BA'AL

Real Name: Ba'al-Hadad
Hadad is his Sumerian name.
“Ba'al” is a title meaning “Lord.” “Bel” is its feminine counterpart.

Identity/Class: Mesopotamian God/Demon (Class Two)

Occupation: demon
former King of the Mesopotamian Gods;
God of wind, rain, storm and fertility

Group Membership: The Mesopotamian Gods (formerly?)

Affiliations: Formerly worshipped by a number of races, including the Acheronians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, Hurrians, Philistines, Canaanites/Phoenicians, Sumerians, and the people of Gehenna;
also worshipped by the
Brotherhood of Ba'al and the Followers of Ba'al (possibly the same beings), Sà-Bal-Bal (the Spawn of Ba'al) and his monster;
Ice Box Bob (pawn)

Enemies: Prince Baran, Craig + Emma + John Blaze, Archie and Burt Corrigan, Dagon/Enlil, Hand of God, Jesse Pinto, Tetrarchs of Entropy, Ullikummis, Wendigo (see comments), Wolverine

Known Relatives: Anu (father, SEE COMMENTS), Asherah (mother), Anath (wife),
Inar, Zintuki (sons);
Dagon , Ninurta, Martu (brothers);
Inanna (sister)
Nergal, Nusku, Kinyras, Gibil (half-brothers);
Ningal, Zarpandit, Ninlil, Gatumdug, Gula (half-sisters);
Ea (uncle), Mami, Damkina, Eriskegal (aunts);
Dumuzi, Shamash, Nanna, Ullikummis (nephews);
Marduk (cousin);
Sà-Bal-Bal (descendent)

Aliases: Adad (Babylonian), Teshub (Canaanite name), Iskur (Hittite Name), Taru (Hattic name), Tesup (Hurrian name);
The Voracious, The Unforgiving, the Immutable, the Unfathomable;
Lord (the translation of Ba'al)
the vampire lord Varnae has in the past usurped Ba'al's name for his own purposes

Place of Birth: Nippur, Sumeria (now part of modern Iraq)

Base of Operations: An unspecified extra-dimensional nether realm
formerly Arinna, Sumeria;
later Mount Saphon (both now part of modern Iraq) and Gehenna

Extent of Education: Unrevealed

First Appearance: Wolverine II#11 (Early September, 1989, Behind the Scenes);
(Spawn of Ba'al) Wolverine II#12
(Ba'al fully seen) Wolverine II#13

Powers/Abilities: Ba'al possesses superhuman powers above most of the Mesopotamian Gods.
While his original powers are unclear, his demonic form is virtually immune to conventional injury (or able to be reformed after being damaged or destroyed). Its spirit is virtually immortal, and can survive the physical destruction of its form. Via the Gehenna Stone, he was able to send his power into his Spawn, granting him increasingly levels of power as the Stone was reassembled. At full power, Ba'al appeared to be virtually invulnerable, could generate powerful flames from his hands or eyes, and had an uncertain degree of superhuman strength (Class 25 - 100?).

The incarnation that encountered Blaze had similar powers. Though it was unable to access Earth on its own, it could penetrate the dimensional barriers if they were weakened by other means, and did not seem to have any dependence on the Gehenna Stone.

Height: 9'3"
Weight: 1490 lbs.
Eyes: Red
Hair: None

History : (Mesopotamian myth) - Hadad is the son of Anu, king of the Mesopotamian Gods, and Asherah, Mother of the Gods. Anu, however, was overthrown by his son, Enlil, who became Dagon, father of the gods.

Hadad, however, defended heaven and assisted the sea god, Ea, by killing Apsu, the divine water god. In gratitude, Ea supported Hadad in overthrowing Dagon and forcing him into exile. As the new ruler of the gods, Hadad became known as Ba'al-Hadad and eventually just Ba'al.

Anath, the sun-goddess, however, began slaughtering many of Ba'al’s worshippers as she demanded the secret of lightning from him. Establishing herself as a war-goddess, she persuaded Ea to have a house created by Ba'al on the top of Mount Saphon. Once the artisan-god Kinyras completed the house, she presented herself to Ba'al as his wife and equal and became Queen of the Gods.

In his exile, Dagon fathered the giant Ullikummis, but Shamash, the sun-god saw them approaching from a far and warned Ba'al. Ba'al briefly abdicated the throne as Dagon once more usurped his rule. Ba'al fled to Ea for advice on how to defeat Ullikummis and received a sacred saw with which to saw through his ankles. Wounding the giant and then killing him, Ba'al overthrew Dagon and regained the throne.

Ba'al, however, eventually decided he had to know the secrets of life and death. He traveled to Allatum, the Mesopotamian underworld, and met with Mot, the god of death who served as vizier to Eriskegal, Queen of the Underworld and goddess of the dead. Explaining he had come for the secrets of life and death, Ba'al was invited by Mot to eat off the table of the dead as he went to retrieve Eriskegal. They both then revealed that since he had eaten from the table of the dead that he could not leave Allatum and Ba'al died. Anath then learned the truth and challenged Mot. Defeating him, she had Mot return Ba'al to life just before she killed him.

Tiamat, however, still threatened earth since the death of Apsu, her consort. She was finally killed by the wisdom-god, Marduk, son of Ea, the sea-god. Ea soon sponsored Marduk to replace Ba'al as Ruler of the Gods especially as the Babylonian tribes conquered and assimilated the Ancient Sumerians on earth. Because of Marduk’s divine role as the slayer of Tiamat, Ba'al had no choice but to abdicate his position of power to him.

BTS - Over time, without worshippers, Ba'al apparently degenerated into a more demonic entity (see comments).

(Savage Sword of Conan#10) - Ba'al was worshipped as early as 13, 000 BC, in the nation of Acheron.
Around 10,000 BC, the resurrected Acheronian sorcerer Xaltotun invoked Ba'al in a struggle against the sorcerer Hadrathus.
See comments

(Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - At some point Ba'al was approached by Satan (Marduk Kurios), who tempted him with everlasting power. Ba'al accepted the deal and was transformed into a demon.

(Wolverine II#13(fb)) - Millennia later, Ba'al led the people of Gehenna, which was just outside of Jerusalem, and was considered by them to be the foulest place on Earth. It had started out as a charnel pit, where the refuse of Jerusalem burned their refuse, and Ba'al transformed it into a place of unspeakable evil. Ba'al led the people of Gehenna in perverse rituals, including human sacrifice and the consumption of human blood.
God was so disgusted by what he beheld, that he sent a fierce warrior: He was known only as the Hand of God, and armed with unbreakable steel and divine right, he smote the demon Ba'al.
Even in his death-throws, Ba'al perpetuated his evil. What passed as his soul coalesced over him, and entered a glittering, multi-faceted gem that his followers had prepared for him. What they had not prepared for was the righteous wrath of the Hand of God. They fought that mighty warrior in, but in vain. Finally, on a field bloody with corpses, the Hand of God stood before the last incarnation of Ba'al and smashed it asunder. The evil of Ba'al was trapped into a hundred fragments, and not content with that, the Hand of God hurled the pieces to the four winds, never to be assembled, until doomsday...

(Tower of Shadows#7/2 - BTS) - Baal was invoked by a gypsy to avenge her daughter killed by "Black John" Wollaston. The curse placed on the Wollastons endured for centuries.

(Wolverine II#13(fb)) - In more recent centuries, pieces of the Gehenna Stone were unearthed at archeological digs, and wound up in various museums and private collections.

(Giant-Size Werewolf by Night#2 - possibly BTS) - A group known as the Brotherhood of Ba'al attempted to sacrifice Lissa Russell in an effort to gain the power to transfer the soul of the Frankenstein monster into a more normal body. These efforts were foiled by the monster and the Werewolf (Lissa's brother), and those who survived the initial slaughter did not appear to escape when the burning building fell off a cliff (see comments).

(Wolverine II#13(fb)) - Slowly, over a two year period, the descendent of Ba'al directed the Followers of Ba'al of to begin assembling the fragments of the Gehenna Stone.

(Wolverine II#13(fb)) - Seeing a fragment of the Gehenna Stone in the San Francisco Museum of Antiquities, Burt Corrigan was seized by the need to have it. Using his wealth, Corrigan got himself onto the Board of Directors of the museum. Once there, he made a switch, replacing the true fragment with a replica, and keeping the original for himself.

(Wolverine II#11 - BTS) - Ernst and Jarocha, a pair of the Followers of Ba'al, robbed the San Francisco Museum of Antiquities, intending to steal the fragment of the Gehenna Stone being held there. The two attracted the attention of a guard, but they mortified him by bearing their fangs, and he fell easy victim to them. However, the fragment shattered as they were stealing it, revealing itself to be a fake.
Meanwhile, a trial was being prepared to judge the sanity of Burt Corrigan. He put on a great show of responsibility when his brother (alongside Patch/Wolverin) visited him, but as soon as they left, he returned to staring at his precious gem. Corrigan showed up late (and on horseback) to his sanity hearing the next day, with a group of the Followers of Ba'al following closely behind.
In addition, Tuttle, the curator of the Museum, hired Jessica Drew to locate the real fragment of the Gehenna Stone, and to investigate the seeming vampires who had stolen it.

(Wolverine II#12) - Wolverine, Archie, and Burt were joined by Jessica in fighting and escaping the Followers of Ba'al. The Spawn of Ba'al used the Gehenna Stone (or most of it, anyway) to prophesize that his followers would drive the fragment holders to him.

(Wolverine II#13) - As predicted, the fragment's holders headed towards a California airstrip, right where the Spawn of Ba'al and more of his minions were waiting. The Followers of Ba'al assaulted them, while the Spawn drew the attention of Wolverine, and then blasted him out of the air when he leapt at him. The Spawn laughed off several slashes from Wolverine's claws then caught the mutants wrist and tried to rend him limb from limb. Tried, and failed. However, Wolvie couldn't break his grip, either, and the Spawn channeled energy through Wolverine that started to cook him. Wolverine finally got in a good claw swipe across the Spawn's face, and the Spawn hurled him across the tarmac. However, one of the Followers of Ba'al had managed to knock out Burt and take his fragment, and so the Spawn led the Followers to depart in rapid fashion.

(Wolverine II#14) - As the Spawn and the Followers flew a plane towards Madripoor and the final fragment of the Gehenna Stone, Wolverine, Archie, Burt, and Jessica caught up to them in a plane of their own. Wolverine and Jessica boarded the plane, overpowering most of the Followers, including one that the Spawn had mutated into a monstrous and powerful form. Wolverine destroyed Ba'al's plane and escaped and returned Jessica to Archie's plane, but they failed to reveal the fragment. Ba'al himself laughed as the plane went down in flames, and his smiling face could be seen in the flames as it exploded.

(Wolverine II#15) - In Madripoor, while some of the Followers of Ba'al attempted to locate the last gem fragment by slaughtering anyone who had come near it, the Spawn of Ba'al headed to the palace of Prince Baran, who had received the fragment. The Spawn of Ba'al introduced himself as a trader, who wished to make him an offer for the fragment, and Baran accepted him as a guest.

(Wolverine II#16) - The Spawn offered Baran immortality in exchange for the fragment, and Baran told him that he would sleep on the offer. Unwilling to wait any longer, Ba'al demanded the fragment, and then determined that it was within Baran's servant, Johann, who had swallowed it to keep it hidden. The Spawn of Ba'al simply thrust his hand into Johann and tore the fragment from his body. The Spawn easily threw off Baran and Jessica Drew's attempts to subdue him, and he placed the last fragment into the Gehenna Stone. His soul complete, Ba'al was reformed within his descendent, and his Followers were transformed into vampiric creatures, instead of posers, as they had been. However, for all his power, Ba'al became quite nervous when Wolverine entered the fray. As the two slashed at each other, Ba'al continued to tell him that he wouldn't defeat him again, and that his time was past. Ba'al finally began to project energy from the Gehenna Stone that began to fry his attacker. Wolverine ernestly prayed for assistance, and received it, apparently being possessed by the Hand of God. Shattering the Stone with a sweep of his claws, Wolverine then skewered Ba'al--releasing his powerful energies--and then tackled him out of the castle and into the sea below. Ba'al pulled himself to the shore, but then crumpled into a lifeless heap.

BTS - Though the Ba'al-Spawn was apparently slain in the preceding conflict, Ba'al himself was only injured, though his spirit was banished from the Earthly plane. At some point he encountered Icebox Bob, an evil human whose spirit had been dispatched to the same nether realm as Ba'al.
Sometime Ba'al also managed to obtain Craig and Emma Blaze, the children of John Blaze, in hopes that Blaze would travel to the nether realm and free him.

(Blaze II#3) - Ba'al accused Icebox Bob of attempting to steal the children from him. Ba'al instructed Bob to manipulate the Eyes of the Kristall-Starrer to communicate with Blaze's ally, Clara Menninger, to direct him to a road that would bring Blaze to their realm. With the aid of Bob's enemy, Holden Blevins, Blaze destroyed Ice Box Bob, but Ba'al dragged Craig and Emma back into his realm before Blaze could claim him.

(Blaze II#4) - Ba'al confronted Blaze in a vision, taunting him with their future meeting. In a later, collective vision, Ba'al taunted Blaze with his holding his kids.
Meanwhile, Darryl Licht, a grad student over at the State University performed a ritual hoping to gain power from Native American trickster god. However, Ba'al received his summons instead, and transformed Licht into the Anung-Ite, a powerful, monstrous, magical creature. All the time Licht utilized the power of the Anung-Ite, the energies paved the way for Ba'al's transport to Earth.

(Blaze II#5) - Whilst Licht fought Blaze and Warpath, back in the nether realm, Ba'al taunted the Blaze children. However, the pair were then joined by Jesse Pinto, a young boy whose family had been slain by Licht. Jesse carried a weapon against magic: an iron nail file marked with the number 7. Their cell was then entered by a bizarre incarnation of the Wendigo, who was following energy from the Eyes of the Kristall-Starrer. The Wendigo took the nail file and walked back out through the far wall, returning to Earth. It gave the file to Blaze, who used it to neutralize Licht's power and returned to normal.

(Blaze II#6 (fb)) - The Wendigo returned to the cell holding Jesse and the Blaze kids. This time when it passed out of the far wall, the three kids leapt onto its back and escaped back to Earth with him. However, the repeated travels to and from the nether realm weakened the barrier between realities, and Ba'al managed to escape the nether realm as well. As they passed between realities, they encountered the Tetrarchs of Entropy, who sought to escape their Dimension of Exile. Ba'al blasted the Tetrarchs aside and continued to follow the Wendigo back to the Earthly plane.

(Blaze II#6) - John Blaze observed his children return to Earth aboard the Wendigo's back, but as his motorcycle roared towards them, he failed to hear their warnings as Ba'al appeared behind him. Finally seeing Ba'al's reflection in the chrome on his motorcycle, Blaze blasted him with hellfire, to little effect. Ba'al fired an eye-blast that knocked Blaze from his cycle, but the Wendigo then attacked Ba'al. As the two separated, Blaze attacked with a series of blasts from his hellfire shotgun, but Ba'al continued to advance on him and blasted him to the ground once again. Ba'al prepared to slay Blaze, but Jesse Pinto leapt out Ba'al, stabbing him in the right arm with the #7 nail file. The iron disrupted Ba'al's magic energies and blew his arm off. His foothold on Earth weakened by his injuries, Ba'al was now susceptible to Blaze's hellfire, and he fled back his realm to renew his power. Jesse Pinto directed the Wendigo to follow Ba'al, so they could destroy him in his weakened form. Craig & Emma accompanied Jesse and the Wendigo, despite their fathers calls to them.

(Blaze II#10) - At some point later, the Wendigo and three children had captured Ba'al, pinning him to the ground (or what passed for ground) in another reality.  Before Pinto could use the mystical nail file to kill Ba'al, the demon showed them that the tool was needed to help Blaze's father, and couldn't be used for both.

(Blaze II#11 - BTS?) - Faced with which to use the file for, the children opted to help Blaze.  The four then proceeded to travel back to Earth.

Comments : Adapted by Peter David and John Buscema.

The Brotherhood of Ba'al seemed to just be a bunch of Satanists, and they may have just taken the name b/c they mistook it for another aspect of Satan. However, if they did indeed worship Ba'al, it is possible that they were influenced by the Spawn of Ba'al. If so, it could then follow that over time, the cultists not slain (and/or not present) in the struggle against Franky and the Werewolf could have gone on to become the group known as the Followers of Ba'al.

While it could be that the demon Ba'al was not the same being as the Mesopotamian God Ba'al (i.e. the demon was lying, usurping the name of the god to gain his leaders), this is not how the story was intended. I'm certainly not the expert on mythology and religions that some of the profilers for this site are, but as I see it, the Hebrew religion existed around the time of the some of those lumped into the Mesopotamian line (such as the Philistines). As a monotheistic religion, they saw other pagan religions as evil, and saw their gods as demons.
Anyway, virtually all of the Mesopotamian gods that have been seen in the modern era have taken on some degree of a demonic nature (Marduk, or an aspect of him (Marduk Kurios), has used the name Satan, and is the father of Hellstorm). It could be that without worshippers, the gods degenerated into a demonic state (see Will's thoughts below). It also could be that as the gods ceased to be worshipped, their ties to Earth grew progressively weaker. Perhaps some died, perhaps some passed on to other planes, and perhaps some just severed all contact. It could be that demons then began usurping their name and their worship. It has also been shown that in some cases, i.e. Set and Seth, that the god actually usurped the name and the worship of the demon who had preceded it.
Still, I tend to think that the writers were indeed intending the characters they used to be the original gods, or the demons that those gods were thought to be.
Interestingly, if Marduk is the Satan in the Hellstorm stories, then I'd cast my vote that the "God" seen in that series is actually Enlil (Dagon).

Also, it is not certain that the two Ba'als (the one from Wolverine and the one from Blaze) are the same being. However, each references similar worshippers (the people of Gehennna and the Canaanites respectively), so I'm going with them as the same until proven otherwise.

Jessica Drew proposed that since the Ba'al that they had faced was a direct descendent or a reincarnation of the original, that Wolverine might have a similar relationship to the Hand of God.
Jess: "What does that make you?"
Wolv: "Thirsty."
Anyway, I'm not sure that there had to be any pre-existing relationship, but rather Wolverine just might have served as the vessel for the Hand of God.

The Gehenna Stone Affair was my personal favorite Wolverine story arc of any of his series. Peter David is a master.
This was also the storyline where pretty much everyone in Madripoor revealed that they had known Patch was Wolverine all along, but that they had played along, both out of respect for his desires and out of trepidation of what might occur if they crossed the angry little mutant.
The Blaze storyline (written by Larry Hama) was...it was...what the H? was it?
And speaking of that, what was up with that incarnation of the Wendigo? Though it appeared exactly the same as its predecessors and successors, it wasn't the typical mindless, carnivorous monster as in virtually every other appearance. It was this benevolent creature summoned by magic and dedicated to saving Blaze's kids...or something. It made no sense to me, and was never explained.

In Wolverine#13, Gehenna was described as a Charnal Pit, which apparently either confused on combined the two words charnel (in reference to a slaughterhouse) and carnal (referring to the body, as in Carnal Knowledge (referring to intercourse). It may have been a mistake, but I could see Peter David as having sought both meanings.

Baal was invoked in SSOC#131/2 in a Kull story, so he was around in the Pre-Cataclysmic era.
--Per Degaton

Jean-Marc Lofficier adds: The Children of Ba'al were originally meant to be regular vampires, of the Drac variety. There were made into the Children of Ba'al when we complained, and our editor (Mike Rockwitz) complained to Peter's editor, and the change was forced upon his story.

He is called "Lord Prince" or "Baal Zebul" (-> Beelzebub, Hebrew for "Lord of the Insects" -> "Lord of the Flies)

Will's comments

    "Ba'al is two things; One it was the name of Hadad as a short time ruler of the gods, and second: it was a word/title meaning god. It was used in Ba'al-Hammon, Ba'al-Athirat, Ba'al-him, Ba'al-her.
    Technically, it was Ba'al-Hadad and then just Ba'al. The Hebrews really hated this figure. They never cared much for any of the old Sumerian gods, but the Babylonian gods in their newer forms really got a bad rep.
    When the Assyrian Empire came to power, guess what, another word, more titles. There were gods Nin-Girsu, Nin-Karrak and Ninhursag (used slightly differently for goddesses, Ninhursag was a name for Mother Earth/Gaea).
"

    There is some confusion in the broken texts of the Mesopotamian hieroglyphics regarding the relationships of Ba'al-Hadad toward Dagon-Enlil, Martu, Ninurta and Anu, especially where it concerns their multiple aliases, conflicting importance in different religions and the various translations and possible misinformation over thousands of years. Dagon is quite often called the son of Ba'al, while Enlil is often called the father of Hadad; In Hurrian myth they are referred to as brothers. However, Ninurta, the god of storm, is often called protector of the south wind and his brother Martu, the god of drought, the protector of the west wind. If Ba'al-Hadad and Dagon-Enlil represent east and north, if would make them all sons of Anu, god of sky and heaven as well as remain true to the established pattern already seen in other pantheons. (Boreas, Eurus, Notus and Zephyros in the Olympian Pantheon; Tezcatlipoca, Mixcoatl, Camaxtl and Xipe Totec in Aztec myth; Morozkho, Vetru, Varpulis and Dogoda in Russian lore; and Puhuri, Ahava, Etelatar and Nyrctes of the Finnish Epics.)

    Aspects of Ba'al’s life resemble: Cronus getting overthrown by Zeus; Persephone trapped in the underworld after eating the food of the dead; and (where Ullikummis is concerned) Achilles’ weakness in his ankles.

    At least in the Marvel Universe, it could be assumed that Ba'al was the first of the Annunaki (Mesopotamian Gods) to degenerate into a demon given his death and reanimation by Mot, and then spreading the contamination through the other gods as a result. It could be assumed that some of the Annunaki, such as Ereshkigal could still possess their godhood while others have become demons.

    The Sumerians are considered the oldest of all human empires, although even the Egyptians come pretty close. The Sumerians were conquered by the Babylonians and then by the Assyrians. There was then an interim as several races kept preventing each other from developing an empire as great as the previous rules. This includes the Hittites, Hattic races, Arabs, Canaanites, Phoenicians, and Philistines. They were all subjugated by the Romans.

Gehenna

According to the American Heritage Dictionary ( http://www.bartleby.com/61/8/G0070800.html ):

Gehenna
 
SYLLABICATION: Ge - hen - na
PRONUNCIATION: g-hn
NOUN: 1. A place or state of torment or suffering. 2. The abode of condemned souls; hell.
ETYMOLOGY: Late Latin, from Greek Geenna, from Hebrew gê’ hinnm, possibly short for gê’ ben hinnm, valley of the son of Hinnom, a valley south of Jerusalem : gê’, valley of, bound form of gay’, valley; see gy in Appendix II + hinnm, personal name; see hnn in Appendix II.

per http://crain.english.mwsc.edu/revelation/gehenna.htm

Gehenna. The place where, according to Jesus in the synoptic Gospels, sinners are punished after death. A few times Hades (See Hell) is also treated as such a place of punishment (Matthew 11.23; Luke 10.14; Luke 16.23), but it is cited more often as the realm of death in general. (The NRSV translates Grk. geenna as "hell.")

Gehenna was originally the Hebrew name of a valley just south of Jerusalem’s southwestern hill (Joshua 15.8) called "the valley of Hinnom" (gÙ< hinn¿m) or "the valley of Hinnom’s son(s)" (gÙ< ben(ê) hinn¿m); Map 9. Under the influence of the Aramaic form gÙhinnŒ(m), the Greek transliteration of the word became geenna. "Hinnom" may be understood as the representative of a Jebusite group that once dominated the place in question, but the Bible mentions only the valley. In boundary lists it forms the border between Judah and Benjamin south of the Jebusite city (Joshua 15.8; Joshua 18.16), implying that Jerusalem belonged to Benjamin.

The later view of Gehenna as a place of punishment, especially by fire, is anticipated in an Isaianic reference to a large topheth, or burning place, near Jerusalem, said to be lit by the Lord to punish the Assyrians and their king (Isaiah 30.33). A further stage in the development of the relevant concepts is reached in the report concerning King Josiah’s cultic reform of 622 B.C., which implied a desecration of similar topheths in Judah, especially one found in the valley of Hinnom and dedicated to Molech for children (2 Kings 23.10; cf. 2 Chronicles 28.3; 2 Chronicles 33.6). The elimination ordered by Josiah was not entirely successful, for somewhat later Jeremiah made repeated attacks on the topheth and said the valley of Hinnom would become a general burial place (Jeremiah 7.31; Jeremiah 19.11; Jeremiah 32.35).

On the basis of such passages and influenced by parallelism with Persian ideas of a judgment in fire, Jewish apocalypticism made the valley of Hinnom a place of punishment within an eschatological milieu. In a vision ascribed to Enoch a cavity was depicted, into which the faithful Jews, gathered on the holy mountain, would look down to see the righteous judgment and eternal punishment of all godless and cursed people (1 Enoch 26.4; 27.2–3). No name appears here, but since the details of the picture indicate the topography of Jerusalem, the cavity in question must have been meant as the valley of Hinnom. The joining of the eschatological perspective to Jerusalem then led to an explicit use of the name Gehenna for that place of punishment, a usage that emerges in texts of the first century AD in the New Testament (e.g., Matthew 5.22; Matthew 10.28; Matthew 23.15; Matthew 23.33; James 3.6) and in Jewish apocalypse (e.g., 2 Esdras 7.36, in the Latin translation "Gehenna") Oxford Companion to the Bible

There are a bunch of sites discussing Gehenna, from a place where human sacrifices were performed to a place of literal fire.

Ba'al has a full entry in the All-New OHotMU#1 and a paragraph in the Annunaki entry in the All-New OHotMU Update#3. In the latter it was cleared up that Ba'al was the son of Anu and Asherah and the name Sà-Bal-Bal for Ba'al's descendant became official.

Profile by: Will U (mythology) and Snood (comic information)

CLARIFICATIONS: Ba'al is not to be confused with:

  • BA'AL - alias of Varnae, Marvel Comics Presents#63/4
  • Baal (Mr. Gabriel)-agent of Mysterio/Nicholas Macabes, Daredevil II#3
  • Ba'al of Earth-Ba'al, universal computer from the Earth's future, @ Iron Man I#41
  • Ba'al of the CRIMSON SANDS - Leader of the Sandstormers (a band of desert raiders), Rise of Apocalypse#1
  • Ba'al-PTEOR of the Hyborian Era - trained by Priests of Yajur as Strangler of Yota-Pong, agent of Totrasmek, slain by Conan
    --Shadows in Zamboula; Savage Sword of Conan#14
    It is not clear whether there are any connections to:
  • BEL of the Hyborian era - Shemite god, legend corrupted in Zamora to a god of thieves, patron god of Shumir and Arenjun
    --Savage Sword of Conan#212
    I add this b/c Bel is the feminine form of Ba'al (which just means "Lord"), and the Shemites eventually became the Arabic and Hebrew people. So, maybe there is a connection. If this is the case, then Ba'al's worship was active during the Hyborian era (@ 16000 - 8000 BC).

Followers of Ba'al

aka Children of Ba'al (I think), these were the human agents of the Spawn of Ba'al. They disguised themselves as vampires, but didn't have any true powers. However, when the Spawn gained the full power of Ba'al, he transformed his followers so that they actually became vampiric creatures. They presumably reverted when the Spawn was slain and Ba'al's spirit was banished from Earth.

Ernst, Jarocha, and Maroney were named.

--Wolverine II#11 (12-16

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sà-Bal-Bal

This being was allegedly the descendent or the reincarnation of Ba'al. He led the Followers of Ba'al, and he became more like Ba'al himself as the fragments of the Gehenna Stone were assembled. When the Stone was complete, Ba'al was reborn within him. He was slain when Ba'al's spirit was driven from the Earth by Wolverine.

He proved immune to conventional injury, including Wolverine's attacks--until Wolverine was possessed by the Hand of God. He had superhuman strength and durability and could generate great heat. At one point, his body was apparently consumed in an airplane explosion, but he later reformed with no deficits.

--Wolverine II#12 (11-BTS, 12-16

The word actually comes from the Sumerian language, via information at this site: http://www.sumerian.org/sumerian.htm
provided by John A. Halloran (and thanks to Kyle Smith for finding this out for me).

sà-bal-bal: descendant, offspring ('womb' + reduplicated 'to revolve, deliver').
The "s" is pronounce as sh, like in dash.

I like it, I like it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Ba'al's monster

 

One of the Followers of Ba'al, he was mutated by the Spawn of Ba'al into a monstrous creature to fight off Wolverine when he boarded their plane. He was extremely strong and durable. Even when Wolverine channeled electricity from the airplane engine into him, he was merely stunned. However, he was apparently consumed in the airplane explosion--perhaps Ba'al withdrew his power into himself to survive.

 

--Wolverine II#14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gehenna

Just outside of Jerusalem, it was considered by them to be the foulest place on Earth. It had started out as a charnel pit, where the refuse of Jerusalem burned their refuse, and Ba'al transformed it into a place of unspeakable evil. Ba'al led the people of Gehenna in perverse rituals, including human sacrifice and the consumption of human blood.

--Wolverine II#13 (13(fb)

Gehenna is also referenced in Gambit II#2, where Sybil names Shaitan and Moloch as the "Last of Gehenna"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gehenna Stone

A magical gem created by Ba'al to contain his spirit when he was slain by the Hand of God. However, the gem was then shattered by the Hand of God, and the fragments scattered across the earth. In recent years the Spawn of Ba'al directed the Followers of Ba'al to begin reassembling the stone. The fragments caused all around them to seek to possess them, even to the point of killing their own friends and relatives to hold the gem. The assembled Stone allowed Ba'al to be reborn through the Spawn of Ba'al, but the Hand of God possessed Wolverine, enabling him to shatter the Stone once again.

--Wolverine II#11 (13(fb), 11(fb), 11-16

 

 

 

 

 


Hand of God

An agent of God, he was sent to Earth to cleanse it of Ba'al and the people of Gehenna. He did this successfully and also shattered the Gehenna Stone, fragmenting Ba'al's soul for millennia. When the Stone was reassembled and Ba'al reformed in modern years, the Hand of God possessed Wolverine (who may or may not have been his descendent), enabling him to shatter the Stone and drive Ba'al from Earth.

--Wolverine II#13 (13(fb), 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Appearances:
Tower of Shadows#7 (September, 1970) - Allyn Brodsky (writer), Barry Windsor-Smith (pencils), vince Colletta (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Savage Sword of Conan#10 (February, 1976)
Wolverine II#11-16 (early September - mid November, 1989) - Peter David (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Bill Sienkiewicz (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Blaze II#3-6 (October, 1994 - January, 1995) - Larry Hama (writer), Henry Martinez (pencils), Bud Larosa (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Blaze II#10 (May, 1995) - Larry Hama (writer), Gary Erskine (artist), Marie Javins (editor)
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica (2009) - Anthony Flamini, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lante & Paul Cornell (writers), Jeff Youngquist (editor)


Last updated: 11/12/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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