NULL THE LIVING DARKNESS

Real Name: Unknown/inapplicable

Identity/Class: Demon (see comments)

Occupation: Inapplicable

Group Membership: Collective unconscious of the S'raphh

Affiliations:  "The cat", Adam Henderson, "the little girl", Over-Mind, Kyle Richmond (biological construct), Simple Joe

Enemies: Beast (McCoy), Chorus (Al Gentle, Theodore Kroeber, Philip le Guin, Georgia Orr, Ursula Richards, Mindy Williams), Clea, Defenders, Devil-Slayer, Doctor Strange, Red Fowler, Gargoyle (Christians), Ghost Rider (Blaze), Hellcat, Maureen Henderson, Madam Olga, August Masters, Pastor Oliver Matheson, Nighthawk, Cynthia Randolph, Scarlet Witch, Silver Surfer, Son of Satan, Squadron Supreme (Amphibian, Arcanna, Cap'n Hawk, Doctor Spectrum, Golden Archer, Hyperion, Lady Lark, Nuke, Power Princess, Tom Thumb, the Whizzer), Sub-Mariner, Vision, Valkyrie (Brunnhilde)

Known Relatives: None known

Aliases: Adam Henderson, Kyle Richmond, Simple Joe

Base of Operations: None,
                                     (formerly) Earth-712,
                                     (formerly) Cherry Hill, Illinois,
                                     (formerly) Christiansboro, Virginia

First Appearance: Defenders I#103 (January, 1982)

Powers/Abilities: Null the Living Darkness was an amorphous being capable of interdimensional travel.  He was able to draw on the power of other's consciousnesses, and grew more powerful as he did so.  Null was capable of mind control, raising the dead to serve as his personal army, drawing spirits back to Earth, creating biological constructs to house himself, enlarging a being from microscopic to normal size or back, creating illusions, and causing nightmares in the human mind.  He grew more powerful the longer he lived, surviving two seeming deaths, and finally succumbed when faced with the goodness of the race from which he originated.

History:
(Defenders I#103 (fb)/Ghost Rider I#71 (fb)) - Null the Living Darkness was birthed from the collective unconscious of the ancient S'raphh race.  The S'raphh had lived on Earth's moon millennia before, and had been unable to find the meaning of life.  After committing collective suicide, the race's unconscious desired revenge on creation.  Null was sent forth to battle all creation in their name.

(Defenders I#103 (fb)) - A few months after his birth, Null appeared in Christiansboro, Virginia, a town in an economic depression.  He began frightening off the town's citizens with ghosts, apparitions, and recurring nightmares.  He also raised many of the dead in the town and used them as his pawns for force.  Other members of the town he corrupted, using illusions and mind control.  His mind took control of Simple Joe, a small child, a cat, and perhaps others.

(Defenders I#103) - When Gargoyle, former mayor of Christiansboro, returned to the town, he was accompanied by Clea, Devil-Slayer, Hellcat, and Valkyrie.  Gargoyle was confronted by apparitions of his dead family while Simple Joe, the little girl, and the cat confronted the other heroes.  Once Null had a sense of the uniqueness of the heroes, he revealed himself to them and explained his origins and purpose.  He then bid his zombie army to attack them.  Gargoyle soon attacked, but found his life-force draining powers ineffectual on Null, however, when Gargoyle tried feeding life force into Null, Null lost all substance.  His zombie army returned to the grave.

(Ghost Rider I#71 (fb)) - Null realized how much he had to learn as he matured, before his power would be supreme.  He wandered the Earth, studying the human race, and looking for a bitter human heart he could merge with.

(Ghost Rider I#71) - Null came to Cherry Hill, Illinois, and came across a despairing man named Adam Henderson.  Null merged with the man, and wandered through the town extinguishing hope at a party, killing a dog, and shoving aside people at a carnival.  He visited Madam Olga, a fortune teller, and overwhelmed her with the story of his origins.  He exploded her tent, leaving her into shock, then revealed himself in the sky above the carnival.  He pulled Pastor Matheson into the air with him, and accused him of being a liar and a manipulator.  He shrunk the pastor to doll-size, went before Maureen (Adam's wife), then tossed the pastor out the window.  Ghost Rider attacked, hitting Null with a blast of hellfire that Null turned to energy, then they went flying through the wall to the ground below, breaking Adam's wrist.  Ghost Rider and Null traded blows, and Null tried reducing Ghost Rider in size ineffectually.  Null/Henderson grew enraged, and tossed a car at Ghost Rider.  When Null tried toppling a statue on Ghost Rider, Maureen's life was put in danger, awakening hope in Adam's heart.  With this hope weakening Null, Ghost Rider was able to drive him out.

(Defenders I#114 (fb)) - Null realized that he could not effectively destroy Earth until his own evolution into a higher form was complete, so he sought out a pawn to work his plans through.  He contacted Over-Mind, a powerful telepath, who had been shrunk down to a Microworld.  Null took mental control of Over-Mind, another sole survivor of an ancient race.  He brought Over-Mind from the Microverse back to Earth, but found that they were on a parallel Earth (Earth-712, home of the Squadron Supreme).  Still determined to conquer this Earth, Null, through Over-Mind, took mental control of President Kyle Richmond of the United States.  When Richmond resisted, Null cast him aside and created a new biological construct of Richmond, which housed Null's essence while Null continued to evolve. 

(Defenders I#112 (fb)) - Null (in Richmond) and Over-Mind imposed a martial law over the U.S., convincing the public that they were taking down a conspiracy group, but in actuality gaining control of the country's influential citizens.  Eventually, they contacted the Squadron Supreme and met them at their base, where Over-Mind claimed to be the force behind it all.  Over-Mind physically defeated each member of the Squadron in turn, though Hyperion escaped.  Null and Over-Mind gained control over world leaders by inviting them to the White House and mentally subjugating them.  They then declared war on all other opposing nations, with the mentally controlled Squadron as their personal force.  Null, through Over-Mind, soon controlled the planet.

(Defenders I#113) - Null (in Richmond) guided the Over-Mind, who guided the Squadron Supreme, in constructing star-ships on the moon with which they could launch a nuclear war.  When several Earth heroes arrived (Beast, Doctor Strange, Gargoyle, Hyperion, Nighthawk, Scarlet Witch, Silver Surfer, Son of Satan, Sub-Mariner, Vision, and Valkyrie) and defeated the Squadron, Over-Mind did battle with the heroes.  August Masters, a man from Earth-616 with a grudge against Richmond, surprisingly assassinated Richmond, setting Null free.  His evolution complete, he appeared in his true form in the sky over the heroes.

(Defenders I#114) - Weakened due to his premature 'birth,' Null began leeching energy from the millions of minds that made up Over-Mind's form.  He toyed with the several heroes that opposed him by engaging in battle with them physically, knowing the heroes had no chance to triumph against him.  When the composite being known as Chorus of Earth's group of Psychics appeared, it united all the heroes into a single psychic being that could battle Null.  Null and Chorus battled, and Null actually felt pain.  Null, knowing that he could not be defeated because each of the heroes had a darkness in them that he could exploit, drew forth more power from Over-Mind's form.  Chorus  pulled the goodness from Over-Mind to form a shield, then both beings exploded as the good and evil in them met.  The Chorus then took over the empty shell of the Over-Mind's body and renewed the battle with the reforming Null.  Null tried to pull in the last of Over-Mind's energy, but sucked in Chorus as well.  In Null's form, Chorus reawakened all the good that had once been part of the S'Raphh race.  That purity, in Null's form, spread.  Faced by the light inside himself, Null dissipated, simply ceasing to exist.

Comments: Created by J. M. DeMatteis, Don Perlin, and Joe Sinnott.

    Null appears under demons in the OHotMU, but his origins describe him as a being born from the despair of an extinct race. I was going to label Null as an extradimensional monster, since he could traverse dimensions. Then decided to call him a demon.
    Null doesn't fit in cleanly to the OHotMU's classification system for demons. See Clarifications for the different kinds of demons. Extradimensional refers to beings of extradimensional origin. Like Dormammu
--Snood

Could there be a link between the Bird People of Sunev (Daring Mystery Comics#2 (April, 1940); Zephyr Jones story) and the S'raphh.
--Gammatotem

Profile by Chadman

Clarifications:

Null the Living Darkness has no known connections to


 

Simple Joe, the little girl , and the cat 

(Defenders I#103 (fb)) - Simple Joe lived in Christiansboro, a town that had fallen on hard times.  When all the townspeople started howling at graveyards and having recurring nightmares and ghosts began attacking the city, the townsfolk began fleeing one by one.  Simple Joe remained, and at some point came under the influence of Null the Living Darkness.  Null also took control of the little girl and the cat at some point.

(Defenders I#103) - When a team of Defenders arrived in Christiansboro, Null had each of his pawns investigate them.  Simple Joe confronted Hellcat, the little girl confronted Devil-Slayer, and the cat confronted the Valkyrie and Clea.  All the heroes were brought together in the cemetery, where they did battle with a zombie army.  Null was soon defeated by the Gargoyle, and the three pawns were presumably released.

--Defenders I#103 (103 (fb), 103


the S'raphh

(Defenders I#103/Ghost Rider I#71 (fb)) - The S'raphh were 'pure-souled, open-hearted beings who dwelled, millennia ago, upon the surface of Earth's moon.,  They eventually took to space on their wings to find the meaning of life.  When that quest, which went on for an undisclosed amount of time, the S'raphh committed collective suicide by diving into magma pits on the moon.  The collective unconscience of the race desired vengeance against all creation for their lack of finding an answer, and many years later that unconscience birthed Null, the Living Darkness, who went forth to wipe out all creation.


--Defenders I#103 (103 (fb), Ghost Rider I#71 (fb)

 

 

 



Adam Henderson

(Ghost Rider I#71 (fb)) - Adam and Maureen courted for years.  He played his guitar, and fell in love with her for her optimism.  They lived and married in Cherry Hill, Illinois, where he took a job as an English teacher until his music career could take off.  Years passed, and he hated the job terribly.

(Ghost Rider I#71) - With his thirtieth birthday approaching, Adam grew furious that his life had taken a different course.  While complaining to Maureen, he smashed his favorite guitar and stormed out.  Adam ended up on a hillside thinking about his life when a darkness descended on him and Null the Living Darkness possessed him.  While walking through the city, Adam extinguished the lights and the spirit of a party, and killed a dog by barking at it.  He barreled through a group of people at the carnival, upsetting them.  Adam went to Madam Olga, a fortune teller at the fair, and overwhelmed her with the story of Null's origins.  He lashed out at her, and revealed himself as Null in the air above the carnival.  Null pulled Pastor Matheson into the air and accused him of evil things.  He shrunk the pastor to doll-size, went back to Maureen, then tossed the pastor out the window.  Ghost Rider attacked and pushed Adam outside to the ground, breaking Adam's wrist.  Null and Ghost Rider traded blows, and Null got more and more enraged, even trying unsuccessfully to reduce Ghost Rider in size.  When he tried to smash Ghost Rider with a statue, Maureen's life was put in danger, and Adam's love for her was reawakened.  Null was weakened, then, and Ghost Rider cast Null out of Adam. Adam embraced Maureen, and confessed his love for her.

--Ghost Rider I#71 (71 (fb), 71


Maureen Henderson

(Ghost Rider I#71 (fb)) - Maureen and Adam lived Cherry Hill, Illinois, where they courted and he'd serenade her with his guitar.  They married, and Adam took a teaching job though he really wanted to pursue his music career.  Adam grew more and more frustrated with his job.

(Ghost Rider I#71) - Adam, turning thirty soon, smashed his guitar in frustration while complaining to Maureen and stormed out.  She'd encouraged him to keep working, as they couldn't make it on her salary alone.  Maureen meditated to calm herself, and went to bed, fearful for Adam and she's relationship.  Adam finally returned home, but had been possessed by Null the Living Darkness.  He held Pastor Matheson, shrunk to doll-size, and tossed him out a window.  Ghost Rider attacked, and drew Adam outside, where she found the pastor was still alive.  She and the pastor rushed down the street to find Adam and Ghost Rider still battling.  When Adam tried to topple a statue on Ghost Rider, Maureen was in the way, and the pastor saved her life by pushing her out of the way.  After Null was gone, Adam rushed to Maureen, embraced her, and confessed his love for her.

--Ghost Rider I#71 (71 (fb), 71


Pastor Oliver and Sarah Matheson

(Ghost Rider I#71) - Pastor Matheson was attending a carnival with his wife in Cherry Hill, Illinois when Null the Living Darkness, in the form of Adam Henderson, levitated him into the air.  The pastor prayed for help while Null accused the pastor of being a grand liar and manipulator.  The pastor was shrunk to doll size, brought before Maureen Henderson, and then tossed out a window, where he regained his normal size.  Ghost Rider attacked, and battled Null down the street.  The pastor and Maureen caught up with them, and, when Maureen was almost crushed by a falling statue, the pastor saved her by pushing her out of the way.  After Null was gone, Sarah rushed to the pastor's side.  Despite his broken leg, the pastor was grateful for the lessen he'd learned that night.

--Ghost Rider I#71


images:
Defenders I#119, p3, pan3
Defenders I#103, p17, pan2
(Simple Joe) Defenders I#103, p10, pan6
(little girl) Defenders I#103, p15, pan5
(cat) Defenders I#103, p13, pan4
(S'raphh) Defenders I#103, p16, pan5&6
(Adam) Ghost Rider I#71, p5, pan5
(Maureen) Ghost Rider I#71, p2, pan4
(Pastor Oliver and Sara Matheson) Ghost Rider I#71, p12, pan3


Defenders I#103 (January, 1982) - JM DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (penciler), Joe Sinnott (inker), Al Milgrom (editor)
Ghost Rider I#71 (August, 1982) - J.M. DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Defenders I#112 (December, 1982) - JM DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin, (penciler), Mike Gustovich (inker), Al Milgrom (editor)
Defenders I#113-114 (January, February, 1983) - JM DeMatteis (writer), Don Perlin (writer/penciler), Mike Gustovich (inker), Al Milgrom (editor)


11/27/06

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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