Real Name: Presumably Lucian Aster
Identity/Class: Human magic-user
Occupation: Sorcerer, author
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Formerly "bat out of Hell," Defenders (Dr. Strange, Hulk, Namor, Silver Surfer), Rick Jones, Shanzar, Jill Walker, Wild One, 666 demonized human sacrificial pawns (deceased)
Enemies: Wild One;
Formerly the Defenders (Dr. Strange, Hulk, Namor, Silver Surfer), Rick Jones, Jill Walker, 666 demonized human sacrificial pawns (deceased)
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Briefly impersonated Dr. Strange
Base of Operations: Currently unknown;
formerly Pan-Dimensional Publishing building, Los Angeles, California
First Appearance: Incredible Hulk II Annual#18 (1992)
Powers/Abilities: Aster had unspecified magical abilities and knowledge, including contacting extradimensional entities, etc.
(Namor the Sub-Mariner Annual#2 (fb) - BTS) - Amateur sorcerer Lucian Aster made contact with the Wild One during his conjurings.
(Namor the Sub-Mariner Annual#2 (fb) - BTS) - The Wild One instructed Aster to summon Shanzar--Sorcerer Supreme of the Strange Matter dimension--back to Earth and to prepare for him a body hardy enough to sustain Shanzar for the week required to orchestrate the Wild One's rebirth. In return the Wild One promised to create a permanent body to house Shanzar's essence and sorcerous arsenal, as well as to grant Aster and Shanzar an honored place in his future hierarchy.
(Namor the Sub-Mariner Annual#2 (fb) - BTS / Silver Surfer III
Annual#5 (fb) - BTS) - Part of the ritual required the sacrifice of 666 demons,
followed by the spilling of the blood whose soul is pure. The Wild One arranged
the financial backing for Aster to publish a book, Spelling Made Easy
(promoted as the first book of necromancy aimed at the layman),
and imbued the book with power to transform people into demons. The Wild One
further requested that the scion of Neptune witness his rebirth.
These newly created demons then flocked to Shanzar.
(Incredible Hulk II Annual#18 (fb) - BTS) - Jill Walker read a phrase from Lucian Aster's book and was transformed into demonic form.
(Incredible Hulk II Annual#18 (fb) - BTS) - Aster and Shanzar sent demons to ambush and capture Namor, who at the time had been rendered amnesiac by Master Khan. They pulled his mind from his body and transferred it into the demonic form that had once been Jill Walker. They thought they could hold hold Namor, but his mind reasserted itself and he broke free. The mystic form hosting Namor's mind guided him to one he knew could be trusted: the Hulk.
(Namor the Sub-Mariner Annual#2 (fb) - BTS) - Shanzar's essence and power inhabited Namor's empty form.
(Incredible Hulk II Annual#18) - The Pantheon's Delphi
attended one of Aster's signings in Los Angeles; he recognized her psychic
powers and fled, notifying Shanzar of the encounter. She brought the book back to the Mount, and
Paris read from it and was demonized.
During the same period, the demonized Jill Walker (containing Namor's mind, though partially submerged) rampaged through a mall in Reno, Nevada, encountering Rick Jones, who knocked it into a fountain and electrocuted it. Its tail contacted Rick, transferring the mind of Namor into him, while the demon returned to human form; Namor revealed his presence within Rick to the Hulk, who summoned Dr. Strange who questioned Jill Walker about the book, then probed the mind of Namor, revealing what had happened to him. At the same time, Marlo Chandler read from Aster's book and was transformed into demonic form.
As the Hulk fought the demonized Marlo, the demonized Paris attacked him as well. Via a lightning rod, the Hulk electrified both demon-oids, restoring them to normal.
A demon serving Shanzar caused a nightmarish vision for the Silver Surfer, causing him to return to Earth.
Aster informed Shanzar of the involvement of the super-heroes, but Shanzar felt that they would be too late to stop them.
(Namor the Sub-Mariner Annual#2 ) - The demonized people
gathered at Shanzar's office in Los Angeles' Pan-Dimensional Publishing
Building. Dr. Strange, the Hulk, and the Namor-possessed Rick Jones arrived soon
after to follow-up on Aster's book. Neptune granted Rick Namor's powers for the
duration of the possession.
When the heroes reached the top of the building, Shanzar's office, Aster prepared a spell and rushed to confront the Hulk until Shanzar told him to stand down so they would not risk injuring "Namor." Aster and Shanzar abducted the Namor-possessed Rick Jones, gathered the demonoids and vanished, after which the Hulk and Strange were joined by the newly arrived Silver Surfer.
(Silver Surfer III Annual#5) - Having made direct contact with Aster, Delphi directed Dr. Strange to the bottom of the Mariana Trench to stop him and Shanzar, while Strange asked the Pantheon to collect and destroy all copies of Spelling made Easy. Via a spell that allowed the Hulk to breathe underwater, Strange brought himself, the Hulk, and the Surfer to confront Shanzar, just as Shanzar had planned. They encountered the mystic shield Shanzar had placed, and their assaults, specifically the Surfer's endless outpourings of force, upon the shield allowed Shanzar and Aster to siphon that cosmic energy to empower their sacrificial dagger. When the blade was "ripened," Shanzar had Aster as the residual cosmic energy to the summoning sequence, and then they opened a portal in their shield. After the three Defenders passed through the portal, Shanzar sent the 666 demonoids after them. Strange confirmed that the demonic presences within the people had consumed their souls, leaving no residual humanity. With no further risk of killing the people--since their souls were already lost--the three Defenders slaughtered the demons, unwittingly completing the ritual sacrifice for Shanzar and Aster. With the demons slain, the Surfer turned his assault on Shanzar, who stabbed him with the sacrificial blade that his own energies had empowered. The Surfer briefly bled onto the ocean floor before healing himself, but this nonetheless completed the final portion of the ritual, and the Wild One began to burst forth from the ground. All present fled the violent upheaval, traveling to the Ocean's surface. Strange freed the Namor-possessed Rick, but the Wild One then emerged from the ocean, driving a flaming car. He acknowledged Shanzar and Aster for reviving them, telling them they'd get their rewards later, and he then took off for the Big Island of Hawaii.
(Silver Surfer III Annual#5 / Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme Annual#2 (fb) - BTS) - The Wild One transformed the island's natives and tourists into his own personal demonic honor guard.
(Silver Surfer III Annual#5) - The Defenders followed the Wild One to Hawaii and confronted him..
(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme Annual#2 (fb) - BTS) - The Wild One summoned Shanzar and Aster to his side, and he set off the five volcanoes that originally formed the island.
(Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme Annual#2) - The Wild One
stated that he only wished to play with their world for awhile,
after which they could have whatever was left of it. The Defenders subsequent
assaults were met by Shanzar and the demonized humans. As the heroes made some
headway, Aster told the Wild One that this wasn't what he had in mind when he
helped bring him back to Earth; the Wild One thanked him for his opinion and
told him to buzz off so he could deal with approaching Hulk. Aster begged the Wild One for protection against the
approaching heroes, but the Wild One decided to use the guitar on Aster first.
Strange shielded Aster, and the Wild One then struck down Strange with an energy
blast. The Hulk threw the Surfer into Wild One, who retaliated by smashing them
all down with his car. Knowing they had no hope in defeating the Wild One in
direct conflict, Strange caused the Defenders to feign defeat by pulling their
astral selves into another realm, and he pulled the physical selves of Shanzer
and Aster there as well. After the Defenders helped he two sorcerers fight off
demon/monsters in that realm, Aster and Shanzar realized that they meant nothing to
the Wild One, who had no intentions of honoring his promises to them, and they
joined forces with the Defenders.
The Defenders returned to Earth and confronted the Wild One, who took them out one-by-one with energy blasts. However, when the blast hit "Dr. Strange," he was revealed to really by Lucian Aster, who had willingly sacrificed his own life to be transformed into a trap that would pull the Defenders and the Wild One into the ultra-dense Strange Matter dimension. The Wild One, unprepared for such forces, was crushed and twisted out of existence. The nature of the portal destroyed Aster's body, killing him.
The Defenders returned to Earth, the demonized Hawaiian natives and tourists were returned to normal, and the Pantheon completed the collection and destruction of the copies of Spelling made Easy.
Comments: Created by Peter David, Kevin McGuire, and Brad Vancata.
Aster had a pony tail, though it's not seen in the images I scanned.
Profile by Snood.
No KNOWN connections to:
"bat out of Hell"
Aster's chauffeur (perhaps one of the demonized humans), it picked him up and swiftly took off after Aster encountered Delphi and Ulysses, prompting Ulysses to remark that "Aster's limo drives like a bat out of Hell."
--Incredible Hulk II Annual#18
images: (without ads)
Incredible Hulk II Annual#18, main story, p3, panel 2 (face)
p8, panel 4 (bat out of Hell)
p29, panel 1 (full body)
Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme Annual#2, p18, panel 6 (transformed into portal)
Incredible Hulk II Annual#18 (1992) - by Peter David (writer), Kevin McGuire (penciler), Brad Vancata (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Namor the Sub-Mariner Annual#2 (1992) - by Ron Marz (writer), James Fry (penciler), Christopher Ivy (inker), Terry Kavanaugh (editor)
Silver Surfer III Annual#5 (1992) - by Ron Marz (writer), Tom Morgan (artist), Craig Anderson (editor)
Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme Annual#2 (1992) - by Roy Thomas (writer), M.C. Wyman (penciler), E.R. Cruz (inker), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Last updated: 06/02/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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