DEMON of the MASK
Real Name: None
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Netherworld of Eternal Doom) demon
Occupation: Ruler of his realm
Group Membership: None
Hippolyta, Mephisto, Pluto, Satan, Thog
formerly ruled/enslaved/imprisoned a number of beings
Enemies: Dr. Strange;
possibly the Ancient One and the Aged Genghis, as well
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: The demon
Base of Operations: Netherworld of Eternal Doom
First Appearance: Strange Tales I#136/2 (September, 1965)
Powers: The Demon of the Mask is able to mesmerize others by establishing eye contact. Once this is done, he can exchange places with them. The demon then forms a mystic mold over his victim's face, which sets to become a mask. While the demon possesses that mask, his victims are forced to obey his every whim. Only by catching his gaze again before the mask has completely set may a victim break his spell and escape his bonds.
History: The origins of the Demon of the Mask are unknown. For some time he has dwelled in the Netherworld of Eternal Doom, where he would trick visitors into becoming his slaves.
(Strange Tales I#136/2) - While on his quest for Eternity, Dr. Strange opened a portal which brought him to the Netherworld of Eternal Doom. There he encountered a figure shackled and blindfolded. When Strange offered to help the man, he told Strange he believed it was another trick of "the demon" who had imprisoned him, and asked Strange to remove his mask so he could see him. As soon as Strange removed the mask, the man revealed himself to be the demon, and he used his powers to exchange places, leaving Strange bound in his place (and they even ended up in the other's clothes!).
The Demon of the Mask bound Strange in a mystic mold that blinded him and prevented him from releasing his astral self (and the demon told him "only by looking into my eyes once more can you break the spell"). As the demon spouted off about how he would soon be able to add his mask to his collection (once the mystic mold had set), Strange used his control over his own Cloak of Levitation to attack the demon. The Cloak bound the demon, and Strange forced the demon to remove Strange's mask and free him (and return his clothes). The Demon of the Mask then set free all of his victims, who were under his control, and sent them to attack Strange. However, Strange used the Eye of Agamotto to send them all back to their own realms, freeing them from the demon. Strange then turned the amulet on the demon, apparently destroying him, and then on the dimension itself, apparently destroying it. Strange then returned to Earth to continue his quest to find Eternity.
(Champions of Los Angeles#1-3 (fb) - BTS) - The Demon of the Mask was approached by Pluto and formed an alliance with him.
(Champions of Los Angeles#1-3 - BTS) - Along with Mephisto, the Demon of the Mask appeared as one of the demons (and possibly Death Gods) with which Pluto was allied in order to coerce Zeus' compliance with the forced marriages of Hercules to Hippolyta and Venus to Ares. However, Zeus eventually withdrew his cooperation when he was convinced that Pluto may have promised the death of Zeus to those demons in order to gain their alliances.
The former prisoners of the Demon of the Mask
The Netherworld of Eternal Doom was one of those "Ditko" realms: a magical pocket realm with the somewhat psychedelic alien environment. It was accessed by magic, prior to its seeming destruction.
Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee and Steve Ditko.
The original Marvel Comics Index#6: Heroes from Strange Tales describes this guy as "a nameless evil demon who rules a nameless dimension." In the OHotMU Deluxe#10: Appendix: Other Dimensions, the realm and the demon both get the names used in this entry.
Strange accessed the Netherworld of Eternal Doom after reciting a spell from a scroll given him to be the Aged Genghis. The senile old wizard gave Strange the scroll as the means to access Eternity, apparently having confused Eternity and Eternal Doom. Genghis claimed that the Ancient One had tried to erase the secret to Eternity. Who knows what's going through Genghis' head, but his ramblings could be interpretted as meaning that either one or both of he and the Ancient One had encountered the Demon of the Mask in the distant past...or not.
No one dies forever in comics, least of all magical and/or demonic creatures.
...and, I'd take Netherworld as meaning lower realm, along the line of "Hell." You could stretch that to make it one of the "Splinter Realms," and if the Demon of the Mask is still around, he may have been behind the scenes in Magik II#3 and 4.
Clarifications: There's a boatload of
"Demon" characters, but this is the one and only
appearance of the Demon of the Mask.
Specifically, he should be differentiated from:
Strange Tales I#136 (September, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Steve Ditko (artist)
Champions I#1 (October, 1975) - Tony Isabella (writer), Don Heck (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Champions I#2 (January, 1976) - Tony Isabella (writer), Don Heck (penciler), John Tartaglione (inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Champions I#3 (February, 1976) - Tony Isabella, Bill Mantlo (writers), George Tuska (penciler), Vince Colletta (inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Last updated: 09/10/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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