Real Name:Ghaszash Nyirh


Occupation: Agent of Shuma-Gorath, corruptor of men

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Agent of Shuma-Gorath, Old Ones (Erlik Khan, Water Elemental, Arioch, others unnamed), ally of Nightmare

Enemies: Dr. Strange, Kaluu

Known Relatives: None; (Unless the "Old Ones" are all related)

Aliases: Ghaszaszh Nyrih; Kaluu, Dr. Strange, Clea [took the forms of]

Base of Operations: Extra-dimensional realm of banishment; formerly Earth, specifically the African continent

First Appearance: Strange Tales II#9/2 (December, 1987)

Powers: Ghaszaszh Nyirh is apparently an extra-dimensional demon, who has various, apparently vast, mystical powers.  He can change forms, create illusions, shape/distort the forms of humans who worship him, give those same humans some form of food, and shoot powerful energy blasts from his eyes.

History: The origin of Ghaszaszh Nyirh are unknown.

BTS - Prior to the rise of man, the Old Ones ruled the earth.  Included in this group were the demons Shuma-Gorath, Erlik Khan, and Ghaszaszh Nyirh.  At some point in the distant past, they were sealed off from the Earth dimension by Earth's sorcerors, some of which utilized black magic to contain the demons.

(Dr. Strange II#81 - BTS) - To save his friends from the alien sorceror Urthona, Dr. Strange is forced to destroy virtually all of his talismans and scrolls.  (In reality the Vishanti deity Agamatto took them for safe-keeping.)  This act collapsed the barriers which kept the Old Ones imprisoned in their dimensions, allowing them free reign on Earth.

(Strange Tales II#3/2 - BTS) - Ghaszaszh Nyirh is one of the points of evil depicted on Dr. Strange's globe.

(Strange Tales II#8/2 - BTS) - From the city of Kamar-Tai, Dr. Strange views the building of Ghaszaszh Nyirh's temple in Africa and the sacrifices committed to him.

(Strange Tales II#9/2 - BTS) - Ghaszaszh Nyirh sets himself up as a god in a famine-stricken section of Afrcia.  In return for their worship, which includes human sacrifice and the giving up of their souls, Nyirh gives the starving populace food and warps their bodies.

(Strange Tales II#9/2) - Dr. Strange, in a corrupted state resulting from his utilization of black magic, and his new mentor, Kaluu, arive in Africa to combat Ghaszaszh Nyirh.  There they behold the locals waiting to be admitted into Nyirh's temple.  Strange wants to sneak in with a disguise, but Kaluu prevents this.  They ultimately plant Strange's essence in a child whose mother has sold herself to Nyirh.   Inside the temple, which appears to have living walls, they find many deformed supplicants.  When they arrive in front of the demon himself, Strange and Kaluu detonate a spell, apparently destroying the temple and its defenses.  From the explosion Nyirh's voice challenges them.

(Strange Tales II#10/2) - Strange and Kaluu enter the temple, which is merely damaged, not destroyed.  Inside it is empty and maze-like and only through Kaluu'd wisdom do they make it to its master, Ghaszaszh Nyirh.  When confronting the mages he takes Kaluu's form and then Strange's, to attempt to drive a wedge between the sorcerors.  When this tactic fails, he takes Clea's form, but is trapped in this form by Strange.  He then assaults Kaluu, appearing to tear out his heart and when Dr. Strange goes to help, blasts out Strange's left eye with a green energy blast.  Strange flees and is able to seal off the temple with Kaluu, who was crafting an illusion, advising him.  Nyirh is sealed off and his temple destroyed.

(Invaders Now!#4 - BTS) - Ghaszasth Nyirth was invoked by a survivor from Nazi experiments during World War II, who wielded the Spear of Destiny, in a ritual to summon Shuma-Gorath to Earth in Vliet, Netherland.

Created by Peter B. Gillis and Terry Shoemaker

Ghaszaszh Nyirh is responsible for Dr. Strange joining the left-eye-eyepatch-wearers-club, (members include Nick Fury and Wolverine in his Patch persona) for a time.  Dr. Strange kept the eyepatch until Dr. Strange: Sorceror Supreme#7, where Agamatto gave him Silver Dagger's left eye. (Eww!)
The eyepatch was apparently an attempt to A.) Make Dr. Strange "pay" for using black magic and B.) make him appear more "mysterious."

Also, Ghaszaszh Nyirh's "true" form may not have been definitely seen.  I take it the spider/insect being depicted in STII#9 is his true form as the temple he is in resembles it, but during his fight with Strange and Kaluu, Nyirh only appears as one of them or Clea so perhaps his true form is never seen.

Additionally, while Nyirh claims that "Nightmare- Erlik Khan- Ghaszaszh Nyirh-- we are one," I assume he is meaning figuratively, in that they all desire the spreading of chaos throughout earth, and that they are not literally the same entity ala Kang/Immortus/Rama Tut.

Although it's not that popular, I really like the second series of Strange Tales.  It has some Dr. Strange stories which are unlike any other out there and combined with Dr. Strange II#76-81 and Dr. Strange:Sorceror Supreme#1-4 comprise writer Peter B. Gillis' underated run on the character.

by The Squid

The Old Ones should not be confused with:

A frequent source of confusion/contention, even amongst the writers for the Appendix:

Strange Tales II#9 (December, 1987) - Peter Gillis (writer), Terry Shoemaker (pencils), Randy Emberlin (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Strange Tales II#10 (January, 1988) - Peter Gillis (writer), Richard Case (pencils), Randy Emberlin (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Invaders Now!#4 (February, 2011) - Alex Ross (story), Christos Gage (story & writer), Caio Reis (artist), Bill Rosemann (editor)

Last updated10/29/16

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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