ASMODEUS

Real Name: Asmodeus

Identity/Class: Demon (presumably Class Two)

Occupation: Ruler of a branch of Hell

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Belonging, Dracula, Lilith, Lucifer, Rzh'Arr, Gregor Smirnoff, Saturnine, Tabicantra (former servant and concubine), Vampire, V'Zarr-Than, Yammuz, Yukthalok, and an army of demon-servants; Mount Avarice and the other cursed human souls of his realm; Mephisto (associate and rival)

Enemies: Belasco, Deadpool, Dormammu, Joseph della Reina, Ghost Rider/John Blaze/Zarathos, Mephisto, Cynthia Randolph (pawn), Satana;
indirectly Blade, Frank Drake, Inspector Judiah Golem, Katinka, Marlene McKenna

Known Relatives: Numerous offspring with Lilith; possibly Beliar (son), possible quasi-paternal relationship to Daimon and Satana Hellstrom

Aliases: Azmodeus, Ashmodei

Base of Operations: Hell (some sub-section, relatively close to Mephisto's domain)

First Appearance: Ghost Rider II#53 (February, 1981)

Powers: Asmodeus possesses powers to be expected of a minor player in the lords of Hell. He leads an army of demon-servants, who do his bidding. He also rules the lost souls who have entered his realm of Hell. He can project blasts of mystic energy and has a limited ability to manipulate the minds of others. He can drain energy from others. He is immune to disease and aging. While he has definite power, he can be injured by the power of other demons, such as Zarathos, and he is certainly no comparison for the power of Mephisto.

Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 425 lbs.
Eyes: Yellow
Hair: Black

History:

(Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons & Various Monstrosities - Asmodeus) - Asmodeus was originally an angel who joined Lucifer's rebellion against God. He was cast out of Heaven like Lucifer's other allies and degenerated into a demon. He eventually mated with fellow cast-out Lilith, parenting many demonic offspring though most were slain by agents of Heaven.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Horror 2005 - Lilith) - In the 13th century, Joseph della Reina thought to summon the Messiah by confronting Lilith and her latest demon consort, Ashmodei (Asmodeus); no match for Lilith, Reina was transformed into a dog.

(Ghost Rider II#53) - Asmodeus sought to make a pawn of the Ghost Rider/Zarathos in his intended campaign of terror against the Earth. To this end, he sent Tabicantra to manipulate him so that Asmodeus could enslave him. However, Tabicantra eventually turned against Asmodeus, who was forced to send V'Zarr-Than and several other demons to try to finish the job. Tabicantra sacrificed herself to destroy the demons, and Blaze was spared from his intended fate.

(Ghost Rider II#64)-Asmodeus sent another of his minions, Rzh'Arr, to Earth in another plot against Ghost Rider involving his replacement of one of Blaze's friends, Cynthia Randolph. Rzh'Arr succeeded in weakening Blaze and bringing him to Asmodeus's realm. Asmodeus attempted to steal some of the power from Ghost Rider and make him his slave. However, the Ghost Rider burst free from his bonds and overpowered Asmodeus, causing him great pain with his hellfire. Asmodeus sent the Ghost Rider back to Earth rather than face further injury at his hands.

(Ghost Rider II#76)-Asmodeus journeyed to Mephisto's realm and attempted to convince Mephisto to relinquish control of thr Ghost Rider/Zarathos to him. Mephisto saw through Asmodeus' plot to gain Zarathos as a tool in his desired conquest of Earth. Mephisto set up a contest which separated Blaze and Zarathos, and challenged them to make it through a gauntlet set up by Asmodeus. If they made it safely to the portal back to Earth, they would be freed from each other. If not, they would be trapped in Hell, and Zarathos would become a servant of Asmodeus. Mephisto decided to make things more interesting for Asmodeus by mentioning a small penalty if he failed to stop the two from escaping. Unfortunately for Asmodeus, Blaze and Zarathos cooperated and made it through the portal (although Mephisto's treachery left them still bound together). Mephisto administered his small penalty to Asmodeus, which consisted of blasting him out of existence.

(Tomb of Dracula III#1) - ...Asmodeus once more took reign of Hell and ordered his minions to awaken from their decade-long slumber. Leathery wings once again slapped the coldness of night. Blood once more cut through the fragile veil of flesh to bring life to those things undead. But the night was still without its lord. Asmodeus reached for those sun-bleached bones where they last lay, but could find nothing save the crippled remains of some insignificant mortal.
Thus began the search. One year more passed before was found the black soul that had long ago been skewered by silver. Asmodeus smiled (and somewhere in China an earthquake killed ten thousand) and returned the bones to their proper resting place. All was now where it should be. The rest would unfold in proper order...

(Tomb of Dracula III#1-4-BTS) - Asmodeus may well have supplied some of the power to Gregor Smirnoff, filter from the Belonging and other experiments, that allowed him to summon the soul of Rachel van Helsing and place it into Marlene McKenna. He was also quite likely involved in the death-by-fire that occurred in the rituals of the Belonging, which resulted in the placement of the participant/victim's soul in a magical storage place. The first such death, that of Rachel Glass, was siad to have opened the gates of Hell, and may
With information derived when Rachel, Marlene, and Frank Drake, Smirnoff traveled to Castle Dracula and resurrected the Vampire Lord by removing the silver spoke. As Dracula left with Smirnoff, he attempted to summon his legions (normally rats, bats, wolves, etc.). His powers "touched the loins of Asmodeus." A vast army of demon creatures, and possibly undead people, appeared to terrorize Drake and Marlene.
Later, the Belonging's collective rituals resulted in over 1600 members being consumed in flame and the power of their souls being granted to Dracula. Dracula eventually tried to absorb the full power of the mass of souls, and was blown to pieces as a result.

(Deadpool Team-Up#892 (fb) ) - Satana lost her soul to Asmodeus, Belasco, Dormammu and Mephisto (all four were posing as humans at this point) in a game of dice. Afterward they quarrelled about who would get her to gain control over Hell (she is heir to Marduk Kurios' part of Hell after all).

(Deadpool Team-Up#892) - Satana hired Deadpool to get back her soul from the demons. After the demons revealed their true nature to Deadpool they beat him up. Satana married Deadpool so he could lay claim to her soul. Asmodeus ultimately won the right to marry Satana in another game of dice with the other three demons. Satana and Deadpool entered Asmodeus' domain, surprising him with their marriage. Asmodeus fought Deadpool to reclaim the right to Satana, but was sliced in half by Deadpool's mystically empowered swords (thank you Satana). With her soul reclaimed from Asmodeus, Satana left Deadpool again (with their marriage annulled).

(Journey Into Mystery I#627 (fb)) - Asmodeus attended the Devil's Advocacy to talk about the Serpent (Cul)'s actions on Earth.

Comments: Created by Michael Fleisher and Donald Perlin.

He was called Azmodeus in his first two appearances, and then Asmodeus in the last one. The OHotMU I Appendix refers to him as Asmodeus.

Any demon can come back any time. How many times has Mephisto been "destroyed"? For my money, I like to think Asmodeus is now Azmodeus, the servant of Master Pandemonium.

Comments on Tomb of Dracula's Asmodeus:

Asmodeus is not seen on a single page of the limited series, but his activities are mentioned in narrative throughout, and it would seem as if he were the behind-the-scenes manipulater of all of the supernatural events seen in this series. His demons are seen on-panel.
There are a number of extremely vague and ambiguous statements in this series, and so I have done my best (after reviewing Dracula's full continuity for his profile, and reading through this series for the third time) to attempt to clarify what they mean. The only definitive actions of Asmodeus are the participation in the resurrection of Dracula (as quoted above) and the release of a bunch of demons to assist Dracula again Frank Drake.

This story, with Asmodeus gaining control of Hell (or a realm of it anyway), would likely seem to fit in at some point after Mephisto might have been temporarily destroyed, such as in Fantastic Four I#277 (at the hands of Franklin Richards) or in Silver Surfer III#100. However, as this might represent one of myriad realms of Hell, this placement is not critical.
More critical is how the resurrection of Dracula fits in. When Asmodeus searched for the bones of Dracula, he looked at Castle Dracula, where the vampire lord had been destroyed by Quincy Harker in Tomb of Dracula I#70. Dracula was not there, because he had been since resurrected by Florence Embers in Tomb of Dracula II#1. Asmodeus could not find Dracula anywhere on Earth. This is because Dracula had been destroyed by the Montesi Formula in Dr. Strange II#62. After some searching, he eventually located the soul of Dracula, perhaps because in Dr. Strange III#18, Marie LaVeau invoked a spell to recreate the Lord of the Vampires. This spell apparently disrupted the Montesi Formula, which--in its full form--had made it impossible for any vampire to exist on Earth. The effects on Varnae possibly may have carried over to other Lords of the Vampires, or at least Dracula, who is the only one to have held that title for any significant length of time besides Varnae himself.

Asmodeus--as can be seen by the clarifications below--is a pretty popular demon name, apparently just under Satan, Lucifer, and what-not. So it may be that a bunch of demons have taken that name, to capitalize on it, or it may be that a single demon has taken multiple forms and motivations and power levels, or all of the above. Take your pick. Moot point. Dorcas Farkas.
At any rate, a demon striving for this name wold likely seem to be one of the Class Two demons, along the lines of Mephisto, Thog, etc. These beings appear to originate from Earth, but from a much later time period than the Class One demons, the Elder Gods.

This story was written under the Epic Comics imprint, and so is not inherently part of Earth-616 continuity. However, as discussed under the Dracula and Smirnoff profiles, they fit in pretty well and even explain some otherwise unexplained gaps in continuity.

In Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons & Other Monstrosities the Ghost Rider foe Asmodeus was revealed to be the same as Asmodeus, the unseen demon connected to the Belonging from Tomb of Dracula III.

You want to talk evil? Asmodeus has been seen in a thong! That's not right!

Clarifications: Asmodeus, the demon from Hell, should be distinguished from:

Saturnine, the demon serving Asmodeus, should not be confused with:


Mount Avarice was a mountain of lost souls who, during lifetime had been concerned only with themselves, shunning contact with their fellow man. When they reached Hell, they were punished for their sins by being forever entwined with one another, eternally united in a tangle of selfish desires. Blaze and Zarathos attempted to ride over the mountain of people, but Blaze's own solitary life connected him to them, and they attempted to pull him down into their mass. Zarathos stopped to save him, realizing he needed Blaze's help to escape the gauntlet. Later still, as they approached the finish, Zarathos blasted the roof of the cavern, causing it to collapse and crush those making up the mountain.--Ghost Rider II#76

 

 




Rzh'Arr was sent to Earth in another plot against Ghost Rider. Rzh'Arr exchanged places with Cynthia Randolph, a reporter covering the Quentin Carnival, and seduced Blaze, kissing him and draining his energy. Rzh'Arr used that energy to form a doppelganger of the Ghost Rider that subdued the original. He then brought the Ghost Rider to Asmodeus in Hell. The Ghost Rider broke free from his bonds and blasted Rzh'Arr, who fled.--Ghost Rider II#64

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tabicantra, aka the She-Witch, may have originally been human, but was sent to Hell, where she became Asmodeus's servant. She believed all of her human morals had been washed away in her centuries of service to Asmodeus, but found herself smitten with Johnny Blaze. Asmodeus sent her to Earth to weaken Blaze, so that every time he turned into the Ghost Rider, he would lose more and more control to Zarathos, and eventually be unable to return. For reasons unknown, Asmodeus limited himself to a set timetable for this to occur, after which the effect would where off if the final transformation had not occurred. Tabicantra arranged several threats to Blaze to force him to become the Ghost Rider, but she eventually turned against Asmodeus and defended Blaze. She blasted Blaze from behind, incapacitating him, in order to prevent him from making the last critical transformation. She fought off R'Zarr-Than and the other demons sent by Asmodeus to force the transformation. Ultimately, she drew on her own life force to destroy the demons, and she died as well. She could fire destructive blasts of energy able to shatter a steel bridge, set objects on fire, and a number of other magical powers--Ghost Rider II#53

 

 

 








 

 

V'Zarr-Than was sent to Earth to force Blaze to transform into the Ghost Rider one last time, so that Asmodeus would get control of his soul. He and his demon horde were fought off by Tabicantra, who sacrificed her own life to destroy them.--Ghost Rider II#53

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Yammuz and Yukthalok were two minor demons sent to stop Blaze and Zarathos from completing Asmodeus' gauntlet. They cut loose a pre-set boulder to crush the two, but Zarathos meleted the ground beneath it, halting its motion. Zarathos temporarily exhausted his power and collapsed, after shattering the boulder to escape the oncoming Mount Avarice.--Ghost Rider II#76

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Appearances:
Ghost Rider II#53 (February, 1981) - Michael Fleisher (writer), Don Perlin (artist), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Ghost Rider II#64 (January, 1982) - Michael Fleisher (writer), Jack Sparling (pencils), Tom Sutton (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Ghost Rider II#76 (January, 1983) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (pecnils), Dave Simons (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Tomb of Dracula III#1-4 (1991) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Terry Kavanagh & Mark Powers (editors)
Deadpool Team-Up#892 (August, 2010) - Dave Lapham (writer), Shawn Crystal (artist), Axel Alonso (editor)
Journey Into Mystery I#627 (November, 2011) - Kieron Gillen (writer), Richard Elson (art), Ralph Macchio (senior editor)


Last updated: 08/16/12

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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