Real Name: Martu

Identity/Class: Demon; former deity (Annunaki)

Occupation: God of drought, oaths and the steppes

Group MembershipAnnunaki

AffiliationsBaal Hadad, all exiled Annunaki

EnemiesArabian Knight (Abdul Qamar), his tribe, Desert Gods, Saja

Known RelativesAnu (father), Ashera (mother);
Baal, Dagon, Ninuarta (brothers), Inanna (sister), Ereshkigal (sister-in-law), Nergal, Ningal (half-brother), Tammuz, Ullikummis (nephew/brother-in-law), many others

Aliases: Mountain-God, Athtar (Early Sumerian), Amurru (Babylonian name), Manuzi (Assyrian name), Hazzi (Hurrian name) and Aranzahas (Hittite name)

Base of Operations: One of Saudi Arabia's deserts (An-Nafud or Rub' Al Khali)

First Appearance: Marvel Comics Presents I#47/4 (1990)

Powers/Abilities: His full extent of his powers is unknown. He showed the ability to possess several humans. He had control over the sand, and he caused sandstorms and buried humans in it.


(Myth) - Martu was the god of drought, oaths and the steppes, of the West Wind and the patron god of Ninab.

  Martu was the son of Anu and his wife Asherah, goddess of heaven (Some texts identify the mother-goddess Ninhursag as the mother of Martu, but there are several separate female deities who likewise share the epitaph of mother-goddess, among them Asherah (wife of Anu), Mami (another wife of Anu), Damkina (wife of Ea) and Kishar (mother of Anu and Ea). Among them, Asherah is the most likely goddess given she has already named as the mother of male weather-gods such as Enlil and Hadad).

  Martu and his brothers dominated certain compass parts of Sumeria. He made his home far to the west and high atop Mount Saphon in the land of Hattia conquered by the Hattic tribes after the disasters which ended the Hyborian Age. He was known by several names among the smaller less superior tribes on earth dominated by the Sumerians. He took the goddess Beletseri, scribe to the underworld, and fathered the Gulses, three goddesses of destiny. Through his wife, Martu had some power in the underworld and was considered a god of oaths; any promise made in his name was considered unbreakable.

  Eventually, Martu's brother, Enlil, decided that the time had come for their father to step down as ruler of the gods of earth. For most of his existence, Anu ruled the Mesopotamian gods from Earth, but after he was overthrown, he departed Earth for another plane of existence and Enlil seized his throne in his absence. The gods who had supported Anu fled to Mount Saphon where Martu accepted the exiled deities, many of whom later followed Anu into the heavens and joined him in another dimension known as Celestial Dilmun. Martu later supported his brother, Hadad, in overthrowing Enlil. The war-goddess, Anath, had the artisan-god Kinyras build Hadad a temple for Hadad atop Mount Saphon near Martu's temple.

(Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica) - At some point Martu was approached by Satan (Marduk Kurios), who tempted him with everlasting power. Martu accepted the deal and was transformed into a demon.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#47/4 (fb) - BTS) - A long time ago the "Demon of the Dunes" was imprisoned by the Desert Gods into the sands of Saudi Arabia.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#47/4) - One day the Demon saw his chance for freedom when he saw the Arabian Knight returning to his tribe to witness the birth of his child. The Demon's plan was to make Arabian Knight kill his innocent child with the magic scimitar, because that would've meant freedom for the Demon. The Demon scared Arabian Knights horse so that they deserted the Arabian Knight. Then the Demon started a sandstorm when the Knight continued his way on his magic carpet. Suddenly the Demon felt another presence and he saw Saja trying to stop the Arabian Knight. The Demon knew that he was sent by the Desert Gods because they were afraid that the Demon would at last be free, but Arabian Knight defeated Saja before he could reveal too much about the Demon. The Demon realized that he and Saja had both underestimated Arabian Knight. The Demon took possession of Arabian Knight's family and friends. The Demon let them tell Arabian Knight that they were cursed by the gods because the Arabian Knight didn't use his gifts for them and that his newborn child was a Demon. Arabian Knight went to the child and all the possessed people begged him to kill the child to appease the gods, but Arabian Knight didn't do it. The tents and everyone disappeared except for the child. The Demon rose to the sky and was angry that Arabian Knight didn't believe his lies. He now had to become sand again because his powers were depleted, but he swore to return in the future when his powers were restored. The Demon was returned to his fate and heard Arabian Knight talking to his son that they would return one day to avenge the dead from this day.

Comments: Created by Scott Lobdell & Don Perlin.

    The Demon of the Dunes could be a former deity from the area (see Sumerian Gods) or a Demon. It is less likely that it was Gog and Magog the agent(s) of Seth like Kyle assumed in the Seth profile because they were last seen in Egypt and they had to cross the Red Sea to get to Saudi Arabia. The Demon also spoke of himself as one powerful Demon, but a connection to Seth is still possible.

    My personal pick would be the Sumerian god Martu (right region and he can make storms). He was an angry god who was worshipped by desert nomads and he liked to destroy cities. As one of the Four Winds he is mentioned in the Marduk profile. His parents were Anu (leader to the Sumerian gods) and Ninhursag (one of the aliases of the Earth Goddess known as Gaea and many other names).
    Me likey that idea!!!!--Snood

    The Desert Gods were likely the Sumerian Gods or the Egyptian Gods which is less likely because the Desert Gods' messenger possessed an Arabic name (a girl's name, but it is still an Arabic name).
    The only problem with this is that the Mesopotamian Gods have pretty much uniformly been shown to either have left Earth or to have degenerated into demons. In addition, the Arabian Knight would almost certainly be a Muslim, right? He wouldn't believe in "Desert Gods," or he'd be executed for being an Infidel. Still, he did gain his weaponry via association with the Egyptian Gods. I'm sure any option could be worked out if anyone wanted to detail it.

In OHotMU 2006#3 it was confirmed that the Desert Gods were the Sumerian Gods when Saja was listed as their messenger god. In All-New OHotMU Update#3 in the Annunaki entry the assumption the demon's identity as Marduk was brought up again as a possibility. In Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons & Other Monstrosities "Demon of the Dunes" was listed as Martu's alias.

Martu was obviously among the Annunaki tricked by Satan.

Mythological information by Will U

Profile by Markus Raymond

Demon of the Dunes has no known connection to:

Saja has no known connection to:


He was the messenger of the Desert Gods. He tried to stop Arabian Knight from going to his family. He warned him that treachery awaited him at home and that an unthinkable evil could be freed. Arabian Knight didn't listen to his words, questioned the Desert Gods' motives to interfere at that precise moment, attacked Saja, and sent him back to his masters with a blow from the magic scimitar.

--Marvel Comics Presents#47/4






Demon of the Dunes: Marvel Comics Presents#47, p32, pan1
possessed people: Marvel Comics Presents#47, p28, pan4
Arabian Knight's possessed child: Marvel Comics Presents#47, p31, pan2
Saja body shot: Marvel Comics Presents#47, p27, pan1

Marvel Comics Presents I#47/4 (1990) - Scott Lobdell (writer), Don Perlin (artist), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
Thor & Hercules: Encyclopedia Mythologica (2009) - Anthony Flamini, Greg Pak, Fred Van Lante & Paul Cornell (writers), Jeff Youngquist (editor)

Last updated: 09/18/13

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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