NECROMANCER

Real Name: Stephen Strange

Identity/Class: Extra-Terrestrial (Counter Earth of the High Evolutionary) Human magic user, creation of the High Evolutionary

Occupation: Would-be conqueror, former surgeron

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Ally of the Magus; master of Shazana's demons; controller of Dr. Strange's Doppelganger; formerly student of the Ancient One of Counter-Earth

Enemies: Dr. Strange (of Earth-616), Shaman, Agatha Harkness, Dr. Druid, Scarlet Witch, Eternity, Shazana, "Nazakka", Baron Mordo of Counter Earth

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: New York City of Earth-616; formerly Eternity's realm and Counter-Earth

First Appearance: Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#46 (October, 1992)

Powers/Abilities: Necromancer has considerable mystical abilities due to his training under Counter- Earth's counterpart of the Ancient One, roughly approximating those of the true Doctor Strange, although he does not have the experience of his counterpart on Earth-616 due to his having been incapacitated by Eternity for a long period of time. However, during his captivity by Eternity, he managed to absorb some power from Eternity, which left him much more powerful than most human sorcerers.

Height: 6'2 1/2"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Eyes: Grey
Hair: Black, white at temples

History: (Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#47)- Necromancer was the Stephen Strange of Counter-Earth. Counter-Earth was not actually an alternate Earth or a parallel Earth, but rather, it represented a duplicate of the true Earth created by the High Evolutionary, who placed it in on the opposite side of the sun and cloaked its existence from observers. Counter-Earth's occupants, however, believed themselves to exist as the true Earth, and accordingly had corresponding false memories that approximated the human civilization of Earth-616. Further, the High Evolutionary even managed to create copies of tomes of mystical knowledge such as the Book of Vishanti.

The Stephen Strange of Counter-Earth had a history roughly similar to his true Earth counterpart. The haughty surgeon was in a career-crippling car accident that led him to the bowels of despair. Eventually, he made his way to Tibet, where he became a student of the Ancient One. However, the Baron Mordo of Counter-Earth managed to slay the Ancient One of Counter-Earth. Enraged, Strange slew his world's Mordo. By the time he killed Mordo, Strange had had many adventures paralleling those of his true Earth counterpart.

Studying the slain Ancient One's scrolls, Strange increased his power. Adopting the alias of Necromancer, he began a highly public career. His ambition grew, and, as he had less maturity than his Earth-616 counterpart due to his having had less counsel from the Ancient One, he resolved to conquer Counter-Earth, and also Earth-616, whose existence he discovered mystically. A reading of the aforementioned copy of the Book of the Vishanti gave him knowledge of Eternity's existence. Confronting Eternity, Necromancer intended to steal power from it, but proved no match for the embodiment of life, and was sucked into Eternity's frame.

(Strange Tales I#138/2 (BTS), Warlock and the Infinity Watch#4 (BTS))- Trapped, he witnessed many things there- including the true Doctor Strange's first meeting with Eternity. Necromancer also observed the destruction of Counter-Earth.

(Infinity War#5 (BTS), Warlock and the Infinity Watch#9 (BTS), Dr.Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#47 (fb))- During the Infinity War, though, the Magus rendered Eternity catatonic. Galactus tried to cure Eternity with Gamora's help. Gamora entered Eternity's "body"-and Necromancer, seeing her, affixed his essence to her. When Gamora left Eternity's "body", Necromancer, enhanced by his contact with Eternity, slipped away unseen with her. He then secretly left Eternity's realm, unseen by Galactus or Gamora, but his exertions accidentally launched him into the dimension of Shazana. Necromancer defeated Shazana and her sister, and enslaved their demons.

Returning to his home dimension, he arrived on Earth-616-- specifically, the Sanctum Sanctorum of the true Doctor Strange. He found that somehow, the protective spells around the Sanctum had been suspended. Entering, he saw what he took for the true Doctor Strange, but in fact represented a foul double of the true Strange created by the Magus. The Magus-created double, since the Magus could duplicate the aura of the true Doctor Strange, had managed to suspend many of the true Strange's protective spells. This Magus created double then attacked Necromancer, who slew it. With both the Magus created double and the true Doctor Strange absent, Necromancer decided to usurp the true Strange's possessions. However, since the High Evolutionary had made no attempt to duplicate the true Strange's aura when he created Necromancer, Necromancer could not overcome the protective spells around the original copy of the Book of Vishanti, as his aura did not exactly replicate the true Strange's. Changing plans, Necromancer offered his services to the Magus by way of a telepathic offer. The Magus accepted his deal.

(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#46)- The true Doctor Strange returned to his Sanctum with Agatha Harkness, Shaman, Dr. Druid, and the Scarlet Witch. The Necromancer had his enslaved demons attack them. The conjurers presumed that Necromancer was one of the Magus-created doubles. The true Doctor Strange made some headway against the demons, but then Necromancer threatened Wong and Imei with the Sword of the Ultimate Shadow. Strange erected a Seraphimic Shield to protect them, but when the Sword hit the Shield, the psychic backlash left him unconscious.

(Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme#47)- Necromancer, whose demons had defeated Strange's allies, explained his origin to his captives. He then proceeded to slay the true Doctor Strange with the Vapors of Valtoor. However, the true Strange, uttering an incantation under his breath, turned the Necromancer's spell around.

Thus, a bright flash of light resulted, with Strange, his cloak, and his allies gone. Necromancer presumed he had destroyed them all. In fact, the true Strange transported them all to an asteroid with a pocket of oxygen. However, as part of a prearranged plan, Agatha Harkness' soul remained on Earth in the body of her cat, Ebony, to serve as a psychic anchor to aid the other adepts in teleporting back to Earth.

Elated at his apparent victory, Necromancer treated his demons by allowing them to do whatever they wanted to nearby humans (who, as a part of the Magus' actions, had been completely immobilized). The demons pursued Ebony, which caused Agatha Harkness to become too frightened and confused to help her compatriots. When a demon caught Ebony and started throttling the cat, Strange and his allies immediately risked teleporting back to Earth, saving Ebony. Strange's allies held off the demons as Strange returned to his home to deal with Necromancer.

Strange returned to see his apprentice Rintrah tied up by energy-bonds. He freed Rintrah-- who attacked him. In fact, it was the Magus' Doctor Strange double, whom Necromancer resurrected and turned into a Rintrah double. Restoring the Magus creation to its original state, Necromancer had it attack the true Strange again. Strange covered the Magus-created double of himself with a crust of energy and threw it at Necromancer, who discarded it. Necromancer, not wanting to wreck the Sanctum-- which he intended to live in once he defeated the true Strange-- flew into the sky to carry the battle elsewhere. Necromancer taunted the true Strange about the power he had absorbed from Eternity. Realizing that no adept, certainly not an inexperienced one such as Necromancer, could handle using even a fraction of Eternity's power, Strange knew how to defeat Necromancer. He prodded Necromancer on into fiercer battle until Necromancer overextended himself till he exploded, unable to stand the onrush of power as he served as a conduit to Eternity's vast power.

(New Avengers#53) - The Eye of Agamotto appeared to Necromancer as it considered him a possible replacement for Dr. Strange as Sorcerer Supreme.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and Geof Isherwood, with a special thanks to R.J.M. Lofficier.

Necromancer, since the Ancient One of Counter-Earth sensed his streak of ruthlessness, was not taught spells of dimension-travel by the Ancient One of Counter-Earth, so he did not encounter extradimensional entities such as Dormammu during his career while Counter-Earth still existed. This explains why none of these extradimensional entities ever mentioned the existence of Necromancer to the true Doctor Strange during their encounters with Earth-616's Doctor Strange.

Besides the Necromancer, some other residents of Counter-Earth survived its destruction. The Man-Beast saved some, and the Reed Richards of Counter-Earth (the Brute) returned in Fantastic Four Unlimited#3. See the entry for Gorr for a little more information on Counter-Earth.

One small clarification: The Infinity War doppelgangers are NOT Magus-created. They are natives of the Dimension of Manifesations, perhaps mutated and controlled by the Magus. See Anthropomorpho.

I for one never really believed Necromancer's claim that he encountered Eternity before the Doctor Strange of Marvel-Earth did. Part of it was because I also tracked down the publication dates of  the relevant issues but there was another piece of evidence. According to my (reprinted) story from Strange Tales I#138, when Strange first stood before Eternity, the cosmic being had this to say: "I am Eternity! Heed my message and remain silent! For none may speak when I am present! You are the second mortal to stand before me! The first was he whom you serve...known to you as the Ancient One! It was to him I gave the magic amulet, and the power it contains!" It seems to me that if the Necromancer had somehow arrived there first, then our Strange would have been the third mortal to stand before Eternity. Personally, I'd trust Eternity a lot more than an evil-doer like the Necromancer.

As for why the Necromancer made that (obviously false) claim, I can think of two reasons - either he was lying or he was delusional. If he was lying, it was because he was trying to bluff his counterpart into believing that he was the stronger sorcerer. If he was delusional, it was because he was so arrogant that he couldn't accept that fact that he was essentially a copy of the original Stephen Strange and so his mind revised his memories a bit so that he believed that he had reached Eternity first. I assume that the reason that he was able to "remember" things that happened before he was pulled inside Eternity was because those memories were somehow absorbed from Eternity itself. 
--Donald Campbell

If people did not understand what Don Campbell meant when he referred to tracking down publication dates:

When was the High Evolutionary's Counter Earth created? I know two things that might be relevant.

Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#8 does show the creation of Counter-Earth; and places it after the events of Thor I#134, the first published appearance of the High Evolutionary.

The big problem; The Necromancer claimed to have been behind the scenes in Strange Tales#138 when the true Doctor Strange first met Eternity. Strange Tales I#138 was published in 11/1965; the first appearance of the High Evolutionary was in Thor I#134, published in November 1966! Unless I miss my mark, the High Evolutionary did not create Counter Earth until well after his first handful of appearances. Note that the Marvel Index to the Fantastic Four and Marvel Saga state that Doctor Strange's first meeting with Eternity took place before the wedding of the Richards in Fantastic Four Annual#3.

Spectacular Spider-Man Annual#8 does show the creation of Counter-Earth; and places it after the events of Thor I#134, the first published appearance of the High Evolutionary.

The creation of Counter-Earth by the High Evolutionary was shown in Marvel Premiere#1 (April, 1972). The creation was shown happening in the "present" time, not in a flashback, and it only took "a mere sevenscore of hours." Also, the High Evolutionary recalled his past adventures: how he and Thor battled the Man-Beast in THOR #134-135 (November-December, 1966), how he and his New-Men left Earth for a distant planet, and how he was forced to evolve himself into an immortal being when they turned against him in Tales to Astonish I#94-96 (August- October, 1967). After spending an unspecified time being one with the cosmos, he returned to a physical existence and then spent "months" traversing space to return to Earth. Once in Earth orbit, he encountered the cocoon of Him who mentioned that his last visit to Earth had ended with Him fleeing from an enraged Thor in Thor I#165 (June, 1969).
--Donald Campbell

I don't mean to nitpick but I don't think you understand the history of Counter-Earth at all.

While it defies good SF rules, CE was created with an instant past. Let's say that the HE created CE in 1972. He created a CE that had already experienced the full range of Earth's past including the 40s, 50s, 60s, etc.

Hence the Necromancer was part of that past, just was the CE's FF (Von Doom., the Brute)'s trip to the stars.

I'm not saying it makes a whole lot of sense but that's the way it was set up, with instant, retroactive past if you will.
--Jean-Marc Lofficier

Maybe, his claims (about meeting Eternity first) were the result of being driven insane by Eternity's kids, Entropy and Epiphany. The same as Genis-Vell.
--Carycomic

Necromancer has an entry in Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic.

by Per Degaton

CLARIFICATIONS:
Necromancer should not be confused with:

Counter Earth of the High Evolutionary, @ Marvel Premiere#1, should be distinguished from:

The Magus, involved in the events of the Infinity War, is the alternate future/evil self of Adam Warlock, @ Strange Tales I#178, Infinity War#1
He has no known connection to:


Appearances:
Dr. Strange III#46-47 (October-November, 1992) - Roy Thomas (writer), Geof Isherwood (pencils), Bob Petrecca, Geof Isherwood & Don Hudson (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
New Avengers#53 (July, 2009) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Billy Tan (pencils), Matt Banning (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Last updated: 12/30/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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