MARDUK

Real Name: Unknown, possibly Marduk

Identity/Class: Babylonian/Mesopotamian/Sumerian God;

Occupation: Currently unknown;
    former God of Wisdom;
    former C.E.O. of Oracle INC;
    former Museum Curator

Group Membership: Annunaki (Mesopotamian Gods); The Four Winds (Enlil, Ninurta, Hadad, and Martu)-childhood friends;
Oracle INC; leader of the Everlasting;

Affiliations: Aqhat, Collective Man (pawn), Flag-Smasher and ULTIMATUM (funded by Oracle under Marduk), Papahanau-Moku (actually Whiro)

Enemies: Citizen V (John Watkins II and III), Kingu, Roger Aubrey/Mighty Destroyer, V Battalion, Thor Odinson, Tiamat;
    possibly Pazuzu (see comments)

Known Relatives: Ea (father), Damkina (mother), Anu (grandfather), Ki (Gaea, grandmother), Anshar (great-grandfather), Kishar (great-grandmother), Enlil (Dagon), Ba'al Hadad, Kinyras, Martu, Tammuz (uncles), Ishtar, Ereshkigal (aunts), Zarpandit (first wife), Nebo (son), Nisasba, Nanshe, Nina (sisters), Ninsar, Uttu (half-sisters), Enkimdu, Enbilulu, Asnan, Asarlubi (half-brothers), Gibil, Ninuarta, Nuski, Nergal, Shamash, Ullikummis (cousins)

Aliases: Zoltan Nestor;
    He has over fifty names, many of which are those of mortal kings or other deities whose attributes he usurped. 1. Asarluhi, 2. Marduk, 3. The Son, The Majesty of the Gods, 4. Marukka, 5. Mershakushu, 6. Lugal-dimmer-ankia (King of heaven and earth), 7. Bel, 8. Nari-lugal-dimmer-ankia, 9. Asarluhi, 10. Namtila, 11. Namru, 12. 'Asare, 13. Asar-alim, 14. Asar-alim-nuna, 15. Tutu, 16. Zi-ukkina, 17. Ziku, 18. Agaku, 19. Shazu, 20. Zisi, 21. Suhrim, 22. Suhgurim, 23. Zahrim, 24. Zahgurim, 25. Enbilulu, 26. Epadun, 27. Gugal, 28. Hegal, 29. Sirsir, 30. Malah, 31. Gil, 32. Gilima, 33. Agilima, 34. Zulum, 35. Mummu, 36. Zulum-ummu, 37. Gizh- numun-ab, 38. Lugal-ab-dubur, 39. Pagal-guena, 40. Lugal-Durmah, 41. Aranuna, 42. Dumu-duku, 43. Lugal-duku, 44. Lugal-shuanna, 45. Iruga, 46. Irqingu, 47. Kinma, 48. Kinma, 49. E-sizkur, 50. Addu, 51. Asharu, 52. Neberu, 53. Enkukur.
    see also comments

Place of Birth: Babylon (part of modern day Iraq)

Base of Operations: currently unknown;
    formerly Dilmun (the realm of the Mesopotamian Gods);
    formerly a base in an abandoned oil refinery along the Black Sea;
    formerly Oracle INC., Manhattan, New York;
    formelry Zurich, Switzerland

First Appearance: (mentioning of the god Marduk): Strange Tales I#150/2 (November, 1966)
    (Marduk of the Everlasting): Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#2, 3 (August, 1992)

Powers/Abilities: Marduk was likely always quite powerful, perhaps on the level of the other Godheads, such as Zeus or Odin. He was perhaps initially a warrior god, like Thor, but later gained power from Anu, making him more like Thor with the Odin-power.
    He has been described as having four eyes and four ears, and could emit fire from his mouth when he speaks. He formerly rode a storm-chariot driven by Slayer, Pitiless, Racer, and Flyer, poison-toothed, tireless steeds. He was also gifted in magic.
    When first seen, his powers had diminished to the point (perhaps from lack of worship over the years), that Thor overpowered him without much of a struggle. After this point, Thor drained his powers, leaving him close to a human in ability, although he retained his immunity to aging and conventional disease.
    Marduk either gained or retained the ability to steal the soul at any point in the future of any mortal with whom he came into direct contact.
    Backed by the Genesis Well, when in contact with its waters, Marduk was able to heal from any wound, and siphon power from others by draining their lives Some of his agents designed equipment to enable him to manipulate others and drain energy through other means.

Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 188 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Black

History: (mythological history)- Marduk is one of the gods worshipped by the people of ancient Sumer, Babylonia, and Mesopotamia. He was a god of Wisdom. He was born mature and powerful over 5, 000 years ago.

    He was a childhood friend of the four winds, Enlil, Ninurta, Hadad, and Martu and even followed them into adventures. He reportedly helped Ninurta in slaying Anzu the bird-god who stole the mystical Tablets of Destiny. Marduk, however, became head of the Babylonian Empire. In some myths this was by deposing Enlil and Ninurta who had deposed Anu. In other versions, he becomes king of the gods by general consensus in agreement to his demands to be made king if the other gods wish him to defeat the dragon/mother-goddess-turned-destroyer Tiamat for them.

    Some sources describe Marduk as having used the corpse of Tiamat to landscape much of the Earth, and to create the first humans.

(Strange Tales I#150(fb)-BTS) - At some point, priests of Marduk gained possession of the legendary Book of the Vishanti, one of the most powerful books of white magic in existence. The Book was placed under the guard of a griffin.
The sorcerer who would become known as the Ancient One traveled back in time to Babylonia, and managed to wrest the Book from the Griffin.

(Strange Tales I#150/2) - The sorcerer Kaluu hurled the Book of the Vishanti back to ancient Babylonia. Dr. Strange and the Ancient One both journeyed back to time to retake the Book. Strange attempted to take the Book, but was powerless against the griffin. The Ancient One rightly figured that they were victims of some sort of time paradox, and that since the Ancient One had taken the Book the first time, it was only he who could ever do so. The Ancient One again dispatched the griffin and retook the Book.

 

 

 

 

(Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#4(fb)) - @ 980 AD, Marduk, having lost much of his power over the years, sought to storm Asgard and drain the life forces of the Norse Gods to empower himself. Thor attacked and defeated Marduk, draining him of much of his power, leaving him essentially human except for his immortality.

 

 

 

(Tower of Shadows#7/2 - BTS) - Marduk was invoked by a gypsy to avenge her daughter killed by "Black John" Wollaston. The curse placed on the Wollastons endured for centuries.

BTS-At some point, Marduk joined up with Aqhat and Papahanau-Moku (actually Whiro) and formed an organization known as the Everlasting.

(Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#1(fb)-BTS) - @ 1953, Aqhat is first observed in action, and mentions the Everlasting.

(Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#2(fb)-BTS) - @ 1971, The V Battalion learn of Marduk's connection to the Everlasting from Amahl Farouk.

(Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#3(fb) - @ 1981, Now based in Zurich, Switzerland, and posing as a museum curator-type named Zoltan Nestor (that's a villain's name, if I ever heard one!), Marduk is sought for information on god Marduk and his involvement with the Everlasting by Roger Aubrey, aka the Mighty Destroyer of the V Battalion. Nestor sends Aubrey off on a wild-goose chase that yields a few decades of freedom from discovery. In addition, Marduk/Nestor also shook hands with Aubrey, and thus gained power over his life.

 

BTS--Marduk took over Oracle, INC, which had been sold by Namor to Stark-Fujikawa.

(Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#1-BTS, 2-4) - Marduk and his agents in the Everlasting began to turn up the notch in their plans. Using Oracle's resources, Marduk funded and supplied weaponry to the anti-national terrorist group ULTIMATUM (Underground Liberated Totally Integrated Mobile Army To Unite Mankind), led by Flag-Smasher. Marduk planned to use all of the souls slain in the battles with ULTIMATUM to fuel the Genesis Well, from which he hoped to regain his full power.

    At the same time, Aqhat and other agents of Marduk captured the Chinese hero known as the Collective Man. Using the technology of the Everlasting and/or Oracle, they enhanced his powers such that he actually drained the life force from his Chinese fellows, sending the entire nation into a comatose state which approached death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Citizen V, John Watkins III, slew the Collective Man, reversing that threat, and convinced Flag-Smasher to abandon his current plan in exchange for being given sovereignty of the nation Rumekistan. Infuriated by the actions of Aubrey's agent, Marduk took his revenge by stealing Aubrey's soul and adding it the Genesis Well. Citizen V tracked down Marduk and battled him, but found himself in somewhat of a stalemate when he could not injure Marduk while he stood in the Well, but that Marduk could not leave the Well to fight him.

    Aubrey's spirit, however, managed to fight back against Marduk, and rallied the other residents/victims of the Genesis Well to oppose Marduk. Citizen V blew up the Genesis Well, which flooded both Marduk and Aubrey's spirits with power. The energies ripped Marduk to pieces and restored Aubrey to life.

 

 

 

 

Comments: Marduk first mentioned, but not shown by Roy Thomas.
    Adapted by Fabian Nicieza, Lewis LaRosa, and Klebs Junior.

    Howard the Duck III#3 mentioned in flashback that the Priestess of the demon Pazuzu warred against the Priests of the God "Marduk or Baal, or Dagon, or whoever."

  • Ah, what a mess continuity can become!
    OK, Here's the deal (prepare yourself for a long rant/tirade, or skip past this):
    (1) Warren Ellis, great writer.
        In 1994, he takes over the Hellstorm series and turns it into a thing of beauty (actually, I thought Nieves and Kaminski's runs were great, too...I don't know why books like this can't stay on the market, while Venom and others just keeps on sucking!...digressing). He reveals that Hellstrom/Hellstorm's father is actually Marduk, the Babylonian God, who has degenerated into a demon in the millennia since he was worshipped. It's a great story--Hellstorm slays his father and takes over the title of ruler of his realm of Hell. Leonardo Manco's art is very impressive!
    (2) Fabian Nicieza, an extremely talented writer, who is VERY good at using old, unused characters and resolving old plotlines (Which we, at the Appendix, love!). Fabian wrote the Citizen V series (@ 2002), and, having not read Ellis' stories (this is kind of ironic, since Fabian was the editor of Hellstorm during Nieves and Kaminski's runs, which just preceded Ellis'), picked Marduk from a Mythology Encyclopedia while looking for an interesting god for the story. His Marduk bears little resemblance to Ellis' version.
        For the purpose of this profile, we are treating the demon/Satan version and the degenerated god shown by Nicieza as different in this profile. If you want the original profile I did, which placed them as combined versions, as well as the discussion on how and why they might be the same, check here: Marduk

    LIKELY EXPLANATIONS ON THE TWO BEING SEPARATE BEINGS.

  • Marduk Kurios, the demon from Hellstorm, was mistaken for Marduk and worshipped by the Sumerians, etc. but was not the original god. This sort of thing is extremely common, as many of the Eternals have been mistaken for gods over the years. This would make Fabian's Marduk the original Babylonian god. see also Flank's similar, but better, explanation under #4.
  • Explanation courtesy of Flank McLargehuge (It's a good one!)
    Stephen Loss in HELLSTORM #16:  "But you, Daimon Hellstorm, now knew that the creature had been around long before human lips formed the word 'satan,'  The Sumerians had a name for him.  The Sumerians; a people so ancient they could trace the lineage of their kings from before the Great Flood.  So ancient that they recorded the times when feuds in Hell were actually fought on earth.  Sumerians saw the creature win his tract of Hell in battle.  In righteous fear of the awful things It did that day, they fell into worship of the beast. And they recorded his name well."

        So my theory, a variation on the Set/Seth thing, goes like this: Marduk Kurios was a demon, and became known to the early Sumerians (or a proto-Sumerian civilization perhaps as far back as the Hyborian age) when he won his realm of hell in a battle with a rival on earth. They worshipped him in fear, but he went back to his section of hell, and his worship dwindled over the generations.  Millennia (or maybe just centuries) later, a new god came to be worshipped in Sumeria's successor Babylonia, a god of wisdom who had 50 different names.  One of which, chosen because of the resonance it held in legend, was Marduk, which was the name it eventually became best known by.  This is the one whose power eventually dwindled to the point that he started sucking the souls out of other gods, and then large quantities of humans.

        My feelings on the subject:  I really liked Hellstorm's slaying of his father, and invoking his true name and everything made it seem far more final than Mephisto getting blown apart on alternate sundays.  I think the idea of him being reincarnated as Hellstorm's child is a really cool idea, and I quite like the symmetry.  But I don't think he and the Marduk from CITIZEN V are the same.  The connections are just too tenuous, and I think it takes away from the impact of Kurios' death if he pops up several years later in a totally unrelated book.  I also like the symmetry of Marduk Kurios taking on the name Satan to enhance his reputation, while a lesser god takes on the name Marduk for the same reason.
    Sounds good to me. It's probably more likely than my explanation, too. Still, it remains up for debate--Snood.
  • Nonetheless, I'm relatively certain that Warren Ellis intended Marduk Kurios to be the Mesopotamian God

I'm sure there are Conan references to Marduk as well. I just don't know where to look for them.
    Per Degaton points out that Marduk is referenced (his name is taken in vain) in Conan the Buccaneer, by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. This is used word for word in its adaptation in the MU, in Savage Sword of Conan#40. Sigurd of Vanaheim, marooned on island, encounters Conan and exclaims, "Now, by the claws of Nergal and the guts of Marduk, mate, ye be a goodly sight to look on!"
    This dates Marduk to at least 10, 000 BC, during the Hyborian Era.

Marduk and the mythology

    Babylonian Gods rank right up there with Lovecraft's work as one of the most common sources of demons in the MU: see the Annunaki
    I had mentioned previously that I thought these gods may have degenerated into demons due to millennia without worship. To clarify: I didn't mean that any god without worship would automatically become a demon after a given period. It just seemed like one possible motivation/explanation. However, the Mesopotamian Gods seem to have been particulary susceptible to this phenomenon. They have had the longest time to...spoil.

There's a nice summary of Marduk at http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze33gpz/assyrbabyl-faq.html#Marduk which details his life in greater detail.

Yet another small clarification/moot point:
    Marduk is often described as a Sumerian God, when in reality he is a Mesopotamian God, although he was "ret-conned" into Sumerian Mythology by the Babylonians (I guess he's had a few millennia's of ret-cons...).
    William Uchtman, one of our myth-masters explains this: Marduk is Babylonian, but Babylonian myth does tell "flashback" stories of Marduk's life during Sumerian times such as following Enlil in the slaying of Apsu and Anzu. In a sense, he gained prominence in the hierarchy of Babylonian myth. It's the same way Vishnu was a minor character in the Vedic myth and gained prominence in Hindu religion.
    One tiny nit: while Marduk may have used the title of El, it was supposed to be the Phoenician title of Ea/Enki, god of water and magic and brother of Anu and Eriskegal.
William did give me a few bits on Marduk's background, though he disagreed with the characters treatment by Ellis, and doesn't think they should be considered the same. His opinion is that several demons have usurped the name of the real Sumerian / Mesopotamian / Babylonian Gods, but that they are distinct characters, which fits with my second explanation above.

And further relevant material c/o Greg O, another mythinator:
    Marduk is a Babylonian deity that rose to prominence after the decline of Sumerian political and military power. Babylon became the center of political, military, and religious might after the decline of Sumerian culture. Marduk, the city's patron god, declared that Babylon was the center of the universe around which the world revolved (so one would guess astronomy wasn't Marduk's strong suit). He likely had some kind of Sumerian antecedent, but seems to be a principally Mesopotamian and more particularly Babylonian deity.
    He had a hell of a lot of influence on later religions including Christianity - - Marduk fastened the two tablets of destiny to his chest after slaying and defeating Tiamat. Sounds an awful lot like two important tablets Ol' Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai to me. Also there very well could be a Satan/Marduk correlation, given the "our name is Legion" business we discussed elsewhere and the fact that many deities were considered to be manifestations of Marduk and he was attributed as having fifty names. In fact, here is where it gets really weird - - El is sometimes seen as an aspect of Marduk and the Hebrew God was often referred to as "El" Shaddai Jehovah (mind you this isn't el in the Hispanic sense meaning "the" but an actual name). Toss onto that the fact that one of Marduk's epithets is Bel which means "Lord" - the Lord Marduk? Neat eh?

Nick Hill--I'd say your list of cultural progression (Sumerian->Babylonian/Mesopotamian->Assyrian->Persians. The Phoenicians were actually a seperate group based in what is now Israel/Jordan.  They are also sometimes called the Caananites who inhabited the region that the ancient (and current) nation of Israel was founded on.  In mythology texts their myths are often grouped with those revolving around the Jewish faith, hence Fabian's error in describing Aqhat as a Jewish character) is pretty accurate. Of course history is never that cut and dried. It's not like one culture stops and another one just pops up like Athena jumping out of Zeus' head (oop! mixing metaphors AND pantheons! bad practice!)to take it's place. Rather cultures tend to wax and wane with overlapping tides and circles of influence.

Given Marduk's connection to early Canaanite mythology/religion and the other obvious parallels with Christianity maybe Marduk IS Satan or some sort of  false God/Jehova. I mean one of Christianity's founding tenets (and that of other monotheistic faiths) was that other religions god's (especially pagan religions' gods) were in fact NOT gods but demons deceiving mankind. Perhaps some of this can be tied into Marvels  - class II demon theory: demons that were once gods and have degenerated.

And another, pseudo-relevant comment, courtesy of John McDonagh:
    Yahweh is considered more correct than Jehovah. Jehovah is a mistake from the middle ages. The Jews, you see, eventually decided that saying the name of their deity should be restricted to special occasions, and so they adopted the practice of putting the word Adonai (Lord) next to a reading that contained the word Yahweh. During the middle ages, someone accidentally combined those two words and got "Jehovah". But YHWH is considered more correct. (Incidentally, Muslims do not, as far as I know, use the name Yahweh for God. But then Muslims, according to secular history, did not exist until this whole thing had been worked out.)
http://filebox.vt.edu/users/oraja/YJA3.html mentions the controversy

I'll finish with a Deep Thought, courtesy of Jack Handy (quoted from memory).

    "To understand Mankind, one must first understand the two words that make it up: Mank and Ind.
    No one knows what these two words mean, and that's why no one understands Mankind.
"

In the Annunaki entry in All-New OHotMU Update#3 it is revealed that Marduk became indeed king after slaying Tiamat and Kingu.

CLARIFICATIONS:
It is unclear whether Marduk the god has any known connection to

  • Marduk Kurios, aka Satan, the father of Hellstorm and Satana, @ Marvel Spotlight I#13

    but he presumably as no known connection to:
  • Marduk, one of the Sons of Satannish, @ Dr. Strange I#175
    --hmmm...maybe there's an explanation in there somewhere. This guy was a normal person that joined the cult of the SoS, and took the name Marduk for some reason.
  • Marduk, the black steed of Prince Gaynor the Damned, @ Conan the Barbarian I#14
  • Marduk, the steed of Red Ymir, @ King Conan#1
  • Marduk, the world-destroying "planet" created by the alien Annunaki race, @ Silver Surfer IV#7
  • MARDUK of PANDARVE - theocrat of the city-fortress
        --Strip#16

Tiamat, the dragon/mother of the Mesopotamian Gods has not been seen in the Marvel Universe to the best of my knowledge, although she may be the Leviathan from which's carcass Lilith was reborn in Ghost Rider III#28
She should not be confused with:

  • Tiamat, the extra-terrestrial sent to Earth to destroy S'met'kth the Messiah, @ Deadpool III#21, 22
    --this being came to Earth over 3000 years ago, and may have been mistaken for or named after the original
  • Tiamat, allegedly a former sister planet to Mars hundreds of millions of years ago, destroyed in a bloody war, @ Silver Surfer IV#7

Zahgurim, apparently one of Marduk's many aliases, was likely the inspiration for:

  • Zahgurim, another demon created by Warren Ellis @ Hellstorm#12

Appearances:
Strange Tales I#150 (November, 1966) - Roy Thomas (writer), Bill Everett (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Tower of Shadows#7 (September, 1970) - Allyn Brodsky (writer), Barry Windsor-Smith (pencils), vince Colletta (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#1 (March, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Lewis LaRosa (pencils), Jim Royal (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#2 (May, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Lewis LaRosa (pencils), Scott Koblish, Jim Royal & Udon Studios (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#3 (June, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Lewis LaRosa (pencils), Udon Studios (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Citizen V and the V Battalion: The Everlasting#4 (July, 2002) - Fabian Nicieza (writer), Jose Kleber de Moura Jr. (pencils), Udon Studios (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 11/12/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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