MERLIN DEMONSPAWN

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human mutate

Occupation: Would-be world conqueror; former professional criminal, mentalist, and Chairman of the Board of Merlin Industries

Group Membership: Former owner of the Comic Book Castle and Merlin Industries,
    former leader of a band of armored mercenaries;

Affiliations: Former tribesman of the man who would become Ulysses Bloodstone;
    formerly
Big Mother, the Caretakers of Arcturus, Chandu the Alchemist, the Knights of the Round Table, Mongu, King Arthur Pendragon, le Sabre;
    loosely connected to the
Exo-Mind

Enemies: Avengers, Big Mother, Vera Cantor, Captain Marvel (Genis), Caretakers of Arcturus, Crystal, Dr. Druid, Hulk, Kang the Conqueror, Marlo Jones, Lockjaw, Marilla, Merlin, Moondragon, Red Raven?, Sersi, Thor, X-Men (Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor X), Al (from the Golden Orange), Zelda

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Mad Merlin, Maha Yogi, "Merlin" (imposter), Warlock

Place of Birth: Central Europe, prior to 8, 250 B.C.

Base of Operations: An unidentified extra-dimensional realm;
formerly upstate the Comic Book Castle, Los Angeles, California;
    Merlin Industries, the New Jersey Palisades;
    upstate New York; 
    Manhattan, New York;    
    Camelot (@ 5th or 6th Century AD); 
    Rome, Italy (@ 44 BC);
    Egypt (@ 2500 BC); 
    Central Europe (@ 8, 250 BC)

Education: Tutored by the Caretakers; extensively self-taught

First Appearance:
    (Mad Merlin): Journey into Mystery I#96 (September, 1963)
    (Warlock): X-Men I#30 (March, 1967)
    (Maha Yogi): X-Men I#47 (August, 1968)
    (Merlin Demonspawn): Captain Marvel V#20 (August, 2001)

Powers/Abilities: Great psychic powers, including the ability to cast illusions, control other's minds, project psionic force bolts, create force fields, telekinesis, and teleportation. While his powers have a limited range, they are potent enough so as to be easily confused for magic. More recently, he has undertaken true magic, utilizing certain intricate spells.

    He formerly wore the Jewel of Jeopardy, which was actually a fragment of the Bloodgem, which made him immune to the effects of aging. Though he initially aged rapidly upon its destruction, he has apparently regained his youth and possibly immortality under other, undefined, means, possibly magic.

Height: 6'2"        Weight: 245 lbs.        Eyes: Blue        Hair: Black

History:
(Dr. Strange III#27/2 (fb)) <pre-8250 BC> - The Caretakers of Arcturus mutated a man, granting him great psychic powers. However, before too long, he turned against them.

(Incredible Hulk II#210 (fb)) <8250 BC> - A wandering nomad in Vanaheim (what would become Scandinavia) came across the ritual of Ullux'yl Kwan Tae Syn, the Bloodgem, and the Hellfire Helix. The nomad disrupted the ritual, causing an explosion which exploded the Bloodgem and killed all of the rest of the tribesmen...except one. The nomad went on to become Ulysses Bloodstone, while the one surviving tribesman was the same man previously mutated by the Caretakers. Taking one of the few remaining Bloodgem fragments, the man achieved immortality.

(Incredible Hulk II#210 (fb)) - In ancient Egypt (somewhere between 2686 BC and 2181 BC), the man was witness to the building of the pyramids.

(Incredible Hulk II#210 (fb)) - <44 BC> In ancient Rome, the man stood smugly by while the emperor Julius Caesar was slain.

(Incredible Hulk II#210 (fb) / Avengers Annual#22/2 (fb) - BTS, Thor Annual#17/4 - BTS, Doctor Strange III#11/2 - BTS) -
    In the 6th Century, the Black Knight and Merlin left Camelot to face Morgan Le Fay. The mutate arrived in Camelot during this time and impersonated Merlin during this absence.

(Journey into Mystery I#96 (fb)) - The Merlin imposter used his telepathic and clairvoyant powers in place of spells to predict the future for Arthur. In other cases, his other psychic powers appeared to be true magic, maintaining his illusion as Merlin.

(Strange Tales I#134) - Kang the Conqueror traveled back in time to Camelot, where he overpowered the false Merlin by turning his energies back on him, and imprisoned him in a special cell. Uatu the Watcher, however, recruited the Human Torch and the Thing from the modern era to travel back to Camelot to prevent Kang from altering the course of time. While the Thing fought Kang's forces, the Human Torch freed "Merlin," who then located Kang's ship and destroyed his power energizer, greatly weakening him. "Merlin" then rallied the forces of Camelot to turn against Kang, forcing him to flee.

(Marvel Chillers I#1 - BTS/Dr. Strange III#11/2 (fb)) - Seeking an aid against the plots of Morgan le Fay, "Merlin" summoned Modred (NOT Mordred), 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, Modred 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.

     The Catholic Church sent one of their strongest mystic knights, Brendan--later Saint Brendan. It took the combined powers of Brendan and Merlin to battle and ultimately contain the Darkhold. Brendan then scattered the pieces of the dreaded tome so that it could never again plague mankind (it was, of course, regathered later).

(Marvel Two-In-One#33 (fb) - BTS) - Unwilling to give up on obtaining Modred as an apprentice, "Merlin" placed four elementals at Stonehenge and sent them forward in time to find Modred when he might awaken, and bring Modred back in time to serve him. These elementals arrived in the modern era when Modred had revived, but they were destroyed by Modred, with a little help from the Thing and Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew).

(Incredible Hulk II#210 (fb)) - The true Merlin returned to Camelot, easily overpowering the imposter, and trapping him in a special crypt.
    BTS - The Merlin imposter was exposed with the aid of the Eternal Sersi.

(Journey into Mystery I#96) - Scientists unearthed the crypt of "Merlin" and brought it to a museum in New York. Exposed to air, the Mad Merlin awoke, eager to test his power against modern science. He sent a rocket launch off course, but Thor corrected it, and then learned of the existence of the Mad Merlin from his brother Loki. Thor fought Mad Merlin, where the false wizard used the various monuments and government buildings as weapons. Ultimately, Thor turned back into Don Blake, tricking him into believing that he could metamorphose into any form. Terrified of his power, the Mad Merlin agreed to return to his crypt rather than face him.

(X-Men I#30 (fb) - BTS) - When Thor left the planet for a period of time, he escaped his crypt, abandoning the form of Merlin, and taking the new guise of the Warlock. Establishing a base in a cavern on the outskirts of New York, the Warlock recruited a number of mercenaries, outfitting them and his base with a combination of medieval-type arms, powered by advanced scientific weaponry. He designed a machine able to amplify his own powers, so that he could revert the minds of humanity back to the level of science of the Dark Ages. This would leave it ripe for conquering by him and his men, protected from the effects of his machine.

(X-Men I#30) - Seeking a queen to sit by his side, the Warlock pulled Jean Grey, Marvel Girl, through a warp to him. However, the other X-Men, trying to save Jean, were pulled partially into the warp as well. Professor X, his powers dampened by the Warlock, was brought to him as well. However, Xavier still managed to bring the X-Men the rest of the way through the warp. The Warlock still managed to control them all initially, but soon his powers began to show the strain of being stretched across too many targets at once. Their combined powers kept him off balance, and Xavier succeeded in driving him back into his comatose state. The X-Men then mopped up his remaining mercenary agents, and they wrapped the Warlock up and took him...somewhere.

(X-Men I#47) - Adopting the role of the Maha Yogi, he worked out of a theatre in the East Village, where he hypnotized whole crowds, transforming them into psychic servants that he could control at a later date. Iceman and the Beast happened across one of the shows and, their minds trained to resist control by Xavier, they recognized  what was going on and confronted him. In mid-struggle, his Jewel of Jeopardy was knocked into the stage's control box, amplifying and unleashing the special effects, which shattered his concentration. Acting on this effect, Iceman used a Hi-Fi tape console to deafen him with a high pitched screech. The Maha Yogi surrendered, rather than continue to be subjected to this maddening noise.

(Incredible Hulk II#210(fb)) - The Maha Yogi recovered once again and used his powers to carve out a small empire in the New Jersey Palisades, where he founded the company Merlin Industries as a cover for the mercenary army he rebuilt. He managed to tap into the full power of his fragment of the Bloodgem, and he began to make plans to conquer the world.

(Incredible Hulk II#211(fb)) - Suffering humiliation over his defeat by the Man-Thing, the warrior Mongu of Sandt leapt into the Abyss of Eternity. He fell through the void of space for time beyond reckoning, until he was located and pulled to the surface of Earth by the Maha Yogi. Mongu was extremely grateful for a chance at redemption, and pledged his eternal loyalty to the Maha Yogi.

(Incredible Hulk II#210) - Dr. Druid detected the plot of the Maha Yogi and recruited the Hulk. Druid and the Maha Yogi pitted their minds against each other in an effort to control the Hulk, who collapsed under the strain of their psychic battle. This left Dr. Druid alone against both Mongu and the Maha Yogi.

(Incredible Hulk II#211) - Mongu and the Maha Yogi captured Druid, imprisoning him alongside the Hulk. The Yogi dampened Druid's wits and mental powers, and had Mongu face the Hulk in the gladiatorial ring. The Hulk quickly gained the advantage, until the Maha Yogi channeled his power into Mongu’s axe.  Mongu then proceeded to batter the Hulk repeatedly. With the Yogi's power focused on the battle, Druid regained his senses and knocked the Maha Yogi’s Jewel of Jeopardy into the ring, where the Hulk crushed it. The Maha Yogi, having lost the source of his immortality, quickly degenerated into a withered husk, barely alive. Mongu, however, remained faithful and vowed to take care of the MY into death, and far beyond.

(Avengers Annual#22 (fb) - BTS) - The Maha Yogi somehow managed to restore his youth and joined a Convocation of Wizards--including le Sabre and Chandu the Alchemist-- who sought artifacts of immortality and weapons of destruction.

(Avengers Annual#22) - The Convocation split up and assaulted Avengers Mansion individually. The Maha Yogi, with Mongu at his side, teleported into the room formerly held by Dr. Druid, which was now used by the Inhuman Crystal. She was assisted by Lockjaw and Marilla, but the Yogi managed to take control of Marilla and force her to hold baby Luna hostage, forcing Crystal's surrender. This was short-lived, however, as the Black Widow discovered the invasion and assisted Crystal and her allies, enabling them to retake the advantage. With the Yogi stunned by a Widow's Bite, both he and Mongu were teleported away via a dimensional warp created by Lockjaw.

(Captain Marvel V#20 (fb) - BTS) - Adopting the name Merlin Demonspawn, he next set his sights on the legendary Holy Grail. He knew not where to find it, but did learn that the monster known only as the mother of Grendel did know where it was. However, in order to free the monster, he had to perform a spell with a few specifications: a specific date (which turned out to be a Saturday night), a specific location (Los Angeles), and a specific blood sacrifice (100 virgins).
    This was puzzling, where would he find 100 virgins in Los Angeles on a Saturday night? Then it hit him: a comic book convention!

(Captain Marvel V#9 - BTS) - Demonspawn opened the Comic Book Castle, just across from Marlo Jones' Golden Orange Comics.

(Captain Marvel V#11) - Demonspawn was seen in the shadows in the Comic Book Castle.

(Captain Marvel V#13) - In the shadows, Demonspawn noted that Marlo's super-hero appearance at Golden Orange Comics had backfired, as a fight developed between Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) and Una- and Zey-Rogg.

(Captain Marvel V#16) - The Red Raven (?-see comments) managed to trace the source of his behavior changes and turning against the world to the manipulations of Demonspawn. He confronted Demonspawn at the Comic Book Castle and was promptly transformed into an actual red raven. Demonspawn kept his armor, while the red raven flew out in front of a truck. Marlo found the red raven and brought it to Golden Orange Comics to recover from its broken wing.

(Captain Marvel V#20, 21) - The Comic Book Castle held its big convention, where it gave out souvenir pocket knives. Wanting to inspect her competition, Marlo brought her manager, Al, to the convention. While all others present drank of the punch served, Marlo abstained, and thus she was the only one immune to Demonspawn's subsequent command to use the pocket knife to cut open their wrists (not that Marlo was a virgin anyway--not by a long shot!). With the blood of 100 virgins added to his spell, Demonspawn successfully freed the mother of Grendel.

    The mother of Grendel intended to devour one of the convention attendees, but she chafed at the order of Demonspawn. Marlo soon convinced her that Demonspawn saw her only as his pawn, so that when he told the monster to take him to the Holy Grail, she refused. Demonspawn summoned his power to confront the monster, but then Al, wearing the armor of the Red Raven that he had found, attacked him. As Al flew Marlo to safety, the Big Mother wandered off, and Captain Marvel and Moondragon arrived to oppose Demonspawn. Rick Jones advised Genis to reflect Demonspawn's powers back on him with his Nega Bands, which he did...except the blast went off the wrong way. However, Al/Red Raven and Moondragon each deflected the blast as well, and it ended up heading right back into Demonspawn, as intended.

Demonspawn could be seen screaming in rage, trapped inside a crimson sphere, in a rocky terrain somewhere.

Comments: Created by Stan Lee, Robert Bernstein, and Joe Sinnott.

Many of his incarnations have been referred to as mutants, but, as revealed in Dr. Strange III#27, he was actually mutated by outside means.

I'm surprised that the Maha Yogi didn't show up in some fashion during the Bloodstone Affair, @ Captain America I#357-362. I guess he was still quite aged at that point, and since his Bloodgem fragment had been crushed into powder, but still...something!

    The Bird Guy from Captain Marvel#16 and 20+21 is never identified. A few people told me it was Red Raven (of the Aerie), but I thought it was just a superficial resemblance, and looked for deeper clues, which never came. On re-reading the issues, I see that the guy blames Demonspawn for making him perform villainous acts, which could be an explanation of the Red Raven's behavior changes. Demonspawn turns him into a red, crow-like bird, which I guess would be a red raven. Maybe it's just too obvious for me, but I'm confused as to why there was any secrecy, and why he was never named. Anyway, DERMIE told me that Peter David had later confirmed that it was indeed the Red Raven, so that's what I'm going with, until proven otherwise.
Also, per Danny Wind: And if you want some more hearsay, I found the following explanation of the Red Raven's appearance in Captain Marvel at the Leader's Lair at
http://www.leaderslair.com/legacy/captainmarvel5-016.html
"As a side note, for those of you not familiar with it there is an online poster who runs the Red Raven Revivial Society. He and Peter David had a bet concerning the Red Raven. If the Mets won [the 2000 World Series] Peter wouldn't have to put the Red Raven in his book, but if the Yankees won the Red Raven would make an appearance. Well the Yanks won, but as you can see from this issue [Captain Marvel #16] he doesn't take the Met's loss well." (all typos sic)

Real Merlin vs False Merlin

Courtesy of: http://mahayogi.com/book.html
Maha Yogi:-
The word, yogi is from the root yuj - to unite or to join. Here the effort to enter into the heart begins in uniting the divergent thought process and the vital energy particles into a single movement - a thoughtless state, the quietened mind and then compressing it into the Cause. It is the choiceless path of involution through an effortless effort where the formful merges in the formless and the sound in silence. Every one, in fact, is a Yogi in the day-to-day experience, since he joins all the vital energy within and the mental force in concentrating on the targeted desire for achievement. The targets vary as per ones own desire but the effort and concentration remains the same in nature. The Author's desire is to discover his true nature and the target is the Self-realisation. The process of struggle is deep penetration through the intervening adjuncts and the involution into the primal substance and, verily the author does record the Supreme triumph of Nirvana. He is, therefore, the Supreme, the great yogi, the Maha Yogi - the word in Sanskrit is rich in content and coined to mean human experience.

For more information on the pyramids of ancient Egypt, look here.

Since the Bloodgem incident occurred around 8,000 BC, that would place it as either towards the end of, or just after, the Hyborian Age. During a story from Kull and the Barbarians#1, @ 8000 BC, an Aesir named Niord invoked Ymir, indicating that his worship was still practiced, if not prevalent. So, it is conceivable that either the future Maha Yogi or Bloodstone might have worshipped Ymir.
    --Per Degaton

Since the Maha Yogi was present for the death of Julius Caesar , one wonders if he might have bumped into the Cole.
--Per Degaton

After Incredible Hulk II#211 could Maha Yogi's bodyguard Mongu have taken him to Citrusville, Florida, and exposed him to the Entro-Vic Crystals (formerly known as Victorious and the Entropic Man)? This would explain Maha Yogi's rejunivation after this issue.
--Carycomic

CLARIFICATIONS:
He should be differentiated from:

Modred the Mystic, who refused to serve under the false Merlin, @ Marvel Chillers#1, should be distinguished from:


images:


Other appearances:
Strange Tales I#134 (July, 1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Bob Powell (pencils), Wally Wood (inks)
X-Men I#30 (March, 1967) - Roy Thomas (writer), Jack Sparling (pencils), John Tartaglione (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
X-Men I#47 (August, 1968) - Gary Friedrich & Arnold Drake (writers), Don Heck & Werner Roth (pencils), John Tartaglione (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Chillers#1 (October, 1975) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Bill Mantlo (pencils), Ed Hannigan, Yong Montano, John Romita & Frank Giacoia (inks), Len Wein (editor)
Incredible Hulk II#210-211 (April-May, 1977) - Len Wein (writer/editor), Sal Buscema (pencils), Ernie Chan (inks)
Marvel Two-In-One#33 (November, 1977) - Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Ron Wilson (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks)
Dr. Strange III#11 (December, 1989) - Roy Thomas & Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), David & Dan Day (artists), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Dr. Strange III#27 (March, 1991) - Roy Thomas & Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Geof Isherwood (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Thor Annual#17 (1992) - Peter Sanderson (writer), Rich Yanizeski (pencils), Fred Fredricks (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Avengers Annual#22 (1993) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Mike Gustovich (pencils), Ariane Lenshoek (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)

Story 2: Roy Thomas & Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Al Milgrom (pencils), Mark Steckbauer (inks)
Captain Marvel V#9 (September, 2000) - Peter David (writer), Chris Cross (pencils), Mark McKenna & Anibal Rodriguez (inks)
Captain Marvel V#11 (November, 2000) - Peter David (writer), Jim Starlin (pencils), Al Milgrom (inks)
Captain Marvel V#13 (January, 2001) - Peter David (writer), Chris Cross (pencils), Anibal Rodriguez (inks)
Captain Marvel V#16 (April, 2001) - Peter David (writer), Chris Cross (pencils), Anibal Rodriguez (inks)
Captain Marvel V#20-21 (August-September, 2001) - Peter David (writer), Chris Cross (pencils), Anibal Rodriguez (inks)


Last updated: 09/05/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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