CRIMSON MAGE

Real Name: Azaziah

Identity/Class: Human magic-user; 11th Century - Modern Era

Occupation: Sorcerer/magician

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Formerly associated with an unidentified king (and possibly other leaders); Al, Paul, and Joe

Enemies: Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze/Zarathos), three demons

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Azaziah Hornsby

Base of Operations: Currently unrevealed;
    formerly the old Perkins farmhouse "near Hightower"

First Appearance: Ghost Rider II#43 (April 1980)

 

 

 

 

Powers/Abilities: Azaziah had a number of mystical power that were greatly enhanced by his globe. Once allegedly much greater, his mystical powers had dwindled markedly over time, though he could still fire destructive blasts able to slay a man, or to perform spells to transfer souls and perform exorcisms. Though globe further extended his lifespan to approximately 1000 years, and he might have extended it indefinitely by transferring his soul into an immortal form.

Height: 5'9"
Weight: 135 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: White

 

 

History:
(Ghost Rider II#44 (fb)) - A millennium ago, as a young mage, Azaziah stole a magic globe from "the three demons," and it's power became his to control. For centuries its magic sustained him, and he became the most powerful mage in the world, working alongside at least one king.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Ghost Rider II#44 (fb)) - Slowly, but surely, the globe's brilliance began to fail. As it was the link to his centuries-long life, Azaziah knew that when it died, so would he. He knew that if he were to survive on through the ages, he would have to find some immortal creature, a demon perhaps, with whose existence he might forge an everlasting eternal bond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Ghost Rider II#44 (fb) - BTS) - Azaziah took up residence at the old Perkins farmhouse "near Hightower." As Azaziah Hornsby (possibly his real full name) he became well known with the locals as a hermit/"harmless old coot."

 

 

(Ghost Rider II#44 (fb)) - The globe revealed the Ghost Rider to Azaziah, and he knew he had found the perfect vessel to host his spirit. However, he also realized he couldn't possess the Ghost Rider while he was bound to Johnny Blaze and so plotted to separate the two.

(Ghost Rider II#43) - A trio of criminals (Al, Paul, and Joe) who had escaped the Ghost Rider fled into the nearby farmhouse of Azaziah who told them he needed their assistance to vanquish the Ghost Rider. When Al refused, Azaziah blasted the gun from his hand, convincing the men that it would be unwise to disobey him.

(Ghost Rider II#43 - BTS) - Azaziah drew a pentagram on the floor of a narrow canyon and surrounded it on either side by an immense candle.

(Ghost Rider II#43) - Shortly thereafter, Azaziah had the men commit another robbery to draw the Ghost Rider's attention and then flee into the canyon. After the criminals had passed over the pentagram, Azaziah stepped forward and then cast a spell to subdivide the Ghost Rider's hellish being. A blinding light surrounded Ghost Rider, incapacitating him, and when he awakened, Blaze was split free from Zarathos who remained in Ghost Rider form. Blaze tried and failed to control the Ghost Rider's violent behavior; AND both Blaze and Zarathos progressively weakened while separated from each other.
    Azaziah continued to monitor the duo, noting that things were proceeding as planned, though his globe continued to flicker ever more faintly, for he knew he would accomplish his goal by the next day.

(Ghost Rider II#44) - Azaziah watched as Blaze was hauled away by the cops after fighting them to distract them from the Ghost Rider who might kill them. Blaze recognized him as the man who had zapped the Ghost Rider in the canyon and asked one of the cops about him, and learned who he was and where he lived. Azaziah returned to his farmhouse and new by dawn he would have renewed his life force as the Ghost Rider demon would have weakened sufficiently to allow Azaziah to overwhelm him with his waning power. Reviewing his own past, Azaziah prepared to use Ghost Rider's power to establish his tyranny over the good.
    Azaziah rose at dawn and prepared to recite the incantation from the Book of Souls, but Blaze--having broken out of prison--arrived in hopes of getting him to reverse his spell. Azaziah taunted Blaze with his plans to take control of the Ghost Rider and fired a series of blasts that Blaze dodged. Recognizing the globe as the source of Azaziah's power, Blaze picked up a rock and shattered it. Azaziah desparedly asked Blaze if he realized what he had done, and he crumbled to dust he told Blaze that they were both doomed.
    Blaze read from Azaziah's Book of Souls and learned how to re-merge with Ghost Rider: he taunted the weakened Ghost Rider and led him back towards the previously drawn pentagram, then doubled back and crashed head-on into him in its center, restoring the status quo.

Comments: Created by Michael Fleisher, Carmine Infantino, and Ricardo Villamonte.

In "Earth-8180," Earth-Ghost Rider Were Separated From Johnny Blaze, Azaziah succeeded in taking possession of the Ghost Rider form.

Is there some hidden significance to "the three demons" that I don't know?

    Over at DC during the Pre-Crisis era there were three demons, named Abnegezar, Rath, and Ghast.  They were imprisoned "before time began" or some other such long-ago time by a mysterious race, being bound into talismans.  Later on Felix Faust would use these talismans to call upon their power, and a few times the trio would attempt to escape.

    The reason I write is that my first exposure to the trio was in an issue of JLA published in the early 80s, which was drawn by Carmine Infantino.  I don't remember the exact year it was published, but it was certainly around the 1980 publication date you listed for the issue of Ghost Rider the Crimson Mage story appeared in. 
I've no idea how much the artists and writers worked together on the stories for Ghost Rider, but maybe Infantino was a fan of the trio and mentioned it to the author?  Whether it was a non-crossover crossover or just him forgetting who owned the rights to the demon is another thing to wonder about.

    Ironically, IIRC, post-crisis the trio were involved in some drawn-out story to reintroduce them to continuity that eventually was forgotten about, in which a modern-era mage stole one of their talismans.  My memory's a bit hazy on the details, so don't quote me on that part.

-Ralph Dula

The Crimson Mage got a full entry in Marvel Legacy: The 1980s Handbook.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
No KNOWN connections to:


images: (without ads)
Ghost Rider II#44, p9, panel 1 (main)
            panel 2 (stealing from three demons)
            panel 3 (advising a king)
            panel 4 (viewing Ghost Rider through globe)


Appearances:
Ghost Rider II#43 (April 1980) - by Michael Fleisher (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Ricardo Villamonte (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)
Ghost Rider II#44 (May 1980) - by Michael Fleisher (writer), Carmine Infantino (pencils), Tom Sutton (inks), Dennis O'Neil (editor)


Last updated: 09/22/06

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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