Real Name: Munthassem Khan

Identity/Class: Human magic-user; Hyborian era

Occupation: Former satrap of Yaralet

Group Membership: Ruler of the people of Yaralet

Affiliations: Nergal

EnemiesAtalis, Conan, Hidilco, Thann; all other wizards of Yaralet (deceased)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

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: Munthassem Khan had no powers of his one, but he was granted great magical ability by the Hand of Nergal, which corrupted him into a murderous tyrant. The Hand's power shielded him from attackers and summoned "terrors" from realms unknown to stalk the streets of Yaralet. It further allowed him to plague others with fits of agony and/or blindness; to summon winged devil-beasts -- the Shadows of Nergal -- to attack his enemies; and to strike down others directly. The Hand of Nergal was powerless against those who held and correctly invoked the Heart of Tammuz.
    Munthassem Khan commanded legions of warriors, and he enjoyed slipping into the numbing embrace of the dream-lotus incense.

(Conan the Barbarian I#30 (fb) - BTS) - The Hand of Nergal was brought via caravan from the depths of Stygia to Munthassem Khan, the wise and gentle satrap of the Northern Turanian city of Yaralet. From that point on, Munthassem became cruel and savage: his guards seized any who so much as grumbled of their lot, and they were never seen again. Weird forces shielded Munthassem from those despairing patriots who sought to slay him, and strange crimson lights blazed in a tall tower of his palace, where men whispered that he had dedicated a temple to some dark and bloody god. Meanwhile, terrors stalked the moonlit streets of Yaralet, as if summoned from the realm of death by some devil-purchased lore. Tales spread of doorways splintered in the night and of brief unearthly shrieks torn from human throats.

(Conan the Barbarian I#30 (fb) - BTS) - Munthassem Khan had all wizards of Yaralet slain, but he allowed the philosopher Atalis to survive, though Atalis was plagued with fits of agony. In addition, Prince Thann developed fits of blindness.

(Conan the Barbarian I#30) - King Yildiz sent his army, including Conan of Cimmeria, to battle Munthassem Khan's legions. After five hours of bloody battle, Munthassem (apparently drugged with the dream lotus) used the Hand of Nergal to summon winged devil-beasts -- the Shadows of Nergal -- that descended upon and slaughtered Yildiz's troops. Even Conan found his sword arm of little use against the devil-beasts. When one of them threatened to slay him, Conan unwittingly grasped the amulet he had received earlier (the Heart of Tammuz), causing the devil-beast and its brethren to flee. After recovering from his magical injuries, Conan's service was enlisted by a Brythunian woman, Hidilco, who had been sent by her master, Atalis the Far-Seeing, to recruit the Cimmerian.
    Atalis told Conan of Munthassem Khan and the Hand of Nergal, and also shared that Conan possessed the Hand's counter-talisman, the Heart of Tammuz. Atalis led Conan and Thann into Munthassem Khan's chamber, intending to ambush the still-drugged Munthassem, but he 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.




Comments: Created by Lin Carter and Robert E. Howard.
    Adapted to the Marvel Universe by Roy Thomas, John Buscema, and Ernie Chan.

Khan is another name for King, so his real name is likely just Munthassem.

Profile by Snood.

No KNOWN connections to:

images: (without ads)
Conan the Barbarian I#30, p14, panel 5 & 6 (sitting on throne & face close-up)

Conan the Barbarian I#30 (September, 1973) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Ernie Chua (inks)

Last updated: 11/12/06

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