Real Name: Jack Van Nyborg

Identity/Class: Human magic user

Occupation: Cult leader

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: James Mandarin, Jack Norriss, Sister Celestia, Undying Ones

EnemiesCasiolena, Defenders (Dr. Stephen Strange, Nighthawk, Silver Surfer, Sub-Mariner, Valkyrie (Brunnhilde)), Enchantress, Executioner (Skurge), Fragon, Hulk (Banner), Night-Crawler, Barbara Norris, Thing

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Cobblers' Roost, Vermont

First Appearance: (mentioned) Incredible Hulk I#125 (March, 1970); (seen) Incredible Hulk I#126 (April, 1970)

Powers/Abilities: Van Nyborg was a mystic powered by the other-dimensional Undying Ones. While the extent of his powers are unknown, he was capable of mystic blasts, mesmerization, dimensional border rendering, and mystic rituals.

History: (Incredible Hulk I#126 (fb) - BTS) - Van Nyborg, seeking to bring his masters the Undying Ones to earth's dimension, put together a cult that would serve his will. 

(Defenders I#20 (fb) - BTS) - The Undying Ones rescued a woman, Celestia Denton, from death and promised her youth and beauty if she helped bring them to Earth. She was put into contact with Van Nyborg, and the two put together a complicated plot involving the sacrifice of Celestia's daughter, after she'd become the mate of the Undying Ones and imbued with Asgardian magic.

(Incredible Hulk I#126 (fb) - BTS) - Van Nyborg recruited Jack and Barbara Norris, though he sensed Barbara's heart was not in the cause.  Needing a way to destroy the dimensional Nightcrawler, van Nyborg looked for a superhuman agent to do his bidding.  Van Nyborg taught his cult of the Undying Ones' capture of Dr. Strange.

(Incredible Hulk I#125 - BTS) - Van Nyborg's cult watched the Hulk's battle with the Absorbing Man near their headquarters.  The Hulk, as Bruce Banner, collapsed at the end of the battle and the cult gathered around him.

(Incredible Hulk I#126) - The cult brought Banner to the house and laid him in the sacred chamber when van Nyborg commanded.  Banner was immobilized with the vapors of Valtorr.  Van Nyborg cast a spell that sent Banner to the Nightcrawler's dimension.  Banner forced himself to remain calm when Nightcrawler approached, fighting off his transformation into the Hulk.  When Barbara spoke out against van Nyborg, he punished her by sending her to the battle with Banner, who was forced to become the Hulk to protect Barbara.  After a battle, the Hulk destroyed the Nightcrawler's dimension and they moved to the dimension of the Undying Ones.  Barbara sacrificed herself to free Dr. Strange, who returned with the Hulk to earth's dimension.

(Defenders I#1-4 - BTS) - The sorcerer Necrodamus attempted to bring the Undying Ones to Earth by slaying the Sub-Mariner. This eventually Dr. Strange, Sub-Mariner, Hulk, and Silver Surfer to the dimension of the Undying Ones, where they 'rescued' Barbara, who'd become the mate of the Undying Ones, by pulling her back to Earth. Barbara was driven mad as a result. The heroes and Barbara then got involved in a battle between the magic-wielding Casiolena, Fragon, and the Enchantress, and the super-strong Executioner. To gain a bargaining chip, Enchantress bonded the captive soul of the Asgardian Valkyrie on to Barbara.

(Defenders I#18 - BTS) - One of Van Nyborg's men noticed Barbara Prentiss back in Cobblers' Roost.

(Marvel Two-In-One I#6-7 - BTS) - Sister Celestia posed as a young woman playing the harmonica who inadvertently showered the energies of the Undying Ones, through the Celestia harmonica, on a crowd of patrons, including Celestia's husband, Alvin Denton. This act led to Enchantress and Executioner kidnapping Alvin and battling Dr. Strange, Thing, and Valkyrie in Cobblers' Roost.

(Defenders I#20) - The same man noticed Barbara again, this time carrying a corpse causing him to be startled by her strength. Valkyrie soon returned to the Denton's house and was quickly subdued by Van Nyborg. With a carefully laid trap, Van Nyborg had one of his men steal the Celestia harmonica from the Thing and Nighthawk, who were beset by an electric wall. Van Nyborg also captured Dr. Strange. He and Sister Celestia prepared to sacrifice the two of them, finally having the correct mystic energies to complete the Undying Ones' transport into Earth's dimension. Thing and Nighthawk attacked and Thing ruined the ceremony by smashing the Celestia harmonica. Sister Celestia perished and Van Nyborg and his cult were mesmerized into forgetting everything by Dr. Strange.

(Marvel Fanfare I#8) - Van Nyborg’s spell book, the Secrets of Light and Shadow, was utilized by a minor adept, James Mandarin.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and Herb Trimpe.

Special thanks to Jean-Marc Loccifer for scanning help!

Van Nyborg's full name was revealed in > Marvel Comic Index 7A: Heroes from Tales to Astonish: Book One: The Incredible Hulk (June, 1978).

Profile by Chadman.

Van Nyborg has no known connections to any characters not mentioned in this profile.


Incredible Hulk I#126, p2, pan2
Incredible Hulk I#126, p2, pan6

Incredible Hulk I#125, 126 (March, April, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), Herb Trimpe (penciler/inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Defenders I#1 (August, 1972) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Frank Giacoia (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Defenders I#2 (October, 1972) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), John Verpoorten (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Defenders I#3 (December, 1972) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Defenders I#4 (February, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Frank McLaughlin (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Defenders I#18 (December, 1974) - Len Wein (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Two-In-One I#6 (November, 1974) - Steve Gerber (writer), George Tuska (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Two-In-One I#7 (January, 1975) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Defenders I#20 (February, 1975) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Vince Colletta (penciler/inker), Roy Thomas (editor)
Marvel Fanfare I#8 (May, 1983) – Peter Gillis (writer), Carmine Infantino (penciler), Craig Russell (inker), Allen Milgrom (editor)

Last updated: 09/15/11

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