CULT of ZHERED-NA
Membership: Brainard, Dakimh the Enchanter, Illyana Kale, Joshua Kale, others unnamed
Purpose: Spreading and teaching the word of the Zhered-Na
Affiliations: Jennifer Kale, Man-Thing, Zhered-Na (former priestess)
Enemies: Dweller-in-Darkness, Thog, demons of Sominus
Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
formerly Citrusville, Florida (meeting in the barn of Joshua Kale);
formerly a cavern temple overlooking an unspecified village in the Thurian continent, around the time of the Pre-Cataclysmic Era
First Appearance: (Adventure into) Fear#13 (April, 1973)
(Adventures into Fear#15 (fb)) <18000 BC> - In the years before the Great Cataclysm, Zhered-Na was banished from Atlantis for prophesizing the sinking of Atlantis. Her boat eventually landed on the sands of the Thurian (the main continent off which Atlantis was located, see comments), eventually coming upon a colony of Atlanteans established years before on the mainland. Choosing a cavern hewn by Valka himself, Zhered-Na began to teach disciples his word, teaching about Therea, Sominus, etc., to what would become known as the Cult of Zhered-Na. She did this for years.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Deluxe Edition#6: Jennifer Kale/#16: Dakimh) - Foremost amongst the disciples of Zhered-Na was Dakimh, whom she enchanted, causing him to age at an extremely slow rate.
(Adventures into Fear#15 (fb)/Official Handbook of the Marvel
Universe, Deluxe Edition#6: Jennifer Kale/#16: Dakimh/Dr. Strange III#33/2 (fb))
- Zhered-Na foretold of the invasion of Earth by the demons of Sominus, and how they would be driven off by a savior with the aspect of a monster. At that moment, the Great Cataclysm occurred, and the Earth trembled as Atlantis began to sink beneath the seas. The Dweller-in-Darkness managed to siphon off some of the great fear of the Atlanteans as their island sank, using it to imbue a portion of his consciousness with independent life: D'Spayre.
Zhered-Na told her disciples that Atlantis was lost, but that they would be spared its fate. However, the people of the town below were superstitious and blamed the sorceress and her Cult for the tremors. They stormed her cavern temple and attacked the unarmed Cultists. Zhered-Na told her Disciples to flee while she stayed to meet her fate, and a villager, under the influence of the D'Spayre, slew her with his sword. The villagers then burnt her temple.
Only Dakimh and a few other disciples escaped, bearing with them scrolls containing her mystical knowledge, keeping her teachings alive over 20, 000 years into the future. Dakimh continued Zhered-Na's struggle against the great fear, battling D'Spayre over the ensuing centuries (millennia).
(Incredible Hercules#123 (fb) - BTS) - Some time after the Great Cataclysm the Cult of Zhered-Na created a tablet with the location of the Omphalos, which had been buried by its wielders.
(Witches#2 (fb) - BTS) - Eventually, a divine spirit and a dark spirit came to Earth and passed the knowledge of mysticism to Illyana Kale, a descendent of the priestess' original Cultists, who transcribed it into the Tome of Zhered-Na.
(Adventures into Fear#13 (fb) - BTS) - Joshua Kale, a descendent of Illyana, came to lead the remnants of the ancient Cult out of Citrusville, Florida.
(Adventures into Fear#11 (fb) - BTS) - Jennifer stole a mystic text which she thought was the Tome of Zhered-Na from her grandfather, Joshua, who was head of the Cult of Zhered-Na, intending to attempt a spell for the fun of it.
(Adventures into Fear#11 ) - Jennifer, alongside her brother Andy, used the book, unwittingly summoning Thog and another demon to Earth, though they were driven off and destroyed, respectively, by the Man-Thing, as well as the burning of the Tome by Andy.
(Adventures into Fear#13) - Joshua Kale told the other
Cultists of the imminent invasion by the residents Sominus, which Zhered-Na had
foretold 20,000 years before. However, when he prepared to read the details on
the invasion, he found the real Tome missing. The Cult was most distressed and one of
the members, Brainard, even accused Joshua of having stolen the Tome himself.
Without the Tome, the Cult could not hold off the invasion.
Jennifer described having burned the book, but Joshua revealed that it was not the Tome she had stolen, but some other book.
(Adventures into Fear#14) - As the world began to be driven mad by the opening or a portal to Sominus, Joshua gathered the Cultists and brought them deep into the Man-Thing's swamp to perform a ritual to recover the Tome. Kale called upon the Mists of Maalock, which transported both Jennifer Kale and the Man-Thing to the dimension of Sandt. There they encountered Dakimh, who allowed the Man-Thing to participate in a gladiatorial contest with that world's champion, Mongu, before returning them both to Earth. Though they still lacked the Tome, they had passed Dakimh's test.
(Adventures into Fear#15) - Joshua gathered the Cult and
detailed the full origins of Zhered-Na, her teachings, and her Cult. However,
while Dakimh took Jennifer Kale and the Man-Thing on an extradimensional voyage,
the demons of Sominus abducted Joshua and the Cultists and brought them to their
realm. As Jennifer approached the Tome, both she and it, as well as the
Man-Thing (but not Dakimh) were transported to Sominus, where Joshua guided her
to touch the Tome, restoring them all (and the Tome) to Citrusville. The
Guardian of Sominus was transported there as well, but out of its realm, it was
easy prey for the Man-Thing.
However, the Tome then vanished once again, apparently no longer needed with the invasion over. The Cult apparently dissolved as well.
(Incredible Hercules#123 - BTS) - In the modern era the tablet containing the location of the Omphalos was stored in the Atlantean Triton Station in the Pacific Ocean. When the station was taken over by the Amazons and Neptune was caught by them, Artume, Hippolyta's daughter sought knowledge about the tablet from Neptune, who told her everything she wanted to know.
COMMENTS: Created by Steve Gerber, Val Mayerik, and Frank Bolle.
How the Cult of Zhered-Na got around the curse of the Hellphyr is not known. I'll hypothesize on it in the profile on the Tome of Zhered-Na.
In Doctor Strange III#33/2, the Dweller in Darkness
describes Zhered-Na as having been exiled to the landmass that later became the
Americas. If Zhered-Na was exiled to the Thurian continent, this would be a
mistake, because the Thurian continent did not become the Americas, but rather
Africa/Europe/Asia. By the way, I don't know of any Kull stories that dealt with
the landmass that became the Americas. Conan did, however, travel there in
Savage Sword#167-169 and in Conan of the Isles.
Oh, and Valka (Zhered-Na's deity) is a god from the Kull stories. He is thus a character from the REH mythos, and I'm not certain that Marvel is even allowed to mention him anymore.
Another odd contradiction: in Amazing Spider-Man Annual#23 (and every other appearance--Snood), Kamuu and Zartra (and Zhered-Na)were both colored a regular peach/pink flesh tone, but in Doctor Strange III#33/2, they were colored blue. Since the Atlanteans are the ancestors of the Irish and Scottish, and I don't see any blue Scots, I would go with the Amazing Spider-Man Annual#23 coloring.--Per Degaton
--They should be Caucasian. There was probably confusion of the later Kamuu and Zartra, who were Homo mermani. See the Master List for clarification--Snood.
Profile by Snood.
No known connection to:
A member of the Cult, he was suspicious of Joshua Kale's involvement in the disappearance of the Tome of Zhered-Na. Joshua didn't trust him either, but nothing ever seemed to come of it
--Adventures into Fear#13, (named) #14 (15-BTS
Brainard is possibly present, though not identified, at the rally to save the swamp from destruction by the Schist Construction Company in Adventure into Fear#16.
The ancestor of pastor and Noble Kale (associated with the Dan Ketch Ghost Rider), Joshua, Jennifer, and Andrew Kale, she received the information from a divine spirit and a dark spirit who came to Earth and passed on the knowledge of mysticism.
She was not actually seen
--Adventures into Fear#13, (named) #14 (15-BTS
(Adventures into) Fear#13, p1 (modern Cult)
#14, p10, panel 3 (Brainard)
#15, p15, panel 1 (ancient Cult)
(Adventures into) Fear#11 (December 1972) -
Steve Gerber (writer), Rich Buckler (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fear#12 (February, 1973) - Steve Gerber (writer), Jim Starlin (pencils), Rich Buckler (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fear#13 (April, 1973) - Steve Gerber (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils), Frank Bolle (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fear#14 (June, 1973) - Steve Gerber (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils), Chic Stone (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Fear#15 (August, 1973) - Steve Gerber (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#6 (May, 1986)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#16 (June, 1987)
Dr. Strange III#33 (September, 1991) - Roy Thomas & Jean-Marc Lofficier (writers), Larry Alexander (pencils), Tim Dzon (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Witches#2 (August, 2004) - Brian Patrick Walsh (writer), Mike Deodato Jr. (artist), John Miesegaes (editor)
Incredible Hercules#123 (January, 2009) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Clayton Henry & Salva Espin (artists), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Last updated: 08/22/04.
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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