Real Name: Atalis
Identity/Class: Human magic-user; Hyborian era
Occupation: Sorcerer, philosopher
Group Membership: None
Affiliations: Formerly Conan, Fafnir Hellhand, Hidilco, Nergal, Tammuz, Thann, the people of Yaralet (his servants)
Enemies: Conan, Free Companions, Munthassem Khan,
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Atalis the Far-Seeing
Base of Operations: Yaralet, Turan
First Appearance: (Conan mythos) "The Hand of Nergal,"
Conan (1967, Lancer Books)
(Marvel Universe) Conan the Barbarian I#30 (September, 1973)
Powers/Abilities: Atalis previously had limited magical abilities (such as using his mystic crystal to spy on distant events) and some degree of arcane knowledge. After acquiring the Hand of Nergal, he could use it to generate a monstrous and gigantic hand able to take out entire troops of warriors, to mentally control others, and to fire energy blasts. Even after merging the Hand of Nergal with Fafnir of the Demonhand, he could still control, as well as draw on the Hand's power for other effects. He also possessed the Heart of Tammuz, though he could not access its power himself (instead merely holding it to keep others from using it against him).
(Conan the Barbarian I#30 (fb) - BTS) - Munthassem Khan, the satrap of Yaralet, was driven to cruel madness by the Hand of Nergal. He had all wizards of Yaralet slain, but he allowed the philosopher Atalis to survive. However, he cursed Atalis with fits of agony. In addition, Prince Thann developed fits of blindness.
(Conan the Barbarian I#30 (fb) - BTS) - Atalis sent the Brythunian woman, Hidilco, to recruit the aid of the Cimmerian barbarian Conan who had recently acquired the Heart of Tammuz, the counter-talisman to the Hand of Nergal, though it could be best wielded in the hands of a woman.
the Barbarian I#30) - Hidilco enlisted the services of Conan while Atalis and
Thann debated over whether she would succeed. Atalis knew that the presence of
the Shadows of Nergal indicated Munthassem was deep in dreams of the lotus.
Atalis then suffered a fit of agony, and Thann a fit of blindness, after which
Hidilco arrived at Atalis' chamber. Atalis told Conan of Munthassem Khan and the Hand of Nergal,
and also shared that Conan's new possession was the Heart of Tammuz, which was
the Hand's counter-talisman. Atalis led Conan and Thann into Munthassem Khan's chamber, intending to
ambush the still-drugged Munthassem, but Munthassem suddenly awoke, announcing that he
had been expecting them (he had sensed Atalis peering at him through his mystic
crystal). Munthassem Khan swiftly dropped Atalis and Thann with their fits of
pain and blindness. Conan rushed to the attack, but as he knew not how to invoke
the Heart of Tammuz' power, Munthassem Khan struck him down as well. Hidilco
then rushed in, seemingly in anguish over Conan's injury, but she suddenly
grabbed the Heart of Tammuz and hurled it across the room, knocking the Hand of
Nergal from Munthassem Khan's clutches.
A darkly shimmering glow spread from the Hand of Nergal, which unleashed the form of Nergal itself, while the Heart of Tammuz released the form of Tammuz. Tammuz banished Nergal, and both the Heart and Hand vanished. Munthassem Khan was gone, as well, leaving behind only a handful of smoldering ashes.
Atalis noted that the Heart was ever stronger than the Hand.
Sword of Conan#220 (fb) - BTS / Savage Sword of Conan#221 (fb) - BTS) - Atalis gained the Hand of Nergal and the Heart
of Tammuz. Though he could not control the Heart, he ensured that it could not
be used against him. Always corrupt but never before having such an opportunity,
Atalis then ensorcelled Prince Thann who had replaced Munthassem Khan, causing
Thann to become
as much a tyrant as his predecessor. With the help of the Hand of Nergal, which
took the form of an immense taloned claw the size of the real Nergal's hand,
Atalis (via Thann) began trying to subdue the hills and eventually conquer
everything between Yaralet and Turan.
Atalis typically kept Thann incapacitated on the lotus drug, reviving him only as needed from matters of state.
(Savage Sword of Conan#231 (fb) - BTS) - Atalis bound the Hand of Nergal to the warrior Fafnir, merging it with the demonic Arm of Kx'ulthuum and enslaving Fafnir to his will.
(Savage Sword of Conan#220) - Years later, Conan -- now leading a fighting force including the Free Companions and the Kozaks on the steppes west of Turan, rode to Northern Turan in search of allies. Conan's forces were suddenly assaulted by the immense magical Hand of Nergal, which decimated them until turning back into mist and vanishing back toward Yaralet. Conan and several other warriors traveled to Munthassem Khan's former quarters, where they were confronted by Atalis who revealed his involvement, and also revealed his warrior servant, Fafnir of the Demon Hand.
(Savage Sword of Conan#221) - Fafnir of the Demon Hand obeyed
Atalis' orders and savagely defeated Conan, taking a brief moment to strike down
Conan's allies with a magical blast. Atalis stopped Fafnir from slaying Conan,
thinking that Conan might prove a valuable servant. Conan and the other men were
thrown in the dungeons, while Atalis' showed his power to Conan's new female
ally, Tacqui, using a torch to burn the face of the lotus-drugged Thann, who did
not even react. Atalis then brought Tacqui to the dungeon, where he told Conan's
group that one of them would be sent to tell their tribe that they must fall in
line with Yaralet or perish.
Conan slyly advised Taqui to win Atalis' heart. Atalis drew the Hand's power against Tacqui to make her more compliant, but when he stopped she broke free from him, grabbed the Heart of Tammuz, and fled. She ran into Conan, who had led the Free Companions to break down the door of their dungeon. When Fafnir attacked Conan again, Tacqui struck the Heart of Tammuz against the Hand of Nergal, stunning Fafnir. When Atalis reached for the two talismans, Conan cut off his right hand with his word. Having only served Atalis out of fear, his guards then stood down, pledging their allegiance to Prince Thann.
Fafnir recovered, the Heart of Tammuz having merged with the Hand of Nergal, granting Fafnir control of his own will and full control of his new arm's power.
Comments: Created by Lin Carter and Robert E. Howard.
Adapted to the Marvel Universe by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Ernie Chan.
Profile by Snood.
No KNOWN connections to:
images: (without ads)
Savage Sword of Conan#220/2, p17, panel (full body)
Conan the Barbarian I#30, p18, panel 6 (face)
Conan the Barbarian I#30 (September, 1973) - by Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema and Ernie Chan (artists)
Savage Sword of Conan#220/2-221/2 (April-May, 1994) - by Roy Thomas (writer), Mike Docherty (penciler), E.R. Cruz (inker), Richard Ashford (editor)
Savage Sword of Conan#231 (March, 1995) - by Roy Thomas (writer), Mike Docherty (penciler), E.R. Cruz (inker), Richard Ashford (editor)
Last updated: 11/29/06
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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