|Copyright 1995-2002 Jay French & Golden Eagle Comics - Austin, Texas
REAL NAME: Marilyn Jeanette Cross
ALIASES: Marilyn Matthews (former married name).
HEIGHT: 5' 7"
WEIGHT: 153 lbs.
NATIONALITY/RACE: Caucasian American (English/Irish/Cherokee)
HAIR COLOR: Black
EYE COLOR: Blue
P.O.B.: Houston, TX U.S.A
EDUCATION: High School GED. Cosmetology Vocational School Graduate.
OCCUPATION: Hair Stylist / Part-time on-call F.B.I. Field Agent for S.P.E.E.D. task force: STEEL RAIN (classified).
KNOWN RELATIVES: Wallace Cross (father); June & Stewart McDermott (mother & step-father); William (Billy) Cross (brother);
Jason Matthews (ex-husband).
ORIGIN OF ABILITIES: Marilyn first began to suspect the lights she occasionally saw at the center of vision as more than precursors
to migraines in her late teens. It wasn't until her 20th year that she knew for certain that she was actually able to emit
light from her eyes. Years later, when desiring to show a friend this seemingly useless mutant talent, she naturally looked
directly at his eyes and accidentally struck him with what she would later call her "Hypno" beam (see ABNORMAL BIOLOGY/ABILITIES
below). Unable to break the young man free from his paralysis after several minutes, she attempted to "undo" the affect by
repeating it. He was then very agreeable to everything she suggested. Marilyn took this opportunity to seduce him, although
she later felt guilty for taking advantage of the situation. Marilyn knew there was more to her "useless" mutant abilities
and went in to S.P.E.E.D. Registry for further testing.
ABNORMAL BIOLOGY/ABILITIES: Switchblade's major powers derive from the extra cells found at the fore section of her optic
nerves where they connect to the back of the eyes. Beyond the regular rods and cones, Switchblade's optic nerves have a series
of unique cells, some of which appear similar to those found in certain animals with varying modes of sight, others are completely
new to science. These cells appear to pick up further ranges within the electromagnetic spectrum other than visual light,
including ultraviolet, infrared, radio waves and so on. A particularly peculiar range of cells appear to be reversed, enabling
them to emit, rather than absorb, different elements of light or radiation. Switchblade's brain has reserved unused portions
to store certain ranges of energy, to be emitted by the reverse cells upon command as beams of energy. Being that these beams
are emitted in a linear pattern from Switchblade's pupils, her accuracy is extremely acute, enabling her to essentially strike
any target she can lock her sight on.
At this time, Switchblade controls 3 major types of beams, which she calls her "Laser", "Blast" and "Hypno" beams. The first,
her "Laser" beam is fairly accurately named. Switchblade emits a thin ray of stored "Near" infrared light which is filtered
through a band of radiation (this is also emitted from her optic nerve, creating a field of radiation a few millimeters beyond
the surface of her eyes), which then becomes an intense laser, in effect. This beam is capable of cutting through 1" thick
steel in 5-8 seconds.
Switchblade's most offensively powerful beam, her "Blast" beam, is actually UVB band Ultraviolet radiation emitted in high-volume
bursts. Beyond the extremely radioactive nature of this beam (UVB is, after all, the cause of sun burn and skin cancer), which
causes damage at a molecular level, this beam appears to collect static electricity in the air on its course to the target.
This adds a potent electric current, as well as coupling itself with the initial radiation burst to form an explosive concussive
force. This beam has enough force to crush a small automobile, or burn a hole through a human body. As Ultraviolet radiation,
especially UVB, trickles through the ozone much less than other forms of radiation, Switchblade is only capable of emitting
4 or 5 bursts of this type before depleting her absorbed resources. S.P.E.E.D. researchers have calculated her recharge rate
at approximately 1 full burst per 3 hours of daylight absorption.
Switchblade's most resourceful and used beam is her "Hypno" beam. This is a thin visual light beam which carries a small electric
current. This beam is little more than a static charge unless it strikes a human eye. Upon contact, the beam striking the
optic nerve sends the electric pulse directly into the brain, causing a shock to the nervous system. Alone, this is sufficient
to cause something of a minor stroke, paralyzing the target for 5 to 15 minutes. Switchblade is then able to either sustain
the beam or strike again, enabling her to make use of a weak psionic ability, domination. Apparently, she can only use this
ability when a virtual "brain-to-brain" connection like this is made. At this point, the target is extremely susceptible to
suggestion from Switchblade. Although, she is at risk of losing the contact if she recommends her target do something they
know to be dangerous or in opposition to their nature. This hypnotic state appears to last anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes
before Switchblade must reestablish the link.
As a side effect, Switchblade is able to make use of, or translate, some of these ranges of radiation, endowing her with limited
night vision and even infrared vision. Switchblade is also able to emit broad beams of visual light, becoming a human flashlight.
Although she loses little more than a dot of visual range with her "Laser" and "Hypno" beams, Switchblade does lose a larger
fraction with her light beam, and a significant (though brief) percentage with her "Blast" beam.