DARK-CRAWLER

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Dark Dimension) magic user

Occupation: Former ruler of the Dark Dimension; warrior; would-be conqueror; agent of chaos

Group Membership: Hulk-Hunters/Horror-Hunters (Amphibion, Torgo)

Affiliations: Leads an army of demonic beings;
briefly allied with the Hulk, formerly employed Empress Daydra and the Sagittarian empire;
briefly possessed and controlled James Mandarin;
former pawn of Yandroth;
he has invoked for power Azathoth and Sominus, and presumably others unidentified.

Enemies: Abomination, Clea, Dr. Strange, the Galaxy Master, Hulk, James Mandarin, Meredith, The Nameless One, The Undying Ones

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Night-Crawler, Slitherer, Slitherer in Shadows, Worm of Darkness

Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
formerly the
Dark Dimension/Shadow Realm;
the dimension of the Undying Ones

First Appearance: Incredible Hulk II#126 (April, 1970)

Powers/Abilities: The Dark-Crawler has superhuman strength and durability, as well as undefined magical abilities. His powers appear to wax and wane, from taking a gigantic form with great physical and magical power, to that of a more human form, possessing perhaps Class 25 strength. Presumably, his powers vary with his location, being much greater within his home dimension, other magical realms, or when summoned by beings via magic, whereas his powers are greatly diminished in a non-magical environment. He has a tail which can be used as a blunt weapon. He can emit beams of sonic force from his crown.
Under certain cirumstances he can possess and control others, open portals to other dimensions, and alter his shape at will.

He uses the Sceptre of Shadow to project "black light," presumably a form of the Darkforce, which can blind those trapped within its rays. In some cases, the Sceptre can project solid beams that can ensnare and transport others. The ray can be terminated by the shattering of the sceptre -- it appears to be about as durable as ordinary glass -- but the sceptre can be reformed, in some cases within a few hours time.

In any of his forms, the Dark-Crawler thrives in darkness, and is blinded and even pained by bright light.

Height: 6' (variable)
Weight: 200 lbs. (variable)
Eyes: Red
Hair: Unknown

History: The Dark-Crawler's origins are unknown, but he is from an unidentified extradimensional realm, referred to only as the Dark-Crawler's Dark Dimension.

(Incredible Hulk II#126 (fb) - BTS) - There has been a lengthy, "eternal" enmity between the Night-Crawler and the Undying Ones, because his dimension serves as a pathway to worlds beyond...such as Earth. Over a period of eons, the Night-Crawler destroyed all beings that the Undying Ones had arrayed and sent against him.

(Incredible Hulk II#126) - On Earth in the modern era, Van Nyborg, the leader of a cult worshipping the Undying Ones, drugged and captured Bruce Banner, and then cast a spell that transported the Hulk to the realm of the Night-Crawler, in hopes that the Hulk might destroy him. At first, Banner resisted the change, and the Night-Crawler, assuming him to be another agent of the Undying Ones, moved in for the attack. Van Nyborg then sent Barbara Denton, a rebellious member of the cult, to the realm as well, and the Night-Crawler grabbed her, again assuming her to be another attacker. Banner allowed himself to become the Hulk to save the girl, and engaged the Night-Crawler, who cared little for the reasons for their visit, but felt they must pay the price for crossing the forbidden border.

He blanketed the Hulk and Barbara in shadow, and knocked the Hulk off of one of the floating islands of the realm. However, while he couldn't see where he was, the Hulk could feel another island as he landed on it, and he struck out at the island in seemingly futile rage; but as the rock shattered, it released a dazzling burst of light energy, which disrupted the shadow power of the Sceptre of Shadows, allowing the Hulk to see the Night-Crawler and approach him anew. As the Night-Crawler prepared to unleash "far deadlier powers" from his Sceptre, Barbara hurled a rock which shattered it.

Furious that the woman had accomplished -- via the light energy of the rock -- what millennia of savage foes failed to do, Night-Crawler grabbed Barbara and prepared to make her pay the price. The Hulk leapt at the Night-Crawler and knocked him away from Barbara, saving her, but then the Crawler turned his sonic beams on the Hulk. The Hulk clapped his hands together and created a backlash of sonic force, which interacted with the Crawler's own to form a resonant frequency that shattered all of the solid matter in the Dark Dimension. The Night-Crawler then transported them all to the realm of the Undying Ones, in order to save them from his own, collapsing realm.

Upon arriving, the Night-Crawler turned his rage upon the Nameless One and the rest of the Undying Ones, who were responsible for the Hulk being sent to (and thus destroying) his Dark Dimension. Dr. Strange, who has been imprisoned by the Nameless One, was freed by the sacrifice of Barbara Denton, in order to save her world. Dr. Strange teleported himself and the Hulk back to Earth, and the Night-Crawler occupied the Nameless One and the Undying Ones long enough that the stellar alignment necessary for their entry into Earth had passed.

(Incredible Hulk II#269 (fb) - BTS) - The Night-Crawler fought the Undying Ones in a battle without equal. He ultimately triumphed over them and made their realm his own. He credited the Hulk with causing him to finally open his eyes to the truth and confront his real foes directly.
In conquering the Undying Ones, the Night-Crawler learned many of their magical secrets.

(Marvel Fanfare I#8) - Novice sorcerer James Mandarin used a spell from Van Nyborg's book -- "The Secrets of Light and Shadow" -- with which he unwittingly summoned the Night-Crawler, who brought him back to his realm. Mandarin's girlfriend, Meredith, contacted Dr. Strange, and the mage opened a portal to his Realm of Shadow. The Night-Crawler -- who was most often referred to as the Slitherer -- used the power of the Sceptre of Shadows to seal the Eye of Agamotto, and then pulled Strange, Clea, and Meredith into his realm with tendrils of shadow. There they were confronted by a Slitherer-possessed James Mandarin, who was leading an army of demons, planning to conquer Earth.

Mandarin wielded the Chaos Sword and rode a flying horse against Strange, parrying his strongest spells, and threatening to crack through his Shield of Seraphim. However, Meredith was able to get through to James' mind and convince him to throw off the Slitherer's control. Mandarin turned and attacked the Slitherer, but was no match for him. Strange then sent his astral self to join with Mandarin's body, empowering him to break free from the Slitherer. Meredith then used her will to summon a shield for the two combined sorcerers, and with the shield to protect them, they managed to shatter the Slitherer's Sceptre of Shadows (and cut off a few of his fingers/tentacles). Without his sceptre of power, the Slitherer could not stand against Strange, who banished him and his demons back to his realm.

(Incredible Hulk II#269 (fb) - BTS) - Under uncertain circumstances, the Dark-Crawler was enlisted by Empress Daydra of the Sagittarians to help oppose the Galaxy Master. Alongside Torgo and the Amphibion, the Dark-Crawler was sent to engage the Galaxy Master's agent, the Ravager of Worlds, who was actually the Abomination. His power amplified even further by the Galaxy Master, the Abomination easily drove off the three warriors, who narrowly escaped.

In order to combat the power of this Ravager of Worlds, Daydra and the three warriors decided to recruit the strength of a being that they had all encountered in the past -- the Hulk.

(Incredible Hulk II#269) - The Hulk-Hunters arrived on Earth where they confronted Banner, who quickly became the Hulk. Before they could explain that they were just searching for the Hulk and not attempting to capture or destroy him, he attacked them. The Hulk fought off all three of them until Empress Daydra beamed down and revealed the true threat of the Galaxy Master. The Hulk agreed to join them.

(Incredible Hulk II#270) - When the Amphibion goaded the Hulk into another struggle, Dark-Crawler and Torgo were forced to step in, holding back Amphibion and the Hulk, respectively. Upon arriving, the Hulk was sent to engage the Abomination, while the other three, now known as the Horror-Hunters, were sent to oppose the Galaxy Master directly. As the rampaging Hulk bludgeoned the Abomination, the Galaxy Master's defenses weakened. In order to defend himself, the Galaxy Master summoned the Abomination to his side, but the Hulk was brought along with him. The Hulk attacked the Galaxy Master, while the Hunters fought the Abomination, from whom the Galaxy Master had removed his power amplification. When the Hulk destroyed the Galaxy Master, the Abomination collapsed in defeat as well.

 

(Defenders II#1) - The Night-Crawler -- now a 25' tall powerhouse -- was one of the beings summoned to Earth by Yandroth by power usurped from Gaea. He was enraged at being thus transported, and threatened Dr. Strange, ordering him to tell him why and how he was there, or he would destroy both him, "your insignificant planet--and all those who dwell thereon!"
When the Defenders defeated Yandroth, all those he had summoned to Earth were returned to their respective realms.

 

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe.

Yeah, he's the original Night-Crawler, but after Giant-Size X-Men#1, he was nice enough to refer to himself almost exclusively as the Dark-Crawler, so as to avoid confusion with a certain teleporting mutant.

Everyone who writes the Dark-Crawler seems to have their own ideas about him.

Eon can just mean an immeasurably long time period, or it may refer to a period of 1 billion years, as in geology.

Here's a little piece of trivia some of you younger fans may not know: Barbara Denton -- the woman who was in the Cult of the Undying Ones, but was then sent to the Dark Dimension as punishment by Van Nyborg -- may be better recognized by her married name, Barbara Norriss. She's the one whose body was converted into the form of the Valkyrie, of the Defenders, and who served as the form of Brunnehilde until she eventually regained her true form in Defenders I#109(?)

Personally, I think Dark-Crawler would have made a better--(or, at least, more logical)--birth-father for Kurt Wagner than Azazel.
--Carycomic

Dark-Crawler got a full entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1980s Handbook.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Dark-Crawler, aka Night-Crawler, the Slitherer, and the Worm of Darkness, should be distinguished from:

Dark Crawler's Dark Dimension has no KNOWN connection to:

The Nameless One, the two headed leader of the Undying Ones, should be differentiated from:


The Dark Dimension / Realm of Shadow

An extradimensional realm formerly ruled by the Dark-Crawler. It was composed mostly of floating rocks in a breathable atmosphere. When shattered, the rocks released blinding light. The entire realm apparently collapsed from a resonant sonic frequency released during a struggle between the Dark-Crawler and the Hulk.

 

Presumably the Dark-Crawler has found a new Realm of Shadows to inhabit, or else his original realm has been restored. Perhaps his new Shadow Realm is the former realm of the Undying Ones.

--Incredible Hulk II#126


demon army

 

An unnamed group of beings, possibly demons or just extradimensional creatures, whom the Slitherer planned to lead to invade and conquer Earth. They were banished back to a shadow realm along with the Slitherer afer his defeat.

 

--Marvel Fanfare I#8

 

 

 


images:
(Dark-Crawler body shot)
(Sceptre of Shadow)
Marvel Fanfare I#8, Cover (Dark-Crawler & James Mandarin)
(Dark-Crawler VS Dr. Strange)
(Dark Dimension)
Marvel Fanfare I#8, p10, pan3 (demon army)


Appearances:
Incredible Hulk II#126 (April, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), Herb Trimpe (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Fanfare I#8 (May, 1983) - Peter Gillis (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), P. Craig Russell (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#269-270 (March-April, 1982) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Sal Buscema (artist), Al Milgrom (editor)
Defenders II#1 (March, 2001) - Kurt Busiek & Erik Larsen (writers), Erik Larsen (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 03/09/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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