Real Name: Erlik Khan (presumably)

Identity/Class: Demon

Occupation: Lord Of Chaos

Affiliations: The Khats (his servants);
possible agent/ally of Shuma-Gorath;
possibly known to Vonndhar the Emissary of Erlik

Enemies: Dr. Strange; The Ancient One; Dragon Circle (Andromeda, Interloper, Manslaughter, Valkyrie),
the priests of Kamar-Taj; other forces for peace and harmony in general

Known Relatives: Yasmeena (possible daughter [from the story "The Daughter Of Erlik Khan"])

Aliases: Lord of the Thirty Infernos, may have had a myriad of others in the past

Base of Operations: Unrevealed, possibly the Thirty Infernos which could be a manifestation of or sub-dimension of Hell,
Erlik Khan possibly has some connection to Mount Erlik Khan and the forbidden city of Yolgan in the mountains of Afghanistan

First Appearance: Strange Tales II#6 (September, 1987)

Powers/Abilities: Erlik Khan is a demonic being with some measure of magical ability which, as of yet, has not been fully determined. What is known about him is that he has the ability to teleport and traverse dimensional barriers via magic. Being able to animate the dead appears to be another ability of Erlik's. In all likelihood within his home dimension, the Thirty Infernos, Khan's power increases. Besides having eight toes on each foot, Khan also has at least five arms on each side of his body, one pair being noticeably larger and more proportional to his obese body shape than the others. These larger arms seem to be stronger than the smaller ones, with Khan using them to physically grasp a target as the smaller appendages pummel them. Khan is served by lesser demons known as Khats, as well.

If Erlik Khan and Erlik are indeed one and the same Erlik Khan possesses, in addition to transporting others across dimensional barriers, not only the ability to resurrect the dead, but also to empower them (as with Vonndhar) with sorcerous abilities such as immortality, immunity to ordinary weapons (Vonndhar being slain by Conan the Barbarian's sword and then quickly reviving), and a "death-touch."

History: BTS-At some point in the past, the Ancient One encountered and imprisoned Erlik Khan.

(Doctor Strange I#77-BTS)-The newly appointed reincarnation of the avatar for the temple of Kamar-Taj, Arnie, proclaimed a curse within the holy temple which extinguished a candle imprisoning one of the Khats. On the other side of the world in the United Nations building, the recipient of the avatar's curse, a military official that jeopardized the temple through military force and occupation of the area, collapsed as military medals filled his throat and mouth. Seeing this on television, Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme and master of the mystic arts, suspected supernatural influence and, disguised as a medical doctor, visited the victim as he lay in an operating room. Hovering over the victim, the Khat appeared only to Dr. Strange, acting on behalf of its master and threatening to turn the victim's heart into tin. A mystic battle between the two ensued, but in a moment of hesitation Dr. Strange was teleported to another dimension (possibly the Thirty Infernos) by the Khat. Using a combination of magic and psychology, the minor demonic being was able to briefly combat Dr. Strange with noticeable effect, but in the end Dr. Strange overcame his weaknesses by admitting them, defeating the demon and returning to Earth in turn.
The Khat did manage to shred Strange's Cloak of Levitation, necessitating magical repair of said item--Snood.

BTS-Among the mystical talismans destroyed by Dr. Strange to keep them out of the claws of the malevolent, alien mystic Urthona (Dr. Strange I#81) was the means of keeping Erlik Khan in check. With these gone, Erlik's evil was once again free to enter the Earthly plane. Without these talismans, Dr. Strange started to increasingly depend upon black magic to aid him.

(Strange Tales II#3/2)-In order to goad Dr. Strange into using more black magic, five Khats, including the one who initially encountered Dr. Strange, antagonized the Sorcerer Supreme and several of his allies. They succeeded, having Dr. Strange use the life-force of a housecat to dispatch one of their numbers. Through physical force, they were herded into a mystic circle and then mystically teleported away by Strange. This diversion may have been part of a greater conspiracy to soften up Dr. Strange for a confrontation with Shuma-Gorath.

(Strange Tales II#6/2) In an attempt to pry the forces of good further from Dr. Strange, Erlik Khan personally engaged the mage. This was accomplished by tricking Strange into following the animated corpse of a girl named Christa within the lamasery of the Sorcerer Supreme's mentor, the Ancient One. Once inside, Khan appeared with the Khats watching from within an inter-dimensional portal behind him. In an effort to repel the demon, Dr. Strange called upon the souls of his dead allies, the Defenders. This being yet another act of the Black Arts on the Doctor's part, Erlik Khan departed this dimension with his mission successfully completed.

Comments: Peter Gillis and Terry Shoemaker created Erlik Khan. Peter Gillis and Chris Warner created the Khat(s).

What are the details for the story with the imprisonment of the Khats by the priests and the same for Erlik by the Ancient One?

The name Erlik Khan was used in a Robert E. Howard story entitled "The Daughter of Erlik Khan" (© 1974, Glenn Lord), appearing in a series of stories centered around the hero El Borak aka Francis Xavier Gordon, an Irish-American adventurer/soldier of fortune wandering Afghanistan and other parts of Central Asia. The Khirgiz, a vicious and xenophobic race dwelling near Mount Erlik in Afghanistan, were of Mongolian extraction and practiced a violent and degenerate form of devil worship, including the leaving of offerings at the feet of an effigy of Erlik Khan hidden behind a silken curtain.

It is uncertain if Erlik Khan is one and the same as the dark god Erlik, an aspect of that dread deity, or merely a vassal entity named in the death god's honor. Khan is a Mongolian title often used to denote kings, rulers, and military leaders, commonly used throughout the Hyborian Era (i.e. Munthasem Khan, bearer of the Hand of Nergal) and later periods (i.e. Genghis Khan and Ak Khan the "White King"). If Erlik Khan and Erlik the god are indeed the same (which I personally doubt - - Greg O.) then he appeared briefly in Conan the Barbarian#120 as the master of Vonndhar, a Valusian nobleman and soldier given power by the dark god. As this is not certain a separate, but connected profile for Erlik, Lord of the Seventh Hell, will be completed shortly.

Bearing in mind my limited knowledge of the Hyborian era and mythology, my guess would be that the Erlik Khan mentioned in a Robert E. Howard story entitled "The Daughter of Erlik Khan" (© 1974, Glenn Lord), refers actually to the Siberian/Mongolian God Erlik, who would appear to be the same as the Hyborian God (The Hyrkanians were the ancestors of many nations similar to the Russians). However, the demon Erlik Khan, an agent of Shuma-Gorath, has little else in common other than the name. Either Erlik underwent some sort of demonic degeneration--which is a common thing, actually--or, more likely, it was just another demon trying to capitalize on the name--which was also quite common.

It was never clear as to who actually magically affected the metal-mouthed military official, the Khat or the avatar.

Later on in Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme, it was established that Agamotto had saved several of the tomes and talismans Strange thought he had destroyed, making for a possible continuity glitch as far as for allowing Erlik Khan a means of escape. If this means for escape was not destroyed, Agamotto possibly may have allowed Khan to escape in order to test Dr. Strange's resolve in the midst of darkness or just for something to do-"he's" that kind of entity.

Profile by Kyle Smith and Greg O'Driscoll


Erlik Khan may or may not have any connections to:

The Khats should not be confused with:

The avatar of Kamar-Taj should not be confused with:

Yasmeena the Daughter of Erlik Khan (yet to appear in the Marvel Universe) should not be confused with:



Demonic cat-like servants of Erlik Khan. Possibly, they had characteristics typically associated with feline characters such as heightened senses and agility, but they were unable to physically overcome physically regular humans such as Wong and Dr. Strange. Then again, they could have been holding back. Holding back? Both Wong and Dr. Strange are skilled adepts in the martial arts, especially Wong. Hardly "ordinary" - - Greg O. A feline feature the Khats definitely possessed was claws. Upon touch, they could cause physical damage or have a magical effect such as transmuting the chemical composition of their target or transporting their victim to a dimension which may have been one of the Thirty Infernos. In this dimension, their magical ability apparently increased. Here, one of them was shown to cause a mystic maelstrom, grow in size, and telekinetically grasp an object. The Khats seem to have the general gift to get under a person's skin, knowing damaging personal details about them.

--Dr. Strange II#77 (Strange Tales II#3/2, 6/2



images: (without ads)
Strange Tales II#6, Cover (Erlik Khan main image)

Dr. Strange II#77 (June, 1986) - Peter Gillis (writer), Chris Warner (artist), Carl Potts (editor)
Strange Tales II#3 (June, 1987) - Peter Gillis (writer), Chris Warner (pencils), Randy Emberlin (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Strange Tales II#6 (September, 1987) - Peter Gillis (writer), Terry Shoemaker (pencils), Randy Emberlin (inks), Carl Potts (editor)

Last updated: 01/16/03

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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