CHONDU THE MYSTIC

Real Name: Harvey Schlemerman

Identity/Class: Human magic user/mutate

Occupation: Professional criminal;

(formerly) lecturer on the mystic arts of Yoga; magic performer for Tiboldt Carnival of Wonder

Group Membership: Headmen (Gorilla-Man (Nagan), Ruby Thursday, Shrunken Bones)

Affiliations: Albert and Ethel, A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics), Charlie, Circus of Crime (Bruto, Clown (Franklin), Princess Python, Ringmaster (Tiboldt)), Doom-bot, Enchantress (Sylvie Lushton), Caroline Le Fey, MODOK, Mysterio (Beck), Orrgo, Pandemonium Axles, Quicksand

EnemiesAngar the Screamer, Bambi, Billy, Cannonball (Sam Guthrie), Celestial Mind Control Movement/Bozos, Defenders (Doctor Stephen Strange, Hellcat, Hulk (Banner), Nighthawk, Jack Norris, Red Guardian (Belinsky), Silver Surfer (Radd), Son of Satan, Sub-Mariner, Valkyrie (Brunnhilde), Valkyrie (Parrington)), Defenders (Elsa Bloodstone, Clea, Misty Knight, Moonstar, Valkyrie, Warrior Woman), Hercules (Heracles), Heroes for Hire (Black Cat, Humbug, Misty Knight, Orka, Shang-Chi, Tarantula (Vasquez), Colleen Wing), Human Torch (Storm), Iron Fist (Danny Rand), Ludberdites, Lyja Lazerfist (as Alicia Masters), Nebulon, Joe Parker, She-Hulk, S.H.I.E.L.D., Spider-Man (Parker), Venom (Flash Thompson), Werewolf (Jack Russell), X-Man (Nate Grey)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Bambi, Chondu the Magician, Nighthawk

Base of Operations: Mobile

formerly New York City, USA;
formerly Wetsbury, Connecticut, USA

First Appearance: Tales of Suspense I#9/2 (May, 1960)

Powers/Abilities: Chondu the Mystic possesses the ability to send his consciousness through various dimensional borders. He has knowledge of various spells, including mesmerization, casting of an ectoplasmic field, draining the strength of others, illusion-casting, writing messages in fire, and limited telepathic communication. He once successfully tapped into the power sources used by the alien Ludberdites and Nebulon to effect a massive teleportation spell. When his brain is injected with various serums, he can create a black mist that induces paranoia or rampaging behaviors in humans. Chondu's brain is now an organic computer, like Ruby Thursday's, and, as such, is capable of processing information at superhuman levels. Chondu has had various physical powers over the years, depending upon his physical form. Currently, his spidery mechanical body allows him to transport himself and manipulate some machinery. In his composite form, he possessed "crimson bat-wings, a protruding horn, fanged teeth, a serpent tongue, clusters of lampreys replacing his arms, feathers on his legs, and feet with sharp talons," and was capable of flight and various feats of strength. With his cloned She-Hulk body, he possessed vast super-strength and durability. In Nighthawk's body, he possessed super-strength at night and had a jetpack allowing him to fly. In "Bambi's" form, he could focus his mind for some spells.

Height: 5' 8" (normal form); 6' 2" (monster form)               Weight: 155 lbs. (normal form); 250 lbs. (monster form)
Eyes: Blue                                                                                Hair: Bald, formerly black

History: (Tales of Suspense I#9) - While lecturing in the United States on the art of Yoga, Chondu tried to convince the crowd of the power of their mind, though the crowd, including Albert and Ethel, had varying opinions.  While driving to Center City for his next lecture, Chondu heard on the radio of convict Joe Parker's release from prison.  When Chondu saw a man laying in the road, he stopped, and Joe Parker pulled a gun, threatening to kill Chondu and steal his car.  Chondu then used the power of his mind to send Joe to limbo, where he vowed to leave him until he had no evil left in him.  Chondu then checked into his hotel where a man named Charlie recognized him.

(Defenders I#32 (fb) - BTS) - Chondu the Mystic performed at the Vermont State Fair, where youths Jack Norris and Barbara Denton watched him.

(X-Force I#-1) - As part of the Ringmaster's Tiboldt Carnival of Wonder, Chondu the Magician performed for paying crowds, claiming he'd learned his secret arts from ancient men in the Himalayas. 

(Defenders I#21 (fb) - BTS) - Disgusted with being treated as a charlatan, Chondu responded to a request of aid from Dr. Arthur Nagan, whose head had been grafted onto a gorilla's body, and Dr. Jerrold Morgan, a scientist with shrunken facial bones.

(Defenders I#21) - Chondu met Nagan and Morgan in New York and they injected a serum they'd developed into Chondu's brain, allowing Chondu to probe another dimension and pull forward a fear-inducing black rain that affected the sleeping people of New York City. After Nagan looted a jewelry store, the three allies fled the city and the rain died down.

(Defenders I#33 (fb) - BTS) - Nagan proposed a plot to Morgan and Chondu that they attempt to rule the world through quiet means, eliminating all random factors, with them as the heads of it. They put together a complex plot to do so.

(Defenders I#31) - Chondu mentally confused Nighthawk, who was then apprehended by Nagan. Nighthawk's brain was placed into a dish while Chondu's was placed into Nighthawk's body. Chondu, in Nighthawk's form, flew over the city until seeing the Hulk, who was cradling a baby deer, and following them back to Strange's mansion. Chondu noticed an ancient artifact and asked Strange about it, before coming up with a cover story as to why he was showing interest. Valkyrie and Jack Norris entered and Chondu trapped the group in an ectoplasmic field before fleeing, but the heroes pursued him. He cast a spell to drain the heroes' strength, but Strange cast Chondu into another dimension to fight more. Recognizing Strange's strength, Chondu popped a pill containing Morgan's serum and cast an illusion over the Crystals of Caa-Fu, but Strange still saw through the illusion. Strange subdued 'Nighthawk' and returned to Earth.

(Defenders I#32) - Son of Satan attempted to exorcise Chondu unsuccessfully, leaving it to Dr. Strange to decipher Chondu's true identity because Jack Norris recognized his face.

(Defenders I#33 (fb) - BTS) - Dr. Strange performed a complicated spell that sent Chondu's mind into the body of the baby deer, and Jack Norris's mind into Chondu's brain in Nighthawk's body. Chondu woke up in the body of a fawn and was infuriated.

(Defenders I#33) - Chondu watched through the Eye of Agamotto as the Defenders were defeated by the new Headman, Ruby Thursday, whose head had been replaced by an organic computer. He attempted to escape, but was incapable of even opening the door with his teeth. Chondu jumped through the window, only to be captured by the alien Ludberdites.

(Defenders I#34) - Chondu, as the deer, attempted to attack 'Nighthawk' (Norris's mind in Chondu's brain in Nighthawk's body) when he joined the other prisoners. He began tapping into the Ludberdites' power source. When Nebulon was battling the Defenders, Chondu managed to teleport Nebulon and himself away, using Nebulon's powers.

(Defenders I#35) - Chondu and Nebulon appeared at the Headmen's back-up headquarters, and Chondu had to use his mystical powers to first send a fiery message on the wall, then to communicate telepathically to prove he was who he said he was. Nebulon departed in a fury. Ruby Thursday downloaded Chondu's mind into an organic computer brain, like her own, and this head was transplanted onto a body his allies had prepared for him, and he was infuriated to wake up an inhuman monstrosity. Thursday stalled him, though, explaining that his head could be transplanted again easily. Furious, Chondu took off and grabbed a construction worker only to be attacked by Valkyrie and Jack Norris (back in his own body) astride Aragorn. Chondu pulled her off, parrying her sword with his horn, until she sliced off one of his wings and they plummeted into a restaurant. Valkyrie swiftly defeated him.

(Defenders Annual I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Posing as Dr. Ruhart Gnaan, Nagan set up a Parisian advertising company called the Compagnie de Lux, and became involved in all aspects of society that he could, including agriculture, oil, computers, steel, food processing, population control, and automobile production. The Headmen attempted to buy out the Celestial Mind Control Movement in Paris, but only made enemies of the Movement instead.

(Defenders Annual I#1 (fb) - BTS) - Chondu entered a trance and guided the Headmen to him, so he could be freed from prison.

(Defenders Annual I#1) - The Headmen succeeded in shrinking the Defenders, Nebulon, and others, including the United States president, to a size to be contained in a sphere they could study. Hulk attacked and freed the captives, who were restored to size by a spell from Dr. Strange. Nighthawk and Red Guardian defeated Chondu and the Headmen were arrested. The Defenders planned to undue their other machinations over time.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#1 (fb) - BTS) - As Chondu had had struggles with maintaining his sanity with his new transformation, the other Headmen sought to procure a new body for him. They hired the Circus of Crime for three million dollars to test the She-Hulk's strength.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#1) - The Circus of Crime sought to use She-Hulk for their own means. Though Morgan continued to be skeptical of the plan, Nagan disguised himself as a gorilla (using a gorilla mask) and released She-Hulk from the Circus's hypnotized control. The Circus was arrested, and the Headmen sought to have her tested through other means.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#3 (fb) - BTS) - The Headmen hired Mysterio to test her powers as well, offering him three million dollars but planning on giving him fake cash. Just in case, Nagan developed a piece of equipment that would interact with Spider-Man's spider-sense, tracking him to Mysterio if necessary. By these means, Nagan hoped Spider-Man would kill Mysterio before Mysterio found their money was fake.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#2) - Mysterio captured She-Hulk after using an elaborately constructed attack of the alien Toad-Men and some gas. They paid Mysterio in false bills after Mysterio turned down their offer to join their team, and Nagan arranged for Mysterio to be unable to find them for revenge. Nagan and Thursday consoled Morgan, then used a buzzsaw on She-Hulk's neck.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#3 (fb) - BTS) - Morgan took a sample of She-Hulk's skin and cloned a body with a tiny head that sat inside a conductor unit, to allow them to put Chondu's head on the body.

(Sensational She-Hulk I#3) - Spider-Man attacked Mysterio, as planned, but found out where the Headmen were located. Chondu grew agitated and seemed he was going to attack until Thursday roped him down with her head. Spider-Man attacked and evaded attacks by all the Headmen until the cloned body subdued him. They then removed Chondu's head and placed it on the cloned body. When he became aware, he was furious and started attacking his teammates, but Spider-Man soon dislodged his head. The Headmen attempted to escape in an armored tank, but She-Hulk and Spider-Man teamed up to stop them.

(Web of Spider-man I#73 (fb) - BTS) - Chondu's head was equipped with a life support system to keep it functioning. He grew increasingly erratic and demanded that his teammates provide him with Spider-Man's body.

(Web of Spider-Man I#73) - The Headmen tracked Spider-Man's form to a party being held by Alicia Masters (secretly Lyja Lazerfist). They battled the Human Torch and Spider-Man, while Chondu's head was being held by Ruby. The Headmen were quickly defeated and they were arrested.

(Marvel Comics Presents I#97/4) - His head back on his composite body, Chondu joined the Headmen in plotting a scheme at the Bar With No Name. They got caught up in a bar brawl until Angar the Screamer knocked them all unconscious.

(Defenders II#5 (fb) - BTS) - Chondu's head was put on a life support system that included mechanical legs with which he could walk.

(Defenders II#9 (fb) - BTS) - The Headmen plotted the resurrection of an alien space god through which they could rule the world.

(Defenders II#10 (fb)) - The Headmen followed Chondu's mystic senses to Arizona, and Morgan injected Chondu's head with a psychogenic enhancer that allowed him to pierce a dimensional barrier, unintentionally releasing MODOK, who agreed to aid the Headmen.

(Defenders II#5) - Chondu accompanied the Headmen to a museum. Morgan injected the black mist into Chondu's brain, and he sent a cloud of paranoia over the patrons. They then pilfered an ancient figurine just before Nighthawk, Hellcat, and Valkyrie (Parrington) attacked. Chondu fired mystic bolts from his brain at the heroes before Nagan's thrown body knocked him out. The Headmen quickly teleported away with the figurine.

(Defenders II#9) - Chondu led the Headmen to the space god, Orrgo's, burial place, and they awakened the alien, who quickly took over the world, controlling all except the Defenders.

(Defenders II#10) - Chondu ordered Orrgo to gather all available scrolls and grimoires, planning to read every one in order to gain the perfect body. He experimented on several humans, mutating them and finding none he considered worthy of him. In time, the Defenders attacked, and Nagan ordered Orrgo to form an army of super-villains to attack them, but that didn't stop Nighthawk from seizing the figurine and quickly defeating the Headmen.

(Heroes for Hire II#6 (fb) – BTS) – The Headmen stole a Doombot from a young boy, Billy, in New York’s homeless district and reprogrammed the robot to serve them. They chased Billy away, and the boy hired the Heroes for Hire to aid him.

(Heroes for Hire II#6) – Billy brought Humbug back with him, and the Headmen attacked, quickly fending off an infestation of bugs and capturing Humbug and Billy. During the fight, Chondu’s head was simply carried around by others.

(Heroes for Hire II#7) – The Headmen transplanted Chondu’s head onto Humbug’s body (Chondu soon planning to use the body for carnal pleasures despite the body’s gut), and Humbug’s head to a life support system. Humbug’s allies Shang-Chi and Orka arrived and attacked them, but the Doombot fired a lethal blast that left a gaping hole in Orka’s chest.

(Heroes for Hire II#8) – After Orka passed, Shang-Chi furiously tore through the Headmen’s ranks, knocking out Gorilla-Man and Shrunken Bones and knocking Ruby Thursday’s head off. She briefly battled with Humbug’s head, and Chondu surrendered. He aided them in reversing the transplant, and SHIELD was called in to arrest the Headmen.

(Dark Reign Files) - Quasimodo researched the Headmen including Chondu for Norman Osborn.

(New Avengers#53) - The Eye of Agamotto appeared to Chondu as it considered him a possible replacement for Dr. Strange as Sorcerer Supreme.

(Fearless Defenders#9) - The Defenders (Valkyrie, Clea, Misty Knight, Elsa Bloodstone, Moonstar, Warrior Woman) battled the Enchantress (Sylvie Lushton), Quicksand, and the Headmen (Arthur Nagan, Chondu the Mystic, and Ruby Thursday, who were seeking to reanimate some ancient entities who'd taken form in statues, called the Pandemonium Axles, hired by Caroline Le Fey to do so. Chondu's head was on a massive mechanical snake-like body. To defeat the Axles, the women were joined by Iron Fist, Werewolf, Hercules, X-Man, Venom, Cannonball, and Dr. Strange.

Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Doug Wildley.

Chondu received an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#26 and Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic.

The name Chondu no doubt refers to Chandu, the radio show sorcerer. The character is based on the radio serials of the same name, and predates Falk's "Mandrake the Magician" character. I have also been told that Chandu is one of the sources that Stan Lee has mentioned for the Marvel Comics character Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts (by Robert Ingersol}.
--Per Degaton

Other disemboed heads in the Marvel Universe: the Brain, the Head, Cameron Hodge, Frost and Doctor Mynde
--Gammatotem

Profile by Chadman.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Chondu the Mystic has no known connections to any "Mystic" characters.


Albert and Ethel

(Tales of Suspense I#9) - Albert and Ethel attended a lecture by Chondu on the powers of the human mind.  Albert was skeptical while Ethel thought Chondu was simply wonderful.  She tried to question Chondu afterwards, but Albert rushed her out.





--Tales of Suspense I#9


Joe Parker

(Tales of Suspense I#9) - Joe Parker, a convict sentenced for life, escaped from prison and pretended to be a victim of a wreck by laying in the middle of the road.  When Chondu pulled over to aid him, Joe took Chondu at gunpoint and threatened to kill him, intending to use Chondu's car to get to his hideout.  Joe was concerned when Chondu started thinking hard, then Joe suddenly found himself isolated in limbo. He cried out, wanting his world back.





--Tales of Suspense I#9


"Bambi"

(pictured above)

(Defenders I#31) - While grazing with her mother on a game preserve, the young deer dubbed "Bambi" by the watching Hulk saw her mother shot down by hunters Harry and Rocky. After subduing the hunters, the Hulk cradled the deer and leapt away. Hulk returned with "Bambi" to Dr. Strange's mansion and then left the deer, heading out with Dr. Strange, Valkyrie, and Jack Norris to investigate Nighthawk, whose brain had been removed and replaced with that of  Chondu the Mystic.

(Defenders I#33 (fb)) - Dr. Strange performed a mind-switching spell that placed Chondu's mind into "Bambi's" form, and Jack Norris's mind into Chondu's brain in Nighthawk's body.

(Defenders I#33) - Chondu, in Bambi's form, desperately attempted to escape the mansion. He burst through a window only to be apprehended by the alien Ludberdites.

(Defenders I#34) - Chondu, in Bambi's form, attacked 'Nighthawk,' who'd joined the captives.

(Defenders I#35) - Chondu revealed himself to his teammates, and they set about separating his mind from "Bambi's." Chondu's mind was put into a new form.

--Defenders I#31 (Defenders I#31, 33 (fb), 33-35


Harry and Rocky

(Defenders I#31) - Harry and Rocky killed a female deer on a game preserve and earned the wrath of the Hulk, who frightened them and brutally tossed them aside.






--Defenders I#31


Charlie

(Tales of Suspense I#9) - Charlie recognized Chondu when the traveling mystic checked into a hotel, but Charlie figured Chondu to be a fake.








--Tales of Suspense I#9


images:
Weird Wonder Tales I#7, p14, pan1
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Master Edition#26
Defenders I#32, p3, pan6 (on Nighthawk's form)
Defenders I#33, p11, pan1 (as deer)
Defenders I#35, p12, pan1 (composite)
Sensational She-Hulk I#3, p15, pan4 (on She-Hulk clone)
Web of Spider-Man I#73, p7, pan3 (Head, imagined on Spider-Man's body)
Defenders II#5, p12, pan1 (spider legs)
Fearless Defenders#9, p6, pan1 (catterpillar form)
Weird Wonder Tales I#7, p14, pan1 (Albert and Ethel)
Weird Wonder Tales I#7, p16, pan4 (Joe Parker)
Defenders I#31, p7, pan5 (Harry and Rocky)


Appearances:
Tales of Suspense I#9 (May, 1960) - Unknown writer, Doug Wildley (penciler/inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Defenders I#21 (March, 1975) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler). Sal Trapani (inker), Len Wein (editor)
Defenders I#31-33 (January-April, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Jim Mooney (penciler/inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Defenders I#35 (May, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Klaus Janson (penciler/inker), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Defenders Annual I#1 (October, 1976) - Steve Gerber (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Klaus Janson (penciler/inker), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Sensational She-Hulk I#1-3 (May-July, 1989) - John Byrne (writer/penciler), Bob Wiacek (inker), Bobbie Chase (editor)
Web of Spider-Man I#73 (February, 1991) - John Byrne (writer), Alex Saviuk (penciler), Keith Williams (inker), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Marvel Comics Presents I#97/4 (December, 1992) - Sholly Fisch (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Don Hudson (inker), Terry Kavanagh (editor)
X-Force I#-1 (July, 1997) - John Francis Moore (writer), Adam Pollina (penciler), Mark Morales, John Holdredge, Al Milgrom (inkers), Mark Powers (editor)
Defenders II#5,7 (July, September, 2001) - Kurt Busiek (writer) , Erik Larsen (writer/penciler), Sal Buscema (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Defenders II#9 (November, 2001) - Kurt Busiek, Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson (writers), Ron Frenz (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Defenders II#10 (December, 2001) - Kurt Busiek, Erik Larsen, Eric Stephenson (writers), Erik Larsen (penciler), Sal Buscema (inker), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#6 (March, 2007) – Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray (writers), Alvaro Rio (penciler), Scott Koblish, Tom Palmer (inkers), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#7 (April, 2007) – Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Zeb Wells (writers), Al Rio (penciler), Tom Palmer, Terry Pallot (inkers), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Heroes for Hire II#8 (May, 2007) – Zeb Wells (writer), Al Rio (penciler), Scott Koblish (inker), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Dark Reign Files (February, 2009) - Michael Hoskin & various others (writer), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
New Avengers#53 (July, 2009) - Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Billy Tan (pencils), Matt Banning (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Fearless Defenders#9 (2013) - Cullen Bunn (writer), Will Sliney (artist), Ellie Pyle (editor)


Last updated: 12/25/13

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