TABOO

Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human sorcerer

Occupation: Sorcerer

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Algon, Damballah (Josué Koulèv), Jonathan (pilot), Lissa Russell, Gregory Russoff, Laura Maria Russoff, Margali Szardos, Topaz;
    formerly Dr. Glitternight

Enemies: Committee, Dr. Glitternight, Phillip Russell, Werewolf (Jack Russell)

Known Relatives: Algon (son, deceased), Topaz (adoptive daughter), Cagliostro (father), Lubya (mother), Jackson Kubbard (half-brother), Miarka (sister), Lilia Murgo (niece), Lilia Calderu (grandniece), Astrid Mordo (great-grandniece) (see comments)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
    formerly Los Angeles, California;
    Morocco;
    Punjab, Pakistan;
    a Balkan village

First Appearance: Werewolf by Night I#13 (January, 1974)

Powers/Abilities: Taboo possesses a number of sorcerous powers, only a few of which have been seen. He could form magical shields and immobilize others. He had a large degree of magical experience, and had accumulated a wealthy of magical texts and items of magical power. He referred to his collection as the Scarlet Tabernacle. He formerly had access to the Darkhold

Height: 5'
Weight: 170 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: White (originally black)

History: Taboo's origins are unknown.

(Avengers I#187) - Taboo is pictured as one of the former holders of the Darkhold: The Book of Sins, following Cagliostro (possibly).

(Werewolf by Night I#13 (fb)) - Decades ago Taboo was forced to put his own son, Algon, in "The Spell of Changes", apparently to save his life and..."to alter him." Taboo did this, planning to use the Darkhold to complete the spell. However, the villagers knew of the dark magic practiced by Taboo, and they stormed his castle, destroying his darkling devices. Taboo took the inert form of Algon and fled, while the Darkhold fell into the hands of one of the peasants: Gregor Russoff (before 1930).

 

 

 

BTS-For years, Taboo fled from country to country, searching for the answers he needed to finish what he had begun.

(Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Now based in Morocco, Taboo obtained a Darkhold copy that contained some of the original Darkhold's pages.

(Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Sensing that the sorceress coven of Lilia Calderu (who had come under the influence of the Serpent Crown), Laura Maria Russoff, and Margali Szardos, sought to enlist young Wanda Maximoff into their group, Chthon directed Taboo to prevent this so that Wanda would not come under Set's influence and be lost to him.

(Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Taboo mystically observed the coven planning to meet with Wanda.

(Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Taboo slew the most faithful acolyte of Damballah (Josué Koulèv), knowing this would bring Damballah to him.

(Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2) - Damballah confronted Taboo, who used an illusion to make the acolyte's decapitated head appear to be a gourd upon which he had cast an illusion of the acolyte's head. Taboo then showed Damballah the coven's plans, gaining Damballah's interest via the presence of the Serpent Crown. Taboo transported them to Castle Russoff, and Damballah attempted to wrest the Crown from her head; failing that he drew his sword and prepared to cleave her head off. Laura Maria reanimated the dead to oppose them, but Damballah then unleashed his snakes against her. Gregory activated the Lunar Pendant, transformed into a werewolf, and attacked Damballah's serpents. The struggle was interrupted by Chthon, who communicated to them from his own realm, banished the Serpent Crown back to its resting place and Damballah back to Haiti (to prevent Set's influence from affecting Wanda, for whom he had plans). Before disappearing, Chthon told all those present that they would bear children of occult significance.
    Gregory spoke with Taboo, learning of his Darkhold copy and wondering if it contained pages missing from the original that might cure him of lycanthropy. Taboo told him there would be a steep price, but that if he agreed they would meet in Istanbul one year from that day to arrange the transfer.

(Dr. Strange: Sorcerer Supreme#15/2) - In Istanbul, Taboo sold his Darkhold copy to Gregory Russoff.

(Werewolf by Night I#13(fb)) - Twelve years before Werewolf by Night I#13, in Marvel's sliding time scale, the man known only at Taboo returned to his home in Punjab. There he was caught between the troops of India and Pakistan, each trying to make the city its own. Taboo was taken prisoner by one of the factions who had temporarily gained control. His fame as a sorcerer was common knowledge, and the enemy believed they could harness his powers to aid them in their battling. When he refused, he was taking to a prison camp, where he found a young girl with seemingly magical powers. Taboo quickly befriended the girl (It's not clear if he named her), who became known as Topaz. Taboo guided her to use her powers to humbled the guards and escape the camp. Taboo adopted Topaz as his own, and trained her to use her powers, and to obey him.

(Werewolf by Night I#27(fb))-Taboo consulted with another sorcerer, the man known as Glitternight.

 

 

(Werewolf by Night I#13, 14)-Topaz, following orders from Taboo, located the Werewolf, Jack Russell, son of Gregor Russoff. While other agents of Taboo kidnapped Jack's step-father, Phillip Russell, Topaz used her empathic powers to subdue the Werewolf, and brought him back to Taboo's Los Angeles Mosque. Topaz read Russell's mind and learned that the Darkhold had been destroyed by Aelfric, the Mad Monk. Furious, Taboo ordered Topaz to slay the Werewolf, which she refused to do. She again merely subdued the Werewolf, and then used her powers to transfer Phillip Russell's mind into Algon's body. Phillip provided merely the spirit to animate Algon, but had no control over Algon's form...that belonged to Taboo.

 

 

 

 

Taboo commanded Algon to destroy the Werewolf, which led to a savage battle. However, the sun was coming up at that time, and the Werewolf reverted to Jack Russell. Jack took quick note of the situation, and grabbed Topaz, pretending to threaten her life to force Taboo to call off Algon. Russell escaped with Topaz, and Taboo proceeded with his plans to revive Algon. Taboo conjured forth the soul and essence of Topaz, and merged its energy with the Skull of Daimon. Taboo infused that energy into Algon, granting him to transmute elements.
The spell had taken the entire day, and Russell now returned, as the Werewolf and confronted Taboo and Algon. Algon, utilizing a "Midas touch" attempted to grab the Werewolf, transforming everything he contacted into gold in the process. Taboo was giddy with delight at all of his new found gold, and he stood in front of his immense, now-golden idol, marveling at its beauty. He was not as impressed, however, with the idol's supports, which could not support its much heavier form. The golden idol collapsed on Taboo, crushing him. Algon was shocked at his father's death, and didn't see the Werewolf's next attack. Russell knocked Algon into Taboo's smoldering cauldron. The magical forces still contained within the cauldron were too much for Algon, and he was instantly killed. At the moment of his death, Phillip Russell's spirit was released, and returned to his own body.

 

 

(Werewolf by Night I#28(fb))-After Russell left, Glitternight appeared in Taboo's Mosque and infused Taboo's body with his own dark energy, and ripped Taboo's soul from it. Glitternight incubated Taboo's soul in one of his dark eggs until his ectoplasm had sufficient energy to take physical form. Glitternight then informed Taboo of his plan, which would culminate in their stealing the souls of all of humanity and transforming them into an army of servants. Taboo rebelled against Glitternight, and the two fought. Glitternight, however, had cultivated too much power with Taboo's soul, and was unable to overpower him. The battle a stalemate, Glitternight fled. Taboo was drawn to the castle formerly owned by Miles Blackgar, sensing the aura of ancient sorcery within it.

 

 

 

(Werewolf by Night I#28-30)-On the eve of Lissa Russell's eighteenth birthday, Jack (along with his friend, Buck Cowan, and his whatever Topaz) brought her to Blackgar's island, so that she'd be far away from the public in case she, too, suffered from the werewolf's curse. In Blackgar's castle, they found Taboo's essence, and were subsequently attacked by the demons of Glitternight. At the same time, Lissa began to feel the change upon her, and Taboo and Topaz combined their powers to keep it submerged. However, Glitternight added his power to her, as well, and the mixture turned her into some kind of werewolf-demon-thing.
Jack and Lissa, each in werewolf form attacked each other, but Glitternight took advantage of the diversion to strike down Taboo's ectoplasmic form. Topaz joined her powers with Taboo's to fight off Glitternight, but Taboo was left severely incapacitated.
During the next night (and next moon-induced werewolf vs were-demon struggle), Taboo sacrificed his remaining life essence, allowing Topaz to channel his energies into Lissa. This cured Lissa, removing the cure of lycanthropy from her.

Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman and Mike Ploog.

Taboo is one of the characters tied to a point in history. Ronald can supply further data, but the involvement of the Franks as having been present at the time of the Scarlet Witch's birth ties that to a specific point in history, @ 1958. As she was born during Chthon's assault on Wundagore mountain, that ties the sale of Wundagore mountain to the Drews as before this time, meaning that Gregor Russell had to obtain the Darkhold before that time, too.
    However, the origin of the High Evolutionary ties the Gregor Russoff Werewolf specifically to 1930.

Old sorcerers never die...they just sit around in Limbo, waiting for a "Kurt" or "Fabian" or "Roger" to bring them back.

The other side of the story can be found under Glitternight.

Jean-Marc Lofficier's unpublished full origin of Cagliostro and his connections to Taboo and others can be found here: http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/cagliostrosecret.htm

In OHotMU 2006 A-Z#2 Cagliostro was officially aknowledged as Taboo's father. Taboo himself has an entry in Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic.

Clarifications:
No known connection to:


Algon was the son of Taboo. It is unknown what, if anything afflicted him initially, but Taboo cast a spell of transformation over him, the ultimate goal of which was to give him the ability to transform objects into gold. The spell was interrupted initially, and Algon was left in an inert state for two decades. In the modern era, the spirit of Phillip Russell was used to revive Algon, who was now a time-ravaged, virtually mindless creature. Taboo used his collection of magic items and the power of Topaz to complete the spell, but both of htem were killed soon afterward.

--Werewolf by Night I#13 (13(fb), 13, 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Appearances:
Werewolf by Night I#13-14 (January-February, 1974) - Marv Wolfman (writer), Mike Ploog (pencils), Frank Chiaraonte (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Werewolf by Night I#27-30 (March-June, 1975) - Doug Moench (writer), Don Perlin (pencils/inks), Len Wein (editor)
Avengers I#187 (September, 1979) - Mark Gruenwald, Steven Grant & David Michelinie (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Dan Green (inks), Roger Stern (editor)
Mystic Arcana: Scarlet Witch#1/2 (October, 2007) - Jeff Parker (writer), Juan Santacruz (penciler), Raul Fernandez (inker), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)


Last updated: 11/11/11

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