MERZAH

Real Name: Merzah (last name unrevealed)

Identity/Class: Human magic user (World War II era to modern era)

Occupation: Guru; former private Investigator, spy hunter, circus performer

Group Membership: "Crazy SUES" (Specialized Unit, Enhanced Soldiers) (Archie the Gruesome, Blue Diamond/Elton Morrow, Captain Flame/Frank Cortez, Davey Drew and the Demon, Father Time/Larry Scott, Fighting Yank, Fin/Peter Noble, Robert "Flash" Foster, Invisible Man/Leonard Gade, Doug "Jap-Buster" Johnson, Albert "Slow-Motion" Jones, Moon-Man, Captain Bob Strong, Jim "Taxi" Taylor and T-Mech, Vagabond, Young Avenger/Bill Bryon)

Affiliations: Jose Abejaron (valet), American Ace (Perry Webb), Bucky (James Barnes), Sergeant Byrd, Captain America (Steve Rogers), Human Guess, Diana Lanford (personal assistant), Legion (David Haller), Master Mental, Professor X (Charles Xavier), the Telectrician, Victory Boys, Zardu

Enemies: Imperial Japanese Army, Satokata Matsu (foreign spy), Nazis

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Merzah the Mystic

Base of Operations: A commune in Kangchengyao, North Sikkim District, Himalayan India;
   formerly New York City, mobile throughout the world

First Appearance: Mystic Comics I#4/7 (August, 1940)

Powers/Abilities: Merzah was gifted with the psychic abilities of thought transmission and telepathy. He was able to focus his thoughts and receive mental images of people, places and events to which he had no previous knowledge. His great mental power also granted him an undefined sixth sense that warns him of impending danger. He is able to send his thoughts from afar into a special radio called a telepathic recorder to communicate with Jose his valet. This device was shown to be a part of his car's dashboard and could only receive his thoughts and not send them. His thoughts would translate into spoken words as they filter through the strange device's speakers. He was a decent hand to hand combatant and marksman.

Height: 6'
Weight: 181 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Gray (formerly brown)

History:

(Mystic Comics I#4/7) - Merzah and his assistant Diana travelled westward by train to San Carlos with plans for an unsinkable lifeboat. Suddenly his great mind detects impending danger and just as he begins to warn the porter to stop the train, the track on a trestle ahead is sabotaged sending many cars down a small gorge. Merzah and Diana having sat in the last car narrowly avoid death. The pair exits the car and began helping the dying and injured. Later, Merzah using his mystic powers of telepathy uncovers a plot by a Japanese spy ring lead by a man named Matsu who was trying to murder him for the lifeboat plans.

  Later on in the evening, Merzah and Diana reach San Carlos and check into the Astor Hotel unknown that they had been followed by Matsu's spies. The phone rings and Diana answers it and is told to tell Merzah to come to 98 Pearl Street if he wants to find Matsu. Merzah accompanied by Diana and Jose his valet take a car and drive off to the location. Merzah instructs Jose to watch the telepathic recorder in the car in case there is any trouble so he can be contacted. Arriving at the location, Merzah and Diana enter the house but are confronted by Matsu and his gang and after a brief struggle they are hit over the head with clubs and tied up and taken upstairs. After regaining consciousness, Merzah uses his telepathy and contacts Jose through the telepathic recorder to come to his aid. On his way to help, the car has an unexpected blowout forcing Jose to quickly change the flat.

  Matsu decides to take Merzah and Diana to another location on Long Island and Jose arriving in time is telepathically told to follow slowly behind the car. At the new location Merzah and Diana are taken upstairs and locked in a room. Merzah is able to access a hidden flashlight from his clothes and shines it out the bedroom window as a beacon and telepathically tells Jose to follow beam and climb up the wall to the room above. Jose arms himself with a tire iron and sneaks up on two of Matsu's spies and clubs them over the head and quickly scales the wall and enters into the room where Merzah and Diana were being held. Jose in his haste to free Merzah, knocks over a lamp and the noise alerts some guards outside patrolling the grounds. Merzah mind senses the danger and runs over to the window in time to prevent a couple of sword wielding spies from entering. The trio, under Merzah's advice takes the hallway and a running gun battle erupts. Merzah and Jose punch their way past a couple of spies and Diana now armed with a pistol disarms another one using a Tommy gun. Merzah gives chase as Matsu jumps out a nearby window to escape. Diana is told to stay behind with the captive spies and call the police to come and deal with them. Merzah and Jose now in their car begin to chase Matsu. Using his telepathy, Merzah is able to follow and catch up. Taking up a rifle, Merzah proceeds to shoot at the fleeing limo. The gun shots cause Matsu's car to veer off the road and it impacts with a large tree which ends his life in a fiery crash. With Matsu dead and his gang arrested Merzah is able to deliver the lifeboat plans safely. Merzah is later sent a telegram congratulating him on his good work and keeping America safe for Democracy.

(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#2 (fb) ) - During World War II, Merzah was recruited into the "Crazy SUES," a specialized military unit attached to the 101st Air Assault Division--these "super-soldiers" were minor heroes under the command of Sgt. Byrd and Captain America, and they would be sent on combat operations deep behind enemy lines. Merzah wore a standard-issue infantry uniform (with what looked to be a partial turban wrapped around his helmet, see comments), and he was armed with a standard military rifle. In the company barracks, Merzah bunked next to the Young Avenger, and his fellow Crazy SUES seemed to have a great deal of respect for him.

   On August 7th, 1942, Merzah and the other Crazy SUES were aboard a transport plane flying over the South Pacific. During the flight, Merzah sensed that the morose and reticent Captain Flame was hiding a secret, so he whispered to Flame and assured him that he would not share the knowledge of his secret with anyone (Captain Flame would later be revealed to be a homosexual). When the plane reached the jump-zone, the Crazy SUES along with Captain America and Bucky parachuted down to Guadalcanal to take on the forces of the Imperial Japanese Army.

(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#3 (fb) ) - On August 13th, 1942, Merzah and the Crazy SUES were still fighting the Japanese at Guadalcanal. During a battle, Merzah sensed that Captain Flame was having trouble containing his powers, and he warned his teammates to move back.

(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#4 (fb) ) - At some point, Merzah and the other Crazy SUES were aboard a transport plane headed to Europe. After reaching the jump-zone, they all parachuted into the Normandy village of Sainte Mere Eglise.

(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#5 (fb) ) - On July 7th, 1944, Merzah and the Crazy SUES were planning battle tactics with Sgt. Byrd in a barn on a farm near Bretteville-sur-Laise, France. After the meeting, Merzah spoke privately with "Slow-Motion" Jones -- in Normandy, Jones had seen Captain Flame kissing American Ace in an alley; Merzah told Jones that he knew the day would come when Jones would be tempted to betray the secret of Captain Flame's "proclivities," but said it was vitally important that Jones avoid the temptation and not betray the secret.

   On August 29th, 1944, Merzah and his teammates were celebrating their battlefield victories at an outdoor cafe in Paris, France; the men spotted four attractive women walking down the sidewalk, and Young Avenger asked Merzah for a "situation report". Using his powers, Merzah was able to ascertain that the women were young, single, and didn't speak English.

   Shortly afterward in a small town in Belgium, Captain America, Bucky, Sgt. Byrd, and the Crazy SUES were clearing the town of Nazis. Moon-Man was shot by a sniper and the Nazis suddenly attacked in force; the remaining Crazy SUES scattered for cover, and Merzah told Byrd that he sensed they were greatly outnumbered. Captain America asked Merzah where Captain Flame and "Slow-Motion" Jones were, but Merzah told him he couldn't sense them -- the frightened Captain Flame was cowering in fear, and Jones threatened Flame, telling him he would let everyone know about Flame and American Ace unless he snapped out of it and used his powers to repel the attack.

(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1) - By December 6th, 1944, Merzah was in Saarlautern, Germany with the Crazy SUES, Captain America, Bucky, and the Victory Boys. Merzah sensed German soldiers approaching. Shortly afterward, Captain Flame was apparently injured while repelling an attack from a German panzer, so Captain America sent Merzah to retrieve him and take him to a medic.

(X-Men Legacy II#1 (fb) - BTS) - An aged Merzah built a commune for psychics in the Himalayas in India for them to retire to. He worked there as a guru for other psychics alongside local Indian psychics, who aided him.

   Charles Xavier left his son Legion (David Haller) with Merzah, who helped Legion throughout multiple sessions to build a prison for his multiple personalities. Charles stopped contacting his son as he was dealing with other problems and left him completely in Merzah's care in India.

(X-Men Legacy II#1) - After their 29th session Merzah led Legion to the outside. They passed by a few retired, aged psychics including the Telectrician, Master Mental and Human Guess, who received the aid their fragile and confused psyches needed at the commune. Merzah oversaw Legion healing aged Mr. Zardu from a psychic tumor. Merzah was proud of Legion and compared him to his father Xavier, which enraged Legion, who felt abandoned by Xavier. Legion shortly lost control to the personality of Ksenia Nedejda Panov before Merzah knocked her personality out within Legion's mind. Merzah then tried to give the bored Legion a purpose by saving the commune from angry locals, who blamed Merzah's commune of mystics for all their problems. Merzah watched as Legion gave the locals the option to either leave in peace or face his wrath. The villagers started praying to him before Legion sent them away. Merzah was proud that Legion didn't chose to be worshipped by the locals. Moments later Legion completely lost control over his other personalities when he felt his father dying at the hands of Cyclops. He inadvertently destroyed Merzah's community, who with his dying words told Legion that he was a good kid and shold welcome his father's X-Men as friends when they collected him.

Comments: Created by Russ Lanford

The story was poorly scripted and lacked any real character development. Was this the reason he only had one comic book appearance. More than likely this was the case as most of the characters that have appeared in Mystic Comics were experimental as Timely tried to create the next great hero like Captain America, Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner. Merzah the Mystic was an interesting concept character and if the story had been written better he could have been granted more appearances.

One of the opening captions on the first page states, "Right here in America- There are more than 300,000 foreign spies." This statement was highly inaccurate and probably based on propaganda and fear of foreigners. Communism and Fascism were heavily scrutinized by Americans thanks to the FBI under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover tended to exaggerate the dangers of subversives, and many believe he overstepped his bounds in his pursuit of eliminating those he viewed as treats.

The last names of Diane and Jose and the first name of Matsu were revealed in Merzah's profile in Marvel Mystery Handbook 70th Anniversary Special (2009)
--Gammatotem

Why Merzah wore that wrapping around his helmet was unrevealed -- maybe the writer confused him with Magar the Mystic, who did wear a turban (@ Red Raven Comics#1). Although he claimed to be a mystic, Merzah really didn't seem to have a magical nature -- his powers seemed somewhat similar to those of Charles Xavier, so maybe Merzah was actually a psychic mutant trying to pass himself off as a magic user.

All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes was supposed to be an 8-issue mini-series, but it was cancelled with the fifth issue due to low sales, so unfortunately the story was never completed, and the significance of many plot-details was never resolved.

Of all the Crazy SUES, the only known survivors confirmed by their modern-day appearances in the mini-series were Sgt. Byrd, Young Avenger, Merzah and "Slow-Motion" Jones (...and, of course, Captain America and Bucky by way of their later appearances). As pointed out by Loki other survivors were the Blue Diamond (Marvel Two-in-One among other appearances), Fin (New Invaders stories), Flash Foster and Fighting Yank (both Ant-Man: Last Days).

X-Men Legacy turned this Golden Age character into the Chohan of the 7th Ray (ceremonial order, ritual, law, white magic & synthesis) and Hierarch of the Age of Aquarius. I looked it up and it is an esoteric, religious thing....interesting to read about, but I am not a believer. Chohan means Lord and the Seventh Ray is also known as the Violet Ray. In mythology Saint Germain is the Chohan of the 7th Ray. Saint Germain does exist in the Marvel Universe! Are they possibly the same guy or did Merzah just took over Saint Germain's position because the latter became a pretty bad person.

Merzah had a handbook profile in Marvel Mystery Handbook: 70th Anniversary Special#1 (November, 2009).

Profile by AvatarWarlord72 Updates by Ron Fredricks (All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes) and Markus Raymond (X-Men Legacy).

CLARIFICATIONS:
Merzah the Mystic has no known connection to:

Diana and Jose have no known connections to:


Diana Lanford

Diana was Merzah's assistant and traveled with him all over the world on his missions. Little is known about this mysterious dark haired lady but she did display great skill in using a gun.

Jose Abejaron

Jose was Merzah's valet and often tagged along with Merzah and Diana on missions. His past history is unknown and his appearance and name suggests of Pilipino heritage. He was a competent hand to hand combatant and an excellent driver.

--Mystic Comics I#4/7

 

 




images:
X-Men Legacy II#1, p5, pan2 (main image)
Mystic Comics I#4/7, p1, pan1 (Golden Age appearance)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#2, p4, pan3 (with Craz SUES)
Mystic Comics I#4/7, p8, pan5 (Merzah, Diana and Jose)


Appearances:
Mystic Comics I#4 (August, 1940) - Russ Lanford (artist)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1-5 (August-December, 2011) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Carmine Di Giandomenico (artist), Bill Rosemann & Alejandro Arbona (editors)
X-Men Legacy II#1 (January, 2013) - Simon Spurrier (writer), Tan Eng Huat (pencils), Craig Yeung (inks), Daniel Ketchum (editor)


Last updated: 05/09/17

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Non-Marvel Copyright info
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at:
http://www.marvel.com

Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!

Back to Characters