LADY KARLOT

Real Name: Karlot (I would guess first name, but this all it gives)

Identity/Class: Extraterrestial of the, um, Segovian race?

Occupation: Apparently none, member of the idle rich nobility. Reptyl said she had “unworked aristocratic flesh.”

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None really. She is served (apparently) by a girl about her age named Marya, and has the small cadre of soldiers and ship personnel at her disposal on the Segovian vessel she is traveling in.

Enemies: Reptyl and his band of pirates.

Known Relatives: Her father is the Governor of Segov-3. I would presume she has other family members, but these are unrevealed.

Aliases: Karlot the Invincible! Or not. None except for “Lady.”

Base of Operations: Unknown. I assume she lives on Segov-3. The opening narration says she that is a “passenger who [is] new to the outer dark,” so she must not be a regular traveler on the vessel, unless her dad sent her out to get discipline or adventure.

First Appearance: Silver Surfer III Annual#2/5 (1989)

Powers/Abilities: Karlot has the power to be amazingly stupid, as she refuses to take the advice a soldier to hide in her quarters, and later on continually antagonizes Reptyl. She does show flashes of bravery and courage by denouncing Reptyl early on, but that eventually disappears. Hopefully she had the power to breathe in marinade…

            Karlot had no known equipment aside from typical entertainment material such as vids and books.

 

History: Lady Karlot is a member of the nobility on the planet of Segov-3. Her father is the Governor there, and apparently has some influence. She lived a pampered life among the “human overlords” (according to Reptyl) without much need to work. There, she apparently developed a rather na´ve and haughty world view.
For unspecified reasons (I would guess travel, but you never know), she and either a friend or servant named Marya boarded a Segovian vessel containing jewels as cargo. Growing bored with the day-to-day life of space travel, Karlot and Marya watched all the vids the ship contained, and began wishing for adventure. It came in the form of four mysterious ships.
Originally believing the ships to be traders or handsome soldiers, Karlot was informed by the soldiers on the Segovian vessel that they were pirates. She was then told to lock herself in her quarters, which she did not do. Instead, she and Marya hid, and watched what would happen. The Segovian vessel was easily disabled, and the two women watched as the leader of the pirates turned out to be the notorious Capt’n Reptyl.
Reptyl received the jewels, but then spotted the two spying women. Firing his laser at them, Reptyl demanded they come out. Karlot boldly strode out, and introduced herself, lambasting the ship’s captain for his acquiescence to the pirate. Reptyl seemed interested in Karlot, saying it would “please me greatly to introduce you to the life I live,” instead of her usual “pampered life.” Reptyl scooped her up, and left.
Tying Karlot’s hands behind her back, Reptyl took her and the jewels (there are five ships in this panel) to a “tiny lost asteroid” away from where the war fleets traveled. Karlot threatened Reptyl, saying that her father would capture and defeat the pirate. Reptyl did not seem very impressed, and ordered his crew to dig a hole in the asteroid. Karlot scoffed, saying that Reptyl could hide his jewels, but not himself.
Reptyl replied that he did not want to bury his jewels, as they would be worthless until they were turned to hard credits. Karlot did not understand, but then watched as Reptyl had his men pour buckets of marinade in the hole. Reptyl then decided that “two cycles in the hole” would suffice, saying the soil of the asteroid was “laced with savory materials.” The men threw the screaming Karlot into the hole full of marinade. The last thing she heard was Reptylsaying that her “unworkedaristocratic flesh will soak it like a sponge…” Reptyl stroked his tongue, remarking how much he loved “buried treasure.”

[bts]-Presumably, Karlot drowned in the marinade as her hands were tied and it seemed large enough (like a hot tub). Reptyl then presumably hauled her body out, which had absorbed the marinade/tasty minerals, and ate it. But none of this is shown, so we don’t know for sure what happened…

Comments: Created by Steve Englehart and Rodney Ramos

Regarding her drowning, well, I don’t know. The first time I read this, I didn’t think she would have drowned as it didn’t look that deep. But then I looked back, and yup, it does seem pretty deep in previous panels, her hands are tied, and I don’t think Reptyl was just going to dunk her. On a related note, is “two cycles” referring to two cycles worth of marinade/minerals in the hole, or that Karlot will have two cycles of being washed in the hole? If it’s the second, I really don’t get what a cycle is. Is Reptyl going to let her sit in the bath for a while, take her out, and throw her in again? Double-dipping, eh?--Perhaps Reptyl is related to George Castanza-Snood.

Also, if Reptyl wanted Karlot to fully absorb the marinade, well, he should have taken her clothes off first. Only a little bit of actual flesh was exposed.

On the well, sick side, you have to wonder about some of the dialogue here. Is there some culinary truth that “unworked aristocratic flesh” will easily absorb the minerals “like a sponge?” If so, how the heck did Reptyl discover this?! Did he try some hard-working peasant first, and find that it washed off? I’d also like to know how Reptyl discovered the soil was laced with this savory stuff anyway. Does he take a bite out of all the places where he hides treasure? AM I THINKING TOO HARD?

This was a really neat story that has a good surprise ending. It should have been a little longer (but the annual was cramped enough already—maybe if they took out some other back-up stories, there would be more room for characterization). It’s hard to say how much sympathy you’re supposed to feel for Karlot. She is an innocent bystander, but she makes a lot of dumb mistakes, and seems somewhat haughty and bossy in her scenes, continually picking on the ship’s captain for no good reason. Of course, not having an extensive knowledge of Segov-3 history, it may be that Reptyl was speaking literally, and Karlot is one of the “human overlords” that oppress the citizenry. That would make the story more of an O. Henry (or Rod Serling!) style irony—ruler today, indigestion tomorrow.

I suppose that since this is the Marvel universe, there would be plenty of ways for Karlot to come back. I mean, the Contemplator imposter survived an eating by Reptyl! And maybe the “marinade” reacted to her alien physiology. I mean, she could have become a supercharacter out of the whole thing—“Marinarra,” the tastiest-smelling lady in the galaxy. Think about it—imagine the possibilities…Galactus chases her all over just to take a peck out of her…

Profile by Cheyne

Clarifications:
Lady Karlot is to be distinguished from all the other “Lady” characters, such as:

  • Lady Deathstrike (Yuriko Oyama), one of those X-villains that I choose to know nothing about
  • Lady Lark (Linda Lewis), one of the Squadron Supreme members
  • Lady Lotus (Invaders character)
  • Lady of the Lake (Arthurian mythology, Excalibur character)
  • --There's a boatload of others, and I'm not going to bother hitting them all...Karlot's not in any other comics--her adventures were short and sweet...or maybe spicy--Snood.

Appearances:
Silver Surfer Annual#2/5 (1989) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rodney Ramos (pencils), Robert Campanella (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)


Last updated: 10/25/12

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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