Real Name: Desmond Pitt
Human cyborg/magic-user (possibly reborn as a demon);
Citizen of the U.S.A. with no criminal record (although accused of being a spy, Pitt disappeared before any charges could be brought against him)
former ruler and protector of Otherplace, warrior, pawn of Diablo; operative of Doctor Doom, test pilot, major in the USA Air Force
Group Membership: Formerly N.A.S.A., U.S. Air Force
Demons of Otherplace, Excalibur, Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, Human
Storm, Medusa, the Thing/Ben Grimm);
formerly Diablo, Doctor Doom/Victor Von Doom, Hans Stutgart
Doom, Diablo, Mephisto,
formerly the Fantastic Four (Mr. Fantastic, Human Torch/Johnny Storm, Medusa, the Thing/Ben Grimm)
Known Relatives: Unidentified wife (deceased), unidentified son
Aliases: The Death Demon; impersonated the Seeker
Place of Birth: St. Louis, Missouri
Base of Operations:
formerly Texas, USA; formerly Balkans
First Appearance: Fantastic Four I#142 (January, 1974)
Initially, Darkoth had superhuman strength (class 50), enhanced
speed and reflexes, superhuman agility and stamina, and could scale
walls. Major portions of his skeleton were replaced with Promethium, a
mystic steel-like metal derived from Otherplace, able to produce
virtually unlimited energy in a waste-free process; while active on
Earth, he was unaware of the nature of the Promethium, which primarily
served to enhance his strength and durability. He could withstand and
deliver powerful blows to the likes of the Thing without injury. His
thick purple hide could withstand the impact of heavy armor artillery
fired at close range without laceration as well as surviving the
extreme colds of outer space (as well as surviving without food, water,
or air) and the heat and friction of re-entry. His musculature was
cybernetically and chemically enhanced.
His prehensile could can be used as a bludgeon or a whip, to constrict around an opponent, or to assist him in balancing. His steel talons were able to scrape the Thing's tough skin, and to release poison or drugs able to render a victim unconscious. His "firehorns" antennae fed on the mental energies of his opponents within a range of 50 feet. They could fire energy blasts in the form of heat (melting through several tons of steel in seconds) or concussive force (sufficient to move a 500 lb. object back several yards. They could also enter and disrupt the mind of any opponent, reducing him or her to temporary insanity. Darkoth only used his firehorns as a last result, perhaps indicating that the amount of energy they used rendered them too costly to use in normal battle.
His voice was as cold as death.
After Diablo mutated him he additionally acquired the ability to fly using the little wings on his ankles, and to alter his density to pass through the solid objects.
After his resurrection in Limbo, Darkoth could alter his form, changing shape, extending tendrils, etc., and even opening up giant mouths in his chest with which he could consume others.
|in Human Form||as Darkoth|
|Heigth||6' 2"||6' 6"|
|Weigth||225 lbs.||305 lbs.|
History: (Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition) - Desmond Pitt was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He took a degree in aeronautical engineering. He graduated to the Air Academy with flying combat training.
(Fantastic Four I#193 (fb)) - Desmond Pitt was in the U.S. Air Force. He was a test pilot and was the best pilot after Ben Grimm. He was married and had a son. Ben Grimm (before becoming the Thing) was Desmond Pitt's best friend and vice-versa.
When Ben Grimm was trapped in the debris of an airplane on fire, Desmond threw himself in the flames and saved Ben Grimm.
(Fantastic Four I#193 (fb) - BTS /
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#16: Darkoth) -
worked for the NASA, he was assigned to the Kennedy Space Center in
Houston, Texas, and was placed on the staff of a research project to
develop a solar shuttle that would transmit solar energy from Earth
orbit to waiting solar panels on Earth's surface. In the early stages
of this project, Desmond's wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness,
giving her only a few months to live. Under great strain, Pitt also
discovered that Dr. Doom had had his
agents infiltrate the NASA.
To learn the extent of the infiltration and its purpose, Pitt presented himself as a willing collaborator. Fearful that the spy network may have extended into other areas of NASA, Pitt told no one of his plans, not even his superiors. Pitt gained the confidence of the spy ring's leaders who brought him to the attention of Doom himself. Pitt eventually discovered that Doom's agents had sabotaged the plans of the experimental Solar Shuttle; Von Doom had created a Solar Cannon, which was to be empowered by the solar energy stolen from the shuttle.
Before Pitt could expose the plans to the US government, his wife died, and the grief-stricken Desmond became careless and was discovered by Doom. Doom's operatives, still highly trusted in the space program, denounced Pitt as a traitor. Before he could be arrested, Pitt disappeared, and the U.S. Officials deduced that he had been killed because of his apparent failure to sell secrets to Latveria.
(Fantastic Four I#193 (fb) - BTS /
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#16: Darkoth) -
In reality, Pitt had been kidnapped and brought to Latveria. Wishing to
make an example to any others who might betray him, Doom had Pitt
undergo months of chemical and cybernetic mutation, transforming it to
resemble a legendary demon supposedly haunting the mountains of
(Excalibur I#38 (fb) - BTS) - Pitt was bombarded by unidentified rays in Doom's castle, as part of a mutation process.
(Excalibur I#39 (fb) - BTS) - Doctor Doom broke and then set each of Pitt's bones using Earth's only supply of Promethium.
(Fantastic Four I#143 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Doom used the Vibration-Bomb to alter Pitt's memories. Doom also erased Pitt's personality and made him believe that he was a real demon of the Netherworld, summoned by Doom. As a result, Darkoth became a loyal servant to Doom.
(Fantastic Four I#193 (fb) - BTS)
- Pitt was marked as a traitor and was believed dead. His
son was sent in an orphanage.
(Fantastic Four I#142 (fb) - BTS) - Years later, Doom awoke Darkoth from his sleep and sent him to crawl in the night through the streets and the hills of a region of the Balkans, where a legend about the Death Demon had been told for years.
(Fantastic Four I#142) - Doom (aware of Pitt's past friendship with Ben Grimm) prepared a trap for the Thing. The Thing followed Alicia Masters to the Balkans, in a nation near Latveria. Darkoth attacked the Thing. Darkoth's strength and mental rays proved a match for the Thing. In an explosion of gas, Darkoth disappeared, leaving the Thing impressed with his power.
Later, Darkoth attacked the Thing again, in the hospital where Alicia Masters had to undergo an operation to regain her eyesight. Darkoth drove the Thing in a subterranean base of Doom, in Latveria. There he managed to scrape the Thing's skin, injecting a sedative venom in his veins, stunning him and allowing Doom's agents to capture him.
Four I#143) - Darkoth and the Thing were transported to a secret
base in New York, the Manhattan Townhouse, base of Doom's
"Operation: Babel" (with which he would use his Vibration Bomb to
instill loyalty to Doom within all humanity). The Thing and Darkoth
were put in the Neutro-Chambers, cells that neutralized their powers.
While Doom managed the last stages of
the launch of his Vibration-Bomb, Darkoth escaped from his prison and
went wild, attacking the Dr. Doom's lackeys,
unaware of who they served. When he saw Doom he
calmed, believing he to be his master. Seeking to forever break Pitt's
spirit, Doom told him that he
actually was one of his henchmen transformed by the Vibro-Mechanism and
Rather than be broken, Darkoth instead had his subconscious/submerged hatred of Doom intensified. Seeking revenge, Darkoth freed Mr. Fantastic, Medusa and the Thing from their prisons and asked to help to defeat Doom.
(Fantastic Four I#144) - Darkoth,
Mr. Fantastic, Medusa, and the Thing escaped
using the sewers but were attacked by the Seeker, a robot, created by
Doom. They defeated the robot and transported it to the Baxter
Meanwhile Doom launched the missile with the Vibration-Bomb.
Reed Richards had Darkoth disguise as the Seeker.
The Vibration-Bomb was activated, it started to condition all the people in the world to become Doom's puppets.
An hour later. Darkoth, wearing the external shell of the Seeker, sneaked into Doom's base, but not recognized as Darkoth by the security mechanism. Darkoth freed Johnny Storm and Wyatt Wingfoot. The Human Torch burned Doom's base but Doom fled. Darkoth followed him. Doom used the top of the Manhattan Townhouse as a missile to reach the satellite containing the Vibration-Bomb, unaware that Darkoth had joined him in the missile. In orbit, Darkoth assaulted Dr. Doom. While the two struggled the missile crashed on the satellite of the Vibration-Bomb in a silent explosion. The effects of the Vibration-Bomb faded.
(Fantastic Four I#194 (fb) / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#16: Darkoth) - Darkoth didn't die. His body stood in orbit for an unspecified lapse of time, then fell on the Earth, landing in a fiery crash in an Indian Reservation in Texas, near an abandoned bunker of an Atomic Polygon. He was seriously wounded and was dying. Diablo found him there and partially restored him, then prepared a potion to keep him alive (a variant of Daiblo's own life-prolonging potion). Diablo also gave Darkoth additional powers and convinced Darkoth to join him in seeking revenge against Doom. Darkoth accepted, as his alternative was to leave Diablo and die soon after without regular treatments with the life-prolonging serum.
(Fantastic Four I#194 (fb) - BTS) - While NASA was building the experimental Solar Shuttle using the sabotaged plans, Darkoth built the machinery to use the energy that the experimental shuttle would collect against Dr. Doom. Darkoth became dependent from Diablo's life-potion. The potion made Darkoth slave of Diablo and also prevented him from speaking about his past as Desmond Pitt.
(Fantastic Four I#193) - Darkoth learned that Ben Grimm was to be a pilot on the sabotaged Solar Shuttle. He attacked the Huston Space Center to divert the attention of the security from the Solar Shuttle. He found the Thing and battled with him. Darkoth warned Ben Grimm that the shuttle was sabotaged, then fled, passing through a wall.
Shortly after, Darkoth tried to warn his best friend, so phoned to Ben Grimm speaking with Desmond Pitt's voice, but Grimm took the flight anyway.
Once the Shuttle was in orbit, Diablo had Darkoth activate the Energy Collector. The solar energy was diverted and stored into Diablo's collectors, hidden in some caverns in the desert. Darkoth interrupted the transfer of energy before it killed Ben Grimm, but the Solar Shuttle remained damaged and it fell in the desert, exploding.
(Fantastic Four I#194) - Some hours after, Diablo ordered Darkoth to go to the caverns to see why the energy collectors didn't function. Darkoth flew there and was ambushed by the Thing who had destroyed the collectors. Darkoth defended himself, not wanting to harm Grimm. Darkoth eventually freed himself from Diablo's domination, but the potion's effects had begun to fade and he was dying. He succeeded in confessing to Grimm he really was Desmond Pitt, his best friend.
Believed dead, Darkoth followed the Thing to the Diablo's hideout and saved Ben sabotaging the Solar Cannon, then attacked Diablo. The two fell on the Solar Cannon that crumbled. The hideout was filled by lethal solar radiations, the Thing could not save Pitt and fled. The base exploded and Darkoth died.
(Thor I#325 (fb) - BTS) - In the moment just before the explosion the demon-lord Mephisto stole Darkoth, body and soul, and transported him to his realm of Hell.
(Thor I#325) - Wishing vengeance
on Thor for a recent defeat, Mephisto summoned Darkoth, offering to
give him Don Blake's body so that he could return to his son if he
would bring Blake's soul to Mephisto. Mephisto convinced Darkoth that
Blake was evil and belonged in his realm anyway, then infused his power
into Darkoth, restoring him to the land of the living, though he would
still remain dead. Darkoth nonetheless found himself unable to strike
down Blake's sleeping form, and as he raged against his plight he
awakened Blake. As Blake transformed into Thor, Mephisto physically
pushed Darkoth to attack Thor, but he turned intangible and fled into a
forest preserve. Mephisto further infused Darkoth with his evil power,
and when he showed him an image of his son crying within an orphanage,
Darkoth's resistance dropped, and Mephisto gained a hold on him. When
Thor arrived, Darkoth willingly attacked him; they battled for over an
hour, but then Thor--realizing what had happened--infused Darkoth with
the very essence of light, canceling the corruption withering his soul.
Regaining his wits, Darkoth begged Thor to complete the process, and
Thor continued the energy infusion until Mephisto's power was
completely neutralized, at which point Darkoth died.
(Excalibur I#38 (fb))- Most of Darkoth's body was resurrected as his body was partially composed of promethium. He found himself in Otherplace (Belasco's Limbo), the source of this metal. His appearance changed somewhat.
(Excalibur I#38) - Doctor Doom invaded Otherplace to harness promethium, with the Avengers and Excalibur in pursuit. Doctor Doom confronted Darkoth, whom he initially did not recognize, but realized that he could resist Doom's mind control while the other demons of Otherplace could not. Doom taunted the unnamed demon, noting that he would cause every living creature native to Otherplace to revert to the natural state of promethium.
(Excalibur I#39) - Doom sought to
reversion to promethium by shoving the Soulsword into the heart
of Otherplace. He was thwarted from completing this. Allowing the
promethium armor that envelopes wielders of the Soulsword to
manifest, he fought off Darkoth and managed to destroy the heart
of Otherplace. Doom fled to Earth. S'ym appeared to snatch the
Soulsword, but Darkoth grabbed it. Darkoth consumed S'ym and then
considered committing suicide, as he was now the holder of the Sousword
and thus the embodiment of Otherplace; his death would be the death of
Otherplace, and Doom's plans would be dashed as all the Promethium
would be destroyed. Meggan convinced Darkoth not to kill himself, and
he gained inner peace, making Otherplace a realm of peace as well.
Darkoth purged the realm of promethium and allowed the human adventurers to leave. Otherplace was left empty except for him.
(Excalibur I#84) - Shrill, a sorceress pained each time the Soulsword was drawn, attempted to take it from Darkoth, but failed, although she made sure he regretted having ever met her.
Gerry Conway, Rick Buckler and Joe Sinnott.
Pitt was a bald African-American male before becoming Darkoth.
In FF I#138, Grimm views a photo of flying buddies, the crew of a B-29 bomber. The FF Index notes that one of them may have been Pitt.
In FF Index#11, it is noted that Grimm was flying an early version of an F-4 Phantom when Pitt saved him. This suggests the backstory took place 3-4 years before FF I#1. Also from this Index: Doom's beginning sabotage of the Solar Shuttle is estimated to take place between Marvel Super-Hero I#20 and Fantastic Four I#84. The Solar Shuttle was one of only several shuttles built by NASA. Another, the Project Starcore Shuttle, was launched and destroyed in X-Men I#99-101.
Pitt's spouse and child were with him when he saved Grimm from the debris of the F-4.
It has been noted in Fantastic Four I#143 and elsewhere that the original Darkoth the Death-Demon was a creature in authentic Latverian legend whom Doctor Doom mutated Desmond Pitt to resemble and renamed after. As yet, whether this Darkoth actually existed seems unconfirmed.
Sidebar: Kurt Wagner seemed surprised when the Scarlet Witch used the word doppelganger to describe the demons they were fighting in Otherplace, and asked her if she spoke German. I would think even people who do not speak German would recognize the word. These demons had taken on the form of Terran adventurers, prefiguring the Infinity War.
Phoenix referred to an encounter with the Earth-811 Doctor Doom in Excalibur I#37 that remains unchronicled.
Doom used a spell from the Darkhold in Excalibur I#37 to open a portal to Otherplace.
Doom notes in #37 that Otherplace is not true Limbo, as time passes in Otherplace, and natural predators exist in Otherplace while in Limbo there are but transient and displaced souls. Dooms claims true Limbo has no sovereign-did he forget Immortus?
Doom sought revenge against Excalibur in that reviled Sidestep time-travel story.
Darkoth received entries in the original Handbook, the Deluxe Edition, the Master Edition, and the Fantastic Four Encyclopedia.
In Excalibur I#83-85, an adept named Shrill attempted to get the Soulsword. It returned to Kitty Pryde. Eventually, Margali Szardos, the mother of Amanda Sefton gained the Soulsword. Szardos' use of the Soulsword continued into Excalibur I#98-100, as well as #103 (which features cameos by the Earth-597 Kitty Pryde and the Earth-295 Kitty Pryde). Belasco reclaimed the sword in #103. Amanda Sefton (true name Jimaine Szardos) now rules Otherplace. Aside from this, I have yet to find a conclusive answer to what became of Darkoth.
Shrill's encounter with Darkoth, referred to in Excalibur I#84, was footnoted by the editor as "a story yet to be told."
In the real world, Gerard Kitchen O'Neill, suggested a satellite solar
power station similar to one Doctor Doom sabotaged. Later, Tony Stark
tried to create another such station, but AIM sabotaged Stark's attempt
by releasing a virus that altered the semi-conductor properties of
silicon. Stark hopefully resolved to oversee the development of gallium
arsenide semi-conductors or even the diamond film type for his next
solar station. (Stark revisited his station during the Armor Wars).
There were also Sunturion and Stratosphire's solar power stations.
Darkoth has no known connections to
The Vibration-Bomb and the Vibro-Machine have no known connections to
Gort has no known connections to
Harrison has no known connections to
The Vibration-Bomb was a machine that produced vibrations that broke the codes and the symbols of the human mind cerebral modules. In other words it could break the human personality rendering the subjects lacking of any willpower and subjugated to Doctor Doom's will. The Bomb was built with the size and shape to be mounted on a missile.
Doctor Doom also built another
machine with the same function.
Both of the weapons were located in in the Doom's base in Manhattan.
The Vibration treatment caused by the Vibration-machine was painful for the subjects.
(Fantastic Four I#143 (fb) - BTS) - The Vibration-machine was used on Darkoth to erase his memories and to control him.
(Fantastic Four I#143) - The Vibration-machine was used by Doom on Gort and Harrison, two of his lackeys, traitors. Doom demonstrated to Reed Richards how the vibrations could erase the two men's every will; after they were irradiated from the vibrations Doom ordered the two traitors to shoot to each other, and they did it without any hesitation.
The Vibration-Bomb was mounted on the missile.
(Fantastic Four I#144) - The missile was launched. Once in orbit, the Vibration-Bomb started to irradiate the Earth with its waves. The people in the world started to lose their will.
The Human Torch burned Doctor Doom's base, Doctor Doom fled and tried to reach the Vibration-Bomb satellite, but Darkoth forced him to crash over the Bomb that silently exploded.
--Fantastic Four I#143 (Fantastic Four I#144
Gort and Harrison
Doctor Doom's lackeys working at the "Operation: Babel" were normal humans, wearing a standard uniform and were armed with guns and handguns. They numbered at least 12.
Gort and Harrison were two traitors that tried to sell Doctor Doom's secrets.
Doctor Doom discovered their plots. They tried to run away but Doom stunned them with his gauntlet-blasts, then had them undergo to the Vibro-machine painful treatment. The vibrations altered their brain. Doom ordered them to shoot to each other and they executed without any hesitation, killing themselves.
--Fantastic Four I#143
The Solar Cannon
The Solar Cannon was a weapon empowered by solar energy. The energy for the Solar Cannon was stored in some Energy Collectors that were charged by the solar energy transmitted by the Solar Shuttle.
The Cannon was created by Victor von Doom but was stolen by Desmond Pitt.
The Energy Collectors were hidden in a cavern far from the bunker, Diablo's base. Diablo convinced Darkoth to use the Solar Cannon against Doom as the ultimate weapon, but the Solar Cannon was only used by Diablo against the Thing, before it was destroyed by Darkoth.
--Fantastic Four I#193 (Fantastic Four I#194
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition (Darkoth, full body)
Fantastic Four I#194, page 17, panel 6 (Desmond Pitt, head shot)
Fantastic Four I#194, page 14, panel 6 (Darkoth, head shot)
Excalibur I#39, page 23, panel 4 (Darkoth and the Soulsword in Otherplace)
Excalibur I#39, page 23, panel 2 (Darkoth in Otherplace, head shot)
Fantastic Four I#143, page 9, panel 3 (Vibration-Bomb)
Fantastic Four I#143, page 9, panel 5 (Gort and Harrison)
Fantastic Four I#194, page 14, panel 4 (Solar Cannon)
Fantastic Four I#142-144 (January-March, 1974) - Gerry Conway (writer), Rick Buckler (penciler), Joe Sinnot (inker)
Fantastic Four I#193 (April, 1978) - Len Wein/Keith Pollard (subject), Bill Mantlo (texts), Keith Pollard (penciler), Joe Sinnot (inker)
Fantastic Four I#194 (May, 1978) - Len Wein/Keith Pollard (subject), Bill Mantlo (texts), Keith Pollard (penciler), Joe Sinnot (inker)
Thor I#325 (November, 1982) - Doug Moench (writer), Alan Kupperberg (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Excalibur I#38 (June 1991) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Mark Badger (penciler), Spike Vancata (inker)
Excalibur I#39 (July 1991) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Mark Badger, Eliopoulos (pencilers), Spike Vancata (inker)
Last updated: 01/01/11
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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