AELFRIC, the MAD MONK

Real Name: Aelfric

Identity/Class: Human, magic user, 12th Century

Occupation: Agent of Chthon;
    former priest

Group Membership: None
    formerly: Abbey of St. Michael and the Catholic Church

Affiliations: Chthon (master); Dragonus (former agent); Father Ramon Joquez (former host)

Enemies: Lissa Russell, Werewolf (Jack Russell)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Mad Monk

Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
    formerly Father Joquez's rectory in Tugunga Canyon, Los Angeles, California;
    formerly the Abbey of Saint Michael, Spain, @ 12th Century

First Appearance: Werewolf by Night I#3 (January, 1973)

Powers: Aelfric possessed the Darkhold, which gave him access to great mystical power granted by Chthon. He could the Grey Death, a fog of magical energy capable of disintegrating an armored knight and his steed. He could create magical bonds and summon beings from other realms to serve him.
His spirit/soul is apparently immortal. Under unknown circumstances, his spirit could be summoned by one reading the Darkhold, and he could possess and control the reader. This was seen to happen when one translated the text of the Darkhold (perhaps it was a result of reading the entire text?).
Aelfric's physical body was frail and weak, and he described his legs as crippled--he could walk on them, but could not move very quickly. Nonetheless, he could survive seemingly mortal wounds, such as a sword-swipe across the neck. Flames proved sufficient to destroy his body.

History: Aelfric was originally a monk serving in the Abbey of St. Michael in 12th Century Spain. He somehow came under the sway of the Elder God/Demon Chthon, who directed him to re-gather the dispersed fragments of the Darkhold (The scrolls had been dispersed by St. Brendan six centuries before).

(Werewolf by Night I#3(fb)) - By 1149, Aelfric had succeeded in re-gathering and restoring the scrolls, but his work was discovered by his fellow monks, and he was recognized as an agent of Satan. Aelfric took his scrolls and fled, but did not get far before a soldier struck him down with his sword. However, Aelfric could not be killed by such means, and he rose to his feet and obliterated the soldier with a burst of magical force. However, the townspeople then swarmed over him and he was captured and burned at the stake. He vowed that his soul would live on and return to rule evermore!

(Werewolf by Night I#21 (fb) - BTS) - Aelfric's trunk and the sorcerous items it contained (including the "Werewolf Rings" )were either not found by the monks or were found but, for some reason, not destroyed. For eight hundred years the trunk and its contents passed from person to person until, in the late 20th century, they came into Joshua Kane's possession.

 

 

The scrolls were passed through many hands over time, and in the 20th Century, they were obtained by Baron Gregor Russoff. Russoff bound the parchments into book form, and his reading of the book awakened the hereditary curse of lycanthropy (werewolf-ism) in him. However, Aelfric proved unable to take control of Russoff.

(Werewolf by Night I#2-BTS, 3) - Jack Russell brought the Darkhold, his legacy from his father, to the priest Father Ramon Joquez to translate (from Latin). Joquez did so, but his summoned Aelfric's spirit back to the mortal plane. Joquez was on the phone with Russell, notifying him of his completion when Aelfric appeared before him. As Aelfric possessed Joquez, his screams of terror caused Russell to travel to his rectory to help him. Russell, of course, transformed into the Werewolf during the trip and arrived to confront the Mad Monk.
Aelfric magically bound the Werewolf to the wall, and then encountered Lissa Russell, who had followed her brother. Lissa fainted upon seeing th Mad Monk, who brought her into the rectory for Chthon only knows what. Recognizing the danger his sister was in, the Werewolf tore free from his bonds. Aelfric then summoned Dragonus to protect himself from the Werewolf. However, in the course of the battle, Dragonus was tripped up by the Werewolf in mid-lunge, and he was sent careening into Aelfric/Joquez, goring him. Aelfric's form was cast out of Joquez' body as he lay dying.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway and Mike Ploog.

The Darkhold was initially thought to have been written by Jack Russell's father, Baron Gregor Russoff, but this story clarified it as having been much older. Aelfric was described as a Satan worshipper, as Chthon had not even been created as of this story--Chthon showed up in Marvel Chillers I#1, 1975. Aelfric's original tale made it appear as if Aelfric himself were the author of the Book of Sins, though it was just a bunch of scrolls back in the 12th Century.

If Aelfric's soul is immortal, he should be returning at some point. It's been about 30 years now...if he has to wait another 800-900 years though, I won't be reading it. Maybe the Guardians of the Galaxy will run afoul of him in their future timeline.

Werewolf by Night I#2 featured the goofy cover blurb, "Like a Wild Beast at Bay," as the police attempted to capture him on the docks by the San Francisco Bay. I've seen this mocked a few times, and I have no idea if the "pun" was intentional.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Aelfric the Mad Monk should not be confused with:


Father Ramon Joquez

 

 

Joquez had been a professor at "the university" (UCLA?), until he quit, becoming more involved with social issues, speaking out for the people. Classical languages were his hobby. Buck Cowan had met him in the past, and he and Russell thought of him when they wished to translate the Darkhold, in hopes of learning more about Gregor Russoff. Joquez was more than happy to try his hand at translating the book. However, upon his completion, he found himself confronted and then possessed by Aelfric, the Mad Monk. Russell, as the Werewolf, confronted Joquez/Aelfric, and in the ensuing struggle, Joquez was mortally wounded. As a result, Aelfric was expelled from his form. As he lay dying, Joquez asked for forgiveness, for having not known the evil that truly existed, and thus having failed both himself and his lord.
--Werewolf by Night I#2 (3

 

 

 

 





Appearances:
Werewolf by Night I#2-3 (November, 1972 - January, 1973) - Gerry Conway (writer), Mike Ploog (pencils), Frnak Chiaramonte (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Werewolf by Night I#21 (September, 1974) - Doug Moench (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)


Last updated: 12/19/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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