Classification: Magic Item (Pre-Cataclysmic era, Medieval ara, Middle Ages, and modern era)
User/Possessors: Dr. Sun, Dracula, Joshua & David Eschol, many others unidentified
First Appearance: Tomb of Dracula I#26 (November, 1974)
Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Chimera--possessing a
lion's head, a goat's body, and the tail of a serpent--is composed of three
parts, each part twisting onto the next one. It is imbued with powerful magic,
the "Cosmic Eternal," which might be directed by its possessor for good or for
evil. It allegedly has the power to guide or to destroy a world.
In Dr. Sun's hands, the Chimera was only used to manipulate emotions and cast illusions. Dracula used the tail alone to summon a fire-plague to rain from the sky, setting an entire village afire, though this, too, may have been an illusion. Dracula also was able to use the Chimera to affect things on different continents.
(Tomb of Dracula I#26 (fb)) - The Chimera was created more than 30, 000 years ago (see comments) from metals no longer known to man, on the island of Atlantis. It was forged by the wizard C'Thunda and endowed with the power of the cosmic eternal. C'Thunda hated Atlantis, for it spurned his wizardry, and with his prized Chimera he called upon the ancient gods to rain blackness and death onto the land of his birth.
But every madness breeds another madness, and C'Thunda was slain before the power could be invoked.
The assassin stole the statue and fled into Atlantis' deepest caves. He was never found and the Chimera itself was lost.
(Tomb of Dracula I#26 (fb)) - 10, 000 years later, during the reign of Kull, king of Valusia, the Chimera surfaced again. Using the statue's power, a base villain created a flame-giant to destroy the barbarian king. Kull survived, but his assailant did not. The Chimera was never found.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcover#7: MAGIC) - The spirit of C'Thunda, 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.
(Tomb of Dracula I#26 (fb)) - For twenty thousand more years nothing was seen of the Chimera, but during the plagues of the medieval period it appeared once more...and again there was death.
(Tomb of Dracula I#26 (fb)) - Many more times did the Chimera appear before mankind and with each appearance there were more horrors, more killings, more evil. But then it vanished again, and it was presumed destroyed.
(Tomb of Dracula I#26 (fb) - BTS) - More recently, Rabbi Joshua Eschol sought the Chimera for 20 years before finally obtaining its final piece.
(Tomb of Dracula I#26 (fb) - BTS) - Dracula's informants told him how Rabbi Eschol had assembled the pieces of the Chimera. Dracula sought the Chimera to use its power to end his dependence on blood to maintain his existence.
(Tomb of Dracula I#26) - From
within his London pawnship, Rabbi Joshua Eschol showed the Chimera to his son,
David, as he assembled the pieces. David was worried that the Chimera was an
evil and no good wood come from it, but his father assured him that despite it
having come from tainted origins that his own soul was clean. The Rabbi was
quoting the words of Solomon about avoiding the path of the wicked when three
men--Randolph and two others, all agents of Dr. Sun--hurled a smoke bomb into
the room, then broke in and beat Joshua to death. They took the Chimera and
fled, not realizing that they had only obtained the head and the body; the tail
remained in the rabbi's dead hand.
Dracula arrived at Eschol's pawn shop after the assailants' departure and decided that Joshua would aggressively seek out the Chimera. He thus sent his agent Shiela Wittier to spy on Eschol so that he could claim the Chimera once they had found the other parts.
David Eschol decided to meet with Lydia, a psychic who had been his midwife, and who was said to know everything. En route, he ran into Shiela Wittier, who identified him and then lied, telling him that she worked at the museum her father had contacted regarding an unspecified statue's age and authenticity. Puzzled because he didn't think his father had wanted anyone to know about the Chimera, David nonetheless brought Shiela with him to see Lydia who told him of the Chimera's origins. Lydia encouraged him to use the Chimera for good or, if he feared he could not take the world to a newborn paradise, to use the Chimera to find someone who could.
Dracula had spied on Lydia' revelations via his connection to Shiela, and he then followed his informants' information towards the possessors of the other pieces of the Chimera. However, Dracula had been expected by Dr. Sun who trapped the vampire in a pit which began to fill with holy water.
(Tomb of Dracula I#26/Tomb of Dracula I#27 (fb) - BTS) - Randolph told Dr. Sun that they had only obtained one piece of the Chimera, the lion's head. Randolph hid the other part, the goat's body, in a safe deposit box in Chelsea Bank.
(Tomb of Dracula I#27) - While
Dracula narrowly escaped the trap, injuring himself in the process, his control
over Shiela weakened, and she began to question his orders and to question her
loyalty to Dracula himself. Randolph delivered the head of the Chimera to Dr. Sun who told him that he knew he had
obtained two pieces of the Chimera since Dracula and David Eschol were looking
for two pieces. He threatened Randolph, forcing him to reveal the location of
the body, then killed him anyway. Dr. Sun then sent his servant, Mae Li, to
obtain the body of the Chimera.
Dracula then appeared before David and Shiela, telling him that he was Shiela's employer at the museum and then commanding him to give him the tail. Dracula then demonstrated the power held in the tail alone, summoning a fire-plague to rain from the sky, setting an entire village afire, as well as driving the car of Taj Nital (in Jajpur, India) off the road via the appearance of a flaming chimera. Dracula then summoned true rain to wash away all traces of the fire and to restore all as once it was. Dracula--his then waning powers strengthened by the Chimera's tail--then summoned an army of vampires to seek out the other pieces of the Chimera. Upon learning Dracula's true nature, David fled, but Dracula who knocked him to the ground and prepared to slay him. David held Dracula off with his Star of David, searing his flesh, but then Dr. Sun's men arrived, demanding the tail of the Chimera or they would slay Shiela.
(Tomb of Dracula I#28 (fb) - BTS) - Mae Li returned with the body of the Chimera, and Dr. Sun's other agents delivered its tail. Dr. Sun assembled the Chimera, and he made Dracula, David Eschol, and Shiela Wittier his prisoners.
(Tomb of Dracula I#28) - Speaking remotely via a speaker, Dr. Sun tormented his captives, and Mae Lin struck Dracula with a cross every time he mouthed off. Dr. Sun then commanded Shiela to declare her hatred for David and to attack him, after which he began to plague his three captives with images of their greatest nightmares from their minds. David Eschol saw his own father as a demonic being trying to destroy his faith, and then of God, who named himself to be nothing, and then to be Satan. Shiela saw her beloved Dracula as a skeleton, death incarnate. Dracula was tormented and slain by the Vampire Hunters and his daughter, Lilith. Dracula resisted the illusions, breaking his own bonds and claiming the Chimera for himself. With Dr. Sun himself having fled, his soldiers departed as well. Mae Lin held a knife to Shiela's neck to force Dracula's surrender, but Dracula laughed, telling her that he cared not for a mortal life, not even Shiela. Nonetheless, he punished Mae Lin for threatening him, mesmerizing her and forcing her to stab herself in the chest with her own knife. Dracula then slew the sole remaining soldier of Dr. Sun's who remained. However, when Dracula commanded Shiela to leave with him to celebrate his victory, she angrily tore the Chimera from his hands and hurled it against the wall. As the Chimera shattered into hundreds of pieces, Dracula and David both asked her why she had done it, as they both felt the Chimera was theirs by right. She told them that the Chimera was too powerful to be used by anyone, and she similarly resisted Dracula's control (weakened again) and left with David.
Comments: Created by Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, and Tom Palmer.
Joshua Eschol counseled David about choosing the path of good
David Eschol feared that the Chimera's power might corrupt him.
Dracula sought the Chimera's power to make himself immune to final death, as well as to rule the world.
Shiela Wittier wished to use the Chimera to make Dracula love her as she believed she loved him.
I'm not sure when Atlantis was founded in
the Marvel Universe. Prior to 20, 000 B.C., though this story would place it
back as far as 28, 500 B.C., which is a at least few thousand years before other
sources reference it. Perhaps there was a rise and fall of Atlantis, with an
earlier society, or perhaps the story is in error and should refer to Valusia?
It says the ISLAND of Atlantis, not the KINGDOM of Atlantis. The land mass would've existed long before even the first city called Atlantis and could easily have been inhabited by civilizations long since forgotten, and any civilization that existed on the island called Atlantis might be referred to as "Atlantis" by later generations (much like the American continents are called, well, the American continents in history prior to the development of that name). There have been plenty of human civilizations that lived and died in much shorter timespans than 10,000 years, and for all we know C'Thunda was an Eternal, a Deviant, a Spirit of Vengeance, a Blood, or something else entirely.
Circa 19, 500 - 18, 500 B.C. many of the Atlantean barbarians worshipped the Scorpion God; it's anyone's guess what gods C'Thunda might have called upon. Amongst the gods of the pre-Cataclysmic era are: Anu, Bishru, Black Shadow, Chthon, Crom, Erlik, Golgor, Great Scorpion, Holgar, Honan, Hotath, Jaquari, Ka, Kaa-U, Kulthas, Set, Syndra, Valka, Vramma, White Wolf, Zugthuu, Zukala
AFAIK, Tomb of Dracula I#27 is the first time we see someone in the MU using a religious symbol besides the Christian cross to hold off Dracula.
I rechecked all the issues, and Ms. Wittier's name is spelled "Shiela" throughout.
C'Thunda is also referenced in Daredevil I#128 (December, 1975; also by Marv Wolfman). He forged some lenses designed as part of a weapon great enough to destroy Atlantis, but they were stolen from him and lost throughout time. The lens were stolen in the modern era by Death-Stalker who made them part of a weapon he used against Daredevil. Daredevil eventually knocked the weapon from Death-Stalker's hands, and it fell to the ground and shattered.
Profile by Snood.
Chimera has no known connection to:
images: (without ads)
Tomb of Dracula I#26, p13, panel 2 (Chimera created by C'Thunda)
panel 3 (C'Thunda's death)
panel 4 (C'Thunda's assassin)
panel 5 (fire demon vs. Kull)
#28, p5, panel 1 (main image)
Tomb of Dracula I#26-27 (November-December, 1974) - by Marv Wolfman (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Tomb of Dracula I#28 (January, 1975) - by Marv Wolfman (writer), Gene Colan (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcover#7: MAGIC (2009) - David Sexton (writer), Jeff Younquist & Jennifer Gruenwald (editors)
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Last Updated: 09/04/11
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