HASSAN IBN SABBAH

Real Name: Hassan bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Ja'fr bin Hussain bin Muhammad Al-Sabbah Al-Hameeri

Identity/Class: Human magic user; Persian citizen (Iran) @ 11th-12th Century

Occupation: Leader of the Hashishin

Group Membership: Hashishin

Affiliations: Conrad of Montferrat, Karna, Rashid ad-Din (see comments), many loyal Hashishin

EnemiesAl-Adil, Black Knight (Eobar Garrington, possessed by Dane Whitman), Saladin,
Crusade leaders (Leopold of Austria, Phillip II of France, King Richard Plantagenet)

Known Relatives: None (history check)

Aliases: Lord of Assassins, Old Man of the Mountain, 1,000-Year-Old Son of a 1,000-Year-Old Mother

Base of Operations: The fortress Alamut in the Elburz Mountains of Iran

First Appearance: Marvel Fanfare I#53 (October, 1990)

Powers/Abilities: He was a powerful sorcerer, who controlled the forces of the elements. He could pry upon targets of his choice through a mystical green flame that could be created by unknown means. If somebody called upon him he could also show himself through a greenish flame and talk to them. The creation of a fire-sword or a storm was an easy task to him. He was seen recreated in a body of fire after a man sacrificed himself.

 

History: (Historical) - Hassan was born ca. 1034 in the Iranian city Re. As a young man he was instructed in the Batinite system in Egypt and became an Ismaili missionary. He returned to his homeland, took over the mountain fortress Alamut in 1090 and created the Hashishin cult. Legends spoke of him and the ways he inducted members into his organization. Hassan's cult spread terror Persian Empire with victims among political, military and religious leaders.
In 1124 Hassan ibn Sabbah died. (see comments)

(Marvel Fanfare I#54 (fb) - BTS) - Under unknown circumstances Hassan became allied with Conrad of Montferrat.

(Marvel Fanfare I#53) - Hassan ibn Sabbah had heard about the legend of the Black Knight and watched the Knight fighting Saracen warriors through his flames. Hassan decided that the Black Knight must die if he didn't become his slave. He observed the Black Knight a little while longer and started to come up with a plan to turn him to his side. He ordered Karna to intercept the Black Knight on his way to Saladin and bring him to Hassan.

Some time later Karna arrived with the Black Knight and Hassan put him into the illusionary garden with his other warriors. Together with Karna he accompanied the Black Knight on a walk through the garden and showed him that King Richard gave in to his allies' demands to kill the prisoners, but the Black Knight thought it was a lie and destroyed Hassan's flame with his sword. Hassan attacked the Black Knight, but Karna stopped the fight by kissing the Knight to regain control over him. Her plan failed and the Black Knight escaped the illusion. Back in the true world Hassan told him that his other warriors would do anything for him to return to the garden and they weren't afraid to die because Hassan's angels would bring their souls back to the garden as well. Black Knight wasn't interested and Hassan created a fire-sword to fight him. When the Black Knight was down, Hassan read his mind and learned that the Knight's spirit came from an unknown land from another time. The revelation distracted Hassan and enabled the Black Knight to take Hassan's fire-sword and stab him through the chest. Hassan ibn Sabbah dropped to the ground and the Black Knight got away with Karna's help. Hassan had only faked death and followed Karna to the stables. He showed himself when the Knight was gone and told her that the Black Knight deserved a better fate than his other assassins. He wanted the Knight to return willingly to him and he was sure that the Knight would return because Hassan had showed him the truth about King Richard.

(Marvel Fanfare I#54) - Hassan used his magic on King Richard from the secure distance of his fortress and King Richard became ill. Conrad contacted Hassan, who sent him immediately three assassins to kill King Richard. Hassan was happy until Karna mentioned that this new scheme could be ruined by the Black Knight. Hassan accused her of treachery, hit her and told her that the Black Knight had broken with King Richard and that he would soon return to them. He then watched the Black Knight's current actions through his flame and saw him fighting Saracens side-by-side with a young Prester John. A short time later Hassan's assassins were stopped by the Black Knight and Prester John. Conrad killed one of the assassins because he became afraid that he could be connected to them. Another assassin called for Hassan ibn Sabbah, who appeared through a campfire's blaze as a creature composed of fire. The assassin was consumed by him and Hassan started an attack on the Black Knight. He took Black Knight's sword and threw it away when he saw that there was no magic in it. Many soldiers opposed Hassan on his way through the camp, but none could withstand his powers of fire and wind. The Black Knight returned to fight him, but Hassan was still too powerful for him and Hassan got to his chosen target. It wasn't King Richard, but Conrad of Montferrat, who had betrayed Hassan on that day. Meanwhile Prester John poured holy water onto the Black Knight's sword and now he was able to hurt Hassan with the blade. The pain was too much for Hassan and Hassan's spirit fled the camp with a threat aimed at the Black Knight.

(Historical) - Conrad of Montferrat was assassinated by the Hashishin for his betrayal of Hassan ibn Sabbah (see comments).

Comments: Adapted by Steven Grant, John Buscema & Jose Marzan

    In the Black Knight (Eobar Garrington) profile you can read in the comments why Hassan and Rashid are not the same. Therefore I believe that Rashid was working for Hassan because there surely was still a connection between Hassan and the Hashishin at the point of MCP#73.

    There is no reason why historical events of real world history shouldn't have taken place on Earth-616 as well, but with Hassan's supernatural nature there surely is some difference to reality. Nevertheless I tried to use real historical information in the profile as well.

    Old Man is the literal translation of Sheikh. Therefore Old Man of the Mountain originally meant Sheikh of the Mountain.

    The Alamut fortress, base to the Hashishin, was destroyed on December 15, 1256 by Hulagu Khan (grandson of Genghis Khan).

    The Hashishin cult had a strict hierarchy. Their leader possessed all power and went by the title of "Old Man of the Mountain". Beneath him were grand priors in charge of the different districts. Next in the hierarchy were the ordinary propagandists, who ensured that the assassins didn't forget why they were risking their lives. Last were the normal assassins called "fidawis" (faithful), who did the main work for their chance to return to paradise.

    As the legend goes future assassins were drugged to simulate their death only to awake later in a beautiful garden with wine and feasts served by young girls. They were made to believe that it was heaven and that Hassan was a representative of god, who should be followed by them to death. This is identical to the way Hassan turned Crusaders into assassins in Marvel Fanfare.

    On Earth-616 Hassan's "death" in 1124 is uncertain. It is possible that Hassan's body died and then he became the supernatural being seen in Marvel Fanfare or he was like that all along and never died. The only problem with this was Rashid's BTS appearance in Marvel Comics Presents as leader of the Hashishin, but perhaps he was just second-in-command posing in front of the average assassin as their leader (surely with Hassan's knowledge and approval, because unknowing servants are good servants). With Rashid as their public leader the Hashishin first spread over to Syria.

    Hassan ibn Sabbah's fate in the Marvel Universe after the events of Marvel Fanfare are unknown. With his powers he could still be alive and dangerous!

    Note that by the 20th century, the Hashishin had become agents of Fu Manchu, and remain so to this day.

    In reality Conrad of Montferrat was killed by the Hashishin in 1192 by Rashid's order (King Richard's involvement with the assassination was disproved). On Earth-616 this could've happened as well with the difference that Hassan ibn Sabbah gave the order and Rashid's men carried it out.

    Karna didn't seem very passionate about the Black Knight, but Hassan still accused her of feeling affected to him. Perhaps she talked dreamy about the handsome hero somewhere BTS.

Most historical info came from Wikipedia.

Profile by Markus Raymond

CLARIFICATIONS:
Hassan ibn Sabbah has no known connection to:

Karna has no known connection to:

Rashid ad-Din has no known connection to:


Karna

    She was Hassan ibn Sabbah's witch-servant whose kiss drugged her victims and rendered them unconscious. She was resistant to pain and seemingly possessed a healing factor. Her powers were all of magical nature. Her weapon of choice was a dagger (the traditional weapon for all Hashishin).

(Marvel Fanfare I#53/1) - Karna was sent out by Hassan ibn Sabbah to intercept the Black Knight on his way to Saladin. She traveled on her winged horse (Valinor's first appearance) to Saladin's camp where she was shot into the shoulder with an arrow. She fell from her horse and the Black Knight caught her before she hit the ground, but it was all part of her plan. Her kiss knocked the Black Knight out and a hard punch took care of Al-Adil, who tried to help. She pulled the arrow out of her shoulder and left with the Black Knight on Valinor.

    When the Black Knight awakened she welcomed him in a beautiful garden together with Hassan ibn Sabbah. She accompanied the Knight on a walk through the garden and stopped a fight between the Knight and Hassan by kissing the Black Knight again, but her magic didn't work this time. The Black Knight resisted and the illusion of the garden was shattered when the Knight attacked her. Back in reality she told the Knight that the other warriors were drugged and dreaming the dream Hassan had placed into their heads. Again a fight broke out between Black Knight and Hassan and Karna watched her master fall. Threatened by the Black Knight she led to the outside and even gave him her horse Valinor. When he was gone she turned around and Hassan stood alive behind her. She wanted him to catch the Black Knight, but Hassan had other plans for the Black Knight.

(Marvel Fanfare I#54/1) - Karna brought Hassan something to eat. He told her about his newest scheme to kill King Richard and she asked him if he wasn't afraid that the Black Knight would ruin it. Hassan hit her and accused her of treachery before showing her what the object of her affection (the Black Knight) was doing at the moment.


Rashid ad-Din

Sinan ibn Salman ibn Muhummad aka. Old Man of the Mountain or Rashid ad-Din as-Sinan

(Historical) - Leader of the Syrian branch of Hashishin.

(Marvel Comics Presents#73/3) - He was the Earthly leader of the Hashishin in the year 1191. He planned to kill Saladin and take charge of his troops to become an unstoppable force in the Crusades. He sent out a group of assassins to do the job, but they were stopped by the Black Knight and Saladin himself.

(Historical) - Conrad of Montferrat was assassinated by the Hashishin (see comments). In the same year Rashid ad-Din died.

--Marvel Comics Presents#73/3 - BTS

Whether Rashid was directly affiliated with Hassan ibn Sabbah or not is unclear.


images:
Marvel Fanfare I#53, Cover (Hassan ibn Sabbah body shot)
Marvel Fanfare I#53, p21, pan3 (Hassan ibn Sabbah head shot)
Marvel Fanfare I#53, p20, pan3 (Karna head shot)


Other apearances:
Marvel Fanfare I#54 (December, 1990) - Steven Grant (writer), Tod Smith (pencils), Chris Ivy (inks), Al Milgrom (editor)


Last updated: 10/03/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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