Jennifer Kale was created by Steve Gerber and Val Mayerik, and debuted in Adventure into Fear #11 (December 1972). She is the cousin of Ghost Riders Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch, and a founding member of the Legion of Night. She is based on one of Gerber's friends, Jennifer Meyer. She has appeared as a supporting character of Doctor Strange and her connection to Man-Thing is strong enough that she knows his true identity and sometimes calls him "Ted".
The character made subsequent appearances in Adventure into Fear #12-19 (February–December 1973), Man-Thing v1 #1 (January 1974), Giant-Size Man-Thing #3 (February 1975), Man-Thing v1 #22 (October 1975), Howard the Duck v1 #22-24 (March–May 1978), Marvel Team-Up v1 #68 (April 1978), Man-Thing v2 #4, Dr. Strange v2 #41 (June 1980), Man-Thing v2 #10-11 (May–June 1981), Marvel Comics Presents #29 (October 1989), The Legion of Night #1-2 (October 1991), Quasar #50 (September 1993), Midnight Sons Unlimited #9 (May 1995), Over The Edge #2 (December 1995), Ghost Rider v3 #77-81 (September 1996-January 1997), Cyblade/Ghost Rider #1 (January 1997), Ghost Rider v3 82-83 (February–March 1997), 86-89 (June–October 1997), 92, X-Force v1 #85-87 (January–February 1999), 96 (November 1999), 100 (March 2000), and Witches #1-4 (August–September 2004), and is set to appear in the upcoming Marvel Zombies 3.
Jennifer Kale received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #6.
Fictional character biographyEdit
Zhered-Na, who was named for Gerber's then-girlfriend, Edna, was a sorceress in Atlantis circa 18,000 BC. Exiled by emperor Kamuu for her prophecy that Atlantis would sink, Zhered-Na was relocated to the mainland Thurian continent where she taught about her god Valka. These lessons spawned the Cult of Zhered-Na. When the star-spanning Celestials caused the Great Cataclysm, sinking Atlantis, Zhered-Na was killed by a pawn of the demonic Dweller-in-Darkness. Zhered-Na's former apprentice, Dakimh, continued her teachings and perpetuated the Cult throughout his extended lifespan. Centuries ago, an unnamed demon and angel shared the mystic knowledge of their realms with Cultis Illyana Kale, who added it to her own knowledge to complete the Tome of Zhered-Na. To prevent the knowledge's abuse, only the combination of a Kale family member and angelic and demonic agents could utilize the Tome.
Jennifer was born into the Kale family, born in the fictional town of Citrusville, Florida, and living in the Florida swamp regions. Attuned to mystical forces since birth, she began studying her family's history at an early age and eventually became an asset and ally to the Man-Thing. Jennifer learned of the Tome via her grandfather Joshua, who led the modern incarnation of the Cult. The aged Dakimh took Jennifer as his apprentice, drawing energies from the angelic realm Therea and demonic realm Sominus to use the Tome to prevent Earth's invasion by the demonic Thog. Jennifer joined the Dakimh, Man-Thing, Howard the Duck and Korrek in opposing further plots of Thog, the Congress of Realities, the wizard Klonus and barbarian Mortak, and the mad demon Bzzk'joh and his Imperium Emporium organization. Even after Joshua's death, his spirit continued to advise Jennifer. Between her efforts to live a normal life at various colleges, she has been drawn into numerous magical conflicts, including learning of her familial connection to the Ghost Rider.
Jennifer was also once sought out to help the mutant team known as X-Force. She helped against Pandemonia, who had taken mystic control of several of their other members. Based on their description of her, Jennifer identified her via her Demonic Corcordance text. Jennifer joined X-Force in confronting Pandemonia. She freed Pandemonia's mental slaves (Locus, Meltdown, Warpath, Skids, Sunspot) and, assisted by Danielle Moonstar, she banished Pandemonia back to her home dimension on the chaos plane. Jennifer examined the reality warping energies that Danielle Moonstar had recently begun to display, confirming that they were not supernatural in origin. Later, Jennifer and Dani Moonstar attended a Tai Chi course and became somewhat of friends. Again some time later, Jennifer summoned the Man-Thing and assisted X-Force against the Queen of Star Swords, the extra-dimensional counterpart of Moonstar.
Recently, the demon Marduk Kurios, one of many to use the alias Satan, duped Jennifer's brother Andrew into touching the Tome of Zhered-Na. Hereby they unleashed the curse of the Hellphyr which threatened to destroy all magical beings on Earth. Jennifer was recruited by Doctor Strange, alongside some other magical heroes to oppose this plot. During the battle, Jennifer was forced to slay her Hellphyr-possessed brother. After the battle, Jennifer refused to surrender her familial Tome to Doctor Strange, who had lied to her about his true intentions of possessing the Tome for himself. Instead Jennifer decided to remain with fellow magicians Topaz and Satana. Together, they formed the group known as the Witches, hoping to keep the world safe from mystical threats and stop would-be thieves from stealing her family book.
Kale will be a member of Florida's Fifty State Initiative team, The Command, in Marvel Zombies 3.
While Jennifer did have a boyfriend named Bernard Drabble during her time in the Legion of Night, and was originally shown with a boyfriend named Jaxon (surname unrevealed), in the Ghost Rider series her cousin Danny Ketch has a vision of a life where their family never was involved in magic. In this scenario he envisions Jennifer as having a girlfriend of three years named Marie. Later during her encounter with Satana, Jennifer is questioned by her teammate as to her sexual orientation. Though she told Satana that it was none of her business, Satana makes a snide comment about Jennifer staring at her chest.
Jennifer was officially recognized as bisexual in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Mystic Arcana - The Book of Marvel Magic (2007) in the entry for Witches - the informal trio of Kale, Topaz, and Satana.