cheops_crystal-full.jpgCHEOPS CRYSTAL

Classification: Power item

Creator: Unrevealed

User/Possessors: Professor Bradford, Cult of the Living Pharaoh, Iron Fist (Daniel Rand-K'ai), Professor Llewelyn, Living Monolith (Ahmet Abdol), Professor Merridew, Power Man (Luke Cage);

First AppearancePower Man#56 (April, 1979)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Cheops Crystal may or may not have had other abilities and uses, but this one specific example is all that was demonstrated.

    If a trio of ancient Egyptian artifacts (at least, specifically, a trio of Tutankhamen's sarcofagi buried for millennia beneath the Valley of the Kings) in a sufficiently distant triangular energy field focused around the Cheops Crystal, it could channel cosmic power to Ahmet Abdol sufficiently to transform him into the Living Monolith without having to block the rays from Havok (the mutant Alex Summers, whose powers somehow interfered with Abdol's)

cheops_crystal-bradford-finds.jpg(Power Man#57 (fb)) - While trying to master information on the Pharaohs, Professor Bradford (specializing in the tribes of Western Europe, on staff at the Metropolitan Museum) unearthed a pyramidal crystal while digging in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.

(Power Man#57 (fb) - BTS) - When the Tutankhamen exhibit was to be sent to the Metropolitan Museum, curator Professor Merridew (specializing in Central American Indians) and his staff, Bradford and Llewelyn (specializing in Mediterranean cultures) realized they need an Egyptian expert.

cheops_crystal-abdol.jpg (Power Man#57 (fb)) - Professor Abdol contacted the Metropolitan Museum's curator in search of a position, and they welcomed him. 

    Bradford turned over the pyramidal crystal to Abdol, who dubbed it the Cheops Crystal and claimed that with it he could prove the ancient theories of pyramid energy once and for all.

(Power Man#57 (fb) - BTS) - Abdol, allegedly acting as liaison from the Egyptian government, looted the Tutankhamen artifacts from the Metropolitan Museum, replacing them with replicas. 

    He then convinced museum curator Professor Merridew (unaware of the theft) to employ Heroes for Hire (Power Man and Iron Fist) to watch over the artifacts while the museum doors were closed.

(Power Man#56 - BTS) - Via arrangement with their executive secretary, Jennie Royce, Dr. Abdol and Professor Merridew met with Power Man and Iron Fist, seeking to hire them to watch over the Tutankhamen artifacts while the museum doors were closed.

(Power Man#57 (fb) - BTS) - Abdol hired Senor Suerte (Jaime Garcia) to steal the counterfeit artifacts, knowing the heroes would stop Suerte and his agents, but wishing to ensure that Merridew would discover the theft at a time when the heroes would standing handily by to take the blame.

(Power Man#56 - BTS) - The first night of the heroes' watch, a group led by Senor Suerte broke into the museum. 

    Power Man and Iron Fist defeated and captured the group, though Suerte escaped; however, Merridew found all of the artifacts had been replaced with forgeries, and the Heroes for Hire business was held financially responsible for the loss. Realizing they had been duped, the heroes investigated and learned Abdol was the Living Pharaoh/Monolith.cheops_crystal-merridew-sarcophagus.jpgcheops_crystal-merridew-sarcophagus-open.jpg

(Power Man#57 (fb) - BTS) - Abdol trapped Merridew, Bradford, and Llewelyn with Tutankhamen's sarcophagi, which had been buried for millennia beneath the Valley of the Kings, absorbing the ancient power. 

    Abdol then set the three sarcophagi (each apparently within an armored truck driven by one of Abdol's Cult of the Living Pharaoh members) in a triangular energy field focused around the crystal, which served to channel cosmic power to Abdol sufficiently to transform him into the Living Monolith without having to block the rays from Havok (the mutant Alex Summers, whose powers somehow interfered with Abdol's).

(Power Man#57 - BTS) - The Monolith sought to destroy Power Man and Iron Fist so no one could connect him to the stolen exhibits: Bursting through the apartment's roof, the Monolith caused the building of his apartment to collapse on the heroes. 

    Surviving, Power Man and Iron Fist investigated the Halwani consulate (of which Fist had learned from Havok during their stint as Defenders for a Day). 

    When a Cult of the Living Pharaoh member ordered the infidels away, Cage kicked down the door. 

    The heroes made short work of the Cultists and found the Tutankhamen artifacts (though the sarcophagi in which Tut himself was to be resting was missing); they observed the glowing Cheops crystal along with a compass aligned to magnetic north; and they took the crystal and headed in that direction. cheops_crystal-iron-fisted.jpg

    As the X-Men members Cyclops (Scott Summers), Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner), and Storm (Ororo Munroe) -- who had observed the Monolith's collapsing the building on Power Man and Iron Fist -- futilely battled the Monolith, he sensed someone touching the crystal; reasoning only Jennie Royce was alive and knew where it might be, the Monolith headed to capture her, but Storm flew Royce to safety just as the Monolith reached for her.cheops_crystal-if-energy_discharge.jpg

(Power Man#57 - BTS) - In their northward trek, Cage and Iron Fist observed a Cultist driving an armored truck; subduing the driver, they broke into the truck and found Merridew trapped within one of sarcophagi. The Monolith felt his power supply diminish as they freed Merridew, who revealed the nature of the Monolith's power source.

(Power Man#57 - BTS) - Iron Fist phoned the police to inform them of the locations of the sarcophagi holding Bradford and Llewelyn, after which Cage and Iron Fist headed to the theater district to join the fight against the Monolith.

(Power Man#57 - BTS) - Without the power triangulated by the Cheops Crystal, the Monolith reverted back to a powerless Abdol, who was captured.

(Power Man#57) - When Iron Fist asked what they should do about the Cheops Crystal, Merridew noted that it wasn't of any known archeological value. Considering that as long as it existed that ti was a threat to human lives and to the real archeological treasures of the world, Iron Fist summoned his Iron Fist power and shattered the Cheops Crystal.

    After that assault, there was nothing left of the Crystal, and Iron Fist wondered if they'd ever know what it really was.

Comments: Created by Mary Jo Duffy, Trevor von Eeden, and Frank Springer.

    The way it was "gone without a trace" makes me wonder if it somehow was transported away (or transformed into energy that went who knows where).

    Since we're almost 40 years out from this story without another mention, I don't think we're getting more answers, but one never knows...cheops_crystal-gone.jpg

    There's no evidence that it was magical...I suppose it could have been associated with the Lifestone Tree, but I'd think it more likely that it was constructed by someone from the time of Ancient Egypt, for whatever reason.

Profile by Snood.

The Cheops Crystal should be distinguished from:

images: (without ads)
Power Man#57, pg. 12, panel 1 (full);
        pg. 14, panel 5-6 (sarcophagus of
Tutankhamen; exterior and interior (with Merridew);
        pg. 15, panel 5 (found);
            panel 6 (Abdol and crystal);
        pg. 18 / last page, panel 3-4 (Iron Fist destroying the Crystal);
            panel 5 (left without a trace)

Power Man#56-57 (April-June (bi-monthly), 1979) - Mary Jo Duffy (writer), Trevor von Eeden (penciler), Frank Springer (inker), Allen Milgrom (editor)
    note: Despite the cover label of Power Man and Iron Fist, it was still just Power Man in the indicia.

First Posted: 01/30/2018

Last Updated: 01/30/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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