Real Name: N'Gabthoth

Identity/Class: Demon

Occupation: Agent of Shuma-Gorath

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Agent of Shuma-Gorath; ally of Sligguth and Ebora, and presumably with the Serpent Men of Starksboro

Enemies: Clea, Dr. Strange, Johnny Frames, Wong

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: The Shambler from the Sea, N'Gabthoth of the Forgotten Times

Base of Operations: currently unknown; formerly beneath the ocean outside Starksboro, Massachusetts

First Appearance: Marvel Premiere#6 (January, 1973)


Powers: N'Gabthoth was possessed of great raw magical power. He could fire bolts of mystical force from his eye of sufficient power to shatter the Rings of Raggadorr (or at least one ring). Similarly, a single blast was potent enough to drop Dr. Strange. His physical limitations are undefined, but he could survive on land as easily as undersea.
He also had these suction cups, which could probably leave a really nasty hickey.



History: N'Gabthoth's origins are unknown. He's a demon, with allegiance to Shuma-Gorath. He slept for countless eons in a cavern at the bottom of the ocean outside Starksboro, Massachusetts. From descriptions, it can be assumed that he was active on Earth in unknown ages past, but this has not been detailed.

(Marvel Premiere#6) - During the attempted re-emergence of the demon Shuma-Gorath, Dr. Strange was drawn to Starksboro. After Strange apparently slew Sligguth, N'Gabthoth awakened and emerged from his undersea lair. Meanwhile, Ebora, the former priestess of Sligguth, gathered Strange's allies, Wong and Clea (and a few other innocent victims) to become sacrifices for N'Gabthoth. The Shambler form the Sea followed Ebora's summons to his waiting victims, but sensed the chanting of Ebora and the Serpent Men of Starksboro, and followed it as well. Dr. Strange assaulted N'Gabthoth, but was outmatched in power and knocked form the air. Strange freed his allies, but lacked the power to stop N'Gabthoth--until the Ancient One added his mystical power to Strange's own. Using this combined power, Strange drove N'Gabthoth off. He then followed the Shambler to the corrupted church of Starksboro, where it attempted to take a treasure chest. Still bolstered by the Ancient One, Strange attacked N'Gabthoth again, turning its powers back on it, draining its strength, and banishing it back "into that primal ooze from when you came!" Strange opened the chest to find a map which led him to Stonehenge, and the next part of his quest to confront Shuma-Gorath.


Comments: Created by Gardner Fox and Frank Brunner.

The entire storyline carried the banner "Featuring Concepts Created by Robert E. Howard."
According to Ben Herman: "Based on his appearance and history, the Shambler sounds like he was probably based on H.P. Lovecraft's famous tentacle-faced elder god, Cthulhu. The history of Cthulhu was related in the story "The Call of Cthulhu," where we learn that he sleeps in a sunken city in the Pacific Ocean known as Ryleh (sp?) until the time when the stars are alligned in a certain manner. At which point Cthulhu will awaken, rise to the surface, and proceed to do all manner of horrible things typically associated with giant cosmic-powered monsters, i.e. destroying cities, ravaging virgins, eating newborns, running for President of the United States, etc "
Jim Ambuehl tells me that a Kull story entitled "The Curse of the Golden Skull" references Shuma-Gorath and his allies.
Omar Karindu and Cyborg Caveman also add--The whole Starkesboro sequence owes much to Lovecraft's story "The Shadow Over Innsmouth," about a New England coastal town that becomes a cult to ichthyomorphic monstrosities. This cult worshipped Father Dagon and Mother Hydra. References to the Cthulu Mythos can be found throughout Marvel's stuff.

Clarifications: Don't confuse him with anyone else named N'Gabthoth...'cause there's a bunch of 'em!

The Serpent Men were the original offspring of Set, active back in pre-cataclysmic Atlantis, most wiped out by Kull, and later Conan and his son Conan (Conn), @ Kull the Conqueror I#1.
The Serpent Men of Starksboro, also referred to as the Troglodytes, were the human followers of Set, servants of Sligguth, Ebora, N'Gabthoth and others, natives of the town of Starksboro, who took on reptillian characteristics, and some even became hosts for the spirits of the original Serpent Men, @ Marvel Premiere#4.

These should be distinguished from:

Marvel Premiere#6 (January, 1973) - Gardner Fox (writer), Frank Brunner (penciler), Sal Buscema (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)

First Posted: 01/22/2002
Last updated: 08/02/2002

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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