ZHERED-NA

Real Name: Zhered-Na

Identity/Class: Human (Pre-Cataclysmic Era) magic user

Occupation: Sorceress, priestess, prophetess

Group Membership: Cult of Zhered-Na

Affiliations: Agamotto, Dakimh the Enchanter (disciple), Jennifer Kale (second-hand student of her teachings), Son of Satan (later Hellstorm), Valka (god)

Enemies: D'Spayre, Dweller-in-Darkness, Kamuu of pre-Cataclysmic Atlantis, Zarta of pre-Cataclysmic Atlantis

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: formerly a cavern temple overlooking an unspecified village in the Thurian continent;
    formerly Atlantis;

    pre-Cataclysmic era

First Appearance: (Adventures into) Fear#15 (August, 1973)

 

 

 

Powers/Abilities: Zhered-Na was one of the most powerful magic users of her era. She possessed great precognitive powers and could access the astral plane and other dimensions, transport others across dimensional barriers, project magical bolts, and magically extend the lifespan of a disciple by over 20, 000 years. She can call on power from entities such as Valka and Agamotto. The full range of her abilities remains unknown.
    The Tome of Zhered-Na, containing her teachings, remains one of the most powerful books of magic in existence.

Height: 5'11"
Weight: 130 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Platinum blonde

History:

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcover#7: MAGIC) - Zhered-Na, summoned by Agamotto, attended the Assemblage of Avatars in Atlantis around 19,000 BC to find a solution for the current conflicts between the Elder Gods. Only little was accomplished during the meeting and Agamotto became frustated with humanity's limitations.

(Adventures into Fear#15 (fb)) <18000 BC> - In the years before the Great Cataclysm, Zhered-Na was a practitioner of white magic, worshipping the god Valka. However, when she prophesized the sinking of Atlantis, the Atlantean emperor Kamuu was furious and twice ordered Zhered-Na to cease making this prophecy, but she refused. Kamuu banished Zhered-Na from Atlantis forever for this blasphemy. She was set adrift in a small boat, left to the mercy of the winds and tides, alone, with little food and less chance of survival, on hostile seas and a dubious course at best.

    Zhered-Na spent weeks adrift in meditation, during which time Valka paraded visions of Earth's future before her eyes, revealing to her the secrets of the universe and seeing to it that she would live to teach them. Finally, her boat landed on the sands of the Thurian (the main continent off which Atlantis was located, see comments); she spent the days and nights learning even more from the land, the moon, and the stars, which spoke to her as well. For days uncounted she wandered the wilderness, seeking shelter and sanctuary, 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.

(Dr. Strange III#33/2 (fb)) - Aided by Valka and Agamotto, Zhered-Na detected the presence and purpose of the Dweller-in-Darkness, who fed on the fear of the times. In worlds between worlds, Zhered-Na battled the Dweller for Earth; she bested the Dweller, but found even the powers she had been granted were insufficient to destroy the Fear Lord. Instead she plunged him into a mystical slumber, aware but immobilized in an interstitial universe adjacent to that of Earth.

(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.

(Marvel Spotlight I#17) - Seeking a way to oppose the threat of Kometes, the Son of Satan traveled back to the pre-Cataclysmic era, where his astral form made contact with and was summoned by Zhered-Na. She told him that the Earth itself was highly sensitive to the psychic nature of the creatures that inhabit it, and that when those vibrations grew overly violent, the planet rebels, as it would do in her era, via the Great Cataclysm, and as it was doing in his era, as Kometes planned to destroy all life on Earth. She brought Daimon to the Primal Matrix, the very Foundation of Life, where he did battle with Spyros, whom he duped into destroying Kometes. Afterwards, Zhered-Na sent Daimon's astral self back to its body, while she returned to her temple, to die.

(Adventures into Fear#15 (fb)/Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Deluxe Edition#6: Jennifer Kale/#16: Dakimh/Dr. Strange III#33/2 (fb)) - Almost immediately following her return to her temple, 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 (see comments). 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).

(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#15 - BTS) - Dakimh the Enchanter took Jennifer Kale as his disciple, training her in the teachings of Zhered-Na, and even garbing her in Zhered-Na's raiment.

Comments: Created by Steve Gerber, Val Mayerik, and Frank McLaughlin.

    The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Deluxe Edition#6 (Jennifer Kale entry) and #16 (Dakimh entry) speculates that Kamuu may have incorrectly believed that Zhered-Na was an evil sorcerer, perhaps even in league with cult of Darkholders, who had originated in pre-Cataclysmic Atlantis.

    Zhered-Na's prophecy of the invasion by demons finally occurred in the modern era, as shown in the Thog profile.

    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.

Zhered-Na has an entry in Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No known connection to:

 


images:
Marvel Spotlight I#17, p22, panel 1
Adventures into Fear#15, p14, panel 4


Appearances:
(Adventures into) Fear#15 (August, 1973) - Steve Gerber (writer), Val Mayerik (pencils), Frank McLaughlin (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Spotlight I#17 (September, 1974) - Steve Gerber (writer), Jim Mooney (pencils), Sal Trapani (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Dr. Strange III#33 (September, 1991) - Roy & Dann Thomas (writers), Chris Marrinan (pencils), Mark McKenna & friends (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcover#7: MAGIC (2009) - David Sexton (writer), Jeff Younquist & Jennifer Gruenwald (editors)


Last updated: 08/07/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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