|Date of birth:||2631|
|Home planet:||Leto, Proxima Centauri IV|
|First Appeared:||Wing Commander I|
Todd "Maniac" Marshall is a fictional character in the Wing Commander series. He acted as Christopher Blair's friend and competitor throughout much of the series, with Marshall playing the wild younger brother to Blair's reserved personality. Maniac was played in Heart of the Tiger, The Price of Freedom, Prophecy and Academy by Tom Wilson, best known for his portrayal of "Biff" in the Back to the Future movies. (Mark Hamill initially auditioned for this role, and was sorry to lose it, as he felt that Maniac was by far the more amusing character.)
For such a flamboyant personality, Marshall had a relatively quiet start; he moved through the Academy fairly quietly, showing a flair for improvisational flying but none of the rebellious attitude, though his rivalry with Blair had already been kindled by the time both graduated and were transferred to the TCS Tiger's Claw. Once there, the 'Maniac' persona began to fully emerge and flourish. His dazzling flying skills only excelled, but he became notoriously unreliable, preferring to "do his own thing" than obey a wing-leader's orders... or pleas for assistance. Regardless, his abilities were top-notch. One tale, circulated endlessly during the last five years of the war, told of a time when Maniac, leading a recon wing, came across two Kilrathi destroyers. Lacking anywhere near the weapons to deal with these two craft, any other pilot would have bugged out; but Maniac, through sheer flying alone, managed to coax the two capital ships into a fatal collision. To this day, nobody has any idea how he did it. But the demands of his reputation and high-risk flight patterns eventually took their toll; partway through the Vega campaign he suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be rotated off of frontline service.
Once pieced back together, Marshall was assigned as senior pilot in the new Morningstar heavy fighter flight-test program. Here he reunited with Blair aboard the TCS Concordia (the Claw being long gone) and was peripherally involved in the Mandarin affair. After the Battle of Earth, he was assigned to the TCS Victory, where he flew alongside Blair in a number of missions, including the doomed Behemoth defense and the Temblor Bomb run at Kilrah. He was, in fact, the only one of Blair's wingmen to survive the Temblor run; he ejected in Kilrah's atmosphere and was captured and 'interrogated' until the Temblor Bomb ended the war.
Instead of deactivating into the reserves, Marshall decided to remain in the cockpit, and was aboard the TCS Lexington when Blair was assigned there to investigate the Border Worlds' alleged aggressions. He defected to the Border Worlds alongside Blair, Capt. William Eisen and Lt. Winston "Vagabond" Chang, and flew in the Black Lance campaign. He continued in active service for over a decade and was aboard the TCS Midway during the Nephilim campaign. Temporarily achieving the long-desired position of squadron commander, he led the Black Widow squadron for a short time before renouncing the post and its associated responsibilities. He was in space on Blair's and Casey's respective wings when the Savior of the Confederation made his final jump. Now over fifty years old, the only major hero of the Kilrathi War who is still in the cockpit, he is finally considering retirement. He is also working on his memoirs: Me: The Life and Battles of "Maniac" Marshall.
- Maniac also appears in the Heart of the Tiger, Price of Freedom and film novelizations.
- McCubbin, Chris. Wing Commander Prophecy: The Official Strategy Guide. Prima, 1997. ISBN 0-7615-1207-1.