GERVASSE

Real Name: Gervasse

Identity/Class: Human magic user (English, Age of Camelot)

Occupation: Wizard

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: King Arthur, Modred the Mystic

Enemies: Merlin Demonspawn (to some extent)

Known Relatives: Lady Janice (Daughter)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: His own castle in 6th Century England

First Appearance: Marvel Chillers#1 (October, 1975)

Powers/Abilities: Gervasse was a skilled magician, though many of his powers haven't been shown.

History: (Marvel Chillers#1) - Gervasse was a wizard who took Modred as his apprentice. Modred and Gervasse's daughter Janice were in love and Gervasse agreed that he would consent to their marriage when Modred had graduated from Gervasse's service and became a mage. Before that could happen, however, King Arthur sent a message that Merlin wanted Modred to serve as his own apprentice. Gervasse had heard tales that Merlin had grown strange and wicked of late (in fact, he had been replaced by an imposter).  Still, King Arthur had ordered it, so Gervasse felt he had to listen, even if it meant Modred would never return. Modred, however, was not willing to go and told Gervasse he would find the Darkhold and get the power needed to defeat Merlin. Gervasse warned Modred that it was a terrible idea, but did not stop him. Once Modred had been overcome by the Darkhold, Gervasse took Modred's lifeless form and put it in a crypt that would keep it safe until the day that Modred awakened (see comments for the full story).

Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo, Yong Montano and possibly Marv Wolfman.

We've caught glimpses of Gervasse in occasional flashbacks to Modred's life story, but they cover the same ground we were shown in that first appearance.

(Marvel Chillers I#1 - BTS/Dr. Strange III#11/2 (fb)) - Seeking an aid against the plots of Morgan le Fay, "Merlin" summoned Modred, the apprentice to the sorcerer Gervasse, to Camelot to serve as apprentice. Modred had no interest in serving under "that dry and aging charlatan, who is so senile that he cannot tell a wand from a poker." Gervasse echoed his sentiment, commenting, "Merlin has grown strange of late, and there art whispered tales of dealings he has made with dark forces! His students are sworn to silence by him, and none may leave on pain of death"
    Rather then go to train under "Merlin" in Camelot, and thus leave his beloved Janice, he instead sought power from the Darkhold, and was overcome by its power.
     That dire event attracted the attention of the real Merlin, who was still away with the Black Knight. By then, Merlin was tired and weary, probably a consequence of the world-shattering emergency he had been dealing with. He knew that, even with the Black Knight's help, he could no longer forestall Camelot's ultimate fate. He also knew that he would have to deal with Demonspawn upon his return to Camelot. So, when on top of all this, he sensed the power of the Darkhold rising again, Merlin knew he needed help, and he called upon the Roman Catholic Church. Using a crystal ball, he communicated with the Pope (for which Pope, see comments below). In those days the Church was not afraid to use its powerful white magic to fight evil.
    Then, Brendan and Merlin entombed Modred, who was still in the Darkhold's power.

by Patrick D Ryall

CLARIFICATIONS:
Gervasse should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Marvel Chillers#1, Page 10, panel 5


Appearances:
Marvel Chillers#1 (October, 1975) - Marv Wolfman & Bill Mantlo (writers), Ed Hannigan & Young Montano (pencils), John Romita, Frank Giacoia & Yong Montano (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Dr. Strange III#11 (December, 1989) - Roy Thomas, Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier (writers), David & Dan Day (artists), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 10/22/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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