Real Name: Unknown

Identity/Class: Human, magic user

Occupation: Holy man for the Afghani Mujahideen people

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None;
                      Formerly the Afghani army, Gargoyle (Isaac Christians)

Enemies: The Afghani army, (New) Defenders (Angel, Beast, Cloud, Gargoyle, Iceman, Moondragon, Valkyrie), the Soviet army

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None known

Base of Operations: currently unknown (possibly prison);
                                     Formerly a castle in Afghanistan

First Appearance: (in shadow) (New) Defenders I#135 (September, 1984);
                                 (Fully seen) (New) Defenders I#136 (October, 1984)

Powers/Abilities: (this section taken from Gargoyle’s OHOTMU entry) “The Gargoyle could be commanded by wizards who spoke a certain obscure spell. An Afghan Gnostic wizard once thus took control of the Gargoyle, imprisoning him by means of mystical pentagrams.  The wizard could somehow give himself various mystical powers by drawing upon the Gargoyle’s power, and enabled the Gargoyle to exhibit powers (such as growing to gigantic size) that he either possibly could not or did not know how to use himself.”  The wizard, while in control of the pentagram crystal, was able to create a giant manifestation of hand in the sky subject to his control, to have the Gargoyle’s hand replace his own, to teleport, to control flames and plants, to make the flesh malleable, and to render others immobile.  He could also sense the Gargoyle’s thoughts and could use the Gargoyle’s sight.  Other powers are unknown.

History: Little is known about the background of the Gnostic wizard.

((New) Defenders I#136 (fb)) – The Wizard lost an eye, though the circumstances of its loss are unknown.  The wizard was considered a holy man by his tribesmen, the Mujahideen, in Afghanistan. While he led many local tribesmen in their chants and prayers, he no longer believed in their religion.  He began to believe that the gods of man no longer answered, and that only certain demons and other beings would work with man to better the world.  He began to commit himself to the Gnostic religion.  

((New) Defenders I#136 (fb)) – One group of soldiers occupied the wizard’s castle in Afghanistan, where they prepared for battles against the invading Soviet armies.  The wizard promised the Mujahideen leader that he would find an incantation that would aid the Afghani armies in battle.  He looked for strength in ancient texts and in simple incantations, but their effects proved limited or only effectual for a short time.  The wizard accidentally stumbled across a cantrip with which he could control certain demons using pentagrams, and a particular pentagram crystal.  With this cantrip, he could control responding demons and use some of the demon’s powers himself.  

((New) Defenders I#134 (BTS)) – The wizard used the cantrip to summon Gargoyle, who disappeared from Defenders Mansion in a pentagram
of flame.  (The Gargoyle, while truly a demon in body, was inhabited by the soul of a man named Isaac Christians who used the body and its powers as a superhero).

((New) Defenders I#135) – The Wizard, in speaking to the captive Gargoyle, revealed his plan to achieve justice according to his vows.

((New) Defenders I#136) – Trapped in a pentagram, the Gargoyle pleaded for release, stating that he was a man and not a demon, but when the wizard addressed him, the Gargoyle’s demonic side became dominant and he agreed to follow the wizard’s orders.  In a test of the demon’s powers, the wizard had Gargoyle create a pillar of gold.  The wizard met with the Mujahideen leader and promised results.  Before he could act, a Soviet helicopter fired on the castle, knocking him aside.  The wizard used the Gargoyle’s powers to manifest an enormous hand in the air that would respond to his own hand’s actions.  He tore the attacking helicopters apart and crushed them in his grip.  This act allowed the Afghani army to win the battle, but the Mujahideen leader still threatened the wizard’s life unless greater results were achieved.  Perhaps for revenge or perhaps growing mad with power, the wizard made a pentagram of flame over the surrounding area, and then manifested a giant likeness of the Gargoyle which he used to slaughter the Afghani army.  He then laughed madly, forcing the Gargoyle to laugh along with him.  The wizard then approached the Soviet base in Afghanistan and used his powers to make all the soldiers immobile.  He entered the office of the Soviet general and made the general’s face pliable, stretched it, and then caused it to melt.  He let the two witnessing soldiers go free, to report what they had seen.  Gargoyle, through the pentagram crystal, tempted the wizard with thoughts of invading America, where the streets are paved with gold.  The wizard teleported to New York, and immediately sensed the presence of Doctor Strange, whom the Gargoyle had hoped would stop the wizard.  The wizard quickly teleported to the Rocky Mountains, after seeing them advertise in a Times Square billboard.  Within hours, the Defenders came looking for Gargoyle (Moondragon had sensed him there), and the wizard believed they were fellow demons sent to test him.  He restrained them with roots, but they quickly freed themselves.  Valkyrie led a charge on the wizard, so he summoned a giant manifestation of the Gargoyle to battle them.

((New) Defenders I#137) – The wizard was determined to destroy the demons, and generated a large garden to do so, but the Defenders quickly broke free.  He repelled Iceman’s attack with flame, and willed Cloud back into human form and ordered Gargoyle to crush Cloud, but the Angel rescued Cloud.  Valkyrie attacked Gargoyle while Moondragon tried to contact him telepathically, but the wizard successfully repelled both of their attacks.  As the wizard continued to attack with roots and flames, the Beast leaped over and used his knowledge of the wizard’s religion to get the wizard to lower his defenses.  The Angel snatched up the wizard into the air and tried to rest control of the pentagram crystal unsuccessfully.  Back on the ground, the wizard ordered Gargoyle to crush the demons, but Valkyrie sliced off Gargoyle’s hand with her sword.  The severed hand turned into a demon which the Defenders slew.  The Defenders used teamwork to temporarily blind the wizard, so the wizard wrested control of Gargoyle’s sight.  The wizard, now using Gargoyle’s ‘true sight,’ saw each of the Defenders as they truly were, not as demons.  When faced with the truth of who Cloud, Moondragon, and Valkyrie were (an astral body, a human host for a universal force, and an Asgardian chooser of the slain), the wizard panicked and fled.  Once he was outside the pentagram, it vanished and Gargoyle was freed.

((New) Defenders I#138) – The wizard, cowering, was taken into custody by the Defenders.

Comments: Created by Peter B. Gillis, Don Perlin, and Kim DeMulder.

The Gnostic wizard makes many references to the Gnostic religion, which I am largely unfamiliar with.  The following comments about that religion were offered by Doc Savage.  Thanks, Doc!

“For those who are wondering, the wizard who enslaves the Gargoyle to fight in Afghanistan was a Gnostic.  Gnostics generally believed in a one true god from which other cosmic beings emanated. One of these cosmic beings was named Sophia. Sophia attempted to reproduce by herself (or tried to make it to the one true God) but either failed or reproduced improperly.  The result was a malevolent entity called Ialadaboth, whom the Gnostics identified with the deity of the Hebrew Bible, Yahweh, Lord of Hosts. Ialadaboth (notice how if you slur the phrase "Yahweh, Lord of Hosts" it comes out Ialadaboth) and his underlings, the Archons, entrapped spirits from the higher realm in matter (considered evil) by creating the material world and Eden (as the wizard notes).  The Gnostics considered Yahweh a malevolent deity as they interpreted the Hebrew Bible's Yahweh as ordering the rape and murder of thousands of people. Some have called Gnostics "anti-Semites" for that reason.

Some Gnostics did believe in Jesus. However, they believe he came from the higher realm (Pleroma) as an immaterial phantom to oppose Ialadaboth. He descended to Earth a fully grown man. Offering himself as a bounty to Ialadaboth, Jesus sought to return entrapped souls to the Pleroma, the higher realm. So, Jesus died on the cross (or rather tricked Ialadaboth into thinking he had, since as noted above, Gnostics believed that Jesus did not have a body). Those who believe in Jesus will escape to the Pleroma. This view ties in with docetism. The Gnostics may have been the first to deny that Jesus was a Jew, in a characteristically convolated plot twist. The Gospel of John actually is heavily Gnostic, and some stories of Jesus from the Gnostic Gospels made into the Koran.

Circa the middle of the 20th century, an Egyptian man named, amusingly enough, Muhammed Ali inadvertently discovered various Gnostic Gospels in Nag Hammadi. Gnostic leaders such as Marcion had to edit the Gospel of Luke and Paul's letters to exclude references to the material world or to Yahweh, or to fufillment of the Hebrew Bible. Marcion reasoned that the early version of the Gospel of Luke and Paul's letters had not had such references, but that later copyists had interpolated or doctored these works.

Gnostics hated matter, but did not believe that you should kill yourself or that it did not matter what you did with your body. In fact, they discouraged carousing or drinking, seeking to limit the influence of the material body on the mind.  The wizard in the Defenders despises Islam as Muslims believe they worship the same God as in the Hebrew Bible.  If the wizard is right, then the one true God could be the Living Tribunal's unseen master.”

Profile by Chadman.


The Gnostic Wizard has no known connections to:

(New) Defenders I#136, p9, pan3
(New) Defenders I#137, p20, pan5

(New) Defenders I#134-137 (September-December, 1984) - Peter B. Gillis (writer), Don Perlin (penciler), Kim DeMulder (inker), Carl Potts (editor)

Last updated:  09/13/2005

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:

Back to Characters