Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Normal human (1870s Era, Indian national)
Occupation: Sect leader, rebel against British colonial rule
Group Membership: Sect devoted to Kâli
Affiliations: His followers, Daevas
Enemies: British soldiers
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: India
First Appearance: Amazing High Adventure#5/3 (December, 1986)
Powers/Abilities: The Mahdi was an inspirational but ruthless leader among his soldiers and sect, proud of his Indian heritage and fanatically devoted to the Hindu gods, but was also delusional.
(Amazing High Adventure#5/3 (fb) - BTS) - The Mahdi was the leader of a hidden sect dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kâli. He violently defied the British Empire's colonial rule over India, invoking past traditions and gods to rally support. He planned a trap for British soldiers in a mountainous pass, with all but three officers killed in the attack.
(Amazing High Adventure#5/3) - The Mahdi and his loyal priest inspected the battlefield littered with dead soldiers, and returned to their nearby temple. There, before the altar of Kâli, the Mahdi had the three surviving British officers sacrificed, their blood mixed with holy oils to generate fumes that filled the Mahdi's mind with visions, first of British oppression over India, then to several Hindu gods. In his delirium, the gods questioned the Mahdi's violent methods to which he replied that he demanded victory over the British, telling them to grant him power to slay the British overlords His vision then turned to the gods granting him gifts: Yama the executioner god gave a fiery sword; Ratri, goddess of night, granted him a cloak of shadows for stealth; the two-headed god Agni delivered him the power of ravaging flame; Maya, goddess of dreams, offered the power of delusion over his opponents; and Kâli gave him the wheel of destruction. Returning from his reverie, the Mahdi declared himself to be the chosen son of the gods. His followers praised him, but his priest friend questioned his statement, then showed him the British troops advancing down the same path taken by their fallen comrades. Overconfident and believing himself now immortal, the Mahdi dismissed the strategic advantage of the land and marched at the head of his column of troops. Watched by his priest friend, the British troops opened fire, killing many Indians. The reality of the destruction on the battlefield was distorted in the Mahdi's mind so that he saw the reverse: the British troops being destroyed. Onward he marched until he was lifted in the air, skewered through the back by British soldiers on their bayonets. The Mahdi's death was observed by the five Hindu gods far above.
Comments: Created by Bill Mantlo (script), Steve Purcell (pencils) and Del Barras (inks).
It's not clear that whether the gods in his vision were definitely drug-infused delusions, or an actual encounter with the gods who then deluded him into thinking he was invulnerable. The black-framed sequencing suggests delusions.
The gods evoked in this story are strongly reminiscent of Wayfinder's followers in the Microverse, a tale also scribed by Bill Mantlo.
And yes, the main image appears tilted in the comic.
Profile by Grendel Prime.
Mahdi has no known connections to:
Amazing High Adventure#5/3, p4, pan1 (main image)
Amazing High Adventure#5/3 (December, 1986) - Bill Mantlo (script), Steve Purcell (pencils), Del Barras (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Last updated: 02/06/11
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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