Real Name: Shanzar (presumably)
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Strange Matter dimension) magic user
Occupation: Sorcerer Supreme of the
Strange Matter dimension;
would-be conqueror; Destroyer; Explorer
Group Membership: None
Lucian Aster (pawn),
formerly the Wild One
Enemies: The Defenders (Dr. Strange, the Hulk, Silver Surfer, Namor the Sub-Mariner), Rick Jones
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Sorcerer or Sorcerer Supreme of
the Strange Matter dimension;
I think he was also referred to as Shanazar at least once.
Base of Operations: The Strange Matter dimension (also Place of Birth);
Pan-Dimensional Publishing building, Los Angeles, California (former);
an undisclosed undersea city somewhere in the Pacific Ocean (former)
Education: Extensive sorcery training
First Appearance: The Incredible Hulk II#369 (May, 1990)
Powers/Abilities: Being the Sorcerer Supreme of the Strange Matter dimension, Shanzar is a formidable mage, possessing great magical abilities including the creation of mystic bonds, shields, and bolts of force or energy. He can use magic to travel by means of flight, levitation, and teleportation within and across dimensions. The latter is accomplished via ebon dimensional gateways. He can also either conjure demons or bond demons to human hosts. Furthermore given his alien nature, his magical spells are highly resistant to conventional magical spells, as it was quite difficult, if not completely impossible, at times for Dr. Strange, the most powerful mage of Earth's dimension, to affect Shanzar's spells.
Another power of Shanzar is to possess individuals who, in turn, mimic his physical appearance and characteristics, but there are limitations to this ability. For one, due to his naturally great mass he can only successfully possess superhumanly dense characters. Presumably if Shanzar were to attempt to control a regular human's body, it would be squashed from the pressure of Shanzar's dense nature. Another limitation of possession is that Shanzar can only control one personality at a time. As a result, Shanzar must mentally cope with alternate personas of victims who have multiple personalities as well as external mental attacks/manipulation (As when Dr. Strange implanted mental suggestions within Shanzar's mind using the Eye of Agamotto without difficulty while Shanzar possessed the Hulk--who has a quite substantial multiple personality disorder)
History: (The Incredible Hulk#369-370) - Possibly while exploring other dimensions to conquer, Shanzar came across a portal that led into the closet of an elderly woman's apartment in New York. The spirit, or astral body, of Earth's dimensional Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Strange was forcing Shanzar back into his dimension when the Hulk distracted the Doctor with a window-side greeting. Using giant arms, Shanzar pulled Dr. Strange's spirit into his Strange Matter dimension, but the Hulk entered the Strange Matter dimension and grabbed the astral form. They were both pulled back into their native dimension with the aid of Namor the Submariner, who was actively seeking out Dr. Strange at the time. After this, the portal was sealed shut. Unbeknownst to them, Shanzar had attached himself to the Hulk's body. The heroes reconnoitered at Dr. Strange's abode the Sanctum Sanctorium. As Dr. Strange tried to reconcile the Hulk's gray-hued and human personalities, Shanzar possessed the gray Hulk's body.
(The Incredible Hulk#371) - Shanzar went on a rampage through the streets of New York within the Hulk's body, ending up in Central Park. Here, Dr. Strange and Namor physically confronted him while the Hulk's human alter ego, Bruce Banner, kept him mentally occupied. To prevent further innocents from being harmed, Dr. Strange moved the battle back to his home. Before Shanzar could mentally overtake Banner's personality, Bruce unleashed the personality of the savage green Hulk, which forced a frightened Shanzar to flee the Hulk's frame.
(Namor Annual#2 (fb) - BTS) - After his defeat, Shanzar explored several extra-dimensional realms, encountering the disembodied Elder God known as the Wild One. The Wild One told Shanzar that its physical form was trapped on Earth, waiting to be freed, and a bargain was struck between the two: rebirth for the Wild One through Shanzar and a permanent body for Shanzar from the Wild One following his revival.
Returning to Earth, Shanzar met Lucian Aster, a minor occult dabbler who had also made contact with the Wild One. Together, they began the plot to reawaken the Wild One.
(Incredible Hulk Annual#18 (fb), Eye of Agamotto) - First, Aster acquired a host body sturdy enough to accommodate and harness Shanzar's magical and dense nature, which happened to be Namor, through demonic agents, so Shanzar could then mystically prepare and engineer the ritual to recover the Wild One's form. Namor's spirit was then imprisoned within a demonically possessed female body and bound within a magical barrier.
(Namor Annual#2 (fb) - BTS) - Next with aid and power of the Wild One, Shanzar and Aster published an occult/new age book, "Spelling Made Easy", through Pan-Dimensional Publishing which contained magical force that transformed unwitting readers of the text into demons. Once 666 people had been turned into demons and gathered, the ceremony to summon the Wild One could progress into the next stage.
(Incredible Hulk Annual#18 - BTS) - Still trapped within the demonic body, Namor escaped his bonds and went looking for Aster.
(Incredible Hulk Annual#18) - Instead, Namor encountered the Hulk's sidekick Rick Jones, and through a series of misunderstood circumstances Namor's spirit came to inhabit Jones' body. Working within the Pan-Dimensional Publishing building, Shanzar destroyed a demon servant for Namor's escape. Later, Shanzar was confronted by Aster. Aster shared his concern about superhuman intervention and involvement with Shanzar. With the transformed demon horde descending upon the building, Shanzar agreed with Aster but noted it would be too late for anybody to stop them.
(Namor Annual#2 - BTS) - 665 demons entered the Pan-Dimensional Publishing building and waited for the next stage within a dimensional gateway.
(Namor Annual#2) - With Namor/Rick Jones, the Hulk, and Dr. Strange looking for the author of the book at the Pan-Dimensional building, Shanzar sent two demons against them. After defeating the demons, they confronted Shanzar, discovering that it was he who was behind this plot. Shanzar did the obligatory "super-villain-revealing-the-plot" device, and then mystically bound the most powerful of the trio, the Hulk and Dr. Strange. When an enraged Namor/Rick Jones lunged at him, Shanzar knocked him/them out with a magic bolt. After Aster dragged the unconscious body of Rick Jones through the dimensional gateway holding the demons, Shanzar followed, and the gateway then vanished.
(Silver Surfer Annual#5 - BTS) - Along with Aster, the full number of necessary demons, and Namor/Rick, Shanzar relocated to an undersea city in the Pacific Ocean, the place where the Wild One's body had been imprisoned millennia ago by Neptune, the Olympian god. Namor/Jones was bound and gagged to observe the rebirth of the Wild One, as per the Elder God's orders. By this time, all traces of humanity within the demons had disappeared, effectively killing all 666 possessed people in turn.
(Silver Surfer Annual#5) - Dr. Strange and the Hulk, now joined by the Silver Surfer, eventually discovered the whereabouts of their comrade(s) and the Wild One's agents. As the three heroes attempted to pierce the protective mystic barrier surrounding their opposition, the Surfer's expended cosmic energy was absorbed into the Wild One's sacrificial dagger. Shanzar allowed the heroes to enter and then ordered the demons to kill them. During the conflict, the Silver Surfer charged Shanzar. Using the mystically and cosmically empowered sacrificial dagger, Shanzar cut the Silver Surfer and spilled his pure blood, the final component needed to return the Wild One. With Aster and Namor in tow, Shanzar moved toward the surface and watched the Wild One rise from the ocean floor and travel to nearby Hawaii. Namor/Jones, Hulk, Strange, and the Surfer followed.
(Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme Annual#2 - BTS) - Shanzar and Aster joined the Wild One on Hawaii, who had already transformed a number of locals and tourists on the island into demonic servants.
(Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme Annual#2) - The
heroes squared away against their enemies, and Namor once again
attacked Shanzar. In response, Shanzar struck Namor with a mystic
bolt and knocked Rick Jones' consciousness back into control. As
the battle lingered on, the Wild One grew bored and apparently
killed the heroes. What had really occurred though was that Dr.
Strange had transported the heroes' astral bodies as well as
Shanzar and Aster into another dimension. Within this dimension,
Shanzar and Aster were held captive by monstrous living rock
creatures. The heroes freed the villains, who realized that the
Wild One was mad with power and had no intention of honoring his
bargains with them. They agreed to an alliance to stop the mad
When the heroes returned, the Wild One was causing environmental upheavals all across the Hawaiian Islands, so they stopped the natural catastrophes before major damage could be inflicted. The Wild One responded by blasting each of the heroes, ending with Dr. Strange. After being hit, Dr. Strange was revealed to be Aster in disguise, and a portal opened from within him that pulled the Wild One into the Strange Matter dimension, where Shanzar and a shielded Dr. Strange were waiting. Due to the powerful gravity of the Strange Matter dimension coupled with mystical attacks from Shanzar and Dr. Strange, the Wild One was deformed and incapacitated. Shanzar then moved to destroy Dr. Strange, but his allies arrived, also shielded from the forces of the Strange Matter dimension. Rather than fight the heroes, which could have restored the Wild One, and endangered his own realm, Shanzar let them leave in peace, swearing a future confrontation between he and Dr. Strange.
Comments: Created by Peter David and Dale Keown.
Not unlike this, "The Return of the Defenders" storyline, 666 people were also sacrificed in the Belonging to return the demon Asmodeus in the third Tomb of Dracula series. Unlike the Tomb of Dracula series, "The Return of the Defenders" crossover was a very convoluted way to return a classic concept to comics.
To the best of my knowledge, the pacifically located undersea city and the history between the Wild One and Neptune have never been explained.
Shanzar needs to make a return to meet the
challenge he gave Dr. Strange. Considering Shanzar's immunity
toward the magics of Dr. Strange, this should be an interesting
confrontation. Too bad the latest Defenders title didn't last
long enough for this rematch to take place.
I really liked Shanzar and can't wait to see him reappear. It was bad enough I had to wait a year for Kyle to do this profile!!!
Given his physical appearance, Shanzar may have had something to do with the origin of the Ebon Seeker.
Shanzar got his own entry in OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10.
Profile by: Kyle Sims
Shanzar, Sorcerer Supreme of the Strange Matter dimension, should be distinguished from:
The Strange Matter dimension
It is, in the words of Shanzar, "[I]nfinitly superior more efficient more powerful down to its molecular bonds" when compared to Earth's Universe. Here, the very stuff that makes up the Strange Matter dimension is quite dense and would easily smash a regular human to pieces. Certain mystic shielding can protect less dense visitors of this realm. The rules of physics also differ here when compared to Earth in other ways, as Dr. Strange's spirit could be physically handled. Apparently, Shanzar was the only inhabitant of this dimension, but the incapacitated body of the Wild One now occupies it, as well.
--Incredible Hulk II#369-BTS, 370 (371, Dr.Strange An2
images: (without ads)
Incredible Hulk I#370-371 (June-July, 1990) - Peter David (writer), Dale Keown (pencils), Bob McLeod (inks), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Incredible Hulk II Annual#18 (1992) - by Peter David (writer), Kevin McGuire (penciler), Brad Vancata (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Namor the Sub-Mariner Annual#2 (1992) - by Ron Marz (writer), James Fry (penciler), Christopher Ivy (inker), Terry Kavanaugh (editor)
Silver Surfer III Annual#5 (1992) - by Ron Marz (writer), Tom Morgan (artist), Craig Anderson (editor)
Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme Annual#2 (1992) - by Roy Thomas (writer), M.C. Wyman (penciler), E.R. Cruz (inker), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Last updated: 06/02/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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