Real Name: Vera Gemini (seems likely to be an alias)
Identity/Class: Human/Demon hybrid, magic user
Occupation: Would-be world conqueror
Group Membership: The Cult (possibly known as the Harvesters of Eyes, which included Agents of Fortune and Death, Reapers of Souls, and a number of non-powered followers)
Affiliations: Belathauzer and his demon hordes; Devil-Slayer (former Reaper of Souls)
Enemies: Devil Slayer, Defenders (Dr. Strange, Hellcat, Hulk, Nighthawk)
Known Relatives: Parents (one human, one demon)
Base of Operations: A temple deep in the tropical rain forest of Mexico's Gulf region
First Appearance: Defenders I#58 (April, 1978)
Powers: Vera Gemini possesses advanced magical power inherent in her hybrid form, as well as the knowledge of how to use it. With the aid of human sacrifice, she could open an interdimensional portal and summon on "elder" God/Demon. She possessed sufficient power to gamble with higher order demons and come out victorious. She could access and utilize the power of the Amulet of Agamotto with minimal effort. She could levitate, project powerful bursts of energy from her eyes, and transform back and forth between her human and demonic forms of her own power.
Weight: 130 lbs.
Eyes: Red; (human form) blue
Hair: None; (human form) black
History: Vera Gemini is the daughter of a human and a demon, although the specific details of this union are unknown. Her dual nature caused her to be scorned by both sides of her ancestry.
She developed a cult following, interested in the demon-worship she professed. This cult developed into a large organization, with varying levels. Some of her agents, such as Devil-Slayer, served as a Reaper of Souls. Other titles included Agent of Fortune, who would procure objects of value to her, and Agents of Death, who served as assassins. Vera and her group trained Devil-Slayer, but he eventually came to disagree with their plans and methods. He left the group, and soon began to oppose them directly, becoming one of their strongest foes.
(Marvel Spotlight I#33 - BTS) - Members of the Cult, some possessing demonic form, assaulted Devil-Slayer, Deathlok the Demolisher, and Cory Payne at New Grace Hospital, but they were forced to open a portal and flee from the two superhumans.
(Defenders I#58-60) - One year later, Vera began her plot for Xenogenesis, the rebirth of a demon race that ruled Earth in the past. She sent her current Agent of Fortune to steal the Amulet of Agamotto for Dr. Strange. She attempted to encourage Eric Payne, the Devil-Slayer, to return to her side, but to no avail. When she revealed her plans to him, he was so shocked that his psychic shield dropped, and he revealed his true form. To anyone nearby, she appeared to be an innocent woman being accosted by a costumed criminal. Several members of the Defenders were nearby, made that assumption, and attacked Payne. During the struggle, Vera escaped, and headed for her base in Mexico.
Vera led a ritual mass sacrifice to summon the Elder God/Demon Belathauzer to Earth. She revealed her plot to place each of his demon-horde into a human host body of power and influence. She intended for this to allow them to takeover the entire continent of North America, and from there, the world. She used the Amulet of Agamotto to hold open the portal to the demon realm, allowing their continued influx into the Earth dimension. Dr. Strange, in astral form, entered the demon realm in an effort to regain his amulet and stop Xenogenesis. However, Vera ambushed him and used the power of the amulet to merge several demons with his astral form, causing him to become a mindless, rampaging demon-creature.
Meanwhile, her cultists provided a continuation of the ritual, hoping to gain favored positions when the demons took over. However, they instead served as the final sacrifice. When the portal to the demon realm was forced the rest of the way open, it released explosive force, which stunned the cultists, making them easy prey for the hungry demons which rushed out.
Vera manipulated the demon overlords in human form into playing games of chance to decide which of them would rule. However, Vera instead proved the victor, took command of the demon hordes, and condemned the demon overlords to the same fate as the rest of humanity.
The Defenders, having quickly realized their mistake with Devil-Slayer, joined forces with him and followed him to the Mexican rain forest, where they fought the invading demon horde. Hellcat managed to steal the Shadow Cloak from the Agent of Fortune, leaving him virtually powerless. Hellcat ambushed Vera and dropped the Shadow Cloak over her, causing her to vanish to an unknown dimension, where she was apparently trapped.
Valkyrie skewered the demon form of Dr. Strange with her enchanted sword, Dragonfang, allowing his astral self to return to its senses and its body. Strange then led Nighthawk into the demon realm, where he succeeded in taking the Amulet of Agamotto from its position within the portal. This pulled all of the demons back within it, and closed off the portal.
Comments: Created by David Anthony Kraft and Ed Hannigan
Vera was only banished to another dimension. You'd think someone with her magical knowledge would have made it back by now...unless some of those demon overlords caught up with her and had their vengeance.
I don't think Vera's cult ever received a name. The Agents of Fortune were select individuals within the group. A caption in issue #60 referred to their temple as the "dark retreat of the Harvesters of Eyes." Xenogenesis fits well, too, but I don't think it's the original name, or her plans would have been obvious all along, and Devil-Slayer wouldn't have been so stunned by them (not that Harvesters of Eyes is very benign sounding).
Gemini obviously refers to her dual nature. She was never called anything other than this, so its not clear if that is her real name. If they really wanted to go overboard, she could be Janice (Janus) Gemini...maybe that's her twin sister.
Not just anyone can manipulate a Shadow Cloak. However, Hellcat used the mental powers she had gained from her training by Moondragon to control it. Hellcat wore the Shadow Cloak for a few issues, then decided it was too dangerous, and folded it in on itself.
When you take a good look at the Agent of Fortune...he's pretty goofy looking.
You can get a little more info on the Xenogenesis deal by checking out Belathauzer.
The issues made reference to this fact, but I still forgot to put it in. Thanks to Jim Ambuehl for reminding me, and filling me in on the specifics. This storyline was a tribute to the band Blue Oyster Cult (ie. "Fear the Reaper," "Burning for You," "Godzilla," etc.). "Vera Gemini" and "Harvester of Eyes" were songs on their album AGENTS OF FORTUNE.
Vera Gemini has an entry in Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic.
Clarifications: Vera Gemini has no known connection to any of the various (3 or 4) incarnations of the group Zodiac.
The Agent of Fortune was a member of Vera's cult, who had been trained in the use of the Shadow Cloak. There may be multiple Agents, or perhaps there is only one at a time. Rules are very specific with Vera's cult: the Agent of Fortune had the opportunity and wished to slay Dr. Strange, but was forbidden, as he was not an Agent of Death. Nonetheless, this Agent was sufficiently adept that he succeeded in overpowering Dr. Strange and stealing his Amulet. He was able to accomplish this with the assistance of the spells of Vera, which allowed him to enter his Sanctum and catch him unawares. He also proved talented enough in its use to go one-on-one with Devil-Slayer, who had had several years of experience on him. He lost his cloak to Hellcat. The Agent's primary offensive weapon was the Shadow Cloak, which served as a portal to any number of extra-dimensional realms. He could reach within the cloak to obtain virtually any type of weapon he desired. In addition, the Cloak could be manipulated to act as an extension of his own body, and wrap around or stike at his foes. He was reasonably trained in armed and unarmed combat.
Last updated: 04/11/05
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