"I am a Ranger! We walk in the dark places no others will enter. We stand on the bridge, and no one may pass! We live for the One, we die for the One!"

Marcus to Neroon

Marcus Cole was a leading member of the Rangers and a key member of the Army of Light during the Second Shadow War.



Marcus Cole was born on a mining colony and raised far from Earth. He would spend most of his early life working for the family mining business on a succession of frontier colony worlds and mining colonies before his family finally settled on the Arisia Mining Colony. During this time, he became a superbly skilled pilot.[1] One of these colonies was a Drazi mining colony, at which Cole spent a year.[2] Here, Cole saw the effects of mixing Human and alien food when those less fortunate went through trash. This bad food caused Banta Flu.[3]

During the Earth-Minbari War he was drafted into Earthforce and assigned to Earthforce Intelligence Gathering Division, he is said to have hated every minute of it. Though he never saw combat, he saw enough that even more than a decade later Minbari ships, for all their beauty still sent a chill down his spine. While he was away, the economic ramifications of the Minbari War had all but bankrupted the Cole Mining Company and though Marcus had no love for the mining profession, his sense of family duty drove him to agree to help his father get the ailing company back on firmer financial ground.[1]

Though as his father's health began to fail he found he was taking on more and more responsibility, what was to be months turned into years by the time his father passed away and Marcus already fully in charge of the company. Two years later his mother also passed and with his brother off travelling, refusing to enter the family business, Marcus was alone but determined to carry on his parent's legacy.[1]

His younger brother William, with whom Marcus had barely spoken since their mother's funeral, was one of the first humans to join the Rangers. He had been visiting Minbar when he was recruited by Ambassador Sinclair in February 2259. In July of that year, he arrived at the Arisia Colony on a Minbari cargo ship, much to his brother's surprise, and tried to convince Marcus to join and to ask permission to use Arisia as a listening post. Cole did not believe his brother's stories about the Shadows and was suspicious of what he saw as a Minbari cult, lead by Sinclair, whom he'd heard had "gone native".[1]

William later sent Marcus a warning about a Shadow attack planned for the colony. Marcus was not on the colony at the time, and returned just in time to see his brother die. Blaming himself for the death of his brother, Marcus joined the Rangers to finish the work he had started.[4]

He traveled to Minbar and spent the rest of the year training with the Rangers. During that time he became fluent in one of the Minbari languages (the training required him to not only be able to speak the language but think in it as well).[5] He was also trained in the use of the Denn'bok, the Minbari fighting pike and traditional Ranger weapon, by Durhan himself.[6] The Rangers during that time were under the command of Jeffrey Sinclair. Marcus deeply respected Sinclair's abilities as a leader.[7] Sinclair gave Marcus a denn'bok intended for Catherine Sakai as a sign of thanks for his help and because Catherine would have wanted it that way.

Part of the Ranger training included going through a Minbari Rebirth Ceremony. Despite this, Marcus skipped the ceremony.[8]


By the end of 2259, Marcus had been assigned to Zagros VII, a small colony of the Drazi Freehold where the Rangers had established an auxiliary training facility. Unfortunately, at the Shadows urging, the Centauri Republic attempts to annex the planet from the Drazi. They establish a blockade of the planet that prevents any ships from leaving. Marcus is able to slip through with the help of a Drazi who is killed in the effort. He sets course for Babylon 5, pressing his small shuttle's engine hard to arrive there as quickly as possible. He even diverts nearly all the life support aboard the shuttle, causing him to collapse as soon as he reaches the station. Though he is brought into Medlab, he recovers by the time he reaches there and slips out without anyone seeing him. He sends a message to Delenn, asking her to meet him in Downbelow (since he lacks any proper identification that would prove who he is). Delenn and her aide Lennier meet him in a seedy tavern where he confirms his identity. Once they leave, they are accosted by some thugs, but Marcus makes short work of them.

Marcus explains to Delenn, then to station commander Captain John Sheridan and his second, Susan Ivanova, about the blockade. He explains that the Rangers have the means to lift it but require a crew. Sheridan agrees to help. Marcus leads Sheridan, Ivanova, Delenn, and Lennier to the White Star, the prototype vessel of new Minbari warship utilizing Vorlon technology. With Sheridan commanding the vessel, they soon arrive at Zagross 7. They quickly destroy the defense satellites maintaining the blockade, though no Centauri ships are in orbit. A Shadow Vessel soon jumps in and attacks them. They withdraw into hyperspace, but the Ship follows. They are able to destroy it by blowing up a Jumpgate in the Markab system.[4]

Marcus's new assignment is operating out of Babylon 5 itself. He begins to coordinate a network of spies and informants relating news of the Shadows and their movements. He also serves as a liaison for the command staff when they need to take the White Star on a mission and Lennier is unavailable (since most of the crew does not speak English).

One of the first of such assignments is when Susan Ivanova, using the Great Machine on Epsilon III, locates traces of the First Ones at Sigma 957. With the captain delayed by a Ministry of Peace official, Susan is tasked with seeking out the First Ones and trying to recruit them into the Army of Light. She immediately takes a cold attitude to Marcus's cheerfulness, going so far as to tell him he is not authorized to speak to her about her personal life. They successfully make contact with the Walkers of Sigma-957, though at first they are not interested in helping. Susan is able to persuade them, however, and they agree to fight when the time comes.[5]

Marcus befriends Dr. Stephen Franklin, working with him on patients in Downbelow who are too indigent to afford proper treatment. Marcus demonstrates a lot of kindness to the Lurkers, particularly an elderly man named Duncan. When Duncan disappears suddenly, Marcus immediately suspects something is terribly wrong. Unfortunately, Security Chief Michael Garibaldi does not believe there is enough evidence to warrant a search. Marcus then tricks Stephen into helping him search. They enter Duncan's quarters and find a tunnel leading into an abandoned part of Downbelow. There they are captured by a band of humans who have been bonded to strange aliens known as Vindrizi. Duncan is there, an explains that the aliens have a symbiotic relationship with their hosts. They ask that Marcus and Stephen not interfere, but the two men are unconvinced the hosts are all volunteers.

While they plan an escape, Marcus questions Stephen about Ivanova, asking why she is so standoffish. Stephen suggests he just give her time. Stephen is brought out of the cell they are being held in to operate one of the hosts. After he is taken, Marcus manages to escape. He recovers his pike and sends an emergency call to C'n'C before going after Franklin. He manages to force a standoff, where Duncan agrees to let his symbiont remove itself from him to prove their story is true (i.e. they are benevolent). Unfortunately, Duncan cannot join again, which saddens him since he felt being joined gave his life some purpose for the first time ever. He resolves to leave the station and try to find some of the wonders he remembers from when he was joined. The next day, Susan tosses a bouquet of roses to Marcus (thinking he had sent them to her) and he mistakes the gesture, delighted to think she might be warming up to him.[2]

Working with Marcus and his contacts, Garibaldi learns about a woman named Dr. Kirkish who had evidence of a Shadow vessel present on Mars several years earlier. Marcus arranged for her to be brought to the station in secret. However, the Shadows learn of her arrival and attempt to have her murdered by agents of their own. Marcus defends her from them and delivers her safely to the command crew. In addition to explaining about the Shadow vessel found by IPX on Mars, she explains another such vessel was discovered on Ganymede recently and will soon be "awakened." Sheridan announces that he and Delenn will take the White Star to the Sol System to destroy the ship while still dormant. Marcus is surprised when Sheridan elects to do it himself instead of assigning him to do it. He stays behind and tries to assist Ivanova, who is upset and frightened over Sheridan's prospects (and that she is not with him). She tells Marcus she blames him for the situation, but then admits that it is only because she is feeling powerless and has "no one else to blame."

Sheridan's mission is a success and he and Delenn return safely to the station. Marcus successfully manages to cheer Susan up (by explaining "where he fits" in the scheme of things). Unfortunately, minutes later ISN announces that President Clark has declared Martial law for the entire Earth Alliance.[9]


"I'm sorry, would you prefer ferrets?"

Following the declaration, Clark dissolves the Earth Senate, arresting half the Senators (and even opening fire on the building itself). He also orders the bombings of civilian targets on Mars when the government there refuses to implement the martial law order. As a result, Proxima III and Orion VII declare independence from the Earth Alliance. Babylon 5 follows suit, securing said independence in the Battle For B5 Independence.[10]

Reconciling the PastEdit

Marcus was pleased with the newly declared independence of the station, never having been a fan of the Earth Alliance anyway. Delenn explains to him that she wishes to conduct a Minbari Rebirth Ceremony. Marcus immediately explains he has no interest in the ceremony and excuses himself. A few hours later, Marcus meets up with Delenn in the customs area where she is waiting for a Minbari captain to come aboard. Delenn asks Marcus why he has an aversion to the ceremony. Marcus explains that he skipped the one required during his training and does not want to partake in this one because part of the ceremony involves giving up something and Marcus declares he has nothing left to give up. Delenn points out that he carries a great deal of guilt over surviving when the rest of the colony was destroyed. Marcus solemnly walks off in contemplation.

Mere moments later, Delenn and the Minbari captain are kidnapped by renegade Nightwatch agents loyal to Clark. Marcus blames himself for not being there to stop it. The kidnappers send a ransom message to the command staff, killing one of the Minbari captain's aides. Enraged, Marcus goes to Downbelow to find a lead. He picks a fight in a bar, resulting in him knocking out everyone in the place. Lennier finds him there, explaining (as he has nothing else he can do) is carrying out Delenn's wishes for the Rebirth ceremony. Marcus is indignant that Lennier seems upset. Lennier confesses that nothing could be farther from the truth. He then admits a secret never revealed to anyone: he secretly is in love with Delenn. Marcus is surprised, but Lennier explains he does not consider it a romantic love but something "nobler." They are interrupted when one of the bar patrons awakens. Leaning on him again, Marcus is able to get some evidence that helps the crew locate and rescue the hostages.[8]

Several weeks later, a strange man claiming to be the legendary King Arthur comes aboard the station. Marcus convinces the man to go to Medlab to be checked out by Dr. Franklin. He explains the situation to the command staff and proposes the man may be genuine. He points out that the Vorlons have been visiting Earth for centuries and are known to have taken at least one person and preserved him through the centuries. When the man escapes from Medlab, Marcus tracks him down in Downbelow, learning that "Arthur" had ran into G'Kar and the two of them solved one crime and prevented another. Dr. Franklin, however, learns that the man is really David McIntyre, a former Earthforce officer who was a gunner on the EAS Prometheus, the ship that started the Earth-Minbari War. Marcus begs Dr. Franklin not to tell McIntyre, telling him it would be better for him to believe he is really Arthur. Franklin tells him anyway, explaining who he is and recognizing he has been carrying around the guilt about the entire war for years. They rationalize that before his breakdown, he might have been coming to apologize to Delenn (who was on the ship after all). Delenn meets with him briefly and he remembers his real identity. G'Kar then sees to it that McIntyre leaves to work with the Narn Resistance.[3]

Making HistoryEdit

By September, 2260, the Shadows begin attacking openly. After convincing the Vorlons to engage a Shadow fleet to boost morale, Sheridan is able to unite most of the other races together to stand against them. The Rangers begin to work more openly, no longer needing to work in secret either.[11]

Cole became part of the mission to move Babylon 4 back in time. While discussing with Sheridan in the War Room one day, he was surprised to see Jeffrey Sinclair arrive unannounced on Babylon 5. Delenn was not surprised to see him, however, and insisted Sheridan, Ivanova, and Cole come with her and Sinclair aboard the White Star. There, Cole learned of Delenn's plan: their destination of Sector 14, an area of space three hours from Babylon 5 where Babylon 4 disappeared and reappeared, and mission of bringing it to the past for use in the First Shadow War. He was fitted with a time stabilizer from Zathras to deal with the effects of the time rift.

After the crew made it to 2254 and destroyed the Shadow ships there to blow up the station, Cole accompanied Ivanova onto the station to help get equipment into place.[7] While Ivanova located an access panel, Cole supposed it was the "worst time to be discovered," so he jumped up to the ceiling to use Ivanova as a distraction in order to subdue two of the station's crew. Ivanova finished simulating a hull breach to evacuate the area. Cole and Ivanova brought equipment to the right spot, witnessing Sheridan's time-jumps during. Zathras had a plan to draw Sheridan back, but Cole was skeptical. It did work, though, as Sheridan appeared.

After the chaos of jumping forward in time prematurely and the B4 crew evacuating, the station is finally pulled fully into the time rift and everyone gathers in C'n'C. There, Cole confronted Sinclair about keeping the whole truth from them. He correctly guessed that the station will require a navigator to take it back into the distant past and, whoever it is, will not be returning. Sinclair and Delenn confirm his suspicion. Cole then offered to be the one to do it, but Sinclair revealed it was him through the letter he sent to himself from the past. Cole and the others reluctantly concede and realize Sinclair's destiny was ultimately to literally become the Minbari religious figure Valen.[12]



With Sinclair in the past, the Rangers needed a new leader. Delenn was chosen as the natural successor and an installation ceremony was prepared aboard Babylon 5. Just prior to the ceremony, Lennier came to Marcus and warned that Delenn's life was in danger from Neroon, a Minbari warrior who believed Delenn was out to become ruler of their people. Despite Lennier's caution that he should not fight the skilled warrior directly, Marcus chose to engage Neroon in a fierce one-on-one battle—a battle he invoked to the death (Minbari ritual called Denn-shah). Despite losing, he earned Neroon's respect for his willingness to give his life for Delenn while he, a Minbari, had been fully prepared to kill one of his own. Neroon let Marcus live and did not disrupt the ceremony. After it was over, Neroon visited Marcus and they parted in friendship.[6]

Near the end of 2260, Sheridan and Delenn managed to figure out a pattern in the Shadows' attacks and planned a counterattack. The attack required a single ship sent in as a scout to relay when the Shadows arrived to a fleet waiting in hyperspace. Marcus and Ivanova were assigned to the task aboard the White Star. They waited for the better part of a day, taking various shifts. During this time, Marcus shared some more insights on his training, though he could not bring himself to share his feelings for her openly. Eventually, they detected a Shadow scout vessel and engaged it. Though they destroyed it, the White Star's engines were temporarily disabled—just as a massive fleet of Shadow ships arrived. The White Star called in the fleet (now joined by dozens of other White Stars) and joined in the Battle of Sector 83. Though the Alliance suffered heavy losses, they were able to win the battle.[13]

At the end of December, Sheridan took the White Star to Z'ha'dum and disappeared.[14] The Shadows immediately halted their attacks, causing the Alliance to start to unravel. Rumors quickly came in that Sheridan, after going to the surface of the planet, caused the White Star to crash into the Shadow's largest city, detonating a pair of thermonuclear bombs on impact.[15]

In the beginning of 2261, Michael Garibaldi, on patrol in a Starfury the day Sheridan went to Z'ha'dum, had disappeared mysteriously, along with his ship. G'Kar decided to try and track him down. Figuring that G'Kar would need some help (especially since the Centauri were still trying to capture him), Marcus decided to go after G'Kar. He found him in a seedy bar on a remote planet, where he had to save G'Kar in a bar brawl. After escaping the place, Marcus explained to G'Kar how he had followed him. Marcus personally interrogated G'Kar's contact and obtained some information regarding Garibaldi. G'Kar was grateful, but insisted on going on alone, following his own leads. He asked Marcus to return to Babylon 5 and use the stations resources to pursue alternative leads. Marcus reluctantly complied (and G'Kar was captured by the Centauri not long afterward).[16]


Extreme measures.

He fell in love with Susan Ivanova, and after a battle at Sector 300 during the Earth Alliance Civil War, returned her to Babylon 5 and used the Alien Healing Machine to transfer his life energy to her.

Marcus became close friends with Dr. Stephen Franklin.

His body remained in cryonic suspension.

Life Beyond DeathEdit


Marcus Cole remained on indefinite cryonic hold for almost 300 years.

In 2560, an expedition to the Rim discovered the ruins of the alien civilization that had produced the Energy Transfer Device and at last found the information would enable Alliance doctors to revive Marcus Cole. Marcus, awaking to a world he no longer knew and surrounded by monuments to friends long dead embarked of a scheme that would reunite him with his lost love, Susan Ivanova.

Using the not so small fortune that had been kept in a trust fund for him since his body's arrival on Minbar, Marcus first purchases a small, jump capable Flyer and travels to the Neural Archives on Sirius IX and with the help of a local Drazi named Farn, breaks in and steals the Data crystal on which a neural imprint of Ivanova had been stored. Next he travels to a small medical research station in the Brakiri Syndicracy, where a Doctor Quijana is hiding from Earth Alliance authorities for his illegal work with the Human genome. After providing the doctor with the neural image and a genetic sample in the form of a single hair, found on his Ranger uniform after emerging from cryo, Marcus pays Quijana a considerable amount of credits to grow a clone to full maturity, with the neural imprint taken up until the point where she was knocked unconscious at the Battle of Sector 300. He then travelled to Mars where he would spend the next 32 years and four months back in cryosleep at Ever-Dream Enterprises, where he meets one D. Garibaldi, a sixth generation descendant of Michael Garibaldi and a dead ringer for his distant ancestor. In 2593, awakening once again, Marcus is greeted by Garibaldi - now the company's operation VP and a few weeks from retirement and returning to Brakiri space, Marcus collects a fully matured and imprinted Susan from Quijana's son and takes her to Chryn III.

After she awakes, Marcus explains that they had been shot down by Raiders and crashed on this planet while en route to Babylon 5, to celebrate the end of the War and that with the ship and distress beacon destroyed, they were stranded with no way of contacting the others. Susan agrees that the best thing to do is find food, shelter and settle in for the duration. The ultimate fate of the two is uncertain, though it can be safely presumed that they would spend the remainder of their lives, living together on their private paradise planet.[17]


  • There is some confusion as to the timetable of Marcus' early time among the Rangers. At one point he mentions living on Minbar for almost a year and that his brother joined the Rangers about six months before him, though in To Dream in the City of Sorrows the Anla'Shok do not even begin recruiting until early February 2259, which would mean Marcus would have joined some time around late July, early August and from his first appearance it's known that he would have been on the Drazi Colony Zagros VII since at least late December 2259. So at most he was on Minbar for five months.
  • This can be slightly compounded by his statement in "A Late Delivery from Avalon" that he'd spent a year living on a Drazi Colony. He clearly can't be referring to Zagros VII since he couldn't have been there for more than a few weeks and again according to To Dream in the City of Sorrows he had been living the Arisia III Mining Colony since he returned from the Minbari War. The novel does say however that before his family company settles at Arisia, they had been moving through a succession of mining colonies and frontier worlds. So this year would have been at some point before he was drafted into Earthforce as a very young man.

Behind The ScenesEdit

  • A scene that was shot but ultimately cut from the final edit of the episode ("Atonement") featured an additional conversation between Franklin and Marcus on a White Star while en route to Mars. The conversation revealed how Marcus' literacy and familiarity of the works of Dickens, Shakespeare, Carroll and others (as seen in "Exogenesis") stems from his childhood when his mother insisted on keeping them on the house computer as the only other reading material on the mining colony were technical manuals. The scene was ultimately removed as the Director's cut ran 4 minutes over.[18]

Appearances Edit