Real Name: Tsin Hark
Identity/Class: Human magic user; Chinese citizen
Occupation: Return faith and tradition to Earth by getting rid of all science
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Army of Darkness, Golden Fist, Gynosii
Enemies: Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch/Noble Kale), Masters of Silence (Inazuma, Kaminari, Kaze)
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: his headquarter in Chinatown, New York City
First Appearance: Marvel Comics Presents I#138/3 (early October, 1993)
Powers/Abilities: He was a powerful necromancer and had a vast knowledge
of traditional Chinese magic.
He used paper charms and possessed a Pool of Blood as his power source.
as Gynosii: Super-human strength, enhanced durability, immortality and an inconceivable lust for blood.
History: Nothing is known about the origins of Tsin Hark.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#139 (fb)) - At an unknown point in his past Tsin Hark had troubles with the Masters of Silence.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#139 (fb)) - Tsin Hark slaughtered hundreds of Chinese immigrants and obtained their blood as a power source. After he had drained his victims of all their blood, he turned them into Gynosii under his command.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#138/3) - Ghost Rider and the Masters of Silence entered the house of Tsin Hark and found gallon drums full of blood. Tsin Hark sat on his throne and told them that innocent blood was a rare and precious substance of great mystic potency.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#139/3) - Tsin Hark recognized the Masters of Silence from previous encounters and also knew who the Ghost Rider was. While walking down the stairs from his throne he told them about his operation to bring back tradition and faith by burning science from the face of the Earth. Hark adhered a paper charm with a spell on binding on Ghost Rider and jumped backwards before the Masters of Silence could attack him. He then sent his former victims who had turned into Gynosii against the Masters of Silence.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#140/3) - Hark went to his Pool of Blood and called upon the Gods of Outer Darkness. He let more innocent blood into the pool and threw burning incantations into the air. The pool began to burn and Hark smiled when shadows began to stir in the depths of the pool. The heroes went after Hark and found him in a hall hidden behind the curtain of his throne. He showed them the instruments of the new world order, the Army of Darkness.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#141/3) - Tsin Hark introduced his enemies to the Army of Darkness and ordered the Army to kill the heroes. He returned to the Pool of Blood and a silent voice within it told him about greater power and possibilities. Hark took the offer and drank from the Pool of Blood. Ghost Rider tried to attack him from behind, but Hark had already turned into a powerful Gynosii. He grew in mere seconds and raised Ghost Rider by his throat into the air.
(Marvel Comics Presents I#142/3) - Ghost Rider and Tsin Hark had a hard fight until Ghost Rider hit Hark's face with his chain. A few drops of Hark's blood fell into the Pool of Blood and it began to burn. Hark felt the effect on him immediately. He returned to his weak human form and saw the Pool of Blood burn out of control. Ghost Rider threw him into the burning Pool of Blood and Tsin Hark burnt within it.
Comments: Created by Len Kaminski, Reggie Jones & Fred Harper
Gods of Outer Darkness:
In Christianity Outer Darkness can be a description for hell. The hell of Chinese mythology called Feng Du has differing numbers of levels according to the Buddhist or Taoist perception (the number go from 3 to 10). Each level of hell has its own king, tortures and responsibilities. One of the most common versions would be the hell with ten courts. The kings of these courts would be Qin-Guang-Wang, Qu-Jiang-Wang, Song-Di-Wang, Wu-Guan-Wang, Yen-Lo-Wang, Bian-Cheng-Wang, Tai-Shan-Wang, Du-Shi-Wang, Ping-Deng-Wang, Zhuang-Lun-Wang. These were probably the Gods of Outer Darkness Hark was praying to.
The Chinese Vampires:
The Jiangshi is the Chinese version of the vampire. In Chinese belief, each person has two souls, a superior or rational soul and an inferior or irrational soul. The inferior soul was called p'ai or p'o and was that which inhabited the body of a fetus during pregnancy and often lingered in the bodies of the dead. It was thought to preserve the corpse. If the p'ai was strong enough, it could preserve and inhabit a corpse for a length of time, using the body to serve its needs. The body animated by the p'ai was called a Jiangshi.
Usually Jiangshi were created after a particularly violent death, such as a suicide, hanging, drowning, or smothering. It could also be a result of an improper burial, as it was thought that the dead would become restless if their burial was postponed after their death. The Jiangshi were not known to rise from the grave, so their transformation had to take place prior to burial.
Jiangshi were nocturnal creatures and had difficulties crossing running water. It was said that they were particularly vicious and ripped the head or limbs off their victims. After a period of growing stronger, Jiangshi would gain the ability to fly, grow long white hair, and possibly change into wolves.
People protected themselves from Jiangshi by using garlic or salt. They were also driven away with loud noises, and it was thought that thunder could kill them. Brooms were used to sweep the creature back to its resting spot, while iron filings, rice, and red peas were used as barriers. If a Jiangshi reached its flying, white-haired stage, it could only be killed by a bullet or thunder. Its body must then be cremated.
"Gyonshee", a word based on jiangshi, is used in some obscure games and trading card games as a term for creatures that combined the characteristics of Chinese and "Western" vampires.
Other names used:
Chiang-Shih, Ch'ing Shih, Gyonshi, Kiang Shi, Xiang Shi, Xi Xie Gui
Western inability to translate Chinese letters into our Latin letter format seems to make it hard to get one name for Chinese characters or is this because
there are so many Chinese dialects.
Paper charms contained spells, allowing anyone to activate them, regardless of knowledge or magical aptitude. Traditionally charms containing a spell lost their power after one use, often burning and turning into ashes or the ink fading. They were normally activated either by sticking them to something, which became the subject of the magic. In Chinese lore, one could also burn the charm and drink the ashes mixed with some liquid for improved effect.
It could be that Tsin Hark was the boss of the Golden Fist, but it is also possible that they were just the normal protectors of Chinatown.
They looked like ninjas of the Hand or the ones that worked for Deathwatch. Those ninjas need to wear different training suits to look different. It is dangerous to look like an evildoer in a city packed full of heroes when you are a good guy. Who cares? They were probably pawns of Tsin Hark anyway.
The homage game:
In this story influences from Raimi's Army of Darkness (which was released around the same time) to classical Hong Kong horror movies were seen.
The character of Tsin Hark was homage to the famous Hong Kong producer / director / actor Tsui Hark. Warren Ellis also used the name Hark for a Chinese character in Planetary, presumably getting the name from the same source.
Tsui Hark (pronounced "Choy Hok") was born Tsui Man-kong in Canton on January 2, 1951, but raised in Saigon. His father was a pharmacist and the family was large, sixteen children from three marriages. Tsui made his first film at ten, filming a magic show. At fourteen, Tsui was sent to Hong Kong for his secondary education, and three years later he came to the United States to major in film. After living in both Texas and New York, Tsui returned to Hong Kong in 1977. Everything that happened after that is Hong Kong movie history.
Tsin Hark has no known connection to
Army of Darkness has no known connection to
Pool of Blood has no known connections to
Golden Fist has no known connection to
Gynosii have no known connection to
Army of Darkness
The Army of Darkness was sent by the Gods of the Outer Darkness to help Tsin Hark with his plans. They rose from the burning Pool of Blood and marched against the Masters of Silence and Ghost Rider. Many of them were destroyed, but their numbers rose all the time and in the end they couldn't have been defeated. They returned into the Outer Darkness through the Pool of Blood after Tsin Hark died since they had to follow their earthly leader.
--Marvel Comics Presents#140/3 (141/3-142/3
Pool of Blood
A pool filled with innocent blood, it was the source of Tsin Hark's power. The Army of Darkness rose out of the burning pool after Hark called upon the Gods of the Outer Darkness. A silent voice within the pool told Hark about greater power and possibilities. He took the offer and drank from the blood and he turned into a powerful Gynosii. The Pool of Blood lost all its mystical powers when the evil blood of Hark tainted it. It began to burn and Hark burnt in the fire of the Pool of Blood. The Army of Darkness followed him into the burning pool and returned to their former home.
--Marvel Comics Presents#140/3 (141/3-142/3
The Ninjas of the Golden Fist attacked Ghost Rider when he tried to enter the house of Tsin Hark. They told Ghost Rider that this place was under their protection and that the penalty for his trespassing was death. They attacked him and were defeated by Ghost Rider in an embarrassingly fast way.
The Golden Fist was a group of ninjas and had the normal abilities of a trained ninja. They used a variety of traditional weapons and were garbed in a red hooded fighting suit.
--Marvel Comics Presents#137/3
Before they became Gynosii under the command of Tsin Hark they were his human victims. He didn't want their bloodless bodies go to waste and turned them into mindless Gynosii. He sent them against the Masters of Silence when they entered his home. The Gynosii were too many for them to fight. The Masters of Silence freed Ghost Rider from his binding spell and he helped them destroy the Gynosii.
Hark himself became a Gynosii after he took a sip of the Pool of Blood. He was more powerful than his former victims and didn't lose his intelligence like normal Gynosii.
--Marvel Comics Presents#139/3 (140/3
Tsin Hark body shot: Marvel Comics Presents#141, barcode side, p8, pan1
Tsin Hark head shot: Marvel Comics Presents#139, barcode side, p1, pan1
Army of Darkness: Marvel Comics Presents#140, barcode side, p8, pan2
Pool of Blood: Marvel Comics Presents#140, barcode side, p4, pan1
Golden Fist: Marvel Comics Presents#137, barcode side, p4, pan5
Gynosii: Marvel Comics Presents#139, barcode side, p4, pan5
Marvel Comics Presents I#138/3-140/3 (October, 1993) - Len Kaminski (writer), Reggie Jones (pencils), Fred Harper (inks), Richard Ashford (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#141/3-142/3 (November, 1993) - Len Kaminski (writer), Reggie Jones (pencils), Fred Harper (inks), Richard Ashford (editor)
First Posted: 09/19/2004
Last updated: 09/26/2004
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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