MOLOCH

Real Name: Moloch

Identity/Class: Canaanite God/Demon (Class 2);
   Hyborian era, 12th Century, and modern eras (see comments)

Occupation: Deity worshipped by the People of the Hills
formerly: God of Fire or Sun (possibly)

Group Membership: None

AffiliationsAnnunaki, People of the Hills

EnemiesAl-Adil, Black Knight (possessed by Dane Whitman), many human sacrifices

Known Relatives: Shaitan (partner), Lailah (daughter), Olivier Stoker (son-in-law), Sybil (granddaughter) (see comments)

Aliases: God of the Hill, Last of the Gehenna, Molech

Base of Operations: Gehenna (one of the various hells)
in this story: Hidden caves in the desert
formerly: Gehenna, the valley outside of Jerusalem

First Appearance: Bible: Leviticus 18,21 (historical)
King Conan#3 (mentioned) (September, 1980)
Marvel Fanfare I#52/1 (seen) (August, 1990)

Powers/Abilities: Moloch had an insatiable hunger for human flesh. As a god Moloch possessed superhuman strength (Class 50), durability and immunity to aging and disease among other godly features.
He was presumably a shape-shifter (see comments) able to change his size and mass as well. Like many other of his kind he presumably had degenerated into a demon.

 

History:
(King Conan#3 - BTS) - Moloch and Shaitan were mentioned.

(Conan of the Isles - BTS) - Moloch and Shaitan were mentioned.

(Marvel Fanfare I#52/1 (fb) - BTS) - Residing in a cave Moloch was worshipped by the People of the Hills who brought him as many human sacrifices as possible.

(Marvel Fanfare I#52/1) <July 12, 1191> - Moloch's followers brought Black Knight and Al-Adil to their hidden caves. This evening a woman was Moloch's first feast. Laid upon an altar and hidden in smoke caused by burning oil, Moloch pulled the woman down into his lair and killed her. Al-Adil was to become the next victim, but Black Knight followed him into Moloch's lair and attacked the monstrous being with his sword. Moloch dropped Al-Adil and went after the Black Knight, but the Knight ran his sword into Moloch's mouth while Al-Adil climbed over the monster's back into the cave above. From there Al-Adil poured the burning oil over Moloch and the monster's lair became a lethal inferno. In agony Moloch tried to escape the fire, but the attempt only brought down the whole cave complex. The Black Knight and Al-Adil escaped while Moloch and his followers were buried in the collapsing cave.

(Gambit II#2 - BTS) - Moloch was revealed as a grandparent of Sybil.

 

Comments: Adapted by Steven Grant, Scott Hampton & Ernie Chan

I'm not sure if the monster seen in Marvel Fanfare is the real deity worshipped by the People of the Hills. It's just a lizard with tentacles (a Deviant mutate maybe), but probably the god chose this monstrous form to feast upon humans or it had degenerated like many other of the Annunaki.

Strangely the Moloch seen in Marvel Fanfare possessed a similar head as the Australian lizard going by the same name. The color doesn't fit, but the rest looks like Moloch horridus also known as Thorny Devil.

In Conan of the Isles and King Conan#3 Moloch is mentioned. The Moloch was again mentioned in Gambit II#2 as the grandparent of Sybil together with Shaitan. In this profile I handled them as the same entity although it was never stated. It will be changed as soon as somebody finds proof against it.

The Gambit story brings up another problem: Moloch's gender! Seeing the Moloch statue in this story (see right) I'd go with female which would make Moloch Sybil's grandma and Shaitan her grandpa, but like above a proof for this is missing. In OHotMU 2006 A-Z#10 it was clarified which parent of Sybil was directly related to Moloch.

I would submit that the swollen belly of the bull-headed figure is not the pregnancy of a birthing female, but instead a male stomach gorged on the sacrificed children it has made a habit of consuming, in a relaxed posture of gluttony.
--Dean Grier

I listed Moloch in the modern eras because I have no clue how old Sybil or her parents are and if they weren't a few hundred years old Moloch had to be around at their birth.

Although the temple of Moloch was destroyed (read below) it could be that the hidden caves in Marvel Fanfare were in the same area.

The sacrifice of victims by burning them is commonly linked to sun gods and therefore Moloch probably was one. Or he was just a god of fire or a devil. Whatever he is, I learned to hate Moloch!

The mythological madness that is Moloch!

The only literary source mentioning the Moloch is the bible, but the Moloch's appearances are sometimes only due to mistakes in translation. The name Moloch (originally Molech) was a combination of the word Melek (king) and bosheth (shame), but this isn't the problem. The troubles begin with the origins of the god if it was one at all.

  Leviticus 18,21: Israelites were told not to sacrifice their children to Moloch. This was Moloch's first mention, but not his last. In the same book (20,2-5) capitol punishment was declared for everyone serving Moloch and even for those who won't stop them.

  First Book of Kings 6,7: Solomon built a temple for Moloch because one of his wives worshipped that god. This mention was a translation mistake. The god originally talked about was Milcom, the national god of the Ammonites. This mistake was corrected in later translations, but for some people Moloch is still identified as Milcom (I include this because it really is a part of the Moloch mythos and even some encylopedias use it).

  Second Book of Kings 16,3 and 21,6: Moloch wasn't mentioned, but the sacrifice connected to him was when King Ahaz and King Manasseh let children pass through the fire. The cult was continued by Manaseh's son Amon until he died. His successor King Josiah (Kings II 23, 10) destroyed the Moloch temple at Tophet in the valley of the children of Hinnon (in short: Gehenna).

  Jeremiah 32,35: The cult had already rebuilt the temple or at least an altar and children once again passed through the fire to Moloch. The god was mentioned more times, but it was in a more hidden way and nothing new was added to the history.

With all this great info we know that Moloch was an evil children consuming monster. Let us continue to find out more.

  Once again we're working with the Moloch name and this time Otto Eissfeldt helps us with his findings in Carthage. It was originally spelled MLK, vocalised as molk (or mulk) and meant sacrifice. It was just the name for the fire sacrifice itself. Perhaps this sacrifice was of foreign origin and the Israelites just borrowed it from another religion. Reason for doing so can be found in Micah 6,7 wherein the sacrifice of the first-born child was seen as a possibility to get even with god for sins.

We are still slaughtering children! Let us continue to become a little bit nicer.

  The phrase "causing to pass through fire" doesn't necessarily mean that the children were burnt. It could've been a purification ritual wherein children passed through fire (and lived).

  Read the next sentence if you still want a sacrifice. From MLK comes the term "molchomor" which meant the sacrifice of a lamb and not children.

Now we are human, but that's not the way we see Moloch today. Let us continue to see were we stand now!

  Nowadays Moloch is seen as a never satisfied all-consuming monster and the word is commonly used to describe such monstrous things as big cities or other things. In the Satanic Bible he is called a devil of Canaanites and Phoenicians.

  Stories about the cult and sacrifices are strangely exact for all the missing historical info.

Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal:
  Moloch was the god of the Ammonites, portrayed as a bronze statue with a calf's head adorned with a royal crown and seated on a throne. His arms were extended to retrieve the child victims sacrificed to him. John Milton (in the novel Paradise Lost) wrote that Moloch was a frightening and terrible demon covered with mother's tears and children's blood.

  Rabbis claim that in the famous statue of Moloch, there were seven kinds of cabinets. The first was for flour, the second for turtle doves, the third for a ewe, the fourth for a ram, the fifth for a calf, the sixth for a beef, and the seventh for a child. It is because of this, Moloch is associated with Mithras and his seven mysterious gates with seven chambers. When a child was sacrificed to Moloch, a fire was lit inside the statue. The priests would then beat loudly on drums & other objects so that the cries would not be heard.

Leaving Collin we go back in time to Diodorus Siculus who spoke about a similar sacrifice in the Phoenician colony Carthage, but not to Moloch.
  "There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire."

  Sounds very similar! Once again there were some people who thought that Moloch was Cronus, but today the existence of a god called Moloch is generally questioned. No bronze statue had ever been found and it is believed that the rabbinical stories were made up. There is also no proven connection to gods like Milcom, Cronus or any other deity Moloch was identified as.

Moloch is a variant of Mot, god of death. He appears in myth in the story of Baal in the underworld. Of course, that may not apply where Hyborian gods are involved.
--Will U

Once again thanks to Wikipedia and other sources (see above for some of them).

BTW I'm pretty sure I missed a few mentionings of Moloch.

In the All-New OHotMU Update#3 it was revealed that Moloch was not a true member of the Annunaki. Moloch is now officially the grandparent of Sibyl, but there is still the question if the monster in Marvel Fanfare and the god were the same.

Profile by Markus Raymond

CLARIFICATIONS:
Moloch has no known connection to:

  • Moloch, of the Ultraverse @ All New Exiles#6
  • any other character with a similar name

The People of the Hill have no known connection to:

  • Hill People, Spragg's race @ Journey into Mystey I#68
  • any other people

People of the Hill

 

They were Moloch's loyal followers who brought many human sacrifices to him. Folklore stories were told about them as the reason for vanishing lone travellers in the desert. They had seemingly lived in their hidden caves as a colony for centuries and inbreeding degenerated them. Black Knight assumed that they originated from Canaanites while Al-Adil only wondered how they could live in the caves for so long cut off from the rest of the world. After Al-Adil and Black Knight escaped Moloch they fought off the People of the Hill until all attackers were buried by the collapsing cave.

--Marvel Fanfare I#52/1

 

 

 

 

 


images:
Marvel Fanfare I#52, p17, pan1 (Moloch body shot)
Marvel Fanfare I#52, p19, pan2 (Moloch head shot)
Marvel Fanfare I#52, p11, pan2 (Moloch statue)
Marvel Fanfare I#52, p9, pan5 (People of the Hills)


Appearances:
King Conan#3 (September, 1980) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks)
Conan of the Isles (1988) - Roy Thomas (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Dave Simons (inks), Craig Anderson (editor)
Marvel Fanfare I#52 (August, 1990) - Steven Grant (writer), Scott Hampton (pencils), Ernie Chan (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)
Gambit II#2 (October, 1997) - Terry Kavanagh & Howard Mackie (writers), Klaus Janson (artist), Kelly Corvese (editor)


Last updated: 08/11/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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