TALISMANS OF POWER
Classification: Power items
User/Possessors: Diablo, Taaru the Terrible
First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#232 (July, 1981)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: They enabled their possessor to summon the humanoid manifestations of the four ancient elements
(Marvel Comics Presents#168 (fb)) - The Talismans of Power were created in ancient times somewhere in China. Their fabled powers were known all over the land.
(Fantastic Four I#232 - BTS) - The Talismans of Power were separately brought to different places all over the world. In the last century they came into the possession of museums.
(Fantastic Four I#232 (fb)) - Diablo stole the Talismans of Power from four museums placed all over the world. Interpol soon searched for the thief of the mystic statues.
(Fantastic Four I#232) - Diablo called upon the spirits within the Talismans and sent them out to crush the Fantastic Four in their humanoid manifestations. The Fantastic Four defeated the Elementals of Doom and traced the mystical energies of the Talismans of Power to the place were Diablo lived with the help of Dr. Strange. They got Diablo when he tried to flee and took the Talismans away from him. Diablo went to prison for stealing the Talismans.
(Marvel Comics Presents#168 - BTS) - Somehow the Talismans of Power came to China and in the possession of Taaru.
(Marvel Comics Presents#168) - Taaru used the Talismans of Power to form Elemental Creatures of his own. They made him the ruler of his village until Valkyrie came along. She took the Talismans of Power which Taaru wore around his neck and crushed them. The Elemental Creatures disappeared and the tyranny of Taaru was over.
Comments: Created by John Byrne & Bjorn Heyn
Note: Diablo also created Elementals (of Doom?) in Fantastic Four I#306 (preceding MCP#168, IIRC) and Fantastic Four III#35 + 36 (after MCP#168). It is not known whether the Talismans were used in either of these creations. If so, then he regained them after they were taken away at the end of FF#232. He also would have had to have either rebuilt them or created new ones for use in Fantastic Four III#35 + 36.
There were some big holes in the history of the Talismans of Power, but with a little imagination everything works at the end and the story of these fabled power items can be told.
The creator in China?
It is not known who or what the creator of the Talismans of Power was. In my opinion the creator was most likely a Chinese magician from the distant past. The reason why I think that they were created in China was that Taaru knew their name and he seemed to know about their ancient history, too. He was no Dr. Strange and probably heard about it when he was a child. So these items were probably in China for a long time before and most likely even created there or otherwise their history wouldn't be part of social knowledge.
Why did they get separated?
Could be that the original creator or a possessor after him was a bad guy. He was defeated by whomever and the Talismans of Power were brought to places all over the world to prevent them from getting into the hands of some other evil person. This should've happened a long time ago. The Talismans were probably given to four different magicians or other guardians for protection.
Museums get old stuff. If the idea with the magicians or other protectors really happened they could've died and their descendants weren't interested in the crummy little statues.
How did Diablo know about them?
I don't know why I'm even writing this. He is Diablo! He has nothing else to do. It is his job to know about stuff like that. He is the master of alchemy and other unnatural stuff. He is a super-villain stuffed with unbearable knowledge about unimportant stuff and destined to lose because of the most stupid mistakes. Poor Esteban!
Back to China?
First I don't know if the Fantastic Four gave the Talismans to Dr. Strange or back to the Museums. If they gave them to Dr. Strange he could've given them back to some descendant of their rightful owner in China or something like that. If they gave it back to a museum it could be that the Chinese government wanted them back for some reason. It is not unusual that a government decides to get back historical items that other countries took from them earlier. Originally the Talismans belonged to China. How they could've gotten into the possession of Taaru can be read somewhere else (follow the link).
The Talismans of Power have no known connection to
Fantastic Four I#232, p2, pan1 (Talismans of Power)
Marvel Comics Presents#168, barcode side, p15, pan6 (Talismans get destroyed)
Fantastic Four I#232 (July, 1981) - John Byrne (writer/artist), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents#168 (November, 1994) - Mariano Nicieza (writer), Pino Rinaldi (pencils/inks), Richard Ashford (editor)
Last updated: 08/31/04
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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