumed by the general public to be an American citizen. Cloud has no criminal record.

Former aliases: None known

Place of origin: An unidentified area of space, presumably in the Milky Way Galaxy

Marital status: None

Known relatives: The stars

Group affiliation: Former member of the Defenders

Base of operation: An unidentified area of space, presumably in the Milky Way Galaxy

First appearance: DEFENDERS #123

Origin: DEFENDERS #149-150

History: Although he/she appeared in human form while living on Earth, Cloud is actually a nebula, an immense body of gas that came into existence far from Earth, and that will evolve into a star over the course of a hundred million years. Unlike most stars, Cloud developed consciousness at some unspecified time in the past.

Recently, Cloud realized that the stars in its area of space were disappearing mysteriously. Even the light that had left those stars years before was somehow being obliterated at the time that the stars themselves ceased to exist in this universe. Cloud became terrified, and its fear was detected telepathically by a sentient being that now took the form of a strange asteroid, but which had originally been Earth’s Cosmic Cube (see Shaper of Worlds, Appendix: Cosmic Cube). The Cosmic Cube was an energy matrix of unknown origin and composition which was captured by the scientists of AIM within a solid cube-shaped form, which has seemingly limitless power, and which could transform its bearer’s wishes into reality (see AIM). The Cube had recently developed consciousness and intelligence and now inhabited space in its new form. The evolved Cube was also frightened by the disappearance of the stars but did not know how to deal with the problem. Moreover, the Cube’s power was being drained by unknown means, making it far weaker than usual.

The Cube told Cloud about the Earth and its native heroes, especially Captain America, whom the Cube had encountered while on Earth, and suggested that he might somehow be able to help (see Captain America). Cloud decided to find Captain America and ask him to help. Using their powers in tandem, the Cube and Cloud succeeded in condensing Cloud’s nucleus to the size of an Earth human and projected Cloud’s nucleus through hyperspace to Earth.

In a form resembling a small Earth cloud, Cloud arrived on Earth in Norbrook, West Virginia, and observed two teenage lovers, Carol Faber and Danny Milligan, driving in a car. The car accidentally slid off of the road, crashed, and burst into flames. Realizing that the two humans were in danger, Cloud surrounded the car, trying to help. Cloud decided to take on human form so as to be better able to help, and began forming its substance into two human forms, one based on Faber’s and the other patterned on Milligan’s. But once Cloud formed nervous systems for itself based on those of the two humans, a telepathic link was established between them and Cloud felt the great pain that the fire was inflicting upon them. The shock of the pain induced amnesia in Cloud, who wandered off in the form of a naked 17-year-old girl who was outwardly identical to Carol Faber. As Cloud left, other people found the car and took the two victims to Norbrook Community Hospital, where they remained comatose in intensive care into the present time.

Cloud was found by the Secret Empire, a subversive organization then under the control of the criminal Professor Anthony Power (see Professor Power, Secret Empire). Power learned of Cloud’s ability to assume the form of a cloud and decided to maker her one of his operatives. He thoroughly brainwashed Cloud, giving her two separate sets of false memories, one remaining in her conscious mind and one lying beneath the surface of her consciousness. The false surface memories led Cloud to believe that Seraph, another of Power’s agents (but who was actually a Soviet double agent), was her sister, and that the members of the Secret Empire were Cloud’s friends (see Appendix: Seraph). Under these delusions, Cloud used her abilities on behalf of Professor Power and the Secret Empire. Cloud was dimly aware that her knowledge of Earth ways came from her link with the two car crash victims, but to acknowledge that would be to realize that she herself had no true human identity. Rather than face that fact, and still ignorant of her true identity, Cloud preferred to believe the false memories that Power had given her.

Cloud first came to the attention of the Defenders when she, Seraph, and Harridan, another Secret Empire operative, attempted to kidnap the android Vision for Professor Power (see Appendix: Defenders). The Defenders thwarted this scheme, but Cloud, Seraph, and Harridan escaped. Shortly thereafter, Cloud realized that her surface memories were false. She now remembered her second set of implanted memories, and accepted them as true. According to this second set, Cloud had lived happily with her parents until one day Secret Empire operatives came and kidnapped her and caused her parents’ deaths. (Both sets of implanted memories indicated that Cloud was really a human being; not even the Secret Empire knew what she really was.) Appalled by these new memories, Cloud fled the Secret Empire and went to the Defenders for help. However, Secret Empire robots recaptured Cloud and brought her back to Professor Power, who was pursuing an insane scheme to bring about nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Seraph freed Cloud, and the Defenders foiled Professor Power’s plot. Cloud went to live with the Defenders at their New Mexico mansion, and became a member of the team.

Over a period of time, Cloud found herself falling in love with Moondragon, who was then a member of the Defenders. Cloud was in anguish over what she believed to be an improper feeling for Moondragon, a woman, until one day Cloud discovered that her own form had changed from that of an adolescent girl to that of an adolescent boy (actually, and outward duplicate of Danny Milligan’s body). For a time, Cloud would switch back between her male and female forms without willing herself to do so, but she soon learned how to control the changes.

Cloud now realized that her second set of memories were false. That realization, coupled with her newfound ability to change sexual identity, plunged Cloud into a deep identity crisis. Finally, Seraph, who was truly concerned about Cloud, returned bringing news about Cloud’s lookalike, the comatose Carol Faber. Seraph and the Defenders accompanied Cloud to Norbrook, where she confronted the two comatose accident victims and regained her true memories. Transforming into a thunderhead cloud, Cloud swept Seraph and the Defenders into outer space. There she explained her true origin to them and the reason why she had come to Earth.

Joined by the Cube, which transformed part of itself into a duplicate of Captain America, and some aliens whose star had vanished, Cloud, Seraph, and the Defenders tracked down the being who was responsible for the disappearance of so many stars. This being, known as the second Star-Thief, turned out to be a child who was a princess on her planet (see Appendix: Star Thief I, II). The child had fallen into a coma when a laser beam struck her eyes, temporarily blinding her, and penetrated her brain. Her subconscious, furiously blaming the whole outside world for harming her, somehow psionically tapped into the Cosmic Cube’s energy and used it to cast any star she could psychically detect into a pocket dimension. Using her telepathic powers, Cloud enabled her allies and herself to make contact with the princess and convince her that other people did care for her. Realizing that the whole universe was not against her, the princess’s subconscious abandoned its attempts to steal the stars, and made it possible for the Cube and Cloud to restore the stolen stars to their proper place in this universe. Moreover, the Cube regained its full power.

Cloud decided to return to her true form and true place within the heavens. But before she did, she also transformed part of her substance into an outward duplicate of her fellow Defender Robert Drake, the Iceman, who was the human she had most come to love.

Note: In her true form, Cloud is a nebula which is about one hundred times the size of Earth’s solar system. However, the substance of Cloud’s nucleus was condensed to human size and mass in order for Cloud to live on Earth. Cloud has since regained its former full size and mass. Cloud’s nucleus has taken on three human forms. One has the same outward physical characteristics as the Iceman (see Iceman). The other two are outwardly identical to the bodies of Carol Faber and Danny Milligan, who have the following characteristics.

Height: (Faber) 5’6”, (Milligan) 5’8”

Weight: (Faber) 120 lbs., (Milligan) 135 lbs.

Eyes: (both) Blue

Hair: (both) Blond

Strength level: In human form, Cloud has the normal human strength of a young man or woman (depending on which form Cloud is in) of his/her age, height, and build, who engages in moderate regular exercise.

Known superhuman powers: Cloud is a sentient nebula, an immense body of gas, 99.9% of which is hydrogen and helium, which will evolve into a star over the course of a few hundred million years. As a sentient nebula, Cloud has potentially vast power, far beyond that of most superhumanly powerful humanoids, which will reach its peak when Cloud achieves “adulthood” by becoming a star. However, perhaps due to lack of experience, or perhaps because Cloud chose to use a humanoid form for the mission, Cloud did not use her full potential power in battling the Star-Thief.

While existing in human form on Earth, Cloud’s powers were even more limited, in great part due to her amnesia concerning stance of its nucleus into human form. Cloud appeared in only one human form at a time, although after learning her true identity she could not use her full powers because she was unaware of them.

Cloud proved able to rearrange the sub-identity, she could manifest three human forms, each different, simultaneously. Cloud appeared to change sexual identity by transforming from the human form she had patterned after Carol Faber to the one she had patterned after Danny Milligan, or vice versa. Although Cloud’s human forms were outwardly identical to their models, they were internally quite different from their models. Physicians who examined Cloud’s human form were at a loss to explain how her strange internal arrangement of bodily organs could possibly function. Quite possibly, the organs did not work, and Cloud animated his/her human forms by sheer psionic power.

Apparently Cloud’s human form did not comprise all of the mass of Cloud’s nucleus. Possibly some of this mass existed invisibly and intangibly around Cloud’s human form. Since Cloud could not transform her clothing into gaseous form when he/she took the form of a cloud, clothing proved useless to Cloud when he/she went into action on Earth. Hence, Cloud would cause some of his/her substance that surrounded him/her invisibly to condense into visible form to conceal the appropriate areas of his/her body. Since Cloud’s form based upon Danny Milligan was taller and more massive than her Carol Faber form, it may be presumed that Cloud had to use some of the substance invisibly surrounding her in order to take on male form. Apart from the ability to change from one human form to another, and this limited ability to control the invisible gaseous par of his/her substance around Cloud’s body, Cloud displayed no other superhuman powers while in human form. Apparently Cloud can only duplicate the form of another humanoid with some effort.

While on Earth, Cloud would shift from human form to the form of a small cloud. The cloud was primarily composed of hydrogen and helium and contained no significant amounts of oxygen. (After learning his/her true identity, Cloud could become a cloud that was far bigger and contained enough oxygen to sustain many people over an unknown about of time.) On Earth, Cloud could suffocate a victim by engulfing him in its oxygen-less cloud form. Cloud’s cloud form could emit lightning-like electrical discharges, but could not produce precipitation. Cloud could separate its cloud form into smaller “clouds” while its consciousness maintained control over all of them. (Presumably this is possible only because all of the “clouds” were part of Cloud’s nucleus. Apparently, when Cloud went to Earth, none of its consciousness remained within the part of itself that it left behind in space.) Cloud could move about in cloud form even when there was no wind by mentally redistributing partial pressures within its cloud form.

When in cloud or nebula form, Cloud communicates telepathically. Cloud is naturally able to communicate through this means with other stars and nebulae, as well as with cosmic entities such as the evolved Cosmic Cube.

Cloud Appearances:
DEFENDERS (The New Defenders) 123, 124, 127-147, 149, 150

Other resources for info about Cloud: (references Cloud)

Known Cloud fanfic (anyone know of any others?):
Lonely As A Cloud

Heh. Yeah, I'm hoping to play this character in an RPG. Groovy, no?

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