The Amazing Marco
Marco the Magnificent
The Master of Bull
Genuine American Hero
|Host to||Visser-rank Yeerk (simulated reality)|
|Died||1997 (heart failure; resurrected)
1997 (alternate timeline; resurrected)
Nora Robbinette (stepmother)
|Behind the scenes|
|First appearance||The Invasion|
|Last appearance||The Beginning|
|Portrayer||Boris Cabrera (TV series)
Rene Mujica (voice, PC game)
Tim Shoemaker (voice, PlayStation game)
- "People don't understand the word ruthless. They think it means 'mean.' It's not about being mean. It's about seeing the bright, clear line that leads from A to B. The line that goes from motive to means. Beginning to end. It's about seeing that bright, clear line and not caring about anything but the beautiful fact that you can see the solution. Not caring about anything else but the perfection of it."
Marco is a founding member of the Animorphs and served as their personal comedian and militaristic tactician. Following the end of the Andalite-Yeerk War, he became a massively successful celebrity, working as an actor, author, technician and brand spokesperson.
Two years prior to the events of the series, Marco and his father believed that Marco’s mom mysteriously disappeared in a boating accident, not knowing what truly happened to her. His dad soon fell apart and stopped going to work and both his father and Marco had to move from their house to an apartment complex.
- "We're supposed to be rescuing the entire human race from being enslaved by the Yeerks."
"I thought you didn't want to save the world, Marco."
"You're right. But since all of you guys think you have to save the world, and since you're all my friends, more or less, I figure someone has to keep you from being total idiots."
- ―Marco and Tobias
One night, Marco, along with his best friend Jake, Jake’s cousin Rachel, her best friend Cassie, and a kid Jake saved earlier that week named Tobias decided to take a shortcut home from the mall through a construction site.
There, the five of them find a dying alien named Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul and learn all about the Andalite-Yeerk War, including that the Yeerks have already infested a large percentage of humans. To combat the Yeerks, Elfangor gives Marco and the rest of the teenagers the morphing ability.
Joining the Effort
Unlike the rest of the Animorphs, Marco was initially reluctant to join the fight against the Yeerks, not wanting to die and leaving his father truly alone. A couple of days before the two year anniversary of his mom’s disappearance, Marco told Jake that he’s had enough of the fighting and wanted to quit being an Animorph after their next mission.
However, during their mission, the Animorphs are captured and brought to a Yeerk pool ship, where they all meet Visser One, who Marco recognizes as his long-lost mother. After escaping the pool ship, Marco realizes that he now has a reason to fight the Yeerks, to save his mother, and fully joins the fight with the other Animorphs.
Visser vs. Visser
While ditching school one day, Marco realizes that Visser One is hiding out in an office building. Returning later that night with Ax and Tobias, they discover that she was demoted to Sub-Visser rank and she is being hunted by the Council of Thirteen after Visser Three branded her a traitor.
Realizing that they can use this opportunity to kill both Vissers at the same time, Marco makes a deal with the former Visser One – trade the location of the Hork-Bajir Valley, which the former Visser is looking for, in exchange for an opportunity to eliminate Visser Three. When Marco's mother arrives at what she believes to be the Hork-Bajir Valley, a fight breaks out between Visser One's forces and Visser Three's. Marco takes the opportunity and tells his mother that he loves her, revealing his identity to Visser One, before knocking her over the mountain to her apparent death.
Aiding Visser One
- "I know you. What you are. What you do. You are needed. Now. As quickly as you can. You need to be seen."
"Visser Three. It's not a trap!"
"I know. Like you said, you know me. If you wanted me dead it would be easy. You could take me, infest me, and have all of my friends within a few hours. So you need me. This is about your little personality conflict with Visser Three. You're desperate. But you won't give me up to Visser Three because you hate him more than you hate us."
"I once thought you were too soft, too gentle."
"Yeah, well, things change."
- ―Edriss 562 and Marco
This section needs a rewrite
After being the best man at his father’s wedding, where his father married Marco’s math teacher Nora Robbinette, Marco receives a phone call from Visser One, requesting for the Animorphs to stage an attack to discredit Visser Three. After performing the attack, the Animorphs take Visser One to an unknown cave and Marco forces Visser One to free his mother. However, Eva, Marco's mother, sympathizes with Visser One since she too is a mother and allows Visser One to infest her again to prevent Visser Three's open war plan and protect Visser One's human children.
Marco and the other Animorphs leave the cave as he says goodbye to his mom for the last time.
Faking his Death
- "Suddenly, reality hit. I was dead. And this was the end... of school, of dates, of video games. Of everything normal. The kid in that photo had prepared his last frozen pizza dinner. Had gone to his last math class. Had seen his last movie at the Cineplex. That kid would never even hang out in his own backyard again. Because this wasn't his home anymore. He had no home. He'd made the necessary sacrifice."
This section requires expansion
When Marco's father, Peter, gets into a project involving Z-space, it attracts the attention of the Yeerks. Despite knowing the risks of saving his father from becoming a Controller, Marco cannot bring himself to let it happen and rescues his dad, revealing everything about the Animorphs and the battle against the Yeerks, including his mother's existence. The Chee use their holographic abilities to fake Marco and his father's death from Controllers and Marco and his father relocate to the hidden Hork-Bajir Valley. However, Marco neglects to rescue Nora, allowing the Yeerks to infest her, mentally remarking that a part of him wanted her out of their lives.
Killing Visser One
- "I slammed my foot on the still-wriggling worm. And it was clear... ...it was clear that Visser One's journey had ended."
Soon after, the Animorphs discover that Visser One is back on Earth and go on a mission to the Yeerk pool. There, Marco manages to rescue his mother and kill Visser One. After being reunited with Eva, Peter asks Marco if Nora can be saved, prompting Marco to lie to his father that Nora was always a Controller and that the Yeerks had placed her in his life to keep an eye on him. Peter accepts the lie, with Marco musing that his conscience is heavy with the permanent damage he has wrought with his lie, although it was a decision he chose to make in order to keep his family together.
To be added
- "We Animorphs and the newly minted Prince Aximili, with our prisoner, landed Ax's official liaison ship, a sleek Fast-Courier, right in the middle of the Mall in Washington. Not a mall, the Mall, a sort of open green space with the Capitol Building at one end, the Smithsonian Institution and various government buildings on both sides, and the obelisk of the Washington Monument at the far end. We called ahead, not wanting to terrify anyone. There were roughly a thousand cops and twice that many newspeople waiting for us. It was, as Marco said, a "shiver-my-spine moment." A sea of microphones and video cameras and flashbulbs. Ax and Jake, and to a lesser extent Marco and I, gave a sort of brief explanation of what had been happening, and where things stood now. Needless to say, it was kind of a big news day."
To be added
- "My career was going pretty well. I was past the point of being a fad, anyway. I'd done seven appearances total on Letterman and Leno, plus several times each on Jon Stewart and Conan. The Today Show, Good Morning America, Oprah? Been there. Bill O'Reilly called me a genuine American hero. I'd been on CNN so many times that Greta Van Susteren and I were practically roommates. Guest-VJ on MTV? Of course. [...] I got a gig as "technical advisor" to a Spielberg movie about us. Animorph. Come on, you gotta love that. I did all the shows to plug that deal. Sample dialog: "I loved working with Steven, he is absolutely devoted to accuracy, and I knew he was the man who could be trusted with our story." I wrote a book, with some help from a ghostwriter. The title was The Gorilla Speaks. Number one on The New York Times best-seller list, number one on the PW list, number one on the Web. [...] I had just been signed for a regular acting job. I was going to be Nick Lang, a wisecracking mutant superhero sort of guy who can turn into animals. I wasn't the main star, I was the main supporting player, (and the main special effect), which is what I wanted: I needed time to "work on my craft" without the pressure of carrying the entire TV show. We were going to be on Fox in the old X-Files time slot, which was kind of cool. The acting job was especially great because it kept me alive as a product spokesman. I had a three-year deal with Pepsi, plus smaller deals with Alamo Rent A Car and Gap/Old Navy. You would not believe the money. So, a year after the end, I was seventeen and rich from book deals and product endorsements and acting contracts. I had a beach house in Santa Barbara (close to Hollywood, but with less traffic) and an apartment in New York. I owned a canary-yellow Viper, a red Maserati, and a desert-camouflage Humvee. I dated girls who wouldn't have looked at me before. I ate in cool restaurants. And maybe you're expecting me to say it was all an empty experience, that my life wasn't all that great, but you know what? I was happy."
This section requires expansion
After the war, Marco goes on to become a rich celebrity, using his status to write books, appear on many talk shows, endorse products, and perform as a regular actor, one of his roles being Nick Lang, a "wisecracking mutant superhero sort of guy who can turn into animals" and doing commercials. Unlike the rest of the Animorphs, Marco lived extravagantly, buying a mansion in Santa Barbara, having many dates with supermodels, and owning many expensive cars.
- "I had nine million four hundred and thirty-two thousand dollars in my Merrill Lynch account. Mostly in stocks, some bonds. My TV show was doing fine, winning its time slot, although viewership in the critical demographic was falling off a little. I had a girlfriend. She was a model/actress. She was not, shall we say, a genius. But she was beautiful and sweet and about a foot taller than me. I had seven cars. A butler named Wetherbee. (Actually his name was McPherson, but I liked the sound of 'Wetherbee.') I had two maids. I had a time-share deal on a jet. I had the house in Santa Barbara, the pied-a-terre in New York and was looking at a little place in Tuscany."
At nineteen years old, Marco was still living in his extravagant lifestyle, having at least 9,432,000 dollars in stocks and bonds and his television show still performing well. Marco had a girlfriend, a beautiful and sweet model/actress.
A New Mission
- "We spent the next six weeks wandering around the system, seeing some cool things on strange worlds, but no evidence of Kelbrids. We were starting to wonder whether there was any such thing as a Kelbrid. And we definitely saw no sign of the Blade ship or the mysterious alien craft that had fired on Ax's Intrepid. We moved on to the next nearest system. And the next. Half a year went by, but it seemed longer. I had brought along some DVD's but there are only so many times you can watch Airplane!, especially when you have to explain every joke to a former Andalite. It became obvious that this was going to be a long trip. You can't just go toodling around a billion square light-years and find what you're looking for. In the end, even after many months, we didn't find the Blade ship. They found us. I was manning the sensor station (and using the ship's computers to play Tomb Raider V), when I spotted the orange squiggle indicating an unknown ship within range."
When Jake tells Marco about a mission to save Ax, Marco agrees to come, but only after yelling at Jake, and telling him that he cannot undo his past mistakes, and that, just as during the war, they will only succeed if they follow his instincts, no matter how "crazy, reckless and ruthless."
After many months traveling in space in "The Rachel", Marco, along with the others aboard the vessel, finds the Blade Ship and encounters “The One”. Jake comments on Marco's earlier call to be "crazy, reckless and ruthless," and, with a smile that Marco notes makes him look like Rachel, orders them to ram the Blade ship.
- "I'm a joker. I'm a comedian. That's how I deal with life. See, I've always believed that to some extent you get to decide for yourself what your life will be like. You can either look at the world and say, "Oh, isn't it all so tragic, so grim, so awful." Or you can look at the world and decide that it's mostly funny."
Throughout the war, Marco always maintains a sense of humor because he believes you have to decide whether you think life is tragedy or comedy, and he chooses to look for the joke in life. Because of this, Marco is able to crack jokes and make sarcastic remarks in the midst of battle just as easily as when he is chilling in the barn with his best friend Jake and the others. Marco is also very clever, and is good at thinking strategically. He was also the one who came up with the name "Animorphs" in the first book.
Marco is forever the cautious one, and at the start of the series he was the most reluctant to fight in the war. A major reason was he felt his dad was still suffering over the loss of his mother Eva, and wouldn't be able to bear it if he lost his son as well. Marco stayed in the war in honor of Jake's brother, but the stress began to get to him. He soon confessed to Jake that he had decided to quit, but that changed when he made a tragic discovery - his mother had not drowned two years earlier, but instead was infested by the Yeerk Visser One. Her death had been faked so that the Visser could use her body as a host. Marco's desire to save his mother and reunite his family was more than enough to make him continue the fight.
Marco has been called the most ruthless member to the Animorphs, often looking at the big picture and willing to make sacrifices in order to secure a win. This is in contrast with Cassie, who always considers emotions and morals in the equation, even when it comes to her enemies. They sometimes get on each other's nerves because of this. However Cassie has gotten through to Marco on occasion, sensing that he sometimes uses his humor to mask the pain he feels over his family situation. Marco desperately wants to save his mother, and yet he knows that in order to win the war he may have to destroy her.
Relationships with the other Animorphs
- "Jake, who is Rachel's cousin, is our sort-of leader. Not because he asked to be. It's probably because he'd never ask to be. You know – he's one of those tiresomely dutiful, levelheaded guys. If you met Jake, you'd understand why we turn to him. Call it charisma. Something about Jake commands respect. Not from me, of course. He's been my best friend forever. I was with him when he was nine and ate an entire pie on a bet and ended up blowing blueberries for an hour."
This section requires expansion
Jake and Marco have been friends since their childhood. Although their friendship is tested at times, they generally retain a strong bond. Towards the end of the series this begins to deteriorate, as Jake sinks into depression and Marco regains his family. After the war, Marco and Jake retain their friendship, and Jake recruits Marco for their final mission.
- "Rachel is your basic psycho-babe. And I mean that in a nice way. She's a tall, willowy, supermodelesque blond. You might think she was a mall-rat airhead – until you called her an airhead. Then, after she removed your left kidney, you'd realize your mistake. Rachel's a great person to have on your side in a fight. The only problem I have with her is that she's always looking for a fight."
Rachel and Marco's relationship is characterized by their insults and banter. They generally side together on group votes, as both are more interested in pragmatism than ethics. Their similar personalities are beneficial in understanding how the other thinks, but also serves as the basis for their frequent fights. They dated in the alternate universe of Back to Before.
- "I remind everyone that we have been in morph for thirty of your minutes. Dinner is scheduled to be served in twenty-five more of your minutes."
"They're everyone's minutes, Ax. They're not our minutes. They're just minutes. Just minutes. Okay? We're on Earth, you're on Earth, they are everyone's minutes."
"Now we have been in morph for thirty-one of your minutes."
- ―Ax and Marco
At first Marco remains distant from Ax, but the two develop a close relationship. Ax's dry sense of humor becomes more obviously influenced by Marco as the series goes on. After Marco's cover is blown and he has to leave his regular life, he goes to live with Ax at his scoop, and the two bond over electronics and soap operas.
- "That night in the construction site, he was just this kind of dweeby kid I barely knew. He liked Jake because Jake once kept some guys from beating him up. To be honest with you, I don't even remember what Tobias looked like back then. Now, of course, he looks like a fierce, angry bird of prey. There's a downside to the morphing power we have. A time limit of two hours. Stay more than two hours in a morph, and you stay forever. That's why Tobias was flying overhead, with his wide wings catching the warm updrafts. Tobias is a hawk. A red-tail hawk, to be exact. I guess he always will be. I tease Tobias sometimes. What happened to him scares me."
This section requires expansion
At the beginning of the series the two aren't close, as Marco seems annoyed by Tobias's presence in Jake's life and frequently insults or hassles him. Eventually a strong camaraderie between them develops.
- "I took a good, long look at Cassie. See, there was this little episode with Cassie. She quit the Animorphs because I guess she had problems with some of the stuff we have to do. She came back, of course. But since then I'd felt a little shaky around her. Cassie has way too many morals and ethics. She's always wondering whether something is right or wrong. Me, I just wonder "will it work?" or not. I was thinking of something snide to say to Cassie, but I decided to keep my mouth shut. Cassie has saved my life more than once. You cut a person a lot of slack when they've saved your life."
Cassie describes Marco as cute, but not her type. Although they are generally on good terms, Marco is often impatient with Cassie's morality.
- "Now David, another kid not very different from any of us, had been dragged into this nightmare reality of great power and greater fear. Maybe I didn't like him. But I felt sorry for him."
To be added
Television Show Morphs
|Rat||My Name is Jake, Part 2|
|Human (Mall cop) (never used)||On the Run|
|Mouse||My Name is Erek|
|Duck||Changes, Part 1|
|Lizard||Changes, Part 3|
|Hawk (off-screen)||The Front|
Marco has a total of 15 morphs.
Books Narrated By Marco
- The Predator
- The Andalite's Gift
- The Android
- The Escape
- In the Time of Dinosaurs
- The Discovery
- The Extreme
- Elfangor's Secret
- The Reunion
- The Proposal
- The Other
- Back to Before
- The Journey
- The Revelation
- The Absolute
- The Beginning
- He has the WAA username Cassie98, which he uses to annoy Jake in instant messaging by pretending to be Cassie, although he likely has another account for primary use.
- Cassie describes Marco as having "incredible eyelashes."
- Marco is one of the characters whose battle morph is often forgotten for merchandising and illustration purposes; although he very rarely uses anything besides his gorilla morph in regular battle, he was illustrated morphing into a wolf on the cover of Megamorphs #1, and a cobra in Megamorphs #4, while the other characters were all shown morphing into their preferred battle morphs.
- The cover of The Predator is very different in international covers. On the U.S cover, Marco morphs a Silverback Gorilla. While on the U.K cover, he morphs a lobster.
- From the Anibase: Want to know the real reason Marco got a haircut in The Android? One day, K.A.'s editor, Tonya Alicia Martin, called K.A. up and said, "We have this really cute Marco model, but he has short hair" -- much shorter than Marco's hair in the books. K.A. agreed to give Marco a trim and had fun having the other characters tease him throughout the book -- and Marco has had short hair ever since.
- In 1999, four different transforming toys of Marco were made.
- Two of Marco's Transformers that were sold in stores turned into a Gorilla and a Fire Beetle, respectively
- The third transformer, a Tri-Rex, was a Tyrannosaurus Rex figure made up of three separate Jake, Cassie, and Marco figures.
- In 1999 Taco Bell released a transforming toy where Marco turns into a hammerhead shark.
- Marco frequently uses the word "insane."
- Because of many of his interactions with Jake and Ax, large numbers of LGBT readers considered Marco to be same-gender attracted, but not overtly due to Scholastic censorship. In response to being asked about this speculation in a discussion about representation, Michael Grant wrote on Twitter that "Marco was bi[sexual]."