Classification: Magical location (Asgardian)
Creator: Unrevealed, possibly Mogul
Inhabitants: Alibar, Abu Dakir, Demon-Riders, Jinni Devil, Mutaurus, Ogur the One-Eyed, Shezada,
also an unspecified number of Mogul's subjects, and his elite guard of warriors.
Aliases: The Mystic Mountain, Xandu, Zandu
First Appearance: (Mystic Mountain mentioned) Thor I#137 (February, 1967);
(Zanadu seen and named): Thor I#139 (April, 1967)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: Zanadu, the Mystic Mountain, normally existed hidden inside a stalactite composed of purest crystal; it hung within a massive cavern beneath the barren Forbidden Land, on the border of the lands of Gunderheim, Hindi, and Skornheim, on the periphery of the landmass of Asgard.
Mogul could mystically transfer the entire subterranean kingdom to the interior of an actual mountain (see comments), which Mogul could also levitate through the air.
The origins of Zanadu, the Mystic Mountain, are unrevealed, but Mogul eventually became its tyrannical ruler.
(Thor I#137/2 (fb) - BTS) - Long ago, the homeland of Hogun the Grim was conquered by Mogul -- the tyrant slaughtered many of the people, enslaved the rest, and stole their battle standard; the slaves and the battle standard were taken to the Mystic Mountain. Hogun and his father and brothers escaped the initial slaughter, and subsequently dedicated their lives to locating the Mystic Mountain and recovering the battle standard of their people, but to no avail -- Hogun's father and all of his brothers perished seeking the Mountain.
(Thor I#137/2 (fb) - BTS) - Saguta, one of Hogun's countrymen, fled from the Mystic Mountain.
(Thor I#137/2) - After Mogul taunted Thor and the Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogun, and Vosltagg), he had his giant Jinni pick him up and carry him off, to return him to the Mystic Mountain.
(Thor I#138/2) - Wazir granted knowledge of the location of the Mystic Mountain to Thor and the Warriors Three.
(Thor I#139/2) - While sitting in his throne room, Mogul grew weary of the entertainers and ordered them to leave; shortly afterward, he was alerted to the approach of four outsiders to his realm.
When the heroic quartet found the subterranean entrance to Zanadu, Mogul sent the Jinni Devil to destroy them.
(Thor I#140/2) - From the Mystic Mountain, Mogul watched as the Jinni was defeated by Thor and the Warriors Three.
(Thor I#141/2) - As the quartet stormed Zanadu, Mogul first unleashed his elite squad of guardsmen, then sent Alibar and the Demon-Riders against them.
(Thor I#142/2) - After transferring Zanadu to the the
interior of a mountain looming over Hogun's homeland (see
comments), Mogul assaulted the remaining inhabitants with
firebolts; he then took to his sky-craft
and prepared to unleash the deadly Spotted
Plague upon all those who defied him.
(Thor I#143/2) - Within Mogul's palace, Shezada activated a trapdoor and sent Volstagg hurtling downward to confront the powerful Mutaurus; however, Volstagg pulled her along with him as he dropped, and Shezada was forced to give him the Enchanted Rod of Wondrous Wizard Power, so he could defeat Mutaurus and save them both.
(Thor I#144/2) - Fandral, Hogun, Thor, Volstagg, and Alibar routed the Demon-Riders, while Mogul plotted slaying all who lived with the Spotted Plague.
(Thor I#145/2) - As Mogul prepared to dump the Plague over Hogun's homeland, the heroes made their way to his throne room. Alibar conjured Mogul's image in the tyrant's Enchanted Crystal, and he then followed Hogun's directions, precisely mouthing a spell that unleashed a bolt of temporal force, seemingly defeating Mogul -- although apparently destroyed by that bolt, Mogul was actually trapped within the Enchanted Rod.
(Thor I#474 (fb) - BTS) - As liberator of his land, Alibar became the new ruler of Zanadu, and he had the Enchanted Rod, in which Mogul was imprisoned, placed under constant guard.
(Thor I#474 (fb)) - Shezada seduced Alibar, then she freed Mogul from the Enchanted Rod. Mogul summoned his servants, retook control of Zanadu, and threw Alibar into the dungeon.
(Thor I#474 (fb)) - Hermod and Hogun arrived in Zanadu to try to rescue Alibar, but they were defeated and imprisoned as well. Hermod eventually escaped and headed back to Asgard by himself, to give warning of the upcoming attack.
(Thor I#474 (fb)) - Mogul transported the Mystic Mountain to just outside the city of Asgard, and led his servants to attack. With the Asgardians' help, Alibar trapped Mogul in the purloined Lamp of Alaeddin, then Alibar returned the Mystic Mountain to its proper realm.
Comments: Created by Stan "The Man" Lee, Jack "King" Kirby, and Vince Colletta.
Some sources describe the Mystic Mountain as if it were within the land of Zanadu, rather than being Zanadu itself, as initially described. Other sources describe Zanadu as a castle within the Mountain/city.
Although Thor I#139/2
depicted Zanadu as existing below a barren desert with no
mountains (see Main Image), Thor I#142/2 mistakenly depicted Mogul
flying out from the top of a mountain. This continuity glitch was
later explained in the Mogul profile in Marvel
Legacy: The 1960s Handbook: Mogul kept the people of Hogun's
homeland oppressed by occasionally transferring Zanadu from its actual
location in the giant crystal stalactite (sort of an inverted
mountain) to the interior of an actual mountain looming over their
territory. -- Ron Fredricks
Courtesy of: http://xanadu.com/xuhistory.html
Xanadu is an actual place in Mongolia which is described in a poem considered by many as the most romantic poem in the English language-- "Kubla Khan" by Coleridge. The poem begins,
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately Pleasure Dome decree, ...
and goes on to describe that eerie and beautiful palace with innuendos of sensuality and madness. This poem's tradition also associates the name "Xanadu" with memory and lost work, because Coleridge said he lost part of the poem due to a mundane interruption. We chose the name "Xanadu", with all these connotations, to represent a magic place of literary memory and freedom, where nothing would be forgotten.
The "freedom" part applies even today: The ruins of of Kublai Khan's actual palace at Xanadu have been placed off limits to Mongolians by the Chinese government, because of its symbolism of Mongolian independence.
And then there's that 1980 Olivia Newton-John movie...though I never saw it.
The Mystic Mountain supposedly perished during the Ragnarok in Thor II#85.
Profile by Snood
Zanadu should not be confused with:
images: (without ads)
Thor I#139/2, p4, pan3 (Main Image - Zanadu in crystal stalactite; Thor and Warriors Three above)
Thor I#139/2, p1, pan1 (entertainers in Mogul's throne room; Mogul (background))
Thor I#141/2, p1, pan1 (Thor and Warriors Three descend stairs into Zanadu; Mogul's subjects (foreground))
Thor I#474, p23, pan1 (levitating Mystic Mountain, returning to its proper realm)
Thor I#139-142 (April-July, 1967) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks)
Thor I#143 (August, 1967) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Bill Everett (inks)
Thor I#144-145 (September-October, 1967) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks)
Thor I#474 (May, 1994) - Roy Thomas (writer), Sandu Florea (pencils), Bob Petrecca (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
First Posted: 03/31/2004
Last Updated: 06/16/2022
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