Real Name: Rashu
Identity/Class: Human (Indian, 1950s) magic user
Group Membership: None
Enemies: "Jason Kermit"
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Great Rashu
Base of Operations: Calcutta, India
First Appearance: Marvel Tales I#118/4 (September, 1953)
Powers/Abilities: A master of mysticism, Rashu displayed such powers as the casting of illusions and levitation.
History: (Marvel Tales I#118/4 (fb) - BTS) - The past of Rashu is unrevealed, but he had gained quite a reputation for his feats of mysticism (amongst those who were experts in such matters).
(Marvel Tales I#118/4) - Professional magician "Jason Kermit" traveled from America to India, in search of a way to improve his stage act. "Kermit" hired one of the locals as a guide, to take him to the famed fakirs of Calcutta, but he was unimpressed by all of them ("A dirty lot of filthy, miserable beggars!") and their simple tricks, so he asked the guide to take him to Rashu. The guide, realizing that "Kermit" was somewhat knowledgeable with true mysticism, agreed with his choice ("There is none in all of India, or in all the world, who can compare to the Great Rashu!"), but told him that Rashu was a difficult person to reach, and he performed rarely... however, for the proper fee, a meeting could be arranged. "Kermit" told the guide that money was no object and insisted that he set up the meeting.
Late that evening, "Kermit" and the guide approached a simple dwelling perched atop a rocky bluff on the outskirts of the city; the guide indicated that it was the home of the Great Rashu. After paying off the guide, "Kermit" dismissed him and continued up the path alone towards Rashu's hut. Suddenly, "Kermit" heard a hissing sound and saw a cobra at his feet, about to strike... then, to his greater shock, the cobra disappeared in a puff of smoke! At that point, Rashu stepped out onto the path, introduced himself, and explained that the "cobra" had only been a simple demonstration of illusory deception.
Rashu led "Kermit" back to his home and, in the hour that followed, continued his performance, with each demonstration more fantastic than the one before. Finally, Rashu agreed to perform the rarest demonstration of all--the act of physical levitation. As he sat on a mat, the mystic's lips moved in an almost soundless whisper. Seconds later, Rashu and the mat rose into the air. Then, like a feather in the breeze, the Great Rashu wafted slowly back to earth.
Stunned by this feat, "Kermit" pleaded with Rashu to tell him how he accomplished it, but Rashu apologized, telling him he could not impart the secret. Angered, "Kermit" pulled out a pistol and told Rashu that he would kill him if he didn't reveal the secret of levitation. Rashu--feeling betrayed by this man who had posed as a friend, and who now threatened his life--saw he had no alternative, so he instructed "Kermit" to look up at the stars, then slowly and carefully, say the magic word: "Vara-Nash-Pok".
Trembling with excitement, "Kermit" recited the word, then he began to rise into the air... but as he rose higher and higher, "Kermit's" elation was cut short when he suddenly realized he didn't know how to get back down!
As his ascent took him farther up into the night sky, "Kermit" called down to Rashu, begging him to tell him how to return to earth. But the elderly mystic merely turned and walked away, while "Jason Kermit" continued up into the airless void of outer space.
Comments: Created by an unknown writer and Dick Briefer.
Considering his apparent age and reputation, perhaps Rashu was once the "Dr. Strange" of an earlier era. And since he had virtually the same abilities, possibly Yogi Yama Nuri was a disciple of Rashu's.
In regards to "Jason Kermit": This character was never named in the story, and was only addressed as "sahib," so I took the liberty of giving him a name -- consider yourself No-Prized if you guessed that "Jason Kermit" is an anagram for comics legend Jim Steranko (a former escape-artist/magician).
And a BIG Thank You to The Horrors of It All for the scans!
Profile by John Kaminski
Rashu has no known connection to:
Seeking a method to improve his stage act, this magician traveled to India and met the acquaintance of Rashu. He was astounded by the mystic's power of levitation, and threatened to kill Rashu if he didn't reveal the secret. After reciting the magic word, "Kermit" found himself levitating on a non-stop journey into the cold vacuum of outer space.
--Marvel Tales I#118/4
Marvel Tales I#118/4, p4, pan6 (main)
Marvel Tales I#118 (September, 1953) - Dick Briefer (pencils)
Last updated: 10/28/06
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
Back to Characters